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In receptatores sicariorum.

Those who harbour cut-throats

Latronum furumque manus tibi Scaeva[1] per urbem
It comes, & diris cincta cohors gladiis.
Atque ita te mentis generosum prodige censes,
Quod tua complureis allicit olla malos.
En novus Actaeon, qui postquàm cornua sumpsit,
In praedam canibus se dedit ipse suis.[2]

An evil-minded band of ruffians and thieves accompanies you about the city, a gang of supporters armed with lethal swords. And so, you wastrel, you consider yourself a fine lordly fellow because your cooking pot draws in crowds of scoundrels. - Here’s a fresh Actaeon - he, after he grew his horns, became the prey of his own hunting dogs.

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Receptateurs dhomicides.

Gens apres toy avec espees,
(Dont plusieurs ont gaigne le pendre.
Ou davoir oreilles coppees)
Te font cornes au chef extendre,
Mais il ten pourra ainsi prandre,
En nourrissant telz ruffiens,
Que a Acteon: qui (faict cerf tendre)
Fust devore de tous ces chiens.

Notes:

1.  Scaeva, ‘evil-minded’. The capital letter suggests that the Latin word could be taken as a proper name in the vocative case, i.e addressing one Scaeva.

2.  For the story of Actaeon turned into a stag and killed by his own hounds, see Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.138ff. Similarly, the hangers-on will destroy the one who has fed them.


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EMBLEMA CXVI.

In eum qui sibi ipsi damnum
apparat.

One who brings about his own downfall

Capra lupum non sponte meo nunc ubere lacto,
Quòd malè pastoris provida cura iubet.[1]
Creverit ille simul, mea me post ubera pascet.
Improbitas nullo flectitur obsequio.[2]

I am a goat giving suck against my will - to a wolf. The improvident kindness of the shepherd makes me do this. Once the wolf has grown, after feeding at my teats, he will then eat me. Wickedness is never deterred by services rendered.

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Das CXVI.

Wider den der im selbst ein schaden
bereit.

Ich arme Geiß muß wider mein willn
Ein jungen Wolff mit meiner Milch fülln
Also wil es der Hirt nur han
Denckt nit was schadn drauß werd entstan
Dann so er wirt auffwachsen zgleich
Wirt er mich zlon thon fressen leich
Dann boßheit kan mit keinr gutthat
Werden gwendt, gfült, gsettigt und sat.

Notes:

1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.47. For the content cf. Aesop, Fables 313-5.

2.  ‘Wickedness is never deterred by services rendered’. See Erasmus, Adagia 1086, Ale luporum catulos.


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