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Alciato's Book of Emblems

Emblem 187

Sayings of the seven wise men

Take these things, you who wish to portray the sayings of the seven wise men, to celebrate them in pictures.

"Moderation in things is best," as Cleobulus said: the tongue of a balance, or level teaches this lesson.

Chilon the Spartan exhorted each man to know himself: this mirror in your hands, this glass you pick up will provide the image.

As Periander the Corinthian said, "Put reins upon your anger": fleabane applied to the nostrils will show this.

Pittacus advocated "Nothing to excess": they make the same point who dissolve coriander in the mouth.

Solon enjoined that one pay attention to the end: Terminus himself, the last boundary in the fields, will not yield to great Jupiter.

Alas how true what Bias said, "There is a great abundance of disasters": portray a Sardinian rider sitting on a Sardinian ass.

"Do not be an accomplice," said Thales: thus the lapwing smeared with birdlime draws its companion into the snare, and the bee-eater does likewise.