Fulke Art II

Here’s another neoclassical poem from Caelica, number XCIII complete:

The Augurs were of all the world admir’d,
Flatter’d by consuls, honor’d by the State,
Because the event of all that was desir’d,
They seem’d to know, and keep the books of Fate:
    Yet though abroad they thus did boast their wit,
    Along among themselves they scorned it.

Mankind, that with his wit doth gild his heart,
Strong in his passions, but in goodness weak;
Making great vices o’er the less an art,
Breeds wonder, and moves ignorance to speak,
    Yet when his fame is to the highest borne,
    We know enough to laugh his praise to scorn.

I just spent half an hour trying to track down the source for the first stanza, the passage where Cicero (or perhaps a character in one of his dialogues?) says that he can’t see how two augurs could meet in the street without laughing out loud. Cicero was himself an augur, so he would know.

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2 Responses to Fulke Art II

  1. Well that explains it: I was looking under ‘augur’ in Merguet’s lexicon of the philosophical works, not ‘haruspex’. Thanks.

  2. Cicero, De Divinatione 2.24.51: Vetus autem illud Catonis admodum scitum est, qui mirari se aiebat quod non rideret haruspex haruspicem cum vidisset.

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