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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [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.  Hercules’ confrontation with the pygmies is described by Philostratus, Eikones 2.22.

2.  ‘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 page  Link to an image of this page  [H5v p122]

Impossible.

LXXXIIII.

Il est un milier de negoces,
Où lon ne peut remede mettre.
Et quoy qu’ardemment t’en courrouces,
Si n’en feras tu ja le maistre.
Parquoy si tu quiers hors blasme estre,
Ne prens peine à blanchir un More.
En la nuict ne peut clarté naistre.
Un vice inveteré demeure.[1]

commentaires.

Tous les Ethiopiens sont noirs de leur naissance: car
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [H6r p123] ceste region là est si prochaine du Soleil, qu’elle en
est comme bruslee. Partant, quelque peine qu’on
prenne à les laver, on perd son temps: car ils demeu-
rent tousjours noirs. Nul aussi ne sçauroit esclairer
les tenebres de la nuict: il est impossible. Cest embleme est
escrit contre ceux qui s’opiniastrent à vouloir faire
des choses qui ne sont pas en leur puissance.

Notes:

1.  This 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� humana, Fugacit� delle grandezze & della gloria mondana, Meditatione della morte, Opera vana, Piacere vano, Vana gloria, Vanit� (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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