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La statue de Caia Cecilia.

Toute femme pudicque
Doibt estre domesticque,
Non pas aller dehors
Pour mielx monstrer son corps.

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LE roy Tarquin eut une fille saige
Bien entendant au faict de son mesnage
Dans sa maison par si bon ordre & sens,
Par faictz privez honnestes & decentz,
Que les Romains apres sa mort luy feirent
Si grand honneur qu’une image establirent
A sa louenge, affin que s’esvertue
Chascune femme ą voir celle statue,
Pres de laquelle estoient une queloigne
Et ung fuseau dont la femme besoigne,
Puis tout au bas la pantoufle de chambre.
Or tout ainsi qu’atraict la pierre d’ambre
Paille ou festu, l’ymage ainsi pourveue
Tiroit ą soy de tout chascun la veue,
Et mesmement des grandz dames Romaines
Qui s’efforcoient en leurs vertus humaines
Se demonstrer prudentes mesnageres
En leurs maisons, & dehors non legieres,
Car telle ymage assez faisoit entendre
Que toute femme a vertu debvoit tendre
Qu’elle debvoit estre laborieuse,
Des faictz d’aultruy non pas trop curieuse,
Et ne debvoit sans grand cause & raison
Aller en ville & laisser sa maison.


1.  Caia (or Gaia) Caecilia is ordinarily called the wife, not daughter, of King Tarquinius Priscus, and as such it is ssuggested that this was the real name of Queen Tanaquil. She appears in the early legends of Rome as a woman endowed with prophetic powers, and closely connected with the worship of the god of the hearth. Her statue was found in the temple of Sancus - there she had dedicated her sandals and her distaff as proof of her attachment to the home. That she was looked upon as a model of domestic life may be inferred from the fact, that a newly married woman, before entering the house of her husband, on being asked what her name was, answered, “My name is Caia.” (Valerius Maximus; Plutarch, Quaestiones Romanae, Moralia, 271E). See also Erasmus, Adagia, 3.3.38 (Domus amica, domus optima).

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