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Away with idleness.

Quisquis iners abeat, in chenice figere sedem[1]
Nos prohibent Samii[2] dogmata sancta senis
Surge igitur duroque manus asuesce labori
Det tibi dimensos crastina ut hora cibos.

Let the idle man take himself off -- the holy pronouncements of the old sage of Samos forbid us to sit tight on the bushel-box. Get up therefore, get your hands accustomed to hard work, so that tomorrow’s hour may give you your due measure of sustenance.


1.This saying, which became a proverbial expression of idleness, is quoted in various ancient sources (e.g. Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride10). A bushel was a day’s ration of corn, and ‘to sit on the bushel-box’ (a container holding a bushel measure, and convenient in size for sitting on) meant to be idle and improvident, leaving tomorrow to take care of itself, since today was provided for.

2.‘the old sage of Samos’, i.e. Pythagoras ([A50a017]).

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  • Sloth, Indolence, 'Acedia', 'Desidia'; 'Accidia' (Ripa) ~ personification of one of the Seven Deadly Sins [11N37] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • container of metal: bucket, can, canister, drum, tin [41A771] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Industriousness, Assiduity; 'Assiduit√†', 'Industria', 'Zelo' (Ripa) [54A11] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Idleness; 'Otio' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54DD2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Pythagoras, the philosopher representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(PYTHAGORAS)3] Search | Browse Iconclass

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