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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I4r p135]

Receptateurs d’homicides.

XCIIII.

Gents apres toy avec espees,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I4v=p136] (Dont plusieurs ont gaigné le pendre,
Ou d’avoir oreilles couppees)
Te font cornes au chef estendre:
Mais il t’en pourra ainsi prendre,
En nourrissant tels ruffiens,
Qu’à Acteon, qui (faict Cerf tendre)
Fut mangé par ses propres chiens.[1]

commentaires.

Alciat a faict cest embleme contre un qu’il ap-
pelle Scaeva en son epigramme Latin. Il l’accompare
à Acteon, fils d’Aristee, lequel estant merveilleuse-
ment addonné à la chasse, nourrissoit plusieurs chiens
en sa maison. Un jour, apres s’estre bien lassé &
travaillé à la chasse, il arriva à une fontaine fort ca-
chee pour s’y laver & recreer. Mais de malheur il y
rencontra Diane, Deesse de la chasse, & de chasteté,
& amie de la solitude, accompagnee de quelques unes
de ses nymphes, qui se lavoyent toutes nues en ladite
fontaine. Estans irritees contre luy, de ce qu’il les a-
voit surprises ainsi nues, elles luy jecterent de l’eau,
peut estre non sans quelque imprecation, si que le
povre Acteon commença à prendre cornes & à de-
venir cerf tout à faict: tellement que voulant retour-
ner à sa maison, ses propres chiens le deschirerent &
devorerent. Ainsi void on souvent, que plusieurs s’e-
stiment grands Seigneurs, liberaux, & magnanimes,
pource qu’ils nourrissent, fomentent, & ont ordinai-
rement à leur suite des larrons, meurtriers, desloyaux,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I5r p137] & autres semblables garnements: mais tant s’en faut
que celà les annoblisse, qu’au contraire ils se peuvent
asseurer, que tost ou tard ces gents de meschante vie
les ruineront de corps & de biens, ne plus ne moins
que les chiens d’Acteon devorerent leur maistre.

Notes:

1.  For the story of Actaeon turned into a stag and killed by his own hounds, see Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.138ff. Similarly, the hangers-on will destroy the one who has fed them.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E5v]

REMEDIA IN ARDUO MALA.
in prono esse.

Remedies are hard, damage is easy

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E6r]

Aetheriis postquam deiecit sedibus Aten,
Iupiter[1] heu vexat quàm mala noxa viros.
Evolat haec pedibus celer & pernicibus alis,
Intactumque nihil casibus esse sinit.
Ergo litae proles Iovis hanc comitantur euntem,[2]
Sarcturae quicquid fecerit illa mali.
Sed quia segnipedes strabae[3] lassaeque senecta,
Nil nisi post longo tempore restituunt.[4]

Once Jupiter had cast Ate down from the heavenly abode, what an evil bane thereafter assailed poor man! Ate flies out fleet of foot with fast-beating wing and leaves nothing untouched by mishap. So Jove’s daughters, the Litae, accompany her as she goes, to mend whatever ill she has brought about. But they are slow-footed, poor of sight and weary with age, and so they restore nothing until later, after long passage of time.

Notes:

1.  ‘Jupiter had cast Ate down’. See Homer, Iliad 19. 125ff.

2.  ‘the Litae accompany her’. See Homer, Iliad 9.502ff. Ate means ‘Mischief’, Litae, ‘Prayers’. Ate was cast out of Olympus to bring harm to mankind, a personification of humans being led astray. The Litae were a personification of prayers offered in repentance.

3.  Textual variant: luscae.

4.  The woodcut is puzzling. Possibly the monster is supposed to represent Ate; in later editions she appears as a harpy-like figure. The Litae feature, in later editions, as old women. The old man presumably represents the suffering of mankind.


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  • walking - AA - female human figure [31AA2711] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Slow Motion (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51MM1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Viciousness, Naughtiness (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57AA6(+4):54D4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Revenge, Requital, Retaliation; 'Vendetta' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57AA741(+4):54DD4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Jupiter seizes Ate by her hair and hurls her down from Olympus, possibly because of the delayed birth of Hercules (+ variant) [92B143(+0)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • other lesser deities of Heaven ~ destiny, fate, adversity: Litae [92G7(LITAE)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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