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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Y4r f172r]

IN TEMERARIOS.

The reckless

Emblema. 56.

Aspicis aurigam currus Phaetonta[1] paterni.
Ignivomos ausum flectere Solis equos.
Maxima qui postquam terris incendia sparsit,
Est temerê insesso lapsus[2] ab axe miser.
Sic plerique rotis fortunae ad sidera Reges
Evecti ambitio quos iuvenilis agit.
Post magnum [=magnam] humani generis clademque, suamque,
Cunctorum paenas 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 [A15a102]) are types of those who aim too high and do not recognise their proper sphere.

2.  Corrected from the Errata.


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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  [E1v p66]

In eos qui supra vires quic-
quam audent.

Those who venture on what is beyond their powers.

Dum dormit, dulci recreat dum corpora somno,
Sub picea, & clavam caeteraque arma tenet,
Alciden, Pygmaea manus[1] prosternere letho
Posse putat: vires non bene docta suas.
Excitus ipse, velut pulices, sic proterit hostem,
Et saevi implicitum pelle leonis[2] agit.

While Alceus’ descendant was sleeping, while he was refreshing his body with gentle slumber, beneath a spruce tree, keeping hold of his club and other weapons, a band of pygmies thought they could lay him low in death, not really grasping the limit of their powers. But he, waking up, crushed the foe like fleas, and carried them off, wrapped up in the fierce lion’s skin.

Notes:

1.  Hercules’ confrontation with the pygmies is described by Philostratus, Eikones 2.22.

2.  ‘the fierce lion’s skin’, the skin of the Nemean lion which Hercules always wore after slaying the beast. (See [A51a137], notes; [A51a180]).


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