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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n1r p193]

Male parta male dila-
buntur.[1]

Ill gotten, ill spent

XIII.

Miluus edax,[2] nimiae quem nausea torserat escae,
Hei mihi mater ait viscera ab ore fluunt.
Illa autem, quid fles? cur haec tua viscera credas,
Qui rapto vivens sola aliena vomis?

A voracious kite, which had eaten too much, was racked with vomiting. ‘O dear, mother’, it said, ‘entrails are pouring out of my mouth.’ She however replied: ‘What are you crying about? Why do you think these are your entrails? You live by plunder and vomit only what belongs to others.’

Notes:

1.  The title is proverbial. See Cicero, Philippics, 2.65.

2.  ‘A voracious kite’. The kite was a figure of greed and extortion.


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    Section: FORTUNA (Fortune, good or bad). View all emblems in this section.

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I5r as I4 p137]

    Ex damno alterius, alterius utilitas.

    One man’s loss is another man’s gain

    Dum saevis ruerent in mutua vulnera telis,
    Ungue leaena ferox, dente timendus aper,
    Accurrit vultur spectatum, & prandia captat.
    Gloria victoris, praeda futura sua est.[1]

    While a lioness, vicious in claw, and a boar, fearsome for its tusks, were setting upon each other, inflicting mutual wounds with their savage weapons, a vulture hurried up to watch, lurking in expectation of a meal. The victor’s glory will belong to the one that gets the spoil.

    Notes:

    1.  Cf. Aesop 200 and 203.


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