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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E1v p66]

Pudicitia.

Chastity

EMBLEMA XLVII.

Porphyrio, domini si incestet in aedibus uxor,
Despondetque animum, praeque dolore perit.
Abdita in arcanis naturae est caussa: sit index
Sincerae 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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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [k2r p147]

Ferè simile ex Theocrito.[1]

Something more or less the same from Theocritus

XC

Alveolis dum mella legit, percussit Amorem
Furacem mala apes, & summis spicula liquit
In digitis, tumido gemit at puer anxius ungue,
Et quatit errabundus humum, Venerique dolorem
Indicat, & graviter queritur quòd apicula parvum
Ipsa inferre animal tam noxia vulnera possit.
Cui ridens Venus, Hanc imitaris tu quoque dixit
Nate feram, qui das tot noxia vulnera parvus.

While he was taking honey from the hives, a vicious bee stung thieving Amor, and left its sting in the end of his finger. The boy in distress cried out as his finger-end swelled up. He ran about, stamping his foot, showed his hurt to Venus, and complained bitterly that a little bee, that tiny creature, could inflict such grievous wounds. Venus smiled at him and said, ‘You are like this creature, my son; small as you are you deal many a grievous wound’.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [k2v p148]

COMMENTARIA.

Amor parvulus puer ad apes fortè accesse-
rat, mites eas aviculas esse credens, mella fura-
turus, mox autem ab una in summo digitulo,
acerbissimo ictu laesus, ille dolorem graviter fe-
rens, gemit, decurrit, furit: ad Matrem denique plo
rans revertitur, inflatum digitum ostendens deque
acerbissimo ictu aviculae adeò pusillae con-
queritur. Cui Venus subridens respondit, hanc
etiam tu fili mi aviculam imitaris, qui parvulus
es, noxia tamen & crudelia vulnera homini-
bus infers. Amor etsi parvus videatur ingen-
tia tamen haud rarò mala excitat.

Notes:

1.  3rd-century BC bucolic poet, who may or may not have wrriten the Idylls (19, The Honey Stealer), of which this is a fairly close translation, in dactylic hexameters, as in the Greek original.


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