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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [k1v p146]

Dulcia quandoque amara
fieri.

Sweetness turns at times to bitterness

LXXXIX.

Matre procul licta paulùm secesserat infans
Lydius[1], hunc dirae sed rapuistis apes.
Venerat hic ad vos placidas ratus esse volucres,
Cùm nec ita immitis vipera saeva foret.
Quae datis ah dulci stimulos pro munere mellis,
Proh dolor, heu sine te gratia nulla datur.[2]

A Lydian babe had strayed some way off, leaving his mother at a distance, but you made away with him, you dreadful bees. He had come to you, thinking you harmless winged creatures, yet a merciless viper would not be as savage as you. Instead of the sweet gift of honey, ah me, you give stings. Ah pain, without you, alas, no delight is granted.

COMMENTARIA.

Lydius infans, id est, Amor Cupido in Ly-
dia
natus (Lydos autem mortalium omnium
mollissimus & effoeminatissimos fuisse, refert
Leonicus, ex Clearcho lib. 3. cap. 95. de varia
historia) Cùm paulò longius à Venere Matre
eius secessisset, ad apes venit, quae, dum mella
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [k2r p147] colligere vult, illum gravissimis ictibus inva-
dunt, ipseque fugiens pro dulci melle amaros
stimulos ad matrem revertens attulit. Doce-
mur vix unquam iucundi aliquid, absque dolo-
re sive molestia aliqua contingere, hinc vul-
go adagio dicitur, Ne quaere mollia ne dura
feras. apud Erasmum.

Notes:

1.  This is based on Anthologia graeca 9.548 , where a baby, called Hermonax, is stung to death. See also Anthologia graeca 9.302 for another epigram treating the same incident.


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Flatteurs.

LXXXVIII.

Chameleon soufflant sans cesse,
Vivant d’air,[1] n’a fixes couleurs.
Ores bleu, verd, ou jaunes, & laisse
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H8v p128] Rouge & blanc, couleurs de valeurs.[2]
Flatteurs de Prince ont tels malheurs,
Mangeans peuple en ville & cité:
Des moeurs du Prince grands parleurs:
Fors de blancheur & purité.

commentaires.

Le chameleon est frequent aux Indes, tousjours
beant, & à gorge ouverte humant l’air, qui est sa seu-
le vie & nourriture. Il se change en diver-
ses couleurs, excepté en rouge & blanc. Ainsi le flat-
teur ne se nourrit & sustante que des nouvelles de la
populace, ouvrant la gueule pour tout devorer. Il imi-
te volontiers les noires & perverses moeurs de son
superieur: mais des blanches & des rouges il n’en a
cure ny souci: c’est à dire de celles qui sont pures &
honnestes, & sans aucune tare.

Notes:

1.  This creature was supposed to feed only on air, keeping its mouth wide open to suck it in. See Pliny, Natural History 8.51.122. For the chameleon cf. Erasmus, Parabolae pp.144, 241, 252.

2.  ‘except for red and white’. See Pliny, ib.


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