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DOLUS IN SUOS.[1]

Treachery against one’s own kind.

Emblema. 50.

Altilis allectator anas, & caerula pennis,
Assueta ad dominos ire redire suos.
Congeneres cernens volitare per aera turmas,
Garrit, in illarum se recipitque gregem,
Praetensa incautas donec sub retia ducat:
Obstrepitant captae, conscia at ipsa silet.
Perfida cognato se sanguine polluit ales,
Officiosa aliis, exitiosa suis.[2]

The well-fed decoy duck with its green-blue wings is trained to go out and return to its masters. When it sees squadrons of its relations flying through the air, it quacks and joins itself to the flock, until it can draw them, off their guard, into the outspread nets. When caught they raise a protesting clamour, but she, knowing what she has done, keeps silence. The treacherous bird defiles itself with related blood, servile to others, deadly to its own kind.

Notes:

1. For this emblem the picturae for Emblems 47 and 50 have been printed one on top of the other. The Iconclass description has been done on the basis of the 1550 edition from which the engravings appear to be derived.

2. Cf. Aesop, Fables, 282, where the decoy birds are pigeons.


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Section: DESLOYAULTE. View all emblems in this section.

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Mesdisance.

Sur le tombeau d’Archiloc,[1] Guespes sont,
Qui signe vray de malle houche [=bouche] font.

Archiloc, Pote Graec Iambic, en ses escriptz arm
de mesdisance, represenre [=represente] tous hommes mesdisans
de parolle, ou d’escript, au reste bien faire inurti-
les [=inutiles] , telles que sont les Guespes, qui en grand bruyt
murmurantes, picquent tresaigrement, & ne font
miel, ne cire.

Notes:

1. Archilochus was an eighth-century BC poet, author of much (now fragmentary) verse, including satire. This last was considered in antiquity to be excessively abusive and violent. See Horace, Ars Poetica, 79; also Erasmus, Adagia, 60 (Irritare crabrones).


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    • insects: wasp (+ animals used symbolically) [25F711(WASP)(+1)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • grave, tomb [4.20E+32] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • Calumny, Detraction; 'Biasimo vitioso', 'Calunnia', 'Detrattione', 'Maledicenza' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [57BB25(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • male persons from classical history (with NAME) representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(ARCHILOCHUS)3] Search | Browse Iconclass

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