Philogelos I (55)

Σχολαστικὸς εὐτράπελος ἀπορῶν δαπανημάτων τὰ βιβλία αὐτοῦ ἐπίπρασκε, καὶ γράφων πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ἔλεγε· Σύγχαιρε ἡμῖν, πάτερ· ἤδη γὰρ ἡμᾶς τὰ βιβλία τρέφει.

A witty pedant, in difficulties for money, began to sell his books, and writing to his father said: “Congratulate me, father: I’m already making a living from my books.”

Literally, “Rejoice with me, father: for my books are already feeding me.” Some manuscripts make the subject an ignorant (ἀμαθής) pedant rather than a witty (εὐτράπελος) one. Selling one’s books is likely to lead to ignorance, but does not seem to be caused by it, so I prefer ‘witty’.

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