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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 [S1r p273]

Le Sapin.

Le Sapin croist es mons, & sert en leau [=l’eau] .
En lieu contraire, est souvent profict beau.[1]

Le sapin croissant es haultes montaignes, descend
es basses rivieres: pour faire plus grand profict. Car
pour estre resineux, & legier, il est propre faire
basteaux. Ainsi a plusieurs est expedient changer de
lieu, & se mettre de plus hault, en plus bas pour meil-
leur usage.

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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Morus.

The mulberry

Serior at Morus nunquam nisi frigore lapso
Germinat;[1] & sapiens nomina falsa[2] gerit.

On the other hand, the mulberry is late, and never until the frost is past does it shoot; though wise, it bears a false name.

Notes:

1. 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”.

2. nomina falsa, ‘a false name’, reference to a supposed ‘etymology by opposites’: Latin morus ‘mulberry’ was equated with Greek μῶρος ‘fool’, but the tree was considered wise: see note 1.



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