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In Silentium.

Silence

Cm tacet haud quicquam differt sapientibus amens,
Stulticiae est index linguaque voxque suae:
Ergo premat labias, digitoque silentia signet,
Et sese pharium vertat in Harpocratem[1].

When he is silent, the fool differs no whit from the wise. It is tongue and voice that betray his stupidity. Let him therefore put his finger to his lips and so mark silence, and turn himself into Egyptian Harpocrates.

Notes:

1. Harpocrates, also known as Horus, was the son of the Egyptian divinity Isis. He avenged the murder of his father Osiris by Set/Typhon. He is often represented as an infant with his finger held to his mouth as a sign of silence and economy of words. See Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride 68.


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  • Wisdom; 'Sapienza', 'Sapienza humana', 'Sapienza vera' (Ripa) [52A51] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Ignorance; 'Ignoranza', 'Ignoranza di tutte le cose', 'Ignoranza in un ricco senza lettere' (Ripa) [52AA5] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Folly, Foolishness; 'Pazzia', 'Sciocchezza', 'Stoltitia' (Ripa) [52AA51] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Taciturnity; 'Secretezza', 'Secretezza overo Taciturnità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52DD3(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Etiam ferocissimos domari.

Even the fiercest are tamed.

IIII.

Romanum postqum eloquium, Cicerone perempto,
Perdiderat[1] patriae pestis acerba suae:
Inscendit currus victor, iunxitque leones[2],
Compulit & durum colla subire iugum,
Magnanimos cessisse suis Antonius armis,
Ambage hac cupiens significare duces.

After Antony, that grievous bane of his country, had destroyed eloquence by slaying Cicero, he mounted his chariot in triumph and yoked to it lions, forcing their necks to bow to the harsh yoke, desiring by this symbolic act to indicate that great leaders had given way before his military might.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [B2r p19]

Les plus cruelz surmontez.

IIII.

Apres que Anthoine eust faict mourir
Cicero pere d’eloquence,
En cheriot voulut courir,
Conduit par Lyons d’arrogance:
Faisant en ce pure jactance,
Que comme Lyons le servoient,
Mis avoit en obeissance
Les grans, qui grosse audace avoient.

Notes:

1. ‘had destroyed eloquence by slaying Cicero’. Cicero was considered Rome’s greatest orator - his name was held by many to be synonymous with eloquence itself; see Quintilian, Institutio oratoria 10.1.112. Mark Antony had Cicero murdered in 43 BC in revenge for his scathing attacks in the fourteen ‘Philippic’ orations. See Seneca the Elder, Suasoriae 6.17.

2. Cf. Pliny, Natural History 8.21.55: Antony was the first to yoke lions to a chariot in Rome...by this unnatural sight giving people to understand that noble spirits were at that time bowing to the yoke.


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