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Inanis impetus.

Antagonism that achieves nothing

Emblema clxiiii.

Lunarem noctu, ut speculum,[1] canis inspicit orbem:
Séque videns, alium credit inesse canem,[2]
Et latrat: sed frustra agitur vox irrita ventis,
Et peragit cursus surda Diana suos.[3]

A dog at night is looking into the moon’s disk as into a mirror and seeing himself, thinks there is another dog there; and he barks - but the sound is carried away, ineffectual, on the winds. Diana, unhearing, pursues her course.

HOc dicitur in rabiosos quosdam obtrectatores,
qui viris gravibus, & iis maximè qui celebritatem
aliquam nominis sua virtute consecuti sunt, detra-
here audent, in quos allatrant, ut canis in Lunam:
quos tamen in rabiem agi videas, cùm se contem-
ptui haberi vident ab iis qui ne quidem eos res-
ponsione dignantur.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [X10v f226v]

Effort sans effet.

LE chien plein[4] d’ire & rancune
Se mire, abboye à la Lune,
Pensant voir un aultre chien:
Il jappe, il bruit, il tempeste,
Sans raison se rompt la teste,
Et pour japper ne fait rien,
Son cry estant sans pouvoir,
Car Diane en patience
Va tousjours, point ne desvance,
Et ne s’en daigne esmouvoir.

CEcy est dit contre certains enragez de-
tracteurs, qui osent parler sinistrement
d’hommes de qualité, & de ceux qui ont ac-
quis bruit & reputation par leur vertu: contre
lesquels ils abboyent, comme fait le chien à
l’encontre de la Lune: lesquels toutesfois
crevent de despit, & sont comme enragez,
quand ilz voyent que ceux dont ilz ont mal
parlé ne font aucun estat de leur respondre.

Notes:

1.  For the theory of the moon’s disk as a mirror reflecting things on earth, see Plutarch, De facie in orbe lunae, Moralia, 920ff.

2.  Variant reading in 1550, altum credit inesse canem, ‘thinks there is a dog up there’.

3.  Diana is of course goddess of the moon.

4.  Corrected from the Errata.


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  • Diana as moon-goddess, i.e. Luna (Selene) [92C371] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Inutility, Noxiousness; 'Nocumento', 'Nocumento d'ogni cosa' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [54BB3(+4):56E3(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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