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Cætera de genere hoc (adeo funt multa) loquacem
(a) Prætero ne fic. Anon. (b) Et. Sanad. cus vafer hic. Markl.. (d) Quæfitis patiens.
Præterea, ne fic (a), ut qui jocularia, ridens
live in the city. The other inftances of this kind (they are so numerous) would weary out the loquacious Fabius to repeat them. Not to keep you in fufpence, attend to what an iffue I will bring this matter. If any God should fay, Lo! I will effect what you defire : you that was just now a foldier, fhall be a merchant; you that was lately a lawyer, ball be a farmer. Do ye depart one way, and ye another, having exchangedthe parts you are to act in life. How now! why do you stand? They are unwilling, and yet it is in their power to be happy. What reason, then, can be affigned, but that Jupiter fhould deservedly diftend both his cheeks in indignation, and declare that for the future he will not be fo indulgent as to lend an ear to their prayers? But furthermore, that I may not run over this in a laughing manner, like thofe who treat on ludicrous fubjects: (tho' what hinders one to be merry and tell the truth? As good-natur'd teachers at first give cakes to their boys, that they may be willing to learn their first rudiments. However, raillery apart, let us investigate ferious matters.) He that turns the lumpifh glebe with the hard plough-fhare, this fraudulent adulterer of the law, the foldier, and the failors, who dauntlefs run thro' every fea, profeis that they endure toil with this intention, that, when old men, they may retire into a fecure refting-place, when once they have got together a fufficient provifion.
Thus the little ant (for the may ferve for an example,) of great induftry, carries with her mouth whatever she is able, and adds to her heap, which she piles up, by no means ignorant of, and not improvident for the future.
Which ant, nevertheless, as foon as Aquarius faddens the inverted year, never creeps abroad, but wifely makes use of thofe ftores which were provided before hand while neither fultry fummer, nor winter, fire, ocean, fword, can drive you from the pursuit of gain. You furmount every obftacle, that no other man may be richer than yourself. But what pleasure is it for you, anxious to depofit an immenfe weight of filver and gold in the earth dug up by stealth, to hide it?
Quod fi comminuas, vilem redigatur ad affem.
At bona pars hominum decepta cupidine falfo, Nil fatis cft, inquit: quia tanti, quantum habeas, fis. Quid facias illi? jubeas miferum effe, libenter (b) Quatinus id facit. ut quidam memoratur Athenis Sordidus ac dives, populi contemnere voces Sic folitus populus me fibilat; at mihi plaudo Ipfe domi, fimul ac nummos contemplor in arca. Tantalus a labris fitiens fugientia captat Flumina-quid rides ? mutato nomine, de te Fabula narratur. congeftis undique faccis Indormis inhians, et tanquam parcere facris Cogeris, aut pictis tanquam gaudere tabellis. Nefcis quo valeat nummus, quem præbeat usum?
(a) Viventis. Cunn. (6) Jubeas miferum effe libenter. Bentl.
But if you should leffen it, it may be reduced in time to a paltry farthing.
But, unless that be the cafe, what beauty has an accumulated hoard? Tho' your thrashing-floor fhould yield an hundred thousand bufhels of corn, your belly will not on that account contain more than mine: just as if it was your lot to carry on your loaded fhoulder the basket of bread amongst flaves, you would receive no more for your own fhare, than he who bore no part of the burthen. Or tell me, what it is to the purpose of that man, who lives within the compass of nature, whether he plow an hundred or a thousand acres?
But it is till delightful to take out of a great hoard. While you leave us as much to take out of a moderate fore, why fhould you extol your great granaries, more than our small repofitories? As if you had occafion for no more than a pitcher or glafs of water; and fhould fay, I had rather draw fo much from a great river, than the fame water from this little fountain. Hence it comes, that the rapid Aufidus carries away together with the bank, fuch as an abundance more copious than is juft delights. But he who defires only fo much as is fufficient, neither drinks his water fouled with mud, nor lofes his life in the waves. But a great majority of mankind, mifled by depraved defire, cry, No fum is enough; because you are esteemed in proportion to what you poffefs. What can one do to fuch a tribe as this? Why, bid them be wretched, fince their inclination prompts them to it. As a certain perfon is recorded to have lived at Athens, covetous and rich, who was wont to defpife the talk of the people in this manner: The croud hifs me abroad; but I applaud myself at home, as foon as I contemplate my money in my cheft. The thirsty Tantalus catches at the streams that elude his lips. Why do you laugh? The name changed, the tale is told of you. fleep upon your bags, heaped up on every fide, avidionly gaping over them, and are obliged to abstain from them, as if they were confecrated things, or to amufe yourself with them, as you would with pictures. Are you ignorant of what real value money is, what use it A 5
Panis ematur, olus, vini fextarius; adde,
(a) Lecto te aflixit. (2) An fi cognatos. () Umidius, qui tam, Bentl.