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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K8v p160]

In Aspendium Citharistem.[1]

On Aspendius the lutenist.

Contra amicos nostrates.

Against friends from our country.

Dum movet ad citharam numeros Aspendius, intus
Occinit, & reliquos non iuvat ipsa chelis:
Et sua summisso demulcet pectora cantu,
Privatisque sciens auribus ipse studet.
Sic propria ingratus compendia spectat amicus,
Dum cautè simulat commoda nostra sequi.

While he played his music at the lute [lyre*], Aspendius sang to himself, and the audience got nothing from his lute either: And he soothed his breast with gentle [i.e. inaudible] song, And skilfully performed for his own ears’ benefit. Even so does an ungracious friend look to his own profit, Whilst carefully pretending to act for the public [lit. follow our] benefit.
* Reading chelys for chelis: a tortoiseshell lyre.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L1r p161]

NARRATIO PHILOSOPHICA.

ASpendium citharistem intus canere so-
litum fuisse historiae prodiderunt: vel quòd
eos qui adessent cantibus & nervis suis delectari
aequo animo ferre non posset: vel quòd tali modo
rum genere quo non omnes valent, impensius ca-
peretur. Cuius solertiam nescio an fidibus & mo-
dis, at certè moribus homines nostri proximè imi
tati sunt. Dum enim se concordiam & conveni-
entiam, sine qua inter homines amicitia nomen
suum tueri nequit, omnibus modis coluisse videri
volunt, amicitiam totam utilitatibus & commo-
dis suis circunscribunt, neque eos quos sibi amicis
simos gloriantur, beneficiis retinendos esse existi-
mant. Sed quid in amicitia illustrè aut magnifi-
cum esse potest, si meum & tuum adiunxeris, aequa
litatem removeris, & mirificam illam in collocan
dis officiis pietatem funditus sustuleris. Ac mea
sententia nihil in universa hominum societate prae
clarius nominatur, quàm aequalitas, ut quod apud
te fuerit, liberaliter & officiosè necessario tuo, si
res postulet, impertias. In quo si fueris remis

sior, efficitur illa Christiano nomini
lues infestissima, quae Leonina
societas appel-
latur.

Notes:

1.  Aspendius, a lute player from Aspendos, in Asia Minor, “distinguished in antiquity for playing the harp with the fingers of the left hand (instead of the plectrum), and on the side of the instrument turned inwards, and accordingly concealed from the view of the spectators. Hence, Aspendius was used proverbially of a man that took more thought for his own than for others’ advantage.” (Lewis & Short).



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