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EMBLEMA CLXXVIII [=177] .

Maledicentia.

Evil speaking

Archilochi[1] tumulo insculptas de marmore vespas
Esse ferunt,[2] linguae certa sigilla malae.

They say that on the tomb of Archilochus wasps were carved in marble, sure figures of an evil tongue.

Das CLXXVIII [=177] .

Ubelreden.

Es solln auffs Archilochs Grabstein
Wie man sagt Wespen ghauwen seyn
Sie seind ein gwi zeichn und urkundt
Eins bsen Mauls und herben Mundt.

Notes:

1. Archilochus was an eighth-century BC poet, author of much (now fragmentary) verse, including satire. This last was considered in antiquity to be excessively abusive and violent. See Horace, Ars Poetica, 79; also Erasmus, Adagia, 60 (Irritare crabrones).

2. ferunt, ‘they say’: words suggested by Anthologia Graeca, 7.71, an epigram concerning the tomb of Archilochus.


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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 [D5v p58]

    Dolus in suos.

    Treachery against one’s own kind.

    Altilis allectator anas, & caerula pennis
    Adsueta ad dominos ire redire suos.
    Congeneres cernens volitare per ara turmas
    Garrit: in illarum se recipitque gregem,
    Praetensa incautas donec sub retia ducat.
    Obstrepitant captae, conscia at ipsa silet.
    Perfida cognato se sanguine polluit ales,
    Officiosa aliis, exitiosa suis.[1]

    The well-fed decoy duck with its green-blue wings is trained to go out and return to its masters. When it sees squadrons of its relations flying through the air, it quacks and joins itself to the flock, until it can draw them, off their guard, into the outspread nets. When caught they raise a protesting clamour, but she, knowing what she has done, keeps silence. The treacherous bird defiles itself with related blood, servile to others, deadly to its own kind.

    Notes:

    1. Cf. Aesop, Fables, 282, where the decoy birds are pigeons.


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