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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P4v p232]

Les Antiquitez sont controuvées.[1]

Apologie. Dialogisme.

D. Vieillard Proteu[2], qui has forme muable:
Homme par fois, puys beste dissemblable:
Quelle raison toute espece en toy mue:
Tant que tu n’has figure de tenue?
R. Je represente antique Poësie,
De qui chascun songe à sa phantasie.

Des choses anciennes, & mises hors de toute memoire: cha-
scun en songe, & en divine à sa phantasie: tellement que les au-
theurs ne s’ac
cordans, font une monstrueuse histoire ou fable
de variables formes, tel que les Poëtes faignent estre Proteus
dieu marin, fort vieulx, & muable en toutes formes.

Notes:

1.  In the 1549 French edition, this emblem has no woodcut.

2.  Proteus 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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