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ELOQUENTIA FORTITU-
dine praestantior.[1]

Eloquence superior to strength

Arcum leva tenet, rigidam fert dextera clavam,
Contegit & Nemees corpora nuda leo.
Herculis haec igitur facies? non convenit illud,
Quod vetus & senio tempora cana gerit.
Quid quod lingua illi levibus traiecta cathenis,
Queīs fissa facileīs allicit aure viros.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E6v]An ne quod Alciden lingua non robore Galli,
Praestantem populis iura dedisse ferunt.
Cedunt arma togae,[2] & quamvis durissima corda,
Eloquio pollens ad sua vota trahit.

His left hand holds a bow, his right hand a stout club, the lion of Nemea clothes his bare body. So this is a figure of Hercules. But he is old and his temples grizzled with age - that does not fit. What of the fact that his tongue has light chains passing through it, which are attached to men’s pierced ears, and by them he draws them unresisting along? The reason is surely that the Gauls say that Alceus’ descendant excelled in eloquence rather than might and gave laws to the nations. - Weapons yield to the arts of peace, and even the hardest of hearts the skilled speaker can lead where he will.

Notes:

1.  This epigram is closely based on Lucian’s essay, The Gallic Hercules.

2.  Cf. Cicero’s notorious line, Cedant arma togae, concedat laurea linguae, ‘Let weapons yield to the arts of peace, let laurels yield to eloquence’ (quoted in Quintilian, Institutio oratoria 11.1.24).


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  • ears [31A2213] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Europeans (with NAME) [32B311(FRENCHMEN)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • 'litterae', symbolic representations, allegories and emblems ~ literature; 'Lettere' (Ripa) [48C90] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Power of Eloquence; 'Forza sottoposta all'Eloquenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52D31(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generositą dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtł del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) [54A7] Search | Browse Iconclass

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AD IDEM

On the same thing

Alveolis dum mella legit, percussit amorem,
Furacem mala apes, & summis spicula liquit,
In digitis, tumido gemit at puer ungue[1]
Et quatit errabundus humum, Venerique dolorem,
Indicat et graviter queritur, quod apicula parvum
Ipsa inferre animal tam noxia vulnera possit.
Cui ridens Venus, hanc imitaris tu quoque dixit
Nate feram, qui das tot noxia vulnera parvus.[2]

While he was taking honey from the hives, a vicious bee stung thieving Amor, and left its sting in the end of his finger. The boy in distress cried out as his finger-end swelled up. He ran about, stamping his foot, showed his hurt to Venus, and complained bitterly that a little bee, that tiny creature, could inflict such grievous wounds. Venus smiled at him and said, “You are like this creature, my son; small as you are you deal many a grievous wound”.

Notes:

1.  anxius is added here from the 1534 Paris/Wechel edition onwards. Omission upsets the scansion.

2.  In later editions, this becomes clearly a separate emblem, but here should perhaps more properly be regarded as a second subscriptio for the previous emblem.


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