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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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Les Coquuz.

Probleme.

D’ond vient cela, que Lombardz citadins
Nomment coquuz, paysans Contadins?
Le coquu chante au printems. L’ors sont ceulx
(Qui n’hont pas faict leurs vignes) paresseux.[1]
Au nid d’aultruy ses oeufz le coquu pose,
Comme qui d’aultre adultere l’espouse.

Coquuz proprement ne sont pas ceulx
qui ont femme ribaude, mais au con-
traire ceulx qui couchent avec la fem-
me d’aultruy. Le mot prins sur la na-
ture de L’oyseau, qui pont ses oeufz au
nid des aultres.

Notes:

1.  See Pliny, Natural History, 18.66.249, and Horace, Satires, 1.7.31, for the use of the word ‘cuckoo’ as term of mockery for the idle man who has failed to finish pruning his vines before the cuckoo is heard calling.


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