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EMBLEMA CX.

In eos qui supra vires quicquam
audent.

Those who venture on what is beyond their powers

Dum dormit, dulci recreat dum corpora somno
Sub picea, & clavam caeteraque arma tenet,
Alcyden Pygmaea manus[1] prosternere letho
Posse putat, vires non bene docta suas.
Excitus ipse, velut pulices, sic proterit hostem,
Et saevi implicitum pelle leonis[2] agit.

While Alceus’ descendant was sleeping, while he was refreshing his body with gentle slumber, beneath a spruce tree, keeping hold of his club and other weapons, a band of pygmies thought they could lay him low in death, not really grasping the limit of their powers. But he, waking up, crushed the foe like fleas, and carried them off, wrapped up in the fierce lion’s skin.

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Das CX.

Wider dise die wider ir vermügen dörf-
fen etwas anfahen.

Dieweil da schlafft und ruht so süß
Under einr Thannen Hercules
Und helt bey sich sein Kolben groß
Mit andern Waffen ubermaß
Meinen die kleinen Zwergen schon
Sie wöllen in wol meistern thon
Wölln also bald in reiben auff
Bdenckt nit ir sterck der kleine hauff
Dann er auffgwegt sie zerknitst doch
Als werens nur gar kleine Flöch
Verwirrts und wickelts also eyn
Mit der grossen Löwen Haut seyn.

Notes:

1.  Hercules’ confrontation with the pygmies is described by Philostratus, Eikones 2.22.

2.  ‘the fierce lion’s skin’, the skin of the Nemean lion which Hercules always wore after slaying the beast (Emblem 17 [A67a017], Emblem 18 [A67a018]).


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EMBLEMA CIX.

In temerarios.

The reckless

Aspicis Aurigam currus Phaëtonta[1] paterni
Ignivomos ausum flectere Solis equos.
Maxima qui postquàm terris incendia sparsit:
Est temerè infesso [=insesso] lapsus ab axe miser.
Sic plerique rotis fortunae ad sydera Reges
Evecti, ambitio quos iuvenilis agit:
Post magnam humani generis clademque suamque,
Cunctorum poenas denique dant scelerum.

You see here Phaethon, driving his father’s chariot, and daring to guide the fire-breathing steeds of the Sun. After spreading great conflagrations over the earth, the wretched boy fell from the car he had so rashly mounted. - Even so, the majority of kings are borne up to heaven on the wheels of Fortune, driven by youth’s ambition. After they have brought great disaster on the human race and themselves, they finally pay the penalty for all their crimes.

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Das CIX.

Wider die verwegnen.

Sichst an den Furmann Phaetont
Wie er sich freidig understondt
Seins Vatters der Son feuwrige Roß
Zu leiten und den Wagen groß
Welcher nach dem er hett die erd
Mit unleidlicher Hitz beschwert
Ist er erbermlich von der höch
Deß Himmels gestürtzt worden jäch
Also werden gemeinlich gfürt
Durchs glück biß an deß Himmels ziert
Die großen Herrn so das jung Blut
Und hoffart bey in herrschen thut
Die empfahend dann irer schand
Damit sie sich beladen hand
Verdienten lohn, und setzen sich
Und ander mit in in den stich.

Notes:

1.  Phaethon, the son of Apollo, the sun-god. The myth referred to here is told in Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.748 - 2.349. Both Phaethon and Icarus (Emblem 107 [A67a107]) are types of those who aim too high and do not recognise their proper sphere.


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