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Avaritia.

Avarice

LXV.

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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    Mesdisance.

    LXVII.

    D’Archiloque[1] au tumbeau la guespe est engravee,
    Pour monstrer que sa langue estoit envenimee.

    Commentaires.

    Archiloque fut si picquant & mordant en sa
    posie, que par ses poignants jambes il contraignit
    Lycambe, son beau pere, de s’aller estrangler. De l
    est venu qu’on a appel Archiloques tous ceux qui
    ont escrit d’un stile ainsi venimeux. Les guespes sont
    engravees sur son tumbeau, non seulement pource
    qu’elles sont enroues & mordantes, mais aussi pour-
    ce que d’elles on ne tire ny plaisir ny proffit.

    Notes:

    1. Archilochus was an eighth-century BC poet, author of much (now fragmentary) verse, including satire. This last was considered in antiquity to be excessively abusive and violent. See Horace, Ars Poetica, 79; also Erasmus, Adagia, 60 (Irritare crabrones).



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      • insects: wasp (+ animals used symbolically) [25F711(WASP)(+1)] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • grave, tomb [4.20E+32] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • Calumny, Detraction; 'Biasimo vitioso', 'Calunnia', 'Detrattione', 'Maledicenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57BB25(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
      • male persons from classical history (with NAME) representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(ARCHILOCHUS)3] Search | Browse Iconclass

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