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Alciato's Book of Emblems

Emblem 183

All that is most ancient is a lie

O Proteus, old man of Pallene, with the form of an actor, who at one moment takes the limbs of a man, at another those of a beast, come tell us why you turn into all shapes, so that, forever changing, you have no fixed form?

I bring forth symbols of antiquity and a primaeval age, of which each man dreams, according to his wishes.