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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [p135]

Ne i bastardi.

Regarding bastards.


L’esser bastardo noo [=non] si rechi altrui
A biasmo, che fu anchor bastardo Alcide.
Il maggior huom, che mai nacque fra nui.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M8r p191]

Aux bastards.

XXVI.

Celebrez, ô bastards, d’Hercule la memoire:
Car il est de vous tous & le tige & la gloire.[1]
Jamais Dieu ne peut estre,[2] avant que par cautelle
On luy eust faict succer de Junon la mammelle.[3]

Commentaires.

Le temple d’Hercules, en Athenes, estoit en un
lieu nommé Cynosarges, lieu dedié à l’exercice des
bastards, lesquels les Atheniens ne vouloyent pas
laisser mesler avec les legitimes: Mais Themistocle
tascha d’enfraindre & renverser cest ordre, invitant
plusieurs des legitimes à se venir exercer avec les ba-
stards. Jupiter, pour acquerir lettres de deité à son
fils Hercule, luy fit prendre la mammelle de Junon
pendant qu’elle dormoit. Les sages Princes & legi-
slateurs, ont pourveu au desbordé appetit de paillar-
dise ou concubinage, punissans les peres en leurs en-
fans, qu’ils declaroyent comme inhabiles à toutes -
charges honorables. Le proverbe commun dit, que
bastard ne fit jamais beau faict. Mais ce proverbe
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M8v p192] n’est pas sans exception, tesmoins Enee, Themistocle,
Romule, Constantin le grand, Guillaume de Norman-
die
,le Comte de Dunois, & infinis autres.

Notes:

1.  Hercules was fathered by Jupiter on Alcmene, wife of Amphitryon of Thebes, and became his father’s favourite. Juno, wife of Jupiter, in jealousy pursued Hercules with implacable hatred.

2.  After all his Labours (see previous emblem) and other exploits, Hercules, by the will of Jupiter, was received among the gods. See e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses, 9.156ff; Cicero, De officiis, 3.25.

3.  For the story of Juno tricked by Jupiter into suckling the loathed Hercules see Pausanias, 9.25.2. This divine milk apparently counteracted Hercules’ illegitimate birth which otherwise disqualified him for heaven. See Erasmus, Adagia, 2070 (Ad Cynosarges).


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