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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N4v p200]

Que la letra mata y el Spiritu da vida.[1]

Ottava rhima.

Los hombres que nasçieron de la tierra
De los dientes sembrados d’el serpiente
Haziendo el uno a’l otro fiera guerra
Cayeron mal heridos ygualmente.
Mas entre aquellos que el furor atierra
Pallas guardò la parte mas prudente.
Las letras hallò Cadmo, que fatigan:
El alma mas las sciençias la mitigan.[2]

Notes:

1.  2 Corinthians 3:6.

2.  For the story of Cadmus, founder of Thebes ), and the dragon’s teeth, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 3.99ff. Pallas brought the internecine struggle between the earth-born warriors to an end. Cadmus supposedly introduced writing to Greece. The scattering of the dragon’s teeth was interpreted as the invention of the alphabet.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N6r p203]

Le meurier.

XLIIII.

Jamais durant le froid le meurier ne bourgeonne:[1]
Sage il est, quoy qu’à tort nom de fol on luy donne.[2]

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N6v p204]

Commentaires.

On baille diverses etymologies au meurier. Les
uns le derivent d’un mot Latin, qui signifie retarde-
ment: les autres d’un mot Grec qui signifie noir: &
autres encor d’un autre mot Grec, qui signifie fol: &
ce par antiphrase: car c’est le plus sage de tous les ar-
bres. Pline & autres en parlent en ceste façon: Le
meurier verdoye le dernier de tous les arbres de la
ville: car il attend que tout le froid soit passé: & pour-
ce est-il appellé le plus sage de tous les arbres. Mais
quand il commence à pousser, il acheve tout en une
nuict, & se fait mesme ouïr. On l’employe pour sym-
bole de la prudence: car il attend l’occasion du temps
& de la saison, de peur que l’injure de l’air ne l’en-
dommage. Ainsi l’homme prudent dilaye tout expres
ses affaires d’importance, & tous ses conseils, ne les
voulant point executer avant le temps, ains attendant
une occasionmeure , ou il les puisse exploiter sans
dommage & sans danger.

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.  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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