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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E5v]

REMEDIA IN ARDUO MALA.
in prono esse.

Remedies are hard, damage is easy

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E6r]

Aetheriis postquam deiecit sedibus Aten,
Iupiter[1] heu vexat quàm mala noxa viros.
Evolat haec pedibus celer & pernicibus alis,
Intactumque nihil casibus esse sinit.
Ergo litae proles Iovis hanc comitantur euntem,[2]
Sarcturae quicquid fecerit illa mali.
Sed quia segnipedes strabae[3] lassaeque senecta,
Nil nisi post longo tempore restituunt.[4]

Once Jupiter had cast Ate down from the heavenly abode, what an evil bane thereafter assailed poor man! Ate flies out fleet of foot with fast-beating wing and leaves nothing untouched by mishap. So Jove’s daughters, the Litae, accompany her as she goes, to mend whatever ill she has brought about. But they are slow-footed, poor of sight and weary with age, and so they restore nothing until later, after long passage of time.

Notes:

1.  ‘Jupiter had cast Ate down’. See Homer, Iliad 19. 125ff.

2.  ‘the Litae accompany her’. See Homer, Iliad 9.502ff. Ate means ‘Mischief’, Litae, ‘Prayers’. Ate was cast out of Olympus to bring harm to mankind, a personification of humans being led astray. The Litae were a personification of prayers offered in repentance.

3.  Textual variant: luscae.

4.  The woodcut is puzzling. Possibly the monster is supposed to represent Ate; in later editions she appears as a harpy-like figure. The Litae feature, in later editions, as old women. The old man presumably represents the suffering of mankind.


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  • walking - AA - female human figure [31AA2711] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Slow Motion (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51MM1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Viciousness, Naughtiness (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57AA6(+4):54D4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Revenge, Requital, Retaliation; 'Vendetta' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57AA741(+4):54DD4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Jupiter seizes Ate by her hair and hurls her down from Olympus, possibly because of the delayed birth of Hercules (+ variant) [92B143(+0)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • other lesser deities of Heaven ~ destiny, fate, adversity: Litae [92G7(LITAE)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Single Emblem View

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Z7v f247v]

Facundia difficilis.

Eloquence is hard

Emblema clxxxi.

Antidotum Aeaeae medicata in pocula Circes
Mercurium hoc Ithaco fama dedisse fuit.[1]
Moly vocant, id vix radice evellitur atra,
Purpureus sed flos, lactis & instar habet.
Eloquii candor facundiaque allicit omnes:
Sed multi res est tanta laboris opus.

According to the story, Mercury gave to the man from Ithaca this antidote to the poisoned cup of Aeaean Circe. They call it moly. It is hard to pull up by its black root. The plant is dark, but its flower is white as milk. The brilliance of eloquence and readiness of speech attracts all men, but this mighty thing is a work of much labour.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Z8r f248r]

HOmerus Odysseae κ. Moly herbam à Mercurio U-
lyssi
datam ait tanquam amuletum adversus, o-
mnia veneficia: herbam nigrae radicis, floris lactei,
difficillimam inventu. Ea notat eloquentiam primò
quidem abstrusam & difficilem, deinde multò la-
bore & diligentia partam iucundissimos afferre fru-
ctus, id est, sui amore omnes allicere, sed ei perpau-
cos operam dare propter laborum certè maximo-
rum difficultatem.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Z8v f248v]

L’eloquence est difficile.

ON dit que Moly est herbe bien propice
Encontre tous[2] poisons de Circé, à Ulysse
Que Mercure enseigna, qu’on n’a qu’à grand labeur,
La racine en est noire, & blanche en est la fleur:
Ou est comme de pourpre, ainsi que lon veut dire.
La candeur d’eloquence & façon lon admire,
Tous s’en sentent esprins attirez par l’honneur,
Mais maints en sont distraicts à cause du labeur.

HOmere au 10. de l’Iliade, dit que Mer-
cure
donna à Ulysses de l’herbe, nom-
mee moly, comme un preservatif à l’en-
contre de tous enchantemens. c’est une her-
be qui ha la racine noire, une fleur blanche,
& qui est fort difficile à trouver. Par icelle
est entendue l’eloquence, qui du commen-
cement est fort cachee & difficile: mais
apres avoir prins peine & employé tou-
te diligence, elle rapporte du fruit fort
agreable, c’est qu’elle attire tous & un cha-
cun à soy: mais peu sont qui y veullent pren-
dre peine, à raison qu’il y a du travail beau-
coup.

Notes:

1.  See Homer, Odyssey, 10.270ff. for the story of the encounter of Ulysses (the man from Ithaca) and his crew with the sorceress Circe on the island of Aeaea. The plant moly is described ibid, 302-6. See Emblem 76 ([FALc076]), for the effect of Circe’s poisoned cup. Cf. Erasmus, De Copia (Loeb edition, 1.91 D), where moly is interpreted as wisdom rather than eloquence. Cf. Coustau, ‘In herbam Moly, ex Homero’ ([FCPb073]).

2.  Corrected from the Errata.


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