Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Hugsvinnsmál, 42 [Vol. 7, 386]

[All]: Lat. parallel: (Dist. I, 26) Qui simulat verbis nec corde est fidus amicus, / tu qui fac simile: sic ars deluditur acte ‘Whoever dissimulates in words and is not a faithful friend at heart, treat him the same way: thus artifice is deluded by action’. The advice to be sceptical if somebody praises you too much is quite common in ON-Icel. poetry. Usually the adj. flár is used to denote untruthful or false speech. Cf. for instance Anon Mhkv 28III. Parallels in phrasing occur in Hávm 45 (NK, 24): Ef þú átt annan, | þannz þú illa trúir, | vildu af hánom þó gott geta: | fagrt scaltu við þann mæla, | en flátt hyggia | oc gialda lausung við lygi ‘if you’ve another, whom you don’t trust, but from whom you want nothing but good, speak fairly to him but think falsely and repay treachery with lies’ (Larrington 1996, 20). Cf. also the phrasing in Sól 19, although the st. deals with a different topic.

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