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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [E8r p79]

Cuculi.

Cuckoos

EMBLEMA LX.

Ruricolas agreste genus plerique cucullos
Cur vocitent, quaenam prodita caussa fuit?[1]
Vere novo cantat Coccyx, quo tempore vites
Qui non absolvit, iure vocatur iners.
Fert ova in nidos alienos, qualiter ille
Cui thalamum prodit uxor adulterio.

Whatever explanation has been given for the custom of calling country-dwellers, that rustic race, ‘cuckoos’? - When spring is new, the cuckoo calls, and anyone who has not pruned his vines by this time is rightly blamed for being idle. The cuckoo desposits its eggs in other birds’ nests, like the man on whose account a wife betrays her marriage bed in adultery.

Notes:

1.  See Pliny, Natural History, 18.66.249, and Horace, Satires, 1.7.31, for the use of the word ‘cuckoo’ as term of mockery for the idle man who has failed to finish pruning his vines before the cuckoo is heard calling.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q6v-f113v]

EMBLEMA CLXXXI [=180] .

In fraudulentos.

Deceivers

Parva lacerta, atris stellatus corpora guttis
Stellio,[1] qui latebras, & cava busta colit.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q7r f114r]Invidiae, pravique doli fert symbola pictus.
Heu nimium nuribus cognita zelotypis.
Nam turpi obtegitur faciem, lentigine quisquis,
Sit quibus immersus Stellio, vina bibat.[2]
Hinc vindicta frequens decepta pellice vino,
Quam formae amisso flore relinquit amans.

The little lizard, called the ‘starred’ gecko from the dark star-shaped marks sprinkled all over its body, a creature that lurks in holes and hollow tombs, is pictured here and presents symbols of resentment and wicked deception, known only too well to jealous wives. For anyone who drinks wine in which a spotted gecko has been soaked comes out in ugly spots all over the face. This is often a way of taking revenge - the husband’s fancy woman is tricked with wine, and, when the flower of her beauty is gone, her lover abandons her.

Das CLXXXI [=180] .

Von den trügenhafftigen arglistigen .[3]

Das Edexen Gschlecht so ist klein
Und gesprecklet an der Haut sein
Darnach mans auch zu nennen pflegt
Und in die höler sich versteckt
Ist ein bedeutnuß abgebildt
Der verbunst, deß trug und lists milt
Fürwar den Hünen ist bekannt
Die uber ir man eyffrn im Welschlandt
Dann welches trincken thut den wein
Darinn diese würm erseufft sein
Diß angsicht wirt voll flecken gsetzt
Gantz ungstalt und die schön verletzt
Offt reichen sich mit diesem Wein
Die in nagen an irem beyn
Daß der Buler die dirne haßt
Weil sie ir schöne gstalt verlaßt.

Notes:

1.  stellio, ‘the ‘starred’ gecko’. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 5.461 for the explanation of the name stellio.

2.  Nam turpi...vina bibat, ‘anyone who drinks wine...all over the face’. See Pliny, Natural History, 29.22.73.

3.  The German in certain parts of this emblem is particularly puzzling.


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