Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuta Silentio Merces

Here is today's emblem and distich by Joachim Camerarius, 3:12. In this emblem, Camerarius sets up a parallel between the cranes who supposedly carry stones in their mouths and talkative human beings who should keep quiet in the same way. You can read about the cranes and their ballast, saburra, in Pliny's Natural History, Book 10.

Tuta Silentio Merces
Ne pareant clangore grues lapide ora saburrant;
Obstrue sic linguam, garrule, ne pereas.

Here is the vocabulary:

tutus - safe, secure
silentio - silence
merces - pay, reward, price
ne - so that not, lest
pareo - appear, be visible
clangor - noise, blare, clamor
grus - crane
lapis - stone
os - mouth
saburro - to fill with ballast
obstruo - block up, obstruct
sic - thus, in this way
lingua - tongue
garrulus - talkative, gabby
pereo - perish, be ruined, pass away

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