Les Accidens de l'Homme, Earthly goods

Earthly goods
Earthly goods

Earthly goods

Aux ieunes gens lassault ie liure ·
quant sendorment en leurs biens :
et quil cuident longuement viure ·
par moy sont prins et despesches [read: despeches et prins] ·

I attack the young people.
When they fall asleep among their goods
and desire to have a long life,
by me they are dispatched and taken in.

Les loups rauissans.
Vie de l'Homme
Hardouyn, Usurer

Note: There is an error in the fourth line, which seems to be present in all editions: viz that the words "despesches" and "prins" must be interchanged in order to make the line rhyme.

On the other hand, »prins et despesches« may be more logical. The original meaning of the French "despecher" is "to set free from some obstacle", but you can get rid of your "obstacles" in many ways: Send them far away, or kill them. Even in modern English, the word "dispatch" can mean "to kill".


Line two about people falling asleep among their (temporal) goods, comes from Vie de l'Homme, where Death tells that Aage (old age) makes people fall asleep while I (Death) arrive: »Aage souvent […] Endort les gens entandis que je viens«. In Aveugles it's explained even clearer that Aage is sounding his flute and his drum to make people sleep among their temporal goods: »Aage souvant a sa fluste et tambour / Endort plusieurs entretant que je viens, […] Ils s'endorment sur les temporels biens«.