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On the noble art of minding your own business.

Simia dum laqueos imitari stulta dolosos
Gestit, en insidiis[2] se capit illa suis.
Singula qui inquirit sine causa, turpiter errat,
Et Πολυπραγμοσύνη se in sua damna vocat.
Quid iuvat excipere hos illos, confingere velle,
Ac leviter nugis prandia opima sequi?
Magna licèt tulerint interdum munera curae,
Immodicae fatuis, sed nocuere magis.
Sutoris nocuit quoque simia stulta tabernae,
Praecidit propriam, ficta sequuta, gulam.
Quae tua conditio poscit moderare libenter,
Dumque iuvas alios, sit tibi cura tui.

When the stupid monkey aspires to imitate the cunning snares, he finds himself captured in his own dark plots. Anyone who goes after matters piecemeal, with no good reason, is in ugly error, and busybodiness calls him to her vile accounts. What good is it to pursue this and that, to fabricate and lightly to pursue the richest dinners with trifles? Although cares have always brought the greater part of gain, cares without end harm the silly more. The stupid monkey does harm even to the shop of the cobbler: as it pursues imaginary ends, it cuts its own throat. Your walk of life begs you to moderate your desires, and, while you help others, to take care for yourself.


1.  Greek Πολυπραγμοσύνη is the abstract noun for overweening busybodiness.

2.  Corrected from the Errata (from in insidiis).

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