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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D1v p50]

In eos quos [=qui] [1] supra vires quicquam audent.

Those who venture on what is beyond their powers

Dum dormit, dulci recreat dum corpora somno
Sub picea, & clavam caeteraque arma tenet,
Alcidem pygmaea manus[2] prosternere laetho
Posse putat, vires non bene docta suas.
Excitus ipse, velut publices[3], sic proterit hostem,
Et saevi implicitum pelle leonis[4] 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.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D2r p51]

Contre ceulx qui osent par dessus
leurs forces.

Les Nains se vont ung jour trouver,
La ou Hercules prenoit somme:
Bien luy cuydans les yeulx crever,
Pource quil ne sembloit fort homme:
Lors sesveille, & voyant la somme,
De telz gens, a coup sen revenche,
Faisant deulx ainsi que de pommes,
Car il les mist tous en sa manche.

Notes:

1.  Corrected from other editions.

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

3.  Corrected from other editions.

4.  ‘the fierce lion’s skin’, the skin of the Nemean lion which Hercules always wore after slaying the beast ([A50a137], [A39a093]).


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C8v p48]

Ex pace ubertas.

Prosperity as the result of peace

Grandibus ex spicis tenues contexe corollas,
Quas circum alterno palmite vitis eat.
His comptae Alcyones[1] tranquilli in marmoris unda
Nidificant, pullos involucresque fovent.
Laetus erit Cereri, Baccho quoque[2] fertilis annus.
Aequorei si rex alitis instar[3] erit.

From fat ears of corn weave supple garlands, and let the vine encircle them with alternating stems. Decked out with these the halcyon birds build their nests on the wave of the glassy sea, and cherish their unfledged chicks. - The year will be rich for Ceres and fertile for Bacchus too, if the king is the image of the bird of the sea.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D1r p49]

De Paix abundance.

Sur roc en mer vray lieu de paix,
Voys Alcyone o ses petiz,
Son nid despicz & vigne espais,
La vivant a ses appetitz:
Ce te monstre les bien gentilz,
Quon a, quand lon veult paix poursuyvre.
En bledz & vins sont lieux fertilz,
Ou le roy scait tel oyseau suyvre.

Notes:

1.  ‘halcyon birds’. For these see Aelian, De natura animalium 1.36; 9.17; Pliny, Natural History. 10.47.89-91; and for the legend of their transformation, Ovid, Metamorphoses 11, 410ff, esp. 728ff. Halcyons were supposed to build a nest and launch it on the sea at a time of calm peaceful weather provided for them about the time of the winter solstice. See Erasmus, Adagia 1552, Halcedonia sunt apud forum.

2.  ‘for Ceres...and for Bacchus too’, i.e. rich with crops of corn and wine.

3.  ‘is the image of the bird of the sea’, i.e. diffusing peace, love and concord. Before their metamorphosis into seabirds, Alcyone and her husband were a deeply loving royal couple ruling a peaceful country. This love persisted after the change, symbolised by the calm weather associated with their nesting.


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