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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L7r f103r]

Luxuriosorum opes.

The wealth of the dissipated.

Emblema lxxiii.

Rupibus aëriis, summíque crepidine saxi
Immites fructus ficus acerba parit,
Quos corvi comedunt, quos devorat improba cornix.
Qui nihil humanae commoditatis habent:
Sic fatuorum opibus parasiti & scorta fruuntur,
Et nulla iustos utilitate iuvant.[1]

On towering cliffs, on the brink of the highest crag, the bitter fig-tree bears its sharp fruit. These the ravens eat, these the rascally crow devours, fruit that offers nothing of any good to man. Even so, parasites and whores enjoy the wealth of fools - decent persons get no benefit from it.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L7v f103v]

HOc ex Apophthegmate Diogenis. dicebat enim
eos qui profusè & temere bona decoquerent,
opésque insumerent in rebus Venereis, conviviis
magnificis, & id genus aliis, esse arboribus similes
in montium & rupium cacumine nascentibus, qua-
rum fructus essent hominibus inutiles, à corvis aut
vulturibus devorandi.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L8r f104r]

Biens des Prodigues mal employez.

SUr le haut d’un rocher est un figuier sauvage,
Qui rapporte des fruicts aigres & sans saveur,
Et avant que jamais rien y puisse estre meur,
Les Corbeaux rafflent tout, mettent tout en ravage,
Les Corneilles aussi qui ne servent à rien.
Ainsi les Maquereaux & Putains ont le bien
De ces riches benests, que finement ils grippent:
Mais les plus gens de bien jamais n’y participent.

CEcy est emprunté du propos sententieux
de Diogenes. Car il disoit que ceux qui
despencent leur bien trop à l’abandon, &
employent leurs moyens en paillardises,
banquets exquis, & autres choses semblables
sont de mesme, comme ces arbres qui crois-
sent au dessus des hautes montagnes & ro-
ches, les fruicts desquels sont inutiles aux hom-
mes, & ne servent qu’aux corbeaux ou autours.

Notes:

1.  This is based on an idea in Anthologia Graeca, 12.185.


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Section: LUXURIA (Licentiousness). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F1v p82]

Tumulus meretricis.

The courtesan’s tomb

Διαλογιστικῶς.

In dialogue form.

Quis tumulus? Cuia urna? Ephyraeae est Laidos.[1] ah, non
Erubuit tantum perdere Parca[2] decus?
Nulla fuit tum forma. illam iam carpserat aetas,
Iam speculum Veneri cauta dicarat[3] anus.
Quid scalptus sibi vult aries[4] quem parte leaena
Unguibus apprehensum posteriore tenet?
Non aliter captos quòd & ipsa teneret amantes,
Vir gregis est aries, clune tenetur amans.

What tomb, whose urn is this? - It belongs to Lais of Ephyre. - Ah, was not the goddess of Fate ashamed to destroy such loveliness? - She had no beauty then. Age had already worn it away. She had become an old woman and had already wisely dedicated her mirror to Venus. - What’s the meaning of the ram carved there, which a lioness holds tight, gripping its hind-quarters with her claws? - It is there because she too would hold her captive lovers in just this way. The male of the flock is the ram. The lover is held by the buttocks.

Notes:

1.  ‘Lais of Ephyre’. Ephyre is an old name for Corinth, the home of several famous courtesans called Lais.

2.  One of the Parcae or Fates, here presumably Atropos, the Fate who cut off the thread of the individual’s life.

3.  As a symbol of retirement, the tools of one’s trade were dedicated to the presiding deity. For Lais dedicating her mirror to Venus, see Anthologia graeca 6.1 and 18.

4.  Scalptus...aries, ‘the ram carved there’. Pausanias Periegesis 2.2.4 describes such a tomb of Lais at Corinth.


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