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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [n3r p197]

Bonis auspiciis incipien-
dum.

Begin with good auspices

XXIIII.

Auspiciis res coepta malis, bene cedere nescit.
Felici quae sunt omine facta, iuvant.
Quidquid agis, mustela 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.

Notes:

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


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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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