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Alciato's Book of Emblems

Emblem 83

Against those who fall easily from virtue

Small as a snail, the remora is able by itself to stop a ship. It's disdainful of the force of wind and oars. So some petty circumstance can check in mid-career certain men who are, by genius and by virtue, headed for the stars. Likewise a tormenting law-suit, or a passion for a prostitute, draws youths from their distinguished studies.