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IN AVAROS, VEL QUIBUS ME-
lior conditio ab extraneis offertur.

On the avaricious; or being treated better by strangers.

Delphini insidens unda[1] cerula sulcat Arion[2],
Hocque aures mulcet frenat & ora sono.
Quam sit avari hominis, non tam mens dira ferarum est,
Quique viris rapimur, piscibus eripimur.

Astride a dolphin, Arion cleaves the dark blue waves, and with this song charms the creature’s ears and muzzles its mouth: “The mind of wild beasts is not so savage as that of greedy man. We who are savaged by men are saved by fish”.

Notes:

1.  Later editions have vada not unda.

2.  The crew of the ship on which the celebrated musician Arion was travelling, after robbing him, prepared to throw him overboard. He persuaded them to allow him to play his lyre for the last time. Then, after invoking the gods, he jumped into the sea, whereupon a music-loving dolphin conveyed him to land. See Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 16.19.


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PAUPERTATEM SUMMIS
ingeniis obesse ne provehantur.[1]

Poverty prevents the advancement of the best of abilities

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A8r]

Dextra tenet lapidem, manus altera sustinet alas.
Ut me pluma levat, sic grave mergit onus
Ingenio poteram superas volitare per arces
Me nisi paupertas invida deprimeret.

My right hand holds a rock, the other bears wings. As the feathers lift me, so the heavy weight drags me down. By my mental gifts I could have flown through the heights of heaven, if malign poverty did not hold me back.

Notes:

1.  For the sentiment cf. Juvenal, Satires 3.164-5: ‘it is hard for people to rise when straitened circumstances stand in the way of their natural abilities.’


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  • Progression, Forward Movement (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51L4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Rest, Immobility, Stasis (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51LL1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Regression, Backward Movement (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51LL4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Talent (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52A13(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Hindrance, Obstruction (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54EE2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Poverty; 'Povertą', 'Povertą del doni', 'Povertą in uno ch'habbia bell'ingegno' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [55BB1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Ambition; 'Ambitione', 'Amor di Fama' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [56F11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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