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Section: IUSTITIA (Justice). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C4r p39]

Bonis à divitibus, nihil
timendum.

The good have nothing to fear from the rich.

Iunctus contiguo Marius mihi pariete, nec non
Subbardus[1], nostri nomina nota fori,[2]
Aedificant bene nummati, sataguntque vel ultrò
Obstruere heu nostris undique luminibus.
Me miserum, geminae quem tanquam Phinea raptant
Harpyiae,[3] ut propriis sedibus eiiciant.
Integritas nostra, atque animus quaesitor honesti,[4]
His nisi sint Zetes, his nisi sint Calais.

Marius is joined to me by a connecting wall, and so is Subbardus, names well-known in our little community. Having plenty of cash, they are building, and what’s more, busily doing their best, without any provocation on my part, to block my windows, alas, on every side. What a plight I am in - I am like Phineus, attacked by two Harpies, trying to throw me out of my own home, unless my integrity, my mind that is a seeker of the right, act as my Zetes and my Calais against them.

Notes:

1.  Marius, the typical self-made man (referring to humble origins of Gaius Marius, the consul and general). Subbardus, possibly ‘Mr. Thick’.

2.  nostri...fori, ‘in our little community’, probably a reference to the forum in any Roman town as a centre of commercial and legal activities. So these are businessmen or lawyers, possibly the second, as they are acting illegally on several counts.

3.  The Harpies, symbols of injustice, were carrying off or soiling Phineus’ food so that he could not eat. He was delivered by Zetes and Calais, the winged sons of the North Wind and Oreithyia. See e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses 6.711-7.4.

4.  Integritas...quaesitor. These words (‘integrity’, ‘seeker’) are probably a punning reference to supposed etymologies of Calais and Zetes as if derived from Greek καλός ‘beautiful, good’ and ζητειν ‘to seek’. For the sentiment of lines 7 - 8, cf. Horace, Odes 1.22.1-2: he whose life is blameless and who knows no sin has no need of Moorish weapons.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q1v p242]

Jamais ne faut dilayer.

LXXXVI.

D’Alciat la famille en son noble escu porte
Alcé,[1] lequelle dit qu’il ne faut differer:
Alcé, qu’on ne sçauroit bonnement asseurer
Si sa legereté ou sa force est plus forte.
Alexandre le Grand, enquis comme il avoit
Tant de regnes conquis, dit qu’il ne differoit
Jamais:[2] ains ce qu’un coup il avoit arresté
Estoit aussi soudain par luy executé.[3]

Commentaires.

Alciat propose icy les armoiries de sa famille, d’où
il semble qu’ils ayent pris leur nom, remarquant ta-
citement leur valeur & diligence. Alcé, beste sau-
vage, est fort comme un cheval, & viste comme un
cerf, fort semblable à une jument, si la grandeur du
col & des aureilles ny mettoit difference. Alciat il-
lustre son embleme par l’apophthegme d’Alexan-
dre
. La promptitude & diligence est une des prin-
cipales vertus d’un grand Capitaine. Alexandre
ayant fait treize stades d’arrachepied, avant que
laisser reposer son armee, bailla bataille à ses ennemis,
& les vainquit. La force & la promptitude doyvent
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q2r p243] estre ensemble en la guerre. Que si l’une manque, on
ne fait rien qui vaille.

Notes:

1.  An elk, representing the family name, is carved on Alciato’s tomb in Pavia.

2.  See Erasmus, Adagia, 3400 (Nunc tuum ferrum in igne est, ‘Strike while the iron is hot’), where Alexander’s saying is quoted.

3.  Alce, ‘Elk’. The Greek word ἀλκή means not only ‘elk’ but ‘strength’. The animal ‘elk’ was famed for its speed: see Pliny, Natural History, 8.16.39.


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