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EX PACE UBERTAS.

Prosperity as the result of peace

Emblema 177.

Grandibus ex spicis tenues contexe corollas,
Quas circum alterna [=alterno] palmite vitis eat.
His comptae Alcyones[1] tranquilli in marmoris unda
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [Fff1r f409r as 407] Nidificant, pullos involucresque fovent.
Laetus erit Cereri, Baccho quoque[2] fertilis annus,
Aequorei si rex alitis instar[3] erit.

From fat ears of corn weave supple garlands, and let the vine encircle them with alternating stems. Decked out with these the halcyon birds build their nests on the wave of the glassy sea, and cherish their unfledged chicks. - The year will be rich for Ceres and fertile for Bacchus too, if the king is the image of the bird of the sea.

Notes:

1. ‘halcyon birds’. For these see Aelian, De natura animalium 1.36; 9.17; Pliny, Natural History. 10.47.89-91; and for the legend of their transformation, Ovid, Metamorphoses 11, 410ff, esp. 728ff. Halcyons were supposed to build a nest and launch it on the sea at a time of calm peaceful weather provided for them about the time of the winter solstice. See Erasmus, Adagia 1552, Halcedonia sunt apud forum.

2. ‘for Ceres...and for Bacchus too’, i.e. rich with crops of corn and wine.

3. ‘is the image of the bird of the sea’, i.e. diffusing peace, love and concord. Before their metamorphosis into seabirds, Alcyone and her husband were a deeply loving royal couple ruling a peaceful country. This love persisted after the change, symbolised by the calm weather associated with their nesting.


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IN ADULATORES.

Flatterers

De Chameleonte vide Plinium naturalis Historia
libro VIII. Cap. XXXIII.

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Semper hiat, semper tenuem qua vescitur aura [=auram] ,
Reciprocat chamaeleon[1].
Et mutat faciem, varios sumitque colores,
Praeter rubrum vel candidum.[2]
Sic & adulator populari vescitur aura,[3]
Hiansque cuncta devorat.
Et solum 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.

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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