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In receptatores sicariorum.

Those who harbour cut-throats

XCIIII.

Latronum furumque manus tibi Scaeva[1] per urbem
It comes, & diris cincta cohors gladiis.
Atque ita te mentis generosum prodige censes,
Qud tua complureis allicit olla malos.
En novus Actaeon, qui postqum cornua sumpsit
In praedam canibus se dedit ipse suis.[2]

An evil-minded band of ruffians and thieves accompanies you about the city, a gang of supporters armed with lethal swords. And so, you wastrel, you consider yourself a fine lordly fellow because your cooking pot draws in crowds of scoundrels. - Here’s a fresh Actaeon - he, after he grew his horns, became the prey of his own hunting dogs.

COMMENTARIA.

Actaeon filius Aristei, venationibus pluri-
mum delectabatur, ideoque canes quamplures
domi suae alebat. Cm ver semel post vena-
tionem defatigatus ad fluvium quendam secre-
tum lavandi recreandique gratia sese contulisset,
ibi fortuitu vidit Dianam (venationis deam
castitatis & solitudinis amicam,) nudam se
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [k5v p154] lavantem, quae ob illud indignata statim illum
in cervum transmutavit, cumque domum redi-
re vellet Canibus suis propriis laniatus &
discerptus fuit, ut elegantissim Ovidius lib. 3.
Metamorphoseon. Idemque breviter. lib. 2. de tristibus.

Inscus Actaeon vidit sine veste Dianam:
Praeda suis canibus non minus ille fuit.

Sic etiam nonnulli vel ideo se generosos, li-
berales, & magnanimos putant, qud latro-
nes homicidas, proditores & huius farinae ho
mines fovent, nutriunt, eisque comitibus superb
incedunt: cum hi prodigi potius sint nihilque
aliud qum novum Actaeonem repraesentent.

Notes:

1. Scaeva, ‘evil-minded’. The capital letter suggests that the Latin word could be taken as a proper name in the vocative case, i.e addressing one Scaeva.

2. For the story of Actaeon turned into a stag and killed by his own hounds, see Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.138ff. Similarly, the hangers-on will destroy the one who has fed them.


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IN VITAM HUMANAM.

On human life

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Plus solito humanae nunc defle incomoda vitae
Heraclite, scatet pluribus illa malis.
Tu rursus, si quando alias extolle[1] cachinnum,
Democrite, illa magis ludicra facta fuit.
Interea haec cernens meditor, qua denique tecum.
Fine fleam, aut tecum quomodo splene iocer.[2]

Weep now, Heraclitus, even more than you did, for the ills of human life. It teems with far more woes. And you, Democritus, if ever you laughed before, raise your cackle now. Life has become more of a joke. Meanwhile, seeing all this, I consider just how far I can weep with you, how laugh bitterly with you.

Notes:

1. Corrected from the Errata, and also corrected by hand in this copy.

2. This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.148. For Heraclitus, cf. [A50a016]. For the contrast between the despairing tears of Heraclitus (who withdrew from human society) and the sardonic laughter of Democritus when faced with the folly of men, see, among many sources, e.g. Juvenal, Satires 10, 28ff.


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