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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  [F3v p86]

Ire.

Du fier Lyon la queuë est dicte alce,[1]
D’ond il se bat, quand il est courroucé,
Quand la cholere, & le fiel amer monte,
Fureur s’esmeut que raison point ne dompte.

Ire faict oublyer raison, & ainsi transmue l’hom-
me en beste furieuse qui se nuyct à elle mesme.

Notes:

1.  The Greek word ἀλκαία was supposedly derived from ἀλκή ‘strength’ (see emblem 3, [FALb003]). The Etymologicum Magnum, an ancient Greek lexicon, defines ἀλκαία as ‘properly the tail of the lion, because it urges him on to strength (ἀλκή)’. Pliny, Natural History, 8.16.49, describes how the lion’s tail lashes with increasing fury and spurs him on. See also Aelian, De natura animalium, 5.39.


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