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VIGILANTIA, ET CUSTODIA.

Vigilance and protection

Emblema. 15.

Instantis quod signa canens dat Gallus Eoi,
Et revocet famulas ad nova pensa manus:
Turribus in sacris effingitur: aerea mentem
Ad superos pelvis quod revocet vigilem.
Est leo: sed custos oculis quia dormit apertis:[1]
Templorum id circo ponitur[2] ante fores.

Because the cock by its crowing gives the signal of approaching dawn and recalls working hands to fresh tasks, it is placed on top of church towers. A bronze bell (is hung there) because it recalls the waking mind to heaven. But a lion is on guard because it sleeps with its eyes open. For that reason it is placed before church doors.

Notes:

1.  oculis quia dormit apertis, ‘because it sleeps with its eyes open’. See Isidore, Etymologiae, 12.2.5: when lions are asleep, their eyes remain awake. See also Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.39.

2.  Corrected by hand in the Glasgow copy.

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