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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [Yy7r f359r as 358]

AERE QUANDOQUE SALUTEM
redimendam.

Sometimes money must be spent to purchase safety

Emblema 151.

Et pedibus segnis, tumida & propendulus alvo,
Hac tamen insidias effugit arte fiber.
Mordicus ipse sibi medicata virilia vellit,
Atque abiicit, sese gnarus ob illa peti.
Huius ab exemplo, disces non parcere rebus,
Et vitam ut redimas, hostibus aera dare.[1]

Though slow of foot and with swollen belly hanging down, the beaver nonetheless escapes the ambush by this trick: it tears off with its teeth its testicles, which are full of a medicinal substance, and throws them aside, knowing that it is hunted for their sake. - From this creature’s example you will learn not to spare material things, and to give money to the enemy to buy your life.

Notes:

1. This is based on Aesop, Fables 153, where the same moral is drawn. For the information about the beaver, see Pliny, Natural History 8.47.109; Isidore, Etymologiae (Origines) 12.2.21.


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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [M4r p183]

La clemence du Prince.[1]

Ce que le Roy des guespes rien ne poingt,[2]
(Quoy qu’il soit grand.) Et d’aguillon n’ha poinct
Monstre ung Seigneur doulx aulx siens, comme amys:
Et les sainct [=sainctz] droictz gens de bien commis.

Le Roy des guespes, & aveilles est deux fois
plus grand, & fort que les aultres, & si n’ha
point d’aguillon picquant, & veneneux, com
me les aultres. Ainsi ung bon Prince plus est
puissant, plus est clement, & moins nuysant,
tel que fut le Magnificque Jule Caesar.

Notes:

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

2. According to Pliny, Natural History, 11.21.74, wasps do not have ‘kings’: it is the ‘mother’ wasps that are without stings. On the other hand, the ‘king’ bee (the ancients believed the queen bee to be male) and its lack of sting, or refusal to use its sting, was often mentioned; e.g. Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.10; Pliny, ibid., 17.52. For the analogy with kingship, see e.g. Seneca, De Clementia, 1.19; Erasmus, Adagia, 2601 (Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit).


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