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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [V7r f159r]

DOLUS IN SUOS.[1]

Treachery against one’s own kind.

Emblema. 50.

Altilis allectator anas, & caerula pennis,
Assueta ad dominos ire redire suos.
Congeneres cernens volitare per aera turmas,
Garrit, in illarum se recipitque gregem,
Praetensa incautas donec sub retia ducat:
Obstrepitant captae, conscia at ipsa silet.
Perfida cognato se sanguine polluit ales,
Officiosa aliis, exitiosa suis.[2]

The well-fed decoy duck with its green-blue wings is trained to go out and return to its masters. When it sees squadrons of its relations flying through the air, it quacks and joins itself to the flock, until it can draw them, off their guard, into the outspread nets. When caught they raise a protesting clamour, but she, knowing what she has done, keeps silence. The treacherous bird defiles itself with related blood, servile to others, deadly to its own kind.

Notes:

1.  For this emblem the picturae for Emblems 47 and 50 have been printed one on top of the other. The Iconclass description has been done on the basis of the 1550 edition from which the engravings appear to be derived.

2.  Cf. Aesop, Fables, 282, where the decoy birds are pigeons.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L6v f73v]

EMBLEMA CXII.

Ei qui semel sua prodegerit, aliena cre-
di non oportere.

Others’ property should not be entrusted to a person who has once squandered his own

Colchidos in gremio nidum quid congeris? eheu
Nescia cur pullos tàm malè credis avis?
Dira parens Medaea suos saevissima natos
Perdidit, & speras parcat ut illa tuis?[1]

Why do you build your nest in the bosom of the woman from Colchis? Alas, ignorant bird, why do you entrust your nestlings so mistakenly? That frightful mother, Medea, in her savagery slew her own children. Do you expect her to spare yours?

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [L7r f74r]

Das CXII.

Wer ein mal das sein unnützlich anwirt
dem sol man frembdes nicht ver-
trauwen.

Was machest dein Nest in die Schoß
Der Medea auß Colchidos?
Ey du nit wol liebs Vögelein
Vertrauwest deine junge klein
Medea das unbarmhertzig Weib
Hat umbbracht so auß irem Leib
Geborn ir eigne Kinder thon
Meinstu daß sie der deinr verschon?

Notes:

1.  This is based on Anthologia graeca 9.346, a much-translated epigram, on the subject of a swallow that built her nest on a representation of Medea. Colchidos, ‘of the woman from Colchis’, refers to Medea, from Colchis on the Black Sea, who slew her children by Jason, leader of the Argonauts, to avenge his unfaithfulness. See further Emblem 89 ([A67a089]).


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  • birds (+ animals nesting; making nests, lodges, webs, etc.) [25F3(+4712)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Squandering, Extravagance, Prodigality, Waste; 'Prodigalità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [55C11(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Misplaced Trust, False Confidence, 'Pax Falsa'; 'Speranza fallace' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [56D29(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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