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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Nn2v p564]

Ex arduis perpetuum nomen.

Lasting renown won through tribulation

EMBLEMA CXXXII.

Crediderat platani ramis sua pignora passer,
Et bene, ni saevo visa dracone forent.
Glutiit hic pullos omnes, miseramque parentem
Saxeus, & tali dignus obire nece.
Haec, nisi mentitur Calchas, monimenta laboris
Sunt longi, cuius fama perennis eat.[1]

A sparrow had entrusted her young to the branches of a plane-tree, and all would have been well, if they had not been observed by a merciless snake. This creature devoured all the chicks and the hapless parent too, a stony-hearted beast, turned to stone as it deserved. Unless Calchas speaks falsely, these are the tokens of long toil, the fame of which will go on through all the years.

Notes:

1.  See Homer, Iliad 2.299ff. for this portent which occurred at Aulis, where the Greek fleet was waiting to sail for Troy. Calchas the seer interpreted the eating of the eight chicks and their mother, followed by the death of the snake, as foretelling the nine-year battle for Troy, followed by success.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E5v]

IN EUM QUI SIBI IPSI[1]
damnum apparat.

One who brings about his own downfall

Capra lupum non sponte meo nunc ubere lacto,
Quod male pastoris provida cura iubet.[2]
Creverit ille simul, mea me[3] post ubera pascet,
Improbitas nullo flectitur obsequio.[4]

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.

Notes:

1.  Textual variant: ‘ipsi’ omitted.

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

3.  Corrected from the Errata.

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


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