Fuga ad Salices

(A). An affectation or pretence of denial; as, when Cæsar thrice refused the crown in the Lupercal. A “nolo episcopari.” The allusion is to—

Malo me Galatea petit, lasciva puella,
Et fugit ad salices, et se cupit ante videri.

Virgil: Ecloga, iii. 64, 65.

“Cranmer was not prepared for so great and sudden an elevation. Under pretence that the king's affairs still required his presence abroad, he tarried six months longer, in the hope that Henry might consign the crosier to some other hand. There was no affectation in this—no fuga ad salices. Ambition is made of sterner stuff than the spirit of Cranmer.” —Blunt: Reformation in England, 123.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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