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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P1r p225]

Clemence d’un Prince.

LXVIII.

Des abeilles le Roy nul aiguillon ne porte,[1]
Et sur tout son essein il est en toute sorte
Le plus grand & plus beau. Ce Roy là nous enseigne.
Que les Rois terriens doyvent orner leur regne
De clemence & douceur, & commettre les loix
Entre les mains de gents qui soyent justes &
droits.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P1v p226]

Commentaires.

Tant plus un Prince a de pouvoir, tant plus doit
il estre retenu quand ce vient à chastier. Le Roy
des abeilles est le plus grand & le plus beau de tou-
tes: mais nature ne luy a point baillé d’aiguillon, pour-
ce qu’elle n’a point voulu qu’il fust cruel. Elle luy a
bien baillé auctorité, mais une auctorité desarmee.
L’Empereur Marc Aurele disoit, que rien n’estoit
plus seant à un Prince, que la clemence. Et les Em-
pereurs Theodose, Arcade, & Honore en firent un
edict de telle substance: Si par legereté on a offensé,
il n’en faut pas faire estat: Si le delinquant n’est pas
de sens rassis, il s’en faut condouloir: S’il a esté pro-
voqué à ce faire, il le luy faut pardonner.

Notes:

1.  According to Pliny, Natural History, 11.21.74, wasps do not have ‘kings’: it is the ‘mother’ wasps that are without stings. On the other hand, the ‘king’ bee (the ancients believed the queen bee to be male) and its lack of sting, or refusal to use its sting, was often mentioned; e.g. Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.10; Pliny, ibid., 17.52. For the analogy with kingship, see e.g. Seneca, De Clementia, 1.19; Erasmus, Adagia, 2601 (Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit).


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Rr7r p637]

    Salus publica.

    The nation’s health

    EMBLEMA CL.

    Phoebigena erectis Epidaurius insidet aris,[1]
    Mitis, & immani conditur angue Deus.
    Accurrunt aegri, veniatque salutifer orant.
    Annuit, atque ratas efficit ille preces.

    The Epidaurian scion of Phoebus broods on the altars built for him, and the god, all gentle, is concealed in a huge snake. The sick come running and beg him to draw near with healing. He consents and ratifies their prayers.

    Notes:

    1.  ‘The Epidaurian scion of Phoebus’, i.e. Aesculapius, son of Phoebus [Apollo] and god of medicine and healing. His main sanctuary and centre of healing was near Epidaurus in Greece. The god’s epiphany and symbol was a snake, and a number of sacred snakes were kept at the sanctuary. One of these was brought to Rome in 293 BC in hopes of stopping an outbreak of plague. The snake made its home on the Island in the Tiber, where a shrine and medical centre was subsequently built. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 15.626ff.


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