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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K1v p146]

Vulgatum de hirudine.

A commonplace about the leech.

In pragmaticos aeruscatores.[1]

Against itinerant [or tricksy] shysters.

Plus iusto sitiens vitalis hirudo cruoris
Pallentem mittit non nisi plena cutem.
Novit pragmaticus causas differre clientis,
Sanguineque humano non nisi pastus abit:
Sed fugit, in vacua fundum cum viderit arca,
Et cum pauperior coeperit esse cliens.

The leech, athirst for more than its fair share of living blood, Drops off the skin it’s sucked white only when it’s full. The shyster knows how to draw out a client’s cases, And only leaves off when he’s feasted on human blood: But he’s off, when he’s seen the bottom of the money-chest and it’s empty, And the client has run into the red [lit. begins to be poorer].

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K2r p147]

NARRATIO PHILOSOPHICA.

INvidiosum genus hominum aeruscatores
Pragmatici, quibus in pecunia omnia sunt,
quique sine lucro nihil laudabile, nihil oficii ex-
pectatione dignum gerunt. Et quemadmodum in navi
locum esse oportet, per quem ea quae necessario
profluentia aliquid taetri odoris essent habitura,
procul ā sensibus queant amandari: ita reipubli-
cae gubernaculis accommodatum esse maiores
putaverunt, si in celeberrima civitate non dees-
sent, qui sordes & peccata populi absorberent, &
perniciosa illa malorum omnium esca cupidita-
te, de hominum litigantium flagitiis & civilibus
dissensionibus multam repeterent, fructusque ube-
res in aliorum calamitate ferrent. Sed quia natu-
ra evenit, ut summas corporum varietates, totidem
penč animorum dissimilitudines consequantur,
magnopere opinor cum publica tranquillitate &
quiete coniunctum est, esse aliquos qui in tantis con-
troversiarum & dissensionum concursationibus & stu
diis, publicč operam suam locent: ut iis qui in forensi-
bus negotiis minus erunt exercitati, prospectum
esse possit. Sed qui eas causas, quas illuminatas &
faciles ā clientibus accipiunt, tenebrarum invo-
lucris obducunt, qui quod translativč & brevi
(quod aiunt) manu explicari potuisset, tricis suis,
diffisionibus, vadimoniorum desertione, scriptu-
ris opistographis, denique aeternitate consignant: qui
periurium, qui falsum, qui mendacium, qui deceptiumcu
las, qui frustrationem, qui vim & metum, qui furtum,
qui dolum malum ad subsellia afferunt, his possit es-
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K2v p148] se in praestantissimo senatu locus? Et quemadmo-
dum qui vineam instituunt ad illius propagatio-
nem divinitus pastinos invenerunt, sic homines
isti eam, quam primųm nudam & solam causam
receperint, labore & diligentia sua repastinant: ita
sit, ut quae una fuerat, in varias & innumerabiles
penč lites propagetur. Et nos certč quendam ex
illo numero, qui publicis auspiciis primųm in
id munus erat allectus, audivimus cum diceret, se
nihil aut uberius, aut cumulatius in eo vitae gene-
re ā Deo optimo maximo contendere, quām duo-
decim lites ad se deferri: sibi enim certō recipie-
bat fore, ut ex illis duodecim industria sua infini-
tae aliae nascerentur, ex quibus magnam pecuniam
esset facturus. Et profecto contra naturam sit pu-
tandum accidisse, si quis ex his qui illo in col
legio sunt inaugurati, pecuniam negli-
gat, eaque mercede sit contentus,
quae neque litiganti one-
rosa, neque labo
re sit infe-
rior.

Notes:

1.  Pragmatici were legal experts, who provided barristers with detailed legal arguments; aeruscatores were wandering tricksters or jugglers. Coustau is doubtless attacking sharp lawyers who know all the tricks of the trade - or maybe a breed of itinerant lawyer who went round drumming up business, as we might say ‘ambulance chasers’.



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