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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N5v p202]

In eum qui sibi ipsi damnum
apparat.

One who brings about his own downfall

XCI.

Capra lupum non sponte meo nunc ubere lacto,
Quod malè pastoris provida cura iubet.[1]
Creverit ille simul, mea me post ubera pascet,
Improbitas nullo flectitur obsequio.[2]

I am a goat giving suck against my will - to a wolf. The improvident kindness of the shepherd makes me do this. Once the wolf has grown, after feeding at my teats, he will then eat me. Wickedness is never deterred by services rendered.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N6r p203]

Von den so in selbs ungluck erziehen.

XCI.

Ich arme Gayß einn wolff erner,
Darzu mich selber dringt mein hiert,
Der nit verstet mein groß beschwer:
Dan so der wolff erzogen wierd,
Ist mier gewiser tod beschiert.
Dan wie sehr und lang man verert,
Wie vil und hoch man hilfft und ziert
Einn schelm, so ist er unverkert.

Notes:

1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.47. For the content cf. Aesop, Fables 313-5.

2.  ‘Wickedness is never deterred by services rendered’. See Erasmus, Adagia 1086, Ale luporum catulos.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E4r]

IN ADULATORES.

Flatterers

De Chameleonte vide Plinium naturalis historia
libro. VIII. Cap. XXXIII.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E4v]

Semper hiat, semper tenuem qua vescitur auram[1],
Reciprocat chamaeleon[2].
Et mutat faciem varios sumitque colores,
Praeter rubrum vel candidum.[3]
Sic & adulator populari vescitur aura,[4]
Hiansque cuncta devorat.
Et solum mores imitatur principis atros.
Albi & pudici nescius.

The Chameleon is always breathing in and out with open mouth the bodiless air on which it feeds; it changes its appearance and takes on various colours, except for red and white. - Even so the flatterer feeds on the wind of popular approval and gulps down all with open mouth. He imitates only the black features of the prince, knowing nothing of the white and pure.

Notes:

1.  Corrected from the Errata and by hand in this copy.

2.  This creature was supposed to feed only on air, keeping its mouth wide open to suck it in. See Pliny, Natural History 8.51.122. For the chameleon cf. Erasmus, Parabolae pp.144, 241, 252.

3.  ‘except for red and white’. See Pliny, ib.

4.  ‘the wind of popular approval’. This is a common metaphor in Latin, e.g. Horace, Odes 3.2.20, ‘at the behest of the wind of popular approval.’


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