_Crassus' Saying._--I find in the Diary of the poet Moore (in Lord John Russell's edition), vol. ii. p. 148., a conversation recorded with Dr.
Parr, in which the Doctor quotes "the witticism that made Crassus laugh (the only time in his life): 'Similes habent labra lactucas.'"
It appears (see the quotations in Facciolati) that this sage and laughter-moving remark of Crassus was made on seeing an ass eating a thistle; whereon he exclaimed, "Similes habent labra lactucas."
In Bailey's edition of Facciolati it is said, "Proverbium habet locum ubi similia similibus contingunt,... quo sensu Angli dicimus, 'Like lips like lettuce: like priest like people.'"
Out of this explanation it is difficult to elicit any sense, much less any "witticism."
I suggest that Crassus' saying meant, "His (the ass's) lips hold thistles and lettuces to be both alike;" wanting the discrimination to distinguish
between them. Or, if I may put it into a doggerel rhyme:
"About a donkeys taste why need we fret us?
To lips like his a thistle is a lettuce."
Anyone know whether this noster Crassus (i.e. Dives)?