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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[M2r p179]

Aliquid mali, propter vicinum
malum.[1]

Misfortune caused by a bad neighbour

Προσοποποῖα.

Things given speech.

Raptabat torrens ollas, quarum una metallo,
Altera erat figuli terrea facta manu.
Hanc igitur rogat illa: velit sibi proxima ferri.
Iuncta ut praecipites utraque sistat aquas.
Cui lutea, Haud nobis tua sunt commercia curae,
Ne mihi proximitas haec mala multa ferat.
Nam seu te nobis, seu nos tibi conferat unda:
Ipsa ego te fragilis sospite sola terar.

A stream was carrying along two pots, one of which was made of metal, the other formed by the potter’s hand of clay. The metal pot asked the clay one whether it would like to float along close beside it, so that each of them, by uniting with the other, could resist the rushing waters. The clay pot replied: The arrangement you propose does not appeal to me. I am afraid that such proximity will bring many misfortunes upon me.. For whether the wave washes you against me or me against you, I only, being breakable, will be shattered, while you remain unharmed.

Notes:

1.See Avianus, Fables 11; Erasmus, Adagia 32, Aliquid mali propter vicinum malum.


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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[N1v p194]

Gratiae.

The Graces

EMBLEMA CLXII.

Tres Charites Veneri assistunt, dominamque sequuntur:
Hincque voluptates, atque alimenta parant;
Laetitiam Euphrosyne, speciosum Aglaia nitorem;
Suadela est Pithus, blandus & ore lepos.[1]
Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[N2r p195]Cur nudae? mentis quoniam candore venustas
Constat, & eximia simplicitate placet.
An quia nil referunt ingrati, atque arcula inanis[2]
Est Charitum? qui dat munera, nudus eget.
Addita cur nuper pedibus talaria? bis dat
Qui citÚ dat:[3] minimi gratia tarda pretÓ est.
Implicitis ulnis cur vertitur altera? gratus
Fenerat: huic remanent una abeunte duae.[4]
Iuppiter iis genitor, caeli de semine divas
Omnibus acceptas edidit Eurynome.

The three Graces are attendant on Venus and follow their mistress. So they provide pleasures and pleasure’s nourishment. Euphrosyne brings gladness, Aglaia bright beauty; persuasion belongs to Peitho with winsome charm in speech. Why are they naked? Because loveliness consists in innocence of mind and commends itself by great simplicity. Or is it because the ungrateful make no return and the Graces’ treasure-chest is empty? He who gives gifts is stripped and needy. Why are there wings newly fastened to their feet? He gives twice who gives quickly. A favour granted late is of little value. Why does the second one link arms but turn her back to us? The man who shows gratitude gets more than he lays out; as one goes, two remain for him. Jupiter was their begetter; and Eurynome bore them, the divine offspring of the heavenly seed, goddesses loved by all mankind.

Notes:

1.The Latin words laetitia (gladness), nitor (beauty) and suadela (persuasion) are translations of the Greek names of the Graces, Euphrosyne, Aglaia and Peitho.

2.arcula inanis, ‘treasure-chest is empty’. See Erasmus, Adagia, 1812 (Simonidis cantilenae).

3.bis dat / Qui cito dat ‘He gives twice who gives quickly’. See Erasmus, Adagia, 791 (Bis dat qui cito dat).

4.Lines 9-12 express common sentiments, found e.g. in Seneca, De Beneficiis, passim. For the Graces especially, see Ibid., 1.3-4. See also Erasmus, Adagia, 1650 (Nudae Gratiae), where Erasmus associates the Graces with both friendship and ingratitude.


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