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In avaros.

On the avaricious

LI.

Septitius populos inter ditissimus omnes,
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [f5r p89]Arva senex nullus quo magis ampla tenet:
Defraudans geniumque suum, mensasque paratas,
Nil praeter betas, duraque rapa vorat.
Cui similem dicam hunc, inopem quem copia reddit,
Anne asino? sic est, instar hic eius habet.
Nanque asinus dorso pretiosa obsonia gestat,
Seque rubo aut dura carice pauper alit.[1]

Septitius is the richest man on earth; no old man has wider estates than he. Mean to himself and his dinner table, he chews nothing but beets and stringy turnips. To what shall I liken a man whose very wealth makes him a beggar? Shall it be an ass? That’s it - he is just like an ass. An ass carries a load of rich delicacies on his back, but, poor creature, feeds itself on brambles and tough grass.

COMMENTARIA.

Septitius senex quidam dives & locuples
valde, agros plurimos, pecunias multas, &
ampla arva possidens interim tamen ade par
cus, tenax, & avarus, tantumque thesauris cor-
radendis intentus, ut seipsum macerans &
excrucians praeter herbulas & durissima rapa
nihil comederet, hoc enim plerunque senibus
inest vitii teste Comico,[2] & Plauto in Aulula-
ria. Cui autem assimilabitur talis quem vel
maximae divitiae egenum reddunt? Asino re-
ct comparabitur, qui plurima oppipara va-
riaque lauta edulia dorso suo imposita gestat,
ipse interim duros & asperos carduos pascit.
Senum avaritiam carpit Cicero in lib. de senectute
inquiens. Avaritia senilis quid velit, non in-
telligo, quid enim absurdius esse potest, qum
quo minus restat viae, plus viatici quaerere.

Notes:

1. Cf. Anthologia graeca 11.397, concerning a miser called Artemidorus.

2. A name for Terence, as in Petrarch.


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