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Obdurandum adversus urgentia.

Stand firm against pressure

Nititur in pondus palma & consurgit in arcum
Quo magis & premitur, hoc mage tollit onus:[1]
Fert & odoratas bellaria dulcia glandes[2]
Queis mensas inter primus habetur honos.
I puer, & reptans ramis has collige, mentis
Qui constantis erit, praemia digna feret.

The wood of the palm-tree counteracts a weight and rises up into an arch. The heavier the burden pressing it down, the more it lifts it up. The palm-tree also bears fragrant dates, sweet dainties much valued when served at table. Go, boy, edge your way along the branches and gather them. The man who shows a resolute spirit will receive an appropriate reward.

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Man sol dem bösen ein widerstandt thun.

Der Palmenbaum spert sich mit macht
Wider Bürdin das es kracht
Beumt sich auff, und je mehr er wirt
Nidertruckt er uber sich girt
Er tregt und bringt auch lieblich Frucht
Die süsse Dattel wolgerucht
So man in grossen ehren thut
Auff den Tisch tragen also gut
Gehe hin mein Son on underlaß
Solch einzusamlen sey nit laß
Dann wer also mit bstendign gmüt
Besteht, der selb empfacht die müt.


1.  The reaction of palm to a heavy weight is mentioned in various ancient sources, e.g. Pliny, Natural History 16.81.223; Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 3.6. See also Erasmus, Parabolae p.263. It probably refers to a plank of palm-wood, rather than a branch of the living tree. A similar image is used in La Perriere, Morosophie, no. 83 ([FLPb083]).

2.  See Erasmus, Parabolae p.241: ‘the palm-tree, having bark with knife-sharp edges, is difficult to climb, but it bears delicious fruit’.

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