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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I5v p138]

In temerarios.

The reckless

Aspicis aurigam currus Phaëthonta[1] paterni
Ignivomos ausum flectere Solis equos.
Maxima qui postquàm terris incendia sparsit.
Est temere insesso lapsus ab axe miser.
Sic plaerique rotis fortunae ad sydera Reges
Evecti, ambitio quos iuvenilis agit,
Post magnam humani generis clademque suamque,
Cunctorum poenas denique dant scelerum.

You see here Phaethon, driving his father’s chariot, and daring to guide the fire-breathing steeds of the Sun. After spreading great conflagrations over the earth, the wretched boy fell from the car he had so rashly mounted. - Even so, the majority of kings are borne up to heaven on the wheels of Fortune, driven by youth’s ambition. After they have brought great disaster on the human race and themselves, they finally pay the penalty for all their crimes.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I6r p139]

Contre temeraires.

Phaeton trop fier pour son lignage,
Le Soleil conduire voulut:
Les chevaulx trop fors pour son aage,
Lont pugny de ce quil esleut.
Maint homme est, que mieulx luy valut,
Que en jeune aage eust moins eu richesse:
Car apres estat dissolut,
Il chet soubz le mal qui le presse.

Notes:

1.  Phaethon, the son of Apollo, the sun-god. The myth referred to here is told in Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.748 - 2.349. Both Phaethon and Icarus ([A39a053]) are types of those who aim too high and do not recognise their proper sphere.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D3v]

DE MORTE ET AMORE.[1]

Death and Love

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D4r]

Errabat socio mors iuncta cupidine secum,
Mors pharetras parvus tela gerebat amor.
Divertere simul, simul una & nocte cubarunt,
Caecus amor, mors hoc tempore caeca fuit,
Alter enim alterius, male provida spicula sumpsit.
Mors aurata, tenet ossea tela puer,
Debuit inde senex qui nunc acheronticus[2] esse,
Ecce amat & capiti florea serta parat.
Ast ego mutato quia amor me perculit arcu,
Deficio iniiciunt & mihi vata [=fata] manum.
Parce puer, mors signa tenens victricia parce,
Fac ego amem subeat fac Acheronta senex.

Death was travelling in company with Cupid. Death was carrying the quivers, little Love the arrows. They turned aside together, and slept beside each other that night. Love was blind, and Death too was blind at this time, for each took the other’s heedless arrows. Death has the golden ones, the boy the ones of bone. As a result, an old man who ought by now to be in the grave is - lo and behold - in love, and gets garlands of flowers for his head. But I, since Love struck me with his substitute bow, I am failing - the Fates lay their hand on me. Boy, show mercy. Death, holding the symbols of your triumph, do you show mercy. Cause me to love; cause the old man to go down to Hades.

Notes:

1.  The iconography of the emblems ‘De morte et amore’ and ‘In formosam fato praereptam’ (next emblem) is confused in many editions.

2.  Acheron was considered to be a river in Hades, but is used to mean the Underworld or the dead in general. Homer described it as a river of Hades, where Odysseus consulted spirits of Underworld (Odyssey 10.513). Vergil (Aeneid 6.297, with the note of Servius) describes it as the principal river of Tartarus, from which the Styx and Cocytus sprang.


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