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Foedera.

Alliances.

Hanc citharam lembi quae forma halieutica[1] fertur,
Vendicat & propriam Musa latina sibi,
Accipe Dux, placeat nostrum hoc tibi tempore munus,
Quo nova cum sociis foedera inire paras.
Difficile est, nisi docto homini, tot tendere chordas,
Unaque si fuerit non bene tenta fides,
Ruptave (quod facile est) perit omnis gratia conchae,
Illeque praecellens cantus, ineptus erit.
Sic Itali count proceres in foedera concors,
Nil est quod timeas, si tibi constet amor.
At si aliquis desciscat (uti plerunque videmus)
In nihilum illa omnis solvitur harmonia.

This lute, which from its boat shape is called “halieutica”, my Latin Muse now claims for her own service. Receive it, O Duke. May this offering of mine be pleasing to you at this moment when you are preparing to enter into fresh agreements with your allies. It is difficult, except for a man of skill, to tune so many strings, and if one string is out of tune or broken, which so easily happens, all the music of the instrument is lost and its lovely song disjointed. In like manner the leaders of Italy are now forming alliances. There is nothing for you to fear if affection lasts for you and stays in concord. But if any one should slide away, which we often see, that harmony is all dissolved into nothing.

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Traictez damytie.

Comme au Luc la Muse Italique
Print plaisir, pour ses bons accors:
Ainsi toy Duc, as pris practique,
De rendre tous princes concors:
Mais si ung ou deux sont discors,
Seurte meurt, Guerre prand repeue:
Com lharmonie de ce corps
Fault pour une corde rompue.

Notes:

1. A Greek word meaning ‘fishing’ (boat).


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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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