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EMBLEMA CXCII [=191] .

In vitam humanam.

On human life

Plus solito humanae nunc defle incommoda vitae,
Heraclite: scatet pluribus illa malis.
Tu rursus (si quando alias) extolle cachinnum
Democrite: illa magis ludicra facta fuit.
Interea haec cernens meditor, qua denique tecum
Fine fleam, aut tecum quomodo splene iocer.[1]

Weep now, Heraclitus, even more than you did, for the ills of human life. It teems with far more woes. And you, Democritus, if ever you laughed before, raise your cackle now. Life has become more of a joke. Meanwhile, seeing all this, I consider just how far I can weep with you, how laugh bitterly with you.

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Das CXCII [=191] .

Vom Menschlichen Leben .[2]

Heraclite du alter greiß
Thu jetzt beweinen mit mehr fleiß
Deß Menschlichen Lebens unglück
Dann es steckt voller böser tück
Du aber widerumb erschell
Democrite dein glechter hell
Dann lecherlicher zu keiner zeit
Gewesen ist als jetzt die geit
Dieweil ich aber dieses sich
Betracht ich bey mir fleissiglich
Ob ichs mit dir beweinen sol
Oder mit dir verlachen wol.

Notes:

1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.148. For Heraclitus, cf. Emblem 37 ([A67a037]). For the contrast between the despairing tears of Heraclitus (who withdrew from human society) and the sardonic laughter of Democritus when faced with the folly of men, see, among many sources, e.g. Juvenal, Satires 10, 28ff.

2.  The German in certain parts of this emblem is particularly puzzling.


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EMBLEMA CXCI [=190] .

Nihil reliqui.

Nothing left

Scilicet hoc deerat, post tot mala denique nostris
Locustae ut raperent, quicquid inesset agris.[1]
Vidimus innumeras Euro[2] duce tendere turmas:
Qualia non Atilae, castrave Xerxis erant.[3]
Hae foenum, milium, farra[4] omnia consumpserunt:
Spes & in angusto est, stant nisi vota super.

This was all it needed - that after so many misfortunes, finally locusts should seize whatever was in our fields. We have seen countless squadrons encamped, led by Eurus, hosts such as Attila and Xerxes never had. These creatures have eaten up all hay, millet and barley. There is little scope for hope unless our prayers prevail.

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Das CXCI [=190] .

Alls verthon, nichts ubrigs.

Ich hör wol es hat an dem gfelt
Daß die Heuwschrecken unser Feld
Auffressen und blündertens Land
Nach soviel unglück das wir hand
Erlitten, wir haben gesehn
Das der Ostwind her hat thon wehn
Ein grössern hauffen den ghabt hat
Der Azel oder Xerxes drat
Die haben alles Heuw und dweid
Auffgefressen den Hirsch und das Gtreid
Die hoffnung wir jetzt haben klein
Nichts ubrigs dann das gbet allein.

Notes:

1.  Referring to a plague of locusts in North Italy in 1541/2 (as in the commentary).

2.  Eurus was the wind from the East.

3.  Attila the Hun and Xerxes, King of Persia, were leaders who invaded the Roman Empire and Greece with vast armies in mid fifth century AD and 480 BC respectively. Xerxes’ invasion and Attila’s first invasion both came from the east.

4.  Variant reading: corda, ‘later crops’.


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