Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fide Sed Cui Vide

Here is today's emblem and distich by Gabriel Rollenhagen, Book 1.72, with an English rendering by George Wither. Here is Wither's commentary on the emblem:
That Seeing-Palme, (endowed with an Eye,
And handling of a Heart) may signifie
What warie Watchfulnesse, observe we must,
Before we venter on a weightie Trust:
And, that, to keepe our kindnesse from abuse,
There is of double-diligence, an use.
This would give a new meaning to the handshake, if it were possible for the hand to see with certainty who could and could not be trusted with certainty! Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out just what that lion is doing in the background of the emblem. There's also a fox there, or perhaps a wolf or a dog. In any case, I'm guessing the man should not put any trust in such wild beasts.

Fide Sed Cui Vide
Est oculata manus nostra: et quod cernere non est,
Id se pro certo credere posse negat.

Give Credit; but, first, well beware
Before thou trust them, who they are.

Here is the vocabulary:

fido - trust, have confidence
sed - but
qui - who, which, that
video - see
sum - be, exist
oculatus - with eyes
manus - hand
noster - our
et - and
cerno - discern, see
non - not, no
is - he/she/it
se - reflexive pronoun
pro - for, one behalf of, as
certus - sure, certain
credo - believe, trust
possum - can, be able
nego - say no, deny, refuse

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