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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [R4v p296]

In Lisymachum.[1]

On Lysimachus.

In eos qui divitiarum dulcedine delini-
ti ad Ecclesiae gubernacula accedunt.

On [or against] those who attain to the high offices of the Church, besmirched by the sweetness of riches.

Empta placet multis funesta claede voluptas.
Et magnò interdum poenituisse licet.
Disce ergo, & tristes veterum reminiscere casus,
Quos latuit verus posteritatis honos.

Bought pleasures satisfy many - [lit. with] a lethal calamity: And it’s acceptable [simply] to wallow in repentance every now and then. So learn your lesson, and remember the sad fate of those men of antiquity, Who know not the true glory of [being remembered by] posterity.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [T5r p297]

ALIUD.

Other

Lisymachus sitiens saevo se dedidit hosti,
Posset ut irriguo fonte levare sitim:
Qui postquam explevit largo praecordia potu,
Dicitur his lachrimans verba dedisse modis:
O decies, brevitate sui miseranda vòluptas,
Cuius in exortu tam citò finis adest.
Téne amens tam torquet opum vesana libido,
Quas nec aquis pretio dixeris esse pares,
Ut cleri in numeros venias, & muneris impar,
Des consanguineo nomina pontifici:
Dum tu divini speras insignia fundi,
Et patrui sacras iam morientis opes:
Queis sine saeva ferox in praelia principis isses,
Aut uxor votis esset amica tuis:
Quamvis hoc etiam nobiscum pignore certes,
Ut iam tota tuo manzere terra fluat.[2]

Lysimachus, raging with thirst, surrendered himself to his savage enemy, So that he might quench his thirst from a watery fountain: Then, after he had filled his belly with a huge draught, He is said tearfully to have spoken in the following manner: ’Oh how wretched and ten-times wretched is pleasure in its brevity, That is over as soon as it has begun!’ Does an insane desire for wealth so twist your deluded mind, - Wealth which you have called less valuable than water - That you enter the ranks of the priesthood, and, though you aren’t equal to the task, You get into the good books* of your relative, the Pope: While you hope for signs of approval from the Divine Author, And - now he’s dying - your uncle’s sacred riches (Without which you’d have [had to] go [fighting] fiercely in your prince’s savage wars, And your mistress would have been your lawful wedded wife), In order that - protest all you like: I bet you anything† - The whole world in time may fall at your bastard’s feet.
* Lit. ‘give names to’: the idea being enrolling oneself under the patronage of someone.
†Lit. ‘however much you contend with us on this wager’.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [T5v p298]

NARRATIO PHILOSOPHICA.

SApienter maximus ille eloquendi ma-
gister Appollonius Molo, qui quanquam mer
cede doceret,non patiebatur tamen discipulos
apud se operam perdere, sed unumquenque ad id
quo naturae ductu ferebatur, dimittebat: frustra
enim animi nervos intenderis si natura & ingenii
vit non suffragatur. Sed quemadmodum terra
non ad omnem seminis rationem sese accommo-
dat: ita nex hominum animi ad omnes artes capes-
sendas parati sunt. In semine igitur spargendo a-
gricolae, & in scientiis edocendis magistri natu-
ram & mores explorabunt: homines autem in
opere Ecclesiastico & sacris faciendis occupati,
propensitatem naturae ductumque suum non vi-
debunt? quorum humeris nititur communis sa-
lus, quorum descriptione leges, aequi & boni stu-
dia, civium aequalitas, religio, virtus omnis, deni-
que & totius reipublicae nervi continentur. in quo-
rum tutela pacis ornamenta iacent, & quibus qua-
si ducibus inimicorum iniurias à capite nostro
propulsamus. Qui Dei optimi maximi auspiciis
& renuntiatione, orbis terae [=terrae] provinciam cum im-
perio sunt sortiti, ut de pietate & iustitia inter
homines soli statuerent, his honestum esse possit
in petendis ecclesiae magistratibus, & vitae genere
deligendo cupiditatem & ambitionem potius,
quàm naturam sequi. Quòd si ex Pauli senten-
tia, nemo dignitatem in ecclesia prensare debet,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [T6r p299]nisi vocatu summi Dei, ut de praestantissimo illo
sacerdete Aaron vetera scripta testantur: quae tan-
ta in hominibus nostris honorum appetitio est,
ut avaritia caeterisque animi aegrotationibus per-
turbati, se in ea munera vitae compingant, quae
nisi à summis & laudatis viris non possunt expli-
cari. Quòd si tantùm ex avaritia & cupiditate la-
borant, ut inter maximas opum lenitates salutem
suam (qua nihil homini commendatius esse de-
bet) aspernentur: quaeso ne in eandem necis per-
niciem vocent eos qui infirmitate consilii mi-
nis sibi possunt prospicere. Quot enim homines
rerum agendarum imperitos, & de via longè ab-
errantes in populo reperias, qui si aliquem ex
his quibus procuratio rerum divinarum data
est, virum bonum & de civium salute vigilantem
nacti fuerint, non facilè ad rectam rationis & of-
ficiorum omnium normam dirigi possint. At forsitan
in officio non esse, & ea negligere quae gerere cura-
reque debeas, moribus nostris levissima culpa
est, nisi ad tantam negligentiam etiam improbi-
tatis multorumque scelerum accederet infa-
mia. Haec certè qui tolerant perniciosissimum
quiddam inducunt in ecclesiam, ut neque con-
tracta ex antecedentibus vitiis labes abstergi, ne-
que res tam inclinata unquam attolli possit. Ex his
opinor magnorum hominum de religione con-
troversiae, ex his bella intestina, ex his maximae
tempestates populo Christiano semper acciderunt.
Nam quae tanta dei benevolentia erga nos esse po
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [T6v p300]test, nisi vulgaris? quae placabilitatis signa nisi ob-
scura? An verò eum populum benignitate & lar-
gissimis officiis suis complectatur Dominus, in
quo qui deprecatores ex lege sunt, ad ipsas depre-
cationes omnium flagitiorum turpitudinem ad-
iungunt? Quid, qui ad decretas more institutoque
maiorum supplicationes non sit venturus, nisi pe-
cuniae & praebitionis expectatione, is ne apud Deum
immortalem in iis orationibus, ad quas pro po-
pulo erit assumptus, voluntate & gratia valere po-
terit? Sed non est consentaneum in sacris faciendis
cupiditatem & avaritiam adhibere. Nam (ut in-
quit Dominus) ἐὰν τὸ ἅλας μωρανθῇ, ἐν τίνι ἀλλισθή-
σεται
?[3] Et si ii, quorum pietate & precibus ira Dei,
tanquam aliqua machinatione ad benevolentiam
contorquenda est, malè actae vitae conscientia cru-
ciantur, in quo tendem spes salutis erit collocan-
da? Et si qui legum authoritate & bonorum om-
nium suffragiis oratores apud Deum sunt electi,
in tanta vitae indignitate versantur, ut ipsi pro se
dicere reformident, quidnam illi in aliorum cau-
sa assequi se posse confidant? Verùm quia peccan-
di necessitas nescio quo fato hominibus attribu-
ta est, iis opinor ignoscendum erit, qui ipsi dome-
stica testatione sese reos non diffitentur: sed qui
furtis religionum, avaritia, reliquisque sceleribus
impuri, non tantum se de reis eximunt, sed eos qui
contra statuerint haereticos audent nominare, non
video sanè quodnam rei tam contemeratae & in-
fami patrocinium afferatur. Demosthenes quidem
non tam sua quàm reipublicae causa Philippo Ma-
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [T7r p301]cedonum
regi infensus, dicere solebat πυθίαν φιλιπ-
πίζειν
quòd in exponendis Appollinis Delphici re-
sponsis, pecunia se à Philippo oppugnari patere-
tur, & ab eo religionis calumniam contra Athe-
nienses
deduceret. Ita quidam homines (nollem
certè nostros) quia amplissimis sacerdotiis aucti
religionis principatum tenent, Evangelicae legis autho
ritatem ad scelerum suorum praetextum tradu-
cunt, & illo veluti caduceo sordes suas non impu-
nitate solùm, sed honore, congiario & vacatio-
ne persequuntur. Quòd si quis est reipublicae
amantissimus, qui praestantissimas illas dignita-
tes nefario scelere violari aegrè ferat, is illorum
sententia & patriae hostis & de religione malè sen-
tiens iudicabitur: quasi verò sit iniquum contra
eos de sacro commisso querelam perferre, quos
veterum conciliorum authoritas de levissimis
noxis ad peonam expetebat: aut etiam is de reli-
gione temere loquutus iudicari possit, qui scorta,
qui avaritiam, qui sacrae pecuniae dilapidationem
maleficiorum loco & nomine habuerit. Ego verò
si qui cum vitiis & sceleratis praelio decertant, &
miseri & haeretici sunt, in illo equo cum haereticis
viris includi non recusabo. Potest verò tam prae-
clarae sententiae societas turpis esse? possunt qui de
poenitentia & caeteris virtutibus decreta ferunt,
impii nominari? iis denique mores calamitosa &
terribilis esse possit, qui pro re tam egregia vitam
constanter perfuderint?

Notes:

1.  Normally spelled Lysimachus. He was a general and successor of Alexander the Great.

2.  In this passage Coustau is probably referring to a general trend, in which sons were forced into the Church who had no calling, continued to serve in the army, had long-term mistresses and children, of which France in the 16th-century abounded. But could he have been alluding to someone in specific? Noting the dates of publication of the Pegma (1555), a particularly appaling case of Papal nepotism had only recently soured the mouths of many Europeans in the form of Pope Julius III (Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte, d. 1555). Julius III lavished gifts beyond precedent to many of his relatives, but in particular, he elevated a street urchin named Innocenzo - his adopted son, and possibly his boy-toy lover - to the cardinalate in 1550 and made him Papal ‘Prime Minister’. Cardinal Innocenzo (know as ‘Il Cardinale Scimmia’ - monkey) turned out not only to be useless in government, but a thief and a murderer as well, and a continuing embarassment to the Roman hierarchy until he finally died (imprisoned) in 1577.

3.  Matthew 5:13



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