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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L11v f107v]

Cavendum à meretricibus.

Beware of whores

Emblema lxxvi.

Sole satae Circes tam magna potentia fertur,
Verterit ut multos in nova monstra viros.
Testis equûm domitor Picus,[1] tum Scylla biformis,[2]
Atque Ithaci postquam vina bibêre sues.[3]
Indicat illustri meretricem nomine Circe,[4]
Et rationem animi perdere, quisquis amat.

So great, we are told, was the power of Circe, daughter of the Sun, that she turned many persons into new monstrous shapes. A witness to this is Picus, tamer of horses, and Scylla with her double form, and the Ithacans who became pigs after drinking the wine. Circe with her famous name indicates a whore and shows that any man who loves such a one loses his reason.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L12r f108r]

SCribit Homerus Odyssea κ. socios aliquot Ulyssis
virga percussos à Circe, epotóque Pharmaco ve-
nefico, statim in porcos esse transformatos. Quo
figmento adumbratur meretricis, & libidinis foedae
typus. ea enim suis praestigiis humanan illas cogi-
tationes, & naturales motiones (quae ὁρμαὶ Graecis
dicuntur) in homine tumultuantes excitat impoten-
ter, mutátque in deterius: ex quo sit ut homo, divi-
nae naturae particeps, in belluam degeneret. Per U-
lyssem, qui nullo veneficio, à pristino mentis statu
dimoveri potest, constantem animi ducem rationem
intelligimus.

Qu’il se faut donner garde des putains.

Circé fille au Soleil, fut de si grand’ puissance
Et force en art Magic que par experience
Elle peut transformer maints hommes en Lyons,
En Chiens, & en Pourceaux, selon leurs actions.
Le dompteur de chevaux Picus cela demonstre,
Et Scylla aussi bien muee en double monstre:
Les hommes d’Ulysses sentirent promptement,
Ayans beu le poison, un tout tel changement.
L’art d’une grand putain Circé nous fait entendre:
Car qui au fol amour son coeur & sens va rendre,
Il perd le jugement jusques au dernier bout,
Tant abbruti est il en s’oubliant du tout.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L12v f108v]

HOmere escrit au 10. de l’Odyssee, que
les compagnons d’Ulysse touschez de
la verge charmee par Circé, & ayans beu le
breuvage empoisonné, furent incontinent
transformez en porceaux. Par laquelle fable
est figuré le pourtraict d’une paillarde, & de
l’amour infame. car icelle par ses ruses &
chatouillemens trompeurs provoque des-
bordément les pensees humaines & mouve-
mens naturels qui tumultuent en l’homme,
& change tout en pis. Dont vient que l’hom-
me participant à la nature divine,vient à
degenerer en nature de beste. Par cest Ulys
se, qui ne peust estre destourné de son bon
propos au moyen d’aucun charme, nous en-
tendons la raison, qui est la gouvernante, &
ferme conduitte de l’esprit.

Notes:

1.  Picus, an Italian king, a breeder of horses, turned into a woodpecker by Circe. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 14.320ff.

2.  Scylla was transformed into a figure that was half girl, half barking dogs. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 14.51ff. Cf. Emblem 68 ([FALc068]).

3.  Ithacans: See Homer, Odyssey, 10.229ff. for the story of Ulysses’ sailors (from the island of Ithaca), who were turned into pigs by Circe with a magic potion of wine.

4.  Indicat...meretricem: ‘indicates a whore’. See Anthologia Graeca, 10.50 for this rationalisation of the Circe story.


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  • beasts of prey, predatory animals (with NAME) [25F23(LION)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • courtesan, hetaera [33C521] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Danger; 'Pericolo' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54DD51(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • enchantment ~ potion or herbs [13D4] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • mis-shapen animals; monsters [25F9] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • monsters of mixed human and animal shape; 'Mostri' (Ripa) [31A45] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Picus changed into a woodpecker: Circe changes Picus into a woodpecker because, faithful to his wife Canens, he spurns the love of the goddess (Ovid, Metamorphoses XIV 386) (+ variant) [97D28(+0)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Reason versus Amorous Lust; 'Combattimento della ragione con l'appetito' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52B513(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Scylla changed into a sea-monster: Circe, to whom Glaucus has applied for aid in his love suit, changes Scylla the sea-nymph into a sea-monster (Ovid, Metamorphoses XIV 59) (+ variant) [97EE3(+0)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • whore, prostitute [33C520] Search | Browse Iconclass

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