Facile est ventis dare vela secundis,
Fecundumque solum varias agitare per artes,
Auroque atque ebori decus addere, cum rudis ipsa
It is easy to spread the sails to propitious winds, and to cultivate in different ways a rich soil, and to give lustre to gold and ivory, when the very raw material itself shines.
Per varios usus artem experientia fecit,
Exemplo monstrante viam.
By several proofs experience art has made,
Example being guide.
I, 61. Variant translation: Experience, after many trials, perfected the art, example showing the way.
Semper enim ex aliis alia proseminat usus.
Experience is always sowing the seed of one thing after another.
Certis legibus omnia parent.
All things obey fixed laws.
Quis credat tantas operum sine numine moles
Ex minimis, caecoque creatum foedere mundum?
Who can believe that all these mighty works
Have grown, unaided by the hand of God,
From small beginnings? that the law is blind
by which the world was made?
I, 492, as translated in Dictionary of Quotations (1897) by Thomas Benfield Harbottle, p. 240.
Quot post excidium Trojae sunt eruta regna?
Quot capti populi? quoties Fortuna per orbem
Servitium imperiumque tulit, varieque revertit?
How many realms since Troy have been o'erthrown?
How many nations captive led? How oft
Has Fortune up and down throughout the world
Changed slavery for dominion?
I, 506, as translated in Dictionary of Quotations (1897) by T. B. Harbottle, p. 248.
Omnia mortali mutantur lege creata,
Nec se cognoscunt terræ vertentibus annis,
Et mutant variam faciem per sæcula gentes,
At manet incolumis mundus suaque omnia servat.
Death's law brings change to all created things;
Lands cease to know themselves as years roll on.
As centuries pass, e'en nations change their form,
Yet safe the world remains, with all it holds.
I, 515, as translated in Dictionary of Quotations (1897) by T. B. Harbottle, p. 197.
Variant translation: Everything that is created is changed by the laws of man; the earth does not know itself in the revolution of years; even the races of man assume various forms in the course of ages.
Rationi nulla resistunt.
Claustra nec immensæ moles, ceduntque recessus:
Omnia succumbunt, ipsum est penetrabile cœlum.
No barriers, no masses of matter, however enormous, can withstand the powers of the mind the remotest corners yield to them; all things succumb, the very heaven itself is laid open.
Volat hora per orbem.
The hours fly around in a circle.
Quis cœlum possit nisi cœli munera nosse?
Et reperire deum nisi qui pars ipse deorum est?
Who can know heaven except by its gifts? and who can find out God, unless the man who is himself an emanation from God?
Æquo stat fœdere tempus.
Time stands with impartial law.
Nascentes morimur, finisque ab origine pendet.
As we are born we die, and the end commences with the beginning.
Variant translation: When we are born we die, our end is but the pendant of our beginning.
Labor est etiam ipsa voluptas.
Labor is itself a pleasure.
Variant translation: Even pleasure itself is a toil.
Impendendus homo est, deus esse ut possit in ipso.
Man must be so weighed as though there were a God within him.
Exemplumque dei quisque est in imagine parva.
Every one is in a small way the image of God.
Victuros agimus semper, nec vivimus unquam.
We are always beginning to live, but are never living.
Materiae ne quaere modum; sed perspice vires
Quas ratio, non pondus habet; ratio omnia vincit.
Seek not the measure of matter; fix your gaze
Upon the power of reason, not of bulk;
For reason 'tis that all things overcomes.
IV, 924, as reported in Harbottle's Dictionary of Quotations (1897), p. 130.