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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O12v f144v]

Qui alta contemplantur, cadere.

Those who contemplate the heights come to grief

Emblema ciiii.

Dum turdos visco, pedica dum fallit alaudas,
Et iacta altivolam figit arundo gruem,
Dipsada non prudens auceps pede perculit. ultrix
Illa mali, emissum virus ab ore iacit.
Sic obit, extento qui sidera respicit arcu.
Securus fati, quod iacet ante pedes.[1]

While he tricks thrushes with bird-lime, larks with snares, while his speeding shaft pierces the high-flying crane, the careless bird-hunter steps on a snake; avenging the injury, it spits the darting venom from its jaws. So he dies, a man who gazes at the stars with bow at the ready, oblivious of the mishap lying before his feet.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P1r f145r]

ID ex apologo Aesopi de aucupe & vipera. Di-
citur de Astrologis, qui occupati circa inspectio-
nem rerum coelestium, ut inde aliquid se praesagi-
re posse putent, non provideant quod in terris sibi
periculum impendeat.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P1v f145v]

Ceux qui visent hault, souvent tombent
bien bas.

Quand l’oiselleur au gluc, au trait, à la pipee
La grive, aussi la grue, & l’allouette prent,
Peu advisé qu’il est, marchant sur terre il sent
Une Dipsade, estant par luy du pied frappée,
Qui le mord asprement & luy donne la mort.
Ce qui nous monstre au doigt, que celuy qui trop fort
Jusques à s’oublier, vise, & ses traicts descoche,
Se perd, & ne prevoit son mal qui luy est proche.

C’Est icy une fable d’Esope, de l’oiselleur
& de la vipere. Il s’entend des Astrolo-
gues, qui occupez à contempler les choses
celestes, pour en tirer quelque prediction,
ne prevoyent ce-pendant le danger, qui
leur est preparé en terre.

Notes:

1.  See Anthologia graeca 7.172 and Aesop, Fables 137.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B5v p26]

Non vulganda consilia.

Keep counsels secret.

Limine quod caeco obscura & caligine monstrum[1]
Gnosiacis clausit Daedalus in latebris,
Depictum Romana phalanx in praelia gestat,
Semiviroque nitent signa superba[2] bove,
Nosque monent, debere ducum secreta[3] latere
Consilia, authori cognita techna nocet.

The monster that Daedalus imprisoned in its Cretan lair, with hidden entrance and obscuring darkness, the Roman phalanx carries painted into battle; the proud standards flash with the half-man bull. These remind us that the secret plans of leaders must stay hid. A ruse once known brings harm to its author.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B6r p27]

Tenir encloz secret.

Jadiz Romains firent portraire
Minotaurus en leur enseigne:
Dire en ce voulans, quon doibt taire
Secret de quelque part quil viegne:
Et affin que surce on compreigne
De te le [=tel] paincture la raison,
Nul nest vivant qui entrepreigne,
Tirer tel monstre hors sa maison.

Notes:

1.  ‘The monster that Daedalus imprisoned’, i.e. the Minotaur, the half-man, half-bull monster kept in the famous Labyrinth at Knossos, which Daedalus, the Athenian master-craftsman, constructed for King Minos.

2.  According to Pliny, Natural History 10.5.16, before the second consulship of Marius (104 BC) Roman standards bore variously eagles, wolves, minotaurs, horses and boars. Marius made the eagle universal.

3.  Cf. Festus, De verborum significatu (135 Lindsay): the Minotaur appears among the military standards, because the plans of leaders should be no less concealed than was the Minotaur’s lair, the Labyrinth.


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