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In Senatum boni Principis.

On the senate of a good prince

Emblema cxliiii.

Dialogismus.

Effigies manibus truncae ante altaria divum
Hinc resident, quarum lumine capta prior.
Signa potestatis summae, sanctíque Senatus
Thebanis fuerant ista reperta viris.[1]
Cur resident? quia mente graves decet esse quieta
Iuridicos, animo nec variare levi.
Cur sine sunt manibus? capiant ne xenia, nec se
Pollicitis flecti muneribúsque sinant.
Caecus at est Princeps, quòd solis auribus, absque
Affectu, constans iussa Senatus agit.

Figures without hands sit here before the altars of the gods. The chief of them is deprived of sight. These symbols of the supreme power and of the reverend senate were discovered by men of Thebes. - Why do they sit? - Because lawgivers should be serious, of a calm mind, and not change with inconstant thoughts. - Why have they no hands? - So that they may not take gifts, nor let themselves be influenced by promises or bribes. But the president is blind, because the Senate, by hearing alone, uninfluenced by feeling, impartially discharges what it is bidden to do.

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PRaeter Plutarchum, commentario de Iside, me-
minere plures huius simulachri optimorú apud
Thebanos iudicum. Sedent quidem Senatores, ut
admoneantur constantiae & gravitates, neque se
studio vel gratia flecti patiantur: Sunt sine mani-
bus, ut manus contineant à muneribus capiundis.
Princeps ipse caecus, ne affectu quodam moveatur,
solis ad iudicium ferendum utatur auribus.

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Sur le Senat du bon Prince.

CEs pourtraits ne sont point sans propos inventez
Qu’on voit devant l’autel des Dieux representez,
Dont le premier d’iceux assis & ne voit goutte,
Les autres sont sans mains: ces images sans doute
Sont de l’invention ancienne des Thebains,
Lesquels d’esprit gentil nous ont laissez depaints
Tels signes d’un Senat d’equitable justice,
D’un jugement entier, & souverain office.
Pourquoy sont ils assis? c’est qu’en leurs cours & plaids
Juges doivent juger à repos & en paix,
Avoir la gravité, & l’ame droicte & bonne,
Et ne varier point en faveur de personne.
Pourquoy sont ils sans mains? Parce qu’il ne faut pas
Qu’ils prennent des presens, ou tous autres appasts.
Pourquoy le President ne voit rien, ains travaille
Sans autre affection prestant la seule oreille?
C’est que sans passion il retient droictement,
Et sur ce prend conseil & donne jugement.

OUtre ce qui est rapporté par Plutar-
que
en la dispute d’Isis, plusieurs ont
faict mention de ce pourtrait icy des bons
juges de Thebes. Là les Senateurs sont assis,
afin qu’ils soient advertis d’estre constant &
graves, & ne fleschissent par faveur ou
amour: Ils sont sans mains, à ce qu’ils se
contiennent de prendre presens: le Prince
ou President est aveugle, afin qu’il ne soit
esmeu d’aucune affection, ains que pour don-
ner jugement il preste seulement les aureilles.

Notes:

1.  This is Thebes in Egypt. See Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride 10; also Erasmus, Adagia 2601, Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit.


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EMBLEMA IX.

Principis clementia.

Clemency in a ruler

Vesparum quod nulla unquam Rex spicula figet:[1]
Quódque aliis duplo corpore maior erit.
Arguet imperium clemens, moderataque regna.
Sanctaque iudicibus credita iura bonis.

The king of the wasps will never implant any sting and will be twice as big as the rest. This will be a sign of mild dominion, a disciplined kingdom, and inviolable law entrusted to good judges.

Das IX.

Fürstliche Gnad.

Das der Wespen König nimmer
Mit seim Angel sticht, und daß er
An seinem Leib zweymal ist groß
Dann die andern Wespen genoß
Zeigt an ein gnedig Regiment
Und stilles Reich darinn man lendt
All Hendel und sachen nach recht
Wie es vertrauwt ist dem Richter schlecht.

Notes:

1.  According to Pliny, Natural History, 11.21.74, wasps do not have ‘kings’: it is the ‘mother’ wasps that are without stings. On the other hand, the ‘king’ bee (the ancients believed the queen bee to be male) and its lack of sting, or refusal to use its sting, was often mentioned; e.g. Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.10; Pliny, ibid., 17.52. For the analogy with kingship, see e.g. Seneca, De Clementia, 1.19; Erasmus, Adagia, 2601 (Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit).


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