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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E8r p79]

L’aultruy ne fault commettre: à qui ha mal
traicté le sien.

Apostrophe.

O fol oyseau: pourquoy ton nid babastis
Au seing Medée, & commetz tes petitz?
Mere cruelle occit les enfans siens:
Esperes tu qu’elle pardonne aulx tiens?[1]

Gouvernement, ou public, ou privé ne doibt estre
commis à celluy qui ha mal administré sa propre cho
se. Et est cecy prins sur une arondelle nidifiant au
gyron d’une statue de Medée, qui tua ses enfans.

Notes:

1.  This is based on Anthologia graeca 9.346, a much-translated epigram, on the subject of a swallow that built her nest on a representation of Medea, who slew her children by Jason, leader of the Argonauts, to avenge his unfaithfulness. See further CHECK [A58a072].


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  • Squandering, Extravagance, Prodigality, Waste; 'Prodigalità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [55C11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Misplaced Trust, False Confidence, 'Pax Falsa'; 'Speranza fallace' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [56D29(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E4v p72]

In adulatores.

Flatterers

EMBLEMA LIII.

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 solùm 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.’


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