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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q4v f124v]

OBDURANDUM ADVERSUS
urgentia.

Stand firm against pressure.

Emblema. 36.

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.

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  [D3r p53]

In adulari nescientem.

Unable to flatter.

EMBLEMA XXXV.

Scire cupis dominos toties cur Thessalis ora[1]
Mutet, & ut varios quaerat habere duces?
Nescit adulari, cuiquamve obtrudere palpum[2]:
Regia quem morem Principis omnis habet.
Sed veluti ingenuus sonipes, dorso excutit omnem,
Qui moderari ipsum nesciat Hippocomon[3].
Nec saevire tamen domino fas: ultio sola est,
Dura ferum ut iubeat ferre lupata magis.[4]

Do you want to know why the land of Thessaly changes its overlords so often, how it comes about that it looks for different leaders? - It does not know how to flatter, or how to stroke anyone the right way, the behaviour every prince’s court displays. Like a noble stallion, it throws from its back every horseman who does not know how to control it. Nor may the master treat the horse savagely: his only course of action is to make the creature wear a harsher bit with jagged teeth.

Notes:

1.  Variant reading: Insubris ora, ‘land of the Insubres’, i.e. the plain of Milan, Alciato’s home area. Various Gallic tribes, including the Insubres, inhabited this region in the Classical period. Cf. [A91a002], and see Alciato, Historia Mediolanensis col.6.

2.  ‘stroke...the right way’. See Erasmus, Adagia 2527, Obtrudere palpum.

3.  ‘horseman, groom’. See Plato, Politicus 261d for the image of the ruler as supervisor of a stud of horses.

4.  ‘a harsher bit with jagged teeth’. A jagged-toothed bit was used on intractable horses, and also in breaking-in. See Erasmus, Parabolae p.136: the horse despises a smooth bit.


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  • virtues of the ruler [44B10] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • family of a ruler, and court [44B15] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Strength, Power; 'Fortezza', 'Fortezza d'Animo e di corpo', 'Fortezza del corpo congiunta con la generositą dell'animo', 'Fortezza & valore del corpo congiunto con la prudenza & virtł del animo', 'Forza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54A7(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Sincerity; 'Puritą et Sinceritą d'animo', 'Sinceritą' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57A612(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Flattery; 'Adulatione' (Ripa) [57AA6121] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Revenge, Requital, Retaliation; 'Vendetta' (Ripa) [57AA741] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Praise, Approbation, Approval; 'Lode' (Ripa) [57B1] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(THESSALY)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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