Allegory 

'Loyalty. The cranes in order that their king may not perish by their keeping bad guard stand round him at flight holding stones in their feet. Love, fear and reverence — write these upon the three stones of the crane! 

A man on seeing a large sword at another man's side said to him: — 'Oh you poor fellow! I have been watching you now for a long time tied to this weapon. Why don't you release yourself since your hands are free, and thus regain your liberty?' To this the other made answer: — 'This is not your affair, and in any case it is an old state of things.' The first feeling himself insulted said: — 'I look on you as having a knowledge of so few matters in this world that I supposed that any- thing I could tell you would rank as new.' c.a. 13 r. d 

 

Where fortune enters there envy lays siege and strives against it, 
and when this departs it leaves anguish and remorse behind. 

When fortune comes seize her with a firm hand. In front, I counsel 
you, for behind she is bald. c.a. 76 v. a 

A SIMILE OF PATIENCE 

Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against 
cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases it will have 
no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience 
when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to 
vex your mind. c.a. 117 v. b 

The spider, thinking to find repose within the keyhole, finds death. 

c.a. 299 v. b 
1093 

 

1094 ALLEGORY 

A simile. A vessel of unbaked clay when broken may be remoulded, 
but not one that has passed through the fire. Tr. 68 a 

Fame should be represented in the shape of a bird, but with the 
whole figure covered with tongues instead of feathers. b 3 v. 

By the cloth that is held by the hand in the current of a' running 
stream, in the water of which it leaves all its impurities, is meant 
that . . . 

By the thorn upon which are grafted good fruits is meant that which 
is not of itself predisposed to virtue, yet by the help of an instructor 
produces the most useful virtues. 

One pushes down another: by these cubes 1 are represented the life 
and conditions of mankind. g 89 r. 

Envy wounds by base calumnies, that is by slander, at which virtue 
is filled with dismay. h 60 [12] v. 

Good Report soars and rises up to heaven, for virtuous things find 
favour with God. Evil Report should be shown inverted, for all her 
works are contrary to God and tend towards hell. h6i [13] r. 

The goldfinch will carry spurge to its little ones imprisoned in a 
cage: death rather than loss of liberty. h 63 [15] v. 

[For an allegorical representation] 

II Moro with the spectacles and Envy represented with lying Slander, 
and Justice black for II Moro. 

Labour with the vine in her hand. h 88 [40] v. 

The ermine with mud. 

Galeazzo between time of tranquillity and flight of fortune. 
The ostrich which with patience produces its young. 
. Bars of gold are refined in the fire. h 98 [44 bis v.] r. 

Magnanimity. The falcon only takes the large birds, and will die 
rather than eat flesh that has become tainted. 

Constancy. Not he who begins but he who endures. 

h 101 [42 v.] r. 

Loyalty. The cranes in order that their king may not perish by their 
keeping bad guard stand round him at night holding stones in their 

1 MS. has a diagram with dice. 

 

ALLEGORY 1095 

feet. Love, fear and reverence — write these upon the three stones of 
the cranes. 11 118 [25 v.] r. 

The bee may be likened to deceit, for it has honey in its mouth and 
poison behind. 1 49 [1] v. 

[For an allegorical representation] 

II Moro as the figure of Fortune, with hair and robes and with hands 
held in front, and Messer Gualtieri with act of obeisance plucks him by 
the robes from below as he presents himself before him. 

Also Poverty as a hideous figure running behind a youth, whom II 
Moro covers with the skirt of his robe while he threatens the monster 
with his gilded sceptre. 1 138 [90] v. 

The evil that does not harm me is as the good that does not help me. 
The rushes which hold back the tiny blades of straw when they are 
drowning. m 4 r. 

[With drawing of faggot] 
To place in the hand of ingratitude: 
Wood feeds the fire that consumes it. ms. 2038 Bib. Nat. 34 r. 

 

FOR INGRATITUDE 

[With drawing of man blowing out candle] 

When the sun appears which drives away the general darkness, you 
extinguish the light that drives away the particular darkness, for your 
necessity and convenience. b.m. 173 r. 

Ivy is the [emblem] of longevity. Windsor: Drawings 12282 v. 

Truth the sun 

falsehood a mask 

innocence 
malignity 
Fire destroys falsehood, that is sophistry, and restores truth, driving 
out darkness. 

Fire is to be put for the destroyer of every sophistry and the revealer 
and demonstrator of truth, because it is light, the banisher of darkness 
which is the concealer of all essential things. 

 

1096 ALLEGORY 

TRUTH 

Fire destroys all sophistry, that is deceit; and maintains truth alone, 
that is gold. 

Truth in the end cannot be concealed. 

Dissimulation profits nothing. Dissimulation is frustrated before so 
great a judge. 

Falsehood assumes a mask. 

Nothing is hidden beneath the sun. 

Fire is put for truth because it destroys all sophistry and lies, and the 
mask for falsity and lying by which the truth is concealed. 

Windsor: Drawings 12700 v. 

[Sketch. Figures seated on clouds. Rain. Ground below strewn with 
implements} 

On this side Adam and on that Eve. 

Oh human misery! of how many things do you make yourself the 
slave for money! Windsor: Drawings 12698 r. 

This Envy is represented making a contemptuous motion towards 
heaven, because if she could she would use her strength against God. 
She is made with a mask upon her face of fair appearance. She is 
made wounded in the eye by palm and olive. She is made wounded 
in the ear by laurel and myrtle, to signify that victory and truth offend 
her. She is made with many lightnings issuing forth from her, to 
denote her evil speaking. She is made lean and wizened because she 
is ever wasting in perpetual desire. She is made with a fiery serpent 
gnawing at her heart. She is given a quiver with tongues for arrows, 
because with the tongue she often offends; and she is made with a 
leopard's skin, since the leopard from envy slays the lion by guile. She 
is given a vase in her hand full of flowers, and beneath these filled 
with scorpions and toads and other venomous things. She is made 
riding upon death, because envy never dying has lordship over him; 
and death is made with a bridle in his mouth and laden with various 
weapons, since these are all the instruments of death. 

In the moment when virtue is born she gives birth to envy against 
herself, and a body shall sooner exist without a shadow than virtue 
without envy. Oxford Drawings, Part ii. No. 6 

 

ALLEGORY [097 

Pleasure and Pain are represented as twins, as though they were 
joined together, for there is never the one without the other; and they 
turn their hacks because they are contrary to each other. 

If you shall choose pleasure, know that he has behind him one who 
will deal out to you tribulation and repentance. 

This is pleasure together with pain, and they are represented as twins 
because the one is never separated from the other. 

They are made with their backs turned to each other because they 
are contrary the one to the other. They are made growing out of the 
same trunk because they have one and the same foundation, for the 
foundation of pleasure is labour with pain, and the foundations of pain 
are vain 1 and lascivious pleasures. 

And accordingly it is represented here with a reed in the right hand, 
which is useless and without strength, and the wounds made with it 
are poisoned. In Tuscany reeds are put to support beds, to signify that 
here occur vain dreams, and here is consumed a great part of life: here 
is squandered much useful time, namely that of the morning when the 
mind is composed and refreshed, and the body therefore is fitted to 
resume new labours. There also are taken many vain pleasures, both 
with the mind imagining impossible things, and with the body taking 
those pleasures which are often the cause of the failing of life; so that 
for this the reed is held as representing such foundations. 

Oxford Drawings, Part ii. No. 7 

1 MS., van) not varj.