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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B2r p19]

De ceux qui ont bon heur par estrangers

XI.

Lon jectoit Arion en mer,[1]

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B2v p20]

Qui tenant sa Harpe, supplie:
Qu’il jouë, avant que l’eau humer.
Soudain, sa chanson accomplie,
Il est jecté par grande envie:
Mais un Dauphin tost le reçoit.
Ainsi la beste aide desplie,
A cil que l’homme pourchassoit.

commentaires.

Arion, tresexcellent Musicien & joueur de har-
pe, natif de l’Isle de Lesbos, ayant amassé grands
moyens par son industrie, & s’en retournant en son
païs, fut par les mariniers despouillé de tout son avoir
& jecté en mer. Mais avant que d’y estre jecté, il im-
petra d’eux un petit delay: durant lequel il se print à
jouer si melodieusement de sa harpe, que plusieurs
Dauphins attirés pour se repaistre de si douce har-
monie, l’un d’iceux le receut sur son dos, lors que les
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B3r p20] mariniers le jecterent hors du navire: & le porta
sain & sauve ce dauphin jusques au rivage. Les hom-
mes le vouloyent exterminer, un poisson le delivra.
Bien souvent on trouve plus d’amitié & de courtoi-
sie és bestes brutes, que lon ne fait pas vers les hom-
mes, notamment vers ceux à qui l’avarice commande.

Notes:

1.  The crew of the ship on which the celebrated musician Arion was travelling, after robbing him, prepared to throw him overboard. He persuaded them to allow him to play his lyre for the last time. Then, after invoking the gods, he jumped into the sea, whereupon a music-loving dolphin conveyed him to land. See Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 16.19.


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AMICITIA ETIAM POST MOR-
TEM DURANS.[1]

Friendship lasting even beyond death

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A6v]

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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