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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E6r p75]

Mesdisance.

Sur le tombeau d’Archiloc,[1] Guespes sont,
Qui signe vray de malle bouche font.

Archiloc, Poëte Graec Iambic, en ses escriptz armé
de mesdisance, represenre tous hommes mesdisans
de parolle, ou d’escript, au reste ŕ bien faire inutil-
les, telles que sont les Guespes, qui en grand bruit
murmurantes, picquent tresaigrement, & ne font
miel, ne cire.

Notes:

1.  Archilochus was an eighth-century BC poet, author of much (now fragmentary) verse, including satire. This last was considered in antiquity to be excessively abusive and violent. See Horace, Ars Poetica, 79; also Erasmus, Adagia, 60 (Irritare crabrones).



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    • insects: wasp (+ animals used symbolically) [25F711(WASP)(+1)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • grave, tomb [4.20E+32] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • Calumny, Detraction; 'Biasimo vitioso', 'Calunnia', 'Detrattione', 'Maledicenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57BB25(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • male persons from classical history (with NAME) representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(ARCHILOCHUS)3] Search | Browse Iconclass

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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q8r p255]

    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 solům 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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