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EMBLEMA CXLIIII.

Sapientia humana stultitia est apud
Deum.[1]

The Wisdom of Man is folly to God

Quid dicam? quónam hoc compellem nomine monstrum
Biforme: quod non est homo, nec est draco?[2]
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O1v f92v]Sed sine vir pedibus, summis sine partibus anguis,
Vir anguipes dici, & homiceps anguis potest.
Anguem pedit homo, hominem eructavit & anguis
Nec finis hominis est, initium nec est ferae.
Sic olim Cecrops[3] doctis regnavit Athenis,
Sic & gigantes terra mater protulit.
Haec vafrum species, sed relligione carentem,
Terrena tantum quique curet,[4] indicat.[5]

What shall I say? By what name call this two-fold monster, that is neither man nor snake? A man without feet, a snake without its upper parts - this can be called a snake-footed man, a man-headed snake. The man farts a snake, the snake has vomited a man, the man has no end, the beast no beginning. In such a form did Cecrops once rule in learned Athens, in such a form did Mother Earth once bring forth the Giants. This image indicates a clever man, but one without religion, who cares only for the things of the earth.

Das CXLIIII.

Menschen Weißheit ist vor Gott ein
Torheit.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O2r f93r]

Was soll ich sagen? Und mit was
Namen soll ich doch nennen das
Zweigstaltig wunder und Meerfein
Daß kein Mensch noch kein Drack kan seyn
Sonder on Füß ist es ein Mann
On das obertheil ein Schlang ran
Kan genannt werden ein Menschkopff geschlang
Und ein Schlangnfüssiger Mann lang
Ein Mensch ein Schlangen gefeißt hat
Ein Schlang ein Menschen hrauß kotzt drat
Das ende dem Menschen nit gleicht
Noch der anfang dem Thier so schleicht
Also hat vor zeiten gregiert
Zu Athen der Cecrops und gfürt
Also hat die Mutter die Erd
Die starcken Risen herfür bschert
Diese gstalt zeigt an und bedeut
Gar lustig und geschwinde Leut
Die seind on all forcht Gottes, doch
Nur dem zeitlichen stellen noch.

Notes:

1.  This epigram is based on Anthologia Graeca, 16.115-6, descriptions of a hippocentaur, the second of which was translated by Alciato at Sel. Ep. p.335. Metre: dactylic hexameters paired with iambic senarii.

2.  Variant reading: monstrum? Biforme quod..., ‘monster? A two-fold thing, that is neither ...’.

3.  Cecrops, the mythical wise first king of Athens, the city of Pallas Athene, the goddess of wisdom. Cecrops, like the Giants (l.8) was born of the earth and was represented as half-man, half snake.

4.  Terrena tantum quique curet, ‘who cares only for the things of earth’. See Macrobius, Saturnalia, 1.20.9: the fact that the Giants’ bodies terminated as snakes shows that they had not a single thought that was right or elevated, but that their life in all its comings and goings tended to what was base.

5.  Variant reading: Haec vafrum est species, sed relligione carentem...indicans, ‘This is an image of clever men, but indicating one without religion’.


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Invidia.

Envy

Emblema lxxi.

Squallida vipereas manducans femina carnes,
Cuique dolent oculi,[1] quaeque suum cor edit,
Quam macies & pallor habent, spinosáque gestat
Tela manu: talis pingitur Invidia.[2]

A filthy woman chewing the flesh of vipers, whose eyes give her pain, who gnaws her own heart, in the grip of emaciation and pallor, carrying prickly sticks in her hand - thus is Envy depicted.

ELegans invidiae descriptio ex effectis, adiunctis-
que: quibus ostenditur eum qui laboret invidia,
virulentis cogitationibus pasci, aliorum prosperis
successibus ingemiscere, animum moerore confice-
re, corpus macie & pallore confectum reddere, acu
leis maledicis alios insectari.

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Envie

C’Est icy le pourtrait d’Envie la chagrine,
Qui s’appaste & repaist de serpens venimeux:
Qui son coeur ronge, & pleure ayant larmes ez yeux,
Tant maigre que rien plus, tant defaicte en sa mine.
Hideuse à voir ell’ est, & en fort mauvais train,
Un baston espineux tousjours tient en sa main.

ICy est une belle description pour repre-
senter les effects & circonstances d’Envie,
ou il est monstré que l’envieux se paist de
cogitations empoisonnees, est marri de la
bonne fortune des autres, travaille son es-
prit de fascherie, rend son corps tout sec &
pasle, attaque les autres par poinctures de
mesdisance.

Notes:

1.  Oculi dolent is a proverbial expression, referring to the pain of seeing what one does not like.

2.  This description is taken from Ovid, Metamorphoses, 2.760ff., a depiction of the House of Envy.


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