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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D7v p62]

In simulachrum Spei.

A picture of hope.

EMBLEMA XLIIII.

Quae Dea tam laeto suspectans sidera vultu?
Cuius peniculis reddita imago fuit?
Elpidii[1] fecere manus. Ego nominor illa,
Quae miseris promptam Spes bona praestat opem.
Cur viridis tibi palla? quòd 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  [D8r p63]Quod 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 cùm 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. [A91a154], [A91a155].

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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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H7v f67v]

In dies meliora.

Getting better every day.

Emblema xlv.

Rostra novo mihi setigeri suis[1] obtulit anno,
Haecque cliens ventri xenia, dixit, habe.
Progreditur semper, nec retrò respicit unquam,
Gramina cùm pando proruit ore vorax.
Cura viris eadem est, ne spes sublapsa retrorsum
Cedat: & ut melius sit, quod & ulterius.[2]

A dependant of mine brought me the head of a bristly boar at the New Year and said: Here is a present for your insides. - The pig always moves forwards and never looks back as it greedily tears up plants with its flat snout. - Men have the same attitude - they don’t want hopes to collapse and fall back, they do want what lies ahead also to be better.

OCcasione suilli rostri sibi à cliente quodam pro
xeníis oblati, significat occasionem unde-
cúnque nobis esse captandam ulteriùs progre-
diendi, ut labore & diligentia promoveamur, suc-
cessúmque optatum consequamur, adeò ut non ro-
vocemur ab officio faciendo occasione levicula, &
quod ulterius fuerit, sit semper melius.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H8r f68r]

Tousjours de bien en mieux.

UN mien voisin bien & beau
Donna un jour mes estrenes
Pour recognoistre mes peines,
Une teste de pourceau.
Le pourceau ne se destourne
Ayant le museau devant,
Ains maschant marche en avant,
Et arriere ne retourne.
Les hommes doivent penser
Tousjours de bien en mieux faire,
Poursuivans un bon affaire,
Et tousjours à s’advancer.

PRenant occasion d’un groin de pour-
ceau, qui luy fut donné en present par
un sien client, il donne à entendre que nous
devons recercher tous moyens de passer
tousjours oultre, à ce que par labeur & dili-
gence nous-nous advancions, & que venions
au but desiré, de façon que ne soyons retar-
dez par occasion legiere, ains que faisions
de bien en mieux.

Notes:

1.  setigeri suis, ‘of a bristly boar’. For pork as a seasonal present at the Saturnalia (17-23 December), see Martial, Epigrams, 14.71: ‘This pig, fattened on acorns among the foaming boars, will make your Saturnalia happy’.

2.  ulterius. This, the last word of the epigram, is written on the back of the boar in the pictura, where it suggests the meaning ‘ever onward’.


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