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In eos qui supra vires quicquam

Those who venture on what is beyond their powers

Dum dormit, dulci recreat dum corpora somno
Sub picea, & clavam caeteraque arma tenet,
Alcyden Pygmaea manus[1] prosternere letho
Posse putat, vires non bene docta suas.
Excitus ipse, velut pulices, sic proterit hostem,
Et saevi implicitum pelle leonis[2] agit.

While Alceus’ descendant was sleeping, while he was refreshing his body with gentle slumber, beneath a spruce tree, keeping hold of his club and other weapons, a band of pygmies thought they could lay him low in death, not really grasping the limit of their powers. But he, waking up, crushed the foe like fleas, and carried them off, wrapped up in the fierce lion’s skin.

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Das CX.

Wider dise die wider ir vermgen drf-
fen etwas anfahen.

Dieweil da schlafft und ruht so s
Under einr Thannen Hercules
Und helt bey sich sein Kolben gro
Mit andern Waffen uberma
Meinen die kleinen Zwergen schon
Sie wllen in wol meistern thon
Wlln also bald in reiben auff
Bdenckt nit ir sterck der kleine hauff
Dann er auffgwegt sie zerknitst doch
Als werens nur gar kleine Flch
Verwirrts und wickelts also eyn
Mit der grossen Lwen Haut seyn.


1. Hercules’ confrontation with the pygmies is described by Philostratus, Eikones 2.22.

2. ‘the fierce lion’s skin’, the skin of the Nemean lion which Hercules always wore after slaying the beast (Emblem 17 [A67a017], Emblem 18 [A67a018]).

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