Friday, February 04, 2005


You Can't Take It With You

Horace, Epistles 2.2.175-179:
Since everlasting possession is given to no one, and one heir follows the heir of yet another heir like water flowing over water, what good are estates and storehouses? What good are pastures in Lucania joined to pastures in Calabria, if Death harvests the great along with the small and cannot be bribed by gold?

sic quia perpetuus nulli datur usus, et heres
heredem alterius velut unda supervenit undam,
quid vici prosunt aut horrea? quidve Calabris
saltibus adiecti Lucani, si metit Orcus
grandia cum parvis, non exorabilis auro?
Here are some ancient variations on the same theme:

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