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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  [k5v p154]

Fidei symbolum.

The symbol of good faith

XCV.

Stet depictus HonorTyrio velatus amictu,
Eiusque iungat nuda dextram Veritas:
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [k6r p155]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.

COMMENTARIA.

Ex tribus constare fidem asseritur, stet igi-
tur honor indutus amictu Tyrio, id est, veste
purpurea (Tyrus enim urbs est vetus & no-
bilis in Phoenicia, ubi capiuntur Conchylia
quae purpurae vocantur, quorum sanguine
tinguntur vestes purpureae, Plinius lib. 5. cap.
19. ideoque Tyriae vestes dicuntur, & hu-
iusmodi habitus puritatem & honestatem
significat) eique nuda veritas dextra iungatur
(haec enim omnes fucos perplexitates & or-
namenta odit, propterea simplex & nuda
proponitur): In medio autem adsit amor Ca-
stus
, coronam roseam in capite gerens, de quo
supra Emblem. 81.[3] qui longč pulchrior est
quām alius ille Cupido filius Diones, id est,
Veneris sic dictae ā Dione Nympha, matre
eius. Haec igitur tria signa fidem ipsam
constituent, quam honoris re-
verentia fovet, amor ve-
rus alit, sancta
veritas pa-
rit.

Notes:

1.  Amor...castus, ‘chaste love’ (Anteros), for which see [A56a072] and [A56a081].

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

3.  See [A56a081]


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