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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D1r]

IN SENATUM BONI
principis.

On the senate of a good prince

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D1v]

Effigies manibus trunce ante altaria Divum,
Hic resident, quarum lumine capta prior.
Signa potestatis summae sanctique senatus,
Thebanis fuerant ista reperta viris.[1]
Cur resident? quia mente graves decet esse quieta,
Iuridicos animo ne [=nec] variare levi.
Cur sine sunt manibus? capiant ne xaenia, nec se
Pollicitis flecti muneribusve sinant.
Caecus at est princeps, quod solis auribus, absque
Affectu constans iussa senatus agit.

Figures without hands sit here before the altars of the gods. The chief of them is deprived of sight. These symbols of the supreme power and of the reverend senate were discovered by men of Thebes. - Why do they sit? - Because lawgivers should be serious, of a calm mind, and not change with inconstant thoughts. - Why have they no hands? - So that they may not take gifts, nor let themselves be influenced by promises or bribes. But the president is blind, because the Senate, by hearing alone, uninfluenced by feeling, impartially discharges what it is bidden to do.

Notes:

1.  This is Thebes in Egypt. See Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride 10; also Erasmus, Adagia 2601, Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L8v p176]

Sur le Senat d’ung bon Prince.

DIALOGISME.

Images sont devant l’aultel des Dieux,
D’ond la premiere aveugle, n’ha point d’yeulx
Du Sainct Senat, & potestatz bien dignes
Par les Thebans[1] furent trouvéz ces signes,
D. Pourquoy sont ilz assis? R. (Car en repos
Doibvent juger sans changer de propos).
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M1r p177]D. Pourquoy sans mains. R. (Pour ne prendre aulcun don
Et ne fleschir par presens à pardon)
D. Pourquoy le Prince aveugle est? R. (Action
Senat constant faict sans affection.)

Cest la figure du bon Senat de Thebes Cité
jadis tresflorissante en la Boeotie de Graece. Ce
que les Senateurs sont assis: signifie pruden
ce d’esprit bien arresté. Car (comme dict le
Philosophe) en estant assis, & en repos, l’ame
se faict prudente, Et les mains coupées, pour ne
prendre aulcuns dons, ne presentz, pour estre
corrompuz. Le Prince aveugle denote juge-
ment sans cognoissance, ou acception de per-
sonne.

Notes:

1.  This is Thebes in Egypt. See Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride 10; also Erasmus, Adagia 2601, Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit.


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