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Section: PERFIDIA (Treachery). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [D6v p60]

In receptatores sicariorum.

Those who harbour cut-throats

Latronum furumque manus tibi Scaeva[1] per urbem
It comes: & diris cincta cohors gladiis.
Atque ita te mentis generosum prodige censes,
Qud tua complureis allicit olla malos.
En novus Actaeon, qui postqum cornua sumpsit,
In praedam canibus se dedit ipse suis.[2]

An evil-minded band of ruffians and thieves accompanies you about the city, a gang of supporters armed with lethal swords. And so, you wastrel, you consider yourself a fine lordly fellow because your cooking pot draws in crowds of scoundrels. - Here’s a fresh Actaeon - he, after he grew his horns, became the prey of his own hunting dogs.

Notes:

1. Scaeva, ‘evil-minded’. The capital letter suggests that the Latin word could be taken as a proper name in the vocative case, i.e addressing one Scaeva.

2. For the story of Actaeon turned into a stag and killed by his own hounds, see Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.138ff. Similarly, the hangers-on will destroy the one who has fed them.


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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [V7r f159r]

DOLUS IN SUOS.[1]

Treachery against one’s own kind.

Emblema. 50.

Altilis allectator anas, & caerula pennis,
Assueta ad dominos ire redire suos.
Congeneres cernens volitare per aera 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.[2]

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.

Notes:

1. For this emblem the picturae for Emblems 47 and 50 have been printed one on top of the other. The Iconclass description has been done on the basis of the 1550 edition from which the engravings appear to be derived.

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


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