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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L7v p174]

Los nobles y generosos.

OTTAVA ACEPHALA.

Acostumbrò a enlaçar las vestiduras
De Athenas la çigarra con la hevilla.
Y en Roma del çapato las echuras
Pareçian la Luna à maravilla.[1]
Mas tal vestido solo aquel se dava
Cuyo linage de nobles manava.[2]

Notes:

1.  The Arcadians wore crescent-shaped ornaments because they believed themselves to be the first men on earth and older than the moon. See Ovid, Fasti, 2.290. Evander, who came from Arcadia, was the founder of the primitive settlement on the Palatine hill which preceded Romulus’ Rome. See Vergil, Aeneid, 8.; Plutarch, Quaestiones Romanae,76.

2.  i.e. members of the inner circle of noble Roman families claiming descent from the first senators (patres), one hundred in number, appointed by Romulus, founder and first ruler of Rome. These patrician families wore a distinctive black boot with a crescent-shaped ornament. Those members who achieved high political office wore similar red boots, calcei mullei, so called because their colour was like that of a mullet (according to Isidore, Etymologiae (Origines), 19.34.4 and 10).


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K3r f87r]

    Cuculi.

    Cuckoos

    Emblema lxi [=lx] .

    Ruricolas, agreste genus, plerique cucullos
    Cur vocitent, quaenam prodita caussa fuit?[1]
    Vere novo cantat Coccyx, quo tempore vites
    Qui non absolvit, iure vocatur 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.

    CUculi nomen abusivè in eos traductum est, quo-
    rum impudicae sunt uxores: cùm ii contrà cucu-
    li potius vocari debeant, qui uxores alienas adul-
    terant, spectato nimirum avis ingenio quae sua ova
    in nidis alienis ponere soleat.

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K3v f87v]

    Les Coucuz.

    JE ne sçaurois penser à quoy
    De vray, ny comment, ny pourquoy
    On nomme Coucus és villages
    Aucuns aggrestes personnages.
    Quand le Coucu chante au printemps,
    Et que quelque homme oisif à temps
    N’a taillé en tout point sa vigne,
    Noté est de ce nom insigne.
    Le Coucu pond au nid d’autruy:
    Et tout de mesme faict celuy
    Qui s’accouple à femme mal sage,
    Faulsant l’honneur du mariage.

    LE nom du Coucu est abusivement em-
    ployé à l’endroit des maris qui ont des
    femmes impudiques: veu qu’au contraire
    ceux doivent à meilleure raison estre nom-
    mez Coucuz, qui abusent les femmes d’au-
    truy, eu esgard au naturel de l’oiseau qui
    coustumierement pond ses oeufs aux nid des
    autres.

    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.


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