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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n4v p200]

Abies.

The fir tree

XXXIIII.

Apta fretis abies in montibus editur altis:
Est & in adversis maxima commoditas.[1]

The fir tree that is fit to sail the sea grows high up on the hills. Even in hard circumstances, there is great advantage to be found.

Notes:

1.  This is because it grows strong by withstanding the gales and harsh weather. Contrast Anthologia Graeca, 9.30ff, 105, and the much-translated 376 for an opposing view of the fir tree: “how can the fir, storm-tossed while growing on land, resist the gales at sea?” 9.31 was translated by Alciato (Selecta epigrammata, p. 98).


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    Section: LES ARBRES. View all emblems in this section.

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [R%r p265]

    Le Morier.[1]

    Le Morier sage, & en Grec mal nommé[2]
    Ne fleurit point que L’hyver consommé.[3]

    Consommé, & finy L’hyver, lors le
    Morier, apres les aultres grandz arbres,
    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [R5v p266] commence à jecter ses fleurs, & germes, hors
    les dangiers des froidures, & gelées, Ainsi
    faict le sage, qui ne s’advance point en tous
    affaires, avant qu’il soit temps, & ne hazarde
    rien, à dangier, mais au plus seur. Parquoy,
    il est nommé en Grec Moros par sens cont-
    raire, Car Μωρος en Grec est à dire fol: &
    il est sage, qui ne gecte point sa fleur, & son
    fruyct, que tout le peril d’hyver ne soit con
    sommé.

    Notes:

    1.  The woodcut here is a fairly close, laterally inverted, copy of that used in the 1549 French edition.

    2.  Reference to a supposed ‘etymology by opposites’: Latin morus ‘mulberry’ was equated with Greek μῶρος ‘fool’, but the tree was considered wise: see note 2.

    3.  See Pliny, Natural History, 16.25.102: ‘the mulberry is the last of domesticated trees to shoot, and only does so when the frosts are over; for that reason it is called the wisest of trees’.


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