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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L6r p171]

Aulx bastardz.[1]


A Hercules (Bastardz) faictes honneur,
Car de vostre ordre il est prince, & Seigneur.[2]
Si de Juno le laict il n’eût teté,[3]
(Sans quelle [=qu’elle] sceust) jamais Dieu n’heust esté.[4]

Il ha este des bastardz grans hommes, comme tous les en
fans de Jupiter. Romulus Jugurtha, mais entre les au
tres, Hercules. Lequel n’heust jamais esté deifié, s’il ne
heust gousté le laict de Juno, elle dormante. Qui deno
te que bastardz à peine jamais viennent à bien: s’ilz ne sont
legitimez, & faitz participans de richesses hereditaires.


1.  In the 1549 French edition, this emblem has no woodcut.

2.  Hercules was fathered by Jupiter on Alcmene, wife of Amphitryon of Thebes, and became his father’s favourite. Juno, wife of Jupiter, in jealousy pursued Hercules with implacable hatred.

3.  For the story of Juno tricked by Jupiter into suckling the loathed Hercules see Pausanias, 9.25.2. This divine milk apparently counteracted Hercules’ illegitimate birth which otherwise disqualified him for heaven. See Erasmus, Adagia, 2070 (Ad Cynosarges).

4.  After all his Labours (see previous emblem) and other exploits, Hercules, by the will of Jupiter, was received among the gods. See e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses, 9.156ff; Cicero, De officiis, 3.25.

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