Forward | Back | Latin | Commentary | Welcome Page

Alciato's Book of Emblems

Emblem 44

On an image of Hope

In the form of a dialogue

What goddess is this looking to the stars with such a joyous face? By whose brush was her image rendered?

The hands of Elpidius made me. I am named good Hope, she who offers speedy help to the wretched.

Why is your robe green?

Because all things flourish when they are directed by me.

Why do you bear in your hands the broken weapons of Death?

What it is proper for the living to hope for, (those same things) for the dead I break in pieces.

Why do you sit lazily on the cover of a little vat?

I alone remained at home when the evil things flew off everywhere, as was taught by the awe-inspiring muse of the old man of Ascraea.

What bird is that with you?

The crow, most faithful bird of augury. When he cannot speak, it is well, and when he does speak, so it shall be.

Who are your companions?

Good Fortune, and reckless Cupid.

Why do they go before you?

They summon the empty dreams of the wakeful.

Who is standing next to you?

The Rhamnusian avenger of crimes, so that you will not hope for anything unless it is permitted.