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QUA DII VOCANT EUNDUM.

Go where Heaven calls

In trivio mons est lapidum supereminet illi,
Trunca dei effigies pectore facta tenus.
Mercurii est igitur tumulus, suspende viator,
Serta deo, rectum qui tibi monstrat iter.[1]
Omnes in trivio sumus, atque hoc tramite vitae,
Fallimur ostendat ni deus ipse viam.[2]

At a parting of the ways, there is a hillock of stones. Rising above it is a half-statue of a god, fashioned as far down as the chest. So the hill is Mercury’s. Traveller, hang wreaths in honour of the god who points out the road to you. We are all at the crossroads, and on this track of life we go wrong, unless God himself shows us the way.

Notes:

1.  Mercury was, among his many other functions, the god of travellers.

2.  In the emblem In studiosum captum amore [A31a071], we also see Mercury with horns.


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AMOR VIRTUTIS.

Love of virtue.

Emblema 108.

Dic ubi sunt incurvi arcus? ubi tela Cupido?
Mollia queis iuvenum figere corda soles?[1]
Fax ubi tristis? ubi pennae? tres unde corollas
Fert manus? unde aliam tempora cincta gerunt?
Haud mihi vulgari est, hospes, cum Cypride quicquam,
Ulla voluptatis nos neque forma tulit.
Sed puris hominum succendo mentibus ignes
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Mm1r f273r] Disciplinae, animos astraque ad alta traho.
Quattuor equè[2] ipsa texo virtute corollas,[3]
Quarum, quae Sophiae est, tempora prima tegit.

Tell me, where are your arching bows, where your arrows, Cupid, the shafts which you use to pierce the tender hearts of the young? Where is your hurtful torch, where your wings? Why does your hand hold three garlands? Why do your temples wear a fourth? - Stranger, I have nothing to do with common Venus, nor did any pleasurable shape bring me forth. I light the fires of learning in the pure minds of men and draw their thoughts to the stars on high. I weave four garlands out of virtue’s self and the chief of these, the garland of Wisdom, wreathes my temples.

Notes:

1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 16.201.

2.  Corrected by hand in the Glasgow copy.

3.  ‘I weave four garlands out of virtue’s self’, a reference to the four cardinal virtues, justice, temperance, courage and wisdom.


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