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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A6r]

IN AVAROS, VEL QUIBUS ME-
lior conditio ab extraneis offertur.

On the avaricious; or being treated better by strangers.

Delphini insidens unda[1] cerula sulcat Arion[2],
Hocque aures mulcet frenat & ora sono.
Quam sit avari hominis, non tam mens dira ferarum est,
Quique viris rapimur, piscibus eripimur.

Astride a dolphin, Arion cleaves the dark blue waves, and with this song charms the creature’s ears and muzzles its mouth: “The mind of wild beasts is not so savage as that of greedy man. We who are savaged by men are saved by fish”.

Notes:

1.  Later editions have vada not unda.

2.  The crew of the ship on which the celebrated musician Arion was travelling, after robbing him, prepared to throw him overboard. He persuaded them to allow him to play his lyre for the last time. Then, after invoking the gods, he jumped into the sea, whereupon a music-loving dolphin conveyed him to land. See Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 16.19.


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DESIDIAM ABIICIENDAM.

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.

Notes:

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; 'Assiduitą', '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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