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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [o1r p209]

Contra.[1]

A contrary view.

[=68]

Vesparum quōd nulla unquam Rex spicula siget [=figet] .[2]
Quodque aliis duplo corpore maior erit,
Arguet imperium clemens, moderataque regna.
Sanctaque iudicibus credita iura bonis.

The king of the wasps will never implant any sting and will be twice as big as the rest. This will be a sign of mild dominion, a disciplined kingdom, and inviolable law entrusted to good judges.

Notes:

1.  It is to be noted that in this edition, as in the 1546, Maledicentia and Contra are treated as one emblem whereas in other editions Contra is treated as an emblem in its own right called Principis Clementia.

2.  According to Pliny, Natural History, 11.21.74, wasps do not have ‘kings’: it is the ‘mother’ wasps that are without stings. On the other hand, the ‘king’ bee (the ancients believed the queen bee to be male) and its lack of sting, or refusal to use its sting, was often mentioned; e.g. Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.10; Pliny, ibid., 17.52. For the analogy with kingship, see e.g. Seneca, De Clementia, 1.19; Erasmus, Adagia, 2601 (Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit).


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O8v p224]

    La clemencia d’el Principe.

    SONETO.

    D’el Rey de abejas se affirma y escrive
    Que por que herir no pueda estā privado
    D’el aguijon,[1] con quien su pueblo armado
    Contrasta a’l enemigo y se apercibe.
    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P1r p225] Ansi de sus abejas bien recibe,
    Ansi le guardan siempre en el estado
    Donde de la Fortuna fue encumbrado
    Porque sin hazer mal govierna y bive.
    O Reyes que subis ā bien tamaņo
    O por Fortuna, ō por merecimiento,
    Sabed con no hazer mal no hazeros daņo!
    Mirad que basta el pueblo estar contento
    Para libraros de qualquier engaņo,
    Y para os encumbrar en todo aumento.

    Notes:

    1.  According to Pliny, Natural History, 11.21.74, wasps do not have ‘kings’: it is the ‘mother’ wasps that are without stings. On the other hand, the ‘king’ bee (the ancients believed the queen bee to be male) and its lack of sting, or refusal to use its sting, was often mentioned; e.g. Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.10; Pliny, ibid., 17.52. For the analogy with kingship, see e.g. Seneca, De Clementia, 1.19; Erasmus, Adagia, 2601 (Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit).


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