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E fisco ne viscum.[1]

Let not the purse turn into birdlime.

Thesauros habeant reges, mille arva supersint,
Ut prohibere queant vim, viciumque simul.
Exornent iustos, sua praemia quisque reportet,
Legibus ac vigeant sceptra secunda suis.
Sed fiscum cumulare nefas, nisi iure bonorum,
Quamque premas siccam proiice spongiolam.
Caussa mali desit, Princeps procul absit avarus,
In viscum ne abeat fiscus avariciae.
Neu viciet mulctis stomachum, crudis nec alatur,
Postremò sitiens ne exoriatur hydrops.

Let Kings have treasuries and a thousand fields at their command so that they may stop violence and sin at the same time. They should decorate the deserving, and let each man carry off his reward; and let their sceptres flourish in prosperity by the laws they make. But to accumulate a private purse is wrong, unless by right of goodness, and throw away, please, the sponge which you are to press dry. Let not there be cause for evil: let miser Princes be gone, so that the purse of greed should not go to birdlime. May he not contaminate his stomach with fines, nor let him feed on raw food; finally, let not the thirsty dropsy come to stay.

Notes:

1.  A play on the similar sound of fiscus and viscum (mistletoe and the birdlime made from its berries).



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