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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  [E7r]

    IN VITAM HUMANAM.

    On human life

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E7v]

    Plus solito humanae nunc defle incomoda vitae
    Heraclite, scatet pluribus illa malis.
    Tu rursus, si quando alias extolle[1] cachinnum,
    Democrite, illa magis ludicra facta fuit.
    Interea haec cernens meditor, qua denique tecum.
    Fine fleam, aut tecum quomodo splene iocer.[2]

    Weep now, Heraclitus, even more than you did, for the ills of human life. It teems with far more woes. And you, Democritus, if ever you laughed before, raise your cackle now. Life has become more of a joke. Meanwhile, seeing all this, I consider just how far I can weep with you, how laugh bitterly with you.

    Notes:

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

    2.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.148. For Heraclitus, cf. [A50a016]. For the contrast between the despairing tears of Heraclitus (who withdrew from human society) and the sardonic laughter of Democritus when faced with the folly of men, see, among many sources, e.g. Juvenal, Satires 10, 28ff.


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