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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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Section: PRUDENTIA (Wisdom). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [B4r p23]

Πῆ παρέβην? τί δὲ ερξέα [=ἔρεξα] ? τί μοι δέον, οὐκ
ἐτελέσθῆ?
Quid excessi? quid
admisi? quid omisi?

Where have I transgressed? What have I committed? What thing incumbent on me has been left undone?

Italicae Samius sectae celeberrimus autor[1]
Ipse suum clausit carmine dogma brevi.
Qu praetergressus? quid agis? quid omittis agendum?[2]
Hanc rationem urgens reddere quenque sibi.
Quod didicisse gruum volitantum ex agmine fertur,
Arreptum gestant quae pedibus lapidem,[3]
Ne cessent, neu transversas mala flamina raptent.
Qua ratione hominum vita regenda fuit.

The famous Samian founder of the Italian sect himself put his essential teaching into a short verse: Where have you overstepped the mark? What are you doing? What are you leaving undone that ought to be done? - urging each man to make this reckoning in his own mind. He is said to have learnt this from a skein of flying cranes, which seize a stone and carry it in their claws, to prevent themselves from making no headway, and to stop adverse gusts of wind carrying them off course. Man’s life was ever to be lived on this principle.

Notes:

1. Italicae Samius sectae...autor, ‘Samian founder of the Italian sect’, i.e. Pythagoras. Born in Samos, he emigrated in 531 BC to Croton in South Italy, where he founded a religious/philosophical sect.

2. This is a version of the Greek text in the motto, which is recorded in Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Philosophers, 8.20.

3. Cranes wisely carrying stones as ballast are likened to men of foresight in Suidas (i.e, the Suda), s.v. geranos. Other reasons were suggested by ancient writers for this habit.


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