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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I6v f78v]

In adulatores.

Flatterers

Emblema liii.

Semper hiat, semper tenuem qua vescitur auram,
Reciprocat Chamaeleon[1],
Et mutat faciem, varios sumítque colores,
Praeter rubrum, vel candidum.[2]
Sic & adulator populari vescitur aura,[3]
Hiánsque cuncta devorat.
Et solùm 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.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I7r f79r]

EXpressum id è libello Plutarchi, de discrimine
adulatoris & amici. Adulatori omnino idem ac-
cidit atque Chamaeleonti. Nam ille colorum om-
nium similitudinem exprimit, praeterquam albi: sic
assentator, cùm se similem praestare non possit in
iis quae digna sunt studio, turpia quaeque imitatur
quantùm potest.

Contre les flatteurs.

INcessamment le Chameleon baaille,
Et à humer le vent tousjours travaille,
Changeant couleur aussi en toute sorte,
Ormis le blanc ou rouge qu’il ne porte:
Tout de mesme est le flatteur hume-vent,
Qui ravit tout cela qu’il va trouvant,
Car il prend garde à son seigneur & maistre,
Et ses façons il ensuit fort adextre,
S’accommodant au reste à son humeur,
Fors qu’en cela qui est pudic & pur.

CEcy est tiré du livre de Plutarque, de
la difference d’entre le flatteur & l’a-
my. Il advient au Chameleon ainsi qu’au
flatteur: car il se change en toutes couleurs,
fors au blanc: ainsi le flatteur ne pouvant se
rendre semblable en choses honnestes, il
represente tout ce qui est vilain autant qu’il
peust.

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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Single Emblem View

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M2v f77v]

EMBLEMA CXVIII.

In divites publico malo.

Those who grow rich out of public misfortune

Anguillas quisquis captat, si limpida verrat
Flumina, si illimes ausit adire lacus,
Cassus erit, ludetque operam: multum excitet ergo
Si cretae, & vitreas palmula turbet aquas,
Dives erit: sic iis res publica turbida lucro est,
Qui pace, arctati legibus, esuriunt.[1]

If anyone hunting eels sweeps clear rivers or thinks to visit unmuddied lakes, he will be unsuccessful and waste his efforts. If he instead stirs up much clay and with his oar churns the crystal waters, he will be rich. Likewise a state in turmoil becomes a source of profit to people who in peace go hungry, because the law cramps their style.

Das CXVIII.

Wider die so reich mit andern scha-
den werden.

Ein jeder der Ael fahen wil
So er die hellen Wasser stil
Fischt, und so er sich understeht
Und in die lautern gruben geht
Der schafft vergebns und sein müh ist
Umb sonst, so er aber mit list
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M3r f78r] Das Wasser trüb macht und darinn
Vil gmür auff rürt, hat er gut gwinn
Also ist auch die Policei nütz
Die mit vil auffruhr wirt verstürtzt
Denen die sonst im fried und ruh
Darben und haben nicht darzu.

Notes:

1.  Cf. Erasmus, Adagia, 2579 (Anguillas captare).



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