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In avaros.

On the avaricious

Emblema lxxxv.

Septitius populos inter ditissimus omnes,
Arva senex nullus quo magis ampla tenet,
Defraudans geniúmque suum, mensásque paratas,
Nel praeter betas, duráque rapa vorat.
Cui similem dicam hunc, inopem quem copia reddit?
Anne asino? sic est: instar hic eius habet.
Namque asinus dorso pretiosa obsonia gestat,
Séque 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

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HOc à Plutarcho mutuatus, libello περὶ εὐθυ-
μίας.
dicitur in avarum, qui asinina quadam
stoliditate utatur cibis orancidis, pane mucido, la-
rido iam penè corrupto, vappa improbè vescatur,
cùm ei opes affatim suppetant.

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Contre les avares, & riches taquins.

Un sot taquin, un homme malaisé
Puissamment riche & de tous mesprisé,
N’ose manger, espargne sur soy-mesme,
Devient tout sec, & languide, & tout blesme,
Et pour touts mets n’a que raves & choux.
Mais quoy? à qui le comparerons nous
Luy malheureux qui se tient en souffrance,
Pauvre & chetif ayant si grand chevance?
De vray il doit à l’asne estre esgalé
Luy miserable, & si mal conseillé:
Car l’asne estant tout chargé de viandes
Dessus son dos exquises & friandes,
Comme jambons, cochons, chapons, cabris,
Faisans, ramiers, becasses & perdris,
Pour son repas ne prend que l’herbe dure,
Ou des chardons qu’il trouve d’avanture.

IL a emprunté cecy du livre de Plutarque
qui est de la tranquillité de l’esprit. Il s’en-
tend de l’avare, lequel meu d’une asniere
stupidité & lourderie, use de viandes corrom
pues, de pain moisi, de lard tout jaulne, de
vin tourné, quoy qu’il ait assez de moyens.

Notes:

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


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