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IN FIDEM UXORIAM.

On faithfulness in a wife

Ecce puella viro quae dextra iungitur, ecce
Ut sedet? aut catulus lusitat ante pedes?
Link to an image of this pageá Link to an image of this page á[D2v]Haec fidei est species Veneris, quam si educat ardor,
Malorum in laeva non male ramus erit.
Poma etenim Veneris sunt, sic echeneida[1] vicit
Hippomanes, petiit sic Galathea[2] virum.

See here a girl, her right hand clasping her husband’s. See how she sits, and a puppy plays at her feet. This is a representation of faithfulness, and if Venus’s ardour nurtures it, a branch bearing apples may well be seen in on the left. For apples are Venus’s fruit; by them Hippomenes defeated Schoeneus’s daughter; with them Galatea sought her man.

Notes:

1. áScheneida, ‘Schoeneus’ daugher’, i.e. Atalanta. See Ovid, Metamorphoses 10.560ff. for the story: Atalanta would marry none but the man who could beat her at running. Hippomenes tricked her into losing the vital race by throwing down in turn three golden apples given him by Venus.

2. áGalatea, a girl who throws apples at the man she fancies: Vergil, Eclogues 3.64-5.


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