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IUSTA VINDICTA.

Just recompense

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B8r]

Dum resydet Cyclops sinuosi in faucibus antri,
Haec secum teneras concinit inter oves.
Pascite vos herbas, sociis ego pascar Achivis,
Postremumque Utin viscera nostra ferent.
Audiit haec Ithacus Cyclopaque lumine cassum
Reddidit, en poenas ut suus author habet[1]. [2]

Sitting in the mouth of his arching cave, the Cyclops sang thus to himself amidst his gentle sheep: Do you feed on grass; I shall feed on the Greek companions, and last of all my belly shall get No-man. The man from Ithaca heard this and made the Cyclops eyeless. See how the one who plotted misfortune collects it himself!

Notes:

1.  A proverbial sentiment: cf. Erasmus, Adagia 3091, Di tibi dent tuam mentem.

2.  For the story of Ulysses (the man from Ithaca) in the Cyclops’ cave and his escape by blinding the Cyclops, see Homer, Odyssey 9.177 ff. Ulysses had told the Cyclops his name was No-man. (Utis l. 4).


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Louer ce qui n’est à louër.

XXXVI.

Les Elephans que sceut bailler
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D3v p54] Antioque en champ conflictoire,[1]
Tant ardamment vont batailler,
Que sur Galates eut victoire.
Lors telle beste pour memoire
Il peind, honteux que peu honneste
Sa victoire est par telle beste:
Mais joyeux d’en avoir la gloire.

commentaires.

Antioque, Roy de Syrie, faisant dessein de sur-
monter les Galates, assembla une grande armee, &
bon nombre d’Elephans. Les Galates, ayans d’abor-
dee veu leurs ennemis, qui n’estoyent qu’à demi ar-
més, ne doutans point de leur victoire, choquerent fu-
rieusement les gents d’Antioque, qui estoyent prests d’e-
stre desfaicts a plate cousture, s’il ne se fust advisé de
faire marcher les elephans: lesquels espouvanterent
de telle façon les chevaux des Galates, qu’ils en prin-
drent la fuite, & furent entierement vaincus. Or
comme, selon la coustume, Antioque vouloit dresser
un trophee, pour marques de sa victoire, il fit peindre
un elephant, baillant plustost l’honneur de la victoire
à ces bestes, que de le prendre pour soy (La premiere
fois que l’Italie vid des elephans, ce fut a la guerre
de Pyrrhus, Roy des Epirotes.) Comme les soldats
d’Antioque se glorifioyent, à cause de la victoire: le
Roy leur dit, Nous estions perdus, si les elephans, be-
stes sales & lourdes, ne nous eussent delivrés. D’au-
tant donc que je me resjoui pour avoir eu la victoire,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D4r p55] autant ay je de vergongne & de honte, pour l’avoir
eu par le moyen que je l’ay eu. Les Galates sont un
peuple d’Asie la mineur. Celle region s’appelloit au-
tresfois Gallograecia, & estoit une colonne des ancien
Gaulois. C’est a eux que S. Paul a escrit une epistre.

Notes:

1.  For this incident, see Lucian, Zeuxis sive Antiochus 8-11. In 276 BC Antiochus I won against fearful odds by directing his sixteen elephants against the Galatian horsemen and scythed chariots. Not only did the horses turn in panic and cause chaos among their own infantry, but the elephants came on behind, tossing, goring and trampling. Although he had won an overwhelming victory, Antiochus did not consider it a matter for congratulation.


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