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I have said enough of this sort of covetousness, which makes a man live the life of an ass or ant. But there is another sort of it which is more savage, that calumniates and gets inheritance by bad arts, that pries into other men's affairs, that is full of thoughtfulness and cares, counting how many of their friends are yet alive, and after all enjoying nothing of what by all these arts has been heaped up.

As therefore we have a greater aversion and hatred against vipers, poisonous flies, and spiders than against bears and lions, because they kill and destroy men, but serve themselves no farther of their carcasses, which they [p. 300] do not feed upon as those other wild beasts do; so they that become bad and ill men through sordidness and parsimony deserve more of our abhorrence than those that prove such by luxurious living and excess, for they deprive others of what they are neither able nor inclined to make use of themselves. Hence it is that the luxurious, when they are rich and well provided, give some truce to their debaucheries; as Demosthenes said to some that were of opinion that Demades ceased to be an ill man. Now, says he, you see him full and glutted, like lions, that then hunt not after prey. But as for the others, who in the management of affairs propose no end to themselves either of pleasure or profit, their covetous desires have no truce or cessation, they being always empty and standing in need of all things.

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load focus Greek (Gregorius N. Bernardakis, 1891)
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