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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K5r p153 as 253]

Bonis auspiciis incipiendum.

Begin with good auspices

EMBLEMA CXXVI.

Auspiciis res coepta malis, bene cedere nescit.
Felici quae sunt omine facta, iuvant.
Quidquid agis, mustela tibi si occurrat, omitte:
Signa malae haec sortis bestia prava gerit.[1]

A business begun with bad auspices cannot turn out well. Things done with good omens bring happiness. Whatever you are doing, if a weasel crosses your path, abandon it. This evil creature bears signs of ill luck.

Notes:

1.  For the weasel as a creature of ill omen, see Erasmus, Adagia, 173, (Mustelam habes).


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C2v p36]

In Deo laetandum.

Joy is to be found in God

Aspice ut egregius puerum Iovis alite pictor
Fecerit Iliacum[1] summa per astra vehi.
Quis ne Iovem tactum puerili credat amore?
Dic haec Maeonius[2] finxerit unde senex?
Consilium mens atque Dei cui gaudia praestant,
Creditur is summo raptus adesse Iovi.

See how the skilful illustrator has shown the Trojan boy being carried through the highest heavens by the eagle of Jove. Can anyone believe that Jove felt passion for a boy? Explain how the aged poet of Maeonia came to imagine such a thing. It is the man who finds satisfaction in the counsel, wisdom and joys of God who is thought to be caught up into the presence of mighty Jove.

Notes:

1.  ‘The Trojan boy’, i.e. Ganymede, son of the Trojan prince, Tros, snatched away by the gods to be Jove’s cup-bearer. See Homer, Iliad 20.232ff, though the eagle is a post-Homeric addition. The Greek motto in the accompanying illustration, gannusthai medesi, means ‘to delight in counsels’, referring to a supposed etymology of the name Ganymedes, for which see Xenophon, Symposium 8.30.

2.  ‘The aged poet of Maeonia’, i.e Homer. His place of activity is disputed. Chios or Smyrna is most likely - these are places in the central coastal area of Asia Minor, known as Lydia or Maeonia.


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