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ALIQUID MALI PROPTER
vicinum malum.[1]

Misfortune caused by a bad neighbour

Raptabat torrens ollas, quarum una metallo,
Altera erat figuli terrea facta manu.
Hanc igitur rogat illa, velit sibi proxima ferri,
Iuncta ut praecipites utraque sistat aquas.
Cui lutea, haud nobis, tua sunt commercia curae,
Ne mihi proximitas haec mala multa ferat,
Nam seu te nobis seu nos tibi conferat unda,
Ipsa ego te fragilis sospite sola terar.

A stream was carrying along two pots, one of which was made of metal, the other formed by the potter’s hand of clay. The metal pot asked the clay one whether it would like to float along close beside it, so that each of them, by uniting with the other, could resist the rushing waters. The clay pot replied: The arrangement you propose does not appeal to me. I am afraid that such proximity will bring many misfortunes upon me. For whether the wave washes you against me or me against you, I only, being breakable, will be shattered, while you remain unharmed.

Notes:

1. áSee Avianus, Fables 11; Erasmus, Adagia 32, Aliquid mali propter vicinum malum.


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IN FIDEM UXORIAM.

On faithfulness in a wife

Ecce puella viro quae dextra iungitur, ecce
U [=Ut] sedet? ut catulus lusitat ante pedes.
Link to an image of this pageá Link to an image of this page á[D2v]Haec fidei est species Veneris quam si educat ardor,
Malorum in laeva non male ramus erit.
Poma etenim Veneris sunt, sic echeneida[1] [=Scheneida] vicit,
Hippomanes, petiit sic Galathea[2] virum.

See here a girl, her right hand clasping her husband’s. See how she sits, how a puppy plays at her feet. This is a representation of faithfulness, and if Venus’s ardour nurtures it, a branch bearing apples may well be seen in on the left. For apples are Venus’s fruit; by them Hippomenes defeated Schoeneus’s daughter; with them Galatea sought her man.

Notes:

1. áScheneida, ‘Schoeneus’ daugher’, i.e. Atalanta. See Ovid, Metamorphoses 10.560ff. for the story: Atalanta would marry none but the man who could beat her at running. Hippomenes tricked her into losing the vital race by throwing down in turn three golden apples given him by Venus.

2. áGalatea, a girl who throws apples at the man she fancies: Vergil, Eclogues 3.64-5.


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