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Section: MATRIMONIUM (Marriage). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[N7v p206]

Reverentiam in matrimonio
requiri.

Respect is required in marriage

Cým furit in Venerem: pelagi se in littore sistit
Vipera: & ab stomacho dira venena vomit.[1]
Muraenamque ciens, ingentia sibila tollit,
At subitÚ amplexus appetit illa viri.[2]
Maxima debetur thalamo reverentia, coniunx
Alternum debet coniugi & obsequium.[3]

When the viper is sexually aroused, it stations itself on the sea-shore and ejects the dread poisons from its gut. To summon the moray eel, it raises a loud hissing, and suddenly she comes to the embrace of her mate. - Great reverence is owed to the marriage bed, and the partners owe each other mutual respect.

Notes:

1.For the mating of the viper with the moray eel, see Pliny, Natural History 9.39.76; Aelian, De natura animalium 1.50; 9.66. The viper spits out the poison in order to be gentle and safe for the union.

2.There is a variant reading, At simul amplexum, ‘but she at the same time desires the embrace ...’.

3.Some editions give a variant reading Aeternum ... obsequium, ‘never-ending respect’.


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