(Decimus Magnus Ausonius of Bordeaux, ca. 310-395 CE), Epigrams II “Exhortatio ad Modestiam”
Note: Agathocles was king of (the Greek
cities of) Sicily from 304 to 289 BCE.
They say that the king Agathocles dined with earthenware
And often loaded his sideboard with dishes of Samian clay,
While at the same time he set out jeweled cups on rough trays
And thus mixed wealth and poverty together.
To one who asked why, he answered: “I, who am now
The king of Sicily, was born the son of a potter.”
So possess your good fortune with reverence,
Whoever you are who shall suddenly progress
From a humble station to a position of wealth.
Fama est fictilibus cenasse Agathoclea
atque abacum Samio saepe onerasse
fercula gemmatis cum poneret horrida vasis
et misceret opes pauperiemque simul.
quaerenti causam respondit: “Rex ego qui sum
Sicaniae, figulo sum genitore satus.”
fortunam reverenter habe, quicumque repente
dives ab exsili progrediere loco.
Still Life and Laid Table, Juan van der Hamen, ca. 1620