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Section: PUDICITIA (Chastity). View all emblems in this section.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D4r p55]

PUDICITIA.

Chastity

Porphirio domini si incestet 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.

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  [D5v p58]

Dolus in suos.

Treachery against one’s own kind.

Altilis allectator anas, & caerula pennis
Adsueta ad dominos ire redire suos.
Congeneres cernens volitare per aėra 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.[1]

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


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