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Emblema lxvii.

En statuae statua,[1] & ductum de marmore marmor,
Se conferre Deis ausa procax Niobe.[2]
Est vitium[3] muliebre superbia, & arguit oris
Duritiem, ac sensus, qualis inest lapidi.

Behold a statue of a statue, marble carved from marble, insolent Niobe, who dared to set herself up against the gods. Pride is a woman’s vice, and shows hardness of face and feeling, such as exists in a stone.

FIgmentum hoc Niobes ob insolentem iactantiam
in saxum rigens transformatae, arguit potentio-
rum quarundam mulierum superbiam, & immodi-
cam arrogantiam, qua obcaecatae ne ipsis quidem
superis subesse se putant, adeň ut suae mortali-
tatis immemores incidant in miseram quandam

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VOy tu icy l’image d’un image,
Marbre muet de Niobé peu sage,
Morte, insensible, & qui osa parler
Contre les Dieux, & a eux s’egaller.
Tel est l’orgueil coustumier ŕ la femme,
Et signifie un impudent sans ame,
Et sens commun, arrogant, & sans coeur,
Ne sentant rien non-plus qu’un caillou dur.

CEste fable de Niobe, qui pour son or-
geuil trop insolent fut convertie en un
dur caillou, remarque les deportemens su-
perbes, & arrogance desmesuree de quel-
ques grandes Dames, lesquelles aveuglees
en ceste opinion, ne se pensent estre moin-
dres que les Dieux, de sorte que venans ŕ
oublier qu’elles sont de condition mortel-
le, tombent en estat si miserable qu’elles de-
meurent comme sans sentiment.


1.  According to the best-known story of her fate, Niobe was turned to stone. For the statue of Niobe by Praxiteles, see Ausonius, Epigrams, 63.2 and Anthologia Graeca, 16.130, a much translated epigram, which seems to have been in Alciato’s thoughts here.

2.  Niobe in her pride boasted that having 12 (or 14) children, she was superior to Lato with just two, i.e. Apollo and Diana. These gods in revenge slew all her children and in her grief Niobe hardened into a rock; see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 6.165ff. See further, Erasmus, Adagia, 2233, ‘Niobes mala’.

3.  Corrected by hand on the Glasgow copy.

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