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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[E5r]

AD IDEM.

The same

Alveolis dum mella legit, percussit amorem,
Furacem mala apes, & summis spicula liquit,
In digitis, tumido gemit at puer ungue [=anxius ungue] .[1]
Et quatit errabundus humum, Venerique dolorem,
Indicat & graviter quaeritur quod apicula parvum
Ipsa inferre animal tam noxia vulnera possit.
Cui ridens Venus, hanc imitaris tu quoque dixit,
Nate feram, qui das tot noxia vulnera parvus.[2]

While he was taking honey from the hives, a vicious bee stung thieving Amor, and left its sting in the end of his finger. The boy in distress cried out as his finger-end swelled up. He ran about, stamping his foot, showed his hurt to Venus, and complained bitterly that a little bee, that tiny creature, could inflict such grievous wounds. Venus smiled at him and said, “You are like this creature, my son; small as you are you deal many a grievous wound”.

Notes:

1.anxius is added here from the 1534 Paris/Wechel edition onwards. Omission upsets the scansion.

2.In later editions, this becomes clearly a separate emblem, but here should perhaps more properly be regarded as a second subscriptio for the previous emblem.


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    Single Emblem View

    Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[i8v p144]

    In adulatores.

    Flatterers

    LXXXVIII.

    Semper hiat, semper tenuem qua vescitur auram,
    Reciprocat chamaeleon[1],
    Et mutat faciem, varios sumitque colores,
    Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[k1r p145]Praeter rubrum vel candidum:[2]
    Sic & adulator populari vescitur aurae,[3]
    Hiansque cuncta devorat,
    Et solým 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.

    COMMENTARIA.

    Chamaeleon animal est frequens in India,
    semper hians & aperto ore aŽrem, quo solo
    vivit & nutritur, attrahens & respirans, saepe
    facillimeque in varios colores convertitur ex-
    cepto rubro & albo, de quo Aristoteles lib. 2.
    de natura animal. Plinius lib. 8. cap. 33. & Demo-
    critus
    in lib. de potestate Camaeleontis. Ovidius
    quoque lib. 15. Metamorphoseon.

    Id quoque quod ventis animal nutritur & aura,
    Protinus assimulat, tetigit quoscunque colores.

    Sic etiam adulator alitur & sustentatur fama
    solummodo populi, inhiansque cuncta devo-
    rat, imitatur facÓllimŤ superioris sui nigros &
    perversos mores, ab albis verÚ & ru-
    bris, id est, sine labe puris at-
    que pudicis, totus
    alienus est.

    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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