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Bonis à divitibus nihil timendum.

The good have nothing to fear from the rich.

Emblema xxxii.

Iunctus contiguo Marius mihi pariete, nec non
Subbardus[1], nostri nomina nota fori,[2]
Aedificant bene nummati, satagúntque vel ultrò
Obstruere heu nostris undique luminibus.
Me miserum! geminae quem tanquam Phinea raptant
Harpyiae,[3] ut propriis sedibus eiiciant.
Integritas nostra, atque animus quaesitor honesti,[4]
His nisi sint Zetes, his nisi sint Calais.

Marius is joined to me by a connecting wall, and so is Subbardus, names well-known in our little community. Having plenty of cash, they are building, and what’s more, busily doing their best, without any provocation on my part, to block my windows, alas, on every side. What a plight I am in - I am like Phineus, attacked by two Harpies, trying to throw me out of my own home, unless my integrity, my mind that is a seeker of the right, act as my Zetes and my Calais against them.

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Significat sibi rem esse cum quibusdam vicinis
suas aedes ita altè extruentibus, ut officerent lu-
minibus aedium Alciati. De quibus ita conqueritur
ut olim de HarpyisPhineus: parum enim abesse
quin propriis aedibus exturbetur, nisi sibi sua ani-
mi probitas, & integritas opem tulerit, haud secus
atque olim Phineo Zethes & Calaïs.

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A gens de bien, riches ne sont
à craindre.

MEs voisins opulents & pour tels maintenuz,
Marius, Subbardus, qui ont grands revenuz,
Fort congneuz en noz plaids, edifient sans cesse,
Et me bouchent mon jour: l’un & l’autre m’oppresse,
Par cy, par là, tous deux me mettans en soucy.
Et comme un Phineus me trouve tout transsy,
Molesté & chassé de deux fortes Harpyes,
Accablé jusqu’au bout de si dures parties:
Si mon integrité & honneur ne me sont
Protecteurs contre ceux qui tel ennuy me font,
Ayant comme pour moy contre une telle outrance,
Calaïs & Zethes, pour seure resistance.

Il donne à entendre qu’il est molesté de
quelques siens voisins, lesquels bastissent
si hault[5], qu’ils luy ostent son jour. D’iceux
il se pleint, comme jadis fit des HarpyesPhi-
: car peu s’en fault qu’il ne soit contraint
de quitter sa maison, si toutesfois il n’est
guarenti par le moyen de sa preud’hommie
& integrité, ainsi qu’au passé fut deffendu
Phineus de Zethes & Calaïs.


1.  Marius, the typical self-made man (referring to humble origins of Gaius Marius, the consul and general). Subbardus, possibly ‘Mr. Thick’.

2.  nostri...fori, ‘in our little community’, probably a reference to the forum in any Roman town as a centre of commercial and legal activities. So these are businessmen or lawyers, possibly the second, as they are acting illegally on several counts.

3.  The Harpies, symbols of injustice, were carrying off or soiling Phineus’ food so that he could not eat. He was delivered by Zetes and Calais, the winged sons of the North Wind and Oreithyia. See e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses 6.711-7.4.

4.  Integritas...quaesitor. These words (‘integrity’, ‘seeker’) are probably a punning reference to supposed etymologies of Calais and Zetes as if derived from Greek καλός ‘beautiful, good’ and ζητειν ‘to seek’. For the sentiment of lines 7 - 8, cf. Horace, Odes 1.22.1-2: he whose life is blameless and who knows no sin has no need of Moorish weapons.

5.  Corrected from the Errata

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