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Mentem, non formam plus
pollere.

Intelligence matters, not beauty

XLVIII.

Ingressa vulpes in Choragi pergulam,
Fabr expolitum invenit humanum caput,
Sic eleganter fabricatum, ut spiritus
Solm deesset, caeteris vivisceret:
Id illa cm sumpsisset in manus, ait:
Hoc[1] quale caput est! sed cerebrum non habet.[2]

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!

COMMENTARIA.

Vulpecula quaedam (asutissimum animal)
cm forte intrasset officinam cuiusdam sculpto-
ris, reperit ibi humanum caput ade artificios
& egregi fabricatum ac politum, ut omnino
vivum sibi videretur, nisi spiritus defuisset, illud
revolvit dicens: qum formosum caput, sed
intellectu caret. Extat fabella Esopica de vul-
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [f3v p86]pe & capite reperto. Significatur solam pul-
chritudinem corporis & nitorem non suffice
re nisi etiam accedant animi bona, praestat igi-
tur sordidum & deformem, sed sapientia prae-
ditum esse, qum elegantissimum & venustis-
simum, ingenio autem & mente carere.

Notes:

1. Textual variant: O.

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


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  • Beauty; 'Bellezza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51D4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Intellect, Intelligence; 'Intelletto', 'Intelligenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52A1(+4):54B6(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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