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

Eloquentia Fortitudine prae-
stantior.[1]

Eloquence superior to strength

Arcum laeva tenet: rigidam fert dextera clavam,
Contegit & Nemees corpora nuda leo.
Herculis haec igitur facies. non convenit illud
Quòd vetus & senio tempora cana gerit.
Quid quod lingua illi levibus traiecta cathenis,
Queis fissa facileis allicit aure viros?
Anné quòd Alciden lingua non robore Galli
Praestantem, populis iura dedisse ferunt?
Cedunt arma togae,[2] & quamvis durissima corda
Eloquio pollens ad sua vota trahit.

His left hand holds a bow, his right hand a stout club, the lion of Nemea clothes his bare body. So this is a figure of Hercules. But he is old and his temples grizzled with age - that does not fit. What of the fact that his tongue has light chains passing through it, which are attached to men’s pierced ears, and by them he draws them unresisting along? The reason is surely that the Gauls say that Alceus’ descendant excelled in eloquence rather than might and gave laws to the nations. - Weapons yield to the arts of peace, and even the hardest of hearts the skilled speaker can lead where he will.

Notes:

1.  This epigram is closely based on Lucian’s essay, The Gallic Hercules.

2.  Cf. Cicero’s notorious line, Cedant arma togae, concedat laurea linguae, ‘Let weapons yield to the arts of peace, let laurels yield to eloquence’ (quoted in Quintilian, Institutio oratoria 11.1.24).


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  • extinct, 'historical' peoples (with NAME) [32B2(GAULS)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • 'litterae', symbolic representations, allegories and emblems ~ literature; 'Lettere' (Ripa) [48C90] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Power of Eloquence; 'Forza sottoposta all'Eloquenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52D31(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generosità dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtù del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) [54A7] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Z7v f247v]

Facundia difficilis.

Eloquence is hard

Emblema clxxxi.

Antidotum Aeaeae medicata in pocula Circes
Mercurium hoc Ithaco fama dedisse fuit.[1]
Moly vocant, id vix radice evellitur atra,
Purpureus sed flos, lactis & instar habet.
Eloquii candor facundiaque allicit omnes:
Sed multi res est tanta laboris opus.

According to the story, Mercury gave to the man from Ithaca this antidote to the poisoned cup of Aeaean Circe. They call it moly. It is hard to pull up by its black root. The plant is dark, but its flower is white as milk. The brilliance of eloquence and readiness of speech attracts all men, but this mighty thing is a work of much labour.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Z8r f248r]

HOmerus Odysseae κ. Moly herbam à Mercurio U-
lyssi
datam ait tanquam amuletum adversus, o-
mnia veneficia: herbam nigrae radicis, floris lactei,
difficillimam inventu. Ea notat eloquentiam primò
quidem abstrusam & difficilem, deinde multò la-
bore & diligentia partam iucundissimos afferre fru-
ctus, id est, sui amore omnes allicere, sed ei perpau-
cos operam dare propter laborum certè maximo-
rum difficultatem.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Z8v f248v]

L’eloquence est difficile.

ON dit que Moly est herbe bien propice
Encontre tous[2] poisons de Circé, à Ulysse
Que Mercure enseigna, qu’on n’a qu’à grand labeur,
La racine en est noire, & blanche en est la fleur:
Ou est comme de pourpre, ainsi que lon veut dire.
La candeur d’eloquence & façon lon admire,
Tous s’en sentent esprins attirez par l’honneur,
Mais maints en sont distraicts à cause du labeur.

HOmere au 10. de l’Iliade, dit que Mer-
cure
donna à Ulysses de l’herbe, nom-
mee moly, comme un preservatif à l’en-
contre de tous enchantemens. c’est une her-
be qui ha la racine noire, une fleur blanche,
& qui est fort difficile à trouver. Par icelle
est entendue l’eloquence, qui du commen-
cement est fort cachee & difficile: mais
apres avoir prins peine & employé tou-
te diligence, elle rapporte du fruit fort
agreable, c’est qu’elle attire tous & un cha-
cun à soy: mais peu sont qui y veullent pren-
dre peine, à raison qu’il y a du travail beau-
coup.

Notes:

1.  See Homer, Odyssey, 10.270ff. for the story of the encounter of Ulysses (the man from Ithaca) and his crew with the sorceress Circe on the island of Aeaea. The plant moly is described ibid, 302-6. See Emblem 76 ([FALc076]), for the effect of Circe’s poisoned cup. Cf. Erasmus, De Copia (Loeb edition, 1.91 D), where moly is interpreted as wisdom rather than eloquence. Cf. Coustau, ‘In herbam Moly, ex Homero’ ([FCPb073]).

2.  Corrected from the Errata.


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