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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  [Q7v f114v]

EMBLEMA CLXXXIII [=182] .

Malè parta malè dilabuntur.[1]

Ill gotten, ill spent

Miluus edax[2] nimiae quem nausea torserat esce,
Hei mihi mater ait, viscera ab ore fluunt.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q8r f115r]Illa autem: quid fles? cur haec tua viscera credas,
Qui rapto vivens sola aliena vomis?

A voracious kite, which had eaten too much, was racked with vomiting. ‘O dear, mother’, it said, ‘entrails are pouring out of my mouth.’ She however replied: ‘What are you crying about? Why do you think these are your entrails? You live by plunder and vomit only what belongs to others.’

Das CLXXXIII [=182] .

Ubel gewunnen ubel verthan.

Ein fressiger Weyh auff ein zeit
Wider gab das er vor mit geit
Eingewirckt hett, sprach: Mutter mein
All mein inners wil hrauß mit pein.
Die Mutter sprach: Was weinstu sehr?
Woltst wehn das diß dein ingweid wer?
Das du mit der Speiß heraus gülffst
Der du dich nur deß Raubs behilffst.

Notes:

1.  The title is proverbial. See Cicero, Philippics, 2.65.

2.  ‘A voracious kite’. The kite was a figure of greed and extortion.


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