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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D7r p61]

Il se fault endurcir contre les ad-
versitez presentes.

Apostrophe.

Contre la charge hault la Palme s’eleve
Et croist tant plus, que sa charge est plus greve,[1]
Glandz odorans portant, & delectables,[2]
Ayans l’honneur premier es bonnes tables.
Or monte (enfant) es rameaulx le fruict pris:
Car Qui sera constant: aura le pris.

Pour quelque adversité, ou contrarieté qui advien-
ne, point ne fault laisser une bonne entreprinse, Mais
perseverer constamment jusque à fin heureuse.

Notes:

1.  The reaction of palm to a heavy weight is mentioned in various ancient sources, e.g. Pliny, Natural History 16.81.223; Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 3.6. See also Erasmus, Parabolae p.263. It probably refers to a plank of palm-wood, rather than a branch of the living tree.

2.  See Erasmus, Parabolae p.241: ‘the palm-tree, having bark with knife-sharp edges, is difficult to climb, but it bears delicious fruit’.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [c6v p44]

Tumulus meretricis.

The courtesan’s tomb

XXV.

Quis tumulus? cuia urna? Ephyraeae est Laidos,[1] & non
Erubuit tantum perdere Parca[2] decus?
Nulla fuit tum forma, illam iam carpserat aetas,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [c7r p45]Iam speculum Veneri cauta dicarat[3] anus.
Quid sculptus sibi vult aries[4], quem parte leaena
Unguibus apprensum 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.

COMMENTARIA.

Laïs ex Corinthia meretrix insignis mirae
pulchritudinis ac venustatis, ob id per totam
Graeciam celebris, quae neminem admittebat,
nisi tantum solveret, quantum ipsa peteret,
postulabat autem ingentem pecuniae sum-
mam, hanc Demosthenes Rhetor clam adie-
rat, utque sibi sui copiam faceret rogaverat, il-
la statim 40. sestertia (quae summa ut Budaeus
computat, mille ferè Gallicos coronatos fa-
ciet) petiit. Expavit autem Demosthenes,
mox terga volvens inquit, Ego poenitere tan-
ti non emo. ut eleganter Aulus Gellius lib. 1 cap. 8.
Eius sepulcrum hîc expressum, cui insculptus
est Aries (amatorem referens) quem sequens
Leaena (meretricem significans) unguibus à
tergo comprehendit. Sic etenim meretrices
quavis Leaena ferociores, miseros amantes
etiam laniando captos tenent. De Laïde au-
tem, eius monumento, & huiuscemodi pictu-
ria, similimè recenset Leonicus de varia histo-
ria lib 1. cap. 81.

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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