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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G2r p99]

Desidia.

Idleness.

EMBLEMA LXXX.

Desidet in modio[1] Essaeus, speculator & astra,
Subtus & accensam contegit igne facem.[2]
Segnities specie recti velata cucullo,
Non se non alios utilitate iuvat.[3]

The Theorist sits idly on the bushel-box and looks up at the stars, and underneath he covers up the flaming torch . Idleness, making a show of virtue, its head covered with a cowl, does no good to itself or anyone else.

Notes:

1.  Desidet in modio, ‘sits idly on the bushel-box’. See next emblem.

2.  accensam contegit igne facem: ‘covers up the flaming torch’. Cf. Matthew 5:15, ‘Neque accendunt lucernam et ponunt eam sub modio’ (nor do men light a candle and put it under a bushel).

3.  Cf. Erasmus, Adagia, 1452, ‘Nec sibi nec aliis utilis’.


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Lasciveté.

LXXII.

Je ne voy point pourquoy la marthe subeline[1]
De mignarde mollesse aux humains soit le signe.
Est-ce pource qu’elle est de soy voluptueuse?
Ou pource qu’elle rend la femme plus pompeuse?
Le Sarmatique rat civette on veut nommer,[2]
Mais le musc Arabic se fait fort renommer.[3]

Commentaires.

Tout parfum sent la luxure, & est de mauvais
presage, principalement à l’endroict des femmes. Cel-
le là est de bonne odeur, qui n’en a point du tout.
Le musc, & semblables parfums font voir que ceux
qui en usent ont le coeur mol, & addonné à luxure.
Ce qui s’appelle rat Sarmatic, les autres l’appellent
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P3v p230] chat. Or & le chat & le rat sont animaux fort lu-
xurieux.

Notes:

1.  zibeline, ‘civet cat’, one source of musk, an ingredient in many perfumes.

2.  Sarmatia was the region north of the Black Sea.

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


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