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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [E3r p69]

Dolus in suos.

Treachery against one’s own kind.

EMBLEMA L.

Altilis allectator anas, & caerula pennis,
Assueta 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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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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