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Alciato's Book of Emblems

Emblem 145

On the senate of a good prince

Here, before an altar to the gods, sit statues with their hands cut off, and the foremost among them has no sight. These symbols of the highest authority and of the sacred Senate were devised by the men of Thebes.

Why are they sitting down?

Because it behooves grave judges to be of calm demeanour, and not to waver frivolously.

Why do they have no hands?

So that they should take no bribes, or let themselves be swayed by promises or gifts.

But the Prince is blind.

Because the steadfast Senate carries out what he has decreed without emotion, with his ears alone.