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Virtute duce.

With Virtue to guide us

Ad Bartholomaeum Marantham.[1]

Naturae caecos qui norunt solvere nodos,
Et caussas quaerunt, cuncta notare solent.
Hi flammam dicunt accensum lumine fumum,
Res etiam expertis saepe probata viris.
Natos in stabulo, obscurisque parentibus ortos
Dic fumum, virtus quos facit Orbe cani.
Hos lux nobilitat, dignis & honoribus auget,
Sic clarent, tenebras qui pepulere domus.

Those who can untie the hidden knots of nature and who search out causes like to mark down everything. These say that fire is smoke kindled by light, a thing often affirmed by expert men. Say that those born in stables, and sprung from obscure parents, are like smoke, whose fame, thanks to Virtue, is sung the world over. The light ennobles them, and increases them with deserved honours: thus they illustriously shine, once they have pushed aside the shadows of the house.


1.  Bartolomeo Maranta, Neapolitan doctor, botanist, and poet, worked as physician for the Duke of Mantua, then built a famous botanical garden in Rome (d. 1571).

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