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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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    In fraudulentos.

    Deceivers

    IX.

    Parva lacerta, atris stellatus corpora guttis
    Stellio,[1] qui latebras, & cava busta colit,
    Invidiae parvique doli fert symbola pictus,
    Heu nimium nuribus cognita zelotypis.
    Nam turpi obtegitur faciem lentigine quisquis.
    Sit quibus immersus Stellio, vina bibat.[2]
    Hinc vindicta frequens decepta pellice vino.
    Quam formae amisso flore relinquit amans.

    The little lizard, called the ‘starred’ gecko from the dark star-shaped marks sprinkled all over its body, a creature that lurks in holes and hollow tombs, is pictured here and presents symbols of resentment and wicked deception, known only too well to jealous wives. For anyone who drinks wine in which a spotted gecko has been soaked comes out in ugly spots all over the face. This is often a way of taking revenge - the husband’s fancy woman is tricked with wine, and, when the flower of her beauty is gone, her lover abandons her.

    Notes:

    1.  stellio, ‘the ‘starred’ gecko’. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 5.461 for the explanation of the name stellio.

    2.  Nam turpi...vina bibat, ‘anyone who drinks wine...all over the face’. See Pliny, Natural History, 29.22.73.



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