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

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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    Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [R1r f116r]

    EMBLEMA CLXXXVI [=185] .

    Bonis auspiciis incipiendum.

    Begin with good auspices

    Auspiciis res cepta malis, bene cedere nescit,
    Felici quae sunt omine facta iuvant.
    Quicquid agis, mustella tibi si occurrat, omitte:
    Signa malae haec sortis bestia prava gerit.[1]

    A business begun with bad auspices cannot turn out well. Things done with good omens bring happiness. Whatever you are doing, if a weasel crosses your path, abandon it. This evil creature bears signs of ill luck.

    Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [R1v f116v]

    Das CLXXXVI [=185] .

    Man sol alle ding mit Glck an-
    fahen.

    Die sach so hat ein bsn anfang
    Kan nicht haben ein guten gang
    So aber ein gut zeichn erstlich
    Erscheint, geraht es gern glcklich
    Was du anfachst so dir bekompt
    Ein Wisel so la ab zu stund
    Dann di unzifer gwi bedeut
    Das nicht vil glck sey in der beut.

    Notes:

    1. For the weasel as a creature of ill omen, see Erasmus, Adagia, 173, (Mustelam habes).


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