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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M5v p186]

Eloquence s’acquiert avec diffi-
culté.

XXII.

Pour Ulysse sauver de l’enchanté bruvage
Mercure luy donna l’herbe moly sauvage,[1]
Ayant noire racine, & fleur blanche & pourprine,
Difficile à trouver, & à tirer de terre.
L’eloquence est aussi malaisee à acquerre:
Mais elle attrait chacun par sa douceur divine.

Commentaires.

Ciceron dit que l’eloquence est difficile à acquerir
sur toutes autres possessions: car pour y parvenir, il
faut avoir appris beaucoup de belles choses. L’herbe,
appellee moly, est fort malaisee à trouver, & plus mal-
aisee encor à arracher de terre. Sa fleur est belle &
aggreable. Ainsi il faut tuer & travailler beaucoup
pour acquerir eloquence: mais en fin elle rend des
fruicts fort plaisans & de bon goust.

Notes:

1.  See Homer, Odyssey, 10.270ff. for the story of the encounter of Ulysses (the man from Ithaca) and his crew with the sorceress Circe on the island of Aeaea. The plant moly is described ibid, 302-6. See Emblem 16 ([FALe016]), for the effect of Circe’s poisoned cup. Cf. Erasmus, De Copia (Loeb edition, 1.91 D), where moly is interpreted as wisdom rather than eloquence. Cf. Coustau, ‘In herbam Moly, ex Homero’ ([FCPb073]).


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [R1r f116r]

    EMBLEMA CLXXXVI [=185] .

    Bonis auspiciis incipiendum.

    Begin with good auspices

    Auspiciis res cepta malis, bene cedere nescit,
    Felici quae sunt omine facta iuvant.
    Quicquid agis, mustella 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.

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [R1v f116v]

    Das CLXXXVI [=185] .

    Man sol alle ding mit Glück an-
    fahen.

    Die sach so hat ein bösn anfang
    Kan nicht haben ein guten gang
    So aber ein gut zeichn erstlich
    Erscheint, geraht es gern glücklich
    Was du anfachst so dir bekompt
    Ein Wisel so laß ab zu stund
    Dann diß unzifer gwiß bedeut
    Das nicht vil glück sey in der beut.

    Notes:

    1.  For the weasel as a creature of ill omen, see Erasmus, Adagia, 173, (Mustelam habes).


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