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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O8r p223]

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APOLOGIE. DIALOGISME.

D. Vieillard Proteu[1], 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 repraesente antique Poësie
De qui chescun songe à sa phantasie.

Des choses anciennes, & mises hors de toute
memoire: chescun, en songe & en divine à sa
phantasie: tellement que les aucteurs 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.  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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