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IN PARASITOS.

Professional spongers

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Quos tibi donamus fluviales accipe cancros,
Munera conveniunt moribus ista tuis.
His oculi vigiles, & forfice plurimus ordo
Chelarum armatus, maximaque alvus adest.
Sic tibi propensus stat pingui abdomine venter,
Pernicesque pedes, spiculaque apta pedi,
Cum vagus in triviis, mensaeque sedilibus erras,
Inque alios mordax scommata salsa iacis.[1]

Receive these river crabs which we present to you. These gifts match your character. They have watchful eyes, and a great row of claws armed with a pincer, and a huge gut is there. You too have a protruding belly with fat paunch, scuttling feet and sharp weapons on them, as you hang about the crossroads or move among the seats at table, and maliciously shoot your stinging, witty jibes.

Notes:

1. Variant reading, scommata falsa, ‘libellous witticisms’


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Un ne peut rien: Deux peuvent beaucoup.

Zenal tailla double image,[1] qui semble
Diomedes, & Ulysses ensemble.[2]
L’Un vault en force, & l’autre en bon conseil.
L’un ne peut rien, sans l’autre son pareil.
Quand ilz sont joinctz: victoire est seure, en somme.
Car ou l’esprit, ou la main fault l’homme.

Force de corps ha besoing de conduycte d’esprit,
Et le bon esprit ha besoin de puissance, & adresse
de corps, pour executer grandes choses.

Notes:

1. Two unidentified busts signed by Zenas are in the Capitoline Museum in Rome. Two sculptors of the second, or third century AD, possibly father and son, are known by this name.

2. Odysseus and Diomedes collaborated in a successful night raid raid into Troy, for which see Homer, Iliad 10.218ff. See further Erasmus, Adagia 2051, ‘Duobus pariter euntibus’. (This title translates Iliad 10.224, a line which appears in Greek in the woodcut)


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