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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[p54]

Contra quegli, che danno ricetto a huomini malvagi, e homicidiali.

Against those who give shelter to evil and murderous men.


E’dovunque nel porta ogni sentiero,
Cinto d’huomini al mal sempre rivolti
Elpidio, e se ne va gonfio & altero
Perche a la mensa sua mangiano molti.
Ma lacerato Ť da suoi partigiani,
Qual novello Atheon da proprii cani.


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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[E4v p72]

In adulatores.

Flatterers

EMBLEMA LIII.

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 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.

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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