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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M5v p186]

Captivus ob gulam.

Caught by greed

Regnator penus, & mensae corrosor[1] herilis
Ostrea mus summis vidit hiulca labris.
Queis teneram apponens barbam falsa ossa momordit,
Illa recluserunt[2] tacta repentè domum.
Deprensum & tetro tenuerunt carcere furem,
Semet in obscurum qui dederat tumulum.[3]

A mouse, king of the pantry, nibbler at the master’s table, saw oysters with their shells just slightly open. Applying his sensitive whiskers, he nibbled the deceptive bone. The oysters, when touched, suddenly slammed shut their house and held the thief, caught red-handed, in a noisome prison, a thief who had put himself into a lightless tomb.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M6r p187]

Prins pour la gueule.

Une huitre en son escaille estant,
Entreouverte (comme il advient)
Fut ung jour la souris sentant,
Qui pour sa chair ronger survient.
Lors de sestraindre luy souvient.
La souris est au groing surprise.
Tel chastoy aux gloutons convient,
Qui tousjours font chatte entreprise.

Notes:

1.  Textual variant: Regnatorque penus, mensaeque arrosor.

2.  Textual variant: Ast ea clauserunt.

3.  This poem is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.86.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [M3v p182]

Impossibile.

The impossible

Abluis Aethiopem quid frustrà? 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 page  Link to an image of this page  [M4r p183]

Impossible.

Il est ung milier de negoces,
Ou lon ne peult remede mettre.
Et quoy que ardemment ten courrouces,
Si nen seras tu ja le maistre.
Parquoy si tu quiers hors blasme estre,
Ne prans peine a blanchir ung More.
En la nuict, ne peult clarte naistre.
Ung vice invetere demoure.

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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