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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M3r f78r]

EMBLEMA CXX.

Quod non capit Christus, rapit
fiscus.

What Christ does not receive, the exchequer seizes

Exprimit humentes quas iam madefecerat antè
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M3v f78v]Spongiolas, cupidi Principis arcta manus.
Provehit ad summum fures quos deinde coërcet,
Vertat ut in fiscum quae malè parta suum.[1]

The dripping sponges which he had previously filled with moisture the tight hand of a greedy prince is wringing out. He advances thieves to the top and then puts pressure on them, so that he may divert to his own treasury their ill-gotten gains.

Das CXX.

Was Gott nit nimt, führt der Teuf-fel[2] weg.

Gleich wie der Fürst mit starcker faust
Den nassen Schwam truckt gwaltig auß
Den er zuvor hat eingequellt
Und mit Wasser gefeucht und gfült
Also thut er den Vögten sein
Die er zvor in groß ehr setzt ein
Hernach so sstelen peinlich strafft
Und ir gut in dRenntkammer rafft.

Notes:

1.  This is based on Suetonius, Life of the Deified Vespasian 16.

2.  The translation of ‘fiscus’ (exchequer) by ‘Teufel’ (devil) is obviously interesting.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q8r p255]

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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