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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O7r p221]

La superbe.

LXII.

Niobe en marbre fut à l’instant convertie,[1]
Quand les Dieux frere & soeur, superbe, elle deffie.
La superbe est un vice aux femmes familier,
Qui ont le front derain, sens de marbre ou d’acier.

Commentaires.

Les riches & puissans sont pour la plus part super-
bes, notamment les femmes. Plusieurs d’entre les superbes
ne se contentent pas de s’enfler contre les hommes,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O7v p222] mais il osent encor s’attaquer à Dieu, le mesprisent,
& parlent de luy & de ses oeuvres sans respect &
reverence, Or n’y a-il point de superbe plus maudite,
& plus à detester, que celle qui nous ameine à un
mespris de la divinité. l’histoire de Niobé se void
en Ovide, Pausanias, & Palephate.

Notes:

1.  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’. 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.



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