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Ars deluditur arte.

Trickery foiled by a trick.

Insidias Nili Varus[1] dum tendit inanes,
Et metuit praedam se fore rana, cavet.
Quippe statim accurrens, ubi copia arundinis extat,
Dentibus accisam praeripit, ore tenet.
Sic prensam Varo praedam transversa tuetur
Cannula, sic inhians luditur arte fames.
Haud igitur veterem repetit limosa querelam,
Decipit & magnos infima turba viros.

While the Varus of the Nile stretches out his empty ambush, and the frog fears that it will fall prey, it takes precaution; for it hastens up where there is a thick stand of rushes, bites one through, tears it off, and holds it in its mouth. In this way a sideways little reed protects the prey caught by the Varus. So gasping hunger is tricked by a trick. In this way the slimy reed recreates no ancient complaint and the dregs of the people trick great men.


1. This word is not in Lewis & Short, but appears to be a kind of catfish. The French edition calls it ‘le vare’; Cotgrave has an entry ‘var’, which is equivalent to ‘bar’, or the barbel, a whiskered fish.

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