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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E1v p66]

Pudicitia.

Chastity

EMBLEMA XLVII.

Porphyrio, domini si incestet in aedibus uxor,
Despondetque animum, praeque dolore perit.
Abdita in arcanis naturae est caussa: sit index
Sincerae haec volucris certa pudicitiae.[1]

If the wife in its master’s house is unfaithful, the moorhen despairs and dies of grief. The reason lies hidden in the secrets of nature. This bird may serve as a sure sign of untarnished chastity.

Notes:

1.  For this information about the porphyrio (purple gallinule, a kind of moorhen) see Aelian, De Natura animalium, 3.42; Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 9,388C: the purple gallinule ... when it is domesticated, ... keeps a sharp eye on married women and is so affected if the wife commits adultery, that it ends its life by strangling and so gives warning to its master.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E2v p68]

In fraudulentos.

Deceivers

EMBLEMA XLIX.

Parva lacerta, atris stellatus corpora guttis
Stellio,[1] qui latebras, & cava busta colit,
Invidiae, pravique doli fert symbola pictus.
Heu nimium nuribus cognita Zelotypis!
Nam turpi obtegitur faciem lentigine quisquis,
Sit quibus immersus stellio, vina bibat.[2]
Hinc vindicta frequens decepta pellice vino,
Quam formae amisso flore relinquit amans.

The little lizard, called the ‘starred’ gecko from the dark star-shaped marks sprinkled all over its body, a creature that lurks in holes and hollow tombs, is pictured here and presents symbols of resentment and wicked deception, known only too well to jealous wives. For anyone who drinks wine in which a spotted gecko has been soaked comes out in ugly spots all over the face. This is often a way of taking revenge - the husband’s fancy woman is tricked with wine, and, when the flower of her beauty is gone, her lover abandons her.

Notes:

1.  stellio, ‘the ‘starred’ gecko’. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 5.461 for the explanation of the name stellio.

2.  Nam turpi...vina bibat, ‘anyone who drinks wine...all over the face’. See Pliny, Natural History, 29.22.73.


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