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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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    Single Emblem View

    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 aegrč 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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