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Niobe (3 syl.)


The personification of female sorrow. According to Grecian fable, Niobe was the mother of twelve children, and taunted Latoʹna because she had only two—namely, Apollo and Diana. Latoʹna commanded her children to avenge the insult, and they caused all the sons and daughters of Niobe to die. Niobe was inconsolable, wept herself to death, and was changed into a stone, from which ran water. “Like Niobe, all tears” (Hamlet.)

The group of Niobe and her children, in Florence, was discovered at Rome in 1583, and was the work either of Scopas or Praxitʹeles.

The Niobe of nations. So Lord Byron styles Rome, the “lone mother of dead empires,” with “broken thrones and temples;” a “chaos of ruins;” a “desert where we steer stumbling oʹer recollections.” (Childe Harold, canto iv. stanza 79.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Nine Crowns
Nine Days Wonder (A)
Nine Gods (The)
Nine Points of the Law
Nine Spheres (The)
Nine Worthies
Ninian (St.)
Ninon de lEnclos
Nip (A)
Nip in the Bud
Nip-cheese or Nip-farthing
Nipperkin (A)
Nishapoor and Tous
Nisi Prius

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