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Ignavi.

Good for nothing

Emblema lxxxiii.

Ignavi ardeolam stellarem[1] effingere servi
Et studia, & mores, fabula prisca fuit.
Quae famulum Asteriam[2] volucris sumpsisse figuram
Est commenta fides sit penes historicos.
Degener hic veluti qui cevet in aëre falco est,
Dictus ab antiquis vatibus ardelio.[3]

There was an old story to the effect that the little starred heron displays the activities and character of a good-for-nothing slave, a story which alleged that the slave Asterias took the form of a bird. Let the [natural] historians vouch for this. This sort of despicable person is like the kestrel quivering in one place in the air, a person called a fussing busybody by the ancient poets.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M9r f117r]

IN vetere quadam fabula inductus erat servus a-
liquis fatuus, & nihil non satagens, qui asteriae, vel
ardeolae stellatae figuram repraesentare conaretur, ut
mores & conatus ardelionum exprimeret. Ii satis
movent sese, sed nihil unquam promovent, nihil-
que agunt, sed tantum satagunt, ad modum falconis
degeneris & adulterini, qui sit tantùm caeventis in
aere motus. Ii vulgato nomine Ardeliones appellan-
tur: quo hominum genere nullum impudentius, aut  [M]
ineptius.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M9v f117v]

Marque d’un vault-neant.

AU vieil temps un conte on faisoit,
Que le Heron contrefaisoit,
Le port, les moeurs, & la sottise,
L’effort, & la faineantise
D’un vallet, d’un sot, d’un benest,
Se montrant tout autre qu’il n’est,
Et dit on qu’un serf Asterie
Fust transformé par moquerie
En Heron estoillé, combien
Cela est vray, je n ’en dis rien.
Comme un faucon bastard en veuë
Il branle sa queuë & remue,
Et est nommé en plusieurs lieux
Ardelion des Poetes vieux.

EN quelque ancienne fable estoit intro-
duit un serviteur, folet, s’efforçeant de tout
faire, & qui se mettoit en peine de contrefai-
re un heron estoillé, pour representer les fa-
çons, gestes & entremises des Ardelions. Tel-
le maniere de gens se remuent assez, mais en
rien ne s’avancent: tel homme fait & tracasse,
mais rien ne parfait & passe, à la mode du
faucon bastard, qui s’efforce voller, mais il
ne peut. Ceux ci sont nommez des Latins Ar-
deliones
, c’est à dire temeraires entrepre-
neurs, ou maistres Aliborons, qui sont hom-
mes les plus impudens & ineptes que lon
puisse rencontrer.

Notes:

1.  The ‘little starred heron’, which, according to the story, had once been human and a slave, was, because of its sluggish nature, called ocnus, i.e. ‘idleness’. Cf. Emblem 91 ([FALc091]). As it understood human speech, it hated to be called this, or ‘slave’. See Pausanias, 10.29.2; Aelian, De natura animalium 5.36; Aristotle, Historia animalium, 9.18.617.

2.  Asterias, ‘starred’, is the Greek name for ardea stellaris, possibly a bittern.

3.  ardelio: ‘a fussing busybody’. See Martial, Epigrams, 2.7.7.; 4.78.9: Phaedrus, Fables, 2.5.1. Cf. Erasmus, Adagia, 543, Callipides, on someone who expends a great deal of energy achieving nothing.


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