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Link to an image of this pageá Link to an image of this page á[Z2r f178r]

IMPOSSIBILE.

The impossible

Emblema. 59.

Abluis Aetiopem, quid frustra? ah desine, noctţs
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.

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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Link to an image of this pageá Link to an image of this page á[M7v p190]

Aere quandoque salutem redimendam.

Sometimes money must be spent to purchase safety

LXXXV.

Et pedibus segnis, tumida & propendulus alvo,
Hac tamen insidias effugit arte fiber.
Mordicus ipse sibi medicata virilia vellit
Atque abicit, sese gnarus ob illa peti.
Huius ab exemplo disces non parcere rebus,
Et vitam ut redimas, hostibus aera dare.[1]

Though slow of foot and with swollen belly hanging down, the beaver nonetheless escapes the ambush by this trick: it tears off with its teeth its testicles, which are full of a medicinal substance, and throws them aside, knowing that it is hunted for their sake. - From this creature’s example you will learn not to spare material things, and to give money to the enemy to buy your life.

Link to an image of this pageá Link to an image of this page á[M8r p191]

Das leben etwo mit gelt abkauffen.

LXXXV.

Der Biber ein faul und schwer thier,
Damit er sein leben erhalt,
Wann in die hunnd erjagen schier,
Bey▀t er im au▀ die hoden bald,
Der man begert mit allem gwalt.
Wer gelt nit spart, gar wey▀lich thuet,
Woelchs fur das leben wird bezalt:
Das bluet ist wolfayl umb das guet.

Notes:

1. áThis is based on Aesop, Fables 153, where the same moral is drawn. For the information about the beaver, see Pliny, Natural History 8.47.109; Isidore, Etymologiae (Origines) 12.2.21.


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