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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [k2v p148]

In eum qui sibi ipsi[1] damnum
apparat.

One who brings about his own downfall

XCI.

Capra lupum non sponte meo nunc ubere lacto,
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [k3r p149]Quod mal pastoris provida cura iubet.[2]
Creverit ille simul, mea me post ubera pascet,
Inprobitas nullo flectitur obsequio.[3]

I am a goat giving suck against my will - to a wolf. The improvident kindness of the shepherd makes me do this. Once the wolf has grown, after feeding at my teats, he will then eat me. Wickedness is never deterred by services rendered.

COMMENTARIA.

Capra lactans invita & nutriens lupum ad-
huc parvulum moesta conqueritur qud hoc
ita pastori placeret quandoquidem postea-
quam succrevisset, statim illam devoraturus
esset, nequitia enim & improbitas non est me-
mor beneficiorum, & hoc proverbialiter di-
citur, alere luporum latulos, nam Lupus pilum
mutat non animum, vide Chiliadibus.

Notes:

1. Textual variant: ‘ipsi’ omitted.

2. This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.47. For the content cf. Aesop, Fables 313-5.

3. ‘Wickedness is never deterred by services rendered’. See Erasmus, Adagia 1086, Ale luporum catulos.


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In adulatores.

Flatterers

LXXXVIII.

Semper hiat, semper tenuem qua vescitur auram,
Reciprocat chamaeleon[1],
Et mutat faciem, varios sumitque colores,
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [k1r p145]Praeter rubrum vel candidum:[2]
Sic & adulator populari vescitur aurae,[3]
Hiansque cuncta devorat,
Et solm mores imitatur principis atros:
Albi & pudici nescius.

The Chameleon is always breathing in and out with open mouth the bodiless air on which it feeds; it changes its appearance and takes on various colours, except for red and white. - Even so the flatterer feeds on the wind of popular approval and gulps down all with open mouth. He imitates only the black features of the prince, knowing nothing of the white and pure.

COMMENTARIA.

Chamaeleon animal est frequens in India,
semper hians & aperto ore arem, quo solo
vivit & nutritur, attrahens & respirans, saepe
facillimeque in varios colores convertitur ex-
cepto rubro & albo, de quo Aristoteles lib. 2.
de natura animal. Plinius lib. 8. cap. 33. & Demo-
critus
in lib. de potestate Camaeleontis. Ovidius
quoque lib. 15. Metamorphoseon.

Id quoque quod ventis animal nutritur & aura,
Protinus assimulat, tetigit quoscunque colores.

Sic etiam adulator alitur & sustentatur fama
solummodo populi, inhiansque cuncta devo-
rat, imitatur facllim superioris sui nigros &
perversos mores, ab albis ver & ru-
bris, id est, sine labe puris at-
que pudicis, totus
alienus est.

Notes:

1. This creature was supposed to feed only on air, keeping its mouth wide open to suck it in. See Pliny, Natural History 8.51.122. For the chameleon cf. Erasmus, Parabolae pp.144, 241, 252.

2. ‘except for red and white’. See Pliny, ib.

3. ‘the wind of popular approval’. This is a common metaphor in Latin, e.g. Horace, Odes 3.2.20, ‘at the behest of the wind of popular approval.’


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