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Inconstantia Amoris [39]


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Inconstantia Amoris.translation
AMor humanus mutatur pro varietate obie-
ctorum; semper fertur in aliquid noui, quod
sibi tamquam vtile & acceptabile propositum,
appetit. & quemadmodum ipsa obiecta in sese
habent maximas vicissitudines; ita & Amor ma-
xime inconstans est. amas honores? instabiles sunt.
appetis diuitias? fluxæ sunt. optas bonam famam,
fortunam? variabiles sunt. desideras sanitatem?
numquam homo in eodem statu permanet. pro-
caris puellam? amat domicillam? mutabilis est,
varium & mutabile semper fæmina1: & tu qui
procaris multo adhuc mutabilior es, audi Poë-
tam, translation

Ad dominæ nutum leuis exagitatur amator,
Quoque puella solet vergere, vergit amans:
Non volucris summâ quæ vertitur ænea turre,
Promptius aërias itque, reditque vias.
Rideat illa, mouet tristi miser ore cachinnos;
Ploret, amans lætas proluit imbre genas.
Vos miseros! agimur vacuo ludibria cœlo,
Abripit aura vagos, aura redire iubet. translation

Quam miserè seruit & agitatur cui mulier im-
perat, cui leges imponit, præscribit, iubet, vetat
quod videtur. qui nihil imperanti negare potest,
nihil recusare: poscit, dandum est: eijcit, abeun-
dum: vocat veniendum; minatur; extimescendum2. translation

Quo me vocat aura. translation

Voluble et sans arrest, a tout vent va tournant,
Comme vne gyroüette, le malheureux amant.

Inconstance de l'Amour.
Ainsy le cœur humain, qu' vn fol Amour escroule,
Au gréde touts les vents incessament se roule,
Sans esperer iamais de rencontrer le nort;
Telle est la qualitédes choses sublunaires,
Que battant nos esprits de mouuemens contraires,
Le tiennēt dans la mer sans arriuer au port.

No siendo el Amor, de Dios
Es sin genero de duda
Que con todos vientos muda.

Hier draeyt naer aller winden blaes/
Den weerhaen/ en dē minnaer dwaes.

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Facsimile Images

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Inconstancy of love.
Human love changes depending on the various objects of that love. It always moves to something new, it strives after what is to itself as it were a useful and acceptable plan. And as the objects themselves can have in themselves extreme changes of fortune, so also love is the epitome of inconstancy. You love honours? They do not stay. Do you strive after riches? They are of a fleeting nature. Do you want a good reputation, good fortune? They are subject to change. Do you wish for health? No human remains in the same state. Do you want a girl? Does she like her little abode?3 Changeable, a fickle and changeable creature is woman. And you who ask are even more changeable, listen to the poet:
Without weight the lover is driven along according to his mistress's whim.
The direction the girl is wont to take, the lover takes too.
Not the bronze bird at the top of the tower will more promptly take a direction high up in the air and then turn in its tracks again.
If she laughs, the wretch cackles with a sad expression on his face;
If she cries, the lover washes his cheerful cheeks with a flood of tears.
You poor wretches! We are carried along as playthings in the empty air.
The wind whisks us away, hither and thither, and the wind orders us to return.

What a miserable servant and how much harassed is he, who is under the command of a woman, who receives laws from her, and such rules, orders and prohibitions as she thinks fit, who when she commands can deny her nothing and dares refuse her noting. she asks, he must give; she calls, he must come; she throws him out, he must go; she threatens, he must tremble4.
To wherever the wind calls me.

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    Sources and parallels

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    A young woman grasps the shoulder of a young man pointing at the weathercock on a church tower; on one of the crosses on the church a cupid stands

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    Verg. Aen. IV, 569-570.
    "cui mulier imperat ... extimescendum" Cic. Paradox. Stoic. 5, 36.
    "Do you want a girl? Does she like her little abode?": it is difficult to make sense of these words, but that is what the text says, i.e., either this or a 'he' is subject of 'amat'.
    "who is under the command ... he must tremble", transl. Rackham in Loeb edition.