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Aemulatio impar.

Competing on unequal terms

Emblema cxli.

Altivolam miluus comitatur degener harpam,[1]
Et praedae partem saepe cadentis habet.
Mullum prosequitur, qui spretas sargus ab illo,[2]
Praeteritásque avidus devorat ore dapes.
Sic mecum Oenocrates agit. at deserta studentum
Utitur hoc lippo curia tanquam oculo.[3]

An ignoble kite accompanies the soaring hawk and often gets a piece of the prey as it falls. The sargus follows the mudfish and greedily devours the food that it scorns and passes by. Oenocrates behaves like this with me - but the lecture-hall I’ve abandoned treats him like a runny eye.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [T4v f196v]

FErebat aegrè Alciatus aemulum quempiam esse si-
bi syndromum, eum quidem legum interpretem,
auditors quosdam ad sese allicientem, gloriam Al-
ciati, quantum poterat, obscurantem, vel potius
laudis portionem suffurantem: quem ideò stili acumine[4] con-
fodit, duplici similitudine, & conficto nomine Oe-
nocratis
, quasi dicas meripotorem.

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Contre un emulateur mais non
approchant.

Comme le Milan bastard
Suyt la harpe haut-volante,
Et s’il peust, il prendra part
De quelque proye tombante:
Comme le Sarget transi
Suyt le Mulet pour son vivre,
Faisant bien estat aussi
Pour un morceau de le suyvre:
Ainsi fait en mon endroit
Me suyvant ce mal-adroit
Bon taste-vin que je nomme:
Duquel toutesfois se sert
Mon auditoire desert
Comme d’un plus habile homme.

ALciat estoit malcontent d’avoir un
concurrent fort envieux, docteur en
droit, lequel par moyen attiroit quelques
siens auditeurs, & qui s’efforçoit autant qu’il
pouvoit d’obscurcir la reputation d’Alciat:
ou plustost desrober quelque partie de cest
honneur: lequel à ceste occasion il attaque par
cest escrit, usant de deux similitudes, & luy
baillant un nom de maistre Biberon, ou Boyvin.

Notes:

1.  For the association of the kite and the hawk see Aristotle, Historia animalium, 9.1.609.

2.  For the sargus see Emblem 75 ([FALc075]). For its habit of following the lutarius (the mudfish) and eating the food it disturbs as it burrows in the mud, see Pliny, Natural History, 9.30.65; Erasmus, Parabolae, p. 253.

3.  lippo...tamquam oculo, ‘like a runny eye’, a proverbial expression. See Erasmus, Adagia, 4100 (Lippo oculo similis): a runny eye is something you would prefer to be rid of, but while you have it you cannot leave it alone; similarly there are people you do not like, but you find yourself obliged to make use of them.

4.  Corrected from the Errata.


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  • historical person (with NAME) other representations to which the NAME of a historical person may be attached (with NAME of person) [61B2(ALCIATUS, Andreas)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • historical person (with NAME) other representations to which the NAME of a historical person may be attached (with NAME of person) [61B2(OENOCRATES)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Imparity, Inequality (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51BB3(+4):54EE33(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Sponging, Parasitizing (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57AA6122(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • wine-testing, wine-grading [47I4251] Search | Browse Iconclass

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