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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 ara 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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Dives indoctus.

The stupid rich man

LXXXVII.

Tranat aquas residens pretioso in vellere Phryxus,
Et flavam impavidus per mare scandit ovem.
Ecquid id est? vir sensu hebeti, sed divite gaza.
Coniugis aut servi quem regit arbitrium.[1]

Phrixus traverses the waters astride the precious fleece and fearlessly rides the golden sheep across the sea. - Whatever can this be? - A man dull of sense, but with rich coffers, whom the whim of wife or servant rules.

COMMENTARIA.

Phrixus filius fuit Athamantis Regis The-
barum
ex priore uxore, qui Novercae[2] insidias
timens, cum sorore sua Helle, fugam para-
vit, acceptoque patre Ariete aurei velleris eius
dorsum ambo ascenderunt, ut Pontum mare
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [i8v p144] illud tranarent. Helle ver magnitudine ma-
ris perterrita decidit & submersa est, unde
mare illud ab ea, etiam hodie Hellespontus
dicitur. Ille ver in Colchos tandem perve-
nit, ibique Arietem immolavit, ac aureum eius
vellus in Templo suspendit, &c. Valerius Flaccus
in argonauticis. Est autem factum tale, viri qui-
dem divitis & opulenti, sed intellectu & ra-
tione carentis, qui arbitrio voluntateve uxo-
ris aut servi regitur. Quid autem re vera fue-
rit aureum vellus enarrat Antonius Sabelli-
cus
: Aeneidum [=Enneadum] 1. libro 5.

Notes:

1. For the story of Phrixus and the Golden Fleece see Ovid, Fastii 3.851ff.

2. The step-mother in the tale of Phrixus and Helle was called Ino. She later turned into a sea goddess called Leucothea.


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