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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G1v p98]

Nullus dolus contra casum.

Cunning is nothing against chance.

Ad Stephanum Gentilem, nobilem Genuensem.[1]

Quis non miretur[2] nova quae spectacula nuper
Danubio sunt visa soluto?
Bruma gelu pingues latč compresserat agros,
Plaustra vehebanturque per Istrum.[3]
Accidit ad Regenspurgum, quae libera floret
Imperio urbs, ut vulpis oberrans
Per glaciem & ludens concreto tergore aquarum
Deciperetur, & uda veniret.
Fortč etenim frigus, medio dum Phoebus in axe
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G2r p99] Versat equos, dissolvitur uną,
In partesque abiit glacies, vulpecula praeceps
Corripitur, frustoque residet.
Atque ea dum metuit liquidum contingere flumen,
Hoc iter insolitumque natare,
Per medium fertur glacie alveum, donec anhela
Vendobonae capiatur in oris.
Iam dic, quae casus contra vigilantia prosit,
Quis dolus caveatque futura.

Who will not be filled with wonder at the sights that not long ago were seen on the freed Danube? The depth of winter had oppressed the fields far and wide with frost, and carts rolled across the Ister. It happened near Regensburg, a city flourishing under free rule, that a fox, wandering over the ice and playing on the frozen back of the waters was misled, and came out wet. For perhaps the cold, while Phoebus turned his horses in the middle axis, was dissolved together, and the ice fell apart into sections, and the little fox was suddenly seized, and sat down on a floe. Down the middle of the river he is borne on his piece of ice, until he is captured near Vienna, gasping for breath. Tell me, now: what is the use of watchfulness against chance? What cleverness can avoid the future blows of Fortune?


1.  Stefano Gentile, Genoese banker living in Antwerp, known as a patron of the arts and artists (such as the composer Lassus), and a friend of Sambucus when he was there.

2.  Corrected from the Errata (from miratur).

3.  Ancient name for the Danube.

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