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Consiliarii Principum.

Counsellors of princes

Emblema cxlv

Heroum genitos, & magnum fertur Achillem
In stabulis Chiron erudiisse suis.[1]
Semiferum doctorem, & semivirum Centaurum,
Assideat quisquis Regibus, esse decet.[2]
Est fera, dum violat socios, dum proterit hostes:
Estque homo, dum simulat se populo esse pium.

It is said that Chiron brought up in his stables the sons of heroes and the great Achilles. He shows us that anyone who sits in counsel with kings must be a teacher who is half a beast, a centaur who is half a man. He is the beast when he attacks supporters and tramples on enemies. He is the man when he feigns compassion for the people.

CHiron Centaurus superiore sui parte homo,
equus inferiore, datus creditur Achilli paeda-
gogus: ex quo notantur Regum & Principum Con-
siliarii, qui ferinam naturam induunt, cm Princi-
pi prava consilia suggerunt, vel populares suos pe-
cuniis emungunt, speciem humanitatis habent, cm
iustitiae & pietatis imagine populum sibi devinciunt.

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Les Conseilliers des Princes.

ON dit que de Chiron monstrueux personnage
Achille, & maints Seigneurs prindrent apprentissage,
Luy Centaure my-homme, & demy-beste estant.
Ce que monstre, & nous va couvertement notant
Quel est le Conseillier des grans Roys & Monarques,
Et ses deportemens, & plus insignes marques.
A le bien prendre en soy, il est homme demy,
Beste il semble par bas, de visage est amy,
Quand il foulle les siens, il est beste au possible,
Et quand aux ennemis il se monstre terrible:
Mais l’homme il ressemble, estant devotieux,
Ou feint que des sujets il est fort soucieux.

CHiron le Centaure estant homme par
le hault, & cheval par le bas, fut baill
pour pedagogue Achilles, ainsi qu’on dit:
ce que monstre quels sont les conseilliers
des Roys & Princes, qui portent une natu-
re comme de bestes, quand ils donnent
leurs Princes des conseils pernicieux, ou
quand ils ranonnent les pauvres sujets: ils
ont faces d’hommes, quand ils se font aymer
du people soubz pretexte de zele, qu’ils fei-
gnent avoir la religion & justice.

Notes:

1. 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.

2. Variant reading in 1550, esse docet, ‘He shows us that anyone who sits in counsel with kings is ...’


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ALIQUID MALI PROPTER
vicinum malum.[1]

Misfortune caused by a bad neighbour

Raptabat torrens ollas quarum una metallo,
Altera erat figuli terrea facta manu.
Hanc igitur rogat illa, velit sibi proxima ferri,
Iuncta ut praecipites utraque sistat aquas.
Cui lutea haud nobis tua sunt comercia curae,
Ne mihi proximitas haec mala multa ferat.
Nam seu te nobis seu nos tibi conferat unda,
Ipsa ego te fragilis sospite sola terar.

A stream was carrying along two pots, one of which was made of metal, the other formed by the potter’s hand of clay. The metal pot asked the clay one whether it would like to float along close beside it, so that each of them, by uniting with the other, could resist the rushing waters. The clay pot replied: The arrangement you propose does not appeal to me. I am afraid that such proximity will bring many misfortunes upon me. For whether the wave washes you against me or me against you, I only, being breakable, will be shattered, while you remain unharmed.

Notes:

1. See Avianus, Fables 11; Erasmus, Adagia 32, Aliquid mali propter vicinum malum.


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