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Luxuriosum opes.

The wealth of the dissipated.

X.

Rupibus aëriis, summique crepidine saxi
Immites fructis ficus acerba parit:
Quos corvi comedunt, quos devorat improba cornix,
Qui nihil humanae commoditatis habent.
Sic fatuorum opibus parasiti & scorta fruuntur,
Et nulla iustos utilitate iuvant.[1]

On towering cliffs, on the brink of the highest crag, the bitter fig-tree bears its sharp fruit. These the ravens eat, these the rascally crow devours, fruit that offers nothing of any good to man. Even so, parasites and whores enjoy the wealth of fools - decent persons get no benefit from it.

Notes:

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


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [m8r p191]

    Gratiae.

    The Graces

    VI.

    Tres Charites Veneri assistunt, dominamque sequuntur.
    Hincque voluptates, atque alimenta parant.
    Laetitiam Euphrosyne, speciosum Aglaia nitorem.
    Suadela est Pithus, blandus & ore lepos.[1]
    Cur nudae? mentis quoniam candore venustas
    Constat, & eximia simplicitate placet.
    An quia nihil referunt ingrati atque arcula inanis,[2]
    Est Charitum? qui dat munera, nudus eget.
    Addita cur nuper pedibus talaria? bis dat
    Qui cito dat,[3] minimi gratia tarda pretii est.
    Implicitis ulnis cur vertitur altera? gratus
    Foenerat, huic remanent una abeunte duae.[4]
    Iuppiter iis genitor, coeli de semine divas
    Omnibus acceptas edidit Eurynome.

    The three Graces are attendant on Venus and follow their mistress. So they provide pleasures and pleasure’s nourishment. Euphrosyne brings gladness, Aglaia bright beauty; persuasion belongs to Peitho with winsome charm in speech. Why are they naked? Because loveliness consists in innocence of mind and commends itself by great simplicity. Or is it because the ungrateful make no return and the Graces’ treasure-chest is empty? He who gives gifts is stripped and needy. Why are there wings newly fastened to their feet? He gives twice who gives quickly. A favour granted late is of little value. Why does the second one link arms but turn her back to us? The man who shows gratitude gets more than he lays out; as one goes, two remain for him. Jupiter was their begetter; and Eurynome bore them, the divine offspring of the heavenly seed, goddesses loved by all mankind.

    Notes:

    1.  The Latin words laetitia (gladness), nitor (beauty) and suadela (persuasion) are translations of the Greek names of the Graces, Euphrosyne, Aglaia and Peitho.

    2.  arcula inanis, ‘treasure-chest is empty’. See Erasmus, Adagia, 1812 (Simonidis cantilenae).

    3.  bis dat / Qui cito dat ‘He gives twice who gives quickly’. See Erasmus, Adagia, 791 (Bis dat qui cito dat).

    4.  Lines 9-12 express common sentiments, found e.g. in Seneca, De Beneficiis, passim. For the Graces especially, see Ibid., 1.3-4. See also Erasmus, Adagia, 1650 (Nudae Gratiae), where Erasmus associates the Graces with both friendship and ingratitude.


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