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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Z3v f179v]

CUCULI.

Cuckoos

Emblema. 60.

Ruricolas, agreste genus, plerique cuculos
Cur vocitent, quaenam prodita causa fuit?[1]
Vere novo cantat Coccyx, quo tempore vites
Qui non absolvit, iure notatur[2] iners.
Fert ova in nidos alienos, qualiter ille
Cui thalamum prodit uxor adulterio.

Whatever explanation has been given for the custom of calling country-dwellers, that rustic race, ‘cuckoos’? - When spring is new, the cuckoo calls, and anyone who has not pruned his vines by this time is rightly blamed for being idle. The cuckoo desposits its eggs in other birds’ nests, like the man on whose account a wife betrays her marriage bed in adultery.

Notes:

1.  See Pliny, Natural History, 18.66.249, and Horace, Satires, 1.7.31, for the use of the word ‘cuckoo’ as term of mockery for the idle man who has failed to finish pruning his vines before the cuckoo is heard calling.

2.  In some editions, vocatur for notatur.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H5v p122]

Impossible.

LXXXIIII.

Il est un milier de negoces,
Où lon ne peut remede mettre.
Et quoy qu’ardemment t’en courrouces,
Si n’en feras tu ja le maistre.
Parquoy si tu quiers hors blasme estre,
Ne prens peine à blanchir un More.
En la nuict ne peut clarté naistre.
Un vice inveteré demeure.[1]

commentaires.

Tous les Ethiopiens sont noirs de leur naissance: car
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H6r p123] ceste region là est si prochaine du Soleil, qu’elle en
est comme bruslee. Partant, quelque peine qu’on
prenne à les laver, on perd son temps: car ils demeu-
rent tousjours noirs. Nul aussi ne sçauroit esclairer
les tenebres de la nuict: il est impossible. Cest embleme est
escrit contre ceux qui s’opiniastrent à vouloir faire
des choses qui ne sont pas en leur puissance.

Notes:

1.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 11.428. See also Aesop, Fables 11; Erasmus, Adagia 350, Aethiopen lavas.


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  • (personifications of) 'Vanitas', the vanity of human life; Fragilit� humana, Fugacit� delle grandezze & della gloria mondana, Meditatione della morte, Opera vana, Piacere vano, Vana gloria, Vanit� (Ripa) [11R5] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • day and night [23R] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Impossibility (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52BB42(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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