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BONIS A DIVITIBUS nihil
timendum.

The good have nothing to fear from the rich

Iunctus contiguo Marius, mihi pariete, nec non,
Subbardus[1] nostri nomina nota fori.[2]
Aedificant bene nummati, sattaguntque vel ultro,
Obstruere heu nostris undique luminibus.
Me miserum geminae, quem tamquam phinea restant [=raptant]
Harpyae,[3] ut propriis sedibus eiiciant.
Integritas vestra [=nostra] , atque animus quesitor honesti,[4]
His nisi sunt [=sisnt] Zetes, his nisi sint Calais.

Marius is joined to me by a connecting wall, and so is Subbardus, names well-known in our little community. Having plenty of cash, they are building, and what’s more, busily doing their best, without any provocation on my part, to block my windows, alas, on every side. What a plight I am in - I am like Phineus, attacked by two Harpies, trying to throw me out of my own home, unless my integrity, my mind that is a seeker of the right, act as my Zetes and my Calais against them.

Notes:

1.  Marius, the typical self-made man (referring to humble origins of Gaius Marius, the consul and general). Subbardus, possibly ‘Mr. Thick’.

2.  nostri...fori, ‘in our little community’, probably a reference to the forum in any Roman town as a centre of commercial and legal activities. So these are businessmen or lawyers, possibly the second, as they are acting illegally on several counts.

3.  The Harpies, symbols of injustice, were carrying off or soiling Phineus’ food so that he could not eat. He was delivered by Zetes and Calais, the winged sons of the North Wind and Oreithyia. See e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses 6.711-7.4.

4.  Integritas...quaesitor. These words (‘integrity’, ‘seeker’) are probably a punning reference to supposed etymologies of Calais and Zetes as if derived from Greek kalos ‘beautiful, good’ and zetein ‘to seek’. For the sentiment of lines 7 - 8, cf. Horace, Odes 1.22.1-2: he whose life is blameless and who knows no sin has no need of Moorish weapons.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P5r p233]

Armoiries des Poëtes.

En leurs escuz aulcuns portent grandz bestes
Aigles, Lyons, Serpens, Mais des Poëtes
Les armes, n’hont de telz animaulx signe.
Mais en ung champ coeleste, le blanc cygne.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [PP5v p234] Oyseau Phoebus, & à nous domesticque
Roy fut,[1] & garde encor’ son tiltre antique.

Le cygne fut jadis Roy: frere de Phaëton,
Oyseau fluvial, chantant tresdoulcement, &
de tresgrande blancheur, consacré à Phoe-
bus
Prince des Muses, & des Poëtes: Les-
quelz le portent en leurs enseignes: car ilz
sont de laurier coronnéz comme Roys: usent
de telle liberté à escripre, que les Roys, à
faire: font les guerres par carmes, comme
les Roys par armes. aiment les rivieres &
lieux plaisans, sont purs, & candides: & chantent tres-
doulcement en leurs vers bien sonnans.

Notes:

1.  ‘a king once’. See Ovid, Metamorphoses 2.367ff. for the story of Cycnus, king of Liguria, turned into a swan and inhabiting the marshes and lakes of the plain of the Po (Alciato’s homeland).


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