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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, la pipee
La grive, aussi la grue, & l’allouette prent,
Peu advis qu’il est, marchant sur terre il sent
Une Dipsade, estant par luy du pied frappe,
Qui le mord asprement & luy donne la mort.
Ce qui nous monstre au doigt, que celuy qui trop fort
Jusques 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 contempler les choses
celestes, pour en tirer quelque prediction,
ne prevoyent ce-pendant le danger, qui
leur est prepar en terre.

Notes:

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


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Single Emblem View

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [i5v p138]

Qui alta contemplatur[1]
cadere.

He who contemplates the heights comes to grief

LXXXIII.

Dum turdos visco, pedica dum fallit alaudas,
Et iacta altivolam figit harundo gruem,
Dipsada non prudens auceps pede perculit: ultrix
Illa mali, emissum virus ab ore iacit.
Sic obit extento qui sydera respicit arcu,
Securus fati quod iacet ante pedes.[2]

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.

COMMENTARIA.

Auceps quidam dum turdis visco & alau-
dis pedica, laqueis quibus pedibus capiuntur
insidiatur, dumque sagitta volantem gruem
transfigere cupit, imprudens pedibus pressit
iacentem in herbis Dipsadam (colubris seu
serpentis genus est morsu suo inextinguibi-
lem sitim adferens: ut Lucanus lib. 9.) quae do-
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [i6r p139]lore irrita ulciscitur, oreque venenoso momor-
dit eum, sic ille parum providus, qui dum ar-
cu extenso insublimi alterum venari vult, pe-
riculum ante pedes non considerans, ipse pe-
rit. Similis extat fabella Aesopica de Aucupe
& Vipera. Fertur huiusmodi fer de Thalete
Philosopho clarissimo, qui prius Astrologiae
inventor, eiusque peritissimus fuit, cm nocte
quadam vetula ut astra contemplaretur ex-
tra domum ductus in foveam incidit, quem
lugentem derisit anus, dicens quomodo
Thales quae alto in coelo sunt agnosces, cm
ea quae ante pedes adsunt considerare ne-
queas? enarrat inter alios Diogenes Lartius li-
bro 1. de vita Philosophorum.

Notes:

1. Other editions read contemplantur (plural).

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


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