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Those who harbour cut-throats

Emblema. 52.

Latronum, furumque manus tibi saeva[1] per urbem
It comes, & diris cuncta [=cincta] cohors gladiis:
Atque ita te mentis generosum prodige censes,
Quod tua complures alicit olla malos.
En novus Actaeon, qui postquam cornua sumpsit,
In praedam canibus se dedit ipse suis.[2]

A fierce 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.


1. Other editions read scaeva, ‘evil-minded’. The capital letter in some editions 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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