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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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Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [k5r p153]

In receptatores sicariorum.

Those who harbour cut-throats

XCIIII.

Latronum furumque manus tibi Scaeva[1] per urbem
It comes, & diris cincta cohors gladiis.
Atque ita te mentis generosum prodige censes,
Qud tua complureis allicit olla malos.
En novus Actaeon, qui postqum cornua sumpsit
In praedam canibus se dedit ipse suis.[2]

An evil-minded band of ruffians and thieves accompanies you about the city, a gang of supporters armed with lethal swords. And so, you wastrel, you consider yourself a fine lordly fellow because your cooking pot draws in crowds of scoundrels. - Here’s a fresh Actaeon - he, after he grew his horns, became the prey of his own hunting dogs.

COMMENTARIA.

Actaeon filius Aristei, venationibus pluri-
mum delectabatur, ideoque canes quamplures
domi suae alebat. Cm ver semel post vena-
tionem defatigatus ad fluvium quendam secre-
tum lavandi recreandique gratia sese contulisset,
ibi fortuitu vidit Dianam (venationis deam
castitatis & solitudinis amicam,) nudam se
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [k5v p154] lavantem, quae ob illud indignata statim illum
in cervum transmutavit, cumque domum redi-
re vellet Canibus suis propriis laniatus &
discerptus fuit, ut elegantissim Ovidius lib. 3.
Metamorphoseon. Idemque breviter. lib. 2. de tristibus.

Inscus Actaeon vidit sine veste Dianam:
Praeda suis canibus non minus ille fuit.

Sic etiam nonnulli vel ideo se generosos, li-
berales, & magnanimos putant, qud latro-
nes homicidas, proditores & huius farinae ho
mines fovent, nutriunt, eisque comitibus superb
incedunt: cum hi prodigi potius sint nihilque
aliud qum novum Actaeonem repraesentent.

Notes:

1. Scaeva, ‘evil-minded’. The capital letter suggests that the Latin word could be taken as a proper name in the vocative case, i.e addressing one Scaeva.

2. For the story of Actaeon turned into a stag and killed by his own hounds, see Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.138ff. Similarly, the hangers-on will destroy the one who has fed them.


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