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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[A5r]

IN VICTORIAM DOLO
PARTAM.

On victory won by guile.

Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[A5v]

Aiacis tumulum[1] ego perluo virtus,[2]
Heu misera albentes dilacerata comas.
Scilicet hoc restabat adhuc, ut iudice graeco[3],
Vincerer, & causa stet potiore dolus.[4]

I, Virtue, bedew with tears the tomb of Ajax, tearing, alas, in my grief my whitening hairs. This was all it needed - that I should be worsted with a Greek as judge, and that guile should appear to have the better cause.

Notes:

1.This neither makes sense nor scans without lacrimis, cf. other editions.

2.The quotation marks at the beginning presumably signify that the verse is in the first person.

3.The Greek assembly awarded the arms of the dead Achilles to the cunning and eloquent Ulysses, not the brave and straight-forward Ajax. For Ajax’ subsequent suicide, [A34a039].

4.See Anthologia graeca 7.145.


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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[C1v p34]

Amicitia etiam post mortem durans.[1]

Friendship lasting even beyond death

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.

Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[C2r p35]

Amytie durant apres mort.

Au temps que jeune estoit la vigne,
Elle fut soustenue de lorme,
(Qui destre ayme se rend bien digne)
A quoy la vigne fut conforme:
Car au temps quil devint disforme,
Voire mort, la vigne lembrasse:
Cherchez donc amy de telle forme,
Dont lamour pour mort ne sefface.

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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