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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H3v p118]

A minimis quoque timendum.[1]

Beware of even the weakest foe


Bella gerit Scarabaeus & hostem provocat ultrň,
Robore & inferior, consilio superat.
Nam plumis Aquilae clŕm se neque cognitus abdit,
Hostilem ut nidum summa per astra petat:
Ovaque confodiens, prohibet spem crescere prolis:
Hocque modo illatum dedecus ultus abit.[2]

The scarab beetle is waging war and takes the challenge to its foe. Though inferior in physical strength, it is superior in strategy. It hides itself secretly in the eagle’s feathers without being felt, in order to attack its enemy’s nest across the lofty skies. It bores into the eggs and prevents the hoped-for offspring from developing. And then it departs, having thus avenged the insult inflicted on it.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H4r p119]

Des petitz se doibt l’on doubter.


L’aigle eust au cerf volant debat:
Dont elle fait bien peu de compte,
Comme petit pour son combat.
Mais l’autre emmy ses plumes monte.
Ainsi porté fut de esle prompte
Au nid, ou tous les oeufz il casse.
Moins fort de corps, par art surmonte.
Souvent nuyt condition basse.


1.  Before the 1536 edition, Wechel editions used an earlier version of the woodcut in which the beetle had no horns.

2.  For the feud between the eagle and the beetle, see Aesop, Fables 4; Erasmus, Adagia 2601, Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit.

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