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Mutuum auxilium.

Mutual help

Emblema clx.

Loripedem sublatum humeris fert lumine captus:
Et socii haec oculis munera retribuit.
Quo caret alteruter, concors sic praestat uterque:
Mutuat hic oculos, mutuat ille pedes.[1]

A man deprived of sight carries on his shoulders one with deformed feet and offers this service in return for the use of his companion’s eyes. So each of them by mutual consent supplies what the other lacks. One borrows eyes, the other feet.

ID extulit ex Graecorum epigrammatis quibusdam:
quo admonemur, eum esse in rebus omnibus hu-
manae naturae consensum, ut nihil omnino sit quod
non egeat aliena opera & auxilio mutuo: cm vi-
deamus id quasi de industria naturam voluisse, ut
singuli singulis dotibus, non autem omnibus dona-
tentur, quo singuli quicquid haberent, aliis commu-
nicarent.

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Ayde ou confort mutuel.

UN aveugle portoit sur son dos un boiteux,
Luy sentant ce plaisir, luy aide en recompense:
Ainsi d’accord qu’ils sont: l’un & l’autre s’advance:
Car l’un preste ses pieds, l’autre preste ses yeux.

IL a prins cestuy-ci de certains Epigram-
mes grecs: dont sommes advertis, qu’il y a
tel consentement & accord en toutes choses
qui concernent la nature de l’homme, qu’il
n’y a rien en tout qui n’ait besoin de l’aide &
support d’aultruy: & voyons que nature sem-
ble avoir fait cela tout expres, qu’un cha-
cun homme en particulier n’eut toutes les
bonnes parties, & dons de grace, ce que
les uns & autres vinssent communiquer
ensemble ce qu’ils auroient de bon.

Notes:

1. This is based on Anthologia graeca 9.12.


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AMICITIA ETIAM POST MOR-
TEM DURANS.[1]

Friendship lasting even beyond death

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Arentem senio, nudam quoque frontibus [=frondibus] ulmum,
Complexa est viridi vitis opaca coma.[2]
Agnoscitque vices naturae & grata parenti.
Officii reddit mutua iura suo.
Exemploque monet, tales non [=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.

Notes:

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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