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EMBLEMA CXXXI.

Inanis impetus.

Antagonism that achieves nothing

Lunarum [=Lunarem] noctu (ut speculum)[1] canis inspicit orbem:
Seque 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.

Das CXXXI.

Vergebne mühe.

Als den Mon sach der Hund zu nacht
Und sich drinn als im Spiegel gdacht
Er es wer eins anderß Hunds Bild
Sprang ubersich und stalt sich wild
Aber sein bellen gieng in lufft
War vergebens und gar ein dufft
Der Mon dannoch sein lauff verricht
Last in bellen als ghör ers nicht.

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: altum credit inesse canem, ‘thinks there is a dog up there’.

3.  Diana is of course goddess of the moon.


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F1r p81]

    Quà Dii vocant eundum.

    Go where Heaven calls

    In trivio mons est lapidum, supereminet illi
    Trunca Dei effigies, pectore facta tenus:
    Mercurii est igitur tumulus, suspende viator
    Serta Deo, rectum qui tibi monstrat iter.[1]
    Omnes in trivio sumus, atque hoc tramite vitae
    Fallimur, ostendat ni Deus ipse viam.

    At a parting of the ways, there is a hillock of stones. Rising above it is a half-statue of a god, fashioned as far down as the chest. So the hill is Mercury’s. Traveller, hang wreaths in honour of the god who points out the road to you. We are all at the crossroads, and on this track of life we go wrong, unless God himself shows us the way.

    Notes:

    1.  Mercury was, among his many other functions, the god of travellers.


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