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Alciato's Book of Emblems

Emblem 169

One ought to fear even the tiniest creatures

The beetle wages war and provokes his enemy of his own accord; even though inferior in strength he surpasses her in cunning. For he hides himself in secret and unknown in the feathers of the eagle, to reach his enemy's nest through the highest stars. By piercing the eggs, he puts an end to the hope of the young growing up: and, having avenged in this way the shame inflicted on him, he departs.