Single Emblem View

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [E4r]

IN ADULATORES.

Flatterers

De Chameleonte vide Plinium naturalis historia
libro. VIII. Cap. XXXIII.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [E4v]

Semper hiat, semper tenuem qua vescitur auram,
Reciprocat Chamaeleon[1].
Et mutat faciem varios sumitque colores,
Praeter rubrum vel candidum.[2]
Sic & adulator populari vescitur aura,[3]
Hiansque cuncta devorat,
Et solum mores imitatur principis atros.
Albi & pudici nescius.

The Chameleon is always breathing in and out with open mouth the bodiless air on which it feeds; it changes its appearance and takes on various colours, except for red and white. - Even so the flatterer feeds on the wind of popular approval and gulps down all with open mouth. He imitates only the black features of the prince, knowing nothing of the white and pure.

Notes:

1. This creature was supposed to feed only on air, keeping its mouth wide open to suck it in. See Pliny, Natural History 8.51.122. For the chameleon cf. Erasmus, Parabolae pp.144, 241, 252.

2. ‘except for red and white’. See Pliny, ib.

3. ‘the wind of popular approval’. This is a common metaphor in Latin, e.g. Horace, Odes 3.2.20, ‘at the behest of the wind of popular approval.’


Related Emblems

Show related emblems Show related emblems

Hint: You can set whether related emblems are displayed by default on the preferences page


Iconclass Keywords

Relating to the image:

    Relating to the text:

    Hint: You can turn translations and name underlining on or off using the preferences page.

    Single Emblem View

    Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [L8r f75r]

    EMBLEMA CXIIII

    Consiliarii Principum.

    Counsellors of princes

    Heroum genitos, & magnum fertur Achillem
    In stabulis Chiron erudiisse suis.[1]
    Semiferum doctorem, & semivirum centaurum,
    Assideat quisquis regibus, esse decet.[2]
    Est fera, dum violat socios, dum proterit hostes:
    Estque homo, dum simulat se populo esse pium.

    It is said that Chiron brought up in his stables the sons of heroes and the great Achilles. He shows us that anyone who sits in counsel with kings must be a teacher who is half a beast, a centaur who is half a man. He is the beast when he attacks supporters and tramples on enemies. He is the man when he feigns compassion for the people.

    Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [L8v f75v]

    Das CXIIII.

    Frsten Rht.

    Der Centaur Chiron wie dsag sol
    Gelernet habn in seinem hol
    Und underweist den knen Mann
    Achillem der von Helden kam
    Ein jeder der zu Hof seyn wil
    Bey grossen Herren wol am spil
    Mu seyn ein Mensch wie ein halb Thier
    Und wie ein halb Mensch ein wild Stier
    Ein Thier ist er so er letzt die Freundt
    So er zu Boden stst die Feind
    Und ein Mensch ist er so er sich
    Stelt gegen jederman freundtlich.

    Notes:

    1. Chiron, the wise centaur entrusted with the education of Achilles, Aesculapius, and other noble figures. Centaurs were creatures combining the physical and mental characteristics of a man with those of a horse. They were wild and uncontrolled, and came to symbolise humanity descending to savagery. Even the civilised Chiron, the educator, retained violent potential.

    2. Variant reading: esse docet, ‘He shows us that anyone who sits in counsel with kings is ...’


    Related Emblems

    Show related emblems Show related emblems

    Hint: You can set whether related emblems are displayed by default on the preferences page


    Iconclass Keywords

    Relating to the image:

      Relating to the text:

      Hint: You can turn translations and name underlining on or off using the preferences page.

       

      Back to top