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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[A8r]

IN OCCASIONEM.

Opportunity.

Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[A8v]

Lysippi[1] hoc opus est, Sycion[2] cui patria, tu quis?[3]
Cuncta domans capti temporis articulus.
Cur pinnis[4] stas, usque regor[5] talaria plantis
Cur retines? passim me levis aura rapit.
In dextra est tenuis dic unde novacula? acutum
Omni acie hoc signum me magis esse docet.
Cur in fronte coma occurrens ut prendar, at heus tu
Dic cur pars calva est posterior capitis.
Me semel alipedem si quis permittat abire,
Ne possim apprenso crine deinde rapi.[6]
Tali oppifex nos arte tui causa aedidit hospes,
Utque omnes moneam, pergula aperta tenet.

This image is the work of Lysippus, whose home was Sicyon. - Who are you? - I am the moment of seized opportunity that governs all. - Why do you stand on points? - I am always guided. - Why do you have winged sandals on your feet? - The fickle breeze bears me in all directions. - Tell us, what is the reason for the sharp razor in your right hand? - This sign indicates that I am keener than any cutting edge. - Why is there a lock of hair on your brow? - So that I may be seized as I run towards you. - But come, tell us now, why ever is the back of your head bald? - So that if any person once lets me depart on my winged feet, I may not thereafter be caught by having my hair seized. It was for your sake, stranger, that the craftsman produced me with such art, and, so that I should warn all, it is an open portico that holds me.

Notes:

1.Greek sculptor, 4th century BC.

2.A town west of Corinth.

3.This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 16.275. See also Erasmus, Adagia 670, Nosce tempus, where Erasmus too gives a verse translation of the Greek epigram.

4.‘on points’. Alciato here agrees with Erasmus, who similarly translates the phrase ep’ akra, ‘on tiptoe’, in the Greek original. Thomas More translates more obviously with summis digitis. See Selecta epigrammata (Cornarius, ed.) p. 372ff.

5.Later editions have rotor so that usque rotor means ‘I am always turning’ which fits the sense well.

6.Later editions read ...apprenso postmodo crine capi


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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[B7v p30]

Reverentiam in matrimonio
requiri.

Respect is required in marriage

Cým furit in Venerem, pelagi se in littore sistit
Vipera, & ab stomacho dira venena vomit:
Muraenamque ciens, ingentia sibila tollit:
At subitÚ amplexus appetit illa viri.[1]
Maxima debetur thalamo reverentia, coniunx
Alternum debet coniugi & obsequium.

When the viper is sexually aroused, it stations itself on the seashore and ejects the dread poisons from its gut. To summon the moray eel, it raises a loud hissing, and suddenly she comes to the embrace of her mate. - Great reverence is owed to the marriage bed, and the partners owe each other mutual respect.

Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[B8r p31]

Reverence est requise a mariage.

Jacoit que le serpent soit ort
Quant il vient sibler la Lamproye:
Elle repute faire tort,
Si a son amour ne rend proye:
Par ce je dis, que chascun croye,
Quon doibt honneur a mariage:
En sorte quil fault quon octroye,
Deu au laid, ou beau personnage.

Notes:

1.For the mating of the viper with the moray eel, see Pliny, Natural History 9.39.76; Aelian, De natura animalium 1.50; 9.66. The viper spits out the poison in order to be gentle and safe for the union.


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