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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[I8v p144]

Virtuti fortuna comes.

Good fortune attendant on virtue

EMBLEMA CXVIII.

Anguibus implicitis, geminis caduceus[1] alis
Inter Amaltheae cornua[2] rectus adest.
Pollentes sic mente viros, fandique peritos
Indicat, ut rerum copia multa beet.

The caduceus, with entwined snakes and twin wings, stands upright between the horns of Amalthea. It thus indicates how material wealth blesses men of powerful intellect, skilled in speaking.

Notes:

1.This was the herald’s staff, attribute of Mercury, god of eloquence, intellectual pursuits and financial success. The entwined serpents are a symbol of peace. See Pliny Natural History 29.12.54. The caduceus was Alciato’s personal device and was carved on his tomb at Pavia.

2.Amalthea was the she-goat that suckled the infant Jupiter. Her horn became the cornucopia, the horn of plenty. See Erasmus, Adagia 502, Copiae cornu.


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  • Eloquence; 'Eloquenza', 'Fermezza & Gravitŗ dell'Oratione' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52D3(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Success; 'Evento buono' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54F1(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Luck, Fortune, Lot; 'Fato', 'Fortuna', 'Fortuna aurea', 'Fortuna buona', 'Fortuna pacifica overo clemente', 'Sorte' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54F12(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Virtuousness; 'Amor di Virtý', 'Attione virtuosa', 'Guida sicura de' veri honori', 'Virtý', 'Virtý insuperabile' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57A6(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[I7v p142]

In colores.

On Colours

EMBLEMA CXVII.

Index maestitiae est pullus color: utimur omnes
Hoc habitu, tumulis cým damus inferias.
At sinceri animi, & mentis stola candida purae:
Hinc sindon sacris linea grata viris.
Nos sperare docet viridis. Spes dicitur esse
Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[I8r p143]In viridi, quoties irrita retrÚ cadit.[1]
Est cupidis flavus color, est & amantibus aptus,
Et scortis, & queis spes sua certa fuit.
At ruber armatos equites exornet amictus:
Indicet & pueros erubuisse pudor.
Caeruleus nautas, & qui caelestia vates
Attoniti nimia relligione petunt.
Vilia sunt gilvis, nativaque vellera burrhis:
Qualia lignipedes stragula habere solent.
Quem curae ingentes cruciant vel zelus amoris,
Creditur hic fulva non malŤ veste tegi.
Quisquis sorte sua contentus, ianthina gestet:
Fortunae aequanimis taedia quique ferat.
Ut varia est natura coloribus in gignendis,
Sic aliis aliud: sed sua cuique placent.[2]

Black is a sign of sadness; we all use this garb when we perform funeral rites at tombs. But white clothes are a sign of a sincere mind and pure thoughts. Hence the sindon, the linen garment beloved of holy men. Green teaches us to hope. Hope is said to be in the green whenever it sinks back unfulfilled. A gold colour is suitable for avaricious people and lovers, and whores, and anyone whose hopes have come to fruition. Let red garb adorn armed horsemen, let modesty show boys blushing. Blue suits sailors and prophets who, muddled with too much religion, pursue things in the skies. Cheap and untreated are the fleeces for dun-coloured cloaks, the sort of coverings that the wooden-legged have. A man tortured by great anxieties or the jealousy of love is considered appropriately dressed in yellow. Anyone content with his lot may wear mauve, also the man who bears with composure the unpleasantnesses inflicted by Fortune. - Nature is diverse in producing the colours, and different things are for different situations. Yet each of us is pleased by what is his own.

Notes:

1.‘Green teaches us to hope’. Cf. Emblem 44, line 5 ([A91a044]). In viridi, ‘in the green’ echoes the phrase in herba, for hopes unfulfilled. See e.g. Ovid, Ex Ponto, 16.263: ‘adhuc tua messis in herba est’ (your harvest is still in green leaf).

2.‘each of us is pleased by what is his own’. Cf. Erasmus, Adagia, 115 (suum cuique pulchrum).


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