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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [c6r p43]

Obdurandum adversus

Stand firm against pressure


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.


Palma arbor est frondibus perpetuò vi-
rentibus, & inter caeteras constantissima, eoque
contra pondus insurgat, adeoque ut quanto
vehementius prematur tanto magis sursum
sese incurvans onus elevet, huic praestanti suae
virtuti, accedunt fructus quos fert suavissimi
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [c6v p44]& pretiosi dactyli qui in deliciis habentur
Plinius lib. 13. cap. 4. & lib. 16. cap. 42. Aulus Gel-
lib. 3. cap. 6. Dabatur etiam olim palma in
praemium victoriae, ideo fortè quia proprium
eius ligni est ut urgentibus & deprimentibus
resistat, (uti magnanimus miles) hinc pal-
mam ferre pro victoria proverbialiter dici-
tur. Erasmus in Chiliadibus. Sic etiam hi qui genersi
firmi, infractique erunt mentis (ut in palmite
virtus) digna & emerita ferent praemia, (ut
illa fructus).


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. A similar image is used in La Perriere, Morosophie, no. 83 ([FLPb083]).

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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  • bearing fruit [25G(+34)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Constancy, Tenacity; 'Costanza', 'Tenacit�' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [53A21(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
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  • Reward, 'Praemium'; 'Premio', 'Remuneratione' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [55A12(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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