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IN PARASITOS.

Professional spongers

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Quos tibi donamus fluviales accipe cancros,
Munera conveniunt moribus ista tuis.
His oculi vigiles, & forfice plurimus ordo
Chelarum armatus, maximaque alvus adest.
Sic tibi propensus stat pingui abdomine venter,
Pernicesque pedes, spiculaque apta pedi,
Cum vagus in triviis, mensaeque sedilibus erras,
Inque alios mordax scommata salsa iacis.[1]

Receive these river crabs which we present to you. These gifts match your character. They have watchful eyes, and a great row of claws armed with a pincer, and a huge gut is there. You too have a protruding belly with fat paunch, scuttling feet and sharp weapons on them, as you hang about the crossroads or move among the seats at table, and maliciously shoot your stinging, witty jibes.

Notes:

1. Variant reading, scommata falsa, ‘libellous witticisms’


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Concorde.

Au sang civil ardent de toutes pars
Quand par soy cheut Romme,[1] terre de Mars,[2]
Coustume estoit les bandes ensemble estre,
Et assembler l’une l’autre la dextre
Concorde, & foy ha celluy signe humain,
Que ceulx que joinct la foy, touchent la main.

C’est le commun signe de la foy civile que
toucher la main dextre l’un l’aultre.

Notes:

1. Cf. Horace, Epodes 16.2, ‘Rome is being destroyed by her own might’ (written during the civil conflicts of 41 BC).

2. ‘Martial land’, a reference not only to Rome’s bellicose history but to the legend that Rome’s founder Romulus was the son of Mars, the god of war.


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