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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F5v p90]

Impudence deshontée.

Scylla diforme est dessus belle femme:
Dessoubz, de chiens abayans monstre infame,[1]
Les monstres sont Rapt, Avarice, Audace:
Et Scylla est qui n’ha vergoigne en face.

Par Scylla monstre marin, ou roch, ayant face vir-
ginalle, & le bas plein de testes de chiens abayans:
est signifiée la belle forme exterieure d’homme, ou
de femme, qui interieurement ha trois vices
de chien Rapine, Avarice, & Audace effrontée.

Notes:

1.  For Scylla’s half-transformation into barking dogs, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 14.51ff.


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

Lascivia.

Wantonness

LXXI [=72] .

Delicias, & mollitiem mus creditur albus
Arguere, at ratio non sat aperta mihi est.[1]
An quòd ei natura salax, & multa libido est?
Ornat Romanas an quia pelle nurus?
Sarmaticum murem vocitant plerique zibellum,[2]
Et celebris suavi est unguine muscus Arabae.[3]

The white mouse is supposed to represent self-indulgence and licentiousness, but the reason is not very clear to me. Is it because it is highly sexed and has strong sexual appetities? Or because it adorns Roman women with its fur? Many people call the civet-cat the Sarmatian mouse, and famous for its sweet oil is the Arabian musk.

Notes:

1.  The white mouse was a proverbial example of the effeminate and the promiscuous. See the Suda s.v. mus, and Apostolius, Proverbs, 11,87, who also reports its sexual proclivities.

2.  zibellum, ‘civet cat’, one source of musk, an ingredient in many perfumes. Sarmatia was the region north of the Black Sea.

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


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