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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M5v p186]

Captivus ob gulam.

Caught by greed

Regnator penus, & mensae corrosor[1] herilis
Ostrea mus summis vidit hiulca labris.
Queis teneram apponens barbam falsa ossa momordit,
Illa recluserunt[2] tacta repentč domum.
Deprensum & tetro tenuerunt carcere furem,
Semet in obscurum qui dederat tumulum.[3]

A mouse, king of the pantry, nibbler at the master’s table, saw oysters with their shells just slightly open. Applying his sensitive whiskers, he nibbled the deceptive bone. The oysters, when touched, suddenly slammed shut their house and held the thief, caught red-handed, in a noisome prison, a thief who had put himself into a lightless tomb.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M6r p187]

Prins pour la gueule.

Une huitre en son escaille estant,
Entreouverte (comme il advient)
Fut ung jour la souris sentant,
Qui pour sa chair ronger survient.
Lors de sestraindre luy souvient.
La souris est au groing surprise.
Tel chastoy aux gloutons convient,
Qui tousjours font chatte entreprise.

Notes:

1.  Textual variant: Regnatorque penus, mensaeque arrosor.

2.  Textual variant: Ast ea clauserunt.

3.  This poem is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.86.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M4v p184]

AEre quandoque salutem redimendam.

Sometimes money must be spent to purchase safety

Et pedibus segnis, tumida & propendulus alvo,
Hac tamen insidias effugit arte fiber.
Mordicus ipse sibi medicata virilia vellit,
Atque abiicit, sese gnarus ob illa peti.
Huius ab exemplo disces non parcere rebus.
Et vitam ut redimas, hostibus aera dare.[1]

Though slow of foot and with swollen belly hanging down, the beaver nonetheless escapes the ambush by this trick: it tears off with its teeth its testicles, which are full of a medicinal substance, and throws them aside, knowing that it is hunted for their sake. - From this creature’s example you will learn not to spare material things, and to give money to the enemy to buy your life.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M5r p185]

Le salut se doibt acheter.

Le Byevre qui Castor sappelle,
Des veneurs, & des chiens presse,
Aux dens ses genitaulx expelle:
Car pour aultre bien nest chasse.
Ce mal rend plusgrand mal passe.
Sur quoy le prudent peult entendre,
Quil fault quicter bien amasse,
Premier que grand peril attendre.

Notes:

1.  This is based on Aesop, Fables 153, where the same moral is drawn. For the information about the beaver, see Pliny, Natural History 8.47.109; Isidore, Etymologiae (Origines) 12.2.21.


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