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Section: FORTUNA (Fortune, good or bad). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I5v p138]

Bonis auspiciis incipiendum.

Begin with good auspices

Auspiciis res coepta malis, bene cedere nescit.
Felici quae sunt omine facta, iuvant.
Quicquid agis, mustella tibi si occurrat, omitte:
Signa malae haec sortis bestia prava gerit.[1]

A business begun with bad auspices cannot turn out well. Things done with good omens bring happiness. Whatever you are doing, if a weasel crosses your path, abandon it. This evil creature bears signs of ill luck.

Notes:

1.  For the weasel as a creature of ill omen, see Erasmus, Adagia, 173, (Mustelam habes).


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M5v p186]

Le glaive d’un furieux.

XXIII.

Ajax estant parmi son troupeau porte soye,
Estime, en les tuant, tuer Grecs par la voye:[1]
Ainsi les porcs souffroyent, comme hostie empruntee,
Au lieu d’Ulysse, & des principaux de l’armee.
La fureur l’empeschoit de nuire à ses haineux,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [] Si qu’il tue & abbat ses porceaux au lieu d’eux.

Commentaires.

Advisons sur tout, que la cholere ne nous emporte,
& ne nous laissons point surmonter à icelle: car en
fin la cholere devient fureur & rage, laquelle ayant
pris place en nos coeurs, en chasse la raison, qui apres,
à grand’ peine y peut jamais rentrer. Ajax ayant
esté meschamment & à tort condamné au plaidé des
armes d’Achilles, estant enflammé de rage, tue ses
propres porceaux, pensant tuer Agamemnon, Ulysse,
& les autres Grecs.

Notes:

1.  See [FALd038] for Ajax’ madness and suicide. In his madness, he slaughtered a herd of sheep, thinking them to be the Greeks. The two largest rams he took to be Agamemnon and Menelaus. See Zenobius, Proverbs, 1.43; Horace, Satires, 2.3.197-8; Erasmus, Adagia, 646 (Aiacis risus) - Erasmus makes the animals pigs, which Alciato here follows.


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