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

Aemulatio impar.

Competing on unequal terms

LXVIII [=69] .

Altivolam miluus comitatur degener harpam, [1]
Et praedae partem saepe cadentis habet.
Mullum prosequitur qui spretas sargus ab illo, [2]
Praeteritasque avidus devorat ore dapes.
Sic mecum Oenocrates agit: at deserta studentum
Utitur hoc lippo curia tanquam oculo.[3]

An ignoble kite accompanies the soaring hawk and often gets a piece of the prey as it falls. The sargus follows the mudfish and greedily devours the food that it scorns and passes by. Oenocrates behaves like this with me - but the lecture-hall I’ve abandoned treats him like a runny eye.

Notes:

1. For the association of the kite and the hawk see Aristotle, Historia animalium, 9.1.609.

2. For the sargus see Emblem 29 ([A56a029]). For its habit of following the lutarius (the mudfish) and eating the food it disturbs as it burrows in the mud, see Pliny, Natural History, 9.30.65; Erasmus, Parabolae, p. 253.

3. lippo...tamquam oculo, ‘like a runny eye’, a proverbial expression. See Erasmus, Adagia, 4100 (Lippo oculo similis): a runny eye is something you would prefer to be rid of, but while you have it you cannot leave it alone; similarly there are people you do not like, but you find yourself obliged to make use of them.


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    Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [V1r f205r]

    Principis clementia.

    Clemency in a ruler

    Emblema cxlviii.

    Vesparum qud nulla unquam rex spicula figet,[1]
    Qudque aliis duplo corpore maior erit,
    Arguet imperium clemens, moderatque regna,
    Sanctque 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.

    IDem ferm habet Plato, dialogo de Regno: talem
    enim civitatibus regem optat, qualis inter apum
    examina rex nascitur, ut & corpore & animi dotibus
    fit insignior & praestantior. Rex apum aculeo caret,
    aut si habet, eo non utitur: ita bonus princeps ad
    puniendum tardus esse debet, ad clementiam ver
    pronus.

    Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [V1v f205v]

    Clemence du Prince.

    LE Roy des Guespes pas ne poingt,
    Aussi d’eguillon n’a il point,
    Et est plus-grand de corpulence.
    Ce que nous monstre un Roy bien dous,
    Et qui commet le droit pour tous
    A gens droits & d’experience.

    TOut de mesme est dit en Platon, au
    dialogue du regne: l o il souhette un
    tel Roy aux villes & pays, comme naist en
    l’essain des abeilles celuy qui est tenu pour
    Roy, c’est qu’il soit plus remarquable & plus
    excellent en grandeur de corps & facultez
    de l’esprit. Le Roy des abeilles n’a point
    d’eguillon, ou s’il en a, il n’en use point: de
    mesme le bon Prince doibt estre tardif pu-
    nir & enclin clemence.

    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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