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EMBLEMA XXVIII.

Concordiae symbolum.

A symbol of Concord

Cornicum mira inter se concordia vitae est,
Mutua statque illis intemerata fides.[1][2]
Hinc volucres haec sceptra gerunt, quod scilicet omnes
Consensu populi stantque caduntque Duces.
Quem si de medio tollas discordia praeceps
Advolat, & secum regia fata trahit.

Marvellous is the unanimity between crows as they live together, and their mutual loyalty stands firm and unsullied! For this reason the sceptre carries these birds. Assuredly all leaders stand and fall by the consent of the people. If you take away consent, tumultuous discord comes flying in and drags kings down in its wake.

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Das XXVIII.

Zeichen der einigkeit.

Gantz einig under in fürwar
Leben die Krähen wunderbar
Halten einander auch darzu
Treuw und liebe in guter ruh
Daher die Vögel halten than
Den Scepter dmit zu zeigen an
Das auß der Underthon einigkeit
Den Herrn entstandt freudt oder leidt
So du aber die selb hebst auff
So kompt die zwitracht schnell zuhauff
Und nimbt mit ir das Regiment
Hinweg, und macht damit ein endt.

Notes:

1.  See Aelian, De natura animalium 3.9. on the mutual love and loyalty of crows.

2.  Variant reading, Inque vicem nunquam contaminata fides, ‘and their loyalty to each other, never dishonoured’.


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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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