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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [b6v p28]

Desidiam abiiciendam.

Away with idleness.


Quisquis iners abeat, in choenice figere sedem[1]
Nos prohibent Samii[2] dogmata sancta senis.
Surge igitur, duroque manus adsuesce labori,
Det tibi dimensos crastina ut hora cibos.

Let the idle man take himself off -- the holy pronouncements of the old sage of Samos forbid us to sit tight on the bushel-box. Get up therefore, get your hands accustomed to hard work, so that tomorrow’s hour may give you your due measure of sustenance.


Choenix mensura olim erat apud Graeco
qua servis pro qualibet die frumentum in ci-
bum mensurabatur, unde frequenter admo-
nuit Samius (Pythagoras doctissimus Philoso-
phus, Samius à patria dictus, ut refert Iustinus
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [b7r p29]lib. 20. historiarum) ne quis piger insideret Choeni
, significans ex aequo futuri habendam cu-
ram, ut refert Diogenes Laërtius, lib. 8. de vita Philo-
sophorum. Inculcabat denique hoc symbolo, otio
non indulgendum, sed strenuè laborandum
esse. & sua quenque industria sibi vitae neces-
saria lucrari debere. Vide Plutarchum. Labo-
res enim bonis viris obsonium esse, inquit
Xenophon in Oeconomicis. De fugienda
denique desidia perpulchrè Crinitus lib. 2. Poë-


1.  This saying, which became a proverbial expression of idleness, is quoted in various ancient sources (e.g. Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride10). A bushel was a day’s ration of corn, and ‘to sit on the bushel-box’ (a container holding a bushel measure, and convenient in size for sitting on) meant to be idle and improvident, leaving tomorrow to take care of itself, since today was provided for.

2.  ‘the old sage of Samos’, i.e. Pythagoras ([A56a253]).

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  • Idleness; 'Otio' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54DD2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Industriousness, Assiduity; 'Assiduità', 'Industria', 'Zelo' (Ripa) [54A11] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Pythagoras, the philosopher representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(PYTHAGORAS)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Sloth, Indolence, 'Acedia', 'Desidia'; 'Accidia' (Ripa) ~ personification of one of the Seven Deadly Sins [111N37] Search | Browse Iconclass

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