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Section: DESLOYAULTE. View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E7r p77]

Contre les flateurs.

Chameleon tousjours baille en allant,
L’air (d’ond il vit) prend,[1] & rend anhelant.
Change de peau: & quelque que ce soit,
(Fors rouge, & blanc,[2]) toute couleur reçoit.
Ainsi flateurs d’air populaire vivent.
Devorent tout: & seullement ensuyvent
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E7v p78]Les meurs du Prince obscurs de vice inique
Fors rouge, & blanc d’innocence pudicque.

Le Chameleon petit animal vivant seul-
lement de l’air, & se changeant en tou-
tes couleurs sinon rouge, & blanc: repre-
sente le flateur, qui se conforme aulx
meurs du Prince, Sinon aulx meurs d’in-
nocence, & vergoigne pudicque, vertuz
signifiées par le blanc, & le rouge.

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.


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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 Ghamaeleon[1],
Et mutat faciem, varios sumitque colores,
Praeter rubrum, vel candidum.[2]
Sic & Adulator populari vescitur aura,[3]
Hiansque cuncta devorat.
Et solùm 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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