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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.

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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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    AERE QUANDOQUE SALU
    tem redimendam.

    Sometimes money must be spent to purchase safety

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E3v]

    Et pedibus segnis, tumida & propendulus alvo,
    Hac tamen insidias effugit arte fiber.
    Mordicus ipse sibi medicata virilia vellit,
    Atque abiicit sese gnarus ob illa peti,
    Huius ab exemplo disces non parcere rebus,
    Et vitam ut redimas hostibus aera dare.[1]

    Though slow of foot and with swollen belly hanging down, the beaver nonetheless escapes the ambush by this trick: it tears off with its teeth its testicles, which are full of a medicinal substance, and throws them aside, knowing that it is hunted for their sake. - From this creature’s example you will learn not to spare material things, and to give money to the enemy to buy your life.

    Notes:

    1.  This is based on Aesop, Fables 153, where the same moral is drawn. For the information about the beaver, see Pliny, Natural History 8.47.109; Isidore, Etymologiae (Origines) 12.2.21.


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