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EMBLEMA LXXVII

Pudicitia.

Chastity

Porphirio domini si incaestet 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.

Das LXXVII.

Keuschheit.

So die Frauw im hauß ir Ehr bricht
Daß ir Mann nicht weist und nicht sicht
Der purpur Vogel also schnell
Vor leid er vergeth und stirbt grell
Die ursach aber ist allein
Verborgen in der Natur gheim
Dieser Vogel ein gewiß zeichen geit
Der rein unbefleckten keuschheit.

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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    EMBLEMA LXXVI.

    In pudoris statuam.

    A statue of Modesty

    Penelope desponsa sequi cupiebat Ulyssem,
    Ni secum Icarius mallet habere Pater.[1]
    Ille Ithacam, hic offert Sparten, manet anxia virgo.
    Hinc Pater, inde viri mutuus urget amor.
    Ergò 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.

    Das LXXVI.

    Der zucht und scham Bildtnuß.

    Penelope wolt gern die Braut
    Nachziehn Ulyssi dems vertraut
    War, wo lieber bey im nicht hat
    Icarius ir Vatter ghat
    Der bott ir an Sparten sein Reich
    Jenr aber Itacam deßgleich
    Zweiffelhafftig die Jungfrauw wart
    Da sVatters, dort sManns lieb zwang hart
    Derhalben sie sitzend ir gsicht
    Und Augn bedeckt undersich richt
    Das war ein zeichen zu der zeit
    Der reinen züchtigen schamheit
    Daran Icarius verstöndt
    Daß sie Ulyssi bessers göndt
    Und richtet auff der scham gar bäld
    Ein Altar mit diesem Gemäld.

    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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