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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G2v p100]

Les inviolables du traict
de Cupido.

Apostrophe.

A’fin qu’amour ne te vincque, & te trompe,
Et ton esprit nulle femme corrompe
L’oyseau Bacchus mettras (si tu me crois)
Droit en un rond, tellement qu’une croix[1]
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G3r p101] Du beq’, de l’aele, & de la queüe applicque
Tel remede est contre tout art magicque.
Jason ne peut (en portant telles armes)
Estre vaincu par Medée, & ses charmes.[2]

L’oyseau Bacchus est Bacul,
ou Bellequeüe, signifiant mou vement luxurieux, lequel ainsi
estendu en croix en une sphe
re, donne à entendre qu’il fault:
(comme dit saint Paul) cruci-
fier ses concupiscences en ce monde.

Notes:

1.  These lines describe the rhombos, a device used in casting love-spells. The bird usually employed was a wryneck, associated with Bacchus, possibly because of its dappled markings. (Cf. the dappled fawns associated with the god.) The wagtail seems to have been confused with the wryneck in folk belief.

2.  Jason was helped in the tasks imposed on him by the king of Phasis, by the sorceress Medea, daughter of the king. Instructed by Venus, Jason used the rhombos to cause Medea to fall in love with him and so use her spells to help, not harm, him. See Pindar, Pythian Odes 4.216ff.


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  • Protection; 'Custodia', 'Difesa contra nimici, malefici & venefici', 'Difesa contra pericoli', 'Riparo da i tradimenti' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54E42(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • (personifications and symbolic representations of) Love; 'Amore (secondo Seneca)' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [56F2(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • attributes of Cupid (with NAME) [92D18(DART)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • (story of) Jason [95A(JASON)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E7r f39r]

Lascivia.

Wantonness

Delitias, & molliciem 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 arabs.[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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