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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O8v p224]

La clemencia d’el Principe.

SONETO.

D’el Rey de abejas se affirma y escrive
Que por que herir no pueda està privado
D’el aguijon,[1] con quien su pueblo armado
Contrasta a’l enemigo y se apercibe.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P1r p225] Ansi de sus abejas bien recibe,
Ansi le guardan siempre en el estado
Donde de la Fortuna fue encumbrado
Porque sin hazer mal govierna y bive.
O Reyes que subis à bien tamaño
O por Fortuna, ò por merecimiento,
Sabed con no hazer mal no hazeros daño!
Mirad que basta el pueblo estar contento
Para libraros de qualquier engaño,
Y para os encumbrar en todo aumento.

Notes:

1.  According to Pliny, Natural History, 11.21.74, wasps do not have ‘kings’: it is the ‘mother’ wasps that are without stings. On the other hand, the ‘king’ bee (the ancients believed the queen bee to be male) and its lack of sting, or refusal to use its sting, was often mentioned; e.g. Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.10; Pliny, ibid., 17.52. For the analogy with kingship, see e.g. Seneca, De Clementia, 1.19; Erasmus, Adagia, 2601 (Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit).


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E5r f37r]

Contra.[1]

A contrary view.

Vesparum quòd nulla unquam Rex spicula figet.[2]
Quodque aliis duplo corpore maior erit,
Arguet imperium clemens, moderataque regna,
Sanctaque iudicibus credita iura bonis.

The king of the wasps will never implant any sting and will be twice as big as the rest. This will be a sign of mild dominion, a disciplined kingdom, and inviolable law entrusted to good judges.

Notes:

1.  It is to be noted that in this edition, Maledicentia and Contra are treated as one emblem whereas in other editions Contra is treated as an emblem in its own right called Principis Clementia.

2.  According to Pliny, Natural History, 11.21.74, wasps do not have ‘kings’: it is the ‘mother’ wasps that are without stings. On the other hand, the ‘king’ bee (the ancients believed the queen bee to be male) and its lack of sting, or refusal to use its sting, was often mentioned; e.g. Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.10; Pliny, ibid., 17.52. For the analogy with kingship, see e.g. Seneca, De Clementia, 1.19; Erasmus, Adagia, 2601 (Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit).


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