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On the avaricious

Emblema 84.

Septitius populos inter ditissimus omnes,
Arva senex nullus quo magis ampla tenet:
Defraudans geniumque suum, mensasque paratas,
Nil praeter betas, duraque rapa vorat.
Cui similem dicam hunc, inopem quem copia reddit?
Anne asino? sic est: instar hic eius habet.
Nanque asinus dorso pretiosa obsonia gestat,
Seque rubo, aut duro [=dura] carice pauper alit.[1]

Septitius is the richest man on earth; no old man has wider estates than he. Mean to himself and his dinner table, he chews nothing but beets and stringy turnips. To what shall I liken a man whose very wealth makes him a beggar? Shall it be an ass? That’s it - he is just like an ass. An ass carries a load of rich delicacies on his back, but, poor creature, feeds itself on brambles and tough grass


1.Cf. Anthologia graeca 11.397, concerning a miser called Artemidorus.

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