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ALIUS PECCAT ALIUS
plectitur.

One sins and another is punished

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Arripit ut lapidem catulus morsuque fatigat,
Nec percussori mutua damna facit.
Sic plaerique[1] sinunt veros elabier hosteis,
Et quos nulla gravat noxia dente petunt.[2]

A puppy seizes the stone and worries it with his teeth and does not bite back at the one who threw it. Even so, most people allow the true enemy to escape and bite those who carry no burden of guilt.

Notes:

1.  Textual variant: plerique.

2.  Cf. Aesop, Fables 235, where bees sting the wrong person. See Erasmus, Adagia 153, Cum larvis luctari, where the ‘puppy’ comparison is quoted from Aristotle (Rhetoric 3, 4). See also Plato, Republic 5.469E.


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