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EMBLEMA CXIII.

Dolos [=Dolus] in suos.

Treachery against one’s own kind.

Altilis allectator anas, & caerula pennis
Adsueta ad dominos ire redire suos.
Congeneres cernens volitare per aëra turmas,
Garrit: in illarum se recipitque gregem,
Praetensa incautas donec sub retia ducat.
Obstrepitant captae, conscia at ipsa silet,
Perfida cognato se sanguine polluit ales
Officiosa aliis, exitiosa suis.[1]

The well-fed decoy duck with its green-blue wings is trained to go out and return to its masters. When it sees squadrons of its relations flying through the air, it quacks and joins itself to the flock, until it can draw them, off their guard, into the outspread nets. When caught they raise a protesting clamour, but she, knowing what she has done, keeps silence. The treacherous bird defiles itself with related blood, servile to others, deadly to its own kind.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L8r f75r]

Das CXIII.

Betrug gegen den seinen.

Der Antrech mit schön Federn ziert
Der die wilden Endten verfürt
Ist abgerichtet und gewent
Das er von und zu seim Herrn lendt
Wann er sicht fliegen in der höh
Ein hauffen seins gschlechts und art jöh
So lockt ers herzu mit seim gschrey
Und fügt sich undern hauffen frey
Biß daß er sie verführt onbdacht
Und unwissend hat ins Garn bracht
Die also gfangen fladern vil
Er aber weiß, tückt sich schweigt still
Der schalck Vogel sich bflecken thut
Mit seins Gschlechts verwandten Blut
Andern ist er hurtig und nutz
Den seinen aber schad und stutz.

Notes:

1.  Cf. Aesop, Fables, 282, where the decoy birds are pigeons.


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Vespertilio.

The bat

EMBLEMA LXI.

Assumpsisse suum volucri ex Meneide nomen,[1]
Socraticum auctores Chaerephoonta ferunt.[2]
Fusca viro facies, & stridens vocula, tali
Hunc hominem potuit commaculare nota.

Writers tell us that Chaerephon, Socrates’ follower, got his particular name from the winged daughter of Minyas. It was his sallow complexion and squeaky little voice that gave rise to such a slur to sully his reputation.

Notes:

1.  For the transformation of the daughters of Minyas (the founder of the earliest race of Greeks) into bats - for refusing to worship Dionysus - see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 4.389ff.

2.  Chaerophon, a distinguished disciple of Socrates, was nick-named ‘The Bat’ and ‘Boxwood’ for his pale complexion and poor health, supposedly brought on by excessive study. See Aristophanes, Aves, 1564; Philostratus, Vitae sophistarum, 1.482.


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  • study and diversion [49A1] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • studying at night [49B4411] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Minyas' daughters changed into bats: having aroused Bacchus' anger by weaving instead of worshipping him, the daughters of Minyas, Leuconoe (Leucippe), Alcithoe and Arsippe, are changed into bats by the god (Ovid, Metamorphoses IV 399) [97CC7] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • male persons from classical history (with NAME) representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(CHAEREPHON)3] Search | Browse Iconclass

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