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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P3v p230]

Le babil.


Pourquoy m’empesches-tu, babillarde arondelle,[1]
De dormir le matin? & pourquoy, philomele,
Gringotes-tu si fort? Teree a merité

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [P4r p231]

Le mal qu’il a souffert, puis qu’il s’est contenté
D’accourcir une langue, & peu la retrancher,
Veu qu’il la pouvoit bien tout à faict arracher.[2]


Cest embleme est escrit contre les babillards, les-
quels on a tousjours blasmés. Il advient aussi fort peu
souvent que les babillards ayent beaucoup de juge-
ment & de raison. Pythagore, disant qu’il ne faloit
point nourrir sous son toict l’arondelle, declaroit com-
bien il estoit ennuyeux de conserver avec un babil-
lard. Progne fut transformee en arondelle, Philomele
en rossignol, & Teree en Upe, apres que Philomele
& Progné, ses femme & belle soeur, luy eurent tué
son fils, & le luy eurent baillé à manger.


1.  See Aelian, De natura animalium, 9.17: “the swallow, an uninvited guest, saddening the dawn with her chattering and interrupting the sweetest part of our slumbers.”

2.  Procne and Philomela were daughters of Pandion, king of Athens. Tereus, king of Daulis (town in Phocis) married Procne and had a son (Itys) by her. He raped her sister Philomela and cut out her tongue to prevent her telling of his misdeeds. She managed however to send a message to her sister Procne (through weaving it into a tapestry), who took her revenge by cooking Itys and serving him up as a meal to his father. When Tereus pursued them with a sword, Philomela was turned into a swallow, Procne into a nightingale and Tereus into a hoopoe. In Latin writers the names are often reversed, with Procne becoming a swallow (as here), Philomela a nightingale. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, 6.424ff, especially 555-7.

Iconclass Keywords

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Relating to the text:

  • Justice; 'Forza alla giustitia sottoposta', 'Giustitia', 'Giustitia retta', 'Giustitia rigorosa', 'Impietà e violenza soggetta alla giustitia', (Ripa) [59C2] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Philomela, Procne and Tereus changed into nightingale, swallow, hoopoe (or hawk): Tereus seeks to kill Philomela and Procne for having slain his son; in their flight the two sisters are changed into a nightingale and a swallow; Tereus is changed into a ho [97DD23] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Prolixity, Verbosity, Loquacity; 'Loquacità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52D4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • song-birds (with NAME) (+ audible means of communication of animal(s): roaring, crying, singing, barking, mewing, neighing, chirping, etc.) [25F32(SWALLOW)] Search | Browse Iconclass

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