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From what other evils then can riches free us, if they deliver us not even from an inordinate desire of them? It is true, indeed, that by drinking men allay their thirst after drink, and by eating they satisfy their longings after food; and he that said,
Bestow a coat, of your good will,
On poor Hipponax cold and chill

if more clothes had been heaped on than he needed, would have thrown them off, as being ill at ease. But the [p. 295] love of money is not abated by having silver and gold; neither do covetous desires cease by possessing still more. But one may say to wealth, as to an insolent quack,

Thy physic's nought, and makes my illness worse.

When this distemper seizes a man that wants only bread and a house to put his head in, ordinary raiment and such victuals as come first to hand, it fills him with eager desires after gold and silver, ivory and emeralds, hounds and horses; thus taking off the appetite, and carrying it from things that are necessary after things that are troublesome and unusual, hard to come by, and unprofitable when obtained. For no man is poor as to what nature requires and what suffices it; no man takes up money on use to buy meal or cheese, bread or olives; but you may see one man run into debt for the purchase of a sumptuous house, another for an adjoining olive-yard, another for corn-fields or vineyards, another for Galatian mules, and another by a vain expense,

For horses fitly paired, with prancing feet
To draw the empty chariots through the street,
1

has been plunged over head and ears into contracts and use-money, pawns and mortgages. Moreover, as they that use to drink after they have quenched their thirst, and to eat after their hunger is satisfied, vomit up even what they took when they were athirst or hungry; so they that covet things useless and superfluous, enjoy not even those that are necessary. This is the character of these men.

1 Il. XV. 453.

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