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Ei qui semel sua prodegerit, aliena credi
non oportere.

Others’ property should not be entrusted to a person who has once squandered his own

Emblema liiii.

Colchidos in gremio nidum quid congeris? eheu
Nescia cur pullos tam malè credis avis?
Dira parens Medea suos saevissima natos
Perdidit, & speras parcat ut illa tuis?[1]

Why do you build your nest in the bosom of the woman from Colchis? Alas, ignorant bird, why do you entrust your nestlings so mistakenly? That frightful mother, Medea, in her savagery slew her own children. Do you expect her to spare yours?

SUmptum ex Graeco Archiae: éstque apostrophe
ad hirundinem in statuae Medeae quasi sinu nidi-
ficantem. Quae fabula torquetur in prodigos & de-
coctores, quibus nihil de rebus aliorum commit-
tendum, qui adeò pravè sua dilapidarint: eos enim
non secus atque aviculam imprudenter facere, quae
Medeae suos parvulos credat, cùm ea non conti-
nuerit manus à propriis liberis.

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L’autruy ne faut
donner en garde à qui mal a
mesnagé le sien.

PAuvre oiseau que fais tu d’ainsi vouloir ranger
Tes petits dans le sein de Medee au danger?
Elle qui mis les siens à une[2] mort amere,
Entre autres vrayement la plus cruelle mere:
Mais penserois-tu bien qu’elle pardonne aux tiens,
Qui point auparavant n’a espargné les siens?

CEcy est prins du Grec d’Archias: & c’est
une apostrophe à l’hirondelle faisant son
nid dans le sein d’une Medee taillee en bosse.
Ce qui est accommodé contre les prodigues
& grans despenciers, ausquels il ne faut don-
ner charge du bien d’autruy, veu qu’ils ont
si mal mesnagé le leur: car on feroit aussi fol-
lement que ce petit oyseau, qui met les siens
en la garde de Medee, qui n’a point heu
d’honte de mettre à mort les siens propres.

Notes:

1.  This is based on Anthologia graeca 9.346, a much-translated epigram, on the subject of a swallow that built her nest on a representation of Medea. Colchidos, ‘of the woman from Colchis’, refers to Medea, from Colchis on the Black Sea, who slew her children by Jason, leader of the Argonauts, to avenge his unfaithfulness. See further [FALc078].

2.  Corrected from the Errata


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  • Squandering, Extravagance, Prodigality, Waste; 'Prodigalità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [55C11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Misplaced Trust, False Confidence, 'Pax Falsa'; 'Speranza fallace' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [56D29(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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EMBLEMA CXIX.

Opulentia tyranni, paupertas sub-
iectorum.

A wealthy ruler means poor subjects

Humani quod splen est corporis, in populi re
Hoc Caesar[1] fiscum dixerat esse suum.
Splene aucto, reliqui tabescunt corporis artus,
Fisco aucto, arguitur civica pauperies.

It was a saying of Caesar that the imperial treasury has the same relation to the people as the spleen has to the human body: if the spleen is enlarged, all the other members of the body waste away. A swollen treasury is proof of poverty among the citizens.

Das CXIX.

Reich Herrn, arm Underthanen.

Das ins Menschen Leib sMiltz ist diß
In den Regimenten ist gwiß
Der Oberkeit Schatzkammer schwer
Wie gsprochen hat der Keyser
So sich das Miltz mehrt nemmen ab
All ander Glieder biß ins Grab
So sich mehrt der Schatz in der Rennt
Würd der Bürger armut erkennt.

Notes:

1.  The Emperor Trajan (as clarified in the commentary), one of the five ‘Good Emperors’. See Aurelius Victor, Epitome de Caesaribus, 42.21; Erasmus, Apophthegmata, 8.


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