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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [m7v p190]

In pudoris statuam.

A statue of Modesty

III.

Penelope desponsa sequi cupiebat Ulyssem,
Ni secum Icarius mallet habere pater.[1]
Ille Ithacam, hic offert Spartem manet anxia virgo,
Hinc pater, inde viri mutuus urget amor.
Ergo sedens velat vultus, obnubit ocellos:
Ista verecundi signa pudoris erant.
Queis sibi praelatum Icarius cognovit Ulyssem,
Hocque pudori aram schemate constituit.[2]

When Penelope was betrothed, she wished to go with Ulysses, except that her father Icarius would have preferred to keep her with him. Ulysses offers Ithaca, her father Sparta. The girl is distressed: on opposite sides her father and the mutual love between her and her man make their claims on her. So she sits and covers her face, veils her eyes - those were the signs of seemly modesty. By them Icarius knew that Ulysses was preferred to himself, and he set up an altar to Modesty in this form.

Notes:

1.  Some editions give a variant reading, Ni secus Icarius ..., ‘except that ... Icarius would have preferred to have it otherwise’.

2.  See Pausanias, Periegesis, 3.20.10, for this statue and the story behind it.


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [m8r p191]

    Gratiae.

    The Graces

    VI.

    Tres Charites Veneri assistunt, dominamque sequuntur.
    Hincque voluptates, atque alimenta parant.
    Laetitiam Euphrosyne, speciosum Aglaia nitorem.
    Suadela est Pithus, blandus & ore lepos.[1]
    Cur nudae? mentis quoniam candore venustas
    Constat, & eximia simplicitate placet.
    An quia nihil referunt ingrati atque arcula inanis,[2]
    Est Charitum? qui dat munera, nudus eget.
    Addita cur nuper pedibus talaria? bis dat
    Qui cito dat,[3] minimi gratia tarda pretii est.
    Implicitis ulnis cur vertitur altera? gratus
    Foenerat, huic remanent una abeunte duae.[4]
    Iuppiter iis genitor, coeli de semine divas
    Omnibus acceptas edidit Eurynome.

    The three Graces are attendant on Venus and follow their mistress. So they provide pleasures and pleasure’s nourishment. Euphrosyne brings gladness, Aglaia bright beauty; persuasion belongs to Peitho with winsome charm in speech. Why are they naked? Because loveliness consists in innocence of mind and commends itself by great simplicity. Or is it because the ungrateful make no return and the Graces’ treasure-chest is empty? He who gives gifts is stripped and needy. Why are there wings newly fastened to their feet? He gives twice who gives quickly. A favour granted late is of little value. Why does the second one link arms but turn her back to us? The man who shows gratitude gets more than he lays out; as one goes, two remain for him. Jupiter was their begetter; and Eurynome bore them, the divine offspring of the heavenly seed, goddesses loved by all mankind.

    Notes:

    1.  The Latin words laetitia (gladness), nitor (beauty) and suadela (persuasion) are translations of the Greek names of the Graces, Euphrosyne, Aglaia and Peitho.

    2.  arcula inanis, ‘treasure-chest is empty’. See Erasmus, Adagia, 1812 (Simonidis cantilenae).

    3.  bis dat / Qui cito dat ‘He gives twice who gives quickly’. See Erasmus, Adagia, 791 (Bis dat qui cito dat).

    4.  Lines 9-12 express common sentiments, found e.g. in Seneca, De Beneficiis, passim. For the Graces especially, see Ibid., 1.3-4. See also Erasmus, Adagia, 1650 (Nudae Gratiae), where Erasmus associates the Graces with both friendship and ingratitude.


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