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The mulberry

Emblema ccix.

Serior at morus nunquam nisi frigore lapso
Germinat:[1] & sapiens nomina falsa[2] gerit.

On the other hand, the mulberry is late, and never until the frost is past does it shoot; though wise, it bears a false name.

MOrus, quasi μῶρος, id est stultus, malè imposi-
to nomine, sapiens arbor est: nunquam enim ger-
minat nisi frigoribus exactis: Ita vir prudens matu-
rè suis rebus prospicit, neque se temerè periculis

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Le Meurier.

MAis le Meurier qui de fol a le nom,
(Quoy qu’à grand tort) ne florit point sinon
Que la saison ne soit bien advancee,
Et la froideur aussi du tout passee.

LE Meurier est dit en Grec μῶρος, qui est
à dire, fol: nom fort mal imposé, veu que
c’est un arbre qui peust estre renommé sa-
ge, d’autant qu’il ne montre son fruit, sinon
que premierement les froidures soyent pas-
sees: Ainsi l’homme prevoyant advise à ses af-
faires bien apoinct, & ne s’expose aux dan-
gers temerairement.


1.  See Pliny, Natural History, 16.25.102: “the mulberry is the last of domesticated trees to shoot, and only does so when the frosts are over; for that reason it is called the wisest of trees”.

2.  nomina falsa, ‘a false name’, reference to a supposed ‘etymology by opposites’: Latin morus ‘mulberry’ was equated with Greek μῶρος ‘fool’, but the tree was considered wise: see note 1.

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