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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I4v p136]

Tempestiva prosunt.

The seasonable is useful.

Errico Memmico.[1]

Exuvium Thirus deponit quolibet anno,
Induitur pellem mox iterumque novam.
Hunc si persequeris, qua se solet exuere hora,
Pellis, non manibus praeda petita venit.
Atque ita frustratus longas remeabis ad aedes,
Bestia theriacis nulla venena dabit.
Utile qui sequitur, discernat tempora, causas,
Anni mille negant, hora quod una tulit.
Quidque suum poscit tempus, sunt munera Veris,
Autumni, atque hyemis, fit vicibusque calor.
Colchica Ver, Aestas segetes, Autumne racemos
Das, urensque typhas Bruma regignit aquis.

A tirus [sort of snake] sloughs off its skin each year, and then a little later puts on another. If you pursue this animal at the time it is accustomed to lay it off, you will hold in your hands the skin, not the animal you hunted. And when you return to your big home, deceived like this, the animal will give no poison at all for antidotal purposes. He who pursues something useful, should distinguish between time and cause. A thousand years may deny what one hour has brought. Everything calls for its proper time; Spring, Autumn and Winter have their merit, and in its turn it becomes warm. Spring, you bring the meadow saffron; you, Summer, the crops, Autumn, you give grapes, and searing Winter replenishes the reeds with water.


1.  Henri de Mesmes, civil servant, humanist and numismaticist, from a major Parisian family of legislators and diplomats.

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