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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [H1v p114]

In facil virtute desciscentes.

Easily deflected from the right course

XLIX.

Parva velut limax Remora spreto[1] impete venti,
Remorumque, ratem sistere sola potest.
Sic quosdam ingenio & virtute ad sydera vectos,
Detinet in medio tramite causa levis.
Anxia lis veluti est, vel qui meretricius ardor
Egregiis iuvenes sevocat studiis.[2]

Just as the little slug, the remora, scorning the impetus of wind and oars, can by itself stop a ship from moving, so some trivial reason holds back in mid-course people who through intellect and ability are on their way to the stars: for example, a worrying law-suit, or that desire for whores which entices young men away from their good studies.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [H2r p115]

Wider die so leichtlich von tu-
gent abfallen.

XLIX.

Wie das fischle Remora gnent
In Latein, offt ein schiff erfast
So starck, das es sich mindert wennt,
Wie hart der wind inn segel blast:
Also mancher durch klainen last,
Als buelschafft, oder sach vor gricht,
Kunst, witz, und tugent gar verlast,
Und was er glernt wird gar zu nicht.

Notes:

1. Textual variant: ‘spreto Remora’.

2. [A42b052] notes, Cf. Erasmus, Parabolae pp.231, 253.


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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [G8v p112]

Mentem non formam plus pollere.

Intelligence matters, not beauty

XLVIII.

Ingressa vulpes in Choragi pergulam,
Fabr expolitum invenit humanum caput,
Sic eleganter fabricatum, ut spiritus
Solm deesset, caeteris vivisceret:
Id illa cm sumpsisset in manus, ait:
Hoc[1] quale caput est, sed cerebrum non habet.[2]

A fox, entering the store-room of a theatrical producer, found an actor’s mask, skilfully shaped, so finely fashioned that the spirit alone was missing, in all else it seemed alive. Taking it up, the fox addressed it - What a head is this, but it has no brain!

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [H1r p113]

Verstand giltet mehr dan hupsche.

XLVIII.

In ains bildschnitzers haw on gfer
Ein fuchs eins menschen hawpt erfand,
Woelchs so er lang bsach hin und her,
Sagt er, das ist ein wunder thand,
Das hawpt so wercklich gmacht von hand,
So schoen geziert, hat doch kayn hirn.
Offt einen [=einem] acht man gro verstand,
Den man allein siht an der stirn.

Notes:

1. Textual variant: ‘O’.

2. See Phaedrus, Fables 1.7 (also in iambic senarii); Aesop, Fables 43.


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