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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [o1v p210]

Philautia.

Self-satisfaction.

LXX [=71] .

Quòd nimium tua sorma [=forma] tibi Narcisse placebat,
In florem, & noti est versa stuporis olus.[1]
Ingenii est marcor, cladesque philautia, doctos
Quae pessum plures datque deditque viros,
Qui veterum abiecta methodo, nova dogmata quaerunt
Nilque suas praeter tradere phantasias.

Because your beauty gave you too much satisfaction, Narcissus, it was turned both into a flower and into a plant of acknowledged insensibility. Self-satisfaction is the rot and destruction of the mind. Learned men in plenty it has ruined, and ruins still, men who cast off the method of teachers of old and aim to pass on new doctrines, nothing more than their own imaginings.

Notes:

1.  For the story of Narcissus, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 3.344ff. On the flower, see Pliny, Natural History, 21.75.128: “there are two kinds of narcissus... The leafy one ... makes the head thick and is called narcissus from narce (‘numbness’), not from the boy in the story.” (cf. ‘narcotic’).


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P3r p229]

    Lasciveté.

    LXXII.

    Je ne voy point pourquoy la marthe subeline[1]
    De mignarde mollesse aux humains soit le signe.
    Est-ce pource qu’elle est de soy voluptueuse?
    Ou pource qu’elle rend la femme plus pompeuse?
    Le Sarmatique rat civette on veut nommer,[2]
    Mais le musc Arabic se fait fort renommer.[3]

    Commentaires.

    Tout parfum sent la luxure, & est de mauvais
    presage, principalement à l’endroict des femmes. Cel-
    le là est de bonne odeur, qui n’en a point du tout.
    Le musc, & semblables parfums font voir que ceux
    qui en usent ont le coeur mol, & addonné à luxure.
    Ce qui s’appelle rat Sarmatic, les autres l’appellent
    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P3v p230] chat. Or & le chat & le rat sont animaux fort lu-
    xurieux.

    Notes:

    1.  zibeline, ‘civet cat’, one source of musk, an ingredient in many perfumes.

    2.  Sarmatia was the region north of the Black Sea.

    3.  The words ‘mouse’ and ‘musk’ are connected, from the mouse-shaped sac of the male animals which produce musk. Some plants have a musky smell. Arabia was famous for plants which produced aromatic gums (e.g. incense and nard).


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