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MATURANDUM.

Making good speed

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Maturare iubent propere, & cunctarier omnes,
Ne nimium praeceps, neu mora longa nimis.
Hoc tibi declaret connexum echneide[1] telum,
Haec tarda est, volitant spicula missa manu.

Everyone tells us to deal with things quickly, but they also tell us to hold back - not to be impetuous, nor yet to wait too long. A missile linked with a sucking-fish can demonstrate this for you: the fish is slow, but arrows fly fast when they leave the shooter’s hand.

Notes:

1.  ‘linked with a sucking fish’. The sucking-fish (echeneis or remora) was a creature believed by the ancients to have the power of slowing the course of ships to which it attached itself. See Pliny, Natural History 32.1.2-6. He describes it as about six inches long and like a slug. See also [A34a050].


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  • Maturity (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51FF511(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Swiftness, Speed; 'Agilità', 'Celerità', 'Velocità' (Ripa) (+ symbolical representation of concept) [51M11(+3)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Swiftness, Speed; 'Agilità', 'Celerità', 'Velocità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51M11(+4):51MM11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Slowness, Tardiness; 'Tardità' (Ripa) (+ symbolical representation of concept) [51MM11(+3)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Carefulness, Diligence; 'Diligenza' (Ripa) [54A2] Search | Browse Iconclass

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PRUDENS MAGIS QUAM
loquax.

Wise head, close mouth.

Emblema. 19.

Noctua Cecropiis[1] insignia praestat Athenis,
Inter aves sani noctua consilii,
Armiferae merito obsequiis sacrata Minervae,
Garrula quo cornix cesserat ante loco.[2]

The owl provides the symbol for Athens, Cecrops’ city, for among the birds the owl is known for wise counsel. Deservedly was it dedicated to the service of weapon-bearing Minerva, in the place vacated by the chattering crow.

Notes:

1.  Cecrops was a legendary wise early king of Athens, a city renowned as a place of learning. See above, Emblem 5 ([A15a005]), line 7.

2.  garrula quo cornix cesserat, ‘vacated by the chattering crow’. The crow was dismissed from Athena’s service for telling tales, and was replaced by the owl. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 2.562-5. This story is represented in Aneau, ‘Periculum in terra, periculum in mari’ ([FANa029]).


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