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In temerarios.

The reckless

EMBLEMA LVI.

Aspicis aurigam currus Phaethonta[1] paterni,
Ignivomos ausum flectere Solis equos:
Maxima qui postqum terris incendia sparsit,
Est temer insesso lapsus ab axe miser.
Sic plerique rotis fortunae ad sidera Reges
Evecti, ambitio quos iuvenilis agit;
Post magnam humani generis clademque suamque,
Cunctorum poenas denique dant scelerum.

You see here Phaethon, driving his father's chariot, and daring to guide the fire-breathing steeds of the Sun. After spreading great conflagrations over the earth, the wretched boy fell from the car he had so rashly mounted. - Even so, the majority of kings are borne up to heaven on the wheels of Fortune, driven by youth's ambition. After they have brought great disaster on the human race and themselves, they finally pay the penalty for all their crimes.

Notes:

1. Phaethon, the son of Apollo, the sun-god. The myth referred to here is told in Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.748 - 2.349. Both Phaethon and Icarus (see [A21a104]) are types of those who aim too high and do not recognise their proper sphere.


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Section: STULTITIA (Folly). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [E4v p72]

In eum qui sibi ipsi[1] damnum
apparat.

One who brings about his own downfall.

Capra lupum non sponte, meo nunc ubere lacto,
Qud mal pastoris provida cura iubet.[2]
Creverit ille simul, mea me post ubera pascet.
Improbitas nullo flectitur obsequio.[3]

I am a goat giving suck against my will - to a wolf. The improvident kindness of the shepherd makes me do this. Once the wolf has grown, after feeding at my teats, he will then eat me. Wickedness is never deterred by services rendered.

Notes:

1. Textual variant: ‘ipsi’ omitted.

2. This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.47. For the content cf. Aesop, Fables 313-5.

3. ‘Wickedness is never deterred by services rendered’. See Erasmus, Adagia 1086, Ale luporum catulos.


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