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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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Les biens des prodigues mal
employz.

Sur un hault roch, faict d’un mont sec & maigre:
Fruictz sans saveur porte le figuier aigre.
Que mangent tous corneilles, & corbeaux
Au genre humain inutiles oyseaux.
Ainsi Putains, flateurs, mangent le bien
Des riches folz, & les bons n’en ont rien.[1]

Des biens du riche fol personne
ne s’en sent sinon, Canailles, Mac-
quereaulx, Putains, & flateurs.

Notes:

1. This is based on an idea in Anthologia Graeca, 12.185.


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