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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O2v p212]

In vitam humanam.

On human life

XCVI.

Plus solito humanae nunc defle incommoda vitae,
Heraclite, scatet pluribus illa malis.
Tu rursus, si quando aliās, extolle cachinnum
Democrite, illa magis ludicra facta fuit.
Intereā haec cernens meditor, qua denique tecum
Fine fleam, aut tecum quomodō splene iocer.[1]

Weep now, Heraclitus, even more than you did, for the ills of human life. It teems with far more woes. And you, Democritus, if ever you laughed before, raise your cackle now. Life has become more of a joke. Meanwhile, seeing all this, I consider just how far I can weep with you, how laugh bitterly with you.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O3r p213]

Das wesen diser welt.

XCVI.

O Heraclite, mehr dan nye
Bewayn yetz die menschlichen sach,
In den so vil truebsal und mhye:
Democrite du spott und lach
Der narrheyt, so yetz ist zwifach
Bey allen stenden in gemayn:
Die weyl wil ich im sinnen nach,
Ob ich mit ewch lach, oder wayn.

Notes:

1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.148. For Heraclitus, cf. [A50a016]. For the contrast between the despairing tears of Heraclitus (who withdrew from human society) and the sardonic laughter of Democritus when faced with the folly of men, see, among many sources, e.g. Juvenal, Satires 10, 28ff.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [V7r f159r]

DOLUS IN SUOS.[1]

Treachery against one’s own kind.

Emblema. 50.

Altilis allectator anas, & caerula pennis,
Assueta ad dominos ire redire suos.
Congeneres cernens volitare per aera turmas,
Garrit, in illarum se recipitque gregem,
Praetensa incautas donec sub retia ducat:
Obstrepitant captae, conscia at ipsa silet.
Perfida cognato se sanguine polluit ales,
Officiosa aliis, exitiosa suis.[2]

The well-fed decoy duck with its green-blue wings is trained to go out and return to its masters. When it sees squadrons of its relations flying through the air, it quacks and joins itself to the flock, until it can draw them, off their guard, into the outspread nets. When caught they raise a protesting clamour, but she, knowing what she has done, keeps silence. The treacherous bird defiles itself with related blood, servile to others, deadly to its own kind.

Notes:

1.  For this emblem the picturae for Emblems 47 and 50 have been printed one on top of the other. The Iconclass description has been done on the basis of the 1550 edition from which the engravings appear to be derived.

2.  Cf. Aesop, Fables, 282, where the decoy birds are pigeons.


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