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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[N2v p196]

In detractores.

Against his detractors

EMBLEMA CLXIII.

Audent flagriferi matulae, stupidique magistri
Bilem in me impuri pectoris evomere.
Quid faciam? reddamne vices? sed nonne cicadam
Ala una obstreperam corripuisse[1] ferar?
Quid prodest muscas operosis pellere[2] flabris?
Negligere est satius, perdere quod nequeas.

Those cane-wielding, empty-headed, thick-skulled teachers dare to spew out on me the bile of their foul minds. What am I to do? Return like for like? But surely I would then be said to have seized the dinning cicada by the wing. What is the good of driving flies away with tiresome swipes? It is better to ignore what you cannot get rid of.

Notes:

1.cicadam / Ala una...corripuisse, ‘to have seized the...cicada by the wing’. See Erasmus, Adagia, 828 (Cicadam ala corripuisti): if you hold a cicada by the wing, it will only chirp more loudly.

2.muscas...pellere, ‘driving flies away’. See Erasmus, Adagia, 2660 (Muscas depellere): driving flies away is a waste of effort as they simply return.


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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[N3v p198]

Aliquid mali propter vicinum malum.[1]

Misfortune caused by a bad neighbour

EMBLEMA CLXV.

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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