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Alciato's Book of Emblems

Emblem 79


It's believed that the white mouse shows pleasure and wantonness, but the reason is not all that clear to me. Is it because its nature is lecherous and its lust is great? Or because with its skin it adorns the young women of Rome? Many call the Sarmatian mouse a sable, and Arabian musk is famous for its delightful ointment.