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In Satyrum.

On the Satyr.

Contra sedentarios & cerdones, qui pau-
lm ultra primas literas promoti, suo sen
su in literis sacris versari volunt.

Against the clerks* and cobblers [or craftsmen], who having acquired a little learning, want to busy themselves with holy Scripture according to their own notions.
* Sedentarius is a rare word in classical Latin, to do with sitting down, or not getting up to do something; hence I suppose Coustau means people who work sitting down. Alternatively, perhaps he means ‘armchair experts’.

Qui miser athereae cupiebas oscula flammae,
Ipse vides positas in tua damna faces.

You wretch, who desire the kiss of the fire of heaven, You can see for yourself the flames set to punish you.

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ALIUD.

Other

Dum terris infert ignis portenta Prometheus,
Fallit & incautum calliditate Iovem:
En Satyrus pulchri miracula suspicit ignis,
Et cupit amplexu grata referre suo:
Nec mora, flamma ingens miseros pervadit in artus,
Et tulit errori tristia pensa suo.
Qu potis es sacrae tabulas tractare Sophiae,
Et vel cornicum lumina confodere,[1]
Cum te habeant fessum sulcus, vilesque quadrigae?
Tu ne aliena audes ponere iura fide?
Non metuis nostris versantem in faucibus ignem,
Cuius vel totis flamma vagatur agris?

While Prometheus was bringing the sign of fire down to earth, And tricking careless Jupiter with his cunning: Lo and behold the Satyr looked up at the wonder of the pretty flame and longed to embrace the pleasing thing and carry it off: When all of a sudden a great tongue of fire shot up through the wretch’s arms and brought a painful retribution [lit. weight, hence perhaps payback for his misdemeanour. How can you handle the pages of sacred Wisdom, And ‘catch out the eyes of crows’, no less, When you're exhausted by a day’s ploughing with your wretched team of oxen [lit. when the furrow and wretched team-of-four hold you exhausted]? Do you presume to lay down the law on religion [lit. to ordain other laws for faith]? Do you not fear being burnt by the raging fire from our mouth, Whose flame, let me say, can spread right across all your fields?

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NARRATIO PHILOSOPHICA.

NUllum hominum genus vel importunius
vel minus tolerabile dici potest iis, qui cum
ultra primas literas leviter processerint, tantm
tamen opinione sua assumunt sibi, ut quasi desul
torii in curriculum quadrigarum audeant incur-
rere. Ut enim ignorantia invitio vel noxa non est,
ita incredibilis est amentiae, si quis nullo usu, nul-
la doctrina de re quacunque quae scientia sit ex-
plicanda, iudicium ferat. Si igitur ex veterum senten
tia, quam quisque artem novit, in ea se exercere de-
bet, quant cert cum ratione erit coniunctius,

rei contriversae peritissimos quosque iudices ad-
hiberi? Qui autem tam mirific impudens est, ut
in his quae non attigit, sententiam se rogari velit,
& eos qui omni disciplina habentur excellentes,
non modo ad certamen provocare, sed illorum mo-
nimenta una clausula antiquare, tales opinor ad ar
tificium suum, qu eorum fert natura, dimittendi
erunt. Ut enim nemo prob imperare potest, nisi
aliquando paruerit: ita neque disputare aut do-
cere, qui doctorem non audierit. Sed tamen ea est
temporum disciplina, ut quibus opinionum vesti
giis aliquis primm institerit, in his ad extremam
usque senectutem consenescat: quaeque statim
animo arripuerit, ea sibi omnibus modis tuen-
da esse arbitretur. Quo in genere forsitan iis
sit condonandum, qui praeclarissimis artis & do-
ctrinae praesidiis instructi, pervestigandae veritatis
studium ad scientias afferunt. Quibus e diffici-
lius est de aliqua sententia deduci, qud de ea
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [I8v p144]se cum dignitate iudicare posse non desperant. Du
rius enim homines docti secum agi existimant, si
in veri pervestigatione magis authoritatis qum
rationis pondera aestimentur. Qui autem vel in fo
ro argentariam, aut venalitiariam vitam agunt, vel
similibus iis artificiis occupantur, non sit illis per
mittendum, si plus in literis sacris sensum suum
qum peritorum iudicium valere velint. Nam qui
sine doctrina ad aliquod se disciplinae genus con-
ferunt, quia minus consequentia & rerum anteces-
siones animo pervident, hoc potissimum comple
ctuntur, quod maxim corporatis sensibus accom
modatum est. Et profect magnum quiddam ex
illis praeceptis sibi accessisse putant, si cupiditati-
bus suis Deum laudatorem possint adhibere. Iam ver
in quamcunque te religionis partem animo converte
ris, ea tamen semper cautio necessari sit adhiben
da, ut non quod unusquisque sibi privatim sumpse
rit, id pro senatusconsulto habeatur (quid enim in
ter tot dissentientium hominum familias constans
esse potest?) sedita res expediatur, ut quod frequens
& bonorum & plurimorum concio decreverit,
id ab omnibus observetur. Nam si volumus initia
religionis replicare, videmus etiam inter princi-
pes illos, qui Christo edocti universum terrarum
orbem ad fidem adiuaxerunt [=adduxerunt] , maximas de religio
ne controversias extitisse: neque tamen quod unus
quantumcunque miraculis vel pietate excellens in
animum induxerat, id continu erat sanctum &
perpetuum: sed vocatu seniorum conventus co-
gebatur: quo in ordine quod maior pars iudicas-
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [K1r p145]set, id publica authoritate & fide ab omnibus ser-
varetur. Et cert tantm apud quosdam ex Apo-
stolis
circuncissionis valuerat antiquitas, ut ii qui
ex gentibus ad cultum Christi convolarent, mini-
me extra circuncissionis necessitatem positi esse
ex plurimorum sententia viderentur. Qua in opi-
nione cm & ipse Paulus esset, Titum circuncidit.
Sed cm de ea re ad concilium esset relatum, lege
lata circuncidendi necessitas Christianis permissa
est. Nihil igitur in religione firmum habere, nisi
quod tecum ipse velis & intus sentias, hominis est
san per quam deplorati: sed in ea re illorum sit

existimatio, qui & numero & doctrina antece-
dunt. Ex quibus nationes multae iusta reprehen-
sione minim caruerunt, qud cm rebus in reli-
gione enovandis studuissent, ita tamen se gesserunt,
ut nemo apud eas degat, qui non caeteris opi
nione & doctrina dissentiat: & ut quis-
que maxim est egregius, id ef-
ficit, ut in religione cu-
iusquam nisi sui
similis esse
nolit.

Notes:

1. Cf. Cicero, Pro Murena, 11.25 ‘cornicum oculos configere’ (a synonymous phrase). The phrase, literally meaning ‘to pierce the eyes of crows’ was proverbial, and meant to catch out even the most wary; though the image is slightly confused, since it is the habit of the crow to attack the eye of its prey, not the other way round. Here Coustau means it to imply beating the best theological scholars at their own game.



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