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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n5r p201]

Salix.

The willow

XLII.

Quòd frugisperdam salicem vocitarit Homerus.[1]
Clitoriis homines moribus adsimulat.[2]

When Homer called the willow ‘seed-loser’, he made it like men with Clitorian habits.

Notes:

1.  Homer, Odyssey, 10.510. See Pliny, Natural History, 16.46.110: the willow drops its seed before it is absolutely ripe, and for that reason was called by Homer ‘seed-loser’.

2.  The waters of Lake Clitorius in Arcadia generated an aversion to wine in those who drank of them. See Pliny, Natural History, 31.13.16; Ovid, Metamorphoses, 15.322ff. The combination of the two images here may symbolise minds and characters gone to the bad and producing nothing of value. See Erasmus, Parabolae, p. 268: “As willow-seed, shed before it ripens, is not only itself barren but when used as a drug causes barrenness in women by preventing conception, so the words of those who teach before they have truly learnt sense not only make them no better in themselves, but corrupt their audience and render it unteachable”; and p. 230: “Those who have drunk of the Clitorian Lake develop a distaste for wine, and those who have once tasted poetry reject the counsels of philosophy, or the other way round. Equally, those who gorge themselves with fashionable pleasures reject those satisfactions which are honourable and genuine.”


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    Section: LES ARBRES. View all emblems in this section.

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [R6r p267]

    Le Cypres.

    Le Cypres monstre en sa fueille, comment
    Il fault traicter les siens egalement.

    L’arbre du Cypres depuys sa racine mon-
    te tout droict, egal jusque au plus hault de
    son tige, auquel il jecte branches en coron-
    ne environnantes, toutes en leur reng de mes
    me grandeur, & grosseur, ainsi ordonnées
    sans que l’une passe l’aultre, jusque au sommet,
    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [R6r p268] ou il faict ung Cone, ou poincte demye ovale. Laquel-
    le egale figure enseigne les parens de traicter leurs en-
    fans tant aisnéz, que puisnéz, tant masles, que femelles
    en pareille condition, & affection, sans acception de
    personne, tant en nourriture, & entretenement, que en
    hoirie, & testament. Car ilz sont egalement naturelz,
    & legitimes. Laquelle equalite ne se observe pas
    es Pays de droict escript, comme au Lyonnois.

    AULTRE.

    Riches tombeaux le Cypres environne:
    Les monumens du Peuple Ache coronne.[1]

    Costume estoit aulx anciens Romains, pour faire hon
    neur à leurs parens, ou amys trespasséz de coronner,
    & environner de fueillages, & fleurs en forme de Chap
    pelletz Les sepulchres. Or les Monumens de ceulx de
    la Seigneurie estoient coronnez de Cypres: & ceulx
    du commun populaire de Ache (non de persil) lesquelz
    tous deux sont quasi de semblable fueille, couleur, o-
    deur, & faculté, à preserver de pourriture.

    AULTRE.

    Le Cypres est en fueilles bien construict,
    Mais belle fueille il porte, & point de fruyct.[2]

    Cecy peut estre dict des beaulx hommes, bien raméz
    de membres, & de mignons bien peignéz, & testou-
    néz, ou de belles femmes à beaux cheveulx, qui au de-
    mourant ne valent rien, & ne portent point de fruyct.

    Notes:

    1.  See Pliny, Natural History, 20.44.113 for the use of parsley at funeral meals.

    2.  See Erasmus, Adagia, 4210 (Cyparissi fructus).


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