Cornelis Anthonisz.: The story of Carelessness, part 1 - The Hunt (1541)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam The Netherlands)

The first part of the story of  'Carelessness' by the Dutch artist Cornelis Anthonisz. (1505-1553). Carelessness ('Sorgheloos') is going on a hunt, he is accompanied by his sweetheart Wealth ('Weelde') and his servant Comfort/ Ease ('Gemack'). The text explains the parents of Carelessness saved all their money but Carelessness wants to spend it on liquor and prostitutes as life is short (translation by Michael Hoyle, Amsterdam, 1985)

The text:

Words of  'Carelessness:
Ick Sorgheloose stel my ter iacht fray ende lustich
Met Weelde, mijn lief, die ick beminne;
Ghemack, mijn pagie, is oock seer rustich,
Op welcke twee ick fondeer mijn hert ende sinne;
Want duer haer beyder aenschouwen solaes ick vinne.
Dies my gheen molestacie mach so beswaren,
Als ick slechs haer beyder pays ghewinne;
Want druck ende verdriet doense van my verharen.
Ken achtet goet niet, al hebbent mijn ouders gaen sparen,
Ick wilt verteeren met houeeren, drincken ende storten;
Want minnert het goet, die daghen die corten.’

Careless am I, at sport gay and lively
With Luxury, my darling, my love.
My page is Ease, dressed all in his finery.
Here are the two who have my heart and my mind,
Who soothe me as I gaze upon them.
Troubles I know not
If I stand in their favor
For sorrow and care are rank strangers to them.
Possessions I scorn, hard earned by my parents,
I shall squander them all in feasting and drinking.
The days draw in when money is shrinking.

The word of the poet:
ghy jonghe ghesellen van cloecke statueren,
Slacht niet den Sorgheloose, maer leeft by maten
Peynsende, tleuen sal hier niet langhe dueren
Ende die Sorgheloose blijue by godt verwaten,
Ende si en comen oock niet tot mannen van staten,
Jae na een vruecht volghen wel duysentich suchten.
Maer met v goet doet de armen doch charitaten;
So sullen wt v wasschen die gherechte vruchten,
Ende Weelde en Ghemack sullen daer door van v niet vluchten,
Maer uwer buchten sullen daer door vermeeren van stonden an.
Dus peynst doch een weynich op den ouden man!

Ye young stalwarts, so fine and so strong,
Play not the careless, let measure prevail.
Remember that life in this vale is but fleeting.
The careless are damned in the eyes of God,
And shall never ascend to lofty estate.
Yea, after one joy come a thousand sighings,
So devote your purse to the relief of the poor,
And the fruits that ye bear shall be righteous.
Fear not that luxury or ease will desert you,
For wealth shall immediately grow.
Pause for a moment and learn from the old.

The individual engravings:
Part1: The Hunt
Part2: The Meal
Part3: The Ball
Part4: The Gamble
Part5: Carelessness is driven from the tavern by poverty
Part6: Carelessness lives in proverty
Complete Version: The story of Carelessness