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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N4v p200]

Eloquentia fortitudine prae-
stantior.[1]

Eloquence superior to strength

XCIII.

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 facili allicit aure viros?
An ne 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, by which he draws men along with ready ears pierced? 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.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N5r p201]

Eloquence vault mieulx que force.

XCIII.

L’arc en la main, en l’autre la massue,
Peau de lyon estant cy apperceue,
Pour Hercules me faict ce vieillart croire
Mais ce qu’il a marque de si grand gloire,
Que mener gens enchainez a sa langue.
Entendre veult, qu’il feist tant bien harengue,
Que les Francois pour ses ditz de merveilles,
Furent ainsi que pris par les oreilles.
Si doncq’ il a par loix & ordonnances
Rangé les gens, plustost que par vaillances,
Dira l’on pas (comme ce est verité)
Que l’espée a lieu aux livres quicté?
Et que ung dur cueur par saiges mieulx se range,
Que gros effort son aspreté ne change?
Pource Hercules ne faict pas grandes forces:
Et si sont gens apres luy grandes courses.

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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  • Europeans (with NAME) [32B311(FRENCHMEN)] 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  [I2v p132]

Maux viennent promptement, &
biens à difficulté.

XCII.

Até de Jupiter chassee
Pour nuire vola sur la terre.[1]
Et n’y fait pas une passee,
Sans rendre feu, faim, peste, ou guerre.
Lites apres vont,[2] non grand erre,
Car vieilles sont, & mal trotans:
Dont lon ne peut leur bien acquerre,
Fors par longue espace de temps.

commentaires.

Até est dite Deesse de ruïne, d’inimitiés, & de
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I3r p133] toute desolation. Elle est legere, & a des aisles. Estant
chassee & jectee hors du ciel, elle vint incontinent à
suborner les esprits des hommes, les enveloppant en
une infinité de maux: elle court d’un vol tresviste,
souillant & troublant tous les lieux par où elle passe.
Les Lites, filles de Jupiter, luy sont opposees, & la
suyvent de pres. Ces Lites sont prieuses & reconcilia-
trices des amitiés descousues. Ce que Até trouble en-
tre les humains, les Lites taschent de le radouber.
Mais pource qu’elles ont les yeux bigles & louches,
les pieds boiteux, & qu’elles sont lassees & travail-
lees par grand’vieillesse, elles cheminent fort lente-
ment, & à grand’ peine peuvent elles atteindre la
legere Até. Partant ce n’est pas promptement qu’el-
les remedient au mal, mais c’est apres quelque espace
de temps. Homere, qui ingenieusement a inventé ceste
fable, a voulu dire, que les offenses & inimitiés nais-
sent bien promptement, mais les reconciliations arri-
vent à cloche pied.

Notes:

1.  See Homer, Iliad 19. 125ff.

2.  See Homer, Iliad 9.502ff. Ate means ‘Mischief’, Litae, ‘Prayers’. Ate was cast out of Olympus to bring harm to mankind, a personification of humans being led astray. The Litae were a personification of prayers offered in repentance.


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  • Slow Motion (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51MM1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Viciousness, Naughtiness (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57AA6(+4):54D4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Revenge, Requital, Retaliation; 'Vendetta' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57AA741(+4):54DD4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Jupiter seizes Ate by her hair and hurls her down from Olympus, possibly because of the delayed birth of Hercules (+ variant) [92B143(+0)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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