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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E4r]

DIVES INDOCTUS.

The stupid rich man

Tranat aquas residens precioso in vellere phrixus,
Et flavam impavidus per mare scandit ovem.
Ecquid id est? vir sensu hebeti, sed divite gaza,
Coniugis aut servi quem regit arbitrium.[1]

Phrixus traverses the waters astride the precious fleece and fearlessly rides the golden sheep across the sea. - Whatever can this be? - A man dull of sense, but with rich coffers, whom the whim of wife or servant rules.

Notes:

1.  For the story of Phrixus and the Golden Fleece see Ovid, Fastii 3.851ff.


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IN EUM QUI SIBI IPSI[1]
damnum apparat.

One who brings about his own downfall

Capra lupum non sponte meo nunc ubere lacto,
Quod male pastoris provida cura iubet.[2]
Creverit ille simul, mea me post ubera pascet,
Improbitas nullo flectitur obsequio.[3]

I am a goat giving suck against my will - to a wolf. The improvident kindness of the shepherd makes me do this. Once the wolf has grown, after feeding at my teats, he will then eat me. Wickedness is never deterred by services rendered.

Notes:

1.  Textual variant: ‘ipsi’ omitted.

2.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.47. For the content cf. Aesop, Fables 313-5.

3.  ‘Wickedness is never deterred by services rendered’. See Erasmus, Adagia 1086, Ale luporum catulos.


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