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MENTEM NON FORMAM
plus pollere.[1]

Intelligence matters, not beauty

Ingressa vulpes in Choragi pergulam,
Fabre expolitum invenit humanum caput.
Sic eleganter fabricatum, ut spiritus
Solum deesset, caeteris vivisceret,
Id illa cum sumpsisset in manus ait,
Hoc[2] quale caput est, sed cerebrum non habet.[3]

A fox, entering the store-room of a theatrical producer, found an actor’s mask, skilfully shaped, so finely fashioned that the spirit alone was missing, in all else it seemed alive. Taking it up, the fox addressed it - What a head is this, but it has no brain!

Notes:

1.  The title is missing from the facsimile but is in the original book.

2.  Textual variant: O.

3.  See Phaedrus, Fables 1.7 (also in iambic senarii); Aesop, Fables 43.


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