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FIDEI SYMBOLUM.

The symbol of good faith

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Stet depictus honor tyrio velatus amictu,
Eiusque iungat nuda dextram veritas.
Sitque amor in medio castus,[1] cui tempora circum,
Rosa it, Dyones pulchrior cupidine.[2]
Constituunt haec signa fidem, reverentia honoris,
Quam fovet, alit amor, parturitque veritas.

Let Honour stand depicted, clothed in a garment of Tyrian purple, and let naked Truth hold his right hand. Between them, let chaste Love be represented, his brow garlanded with roses, but fairer than Cupid, Dione’s boy. These images constitute good faith, which the reverence due to Honour fosters, Love feeds, Truth brings to birth.

Notes:

1. Amor...castus, ‘chaste love’ (Anteros), for which see [A31a072] and [A31a080].

2. ‘Dione’s boy’. Strictly Dione was the mother of Venus, but was often identified in poetry with Venus herself, the mother of Cupid.


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AERE QUANDOQUE SA-
lutem redimendam.

Sometimes money must be spent to purchase safety

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Et pedibus segnis, tumida & propendulus alvo,
Hac tamen insidias effugit arte fiber.
Mordicus ipse sibi medicata virilia vellit,
Atque abiicit, sese gnarus ob illa peti,
Huius ab exemplo disces 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 you will learn not to spare material things, and to give money to the enemy to buy your life.

Notes:

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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