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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[M4v p184]

AEre quandoque salutem redimendam.

Sometimes money must be spent to purchase safety

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.

Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[M5r p185]

Le salut se doibt acheter.

Le Byevre qui Castor sappelle,
Des veneurs, & des chiens presse,
Aux dens ses genitaulx expelle:
Car pour aultre bien nest chasse.
Ce mal rend plusgrand mal passe.
Sur quoy le prudent peult entendre,
Quil fault quicter bien amasse,
Premier que grand peril attendre.

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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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[F7r p93]

In Adulatores.[1]

Flatterers

Semper hiat, semper tenuem qua vescitur auram,
Reciprocat chamaeleon[2],
Et mutat faciem, varios sumitque colores,
Praeter rubrum vel candidum:[3]
Sic & Adulator populari vescitur aura,[4]
Hiansque cuncta devorat,
Et solým mores imitatur principis atros,
Albi & pudici nescius.

The Chameleon is always breathing in and out with open mouth the bodiless air on which it feeds; it changes its appearance and takes on various colours, except for red and white. - Even so the flatterer feeds on the wind of popular approval and gulps down all with open mouth. He imitates only the black features of the prince, knowing nothing of the white and pure.

Notes:

1.From 1536 onwards, Wechel editions used a different woodcut which looks slightly more like a chameleon and has a castle in the background.

2.This creature was supposed to feed only on air, keeping its mouth wide open to suck it in. See Pliny, Natural History 8.51.122. For the chameleon cf. Erasmus, Parabolae pp.144, 241, 252.

3.‘except for red and white’. See Pliny, ib.

4.‘the wind of popular approval’. This is a common metaphor in Latin, e.g. Horace, Odes 3.2.20, ‘at the behest of the wind of popular approval.’


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