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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D7r p61]


Candor ingenuus.

Noble integrity [sincerity, purity, openness].

Exsorbet saniem hulcerum atra musca:
Mel dulce haurit apis thymo ex amaro.
Doctos ingenuus decere candor,
Obtrectatio lividos putatur.

The black fly sucks on the festering of sores: The bee drinks sweet honey from the bitter thyme, Noble integrity beseems learned men, it is thought, and disparagement the spiteful.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K1v p146]

Musca, meritň ab Homero impudens di-
cta; qua nullum animal minůs docile putatur, mi-
norisque intellectus, impudentes alienae famae ob-
trectatores denotat, aut aemulos zoilos,[1] qui ad be-
nč dicta connivent, in vitio laevi aut lubrico la-
psu immorantur, illudque suggillant. Apis can-
didi lectoris exemplum est, qui Musarum prata
pervolitat, & utilem mellificio succum depascitur:
aut qui Virgiliano more č fimo gemmas colligit
ex horridč insciteque dictis, veneres dicendi con-
quirit. Pingatur hinc musca iumento hulceroso
insidens virusque depascens: illinc apis thymum
floresque delibans.

The fly, deservedly called by Homer ‘shameless’, other than which no creature is considered less tractable and less intelligent, stands for those shameless detractors of another’s reputation, or jealous critics [lit. Zoiluses], who shut their eyes to the good things he has said and dwell only on some smooth fault or slippery error, and scoff at it. The Bee is a model for the honest reader, who flies about the meadows of the Muses and feeds on the nectar that is good for making honey: or who, in Virgilian manner, gathers jewels from the dung, and searches out elegances of speech from among things spoken barbarously and ignorantly. A fly should be depicted in one place, settled on a beast of burden suffering from sores, and feasting on the pus; in another, a bee is tasting the nectar of fragrant herbs and flowers.


1.  Zoilus (in Greek, Ζώιλος) was known as a severe critic, especially of Homer; the word came to be used proverbially to refer to censorious people and critics. See similar use in the emblem Sambucus dedicated to Junius, ‘Neglecta virescunt’ ([FSAb099]).

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