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EMBLEMA CXL.

Superbia.

Pride

En statuae statua,[1] & ductum de marmore marmor,
Se conferre deis ausa procax Niobe.[2]
Est vitium 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.

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Das CXL.

Hoffart.[3]

Schauw an ein Seul beyr andern stan
Und ein Marmel am andern dran
Die freffel Niob hat sich gleich
Achten dörffen den Göttern reich
Hoffart ist ein Weibisch unart
Zeigt an gwiß und bezeugt zur fart
Ein Menschen der mit Hertz und Mund
Ist herter dann ein Stein all stund.

Notes:

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.  This woodcut does not correspond to the context of this emblem. It is designed for Emblem 194 ([A67a193]), where death is brought by Death and Cupid, rather than Apollo and Diana.


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Section: SUPERBIA (Pride). View all emblems in this section.

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Garrulitas.

Garrulity.

Quid matutinos Progne mihi garrula somnos
Rumpis?[1] & obstrepero Daulias ore canis?
Dignus epops Tereus, qui maluit ense putare
Quàm linguam immodicam stirpitùs eruere.[2]

Procne, why do you disturb my morning slumbers with your chattering? Why, bird of Daulis, sing with never-ceasing voice? Tereus deserved to become a hoopoe, for he preferred to lop off with a sword your unrestrained tongue, rather than tear it out by the roots.

Notes:

1.  garrula somnos rumpis, ‘disturb my...slumbers with your chattering’. 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.


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  • Prolixity, Verbosity, Loquacity; 'Loquacità' (Ripa) (+ emblematical representation of concept) [52D4(+4)] Search | Browse Iconclass
  • Tereus cuts out Philomela's tongue, and hides her in a lonely place [95B(PHILOMELA & PROCNE)63] 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

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