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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P1r p225]

Clemence d’un Prince.

LXVIII.

Des abeilles le Roy nul aiguillon ne porte,[1]
Et sur tout son essein il est en toute sorte
Le plus grand & plus beau. Ce Roy là nous enseigne.
Que les Rois terriens doyvent orner leur regne
De clemence & douceur, & commettre les loix
Entre les mains de gents qui soyent justes &
droits.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P1v p226]

Commentaires.

Tant plus un Prince a de pouvoir, tant plus doit
il estre retenu quand ce vient à chastier. Le Roy
des abeilles est le plus grand & le plus beau de tou-
tes: mais nature ne luy a point baillé d’aiguillon, pour-
ce qu’elle n’a point voulu qu’il fust cruel. Elle luy a
bien baillé auctorité, mais une auctorité desarmee.
L’Empereur Marc Aurele disoit, que rien n’estoit
plus seant à un Prince, que la clemence. Et les Em-
pereurs Theodose, Arcade, & Honore en firent un
edict de telle substance: Si par legereté on a offensé,
il n’en faut pas faire estat: Si le delinquant n’est pas
de sens rassis, il s’en faut condouloir: S’il a esté pro-
voqué à ce faire, il le luy faut pardonner.

Notes:

1.  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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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M1r f76r]

    EMBLEMA CXVI.

    In eum qui sibi ipsi damnum
    apparat.

    One who brings about his own downfall

    Capra lupum non sponte meo nunc ubere lacto,
    Quòd malè pastoris provida cura iubet.[1]
    Creverit ille simul, mea me post ubera pascet.
    Improbitas nullo flectitur obsequio.[2]

    I am a goat giving suck against my will - to a wolf. The improvident kindness of the shepherd makes me do this. Once the wolf has grown, after feeding at my teats, he will then eat me. Wickedness is never deterred by services rendered.

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M1v f76v]

    Das CXVI.

    Wider den der im selbst ein schaden
    bereit.

    Ich arme Geiß muß wider mein willn
    Ein jungen Wolff mit meiner Milch fülln
    Also wil es der Hirt nur han
    Denckt nit was schadn drauß werd entstan
    Dann so er wirt auffwachsen zgleich
    Wirt er mich zlon thon fressen leich
    Dann boßheit kan mit keinr gutthat
    Werden gwendt, gfült, gsettigt und sat.

    Notes:

    1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.47. For the content cf. Aesop, Fables 313-5.

    2.  ‘Wickedness is never deterred by services rendered’. See Erasmus, Adagia 1086, Ale luporum catulos.


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