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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  [K4v p152]

Louange non louable.

Oultre esperance avoit Antiochus,[1]
A peu de gens les Galathes vincuz:
Ses elephans par leur trompe ayant mis
Tous les chevaux à mort, des ennemis.
Parquoy paignant l’Elephant en trophée,
Nous estions mors (dit il à son armée)
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K5r p153] Si ne nous heust saulvéz celle orde beste.
Victoire est bonne, & si n’est pas honneste.

Utilité bien souvent est preferée à hon-
nesteté, & le proffit à l’honneur, mesme
en fait de guerre, ou l’on ne regarde
sinon à obtenir victoire, soit par proues
se, ou par astuce, par vaillance, ou par machine.

Notes:

1.  For this incident, see Lucian, Zeuxis sive Antiochus 8-11. In 276 BC Antiochus I won against fearful odds by directing his sixteen elephants against the Galatian horsemen and scythed chariots. Not only did the horses turn in panic and cause chaos among their own infantry, but the elephants came on behind, tossing, goring and trampling. Although he had won an overwhelming victory, Antiochus did not consider it a matter for congratulation.


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