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Respect is required in marriage

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Cum furit in Venerem, pelagi se in littore sistit,
Vipera, & ab stomacho dira venena vomit.
Murenamque ciens ingentia sybila tollit,
At subito amplexus appetit illa viri.[1]
Maxima debetur thalamo reverentia, coniunx,
Alterum debet coniugi & obsequium.

When the viper is sexually aroused, it stations itself on the seashore and ejects the dread poisons from its gut. To summon the moray eel, it raises a loud hissing, and suddenly she comes to the embrace of her mate. - Great reverence is owed to the marriage bed, and the partners owe each other mutual respect.


1.  For the mating of the viper with the moray eel, see Pliny, Natural History 9.39.76; Aelian, De natura animalium 1.50; 9.66. The viper spits out the poison in order to be gentle and safe for the union.

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