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In simulachrum τῆς διαβολῆς. Ex Ap-
pelle
.[1]

On the image of Calumny. By Apelles.

Contra eos qui antequam bona relati
inter reos ex commisso in fiscum defe-
rantur, ea petunt principe.

Against those who, having previously brought in to the treasury the property of a man who has been found guilty, go on to seek that property [as a reward] from the prince.

Pressit Appellaeum vindex calumnia nomen,
Ast eadem afflicti proditur arte rei.
Sector in insontes oculis signate cruentis,
Iam ne indemnati praedia posce rei.

Calumny the avenger has stigmatised the name of Apelles, but she was produced by the craftsmanship of a man himself afflicted by denunciation. You profiteering persecutor* of the innocent, marked out by your blood-shot eyes, don’t go seeking the spoils of a defendant who hasn’t been condemned yet.
* Sector has connotations of thief and cut-throat, as well as, specifically, one who bids for goods confiscated by the state.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [X3v p326]

ALIUD.

Other

Aspice ut immanis torvo calumnia vultu,
Evomit accensa fulmina dira face:
Utque tenet puerum passis furibunda capillis,
Testantem magni numina summa Iovis.
Anteit & torvo miserandus livor ocello,
Quem toto fusus corpore langor habet.
Utque comes structis sequitur Fallacia technis,
Et multo infamis sanguine Proditio.
Iamque Midae auriculis alter spectatus & auro,
Porrigit huic grati signa supercilii,
Multa super multis quaerens, dum mutua spondet
Munera delati, tristia pensa rei.
Sed latet tergo lacera μετάνοια lacerna,
Multa gemens vitae fata nefanda suae:
Et veri petit amplexus atque oscula, nec se
Illius indignam iudicat esse manu.
Quot superi falso calumnia nomine pressit,
Quotque nigris (miserm) contudit illa fabis[2]
Quot bene nummatos tristem coniecit in urnam,
Qui fisco tacitas praeparat insidias?
Quique sub incertis metuendae sortibus urnae,
Postulat insontis gemmea culta rei.

Look how Slander, huge and grim-visaged, belches forth dreadful thunderbolts* from her lighted torch: And [look] how the woman, raging, holds a little boy by his dishevelled hair - The boy is a witness to the almighty power of Jupiter the great. So too wretched Envy [or Malice] goes before her, with forbidding countenance, whose whole body is filled with sloth. And [look] how their companion Falsehood follows on, the crafty fabricator [lit. with artifices having been devised], and infamous Treachery, covered in blood. And now [on one side] Midas (as he is seen to be, by his ears and his gold†) offers this woman [Slander, or perhaps Treachery] the tokens of his favour [lit. of a favourable brow], demanding more and more [e.g. information], while he promises as pay-back for the denunciation,‡ the unhappy wealth of the man denounced. But behind her back hides Repentance dressed in sackcloth and ashes [lit. a torn cloak], much bewailing the dreadful fate of her life: And she seeks the embraces and kisses of a true [lover or friend], and judges herself unworthy [to take] his hand. Ye gods, how many people has Slander defamed falsely, and how many, ah me! has she destroyed with black balls! How many comfortably wealthy men has she consigned to the unhappy [voting-] urn, whereby she sets her silent snares in the treasury: And whereby, through the uncertain outcome of that fearsome urn, she lays claim to the glittering [prize of] the innocent accused’s estate [lit. the gem-like estates].
* Fulmen (‘thunderbolt’) was used figuratively in classical Latin to mean ‘a crushing calumny’ (Lewis & Short, s.v.).
† Lit. ‘the one, proven by the ears and gold of Midas’.
‡ Lit. ‘he promises the mutual remuneration of a denounced man’.

NARRATIO PHILOSOPHICA.

EX eadem illa malorum omnium parente cu-
piditate & altera profecta est, quae Calumnia
nominatur. Hanc quaedam pestes hominum alie-
na laude fortunaque dolentium semper in regen-
dis civitatibus quasi ducem & magistram statue
runt: qud opinor sine ea diutius stare se posse no [=non]
existimarent. Quia enim si vertera recordamur, nulla
unquam tam felix aut tam bene morata civitas fuit,
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [X4r p327]quae avaritia vacare potuerit: ita & singulis aetati-
bus extiterunt ii, qui nulla alia causa sibi rempu-
blicam attingendam esse iudicarent, qum ut bo-
norum civium si fieri posset dominatum oppri-
merent & delerent. Qui enim aliquem in republi-
ca principatum animo sibi fingunt, qui non modo
soli dominari volunt, sed propemodum soli & esse
& vivere: qui re & dignitate sua esse non putant,
aliquos in civitate degere, qui opibus antecellant,
qui aliorum patrimonia exhauriunt & expilant,
habent cert & impunitatis & virtutis loco cum
iis de cepite dimicare, qui fortunis suis spoliari se
aequo animo ferre non possunt. In quo valde do-
lendum est tantum vim & tumultum in rerum gu
bernaculis valere, ut iustitiae praecepta deleantur.
Sed ex omnibus malis nullum est capitalius qum
esse aliquos, qui eam iuris constituti aequabilita-
tem quae in bonis beneficio retinendis omnino
posita est, ad bonorum perniciem conferre
velint: ut quos privata vi & domesticis insidiis
summovere nequeunt, eos iudicum sententiis &
decretis opprimant. Sed quemadmodum ignavi
fuci, cum in otio vivant, neque mel conficiant,
ipsi tamen, ut inquit ille,
Μελισσάων κάματον τρύχουσιν ἀεργοὶ ἔσθοντες[3]
ita nonnulli sunt qui cum omnen vitae fructum in remis
sione & lenitate ponant, neque quicquam homini me-
lius aut optabilius esse putent, qum iis ipsis oble-
ctamentis animum explere, in quibus vulg vita beata
posita est, id tamen agunt ut eorum qui perpetu in
contentione sunt, cursum & laborem interpellent. Habet
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [X4v p328]ver rationem ut quos in capitis discrimen adduxeris,
eorum bona tibi ex rescripto quasi iure vindices: &
quos reos vel fals vel subiectis testibus annotandos
curaveris, eorum haereditatem ex proscriptione cernas
aut capias. Iam apud Romanos principalibus rescri-
ptis cavebatur, ne ea bona, quae ex quovis commisso
in fiscum delata essent, privati principe inpetrarent,
poena iis qui contra fecissent lege constituta. Sed ta
men quia tantum de prisca severitate virtuteque disces-
sum est, ut etiam reorum bona qui nondum sunt iudicati
& peracti, avarorum hominum cupiditati concedantur,
non est mirum si multi boni viri nefariorum dolo & la-
queis irretiti teneantur. Qui enim ex sententiis iudi-
cum & reorum condemnationibus lucrum facturi sunt, quia
illis in reorum periculo & iactura commissi quaestus
positum est, in eo fer causa constante occupari solent,
ut quos iudicatos facere volunt, & testibus redemptis
& tabulis confictis obruant. Ita fit ut uno calumniae com-
mento & iudicantium religio circumventa, & reorum inno
centia afflicta iaceat & oppressa. Quod fortasse ma-
lum pridem bonorum virorum intercessione fuisset anti
quitatum, si contra vim avaritae praeclarissimis institu-
tis potuisset esse locus. Sed quemadmodum summus
ille pater sapientiae Plato, eam sibi non attingendae reipu-
blicae causam esse dicit, qu homines suos quos
dicendo persuaderi posse diffidebat, cogi fas esse non
arbitraretur: ita neque optimi & fortissimi viri con-
tra res tam perditas & exsulceratas omnino sibi conten
dendum esse putant, neque in propinquo discrimine de
republica referendum: qud opinor res tam prostra
ta & eversa nulla ratione aut consilio attolli queat.

Notes:

1. Better spelt Apelles: the famous painter. Lucian’s description of his Calumny became a locus classicus of ancient art criticism, especially after Alberti drew attention to it in On Painting (1435). Various renaissance artists were moved by Alberti’s enthusiasm to try to reconstruct the picture, most notably Botticelli.

2. Fabis, lit. ‘beans’. It would seem that Coustau has in mind the black balls that were cast into the voting-urn to signify guilt, as is suggested by the following line. The punctuation here and elsewhere is unsatisfactory.

3. Hesiod, Works and Days, 305-6.



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