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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [i5v p138]

Qui alta contemplatur[1]
cadere.

He who contemplates the heights comes to grief

LXXXIII.

Dum turdos visco, pedica dum fallit alaudas,
Et iacta altivolam figit harundo gruem,
Dipsada non prudens auceps pede perculit: ultrix
Illa mali, emissum virus ab ore iacit.
Sic obit extento qui sydera respicit arcu,
Securus fati quod iacet ante pedes.[2]

While he tricks thrushes with bird-lime, larks with snares, while his speeding shaft pierces the high-flying crane, the careless bird-hunter steps on a snake; avenging the injury, it spits the darting venom from its jaws. So he dies, a man who gazes at the stars with bow at the ready, oblivious of the mishap lying before his feet.

COMMENTARIA.

Auceps quidam dum turdis visco & alau-
dis pedica, laqueis quibus pedibus capiuntur
insidiatur, dumque sagitta volantem gruem
transfigere cupit, imprudens pedibus pressit
iacentem in herbis Dipsadam (colubris seu
serpentis genus est morsu suo inextinguibi-
lem sitim adferens: ut Lucanus lib. 9.) quae do-
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [i6r p139]lore irrita ulciscitur, oreque venenoso momor-
dit eum, sic ille parum providus, qui dum ar-
cu extenso insublimi alterum venari vult, pe-
riculum ante pedes non considerans, ipse pe-
rit. Similis extat fabella Aesopica de Aucupe
& Vipera. Fertur huiusmodi ferè de Thalete
Philosopho clarissimo, qui prius Astrologiae
inventor, eiusque peritissimus fuit, cùm nocte
quadam à vetula ut astra contemplaretur ex-
tra domum ductus in foveam incidit, quem
lugentem derisit anus, dicens quomodo ô
Thales quae alto in coelo sunt agnosces, cùm
ea quae ante pedes adsunt considerare ne-
queas? enarrat inter alios Diogenes Laërtius li-
bro 1. de vita Philosophorum.

Notes:

1.  Other editions read contemplantur (plural).

2.  See Anthologia graeca 7.172 and Aesop, Fables 137.


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Section: LA REPUBLICQUE. View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M4v p184]

Salut publicque.[1]

Aisculape[2] est sur les autelz perché,
Soubz ung cruel serpent, doulx Dieu caché:
Malades vont vers luy faire oraison,
Il leur faict signe, & donne guerison.

Aisculape souverain medicin, filz de Apollon inventeur
de Medicine, estimé Dieu de Medicine, Fut par une grande pe-
stilence transporté d’Epidaure (qui est Albanie) à Romme, en
guise d’ung serpent grand, & privé, sans mal faire: à la venue
duquel la Pestilence cessa, & tous malades furent gueriz. Par-
quoy par luy est signifié salut public. Ce que plus tost & mieulx
pourroit estre dict, du serpent d’erain, pendu par Moses au de-
sert, le regard duquel guerissoit ceulx qui estoient morts des
serpens enflamméz, prefigurant Jesuchrist pendu en croix. Le
vray Aisculape des ames.

Notes:

1.  In the 1549 French edition, this emblem has no woodcut.

2.  Aesculapius, son of Phoebus [Apollo] and god of medicine and healing. His main sanctuary and centre of healing was near Epidaurus in Greece. The god’s epiphany and symbol was a snake, and a number of sacred snakes were kept at the sanctuary. One of these was brought to Rome in 293 BC in hopes of stopping an outbreak of plague. The snake made its home on the Island in the Tiber, where a shrine and medical centre was subsequently built. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 15.626ff.


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