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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N2v f85v]

EMBLEMA CXXXII.

In detrectatores.[1]

Against his detractors

Audent flagriferi matulae, stupidique magistri
Bilem in me impuri pectoris evomere:
Quid faciam? reddamne vices? sed nonne cicadam
Ala una obstreperam corripuisse[2] ferar?
Quid prodest muscas operosis pellere[3] flabris?
Negligere est satius, perdere quod nequeas.

Those cane-wielding, empty-headed, thick-skulled teachers dare to spew out on me the bile of their foul minds. What am I to do? Return like for like? But surely I would then be said to have seized the dinning cicada by the wing. What is the good of driving flies away with tiresome swipes? It is better to ignore what you cannot get rid of.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N3r f86r]

Das CXXXII.

Wider die Verleumbder.[4]

Die Kerffenfeger, drutten Köng
Die tollen losen Meister ring
Understehn in mich zgiessen auß all
Ir unreins Hertzens bitter Gall
Was sol ich machen oder thon?
Sol ichs in gleich vergelten schon?
Würd ich nicht leiden daß mich rürt
Mit eimFlügel die Cicad und irt?
Was hilffts das mit grosser mühe doch
Man dMucken vertreiben thut noch?
Es ist weger du lassest ston
Das du nicht kanst außreuten thon.

Notes:

1.  Other versions read ‘Detractores’.

2.  cicadam / Ala una...corripuisse, ‘to have seized the...cicada by the wing’. See Erasmus, Adagia, 828 (Cicadam ala corripuisti): if you hold a cicada by the wing, it will only chirp more loudly.

3.  muscas...pellere, ‘driving flies away’. See Erasmus, Adagia, 2660 (Muscas depellere): driving flies away is a waste of effort as they simply return.

4.  The German in certain parts of this emblem is particularly puzzling.


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F1v p82] Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F2r p83]

    In simulachrum Spei.[1]

    A picture of hope

    Quae Dea tam laeto suspectans sydera vultu?
    Cuius penniculis reddita imago fuit.
    Elpidii[2] fecere manus, ego nominor illa,
    Quae miseris promptam Spes bona praestat opem.
    Cur viridis tibi Palla? quòd omnia me duce vernent.
    Quid manibus mortis tela[3] refracta geris?
    Quod vivos sperare decet, praecido sepultis,
    Cur in dolioli tegmine pigra sedes?
    Sola domi mansi volitantibus undique noxis,
    Ascraei[4] ut docuit musa verenda senis.
    Quae tibi adest volucris? Cornix fidissimus oscen,[5]
    Est bene cùm nequeat dicere, dicit erit.
    Qui comites? bonus Eventus[6], praecepsve Cupido,
    Qui praeeunt, vigilum somnia vana vocant.
    Quae tibi iuncta astat, scelerum Rhamnusia[7] vindex,
    Scilicet ut speres nil nisi quod liceat.

    What goddess is this, looking up to the stars with face so glad? By whose brush was this image depicted? - The hands of Elpidius made me. I am called Good Hope, the one who brings ready aid to the wretched. - Why is your garment green? - Because everything will spring green when I lead the way. - Why do you hold Death’s blunt arrows in your hands? - The hopes that the living may have, I cut short for the buried. - Why do you sit idle on the cover of a jar? - I alone stayed behind at home when evils fluttered all around, as the revered muse of the old poet of Ascra has told you. - What bird is at your side? - A crow, the faithful prophet. When it cannot say, ‘All’s well’, it says, ‘All shall be well’. - Who are your companions? - Happy Ending and Eager Desire. - Who go before you? - They call them the idle dreams of those who are awake. - Who stands close beside you? - Rhamnusia, the avenger of crimes, to make sure that you hope for nothing but what is allowed.

    Notes:

    1.  From the 1536 Wechel edition onwards, the woodcut is revised: Nemesis is added, just peeping round the corner.

    2.  Elpidius is an invented name derived from Greek elpis, ‘hope’.

    3.  For Death’s arrows cf. [A34b065], [A34b066].

    4.  ‘the old poet of Ascra’, i.e. Hesiod. See Hesiod, Opera et dies 90ff. for the story of Pandora’s box or jar.

    5.  ‘a crow, the faithful prophet’. The crow was a bird of prophecy and an emblem of hope. Its caw was interpreted as cras, cras, ‘tomorrow, tomorrow’. Cf. the proverb, Quod hodie non est, cras erit: ‘What is not today shall be tomorrow.’

    6.  Bonus Eventus or Bonne Aventure, cf. Evento Buono in Ripa, Iconologia; also called ‘Success’ or ‘Happy Ending’.

    7.  Rhamnusia, i.e. Nemesis, who had a shrine at Rhamnus in Attica.


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