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In parasitos.

Professional spongers


Quos tibi donamus, fluviales accipe cancros,
Munera conveniunt moribus ista tuis.
His oculi vigiles, & forfice plurimus ordo
Chelarum armatus, maximaque alvus adest.
Sic tibi propensus stat pingui abdomine venter,
Pernicesque pedes, spiculaque apta pedi.
Cm vagus in triviis, mensaeque sedilibus erras,
Inque alios mordax scommata salsa iacis.[1]

Receive these river crabs which we present to you. These gifts match your character. They have watchful eyes, and a great row of claws armed with a pincer, and a huge gut is there. You too have a protruding belly with fat paunch, scuttling feet and sharp weapons on them, as you hang about the crossroads or move among the seats at table, and maliciously shoot your stinging, witty jibes.


Parasitum eleganter describit Laurentius Valla
lib. 4. cap. 51.[2] Huic autor cancros donat, est
nanque donum admodum sibi conveniens:
Cancer enim animal est aquatile oculos sem-
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [c8r p47]per habens apertos, forfices dentatos atque
acutos pro armis, ventrem magnum & octo
pedes, de quo Plinius libro 9. cap. 31. Sic
etiam parasitus qui adulando hinc inde vi-
ctum quaeritat oculos habet admodum vigi-
lantes, ob ventris repletionem omnia perlu-
strans, nec desunt spicula nociva, dum enim
cibi gratia huic applaudet alteri mal dicit,
ventri insuper & gulae totus deditus, uti de-
nique Cancer plures, sic ille per omnia loca
celeres pedes habet.


1. Lorenzo Valla (d. 1460), was a humanist and Latin scholar, famous for proving the forgery of the Donation of Constantine.

2. Variant reading, scommata falsa, ‘libellous witticisms’

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