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En manus insignem ramum quae porrigit ultro,
Munus Amicitiae, Pacis & indicium.
Ramus hic infernae Iunoni ritè sacratus,
Perpetuae auricomo frondis honore virens,
Quem sibi pulchra suum offerri Proserpina munus
(Ut pius Aeneas obtulit) instituit.
Littera Pythagorae discrimine secta bicorni
Cuius & in gemino palmite picta patet.
Porro tantarum quae sint mysteria rerum:
Dicere (cùm nemo nesciat) ecquid opus?
Hoc gentilitium clarorum est stemma Baborum,
Haud minimum quibus es, Tu Philiberte, decus.

See here a hand that holds forth by itself the famous branch: the gift of Friendship and the proof of Peace. This branch you see is sacred to infernal Juno’s rites, fresh with the golden honour of perpetual leaves; fair Proserpine commanded it be offered (as pious Aeneas indeed did offer it) as her own gift. Even in the twin sprigs of our sketch the letter of Pythagoras with two-horned division cut is clearly visible. What manner, then, of labour is it to tell the mystery of such mighty things (for no man knows)? This is the family tree of the illustrious Babi, of whose line you, Philibertus, are not the least ornament.


1.  Babou: a politically prominent family in France in the middle of the sixteenth century. Philibert Babou, Seigneur de la Bourdaisière, was Surintendant des Finances for King François I, while his wife, Marie Gaudin, was the same King’s mistress (as well, reputedly, as mistress of Charles V and Pope Clement VII). The Philibert mentioned specifically in this emblem (and to whom this entire book is dedicated) was their son, the Bishop of Angoulême; he later became a Cardinal (1561), and an important ambassador from France to Rome (d. 1570).

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