Friday, May 23, 2014

Avaritia huius saeculi

Aedibus his valvae geminae, quarum altera cultas
Immittit partes, donaque portat hero.
Altera sed vacuos ad sedem ducit inanem,
Clauditur illa inopi, muneribusque patet.
Has procerum clausas Musis nunc repperis aedes,
Et sensus Domini porta bivalva gerit.
Desine mirari, cur saecula nostra poëtas
Tam raros habeant, nil dat avara manus.
Si Maecenates fuerint, Flacci, atque Marones
Existent, grandi bella tubaque canent.[2]
Exulat ingratum carmen, facundia passim
Temnitur, & cultis artibus aula caret.
Potores bibuli nunc prima sedilia, honores,
Et cyathos gnari vertere, cuncta tenent.
There is a double door to this house, one of which grants entry to cultured groups, bringing presents for the master. The other, however, leads the empty-handed to a bare seat. The former is closed to the poor man and open to presents. This is the house of the leading men, which presently you will find to be closed for the muses, and the disposition of the lord has a double door. Do not be surprised that there are so few poets in this time, the greedy hand does not give anything. If there were Maecenases, new Vergils and Horaces would stand up and with loud trumpet sing of the wars. Poetry lives in exile, unappreciated, eloquence is snubbed everywhere and the fine arts are lacking at the court. Currently, eager drinkers sit in the front row, experienced in turning wine-ladles and privileges, ruling everything.
- Joannes Sambucus, "Emblemata" (1564)

3 comments:

FreeThinke said...

Quel domage! La vie est une tragédie.

C'etait toujours vrai, mais surtout maintenant:

"Plus ca change, plus ca la meme chose."

Et, ou est les neiges d'entin? C'est ici aujourd'hui. C'est eternelle.

-FJ said...

Ours has become another "Stingy Age". Erudition's "worth", like that of many other talents, is vastly under-appreciated and generally perceived by the multitude as an undesirable excess. The benefits to be derived from the division of labour necessary to generate luxury and surpluses in our 'materially oriented' society for the purpose of "exchange" for "profit" is generally misperceived as well, for we are generally open to receiving the cultured "gifts" of erudition from others, but we are generally unlikely to invest in our own "personal" efforts to produce them in return. We erringly see the "profit" in doing so as one-sided (for we seek to gain more from the exchange than the other participant). More people should read Plato's "Hipparchus", and thereby come to understand that "profit" is always a two-way street, and that those who produce "shoddy goods" are soon left with no one willing to "exchange" goods in the cultural market. And a shrinking "market" profits fewer and fewer.

-FJ said...

THIS is why the Right has generally lost the "culture war".