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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [f6v p92]

A minimis quoque timendum.

Beware of even the weakest foe

LIIII.

Bella gerit Scarabaeus, & hostem provocat ultrò.
Robore & inferior, consilio superat.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [f7r p93]Nam plumis Aquilae clàm se neque cognitus abdit,
Hostilem ut nidum summa per astra petat:
Ovaque confodiens, prohibet spem crescere prolis:
Hocque modo illatum dedecus ultus abit.[1]

The scarab beetle is waging war and takes the challenge to its foe. Though inferior in physical strength, it is superior in strategy. It hides itself secretly in the eagle’s feathers without being felt, in order to attack its enemy’s nest across the lofty skies. It bores into the eggs and prevents the hoped-for offspring from developing. And then it departs, having thus avenged the insult inflicted on it.

COMMENTARIA.

Scarabeus (insectorum genus ex equorum
putridis carnibus nasci creditur, de quo Plinius
lib. 11. cap. 28.) inimicus Aquilae: quapropter
eam ad bellum atque certamen provocare au-
sus fuit, qui licet robore & viribus longè in-
ferior. Consilio tamen & astutia superior est,
secretè nanque & Aquila minime sentiente,
pennis eius sese abscondens ad nidum unà
advectus est, ibi omnia Aquilae ova perfora-
vit ac fregit, ut nullus inde pullus nasci potuit
hoc pacto ultus inimicum superbum deri-
dens aufugit, ut etiam pulchrè legitur in apo-
logo Aesopico de Scarabeo & Aquila.
Docemur autem inimicum quan-
tumvis exiguum & pusillum
non contemnendum:
nam ut dicitur, inest
& formicae
sua bilis.

Notes:

1.  For the feud between the eagle and the beetle, see Aesop, Fables 4; Erasmus, Adagia 2601, Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit.


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