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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A8v p16]

Concordia.

Concord

VI.

Cornicum mira inter se concordia vitae est,
Inque vicem nunquam contaminata fides.[1]
Hinc volucres hae[2] sceptra gerunt, quod scilicet omnes
Consensu populi stantque caduntque duces:
Quem si de medio tollas, discordia praeceps
Advolat, & secum regia fata trahit.

Marvellous is the unanimity between crows as they live together, and their loyalty to each other, never dishonoured! For this reason these birds carry the sceptre. Assuredly all leaders stand and fall by the consent of the people. If you take away consent, tumultuous discord comes flying in and drags kings down in its wake.

COMMENTARIA.

Peramanter & fideliter mutuam inter se fidem
& amicitiam conservant Cornices, quod si al-
terutra moriatur altera quae ei superstes est ad
extremum vitae diem vidua permanet: & idem Ma-
ritus nullam in posterum aliam ambit coniugem,
exigens vitam in orbitate. Aelianus lib. 15. cap. 36.
Id circo haec sceptra tenent, demonstrantes o-
mnes Principes consensu & unanimitate po-
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [b1r p17] puli tantům consistere & cadere, hoc enim
sublato, illico discordiae ortae, totum facilč Prin
cipis statum secum rapiunt & dissipant. Concordia
enim (ut inquit Sallustius) parvae res crescunt,
discordia verň maxima etiam dilabuntur.

Notes:

1.  See Aelian, De natura animalium 3.9. on the mutual love and loyalty of crows.

2.  Textual variant: haec.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C1r p33]

Νῆφε, καὶ μέμνησ’ἀπιστεῖν. ἄρθρα ταῦτα τῶν φρενῶν.

Live soberly; do not believe readily. These are the sinews of the mind.

EMBLEMA XVI.

Ne credas, ne (Epicharmus ait[1]) non sobrius esto:
Hi nervi humanae membraque mentis erunt.
Ecce oculata manus[2] credens id quod videt: ecce
Pulegium antiquae sobrietatis olus:
Quo turbam ostenso sedaverit Heraclitus,[3]
Mulxerit & tumida seditione gravem.

Don’t give easy credence; don’t be intemperate. So said Epicharmus, and these maxims will prove the sinews and limbs of man’s mind. See here a hand with an eye, believing what it can see. See the pennyroyal, the plant of ancient soberness. By showing it, Heraclitus calmed the mob and milked it when heavy with bursting sedition

Notes:

1.  Epicharmus ait, ‘So said Epicharmus’. The saying is quoted in Polybius, The Histories, 18.40.

2.  oculata manus, ‘a hand with an eye’. See Plautus, Asinaria, 202: ‘our hands always have eyes - seeing is believing for them’; Erasmus, Adagia, 73 (Oculatae manus).

3.  turbam...sedaverit Heraclitus, ‘Heraclitus calmed the mob’. For this incident concerning the sixth-century BC philosopher Heraclitus, see Plutarch, De garrulitate, 511C: when faced with a discordant mob, Heraclitus said nothing but took a cup of cold water, sprinkled on barley-meal and stirred it with a sprig of pennyroyal. Pennyroyal represents modest fare, contentment and control. Cf. Emblem 185 ([A91a185]), line 8. Heraclitus lived on a diet of herbs. For his pessimistic view of life see Emblem 150 ([A91a150]).


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