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But if anyone were to conduct his life by reason He would find great riches in living a peaceful life And being contented; one is never short of a little But men want always to be powerful and famous So that their fortune rests on a solid foundation And they can spend a placid life in opulence. There isn't a hope of it; to attain great honours You have to struggle along a dangerous way And even when you reach the top there is envy Which can strike you down like lightning into Tartarus. For envy, like lightning, generally strikes at the top Or any point which sticks out from the ordinary level.
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Fear in sooth holds so in check all mortals, becasue thay see many operations go on in earth and heaven, the causes of which they can in no way understand, believing them therefore to be done by power divine. for these reasons when we shall have seen that nothing can be produced from nothing, we shall then more correctly ascertain that which we are seeking, both the elements out of which every thing can be produced and the manner in which every thing can be produced in which all things are done without the hands of the gods.
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Tempests, and bright lightnings, are to be sung; their nature is to be told, and from what cause they pursue their course; lest, having foolishly divided the heaven into parts, you should be anxious as to the quarter from which the flying flame may come, or to what region it may betake itself; and tremble to think how it penetrates through walled enclosures, and how, having exercised its power, it extricates itself from them. Of which phenomena the multitude can by no means see the causes, and think that they are accomplished by supernatural power.
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Assuredly whatsoever things are fabled to exist in deep Acheron, these all exist in this life. There is no wretched Tantalus, fearing the great rock that hangs over him in the air and frozen with vain terror. Rather, it is in this life that fear of the gods oppresses mortals without cause, and the rock they fear is any that chance may bring.
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