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EMBLEMA CLXXXVI [=185] .

Bonis auspiciis incipiendum.

Begin with good auspices

Auspiciis res cepta malis, bene cedere nescit,
Felici quae sunt omine facta iuvant.
Quicquid agis, mustella tibi si occurrat, omitte:
Signa malae haec sortis bestia prava gerit.[1]

A business begun with bad auspices cannot turn out well. Things done with good omens bring happiness. Whatever you are doing, if a weasel crosses your path, abandon it. This evil creature bears signs of ill luck.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [R1v f116v]

Das CLXXXVI [=185] .

Man sol alle ding mit Glück an-
fahen.

Die sach so hat ein bösn anfang
Kan nicht haben ein guten gang
So aber ein gut zeichn erstlich
Erscheint, geraht es gern glücklich
Was du anfachst so dir bekompt
Ein Wisel so laß ab zu stund
Dann diß unzifer gwiß bedeut
Das nicht vil glück sey in der beut.

Notes:

1.  For the weasel as a creature of ill omen, see Erasmus, Adagia, 173, (Mustelam habes).


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K2r p147]

    In Occasionem.

    Opportunity

    EMBLEMA CXXI.

    Διαλογιστικῶς.

    In dialogue form.

    Lysippi[1] hoc opus est, Sicyon[2] cui patria tu quis?[3]
    Cuncta domans capti temporis articulus.
    Cur pinnis[4] stas? usque rotor. talaria plantis
    Cur retines? passim me levis aura rapit.
    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K2v p148]In dextra est tenuis dic unde novacula? acutum
    Omni acie hoc signum me magis esse docet.
    Cur in fronte coma? occurrens ut prendar. At heus tu
    Dic cur pars calva est posterior capitis?
    Me semel alipedem si quis permittat abire,
    Ne possim apprenso postmodò crine capi.
    Tali opifex nos arte, tui caussa edidit, hospes:
    Utque omnes moneam, pergula aperta tenet.

    This image is the work of Lysippus, whose home was Sicyon. - Who are you? - I am the moment of seized opportunity that governs all. - Why do you stand on points? - I am always whirling about. - Why do you have winged sandals on your feet? - The fickle breeze bears me in all directions. - Tell us, what is the reason for the sharp razor in your right hand? - This sign indicates that I am keener than any cutting edge. - Why is there a lock of hair on your brow? - So that I may be seized as I run towards you. - But come, tell us now, why ever is the back of your head bald? - So that if any person once lets me depart on my winged feet, I may not thereafter be caught by having my hair seized. It was for your sake, stranger, that the craftsman produced me with such art, and, so that I should warn all, it is an open portico that holds me.

    Notes:

    1.  Greek sculptor, 4th century BC.

    2.  A town west of Corinth.

    3.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 16.275. See also Erasmus, Adagia 670, Nosce tempus, where Erasmus too gives a verse translation of the Greek epigram.

    4.  ‘on points’. Alciato here agrees with Erasmus, who similarly translates the phrase ἐπ’ ἄκρα, ‘on tiptoe’, in the Greek original. Thomas More translates more obviously with summis digitis. See Selecta epigrammata (Cornarius, ed.) p. 372ff.


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