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Section: SPES (Hope). View all emblems in this section.

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In simulachrum Spei.

A picture of hope.

dialogismus.

A Dialogue.

Quae Dea tam laeto suspectans sydera vultu?
Cuius peniculis reddita imago fuit?
Elpidii[1] fecre manus. Ego nominor illa,
Quae miseris promptam Spes bona praestat opem.
Cur viridis tibi palla? Qud omnia me duce vernent.
Quid manibus mortis tela[2] refracta geris?
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [D2v p52]Qud vivos sperare decet, praecido sepultis.
Cur in dolioli tegmine pigra sedes?
Sola domi mansi volitantibus undique noxis,
Ascraei[3] ut docuit musa verenda senis.
Quae tibi adest volucris? Cornix fidissimus oscen[4],
Est bene cm nequeat dicere: dicit, Erit.
Qui comites? Bonus eventus[5], praecepsque Cupido,
Qui praeeunt? Vigilum somnia vana vocant.
Quae tibi iuncta astat? Scelerum Ramnusia[6] vindex,
Scilicet ut speres nil nisi quod liceat.

What goddess is this, looking up to the stars with face so glad? By whose brush was this image depicted? - The hands of Elpidius made me. I am called Good Hope, the one who brings ready aid to the wretched. - Why is your garment green? - Because everything will spring green when I lead the way. - Why do you hold Death’s blunt arrows in your hands? - The hopes that the living may have, I cut short for the buried. - Why do you sit idle on the cover of a jar? - I alone stayed behind at home when evils fluttered all around, as the revered muse of the old poet of Ascra has told you. - What bird is at your side? - A crow, the faithful prophet. When it cannot say, ‘All’s well’, it says, ‘All shall be well’. - Who are your companions? - Happy Ending and Eager Desire. - Who go before you? - They call them the idle dreams of those who are awake. - Who stands close beside you? - Rhamnusia, the avenger of crimes, to make sure that you hope for nothing but what is allowed.

Notes:

1. Elpidius is an invented name derived from Greek ἐλπίς, ‘hope’.

2. For Death’s arrows cf. [A50a154], [A50a155].

3. ‘the old poet of Ascra’, i.e. Hesiod. See Hesiod, Opera et dies 90ff. for the story of Pandora’s box or jar.

4. ‘a crow, the faithful prophet’. The crow was a bird of prophecy and an emblem of hope. Its caw was interpreted as cras, cras, ‘tomorrow, tomorrow’. Cf. the proverb, Quod hodie non est, cras erit: ‘What is not today shall be tomorrow.’

5. Bonus Eventus or Bonne Aventure, cf. Evento Buono in Ripa, Iconologia; also called ‘Success’ or ‘Happy Ending’.

6. Rhamnusia, i.e. Nemesis, who had a shrine at Rhamnus in Attica.


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EMBLEMA IX.

Principis clementia.

Clemency in a ruler

Vesparum quod nulla unquam Rex spicula figet:[1]
Qudque aliis duplo corpore maior erit.
Arguet imperium clemens, moderataque regna.
Sanctaque iudicibus credita iura bonis.

The king of the wasps will never implant any sting and will be twice as big as the rest. This will be a sign of mild dominion, a disciplined kingdom, and inviolable law entrusted to good judges.

Das IX.

Frstliche Gnad.

Das der Wespen Knig nimmer
Mit seim Angel sticht, und da er
An seinem Leib zweymal ist gro
Dann die andern Wespen geno
Zeigt an ein gnedig Regiment
Und stilles Reich darinn man lendt
All Hendel und sachen nach recht
Wie es vertrauwt ist dem Richter schlecht.

Notes:

1. According to Pliny, Natural History, 11.21.74, wasps do not have ‘kings’: it is the ‘mother’ wasps that are without stings. On the other hand, the ‘king’ bee (the ancients believed the queen bee to be male) and its lack of sting, or refusal to use its sting, was often mentioned; e.g. Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.10; Pliny, ibid., 17.52. For the analogy with kingship, see e.g. Seneca, De Clementia, 1.19; Erasmus, Adagia, 2601 (Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit).


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