Friday, November 11, 2011

Apologia Fortunae

141     -     142     -     143

Apologia Fortunae
Nulla mala est Fortuna, aequa omnibus, omnibus una.
Spem dat pauperibus, divitibusque metum.

Dame Fortune doth an equiballance bear,
Shee fills the Poor with Hope, the Rich with Fear.

Source: John Owen (c.1564-c.1628), Epigrammata, 1.107. The English version is by Thomas Harvey. Meter: Elegiac. As often, the paradox is in the "oneness" of Fortune: Lady Luck may be equal to all, but that does not mean she is the same, because she appears as hope to the poor (hoping to become rich) and as fear to the rich (fearing to become poor). I thought the illustration below was a good choice, since Lady Luck is shown as blindfolded, as also in the iconography of Lady Justice.

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There is only one word in this poem that is not on the DCC list:

No Luck (nulla Fortuna) is bad (mala est): it is equal to all (aequa omnibus), one to all (una omnibus). Luck gives hope (spem dat) to the poor (pauperibus), and to the rich (divitibusque) it gives fear (metum).

apologia (apologiae, f.): defense, apology

aequus -a -um: equal; aequē, equally
dīvitiae -ārum f. pl.: riches, wealth
dō dare dedī datum: give
fortūna -ae f.: fortune
malus -a -um: bad, evil; male: (adv.) badly
metus -ūs m.: fear, dread
nūllus -a -um: not any, no one
omnis -e: all, every, as a whole
pauper -eris: poor, lowly
que (enclitic) - and
spēs speī f.: hope
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
ūnus -a -um: one