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Section: ARBORES (Trees). View all emblems in this section.

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Populus alba.

The white poplar

Herculeos crines bicolor quòd populus ornet,[1]
Temporis alternat noxque, diesque vices.[2]

The two-coloured poplar wreathes the locks of Hercules - and so its dark and light show time’s alternating changes.

Notes:

1.  The white poplar was dedicated to Hercules. According to Pausanias, Periegesis, 5.14.2, Hercules introduced it to Greece. According to another story, Hercules on his way back from the Underworld garlanded his head with stems from a white poplar growing beside the Acheron, a memorial of the nymph Leuke (White) carried off by Pluto.

2.  noxque diesque, ‘its dark and light’ (lit. night and day), a reference to the dark green surface and white underside of the white poplar leaf. According to Pliny, Natural History, 16.36.87, the leaves of the white poplar turn over at the summer solstice. Hercules was equated with the sun: Macrobius, Saturnalia, 1.20.6 and 10.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Cc8v f284v]

Amygdalus.

The almond

Emblema ccviii.

Cur properans foliis praemittis amygdale flores?
Odi pupillos praecocis ingenii.[1]

Almond tree, why are you in such a hurry to put out flowers before your leaves? I hate precocious pupils.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Cc9r f285r]

AMygdalus citissimè floret, tardissimè fructum
profert, Plinius li. 16. cap. 25. Ita praecocia illa inge-
nia quae habent praeclaram quandam indolem, vix aut
certè serò admodum perveniunt ad frugem, ait
Fabius lib. 1. cap. 3.

L’Amandier.

L’Amandier se haste à florir,
Mais son fruit vient tard à meurir:
Ces esprits qui si tost se hastent,
Ne durent point, ains tost se gastent.

L’Amandier fleurit bien tost, mais rap-
porte son fruit tard, comme dit Pline li-
vre 16. chap. 25. Ainsi ces esprits si hastifs &
prompts, qui ont une grand’ montre du com-
mencement, ne viennent à perfection qu’à
grande difficulté ou fort tard, ainsi que par-
le Quintilian livre I. chap. 3.

Notes:

1.  See Quintilian (Fabius Quintilianus), Institutio oratoria, 1.3.3: “the precocious type of intellect never easily comes to fruition”.


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