Take Heed and Sow Your Seed

Erasmus, Adagia 141:

“Don’t hesitate to sow.”

A rustic adage, but not an unworthy one, which could be made to refer to this volume: don’t wait to sow. By this we are warned not to avoid doing any of those things from which nothing at all of effort but much indeed of benefit can spring forth, if not for the present, then certainly later, and if not for ourselves, then certainly for our offspring. Columella writes in his twelfth book of De Re Rustica: “Therefore this common saying about the setting of trees has been taken up by rustic people: don’t hesitate to sow.” For building sometimes drains its profits, business depends on fortune and often turns out badly for not a few people. In the same way, one thing or another is either a disadvantage or a danger to this person or that person, but much benefit is taken from planting trees and yet it does not depend on great outlay of effort.” Vergil expressed the same sentiment in the second book of his Georgicswith the addition of a figure: “And we hesitate still to sow and expend our care?”

Serere ne dubites

Rusticanum adagium, sed non indignum, quod in hoc volumen referatur: Serere ne dubites. Quo monemur, ne quando pigeat eiusmodi rerum aliquid moliri, a quibus nihil omnino dispendii, plurimum emolumenti possit proficisci, si non in praesens, certe in posterum, si non nobis, at saltem posteris. Columella libro De re rustica duodecimo: Quare vulgare illud de arborum positione rusticis usurpatum: Serere ne dubites. Nam aedificatio nonnunquam exhaurit fructus, negotiatio pendet a fortuna neque paucis male cessit. Eundem ad modum ex aliis aliud atque aliud est vel incommodi vel periculi, sed ex arboribus conserendis plurimum capitur commoditatis neque magno tamen impendio constat. Eandem sententiam Vergilius addita figura sic extulit libro Georgicôn secundo: Et dubitamus adhuc serere atque impendere curam ?

2 thoughts on “Take Heed and Sow Your Seed

    1. Yeah, especially here in Texas. It would be better framed:

      “Consider yours and your partner’s health
      Tug it hard & tug it yourself.”

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