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Alciato's Book of Emblems

Emblem 60

Cuckoos

Why do many people call rural people or rustic folk cuckoos? What reason then is given for that? The cuckoo sings in the new spring at the time when he who has not set free his vines is rightly called lazy. The cuckoo leaves her eggs in the nests of others, just like the man for whom a wife betrays the marriage chamber with her adultery.