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EMBLEMA LIIII.

Dicta septem sapientum.[1]

Sayings of the Seven Sages

Haec habeas, septem sapientum effingere dicta,
Atque ea picturis, qui celebrare velis.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G2r f37r] Optimus in rebus modus est (Cleobulus ut inquit)
Hoc trutinae examen, sive libella docet.
Noscere se Chilon Spartanus quemque iubebat,
Hoc specula in manibus, utraque [=vitraque] sumpta dabunt.
Quod Periander ait, frena adde Corinthius irae
Pulegium[2] admotum[3] naribus efficiet.
Pittacus, at ne quid, dixit, nimis: Haec eadem aiunt,
Contracto qui Gith[4] ore liquefaciunt.
Respexisse Solon finem iubet,[5] ultimus agris
Terminus[6], haud magno cesserit ipse Iovi.
Heu quàm vera Bias, est copia magna malorum:
Musmoni insideat effice sardus eques.[7]
Ne praes esto,[8] Thales dixit, sic illita visco
In laqueos socium [=sociam] parra, meropsque trahit.

If you wish to represent the sayings of the Seven Sages and celebrate them in picture, you may have the following suggestions. - ‘Moderation is best’, as Cleobulus said. This the balance teaches or the plumbline. - Chilon of Sparta bade each man know himself. A mirror or glass taken in the hand will represent this. - The saying of Periander of Corinth, ‘Rein in your wrath’, pennyroyal held to the nostrils will show. - Pittacus said, ‘Nothing in excess’. The same thing is said by those who suck cassia with wry mouth. - Solon bids us look to the end. Set at the field end is Terminus, who would not yield to mighty Jove. - How truly did Bias say, ‘There is great store of evil men’. Make a Sardinian rider sit upon a wild sheep. - ‘Do not stand surety’, said Thales. Even so, smeared with bird-lime, the lapwing or bee-eater draws its fellow-bird into the snare.

Das LIIII.

Der siben Weisen Sprüch und Reymen.

Hie hast der siben Weisen Mann
Sprüch und Reymen beinander stan
Wie dieselben entwerffen solt
Und abmalen so einer wolt.
Cleobulus den Reymen führt
Die maß in allen dingen ziert
Das lehrt uns das schnell zünglein recht
In der Wag so es nicht außschlecht.
Von Sparta Chilon jederman
Sich selbs heist erkennen than
Das geben dir die Spiegel bhendt
So du sie nimbst und fast in dHendt.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G2v f37v] Periander sagt von Corinth
Dem zorn leg ein bissz eyn gschwindt
Das vermag die grüne Poley
So du sie zur Nassen helft frey
Pittacus hat gsprochn, nicht zu vil
Das zeigt an das Gith[9] wie man wil
So mans zerkeuwet in dem Mundt
Und erweichen thut in dem schlundt.
Solon das end bedencken heist
Wie der Margstein auch solchs auß weist
Der nicht hat wöllen weichen weck
Dem grossen Gott Jovi gar keck
Ach wie war aber Bias hat
Gsagt, das böß heuffig im schwang gat
Das zeichen mit eim kleinen Maul
Drauff sitzt von Sard ein Reuter faul.
Werdnicht bürg, spricht Thales der weiß
Also verführt in den Kleb leiß
Ein Staar und Kräe die andern all
Das sie mit gantzem hauffn einfall.

Notes:

1.  The list of the Seven Sages of the ancient Greek world was not fixed: various selections were made from up to seventeen names (though this one is the most common). Their utterances were variously reported and attributed now to one, now to the other. See Diogenes Laertius, De Clarorum philosophorum vitis, 1.40-42. The list here is derived from Anthologia Graeca, 9.366.

2.  pulegium, ‘pennyroyal’. See Emblem 37 ([A67a037]).

3.  Corrected from the errata.

4.  gith, ‘cassia’ or ‘senna’. See Pliny, Natural History, 20.71.182ff. for its medicinal and culinary uses. It is so bitter that a little goes a long way.

5.  Respexisse finem, ‘look to the end’, i.e.only when his life is over can a man be judged to have been happy. See the story of Solon and Croesus in Plutarch, Solon, 27-8.

6.  Terminus, see Emblem 198 ([A67a198]).

7.  Musmoni insideat effice Sardus eques, ‘make a Sardinian rider sit upon a wild sheep’, i.e. a worthless rider on a worthless beast. Cf. Erasmus, Adagia, 505 (Sardi venales, ‘Sardinians for sale’).

8.  Ne praes esto, ‘Do not stand surety’. See Erasmus, Adagia, 597 (Sponde, noxa praesto est, ‘Stand surety and disaster is at hand’).

9.  Corrected from the errata.


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