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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [n8v p208]

Superbia.

Pride

LXII.

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.

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’.


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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [T6r f150r]

    IN DIES MELIORA.

    Getting better every day.

    Emblema. 45.

    Rostra novo mihi setigeri suis[1] obtulit anno,
    Haecque cliens ventri noxia [=xenia] , dixit, habe
    Progreditur semper, nec retro respicit unquam,
    Gramina cum pando porruit [=proruit] ore vorax.
    Cura vîris eadem est, ne spes sublapsa retrorsum:
    Cedat, & ut melius sit, quod & ulterius.[2]

    A dependant of mine brought me the head of a bristly boar at the New Year and said: Here is a present for your insides. - The pig always moves forwards and never looks back as it greedily tears up plants with its flat snout. - Men have the same attitude - they don’t want hopes to collapse and fall back, they do want what lies ahead also to be better.

    Notes:

    1.  setigeri suis, ‘of a bristly boar’. For pork as a seasonal present at the Saturnalia (17-23 December), see Martial, Epigrams, 14.71: ‘This pig, fattened on acorns among the foaming boars, will make your Saturnalia happy’.

    2.  ulterius. This, the last word of the epigram, is written on the back of the boar in the pictura, where it suggests the meaning ‘ever onward’. Ulterius is sometimes used as a device of Charles V.


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