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Alius peccat, alius plectitur.

One sins and another is punished

Arripit ut lapidem catulus morsuque fatigat,
Nec percussori mutua damna facit.
Sic plaerique[1] sinunt veros elabier hosteis,
Et quos nulla gravat noxia, dente petunt.[2]

A puppy seizes the stone and worries it with his teeth and does not bite back at the one who threw it. Even so, most people allow the true enemy to escape and bite those who carry no burden of guilt.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [K5r p153]

Lung faict la faulte, lautre a la peine.

Le chien quelque fois mort la pierre,
Quon luy a gettee roidement:
Mais en cela, son despit erre:
On le congnoist evidemment.
Il laisse sauf le fondement,
A scavoir cil qui faict loffence,
Et veult corriger asprement
Linnocent, qui est sans deffense.


1. Textual variant: plerique.

2. Cf. Aesop, Fables 235, where bees sting the wrong person. See Erasmus, Adagia 153, Cum larvis luctari, where the ‘puppy’ comparison is quoted from Aristotle (Rhetoric 3, 4). See also Plato, Republic 5.469E.

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