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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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DOCTOS DOCTIS OB-
loqui nefas esse.

It is wicked for scholars to wrangle with other scholars

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Quid rapis heu progne vocalem saeva cicadam,
Pignoribusque tuis fercula dira paras?[1]
Ac stridula stridulam[2], vernam verna hospita laedis,
Hospitam, & aligeram penniger ales avem?
Ergo abiice hanc praedam, nam musica pectora summum est,
Alterum ab alterius dente perire nefas.

Alas, Procne, why, cruel bird, do you sieze on the melodious cicada and prepare a dreadful banquet for your young? A whistler yourself, you harm the shrill singer; a summer visitor, you hurt another fine-weather caller; a guest, you harm a guest; a feathered bird, you hurt another winged creature. So let this prize go. It is the greatest sin for hearts devoted to the Muses to perish by one another’s tooth.

Notes:

1. The reference is to the legend of Procne’s metamorphosis into a swallow. See [A50a070]. For swallows catching cicadas, see Aelian, De natura animalium 8.6.

2. Textual variant: Stridula stridentem.


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