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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [B1v]

IN EOS QUI supra vires quicquam audent.

Those who venture on what is beyond their powers

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [B2r]

Dum dormit, dulci recreat dum corpora somno,
Sub picea & clavam caeteraque arma tenet.
Alciden pygmaea manus[1] prosternere laetho,
Posse putat, vires non bene docta suas.
Excitus ipse velut pulices, sic poterit [=proterit] hostem,
Et saevi implicitum pelle leonis[2] agit.

While Alceus’ descendant was sleeping, while he was refreshing his body with gentle slumber, beneath a spruce tree, keeping hold of his club and other weapons, a band of pygmies thought they could lay him low in death, not really grasping the limit of their powers. But he, waking up, crushed the foe like fleas, and carried them off, wrapped up in the fierce lion’s skin.

Notes:

1. Hercules’ confrontation with the pygmies is described by Philostratus, Eikones 2.22.

2. ‘the fierce lion’s skin’, the skin of the Nemean lion which Hercules always wore after slaying the beast ([A50a137], [A34a092]).


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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [B8v p32]

In avaros, vel quibus melior conditio
ab extraneis offertur.[1]

On the avaricious; or being treated better by strangers.

Delphini insidens vada caerula sulcat Arion[2],
Hocque aures mulcet, fraenat & ora sono.
Qum sit avari hominis, non tam mens dira ferarum est,
Quique viris rapimur, piscibus eripimur.

Astride a dolphin, Arion cleaves the dark blue waves, and with this song charms the creature’s ears and muzzles its mouth: “The mind of wild beasts is not so savage as that of greedy man. We who are savaged by men are saved by fish”.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [C1r p33]

De ceulx qui ont bon heur
par estrangiers.

Lon gectoit Arion en mer,
Qui tenant sa Harpe, supplie
Quil joue, avant que en eaue pasmer:
Il chet sa chanson accomplye.
Mais leaue de poissons remplye,
Preste ung Daulphin, qui le supporte:
Ainsi la beste ayde desplye,
Contre le mal que lhomme apporte.

Notes:

1. The first Wechel edition in 1534 had a different woodcut.

2. The crew of the ship on which the celebrated musician Arion was travelling, after robbing him, prepared to throw him overboard. He persuaded them to allow him to play his lyre for the last time. Then, after invoking the gods, he jumped into the sea, whereupon a music-loving dolphin conveyed him to land. See Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 16.19.


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