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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E3v]

CAPTIVUS OB GULAM.

Caught by greed

Regnator penus, & mensae corrosor[1] herilis,
Ostrea mus summis vidit hiulca labris.
Queîs teneram opponens[2] barbam falsa ossa momordit,
Illa recluserunt[3] tacta repente domum.
Depraensum & tetro tenuerunt carcere furem,
Semet in obscurum qui dederat tumulum.[4]

A mouse, king of the pantry, nibbler at the master’s table, saw oysters with their shells just slightly open. Applying his sensitive whiskers, he nibbled the deceptive bone. The oysters, when touched, suddenly slammed shut their house and held the thief, caught red-handed, in a noisome prison, a thief who had put himself into a lightless tomb.

Notes:

1.  Textual variant: Regnatorque penus, mensaeque arrosor.

2.  Later editions read apponens.

3.  Textual variant: Ast ea clauserunt.

4.  This poem is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.86.


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Section: PERFIDIA (Treachery). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D4v p56]

VITIA.

Vices.

In victoriam dolo partam.

On victory won by guile

Aiacis tumulum lachrymis ego perluo virtus.
Heu misera albentes dilacerata comas.
Scilicet hoc restabat adhuc, ut iudice Graeco[1]
Vincerer: & causa stet potiore dolus.[2]

I, Virtue, bedew with tears the tomb of Ajax, tearing, alas, in my grief my whitening hairs. This was all it needed - that I should be worsted with a Greek as judge, and that guile should appear to have the better cause.

Notes:

1.  The Greek assembly awarded the arms of the dead Achilles to the cunning and eloquent Ulysses, not the brave and straight-forward Ajax. For Ajax’ subsequent suicide, see [A50a028].

2.  See Anthologia graeca 7.145.


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