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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n3v p198]

In detractores.

Against his detractors

XXVIII.

Audent flagriferi matulae, stupidique magistri
Bilem in me impuri pectoris evomere:
Quid faciam? reddamne vices? sed nónne 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 page  Link to an image of this page  [O5r p217]

    Insignia Poëtarum.

    Insignia of poets

    EMBLEMA CLXXXIII.

    Gentiles clypeos sunt qui in Iovis alite gestant,
    Sunt quibus aut serpens, aut leo, signa ferunt:
    Dira sed haec vatum fugiant animalia ceras,
    Doctaque sustineat stemmata pulcher Olor.
    Hic Phoebo sacer[1], & nostrae regionis alumnus:
    Rex olim[2], veteres servat adhuc titulos.

    Some have a family crest distinguished by the bird of Jove, for others the serpent or the lion provides the sign. But let these dread beasts flee from poets’ images; let the lovely swan support their learned clan. This bird is sacred to Phoebus and is a nursling of my homeland. A king once, it still preserves its ancient titles.

    Notes:

    1.  ‘sacred to Phoebus’, i.e. to the god of music and poetry (Apollo).

    2.  ‘a king once’. See Ovid, Metamorphoses 2.367ff. for the story of Cycnus, king of Liguria, turned into a swan and inhabiting the marshes and lakes of the plain of the Po (Alciato’s homeland).


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