A resolution for the New Year
Let us live, therefore, cheerfully, although there be no lasting joy in mortal things, whose substance is evanescent, inane, and vacuous. But if there is any good thing by which you would adorn this stage of life, we have not of such been cheated — rest, serenity, modesty, self-restraint, orderliness, change, fun, entertainment, society, temperance, sleep, food, drink, riding, sailing, walking, keeping abreast of events, meditation, contemplation, education, piety, marriage, feasting, the satisfaction of recalling an orderly disposition of the past, cleanliness, water, fire, listening to music, looking at all about one, talks, stories, history, liberty, continence, little birds, puppies, cats, consolation of death, and the common flux of time, fate and fortune, over the afflicted and the favoured alike. There is a good hope for things beyond all hope; good in the exercise of some art in which one is skilled; good in meditating upon the manifold transmutation of all nature and upon the magnitude of Earth.
From De Vita Propria Liber (1575), by Girolama Cardano (1501 – 1576)