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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n1v p194]

Cavendum à meretricibus.

Beware of whores

XVI.

Sole satae Circes tam magna potentia fertur,
Verterit ut multos in nova monstra viros.
Testis equus domitor Picus,[1] tum Scylla biformis,[2]
Atque Ithaci postquam vina bibere sues.[3]
Indicat illustri meretricem nomine Circe, [4]
Et rationem animi perdere, quisquis amat.

So great, we are told, was the power of Circe, daughter of the Sun, that she turned many persons into new monstrous shapes. A witness to this is Picus, tamer of horses, and Scylla with her double form, and the Ithacans who became pigs after drinking the wine. Circe with her famous name indicates a whore and shows that any man who loves such a one loses his reason.

Notes:

1.  Picus, an Italian king, a breeder of horses, turned into a woodpecker by Circe. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 14.320ff.

2.  Scylla was transformed into a figure that was half girl, half barking dogs. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 14.51ff. Cf. Emblem 68 ([A50a068]).

3.  Ithacans: See Homer, Odyssey, 10.229ff. for the story of Ulysses’ sailors (from the island of Ithaca), who were turned into pigs by Circe with a magic potion of wine.

4.  Indicat...meretricem: ‘indicates a whore’. See Anthologia Graeca, 10.50 for this rationalisation of the Circe story.


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M4r p183]

    Les coquus.

    XIX.

    Pourquoy appelle-on les laboureurs coquus?[1]
    Pource que par son chant le coquu tant & plus
    Convainq les laboureurs de leur faineantise,
    Quand la main de bonne heure à leur vigne ils n’ont mise.
    De ce mot de coquu abuse le vulgaire,
    Nommant ainsi celuy dont la femme adultere.

    Commentaires.

    Le coquu commence à chanter au renouveau, &
    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M4v p184] par son chant fait le proces aux paresseux. Car ceux
    qui se sont rostis les genoux aupres du feu tout le long
    de l’hyver, se treuvent avoir beaucoup de besoigne
    sur les bras, quand le Printemps est arrivé. Notam-
    ment les laboureurs, lors qu’ils n’ont ny poué, ny pro-
    vigné, ny clos, durant l’hyver. Pour ce qui concerne le
    commun usage en ce qu’il applique ce mot de coqus
    à ceux qui souffrent les adulteres venir baiser leurs
    femmes, il en va tout au rebours: car le coquu ne per-
    met pas qu’on vienne pondre en son nid: au contrai-
    re, ou il pond au nid d’autruy, ou bien il y porte ses
    oeufs.

    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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