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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [b5r p25]

Amicitia etiam post mortem

Friendship lasting even beyond death


Arentem senio, nudam quoque frondibus ulmum.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [b5v p.26] Complexa est viridi vitis opaca coma:[2]
Agnoscitque vices naturae, & grata parenti
Officii reddit mutua iura suo.
Exemploque monet, tales nos quaerere amicos,
Quos neque disiungat foedere summa dies.

A vine shady with green foliage embraced an elm tree that was dried up with age and bare of leaves. The vine recognises the changes wrought by nature and, ever grateful, renders to the one that reared it the duty it owes in return. By the example it offers, the vine tells us to seek friends of such a sort that not even our final day will uncouple them from the bond of friendship.


Vitis luxuriens frondibus & pampinis suis
circundedit & ornavit ulmum arborem prae
senio iam penitus putridam & arefactam, pri-
stinam adhuc naturam agnoscens, quamque
olim saepius succrescendo sustentaculi paren-
tisque loco habuerat eam nec iam quidem, licet
aridam & siccam deserit spernitve: verům
adhuc etiam exornat: in hunc ferč modum
apud Ovidium lib. 2. de tristibus

Vidi ego pampineis ornatam vitibus ulmum,
Quae fuerat saevo fulmine tacta Iovis.

Tales nobis Amicos querere decet, qui extre-
mo in periculo vel etiam post mortem veri
Amici permaneant, sincerae nanque fidei. A-
mici precipuč in adversis rebus cognoscun-
tur inquit Valerius Maximus in praefatione sua tituli
7. de Amicitia. lib. 4.


1.  See Erasmus’ famous variations on this theme in De copia (CWE 24. pp. 354-64).

2.  In ancient Italy young vines were often supported by elm trees. See Vergil, Georgics 1.2.

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