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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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PAREM DELINQUENTIS ET
suasoris culpam esse.

The one who urges wrongdoing is as guilty as the one who does the wrong

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Praeconem lituo perflantem classica victrix,
Captivum in tetro carcere turma tenet.
Quîs ille excusat, quod nec sit strenuus armis,
Ullius aut saevo leserit ense latus.
Hinc[1] illi quin ipse magis timidissime peccas,
Qui clangore alios aeris in arma cies.[2]

The victorious troop holds captive in a foul dungeon a herald, who sounds military commands on his trumpet. To them he makes his excuses - he is no strong fighting man and has wounded no one’s side with a cruel sword. They reply: You abject coward, you are in fact more guilty, for you with the sound of your trumpet stir up others to fight.

Notes:

1.  Later editions have Huic.

2.  This is a version of Aesop, Fables 325.


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