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Ei qui semel sua prodegerit, aliena credi
non oportere.

Others’ property should not be entrusted to a person who has once squandered his own

Colchidos in gremio nidum quid congeris? eheu
Nescia cur pullos tam malè credis avis.
Dira parens Medaea suos saevissima natos
Perdidit, & speras parcat ut illa tuis?[1]

Why do you build your nest in the bosom of the woman from Colchis? Alas, ignorant bird, why do you entrust your nestlings so mistakenly? That frightful mother, Medea, in her savagery slew her own children. Do you expect her to spare yours?

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A celluy qui a greve les siens, ne
fault que autruy se fye.

De prudence ne es pas muny,
Oyselet je le te veulx dire:
Quand es alle dresse [=dresser] ton nid.
Vers Medee femme pleine de ire.
Lame du corps a son filz tire,
Contre maternelle amitie.
A tes petitz sera bien pire:
Puis que de siens na eu pitie.

Notes:

1.  This is based on Anthologia graeca 9.346, a much-translated epigram, on the subject of a swallow that built her nest on a representation of Medea. Colchidos, ‘of the woman from Colchis’, refers to Medea, from Colchis on the Black Sea, who slew her children by Jason, leader of the Argonauts, to avenge his unfaithfulness. See further [FALa033].


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Relating to the text:

  • Misplaced Trust, False Confidence, 'Pax Falsa'; 'Speranza fallace' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [56D29(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Squandering, Extravagance, Prodigality, Waste; 'Prodigalit�' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [55C11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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