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The Italians’ Alliances.

Hanc cytharam à lembi, que [=quae] forma halieutica[2] fertur
Vendicat & propriam musa latina sibi.
Accipe Dux, placeat nostrum hoc tibi tempore munus,
Quo nova cum sociis foedera inire paras.
Difficile est, nisi docto homini tot tendere chordas,
Unaque si fuerit non bene tenta fides.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [A3r]Ruptave (quod facile est) perit omnis gratia conchae,
Illaeque praecellens cantus ineptus erit.
Sic Itali coëunt proceres in foedera, concors,
Nil est quod timeas si tibi constet amor.
At si aliquis deciscat (uti plerunque videmus)
In nihilum illa omnis solvitur harmonia.

This lute, which from its boat shape is called “halieutica”, my Latin Muse now claims for her own service. Receive it, O Duke. May this offering of mine be pleasing to you at this moment when you are preparing to enter into fresh agreements with your allies. It is difficult, except for a man of skill, to tune so many strings, and if one string is out of tune or broken, which so easily happens, all the music of the instrument is lost and its lovely song disjointed. In like manner the leaders of Italy are now forming alliances. There is nothing for you to fear if affection lasts for you and stays in concord. But if any one should slide away, which we often see, that harmony is all dissolved into nothing.


1.  In later editions the title is merely Foedera

2.  A Greek word meaning ‘fishing’ (boat).

Iconclass Keywords

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Relating to the text:

  • Accord, Accordance [54E3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Agreement, Unity; 'Concordia', 'Concordia insuperabile', 'Concordia militare', 'Concordia di Pace', 'Unione civile' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54E31(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (with NAME) [61D(ITALY)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Harmony, Regularity (+ emblematical representation of concept) [51D2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • historical person (with NAME) other representations to which the NAME of a historical person may be attached (with NAME of person) [61B2(SFORZA, Massimiliano)3] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • inspiration of the painter [48C75110] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • the artist and his muse (in general) [48B101] Search | Browse Iconclass

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