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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 qud 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 [M4r p183]

    La clemence du Prince.[1]

    Ce que le Roy des guespes rien ne poingt,[2]
    (Quoy qu’il soit grand.) Et d’aguillon n’ha poinct
    Monstre ung Seigneur doulx aulx siens, comme amys:
    Et les sainct [=sainctz] droictz gens de bien commis.

    Le Roy des guespes, & aveilles est deux fois
    plus grand, & fort que les aultres, & si n’ha
    point d’aguillon picquant, & veneneux, com
    me les aultres. Ainsi ung bon Prince plus est
    puissant, plus est clement, & moins nuysant,
    tel que fut le Magnificque Jule Caesar.

    Notes:

    1. In the 1549 French edition, this emblem has no woodcut.

    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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