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Ex damno alterius, alterius utilitas.

One man’s loss is another man’s gain

EMBLEMA CXXVI.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Ll7v p541]

Dum saevis ruerent in mutua vulnera telis,
Ungue leaena ferox, dente timendus aper;
Accurrit vultur spectatum, & prandia captat.
Gloria victoris, praeda futura sua est.[1]

While a lioness, vicious in claw, and a boar, fearsome for its tusks, were setting upon each other, inflicting mutual wounds with their savage weapons, a vulture hurried up to watch, lurking in expectation of a meal. The victor’s glory will belong to the one that gets the spoil.

Notes:

1.  Cf. Aesop 200 and 203.


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In fraudulentos.

Deceivers

IX.

Parva lacerta, atris stellatus corpora guttis
Stellio,[1] qui latebras, & cava busta colit,
Invidiae parvique doli fert symbola pictus,
Heu nimium nuribus cognita zelotypis.
Nam turpi obtegitur faciem lentigine quisquis.
Sit quibus immersus Stellio, vina bibat.[2]
Hinc vindicta frequens decepta pellice vino.
Quam formae amisso flore relinquit amans.

The little lizard, called the ‘starred’ gecko from the dark star-shaped marks sprinkled all over its body, a creature that lurks in holes and hollow tombs, is pictured here and presents symbols of resentment and wicked deception, known only too well to jealous wives. For anyone who drinks wine in which a spotted gecko has been soaked comes out in ugly spots all over the face. This is often a way of taking revenge - the husband’s fancy woman is tricked with wine, and, when the flower of her beauty is gone, her lover abandons her.

Notes:

1.  stellio, ‘the ‘starred’ gecko’. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 5.461 for the explanation of the name stellio.

2.  Nam turpi...vina bibat, ‘anyone who drinks wine...all over the face’. See Pliny, Natural History, 29.22.73.


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