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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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CAPTIVUS OB GULAM.

Caught by greed

Regnator penus, & mensae corrosor[1] herilis,
Ostrea mus summis vidit hiulca labris.
Queīs teneram opponens[2] barbam falsa ossa momordit,
Illa recluserunt[3] tacta repente domum.
Depraensum & tetro tenuerunt carcere furem,
Semet in obscurum qui dederat tumulum.[4]

A mouse, king of the pantry, nibbler at the master’s table, saw oysters with their shells just slightly open. Applying his sensitive whiskers, he nibbled the deceptive bone. The oysters, when touched, suddenly slammed shut their house and held the thief, caught red-handed, in a noisome prison, a thief who had put himself into a lightless tomb.

Notes:

1.  Textual variant: Regnatorque penus, mensaeque arrosor.

2.  Later editions read apponens.

3.  Textual variant: Ast ea clauserunt.

4.  This poem is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.86.


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