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Section: MORS (Death). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[L6r p171]

Opulenti haereditas.

The rich man’s legacy

Patroclum falsis rapiunt hinc TroŽs in armis.
Hinc socii, atque omnis turba Pelasga vetat.
Obtinet exuvias Hector, Graecique cadaver.[1]
Haec fabella agitur, cum vir optimus [=opimus] obit.
Maxima rixa oritur, tandem sed transigit haeres,
Et corvis aliquid, vulturiisque sinit.[2]

On that side the Trojans are carrying off Patroclus in his deceptive armour, on this, his co-fighters and all the Greek host try to stop them. Hector obtains the spoils, the Greeks the body. This story is played out when a rich man dies. A great quarrelling arises, but eventually the heir brings the argument to an end and leaves something for crows and vultures.

Notes:

1.For the death of Patroclus, see Homer, Iliad, 16.784ff. He borrowed Achilles’ armour to fight the Trojans when Achilles refused, and was killed by Hector, who took the armour.

2.‘Vulture’ was a term used to refer to people who hang round rich persons, hoping for a legacy See Erasmus, Adagia, 614 (Si vultur es, cadaver exspecta).


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

AMITIE.

Amitie durante, voire apres la mort.[1]

Une Olme seiche, & sans fueille,[2] embrassa
La belle vigne, & sa verdeur dressa.
Recoignoissant naturel benefice,
Rendit le droict de mutuel office.
Donnant exemple, amys telz comparer,
Que mort aussi ne puisse separer.

La vraye amitiť est de l’esperit, non du corps, l’esperit
est immortel: parquoy elle est immortelle, faisant fai
re debvoir d’amy, non seullement en la vie: mais aussi
apres la mort. Comme feit Alexandre ŗ Hephestion.

Notes:

1.See Erasmus’ famous variations on this theme in De copia (CWE 24. pp. 354-64).

2.In ancient Italy young vines were often supported by elm trees. See Vergil, Georgics 1.2.


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