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Link to an image of this pageá Link to an image of this page á[Y8v f176v]

IN EOS QUI SUPRA VIRES
quicquam audent.

Those who venture on what is beyond their powers.

Emblema 58.

Dum dormit, dulci recreat dum corpora somno
Sub picea, & clavam, caeteraque arma tenet.
Alciden Pygmaea manus[1] prosternere letho
Posse putat, vires non bene docta suas.
Excitus ipse, velut pulices, sic proterit hostem,
Et saevi implicitum pelle leonis[2] agit.

While Alceus’ descendant was sleeping, while he was refreshing his body with gentle slumber, beneath a spruce tree, keeping hold of his club and other weapons, a band of pygmies thought they could lay him low in death, not really grasping the limit of their powers. But he, waking up, crushed the foe like fleas, and carried them off, wrapped up in the fierce lion’s skin.

Notes:

1. áHercules’ confrontation with the pygmies is described by Philostratus, Eikones 2.22.

2. á‘the fierce lion’s skin’, the skin of the Nemean lion which Hercules always wore after slaying the beast. (See [A15a136], notes; [A15a179]).


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Link to an image of this pageá Link to an image of this page á[M6v p188]

Impossibile.

The impossible

LXXXIIII.

Abluis Aethiopem quid frustra? ah desine, noctis
Illustrare nigrae nemo potest tenebras.[1]

Why are you washing an Ethiopian in vain? Oh, do stop. No one can turn the shades of black night into light.

Link to an image of this pageá Link to an image of this page á[M7r p189]

Unmuglich.

LXXXIIII.

Man wasch ein Moren lang und wol,
Hilfft es alles nicht umb ein har:
Die nacht so finsternu▀ ist vol,
Mag durch kain liecht nit werden klar:
Der gleichen nim dier eben war,
Naturlich laster, oder sunst
Lang zeit veraltt, wierd nimer gar
Au▀gelescht, was man brauch fur kunst.

Notes:

1. áThis is a translation of Anthologia graeca 11.428. See also Aesop, Fables 11; Erasmus, Adagia 350, Aethiopen lavas.


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  • (personifications of) 'Vanitas', the vanity of human life; Fragilit´┐Ż humana, Fugacit´┐Ż delle grandezze & della gloria mondana, Meditatione della morte, Opera vana, Piacere vano, Vana gloria, Vanit´┐Ż (Ripa) [11R5] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • day and night [23R] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Impossibility (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52BB42(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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