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CUM IARVIS [=LARVIS] NON LUCTAN-
dum.[1]

Do not wrestle with the dead

Emblema 152.

AEacidae[2] moriens percussu cuspidis Hector[3].
Qui toties hosteis vicerat ante suos,
Comprimere haud potuit vocem, insultantibus illis,
Dum curru, & pedibus nectere vincla parant.
Distrahite ut libitum est: sic cassi luce leonis
Convellunt barbam vel timidi lepores.[4]

When he was dying from the wound dealt by the spear of Aeacus’ descendant, Hector, who had so often before defeated his own enemies, could not keep silent as they triumphed over him, while preparing to tie the ropes to chariot and feet. Tear me as you will, he said; when the lion is deprived of the light of life, even cowardly hares pluck his beard.

Notes:

1. Cf. Erasmus, Adagia 153, Cum larvis luctari.

2. ‘of Aeacus’ descendant’, i.e. ‘of Achilles’.

3. Hector was the greatest warrior on the Trojan side in the Trojan War, killed in single combat by Achilles, the Greek champion. See Homer, Iliad 22.367ff. and 24.14ff. for Achilles’ desecration of Hector’s body, dragging it, tied by the feet behind his chariot, round the tomb of Patroclus.

4. The last two lines are a translation of the two-line epigram Anthologia graeca 16.4, where, in Planudes’ text, the words are attributed to Hector in the heading.


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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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