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Section: PERFIDIA (Treachery). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D7r p61]

In adulatores.

Flatterers

Semper hiat, semper tenuem qua vescitur 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 solųm 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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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G2v p100]

Fidei symbolum.

The symbol of good faith

Stet depictus Honortyrio velatus amictu,
Eiusque iungat nuda dextram Veritas.
Sitque Amor in medio castus,[1] cui tempora circum
Rosa it, Diones pulchrior Cupidine.[2]
Constituunt haec signa fidem, reverentia Honoris
Quam fovet, alit Amor, parturitque Veritas.

Let Honour stand depicted, clothed in a garment of Tyrian purple, and let naked Truth hold his right hand. Between them, let chaste Love be represented, his brow garlanded with roses, but fairer than Cupid, Dione’s boy. These images constitute good faith, which the reverence due to Honour fosters, Love feeds, Truth brings to birth.

Notes:

1.  Amor...castus, ‘chaste love’ (Anteros), for which see [A34b072] and [A34b081].

2.  ‘Dione’s boy’. Strictly Dione was the mother of Venus, but was often identified in poetry with Venus herself, the mother of Cupid.


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