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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G3v p102]

Mignardise.

PROBLEME.

Pourquoy dict on que l’Hermine, ou Musaigne
De mignardise, & delice est enseigne?[1]
Est ce pourtant quelle est chaulde en nature,
Et de sa peau donne aulx Dames vesture?
Rat Sarmatic, est Zebelin nommé[2]
Musc Arabic,[3] est parfum renommé.

Par la Musaigne, ou Hermine, & la Martre Sebeline,
& le Musc Arabic, de Civette qui sont bestes chaul
des & odorantes tant vives en chair, que mortes en
peau, est denotée la delicieuse mignardise, des dames
en vestemens, & senteurs.

Notes:

1.  The white mouse was a proverbial example of the effeminate and the promiscuous. See the Suda s.v. mus, and Apostolius, Proverbs, 11,87, who also reports its sexual proclivities.

2.  ‘civet cat’, one source of musk, an ingredient in many perfumes. Sarmatia was the region north of the Black Sea.

3.  The words ‘mouse’ and ‘musk’ (late Latin muscus) are connected, from the mouse-shaped sac of the male animals which produce musk. Some plants have a musky smell. Muscus also means ‘moss’ - Arabia was famous for plants which produced aromatic gums (e.g. incense and nard).


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n6r p203]

    Furor, & rabies.

    Fury and madness

    XLIX.

    Ora gerit clypeus rabiosi picta leonis,
    Et scriptum in summo margine carmen habet:
    Hic hominum est terror, cuius possessor Atrida.
    Talia magnanimus signa Agamemno tulit.[1]

    The shield bears the painted face of a raging lion, and inscribed upon the upper margin has a verse: ‘This is the terror of men, and the son of Atreus is its possessor’. Haughty Agamemnon bore this symbolic figure.

    Notes:

    1.  This poem is based on Pausanias, Periegesis, 5.19.4. For the ‘raging lion’. Cf. Emblem 270,‘Ira’ ([A56a270]). For Agamemnon’s savage temper, see e.g. Homer, Iliad, 1.103-4.


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