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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [G3v p102]

Mignardise.

Probleme.

Pourquoy dit on que l’Hermine, ou Musaigne
De mignardise, & delice est enseigne?[1]
Est ce pourtant quelle est chaude en nature,
Et de sa peau donne aulx Dames vesture?
Rat Sarmatie [=Sarmatic] , est Zebelin nommé[2]
Musc Arabic,[3] est parfum renommé.

Par la Musaigne, ou Hermine, & la Mar
tre Sebeline, & le Musc Arabic, de Ci-
vette qui sont bestes chaudes & odoran
tes tant vives en chair, que mortes en
peau, est denotée la delicieuse mignar-
dise, des dames en vestemens, & senteurs.

Notes:

1.  The white mouse was a proverbial example of the effeminate and the promiscuous. See the Suda s.v. mus, and Apostolius, Proverbs, 11,87, who also reports its sexual proclivities.

2.  ‘civet cat’, one source of musk, an ingredient in many perfumes. Sarmatia was the region north of the Black Sea.

3.  The words ‘mouse’ and ‘musk’ (late Latin muscus) are connected, from the mouse-shaped sac of the male animals which produce musk. Some plants have a musky smell. Muscus also means ‘moss’ - Arabia was famous for plants which produced aromatic gums (e.g. incense and nard).


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P2v p228]

    Amour de soymesme.

    LXXI.

    Pourquoy te plaisoit tant, ô Narcisse, ta forme,
    Puis qu’en fleur tout soudain il faut qu’on te transforme?[1]
    Souvent l’amour de soy les gents doctes transporte,
    Nul bien il ne leur fait, ains blasme il leur apporte:
    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P3r p229] Car au lieu d’insister en la methode ancienne,
    Chacun embrasse & suit la fantasie sienne.

    Commentaires.

    Nous sommes appris par cest embleme, que l’a-
    mour de soymesme est tresdangereux. Ceste philautie
    nous rend enflés, envieux, audacieux, faineants, &
    nous entretient en nostre ignorance. Celuy qui se louë
    soymesme, n’est pas bien veu de ses voisins. Ce vice
    sied mal en un chacun, mais principalement aux
    nourrissons des Muses.

    Notes:

    1.  For the story of Narcissus, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 3.344ff. On the flower, see Pliny, Natural History, 21.75.128: “there are two kinds of narcissus... The leafy one ... makes the head thick and is called narcissus from narce (‘numbness’), not from the boy in the story.” (cf. ‘narcotic’).


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