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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M2r p179]

Sur le Senat d’ung bon Prince.

Dialogisme.

Images sont devant l’autel des Dieux,
D’ond la premiere aveugle, n’ha point d’yeulx
Du Sainct Senat, & potestatz bien dignes
Par les Thebans[1] furent trouvéz ces signes,
D. Pourquoy sont ilz assis? R. (Car en repos
Doibvent juger sans changer de propos).
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M2v p180] D. Pourquoy sans mains. R. (Pour ne prendre aulcun don
Et ne fleschit [=fleschir] par presens à pardon)
D. Pourquoy le Prince aveugle est? R. (Action
Senat constant faict sans affection.)

Cest la figure du bon Senat de Thebes Cité
jadis tresflorissante en la Boeotie de Graece. Ce
que les Senateurs sont assis: signifie prudence
d’esprit bien arresté. Car (comme dict le Phi-
losophe) en estant assis, & en repos, l’ame se faict
prudente, Et les mains coupées, pour ne pren-
dre aulcuns dons, ne presentz, pour estre cor-
rompuz. Le Prince aveugle denote jugement
sans cognoissance, ou acception de personne.

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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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D8r p63]

In senatum boni principis.

On the senate of a good prince

Effigies manibus truncae ante altaria Divùm
Hic resident, quarum lumine capta prior.
Signa potestatis summae sanctique 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 muneribusve 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.

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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