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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L2r f98r]

Φιλαυτία

Self-satisfaction.

Emblema lxix.[1]

Quod nimium tua forma tibi Narcisse placebat,
In florem, & noti est versa stuporis olus.[2]
Ingenii est marcor, cladésque Φιλαυτία, doctos
Quae pessum plures datque deditque viros:
Qui veterum abiecta methodo, nova dogmata quaerunt,
Nílque suas praeter tradere phantasias.

Because your beauty gave you too much satisfaction, Narcissus, it was turned both into a flower and into a plant of acknowledged insensibility. Self-satisfaction is the rot and destruction of the mind. Learned men in plenty it has ruined, and ruins still, men who cast off the method of teachers of old and aim to pass on new doctrines, nothing more than their own imaginings.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L2v f98v]

NUlla deterior ingeniorum pestis quàm nimia sui
admiratio & confidentia, quae eam menti caligi-
nem inducit, ut assentatione omni deterior negli-
gentem, superbum, ociosum, & aliorum contemp-
torem hominem reddat, adeo, ut nisi quod ipse fa-
ciat, vel doceat, nihil rectum putet. Bene Seneca li-
bello, de vitae tranquillitate: Puto multos potuisse
ad sapientiam pervenire, nisi putassent se pervenisse.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L3r f99r]

Amour de soy mesme.

POur cause de ta beauté
As esté
Changé en fleur, tout stupide,
Narcis qui ne porte fruict,
Ni ne duit,
De bonté & d’odeur vuide.
Trop cuider est une mort,
Qui endort
D’un bon esprit la doctrine:
Et qui a causé que maints
Rendus vains,
Sont venus à leur ruine:
Des vieux qui s’estans mocquez
Des decrets,
Et traditive choisie,
N’ont voulu de rien traitter
Et monstrer,
Sinon à leur fantasie.

IL n’y a point de plus dangereuse peste des
esprits humains, que la trop grande opi-
nion qu’on a de soy mesme, laquelle met de
telles tenebres dans la pensee, qu’elle rend
l’homme negligent, outrecuidé, fay-neant,
& contempteur des autres, de maniere qu’il
ne prise rien que ce qu’il fait ou dit. C’est à
propos que parle ainsi Seneque, livre de la
tranquilité de la vie: Je pense, dit-il, que plu
sieurs, avoient moyen de parvenir à sagesse,
s’ils n’eussent pensé qu’ils y estoient ja parvenus.

Notes:

1.  Note that the signature on this page is mistyped L iii rather than L ii.

2.  For the story of Narcissus, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 3.344ff. On the flower, see Pliny, Natural History, 21.75.128: “there are two kinds of narcissus... The leafy one ... makes the head thick and is called narcissus from narce (‘numbness’), not from the boy in the story.” (cf. ‘narcotic’).


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