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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E6r f38r]

Ira.

Rage.

Alceam veteres caudam dixere leonis,
Qua stimulante iras concipit ille graves.
Luthea cum surgit bilis, crudescit & atro
Felle dolor, furias excitat indomitas.[1]

The ancients called the lion’s tail alcaea, for under its stimulus he takes on dreadful fury. When the yellow bile rises and his temper grows savage with the black gall, the tail incites his indomitable rage.

Notes:

1.  The Greek word ἀλκαία was supposedly derived from ἀλκή ‘strength’ (see emblem 86, n.3, [A46a086]). The Etymologicum Magnum, an ancient Greek lexicon, defines ἀλκαία as ‘properly the tail of the lion, because it urges him on to strength (ἀλκή)’. Pliny, Natural History, 8.16.49, describes how the lion’s tail lashes with increasing fury and spurs him on. See also Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.39.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P2v p228]

Amour de soymesme.

LXXI.

Pourquoy te plaisoit tant, ô Narcisse, ta forme,
Puis qu’en fleur tout soudain il faut qu’on te transforme?[1]
Souvent l’amour de soy les gents doctes transporte,
Nul bien il ne leur fait, ains blasme il leur apporte:
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P3r p229] Car au lieu d’insister en la methode ancienne,
Chacun embrasse & suit la fantasie sienne.

Commentaires.

Nous sommes appris par cest embleme, que l’a-
mour de soymesme est tresdangereux. Ceste philautie
nous rend enflés, envieux, audacieux, faineants, &
nous entretient en nostre ignorance. Celuy qui se louë
soymesme, n’est pas bien veu de ses voisins. Ce vice
sied mal en un chacun, mais principalement aux
nourrissons des Muses.

Notes:

1.  For the story of Narcissus, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 3.344ff. On the flower, see Pliny, Natural History, 21.75.128: “there are two kinds of narcissus... The leafy one ... makes the head thick and is called narcissus from narce (‘numbness’), not from the boy in the story.” (cf. ‘narcotic’).


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