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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M5v p186]

Eloquence s’acquiert avec diffi-
culté.

XXII.

Pour Ulysse sauver de l’enchanté bruvage
Mercure luy donna l’herbe moly sauvage,[1]
Ayant noire racine, & fleur blanche & pourprine,
Difficile à trouver, & à tirer de terre.
L’eloquence est aussi malaisee à acquerre:
Mais elle attrait chacun par sa douceur divine.

Commentaires.

Ciceron dit que l’eloquence est difficile à acquerir
sur toutes autres possessions: car pour y parvenir, il
faut avoir appris beaucoup de belles choses. L’herbe,
appellee moly, est fort malaisee à trouver, & plus mal-
aisee encor à arracher de terre. Sa fleur est belle &
aggreable. Ainsi il faut tuer & travailler beaucoup
pour acquerir eloquence: mais en fin elle rend des
fruicts fort plaisans & de bon goust.

Notes:

1.  See Homer, Odyssey, 10.270ff. for the story of the encounter of Ulysses (the man from Ithaca) and his crew with the sorceress Circe on the island of Aeaea. The plant moly is described ibid, 302-6. See Emblem 16 ([FALe016]), for the effect of Circe’s poisoned cup. Cf. Erasmus, De Copia (Loeb edition, 1.91 D), where moly is interpreted as wisdom rather than eloquence. Cf. Coustau, ‘In herbam Moly, ex Homero’ ([FCPb073]).


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    Section: SCIENTIA (Learning). View all emblems in this section.

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N2r p195]

    Facundia difficilis.

    Eloquence is hard

    Antidotum Aeaeae medicata in pocula Circes
    Mercurium hoc Ithaco fama dedisse fuit.[1]
    Moly vocant, id vix radice evellitur atra,
    Purpureus. sed flos, lactis & instar habet.
    Eloquii candor facundiaque allicit omnes:
    Sed multi res est tanta laboris opus.

    According to the story, Mercury gave to the man from Ithaca this antidote to the poisoned cup of Aeaean Circe. They call it moly. It is hard to pull up by its black root. The plant is dark, but its flower is white as milk. The brilliance of eloquence and readiness of speech attracts all men, but this mighty thing is a work of much labour.

    Notes:

    1.  See Homer, Odyssey, 10.270ff. for the story of the encounter of Ulysses (the man from Ithaca) and his crew with the sorceress Circe on the island of Aeaea. The plant moly is described ibid, 302-6. See Emblem 76 ([A50a076]), for the effect of Circe’s poisoned cup. Cf. Erasmus, De Copia (Loeb edition, 1.91 D), where moly is interpreted as wisdom rather than eloquence. Cf. Coustau, ‘In herbam Moly, ex Homero’ ([FCPb073]).


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