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Friday, March 09, 2007

Loathsome is the Day

Dr Johnson wouldn’t be many people’s idea of a minimalist, but I’ve always greatly enjoyed the emblems and mottoes he published in The Rambler and The Adventurer, busy cicadas of quotations lost in the shrubbery of their surroundings but chirping happily to themselves. Here’s a selection.

Ridetque sui ludibria trunci. (Lucan, IX, 14)
And soaring mocks the broken frame below.

Infelix – nulli bene nupta marito. (Ausonius, Ep. Her. XXX)
Unblest, still doom’d to wed with misery.

Naso suspendere adunco. (Hor. Sat. I, vi, 5)
On me you turn the nose.

Tædet cœli convexa tueri. (Virgil, Aen. IV, 451)
Dark is the sun, and loathsome is the day.

Ferimur per opaca locorum. (Virgil, Aen. II, 725)
Driv’n thro’ the palpable obscure.

1 comment:

Mark Granier said...

Your labels are more amusing though.