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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I6v f78v]

In adulatores.

Flatterers

Emblema liii.

Semper hiat, semper tenuem qua vescitur auram,
Reciprocat Chamaeleon[1],
Et mutat faciem, varios sumítque colores,
Praeter rubrum, vel candidum.[2]
Sic & adulator populari vescitur aura,[3]
Hiánsque 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.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I7r f79r]

EXpressum id è libello Plutarchi, de discrimine
adulatoris & amici. Adulatori omnino idem ac-
cidit atque Chamaeleonti. Nam ille colorum om-
nium similitudinem exprimit, praeterquam albi: sic
assentator, cùm se similem praestare non possit in
iis quae digna sunt studio, turpia quaeque imitatur
quantùm potest.

Contre les flatteurs.

INcessamment le Chameleon baaille,
Et à humer le vent tousjours travaille,
Changeant couleur aussi en toute sorte,
Ormis le blanc ou rouge qu’il ne porte:
Tout de mesme est le flatteur hume-vent,
Qui ravit tout cela qu’il va trouvant,
Car il prend garde à son seigneur & maistre,
Et ses façons il ensuit fort adextre,
S’accommodant au reste à son humeur,
Fors qu’en cela qui est pudic & pur.

CEcy est tiré du livre de Plutarque, de
la difference d’entre le flatteur & l’a-
my. Il advient au Chameleon ainsi qu’au
flatteur: car il se change en toutes couleurs,
fors au blanc: ainsi le flatteur ne pouvant se
rendre semblable en choses honnestes, il
represente tout ce qui est vilain autant qu’il
peust.

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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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E7r p77]

Contre les flateurs.

Chameleon tousjours baille en allant,
L’air (d’ond il vit) prend,[1] & rend anhelant.
Change de peau: & quelque que ce soit,
(Fors rouge, & blanc,[2]) toute couleur reçoit.
Ainsi flateurs d’air populaire vivent.
Devorent tout: & seullement ensuyvent
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E7v p78]Les meurs du Prince obscurs de vice inique
Fors rouge, & blanc d’innocence pudicque.

Le Chameleon petit animal vivant seul-
lement de l’air, & se changeant en tou-
tes couleurs sinon rouge, & blanc: repre-
sente le flateur, qui se conforme aulx
meurs du Prince, Sinon aulx meurs d’in-
nocence, & vergoigne pudicque, vertuz
signifiées par le blanc, & le rouge.

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.


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