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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G4r p103]

Sapientia insipiens.

Unwise wisdom

Arnoldo Arlenio suo.[1]

For his freind, Arnoldus Arlenius.

À cerebro sensus manant in corporis artus,
Sed tamen exhibiti muneris auctor eget.
Quod movet est expers motus, mirabile dictu,
Vividus & vacua spiritus arce datur.
Haud secus ac cotis ferrum, licèt ipsa secandi
Exors, communit, donat acumen hebes.[2]
Qui sua distribuunt, aliisque cavere videntur,
Cur sapere hos dicas? re sine nomen habent.
Proximus esto tibi, vicinum deinde iuvato:
Sic potes alterna commoditate frui.
Ne cuivis credas: mores Arnolde vetustos
Cum libris frustra quaerimus Orbe levi.

The emotions flow from the brain into the veins of the body, but even so the source lacks the produced gift. What moves is without movement, extraordinary to tell, a living soul is given from an empty heaven. Precisely as the grindstone strengthens the sword, without itself being able to cut, the blunt makes sharp. Why do you call those men wise, who divide up their own things, and seem to be on their guard against others? They are so in name but not in fact. Keep very close to yourself, then help your neighbour, thus you can enjoy each other’s convenience. Do not believe just anyone, Arnold, in vain we seek old morals with books in this fickle world.


1.  Arnaud de Lens (also known as Arnoldus Peraxylus, Arnoldus Monoxylus Arlenius, or Arnoldus van Eyndhouts): philosopher, Hellenist and poet from the Netherlands.

2.  cf. Horace, Ars poetica, 304-308.

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