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EMBLEMA XXXIX.

Quaenam sic lacero vestita incedis amictu?
Relligio, summi vera Patris soboles.
Cur vestis tam vilis? opes contemno caducas.
Quis liber hic? Patris lex veneranda mei.
Cur nudum pectus? decet hoc candoris amicam.
Cur innixa cruci? Crux mihi sola quies.
Cur alata? homines doceo super astra volare.
Cur radians? mentis discutio tenebras.
Quid docet hoc frenum? mentis cohibere furores.
Cur tibi mors premitur? mors quia mortis ego.

Who are you steppping out in a torn tunic? Religion, true offspring of the Father on high. Why with such poor clothes? I spurn perishable riches. What is this book? The Law of my father which is to be venerated. Why is your breast naked? It is fitting for a friend of purity. Why do you lean on the Cross? The Cross is my only repose. Why are you winged? I teach men to fly above the stars. Why are you surrounded by rays? I dispel the darkness of the soul. What does this bridle teach? To control the passions of the soul. Why is death hardpressed by you? Because I am the death of death.

Notes:

1. For external references, from Alciato and Bze himself, see Adams, Webs of Allusion, p. 143, n.40. It is noted here that the question-answer form of this emblem resembles that of Alciato’s ‘In occasionem’ ([FALa016]). See also Alison Saunders, The Sixteenth-Century French Emblem Book (Geneva, 1988), p. 244.



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