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Those who grow rich out of public misfortune

Emblema 87.

Anguillas quisquis captat, si limpida verrat
Flumina, si illimes ausit adire lacus,
Cassus erit, ludetque operam: multum excitet ergo
Si cretae, & vitreas palmula turbet aquas,
Dives erit: sic iis respublica turbida lucro est,
Qui pace, arctati legibus, esuriunt.[1]

If anyone hunting eels sweeps clear rivers or thinks to visit unmuddied lakes, he will be unsuccessful and waste his efforts. If he instead stirs up much clay and with his oar churns the crystal waters, he will be rich. Likewise a state in turmoil becomes a source of profit to people who in peace go hungry, because the law cramps their style.


1.  Cf. Erasmus, Adagia, 2579 (Anguillas captare).

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