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La clemence du Prince.

Ce que le Roy des guespes rien ne poingt,[1]
(Quoy qu’il soit grand.) Et d’aguillon n’ha poinct
Monstre ung Seigneur doulx aulx siens, comme amys:
Et les sainctz droictz gens de bien commis.

Le Roy des Guespes, & aveilles
est deux fois plus grand, & fort
que les aultres, & si n’ha point
d’aguillon picquant, & vene-
neux, comme les aultres. Ainsi
ung bon Prince plus est puis-
sant, plus est clement, & moins
nuysant, tel que fut le Magni-
ficque Jule Caesar.

Notes:

1. According to Pliny, Natural History, 11.21.74, wasps do not have ‘kings’: it is the ‘mother’ wasps that are without stings. On the other hand, the ‘king’ bee (the ancients believed the queen bee to be male) and its lack of sting, or refusal to use its sting, was often mentioned; e.g. Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.10; Pliny, ibid., 17.52. For the analogy with kingship, see e.g. Seneca, De Clementia, 1.19; Erasmus, Adagia, 2601 (Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit).


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