aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Horace, Satires 1.1.68-72

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You might not realise it, but if you’re a miser you’re as wretched as Tantalus being punished in the afterlife with a permanent thirst!

Tantalus a labris sitiens fugientia captat
flumina – quid rides? mutato nomine de te
fabula narratur: congestis undique saccis
indormis inhians et tamquam parcere sacris
cogeris aut pictis tamquam gaudere tabellis.

Tantalus thirstily snatches at the streams which run away from his lips – what are you laughing at? Change the name and it’s you the story’s being told about; you gather your money-bags together from all around you, then you sleep on top of them, mouth gaping open, and you have to preserve them like sacred objects, or else delight in them as though they were painted miniatures.

Written by aleatorclassicus

July 28, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Horace

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