Hang up the rudder in the smoke at ease,but much rather the impertinent labor of goldsmiths, turners, perfumers, and cooks, when thou resolvest wisely and soberly to banish all useless things. But if the things that suffice nature lie in common among those that have and those that want riches,—if rich men pride themselves only in things superfluous, and thou art ready to praise Scopas of Thessaly, who, when one begged somewhat of him he had in his house, as a superfluous thing he had no use for, made answer, ‘But we rich men count our felicity and happiness to lie in these superfluities, and not in those necessary things,’—if your case be thus, have a care you do not seem like one that magnifies and prefers a pomp and public show at a festival before life itself. Our country's feast of Bacchus was in old time celebrated in a more homely manner, though with great mirth and jollity. One carried in procession a vessel of wine and a branch of a vine, afterwards followed one leading a goat, another followed him bearing a basket of dried figs, and after all came a phallus. But all these are now despised [p. 304] and out of date, the procession being made with golden vessels and costly garments, driving of chariots and persons in masquerade. And just thus the things that are necessary and useful in riches are swallowed up by those that are unprofitable and superfluous.
And let the mules' and oxen's labor cease;
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1 Hesiod, Works and Days, 45.
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