New Beatings in Death

“You wasted life, why wouldn’t you waste the afterlife?”

Modest Mouse, “Ocean Breathes Salty”

Phaedrus, Fabulae 4. 2

“Whoever is born unlucky not only leads a sad life
But is stalked by fate’s harsh sorrow in death too.
Cybele’s priests, the Gallia, on their begging tour
Used to lead an ass to drag around their baggage.
When he died thanks to work and beatings
They made tambourines of his stripped skin.
When some people asked what they did
to their own pet they said,

“He believed that he’d rest with his last breath
But look, he attracts new beatings in death!”

Qui natus est infelix, non vitam modo
tristem decurrit, verum post obitum quoque
persequitur illum dura fati miseria.
Galli Cybebes circum in questus ducere
asinum solebant, baiulantem sarcinas.
is cum labore et plagis esset mortuus,
detracta pelle sibi fecerunt tympana,
rogati mox a quodam, delicio suo
quidnam fecissent, hoc locuti sunt modo:
“Putabat se post mortem securum fore:
ecce aliae plagae congeruntur mortuo!”

Bibliothèque Nationale de France, lat. 3630, Folio 84r [from]

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