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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E4r f36r]

Avaritia.

Avarice

Heu miser in mediis sitiens stat Tantalus undis,
Et poma esuriens proxima habere nequit.
Nomine mutato de te id dicetur avare,
Qui, quasi non habeas, non frueris quod habes.[1]

Alas, poor Tantalus stands thirsting in the midst of waters, nor can he, for all his hunger, get the fruit close by. Miser, change the name and this will apply to you, since you get no more enjoyment out of what you have than if you didn’t have it.

Notes:

1.  quasi non habeas, non frueris quod habes: ‘you get no more enjoyment out of what you have than if you didn’t have it’. Cf. Tam deest avaro quod habet quam quod non habet, ‘the miser is deprived of what he has as much as what he has not’, a well-known proverb of Publilius Syrus, quoted e.g. in Quintilian, Institutio oratoria, 8.5.5. See Erasmus, Adagia, 1514 (Tantali poenae).


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Ἀνέχου καὶ ἀπέχου.[1]

Hold on and hold off

LIIII.

Et toleranda homini tristis fortuna ferendo est,
Et nimium felix saepe timenda fuit.
Sustine, Epictetus dicebat, & abstine. oportet
Multa pati, illicitis absque timere [=tenere] manus.
Sic ducis imperium vinctus fert poplite taurus
In dextro, sic se continet ą gravidis.

A man must bear unhappy chance by seeing it through, but too happy a lot has often proved fearful as well. Hold on, Epictetus used to say, and also, Hold off. One must endure many things and also keep one’s hands away from what is not allowed. Even so the bull submits to the herdsman’s will, chained at the right knee, and so keeps away from the pregnant cows.

Notes:

1.  Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 17.19.5-6.


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