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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [C5r]

MENTEM NON FORMAM
plus pollere.

Intelligence matters, not beauty

Ingressa vulpes in Choragi pergulam,
Fabre expolitum invenit humanum caput.
Sic eleganter fabricatum, ut spiritus
Solum deesset, caeteris vivesceret,
Id illa cum sumpsisset in manus ait,
Hoc[1] quale caput est, sed cerebrum non habet.[2]

A fox, entering the store-room of a theatrical producer, found an actor’s mask, skilfully shaped, so finely fashioned that the spirit alone was missing, in all else it seemed alive. Taking it up, the fox addressed it - What a head is this, but it has no brain!

Notes:

1.  Textual variant: O.

2.  See Phaedrus, Fables 1.7 (also in iambic senarii); Aesop, Fables 43.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G6v p108]

In facilč ą virtute desciscentes.

Easily deflected from the right course

XLIX.

Parva velut limax Remora spreto[1] impete venti,
Remorumque, ratem sistere sola potest.
Sic quosdam ingenio & virtute ad sydera vectos,
Detinet in medio tramite causa levis.
Anxia lis veluti est, vel qui meretricius ardor
Egregiis iuvenes sevocat ą studiis.[2]

Just as the little slug, the remora, scorning the impetus of wind and oars, can by itself stop a ship from moving, so some trivial reason holds back in mid-course people who through intellect and ability are on their way to the stars: for example, a worrying law-suit, or that desire for whores which entices young men away from their good studies.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G7r p109]

A ceulx qui facilement laissent
vertus.

XLIX.

Il est des gens, dont la nature
Est si noble, heureuse, & puissante,
Que s’ilz suyvoient leur adventure,
Ilz auroient vers tout bon heur sente:
Peu de cas retient leur entente,
Com Remora grand nef retient.
Ainsi amours, proces, pour rente,
L’estude a vifz espritz detient.
Aultrement.
Aulcuns vigoureux d’esperit
Se arrestent a petit de chose,
Ce pendant leur temps se perit,
Aux amours, proces, noise enclose:
Ilz laissent loix, vers latins, prose,
Pour satisfaire a leur facon.
C’est comme la nef qui repose,
Par Remora petit poisson.

Notes:

1.  Textual variant: spreto Remora.

2.  [A42a052] notes, Cf. Erasmus, Parabolae pp.231, 253.


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