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Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[Bb5r p393]

Ocni effigies, de iis qui meretricibus do-
nant, quod in bonos usus verti debeat.[1]

A representation of Ocnus. On those who give to whores what should be turned to good use.

EMBLEMA XCII.

Impiger haud cessat funem contexere sparto,
Humidaque artifici iungere fila manu.[2]
Link to an image of this pageLink to an image of this page †[Bb5v p394]Sed quantum multis vix torquet strenuus horis,
Protinus ignavi ventris asella vorat.
Foemina, iners animal, facili congesta marito
Lucra rapit, mundum prodigit inque suum.

Ocnus never stops busily plaiting rope from broom, joining the damp fibres with skilful hand. But what he manages to spin with great effort in many hours the she-ass, a beast with greedy guts, continuously consumes. - Woman, an idle creature, grabs the accumulated savings from her complaisant husband and squanders it on her own adornment.

Notes:

1.The painting by Polygnotus depicting this scene is described in Pausanias, Periegesis 29.2. See also Propertius, Elegies 4.3.21; Erasmus, Adagia 383, Contorquet piger funiculum. Ocnus, idleness personified, was a proverbial example of wasted effort.

2.Variant reading, artificis ... manu, ‘with a craftman’s hand’.

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