Agricola, Georgius, De re metallica, 1912/1950

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from the owners than necessity demands. Nay, I will admit that a for[...]
man may plaster over, or hide with a structure, a vein where it is rich i[...]
metals.
Is the wickedness of one or two to brand the many honest wit[...]
fraud and trickery?
What body is supposed to be more pious and virtuou[...]
in the Republic than the Senate?
Yet some Senators have been detecte[...]
in peculations, and have been punished.
Is this any reason that so honour[...]
able a house should lose its good name and fame?
The superintenden[...]
cannot exact contributions from the owners without the knowledge an[...]
permission of the Bergmeister or the deputies; for this reason decep[...]
tion of this kind is impossible.
Should the foremen be convicted o[...]
fraud, they are beaten with rods; or of theft, they are hanged.
I[...]
is complained that some sellers and buyers of the shares in mines ar[...]
fraudulent.
I concede it. But can they deceive anyone except a stupid[...]
careless man, unskilled in mining matters?
Indeed, a wise and pruden[...]
man, skilled in this art, if he doubts the trustworthiness of a seller o[...]
buyer, goes at once to the mine that he may for himself examine the vei[...]
which has been so greatly praised or disparaged, and may consider whethe[...]
he will buy or sell the shares or not.
But people say, though such an on[...]
can be on his guard against fraud, yet a simple man and one who is easil[...]
credulous, is deceived.
But we frequently see a man who is trying to mislea[...]
another in this way deceive himself, and deservedly become a laughing[...]
stock for everyone; or very often the defrauder as well as the dupe i[...]
entirely ignorant of mining.
If, for instance, a vein has been found to b[...]
abundant in ore, contrary to the idea of the would-be deceiver, then he wh[...]
was to have been cheated gets a profit, and he who has been the deceive[...]
loses.
Nevertheless, the miners themselves rarely buy or sell shares, bu[...]
generally they have jurati venditores28 who buy and sell at such prices as the[...]
have been instructed to give or accept.
Seeing therefore, that magistrate[...]
decide disputes on fair and just principles, that honest men deceive nobody[...]
while a dishonest one cannot deceive easily, or if he does he cannot do s[...]
with impunity, the criticism of those who wish to disparage the honesty [...]
miners has therefore no force or weight.

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