Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 3.31. Here Owen plays with the paradoxical sense of repentance - the miser is someone who feels pentitent about every penny he has had to pay out, but he does not feel the spiritual penitence that would get him into heaven!

In coelum dives cur raro ascendit? Avarum
Poenitet expensi, praeterea nihili.

Why are few rich men sav’d? because their bent
Repents Expences, nothing else repent.

Here is the vocabulary:

dives - wealthy, rich; rich man
in - in, into
caelum - sky, heaven
cur - why
raro - rarely
ascendo - go up, ascend
avarus - miserly, greedy
paenitet - it displeases, makes sorry
expensum - expenditure
praetera - besides, in addition
nihilum - nothing

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