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In adulatores.

Flatterers

Emblema liii.

Semper hiat, semper tenuem qua vescitur auram,
Reciprocat Chamaeleon[1],
Et mutat faciem, varios sumtque colores,
Praeter rubrum, vel candidum.[2]
Sic & adulator populari vescitur aura,[3]
Hinsque cuncta devorat.
Et solm 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.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [I7r f79r]

EXpressum id libello Plutarchi, de discrimine
adulatoris & amici. Adulatori omnino idem ac-
cidit atque Chamaeleonti. Nam ille colorum om-
nium similitudinem exprimit, praeterquam albi: sic
assentator, cm se similem praestare non possit in
iis quae digna sunt studio, turpia quaeque imitatur
quantm potest.

Contre les flatteurs.

INcessamment le Chameleon baaille,
Et humer le vent tousjours travaille,
Changeant couleur aussi en toute sorte,
Ormis le blanc ou rouge qu’il ne porte:
Tout de mesme est le flatteur hume-vent,
Qui ravit tout cela qu’il va trouvant,
Car il prend garde son seigneur & maistre,
Et ses faons il ensuit fort adextre,
S’accommodant au reste son humeur,
Fors qu’en cela qui est pudic & pur.

CEcy est tir du livre de Plutarque, de
la difference d’entre le flatteur & l’a-
my. Il advient au Chameleon ainsi qu’au
flatteur: car il se change en toutes couleurs,
fors au blanc: ainsi le flatteur ne pouvant se
rendre semblable en choses honnestes, il
represente tout ce qui est vilain autant qu’il
peust.

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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Dives indoctus.

The stupid rich man

LXXXVII.

Tranat aquas residens pretioso in vellere Phryxus,
Et flavam impavidus per mare scandit ovem.
Ecquid id est? vir sensu hebeti, sed divite gaza.
Coniugis aut servi quem regit arbitrium.[1]

Phrixus traverses the waters astride the precious fleece and fearlessly rides the golden sheep across the sea. - Whatever can this be? - A man dull of sense, but with rich coffers, whom the whim of wife or servant rules.

COMMENTARIA.

Phrixus filius fuit Athamantis Regis The-
barum
ex priore uxore, qui Novercae[2] insidias
timens, cum sorore sua Helle, fugam para-
vit, acceptoque patre Ariete aurei velleris eius
dorsum ambo ascenderunt, ut Pontum mare
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [i8v p144] illud tranarent. Helle ver magnitudine ma-
ris perterrita decidit & submersa est, unde
mare illud ab ea, etiam hodie Hellespontus
dicitur. Ille ver in Colchos tandem perve-
nit, ibique Arietem immolavit, ac aureum eius
vellus in Templo suspendit, &c. Valerius Flaccus
in argonauticis. Est autem factum tale, viri qui-
dem divitis & opulenti, sed intellectu & ra-
tione carentis, qui arbitrio voluntateve uxo-
ris aut servi regitur. Quid autem re vera fue-
rit aureum vellus enarrat Antonius Sabelli-
cus
: Aeneidum [=Enneadum] 1. libro 5.

Notes:

1. For the story of Phrixus and the Golden Fleece see Ovid, Fastii 3.851ff.

2. The step-mother in the tale of Phrixus and Helle was called Ino. She later turned into a sea goddess called Leucothea.


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