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EMBLEMA X.

In Senatum boni principis.

On the senate of a good prince

DIALOGISMUS

A Dialogue.

Effigies manibus truncae ante altaria divûm
Hic resident, quarum lumine capta prior.
Signa potestatis summae, sanctique 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 muneribusque 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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Das X.

Beschreibung eines Fürsten löbliche
Räht.

Hie sitzn vor der Götter altar
Bilder die haben kein Hand zwar
Der öberst aber under in
Der ist beraubt der augen sin
Diß haben von Theb die weisse Mann
Erdacht, damit zu zeigen an
Deß öbersten Rahts höchst gewalt
Und Herrschafft wie die seyn soll gstalt
Warumb sitzen sie aber all
Darumb das jeder Richter sal
Tapffer seyn und von Hertzen deicht
Und sich nicht lassen bewegen leicht
Warumb haben sie dann kein Handt?
Das sie nit nemmen gab und Pfandt
Und das sie mit geschenck und miet
Sich ließn biegen und wenden nit
Der öberst aber der ist blindt
Das er allein soll hören gschwindt
Und unansehung der Person
Das urtheil thu vollstrecken schon.

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 XII.

Strenuorum immortale nomen.[1]

Achievers have an immortal name

Aeacidae tumulum Rhoetaeo in littore cernis,[2]
Quem plerunque pedes visitat alba Thetis,[3]
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C6v f9v]Obtegitur semper viridi lapis hic Amarantho,[4]
Quod nunquam Herois sit moriturus honos
Hic Graium Murus.[5] Magni nex Hectoris, haud plus.
Debet Maeonidae, quàm sibi Maeonides.[6]

You see the tomb of Aeacus’ descendant on the Rhoetean shore, which white-footed Thetis often visits. This stone is always covered with green amaranth, because the honour due to heroes shall never die. This man was‘the wall of the Greeks’, and the destruction of great Hector, and he owes no more to the Lydian poet than the poet does to him.

Das XII.

Der dapffern starcken Helden Nam ist
unzergenglich.

Hie sichstu an dem gstad Rhoetein
Deß Helden Achillis Grabstein
Darzu Thetis sein Mutter walt
Mit iren weissen Füssen galt
Dieser Stein wirt on underlaß
Geziert mit deß taussent schön Graß
Dann keines künen Helden ehr
Verlischt und stirbt ab ewig mehr
Dieser war der Griechen ein Mauwer
Und deß starcken Hectors todt sauwr
Von Homero nit vil mehr preiß
Er hat, als von im der blindt greiß.

Notes:

1.  This woodcut, lacking the nymph Thetis, but including the floating shield, is not designed for this emblem, but for emblem 66 [A67a066], concerning the shield of the dead Achilles.

2.  ‘Aeacus’ descendant’, i.e. Achilles, the greatest warrior on the Greek side in the Trojan War. Rhoeteum was a promontory on the Trojan coast (though normally associated with the tomb of Ajax).

3.  Thetis, a sea-nymph, mother of Achilles, called ‘silver-footed’ by Homer.

4.  amarantho: the name of the plant means ‘never-fading’. See Pliny, Natural History, 21.23.47.

5.  ‘the wall of the Greeks’, translating Homer’s description of Achilles at Iliad, 3.229.

6.  Maeonidae, ‘to the Lydian poet’, i.e. Homer, who told in the Iliad the famous story of Achilles’ wrath and refusal to fight during the Trojan War, and of his eventual slaying of Hector, the chief warrior on the Trojan side. (For which see Emblem 196, [A67a196]). For the sentiment that great deeds need to be sung in order not to be forgotten, see Horace, Odes, 4.8.20ff; and that great literature needs great themes, see Tacitus, Dialogus de oratoribus, 37.


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