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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M3v p182]

Les conseilliers des Princes.[1]

Chiron[2] Centor nourrit en ses estables
Tant Achilles, qu’autres Princes notables,
Monstrant celluy qui ha les Roys en main,
Demy saulvage estre, & demy humain.
Beste sauvage il est: les gens foullant,
Et homme il est monstrant humain semblant.

Homere feinct son jeune Prince Achilles avoir esté nourry, &
enseigné par le Centor Chiron, demy homme, & demy cheval
sauvage, donnant à entendre que telz sont les gouverneurs des
Princes, Qui hommes humains se monstrent par devant: quand
soubz couleur de juste guerre, d’equité, ou de bien public, ilz de-
vorent occultement la substance du peuple, estans par derriere
plus inhumains que bestes sauvages. Donnans instruction aulx
Roys, & leur trouvans invention de piller leurs subjectz, soubz
quelque couleur, & tiltre honneste.

Notes:

1.  In the 1549 French edition, this emblem has no woodcut.

2.  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.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E5r f37r]

Contra.[1]

A contrary view.

Vesparum quòd nulla unquam Rex spicula figet.[2]
Quodque 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.

Notes:

1.  It is to be noted that in this edition, Maledicentia and Contra are treated as one emblem whereas in other editions Contra is treated as an emblem in its own right called Principis Clementia.

2.  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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