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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N5v p202]

In receptatores sicariorum.[1]

Those who harbour cut-throats

Latronum furumque manus tibi Scaeva[2] per urbem
It comis [=comes] , & diris cincta cohors gladiis.
Atque ita te mentis generosum prodige cènses,
Quòd tua complureis allicit olla malos.
En novus Actaeon, qui postquàm cornua sumpsit,
In praedam canibus se dedit ipse suis.[3]

An evil-minded band of ruffians and thieves accompanies you about the city, a gang of supporters armed with lethal swords. And so, you wastrel, you consider yourself a fine lordly fellow because your cooking pot draws in crowds of scoundrels. - Here’s a fresh Actaeon - he, after he grew his horns, became the prey of his own hunting dogs.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N6r p203]

Receptateurs dhomicides.

Gens apres toy avec espees,
(Dont plusieurs ont gaigne le pendre,
Ou davoir oreilles coppees)
Te font cornes au chef extendre,
Mais il ten pourra ainsi prandre,
En nourrissant telz ruffiens,
Que a Acteon: qui (faict cerf tendre)
Fust devore de tous ces chiens.

Notes:

1.  Before the 1536 edition, Wechel editions used an earlier version of the woodcut in which the horns were more like a goat than a deer’s antlers.

2.  Scaeva, ‘evil-minded’. The capital letter suggests that the Latin word could be taken as a proper name in the vocative case, i.e addressing one Scaeva.

3.  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  [N4v p200]

Eloquentia fortitudine prae-
stantior.[1]

Eloquence superior to strength

XCIII.

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.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N5r p201]

Eloquence vault mieulx que force.

XCIII.

L’arc en la main, en l’autre la massue,
Peau de lyon estant cy apperceue,
Pour Hercules me faict ce vieillart croire
Mais ce qu’il a marque de si grand gloire,
Que mener gens enchainez a sa langue.
Entendre veult, qu’il feist tant bien harengue,
Que les Francois pour ses ditz de merveilles,
Furent ainsi que pris par les oreilles.
Si doncq’ il a par loix & ordonnances
Rangé les gens, plustost que par vaillances,
Dira l’on pas (comme ce est verité)
Que l’espée a lieu aux livres quicté?
Et que ung dur cueur par saiges mieulx se range,
Que gros effort son aspreté ne change?
Pource Hercules ne faict pas grandes forces:
Et si sont gens apres luy grandes courses.

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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