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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q2r f109r]



Good for nothing

Ignavi Ardeolam stellatum[1] effingere servi,
Et studia & mores fabula prisca fuit.
Quae famulum Asteriae[2] volucris sumpsisse figuram:
Est commenta: fides sit penes historicos.
Degener hic veluti qui caevet in aëre falco est,
Dictus ab antiquis vatibus ardelio.[3]

There was an old story to the effect that the little starred heron displays the activities and character of a good-for-nothing slave, a story which alleged that the slave Asterias took the form of a bird. Let the [natural] historians vouch for this. This sort of despicable person is like the kestrel quivering in one place in the air, a person called a fussing busybody by the ancient poets.

Das CLXX [=169] .


Es ist ein Fabel und Geticht
Von den alten wordn zugericht
Die sagt das der Vogel Loyrind
Auß einem Knecht worden sey gschwind
Damit wöllens gebn zu verston
Eins faulen Knechts art weiß und thon
Jedoch hierin eim jedem sey
Zu glauben was im gefelt frey
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q2v f109v] Der so hoffertig einher schwantzt
Wie ein Falck in den lüfften tantzt
Den haben die alten genennt
Ein Hans in allen Gassen bhend.


1.  The ‘little starred heron’, which, according to the story, had once been human and a slave, was, because of its sluggish nature, called ocnus, i.e. ‘idleness’. Cf. Emblem 95 ([A67a095]). As it understood human speech, it hated to be called this, or ‘slave’. See Pausanias, 10.29.2; Aelian, De natura animalium 5.36; Aristotle, Historia animalium, 9.18.617.

2.  Asterias, ‘starred’, is the Greek name for ardea stellaris, possibly a bittern.

3.  ardelio: ‘a fussing busybody’. See Martial, Epigrams, 2.7.7.; 4.78.9: Phaedrus, Fables, 2.5.1. Cf. Erasmus, Adagia, 543, Callipides, on someone who expends a great deal of energy achieving nothing.

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