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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D3r f14r]

EMBLEMA XIX.

Facundia difficilis.

Eloquence is hard

Antidotum Aeaeae medicata in pocula Circes,
Mercurium hoc Ithaco fama dedisse fuit.[1]
Moly vocant, id vix radice evellitur atra,
Purpureus sed flos, lactis & instar habet.
Eloquii candor facundiaque allicit omnes:
Sed multi res est tanta laboris opus.

According to the story, Mercury gave to the man from Ithaca this antidote to the poisoned cup of Aeaean Circe. They call it moly. It is hard to pull up by its black root. The plant is dark, but its flower is white as milk. The brilliance of eloquence and readiness of speech attracts all men, but this mighty thing is a work of much labour.

Das XIX.

Wolberedt ist schwer.

Ulyssi als die sage was
Soll Mercurius geben das
Wider der Circe buler trenck
Diß gegen Artzney zu eim gschenck
Ein kraut so wirt Moly genannt
Mit einr schwartzen Wurtzel bekannt
Die man schwerlich auß dem grundt reist
Darauff ein purpurfarb Blumb gleist
Ist innwendig wie die Milch weiß
Also wol reden behelt den preiß
Und reitzet jederman zu ir
Aber es braucht vil müh und gir.

Notes:

1.  See Homer, Odyssey, 10.270ff. for the story of the encounter of Ulysses (the man from Ithaca) and his crew with the sorceress Circe on the island of Aeaea. The plant moly is described ibid, 302-6. See Emblem 85 ([A67a085]), for the effect of Circe’s poisoned cup. Cf. Erasmus, De Copia (Loeb edition, 1.91 D), where moly is interpreted as wisdom rather than eloquence. Cf. Coustau, ‘In herbam Moly, ex Homero’ ([FCPb073]).


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E6v]

    IN RECEPTATORES
    siccariorum.

    Those who harbour cut-throats

    Latronum furumque manus tibi scaeva[1] per urbem,
    It comes, & diris cincta cohors gladiis.
    Atque ita te mentis generosum prodige censes,
    Quod tua complureîs allicit olla malos.
    En novus Actaeon qui postquam cornua sumpsit,
    In praedam canibus se dedit ipse suis.[2]

    An evil-minded band of ruffians and thieves accompanies you about the city, a gang of supporters armed with lethal swords. And so, you wastrel, you consider yourself a fine lordly fellow because your cooking pot draws in crowds of scoundrels. - Here’s a fresh Actaeon - he, after he grew his horns, became the prey of his own hunting dogs.

    Notes:

    1.  Scaeva, ‘evil-minded’. The capital letter in later editions suggests that the Latin word could be taken as a proper name in the vocative case, i.e addressing one Scaeva.

    2.  For the story of Actaeon turned into a stag and killed by his own hounds, see Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.138ff. Similarly, the hangers-on will destroy the one who has fed them.


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