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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I4r p135]

Receptateurs d’homicides.

XCIIII.

Gents apres toy avec espees,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I4v=p136] (Dont plusieurs ont gaigné le pendre,
Ou d’avoir oreilles couppees)
Te font cornes au chef estendre:
Mais il t’en pourra ainsi prendre,
En nourrissant tels ruffiens,
Qu’à Acteon, qui (faict Cerf tendre)
Fut mangé par ses propres chiens.[1]

commentaires.

Alciat a faict cest embleme contre un qu’il ap-
pelle Scaeva en son epigramme Latin. Il l’accompare
à Acteon, fils d’Aristee, lequel estant merveilleuse-
ment addonné à la chasse, nourrissoit plusieurs chiens
en sa maison. Un jour, apres s’estre bien lassé &
travaillé à la chasse, il arriva à une fontaine fort ca-
chee pour s’y laver & recreer. Mais de malheur il y
rencontra Diane, Deesse de la chasse, & de chasteté,
& amie de la solitude, accompagnee de quelques unes
de ses nymphes, qui se lavoyent toutes nues en ladite
fontaine. Estans irritees contre luy, de ce qu’il les a-
voit surprises ainsi nues, elles luy jecterent de l’eau,
peut estre non sans quelque imprecation, si que le
povre Acteon commença à prendre cornes & à de-
venir cerf tout à faict: tellement que voulant retour-
ner à sa maison, ses propres chiens le deschirerent &
devorerent. Ainsi void on souvent, que plusieurs s’e-
stiment grands Seigneurs, liberaux, & magnanimes,
pource qu’ils nourrissent, fomentent, & ont ordinai-
rement à leur suite des larrons, meurtriers, desloyaux,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I5r p137] & autres semblables garnements: mais tant s’en faut
que celà les annoblisse, qu’au contraire ils se peuvent
asseurer, que tost ou tard ces gents de meschante vie
les ruineront de corps & de biens, ne plus ne moins
que les chiens d’Acteon devorerent leur maistre.

Notes:

1.  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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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G1v p98]

Eloquentia fortitudine praestantior.[1]

Eloquence superior to strength

Arcum laeva tenet, rigidam fert dextera clavam,
Contegit & Nemees corpora nuda leo.
Herculis haec igitur facies? non convenit illud
Quòd vetus & senio tempora cana gerit.
Quid quod lingua illi levibus traiecta cathenis,
Queis fissa facili allicit aure viros?
An ne quòd Alciden lingua non robore Galli
Praestantem populis iura dedisse ferunt?
Cedunt arma togae,[2] & quamvis durissima corda
Eloquio pollens ad sua vota trahit.

His left hand holds a bow, his right hand a stout club, the lion of Nemea clothes his bare body. So this is a figure of Hercules. But he is old and his temples grizzled with age - that does not fit. What of the fact that his tongue has light chains passing through it, by which he draws men along with ready ears pierced? The reason is surely that the Gauls say that Alceus’ descendant excelled in eloquence rather than might and gave laws to the nations. - Weapons yield to the arts of peace, and even the hardest of hearts the skilled speaker can lead where he will.

Notes:

1.  This epigram is closely based on Lucian’s essay, The Gallic Hercules.

2.  Cf. Cicero’s notorious line, Cedant arma togae, concedat laurea linguae, ‘Let weapons yield to the arts of peace, let laurels yield to eloquence’ (quoted in Quintilian, Institutio oratoria 11.1.24).


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  • Europeans (with NAME) [32B311(FRENCHMEN)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • 'litterae', symbolic representations, allegories and emblems ~ literature; 'Lettere' (Ripa) [48C90] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Power of Eloquence; 'Forza sottoposta all'Eloquenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52D31(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generosità dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtù del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) [54A7] Search | Browse Iconclass

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