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EmblemeEmblem 39. Of the Secrets of Nature.

ŒdipusOedipus having overcome SphynxSphinx, and KilldKilled his father LajusLaius,
marryedmarried his Mother Jocasta.

Engraved by Verovio 2.1.0-dev-[undefined] Pomum morans. Hippom. sequens. Atalanta fugiens. Sphyn gem ae Sphyn Sphyn gem ae ni gma ti gem ae ni gma ti ni gma ti co co The co The 4 bis ser The bis bis ser mo ne ti ser mo ne mo ne ti men men dam Oe ti men dam dam Oe dy dy pus ad Oe dy pus pus ad 8 pro pri am ad pro pri pro pri am tor tor se rat am tor se rat se rat ar ar te ne ar te ne te ne 11 cem: cem: cem: Quae si tum Quae Quae si tum est, cui si tum est, cui ma est, cui ma ma pe 15 pe des sint pe des des sint bis du o, sint bis du bis du o, lu lu ce Sed o, lu ce ce Sed me di â Sed me di me di â 19 bi ni, â bi bi ni, tres, tres, u bi ni, tres, u bi u bi ves ves per a ves per a per a 22 dest. dest. dest. Vi ctor ab Vi Vi ctor ab hinc La ctor ab hinc La hinc La jum jum no jum no 26 len tem no len len tem ce de re tem ce de ce de re cae cae dit, Du re cae dit, dit, Du cit et u Du cit cit et 30 xo rem et u u xo rem quae quae si bi xo rem quae si bi si bi ma ma ter e ma ter e ter e 33 rat. rat. rat.

EpigrammeEpigram 39.

SphynxSphinx with her riddles did the Thebans dread,
But subtillsubtle ŒdipusOedipus her wiles betraydbetrayed:
The quæstionquestion was, who in the morning might
Have four feet, two at noon, and three at night.
UnknowneUnknown his father heehe deprives of life
And his owneown mother takes to be his wife

Discourse 39.

Bacasser a Philosopher in Turba saythsays, that which you seekeseek for is of noeno small
value, for you seekeseek the greatest treasure, and most excellent gift of God. -
And learnelearn, O yeeyou students, that which the Philosophers have long since inti=
mated, saying, The truth is not discerned but by errourerror, and nothing begets -
more greifegrief to the heart, than errourerror in this art and workework: For when a man
thinks heehe hathhas done, hathhas a world, heehe will find nothing in his -
hands. These same things the ancient Philosophers were pleasdpleased
to signify, propounding a SphynxSphinx as if sheeshe denoted the obscu=
rity and meanders of art. For this reason the ÆgyptiansEgyptians, in their
sacred Isiaci, which were celebrated in honourhonor of Osiris, by mitred
PreistsPriests, with heads shaven, and all parts of the body cloathedclothed with
a white linnenlinen garment downedown to the ankles, that they might not
be knowneknown or discovered to the coḿoncommon people, erected a Statue of
Silence, which was called Sigalion, in the entrance of the altar, -
the assistants being enjoynedenjoined to keep silence, and turneturn their -
eyes to that image, and for the same cause they added the effi=
gies of SphynxesSphinxes at the corners of the altar, which did represent
the mysticallmystical knowledge of sacred things; as Boissardus dothdoes from*

ancient Authors demonstrate: For SphynxSphinx is a certainecertain kind of mon=
ster most obscure to the Thebans, propounding riddles, nor onelyonly to -
them, but as before to the ÆgyptiansEgyptians, soeso after all others to those that -
aspire to art, and watchethwatches in the Philosophers books as before the gates of
Thebes; if any man can passepass by the monster, heehe suffers noeno evillevil by
him, but heehe that through præsumptionpresumption of mind or wittwit endeavoursendeavors to -
resolve his riddles, and cannot performeperform, acquires his owneown destruction, -
that is, greifegrief to the heart, and damage to his affairesaffairs by errourerror in this -
workework. HeeHe that referrsrefers such allegoryesallegories to history, hathhas a mushromemushroom for -
a head, and a MillonMelon for a heart, as the ComædianComedian saythsays, and knowesknows noeno
more than that heehe deviates from the right way. Those things are too
childish, and fittfit for old wives, if they be taken literally, otherwise the
signs and tokens of profound learning. Monstrous wild beasts are indeed
saydsaid to be in Africa by the name of SphynxesSphinxes, but here weewe discourse not
of them, though the originalloriginal and denomination of this fiction seems to -
be derived from them. The Philosophers SphynxSphinx understands and -
usethuses humanehuman speech, namely GreekeGreek, as allsoalso propoundespropounds SubtillSubtle sen=
tences and ænigmaticallenigmatical quæstionsquestions, in which appears a singular Sharp=
Sharpness of understanding and learning, not soeso obvious to all other men,
from which brutes are excedingexceeding distant. HeeHe that is conversant in -
the Philosophers assertions will easily know them to be such: For -
where one thing is saydsaid, and another thing signifydsignified, there


Discourse 39.

equivocation begettsbegets errourerror, which is not onelyonly permitted, but allsoalso enjoynedenjoined
to the Philosophers alone: The City of Thebes therefore being long -
perplexed with the riddles of SphynxSphinx at length came one ŒdipusOedipus, -
who gave such responses to the quæstionsquestions offered, that SphynxSphinx could
not forbear throwing herselfeherself downe from a rockerock. But who is this -
ŒdipusOedipus? The SonneSon of the King of Thebes, who being borneborn, it be=
ing prædictedpredicted to his father by an oracle, that heehe should be SlayneSlain
by his SonneSon, heehe coḿandedcommanded ŒdipusOedipus to be killdkilled, who being hangdhanged -
upon a tree and left with a rope fastened crossecross his feet, was relea=
sed by another country=-mancountryman, and brought up; HeeHe coming to mans
estate had indeed swelldswelled feet, but sufficiently declared a quickequick -
wittwit above all men in unriddling this ænigmaenigma propounded by SphynxSphinx.
But Sphinx is reported to have had many riddles, though this the cheifechief,
offered to ŒdipusOedipus. What is that which in the morning goethgoes upon fourefour
feet, at noonenoon upon two, in the evening upon three? what was answerdanswered
by ŒdipusOedipus is not knowneknown; but some interpret it to the age of man, who
are deceived: For a Quadrangle or the four Elements of all things are
first to be considered, from hence weewe come to the hemisphere having
two lines one streightstraight the other crooked, that is, white Luna, from hence
to a Triangle, which consists of body, Spirit, and SouleSoul, or Sol, Luna,
and Mercury: Hereupon saythsays Rhasis in his Epistle. The Stone is a Tri=
angle in being, a Quadrangle in quality. Hereto allsoalso relates the one
and twentyethtwentieth emblemeemblem, and the exposition thereof. ŒdipusOedipus moreover
is notorious for parricide and incest, which are two the most detestable -
vices, as can ever be thought of, but neverthelessenevertheless they promoted him to a
kingdomekingdom, otherwise due to him, heehe having unawares killed his father -
refusing to give way to him, and marryedmarried the Queen, the wife of Laius,
his owneown mother. But this written not to be imitated by any man as
history, or example, it being onelyonly feigned and allegorically intro=
duced by the Philosophers to discover the secrets of their doctrine. For
in this workework both happen; the first efficient, that is, the father, being
killdkilled and destroyed by his effect, that is, the SonneSon, and afterwards -
the same effect joyndjoined the second efficient to himselfehimself, till sheeshe be=
come one with him, and soeso the SonneSon is coupled to his mother by -
matrimony, and enjoyesenjoins his fathers kingdomekingdom, as it were by a triple -
right, of armesarms, wedlockewedlock, and succession. HeeHe hathhas swelldswelled feet, because -
heehe cannot runnerun, and is as a bear, as heehe containescontains the greatest se=
cret, or a toad, going with a slow pace; because it is fixed fixing -
another, and not avoydingavoiding or fearing fire, which though a medium
of mean repute the Philosophers can by noeno means be without . .
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