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Alciato's Book of Emblems

Emblem 181

Eloquence, surpassing strength

His left hand holds a bow, his right carries a rough club, and the Nemean lion cloaks his naked body. Is this therefore the likeness of Hercules? That he is old and his temples hoary with age suggests otherwise. What of his tongue, pierced with light chains, by which he cleaves the ears of men and draws them to him without difficulty? Don't the Gauls say that with his tongue, not with his might, Alcides excelled in providing nations with laws? Arms yield to the toga, and he who is powerful in speech draws to his wishes even the most resistant hearts.