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Morus.

The mulberry

Serior at Morus nunquam nisi frigore lapso
Germinat;[1] & sapiens nomina falsa[2] gerit.

On the other hand, the mulberry is late, and never until the frost is past does it shoot; though wise, it bears a false name.

Notes:

1. See Pliny, Natural History, 16.25.102: “the mulberry is the last of domesticated trees to shoot, and only does so when the frosts are over; for that reason it is called the wisest of trees”.

2. nomina falsa, ‘a false name’, reference to a supposed ‘etymology by opposites’: Latin morus ‘mulberry’ was equated with Greek μῶρος ‘fool’, but the tree was considered wise: see note 1.


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Cotonea.

The quince

EMBLEMA CCIII.

Poma novis tribui debere Cydonia nuptis
Dicitur antiquus constituisse Solon.[1]
Grata ori & stomacho cm sint, ut & halitus illis
Sit suavis, blandus mnet & ore lepos.

Solon of old is said to have ordained that quinces be given to newly-weds, since these are pleasant both to mouth and stomach. As a result their breath is sweet, and winning grace drops from their lips.

Notes:

1. antiquus...Solon, ‘Solon of old’. See Plutarch, Coniugalia praecepta, Moralia 138 D.


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