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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n8v p208]

Avaritia.

Avarice

LXV.

Heu miser in mediis sitiens stat Tantalus undis,
Et poma esuriens proxima habere nequit.
Nomine mutato de te id dicetur avare,
Qui, quasi non habeas, non frueris quod habes.[1]

Alas, poor Tantalus stands thirsting in the midst of waters, nor can he, for all his hunger, get the fruit close by. Miser, change the name and this will apply to you, since you get no more enjoyment out of what you have than if you didn’t have it.

Notes:

1.  quasi non habeas, non frueris quod habes: ‘you get no more enjoyment out of what you have than if you didn’t have it’. Cf. Tam deest avaro quod habet quam quod non habet, ‘the miser is deprived of what he has as much as what he has not’, a well-known proverb of Publilius Syrus, quoted e.g. in Quintilian, Institutio oratoria, 8.5.5. See Erasmus, Adagia, 1514 (Tantali poenae).


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P1r p225]

    Clemence d’un Prince.

    LXVIII.

    Des abeilles le Roy nul aiguillon ne porte,[1]
    Et sur tout son essein il est en toute sorte
    Le plus grand & plus beau. Ce Roy là nous enseigne.
    Que les Rois terriens doyvent orner leur regne
    De clemence & douceur, & commettre les loix
    Entre les mains de gents qui soyent justes &
    droits.

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P1v p226]

    Commentaires.

    Tant plus un Prince a de pouvoir, tant plus doit
    il estre retenu quand ce vient à chastier. Le Roy
    des abeilles est le plus grand & le plus beau de tou-
    tes: mais nature ne luy a point baillé d’aiguillon, pour-
    ce qu’elle n’a point voulu qu’il fust cruel. Elle luy a
    bien baillé auctorité, mais une auctorité desarmee.
    L’Empereur Marc Aurele disoit, que rien n’estoit
    plus seant à un Prince, que la clemence. Et les Em-
    pereurs Theodose, Arcade, & Honore en firent un
    edict de telle substance: Si par legereté on a offensé,
    il n’en faut pas faire estat: Si le delinquant n’est pas
    de sens rassis, il s’en faut condouloir: S’il a esté pro-
    voqué à ce faire, il le luy faut pardonner.

    Notes:

    1.  According to Pliny, Natural History, 11.21.74, wasps do not have ‘kings’: it is the ‘mother’ wasps that are without stings. On the other hand, the ‘king’ bee (the ancients believed the queen bee to be male) and its lack of sting, or refusal to use its sting, was often mentioned; e.g. Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.10; Pliny, ibid., 17.52. For the analogy with kingship, see e.g. Seneca, De Clementia, 1.19; Erasmus, Adagia, 2601 (Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit).


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