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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N1v p194]

Ferè simile ex Theocrito.[1]

Something more or less the same from Theocritus

XC.

Alveolis dum mella legit, percussit Amorem
Furacem mala apes, & summis spicula liquit
In digitis: tumido gemit at puer anxius ungue,
Et quatit errabundus humum, Venerique dolorem
Indicat, & graviter queritur, quòd apicula parvum
Ipsa inferre animal tam noxia vulnera possit.
Cui ridens Venus, hanc imitaris tu quoque dixit
Nate feram, qui das tot noxia vulnera parvus.

While he was taking honey from the hives, a vicious bee stung thieving Amor, and left its sting in the end of his finger. The boy in distress cried out as his finger-end swelled up. He ran about, stamping his foot, showed his hurt to Venus, and complained bitterly that a little bee, that tiny creature, could inflict such grievous wounds. Venus smiled at him and said, “You are like this creature, my son; small as you are you deal many a grievous wound”.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N2r p195]

Presque semblable au precedent,
compris de Theocrite.

XC.

Cupido chast du miel desrobe,
La mouche a miel sur ce le pique.
Il va puis, il vient, puis ne hobe,
Frappant du pied en fantastique:
Ha, dit il, ma mere impudicque,
Je meurs sans que eusse sceu penser,
Que si peu de corps mellificque,
Eust peu tant asprement blesser.
Aultrement.
Cupido yvrognet & chast,
Roba du miel pour sa pasture:
Mais pas n’advient qu’il y touchast,
Sans soudain recepvoir poincture:
Venus le ot crier d’aventure,
Lors dit, regarde doncq’ foireux,
Si telle petite creature
Te ard, que fais tu aux amoureux.[2]

Notes:

1.  3rd-century BC bucolic poet, who may or may not have wrriten the Idylls (19, The Honey Stealer), of which this is a fairly close translation, in dactylic hexameters, as in the Greek original.

2.  These French verses were introduced in the 1539 edition.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O2r p211]

Ex pace ubertas.

Prosperity as the result of peace

EMBLEMA CLXXVIII.

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.

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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