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GRATIAM REFERENDAM.

Show gratitude.

Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[A4r]

AŽrio insignis pietate Ciconia nido
Investes pullos pignora grata fovet
Taliaque expectat sibi munera mutua reddi,
Auxilio hoc quoties mater egebit anus.
Nec pia spem soboles fallit, sed fessa parentum
Corpora fert humeris prestat & ore cibos.[1]

The stork, famed for its dutiful care, in its airy nest cherishes its featherless chicks, its dear pledges of love. The mother bird expects that the same kind of service will be shown her in return, whenever she needs such help in her old age. Nor does the dutiful brood disappoint this hope, but bears its parents’ weary bodies on its wings and offers food with its beak.

Notes:

1.See Pliny, Natural History 10.32.63: cranes care for their parents’ old age in their turn. See also Aelian, De natura animalium 3.23.


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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[B6v p28]

Obdurandum adversus urgentia.

Stand firm against pressure

Nititur in pondus palma, & consurgit in arcum,
Quo magis & premitur hoc mage tollit onus.[1]
Fert & odoratas bellaria dulcia glandes,[2]
Queis mensas inter primus habetur honos.
I puer, & reptans ramis has collige, mentis
Qui constantis erit, praemia digna feret.

The wood of the palm-tree counteracts a weight and rises up into an arch. The heavier the burden pressing it down, the more it lifts it up. The palm-tree also bears fragrant dates, sweet dainties much valued when served at table. Go, boy, edge your way along the branches and gather them. The man who shows a resolute spirit will receive an appropriate reward.

Notes:

1.The reaction of palm to a heavy weight is mentioned in various ancient sources, e.g. Pliny, Natural History 16.81.223; Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae 3.6. See also Erasmus, Parabolae p.263. It probably refers to a plank of palm-wood, rather than a branch of the living tree. A similar image is used in La Perriere, Morosophie, no. 83 ([FLPb083]).

2.See Erasmus, Parabolae p.241: ‘the palm-tree, having bark with knife-sharp edges, is difficult to climb, but it bears delicious fruit’.


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