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REVERENTIAM IN MATRIMO
NIO REQUIRI .

Respect is required in marriage

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Cum furit in Venerem, pelagi se in littore sistit,
Vipera, & ab stomacho dira venena vomit.
Murenamque ciens ingentia sybila tollit,
At subito amplexus appetit illa viri.[1]
Maxima debetur thalamo reverentia, coniunx,
Alternum debet coniugi & obsequium.

When the viper is sexually aroused, it stations itself on the seashore 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.


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Nec verbo nec facto quenquam
laedendum.

Injure no-one, either by word or deed.

Assequitur, Nemesisque virum vestigia servat,
Continet & cubitum duraque frena manu.
Ne malè quid facias, néve improba verba loquaris:
Et iubet in cunctis rebus adesse modum.[1]

Nemesis follows on and marks the tracks of men. In her hand she holds a measuring rod and harsh bridles. She bids you do nothing wrong, speak no wicked word, and commands that moderation be present in all things.

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Aucun nest a blesser par faict
ou par parolle.

Nemesis suyt les pas des gens,
Tenant son coulde, & une bride:
Ou sont significatz urgens:
Car le frain a droict moyen guyde,
Voulant que ta langue soit vuyde,
De injures & motz de insolance:
Et son bras quelle tient solide,
Defend mal fait & violence.

Notes:

1.  This epigram is based on Anthologia graeca 16.223-4.


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