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In Senatum boni Principis.

On the senate of a good prince

Emblema cxliiii.

Dialogismus.

Effigies manibus truncae ante altaria divum
Hinc resident, quarum lumine capta prior.
Signa potestatis summae, sanctíque Senatus
Thebanis fuerant ista reperta viris.[1]
Cur resident? quia mente graves decet esse quieta
Iuridicos, animo nec variare levi.
Cur sine sunt manibus? capiant ne xenia, nec se
Pollicitis flecti muneribúsque sinant.
Caecus at est Princeps, quòd solis auribus, absque
Affectu, constans iussa Senatus agit.

Figures without hands sit here before the altars of the gods. The chief of them is deprived of sight. These symbols of the supreme power and of the reverend senate were discovered by men of Thebes. - Why do they sit? - Because lawgivers should be serious, of a calm mind, and not change with inconstant thoughts. - Why have they no hands? - So that they may not take gifts, nor let themselves be influenced by promises or bribes. But the president is blind, because the Senate, by hearing alone, uninfluenced by feeling, impartially discharges what it is bidden to do.

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PRaeter Plutarchum, commentario de Iside, me-
minere plures huius simulachri optimorú apud
Thebanos iudicum. Sedent quidem Senatores, ut
admoneantur constantiae & gravitates, neque se
studio vel gratia flecti patiantur: Sunt sine mani-
bus, ut manus contineant à muneribus capiundis.
Princeps ipse caecus, ne affectu quodam moveatur,
solis ad iudicium ferendum utatur auribus.

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Sur le Senat du bon Prince.

CEs pourtraits ne sont point sans propos inventez
Qu’on voit devant l’autel des Dieux representez,
Dont le premier d’iceux assis & ne voit goutte,
Les autres sont sans mains: ces images sans doute
Sont de l’invention ancienne des Thebains,
Lesquels d’esprit gentil nous ont laissez depaints
Tels signes d’un Senat d’equitable justice,
D’un jugement entier, & souverain office.
Pourquoy sont ils assis? c’est qu’en leurs cours & plaids
Juges doivent juger à repos & en paix,
Avoir la gravité, & l’ame droicte & bonne,
Et ne varier point en faveur de personne.
Pourquoy sont ils sans mains? Parce qu’il ne faut pas
Qu’ils prennent des presens, ou tous autres appasts.
Pourquoy le President ne voit rien, ains travaille
Sans autre affection prestant la seule oreille?
C’est que sans passion il retient droictement,
Et sur ce prend conseil & donne jugement.

OUtre ce qui est rapporté par Plutar-
que
en la dispute d’Isis, plusieurs ont
faict mention de ce pourtrait icy des bons
juges de Thebes. Là les Senateurs sont assis,
afin qu’ils soient advertis d’estre constant &
graves, & ne fleschissent par faveur ou
amour: Ils sont sans mains, à ce qu’ils se
contiennent de prendre presens: le Prince
ou President est aveugle, afin qu’il ne soit
esmeu d’aucune affection, ains que pour don-
ner jugement il preste seulement les aureilles.

Notes:

1.  This is Thebes in Egypt. See Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride 10; also Erasmus, Adagia 2601, Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit.


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Consiliarii Principum.

Counsellors of princes

EMBLEMA CXLVI.

Heroum genitos, & magnum fertur Achillem
In stabulis Chiron erudiisse suis.[1]
Semiferum doctorem, & semivirum Centaurum,
Assideat quisquis Regibus, esse decet [=docet] .
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 is 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.

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.


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