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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E5v f37v]

Aemulatio impar.

Competing on unequal terms

Altivolam miluus comitatur degener harpam, [1]
Et praedae partem saepe cadentis habet.
Mullum prosequitur qui spretas sargus ab illo, [2]
Praeteritasque avidus devorat ore dapes.
Sic mecum Oenocrates agit: at deserta studentum
Utitur hoc lippo curia tanquam oculo.[3]

An ignoble kite accompanies the soaring hawk and often gets a piece of the prey as it falls. The sargus follows the mudfish and greedily devours the food that it scorns and passes by. Oenocrates behaves like this with me - but the lecture-hall I’ve abandoned treats him like a runny eye.

Notes:

1.  For the association of the kite and the hawk see Aristotle, Historia animalium, 9.1.609.

2.  For the sargus’s habit of following the lutarius (the mudfish) and eating the food it disturbs as it burrows in the mud, see Pliny, Natural History, 9.30.65; Erasmus, Parabolae, p. 253.

3.  lippo...tamquam oculo, ‘like a runny eye’, a proverbial expression. See Erasmus, Adagia, 4100 (Lippo oculo similis): a runny eye is something you would prefer to be rid of, but while you have it you cannot leave it alone; similarly there are people you do not like, but you find yourself obliged to make use of them.


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  • animal with prey «« KEY (452) TO 25F animals [25F(+452)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • bony fishes (+ dying animal; death of animal; dead animal) [25F62(+63)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • bony fishes (with NAME) (+ animal with prey) [25F62(BREAM)(+452)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • bony fishes: mullet (+ animal with prey) [25F62(MULLET)(+452)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • wine-testing, wine-grading [47I4251] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Imparity, Inequality (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51BB3(+4):54EE33(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Sponging, Parasitizing (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57AA6122(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • historical person (with NAME) other representations to which the NAME of a historical person may be attached (with NAME of person) [61B2(ALCIATUS, Andreas)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • historical person (with NAME) other representations to which the NAME of a historical person may be attached (with NAME of person) [61B2(OENOCRATES)3] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F6v p92]

Cacquet.

Apostrophe.

Pourquoy romps tu mon repos Hirondelle
Par ton babil?[1] digne d’estre hupe telle
Que fut Tereus, Quand par glaive trencher
Voulut ta langue: & non pas l’arracher.[2]

Comme Progné ayant par Tereus son vio-
lateur la langue couppée, fut muée en une
Hirondelle jaseresse. Ainsi ceulx qui savent &
peuvent moins bien parler, sont les plus ba-
billars, fachans les aultres de leur cacquet.

Notes:

1.  ‘disturb my...slumbers with your chattering’. See Aelian, De natura animalium, 9.17: ‘the swallow, an uninvited guest, saddening the dawn with her chattering and interrupting the sweetest part of our slumbers.’

2.  Procne and Philomela were daughters of Pandion, king of Athens. Tereus, king of Daulis (town in Phocis) married Procne and had a son (Itys) by her. He raped her sister Philomela and cut out her tongue to prevent her telling of his misdeeds. She managed however to send a message to her sister Procne (through weaving it into a tapestry), who took her revenge by cooking Itys and serving him up as a meal to his father. When Tereus pursued them with a sword, Philomela was turned into a swallow, Procne into a nightingale and Tereus into a hoopoe. In Latin writers the names are often reversed, with Procne becoming a swallow (as here), Philomela a nightingale. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 6.424ff, especially 555-7.


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