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Babylon Amoris [5]


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Babylon Amoris.translation
August. Cicer. Senec. F. Petrar.
BAbylonem facit Amor sæculi; interroget igi-
tur se vnusquisque quid amet, & inueniet an
eius sit ciuis. O anima! hanc viā non intres; plena
periculi, plena perditionis est. Amor te allicit, sed
vt te necet. Venus te inuitat, sed vt te vitâ spoliet.
Bacchus te vocat, sed vt te deuoret: vinum propi-
nat, sed vt venenum bibas. Voluptates sunt blan-
dissimæ dominæ1 quæ maiores partes animi à vir-
tute detorquent. in hoc nos complectuntur vt
strangulent; non aliter ergo quam latrunculi via-
toribus insidiantes eosqueue seducētes ac perimen-
tes, declinandæ sunt. idque facilius fiet si quis a-
criter rei vilitatem, obscænitatem, breuitatem, fi-
nem cogitet, ac longum dedecus; horæqueue fuga-
cis forsitan aut momenti vnius illecebras, multo-
rum pœnitentiâ vel æterno forrasse2 supplicio pu-

Quisquis amas mundum, tibi prospice. quâ sit eundum;
Hæc via, quâ vadis, via pessima, plenaque cladis. translation

Lata porta3 et spatiosa via quæ ducit ad perditionem,
et multi sunt qui intrant per eam. Matt. 7.

Si ce funeste lieu te doit seruir de fin,
Gardé toy bien mondain d'en prendre le chemin.

Babylon de l'Amour.
Voila pauure mortel, la fin de tant de charmes,
Voila le rendé-vous de ces cruelles armes,
Voila le l'ouure, helas! de ce cruel Amour.
Garde t'en, si tu veux, pour moy ie m'en descharge,
Car si ie t'ay faict veoir, que son chemin est large,
Ie t'ay faict veoir aussy la fin de son sejour.

Aun qui es holgada la calle
Non te engañ: pues sus flores
Te lleuaran donde llores.

Hy gaet/ die volght Cupidos raet/
Van Babylon de rechte straet.

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Facsimile Images

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The Babylon of love.
Love of the world produces a Babylon. Therefore, let everybody ask himself what he loves and he will find out if he is a citizen of it. Oh, soul! Do not enter this way of life: it is full of danger, full of perdition. Amor lures you, but only to finish you off; Venus invites you, but only to rob you of life; Bacchus call you, but only to devour you; he drinks to your health with wine, but he does that intending that you drink poison. Sensual desires are enticing mistresses, that wrench the major parts of the heart away from virtue4. In trying to do this they embrace us so as to strangle us. As they in no way different from muggers ambush travellers, lead them astray and kill them, they have to be fended off. Avoiding them happens so much easier if you do some sharp thinking about how vile this matter is, how obscene and short, to what end it leads and how long-lasting the disgrace will be. The attractions that probably last one fleeting hour, belong to one single moment, but will be punished with regret about many and possibly with eternal damnation.
You, whoever you are, who loves the world, have a look first for yourself to see whereto this path is bound to lead you. This road along which you are going is the worst and full of disaster.
The gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it.

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    Sources and parallels

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    References, across this site, to this page:

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    Cupid, Venus and Bacchus at the start of the broad way to destruction; the gate of hell waits at the end of the road

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    Cic. Off. II, 37
    forrasse: printing error in original for 'fortasse'.
    Angusta porta ...; Strait is the gate ...: Matt. 7:14.
    Cicero's text in Loeb ed. is a bit different: maioris partis animos a virtute detorquent, 'wrenches the hearts of the majority [of people] away from virtue'.