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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F6r p91]

Amour de soymesme .

Apostrophe.

Narcis: par trop te plaire en ta beaulté
Mué en fleur, sans sens tu has esté.[1]
Cuyder de soy est, & fut la ruine
De maints savans, Qui laissans la doctrine
Des anciens: aultre voye ont choisie,
Pour n’enseigner rien que leur phantaisie.

Trop cuyder de soy faict laisser le
mieulx des aultres, à la grand per-
te, & confusion de l’oultrecuyde.

Notes:

1.  For the story of Narcissus, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 3.344ff. On the flower, see Pliny, Natural History, 21.75.128: ‘there are two kinds of narcissus... The leafy one ... makes the head thick and is called narcissus from narce (numbness), not from the boy in the story.’ (cf. narcotic).


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E7r f39r]

Lascivia.

Wantonness

Delitias, & molliciem mus creditur albus
Arguere, at ratio non sat aperta mihi est.[1]
An quòd ei natura salax, & multa libido est?
Ornat Romanas an quia pelle nurus?
Sarmaticum murem vocitant plerique zibellum,[2]
Et celebris suavi est unguine muscus arabs.[3]

The white mouse is supposed to represent self-indulgence and licentiousness, but the reason is not very clear to me. Is it because it is highly sexed and has strong sexual appetities? Or because it adorns Roman women with its fur? Many people call the civet-cat the Sarmatian mouse, and famous for its sweet oil is the Arabian musk.

Notes:

1.  The white mouse was a proverbial example of the effeminate and the promiscuous. See the Suda s.v. mus, and Apostolius, Proverbs, 11,87, who also reports its sexual proclivities.

2.  zibellum, ‘civet cat’, one source of musk, an ingredient in many perfumes. Sarmatia was the region north of the Black Sea.

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


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