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OBDURANDUM ADVER-
sus 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]
Qui [=Quis] mensas inter primus habetur honos.
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [B3v]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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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [E8v p80]

Non tibi, sed religioni.

Not for you but for religion

XXXV.

Isidis effigiem tardus gestabat asellus,
Pando verenda dorso habens mysteria.
Obvius ergo Deam quisquis reverenter adorat,
Piasque genibus concipit flexis preces.
Ast asinus tantum praestari credit honorem
Sibi, & intumescit admodm superbiens,
Donec eum flagris compescens dixit agaso,
Non es Deus tu aselle, sed Deum vehis.[1]

An ass with dragging feet was carrying an image of Isis, bearing reverend mysteries on its sagging back. So all who met him reverently offered worship to the goddess and recited pious prayers on bended knee. The ass however took it that all this honour was offered to himself, and began to swagger along swollen with pride - until his driver, reducing him with blows, said, ‘You are not god, my little ass, you are carrying god’.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [F1r p81]

Non a toy, mais a religion.

XXXV.

L’asne portoit d’ung sainct la chace:
Et voiant chascun prosterner,
Cuyde que ce pour luy se face:
Si pense ja tout gouverner:
Mais sur ce on le vint bastonner,
En luy disant motz de tel sorte:
Sus baudet, il fault pietonner:
Tu n’es pas sainct, mais tu le porte.

Notes:

1. See Aesop, Fables 266; Erasmus, Adagia 1104, Asinus portans mysteria.


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