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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G3v p102]

Mignardise.

Probleme.

Pourquoy dit on que l’Hermine, ou Musaigne
De mignardise, & delice est enseigne?[1]
Est ce pourtant quelle est chaude en nature,
Et de sa peau donne aulx Dames vesture?
Rat Sarmatie [=Sarmatic] , est Zebelin nommé[2]
Musc Arabic,[3] est parfum renommé.

Par la Musaigne, ou Hermine, & la Mar
tre Sebeline, & le Musc Arabic, de Ci-
vette qui sont bestes chaudes & odoran
tes tant vives en chair, que mortes en
peau, est denotée la delicieuse mignar-
dise, des dames en vestemens, & senteurs.

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

3.  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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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D2v f26v]

    Adversus naturam peccantes.[1]

    Those sinning against nature.

    Turpe quidem factu, sed & est res improba dictu,[2]
    Excipiat si quis choenice ventris onus.
    Mensuram legisque modum hoc excedere sanctae est,
    Quale sit incesto pollui adulterio.[3]

    It is certainly foul as a deed but also a wicked thing to speak of, if someone were to empty the burden of his bowels into a bushel-box. This means exceeding the measure and limit of divine law as it would be defiled by impure adultery.

    Notes:

    1.  With thanks to the commentary supplied on the Memorial website.

    2.  In the 1621 version, factu and dictu are swapped round.

    3.  This emblem is omitted in most editions.


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