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Fictus amicus.[1]

The false friend.

Cur mihi blandiris vulpina veste sodalis?
Quid toties priscam fingis amicitiam?
Odisti dudum, nil credo, dextera fallit,
Et didicit caudam flectere laeva manus.
In sylvis aequ non latro terret opacis,
Qum simulata fides, subdolae & insidiae.
Qui me persequitur, vulgoque minatur in armis,
Munio me contr, cingor & ense latus.
Sed quos caecum odium vexat, nec aperta voluntas,
Vix magna effugias sedulitate malum.

Friend in the fox-suit, why do you cuddle me with blandishments? Why do you so often fake the actions of old friendship? You started hating long ago. I believe nothing: your right hand of friendship is a traitor, and the left has taught you to turn tail. No robber in dark forests is as fearsome as false friendship and wily ambushes. Whoever follows me, and threatens all around in arms, I arm myself against him, and buckle on my sword. But those who are tortured by hidden hatred, and whose resolve is not apparent, their evil you will hardly avoid, even with the greatest effort.


1. In Sambucus’ 1569 edition, this image accompanies the motto ‘Animis sub vulpe latentes’.

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