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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[n2v p196]

Ignavi.

Good for nothing

XXI.

Ignavi aerdeolam stellarem[1] effingere servi
Et studia, & mores fabula prisca fuit,
Quae famulum Asteria[2] volucris sumpsisse figuram
Est commenta, fides sit penes historicos.
Degener hic veluti qui caevet in aŽre falco est
Dictus ab antiquis vatibus ardelio.[3]

There was an old story to the effect that the little starred heron displays the activities and character of a good-for-nothing slave, a story which alleged that the slave Asterias took the form of a bird. Let the [natural] historians vouch for this. This sort of despicable person is like the kestrel quivering in one place in the air, a person called a fussing busybody by the ancient poets.

Notes:

1.The ‘little starred heron’, which, according to the story, had once been human and a slave, was, because of its sluggish nature, called ocnus, i.e. ‘idleness’. Cf. Emblem 17 ([A56a017]). As it understood human speech, it hated to be called this, or ‘slave’. See Pausanias, 10.29.2; Aelian, De natura animalium 5.36; Aristotle, Historia animalium, 9.18.617.

2.Asterias, ‘starred’, is the Greek name for ardea stellaris, possibly a bittern.

3.ardelio: ‘a fussing busybody’. See Martial, Epigrams, 2.7.7.; 4.78.9: Phaedrus, Fables, 2.5.1. Cf. Erasmus, Adagia, 543, Callipides, on someone who expends a great deal of energy achieving nothing.


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    Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[B2v p20]

    Foedera.

    Alliances.

    II.

    Hanc citharam, ŗ lembi quae forma halieutica[1] fertur,
    Vendicat & propriam Musa latina sibi,
    Accipe Dux, placeat nostrum hoc tibi tempore munus,
    Quo nova cum sociis foedera: inire paras.
    Difficile est, nisi docto homini, tot tendere chordas,
    Unaque si fuerit non bene tenta fides,
    Ruptave (quod facile est) perit omnis gratia conchae,
    Illeque praecellens cantus, ineptus erit.
    Sic Itali coŽunt proceres in foedera: concors,
    Nil est quod timeas, si tibi constet amor.
    At si aliquis desciscat (uti plerunque videmus)
    In nihilum illa omnis solvitur harmonia.

    This lute, which from its boat shape is called “halieutica”, my Latin Muse now claims for her own service. Receive it, O Duke. May this offering of mine be pleasing to you at this moment when you are preparing to enter into fresh agreements with your allies. It is difficult, except for a man of skill, to tune so many strings, and if one string is out of tune or broken, which so easily happens, all the music of the instrument is lost and its lovely song disjointed. In like manner the leaders of Italy are now forming alliances. There is nothing for you to fear if affection lasts for you and stays in concord. But if any one should slide away, which we often see, that harmony is all dissolved into nothing.

    Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[B3r p21]

    Bundsgenossen.

    II.

    So du Furst yetz zu diser zeyt
    Machst newe bundnuŖ, schenck ich dier
    Ein lautten, merck was die bedeyt,
    Und nim sy gnediklich von mier.
    Ein lautte hallt mit grosser zier,
    Soll nicht wo nur ein saytt abschnolt:
    Ein steter bund schreckt alle thier
    Gilt nicht, wo nur ein bundŖgnoŖ folt.

    Notes:

    1.A Greek word meaning ‘fishing’ (boat).


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