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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D1r p49]


Είξας νικῶν, sive victrix animi aequitas.

Winning by yielding, or the fairness of spirit in victory.

Ad Victorem Giselinum.[1]

Vis Boreae obnixas violento turbine sternit
Ornos: Arundo infracta eandem despuit.
Fit victor patiens animus cedendo furori:
Insiste, Victor, hanc viam & re, & nomine.

The force of the North Wind flattens the rowans, that put up a struggle, with a violent hurricane: the feeble reed despises the same force. The spirit that will win the day is the one that is patient in yielding to an onslaught: Take this course, Victor both in deed and in name.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I3r p133]

Ut fulminis, ita & procellae eadem est ferè na
tura & vis, ut validissima quaeque ac renitentia
sternant, evertant, dissipent. Idem est livoris inge
nium. Contrà arundinem contumacem adversus
saevientium nimborum impetus, domitricemque
ruentis caeli videmus, nec aliis armis, quàm pa-
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I3v p134]tientia quadam tutam. Neque verò alia est aequi-tatis[2] animi ratio, quae invicto robore despuit ac
perferendo invidiam ceteraque mala superat,
gloriae immortalis quaestu opulentissima; ubi teme
ritas succumbit, quàm laudem invenit, saepius.
Qui vitae honestati innititur fortiter patiens, is et
tutè vivit, & de inimicis triumphat seriò, talique
fortuna etiam adiumento esse solet, quod Cornifi-
dixit.[3] Picturae ratio obvia est, ubi ventus ali
quis tumidis buccis inspirans, ingentes arbores et
confringit medias, & revulsas radicitus profli-
gat, illaeso perstante arundineto.

The natural force [lit. nature and force] of a gale is pretty much exactly the same as that of a thunderbolt, in that they can both lay waste, overturn and scatter anything at all, however strong and stubborn. The same applies to envy. By contrast we see the reed obstinately holding out against the power of wild storms [lit. clouds], and overcoming the onrush of the wind [lit. skies], its salvation lying in no other protection than [p.134] a modicum of patience. It is just the same in the case of a just and balanced spirit, which cares not for invincible strength and defeats malice and other evils by patient endurance, and achieves great riches by the acquisition of undying glory - whereas boldness more often than not comes a cropper (though we sing its praise when it does). If you put your trust in the integrity of your life, and brave endurance, you will survive, safe and sound, and will triumph over your enemies in earnest, and in such straits as these, it may even regularly be of assistance, what Cornificius said. The way the picture should be drawn is straightforward: in it, one of the winds is blowing with puffed-out cheeks, breaking up the huge trees in its way, pulling them up, uprooting them and flinging them around; but a patch of reeds survives unscathed.


1.  Victor Giselinus, a friend of Junius’, associated with the Plantin Press as a proof-reader.

2.  Aequus has the meaning of ‘just, fair’ and also of ‘calm, even-tempered’, ‘rational’ (cf. our ‘equanimity’).

3.  Junius does not list this author in his bibliography. Presumably he is referring to Q. Cornificius, the rhetorician and grammarian, a friend of Cicero’s, to whom Quintilian attributed the Rhetorica ad C. Herennium (the author of which is otherwise known as ‘Auctor ad Herennium’).

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