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Section: PRUDENTIA (Wisdom). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B5r p25]

Prudens, magis quàm
loquax.

Wise head, close mouth.

Noctua Cecropiis[1] insignia praestat Athenis,
Inter aves sani Noctua consilii.
Armiferae meritò obsequiis sacrata Minervae est,
Garrula quo cornix cesserat antè loco.[2]

The owl provides the symbol for Athens, Cecrops’ city, for among the birds the owl is known for wise counsel. Deservedly was it dedicated to the service of weapon-bearing Minerva, in the place vacated by the chattering crow.

Notes:

1.  Cecrops was a legendary wise early king of Athens, a city renowned as a place of learning. See above, Emblem 5 ([A51a005]), line 7.

2.  garrula quo cornix cesserat, ‘vacated by the chattering crow’. The crow was dismissed from Athena’s service for telling tales, and was replaced by the owl. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 2.562-5. This story is represented in Aneau, ‘Periculum in terra, periculum in mari’ ([FANa029]).


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L8v p176]

Contre ceux qui forlignent.

XI.

Ayant bien commencé quand finis meschamment,
Gastant mal à propos si bon commencement,
Comme la chevre fais, qui du pied a perdu
Et versé tout le laict qu’elle avait bien rendu.[1]

Commentaires.

Ce n’est pas tout de bien commencer, si on ne con-
tinue la mesme piste jusqu’au dernier souspir de sa
vie. Ce qu’Ezechiel nous apprend au 18 chapitre
de sa prophetie, & que nous voyons aussi en infinis
exemples, tant és escrits profanes, que sacrés, & no-
tamment en ce qui est dit de Cresus & de Solon, qui
ne jugeoit point qu’un homme se peust dire heureux,
sinon lors de sa mort. Ceux qui ayans bien commencé
finissent mal, sont beaucoup plus à blasmer, que ceux
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M1r p177] qui toute leur vie ont mal vescu. Ce qui est dit de la
chevre, ne se void que trop souvent par ceux qui gou-
vernent tels animaux.

Notes:

1.  See Erasmus, Adagia, 920 (Capra Syria), where the goat - of Syros, in the Aegean - is wild.


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