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Desidia.

Idleness.

Desidet in modio Essaeus, speculatur & astra.
Subtus & accensam contegit igne facem.[1]
Segnities specie recti, velata cucullo,
Non se, non alios utilitate iuvat.[2]

The Theorist sits idly on the bushel-box and looks up at the stars, and underneath he covers up the flaming torch . Idleness, making a show of virtue, its head covered with a cowl, does no good to itself or anyone else.

Notes:

1.  accensam contegit igne facem: ‘covers up the flaming torch’. Cf. Matthew 5:15, ‘Neque accendunt lucernam et ponunt eam sub modio’ (nor do men light a candle and put it under a bushel).

2.  Cf. Erasmus, Adagia, 1452, ‘Nec sibi nec aliis utilis’.


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