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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n1v p194]

Senex puellam amans.

An old man in love with a girl

XV.

Dum Sophocles, quamvis affecta aetate, puellam
A quaestu Archippen ad sua vota trahit,
Allicit & pretio, tulit aegrè insana iuventus
Ob zelum, & tali carmine utrunque notat.
Noctua ut in tumulis, super utque cadavera bubo,
Talis apud Sophoclem nostra puella sedet.[1]

When Sophocles, in spite of his advanced years, induced the courtesan [Aganippe] to fulfil his desires, winning her over by the reward he offered, Archippus [her lover, the comic poet] was filled with indignation. Mad with jealousy, he lampooned both of them with this verse: As a night owl perches on a tomb, as an eagle owl on corpses, so my girl sits with Sophocles.

Notes:

1.  A story taken from Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 13.592b. Sophocles is the great tragic poet, of whom several such tales were told. He made Aganippe the beneficiary under his will. But Alciato (and so his translators) confuse Aganippe (the courtesan) with Archippus (the comic poet).


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    Single Emblem View

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M3v p182]

    Ceux qui vivent en concorde ne peu-
    vent estre surmontés.

    XVIII.

    Telle fut la concorde en trois freres germains,
    Tel leur amour commun, telle leur charité,
    Que jamais Prince aucun ne les a surmonté,
    Quoy que les Geryons eussent ennemis maints.[1]

    Commentaires.

    Par la concorde les petits choses croissent &
    s’aggrandissent, & par la discorde les grandes vien-
    nent à s’escouler & perir entierement. Pline recite
    qu’il y a certaines pierres en l’Isle Cycladique, lesquel-
    les estans entieres, nagent & sont portees sur l’eau:
    mais estans rompues & mises en pieces, elles vont au
    fonds. Scilure le Scythe, estans pres de sa fin, persuada
    à ses enfans de vivre en bonne amitié & concorde, par
    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M4r p183] l’exemple qu’il leur bailla d’un trousseau de dards,
    lequel pas un deux ne peut rompre, ny faire ployer:
    mesmes s’estans joincts ensemble, & employans tou-
    tes leurs forces, n’en peurent venir à bout: mais le
    trousseau estant deslié & desjoinct, le plus foible de
    tous les rompoit facilement un à un. Geryon, comme
    dit S. Hierosme, vient du mot gera, qui signifie adve-
    naire. Il fut fils de Hiarbe Numidien. Plutarque, &
    quelques autres, appliquent ainsi ceste fiction poëti-
    que. Geryon fut un personnage de grand sens, de
    grand courage, de grande entreprise. Il avoit avec
    soy deux grands Capitaines, qui executoyent diligem-
    ment & vaillamment tout ce qui leur estoit com-
    mandé par Geyron: & pource qu’ils l’executoyent
    avec tant de fidelité, qu’il sembloit que ce fust Ge-
    ryon luy mesme, la posterité s’est imaginé, que Ge-
    ryon avoit six bras & six jambes, avec lesquels luy
    seul venoit à bout de tous ses desseings.

    Notes:

    1.  This is a rationalisation of Geryones, the unconquerable giant with three heads or three bodies, who dwelt on the island Erytheia of the mythic Hesperides, eventually vanquished and killed by Hercules during his abduction of Geryones’ famous cattle. See Emblem 25 ([FALe025]).


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