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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M5v p186]

Eloquence s’acquiert avec diffi-
culté.

XXII.

Pour Ulysse sauver de l’enchanté bruvage
Mercure luy donna l’herbe moly sauvage,[1]
Ayant noire racine, & fleur blanche & pourprine,
Difficile à trouver, & à tirer de terre.
L’eloquence est aussi malaisee à acquerre:
Mais elle attrait chacun par sa douceur divine.

Commentaires.

Ciceron dit que l’eloquence est difficile à acquerir
sur toutes autres possessions: car pour y parvenir, il
faut avoir appris beaucoup de belles choses. L’herbe,
appellee moly, est fort malaisee à trouver, & plus mal-
aisee encor à arracher de terre. Sa fleur est belle &
aggreable. Ainsi il faut tuer & travailler beaucoup
pour acquerir eloquence: mais en fin elle rend des
fruicts fort plaisans & de bon goust.

Notes:

1.  See Homer, Odyssey, 10.270ff. for the story of the encounter of Ulysses (the man from Ithaca) and his crew with the sorceress Circe on the island of Aeaea. The plant moly is described ibid, 302-6. See Emblem 16 ([FALe016]), for the effect of Circe’s poisoned cup. Cf. Erasmus, De Copia (Loeb edition, 1.91 D), where moly is interpreted as wisdom rather than eloquence. Cf. Coustau, ‘In herbam Moly, ex Homero’ ([FCPb073]).


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    Single Emblem View

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P4r p231]

    Eloquence difficile.[1]

    L’herbe bailla Mercure à Ulysses,
    Contrepoison aulx breuvages Circes.[2]
    Moly s’appelle, & ha noire racine,
    Fleur blanche, & rouge, à trouver bien insigne.
    Pure eloquence, est d’attraction pleine,
    Mais à plusieurs est oeuvre de grand peine.

    Par l’herbe Moly en Homere de noire racine, fleur blanche,
    & purpurine, tresdifficile à trouver: est entendue eloquence, au
    commencement obscure, puys florissante, claire, & honorée.
    Mais difficile à acquerir, sinon aulx bons espritz laquelle sur-
    monte toute malice, & obtient grand grace à celluy qui l’ha.

    Notes:

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

    2.  See Homer, Odyssey, 10.270ff. for the story of the encounter of Ulysses and his crew with the sorceress Circe on the island of Aeaea. The plant moly is described ibid, 302-6. See Emblem 70 ([A58a070]), for the effect of Circe’s poisoned cup. Cf. Erasmus, De Copia (Loeb edition, 1.91 D), where moly is interpreted as wisdom rather than eloquence. Cf. Coustau, ‘In herbam Moly, ex Homero’ ([FCPb073]).


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