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Que qualquiera invenšion es muy antigua.

Dialogo. Proteo. Lettor.

Ottava rhima.

L. Proteo[1] que a’l parešer representante
Semejas, y otra vez fiera parešes,
Siendo otra vez a’l hombre semejante,
Por que en diversas formas tantas vezes
Trasmudas y conviertes tu semblante?
P. Soy de la antiguedad Ó quien te offrešes
Y d’el primero siglo suma y cuenta,
D’el qual qualquiera como quiere inventa.

Notes:

1. áProteus was ‘the Old Man of the Sea’, who evaded capture by constantly changing his shape. See e.g. Homer, Odyssey, 4.400ff.; Vergil, Georgics, 4. 405-10, 440-2; Erasmus, Adagia, 1174 (Proteo mutabilior). Vergil (Georgics, 4.391) describes him living near the headland of Pallene (on the Macedonian coast). The idea of Proteus as a gifted actor or mime-artist is taken from Lucian, Saltatio, 19.


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