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Cupressus.

The Cypress

EMBLEMA CXCIX.

Indicat effigies metae, nomenque Cupressi,
Tractandos parili conditione suos.[1]
ALIUD.
Funesta est arbor, procerum monumenta Cupressus,
Quale apium plebis, comere fronde solet.[2]
ALIUD.
Pulchra coma est, pulchro digestaeque ordine frondes;
Sed fructus nullos haec coma pulchra gerit.[3]

The cone-shaped form and the name ‘cypress’ indicate that one’s people should be dealt with on equal terms.
Other.
The cypress is a funereal tree. Its branches usually adorn the memorials of leading men as parsley-stems adorn those of humble people.
Other.
The foliage is beautiful, and the leaves all arranged in neat order, but this beautiful foliage bears no fruit.

Notes:

1. This refers to the supposed etymology, Greek κύειν and πάρισος ‘bear’,‘equal’.

2. See Pliny, Natural History, 20.44.113 for the use of parsley at funeral meals.

3. See Erasmus, Adagia, 4210 (Cyparissi fructus).


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EMBLEMA CXCVIII [=197] .

Opulenti haereditas.

The rich man’s legacy

Patroclum falsis rapiunt hinc Troes in Armis.
Hinc socii, atque omnis turba Pelasga vetat
Obtinet exuvias Hector, Graecique cadaver[1]
Haec fabella agitur, cum vir opimus obit.
Maxima rixa oritur, tandem sed transigit haeres
Et corvis aliquid, vulturibusque sinit.[2]

On that side the Trojans are carrying off Patroclus in his deceptive armour, on this, his co-fighters and all the Greek host try to stop them. Hector obtains the spoils, the Greeks the body. This story is played out when a rich man dies. A great quarrelling arises, but eventually the heir brings the argument to an end and leaves something for crows and vultures.

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Das CXCVIII [=197] .

Eins Reichen Erb.

Die Trojaner reissen da weck
Patrocl, der in frembd rstung steckt
Auff der andern ziehent mit gwalt
Sein gsellen die Griechisch schar bald
Der Hector dRstung darvon bringt
Den Griechen der todt Crpel glingt
Ein solich spil sich auch zutreit
Wann ein Reicher von hinnen scheidt
Ein grosser zanck sich erhebt do
Die Erben theilens endtlich so
Das davon auch bekompt ein stck
Die Rappen und die Geyern flck.

Notes:

1. For the death of Patroclus, see Homer, Iliad, 16.784ff. He borrowed Achilles’ armour to fight the Trojans when Achilles refused, and was killed by Hector, who took the armour.

2. ‘Vulture’ was a term used to refer to people who hang round rich persons, hoping for a legacy See Erasmus, Adagia, 614 (Si vultur es, cadaver exspecta).


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