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AEre quandoque salutem redimendam.

Sometimes money must be spent to purchase safety


Et pedibus segnis, tumida & propendulus alvo,
Hac tamen insidias effugit arte fiber.
Mordicus ipse sibi medicata virilia vellit,
Atque abicit, sese gnarus ob illa peti.
Huius ab exemplo disce non parcere rebus,
Et, vitam ut redimas, hostibus aera dare.[1]

Though slow of foot and with swollen belly hanging down, the beaver nonetheless escapes the ambush by this trick: it tears off with its teeth its testicles, which are full of a medicinal substance, and throws them aside, knowing that it is hunted for their sake. - From this creature’s example learn not to spare material things, and to give money to the enemy to buy your life.


1.  This is based on Aesop, Fables 153, where the same moral is drawn. For the information about the beaver, see Pliny, Natural History 8.47.109; Isidore, Etymologiae (Origines) 12.2.21.

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