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On the avaricious

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Septitius populos inter ditissimus omnes,
Arva senex nullus quo magis ampla tenet.
Defraudans geniumque suum, mensasque paratas
Nil praeter betas, duraque rapa vorat.
Cui similem dicam hunc, inopem quem copia reddit?
An ne asino? sic est instar hic eius habet.
Nanque asinus dorso pretiosa obsonia gestat,
Seque 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.


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

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