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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I1r f52r]

EMBLEMA LXXVII

Pudicitia.

Chastity

Porphirio domini si incaestet in aedibus uxor
Despondetque animum, praeque dolore perit.
Abdita in arcanis naturae est causa, sit index
Syncerae 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.

Das LXXVII.

Keuschheit.

So die Frauw im hauß ir Ehr bricht
Daß ir Mann nicht weist und nicht sicht
Der purpur Vogel also schnell
Vor leid er vergeth und stirbt grell
Die ursach aber ist allein
Verborgen in der Natur gheim
Dieser Vogel ein gewiß zeichen geit
Der rein unbefleckten keuschheit.

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

    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D4v p56]

    VITIA.

    Vices.

    In victoriam dolo partam.

    On victory won by guile

    Aiacis tumulum lachrymis ego perluo virtus.
    Heu misera albentes dilacerata comas.
    Scilicet hoc restabat adhuc, ut iudice Graeco[1]
    Vincerer: & causa stet potiore dolus.[2]

    I, Virtue, bedew with tears the tomb of Ajax, tearing, alas, in my grief my whitening hairs. This was all it needed - that I should be worsted with a Greek as judge, and that guile should appear to have the better cause.

    Notes:

    1.  The Greek assembly awarded the arms of the dead Achilles to the cunning and eloquent Ulysses, not the brave and straight-forward Ajax. For Ajax’ subsequent suicide, see [A50a028].

    2.  See Anthologia graeca 7.145.


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