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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N5v p202]

Le saule.


Quand Homere parloit du saule au fruict perdu,[1]
Les hommes il taxoit, qui l’eau Clitoire ont beu.[2]


Pline dit que le saule perd incontinent son fruict,
avant qu’il soit venu à maturité. Le fruict du saule,
beu avec vin, rend sterile la personne, esteint la
semence generative, & rebousche l’appetit de l’em-
brassement. Cest arbre est le symbole des hydropotes.
Le lac Clitoire est en Arcadie. Ceux qui ont beu de
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [N6r p203] son eau, ne se soucient plus du vin. On ne fait pas
grand cas des Hydropotes, ou beuveurs d’eau. De là
est venu le proverbe, Beuvant de l’eau, tu ne feras
rien qui vaille.


1.  Homer, Odyssey, 10.510. See Pliny, Natural History, 16.46.110: the willow drops its seed before it is absolutely ripe, and for that reason was called by Homer ‘seed-loser’.

2.  The waters of Lake Clitorius in Arcadia generated an aversion to wine in those who drank of them. See Pliny, Natural History, 31.13.16; Ovid, Metamorphoses, 15.322ff. The combination of the two images here may symbolise minds and characters gone to the bad and producing nothing of value. See Erasmus, Parabolae, p. 268: “As willow-seed, shed before it ripens, is not only itself barren but when used as a drug causes barrenness in women by preventing conception, so the words of those who teach before they have truly learnt sense not only make them no better in themselves, but corrupt their audience and render it unteachable”; and p. 230: “Those who have drunk of the Clitorian Lake develop a distaste for wine, and those who have once tasted poetry reject the counsels of philosophy, or the other way round. Equally, those who gorge themselves with fashionable pleasures reject those satisfactions which are honourable and genuine.”

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    • trees: willow (+ plants used symbolically) [25G3(WILLOW)(+1)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • sobriety; 'Sobriet�', 'Astinenza' (Ripa) [31B59] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • Non-procreation (+ emblematical representation of concept) [58AA2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(CLITOR)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • (story of) Homer representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(HOMER)3] Search | Browse Iconclass

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