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GRATIAM REFERENDAM.

Show gratitude.

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Ario 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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In avaros, vel quibus melior conditio
ab extraneis offertur.[1]

On the avaricious; or being treated better by strangers.

Delphini insidens vada caerula sulcat Arion[2],
Hocque aures mulcet, fraenat & ora sono.
Qum sit avari hominis, non tam mens dira ferarum est,
Quique viris rapimur, piscibus eripimur.

Astride a dolphin, Arion cleaves the dark blue waves, and with this song charms the creature’s ears and muzzles its mouth: “The mind of wild beasts is not so savage as that of greedy man. We who are savaged by men are saved by fish”.

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De ceulx qui ont bon heur
par estrangiers.

Lon gectoit Arion en mer,
Qui tenant sa Harpe, supplie
Quil joue, avant que en eaue pasmer:
Il chet sa chanson accomplye.
Mais leaue de poissons remplye,
Preste ung Daulphin, qui le supporte:
Ainsi la beste ayde desplye,
Contre le mal que lhomme apporte.

Notes:

1. The first Wechel edition in 1534 had a different woodcut.

2. 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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