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XVIII.

VIRTUS PRESSA VALENTIOR.

INter reliquas arbores, Palma victoriae symbolo tribuitur:
propterea quod pondus superpositum aut deiiciat insurgens,
aut frangatur: Cům alioqui illius rami, longč ac latč sese exten-
dant, gratum viatoribus praebentes umbraculum. Propterea
virtuti dicata est, quae generosč contrariis obstat & repugnat.
Vir fortis & magnanimus natura mitis est, humanus & tracta-
bilis, promptus ad opem ferendam afflictis: at in oppressores &
violentos insurgit animosč, & quibus potest viribus illos pro-
sequitur, urget, & atterit. Qui generoso est animo, & res ma-
gnas molitur, & suae Reipublicae necessarias, nullum scopum
sibi proponit alium, nisi ut rem prudenti consilio susceptam
maturč perficiat, omne periculum, quod illum ab officio de-
terrere potest, contemnens. Quod exemplo suo comproba-
runt M. Attilius Regulus, & Themistocles. Ille dum ŕ Carta-
ginensibus
captus esset, missus est Romam cum legatis, qui de
permutatione captivorum apud Senatum agerent. Sed cům
praecipuam iuventutem hostium captivam Romae videret, uti-
litati publicae suam vitam postponens, suasit contrarium.[1] The-
mistocles quoque ab ingratis civibus Athenis expulsus, ad Per-
sas
fugit; ŕ quibus magnis copiis praefectus in Graecos missus
est: sed ne quid impium moliretur in patriam, hau-
sto tauri sanguine, mortem sibi
conscivit.[2]

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G3r p37]

XVIII.

Dionysio Lebaeo Bathillio Tricassino.[3] I.C.

VIRTUS PRESSA VALENTIOR.

Virtue that is hard-pressed is stronger

POndere pressa gravi fit palma valentior:[4] atque
Impositum duplici robore pulsat onus.
Et generosa malis non cedunt pectora: sed quas
Obiiciant viris hostibus intus habent.

The palm which is pressed down with a heavy weight becomes stronger, and it removes the burden placed upon it with double strength. And noble hearts do not yield to evil but have inside them the strength to oppose the enemy.

Notes:

1.  The story of Marcus Atilius Regulus, Roman consul and general in the Punic Wars, famous for his behavior as a prisoner at Carthage, sacrificing himself rather than agreeing to a prisoner exhange. Seneca, De providentia, 3.9.

2.  Themistocles was an Athenian general and politician during the Persian wars, who in the end of his days lost the confidence of the people and offered his services to the Persians instead. But according to one version of the story, he committed suicide rather than have to fight against fellow Greeks. Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, 1.138.

3.  Denis Lebey de Batilly, from Troyes, a lawyer, and another Protestant emblematist (d. 1600).

4.  On this theme and the palm, see Alciato, ‘Obdurandum adversus urgentia’ ([FALa024], and corresponding emblems).



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