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Facundia difficilis.

Eloquence is hard

XXII.

Antidotum Aeaeae medicata in pocula Circes
Mercurium hoc Ithaco fama dedisse fuit.[1]
Moly vocant. id vix radice evellitur atra,
Purpureus sed flos, lactis & instar habet.
Eloquii candor facundiaque allicit omnes,
Sed multi res est tanta laboris opus.

According to the story, Mercury gave to the man from Ithaca this antidote to the poisoned cup of Aeaean Circe. They call it moly. It is hard to pull up by its black root. The plant is dark, but its flower is white as milk. The brilliance of eloquence and readiness of speech attracts all men, but this mighty thing is a work of much labour.

Notes:

1. See Homer, Odyssey, 10.270ff. for the story of the encounter of Ulysses (the man from Ithaca) and his crew with the sorceress Circe on the island of Aeaea. The plant moly is described ibid, 302-6. See Emblem 216 ([A56a216]), for the effect of Circe’s poisoned cup. Cf. Erasmus, De Copia (Loeb edition, 1.91 D), where moly is interpreted as wisdom rather than eloquence. Cf. Coustau, ‘In herbam Moly, ex Homero’ ([FCPb073]).


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    EMBLEMA XIX.

    Facundia difficilis.

    Eloquence is hard

    Antidotum Aeaeae medicata in pocula Circes,
    Mercurium hoc Ithaco fama dedisse fuit.[1]
    Moly vocant, id vix radice evellitur atra,
    Purpureus sed flos, lactis & instar habet.
    Eloquii candor facundiaque allicit omnes:
    Sed multi res est tanta laboris opus.

    According to the story, Mercury gave to the man from Ithaca this antidote to the poisoned cup of Aeaean Circe. They call it moly. It is hard to pull up by its black root. The plant is dark, but its flower is white as milk. The brilliance of eloquence and readiness of speech attracts all men, but this mighty thing is a work of much labour.

    Das XIX.

    Wolberedt ist schwer.

    Ulyssi als die sage was
    Soll Mercurius geben das
    Wider der Circe buler trenck
    Di gegen Artzney zu eim gschenck
    Ein kraut so wirt Moly genannt
    Mit einr schwartzen Wurtzel bekannt
    Die man schwerlich au dem grundt reist
    Darauff ein purpurfarb Blumb gleist
    Ist innwendig wie die Milch wei
    Also wol reden behelt den prei
    Und reitzet jederman zu ir
    Aber es braucht vil mh und gir.

    Notes:

    1. See Homer, Odyssey, 10.270ff. for the story of the encounter of Ulysses (the man from Ithaca) and his crew with the sorceress Circe on the island of Aeaea. The plant moly is described ibid, 302-6. See Emblem 85 ([A67a085]), for the effect of Circe’s poisoned cup. Cf. Erasmus, De Copia (Loeb edition, 1.91 D), where moly is interpreted as wisdom rather than eloquence. Cf. Coustau, ‘In herbam Moly, ex Homero’ ([FCPb073]).


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