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Section: FORTITUDO (Fortitude). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [C5v p41]

In adulari nescientem.

Unable to flatter.

Scire cupis dominos toties cur Thessalis ora[1]
Mutet, & ut varios quaerat habere duces:
Nescit adulari, cuiquamve obtrudere palpum[2],
Regia quem morem principis omnis habet.
Sed veluti ingenuus sonipes, dorso excutit omnem,
Qui moderari ipsum nesciat Hippocomon[3].
Nec saevire tamen domino fas. ultio sola est,
Dura ferum ut iubeat ferre lupata magis.[4]

Do you want to know why the land of Thessaly changes its overlords so often, how it comes about that it looks for different leaders? - It does not know how to flatter, or how to stroke anyone the right way, the behaviour every prince’s court displays. Like a noble stallion, it throws from its back every horseman who does not know how to control it. Nor may the master treat the horse savagely: his only course of action is to make the creature wear a harsher bit with jagged teeth.

Notes:

1. Variant reading: Insubris ora, ‘land of the Insubres’, i.e. the plain of Milan, Alciato’s home area. Various Gallic tribes, including the Insubres, inhabited this region in the Classical period. Cf. [A50a002], and see Alciato, Historia Mediolanensis col.6.

2. ‘stroke...the right way’. See Erasmus, Adagia 2527, Obtrudere palpum.

3. ‘horseman, groom’. See Plato, Politicus 261d for the image of the ruler as supervisor of a stud of horses.

4. ‘a harsher bit with jagged teeth’. A jagged-toothed bit was used on intractable horses, and also in breaking-in. See Erasmus, Parabolae p.136: the horse despises a smooth bit.


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  • virtues of the ruler [44B10] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • family of a ruler, and court [44B15] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generosità dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtù del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A7(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Sincerity; 'Purità et Sincerità d'animo', 'Sincerità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57A612(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Flattery; 'Adulatione' (Ripa) [57AA6121] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Revenge, Requital, Retaliation; 'Vendetta' (Ripa) [57AA741] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Praise, Approbation, Approval; 'Lode' (Ripa) [57B1] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(THESSALY)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [H4v p120]

Maturandum.

Making good speed

LII.

Maturare iubent proper & cunctarier omnes,
Ne nimium praeceps, neu mora longa nimis.
Hoc tibi declaret connexum Echeneide[1] telum,
Haec tarda est, volitant spicula missa manu.

Everyone tells us to deal with things quickly, but they also tell us to hold back - not to be impetuous, nor yet to wait too long. A missile linked with a sucking-fish can demonstrate this for you: the fish is slow, but arrows fly fast when they leave the shooter’s hand.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [H5r p121]

Eyl mit weyl.

LII.

Ein gmain sprichwort ist, eyl mit weyl,
Gar kunstlich hye gezaiget an,
Der fisch Remora umb ein pfeyl
Gewunden, gibt es zu verstan:
Des fisch natur ist stiller stan,
Der pfeyl ferd schneller dann der wind,
In allen sachen mittel han,
Hayst nit zu spat, und nit zu gschwind.

Notes:

1. ‘linked with a sucking fish’. The sucking-fish (echeneis or remora) was a creature believed by the ancients to have the power of slowing the course of ships to which it attached itself. See Pliny, Natural History 32.1.2-6. He describes it as about six inches long and like a slug. See also [A42b049].


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  • Maturity (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51FF511(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Swiftness, Speed; 'Agilità', 'Celerità', 'Velocità' (Ripa) (+ symbolical representation of concept) [51M11(+3)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Swiftness, Speed; 'Agilità', 'Celerità', 'Velocità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51M11(+4):51MM11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Slowness, Tardiness; 'Tardità' (Ripa) (+ symbolical representation of concept) [51MM11(+3)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Carefulness, Diligence; 'Diligenza' (Ripa) [54A2] Search | Browse Iconclass

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