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AMICITIA ETIAM POST MOR-
TEM DURANS.[1]

Friendship lasting even beyond death

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Arentem senio, nudam quoque frondibus ulmum,
Complexa est viridi vitis opaca coma.[2]
Agnoscitque vices naturae, & grata parenti,
Officii reddit mutua iura suo.
Exemploque monet, tales nos quaerere amicos,
Quos neque disiungat foedere summa dies.

A vine shady with green foliage embraced an elm tree that was dried up with age and bare of leaves. The vine recognises the changes wrought by nature and, ever grateful, renders to the one that reared it the duty it owes in return. By the example it offers, the vine tells us to seek friends of such a sort that not even our final day will uncouple them from the bond of friendship.

Notes:

1. See Erasmus’ famous variations on this theme in De copia (CWE 24. pp. 354-64).

2. In ancient Italy young vines were often supported by elm trees. See Vergil, Georgics 1.2.


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CONCORDIA.

Concord

Cornicum mira inter se concordia vitae est,
Inque vicem nunquam contaminata fides.[1]
Hinc volucres has[2] sceptra gerunt quod scilicet omnes,
Consensu populi stantque caduntque duces.
Quem si de medio tollas discordia praeceps,
Advolat & secum regia fata trahit.

Marvellous is the unanimity between crows as they live together, and their loyalty to each other, never dishonoured! For this reason the sceptre carries these birds. Assuredly all leaders stand and fall by the consent of the people. If you take away consent, tumultuous discord comes flying in and drags kings down in its wake.

Notes:

1. See Aelian, De natura animalium 3.9. on the mutual love and loyalty of crows.

2. Textual variant: haec.


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