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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n3v p198]

In detractores.

Against his detractors

XXVIII.

Audent flagriferi matulae, stupidique magistri
Bilem in me impuri pectoris evomere:
Quid faciam? reddamne vices? sed nónne cicadam
Ala una obstreperam corripuisse[1] ferar?
Quid prodest muscas operosis pellere[2] flabris?
Negligere est satius, perdere quod nequeas.

Those cane-wielding, empty-headed, thick-skulled teachers dare to spew out on me the bile of their foul minds. What am I to do? Return like for like? But surely I would then be said to have seized the dinning cicada by the wing. What is the good of driving flies away with tiresome swipes? It is better to ignore what you cannot get rid of.

Notes:

1.  cicadam / Ala una...corripuisse, ‘to have seized the...cicada by the wing’. See Erasmus, Adagia, 828 (Cicadam ala corripuisti): if you hold a cicada by the wing, it will only chirp more loudly.

2.  muscas...pellere, ‘driving flies away’. See Erasmus, Adagia, 2660 (Muscas depellere): driving flies away is a waste of effort as they simply return.


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n3r p197]

    Bonis auspiciis incipien-
    dum.

    Begin with good auspices

    XXIIII.

    Auspiciis res coepta malis, bene cedere nescit.
    Felici quae sunt omine facta, iuvant.
    Quidquid agis, mustela tibi si occurrat, omitte:
    Signa malae haec sortis bestia prava gerit. [1]

    A business begun with bad auspices cannot turn out well. Things done with good omens bring happiness. Whatever you are doing, if a weasel crosses your path, abandon it. This evil creature bears signs of ill luck.

    Notes:

    1.  For the weasel as a creature of ill omen, see Erasmus, Adagia, 173, (Mustelam habes).


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