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

IMPOSSIBILE.

The impossible

Emblema. 59.

Abluis Aetiopem, quid frustra? ah desine, noctîs
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.  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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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [F2r p83]

Contre ceulx qui osent entreprendre oultre
leur force.

Quand Hercules dort soubz l’arbre, & repose,
Et soubz son bras armes, & masse pose,
Des nains armée à le tuer s’efforce,[1]
Mal cognoissans leur trop petitte force:
Luy esveillé, comme petitte pulce
Dedans la peau du Lyon les repulse.[2]

À plus fort que soy ne se fault prendre.

Notes:

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

2.  The skin of the Nemean lion which Hercules always wore after slaying the beast. CHECK (See [A58a130], notes; [A58a170]).


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