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Revised by Rev.E. E. Hale
Chapter I
Origin of Greeks and Romans. The Aryan Family. The Diinities
of these Nations. Chara!ter of the Romans. Greek notion of
the "orld. Da#n$ S%n$ and &oon. '%piter and the gods of
Olymp%s. Foreign gods. (atin Names.)) Sat%rn or *ronos.
Titans. '%no$ +%l!an$ &ars$ ,hoe-%s)Apollo$ +en%s$ C%pid$
&inera$ &er!%ry$ Ceres$ .a!!h%s. The &%ses. The Gra!es.
The Fates. The F%ries. ,an. The Satyrs. &om%s. ,l%t%s.
Roman gods.
Chapter II
Roman Idea of Creation. Golden Age. &ilky "ay. ,arnass%s.
The Del%ge. De%!alion and ,yrrha. ,andora. ,romethe%s.
Apollo and Daphne. ,yram%s and This-e. Day/s Safety (amp.
Cephal%s and ,ro!ris
Chapter III
'%no. Syrin0$ or ,andean ,ipes. Arg%s/s Eyes. Io.
Callisto Constellations of Great and (ittle .ear. ,ole)star.
Diana. A!taeon. (atona. R%sti!s t%rned to Frogs. Isle
of Delos. ,haeton. ,ala!e of the S%n. ,hoe-%s. Day.
&onth. 1ear. 2o%rs. Seasons. Chariot of the s%n. ,eople
of Aethiopia. (i-yan Desert. The "ells Dry. The Sea
Shrinks. ,haeton/s Tom-. The 2eliades
Chapter I+
Silen%s. &idas. .a!!h%s/s Re#ard to &idas. Rier ,a!tol%s.
,an Challenges Apollo. &idas/s Ears. Gordian *not. .a%!is
and ,hilemon. Aetna. ,erpet%al Spring. ,l%to !arries off
,rosperine. Cere/s Sear!h. ,rosperine/s Release. Ele%sinian
&ysteries. Gla%!is !hanged to a Fish. S!ylla
Chapter +
,ygmalion/s Stat%e. Dryope and Iole. (ot%s Tree. +en%s and
Adonis. Anemone or "ind Flo#er. Apollo and 2ya!inth%s. Game
of 3%oits. Flo#er 2ya!inth%s. Cey0 and 2al!yone. ,ala!e of
the *ing of Sleep. &orphe%s. 2al!yon .irds.
Chapter +I
2amadryads. ,omona. +ert%mn%s. Iphis. C%pid and ,sy!he.
4ephyr. Temple of Ceres. Temple of +en%s. The Ant. Golden
Flee!e. ,l%to. Cer-er%s. Charon. The Treas%re. Stygian
Sleep. C%p of Am-rosia. .irth of ,leas%re. Greek name of
Chapter +II
Cadm%s. Origin of City of The-es. Tyrians. Serpent.
Dragon/s Teeth. 2armonia. Serpent Sa!red to &ars. &yrmidons.
Cephal%s. Aea!%s. ,estilen!e Sent -y '%ne. Origin of
Chapter +III
&inos$ *ing of Crete. Nis%s$ his p%rple hair. S!ylla/s
.etrayal. 2er ,%nishment. E!ho. '%no/s Senten!e.
Nar!iss%s. (oe for his o#n image. Clytie. 2opeless (oe
for Apollo. .e!omes a Flo#er. 2ero and (eander. 2ellespont
Chapter I5
Goddess of "isdom. Ara!hne. 2er Challenge #ith &inera.
&inera/s "e-. Ara!hne/s "e-. Transformation. Nio-e 3%een
of The-es. &o%nt Cynth%s. Death of Nio-e/s Children. Changed
to stone. The Gray)haired Sisters. The Gorgon &ed%sa. To#er
of -rass. Danae. ,erse%s. Net of Di!te. &inera. *ing
Atlas. Andromeda. Sea &onster. "edding Feast. Enemies
T%rned to Stone.
Chapter 5
Attri-%tes of &onsters. (ai%s. Oedip%s. The Ora!le.
Sphin0. The Riddle. Oedip%s made *ing. 'o!asta. Origin of
,egas%s. Fo%ntain of 2ippo!rene. The Chimaera.
.ellerophonti! (etters. The Centa%rs. The ,ygmies.
Des!ription of the Griffin. The Natie Co%ntry. One)Eyed
Chapter 5I
The Ram #ith the Golden Flee!e. The 2ellespont. 'ason/s
3%est. So#ing the Dragon/s Teeth. 'ason/s Father.
In!antations of &edea. An!ient Name of Gree!e. Great
Gatherings of the Greeks. "ild .oar. Atalanta/s Ra!e. Three
Golden Apples. (oers/ Ingratit%de. +en%s/s Reenge.
Chapter 5II
(a-ors of 2er!%les.)) Fight #ith Nemean (ion.)) Sla%ghter of the
2ydra. Cleaning the A%gean Sta-les.)) Girdle of the 3%een of the
Ama6ons.)) O0en of Geryon.)) Golden Apples of 2esperides.))
+i!tory oer Antae%s.)) Ca!%s Slain.)) 2er!%les$ Des!ent into
2ades.)) 2e .e!omes the Slae of Omphale.)) De7anira/s Charm.))
Death of 2er!%les.)) 2e-e$ Goddess of 1o%th
Chapter 5III
These%s &oes the Fated Stone$ and ,ro!eeds to Athens.))
,ro!r%stes/s .edstead.)) Tri-%te to &inos.)) Ariadne.)) Cle# of
Thread.)) En!o%nter #ith the &inota%r.)) These%s .e!omes *ing of
Athens.)) Friendship of These%s and ,iritho%s. The These%m.))
Festial of ,anathenaea.)) Elgin &ar-les.)) National Greek
Games.)) The (a-yrinth.)) Daedal%s/ "ings.)) Inention of the
Sa#.)) Castor and ,oll%0.)) Argona%ti! E0pedition.)) Orphe%s/s
2arp.)) Gemini
Chapter 5I+
Destr%!tion of Semele.)) Infan!y of .a!!h%s.)) &ar!h of .a!!h%s.)
) One of the .a!!hanals taken ,risoner.)) ,enthe%s.)) "orship of
.a!!h%s Esta-lished in Gree!e.)) Ariadne.)) .a!!h%s/s &arriage.))
Ariadne/s Cro#n
Chapter 5+
,an.)) Shepherd/s ,ipe.)) ,ani! Terror.)) Signifi!ation of the
Name ,an.)) (atin Diinities.)) "ood Nymphs.)) "ater Nymphs.))
Sea Nymphs. ,leasing Traits of Old ,aganism.)) &rs. .ro#ning/s
,oem.)) +iolation of Cere/s Groe.)) Erisi!hthon/s ,%nishment.))
Rhoe!%s.)) "ater Deities.)) Nept%ne/s Sym-ol of ,o#er.)) (atin
Name for the &%ses$ and other Deities.)) ,ersonifi!ation of the
"inds. The 2arpies.)) "orship of Fort%na
Chapter 5+I
Transformation of A!helo%s.)) Origin of the Corn%!opia.)) An!ient
&eaning of fight of A!helo%s #ith 2er!%les.)) Aes!%lapi%s.)) The
Cy!lops. Antigone.)) E0pedition of the 8Seen against The-es.8)
) Antigone/s Sisterly Deotion.)) Antigone/s .%rial.)) ,enelope.)
) Stat%e to &odesty.)) 9lysses.)) ,enelope/s s%itors.))
,enelope/s "e-
Chapter 5+II
Orphe%s/s (yre.)) 9nhappy ,rognosti!s at Orphe%s/s &arriage.))
E%rydi!e/s Death.)) Orphe%s Des!ends to the Stygian Realm.))
Orphe%s (oses E%rydi!e Foreer.)) Thra!ian &aidens.)) 2oney.))
Aristae%s/s (oss and Complaint.)) Cyrene/s Apartments.)) ,rote%s
Capt%red.)) 2is Dire!tions to Orphe%s.)) S#arm of .ees.))
Cele-rated &ythi!al ,oets and &%si!ians.)) First &ortal Endo#ed
#ith ,ropheti! ,o#ers
Chapter 5+III
Adent%res of Real ,ersons.)) Arion$ Famo%s &%si!ian.))
Des!ription of An!ient Theatres.)) &%rder of I-y!%s.)) Chor%s
,ersonating the F%ries.)) Cranes of I-y!%s.)) The &%rderers
Sei6ed.)) Simonides.)) S!opa/s 'est. Simonides/s Es!ape.))
Sappho.)) 8(oer/s (eap8
Chapter 5I5
Endymion.)) &o%nt (atmos. Gift of ,erpet%al 1o%th and ,erpet%al
Sleep.)) Orion.)) *edalion.)) Orion/s Girdle.)) The Fatal Shot
The ,leiads.)) A%rora.)) &emnon.)) stat%e of &emnon.)) S!ylla.))
A!is and Galatea.)) Rier A!is
Chapter 55
&inera/s Competition.)) ,aris/s De!ision.)) 2elen.)) ,aris/s
Elopement.)) 9lysses/s ,reten!e.)) The Apple of Dis!ord.)) ,riam$
*ing of Troy.)) Commander of Gre!ian Armament.)) ,rin!ipal
(eaders of the Tro7ans.)) Agamemnon *ills the Sa!red Stag.))
Iphigenia.)) The Tro7an "ar.)) The Iliad.)) Interest of Dods and
Goddesses in the "ar.)) A!hilles/s S%it of Armor.)) Death of
2e!tor.)) Ransom Sent to A!hilles.)) A!hilles Grants ,riam/s
Re:%est.)) 2e!tor/s F%neral Solemnities.
Chapter 55I
A!hilles Captiated -y ,oly0ena.)) A!hilles/ Claim.)) .esto#al of
A!hilles/ Armor.)) The 2ya!inth.)) Arro#s of 2er!%les.)) Death of
,aris.)) Cele-rated Stat%e of &inera.)) "ooden 2orse.)) Greeks
,retend to A-andon the Siege.)) Sea Serpents.)) (ao!oon.)) Troy
s%-d%ed.)) 2elen and &enela%s.)) Nepenthe.)) Agamemnon/s
&isfort%nes.)) Orestes.)) Ele!tra.)) Site of the City of Troy
Chapter 55II
The Odyssey.)) The "anderings of 9lysses.)) Co%ntry of the
Cy!lops.)) The Island of Aeol%s.)) The .ar-aro%s Tri-e of
(aestrygonians.)) Cir!e.)) The Sirens.)) S!ylla and Chary-dis.))
Cattle of 2yperion.)) 9lysses/s Raft.)) Calypso Entertains
9lysses.)) Telema!h%s and &entor Es!ape from Calypso/s Isle
Chapter 55III
9lysses A-andons the Raft.)) The Co%ntry of the ,haea!ians.))
Na%si!aa/s Dream.)) A Game of .all.)) 9lysses/s Dilemma.))
Na%si!aa/s Co%rage.)) The ,ala!e of Al!ino%s.)) Skill of the
,haea!ian "omen.)) 2ospitality to 9lysses.)) Demodo!%s$ the .lind
.ard.)) Gifts to 9lysses
Chapter 55+
+irgil/s Des!ription of the Region of the Dead.)) Des!end into
2ades.)) The .la!k Rier and Ferryman.)) Cape ,alin%r%s.)) The
Three)2eaded Dog.)) Regions of Sadness.)) Shades of Gre!ian and
Tro7an "arriors.)) '%dgment 2all of Rhadamanth%s.)) The Elysian
Fields.)) Aeneas &eets 2is Father.)) An!hises E0plains the ,lan
of Creation.)) Transmigration of So%ls.)) Egyptian Name of
2ades.)) (o!ation of Elysi%m.)) ,ropheti! ,o#er of the Si-yl.))
(egend of the Nine .ooks
Stories of Gods and 2eroes.
Chapter I
The literat%re of o%r time$ as of all the !ent%ries of
Christendom$ is f%ll of all%sions to the gods and goddesses of
the Greeks and Romans. O!!asionally$ and$ in modern days$ more
often$ it !ontains all%sions to the #orship and the s%perstitions
of the northern nations of E%rope. The o-7e!t of this -ook is to
tea!h readers #ho are not yet familiar #ith the #riters of Gree!e
and Rome$ or the -allads or legends of the S!andinaians$ eno%gh
of the stories #hi!h form #hat is !alled their mythology$ to make
those all%sions intelligi-le #hi!h one meets eery day$ een in
the a%thors of o%r o#n time.
The Greeks and Romans -oth -elong to the same ra!e or sto!k. It
is generally kno#n in o%r time as the Aryan family of mankind;
and so far as #e kno# its history$ the Greeks and Romans
des!ended from the tri-es #hi!h emigrated from the high ta-le)
lands of Northern India. Other tri-es emigrated in different
dire!tions from the same !entre$ so that tra!es of the Aryan
lang%age are fo%nd in the islands of the ,a!ifi! o!ean.
The people of this ra!e$ #ho moed #est#ard$ seem to hae had a
spe!ial fondness for open air nat%re$ and a #illingness to
personify the po#ers of nat%re. They #ere glad to lie in the
open air$ and they spe!ially en!o%raged the irt%es #hi!h an
open)air people pri6e. Th%s no Roman #as tho%ght manly #ho !o%ld
not s#im$ and eery Greek e0er!ised in the athleti! sports of the
The Romans and Gre!ian and German diisions of this great ra!e
are those #ith #hi!h #e hae most to do in history and in
literat%re. O%r o#n English lang%age is made %p of the diale!ts
of different tri-es$ many of #hom agreed in their %se of #ords
#hi!h they had deried from o%r Aryan an!estry. Th%s o%r
s%-stantie er- I A& appears in the original Sans!rit of the
Aryans as ES&I$ and m for &E <&OI=$ or the first person sing%lar$
is fo%nd in all the er-al infle!tions. The Greek form of the
same er- #as ES&I$ #hi!h -e!ame AS&I$ and in (atin the first
and last o#els hae disappeared$ the er- is S9&. Similar
relationships are tra!ed in the n%merals$ and thro%gho%t all the
lang%ages of these nations.
The Romans$ like the Etr%s!ans #ho !ame -efore them$ #ere neither
poeti!al nor imaginatie in temperament. Their a!tiity ran in
pra!ti!al dire!tions. They therefore inented fe#$ if any
stories$ of the gods #hom they #orshipped #ith fi0ed rites. &r.
&a!a%lay speaks of these gods as 8the so-er a-stra!tions of the
Roman pantheon.8 "e o#e most of the stories of the an!ient
mythology to the #it and fan!y of the Greeks$ more playf%l and
imaginatie$ #ho sei6ed from Egypt and from the East s%!h
legends as pleased them$ and adapted them in their o#n #ay. It
often happens that s%!h stories$ resem-ling ea!h other in their
fo%ndation$ are fo%nd in the Greek and Roman a%thors in seeral
different forms.
To %nderstand these stories$ #e #ill here first a!:%aint
o%rseles #ith the ideas of the str%!t%re of the %nierse$ #hi!h
the poets and others held$ and #hi!h #ill form the s!enery$ so to
speak$ of the narraties.
The Greek poets -elieed the earth to -e flat and !ir!%lar$ their
o#n !o%ntry o!!%pying the middle of it$ the !entral point -eing
either &o%nt Olymp%s$ the a-ode of the gods$ or Delphi$ so famo%s
for its ora!le.
The !ir!%lar disk of the earth #as !rossed from #est to east$ and
diided into t#o e:%al parts -y the SEA$ as they !alled the
&editerranean$ and its !ontin%ation the E%0ine.
Aro%nd the earth flo#ed the RI+ER OCEAN$ its !o%rse -eing from
so%th to north on the #estern side of the earth$ and in a
!ontrary dire!tion on the eastern side. It flo#ed in a steady$
e:%a-le !%rrent$ %ne0ed -y storm or tempest. The sea$ and all
the riers on earth$ re!eied their #aters from it.
The northern portion of the earth #as s%pposed to -e inha-ited -y
a happy ra!e named the 2yper-oreans >this #ord means 8#ho lie
-eyond the north8 from the #ord 8hyper$8 -eyond$ and -oreas$ the
north #ind?$ d#elling in eerlasting -liss and spring -eyond the
lofty mo%ntains #hose !aerns #ere s%pposed to send forth the
pier!ing -lasts of the north #ind$ #hi!h !hilled the people of
2ellas <Gree!e=. Their !o%ntry #as ina!!essi-le -y land or sea.
They lied e0empt from disease or old age$ from toils and
#arfare. &oore has gien %s the 8Song of a 2yper-orean$8
8I !ome from a land in the s%n)-right deep$
"here golden gardens glo#$
"here the #inds of the north$ -e!almed in sleep$
Their !on!h)shells neer -lo#.8
On the so%th side of the earth$ !lose to the stream of O!ean$
d#elt a people happy and irt%o%s as the 2yper-oreans. They #ere
named the AEthiopians. The gods faored them so highly that they
#ere #ont to leae at times their Olympian a-odes$ and go to
share their sa!rifi!es and -an:%ets.
On the #estern margin of the earth$ -y the stream of O!ean$ lay a
happy pla!e named the Elysian ,lain$ #hither mortals faored -y
the gods #ere transported #itho%t tasting of death$ to en7oy an
immortality of -liss. This happy region #as also !alled the
8fort%nate fields$8 and the 8Isles of the .lessed.8
"e th%s see that the Greeks of the early ages kne# little of any
real people e0!ept those to the east and so%th of their o#n
!o%ntry$ or near the !oast of the &editerranean. Their
imagination meantime peopled the #estern portion of this sea #ith
giants$ monsters$ and en!hantresses; #hile they pla!ed aro%nd the
disk of the earth$ #hi!h they pro-a-ly regarded as of no great
#idth$ nations en7oying the pe!%liar faor of the gods$ and
-lessed #ith happiness and longeity.
The Da#n$ the S%n$ and the &oon #ere s%pposed to rise o%t of the
O!ean$ on the #estern side$ and to drie thro%gh the air$ giing
light to gods and men. The stars also$ e0!ept those forming
Charles/ "ain or .ear$ and others near them$ rose o%t of and sank
into the stream of O!ean. There the s%n)god em-arked in a #inged
-oat$ #hi!h !oneyed him ro%nd -y the northern part of the earth$
-a!k to his pla!e of rising in the east. &ilton all%des to this
in his 8Commm%s.8
8No# the gilded !ar of day
2is golden a0le doth allay
In the steep Atlanti! stream$
And the slope s%n his %p#ard -eam
Shoots against the d%sky pole$
,a!ing to#ards the other goal
Of his !ham-er in the east.8
The a-ode of the gods #as on the s%mmit of &o%nt Olymp%s$ in
Thessaly. A gate of !lo%ds$ kept -y the goddesses named the
Seasons$ opened to permit the passage of the Celestials to earth$
and to re!eie them on their ret%rn. The gods had their separate
d#ellings; -%t all$ #hen s%mmoned$ repaired to the pala!e of
'%piter >Or 4e%s. The relation of these names to ea!h other #ill
-e e0plained on the ne0t page?$ as did also those deities #hose
%s%al a-ode #as the earth$ the #aters$ or the %nder#orld. It #as
also in the great hall of the pala!e of the Olympian king that
the gods feasted ea!h day on am-rosia and ne!tar$ their food and
drink$ the latter -eing handed ro%nd -y the loely goddess 2e-e.
2ere they !onersed of the affairs of heaen and earth; and as
they :%affed their ne!tar$ Apollo$ the god of m%si!$ delighted
them #ith the tones of his lyre$ to #hi!h the m%ses sang in
responsie strains. "hen the s%n #as set$ the gods retired to
sleep in their respe!tie d#ellings.
The follo#ing lines from the Odyssey #ill sho# ho# 2omer
!on!eied of Olymp%s@))
8So saying$ &inera$ goddess a6%re)eyed$
Rose to Olymp%s$ the rep%ted seat
Eternal of the gods$ #hi!h neer storms
Dist%r-$ rains dren!h$ or sno# inades$ -%t !alm
The e0panse and !lo%dless shines #ith p%rest day.
There the inha-itants diine re7oi!e
Foreer.@8 Co#per
S%!h #ere the a-odes of the gods as the Greeks !on!eied them.
The Romans$ -efore they kne# the Greek poetry$ seem to hae had
no definite imagination of s%!h an assem-ly of gods. .%t the
Roman and Etr%s!an ra!es #ere -y no means irreligio%s. They
enerated their departed an!estors$ and in ea!h family the
#orship of these an!estors #as an important d%ty. The images of
the an!estors #ere kept in a sa!red pla!e$ ea!h family
o-sered$ at fi0ed times$ memorial rites in their honor$ and
for these and other religio%s o-seran!es the family hearth #as
!onse!rated. The earliest rites of Roman #orship are s%pposed to
-e !onne!ted #ith s%!h family deotions.
As the Greeks and Romans -e!ame a!:%ainted #ith other nations$
they imported their ha-its of #orship$ een in early times. It
#ill -e remem-ered that as late as St. ,a%l/s time$ he fo%nd an
altar at Athens 8to an %nkno#n god.8 Greeks and Romans alike
#ere #illing to re!eie from other nations the legends regarding
their gods$ and to in!orporate them as #ell as they !o%ld #ith
their o#n. It is th%s that in the poeti!al mythology of those
nations$ #hi!h #e are no# to st%dy$ #e fre:%ently find a (atin
and a Greek name for one imagined diinity. Th%s 4e%s$ of the
Greeks$ -e!omes in (atin #ith the addition of the #ord pater <a
father= >The reader #ill o-sere that father is one of the #ords
deried from an Ayan root. (et p and t -e!ome ro%gh$ as the
grammarians say$ let p -e!ome ph$ and t th$ and yo% hae
phather or father?$ '%piter *ronos of the Greeks appears as
8+%l!an%s8 of the (atins$ 8Ares8 of the Greeks is 8&ars8 or
&aors of the (atins$ 8,oseidon8 of the Greeks is 8Nept%n%s8 of
the (atins$ 8Aphrodite8 of the Greeks is 8+en%s8 of the (atins.
This ariation is not to -e !onfo%nded #ith a mere translation$
as #here 8,a%los8 of the Greek -e!omes 8,a%l%s8 in (atin$ or
8Odysse%s8 -e!omes 89lysses$8 or as #hen 8,ierre8 of the Fren!h
-e!omes 8,eter8 in English. "hat really happened #as$ that as
the Romans$ more !%ltiated than their fathers$ fo%nd in Greek
literat%re a god of fire and smithery$ they transferred his
name 82ephaistos8 to their o#n old god 8+%l!an%s$8 #ho had the
same d%ties$ and in their after literat%re the (atin name #as
%sed for the stories of Greek and (atin origin.
As the English literat%re !ame into -eing largely on Fren!h and
(atin models$ and as Fren!h is -%t a degraded (atin and retains
(atin roots largely$ in o%r older English poets the (atin forms
of these names are generally %sed. In o%r o#n generation$ #ith
the pre!ision no# so m%!h !o%rted$ a fashion has !ome in$ of
designating &ars -y his Greek name of 8Ares$8 +en%s -y her name
of 8Aphrodite$8 and so on. .%t in this -ook$ as o%r o-7e!t is to
make familiar the stores of general English literat%re #hi!h
refer to s%!h s%-7e!ts$ #e shall retain$ in general$ the (atin
names$ only !alling the attention of the reader to the Greek
names$ as they appear in Greek a%thors$ and in many #riters of
the more re!ent English s!hools.
The real monar!h of the heaens in the mythology of -oth Gree!e
and Rome is '%piter <4e%s)pater$ father)'oe= >'oe appears to -e
a #ord deried from the same root as 4e%s$ and it appears in the
root de of the Sans!rit$ #here deas are gods of different
forms. O%r English #ord deil pro-a-ly !omes from the Fren!h
dia-le$ Italian diaolo$ (atin dia-ol%s$ one #ho makes diision$)
) literally one #ho separates -alls$ or thro#s -alls a-o%t$))
instead of thro#ing them frankly and tr%ly at the -atsman. It is
not to -e tra!ed to the Sans!rit dea.?
In the mythologi!al system #e are tra!ing 4e%s is himself the
father of many of the gods$ and he is often spoken of as father
of gods and men. 2e is the father of +%l!an >In Greek
2ephaistos?$ of +en%s >in Greek Aphrodite?$ of &inera >in Greek
,allas Athene$ or either name separately?$ of Apollo >of
,hoe-%s?$ Diana >in Greek Artemis?$ and of &er!%ry >in Greek
2ermes?$ #ho are ranked among the t#ele s%perior gods$ and of
many inferior deities. .%t '%piter himself is not the original
deity in these systems. 2e is the son of Sat%rn%s$ as in the
Greek 4e%s is the son of *ronos. Still the ineita-le :%estion
#o%ld o!!%r #here did Sat%rn%s or *ronos !ome from. And$ in
forms and statements more and more ag%e$ the ans#er #as that he
#as -orn from 9ran%s or O%ranos$ #hi!h is the name of the 2eaen
oer all #hi!h seemed to em-ra!e all things. The Greek name of
Sat%rn #as spelled *ronos. The Greek name of Time #as spelled
Chronos. A similarity -et#een the t#o #as imagined. And the
#hole statement$ #hen red%!ed to rationalisti! lang%age$ #o%ld -e
that from 9ran%s$ the infinite$ #as -orn Chronos$ Time$)) that
from Time$ 4e%s or '%piter #as -orn$ and that he is the only
!hild of Time #ho has !omplete s#ay oer mortals and immortals.
8The #ill of 'oe I o#n$
"ho mortals and immortals r%les alone.8
2omer$ II.0ii
'%piter #as son of Sat%rn <*ronos= >The names in!l%ded in
parentheses are the Greek$ the others -eing the Roman or (atin
names? and Ops <Rhea in Greek$ sometimes !onfo%nded #ith the
,hrygian Cy-ele=.
Sat%rn and Rhea #ere of the ra!e of Titans$ #ho #ere the !hildren
of Earth and 2eaen$ #hi!h sprang from Chaos$ of #hi!h #e shall
gie a f%rther a!!o%nt in o%r ne0t !hapter.
In all%sion to the dethronement of O%ranos -y *ronos$ and of
*ronos or Sat%rn%s -y 4e%s or '%piter$ ,romethe%s says in
AEs!hyl%s/s tragedy$))
81o% may deem
Its to#ers impregna-le; -%t hae I not
already seen t#o monar!hs h%rled from them.8
Thee is another !osmogony$ or a!!o%nt of the !reation$ a!!ording
to #hi!h Earth$ Ere-%s$ and (oe #ere the first of -eings. (oe
<Eros=A iss%ed from the egg of Night$ #hi!h floated on Chaos. .y
his arro#s and tor!h he pier!ed and iified all things$
prod%!ing life and 7oy.
Sat%rn and Rhea #ere not the only Titans. There #ere others$
#hose names #ere O!ean%s$ 2yperion$ Iapet%s$ and Ophion$ males;
and Themis$ &nemosyne$ E%rynome$ females. They are spoken of as
the elder gods$ #hose dominion #as after#ards transferred to
others. Sat%rn yielded to '%piter$ O!ean%s to Nept%ne$ 2yperion
to Apollo. 2yperion #as the father of the S%n$ &oon$ and Da#n.
2e is therefore the original s%n)god$ and is painted #ith the
splendor and -ea%ty #hi!h #ere after#ards -esto#ed on Apollo.
82yperion/s !%rls$ the front of 'oe himself.8 Shakespeare
Ophion and E%rynome r%led oer Olymp%s till they #ere dethroned
-y Sat%rn and Rhea. &ilton all%des to them in ,aradise (ost. 2e
says the heathen seem to hae had some kno#ledge of the
temptation and fall of man$))
8And fa-led ho# the serpent$ #hom they !alled
Ophion$ #ith E%rynome <the #ide)
En!roa!hing Ee perhaps=$ had first the r%le
Of high Olymp%s$ then!e -y Sat%rn drien.8
The representations gien of Sat%rn are not ery !onsistent$ for
on the one hand his reign is said to hae -een the golden age of
inno!en!e and p%rity$ and on the other he is des!ri-ed as a
monster #ho deo%red his o#n !hildren >This in!onsisten!y arises
from !onsidering the Sat%rn of the Romans the same #ith the
Gre!ian deity Chronos <Time=$ #hi!h$ as it -rings an end to all
things #hi!h hae had a -eginning$ may -e said to deo%r its o#n
offspring.? '%piter$ ho#eer$ es!aped this fate$ and #hen gro#n
%p espo%sed &etis <,r%den!e=$ #ho administered a dra%ght to
Sat%rn #hi!h !a%sed him to disgorge his !hildren. '%piter$ #ith
his -rothers and sisters$ no# re-elled against their father
Sat%rn$ and his -rothers the Titans; an:%ished them$ and
imprisoned some of them in Tartar%s$ infli!ting other penalties
on others. Atlas #as !ondemned to -ear %p the heaens on his
On the dethronement of Sat%rn$ '%piter #ith his -rothers Nept%ne
<,oseidon= and ,l%to <Dis= diided his dominions. '%piter/s
portion #as the heaens$ Nept%ne/s the o!ean$ and ,l%to/s the
realms of the dead. Earth and Olymp%s #ere !ommon property.
'%piter #as king of gods and men. The th%nder #as his #eapon$
and he -ore a shield !alled AEgis$ made for him -y +%l!an. The
eagle #as his faorite -ird$ and -ore his th%nder-olts.
'%no <2era=>prono%n!e 2e)re$ in t#o sylla-les? #as the #ife of
'%piter$ and :%een of the gods. Iris$ the goddess of the
rain-o#$ #as her attendant and messenger. The pea!o!k #as her
faorite -ird.
+%l!an <2ephaistos=$ the !elestial artist$ #as the son of '%piter
and '%no. 2e #as -orn lame$ and his mother #as so displeased at
the sight of him that she fl%ng him o%t of heaen. Other
a!!o%nts say that '%piter ki!ked him o%t for taking part #ith his
mother$ in a :%arrel #hi!h o!!%rred -et#een them. +%l!an/s
lameness$ a!!ording to this a!!o%nt$ #as the !onse:%en!e of his
fall. 2e #as a #hole day falling$ and at last alighted in the
island of (emnos$ #hi!h #as then!eforth sa!red to him. &ilton
all%des to this story in ,aradise lost$ .ook I.
8From morn
To noon he fell$ from noon to de#y ee$
A s%mmer/s day; and #ith the setting s%n
Dropped from the 6enith$ like a falling star$
On (emnos$ the AEgean isle.8
&ars <Ares=$ the god of #ar$ #as the son of '%piter and '%no.
,hoe-%s Apollo >this is a Greek name of a Greek diinity$ #ho
seems to hae had no Roman resem-lan!e?$ the god of ar!hery$
prophe!y$ and m%si!$ #as the son of '%piter and (atona$ and
-rother of Diana <Artemis=. 2e #as god of the s%n$ as Diana$ his
sister$ #as the goddess of the moon.
+en%s <Aphrodite=$ the goddess of loe and -ea%ty$ #as the
da%ghter of '%piter and Dione. Others say that +en%s sprang from
the foam of the sea. The 6ephyr #afted her along the #aes to
the Isle of Cypr%s$ #here she #as re!eied and attired -y the
Seasons$ and then led to the assem-ly of the gods. All #ere
!harmed #ith her -ea%ty$ and ea!h one demanded her for his #ife.
'%piter gae her to +%l!an$ in gratit%de for the seri!e he had
rendered in forging th%nder-olts. So the most -ea%tif%l of the
goddesses -e!ame the #ife of the most ill)faored of the gods.
+en%s possessed an em-roidered girdle !alled the Cest%s$ #hi!h
had the po#er of inspiring loe. 2er faorite -irds #ere s#ans
and does$ and the plants sa!red to her #ere the rose and the
C%pid <Eros=$ the god of loe$ #as the son of +en%s. 2e #as her
!onstant !ompanion; and$ armed #ith -o# and arro#s$ he shot the
darts of desire into the -osoms of -oth gods and men. There #as
a deity named Anteros$ #ho #as sometimes represented as the
aenger of slighted loe$ and sometimes as the sym-ol of
re!ipro!al affe!tion. The follo#ing legend is told of him@))
+en%s$ !omplaining to Themis that her son Eros !ontin%ed al#ays a
!hild$ #as told -y her that it #as -e!a%se he #as solitary$ and
that if he had a -rother he #o%ld gro# apa!e. Anteros #as soon
after#ards -orn$ and Eros immediately #as seen to in!rease
rapidly in si6e and strength.
&inera <,allas Athene=$ the goddess of #isdom$ #as the offspring
of '%piter$ #itho%t a mother. She sprang from his head$
!ompletely armed. 2er faorite -ird #as the o#l$ and the plant
sa!red to her the olie.
.yron$ in 8Childe 2arold$8 all%des to the -irth of &inera th%s@)
8Can tyrants -%t -y tyrants !on:%ered -e$
And freedom find no !hampion and no !hild$
S%!h as Col%m-ia sa# arise$ #hen she
Sprang forth a ,allas$ armed and %ndefiledB
Or m%st s%!h minds -e no%rished in the #ild$
Deep in the %npr%ned forest$ /midst the roar
Of Catara!ts$ #here n%rsing Nat%re smiled
On infant "ashingtonB 2as earth no more
S%!h seeds #ithin her -reast$ or E%rope no s%!h shoreB8
&er!%ry <2ermes=$ #as the son of '%piter and &aia. 2e presided
oer !ommer!e$ #restling and other gymnasti! e0er!ises; een oer
thieing$ and eerything$ in short$ #hi!h re:%ired skill and
de0terity. 2e #as the messenger of '%piter$ and #ore a #inged
!ap and #inged shoes. 2e -ore in his hand a rod ent#ined #ith
t#o serpents$ !alled the Cad%!e%s.
&er!%ry is said to hae inented the lyre. Fo%r ho%rs after his
-irth he fo%nd the shell of a tortoise$ made holes in the
opposite edges of it$ and dre# !ords of linen thro%gh them$ and
the instr%ment #as !omplete >From this origin of the instr%ment$
the #ord 8shell8 is often %sed as synonymo%s #ith @8lyre$8 and
fig%ratiely for m%si! and poetry. Th%s Gray$ in his ode on the
8,rogress of ,oesy$8 says$)) 8O Soereign of the #illing so%l$
,arent of s#eet and solemn)-reathing airs$ En!hanting shellC The
s%llen Cares And Franti! ,assions hear thy soft !ontrol.8? The
!ords #ere nine$ in honor of the nine &%ses. &er!%ry gae the
lyre to Apollo$ and re!eied from him in e0!hange the !ad%!e%s.
Ceres <Demeter= #as the da%ghter of Sat%rn and Rhea. She had a
da%ghter named ,roserpine <,ersephone=$ #ho -e!ame the #ife of
,l%to$ and :%een of the realms of the dead. Ceres presided oer
.a!!h%s <Dionys%s=A$ the god of #ine$ #as the son of '%piter and
Semele. 2e represents not only the into0i!ating po#er of #ine$
-%t its so!ial and -enefi!ent infl%en!es like#ise; so that he is
ie#ed as the promoter of !iili6ation$ and a la#gier and loer
of pea!e.
The m%ses #ere the da%ghters of '%piter and &nemosyne <&emory=.
They presided oer song$ and prompted the memory. They #ere nine
in n%m-er$ to ea!h of #hom #as assigned the presiden!y oer some
parti!%lar department of literat%re$ art$ or s!ien!e. Calliope
#as the m%se of epi! poetry$ Clio of history$ E%terpe of lyri!
poetry$ &elpomene of tragedy$ Terpis!hore of !horal dan!e and
song$ Erato of loe)poetry$ ,olyhymnia of sa!red poetry$ 9rania
of astronomy$ Thalia >,rono%n!ed Tha)lei)a$ #ith the emphasis on
the se!ond sylla-le? of !omedy.
Spenser des!ri-ed the offi!e of the Gra!es th%s@))
8These three on men all gra!io%s gifts -esto#
"hi!h de!k the -ody or adorn the mind$
To make them loely or #ell)faored sho#;
As !omely !arriage$ entertainment kind$
S#eet sem-lan!e$ friendly offi!es that -ind$
And all the !ompliments of !o%rtesy;
They tea!h %s ho# to ea!h degree and kind
"e sho%ld o%rseles demean$ to lo#$ to high.
To friends$ to foes; #hi!h skill men !all Ciility.8
The Fates #ere also three Clotho$ (a!hesis$ and Atropos. Their
offi!e #as to spin the thread of h%man destiny$ and they #ere
armed #ith shears$ #ith #hi!h they !%t it off #hen they pleased.
They #ere the da%ghters of Themis <(a#=$ #ho sits -y 'oe on his
throne to gie him !o%nsel.
The Erinnyes$ or F%ries$ #ere three goddesses #ho p%nished !rimes
-y their se!ret stings. The heads of the F%ries #ere #reathed
#ith serpents$ and their #hole appearan!e #as terrifi! and
appalling. Their names #ere Ale!to$ Tisiphone$ and &egaera.
They #ere also !alled E%menides.
Nemesis #as also an aenging goddess. She represents the
righteo%s anger of the gods$ parti!%larly to#ards the pro%d and
,an >the name ,an means eerything$ and he is sometimes spoken of
as the god of all nat%re? #as the god of flo!ks and shepherds.
2is faorite residen!e$ as the Greeks des!ri-e him$ #as in
The Satyrs #ere deities of the #oods and fields. They #ere
!on!eied to -e !oered #ith -ristly hair$ their heads de!orated
#ith short$ spro%ting horns$ and their feet like goats/ feet.
&om%s #as the god of la%ghter$ and ,l%t%s the god of #ealth.
The pre!eding are Gre!ian diinities$ tho%gh re!eied also -y the
Romans. Those #hi!h follo# are pe!%liar to Roman mythology.
Sat%rn #as an an!ient Italian deity. The Roman poets tried to
identify him #ith the Gre!ian god *ronos$ and fa-led that after
his dethronement -y '%piter$ he fled to Italy$ #here he reigned
d%ring #hat #as !alled the Golden Age. In memory of his
-enefi!ent dominion$ the feast of Sat%rnalia #as held eery year
in the #inter season. Then all p%-li! -%siness #as s%spended$
de!larations of #ar and !riminal e0e!%tions #ere postponed$
friends made presents to one another$ and the slaes #ere
ind%lged #ith great li-erties. A feast #as gien them at #hi!h
they sat at ta-le$ #hile their masters sered them$ to sho# the
nat%ral e:%ality of men$ and that all things -elonged e:%ally to
all$ in the reign of Sat%rn.
Fa%n%s >there #as also a goddess !alled Fa%na$ or .ona Dea?$ the
grandson of Sat%rn$ #as #orshipped as the god of fields and
shepherds$ and also as a propheti! god. 2is name in the pl%ral$
Fa%ns$ e0pressed a !lass of gamesome deities$ like the Satyrs of
the Greeks.
3%irin%s #as a #ar god$ said to -e no other than Rom%l%s the
fo%nder of Rome$ e0alted after his death to a pla!e among the
.ellona$ a #ar goddess.
Termin%s$ the god of landmarks. 2is stat%e #as a r%de stone or
post$ set in the gro%nd to mark the -o%ndaries of fields.
,ales$ the goddess presiding oer !attle and past%res.
,omona presided oer fr%it trees.
Flora$ the goddess of flo#ers.
(%!ina$ the goddess of !hild-irth.
+esta <the 2estia of the Greeks= #as a deity presiding oer the
p%-li! and priate hearth. A sa!red fire$ tended -y si0 irgin
priestesses !alled +estals$ flamed in her temple. As the safety
of the !ity #as held to -e !onne!ted #ith its !onseration$ the
negle!t of the irgins$ if they let it go o%t$ #as seerely
p%nished$ and the fire #as rekindled from the rays of the s%n.
(i-er is another (atin name of .a!!h%s; and &%l!i-er of +%l!an.
'an%s #as the porter of heaen. 2e opens the year$ the first
month -eing named after him. 2e is the g%ardian deity of gates$
on #hi!h a!!o%nt he is !ommonly represented #ith t#o heads$
-e!a%se eery door looks t#o #ays. 2is temples at Rome #ere
n%mero%s. In #ar time the gates of the prin!ipal one #ere al#ays
open. In pea!e they #ere !losed; -%t they #ere sh%t only on!e
-et#een the reign of N%ma and that of A%g%st%s.
The ,enates #ere the gods #ho #ere s%pposed to attend to the
#elfare and prosperity of the family. Their name is deried from
,en%s$ the pantry$ #hi!h #as sa!red to them. Eery master of a
family #as the priest to the ,enates of his o#n ho%se.
The (ares$ or (ars$ #ere also ho%sehold gods$ -%t differed from
the ,enates in -eing regarded as the deified spirits of mortals.
The family (ars #ere held to -e the so%ls of the an!estors$ #ho
#at!hed oer and prote!ted their des!endants. The #ords (em%r
and (ara more nearly !orrespond to o%r #ord Ghost.
The Romans -elieed that eery man had his Geni%s$ and eery
#oman her '%no; that is$ a spirit #ho had gien them -eing$ and
#as regarded as a prote!tor thro%gh life. On -irthdays men made
offerings to their Geni%s$ #omen to their '%no.
&a!a%lay th%s all%des to some of the Roman gods@))
8,omona loes the or!hard$
And (i-er loes the ine$
And ,ales loes the stra#)-%ilt shed
"arm #ith the -reath of kine;
And +en%s loes the #hisper
Of plighted yo%th and maid
In April/s iory moonlight$
.eneath the Chestn%t shade.8
8,rophe!y of Capys.8
N... It is to -e o-sered that in proper names the final e and
es are to -e so%nded. Th%s Cy-ele and ,enates are #ords of three
sylla-les. .%t ,roserpine and The-es hae -een so long %sed as
English #ords$ that they may -e regarded as e0!eptions$ to -e
prono%n!ed as if English. 2e!ate is sometimes prono%n!ed -y the
poets as a dissyla-le. In the Inde0 at the !lose of the ol%me$
#e shall mark the a!!ented sylla-le$ in all #ords #hi!h appear to
re:%ire it.
,romethe%s and ,andora
The Roman poet Oid gies %s a !onne!ted narratie of !reation.
.efore the earth and sea and the all)!oering heaen$ one aspe!t$
#hi!h #e !all Chaos$ !oered all the fa!e of Nat%re$)) a ro%gh
heap of inert #eight and dis!ordant -eginnings of things !lashing
together. As yet no s%n gae light to the #orld$ nor did the
moon rene# her slender horn month -y month$)) neither did the
earth hang in the s%rro%nding air$ poised -y its o#n #eight$))
nor did the sea stret!h its long arms aro%nd the earth. "hereer
there #as earth$ there #as also sea and air. So the earth #as
not solid nor #as the #ater fl%id$ neither #as the air
God and Nat%re at last interposed and p%t an end to this dis!ord$
separating earth from sea$ and heaen from -oth. The fiery part$
-eing the lightest$ sprang %p$ and formed the skies; the air #as
ne0t in #eight and pla!e. The earth$ -eing heaier$ sank -elo#$
and the #ater took the lo#est pla!e and -%oyed %p the earth.
2ere some god$ no man kno#s #ho$ arranged and diided the land.
2e pla!ed the riers and -ays$ raised mo%ntains and d%g o%t
alleys and distri-%ted #oods$ fo%ntains$ fertile fields and
stony plains. No# that the air #as !lear the stars shone o%t$
the fishes s#am the sea and -irds fle# in the air$ #hile the
fo%r)footed -easts roamed aro%nd the earth. .%t a no-ler animal
#as needed$ and man #as made in the image of the gods #ith an
%pright stat%re >The t#o Greek #ords for man hae the root an$
8%p?$ so that #hile all other animals t%rn their fa!es do#n#ard
and look to the earth$ he raises his fa!e to heaen and ga6es on
the stars >Eery reader #ill -e interested in !omparing this
narratie #ith that in the -eginning of Genesis. It seems !lear
that so many 'e#s #ere in Rome in Oid/s days$ many of #hom #ere
people of !onsideration among those #ith #hom he lied$ that he
may hae heard the a!!o%nt in the 2e-re# S!ript%res translated.
Compare '9DAIS& -y ,rof. Frederi! 2%idekoper.?
To ,romethe%s the Titan and to his -rother Epimethe%s #as
!ommitted the task of making man and all other animals$ and of
endo#ing them #ith all needf%l fa!%lties. This Epimethe%s did$
and his -rother oerlooked the #ork. Epimethe%s then gae to the
different animals their seeral gifts of !o%rage$ strength$
s#iftness and saga!ity. 2e gae #ings to one$ !la#s to another$
a shelly !oering to the third. &an$ s%perior to all other
animals$ !ame last. .%t for man Epimethe%s had nothing$)) he had
-esto#ed all his gifts else#here. 2e !ame to his -rother for
help$ and ,romethe%s$ #ith the aid of &inera$ #ent %p to heaen$
lighted his tor!h at the !hariot of the s%n$ and -ro%ght do#n
fire to man. "ith this$ man #as more than e:%al to all other
animals. Fire ena-led him to make #eapons to s%-d%e #ild -easts$
tools #ith #hi!h to till the earth. "ith fire he #armed his
d#elling and -id defian!e to the !old.
"oman #as not yet made. The story is$ that '%piter made her$ and
sent her to ,romethe%s and his -rother$ to p%nish them for their
pres%mption in stealing fire from heaen; and man$ for a!!epting
the gift. The first #oman #as named ,andora. She #as made in
heaen$ eery god !ontri-%ting something to perfe!t her. +en%s
gae her -ea%ty$ &er!%ry pers%asion$ Apollo m%si!. Th%s
e:%ipped$ she #as !oneyed to earth$ and presented to Epimethe%s$
#ho gladly a!!epted her$ tho%gh !a%tioned -y his -rother to
-e#are of '%piter and his gifts. Epimethe%s had in his ho%se a
7ar$ in #hi!h #ere kept !ertain no0io%s arti!les$ for #hi!h$ in
fitting man for his ne# a-ode$ he had had no o!!asion. ,andora
#as sei6ed #ith an eager !%riosity to kno# #hat this 7ar
!ontained; and one day she slipped off the !oer and looked in.
Forth#ith there es!aped a m%ltit%de of plag%es for hapless man$))
s%!h as go%t$ rhe%matism$ and !oli! for his -ody$ and eny$
spite$ and reenge for his mind$)) and s!attered themseles far
and #ide. ,andora hastened to repla!e the lid; -%t$ alasC The
#hole !ontents of the 7ar had es!aped$ one thing only e0!epted$
#hi!h lay at the -ottom$ and that #as 2O,E. So #e see at this
day$ #hateer eils are a-road$ hope neer entirely leaes %s;
and #hile #e hae T2AT$ no amo%nt of other ills !an make %s
!ompletely #ret!hed.
Another story is$ that ,andora #as sent in good faith$ -y
'%piter$ to -less man; that she #as f%rnished #ith a -o0$
!ontaining her marriage presents$ into #hi!h eery god had p%t
some -lessing. She opened the -o0 in!a%tio%sly$ and the
-lessings all es!aped$ 2O,E only e0!epted. This story seems more
!onsistent than the former; for ho# !o%ld 2O,E$ so pre!io%s a
7e#el as it is$ hae -een kept in a 7ar f%ll of all manner of
The #orld -eing th%s f%rnished #ith inha-itants$ the first age
#as an age of inno!en!e and happiness$ !alled the GO(DEN AGE.
Tr%th and right preailed$ tho%gh not enfor!ed -y la#$ nor #as
there any magistrate to threaten or p%nish. The forest had not
yet -een ro--ed of its trees to f%rnish tim-ers for essels$ nor
had men -%ilt fortifi!ations ro%nd their to#ns. There #ere no
s%!h things as s#ords$ spears$ or helmets. The earth -ro%ght
forth all things ne!essary for man$ #itho%t his la-or in
plo%ghing or so#ing. ,erpet%al spring reigned$ flo#ers sprang %p
#itho%t seed$ the riers flo#ed #ith milk and #ine$ and yello#
honey distilled from the oaks.
8.%t #hen good Sat%rn$ -anished from a-oe$
"as drien to hell$ the #orld #as %nder 'oe.
S%!!eeding times a Siler Age -ehold$
E0!elling -rass$ -%t more e0!elled -y gold.
Then s%mmer$ a%t%mn$ #inter did appear$
And spring #as -%t a season of the year.
The s%n his ann%al !o%rse o-li:%ely made$
Good days !ontra!ted and enlarged the -ad$
Then air$ #ith s%ltry heats$ -egan to glo#;
The #ings of #inds #ere !logged #ith i!e and sno
And shiering mortals into ho%ses drien$
So%ght shelter from the in!lemen!y of heaen.
Those ho%ses then #ere !aes$ or homely sheds;
"ith t#ining osiers fen!ed; and moss their -eds.
Then plo%ghs$ for seed$ the fr%itf%l f%rro#s -roke$
And o0en la-ored first -eneath the yoke.
To this !ame ne0t in !o%rse the .ra6en Age@
A #arlike offspring$ prompt to -loody rage$
Not impio%s yetC . .
. . . 2ard Steel s%!!eeded then;
And st%--orn as the metal #ere the men.8
Oid/s &etam$ .ook I. Dryden/s Translation.
Crime -%rst in like a flood; modesty$ tr%th$ and honor fled. In
their pla!es !ame fra%d and !%nning$ iolen!e$ and the #i!ked
loe of gain. Then seamen spread sails to the #ind$ and the
trees #ere torn from the mo%ntains to sere for keels to ships$
and e0 the fa!e of o!ean. The earth$ #hi!h till no# had -een
!%ltiated in !ommon$ -egan to -e diided off into possessions.
&en #ere not satisfied #ith #hat the s%rfa!e prod%!ed$ -%t m%st
dig into its -o#els$ and dra# forth from then!e the ores of
metals. &is!hieo%s IRON$ and more mis!hieo%s GO(D$ #ere
prod%!ed. "ar sprang %p$ %sing -oth as #eapons; the g%est #as
not safe in his friend/s ho%se; and sons)in)la# and fathers)in)
la#$ -rothers and sisters$ h%s-ands and #ies$ !o%ld not tr%st
one another. Sons #ished their fathers dead$ that they might
!ome to the inheritan!e; family loe lay prostrate. The earth
#as #et #ith sla%ghter$ and the gods a-andoned it$ one -y one$
till Astraea >the goddess of inno!en!e and p%rity. After leaing
earth$ she #as pla!ed among the stars$ #here she -e!ame the
!onstellation +irgo The +irgin. Themis <'%sti!e= #as the mother
of Astraea. She is represented as holding aloft a pair of
s!ales$ in #hi!h she #eighs the !laims of opposing parties. It
#as a faorite idea of the old poets$ that these goddesses #o%ld
one day ret%rn$ and -ring -a!k the Golden Age. Een in a
Christian 2ymn$ the &essiah of ,ope$ this idea o!!%rs.
8All !rimes shall !ease$ and an!ient fra%d shall fail$
Ret%rning '%sti!e lift aloft her s!ale$
,ea!e o/er the #orld her olie #and e0tend$
And #hite)ro-ed Inno!en!e from heaen des!end.8 See$ also$
&ilton/s 2ymn on the natiity$ stan6as 0i$ and 0? alone #as
left$ and finally she also took her depart%re.
'%piter$ seeing this state of things$ -%rned #ith anger. 2e
s%mmoned the gods to !o%n!il. They o-eyed the !all$ and took
The road to the pala!e of heaen. The road$ #hi!h any one may
see in a !lear night$ stret!hes a!ross the fa!e of the sky$ and
is !alled the &ilky "ay. Along the road stand the pala!es of the
ill%strio%s gods; the !ommon people of the skies lie apart$ on
either side. '%piter addressed the assem-ly. 2e set forth the
frightf%l !ondition of things on the earth$ and !losed -y
anno%n!ing his intention to destroy the #hole of its inha-itants$
and proide a ne# ra!e$ %nlike the first$ #ho #o%ld -e more
#orthy of life$ and m%!h -etter #orshippers of the gods. So
saying he took a th%nder-olt$ and #as a-o%t to la%n!h it at the
#orld$ and destroy it -y -%rning it; -%t re!olle!ting the danger
that s%!h a !onflagration might set heaen itself on fire$ he
!hanged his plan$ and resoled to dro#n the #orld. A:%ilo$ the
north #ind$ #hi!h s!atters the !lo%ds$ #as !hained %p; Not%s$ the
so%th$ #as sent o%t$ and soon !oered all the fa!e of heaen #ith
a !loak of pit!hy darkness. The !lo%ds$ drien together$ reso%nd
#ith a !rash; torrents of rain fall; the !rops are laid lo#; the
year/s la-or of the h%s-andman perishes in an ho%r. '%piter$ not
satisfied #ith his o#n #aters$ !alls on his -rother Nept%ne to
aid him #ith his. 2e lets loose the riers$ and po%rs them oer
the land. At the same time$ he heaes the land #ith an
earth:%ake$ and -rings in the refl%0 of the o!ean oer the
shores. Flo!ks$ herds$ men$ and ho%ses are s#ept a#ay$ and
temples$ #ith their sa!red en!los%res$ profaned. If any edifi!e
remained standing$ it #as oer#helmed$ and its t%rrets lay hid
-eneath the #aes. No# all #as sea; sea #itho%t shore. 2ere and
there some one remained on a pro7e!ting hill)top$ and a fe#$ in
-oats$ p%lled the oar #here they had lately drien the plo%gh.
The fishes s#im among the tree)tops; the an!hor is let do#n into
a garden. "here the gra!ef%l lam-s played -%t no#$ %n#ieldy sea)
!ales gam-ol. The #olf s#ims among the sheep; the yello# lions
and tigers str%ggle in the #ater. The strength of the #ild -oar
seres him not$ nor his s#iftness the stag. The -irds fall #ith
#eary #ing into the #ater$ haing fo%nd no land for a resting
pla!e. Those liing -eings #hom the #ater spared fell a prey to
,arnass%s alone$ of all the mo%ntains$ oertopped the #aes; and
there De%!alion and his #ife ,yrrha$ of the ra!e of ,romethe%s$
fo%nd ref%ge he a 7%st man$ and she a faithf%l #orshipper of
the gods. '%piter$ #hen he sa# none left alie -%t this pair$
and remem-ered their harmless lies and pio%s demeanor$ ordered
the north #inds to drie a#ay the !lo%ds$ and dis!lose the skies
to earth$ and earth to the skies. Nept%ne also dire!ted Triton
to -lo# on his shell$ and so%nd a retreat to the #aters. The
#aters o-eyed$ and the sea ret%rned to its shores$ and the riers
to their !hannels. Then De%!alion th%s addressed ,yrrha@ 8O
#ife$ only s%riing #oman$ 7oined to me first -y the ties of
kindred and marriage$ and no# -y a !ommon danger$ #o%ld that #e
possessed the po#er of o%r an!estor ,romethe%s$ and !o%ld rene#
the ra!e as he at first made itC .%t as #e !annot$ let %s seek
yonder temple$ and in:%ire of the gods #hat remains for %s to
do.8 They entered the temple$ deformed as it #as #ith slime$ and
approa!hed the altar$ #here no fire -%rned. There they fell
prostrate on the earth$ and prayed the goddess to inform them ho#
they might retriee their misera-le affairs. The ora!le
ans#ered$ 8Depart from the temple #ith head eiled and garments
%n-o%nd$ and !ast -ehind yo% the -ones of yo%r mother.8 They
heard the #ords #ith astonishment. ,yrrha first -roke silen!e@
8"e !annot o-ey; #e dare not profane the remains of o%r parents.8
They so%ght the thi!kest shades of the #ood$ and reoled the
ora!le in their minds. At length De%!alion spoke@ 8Either my
saga!ity de!eies me$ or the !ommand is one #e may o-ey #itho%t
impiety. The earth is the great parent of all; the stones are
her -ones; these #e may !ast -ehind %s; and I think this is #hat
the ora!le means. At least$ it #ill do no harm to try.8 They
eiled their fa!es$ %n-o%nd their garments$ and pi!ked %p stones$
and !ast them -ehind them. The stones <#onderf%l to relate=
-egan to gro# soft$ and ass%me shape. .y degrees$ they p%t on a
r%de resem-lan!e to the h%man form$ like a -lo!k half finished in
the hands of the s!%lptor. The moist%re and slime that #ere
a-o%t them -e!ame flesh; the stony part -e!ame -ones; the eins
remained eins$ retaining their name$ only !hanging their %se.
Those thro#n -y the hand of the man -e!ame men$ and those -y the
#oman -e!ame #omen. It #as a hard ra!e$ and #ell adapted to
la-or$ as #e find o%rseles to -e at this day$ giing plain
indi!ations of o%r origin.
The !omparison of Ee to ,andora is too o-io%s to hae es!aped
&ilton$ #ho introd%!es it in .ook I+$ of ,aradise (ost@))
8&ore loely than ,andora$ #hom the gods
Endo#ed #ith all their gifts; and O$ too like
In sad eent$ #hen to the %n#iser son
Of '%piter$ -ro%ght -y 2ermes$ she ensnared
&ankind #ith her fair looks$ to -e aenged
On him #ho had stole 'oe/s a%thenti! fire.8
,romethe%s and Epimethe%s #ere sons of Iapet%s$ #hi!h &ilton
!hanges to 'aphet.
,romethe%s$ the Titan son of Iapet%s and Themis$ is a faorite
s%-7e!t #ith the poets. AEs!hyl%s #rote three tragedies on the
s%-7e!ts of his !onfinement$ his release$ and his #orship at
Athens. Of these only the first is presered$ the ,romethe%s
.o%nd. ,romethe%s #as the only one in the !o%n!il of the gods
#ho faored man. 2e alone #as kind to the h%man ra!e$ and ta%ght
and prote!ted them.
8I formed his mind$
And thro%gh the !lo%d of -ar-aro%s ignoran!e
Diff%sed the -eams of kno#ledge . . . .
They sa# indeed$ they heard$ -%t #hat aailed
Or sight or hearing$ all things ro%nd them rolling$
(ike the %nreal imagery of dreams
In #ild !onf%sion mi0edC The lightsome #all
Of finer masonry$ the raftered roof
They kne# not; -%t like ants still -%ried$ deled
Deep in the earth and s!ooped their s%nless !aes.
9nmarked the seasons ranged$ the -iting #inter$
The flo#er)perf%med spring$ the ripening s%mmer
Fertile of fr%its. At random all their #orks
Till I instr%!ted them to mark the stars$
Their rising$ and$ a harder s!ien!e yet$
Their setting. The ri!h train of marshalled n%m-ers
I ta%ght them$ and the meet array of letters.
To impress these pre!epts on their hearts I sent
&emory$ the a!tie mother of all reason.
I ta%ght the patient steer to -ear the yoke$
In all his toils 7oint)la-orer of man.
.y me the harnessed steed #as trained to #hirl
The rapid !ar$ and gra!e the pride of #ealth.
The tall -ark$ lightly -o%nding o/er the #aes$
I ta%ght its !o%rse$ and #inged its flying sail.
To man I gae these arts.8
,otter/s Translation from the ,romethe%s .o%nd
'%piter$ angry at the insolen!e and pres%mption of ,romethe%s in
taking %pon himself to gie all these -lessings to man$ !ondemned
the Titan to perpet%al imprisonment$ -o%nd on a ro!k on &o%nt
Ca%!as%s #hile a %lt%re sho%ld foreer prey %pon his lier.
This state of torment might at any time hae -een -ro%ght to an
end -y ,romethe%s if he had -een #illing to s%-mit to his
oppressor. For ,romethe%s kne# of a fatal marriage #hi!h 'oe
m%st make and -y #hi!h he m%st !ome to r%in. 2ad ,romethe%s
reealed this se!ret he #o%ld at on!e hae -een taken into faor.
.%t this he disdained to do. 2e has therefore -e!ome the sym-ol
of magnanimo%s end%ran!e of %nmerited s%ffering and strength of
#ill resisting oppression.
.yron and Shelley hae -oth treated this theme. The follo#ing
are .yron/s lines@))
8TitanC To #hose immortal eyes
The s%fferings of mortality$
Seen in their sad reality$
"ere not as things that gods despise$
"hat #as thy pity/s re!ompenseB
A silent s%ffering$ and intense;
The ro!k$ the %lt%re$ and the !hain;
All that the pro%d !an feel of pain;
The agony they do not sho#;
The s%ffo!ating sense of #oe.
8Thy godlike !rime #as to -e kind;
To render #ith thy pre!epts less
The s%m of h%man #ret!hedness$
And strengthen man #ith his o#n mind.
And$ -affled as tho% #ert from high$
Still$ in thy patient energy$
In the end%ran!e and rep%lse$
Of thine impenetra-le spirit$
"hi!h earth and heaen !o%ld not !on%lse$
A mighty lesson #e inherit.8
The slime #ith #hi!h the earth #as !oered -y the #aters of the
flood$ prod%!ed an e0!essie fertility$ #hi!h !alled forth eery
ariety of prod%!tion$ -oth -ad and good. Among the rest$
,ython$ an enormo%s serpent$ !rept forth$ the terror of the
people$ and l%rked in the !aes of &o%nt ,arnass%s. Apollo sle#
him #ith his arro#s #eapons #hi!h he had not -efore %sed
against any -%t fee-le animals$ hares$ #ild goats$ and s%!h game.
In !ommemoration of this ill%strio%s !on:%est he instit%ted the
,ythian games$ in #hi!h the i!tor in feats of strength$
s#iftness of foot$ or in the !hariot ra!e$ #as !ro#ned #ith a
#reath of -ee!h leaes; for the la%rel #as not yet adopted -y
Apollo as his o#n tree. And here Apollo fo%nded his ora!le at
Delphi$ the only ora!le 8that #as not e0!l%siely national$ for
it #as !ons%lted -y many o%tside nations$ and$ in fa!t$ #as held
in the highest rep%te all oer the #orld. In o-edien!e to its
de!rees$ the la#s of (y!%rg%s #ere introd%!ed$ and the earliest
Greek !olonies fo%nded. No !ities #ere -%ilt #itho%t first
!ons%lting the Delphi! ora!le$ for it #as -elieed that Apollo
took spe!ial delight in the fo%nding of !ities$ the first stone
of #hi!h he laid in person; nor #as any enterprise eer
%ndertaken #itho%t in:%iry at this sa!red fane as to its pro-a-le
s%!!ess8 >From .eren/s &yths and (egends of Gree!e and Rome.?
The famo%s stat%e of Apollo !alled the .eledere >From the
.eledere of the +ati!an pala!e #here it stands? represents the
god after his i!tory oer the serpent ,ython. To this .yron
all%des in his Childe 2arold$ i. DED@))
8The lord of the %nerring -o#$
The god of life$ and poetry$ and light$
The S%n$ in h%man lim-s arrayed$ and -ro#
All radiant from his tri%mph in the fight.
The shaft has 7%st -een shot; the arro# -right
"ith an immortal/s engean!e; in his eye
And nostril$ -ea%tif%l disdain$ and might$
And ma7esty flash their f%ll lightnings -y$
Deeloping in that one glan!e the Deity.8
Daphne #as Apollo/s first loe. It #as not -ro%ght a-o%t -y
a!!ident$ -%t -y the mali!e of C%pid. Apollo sa# the -oy playing
#ith his -o# and arro#s; and -eing himself elated #ith his re!ent
i!tory oer ,ython$ he said to him$ 8"hat hae yo% to do #ith
#arlike #eapons$ sa%!y -oyB (eae them for hands #orthy of them.
.ehold the !on:%est I hae #on -y means of them oer the ast
serpent #ho stret!hed his poisono%s -ody oer a!res of the plainC
.e !ontent #ith yo%r tor!h$ !hild$ and kindle %p yo%r flames$ as
yo% !all them$ #here yo% #ill$ -%t pres%me not to meddle #ith my
+en%s/s -oy heard these #ords$ and re7oined$ 8@1o%r arro#s may
strike all things else$ Apollo$ -%t mine shall strike yo%.@8 So
saying$ he took his stand on a ro!k of ,arnass%s$ and dre# from
his :%ier t#o arro#s of different #orkmanship$ one to e0!ite
loe$ the other to repel it. The former #as of gold and sharp)
pointed$ the latter -l%nt and tipped #ith lead. "ith the leaden
shaft he str%!k the nymph Daphne$ the da%ghter of the rier god
,ene%s$ and #ith the golden one Apollo$ thro%gh the heart.
Forth#ith the god #as sei6ed #ith loe for the maiden$ and she
a-horred the tho%ght of loing. 2er delight #as in #oodland
sports and in the spoils of the !hase. &any loers so%ght her$
-%t she sp%rned them all$ ranging the #oods$ and taking tho%ght
neither of C%pid nor of 2ymen. 2er father often said to her$
8Da%ghter$ yo% o#e me a son)in)la#; yo% o#e me grand!hildren.8
She$ hating the tho%ght of marriage as a !rime$ #ith her
-ea%tif%l fa!e tinged all oer #ith -l%shes$ thre# her arms
aro%nd her father/s ne!k$ and said$ 8Dearest father$ grant me
this faor$ that I may al#ays remain %nmarried$ like Diana.8 2e
!onsented$ -%t at the same time said$ 81o%r o#n fa!e #ill for-id
Apollo loed her$ and longed to o-tain her; and he #ho gies
ora!les to all in the #orld #as not #ise eno%gh to look into his
o#n fort%nes. 2e sa# her hair fl%ng loose oer her sho%lders$
and said$ 8If so !harming in disorder$ #hat #o%ld it -e if
arrangedB8 2e sa# her eyes -right as stars; he sa# her lips$ and
#as not satisfied #ith only seeing them. 2e admired her hands
and arms -ared to the sho%lder$ and #hateer #as hidden from ie#
he imagined more -ea%tif%l still. 2e follo#ed her; she fled$
s#ifter than the #ind$ and delayed not a moment at his
entreaties. 8Stay$8 said he$ 8da%ghter of ,ene%s; I am not a
foe. Do not fly me as a lam- flies the #olf$ or a doe the ha#k.
It is for loe I p%rs%e yo%. 1o% make me misera-le$ for fear yo%
sho%ld fall and h%rt yo%rself on these stones$ and I sho%ld -e
the !a%se. ,ray r%n slo#er$ and I #ill follo# slo#er. I am no
!lo#n$ no r%de peasant. '%piter is my father$ and I am lord of
Delphos and Tenedos$ and kno# all things$ present and f%t%re. I
am the god of song and the lyre. &y arro#s fly tr%e to the mark;
-%t alasC An arro# more fatal than mine has pier!ed my heartC I
am the god of medi!ine$ and kno# the irt%es of all healing
plants. AlasC I s%ffer a malady that no -alm !an !%reC8
The nymph !ontin%ed her flight$ and left his plea half %ttered.
And een as she fled she !harmed him. The #ind -le# her
garments$ and her %n-o%nd hair streamed loose -ehind her. The
god gre# impatient to find his #ooings thro#n a#ay$ and$ sped -y
C%pid$ gained %pon her in the ra!e. It #as like a ho%nd p%rs%ing
a hare$ #ith open 7a#s ready to sei6e$ #hile the fee-ler animal
darts for#ard$ slipping from the ery grasp. So fle# the god and
the irgin he on the #ings of loe$ and she on those of fear.
The p%rs%er is the more rapid$ ho#eer$ and gains %pon her$ and
his panting -reath -lo#s %pon her hair. No# her strength -egins
to fail$ and$ ready to sink$ she !alls %pon her father$ the rier
god@ 82elp me$ ,ene%sC Open the earth to en!lose me$ or !hange
my form$ #hi!h has -ro%ght me into this dangerC8
S!ar!ely had she spoken$ #hen a stiffness sei6ed all her lim-s;
her -osom -egan to -e en!losed in a tender -ark; her hair -e!ame
leaes; her arms -e!ame -ran!hes; her feet st%!k fast in the
gro%nd$ as roots; her fa!e -e!ame a tree)top$ retaining nothing
of its former self -%t its -ea%ty. Apollo stood ama6ed. 2e
to%!hed the stem$ and felt the flesh trem-le %nder the ne# -ark.
2e em-ra!ed the -ran!hes$ and laished kisses on the #ood. The
-ran!hes shrank from his lips. 8Sin!e yo% !annot -e my #ife$8
said he$ 8yo% shall ass%redly -e my tree. I #ill #ear yo% for my
!ro#n. "ith yo% I #ill de!orate my harp and my :%ier; and #hen
the great Roman !on:%erors lead %p the tri%mphal pomp to the
Capitol$ yo% shall -e #oen into #reaths for their -ro#s. And$
as eternal yo%th is mine$ yo% also shall -e al#ays green$ and
yo%r leaf kno# no de!ay.8 The nymph$ no# !hanged into a la%rel
tree$ -o#ed its head in gratef%l a!kno#ledgment.
Apollo #as god of m%si! and of poetry and also of medi!ine. For$
as the poet Armstrong says$ himself a physi!ian@))
8&%si! e0alts ea!h 7oy$ allays ea!h grief$
E0pels disease$ softens eery pain;
And hen!e the #ise of an!ient days adored
One po#er of physi!$ melody$ and song.8
The story of Apollo and Daphne is often all%ded to -y the poets.
"aller applies it to the !ase of one #hose amatory erses$ tho%gh
they did not soften the heart of his mistress$ yet #on for the
poet #ide)spread fame.
81et #hat he s%ng in his immortal strain$
Tho%gh %ns%!!essf%l$ #as not s%ng in ain.
All -%t the nymph that sho%ld redress his #rong$
Attend his passion and approe his song.
(ike ,hoe-%s th%s$ a!:%iring %nso%ght praise$
2e !a%ght at loe and filled his arms #ith -ays.8
The follo#ing stan6a from Shelley/s Adonais all%des to .yron/s
early :%arrel #ith the reie#ers@))
8The herded #oles$ -old only to p%rs%e;
The o-s!ene raens$ !lamoro%s o/er the dead;
The %lt%res$ to the !on:%eror/s -anner tr%e$
"ho feed #here Desolation first has fed.
And #hose #ings rain !ontagion; ho# they fled$
"hen like Apollo$ from his golden -o#$
The ,ythian of the age one arro# sped
And smiledC The spoilers tempt no se!ond -lo#;
They fa#n on the pro%d feet that sp%rn them as they go.8
,yram%s #as the handsomest yo%th$ and This-e the fairest maiden$
in all .a-ylonia$ #here Semiramis reigned. Their parents
o!!%pied ad7oining ho%ses; and neigh-orhood -ro%ght the yo%ng
people together$ and a!:%aintan!e ripened into loe. They #o%ld
gladly hae married$ -%t their parents for-ade. One thing$
ho#eer$ they !o%ld not for-id that loe sho%ld glo# #ith e:%al
ardor in the -osoms of -oth. They !onersed -y signs and
glan!es$ and the fire -%rned more intensely for -eing !oered %p.
In the #all that parted the t#o ho%ses there #as a !ra!k$ !a%sed
-y some fa%lt in the str%!t%re. No one had remarked it -efore$
-%t the loers dis!oered it. /"hat #ill loe not dis!oerB It
afforded a passage to the oi!e; and tender messages %sed to pass
-a!k#ard and for#ard thro%gh the gap. As they stood$ ,yram%s on
this side$ This-e on that$ their -reaths #o%ld mingle. 8Cr%el
#all$8 they said$ 8#hy do yo% keep t#o loers apartB .%t #e #ill
not -e %ngratef%l. "e o#e yo%$ #e !onfess$ the priilege of
transmitting loing #ords to #illing ears.8 S%!h #ords they
%ttered on different sides of the #all; and #hen night !ame and
they m%st say fare#ell$ they pressed their lips %pon the #all$
she on her side$ he on his$ as they !o%ld !ome no nearer.
One morning$ #hen A%rora had p%t o%t the stars$ and the s%n had
melted the frost from the grass$ they met at the a!!%stomed spot.
Then$ after lamenting their hard fate$ they agreed that ne0t
night$ #hen all #as still$ they #o%ld slip a#ay from #at!hf%l
eyes$ leae their d#ellings and #alk o%t into the fields; and to
ins%re a meeting$ repair to a #ell)kno#n edifi!e$ standing
#itho%t the !ity/s -o%nds$ !alled the tom- of Nin%s$ and that the
one #ho !ame first sho%ld a#ait the other at the foot of a
!ertain tree. It #as a #hite m%l-erry tree and stood near a !ool
spring. All #as agreed on$ and they #aited impatiently for the
s%n to go do#n -eneath the #aters and night to rise %p from them.
Then !a%tio%sly This-e stole forth$ %no-sered -y the family$ her
head !oered #ith a eil$ made her #ay to the mon%ment and sat
do#n %nder the tree. As she sat alone in the dim light of the
eening she des!ried a lioness$ her 7a#s reeking #ith re!ent
sla%ghter$ approa!hing the fo%ntain to slake her thirst. This-e
fled at the sight$ and so%ght ref%ge in the hollo# of a ro!k. As
she fled she dropped her eil. The lioness$ after drinking at
the spring$ t%rned to retreat to the #oods$ and seeing the eil
on the gro%nd$ tossed and rent it #ith her -loody mo%th.
,yram%s$ haing -een delayed$ no# approa!hed the pla!e of
meeting. 2e sa# in the sand the footsteps of the lion$ and the
!olor fled from his !heeks at the sight. ,resently he fo%nd the
eil all rent and -loody. 8Oh$ hapless girl$8 said he$ 8I hae
-een the !a%se of thy deathC Tho%$ more #orthy of life than I$
hast fallen the first i!tim. I #ill follo#. I am the g%ilty
!a%se$ in tempting thee forth to a pla!e of s%!h peril$ and not
-eing myself on the spot to g%ard thee. Come forth$ ye lions$
from the ro!ks$ and tear this g%ilty -ody #ith yo%r teeth8 2e
took %p the eil$ !arried it #ith him to the appointed tree$ and
!oered it #ith kisses and #ith tears. 8&y -lood also shall
stain yo%r te0t%re$8 said he$ and dra#ing his s#ord pl%nged it
into his heart. The -lood sp%rted from the #o%nd$ and tinged the
#hite m%l-erries of the tree all red; and sinking into the earth
rea!hed the roots$ so that the red !olor mo%nted thro%gh the
tr%nk to the fr%it.
.y this time$ This-e$ still trem-ling #ith fear$ yet #ishing not
to disappoint her loer$ stepped !a%tio%sly forth$ looking
an0io%sly for the yo%th$ eager to tell him the danger she had
es!aped. "hen she !ame to the spot and sa# the !hanged !olor of
the m%l-erries she do%-ted #hether it #as the same pla!e. "hile
she hesitated she sa# the form of one str%ggling in the agonies
of death. She started -a!k$ a sh%dder ran thro%gh her frame as a
ripple on the fa!e of the still #ater #hen a s%dden -ree6e s#eeps
oer it. .%t as soon as she re!ogni6ed her loer$ she s!reamed
and -eat her -reast; em-ra!ing the lifeless -ody$ po%ring tears
into its #o%nds$ and imprinting kisses on the !old lips. 8Oh$
,yram%s$8 she !ried$ 8#hat has done thisB Ans#er me$ ,yram%s; it
is yo%r o#n This-e that speaks. 2ear me$ dearest$ and lift that
drooping headC8 At the name of This-e$ ,yram%s opened his eyes$
then !losed them again. She sa# her eil stained #ith -lood and
the s!a--ard empty of its s#ord. 8Thy o#n hand has slain thee$
and for my sake$8 she said. 8I too !an -e -rae for on!e$ and my
loe is as strong as thine. I #ill follo# thee in death$ for I
hae -een the !a%se; and death$ #hi!h alone !o%ld part %s$ shall
not preent my 7oining thee. And ye$ %nhappy parents of %s -oth$
deny %s not o%r %nited re:%est. As loe and death hae 7oined
%s$ let one tom- !ontain %s. And tho%$ tree$ retain the marks of
sla%ghter. (et thy -erries still sere for memorials of o%r
-lood.8 So saying$ she pl%nged the s#ord into her -reast. 2er
parents a!!eded to her #ish; the gods also ratified it. The t#o
-odies #ere -%ried in one sep%l!hre$ and the tree eer after
-ro%ght forth p%rple -erries$ as it does to this day.
&oore$ in the Sylph/s .all$ speaking of Day/s Safety (amp$ is
reminded of the #all that separated This-e and her loer@))
8O for that lamp/s metalli! ga%6e$
That !%rtain of prote!ting #ire$
"hi!h Day deli!ately dra#s
Aro%nd illi!it$ dangero%s fireC
8The #all he sets /t#i0t Flame and Air$
<(ike that #hi!h -arred yo%ng This-e/s -liss=$
Thro%gh #hose small holes this dangero%s pair
&ay see ea!h other$ -%t not kiss.8
In &i!kle/s translation of the (%siad o!!%rs the follo#ing
all%sion to the story of ,yram%s and This-e$ and the
metamorphosis of the m%l-erries. The poet is des!ri-ing the
Island of (oe.
8 here ea!h gift ,omona/s hand -esto#s
In !%lt%red garden$ free %n!%lt%red flo#s$
The flaor s#eeter and the h%e more fair
Than e/er #as fostered -y the hand of !are.
The !herry here in shining !rimson glo#s$
And stained #ith loer/s -lood$ in pendent ro#s$
The m%l-erries o/erload the -ending -o%ghs.8
If any of o%r yo%ng readers !an -e so hard)hearted as to en7oy a
la%gh at the e0pense of poor ,yram%s and This-e$ they may find an
opport%nity -y t%rning to Shakespeare/s play of &ids%mmer Night/s
Dream$ #here it is most am%singly -%rles:%ed.
2ere is the des!ription of the play and the !hara!ters -y the
8Gentles$ per!han!e yo% #onder at this sho#;
.%t #onder on$ till tr%th makes all things plain.
This man is ,yram%s$ if yo% #o%ld kno#;
This loely lady This-y is !ertain.
This man #ith lime and ro%gh!ast$ doth present
"all$ that ile "all$ #hi!h did these loers s%nder;
And thro%gh "all/s !hink$ poor so%ls$ they are !ontent
To #hisper. At the #hi!h let no man #onder.
This man$ #ith lanthorn$ dog and -%sh of thorn$
,resenteth &oonshine; for$ if yo% #ill kno#$
.y &oonshine did these loers think no s!orn
To meet at Nin%s/ tom-$ there$ there to #oo.
This grisly -east$ #hi!h -y name (ion hight.
The tr%sty This-y$ !oming first -y night$
Did s!are a#ay$ or rather did affright;
And$ as she fled$ her mantle she did fall$
"hi!h (ion ile #ith -loody mo%th did stain.
Anon !omes ,yram%s$ s#eet yo%th and tall$
And finds his tr%sty This-y/s mantle slain;
"hereat #ith -lade$ #ith -loody -lamef%l -lade$
2e -raely -roa!hed his -oiling -loody -reast;
And$ This-y$ tarrying in m%l-erry shade$
2is dagger dre# and died.8
&ids%mmer Night/s Dream$ .D$DFG$ et se:.
Cephal%s #as a -ea%tif%l yo%th and fond of manly sports. 2e
#o%ld rise -efore the da#n to p%rs%e the !hase. A%rora sa# him
#hen she first looked forth$ fell in loe #ith him$ and stole him
a#ay. .%t Cephal%s #as 7%st married to a !harming #ife #hom he
loed deotedly. 2er name #as ,ro!ris. She #as a faorite of
Diana$ the goddess of h%nting$ #ho had gien her a dog #hi!h
!o%ld o%tr%n eery rial$ and a 7aelin #hi!h #o%ld neer fail of
its mark; and ,ro!ris gae these presents to her h%s-and.
Cephal%s #as so happy in his #ife that he resisted all the
entreaties of A%rora$ and she finally dismissed him in
displeas%re$ saying$ 8Go$ %ngratef%l mortal$ keep yo%r #ife$
#hom$ if I am not m%!h mistaken$ yo% #ill one day -e ery sorry
yo% eer sa# again.8
Cephal%s ret%rned$ and #as as happy as eer in his #ife and his
#oodland sports. No# it happened some angry deity had sent a
raeno%s fo0 to annoy the !o%ntry; and the h%nters t%rned o%t in
great strength to !apt%re it. Their efforts #ere all in ain; no
dog !o%ld r%n it do#n; and at last they !ame to Cephal%s to
-orro# his famo%s dog$ #hose name #as (elaps. No sooner #as the
dog let loose than he darted off$ :%i!ker than their eye !o%ld
follo# him. If they had not seen his footprints in the sand they
#o%ld hae tho%ght he fle#. Cephal%s and others stood on a hill
and sa# the ra!e. The fo0 tried eery art; he ran in a !ir!le
and t%rned on his tra!k$ the dog !lose %pon him$ #ith open 7a#s$
snapping at his heels$ -%t -iting only the air. Cephal%s #as
a-o%t to %se his 7aelin$ #hen s%ddenly he sa# -oth dog and game
stop instantly. The heaenly po#ers #ho had gien -oth$ #ere not
#illing that either sho%ld !on:%er. In the ery attit%de of life
and a!tion they #ere t%rned into stone. So lifelike and nat%ral
did they look$ yo% #o%ld hae tho%ght$ as yo% looked at them$
that one #as going to -ark$ the other to leap for#ard.
Cephal%s$ tho%gh he had lost his dog$ still !ontin%ed to take
delight in the !hase. 2e #o%ld go o%t at early morning$ ranging
the #oods and hills %na!!ompanied -y any one$ needing no help$
for his 7aelin #as a s%re #eapon in all !ases. Fatig%ed #ith
h%nting$ #hen the s%n got high he #o%ld seek a shady nook #here a
!ool stream flo#ed$ and$ stret!hed on the grass #ith his garments
thro#n aside$ #o%ld en7oy the -ree6e. Sometimes he #o%ld say
alo%d$ 8Come$ s#eet -ree6e$ !ome and fan my -reast$ !ome and
allay the heat that -%rns me.8 Some one passing -y one day heard
him talking in this #ay to the air$ and$ foolishly -elieing that
he #as talking to some maiden$ #ent and told the se!ret to
,ro!ris$ Cephal%s/s #ife. (oe is !red%lo%s. ,ro!ris$ at the
s%dden sho!k$ fainted a#ay. ,resently re!oering$ she said$ 8It
!annot -e tr%e; I #ill not -eliee it %nless I myself am a
#itness to it.8 So she #aited$ #ith an0io%s heart$ till the ne0t
morning$ #hen Cephal%s #ent to h%nt as %s%al. Then she stole o%t
after him$ and !on!ealed herself in the pla!e #here the informer
dire!ted her. Cephal%s !ame as he #as #ont #hen tired #ith
sport$ and stret!hed himself on the green -ank$ saying$ 8Come$
s#eet -ree6e$ !ome and fan me; yo% kno# ho# I loe yo%C 1o% make
the groes and my solitary ram-les delightf%l.8 2e #as r%nning
on in this #ay #hen he heard$ or tho%ght he heard$ a so%nd as of
a so- in the -%shes. S%pposing it some #ild animal$ he thre# hie
7aelin at the spot. A !ry from his -eloed ,ro!ris told him
that the #eapon had too s%rely met its mark. 2e r%shed to the
pla!e$ and fo%nd her -leeding and #ith sinking strength
endeaoring to dra# forth from the #o%nd the 7aelin$ her o#n
gift. Cephal%s raised her from the earth$ stroe to stan!h the
-lood$ and !alled her to reie and not to leae him misera-le$
to reproa!h himself #ith her death. She opened her fee-le eyes$
and for!ed herself to %tter these fe# #ords@ 8I implore yo%$ if
yo% hae eer loed me$ if I hae eer desered kindness at yo%r
hands$ my h%s-and$ grant me this last re:%est; do not marry that
odio%s .ree6eC8 This dis!losed the #hole mystery; -%t alasC
"hat adantage to dis!lose it no#B She died; -%t her fa!e #ore a
!alm e0pression$ and she looked pityingly and forgiingly on her
h%s-and #hen he made her %nderstand the tr%th.
In Shakespeare/s play 7%st :%oted$ there is an all%sion to
Cephal%s and ,ro!ris$ altho%gh rather -adly spelt.
,yram%s says$ 8Not Shafal%s to ,ro!r%s #as so tr%e.8
This-e. 8As Shafal%s to ,ro!r%s$ I to yo%.8
&oore$ in his (egendary .allads$ has one on Cephal%s and ,ro!ris$
-eginning th%s@))
8A h%nter on!e in a groe re!lined$
To sh%n the noon/s -right eye$
And oft he #ooed the #andering #ind
To !ool his -ro# #ith its sigh.
"hile m%te lay een the #ild -ee/s h%m$
Nor -reath !o%ld stir the aspen/s hair$
2is song #as still$ /S#eet Air$ O !omeC/
"hile E!ho ans#ered$ /Come$ s#eet AirC/8
Chapter III
Io and Callisto. Diana and A!taeon. The Story of ,haeton
'%piter and '%no$ altho%gh h%s-and and #ife$ did not lie
together ery happily. '%piter did not loe his #ife ery m%!h$
and '%no distr%sted her h%s-and$ and #as al#ays a!!%sing him of
%nfaithf%lness. One day she per!eied that it s%ddenly gre#
dark$ and immediately s%spe!ted that her h%s-and had raised a
!lo%d to hide some of his doings that #o%ld not -ear the light.
She -r%shed a#ay the !lo%d$ and sa# her h%s-and$ on the -anks of
a glassy rier$ #ith a -ea%tif%l heifer standing near him. '%no
s%spe!ted that the heifer/s form !on!ealed some fair nymph of
mortal mo%ld. This #as indeed the !ase; for it #as Io$ the
da%ghter of the rier god Ina!h%s$ #hom '%piter had -een flirting
#ith$ and$ #hen he -e!ame a#are of the approa!h of his #ife$ had
!hanged into that form.
'%no 7oined her h%s-and$ and noti!ing the heifer$ praised its
-ea%ty$ and asked #hose it #as$ and of #hat herd. '%piter$ to
stop :%estions$ replied that it #as a fresh !reation from the
earth. '%no asked to hae it as a gift. "hat !o%ld '%piter doB
2e #as loth to gie his mistress to his #ife; yet ho# ref%se so
trifling a present as a simple heiferB 2e !o%ld not$ #itho%t
aro%sing s%spi!ion; so he !onsented. The goddess #as not yet
relieed of her s%spi!ions; and she deliered the heifer to
Arg%s$ to -e stri!tly #at!hed.
No# Arg%s had a h%ndred eyes in his head$ and neer #ent to sleep
#ith more than t#o at a time$ so that he kept #at!h of Io
!onstantly. 2e s%ffered her to feed thro%gh the day$ and at
night tied her %p #ith a ile rope ro%nd her ne!k. She #o%ld
hae stret!hed o%t her arms to implore freedom of Arg%s$ -%t she
had no arms to stret!h o%t$ and her oi!e #as a -ello# that
frightened een herself. She sa# her father and her sisters$ #ent
near them$ and s%ffered them to pat her -a!k$ and heard them
admire her -ea%ty. 2er father rea!hed her a t%ft o gras$ and she
li!ked the o%tstret!hed hand. She longed to make herself kno#n
to him$ and #o%ld hae %ttered her #ish; -%t$ alasC #ords #ere
#anting. At length she -etho%ght herself of #riting$ and
ins!ri-ed her name it #as a short one #ith her hoof on the
sand. Ina!h%s re!ogni6ed it$ and dis!oering that his da%ghter$
#hom he had long so%ght in ain$ #as hidden %nder this disg%ise$
mo%rned oer her$ and$ em-ra!ing her #hite ne!k$ e0!laimed$
8AlasC &y da%ghter$ it #o%ld hae -een a less grief to hae lost
yo% altogetherC8 "hile he th%s lamented$ Arg%s$ o-sering$ !ame
and droe her a#ay$ and took his seat on a high -ank$ #hen!e he
!o%ld see in eery dire!tion.
'%piter #as tro%-led at -eholding the s%fferings of his mistress$
and !alling &er!%ry$ told him to go and despat!h Arg%s. &er!%ry
made haste$ p%t his #inged slippers on his feet$ and !ap on his
head$ took his sleep)prod%!ing #and$ and leaped do#n from the
heaenly to#ers to the earth. There he laid aside his #ings$ and
kept only his #and$ #ith #hi!h he presented himself as a shepherd
driing his flo!k. As he strolled on he -le# %pon his pipes.
These #ere #hat are !alled the Syrin0 or ,andean pipes. Arg%s
listened #ith delight$ for he had neer heard the instr%ment
-efore. 81o%ng man$8 said he$ 8!ome and take a seat -y me on
this stone. There is no -etter pla!e for yo%r flo!k to gra6e in
than herea-o%ts$ and here is a pleasant shade s%!h as shepherds
loe.8 &er!%ry sat do#n$ talked$ and told stories %ntil it gre#
late$ and played %pon his pipes his most soothing strains$ hoping
to l%ll the #at!hf%l eyes to sleep$ -%t all in ain; for Arg%s
still !ontried to keep some of his eyes open$ tho%gh he sh%t the
Among other stories$ &er!%ry told him ho# the instr%ment on #hi!h
he played #as inented. 8There #as a !ertain nymph$ #hose name
#as Syrin0$ #ho #as m%!h -eloed -y the satyrs and spirits of the
#ood; -%t she #o%ld hae none of them$ -%t #as a faithf%l
#orshipper of Diana$ and follo#ed the !hase. 1o% #o%ld hae
tho%ght it #as Diana herself$ had yo% seen her in her h%nting
dress$ only that her -o# #as of horn and Diana/s of siler. One
day$ as she #as ret%rning from the !hase$ ,an met her$ told her
7%st this$ and added more of the same sort. She ran a#ay$
#itho%t stopping to hear his !ompliments$ and he p%rs%ed till she
!ame to the -ank of the rier$ #here he oertook her$ and she had
only time to !all for help on her friends$ the #ater nymphs. They
heard and !onsented. ,an thre# his arms aro%nd #hat he s%pposed
to -e the form of the nymph$ and fo%nd he em-ra!ed only a t%ft of
reedsC As he -reathed a sigh$ the air so%nded thro%gh the reeds$
and prod%!ed a plaintie melody. The god$ !harmed #ith the
noelty and #ith the s#eetness of the m%si!$ said /Th%s$ then$ at
least$ yo% shall -e mine./ And he took some of the reeds$ and
pla!ing them together$ of %ne:%al lengths$ side -y side$ made an
instr%ment #hi!h he !alled Syrin0$ in honor of the nymph.8
.efore &er!%ry had finished his story$ he sa# Arg%s/s eyes all
asleep. As his head nodded for#ard on his -reast$ &er!%ry #ith
one stroke !%t his ne!k thro%gh$ and t%m-led his head do#n the
ro!ks. O hapless Arg%sC The light of yo%r h%ndred eyes is
:%en!hed at on!eC '%no took them and p%t them as ornaments on
the tail of her pea!o!k$ #here they remain to this day.
.%t the engean!e of '%no #as not yet satiated. She sent a
gadfly to torment Io$ #ho fled oer the #hole #orld from its
p%rs%it. She s#am thro%gh the Ionian Sea$ #hi!h deried its name
from her$ then roamed oer the plains of Illyria$ as!ended &o%nt
2aem%s$ and !rossed the Thra!ian strait$ then!e named the
.osphor%s <!o#)-earer=$ ram-led on thro%gh S!ythia and the
!o%ntry of the Cimmerians$ and arried at last on the -anks of
the Nile. At length '%piter inter!eded for her$ and$ %pon his
promising not to pay her any more attentions$ '%no !onsented to
restore her to her form. It #as !%rio%s to see her grad%ally
re!oer her former self. The !oarse hairs fell from her -ody$
her horns shr%nk %p$ her eyes gre# narro#er$ her mo%th shorter;
hands and fingers !ame instead of hoofs to her forefeet; in fine$
there #as nothing left of the heifer e0!ept her -ea%ty. At first
she #as afraid to speak for fear she sho%ld lo#$ -%t grad%ally
she re!oered her !onfiden!e$ and #as restored to her father and
In a poem dedi!ated to (eigh 2%nt$ -y *eats$ the follo#ing
all%sion to the story of ,an and Syrin0 o!!%rs@))
8So did he feel #ho p%lled the -o%ghs aside$
That #e might look into a forest #ide$
Telling %s ho# fair trem-ling Syrin0 fled
Ar!adian ,an$ #ith s%!h a fearf%l dread.
,oor nymph poor ,an ho# he did #eep to find
No%ght -%t a loely sighing of the #ind
Along the reedy stream; a half)heard strain$
F%ll of s#eet desolation$ -almy pain.8
Callisto #as another maiden #ho e0!ited the 7ealo%sy of '%no$ and
the goddess !hanged her into a -ear. 8I #ill take a#ay$8 said
she$ @8that -ea%ty #ith #hi!h yo% hae !aptiated my h%s-and.8
Do#n fell Callisto on her hands and knees; she tried to stret!h
o%t her arms in s%ppli!ation$)) they #ere already -eginning to -e
!oered #ith -la!k hair. 2er hands gre# ro%nded$ -e!ame armed
#ith !rooked !la#s$ and sered for feet; her mo%th$ #hi!h 'oe
%sed to praise for its -ea%ty$ -e!ame a horrid pair of 7a#s; her
oi!e$ #hi!h if %n!hanged #o%ld hae moed the heart to pity$
-e!ame a gro#l$ more fit to inspire terror. 1et her former
disposition remained$ and$ #ith !ontin%ed groaning$ she -emoaned
her fate$ and stood %pright as #ell as she !o%ld$ lifting %p her
pa#s to -eg for mer!y; and felt that 'oe #as %nkind$ tho%gh she
!o%ld not tell him so. Ah$ ho# often$ afraid to stay in the
#oods all night alone$ she #andered a-o%t the neigh-orhood of her
former ha%nts; ho# often$ frightened -y the dogs$ did she$ so
lately a h%ntress$ fly in terror from the h%ntersC Often she
fled from the #ild -easts$ forgetting that she #as no# a #ild
-east herself; and$ -ear as she #as$ #as afraid of the -ears.
One day a yo%th espied her as he #as h%nting. She sa# him and
re!ogni6ed him as her o#n son$ no# gro#n a yo%ng man. She
stopped$ and felt in!lined to em-ra!e him. As she #as a-o%t to
approa!h$ he$ alarmed$ raised his h%nting spear$ and #as on the
point of transfi0ing her$ #hen '%piter$ -eholding$ arrested the
!rime$ and$ snat!hing a#ay -oth of them$ pla!ed them in the
heaens as the Great and (ittle .ear.
'%no #as in a rage to see her rial so set in honor$ and hastened
to an!ient Tethys and O!ean%s$ the po#ers of o!ean$ and$ in
ans#er to their in:%iries$ th%s told the !a%se of her !oming; 8Do
yo% ask #hy I$ the :%een of the gods$ hae left the heaenly
plains and so%ght yo%r depths. (earn that I am s%pplanted in
heaen$)) my pla!e is gien to another. 1o% #ill hardly -eliee
me; -%t look #hen night darkens the #orld$ and yo% shall see the
t#o$ of #hom I hae so m%!h reason to !omplain$ e0alted to the
heaens$ in that part #here the !ir!le is the smallest$ in the
neigh-orhood of the pole. "hy sho%ld any one hereafter trem-le
at the tho%ght of offending '%no$ #hen s%!h re#ards are the
!onse:%en!e of my displeas%reC See #hat I hae -een a-le to
effe!tC I for-ade her to #ear the h%man form$)) she is pla!ed
among the starsC So do my p%nishments res%lt$)) s%!h is the
e0tent of my po#erC .etter that she sho%ld hae res%med her
former shape$ as I permitted Io to do. ,erhaps he means to marry
her$ and p%t me a#ayC .%t yo%$ my foster parents$ if yo% feel
for me$ and see #ith displeas%re this %n#orthy treatment of me$
sho# it$ I -esee!h yo%$ -y for-idding this g%ilty !o%ple from
!oming into yo%r #aters.8 The po#ers of the o!ean assented$ and
!onse:%ently the t#o !onstellations of the Great and (ittle .ear
moe ro%nd and ro%nd in heaen$ -%t neer sink$ as the other
stars do$ -eneath the o!ean.
&ilton all%des to the fa!t that the !onstellation of the .ear
neer sets$ #hen he says$
8(et my lamp at midnight ho%r
.e seen in some high lonely to#er$
"here I may oft o%t#at!h the .ear.8
Il ,enseroso
And ,romethe%s$ in 'ames R%ssell (o#ell/s poem$ says$
8One after one the stars hae risen and set$
Sparkling %pon the hoar)frost of my !hain;
The .ear that pro#led all night a-o%t the fold
Of the North Star$ hath shr%nk into his den$
S!ared -y the -lithsome footsteps of the da#n.8
The last star in the tail of the (ittle .ear is the ,ole star$
!alled also the Cynos%re. &ilton says$
8Straight mine eye hath !a%ght ne# pleas%res
"hile the lands!ape ro%nd it meas%res.
To#ers and -attlements it sees
.osomed high in t%fted trees$
"here perhaps some -ea%ty lies
The Cynos%re of neigh-oring eyes.8
The referen!e here is -oth to the ,ole)star as the g%ide of
mariners$ and to the magneti! attra!tion of the North. 2e !alls
it also the 8Star of Aready$8 -e!a%se Callisto/s -oy #as named
Ar!as$ and they lied in Ar!adia. In &ilton/s Com%s$ the elder
-rother$ -enighted in the #oods$ says$
8Some gentle taperC
Thro%gh a r%sh !andle$ from
the #i!ker hole
Of some !lay ha-itation$
isit %s
"ith thy long leelled r%le
of streaming light$
And tho% shalt -e o%r star of Aready$
Or Tyrian Chyns%re.8
It #as midday$ and the s%n stood e:%ally distant from either
goal$ #hen yo%ng A!taeon$ son of *ing Cadm%s$ th%s addressed the
yo%ths #ho #ith him #ere h%nting the stag in the mo%ntains@))
8Friends$ o%r nets and o%r #eapons are #et #ith the -lood of o%r
i!tims; #e hae had sport eno%gh for one day$ and tomorro# #e
!an rene# o%r la-ors. No#$ #hile ,hoe-%s par!hes the earth$ let
%s p%t -y o%r instr%ments and ind%lge o%rseles #ith rest.8
There #as a alley thi!kly en!losed #ith !ypresses and pines$
sa!red to the h%ntress):%een$ Diana. In the e0tremity of the
alley #as a !ae$ not adorned #ith art$ -%t nat%re had
!o%nterfeited art in its !onstr%!tion$ for she had t%rned the
ar!h of its roof #ith stones as deli!ately fitted as if -y the
hand of man. A fo%ntain -%rst o%t from one side$ #hose open
-asin #as -o%nded -y a grassy rim. 2ere the goddess of the #oods
%sed to !ome #hen #eary #ith h%nting and lae her irgin lim-s in
the sparkling #ater.
One day$ haing repaired thither #ith her nymphs$ she handed her
7aelin$ her :%ier$ and her -o# to one$ her ro-e to another$
#hile a third %n-o%nd the sandals from her feet. Then Cro!ale$
the most skilf%l of them$ arranged her hair$ and Nephele$ 2yale$
and the rest dre# #ater in !apa!io%s %rns. "hile the goddess #as
th%s employed in the la-ors of the toilet$ -ehold$ A!taeon$
haing :%itted his !ompanions$ and ram-ling #itho%t any espe!ial
o-7e!t$ !ame to the pla!e$ led thither -y his destiny. As he
presented himself at the entran!e of the !ae$ the nymphs$ seeing
a man$ s!reamed and r%shed to#ards the goddess to hide her #ith
their -odies. .%t she #as taller than the rest$ and oertopped
them all -y a head. S%!h a !olor as tinges the !lo%ds at s%nset
or at da#n !ame oer the !o%ntenan!e of Diana th%s taken -y
s%rprise. S%rro%nded as she #as -y her nymphs$ she yet t%rned
half a#ay$ and so%ght #ith a s%dden imp%lse for her arro#s. As
they #ere not at hand$ she dashed the #ater into the fa!e of the
intr%der$ adding these #ords@ 8No# go and tell$ if yo% !an$ that
yo% hae seen Diana %napparelled.8 Immediately a pair of
-ran!hing stag/s horns gre# o%t of his head$ his ne!k gained in
length$ his ears gre# sharp)pointed$ his hands -e!ame feet$ his
arms long legs$ his -ody #as !oered #ith a hairy spotted hide.
Fear took the pla!e of his former -oldness$ and the hero fled.
2e !o%ld not -%t admire his o#n speed; -%t #hen he sa# his horns
in the #ater$ 8Ah$ #ret!hed meC@ he #o%ld hae said$ -%t no so%nd
follo#ed the effort. 2e groaned$ and tears flo#ed do#n the fa!e
that had taken the pla!e of his o#n. 1et his !ons!io%sness
remained. "hat shall he doB Go home to seek the pala!e$ or lie
hid in the #oodsB The latter he #as afraid$ the former he #as
ashamed$ to do. "hile he hesitated the dogs sa# him. First
&elamp%s$ a Spartan dog$ gae the signal #ith his -ark$ then
,amphag%s$ Dor!e%s$ (elaps$ Theron$ Nape$ Tigris$ and all the
rest$ r%shed after him s#ifter than the #ind. Oer ro!ks and
!liffs$ thro%gh mo%ntain gorges that seemed impra!ti!a-le$ he
fled$ and they follo#ed. "here he had often !hased the stag and
!heered on his pa!k$ his pa!k no# !hased him$ !heered on -y his
o#n h%ntsmen. 2e longed to !ry o%t$ 8I am A!taeon; re!ogni6e
yo%r masterC8 .%t the #ords !ame not at his #ill. The air
reso%nded #ith the -ark of the dogs. ,resently one fastened on
his -a!k$ another sei6ed his sho%lder. "hile they held their
master$ the rest of the pa!k !ame %p and -%ried their teeth in
his flesh. 2e groaned$ not in a h%man oi!e$ yet !ertainly not
in a stag/s$ and$ falling on his knees$ raised his eyes$ and
#o%ld hae raised his arms in s%ppli!ation$ if he had had them.
2is friends and fello#)h%ntsmen !heered on the dogs$ and looked
eery #here for A!taeon$ !alling on him to 7oin the sport. At
the so%nd of his name$ he t%rned his head$ and heard them regret
that he sho%ld -e a#ay. 2e earnestly #ished he #as. 2e #o%ld
hae -een #ell pleased to see the e0ploits of his dogs$ -%t to
feel them #as too m%!h. They #ere all aro%nd him$ rending and
tearing; and it #as not till they had torn his life o%t that the
anger of Diana #as satisfied.
In the 8Epi! of 2ades8 there is a des!ription of A!taeon and his
!hange of form. ,erhaps the most -ea%tif%l lines in it are #hen
A!taeon$ !hanged to a stag$ first hears his o#n ho%nds and flees.
8.%t as I ga6ed$ and !areless t%rned and passed
Thro%gh the thi!k #ood$ forgetting #hat had -een$
And thinking tho%ghts no longer$ s#ift there !ame
A mortal terror; oi!es that I kne#.
&y o#n ho%nds/ -ayings that I loed -efore$
As #ith them often o/er the p%rple hills
I !hased the flying hart from slope to slope$
.efore the slo# s%n !lim-ed the eastern peaks$
9ntil the s#ift s%n smote the #estern plain;
"hom often I had !heered -y oi!e and glan!e$
"hom often I had !he!ked #ith hand and thong;
Grim follo#ers$ like the passions$ firing me$
Tr%e serants$ like the strong neres$ %rging me
On many a fr%itless !hase$ to find and take
Some too s#ift)fleeting -ea%ty$ faithf%l feet
And tong%es$ o-edient al#ays@ these I kne#
Clothed #ith a ne#)-orn for!e and aster gro#n$
And stronger than their master; and I tho%ght$
"hat if they tore me #ith their 7a#s$ nor kne#
That on!e I r%led them$ -r%te p%rs%ing -r%te$
And I the :%arryB Then I t%rned and fled
If it #as I indeed that feared and fled
Do#n the long glades$ and thro%gh the tangled -rakes$
"here s!ar!e the s%nlight pier!ed; fled on and on$
And panted$ self)p%rs%ed. .%t eermore
The dissonant m%si! #hi!h I kne# so s#eet$
"hen -y the #indy hills$ the e!hoing ales
And #hispering pines it rang; no# far$ no# near
As from my r%shing steed I leant and !heered
"ith oi!e and horn the !hase; this -ro%ght to me
Fear of I kne# not #hat$ #hi!h -ade me fly$
Fly al#ays$ fly; -%t #hen my heart stood still$
And all my lim-s #ere stiffened as I fled$
'%st as the #hite moon ghost)like !lim-ed the sky$
Nearer they !ame and nearer$ -aying lo%d$
"ith -loodshot eyes and red 7a#s dripping foam;
And #hen I stroe to !he!k their saagery$
Speaking #ith #ords; no oi!e arti!%late !ame$
Only a d%m-$ lo# -leat. Then all the throng
(eapt s#ift %pon me and tore me as I lay$
And left me man again.8
In Shelley/s poem Adonais is the follo#ing all%sion to the story
of A!taeon@))
8&idst others of less note !ame one frail form$
A phantom among men; !ompanionless
As the last !lo%d of an e0piring storm$
"hose th%nder is its knell; he$ as I g%ess$
2ad ga6ed on Nat%re/s naked loeliness$
A!taeon)like$ and no# he fled astray
"ith fee-le steps o/er the #orld/s #ilderness;
And his o#n Tho%ghts$ along that r%gged #ay$
,%rs%ed like raging ho%nds their father and their prey.8
Adonais$ stan6a ID.
The all%sion is pro-a-ly to Shelley himself.
Some tho%ght the goddess in this instan!e more seere than #as
7%st$ #hile others praised her !ond%!t as stri!tly !onsistent
#ith her irgin dignity. As %s%al$ the re!ent eent -ro%ght
older ones to mind$ and one of the -ystanders told this story.
8Some !o%ntrymen of (y!ia on!e ins%lted the goddess (atona$ -%t
not #ith imp%nity. "hen I #as yo%ng$ my father$ #ho had gro#n
too old for a!tie la-ors$ sent me to (y!ia to drie then!e some
!hoi!e o0en$ and there I sa# the ery pond and marsh #here the
#onder happened. Near -y stood an an!ient altar$ -la!k #ith the
smoke of sa!rifi!e and almost -%ried among the reeds. I in:%ired
#hose altar it might -e$ #hether of Fa%n%s or the Naiads or some
god of the neigh-oring mo%ntain$ and one of the !o%ntry people
replied$ /No mo%ntain or rier god possesses this altar$ -%t she
#hom royal '%no in her 7ealo%sy droe from land to land$ denying
her any spot of earth #hereon to rear her t#ins. .earing in her
arms the infant deities$ (atona rea!hed this land$ #eary #ith her
-%rden and par!hed #ith thirst. .y !han!e she espied in the
-ottom of the alley this pond of !lear #ater$ #here the !o%ntry
people #ere at #ork gathering #illo#s and osiers. The goddess
approa!hed$ and kneeling on the -ank #o%ld hae slaked her thirst
in the !ool stream$ -%t the r%sti!s for-ade her. /"hy do yo%
ref%se me #aterB/ said she; /#ater is free to all. Nat%re allo#s
no one to !laim as property the s%nshine$ the air$ or the #ater.
I !ome to take my share of the !ommon -lessing. 1et I ask it of
yo% as a faor. I hae no intention of #ashing my lim-s in it$
#eary tho%gh they -e$ -%t only to :%en!h my thirst. &y mo%th is
so dry that I !an hardly speak. A dra%ght of #ater #o%ld -e
ne!tar to me; it #o%ld reie me$ and I #o%ld o#n myself inde-ted
to yo% for life itself. (et these infants moe yo%r pity$ #ho
stret!h o%t their little arms as if to plead for me/; and the
!hildren$ as it happened$ #ere stret!hing o%t their arms.
8"ho #o%ld not hae -een moed #ith these gentle #ords of the
goddessB .%t these !lo#ns persisted in their r%deness; they een
added 7eers and threats of iolen!e if she did not leae the
pla!e. Nor #as this all. They #aded into the pond and stirred
%p the m%d #ith their feet$ so as to make the #ater %nfit to
drink. (atona #as so angry that she !eased to feel her thirst.
She no longer s%ppli!ated the !lo#ns$ -%t lifting her hands to
heaen e0!laimed$ /&ay they neer :%it that pool$ -%t pass their
lies thereC/ And it !ame to pass a!!ordingly. They no# lie in
the #ater$ sometimes totally s%-merged$ then raising their heads
a-oe the s%rfa!e$ or s#imming %pon it. Sometimes they !ome o%t
%pon the -ank$ -%t soon leap -a!k again into the #ater. They
still %se their -ase oi!es in railing$ and tho%gh they hae the
#ater all to themseles$ are not ashamed to !roak in the midst of
it. Their oi!es are harsh$ their throats -loated$ their mo%ths
hae -e!ome stret!hed -y !onstant railing$ their ne!ks hae
shr%nk %p and disappeared$ and their heads are 7oined to their
-odies. Their -a!ks are green$ their disproportioned -ellies
#hite$ and in short they are no# frogs$ and d#ell in the slimy
This story e0plains the all%sion in one of &ilton/s sonnets$ 8On
the detra!tion #hi!h follo#ed %pon his #riting !ertain
8I did -%t prompt the age to :%it their !logs
.y the kno#n la#s of an!ient li-erty$.
"hen straight a -ar-aro%s noise enirons me
Of o#ls and !%!koos$ asses$ apes and dogs.
As #hen those hinds that #ere transformed to frogs
Railed at (atona/s t#in)-orn progeny$
"hi!h after held the s%n and moon in fee.8
The perse!%tion #hi!h (atona e0perien!ed from '%no is all%ded to
in the story. The tradition #as that the f%t%re mother of Apollo
and Diana$ flying from the #rath of '%no$ -eso%ght all the
islands of the Aegean to afford her a pla!e of rest$ -%t all
feared too m%!h the potent :%een of heaen to assist her rial.
Delos alone !onsented to -e!ome the -irthpla!e of the f%t%re
deities. Delos #as then a floating island; -%t #hen (atona
arried there$ '%piter fastened it #ith adamantine !hains to the
-ottom of the sea$ that it might -e a se!%re resting pla!e for
his -eloed. .yron all%des to Delos in his Don '%an@))
8The isles of Gree!eC The isles of Gree!eC
"here -%rning Sappho loed and s%ng$
"here gre# the arts of #ar and pea!e$
"here Delos rose and ,hoe-%s spr%ngC8
Epaph%s #as the son of '%piter and Io. ,haeton$ !hild of the
S%n$ #as one day -oasting to him of his high des!ent and of his
father ,hoe-%s. Epaph%s !o%ld not -ear it. 8Foolish fello#$8
said he 8yo% -eliee yo%r mother in all things$ and yo% are
p%ffed %p -y yo%r pride in a false father.8 ,haeton #ent in rage
and shame and reported this to his mother$ Clymene. 8If$8 said
he$ 8I am indeed of heaenly -irth$ gie me$ mother$ some proof
of it$ and esta-lish my !laim to the honor.8 Clymene stret!hed
forth her hands to#ards the skies$ and said$ 8I !all to #itness
the S%n #hi!h looks do#n %pon %s$ that I hae told yo% the tr%th.
If I speak falsely$ let this -e the last time I -ehold his light.
.%t it needs not m%!h la-or to go and in:%ire for yo%rself; the
land #hen!e the s%n rises lies ne0t to o%rs. Go and demand of
him #hether he #ill o#n yo% as a son8 ,haeton heard #ith delight.
2e traelled to India$ #hi!h lies dire!tly in the regions of
s%nrise; and$ f%ll of hope and pride$ approa!hed the goal #hen!e
the S%n -egins his !o%rse.
The pala!e of the S%n stood reared aloft on !ol%mns$ glittering
#ith gold and pre!io%s stones$ #hile polished iory formed the
!eilings$ and siler the doors. The #orkmanship s%rpassed the
material; for %pon the #alls +%l!an had represented earth$ sea
and skies$ #ith their inha-itants. In the sea #ere the nymphs$
some sporting in the #aes$ some riding on the -a!ks of fishes$
#hile others sat %pon the ro!ks and dried their sea)green hair.
Their fa!es #ere not all alike$ nor yet %nlike$ -%t s%!h as
sisters/ o%ght to -e. The earth had its to#ns and forests and
riers and r%sti! diinities. Oer all #as !ared the likeness
of the glorio%s heaen; and on the siler doors the t#ele signs
of the 6odia!$ si0 on ea!h side.
Clymene/s son adan!ed %p the steep as!ent$ and entered the halls
of his disp%ted father. 2e approa!hed the paternal presen!e$ -%t
stopped at a distan!e$ for the light #as more than he !o%ld -ear.
,hoe-%s$ arrayed in a p%rple est%re$ sat on a throne #hi!h
glittered as #ith diamonds. On his right hand and his left stood
the Day$ the &onth$ and the 1ear$ and$ at reg%lar interals$ the
2o%rs. Spring stood #ith her head !ro#ned #ith flo#ers$ and
S%mmer$ #ith garment !ast aside$ and a garland formed of spears
of ripened grain$ and A%t%mn$ #ith his feet stained #ith grape
7%i!e$ and i!y "inter$ #ith his hair stiffened #ith hoar frost.
S%rro%nded -y these attendants$ the S%n$ #ith the eye that sees
eery thing$ -eheld the yo%th da66led #ith the noelty and
splendor of the s!ene$ and in:%ired the p%rpose of his errand.
The yo%th replied$ 8Oh$ light of the -o%ndless #orld$ ,hoe-%s$ my
father$ if yo% permit me to %se that name$ gie me some
proof$ I -esee!h yo%$ -y #hi!h I may -e kno#n as yo%rs.8 2e
!eased; and his father$ laying aside the -eams that shone all
aro%nd his head$ -ade him approa!h$ and em-ra!ing him$ said$ 8&y
son$ yo% desere not to -e diso#ned$ and I !onfirm #hat yo%r
mother has told yo%. To p%t an end to yo%r do%-ts$ ask #hat yo%
#ill$ the gift shall -e yo%rs. I !all to #itness that dreadf%l
lake$ #hi!h I neer sa#$ -%t #hi!h #e gods s#ear -y in o%r most
solemn engagements.8 ,haeton immediately asked to -e permitted
for one day to drie the !hariot of the s%n. The father repented
of his promise; thri!e and fo%r times he shook his radiant head
in #arning. 8I hae spoken rashly$8 said he; 8only this re:%est
I #o%ld fain deny. I -eg yo% to #ithdra# it. It is not a safe
-oon$ nor one$ my ,haeton$ s%ited to yo%r yo%th and strength.
1o%r lot is mortal$ and yo% ask #hat is -eyond a mortal/s po#er.
In yo%r ignoran!e yo% aspire to do that #hi!h not een the gods
themseles may do. None -%t myself may drie the flaming !ar of
day; not een '%piter$ #hose terri-le right arm h%rls the th%nder
-olts. The first part of the #ay is steep$ and s%!h as the
horses #hen fresh in the morning !an hardly !lim-; the middle is
high %p in the heaens$ #hen!e I myself !an s!ar!ely$ #itho%t
alarm$ look do#n and -ehold the earth and sea stret!hed -eneath
me. The last part of the road des!ends rapidly$ and re:%ires
most !aref%l driing. Tethys$ #ho is #aiting to re!eie me$
often trem-les for me lest I sho%ld fall headlong. Add to all
this$ the heaen is all the time t%rning ro%nd and !arrying the
stars #ith it. I hae to -e perpet%ally on my g%ard lest that
moement$ #hi!h s#eeps eerything else along$ sho%ld h%rry me
also a#ay. S%ppose I sho%ld lend yo% the !hariot$ #hat #o%ld yo%
doB Co%ld yo% keep yo%r !o%rse #hile the sphere #as reoling
%nder yo%B ,erhaps yo% think that there are forests and !ities$
the a-odes of gods$ and pala!es and temples on the #ay. On the
!ontrary$ the road is thro%gh the midst of frightf%l monsters.
1o% pass -y the horns of the .%ll$ in front of the Ar!her$ and
near the (ion/s 7a#s$ and #here the S!orpion stret!hes its arms
in one dire!tion and the Cra- in another. Nor #ill yo% find it
easy to g%ide those horses$ #ith their -reasts f%ll of fire #hi!h
they -reathe forth from their mo%ths and nostrils. I !an
s!ar!ely goern them myself$ #hen they are %nr%ly and resist the
reins. .e#are$ my son$ lest I sho%ld gie yo% a fatal gift;
re!all yo%r re:%est #hile yet yo% may. Do yo% ask me for proof
that yo% are spr%ng from my -loodB I gie yo% a proof in my
fears for yo%. (ook at my fa!e$)) I #o%ld that yo% !o%ld look
into my -reast$ yo% #o%ld there see all a father/s an0iety.
Finally$8 he !ontin%ed$ 8look ro%nd the #orld and !hoose #hateer
yo% #ill of #hat earth or sea !ontains most pre!io%s$ ask it
and fear no ref%sal. This only I pray yo% not to %rge. It is
not honor$ -%t destr%!tion yo% seek. "hy do yo% hang ro%nd my
ne!k and still entreat meB 1o% shall hae it if yo% persist$
the oath is s#orn and m%st -e kept$ -%t I -eg yo% to !hoose
more #isely.8
2e ended; -%t the yo%th re7e!ted all admonition$ and held to his
demand. So$ haing resisted as long as he !o%ld$ ,hoe-%s at last
led the #ay to #here stood the lofty !hariot.
It #as of gold$ the gift of +%l!an; the a0le #as of gold$ the
pole and #heels of gold$ the spokes of siler. Along the seat
#ere ro#s of !hrysolites and diamonds$ #hi!h refle!ted all aro%nd
the -rightness of the s%n. "hile the daring yo%th ga6ed in
admiration$ the early Da#n thre# open the p%rple doors of the
east$ and sho#ed the path#ay stre#n #ith roses. The stars
#ithdre#$ marshalled -y the Daystar$ #hi!h last of all retired
also. The father$ #hen he sa# the earth -eginning to glo#$ and
the &oon preparing to retire$ ordered the 2o%rs to harness %p the
horses. They o-eyed$ and led forth from the lofty stalls the
steeds f%ll fed #ith am-rosia$ and atta!hed the reins. Then the
father -athed the fa!e of his son #ith a po#erf%l %ng%ent$ and
made him !apa-le of end%ring the -rightness of the flame. 2e set
the rays on his head$ and$ #ith a fore-oding sigh$ said$ 8If$ my
son$ yo% #ill in this at least heed my adi!e$ spare the #hip and
hold tight the reins. They go fast eno%gh of their o#n a!!ord;
the la-or is to hold them in. 1o% are not to take the straight
road dire!tly -et#een the fie !ir!les$ -%t t%rn off to the left.
*eep #ithin the limit of the middle 6one$ and aoid the northern
and the so%thern alike. 1o% #ill see the marks of the #heels$
and they #ill sere to g%ide yo%. And$ that the skies and the
earth may ea!h re!eie their d%e share of heat$ go not too high$
or yo% #ill -%rn the heaenly d#ellings$ nor too lo#$ or yo% #ill
set the earth on fire; the middle !o%rse is safest and -est. And
no# I leae yo% to yo%r !han!e$ #hi!h I hope #ill plan -etter for
yo% than yo% hae done for yo%rself. Night is passing o%t of the
#estern gates and #e !an delay no longer. Take the reins; -%t if
at last yo%r heart fails yo%$ and yo% #ill -enefit -y my adi!e$
stay #here yo% are in safety$ and s%ffer me to light and #arm the
earth.8 The agile yo%th sprang into the !hariot$ stood ere!t and
grasped the reins #ith delight$ po%ring o%t thanks to his
rel%!tant parent.
&ean#hile the horses fill the air #ith their snortings and fiery
-reath$ and stamp the gro%nd impatient. No# the -ars are let
do#n$ and the -o%ndless plain of the %nierse lies open -efore
them. They dart for#ard and !leae the opposing !lo%ds$ and
o%tr%n the morning -ree6es #hi!h started from the same eastern
goal. The steeds soon per!eied that the load they dre# #as
lighter than %s%al; and as a ship #itho%t -allast is tossed
hither and thither on the sea$ so the !hariot$ #itho%t its
a!!%stomed #eight$ #as dashed a-o%t as if empty. They r%sh
headlong and leae the traelled road. 2e is alarmed$ and kno#s
not ho# to g%ide them; nor$ if he kne#$ has he the po#er. Then$
for the first time$ the Great and (ittle .ear #ere s!or!hed #ith
heat$ and #o%ld fain$ if it #ere possi-le$ hae pl%nged into the
#ater; and the Serpent #hi!h lies !oiled %p ro%nd the north pole$
torpid and harmless$ gre# #arm$ and #ith #armth felt its rage
reie. .ootes$ they say$ fled a#ay$ tho%gh en!%m-ered #ith his
plo%gh$ and all %n%sed to rapid motion.
"hen hapless ,haeton looked do#n %pon the earth$ no# spreading in
ast e0tent -eneath him$ he gre# pale and his knees shook #ith
terror. In spite of the glare all aro%nd him$ the sight of his
eyes gre# dim. 2e #ished he had neer to%!hed his father/s
horses$ neer learned his parentage$ neer preailed in his
re:%est. 2e is -orne along like a essel that flies -efore a
tempest$ #hen the pilot !an do no more and -etakes himself to his
prayers. "hat shall he doB &%!h of the heaenly road is left
-ehind$ -%t more remains -efore. 2e t%rns his eyes from one
dire!tion to the other; no# to the goal #hen!e he -egan his
!o%rse$ no# to the realms of s%nset #hi!h he is not destined to
rea!h. 2e loses his self)!ommand$ and kno#s not #hat to do$
#hether to dra# tight the reins or thro# them loose; he forgets
the names of the horses. 2e sees #ith terror the monstro%s forms
s!attered oer the s%rfa!e of heaen. 2ere the S!orpion e0tended
his t#o great arms$ #ith his tail and !rooked !la#s stret!hing
oer t#o signs of the 6odia!. "hen the -oy -eheld him$ reeking
#ith poison and mena!ing #ith his fangs$ his !o%rage failed$ and
the reins fell from his hands. The horses$ feeling the reins
loose on their -a!ks$ dashed headlong$ and %nrestrained #ent off
into %nkno#n regions of the sky$ in among the stars$ h%rling the
!hariot oer pathless pla!es$ no# %p in high heaen$ no# do#n
almost to the earth. The moon sa# #ith astonishment her
-rother/s !hariot r%nning -eneath her o#n. The !lo%ds -egin to
smoke$ and the mo%ntain tops take fire; the fields are par!hed
#ith heat$ the plants #ither$ the trees #ith their leafy -ran!hes
-%rn$ the harest is a-la6eC .%t these are small things. Great
!ities perished$ #ith their #alls and to#ers; #hole nations #ith
their people #ere !ons%med to ashesC The forest)!lad mo%ntains
-%rned$ Athos and Ta%r%s and Tmol%s and OEte; Ida$ on!e
!ele-rated for fo%ntains$ -%t no# all dry; the &%ses/ mo%ntain
2eli!on$ and 2aem%s; AEtna$ #ith fires #ithin and #itho%t$ and
,arnass%s$ #ith his t#o peaks$ and Rhodope$ for!ed at last to
part #ith his sno#y !ro#n. 2er !old !limate #as no prote!tion to
S!ythia$ Ca%!as%s -%rned$ and Ossa and ,ind%s$ and$ greater than
-oth$ Olymp%s; the Alps high in air$ and the Apennines !ro#ned
#ith !lo%ds.
Then ,haeton -eheld the #orld on fire$ and felt the heat
intolera-le. The air he -reathed #as like the air of a f%rna!e
and f%ll of -%rning ashes$ and the smoke #as of a pit!hy
darkness. 2e dashed for#ard he kne# not #hither. Then$ it is
-elieed$ the people of AEthiopia -e!ame -la!k -y the -lood -eing
for!ed so s%ddenly to the s%rfa!e$ and the (i-yan desert #as
dried %p to the !ondition in #hi!h it remains to this day. The
Nymphs of the fo%ntains$ #ith disheelled hair$ mo%rned their
#aters$ nor #ere the riers safe -eneath their -anks; Tanais
smoked$ and Cai!%s$ 5anth%s and &eander. .a-ylonian E%phrates
and Ganges$ Tag%s #ith golden sands$ and Cai7ster #here the s#ans
resort. Nile fled a#ay and hid his head in the desert$ and there
it still remains !on!ealed. "here he %sed to dis!harge his
#aters thro%gh seen mo%ths into the sea$ there seen dry
!hannels alone remained. The earth !ra!ked open$ and thro%gh the
!hinks light -roke into Tartar%s$ and frightened the king of
shado#s and his :%een. The sea shrank %p. "here -efore #as
#ater$ it -e!ame a dry plain; and the mo%ntains that lie -eneath
the #aes lifted %p their heads and -e!ame islands. The fishes
so%ght the lo#est depths$ and the dolphins no longer ent%red as
%s%al to sport on the s%rfa!e. Een Nere%s$ and his #ife Doris$
#ith the Nereids$ their da%ghters$ so%ght the deepest !aes for
ref%ge. Thri!e Nept%ne essayed to raise his head a-oe the
s%rfa!e and thri!e #as drien -a!k -y the heat. Earth$
s%rro%nded as she #as -y #aters$ yet #ith head and sho%lders
-are$ s!reening her fa!e #ith her hand$ looked %p to heaen$ and
#ith a h%sky oi!e !alled on '%piter.
8O r%ler of the gods$ if I hae desered this treatment$ and it
is yo%r #ill that I perish #ith fire$ #hy #ithhold yo%r
th%nder-oltsB (et me at least fall -y yo%r hand. Is this the
re#ard of my fertility$ of my o-edient seri!eB Is it for this
that I hae s%pplied her-age for !attle$ and fr%its for men$ and
frankin!ense for yo%r altarsB .%t if I am %n#orthy of regard$
#hat has my -rother O!ean done to desere s%!h a fateB If
neither of %s !an e0!ite yo%r pity$ think$ I pray yo%$ of yo%r
o#n heaen$ and -ehold ho# -oth the poles are smoking #hi!h
s%stain yo%r pala!e$ #hi!h m%st fall if they -e destroyed. Atlas
faints$ and s!ar!e holds %p his -%rden. If sea$ earth$ and
heaen perish$ #e fall into an!ient Chaos. Sae #hat yet remains
to %s from the deo%ring flame. Oh$ take tho%ght for o%r
delieran!e in this a#f%l momentC8
Th%s spoke Earth$ and oer!ome #ith heat and thirst$ !o%ld say no
more. Then '%piter Omnipotent$ !alling to #itness all the gods$
in!l%ding him #ho had lent the !hariot$ and sho#ing them that all
#as lost %nless some speedy remedy #ere applied$ mo%nted the
lofty to#er from #hen!e he diff%ses !lo%ds oer the earth$ and
h%rls the forked lightnings. .%t at that time not a !lo%d #as to
-e fo%nd to interpose for a s!reen to earth$ nor #as a sho#er
remaining %ne0ha%sted. 2e th%ndered$ and -randishing a
lightning)-olt in his right hand la%n!hed it against the
!harioteer$ and str%!k him at the same moment from his seat and
from e0isten!eC ,haeton$ #ith his hair on fire$ fell headlong$
like a shooting star #hi!h marks the heaens #ith its -rightness
as it falls$ and Eridan%s$ the great rier$ re!eied him and
!ooled his -%rning frame. The Italian Naiads reared a tom- for
him$ and ins!ri-ed these #ords %pon the stone@
8Drier of ,hoe-%s/ !hariot$ ,haeton$
Str%!k -y 'oe/s th%nder$ rests -eneath this stone.
2e !o%ld not r%le his father/s !ar of fire$
1et #as it m%!h so no-ly to aspire.8
2is sisters$ the 2eliades$ as they lamented his fate #ere t%rned
into poplar trees$ on the -anks of the rier$ and their tears$
#hi!h !ontin%ed to flo#$ -e!ame am-er as they dropped into the
One of ,rior/s -est remem-ered poems is that on the Female
,haeton$ from #hi!h #e :%ote the last erse.
*itty has -een imploring her mother to allo# her to go o%t into
the #orld as her friends hae done$ if only for on!e.
8Fondness preailed$ mamma gae #ay;
*itty$ at heart/s desire$
O-tained the !hariot for a day$
And set the #orld on fire.8
&ilman$ in his poem of Samor$ makes the follo#ing all%sion to
,haeton/s story@))
8As #hen the palsied %nierse aghast
(ay .... m%te and still$
"hen droe$ so poets sing$ the s%n)-orn yo%th
Deio%s thro%gh 2eaen/s affrighted signs his sire/s
Ill)granted !hariot. 2im the Th%nderer h%rled
JFrom th/empyrean headlong to the g%lf
Of the half)par!hed Eridan%s$ #here #eep
Een no# the sister trees their am-er tears
O/er ,haeton %ntimely dead.8
In the -ea%tif%l lines of "alter Saage (ando des!ri-ing the sea)
shell$ there is an all%sion to the s%n/s pala!e and !hariot. The
#ater)nymph says$
8 I hae sin%o%s shells of pearly h%e
"ithin$ and things that l%stre hae im-i-ed
In the s%n/s pala!e por!h$ #here #hen %nyoked
2is !hariot)#heel stands mid#ay in the #ae.
Shake one and it a#akens; then apply
Its polished lip to yo%r attentie !ar$
And it remem-ers its A%g%st a-odes$
And m%rm%rs as the o!ean m%rm%rs there.8
Ge-ir$ .ook D
Chapter I+
&idas. .a%!is and ,hilemon. ,l%to and ,roserpine.
.a!!h%s$ on a !ertain o!!asion$ fo%nd his old s!hool master and
foster father$ Silen%s$ missing. The old man had -een drinking$
and in that state had #andered a#ay$ and #as fo%nd -y some
peasants$ #ho !arried him to their king$ &idas. &idas re!ogni6ed
him$ and treated him hospita-ly$ entertaining him for ten days
and nights #ith an %n!easing ro%nd of 7ollity. On the eleenth
day he -ro%ght Silen%s -a!k$ and restored him in safety to his
p%pil. "here%pon .a!!h%s offered &idas his !hoi!e of #hateer
re#ard he might #ish. 2e asked that #hateer he might to%!h
sho%ld -e !hanged into GO(D. .a!!h%s !onsented$ tho%gh sorry
that he had not made a -etter !hoi!e. &idas #ent his #ay$
re7oi!ing in his ne#ly a!:%ired po#er$ #hi!h he hastened to p%t
to the test. 2e !o%ld s!ar!e -eliee his eyes #hen he fo%nd that
a t#ig of an oak$ #hi!h he pl%!ked from the -ran!h$ -e!ame gold
in his hand. 2e took %p a stone it !hanged to gold. 2e
to%!hed a sod it did the same. 2e took an apple from the tree
yo% #o%ld hae tho%ght he had ro--ed the garden of the
2esperides. 2is 7oy kne# no -o%nds$ and as soon as he got home$
he ordered the serants to set a splendid repast on the ta-le.
Then he fo%nd to his dismay that #hether he to%!hed -read$ it
hardened in his hand; or p%t a morsel to his lips$ it defied his
teeth. 2e took a glass of #ine$ -%t it flo#ed do#n his throat
like melted gold.
In !onsternation at the %npre!edented affli!tion$ he stroe to
diest himself of his po#er; he hated the gift he had lately
!oeted. .%t all in ain; staration seemed to a#ait him. 2e
raised his arms$ all shining #ith gold$ in prayer to .a!!h%s$
-egging to -e deliered from his glittering destr%!tion.
.a!!h%s$ mer!if%l deity$ heard and !onsented. 8Go$8 said he$ 8to
the rier ,a!tol%s$ tra!e the stream to its fo%ntain)head$ there
pl%nge in yo%r head and -ody and #ash a#ay yo%r fa%lt and its
p%nishment.8 2e did so$ and s!ar!e had he to%!hed the #aters
-efore the gold)!reating po#er passed into them$ and the rier
sands -e!ame !hanged into GO(D$ as they remain to this day.
Then!eforth &idas$ hating #ealth and splendor$ d#elt in the
!o%ntry$ and -e!ame a #orshipper of ,an$ the god of the fields.
On a !ertain o!!asion ,an had the temerity to !ompare his m%si!
#ith that of Apollo$ and to !hallenge the god of the lyre to a
trial of skill. The !hallenge #as a!!epted$ and Tmol%s$ the
mo%ntain)god$ #as !hosen %mpire. Tmol%s took his seat and
!leared a#ay the trees from his ears to listen. At a gien
signal ,an -le# on his pipes$ and #ith his r%sti! melody gae
great satisfa!tion to himself and his faithf%l follo#er$ &idas$
#ho happened to -e present. Then Tmol%s t%rned his head to#ard
the s%n)god$ and all his trees t%rned #ith him. Apollo rose$ his
-ro# #reathed #ith ,arnassian la%rel$ #hile his ro-e of Tyrian
p%rple s#ept the gro%nd. In his left hand he held the lyre$ and
#ith his right hand str%!k the strings. Raished #ith the
harmony$ Tmol%s at on!e a#arded the i!tory to the god of the
lyre$ and all -%t &idas a!:%ies!ed in the 7%dgment. 2e
dissented$ and :%estioned the 7%sti!e of the a#ard. Apollo #o%ld
not s%ffer s%!h a depraed pair of ears any longer to #ear the
h%man form$ -%t !a%sed them to in!rease in length$ gro# hairy$
#ithin and #itho%t$ and to -e!ome moa-le$ on their roots; in
short$ to -e on the perfe!t pattern of those of an ass.
&ortified eno%gh #as *ing &idas at this mishap; -%t he !onsoled
himself #ith the tho%ght that it #as possi-le to hide his
misfort%ne$ #hi!h he attempted to do -y means of an ample t%r-an
or headdress. .%t his hairdresser of !o%rse kne# the se!ret. 2e
#as !harged not to mention it$ and threatened #ith dire
p%nishment if he pres%med to diso-ey. .%t he fo%nd it too m%!h
for his dis!retion to keep s%!h a se!ret; so he #ent o%t into the
meado#$ d%g a hole in the gro%nd$ and stooping do#n$ #hispered
the story$ and !oered it %p. .efore long a thi!k -ed of reeds
sprang %p in the meado#$ and as soon as it had gained its gro#th$
-egan #hispering the story$ and has !ontin%ed to do so$ from that
day to this$ #ith eery -ree6e #hi!h passes oer the pla!e.
The story of *ing &idas has -een told -y others #ith some
ariations. Dryden$ in the "ife of .ath/s Tale$ makes &idas/
:%een the -etrayer of the se!ret.
8This &idas kne#$ and d%rst !omm%ni!ate
To none -%t to his #ife his ears of state.8
&idas #as king of ,hrygia. 2e #as the son of Gordi%s$ a poor
!o%ntryman$ #ho #as taken -y the people and made king$ in
o-edien!e to the !ommand of the ora!le$ #hi!h had said that their
f%t%re king sho%ld !ome in a #agon. "hile the people #ere
deli-erating$ Gordi%s #ith his #ife and son !ame driing his
#agon into the p%-li! s:%are.
Gordi%s$ -eing made king$ dedi!ated his #agon to the deity of the
ora!le$ and tied it %p in its pla!e #ith a fast knot. This #as
the !ele-rated GORDIAN *NOT$ of #hi!h$ in after times it #as
said$ that #hoeer sho%ld %ntie it sho%ld -e!ome lord of all
Asia. &any tried to %ntie it$ -%t none s%!!eeded$ till Ale0ander
the Great$ in his !areer of !on:%est$ !ame to ,hrygia. 2e tried
his skill #ith as ill s%!!ess as the others$ till gro#ing
impatient he dre# his s#ord and !%t the knot. "hen he after#ards
s%!!eeded in s%-7e!ting all Asia to his s#ay$ people -egan to
think that he had !omplied #ith the terms of the ora!le a!!ording
to its tr%e meaning.
On a !ertain hill in ,hrygia stand a linden tree and an oak$
en!losed -y a lo# #all. Not far from the spot is a marsh$
formerly good ha-ita-le land$ -%t no# indented #ith pools$ the
resort of fen)-irds and !ormorants. On!e on a time$ '%piter$ in
h%man shape$ isited this !o%ntry$ and #ith him his son &er!%ry
<he of the !ad%!e%s=$ #itho%t his #ings. They presented
themseles at many a door as #eary traellers$ seeking rest and
shelter$ -%t fo%nd all !losed$ for it #as late$ and the
inhospita-le inha-itants #o%ld not ro%se themseles to open for
their re!eption. At last a h%m-le mansion re!eied them$ a small
that!hed !ottage$ #here .a%!is$ a pio%s old dame$ and her h%s-and
,hilemon$ %nited #hen yo%ng$ had gro#n old together. Not ashamed
of their poerty$ they made it end%ra-le -y moderate desires and
kind dispositions. One need not look there for master or for
serant; they t#o #ere the #hole ho%sehold$ master and serant
alike. "hen the t#o heaenly g%ests !rossed the h%m-le
threshold$ and -o#ed their heads to pass %nder the lo# door$ the
old man pla!ed a seat$ on #hi!h .a%!is$ -%stling and attentie$
spread a !loth$ and -egged them to sit do#n. Then she raked o%t
the !oals from the ashes$ kindled %p a fire$ and fed it #ith
leaes and dry -ark$ and #ith her s!anty -reath -le# it into a
flame. She -ro%ght o%t of a !orner split sti!ks and dry
-ran!hes$ -roke them %p$ and pla!ed them %nder the small kettle.
2er h%s-and !olle!ted some pot)her-s in the garden$ and she shred
them from the stalks$ and prepared them for the pot 2e rea!hed
do#n #ith a forked sti!k a flit!h of -a!on hanging in the
!himney$ !%t a small pie!e$ and p%t it in the pot to -oil #ith
the her-s$ setting a#ay the rest for another time. A -ee!hen
-o#l #as filled #ith #arm #ater that their g%ests might #ash.
"hile all #as doing they -eg%iled the time #ith !onersation.
On the -en!h designed for the g%ests #as laid a !%shion st%ffed
#ith sea)#eed; and a !loth$ only prod%!ed on great o!!asions$ -%t
old and !oarse eno%gh$ #as spread oer that. The old #oman$ #ith
her apron on$ #ith trem-ling hand set the ta-le. One leg #as
shorter than the rest$ -%t a shell p%t %nder restored the leel.
"hen fi0ed$ she r%--ed the ta-le do#n #ith some s#eet)smelling
her-s. 9pon it she set some olies$ &inera/s)fr%it$ some
!ornel)-erries presered in inegar$ and added radishes and
!heese$ #ith eggs lightly !ooked in the ashes. All #ere sered
in earthen dishes$ and an earthen#are pit!her$ #ith #ooden !%ps$
stood -eside them. "hen all #as ready$ the ste#$ smoking hot$
#as set on the ta-le. Some #ine$ not of the oldest$ #as added;
and for dessert$ apples and #ild honey; and oer and a-oe all$
friendly fa!es$ and simple -%t hearty #el!ome.
No# #hile the repast pro!eeded$ the old folks #ere astonished to
see that the #ine$ as fast as it #as po%red o%t$ rene#ed itself
in the pit!her$ of its o#n a!!ord. Str%!k #ith terror$ .a%!is
and ,hilemon re!ogni6ed their heaenly g%ests$ fell on their
knees$ and #ith !lasped hands implored forgieness for their poor
entertainment. There #as an old goose$ #hi!h they kept as the
g%ardian of their h%m-le !ottage; and they -etho%ght them to make
this a sa!rifi!e in honor of their g%ests. .%t the goose$ too
nim-le for the old folks$ el%ded their p%rs%it #ith the aid of
feet and #ings$ and at last took shelter -et#een the gods
themseles. They for-ade it to -e slain; and spoke in these
#ords@ 8"e are gods. This inhospita-le illage shall pay the
penalty of its impiety; yo% alone shall go free from the
!hastisement. 3%it yo%r ho%se$ and !ome #ith %s to the top of
yonder hill.8 They hastened to o-ey$ and staff in hand$ la-ored
%p the steep as!ent. They had !ome #ithin an arro#/s flight of
the top$ #hen t%rning their eyes -elo#$ they -eheld all the
!o%ntry s%nk in a lake$ only their o#n ho%se left standing.
"hile they ga6ed #ith #onder at the sight$ and lamented the fate
of their neigh-ors$ that old ho%se of theirs #as !hanged into a
TE&,(E. Col%mns took the pla!e of the !orner)posts$ the that!h
gre# yello# and appeared a gilded roof$ the floors -e!ame mar-le$
the doors #ere enri!hed #ith !aring and ornaments of gold. Then
spoke '%piter in -enignant a!!ents@ 8E0!ellent old man$ and #oman
#orthy of s%!h a h%s-and$ speak$ tell %s yo%r #ishes; #hat faor
hae yo% to ask of %sB8 ,hilemon took !o%nsel #ith .a%!is a fe#
moments; then de!lared to the gods their %nited #ish. 8"e ask to
-e priests and g%ardians of this yo%r temple; and sin!e here #e
hae passed o%r lies in loe and !on!ord$ #e #ish that one and
the same ho%r may take %s -oth from life$ that I may not lie to
see her grae$ nor -e laid in my o#n -y her.8 Their prayer #as
granted. They #ere the keepers of the temple as long as they
lied. "hen gro#n ery old$ as they stood one day -efore the
steps of the sa!red edifi!e$ and #ere telling the story of the
pla!e$ .a%!is sa# ,hilemon -egin to p%t forth leaes$ and old
,hilemon sa# .a%!is !hanging in like manner. And no# a leafy
!ro#n had gro#n oer their heads$ #hile e0!hanging parting #ords$
as long as they !o%ld speak. 8Fare#ell$ dear spo%se$8 they said$
together$ and at the same moment the -ark !losed oer their
mo%ths. The Tyanean shepherd long sho#ed the t#o trees$ standing
side -y side$ made o%t of the t#o good old people.
The story of .a%!is and ,hilemon has -een imitated -y S#ift$ in a
-%rles:%e style$ the a!tors in the !hange -eing t#o #andering
saints and the ho%se -eing !hanged into a !h%r!h$ of #hi!h
,hilemon is made the parson The follo#ing may sere as a
8They s!ar!e had spoke #hen$ fair and soft$
The roof -egan to mo%nt aloft;
Aloft rose eery -eam and rafter;
The heay #all !lim-ed slo#ly after.
The !himney #idened and gre# higher$
.e!ame a steeple #ith a spire.
The kettle to the top #as hoist$
And there stood fastened to a 7oist$
.%t #ith the %pside do#n$ to sho#
Its in!lination for -elo#;
In ain$ for a s%perior for!e$
Applied at -ottom$ stops its !o%rse;
Doomed eer in s%spense to d#ell$
/Tis no# no kettle$ -%t a -ell.
A #ooden 7a!k$ #hi!h had almost
(ost -y dis%se the art to roast$
A s%dden alteration feels$
In!reased -y ne# intestine #heels;
And$ #hat e0alts the #onder more$
The n%m-er made the motion slo#er;
The flier$ tho%gh /t had leaden feet$
T%rned ro%nd so :%i!k yo% s!ar!e !o%ld see /t@
.%t sla!kened -y some se!ret po#er$
No# hardly moes an in!h an ho%r.
The 7a!k and !himney$ near allied$
2ad neer left ea!h other/s side.
The !himney to a steeple gro#n$
The 7a!k #o%ld not -e left alone;
.%t %p against the steeple reared$
.e!ame a !lo!k$ and still adhered;
And still its loe to ho%sehold !ares
.y a shrill oi!e at noon de!lares.
"arning the !ook)maid not to -%rn
That roast meat #hi!h it !annot t%rn.
The groaning !hair -egan to !ra#l$
(ike a h%ge snail$ along the #all;
There st%!k aloft in p%-li! ie#$
And$ #ith small !hange$ a p%lpit gre#.
A -edstead of the anti:%e mode$
Compa!t of tim-er many a load$
S%!h as o%r an!estors did %se$
"as metamorphosed into pe#s$
"hi!h still their an!ient nat%re keep
.y lodging folks disposed to sleep.8
9nder the island of Aetna lies Typhoe%s the Titan$ in p%nishment
for his share in the re-ellion of the giants against '%piter.
T#o mo%ntains press do#n the one his right and the other his
left hand #hile Aetna lies oer his head. As Typhoe%s moes$
the earth shakes; as he -reathes$ smoke and ashes !ome %p from
Aetna. ,l%to is terrified at the ro!king of the earth$ and fears
that his kingdom #ill -e laid open to the light of day. 2e
mo%nts his !hariot #ith the fo%r -la!k horses and !omes %p to
earth and looks aro%nd. "hile he is th%s engaged$ +en%s$ sitting
on &o%nt Ery0 playing #ith her -oy C%pid$ sees him and says@ 8&y
son$ take yo%r darts #ith #hi!h yo% !on:%er all$ een 'oe
himself$ and send one into the -reast of yonder dark monar!h$ #ho
r%les the realm of Tartar%s. "hy sho%ld he alone es!apeB Sei6e
the opport%nity to e0tend yo%r empire and mine. Do yo% not see
that een in heaen some despise o%r po#erB &inera the #ise$
and Diana the h%ntress$ defy %s; and there is that da%ghter of
Ceres$ #ho threatens to follo# their e0ample. No# do yo%$ if yo%
hae any regard for yo%r o#n interest or mine$ 7oin these t#o in
one.8 The -oy %n-o%nd his :%ier$ and sele!ted his sharpest and
tr%est arro#; then$ straining the -o# against his knee$ he
atta!hed the string$ and$ haing made ready$ shot the arro# #ith
its -ar-ed point right into the heart of ,l%to.
In the ale of Enna there is a lake em-o#ered in #oods$ #hi!h
s!reen it from the ferid rays of the s%n$ #hile the moist gro%nd
is !oered #ith flo#ers$ and spring reigns perpet%al. 2ere
,roserpine #as playing #ith her !ompanions$ gathering lilies and
iolets$ and filling her -asket and her apron #ith them$ #hen
,l%to sa# her from his !hariot$ loed her$ and !arried her off.
She s!reamed for help to her mother and her !ompanions; and #hen
in her fright she dropped the !orners of her apron and let the
flo#ers fall$ !hildlike$ she felt the loss of them as an addition
to her grief. The raisher %rged on his steeds$ !alling them
ea!h -y name$ and thro#ing loose oer their heads and ne!ks his
iron)!olored reins. "hen he rea!hed the Rier Cyane$ and it
opposed his passage$ he str%!k the rier -ank #ith his trident$
and the earth opened and gae him a passage to Tartar%s.
Ceres so%ght her da%ghter all the #orld oer. .right)haired
A%rora$ #hen she !ame forth in the morning$ and 2esper%s$ #hen he
led o%t the stars in the eening$ fo%nd her still -%sy in the
sear!h. .%t it #as all %naailing. At length$ #eary and sad$
she sat do#n %pon a stone and !ontin%ed sitting nine days and
nights$ in the open air$ %nder the s%nlight and moonlight and
falling sho#ers. It #as #here no# stands the !ity of Ele%sis$
then the home of an old man named Cele%s. 2e #as o%t in the
field$ gathering a!orns and -la!k-erries$ and sti!ks for his
fire. 2is little girl #as driing home their t#o goats$ and as
she passed the goddess$ #ho appeared in the g%ise of an old
#oman$ she said to her$ 8&other$8 and the name #as s#eet to the
ears of Ceres$ 8#hy do yo% sit here alone %pon the ro!ksB8 The
old man also stopped$ tho%gh his load #as heay$ and -egged her
to !ome into his !ottage$ s%!h as it #as. She de!lined$ and he
%rged her. 8Go in pea!e$8 she replied$ 8and -e happy in yo%r
da%ghter; I hae lost mine.8 As she spoke$ tears or something
like tears$ for the gods neer #eep fell do#n her !heeks %pon
her -osom. The !ompassionate old man and his !hild #ept #ith
her. Then said he$ 8Come #ith %s$ and despise not o%r h%m-le
roof; so may yo%r da%ghter -e restored to yo% in safety.8 8(ead
on$8 said she$ 8I !annot resist that appealC8 So she rose from
the stone and #ent #ith them. As they #alked he told her that
his only son$ a little -oy$ lay ery si!k$ feerish and
sleepless. She stooped and gathered some poppies. As they
entered the !ottage they fo%nd all in great distress$ for the -oy
seemed past hope of re!oery. &etanira$ his mother$ re!eied her
kindly$ and the goddess stooped and kissed the lips of the si!k
!hild. Instantly the paleness left his fa!e$ and healthy igor
ret%rned to his -ody. The #hole family #ere delighted that is$
the father$ mother$ and little girl$ for they #ere all; they had
no serants. They spread the ta-le$ and p%t %pon it !%rds and
!ream$ apples$ and honey in the !om-. "hile they ate$ Ceres
mingled poppy 7%i!e in the milk of the -oy. "hen night !ame and
all #as still$ she arose$ and taking the sleeping -oy$ mo%lded
his lim-s #ith her hands$ and %ttered oer him three times a
solemn !harm$ then #ent and laid him in the ashes. 2is mother$
#ho had -een #at!hing #hat her g%est #as doing$ sprang for#ard
#ith a !ry and snat!hed the !hild from the fire. Then Ceres
ass%med her o#n form$ and a diine splendor shone all aro%nd.
"hile they #ere oer!ome #ith astonishment$ she said$ 8&other$
yo% hae -een !r%el in yo%r fondness to yo%r son. I #o%ld hae
made him immortal$ -%t yo% hae fr%strated my attempt.
Neertheless$ he shall -e great and %sef%l. 2e shall tea!h men
the %se of the plo%gh$ and the re#ards #hi!h la-or !an #in from
the !%ltiated soil.8 So saying$ she #rapped a !lo%d a-o%t her$
and mo%nting her !hariot rode a#ay.
Ceres !ontin%ed her sear!h for her da%ghter$ passing from land to
land$ and a!ross seas and riers$ till at length she ret%rned to
Si!ily$ #hen!e she at first set o%t$ and stood -y the -anks of
the Rier Cyane$ #here ,l%to made himself a passage #ith his
pri6e to his o#n dominions.
The rier)nymph #o%ld hae told the goddess all she had
#itnessed$ -%t dared not$ for fear of ,l%to; so she only ent%red
to take %p the girdle #hi!h ,roserpine had dropped in her flight$
and #aft it to the feet of the mother. Ceres$ seeing this$ #as
no longer in do%-t of her loss$ -%t she did not yet kno# the
!a%se$ and laid the -lame on the inno!ent land. 89ngratef%l
soil$8 said she$ 8#hi!h I hae endo#ed #ith fertility and !lothed
#ith her-age and no%rishing grain$ No more shall yo% en7oy my
faors8 Then the !attle died$ the plo%gh -roke in the f%rro#$ the
seed failed to !ome %p; there #as too m%!h s%n$ there #as too
m%!h rain; the -irds stole the seeds$ thistles and -ram-les
#ere the only gro#th. Seeing this$ the fo%ntain Areth%sa
inter!eded for the land. 8Goddess$8 said she$ 8-lame not the
land; it opened %n#illingly to yield a passage to yo%r da%ghter.
I !an tell yo% of her fate$ for I hae seen her. This is not my
natie !o%ntry; I !ame hither from Elis. I #as a #oodland nymph$
and delighted in the !hase. They praised my -ea%ty$ -%t I !ared
nothing for it$ and rather -oasted of my h%nting e0ploits. One
day I #as ret%rning from the #ood$ heated #ith e0er!ise$ #hen I
!ame to a stream silently flo#ing$ so !lear that yo% might !o%nt
the pe--les on the -ottom. The #illo#s shaded it$ and the grassy
-ank sloped do#n to the #ater/s edge. I approa!hed$ I to%!hed
the #ater #ith my foot. I stepped in knee)deep$ and not !ontent
#ith that$ I laid my garments on the #illo#s and #ent in. "hile
I sported in the #ater$ I heard an indistin!t m%rm%r !oming %p as
o%t of the depths of the stream; and made haste to es!ape to the
nearest -ank. The oi!e said$ /"hy do yo% fly$ Areth%saB I am
Alphe%s$ the god of this stream./ I ran$ he p%rs%ed; he #as not
more s#ift than I$ -%t he #as stronger$ and gained %pon me$ as my
strength failed. At last$ e0ha%sted$ I !ried for help to Diana.
/2elp me$ goddessC 2elp yo%r otaryC/ The goddess heard$ and
#rapped me s%ddenly in a thi!k !lo%d. The rier)god looked no#
this #ay and no# that$ and t#i!e !ame !lose to me$ -%t !o%ld not
find me. /Areth%saC Areth%saC/ he !ried. Oh$ ho# I trem-led$
like a lam- that hears the #olf gro#ling o%tside the fold. A
!old s#eat !ame oer me$ my hair flo#ed do#n in streams; #here my
foot stood there #as a pool. In short$ in less time than it
takes to tell it I -e!ame a fo%ntain. .%t in this form Alphe%s
kne# me$ and attempted to mingle his stream #ith mine. Diana
!left the gro%nd$ and I$ endeaoring to es!ape him$ pl%nged into
the !aern$ and thro%gh the -o#els of the earth !ame o%t here in
Si!ily. "hile I passed thro%gh the lo#er parts of the earth$ I
sa# yo%r ,roserpine. She #as sad$ -%t no longer sho#ing alarm in
her !o%ntenan!e. 2er look #as s%!h as -e!ame a :%een$ the
:%een of Ere-%s; the po#erf%l -ride of the monar!h of the realms
of the dead.8
"hen Ceres heard this$ she stood for a #hile like one st%pefied;
then t%rned her !hariot to#ards heaen$ and hastened to present
herself -efore the throne of 'oe. She told the story of her
-ereaement$ and implored '%piter to interfere to pro!%re the
restit%tion of her da%ghter. '%piter !onsented on one !ondition$
namely$ that ,roserpine sho%ld not d%ring her stay in the lo#er
#orld hae taken any food; other#ise$ the Fates for-ade her
release. A!!ordingly$ &er!%ry #as sent$ a!!ompanied -y Spring$
to demand ,roserpine of ,l%to. The #ily monar!h !onsented; -%t
alasC the maiden had taken a pomegranate #hi!h ,l%to offered her$
and had s%!ked the s#eet p%lp from a fe# of the seeds. This #as
eno%gh to preent her !omplete release; -%t a !ompromise #as
made$ -y #hi!h she #as to pass half the time #ith her mother$ and
the rest #ith her h%s-and ,l%to.
Ceres allo#ed herself to -e pa!ified #ith this arrangement$ and
restored the earth to her faor. No# she remem-ered Cele%s and
his family$ and her promise to his infant son Triptolem%s. "hen
the -oy gre# %p$ she ta%ght him the %se of the plo%gh$ and ho# to
so# the seed. She took him in her !hariot$ dra#n -y #inged
dragons$ thro%gh all the !o%ntries of the earth$ imparting to
mankind al%a-le grains$ and the kno#ledge of agri!%lt%re. After
his ret%rn$ Triptolem%s -%ild a magnifi!ent temple to Ceres in
Ele%sis$ and esta-lished the #orship of the goddess$ %nder the
name of the Ele%sinian mysteries$ #hi!h$ in the splendor and
solemnity of their o-seran!e$ s%rpassed all other religio%s
!ele-rations among the Greeks.
There !an -e little do%-t -%t that this story of Ceres and
,roserpine is an allegory. ,roserpine signifies the seed)!orn$
#hi!h$ #hen !ast into the gro%nd$ lies there !on!ealed$ that
is$ she is !arried off -y the god of the %nder#orld; it
reappears$ that is$ ,roserpine is restored to her mother.
Spring leads her -a!k to the light of day.
&ilton all%des to the story of ,roserpine in ,aradise lost$ .ook
8Not that fair field
Of Enna #here ,roserpine gathering flo#ers$
2erself a fairer flo#er$ -y gloomy Dis <a name for ,l%to=
"as gathered$ #hi!h !ost Ceres all that pain
To seek her thro%gh the #orld$
. . . . might #ith this ,aradise
Of Eden strie.8
2ood$ in his Ode to &elan!holy$ %ses the same all%sion ery
8Forgie$ if some#hile I forget$
In #oe to !ome the present -liss;
As frightened ,roserpine let fall
2er flo#ers at the sight of Dis.8
The Rier Alphe%s does in fa!t disappear %nder gro%nd$ in part of
its !o%rse$ finding its #ay thro%gh s%-terranean !hannels$ till
it again appears on the s%rfa!e. It #as said that the Si!ilian
fo%ntain Areth%sa #as the same stream$ #hi!h$ after passing %nder
the sea$ !ame %p again in Si!ily. 2en!e the story ran that a !%p
thro#n into the Alphe%s appeared again in Areth%sa. It is this
fa-le of the %ndergro%nd !o%rse of Alphe%s that Coleridge all%des
to in his poem of *%-la *han@
8In 5anad% did *%-la *han
A stately pleas%re)dome de!ree$
"here Alph$ the sa!red rier$ ran
Thro%gh !aerns meas%reless to man$
Do#n to a s%nless sea.8
In one of &oore/s 7%enile poems he all%des to the same story$
and to the pra!ti!e of thro#ing garlands$ or other light o-7e!ts
on the stream to -e !arried do#n#ard -y it$ and after#ards thro#n
o%t #hen the rier !omes again to light.
8Oh$ my -eloed$ ho# diinely s#eet
Is the p%re 7oy #hen kindred spirits meetC
(ike him the rier)god$ #hose #aters flo#$
"ith loe their only light$ thro%gh !aes -elo#$
"afting in tri%mph all the flo#ery -raids
And festal rings$ #ith #hi!h Olympi! maids
2ae de!ked his !%rrent$ as an offering meet
To lay at Areth%sa/s shining feet.
Think$ #hen he meets at last his fo%ntain -ride$
"hat perfe!t loe m%st thrill the -lended tideC
Ea!h lost in ea!h$ till mingling into one$
Their lot the same for shado# or for s%n$
A type of tr%e loe$ to the deep they r%n.8
The follo#ing e0tra!t from &oore/s Rhymes on the Road gies an
a!!o%nt of a !ele-rated pi!t%re -y Al-ano at &ilan$ !alled a
Dan!e of (oes@
8/Tis for the theft of Enna/s flo#er from earth
These %r!hins !ele-rate their dan!e of mirth$
Ro%nd the green tree$ like fays %pon a heath$
Those that are nearest linked in order -right$
Cheek after !heek$ like rose-%ds in a #reath;
And those more distant sho#ing from -eneath
The others/ #ings their little eyes of light.
"hile seeC Among the !lo%ds$ their eldest -rother$
.%t 7%st flo#n %p$ tells #ith a smile of -liss$
This prank of ,l%to to his !harmed mother$
"ho t%rns to greet the tidings #ith a kiss.8
Gla%!%s #as a fisherman. One day he had dra#n his nets to land$
and had taken a great many fishes of ario%s kinds. So he
emptied his net$ and pro!eeded to sort the fishes on the grass.
The pla!e #here he stood #as a -ea%tif%l island in the rier$ a
solitary spot$ %ninha-ited$ and not %sed for past%rage of !attle$
nor eer isited -y any -%t himself. On a s%dden$ the fishes$
#hi!h had -een laid on the grass$ -egan to reie and moe their
fins as if they #ere in the #ater; and #hile he looked on
astonished$ they one and all moed off to the #ater$ pl%nged in
and s#am a#ay. 2e did not kno# #hat to make of this$ #hether
some god had done it$ or some se!ret po#er in the her-age. 8"hat
her- has s%!h a po#erB8 he e0!laimed; and gathering some$ he
tasted it. S!ar!e had the 7%i!es of the plant rea!hed his palate
#hen he fo%nd himself agitated #ith a longing desire for the
#ater. 2e !o%ld no longer restrain himself$ -%t -idding fare#ell
to earth$ he pl%nged into the stream. The gods of the #ater
re!eied him gra!io%sly$ and admitted him to the honor of their
so!iety. They o-tained the !onsent of O!ean%s and Tethys$ the
soereigns of the sea$ that all that #as mortal in him sho%ld -e
#ashed a#ay. A h%ndred riers po%red their #aters oer him .
Then he lost all sense of his former nat%re and all
!ons!io%sness. "hen he re!oered$ he fo%nd himself !hanged in
form and mind. 2is hair #as sea)green$ and trailed -ehind him on
the #ater; his sho%lders gre# -road$ and #hat had -een thighs and
legs ass%med the form of a fish/s tail. The sea)gods
!omplimented him on the !hange of his appearan!e$ and he himself
#as pleased #ith his looks.
One day Gla%!%s sa# the -ea%tif%l maiden S!ylla$ the faorite of
the #ater)nymphs$ ram-ling on the shore$ and #hen she had fo%nd a
sheltered nook$ laing her lim-s in the !lear #ater. 2e fell in
loe #ith her$ and sho#ing himself on the s%rfa!e$ spoke to her$
saying s%!h things as he tho%ght most likely to #in her to stay;
for she t%rned to r%n immediately on sight of him and ran till
she had gained a !liff oerlooking the sea. 2ere she stopped and
t%rned ro%nd to see #hether it #as a god or a sea)animal$ and
o-sered #ith #onder his shape and !olor. Gla%!%s$ partly
emerging from the #ater$ and s%pporting himself against a ro!k$
said$ 8&aiden$ I am no monster$ nor a sea)animal$ -%t a god; and
neither ,rote%s nor Triton ranks higher than I. On!e I #as a
mortal$ and follo#ed the sea for a liing; -%t no# I -elong
#holly to it.8 Then he told the story of his metamorphosis and
ho# he had -een promoted to his present dignity$ and added$ 8.%t
#hat aails all this if it fails to moe yo%r heartB8 2e #as
going on in this strain$ -%t S!ylla t%rned and hastened a#ay.
Gla%!%s #as in despair$ -%t it o!!%rred to him to !ons%lt the
en!hantress$ Cir!e. A!!ordingly he repaired to her island$ the
same #here after#ards 9lysses landed$ as #e shall see in another
story. After m%t%al sal%tations$ he said$ 8Goddess$ I entreat
yo%r pity; yo% alone !an reliee the pain I s%ffer. The po#er of
her-s I kno# as #ell as any one$ for it is to them I o#e my
!hange of form I loe S!ylla. I am ashamed to tell yo% ho# I
hae s%ed and promised to her$ and ho# s!ornf%lly she has treated
me. I -esee!h yo% to %se yo%r in!antations$ or potent her-s$ if
they are more preailing$ not to !%re me of my loe$ for that I
do not #ish$ -%t to make her share it and yield me a like
ret%rn.8 To #hi!h Cir!e replied$ for she #as not insensi-le to
the attra!tions of the sea)green deity$ 81o% had -etter p%rs%e a
#illing o-7e!t; yo% are #orthy to -e so%ght$ instead of haing to
seek in ain. .e not diffident$ kno# yo%r o#n #orth. I protest
to yo% that een I$ goddess tho%gh I -e$ and learned in the
irt%es of plants and spells$ sho%ld not kno# ho# to ref%se yo%
If she s!orns yo%$ s!orn her; meet one #ho is ready to meet yo%
half #ay$ and th%s make a d%e ret%rn to -oth at on!e.8 To these
#ords Gla%!%s replied$ 8Sooner shall trees gro# at the -ottom of
the o!ean$ and sea#eed on the top of the mo%ntains$ than I #ill
!ease to loe S!ylla$ and her alone.8
The goddess #as indignant$ -%t she !o%ld not p%nish him$ neither
did she #ish to do so$ for she liked him too #ell; so she t%rned
all her #rath against her rial$ poor S!ylla. She took plants of
poisono%s po#ers and mi0ed them together$ #ith in!antations and
!harms. Then she passed thro%gh the !ro#d of gam-olling -easts$
the i!tims of her art$ and pro!eeded to the !oast of Si!ily$
#here S!ylla lied. There #as a little -ay on the shore to #hi!h
S!ylla %sed to resort$ in the heat of the day$ to -reathe the air
of the sea$ and to -athe in its #aters. 2ere the goddess po%red
her poisono%s mi0t%re$ and m%ttered oer it in!antations of
mighty po#er. S!ylla !ame as %s%al and pl%nged into the #ater %p
to her #aist. "hat #as her horror to per!eie a -rood of
serpents and -arking monsters s%rro%nding herC At first she
!o%ld not imagine they #ere a part of herself$ and tried to r%n
from them$ and to drie them a#ay; -%t as she ran she !arried
them #ith her$ and #hen she tried to to%!h her lim-s$ she fo%nd
her hands to%!h only the ya#ning 7a#s of monsters. S!ylla
remained rooted to the spot. 2er temper gre# as %gly as her
form$ and she took pleas%re in deo%ring hapless mariners #ho
!ame #ithin her grasp. Th%s she destroyed si0 of the !ompanions
of 9lysses$ and tried to #re!k the ships of Aeneas$ till at last
she #as t%rned into a ro!k$ and as s%!h still !ontin%es to -e a
terror to mariners.
The follo#ing is Gla%!%s/s a!!o%nt of his feelings after his
8I pl%nged for life or death. To interknit
One/s senses #ith so dense a -reathing st%ff
&ight seem a #ork of pain; so not eno%gh
Can I admire ho# !rystal)smooth it felt$
And -%oyant ro%nd my lim-s. At first I d#elt
"hole days and days in sheer astonishment;
Forgetf%l %tterly of self)Kntent$
&oing -%t #ith the mighty e-- and flo#.
Then like a ne#)fledged -ird that first doth sho#
2is spreaded feathers to the morro# !hill$
I tried in fear the pinions of my #ell.
8T#as freedomC And at on!e I isited
The !easeless #onders of this o!ean)-ed.8
Chapter +
,ygmalion. Dryope. +en%s and Adonis. Apollo and 2ya!inth%s.
Cey0 and 2al!yone.
,ygmalion sa# so m%!h to -lame in #omen that he !ame at last to
a-hor the se0$ and resoled to lie %nmarried. 2e #as a
s!%lptor$ and had made #ith #onderf%l skill a stat%e of iory$ so
-ea%tif%l that no liing #oman !o%ld -e !ompared to it in -ea%ty.
It #as indeed the perfe!t sem-lan!e of a maiden that seemed to -e
alie$ and only preented from moing -y modesty. 2is art #as so
perfe!t that it !on!ealed itself$ and its prod%!t looked like the
#orkmanship of nat%re. ,ygmalion admired his o#n #ork$ and at
last fell in loe #ith the !o%nterfeit !reation. Oftentimes he
laid his hand %pon it$ as if to ass%re himself #hether it #ere
liing or not$ and !o%ld not een then -eliee that it #as only
iory. 2e !aressed it$ and gae it presents s%!h as yo%ng girls
loe$ -right shells and polished stones$ little -irds and
flo#ers of ario%s h%es$ -eads and am-er. 2e p%t raiment on its
lim-s$ and 7e#els on its fingers$ and a ne!kla!e a-o%t its ne!k.
To the ears he h%ng earrings and strings of pearls %pon the
-reast. 2er dress -e!ame her$ and she looked not less !harming
than #hen %nattired. 2e laid her on a !o%!h spread #ith !loths
of Tyrian dye$ and !alled her his #ife$ and p%t her head %pon a
pillo# of the softest feathers$ as if she !o%ld en7oy their
The festial of +en%s #as at hand$ a festial !ele-rated #ith
great pomp at Cypr%s. +i!tims #ere offered$ the altars smoked$
and the odor of in!ense filled the air. "hen ,ygmalion had
performed his part in the solemnities$ he stood -efore the altar
and timidly said$ 81e gods$ #ho !an do all things$ gie me$ I
pray yo%$ for my #ife8 he dared not say 8my iory irgin$8 -%t
said instead 8one like my iory irgin.8 +en%s$ #ho #as
present at the festial$ heard him and kne# the tho%ght he #o%ld
hae %ttered; and$ as an omen of her faor$ !a%sed the flame on
the altar to shoot %p thri!e in a fiery point into the air. "hen
he ret%rned home$ he #ent to see his stat%e$ and$ leaning oer
the !o%!h$ gae a kiss to the mo%th. It seemed to -e #arm. 2e
pressed its lips again$ he laid his hand %pon the lim-s; the
iory felt soft to his to%!h$ and yielded to his fingers like the
#a0 of 2ymett%s. "hile he stands astonished and glad$ tho%gh
do%-ting$ and fears he may -e mistaken$ again and again #ith a
loer/s ardor he to%!hes the o-7e!t of his hopes. It #as indeed
alieC The eins #hen pressed yielded to the finger and then
res%med their ro%ndness. Then at last the otary of +en%s fo%nd
#ords to thank the goddess$ and pressed his lips %pon lips as
real as his o#n. The irgin felt the kisses and -l%shed$ and$
opening her timid eyes to the light$ fi0ed them at the same
moment on her loer. +en%s -lessed the n%ptials she had formed$
and from this %nion ,aphos #as -orn$ from #hom the !ity$ sa!red
to +en%s$ re!eied its name.
S!hiller$ in his poem$ the Ideals$ applies this tale of ,ygmalion
to the loe of nat%re in a yo%thf%l heart. In S!hiller/s
ersion$ as in "illiam &orris/s$ the stat%e is of mar-le.
8As on!e #ith prayers in passion flo#ing$
,ygmalion em-ra!ed the stone$
Till from the fro6en mar-le glo#ing$
The light of feeling o/er him shone$
So did I !lasp #ith yo%ng deotion
.right Nat%re to a poet/s heart;
Till -reath and #armth and ital motion
Seemed thro%gh the stat%e form to dart.
8And then in all my ardor sharing$
The silent form e0pression fo%nd;
Ret%rned my kiss of yo%thf%l daring$
And %nderstood my heart/s :%i!k so%nd.
Then lied for me the -right !reation.
The siler rill #ith song #as rife;
The trees$ the roses shared sensation$
An e!ho of my -o%ndless life.8
Re. A. G. .%lfin!h <-rother of the a%thor=.
&orris tells the story of ,ygmalion and the Image in some of the
most -ea%tif%l erses of the Earthly ,aradise.
This is Galatea/s des!ription of her metamorphosis@
8/&y s#eet$/ she said$ /as yet I am not #ise$
Or stored #ith #ords aright the tale to tell$
.%t listen@ #hen I opened first mine eyes
I stood #ithin the ni!he tho% kno#est #ell$
And from my hand a heay thing there fell
Cared like these flo#ers$ nor !o%ld I see things !lear$
.%t #ith a strange !onf%sed noise !o%ld hear.
8/At last mine eyes !o%ld see a #oman fair$
.%t a#f%l as this ro%nd #hite moon o/erhead$
So that I trem-led #hen I sa# her there$
For #ith my life #as -orn some to%!h of dread$
And there#ithal I heard her oi!e that said$
8Come do#n and learn to loe and -e alie$
For thee$ a #ell)pri6ed gift$ today I gie.8/8
Dryope and Iole #ere sisters. The former #as the #ife of
Andraemon$ -eloed -y her h%s-and$ and happy in the -irth of her
first !hild. One day the sisters strolled to the -ank of a
stream that sloped grad%ally do#n to the #ater/s edge$ #hile the
%pland #as oergro#n #ith myrtles. They #ere intending to gather
flo#ers for forming garlands for the altars of the nymphs$ and
Dryope !arried her !hild at her -osom$ a pre!io%s -%rden$ and
n%rsed him as she #alked. Near the #ater gre# a lot%s plant$
f%ll of p%rple flo#ers. Dryope gathered some and offered them to
the -a-y$ and Iole #as a-o%t to do the same$ #hen she per!eied
-lood dropping from the pla!es #here her sister had -roken them
off the stem. The plant #as no other than the Nymph (otis$ #ho$
r%nning from a -ase p%rs%er$ had -een !hanged into this form.
This they learned from the !o%ntry people #hen it #as too late.
Dryope$ horror)str%!k #hen she per!eied #hat she had done$ #o%ld
gladly hae hastened from the spot$ -%t fo%nd her feet rooted to
the gro%nd. She tried to p%ll them a#ay$ -%t moed nothing -%t
her arms. The #oodiness !rept %p#ard$ and -y degrees inested
her -ody. In ang%ish she attempted to tear her hair$ -%t fo%nd
her hands filled #ith leaes. The infant felt his mother/s -osom
-egin to harden$ and the milk !ease to flo#. Iole looked on at
the sad fate of her sister$ and !o%ld render no assistan!e. She
em-ra!ed the gro#ing tr%nk$ as if she #o%ld hold -a!k the
adan!ing #ood$ and #o%ld gladly hae -een eneloped in the same
-ark. At this moment Andraemon$ the h%s-and of Dryope$ #ith her
father$ approa!hed; and #hen they asked for Dryope$ Iole pointed
them to the ne#)formed lot%s. They em-ra!ed the tr%nk of the yet
#arm tree$ and sho#ered their kisses on its leaes.
No# there #as nothing left of Dryope -%t her fa!e. 2er tears
still flo#ed and fell on her leaes$ and #hile she !o%ld she
spoke. 8I am not g%ilty. I desere not this fate. I hae
in7%red no one. If I speak falsely$ may my foliage perish #ith
dro%ght and my tr%nk -e !%t do#n and -%rned. Take this infant
and gie him to a n%rse. (et him often -e -ro%ght and n%rsed
%nder my -ran!hes$ and play in my shade; and #hen he is old
eno%gh to talk$ let him -e ta%ght to !all me mother$ and to say
#ith sadness$ /&y mother lies hid %nder this -ark/ .%t -id him -e
!aref%l of rier -anks$ and -e#are ho# he pl%!ks flo#ers$
remem-ering that eery -%sh he sees may -e a goddess in disg%ise.
Fare#ell$ dear h%s-and$ and sister$ and father. If yo% retain
any loe for me$ let not the a0e #o%nd me$ nor the flo!ks -ite
and tear my -ran!hes. Sin!e I !annot stoop to yo%$ !lim- %p
hither and kiss me; and #hile my lips !ontin%e to feel$ lift %p
my !hild that I may kiss him. I !an speak no more$ for already
the -ark adan!es %p my ne!k$ and #ill soon shoot oer me. 1o%
need not !lose my eyes; the -ark #ill !lose them #itho%t yo%r
aid.8 Then the lips !eased to moe$ and life #as e0tin!t; -%t
the -ran!hes retained$ for some time longer the ital heat.
*eats$ in Endymion$ all%des to Dryope th%s@
8She took a l%te from #hi!h there p%lsing !ame
A liely prel%de$ fashioning the #ay
In #hi!h her oi!e sho%ld #ander. /T#as a lay
&ore s%-tle)!aden!ed$ more forest)#ild
Than Dryope/s lone l%lling of her !hild.8
+en%s$ playing one day #ith her -oy C%pid$ #o%nded her -osom #ith
one of his arro#s. She p%shed him a#ay$ -%t the #o%nd #as deeper
than she tho%ght. .efore it healed she -eheld Adonis$ and #as
!aptiated #ith him. She no longer took any interest in her
faorite resorts$ ,aphos$ and Cnidos$ and Amathos$ ri!h in
metals. She a-sented herself een from Olymp%s$ for Adonis #as
dearer to her than heaen. 2im she follo#ed and -ore him
!ompany. She #ho %sed to loe to re!line in the shade$ #ith no
!are -%t to !%ltiate her !harms$ no# ram-led thro%gh the #oods
and oer the hills$ dressed like the h%ntress Diana. She !alled
her dogs$ and !hased hares and stags$ or other game that it is
safe to h%nt$ -%t kept !lear of the #oles and -ears$ reeking
#ith the sla%ghter of the herd. She !harged Adonis$ too$ to
-e#are of s%!h dangero%s animals. 8.e -rae to#ards the timid$8
said she; 8!o%rage against the !o%rageo%s is not safe. .e#are
ho# yo% e0pose yo%rself to danger$ and p%t my happiness to risk.
Atta!k not the -easts that Nat%re has armed #ith #eapons. I do
not al%e yo%r glory so highly as to !onsent to p%r!hase it -y
s%!h e0pos%re. 1o%r yo%th$ and the -ea%ty that !harms +en%s$
#ill not to%!h the hearts of lions and -ristly -oars. Think of
their terri-le !la#s and prodigio%s strengthC I hate the #hole
ra!e of them. Do yo% ask #hyB8 Then she told him the story of
Atalanta and 2ippomenes$ #ho #ere !hanged into lions for their
ingratit%de to her.
2aing gien him this #arning$ she mo%nted her !hariot dra#n -y
s#ans$ and droe a#ay thro%gh the air. .%t Adonis #as too no-le
to heed s%!h !o%nsels. The dogs had ro%sed a #ild -oar from his
lair$ and the yo%th thre# his spear and #o%nded the animal #ith a
sidelong stroke. The -east dre# o%t the #eapon #ith his 7a#s$
and r%shed after Adonis$ #ho t%rned and ran; -%t the -oar
oertook him$ and -%ried his t%sks in his side$ and stret!hed him
dying %pon the plain.
+en%s$ in her s#an)dra#n !hariot$ had not yet rea!hed Cypr%s$
#hen she heard !oming %p thro%gh mid air the groans of her
-eloed$ and t%rned her #hite)#inged !o%rsers -a!k to earth. As
she dre# near and sa# from on high his lifeless -ody -athed in
-lood$ she alighted$ and -ending oer it -eat her -reast and tore
her hair. Reproa!hing the Fates$ she said$ 81et theirs shall -e
-%t a partial tri%mph; memorials of my grief shall end%re$ and
the spe!ta!le of yo%r death$ my Adonis$ and of my lamentation
shall -e ann%ally rene#ed. 1o%r -lood shall -e !hanged into a
flo#er; that !onsolation none !an eny me.8 Th%s speaking$ she
sprinkled ne!tar on the -lood; and as they mingled$ -%--les rose
as in a pool on #hi!h raindrops fall$ and in an ho%r/s time there
sprang %p a flo#er of -loody h%e like that of a pomegranate. .%t
it is short)lied. It is said the #ind -lo#s the -lossoms open$
and after#ards -lo#s the petals a#ay; so it is !alled Anemone$ or
#ind Flo#er$ from the !a%se #hi!h assists e:%ally in its
prod%!tion and its de!ay.
&ilton all%des to the story of +en%s and Adonis in his Com%s@
8.eds of hya!inth and roses
"here yo%ng Adonis oft reposes$
"a0ing #ell of his deep #o%nd
In sl%m-er soft$ and on the gro%nd
Sadly sits th/Assyrian :%een.8
And &orris also in Atalanta/s Ra!e@
8There -y his horn the Dryads #ell might kno#
2is thr%st against the -ear/s heart had -een tr%e$
And there Adonis -ane his 7aelin sle#8
Apollo #as passionately fond of a yo%th named 2ya!inth%s. 2e
a!!ompanied him in his sports$ !arried the nets #hen he #ent
fishing$ led the dogs #hen he #ent to h%nt$ follo#ed him in his
e0!%rsions in the mo%ntains$ and negle!ted for him his lyre and
his arro#s. One day they played a game of :%oits together$ and
Apollo$ heaing aloft the dis!%s$ #ith strength mingled #ith
skill$ sent it high and far. 2ya!inth%s #at!hed it as it fle#$
and e0!ited #ith the sport ran for#ard to sei6e it$ eager to make
his thro#$ #hen the :%oit -o%nded from the earth and str%!k him
in the forehead. 2e fainted and fell. The god$ as pale as
himself$ raised him and tried all his art to stan!h the #o%nd and
retain the flitting life$ -%t all in ain; the h%rt #as past the
po#er of medi!ine. As$ #hen one has -roken the stem of a lily in
the garden$ it hangs its head and t%rns its flo#ers to the earth$
so the head of the dying -oy$ as if too heay for his ne!k$ fell
oer on his sho%lder. 8Tho% diest$ 2ya!inth$8 so spoke ,hoe-%s$
8ro--ed of thy yo%th -y me. Thine is the s%ffering$ mine the
!rime. "o%ld that I !o%ld die for theeC .%t sin!e that may not
-e tho% shalt lie #ith me in memory and in song. &y lyre shall
!ele-rate thee$ my song shall tell thy fate$ and tho% shalt
-e!ome a flo#er ins!ri-ed #ith my regrets.8 "hile Apollo spoke$
-ehold the -lood #hi!h had flo#ed on the gro%nd and stained the
her-age$ !eased to -e -lood; -%t a flo#er of h%e more -ea%tif%l
than the Tyrian sprang %p$ resem-ling the lily$ if it #ere not
that this is p%rple and that silery #hite <it is eidently not
o%r modern hya!inth that is here des!ri-ed. It is perhaps some
spe!ies of iris$ or perhaps of larksp%r$ or of pansy.= And this
#as not eno%gh for ,hoe-%s; -%t to !onfer still grater honor$ he
marked the petals #ith his sorro#$ and ins!ri-ed 8AhC AhC8 %pon
them$ as #e see to this day. The flo#er -ears the name of
2ya!inth%s$ and #ith eery ret%rning spring reies the memory of
his fate.
It #as said that 4ephyr%s <the "est)#ind=$ #ho #as also fond of
2ya!inth%s and 7ealo%s of his preferen!e of Apollo$ -le# the
:%oit o%t of its !o%rse to make it strike 2ya!inth%s. *eats
all%des to this in his Endymion$ #here he des!ri-es the lookers)
on at the game of :%oits@
8Or they might #at!h the :%oit)pit!hers$ intent
On either side$ pitying the sad death
Of 2ya!inth%s$ #hen the !r%el -reath
Of 4ephyr sle# him; 4ephyr penitent$
"ho no# ere ,hoe-%s mo%nts the firmament$
Fondles the flo#er amid the so--ing rain.8
An all%sion to 2ya!inth%s #ill also -e re!ogni6ed in &ilton/s
8(ike to that sang%ine flo#er ins!ri-ed #ith #oe.8
Cey0 #as *ing of Thessaly$ #here he reigned in pea!e #itho%t
iolen!e or #rong. 2e #as son of 2esper%s$ the Day)star$ and the
glo# of his -ea%ty reminded one of his father. 2al!yone$ the
da%ghter of Aeol%s$ #as his #ife$ and deotedly atta!hed to him.
No# Cey0 #as in deep affli!tion for the loss of his -rother$ and
diref%l prodigies follo#ing his -rother/s death made him feel as
if the gods #ere hostile to him. 2e tho%ght -est therefore to
make a oyage to Claros in Ionia$ to !ons%lt the ora!le of
Apollo. .%t as soon as he dis!losed his intention to his #ife
2al!yone$ a sh%dder ran thro%gh her frame$ and her fa!e gre#
deadly pale. 8"hat fa%lt of mine$ dearest h%s-and$ has t%rned
yo%r affe!tion from meB "here is that loe of me that %sed to -e
%ppermost in yo%r tho%ghtsB 2ae yo% learned to feel easy in the
a-sen!e of 2al!yoneB "o%ld yo% rather hae me a#ayB8 She also
endeaored to dis!o%rage him$ -y des!ri-ing the iolen!e of the
#inds$ #hi!h she had kno#n familiarly #hen she lied at home in
her father/s ho%se$ Aeol%s -eing the god of the #inds$ and haing
as m%!h as he !o%ld do to restrain them. 8They r%sh together$8
said she$ 8#ith s%!h f%ry that fire flashes from the !onfli!t.
.%t if yo% m%st go$8 she added$ 8dear h%s-and$ let me go #ith
yo%$ Other#ise I shall s%ffer$ not only the real eils #hi!h yo%
m%st en!o%nter$ -%t those also #hi!h my fears s%ggest.8
These #ords #eighed heaily on the mind of king Cey0$ and it #as
no less his o#n #ish than hers to take her #ith him$ -%t he !o%ld
not -ear to e0pose her to the dangers of the sea. 2e ans#ered$
therefore$ !onsoling her as #ell as he !o%ld$ and finished #ith
these #ords@ 8I promise$ -y the rays of my father the Day)star$
that if fate permits I #ill ret%rn -efore the moon shall hae
t#i!e ro%nded her or-.8 "hen he had th%s spoken he ordered the
essel to -e dra#n o%t of the ship)ho%se$ and the oars and sails
to -e p%t a-oard. "hen 2al!yone sa# these preparations she
sh%ddered$ as if #ith a presentiment of eil. "ith tears and
so-s she said fare#ell$ and then fell senseless to the gro%nd.
Cey0 #o%ld still hae lingered$ -%t no# the yo%ng men grasped
their oars and p%lled igoro%sly thro%gh the #aes$ #ith long and
meas%red strokes. 2al!yone raised her streaming eyes$ and sa#
her h%s-and standing on the de!k$ #aing his hand to her. She
ans#ered his signal till the essel had re!eded so far that she
!o%ld no longer disting%ish his form from the rest. "hen the
essel itself !o%ld no more -e seen$ she strained her eyes to
!at!h the last glimmer of the sail$ till that too disappeared.
Then$ retiring to her !ham-er$ she thre# herself on her solitary
&ean#hile they glide o%t of the har-or$ and the -ree6e plays
among the ropes. The seamen dra# in their oars$ and hoist their
sails. "hen half or less of their !o%rse #as passed$ as night
dre# on$ the sea -egan to #hiten #ith s#elling #aes$ and the
east #ind to -lo# a gale. The master gies the #ord to take in
sail$ -%t the storm for-ids o-edien!e$ for s%!h is the roar of
the #inds and #aes that his orders are %nheard. The men$ of
their o#n a!!ord$ -%sy themseles to se!%re the oars$ to
strengthen the ship$ to reef the sail. "hile they th%s do #hat
to ea!h one seems -est$ the storm in!reases. The sho%ting of the
men$ the rattling of the shro%ds$ and the dashing of the #aes$
mingle #ith the roar of the th%nder. The s#elling sea seems
lifted %p to the heaens$ to s!atter its foam among the !lo%ds;
then sinking a#ay to the -ottom ass%mes the !olor of the shoal$
a Stygian -la!kness.
The essel o-eys all these !hanges. It seems like a #ild -east
that r%shes on the spears of the h%nters. Rain falls in
torrents$ as if the skies #ere !oming do#n to %nite #ith the sea.
"hen the lightning !eases for a moment$ the night seems to add
its o#n darkness to that of the storm; then !omes the flash$
rending the darkness as%nder$ and lighting %p all #ith a glare.
Skill fails$ !o%rage sinks$ and death seems to !ome on eery
#ae. The men are st%pefied #ith terror. The tho%ght of
parents$ and kindred$ and pledges left at home$ !omes oer their
minds. Cey0 thinks of 2al!yone. No name -%t hers is on his
lips$ and #hile he yearns for her$ he yet re7oi!es in her
a-sen!e. ,resently the mast is shattered -y a stroke of
lightning$ the r%dder -roken$ and the tri%mphant s%rge !%rling
oer looks do#n %pon the #re!k$ then falls$ and !r%shes it to
fragments. Some of the seamen$ st%nned -y the stroke$ sink$ and
rise no more; others !ling to fragments of the #re!k. Cey0$ #ith
the hand that %sed to grasp the s!eptre$ holds fast to a plank$
!alling for help$ alas$ in ain$ %pon his father and his
father)in)la#. .%t oftenest on his lips #as the name of
2al!yone. 2is tho%ghts !ling to her. 2e prays that the #aes
may -ear his -ody to her sight$ and that it may re!eie -%rial at
her hands. At length the #aters oer#helm him$ and he sinks.
The Day)star looked dim that night. Sin!e it !o%ld not leae the
heaens$ it shro%ded its fa!e #ith !lo%ds.
In the mean #hile 2al!yone$ ignorant of all these horrors$
!o%nted the days till her h%s-and/s promised ret%rn. No# she
gets ready the garments #hi!h he shall p%t on$ and no# #hat she
shall #ear #hen he arries. To all the gods she offers fre:%ent
in!ense -%t more than all to '%no. For her h%s-and$ #ho #as no
more$ she prayed in!essantly; that he might -e safe; that he
might !ome home; that he might not$ in his a-sen!e$ see any one
that he #o%ld loe -etter than her. .%t of all these prayers$
the last #as the only one destined to -e granted. The goddess$
at length$ !o%ld not -ear any longer to -e pleaded #ith for one
already dead$ and to hae hands raised to her altars$ that o%ght
rather to -e offering f%neral rites. So$ !alling Iris$ she said$
8Iris$ my faithf%l messenger$ go to the dro#sy d#elling of
Somn%s$ and tell him to send a ision to 2al!yone$ in the form of
Cey0$ to make kno#n to her the eent.8
Iris p%ts on her ro-e of many !olors$ and tingeing the sky #ith
her -o#$ seeks the pala!e of the *ing of Sleep. Near the
Cimmerian !o%ntry$ a mo%ntain !ae is the a-ode of the d%ll god$
Somn%s$ 2ere ,hoe-%s dares not !ome$ either rising$ or at
midday$ or setting. Clo%ds and shado#s are e0haled from the
gro%nd$ and the light glimmers faintly. The -ird of da#n$ #ith
!rested head$ neer !alls alo%d there to A%rora$ nor #at!hf%l
dog$ nor more saga!io%s goose dist%r-s the silen!e. <This
!omparison of the dog and the goose is a referen!e -y Oid to a
passage in Roman history.= No #ild -east$ nor !attle$ nor -ran!h
moed #ith the #ind$ nor so%nd of h%man !onersation$ -reaks the
stillness. Silen!e reigns there; and from the -ottom of the ro!k
the Rier (ethe flo#s$ and -y its m%rm%r inites to sleep.
,oppies gro# a-%ndantly -efore the door of the !ae$ and other
her-s$ from #hose 7%i!es Night !olle!ts sl%m-ers$ #hi!h she
s!atters oer the darkened earth. There is no gate to the
mansion$ to !reak on its hinges$ nor any #at!hman; -%t in the
midst$ a !o%!h of -la!k e-ony$ adorned #ith -la!k pl%mes and
-la!k !%rtains. There the god re!lines$ his lim-s rela0ed #ith
sleep. Aro%nd him lie dreams$ resem-ling all ario%s forms$ as
many as the harest -ears stalks$ or the forest leaes$ or the
seashore grains of sand.
As soon as the goddess entered and -r%shed a#ay the dreams that
hoered aro%nd her$ her -rightness lit %p all the !ae. The god$
s!ar!e opening his eyes$ and eer and anon dropping his -eard
%pon his -reast$ at last shook himself free from himself$ and
leaning on his arm$ in:%ired her errand$ for he kne# #ho she
#as. She ans#ered$ 8Somn%s$ gentlest of the gods$ tran:%illi6er
of minds and soother of !are#orn hearts$ '%no sends yo% her
!ommands that yo% dispat!h a dream to 2al!yone$ in the !ity of
Tra!hinae$ representing her lost h%s-and and all the eents of
the #re!k.8
2aing deliered her message$ Iris hasted a#ay$ for she !o%ld not
longer end%re the stagnant air$ and as she felt dro#siness
!reeping oer her$ she made her es!ape$ and ret%rned -y her -o#
the #ay she !ame. Then Somn%s !alled one of his n%mero%s sons$
&orphe%s$ the most e0pert at !o%nterfeiting forms$ and in
imitating the #alk$ the !o%ntenan!e$ and mode of speaking$ een
the !lothes and attit%des most !hara!teristi! of ea!h. .%t he
only imitates men$ leaing it to another to personate -irds$
-easts$ and serpents. 2im they !all I!elos; and ,hantasos is a
third$ #ho t%rns himself into ro!ks$ #aters$ #oods$ and other
things #itho%t life. These #ait %pon kings and great personages
in their sleeping ho%rs$ #hile others moe among the !ommon
people. Somn%s !hose$ from all the -rothers$ &orphe%s$ to
perform the !ommand of Iris; then laid his head on his pillo# and
yielded himself to gratef%l repose.
&orphe%s fle#$ making no noise #ith his #ings$ and soon !ame to
the 2aemonian !ity$ #here$ laying aside his #ings$ he ass%med the
form of Cey0. 9nder that form$ -%t pale like a dead man$ naked$
he stood -efore the !o%!h of the #ret!hed #ife. 2is -eard seemed
soaked #ith #ater$ and #ater tri!kled from his dro#ned lo!ks.
(eaning oer the -ed$ tears streaming from his eyes$ he said$ 8Do
yo% re!ogni6e yo%r Cey0$ %nhappy #ife$ or has death too m%!h
!hanged my isageB .ehold me$ kno# me$ yo%r h%s-and/s shade$
instead of himself. 1o%r prayers$ 2al!yone$ aailed me nothing.
I am dead. No more de!eie yo%rself #ith ain hopes of my
ret%rn. The stormy #inds s%nk my ship in the Aegean Sea; #aes
filled my mo%th #hile it !alled alo%d on yo%. No %n!ertain
messenger tells yo% this$ no ag%e r%mor -rings it to yo%r ears.
I !ome in person$ a ship#re!ked man$ to tell yo% my fate. AriseC
Gie me tears$ gie me lamentations$ let me not go do#n to
Tartar%s %n#ept.8 To these #ords &orphe%s added the oi!e #hi!h
seemed to -e that of her h%s-and; he seemed to po%r forth gen%ine
tears; his hands had the gest%res of Cey0.
2al!yone$ #eeping$ groaned$ and stret!hed o%t her arms in her
sleep$ striing to em-ra!e his -ody$ -%t grasping only the air.
8StayC8 she !ried; 8#hither do yo% flyB (et %s go together.8
2er o#n oi!e a#akened her. Starting %p$ she ga6ed eagerly
aro%nd$ to see if he #as still present$ for the serants$ alarmed
-y her !ries$ had -ro%ght a light. "hen she fo%nd him not$ she
smote her -reast and rent her garments. She !ares not to %n-ind
her hair$ -%t tears it #ildly. 2er n%rse asks #hat is the !a%se
of her grief. 82al!yone is no more$8 she ans#ers; 8she perished
#ith her Cey0. 9tter not #ords of !omfort$ he is ship#re!ked and
dead. I hae seen him. I hae re!ogni6ed him. I stret!hed o%t
my hands to sei6e him and detain him. 2is shade anished$ -%t it
#as the tr%e shade of my h%s-and. Not #ith the a!!%stomed
feat%res$ not #ith the -ea%ty that #as his$ -%t pale$ naked$ and
#ith his hair #et #ith sea)#ater$ he appeared to #ret!hed me.
2ere$ in this ery spot$ the sad ision stood$8 and she looked
to find the mark of his footsteps. 8This it #as$ this that my
presaging mind fore-oded$ #hen I implored him not to leae me to
tr%st himself to the #aes. O$ ho# I #ish$ sin!e tho% #o%ldst
go$ that tho% hadst taken me #ith theeC It #o%ld hae -een far
-etter. Then I sho%ld hae had no remnant of life to spend
#itho%t thee$ nor a separate death to die. If I !o%ld -ear to
lie and str%ggle to end%re$ I sho%ld -e more !r%el to myself
than the sea has -een to me. .%t I #ill not str%ggle. I #ill
not -e separated from thee$ %nhappy h%s-and. This time$ at least
I #ill keep thee !ompany. In death$ if one tom- may not in!l%de
%s$ one epitaph shall; if I may not lay my ashes #ith thine$ my
name$ at least$ shall not -e separated.8 2er grief for-ade more
#ords$ and these #ere -roken #ith tears and so-s.
It #as no# morning. She #ent to the sea)shore$ and so%ght the
spot #here she last sa# him$ on his depart%re. 82ere he lingered
and !ast off his ta!klings and gae me his last kiss.8 "hile she
reie#s eery moment$ and stries to re!all eery in!ident$
looking o%t oer the sea$ she des!ries an indistin!t o-7e!t
floating in the #ater. At first she #as in do%-t #hat it #as$
-%t -y degrees the #aes -ore it nearer$ and it #as plainly the
-ody of a man. Tho%gh %nkno#ing of #hom$ yet$ as it #as of some
ship#re!ked one$ she #as deeply moed$ and gae it her tears$
saying$ 8AlasC 9nhappy one$ and %nhappy$ if s%!h there -e$ thy
#ifeC8 .orne -y the #aes$ it !ame nearer. As she more and more
nearly ie#s it$ she trem-les more and more. No#$ no# it
approa!hes the shore. No# marks that she re!ogni6es appear. It
is her h%s-andC Stret!hing o%t her trem-ling hands to#ards it$
she e0!laims$ 8O$ dearest h%s-and$ is it th%s yo% ret%rn to meB8
There #as -%ilt o%t from the shore a mole$ !onstr%!ted to -reak
the assa%lts of the sea$ and stem its iolent ingress. She
leaped %pon this -arrier and <it #as #onderf%l she !o%ld do so=
she fle#$ and striking the air #ith #ings prod%!ed on the
instant$ skimmed along the s%rfa!e of the #ater$ an %nhappy -ird.
As she fle#$ her throat po%red forth so%nds f%ll of grief$ and
like the oi!e of one lamenting. "hen she to%!hed the m%te and
-loodless -ody$ she enfolded its -eloed lim-s #ith her ne#)
formed #ings$ and tried to gie kisses #ith her horny -eak.
"hether Cey0 felt it$ or #hether it #as only the a!tion of the
#aes$ those #ho looked on do%-ted$ -%t the -ody seemed to raise
its head. .%t indeed he did feel it$ and -y the pitying gods
-oth of them #ere !hanged into -irds. They mate and hae their
yo%ng ones. For seen pla!id days$ in #inter time$ 2al!yone
-roods oer her nest$ #hi!h floats %pon the sea. Then the #ay is
safe to seamen. Aeol%s g%ards the #inds$ and keeps them from
dist%r-ing the deep. The sea is gien %p$ for the time$ to his
The follo#ing lines from .yron/s .ride of A-ydos might seem
-orro#ed from the !on!l%ding part of this des!ription$ if it #ere
not stated that the a%thor deried the s%ggestion from o-sering
the motion of a floating !orpse.
8As shaken on his restless pillo#$
2is head heaes #ith the heaing -illo#;
That hand$ #hose motion is not life$
1et fee-ly seems to mena!e strife$
Fl%ng -y the tossing tide on high$.
Then leelled #ith the #ae 8
&ilton$ in his 2ymn for the Natiity$ th%s all%des to the fa-le
of the 2al!yon@
8.%t pea!ef%l #as the night
"herein the ,rin!e of light
2is reign of pea!e %pon the earth -egan;
The #inds #ith #onder #hist$
Smoothly the #aters kist$
"hispering ne# 7oys to the mild o!ean
"ho no# hath :%ite forgot to rae
"hile -irds of !alm sit -rooding on the !harmed #ae.8
*eats$ also$ in Endymion$ says@
8O magi! sleepC O !omforta-le -ird
That -roodest o/er the tro%-led sea of the mind
Till it is h%shed and smooth.8
Chapter +I
+ert%mn%s and ,omona. C%pid and ,sy!he
The 2amadryads #ere "ood)nymphs. Among them #as ,omona$ and no
one e0!elled her in loe of the garden and the !%lt%re of fr%it.
She !ared not for forests and riers$ -%t loed the !%ltiated
!o%ntry and trees that -ear deli!io%s apples. 2er right hand
-ore for its #eapon not a 7aelin$ -%t a pr%ning knife. Armed
#ith this$ she #orked at one time$ to repress the too l%0%riant
gro#ths$ and !%rtail the -ran!hes that straggled o%t of pla!e; at
another$ to split the t#ig and insert therein a graft$ making the
-ran!h adopt a n%rsling not its o#n. She took !are$ too$ that
her faorites sho%ld not s%ffer from dro%ght$ and led streams of
#ater -y them that the thirsty roots might drink. This
o!!%pation #as her p%rs%it$ her passion; and she #as free from
that #hi!h +en%s inspires. She #as not #itho%t fear of the
!o%ntry people$ and kept her or!hard lo!ked$ and allo#ed not men
to enter. The Fa%ns and Satyrs #o%ld hae gien all they
possessed to #in her$ and so #o%ld old Sylan%s$ #ho looks yo%ng
for his years$ and ,an$ #ho #ears a garland of pine leaes aro%nd
his head. .%t +ert%mn%s loed her -est of all; yet he sped no
-etter than the rest. Oh$ ho# often$ in the disg%ise of a
reaper$ did he -ring her !orn in a -asket$ and looked the ery
image of a reaperC "ith a hay)-and tied ro%nd him$ one #o%ld
think he had 7%st !ome from t%rning oer the grass. Sometimes he
#o%ld hae an o0)goad in his hand$ and yo% #o%ld hae said he had
7%st %nyoked his #eary o0en. No# he -ore a pr%ning)hook$ and
personated a ine)dresser; and again #ith a ladder on his
sho%lder$ he seemed as if he #as going to gather apples.
Sometimes he tr%dged along as a dis!harged soldier$ and again he
-ore a fishing)rod as if going to fish. In this #ay$ he gained
admission to her$ again and again$ and fed his passion #ith the
sight of her.
One day he !ame in the g%ise of an old #oman$ her gray hair
s%rmo%nted #ith a !ap$ and a staff in her hand. She entered the
garden and admired the fr%it. 8It does yo% !redit$ my dear$8 she
said$ and kissed ,omona$ not e0a!tly #ith an old #oman/s kiss.
She sat do#n on a -ank$ and looked %p at the -ran!hes laden #ith
fr%it #hi!h h%ng oer her. Opposite #as an elm ent#ined #ith a
ine loaded #ith s#elling grapes. She praised the tree and its
asso!iated ine$ e:%ally. 8.%t$8 said +ert%mn%s$ 8if the tree
stood alone$ and had no ine !linging to it$ it #o%ld lie
prostrate on the gro%nd. "hy #ill yo% not take a lesson from the
tree and the ine$ and !onsent to %nite yo%rself #ith some oneB
I #ish yo% #o%ld. 2elen herself had not more n%mero%s s%itors$
nor ,enelope$ the #ife of shre#d 9lysses. Een #hile yo% sp%rn
them$ they !o%rt yo% r%ral deities and others of eery kind that
fre:%ent these mo%ntains. .%t if yo% are pr%dent and #ant to
make a good allian!e$ and #ill let an old #oman adise yo%$ #ho
loes yo% -etter than yo% hae any idea of$ dismiss all the
rest and a!!ept +ert%mn%s$ on my re!ommendation. I kno# him as
#ell as he kno#s himself. 2e is not a #andering deity$ -%t
-elongs to these mo%ntains. Nor is he like too many of the
loers no#adays$ #ho loe any one they happen to see; he loes
yo%$ and yo% only. Add to this$ he is yo%ng and handsome$ and
has the art of ass%ming any shape he pleases$ and !an make
himself 7%st #hat yo% !ommand him. &oreoer$ he loes the same
things that yo% do$ delights in gardening$ and handles yo%r
apples #ith admiration. .%t NO" he !ares nothing for fr%its$ nor
flo#ers$ nor anything else$ -%t only yo%rself. Take pity on him$
and fan!y him speaking no# #ith my mo%th. Remem-er that the gods
p%nish !r%elty$ and that +en%s hates a hard heart$ and #ill isit
s%!h offenses sooner or later. To proe this$ let me tell yo% a
story$ #hi!h is #ell kno#n in Cypr%s to -e a fa!t; and I hope it
#ill hae the effe!t to make yo% more mer!if%l.
8Iphis #as a yo%ng man of h%m-le parentage$ #ho sa# and loed
Ana0arete$ a no-le lady of the an!ient family of Te%!er. 2e
str%ggled long #ith his passion$ -%t #hen he fo%nd he !o%ld not
s%-d%e it$ he !ame a s%ppliant to her mansion. First he told his
passion to her n%rse$ and -egged her as she loed her foster)
!hild to faor his s%it. And then he tried to #in her domesti!s
to his side. Sometimes he !ommitted his o#s to #ritten ta-lets$
and often h%ng at her door garlands #hi!h he had moistened #ith
his tears. 2e stret!hed himself on her threshold$ and %ttered
his !omplaints to the !r%el -olts and -ars. She #as deafer than
the s%rges #hi!h rise in the Noem-er gale; harder than steel
from the German forges$ or a ro!k that still !lings to its natie
!liff. She mo!ked and la%ghed at him$ adding !r%el #ords to her
%ngentle treatment$ and gae not the slightest gleam of hope.
8Iphis !o%ld not any longer end%re the torments of hopeless loe$
and standing -efore her doors$ he spake these last #ords@
/Ana0arete$ yo% hae !on:%ered$ and shall no longer hae to -ear
my import%nities. En7oy yo%r tri%mphC Sing songs of 7oy$ and
-ind yo%r forehead #ith la%rel$ yo% hae !on:%eredC I die;
stony heart$ re7oi!eC This at least I !an do to gratify yo%$ and
for!e yo% to praise me; and th%s shall I proe that the loe of
yo% left me -%t #ith life. Nor #ill I leae it to r%mor to tell
yo% of my death. I #ill !ome myself$ and yo% shall see me die$
and feast yo%r eyes on the spe!ta!le. 1et$ Oh$ ye gods$ #ho look
do#n on mortal #oes$ o-sere my fateC I ask -%t thisC (et me -e
remem-ered in !oming ages$ and add those years to my name #hi!h
yo% hae reft from my life./ Th%s he said$ and$ t%rning his pale
fa!e and #eeping eyes to#ards her mansion$ he fastened a rope to
the gate)post$ on #hi!h he had h%ng garlands$ and p%tting his
head into the noose$ he m%rm%red$ /This garland at least #ill
please yo%$ !r%el girlC/ And falling$ h%ng s%spended #ith his
ne!k -roken. As he fell he str%!k against the gate$ and the
so%nd #as as the so%nd of a groan. The serants opened the door
and fo%nd him dead$ and #ith e0!lamations of pity raised him and
!arried him home to his mother$ for his father #as not liing.
She re!eied the dead -ody of her son$ and folded the !old form
to her -osom; #hile she po%red forth the sad #ords #hi!h -ereaed
mothers %tter. The mo%rnf%l f%neral passed thro%gh the to#n$ and
the pale !orpse #as -orne on a -ier to the pla!e of the f%neral
pile. .y !han!e the home of Ana0arete #as on the street #here
the pro!ession passed$ and the lamentations of the mo%rners met
the ears of her #hom the aenging deity had already marked for
8/(et %s see this sad pro!ession$/ said she$ and mo%nted to a
t%rret$ #hen!e thro%gh an open #indo# she looked %pon the
f%neral. S!ar!e had her eyes rested %pon the form of Iphis
stret!hed on the -ier$ #hen they -egan to stiffen$ and the #arm
-lood in her -ody to -e!ome !old. Endeaoring to step -a!k$ she
fo%nd she !o%ld not moe her feet; trying to t%rn a#ay her fa!e$
she tried in ain; and -y degrees all her lim-s -e!ame stony like
her heart. That yo% may not do%-t the fa!t$ the stat%e still
remains$ and stands in the temple of +en%s at Salamis$ in the
e0a!t form of the lady. No# think of these things$ my dear$ and
lay aside yo%r s!orn and yo%r delays$ and a!!ept a loer. So may
neither the ernal frosts -light yo%r yo%ng fr%its$ nor f%rio%s
#inds s!atter yo%r -lossomsC8
"hen +ert%mn%s had spoken th%s$ he dropped the disg%ise of an old
#oman$ and stood -efore her in his proper person$ as a !omely
yo%th. It appeared to her like the s%n -%rsting thro%gh a !lo%d.
2e #o%ld hae rene#ed his entreaties$ -%t there #as no need; his
arg%ments and the sight of his tr%e form preailed$ and the Nymph
no longer resisted$ -%t o#ned a m%t%al flame.
,omona #as the espe!ial patroness of the apple)or!hard$ and as
s%!h she #as inoked -y ,hillips$ the a%thor of a poem on Cider$
in -lank erse$ in the follo#ing lines@
8"hat soil the apple loes$ #hat !are is d%e
To or!hats$ timeliest #hen to press the fr%its$
Thy gift$ ,omona$ in &iltonian erse
Adent%ro%s I pres%me to sing.8
Thomson$ in the Seasons$ all%des to ,hillips@
8,hillips$ ,omona/s -ard$ the se!ond tho%
"ho no-ly d%rst$ in rhyme)%nfettered erse$
"ith .ritish freedom$ sing the .ritish song.8
It #ill -e seen that Thomson refers to the poet/s referen!e to
&ilton$ -%t it is not tr%e that ,hillips is only the se!ond
#riter of English -lank erse. &any other poets -eside &ilton
had %sed it long -efore ,hillips/ time.
.%t ,omona #as also regarded as presiding oer other fr%its$ and$
as s%!h$ is inoked -y Thomson@
8.ear me$ ,omona$ to thy !itron groes$
To #here the lemon and the pier!ing lime$
"ith the deep orange$ glo#ing thro%gh the green$
Their lighter glories -lend. (ay me re!lined
.eneath the spreading tamarind$ that shakes$
Fanned -y the -ree6e$ its feer)!ooling fr%it.8
A !ertain king had three da%ghters. <This seems to -e one of the
latest fa-les of the Greek mythology. It has not -een fo%nd
earlier than the !lose of the se!ond !ent%ry of the Christian
era. It -ears marks of the higher religio%s notions of that
time.= The t#o elder #ere !harming girls$ -%t the -ea%ty of the
yo%ngest #as so #onderf%l that lang%age is too poor to e0press
its d%e praise. The fame of her -ea%ty #as so great that
strangers from neigh-oring !o%ntries !ame in !ro#ds to en7oy the
sight$ and looked on her #ith ama6ement$ paying her that homage
#hi!h is d%e only to +en%s herself. In fa!t$ +en%s fo%nd her
altars deserted$ #hile men t%rned their deotion to this yo%ng
irgin. As she passed along$ the people sang her praises$ and
stre#ed her #ay #ith !haplets and flo#ers.
This perersion to a mortal of the homage d%e only to the
immortal po#ers gae great offen!e to the real +en%s. Shaking
her am-rosial lo!ks #ith indignation$ she e0!laimed$ 8Am I then
to -e e!lipsed in my honors -y a mortal girlB In ain then did
that royal shepherd$ #hose 7%dgment #as approed -y 'oe himself$
gie me the palm of -ea%ty oer my ill%strio%s rials$ ,allas and
'%ne. .%t she shall not so :%ietly %s%rp my honors. I #ill gie
her !a%se to repent of so %nla#f%l a -ea%ty.8
There%pon she !alls her #inged son C%pid$ mis!hieo%s eno%gh in
his o#n nat%re$ and ro%ses and prookes him yet more -y her
!omplaints. She points o%t ,sy!he to him$ and says$ 8&y dear
son$ p%nish that !ont%ma!io%s -ea%ty; gie thy mother a reenge
as s#eet as her in7%ries are great; inf%se into the -osom of that
ha%ghty girl a passion for some lo#$ mean$ %n#orthy -eing$ so
that she may reap a mortifi!ation as great as her present
e0%ltation and tri%mph.8
C%pid prepared to o-ey the !ommands of his mother. There are t#o
fo%ntains in +en%s/s garden$ one of s#eet #aters$ the other of
-itter. C%pid filled t#o am-er ases$ one from ea!h fo%ntain$
and s%spending them from the top of his :%ier$ hastened to the
!ham-er of ,sy!he$ #hom he fo%nd asleep. 2e shed a fe# drops
from the -itter fo%ntain oer her lips$ tho%gh the sight of her
almost moed him to pity; then to%!hed her side #ith the point of
his arro#. At the to%!h she a#oke$ and opened eyes %pon C%pid
<himself inisi-le= #hi!h so startled him that in his !onf%sion
he #o%nded himself #ith his o#n arro#. 2eedless of his #o%nd his
#hole tho%ght no# #as to repair the mis!hief he had done$ and he
po%red the -almy drops of 7oy oer all her silken ringlets.
,sy!he$ hen!eforth fro#ned %pon -y +en%s$ deried no -enefit from
all her !harms. Tr%e$ all eyes #ere !ast eagerly %pon her$ and
eery mo%th spoke her praises; -%t neither king$ royal yo%th$ nor
ple-eian presented himself to demand her in marriage. 2er t#o
elder sisters of moderate !harms had no# long -een married to t#o
royal prin!es; -%t ,sy!he$ in her lonely apartment$ deplored her
solit%de$ si!k of that -ea%ty$ #hi!h$ #hile it pro!%red a-%ndan!e
of flattery$ had failed to a#aken loe.
2er parents$ afraid that they had %n#ittingly in!%rred the anger
of the gods$ !ons%lted the ora!le of Apollo$ and re!eied this
ans#er@ 8The irgin is destined for the -ride of no mortal loer.
2er f%t%re h%s-and a#aits her on the top of the mo%ntain. 2e is
a monster #hom neither gods nor men !an resist.8
This dreadf%l de!ree of the ora!le filled all the people #ith
dismay$ and her parents a-andoned themseles to grief. .%t
,sy!he said$ 8"hy$ my dear parents$ do yo% no# lament meB 1o%
sho%ld rather hae grieed #hen the people sho#ered %pon me
%ndesered honors$ and #ith one oi!e !alled me a +en%s. I no#
per!eie that I am a i!tim to that name. I s%-mit. (ead me to
that ro!k to #hi!h my %nhappy fate has destined me.8 A!!ordingly$
all things -eing prepared$ the royal maid took her pla!e in the
pro!ession$ #hi!h more resem-led a f%neral than a n%ptial pomp$
and #ith her parents$ amid the lamentations of the people$
as!ended the mo%ntain$ on the s%mmit of #hi!h they left her
alone$ and #ith sorro#f%l hearts ret%rned home.
"hile ,sy!he stood on the ridge of the mo%ntain$ panting #ith
fear and #ith eyes f%ll of tears$ the gentle 4ephyr raised her
from the earth and -ore her #ith an easy motion into a flo#ery
dale. .y degrees her mind -e!ame !omposed$ and she laid herself
do#n on the grassy -ank to sleep. "hen she a#oke$ refreshed #ith
sleep$ she looked ro%nd and -eheld near-y a pleasant groe of
tall and stately trees. She entered it$ and in the midst
dis!oered a fo%ntain$ sending forth !lear and !rystal #aters$
and hard -y$ a magnifi!ent pala!e #hose A%g%st front impressed
the spe!tator that it #as not the #ork of mortal hands$ -%t the
happy retreat of some god. Dra#n -y admiration and #onder$ she
approa!hed the -%ilding and ent%red to enter. Eery o-7e!t she
met filled her #ith pleas%re and ama6ement. Golden pillars
s%pported the a%lted roof$ and the #alls #ere enri!hed #ith
!arings and paintings representing -easts of the !hase and r%ral
s!enes$ adapted to delight the eye of the -eholder. ,ro!eeding
on#ard she per!eied that -esides the apartments of state there
#ere others$ filled #ith all manner of treas%res$ and -ea%tif%l
and pre!io%s prod%!tions of nat%re and art.
"hile her eyes #ere th%s o!!%pied$ a oi!e addressed her$ tho%gh
she sa# no one$ %ttering these #ords@ 8Soereign lady$ all that
yo% see is yo%rs. "e #hose oi!es yo% hear are yo%r serants$
and shall o-ey all yo%r !ommands #ith o%r %tmost !are and
diligen!e. Retire therefore to yo%r !ham-er and repose on yo%r
-ed of do#n$ and #hen yo% see fit repair to the -ath. S%pper
#ill a#ait yo% in the ad7oining al!oe #hen it pleases yo% to
take yo%r seat there.8
,sy!he gae ear to the admonitions of her o!al attendants$ and
after repose and the refreshment of the -ath$ seated herself in
the al!oe$ #here a ta-le immediately presented itself$ #itho%t
any isi-le aid from #aiters or serants$ and !oered #ith the
greatest deli!a!ies of food and the most ne!tareo%s #ines. 2er
ears too #ere feasted #ith m%si! from inisi-le performers; of
#hom one sang$ another played on the l%te$ and all !losed in the
#onderf%l harmony of a f%ll !hor%s.
She had not yet seen her destined h%s-and. 2e !ame only in the
ho%rs of darkness$ and fled -efore the da#n of morning$ -%t his
a!!ents #ere f%ll of loe$ and inspired a like passion in her.
She often -egged him to stay and let her -ehold him$ -%t he #o%ld
not !onsent. On the !ontrary$ he !harged her to make no attempt
to see him$ for it #as his pleas%re$ for the -est of reasons$ to
keep !on!ealed. 8"hy sho%ld yo% #ish to -ehold meB8 he said.
82ae yo% any do%-t of my loeB 2ae yo% any #ish %ngratifiedB
If yo% sa# me$ perhaps yo% #o%ld fear me$ perhaps adore me$ -%t
all I ask of yo% is to loe me. I #o%ld rather yo% #o%ld loe me
as an e:%al than adore me as a god.8
This reasoning some#hat :%ieted ,sy!he for a time$ and #hile the
noelty lasted she felt :%ite happy. .%t at length the tho%ght
of her parents$ left in ignoran!e of her fate$ and of her
sisters$ pre!l%ded from sharing #ith her the delights of her
sit%ation$ preyed on her mind and made her -egin to feel her
pala!e as -%t a splendid prison. "hen her h%s-and !ame one
night$ she told him her distress$ and at last dre# from him an
%n#illing !onsent that her sisters sho%ld -e -ro%ght to see her.
So !alling 4ephyr$ she a!:%ainted him #ith her h%s-and/s
!ommands$ and he$ promptly o-edient$ soon -ro%ght them a!ross the
mo%ntain do#n to their sister/s alley. They em-ra!ed her and
she ret%rned their !aresses. 8Come$8 said ,sy!he$ 8enter #ith me
my ho%se and refresh yo%rseles #ith #hateer yo%r sister has to
offer.8 Then taking their hands she led them into her golden
pala!e$ and !ommitted them to the !are of her n%mero%s train of
attendant oi!es$ to refresh them in her -aths and at her ta-le$
and to sho# them all her treas%res. The ie# of these !elestial
delights !a%sed eny to enter their -osoms$ at seeing their yo%ng
sister possessed of s%!h state and splendor$ so m%!h e0!eeding
their o#n.
They asked her n%m-erless :%estions$ among others #hat sort of a
person her h%s-and #as. ,sy!he replied that he #as a -ea%tif%l
yo%th$ #ho generally spent the daytime in h%nting %pon the
mo%ntains. The sisters$ not satisfied #ith this reply$ soon made
her !onfess that she had neer seen him. Then they pro!eeded to
fill her -osom #ith dark s%spi!ions. 8Call to mind$8 they said$
8the ,ythian ora!le that de!lared yo% destined to marry a diref%l
and tremendo%s monster. The inha-itants of this alley say that
yo%r h%s-and is a terri-le and monstro%s serpent$ #ho no%rishes
yo% for a #hile #ith dainties that he may -y and -y deo%r yo%.
Take o%r adi!e. ,roide yo%rself #ith a lamp and a sharp knife;
p%t them in !on!ealment that yo%r h%s-and may not dis!oer them$
and #hen he is so%nd asleep$ slip o%t of -ed -ring forth yo%r
lamp and see for yo%rself #hether #hat they say is tr%e or not.
If it is$ hesitate not to !%t off the monster/s head$ and there-y
re!oer yo%r li-erty.8
,sy!he resisted these pers%asions as #ell as she !o%ld$ -%t they
did not fail to hae their effe!t on her mind$ and #hen her
sisters #ere gone$ their #ords and her o#n !%riosity #ere too
strong for her to resist. So she prepared her lamp and a sharp
knife$ and hid them o%t of sight of her h%s-and. "hen he had
fallen into his first sleep$ she silently rose and %n!oering her
lamp -eheld not a hideo%s monster$ -%t the most -ea%tif%l and
!harming of the gods$ #ith his golden ringlets #andering oer his
sno#y ne!k and !rimson !heek$ #ith t#o de#y #ings on his
sho%lders$ #hiter than sno#$ and #ith shining feathers like the
tender -lossoms of spring. As she leaned the lamp oer to hae a
nearer ie# of his fa!e a drop of -%rning oil fell on the
sho%lder of the god$ startled #ith #hi!h he opened his eyes and
fi0ed them f%ll %pon her; then$ #itho%t saying one #ord$ he
spread his #hite #ings and fle# o%t of the #indo#. ,sy!he$ in
ain endeaoring to follo# him$ fell from the #indo# to the
gro%nd. C%pid$ -eholding her as she lay in the d%st$ stopped his
flight for an instant and said$ 8O foolish ,sy!he$ is it th%s yo%
repay my loeB After haing diso-eyed my mother/s !ommands and
made yo% my #ife$ #ill yo% think me a monster and !%t off my
headB .%t go; ret%rn to yo%r sisters$ #hose adi!e yo% seem to
think prefera-le to mine. I infli!t no other p%nishment on yo%
than to leae yo% foreer. (oe !annot d#ell #ith s%spi!ion.8
So saying he fled a#ay$ leaing poor ,sy!he prostrate on the
gro%nd$ filling the pla!e #ith mo%rnf%l lamentations.
"hen she had re!oered some degree of !ompos%re she looked aro%nd
her$ -%t the pala!e and gardens had anished$ and she fo%nd
herself in the open field not far from the !ity #here her sisters
d#elt. She repaired thither and told them the #hole story of her
misfort%nes$ at #hi!h$ pretending to griee$ those spitef%l
!reat%res in#ardly re7oi!ed; 8for no#$8 said they$ 8he #ill
perhaps !hoose one of %s.8 "ith this idea$ #itho%t saying a #ord
of her intentions$ ea!h of them rose early the ne0t morning and
as!ended the mo%ntain$ and haing rea!hed the top$ !alled %pon
4ephyr to re!eie her and -ear her to his lord; then leaping %p$
and not -eing s%stained -y 4ephyr$ fell do#n the pre!ipi!e and
#as dashed to pie!es.
,sy!he mean#hile #andered day and night$ #itho%t food or repose$
in sear!h of her h%s-and. Casting her eyes on a lofty mo%ntain
haing on its -ro# a magnifi!ent temple$ she sighed and said to
herself$ 8,erhaps my loe$ my lord$ inha-its there$8 and dire!ted
her steps thither.
She had no sooner entered than she sa# heaps of !orn$ some in
loose ears and some in sheaes$ #ith mingled ears of -arley.
S!attered a-o%t lay si!kles and rakes$ and all the instr%ments of
harest$ #itho%t order$ as if thro#n !arelessly o%t of the #eary
reapers/ hands in the s%ltry ho%rs of the day.
This %nseemly !onf%sion the pio%s ,sy!he p%t an end to$ -y
separating and sorting eery thing to its proper pla!e and kind$
-elieing that she o%ght to negle!t none of the gods$ -%t
endeaor -y her piety to engage them all in her -ehalf. The holy
Ceres$ #hose temple it #as$ finding her so religio%sly employed$
th%s spoke to her@ 8O ,sy!he$ tr%ly #orthy of o%r pity$ tho%gh I
!annot shield yo% from the fro#ns of +en%s$ yet I !an tea!h yo%
ho# -est to allay her displeas%re. Go then$ ol%ntarily
s%rrender yo%rself to yo%r lady and soereign$ and try -y modesty
and s%-mission to #in her forgieness; perhaps her faor #ill
restore yo% the h%s-and yo% hae lost.8
,sy!he o-eyed the !ommands of Ceres and took her #ay to the
temple of +en%s$ endeaoring to fortify her mind and thinking of
#hat she sho%ld say and ho# she sho%ld -est propitiate the angry
goddess$ feeling that the iss%e #as do%-tf%l and perhaps fatal.
+en%s re!eied her #ith angry !o%ntenan!e. 8&ost %nd%tif%l and
faithless of serants$8 said she$ 8do yo% at last remem-er that
yo% really hae a mistressB Or hae yo% rather !ome to see yo%r
si!k h%s-and$ yet s%ffering from the #o%nd gien him -y his
loing #ifeB 1o% are so ill)faored and disagreea-le that the
only #ay yo% !an merit yo%r loer m%st -e -y dint of ind%stry and
diligen!e. I #ill make trial of yo%r ho%se#ifery.8 Then she
ordered ,sy!he to -e led to the storeho%se of her temple$ #here
#as laid %p a great :%antity of #heat$ -arley$ millet$ et!hes$
-eans$ and lentils prepared for food for her does$ and said$
8Take and separate all these grains$ p%tting all of the same kind
in a par!el -y themseles$ and see that yo% get it done -efore
eening.8 Then +en%s departed and left her to her task.
.%t ,sy!he$ in perfe!t !onsternation at the enormo%s #ork$ sat
st%pid and silent$ #itho%t moing a finger to the ine0tri!a-le
"hile she sat despairing$ C%pid stirred %p the little ant$ a
natie of the fields$ to take !ompassion on her. The leader of
the ant)hill$ follo#ed -y #hole hosts of his si0)legged s%-7e!ts$
approa!hed the heap$ and #ith the %tmost diligen!e taking grain
-y grain$ they separated the pile$ sorting ea!h kind to its
par!el; and #hen it #as all done$ they anished o%t of sight in a
+en%s at the approa!h of t#ilight ret%rned from the -an:%et of
the gods$ -reathing odors and !ro#ned #ith roses. Seeing the
task done she e0!laimed$ 8This is no #ork of yo%rs #i!ked one$
-%t his$ #hom to yo%r o#n and his misfort%ne yo% hae enti!ed.8
So saying$ she thre# her a pie!e of -la!k -read for her s%pper
and #ent a#ay.
Ne0t morning +en%s ordered ,sy!he to -e !alled$ and said to her$
8.ehold yonder groe #hi!h stret!hes along the margin of the
#ater. There yo% #ill find sheep feeding #itho%t a shepherd$
#ith golden)shining flee!es on their -a!ks. Go$ fet!h me a
sample of that pre!io%s #ool gathered from eery one of their
,sy!he o-ediently #ent to the rier)side$ prepared to do her -est
to e0e!%te the !ommand. .%t the rier)god inspired the reeds
#ith harmonio%s m%rm%rs$ #hi!h seemed to say$ 8O maiden$ seerely
tried$ tempt not the dangero%s flood$ nor ent%re among the
formida-le rams on the other side$ for as long as they are %nder
the infl%en!e of the rising s%n$ they -%rn #ith a !r%el rage to
destroy mortals #ith their sharp horns or r%de teeth. .%t #hen
the noontide s%n has drien the flo!k to the shade$ and the
serene spirit of the flood has l%lled them to rest$ yo% may then
!ross in safety$ and yo% #ill find the #oolly gold sti!king to
the -%shes and the tr%nks of the trees.8
Th%s the !ompassionate rier)god gae ,sy!he instr%!tions ho# to
a!!omplish her task$ and -y o-sering his dire!tions she soon
ret%rned to +en%s #ith her arms f%ll of the golden flee!e; -%t
she re!eied not the appro-ation of her impla!a-le mistress$ #ho
said$ 8I kno# ery #ell it is -y none of yo%r o#n doings that yo%
hae s%!!eeded in this task$ and I am not satisfied yet that yo%
hae any !apa!ity to make yo%rself %sef%l. .%t I hae another
task for yo%. 2ere$ take this -o0$ and go yo%r #ay to the
infernal shades$ and gie this -o0 to ,roserpine$ and say$ /&y
mistress +en%s desires yo% to send her a little of yo%r -ea%ty$
for in tending her si!k son she has lost !ome of her o#n./ .e
not too long on yo%r errand$ for I m%st paint myself #ith it to
appear at the !ir!le of the gods and goddesses this eening.8
,sy!he #as no# satisfied that her destr%!tion #as at hand$ -eing
o-liged to go #ith her o#n feet dire!tly do#n to Ere-%s.
"herefore$ to make no delay of #hat #as not to -e aoided$ she
goes to the top of a high to#er to pre!ipitate herself headlong$
th%s to des!end the shortest #ay to the shades -elo#. .%t a
oi!e from the to#er said to her$ 8"hy$ poor %nl%!ky girl$ dost
tho% design to p%t an end to thy days in so dreadf%l a mannerB
And #hat !o#ardi!e makes thee sink %nder this last danger$ #ho
hast -een so mira!%lo%sly s%pported in all thy formerB8 Then the
oi!e told her ho# -y a !ertain !ae she might rea!h the realms
of ,l%to$ and ho# to aoid all the dangers of the road$ to pass
-y Cer-er%s$ the three)headed dog$ and preail on Charon$ the
ferryman$ to take her a!ross the -la!k rier and -ring her -a!k
again. .%t the oi!e added$ 8"hen ,roserpine has gien yo% the
-o0$ filled #ith her -ea%ty$ of all things this is !hiefly to -e
o-sered -y yo%$ that yo% neer on!e open or look into the -o0
nor allo# yo%r !%riosity to pry into the treas%re of the -ea%ty
of the goddesses.
,sy!he en!o%raged -y this adi!e o-eyed it in all things$ and
taking heed to her #ays traelled safely to the kingdom of ,l%to.
She #as admitted to the pala!e of ,roserpine$ and #itho%t
a!!epting the deli!ate seat or deli!io%s -an:%et that #as offered
her$ -%t !ontented #ith !oarse -read for her food$ she deliered
her message from +en%s. ,resently the -o0 #as ret%rned to her$
sh%t and filled #ith the pre!io%s !ommodity. Then she ret%rned
the #ay she !ame$ and glad #as she to !ome o%t on!e more into the
light of day.
.%t haing got so far s%!!essf%lly thro%gh her dangero%s task a
longing desire sei6ed her to e0amine the !ontents of the -o0.
8"hat$8 said she$ 8shall I$ the !arrier of this diine -ea%ty$
not take the least -it to p%t on my !heeks to appear to more
adantage in the eyes of my -eloed h%s-andC@8 So she !aref%lly
opened the -o0$ -%t fo%nd nothing there of any -ea%ty at all$ -%t
an infernal and tr%ly Stygian sleep$ #hi!h -eing th%s set free
from its prison$ took possession of her$ and she fell do#n in the
midst of the road$ a sleepy !orpse #itho%t sense or motion.
.%t C%pid -eing no# re!oered from his #o%nd$ and not a-le longer
to -ear the a-sen!e of his -eloed ,sy!he$ slipping thro%gh the
smallest !ra!k of the #indo# of his !ham-er #hi!h happened to -e
left open$ fle# to the spot #here ,sy!he lay$ and gathering %p
the sleep from her -ody !losed it again in the -o0$ and #aked
,sy!he #ith a light to%!h of one of his arro#s. 8Again$8 said
he$ 8hast tho% almost perished -y the same !%riosity. .%t no#
perform e0a!tly the task imposed on yo% -y my mother$ and I #ill
take !are of the rest.8
Then C%pid$ as s#ift as lightning penetrating the heights of
heaen$ presented himself -efore '%piter #ith his s%ppli!ation.
'%piter lent a faoring ear$ and pleaded the !a%se of the loers
so earnestly #ith +en%s that he #on her !onsent. On this he sent
&er!%ry to -ring ,sy!he %p to the heaenly assem-ly$ and #hen she
arried$ handing her a !%p of am-rosia$ he said$ 8Drink this$
,sy!he$ and -e immortal; nor shall C%pid eer -reak a#ay from the
knot in #hi!h he is tied$ -%t these n%ptials shall -e perpet%al.8
Th%s ,sy!he -e!ame at last %nited to C%pid$ and in d%e time they
had a da%ghter -orn to them #hose name #as ,leas%re.
The fa-le of C%pid and ,sy!he is %s%ally !onsidered allegori!al.
The Greek name for a -%tterfly is ,sy!he$ and the same #ord means
the so%l. There is no ill%stration of the immortality of the
so%l so striking and -ea%tif%l as the -%tterfly$ -%rsting on
-rilliant #ings from the tom- in #hi!h it has lain$ after a d%ll$
groelling !aterpillar e0isten!e$ to fl%tter in the -la6e of day
and feed on the most fragrant and deli!ate prod%!tions of the
spring. ,sy!he$ then$ is the h%man so%l$ #hi!h is p%rified -y
s%fferings and misfort%nes$ and is th%s prepared for the
en7oyment of tr%e and p%re happiness.
In #orks of art ,sy!he is represented as a maiden #ith the #ings
of a -%tterfly$ alone or #ith C%pid$ in the different sit%ations
des!ri-ed in the allegory.
&ilton all%des to the story of C%pid and ,sy!he in the !on!l%sion
of his Com%s@))
8Celestial C%pid$ her famed son$ adan!ed$
2olds his dear ,sy!he s#eet entran!ed$
After her #andering la-ors long$
Till free !onsent the gods among
&ake her his eternal -ride;
And from her fair %nspotted side
T#o -lissf%l t#ins are to -e -orn$
1o%th and 'oy; so 'oe hath s#orn.8
The allegory of the story of C%pid and ,sy!he is #ell presented
in the -ea%tif%l lines of T. *. 2erey@))
8They #oe -right fa-les in the days of old
"hen reason -orro#ed fan!y/s painted #ings;
"hen tr%th/s !lear rier flo#ed o/er sands of gold$
And told in song its high and mysti! thingsC
And s%!h the s#eet and solemn tale of her
The pilgrim)heart$ to #hom a dream #as gien.
That led her thro%gh the #orld$ (oe/s #orshipper$
To seek on earth for him #hose home #as heaenC
8In the f%ll !ity$ -y the ha%nted fo%nt$
Thro%gh the dim grotto/s tra!ery of spars$
/&id the pine temples$ on the moonlit mo%nt$
"here silen!e sits to listen to the stars;
In the deep glade #here d#ells the -rooding doe$
The painted alley$ and the s!ented air$
She heard far e!hoes of the oi!e of (oe$
And fo%nd his footsteps/ tra!es eery#here.
8.%t neer more they metC Sin!e do%-ts and fears$
Those phantom)shapes that ha%nt and -light the earth$
2ad !ome /t#i0t her$ a !hild of sin and tears$
And that -right spirit of immortal -irth;
9ntil her pining so%l and #eeping eyes
2ad learned to seek him only in the skies;
Till #ings %nto the #eary heart #ere gien$
And she -e!ame (oe/s angel -ride in heaenC8
The story of C%pid and ,sy!he first appears in the #orks of
Ap%lei%s$ a #riter of the se!ond !ent%ry of o%r era. It is
therefore of m%!h more re!ent date than most of the legends of
the Age of Fa-le. It is this that *eats all%des to in his Ode to
8O latest -orn and loeliest ision far
Of all Olymp%s/ faded hierar!hyC
Fairer than ,hoe-e/s sapphire)regioned star
Or +esper$ amoro%s glo#)#orm of the sky;
Fairer than these$ tho%gh temple tho% hast none$
Nor altar heaped #ith flo#ers;
Nor irgin)!hoir to make deli!io%s moan
9pon the midnight ho%rs;
No oi!e$ no l%te$ no pipe$ no in!ense s#eet$
JFrom !hain)s#%ng !enser teeming;
No shrine$ no groe$ no ora!le$ no heat
Of ,ale)mo%thed prophet dreaming.8
In &oore/s S%mmer Fete$ a fan!y -all is des!ri-ed$ in #hi!h one
of the !hara!ters personated is ,sy!he.
8 not in dark disg%ise to)night
2ath o%r yo%ng heroine eiled her light;
For see$ she #alks the earth$ (oe/s o#n.
2is #edded -ride$ -y holiest o#
,ledged in Olymp%s$ and made kno#n
To mortals -y the type #hi!h no#
2angs glittering on her sno#y -ro#$
That -%tterfly$ mysterio%s trinket$
"hi!h means the so%l <tho%gh fe# #o%ld think it=$
And sparkling th%s on -ro# so #hite$
Tells %s #e/e ,sy!he here to)night.8
Chapter +II
Cadm%s. The &yrmidons.
'%piter$ %nder the disg%ise of a -%ll$ had !arried a#ay to the
island of Crete$ E%ropa$ the da%ghter of Agenor king of
,hoeni!ia. Agenor !ommanded his son Cadm%s to go in sear!h of
his sister$ and not to ret%rn #itho%t her. Cadm%s #ent and
so%ght long and far for his sister$ -%t !o%ld not find her$ and
not daring to ret%rn %ns%!!essf%l$ !ons%lted the ora!le of Apollo
to kno# #hat !o%ntry he sho%ld settle in. The ora!le informed
him that he sho%ld find a !o# in the field$ and sho%ld follo# her
#hereer she might #ander$ and #here she stopped$ sho%ld -%ild a
!ity and !all it The-es. Cadm%s had hardly left the Castalian
!ae$ from #hi!h the ora!le #as deliered$ #hen he sa# a yo%ng
!o# slo#ly #alking -efore him. 2e follo#ed her !lose$ offering
at the same time his prayers to ,hoe-%s. The !o# #ent on till
she passed the shallo# !hannel of Cephis%s and !ame o%t into the
plain of ,anope. There she stood still$ and raising her -road
forehead to the sky$ filled the air #ith her lo#ings. Cadm%s
gae thanks$ and stooping do#n kissed the foreign soil$ then
lifting his eyes$ greeted the s%rro%nding mo%ntains. "ishing to
offer a sa!rifi!e to '%piter$ he sent his serants to seek p%re
#ater for a li-ation. Near-y there stood an an!ient groe #hi!h
had neer -een profaned -y the a0e$ in the midst of #hi!h #as a
!ae$ thi!k !oered #ith the gro#th of -%shes$ its roof forming a
lo# ar!h$ from -eneath #hi!h -%rst forth a fo%ntain of p%rest
#ater. In the !ae l%rked a horrid serpent #ith a !rested head
and s!ales glittering like gold. 2is eyes shone like fire$ his
-ody #as s#ollen #ith enom$ he i-rated a triple tong%e$ and
sho#ed a triple ro# of teeth. No sooner had the Tyrians <Cadm%s
and his !ompanions !ame from Tyre$ the !hief !ity of ,hoeni!ia=
dipped their pit!hers in the fo%ntain$ and the ing%shing #aters
made a so%nd$ than the glittering serpent raised his head o%t of
the !ae and %ttered a fearf%l hiss. The essels fell from their
hands$ the -lood left their !heeks$ they trem-led in eery lim-.
The serpent$ t#isting his s!aly -ody in a h%ge !oil$ raised his
head so as to oertop the tallest trees$ and #hile the Tyrians
from terror !o%ld neither fight nor fly$ sle# some #ith his
fangs$ others in his folds$ and others #ith his poisono%s -reath.
Cadm%s haing #aited for the ret%rn of his men till midday$ #ent
in sear!h of them. 2is !oering #as a lion/s hide$ and -esides
his 7aelin he !arried in his hand a lan!e$ and in his -reast a
-old heart$ a s%rer relian!e than either. "hen he entered the
#ood and sa# the lifeless -odies of his men$ and the monster #ith
his -loody 7a#s$ he e0!laimed$ 8O faithf%l friends$ I #ill aenge
yo%$ or share yo%r death.8 So saying he lifted a h%ge stone and
thre# it #ith all his for!e at the serpent. S%!h a -lo!k #o%ld
hae shaken the #all of a fortress$ -%t it made no impression on
the monster. Cadm%s ne0t thre# his 7aelin$ #hi!h met #ith
-etter s%!!ess$ for it penetrated the serpent/s s!ales$ and
pier!ed thro%gh to his entrails. Fier!e #ith pain the monster
t%rned -a!k his head to ie# the #o%nd$ and attempted to dra# o%t
the #eapon #ith his mo%th$ -%t -roke it off$ leaing the iron
point rankling in his flesh. 2is ne!k s#elled #ith rage$ -loody
foam !oered his 7a#s$ and the -reath of his nostrils poisoned
the air aro%nd. No# he t#isted himself into a !ir!le$ then
stret!hed himself o%t on the gro%nd like the tr%nk of a fallen
tree. As he moed on#ard$ Cadm%s retreated -efore him$ holding
his spear opposite to the monster/s opened 7a#s. The serpent
snapped at the #eapon and attempted to -ite its iron point. At
last Cadm%s$ #at!hing his !han!e$ thr%st the spear at a moment
#hen the animal/s thro#n -a!k !ame against the tr%nk of a tree$
and so s%!!eeded in pinning him to its side. 2is #eight -ent the
tree as he str%ggled in the agonies of death.
"hile Cadm%s stood oer his !on:%ered foe$ !ontemplating its ast
si6e$ a oi!e #as heard <from #hen!e he kne# not$ -%t he heard it
distin!tly=$ !ommanding him to take the dragon/s teeth and so#
them in the earth. 2e o-eyed. 2e made a f%rro# in the gro%nd$
and planted the teeth$ destined to prod%!e a !rop of men. S!ar!e
had he done so #hen the !lods -egan to moe$ and the points of
spears to appear a-oe the s%rfa!e. Ne0t helmets$ #ith their
nodding pl%mes$ !ame %p$ and ne0t$ the sho%lders and -reasts and
lim-s of men #ith #eapons$ and in time a harest of armed
#arriors. Cadm%s$ alarmed$ prepared to en!o%nter a ne# enemy$
-%t one of them said to him$ 8&eddle not #ith o%r !iil #ar.8
"ith that he #ho had spoken smote one of his earth)-orn -rothers
#ith a s#ord$ and he himself fell pier!ed #ith an arro# from
another. The latter fell i!tim to a fo%rth$ and in like manner
the #hole !ro#d dealt #ith ea!h other till all fell slain #ith
m%t%al #o%nds e0!ept fie s%riors. One of these !ast a#ay his
#eapons and said$ 8.rothers$ let %s lie in pea!eC8 These fie
7oined #ith Cadm%s in -%ilding his !ity$ to #hi!h they gae the
name of The-es.
Cadm%s o-tained in marriage 2armonia$ the da%ghter of +en%s. The
gods left Olymp%s to honor the o!!asion #ith their presen!e$ and
+%l!an presented the -ride #ith a ne!kla!e of s%rpassing
-rillian!y$ his o#n #orkmanship. .%t a fatality h%ng oer the
family of Cadm%s in !onse:%en!e of his killing the serpent sa!red
to &ars. Semele and Ino$ his da%ghters$ and A!taeon and
,enthei%s$ his grand!hildren$ all perished %nhappily; and Cadm%s
and 2armonia :%itted The-es$ no# gro#n odio%s to them$ and
emigrated to the !o%ntry of the En!helians$ #ho re!eied them
#ith honor and made Cadm%s their king. .%t the misfort%nes of
their !hildren still #eighed %pon their minds; and one day Cadm%s
e0!laimed$ 8If a serpent/s life is so dear to the gods$ I #o%ld I
#ere myself a serpent.8 No sooner had he %ttered the #ords than
he -egan to !hange his form. 2armonia -eheld it$ and prayed to
the gods to let her share his fate. .oth -e!ame serpents. They
lie in the #oods$ -%t mindf%l of their origin they neither aoid
the presen!e of man nor do they eer in7%re any one.
There is a tradition that Cadm%s introd%!ed into Gree!e the
letters of the alpha-et #hi!h #ere inented -y the ,hoeni!ians.
This is all%ded to -y .yron$ #here$ addressing the modern Greeks$
he says@
81o% hae the letters Cadm%s gae$
Think yo% he meant them for a slaeB8
&ilton$ des!ri-ing the serpent #hi!h tempted Ee$ is reminded of
the serpents of the !lassi!al stories$ and says$
8)))))pleasing #as his shape$
And loely; neer sin!e of serpent kind
(oelier; not those that in Illyria !hanged
2ermione and Cadm%s$ nor the god
in Epida%r%s.8
The 8god in Epida%r%s8 #as AEs!%lapi%s. Serpents #ere held
sa!red to him.
The &yrmidons #ere the soldiers of A!hilles in the Tro7an #ar.
JFrom them all 6ealo%s and %ns!r%p%lo%s follo#ers of a politi!al
!hief are !alled -y that name do#n to this day. .%t the origin
of the &yrmidons #o%ld not gie one the idea of a fier!e and
-loody ra!e$ -%t rather of a la-orio%s and pea!ef%l one.
Cephal%s$ king of Athens$ arried in the island of AEgina to seek
assistan!e of his old friend and ally AEa!%s$ the king$ in his
#ars #ith &inos$ king of Crete. Cephal%s #as kindly re!eied$
and the desired assistan!e readily promised. 8I hae people
eno%gh$8 said AEa!%s$ 8to prote!t myself and spare yo% s%!h a
for!e as yo% need.8 8I re7oi!e to see it$8 replied Cephal%s$
8and my #onder has -een raised$ I !onfess$ to find s%!h a host of
yo%ths as I see aro%nd me$ all apparently of a-o%t the same age.
1et there are many indiid%als #hom I preio%sly kne# that I look
for no# in ain. "hat has -e!ome of themB8 AEa!%s groaned$ and
replied #ith a oi!e of sadness$ 8I hae -een intending to tell
yo%$ and #ill no# do so #itho%t more delay$ that yo% may see ho#
from the saddest -eginning a happy res%lt sometimes flo#s. Those
#hom yo% formerly kne# are no# d%st and ashesC A plag%e sent -y
angry '%no deastated the land. She hated it -e!a%se it -ore the
name of one of her h%s-and/s female faorites. "hile the disease
appeared to spring from nat%ral !a%ses #e resisted it as #e -est
might -y nat%ral remedies; -%t it soon appeared that the
pestilen!e #as too po#erf%l for o%r efforts$ and #e yielded. At
the -eginning the sky seemed to settle do#n %pon the earth$ and
thi!k !lo%ds sh%t in the heated air. For fo%r months together a
deadly so%th #ind preailed. The disorder affe!ted the #ells and
springs; tho%sands of snakes !rept oer the land and shed their
poison in the fo%ntains. The for!e of the disease #as first
spent on the lo#er animals; dogs$ !attle$ sheep$ and -irds. The
l%!kless plo%ghman #ondered to see his o0en fall in the midst of
their #ork$ and lie helpless in the %nfinished f%rro#. The #ool
fell from the -leating sheep$ and their -odies pined a#ay. The
horse$ on!e foremost in the ra!e$ !ontested the palm no more$ -%t
groaned at his stall$ and died an inglorio%s death. The #ild
-oar forgot his rage$ the stag his s#iftness$ the -ears no longer
atta!ked the herds. Eerything lang%ished; dead -odies lay in
the roads$ the fields$ and the #oods; the air #as poisoned -y
them. I tell yo% #hat is hardly !redi-le$ -%t neither dogs nor
-irds #o%ld to%!h them$ nor staring #oles. Their de!ay spread
the infe!tion. Ne0t the disease atta!ked the !o%ntry people$ and
then the d#ellers in the !ity. At first the !heek #as fl%shed$
and the -reath dra#n #ith diffi!%lty. The tong%e gre# ro%gh and
s#elled$ and the dry mo%th stood open #ith its eins enlarged and
gasped for the air. &en !o%ld not -ear the heat of their !lothes
or their -eds$ -%t preferred to lie on the -are gro%nd; and the
gro%nd did not !ool them$ -%t on the !ontrary$ they heated the
spot #here they lay. Nor !o%ld the physi!ians help$ for the
disease atta!ked them also$ and the !onta!t of the si!k gae them
infe!tion$ so that the most faithf%l #ere the first i!tims. At
last all hope of relief anished and men learned to look %pon
death as the only delierer from disease. Then they gae #ay to
eery in!lination$ and !ared not to ask #hat #as e0pedient$ for
nothing #as e0pedient. All restraint laid aside$ they !ro#ded
aro%nd the #ells and fo%ntains$ and drank till they died$ #itho%t
:%en!hing thirst. &any had not strength to get a#ay from the
#ater$ -%t died in the midst of the stream$ and others #o%ld
drink of it not#ithstanding. S%!h #as their #eariness of their
si!k)-eds that some #o%ld !reep forth$ and if not strong eno%gh
to stand$ #o%ld die on the gro%nd. They seemed to hate their
friends$ and got a#ay from their homes$ as if$ not kno#ing the
!a%se of their si!kness$ they !harged it on the pla!e of their
a-ode. Some #ere seen tottering along the road$ as long as they
!o%ld stand$ #hile others sank on the earth$ and t%rned their
dying eyes aro%nd to take a last look$ then !losed them in death.
8"hat heart had I left me$ d%ring all this$ or #hat o%ght I to
hae had$ e0!ept to hate life and #ish to -e #ith my dead
s%-7e!tsB On all sides lay my people stre#n like oer)ripened
apples -eneath the tree$ or a!orns %nder the storm)shaken oak.
1o% see yonder s temple on the height. It is sa!red to '%piter.
Oh$ ho# many offered prayers there; h%s-ands for #ies$ fathers
for sons$ and died in the ery a!t of s%ppli!ationC 2o# often$
#hile the priest made ready for sa!rifi!e$ the i!tim fell$
str%!k do#n -y disease #itho%t #aiting for the -lo#. At length
all reeren!e for sa!red things #as lost. .odies #ere thro#n o%t
%n-%ried$ #ood #as #anting for f%neral piles$ men fo%ght #ith one
another for the possession of them. Finally there #ere none left
to mo%rn; sons and h%s-ands$ old men and yo%ths$ perished alike
8Standing -efore the altar I raised my eyes to heaen. /Oh$
'%piter$/ I said$ /if tho% art indeed my father$ and art not
ashamed of thy offspring$ gie me -a!k my people$ or take me also
a#ayC/ At these #ords a !lap of th%nder #as heard. /I a!!ept
the omen$/ I !ried; /oh$ may it -e a sign of a faora-le
disposition to#ards meC/ .y !han!e there gre# -y the pla!e #here
I stood an oak #ith #ide)spreading -ran!hes$ sa!red to '%piter.
I o-sered a troop of ants -%sy #ith their la-or$ !arrying min%te
grains in their mo%ths and follo#ing one another in a line %p the
tr%nk of the tree. O-sering their n%m-ers #ith admiration$ I
said$ /Gie me$ oh father$ !iti6ens as n%mero%s as these$ and
replenish my empty !ity./ The tree shook and gae a r%stling
so%nd #ith its -ran!hes tho%gh no #ind agitated them. I trem-led
in eery lim-$ yet I kissed the earth and the tree. I #o%ld not
!onfess to myself that I hoped$ yet I did hope. Night !ame on
and sleep took possession of my frame oppressed #ith !ares. The
tree stood -efore me in my dreams$ #ith its n%mero%s -ran!hes all
!oered #ith liing$ moing !reat%res. It seemed to shake its
lim-s and thro# do#n oer the gro%nd a m%ltit%de of those
ind%strio%s grain)gathering animals$ #hi!h appeared to gain in
si6e$ and gro# larger$ and -y)and)-y to stand ere!t$ lay aside
their s%perfl%o%s legs and their -la!k !olor$ and finally to
ass%me the h%man form. Then I a#oke$ and my first imp%lse #as to
!hide the gods #ho had ro--ed me of a s#eet ision and gien me
no reality in its pla!e. .eing still in the temple my attention
#as !a%ght -y the so%nd of many oi!es #itho%t; a so%nd of late
%n%s%al to my ears. "hile I -egan to think I #as yet dreaming$
Telamon$ my son$ thro#ing open the temple)gates$ e0!laimed$
/Father$ approa!h$ and -ehold things s%rpassing een yo%r hopesC/
I #ent forth; I sa# a m%ltit%de of men$ s%!h as I had seen in my
dream$ and they #ere passing in pro!ession in the same manner.
"hile I ga6ed #ith #onder and delight they approa!hed$ and
kneeling$ hailed me as their king. I paid my o#s to 'oe$ and
pro!eeded to allot the a!ant !ity to the ne#)-orn ra!e$ and to
par!el o%t the fields among them. I !alled them &yrmidons from
the ant <myrme0=$ from #hi!h they sprang. 1o% hae seen these
persons; their dispositions resem-le those #hi!h they had in
their former shape. They are a diligent and ind%strio%s ra!e$
eager to gain$ and tena!io%s of their gains. Among them yo% may
re!r%it yo%r for!es. They #ill follo# yo% to the #ar$ yo%ng in
years and -old in heart.8
This des!ription of the plag%e is !opied -y Oid from the a!!o%nt
#hi!h Th%!ydides$ the Greek historian$ gies of the plag%e of
Athens. The historian dre# from life$ and all the poets and
#riters of fi!tion sin!e his day$ #hen they hae had o!!asion to
des!ri-e a similar s!ene$ hae -orro#ed their details from him.
Chapter +III
Nis%s and S!ylla. E!ho and Nar!iss%s. Clytie. 2ero and
&inos$ king of Crete$ made #ar %pon &egara. Nis%s #as king of
&egara$ and S!ylla #as his da%ghter. The siege had no# lasted
si0 months$ and the !ity still held o%t$ for it #as de!reed -y
fate that it sho%ld not -e taken so long as a !ertain p%rple
lo!k$ #hi!h glittered among the hair of *ing Nis%s$ remained on
his head. There #as a to#er on the !ity #alls$ #hi!h oerlooked
the plain #here &inos and his army #ere en!amped. To this to#er
S!ylla %sed to repair$ and look a-road oer the tents of the
hostile army. The siege had lasted so long that she had learned
to disting%ish the persons of the leaders. &inos$ in parti!%lar$
e0!ited her admiration. She admired his gra!ef%l deportment; if
he thre# his 7aelin$ skill seemed !om-ined #ith for!e in the
dis!harge; if he dre# his -o#$ Apollo himself !o%ld not hae done
it more gra!ef%lly. .%t #hen he laid aside his helmet$ and in
his p%rple ro-es -estrode his #hite horse #ith its gay
!aparisons$ and reined in its foaming mo%th$ the da%ghter of
Nis%s #as hardly mistress of herself; she #as almost franti! #ith
admiration. She enied the #eapon that he grasped$ the reins
that he held. She felt as if she !o%ld$ if it #ere possi-le$ go
to him thro%gh the hostile ranks; she felt an imp%lse to !ast
herself do#n from the to#er into the midst of his !amp$ or to
open the gates to him$ or do anything else$ so only it might
gratify &inos. As she sat in the to#er$ she talked th%s #ith
herself@ 8I kno# not #hether to re7oi!e or griee at this sad
#ar. I griee that &inos is o%r enemy; -%t I re7oi!e at any
!a%se that -rings him to my sight. ,erhaps he #o%ld -e #illing
to grant %s pea!e$ and re!eie me as a hostage. I #o%ld fly
do#n$ if I !o%ld$ and alight in his !amp$ and tell him that #e
yield o%rseles to his mer!y. .%t$ then$ to -etray my fatherC
NoC Rather #o%ld I neer see &inos again. And yet no do%-t it
is sometimes the -est thing for a !ity to -e !on:%ered #hen the
!on:%eror is !lement and genero%s. &inos !ertainly has right on
his side. I think #e shall -e !on:%ered; and if that m%st -e the
end of it$ #hy sho%ld not loe %n-ar the gates to him$ instead of
leaing it to -e done -y #arB .etter spare delay and sla%ghter
if #e !an. And$ oh$ if any one sho%ld #o%nd or kill &inosC No
one s%rely #o%ld hae the heart to do it; yet ignorantly$ not
kno#ing him$ one might. I #ill$ I #ill s%rrender myself to him$
#ith my !o%ntry as a do#ry$ and so p%t an end to the #ar. .%t
ho#B The gates are g%arded$ and my father keeps the keys; he
only stands in my #ay. Oh$ that it might please the gods to take
him a#ayC .%t #hy ask the gods to do itB Another #oman$ loing
as I do$ #o%ld remoe #ith her o#n hands #hateer stood in the
#ay of her loe. And !an any other #oman dare more than IB I
#o%ld en!o%nter fire and s#ord to gain my o-7e!t; -%t here there
is no need of fire and s#ord. I only need my father/s p%rple
lo!k. &ore pre!io%s than gold to me$ that #ill gie me all I
"hile she th%s reasoned night !ame on$ and soon the #hole pala!e
#as -%ried in sleep. She entered her father/s -ed!ham-er and !%t
off the fatal lo!k; then passed o%t of the !ity and entered the
enemy/s !amp. She demanded to -e led to the king$ and th%s
addressed him@ 8I am S!ylla$ the da%ghter of Nis%s. I s%rrender
to yo% my !o%ntry and my father/s ho%se. I ask no re#ard -%t
yo%rself; for loe of yo% I hae done it. See here the p%rple
lo!kC "ith this I gie yo% my father and his kingdom.8 She held
o%t her hand #ith the fatal spoil. &inos shr%nk -a!k and ref%sed
to to%!h it. 8The gods destroy thee$ infamo%s #oman$8 he
e0!laimed; 8disgra!e of o%r timeC &ay neither earth nor sea
yield thee a resting pla!eC S%rely$ my Crete$ #here 'oe himself
#as !radled$ shall not -e poll%ted #ith s%!h a monsterC8 Th%s he
said$ and gae orders that e:%ita-le terms sho%ld -e allo#ed to
the !on:%ered !ity$ and that the fleet sho%ld immediately sail
from the island.
S!ylla #as franti!. 89ngratef%l man$8 she e0!laimed$ 8is it th%s
yo% leae meB &e #ho hae gien yo% i!tory$ #ho hae
sa!rifi!ed for yo% parent and !o%ntryC I am g%ilty$ I !onfess$
and desere to die$ -y not -y yo%r hand.8 As the ships left the
shore$ she leaped into the #ater$ and sei6ing the r%dder of the
one #hi!h !arried &inos$ she #as -orne along an %n#el!ome
!ompanion of their !o%rse. A sea)eagle soaring aloft$ it #as
her father #ho had -een !hanged into that form$ seeing her$
po%n!ed do#n %pon her$ and str%!k her #ith his -eak and !la#s.
In terror she let go the ship$ and #o%ld hae fallen into the
#ater$ -%t some pitying deity !hanged her into a -ird. The sea)
eagle still !herishes the old animosity; and #heneer he espies
her in his lofty flight$ yo% may see him dart do#n %pon her$ #ith
-eak and !la#s$ to take engean!e for the an!ient !rime.
E!ho #as a -ea%tif%l nymph$ fond of the #oods and hills$ #here
she deoted herself to #oodland sports. She #as a faorite of
Diana$ and attended her in the !hase. .%t E!ho had one failing;
she #as fond of talking$ and #hether in !hat or arg%ment #o%ld
hae the last #ord. One day '%no #as seeking her h%s-and$ #ho$
she had reason to fear$ #as am%sing himself among the nymphs.
E!ho -y her talk !ontried to detain the goddess till the nymphs
made their es!ape. "hen '%no dis!oered it$ she passed senten!e
%pon E!ho in these #ords@ 81o% shall forfeit the %se of that
tong%e #ith #hi!h yo% hae !heated me$ e0!ept for that one
p%rpose yo% are so fond of RE,(1. 1o% shall still hae the
last #ord$ -%t no po#er to speak first.8
This nymph sa# Nar!iss%s$ a -ea%tif%l yo%th$ as he p%rs%ed the
!hase %pon the mo%ntains. She loed him$ and follo#ed his
footsteps. Oh$ ho# she longed to address him in the softest
a!!ents$ and #in him to !onerse$ -%t it #as not in her po#er.
She #aited #ith impatien!e for him to speak first$ and had her
ans#er ready. One day the yo%th$ -eing separated from his
!ompanions$ sho%ted alo%d$ 8"ho/s hereB8 E!ho replied$ 82ere.8
Nar!iss%s looked aro%nd$ -%t seeing no one$ !alled o%t$ 8Come.8
E!ho ans#ered$ 8Come.8 As no one !ame$ Nar!iss%s !alled again$
8"hy do yo% sh%n meB8 E!ho asked the same :%estion. 8(et %s
7oin one another$8 said the yo%th. The maid ans#ered #ith all
her heart in the same #ords$ and hastened to the spot$ ready to
thro# her arms a-o%t his ne!k. 2e started -a!k$ e0!laiming$
82ands offC I #o%ld rather die than yo% sho%ld hae me.8 82ae
me$8 said she; -%t it #as all in ain. 2e left her$ and she #ent
to hide her -l%shes in the re!esses of the #oods. From that time
forth she lied in !aes and among mo%ntain !liffs. 2er form
faded #ith grief$ till at last all her flesh shrank a#ay. 2er
-ones #ere !hanged into ro!ks$ and there #as nothing left of her
-%t her oi!e. "ith that she is still ready to reply to any one
#ho !alls her$ and keeps %p her old ha-it of haing the last
Nar!iss%s #as !r%el not in this !ase alone. 2e sh%nned all the
rest of the nymphs as he had done poor E!ho. One day a maiden$
#ho had in ain endeaored to attra!t him$ %ttered a prayer that
he might some time or other feel #hat it #as to loe and meet no
ret%rn of affe!tion. The aenging goddess heard and granted the
There #as a !lear fo%ntain$ #ith #ater like siler$ to #hi!h the
shepherds neer droe their flo!ks. Nor did the mo%ntain goats
resort to it$ nor any of the -easts of the forest; neither #as it
defa!ed #ith fallen leaes or -ran!hes; -%t the grass gre# fresh
aro%nd it$ and the ro!ks sheltered it from the s%n. 2ither !ame
one day the yo%th fatig%ed #ith h%nting$ heated and thirsty. 2e
stooped do#n to drink$ and sa# his o#n image in the #ater; he
tho%ght it #as some -ea%tif%l #aterLspirit liing in the
fo%ntain. 2e stood ga6ing #ith admiration at those -right eyes$
those lo!ks !%rled like the lo!ks of .a!!h%s or Apollo$ the
ro%nded !heeks$ the iory ne!k$ the parted lips$ and the glo# of
health and e0er!ise oer all. 2e fell in loe #ith himself. 2e
-ro%ght his lips near to take a kiss; he pl%nged his arms in to
em-ra!e the -eloed o-7e!t. It fled at the to%!h$ -%t ret%rned
again after a moment and rene#ed the fas!ination. 2e !o%ld not
tear himself a#ay; he lost all tho%ght of food or rest$ #hile he
hoered oer the -rink of the fo%ntain ga6ing %pon his o#n image.
2e talked #ith the s%pposed spirit@ 8"hy$ -ea%tif%l -eing$ do yo%
sh%n meB S%rely my fa!e is not one to repel yo%. The nymphs
loe me$ and yo% yo%rself look not indifferent %pon me. "hen I
stret!h forth my arms yo% do the same; and yo% smile %pon me and
ans#er my -e!konings #ith the like.8 2is tears fell into the
#ater and dist%r-ed the image. As he sa# it depart$ he
e0!laimed$ 8Stay$ I entreat yo%C (et me at least ga6e %pon yo%$
if I may not to%!h yo%.8 "ith this$ and m%!h more of the same
kind$ he !herished the flame that !ons%med him$ so that -y
degrees he lost his !olor$ his igor$ and the -ea%ty #hi!h
formerly had so !harmed the nymph E!ho. She kept near him$
ho#eer$ and #hen he e0!laimed$ 8AlasC AlasC8 she ans#ered him
#ith the same #ords. 2e pined a#ay and died; and #hen his shade
passed the Stygian rier$ it leaned oer the -oat to !at!h a look
of itself in the #aters. The nymphs mo%rned for him$ espe!ially
the #ater)nymphs; and #hen they smote their -reasts$ E!ho smote
hers also. They prepared a f%neral pile$ and #o%ld hae -%rned
the -ody$ -%t it #as no#here to -e fo%nd; -%t in its pla!e a
flo#er$ p%rple #ithin$ and s%rro%nded #ith #hite leaes$ #hi!h
-ears the name and preseres the memory of Nar!iss%s.
&ilton all%des to the story of E!ho and Nar!iss%s in the (ady/s
song in Com%s. She is seeking her -rothers in the forest$ and
sings to attra!t their attention.
8S#eet E!ho$ s#eetest nymph$ that li/st %nseen
"ithin thy aery shell
.y slo# &eander/s margent green.
And in the iolet)em-roidered ale$
"here the loe)lorn nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad song mo%rneth #ell;
Canst tho% not tell me of a gentle pair
That likes thy Nar!iss%s areB
Oh$ if tho% hae
2id them in some flo#ery !ae$
Tell me -%t #here$
S#eet :%een of parly$ da%ghter of the sphere$
So may/st tho% -e translated to the skies$
And gie reso%nding gra!e to all heaen/s harmonies.8
&ilton has imitated the story of Nar!iss%s in the a!!o%nt #hi!h
he makes Ee gie of the first sight of herself refle!ted in the
8That day I oft remem-er #hen from sleep
I first a#aked$ and fo%nd myself reposed
9nder a shade on flo#ers$ m%!h #ondering #here
And #hat I #as$ #hen!e thither -ro%ght$ and ho#
Not distant far from then!e a m%rm%ring so%nd
Of #aters iss%ed from a !ae$ and spread
Into a li:%id plain$ then stood %nmoed
,%re as the e0panse of heaen; I thither #ent
"ith %ne0perien!ed tho%ght$ and laid me do#n
On the green -ank$ to look into the !lear
Smooth lake that to me seemed another sky.
As I -ent do#n to look$ 7%st opposite
A shape #ithin the #atery gleam appeared$
.ending to look on me. I started -a!k;
It started -a!k; -%t pleased I soon ret%rned$
,leased it ret%rned as soon #ith ans#ering looks
Of sympathy and loe. There had I fi0ed
&ine eyes till no#$ and pined #ith ain desire$
2ad not a oi!e th%s #arned me@ /"hat tho% seest$
"hat there tho% seest$ fair !reat%re$ is thyself./8
,aradise (ost$ .ook I+
The fa-le of Nar!iss%s is often all%ded to -y the poets. 2ere
are t#o epigrams #hi!h treat it in different #ays. The first is
-y Goldsmith@
8ON A .EA9TIF9( 1O9T2 STR9C* .(IND .1 (IG2TNING@
8S%re /t#as -y ,roiden!e designed$
Rather in pity than in hate$
That he sho%ld -e like C%pid -lind$
To sae him from Nar!iss%s/ fate8
The other is -y Co#per@
8ON AN 9G(1 FE((O"
8.e#are$ my friend$ of !rystal -rook
Or fo%ntain$ lest that hideo%s hook.
Thy nose$ tho% !han!e to see;
Nar!iss%s/ fate #o%ld then -e thine$
And self)detested tho% #o%ld/st pine$
As self)enamored he.8
Clytie #as a #ater)nymph and in loe #ith Apollo$ #ho made her no
ret%rn. So she pined a#ay$ sitting all day long %pon the !old
gro%nd$ #ith her %n-o%nd tresses streaming oer her sho%lders.
Nine days she sat and tasted neither food nor drink$ her o#n
tears and the !hilly de# her only food. She ga6ed on the s%n
#hen he rose$ and as he passed thro%gh his daily !o%rse to his
setting; she sa# no other o-7e!t$ her fa!e t%rned !onstantly on
him. At last$ they say$ her lim-s rooted in the gro%nd$ her fa!e
-e!ame a s%nflo#er$ #hi!h t%rns on its stem so as al#ays to fa!e
the s%n thro%gho%t its daily !o%rse; for it retains to that
e0tent the feeling of the nymph from #hom it sprang.
One of the -est kno#n of the mar-le -%sts dis!oered in o%r o#n
time$ generally -ears the name of Clytie. It has -een ery
fre:%ently !opied in plaster. It represents the head of a yo%ng
girl looking do#n$ the ne!k and sho%lders -eing s%pported in
the !%p of a large flo#er$ #hi!h -y a little effort of
imagination !an -e made into a giant s%nflo#er. The latest
s%pposition$ ho#eer$ is that this -%st represented not Clytie$
-%t Isis.
2ood in his Flo#ers th%s all%des to Clytie@
8I #ill not hae the mad Clytie$
"hose head is t%rned -y the s%n;
The t%lip is a !o%rtly :%ean$
"hom therefore I #ill sh%n;
The !o#slip is a !o%ntry #en!h$
The iolet is a n%n;
.%t I #ill #oo the dainty rose$
The :%een of eery one.8
The s%nflo#er is a faorite em-lem of !onstan!y. Th%s &oore %ses
8The heart that has tr%ly loed neer forgets$
.%t as tr%ly loes on to the !lose;
As the s%nflo#er t%rns on her god #hen he sets
The same look that she t%rned #hen he rose.8
It is only for !onenien!e that the modern poets translate the
(atin #ord 2E(IOTRO,I9&$ -y the English s%nflo#er. The
s%nflo#er$ #hi!h #as kno#n to the an!ients$ #as !alled in Greek$
helianthos$ from 2E(IOS$ the s%n; and ANT2OS a flo#er$ and in
(atin$ helianth%s. It deries its name from its resem-lan!e to
the s%n; -%t$ as any one may see$ at s%nset$ it does not 8t%rn to
the God #hen he sets the same look that it t%rned #hen he rose.8
The 2eliotrope of the fa-le of Clytie is !alled T%rn)sole in old
English -ooks$ and s%!h a plant is kno#n in England. It is not
the s#eet heliotrope of modern gardens$ #hi!h is a So%th Ameri!an
plant. The tr%e !lassi!al heliotrope is pro-a-ly to -e fo%nd in
the heliotrope of so%thern Fran!e$ a #eed not kno#n in Ameri!a.
The reader #ho is !%rio%s may e0amine the !aref%l a!!o%nt of it
in (aro%sse/s large di!tionary.
(eander #as a yo%th of A-ydos$ a to#n of the Asian side of the
strait #hi!h separates Asia and E%rope. On the opposite shore in
the to#n of Sestos lied the maiden 2ero$ a priestess of +en%s.
(eander loed her$ and %sed to s#im the strait nightly to en7oy
the !ompany of his mistress$ g%ided -y a tor!h #hi!h she reared
%pon the to#er$ for the p%rpose. .%t one night a tempest arose
and the sea #as ro%gh; his strength failed$ and he #as dro#ned.
The #aes -ore his -ody to the E%ropean shore$ #here 2ero -e!ame
a#are of his death$ and in her despair !ast herself do#n from the
to#er into the sea and perished.
The follo#ing sonnet is -y *eats@
8Come hither$ all s#eet maidens$ so-erly$
Do#n looking aye$ and #ith a !hasten/d light$
2id in the fringes of yo%r eyelids #hite$
And meekly let yo%r fair hands 7oined -e$
As if so gentle that ye !o%ld not see$
9nto%!h/d$ a i!tim of yo%r -ea%ty -right$
Sinking a#ay to his yo%ng spirit/s night$
Sinking -e#ilder/d /mid the dreary sea.
/Tis yo%ng (eander toiling to his death.
Nigh s#ooning$ he doth p%rse his #eary lips
For 2ero/s !heek$ and smiles against her smile.
Oh$ horrid dreamC See ho# his -ody dips
Dead)heay; arms and sho%lders gleam a#hile;
2e/s gone; %p -%--les all his amoro%s -reathC8
The story of (eander/s s#imming the 2ellespont #as looked %pon as
fa-%lo%s$ and the feat !onsidered impossi-le$ till (ord .yron
proed its possi-ility -y performing it himself. In the .ride of
A-ydos he says$
8These lim-s that -%oyant #ae hath -orne.8
The distan!e in the narro#est part is almost a mile$ and there is
a !onstant !%rrent setting o%t from the Sea of &armora into the
Ar!hipelago. Sin!e .yron/s time the feat has -een a!hieed -y
others; -%t it yet remains a test of strength and skill in the
art of s#imming s%ffi!ient to gie a #ide and lasting !ele-rity
to any one of o%r readers #ho may dare to make the attempt and
s%!!eed in a!!omplishing it.
In the -eginning of the se!ond !anto of the same poem$ .yron
all%des to this story@
8The #inds are high on 2elle/s #ae$
As on that night of stormiest #ater$
"hen (oe$ #ho sent$ forgot to sae
The yo%ng$ the -ea%tif%l$ the -rae$
The lonely hope of Sestos/ da%ghter.
Oh$ #hen alone along the sky
The t%rret)tor!h #as -la6ing high$
Tho%gh rising gale and -reaking foam$
And shrieking sea)-irds #arned him home;
And !lo%ds aloft and tides -elo#$
"ith signs and so%nds for-ade to go$
2e !o%ld not see$ he #o%ld not hear
Or so%nd or sight fore-oding fear.
2is eye -%t sa# that light of loe$
The only star it hailed a-oe;
2is ear -%t rang #ith 2ero/s song$
/1e #aes$ diide not loers long./
That tale is old$ -%t loe ane#
&ay nere yo%ng hearts to proe as tr%e.8
The s%-7e!t has -een a faorite one #ith s!%lptors.
S!hiller has made one of his finest -allads from the tragi! fate
of the t#o loers. The follo#ing erses are a translation from
the latter part of the -allad@
89pon 2ellespont/s -road !%rrents
Night -roods -la!k$ and rain in torrents
JFrom the !lo%d/s f%ll -osom po%rs;
(ightnings in the sky are flashing$
All the storms -elo# are dashing
On the !rag)piled shores.
A#f%l !hasms gaping #idely$
Separate the mo%ntain #aes;
O!ean ya#ning as to open
Do#n#ard e/en to ,l%to/s !aes.8
After the storm has arisen$ 2ero sees the danger$ and !ries$
8"oe$ ahC "oe; great 'oe hae pity$
(isten to my sad entreaty$
1et for #hat !an 2ero prayB
Sho%ld the gods in pity listen$
2e$ e/en no# the false a-yss in$
Str%ggles #ith the tempest/s spray.
All the -irds that skim the #ae
In hasty flight are hieing home;
T the lee of safer haen
All the storm)tossed essels !ome.
8AhC I kno# he la%ghs at danger$
Dares again the fre:%ent ent%re$
(%red -y an almighty po#er;
For he s#ore it #hen #e parted$
"ith the o# #hi!h -inds tr%e)hearted
(oers to the latest ho%r.
1esC Een as this moment hastens
.attles he the #ae)!rests r%de$
And to their %nfathomed !hasms
Dags him do#n the angry flood.
8,ont%s falseC Thy s%nny smile
"as the lying traitor/s g%ile$
(ike a mirror flashing there@
All thy ripples gently playing
Til they tri%mphed in -etraying
2im into thy lying snare.
No# in thy mid)!%rrent yonder$
On#ard still his !o%rse he %rges$
Tho% the false$ on him the fated
,o%ring loose thy terror)s%rges.
"a0es high the tempest/s danger$
"aes to mo%ntains rise in anger$
O!eans s#ell$ and -reakers dash$
Foaming$ oer !liffs of ro!k
"here een naies$ stiff #ith oak$
Co%ld not -ear the !rash.
In the gale her tor!h is -lasted$
.ea!on of the hoped)for strand;
2orror -roods a-oe the #aters$
2orror -roods a-oe the land.
,rays she +en%s to ass%age
The h%rri!ane/s in!reasing rage$
And to sooth the -illo#s/ s!orn.
And as gale on gale arises$
+o#s to ea!h as sa!rifi!es
Spotless steer #ith gilded horn.
To all the goddesses -elo#$
To 8all the gods in heaen that -e$8
She prays that oil of pea!e may flo#
Softly on the storm)tossed sea.
.lest (e%!othea$ -efriend meC
JFrom !er%lean halls attend me;
2ear my prayer of agony.
In the o!ean desert/s raing$
Storm)tossed seamen$ s%!!or !raing$
Find in thee their helper nigh.
"rap him in thy !harmed eil$
Se!ret sp%n and se!ret #oe$
Certain from the deepest #ae
To lift him to its !rests a-oe.8
No# the tempests #ild are sleeping$
And from the hori6on !reeping
Rays of morning streak the skies$
,ea!ef%l as it lay -efore
The pla!id sea refle!ts the shore$
Skies kiss #aes and #aes the skies.
(ittle ripples$ lightly plashing$
.reak %pon the ro!k)-o%nd strand$
And they tri!kle$ lightly playing
O/er a !orpse %pon the sand.
1es$ /tis heC Altho%gh he perished$
Still his sa!red troth he !herished$
An instant/s glan!e tells all to her;
Not a tear her eye lets slip
Not a m%rm%r leaes her lip;
Do#n she looks in !old despair;
Ga6es ro%nd the desert sea$
Tr%stless ga6es ro%nd the sky$
Flashes then of no-le fire
Thro%gh her pallid isage flyC
81es$ I kno#$ ye mighty po#ers$
1e hae dra#n the fated ho%rs
,itiless and !r%el on.
Early f%ll my !o%rse is oer.
S%!h a !o%rse #ith s%!h a loer;
S%!h a share of 7oy I/e kno#n.
+en%s$ :%een$ #ithin thy temple$
Tho% hast kno#n me o#ed as thine$
No# a!!ept thy #illing priestess
As an offering at thy shrine.8
Do#n#ard then$ #hile all in ain her
Fl%ttering ro-es #o%ld still s%stain her$
Springs she into ,ont%s/ #ae;
Grasping him and her$ the god
"hirls them in his deepest flood$
And$ himself$ -e!omes their grae.
"ith his pri6es then !ontented$
,ea!ef%l -ids his #aters glide$
JFrom the %ne0ha%sted essels$
"hen!e there streams an endless tide.
Chapter I5
&inera and Ara!hne. Nio-e. The Story of ,erse%s
&inera$ the goddess of #isdom$ #as the da%ghter of '%piter.
She$ they say$ sprang forth from his -rain f%ll gro#n and !lad in
!omplete armor. She presided oer the %sef%l and ornamental
arts$ -oth those of men$ s%!h as agri!%lt%re and naigation$
and those of #omen$ spinning$ #eaing$ and needle)#ork. She
#as also a #arlike diinity; -%t a loer of defensie #ar only.
She had no sympathy #ith &ars/s saage loe of iolen!e and
-loodshed. Athens #as her !hosen seat$ her o#n !ity$ a#arded to
her as the pri6e of a !ontest #ith Nept%ne$ #ho also aspired to
it. The tale ran that in the reign of Ce!rops$ the first king of
Athens$ the t#o deities !ontended for the possession of the !ity.
The gods de!reed that it sho%ld -e a#arded to that one #ho
prod%!ed the gift most %sef%l to mortals. Nept%ne gae the
horse; &inera prod%!ed the olie. The gods gae 7%dgment that
the olie #as the more %sef%l of the t#o$ and a#arded the !ity to
the goddess; and it #as named after her$ Athens$ her name in
Greek -eing Athene.
In another !ontest$ a mortal dared to !ome in !ompetition #ith
&inera. That mortal #as Ara!hne$ a maiden #ho had attained s%!h
skill in the arts of #eaing and em-roidery that the nymphs
themseles #o%ld leae their groes and fo%ntains to !ome and
ga6e %pon her #ork. It #as not only -ea%tif%l #hen it #as done$
-%t -ea%tif%l also in the doing. To #at!h her$ as she took the
#ool in its r%de state and formed it into rolls$ or separated it
#ith her fingers and !arded it till it looked as light and soft
as a !lo%d$ or t#irled the spindle #ith skilf%l to%!h$ or #oe
the #e-$ or$ #hen #oen$ adorned it #ith her needle$ one #o%ld
hae said that &inera herself had ta%ght her. .%t this she
denied$ and !o%ld not -ear to -e tho%ght a p%pil een of a
goddess. 8(et &inera try her skill #ith mine$8 said she; 8if
-eaten$ I #ill pay the penalty.8 &inera heard this and #as
displeased. Ass%ming the form of an old #oman$ she #ent and gae
Ara!hne some friendly adi!e. 8I hae had m%!h e0perien!e$@ said
she$ 8and I hope yo% #ill not despise my !o%nsel. Challenge yo%r
fello#)mortals as yo% #ill$ -%t do not !ompete #ith a goddess.
On the !ontrary$ I adise yo% to ask her forgieness for #hat yo%
hae said$ and$ as she is mer!if%l$ perhaps she #ill pardon yo%.8
Ara!hne stopped her spinning$ and looked at the old dame #ith
anger in her !o%ntenan!e. 8*eep yo%r !o%nsel$8 said she$ 8for
yo%r da%ghters or handmaids; for my part$ I kno# #hat I say$ and
I stand to it. I am not afraid of the goddess; let her try her
skill$ if she dare ent%re.8 8She !omes$8 said &inera; and
dropping her disg%ise$ stood !onfessed. The nymphs -ent lo# in
homage$ and all the -ystanders paid reeren!e. Ara!hne alone #as
%nterrified. She -l%shed$ indeed; a s%dden !olor dyed her !heek$
and then she gre# pale. .%t she stood to her resole$ and #ith a
foolish !on!eit of her o#n skill r%shed on her fate. &inera
for-ore no longer$ nor interposed any f%rther adi!e. They
pro!eed to the !ontest. Ea!h takes her station and atta!hes the
#e- to the -eam. Then the slender sh%ttle is passed in and o%t
among the threads. The reed #ith its fine teeth strikes %p the
#oof into its pla!e and !ompa!ts the #e-. .oth #ork #ith speed;
their skilf%l hands moe rapidly$ and the e0!itement of the
!ontest makes the la-or light. "ool of Tyrian dye is !ontrasted
#ith that of other !olors$ shaded off into one another so
adroitly that the 7oining de!eies the eye. (ike the -o#$ #hose
long ar!h tinges the heaens$ formed -y s%n-eams refle!ted from
the sho#er <this des!ription of the rain-o# is literally
translated rom Oid=$ in #hi!h$ #here the !olors meet they seem
as one$ -%t at a little distan!e from the point of !onta!t are
#holly different.
&inera #ro%ght on her #e- the s!ene of her !ontest #ith Nept%ne.
T#ele of the heaenly po#ers are represented$ '%piter$ #ith
A%g%st graity$ sitting in the midst. Nept%ne$ the r%ler of the
sea$ holds his trident$ and appears to hae 7%st smitten the
earth$ from #hi!h a horse has leaped forth. &inera depi!ted
herself #ith helmed head$ her AEgis !oering her -reast. S%!h
#as the !entral !ir!le; and in the fo%r !orners #ere represented
in!idents ill%strating the displeas%re of the gods at s%!h
pres%mpt%o%s mortals as had dared to !ontend #ith them. These
#ere meant as #arnings to her rial to gie %p the !ontest -efore
it #as too late.
Ara!hne filled her #e- #ith s%-7e!ts designedly !hosen to e0hi-it
the failings and errors of the gods. One s!ene represented (eda
!aressing the s#an$ %nder #hi!h form '%piter had disg%ised
himself; and another$ Danae$ in the -ra6en to#er in #hi!h her
father had imprisoned her$ -%t #here the god effe!ted his
entran!e in the form of a sho#er of gold. Still another depi!ted
E%ropa de!eied -y '%piter %nder the disg%ise of a -%ll.
En!o%raged -y the tameness of the animal$ E%ropa ent%red to
mo%nt his -a!k$ #here%pon '%piter adan!ed into the sea$ and s#am
#ith her to Crete. 1o% #o%ld hae tho%ght it #as a real -%ll so
nat%rally #as it #ro%ght$ and so nat%ral #as the #ater in #hi!h
it s#am. She seemed to look #ith longing eyes -a!k %pon the
shore she #as leaing$ and to !all to her !ompanions for help.
She appeared to sh%dder #ith terror at the sight of the heaing
#aes$ and to dra# -a!k her feet from the #ater.
Ara!hne filled her !anas #ith these and like s%-7e!ts$
#onderf%lly #ell done$ -%t strongly marking her pres%mption and
impiety. &inera !o%ld not for-ear to admire$ yet felt indignant
at the ins%lt. She str%!k the #e- #ith her sh%ttle$ and rent it
in pie!es; she then to%!hed the forehead of Ara!hne$ and made her
feel her g%ilt and shame. She !o%ld not end%re it$ and #ent and
hanged herself. &inera pitied her as she sa# her hanging -y a
rope. 8(ie$ g%ilty #oman$8 said she; 8 and that yo% may
presere the memory of this lesson$ !ontin%e to hang$ yo% and
yo%r des!endants$ to all f%t%re times.8 She sprinkled her #ith
the 7%i!es of a!onite$ and immediately her hair !ame off$ and her
nose and ears like#ise. 2er form shrank %p$ and her head gre#
smaller yet; her fingers gre# to her side$ and sered for legs.
All the rest of her is -ody$ o%t of #hi!h she spins her thread$
often hanging s%spended -y it$ in the same attit%de as #hen
&inera to%!hed her and transformed her into a spider.
Spenser tells the story of Ara!hne in his &%iopotmos$ adhering
ery !losely to his master Oid$ -%t improing %pon him in the
!on!l%sion of the story. The t#o stan6as #hi!h follo# tell #hat
#as done after the goddess had depi!ted her !reation of the olie
8Amongst these leaes she made a .%tterfly$
"ith e0!ellent dei!e and #ondro%s slight$
Fl%ttering among the olies #antonly$
That seemed to lie$ so like it #as in sight;
The elet nap #hi!h on his #ings doth lie$
The silken do#n #ith #hi!h his -a!k is dight$
2is -road o%tstret!hed horns$ his hairy thighs$
2is glorio%s !olors$ and his glistening eyes.8
8"hi!h #hen Ara!hne sa#$ as oerlaid
And mastered #ith #orkmanship so rare.
She stood astonished long$ ne a%ght gainsaid;
And #ith fast)fi0ed eyes on her did stare$
And -y her silen!e$ sign of one dismayed$
The i!tory did yield her as her share;
1et did she inly fret and felly -%rn$
And all her -lood to poisono%s ran!or t%rn.8
And so the metamorphosis is !a%sed -y Ara!hne/s o#n mortifi!ation
and e0ation$ and not -y any dire!t a!t of the goddess.
The follo#ing spe!imen of old)fashioned gallantry is -y Garri!k@
8Ara!hne on!e$ as poets tell$
A goddess at her art defied$
And soon the daring mortal fell
The hapless i!tim of her pride.
8Oh$ then$ -e#are Ara!hne/s fate;
.e pr%dent$ Chloe$ and s%-mit$
For yo%/ll most s%rely meet her hate$
"ho rial -oth her art and #it.8
Tennyson$ in his ,ala!e of Art$ des!ri-ing the #orks of art #ith
#hi!h the pala!e #as adorned$ th%s all%des to E%ropa@
8)))))) s#eet E%ropa/s mantle -le# %n!lasped
JFrom off her sho%lder$ -a!k#ard -orne$
JFrom one hand drooped a !ro!%s$ one hand grasped
The mild -%ll/s golden horn.8
In his ,rin!ess there is this all%sion to Danae@
8No# lies the earth all Danae to the stars$
And all thy heart lies open %nto me.8
The fate of Ara!hne #as noised a-road thro%gh all the !o%ntry$
and sered as a #arning to all pres%mpt%o%s mortals not to
!ompare themseles #ith the diinities. .%t one$ and she a
matron too$ failed to learn the lesson of h%mility. It #as
Nio-e$ the :%een of The-es. She had indeed m%!h to -e pro%d of;
-%t it #as not her h%s-and/s fame$ nor her o#n -ea%ty$ nor their
great des!ent$ nor the po#er of their kingdom that elated her.
It #as her !hildren; and tr%ly the happiest of mothers #o%ld
Nio-e hae -een$ if only she had not !laimed to -e so. It #as on
o!!asion of the ann%al !ele-ration in honor of (atona and her
offspring$ Apollo and Diana$ #hen the people of The-es #ere
assem-led$ their -ro#s !ro#ned #ith la%rel$ -earing frankin!ense
to the altars and paying their o#s$ that Nio-e appeared among
the !ro#d. 2er attire #as splendid #ith gold and gems$ and her
fa!e as -ea%tif%l as the fa!e of an angry #oman !an -e. She
stood and s%reyed the people #ith ha%ghty looks. 8"hat folly$8
said she$ 8is thisC to prefer -eings #hom yo% neer sa# to
those #ho stand -efore yo%r eyesC "hy sho%ld (atona -e honored
#ith #orship rather than IB &y father #as Tantal%s$ #ho #as
re!eied as a g%est at the ta-le of the gods; my mother #as a
goddess. &y h%s-and -%ilt and r%les this !ity$ The-es; and
,hrygia is my paternal inheritan!e. "hereer I t%rn my eyes I
s%rey the elements of my po#er; nor is my form and presen!e
%n#orthy of a goddess. To all this let me add$ I hae seen sons
and seen da%ghters$ and look for sons)in)la# and da%ghters)in)
la# of pretensions #orthy of my allian!e. 2ae I not !a%se for
prideB "ill yo% prefer to me this (atona$ the Titan/s da%ghter$
#ith her t#o !hildrenB I hae seen times as many. Fort%nate
indeed am I$ and fort%nate I shall remainC "ill any one deny
thisB &y a-%ndan!e is my se!%rity. I feel myself too strong for
Fort%ne to s%-d%e. She may take from me m%!h; I shall still hae
m%!h left. "ere I to lose some of my !hildren$ I sho%ld hardly
-e left as poor as (atona #ith her t#o only. A#ay #ith yo% from
these solemnities$ p%t off the la%rel from yo%r -ro#s$ hae
done #ith this #orshipC8 The people o-eyed$ and left the sa!red
seri!es %n!ompleted.
The goddess #as indignant. On top of &o%nt Cynth%s #here she
d#elt$ she th%s addressed her son and da%ghter@ 8&y !hildren$ I
#ho hae -een so pro%d of yo% -oth$ and hae -een %sed to hold
myself se!ond to none of the goddesses e0!ept '%no alone$ -egin
no# to do%-t #hether I am indeed a goddess. I shall -e depried
of my #orship altogether %nless yo% prote!t me.8 She #as
pro!eeding in this strain$ -%t Apollo interr%pted her. 8Say no
more$8 said he; 8spee!h only delays p%nishment.8 So said Diana
also. Darting thro%gh the air$ eiled in !lo%ds$ they alighted
on the to#ers of the !ity. Spread o%t -efore the gates #as a
-road plain$ #here the yo%th of the !ity p%rs%ed their #arlike
sports. The sons of Nio-e #ere there among the rest$ some
mo%nted on spirited horses ri!hly !aparisoned$ some driing gay
!hariots. Ismenos$ the first)-orn$ as he g%ided his foaming
steeds$ str%!k #ith an arro# from a-oe$ !ried o%t$ 8Ah$ meC8
dropped the reins and fell lifeless. Another$ hearing the so%nd
of the -o#$ like a -oatman #ho sees the storm gathering and
makes all sail for the port$ gae the rein to his horses and
attempted to es!ape. The ineita-le arro# oertook him as he
fled. T#o others$ yo%nger -oys$ 7%st from their tasks$ had gone
to the playgro%nd to hae a game of #restling. As they stood
-reast to -reast$ one arro# pier!ed them -oth. They %ttered a
!ry together$ together !ast a parting look aro%nd them$ and
together -reathed their last. Alphenor$ an elder -rother$ seeing
them fall$ hastened to the spot to render them assistan!e$ and
fell stri!ken in the a!t of -rotherly d%ty. One only #as left$
Ilione%s. 2e raised his arms to heaen to try #hether prayer
might not aail. 8Spare me$ ye godsC8 he !ried$ addressing all$
in his ignoran!e that all needed not his inter!ession; and Apollo
#o%ld hae spared him$ -%t the arro# had already left the string$
and it #as too late.
The terror of the people and grief of the attendants soon made
Nio-e a!:%ainted #ith #hat had taken pla!e. She !o%ld hardly
think it possi-le; she #as indignant that the gods had dared and
ama6ed that they had -een a-le to do it. 2er h%s-and$ Amphion$
oer#helmed #ith the -lo#$ destroyed himself. AlasC 2o#
different #as this Nio-e from her #ho had so lately drien a#ay
the people from the sa!red rites$ and held her stately !o%rse
thro%gh the !ity$ the eny of her friends$ no# the pity een of
her foesC She knelt oer the lifeless -odies$ and kissed$ no#
one$ no# another of her dead sons. Raising her pallid arms to
heaen$ 8Cr%el (atona$8 said she$ 8feed f%ll yo%r rage #ith my
ang%ishC Satiate yo%r hard heart$ #hile I follo# to the grae my
seen sons. 1et #here is yo%r tri%mphB .ereaed as I am$ I am
still ri!her than yo%$ my !on:%eror. S!ar!e had she spoken #hen
the -o# so%nded and str%!k terror into all hearts e0!ept Nio-e/s
alone. She #as -rae from e0!ess of grief. The sisters stood in
garments of mo%rning oer the -iers of their dead -rothers. One
fell$ str%!k -y an arro#$ and died on the !orpse she #as
-e#ailing. Another$ attempting to !onsole her mother$ s%ddenly
!eased to speak$ and sank lifeless to the earth. A third tried
to es!ape -y flight$ a fo%rth -y !on!ealment$ another stood
trem-ling$ %n!ertain #hat !o%rse to take. Si0 #ere no# dead$ and
only one remained$ #hom the mother held !lasped in her arms$ and
!oered as it #ere #ith her #hole -ody.
8Spare me one$ and that the yo%ngestC Oh$ spare me one of so
manyBC8 she !ried; and #hile she spoke$ that one fell dead.
Desolate she sat$ among sons$ da%ghters$ h%s-and$ all dead$ and
seemed torpid #ith grief. The -ree6e moed not her hair$ nor
!olor #as on her !heek$ her eyes glared fi0ed and immoa-le$
there #as no sign of life a-o%t her. 2er ery tong%e !lae to
the roof of her mo%th$ and her eins !eased to !oney the tide of
life. 2er ne!k -ent not$ her arms made no gest%re$ her foot no
step. She #as !hanged to stone$ #ithin and #itho%t. 1et tears
!ontin%ed to flo#; and$ -orne on a #hirl#ind to her natie
mo%ntain$ she still remains$ a mass of ro!k$ from #hi!h a
tri!kling stream flo#s$ the tri-%te of her neer)ending grief.
The story of Nio-e has f%rnished .yron #ith a fine ill%stration
of the fallen !ondition of modern Rome@
8The Nio-e of nationsC There she stands$
Childless and !ro#nless in her oi!eless #oe;
An empty %rn #ithin her #ithered hands$
"hose holy d%st #as s!attered long ago;
The S!ipios/ tom- !ontains no ashes no#;
The ery sep%l!hres lie tenantless
Of their heroi! d#ellers; dost tho% flo#$
Old Ti-erC Thro%gh a mar-le #ildernessB
Rise #ith thy yello# #aes$ and mantle her distress.8
Childe 2arold$ I+.MK
The sla%ghter of the !hildren of Nio-e -y Apollo$ all%des to the
Greek -elief that pestilen!e and illness #ere sent -y Apollo$ and
one dying -y si!kness #as said to -e str%!k -y Apollo/s arro#.
It is to this that &orris all%des in the Earthly ,aradise@
8"hile from the freshness of his -l%e a-ode$
Glad his death)-earing arro#s to forget$
The -road s%n -la6ed$ nor s!attered plag%es as yet.8
O%r ill%stration of this story is a !opy of a !ele-rated stat%e
in the imperial gallery of Floren!e. It is the prin!ipal fig%re
of a gro%p s%pposed to hae -een originally arranged in the
pediment of a temple. The fig%re of the mother !lasped -y the
arm of her terrified !hild$ is one of the most admired of the
an!ient stat%es. It ranks #ith the (ao!oon and the Apollo among
the masterpie!es of art. The follo#ing is a translation of a
Greek epigram s%pposed to relate to this stat%e@
8To stone the gods hae !hanged her$ -%t in ain;
The s!%lptor/s art has made her -reathe again.8
Tragi! as is the story of Nio-e #e !annot for-ear to smile at the
%se &oore has made of it in Rhymes on the Road@
8/T#as in his !arriage the s%-lime
Sir Ri!hard .la!kmore %sed to rhyme$
And$ if the #its don/t do him #rong$
/T#i0t death and epi!s passed his time$
S!ri--ling and killing all day long;
(ike ,hoe-%s in his !ar at ease$
No# #ar-ling forth a lofty song$
No# m%rdering the yo%ng Nio-es.8
Sir Ri!hard .la!kmore #as a physi!ian$ and at the same time a
ery prolifi! and ery tasteless poet$ #hose #orks are no#
forgotten$ %nless #hen re!alled to mind -y some #it like &oore
for the sake of a 7oke.
The Graeae #ere three sisters #ho #ere gray)haired from their
-irth$ #hen!e their name. The Gorgons #ere monstro%s females
#ith h%ge teeth like those of s#ine$ -ra6en !la#s$ and snaky
hair. They also #ere three in n%m-er$ t#o of them immortal$ -%t
the other$ &ed%sa$ mortal. None of these -eings make m%!h fig%re
in mythology e0!ept &ed%sa$ the Gorgon$ #hose story #e shall ne0t
adert to. "e mention them !hiefly to introd%!e an ingenio%s
theory of some modern #riters$ namely$ that the Gorgons and
Graeae #ere only personifi!ations of the terrors of the sea$ the
former denoting the STRONG -illo#s of the #ide open main$ and the
latter the "2ITE)!rested #aes that dash against the ro!ks of the
!oast. Their names in Greek signify the a-oe epithets.
A!risi%s #as the king #ho r%led in Argos. To him had an ora!le
de!lared that he sho%ld -e slain -y the !hild of his da%ghter
Danae. Therefore the !r%el king$ thinking it -etter that Danae
sho%ld hae no !hildren than that he sho%ld -e slain$ ordered a
to#er of -rass to -e made$ and in this to#er he !onfined his
da%ghter a#ay from all men.
.%t #ho !an #ithstand '%piterB 2e sa# Danae$ loed her$ and
!hanging his form to a sho#er of gold$ he shone into the
apartment of the !aptie girl.
,erse%s #as the !hild of '%piter and Danae. A!risi%s$ finding
that his pre!a%tions had !ome to no%ght$ and yet hardly daring to
kill his o#n da%ghter and her yo%ng !hild$ pla!ed them -oth in a
!hest and sent the !hest floating on the sea. It floated a#ay
and #as finally entangled in the net of Di!te$ a fisherman in the
island of Seriph%s. 2e -ro%ght them to his ho%se and treated
them kindly$ and in the ho%se of Di!te$ ,erse%s gre# %p. "hen
,erse%s #as gro#n %p$ ,olyde!tes$ king of that !o%ntry$ #ishing
to send ,erse%s to his death$ -ade him go in :%est of the head of
&ed%sa. &ed%sa had on!e -een a -ea%tif%l maiden$ #hose hair #as
her !hief glory$ -%t as she dared to ie in -ea%ty #ith &inera$
the goddess depried her of her !harms and !hanged her -ea%tif%l
ringlets into hissing serpents. She -e!ame a !r%el monster of so
frightf%l an aspe!t that no liing thing !o%ld -ehold her #itho%t
-eing t%rned into stone. All aro%nd the !aern #here she d#elt
might -e seen the stony fig%res of men and -easts #hi!h had
!han!ed to !at!h a glimpse of her and had -een petrified #ith the
sight. &inera and &er!%ry aided ,erse%s. From &inera$ ,erse%s
-orro#ed her shield$ and from &er!%ry the #inged shoes and the
harpe or !rooked s#ord. After haing flo#n all oer the earth
,erse%s espied in the -right shield the image of &ed%sa and her
t#o immortal sisters. Flying do#n !aref%lly he !%t at her #ith
his harpe and seered her head. ,%tting the trophy in his po%!h
he fle# a#ay 7%st as the t#o immortal sisters #ere a#akened -y
the hissings of their snaky lo!ks.
After the sla%ghter of &ed%sa$ ,erse%s$ -earing #ith him the head
of the Gorgon$ fle# far and #ide$ oer land and sea. As night
!ame on$ he rea!hed the #estern limit of the earth$ #here the s%n
goes do#n. 2ere he #o%ld gladly hae rested till morning. It
#as the realm of *ing Atlas$ #hose -%lk s%rpassed that of all
other men. 2e #as ri!h in flo!ks and herds and had no neigh-or
or rial to disp%te his state. .%t his !hief pride #as in his
gardens$ #hose fr%it #as of gold$ hanging from golden -ran!hes$
half hid #ith golden leaes. ,erse%s said to him$ 8I !ome as a
g%est. If yo% honor ill%strio%s des!ent$ I !laim '%piter for my
father; if mighty deeds$ I plead the !on:%est of the Gorgon. I
seek rest and food.8 .%t Atlas remem-ered that an an!ient
prophe!y had #arned him that a son of 'oe sho%ld one day ro- him
of his golden apples. So he ans#ered$ 8.egoneC Or neither yo%r
false !laims of glory nor of parentage shall prote!t yo%;8 and he
attempted to thr%st him o%t. ,erse%s$ finding the giant too
strong for him$ said$ 8Sin!e yo% al%e my friendship so little$
deign to a!!ept a present;8 and t%rning his fa!e a#ay$ he held %p
the Gorgon/s head. Atlas$ #ith all his -%lk$ #as !hanged into
stone. 2is -eard and hair -e!ame forests$ his arms and sho%lders
!liffs$ his head a s%mmit$ and his -ones ro!ks. Ea!h part
in!reased in -%lk till he -e!ame a mo%ntain$ and <s%!h #as the
pleas%re of the gods= heaen #ith all its stars rests %pon his
And all in ain #as Atlas t%rned to a mo%ntain$ for the ora!le
did not mean ,erse%s$ -%t the hero 2er!%les$ #ho sho%ld !ome long
after#ards to get the golden apples for his !o%sin E%rysthe%s.
,erse%s$ !ontin%ing his flight$ arried at the !o%ntry of the
AEthiopians$ of #hi!h Cephe%s #as king. Cassiopeia$ his :%een$
pro%d of her -ea%ty$ had dared to !ompare herself to the Sea)
Nymphs$ #hi!h ro%sed their indignation to s%!h a degree that they
sent a prodigio%s sea)monster to raage the !oast. To appease
the deities$ Cephe%s #as dire!ted hy the ora!le to e0pose his
da%ghter Andromeda to -e deo%red -y the monster. As ,erse%s
looked do#n from his aerial height he -eheld the irgin !hained
to a ro!k$ and #aiting the approa!h of the serpent. She #as so
pale and motionless that if it had not -een for her flo#ing tears
and her hair that moed in the -ree6e$ he #o%ld hae taken her
for a mar-le stat%e. 2e #as so startled at the sight that he
almost forgot to #ae his #ings. As he hoered oer her he said$
8O irgin$ %ndesering of those !hains$ -%t rather of s%!h as
-ind fond loers together$ tell me$ I -esee!h yo%$ yo%r name and
the name of yo%r !o%ntry$ and #hy yo% are th%s -o%nd.8 At first
she #as silent from modesty$ and$ if she !o%ld$ #o%ld hae hid
her fa!e #ith her hands; -%t #hen he repeated his :%estions$ for
fear she might -e tho%ght g%ilty of some fa%lt #hi!h she dared
not tell$ she dis!losed her name and that of her !o%ntry$ and her
mother/s pride of -ea%ty. .efore she had done speaking$ a so%nd
#as heard off %pon the #ater$ and the sea)monster appeared$ #ith
his head raised a-oe the s%rfa!e$ !leaing the #aes #ith his
-road -reast. The irgin shrieked$ the father and mother #ho had
no# arried at the s!ene$ #ret!hed -oth$ -%t the mother more
7%stly so$ stood -y$ not a-le to afford prote!tion$ -%t only to
po%r forth lamentations and to em-ra!e the i!tim. Then spoke
,erse%s@ 8There #ill -e time eno%gh for tears; this ho%r is all
#e hae for res!%e. &y rank as the son of 'oe and my reno#n as
the slayer of the Gorgon might make me a!!epta-le as a s%itor;
-%t I #ill try to #in her -y seri!es rendered$ if the gods #ill
only -e propitio%s. If she -e res!%ed -y my alor$ I demand that
she -e my re#ard.8 The parents !onsent <ho# !o%ld they
hesitateB= And promise a royal do#ry #ith her.
And no# the monster #as #ithin the range of a stone thro#n -y a
skilf%l slinger$ #hen #ith a s%dden -o%nd the yo%th soared into
the air. As an eagle$ #hen from his lofty flight he sees a
serpent -asking in the s%n$ po%n!es %pon him and sei6es him -y
the ne!k to preent him from t%rning his head ro%nd and %sing his
fangs$ so the yo%th darted do#n %pon the -a!k of the monster and
pl%nged his s#ord into its sho%lder. Irritated -y the #o%nd the
monster raised himself into the air$ then pl%nged into the depth;
then$ like a #ild -oar s%rro%nded -y a pa!k of -arking dogs$
t%rned s#iftly from side to side$ #hile the yo%th el%ded its
atta!ks -y means of his #ings. "hereer he !an find a passage
for his s#ord -et#een the s!ales he makes a #o%nd$ pier!ing no#
the side$ no# the flank$ as it slopes to#ards the tail. The
-r%te spo%ts from his nostrils #ater mi0ed #ith -lood. The #ings
of the hero are #et #ith it$ and he dares no longer tr%st to
them. Alighting on a ro!k #hi!h rose a-oe the #aes$ and
holding on -y a pro7e!ting fragment$ as the monster floated near
he gae him a death)stroke. The people #ho had gathered on the
shore sho%ted so that the hills re)e!hoed to the so%nd. The
parents$ transported #ith 7oy$ em-ra!ed their f%t%re son)in)la#$
!alling him their delierer and the saior of their ho%se$ and
the irgin$ -oth !a%se and re#ard of the !ontest$ des!ended from
the ro!k.
Cassiopeia #as an Aethiopian$ and !onse:%ently$ in spite of her
-oasted -ea%ty$ -la!k; at least so &ilton seems to hae tho%ght$
#ho all%des to this story in his ,enseroso$ #here he addresses
&elan!holy as the
8))))))) goddess$ sage and holy$
"hose saintly isage is too -right
To hit the sense of h%man sight$
And$ therefore$ to o%r #eaker ie#
O/erlaid #ith -la!k$ staid "isdom/s h%e.
.la!k$ -%t s%!h as in esteem
,rin!e &emnon/s sister might -eseem$
Or that starred Aethiop :%een that stroe
To set her -ea%ty/s praise a-oe
The Sea)nymphs$ and their po#ers offended.8
Cassiopeia is !alled 8the starred Aethiop :%een$8 -e!a%se after
her death she #as pla!ed among the stars$ forming the
!onstellation of that name. Tho%gh she attained this honor$ yet
the Sea)Nymphs$ her old enemies$ preailed so far as to !a%se her
to -e pla!ed in that part of the heaen near the pole$ #here
eery night she is half the time held #ith her head do#n#ard$ to
gie her a lesson of h%mility.
8,rin!e &emnon8 #as the son of A%rora and Tithon%s$ of #hom #e
shall hear later.
The 7oyf%l parents$ #ith ,erse%s and Andromeda$ repaired to the
pala!e$ #here a -an:%et #as spread for them$ and all #as 7oy and
festiity. .%t s%ddenly a noise #as heard of #ar)like !lamor$
and ,hine%s$ the -etrothed of the irgin$ #ith a party of his
adherents$ -%rst in$ demanding the maiden as his o#n. It #as in
ain that Cephe%s remonstrated$ 81o% sho%ld hae !laimed her
#hen she lay -o%nd to the ro!k$ the monster/s i!tim. The
senten!e of the gods dooming her to s%!h a fate dissoled all
engagements$ as death itself #o%ld hae done.@8 ,hine%s made no
reply$ -%t h%rled his 7aelin at ,erse%s$ -%t it missed its mark
and fell harmless. ,erse%s #o%ld hae thro#n his in t%rn$ -%t
the !o#ardly assailant ran and took shelter -ehind the altar.
.%t his a!t #as a signal for an onset -y his -and %pon the g%ests
of Cephe%s. They defended themseles and a general !onfli!t
ens%ed$ the old king retreating from the s!ene after fr%itless
e0post%lations$ !alling the gods to #itness that he #as g%iltless
of this o%trage on the rights of hospitality.
,erse%s and his friends maintained for some time the %ne:%al
!ontest; -%t the n%m-ers of the assailants #ere too great for
them$ and destr%!tion seemed ineita-le$ #hen a s%dden tho%ght
str%!k ,erse%s@ 8I #ill make my enemy defend me.8 Then$ #ith a
lo%d oi!e he e0!laimed$ @If I hae any friend here let him t%rn
a#ay his eyesC8 and held aloft the Gorgon/s head. 8Seek not to
frighten %s #ith yo%r 7%gglery$8 said Thes!el%s$ and raised his
7aelin in a!t to thro#$ and -e!ame stone in the ery attit%de.
Ampy0 #as a-o%t to pl%nge his s#ord into the -ody of a prostrate
foe$ -%t his arm stiffened and he !o%ld neither thr%st for#ard
nor #ithdra# it. Another$ in the midst of a o!ifero%s
!hallenge$ stopped$ his mo%th open$ -%t no so%nd iss%ing. One of
,erse%s/s friends$ A!onte%s$ !a%ght sight of the Gorgon and
stiffened like the rest. Astyages str%!k him #ith his s#ord$ -%t
instead of #o%nding$ it re!oiled #ith a ringing noise.
,hine%s -eheld this dreadf%l res%lt of his %n7%st aggression$ and
felt !onfo%nded. 2e !alled alo%d to his friends$ -%t got no
ans#er; he to%!hed them and fo%nd them stone. Falling on his
knees and stret!hing o%t his hands to ,erse%s$ -%t t%rning his
head a#ay$ he -egged for mer!y. 8Take all$8 said he$ 8gie me
-%t my life.8 8.ase !o#ard$8 said ,erse%s$ 8th%s m%!h I #ill
grant yo%; no #eapon shall to%!h yo%; moreoer yo% shall -e
presered in my ho%se as a memorial of these eents.8 So saying$
he held the Gorgon/s head to the side #here ,hine%s #as looking$
and in the ery form in #hi!h he knelt$ #ith his hands
o%tstret!hed and fa!e aerted$ he -e!ame fi0ed immoa-ly$ a mass
of stoneC
The follo#ing all%sion to ,erse%s is from &ilman/s Samor@
8As /mid the fa-led (i-yan -ridal stood
,erse%s in stern tran:%illity of #rath$
2alf stood$ half floated on his ankle)pl%mes
O%t)s#elling$ #hile the -right fa!e on his shield
(ooked into stone the raging fray; so rose$
.%t #ith no magi! arms$ #earing alone
Th/ appalling and !ontrol of his firm look$
The .riton Samor; at his rising a#e
"ent a-road$ and the rioto%s hall #as m%te.8
Then ,erse%s ret%rned to Seriph%s to *ing ,olyde!tes and to his
mother Danae and the fisherman Di!te. 2e mar!hed %p the tyrant/s
hall$ #here ,olyde!tes and his g%ests #ere feasting. 82ae yo%
the head of &ed%saB8 e0!laimed ,olyde!tes. 82ere it is$8
ans#ered ,erse%s$ and sho#ed it to the king and to his g%ests.
The an!ient prophe!y #hi!h A!risi%s had so m%!h feared at last
!ame to pass. For$ as ,erse%s #as passing thro%gh the !o%ntry of
(arissa$ he entered into !ompetition #ith the yo%ths of the
!o%ntry at the game of h%rling the dis!%s. *ing A!risi%s #as
among the spe!tators. The yo%ths of (arissa thre# first$ and
then ,erse%s. 2is dis!%s #ent far -eyond the others$ and$ sei6ed
-y a -ree6e from the sea$ fell %pon the foot of A!risi%s. The
old king s#ooned #ith pain$ and #as !arried a#ay from the pla!e
only to die. ,erse%s$ #ho had heard the story of his -irth and
parentage from Danae$ #hen he learned #ho A!risi%s #as$ filled
#ith remorse and sorro#$ #ent to the ora!le at Delphi$ and there
#as p%rified from the g%ilt of homi!ide.
,erse%s gae the head of &ed%sa to &inera$ #ho had aided him so
#ell to o-tain it. &inera took the head of her on!e -ea%tif%l
rial and pla!ed it in the middle of her Aegis.
&ilton$ in his Com%s$ th%s all%des to the Aegis@
8"hat #as that snaky)headed Gorgon)shield
That #ise &inera #ore$ %n!on:%ered irgin$
"here#ith she free6ed her foes to !ongealed stone$
.%t rigid looks of !haste a%sterity$
And no-le gra!e that dashed -r%te iolen!e
"ith s%dden adoration and -lank a#eC8
Armstrong$ the poet of the Art of ,resering 2ealth$ th%s
des!ri-es the effe!t of frost %pon the #aters@
8No# -lo#s the s%rly North and !hills thro%gho%t
the stiffening regions$ #hile -y stronger !harms
Than Cir!e e/er or fell &edea -re#ed$
Ea!h -rook that #ont to prattle to its -anks
(ies all -estilled and #edged -et#i0t its -anks$
Nor moes the #ithered reeds. . . .
The s%rges -aited -y the fier!e Northeast$
Tossing #ith fretf%l spleen their angry heads$
E/en in the foam of all their madness str%!k
To mon%mental i!e.
S%!h e0e!%tion$
So stern$ so s%dden$ #ro%ght the grisly aspe!t
Of terri-le &ed%sa$
"hen #andering thro%gh the #oods she t%rned to stone
Their saage tenants; 7%st as the foaming lion
Sprang f%rio%s on his prey$ her speedier po#er
O%tran his haste$
And fi0ed in that fier!e attit%de he stands
(ike Rage in mar-leC8
Imitations of Shakespeare
Of Atlas there is another story$ #hi!h I like -etter than the one
told. 2e #as one of the Titans #ho #arred against '%piter like
Typhoe%s$ .riare%s$ and others. After their defeat -y the king
of gods and men$ Atlas #as !ondemned to stand in the far #estern
part of the earth$ -y the ,illars of 2er!%les$ and to hold on his
sho%lders the #eight of heaen and the stars.
The story r%ns that ,erse%s$ flying -y$ asked and o-tained rest
and food. The ne0t morning he asked #hat he !o%ld do to re#ard
Atlas for his kindness. The -est that giant !o%ld think of #as
that ,erse%s sho%ld sho# him the snaky head of &ed%sa$ that he
might -e t%rned to stone and -e at rest from his heay load.
Chapter 5
&onsters. Giants. Sphin0. ,egas%s and the Chimaera.
Centa%rs. Griffin. ,ygmies
&onsters$ in the lang%age of mythology$ #ere -eings of %nnat%ral
proportions or parts$ %s%ally regarded #ith terror$ as possessing
immense strength and fero!ity$ #hi!h they employed for the in7%ry
and annoyan!e of men. Some of them #ere s%pposed to !om-ine the
mem-ers of different animals; s%!h #ere the Sphin0 and the
Chimaera; and to these all the terri-le :%alities of #ild -easts
#ere attri-%ted$ together #ith h%man saga!ity and fa!%lties.
Others$ as the giants$ differed from men !hiefly in their si6e;
and in this parti!%lar #e m%st re!ogni6e a #ide distin!tion among
them. The h%man giants$ if so they may -e !alled$ s%!h as the
Cy!lopes$ Antae%s$ Orion$ and others$ m%st -e s%pposed not to -e
altogether disproportioned to h%man -eings$ for they mingled in
loe and strife #ith them. .%t the s%perh%man giants$ #ho #arred
#ith the gods$ #ere of astly larger dimensions. Tity%s$ #e are
told$ #hen stret!hed on the plain$ !oered nine a!res$ and
En!elad%s re:%ired the #hole of &o%nt AEtna to -e laid %pon him
to keep him do#n.
"e hae already spoken of the #ar #hi!h the giants #aged against
the gods$ and of its res%lt. "hile this #ar lasted the giants
proed a formida-le enemy. Some of them$ like .riare%s$ had a
h%ndred arms; others$ like Typhon$ -reathed o%t fire. At one
time they p%t the gods to s%!h fear that they fled into Egypt$
and hid themseles %nder ario%s forms. '%piter took the form of
a ram$ #hen!e he #as after#ards #orshipped in Egypt as the god
Ammon$ #ith !%red horns. Apollo -e!ame a !ro#$ .a!!h%s a goat$
Diana a !at$ '%no a !o#$ +en%s a fish$ &er!%ry a -ird. At
another time the giants attempted to !lim- %p into heaen$ and
for that p%rpose took %p the mo%ntain Ossa and piled it on
,elion. They #ere at last s%-d%ed -y th%nder-olts$ #hi!h &inera
inented$ and ta%ght +%l!an and his Cy!lopes to make for '%piter.
T2E S,2IN5
(ai%s$ king of The-es$ #as #arned -y an ora!le that there #as
danger to his throne and life if his ne#)-orn son sho%ld -e
s%ffered to gro# %p. 2e therefore !ommitted the !hild to the
!are of a herdsman$ #ith orders to destroy him; -%t the herdsman$
moed to pity$ yet not daring entirely to diso-ey$ tied %p the
!hild -y the feet$ and left him hanging to the -ran!h of a tree.
2ere the infant #as fo%nd -y a herdsman of ,oly-%s$ king of
Corinth$ #ho #as past%ring his flo!k %pon &o%nt Cithaeron.
,oly-%s and &erope$ his #ife$ adopted the !hild$ #hom they !alled
OEdip%s$ or S#ollen)foot$ for they had no !hildren themseles$
and in Corinth OEdip%s gre# %p. .%t as OEdip%s #as at Delphi$
the ora!le prophesied to him that he sho%ld kill his father and
marry his o#n mother. Fighting against Fate$ OEdip%s resoled to
leae Corinth and his parents$ for he tho%ght that ,oly-%s and
&erope #ere meant -y the ora!le.
Soon after#ards$ (ai%s -eing on his #ay to Delphi$ a!!ompanied
only -y one attendant$ met in a narro# road a yo%ng man also
driing in a !hariot. On his ref%sal to leae the #ay at their
!ommand$ the attendant killed one of his horses$ and the
stranger$ filled #ith rage$ sle# -oth (ai%s and his attendant.
The yo%ng man #as OEdip%s$ #ho th%s %nkno#ingly -e!ame the slayer
of his o#n father.
Shortly after this eent the !ity of The-es #as affli!ted #ith a
monster #hi!h infested the high)road. It #as !alled the Sphin0.
It had the -ody of a lion$ and the %pper part of a #oman. It lay
!ro%!hed on the top of a ro!k$ and stopped all traellers #ho
!ame that #ay$ proposing to them a riddle$ #ith the !ondition
that those #ho !o%ld sole it sho%ld pass safe$ -%t those #ho
failed sho%ld -e killed. Not one had yet s%!!eeded in soling
it$ and all had -een slain. OEdip%s #as not da%nted -y these
alarming a!!o%nts$ -%t -oldly adan!ed to the trial. The Sphin0
asked him$ 8"hat animal is that #hi!h in the morning goes on fo%r
feet$ at noon on t#o$ and in the eening %pon threeB8 OEdip%s
replied$ 8&an$ #ho in !hildhood !reeps on hands and knees$ in
manhood #alks ere!t$ and in old age #ith the aid of a staff.8
The Sphin0 #as so mortified at the soling of her riddle that she
!ast herself do#n from the ro!k and perished.
The gratit%de of the people for their delieran!e #as so great
that they made OEdip%s their king$ giing him in marriage their
:%een 'o!asta. OEdip%s$ ignorant of his parentage$ had already
-e!ome the slayer of his father; in marrying the :%een he -e!ame
the h%s-and of his mother. These horrors remained %ndis!oered$
till at length The-es #as affli!ted #ith famine and pestilen!e$
and the ora!le -eing !ons%lted$ the do%-le !rime of OEdip%s !ame
to light. 'o!asta p%t an end to her o#n life$ and OEdip%s$
sei6ed #ith madness$ tore o%t his eyes$ and #andered a#ay from
The-es$ dreaded and a-andoned hy all e0!ept his da%ghters$ #ho
faithf%lly adhered to him; till after a tedio%s period of
misera-le #andering$ he fo%nd the termination of his #ret!hed
"hen ,erse%s !%t off &ed%sa/s head$ the -lood sinking into the
earth prod%!ed the #inged horse ,egas%s. &inera !a%ght and
tamed him$ and presented him to the &%ses. The fo%ntain
2ippo!rene$ on the &%ses/ mo%ntain 2eli!on$ #as opened -y a ki!k
from his hoof.
The Chimaera #as a fearf%l monster$ -reathing fire. The fore
part of its -ody #as a !ompo%nd of the lion and the goat$ and the
hind part a dragon/s. It made great hao! in (y!ia$ so that the
king Io-ates so%ght for some hero to destroy it. At that time
there arried at his !o%rt a gallant yo%ng #arrior$ #hose name
#as .ellerophon. 2e -ro%ght letters from ,roet%s$ the son)in)la#
of Io-ates$ re!ommending .ellerophon in the #armest terms as an
%n!on:%era-le hero$ -%t added at the !lose a re:%est to his
father)in)la# to p%t him to death. The reason #as that ,roet%s
#as 7ealo%s of him$ s%spe!ting that his #ife Antea looked #ith
too m%!h admiration on the yo%ng #arrior. From this instan!e of
.ellerophon -eing %n!ons!io%sly the -earer of his o#n death)
#arrant$ the e0pression 8.ellerophonti! letters8 arose$ to
des!ri-e any spe!ies of !omm%ni!ation #hi!h a person is made the
-earer of$ !ontaining matter pre7%di!ial to himself.
Io-ates$ on per%sing the letters$ #as p%66led #hat to do$ not
#illing to iolate the !laims of hospitality$ yet #ishing to
o-lige his son)in)la#. A l%!ky tho%ght o!!%rred to him$ to send
.ellerophon to !om-at #ith the Chimaera. .ellerophon a!!epted
the proposal$ -%t -efore pro!eeding to the !om-at !ons%lted the
soothsayer ,olyid%s$ #ho adised him to pro!%re if possi-le the
horse ,egas%s for the !onfli!t. For this p%rpose he dire!ted him
to pass the night in the temple of &inera. 2e did so$ and as he
slept &inera !ame to him and gae him a golden -ridle. "hen he
a#oke the -ridle remained in his hand. &inera also sho#ed him
,egas%s drinking at the #ell of ,irene$ and at sight of the
-ridle$ the #inged steed !ame #illingly and s%ffered himself to
-e taken. .ellerophon mo%nting$ rose #ith him into the air$ and
soon fo%nd the Chimaera$ and gained an easy i!tory oer the
After the !on:%est of the Chimaera$ .ellerophon #as e0posed to
f%rther trials and la-ors -y his %nfriendly host$ -%t -y the aid
of ,egas%s he tri%mphed in them all; till at length Io-ates$
seeing that the hero #as a spe!ial faorite of the gods$ gae him
his da%ghter in marriage and made him his s%!!essor on the
throne. At last .ellerophon -y his pride and pres%mption dre#
%pon himself the anger of the gods; it is said he een attempted
to fly %p into heaen on his #inged steed; -%t '%piter sent a
gadfly #hi!h st%ng ,egas%s and made him thro# his rider$ #ho
-e!ame lame and -lind in !onse:%en!e. After this .ellerophon
#andered lonely thro%gh the Aleian field$ aoiding the paths of
men$ and died misera-ly.
&ilton all%des to .ellerophon in the -eginning o the seenth -ook
of ,aradise (ost@
8Des!end from 2eaen$ 9rania$ -y that name
If rightly tho% art !alled$ #hose oi!e diine
Follo#ing a-oe the Olympian hill I soar$
A-oe the flight of ,egasean #ing$
9p)led -y thee$
Into the 2eaen of 2eaens I hae pres%med$
An earthly g%est$ and dra#n empyreal air$
<Thy tempering;= #ith like safety g%ided do#n
Ret%rn me to my natie element;
(est from this flying steed %nreined$ <as on!e
.ellerophon$ tho%gh from a lo#er sphere$=
Dismo%nted on the Aleian field I fall$
Erroneo%s there to #ander$ and forlorn.8
1o%ng in his Night Tho%ghts$ speaking of the skepti!$ says$
82e #hose -lind tho%ght f%t%rity denies$
9n!ons!io%s -ears$ .ellerophon$ like thee
2is o#n indi!tment; he !ondemns himself$
"ho reads his -osom reads immortal life$
Or nat%re there$ imposing on her sons$
2as #ritten fa-les; man #as made a lie.8
+ol. II.D$DF.
,egas%s$ -eing the horse of the &%ses$ has al#ays -een at the
seri!e of the poets. S!hiller tells a pretty story of his
haing -een sold -y a needy poet$ and p%t to the !art and the
plo%gh. 2e #as not fit for s%!h seri!e$ and his !lo#nish master
!o%ld make nothing of him. .%t a yo%th stepped forth and asked
leae to try him. As soon as he #as seated on his -a!k$ the
horse$ #hi!h had appeared at first i!io%s$ and after#ards
spirit)-roken$ rose kingly$ a spirit$ a god; %nfolded the
splendor of his #ings and soared to#ards heaen. O%r o#n poet
(ongfello# also re!ords an adent%re of this famo%s steed in his
,egas%s in ,o%nd.
Shakespeare all%des to ,egas%s in 2enry I+$ #here +ernon
des!ri-es ,rin!e 2enry@
8I sa# yo%ng 2arry$ #ith his -eaer on$
2is !%ishes on his thighs$ gallantly armed$
Rise from the gro%nd like feathered &er!%ry$
And a%lted #ith s%!h ease into his seat$
As if an angel dropped do#n from the !lo%ds$
To t%rn and #ind a fiery ,egas%s$
And #it!h the #orld #ith no-le horsemanship.8
The Greeks loed to people their #oods and hills #ith strange
#ild people$ half man$ half -east. S%!h #ere the Satyrs men
#ith goats/ legs. .%t no-ler and -etter #ere the Centa%rs$ men
to the #aist$ #hile the rest #as the form of a horse. The
an!ients #ere too fond of a horse to !onsider the %nion of his
nat%re #ith man/s as forming any ery degraded !ompo%nd$ and
a!!ordingly the Centa%r is the only one of the fan!ied monsters
of anti:%ity to #hi!h any good traits are assigned. The Centa%rs
#ere admitted to the !ompanionship of man$ and at the marriage of
,iritho%s #ith 2ippodamia$ they #ere among the g%ests. At the
feast$ E%rytion$ one of the Centa%rs$ -e!oming into0i!ated #ith
the #ine$ attempted to offer iolen!e to the -ride; the other
Centa%rs follo#ed his e0ample$ and a dreadf%l !onfli!t arose in
#hi!h seeral of them #ere slain. This is the !ele-rated -attle
of the (apithae and Centa%rs$ a faorite s%-7e!t #ith the
s!%lptors and poets of anti:%ity.
.%t all the Centa%rs #ere not like the r%de g%ests of ,iritho%s.
Chiron #as instr%!ted -y Apollo and Diana$ and #as reno#ned for
his skill in h%nting$ medi!ine$ m%si!$ and the art of prophe!y.
The most disting%ished heroes of Gre!ian story #ere his p%pils.
Among the rest the infant Aes!%lapi%s #as intr%sted to his
!harge$ -y Apollo$ his father. "hen the sage ret%rned to his
home -earing the infant$ his da%ghter O!yroe !ame forth to meet
him$ and at sight of the !hild -%rst forth into a propheti!
strain <for she #as a prophetess=$ foretelling the glory that he
#as to a!hiee. Aes!%lapi%s$ #hen gro#n %p$ -e!ame a reno#ned
physi!ian$ and een in one instan!e s%!!eeded in restoring the
dead to life. ,l%to resented this$ and '%piter$ at his re:%est$
str%!k the -old physi!ian #ith lightning and killed him$ -%t
after his death re!eied him into the n%m-er of the gods.
Chiron #as the #isest and 7%stest of all the Centa%rs$ and at his
death '%piter pla!ed him among the stars as the !onstellation
The ,ygmies #ere a nation of d#arfs$ so !alled from a Greek #ord
#hi!h means the !%-it <a !%-it #as a meas%re of a-o%t thirteen
in!hes=$ #hi!h #as said to -e the height of these people. They
lied near the so%r!es of the Nile$ or a!!ording to others$ in
India. 2omer tells %s that the !ranes %sed to migrate eery
#inter to the ,ygmies/ !o%ntry$ and their appearan!e #as the
signal of -loody #arfare to the p%ny inha-itants$ #ho had to take
%p arms to defend their !ornfields against the rapa!io%s
strangers. The ,ygmies and their enemies the !ranes form the
s%-7e!t of seeral #orks of art.
(ater #riters tell of an army of ,ygmies #hi!h finding 2er!%les
asleep made preparations to atta!k him$ as if they #ere a-o%t to
atta!k a !ity. .%t the hero a#aking la%ghed at the little
#arriors$ #rapped some of them %p in his lion/s)skin$ and !arried
them to E%rysthe%s.
&ilton %sed the ,ygmies for a simile$ ,aradise (ost$ .ook I@
8))))))))))like that ,ygmaean ra!e
.eyond the Indian mo%nt$ or fairy eles
"hose midnight reels -y a forest side$
Or fo%ntain$ some -elated peasant sees$
<Or dreams he sees=$ #hile oerhead the moon
Sits arti-ress$ and nearer to the earth
"heels her pale !o%rse; they on their mirth and dan!e
Intent$ #ith 7o!%nd m%si! !harm his ear.
At on!e #ith 7oy and fear his heart re-o%nds.8
T2E Griffin is a monster #ith the -ody of a lion$ the head and
#ings of an eagle$ and -a!k !oered #ith feathers. (ike -irds it
-%ilds its nest$ and instead of an egg lays an agate therein. It
has long !la#s and talons of s%!h a si6e that the people of that
!o%ntry make them into drinking)!%ps. India #as assigned as the
natie !o%ntry of the Griffins. They fo%nd gold in the mo%ntains
and -%ilt their nests of it$ for #hi!h reason their nests #ere
ery tempting to the h%nters$ and they #ere for!ed to keep
igilant g%ard oer them. Their instin!t led them to kno# #here
-%ried treas%res lay$ and they did their -est to keep pl%nderers
at a distan!e. The Arimaspians$ among #hom the Griffins
flo%rished$ #ere a one)eyed people of S!ythia.
&ilton -orro#s a simile from the Griffins$ ,aradise (ost$ .ook
8As #hen a Gryphon thro%gh the #ilderness$
"ith #inged !o%rse$ o/er hill and moory dale$
,%rs%es the Arimaspian #ho -y stealth
2ath from his #akef%l !%stody p%rloined
2is g%arded gold.8
Chapter 5I
The Golden Flee!e. &edea. The Calydonian 2%nt
In ery an!ient times there lied in Thessaly a king and :%een
named Athamas and Nephele. They had t#o !hildren$ a -oy and a
girl. After a time Athamas gre# indifferent to his #ife$ p%t her
a#ay$ and took another. Nephele s%spe!ted danger to her !hildren
from the infl%en!e of the step)mother$ and took meas%res to send
them o%t of her rea!h. &er!%ry assisted her$ and gae her a ram$
#ith a GO(DEN F(EECE$ on #hi!h she set the t#o !hildren$ tr%sting
that the ram #o%ld !oney them to a pla!e of safety. The ram
spr%ng into the air #ith the !hildren on his -a!k$ taking his
!o%rse to the east$ till #hen !rossing the strait that diides
E%rope and Asia$ the girl$ #hose name #as 2elle$ fell from his
-a!k into the sea$ #hi!h from her #as !alled the 2ellespont$
no# the Dardanelles. The ram !ontin%ed his !areer till he
rea!hed the kingdom of Col!his$ on the eastern shore of the .la!k
Sea$ #here he safely landed the -oy ,hyr0%s$ #ho #as hospita-ly
re!eied -y AEetes$ the king of the !o%ntry. ,hry0%s sa!rifi!ed
the ram to '%piter$ and gae the golden flee!e to AEetes$ #ho
pla!ed it in a !onse!rated groe$ %nder the !are of a sleepless
There #as another kingdom in Thessaly near to that of Athamas$
and r%led oer -y a relatie of his. The king AEson$ -eing tired
of the !ares of goernment$ s%rrendered his !ro#n to his -rother
,elias$ on !ondition that he sho%ld hold it only d%ring the
minority of 'ason$ the son of AEson. "hen 'ason #as gro#n %p and
!ame to demand the !ro#n from his %n!le$ ,elias pretended to -e
#illing to yield it$ -%t at the same time s%ggested to the yo%ng
man the glorio%s adent%re of going in :%est of the golden
flee!e$ #hi!h it #as #ell kno#n #as in the kingdom of Col!his$
and #as$ as ,elias pretended$ the rightf%l property of their
family. 'ason #as pleased #ith the tho%ght$ and forth#ith made
preparations for the e0pedition. At that time the only spe!ies
of naigation kno#n to the Greeks !onsisted of small -oats or
!anoes hollo#ed o%t from tr%nks of trees$ so that #hen 'ason
employed Arg%s to -%ild him a essel !apa-le of !ontaining fifty
men$ it #as !onsidered a giganti! %ndertaking. It #as
a!!omplished$ ho#eer$ and the essel #as named the Argo$ from
the name of the -%ilder. 'ason sent his initation to all the
adent%ro%s yo%ng men of Gree!e$ and soon fo%nd himself at the
head of a -and of -old yo%ths$ many of #hom after#ards #ere
reno#ned among the heroes and demigods of Gree!e. 2er!%les$
These%s$ Orphe%s$ and Nestor #ere among them. They are !alled
the Argona%ts$ from the name of their essel.
The Argo #ith her !re# of heroes left the shores of Thessaly and
haing to%!hed at the Island of (emnos$ then!e !rossed to &ysia
and then!e to Thra!e. 2ere they fo%nd the sage ,hine%s$ and from
him re!eied instr%!tion as to their f%t%re !o%rse. It seems the
entran!e of the E%0ine Sea #as impeded -y t#o small ro!ky
islands$ #hi!h floated on the s%rfa!e$ and in their tossings and
heaings o!!asionally !ame together$ !r%shing and grinding to
atoms any o-7e!t that might -e !a%ght -et#een them. They #ere
!alled the Symplegades$ or Clashing Islands. ,hine%s instr%!ted
the Argona%ts ho# to pass this dangero%s strait. "hen they
rea!hed the islands they let go a doe$ #hi!h took her #ay
-et#een the ro!ks$ and passed in safety$ only losing some
feathers of her tail. 'ason and his men sei6ed the faora-le
moment of the re-o%nd$ plied their oars #ith igor$ and passed
safe thro%gh$ tho%gh the islands !losed -ehind them$ and a!t%ally
gra6ed their stern. They no# ro#ed along the shore till they
arried at the eastern end of the sea$ and landed at the kingdom
of Col!his.
'ason made kno#n his message to the Col!hian king$ AEetes$ #ho
!onsented to gie %p the golden flee!e if 'ason #o%ld yoke to the
plo%gh t#o fire)-reathing -%lls #ith -ra6en feet$ and so# the
teeth of the dragon$ #hi!h Cadm%s had slain$ and from #hi!h it
#as #ell kno#n that a !rop of armed men #o%ld spring %p$ #ho
#o%ld t%rn their #eapons against their prod%!er. 'ason a!!epted
the !onditions$ and a time #as set for making the e0periment.
,reio%sly$ ho#eer$ he fo%nd means to plead his !a%se to &edea$
da%ghter of the king. 2e promised her marriage$ and as they
stood -efore the altar of 2e!ate$ !alled the goddess to #itness
his oath. &edea yielded and -y her aid$ for she #as a potent
sor!eress$ he #as f%rnished #ith a !harm$ -y #hi!h he !o%ld
en!o%nter safely the -reath of the fire)-reathing -%lls and the
#eapons of the armed men.
At the time appointed$ the people assem-led at the groe of &ars$
and the king ass%med his royal seat$ #hile the m%ltit%de !oered
the hill)sides. The -ra6en)footed -%lls r%shed in$ -reathing
fire from their nostrils$ that -%rned %p the her-age as they
passed. The so%nd #as like the roar of a f%rna!e$ and the smoke
like that of #ater %pon :%i!k)lime. 'ason adan!ed -oldly to
meet them. 2is friends$ the !hosen heroes of Gree!e$ trem-led to
-ehold him. Regardless of the -%rning -reath$ he soothed their
rage #ith his oi!e$ patted their ne!ks #ith fearless hands$ and
adroitly slipped oer them the yoke$ and !ompelled them to drag
the plo%gh. The Col!hians #ere ama6ed; the Greeks sho%ted for
7oy. 'ason ne0t pro!eeded to so# the dragon/s teeth and plo%gh
them in. And soon the !rop of armed men sprang %p$ and #onderf%l
to relateC no sooner had they rea!hed the s%rfa!e than they -egan
to -randish their #eapons and r%sh %pon 'ason. The Greeks
trem-led for their hero$ and een she #ho had proided him a #ay
of safety and ta%ght him ho# to %se it$ &edea herself$ gre# pale
#ith fear. 'ason for a time kept his assailants at -ay #ith his
s#ord and shield$ till finding their n%m-ers oer#helming$ he
resorted to the !harm #hi!h &edea had ta%ght him$ sei6ed a stone
and thre# it in the midst of his foes. They immediately t%rned
their arms against one another$ and soon there #as not one of the
dragon/s -rood left alie. The Greeks em-ra!ed their hero$ and
&edea$ if she dared$ #o%ld hae em-ra!ed him too.
Then AEetes promised the ne0t day to gie them the flee!e$ and
the Greeks #ent 7oyf%lly do#n to the Argo #ith the hero 'ason in
their midst. .%t that night &edea !ame do#n to 'ason$ and -ade
him make haste and follo# her$ for that her father proposed the
ne0t morning to atta!k the Argona%ts and to destroy their ship.
They #ent together to the groe of &ars$ #here the golden flee!e
h%ng g%arded -y the dreadf%l dragon$ #ho glared at the hero and
his !ond%!tor #ith his great ro%nd eyes that neer slept. .%t
&edea #as prepared$ and -egan her magi! songs and spells$ and
sprinkled oer him a sleeping potion #hi!h she had prepared -y
her art. At the smell he rela0ed his rage$ stood for a moment
motionless$ then sh%t those great ro%nd eyes$ that had neer -een
kno#n to sh%t -efore$ and t%rned oer on his side$ fast asleep.
'ason sei6ed the flee!e$ and #ith his friends and &edea
a!!ompanying$ hastened to their essel$ -efore AEETES$ the king$
!o%ld arrest their depart%re$ and made the -est of their #ay -a!k
to Thessaly$ #here they arried safe$ and 'ason deliered the
flee!e to ,elias$ and dedi!ated the Argo to Nept%ne. "hat -e!ame
of the flee!e after#ards #e do not kno#$ -%t perhaps it #as
fo%nd$ after all$ like many other golden pri6es$ not #orth the
tro%-le it had !ost to pro!%re it.
This is one of those mythologi!al tales$ says a modern #riter$ in
#hi!h there is reason to -eliee that a s%-strat%m of tr%th
e0ists$ tho%gh oerlaid -y a mass of fi!tion. It pro-a-ly #as
the first important maritime e0pedition$ and like the first
attempts of the kind of all nations$ as #e kno# from history$ #as
pro-a-ly of a half)pirati!al !hara!ter. If ri!h spoils #ere the
res%lt$ it #as eno%gh to gie rise to the idea of the golden
Another s%ggestion of a learned mythologist$ .ryant$ is that it
is a !orr%pt tradition of the story of Noah and the ark. The
name Argo seems to !o%ntenan!e this$ and the in!ident of the doe
is another !onfirmation.
,ope$ in his Ode on St. Ce!elia/s Day$ th%s !ele-rates the
la%n!hing of the ship Argo$ and the po#er of the m%si! of
Orphe%s$ #hom he !alls the Thra!ian@
8So #hen the first -old essel dared the seas$
2igh on the stern the Thra!ian raised his strain$
"hile Argo sa# her kindred trees
Des!end from ,elion to the main.
Transported demigods stood ro%nd$
And men gre# heroes at the so%nd.8
In Dyer/s poem of The Flee!e there is an a!!o%nt of the ship Argo
and her !re#$ #hi!h gies a good pi!t%re of this primitie
maritime adent%re@
8From eery region of Aegea/s shore
The -rae assem-led; those ill%strio%s t#ins$
Castor and ,oll%0; Orphe%s$ t%nef%l -ard;
4etes and Calais$ as the #ind in speed;
Strong 2er!%les and many a !hief reno#ned.
On deep Iol!os/ sandy shore they thronged$
Gleaming in armor$ ardent of e0ploits;
And soon$ the la%rel !ord and the h%ge stone
9plifting to the de!k$ %nmoored the -ark;
"hose keel of #ondro%s length the skilf%l hand
Of Arg%s fashioned for the pro%d attempt;
And in the e0tended keel a lofty mast
9praised$ and sails f%ll s#elling; to the !hiefs
9n#onted o-7e!ts. No# first$ no# they learned
Their -older steerage oer o!ean #ae$
(ed -y the golden stars$ as Chiron/s art
2ad marked the sphere !elestial.8
2er!%les left the e0pedition at &ysia$ for 2ylas$ a yo%th -eloed
-y him$ haing gone for #ater$ #as laid hold of and kept -y the
nymphs of the spring$ #ho #ere fas!inated -y his -ea%ty.
2er!%les #ent in :%est of the lad$ and #hile he #as a-sent the
Argo p%t to sea and left him. &oore$ in one of his songs$ makes
a -ea%tif%l all%sion to this in!ident@
8"hen 2ylas #as sent #ith his %rn to the fo%nt$
Thro%gh fields f%ll of light and #ith heart f%ll of play$
(ight ram-led the -oy oer meado# and mo%nt$
And negle!ted his task for the flo#ers in the #ay.
8Th%s many like me$ #ho in yo%th sho%ld hae tasted
The fo%ntain that r%ns -y ,hilosophy/s shrine$
Their time #ith the flo#ers on the margin hae #asted$
And left their light %rns all as empty as mine.8
.%t 2er!%les$ as some say$ #ent on#ard to Col!his -y land$ and
there performed many mighty deeds$ and #iped a#ay the stain of
!o#ardi!e #hi!h might hae !l%ng to him.
Amid the re7oi!ings for the re!oery of the golden Flee!e$ 'ason
felt that one thing #as #anting$ the presen!e of AESON$ his
father$ #ho #as preented -y his age and infirmities from taking
part in them. 'ason said to &edea$ 8&y #ife$ I #o%ld that yo%r
arts$ #hose po#er I hae seen so mighty for my aid$ !o%ld do me
one f%rther seri!e$ and take some years from my life to add them
to my father/s.8 &edea replied$ 8Not at s%!h a !ost shall it -e
done$ -%t if my art aails me$ his life shall -e lengthened
#itho%t a-ridging yo%rs.8 The ne0t f%ll moon she iss%ed forth
alone$ #hile all !reat%res slept; not a -reath stirred the
foliage$ and all #as still. To the stars she addressed her
in!antations$ and to the moon; to 2e!ate <2e!ate #as a mysterio%s
diinity sometimes identified #ith Diana and sometimes #ith
,roserpine. As Diana represents the moonlight splendor of night$
so 2e!ate represents its darkness and terrors. She #as the
goddess of sor!ery and #it!h!raft$ and #as -elieed to #ander -y
night along the earth$ seen only -y the dogs #hose -arking told
her approa!h.=$ the goddess of the %nder#orld$ and to Tell%s$ the
goddess of the earth$ -y #hose po#er plants potent for
en!hantments are prod%!ed. She inoked the gods of the #oods and
!aerns$ of mo%ntains and alleys$ of lakes and riers$ of #inds
and apors. "hile she spoke the stars shone -righter$ and
presently a !hariot des!ended thro%gh the air$ dra#n -y flying
serpents. She as!ended it$ and$ -orne aloft$ made her #ay to
distant regions$ #here potent plants gre# #hi!h she kne# ho# to
sele!t for her p%rpose. Nine nights she employed in her sear!h$
and d%ring that time !ame not #ithin the doors of her pala!e nor
%nder any roof$ and sh%nned all inter!o%rse #ith mortals.
She ne0t ere!ted t#o altars$ the one to 2e!ate$ the other to
2e-e$ the goddess of yo%th$ and sa!rifi!ed a -la!k sheep$ po%ring
li-ations of milk and #ine. She implored ,l%to and his stolen
-ride that they #o%ld not hasten to take the old man/s life.
Then she dire!ted that AESON sho%ld -e led forth$ and haing
thro#n him into a deep sleep -y a !harm$ had him laid on a -ed of
her-s$ like one dead. 'ason and all others #ere kept a#ay from
the pla!e$ that no profane eyes might look %pon her mysteries.
Then$ #ith streaming hair$ she thri!e moed ro%nd the altars$
dipped flaming t#igs in the -lood$ and laid them thereon to -%rn.
&ean#hile the !aldron #ith its !ontents #as got ready. In it she
p%t magi! her-s$ #ith seeds and flo#ers of a!rid 7%i!e$ stones
from the distant East$ and sand from the shore of all)s%rro%nding
o!ean; hoar frost$ gathered -y moonlight$ a s!ree!h)o#l/s head
and #ings$ and the entrails of a #olf. She added fragments of
the shells of tortoises$ and the lier of stags$ animals
tena!io%s of life$ and the head and -eak of a !ro#$ that
o%tlies nine generations of men. These$ #ith many other things
#itho%t a name$ she -oiled together for her p%rposed #ork$
stirring them %p #ith a dry olie -ran!h; and -ehold$ the -ran!h
#hen taken o%t instantly -e!ame green$ and -efore long #as
!oered #ith leaes and a plentif%l gro#th of yo%ng olies; and
as the li:%or -oiled and -%--led$ and sometimes ran oer$ the
grass$ #hereer the sprinklings fell$ shot forth #ith a erd%re
like that of spring.
Seeing that all #as ready$ &edea !%t the throat of the old man
and let o%t all his -lood$ and po%red into his mo%th and into his
#o%nd the 7%i!es of her !aldron. As soon as he had !ompletely
im-i-ed them$ his hair and -eard laid -y their #hiteness and
ass%med the -la!kness of yo%th; his paleness and ema!iation #ere
gone; his eins #ere f%ll of -lood$ his lim-s of igor and
ro-%stness. AESON is ama6ed at himself$ and remem-ers that s%!h
as he no# is he #as in his yo%thf%l days$ forty years -efore.
&edea %sed her arts here for a good p%rpose$ -%t not so in
another instan!e$ #here she made them the instr%ments of reenge.
,elias$ o%r readers #ill re!olle!t$ #as the %s%rping %n!le of
'ason$ and had kept him o%t of his kingdom. 1et he m%st hae had
some good :%alities$ for his da%ghters loed him$ and #hen they
sa# #hat &edea had done for AESON$ they #ished her to do the same
for their father. &edea pretended to !onsent$ and prepared her
!aldron as -efore. At her re:%est an old sheep #as -ro%ght and
pl%nged into the !aldron. +ery soon a -leating #as heard in the
kettle$ and$ #hen the !oer #as remoed$ a lam- 7%mped forth and
ran frisking a#ay into the meado#. The da%ghters of ,elias sa#
the e0periment #ith delight$ and appointed a time for their
father to %ndergo the same operation. .%t &edea prepared her
!aldron for him in a ery different #ay. She p%t in only #ater
and a fe# simple her-s. In the night she #ith the sisters
entered the -ed)!ham-er of the old king$ #hile he and his g%ards
slept so%ndly %nder the infl%en!e of a spell !ast %pon them -y
&edea. The da%ghters stood -y the -edside #ith their #eapons
dra#n$ -%t hesitated to strike$ till &edea !hid their
irresol%tion. Then$ t%rning a#ay their fa!es and giing random
-lo#s$ they smote him #ith their #eapons. 2e$ starting from his
sleep$ !ried o%t$ 8&y da%ghters$ #hat are yo% doingB "ill yo%
kill yo%r fatherB@8 Their hearts failed them$ and the #eapons
fell from their hands$ -%t &edea str%!k him a fatal -lo#$ and
preented his saying more.
Then they pla!ed him in the !aldron$ and &edea hastened to depart
in her serpent)dra#n !hariot -efore they dis!oered her
trea!hery$ for their engean!e #o%ld hae -een terri-le. She
es!aped$ ho#eer$ -%t had little en7oyment of the fr%its of her
!rime. 'ason$ for #hom she had done so m%!h$ #ishing to marry
Cre%sa$ prin!ess of Corinth$ p%t a#ay &edea. She$ enraged at his
ingratit%de$ !alled on the gods for engean!e$ sent a poisoned
ro-e as a gift to the -ride$ and then killing her o#n !hildren$
and setting fire to the pala!e$ mo%nted her serpent)dra#n !hariot
and fled to Athens$ #here she married *ing AEge%s$ the father of
These%s; and #e shall meet her again #hen #e !ome to the
adent%res of that hero.
The in!antations of &edea #ill remind the reader of those of the
#it!hes in &a!-eth. The follo#ing lines are those #hi!h seem
most strikingly to re!all the an!ient model@
8Ro%nd a-o%t the !aldron go;
In the poisoned entrails thro#.
Fillet of a fenny snake
In the !aldron -oil and -ake;
Eye of ne#t and toe of frog$
"ool of -at and tong%e of dog.
Adder/s fork and -lind)#orm/s sting$
(i6ard/s leg and ho#let/s #ing@
&a# of raening salt)sea shark$
Root of hemlo!k digged in the dark.8
&a!-eth$ A!t I+.$ S!ene D
And again@
&a!-eth. "hat is/t yo% doB
"it!hes. A deed #itho%t a name.
There is another story of &edea almost too reolting for re!ord
een of a sor!eress$ a !lass of persons to #hom -oth an!ient and
modern poets hae -een a!!%stomed to attri-%te eery degree of
atro!ity. In her flight from Col!his she had taken her yo%ng
-rother A-syrt%s #ith her. Finding the p%rs%ing essels of
AEETES gaining %pon the Argona%ts$ she !a%sed the lad to -e
killed and his lim-s to -e stre#n oer the sea. AEETES on
rea!hing the pla!e fo%nd these sorro#f%l tra!es of his m%rdered
son; -%t #hile he tarried to !olle!t the s!attered fragments and
-esto# %pon them an honora-le interment$ the Argona%ts es!aped.
In the poems of Camp-ell #ill -e fo%nd a translation of one of
the !hor%ses of the tragedy of &edea$ #here the poet E%ripides
has taken adantage of the o!!asion to pay a glo#ing tri-%te to
Athens$ his natie !ity. It -egins th%s@
8Oh$ haggard :%eenC To Athens dost tho% g%ide
Thy glo#ing !hariot$ steeped in kindred gore;
Or seek to hide thy damned parri!ide
"here ,ea!e and '%sti!e d#ell for eermoreB8
The sear!h for the Golden Flee!e #as %ndertaken -y 'ason$ aided
-y heroes from all Gree!e$ or 2ellas as it #as then !alled. It
#as the first of their !ommon %ndertakings #hi!h made the Greeks
feel that they #ere in tr%th one nation$ tho%gh split %p into
many small kingdoms. Another of their great gatherings #as for
the Calydonian 2%nt$ and another$ the greatest and most famo%s of
all$ for the Tro7an "ar.
The hero of the :%est for the golden Flee!e #as 'ason. "ith the
other heroes of the Greeks$ he #as present at the Calydonian
2%nt. .%t the !hief hero #as &eleager$ the son of OEne%s$ king
of Calydon$ and Althea$ his :%een.
Althea$ #hen her son #as -orn$ -eheld the three Destinies$ #ho$
as they sp%n their fatal thread$ foretold that the life of the
!hild sho%ld last no longer than a -rand then -%rning %pon the
hearth. Althea sei6ed and :%en!hed the -rand$ and !aref%lly
presered it for years$ #hile &eleager gre# to -oyhood$ yo%th$
and manhood. It !han!ed$ then$ that OEne%s$ as he offered
sa!rifi!es to the gods$ omitted to pay d%e honors to Diana$ and
she$ indignant at the negle!t$ sent a #ild -oar of enormo%s si6e
to lay #aste the files of Calydon. Its eyes shone #ith -lood and
fire$ its -ristles stood like threatening spears$ its t%sks #ere
like those of Indian elephants. The gro#ing !orn #as trampled$
the ines and olie trees laid #aste$ the flo!ks and herds #ere
drien in #ild !onf%sion -y the sla%ghtering foe. All !ommon aid
seemed ain; -%t &eleager !alled on the heroes of Gree!e to 7oin
in a -old h%nt for the raeno%s monster. These%s and his friend
,iritho%s$ 'ason$ ,ele%s after#ards the father of A!hilles$
Telamon the father of A7a0$ Nestor$ then a yo%th$ -%t #ho in his
age -ore arms #ith A!hilles and A7a0 in the Tro7an #ar$ these
and many more 7oined in the enterprise. "ith them !ame Atalanta$
the da%ghter of Iasi%s$ king of Ar!adia. A -%!kle of polished
gold !onfined her est$ an iory :%ier h%ng on her left
sho%lder$ and her left hand -ore the -o#. 2er fa!e -lent
feminine -ea%ty #ith the -est gra!es of martial yo%th. &eleager
sa# and loed.
.%t no# already they #ere near the monster/s lair. They
stret!hed strong nets from tree to tree; they %n!o%pled their
dogs$ they tried to find the footprints of their :%arry in the
grass. From the #ood #as a des!ent to marshy gro%nd. 2ere the
-oar$ as he lay among the reeds$ heard the sho%ts of his
p%rs%ers$ and r%shed forth against them. One and another is
thro#n do#n and slain. 'ason thro#s his spear #ith a prayer to
Diana for s%!!ess; and the faoring goddess allo#s the #eapon to
to%!h$ -%t not to #o%nd$ remoing the steel point of the spear
een in its flight. Nestor$ assailed$ seeks and finds safety in
the -ran!hes of a tree. Telamon r%shes on$ -%t st%m-ling at a
pro7e!ting root$ falls prone. .%t an arro# from Atalanta at
length for the first time tastes the monster/s -lood. It is a
slight #o%nd$ -%t &eleager sees and 7oyf%lly pro!laims it.
An!e%s$ e0!ited to eny -y the praise gien to a female$ lo%dly
pro!laims his o#n alor$ and defies alike the -oar and the
goddess #ho had sent it; -%t as he r%shes on$ the inf%riated
-east lays him lo# #ith a mortal #o%nd. These%s thro#s his
lan!e$ -%t it is t%rned aside -y a pro7e!ting -o%gh. The dart of
'ason misses its o-7e!t$ and kills instead one of their o#n dogs.
.%t &eleager$ after one %ns%!!essf%l stroke$ dries his spear
into the monsters side$ then r%shes on and despat!hes him #ith
repeated -lo#s.
Then rose a sho%t from those aro%nd; they !ongrat%lated the
!on:%eror$ !ro#ding to to%!h his hand. 2e$ pla!ing his foot %pon
the slain -oar$ t%rned to Atalanta and -esto#ed on her the head
and the ro%gh hide #hi!h #ere the trophies of his s%!!ess. .%t
at this$ eny e0!ited the rest to strife. ,hle0ipp%s and To0e%s$
the %n!les of &eleager and Althea/s -rothers$ -eyond the rest
opposed the gift$ and snat!hed from the maiden the trophy she had
re!eied. &eleager$ kindling #ith rage at the #rong done to
himself$ and still more at the ins%lt offered to her #hom he
loed$ forgot the !laims of kindred$ and pl%nged his s#ord into
the offenders/ hearts.
As Althea -ore gifts of thankf%lness to the temples for the
i!tory of her son$ the -odies of her m%rdered -rothers met her
sight. She shrieks$ and -eats her -reast$ and hastens to !hange
the garments of re7oi!ing for those of mo%rning. .%t #hen the
a%thor of the deed is kno#n$ grief gies #ay to the stern desire
of engean!e on her son. The fatal -rand$ #hi!h on!e she res!%ed
from the flames$ the -rand #hi!h the Destinies had linked #ith
&eleager/s life$ she -rings forth$ and !ommands a fire to -e
prepared. Then fo%r times she essays to pla!e the -rand %pon the
pile; fo%r times dra#s -a!k$ sh%ddering at the tho%ght of
-ringing destr%!tion on her son. The feelings of the mother and
the sister !ontend #ithin her. No# she is pale at the tho%ght of
the p%rposed deed$ no# fl%shed again #ith anger at the a!t of her
son. As a essel$ drien in one dire!tion -y the #ind$ and in
the opposite -y the tide$ the mind of Althea hangs s%spended in
%n!ertainty. .%t no# the sister preails a-oe the mother$ and
she -egins as she holds the fatal #ood@ 8T%rn$ ye F%ries$
goddesses of p%nishmentC T%rn to -ehold the sa!rifi!e I -ringC
Crime m%st atone for !rime. Shall OEne%s re7oi!e in his i!tor
son$ #hile the ho%se of Thesti%s <Thesti%s #as father of To0e%s$
,hle0ipp%s and Althea= is desolateB .%t$ alasC To #hat deed am I
-orne alongB .rothers$ forgie a mother/s #eaknessC &y hand
fails me. 2e deseres death$ -%t not that I sho%ld destroy him.
.%t shall he then lie$ and tri%mph$ and reign oer Calydon$
#hile yo%$ my -rothers$ #ander %naenged among the shadesB NoC
Tho% has lied -y my gift; die$ no#$ for thine o#n !rime. Ret%rn
the life #hi!h t#i!e I gae thee$ first at thy -irth$ again #hen
I snat!hed this -rand from the flames. O that tho% hadst then
diedC AlasC Eil is the !on:%est; -%t$ -rothers$ ye hae
!on:%ered.8 And$ t%rning a#ay her fa!e$ she thre# the fatal #ood
%pon the -%rning pile.
It gae$ or seemed to gie$ a deadly groan. &eleager$ a-sent and
%nkno#ing of the !a%se$ felt a s%dden pang. 2e -%rns and only -y
!o%rageo%s pride !on:%ers the pain #hi!h destroys him. 2e mo%rns
only that he perishes -y a -loodless and %nhonored death. "ith
his last -reath he !alls %pon his aged father$ his -rother$ and
his fond sisters$ %pon his -eloed Atalanta$ and %pon his mother$
the %nkno#n !a%se of his fate. The flames in!rease$ and #ith
them the pain of the hero. No# -oth s%-side; no# -oth are
:%en!hed. The -rand is ashes and the life of &eleager is
-reathed forth to the #andering #inds.
Althea$ #hen the deed #as done$ laid iolent hands %pon herself.
The sisters of &eleager mo%rned their -rother #ith %n!ontrolla-le
grief; till Diana$ pitying the sorro#s of the ho%se that on!e had
aro%sed her anger$ t%rned them into -irds.
The inno!ent !a%se of so m%!h sorro# #as a maiden #hose fa!e yo%
might tr%ly say #as -oyish for a girl$ yet too girlish for a -oy.
2er fort%ne had -een told$ and it #as to this effe!t@ 8Atalanta$
do not marry; marriage #ill -e yo%r r%in.8 Terrified -y this
ora!le$ she fled the so!iety of men$ and deoted herself to the
sports of the !hase. To all s%itors <for she had many= she
imposed a !ondition #hi!h #as generally effe!t%al in relieing
her of their perse!%tions@ 8I #ill -e the pri6e of him #ho
shall !on:%er me in the ra!e; -%t death m%st -e the penalty of
all #ho try and fail.8 In spite of this hard !ondition some
#o%ld try. 2ippomenes #as to -e 7%dge of the ra!e. 8Can it -e
possi-le that any #ill -e so rash as to risk so m%!h for a #ifeB8
said he. .%t #hen he sa# her lay aside her ro-e for the ra!e$ he
!hanged his mind$ and said$ 8,ardon me$ yo%ths$ I kne# not the
pri6e yo% #ere !ompeting for.8 As he s%reyed them he #ished them
all to -e -eaten$ and s#elled #ith eny of any one that seemed at
all likely to #in. "hile s%!h #ere his tho%ghts$ the irgin
darted for#ard. As she ran$ she looked more -ea%tif%l than eer.
The -ree6es seemed to gie #ings to her feet; her hair fle# oer
her sho%lders$ and the gay fringe of her garment fl%ttered -ehind
her. A r%ddy h%e tinged the #hiteness of her skin$ s%!h as a
!rimson !%rtain !asts on a mar-le #all. All her !ompetitors #ere
distan!ed$ and #ere p%t to death #itho%t mer!y. 2ippomenes$ not
da%nted -y this res%lt$ fi0ing his eyes on the irgin$ said$ 8"hy
-oast of -eating those laggardsB I offer myself for the
!ontest.8 Atalanta looked at him #ith a pitying !o%ntenan!e$ and
hardly kne# #hether she #o%ld rather !on:%er him or not. 8"hat
god !an tempt one so yo%ng and handsome to thro# himself a#ayB I
pity him$ not for his -ea%ty <yet he is -ea%tif%l=$ -%t for his
yo%th. I #ish he #o%ld gie %p the ra!e$ or if he #ill -e so
mad$ I hope he may o%tr%n me.8 "hile she hesitates$ reoling
these tho%ghts$ the spe!tators gro# impatient for the ra!e$ and
her father prompts her to prepare. Then 2ippomenes addressed a
prayer to +en%s; 82elp me$ +en%s$ for yo% hae led me on8 +en%s
heard$ and #as propitio%s.
In the garden of her temple$ in her o#n island of Cypr%s$ is a
tree #ith yello# leaes and yello# -ran!hes$ and golden fr%it.
2en!e +en%s gathered three golden apples$ and$ %nseen -y all
else$ gae them to 2ippomenes$ and told him ho# to %se them. The
signal is gien; ea!h starts from the goal$ and skims oer the
sand. So light their tread$ yo% #o%ld almost hae tho%ght they
might r%n oer the rier s%rfa!e or oer the #aing grain #itho%t
sinking. The !ries of the spe!tators !heered on 2ippomenes@
8No#$ no# do yo%r -estC 2aste$ hasteC 1o% gain on herC Rela0
notC One more effortC8 It #as do%-tf%l #hether the yo%th or the
maiden heard these !ries #ith the greater pleas%re. .%t his
-reath -egan to fail him$ his throat #as dry$ the goal yet far
off. At that moment he thre# do#n one of the golden apples. The
irgin #as all ama6ement. She stopped to pi!k it %p. 2ippomenes
shot ahead. Sho%ts -%rst forth from all sides. She redo%-led
her efforts$ and soon oertook him. Again he thre# an apple.
She stopped again$ -%t again !ame %p #ith him. The goal #as
near; one !han!e only remained. 8No#$ goddess$8 said he$
8prosper yo%r giftC8 and thre# the last apple off at one side.
She looked at it$ and hesitated; +en%s impelled her to t%rn aside
for it. She did so$ and #as an:%ished. The yo%th !arried off
his pri6e.
.%t the loers #ere so f%ll of their o#n happiness that they
forgot to pay d%e honor to +en%s; and the goddess #as prooked at
their ingratit%de. She !a%sed them to gie offen!e to Cy-ele.
That po#erf%l goddess #as not to -e ins%lted #ith imp%nity. She
took from them their h%man form and t%rned them into animals of
!hara!ters resem-ling their o#n@ of the h%ntress)heroine$
tri%mphing in the -lood of her loers$ she made a lioness$ and of
her lord and master a lion$ and yoked them to her ear$ there they
are still to -e seen in all representations$ in stat%ary or
painting$ of the goddess Cy-ele.
Cy-ele is the (atin name of the goddess !alled -y the Greeks Rhea
and Ops. She #as the #ife of Cronos and mother of 4e%s. In
#orks of art$ she e0hi-its the matronly air #hi!h disting%ishes
'%no and Ceres. Sometimes she is eiled$ and seated on a throne
#ith lions at her side$ at other times riding in a !hariot dra#n
-y lions. She sometimes #ears a m%ral !ro#n$ that is$ a !ro#n
#hose rim is !ared in the form of to#ers and -attlements. 2er
priests #ere !alled Cory-antes.
.yron in des!ri-ing the !ity of +eni!e$ #hi!h is -%ilt on a lo#
island in the Adriati! Sea$ -orro#s an ill%stration from Cy-ele@
8She looks a sea)Cy-ele fresh from o!ean$
Rising #ith her tiara of pro%d to#ers
At airy distan!e$ #ith ma7esti! motion$
A r%ler of the #aters and their po#ers.8
Childe 2arold$ I+
In &oore/s Rhymes on the Road$ the poet$ speaking of Alpine
s!enery$ all%des to the story of Atalanta and 2ippomenes$ th%s@
8Een here$ in this region of #onders$ I find
That light)footed Fan!y leaes Tr%th far -ehind$
Or at least$ like 2ippomenes$ t%rns her astray
.y the golden ill%sions he flings in her #ay.8
Chapter 5II
2er!%les. 2e-e and Ganymede
2er!%les <in Greek$ 2era!les= #as the son of '%piter and Alemena.
As '%no #as al#ays hostile to the offspring of her h%s-and -y
mortal mothers$ she de!lared #ar against 2er!%les from his -irth.
She sent t#o serpents to destroy him as he lay in his !radle$ -%t
the pre!o!io%s infant strangled them #ith his o#n hands. <On
this a!!o%nt the infant 2er!%les #as made the type of infant
Ameri!a$ -y Dr. Franklin$ and the Fren!h artists #hom he employed
in the Ameri!an Reol%tion. 2oratio Greeno%gh has pla!ed a -as)
relief of the Infant 2er!%les on the pedestal of his stat%e of
"ashington$ #hi!h stands in front of the Capitol.= 2e #as
ho#eer -y the arts of '%no rendered s%-7e!t to his !o%sin
E%rysthe%s and !ompelled to perform all his !ommands. E%rysthe%s
en7oined %pon him a s%!!ession of desperate adent%res$ #hi!h are
!alled the t#ele 8(a-ors of 2er!%les.8 The first #as the fight
#ith the Nemean lion. The alley of Nemea #as infested -y a
terri-le lion. E%rysthe%s ordered 2er!%les to -ring him the skin
of this monster. After %sing in ain his !l%- and arro#s against
the lion$ 2er!%les strangled the animal #ith his hands. 2e
ret%rned !arrying the dead lion on his sho%lders; -%t E%rysthe%s
#as so frightened at the sight of it and at this proof of the
prodigio%s strength of the hero$ that he ordered him to delier
the a!!o%nt of his e0ploits in f%t%re o%tside the to#n.
2is ne0t la-or #as to sla%ghter the 2ydra. This monster raaged
the !o%ntry of Argos$ and d#elt in a s#amp near the #ell of
Amymone$ of #hi!h the story is that #hen the !o%ntry #as
s%ffering from dro%ght$ Nept%ne$ #ho loed her$ had permitted her
to to%!h the ro!k #ith his trident$ and a spring of three o%tlets
-%rst forth. 2ere the 2ydra took %p his position$ and 2er!%les
#as sent to destroy him. The 2ydra had nine heads$ of #hi!h the
middle one #as immortal. 2er!%les str%!k off its head #ith his
!l%-$ -%t in the pla!e of the head kno!ked off$ t#o ne# ones gre#
forth ea!h time. At length #ith the assistan!e of his faithf%l
serant Iola%s$ he -%rned a#ay the heads of the 2ydra$ and -%ried
the ninth or immortal one %nder a h%ge ro!k.
Another la-or #as the !leaning of the A%gean sta-les. A%geas$
king of Elis$ had a herd of three tho%sand o0en$ #hose stalls had
not -een !leansed for thirty years. 2er!%les -ro%ght the riers
Alphe%s and ,ene%s thro%gh them$ and !leansed them thoro%ghly in
one day.
2is ne0t la-or #as of a more deli!ate kind. Admeta$ the da%ghter
of E%rysthe%s$ longed to o-tain the girdle of the :%een of the
Ama6ons$ and E%rysthe%s ordered 2er!%les to go and get it. The
Ama6ons #ere a nation of #omen. They #ere ery #arlike and held
seeral flo%rishing !ities. It #as their !%stom to -ring %p only
the female !hildren; the -oys #ere either sent a#ay to the
neigh-oring nations or p%t to death. 2er!%les #as a!!ompanied -y
a n%m-er of ol%nteers$ and after ario%s adent%res at last
rea!hed the !o%ntry of the Ama6ons. 2ippolyta$ the :%een$
re!eied him kindly$ and !onsented to yield him her girdle; -%t
'%no$ taking the form of an Ama6on$ #ent among the other Ama6ons
and pers%aded them that the strangers #ere !arrying off their
:%een. The Ama6ons instantly armed and !ame in great n%m-ers
do#n to the ship. 2er!%les$ thinking that 2ippolyta had a!ted
trea!hero%sly$ sle# her$ and taking her girdle$ made sail
Another task en7oined him #as to -ring to E%rysthe%s the o0en of
Geryon$ a monster #ith three -odies #ho d#elt in the island
Erytheia <the red=$ so !alled -e!a%se it lay at the #est$ %nder
the rays of the setting s%n. This des!ription is tho%ght to
apply to Spain$ of #hi!h Geryon #as said to -e king. After
traersing ario%s !o%ntries$ 2er!%les rea!hed at length the
frontiers of (i-ya and E%rope$ #here he raised the t#o mo%ntains
of Calpe and A-yla$ as mon%ments of his progress$ or a!!ording to
another a!!o%nt rent one mo%ntain into t#o and left half on ea!h
side$ forming the Straits of Gi-raltar$ the t#o mo%ntains -eing
!alled the ,illars of 2er!%les. The o0en #ere g%arded -y the
giant E%rytion and his t#o)headed dog$ -%t 2er!%les killed the
giant and his dog and -ro%ght a#ay the o0en in safety to
The most diffi!%lt la-or of all #as -ringing the golden apples of
the 2esperides$ for 2er!%les did not kno# #here to find them.
These #ere the apples #hi!h '%no had re!eied at her #edding from
the goddess of the Earth$ and #hi!h she had intr%sted to the
keeping of the da%ghters of 2esperis$ assisted -y a #at!hf%l
dragon. After ario%s adent%res 2er!%les arried at &o%nt Atlas
in Afri!a. Atlas #as one of the Titans #ho had #arred against
the gods$ and after they #ere s%-d%ed$ Atlas #as !ondemned to
-ear on his sho%lders the #eight of the heaens. 2e #as the
father of the 2esperides$ and 2er!%les tho%ght$ might$ if any one
!o%ld$ find the apples and -ring them to him. .%t ho# to send
Atlas a#ay from his post$ or -ear %p the heaens #hile he #as
goneB 2er!%les took the -%rden on his o#n sho%lders$ and sent
Atlas to seek the apples. 2e ret%rned #ith them$ and tho%gh
some#hat rel%!tantly$ took his -%rden %pon his sho%lders again$
and let 2er!%les ret%rn #ith the apples to E%rysthe%s. <2er!%les
#as a des!endant of ,erse%s. ,erse%s !hanged Atlas to stone.
2o# !o%ld 2er!%les take his pla!eB This is only one of the many
ana!hronisms fo%nd in an!ient mythology.=
&ilton in his Com%s makes the 2esperides the da%ghters of
2esper%s$ and nie!es of Atlas@
8))))) amidst the gardens fair
Of 2esper%s and his da%ghters three$
That sing a-o%t the golden tree.8
The poets$ led -y the analogy of the loely appearan!e of the
#estern sky at s%nset$ ie#ed the #est as a region of -rightness
and glory. 2en!e they pla!ed in it the Isles of the -lest$ the
r%ddy isle Erytheia$ on #hi!h the -right o0en of Geryon #ere
past%red$ and the isle of the 2esperides. The apples are
s%pposed -y some to -e the oranges of Spain$ of #hi!h the Greeks
had heard some o-s!%re a!!o%nts.
A !ele-rated e0ploit of 2er!%les #as his i!tory oer Antae%s.
Antae%s$ the son of Terra <the Earth= #as a mighty giant and
#restler$ #hose strength #as inin!i-le so long as he remained in
!onta!t #ith his mother Earth. 2e !ompelled all strangers #ho
!ame to his !o%ntry to #restle #ith him$ on !ondition that if
!on:%ered <as they all #ere=$ they sho%ld -e p%t to death.
2er!%les en!o%ntered him$ and finding that it #as of no aail to
thro# him$ for he al#ays rose #ith rene#ed strength from eery
fall$ he lifted him %p from the earth and strangled him in the
Ca!%s #as a h%ge giant$ #ho inha-ited a !ae on &o%nt Aentine
<one of the seen hills of Rome=$ and pl%ndered the s%rro%nding
!o%ntry. "hen 2er!%les #as driing home the o0en of Geryon$
Ca!%s stole part of the !attle$ #hile the hero slept. That their
foot)prints might not sere to sho# #here they had -een drien$
he dragged them -a!k#ard -y their tails to his !ae; so their
tra!ks all seemed to sho# that they had gone in the opposite
dire!tion. 2er!%les #as de!eied -y this stratagem$ and #o%ld
hae failed to find his o0en$ if it had not happened that in
driing the remainder of the herd past the !ae #here the stolen
ones #ere !on!ealed$ those #ithin -egan to lo#$ and #ere th%s
dis!oered. Ca!%s #as slain -y 2er!%les.
The last e0ploit #e shall re!ord #as -ringing Cer-er%s from the
lo#er #orld. 2er!%les des!ended into 2ades$ a!!ompanied -y
&er!%ry and &inera. 2e o-tained permission from ,l%to to !arry
Cer-er%s to the %pper air$ proided he !o%ld do it #itho%t the
%se of #eapons; and in spite of the monster/s str%ggling he
sei6ed him$ held him fast$ and !arried him to E%rysthe%s$ and
after#ards -ro%ght him -a!k again. "hen he #as in 2ades he
o-tained the li-erty of These%s$ his admirer and imitator$ #ho
had -een detained a prisoner there for an %ns%!!essf%l attempt to
!arry off ,roserpine.
2er!%les in a fit of madness killed his friend Iphit%s and #as
!ondemned for this offen!e to -e!ome the slae of 3%een Omphale
for three years. "hile in this seri!e the hero/s nat%re seemed
!hanged. 2e lied effeminately$ #earing at times the dress of a
#oman$ and spinning #ool #ith the handmaidens of Omphale$ #hile
the :%een #ore his lion/s skin. "hen this seri!e #as ended he
married De7anira and lied in pea!e #ith her three years. On one
o!!asion as he #as traelling #ith his #ife$ they !ame to a
rier$ a!ross #hi!h the Centa%r Ness%s !arried traellers for a
stated fee. 2er!%les himself forded the rier$ -%t gae De7anira
to Ness%s to -e !arried a!ross. Ness%s attempted to r%n a#ay
#ith her$ -%t 2er!%les heard her !ries$ and shot an arro# into
the heart of Ness%s. The dying Centa%r told De7anira to take a
portion of his -lood and keep it$ as it might -e %sed as a !harm
to presere the loe of her h%s-and.
De7anira did so$ and -efore long fan!ied she had o!!asion to %se
it. 2er!%les in one of his !on:%ests had taken prisoner a fair
maiden$ named Iole$ of #hom he seemed more fond than De7anira
approed. "hen 2er!%les #as a-o%t to offer sa!rifi!es to the
gods in honor of his i!tory$ he sent to his #ife for a #hite
ro-e to %se on the o!!asion. De7anira$ thinking it a good
opport%nity to try her loe)spell$ steeped the garment in the
-lood of Ness%s. "e are to s%ppose she took !are to #ash o%t all
tra!es of it$ -%t the magi! po#er remained$ and as soon as the
garment -e!ame #arm on the -ody of 2er!%les$ the poison
penetrated into all his lim-s and !a%sed him the most intense
agony. In his fren6y he sei6ed (i!has$ #ho had -ro%ght him the
fatal ro-e$ and h%rled him into the sea. 2e #ren!hed off the
garment$ -%t it st%!k to his flesh$ and #ith it he tore a#ay
#hole pie!es of his -ody. In this state he em-arked on -oard a
ship and #as !oneyed home. De7anira on seeing #hat she had
%n#ittingly done$ h%ng herself. 2er!%les$ prepared to die$
as!ended &o%nt OEta$ #here he -%ilt a f%neral pile of trees$ gae
his -o# and arro#s to ,hilo!tetes$ and laid himself do#n on the
pile$ his head resting on his !l%-$ and his lion/s skin spread
oer him. "ith a !o%ntenan!e as serene as if he #ere taking his
pla!e at a festal -oard$ he !ommanded ,hilo!tetes to apply the
tor!h. The flames spread apa!e and soon inested the #hole mass.
&ilton th%s all%des to the fren6y of 2er!%les@
8As #hen Al!ides <Al!ides$ a name of 2er!%les; the #ord means
8des!endant of Al!ae%s8=$ from OE!halia !ro#ned
"ith !on:%est$ felt the enenomed ro-e$ and tore$
Thro%gh pain$ %p -y the roots Thessalian pines
And (i!has from the top of OEta thre#
Into the E%-oi! Sea.8
The gods themseles felt tro%-led at seeing the !hampion of the
earth so -ro%ght to his end; -%t '%piter #ith !heerf%l
!o%ntenan!e th%s addressed them; 8I am pleased to see yo%r
!on!ern$ my prin!es$ and am gratified to per!eie that I am the
r%ler of a loyal people$ and that my son en7oys yo%r faor. For
altho%gh yo%r interest in him arises from his no-le deeds$ yet it
is not the less gratifying to me. .%t no# I say to yo%$ Fear
not. 2e #ho !on:%ered all else is not to -e !on:%ered -y those
flames #hi!h yo% see -la6ing on &o%nt OEta. Only his mother/s
share in him !an perish; #hat he deried from me is immortal. I
shall take him$ dead to earth$ to the heaenly shores$ and I
re:%ire of yo% all to re!eie him kindly. If any of yo% feel
grieed at his attaining this honor$ yet no one !an deny that he
has desered it.8 The gods all gae their assent; '%no only
heard the !losing #ords #ith some displeas%re that she sho%ld -e
so parti!%larly pointed at$ yet not eno%gh to make her regret the
determination of her h%s-and. So #hen the flames had !ons%med
the mother/s share of 2er!%les$ the diiner part$ instead of
-eing in7%red there-y$ seemed to start forth #ith ne# igor$ to
ass%me a more lofty port and a more a#f%l dignity. '%piter
eneloped him in a !lo%d$ and took him %p in a fo%r)horse !hariot
to d#ell among the stars. As he took his pla!e in heaen$ Atlas
felt the added #eight.
'%no$ no# re!on!iled to him$ gae him her da%ghter 2e-e in
The poet S!hiller$ in one of his pie!es !alled the Ideal and
(ife$ ill%strates the !ontrast -et#een the pra!ti!al and the
imaginatie in some -ea%tif%l stan6as$ of #hi!h the last t#o may
-e th%s translated@
8Deep degraded to a !o#ard/s slae$
Endless !ontests -ore Al!ides -rae$
Thro%gh the thorny path of s%ffering led;
Sle# the 2ydra$ !r%shed the lion/s might$
Thre# himself$ to -ring his friend to light$
(iing$ in the skiff that -ears the dead.
All the torments$ eery toil of earth
'%no/s hatred on him !o%ld impose$
"ell he -ore them$ from his fated -irth
To life/s grandly mo%rnf%l !lose.
Till the god$ the earthly part forsaken$
JFrom the man in flames as%nder taken$
Drank the heaenly ether/s p%rer -reath.
'oyo%s in the ne# %n#onted lightness$
Soared he %p#ards to !elestial -rightness$
Earth/s dark heay -%rden lost in death.
2igh Olymp%s gies harmonio%s greeting
To the hall #here reigns his sire adored;
1o%th/s -right goddess$ #ith a -l%sh at meeting$
Gies the ne!tar to her lord.8
S. G. .%lfin!h
2e-e$ the da%ghter of '%no$ and goddess of yo%th$ #as !%p-earer
to the gods. The %s%al story is$ that she resigned her offi!e on
-e!oming the #ife of 2er!%les. .%t there is another statement
#hi!h o%r !o%ntryman Cra#ford$ the s!%lptor$ has adopted in his
gro%p of 2e-e and Ganymede$ no# in the gallery of the .oston
Athenae%m. A!!ording to this$ 2e-e #as dismissed from her offi!e
in !onse:%en!e of a fall #hi!h she met #ith one day #hen in
attendan!e on the gods. 2er s%!!essor #as Ganymede$ a Tro7an -oy
#hom '%piter$ in the disg%ise of an eagle$ sei6ed and !arried off
from the midst of his playfello#s on &o%nt Ida$ -ore %p to
heaen$ and installed in the a!ant pla!e.
Tennyson$ in his ,ala!e of Art$ des!ri-es among the de!orations
on the #alls$ a pi!t%re representing this legend@
8There$ too$ fl%shed Ganymede his rosy thigh
2alf -%ried in the eagle/s do#n$
Sole as a flying star shot thro%gh the sky
A-oe the pillared to#n.8
And in Shelley/s ,romethe%s$ '%piter !alls to his !%p)-earer
8,o%r forth heaen/s #ine$ Idaean Ganymede$
And let it fill the Daedal !%ps like fire.8
The -ea%tif%l legend of the Choi!e of 2er!%les may -e fo%nd in
the Tatler$ No. KM. The same story is told in the &emora-ilia of
Chapter 5III
These%s. Daedal%s. Castor and ,oll%0
These%s #as the son of AEge%s$ king of Athens$ and of Aethra$
da%ghter of the king of Troe6ene. 2e #as -ro%ght %p at Troe6ene$
and$ #hen arried at manhood$ #as to pro!eed to Athens and
present himself to his father. AEge%s$ on parting from Aethra$
-efore the -irth of his son$ pla!ed his s#ord and shoes %nder a
large stone$ and dire!ted her to send his son to him #hen he
-e!ame strong eno%gh to roll a#ay the stone and take them from
%nder it. "hen she tho%ght the time had !ome$ his mother led
These%s to the stone$ and he remoed it #ith ease$ and took the
s#ord and shoes. As the roads #ere infested #ith ro--ers$ his
grandfather pressed him earnestly to take the shorter and safer
#ay to his father/s !o%ntry$ -y sea; -%t the yo%th$ feeling in
himself the spirit and the so%l of a hero$ and eager to signali6e
himself like 2er!%les$ #ith #hose fame all Gree!e then rang$ -y
destroying the eil)doers and monsters that oppressed the
!o%ntry$ determined on the more perilo%s and adent%ro%s 7o%rney
-y land.
2is first day/s 7o%rney -ro%ght him to Epida%r%s$ #here d#elt a
man named ,eriphetes$ a son of +%l!an. This fero!io%s saage
al#ays #ent armed #ith a !l%- of iron$ and all traellers stood
in terror of his iolen!e. "hen he sa# These%s approa!h$ he
assailed him$ -%t speedily fell -eneath the -lo#s of the yo%ng
hero$ #ho took possession of his !l%-$ and -ore it eer
after#ards as a memorial of his first i!tory.
Seeral similar !ontests #ith the petty tyrants and mara%ders of
the !o%ntry follo#ed$ in all of #hi!h These%s #as i!torio%s.
One of these eil)doers #as !alled ,ro!r%stes$ or the Stret!her.
2e had an iron -edstead$ on #hi!h he %sed to tie all traellers
#ho fell into his hands. If they #ere shorter than the -ed$ he
stret!hed their lim-s to make them fit it; if they #ere longer
than the -ed$ he lopped off a portion. These%s sered him as he
had sered others.
2aing oer!ome all the perils of the road$ These%s at length
rea!hed Athens$ #here ne# dangers a#aited him. &edea$ the
sor!eress$ #ho had fled from Corinth after her separation from
'ason$ had -e!ome the #ife of AEge%s$ the father of These%s.
*no#ing -y her arts #ho he #as$ and fearing the loss of her
infl%en!e #ith her h%s-and$ if These%s sho%ld -e a!kno#ledged as
his son$ she filled the mind of AEge%s #ith s%spi!ions of the
yo%ng stranger$ and ind%!ed him to present him a !%p of poison;
-%t at the moment #hen These%s stepped for#ard to take it$ the
sight of the s#ord #hi!h he #ore dis!oered to his father #ho he
#as$ and preented the fatal dra%ght. &edea$ dete!ted in her
arts$ fled on!e more from desered p%nishment$ and arried in
Asia$ #here the !o%ntry after#ards !alled &edia re!eied its name
from her. These%s #as a!kno#ledged -y his father$ and de!lared
his s%!!essor.
The Athenians #ere at that time in deep affli!tion$ on a!!o%nt of
the tri-%te #hi!h they #ere for!ed to pay to &inos$ king of
Crete. This tri-%te !onsisted of seen yo%ths and seen maidens$
#ho #ere sent eery year to -e deo%red -y the &inota%r$ a
monster #ith a -%ll/s -ody and a h%man head. It #as e0!eedingly
strong and fier!e$ and #as kept in a la-yrinth !onstr%!ted -y
Daedal%s$ so artf%lly !ontried that #hoeer #as en!losed in it
!o%ld -y no means find his #ay o%t %nassisted. 2ere the &inota%r
roamed$ and #as fed #ith h%man i!tims.
These%s resoled to delier his !o%ntrymen from this !alamity$ or
to die in the attempt. A!!ordingly$ #hen the time of sending off
the tri-%te !ame$ and the yo%ths and maidens #ere$ a!!ording to
!%stom$ dra#n -y lot to -e sent$ he offered himself as one of the
i!tims$ in spite of the entreaties of his father. The ship
departed %nder -la!k sails$ as %s%al$ #hi!h These%s promised his
father to !hange for #hite$ in !ase of his ret%rning i!torio%s.
"hen they arried in Crete$ the yo%ths and maidens #ere e0hi-ited
-efore &inos; and Ariadne$ the da%ghter of the king$ -eing
present$ -e!ame deeply enamored of These%s$ -y #hom her loe #as
readily ret%rned. She f%rnished him #ith a s#ord$ #ith #hi!h to
en!o%nter the &inota%r$ and #ith a !le# of thread -y #hi!h he
might find his #ay o%t of the la-yrinth. 2e #as s%!!essf%l$ sle#
the &inota%r$ es!aped from the la-yrinth$ and taking Ariadne as
the !ompanion of his #ay$ #ith his res!%ed !ompanions sailed for
Athens. On their #ay they stopped at the island of Na0os$ #here
These%s a-andoned Ariadne$ leaing her asleep. For &inera had
appeared to These%s in a dream$ and #arned him that Ariadne #as
destined to -e the #ife of .a!!h%s$ the #ine)god. <One of the
finest pie!es of s!%lpt%re in Italy$ the re!%m-ent Ariadne of the
+ati!an$ represents this in!ident. A !opy is in the Athenae%m
gallery$ .oston. The !ele-rated stat%e of Ariadne$ -y Danneker$
represents her as riding on the tiger of .a!!h%s$ at a some#hat
later period of her story.=
On approa!hing the !oast of Atti!a$ These%s$ intent on Ariadne$
forgot the signal appointed -y his father$ and negle!ted to raise
the #hite sails$ and the old king$ thinking his son had perished$
p%t an end to his o#n life. These%s th%s -e!ame king of Athens.
One of the most !ele-rated of the adent%res of These%s is his
e0pedition against the Ama6ons. 2e assailed them -efore they had
re!oered from the atta!k of 2er!%les$ and !arried off their
:%een$ Antiope. The Ama6ons in their t%rn inaded the !o%ntry of
Athens and penetrated into the !ity itself; and the final -attle
in #hi!h These%s oer!ame them #as fo%ght in the ery midst of
the !ity. This -attle #as one of the faorite s%-7e!ts of the
an!ient s!%lptors$ and is !ommemorated in seeral #orks of art
that are still e0tant.
The friendship -et#een These%s and ,iritho%s #as of a most
intimate nat%re$ yet it originated in the midst of arms.
,iritho%s had made an irr%ption into the plain of &arathon$ and
!arried off the herds of the king of Athens. These%s #ent to
repel the pl%nderers. The moment ,iritho%s -eheld him$ he #as
sei6ed #ith admiration; he stret!hed o%t his hand as a token of
pea!e$ and !ried$ 8.e 7%dge thyself$ #hat satisfa!tion dost
tho% re:%ireB8 8Thy friendship$8 replied the Athenian$ and they
s#ore iniola-le fidelity. Their deeds !orresponded to their
professions$ and they eer !ontin%ed tr%e -rothers in arms. Ea!h
of them aspired to espo%se a da%ghter of '%piter. These%s fi0ed
his !hoi!e on 2elen$ then -%t a !hild$ after#ards so !ele-rated
as the !a%se of the Tro7an #ar$ and #ith the aid of his friend he
!arried her off. ,iritho%s aspired to the #ife of the monar!h of
Ere-%s; and These%s$ tho%gh a#are of the danger$ a!!ompanied the
am-itio%s loer in his des!ent to the %nder#orld. .%t ,l%to
sei6ed and set them on an en!hanted ro!k at his pala!e gate$
#here they remained till 2er!%les arried and li-erated These%s$
leaing ,iritho%s to his fate.
After the death of Antiope$ These%s married ,haedra$ da%ghter of
&inos$ king of Crete. ,haedra sa# in 2ippolyt%s$ the son of
These%s$ a yo%th endo#ed #ith all the gra!es and irt%es of his
father$ and of an age !orresponding to her o#n. She loed him$
-%t he rep%lsed her adan!es$ and her loe #as !hanged to hate.
She %sed her infl%en!e oer her infat%ated h%s-and to !a%se him
to -e 7ealo%s of his son$ and he impre!ated the engean!e of
Nept%ne %pon him. As 2ippolyt%s #as one day driing his !hariot
along the shore$ a sea)monster raised himself a-oe the #aters$
and frightened the horses so that they ran a#ay and dashed the
!hariot to pie!es. 2ippolyt%s #as killed$ -%t -y Diana/s
assistan!e Aes!%lapi%s restored him to life. Diana remoed
2ippolyt%s from the po#er of his del%ded father and false
stepmother$ and pla!ed him in Italy %nder the prote!tion of the
nymph Egeria.
These%s at length lost the faor of his people$ and retired to
the !o%rt of (y!omedes$ king of S!yros$ #ho at first re!eied him
kindly$ -%t after#ards trea!hero%sly sle# him. In a later age
the Athenian general Cimon dis!oered the pla!e #here his remains
#ere laid$ and !a%sed them to -e remoed to Athens$ #here they
#ere deposited in a temple !alled the These%m$ ere!ted in honor
of the hero.
The :%een of the Ama6ons #hom These%s espo%sed is -y some !alled
2ippolyta. That is the name she -ears in Shakespeare/s &ids%mmer
Night/s Dream$ the s%-7e!t of #hi!h is the festiities
attending the n%ptials of These%s and 2ippolyta.
&rs. 2emans has a poem on the an!ient Greek tradition that the
8Shade of These%s8 appeared strengthening his !o%ntrymen at the
-attle of &arathon.
&r. (e#is &orris has a -ea%tif%l poem on 2elen$ in the Epi! of
2ades. In these lines 2elen des!ri-es ho# she #as sei6ed -y
These%s and his friend@
))))))))))8There !ame a night
"hen I lay longing for my loe$ and kne#
S%dden the !lang of hoofs$ the -roken doors$
The !lash of s#ords$ the sho%ts$ the groans$ the stain
Of red %pon the mar-le$ the fi0ed ga6e
Of dead and dying eyes$ that #as the time
"hen first I looked on death$ and #hen I #oke
JFrom my deep s#oon$ I felt the night air !ool
9pon my -ro#$ and the !old stars look do#n$
As s#ift #e galloped o/er the darkling plain
And sa# the !hill sea)glimpses slo#ly #ake$
"ith arms %nkno#n aro%nd me. "hen the da#n
.roke s#ift$ #e panted on the pathless steeps$
And so -y plain and mo%ntain till #e !ame
to Athens$ )))))))))).8
These%s is a semi)histori!al personage. It is re!orded of him
that he %nited the seeral tri-es -y #hom the territory of Atti!a
#as then possessed into one state$ of #hi!h Athens #as the
!apital. In !ommemoration of this important eent$ he instit%ted
the festial of ,anathenaea$ in honor of &inera$ the patron
deity of Athens. This festial differed from the other Gre!ian
games !hiefly in t#o parti!%lars. It #as pe!%liar to the
Athenians$ and its !hief feat%re #as a solemn pro!ession in #hi!h
the ,epl%s or sa!red ro-e of &inera #as !arried to the
,arthenon$ and s%spended -efore the stat%e of the goddess. The
,epl%s #as !oered #ith em-roidery$ #orked -y sele!t irgins of
the no-lest families in Athens. The pro!ession !onsisted of
persons of all ages and -oth se0es. The old men !arried olie)
-ran!hes in their hands$ and the yo%ng men -ore arms. The yo%ng
#omen !arried -askets on their heads$ !ontaining the sa!red
%tensils$ !akes$ and all things ne!essary for the sa!rifi!es.
The pro!ession formed the s%-7e!t of the -as)reliefs -y ,hidias
#hi!h em-ellished the o%tside of the temple of the ,arthenon. A
!onsidera-le portion of these s!%lpt%res is no# in the .ritish
m%se%m among those kno#n as the 8Elgin mar-les.8
"e may mention here the other !ele-rated national games of the
Greeks. The first and most disting%ished #ere the Olympi!$
fo%nded$ it #as said $ -y '%piter himself. They #ere !ele-rated
at Olympia in Elis. +ast n%m-ers of spe!tators flo!ked to them
from eery part of Gree!e$ and from Asia$ Afri!a$ and Si!ily.
They #ere repeated eery fifth year in mids%mmer$ and !ontin%ed
fie days. They gae rise to the !%stom of re!koning time and
dating eents -y Olympiads. The first Olympiad is generally
!onsidered as !orresponding #ith the year MME ..C. The ,ythian
games #ere !ele-rated in the i!inity of Delphi$ the Isthmian on
the Corinthian isthm%s$ the Nemean at Nemea$ a !ity of Argolis.
The e0er!ises in these games #ere of fie sorts@ r%nning$
leaping$ #restling$ thro#ing the :%oit$ and h%rling the 7aelin$
or -o0ing. .esides these e0er!ises of -odily strength and
agility$ there #ere !ontests in m%si!$ poetry$ and elo:%en!e.
Th%s these games f%rnished poets$ m%si!ians$ and a%thors the -est
opport%nities to present their prod%!tions to the p%-li!$ and the
fame of the i!tors #as diff%sed far and #ide.
The la-yrinth from #hi!h These%s es!aped -y means of the !le# of
Ariadne$ #as -%ilt -y Daedal%s$ a most skilf%l artifi!er. It #as
an edifi!e #ith n%m-erless #inding passages and t%rnings opening
into one another$ and seeming to hae neither -eginning nor end$
like the rier &aender$ #hi!h ret%rns on itself$ and flo#s no#
on#ard$ no# -a!k#ard$ in its !o%rse to the sea. Daedal%s -%ilt
the la-yrinth for *ing &inos$ -%t after#ards lost the faor of
the king$ and #as sh%t %p in a to#er. 2e !ontried to make his
es!ape from his prison$ -%t !o%ld not leae the island -y sea$ as
the king kept stri!t #at!h on all the essels$ and permitted none
to sail #itho%t -eing !aref%lly sear!hed. 8&inos may !ontrol the
land and sea$@8 said Daedal%s$ 8-%t not the regions of the air.
I #ill try that #ay.8 So he set to #ork to fa-ri!ate #ings for
himself and his yo%ng son I!ar%s. 2e #ro%ght feathers together
-eginning #ith the smallest and adding larger$ so as to form an
in!reasing s%rfa!e. The larger ones he se!%red #ith thread and
the smaller #ith #a0$ and gae the #hole a gentle !%rat%re like
the #ings of a -ird. I!ar%s$ the -oy$ stood and looked on$
sometimes r%nning to gather %p the feathers #hi!h the #ind had
-lo#n a#ay$ and then handling the #a0 and #orking it oer #ith
his fingers$ -y his play impeding his father in his la-ors. "hen
at last the #ork #as done$ the artist$ #aing his #ings$ fo%nd
himself -%oyed %p#ard and h%ng s%spended$ poising himself on the
-eaten air. 2e ne0t e:%ipped his son in the same manner$ and
ta%ght him ho# to fly$ as a -ird tempts her yo%ng ones from the
lofty nest into the air. "hen all #as prepared for flight$ he
said$ 8I!ar%s$ my son$ I !harge yo% to keep at a moderate height$
for if yo% fly too lo# the damp #ill !log yo%r #ings$ and if too
high the heat #ill melt them. *eep near me and yo% #ill -e
safe.8 "hile he gae him these instr%!tions and fitted the #ings
to his sho%lders$ the fa!e of the father #as #et #ith tears$ and
his hands trem-led. 2e kissed the -oy$ not kno#ing that it #as
for the last time. Then rising on his #ings he fle# off$
en!o%raging him to follo#$ and looked -a!k from his o#n flight to
see ho# his son managed his #ings. As they fle# the plo%ghman
stopped his #ork to ga6e$ and the shepherd learned on his staff
and #at!hed them$ astonished at the sight$ and thinking they #ere
gods #ho !o%ld th%s !leae the air.
They passed Samos and Delos on the left and (e-ynthos on the
right$ #hen the -oy$ e0%lting in his !areer$ -egan to leae the
g%idan!e of his !ompanion and soar %p#ard as if to rea!h heaen.
The nearness of the -la6ing s%n softened the #a0 #hi!h held the
feathers together$ and they !ame off. 2e fl%ttered #ith his
arms$ -%t no feathers remained to hold the air. "hile his mo%th
%ttered !ries to his father$ it #as s%-merged in the -l%e #aters
of the sea$ #hi!h then!eforth #as !alled -y his name. 2is father
!ried$ 8I!ar%s$ I!ar%s$ #here are yo%B8 At last he sa# the
feathers floating on the #ater$ and -itterly lamenting his o#n
arts$ he -%ried the -ody and !alled the land I!aria in memory of
his !hild. Daedal%s arried safe in Si!ily$ #here he -%ilt a
temple to Apollo$ and h%ng %p his #ings$ an offering to the god.
Daedal%s #as so pro%d of his a!hieements that he !o%ld not -ear
the idea of a rial. 2is sister had pla!ed her son ,erdi0 %nder
his !harge to -e ta%ght the me!hani!al arts. 2e #as an apt
s!holar and gae striking eiden!es of ingen%ity. "alking
on the seashore he pi!ked %p the spine of a fish. Imitating it$
he took a pie!e of iron and not!hed it on the edge$ and th%s
inented the SA". 2e p%t t#o pie!es of iron together$ !onne!ting
them at one end #ith a riet$ and sharpening the other ends$ and
made a ,AIR OF CO&,ASSES. Daedal%s #as so enio%s of his
nephe#/s performan!es that he took an opport%nity$ #hen they #ere
together one day on the top of a high to#er$ to p%sh him off.
.%t &inera$ #ho faors ingen%ity$ sa# him falling$ and arrested
his fate -y !hanging him into a -ird !alled after his name$ the
,artridge. This -ird does not -%ild his ne0t in the trees$ nor
take lofty flights$ -%t nestles in the hedges$ and mindf%l of his
fall$ aoids high pla!es.
The death of I!ar%s is told in the follo#ing lines -y Dar#in@
8)))))))))) #ith melting #a0 and loosened strings
S%nk hapless I!ar%s on %nfaithf%l #ings;
2eadlong he r%shed thro%gh the affrighted air$
"ith lim-s distorted and disheelled hair;
2is s!attered pl%mage dan!ed %pon the #ae$
And sorro#ing Nereids de!ked his #atery grae;
O/er his pale !orse their pearly sea)flo#ers shed$
And stre#ed #ith !rimson moss his mar-le -ed;
Str%!k in their !oral to#ers the passing -ell$
And #ide in o!ean tolled his e!hoing knell.8
Castor and ,oll%0 #ere the offspring of (eda and the S#an$ %nder
#hi!h disg%ise '%piter had !on!ealed himself. (eda gae -irth to
an egg$ from #hi!h sprang the t#ins. 2elen$ so famo%s after#ards
as the !a%se of the Tro7an #ar$ #as their sister.
"hen These%s and his friend ,iritho%s had !arried off 2elen from
Sparta$ the yo%thf%l heroes Castor and ,oll%0$ #ith their
follo#ers$ hasted to her res!%e. These%s #as a-sent from Atti!a$
and the -rothers #ere s%!!essf%l in re!oering their sister.
Castor #as famo%s for taming and managing horses$ and ,oll%0 for
skill in -o0ing. They #ere %nited -y the #armest affe!tion$ and
insepara-le in all their enterprises. They a!!ompanied the
Argona%ti! e0pedition. D%ring the oyage a storm arose$ and
Orphe%s prayed to the Samothra!ian gods$ and played on his harp$
#here%pon the storm !eased and stars appeared on the heads of the
-rothers. From this in!ident$ Castor and ,oll%0 !ame after#ards
to -e !onsidered the patron deities of seamen and oyagers <One
of the ships in #hi!h St. ,a%l sailed #as named the Castor and
,oll%0. See A!ts 00iii.II.=$ and the lam-ent flames$ #hi!h in
!ertain sates of the atmosphere play ro%nd the sails and masts of
essels$ #ere !alled -y their names.
After the Argona%ti! e0pedition$ #e find Castor and ,oll%0
engaged in a #ar #ith Idas and (yn!e%s. Castor #as slain$ and
,oll%0$ in!onsola-le for the loss of his -rother$ -eso%ght
'%piter to -e permitted to gie his o#n life as a ransom for him.
'%piter so far !onsented as to allo# the t#o -rothers to en7oy
the -oon of life alternately$ passing one day %nder the earth and
the ne0t in the heaenly a-odes. A!!ording to another form of
the story$ '%piter re#arded the atta!hment of the -rothers -y
pla!ing them among the stars as Gemini$ the T#ins.
They re!eied diine honors %nder the name of Dios!%ri <sons of
'oe=. They #ere -elieed to hae appeared o!!asionally in later
times$ taking part #ith one side or the other$ in hard)fo%ght
fields$ and #ere said on s%!h o!!asions to -e mo%nted on
magnifi!ent #hite steeds. Th%s$ in the early history of Rome$
they are said to hae assisted the Romans at the -attle of (ake
Regill%s$ and after the i!tory a temple #as ere!ted in their
honor on the spot #here they appeared.
&a!a%lay$ in his (ays of An!ient Rome$ th%s all%des to the
8So like they #ere$ no mortal
&ight one from other kno#;
"hite as sno# their armor #as$
Their steeds #ere #hite as sno#.
Neer on earthly anil
Did s%!h rare armor gleam$
And neer did s%!h gallant steeds
Drink of an earthly stream.
. . . . . . . . .
8.a!k !omes the !hief in tri%mph
"ho in the ho%r of fight
2ath seen the great T#in .rethren
In harness on his right.
Safe !omes the ship to haen
Thro%gh -illo#s and thro%gh gales$
If on!e the great T#in .rethren
Sit shining on the sails.8
In the poem of Atalanta in Calydon &r. S#in-%rne th%s des!ri-es
the little 2elen and Clytemnestra$ the sisters of Castor and
8Een s%!h I sa# their sisters$ one s#an #hite$
The little 2elen$ and less fair than she$
Fair Clytemnestra$ grae as past%ring fa#ns$
"ho feed and fear the arro#; -%t at #hiles$
As one smitten #ith loe or #r%ng #ith 7oy$
She la%ghs and lightens #ith her eyes$ and then
"eeps; #hereat 2elen$ haing la%ghed$ #eeps too$
And the other !hides her$ and she -eing !hid speaks na%ght$
.%t !heeks and lips and eyelids kisses her$
(a%ghing; so fare they$ as in their -lameless -%d$
And f%ll of %n-lo#n life$ the -lood of gods.8
8S#eet days -efore them$ and good loes and lords$
And tender and temperate honors of the hearth;
,ea!e$ and a perfe!t life and -lameless -ed8
Chapter 5I+
.a!!h%s. Ariadne
.a!!h%s #as the son of '%piter and Semele. '%no$ to gratify her
resentment against Semele$ !ontried a plan for her destr%!tion.
Ass%ming the form of .eroe$ her aged n%rse$ she insin%ated do%-ts
#hether it #as indeed 'oe himself #ho !ame as a loer. 2eaing
a sigh$ she said$ 8I hope it #ill t%rn o%t so$ -%t I !an/t help
-eing afraid. ,eople are not al#ays #hat they pretend to -e. If
he is indeed 'oe$ make him gie some proof of it. Ask him to
!ome arrayed in all his splendors$ s%!h as he #ears in heaen.
That #ill p%t the matter -eyond a do%-t.8 Semele #as pers%aded
to try the e0periment. She asks a faor$ #itho%t naming #hat it
is. 'oe gies his promise and !onfirms it #ith the irreo!a-le
oath$ attesting the rier Sty0$ terri-le to the gods themseles.
Then she made kno# her re:%est. The god #o%ld hae stopped her
as she spake$ -%t she #as too :%i!k for him. The #ords es!aped$
and he !o%ld neither %nsay his promise nor her re:%est. In deep
distress he left her and ret%rned to the %pper regions. There he
!lothed himself in his splendors$ not p%tting on all his terrors$
as #hen he oerthre# the giants$ -%t #hat is kno#n among the gods
as his lesser panoply. Arrayed in this he entered the !ham-er of
Semele. 2er mortal frame !o%ld not end%re the splendors of the
immortal radian!e. She #as !ons%med to ashes.
'oe took the infant .a!!h%s and gae him in !harge to the
Nysaean nymphs$ #ho no%rished his infan!y and !hildhood$ and for
their !are #ere re#arded -y '%piter -y -eing pla!ed$ as the
2yades$ among the stars. "hen .a!!h%s gre# %p he dis!oered the
!%lt%re of the ine and the mode of e0tra!ting its pre!io%s
7%i!e; -%t '%no str%!k him #ith madness$ and droe him forth a
#anderer thro%gh ario%s parts of the earth. In ,hrygia the
goddess Rhea !%red him and ta%ght him her religio%s rites$ and he
set o%t on a progress thro%gh Asia tea!hing the people the
!%ltiation of the ine. The most famo%s part of his #anderings
is his e0pedition to India$ #hi!h is said to hae lasted seeral
years. Ret%rning in tri%mph he %ndertook to introd%!e his
#orship into Gree!e$ -%t #as opposed -y some prin!es #ho dreaded
its introd%!tion on a!!o%nt of the disorders and madness it
-ro%ght #ith it.
As he approa!hed his natie !ity The-es$ ,enthe%s the king$ #ho
had no respe!t for the ne# #orship$ for-ade its rites to -e
performed. .%t #hen it #as kno#n that .a!!h%s #as adan!ing$ men
and #omen$ -%t !hiefly the latter$ yo%ng and old po%red forth to
meet him and to 7oin his tri%mphal mar!h.
&r. (ongfello# in his Drinking Song th%s des!ri-es the mar!h of
8Fa%ns #ith yo%thf%l .a!!h%s follo#;
Iy !ro#ns that -ro#$ s%pernal
As the forehead of Apollo$
And possessing yo%th eternal.
8Ro%nd a-o%t him fair .a!!hantes$
.earing !ym-als$ fl%tes and thyrses$
"ild from Na0ian groes or 4ante/s
+ineyards$ sing delirio%s erses.8
It #as in ain ,enthe%s remonstrated$ !ommanded$ and threatened.
8Go$8 said he to his attendants$ 8sei6e this aga-ond leader of
the ro%t and -ring him to me. I #ill soon make him !onfess his
false !laim of heaenly parentage and reno%n!e his !o%nterfeit
#orship.8 It #as in ain his nearest friends and #isest
!o%nselors remonstrated and -egged him not to oppose the god.
Their remonstran!es only made him more iolent.
.%t no# the attendants ret%rned #hom he had despat!hed to sei6e
.a!!h%s. They had -een drien a#ay -y the .a!!hanals$ -%t had
s%!!eeded in taking one of them prisoner$ #hom$ #ith his hands
tied -ehind him$ they -ro%ght -efore the king. ,enthe%s
-eholding him$ #ith #rathf%l !o%ntenan!e said$ 8Fello#C 1o%
shall speedily -e p%t to death$ that yo%r fate may -e a #arning
to others; -%t tho%gh I gr%dge the delay of yo%r p%nishment$
speak$ tell %s #ho yo% are$ and #hat are these ne# rites yo%
pres%me to !ele-rate.8
The prisoner %nterrified responded$ 8&y name is A!etes; my
!o%ntry is &aeonia; my parents #ere poor people$ #ho had no
fields or flo!ks to leae me$ -%t they left me their fishing rods
and nets and their fisherman/s trade. This I follo#ed for some
time$ till gro#ing #eary of remaining in one pla!e$ I learned the
pilot/s art and ho# to g%ide my !o%rse -y the stars. It happened
as I #as sailing for Delos$ #e to%!hed at the island of Dia and
#ent ashore. Ne0t morning I sent the men for fresh #ater and
myself mo%nted the hill to o-sere the #ind; #hen my men ret%rned
-ringing #ith them a pri6e$ as they tho%ght$ a -oy of deli!ate
appearan!e$ #hom they had fo%nd asleep. They 7%dged he #as a
no-le yo%th$ perhaps a king/s son$ and they might get a li-eral
ransom for him. I o-sered his dress$ his #alk$ his fa!e. There
#as something in them #hi!h I felt s%re #as more than mortal. I
said to my men$ /"hat god there is !on!ealed in that form I kno#
not$ -%t some one there !ertainly is. ,ardon %s$ gentle deity$
for the iolen!e #e hae done yo%$ and gie s%!!ess to o%r
%ndertakings./ Di!tys$ one of my -est hands for !lim-ing the
mast and !oming do#n -y the ropes$ and &elanth%s$ my steersman$
and Epope%s the leader of the sailors/ !ry$ one and all
e0!laimed$ /Spare yo%r prayers for %s./ So -lind is the l%st of
gainC "hen they pro!eeded to p%t him on -oard I resisted them.
/This ship shall not -e profaned -y s%!h impiety$/ said I. /I
hae a greater share in her than any of yo%./ .%t (y!a-as$ a
t%r-%lent fello#$ sei6ed me -y the throat and attempted to thro#
me oer-oard$ and I s!ar!ely saed myself -y !linging to the
ropes. The rest approed the deed.
8Then .a!!h%s$ for it #as indeed he$ as if shaking off his
dro#siness$ e0!laimed$ /"hat are yo% doing #ith meB "hat is this
fighting a-o%tB "ho -ro%ght me hereB "here are yo% going to
!arry meB/ One of them replied$ /fear nothing; tell %s #here yo%
#ish to go and #e #ill take yo% there./ 8Na0os is my home$/ said
.a!!h%s; /take me there and yo% shall -e #ell re#arded./ They
promised so to do$ and told me to pilot the ship to Na0os. Na0os
lay to the right$ and I #as trimming the sails to !arry %s there$
#hen some -y signs and others -y #hispers signified to me their
#ill that I sho%ld sail in the opposite dire!tion$ and take the
-oy to Egypt to sell him for a slae. I #as !onfo%nded and said$
/(et some one else pilot the ship;/ #ithdra#ing myself from any
f%rther agen!y in their #i!kedness. They !%rsed me$ and one of
them e0!laiming$ /Don/t flatter yo%rself that #e depend on yo%
for o%r safety$/ took my pla!e as pilot$ and -ore a#ay from
8Then the god$ pretending that he had 7%st -e!ome a#are of their
trea!hery$ looked o%t oer the sea and said in a oi!e of
#eeping$ /Sailors$ these are not the shores yo% promised to take
me to; yonder island is not my home. "hat hae I done that yo%
sho%ld treat me soB It is small glory yo% #ill gain -y !heating
a poor -oy./ I #ept to hear him$ -%t the !re# la%ghed at -oth of
%s$ and sped the essel fast oer the sea. All at on!e strange
as it may seem$ it is tr%e the essel stopped$ in the mid sea$
as fast as if it #as fi0ed on the gro%nd. The men$ astonished$
p%lled at their oars$ and spread more sail$ trying to make
progress -y the aid of -oth$ -%t all in ain. Iy t#ined ro%nd
the oars and hindered their motion$ and !l%ng #ith its heay
!l%sters of -erries to the sails. A ine$ laden #ith grapes$ ran
%p the mast$ and along the sides of the essel. The so%nd of
fl%tes #as heard and the odor of fragrant #ine spread all aro%nd.
The god himself had a !haplet of ine leaes$ and -ore in his
hand a spear #reathed #ith iy. Tigers !ro%!hed at his feet$ and
lyn0es and spotted panthers played aro%nd him. The sailors #ere
sei6ed #ith terror or madness; some leaped oer-oard; others$
preparing to do the same$ -eheld their !ompanions in the #ater
%ndergoing a !hange$ their -odies -e!oming flattened and ending
in a !rooked tail. One e0!laimed$ /"hat mira!le is thisC/ and as
he spoke his mo%th #idened$ his nostrils e0panded$ and s!ales
!oered all his -ody. Another endeaoring to p%ll the oar felt
his hands shrink %p$ and presently to -e no longer hands -%t
fins; another trying to raise his arms to a rope fo%nd he had no
arms$ and !%ring his m%tilated -ody$ 7%mped into the sea. "hat
had -een his legs -e!ame the t#o ends of a !res!ent)shaped tail.
The #hole !re# -e!ame dolphins and s#am a-o%t the ship$ no# %pon
the s%rfa!e$ no# %nder it$ s!attering the spray$ and spo%ting the
#ater from their -road nostrils. Of t#enty men I alone #as left.
The god !heered me$ as I trem-led #ith fear. /Fear not$/ said
he; /steer to#ard Na0os./ I o-eyed$ and #hen #e arried there$ I
kindled the altars and !ele-rated the sa!red rites of .a!!h%s.8
,enthe%s here e0!laimed$ 8"e hae #asted time eno%gh on this
silly story. Take him a#ay and hae him e0e!%ted #itho%t delay.8
A!etes #as led a#ay -y the attendants and sh%t %p fast in prison;
-%t #hile they #ere getting ready the instr%ments of e0e!%tion$
the prison doors opened of their o#n a!!ord and the !hains fell
from his lim-s$ and #hen the g%ards looked for him he #as no
#here to -e fo%nd.
,enthe%s #o%ld take no #arning$ -%t instead of sending others$
determined to go himself to the s!ene of the solemnities. The
mo%ntain Cithaeron #as all alie #ith #orshippers$ and the !ries
of the .a!!hanals reso%nded on eery side. The noise ro%sed the
anger of ,enthe%s as the so%nd of a tr%mpet does the fire of a
#ar)horse. 2e penetrated the #ood and rea!hed an open spa!e
#here the #ildest s!ene of the orgies met his eyes. At the same
moment the #omen sa# him; and first among them his o#n mother$
Agae$ -linded -y the god$ !ried o%t$ 8See there the #ild -oar$
the h%gest monster that pro#ls in these #oodsC Come on$ sistersC
I #ill -e the first to strike the #ild -oar.8 The #hole -and
r%shed %pon him$ and #hile he no# talks less arrogantly$ no#
e0!%ses himself$ and no# !onfesses his !rime and implores pardon$
they press %pon and #o%nd him. In ain he !ries to his a%nts to
prote!t him from his mother. A%tonoe sei6ed one arm$ Ino the
other$ and -et#een them he #as torn to pie!es$ #hile his mother
sho%ted$ 8+i!toryC +i!toryC "e hae done it; the glory is
So the #orship of .a!!h%s #as esta-lished in Gree!e.
There is an all%sion to the story of .a!!h%s and the mariners in
&ilton/s Com%s$ at line NE. The story of Cir!e #ill -e fo%nd in
Chapter 55II.
8.a!!h%s that first from o%t the p%rple grape
Cr%shed the s#eet poison of mis%sed #ine$
After the T%s!an mariners transformed$
Coasting the Tyrrhene shore as the #inds listed
On Cir!e/s island fell; <#ho kno#s not Cir!e$
The da%ghter of the S%nB "hose !harmed !%p
"hoeer tasted lost his %pright shape$
And do#n#ard fell into a groelling s#ine.=8
"e hae seen in the story of These%s ho# Ariadne$ the da%ghter of
*ing &inos$ after helping These%s to es!ape from the la-yrinth$
#as !arried -y him to the island of Na0os and #as left there
asleep$ #hile These%s p%rs%ed his #ay home #itho%t her. Ariadne$
on #aking and finding herself deserted$ a-andoned herself to
grief. .%t +en%s took pity on her$ and !onsoled her #ith the
promise that she sho%ld hae an immortal loer$ instead of the
mortal one she had lost.
The island #here Ariadne #as left #as the faorite island of
.a!!h%s$ the same that he #ished the Tyrrhenian mariners to !arry
him to$ #hen they so trea!hero%sly attempted to make pri6e of
him. As Ariadne sat lamenting her fate$ .a!!h%s fo%nd her$
!onsoled her and made her his #ife as &inera had prophesied to
These%s. As a marriage present he gae her a golden !ro#n$
enri!hed #ith gems$ and #hen she died$ he took her !ro#n and
thre# it %p into the sky. As it mo%nted the gems gre# -righter
and #ere t%rned into stars$ and presering its form Ariadne/s
!ro#n remains fi0ed in the heaens as a !onstellation$ -et#een
the kneeling 2er!%les and the man #ho holds the serpent.
Spenser all%des to Ariadne/s !ro#n$ tho%gh he has made some
mistakes in his mythology. It #as at the #edding of ,iritho%s$
and not These%s$ that the Centa%rs and (apithae :%arrelled.
8(ook ho# the !ro#n #hi!h Ariadne #ore
9pon her iory forehead that same day
That These%s her %nto his -ridal -ore$
"hen the -old Centa%rs made that -loody fray
"ith the fier!e (apiths #hi!h did them dismay;
.eing no# pla!ed in the firmament$
Thro%gh the -right heaen doth her -eams display$
And is %nto the stars an ornament$
"hi!h ro%nd a-o%t her moe in order e0!ellent.8
Chapter 5+
The R%ral Deities. Erisi!hthon. Rhoe!%s. The "ater Deities.
Camenae. "inds.
,an$ the god of #oods and fields$ of flo!ks and shepherds$ d#elt
in grottos$ #andered on the mo%ntains and in alleys$ and am%sed
himself #ith the !hase or in leading the dan!es of the nymphs.
2e #as fond of m%si!$ and$ as #e hae seen$ the inentor of the
syrin0$ or shepherd/s pipe$ #hi!h he himself played in a masterly
manner. ,an$ like other gods #ho d#elt in forests$ #as dreaded
-y those #hose o!!%pations !a%sed them to pass thro%gh the #oods
-y night$ for the gloom and loneliness of s%!h s!enes dispose the
mind to s%perstitio%s fears. 2en!e s%dden fright #itho%t any
isi-le !a%se #as as!ri-ed to ,an$ and !alled a ,ani! terror.
As the name of the god signifies in Greek$ A(($ ,an !ame to -e
!onsidered a sym-ol of the %nierse and personifi!ation of
Nat%re; and later still to -e regarded as a representatie of all
the gods$ and heathenism itself.
Sylan%s and Fa%n%s #ere (atin diinities$ #hose !hara!teristi!s
are so nearly the same as those of ,an that #e may safely
!onsider them as the same personage %nder different names.
The #ood)nymphs$ ,an/s partners in the dan!e$ #ere -%t one of
seeral !lasses of nymphs. There #ere -eside them the Naiads$
#ho presided oer -rooks and fo%ntains$ the Oreads$ nymphs of
mo%ntains and grottos$ and the Nereids$ sea)nymphs. The three
last named #ere immortal$ -%t the #ood)nymphs$ !alled Dryads or
2amadryads$ #ere -elieed to perish #ith the trees #hi!h had -een
their a-ode$ and #ith #hi!h they had !ome into e0isten!e. It #as
therefore an impio%s a!t #antonly to destroy a tree$ and in some
aggraated !ases #as seerely p%nished$ as in the instan!e of
Erisi!hthon$ #hi!h #e shall soon re!ord.
&ilton$ in his glo#ing des!ription of the early !reation$ th%s
all%des to ,an as the personifi!ation of Nat%re@
89niersal ,an$
*nit #ith the Gra!es and the 2o%rs in dan!e$
(ed on the eternal spring.8
And des!ri-ing Ee/s a-ode@
8In shadier -o#er
&ore sa!red or se:%estered$ tho%gh -%t feigned$
,an or Sylan%s neer slept$ nor nymph
Nor Fa%n%s ha%nted.8
,aradise lost$ .. I+.
It #as a pleasing trait in the old ,aganism that it loed to
tra!e in eery operation of nat%re the agen!y of deity. The
imagination of the Greeks peopled all the regions of earth and
sea #ith diinities$ to #hose agen!y it attri-%ted those
phenomena #hi!h o%r philosophy as!ri-es to the operation of the
la#s of nat%re. Sometimes in o%r poeti!al moods #e feel disposed
to regret the !hange$ and to think that the heart has lost as
m%!h as the head has gained -y the s%-stit%tion. The poet
"ords#orth th%s strongly e0presses this sentiment@
8Great God$ I/d rather -e
A ,agan$ s%!kled in a !reed o%t#orn.
So might I$ standing on this pleasant lea$
2ae glimpses that #o%ld make me less forlorn;
2ae sight of ,rote%s rising from thNe sea$
And hear old Trito% -lo# his #reathed horn.8
S!hiller$ in his poem The Gods of Gree!e$ e0presses his regret
for the oerthro# of the -ea%tif%l mythology of an!ient times in
a #ay #hi!h has !alled forth an ans#er from a Christian poetess$
&rs. .ro#ning$ in her poem !alled The Dead ,an. The t#o
follo#ing erses are a spe!imen@
8.y yo%r -ea%ty #hi!h !onfesses
Some !hief .ea%ty !on:%ering yo%$
.y o%r grand heroi! g%esses
Thro%gh yo%r falsehood at the Tr%e$
"e #ill #eep NOTC Earth shall roll
2eir to ea!h god/s a%reole$
And ,an is dead.
8Earth o%tgro#s the mythi! fan!ies
S%ng -eside her in her yo%th;
And those de-onaire roman!es
So%nd -%t d%ll -eside the tr%th.
,hoe-%s/ !hariot !o%rse is r%nC
(ook %p poets$ to the s%nC
,an$ ,an is dead.8
These lines are fo%nded on an early Christian tradition that #hen
the heaenly host told the shepherds at .ethlehem of the -irth of
Christ$ a deep groan$ heard thro%gh all the isles of Gree!e$ told
that the great ,an #as dead$ and that all the royalty of Olymp%s
#as dethroned$ and the seeral deities #ere sent #andering in
!old and darkness. So &ilton$ in his 2ymn to the Natiity@
8The lonely mo%ntains o/er$
And the reso%nding shore$
A oi!e of #eeping heard and lo%d lament;
JFrom ha%nted spring and dale$
Edged #ith poplar pale$
The parting geni%s is #ith sighing sent;
"ith flo#er)en#oen tresses torn$
The nymphs in t#ilight shade of tangled thi!kets mo%rn.8
Erisi!hthon #as a profane person and a despiser of the gods. On
one o!!asion he pres%med to iolate #ith the a0e a groe sa!red
to Ceres. There stood in this groe a enera-le oak$ so large
that it seemed a #ood in itself$ its an!ient tr%nk to#ering
aloft$ #hereon otie garlands #ere often h%ng and ins!riptions
!ared e0pressing the gratit%de of s%ppliants to the nymph of the
tree. Often had the Dryads dan!ed ro%nd it hand in hand. Its
tr%nk meas%red fifteen !%-its ro%nd$ and it oertopped the other
trees as they oertopped the shr%--ery. .%t for all that$
Erisi!hthon sa# no reason #hy he sho%ld spare it$ and he ordered
his serants to !%t it do#n. "hen he sa# them hesitate$ he
snat!hed an a0e from one$ and th%s impio%sly e0!laimed$ @8I !are
not #hether it -e a tree -eloed of the Goddess or not; #ere it
the goddess herself it sho%ld !ome do#n$ if it stood in my #ay.8
So saying$ he lifted the a0e$ and the oak seemed to sh%dder and
%tter a groan. "hen the first -lo# fell %pon the tr%nk$ -lood
flo#ed from the #o%nd. All the -ystanders #ere horror)str%!k$
and one of them ent%red to remonstrate and hold -a!k the fatal
a0e. Erisi!hthon #ith a s!ornf%l look$ said to him$ 8Re!eie the
re#ard of yo%r piety;8 and t%rned against him the #eapon #hi!h he
had held aside from the tree$ gashed his -ody #ith many #o%nds$
and !%t off his head. Then from the midst of the oak !ame a
oi!e$ 8I #ho d#ell in this tree am a nymph -eloed of Ceres$ and
dying -y yo%r hands$ fore#arn yo% that p%nishment a#aits yo%.8
2e desisted not from his !rime$ and at last the tree$ s%ndered -y
repeated -lo#s and dra#n -y ropes$ fell #ith a !rash$ and
prostrated a great part of the groe in its fall.
The Dryads$ in dismay at the loss of their !ompanion$ and at
seeing the pride of the forest laid lo#$ #ent in a -ody to Ceres$
all !lad in garments of mo%rning$ and inoked p%nishment %pon
Erisi!hthon. She nodded her assent$ and as she -o#ed her head
the grain ripe for harest in the laden fields -o#ed also. She
planned a p%nishment so dire that one #o%ld pity him$ if s%!h a
!%lprit as he !o%ld -e pitied to delier him oer to Famine.
As Ceres herself !o%ld not approa!h Famine$ for the Fates hae
ordained that these t#o goddesses shall neer !ome together$ she
!alled an Oread from her mo%ntain and spoke to her in these
#ords@ 8There is a pla!e in the farthest part of i!e)!lad
S!ythia$ a sad and sterile region #itho%t trees and #itho%t
!rops. Cold d#ells there$ and Fear$ and Sh%ddering$ and Famine.
Go to Famine and tell her to take possession of the -o#els of
Erisi!hthon. (et not a-%ndan!e s%-d%e her$ nor the po#er of my
gifts drie her a#ay. .e not alarmed at the distan!e$8 <for
Famine d#ells ery far from Ceres$= 8-%t take my !hariot. The
dragons are fleet and o-ey the rein$ and #ill take yo% thro%gh
the air in a short time.8 So she gae her the reins$ and she
droe a#ay and soon rea!hed S!ythia. On arriing at &o%nt
Ca%!as%s she stopped the dragons and fo%nd Famine in a stony
field$ p%lling %p #ith teeth and !la#s the s!anty her-age. 2er
hair #as ro%gh$ her eyes s%nk$ her fa!e pale$ her lips -lan!hed$
her 7a#s !oered #ith d%st$ and her skin dra#n tight$ so as to
sho# all her -ones. As the Oread sa# her afar off <for she did
not dare to !ome near= she deliered the !ommands of Ceres; and
tho%gh she stopped as short a time as possi-le$ and kept her
distan!e as #ell as she !o%ld$ yet she -egan to feel h%ngry$ and
t%rned the dragons/ heads and droe -a!k to Thessaly.
In o-edien!e to the !ommands of Ceres$ Famine sped thro%gh the
air to the d#elling of Erisi!hthon$ entered the -ed)!ham-er of
the g%ilty man$ and fo%nd him asleep. She enfolded him #ith her
#ings and -reathed herself into him$ inf%sing her poison into his
eins. 2aing dis!harged her task$ she hastened to leae the
land of plenty and ret%rned to her a!!%stomed ha%nts.
Erisi!hthon still slept$ and in his dreams !raed food$ and moed
his 7a#s as if eating. "hen he a#oke his h%nger #as raging.
"itho%t a moment/s delay he #o%ld hae food set -efore him$ of
#hateer kind earth$ sea$ or air prod%!es; and !omplained of
h%nger een #hile he ate. "hat #o%ld hae s%ffi!ed for a !ity or
a nation #as not eno%gh for him. The more he ate$ the moe he
!raed. 2is h%nger #as like the sea$ #hi!h re!eies all the
riers$ yet is neer filled; or like fire that -%rns all the f%el
that is heaped %pon it$ yet is still ora!io%s for more.
2is property rapidly diminished %nder the %n!easing demands of
his appetite$ -%t his h%nger !ontin%ed %na-ated. At length he
had spent all$ and had only his da%ghter left$ a da%ghter #orthy
of a -etter parent. 2ER TOO 2E SO(D. She s!orned to -e the
slae of a p%r!haser$ and as she stood -y the seaside$ raised her
hands in prayer to Nept%ne. 2e heard her prayer$ and$ tho%gh her
ne# master #as not far off$ and had his eye %pon her a moment
-efore$ Nept%ne !hanged her form$ and made her ass%me that of a
fisherman -%sy at his o!!%pation. 2er master$ looking for her
and seeing her in her altered form$ addressed her and said$ 8Good
fisherman$ #hither #ent the maiden #hom I sa# 7%st no#$ #ith hair
disheelled and in h%m-le gar-$ standing a-o%t #here yo% standB
Tell me tr%ly; so may yo%r l%!k -e good$ and not a fish ni--le at
yo%r hook and get a#ay.8 She per!eied that her prayer #as
ans#ered$ and re7oi!ed in#ardly at hearing the :%estion asked her
of herself. She replied$ 8,ardon me$ stranger$ -%t I hae -een
so intent %pon my line$ that I hae seen nothing else; -%t I #ish
I may neer !at!h another fish if I -eliee any #oman or other
person e0!ept myself to hae -een herea-o%ts for some time.8 2e
#as de!eied and #ent his #ay$ thinking his slae had es!aped.
Then she res%med her o#n form. 2er father #as #ell pleased to
find her still #ith him$ and the money too that he got -y the
sale of her; so he sold her again. .%t she #as !hanged -y the
faor of Nept%ne as often as she #as sold$ no# into a horse$ no#
a -ird$ no# an o0$ and no# a stag$ got a#ay from her p%r!hasers
and !ame home. .y this -ase method the staring father pro!%red
food; -%t not eno%gh for his #ants$ and at last h%nger !ompelled
him to deo%r his lim-s$ and he stroe to no%rish his -ody -y
eating his -ody$ till death relieed him from the engean!e of
The 2amadryads !o%ld appre!iate seri!es as #ell as p%nish
in7%ries. The story of Rhoe!%s proes this. Rhoe!%s$ happening
to see an oak 7%st ready to fall$ ordered his serants to prop it
%p. The nymph$ #ho had -een on the point of perishing #ith the
tree$ !ame and e0pressed her gratit%de to him for haing saed
her life$ and -ade him ask #hat re#ard he #o%ld hae for it.
Rhoe!%s -oldly asked her loe$ and the nymph yielded to his
desire. She at the same time !harged him to -e !onstant$ and
told him that a -ee sho%ld -e her messenger$ and let him kno#
#hen she #o%ld admit his so!iety. One time the -ee !ame to
Rhoe!%s #hen he #as playing at dra%ghts$ and he !arelessly
-r%shed it a#ay. This so in!ensed the nymph that she depried
him of sight.
O%r !o%ntryman$ 'ames R%ssell (o#ell$ has taken this story for
the s%-7e!t of one of his shorter poems. 2e introd%!es it th%s@
82ear no# this fairy legend of old Gree!e$
As f%ll of freedom$ yo%th and -ea%ty still$
As the immortal freshness of that gra!e
Cared for all ages on some Atti! frie6e.8
O!ean%s and Tethys #ere the Titans #ho r%led oer the Sea. "hen
'oe and his -rothers oerthre# the Titans and ass%med their
po#er$ Nept%ne and Amphitrite s%!!eeded to the dominion of the
#aters in pla!e of O!ean%s and Tethys.
Nept%ne #as the !hief of the #ater deities. The sym-ol of his
po#er #as the trident$ or spear #ith three points$ #ith #hi!h he
%sed to shatter ro!ks$ to !all forth or s%-d%e storms$ to shake
the shores$ and the like. 2e !reated the horse$ and #as the
patron of horse ra!es. 2is o#n horses had -ra6en hoofs and
golden manes. They dre# his !hariot oer the sea$ #hi!h -e!ame
smooth -efore him$ #hile the monsters of the deep gam-olled a-o%t
his path.
Amphitrite #as the #ife of Nept%ne. She #as the da%ghter of
Nere%s and Doris$ and the mother of Triton. Nept%ne$ to pay his
!o%rt to Amphitrite$ !ame riding on the dolphin. 2aing #on her$
he re#arded the dolphin -y pla!ing him among the stars.
Nere%s and Doris #ere the parents of the Nereids$ the most
!ele-rated of #hom #ere Amphitrite$ Thetis$ the mother of
A!hilles$ and Galatea$ #ho #as loed -y the Cy!lops ,olyphem%s.
Nere%s #as disting%ished for his kno#ledge$ and his loe of tr%th
and 7%sti!e$ and is des!ri-ed as the #ise and %nerring Old &an of
the Sea. The gift of prophe!y #as also as!ri-ed to him.
Triton #as the son of Nept%ne and Amphitrite$ and the poets make
him his father/s tr%mpeter. ,rote%s #as also a son of Nept%ne.
2e$ like Nere%s$ is styled a sea)elder for his #isdom and
kno#ledge of f%t%re eents. 2is pe!%liar po#er #as that of
!hanging his shape at #ill.
Thetis$ the da%ghter of Nere%s and Doris$ #as so -ea%tif%l that
'%piter himself so%ght her in marriage; -%t haing learned from
,romethe%s the Titan$ that Thetis sho%ld -ear a son #ho sho%ld -e
greater than his father$ '%piter desisted from his s%it and
de!reed that Thetis sho%ld -e the #ife of a mortal. .y the aid
of Chiron the Centa%r$ ,ele%s s%!!eeded in #inning the goddess
for his -ride$ and their son #as the reno#ned A!hilles. In o%r
!hapter on the Tro7an #ar it #ill appear that Thetis #as a
faithf%l mother to him$ aiding him in all diffi!%lties$ and
#at!hing oer his interests from the first to the last.
Ino$ the da%ghter of Cadm%s and #ife of Athamas$ flying from her
franti! h%s-and$ #ith her little son &eli!ertes in her arms$
sprang from a !liff into the sea. The gods$ o%t of !ompassion$
made her a goddess of the sea$ %nder the name of (e%!othea$ and
him a god %nder that of ,alaemon. .oth #ere held po#erf%l to
sae from ship#re!k$ and #ere inoked -y sailors. ,alaemon #as
%s%ally represented riding on a dolphin. The Isthmian games #ere
!ele-rated in his honor. 2e #as !alled ,ort%mn%s -y the Romans$
and -elieed to hae 7%risdi!tion of the ports and shores.
&ilton all%des to all these deities in the song at the !on!l%sion
of Com%s.
8Sa-rina fair$
(isten and appear to %s$
In name of great O!ean%s;
.y the earth)shaking Nept%ne/s ma!e$
And Tethys/ grae$ ma7esti! pa!e$
.y hoary Nere%s/ #rinkled look$
And the Carpathian #i6ard/s hook <,rote%s=
.y s!aly Triton/s #inding shell$
And old soothsaying Gla%!%s; spell$
.y (e%!othea/s loely hands$
And her son #ho r%les the strands$
.y Thetis/ tinsel)slippered feet$
And the songs of Sirens s#eet.8
Armstrong$ the poet of the Art of presering 2ealth$ %nder the
inspiration of 2ygeia$ the goddess of health$ th%s !ele-rates the
Naiads. ,aeon is a name -oth of Apollo and Aes!%lapi%s.
8Come$ ye NaiadsC To the fo%ntains leadC
,ropitio%s maidsC The task remains to sing
1o%r gifts <so ,aeon$ so the po#ers of health
Command=$ to praise yo%r !rystal element.
Oh$ !omforta-le streamsC "ith eager lips
And trem-ling hands the lang%id thirsty :%aff
Ne# life in yo%; fresh igor fills their eins.
No #armer !%ps the r%ral ages kne#$
None #armer so%ght the sires of h%mankind;
2appy in temperate pea!e their e:%al days
Felt not the alternate fits of feerish mirth
And si!k de7e!tion; still serene and pleased$
.lessed #ith diine imm%nity from ills$
(ong !ent%ries they lied; their only fate
"as ripe old age$ and rather sleep than death.8
.y this name the (atins designated the &%ses$ -%t in!l%ded %nder
it also some other deities$ prin!ipally nymphs of fo%ntains.
Egeria #as one of them$ #hose fo%ntain and grotto are still
sho#n. It #as said that N%ma$ the se!ond king of Rome$ #as
faored -y this nymph #ith se!ret interie#s$ in #hi!h she ta%ght
him those lessons of #isdom and of la# #hi!h he em-odied in the
instit%tions of his rising nation. After the death of N%ma the
nymph pined a#ay and #as !hanged into a fo%ntain.
.yron$ in Childe 2arold$ Canto I+.$ th%s all%des to Egeria and
her grotto@
82ere didst tho% d#ell in this en!hanted !oer$
EgeriaC All thy heaenly -osom -eating
For the far footsteps of thy mortal loer;
The p%rple midnight eiled that mysti! meeting
"ith her most starry !anopy.8
Tennyson$ also$ in his ,ala!e of Art$ gies %s a glimpse of the
royal loer e0pe!ting the interie#.
82olding one hand against his ear$
To list a footfall ere he sa#
The #ood)nymph$ stayed the T%s!an king to hear
Of #isdom and of la#.8
"hen so many less a!tie agen!ies #ere personified$ it is not to
-e s%pposed that the #inds failed to -e so. They #ere .oreas or
A:%ilo$ the north #ind$ 4ephyr%s or Faoni%s$ the #est$ Not%s or
A%ster$ the so%th$ and E%r%s$ the east. The first t#o hae -een
!hiefly !ele-rated -y the poets$ the former as the type of
r%deness$ the latter of gentleness. .oreas loed the nymph
Orithyia$ and tried to play the loer/s part$ -%t met #ith poor
s%!!ess. It #as hard for him to -reathe gently$ and sighing #as
o%t of the :%estion. "eary at last of fr%itless endeaors$ he
a!ted o%t his tr%e !hara!ter$ sei6ed the maiden and !arried her
off. Their !hildren #ere 4etes and Calais$ #inged #arriors$ #ho
a!!ompanied the Argona%ti! e0pedition$ and did good seri!e in an
en!o%nter #ith those monstro%s -irds the 2arpies.
4ephyr%s #as the loer of Flora. &ilton all%des to them in
,aradise (ost$ #here he des!ri-es Adam #aking and !ontemplating
Ee still asleep@
82e on his side
(eaning half raised$ #ith looks of !ordial loe
2%ng oer her enamored$ and -eheld
.ea%ty #hi!h$ #hether #aking or asleep$
Shot forth pe!%liar gra!es; then #ith oi!e$
&ild as #hen 4ephyr%s on Flora -reathes$
2er hand soft to%!hing$ #hispered th%s$ /A#akeC
&y fairest$ my espo%sed$ my latest fo%nd$
2eaen/s last$ -est gift$ my eer)ne# delight./8
Dr. 1o%ng$ the poet of the Night Tho%ghts$ addressing the idle
and l%0%rio%s$ says@
81e deli!ateC "ho nothing !an s%pport
<1o%rseles most ins%pporta-le=$ for #hom
The #inter rose m%st -lo#$ . .
. . . . And silky soft
Faonio%s -reathe still softer or -e !hidC8
Fort%na is the (atin name for Ty!he$ the goddess of Fort%ne. The
#orship of Fort%na held a position of m%!h higher importan!e at
Rome than did the #orship of Ty!he among the Greeks. She #as
regarded at Rome as the goddess of good fort%ne only$ and #as
%s%ally represented holding the !orn%!opia.
+i!toria$ the (atin form for the goddess Nike$ #as highly honored
among the !on:%est)loing Romans$ and many temples #ere dedi!ated
to her at Rome. There #as a !ele-rated temple at Athens to the
Greek goddess Nike Apteros$ or "ingless +i!tory$ of #hi!h remains
still e0ist.
Chapter 5+I
A!helo%s and 2er!%les. Admet%s and Al!estis. Antigone.
The rier)god A!helo%s told the story of Erisi!hthon to These%s
and his !ompanions$ #hom he #as entertaining at his hospita-le
-oard$ #hile they #ere delayed on their 7o%rney -y the oerflo#
of his #aters. 2aing finished his story$ he added$ 8.%t #hy
sho%ld I tell of other persons/ transformations$ #hen I myself am
an instan!e of the possession of this po#er. Sometimes I -e!ome
a serpent$ and sometimes a -%ll$ #ith horns on my head. Or I
sho%ld say$ I on!e !o%ld do so; -%t no# I hae -%t one horn$
haing lost one.8 And here he groaned and #as silent.
These%s asked him the !a%se of his grief$ and ho# he lost his
horn. To #hi!h :%estion the rier)god replied as follo#s@ 8"ho
likes to tell of his defeatsB 1et I #ill not hesitate to relate
mine$ !omforting myself #ith the tho%ght of the greatness of my
!on:%eror$ for it #as 2er!%les. ,erhaps yo% hae heard of the
fame of De7anira$ the fairest of maidens$ #hom a host of s%itors
stroe to #in. 2er!%les and myself #ere of the n%m-er$ and the
rest yielded to %s t#o. 2e %rged in his -ehalf his des!ent from
'oe$ and his la-ors -y #hi!h he had e0!eeded the e0a!tions of
'%no$ his step)mother. I$ on the other hand$ said to the father
of the maiden$ /.ehold me$ the king of the #aters that flo#
thro%gh yo%r land. I am no stranger from a foreign shore$ -%t
-elong to the !o%ntry$ a part of yo%r realm. (et it not stand in
my #ay that royal '%no o#es me no enmity$ nor p%nishes me #ith
heay tasks. As for this man$ #ho -oasts himself the son of
'oe$ it is either a false preten!e$ or disgra!ef%l to him if
tr%e$ for it !annot -e tr%e e0!ept -y his mother/s shame./ As I
said this 2er!%les s!o#led %pon me$ and #ith diffi!%lty
restrained his rage. /&y hand #ill ans#er -etter than my
tong%e$/ said he. /I yield yo% the i!tory in #ords$ -%t tr%st
my !a%se to the strife of deeds. "ith that he adan!ed to#ards
me$ and I #as ashamed$ after #hat I had said$ to yield. I thre#
off my green est%re$ and presented myself for the str%ggle. 2e
tried to thro# me$ no# atta!king my head$ no# my -ody. &y -%lk
#as my prote!tion$ and he assailed me in ain. For a time #e
stopped$ then ret%rned to the !onfli!t. "e ea!h kept o%r
position$ determined not to yield$ foot to foot$ I -ending oer
him$ !lin!hing his hands in mine$ #ith my forehead almost
to%!hing his. Thri!e 2er!%les tried to thro# me off$ and the
fo%rth time he s%!!eeded$ -ro%ght me to the gro%nd and himself
%pon my -a!k. I tell yo% the tr%th$ it #as as if a mo%ntain had
fallen on me. I str%ggled to get my arms at li-erty$ panting and
reeking #ith perspiration. 2e gae me no !han!e to re!oer$ -%t
sei6ed my throat. &y knees #ere on the earth and my mo%th in the
8Finding that I #as no mat!h for him in the #arrior/s art$ I
resorted to others$ and glided a#ay in the form of a serpent. I
!%rled my -ody in a !oil$ and hissed at him #ith my forked
tong%e. 2e smiled s!ornf%lly at this$ and said$ /It #as the
la-or of my infan!y to !on:%er snakes./ So saying he !lasped my
ne!k #ith his hands. I #as almost !hoked$ and str%ggled to get
my ne!k o%t of his grasp. +an:%ished in this form$ I tried #hat
alone remained to me$ and ass%med the form of a -%ll. 2e grasped
my ne!k #ith his arm$ and$ dragging my head do#n to the gro%nd$
oerthre# me on the sand. Nor #as this eno%gh. 2is r%thless
hand rent my horn from my head. The Naiades took it$ !onse!rated
it$ and filled it #ith fragrant flo#ers. ,lenty adopted my horn$
and made it her o#n$ and !alled it Corn%!opia.
The an!ients #ere fond of finding a hidden meaning in their
mythologi!al tales. They e0plain this fight of A!helo%s #ith
2er!%les -y saying A!helo%s #as a rier that in seasons of rain
oerflo#ed its -anks. "hen the fa-le says that A!helo%s loed
De7anira$ and so%ght a %nion #ith her$ the meaning is$ that the
rier in its #indings flo#ed thro%gh part of De7anira/s kingdom.
It #as said to take the form of a snake -e!a%se of its #inding$
and of a -%ll -e!a%se it made a -ra#ling or roaring in its
!o%rse. "hen the rier s#elled$ it made itself another !hannel.
Th%s its head #as horned. 2er!%les preented the ret%rn of these
periodi!al oerflo#s$ -y em-ankments and !anals; and therefore he
#as said to hae an:%ished the rier)god and !%t off his horn.
Finally$ the lands formerly s%-7e!t to oerflo#$ -%t no#
redeemed$ -e!ame ery fertile$ and this is meant -y the horn of
There is another a!!o%nt of the origin of the Corn%!opia.
'%piter at his -irth #as !ommitted -y his mother Rhea to the !are
of the da%ghters of &elisse%s$ a Cretan king. They fed the
infant deity #ith the milk of the goat Amalthea. '%piter -roke
off one of the horns of the goat and gae it to his n%rses$ and
endo#ed it #ith the #onderf%l po#er of -e!oming filled #ith
#hateer the possessor might #ish.
The name of Amalthea is also gien -y some #riters to the mother
of .a!!h%s. It is th%s %sed -y &ilton$ ,aradise (ost$ .ook I+.@
8That Nyseian isle$
Girt #ith the rier Triton$ #here old Cham$
"hom Gentiles Ammon !all$ and (i-yan 'oe$
2id Amalthea and her florid son$
1o%ng .a!!h%s$ from his stepdame Rhea/s eye.8
Aes!%lapi%s$ the son of Apollo$ #as endo#ed -y his father #ith
s%!h skill in the healing art that he een restored the dead to
life. At this ,l%to took alarm$ and preailed on '%piter to
la%n!h a th%nder-olt at Aes!%lapi%s. Apollo #as indignant at the
destr%!tion of his son$ and #reaked his engean!e on the inno!ent
#orkmen #ho had made the th%nder-olt. These #ere the Cy!lopes$
#ho hae their #orkshop %nder &o%nt Aetna$ from #hi!h the smoke
and flames of their f%rna!es are !onstantly iss%ing. Apollo shot
his arro#s at the Cy!lopes$ #hi!h so in!ensed '%piter that he
!ondemned him as a p%nishment to -e!ome he serant of a mortal
for the spa!e of one year. A!!ordingly Apollo #ent into the
seri!e of Admet%s$ king of Thessaly$ and past%red his flo!ks for
him on the erdant -anks of the rier Amphrys%s.
Admet%s #as a s%itor$ #ith others$ for the hand of Al!estis$ the
da%ghter of ,elias$ #ho promised her to him #ho sho%ld !ome for
her in a !hariot dra#n -y lions and -oars. This task Admet%s
performed -y the assistan!e of his diine herdsman$ and #as made
happy in the possession of Al!estis. .%t Admet%s fell ill$ and
-eing near to death$ Apollo preailed on the Fates to spare him
on !ondition that some one #o%ld !onsent to die in his stead.
Admet%s$ in his 7oy at this repriee$ tho%ght little of the
ransom$ and perhaps remem-ering the de!larations of atta!hment
#hi!h he had often heard from his !o%rtiers and dependents$
fan!ied that it #o%ld -e easy to find a s%-stit%te. .%t it #as
not so. .rae #arriors$ #ho #o%ld #illingly hae perilled their
lies for their prin!e$ shr%nk from the tho%ght of dying for him
on the -ed of si!kness; and old serants #ho had e0perien!ed his
-o%nty and that of his ho%se from their !hildhood %p$ #ere not
#illing to lay do#n the s!anty remnant of their days to sho#
their gratit%de. &en asked$ 8"hy does not one of his parents
do itB They !annot in the !o%rse of nat%re lie m%!h longer$ and
#ho !an feel like them the !all to res!%e the life they gae from
an %ntimely endB8 .%t the parents$ distressed tho%gh they #ere
at the tho%ght of losing him$ shr%nk from the !all. Then
Al!estis$ #ith a genero%s self)deotion$ proffered herself as the
s%-stit%te. Admet%s$ fond as he #as of life$ #o%ld not hae
s%-mitted to re!eie it at s%!h a !ost; -%t there #as no remedy.
The !ondition imposed -y the Fates had -een met$ and the de!ree
#as irreo!a-le. Al!estis si!kened as Admet%s reied$ and she
#as rapidly sinking to the grae.
'%st at this time 2er!%les arried at the pala!e of Admet%s$ and
fo%nd all the inmates in great distress for the impending loss of
the deoted #ife and -eloed mistress. 2er!%les$ to #hom no
la-or #as too ard%o%s$ resoled to attempt her res!%e. 2e #ent
and lay in #ait at the door of the !ham-er of the dying :%een$
and #hen Death !ame for his prey$ he sei6ed him and for!ed him to
resign his i!tim. Al!estis re!oered$ and #as restored to her
&ilton all%des to the story of Al!estis in his Sonnet on his
de!eased #ife.
8&etho%ght I sa# my late espo%sed saint$
.ro%ght to me like Al!estis from the grae$
"hom 'oe/s great son to her glad h%s-and gae$
Res!%ed from death -y for!e$ tho%gh pale and faint.8
'ames R%ssell (o#ell has !hosen the 8Shepherd of *ing Admet%s8
for the s%-7e!t of a short poem. 2e makes that eent the first
introd%!tion of poetry to men.
8&en !alled him -%t a shiftless yo%th$
In #hom no good they sa#$
And yet %n#ittingly$ in tr%th$
They made his !areless #ords their la#.
And day -y day more holy gre#
Ea!h spot #here he had trod$
Till after poets only kne#
Their first)-orn -rother #as a god.8
In The (oe of Al!estis$ one of the poems in The Earthly
,aradise$ &r. &orris th%s tells the story of the taming of the
8))))) Rising %p no more delay he made$
.%t took the staff and gained the pala!e)door
"here stood the -easts$ #hose mingled #hine and roar
2ad #ro%ght his dream; there t#o and t#o they stood$
Thinking$ it might -e$ of the tangled #ood$
And all the 7oys of the food)hiding trees.
.%t harmless as their painted images
/Neath some dread spell; then$ leaping %p$ he took
The reins in hand and the -ossed leather shook$
And no delay the !on:%ered -easts d%rst make$
.%t dre#$ not silent; and folk 7%st a#ake$
"hen he #ent -y as tho%gh a god they sa#$
Fell on their knees$ and maidens !ome to dra#
Fresh #ater from the fo%nt$ sank trem-ling do#n$
And silen!e held the -a--ling$ #akened to#n.8
The poems and histories of legendary Gree!e often relate$ as has
-een seen$ to #omen and their lies. Antigone #as as -right an
e0ample of filial and sisterly fidelity as #as Al!estis of
!onn%-ial deotion. She #as the da%ghter of OEdip%s and 'o!asta$
#ho$ #ith all their des!endants$ #ere the i!tims of an
%nrelenting fate$ dooming them to destr%!tion. OEdip%s in his
madness had torn o%t his eyes$ and #as drien forth from his
kingdom The-es$ dreaded and a-andoned -y all men$ as an o-7e!t of
diine engean!e. Antigone$ his da%ghter$ alone shared his
#anderings$ and remained #ith him till he died$ and then ret%rned
to The-es.
2er -rothers$ Eteo!les and ,olyni!es$ had agreed to share the
kingdom -et#een them$ and reign alternately year -y year. The
first year fell to the lot of Eteo!les$ #ho$ #hen his time
e0pired$ ref%sed to s%rrender the kingdom to his -rother.
,olyni!es fled to Adrast%s$ king of Argos$ #ho gae him his
da%ghter in marriage$ and aided him #ith an army to enfor!e his
!laim to the kingdom. This led to the !ele-rated e0pedition of
the 8Seen against The-es$8 #hi!h f%rnished ample materials for
the epi! and tragi! poets of Gree!e.
Amphiara%s$ the -rother)in)la# of Adrast%s$ opposed the
enterprise$ for he #as a soothsayer$ and kne# -y his art that no
one of the leaders e0!ept Adrast%s #o%ld lie to ret%rn. .%t
Amphiara%s$ on his marriage to Eriphyle$ the king/s sister$ had
agreed that #heneer he and Adrast%s sho%ld differ in opinion$
the de!ision sho%ld -e left to Eriphyle. ,olyni!es$ kno#ing
this$ gae Eriphyle the !ollar of 2armonia$ and there-y gained
her to his interest. This !ollar or ne!kla!e #as a present #hi!h
+%l!an had gien to 2armonia on her marriage #ith Cadm%s$ and
,olyni!es had taken it #ith him on his flight from The-es.
Eriphyle !o%ld not resist so tempting a -ri-e$ and -y her
de!ision the #ar #as resoled on$ and Amphiara%s #ent to his
!ertain fate. 2e -ore his part -raely in the !ontest$ -%t !o%ld
not aert his destiny. ,%rs%ed -y the enemy he fled along the
rier$ #hen a th%nder-olt la%n!hed -y '%piter opened the gro%nd$
and he$ his !hariot$ and his !harioteer$ #ere s#allo#ed %p.
It #o%ld not -e in pla!e here to detail all the a!ts of heroism
or atro!ity #hi!h marked the !ontest; -%t #e m%st not omit to
re!ord the fidelity of Eadne as an offset to the #eakness of
Eriphyle. Capane%s$ the h%s-and of Eadne$ in the ardor of the
fight$ de!lared that he #o%ld for!e his #ay into the !ity in
spite of 'oe himself. ,la!ing a ladder against the #all$ he
mo%nted$ -%t '%piter$ offended at his impio%s lang%age$ str%!k
him #ith a th%nder-olt. "hen his o-se:%ies #ere !ele-rated$
Eadne !ast herself on his f%neral pile and perished.
Early in the !ontest Eteo!les !ons%lted the soothsayer Tiresias
as to the iss%e. Tiresias$ in his yo%th$ had -y !han!e seen
&inera -athing. The goddess in her #rath depried him of his
sight$ -%t after#ards relenting gae him in !ompensation the
kno#ledge of f%t%re eents. "hen !ons%lted -y Eteo!les$ he
de!lared that i!tory sho%ld fall to The-es if &enoe!e%s$ the son
of Creon$ gae himself a ol%ntary i!tim. The heroi! yo%th$
learning the response$ thre# a#ay his life in the first
The siege !ontin%ed long$ #ith ario%s s%!!ess. At length -oth
hosts agreed that the -rothers sho%ld de!ide their :%arrel -y
single !om-at. They fo%ght and fell -y ea!h other/s hands. The
armies then rene#ed the fight$ and at last the inaders #ere
for!ed to yield$ and fled$ leaing their dead %n-%ried. Creon$
the %n!le of the fallen prin!es$ no# -e!ome king$ !a%sed Eteo!les
to -e -%ried #ith disting%ished honor$ -%t s%ffered the -ody of
,olyni!es to lie #here it fell$ for-idding eery one$ on pain of
death$ to gie it -%rial.
Antigone$ the sister of ,olyni!es$ heard #ith indignation the
reolting edi!t #hi!h !onsigned her -rother/s -ody to the dogs
and %lt%res$ depriing it of those rites #hi!h #ere !onsidered
essential to the repose of the dead. 9nmoed -y the diss%ading
!o%nsel of an affe!tionate -%t timid sister$ and %na-le to
pro!%re assistan!e$ she determined to -rae the ha6ard and to
-%ry the -ody #ith her o#n hands. She #as dete!ted in the a!t$
and Creon gae orders that she sho%ld -e -%ried alie$ as haing
deli-erately set at no%ght the solemn edi!t of the !ity. 2er
loe$ 2aemon$ the son of Creon$ %na-le to aert her fate$ #o%ld
not s%rie her$ and fell -y his o#n hand.
Antigone forms the s%-7e!t of t#o fine tragedies of the Gre!ian
poet Sopho!les. &rs. 'ameson$ in her Chara!teristi!s of "omen$
has !ompared her !hara!ter #ith that of Cordelia$ in
Shakespeare/s *ing (ear. The per%sal of her remarks !annot fail
to gratify o%r readers.
The follo#ing is the lamentation of Antigone oer OEdip%s$ #hen
death has at last relieed him from his s%fferings@
8AlasC I only #ished I might hae died
"ith my poor father; #herefore sho%ld I ask
For longer lifeB
Oh$ I #as fond of misery #ith him;
E/en #hat #as most %nloely gre# -eloed
"hen he #as #ith me. Oh$ my dearest father$
.eneath the earth no# in deep darkness hid$
"orn as tho% #ert #ith age$ to me tho% still
"ast dear$ and shalt -e eer.8
Fran!klin/s Sopho!les
,enelope is another of those mythi! heroines #hose -ea%ties #ere
rather those of !hara!ter and !ond%!t than of person. She #as
the da%ghter of I!ari%s$ a Spartan prin!e. 9lysses$ king of
Itha!a$ so%ght her in marriage$ and #on her oer all !ompetitors.
"hen the moment !ame for the -ride to leae her father/s ho%se$
I!ari%s$ %na-le to -ear the tho%ghts of parting #ith his
da%ghter$ tried to pers%ade her to remain #ith him$ and not
a!!ompany her h%s-and to Itha!a. 9lysses gae ,enelope her
!hoi!e$ to stay or go #ith him. ,enelope made no reply$ -%t
dropped her eil oer her fa!e. I!ari%s %rged her no f%rther$
-%t #hen she #as gone ere!ted a stat%e to &odesty on the spot
#here they parted.
9lysses and ,enelope had not en7oyed their %nion more than a year
#hen it #as interr%pted -y the eents #hi!h !alled 9lysses to the
Tro7an #ar. D%ring his long a-sen!e$ and #hen it #as do%-tf%l
#hether he still lied$ and highly impro-a-le that he #o%ld eer
ret%rn$ ,enelope #as import%ned -y n%mero%s s%itors$ from #hom
there seemed no ref%ge -%t in !hoosing one of them for her
h%s-and. ,enelope$ ho#eer$ employed eery art to gain time$
still hopping for 9lysses/ ret%rn. One of her arts of delay #as
engaging in the preparation of a ro-e for the f%neral !anopy of
(aertes$ her h%s-and/s father. She pledged herself to make her
!hoi!e among the s%itors #hen the ro-e #as finished. D%ring the
day she #orked at the ro-e$ -%t in the night she %ndid the #ork
of the day. This is the famo%s ,enelope/s #e-$ #hi!h is %sed as
a proer-ial e0pression for anything #hi!h is perpet%ally doing
-%t neer done. The rest of ,enelope/s history #ill -e told #hen
#e gie an a!!o%nt of her h%s-and/s adent%res.
Chapter 5+II
Orphe%s and E%rydi!e. Artistae%s. Amphion. (in%s.
Thamyris. &arsyas. &elamp%s. &%sae%s
Orphe%s #as the son of Apollo and the m%se Calliope. 2e #as
presented -y his father #ith a lyre and ta%ght to play %pon it$
and he played to s%!h perfe!tion that nothing !o%ld #ithstand the
!harm of his m%si!. Not only his fello# mortals$ -%t #ild -easts
#ere softened -y his strains$ and gathering ro%nd him laid -y
their fier!eness$ and stood entran!ed #ith his lay. Nay$ the
ery trees and ro!ks #ere sensi-le to the !harm. The former
!ro#ded ro%nd him and the latter rela0ed some#hat of their
hardness$ softened -y his notes.
2ymen had -een !alled to -less #ith his presen!e the n%ptials of
Orphe%s #ith E%rydi!e; -%t tho%gh he attended$ he -ro%ght no
happy omens #ith him. 2is ery tor!h smoked and -ro%ght tears
into their eyes. In !oin!iden!e #ith s%!h prognosti!s E%rydi!e$
shortly after her marriage$ #hile #andering #ith the nymphs$ her
!ompanions$ #as seen -y the shepherd Aristae%s$ #ho #as str%!k
#ith her -ea%ty$ and made adan!es to her. She fled$ and in
flying trod %pon a snake in the grass$ #as -itten in the foot and
died. Orphe%s sang his grief to all #ho -reathed the %pper air$
-oth gods and men$ and finding it all %naailing resoled to seek
his #ife in the regions of the dead. 2e des!ended -y a !ae
sit%ated on the side of the promontory of Taenar%s and arried at
the Stygian realm. 2e passed thro%gh !ro#ds of ghosts$ and
presented himself -efore the throne of ,l%to and ,roserpine.
A!!ompanying the #ords #ith the lyre$ he s%ng$ 8O deities of the
%nder#orld$ to #hom all #e #ho lie m%st !ome$ hear my #ords$ for
they are tr%eC I !ome not to spy o%t the se!rets of Tartar%s$
nor to try my strength against the three)headed dog #ith snaky
hair #ho g%ards the entran!e. I !ome to seek my #ife$ #hose
opening years the poisono%s iper/s fang has -ro%ght to an
%ntimely end. (oe had led me here$ (oe$ a god all po#erf%l
#ith %s #ho d#ell on the earth$ and$ if old traditions say tr%e$
not less so here. I implore yo% -y these a-odes f%ll of terror$
these realms of silen!e and %n!reated things$ %nite again the
thread of E%rydi!e/s life. "e all are destined to yo%$ and
sooner or later m%st pass to yo%r domain. She too$ #hen she
shall hae filled her term of life$ #ill rightly -e yo%rs. .%t
till then grant her to me$ I -esee!h yo%. If yo% deny me$ I
!annot ret%rn alone; yo% shall tri%mph in the death of %s -oth.8
As he sang these tender strains$ the ery ghosts shed tears.
Tantal%s$ in spite of his thirst$ stopped for a moment his
efforts for #ater$ I0ion/s #heel stood still$ the %lt%re !eased
to tear the giant/s lier$ the da%ghters of Dana%s rested from
their task of dra#ing #ater in a siee$ and Sisyph%s sat on his
ro!k to listen. Then for the first time$ it is said$ the !heeks
of the F%ries #ere #et #ith tears. ,roserpine !o%ld not resist$
and ,l%to himself gae #ay. E%rydi!e #as !alled. She !ame from
among the ne#)arried ghosts$ limping #ith her #o%nded foot.
Orphe%s #as permitted to take her a#ay #ith him on one !ondition$
that he sho%ld not t%rn ro%nd to look at her till they sho%ld
hae rea!hed the %pper air. 9nder this !ondition they pro!eeded
on their #ay$ he leading$ she follo#ing$ thro%gh passages dark
and steep$ in total silen!e$ till they had nearly rea!hed the
o%tlet into the !heerf%l %pper #orld$ #hen Orphe%s$ in a moment
of forgetf%lness$ to ass%re himself that she #as still follo#ing$
!ast a glan!e -ehind him$ #hen instantly she #as -orne a#ay.
Stret!hing o%t their arms to em-ra!e one another they grasped
only the air. Dying no# a se!ond time she yet !annot reproa!h
her h%s-and$ for ho# !an she -lame his impatien!e to -ehold herB
8Fare#ell$8 she said$ 8a last fare#ell$8 and #as h%rried a#ay$
so fast that the so%nd hardly rea!hed his ears.
Orphe%s endeaored to follo# her$ and -eso%ght permission to
ret%rn and try on!e more for her release -%t the stern ferryman
rep%lsed him and ref%sed passage. Seen days he lingered a-o%t
the -rink$ #itho%t food or sleep; then -itterly a!!%sing of
!r%elty the po#ers of Ere-%s$ he sang his !omplaints to the ro!ks
and mo%ntains$ melting the hearts of tigers and moing the oaks
from their stations. 2e held himself aloof from #omankind$
d#elling !onstantly on the re!olle!tion of his sad mis!han!e.
The Thra!ian maidens tried their -est to !aptiate him$ -%t he
rep%lsed their adan!es. They -ore #ith him as long as they
!o%ld; -%t finding him insensi-le$ one day$ one of them$ e0!ited
-y the rites of .a!!h%s$ e0!laimed$ 8See yonder o%r despiserC8
and thre# at him her 7aelin. The #eapon$ as soon as it !ame
#ithin the so%nd of his lyre$ fell harmless at his feet. So did
also the stones that they thre# at him. .%t the #omen raised a
s!ream and dro#ned the oi!e of the m%si!$ and then the missiles
rea!hed him and soon #ere stained #ith his -lood. The mania!s
tore him lim- from lim-$ and thre# his head and his lyre into the
rier 2e-r%s$ do#n #hi!h they floated$ m%rm%ring sad m%si!$ to
#hi!h the shores responded a plaintie symphony. The &%ses
gathered %p the fragments of his -ody and -%ried them at
(i-ethra$ #here the nightingale is said to sing oer his grae
more s#eetly than in any other part of Gree!e. 2is lyre #as
pla!ed -y '%piter among the stars. 2is shade passed a se!ond
time to Tartar%s$ #here he so%ght o%t his E%rydi!e and em-ra!ed
her$ #ith eager arms. They roam thro%gh those happy fields
together no#$ sometimes he leads$ sometimes she; and Orphe%s
ga6es as m%!h as he #ill %pon her$ no longer in!%rring a penalty
for a tho%ghtless glan!e.
The story of Orphe%s has f%rnished ,ope #ith an ill%stration of
the po#er of m%si!$ for his Ode for St. Ce!elia/s Day. The
follo#ing stan6a relates the !on!l%sion of the story@
8.%t soon$ too soon the loer t%rns his eyes;
Again she falls$ again she dies$ she diesC
2o# #ilt tho% no# the fatal sisters moeB
No !rime #as thine$ if /tis no !rime to loe.
No# %nder hanging mo%ntains$
.eside the falls of fo%ntains$
Or #here 2e-r%s #anders$
Rolling in meanders$
All alone$
2e makes his moan$
And !alls her ghost$
Foreer$ eer$ eer lostC
No# #ith f%ries s%rro%nded$
Despairing$ !onfo%nded$
2e trem-les$ he glo#s$
Amidst Rhodope/s sno#s.
See$ #ild as the #inds o/er the desert he flies;
2arkC 2aem%s reso%nds #ith the .a!!hanals/ !ries.
Ah$ see$ he diesC
1et een in death E%rydi!e he s%ng$
E%rydi!e still trem-led on his tong%e;
E%rydi!e the #oods$
E%rydi!e the floods$
E%rydi!e the ro!ks and hollo# mo%ntains r%ng.8
The s%perior melody of the nightingale/s song oer the grae of
Orphe%s$ is all%ded to -y So%they in his Thala-a@
8Then on his ear #hat so%nds
Of harmony aroseC
Far m%si! and the distan!e)mello#ed song
JFrom -o#ers of merriment;
The #aterfall remote;
The m%rm%ring of the leafy groes;
The single nightingale
,er!hed in the rosier -y$ so ri!hly toned$
That neer from that most melodio%s -ird
Singing a loe)song to his -rooding mate$
Did Thra!ian shepherd -y the grae
Of Orphe%s hear a s#eeter melody$
Tho%gh there the spirit of the sep%l!hre
All his o#n po#er inf%se$ to s#ell
The in!ense that he loes.8
&an aails himself of the instin!ts of the inferior animals for
his o#n adantage. 2en!e sprang the art of keeping -ees. 2oney
m%st first hae -een kno#n as a #ild prod%!t$ the -ees -%ilding
their str%!t%res in hollo# trees or holes in the ro!ks$ or any
similar !aity that !han!e offered. Th%s o!!asionally the
!ar!ass of a dead animal #o%ld -e o!!%pied -y the -ees for that
p%rpose. It #as no do%-t from some s%!h in!ident that the
s%perstition arose that the -ees #ere engendered -y the de!aying
flesh of the animal; and +irgil$ in the follo#ing story <From the
Georgies$ .ook I+.D.IDM=$ sho#s ho# this s%pposed fa!t may -e
t%rned to a!!o%nt for rene#ing the s#arm #hen it has -een lost -y
disease or a!!ident.
The shepherd Aristae%s$ #ho first ta%ght the management of -ees$
#as the son of the #ater)nymph Cyrene. 2is -ees had perished$
and he resorted for aid to his mother. 2e stood at the rier
side and th%s addressed her@ 8Oh$ mother$ the pride of my life is
taken from meC I hae lost my pre!io%s -ees. &y !are and skill
hae aailed me nothing$ and yo%$ my mother$ hae not #arded off
from me the -lo# of misfort%ne.8 2is mother heard these
!omplaints as she sat in her pala!e at the -ottom of the rier
#ith her attendant nymphs aro%nd her. They #ere engaged in
female o!!%pations$ spinning and #eaing$ #hile one told stories
to am%se the rest. The sad oi!e of Aristae%s interr%pting their
o!!%pation$ one of them p%t her head a-oe the #ater and seeing
him$ ret%rned and gae information to his mother$ #ho ordered
that he sho%ld -e -ro%ght into her presen!e. The rier at her
!ommand opened itself and let him pass in$ #hile it stood !%rled
like a mo%ntain on either side. 2e des!ended to the region #here
the fo%ntains of the great riers lie; he sa# the enormo%s
re!epta!les of #aters and #as almost deafened #ith the roar$
#hile he s%reyed them h%rrying off in ario%s dire!tions to
#ater the fa!e of the earth. Arriing at his mother/s apartment
he #as hospita-ly re!eied -y Cyrene and her nymphs$ #ho spread
their ta-le #ith the ri!hest dainties. They first po%red o%t
li-ations to Nept%ne$ then regaled themseles #ith the feast$ and
after that Cyrene th%s addressed him@ 8There is an old prophet
named ,rote%s$ #ho d#ells in the sea and is a faorite of
Nept%ne$ #hose herd of sea)!ales he past%res. "e nymphs hold
him in great respe!t$ for he is a learned sage$ and kno#s all
things$ past$ present$ and to !ome. 2e !an tell yo%$ my son$ the
!a%se of the mortality among yo%r -ees$ and ho# yo% may remedy
it. .%t he #ill not do it ol%ntarily$ ho#eer yo% may entreat
him. 1o% m%st !ompel him -y for!e. If yo% sei6e him and !hain
him$ he #ill ans#er yo%r :%estions in order to get released$ for
he !annot$ -y all his arts$ get a#ay if yo% hold fast the !hains.
I #ill !arry yo% to his !ae$ #here he !omes at noon to take his
midday repose. Then yo% may easily se!%re him. .%t #hen he
finds himself !apt%red$ his resort is to a po#er he possesses of
!hanging himself into ario%s forms. 2e #ill -e!ome a #ild -oar
or a fier!e tiger$ a s!aly dragon$ or lion #ith yello# mane. Or
he #ill make a noise like the !ra!kling of flames or the r%sh of
#ater$ so as to tempt yo% to let go the !hain$ #hen he #ill make
his es!ape. .%t yo% hae only to keep him fast -o%nd$ and at
last #hen he finds all his arts %naailing$ he #ill ret%rn to his
o#n fig%re and o-ey yo%r !ommands.8 So saying she sprinkled her
son #ith fragrant ne!tar$ the -eerage of the gods$ and
immediately an %n%s%al igor filled his frame and !o%rage his
heart$ #hile perf%me -reathed all aro%nd him.
The nymph led her son to the prophet/s !ae$ and !on!ealed him
among the re!esses of the ro!ks$ #hile she herself took her pla!e
-ehind the !lo%ds. Then noon !ame and the ho%r #hen men and
herds retreat from the glaring s%n to ind%lge in :%iet sl%m-er$
,rote%s iss%ed from the #ater$ follo#ed hy his herd of sea)
!ales$ #hi!h spread themseles along the shore. 2e sat on the
ro!k and !o%nted his herd; then stret!hed himself on the floor of
the !ae and #ent to sleep. Aristae%s hardly allo#ed him to get
fairly asleep -efore he fi0ed the fetters on him and sho%ted
alo%d. ,rote%s$ #aking and finding himself !apt%red$ immediately
resorted to his arts$ -e!oming first a fire$ then a flood$ then a
horri-le #ild -east$ in rapid s%!!ession. .%t trying all in
ain$ he at last res%med his o#n form and addressed the yo%th in
angry a!!ents@ 8"ho are yo%$ -old yo%th$ #ho th%s inade my
a-ode$ and #hat do yo% #ant #ith meB8 Aristae%s replied$
8,rote%s$ yo% kno# already$ for it is needless for any one to
attempt to de!eie yo%. And do yo% also !ease yo%r efforts to
el%de me. I am led hither -y diine assistan!e$ to kno# from yo%
the !a%se of my misfort%ne and ho# to remedy it.8 At these #ords
the prophet$ fi0ing on him his gray eyes #ith a pier!ing look$
th%s spoke@ 81o% re!eied the merited re#ard of yo%r deeds$ -y
#hi!h E%rydi!e met her death$ for in flying from yo% she trod
%pon a serpent$ of #hose -ite she died. To aenge her death the
nymphs$ her !ompanions$ hae sent this destr%!tion -o yo%r -ees.
1o% hae to appease their anger$ and th%s it m%st -e done@ Sele!t
fo%r -%lls of perfe!t form and si6e$ and fo%r !o#s of e:%al
-ea%ty$ -%ild fo%r altars to the nymphs$ and sa!rifi!e the
animals$ leaing their !ar!asses in the leafy groe. To Orphe%s
and E%rydi!e yo% shall pay s%!h f%neral honors as may allay their
resentment. Ret%rning after nine days yo% #ill e0amine the
-odies of the !attle slain and see #hat #ill -efall.8 Aristae%s
faithf%lly o-eyed these dire!tions. 2e sa!rifi!ed the !attle$ he
left their -odies in the groe$ he offered f%neral honors to the
shades of Orphe%s and E%rydi!e; then ret%rning on the ninth day
he e0amined the -odies of the animals$ and$ #onderf%l to relateC
A s#arm of -ees had taken possession of one of the !ar!asses$ and
#ere p%rs%ing their la-ors there as in a hie.
In the Task$ Co#per all%des to the story of Aristae%s$ #hen
speaking of the i!e)pala!e -%ilt -y the Empress Anne of R%ssia.
2e has -een des!ri-ing the fantasti! forms #hi!h i!e ass%mes in
!onne!tion #ith #aterfalls$ et!.8
8(ess #orthy of appla%se tho%gh more admired$
.e!a%se a noelty$ the #ork of man$
Imperial mistress of the f%r)!lad R%ss$
Thy most magnifi!ent and mighty freak$
The #onder of the north. No forest fell
"hen tho% #o%ldst -%ild$ no :%arry sent its stores
T/enri!h thy #alls; -%t tho% didst he# the floods
And make thy mar-le of the glassy #ae.
In s%!h a pala!e Aristae%s fo%nd
Cyrene$ #hen he -ore the plaintie tale
Of his lost -ees to her maternal ear.8
&ilton also appears to hae had Cyrene and her domesti! s!ene in
his mind #hen he des!ri-es to %s Sa-rina$ the nymph of the rier
Seern$ in the G%ardian)spirit/s Song in Com%s@
8Sa-rina fairC
(isten #hen tho% art sitting
9nder the glassy$ !ool$ transl%!ent #ae
In t#isted -raids of lilies knitting
The loose train of thy am-er)dropping hair;
(isten for dear honor/s sake$
Goddess of the siler lakeC
(isten and sae.8
The follo#ing are other !ele-rated mythi!al poets and m%si!ians$
some of #hom #ere hardly inferior to Orphe%s himself@
Amphion #as the son of '%piter and Antiope$ :%een of The-es.
"ith his t#in -rother 4eth%s he #as e0posed at -irth on &o%nt
Cithaeron$ #here they gre# %p among the shepherds$ not kno#ing
their parentage. &er!%ry gae Amphion a lyre$ and ta%ght him to
play %pon it$ and his -rother o!!%pied himself in h%nting and
tending the flo!ks. &ean#hile Antiope$ their mother$ #ho had
-een treated #ith great !r%elty -y (y!%s$ the %s%rping king of
The-es$ and -y Dir!e$ his #ife$ fo%nd means to inform her
!hildren of their rights$ and to s%mmon them to her assistan!e.
"ith a -and of their fello#)herdsmen they atta!ked and sle#
(y!%s$ and tying Dir!e -y the hair of her head to a -%ll$ let him
drag her till she #as dead <the p%nishment of Dir!e is the
s%-7e!t of a !ele-rated gro%p of stat%ary no# in the &%se%m at
Naples=. Amphion$ haing -e!ome king of The-es fortified the
!ity #ith a #all. It is said that #hen he played on his lyre the
stones moed of their o#n a!!ord and took their pla!es in the
In Tennyson/s poem of Amphion is an am%sing %se of this story@
8Oh$ had I lied #hen song #as great$
In days of old Amphion$
And ta/en my fiddle to the gate
Nor feared for reed or s!ionC
And had I lied #hen song #as great$
And legs of trees #ere lim-er$
And ta/en my fiddle to the gate$
And fiddled to the tim-erC
8/Tis said he had a t%nef%l tong%e$
S%!h happy intonation$
"hereer he sat do#n and s%ng
2e left a small plantation;
"heneer in a lonely groe
2e set %p his forlorn pipes$
The go%ty oak -egan to moe
And flo%nder into hornpipes.8
(in%s #as the instr%!tor of 2er!%les in m%si!$ -%t haing one day
reproed his p%pil rather harshly$ he ro%sed the anger of
2er!%les$ #ho str%!k him #ith his lyre and killed him.
An an!ient Thra!ian -ard$ #ho in his pres%mption !hallenged the
&%ses to a trial of skill$ and -eing oer!ome in the !ontest #as
depried -y them of his sight. &ilton all%des to him #ith other
-lind -ards$ #hen speaking of his o#n -lindness <,aradise (ost$
.ook III.IO=.
&inera inented the fl%te$ and played %pon it to the delight of
all the !elestial a%ditors; -%t the mis!hieo%s %r!hin C%pid
haing dared to la%gh at the :%eer fa!e #hi!h the goddess made
#hile playing$ &inera thre# the instr%ment indignantly a#ay$ and
it fell do#n to earth$ and #as fo%nd -y &arsyas. 2e -le# %pon
it$ and dre# from it s%!h raishing so%nds that he #as tempted to
!hallenge Apollo himself to a m%si!al !ontest. The god of !o%rse
tri%mphed$ and p%nished &arsyas -y flaying him alie.
&elamp%s #as the first mortal endo#ed #ith propheti! po#ers.
.efore his ho%se there stood an oak tree !ontaining a serpent/s
nest. The old serpents #ere killed -y the serants$ -%t &elamp%s
took !are of the yo%ng ones and fed them !aref%lly. One day #hen
he #as asleep %nder the oak$ the serpents li!ked his ears #ith
their tong%es. On a#aking he #as astonished to find that he no#
%nderstood the lang%age of -irds and !reeping things. This
kno#ledge ena-led him to foretell f%t%re eents$ and he -e!ame a
reno#ned soothsayer. At one time his enemies took him !aptie
and kept him stri!tly imprisoned. &elamp%s in the silen!e of
night heard the #ood)#orms in the tim-ers talking together$ and
fo%nd o%t -y #hat they said that the tim-ers #ere nearly eaten
thro%gh$ and the roof #o%ld soon fall in. 2e told his !aptors
and demanded to -e let o%t$ #arning them also. They took his
#arning$ and th%s es!aped destr%!tion$ and re#arded &alamp%s and
held him in high honor.
A semi)mythologi!al personage #ho #as represented -y one
tradition to -e the son of Orphe%s. 2e is said to hae #ritten
sa!red poems and ora!les. &ilton !o%ples his name #ith that of
Orphe%s in his Il ,enseroso@
8.%t$ oh$ sad irgin$ that thy po#er
&ight raise &%sae%s from his -o#er$
Or -ed the so%l of Orphe%s sing
S%!h notes as #ar-led to the string$
Dre# iron tears do#n ,l%to/s !heek$
And made 2ell grant #hat loe did seek.8
Chapter 5+III
Arion. I-y!%s. Simonides. Sappho
The poets #hose adent%res !ompose this !hapter #ere real
persons$ some of #hose #orks yet remain$ and their infl%en!e on
poets #ho s%!!eeded them is yet more important than their
poeti!al remains. The adent%res re!orded of them in the
follo#ing stories rest on the same a%thority as other narraties
of the Age of Fa-le$ that is$ that of the poets #ho hae told
them. In their present form$ the first t#o are translated from
the German$ the story of Arion from S!hlegel$ and that of I-y!%s
from S!hiller.
Arion #as a famo%s m%si!ian$ and d#elt at the !o%rt of ,eriander$
king of Corinth$ #ith #hom he #as a great faorite. There #as to
-e a m%si!al !ontest in Si!ily$ and Arion longed to !ompete for
the pri6e. 2e told his #ish to ,eriander$ #ho -eso%ght him like
a -rother to gie %p the tho%ght. 8,ray stay #ith me$8 he said$
8and -e !ontented. 2e #ho stries to #in may lose.8 Arion
ans#ered$ 8A #andering life -est s%its the free heart of a poet.
The talent #hi!h a god -esto#ed on me$ I #o%ld fain make a so%r!e
of pleas%re to others. And if I #in the pri6e$ ho# #ill the
en7oyment of it -e in!reased -y the !ons!io%sness of my #ide)
spread fameC8 2e #ent$ #on the pri6e$ and em-arked #ith his
#ealth in a Corinthian ship for home. On the se!ond morning
after setting sail$ the #ind -reathed mild and fair. 8Oh$
,eriander$8 he e0!laimed$ 8dismiss yo%r fearsC Soon shall yo%
forget them in my em-ra!e. "ith #hat laish offerings #ill #e
display o%r gratit%de to the gods$ and ho# merry #ill #e -e at
the festal -oardC8 The #ind and sea !ontin%ed propitio%s. Not a
!lo%d dimmed the firmament. 2e had not tr%sted too m%!h to the
o!ean$ -%t he had to man. 2e oerheard the seamen e0!hanging
hints #ith one another$ and fo%nd they #ere plotting to possess
themseles of his treas%re. ,resently they s%rro%nded him lo%d
and m%tino%s$ and said$ 8Arion$ yo% m%st dieC If yo% #o%ld hae
a grae on shore$ yield yo%rself to die on this spot; -%t if
other#ise$ !ast yo%rself into the sea.8 8"ill nothing satisfy
yo% -%t my lifeB8 said he. 8Take my gold$ and #el!ome. I
#illingly -%y my life at that pri!e.8 8No$ no; #e !annot spare
yo%. 1o%r life #ill -e too dangero%s to %s. "here !o%ld #e go
to es!ape from ,eriander$ if he sho%ld kno# that yo% had -een
ro--ed -y %sB 1o%r gold #o%ld -e of little %se to %s$ if$ on
ret%rning home$ #e !o%ld neer more -e free from fear.8 8Grant
me$ then$8 said he$ 8a last re:%est$ sin!e no%ght #ill aail to
sae my life$ that I may die as I hae lied$ as -e!omes a -ard.
"hen I shall hae s%ng my death)song$ and my harp)strings shall
!ease to i-rate$ then I #ill -id fare#ell to life$ and yield
%n!omplaining to my fate.8 This prayer$ like the others$ #o%ld
hae -een %nheeded$ they tho%ght only of their -ooty$ -%t to
hear so famo%s a m%si!ian$ that moed their r%de hearts. 8S%ffer
me$8 he added$ 8to arrange my dress. Apollo #ill not faor me
%nless I -e !lad in my minstrel gar-.8
2e !lothed his #ell)proportioned lim-s in gold and p%rple fair to
see$ his t%ni! fell aro%nd him in gra!ef%l folds$ 7e#els adorned
his arms$ his -ro# #as !ro#ned #ith a golden #reath$ and oer his
ne!k and sho%lders flo#ed his hair perf%med #ith odors. 2is left
hand held the lyre$ his right the iory #and #ith #hi!h he str%!k
its !hords. (ike one inspired$ he seemed to drink the morning
air and glitter in the morning ray. The seamen ga6ed #ith
admiration. 2e strode for#ard to the essel/s side and looked
do#n into the -l%e sea. Addressing his lyre$ he sang$ 8Companion
of my oi!e$ !ome #ith me to the realm of shades. Tho%gh
Cer-er%s may gro#l$ #e kno# the po#er of song !an tame his rage.
1e heroes of Elysi%m$ #ho hae passed the darkling flood$ ye
happy so%ls$ soon shall I 7oin yo%r -and. 1et !an ye reliee my
griefB Alas$ I leae my friend -ehind me. Tho%$ #ho didst find
thy E%rydi!e$ and lose her again as soon as fo%nd; #hen she had
anished like a dream$ ho# didst tho% hate the !heerf%l lightC I
m%st a#ay$ -%t I #ill not fear. The gods look do#n %pon %s. 1e
#ho slay me %noffending$ #hen I am no more$ yo%r time of
trem-ling shall !ome. 1e Nereids$ re!eie yo%r g%est$ #ho thro#s
himself %pon yo%r mer!yC8 So saying$ he sprang into the deep
sea. The #aes !oered him$ and the seamen held on their #ay$
fan!ying themseles safe from all danger of dete!tion.
.%t the strains of his m%si! had dra#n ro%nd him the inha-itants
of the deep to listen$ and dolphins follo#ed the ship as if
!hained -y a spell. "hile he str%ggled in the #aes$ a dolphin
offered him his -a!k$ and !arried him mo%nted thereon safe to
shore. At the spot #here he landed$ a mon%ment of -rass #as
after#ards ere!ted %pon the ro!ky shore$ to presere the memory
of the eent.
"hen Arion and the dolphin parted$ ea!h to his o#n element$ Arion
th%s po%red forth his thanks. 8Fare#ell$ tho% faithf%l$ friendly
fishC "o%ld that I !o%ld re#ard thee; -%t tho% !anst not #end
#ith me$ nor I #ith thee. Companionship #e may not hae. &ay
Galatea$ :%een of the deep$ a!!ord thee her faor$ and tho%$
pro%d of the -%rden$ dra# her !hariot oer the smooth mirror of
the deep.8
Arion hastened from the shore$ and soon sa# -efore him the to#ers
of Corinth. 2e 7o%rneyed on$ harp in hand$ singing as he #ent$
f%ll of loe and happiness$ forgetting his losses$ and mindf%l
only of #hat remained$ his friend and his lyre. 2e entered the
hospita-le halls$ and #as soon !lasped in the em-ra!e of
,eriander. 8I !ome -a!k to thee$ my friend$8 he said. 8The
talent #hi!h a god -esto#ed has -een the delight of tho%sands$
-%t false knaes hae stripped me of my #ell)earned treas%re; yet
I retain the !ons!io%sness of #ide)spread fame.8 Then he told
,eriander all the #onderf%l eents that had -efallen him$ #ho
heard him #ith ama6ement. 8Shall s%!h #i!kedness tri%mphB8 said
he. 8Then in ain is po#er lodged in my hands. That #e may
dis!oer the !riminals$ yo% m%st remain here in !on!ealment$ and
so they #ill approa!h #itho%t s%spi!ion.8 "hen the ship arried
in the har-or$ he s%mmoned the mariners -efore him. 82ae yo%
heard anything of ArionB8 he in:%ired. 8I an0io%sly look for his
ret%rn.8 They replied$ 8"e left him #ell and prospero%s in
Tarent%m.8 As they said these #ords$ Arion stepped forth and
fa!ed them. 2is #ell proportioned lim-s #ere arrayed in gold and
p%rple fair to see$ his t%ni! fell aro%nd him in gra!ef%l folds$
7e#els adorned his arms$ his -ro# #as !ro#ned #ith a golden
#reath$ and oer his ne!k and sho%lders flo#ed his hair perf%med
#ith odors; his left hand held the lyre$ his right the iory #and
#ith #hi!h he str%!k its !hords. They fell prostrate at his
feet$ as if a lightning -olt had str%!k them. 8"e meant to
m%rder him$ and he has -e!ome a god. O Earth$ open and re!eie
%sC8 Then ,eriander spoke. 82e lies$ the master of the layC
*ind 2eaen prote!ts the poet/s life. As for yo%$ I inoke not
the spirit of engean!e; Arion #ishes not yo%r -lood. 1e slaes
of aari!e$ -egoneC Seek some -ar-aro%s land$ and neer may
a%ght -ea%tif%l delight yo%r so%lsC8
Spen!er represents Arion$ mo%nted on his dolphin$ a!!ompanying
the train of Nept%ne and Amphitrite@
8Then #as there heard a most !elestial so%nd
Of dainty m%si! #hi!h did ne0t ens%e$
And$ on the floating #aters as enthroned$
Arion #ith his harp %nto him dre#
The ears and hearts of all that goodly !re#;
Een #hen as yet the dolphin #hi!h him -ore
Thro%gh the Aegean Seas from pirates/ ie#$
Stood still$ -y him astonished at his loe$
And all the raging seas for 7oy forgot to roar.8
.yron$ in his Childe 2arold$ Canto II.$ all%des to the story of
Arion$ #hen$ des!ri-ing his oyage$ he represents one of the
seamen making m%si! to entertain the rest@
8The moon is %p; -y 2eaen$ a loely eeC
(ong streams of light o/er dan!ing #aes e0pand;
No# lads on shore may sigh and maids -eliee;
S%!h -e o%r fate #hen #e ret%rn to landC
&eantime some r%de Arion/s restless hand
"akes the -risk harmony that sailors loe;
A !ir!le there of merry listeners stand$
Or to some #ell)kno#n meas%re featly moe
Tho%ghtless as if on shore they still #ere free to roe.8
In order to %nderstand the story of I-y!%s #hi!h follo#s$ it is
ne!essary to remem-er$ first$ that the theatres of the an!ients
#ere immense -%ildings proiding seats for from ten to thirty
tho%sand spe!tators$ and as they #ere %sed only on festal
o!!asions$ and admission #as free to all$ they #ere %s%ally
filled. They #ere #itho%t roofs and open to the sky$ and the
performan!es #ere in the daytime. Se!ondly$ the appalling
representation of the F%ries is not e0aggerated in the story. It
is re!orded that AEs!hyl%s$ the tragi! poet$ haing on one
o!!asion represented the F%ries in a !hor%s of fifty performers$
the terror of the spe!tators #as s%!h that many fainted and #ere
thro#n into !on%lsions$ and the magistrates for-ade a like
representation for the f%t%re.
I-y!%s$ the pio%s poet$ #as on his #ay to the !hariot ra!es and
m%si!al !ompetitions held at the Isthm%s of Corinth$ #hi!h
attra!ted all of Gre!ian lineage. Apollo had -esto#ed on him the
gift of song$ the honeyed lips of the poet$ and he p%rs%ed his
#ay #ith lightsome step$ f%ll of the god. Already the to#ers of
Corinth !ro#ning the height appeared in ie#$ and he had entered
#ith pio%s a#e the sa!red groe of Nept%ne. No liing o-7e!t #as
in sight$ only a flo!k of !ranes fle# oerhead$ taking the same
!o%rse as himself in their migration to a so%thern !lime. 8Good
l%!k to yo%$ ye friendly s:%adrons$8 he e0!laimed$ 8my !ompanions
from a!ross the sea. I take yo%r !ompany for a good omen. "e
!ome from far$ and fly in sear!h of hospitality. &ay -oth of %s
meet that kind re!eption #hi!h shields the stranger g%est from
2e pa!ed -riskly on$ and soon #as in the middle of the #ood.
There s%ddenly$ at a narro# pass$ t#o ro--ers stepped forth and
-arred his #ay. 2e m%st yield or fight. .%t his hand$
a!!%stomed to the lyre and not to the strife of arms$ sank
po#erless. 2e !alled for help on men and gods$ -%t his !ry
rea!hed no defender/s ear. 8Then here m%st I die$8 said he$ 8in
a strange land$ %nlamented$ !%t off -y the hand of o%tla#s$ and
see none to aenge my !a%se.8 Sore #o%nded he sank to the earth$
#hen hoarse s!reamed the !ranes oerhead. 8Take %p my !a%se$ ye
!ranes$8 he said$ 8sin!e no oi!e -%t yo%rs ans#ers to my !ry.8
So saying$ he !losed his eyes in death.
The -ody$ despoiled and mangled$ #as fo%nd$ and tho%gh disfig%red
#ith #o%nds$ #as re!ogni6ed -y the friend in Corinth #ho had
e0pe!ted him as a g%est. 8Is it th%s I find yo% restored to meB8
he e0!laimed; 8I #ho hoped to ent#ine yo%r temples #ith the
#reath of tri%mph in the strife of songC8
The g%ests assem-led at the festial heard the tidings #ith
dismay. All Gree!e felt the #o%nd$ eery heart o#ned its loss.
They !ro#ded ro%nd the tri-%nal of the magistrates$ and demanded
engean!e on the m%rderers and e0piation #ith their -lood.
.%t #hat tra!e or mark shall point o%t the perpetrator from
amidst the ast m%ltit%de attra!ted -y the splendor of the featB
Did he fall -y the hands of ro--ers$ or did some priate enemy
slay himB The all)dis!erning s%n alone !an tell$ for no other
eye -eheld it. 1et not impro-a-ly the m%rderer een no# #alks in
the midst of the throng$ and en7oys the fr%its of his !rime$
#hile engean!e seeks for him in ain. ,erhaps in their o#n
temple/s en!los%re he defies the gods$ mingling freely in this
throng of men that no# presses into the ampitheatre.
For no# !ro#ded together$ ro# on ro#$ the m%ltit%de fill the
seats till it seems as if the ery fa-ri! #o%ld gie #ay. The
m%rm%r of oi!es so%nds like the roar of the sea$ #hile the
!ir!les #idening in their as!ent rise$ tier on tier$ as if they
#o%ld rea!h the sky.
And no# the ast assem-lage listens to the a#f%l oi!e of the
!hor%s personating the F%ries$ #hi!h in solemn g%ise adan!es
#ith meas%red step$ and moes aro%nd the !ir!%it of the theatre.
Can they -e mortal #omen #ho !ompose that a#f%l gro%p$ and !an
that ast !on!o%rse of silent forms -e liing -eingsC
The !horisters$ !lad in -la!k$ -ore in their fleshless hands
tor!hes -la6ing #ith a pit!hy flame. Their !heeks #ere
-loodless$ and in pla!e of hair$ #riting and s#elling serpents
!%rled aro%nd their -ro#s. Forming a !ir!le$ these a#f%l -eings
sang their hymn$ rending the hearts of the g%ilty$ and en!haining
all their fa!%lties. It rose and s#elled$ oerpo#ering the so%nd
of the instr%ments$ stealing the 7%dgment$ palsying the heart$
!%rdling the -lood.
82appy the man #ho keeps his heart p%re from g%ilt and !rimeC
2im #e aengers to%!h not; he treads the path of life se!%re from
%s. .%t #oeC "oeC To him #ho has done the deed of se!ret
m%rder. "e$ the fearf%l family of Night$ fasten o%rseles %pon
his #hole -eing. Thinks he -y flight to es!ape %sB "e fly still
faster in p%rs%it$ t#ine o%r snakes aro%nd his feet and -ring him
to the gro%nd. 9n#earied #e p%rs%e; no pity !he!ks o%r !o%rse;
still on and on to the end of life$ #e gie him no pea!e nor
rest.8 Th%s the E%menides sang$ and moed in solemn !aden!e$
#hile stillness like the stillness of death sat oer the #hole
assem-ly as if in the presen!e of s%perh%man -eings; and then in
solemn mar!h !ompleting the !ir!%it of the theatre$ they passed
o%t at the -a!k of the stage.
Eery heart fl%ttered -et#een ill%sion and reality$ and eery
-reast panted #ith %ndefined terror$ :%ailing -efore the a#f%l
po#er that #at!hes se!ret !rimes and #inds %nseen the skein of
destiny. At that moment a !ry -%rst forth from one of the
%ppermost -en!hes 8(ookC (ookC Comrade$ yonder are the !ranes
of I-y!%sC8 And s%ddenly there appeared sailing a!ross the sky a
dark o-7e!t #hi!h a moment/s inspe!tion sho#ed to -e a flo!k of
!ranes flying dire!tly oer the theatre. 8Of I-y!%sC did he
sayB8 The -eloed name reied the sorro# in eery -reast. As
#ae follo#s #ae oer the fa!e of the sea$ so ran from mo%th to
mo%th the #ords$ 8Of I-y!%sC 2im #hom #e all lament$ #ith some
m%rderer/s hand laid lo#C "hat hae the !ranes to do #ith himB8
And lo%der gre# the s#ell of oi!es$ #hile like a lightning/s
flash the tho%ght sped thro%gh eery heart$ 8O-sere the po#er of
the E%menidesC The pio%s poet shall -e aengedC The m%rderer
has informed against himself. Sei6e the man #ho %ttered that !ry
and the other to #hom he spokeC8
The !%lprit #o%ld gladly hae re!alled his #ords$ -%t it #as too
late. The fa!es of the m%rderers pale #ith terror -etrayed their
g%ilt. The people took them -efore the 7%dge$ they !onfessed
their !rime and s%ffered the p%nishment they desered.
Simonides #as one of the most prolifi! of the early poets of
Gree!e$ -%t only a fe# fragments of his !ompositions hae
des!ended to %s. 2e #rote hymns$ tri%mphal odes$ and elegies.
In the last spe!ies of !omposition he parti!%larly e0!elled. 2is
geni%s #as in!lined to the patheti!$ and none !o%ld to%!h #ith
tr%er effe!t the !hords of h%man sympathy. The (amentation of
Danae$ the most important of the fragments #hi!h remain of his
poetry is -ased %pon the tradition that Danae and her infant son
#ere !onfined -y order of her father A!risi%s in a !hest and set
adrift on the sea. The !hest floated to#ards the island of
Seriph%s$ #here -oth #ere res!%ed -y Di!tys$ a fisherman$ and
!arried to ,olyde!tes$ king of the !o%ntry$ #ho re!eied and
prote!ted them. The !hild ,erse%s #hen gro#n %p -e!ame a famo%s
hero$ #hose adent%res hae -een re!orded in a preio%s !hapter.
Simonides passed m%!h of his life at the !o%rts of prin!es$ and
often employed his talents in panegyri! and festal odes$
re!eiing his re#ard from the m%nifi!en!e of those #hose e0ploits
he !ele-rated. This employment #as not derogatory$ -%t !losely
resem-les that of the earliest -ards$ s%!h as Demodo!%s$
des!ri-ed -y 2omer$ or of 2omer himself as re!orded -y tradition.
On one o!!asion #hen residing at the !o%rt of S!opas$ king of
Thessaly$ the prin!e desired him to prepare a poem in !ele-ration
of his e0ploits$ to -e re!ited at a -an:%et. In order to
diersify his theme$ Simonides$ #ho #as !ele-rated for his piety$
introd%!ed into his poem the e0ploits of Castor and ,oll%0. S%!h
digressions #ere not %n%s%al #ith the poets on similar o!!asions$
and one might s%ppose an ordinary mortal might hae -een !ontent
to share the praises of the sons of (eda. .%t anity is
e0a!ting; and as S!opas sat at his festal -oard among his
!o%rtiers and sy!ophants$ he gr%dged eery erse that did not
rehearse his o#n praises. "hen Simonides approa!hed to re!eie
the promised re#ard S!opas -esto#ed -%t half the e0pe!ted s%m$
saying$ 82ere is payment for my portion of the performan!e$
Castor and ,oll%0 #ill do%-tless !ompensate thee for so m%!h as
relates to them.8 The dis!on!erted poet ret%rned to his seat
amidst the la%ghter #hi!h follo#ed the great man/s 7est. In a
little time he re!eied a message that t#o yo%ng men on horse-a!k
#ere #aiting #itho%t and an0io%s to see him. Simonides hastened
to the door$ -%t looked in ain for the isitors. S!ar!ely
ho#eer had he left the -an:%eting)hall #hen the roof fell in
#ith a lo%d !rash$ -%rying S!opas and all his g%ests -eneath the
r%ins. On in:%iring as to the appearan!e of the yo%ng men #ho
had sent for him$ Simonides #as satisfied that they #ere no other
than Castor and ,oll%0 themseles.
Sappho #as a poetess #ho flo%rished in a ery early age of Greek
literat%re. Of her #orks fe# fragments remain$ -%t they are
eno%gh to esta-lish her !laim to eminent poeti!al geni%s. The
story of Sappho !ommonly all%ded to is that she #as passionately
in loe #ith a -ea%tif%l yo%th named ,haon$ and failing to o-tain
a ret%rn of affe!tion she thre# herself from the promontory of
(e%!adia into the sea$ %nder a s%perstition that those #ho sho%ld
take that 8(oer/s)leap$8 #o%ld$ if not destroyed$ -e !%red of
their loe.
.yron all%des to the story of Sappho in Childe 2arold$ Canto II.@
Those #ho #ish to kno# more of Sappho and her leap$ are referred
to the Spe!tator$ Nos. FFI and FFK$ and also to &oore/s Eenings
in Gree!e.
Chapter 5I5
Endymion. Orion. A%rora and Tithon%s. A!is and Galatea
Endymion #as a -ea%tif%l yo%th #ho fed his flo!k on &o%nt (atmos.
One !alm$ !lear night$ Diana$ the &oon$ looked do#n and sa# him
sleeping. The !old heart of the irgin goddess #as #armed -y his
s%rpassing -ea%ty$ and she !ame do#n to him$ kissed him$ and
#at!hed oer him #hile he slept.
Another story #as that '%piter -esto#ed on him the gift of
perpet%al yo%th %nited #ith perpet%al sleep. Of one so gifted #e
!an hae -%t fe# adent%res to re!ord. Diana$ it #as said$ took
!are that his fort%nes sho%ld not s%ffer -y his ina!tie life$
for she made his flo!k in!rease$ and g%arded his sheep and lam-s
from the #ild -easts.
The story of Endymion has a pe!%liar !harm from the h%man meaning
#hi!h it so thinly eils. "e see in Endymion the yo%ng poet$ his
fan!y and his heart seeking in ain for that #hi!h !an satisfy
them$ finding his faorite ho%r in the :%iet moonlight$ and
n%rsing there -eneath the -eams of the -right and silent #itness
the melan!holy and the ardor #hi!h !ons%mes him. The story
s%ggests aspiring and poeti! loe$ a life spent more in dreams
than in reality$ and an early and #el!ome death.
S. G. .%lfin!h
The Endymion of *eats is a #ild and fan!if%l poem$ !ontaining
some e0:%isite poetry$ as this$ to the moon@
8The sleeping kine
Co%!hed in thy -rightness dream of fields diine.
Inn%mera-le mo%ntains rise$ and rise$
Am-itio%s for the hallo#ing of thine eyes$
And yet thy -enedi!tion passeth not
One o-s!%re hiding pla!e$ one little spot
"here pleas%re may -e sent; the nested #ren
2as thy fair fa!e #ithin its tran:%il ken.8
Dr. 1o%ng in the Night Tho%ghts all%des to Endymion th%s@
8These tho%ghts$ O Night$ are thine;
JFrom thee they !ame like loers/ se!ret sighs$
"hile others slept. So Cynthia$ poets feign$
In shado#s eiled$ soft$ sliding from her sphere$
2er shepherd !heered$ of her enamored less
Than I of thee.8
Flet!her$ in the Faithf%l Shepherdess$ tells$
82o# the pale ,hoe-e$ h%nting in a groe$
First sa# the -oy Endymion$ from #hose eyes
She took eternal fire that neer dies;
2o# she !oneyed him softly in a sleep$
2is temples -o%nd #ith poppy$ to the steep
2ead of Old (atmos$ #here she stoops ea!h night$
Gilding the mo%ntain #ith her -rother/s light$
To kiss her s#eetest.8
Orion #as the son of Nept%ne. 2e #as a handsome giant and a
mighty h%nter. 2is father gae him the po#er of #ading thro%gh
the depths of the sea$ or as others say$ of #alking on its
Orion loed &erope$ the da%ghter of Oenopion$ king of Chios$ and
so%ght her in marriage. 2e !leared the island of #ild -easts$
and -ro%ght the spoils of the !hase as presents to his -eloed;
-%t as Oenopion !onstantly deferred his !onsent$ Orion attempted
to gain possession of the maiden -y iolen!e. 2er father$
in!ensed at this !ond%!t$ haing made Orion dr%nk$ depried him
of his sight$ and !ast him o%t on the sea shore. The -linded
hero follo#ed the so%nd of the Cy!lops/ hammer till he rea!hed
(emnos$ and !ame to the forge of +%l!an$ #ho$ taking pity on him$
gae him *edalion$ one of his men$ to -e his g%ide to the a-ode
of the s%n. ,la!ing *edalion on his sho%lders$ Orion pro!eeded
to the east$ and there meeting the s%n)god$ #as restored to sight
-y his -eam.
After this he d#elt as a h%nter #ith Diana$ #ith #hom he #as a
faorite$ and it is een said she #as a-o%t to marry him. 2er
-rother #as highly displeased and often !hid her$ -%t to no
p%rpose. One day$ o-sering Orion #ading tho%gh the sea #ith his
head 7%st a-oe the #ater$ Apollo pointed it o%t to his sister
and maintained that she !o%ld not hit that -la!k thing on the
sea. The ar!her)goddess dis!harged a shaft #ith fatal aim. The
#aes rolled the dead -ody of Orion to the land$ and -e#ailing
her fatal error #ith many tears$ Diana pla!ed him among the
stars$ #here he appears as a giant$ #ith a girdle$ s#ord$ lion/s
skin$ and !l%-. Siri%s$ his dog$ follo#s him$ and the ,leiads
fly -efore him.
The ,leiads #ere da%ghters of Atlas$ and nymphs of Diana/s train.
One day Orion sa# them$ and -e!ame enamored$ and p%rs%ed them.
In their distress they prayed to the gods to !hange their form$
and '%piter in pity t%rned them into pigeons$ and then made them
a !onstellation in the sky. Tho%gh their n%m-ers #as seen$ only
si0 stars are isi-le$ for Ele!tra$ one of them$ it is said$ left
her pla!e that she might not -ehold the r%in of Troy$ for that
!ity #as fo%nded -y her son Dardan%s. The sight had s%!h an
effe!t on her sisters that they hae looked pale eer sin!e.
&r. (ongfello# has a poem on the 8O!!%ltation of Orion.8 The
follo#ing lines are those in #hi!h he all%des to the mythi!
story. "e m%st premise that on the !elestial glo-e Orion is
represented as ro-ed in a lion/s skin and #ielding a !l%-. At
the moment the stars of the !onstellation one -y one #ere
:%en!hed in the light of the moon$ the poet tells %s$
8Do#n fell the red skin of the lion
Into the rier at his feet.
2is mighty !l%- no longer -eat
The forehead of the -%ll; -%t he
Reeled as of yore -eside the sea$
"hen -linded -y Oenopion
2e so%ght the -la!ksmith at his forge$
And !lim-ing %p the narro# gorge$
Fi0ed his -lank eyes %pon the s%n.8
Tennyson has a different theory of the ,leiads@
8&any a night I sa# the ,leiads$ rising thro%gh the mello# shade$
Glitter like a s#arm of fire)flies tangled in a siler -raid.8
(o!ksley 2all
.yron all%des to the lost ,leiad@
8(ike the lost ,leiad seen no more -elo#.8
See also &rs. 2eman/s erses on the same s%-7e!t.
A%rora$ the goddess of the Da#n$ like her sister the &oon$ #as at
times inspired #ith the loe of mortals. 2er greatest faorite
#as Tithon%s$ son of (aomedon$ king of Troy. She stole him a#ay$
and preailed on '%piter to grant him immortality; -%t forgetting
to hae yo%th 7oined in the gift$ after some time she -egan to
dis!ern$ to her great mortifi!ation$ that he #as gro#ing old.
"hen his hair #as :%ite #hite she left his so!iety; -%t he still
had the range of her pala!e$ lied on am-rosial food$ and #as
!lad in !elestial raiment. At length he lost the po#er of %sing
his lim-s$ and then she sh%t him %p in his !ham-er$ #hen!e his
fee-le oi!e might at times -e heard. Finally she t%rned him
into a grasshopper.
&emnon #as the son of a%rora and Tithon%s. 2e #as king of the
AEthiopians$ and d#elt in the e0treme east$ on the shore of
O!ean. 2e !ame #ith his #arriors to assist the kindred of his
father in the #ar of Troy. *ing ,riam re!eied him #ith great
honors$ and listened #ith admiration to his narratie of the
#onders of the o!ean shore.
The ery day after his arrial$ &emnon$ impatient of repose$ led
his troops to the field. Antilo!h%s$ the -rae son of Nestor$
fell -y his hand$ and the Greeks #ere p%t to flight$ #hen
A!hilles appeared and restored the -attle. A long and do%-tf%l
!ontest ens%ed -et#een him and the son of A%rora; at length
i!tor de!lared for A!hilles$ &emnon fell$ and the Tro7ans fled
in dismay.
A%rora$ #ho$ from her station in the sky$ had ie#ed #ith
apprehension the danger of her son$ #hen she sa# him fall
dire!ted his -rothers$ the "inds$ to !oney his -ody to the -anks
of the rier Esep%s in ,aphlagonia. In the eening A%rora !ame$
a!!ompanied -y the 2o%rs and the ,leiads$ and #ept and lamented
oer her son. Night$ in sympathy #ith her grief$ spread the
heaen #ith !lo%ds; all nat%re mo%rned for the offspring of the
Da#n. The Aethiopians raised his tom- on the -anks of the stream
in the groe of the nymphs$ and '%piter !a%sed the sparks and
!inders of his f%neral)pile to -e t%rned into -irds$ #hi!h$
diiding into t#o flo!ks$ fo%ght oer the pile till they fell
into the flame. Eery year$ at the anniersary of his death$
they ret%rn and !ele-rate his o-se:%ies in like manner. A%rora
remains in!onsola-le for the loss of her son. 2er tears still
flo#$ and may -e seen at early morning in the form of de#)drops
on the grass.
9nlike most of the marels of an!ient mythology$ there #ill e0ist
some memorials of this. On the -anks of the rier Nile$ in
Egypt$ are t#o !olossal stat%es$ one of #hi!h is said to -e the
stat%e of &emnon. An!ient #riters re!ord that #hen the first
rays of the rising s%n fall %pon this stat%e$ a so%nd is heard to
iss%e from it #hi!h they !ompare to the snapping of a harp)
string. There is some do%-t a-o%t the identifi!ation of the
e0isting stat%e #ith the one des!ri-ed -y the an!ients$ and the
mysterio%s so%nds are still more do%-tf%l. 1et there are not
#anting some modern testimonies to their -eing still a%di-le. It
has -een s%ggested that so%nds prod%!ed -y !onfined air making
its es!ape from !rei!es or !aerns in the ro!ks may hae gien
some gro%nd for the story. Sir Gardner "ilkinson$ a late
traeller$ of the highest a%thority$ e0amined the stat%e itself$
and dis!oered that it #as hollo#$ and that 8in the lap of the
stat%e is a stone$ #hi!h$ on -eing str%!k$ emits a metalli!
so%nd$ that might still -e made %se of to de!eie a isitor #ho
#as predisposed to -eliee its po#ers.8
The o!al stat%e of &emnon is a faorite s%-7e!t of all%sion #ith
the poets. Dar#in$ in his .otani! Garden$ says$
8So to the sa!red S%n in &emnon/s fane
Spontaneo%s !on!ords !hoired the matin strain;
To%!hed -y his orient -eam responsie rings
The liing lyre and i-rates all its strings;
A!!ordant aisles the tender tones prolong$
And holy e!hoes s#ell the adoring song.8
S!ylla #as a fair irgin of Si!ily$ a faorite of the Sea)Nymphs.
She had many s%itors$ -%t repelled them all$ and #o%ld go to the
grotto of Galatea$ and tell her ho# she #as perse!%ted. One day
the goddess$ #hile S!ylla dressed her hair$ listened to the
story$ and then replied$ 81et$ maiden$ yo%r perse!%tors are of
the not %ngentle ra!e of men$ #hom if yo% #ill yo% !an repel; -%t
I$ the da%ghter of Nere%s$ and prote!ted -y s%!h a -and of
sisters$ fo%nd no es!ape from the passion of the Cy!lops -%t in
the depths of the sea;8 and tears stopped her %tteran!e$ #hi!h
#hen the pitying maiden had #iped a#ay #ith her deli!ate finger$
and soothed the goddess$ 8Tell me$ dearest$8 said she$ 8the !a%se
of yo%r grief.8 Galatea then said$ 8A!is #as the son of Fa%n%s
and a Naiad. 2is father and mother loed him dearly$ -%t their
loe #as not e:%al to mine. For the -ea%tif%l yo%th atta!hed
himself to me alone$ and he #as 7%st si0teen years old$ the do#n
7%st -eginning to darken his !heeks. As m%!h as I so%ght his
so!iety$ so m%!h did the !y!lops seek mine; and if yo% ask me
#hether my loe for A!is or my hatred for ,olyphem%s #as the
stronger$ I !annot tell yo%; they #ere in e:%al meas%re. Oh$
+en%s$ ho# great is thy po#erC This fier!e giant$ the terror of
the #oods$ #hom no hapless stranger es!aped %nharmed$ #ho defied
een 'oe himself$ learned to feel #hat loe #as$ and to%!hed
#ith a passion for me$ forgot his flo!ks and his #ell)stored
!aerns. Then$ for the first time$ he -egan to take some !are of
his appearan!e$ and to try to make himself agreea-le; he harro#ed
those !oarse lo!ks of his #ith a !om-$ and mo#ed his -eard #ith a
si!kle$ looked at his harsh feat%res in the #ater$ and !omposed
his !o%ntenan!e. 2is loe of sla%ghter$ his fier!eness and
thirst of -lood preailed no more$ and ships that to%!hed at his
island #ent a#ay in safety. 2e pa!ed %p and do#n the sea)shore$
imprinting h%ge tra!ks #ith his heay tread$ and$ #hen #eary$ lay
tran:%illy in his !ae.
8There is a !liff #hi!h pro7e!ts into the sea$ #hi!h #ashes it on
either side. Thither one day the h%ge Cy!lops as!ended$ and sat
do#n #hile his flo!ks spread themseles aro%nd. (aying do#n his
staff #hi!h #o%ld hae sered for a mast to hold a essel/s sail$
and taking his instr%ment$ !ompa!ted of n%mero%s pipes$ he made
the hills and the #aters e!ho the m%si! of his song. I lay hid
%nder a ro!k$ -y the side of my -eloed A!is$ and listened to the
distant strain. It #as f%ll of e0traagant praises of my -ea%ty$
mingled #ith passionate reproa!hes of my !oldness and !r%elty.
8"hen he had finished he rose %p$ and like a raging -%ll$ that
!annot stand still$ #andered off into the #oods. A!is and I
tho%ght no more of him$ till on a s%dden he !ame to a spot #hi!h
gae him a ie# of %s as #e sat. /I see yo%$/ he e0!laimed$ /and
I #ill make this the last of yo%r loe)meetings./ 2is oi!e #as
a roar s%!h as an angry Cy!lops alone !o%ld %tter. AEtna
trem-led at the so%nd. I$ oer!ome #ith terror$ pl%nged into the
#ater. A!is t%rned and fled$ !rying$ /Sae me$ Galatea$ sae me$
my parentsC8 The Cy!lops p%rs%ed him$ and tearing a ro!k from
the side of the mo%ntain h%rled it at him. Tho%gh only a !orner
of it to%!hed him it oer#helmed him.
8All that fate left in my po#er I did for A!is. I endo#ed him
#ith the honors of his grandfather the rier)god. The p%rple
-lood flo#ed o%t from %nder the ro!k$ -%t -y degrees gre# paler
and looked like the stream of a rier rendered t%r-id -y rains$
and in time it -e!ame !lear. The ro!k !leaed open$ and the
#ater$ as it g%shed from the !hasm$ %ttered a pleasing m%rm%r.8
Th%s A!is #as !hanged into a rier$ and the rier retains the
name of A!is.
Chapter 55
The Tro7an "ar
&inera #as the goddess of #isdom$ -%t on one o!!asion she did a
ery foolish thing; she entered into !ompetition #ith '%no and
+en%s for the pri6e of -ea%ty. It happened th%s. At the
n%ptials of ,ele%s and Thetis all the gods #ere inited #ith the
e0!eption of Eris$ or Dis!ord. Enraged at her e0!l%sion$ the
goddess thre# a golden apple among the g%ests #ith the
ins!ription$ 8For the most -ea%tif%l.8 There%pon '%no$ +en%s$
and &inera$ ea!h !laimed the apple. '%piter not #illing to
de!ide in so deli!ate a matter$ sent the goddesses to &o%nt Ida$
#here the -ea%tif%l shepherd ,aris #as tending his flo!ks$ and to
him #as !ommitted the de!ision. The goddesses a!!ordingly
appeared -efore him. '%no promised him po#er and ri!hes$ &inera
glory and reno#n in #ar$ and +en%s the fairest of #omen for his
#ife$ ea!h attempting to -ias his de!ision in her o#n faor.
,aris de!ided in faor of +en%s and gae her the golden apple$
th%s making the t#o other goddesses his enemies. 9nder the
prote!tion of +en%s$ ,aris sailed to Gree!e$ and #as hospita-ly
re!eied -y &enela%s$ king of Sparta. No# 2elen$ the #ife of
&enela%s$ #as the ery #oman #hom +en%s had destined for ,aris$
the fairest of her se0. She had -een so%ght as a -ride -y
n%mero%s s%itors$ and -efore her de!ision #as made kno#n$ they
all$ at the s%ggestion of 9lysses$ one of their n%m-er$ took an
oath that they #o%ld defend her from all in7%ry and aenge her
!a%se if ne!essary. She !hose &enela%s$ and #as liing #ith him
happily #hen ,aris -e!ame their g%est. ,aris$ aided -y +en%s$
pers%aded her to slope #ith him$ and !arried her to Troy$ #hen!e
arose the famo%s Tro7an #ar$ the theme of the greatest poems of
anti:%ity$ those of 2omer and +irgil.
&enela%s !alled %pon his -rother !hieftains of Gree!e to f%lfil
their pledge$ and 7oin him in his efforts to re!oer his #ife.
They generally !ame for#ard$ -%t 9lysses$ #ho had married
,enelope and #as ery happy in his #ife and !hild$ had no
disposition to em-ark in s%!h a tro%-lesome affair. 2e therefore
h%ng -a!k and ,alamedes #as sent to %rge him. "hen ,alamedes
arried at Itha!a$ 9lysses pretended to -e mad. 2e yoked an ass
and an o0 together to the plo%gh and -egan to so# salt.
,alamedes$ to try him$ pla!ed the infant Telema!h%s -efore the
plo%gh$ #here%pon the father t%rned the plo%gh aside$ sho#ing
plainly that he #as no madman$ and after that !o%ld no longer
ref%se to f%lfil his promise. .eing no# himself gained for the
%ndertaking$ he lent his aid to -ring in other rel%!tant !hiefs$
espe!ially A!hilles. This hero #as the son of that Thetis at
#hose marriage the apple of Dis!ord had -een thro#n among the
goddesses. Thetis #as herself one of the immortals$ a sea)nymph$
and kno#ing that her son #as fated to perish -efore Troy if he
#ent on the e0pedition$ she endeaored to preent his going. She
sent him a#ay to the !o%rt of king (y!omedes$ and ind%!ed him to
!on!eal himself in the disg%ise of a maiden among the da%ghters
of the king. 9lysses$ hearing he #as there$ #ent disg%ised as a
mer!hant to the pala!e and offered for sale female ornaments$
among #hi!h he had pla!ed some arms. "hile the king/s da%ghters
#ere engrossed #ith the other !ontents of the mer!hant/s pa!k$
A!hilles handled the #eapons and there-y -etrayed himself to the
keen eye of 9lysses$ #ho fo%nd no great diffi!%lty in pers%ading
him to disregard his mother/s pr%dent !o%nsels and 7oin his
!o%ntrymen in the #ar.
,riam #as king of Troy$ and ,aris$ the shepherd and sed%!er of
2elen$ #as his son. ,aris had -een -ro%ght %p in o-s!%rity$
-e!a%se there #ere !ertain omino%s fore-odings !onne!ted #ith him
from his infan!y that he #o%ld -e the r%in of the state. These
fore-odings seemed at length likely to -e reali6ed$ for the
Gre!ian armament no# in preparation #as the greatest that had
eer -een fitted o%t. Agamemnon$ king of &y!enae$ and -rother of
the in7%red &enela%s$ #as !hosen !ommander)in)!hief. A!hilles
#as their most ill%strio%s #arrior. After him ranked A7a0$
giganti! in si6e and of great !o%rage$ -%t d%ll of intelle!t$
Diomedes$ se!ond only to A!hilles in all the :%alities of a hero$
9lysses$ famo%s for his saga!ity$ and Nestor$ the oldest of the
Gre!ian !hiefs$ and one to #hom they all looked %p for !o%nsel.
.%t Troy #as no fee-le enemy. ,riam$ the king$ #as no# old$ -%t
he had -een a #ise prin!e and had strengthened his state -y good
goernment at home and n%mero%s allian!es #ith his neigh-ors.
.%t the prin!ipal stay and s%pport of his throne #as his son
2e!tor$ one of the no-lest !hara!ters painted -y heathen
anti:%ity. 2e!tor felt$ from the first$ a presentiment of the
fall of his !o%ntry$ -%t still perseered in his heroi!
resistan!e$ yet -y no means 7%stified the #rong #hi!h -ro%ght
this danger %pon her. 2e #as %nited in marriage #ith Androma!he$
and as a h%s-and and father his !hara!ter #as not less admira-le
than as a #arrior. The prin!ipal leaders on the side of the
Tro7ans$ -esides 2e!tor$ #ere Aeneas and Deipho-%s$ Gla%!%s and
After t#o years of preparation the Greek fleet and army assem-led
in the port of A%lis in .oeotia. 2ere Agamemnon in h%nting
killed a stag #hi!h #as sa!red to Diana$ and the goddess in
ret%rn isited the army #ith pestilen!e$ and prod%!ed a !alm
#hi!h preented the ships from leaing the port. Cal!has the
soothsayer there%pon anno%n!ed that the #rath of the irgin
goddess !o%ld only -e appeased -y the sa!rifi!e of a irgin on
her altar$ and that none other -%t the da%ghter of the offender
#o%ld -e a!!epta-le. Agamemnon$ ho#eer rel%!tant$ yielded his
!onsent$ and the maiden Iphigenia #as sent for %nder the preten!e
that she #as to -e married to A!hilles. "hen she #as a-o%t to -e
sa!rifi!ed the goddess relented and snat!hed her a#ay$ leaing a
hind in her pla!e$ and Iphigenia eneloped in a !lo%d #as !arried
to Ta%ris$ #here Diana made her priestess of her temple.
Tennyson$ in his Dream of Fair #omen$ makes Iphigenia th%s
des!ri-e her feelings at the moment of sa!rifi!e$ the moment
represented in o%r engraing@
8I #as !%t off from hope in that sad pla!e$
"hi!h yet to name my spirit loathes and fears;
&y father held his hand %pon his fa!e;
I$ -linded -y my tears$
8Still stroe to speak; my oi!e #as thi!k #ith sighs$
As in a dream. Dimly I !o%ld des!ry
The stern -la!k)-earded kings$ #ith #olfish eyes$
"aiting to see me die.
8The tall masts :%iered as they lay afloat$
The temples and the people and the shore;
One dre# a sharp knife thro%gh my tender throat
Slo#ly$ and nothing more.8
The #ind no# proing fair the fleet made sail and -ro%ght the
for!es to the !oast of Troy. The Tro7ans !ame to oppose their
landing$ and at the first onset ,rotesila%s fell -y the hand of
2e!tor. ,rotesila%s had left at home his #ife (aodamia$ #ho #as
most tenderly atta!hed to him. "hen the ne#s of his death
rea!hed her she implored the gods to -e allo#ed to !onerse #ith
him only three ho%rs. The re:%est #as granted. &er!%ry led
,rotesila%s -a!k to the %pper #orld$ and #hen he died a se!ond
time (aodamia died #ith him. There #as a story that the nymphs
panted elm trees ro%nd his grae #hi!h gre# ery #ell till they
#ere high eno%gh to !ommand a ie# of Troy$ and then #ithered
a#ay$ #hile fresh -ran!hes sprang from the roots.
"ords#orth has taken the story of ,rotesila%s and (aodamia for
the s%-7e!t of a poem. It seems the ora!le had de!lared that
i!tory sho%ld -e the lot of that party from #hi!h sho%ld fall
the first i!tim to the #ar. The poet represents ,rotesila%s$ on
his -rief ret%rn to earth$ as relating to (aodamia the story of
his fate@
8The #ished)for #ind #as gien; I then reoled
The ora!le$ %pon the silent sea;
And if no #orthier led the #ay$ resoled
That of a tho%sand essels mine sho%ld -e
The foremost pro# impressing to the strand$
&ine the first -lood that tinged the Tro7an sand.
81et -itter$ ofttimes -itter #as the pang
"hen of thy loss I tho%ght$ -eloed #ifeC
On thee too fondly did my memory hang$
And on the 7oys #e shared in mortal life$
The paths #hi!h #e had trod$ these fo%ntains$ flo#ers;
&y ne# planned !ities and %nfinished to#ers.
8.%t sho%ld s%spense permit the foe to !ry$
/.ehold they trem-leC 2a%ghty their array$
1et of their n%m-er no one dares to dieC/8
In so%l I s#ept the indignity a#ay;
Old frailties then re!%rred; -%t lofty tho%ght
In a!t em-odied my delieran!e #ro%ght.
. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .
9pon the side
Of 2ellespont <s%!h faith #as entertained=
A knot of spiry trees for ages gre#
JFrom o%t the tom- of him for #hom she died;
And eer #hen s%!h stat%re they had gained
That Ili%m/s #alls #ere s%-7e!t to their ie#$
The trees/ tall s%mmits #ithered at the sight$
A !onstant inter!hange of gro#th and -lightC8
The #ar !ontin%ed #itho%t de!isie res%lts for nine years. Then
an eent o!!%rred #hi!h seemed likely to -e fatal to the !a%se of
the Greeks$ and that #as a :%arrel -et#een A!hilles and
Agamemnon. It is at this point that the great poem of 2omer$ the
Iliad$ -egins. The Greeks$ tho%gh %ns%!!essf%l against Troy$ had
taken the neigh-oring and allied !ities$ and in the diision of
the spoil a female !aptie$ -y name Chryseis$ da%ghter of
Chryses$ priest of Apollo$ had fallen to the share of Agamemnon.
Chryses !ame -earing the sa!red em-lems of his offi!e$ and -egged
the release of his da%ghter. Agamemnon ref%sed. There%pon
Chryses implored Apollo to affli!t the Greeks till they sho%ld -e
for!ed to yield their prey. Apollo granted the prayer of his
priest$ and sent pestilen!e into the Gre!ian !amp. Then a
!o%n!il #as !alled to deli-erate ho# to allay the #rath of the
gods and aert the plag%e. A!hilles -oldly !harged their
misfort%nes %pon Agamemnon as !a%sed -y his #ithholding Chryseis.
Agamemnon enraged$ !onsented to relin:%ish his !aptie$ -%t
demanded that A!hilles sho%ld yield to him in her stead .riseis$
a maiden #ho had fallen to A!hilles/ share in the diision of the
spoil. A!hilles s%-mitted$ -%t forth#ith de!lared that he #o%ld
take no f%rther part in the #ar. 2e #ithdre# his for!es from the
general !amp and openly ao#ed his intention of ret%rning home to
The gods and goddesses interested themseles as m%!h in this
famo%s #ar as the parties themseles. It #as #ell kno#n to them
that fate had de!reed that Troy sho%ld fall$ at last$ if her
enemies sho%ld perseere and not ol%ntarily a-andon the
enterprise. 1et there #as room eno%gh left for !han!e to e0!ite
-y t%rns the hopes and fears of the po#ers a-oe #ho took part
#ith either side. '%no and &inera$ in !onse:%en!e of the slight
p%t %pon their !harms -y ,aris$ #ere hostile to the Tro7ans;
+en%s for the opposite !a%se faored them. +en%s enlisted her
admirer &ars on the same side$ -%t Nept%ne faored the Greeks.
Apollo #as ne%tral$ sometimes taking one side$ sometimes the
other$ and 'oe himself$ tho%gh he loed the good *ing ,riam$ yet
e0er!ised a degree of impartiality; not ho#eer #itho%t
Thetis$ the mother of A!hilles$ #armly resented the in7%ry done
to her son. She repaired immediately to 'oe/s pala!e$ and
-eso%ght him to make the Greeks repent of their in7%sti!e to
A!hilles -y granting s%!!ess to the Tro7an arms. '%piter
!onsented; and in the -attle #hi!h ens%ed the Tro7ans #ere
!ompletely s%!!essf%l. The Greeks #ere drien from the field$
and took ref%ge in their ships. Then Agamemnon !alled a !o%n!il
of his #isest and -raest !hiefs. Nestor adised that an em-assy
sho%ld -e sent to A!hilles to pers%ade him to ret%rn to the
field; that Agamemnon sho%ld yield the maiden$ the !a%se of the
disp%te$ #ith ample gifts to atone for the #rong he had done.
Agamemnon !onsented$ and 9lysses$ A7a0$ and ,hoeni0 #ere sent to
!arry to A!hilles the penitent message. They performed that
d%ty$ -%t A!hilles #as deaf to their entreaties. 2e positiely
ref%sed to ret%rn to the field$ and persisted in his resol%tion
to em-ark for Gree!e #itho%t delay. The Greeks had !onstr%!ted a
rampart aro%nd their ships$ and no#$ instead of -esieging Troy$
they #ere in a manner -esieged themseles #ithin their rampart.
The ne0t day after the %ns%!!essf%l em-assy to A!hilles$ a -attle
#as fo%ght$ and the Tro7ans$ faored -y 'oe$ #ere s%!!essf%l$
and s%!!eeded in for!ing a passage thro%gh the Gre!ian rampart$
and #ere a-o%t to set fire to the ships. Nept%ne$ seeing the
Greeks so pressed$ !ame to their res!%e. 2e appeared in the form
of Cal!has the prophet$ en!o%raged the #arriors #ith his sho%ts$
and appealed to ea!h indiid%ally till he raised their ardor to
s%!h a pit!h that they for!ed the Tro7ans to gie #ay. A7a0
performed prodigies of alor$ and at length en!o%ntered 2e!tor.
A7a0 sho%ted defian!e$ to #hi!h 2e!tor replied$ and h%rled his
lan!e at the h%ge #arrior. It #as #ell aimed$ and str%!k A7a0
#here the -elts that -ore his s#ord and shield !rossed ea!h other
on the -reast. The do%-le g%ard preented its penetrating$ and
it fell harmless. Then A7a0$ seeing a h%ge stone$ one of those
that sered to prop the ships$ h%rled it at 2e!tor. It str%!k
him in the ne!k and stret!hed him on the plain. 2is follo#ers
instantly sei6ed him$ and -ore him off st%nned and #o%nded.
"hile Nept%ne #as th%s aiding the Greeks and driing -a!k the
Tro7ans$ '%piter sa# nothing of #hat #as going on$ for his
attention had -een dra#n from the field -y the #iles of '%no.
That goddess had arrayed herself in all her !harms$ and$ to !ro#n
all$ had -orro#ed of +en%s her girdle !alled Cest%s$ #hi!h had
the effe!t to heighten the #earer/s !harms to s%!h a degree that
they #ere :%ite irresisti-le. So prepared$ '%no #ent to 7oin her
h%s-and$ #ho sat on Olymp%s #at!hing the -attle. "hen he -eheld
her she looked so !harming that the fondness of his early loe
reied$ and$ forgetting the !ontending armies and all other
affairs of state$ he tho%ght only of her and let the -attle go as
it #o%ld.
.%t this a-sorption did not !ontin%e long$ and #hen$ %pon t%rning
his eyes do#n#ard$ he -eheld 2e!tor stret!hed on the plain almost
lifeless from pain and -r%ises$ he dismissed '%no in a rage$
!ommanding her to send Iris and Apollo to him. "hen Iris !ame he
sent her #ith a stern message to Nept%ne$ ordering him instantly
to :%it the field. Apollo #as dispat!hed to heal 2e!tor/s
-r%ises and to inspirit his heart. These orders #ere o-eyed #ith
s%!h speed that #hile the -attle still raged$ 2e!tor ret%rned to
the field and Nept%ne -etook himself to his o#n dominions.
An arro# from ,aris/s -o# #o%nded &a!haon$ son of Aes!%lapi%s$
#ho inherited his father/s art of healing$ and #as therefore of
great al%e to the Greeks as their s%rgeon$ -esides -eing one of
their -raest #arriors. Nestor took &a!haon in his !hariot and
!oneyed him from the field. As they passed the ships of
A!hilles$ that hero$ looking o%t oer the field$ sa# the !hariot
of Nestor and re!ogni6ed the old !hief$ -%t !o%ld not dis!ern #ho
the #o%nded !hief #as. So !alling ,atro!l%s$ his !ompanion and
dearest friend$ he sent him to Nestor/s tent to in:%ire.
,atro!l%s$ arriing at Nestor/s tent$ sa# &a!haon #o%nded$ and
haing told the !a%se of his !oming #o%ld hae hastened a#ay$ -%t
Nestor detained him$ to tell him the e0tent of the Gre!ian
!alamities. 2e reminded him also ho#$ at the time of departing
for Troy$ A!hilles and himself had -een !harged -y their
respe!tie fathers #ith different adi!e; A!hilles to aspire to
the highest pit!h of glory$ ,atro!l%s$ as the elder$ to keep
#at!h oer his friend$ and to g%ide his ine0perien!e. 8No#$8
said Nestor$ 8is the time for s%!h infl%en!e. If the gods so
please$ tho% mayest #in him -a!k to the !ommon !a%se; -%t if not
let hm at least send his soldiers to the field$ and !ome tho%$
,atro!l%s$ !lad in his armor$ and perhaps the ery sight of it
may drie -a!k the Tro7ans.8
,atro!l%s #as strongly moed #ith this address$ and hastened -a!k
to A!hilles$ reoling in his mind all he had seen and heard. 2e
told the prin!e the sad !ondition of affairs at the !amp of their
late asso!iates; Diomedes$ 9lysses$ Agamemnon$ &a!haon$ all
#o%nded$ the rampart -roken do#n$ the enemy among the ships
preparing to -%rn them$ and th%s to !%t off all means of ret%rn
to Gree!e. "hile they spoke the flames -%rst forth from one of
the ships. A!hilles$ at the sight$ relented so far as to grant
,atro!l%s his re:%est to lead the &yrmidons <for so #ere
A!hilles/ soldiers !alled= to the field$ and to lend him his
armor that he might there-y strike more terror into the minds of
the Tro7ans. "itho%t delay the soldiers #ere marshalled$
,atro!l%s p%t on the radiant armor and mo%nted the !hariot of
A!hilles$ and led forth the men ardent for -attle. .%t -efore he
#ent$ A!hilles stri!tly !harged him that he sho%ld -e !ontent
#ith repelling the foe. 8Seek not$8 said he$ 8to press the
Tro7ans #itho%t me$ lest tho% add still more to the disgra!e
already mine.8 Then e0horting the troops to do their -est he
dismissed them f%ll of ardor to the fight.
,atro!l%s and his &yrmidons at on!e pl%nged into the !ontest
#here it raged hottest; at the sight of #hi!h the 7oyf%l Gre!ians
sho%ted and the ships ree!hoed the a!!laim. The Tro7ans$ at the
sight of the #ell)kno#n armor$ str%!k #ith terror$ looked eery
#here for ref%ge. First those #ho had got possession of the ship
and set it on fire left and allo#ed the Gre!ians to retake it and
e0ting%ish the flames. Then the rest of the Tro7ans fled in
dismay. A7a0$ &enela%s$ and the t#o sons of Nestor performed
prodigies of alor. 2e!tor #as for!ed to t%rn his horses/ heads
and retire from the en!los%re$ leaing his men entangled in the
fosse to es!ape as they !o%ld. ,atro!l%s droe them -efore him$
slaying many$ none daring to make a stand against him.
At last Sarpedon$ son of 'oe$ ent%red to oppose himself in
fight to ,atro!l%s. '%piter looked do#n %pon him and #o%ld hae
snat!hed him from the fate #hi!h a#aited him$ -%t '%no hinted
that if he did so it #o%ld ind%!e all others of the inha-itants
of heaen to interpose in like manner #heneer any of their
offspring #ere endangered; to #hi!h reason 'oe yielded.
Sarpedon thre# his spear -%t missed ,atro!l%s$ -%t ,atro!l%s
thre# his #ith -etter s%!!ess. It pier!ed Sarpedon/s -reast and
he fell$ and$ !alling to his friends to sae his -ody from the
foe$ e0pired. Then a f%rio%s !ontest arose for the possession of
the !orpse. The Greeks s%!!eeded and stripped Sarpedon of his
armor; -%t 'oe #o%ld not allo# the remains of his son to -e
dishonored$ and -y his !ommand Apollo snat!hed from the midst of
the !om-atants the -ody of Sarpedon and !ommitted it to the !are
of the t#in -rothers Death and Sleep$ -y #hom it #as transported
to (y!ia$ the natie land of Sarpedon$ #here it re!eied d%e
f%neral rites.
Th%s far ,atro!l%s had s%!!eeded to his %tmost #ish in repelling
the Tro7ans and relieing his !o%ntrymen$ -%t no# !ame a !hange
of fort%ne. 2e!tor$ -orne in his !hariot$ !onfronted him.
,atro!l%s thre# a ast stone at 2e!tor$ #hi!h missed its aim$ -%t
smote Ce-riones$ the !harioteer$ and kno!ked him from the !ar.
2e!tor leaped from the !hariot to res!%e his friend$ and
,atro!l%s also de!ended to !omplete his i!tory. Th%s the t#o
heroes met fa!e to fa!e. At this de!isie moment the poet$ as if
rel%!tant to gie 2e!tor the glory$ re!ords that ,hoe-%s took
part against ,atro!l%s. 2e str%!k the helmet from his head and
the lan!e from his hand. At the same moment an o-s!%re Tro7an
#o%nded him in the -a!k$ and 2e!tor pressing for#ard pier!ed him
#ith his spear. 2e fell mortally #o%nded.
Then arose a tremendo%s !onfli!t for the -ody of ,atro!l%s$ -%t
his armor #as at on!e taken possession of -y 2e!tor$ #ho$
retiring a short distan!e$ diested himself of his o#n armor and
p%t on that of A!hilles$ then ret%rned to the fight. A7a0 and
&enela%s defended the -ody$ and 2e!tor and his -raest #arriors
str%ggled to !apt%re it. The -attle raged #ith e:%al fort%ne$
#hen 'oe eneloped the #hole fa!e of heaen #ith a dark !lo%d.
The lightning flashed$ the th%nder roared$ and A7a0$ looking
ro%nd for some one #hom he might dispat!h to A!hilles to tell him
of the death of his friend and of the imminent danger that his
remains #o%ld fall into the hands of the enemy$ !o%ld see no
s%ita-le messenger. It #as then that he e0!laimed in those
famo%s lines so often :%oted$
8Father of heaen and earthC Delier tho%
A!haia/s host from darkness; !lear the skies;
Gie day; and$ sin!e thy soereign #ill is s%!h$
Destr%!tion #ith it; -%t$ oh$ gie %s day.8
Or$ as rendered -y ,ope$
8(ord of earth and airC
Oh$ kingC Oh$ fatherC 2ear my h%m-le prayerC
Dispel this !lo%d$ the light of heaen restore;
Gie me to see and A7a0 asks no more;
If Gree!e m%st perish #e thy #ill o-ey
.%t let %s perish in the fa!e of day.8
'%piter heard the prayer and dispersed the !lo%ds. Then A7a0
sent Antilo!h%s to A!hilles #ith the intelligen!e of ,atro!l%s/s
death$ and of the !onfli!t raging for his remains. The Greeks at
last s%!!eeded in -earing off the -ody to the ships$ !losely
p%rs%ed -y 2e!tor and Aeneas and rest of the Tro7ans.
A!hilles heard the fate of his friend #ith s%!h distress that
Antilo!h%s feared for a #hile that he #o%ld destroy himself. 2is
groans rea!hed the ears of his mother$ Thetis$ far do#n in the
deeps of o!ean #here she a-ode$ and she hastened to him to
in:%ire the !a%se. She fo%nd him oer#helmed #ith self)reproa!h
that he had ind%lged his resentment so far$ and s%ffered his
friend to fall a i!tim to it. .%t his only !onsolation #as the
hope of reenge. 2e #o%ld fly instantly in sear!h of 2e!tor.
.%t his mother reminded him that he #as no# #itho%t armor$ and
promised him$ if he #o%ld -%t #ait till the morro#$ she #o%ld
pro!%re for him a s%it of armor from +%l!an more than e:%al to
that he had lost. 2e !onsented$ and Thetis immediately repaired
to +%l!an/s pala!e. She fo%nd him -%sy at his forge making
tripods for his o#n %se$ so artf%lly !onstr%!ted that they moed
for#ard of their o#n a!!ord #hen #anted$ and retired again #hen
dismissed. On hearing the re:%est of Thetis$ +%l!an immediately
laid aside his #ork and hastened to !omply #ith her #ishes. 2e
fa-ri!ated a splendid s%it of armor for A!hilles$ first a shield
adorned #ith ela-orate dei!es$ then a helmet !rested #ith gold$
then a !orslet and greaes of impenetra-le temper$ all perfe!tly
adapted to his form$ and of !ons%mmate #orkmanship. It #as all
done in one night$ and Thetis$ re!eiing it$ des!ended #ith it to
earth and laid it do#n at A!hilles/ feet at the da#n of day.
The first glo# of pleas%re that A!hilles had felt sin!e the death
of ,etro!l%s #as at the sight of this splendid armor. And no#
arrayed in it$ he #ent forth into the !amp$ !alling all the
!hiefs to !o%n!il. "hen they #ere all assem-led he addressed
them. Reno%n!ing his displeas%re against Agamemnon and -itterly
lamenting the miseries that had res%lted from it$ he !alled on
them to pro!eed at on!e to the field. Agamemnon made a s%ita-le
reply$ laying all the -lame on Ate$ the goddess of dis!ord$ and
there%pon !omplete re!on!ilement took pla!e -et#een the heroes.
Then A!hilles #ent forth to -attle$ inspired #ith a rage and
thirst for engean!e that made him irresisti-le. The -raest
#arriors fled -efore him or fell -y his lan!e. 2e!tor$ !a%tioned
-y Apollo$ kept aloof$ -%t the god$ ass%ming the form of one of
,riam/s sons$ (y!aon$ %rged AEneas to en!o%nter the terri-le
#arrior. AEneas$ tho%gh he felt himself %ne:%al$ did not de!line
the !om-at. 2e h%rled his spear #ith all his for!e against the
shield$ the #ork of +%l!an. It #as formed of fie metal plates;
t#o #ere of -rass$ t#o of tin$ and one of gold. The spear
pier!ed t#o thi!knesses$ -%t #as stopped in the third. A!hilles
thre# his #ith -etter s%!!ess. It pier!ed thro%gh the shield of
Aeneas$ -%t glan!ed near his sho%lder and made no #o%nd. Then
AEneas sei6ed a stone$ s%!h as t#o men of modern times !o%ld
hardly lift$ and #as a-o%t to thro# it$ and A!hilles$ #ith s#ord
dra#n$ #as a-o%t to r%sh %pon him$ #hen Nept%ne$ #ho looked o%t
%pon the !ontest$ moed #ith pity for AEneas$ #ho he sa# #o%ld
s%rely fall a i!tim if not speedily res!%ed$ spread a !lo%d
-et#een the !om-atants$ and lifting AEneas from the gro%nd$ -ore
him oer the heads of #arriors and steeds to the rear of the
-attle. A!hilles$ #hen the mist !leared a#ay$ looked ro%nd in
ain for his adersary$ and a!kno#ledging the prodigy$ t%rned his
arms against other !hampions. .%t none dared stand -efore him$
and ,riam looking do#n from his !ity #alls -eheld his #hole army
in f%ll flight to#ards the !ity. 2e gae !ommand to open #ide
the gates to re!eie the f%gities$ and to sh%t them as soon as
the Tro7ans sho%ld hae passed$ lest the enemy sho%ld enter
like#ise. .%t A!hilles #as so !lose in p%rs%it that that #o%ld
hae -een impossi-le if Apollo had not$ in the form of Agenor$
,riam/s son$ en!o%ntered A!hilles for a #hile$ then t%rned to
fly$ and taken the #ay apart from the !ity. A!hilles p%rs%ed and
had !hased his s%pposed i!tim far from the #alls$ #hen Apollo
dis!losed himself$ and A!hilles$ per!eiing ho# he had -een
del%ded$ gae %p the !hase.
.%t #hen the rest had es!aped into the to#n 2e!tor stood #itho%t$
determined to a#ait the !om-at. 2is old father !alled to him
from the #alls and -egged him to retire nor tempt the en!o%nter.
2is mother$ 2e!%-a$ also -eso%ght him to the same effe!t$ -%t all
in ain. 82o# !an I$8 said he to himself$ 8-y #hose !ommand the
people #ent to this day/s !ontest$ #here so many hae fallen$
seek safety for myself against a single foeB .%t #hat if I offer
him to yield %p 2elen and all her treas%res and ample of o%r o#n
-esideB Ah noC It is too late. 2e #o%ld not een hear me
thro%gh$ -%t slay me #hile I spoke.8 "hile he th%s r%minated$
A!hilles approa!hed$ terri-le as &ars$ his armor flashing
lighting as he moed. At that sight 2e!tor/s heart failed him
and he fled. A!hilles s#iftly p%rs%ed. They ran$ still keeping
near the #alls$ till they had thri!e en!ir!led the !ity. As
often as 2e!tor approa!hed the #alls A!hilles inter!epted him and
for!ed him to keep o%t in a #ider !ir!le. .%t Apollo s%stained
2e!tor/s strength$ and #o%ld not let him sink in #eariness. Then
,allas$ ass%ming the form of Deipho-%s$ 2e!tor/s -raest -rother$
appeared s%ddenly at his side. 2e!tor sa# him #ith delight$ and$
th%s strengthened$ stopped his flight and t%rned to meet
A!hilles. 2e!tor thre# his spear$ #hi!h str%!k the shield of
A!hilles and -o%nded -a!k. 2e t%rned to re!eie another from the
hand of Deipho-%s$ -%t Deipho-%s #as gone. Then 2e!tor
%nderstood his doom and said$ 8AlasC It is plain this is my ho%r
to dieC I tho%ght Deipho-%s at hand$ -%t ,allas de!eied me$ and
he is still in Troy. .%t I #ill not fall inglorio%s.8 So
saying$ he dre# his fal!hion from his side and r%shed at on!e to
!om-at. A!hilles$ se!%red -ehind his shield$ #aited the approa!h
of 2e!tor. "hen he !ame #ithin rea!h of his spear$ A!hilles$
!hoosing #ith his eye a %lnera-le part #here the armor leaes
the ne!k %n!oered$ aimed his spear at that part$ and 2e!tor
fell$ death)#o%nded$ and fee-ly said$ 8Spare my -odyC (et my
parents ransom it$ and let me re!eie f%neral rites from the sons
and da%ghters of Troy.8 To #hi!h A!hilles replied$ 8Dog$ name
not ransom nor pity to me$ on #hom yo% hae -ro%ght s%!h dire
distress. NoC Tr%st me$ no%ght shall sae thy !ar!ass from the
dogs. Tho%gh t#enty ransoms and thy #eight in gold #ere offered$
I #o%ld ref%se it all.8
So saying$ he stripped the -ody of its armor$ and fastening !ords
to the feet$ tied them -ehind his !hariot$ leaing the -ody to
trail along the gro%nd. Then mo%nting the !hariot he lashed the
steeds$ and so dragged the -ody to and fro -efore the !ity. "hat
#ords !an tell the grief of *ing ,riam and 3%een 2e!%-a at this
sightC 2is people !o%ld s!ar!e restrain the old king from
r%shing forth. 2e thre# himself in the d%st$ and -eso%ght them
ea!h -y name to gie him #ay. 2e!%-a/s distress #as not less
iolent. The !iti6ens stood ro%nd them #eeping. The so%nd of
the mo%rning rea!hed the ears of Androma!he$ the #ife of 2e!tor$
as she sat among her maidens at #ork$ and anti!ipating eil she
#ent forth to the #all. "hen she sa# the sight there presented$
she #o%ld hae thro#n herself headlong from the #all$ -%t fainted
and fell into the arms of her maidens. Re!oering$ she -e#ailed
her fate$ pi!t%ring to herself her !o%ntry r%ined$ herself a
!aptie$ and her son dependent for his -read on the !harity of
"hen A!hilles and the Greeks had taken their reenge on the
killer of ,atro!l%s they -%sied themseles in paying d%e f%neral
rites to their friend. A pile #as ere!ted$ and the -ody -%rned
#ith d%e solemnity; and then ens%ed games of strength and skill$
!hariot ra!es$ #restling$ -o0ing$ and ar!hery. Then the !hiefs
sat do#n to the f%neral -an:%et and after that retired to rest.
.%t A!hilles neither partook of the feast nor of sleep. The
re!olle!tion of his lost friend kept him a#ake$ remem-ering their
!ompanionship in toil and dangers$ in -attle or on the perilo%s
deep. .efore the earliest da#n he left his tent$ and 7oining to
his !hariot his s#ift steeds$ he fastened 2e!tor/s -ody to -e
dragged -ehind. T#i!e he dragged him ro%nd the tom- of
,atro!l%s$ leaing him at length stret!hed in the d%st. .%t
Apollo #o%ld not permit the -ody to -e torn or disfig%red #ith
all this a-%se$ -%t presered it free from all taint or
"hen A!hilles ind%lged his #rath in th%s disgra!ing -rae 2e!tor$
'%piter in pity s%mmoned Thetis to his presen!e. 2e told her to
go to her son and preail on him to restore the -ody of 2e!tor to
his friends. Then '%piter sent Iris to *ing ,riam to en!o%rage
him to go to A!hilles and -eg the -ody of his son. Iris
deliered her message$ and ,riam immediately prepared to o-ey.
2e opened his treas%res and took o%t ri!h garments and !loths$
#ith ten talents in gold and t#o splendid tripods and a golden
!%p of mat!hless #orkmanship. Then he !alled to his sons and
-ade them dra# forth his litter and pla!e in it the ario%s
arti!les designed for a ransom to A!hilles.
"hen all #as ready$ the old king #ith a single !ompanion$ as aged
as himself$ the herald Idae%s$ droe forth from the gates$
parting there #ith 2e!%-a his :%een$ and all his friends$ #ho
lamented him as going to !ertain death.
.%t '%piter$ -eholding #ith !ompassion the enera-le king$ sent
&er!%ry to -e his g%ide and prote!tor. &er!%ry$ ass%ming the
form of a yo%ng #arrior$ presented himself to the aged !o%ple$
and #hile at the sight of him they hesitated #hether to fly or
yield$ the god approa!hed$ and grasping ,riam/s hand$ offered to
-e their g%ide to A!hilles/ tent. ,riam gladly a!!epted his
offered seri!e$ and he$ mo%nting the !arriage$ ass%med the reins
and soon !oneyed them to the tent of A!hilles. &er!%ry/s #and
p%t to sleep all the g%ards$ and #itho%t hindran!e he introd%!ed
,riam into the tent #here A!hilles sat$ attended hy t#o of his
#arriors. The old king thre# himself at the feet of A!hilles and
kissed those terri-le hands #hi!h had destroyed so many of his
sons. 8Think$ O A!hilles$8 he said$ 8of thy o#n father$ f%ll of
days like me$ and trem-ling on the gloomy erge of life. ,erhaps
een no# some neigh-or !hief oppresses him$ and there is none at
hand to s%!!or him in his distress. 1et do%-tless kno#ing that
A!hilles lies he still re7oi!es$ hoping that one day he shall
see thy fa!e again. .%t no !omfort !heers me$ #hose -raest
sons$ so late the flo#er of Ili%m$ all hae fallen. 1et one I
had$ one more than all the rest the strength of my age$ #hom
fighting for his !o%ntry$ tho% hast slain. I !ome to redeem his
-ody$ -ringing inestima-le ransom #ith me. A!hilles$ reeren!e
the godsC Re!olle!t thy fatherC For his sake sho# !ompassion to
meC8 These #ords moed A!hilles and he #ept; remem-ering -y
t%rns his a-sent father and his lost friend. &oed #ith pity of
,riam/s siler lo!ks and -eard$ he raised him from the earth and
th%s spake@ 8,riam$ I kno# that tho% has rea!hed this pla!e
!ond%!ted -y some god$ for #itho%t diine aid no mortal een in
the prime of yo%th had dared the attempt. I grant thy re:%est;
moed thereto -y the eident #ill of 'oe.8 So saying he arose$
and #ent forth #ith his t#o friends$ and %nloaded of its !harge
the litter$ leaing t#o mantles and a ro-e for the !oering of
the -ody$ #hi!h they pla!ed on the litter$ and spread the
garments oer it$ that not %neiled it sho%ld -e -orne -a!k to
Troy. Then A!hilles dismissed the old king #ith his attendants$
haing first pledged himself to allo# a tr%!e of t#ele days for
the f%neral solemnities.
As the litter approa!hed the !ity and #as des!ried from the
#alls$ the people po%red forth to ga6e on!e more on the fa!e of
their hero. Foremost of all$ the mother and the #ife of 2e!tor
!ame$ and at the sight of the lifeless -ody rene#ed their
lamentations. The people all #ept #ith them$ and to the going
do#n of the s%n there #as no pa%se or a-atement of their grief.
The ne0t day preparations #ere made for the f%neral solemnities.
For nine days the people -ro%ght #ood and -%ilt the pile$ and on
the tenth they pla!ed the -ody on the s%mmit and applied the
tor!h; #hile all Troy$ thronging forth$ en!ompassed the pile.
"hen it had !ompletely -%rned$ they :%en!hed the !inders #ith
#ine$ !olle!ted the -ones and pla!ed them in a golden %rn$ #hi!h
they -%ried in the earth$ and reared a pile of stones oer the
8S%!h honors Ili%m to her hero paid$
And pea!ef%l slept the mighty 2e!tor/s shade.8
,ope/s 2omer
Chapter 55I
The Fall of Troy. Ret%rn of the Greeks. Orestes and Ele!tra
The story of the Iliad ends #ith the death of 2e!tor$ and it is
from the Odyssey and later poems that #e learn the fate of the
other heroes. After the death of 2e!tor$ Troy did not
immediately fall$ -%t re!eiing aid from ne# allies still
!ontin%ed its resistan!e. One of these allies #as &emnon$ the
AET2IO,IAN prin!e$ #hose story #e hae already told. Another #as
,enthesilea$ :%een of the Ama6ons$ #ho !ame #ith a -and of female
#arriors. All the a%thorities attest their alor and the fearf%l
effe!t of their #ar)!ry. ,enthesilea sle# many of the -raest
#arriors$ -%t #as at last slain -y A!hilles. .%t #hen the hero
-ent oer his fallen foe$ and !ontemplated her -ea%ty$ yo%th and
alor$ he -itterly regretted his i!tory. Thersites$ an insolent
-ra#ler and demagog%e$ ridi!%led his grief$ and #as in
!onse:%en!e slain -y the hero.
A!hilles -y !han!e had seen ,oly0ena$ da%ghter of *ing ,riam$
perhaps on o!!asion of the tr%!e #hi!h #as allo#ed the Tro7ans
for the -%rial of 2e!tor. 2e #as !aptiated #ith her !harms$ and
to #in her in marriage agreed to %se his infl%en!e #ith the
Greeks to grant pea!e to Troy. "hile in the temple of Apollo$
negotiating the marriage$ ,aris dis!harged at him a poisoned
arro#$ #hi!h g%ided -y Apollo$ #o%nded A!hilles in the heel$ the
only %lnera-le part a-o%t him. For Thetis$ his mother$ had
dipped him #hen an infant in the rier Sty0$ #hi!h made eery
part of him in%lnera-le e0!ept the heel -y #hi!h she held him.
<The story of the in%lnera-ility of A!hilles is not fo%nd in
2omer$ and is in!onsistent #ith his a!!o%nt. For ho# !o%ld
A!hilles re:%ire the aid of !elestial armor if he #ere
The -ody of A!hilles$ so trea!hero%sly slain$ #as res!%ed -y A7a0
and 9lysses. Thetis dire!ted the Greeks to -esto# her son/s
armor on the hero #ho$ of all s%riors$ sho%ld -e 7%dged most
desering of it. A7a0 and 9lysses #ere the only !laimants; a
sele!t n%m-er of the other !hiefs #ere appointed to a#ard the
pri6e. It #as a#arded to 9lysses$ th%s pla!ing #isdom -efore
alor; #here%pon A7a0 sle# himself. On the spot #here his -lood
sank into the earth a flo#er sprang %p$ !alled the hya!inth$
-earing on its leaes the first t#o letters of the name of A7a0$
Ai$ the Greek for 8#oe.8 Th%s A7a0 is a !laimant #ith the -oy
2ya!inth%s for the honor of giing -irth to this flo#er. There
is a spe!ies of (arksp%r #hi!h represents the hya!inth of the
poets in presering the memory of this eent$ the Delphini%m
A7a!is A7a0/s (arksp%r.
It #as no# dis!oered that Troy !o%ld not -e taken -%t -y the
arro#s of 2er!%les. They #ere in possession of ,hilo!tetes$ the
friend #ho had -een #ith 2er!%les at the last$ and lighted his
f%neral pyre. ,hilo!tetes had 7oined the Gre!ian e0pedition
against Troy$ -%t had a!!identally #o%nded his foot #ith one of
the poisoned arro#s$ and the smell from his #o%nd proed so
offensie that his !ompanions !arried him to the Isle of (emnos
and left him there. Diomedes #as no# sent to ind%!e him to
re7oin the army. 2e s%!!eeded. ,hilo!tetes #as !%red of his
#o%nd -y &a!haon$ and ,aris #as the first i!tim of the fatal
arro#s. In his distress ,aris -etho%ght him of one #hom in his
prosperity he had forgotten. This #as the nymph OEnone$ #hom he
had married #hen a yo%th$ and had a-andoned for the fatal -ea%ty
2elen. OEnone$ remem-ering the #rongs she had s%ffered$ ref%sed
to heal the #o%nd$ and ,aris #ent -a!k to Troy and died. OEnone
:%i!kly repented$ and hastened after him #ith remedies$ -%t !ame
too late$ and in her grief h%ng herself.
Tennyson has !hosen OEnone as the s%-7e!t of a short poem; -%t he
has omitted the !on!l%ding part of the story$ the ret%rn of ,aris
#o%nded$ her !r%elty and s%-se:%ent repentan!e.
8AAAAAAAAAA2ither !ame at noon
&o%rnf%l OENONE$ #andering forlorn
Of ,aris$ on!e her playmate on the hills.
2er !heek had lost the rose$ and ro%nd her ne!k
Floated her hair$ or seemed to float in rest.
She$ leaning on a fragment t#ined #ith ine$
Sang to the stillness$ till the mo%ntain)shade
Sloped do#n#ard to her seat from the %pper !liff.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
8/O &other Ida$ many)fo%ntain/d Ida$
Dear &other Ida$ hearken ere I die.
I #aited %nderneath the da#ning hills$
Aloft the mo%ntain la#n #as de#y)dark$
And de#y)dark aloft the mo%ntain pine@
.ea%tif%l ,aris$ eil)hearted ,aris$
(eading a 7et)-la!k goat$ #hite)horned$ #hite)hooed$
Come %p from reedy Simois$ all alone.
8/O &other Ida$ hearken ere I die.
Far off the torrent !alled me from the !liff@
Far %p the solitary morning smote
The streaks of irgin sno#. "ith do#ndropt eyes
I sat alone@ #hite)-reasted like a star
Fronting the da#n he moed; a leopard)skin
Drooped from his sho%lder$ -%t his s%nny hair
Cl%stered a-o%t his temples like a God/s$
And his !heek -rightened as the foam-o# -rightens
"hen the #ind -lo#s the foam$ and all my heart
"ent forth to em-ra!e him !oming$ ere he !ame.
8/Dear &other Ida$ hearken ere I die.
2e smiled$ and opening o%t his milk)#hite palm
Dis!losed a fr%it of p%re 2esperian gold$
That smelt am-rosially$ and #hile I looked
And listened$ the f%ll)flo#ing rier of spee!h
Came do#n %pon my heart.
8&y o#n OENONE$
.ea%tif%l)-ro#ed OENONE$ my o#n so%l$
.ehold this fr%it$ #hose gleaming rind ingraen
/For the most fair$/ #o%ld seem a#ard it thine
As loelier than #hateer Oread ha%nt
The knolls of Ida$ loeliest in all gra!e
Of moement$ and the !harm of married -ro#s.8
8/Dear &other Ida$ hearken ere I die.
2e prest the -lossom of his lips to mine$
And added$ 8This #as !ast %pon the -oard$
"hen all the f%ll)fa!ed presen!e of the gods
2anged in the halls of ,ele%s; #here%pon
Rose fe%d$ #ith :%estion %nto #hom /t#as d%e;
.%t light)foot Iris -ro%ght it yester)ee
Deliering$ that to me$ -y !ommon oi!e
Ele!ted %mpire$ 2erP !omes to)day$
,allas and Aphrodite$ !laiming ea!h
This meed of fairest. Tho% #ithin the !ae
.eyond yon #hispering t%ft of oldest pine$
&ay/st #ell -ehold them %n-eheld$ %nheard
2ear all$ and see thy ,aris 7%dge of gods.8/8
There #as in Troy a !ele-rated stat%e of &inera !alled the
,alladi%m. It #as said to hae fallen from heaen$ and the
-elief #as that the !ity !o%ld not -e taken so long as this
stat%e remained #ithin it. 9lysses and Diomedes entered the !ity
in disg%ise$ and s%!!eeded in o-taining the ,alladi%m$ #hi!h they
!arried off to the Gre!ian !amp.
.%t Troy still held o%t$ and the Greeks -egan to despair of eer
s%-d%ing it -y for!e$ and -y adi!e of 9lysses resoled to resort
to stratagem. They pretended to -e making preparations to
a-andon the siege$ and a portion of the ships #ere #ithdra#n$ and
lay hid -ehind a neigh-oring island. The Greeks then !onstr%!ted
an immense "OODEN 2ORSE$ #hi!h they gae o%t #as intended as a
propitiatory offering to &inera$ -%t in fa!t #as filled #ith
armed men. The remaining Greeks then -etook themseles to their
ships and sailed a#ay$ as if for a final depart%re. The Tro7ans$
seeing the en!ampment -roken %p and the fleet gone$ !on!l%ded the
enemy to hae a-andoned the siege. The gates #ere thro#n open$
and the #hole pop%lation iss%ed forth re7oi!ing at the long)
prohi-ited li-erty of passing freely oer the s!ene of the late
en!ampment. The great horse #as the !hief o-7e!t of !%riosity.
All #ondered #hat it !o%ld -e for. Some re!ommended to take it
into the !ity as a trophy; others felt afraid of it.
"hile they hesitate$ (ao!oon$ the priest of Nept%ne$ e0!laims$
8"hat madness$ !iti6ens$ is thisC 2ae yo% not learned eno%gh of
Gre!ian fra%d to -e on yo%r g%ard against itB For my part I fear
the Greeks een #hen they offer gifts.8 So saying he thre# his
lan!e at the horse/s side. It str%!k$ and a hollo# so%nd
reer-erated like a groan. Then perhaps the people might hae
taken his adi!e and destroyed the fatal horse and all its
!ontents; -%t 7%st at that moment a gro%p of people appeared
dragging for#ard one #ho seemed a prisoner and a Greek.
St%pefied #ith terror he #as -ro%ght -efore the !hiefs$ #ho
reass%red him$ promising that his life sho%ld -e spared on
!ondition of his ret%rning tr%e ans#ers to the :%estions asked
him. 2e informed them that he #as a Greek$ Sinon -y name$ and
that in !onse:%en!e of the mali!e of 9lysses he had -een left
-ehind -y his !o%ntrymen at their depart%re. "ith regard to the
#ooden horse$ he told them that it #as a propitiatory offering to
&inera$ and made so h%ge for the e0press p%rpose of preenting
its -eing !arried #ithin the !ity; for Cal!has the prophet had
told them that if the Tro7ans took possession of it$ they #o%ld
ass%redly tri%mph oer the Greeks. This lang%age t%rned the tide
of the people/s feelings$ and they -egan to think ho# they might
-est se!%re the monstro%s horse and the faora-le a%g%ries
!onne!ted #ith it$ #hen s%ddenly a prodigy o!!%rred #hi!h left no
room to do%-t. There appeared adan!ing oer the sea t#o immense
serpents. They !ame %pon the land$ and the !ro#d fled in all
dire!tions. The serpents adan!ed dire!tly to the spot #here
(ao!oon stood #ith his t#o sons. They first atta!ked the
!hildren$ #inding ro%nd their -odies and -reathing their
pestilential -reath in their fa!es. The father$ attempting to
res!%e them$ is ne0t sei6ed and inoled in the serpents/ !oils.
2e str%ggles to tear them a#ay$ -%t they oerpo#er all his
efforts and strangle him and the !hildren in their poisono%s
folds. This eent #as regarded as a !lear indi!ation of the
displeas%re of the gods at (ao!oon/s irreerent treatment of the
#ooden horse$ #hi!h they no longer hesitated to regard as a
sa!red o-7e!t and prepared to introd%!e #ith d%e solemnity into
the !ity. This #as done #ith songs and tri%mphal a!!lamations$
and the day !losed #ith festiity. In the night the armed men
#ho #ere en!losed in the -ody of the horse$ -eing led o%t -y the
traitor Sinon$ opened the gates of the !ity to their friends #ho
had ret%rned %nder !oer of the night. The !ity #as set on fire;
the people$ oer!ome #ith feasting and sleep$ p%t to the s#ord$
and Troy !ompletely s%-d%ed.
One of the most !ele-rated gro%ps of stat%ary in e0isten!e is
that of (ao!oon and his !hildren in the em-ra!e of the serpents.
8There is a !ast of it in the .oston Athenae%m; the original is
in the +ati!an at Rome. The follo#ing lines are from the Childe
2arold of .yron@
8No# t%rning to the +ati!an go see
(ao!oon/s tort%re dignifying pain;
A father/s loe and mortal/s agony
"ith as immortal/s patien!e -lending; ain
The str%ggleC +ain against the !oiling strain
And gripe and deepening of the dragon/s grasp
The old man/s !lin!h; the long enenomed !hain
Riets the liing links; the enormo%s asp
Enfor!es pang on pang and stifles gasp on gasp.8
The !omi! poets #ill also o!!asionally -orro# a !lassi!al
all%sion. The follo#ing is from S#ift/s des!ription of a City
8.o0ed in a !hair the -ea% impatient sits$
"hile spo%ts r%n !lattering o/er the roof -y fits$
And oer and anon #ith frightf%l din
The leather so%nds; he trem-les from #ithin.
So #hen Troy !hairmen -ore the #ooden steed
,regnant #ith Greeks$ impatient to -e freed$
<Those -%lly Greeks$ #ho$ as the moderns do$
Instead of paying !hairmen$ r%n them thro%gh;=
(ao!oon str%!k the o%tside #ith a spear$
And ea!h imprisoned !hampion :%aked #ith fear.8
*ing ,riam lied to see the do#nfall of his kingdom$ and #as
slain at last on the fatal night #hen the Greeks took the !ity.
2e had armed himself and #as a-o%t to mingle #ith the !om-atants$
-%t #as preailed on -y 2e!%-a$ his aged :%een$ to take ref%ge
#ith herself and his da%ghters as a s%ppliant at the altar of
'%piter. "hile there$ his yo%ngest son ,olites$ p%rs%ed -y
,yrrh%s <,yrrh%s/s e0!lamation$ 8Not s%!h aid nor s%!h defenders
does the time re:%ire$8 has -e!ome proer-ial.=$ the son of
A!hilles$ r%shed in #o%nded$ and e0pired at the feet of his
father; #here%pon ,riam$ oer!ome #ith indignation$ h%rled his
spear #ith fee-le hand against ,yrrh%s$ and #as forth#ith slain
-y him.
3%een 2e!%-a and her da%ghter Cassandra #ere !arried !apties to
Gree!e. Cassandra had -een loed -y Apollo$ and he gae her the
gift of prophe!y; -%t after#ards offended #ith her$ he rendered
the gift %naailing -y ordaining that her predi!tions sho%ld
neer -e -elieed. ,oly0ena$ another da%ghter$ #ho had -een
loed -y A!hilles$ #as demanded -y the ghost of this #arrior$ and
#as sa!rifi!ed -y the Greeks %pon his tom-.
JFrom S!hiller/s poem 8Cassandra8@
8And men my prophet #ail derideC
The solemn sorro# dies in s!orn;
And lonely in the #aste$ I hide
The tort%red heart that #o%ld fore#arn.
Amid the happy$ %nregarded$
&o!k/d -y their fearf%l 7oy$ I trod;
Oh$ dark to me the lot a#arded$
Tho% eil ,ythian GodC
8Thine ora!le$ in ain to -e$
Oh$ #herefore am I th%s !onsigned$
"ith eyes that eery tr%th m%st see$
(one in the !ity of the -lindB
C%rsed #ith the ang%ish of a po#er
To ie# the fates I may not thrall$
The hoering tempest still m%st lo#er$
The horror m%st -efallC
.oots it th eil to lift$ and gie
To sight the fro#ning fates -eneathB
For error is the life #e lie$
And$ oh$ o%r kno#ledge is -%t deathC
Take -a!k the !lear and a#f%l mirror$
Sh%t from my eyes the -lood)red glare;
Thy tr%th is -%t the gift of terror$
"hen mortal lips de!lare.
8&y -lindness gie to me on!e more$
They gay dim senses that re7oi!e;
The past/s delighted songs are o/er
For lips that speak a prophet/s oi!e.
To me the f%t%re tho% hast granted;
I miss the moment from the !hain
The happy present ho%r en!hantedC
Take -a!k thy gift againC8
Sir Ed#. (. .%l#er/s translation
O%r readers #ill -e an0io%s to kno# the fate of 2elen$ the fair
-%t g%ilty o!!asion of so m%!h sla%ghter. On the fall of Troy
&enela%s re!oered possession of his #ife$ #ho had not !eased to
loe him$ tho%gh she had yielded to the might of +en%s and
deserted him for another. After the death of ,aris she aided the
Greeks se!retly on seeral o!!asions$ and in parti!%lar #hen
9lysses and Diomedes entered the !ity in disg%ise to !arry off
the ,alladi%m. She sa# and re!ogni6ed 9lysses$ -%t kept the
se!ret$ and een assisted them in o-taining the image. Th%s she
-e!ame re!on!iled to her h%s-and$ and they #ere among the first
to leae the shores of Troy for their natie land. .%t haing
in!%rred the displeas%re of the gods they #ere drien -y storms
from shore to shore of the &editerranean$ isiting Cypr%s$
,hoeni!ia and Egypt. In Egypt they #ere kindly treated and
presented #ith ri!h gifts$ of #hi!h 2elen/s share #as a golden
spindle and a -asket on #heels. The -asket #as to hold the #ool
and spools for the :%een/s #ork.
Dyer$ in his poem of The Flee!e$ th%s all%des to the in!ident@
8AAAAAAAAAmany yet adhere
To the an!ient distaff at the -osom fi0ed.
Casting the #hirling spindle as they #alk.
. . . . . . . . . .
This #as of old$ in no inglorio%s days$
The mode of spinning$ #hen the Egyptian prin!e
A golden distaff gae that -ea%teo%s nymph$
Too -ea%teo%s 2elen; no %n!o%rtly gift.8
&ilton also all%des to a famo%s re!ipe for an inigorating
dra%ght$ !alled Nepenthe$ #hi!h the Egyptian :%een gae to 2elen@
8Not that Nepenthes #hi!h the #ife of Thone
In Egypt gae to 'oe)-orn 2elena$
Is of s%!h po#er to stir %p 7oy as this$
To life so friendly or so !ool to thirst.8
&enela%s and 2elen at length arried in safety at Sparta$ res%med
their royal dignity$ and lied and reigned in splendor; and #hen
Telema!h%s$ the son of 9lysses$ in sear!h of his father$ arried
at Sparta$ he fo%nd &enela%s and 2elen !ele-rating the marriage
of their da%ghter 2ermione to Neoptolem%s$ son of A!hilles.
In 8the +i!tory Feast$8 S!hiller th%s reie#s the ret%rn of the
Greek heroes.
8The son of Atre%s$ king of men$
The m%ster of the hosts s%reyed$
2o# d#indled from the tho%sands$ #hen
Along S!amander first arrayedC
"ith sorro# and the !lo%dy tho%ght$
The great king/s stately look gre# dim$
Of all the hosts to Ilion -ro%ght$
2o# fe# to Gree!e ret%rn #ith himC
Still let the song to gladness !all$
For those #ho yet their home shall greetC
For them the -looming life is s#eet;
Ret%rn is not for allC
8Nor all #ho rea!h their natie land
&ay long the 7oy of #el!ome feel;
.eside the ho%sehold gods may stand
Grim &%rder$ #ith a#aiting steel
And they #ho /s!ape the foe$ may die
.eneath the fo%l$ familiar glaie.
Th%s he to #hom propheti! eye
2er light the #ise &inera gae;
/AhC .less/d$ #hose hearth$ to memory tr%e
The goddess keeps %nstained and p%re;
For #oman/s g%ile is deep and s%re$
And falsehood loes the ne#C/
8The Spartan eyes his 2elen/s !harms$
.y the -est -lood of Gree!e re!apt%red;
Ro%nd that fair form his glo#ing arms
<A se!ond -ridal= #reath$ enrapt%red.
"oe #aits the #ork of eil -irth$
Reenge to deeds %n-lessed is gienC
For #at!hf%l o/er the things of earth$
The eternal !o%n!il)halls of heaen.
1es$ ill shall neer ill repay;
'oe to the impio%s hands that stain
The altar of man/s heart$
Again the doomer/s doom shall #eighC8
Sir Ed#. (. .%l#er/s translation
Agamemnon$ the general)in)!hief of the Greeks$ the -rother of
&enela%s$ #ho had -een dra#n into the :%arrel to aenge another/s
#rongs$ #as not so fort%nate in the iss%e as his -rother. D%ring
his a-sen!e his #ife Clytemnestra had -een false to him$ and #hen
his ret%rn #as e0pe!ted$ she$ #ith her paramo%r$ AEgisth%s$ laid
a plan for his destr%!tion$ and at the -an:%et gien to !ele-rate
his ret%rn$ m%rdered him.
The !onspirators intended also to slay his son Orestes$ a lad not
yet old eno%gh to -e an o-7e!t of apprehension$ -%t from #hom$ if
he sho%ld -e s%ffered to gro# %p$ there might -e danger.
Ele!tra$ the sister of Orestes$ saed her -rother/s life -y
sending him se!retly a#ay to his %n!le Strophi%s$ king of ,ho!is.
In the pala!e of Strophi%s$ Orestes gre# %p #ith the king/s son$
,ylades$ and formed #ith him that ardent friendship #hi!h has
-e!ome proer-ial. Ele!tra fre:%ently reminded her -rother hy
messengers of the d%ty of aenging his father/s death$ and #hen
gro#n %p he !ons%lted the ora!le of Delphi$ #hi!h !onfirmed him
in his design. 2e therefore repaired in disg%ise to Argos$
pretending to he a messenger from Strophi%s$ #ho had !ome to
anno%n!e the death of Orestes$ and -ro%ght the ashes of the
de!eased in a f%neral %rn. After isiting his father/s tom- and
sa!rifi!ing %pon it$ a!!ording to the rites of the an!ients$ he
made himself kno#n to his sister Ele!tra$ and soon after sle#
-oth AEgisth%s and Clytemnestra.
This reolting a!t$ the sla%ghter of a mother -y her son$ tho%gh
alleiated -y the g%ilt of the i!tim and the e0press !ommand of
the gods$ did not fail to a#aken in the -reasts of the an!ients
the same a-horren!e that it does in o%rs. The E%menides$
aenging deities$ sei6ed %pon Orestes$ and droe him franti! from
land to land. ,ylades a!!ompanied him in his #anderings$ and
#at!hed oer him. At length in ans#er to a se!ond appeal to the
ora!le$ he #as dire!ted to go to Ta%ris in S!ythia$ and to -ring
then!e a stat%e of Diana #hi!h #as -elieed to hae fallen from
heaen. A!!ordingly Orestes and ,ylades #ent to Ta%ris$ #here
the -ar-aro%s people #ere a!!%stomed to sa!rifi!e to the goddess
all strangers #ho fell into their hands. The t#o friends #ere
sei6ed and !arried -o%nd to the temple to -e made i!tims. .%t
the priestess of Diana #as no other than Iphigenia$ the sister of
Orestes$ #ho$ o%r readers #ill remem-er$ #as snat!hed a#ay -y
Diana$ at the moment #hen she #as a-o%t to -e sa!rifi!ed.
As!ertaining from the prisoners #ho they #ere$ Iphigenia
dis!losed herself to them$ and the three made their es!ape #ith
the stat%e of the goddess$ and ret%rned to &y!enae.
.%t Orestes #as not yet relieed from the engean!e of the
Erinnyes. At length he took ref%ge #ith &inera at Athens. The
goddess afforded him prote!tion$ and appointed the !o%rt of
Areopag%s to de!ide his fate. The Erinnyes -ro%ght for#ard their
a!!%sation$ and Orestes made the !ommand of the Delphi! ora!le
his e0!%se. "hen the !o%rt oted and the oi!es #ere e:%ally
diided$ Orestes #as a!:%itted -y the !ommand of &inera.
.yron$ in Childe 2arold$ Canto I+$ all%des to the story of
8O tho% #ho neer yet of h%man #rong
(eft the %n-alan!ed s!ale$ great NemesisC
Tho% #ho didst !all the F%ries from the a-yss$
And ro%nd Orestes -ade them ho#l and hiss$
For that %nnat%ral retri-%tion$ 7%st$
2ad it -%t -een from hands less near$ in this$
Thy former realm$ I !all thee from the d%stC8
One of the most patheti! s!enes in the an!ient drama is that in
#hi!h Sopho!les represents the meeting of Orestes and Ele!tra$ on
his ret%rn from ,ho!is. Orestes$ mistaking Ele!tra for one of
the domesti!s$ and desiro%s of keeping his arrial a se!ret till
the ho%r of engean!e sho%ld arrie$ prod%!es the %rn in #hi!h
his ashes are s%pposed to rest. Ele!tra$ -elieing him to -e
really dead$ takes the %rn$ and em-ra!ing it$ po%rs forth her
grief in lang%age f%ll of tenderness and despair.
&ilton$ in one of his sonnets$ says@
8The repeated air
Of sad Ele!tra/s poet had the po#er
To sae the Athenian #alls from r%in -are.8
This all%des to the story that #hen$ on one o!!asion$ the !ity of
Athens #as at the mer!y of her Spartan foes$ and it #as proposed
to destroy it$ the tho%ght #as re7e!ted %pon the a!!idental
:%otation$ -y some one$ of a !hor%s of E%ripides.
After hearing so m%!h a-o%t the !ity of Troy and its heroes$ the
reader #ill perhaps -e s%rprised to learn that the e0a!t site of
that famo%s !ity is still a matter of disp%te. There are some
estiges of tom-s on the plain #hi!h most nearly ans#ers to the
des!ription gien -y 2omer and the an!ient geographers$ -%t no
other eiden!e of the former e0isten!e of a great !ity. .yron
th%s des!ri-es the present appearan!e of the s!ene@
8The #inds are high$ and 2elle/s tide
Rolls darkly heaing to the main;
And night/s des!ending shado#s hide
That field #ith -lood -ede#ed in ain$
The desert of old ,riam/s pride$
The tom-s$ sole reli!s of his reign$
All sae immortal dreams that !o%ld -eg%ile
The -lind old man of S!io/s ro!ky isle.8
.ride of A-ydos.
Chapter 55II
Adent%res of 9lysses. The (ot%s)Eaters. Cy!lopes. Cir!e.
Sirens. S!ylla and Chary-dis. Calypso
The romanti! poem of the Odyssey is no# to engage o%r attention.
It narrates the #anderings of 9lysses <Odysse%s in the Greek
lang%age= in his ret%rn from Troy to his o#n kingdom of Itha!a.
JFrom Troy the essels first made land at Ismar%s$ a !ity of the
Ci!onians$ #here$ in a skirmish #ith the inha-itants$ 9lysses
lost si0 men from ea!h ship. Sailing then!e they #ere oertaken
-y a storm #hi!h droe them for nine days along the sea till they
rea!hed the !o%ntry of the (ot%s)eaters. 2ere$ after #atering$
9lysses sent three of his men to dis!oer #ho the inha-itants
#ere. These men on !oming among the (ot%s)eaters #ere kindly
entertained -y them$ and #ere gien some of their o#n food$ the
lot%s)plant to eat. The effe!t of this food #as s%!h that those
#ho partook of it lost all tho%ghts of home and #ished to remain
in that !o%ntry. It #as -y main for!e that 9lysses dragged these
men a#ay$ and he #as een o-liged to tie them %nder the -en!hes
of his ship. <Tennyson in the (ot%s)eaters has !harmingly
e0pressed the dreamy lang%id feeling #hi!h the lot%s)food is said
to hae prod%!ed@
82o# s#eet it #ere$ hearing the do#n#ard stream
"ith half)sh%t eyes eer to seem
Falling asleep in a half)dreamC
To dream and dream$ like yonder am-er light
"hi!h #ill not leae the myrrh)-%sh on the height;
To hear ea!h other/s #hispered spee!h;
Eating the lot%s$ day -y day$
To #at!h the !risping ripples on the -ea!h$
And tender !%ring lines of !reamy spray;
To lend o%r hearts and spirits #holly
To the infl%en!e of mild)minded melan!holy;
To m%se and -rood and lie again in memory$
"ith those old fa!es of o%r infan!y
2eaped oer #ith a mo%nd of grass$
T#o handf%ls of #hite d%st$ sh%t in an %rn of -rass.8=
They ne0t arried at the !o%ntry of the Cy!lopes. The Cy!lopes
#ere giants$ #ho inha-ited an island of #hi!h they #ere the only
possessors. The name means 8ro%nd eye$8 and these giants #ere so
!alled -e!a%se they had -%t one eye$ and that pla!ed in the
middle of the forehead. They d#elt in !aes and fed on the #ild
prod%!tions of the island and on #hat their flo!ks yielded$ for
they #ere shepherds. 9lysses left the main -ody of his ships at
an!hor$ and #ith one essel #ent to the Cy!lopes/ island to
e0plore for s%pplies. 2e landed #ith his !ompanions$ !arrying
#ith them a 7ar of #ine for a present$ and !oming to a large !ae
they entered it$ and finding no one #ithin e0amined its !ontents.
They fo%nd it stored #ith the ri!hes of the flo!k$ :%antities of
!heese$ pails and -o#ls of milk$ lam-s and kids in their pens$
all in ni!e order. ,resently arried the master of the !ae$
,olyphem%s$ -earing an immense -%ndle of fire#ood$ #hi!h he thre#
do#n -efore the !aern/s mo%th. 2e then droe into the !ae the
sheep and goats to -e milked$ and$ entering$ rolled to the !ae/s
mo%th an enormo%s ro!k$ that t#enty o0en !o%ld not dra#. Ne0t he
sat do#n and milked his e#es$ preparing a part for !heese$ and
setting the rest aside for his !%stomary drink. Then t%rning
ro%nd his great eye he dis!erned the strangers$ and gro#led o%t
to them$ demanding #ho they #ere$ and #here from. 9lysses
replied most h%m-ly$ stating that they #ere Greeks$ from the
great e0pedition that had lately #on so m%!h glory in the
!on:%est of Troy; that they #ere no# on their #ay home$ and
finished -y imploring his hospitality in the name of the gods.
,olyphem%s deigned no ans#er$ -%t rea!hing o%t his hand$ sei6ed
t#o of the Greeks$ #hom he h%rled against the side of the !ae$
and dashed o%t their -rains. 2e pro!eeded to deo%r them #ith
great relish$ and haing made a hearty meal$ stret!hed himself
o%t on the floor to sleep. 9lysses #as tempted to sei6e the
opport%nity and pl%nge his s#ord into him as he slept$ -%t
re!olle!ted that it #o%ld only e0pose them all to !ertain
destr%!tion$ as the ro!k #ith #hi!h the giant had !losed %p the
door #as far -eyond their po#er to remoe$ and they #o%ld
therefore -e in hopeless imprisonment. Ne0t morning the giant
sei6ed t#o more of the Greeks$ and dispat!hed them in the same
manner as their !ompanions$ feasting on their flesh till no
fragment #as left. 2e then moed a#ay the ro!k from the door$
droe o%t his flo!ks$ and #ent o%t$ !aref%lly repla!ing the
-arrier after him. "hen he #as gone 9lysses planned ho# he might
take engean!e for his m%rdered friends$ and effe!t his es!ape
#ith his s%riing !ompanions. 2e made his men prepare a massie
-ar of #ood !%t -y the Cy!lops for a staff$ #hi!h they fo%nd in
the !ae. They sharpened the end of it and seasoned it in the
fire$ and hid it %nder the stra# on the !aern floor. Then fo%r
of the -oldest #ere sele!ted$ #ith #hom 9lysses 7oined himself as
a fifth. The Cy!lops !ame home at eening$ rolled a#ay the stone
and droe in his flo!k as %s%al. After milking them and making
his arrangements as -efore$ he sei6ed t#o more of 9lysses/
!ompanions and dashed their -rains o%t$ and made his eening meal
%pon them as he had on the others. After he had s%pped$ 9lysses$
approa!hing him$ handed him a -o#l of #ine$ saying$ 8Cy!lops$
this is #ine; taste and drink after thy meal of man/s flesh.8 2e
took and drank it$ and #as h%gely delighted #ith it$ and !alled
for more. 9lysses s%pplied him on!e and again$ #hi!h pleased the
giant so m%!h that he promised him as a faor that he sho%ld -e
the last of the party deo%red. 2e asked his name$ to #hi!h
9lysses replied$ 8&y name is Noman.8
After his s%pper the giant lay do#n to repose$ and #as soon so%nd
asleep. Then 9lysses #ith his fo%r sele!t friends thr%st the end
of the stake into the fire till it #as all one -%rning !oal$ then
poising it e0a!tly a-oe the giant/s only eye$ they -%ried it
deeply into the so!ket$ t#irling it ro%nd and ro%nd as a
!arpenter does his a%ger. The ho#ling monster filled the !aern
#ith his o%t!ry$ and 9lysses #ith his aids nim-ly got o%t of his
#ay and !on!ealed themseles in the !ae. The Cy!lops$
-ello#ing$ !alled alo%d on all the Cy!lopes d#elling in the !aes
aro%nd him$ far and near. They on his !ry flo!ked aro%nd the
den$ and in:%ired #hat grieo%s h%rt had !a%sed him to so%nd s%!h
an alarm and -reak their sl%m-ers. 2e replied$ 8O friends$ I
die$ and Noman gies the -lo#.8 They ans#ered$ 8If no man h%rts
thee it is the stroke of 'oe$ and tho% m%st -ear it.8 So
saying$ they left him groaning.
Ne0t morning the Cy!lops rolled a#ay the stone to let his flo!k
o%t to past%re$ -%t planted himself in the door of the !ae to
feel of all as they #ent o%t$ that 9lysses and his men sho%ld not
es!ape #ith them. .%t 9lysses had made his men harness the rams
of the flo!k three a-reast$ #ith osiers #hi!h they fo%nd on the
floor of the !ae. To the middle ram of the three one of the
Greeks s%spended himself$ so prote!ted -y the e0terior rams on
either side. As they passed$ the giant felt of the animals/
-a!ks and sides$ -%t neer tho%ght of their -ellies; so the men
all passed safe$ 9lysses himself -eing on the last one that
passed. "hen they had got a fe# pa!es from the !aern$ 9lysses
and his friends released themseles from their rams$ and droe a
good part of the flo!k do#n to the shore to their -oat. They p%t
them a-oard #ith all haste$ then p%shed off from the shore$ and
#hen at a safe distan!e 9lysses sho%ted$ 8Cy!lops$ the gods hae
#ell re:%ited thee for thy atro!io%s deeds. *no# it is 9lysses
to #hom tho% o#est thy shamef%l loss of sight.8 The Cy!lops$
hearing this$ sei6ed a ro!k that pro7e!ted from the side of the
mo%ntain$ and rending it from its -ed he lifted it high in the
air$ then e0erting all his for!e$ h%rled it in the dire!tion of
the oi!e. Do#n !ame the mass$ 7%st !learing the essel/s stern.
The o!ean$ at the pl%nge of the h%ge ro!k$ heaed the ship
to#ards the land$ so that it -arely es!aped -eing s#amped -y the
#aes. "hen they had #ith the %tmost diffi!%lty p%lled off
shore$ 9lysses #as a-o%t to hail the giant again$ -%t his friends
-eso%ght him not to do so. 2e !o%ld not for-ear$ ho#eer$
letting the giant kno# that they had es!aped his missile$ -%t
#aited till they had rea!hed a safer distan!e than -efore$ The
giant ans#ered them #ith !%rses$ -%t 9lysses and his friends
plied their oars igoro%sly$ and soon regained their !ompanions.
9lysses ne0t arried at the island of AEol%s. To this monar!h
'%piter had intr%sted the goernment of the #inds$ to send them
forth or retain them at his #ill. 2e treated 9lysses hospita-ly$
and at his depart%re gae him$ tied %p in a leathern -ag #ith a
siler string$ s%!h #inds as might -e h%rtf%l and dangero%s$
!ommanding fair #inds to -lo# the -arks to#ards their !o%ntry.
Nine days they sped -efore the #ind$ and all that time 9lysses
had stood at the helm$ #itho%t sleep. At last :%ite e0ha%sted he
lay do#n to sleep. "hile he slept$ the !re# !onferred together
a-o%t the mysterio%s -ag$ and !on!l%ded it m%st !ontain treas%res
gien -y the hospita-le *ing AEol%s to their !ommander. Tempted
to se!%re some portion for themseles they loosed the string$
#hen immediately the #inds r%shed forth. The ships #ere drien
far from their !o%rse$ and -a!k again to the island they had 7%st
left. AEol%s #as so indignant at their folly that he ref%sed to
assist them f%rther$ and they #ere o-liged to la-or oer their
!o%rse on!e more -y means of their oars.
The ne0t adent%re #as #ith the -ar-aro%s tri-e of
(aestrygonians. The essels p%shed into the har-or$ tempted -y
the se!%re appearan!e of the !oe$ !ompletely land)lo!ked;
9lysses alone moored his essel #itho%t. As soon as the
(aestrygonians fo%nd the ships !ompletely in their po#er they
atta!ked them$ haing h%ge stones #hi!h -roke and oert%rned
them$ and #ith their spears dispat!hed the seamen as they
str%ggled in the #ater. All the essels #ith their !re#s #ere
destroyed$ e0!ept 9lysses/ o#n ship #hi!h had remained o%tside$
and finding no safety -%t in flight$ he e0horted his men to ply
their oars igoro%sly$ and they es!aped.
"ith grief for their slain !ompanions mi0ed #ith 7oy at their o#n
es!ape$ they p%rs%ed their #ay till they arried at the Aeaean
isle$ #here d#elt Cir!e$ the da%ghter of the s%n. (anding here
9lysses !lim-ed a hill$ and ga6ing ro%nd sa# no signs of
ha-itation e0!ept in one spot at the !entre of the island$ #here
he per!eied a pala!e em-o#ered #ith trees. 2e sent for#ard one)
half of his !re#$ %nder the !ommand of E%rylo!h%s$ to see #hat
prospe!t of hospitality they might find. As they approa!hed the
pala!e$ they fo%nd themseles s%rro%nded -y lions$ tigers and
#oles$ not fier!e$ -%t tamed -y Cir!e/s art$ for she #as a
po#erf%l magi!ian. All these animals had on!e -een men$ -%t had
-een !hanged -y Cir!e/s en!hantments into the forms of -easts.
The so%nds of soft m%si! #ere heard from #ithin$ and a s#eet
female oi!e singing. E%rylo!h%s !alled alo%d and the goddess
!ame forth and inited them in. They all gladly entered e0!ept
E%rylo!h%s$ #ho s%spe!ted danger. The goddess !ond%!ted her
g%ests to a seat$ and had them sered #ith #ine and other
deli!a!ies. "hen they had feasted heartily$ she to%!hed them one
-y one #ith her #and$ and they -e!ame immediately !hanged into
S"INE$ in 8head$ -ody$ oi!e and -ristles$8 yet #ith their
intelle!ts as -efore. She sh%t them in her sties$ and s%pplied
them #ith a!orns and s%!h other things as s#ine loe.
E%rylo!h%s h%rried -a!k to the ship and told the tale. 9lysses
there%pon determined to go himself$ and try if -y any means he
might delier his !ompanions. As he strode on#ard alone$ he met
a yo%th #ho addressed him familiarly$ appearing to -e a!:%ainted
#ith his adent%res. 2e anno%n!ed himself as &er!%ry$ and
informed 9lysses of the arts of Cir!e$ and of the danger of
approa!hing her. As 9lysses #as not to -e diss%aded from his
attempts$ &er!%ry proided him #ith a sprig of the plant &oly$ of
#onderf%l po#er to resist sor!eries$ and instr%!ted him ho# to
a!t. 9lysses pro!eeded$ and rea!hing the pala!e #as !o%rteo%sly
re!eied -y Cir!e$ #ho entertained him as she had done his
!ompanions$ and after he had eaten and drank$ to%!hed him #ith
her #and$ saying$ 82en!e seek the sty and #allo# #ith thy
friends.8 .%t he$ instead of o-eying$ dre# his s#ord and r%shed
%pon her #ith f%ry in his !o%ntenan!e. She fell on her knees
and -egged for mer!y. 2e di!tated a solemn oath that she #o%ld
release his !ompanions and pra!tise no f%rther against him or
them; and she repeated it$ at the same time promising to dismiss
them all in safety after hospita-ly entertaining them. She #as
as good as her #ord. The men #ere restored to their shapes$ the
rest of the !re# s%mmoned from the shore$ and the #hole
magnifi!ently entertained day after day$ till 9lysses seemed to
hae forgotten his natie land$ and to hae re!on!iled himself to
an inglorio%s life of ease and pleas%re.
At length his !ompanions re!alled him to no-ler sentiments$ and
he re!eied their admonition gratef%lly. Cir!e aided their
depart%re$ and instr%!ted them ho# to pas safely -y the !oast of
the Sirens. The Sirens #ere Sea)nymphs #ho had the po#er of
!harming -y their song all #ho had heard them$ so that the
%nhappy mariners #ere irresisti-ly impelled to !ast themseles
into the sea to their destr%!tion. Cir!e dire!ted 9lysses to
fill the ears of his seamen #ith #a0$ so that they sho%ld not
hear the strain; and to !a%se himself to -e -o%nd to the mast$
and his people to -e stri!tly en7oined$ #hateer he might say or
do$ -y no means to release him till they sho%ld hae passed the
Sirens/ island. 9lysses o-eyed these dire!tions. 2e filled the
ears of his people #ith #a0$ and s%ffered them to -ind him #ith
!ords firmly to the mast. As they approa!hed the Sirens/ island$
the sea #as !alm$ and oer the #aters !ame the notes of m%si! so
raishing and attra!tie$ that 9lysses str%ggled to get loose$
and -y !ries and signs to his people$ -egged to -e released; -%t
they$ o-edient to his preio%s orders$ sprang for#ard and -o%nd
him still faster. They held on their !o%rse$ and the m%si! gre#
fainter till it !eased to -e heard$ #hen #ith 7oy 9lysses gae
his !ompanions the signal to %nseal their ears$ and they relieed
him from his -onds.
The imagination of a modern poet$ *eats$ has dis!oered for %s
the tho%ghts that passed thro%gh the -rains of the i!tims of
Cir!e$ after their transformation. In his Endymion he represents
one of them$ a monar!h in the g%ise of an elephant$ addressing
the sor!eress in h%man lang%age th%s@
8I s%e not for my happy !ro#n again;
I s%e not for my phalan0 on the plain;
I s%e not for my lone$ my #ido#ed #ife;
I s%e not for my r%ddy drops of life$
&y !hildren fair$ my loely girls and -oys;
I #ill forget them; I #ill pass these 7oys$
Ask no%ght so heaen#ard; so too too high;
Only I pray$ as fairest -oon$ to die;
To -e deliered from this !%m-ro%s flesh$
JFrom this gross$ detesta-le$ filthy mesh$
And merely gien to the !old$ -leak air.
2ae mer!y$ goddessC Cir!e$ feel my prayerC8
9lysses had -een #arned -y Cir!e of the t#o monsters S!ylla and
Chary-dis. "e hae already met #ith S!ylla in the story of
Gla%!%s$ and remem-er that she #as on!e a -ea%tif%l maiden and
#as !hanged into a snaky monster -y Cir!e. She d#elt in a !ae
high %p on the !liff$ from #hen!e she #as a!!%stomed to thr%st
forth her long ne!ks for she had si0 heads$ and in ea!h of her
mo%ths to sei6e one of the !re# of eery essel passing #ithin
rea!h. The other terror$ Chary-dis$ #as a g%lf$ nearly on a
leel #ith the #ater. Thri!e ea!h day the #ater r%shed into a
frightf%l !hasm$ and thri!e #as disgorged. Any essel !oming
near the #hirlpool #hen the tide #as r%shing in m%st ineita-ly
-y ing%lfed; not Nept%ne himself !o%ld sae it.
On approa!hing the ha%nt of the dread monsters$ 9lysses kept
stri!t #at!h to dis!oer them. The roar of the #aters as
Chary-dis ing%lfed them$ gae #arning at a distan!e$ -%t S!ylla
!o%ld no#here -e dis!erned. "hile 9lysses and his men #at!hed
#ith an0io%s eyes the dreadf%l #hirlpool$ they #ere not e:%ally
on their g%ard from the atta!k of S!ylla$ and the monster darting
forth her snaky heads$ !a%ght si0 of his men$ and -ore them a#ay
shrieking to her den. It #as the saddest sight 9lysses had yet
seen; to -ehold his friends th%s sa!rifi!ed and hear their !ries$
%na-le to afford them any assistan!e.
Cir!e had #arned him of another danger. After passing S!ylla and
Chary-dis$ the ne0t land he #o%ld make #as Trinakria$ an island
#hereon #ere past%red the !attle of 2yperion$ the S%n$ tended -y
his da%ghters (ampetia and ,haeth%sa. These flo!ks m%st not -e
iolated$ #hateer the #ants of the oyagers might -e. If this
in7%n!tion #ere transgressed$ destr%!tion #as s%re to fall on the
9lysses #o%ld #illingly hae passed the island of the S%n #itho%t
stopping$ -%t his !ompanions so %rgently pleaded for the rest and
refreshment that #o%ld -e deried from an!horing and passing the
night on shore$ that 9lysses yielded. 2e -o%nd them$ ho#eer$
#ith an oath that they #o%ld not to%!h one of the animals of the
sa!red flo!ks and herds$ -%t !ontent themseles #ith #hat
proision they yet had left of the s%pply #hi!h Cir!e had p%t on
-oard. So long as this s%pply lasted the people kept their oath$
-%t !ontrary #inds detained them at the island for a month$ and
after !ons%ming all their sto!k of proisions$ they #ere for!ed
to rely %pon the -irds and fishes they !o%ld !at!h. Famine
pressed them$ and at length one day$ in the a-sen!e of 9lysses$
they sle# some of the !attle$ ainly attempting to make amends
for the deed -y offering from them a portion to the offended
po#ers. 9lysses$ on his ret%rn to the shore$ #as horror)str%!k
at per!eiing #hat they had done$ and the more so on a!!o%nt of
the portento%s signs #hi!h follo#ed. The skins !rept on the
gro%nd$ and the 7oints of meat lo#ed on the spits #hile roasting.
The #ind -e!oming fair they sailed from the island. They had not
gone far #hen the #eather !hanged$ and a storm of th%nder and
lightning ens%ed. A stroke of lightning shattered their mast$
#hi!h in its fall killed the pilot. At last the essel itself
!ame to pie!es. The keel and mast floating side -y side$ 9lysses
formed of them a raft$ to #hi!h he !l%ng$ and$ the #ind !hanging$
the #aes -ore him to Calypso/s island. All the rest of the !re#
The follo#ing all%sion to the stories #e hae 7%st -een relating
is from &ilton/s Com%s$ line FOF@
8I hae often heard
&y mother Cir!e and the Sirens three$
Amidst the flo#ery)kirtled Naiades$
C%lling their potent her-s and -anef%l dr%gs$
"ho as they s%ng #o%ld take the prisoned so%l
And lap it in Elysi%m. S!ylla #ept$
And !hid her -arking #aes into attention.
And fell Chary-dis m%rm%red soft appla%se.8
S!ylla and Chary-dis hae -e!ome proer-ial$ to denote opposite
dangers #hi!h -eset one/s !o%rse.
Calypso #as a sea)nymph. One of that n%mero%s !lass of female
diinities of lo#er rank than the gods$ yet sharing many of their
attri-%tes. Calypso re!eied 9lysses hospita-ly$ entertained him
magnifi!ently$ -e!ame enamored of him$ and #ished to retain him
foreer$ !onferring on him immortality. .%t he persisted in his
resol%tion to ret%rn to his !o%ntry and his #ife and son.
Calypso at last re!eied a !ommand from 'oe to dismiss him.
&er!%ry -ro%ght the message to her$ and fo%nd her in her grotto$
#hi!h is th%s des!ri-ed -y 2omer@
8A garden ine$ l%0%riant on all sides$
&antled the spa!io%s !aern$ !l%ster)h%ng
,rof%se; fo%r fo%ntains of serenest lymph$
Their sin%o%s !o%rse p%rs%ing side -y side$
Strayed all aro%nd$ and eery #here appeared
&eado#s of softest erd%re p%rpled o/er
"ith iolets; it #as a s!ene to fill
A god from heaen #ith #onder and delight.8
Calypso #ith m%!h rel%!tan!e pro!eeded to o-ey the !ommands of
'%piter. She s%pplied 9lysses #ith the means of !onstr%!ting a
raft$ proisioned it #ell for him$ and gae him a faoring gale.
2e sped on his !o%rse prospero%sly for many days$ till at length$
#hen in sight of land$ a storm arose that -roke his mast$ and
threatened to rend the raft as%nder. In this !risis he #as seen
-y a !ompassionate sea)nymph$ #ho in the form of a !ormorant
alighted on the raft$ and presented him a girdle$ dire!ting him
to -ind it -eneath his -reast$ and if he sho%ld -e !ompelled to
tr%st himself to the #aes$ it #o%ld -%oy him %p and ena-le him
-y s#imming to rea!h the land.
Fenelon$ in his roman!e of Telema!h%s$ has gien %s the
adent%res of the son of 9lysses in sear!h of his father. Among
other pla!es at #hi!h he arried$ follo#ing on his father/s
footsteps$ #as Calypso/s isle$ and$ as in the former !ase$ the
goddess tried eery art to keep him #ith her$ and offered to
share her immortality #ith him. .%t &inera$ #ho$ in the shape
of &entor$ a!!ompanied him and goerned all his moements$ made
him repel her all%rements$ and #hen no other means of es!ape
!o%ld -e fo%nd$ the t#o friends leaped from a !liff into the sea$
and s#am to a essel #hi!h lay -e!almed off shore. .yron all%des
to this leap of Telema!h%s and &entor in the follo#ing stan6a@
8.%t not in silen!e pass Calypso/s isles$
The sister tenants of the middle deep;
There for the #eary still a haen smiles$
Tho%gh the fair goddess long has !eased to #eep$
And o/er her !liffs a fr%itless #at!h to keep
For him #ho dared prefer a mortal -ride.
2ere too his -oy essayed the dreadf%l leap$
Stern &entor %rged from high to yonder tide;
"hile th%s of -oth -ereft the nymph):%een do%-ly sighed.8
Chapter 55III
The Odyssey <!ontin%ed=
9lysses !l%ng to the raft #hile any of its tim-ers kept together$
and #hen it no longer yielded him s%pport$ -inding the girdle
aro%nd him$ he s#am. &inera smoothed the -illo#s -efore him and
sent him a #ind that rolled the #aes to#ards the shore. The
s%rf -eat high on the ro!ks and seemed to for-id approa!h; -%t at
length finding !alm #ater at the mo%th of a gentle stream$ he
landed$ spent #ith toil$ -reathless and spee!hless and almost
dead. After some time reiing$ he kissed the soil$ re7oi!ing$
yet at a loss #hat !o%rse to take. At a short distan!e he
per!eied a #ood$ to #hi!h he t%rned his steps. There finding a
!oert sheltered -y intermingling -ran!hes alike from the s%n and
the rain$ he !olle!ted a pile of leaes and formed a -ed$ on
#hi!h he stret!hed himself$ and heaping the leaes oer him$ fell
The land #here he #as thro#n #as S!heria$ the !o%ntry of the
,hae!ians. These people d#elt originally near the Cy!lopes; -%t
-eing oppressed -y that saage ra!e$ they migrated to the isle of
S!heria$ %nder the !ond%!t of Na%sitho%s their king. They #ere$
the poet tells %s$ a people akin to the gods$ #ho appeared
manifestly and feasted among them #hen they offered sa!rifi!es$
and did not !on!eal themseles from solitary #ayfarers #hen they
met them. They had a-%ndan!e of #ealth and lied in the
en7oyment of it %ndist%r-ed -y the alarms of #ar$ for as they
d#elt remote from gain)seeking man$ no enemy eer approa!hed
their shores$ and they did not een re:%ire to make %se of -o#s
and :%iers. Their !hief employment #as naigation. Their
ships$ #hi!h #ent #ith the elo!ity of -irds$ #ere end%ed #ith
intelligen!e; they kne# eery port and needed no pilot.
Al!ino%s$ the son of Na%sitho%s$ #as no# their king$ a #ise and
7%st soereign$ -eloed -y his people.
No# it happened that the ery night on #hi!h 9lysses #as !ast
ashore on the ,haea!ian island$ and #hile he lay sleeping on his
-ed of leaes$ Na%si!aa$ the da%ghter of the king$ had a dream
sent -y &inera$ reminding her that her #edding)day #as not far
distant$ and that it #o%ld -e -%t a pr%dent preparation for that
eent to hae a general #ashing of the !lothes of the family.
This #as no slight affair$ for the fo%ntains #ere at some
distan!e and the garments m%st -e !arried thither. On a#aking$
the prin!ess hastened to her parents to tell them #hat #as on her
mind; not all%ding to her #edding)day$ -%t finding other reasons
e:%ally good. 2er father readily assented and ordered the grooms
to f%rnish forth a #agon for the p%rpose. The !lothes #ere p%t
therein$ and the :%een mother pla!ed in the #agon$ like#ise an
a-%ndant s%pply of food and #ine. The prin!ess took her seat and
plied the lash$ her attendant irgins follo#ing her on foot.
Arried at the rier side they t%rned o%t the m%les to gra6e$ and
%nloading the !arriage$ -ore the garments do#n to the #ater$ and
#orking #ith !heerf%lness and ala!rity soon dispat!hed their
la-or. Then haing spread the garments on the shore to dry$ and
haing themseles -athed$ they sat do#n to en7oy their meal;
after #hi!h they rose and am%sed themseles #ith a game of -all$
the prin!ess singing to them #hile they played. .%t #hen they
had refolded the apparel and #ere a-o%t to res%me their #ay to
the to#n$ &inera !a%sed the -all thro#n -y the prin!ess to fall
into the #ater$ #hereat they all s!reamed$ and 9lysses a#aked at
the so%nd.
No# #e m%st pi!t%re to o%rseles 9lysses$ a ship#re!ked mariner$
-%t 7%st es!aped from the #aes$ and %tterly destit%te of
!lothing$ a#aking and dis!oering that only a fe# -%shes #ere
interposed -et#een him and a gro%p of yo%ng maidens$ #hom$ -y
their deportment and attire$ he dis!oered to -e not mere peasant
girls$ -%t of a higher !lass. Sadly needing help$ ho# !o%ld he
yet ent%re$ naked as he #as$ to dis!oer himself and make his
#ants kno#nB It !ertainly #as a !ase #orthy of the interposition
of his patron goddess &inera$ #ho neer failed him at a !risis.
.reaking off a leafy -ran!h from a tree$ he held it -efore him
and stepped o%t from the thi!ket. The irgins$ at sight of him$
fled in all dire!tions$ Na%si!aa alone e0!epted$ for &inera
aided and endo#ed her #ith !o%rage and dis!ernment. 9lysses$
standing respe!tf%lly aloof$ told his sad !ase$ and -eso%ght the
fair o-7e!t <#hether :%een or goddess he professed he kne# not=
for food and !lothing. The prin!ess replied !o%rteo%sly$
promising present relief and her father/s hospitality #hen he
sho%ld -e!ome a!:%ainted #ith the fa!ts. She !alled -a!k her
s!attered maidens$ !hiding their alarm$ and reminding them that
the ,haea!ians had no enemies to fear. This man$ she told them$
#as an %nhappy #anderer$ #hom it #as a d%ty to !herish$ for the
poor and stranger are from 'oe. She -ade them -ring food and
!lothing$ for some of her -rothers/ garments #ere among the
!ontents of the #agon. "hen this #as done$ and 9lysses$ retiring
to a sheltered pla!e$ had #ashed his -ody free from the sea)foam$
!lothed and refreshed himself #ith food$ ,allas dilated his form
and diff%sed gra!e oer his ample !hest and manly -ro#s.
The prin!ess$ seeing him$ #as filled #ith admiration$ and
s!r%pled not to say to her damsels that she #ished the gods #o%ld
send her s%!h a h%s-and. To 9lysses she re!ommended that he
sho%ld repair to the !ity$ follo#ing herself and train so far as
the #ay lay thro%gh the fields; -%t #hen they sho%ld approa!h the
!ity she desired that he #o%ld no longer -e seen in her !ompany$
for she feared the remarks #hi!h r%de and %lgar people might
make on seeing her ret%rn a!!ompanied -y s%!h a gallant stranger;
to aoid #hi!h she dire!ted him to stop at a groe ad7oining the
!ity$ in #hi!h #ere a farm and garden -elonging to the king.
After allo#ing time for the prin!ess and her !ompanions to rea!h
the !ity$ he #as then to p%rs%e his #ay thither$ and #o%ld -e
easily g%ided -y any he might meet to the royal a-ode.
9lysses o-eyed the dire!tions$ and in d%e time pro!eeded to the
!ity$ on approa!hing #hi!h he met a yo%ng #oman -earing a pit!her
forth for #ater. It #as &inera$ #ho had ass%med that form.
9lysses a!!osted her$ and desired to -e dire!ted to the pala!e of
Al!ino%s the king. The maiden replied respe!tf%lly$ offering to
-e his g%ide; for the pala!e$ she informed him$ stood near her
father/s d#elling. 9nder the g%idan!e of the goddess$ and -y her
po#er eneloped in a !lo%d #hi!h shielded him from o-seration$
9lysses passed among the -%sy !ro#d$ and #ith #onder o-sered
their har-or$ their ships$ their for%m <the resort of heroes=$
and their -attlements$ till they !ame to the pala!e$ #here the
goddess$ haing first gien him some information of the !o%ntry$
king$ and people he #as a-o%t to meet$ left him. 9lysses$ -efore
entering the !o%rtyard of the pala!e$ stood and s%reyed the
s!ene. Its splendor astonished him. .ra6en #alls stret!hed from
the entran!e to the interior ho%se$ of #hi!h the doors #ere gold$
the door)posts siler$ the lintels siler ornamented #ith gold.
On either side #ere fig%res of mastiffs #ro%ght in gold and
siler$ standing in ro#s as if to g%ard the approa!h. Along the
#alls #ere seats spread thro%gh all their length #ith mantles of
finest te0t%re$ the #ork of ,haea!ian maidens. On these seats
the prin!es sat and feasted$ #hile golden stat%es of gra!ef%l
yo%ths held in their hands lighted tor!hes$ #hi!h shed radian!e
oer the s!ene. F%ll fifty female menials sered in ho%sehold
offi!es$ some employed to grind the !orn$ others to #ind off the
p%rple #ool or ply the loom. For the ,haea!ian #omen as far
e0!eeded all other #omen in ho%sehold arts as the mariners of
that !o%ntry did the rest of mankind in the management of ships.
"itho%t the !o%rt a spa!io%s garden lay$ in #hi!h gre# many a
lofty tree$ pomegranate$ pear$ apple$ fig$ and olie. Neither
#inter/s !old nor s%mmer/s dro%ght arrested their gro#th$ -%t
they flo%rished in !onstant s%!!ession$ some -%dding #hile others
#ere mat%ring. The ineyard #as e:%ally prolifi!. In one
:%arter yo% might see the ines$ some in -lossom$ some loaded
#ith ripe grapes$ and in another o-sere the intagers treading
the #ine)press. On the garden/s -orders flo#ers of eery h%e
-loomed all the year ro%nd$ arranged #ith neatest art. In the
midst t#o fo%ntains po%red forth their #aters$ one flo#ing -y
artifi!ial !hannels oer all the garden$ the other !ond%!ted
thro%gh the !o%rtyard of the pala!e$ #hen!e eery !iti6en might
dra# his s%pplies.
9lysses stood ga6ing in admiration$ %no-sered himself$ for the
!lo%d #hi!h &inera spread aro%nd him still shielded him. At
length$ haing s%ffi!iently o-sered the s!ene$ he adan!ed #ith
rapid step into the hall #here the !hiefs and senators #ere
assem-led$ po%ring li-ation to &er!%ry$ #hose #orship follo#ed
the eening meal. '%st then &inera dissoled the !lo%d and
dis!losed him to the assem-led !hiefs. Adan!ing to#ard the
:%een$ he knelt at her feet and implored her faor and assistan!e
to ena-le him to ret%rn to his natie !o%ntry. Then #ithdra#ing$
he seated himself in the manner of s%ppliants$ at the hearth)
For a time none spoke. At last an aged statesman$ addressing the
king$ said$ 8It is not fit that a stranger #ho asks o%r
hospitality sho%ld -e kept #aiting in s%ppliant g%ise$ none
#el!oming him. (et him therefore -e led to a seat among %s and
s%pplied #ith food and #ine.8 At these #ords the king rising
gae his hand to 9lysses and led him to a seat$ displa!ing then!e
his o#n son to make room for the stranger. Food and #ine #ere
set -efore him and he ate and refreshed himself.
The king then dismissed his g%ests$ notifying them that the ne0t
day he #o%ld !all them to !o%n!il to !onsider #hat had -est -e
done for the stranger.
"hen the g%ests had departed and 9lysses #as left alone #ith the
king and :%een$ the :%een asked him #ho he #as and #hen!e he
!ame$ and <re!ogni6ing the !lothes #hi!h he #ore as those #hi!h
her maidens and herself had made= from #hom he re!eied his
garments. 2e told them of his residen!e in Calypso/s isle and
his depart%re then!e; of the #re!k of his raft$ his es!ape -y
s#imming$ and of the relief afforded -y the prin!ess. The
parents heard approingly$ and the king promised to f%rnish him a
ship in #hi!h he might ret%rn to his o#n land.
The ne0t day the assem-led !hiefs !onfirmed the promise of the
king. A -ark #as prepared and a !re# of sto%t ro#ers sele!ted$
and all -etook themseles to the pala!e$ #here a -o%nteo%s repast
#as proided. After the feast the king proposed that the yo%ng
men sho%ld sho# their g%est their profi!ien!y in manly sports$
and all #ent forth to the arena for games of r%nning$ #restling$
and other e0er!ises. After all had done their -est$ 9lysses
-eing !hallenged to sho# #hat he !o%ld do$ at first de!lined$ -%t
-eing ta%nted -y one of the yo%ths$ sei6ed a :%oit of #eight far
heaier than any the ,haea!ians had thro#n$ and sent it farther
than the %tmost thro# of theirs. All #ere astonished$ and ie#ed
their g%est #ith greatly in!reased respe!t.
After the games they ret%rned to the hall$ and the herald led in
Demodo!%s$ the -lind -ard$
8Dear to the &%se$
"ho yet appointed him -oth good and ill$
Took from him sight$ -%t gae him strains diine.8
2e took for his theme the #ooden horse$ -y means of #hi!h the
Greeks fo%nd entran!e into Troy. Apollo inspired him$ and he
sang so feelingly of the terrors and the e0ploits of that
eentf%l time that all #ere delighted$ -%t 9lysses #as moed to
tears. O-sering #hi!h$ Al!ino%s$ #hen the song #as done$
demanded of him #hy at the mention of troy his sorro#s a#aked.
2ad he lost there a father or -rother$ or any dear friendB
9lysses in reply anno%n!ed himself -y his tr%e name$ and at their
re:%est$ re!o%nted the adent%res #hi!h had -efallen him sin!e
his depart%re from Troy. This narratie raised the sympathy and
admiration of the ,haea!ians for their g%est to the highest
pit!h. The king proposed that ea!h !hief sho%ld present him #ith
a gift$ himself setting the e0ample. They o-eyed$ and ied #ith
one another in loading the ill%strio%s stranger #ith !ostly
The ne0t day 9lysses set sail in the ,haea!ian essel$ and in a
short time arried safe at Itha!a$ his o#n island. "hen the
essel to%!hed the strand he #as asleep. The mariners$ #itho%t
#aking him$ !arried him on shore$ and landed #ith him the !hest
!ontaining his presents$ and then sailed a#ay.
.%t Nept%ne #as displeased at the !ond%!t of the ,haea!ians in
th%s res!%ing 9lysses from his hands. In reenge$ on the ret%rn
of the essel to port$ he transformed it into a ro!k$ right
opposite the mo%th of the har-or.
2omer/s des!ription of the ships of the ,haea!ians has -een
tho%ght to look like an anti!ipation of the #onders of modern
steam naigation. Al!ino%s says to 9lysses$
8Say from #hat !ity$ from #hat regions tossed$
And #hat inha-itants those regions -oastB
So shalt tho% :%i!kly rea!h the realm assigned$
In #ondro%s ships$ self)moed$ instin!t #ith mind;
No helm se!%res their !o%rse$ no pilot g%ides;
(ike man intelligent they plo%gh the tides$
Cons!io%s of eery !oast and eery -ay
That lies -eneath the s%n/s all)seeing ray.8
Odyssey$ .ook +III
(ord Carlisle$ in his Diary in the T%rkish and Greek "aters$ th%s
speaks of Corf%$ #hi!h he !onsiders to -e the an!ient ,haea!ian
8The sites e0plain the Odyssey. The temple of the sea)god !o%ld
not hae -een more fitly pla!ed$ %pon a grassy platform of the
most elasti! t%rf$ on the -ro# of a !rag !ommanding har-or$ and
!hannel$ and o!ean. '%st at the entran!e of the inner har-or
there is a pi!t%res:%e ro!k #ith a small !onent per!hed atop it$
#hi!h -y one legend is the transformed pinna!e of 9lysses.
8Almost the only rier in the island is 7%st at the proper
distan!e from the pro-a-le site of the !ity and pala!e of the
king$ to 7%stify the prin!ess Na%si!aa haing had resort to her
!hariot and to l%n!heon #hen she #ent #ith the maidens of the
!o%rt to #ash their garments.8
It #as no# t#enty years that 9lysses had -een a#ay from Itha!a$
and #hen he a#oke he did not re!ogni6e his natie land. .%t
&inera$ appearing to him in the form of a yo%ng shepherd$
informed him #here he #as$ and told him the state of things at
his pala!e. &ore than a h%ndred no-les of Itha!a and of the
neigh-oring islands had -een for years s%ing for the hand of
,enelope$ his #ife$ imagining him dead$ and lording it oer his
pala!e and people$ as if they #ere o#ners of -oth. That he might
-e a-le to take engean!e %pon them$ it #as important that he
sho%ld not -e re!ogni6ed. &inera a!!ordingly metamorphosed him
into an %nsightly -eggar$ and as s%!h he #as kindly re!eied -y
E%mae%s$ the s#ine)herd$ a faithf%l serant of his ho%se.
Telema!h%s$ his son$ #as a-sent in :%est of his father. 2e had
gone to the !o%rts of the other kings$ #ho had ret%rned from the
Tro7an e0pedition. "hile on the sear!h$ he re!eied !o%nsel from
&inera to ret%rn home. Arriing at Itha!a$ he so%ght E%mae%s to
learn something of the state of affairs at the pala!e -efore
presenting himself among the s%itors. Finding a stranger #ith
E%mae%s$ he treated him !o%rteo%sly$ tho%gh in the gar- of a
-eggar$ and promised him assistan!e. E%mae%s #as sent to the
pala!e to inform ,enelope priately of her son/s arrial$ for
!a%tion #as ne!essary #ith regard to the s%itors$ #ho$ as
Telema!h%s had learned$ #ere plotting to inter!ept and kill him.
"hen E%mae%s #as gone$ &inera presented herself to 9lysses$ and
dire!ted him to make himself kno#n to his son. At the same time
she to%!hed him$ remoed at on!e from him the appearan!e of age
and pen%ry$ and gae him the aspe!t of igoro%s manhood that
-elonged to him. Telema!h%s ie#ed him #ith astonishment$ and at
first tho%ght he m%st -e more than mortal. .%t 9lysses anno%n!ed
himself as his father$ and a!!o%nted for the !hange of appearan!e
-y e0plaining that it #as &inera/s doing.
8Then thre# Telema!h%s
2is arms aro%nd his father/s ne!k and #ept$
Desire intense of lamentation sei6ed
On -oth; soft m%rm%rs %ttering$ ea!h ind%lged
2is grief.8
The father and son took !o%nsel together ho# they sho%ld get the
-etter of the s%itors and p%nish them for their o%trages. It #as
arranged that Telema!h%s sho%ld pro!eed to the pala!e and mingle
#ith the s%itors as formerly; that 9lysses sho%ld go also$ as a
-eggar$ a !hara!ter #hi!h in the r%de old times had different
priileges from those #e !on!ede to it no#. As traeller and
story)teller$ the -eggar #as admitted in the halls of !hieftains$
and often treated like a g%est; tho%gh sometimes$ also$ no do%-t$
#ith !ont%mely. 9lysses !harged his son not to -etray$ -y any
display of %n%s%al interest in him$ that he kne# him to -e other
than he seemed$ and een if he sa# him ins%lted$ or -eaten$ not
to interpose other#ise than he might do for any stranger.
At the pala!e they fo%nd the %s%al s!ene of feasting and riot
going on. The s%itors pretended to re!eie Telema!h%s #ith 7oy
at his ret%rn$ tho%gh se!retly mortified at the fail%re of their
plots to take his life. The old -eggar #as permitted to enter$
and proided #ith a portion from the ta-le. A to%!hing in!ident
o!!%rred as 9lysses entered the !o%rt)yard of the pala!e. An old
dog lay in the yard almost dead #ith age$ and seeing a stranger
enter$ raised his head$ #ith ears ere!t. It #as Arg%s$ 9lysses/
o#n dog$ that he had in other days often led to the !hase.
8Soon he per!eied
(ong)lost 9lysses nigh$ do#n fell his ears
Clapped !lose$ and #ith his tail glad signs he gae
Of grat%lation$ impotent to rise$
And to approa!h his master as of old.
9lysses$ noting him$ #iped off a tear
. . . Then his destiny released
Old Arg%s$ soon as he had lied to see
9lysses in the t#entieth year restored.8
As 9lysses sat eating his portion in the hall$ the s%itors soon
-egan to e0hi-it their insolen!e to him. "hen he mildly
remonstrated$ one of them raised a stool and #ith it gae him a
-lo#. Telema!h%s had hard #ork to restrain his indignation at
seeing his father so treated in his o#n hall$ -%t remem-ering his
father/s in7%n!tions$ said no more than #hat -e!ame him as master
of the ho%se and prote!tor of his g%ests.
,enelope had protra!ted her de!ision in faor of any one of her
s%itors so long$ that there seemed to -e no f%rther preten!e for
delay. The !ontin%ed a-sen!e of her h%s-and seemed to proe that
his ret%rn #as no longer to -e e0pe!ted. &ean#hile her son had
gro#n %p$ and #as a-le to manage his o#n affairs. She therefore
!onsented to s%-mit the :%estion of her !hoi!e to a trial of
skill among the s%itors. The test sele!ted #as shooting #ith the
-o#. T#ele rings #ere arranged in a line$ and he #hose arro#
#as sent thro%gh the #hole t#ele$ #as to hae the :%een for his
pri6e. A -o# that one of his -rother heroes had gien to 9lysses
in former times$ #as -ro%ght from the armory$ and #ith its :%ier
f%ll of arro#s #as laid in the hall. Telema!h%s had taken !are
that all other #eapons sho%ld -e remoed$ %nder preten!e that in
the heat of !ompetition$ there #as danger$ in some rash moment$
of p%tting them to an improper %se.
All things -eing prepared for the trial$ the first thing to -e
done #as to -end the -o# in order to atta!h the string.
Telema!h%s endeaored to do it$ -%t fo%nd all his efforts
fr%itless; and modestly !onfessing that he had attempted a task
-eyond his strength$ he yielded the -o# to another. 2E tried it
#ith no -etter s%!!ess$ and$ amidst the la%ghter and 7eers of his
!ompanions$ gae it %p. Another tried it and another; they
r%--ed the -o# #ith tallo#$ -%t all to no p%rpose; it #o%ld not
-end. Then spoke 9lysses$ h%m-ly s%ggesting that he sho%ld -e
permitted to try; for$ said he$ 8-eggar as I am$ I #as on!e a
soldier$ and there is still some strength in these old lim-s of
mine.8 The s%itors hooted #ith derision$ and !ommanded to t%rn
him o%t of the hall for his insolen!e. .%t Telema!h%s spoke %p
for him$ and merely to gratify the old man$ -ade him try.
9lysses took the -o#$ and handled it #ith the hand of a master.
"ith ease he ad7%sted the !ord to its not!h$ then fitting an
arro# to the -o# he dre# the string and sped the arro# %nerring
thro%gh the rings.
"itho%t allo#ing them time to e0press their astonishment$ he
said$ 8No# for another markC8 and aimed dire!t at the most
insolent one of the s%itors. The arro# pier!ed thro%gh his throat
and he fell dead. Telema!h%s$ E%mae%s$ and another faithf%l
follo#er$ #ell armed$ no# sprang to the side of 9lysses. The
s%itors$ in ama6ement$ looked ro%nd for arms -%t fo%nd none$
neither #as there any #ay of es!ape$ for E%mae%s had se!%red the
door. 9lysses left them not long in %n!ertainty; he anno%n!ed
himself as the long)lost !hief$ #hose ho%se they had inaded$
#hose s%-stan!e they had s:%andered$ #hose #ife and son they had
perse!%ted for ten long years; and told them he meant to hae
ample engean!e. All the s%itors #ere slain$ e0!ept ,hemi%s the
-ard and &edon the herald$ and 9lysses #as left master of his o#n
pala!e and possessor of his kingdom and his #ife.
Among S!hiller/s #orks is the follo#ing epigram on 9lysses@
8To gain his home all o!eans he e0plored;
2ere S!ylla fro#ned$ and there Chary-dis roared;
2orror on sea$ and horror on the land$
In hell/s dark -oat he so%ght the spe!tre land$
Till -orne a sl%m-erer to his natie spot$
2e #oke$ and sorro#ing$ kne# his !o%ntry not.8
Sir Ed#ard .%l#er8s translation
Tennyson/s poem of 9lysses represents the old hero$ after his
dangers past and nothing left -%t to stay at home and -e happy$
gro#ing tired of ina!tion and resoling to set forth again in
:%est of ne# adent%res.
8Come my friends$
/Tis not too late to seek a ne#er #orld.
,%sh off$ and sitting #ell in order smite
The so%nding f%rro#s; for my p%rpose holds
To sail -eyond the s%nset$ and the -aths
Of all the #estern stars$ %ntil I die.
It may -e that the g%lfs #ill #ash %s do#n;
It may -e #e shall to%!h the 2appy Isles$
And see the great A!hilles #hom #e kne#$
Tho/m%!h is taken$ m%!h a-ides; and tho/
"e are not no# that strength #hi!h in old days
&oed earth and heaen; that #hi!h #e are$ #e are;
One e:%al temper of heroi! hearts$
&ade #eak -y time and fate$ -%t strong in #ill
To strie$ to seek$ to find$ and not to yield.8
Chapter 55I+
Adent%res of AEneas The 2arpies Dido ,alin%r%s
"e hae follo#ed one of the Gre!ian heroes$ 9lysses$ in his
#anderings$ on his ret%rn home from Troy$ and no# #e propose to
share the fort%nes of the remnant of the !on:%ered people$ %nder
their !hief AEneas$ in their sear!h for a ne# home$ after the
r%in of their natie !ity. On that fatal night #hen the #ooden
horse disgorged its !ontents of armed men$ and the !apt%re and
!onflagration of the !ity #ere the res%lt$ Aeneas made his es!ape
from the s!ene of destr%!tion #ith his father$ and his #ife$ and
yo%ng son. The father$ An!hises$ #as #oo old to #alk #ith the
speed re:%ired$ and AEneas took him %pon his sho%lders. Th%s
-%rdened$ leading his son and follo#ed -y his #ife$ he made the
-est of his #ay o%t of the -%rning !ity; -%t in the !onf%sion$
his #ife #as s#ept a#ay and lost.
On arriing at the pla!e of rende6o%s$ n%mero%s f%gities$ of
-oth se0es$ #ere fo%nd$ #ho p%t themseles %nder the g%idan!e of
Aeneas. Some months #ere spent in preparation and at length they
em-arked. They first landed on the neigh-oring shores of Thra!e$
and #ere preparing to -%ild a !ity$ -%t AEneas #as deterred -y a
prodigy. ,reparing to offer sa!rifi!e$ he tore some t#igs from
one of the -%shes. To his dismay the #o%nded part dropped -lood.
"hen he repeated the a!t$ a oi!e from the gro%nd !ried o%t to
him$ 8Spare me$ AEneas; I am yo%r kinsman$ ,olydore$ here
m%rdered #ith many arro#s$ from #hi!h a -%sh has gro#n$ no%rished
#ith my -lood.8 These #ords re!alled to the re!olle!tion of
AEneas that ,olydore #as a yo%ng prin!e of Troy$ #hom his father
had sent #ith ample treas%res to the neigh-oring land of Thra!e$
to -e there -ro%ght %p$ at a distan!e from the horrors of #ar.
The king to #hom he #as sent had m%rdered him$ and sei6ed his
treas%res. AEneas and his !ompanions hastened a#ay$ !onsidering
the land to -e a!!%rsed -y the stain of s%!h a !rime.
They ne0t landed on the island of Delos$ #hi!h #as on!e a
floating island$ till '%piter fastened it -y adamantine !hains to
the -ottom of the sea. Apollo and Diana #ere -orn there$ and the
island #as sa!red to Apollo. 2ere AEneas !ons%lted the ora!le of
Apollo$ and re!eied an ans#er$ as am-ig%o%s as %s%al 8Seek
yo%r an!ient mother; there the ra!e of AEneas shall d#ell$ and
red%!e all other nations to their s#ay.8 The Tro7ans heard #ith
7oy$ and immediately -egan to ask one another$ 8"here is the spot
intended -y the ora!leB8 An!hises remem-ered that there #as a
tradition that their forefathers !ame from Crete$ and thither
they resoled to steer. They arried at Crete$ and -egan to
-%ild their !ity$ -%t si!kness -roke o%t among them$ and the
fields that they had planted failed to yield a !rop. In this
gloomy aspe!t of affairs$ AEneas #as #arned in a dream to leae
the !o%ntry$ and seek a #estern land$ !alled 2esperia$ #hen!e
Dardan%s$ the tr%e fo%nder of the Tro7an ra!e$ had originally
migrated. To 2esperia$ no# !alled Italy$ therefore$ they
dire!ted their f%t%re !o%rse$ and not till after many adent%res
and the lapse of time s%ffi!ient to !arry a modern naigator
seeral times ro%nd the #orld$ did they arrie there.
Their first landing #as at the island of the 2arpies@
8AAAAAAAAAAThe da%ghters of the earth and sea$
The dreadf%l snat!hers$ #ho like #omen #ere
Do#n to the -reast$ #ith s!anty !oarse -la!k hair
A-o%t their heads$ and dim eyes ringed #ith red$
And -estial mo%ths set ro%nd #ith lips of lead$
.%t from their gnarled ne!ks there -egan to spring
2alf hair$ half feathers$ and a s#eeping #ing
Gre# o%t instead of arm on either side$
And thi!k pl%mes %nderneath the -reast did hide
The pla!e #here 7oined the fearf%l nat%res t#ain.
Gray)feathered #ere they else$ #ith many a stain
Of -lood thereon$ and on -irds/ !la#s they #ent.
&orris@ (ife and Death of 'ason
The 2arpies had -een sent -y the gods to torment a !ertain
,hine%s$ #hom '%piter had depried of his sight in p%nishment of
his !r%elty; and #heneer a meal #as pla!ed -efore him$ the
2arpies darted do#n from the air and !arried it off. They #ere
drien a#ay from ,hine%s -y the heroes of the Argona%ti!
e0pedition$ and took ref%ge in the island #here AEneas no# fo%nd
"hen they entered the port the Tro7ans sa# herds of !attle
roaming oer the plain. They sle# as many as they #ished$ and
prepared for a feast. .%t no sooner had they seated themseles
at the ta-le$ than a horri-le !lamor #as heard in the air$ and a
flo!k of odio%s 2arpies !ame r%shing do#n %pon them$ sei6ing in
their talons the meat from the dishes$ and flying a#ay #ith it.
AEneas and his !ompanions dre# their s#ords and dealt igoro%s
-lo#s among the monsters$ -%t to no p%rpose$ for they #ere so
nim-le it #as almost impossi-le to hit them$ and their feathers
#ere like armor impenetra-le to steel. One of them$ per!hed on a
neigh-oring !liff$ s!reamed o%t$ 8Is it th%s$ Tro7ans$ yo% treat
%s inno!ent -irds$ first sla%ghter o%r !attle$ and then make #ar
on o%rselesB8 She then predi!ted dire s%fferings to them in
their f%t%re !o%rse$ and haing ented her #rath fle# a#ay. The
Tro7ans made haste to leae the !o%ntry$ and ne0t fo%nd
themseles !oasting along the shore of Epir%s. 2ere they landed$
and to their astonishment learned that !ertain Tro7an e0iles$ #ho
had -een !arried there as prisoners$ had -e!ome r%lers of the
!o%ntry. Androma!he$ the #ido# of 2e!tor$ -e!ame the #ife of one
of the i!torio%s Gre!ian !hiefs$ to #hom she -ore a son. 2er
h%s-and dying$ she #as left regent of the !o%ntry$ as g%ardian of
her son$ and had married a fello#)!aptie$ 2elen%s$ of the royal
ra!e of Troy. 2elen%s and Androma!he treated the e0iles #ith the
%tmost hospitality$ and dismissed them loaded #ith gifts.
JFrom hen!e AEneas !oasted along the shore of Si!ily$ and passed
the !o%ntry of Cy!lopes. 2ere they #ere hailed from the shore -y
a misera-le o-7e!t$ #hom -y his garments$ tattered as they #ere$
they per!eied to -e a Greek. 2e told them he #as one of
9lysses/ !ompanions$ left -ehind -y that !hief in his h%rried
depart%re. 2e related the story of 9lysses/ adent%re #ith
,olyphem%s$ and -eso%ght them to take him off #ith them$ as he
had no means of s%staining his e0isten!e #here he #as$ -%t #ild
-erries and roots$ and lied in !onstant fear of the Cy!lopes.
"hile he spoke ,olyphem%s made his appearan!e; a terri-le
monster$ shapeless$ ast$ #hose only eye had -een p%t o%t. 2e
#alked #ith !a%tio%s steps$ feeling his #ay #ith a staff$ do#n to
the sea)side$ to #ash his eye)so!ket in the #aes. "hen he
rea!hed the #ater$ he #aded o%t to#ards them$ and his immense
height ena-led him to adan!e far into the sea$ so that the
Tro7ans$ in terror$ took to their oars to get o%t of his #ay.
2earing the oars$ ,olyphem%s sho%ted after them$ so that the
shores reso%nded$ and at the noise the other Cy!lopes !ame forth
from their !aes and #oods$ and lined the shore$ like a ro# of
lofty pine trees. The Tro7ans plied their oars$ and soon left
them o%t of sight.
AEneas had -een !a%tioned -y 2elen%s to aoid the strait g%arded
-y the monsters S!ylla and Chary-dis. There 9lysses$ the reader
#ill remem-er$ had lost si0 of his men$ sei6ed -y S!ylla$ #hile
the naigators #ere #holly intent %pon aoiding Chary-dis.
AEneas$ follo#ing the adi!e of 2elen%s$ sh%nned the dangero%s
pass and !oasted along the island of Si!ily.
'%no$ seeing the Tro7ans speeding their #ay prospero%sly to#ards
their destined shore$ felt her old gr%dge against them reie$
for she !o%ld not forget the slight that ,aris had p%t %pon her$
in a#arding the pri6e of -ea%ty to another. In heaenly minds
!an s%!h resentments d#ellC A!!ordingly she hastened to AEol%s$
the r%ler of the #inds$ the same #ho s%pplied 9lysses #ith
faoring gales$ giing him the !ontrary ones tied %p in a -ag.
AEol%s o-eyed the goddess and sent forth his sons$ .oreas$ Typhon
and the other #inds$ to toss the o!ean. A terri-le storm ens%ed$
and the Tro7an ships #ere drien o%t of their !o%rse to#ards the
!oast of Afri!a. They #ere in imminent danger of -eing #re!ked$
and #ere separated$ so that AEneas tho%ght that all #ere lost
e0!ept his o#n.
At this !risis$ Nept%ne$ hearing the storm raging$ and kno#ing
that he had gien no orders for one$ raised his head a-oe the
#aes$ and sa# the fleet of AEneas driing -efore the gale.
*no#ing the hostility of '%no$ he #as at no loss to a!!o%nt for
it$ -%t his anger #as not the less at this interferen!e in his
proin!e. 2e !alled the #inds$ and dismissed them #ith a seere
reprimand. 2e then soothed the #aes$ and -r%shed a#ay the
!lo%ds from -efore the fa!e of the s%n. Some of the ships #hi!h
had got on the ro!ks he pried off #ith his o#n trident$ #hile
Triton and a sea)nymph$ p%tting their sho%lders %nder others$ set
them afloat again. The Tro7ans$ #hen the sea -e!ame !alm$ so%ght
the nearest shore$ #hi!h #as the !oast of Carthage$ #here AEneas
#as so happy as to find that one -y one the ships all arried
safe$ tho%gh -adly shaken.
"aller$ in his ,anegyri! to the (ord ,rote!tor <Crom#ell=$
all%des to this stilling of the storm -y Nept%ne@
8A-oe the #aes$ as Nept%ne sho#ed his fa!e$
To !hide the #inds and sae the Tro7an ra!e$
So has yo%r 2ighness$ raised a-oe the rest$
Storms of am-ition tossing %s repressed..8
Carthage$ #here the e0iles had no# arried$ #as a spot on the
!oast of Afri!a opposite Si!ily$ #here at that time a Tyrian
!olony %nder Dido their :%een$ #ere laying the fo%ndations of a
state destined in later ages to -e the rial of Rome itself.
Dido #as the da%ghter of .el%s$ king of Tyre$ and sister of
,ygmalion #ho s%!!eeded his father on the throne. 2er h%s-and
#as Si!hae%s$ a man of immense #ealth$ -%t ,ygmalion$ #ho !oeted
his treas%res$ !a%sed him to -e p%t to death. Dido$ #ith a
n%mero%s -ody of follo#ers$ -oth men and #omen$ s%!!eeded in
effe!ting their es!ape from Tyre in seeral essels$ !arrying
#ith them the treas%res of Si!hae%s. On arriing at the spot
#hi!h they sele!ted as the seat of their f%t%re home$ they asked
of the naties only so m%!h land as they !o%ld en!lose #ith a
-%ll/s hide. "hen this #as readily granted$ she !a%sed the hide
to -e !%t into strips$ and #ith them en!losed a spot on #hi!h she
-%ilt a !itadel$ and !alled it .yrsa <a hide=. Aro%nd this fort
the !ity of Carthage rose$ and soon -e!ame a po#erf%l and
flo%rishing pla!e.
S%!h #as the state of affairs #hen AEneas #ith his Tro7ans
arried there. Dido re!eied the ill%strio%s e0iles #ith
friendliness and hospitality. 8Not %na!:%ainted #ith distress$8
she said$ 8I hae learned to s%!!or the %nfort%nate.8 The
:%een/s hospitality displayed itself in festiities at #hi!h
games of strength and skill #ere e0hi-ited. The strangers
!ontended for the palm #ith her o#n s%-7e!ts on e:%al terms$ the
:%een de!laring that #hether the i!tor #ere 8Tro7an or Tyrian
sho%ld make no differen!e to her.8 At the feast #hi!h follo#ed
the games$ AEneas gae at her re:%est a re!ital of the !losing
eents of the Tro7an history and his o#n adent%res after the
fall of the !ity. Dido #as !harmed #ith his dis!o%rse and filled
#ith admiration of his e0ploits. She !on!eied an ardent passion
for him$ and he for his part seemed #ell !ontent to a!!ept the
fort%nate !han!e #hi!h appeared to offer him at on!e a happy
termination of his #anderings$ a home$ a kingdom$ and a -ride.
&onths rolled a#ay in the en7oyment of pleasant inter!o%rse$ and
it seemed as if Italy and the empire destined to -e fo%nded on
its shores #ere alike forgotten. Seeing #hi!h$ '%piter
dispat!hed &er!%ry #ith a message to AEneas re!alling him to a
sense of his high destiny$ and !ommanding him to res%me his
AEneas$ %nder this diine !ommand$ parted from Dido$ tho%gh she
tried eery all%rement and pers%asion to detain him. The -lo# to
her affe!tion and her pride #as too m%!h for her to end%re$ and
#hen she fo%nd that he #as gone$ she mo%nted a f%neral)pile #hi!h
she had !a%sed to -e prepared$ and$ haing sta--ed herself$ #as
!ons%med #ith the pile. The flames rising oer the !ity #ere
seen -y the departing Tro7ans$ and$ tho%gh the !a%se #as %nkno#n$
gae to AEneas some intimation of the fatal eent.
"e find in 8Elegant E0tra!ts8 the follo#ing epigram@
JFrom the (atin
89nhappy$ Dido$ #as thy fate
In first and se!ond married stateC
One h%s-and !a%sed thy flight -y dying$
Thy death the other !a%sed -y flying.8
Dr. 'ohnson #as on!e !hallenged to make an epigram on the
sylla-les di$do$d%m. 2e immediately replied in these lines@
8"hen Dido fo%nd Aeneas #o%ld not !ome$
She #ept in silen!e$ and #as Dido d%m-.
After to%!hing at the island of Si!ily$ #here A!estes$ a prin!e
of Tro7an lineage$ -ore s#ay$ #ho gae them a hospita-le
re!eption$ the Tro7ans re)em-arked$ and held on their !o%rse for
Italy. +en%s no# inter!eded #ith Nept%ne to allo# her son at
last to attain the #ished)for goal$ and find an end of his perils
on the deep. Nept%ne !onsented$ stip%lating only for one life as
a ransom for the rest. The i!tim #as ,alin%r%s$ the pilot. As
he sat #at!hing the stars$ #ith his hand on the helm$ Somn%s$
sent -y Nept%ne$ approa!hed in the g%ise of ,hor-as and said$
8,alin%r%s$ the -ree6e is fair$ the #ater smooth$ and the ship
sails steadily on her !o%rse. (ie do#n a #hile and take needf%l
rest. I #ill stand at the helm in yo%r pla!e.8 ,alin%r%s
replied$ 8Tell me not of smooth seas or faoring #inds$ me #ho
hae seen so m%!h of their trea!hery. Shall I tr%st AEneas to
the !han!es of the #eather and #indsB8 And he !ontin%ed to grasp
the helm and to keep his eyes fi0ed on the stars. .%t Somn%s
#aed oer him a -ran!h moistened #ith (ethaean de#$ and his eyes
!losed in spite of all his efforts. Then Somn%s p%shed him
oer-oard and he fell; -%t keeping his hold %pon the helm it !ame
a#ay #ith him. Nept%ne #as mindf%l of his promise$ and kept the
ship on her tra!k #itho%t helm or pilot$ till Aeneas dis!oered
his loss$ and$ sorro#ing deeply for his faithf%l steersman$ took
!harge of the ship himself.
There is a -ea%tif%l all%sion to the story of ,alin%r%s in
S!ott/s &armion$ Introd%!tion to Canto I.$ #here the poet$
speaking of the re!ent death of "illiam ,itt$ says@
8Oh$ think ho#$ to his latest day$
"hen death 7%st hoering !laimed his prey$
"ith ,alin%re/s %naltered mood$
Firm at his dangero%s post he stood;
Ea!h !all for needf%l rest repelled$
"ith dying hand the r%dder held$
Till in his fall$ #ith fatef%l s#ay$
The steerage of the realm gae #ay.8
The ships at last rea!hed the shores of Italy$ and 7oyf%lly did
the adent%rers leap to land. "hile his people #ere employed in
making their en!ampment AEneas so%ght the a-ode of the Si-yl. It
#as a !ae !onne!ted #ith a temple and groe$ sa!red to Apollo
and Diana. "hile Aeneas !ontemplated the s!ene$ the Si-yl
a!!osted him. She seemed to kno# his errand$ and %nder the
infl%en!e of the deity of the pla!e -%rst forth in a propheti!
strain$ giing dark intimations of la-ors and perils thro%gh
#hi!h he #as destined to make his #ay to final s%!!ess. She
!losed #ith the en!o%raging #ords #hi!h hae -e!ome proer-ial@
81ield not to disasters$ -%t press on#ard the more -raely.8
AEneas replied that he had prepared himself for #hateer might
a#ait him. 2e had -%t one re:%est to make. 2aing -een dire!ted
in a dream to seek the a-ode of the dead in order to !onfer #ith
his father An!hises to re!eie from him a reelation of his
f%t%re fort%nes and those of his ra!e$ he asked her assistan!e to
ena-le him to a!!omplish the task. The Si-yl replied$ 8The
des!ent to Aern%s is easy; the gate of ,l%to stands open night
and day; -%t to retra!e one/s steps and ret%rn to the %pper air$
that is the toil$ that the diffi!%lty. She instr%!ted him to
seek in the forest a tree on #hi!h gre# a golden -ran!h. This
-ran!h #as to -e pl%!ked off$ to -e -orne as a gift to
,roserpine$ and if fate #as propitio%s$ it #o%ld yield to the
hand and :%it its parent tr%nk$ -%t other#ise no for!e !o%ld rend
it a#ay. If torn a#ay$ another #o%ld s%!!eed.
AEneas follo#ed the dire!tions of the Si-yl. 2is mother +en%s
sent t#o of her does to fly -efore him and sho# him the #ay$ and
-y their assistan!e he fo%nd the tree$ pl%!ked the -ran!h$ and
hastened -a!k #ith it to the Si-yl.
Chapter 55+
The Infernal Regions The Si-yl
At the !ommen!ement of o%r series #e hae gien the pagan a!!o%nt
of the !reation of the #orld$ so as #e approa!h its !on!l%sion$
#e present a ie# of the regions of the dead$ depi!ted -y one of
their most enlightened poets$ #ho dre# his do!trines from their
most esteemed philosophers. The region #here +irgil pla!es the
entran!e into this a-ode$ is perhaps the most strikingly adapted
to e0!ite ideas of the terrifi! and preternat%ral of any on the
fa!e of the earth. It is the ol!ani! region near +es%i%s$
#here the #hole !o%ntry is !left #ith !hasms from #hi!h
s%lph%ro%s flames arise$ #hile the gro%nd is shaken #ith pent)%p
apors$ and mysterio%s so%nds iss%e from the -o#els of the earth.
The lake Aern%s is s%pposed to fill the !rater of an e0tin!t
ol!ano. It is !ir!%lar$ half a mile #ide$ and ery deep$
s%rro%nded -y high -anks$ #hi!h in +irgil/s time #ere !oered
#ith a gloomy forest. &ephiti! apors rise from its #aters$ so
that no life is fo%nd on its -anks$ and no -irds fly oer it.
2ere$ a!!ording to the poet$ #as the !ae #hi!h afforded a!!ess
to the infernal regions$ and here AEneas offered sa!rifi!es to
the infernal deities$ ,roserpine$ 2e!ate$ and the F%ries. Then a
roaring #as heard in the earth$ the #oods on the hill)tops #ere
shaken$ and the ho#ling of dogs anno%n!ed the approa!h of the
deities. 8No#$8 said the Si-yl$ 8s%mmon %p yo%r !o%rage$ for yo%
#ill need it.8 She des!ended into the !ae$ and AEneas follo#ed.
.efore the threshold of 2ades they passed thro%gh a gro%p of
-eings #ho are Griefs and aenging Cares$ pale Diseases and
melan!holy Age$ Fear and 2%nger that tempt to !rime$ Toil$
,oerty$ and Death$ forms horri-le to ie#. The F%ries spread
their !o%!hes there$ and Dis!ord$ #hose hair #as of ipers tied
%p #ith a -loody fillet. 2ere also #ere the monsters$ .riare%s
#ith his h%ndred arms$ 2ydras hissing$ and Chimaeras -reathing
fire. AEneas sh%ddered at the sight$ dre# his s#ord and #o%ld
hae str%!k$ had not the Si-yl restrained him. They then !ame to
the -la!k rier Co!yt%s$ #here they fo%nd the ferryman$ Charon$
old and s:%alid$ -%t strong and igoro%s$ #ho #as re!eiing
passengers of all kinds into his -oat$ high)so%led heroes$ -oys
and %nmarried girls as n%mero%s as the leaes that fall at
a%t%mn$ or the flo!ks that fly so%th#ard at the approa!h of
#inter. They stood pressing for a passage$ and longing to to%!h
the opposite shore. .%t the stern ferryman took in only s%!h as
he !hose$ driing the rest -a!k. AEneas$ #ondering at the sight$
asked the Si-yl$ 8"hy this dis!riminationB@ She ans#ered$ 8Those
#ho are taken on -oard the -ark are the so%ls of those #ho hae
re!eied d%e -%rial rites; the host of others #ho hae remained
%n-%ried$ are not permitted to pass the flood$ -%t #ander a
h%ndred years$ and flit to and fro a-o%t the shore$ till at last
they are taken oer.8 AEneas grieed at re!olle!ting some of his
o#n !ompanions #ho had perished in the storm. At that moment he
-eheld ,alin%r%s$ his pilot$ #ho fell oer-oard and #as dro#ned.
2e addressed him and asked him the !a%se of his misfort%ne.
,alin%r%s replied that the r%dder #as !arried a#ay$ and he$
!linging to it$ #as s#ept a#ay #ith it. 2e -eso%ght Aeneas most
%rgently to e0tend to him his hand and take him in !ompany to the
opposite shore. .%t the Si-yl re-%ked him for the #ish th%s to
transgress the la#s of ,l%to$ -%t !onsoled him -y informing him
that the people of the shore #here his -ody had -een #afted -y
the #aes$ sho%ld -e stirred %p -y the prodigies to gie it the
-%rial$ and that the promontory sho%ld -ear the name of Cape
,alin%r%s$ #hi!h it does to this day. (eaing ,alin%r%s !onsoled
-y these #ords$ they approa!hed the -oat. Charon$ fi0ing his
eyes sternly %pon the adan!ing #arrior$ demanded -y #hat right
he$ liing and armed$ approa!hed the shore. To #hi!h the Si-yl
replied that they #o%ld !ommit no iolen!e$ that AEneas/s only
o-7e!t #as to see his father$ and finally e0hi-ited the golden
-ran!h$ at sight of #hi!h Charon/s #rath rela0ed$ and he made
haste to t%rn his -a!k to the shore$ and re!eie them on -oard.
The -oat$ adapted only to the light freight of -odiless spirits$
groaned %nder the #eight of the hero. They #ere soon !oneyed to
the opposite shore. There they #ere en!o%ntered -y the three)
headed dog Cer-er%s$ #ith his ne!ks -ristling #ith snakes. 2e
-arked #ith all his three throats till the Si-yl thre# him a
medi!ated !ake$ #hi!h he eagerly deo%red$ and then stret!hed
himself o%t in his den and fell asleep. AEneas and the Si-yl
sprang to land. The first so%nd that str%!k their ears #as the
#ailing of yo%ng !hildren$ #ho had died on the threshold of life$
and near to these #ere they #ho had perished %nder false !harges.
&inos presides oer them as 7%dge$ and e0amines the deeds of
ea!h. The ne0t !lass #as of those #ho had died -y their o#n
hand$ hating life and seeking ref%ge in death. Oh$ ho# #illingly
#o%ld they no# end%re poerty$ la-or$ and any other infli!tion$
if they might -%t ret%rn to lifeC Ne0t #ere sit%ated the regions
of sadness$ diided off into retired paths$ leading thro%gh
groes of myrtle. 2ere roamed those #ho had fallen i!tims to
%nre:%ited loe$ not freed from pain een -y death itself. Among
these$ AEneas tho%ght he des!ried the form of Dido$ #ith a #o%nd
still re!ent. In the dim light he #as for a moment %n!ertain$
-%t approa!hing per!eied it #as indeed herself. Tears fell from
his eyes$ and he addressed her in the a!!ents of loe. 89nhappy
DidoC "as then the r%mor tr%e that yo% had perishedB And #as I$
alasC the !a%seC I !all the gods to #itness that my depart%re
from yo% #as rel%!tant$ and in o-edien!e to the !ommands of 'oe;
nor !o%ld I -eliee that my a-sen!e #o%ld hae !ost yo% so dear.
Stop$ I -esee!h yo%$ and ref%se me not a last fare#ell.8 She
stood for a moment #ith aerted !o%ntenan!e$ and eyes fi0ed on
the gro%nd$ and then silently passed on$ as insensi-le to his
pleadings as a ro!k. AEneas follo#ed for some distan!e; then$
#ith a heay heart$ re7oined his !ompanion and res%med his ro%te.
They ne0t entered the fields #here roam the heroes #ho hae
fallen in -attle. 2ere they sa# many shades of Gre!ian and
Tro7an #arriors. The Tro7ans thronged aro%nd him$ and !o%ld not
-e satisfied #ith the sight. They asked the !a%se of his !oming$
and plied him #ith inn%mera-le :%estions. .%t the Greeks$ at the
sight of his armor glittering thro%gh the m%rky atmosphere$
re!ogni6ed the hero$ and filled #ith terror t%rned their -a!ks
and fled$ as they %sed to flee on the plains of Troy.
AEneas #o%ld hae lingered long #ith his Tro7an friends -%t the
Si-yl h%rried him a#ay. They ne0t !ame to a pla!e #here the road
diided$ the one leading to Elysi%m$ the other to the regions of
the !ondemned. AEneas -eheld on one side the #alls of a mighty
!ity$ aro%nd #hi!h ,hlegethon rolled its fiery #aters. .efore
him #as the gate of adamant that neither gods nor men !an -reak
thro%gh. An iron to#er stood -y the gate$ on #hi!h Tisiphone$
the aenging F%ry$ kept g%ard. From the !ity #ere heard groans$
and the so%nd of the s!o%rge$ the !reaking of iron$ and the
!lanking of !hains. AEneas$ horror)str%!k$ in:%ired of his g%ide
#hat !rimes #ere those #hose p%nishments prod%!ed the so%nds he
hearB The Si-yl ans#ered$ 82ere is the 7%dgment)hall of
Rhadamanth%s$ #ho -rings to light !rimes done in life$ #hi!h the
perpetrator ainly tho%ght impenetra-ly hid. Tisiphone applies
her #hip of s!orpions$ and deliers the offender oer to her
sister F%ries. At this moment #ith horrid !lang the -ra6en gates
%nfolded$ and AEneas sa# #ithin$ a 2ydra #ith fifty heads$
g%arding the entran!e. The Si-yl told him that the G%lf of
Tartar%s des!ended deep$ so that its re!esses #ere as far -eneath
their feet as heaen #as high a-oe their heads. In the -ottom
of this pit$ the Titan ra!e$ #ho #arred against the gods$ lie
prostrate; Salmone%s$ also$ #ho pres%med to ie #ith '%piter$ and
-%ilt a -ridge of -rass oer #hi!h he droe his !hariot that the
so%nd might resem-le th%nder$ la%n!hing flaming -rands at his
people in imitation of lightning$ till '%piter str%!k him #ith a
real th%nder-olt$ and ta%ght him the differen!e -et#een mortal
#eapons and diine. 2ere$ also$ is Tity%s$ the giant$ #hose form
is so immense that as he lies$ he stret!hes oer nine a!res$
#hile a %lt%re preys %pon his lier$ #hi!h as fast as it is
deo%red gro#s again$ so that his p%nishment #ill hae no end.
AEneas sa# gro%ps seated at ta-les loaded #ith dainties$ #hile
near -y stood a F%ry #ho snat!hed a#ay the iands from their
lips$ as fast as they prepared to taste them. Others -eheld
s%spended oer their heads h%ge ro!ks$ threatening to fall$
keeping them in a state of !onstant alarm. These #ere they #ho
had hated their -rothers$ or str%!k their parents$ or defra%ded
the friends #ho tr%sted them$ or #ho haing gro#n ri!h$ kept
their money to themseles$ and gae no share to others; the last
-eing the most n%mero%s !lass. 2ere also #ere those #ho had
iolated the marriage o#$ or fo%ght in a -ad !a%se$ or failed in
fidelity to their employers. 2ere #as one #ho had sold his
!o%ntry for gold$ another #ho pererted the la#s$ making them say
one thing today and another tomorro#.
I0ion #as there fastened to the !ir!%mferen!e of a #heel
!easelessly reoling; and Sisyph%s$ #hose task #as to roll a
h%ge stone %p to a hill)top$ -%t #hen the steep #as #ell)nigh
gained$ the ro!k$ rep%lsed -y some s%dden for!e$ r%shed again
headlong do#n to the plain. Again he toiled at it$ #hile the
s#eat -athed all his #eary lim-s$ -%t all to no effe!t. There
#as Tantal%s$ #ho stood in a pool$ his !hin leel #ith the #ater$
yet he #as par!hed #ith thirst$ and fo%nd nothing to ass%age it;
for #hen he -o#ed his hoary head$ eager to :%aff$ the #ater fled
a#ay$ leaing the gro%nd at his feet all dry. Tall trees laden
#ith fr%it stooped their heads to him$ pears$ pomegranates$
apples and l%s!io%s figs; -%t #hen #ith a s%dden grasp he tried
to sei6e them$ #inds #hirled them high a-oe his rea!h.
The Si-yl no# #arned AEneas that it #as time to t%rn from these
melan!holy regions and seek the !ity of the -lessed. They passed
thro%gh a middle tra!t of darkness$ and !ame %pon the Elysian
fields$ the groes #here the happy reside. They -reathed a freer
air$ and sa# all o-7e!ts !lothed in a p%rple light. The region
has a s%n and stars of its o#n. The inha-itants #ere en7oying
themseles in ario%s #ays$ some in sports on the grassy t%rf$ in
games of strength or skill$ others dan!ing or singing. Orphe%s
str%!k the !hords of his lyre$ and !alled forth raishing so%nds.
2ere AEneas sa# the fo%nders of the Tro7an state$ high)so%led
heroes #ho lied in happier times. 2e ga6ed #ith admiration on
the #ar)!hariots and glittering arms no# reposing in dis%se.
Spears stood fi0ed in the gro%nd$ and the horses$ %nharnessed$
roamed oer the plain. The same pride in splendid armor and
genero%s steeds #hi!h the old heroes felt in life$ a!!ompanied
them here. 2e sa# another gro%p feasting$ and listening to the
strains of m%si!. They #ere in a la%rel groe$ #hen!e the great
rier ,o has its origin$ and flo#s o%t among men. 2ere d#elt
those #ho fell -y #o%nds re!eied in their !o%ntry/s !a%se$ holy
priests$ also$ and poets #ho hae %ttered tho%ghts #orthy of
Apollo$ and others #ho hae !ontri-%ted to !heer and adorn life
-y their dis!oeries in the %sef%l arts$ and hae made their
memory -lessed -y rendering seri!e to mankind. They #ore sno#)
#hite fillets a-o%t their -ro#s. The Si-yl addressed a gro%p of
these$ and in:%ired #here An!hises #as to -e fo%nd. They #ere
dire!ted #here to seek him$ and soon fo%nd him in a erdant
alley$ #here he #as !ontemplating the ranks of his posterity$
their destinies and #orthy deeds to -e a!hieed in !oming times.
"hen he re!ogni6ed AEneas approa!hing$ he stret!hed o%t -oth
hands to him$ #hile tears flo#ed freely. 82ae yo% !ome at
last$8 said he$ 8long e0pe!ted and do I -ehold yo% after s%!h
perils pastB O my son$ ho# hae I trem-led for yo% as I hae
#at!hed yo%r !areerC8 To #hi!h AEneas replied$ O fatherC 1o%r
image #as al#ays -efore me to g%ide and g%ard me. Then he
endeaored to enfold his father in his em-ra!e$ -%t his arms
en!losed only an %ns%-stantial image.
AEneas per!eied -efore him a spa!io%s alley$ #ith trees gently
#aing to the #ind$ a tran:%il lands!ape$ thro%gh #hi!h the rier
(ethe flo#ed. Along the -anks of the stream #andered a !o%ntless
m%ltit%de$ n%mero%s as inse!ts in the s%mmer air. AEneas$ #ith
s%rprise$ in:%ired #ho #ere these. An!hises ans#ered$ 8They are
so%ls to #hi!h -odies are to -e gien in d%e time. &ean#hile
they d#ell on (ethe/s -ank$ and drink o-liion of their former
lies.8 8Oh$ fatherC8 said AEneas$ 8is it possi-le that any !an
-e so in loe #ith life$ as to #ish to leae these tran:%il seats
for the %pper #orldB8 An!hises replied -y e0plaining the plan of
!reation. The Creator$ he told him$ originally made the material
of #hi!h so%ls are !omposed$ of the fo%r elements$ fire$ air$
earth$ and #ater$ all #hi!h$ #hen %nited$ took the form of the
most e0!ellent part$ fire$ and -e!ame F(A&E. This material #as
s!attered like seed among the heaenly -odies$ the s%n$ moon$ and
stars. Of this seed the inferior gods !reated man and all other
animals$ mingling it #ith ario%s proportions of earth$ -y #hi!h
its p%rity #as alloyed and red%!ed. Th%s the more earth
predominates in the !omposition$ the less p%re is the indiid%al;
and #e see men and #omen #ith their f%ll)gro#n -odies hae not
the p%rity of !hildhood. So in proportion to the time #hi!h the
%nion of -ody and so%l has lasted$ is the imp%rity !ontra!ted -y
the spirit%al part. This imp%rity m%st -e p%rged a#ay after
death$ #hi!h is done -y entilating the so%ls in the !%rrent of
#inds$ or merging them in #ater$ or -%rning o%t their imp%rities
-y fire. Some fe#$ of #hom An!hises intimates that he is one$
are admitted at on!e to Elysi%m$ there to remain. .%t the rest$
after the imp%rities of earth are p%rged a#ay$ are sent -a!k to
life endo#ed #ith ne# -odies$ haing had the remem-ran!e of their
former lies effe!t%ally #ashed a#ay -y the #aters of (ethe.
Some$ ho#eer$ there still are$ so thoro%ghly !orr%pted$ that
they are not fit to -e entr%sted #ith h%man -odies$ and these are
made into -r%te animals$ lions$ tigers$ !ats$ dogs$ monkeys$ et!.
This is #hat the an!ients !alled &etempsy!hosis$ or the
transmigration of so%ls; a do!trine #hi!h is still held -y the
naties of India$ #ho s!r%ple to destroy the life$ een of the
most insignifi!ant animal$ not kno#ing -%t it may -e one of their
relations in an altered form.
An!hises$ haing e0plained so m%!h$ pro!eeded to point o%t to
AEneas indiid%als of his ra!e$ #ho #ere hereafter to -e -orn$
and to relate to him the e0ploits they sho%ld perform in the
#orld. After this he reerted to the present$ and told his son
of the eents that remained to him to -e a!!omplished -efore the
!omplete esta-lishment of himself and his follo#ers in Italy.
"ars #ere to -e #aged$ -attles fo%ght$ a -ride to -e #on$ and in
the res%lt a Tro7an state fo%nded$ from #hi!h sho%ld rise the
Roman po#er$ to -e in time the soereign of the #orld.
AEneas and the Sy-il then took leae of An!hises$ and ret%rned -y
some short !%t$ #hi!h the poet does not e0plain$ to the %pper
The Egyptian name of 2ades #as Amenti. In the Reision of the
S!ript%res the Reising Commission has s%-stit%ted the #ord 2ades
#here 8hell8 #as %sed in the ersion of *ing 'ames.
+irgil$ #e hae seen$ pla!es his Elysi%m %nder the earth$ and
assigns it for a residen!e to the spirits of the -lessed. .%t in
2omer Elysi%m forms no part of the realms of the dead. 2e pla!es
it on the #est of the earth$ near O!ean$ and des!ri-ed it as a
happy land$ #here there is neither sno#$ nor !old$ nor rain$ and
al#ays fanned -y the delightf%l -ree6es of 4ephyr%s. 2ither
faored heroes pass #itho%t dying$ and lie happy %nder the r%le
of Rhadamanth%s. The Elysi%m of 2esiod and ,indar is in the
Isles of the .lessed$ or Fort%nate Islands$ in the "estern O!ean.
JFrom these sprang the legend of the happy island Atlantis. This
-lissf%l region may hae -een #holly imaginary$ -%t possi-ly may
hae spr%ng from the reports of some storm)drien mariners #ho
had !a%ght a glimpse of the !oast of Ameri!a.
'ames R%ssell (o#ell$ in one of his shorter poems$ !laims for the
present age some of the priileges of that happy realm.
Addressing the ,ast$ he says$
8"hateer of tr%e life there #as in thee$
(eaps in o%r age/s eins.
. . . . . .
82ere$ /mid the -leak #aes of o%r strife and !are$
Float the green /Fort%nate Isles$/
"here all thy hero)spirits d#ell and share
O%r martyrdoms and toils.
The present moes attended
"ith all of -rae and e0!ellent and fair
That made the old time splendid.8
&ilton all%des to the same fa-le in ,aradise (ost$ .ook III.$
8(ike those 2esperian gardens famed of old$
Fort%nate fields and groes and flo#ery ales$
Thri!e happy isles.8
And in .ook II. he !hara!teri6es the riers of Ere-%s a!!ording
to the meaning of their names in the Greek lang%age@
8A-horred Sty0$ the flood of deadly hate$
Sad A!heron of sorro# -la!k and deep;
Co!yt%s named of lamentation lo%d
2eard on the r%ef%l stream; fier!e ,hlegethon
"hose #aes of torrent fire inflame #ith rage.
Far off from these a slo# and silent stream.
(ethe$ the rier of o-liion$ rolls
2er #atery la-yrinth$ #hereof #ho drinks
Forth#ith his former state and -eing forgets$
Forgets -oth 7oy and grief$ pleas%re and pain.8
T2E SI.1(
As AEneas and the Si-yl p%rs%ed their #ay -a!k to earth$ he said
to her$ 8"hether tho% -e a goddess or a mortal -eloed -y the
gods$ -y me tho% shalt al#ays -e held in reeren!e. "hen I rea!h
the %pper air$ I #ill !a%se a temple to -e -%ilt to thy honor$
and #ill myself -ring offerings.8 8I am no goddess$8 said the
Si-yl; 8I hae no !laim to sa!rifi!e or offering. I am mortal;
yet if I !o%ld hae a!!epted the loe of Apollo$ I might hae
-een immortal. 2e promised me the f%lfilment of my #ish$ if I
#o%ld !onsent to -e his. I took a handf%l of sand$ and holding
it forth$ said$ /Grant me to see as many -irthdays as there are
sand)grains in my hand./ 9nl%!kily I forgot to ask for end%ring
yo%th. This also he #o%ld hae granted$ !o%ld I hae a!!epted
his loe$ -%t offended at my ref%sal$ he allo#ed me to gro# old.
&y yo%th and yo%thf%l strength fled long ago. I hae lied seen
h%ndred years$ and to e:%al the n%m-er of the sand)grains$ I hae
still to see three h%ndred springs and three h%ndred harests.
&y -ody shrinks %p as years in!rease$ and in time$ I shall -e
lost to sight$ -%t my oi!e #ill remain$ and f%t%re ages #ill
respe!t my sayings.8
These !on!l%ding #ords of the Si-yl all%ded to her propheti!
po#er. In her !ae she #as a!!%stomed to ins!ri-e on leaes
gathered from the trees the names and fates of indiid%als. The
leaes th%s ins!ri-ed #ere arranged in order #ithin the !ae$ and
might -e !ons%lted -y her otaries. .%t if per!han!e at the
opening of the door the #ind r%shed in and dispersed the leaes$
the Si-yl gae no aid to restoring them again$ and the ora!le #as
irrepara-ly lost.
The follo#ing legend of the Si-yl is fi0ed at a later date. In
the reign of one of the Tar:%ins there appeared -efore the king a
#oman #ho offered him nine -ooks for sale. The king ref%sed to
p%r!hase them$ #here%pon the #oman #ent a#ay and -%rned three of
the -ooks$ and ret%rning offered the remaining -ooks for the same
pri!e she had asked for the nine. The king again re7e!ted them;
-%t #hen the #oman$ after -%rning three -ooks more$ ret%rned and
asked for the three remaining the same pri!e #hi!h she had -efore
asked for the nine$ his !%riosity #as e0!ited$ and he p%r!hased
the -ooks. They #ere fo%nd to !ontain the destinies of the Roman
state. They #ere kept in the temple of '%piter Capitolin%s$
presered in a stone !hest$ and allo#ed to -e inspe!ted only -y
espe!ial offi!ers appointed for that d%ty$ #ho on great o!!asions
!ons%lted them and interpreted their ora!les to the people.
There #ere ario%s Si-yls; -%t the C%maean Si-yl$ of #hom Oid
and +irgil #rite$ is the most !ele-rated of them. Oid/s story
of her life protra!ted to one tho%sand years may -e intended to
represent the ario%s Si-yls as -eing only reappearan!es of one
and the same indiid%al.
It is no# -elieed that some of the most disting%ished Si-yls
took the inspiration of their ora!les from the 'e#ish s!ript%re.
Readers interested in this s%-7e!t #ill !ons%lt$ 8'%daism$8 -y
,rof. F. 2%idekoper.
1o%ng$ in the Night Tho%ghts$ all%des to the Si-yl. Speaking of
#orldly "isdom$ he says@
8If f%t%re fate she plans /tis all in leaes$
(ike Si-yl$ %ns%-stantial$ fleeting -liss;
At the first -last it anishes in air.
. . . . .
As #orldly s!hemes resem-le Si-yl/s leaes$
The good man/s days to Si-yl/s -ooks !ompare$
The pri!e still rising as in n%m-er less.8
Chapter 55+I
Camilla Eander Nis%s and E%ryal%s &e6enti%s T%rn%s
AEneas$ haing parted from the Si-yl and re7oined his fleet$
!oasted along the shores of Italy and !ast an!hor in the mo%th of
the Ti-er. The poet +irgil$ haing -ro%ght his hero to this
spot$ the destined termination of his #anderings$ inokes his
&%se to tell him the sit%ation of things at that eentf%l moment.
(atin%s$ third in des!ent from Sat%rn$ r%led the !o%ntry. 2e #as
no# old and had no male des!endant$ -%t had one !harming
da%ghter$ (ainia$ #ho #as so%ght in marriage -y many neigh-oring
!hiefs$ one of #hom$ T%rn%s$ king of the R%t%lians$ #as faored
-y the #ishes of her parents. .%t (atin%s had -een #arned in a
dream -y his father Fa%n%s$ that the destined h%s-and of (ainia
sho%ld !ome from a foreign land. From that %nion sho%ld spring a
ra!e destined to s%-d%e the #orld.
O%r readers #ill remem-er that in the !onfli!t #ith the 2arpies$
one of those half)h%man -irds had threatened the Tro7ans #ith
dire s%fferings. In parti!%lar she predi!ted that -efore their
#anderings !eased they sho%ld -e pressed -y h%nger to deo%r
their ta-les. This portent no# !ame tr%e; for as they took their
s!anty meal$ seated on the grass$ the men pla!ed their hard
-is!%it on their laps$ and p%t thereon #hateer their gleanings
in the #oods s%pplied. 2aing dispat!hed the latter they
finished -y eating the !r%sts. Seeing #hi!h$ the -oy I%l%s said
playf%lly$ 8See$ #e are eating o%r ta-les.8 AEneas !a%ght the
#ords and a!!epted the omen. 8All hail$ promised landC8 he
e0!laimed$ 8this is o%r home$ this o%r !o%ntryC8 2e then took
meas%res to find o%t #ho #ere the present inha-itants of the
land$ and #ho their r%lers. A h%ndred !hosen men #ere sent to
the illage of (atin%s$ -earing presents and a re:%est for
friendship and allian!e. They #ent and #ere faora-ly re!eied.
(atin%s immediately !on!l%ded that the Tro7an hero #as no other
than the promised son)in)la# anno%n!ed -y the ora!le. 2e
!heerf%lly granted his allian!e and sent -a!k the messengers
mo%nted on steeds from his sta-les$ and loaded #ith gifts and
friendly messages.
'%no$ seeing things go th%s prospero%sly for the Tro7ans$ felt
her old animosity reie$ s%mmoned the F%ry Ale!to from Ere-%s$
and sent her to stir %p dis!ord. The F%ry first took possession
of the :%een$ Amata$ and ro%sed her to oppose in eery #ay the
ne# allian!e. Ale!to then sped to the !ity of T%rn%s$ and
ass%ming the form of an old priestess$ informed him of the
arrial of the foreigners and of the attempts of their prin!e to
ro- him of his -ride. Ne0t she t%rned her attention to the !amp
of the Tro7ans. There she sa# the -oy I%l%s and his !ompanions
am%sing themseles #ith h%nting. She sharpened the s!ent of the
dogs$ and led them to ro%se %p from the thi!ket a tame stag$ the
faorite of Silia$ the da%ghter of Tyrrhe%s$ the king/s
herdsman. A 7aelin from the hand of I%l%s #o%nded the animal$
and he had only strength left to r%n home#ards$ and died at his
mistress/ feet. 2er !ries and tears ro%sed her -rothers and the
herdsmen$ and they$ sei6ing #hateer #eapons !ame to hand$
f%rio%sly assa%lted the h%nting party. These #ere prote!ted -y
their friends$ and the herdsmen #ere finally drien -a!k #ith the
loss of t#o of their n%m-er.
These things #ere eno%gh to ro%se the storm of #ar$ and the
:%een$ T%rn%s$ and the peasants$ all %rged the old king to drie
the strangers from the !o%ntry. 2e resisted as long as he !o%ld$
-%t finding his opposition %naailing$ finally gae #ay and
retreated to his retirement.
It #as the !%stom of the !o%ntry$ #hen #ar #as to -e %ndertaken$
for the !hief magistrate$ !lad in his ro-es of offi!e$ #ith
solemn pomp to open the gates of the temple of 'an%s$ #hi!h #ere
kept sh%t as long as pea!e end%red. 2is people no# %rged the old
king to perform that solemn offi!e$ -%t he ref%sed to do so.
"hile they !ontested$ '%no herself$ des!ending from the skies$
smote the doors #ith irresisti-le for!e and -%rst them open.
Immediately the #hole !o%ntry #as in a flame. The people r%shed
from eery side -reathing nothing -%t #ar.
T%rn%s #as re!ogni6ed -y all as leader; others 7oined as allies$
!hief of #hom #as &e6enti%s$ a -rae and a-le soldier$ -%t of
detesta-le !r%elty. 2e had -een the !hief of one of the
neigh-oring !ities$ -%t his people droe him o%t. "ith him #as
7oined his son (a%s%s$ a genero%s yo%th #orthy of a -etter sire.
Camilla$ the faorite of Diana$ a h%ntress and #arrior$ after the
fashion of the Ama6ons$ !ame #ith her -and of mo%nted follo#ers$
in!l%ding a sele!t n%m-er of her o#n se0$ and ranged herself on
the side of T%rn%s. This maiden had neer a!!%stomed her fingers
to the distaff or the loom$ -%t had learned to end%re the toils
of #ar$ and in speed to o%tstrip the #ind. It seemed as if she
might r%n oer the standing !orn #itho%t !r%shing it$ or oer the
s%rfa!e of the #ater #itho%t dipping her feet. Camilla/s history
had -een sing%lar from the -eginning. 2er father$ &eta-%s$
drien from his !ity -y !iil dis!ord$ !arried #ith him in his
flight his infant da%ghter. As he fled thro%gh the #oods$ his
enemies in hot p%rs%it$ he rea!hed the -ank of the rier
Ama6en%s$ #hi!h$ s#elled -y rains$ seemed to de-ar a passage. 2e
pa%sed for a moment$ then de!ided #hat to do. 2e tied the infant
to his lan!e #ith #rappers of -ark$ and$ poising the #eapon in
his %praised hand$ th%s addressed Diana@ 8Goddess of the #oodsC
I !onse!rate this maid to yo%;8 then h%rled the #eapon #ith its
-%rden to the opposite -ank. The spear fle# a!ross the roaring
#ater. 2is p%rs%ers #ere already %pon him$ -%t he pl%nged into
the rier and s#am a!ross$ and fo%nd the spear #ith the infant
safe on the other side. Then!eforth he lied among the
shepherds$ and -ro%ght %p his da%ghter in #oodland arts. "hile a
!hild she #as ta%ght to %se the -o# and thro# the 7aelin. "ith
her sling she !o%ld -ring do#n the !rane or the #ild s#an. 2er
dress #as a tiger/s skin. &any mothers so%ght her for a
da%ghter)in)la#$ -%t she !ontin%ed faithf%l to Diana$ and
repelled the tho%ght of marriage.
There is an all%sion to Camilla in those #ell)kno#n lines of
,ope$ in #hi!h$ ill%strating the r%le that 8the so%nd sho%ld -e
an e!ho to the sense$8 he says$
8"hen A7a0 stries some ro!k/s ast #eight to thro#$
The line too la-ors and the #ords moe slo#.
Not so #hen s#ift Camilla s!o%rs the plain$
Flies o/er th/%n-endng !orn or skims along the main.8
Essay on Criti!ism
S%!h #ere the formida-le allies that ranged themseles against
AEneas. It #as night$ and he lay stret!hed in sleep on the -ank
of the rier$ %nder the open heaens. The god of the stream$
Father Ti-er$ seemed to raise his head a-oe the #illo#s$ and to
say$ 8O goddess)-orn$ destined possessor of the (atin realms$
this is the promised land$ here is to -e yo%r home$ here shall
terminate the hostility of the heaenly po#ers$ if only yo%
faithf%lly perseere. There are friends not far distant.
,repare yo%r -oats and ro# %p my stream; I #ill lead yo% to
Eander the Ar!adian !hief. 2e has long -een at strife #ith
T%rn%s and the R%t%lians$ and is prepared to -e!ome an ally of
yo%rs. RiseC Offer yo%r o#s to '%no$ and depre!ate her anger.
"hen yo% hae a!hieed yo%r i!tory then think of me.8 AEneas
#oke and paid immediate o-edien!e to the friendly ision. 2e
sa!rifi!ed to '%no$ and inoked the god of the rier and all its
tri-%tary fo%ntains to lend their aid. Then$ for the first time$
a essel filled #ith armed #arriors floated on the stream of the
Ti-er. The rier smoothed its #aes and -ade its !%rrent flo#
gently$ #hile$ impelled -y the igoro%s strokes of the ro#ers$
the essel shot rapidly %p the stream.
A-o%t the middle of the day they !ame in sight of the s!attered
-%ildings of the infant to#n #here in after times the pro%d !ity
of Rome gre#$ #hose glory rea!hed the skies. .y !han!e the old
king$ Eander$ #as that day !ele-rating ann%al solemnities in
honor of 2er!%les and all the gods. ,allas$ his son$ and all the
!hiefs of the little !ommon#ealth stood -y. "hen they sa# the
tall ship gliding on#ard thro%gh the #ood$ they #ere alarmed at
the sight$ and rose from the ta-les. .%t ,allas for-ade the
solemnities to -e interr%pted$ and sei6ing a #eapon$ stepped
for#ard to the rier/s -ank. 2e !alled alo%d$ demanding #ho they
#ere and #hat #as their o-7e!t. AEneas$ holding forth an olie)
-ran!h$ replied$ 8"e are Tro7ans$ friends to yo% and enemies to
the R%t%lians. "e seek Eander$ and offer to 7oin o%r arms #ith
yo%rs.8 ,allas$ in ama6ement at the so%nd of so great a name$
inited them to land$ and #hen AEneas to%!hed the shore he sei6ed
his hand and held it long in friendly grasp. ,ro!eeding thro%gh
the #ood they 7oined the king and his party$ and #ere most
faora-ly re!eied. Seats #ere proided for them at the ta-les$
and the repast pro!eeded.
"hen the solemnities #ere ended all moed to#ards the !ity. The
king$ -ending #ith age$ #alked -et#een his son and AEneas$ taking
the arm of one or the other of them$ and #ith m%!h ariety of
pleasing talk shortening the #ay. AEneas looked and listened
#ith delight$ o-sering all the -ea%ties of the s!ene$ and
learning m%!h of heroes reno#ned in an!ient times. Eander said$
8These e0tensie groes #ere on!e inha-ited -y fa%ns and nymphs$
and a r%de ra!e of men #ho sprang from the trees themseles$ and
had neither la#s nor so!ial !%lt%re. They kne# not ho# to yoke
the !attle nor raise a harest$ nor proide from present
a-%ndan!e for f%t%re #ant; -%t -ro#sed like -easts %pon the leafy
-o%ghs$ or fed ora!io%sly on their h%nted prey. S%!h #ere they
#hen Sat%rn$ e0pelled from Olymp%s -y his sons$ !ame among them
and dre# together the fier!e saages$ formed them into so!iety$
and gae them la#s. S%!h pea!e and plenty ens%ed that men eer
sin!e hae !alled his reign the golden age; -%t -y degrees far
other times s%!!eeded$ and the thirst of gold and the thirst of
-lood preailed. The land #as a prey to s%!!essie tyrants$ till
fort%ne and resistless destiny -ro%ght me hither$ an e0ile from
my natie land$ Ar!adia.8
2aing th%s said$ he sho#ed him the Tarpeian ro!k$ and the r%de
spot then oergro#n #ith -%shes #here in after times the Capitol
rose in all its magnifi!en!e. 2e ne0t pointed to some dismantled
#alls$ and said$ 82ere stood 'ani!%l%m$ -%ilt -y 'an%s$ and there
Sat%rnia$ the to#n of Sat%rn.8 S%!h dis!o%rse -ro%ght them to
the !ottage of poor Eander$ #hen!e they sa# the lo#ing herds
roaming oer the plain #here no# the pro%d and stately For%m
stands. They entered$ and a !o%!h #as spread for AEneas$ #ell
st%ffed #ith leaes and !oered #ith the skin of the (i-yan -ear.
Ne0t morning$ a#akened -y the da#n and the shrill song of -irds
-eneath the eaes of his lo# mansion$ old Eander rose. Clad in
a t%ni!$ and a panther/s skin thro#n oer his sho%lders$ #ith
sandals on his feet$ and his good s#ord girded to his side$ he
#ent forth to seek his g%est. T#o mastiffs follo#ed him$ his
#hole retin%e and -ody)g%ard. 2e ro%nd the hero attended -y his
faithf%l A!hates$ and$ ,allas soon 7oining them$ the old king
spoke th%s@
8Ill%strio%s Tro7an$ it is -%t little #e !an do in so great a
!a%se. O%r state is fee-le$ hemmed in on one side -y the rier$
on the other -y the R%t%lians. .%t I propose to ally yo% #ith a
people n%mero%s and ri!h$ to #hom fate has -ro%ght yo% at the
propitio%s moment. The Etr%s!ans hold the !o%ntry -eyond the
rier. &e6enti%s #as their king$ a monster of !r%elty$ #ho
inented %nheard)of torments to gratify his engean!e. 2e #o%ld
fasten the dead to the liing$ hand to hand and fa!e to fa!e$ and
leae the #ret!hed i!tims to die in that dreadf%l em-ra!e. At
length the people !ast him o%t$ him and his ho%se. They -%rned
his pala!e and sle# his friends. 2e es!aped and took ref%ge #ith
T%rn%s$ #ho prote!ts him #ith arms. The Etr%s!ans/ demand that
he shall -e gien %p to desered p%nishment$ and #o%ld ere no#
hae attempted to enfor!e their demand; -%t their priests
restrain then$ telling them that it is the #ill of heaen that no
natie of the land shall g%ide them to i!tory$ and that their
destined leader m%st !ome from a!ross the sea. They hae offered
the !ro#n to me$ -%t I am too old to %ndertake s%!h great
affairs$ and my son is natie)-orn$ #hi!h pre!l%des him from the
!hoi!e. 1o%$ e:%ally -y -irth and time of life$ and fame in
arms$ pointed o%t -y the gods$ hae -%t to appear to -e hailed as
their leader. "ith yo% I #ill 7oin ,allas$ my son$ my only hope
and !omfort. 9nder yo% he shall learn the art of #ar$ and strie
to em%late yo%r great e0ploits.8
Then the king ordered horses to -e f%rnished for the Tro7an
!hiefs$ and AEneas$ #ith a !hosen -and of follo#ers and ,allas
a!!ompanying$ mo%nted and took the #ay to the Etr%s!an !ity$
haing sent -a!k the rest of his party in the ships. AEneas and
his -and safely arried at the Etr%s!an !amp and #ere re!eied
#ith open arms -y Tar!hon$ the Etr%s!an leader$ and his
In the mean#hile T%rn%s had !olle!ted his -ands and made all
ne!essary preparations for the #ar. '%no sent Iris to him #ith a
message in!iting him to take adantage of the a-sen!e of AEneas
and s%rprise the Tro7an !amp. A!!ordingly the attempt #as made$
-%t the Tro7ans #ere fo%nd on their g%ard$ and haing re!eied
stri!t orders from AEneas not to fight in his a-sen!e$ they lay
still in their intren!hments$ and resisted all the efforts of the
R%t%lians to dra# them in to the field. Night !oming on$ the
army of T%rn%s in high spirits at their fan!ied s%periority$
feasted and en7oyed themseles$ and finally stret!hed themseles
on the field and slept se!%re.
In the !amp of the Tro7ans things #ere far other#ise. There all
#as #at!hf%lness and an0iety$ and impatien!e for AEneas/s ret%rn.
Nis%s stood g%ard at the entran!e of the !amp$ and E%ryal%s$ a
yo%th disting%ished a-oe all in the army for gra!es of person
and fine :%alities$ #as #ith him. These t#o #ere friends and
-rothers in arms. Nis%s said to his friend$ 8Do yo% per!eie
#hat !onfiden!e and !arelessness the enemy displayB Their lights
are fe# and dim$ and the men seem all oppressed #ith #ine or
sleep. 1o% kno# ho# an0io%sly o%r !hiefs #ish to send to AEneas$
and to get intelligen!e from him. No# I am strongly moed to
make my #ay thro%gh the enemy/s !amp and to go in sear!h of o%r
!hief. If I s%!!eed$ the glory of the deed #ill -e eno%gh re#ard
for me$ and if they 7%dge the seri!e deseres anything more$ let
them pay it to yo%.8
E%ryal%s$ all on fire #ith the loe of adent%re$ replied$ 8"o%ld
yo% then$ Nis%s$ ref%se to share yo%r enterprise #ith meB And
shall I let yo% go into s%!h danger aloneB Not so my -rae
father -ro%ght me %p$ nor so hae I planned for myself #hen I
7oined the standard of AEneas$ and resoled to hold my life !heap
in !omparison #ith honor.8 Nis%s replied$ 8I do%-t it not$ my
friend; -%t yo% kno# the %n!ertain eent of s%!h an %ndertaking$
and #hateer may happen to me$ I #ish yo% to -e safe. 1o% are
yo%nger than I and hae more of life in prospe!t. Nor !an I -e
the !a%se of s%!h grief to yo%r mother$ #ho has !hosen to -e here
in the !amp #ith yo% rather than stay and lie in pea!e #ith the
other matrons in A!estes/ !ity.8 E%ryal%s replied$ 8Say no more.
In ain yo% seek arg%ments to diss%ade me. I am fi0ed in the
resol%tion to go #ith yo%. (et %s lose no time.8 They !alled
the g%ard$ and !ommitting the #at!h to them$ so%ght the general/s
tent. They fo%nd the !hief offi!ers in !ons%ltation$
deli-erating ho# they sho%ld send noti!e to AEneas of their
sit%ation. The offer of the t#o friends #as gladly a!!epted$
they themseles #ere loaded #ith praises and promised the most
li-eral re#ards in !ase of s%!!ess. I%l%s espe!ially addressed
E%ryal%s$ ass%ring him of his lasting friendship. E%ryal%s
replied$ 8I hae -%t one -oon to ask. &y aged mother is #ith me
in the !amp. For me she left the Tro7an soil$ and #o%ld not
stay -ehind #ith the other matrons at the !ity of A!estes. I go
no# #itho%t taking leae of her. I !o%ld not -ear her tears nor
set at no%ght he entreaties. .%t do tho%$ I -esee!h thee$
!omfort her in her distress. ,romise me that$ and I shall go
more -oldly into #hateer dangers may present themseles.8 I%l%s
and the other !hiefs #ere moed to tears$ and promised to do all
his re:%est. 81o%r mother shall -e mine$8 said I%l%s$ 8and all
that I hae promised to yo% shall -e made good to her$ if yo% do
not ret%rn to re!eie it.8
The t#o friends left the !amp and pl%nged at on!e into the midst
of the enemy. They fo%nd no #at!h$ no sentinels posted$ -%t all
a-o%t$ the sleeping soldiers stre#n on the grass and among the
#agons. The la#s of #ar at that early day did not for-id a -rae
man to slay a sleeping foe$ and the t#o Tro7ans sle#$ as they
passed$ s%!h of the enemy as they !o%ld #itho%t e0!iting alarm.
In one tent E%ryal%s made pri6e of a helmet -rilliant #ith gold
and pl%mes. They had passed thro%gh the enemy/s ranks #itho%t
-eing dis!oered$ -%t no# s%ddenly appeared a troop dire!tly in
front of them$ #hi!h$ %nder +ols!ens$ their leader$ #ere
approa!hing the !amp. The glittering helmet of E%ryal%s !a%ght
their attention$ and +ols!ens hailed the t#o$ and demanded #ho
and #hen!e they #ere. They made no ans#er$ -%t pl%nged into the
#ood. The horsemen s!attered in all dire!tions to inter!ept
their flight. Nis%s had el%ded p%rs%it and #as o%t of danger$
-%t E%ryal%s -eing missing he t%rned -a!k to seek him. 2e again
entered the #ood and soon !ame #ithin so%nd of oi!es. (ooking
thro%gh the thi!ket he sa# the #hole -and s%rro%nding E%ryal%s
#ith noisy :%estions. "hat sho%ld he doB 2o# e0tri!ate the
yo%thB Or #o%ld it -e -etter to die #ith himB
Raising his eyes to the moon #hi!h no# shone !lear$ he said$
8GoddessC Faor my effortC8 And aiming his 7aelin at one of
the leaders of the troop$ str%!k him in the -a!k and stret!hed
him on the plain #ith a death)-lo#. In the midst of their
ama6ement another #eapon fle#$ and another of the party fell
dead. +ols!ens$ the leader$ ignorant #hen!e the darts !ame$
r%shed s#ord in hand %pon E%ryal%s. 81o% shall pay the penalty
of -oth$8 he said$ and #o%ld hae pl%nged the s#ord into his
-osom$ #hen Nis%s$ #ho from his !on!ealment sa# the peril of his
friend$ r%shed for#ard$ e0!laiming$ 8/T#as I$ /t#as I; t%rn yo%r
s#ords against me$ R%t%lians; I did it; he only follo#ed me as a
friend.8 "hile he spoke the s#ord fell$ and pier!ed the !omely
-osom of E%ryal%s. 2is head fell oer on his sho%lder$ like a
flo#er !%t do#n -y the plo%gh. Nis%s r%shed %pon +ols!ens and
pl%nged his s#ord into his -ody$ and #as himself slain on the
instant -y n%m-erless -lo#s.
AEneas$ #ith his Etr%rian allies$ arried on the s!ene of a!tion
in time to res!%e his -eleag%ered !amp; and no# the t#o armies
-eing nearly e:%al in strength$ the #ar -egan in good earnest.
"e !annot find spa!e for all the details$ -%t m%st simply re!ord
the fate of the prin!ipal !hara!ters #hom #e hae introd%!ed to
o%r readers. The tyrant &e6enti%s$ finding himself engaged
against his reolted s%-7e!ts$ raged like a #ild -east. 2e sle#
all #ho dared to #ithstand him$ and p%t the m%ltit%de to flight
#hereer he appeared. At last he en!o%ntered AEneas$ and the
armies stood still to see the iss%e. &e6enti%s thre# his spear$
#hi!h striking AEneas/s shield glan!ed off and hit Anthor. 2e
#as a Gre!ian -y -irth$ #ho had left Argos$ his natie !ity$ and
follo#ed Eander into Italy. The poet says of him$ #ith simple
pathos #hi!h has made the #ords proer-ial$ 82e fell$ %nhappy$ -y
a #o%nd intended for another$ looked %p to the skies$ and dying
remem-ered s#eet Argos.8 AEneas no# in t%rn h%rled his lan!e.
It pier!ed the shield of &e6enti%s$ and #o%nded him in the thigh.
(a%s%s$ his son$ !o%ld not -ear the sight$ -%t r%shed for#ard and
interposed himself$ #hile the follo#ers pressed ro%nd &e6enti%s
and -ore him a#ay. AEneas held his s#ord s%spended oer (a%s%s
and delayed to strike$ -%t the f%rio%s yo%th pressed on and he
#as !ompelled to deal the fatal -lo#. (a%s%s fell$ and AEneas
-ent oer him in pity. 82apless yo%th$8 he said$ 8#hat !an I do
for yo% #orthy of yo%r praiseB *eep those arms in #hi!h yo%
glory$ and fear not -%t that yo%r -ody shall -e restored to yo%r
friends$ and hae d%e f%neral honors.8 So saying$ he !alled the
timid follo#ers$ and deliered the -ody into their hands.
&e6enti%s mean#hile had -een -orne to the rier)side$ and #ashed
his #o%nd. Soon the ne#s rea!hed him of (a%s%s/s death$ and rage
and despair s%pplied the pla!e of strength. 2e mo%nted his horse
and dashed into the thi!kest of the fight$ seeking AEneas.
2aing fo%nd him$ he rode ro%nd him in a !ir!le$ thro#ing one
7aelin after another$ #hile Aeneas stood fen!ed #ith his shield$
t%rning eery #ay to meet them. At last$ after &e6enti%s had
three times made the !ir!%it$ AEneas thre# his lan!e dire!tly at
the horse/s head. It pier!ed his temples and he fell$ #hile a
sho%t from -oth armies rent the skies. &e6enti%s asked no mer!y$
-%t only that his -ody might -e spared the ins%lts of his
reolted s%-7e!ts$ and -e -%ried in the same grae #ith his son.
2e re!eied the fatal stroke not %nprepared$ and po%red o%t his
life and his -lood together.
"hile these things #ere doing in one part of the field$ in
another T%rn%s en!o%ntered the yo%thf%l ,allas. The !ontest
-et#een !hampions so %ne:%ally mat!hed !o%ld not -e do%-tf%l.
,allas -ore himself -raely$ -%t fell -y the lan!e of T%rn%s.
The i!tor almost relented #hen he sa# the -rae yo%th lying dead
at his feet$ and spared to %se the priilege of a !on:%eror in
despoiling him of his arms. The -elt only$ adorned #ith st%ds
and !arings of gold$ he took and !lasped ro%nd his o#n -ody.
The rest he remitted to the friends of the slain.
After the -attle there #as a !essation of arms for some days to
allo# -oth armies to -%ry their dead. In this interal AEneas
!hallenged T%rn%s to de!ide the !ontest -y single !om-at$ -%t
T%rn%s eaded the !hallenge. Another -attle ens%ed$ in #hi!h
Camilla$ the irgin #arrior$ #as !hiefly !onspi!%o%s. 2er deeds
of alor s%rpassed those of the -raest #arriors$ and many
Tro7ans and Etr%s!ans fell pier!ed #ith her darts or str%!k do#n
-y her -attle)a0e. At last an Etr%s!an named Ar%ns$ #ho had
#at!hed her long$ seeking for some adantage$ o-sered her
p%rs%ing a flying enemy #hose splendid armor offered a tempting
pri6e. Intent on the !hase she o-sered not her danger$ and the
7aelin of Ar%ns str%!k her and infli!ted a fatal #o%nd. She
fell and -reathed her last in the arms of her attendant maidens.
.%t Diana$ #ho -eheld her fate$ s%ffered not her sla%ghter to -e
%naenged. Ar%ns$ as he stole a#ay$ glad -%t frightened$ #as
str%!k -y a se!ret arro#$ la%n!hed -y one of the nymphs of
Diana/s train$ and died igno-ly and %nkno#n.
At length the final !onfli!t took pla!e -et#een AEneas and
T%rn%s. T%rn%s had aoided the !ontest as long as he !o%ld$ -%t
at last impelled -y the ill s%!!ess of his arms$ and -y the
m%rm%rs of his follo#ers$ he -ra!ed himself to the !onfli!t. It
!o%ld not -e do%-tf%l. On the side of AEneas #ere the e0pressed
de!ree of destiny$ the aid of his goddess)mother at eery
emergen!y$ and impenetra-le armor fa-ri!ated -y +%l!an$ at +en%s/
re:%est$ for her son. T%rn%s$ on the other hand$ #as deserted -y
his !elestial allies$ '%no haing -een e0pressly for-idden -y
'%piter to assist him any longer. T%rn%s thre# his lan!e$ -%t it
re!oiled harmless from the shield of AEneas. The Tro7an hero
then thre# his$ #hi!h penetrated the shield of T%rn%s$ and
pier!ed his thigh. Then T%rn%s/ fortit%de forsook him and he
-egged for mer!y; and AEneas #o%ld hae gien him his life$ -%t
at the instant his eye fell on the -elt of ,allas$ #hi!h T%rn%s
had taken from the sla%ghtered yo%th. Instantly his rage
reied$ and e0!laiming$ 8,allas immolates thee #ith this -lo#$8
he thr%st him thro%gh #ith his s#ord.
2ere the AEneid !loses$ -%t the story goes that AEneas$ haing
tri%mphed oer his foes$ o-tained (ainia as his -ride. 2is son
I%l%s fo%nded the !ity of Al-a (onga. 2e$ and his des!endants
after him$ reigned oer the to#n for many years. At length
N%mitor and Am%li%s$ t#o -rothers$ :%arrelled a-o%t the kingdom.
Am%li%s sei6ed the !ro#n -y for!e$ !ast o%t N%mitor$ and made his
da%ghter$ Rhea Silia$ a +estal +irgin. The +estal +irgins$ the
priestesses of the goddess +esta$ #ere s#orn to !eli-a!y. .%t
Rhea Silia -roke her o#$ and gae -irth$ -y the god &ars$ to
the t#ins$ Rom%l%s and Rem%s. For this offen!e she #as -%ried
alie$ the %s%al p%nishment a!!orded to %nfaithf%l +estals$ #hile
the !hildren #ere e0posed on the rier Ti-er. Rom%l%s and Rem%s$
ho#eer$ #ere res!%ed -y a herdsman$ and #ere ed%!ated among the
shepherds in ignoran!e of their parentage. .%t !han!e reealed
it to them. They !olle!ted a -and of friends$ and took reenge
on their grand%n!le for the m%rder of their mother. After#ards
they fo%nded$ -y the side of the rier Ti-er$ #here they had -een
e0posed in infan!y$ the !ity of Rome.
Chapter 55+II
,ythagoras. Egyptian Deities. Ora!les
The tea!hings of An!hises to AEneas$ respe!ting the nat%re of the
h%man so%l$ #ere in !onformity #ith the do!trines of the
,ythagoreans. ,ythagoras <-orn$ perhaps$ a-o%t fie h%ndred and
forty years ..C.= #as a natie of the island of Samos$ -%t passed
the !hief portion of his life at Crotona in Italy. 2e is
therefore sometimes !alled 8the Samian$8 and sometimes 8the
philosopher of Crotona.8 "hen yo%ng he traelled e0tensiely and
is said to hae isited Egypt$ #here he #as instr%!ted -y the
priests in all their learning$ and after#ards 7o%rneyed to the
East$ and isited the ,ersian and Chaldean &agi$ and the .rahmins
of India.
.%t ,ythagoras left no #ritings #hi!h hae -een presered. 2is
immediate dis!iples #ere %nder a pledge of se!re!y. Tho%gh he is
referred to -y many #riters$ at times not far distant from his
o#n$ #e hae no -iography of him #ritten earlier than the end of
the se!ond !ent%ry of o%r era. In the interal -et#een his life
and this time$ eery sort of fa-le !olle!ted aro%nd #hat #as
really kno#n of his life and tea!hing.
At Crotona$ #here he finally esta-lished himself$ it is said that
his e0traordinary :%alities !olle!ted ro%nd him a great n%m-er of
dis!iples. The inha-itants #ere notorio%s for l%0%ry and
li!entio%sness$ -%t the good effe!ts of his infl%en!e #ere soon
isi-le. So-riety and temperan!e s%!!eeded. Si0 h%ndred of the
inha-itants -e!ame his dis!iples and enrolled themseles in a
so!iety to aid ea!h other in the p%rs%it of #isdom; %niting their
property in one !ommon sto!k$ for the -enefit of the #hole. They
#ere re:%ired to pra!tise the greatest p%rity and simpli!ity of
manners. The first lesson they learned #as SI(ENCE; for a time
they #ere re:%ired to -e only hearers. 82e <,ythagoras= said
so$8 <Ipse di0it$= #as to -e held -y them as s%ffi!ient$ #itho%t
any proof. It #as only the adan!ed p%pils$ after years of
patient s%-mission$ #ho #ere allo#ed to ask :%estions and to
state o-7e!tions.
,ythagoras is said to hae !onsidered N9&.ERS as the essen!e and
prin!iple of all things$ and attri-%ted to them a real and
distin!t e0isten!e; so that$ in his ie#$ they #ere the elements
o%t of #hi!h the %nierse #as !onstr%!ted. 2o# he !on!eied this
pro!ess has neer -een satisfa!torily e0plained. 2e tra!ed the
ario%s forms and phenomena of the #orld to n%m-ers as their
-asis and essen!e. The 8&onad$8 or 9NIT$ he regarded as the
so%r!e of all n%m-ers. The n%m-er T"O #as imperfe!t$ and the
!a%se of in!rease and diision. T2REE #as !alled the n%m-er of
the #hole$ -e!a%se it had a -eginning$ middle$ and end; FO9R$
representing the s:%are$ is in the highest degree perfe!t; and
TEN$ as it !ontains the s%m of the first three prime n%m-ers
<FQIQOLDR. ONE is not !o%nted$ as -eing rather the so%r!e of
n%m-er than a n%m-er itself= !omprehends all m%si!al and
arithmeti!al proportions$ and denotes the system of the #orld.
As the n%m-ers pro!eed frm the &onad$ so he regarded the p%re and
simple essen!e of the Deity as the so%r!e of all the forms of
nat%re. Gods$ demons$ and heroes are emanations of the S%preme;
and there is a fo%rth emanation$ the h%man so%l. This is
immortal$ and #hen freed from the fetters of the -ody$ passes to
the ha-itation of the dead$ #here it remains till it ret%rns to
the #orld to d#ell in some other h%man or animal -ody$ and at
last$ #hen s%ffi!iently p%rified$ it ret%rns to the so%r!e from
#hi!h it pro!eeded. This do!trine of the transmigration of so%ls
<metempsy!hosis=$ #hi!h #as first Indian and Egyptian$ and
!onne!ted #ith the do!trine of re#ard and p%nishment of h%man
a!tions$ #as the !hief !a%se #hy the ,ythagoreans killed no
animals. Oid represents ,ythagoras addressing his dis!iples in
these #ords@ 8So%ls neer die$ -%t al#ays on :%itting one a-ode
pass to another. I myself !an remem-er that in the time of the
Tro7an #as I #as E%phor-%s$ the son of ,anth%s$ and fell -y the
spear of &enela%s. (ately$ -eing in the temple of '%no$ at
Argos$ I re!ogni6ed my shield h%ng %p there among the trophies.
All things !hange$ nothing perishes. The so%l passes hither and
thither$ o!!%pying no# this -ody$ no# that$ passing from the -ody
of a -east into that of a man$ and then!e to a -east/s again. As
#a0 is stamped #ith !ertain fig%res$ then melted$ then stamped
ane# #ith others$ yet is al#ays the same #a0$ so the so%l$ -eing
al#ays the same$ yet #ears at different times different forms.
Therefore$ if the loe of kindred is not e0tin!t in yo%r -osoms$
for-ear$ I entreat yo%$ to iolate the life of those #ho may
haply -e yo%r o#n relaties.8
Shakespeare$ in the &er!hant of +eni!e$ makes Gratiano all%de to
the metempsy!hosis$ #here he says to Shylo!k@
8Tho% almost mak/st me #aer in my faith$
To hold opinion #ith ,ythagoras$
That so%ls of animals inf%se themseles
Into the tr%nks of men; thy !%rrish spirit
Goerned a #olf; #ho hanged for h%man sla%ghter
Inf%sed his so%l in thee; for thy desires
Are #olfish$ -loody$ stared$ and raeno%s.8
The relation of the notes of the m%si!al s!ale to n%m-ers$
#here-y harmony res%lts from i-rations in e:%al times$ and
dis!ord from the reerse$ led ,ythagoras to apply the #ord
8harmony8 to the isi-le !reation$ meaning -y it the 7%st
adaptation of parts to ea!h other. This is the idea #hi!h Dryden
e0presses in the -eginning of his song for St. Ce!ilia/s Day@
8From harmony$ from heaenly harmony
This eerlasting frame -egan;
JFrom harmony to harmony
Thro%gh all the !ompass of the notes it ran$
The Diapason !losing f%ll in &an.8
In the !entre of the %nierse <as ,ythagoras ta%ght= there #as a
!entral fire$ the prin!iple of life. The !entral fire #as
s%rro%nded -y the earth$ the moon$ the s%n$ and the fie planets.
The distan!es of the ario%s heaenly -odies from one another
#ere !on!eied to !orrespond to the proportions of the m%si!al
s!ale. The heaenly -odies$ #ith the gods #ho inha-ited them$
#ere s%pposed to perform a !horal dan!e ro%nd the !entral fire$
8not #itho%t song.8 It is this do!trine #hi!h Shakespeare
all%des to #hen he makes (oren6o tea!h astronomy to 'essi!a in
this fashion@
8Sit$ 'essi!a$ look ho# the floor of heaen
Is thi!k inlaid #ith patines of -right goldC
There/s not the smallest or- that tho% -ehold/st
.%t in this motion like an angel sings$
Still :%iring to the yo%ng)eyed !her%-im;
S%!h harmony is in immortal so%lsC
.%t #hilst this m%ddy est%re of de!ay
Doth grossly !lose it in #e !annot hear it.8
&er!hant of +eni!e
The spheres #ere !on!eied to -e !rystalline or glassy fa-ri!s
arranged oer one another like a nest of -o#ls reersed. In the
s%-stan!e of ea!h sphere one or more of the heaenly -odies #as
s%pposed to -e fi0ed$ so as to moe #ith it. As the spheres are
transparent$ #e look thro%gh them$ and see the heaenly -odies
#hi!h they !ontain and !arry ro%nd #ith them. .%t as these
spheres !annot moe on one another #itho%t fri!tion$ a so%nd is
there-y prod%!ed #hi!h is of e0:%isite harmony$ too fine for
mortal ears to re!ogni6e. &ilton$ in his 2ymn to the Natiity$
th%s all%des to the m%si! of the spheres@
8Ring o%t$ ye !rystal spheresC
On!e -less o%r h%man ears;
<If ye hae po#er to !harm o%r senses so=;
And let yo%r siler !hime
&oe in melodio%s time$
And let the -ase of 2eaen/s deep organ -lo#@
And #ith yo%r nine)fold harmony
&ake %p f%ll !on!ert #ith the angeli! symphony.8
,ythagoras is said to hae inented the lyre$ of #hi!h other
fa-les gie the inention to &er!%ry. O%r o#n poet$ (ongfello#$
in +erses to a Child$ th%s relates the story@
8As great ,ythagoras of yore$
Standing -eside the -la!ksmith/s door$
And hearing the hammers as they smote
The Anils #ith a different note$
Stole from the arying tones that h%ng
+i-rant on eery iron tong%e$
The se!ret of the so%nding #ire$
And formed the seen)!horded lyre.8
See also the same poet/s O!!%ltation of Orion@
8The Samian/s great AEolian lyre.8
Sy-aris$ a neigh-oring !ity to Crotona$ #as as !ele-rated for
l%0%ry and effemina!y as Crotona for the reerse. The name has
-e!ome proer-ial. (o#ell %ses it in this sense in his !harming
little poem To the Dandelion@
8Not in mild '%ne the golden)!%irassed -ee
Feels a more s%mmer)like$ #arm raishment
In the #hite lily/s -ree6y tent$
<2is !on:%ered Sy-aris= than I #hen first
JFrom the dark green thy yello# !ir!les -%rst.8
A #ar arose -et#een the t#o !ities$ and Sy-aris #as !on:%ered and
destroyed. &ilo$ the !ele-rated athlete$ led the army of
Crotona. &any stories are told of &ilo/s ast strength$ s%!h as
his !arrying a heifer of fo%r years old %pon his sho%lders$ and
after#ards eating the #hole of it in a single day. The mode of
his death is th%s related@ As he #as passing thro%gh a forest he
sa# the tr%nk of a tree #hi!h had -een partially split open -y
#ood)!%tters$ and attempted to rend it f%rther; -%t the #ood
!losed %pon his hands and held him fast$ in #hi!h state he #as
atta!ked and deo%red -y #oles.
.yron$ in his Ode to Napoleon .onaparte$ all%des to the story of
82e #ho of old #o%ld rend the oak
Deemed not of the re-o%nd;
Chained -y the tr%nk he ainly -roke$
Alone$ ho# looked he ro%ndC8
The remarka-le dis!oery -y #hi!h Champollion the yo%nger <so
!alled to disting%ish him from his older -rother$ Champollion
Figea!$ #ho also st%died the hieroglyphi!s== first opened to
modern times the se!ret of the Egyptian hieroglyphi!s$ has -een
follo#ed %p -y la-orio%s st%dies$ #hi!h tell %s more of Egyptian
#orship and mythology$ #ith more pre!ision$ than #e kno# of any
other an!ient religion -%t that of the 2e-re#s. "e hae een
great n%m-ers of !opies of the lit%rgies$ or hand-ooks of
#orship$ of f%neral solemnities$ and other rit%als$ #hi!h hae
-een diligently translated. And #e hae a s%ffi!ient -ody of the
literat%re #ritten and %sed -y the priesthood.
These dis!oeries gie to #riters of this generation a m%!h
f%ller kno#ledge of the Egyptian religion$ of its forms$ and of
the names of its gods$ than they had -efore. It is impossi-le$
and pro-a-ly al#ays #ill -e$ to state #ith pre!ision the theology
on #hi!h it rested. It is impossi-le$ -e!a%se that theology #as
different in one time and #ith one s!hool from #hat it #as at
other times. &r. S. .ir!h$ of the .ritish &%se%m$ says$ 8The
religion of the Egyptians !onsisted of an e0tended polytheism
represented -y a system of lo!al gro%ps.8 .%t &r. ,ierret says$
8The polytheism of the mon%ments is -%t an o%t#ard sho#. The
inn%mera-le gods of the ,antheon are -%t manifestations of the
One .eing in his ario%s !apa!ities. &ariette .ey says$ 8The one
res%lt is that a!!ording to the Egyptians$ the %nierse #as God
himself$ and that ,antheism formed the fo%ndation of their
In this -ook it is not ne!essary to re!on!ile ie#s so dierse$
nor indeed to enter on st%dies so profo%nd as those #hi!h sho%ld
de!ide -et#een them. For o%r p%rpose here it is eno%gh to kno#
that the S%n #as the older o-7e!t of #orship$ and in his ario%s
forms rising$ midday$ or setting #as adored %nder different
names. Fre:%ently his -eing and these names #ere %nited to the
types of other deities. &r. .ir!h -eliees that the #orship of
Osiris preailed largely -eside the #orship of the S%n$ and is
not to -e !onfo%nded #ith it. To Osiris$ Set$ the Egyptian
deil$ #as opposed.
The original God$ the origin of all things$ manifests himself to
men$ in lesser forms$ a!!ording to this mythology$ more and more
h%man and less and less intangi-le. These forms are generally
triads$ and resole themseles into a male deity$ a female deity$
and their !hild. Triad after triad -rings the original Diinity
into forms more and more earthly$ till at last #e find 8that #e
hae no longer to do #ith the infinite and intangi-le God of the
earliest days$ -%t rather #ith a God of flesh and -lood$ #ho
lies %pon earth$ and has so a-ased himself as to -e no more than
a h%man king. It is no longer the God of #hom no man kne# either
the form or the s%-stan!e@ it is *neph at Esneh$ 2athor at
D%rderah$ 2or%s$ king of the diine dynasty at Edfoo.8 These
#ords are &. &aspero/s.
The Greek and (atin poets and philosophers$ as they made some
ery slight a!:%aintan!e #ith Egyptian #orship$ gie Greek or
(atin names to the diinities #orshipped. Th%s #e sometimes hear
Osiris spoken of as the Egyptian 2ermes. .%t s%!h !hanges of
names are !onf%sing$ and are at -est -%t fan!if%l <In the same
#ay ,l%tar!h$ a Greek #riter$ says of the 'e#s/ Feast of
Ta-erna!les$ 8I kno# that their God is o%r .a!!h%s.8 This #as
merely from the ines$ ine leaes and #ine %sed in the
!eremonies.= It #o%ld happen sometimes$ in later times$ that a
fashion of religion #o%ld !arry the #orship of one God or Goddess
to a distan!e. Th%s the #orship of Isis -e!ame fashiona-le in
Rome in the time of Nero and ,a%l$ as readers of .%l#er/s (ast
Days of ,ompeii #ill remem-er.
The latest modern literat%re o!!asionally %ses the Egyptian
names$ as the last t#o !ent%ries hae disinterred them from the
ins!riptions on the mon%ments$ and from the man%s!ripts in the
tom-s. Earlier English #riters generally %se the names like
Osiris$ An%-is$ and others fo%nd in (atin and Greek #riters.
The follo#ing statement as to these deities and their names is
from &r. .ir!h@
8The deities of an!ient Egypt !onsist of !elestial$ terrestrial$
and infernal gods$ and of many inferior personages$ either
representaties of the greater gods or attendants on them. &ost
of the gods #ere !onne!ted #ith the s%n$ and represented that
l%minary thro%gh the %pper hemisphere or 2eaen and the lo#er
hemisphere or 2ades. To the deities of the solar !y!le -elonged
the great gods of The-es and 2eliopolis. In the lo!al #orship of
Egypt the deities #ere arranged in lo!al triads; th%s at &emphis$
,tah$ his #ife &erienptah$ and their son Nefer At%m$ formed a
triad$ to #hi!h #as sometimes added the goddess .ast or .%-astis.
At A-ydos the lo!al triad #as Osiris$ Isis$ and 2or%s$ #ith
Nephthys; at The-es$ Amen Ra or Ammon$ &%t and Chons$ #ith Neith;
at Elephantine$ *neph$ An%ka$ Sati$ and 2ak. In most instan!es
the names of the gods are Egyptian; th%s$ ,tah meant /the
opener/; Amen$ /the !on!ealed/; Ra$ /the s%n or day/; Athor$ /the
ho%se of 2or%s/;/ -%t some fe#$ espe!ially of later times$ #ere
introd%!ed from Semiti! so%r!es$ as .al or .aal$ Astar%ta or
Astarte$ *hen or *i%n$ Resp% or Reseph. .esides the prin!ipal
gods$ seeral inferior or parhedral gods$ sometimes
personifi!ations of the fa!%lties$ senses$ and other o-7e!ts$ are
introd%!ed into the religio%s system$ and genii$ spirits or
personified so%ls of deities formed part of the same. At a
period s%-se:%ent to their first introd%!tion the gods #ere
diided into three orders. The first or highest !omprised eight
deities$ #ho #ere different in the &emphian and The-an systems.
They #ere s%pposed to hae reigned oer Egypt -efore the time of
mortals. The eight gods of the first order at &emphis #ere D.
,tah; F. Sh%; I. Tefn%; N. Se-; O. N%t; E. Osiris; M. Isis and
2or%s; G. Athor. Those of The-es #ere D. Amen Ra; F. &ent%; I.
At%m; N. Sh% and Tefn%; O. Se-; E. Osiris; M. Set and Nepthys; G.
2or%s and Athor. The gods of the se!ond order #ere t#ele in
n%m-er$ -%t the name of one only$ an Egyptian 2er!%les$ has -een
presered. The third order is stated to hae !omprised Osiris$
#ho$ it #ill -e seen$ -elonged to the first order.8 G9IDE TO T2E
&iss Ed#ards gies the follo#ing !onenient register of the names
most familiar among the Egyptian gods <in her ery interesting
-ook$ 8A Tho%sand &iles %p the Nile8=.
,2TA2 or ,TA2@ In form a m%mmy$ holding the em-lem !alled -y some
the Nilometer$ -y others the em-lem of Sta-ility$ !alled 8the
father of the .eginning$ the Creator of the Egg of the S%n and
&oon$8 Chief Deity of &emphis.
*NE,2$ *NO9& or *NO9,2IS@ Ram)headed$ !alled the &aker of gods
and men$ the So%l of the gods. Chief Deity of Elephantine and
the Catara!ts.
RA@ 2a#k)headed$ and !ro#ned #ith the s%n)dis!$ en!ir!led -y an
asp. The diine disposer and organi6er of the #orld; adored
thro%gho%t Egypt.
A&EN RA@ Of h%man form$ !ro#ned #ith a flat)topped !ap and t#o
long$ straight pl%mes; !lothed in the s!henti; his flesh
sometimes painted -l%e. There are ario%s forms of this god
<there #ere almost as many arieties of Ammon in Egypt as there
are arieties of the &adonna in Italy or Spain=$ -%t he is most
generally des!ri-ed as *ing of the Gods$ !hief deity of The-es.
*2E&@ Of h%man form$ m%mmified; #ears head)dress of Amen Ra; his
right hand %plifted$ holding a flail. The god of prod%!tieness
and generation. Chief deity of *hemmis$ or Ekhmeem.
OSIRIS@ Of h%man form$ m%mmified$ !ro#ned #ith a mitre$ and
holding the flail and !rook. Called the Good; the (ord a-oe
all; the one lord. "as the god of the lo#er #orld; 7%dge of the
dead; and representatie of the s%n -elo# the hori6on. Adored
thro%gh Egypt. (o!al deity of A-ydos.
NEFER AT9&@ 2%man)headed$ and !ro#ned #ith the ps!hent. This god
represented the no!t%rnal s%n$ or the s%n lighting the lo#er
#orld. (o!al deity of 2eliopolis.
T2OT2@ In form a man$ i-is)headed$ generally depi!ted #ith the
pen and palette of a s!ri-e. "as the god of the moon$ and of
letters. (o!al deity of Sesoon$ or 2ermopolit.
SE.@ The 8Father of the Gods$8 and deity of terrestrial
egetation. In form like a man #ith a goose %pon his head.
SET@ Represented -y a sym-oli! animal$ #ith a m%66le and ears
like a 7a!kal$ the -ody of an ass$ and an %pright tail$ like the
tail of a lion. "as originally a #arlike god$ and -e!ame in
later times the sym-ol of eil and the enemy of Osiris.
*2ONS@ 2a#k)headed$ !ro#ned #ith the s%n)dis! and horns. Is
sometimes represented as a yo%th #ith the side)lo!k$ standing on
a !ro!odile.
2OR9S@ 2or%s appears ario%sly as 2or%s$ 2or%s Aroeris$ and 2or%s
2arpakhrat <2ippo!rates=$ or 2or%s the !hild. Is represented
%nder the first t#o forms as a man$ ha#k)headed$ #earing the
do%-le !ro#n of Egypt; in the latter as a !hild #ith the side)
lo!k. (o!al deity of Edfoo <Apollinopolis &agna=.
&A9T@ A #oman draped$ and !ro#ned #ith the ps!hent <the ps!hent
#as a do%-le !ro#n$ #orn -y the king at his !oronation=$
representing a %lt%re. Adored at The-es.
NEIT2@ A #oman draped$ holding sometimes a -o# and arro#s$
!ro#ned #ith the !ro#n of (o#er Egypt. She presided oer #ar$
and the loom. "orshipped at The-es.
ISIS@ A #oman !ro#ned #ith the s%n)dis! s%rmo%nted -y a throne$
and sometimes en!losed -et#een horns. Adored at A-ydos. 2er
so%l resided in Sothis on the Dog)star.
N9T@ A #oman so -ent that her hands to%!hed the earth. She
represents the a%lt of heaen$ and is the mother of the gods.
2AT2OR@ Co#)headed$ and !ro#ned #ith the dis! and pl%mes. Deity
of Amenti$ or the Egyptian 2ades. "orshipped at Denderah.
,AS2T@ ,asht and .ast appear to -e t#o forms of the same goddess.
As .ast she is represented as a #oman$ lion)headed$ #ith the dis!
and %roe%s; as ,asht she is !at)headed$ and holds a sistr%m.
Adored at .%-astis. O-sere the sylla-le .AST.
The highest isi-le deity of the Egyptians #as Am%n Ra$ or Amen
Ra$ the !on!ealed s%n; the #ord Ra signifying the s%n. This name
appears in the Greek and (atin #riters as 4e%s Ammon and '%piter
Ammon. "hen Am%n manifests himself -y his #ord$ #ill or spirit$
he is kno#n as N%$ N%m$ No%-$ Nef$ Neph$ or *neph$ and this
#ord *neph thro%gh the form Cn%phis is$ perhaps$ the An%-is of
the Greek and (atin a%thors. That #ord has not -een fo%nd earlier
than the time of A%g%st%s. An%-is #as then #orshipped as the
g%ardian god$ and represented #ith a dog/s head.
The so%l of Osiris #as s%pposed to e0ist in some #ay in the
sa!red -%ll Apis$ of #hi!h Serapis or Sarapis is pro-a-ly another
name. 8Apis$8 says 2erodot%s$ 8is a yo%ng -%ll$ #hose hair is
-la!k$ on his forehead a #hite triangle$ )) on his -a!k an eagle$
#ith a -eetle %nder his tong%e and #ith the hair of his tail
do%-le.8 Oid says he is of ario%s !olors. ,l%tar!h says he
has a !res!ent on his right side. These s%perstitions aried
from age to age. Apis #as #orshipped in &emphis.
It m%st -e o-sered$ in general$ that the names in the (atin
!lassi!s -elong to a m%!h later period of the Egyptian religion
than the names fo%nd on most of the mon%ments. It #ill -e fo%nd$
that$ as in the !hange from N% to An%-is$ it is diffi!%lt to
tra!e the progress of a name from one to the other. In the !ases
#here an o0$ a ram$ or a dog is #orshipped #ith$ or as a sym-ol
of$ a god$ #e pro-a-ly hae the s%rial of a ery early lo!al
2or%s or 2arpo!rates$ named a-oe$ #as the son of Osiris. 2e is
sometimes represented$ seated on a (ot%s)flo#er$ #ith his finger
on his lips$ as the god of silen!e.
In one of &oore/s Irish &elodies is an all%sion to 2arpo!rates@ )
8Thyself shall$ %nder some rosy -o#er$
Sit m%te$ #ith thy finger on thy lip@
(ike him$ the -oy$ #ho -orn among
The flo#ers that on the Nile)stream -l%sh$
Sits oer th%s$ his only song
To Earth and 2eaen$ 82%sh$ all$ h%shC8
Osiris and Isis #ere at one time ind%!ed to des!end to the earth
to -esto# gifts and -lessings on its inha-itants. Isis sho#ed
them first the %se of #heat and -arley$ and Osiris made the
instr%ments of agri!%lt%re and ta%ght men the %se of them$ as
#ell as ho# to harness the o0 to the plo%gh. 2e then gae men
la#s$ the instit%tion of marriage$ a !iil organi6ation$ and
ta%ght them ho# to #orship the gods. After he had th%s made the
alley of the Nile a happy !o%ntry$ he assem-led a host #ith
#hi!h he #ent to -esto# his -lessings %pon the rest of the #orld.
2e !on:%ered the nations eery#here$ -%t not #ith #eapons$ only
#ith m%si! and elo:%en!e. 2is -rother Typhon <Typhon is s%pposed
to -e the Seth of the mon%ments= sa# this$ and filled #ith eny
and mali!e so%ght$ d%ring his a-sen!e$ to %s%rp his throne. .%t
Isis$ #ho held the reins of goernment$ fr%strated his plans.
Still more em-ittered$ he no# resoled to kill his -rother. This
he did in the follo#ing manner@ 2aing organi6ed a !onspira!y of
seenty)t#o mem-ers$ he #ent #ith them to the feast #hi!h #as
!ele-rated in honor of the king/s ret%rn. 2e then !a%sed a -o0
or !hest to -e -ro%ght in$ #hi!h had -een made to fit e0a!tly the
si6e of Osiris$ and de!lared that he #o%ld gie that !hest of
pre!io%s #ood to #hosoeer !o%ld get into it. The rest tried in
ain$ -%t no sooner #as Osiris in it than Typhon and his
!ompanions !losed the lid and fl%ng the !hest into the Nile.
"hen Isis heard of the !r%el m%rder she #ept and mo%rned$ and
then #ith her hair shorn$ !lothed in -la!k and -eating her
-reast$ she so%ght diligently for the -ody of her h%s-and. In
this sear!h she #as assisted -y An%-is$ the son of Osiris and
Nephthys. They so%ght in ain for some time; for #hen the !hest$
!arried -y the #aes to the shores of .y-los$ had -e!ome
entangled in the reeds that gre# at the edge of the #ater$ the
diine po#er that d#elt in the -ody of Osiris imparted s%!h
strength to the shr%- that it gre# into a mighty tree$ en!losing
in its tr%nk the !offin of the god. This tree$ #ith its sa!red
deposit$ #as shortly after#ard felled$ and ere!ted as a !ol%mn in
the pala!e of the king of ,hoeni!ia. .%t at length$ -y the aid
of An%-is and the sa!red -irds$ Isis as!ertained these fa!ts$ and
then #ent to the royal !ity. There she offered herself at the
pala!e as a serant$ and -eing admitted$ thre# off her disg%ise
and appeared as the goddess$ s%rro%nded #ith th%nder and
lightning. Striking the !ol%mn #ith her #and$ she !a%sed it to
split open and gie %p the sa!red !offin. This she sei6ed and
ret%rned #ith it$ and !on!ealed it in the depth of a forest$ -%t
Typhon dis!oered it$ and !%tting the -ody into fo%rteen pie!es$
s!attered them hither and thither. After a tedio%s sear!h$ Isis
fo%nd thirteen pie!es$ the fishes of the Nile haing eaten the
other. This she repla!ed -y an imitation of sy!amore #ood$ and
-%ried the -ody at ,hiloe$ #hi!h -e!ame eer after the great
-%rying pla!e of the nation$ and the spot to #hi!h pilgrimages
#ere made from all parts of the !o%ntry. A temple of s%rpassing
magnifi!en!e #as also ere!ted there in honor of the god$ and at
eery pla!e #here one of his lim-s had -een fo%nd$ minor temples
and tom-s #ere -%ilt to !ommemorate the eent. Osiris -e!ame
after that the t%telar deity of the Egyptians. 2is so%l #as
s%pposed al#ays to inha-it the -ody of the -%ll Apis$ and at his
death to transfer itself to his s%!!essor.
Apis$ the .%ll of &emphis$ #as #orshipped #ith the greatest
reeren!e -y the Egyptians. As soon as a -%ll marked #ith the
marks #hi!h hae -een des!ri-ed$ #as fo%nd -y those sent in
sear!h of him$ he #as pla!ed in a -%ilding fa!ing the east$ and
#as fed #ith milk for fo%r months. At the e0piration of this
term the priests repaired at ne# moon #ith great pomp$ to his
ha-itation$ and sal%ted him Apis. 2e #as pla!ed in a essel
magnifi!ently de!orated and !oneyed do#n the Nile to &emphis$
#here a temple$ #ith t#o !hapels and a !o%rt for e0er!ise$ #as
assigned to him. Sa!rifi!es #ere made to him$ and on!e eery
year$ a-o%t the time #hen the Nile -egan to rise$ a golden !%p
#as thro#n into the rier$ and a grand festial #as held to
!ele-rate his -irthday. The people -elieed that d%ring this
festial the !ro!odiles forgot their nat%ral fero!ity and -e!ame
harmless. There #as ho#eer one dra#-a!k to his happy lot; he
#as not permitted to lie -eyond a !ertain period; and if #hen he
had attained the age of t#enty)fie years$ he still s%ried$ the
priests dro#ned him in the sa!red !istern$ and then -%ried him in
the temple of Serapis. On the death of this -%ll$ #hether it
o!!%rred in the !o%rse of nat%re or -y iolen!e$ the #hole land
#as filled #ith sorro# and lamentations$ #hi!h lasted %ntil his
s%!!essor #as fo%nd.
A ne# Apis #as fo%nd as late as the reign of 2adrian. A m%mmy
made from one of the Sa!red .%lls may -e seen in the Egyptian
!olle!tion of the 2istori!al So!iety$ Ne# 1ork.
&ilton$ in his 2ymn of the Natiity$ all%des to the Egyptian
deities$ not as imaginary -eings$ -%t as real demons p%t to
flight -y the !oming of Christ@
8The -r%tish gods of Nile as fast$
Isis and 2or%s and the dog An%-is haste.
Nor is Osiris seen
In &emphian groe or green
Trampling the %nsho#eredH grass #ith lo#ings lo%d;
Nor !an he -e at rest
"ithin his sa!red !hest;
No%ght -%t profo%ndest hell !an -e his shro%d.
In ain #ith tim-rel/d anthems dark
The sa-le)stoled sor!erers -ear his #orshipped ark.8
H<There -eing no rain in Egypt$ the grass is 8%nsho#ered$8 and
the !o%ntry depends for its fertility %pon the oerflo#ings of
the Nile. The ark all%ded to in the last line is sho#n -y
pi!t%res still remaining on the #alls of the Egyptian temples to
hae -een -orne -y the priests in their religio%s pro!essions.
It pro-a-ly represented the !hest in #hi!h Osiris #as pla!ed.=
Isis #as represented in stat%ary #ith the head eiled$ a sym-ol
of mystery. It is this #hi!h Tennyson all%des to in &a%d$ R+.G
8For the drift of te &aker is dark$ an Isis hid -y the eil.8
Ora!le #as the name %sed to denote the pla!e #here ans#ers #ere
s%pposed to -e gien -y any of the diinities to those #ho
!ons%lted them respe!ting the f%t%re. The #ord #as also %sed to
signify the response #hi!h #as gien.
The most an!ient Gre!ian ora!le #as that of '%piter at Dodona.
A!!ording to one a!!o%nt it #as esta-lished in the follo#ing
manner. T#o -la!k does took their flight from The-es in Egypt.
One fle# to Dodona in Epir%s and alighting in a groe of oaks$ it
pro!laimed in h%man lang%age to the inha-itants of the distri!t
that they m%st esta-lish there an ora!le of '%piter. The other
doe fle# to the temple of '%piter Ammon in the (i-yan oasis$ and
deliered a similar !ommand there. Another a!!o%nt is$ that
they #ere not does$ -%t priestesses$ #ho #ere !arried off from
The-es in Egypt -y the ,hoeni!ians$ and set %p ora!les at Oasis
and Dodona. The responses of the ora!le #ere gien from the
trees$ -y the -ran!hes r%stling in the #ind$ the so%nds -eing
interpreted -y the priests.
.%t the most !ele-rated of the Gre!ian ora!les #as that of Apollo
at Delphi$ a !ity -%ilt on the slopes of ,arnass%s in ,ho!is.
It had -een o-sered at a ery early period that the goats
feeding on ,arnass%s #ere thro#n into !on%lsions #hen they
approa!hed a !ertain long deep !left in the side of the mo%ntain.
This #as o#ing to a pe!%liar apor arising o%t of the !aern$ and
one of the goatherds #as ind%!ed to try its effe!ts %pon himself.
Inhaling the into0i!ating air he #as affe!ted in the same manner
as the !attle had -een$ and the inha-itants of the s%rro%nding
!o%ntry$ %na-le to e0plain the !ir!%mstan!e$ imp%ted the
!on%lsie raings to #hi!h he gae %tteran!e #hile %nder the
po#er of the e0halations$ to a diine inspiration. The fa!t #as
speedily !ir!%lated #idely$ and a temple #as ere!ted on the spot.
The propheti! infl%en!e #as at first ario%sly attri-%ted to the
goddess Earth$ to Nept%ne$ Themis$ and others$ -%t it #as at
length assigned to Apollo$ and to him alone. A priestess #as
appointed #hose offi!e it #as to inhale the hallo#ed air$ and #ho
#as named the ,ythia. She #as prepared for this d%ty -y preio%s
a-l%tion at the fo%ntain of Castalia$ and -eing !ro#ned #ith
la%rel #as seated %pon a tripod similarly adorned$ #hi!h #as
pla!ed oer the !hasm #hen!e the diine afflat%s pro!eeded. 2er
inspired #ords #hile th%s sit%ated #ere interpreted -y the
.esides the ora!les of '%piter and Apollo$ at Dodona and Delphi$
that of Trophoni%s in .oeotia #as held in high estimation.
Trophoni%s and Agamedes #ere -rothers. They #ere disting%ished
ar!hite!hts$ and -%ilt the temple of Apollo at Delphi$ and a
treas%ry for *ing 2yrie%s. In the #all of the treas%ry they
pla!ed a stone$ in s%!h a manner that it !o%ld -e taken o%t; and
-y this means from time to time p%rloined the treas%re. This
ama6ed 2yrie%s$ for his lo!ks and seals #ere %nto%!hed$ and yet
his #ealth$ !ontin%ally diminished. At length he set a trap for
the thief and Agamedes #as !a%ght. Trophoni%s %na-le to
e0tri!ate him$ and fearing that #hen fo%nd he #o%ld -e !ompelled
-y tort%re to dis!oer his a!!ompli!e$ !%t off his head.
Trophoni%s himself is said to hae -een shortly after#ards
s#allo#ed %p -y the earth.
The ora!le of Trophoni%s #as at (e-adea in .oeotia. D%ring a
great dro%ght the .oeotians$ it is said$ #ere dire!ted -y the god
at Delphi to seek aid of Trophoni%s at (e-adea. They !ame
thither$ -%t !o%ld find no ora!le. One of them$ ho#eer$
happening to see a s#arm of -ees$ follo#ed them to a !hasm in the
earth$ #hi!h proed to -e the pla!e so%ght.
,e!%liar !eremonies #ere to -e performed -y the person #ho !ame
to !ons%lt the ora!le. After these preliminaries$ he des!ended
into the !ae -y a narro# passage. This pla!e !o%ld -e entered
only in the night. The person ret%rned from the !ae -y the same
narro# passage$ -%t #alking -a!k#ards. 2e appeared melan!holy
and de7e!ted; and hen!e the proer- #hi!h #as applied to a person
lo#)spirited and gloomy$ 82e has -een !ons%lting the ora!le of
There #ere n%mero%s ora!les of Aes!%lapi%s$ -%t the most
!ele-rated one #as at Epida%r%s. 2ere the si!k so%ght responses
and the re!ory of their health -y sleeping in the temple. It
has -een inferred from the a!!o%nts that hae !ome do#n to %s$
that the treatment of the si!k resem-led #hat is no# !alled
Animal &agnetism or &esmerism.
Serpents #ere sa!red to Aes!%lapi%s$ pro-a-ly -e!a%se of a
s%perstition that those animals hae a fa!%lty of rene#ing their
yo%th -y a !hange of skin. The #orship of Aes!%lapi%s #as
introd%!ed into Rome in a time of great si!kness$ and an em-assy
sent to the temple of Epida%r%s to entreat the aid of the god.
Aes!%lapi%s #as propitio%s$ and on the ret%rn of the ship
a!!ompanied it in the form of a serpent. Arriing in the rier
Ti-er$ the serpent glided from the essel and took possession of
an island in the rier$ and a temple #as there ere!ted to his
At &emphis the sa!red -%ll Apis gae ans#er to those #ho
!ons%lted him$ -y the manner in #hi!h he re!eied or re7e!ted
#hat #as presented to him. If the -%ll ref%sed food from the
hand of the in:%irer it #as !onsidered an %nfaora-le sign$ and
the !ontrary #hen he re!eied it.
It has -een a :%estion #hether ora!%lar responses o%ght to -e
as!ri-ed to mere h%man !ontrian!e or to the agen!y of eil
spirits. The latter opinion has -een most general in past ages.
A third theory has -een adan!ed sin!e the phenomena of &esmerism
hae attra!ted attention$ that something like the mesmeri! tran!e
#as ind%!ed in the ,ythoness$ and the fa!%lty of !lairoyan!e
really !alled into a!tion.
Another :%estion is as to the time #hen the ,agan ora!les !eased
to gie responses. An!ient Christian #riters assert that they
-e!ame silent at the -irth of Christ$ and #ere heard no more
after that date. &ilton adopts this ie# in his 2ymn of the
Natiity$ and in lines of solemn and eleated -ea%ty pi!t%res the
!onsternation of the heathen idols at the adent of the Saio%r.
8The ora!les are d%m-;
No oi!e or hideo%s h%m
Rings thro%gh the ar!hed roof in #ords de!eiing.
Apollo from his shrine
Can no more diine$
"ith hollo# shriek the steep of Delphos leaing.
No nightly tran!e or -reathed spell
Inspires the pale)eyed priest from the propheti! !ell.8
In Co#per/s poem of 1ardley Oak there are some -ea%tif%l
mythologi!al all%sions. The former of the t#o follo#ing is to
the fa-le of Castor and ,oll%0; the latter is more appropriate to
o%r present s%-7e!t. Addressing the a!orn he says$
8Tho% fell/st mat%re; and in the loamy !lod$
S#elling #ith egetatie for!e instin!t$
Didst -%rst thine egg$ as theirs the fa-led T#ins
No# stars; t#o lo-es protr%ding$ paired e0a!t;
A leaf s%!!eeded and another leaf$
And$ all the elements thy p%ny gro#th
Fostering propitio%s$ tho% -e!am/st a t#ig.
"ho lied #hen tho% #as s%!hB Oh$ !o%ldst tho% speak
As in Dodona on!e thy kindred trees
Ora!%lar$ I #o%ld not !%rio%s ask
The f%t%re$ -est %nkno#n$ -%t at thy mo%th
In:%isitie$ the less am-ig%o%s past.8
Tennyson in his Talking Oak all%des to the oaks of Dodona in
these lines@
8And I #ill #ork in prose and rhyme$
And praise thee more in -oth
Than -ard has honored -ee!h or lime$
Or that Thessalian gro#th
In #hi!h the s#arthy ring)doe sat
And mysti! senten!e spoke.8
.yron all%des to the ora!le of Delphi #here$ speaking of
Ro%ssea%$ #hose #ritings he !on!eies did m%!h to -ring on the
Fren!h reol%tion$ he says$
8For then he #as inspired$ and from him !ame$
As from the ,ythian/s mysti! !ae of yore$
Those ora!les #hi!h set the #orld in flame$
Nor !eased to -%rn till kingdoms #ere no more.8
Chapter 55+III
Origin of &ythology Stat%es of Gods and Goddesses ,oets of
2aing rea!hed the !lose of o%r series of stories of ,agan
mythology$ an in:%iry s%ggests itself. 8"hen!e !ame these
storiesB 2ae they a fo%ndation in tr%th$ or are they simply
dreams of the imaginationB8 ,hilosophers hae s%ggested ario%s
theories on the s%-7e!t of #hi!h #e shall gie three or fo%r.
D. The S!ript%ral theory; a!!ording to #hi!h all mythologi!al
legends are deried from the narraties of S!ript%re$ tho%gh the
real fa!ts hae -een disg%ised and altered. Th%s De%!alion is
only another name for Noah$ 2er!%les for Samson$ Arion for 'onah$
et!. Sir "alter Raleigh$ in his 2istory of the "orld$ says$
8'%-al$ T%-al$ and T%-al)Cain #ere &er!%ry$ +%l!an$ and Apollo$
inentors of ,ast%rage$ Smithing$ and &%si!. The Dragon #hi!h
kept the golden apples #as the serpent that -eg%iled Ee.
Nimrod/s to#er #as the attempt of the Giants against 2eaen.
There are do%-tless many !%rio%s !oin!iden!es like these$ -%t the
theory !annot #itho%t e0traagan!e -e p%shed so far as to a!!o%nt
for any great proportion of the stories.
F. The 2istori!al theory; a!!ording to #hi!h all the persons
mentioned in mythology #ere on!e real h%man -eings$ and the
legends and fa-%lo%s traditions relating to them are merely the
additions and em-ellishments of later times. Th%s the story of
AEol%s$ the king and god of the #inds$ is s%pposed to hae risen
from the fa!t that AEol%s #as the r%ler of some islands in the
Tyrrhenian Sea$ #here he reigned as a 7%st and pio%s king$ and
ta%ght the naties the %se of sails for ships$ and ho# to tell
from the signs of the atmosphere the !hanges of the #eather and
the #inds. Cadm%s$ #ho$ the legend says$ so#ed the earth #ith
dragon/s teeth$ from #hi!h sprang a !rop of armed men$ #as in
fa!t an emigrant from ,hoeni!ia$ and -ro%ght #ith him into Gree!e
the kno#ledge of the letters of the alpha-et$ #hi!h he ta%ght to
the naties. From these r%diments of learning spr%ng
!iili6ation$ #hi!h the poets hae al#ays -een prone to des!ri-e
as a deterioration of man/s first estate$ the Golden Age of
inno!en!e and simpli!ity.
I. The Allegori!al theory s%pposes that all the myths of the
an!ients #ere allegori!al and sym-oli!al$ and !ontained some
moral$ religio%s$ or philosophi!al tr%th or histori!al fa!t$
%nder the form of an allegory$ -%t !ame in pro!ess of time to -e
%nderstood literally. Th%s Sat%rn$ #ho deo%rs his o#n !hildren$
is the same po#er #hom the Greeks !alled *ronos <Time=$ #hi!h may
tr%ly -e said to destroy #hateer it has -ro%ght into e0isten!e.
The story of Io is interpreted in a similar manner. Io is the
moon$ and Arg%s the starry sky$ #hi!h$ as it #ere$ keeps
sleepless #at!h oer her. The fa-%lo%s #anderings of Io
represent the !ontin%al reol%tions of the moon$ #hi!h also
s%ggested to &ilton the same idea.
8To -ehold the #andering moon
Riding near her highest noon$
(ike one that had -een led astray
In the heaen/s #ide$ pathless #ay.8
Il ,enseroso
N. The Astronomi!al theory s%pposes that the different stories
are !orr%pted ersions of astronomi!al statements$ of #hi!h the
tr%e meaning #as forgotten. This theory is p%shed to its e0treme
-y D%p%is$ in his treatise 8S%r to%s les !%ltes.8
O. The ,hysi!al theory$ a!!ording to #hi!h the elements of air$
fire$ and #ater$ #ere originally the o-7e!ts of religio%s
adoration$ and the prin!ipal deities #ere personifi!ations of the
po#ers of nat%re. The transition #as easy from a personifi!ation
of the elements to the notion of s%pernat%ral -eings presiding
oer and goerning the different o-7e!ts of nat%re. The Greeks$
#hose imagination #as liely$ peopled all nat%re #ith inisi-le
-eings$ and s%pposed that eery o-7e!t$ from the s%n and sea to
the smallest fo%ntain and ri%let$ #as %nder the !are of some
parti!%lar diinity. "ords#orth$ in his E0!%rsion$ has
-ea%tif%lly deeloped this ie# of Gre!ian mythology.
8In that fair !lime the lonely herdsman$ stret!hed
On the soft grass thro%gh half a s%mmer/s day$
"ith m%si! l%lled his indolent repose;
And$ in some fit of #eariness$ if he$
"hen his o#n -reath #as silent$ !han!ed to hear
A distant strain far s#eeter than the so%nds
"hi!h his poor skill !o%ld make$ his fan!y fet!hed
Een from the -la6ing !hariot of the s%n
A -eardless yo%th #ho to%!hed a golden l%te$
And filled the ill%mined groes #ith raishment.
The mighty h%nter$ lifting %p his eyes
To#ard the !res!ent &oon$ #ith gratef%l heart
Called on the loely "anderer #ho -esto#ed
That timely light to share his 7oyo%s sport;
And hen!e a -eaming goddess #ith her nymphs
A!ross the la#n and thro%gh the darksome groe
<Not %na!!ompanied #ith t%nef%l notes
.y e!ho m%ltiplied from ro!k or !ae=
S#ept in the storm of !hase$ as moon and stars
Glan!e rapidly along the !lo%ded heaen
"hen #inds are -lo#ing strong. The traeller slaked
2is thirst from rill or g%shing fo%nt$ and thanked
The Naiad. S%n-eams %pon distant hills
Gliding apa!e #ith shado#s in their train$
&ight #ith small help from fan!y$ -e transformed
Into fleet Oreads sporting isi-ly.
The 4ephyrs$ fanning$ as they passed$ their #ings$
(a!ked not for loe fair o-7e!ts #hom they #ooed
"ith gentle #hisper. "ithered -o%ghs grotes:%e$
Stripped of their leaes and t#igs -y hoary age$
JFrom depth of shaggy !oert peeping forth
In the lo# ale$ or on steep mo%ntain side;
And sometimes intermi0ed #ith stirring horns
Of the lie deer$ or goat/s depending -eard;
These #ere the l%rking Satyrs$ a #ild -rood
Of gamesome deities; or ,an himself$
The simple shepherd/s a#e)inspiring god.8
All the theories #hi!h hae -ene mentioned are tr%e to a !ertain
e0tent. It #o%ld therefore -e more !orre!t to say that the
mythology of a nation has spr%ng from all these so%r!es !om-ined
than from any one in parti!%lar. "e may add also that there are
many myths #hi!h hae risen from the desire of man to a!!o%nt for
those nat%ral phenomena #hi!h he !annot %nderstand; and not a fe#
hae had their rise from a similar desire of giing a reason for
the names of pla!es and persons.
Ade:%ately to represent to the eye the ideas intended to -e
!oneyed to the mind %nder the seeral names of deities$ #as a
task #hi!h !alled into e0er!ise the highest po#ers of geni%s and
art. Of the many attempts FO9R hae -een most !ele-rated$ the
first t#o kno#n to %s only -y the des!riptions of the an!ients$
and -y !opies on gems$ #hi!h are still presered; the other t#o
still e0tant and the a!kno#ledged masterpie!es of the s!%lptor/s
T2E O(1&,IAN '9,ITER
The stat%e of the Olympian '%piter -y ,hidias #as !onsidered the
highest a!hieement of this department of Gre!ian art. It #as of
!olossal dimensions$ and #as #hat the an!ients !alled
8!hryselephantine;8 that is$ !omposed of iory and gold; the
parts representing flesh -eing of iory laid on a !ore of #ood or
stone$ #hile the drapery and other ornaments #ere of gold. The
height of the fig%re #as forty feet$ on a pedestal t#ele feet
high. The god #as represented seated on this throne. 2is -ro#s
#ere !ro#ned #ith a #reath of olie$ and he held in his right
hand a s!eptre$ and in his left a stat%e of +i!tory. The throne
#as of !edar$ adorned #ith gold and pre!io%s stones.
The idea #hi!h the artist essayed to em-ody #as that of the
s%preme deity of the 2elleni! <Gre!ian= nation$ enthroned as a
!on:%eror$ in perfe!t ma7esty and repose$ and r%ling #ith a nod
the s%-7e!t #orld. ,hidias ao#ed that he took his idea from the
representation #hi!h 2omer gies in the first -ook of the Iliad$
in the passage th%s translated -y ,ope@
82e spoke and a#f%l -ends his sa-le -ro#s$
Shakes his am-rosial !%rls and gies the nod$
The stamp of fate and san!tion of the god.
2igh heaen #ith reeren!e the dread signal took$
And all Olymp%s to the !entre shook.8
<Co#per/s ersion is less elegant$ -%t tr%er to the original.
82e !eased$ and %nder his dark -ro#s the nod
+o%!hsafed of !onfirmation. All aro%nd
The soereign/s eerlasting head his !%rls
Am-rosial shook$ and the h%ge mo%ntain reeled.8
It may interest o%r readers to see ho# this passage appears in
another famo%s ersion$ that #hi!h #as iss%ed %nder the name of
Ti!kell$ !ontemporaneo%sly #ith ,ope/s$ and #hi!h$ -eing -y many
attri-%ted to Addison$ led to the :%arrel #hi!h ens%ed -et#een
Addison and ,ope.
8This said$ his kingly -ro# the sire in!lined;
The large -la!k !%rls fell a#f%l from -ehind$
Thi!k shado#ing the stern forehead of the god;
Olymp%s trem-led at the almighty nod.8=
This #as also the #ork of ,hidias. It stood in the ,arthenon$ or
temple of &inera at Athens. The goddess #as represented
standing. In one hand she held a spear$ in the other a stat%e of
+i!tory. 2er helmet$ highly de!orated$ #as s%rmo%nted -y a
Sphin0. The stat%e #as forty feet in height$ and$ like the
'%piter$ !omposed of iory and gold. The eyes #ere of mar-le$
and pro-a-ly painted to represent the iris and p%pil. The
,arthenon in #hi!h this stat%e stood #as also !onstr%!ted %nder
the dire!tion and s%perintenden!e of ,hidias. Its e0terior #as
enri!hed #ith s!%lpt%res$ many of them from the hand of ,hidias.
The Elgin mar-les no# in the .ritish &%se%m are a part of them.
.oth the '%piter and &inera of ,hidias are lost$ -%t there is
good gro%nd to -eliee that #e hae$ in seeral e0tant stat%es
and -%sts$ the artist/s !on!eptions of the !o%ntenan!es of -oth.
They are !hara!teri6ed -y grae and dignified -ea%ty$ and freedom
from any transient e0pression$ #hi!h in the lang%age of art is
!alled RE,OSE.
The +en%s of the &edi!i is so !alled from its haing -een in the
possession of the prin!es of that name in Rome #hen it first
attra!ted attention$ a-o%t t#o h%ndred years ago. An ins!ription
on the -ase re!ords it to -e the #ork of Cleomenes$ an Athenian
s!%lptor of FRR ..C.$ -%t the a%thenti!ity of the ins!ription is
do%-tf%l. There is a story that the artist #as employed -y
p%-li! a%thority to make a stat%e e0hi-iting the perfe!tion of
female -ea%ty$ and to aid him in his task$ the most perfe!t forms
the !ity !o%ld s%pply #ere f%rnished him for models. It is this
#hi!h Thomson all%des to in his S%mmer.
8So stands the stat%e that en!hants the #orld;
So -ending tries to eil the mat!hless -oast$
The mingled -ea%ties of e0%lting Gree!e.8
.yron also all%des to this stat%e. Speaking of the Floren!e
&%se%m$ he says@
8There too the goddess loes in stone$ and fills
The air aro%nd #ith -ea%ty;8
And in the ne0t stan6a$
8.lood$ p%lse$ and -reast !onfirm the Dardan shepherd/s pri6e.8
This last all%sion is e0plained in Chapter 55.
The most highly esteemed of all the remains of an!ient s!%lpt%re
is the stat%e of Apollo$ !alled the .eledere$ from the name of
the apartment of the ,ope/s pala!e at Rome$ in #hi!h it is
pla!ed. The artist is %nkno#n. It is s%pposed to -e a #ork of
Roman art$ of a-o%t the first !ent%ry of o%r era. It is a
standing fig%re$ in mar-le$ more than seen feet high$ naked
e0!ept for the !loak #hi!h is fastened aro%nd the ne!k and hangs
oer the e0tended left arm. It is s%pposed to represent the god
in the moment #hen he has shot the arro# to destroy the monster
,ython <See Chapter II=. The i!torio%s diinity is in the a!t
of stepping for#ard. The left arm #hi!h seems to hae held the
-o# is o%tstret!hed$ and the head is t%rned in the same
dire!tion. In attit%de and proportion the gra!ef%l ma7esty of
the fig%re is %ns%rpassed. The effe!t is !ompleted -y the
!o%ntenan!e$ #here$ on the perfe!tion of yo%thf%l godlike -ea%ty
there d#ells the !ons!io%sness of tri%mphant po#er.
The Diana of the hind$ in the pala!e of the (o%re$ may -e
!onsidered the !o%nterpart to the Apollo .eledere. The attit%de
m%!h resem-les that of the Apollo$ the si6es !orrespond and also
the style of e0e!%tion. It is a #ork of the highest order$
tho%gh -y no means e:%al to the Apollo. The attit%de is that of
h%rried and eager motion$ the fa!e that of a h%ntress in the
e0!itement of the !hase. The left hand is e0tended oer the
forehead of the 2ind #hi!h r%ns -y her side$ the right arm
rea!hes -a!k#ard oer the sho%lder to dra# an arro# from the
Of the +en%s of &elos$ perhaps the most famo%s of o%r stat%es of
mythology$ ery little is kno#n. There are many indeed #ho
-eliee that it is not a stat%e of +en%s at all.
It #as fo%nd in the year DGFR in the Island of &elos -y a
peasant$ #ho sold it to the Fren!h !ons%l at the pla!e. The
stat%e #as standing in the theatre$ #hi!h had -een filled %p #ith
r%--ish in the !o%rse of !ent%ries$ and #hen dis!oered #as
-roken in seeral pla!es$ and some of the pie!es #ere gone.
These missing pie!es$ nota-ly the t#o arms$ hae -een restored in
ario%s #ays -y modern artists. As has -een said a-oe$ there is
a !ontroersy as to #hether the stat%e represents +en%s or some
other goddess. &%!h has -een #ritten on ea!h side$ -%t the
:%estion still remains %nsettled. The general opinion of those
#ho !ontend that it is not +en%s is that it is a stat%e or Nike
or +i!tory.
2omer$ from #hose poems of the Iliad and Odyssey #e hae taken
the !hief part of o%r !hapters of the Tro7an #ar and the ret%rn
of the Gre!ians$ is almost as mythi!al a personage as the heroes
he !ele-rates. The traditionary story is that he #as a #andering
minstrel$ -lind and old$ #ho traelled from pla!e to pla!e
singing his lays to the m%si! of his harp$ in the !o%rts of
prin!es or the !ottages of peasants$ and dependent %pon the
ol%ntary offerings of his hearers for s%pport. .yron !alls him
8The -lind old man of S!io/s ro!ky isle$8 and a #ell)kno#n
epigram$ all%ding to the %n!ertainty of the fa!t of his
-irthpla!e$ says$
8Seen #ealthy to#ns !ontend for 2omer dead$
Thro%gh #hi!h the liing 2omer -egged his -read.8
An older ersion is$
8Seen !ities #arred for 2omer -eing dead$
"ho liing had no roof to shro%d his head.8
These lines are -y Thomas 2ey#ood; the others are as!ri-ed to
Thomas Se#ard.
These seen !ities #ere Smyrna$ S!io$ Rhodes$ Colophon$ Salamis$
Argos$ and Athens.
&odern s!holars hae do%-ted #hether the 2omeri! poems are the
#ork of any single mind. This arises from the diffi!%lty of
-elieing that poems of s%!h length !o%ld hae -een !ommitted to
#riting at so early an age as that %s%ally assigned to these$ an
age earlier than the date of any remaining ins!riptions or !oins$
and #hen no materials$ !apa-le of !ontaining s%!h long
prod%!tions #ere yet introd%!ed into %se. On the other hand it
is asked ho# poems of s%!h length !o%ld hae -een handed do#n
from age to age -y means of the memory alone. This is ans#ered
-y the statement that there #as a professional -ody of men$
!alled Rhapsodists$ #ho re!ited the poems of others$ and #hose
-%siness it #as to !ommit to memory and rehearse for pay the
national and patrioti! legends.
The preailing opinion of the learned$ at this time$ seems to -e
that the frame#ork and m%!h of the str%!t%re of the poems -elong
to 2omer$ -%t that there are n%mero%s interpolations and
additions -y other hands.
The date assigned to 2omer$ on the a%thority of 2erodot%s$ is GOR
..C.$ -%t a range of t#o or three !ent%ries m%st -e gien for the
ario%s !on7e!t%res of !riti!s.
+irgil$ !alled also -y his s%rname$ &aro$ from #hose poem of the
AEneid #e hae taken the story of AEneas$ #as one of the great
poets #ho made the reign of the Roman emperor$ A%g%st%s$ so
!ele-rated$ %nder the name of the A%g%stan age. +irgil #as -orn
in &ant%a in the year MR ..C. 2is great poem is ranked ne0t to
those of 2omer$ in the highest !lass of poeti!al !omposition$ the
Epi!. +irgil is far inferior to 2omer in originality and
inention$ -%t s%perior to him in !orre!tness and elegan!e. To
!riti!s of English lineage &ilton alone of modern poets seems
#orthy to -e !lassed #ith these ill%strio%s an!ients. 2is poem
of ,aradise (ost$ from #hi!h #e hae -orro#ed so many
ill%strations$ is in many respe!ts e:%al$ in some s%perior$ to
either of the great #orks of anti:%ity. The follo#ing epigram of
Dryden !hara!teri6es the three poets #ith as m%!h tr%th as it is
%s%al to find in s%!h pointed !riti!ism@
8Three poets in three different ages -orn.
Gree!e$ Italy$ and England did adorn.
The first in loftiness of so%l s%rpassed$
The ne0t in ma7esty$ in -oth the last.
The for!e of nat%re !o%ld no f%rther go;
To make a third she 7oined the other t#o.8
JFrom Co#per/s Ta-le Talk@
8Ages elapsed ere 2omer/s lamp appeared$
And ages ere the &ant%an s#an #as heard.
To !arry nat%re lengths %nkno#n -efore$
To gie a &ilton -irth$ asked ages more.
Th%s geni%s rose and set at ordered times$
And shot a dayspring into distant !limes$
Enno-ling eery region that he !hose;
2e s%nk in Gree!e$ in Italy he rose$
And$ tedio%s years of Gothi! darkness past$
Emerged all splendor in o%r isle at last.
Th%s loely hal!yons die into the main$
Then sho# far off their shining pl%mes again.8
Often all%ded to in poetry -y his other name of Naso$ #as -orn in
the year NI ..C. 2e #as ed%!ated for p%-li! life and held some
offi!es of !onsidera-le dignity$ -%t poetry #as his delight$ and
he early resoled to deote himself to it. 2e a!!ordingly so%ght
the so!iety of the !ontemporary poets$ and #as a!:%ainted #ith
2ora!e and sa# +irgil$ tho%gh the latter died #hen Oid #as yet
too yo%ng and %ndisting%ished to hae formed his a!:%aintan!e.
Oid spent an easy life at Rome in the en7oyment of a !ompetent
in!ome. 2e #as intimate #ith the family of A%g%st%s$ the
emperor$ and it is s%pposed that some serio%s offen!e gien to
some mem-er of that family #as the !a%se of an eent #hi!h
reersed the poet/s happy !ir!%mstan!es and !lo%ded all the
latter portion of his life. At the age of fifty he #as -anished
from Rome$ and ordered to -etake himself to Tomi$ on the -orders
of the .la!k Sea. 2ere$ among the -ar-aro%s people and in a
seere !limate$ the poet$ #ho had -een a!!%stomed to all the
pleas%res of a l%0%rio%s !apital and the so!iety of his most
disting%ished !ontemporaries$ spent the last ten years of his
life$ #orn o%t #ith grief and an0iety. 2is only !onsolation in
e0ile #as to address his #ife and a-sent friends$ and his letters
#ere all poeti!al. Tho%gh these poems <The Tristia and (etters
from ,ont%s= hae no other topi! than the poet/s sorro#s$ his
e0:%isite taste and fr%itf%l inention hae redeemed them from
the !harge of -eing tedio%s$ and they are read #ith pleas%re and
een #ith sympathy.
The t#o great #orks of Oid are his &etamorphoses and his Fasti.
They are -oth mythologi!al poems$ and from the former #e hae
taken most of o%r stories of Gre!ian and Roman mythology. A late
#riter th%s !hara!teri6es these poems@
8The ri!h mythology of Gree!e f%rnished Oid$ as it may
still f%rnish the poet$ the painter$ and the s!%lptor$ #ith
materials for his art. "ith e0:%isite taste$ simpli!ity$ and
pathos he has narrated the fa-%lo%s traditions of early ages$ and
gien to them that appearan!e of reality #hi!h only a master)hand
!o%ld impart. 2is pi!t%res of nat%re are striking and tr%e; he
sele!ts #ith !are that #hi!h is appropriate; he re7e!ts the
s%perfl%o%s; and #hen he has !ompleted his #ork$ it is neither
defe!tie nor red%ndant. The &etamorphoses are read #ith
pleas%re -y yo%th$ and are re)read in more adan!ed age #ith
still greater delight. The poet ent%red to predi!t that his
poem #o%ld s%rie him$ and -e read #hereer the Roman name #as
The predi!tion a-oe all%ded to is !ontained in the !losing lines
of the &etamorphoses$ of #hi!h #e gie a literal translation
8And no# I !lose my #ork$ #hi!h not the ire
Of 'oe$ nor tooth of time$ nor s#ord$ nor fire
Shall -ring to no%ght. Come #hen it #ill that day
"hi!h o/er the -ody$ not the mind$ has s#ay$
And snat!h the remnant of my life a#ay$
&y -etter part a-oe the stars shall soar$
And my reno#n end%re for eermore.
"here/er the Roman arms and arts shall spread$
There -y the people shall my -ook -e read;
And$ if a%ght tr%e in poet/s isions -e$
&y name and fame hae immortality.8
Chapter 55I5
&odern &onsters@ The ,hoeni0 .asilisk 9ni!orn Salamander
There is a set of imaginary -eings #hi!h seem to hae -een the
s%!!essors of the 8Gorgons$ 2ydras$ and Chimeras dire8 of the old
s%perstitions$ and$ haing no !onne!tion #ith the false gods of
,aganism$ to hae !ontin%ed to en7oy an e0isten!e in the pop%lar
-elief after ,aganism #as s%perseded -y Christianity. They are
mentioned perhaps -y the !lassi!al #riters$ -%t their !hief
pop%larity and !%rren!y seem to hae -een in more modern times.
"e seek o%r a!!o%nts of them not so m%!h in the poetry of the
an!ients$ as in the old nat%ral history -ooks and narrations of
traellers. The a!!o%nts #hi!h #e are a-o%t to gie are taken
!hiefly from the ,enny Cy!lopedia.
Oid tells the story of the ,hoeni0 as follo#s@ 8&ost -eings
spring from other indiid%als; -%t there is a !ertain kind #hi!h
reprod%!es itself. The Assyrians !all it the ,hoeni0. It does
not lie on fr%it or flo#ers$ -%t on frankin!ense and odorifero%s
g%ms. "hen it has lied fie h%ndred years$ it -%ilds itself a
nest in the -ran!hes of an oak$ or on the top of a palm)tree. In
this it !olle!ts !innamon$ and spikenard$ and myrrh$ and of these
materials -%ilds a pile on #hi!h it deposits itself$ and dying$
-reathes o%t its last -reath amidst odors. From the -ody of the
parent -ird a yo%ng ,hoeni0 iss%es forth$ destined to lie as
long a life as its prede!essor. "hen this has gro#n %p and
gained s%ffi!ient strength$ it lifts its nest from the tree <its
o#n !radle and its parent/s sep%l!hre= and !arries it to the !ity
of 2eliopolis in Egypt$ and deposits it in the temple of the
S%!h is the a!!o%nt gien -y a poet. No# let %s see that of a
philosophi! historian. Ta!it%s says$ 8In the !ons%lship of
,a%l%s Fa-i%s <A.D. IN=$ the mira!%lo%s -ird kno#n to the #orld
-y the name of ,hoeni0$ after disappearing for a series of ages$
reisited Egypt. It #as attended in its flight -y a gro%p of
ario%s -irds$ all attra!ted -y the noelty$ and ga6ing #ith
#onder at so -ea%tif%l an appearan!e.8 2e then gies an a!!o%nt
of the -ird$ not arying materially from the pre!eding$ -%t
adding some details. 8The first !are of the yo%ng -ird as soon
as fledged and a-le to tr%st to his #ings is to perform the
o-se:%ies of his father. .%t this d%ty is not %ndertaken rashly.
2e !olle!ts a :%antity of myrrh$ and to try his strength makes
fre:%ent e0!%rsions #ith a load on his -a!k. "hen he has gained
s%ffi!ient !onfiden!e in his o#n igor$ he takes %p the -ody of
his father and flies #ith it to the altar of the S%n$ #here he
leaes it to -e !ons%med in flames of fragran!e.8 Other #riters
add a fe# parti!%lars. The myrrh is !ompa!ted in the form of an
egg$ in #hi!h the dead ,hoeni0 is en!losed. From the mo%ldering
flesh of the dead -ird a #orm springs$ and this #orm$ #hen gro#n
large$ is transformed into a -ird. 2erodot%s DESCRI.ES the -ird$
tho%gh he says$ 8I hae not seen it myself$ e0!ept in a pi!t%re.
,art of his pl%mage is gold)!olored$ and part !rimson; and he is
for the most part ery m%!h like an eagle in o%tline and -%lk.8
The first #riter #ho dis!laimed a -elief in the e0isten!e of the
,hoeni0 #as Sir Thomas .ro#ne$ in his +%lgar Errors$ p%-lished in
DENE. 2e #as replied to a fe# years later -y Ale0ander Ross$ #ho
says$ in ans#er to the o-7e!tion of the ,hoeni0 so seldom making
his appearan!e$ 82is instin!t tea!hes him to keep o%t of the #ay
of the tyrant of the !reation$ &AN$ for if he #ere to -e got at
some #ealthy gl%tton #o%ld s%rely deo%r him$ tho%gh there #ere
no more in the #orld.8
Dryden$ in one of his early poems$ has this all%sion to the
8So #hen the ne#)-orn ,hoeni0 first is seen$
2er feathered s%-7e!ts all adore their :%een$
And #hile she makes her progress thro%gh the East$
JFrom eery groe her n%mero%s train/s in!reased;
Ea!h poet of the air her glory sings$
And ro%nd him the pleased a%dien!e !lap their #ings.8
&ilton$ in ,aradise lost$ .ook +$ !ompares the angel Raphael
des!ending to earth to a ,hoeni0@
8Do#n thither$ prone in flight
2e speeds$ and thro%gh the ast ethereal sky
Sails -et#een #orlds and #orlds$ #ith steady #ing$
No# on the polar #inds$ then #ith :%i!k fan
"inno#s the -%0om air; till #ithin soar
Of to#ering eagles$ to all the fo#ls he seems
A ,hoeni0$ ga6ed -y all; as that sole -ird
"hen$ to enshrine his reli!s in the S%n/s
.right temple$ to Egyptian The-es he flies.8
This animal #as !alled the king of the serpents. In !onfirmation
of his royalty$ he #as said to -e endo#ed #ith a !rest or !om-
%pon the head$ !onstit%ting a !ro#n. 2e #as s%pposed to -e
prod%!ed from the egg of a !o!k hat!hed %nder toads or serpents.
There #ere seeral spe!ies of this animal. One spe!ies -%rned %p
#hateer they approa!hed; a se!ond #ere a kind of #andering
&ed%sa/s heads$ and their look !a%sed an instant horror$ #hi!h
#as immediately follo#ed -y death. In Shakespeare/s play of
Ri!hard the Third$ (ady Anne$ in ans#er to Ri!hard/s !ompliment
on her eyes$ says$ 8"o%ld they #ere -asilisk/s$ to strike thee
The -asilisks #ere !alled kings of serpents -e!a%se all other
serpents and snakes$ -ehaing like good s%-7e!ts$ and #isely not
#ishing to -e -%rned %p or str%!k dead$ fled the moment they
heard the distant hiss of their king$ altho%gh they might -e in
f%ll feed %pon the most deli!io%s prey$ leaing the sole
en7oyment of the -an:%et to the royal monster.
The Roman nat%ralist ,liny th%s des!ri-es him@ 82e does not impel
his -ody like other serpents$ -y a m%ltiplied fle0ion$ -%t
adan!es lofty and %pright. 2e kills the shr%-s$ not only -y
!onta!t -%t -y -reathing on them$ and splits the ro!ks$ s%!h
po#er of eil is there in him. It #as formally -elieed that if
killed -y a spear from on horse-a!k the po#er of the poison
!ond%!ted thro%gh the #eapon killed not only the rider -%t the
horse also. To this (%!an all%des in these lines@
8"hat tho%gh the &oor the -asilisk hath slain$
And pinned him lifeless to the sandy plain$
9p thro%gh the spear the s%-tle enom flies$
The hand im-i-es it$ and the i!tor dies.8
S%!h a prodigy #as not likely to -e passed oer in the legends of
the saints. A!!ordingly #e find it re!orded that a !ertain holy
man going to a fo%ntain in the desert s%ddenly -eheld a -asilisk.
2e immediately raised his eyes to heaen$ and #ith a pio%s appeal
to the Deity$ laid the monster dead at his feet.
These #onderf%l po#ers of the -asilisk are attested -y a host of
learned persons$ s%!h as Galen$ Ai!enna$ S!aliger$ and others.
O!!asionally one #o%ld dem%r to some part of the tale #hile he
admitted the rest. 'onston$ a learned physi!ian$ sagely remarks$
8I #o%ld s!ar!ely -eliee that it kills #ith its look$ for #ho
!o%ld hae seen it and lied to tell the storyB8 The #orthy sage
#as not a#are that those #ho #ent to h%nt the -asilisk of this
sort$ took #ith them a mirror$ #hi!h refle!ted -a!k the deadly
glare %pon its a%thor$ and -y a kind of poeti!al 7%sti!e sle# the
-asilisk #ith his o#n #eapon.
.%t #hat #as to atta!k this terri-le and %napproa!ha-le monsterB
There is an old saying that 8eerything has its enemy$8 and the
!o!katri!e :%ailed -efore the #easel. The -asilisk might look
daggers$ the #easel !ared not$ -%t adan!ed -oldly to the
!onfli!t. "hen -itten$ the #easel retired for a moment to eat
some r%e$ #hi!h #as the only plant the -asilisks !o%ld not
#ither$ ret%rned #ith rene#ed strength and so%ndness to the
!harge$ and neer left the enemy till he #as stret!hed dead on
the plain. The monster$ too$ as if !ons!io%s of the irreg%lar
#ay in #hi!h he !ame into the #orld$ #as s%pposed to hae a great
antipathy to a !o!k; and #ell he might$ for as soon as he heard
the !o!k !ro# he e0pired.
The -asilisk #as of some %se after death. Th%s #e read that its
!ar!ass #as s%spended in the temple of Apollo$ and in priate
ho%ses$ as a soereign remedy against spiders$ and that it #as
also h%ng %p in the temple of Diana$ for #hi!h reason no s#allo#
eer dared enter the sa!red pla!e.
The reader #ill$ #e apprehend$ -y this time hae had eno%gh of
a-s%rdities$ -%t still he may -e interested to kno# that these
details !ome from the #ork of one #ho #as !onsidered in his time
an a-le and al%a-le #riter on Nat%ral 2istory. 9lysses
Aldroand%s #as a !ele-rated nat%ralist of the si0teenth !ent%ry$
and his #ork on nat%ral history$ in thirteen folio ol%mes$
!ontains #ith m%!h that is al%a-le a large proportion of fa-les
and in%tilities. In parti!%lar he is so ample on the s%-7e!t of
the !o!k and the -%ll$ that from his pra!ti!e all ram-ling$
gossiping tales of do%-tf%l !redi-ility are !alled COC* AND .9((
STORIES. Still he is to -e remem-ered #ith respe!t as the
fo%nder of a -otani! garden$ and one of the leaders in the modern
ha-it of making s!ientifi! !olle!tions for resear!h and in:%iry.
Shelley$ in his Ode to Naples$ f%ll of the enth%siasm e0!ited -y
the intelligen!e of the pro!lamation of a Constit%tional
Goernment at Naples$ in DGFR$ th%s %ses an all%sion to the
8"hat tho%gh Cimmerian anar!hs dare -laspheme
Freedom and theeB A ne# A!taeon/s error
Shall theirs hae -een$ deo%red -y their o#n -o%ndsC
.e tho% like the imperial -asilisk$
*illing thy foe #ith %napparent #o%ndsC
Ga6e on oppression$ till at that dread risk$
Aghast she pass from the earth/s disk.
Fear not$ -%t ga6e$ for freemen mightier gro#$
And slaes more fee-le$ ga6ing on their foe.8
,liny$ the Roman nat%ralist$ o%t of #hose a!!o%nt of the %ni!orn
most of the modern %ni!orns hae -een des!ri-ed and fig%red$
re!ords it as 8a ery fero!io%s -east$ similar in the rest of its
-ody to a horse$ #ith the head of a deer$ the feet of an
elephant$ the tail of a -oar$ a deep -ello#ing oi!e$ and a
single -la!k horn$ t#o !%-its in length$ standing o%t in the
middle of its forehead.8 2e adds that 8it !annot -e taken
alie;8 and some s%!h e0!%se may hae -een ne!essary in those
days for not prod%!ing the liing animal %pon the arena of the
The %ni!orn seems to hae -een a sad p%66le to the h%nters$ #ho
hardly kne# ho# to !ome at so al%a-le a pie!e of game. Some
des!ri-ed the horn as moea-le at the #ill of the animal$ a kind
of small s#ord in short$ #ith #hi!h ho h%nter #ho #as not
e0!eedingly !%nning in fen!e !o%ld hae a !han!e. Others
maintained that all the animal/s strength lay in its horn$ and
that #hen hard pressed in p%rs%it$ it #o%ld thro# itself from the
pinna!le of the highest ro!ks horn foremost$ so as to pit!h %pon
it$ and then :%ietly mar!h off not a #hit the #orse for its fall.
.%t it seems they fo%nd o%t ho# to !ir!%ment the poor %ni!orn at
last. They dis!oered that it #as a great loer of p%rity and
inno!en!e$ so they took the field #ith a yo%ng +IRGIN$ #ho #as
pla!ed in the %ns%spe!ting admirer/s #ay. "hen the %ni!orn spied
her$ he approa!hed #ith all reeren!e$ !o%!hed -eside her$ and
laying his head in her lap$ fell asleep. The trea!hero%s irgin
then gae a signal$ and the h%nters made in and !apt%red the
simple -east.
&odern 6oologists$ disg%sted as they #ell may -e #ith s%!h fa-les
as these$ dis-eliee generally the e0isten!e of the %ni!orn. 1et
there are animals -earing on their heads a -ony prot%-eran!e more
or less like a horn$ #hi!h may hae gien rise to the story. The
rhino!eros horn$ as it is !alled$ is s%!h a prot%-eran!e$ tho%gh
it does not e0!eed a fe# in!hes in height$ and is far from
agreeing #ith the des!riptions of the horn of the %ni!orn. The
nearest approa!h to a horn in the middle of the forehead is
e0hi-ited in the -ony prot%-eran!e on the forehead of the
giraffe; -%t this also is short and -l%nt$ and is not the only
horn of the animal$ -%t a third horn standing in front of the t#o
others. In fine$ tho%gh it #o%ld -e pres%mpt%o%s to deny the
e0isten!e of a one)horned :%adr%ped other than the rhino!eros$ it
may -e safely stated that the insertion of a long and solid horn
in the liing forehead of a horse)like or deer)like animal$ is as
near an impossi-ility as any thing !an -e.
The follo#ing is from the (ife of .enen%to Cellini$ an Italian
artist of the si0teenth !ent%ry$ #ritten -y himself$ 8"hen I #as
a-o%t fie years of age$ my father happening to -e in a little
room in #hi!h they had -een #ashing$ and #here there #as a good
fire of oak -%rning$ looked into the flames and sa# a little
animal resem-ling a li6ard$ #hi!h !o%ld lie in the hottest part
of that element. Instantly per!eiing #hat it #as he !alled for
my sister and me$ and after he had sho#n %s the !reat%re$ he gae
me a -o0 on the ear. I fell a !rying$ #hile he$ soothing me #ith
!aresses$ spoke these #ords@ /&y dear !hild$ I do not gie yo%
that -lo# for any fa%lt yo% hae !ommitted$ -%t that yo% may
re!olle!t that the little !reat%re yo% see in the fire is a
salamander; s%!h a one as neer #as -eheld -efore to my
kno#ledge./ So saying he em-ra!ed me$ and gae me some money.8
It seems %nreasona-le to do%-t a story of #hi!h signor Cellini
#as -oth an eye and ear #itness. Add to #hi!h the a%thority of
n%mero%s sage philosophers$ at the head of #hom are Aristotle and
,liny$ affirms this po#er of the salamander. A!!ording to them$
the animal not only resists fire$ -%t e0ting%ishes it$ and #hen
he sees the flame$ !harges it as an enemy #hi!h he #ell kno#s ho#
to an:%ish.
That the skin of an animal #hi!h !o%ld resist the a!tion of fire
sho%ld -e !onsidered proof against that element$ is not to -e
#ondered at. "e a!!ordingly find that a !loth made of the skins
of salamanders <for there really is s%!h an animal$ a kind of
li6ard= #as in!om-%sti-le$ and ery al%a-le for #rapping %p s%!h
arti!les as #ere too pre!io%s to -e intr%sted to any other
enelopes. These fire)proof !loths #ere a!t%ally prod%!ed$ said
to -e made of salamander/s #ool$ tho%gh the kno#ing ones dete!ted
that the s%-stan!e of #hi!h they #ere !omposed #as As-estos$ a
mineral$ #hi!h is in fine filaments !apa-le of -eing #oen into a
fle0i-le !loth.
The fo%ndation of the a-oe fa-les is s%pposed to -e the fa!t
that the salamander really does se!rete from the pores of his
-ody a milky 7%i!e$ #hi!h$ #hen he is irritated$ is prod%!ed in
!onsidera-le :%antity$ and #o%ld do%-tless$ for a fe# moments$
defend the -ody from fire. Then it is a hi-ernating animal$ and
in #inter retires to some hollo# tree or other !aity$ #here it
!oils itself %p and remains in a torpid state till the spring
again !alls it forth. It may therefore sometimes -e !arried #ith
the f%el to the fire$ and #ake %p only time eno%gh to p%t forth
all its fa!%lties for its defen!e. Its is!o%s 7%i!e #o%ld do
good seri!e$ and all #ho profess to hae seen it a!kno#ledge
that it got o%t of the fire as fast as its legs !o%ld !arry it;
indeed too fast for them eer to make pri6e of one$ e0!ept in one
instan!e$ and in that one$ the animal/s feet and some parts of
its -ody #ere -adly -%rned.
Dr. 1o%ng$ in the Night Tho%ghts$ #ith more :%aintness than good
taste$ !ompares the s!epti! #ho !an remain %nmoed in the
!ontemplation of the starry heaens$ to a salamander %n#armed in
the fire@
8An %ndeo%t astronomer is madC
Oh$ #hat a geni%s m%st inform the skiesC
And is (oren6o/s salamander)heart
Cold and %nto%!hed amid these sa!red firesB8
Chapter 555
Eastern &ythology 4oroaster 2ind% &ythology Castes .%ddha
Grand (ama
D%ring the last fifty years ne# attention has -een paid to the
systems of religion of the Eastern #orld$ espe!ially to that of
4oroaster among the ,ersians$ and that #hi!h is !alled .rahmanism
and the rial system kno#n as .%ddhism in the nations farther
east. Espe!ial interest -elongs to these in:%iries for %s$
-e!a%se these religions are religions of the great Aryan ra!e to
#hi!h #e -elong. The people among #hom they #ere introd%!ed all
%sed some diale!t of the family of lang%age to #hi!h o%r o#n
-elongs. Een yo%ng readers #ill take an interest in s%!h -ooks
as Clarke/s Great Religions and 'ohnson/s Oriental Religions$
#hi!h are deoted to !aref%l st%dies of them.
O%r kno#ledge of the religion of the an!ient ,ersians is
prin!ipally deried from the 4endaesta$ or sa!red -ooks of that
people. 4oroaster #as the fo%nder of their religion$ or rather
the reformer of the religion #hi!h pre!eded him. The time #hen he
lied is do%-tf%l$ -%t it is !ertain that his system -e!ame the
dominant religion of "estern Asia from the time of Cyr%s <OOR
..C.= to the !on:%est of ,ersia -y Ale0ander the Great. 9nder
the &a!edonian monar!hy the do!trines of 4oroaster appear to hae
-een !onsidera-ly !orr%pted -y the introd%!tion of foreign
opinions$ -%t they after#ards re!oered their as!endan!y.
4oroaster ta%ght the e0isten!e of a s%preme -eing$ #ho !reated
t#o other mighty -eings$ and imparted to them so m%!h of his o#n
nat%re as seemed good to him. Of these$ Orm%6d <!alled -y the
Greeks Oromasdes= remained faithf%l to his !reator$ and #as
regarded as the so%r!e of all good$ #hile Ahriman <Arimanes=
re-elled$ and -e!ame the a%thor of all eil %pon the earth.
Orm%6d !reated man$ and s%pplied him #ith all the materials of
happiness; -%t Ahriman marred this happiness -y introd%!ing eil
into the #orld$ and !reating saage -easts and poisono%s reptiles
and plants. In !onse:%en!e of this$ eil and good are no#
mingled together in eery part of the #orld$ and the follo#ers of
good and eil the adherents of Orm%6d and Ahriman !arry on
in!essant #ar. .%t this state of things #ill not last foreer.
The time #ill !ome #hen the adherents of Orm%6d shall eery#here
-e i!torio%s$ and Ahriman and his follo#ers -e !onsigned to
darkness foreer.
The religio%s rites of the an!ient ,ersians #ere e0!eedingly
simple. They %sed neither temples$ altars$ nor stat%es$ and
performed their sa!rifi!es on the tops of mo%ntains. They adored
fire$ light$ and the s%n$ as em-lems of Orm%6d$ the so%r!e of all
light and p%rity$ -%t did not regard them as independent deities.
The religio%s rites and !eremonies #ere reg%lated -y the priests$
#ho #ere !alled &agi. The learning of the &agi #as !onne!ted
#ith astrology and en!hantment$ in #hi!h they #ere so !ele-rated
that their name #as applied to all orders of magi!ians and
8As to the age of the -ooks of the 4endaesta$ and the period at
#hi!h 4oroaster lied$ there is the greatest differen!e of
opinion. 2e is mentioned -y ,lato$ #ho speaks of /the magi! <or
religio%s do!trines= of 4oroaster the Orma6dian./ As ,lato
speaks of his religion as something esta-lished in the form of
&agism$ or the system of the &edes in "est Iran$ #hi!h the Aesta
appears to hae originated in .a!tria$ or East Iran$ this already
!arries the age of 4oroaster -a!k to at least the si0th or
seenth !ent%ry -efore Christ.
8,rofessor "hitney of Ne# 2aen pla!es the epo!h of 4oroaster at
/least ..C. DRRR$/ and adds that all attempts to re!onstr%!t
,ersian !hronology or history prior to the reign of the first
Sassanid hae -een relin:%ished as f%tile. Dollinger thinks he
may hae -een /some#hat later than &oses$ perhaps a-o%t ..C.
DIRR$/ -%t says /it is impossi-le to fi0 pre!isely/ #hen he
lied. Ra#linson merely remarks that .eros%s pla!es him anterior
to ..C. FFIN. 2a%g is in!lined to date the Gathas$ the oldest
songs of the Aesta$ as early as the time of &oses. Rapp$ after
a thoro%gh !omparison of an!ient #riters$ !on!l%des that
4oroaster lied ..C. DFRR or DIRR. In this he agrees #ith
D%n!ker$ #ho$ as #e hae seen$ de!ided %pon the same date. It is
not far from the period gien -y the oldest Greek #riter #ho
speaks of 4oroaster$ 5anth%s of Sardis$ a !ontemporary of
Dari%s. It is the period gien -y Cephalion$ a #riter of the
se!ond !ent%ry$ #ho takes it from three independent so%r!es. "e
hae no so%r!es no# open to %s #hi!h ena-le %s to !ome nearer
than this to the time in #hi!h he lied.
8Nor is anything kno#n #ith !ertainty of the pla!e #here he
lied$ or the eents of his life. &ost modern #riters s%ppose
that he resided in .a!tria. 2a%g maintains that the lang%age of
the 4end -ooks is .a!trian. A highly mythologi!al and fa-%lo%s
life of 4oroaster$ translated -y An:%etil d% ,erron$ !alled the
4artrisht)Namah$ des!ri-es him as going to Iran in his thirtieth
year$ spending t#enty years in the desert$ #orking mira!les
d%ring ten years$ and giing lessons of philosophy in .a-ylon$
#ith ,ythagoras as his p%pil. All this is -ased on the theory
<no# proed to -e false= of his liing in the time of Dari%s.
/The lang%age of the Aesta$/ says &a0 &%ller$ /is so m%!h more
primitie than the ins!riptions of Dari%s$ that many !ent%ries
m%st hae passed -et#een the t#o periods represented -y these t#o
strata of lang%age. These ins!riptions are in the A!haemenian
diale!t$ #hi!h is the 4end in a later stage of ling%isti!
'. Freeman Clarke ) Ten Great Religions
"ords#orth th%s all%des to the #orship of the ,ersians@
8 the ,ersian$ 6ealo%s to re7e!t
Altar and Image$ and the in!l%sie #alls
And roofs of temples -%ilt -y h%man hands$
The loftiest heights as!ending from their tops$
"ith myrtle)#reathed Tiara on his -ro#s$
,resented sa!rifi!e to &oon and Stars
And to the "inds and mother Elements$
And the #hole !ir!le of the 2eaens$ for him
A sensitie e0isten!e and a God.8
E0!%rsion$ .ook I+
In Childe 2arold$ .yron speaks th%s of the ,ersian #orship@
8Not gainly did the early ,ersian make
2is altar the high pla!es and the peak
Of earth o/erga6ing mo%ntains$ and th%s take
A fit and %n#alled temple$ there to seek
The Spirit$ in #hose honor shrines are #eak$
9preared of h%man hands. Come and !ompare
Col%mns and idol)d#ellings$ Goth or Greek$
"ith Nat%re/s realms of #orship$ earth and air$
Nor fi0 on fond a-odes to !ir!%ms!ri-e thy prayer.8
The religion of 4oroaster !ontin%ed to flo%rish een after the
introd%!tion of Christianity$ and in the third !ent%ry #as the
dominant faith of the East$ till the rise of the &ahometan po#er
and the !on:%est of ,ersia -y the Ara-s in the seenth !ent%ry$
#ho !ompelled the greater n%m-er of the ,ersians to reno%n!e
their an!ient faith. Those #ho ref%sed to a-andon the religion
of their an!estors fled to the deserts of *erman and to
2ind%stan$ #here they still e0ist %nder the name of ,arsees$ a
name deried from ,ars$ the an!ient name of ,ersia. The Ara-s
!all them G%e-ers$ from an Ara-i! #ord signifying %n-elieers.
At .om-ay the ,arsees are at this day a ery a!tie$ intelligent$
and #ealthy !lass. For p%rity of life$ honesty$ and !on!iliatory
manners$ they are faora-ly disting%ished. They hae n%mero%s
temples to Fire$ #hi!h they adore as the sym-ol of the diinity.
The ,ersian religion makes the s%-7e!t of the finest tale in
&oore/s (alla Rookh$ the Fire "orshippers. The G%e-er !hief
81esC I am of that impio%s ra!e$
Those slaes of Fire$ that moan and een
2ail their !reator/s d#elling pla!e
Among the liing lights of heaen;
1esC I am of that o%t!ast !re#
To lean and to engean!e tr%e$
"ho !%rse the ho%r yo%r Ara-s !ame
To dese!rate o%r shrines of flame$
And s#ear -efore God/s -%rning eye$
To -reak o%r !o%ntry/s !hains or die.8
2IND9 &1T2O(OG1
The religion of the 2ind%s is professedly fo%nded on the +edas.
To these -ooks of their s!ript%re they atta!h the greatest
san!tity$ and state that .rahma himself !omposed them at the
!reation. .%t the present arrangement of the +edas is attri-%ted
to the sage +yasa$ a-o%t fie tho%sand years ago.
The +edas %ndo%-tedly tea!h the -elief of one s%preme God. The
name of this deity is .rahma. 2is attri-%tes are represented -y
the three personified po#ers of CREATION$ ,RESER+ATION$ and
DESTR9CTION$ #hi!h$ %nder the respe!tie names of .rahma$ +ishn%$
and Sia$ form the TRI&9RTI or triad of prin!ipal 2ind% gods. Of
the inferior gods the most important are$ D. Indra$ the god of
heaen$ of th%nder$ lightning$ storm$ and rain; F. Agni$ the god
of fire; I. 1ana$ the god of the infernal regions; N. S%rya$ the
god of the s%n.
.rahma is the !reator of the %nierse$ and the so%r!e from #hi!h
all the indiid%al deities hae spr%ng$ and into #hi!h all #ill
%ltimately -e a-sor-ed. 8As milk !hanges to !%rd$ and #ater to
i!e$ so is .rahma ario%sly transformed and diersified$ #itho%t
aid of e0terior means of any sort. The h%man so%l$ a!!ording to
the +edas$ is a portion of the s%preme r%ler$ as a spark is of
the fire.
8.RA2&A$ at first a #ord meaning prayer and deotion$ -e!omes in
the la#s of &an% the primal God$ first)-orn of the !reation$ from
the self)e0istent -eing$ in the form of a golden egg. 2e -e!ame
the !reator of all things -y the po#er of prayer. In the
str%ggle for as!endan!y$ #hi!h took pla!e -et#een the priests and
the #arriors$ .rahma nat%rally -e!ame the deity of the former.
.%t$ meantime$ as #e hae seen$ the #orship or +ishn% had -een
e0tending itself in one region$ and that of Sia in another.
Then took pla!e those mysterio%s #ars -et#een the kings of the
Solar and (%nar ra!es$ of #hi!h the great epi!s !ontain all that
#e kno#. And at the !lose of these #ars a !ompromise #as
apparently a!!epted$ -y #hi!h .rahma$ +ishn%$ and Sia #ere
%nited in one s%preme God$ as !reator$ preserer$ and destroyer$
all in one.
It is almost !ertain that this 2indoo Triad #as the res%lt of an
ingenio%s and s%!!essf%l attempt$ on the part of the .rahmans$ to
%nite all !lasses of #orshippers in India against the .%ddhists.
In this sense the .rahmans edited ane# the &aha-harata$ inserting
in that epi! passages e0tolling +ishn% in the form of *rishna.
The Greek a!!o%nts of India #hi!h follo#ed the inasion of
Ale0ander speak of the #orship of 2er!%les as prealent in the
East$ and -y 2er!%les they apparently mean the god *rishna. The
str%ggle -et#een the .rahmans and .%ddhists lasted d%ring nine
!ent%ries <from A.D. ORR to A.D. DNRR=$ ending #ith the total
e0p%lsion of .%ddhism and the tri%mphant esta-lishment of the
Triad as the #orship of India.
8.efore this Triad or Trim%rti <of .rahma$ +ishn%$ and Sia=
there seems to hae -een another$ !onsisting of Agni$ Indra$ and
S%rya. This may hae gien the hint of the se!ond Triad$ #hi!h
distri-%ted among the three gods the attri-%tes or Creation$
Destr%!tion$ and Renoation. Of these .rahma$ the !reator$
!eased soon to -e pop%lar$ and the #orship of Sia and +ishn% as
*rishna remain as the pop%lar religion of India. . . ..
8.%t all the efforts of .rahmanism !o%ld not arrest the nat%ral
deelopment of the system. It passed on into polytheism and
idolatry. The #orship of India for many !ent%ries has -een
diided into a m%ltit%de of se!ts. "hile the ma7ority of the
.rahmans still profess to re!ogni6e the e:%al diinity of .rahma$
+ishn%$ and Sia$ the mass of the people #orship *rishna$ Rama$
the Singam$ and many other gods and idols. There are 2indoo
Atheists$ #ho reile the +edas; there are the *a-irs$ #ho are a
sort of 2indoo 3%akers$ and oppose all #orship; the RA&AN9'AS$ an
an!ient se!t of +ishn% #orshippers; the RA&A+ATS$ liing in
monasteries; the ,ANT2IS$ #ho oppose all a%sterities; the
&A2ARA'AS$ #hose religion !onsists #ith great li!entio%sness.
&ost of these are #orshippers of +ishn% or of Sia$ for .rahma)
#orship has #holly disappeared.8 '. Freeman Clarke. TEN GREAT
+ishn% o!!%pies the se!ond pla!e in the triad of the 2ind%s$ and
is the personifi!ation of the presering prin!iple. To prote!t
the #orld in ario%s epo!hs of danger$ +ishn% des!ended to the
earth in different in!arnations$ or -odily forms$ #hi!h des!ents
are !alled Aatars. They are ery n%mero%s$ -%t ten are more
parti!%larly spe!ified. The first Aatar #as as &atsya$ the
Fish$ %nder #hi!h form +ishn% presered &an%$ the an!estor of the
h%man ra!e$ d%ring a %niersal del%ge. The se!ond Aatar #as in
the form of a Tortoise$ #hi!h form he ass%med to s%pport the
earth #hen the gods #ere !h%rning the sea for the -eerage of
immortality$ Amrita.
"e may omit the other Aatars$ #hi!h #ere of the same general
!hara!ter$ that is$ interpositions to prote!t the right or to
p%nish #rong)doers$ and !ome to the ninth$ #hi!h is the most
!ele-rated of the Aatars of +ishn%$ in #hi!h he appeared in the
h%man form of *rishna$ an inin!i-le #arrior$ #ho -y his e0ploits
relieed the earth from the tyrants #ho oppressed it.
.%ddha is -y the follo#ers of the .rahmani!al religion regarded
as a del%sie in!arnation of +ishn%$ ass%med -y him in order to
ind%!e the As%ras$ opponents of the gods$ to a-andon the sa!red
ordinan!es of the +edas$ -y #hi!h means they lost their strength
and s%prema!y.
*alki is the name of the TENT2 Aatar$ in #hi!h +ishn% #ill
appear at the end of the present age of the #orld to destroy all
i!e and #i!kedness$ and to restore mankind to irt%e and p%rity.
Sia is the third person of the 2ind% triad. 2e is the
personifi!ation of the destroying prin!iple. Tho%gh the third
named$ he is$ in respe!t to the n%m-er of his #orshippers and the
e0tension of his #orship$ -efore either of the others. In the
,%ranas <the s!ript%res of the modern 2ind% religion= no all%sion
is made to the original po#er of this god as a destroyer; as that
po#er is not to -e !alled into e0er!ise till after the e0piration
of t#ele millions of years$ or #hen the %nierse #ill !ome to an
end; and &ahadea <another name for Sia= is rather the
representatie of regeneration than of destr%!tion.
The #orshippers of +ishn% and Sia form t#o se!ts$ ea!h of #hi!h
pro!laims the s%periority of its faorite deity$ denying the
!laims of the other$ and .rahma$ the !reator$ haing finished his
#ork$ seems to -e regarded as no longer a!tie$ and has no# only
one temple in India$ #hile &ahadea and +ishn% hae many. The
#orshippers of +ishn% are generally disting%ished -y a greater
tenderness for life and !onse:%ent a-stinen!e from animal food$
and a #orship less !r%el than that of the follo#ers of Sia.
"hether the #orshippers of '%ggerna%t are to -e re!koned among
the follo#ers of +ishn% or Sia$ o%r a%thorities differ. The
temple stands near the shore$ a-o%t three h%ndred miles so%th#est
of Cal!%tta. The idol is a !ared -lo!k of #ood$ #ith a hideo%s
fa!e$ painted -la!k$ and a distended -lood)red mo%th. On
festial days the throne of the image is pla!ed on a to#er si0ty
feet high$ moing on #heels. Si0 long ropes are atta!hed to the
to#er$ -y #hi!h the people dra# it along. The priests and their
attendants stand ro%nd the throne on the to#er$ and o!!asionally
t%rn to the #orshippers #ith songs and gest%res. "hile the to#er
moes along n%m-ers of the deo%t #orshippers thro# themseles on
the gro%nd$ in order to -e !r%shed -y the #heels$ and the
m%ltit%de sho%t in appro-ation of the a!t$ as a pleasing
sa!rifi!e to the idol. Eery year$ parti!%larly at t#o great
festials in &ar!h and '%ly$ pilgrims flo!k in !ro#ds to the
temple. Not less than seenty or eighty tho%sand people are said
to isit the pla!e on these o!!asions$ #hen all !astes eat
The diision of the 2ind%s into !lasses or !astes$ #ith fi0ed
o!!%pations$ e0isted from the earliest times. It is s%pposed -y
some to hae -een fo%nded %pon !on:%est$ the first three !astes
-eing !omposed of a foreign ra!e$ #ho s%-d%ed the naties of the
!o%ntry and red%!ed them to an inferior !aste. Others tra!e it
to the fondness of perpet%ating$ -y des!ent from father to son$
!ertain offi!es or o!!%pations.
The 2ind% tradition gies the follo#ing a!!o%nt of the origin of
the ario%s !astes. At the !reation .rahma resoled to gie the
earth inha-itants #ho sho%ld -e dire!t emanations from his o#n
-ody. A!!ordingly from his mo%th !ame forth the eldest -orn$
.rahma <the priest=$ to #hom he !onfided the fo%r +edas; from his
right arm iss%ed Shatriya <the #arrior=$ and from his left$ the
#arrior/s #ife. 2is thighs prod%!ed +aissyas$ male and female
<agri!%lt%rists and traders=$ and lastly from his feet sprang
S%dras <me!hani!s and la-orers=.
The fo%r sons of .rahma$ so signifi!antly -ro%ght into the #orld$
-e!ame the fathers of the h%man ra!e$ and heads of their
respe!tie !astes. They #ere !ommanded to regard the fo%r +edas
as !ontaining all the r%les of their faith$ and all that #as
ne!essary to g%ide them in their religio%s !eremonies. They #ere
also !ommanded to take rank in the order of their -irth$ the
.rahmans %ppermost$ as haing spr%ng from the head of .rahma.
A strong line of demar!ation is dra#n -et#een the first three
!astes and the S%dras. The former are allo#ed to re!eie
instr%!tion from the +edas$ #hi!h is not permitted to the S%dras.
The .rahmans possess the priilege of tea!hing the +edas$ and
#ere in former times in e0!l%sie possession of all kno#ledge.
Tho%gh the soereign of the !o%ntry #as !hosen from the Shatriya
!lass$ also !alled Ra7p%ts$ the .rahmans possessed the real
po#er$ and #ere the royal !o%nsellors$ the 7%dges and magistrates
of the !o%ntry; their persons and property #ere iniola-le; and
tho%gh they !ommitted the greatest !rimes$ they !o%ld only -e
-anished from the kingdom. They #ere to -e treated -y soereigns
#ith the greatest respe!t$ for 8a .rahman$ #hether learned or
ignorant$ is a po#erf%l diinity.8
"hen the .rahman arries at years of mat%rity it -e!omes his d%ty
to marry. 2e o%ght to -e s%pported -y the !ontri-%tions of the
ri!h$ and not to -e o-liged to gain his s%-sisten!e -y any
la-orio%s or prod%!tie o!!%pation. .%t as all the .rahmans
!o%ld not he maintained -y the #orking !lasses of the !omm%nity$
it #as fo%nd ne!essary to allo# them to engage in prod%!tie
"e need say little of the t#o intermediate !lasses$ #hose rank
and priileges may -e readily inferred from their o!!%pations.
The S%dras or fo%rth !lass are -o%nd to serile attendan!e on the
higher !lasses$ espe!ially the .rahmans$ -%t they may follo#
me!hani!al o!!%pations and pra!ti!al arts$ as painting and
#riting$ or -e!ome traders or h%s-andmen. Conse:%ently they
sometimes gro# ri!h$ and it #ill also sometimes happen that
.rahmans -e!ome poor. That fa!t #orks its %s%al !onse:%en!e$ and
ri!h S%dras sometimes employ poor .rahmans in menial o!!%pations.
There is another !lass lo#er een than the S%dras$ for it is not
one of the original p%re !lasses$ -%t springs from an
%na%thori6ed %nion of indiid%als of different !astes. These are
the ,ariahs$ #ho are employed in the lo#est seri!es and treated
#ith the %tmost seerity. They are !ompelled to do #hat no one
else !an do #itho%t poll%tion. They are not only !onsidered
%n!lean themseles$ -%t they render %n!lean eery thing they
to%!h. They are depried of all !iil rights$ and stigmati6ed -y
parti!%lar la#s$ reg%lating their mode of life$ their ho%ses and
their f%rnit%re. They are not allo#ed to isit the pagodas or
temples of the other !astes$ -%t hae their o#n pagodas and
religio%s e0er!ises. They are not s%ffered to enter the ho%ses
of the other !astes; if it is done in!a%tio%sly or from
ne!essity$ the pla!e m%st -e p%rified -y religio%s !eremonies.
They m%st not appear at p%-li! markets$ and are !onfined to the
%se of parti!%lar #ells$ #hi!h they are o-liged to s%rro%nd #ith
-ones of animals$ to #arn others against %sing them. They d#ell
in misera-le hoels$ distant from !ities and illages$ and are
%nder no restri!tions in regard to food$ #hi!h last is not a
priilege$ -%t a mark of ignominy$ as if they #ere so degraded
that nothing !o%ld poll%te them. The three higher !astes are
prohi-ited entirely the %se of flesh. The fo%rth is allo#ed to
eat all kinds e0!ept -eef$ -%t only the lo#est !aste is allo#ed
eery kind of food #itho%t restri!tions.
.%ddha$ #hom the +edas represent as a del%sie in!arnation of
+ishn%$ is said -y his follo#ers to hae -een a mortal sage$
#hose name #as Ga%tama$ !alled also -y the !omplimentary epithets
of Sakyasinha$ the (ion$ and .%ddha$ the Sage.
.y a !omparison of the ario%s epo!hs assigned to his -irth$ it
is inferred that he lied a-o%t one tho%sand years -efore Christ.
2e #as the son of a king; and #hen in !onformity to the %sage of
the !o%ntry he #as$ a fe# days after his -irth$ presented -efore
the altar of a deity$ the image is said to hae in!lined its
head$ as a presage of the f%t%re greatness of the ne#)-orn
prophet. The !hild soon deeloped fa!%lties of the first order$
and -e!ame e:%ally disting%ished -y the %n!ommon -ea%ty of his
person. No sooner had he gro#n to years of mat%rity than he
-egan to refle!t deeply on the depraity and misery of mankind$
and he !on!eied the idea of retiring from so!iety and deoting
himself to meditation. 2is father in ain opposed this design.
.%ddha es!aped the igilan!e of his g%ards$ and haing fo%nd a
se!%re retreat$ lied for si0 years %ndist%r-ed in his deo%t
!ontemplations. At the e0piration of that period he !ame for#ard
at .enares as a religio%s tea!her. At first some #ho heard him
do%-ted of the so%ndness of his mind; -%t his do!trines soon
gained !redit$ and #ere propagated so rapidly that .%ddha himself
lied to see them spread all oer India.
The yo%ng prin!e disting%ished himself -y his personal and
intelle!t%al :%alities$ -%t still more -y his early piety. It
appears from the la#s of &an% that it #as not %n%s%al$ in the
earliest periods of .rahmanism$ for those seeking a s%perior
piety to t%rn hermits$ and to lie alone in the forest$ engaged
in a!ts of prayer$ meditation$ a-stinen!e$ and the st%dy of the
+edas. This pra!ti!e$ ho#eer$ seems to hae -een !onfined to
the .rahmans. It #as$ therefore$ a grief to the king$ #hen his
son$ in the flo#er of his yo%th and highly a!!omplished in eery
kingly fa!%lty of -ody and mind$ -egan to t%rn his tho%ghts
to#ard the life of an an!horite.
2e first isited the .rahmans$ and listened to their do!trines$
-%t fo%nd no satisfa!tion therein. The #isest among them !o%ld
not tea!h him tr%e pea!e$ that profo%nd in#ard rest$ #hi!h #as
already !alled Nirana. 2e #as t#enty)nine years old. Altho%gh
disapproing of the .rahmani! a%sterities as an end$ he pra!tised
them d%ring si0 years$ in order to s%-d%e the senses. 2e then
-e!ame satisfied that the path to perfe!tion did not lie that
#ay. 2e therefore res%med his former diet and a more !omforta-le
mode of life$ and so lost many dis!iples #ho had -een attra!ted
-y his ama6ing a%sterity. Alone in his hermitage$ he !ame at
last to that solid !oni!tion$ that *NO"(EDGE neer to -e shaken$
of the la#s of things$ #hi!h had seemed to him the only
fo%ndation of a tr%ly free life. The spot #here$ after a #eek of
!onstant meditation$ he at last arried at this -eatifi! ision$
-e!ame one of the most sa!red pla!es in India. 2e #as seated
%nder a tree$ his fa!e to the east$ not haing moed for a day
and night$ #hen he attained the triple s!ien!e$ #hi!h #as to
res!%e mankind from its #oes. T#ele h%ndred years after the
death of the .%ddha$ a Chinese pilgrim #as sho#n #hat then passed
for the sa!red tree.
2aing attained this in#ard !ertainty of ision$ he de!ided to
tea!h the #orld his tr%th. 2e kne# #ell #hat it #o%ld -ring him$
#hat opposition$ ins%lt$ negle!t$ s!orn. .%t he tho%ght of
three !lasses of men@ those #ho #ere already on the #ay to the
tr%th and did not need him; those #ho #ere fi0ed in error and
#hom he !o%ld not help; and the poor do%-ters$ %n!ertain of their
#ay. It #as to help these last$ the do%-ters$ that the .%ddha
#ent forth to prea!h. On his #ay to the holy !ity of India$
.enares$ a serio%s diffi!%lty arrested him at the Ganges$ namely$
his haing no money to pay the -oatman for his passage. At
.enares he made his first !onerts$ 8t%rning the #heel of the
la#8 for the first time. 2is dis!o%rses are !ontained in the
sa!red -ooks of the .%ddhists. 2e !onerted great n%m-ers$ his
father among the rest$ -%t met #ith fier!e opposition from the
2ind% S!ri-es and ,harisees$ the leading .rahmans. So he lied
and ta%ght$ and died at the age of eighty years.
The .%ddhists re7e!t entirely the a%thority of the +edas$ and the
religio%s o-seran!es pres!ri-ed in them and kept -y the 2ind%s.
They also re7e!t the distin!tion of !astes$ and prohi-it all
-loody sa!rifi!es$ and allo# animal food. Their priests are
!hosen from all !lasses; they are e0pe!ted to pro!%re their
maintenan!e -y peram-%lation and -egging$ and$ among other
things$ it is their d%ty to endeaor to t%rn to some %se things
thro#n aside as %seless -y others$ and to dis!oer the medi!inal
po#er of plants. .%t in Ceylon three orders of priests are
re!ogni6ed; those of the highest order are %s%ally men of high
-irth and learning$ and are s%pported at the prin!ipal temples$
most of #hi!h hae -een ri!hly endo#ed -y the former monar!hs of
the !o%ntry.
For seeral !ent%ries after the appearan!e of .%ddha$ his se!t
seems to hae -een tolerated -y the .rahmans$ and .%ddhism
appears to hae penetrated the penins%la of 2ind%stan in eery
dire!tion$ and to hae -een !arried to Ceylon$ and to the eastern
penins%la. .%t after#ards it had to end%re in India a long
!ontin%ed perse!%tion$ #hi!h %ltimately had the effe!t of
entirely a-olishing it in the !o%ntry #here it had originated$
-%t to s!atter it #idely oer ad7a!ent !o%ntries. .%ddhism
appears to hae -een introd%!ed into China a-o%t the year EO of
o%r era. From China it #as s%-se:%ently e0tended to Corea$
'apan$ and 'aa.
The !harming poem !alled the (ight of Asia$ -y &r. Ed#in Arnold$
has lately !alled general attention to .%ddhism. The follo#ing
is an e0tra!t from it@
8Fondly Siddatha dre# the pro%d head do#n
,atted the shining ne!k$ and said /.e still$
"hite *antakaC .e still$ and -ear me no#
The farthest 7o%rney eer rider rode;
For this night take I horse to find the tr%th$
And #here my :%est #ill end yet kno# I not.
Sae that it shall not end %ntil I find.
Therefore to)night$ good steed$ -e fier!e and -oldC
(et nothing stay thee$ tho%gh a tho%sand -lades
Deny the roadC (et neither #all nor moat
For-id o%r flightC (ookC If I to%!h thy flank
And !ry$ 8On$ *antakaC8 let #hirl#inds lag
.ehind thy !o%rseC .e fire and air$ my horseC
To stead thy lord$ so shalt tho% share #ith him
The greatness of this deed #hi!h helps the #orld;
For therefore ride I$ not for men alone$
.%t for all things #hi!h$ spee!hless$ share o%r pain$
And hae no hope$ nor #it to ask for hope.
No#$ therefore$ hear thy master aloro%slyC/8
It is a do!trine alike of the .rahmini!al 2ind%s and of the
.%ddhist se!t that the !onfinement of the h%man so%l$ an
emanation of the diine spirit$ in a h%man -ody$ is a state of
misery$ and the !onse:%en!e of frailties and sins !ommitted
d%ring former e0isten!es. .%t they hold that some fe#
indiid%als hae appeared on this earth from time to time$ not
%nder the ne!essity of terrestrial e0isten!e$ -%t #ho ol%ntarily
des!end to the earth to promote the #elfare of mankind. These
indiid%als hae grad%ally ass%med the !hara!ter of reappearan!es
of .%ddha himself$ in #hi!h !apa!ity the line is !ontin%ed till
the present day in the seeral (amas of Thi-et$ China$ and other
!o%ntries #here .%ddhism preails. In !onse:%en!e of the
i!tories of Gengis *han and his s%!!essors$ the (ama residing in
Thi-et #as raised to the dignity of !hief pontiff of the se!t. A
separate proin!e #as assigned to him as his o#n territory$ and
-esides his spirit%al dignity$ he -e!ame to a limited e0tent a
temporal monar!h. 2e is styled the Dalai (ama.
The first Christian missionaries #ho pro!eeded to Thi-et #ere
s%rprised to find there in the heart of Asia a pontifi!al !o%rt
and seeral other e!!lesiasti!al instit%tions resem-ling those of
the Roman Catholi! !h%r!h. They fo%nd !onents for priests and
n%ns; also$ pro!essions and forms of religio%s #orship$ attended
#ith m%!h pomp and splendor; and many #ere ind%!ed -y these
similarities to !onsider (amaism as a sort of degenerated
Christianity. It is not impro-a-le that the (amas deried some
of these pra!ti!es from the Nestorial Christians$ #ho #ere
settled in Tartary #hen .%ddhism #as introd%!ed into Thi-et.
An early a!!o%nt$ !omm%ni!ated pro-a-ly -y traelling mer!hants$
of a (ama or spirit%al !hief among the Tartars$ seems to hae
o!!asioned in E%rope the report of a ,res-yter or ,rester 'ohn$ a
Christian pontiff$ resident in 9pper Asia. The ,ope sent a
mission in sear!h of him$ as did also (o%is I5 of Fran!e$ some
years later$ -%t -oth missions #ere %ns%!!essf%l$ tho%gh the
small !omm%nities of Nestorial Christians$ #hi!h they did find$
sered to keep %p the -elief in E%rope that s%!h a personage did
e0ist some#here in the East. At last in the fifteenth !ent%ry$ a
,ort%g%ese traeller$ ,edro Coilham$ happening to hear that
there #as a Christian prin!e in the !o%ntry of the A-essines
<A-yssinia=$ not far from the Red Sea$ !on!l%ded that this m%st
-e the tr%e ,rester 'ohn. 2e a!!ordingly #ent thither$ and
penetrated to the !o%rt of the king$ #hom he !alls Neg%s. &ilton
all%des to him in ,aradise (ost$ .ook 5I$ #here$ des!ri-ing
Adam/s ision of his des!endants in their ario%s nations and
!ities$ s!attered oer the fa!e of the earth$ he says$
8))))) Nor did his eyes not ken
The empire of Neg%s$ to his %tmost port
Er!o!o$ and the less maritime kings$
&om-a6a and 3%iloa and &elind.8
Chapter 555I
Northern &ythology +alhalla The +alkyrior
The stories #hi!h hae engaged o%r attention th%s far relate to
the mythology of so%thern regions. .%t there is another -ran!h
of an!ient s%perstitions #hi!h o%ght not to -e entirely
oerlooked$ espe!ially as it -elongs to the nations from #hi!h
#e$ thro%gh o%r English an!estors$ derie o%r origin. It is that
of the northern nations !alled S!andinaians$ #ho inha-ited the
!o%ntries no# kno#n as S#eden$ Denmark$ Nor#ay$ and I!eland.
These mythologi!al re!ords are !ontained in t#o !olle!tions
!alled the Eddas$ of #hi!h the oldest is in poetry and dates -a!k
to the year DROE$ the more modern$ or prose Edda$ -eing of the
date of DENR.
A!!ording to the Eddas there #as on!e no heaen a-oe nor earth
-eneath$ -%t only a -ottomless deep$ and a #orld of mist in #hi!h
flo#ed a fo%ntain. T#ele riers iss%ed from this fo%ntain$ and
#hen they had flo#ed far from their so%r!e$ they fro6e into i!e$
and one layer a!!%m%lating a-oe another$ the great deep #as
filled %p.
So%th#ard from the #orld of mist #as the #orld of light. From
this flo#ed a #arm #ind %pon the i!e and melted it. The apors
rose in the air and formed !lo%ds$ from #hi!h sprang 1mir$ the
Frost giant and his progeny$ and the !o# A%dh%m-la$ #hose milk
afforded no%rishment and food to the giant. The !o# got
no%rishment -y li!king the hoar frost and salt from the i!e.
"hile she #as one day li!king the salt stones there appeared at
first the hair of a man$ on the se!ond day the #hole head$ and on
the third the entire form endo#ed #ith -ea%ty$ agility$ and
po#er. This ne# -eing #as a god$ from #hom and his #ife$ a
da%ghter of the giant ra!e$ sprang the three -rothers Odin$ +ili$
and +e. They sle# the giant 1mir$ and o%t of his -ody formed the
earth$ of his -lood the seas$ of his -ones the mo%ntains$ of his
hair the trees$ of his sk%ll the heaens$ and of his -rain
!lo%ds$ !harged #ith hail and sno#. Of 1mir/s eye-ro#s the gods
formed &idgard <mid earth=$ destined to -e!ome the a-ode of man.
Odin then reg%lated the periods of day and night and the seasons
-y pla!ing in the heaens the s%n and moon$ and appointing to
them their respe!tie !o%rses. As soon as the s%n -egan to shed
its rays %pon the earth$ it !a%sed the egeta-le #orld to -%d and
spro%t. Shortly after the gods had !reated the #orld they #alked
-y the side of the sea$ pleased #ith their ne# #ork$ -%t fo%nd
that it #as still in!omplete$ for it #as #itho%t h%man -eings.
They therefore took an ash)tree and made a man o%t of it$ and
they made a #oman o%t of an alder$ and !alled the man Aske and
the #oman Em-la. Odin then gae them life and so%l$ +ili reason
and motion$ and +e -esto#ed %pon them the senses$ e0pressie
feat%res$ and spee!h. &idgard #as then gien them as their
residen!e$ and they -e!ame the progenitors of the h%man ra!e.
The mighty ash)tree 1gdrasil #as s%pposed to s%pport the #hole
%nierse. It sprang from the -ody of 1mir$ and had three immense
roots$ e0tending one into Asgard <the d#elling of the gods=$ the
other into 'ot%nheim <the a-ode of the giants=$ and the third to
Niffleheim <the regions of darkness and !old=. .y the side of
ea!h of these roots is a spring$ from #hi!h it is #atered. The
root that e0tends into Asgard is !aref%lly tended -y the three
Norns$ goddesses #ho are regarded as the dispensers of fate.
They are 9rd%r <the past=$ +erdandi <the present=$ Sk%ld <the
f%t%re=. The spring at the 'ot%nheim side is 1mir/s #ell$ in
#hi!h #isdom and #it lie hidden$ -%t that of Niffleheim feeds the
adder$ Nidhogge <darkness=$ #hi!h perpet%ally gna#s at the root.
Fo%r harts r%n a!ross the -ran!hes of the tree and -ite the -%ds;
they represent the fo%r #inds. 9nder the tree lies 1mir$ and
#hen he tries to shake off its #eight the earth :%akes.
Asgard is the name of the a-ode of the gods$ a!!ess to #hi!h is
only gained -y !rossing the -ridge$ .ifrost <the rain-o#=.
Asgard !onsists of golden and siler pala!es$ the d#ellings of
the gods$ -%t the most -ea%tif%l of these is +alhalla$ the
residen!e of Odin. "hen seated on his throne he oerlooks all
heaen and earth. 9pon his sho%lders are the raens 2%gin and
&%nin$ #ho fly eery day oer the #hole #orld$ and on their
ret%rn report to him all they hae seen and heard. At his feet
lie his t#o #oles$ Geri$ and Freki$ to #hom Odin gies all the
meat that is set -efore him$ for he himself stands in no need of
food. &ead is for him -oth food and drink. 2e inented the
R%ni! !hara!ters$ and it is the -%siness of the Norns to engrae
the r%nes of fate %pon a metal shield. From Odin/s name$ spelt
"odin$ as it sometimes is$ !ame "ednesday$ the name of the fo%rth
day of the #eek.
Odin is fre:%ently !alled Alfad%r <All)father=$ -%t this name is
sometimes %sed in a #ay that sho#s that the S!andinaians had an
idea of a deity s%perior to Odin$ %n!reated and eternal.
OF T2E 'O1S OF +A(2A((A
+alhalla is the great hall of Odin$ #herein he feasts #ith his
!hosen heroes$ all those #ho hae fallen -raely in -attle$ for
all #ho die a pea!ef%l death are e0!l%ded. The flesh of the -oar
S!hrimnir is sered %p to them$ and is a-%ndant for all. For
altho%gh this -oar is !ooked eery morning$ he -e!omes #hole
again eery night. For drink the heroes are s%pplied a-%ndantly
#ith mead from the she)goat 2eidr%n. "hen the heroes are not
feasting they am%se themseles #ith fighting. Eery day they
ride o%t into the !o%rt or field and fight %ntil they !%t ea!h
other in pie!es. This is their pastime; -%t #hen meal)time
!omes$ they re!oer from their #o%nds and ret%rn to feast in
The +alkyrior are #arlike irgins$ mo%nted %pon horses and armed
#ith helmets$ shields$ and spears. Odin$ #ho is desiro%s to
!olle!t a great many heroes in +alhalla$ to -e a-le to meet the
giants in a day #hen the final !ontest m%st !ome$ sends do#n to
eery -attle)field to make !hoi!e of those #ho shall -e slain.
The +alkyrior are his messengers$ and their name means 8Choosers
of the slain.8 "hen they ride forth on their errand their armor
shed a strange fli!kering light$ #hi!h flashes %p oer the
northern skies$ making #hat men !all the 8A%rora .orealis$8 or
8Northern (ights.8 <Gray/s ode$ The Fatal Sisters$ is fo%nded on
this s%perstition.=
The follo#ing is -y &atthe# Arnold@
8)))))2e !re# at da#n a !heerf%l note$
To #ake the gods and heroes to their tasks
And all the gods and all the heroes #oke.
And from their -eds the heroes rose and donned
Their arms$ and led their horses from the stall$
And mo%nted them$ and in +alhalla/s !o%rt
"ere ranged; and then the daily fray -egan$
And all day long they there are ha!ked and he#n
/&id d%st and groans$ and lim-s lopped off$ and -lood;
.%t all at night ret%rn to Odin/s hall
"o%ndless and fresh; s%!h lot is theirs in heaen.
And the +alkyries on their steeds #ent forth
To#ard earth and fights of men; and at their side
Sk%lda$ the yo%ngest of the Nornies$ rode;
And oer .ifrost$ #here is 2eimdall/s #at!h$
,ast &idgard Fortress$ do#n to Earth they !ame;
There thro%gh some -attle)field$ #here men fall fast$
Their horses fetlo!k)deep in -lood$ they ride$
And pi!k the -raest #arriors o%t for death$
"hom they -ring -a!k #ith them at night to heaen$
To glad the gods$ and feast in Odin/s hall.8
This des!ription of The F%neral of .alder is -y "illiam &orris@
Ga6ed thro%gh the !ool d%sk$ till his eyes did rest
9pon the no-le stories$ painted fair
On the high panelling and roof)-oards there;
For oer the high sea$ in his ship$ there lay
The gold)haired .alder$ god of the dead day$
The spring)flo#ers ro%nd his high pile$ #aiting there
9ntil the gods there to the tor!h sho%ld -ear;
And they #ere #ro%ght on this side and on that$
Dra#ing on to#ards him. There #as Frey$ and sat
On the gold)-ristled -oar$ #ho first they say
,lo%ghed the -ro#n earth$ and made it green for Frey;
Then !ame dark)-earded Niod; and after him
Freyia$ thin)ro-ed$ a-o%t her ankles slim
The grey !ats playing. In another pla!e
Thor/s hammer gleamed o/er Thor/s red)-earded fa!e;
And 2eimdal$ #ith the old horn sl%ng -ehind$
That in the god/s d%sk he shall s%rely #ind$
Si!kening all hearts #ith fear; and last of all$
"as Odin/s sorro# #ro%ght %pon the #all.
As slo#)pa!ed$ #eary fa!ed$ he #ent along$
An0io%s #ith all the tales of #oe and #rong
2is raens$ Tho%ght and &emory$ -ring to him.8
Thor$ the th%nderer$ Odin/s eldest son$ is the strongest of gods
and men$ and possesses three ery pre!io%s things. The first is
his hammer$ &iolnir$ #hi!h -oth the Frost and the &o%ntain giants
kno# to their !ost$ #hen they see it h%rled against them in the
air$ for it has split many a sk%ll of their fathers and kindred.
"hen thro#n$ it ret%rns to his hand of its o#n a!!ord. The
se!ond rare thing he possesses is !alled the -elt of strength.
"hen he girds it a-o%t him his diine might is do%-led. The
third$ also ery pre!io%s$ is his iron gloes$ #hi!h he p%ts on
#heneer he #o%ld %se his mallet effi!iently. From Thor/s name
is deried o%r #ord Th%rsday.
This des!ription of Thor is -y (ongfello#@
8I am the God Thor$
I am the "ar God$
I am the Th%ndererC
2ere in my Northland$
&y fastness and fortress$
Reign I foreerC
82ere amid i!e-ergs
R%le I the nations;
This is my hammer$
&iolner the mighty;
Giants and sor!erers
Cannot #ithstand itC
8These are the ga%ntlets
"here#ith I #ield it$
And h%rl it afar off;
This is my girdle;
"heneer I -ra!e it
Strength is redo%-ledC
8The light tho% -eholdest
Stream thro%gh the heaens$
In flashes of !rimson$
Is -%t my red -eard
.lo#n -y the night #ind$
Affrighting the nationsC
8'oe is my -rother;
&ine eyes are the lightning;
The #heels of my !hariot
Roll in the th%nder$
The -lo#s of my hammer
ring in the th%nder.8
Frey is one of the most !ele-rated of the gods. 2e presides oer
rain and s%nshine and all the fr%its of the earth. 2is sister
Freya is the most propitio%s of the goddesses. She loes m%si!$
spring$ and flo#ers$ and is parti!%larly fond of the Eles
<fairies=. She is ery fond of loe)ditties$ and all loers
#o%ld do #ell to inoke her.
.ragi is the god of poetry$ and his song re!ords the deeds of
#arriors. 2is #ife$ Id%na$ keeps in a -o0 the apples #hi!h the
gods$ #hen they feel old age approa!hing$ hae only to taste of
to -e!ome yo%ng again.
2eimdall is the #at!hman of the gods$ and is therefore pla!ed on
the -orders of heaen to preent the giants from for!ing their
#ay oer the -ridge .ifrost <the rain-o#.= 2e re:%ires less
sleep than a -ird$ and sees -y night as #ell as -y day a h%ndred
miles all aro%nd him. So a!%te is his ear that no so%nd es!apes
him$ for he !an een hear the grass gro# and the #ool on a
sheep/s -a!k.
There is another deity #ho is des!ri-ed as the !al%mniator of the
gods and the !ontrier of all fra%d and mis!hief. 2is name is
(oki. 2e is handsome and #ell made$ -%t of a ery fi!kle mood
and most eil disposition. 2e is of the giant ra!e$ -%t for!ed
himself into the !ompany of the gods$ and seems to take pleas%re
in -ringing them into diffi!%lties$ and in e0tri!ating them o%t
of the danger -y his !%nning$ #it$ and skill. (oki has three
!hildren. The first is the #olf Fenris$ the se!ond the &idgard
serpent$ the third 2ela <Death=. The gods #ere not ignorant that
these monsters #ere gro#ing %p$ and that they #o%ld one day -ring
m%!h eil %pon gods and men. So Odin deemed it adisa-le to send
one to -ring them to him. "hen they !ame he thre# the serpent
into that deep o!ean -y #hi!h the earth is s%rro%nded. .%t the
monster has gro#n to s%!h an enormo%s si6e that holding his tail
in his mo%th he en!ir!les the #hole earth. 2ela he !ast into
Niffleheim$ and gae her po#er oer nine #orlds or regions$ into
#hi!h she distri-%tes those #ho are sent to her; that is$ all #ho
die of si!kness or old age. 2er hall is !alled Elidnia. 2%nger
is her ta-le$ Staration her knife$ Delay her man$ Slo#ness her
maid$ ,re!ipi!e her threshold$ Care her -ed$ and .%rning)ang%ish
forms the hangings of her apartments. She may easily -e
re!ogni6ed for her -ody is half flesh)!olor and half -l%e$ and
she has a dreadf%lly stern and for-idding !o%ntenan!e.
The #olf Fenris gae the gods a great deal of tro%-le -efore they
s%!!eeded in !haining him. 2e -roke the strongest fetters as if
they #ere made of !o-#e-s. Finally the gods sent a messenger to
the mo%ntain spirits$ #ho made for them the !hain !alled
Gleipnir. It is fashioned of si0 things$ i6.$ th noise made -y
the footfall of a !at$ the -eards of #omen$ the roots of stones$
the -reath of fishes$ the neres <sensi-ilities= of -ears$ and
the spittle of -irds. "hen finished it #as as smooth and soft as
a silken string. .%t #hen the gods asked the #olf to s%ffer
himself to -e -o%nd #ith this apparently slight ri--on$ he
s%spe!ted their design$ fearing that it #as made -y en!hantment.
.%t Tyr <the s#ord god=$ to :%iet his s%spi!ions$ pla!ed his hand
in Fenris/ mo%th. Then the other gods -o%nd the #olf #ith
Gleipnir. .%t #hen the #olf fo%nd that he !o%ld not -reak his
fetters$ and that the gods #o%ld not release him$ he -it off
Tyr/s hand$ and he has eer sin!e remained one)handed.
On!e on a time$ #hen the gods #ere !onstr%!ting their a-odes and
had already finished &idgard and +alhalla$ a !ertain artifi!er
!ame and offered to -%ild them a residen!e so #ell fortified that
they sho%ld -e perfe!tly safe from the in!%rsions of the Frost
giants and the giants of the mo%ntains. .%t he demanded for his
re#ard the goddess Freya$ together #ith the s%n and moon. The
gods yielded to his terms proided he #o%ld finish the #hole #ork
himself #itho%t any one/s assistan!e$ and all #ithin the spa!e of
one #inter. .%t if anything remained %nfinished on the first day
of s%mmer he sho%ld forfeit the re!ompense agreed on. On -eing
told these terms the artifi!er stip%lated that he sho%ld -e
allo#ed the %se of his horse Sadilfari$ and this -y the adi!e
of (oki #as granted to him. 2e a!!ordingly set to #ork on the
first day of #inter$ and d%ring the night let his horse dra#
stone for the -%ilding. The enormo%s si6e of the stones str%!k
the gods #ith astonishment$ and they sa# !learly that the horse
did one half more of the toilsome #ork than his mater. Their
-argain$ ho#eer$ had -een !on!l%ded$ and !onfirmed -y solemn
oaths$ for #itho%t these pre!a%tions a giant #o%ld not hae
tho%ght himself safe among the gods$ espe!ially #hen Thor sho%ld
ret%rn from an e0pedition he had then %ndertaken against the eil
As the #inter dre# to a !lose$ the -%ilding #as far adan!ed$ and
the -%l#arks #ere s%ffi!iently high and massie to render the
pla!e impregna-le. In short$ #hen it #anted -%t three days to
s%mmer the only part that remained to -e finished #as the
gate#ay. Then sat the gods on their seats of 7%sti!e and entered
into !ons%ltation$ in:%iring of one another #ho among them !o%ld
hae adised to gie Freya a#ay$ or to pl%nge the heaens in
darkness -y permitting the giant to !arry a#ay the s%n and the
They all agreed that no one -%t (oki$ the a%thor of so many eil
deeds$ !o%ld hae gien s%!h -ad !o%nsel$ and that he sho%ld -e
p%t to a !r%el death if he did not !ontrie some #ay to preent
the artifi!er from !ompleting his task and o-taining the
stip%lated re!ompense. They pro!eeded to lay hands on (oki$ #ho
in his fright promised %pon oath that$ let it !ost #hat it #o%ld$
he #o%ld so manage matters that the man sho%ld lose his re#ard.
That ery night #hen the man #ent #ith Sadilfari for -%ilding)
stone$ a mare s%ddenly ran o%t of a forest and -egan to neigh.
The horse thereat -roke loose and ran after the mare into the
forest$ #hi!h o-liged the man also to r%n after his horse$ and
th%s -et#een one and another the #hole night #as lost$ so that at
da#n the #ork had not made the %s%al progress. The man$ seeing
that he m%st fail of !ompleting his task$ res%med his o#n
giganti! stat%re$ and the gods no# !learly per!eied that it #as
in reality a mo%ntain giant #ho had !ome amongst them. Feeling
no longer -o%nd -y their oaths$ they !alled on Thor$ #ho
immediately ran to their assistan!e$ and lifting %p his mallet$
paid the #orkman his #ages$ not #ith the s%n and moon$ and not
een -y sending him -a!k to 'ot%nheim$ for #ith the first -lo# he
shattered the giant/s sk%ll to pie!es and h%rled him headlong
into Niffleheim.
On!e %pon a time it happened that Thor/s hammer fell into the
possession of the giant Thrym$ #ho -%ried it eight fathoms deep
%nder the ro!ks of 'ot%nheim. Thor sent (oki to negotiate #ith
Thrym$ -%t he !o%ld only preail so far as to get the giant/s
promise to restore the #eapon if Freya #o%ld !onsent to -e his
-ride. (oki ret%rned and reported the res%lt of his mission$ -%t
the goddess of loe #as :%ite horrified at the idea of -esto#ing
her !harms on the king of the Frost giants. In this emergen!y
(oki pers%aded Thor to dress himself in Freya/s !lothes and
a!!ompany him to 'ot%nheim. Thrym re!eied his eiled -ride #ith
d%e !o%rtesy$ -%t #as greatly s%rprised at seeing her eat for her
s%pper eight salmon and a f%ll)gro#n o0$ -esides other
deli!a!ies$ #ashing the #hole do#n #ith three t%ns of mead.
(oki$ ho#eer$ ass%red him that she had not tasted anything for
eight long nights$ so great #as her desire to see her loer$ the
reno#ned r%ler or 'ot%nheim. Thrym had at length the !%riosity
to peep %nder his -ride/s eil$ -%t started -a!k in affright$ and
demanded #hy Freya/s eye-alls glistened #ith fire. (oki repeated
the same e0!%se and the giant #as satisfied. 2e ordered the
hammer to -e -ro%ght in and laid on the maiden/s lap. There%pon
Thor thre# off his disg%ise$ grasped his redo%-ted #eapon and
sla%ghtered Thr%m and all his follo#ers.
Frey also possessed a #onderf%l #eapon$ a s#ord #hi!h #o%ld of
itself spread a field #ith !arnage #heneer the o#ner desired it.
Frey parted #ith this s#ord$ -%t #as less fort%nate than Thor and
neer re!oered it. It happened in this #ay@ Frey on!e mo%nted
Odin/s throne$ from #hen!e one !an see oer the #hole %nierse$
and looking ro%nd sa# far off in the giant/s kingdom a -ea%tif%l
maid$ at the sight of #hom he #as str%!k #ith s%dden sadness$
insom%!h that from that moment he !o%ld neither sleep$ nor drink$
nor speak. At last Skirnir$ his messenger$ dre# his se!ret from
him$ and %ndertook to get him the maiden for his -ride$ if he
#o%ld gie him his s#ord as a re#ard. Frey !onsented and gae
him the s#ord$ and Skirnir set off on his 7o%rney and o-tained
the maiden/s promise that #ithin nine nights she #o%ld !ome to a
!ertain pla!e and there #ed Frey. Skirnir haing reported the
s%!!ess of his errand$ Frey e0!laimed$
8(ong is one night$
(ong are t#o nights$
.%t ho# shall I hold o%t threeB
Shorter hath seemed
A month to me oft
Than of this longing time the half.8
So Frey o-tained Gerda$ the most -ea%tif%l of all #omen$ for his
#ife$ -%t he lost his s#ord.
This story$ entitled Skirnir For$ and the one immediately
pre!eding it$ Thrym/s 3%ida$ #ill -e fo%nd poeti!ally told in
(ongfello#/s ,oets and ,oetry of E%rope.
Chapter 555II
Thor/s +isit to 'ot%nheim
One day the god Thor$ a!!ompanied -y his serant Thialfi$ and
also -y (oki$ set o%t on a 7o%rney to the giant/s !o%ntry.
Thialfi #as of all men the s#iftest of foot. 2e -ore Thor/s
#allet$ !ontaining their proisions. "hen night !ame on they
fo%nd themseles in an immense forest$ and sear!hed on all sides
for a pla!e #here they might pass the night$ and at last !ame to
a ery large hall$ #ith an entran!e that took the #hole -readth
of one end of the -%ilding. 2ere they lay do#n to sleep$ -%t
to#ards midnight #ere alarmed -y an earth:%ake #hi!h shook the
#hole edifi!e. Thor rising %p !alled on his !ompanion to seek
#ith him a pla!e of safety. On the right they fo%nd an ad7oining
!ham-er$ into #hi!h the others entered$ -%t Thor remained at the
door#ay #ith his mallet in his hand$ prepared to defend himself$
#hateer might happen. A terri-le groaning #as heard d%ring the
night$ and at da#n of day Thor #ent o%t and fo%nd lying near him
a h%ge giant$ #ho slept and snored in the #ay that had alarmed
them so. It is said that for on!e Thor #as afraid to %se his
mallet$ and as the giant soon #aked %p$ Thor !ontented himself
#ith simply asking his name.
8&y name is Skrymir$8 said the giant$ 8-%t I need not ask thy
name$ for I kno# that tho% art the god Tor. .%t #hat has -e!ome
of my gloeB8 Thor then per!eied that #hat they had taken
oernight for a hall #as the giant/s gloe and the !ham-er #here
his t#o !ompanions had so%ght ref%ge #as the th%m-. Skrymir then
proposed that they sho%ld trael in !ompany$ and Thor !onsenting$
they sat do#n to eat their -reakfast$ and #hen they had done$
Skrymir pa!ked all the proisions into one #allet$ thre# it oer
his sho%lder$ and strode on -efore them$ taking s%!h tremendo%s
strides that they #ere hard p%t to it to keep %p #ith him. So
they traelled the #hole day$ and at d%sk$ Skrymir !lose a pla!e
for them to pass the night in %nder a large oak)tree. Skrymir
then told them he #o%ld lie do#n to sleep. 8.%t take ye the
#allet$8 he added$ 8and prepare yo%r s%pper.8Skrymir soon fell
asleep and -egan to snore strongly$ -%t #hen Thor tried to open
the #allet$ he fo%nd the giant had tied it %p so tight he !o%ld
not %ntie a single knot. At last Thor -e!ame #roth$ and grasping
his mallet #ith -oth hands he str%!k a f%rio%s -lo# on the
giant/s head. Skrymir a#akening merely asked #hether a leaf had
not fallen on his head$ and #hether they had s%pped and #ere
ready to go to sleep. Thor ans#ered that they #ere 7%st going to
sleep$ and so saying #ent and laid himself do#n %nder another
tree. .%t sleep !ame not that night to Thor$ and #hen Skrymir
snored again so lo%d that the forest re)e!hoed #ith the noise$ he
arose$ and grasping his mallet la%n!hed it #ith s%!h for!e at the
giant/s sk%ll that it made a deep dint in it. Skrymir a#akening
!ried o%t$ 8"hat/s the matterB Are there any -irds per!hed on
this treeB I felt some moss from the -ran!hes fall on my head.
2o# fares it #ith thee$ ThorB8 .%t Thor #ent a#ay hastily$
saying that he had 7%st then a#oke$ and that as it #as only
midnight$ there #as still time for sleep. 2e ho#eer resoled
that if he had an opport%nity of striking a third -lo#$ it sho%ld
settle all matters -et#een them. A little -efore day-reak he
per!eied that Skrymir #as again fast asleep$ and again grasping
his mallet$ he dashed it #ith s%!h iolen!e that it for!ed its
#ay into the giant/s sk%ll %p to the handle. .%t Skrymir sat
%p$ and stroking his !heek$ said$ 8An a!orn fell on my head.
"hatC Art tho% a#ake$ ThorB &ethinks it is time for %s to get
%p and dress o%rseles; -%t yo% hae not no# a long #ay -efore
yo% to the !ity !alled 9tgard. I hae heard yo% #hispering to
one another that I am not a man of small dimensions; -%t if yo%
!ome to 9tgard yo% #ill see there many men m%!h taller than I.
"herefore I adise yo%$ #hen yo% !ome there$ not to make too m%!h
of yo%rseles$ for the follo#ers of 9tgard)(oki #ill not -rook
the -oasting of s%!h little fello#s as yo% are. 1o% m%st take
the road that leads east#ard$ mine lies north#ard$ so #e m%st
part here.8
2ere%pon he thre# his #allet oer his sho%lders$ and t%rned a#ay
from them into the forest$ and Thor had no #ish to stop him or to
ask for any more of his !ompany.
Thor and his !ompanions pro!eeded on their #ay$ and to#ards noon
des!ried a !ity standing in the middle of a plain. It #as so
lofty that they #ere o-liged to -end their ne!ks :%ite -a!k on
their sho%lders in order to see to the top of it. On arriing
they entered the !ity$ and seeing a large pala!e -efore them #ith
the door #ide open$ they #ent in$ and fo%nd a n%m-er of men of
prodigio%s stat%re$ sitting on -en!hes in the hall. Going
f%rther$ they !ame -efore the king 9tgard)(oki$ #hom they sal%ted
#ith great respe!t. The king$ regarding them #ith a s!ornf%l
smile$ said$ 8If I do not mistake me$ that stripling yonder m%st
-e the god Thor.8 Then addressing himself to Thor$ he said$
8,erhaps tho% mayst -e more than tho% appearest to -e. "hat are
the feats that tho% and thy fello#s deem yo%rseles skilled in$
for no one is permitted to remain here #ho does not$ in some feat
or other$ e0!el all other menB8
8The feat that I kno#$8 said (oki$ 8is to eat :%i!ker than any
one else$ and in this I am ready to gie a proof against any one
here #ho may !hoose to !ompete #ith me.8
8That #ill indeed -e a feat$8 said 9tgard)(oki$ 8if tho%
performest #hat tho% promisest$ and it shall -e tried forth#ith.8
2e then ordered one of his men #ho #as sitting at the farther end
of the -en!h$ and #hose name #as (ogi$ to !ome for#ard and try
his skill #ith (oki. A tro%gh filled #ith meat haing -een set
on the hall floor$ (oki pla!ed himself at one end$ and (ogi at
the other$ and ea!h of them -egan to eat as fast as he !o%ld$
%ntil they met in the middle of the tro%gh. .%t it #as fo%nd
that (oki had only eaten the flesh$ #hile his adersary had
deo%red -oth flesh and -one$ and the tro%gh to -oot. All the
!ompany therefore ad7%dged that (oki #as an:%ished.
9tgard)(oki then asked #hat feat the yo%ng man #ho a!!ompanied
Thor !o%ld perform. Thialfi ans#ered that he #o%ld r%n a ra!e
#ith any one #ho might -e mat!hed against him. The king o-sered
that skill in r%nning #as something to -oast of$ -%t if the yo%th
#o%ld #in the mat!h he m%st display great agility. 2e then arose
and #ent #ith all #ho #ere present to a plain #here there #as
good gro%nd for r%nning on$ and !alling a yo%ng man named 2%gi$
-ade him r%n a mat!h #ith Thialfi. In the first !o%rse 2%gi so
m%!h o%tstripped his !ompetitor that he t%rned -a!k and met him
not far from the starting)pla!e. Then they ran a se!ond and a
third time$ -%t Thialfi met #ith no -etter s%!!ess. 9tgard)(oki
then asked Thor in #hat feats he #o%ld !hoose to gie proofs of
that pro#ess for #hi!h he #as so famo%s. Thor ans#ered that he
#o%ld try a drinking)mat!h #ith any one. 9tgard)(oki -ade his
!%p-earer -ring the large horn #hi!h his follo#ers #ere o-liged
to empty #hen they had trespassed in any #ay against the la# of
the feast. The !%p-earer haing presented it to Thor$ 9tgard)
(oki said$ 8"hoeer is a good drinker #ill empty that horn at a
single dra%ght$ tho%gh most men make t#o of it$ -%t the most p%ny
drinker !an do it in three.8
Thor looked at the horn$ #hi!h seemed of no e0traordinary si6e
tho%gh some#hat long; ho#eer$ as he #as ery thirsty$ he set it
to his lips$ and #itho%t dra#ing -reath$ p%lled as long and as
deeply as he !o%ld$ that he might not -e o-liged to make a se!ond
dra%ght of it; -%t #hen he set the horn do#n and looked in$ he
!o%ld s!ar!ely per!eie that the li:%or #as diminished.
After taking -reath$ Thor #ent to it again #ith all his might$
-%t #hen he took the horn from his mo%th$ it seemed to him that
he had dr%nk rather less than -efore$ altho%gh the horn !o%ld no#
-e !arried #itho%t spilling.
82o# no#$ Thor$8 said 9tgard)(oki$ 8tho% m%st not spare thyself;
if tho% meanest to drain the horn at the third dra%ght tho% m%st
p%ll deeply; and I m%st needs say that tho% #ilt not -e !alled so
mighty a man here as tho% art at home if tho% sho#est no greater
pro#ess in other feats than methinks #ill -e sho#n in this.8
Thor$ f%ll of #rath$ again set the horn to his lips$ and did his
-est to empty it; -%t on looking in fo%nd the li:%or #as only a
little lo#er$ so he resoled to make no f%rther attempt$ -%t gae
-a!k the horn to the !%p-earer.
8I no# see plainly$8 said 9tgard)(oki$ 8that tho% art not :%ite
so sto%t as #e tho%ght thee; -%t #ilt tho% try any other feat$
tho%gh methinks tho% art not likely to -ear any pri6e a#ay #ith
thee hen!e.8
8"hat ne# trial hast tho% to proposeB8 said Thor.
8"e hae a ery trifling game here$8 ans#ered 9tgard)(oki$ 8in
#hi!h #e e0er!ise none -%t !hildren. It !onsists in merely
lifting my !at from the gro%nd; nor sho%ld I hae dared to
mention s%!h a feat to the great Thor if I had not already
o-sered that tho% art -y no means #hat #e took thee for.8
As he finished speaking$ a large gray !at sprang on the hall
floor. Thor p%t his hand %nder the !at/s -elly and did his
%tmost to raise him from the floor$ -%t the !at$ -ending his
-a!k$ had$ not#ithstanding all Thor/s efforts$ only one of his
feet lifted %p$ seeing #hi!h Thor made no f%rther attempt.
8This trial has t%rned o%t$8 said 9tgard)(oki$ 87%st as I
imagined it #o%ld. The !at is large$ -%t Thor is little in
!omparison to o%r men.8
8(ittle as ye !all me$8 ans#ered Thor$ 8let me see #ho among yo%
#ill !ome hither no# I am in #rath and #restle #ith me.8
8I see no one here$8 said 9tgard)(oki$ looking at the men sitting
on the -en!hes$ 8#ho #o%ld not think it -eneath him to #restle
#ith thee; let some-ody$ ho#eer$ !all hither that old !rone$ my
n%rse Elli$ and let Thor #restle #ith her if he #ill. She has
thro#n to the gro%nd many a man not less strong than this Thor
A toothless old #oman then entered the hall$ and #as told -y
9tgard)(oki to take hold of Thor. The tale is shortly told. The
more Thor tightened his hold on the !rone the firmer she stood.
At length$ after a ery iolent str%ggle$ Thor -egan to lose his
footing$ and #as finally -ro%ght do#n %pon one knee. 9tgard)(oki
then told them to desist$ adding that Thor had no# no o!!asion to
ask any one else in the hall to #restle #ith him$ and it #as also
getting late; so he sho#ed Thor and his !ompanions to their
seats$ and they passed the night there in good !heer.
The ne0t morning at -reak of day$ Thor and his !ompanions dressed
themseles and prepared for their depart%re. 9tgard)(oki ordered
a ta-le to -e set for them$ on #hi!h there #as no la!k of
i!t%als or drink. After the repast 9tgard)(oki led them to the
gate of the !ity$ and on parting asked Thor ho# he tho%ght his
7o%rney had t%rned o%t$ and #hether he had met #ith any men
stronger than himself. Thor told him that he !o%ld not deny -%t
that he had -ro%ght great shame on himself. 8And #hat griees me
most$8 he added$ is that ye #ill !all me a person of little
8Nay$8 said 9tgard)(oki$ 8it -ehooes me to tell thee the tr%th$
no# tho% art o%t of the !ity$ #hi!h so long as I lie and hae my
#ay tho% shalt neer enter again. And$ -y my troth$ had I kno#n
-eforehand that tho% hadst so m%!h strength in thee$ and #o%ldst
hae -ro%ght me so near to a great mishap$ I #o%ld not hae
s%ffered thee to enter this time. *no# then that I hae all
along de!eied thee -y my ill%sions; first in the forest #here I
tied %p the #allet #ith iron #ire so that tho% !o%ldst not %ntie
it. After this tho% gaest me three -lo#s #ith the mallet; the
first$ tho%gh the least$ #o%ld hae ended my days had it fallen
on me$ -%t I slipped aside and thy -lo#s fell on the mo%ntain
#here tho% #ilt find three glens$ one of them remarka-ly deep.
These are the dints made -y thy mallet. I hae made %se of
similar ill%sions in the !ontests yo% hae had #ith my follo#ers.
In the first$ (oki$ like h%nger itself$ deo%red all that #as set
-efore him$ -%t (ogi #as in reality nothing else than Fire$ and
therefore !ons%med not only the meat$ -%t the tro%gh #hi!h held
it. 2%gi$ #ith #hom Thialfi !ontended in r%nning$ #as Tho%ght$
and it #as impossi-le for Thialfi to keep pa!e #ith that. "hen
tho% in thy t%rn didst attempt to empty the horn$ tho% didst
perform$ -y my troth$ a deed so marello%s$ that had I not seen
it myself$ I sho%ld neer hae -elieed it. For one end of that
horn rea!hed the sea$ #hi!h tho% #as not a#are of$ -%t #hen tho%
!omest to the shore tho% #ilt per!eie ho# m%!h the sea has s%nk
-y thy dra%ghts. Tho% didst perform a feat no less #onderf%l -y
lifting %p the !at$ and to tell thee the tr%th$ #hen #e sa# that
one of his pa#s #as off the floor$ #e #ere all of %s terror)
stri!ken$ for #hat tho% tookest for a !at #as in reality the
&idgard serpent that en!ompasseth the earth$ and he #as so
stret!hed -y thee$ that he #as -arely long eno%gh to en!lose it
-et#een his head and tail. Thy #restling #ith Elli #as also a
most astonishing feat$ for there #as neer yet a man$ nor eer
#ill -e$ #hom Old Age$ for s%!h in fa!t #as Elli$ #ill not sooner
or later lay lo#. .%t no#$ as #e are going to part$ let me tell
thee that it #ill -e -etter for -oth of %s if tho% neer !ome
near me again$ for sho%ldst tho% do so$ I shall again defend
myself -y other ill%sions$ so that tho% #ilt only lose thy la-or
and get no fame from the !ontest #ith me.8
On hearing these #ords Thor in a rage laid hold of his mallet and
#o%ld hae la%n!hed it at him$ -%t 9tgard)(oki had disappeared$
and #hen Thor #o%ld hae ret%rned to the !ity to destroy it$ he
fo%nd nothing aro%nd him -%t a erdant plain.
On another o!!asion Thor #as more s%!!essf%l in an en!o%nter #ith
the giants. It happened that Thor met #ith a giant$ 2r%ngnir -y
name$ #ho #as disp%ting #ith Odin as to the merits of their
respe!tie horses$ G%llfa0i and Sleipnir$ the eight)legged. Thor
and the giant made an agreement to fight together on a !ertain
day. .%t as the day approa!hed$ the giant$ -e!oming frightened
at the tho%ght of en!o%ntering Thor alone$ man%fa!t%red$ #ith the
assistan!e of his fello#)giants$ a great giant of !lay. 2e #as
nine miles high and three miles a-o%t the !hest$ and in his heart
he had the heart of a mare. A!!ompanied -y the !lay giant$
2r%ngnir a#aited Thor on the appointed day. Thor approa!hed
pre!eded -y Thialfi$ his serant$ #ho$ r%nning ahead$ sho%ted o%t
to 2r%ngnir that it #as %seless to hold his shield -efore him$
for the god Thor #o%ld atta!k him o%t of the gro%nd. 2r%ngnir at
this fl%ng his shield on the gro%nd$ and$ standing %pon it$ made
ready. As Thor approa!hed 2r%ngnir fl%ng at him an immense !l%-
of stone. Thor fl%ng his hammer. &iolnir met the !l%- half #ay$
-roke it in pie!es$ and -%rying itself in the stone sk%ll of
2r%ngnir$ felled him to the gro%nd. &ean#hile Thialfi had
despat!hed the !lay giant #ith a spade. Thor himself re!eied
-%t a slight #o%nd from a fragment of the giant/s hammer.
Chapter 555III
The Death of .ald%r The Eles )) R%ni! (etters )) S!alds ))
.ald%r$ the Good$ haing -een tormented #ith terri-le dreams
indi!ating that his life #as in peril$ told them to the assem-led
gods$ #ho resoled to !on7%re all things to aert from him the
threatened danger. Then Frigga$ the #ife of Odin$ e0a!ted an
oath from fire and #ater$ from iron and all other metals$ from
stones$ trees$ diseases$ -easts$ -irds$ poisons$ and !reeping
things$ that none of them #o%ld do any harm to .ald%r. Odin$ not
satisfied #ith all this$ and feeling alarmed for the fate of his
son$ determined to !ons%lt the prophetess Anger-ode$ a giantess$
mother of Fenris$ 2ela$ and the &idgard serpent. She #as dead$
and Odin #as for!ed to seek her in 2ela/s dominions. This
des!ent of Odin forms the s%-7e!t of Gray/s fine ode -eginning$
89p rose the king of men #ith speed
And saddled straight his !oal)-la!k steed.8
.%t the other gods$ feeling that #hat Frigga had done #as :%ite
s%ffi!ient$ am%sed themseles #ith %sing .ald%r as a mark$ some
h%rling darts at him$ some stones$ #hile others he#ed at him #ith
their s#ords and -attle)a0es$ for do #hat they #o%ld none of them
!o%ld harm him. And this -e!ame a faorite pastime #ith them and
#as regarded as an honor sho#n to .ald%r. .%t #hen (oki -eheld
the s!ene he #as sorely e0ed that .ald%r #as not h%rt.
Ass%ming$ therefore$ the shape of a #oman$ he #ent to Fensalir$
the mansion of Frigga. That goddess$ #hen she sa# the pretended
#oman$ in:%ired of her if she kne# #hat the gods #ere doing at
their meetings. She replied that they #ere thro#ing darts and
stones at .ald%r$ #itho%t -eing a-le to h%rt him. 8Ay$8 said
Frigga$ 8neither stones$ nor sti!ks$ nor anything else !an h%rt
.ald%r$ for I hae e0a!ted an oath from all of them. 8 8"hat$8
e0!laimed the #oman$ 8hae all things s#orn to spare .ald%rB8
8All things$8 replied Frigga$ 8e0!ept one little shr%- that gro#s
on the eastern side of +alhalla$ and is !alled &istletoe$ and
#hi!h I tho%ght too yo%ng and fee-le to !rae an oath from.8
As soon as (oki heard this he #ent a#ay$ and res%ming his nat%ral
shape$ !%t off the mistletoe$ and repaired to the pla!e #here the
gods #ere assem-led. There he fo%nd 2od%r standing apart$
#itho%t partaking of the sports$ on a!!o%nt of his -lindness$ and
going %p to him$ said$ 8"hy dost tho% not also thro# something at
8.e!a%se I am -lind$8 ans#ered 2od%r$ 8and see not #here .ald%r
is$ and hae moreoer nothing to thro#.8
8Come$ then$8 said (oki$ 8do like the rest and sho# honor to
.ald%r -y thro#ing this t#ig at him$ and I #ill dire!t thy arm
to#ards the pla!e #here he stands.8
2od%r then took the mistletoe$ and %nder the g%idan!e of (oki$
darted it at .ald%r$ #ho$ pier!ed thro%gh and thro%gh$ fell do#n
lifeless. S%rely neer #as there #itnessed$ either among gods or
men$ a more atro!io%s deed than this. "hen .ald%r fell$ the gods
#ere str%!k spee!hless #ith horror$ and then they looked at ea!h
other$ and all #ere of one mind to lay hands on him #ho had done
the deed$ -%t they #ere o-liged to delay their engean!e o%t of
respe!t for the sa!red pla!e #here they #ere assem-led. They
gae ent to their grief -y lo%d lamentations. "hen the gods
!ame to themseles$ Frigga asked #ho among them #ished to gain
all her loe and good #ill. 8For this$8 said she$ 8shall he hae
#ho #ill ride to 2el and offer 2ela a ransom if she #ill let
.ald%r ret%rn to Asgard.8 "here%pon 2ermod$ s%rnamed the Nim-le$
the son of Odin$ offered to %ndertake the 7o%rney. Odin/s horse$
Sleipnir$ #hi!h has eight legs$ and !an o%tr%n the #ind$ #as then
led forth$ on #hi!h 2ermod mo%nted and galloped a#ay on his
mission. For the spa!e of nine days and as many nights he rode
thro%gh deep glens so dark that he !o%ld not dis!ern anything
%ntil he arried at the rier Gyoll$ #hi!h he passed oer on a
-ridge !oered #ith glittering gold. The maiden #ho kept the
-ridge asked him his name and lineage$ telling him that the day
-efore fie -ands of dead persons had ridden oer the -ridge$ and
did not shake it as m%!h as he alone. 8.%t$8 she added$ 8tho%
hast not death/s h%e on thee; #hy then ridest tho% here on the
#ay to 2elB8
8I ride to 2el$8 ans#ered 2ermod$ 8to seek .ald%r. 2ast tho%
per!han!e seen him pass this #ayB8
She replied$ 8.ald%r hath ridden oer Gyoll/s -ridge$ and yonder
lieth the #ay he took to the a-odes of death.8
2ermod p%rs%ed his 7o%rney %ntil he !ame to the -arred gates of
2el. 2ere he alighted$ girthed his saddle tighter$ and
remo%nting !lapped -oth sp%rs to his horse$ #ho !leared the gate
-y a tremendo%s leap #itho%t to%!hing it. 2ermod then rode on to
the pala!e #here he fo%nd his -rother .ald%r o!!%pying the most
disting%ished seat in the hall$ and passed the night in his
!ompany. The ne0t morning he -eso%ght 2ela to let .ald%r ride
home #ith him$ ass%ring her that nothing -%t lamentations #ere to
-e heard among the gods. 2ela ans#ered that it sho%ld no# -e
tried #hether .ald%r #as so -eloed as he #as said to -e. 8If$
therefore$8 she added$ 8all things in the #orld$ -oth liing and
lifeless$ #eep for him$ then shall he ret%rn to life; -%t if any
one thing speak against him or ref%se to #eep$ he shall -e kept
in 2el.8
2ermod then rode -a!k to Asgard and gae an a!!o%nt of all he had
heard and #itnessed.
The gods %pon this despat!hed messengers thro%gho%t the #orld to
-eg eery thing to #eep in order that .ald%r might -e deliered
from 2el. All things ery #illingly !omplied #ith this re:%est$
-oth men and eery other liing -eing$ as #ell as earths$ and
stones$ and trees$ and metals$ 7%st as #e hae all seen these
things #eep #hen they are -ro%ght from a !old pla!e into a hot
one. As the messengers #ere ret%rning$ they fo%nd an old hag
named Tha%kt sitting in a !aern$ and -egged her to #eep .ald%r
o%t of 2el. .%t she ans#ered$
8Tha%kt #ill #ail
"ith dry tears
.ald%r/s -ale)fire.
(et 2ela keep her o#n.8
It #as strongly s%spe!ted that this hag #as no other than (oki
himself$ #ho neer !eased to #ork eil among gods and men. So
.ald%r #as preented from !oming -a!k to Asgard. <In
(ongfello#/s ,oems$ ol. D$ page IMK$ #ill -e fo%nd a poem
entitled Tegner/s Drapa$ %pon the s%-7e!t of .ald%r/s death.=
Among &atthe# Arnold/s ,oems is one !alled 8.alder Death8
-eginning th%s@
8So on the floor lay .alder dead; and ro%nd
(ay thi!kly stre#n s#ords$ a0es$ darts and spears$
"hi!h all the Gods in sport had idly thro#n
At .alder$ #hom no #eapon pier!ed or !lae;
.%t in his -reast stood fi0t the fatal -o%gh
Of mistletoe$ #hi!h (ok the A!!%ser gae
To 2oder$ and %n#itting 2oder thre#;
8Gainst that alone had .alder/s life no !harm.
And all the Gods and all the heroes !ame
And stood ro%nd .alder on the -loody floor
"eeping and #ailing; and +alhalla rang
9p to its golden roof #ith so-s and !ries;
And on the ta-le stood the %ntasted meats$
And in the horns and gold)rimmed sk%lls the #ine;
And no# #o%ld night hae fallen and fo%nd them yet
"ailing; -%t other#ise #as Odin/s #ill.8
The gods took %p the dead -ody and -ore it to the sea)shore #here
stood .ald%r/s ship 2ringham$ #hi!h passed for the largest in the
#orld. .ald%r/s dead -ody #as p%t on the f%neral pile$ on -oard
the ship$ and his #ife Nanna #as so str%!k #ith grief at the
sight that she -roke her heart$ and her -ody #as -%rned on the
same pile #ith her h%s-and/s. There #as a ast !on!o%rse of
ario%s kinds of people at .ald%r/s o-se:%ies. First !ame Odin
a!!ompanied -y Frigga$ the +alkyrior$ and his raens; then Frey
in his !ar dra#n -y G%llin-%rsti$ the -oar; 2eimdall rode his
horse G%lltopp$ and Freya droe in her !hariot dra#n -y !ats.
There #ere also a great many Frost giants and giants of the
mo%ntain present. .ald%r/s horse #as led to the pile f%lly
!aparisoned and !ons%med in the same flames #ith his master.
.%t (oki did not es!ape his desered p%nishment. "hen he sa# ho#
angry the gods #ere$ he fled to the mo%ntain$ and there -%ilt
himself a h%t #ith fo%r doors$ so that he !o%ld see eery
approa!hing danger. 2e inented a net to !at!h the fishes$ s%!h
as fishermen hae %sed sin!e his time. .%t Odin fo%nd o%t his
hiding)pla!e and the gods assem-led to take him. 2e$ seeing
this$ !hanged himself into a salmon$ and lay hid among the stones
of the -rook. .%t the gods took his net and dragged the -rook$
and (oki finding he m%st -e !a%ght$ tried to leap oer the net;
-%t Thor !a%ght him -y the tail and !ompressed it so$ that
salmons eery sin!e hae had that part remarka-ly fine and thin.
They -o%nd him #ith !hains and s%spended a serpent oer his head$
#hose enom falls %pon his fa!e drop -y drop. 2is #ife Sig%na
sits -y his side and !at!hes the drops as they fall$ in a !%p;
-%t #hen she !arries it a#ay to empty it$ the enom falls %pon
(oki$ #hi!h makes him ho#l #ith horror$ and t#ist his -ody a-o%t
so iolently that the #hole earth shakes$ and this prod%!es #hat
men !all earth:%akes.
The Edda mentions another !lass of -eings$ inferior to the gods$
-%t still possessed of great po#er; these #ere !alled Eles. The
#hite spirits$ or Eles of (ight$ #ere e0!eedingly fair$ more
-rilliant than the s%n$ and !lad in garments of deli!ate and
transparent te0t%re. They loed the light$ #ere kindly disposed
to mankind$ and generally appeared as fair and loely !hildren.
Their !o%ntry #as !alled Alfheim$ and #as the domain of Freyr$
the god of the s%n$ in #hose light they #ere al#ays sporting.
The -la!k of Night Eles #ere a different kind of !reat%res.
9gly$ long)nosed d#arfs$ of a dirty -ro#n !olor$ they appeared
only at night$ for they aoided the s%n as their most deadly
enemy$ -e!a%se #heneer his -eams fell %pon any of them they
!hanged them immediately into stones. Their lang%age #as the
e!ho of solit%des$ and their d#elling)pla!es s%-terranean !aes
and !lefts. They #ere s%pposed to hae !ome into e0isten!e as
maggots$ prod%!ed -y the de!aying flesh of 1mir/s -ody$ and #ere
after#ards endo#ed -y the gods #ith a h%man form and great
%nderstanding. They #ere parti!%larly disting%ished for a
kno#ledge of the mysterio%s po#ers of nat%re$ and for the r%nes
#hi!h they !ared and e0plained. They #ere the most skilf%l
artifi!ers of all !reated -eings$ and #orked in metals and in
#ood. Among their most noted #orks #ere Thor/s hammer$ and the
ship Skid-ladnir$ #hi!h they gae to Freyr$ and #hi!h #as so
large that it !o%ld !ontain all the deities #ith their #ar and
ho%sehold implements$ -%t so skilf%lly #as it #ro%ght that #hen
folded together it !o%ld -e p%t into a side po!ket.
It #as a firm -elief of the northern nations that a time #o%ld
!ome #hen all the isi-le !reation$ the gods of +alhalla and
Niffleheim$ the inha-itants of 'ot%nheim$ Alfheim$ and &idgard$
together #ith their ha-itations$ #o%ld -e destroyed. The fearf%l
day of destr%!tion #ill not$ ho#eer$ -e #itho%t its forer%nners.
First #ill !ome a triple #inter$ d%ring #hi!h sno# #ill fall from
the fo%r !orners of the heaens$ the frost -e ery seere$ the
#ind pier!ing$ the #eather tempest%o%s$ and the s%n impart no
gladness. Three s%!h #inters #ill pass a#ay #itho%t -eing
tempered -y a single s%mmer. Three other similar #inters #ill
then follo#$ d%ring #hi!h #ar and dis!ord #ill spread oer the
%nierse. The earth itself #ill -e frightened and -egin to
trem-le$ the sea leae its -asin$ the heaens tear as%nder$ and
men perish in great n%m-ers$ and the eagles of the air feast %pon
their still :%iering -odies. The #olf Fenris #ill no# -reak his
-ands$ the &idgard serpent rise o%t of her -ed in the sea$ and
(oki$ released from his -onds$ #ill 7oin the enemies of the gods.
Amidst the general deastation the sons of &%spelheim #ill r%sh
forth %nder their leader S%rt%r$ -efore and -ehind #hom are
flames and -%rning fire. On#ard they ride oer .ifrost$ the
rain-o# -ridge$ #hi!h -reaks %nder the horses/ hoofs. .%t they$
disregarding its fall$ dire!t their !o%rse to the -attle)field
!alled +igrid. Thither also repair the #olf Fenris$ the &idgard
serpent$ (oki #ith all the follo#ers of 2ela$ and the Frost
2eimdall no# stands %p and so%nds the Giallar horn to assem-le
the gods and heroes for the !ontest. The gods adan!e$ led on -y
Odin$ #ho engages the #olf Fenris$ -%t falls a i!tim to the
monster$ #ho is$ ho#eer$ slain -y +idar$ Odin/s son. Thor gains
great reno#n -y killing the &idgard serpent$ -%t re!oils and
falls dead$ s%ffo!ated #ith the enom #hi!h the dying monster
omits oer him. (oki and 2eimdall meet and fight till they are
-oth slain. The Gods and their enemies haing fallen in -attle$
S%rt%r$ #ho has killed Dreyr$ darts fire and flames oer the
#orld$ and the #hole %nierse is -%rned %p. The s%n -e!omes dim$
the earth sinks into the o!ean$ the stars fall from heaen$ and
time is no more.
After this Alfad%r <the almighty= #ill !a%se a ne# heaen and a
ne# earth to arise o%t of the sea. The ne# earth$ filled #ith
a-%ndant s%pplies$ #ill spontaneo%sly prod%!e its fr%its #itho%t
la-or or !are. "i!kedness and misery #ill no more -e kno#n$ -%t
the gods and men #ill lie happily together.
One !annot trael far in Denmark$ Nor#ay$ or S#eden$ #itho%t
meeting #ith great stones$ of different forms$ engraen #ith
!hara!ters !alled R%ni!$ #hi!h appear at first sight ery
different from all #e kno#. The letters !onsist almost
inaria-ly of straight lines$ in the shape of little sti!ks
either singly or p%t together. S%!h sti!ks #ere in early times
%sed -y the northern nations for the p%rpose of as!ertaining
f%t%re eents. The sti!ks #ere shaken %p$ and from the fig%res
that they formed a kind of diination #as deried.
The R%ni! !hara!ters #ere of ario%s kinds. They #ere !hiefly
%sed for magi!al p%rposes. The no0io%s$ or$ as they !alled them$
the .ITTER r%nes$ #ere employed to -ring ario%s eils on their
enemies; the faora-le aerted misfort%ne. Some #ere medi!inal$
others employed to #in loe$ et!. In later times they #ere
fre:%ently %sed for ins!riptions$ of #hi!h more than a tho%sand
hae -een fo%nd. The lang%age is a diale!t of the Gothi!$ !alled
Norse$ still in %se in I!eland. The ins!riptions may therefore
-e read #ith !ertainty$ -%t hitherto ery fe# hae -een fo%nd
#hi!h thro# the least light on history. They are mostly epitaphs
on tom-stones.
Gray/s ode on the Des!ent of Odin !ontains an all%sion to the %se
of R%ni! letters for in!antation@
8Fa!ing to the northern !lime$
Thri!e he tra!ed the R%ni! rhyme;
Thri!e prono%n!ed$ in a!!ents dread$
The thrilling erse that #akes the dead$
Till from o%t the hollo# gro%nd
Slo#ly -reathed a s%llen so%nd.8
The Skalds #ere the -ards and poets of the nation$ a ery
important !lass of men in all !omm%nities in an early stage of
!iili6ation. They are the depositaries of #hateer histori!
lore there is$ and it is their offi!e to mingle something of
intelle!t%al gratifi!ation #ith the r%de feasts of the #arriors$
-y rehearsing$ #ith s%!h a!!ompaniments of poetry and m%si! as
their skill !an afford$ the e0ploits of their heroes liing or
dead. The !ompositions of the Skalds #ere !alled Sagas$ many of
#hi!h hae !ome do#n to %s$ and !ontain al%a-le materials of
history$ and a faithf%l pi!t%re of the state of so!iety at the
time to #hi!h they relate.
The Eddas and Sagas hae !ome to %s from I!eland. The follo#ing
e0tra!t from Carlyle/s (e!t%res on 2eroes and 2ero #orship gies
an animated a!!o%nt of the region #here the strange stories #e
hae -een reading had their origin. (et the reader !ontrast it
for a moment #ith Gree!e$ the parent of !lassi!al mythology.
8In that strange island$ I!eland$ -%rst %p$ the geologists say$
-y fire from the -ottom of the sea$ a #ild land of -arrenness and
laa$ s#allo#ed many months of eery year in -la!k tempests$ yet
#ith a #ild$ gleaming -ea%ty in s%mmer time$ to#ering %p there
stern and grim in the North O!ean$ #ith its sno# yok%ls
<mo%ntains=$ roaring geysers <-oiling springs=$ s%lph%r pools$
and horrid ol!ani! !hasms$ like the ast$ !haoti! -attle)field
of Frost and Fire$ #here$ of all pla!es$ #e least looked for
literat%re or #ritten memorials$ the re!ord of these things #as
#ritten do#n. On the sea-oard of this #ild land is a rim of
grassy !o%ntry$ #here !attle !an s%-sist$ and men -y means of
them and of #hat the sea yields; and it seems they #ere poeti!
men these$ men #ho had deep tho%ghts in them and %ttered
m%si!ally their tho%ghts. &%!h #o%ld -e lost had I!eland not
-een -%rst %p from the sea$ not -een dis!oered -y the NorthmenC8
Chapter 555I+
The Dr%ids Iona
The Dr%ids #ere the priests or ministers of religion among the
an!ient Celti! nations in Ga%l$ .ritain$ and Germany. O%r
information respe!ting them is -orro#ed from noti!es in the Greek
and Roman #riters$ !ompared #ith the remains of "elsh and Gaeli!
poetry still e0tant.
The Dr%ids !om-ined the f%n!tions of the priest$ the magistrate$
the s!holar$ and the physi!ian. They stood to the people of the
Celti! tri-es in a relation !losely analogo%s to that in #hi!h
the .rahmans of India$ the &agi of ,ersia$ and the priests of the
Egyptians stood to the people respe!tiely -y #hom they #ere
The Dr%ids ta%ght the e0isten!e of one God$ to #hom they gae a
name 8.e/al$8 #hi!h Celti! anti:%aries tell %s means 8the life of
eerything$8 or 8the so%r!e of all -eings$@8 and #hi!h seems to
hae affinity #ith the ,hoeni!ian .aal. "hat renders this
affinity more striking is that the Dr%ids as #ell as the
,hoeni!ians identified this$ their s%preme deity$ #ith the S%n.
Fire #as regarded as a sym-ol of the diinity. The (atin #riters
assert that the Dr%ids also #orshipped n%mero%s inferior Gods.
They %sed no images to represent the o-7e!t of their #orship$ nor
did they meet in temples or -%ildings of any kind for the
performan!e of their sa!red rites. A !ir!le of stones <ea!h
stone generally of ast si6e= en!losing an area of from t#enty
feet to thirty yards in diameter$ !onstit%ted their sa!red pla!e.
The most !ele-rated of these no# remaining is Stonehenge$ on
Salis-%ry ,lain$ England.
These sa!red !ir!les #ere generally sit%ated near some stream$ or
%nder the shado# of a groe or #ide)spreading oak. In the !entre
of the !ir!le stood the Cromle!h or altar$ #hi!h #as a large
stone$ pla!ed in the manner of a ta-le %pon other stones set %p
on end. The Dr%ids had also their high pla!es$ #hi!h #ere large
stones or piles of stones on the s%mmits of hills. These #ere
!alled Cairns$ and #ere %sed in the #orship of the deity %nder
the sym-ol of the s%n.
That the Dr%ids offered sa!rifi!es to their deity there !an -e no
do%-t. .%t there is some %n!ertainty as to #hat they offered$
and of the !eremonies !onne!ted #ith their religio%s seri!es #e
kno# almost nothing. The !lassi!al <Roman= #riters affirm that
they offered on great o!!asions h%man sa!rifi!es; as for s%!!ess
in #ar or for relief from dangero%s diseases. Caesar has gien a
detailed a!!o%nt of the manner in #hi!h this #as done. 8They
hae images of immense si6e$ the lim-s of #hi!h are framed #ith
t#isted t#igs and filled #ith liing persons. These -eing set on
fire$ those #ithin are en!ompassed -y the flames.8 &any attempts
hae -een made -y Celti! #riters to shake the testimony of the
Roman historians to this fa!t$ -%t #itho%t s%!!ess.
The Dr%ids o-sered t#o festials in ea!h year. The former took
pla!e in the -eginning of &ay$ and #as !alled .eltane or 8fire of
God.8 On this o!!asion a large fire #as kindled on some eleated
spot$ in honor of the s%n$ #hose ret%rning -enefi!en!e they th%s
#el!omed after the gloom and desolation of #inter. Of this
!%stom a tra!e remains in the name gien to "hits%nday in parts
of S!otland to this day. Sir "alter S!ott %ses the #ord in the
.oat Song in the (ady of the (ake@
8O%rs is no sapling$ !han!e)so#n -y the fo%ntain$
.looming at .eltane in #inter to fade.8
The other great festial of the Dr%ids #as !alled 8Samh/in$8 or
8fire of pea!e$8 and #as held on 2allo#)ee <first of Noem-er=$
#hi!h still retains this designation in the 2ighlands of
S!otland. On this o!!asion the Dr%ids assem-led in solemn
!on!lae$ in the most !entral part of the distri!t$ to dis!harge
the 7%di!ial f%n!tions of their order. All :%estions$ #hether
p%-li! or priate$ all !rimes against person or property$ #ere at
this time -ro%ght -efore them for ad7%di!ation. "ith these
7%di!ial a!ts #ere !om-ined !ertain s%perstitio%s %sages$
espe!ially the kindling of the sa!red fire$ from #hi!h all the
fires in the distri!t #hi!h had -een -eforehand s!r%p%lo%sly
e0ting%ished$ might -e relighted. This %sage of kindling fires
on 2allo#)ee lingered in the .ritish Islands long after the
esta-lishment of Christianity.
.esides these t#o great ann%al festials$ the Dr%ids #ere in the
ha-it of o-sering the f%ll moon$ and espe!ially the si0th day of
the moon. On the latter they so%ght the mistletoe$ #hi!h gre# on
their faorite oaks$ and to #hi!h$ as #ell as to the oak itself$
they as!ri-ed a pe!%liar irt%e and sa!redness. The dis!oery of
it #as an o!!asion of re7oi!ing and solemn #orship. 8They !all
it$8 says ,liny$ 8-y a #ord in their lang%age #hi!h means /heal)
all$/ and haing made solemn preparation for feasting and
sa!rifi!e %nder the tree$ they drie thither t#o milk)#hite
-%lls$ #hose horns are then for the first time -o%nd. The priest
then$ ro-ed in #hite$ as!ends the tree$ and !%ts off the
mistletoe #ith a golden si!kle. It is !a%ght in a #hite mantle$
after #hi!h they pro!eed to slay the i!tims$ at the same time
praying that god #o%ld render his gift prospero%s to those to
#hom he had gien it. They drink the #ater in #hi!h it has -een
inf%sed$ and think it a remedy for all diseases. The mistletoe
is a parasiti! plant$ and is not al#ays nor often fo%nd on the
oak$ so that #hen it is fo%nd it is the more pre!io%s.8
The Dr%ids #ere the tea!hers of morality as #ell as of religion.
Of their ethi!al tea!hing a al%a-le spe!imen is presered in the
Triads of the "elsh .ards$ and from this #e may gather that their
ie#s of moral re!tit%de #ere on the #hole 7%st$ and that they
held and in!%l!ated many ery no-le and al%a-le prin!iples of
!ond%!t. They #ere also the men of s!ien!e and learning of their
age and people. "hether they #ere a!:%ainted #ith letters or not
has -een disp%ted$ tho%gh the pro-a-ility is strong that they
#ere$ to some e0tent. .%t it is !ertain that they !ommitted
nothing of their do!trine$ their history$ or their poetry to
#riting. Their tea!hing #as oral$ and their literat%re <if s%!h
a #ord may -e %sed in s%!h a !ase= #as presered solely -y
tradition. .%t the Roman #riters admit that 8they paid m%!h
attention to the order and la#s of nat%re$ and inestigated and
ta%ght to the yo%th %nder their !harge many things !on!erning the
stars and their motions$ the si6e of the #orld and the lands $
and !on!erning the might and po#er of the immortal gods.8
Their history !onsisted in traditional tales$ in #hi!h the heroi!
deeds of their forefathers #ere !ele-rated. These #ere
apparently in erse$ and th%s !onstit%ted part of the poetry as
#ell as the history of the Dr%ids. In the poems of Ossian #e
hae$ if not the a!t%al prod%!tions of Dr%idi!al times$ #hat may
-e !onsidered faithf%l representations of the songs of the .ards.
The .ards #ere an essential part of the Dr%idi!al hierar!hy. One
a%thor$ ,ennant$ says$ 8The -ards #ere s%pposed to -e endo#ed
#ith po#ers e:%al to inspiration. They #ere the oral historians
of all past transa!tions$ p%-li! and priate. They #ere also
a!!omplished genealogists.8
,ennant gies a min%te a!!o%nt of the Eisteddfods or sessions of
the -ards and minstrels$ #hi!h #ere held in "ales for many
!ent%ries$ long after the Dr%idi!al priesthood in its other
departments -e!ame e0tin!t. At these meetings none -%t -ards of
merit #ere s%ffered to rehearse their pie!es$ and minstrels of
skill to perform. '%dges #ere appointed to de!ide on their
respe!tie a-ilities$ and s%ita-le degrees #ere !onferred. In
the earlier period the 7%dges #ere appointed -y the "elsh
prin!es$ and after the !on:%est of "ales$ -y !ommission from the
kings of England. 1et the tradition is that Ed#ard I.$ in
reenge for the infl%en!e of the -ards$ in animating the
resistan!e of the people to his s#ay$ perse!%ted them #ith great
!r%elty. This tradition has f%rnished the poet Gray #ith the
s%-7e!t of his !ele-rated ode$ the .ard.
There are still o!!asional meetings of the loers of "elsh poetry
and m%si!$ held %nder the an!ient name. Among &rs. 2eman/s poems
is one #ritten for an Eisteddfod$ or meeting of "elsh .ards$ held
in (ondon &ay FF$ DGFF. It -egins #ith a des!ription of the
an!ient meeting$ of #hi!h the follo#ing lines are a part@
8))))) midst the eternal !liffs$ #hose strength defied
The !rested Roman in his ho%r of pride;
And #here the Dr%id/s an!ient !romle!h fro#ned$
And the oaks -reathed mysterio%s m%rm%rs ro%nd$
There thronged the inspired of yoreC On plain or height$
In the s%n/s fa!e$ -eneath the eye of light$
And -aring %nto heaen ea!h no-le head$
Stood in the !ir!le$ #here none else might tread.8
The Dr%idi!al system #as at its height at the time of the Roman
inasion %nder '%li%s Caesar. Against the Dr%ids$ as their !hief
enemies$ these !on:%erors of the #orld dire!ted their %nsparing
f%ry. The Dr%ids$ harassed at all points on the main)land$
retreated to Anglesey and Iona$ #here for a season they fo%nd
shelter$ and !ontin%ed their no#)dishonored rites.
The Dr%ids retained their predominan!e in Iona and oer the
ad7a!ent islands and main)land %ntil they #ere s%pplanted and
their s%perstitions oert%rned -y the arrial of St. Col%m-a$ the
apostle of the 2ighlands$ -y #hom the inha-itants of that
distri!t #ere first led to profess Christianity.
One of the smallest of the .ritish Isles$ sit%ated near a ragged
and -arren !oast$ s%rro%nded -y dangero%s seas$ and possessing no
so%r!es of internal #ealth$ Iona has o-tained an imperisha-le
pla!e in history as the seat of !iili6ation and religion at a
time #hen the darkness of heathenism h%ng oer almost the #hole
of Northern E%rope. Iona or I!olmkill is sit%ated at the
e0tremity of the island of &%ll$ from #hi!h it is separated -y a
strait of half a mile in -readth$ its distan!e from the main)land
of S!otland -eing thirty)si0 miles.
Col%m-a #as a natie of Ireland$ and !onne!ted -y -irth #ith the
prin!es of the land. Ireland #as at that time a land of gospel
light$ #hile the #estern and northern parts of S!otland #ere
still immersed in the darkness of heathenism. Col%m-a$ #ith
t#ele friends landed on the island of Iona in the year of o%r
(ord OEI$ haing made the passage in a #i!ker -oat !oered #ith
hides. The Dr%ids #ho o!!%pied the island endeaored to preent
his settling there$ and the saage nations on the ad7oining
shores in!ommoded him #ith their hostility$ and on seeral
o!!asions endangered his life -y their atta!ks. 1et -y his
perseeran!e and 6eal he s%rmo%nted all opposition$ pro!%red from
the king a gift of the island$ and esta-lished there a monastery
of #hi!h he #as the a--ot. 2e #as %n#earied in his la-ors to
disseminate a kno#ledge of the S!ript%res thro%gho%t the
2ighlands and Islands of S!otland$ and s%!h #as the reeren!e
paid him that tho%gh not a -ishop$ -%t merely a pres-yter and
monk$ the entire proin!e #ith its -ishops #as s%-7e!t to him and
his s%!!essors. The ,i!tish monar!h #as so impressed #ith a
sense of his #isdom and #orth that he held him in the highest
honor$ and the neigh-oring !hiefs and prin!es so%ght his !o%nsel
and aailed themseles of his 7%dgment in settling their
"hen Col%m-a landed on Iona he #as attended -y t#ele follo#ers
#hom he had formed into a religio%s -ody$ of #hi!h he #as the
head. To these$ as o!!asion re:%ired$ others #ere from time to
time added$ so that the original n%m-er #as al#ays kept %p.
Their instit%tion #as !alled a monastery$ and the s%perior an
a--ot$ -%t the system had little in !ommon #ith the monasti!
instit%tions of later times. The name -y #hi!h those #ho
s%-mitted to the r%le #ere kno#n #as that of C%ldees$ pro-a-ly
from the (atin 8!%ltores Dei8 #orshippers of God. They #ere a
-ody of religio%s persons asso!iated together for the p%rpose of
aiding ea!h other in the !ommon #ork of prea!hing the gospel and
tea!hing yo%th$ as #ell as maintaining in themseles the feror
of deotion -y %nited e0er!ises of #orship. On entering the
order !ertain o#s #ere taken -y the mem-ers$ -%t they #ere not
those #hi!h #ere %s%ally imposed -y monasti! orders$ for of
these$ #hi!h are three$ !eli-a!y$ poerty$ and o-edien!e$ the
C%ldees #ere -o%nd to none e0!ept the third. To poerty they did
not -ind themseles; on the !ontrary$ they seem to hae la-ored
diligently to pro!%re for themseles and those dependent on them
the !omforts of life. &arriage also #as allo#ed them$ and most
of them seem to hae entered into that state. Tr%e$ their #ies
#ere not permitted to reside #ith them at the instit%tion$ -%t
they had a residen!e assigned to them in an ad7a!ent lo!ality.
Near Iona there is an island #hi!h still -ears the name of 8Eilen
nam -an$8 #omen/s island$ #here their h%s-ands seem to hae
resided #ith them$ e0!ept #hen d%ty re:%ired their presen!e in
the s!hool or the san!t%ary.
Camp-ell$ in his poem of Re%ll%ra$ all%des to the married monks
of Iona@
8 )))))The p%re C%ldees
"ere Al-yn/s earliest priests of God$
Ere yet an island of her seas
.y foot of Sa0on monk #as trod$
(ong ere her !h%r!hmen -y -igotry
"ere -arred from holy #edlo!k/s tie.
/T#as then that Aodh$ famed afar$
In Iona prea!hed the #ord #ith po#er.
And Re%ll%ra$ -ea%ty/s star$
"as the partner of his -o#er.8
In one of his Irish &elodies$ &oore gies the legend of St.
Senan%s and the lady #ho so%ght shelter on the island$ -%t #as
8Oh$ haste and leae this sa!red isle$
9nholy -ark$ ere morning smile;
For on thy de!k$ tho%gh dark it -e$
A female form I see;
And I hae s#orn this sainted sod
Shall ne/er -y #oman/s foot -e trod.
In these respe!ts and in others the C%ldees departed from the
esta-lished r%les of the Romish Ch%r!h$ and !onse:%ently #ere
deemed hereti!al. The !onse:%en!e #as that as the po#er of the
latter adan!ed$ that of the C%ldees #as enfee-led. It #as not$
ho#eer$ till the thirteenth !ent%ry that the !omm%nities of the
C%ldees #ere s%ppressed and the mem-ers dispersed. They still
!ontin%ed to la-or as indiid%als$ and resisted the inroads of
,apa %s%rpation as they -est might till the light of the
Reformation da#ned on the #orld.
Ionia$ from its position in the #estern seas$ #as e0posed to the
assa%lts of the Nor#egian and Danish roers -y #hom those seas
#ere infested$ and -y them it #as repeatedly pillaged$ its
d#ellings -%rned$ and its pea!ef%l inha-itants p%t to the s#ord.
These %nfaora-le !ir!%mstan!es led to its grad%al de!line$ #hi!h
#as e0pedited -y the s%perision of the C%ldees thro%gho%t
S!otland. 9nder the reign of ,opery the island -e!ame the seat
of a n%nnery$ the r%ins of #hi!h are still seen. At the
Reformation$ the n%ns #ere allo#ed to remain$ liing in
!omm%nity$ #hen the a--ey #as dismantled.
Ionia is no# !hiefly resorted to -y traellers on a!!o%nt of the
n%mero%s e!!lesiasti!al and sep%l!hral remains #hi!h are fo%nd
%pon it. The prin!ipal of these are the Cathedral or A--ey
Ch%r!h$ and the Chapel of the N%nnery. .esides these remains of
e!!lesiasti!al anti:%ity$ there are some of an earlier date$ and
pointing to the e0isten!e on the island of forms of #orship and
-elief different from those of Christianity. These are the
!ir!%lar Cairns #hi!h are fo%nd in ario%s parts$ and #hi!h seem
to hae -een of Dr%idi!al origin. It is in referen!e to all
these remains of an!ient religion that 'ohnson e0!laims$ 8That
man is little to -e enied #hose patriotism #o%ld not gain for!e
%pon the plains of &arathon$ or #hose piety #o%ld not gro# #armer
amid the r%ins of Iona.8
In the (ord of the Isles$ S!ott -ea%tif%lly !ontrasts the !h%r!h
on Iona #ith the Cae of Staffa$ opposite@
8Nat%re herself$ it seemed$ #o%ld raise
A minister to her &aker/s praiseC
Not for a meaner %se as!end
2er !ol%mns or her ar!hes -end;
Nor of a theme less solemn tells
The mighty s%rge that e--s and s#ells$
And still -et#een ea!h a#f%l pa%se$
JFrom the high a%lt an ans#er dra#s$
In aried tone$ prolonged and high$
That mo!ks the organ/s melody;
Nor doth its entran!e front in ain
To old Iona/s holy fane$
That Nat%re/s oi!e might seem to say$
"ell hast tho% done$ frail !hild of !lay$
Thy h%m-le po#ers that stately shrine
Tasked high and hard -%t #itness mine.8
"e hae seen thro%gho%t the !o%rse of this -ook ho# the Greek and
Norse myths hae f%rnished material for the poets$ not only of
Gree!e and S!andinaia$ -%t also of modern times. In the same
#ay these stories hae -een fo%nd !apa-le of artisti! treatment
-y painters$ s!%lptors$ and een -y m%si!ians. The story of
C%pid and ,sy!he has not only -een retold -y poets from Ap%lei%s
to "illiam &orris$ -%t also dra#n o%t in a series of fres!oes -y
Raphael$ and s!%lpt%red in mar-le -y Canoa. Een to en%merate
the #orks of art of the modern and an!ient #orld #hi!h depend for
their s%-7e!t)matter %pon mythology #o%ld -e a task for a -ook -y
itself. As #e hae -een a-le to gie only a fe# ill%strations of
the poeti! treatment of some of the prin!ipal myths$ so #e shall
hae to !ontent o%rseles #ith a similarly limited ie# of the
part played -y them in other fields of art.
Of the stat%es made -y the an!ients themseles to represent their
greater deities$ a fe# hae -een already !ommented on. .%t it
m%st not -e tho%ght that these splendid e0amples of plasti! art$
the Olympian '%piter and the Athene of the ,arthenon$ represent
the earliest attempts of the Greeks to gie form to their myths
in s!%lpt%re. O%r most primitie so%r!es of kno#ledge of m%!h of
Greek mythology are the 2omeri! poems$ #here the stories of
A!hilles and 9lysses hae already taken on a poeti! form$ almost
the highest !on!eia-le. .%t in the other arts$ Greek geni%s
lagged -ehind. At the time #hen the 2omeri! poems #ere #ritten$
#e find no tra!es of !ol%mned temples or magnifi!ent stat%es.
S!ar!ely #ere the domesti! arts s%ffi!iently adan!ed to allo#
the poet to des!ri-e d#ellings glorio%s eno%gh for his heroes to
lie in$ or arti!les of !ommon %tility fit for their %se. Of the
t#o most famo%s #orks of art mentioned in the Iliad #e m%st think
of the stat%e of Athene at Troy <the ,alladi%m= as a r%de !aring
perhaps of #ood$ the arms of the goddess separated from the -ody
only eno%gh to allo# her to hold the lan!e and spindle$ #hi!h
#ere the signs of her diinity. The splendor of the shield of
A!hilles m%st -e attri-%ted largely to the ri!h imagination of
the poet.
Other #orks of art of this primitie age #e kno# from
des!riptions in later !lassi!al #riters. They attri-%ted the
r%de stat%es #hi!h had !ome do#n to them to Daedal%s and his
p%pils$ and -eheld them #ith #onder at their %n!o%th %gliness.
It #as long tho%ght that these -eginnings of Greek s!%lpt%re #ere
to -e tra!ed to Egypt$ -%t no#)a)days s!holars are in!lined to
take a different ie#. Egyptian s!%lpt%re #as !losely allied to
ar!hite!t%re; the stat%es #ere fre:%ently %sed for the !ol%mns of
temples. Th%s s!%lpt%re #as s%-ordinated to p%rely me!hani!al
prin!iples$ and h%man fig%res #ere represented altogether in
a!!ordan!e #ith esta-lished !onentions. Greek s!%lpt%re$ on the
!ontrary$ een in its primitie forms #as eminently nat%ral$
!apa-le of deeloping a high degree of realism. From the first
it #as de!oratie in !hara!ter$ and this left the artist free to
e0e!%te in his o#n #ay$ proided only that the res%lt sho%ld -e
in a!!ordan!e #ith the highest type of -ea%ty #hi!h he !o%ld
!on!eie. An e0ample of this early de!oratie art #as the !hest
of *ypselos$ on #hi!h stories from 2omer #ere depi!ted in
s%!!essie -ands$ the reliefs -eing partly inlaid #ith gold and
JFrom the si0th !ent%ry -efore Christ date three pro!esses of
great importan!e in the deelopment of s!%lpt%re; the art of
!asting in -ron6e$ the !hiselling of mar-le$ and the inlaying of
gold and iory on #ood <!hryselephantine #ork=. As early Greek
literat%re deeloped first among the island Greeks$ so the
inention of these three methods of art m%st -r attri-%ted to the
!olonists a#ay from the original 2ellas. To the Samians is
pro-a-ly d%e the inention of -ron6e !asting$ to the Chians the
-eginning of s!%lpt%re in mar-le. This latter deelopment opened
to Greek s!%lpt%re its great f%t%re. &ar-le #ork #as !arried on
-y a ra!e of artists -eginning #ith &elas in the seenth !ent%ry
and !oming do#n to .o%palos and Athenis$ the sons of A!hermos$
#hose #orks s%ried to the time of A%g%st%s. Chryselephantine
s!%lpt%re -egan in Crete.
Among the earliest of the Greek s!%lptors #hose names hae !ome
do#n to %s #as Cana!hos$ the Si!yonian. 2is masterpie!e #as the
Apollo ,hilesios$ in -ron6e$ made for the temple of Didymas. The
stat%e no longer e0ists$ -%t there are a n%m-er of an!ient
mon%ments #hi!h may -e taken as fairly !lose !opies of it$ or at
least as strongly s%ggestie of the style of Cana!hos$ among
#hi!h are the ,ayne)*night Apollo at the .ritish &%se%m$ and the
,iom-ino Apollo at the (o%re. In this latter stat%e the god
stands ere!t #ith the left foot slightly adan!ed$ and the hands
o%tstret!hed. The so!ket of the eye is hollo# and #as pro-a-ly
filled #ith some -right s%-stan!e. Cana!hos #as %ndo%-tedly an
innoator$ and in the stronger modelling of the head and ne!k$
the more igoro%s post%re of the -ody of his stat%e$ he sho#s an
adan!e on the more !onentional and limited art of his
As Greek s!%lpt%re progressed$ s!hools of artists arose in
ario%s !ities$ dependent %s%ally for their fame on the a-ility
of some indiid%al s!%lptor. 8Among these s!hools$ those of
Aegina and Athens are the most important. Of the former s!hool
the #orks of Onat%s are -y far the most nota-le.
Onat%s #as a !ontemporary of Cana!hos$ and rea!hed the height of
his fame in the middle of the fifth !ent%ry -efore Christ. 2is
most famo%s #ork #as the s!ene #here the Greek heroes dra# lots
for an opponent to 2e!tor. It is not !ertain #hether Onat%s
s!%lpt%red the gro%ps #hi!h adorned the pediments of the temple
of Athena at Aegina$ gro%ps no# in the Glyptothek at &%ni!h$ -%t
!ertainly these famo%s stat%es are de!idedly in his style. .oth
pediments represent the -attle oer the -ody of ,atro!l%s. The
east pediment sho#s the str%ggle -et#een 2era!les and (aomedon.
In ea!h gro%p a fallen #arrior lies at the feet of the goddess$
oer #hom she e0tends her prote!tion. The Aeginetan mar-les sho#
the tra!es of dying ar!haism. The fig%res of the #arriors are
strongly mo%lded$ m%s!%lar$ -%t #itho%t gra!e. The same type is
reprod%!ed again and again among them. Een the #o%nded s!ar!ely
depart from it. The stat%es of the eastern pediment are pro-a-ly
later in date than those of the #estern$ and in the former the
dying #arrior e0hi-its a!t%al #eakness and pain. In the #estern
pediment the stat%e of the goddess is thoro%ghly ar!hai!$ stiff$
%n!ompromisingly harsh$ the feat%res fro6en into a !onentional
smile. In the eastern gro%p the goddess$ tho%gh still
%ngra!ef%l$ is more distin!tly in a!tion$ and seems a-o%t to take
part in the str%ggle. The 2era!les of the eastern pediment$ a
#arrior s%pported on one knee and dra#ing his -o#$ is$ for the
time$ #onderf%lly iid and strong. All of these stat%es are
eiden!e of the rapid progress #hi!h Greek s!%lpt%re #as making
in the fifth !ent%ry against the demands of hierati!
The !ontemporary Athenian s!hool -oasted the names of 2egias$
Critios$ and Nesiotes. Their #orks hae all perished$ -%t a !opy
of one of the most famo%s #orks of Critios and Nesiotes$ the
stat%e of the Tyranni!ides$ is to -e fo%nd in the &%se%m of
Naples. 2armodi%s and Aristogeiton killed$ in ODN ..C.$ the
tyrant)r%ler of Athens$ 2ippar!h%s. In !onse:%en!e of this
Athens soon -e!ame a rep%-li!$ and the names of the first re-els
#ere held in great honor. Their stat%es #ere set %p on the
A!ropolis$ first a gro%p -y Antenor$ then the gro%p in :%estion
-y Critios and Nesiotes after the first had -een !arried a#ay -y
5er0es. The heroes$ as #e learn from the !opies in Naples$ #ere
represented as r%shing for#ard$ one #ith a naked s#ord flashing
a-oe his head$ the other #ith a mantle for defen!e thro#n oer
his left arm. They differ in eery detail of a!tion and pose$
yet they e0emplify the same emotion$ a !ommon imp%lse to perform
the same deed.
At Arg%s$ !ontemporary #ith these early s!hools of Athens and
Aegina$ #as a s!hool of artists depending on the fame of the
great s!%lptor Ageladas. 2e #as disting%ished for his stat%es in
-ron6e of 4e%s and 2era!les$ -%t his great distin!tion is not
thro%gh #orks of his o#n$ -%t is d%e to the fa!t that he #as the
tea!her of &yron$ ,oly!leitos$ and ,heidias. These names #ith
those of ,ythagoras and Calamis -ring %s to the glorio%s
flo#ering time of Greek s!%lpt%re.
Calamis$ some#hat older than the others$ #as an Athenian$ at
least -y residen!e. 2e !arried on the meas%re of perfe!tion
#hi!h Athenian s!%lpt%re had already attained$ and added gra!e
and !harm to the already po#erf%l model #hi!h earlier #orkers had
left him. None of his #orks s%rie$ -%t from noti!es of !riti!s
#e kno# that he e0!elled espe!ially in modelling horses and other
animals. 2is t#o ra!e)horses in memory of the i!tory of 2iero
of Syra!%se at Olympia in NEG #ere !onsidered %ns%rpassa-le.
2o#eer$ it is related that ,ra0iteles remoed the !harioteer
from one of the gro%ps of Calamis and repla!ed it -y one of his
o#n stat%es 8that the men of Calamis might not -e inferior to his
horses.8 Th%s it #o%ld appear that Calamis #as less s%!!essf%l
in dealing #ith the h%man -ody$ tho%gh a stat%e of Aphrodite from
his hand #as proer-ial$ %nder the name Sosandra$ for its gra!e
and grae -ea%ty.
,ythagoras of Rhegi%m !arried on the realism$ tr%th to nat%re$
#hi!h #as -eginning to appear as an ideal of artisti!
representation. 2e is said to hae -een the first s!%lptor to
mark the eins and sine#s on the -ody.
In this iid nat%ralness ,ythagoras #as himself far s%rpassed -y
&yron. ,ythagoras had seen the importan!e of sho#ing the effe!t
of a!tion in eery portion of the -ody. &yron !arried the
min%teness of representation so far that his Stat%e of (adas$ the
r%nner$ #as spoken of not as a r%nner$ -%t as a .REAT2ER. This
stat%e represented the i!tor of the foot)ra!e falling$
oerstrained and dying$ at the goal$ the last -reath from the
tired l%ngs yet hoering %pon the lips. &ore famo%s than the
(adas is the Dis!o-olos $ or dis!)thro#er$ of #hi!h !opies e0ist
at Rome$ one -eing at the +ati!an$ the other at the ,ala66o
&assimi alle Colonne. These$ tho%gh do%-tless far -ehind the
original$ sere to sho# the marello%s po#er of portraying
intense a!tion #hi!h the s!%lptor possessed. The athlete is
represented at the pre!ise instant #hen he has -ro%ght the
greatest possi-le -odily strength into play in order to gie to
the dis! its highest for!e. The -ody is -ent for#ard$ the toes
of one foot !ling to the gro%nd$ the m%s!les of the torso are
strained$ the #hole -ody is in an attit%de of iolent tension
#hi!h !an end%re only for an instant. 1et the fa!e is free from
!ontortion$ free from any tra!e of effort$ !alm and -ea%tif%l.
This sho#s that &yron$ intent as he #as %pon reprod%!ing nat%re$
!o%ld yet depart from his realisti! form%lae #hen the
re:%irements of -ea%tif%l art demanded it.
The same delight in rapid momentary a!tion #hi!h !hara!teri6ed
the t#o stat%es of &yron already mentioned appears in a third$
the stat%e of &arsyas astonished at the fl%te #hi!h Athene had
thro#n a#ay$ and #hi!h #as to lead its finder into his fatal
!ontest #ith Apollo. A !opy of this #ork at the (ateran &%se%m
represents the satyr starting -a!k in a rapid mingling of desire
and fear$ #hi!h is stamped on his heay fa!e$ as #ell as
indi!ated in the moement of his -ody.
&yron/s realism again fo%nd e0pression in the -ron6e !o#$
!ele-rated -y the epigrams of !ontemporary poets for its striking
nat%ralness. 8Shepherd$ past%re thy flo!k at a little distan!e$
lest thinking tho% seest the !o# of &yron -reathe$ tho% sho%ldst
#ish to lead it a#ay #ith thine o0en$8 #as one of them.
The al%e and originality of &yron/s !ontri-%tions to the
progress of Greek s!%lpt%re #ere so great that he left -ehind him
a !onsidera-le n%m-er of artists deoted to his methods. 2is son
(ykios follo#ed his father !losely. In stat%es on the A!ropolis
representing t#o -oys$ one -earing a -asin$ one -lo#ing the !oals
in a !enser into a flame$ he reminds one of the (adas$ espe!ially
in the se!ond$ #here the a!tion of -reathing is e0emplified in
eery moement of the -ody. Another famo%s #ork -y a follo#er of
&yron #as the -oy pl%!king a thorn from his foot$ a !opy of #hi!h
is in the Roths!hild !olle!tion.
The frie6e of the Temple of Apollo at ,higales has also -een
attri-%ted to the s!hool of &yron. The remnants of this frie6e$
no# in the .ritish &%se%m$ sho# the -attle of the Centa%rs and
Ama6ons. The fig%res hae not the !alm stateliness of -earing
#hi!h !hara!teri6es those of the ,arthenon frie6e$ -%t instead
e0hi-it a #ild ehemen!e of a!tion #hi!h is$ perhaps$ dire!tly
d%e to the infl%en!e of &yron.
Another p%pil of Ageladas$ a some#hat yo%nger !ontemporary of
,heidias$ #as ,oly!leitos. 2e e0!elled in representations of
h%man$ -odily -ea%ty. ,erfe!tion of form #as his aim$ and so
nearly did he seem to the an!ients to hae attained this o-7e!t
that his Doryphoros #as taken -y them as a model of the h%man
fig%re. A !opy of this stat%e e0ists in the &%se%m of Naples
and represents a yo%th in the attit%de of -earing a lan!e$ :%iet
and resered. The fig%re is rather heaily -%ilt$ firm$
po#erf%l$ and yet gra!ef%l$ tho%gh hardly light eno%gh to 7%stify
the praise of perfe!tion #hi!h has -een laished %pon it.
A !ompanion stat%e to the Doryphor%s of ,oly!leitos #as his
stat%e of the Diad%menos$ or -oy -inding his head #ith a fillet.
A s%pposed !opy of this e0ists in the .ritish &%se%m. It
presents the same general !hara!teristi!s as the Doryphor%s$ a
#ell)modelled -%t thi!k)set fig%re standing in an attit%de of
"hat ,oly!leitos did for the male form in these t#o stat%es he
did for the female form in his Ama6on$ #hi!h$ a!!ording to a
do%-tf%l story$ #as ad7%dged in !ompetition s%perior to a #ork -y
,heidias. A stat%e s%pposed to -e a !opy of this masterpie!e of
,oly!leitos is no# in the .erlin &%se%m. It represents a #oman
standing in a gra!ef%l attit%de -eside a pillar$ her left arm
thro#n a-oe her head to free her #o%nded -reast. The s!%lptor
has s%!!eeded admira-ly in !at!hing the m%s!%lar for!e and firm
hard flesh -eneath the gra!ef%l !%res of the #oman #arrior.
,oly!leitos #on his !hief s%!!esses in portraying h%man fig%res.
2is stat%es of diinities are not n%mero%s@ a 4e%s at Argos$ an
Aphrodite at Amy!lae$ and$ more famo%s than either$ the
!hryselephantine 2era for a temple -et#een Argos and &y!enae.
The goddess #as represented as seated on a throne of gold$ #ith
-are head and arms. In her right hand #as the s!eptre !ro#ned
#ith the !%!koo$ sym-ol of !on7%gal fidelity; in her left$ the
pomegranate. There e0ists no !ertain !opy of the 2era of
,oly!leitos. The head of 2era in Naples may$ perhaps$ gie %s
some idea of the type of diine -ea%ty preferred -y the s!%lptor
#ho #as preeminent for his deotion to h%man -ea%ty.
,oly!leitos #as m%!h praised -y the Romans 3%intilian and Ci!ero$
#ho neertheless$ held that tho%gh he s%rpassed the -ea%ty of man
in nat%re$ yet he did not approa!h the -ea%ty of the gods. It
#as resered for ,heidias to portray the highest !on!eptions of
diinity of #hi!h the Greek mind #as !apa-le in his stat%es of
Athene in the ,arthenon at Athens$ and the 4e%s of Olymp%s.
,heidias lied in the golden age of Athenian art. The i!tory of
Gree!e against ,ersia had -een d%e in large meas%re to Athens$
and the res%lts of the politi!al s%!!ess fell largely to her. It
is tr%e the ,ersians had held the gro%nd of Athens for #eeks$ and
#hen$ after the i!tory of Salamis$ the people ret%rned to their
!ity$ they fo%nd it in r%ins. .%t the spirit of the Athenians
had -een stirred$ and in spite of the hostility of ,ersia$ the
7ealo%sy of neigh-oring states$ and the r%in of the !ity$ the
people felt ne# !onfiden!e in themseles and their diinity$ and
#ere more than eer ready to strie for the leadership of Gree!e.
Religio%s feeling$ gratit%de to the gods #ho had presered them$
and !ii! pride in the glory of their o#n i!torio%s !ity$ all
inspired the Athenians. After the #inter in #hi!h the ,ersians
#ere finally -eaten at ,lataea$ the Athenians -egan to re-%ild.
For a #hile their efforts #ere !onfined to rendering the !ity
ha-ita-le and defensi-le$ sin!e the a!tiity of the little state
#as largely politi!al. .%t #hen th leadership of Athens in
Gree!e had -e!ome firmly esta-lished %nder Theisto!les and Cimon$
the third president of the demo!ra!y$ ,eri!les$ fo%nd leis%re to
t%rn to the artisti! deelopment of the !ity. The time #as ripe$
for the artisti! progress of the people had -een no less marked
than their politi!al. The same long training in alor and
temperan!e #hi!h gae Athens her statesmen$ Aristides and
,eri!les$ gae her her artists and poets also. ,eri!les -e!ame
president of the !ity in NNN ..C.$ 7%st at the time #hen the
de!oratie arts #ere approa!hing perfe!tion %nder ,heidias.
,heidias #as an Athenian -y -irth$ the son of Charmides. 2e
st%died first %nder 2egias$ then %nder Ageladas the Argie. 2e
-e!ame the most famo%s s!%lptor of his time$ and #hen ,eri!les
#anted a dire!tor for his great mon%mental #orks at Athens$ he
s%mmoned ,heidias. Artists from all oer 2ellas p%t themseles
at his disposal$ and %nder his dire!tion the ,arthenon #as -%ilt
and adorned #ith the most splendid stat%ary the #orld has eer
The ,arthenon #as fashioned in honor of Athene or &inera$ the
g%ardian deity of Athens$ the preserer of 2ellas$ #hom the
Athenians in their gratit%de so%ght to make the soereign goddess
of the land #hi!h she had saed. The eastern ga-le of the temple
#as adorned #ith a gro%p representing the appearan!e of &inera
-efore the gods of Olymp%s. In the left angle of the ga-le
appeared 2elios$ the da#n$ rising from the sea. In the right
angle Selene$ eening$ sank from sight. Ne0t to 2elios #as a
fig%re representing either Dionys%s or Olymp%s$ and -eside #ere
seated t#o fig%res$ perhaps ,ersephone and Demeter$ perhaps t#o
2orae. Approa!hing these as a messenger #as Iris. .alan!ing
these fig%res on the side ne0t Selene #ere t#o fig%res$
representing Aphrodite in the arms of ,eitho$ or perhaps
Thalassa$ goddess of the sea$ leaning against Gaia$ the earth.
Nearer the !entre on this side #as 2estia$ to #hom 2ermes -ro%ght
the tidings. The !entral gro%p is totally lost$ -%t m%st hae
-een made %p of 4e%s$ Athene$ and +%l!an$ #ith$ perhaps$ others
of the greater diinities.
The gro%p of the #estern pediment represented Athene and
,oseidon$ !ontesting for the s%prema!y of Athens. Athene/s
!hariot is drien -y +i!tory$ ,oseidon/s -y Amphitrite. Altho%gh
the greater part of the attendant deities hae disappeared$ #e
kno# the gods of the riers of Athens$ Eridanas and Ilissos$ in
re!lining post%res filled the !orners of the pediment. One of
these has s%ried$ and remains in its perfe!tion of gra!e and
immortal -ea%ty to attest the #onderf%l skill that dire!ted the
!hiselling of the #hole gro%p.
Altho%gh the ga-le gro%ps hae s%ffered terri-ly in the histori!
i!issit%des of the ,arthenon$ still eno%gh remains of them to
sho# the dignity of their !on!eption$ the rhythm of !omposition$
and the splendid freedom of their #orkmanship. The fragments
#ere p%r!hased -y (ord Elgin early in this !ent%ry and are no# in
the .ritish &%se%m.
The frie6e of the ,arthenon$ e0e!%ted %nder the s%perision of
,heidias$ represented one of the most glorio%s religio%s
!eremonies of the Greek$ the ,an)Athenai! pro!ession. The
deities s%rro%nd 4e%s as spe!tators of the s!ene$ and to#ard them
#inds the long line of irgins -earing in!ense$ herds of animals
for sa!rifi!e$ players %pon the l%te and lyre$ !hariots and
riders. On the #estern front the moement has not yet -eg%n$ and
the yo%ths and men stand in disorder$ some -inding their mantles$
some mo%nting their horses. The frie6e is note#orthy for its
e0pression of physi!al and intelle!t%al -ea%ty #hi!h marked the
highest !on!eptions of Greek art$ and for the st%died mingling of
for!i-le a!tion and gra!io%s repose. The larger part of this
frie6e has -een presered and is to -e seen at the .ritish
The third gro%p of ,arthenon s!%lpt%res$ the ornaments of the
metope$ represents the !ontest -et#een !enta%rs and the (apithae
#ith some s!enes interspersed of #hi!h the s%-7e!ts !annot no# -e
determined. The frie6e is in lo# relief$ the fig%res s!ar!ely
starting from the -a!kgro%nd. The s!%lpt%res of the metope$ on
the !ontrary$ are in high relief$ fre:%ently giing the
impression of mar-les deta!hed from the -a!kgro%nd altogether.
They #ere$ moreoer$ !olored. Or !o%rse$ ,heidias himself !annot
hae had more than the share of general dire!tor in the
s!%lpt%res of the metope; many of them are manifestly e0e!%ted -y
inferior hands. Neertheless$ the mind of a great designer is
eident in the #onderf%l ariety of post%re and a!tion #hi!h the
fig%res sho#. Indeed$ #hen #e !onsider the immense n%m-er of
fig%res employed$ it -e!omes eident that not een all the
s!%lpt%res of the pediments !an hae -een e0e!%ted entirely -y
,heidias$ #ho #as already pro-a-ly #ell adan!ed in life #hen he
-egan the ,arthenon de!orations; yet all the s!%lpt%res #ere the
#ork of ,heidias or of p%pils #orking %nder him$ and altho%gh
tra!es may -e fo%nd of the infl%en!e of other artists$ of
&yron$ for e0ample$ in the freedom and nat%ralness of the a!tion
in the fig%res of the frie6e$ yet all the de!orations of the
,arthenon may fairly -e said to -elong to the ,heidian s!hool of
The fame of ,heidias himself$ ho#eer$ rested ery largely on
three great pie!es of art #ork@ The Athene ,roma!hos$ the Athene
,arthenos$ and the Olympian 4e%s. The first of these #as a #ork
of ,heidias/s yo%th. It represented the goddess standing ga6ing
to#ard Athens loingly and prote!tingly. She held a spear in one
hand$ the other s%pported a -%!kler. The stat%e #as nine feet
high. It #as dignified and no-le$ -%t at the time of its
!on!eption ,heidias had not freed himself from the !onention and
traditions of the earlier s!hool$ and the stiff folds of the
t%ni!$ the !old demeanor of the goddess$ re!all the masters #hom
,heidias #as destined to s%persede. No !opy of this stat%e
s%ries$ and hen!e a des!ription of it m%st -e largely
!on7e!t%ral$ made %p from hints gleaned from Athenian !oins.
,heidias s!%lpt%red other stat%es of Athene$ -%t none so
#onderf%l as the Athene ,arthenos$ #hi!h$ #ith the Olympian 4e%s$
#as the #onder and admiration of the Greek #orld. The Athene
,arthenos #as designed to stand as an o%t#ard sym-ol of the
diinity in #hose prote!ting might the !ity had !on:%ered and
gro#n strong$ in #hose honor the temple had -een -%ilt in #hi!h
this stat%e #as to shine as :%een. The Olympian 4e%s #as the
representatie of that greater diinity #hi!h all 2ellas %nited
in honoring. "e may gain from the #ords of ,a%sanias some idea
of the magnifi!en!e of this stat%e$ -%t of its %n%ttera-le
ma7esty #e !an only form faint images in the mind$ remem-ering
the strength and gra!e of the fig%res of the pediments of the
temple at Athens. 84e%s$8 says ,a%sanias$ 8is seated on a throne
of iory and gold; %pon his head is la!ed a garland made in
imitation of olie leaes. 2e -ears a +i!tory in his right hand$
also !ro#ned and made in gold and iory$ and holding in her right
hand a little fillet. In his left hand the god holds a s!eptre$
made of all kinds of metals; the -ird per!hed on the tip of the
s!eptre is an eagle. The shoes of 4e%s are also of gold$ and of
gold his mantle$ and %nderneath this mantle are fig%res and
lilies inlaid.8
.oth the Olympian 4e%s and the Athene #ere of !hryselephantine
#ork offering enormo%s te!hni!al diffi!%lties$ -%t in spite of
this -oth sho#ed almost a-sol%te perfe!tion of form %nited #ith
-ea%ty of intelle!t%al !hara!ter to represent the godhead
in!arnate in h%man s%-stan!e. These t#o stat%es may -e taken as
the no-lest !reations of the Greek imagination #hen dire!ted to
the highest o-7e!ts of its !ontemplation. The -ea%ty of the
Olympian 4e%s$ a!!ording to 3%intilian$ 8added a ne# element to
In the #orks of art 7%st mentioned the !reatie for!e of the
Greeks attained its highest s%!!ess. After the death of ,heidias
his methods #ere !arried on in a #ay -y the s!%lptors #ho had
#orked %nder him and -e!ome s%-7e!t to his infl%en!e; -%t as
years #ent on$ #ith less and less to remind %s of the s%preme
perfe!tion of the master. Among these p%pils of ,heidias #ere
Agora!ritos and Colotes in Athens$ ,aionios$ and Al!amenes. Of
,aionios fort%nately one stat%e s%ries in regard to #hi!h there
!an -e no do%-t. The +i!tory ere!ted to the Olympian 4e%s sho#s
a tall goddess$ strongly yet gra!ef%lly !ared$ posed for#ard
#ith her drapery flattened !losely against her -ody in front as
if -y the #ind$ and streaming freely -ehind. The masterpie!e of
Al!amenes$ an Aphrodite$ is kno#n only -y des!riptions. The
pediments of the temple at Olympia hae -een assigned$ -y
tradition$ one to Al!amenes$ one to ,aionios. They are$ ho#eer$
so thoro%ghly ar!hai! in style that it seems impossi-le to
re!on!ile them #ith #hat #e kno# of the #ork of the men to #hom
they are attri-%ted. The gro%p of the eastern front represented
the !hariot ra!es of Oinomaos and ,elops; that of the #estern$
the str%ggle of the Centa%rs and (apithae. In the latter the
a!tion is e0tremely iolent$ only the Apollo in the midst is !alm
and !ommanding. In -oth pediments there are de!ided approa!hes
to realism.
In Athens$ after ,heidias$ the greatest s!%lpt%res #ere those
%sed to adorn the Ere!htheion. The gro%p of Caryatids$ maidens
#ho stand ere!t and firm$ -earing %pon their heads the #eight of
the por!h$ is 7%stly !ele-rated as an ar!hite!t%ral dei!e. At
the same time$ the maidens$ tho%gh th%s performing the #ork of
!ol%mns$ do not lose the gra!e and !harm #hi!h nat%rally -elongs
to them.
Another post),heidian #ork at Athens #as the temple of Nike
Apteros$ the #ingless +i!tory. The -as)reliefs from this temple$
no# in the A!ropolis &%se%m at Athens$ one representing the
+i!tory stooping to tie her sandal$ another$ the +i!tory !ro#ning
a trophy$ re!all the !ons%mmate gra!e of the art of ,heidias$ the
greatest Greek art.
Agora!ritos left -ehind him #orks at Athens #hi!h in their
perfe!tion !o%ld s!ar!ely -e disting%ished from the #orks of
,heidias himself$ none of #hi!h hae !ome do#n to %s. .%t from
the time of the ,eloponnesian #ar$ the seeds of de!ay #ere in the
art of 2ellas$ and they ripened fast. In one dire!tion
Callima!h%s !arried refined deli!a!y and formal perfe!tion to
e0!ess; and in the other Demetrios$ the portrait s!%lptor$ p%t -y
ideal -ea%ty for the striking !hara!teristi!s of realism. Th%s
the stri!t resere$ the earnest simpli!ity of ,heidias and his
!ontemporaries$ #ere sa!rifi!ed sa!rifi!ed partly$ it is tr%e$
to the re:%irements of a f%ller spirit%al life$ partly to the
demands of a #ider kno#ledge and deeper passion. The legitimate
effe!ts of s!%lpt%re are stri!tly limited. S!%lpt%re is fitted
to e0press not temporary$ a!!idental feeling$ -%t permanent
!hara!ter; not iolent a!tion$ -%t repose. In the great #ork of
the golden age the tho%ght of the artist #as happily limited so
that the form #as ade:%ate to its e0pression. One single motie
#as all that he tried to e0press a motie %n!ompli!ated -y
details of spe!ifi! sit%ation$ a type of general -ea%ty %nmi0ed
#ith the pe!%liar s%ggestions of spe!ial and indiid%al emotion.
"hen the on#ard imp%lse led the artist to pass oer the seere
limits #hi!h -o%nded the tho%ght of the earlier s!hool$ he fo%nd
his medi%m -e!oming less ade:%ate to the demands of his more
detailed and !ir!%mstantial mental !on!eption. The later
s!%lpt%re$ therefore$ la!ks in some meas%re the repose and entire
ass%ran!e of the earlier. The earlier s!%lpt%re !onfines itself
to -road$ !entral lines of heroi! and diine !hara!ter$ as in the
t#o masterpie!es of ,heidias. The latter dealt in great
ela-oration #ith the details and elements of the stories and
!hara!ters that formed its s%-7e!ts$ as in the Nio-e gro%p$ or
the (ao!oon$ to -e mentioned later.
These modern tenden!ies prod%!ed as the greatest artists of the
later Greek type S!opas and ,ra0iteles.
.et#een these$ ho#eer$ and the earlier s!hool #hi!h they
s%perseded !ame the Athenian *ephisodotos$ the father$ it may -e
s%pposed of ,ra0iteles. 2is fame rests %pon a single #ork$ a
!opy of #hi!h has -een dis!oered$ the Eirene and ,lo%tos. In
this$ #hile the simpli!ity and stri!tness of the ,heidian ideal
hae -een largely presered$ it has -een %sed as the ehi!le of
deeper feeling and more spirit%al life.
S!opas #as -orn at ,aros$ and lied d%ring the fist half of the
fo%rth !ent%ry. 2e did m%!h de!oratie #ork in!l%ding the
pediments of the temple of Athena at Tegea. 2e parti!ipated also
in the de!oration of the &a%sole%m ere!ted -y Artemisia to the
memory of her h%s-and. In this latter$ the -attle of the
Ama6ons$ tho%gh pro-a-ly not the #ork of S!opas himself$ sho#s in
the iolen!e of its attit%des and the pathos of its a!tion the
ne# elements of interest in Greek art #ith the introd%!tion of
#hi!h S!opas is !onne!ted. The fame of S!opas rests prin!ipally
on the Nio-e gro%p #hi!h is attri-%ted to him. The s!%lpt%re
represents the #ife of Amphion at the moment #hen the !%rse of
Apollo and Diana falls %pon her$ and her !hildren are slain
-efore her eyes. The !hildren$ already feeling the arro#s of the
gods$ are flying to her for prote!tion. She tries in ain to
shield her yo%ngest -orn -eneath her mantle$ and t%rns as if to
hide her fa!e #ith its motherly pride 7%st giing pla!e to
despair and agony. The #hole gro%p is free from !ontortion and
grandly tragi!. The original e0ists no longer$ -%t !opies of
parts of the gro%p are fo%nd in the 9ffi6i Gallery at Floren!e.
The Nio-e gro%p sho#s the distin!tion -et#een S!opas and
,ra0iteles and the earlier artists in !hoi!e of s%-7e!t and mode
of treatment. The same distin!tion is sho#n -y the Raging
.a!!hante of S!opas. The head is thro#n -a!k$ the hair loosened$
the garments floating in the #ind$ an e!sta!y of #ild$ torrent)
like a!tion.
Of the #ork of ,ra0iteles #e kno# more dire!tly than of the #ork
of any other Greek s!%lptor of the same remoteness$ for one
stat%e has !ome do#n to %s a!t%ally from the master/s o#n hand$
and #e possess good !opies of seeral others. 2is stat%es of
Aphrodite$ of #hi!h there #ere at least fie$ are kno#n to %s -y
the fig%res on !oins and -y t#o #orks in the same style$ the
Aphrodite in the Glyptothek$ and that of the +ati!an. The most
famo%s of all #as the Aphrodite of Cnidos$ #hi!h #as ranked #ith
the Olympian 4e%s and #as !alled one of the #onders of te #orld.
*ing Ni!omedes of .ithynia offered ainly to the people of Cnidos
the entire amo%nt of their state de-t for its possession. (%!ian
des!ri-ed the goddess as haing a smile some#hat pro%d and
disdainf%l; yet the eyes$ moist and kindly$ glo#ed #ith
tenderness and passion$ and the gra!ef%l lines of the sho%lders$
the ol%pt%o%s !%res of the thighs$ are f%ll of sens%o%s
feeling. The goddess$ as represented in !oins$ stood -eside a
ase$ oer #hi!h her drapery is falling$ #hile #ith her right
hand she shields herself modestly. The head of Aphrodite in the
.ritish &%se%m$ #ith its p%re -ro#s$ its deli!ate$ ol%pt%o%s
lips$ and s#eet$ soft skin$ is$ perhaps$ the nearest approa!h
#hi!h #e possess to the glorio%s -ea%ty of the original.
Other Aphrodites$ the draped stat%e of Cos among them$ and
seeral stat%es of Eros$ representing tender$ effeminate yo%ths$
ill%strate f%rther the depart%re #hi!h ,ra0iteles marks from the
restraint of ,heidias. Another of his mas!%line fig%res is the
gra!ef%l Apollo #ith the (i6ard. The god$ strong in his yo%thf%l
s%ppleness$ is leaning against a tree threatening #ith his darts
a small li6ard #hi!h is seeking to !lim- %p. Still another type
of mas!%line gra!e left %s -y ,ra0iteles is his stat%e of the
Satyr$ of #hi!h a !opy e0ists in the Capitoline &%se%m. The
Satyr$ in the hands of ,ra0iteles$ lost all his an!ient
%n!o%thness$ and -e!ame a strong$ gra!ef%l yo%th$ #ith soft$ f%ll
form. In the Capitoline representation the -oy is leaning easily
against a tree$ thro#ing his -ody into the most indolent post%re$
#hi!h -rings o%t the soft$ feminine !%res of hips and legs. In
fa!t$ so thoro%ghly is the feminine prin!iple #orked into the
stat%es of the Apollo$ the Eros$ and the Satyr$ that this
!hara!teristi! -e!ame !onsidered typi!al of ,ra0iteles$ and #hen$
in DGMM$ #as dis!oered the one a%thenti! #ork #hi!h #e possess
of this artist$ the great 2ermes of Olympia$ !riti!s #ere at a
loss to re!on!ile this fig%re #ith #hat #as already kno#n of the
s!%lptor/s #ork$ some holding that it m%st -e a #ork of his
yo%th$ #hen$ thro%gh his father$ *ephisodotos$ he felt the for!e
of the ,heidian tradition$ others that there m%st hae -een t#o
s!%lptors -earing the great name of ,ra0iteles.
The 2ermes #as fo%nd la!king the right arm and -oth legs -elo#
the knees$ -%t the marello%s head and torso are perfe!tly
presered. The god is #itho%t the traditional sym-ols of his
diinity. 2e is merely a -ea%tif%l man. 2e stands leaning
easily against a tree$ s%pporting on one arm the !hild Dionys%s$
to #hom he t%rns his gra!io%s head #ith the deotion and loe of
a prote!tor. The fa!e$ in its e0pression of s#eet ma7esty$ is
distin!tly a personal !on!eption. The lo# forehead$ the eyes far
apart$ the small$ playf%l mo%th$ the ro%nd$ dimpled !hin$ all
-ear eiden!e to the indiid%al :%ality #hi!h ,ra0iteles inf%sed
into the ideal tho%ght of the god. The -ody$ tho%gh at rest$ is
instin!t #ith life and a!tiity$ in spite of its gra!e. In
short$ the form of the god has the s%per- perfe!tion$ as the fa!e
has the dignity$ #hi!h #as attri-%ted to ,heidias. Neertheless$
the 2ermes ill%strates sens%al loeliness of the later s!hool.
The freedom #ith #hi!h the god is !on!eied -elongs to an age
#hen the !hains of religio%s -elief sat lightly %pon the artist.
The gds of ,ra0iteles are the gods of h%man e0perien!e$ and in
his treatment of them he does not al#ays es!ape the tenden!y of
the age of de!line to p%t pathos and passion in the pla!e of
eternal ma7esty.
The infl%en!e of S!opas and ,ra0iteles !ontin%ed to -e felt
thro%gh a n%m-er of artists #ho #orked in s%ffi!ient harmony #ith
them to -e properly !alled of their s!hool. To one of these
follo#ers of ,ra0iteles$ some say as a !opy of a #ork of the
master himself$ #e m%st attri-%te the Demeter no# in the .ritish
&%se%m. This is a patheti! ill%stration of s%ffering
motherhood. There is no e0aggeration in the grief$ only the !alm
dignity of a sorro# #hi!h in spite of hope ref%ses to -e
Another #ork of an %nkno#n artist$ pro-a-ly a follo#er of S!opas$
is the splendid +i!tory of Samothra!e$ no# in the (o%re. The
goddess$ #ith her great #ings o%tspread -ehind her$ is -eing
!arried for#ard$ her firm ro%nded lim-s striking thro%gh the
draperies #hi!h fl%tter -ehind her$ and fall a-o%t her in soft
folds. +igoro%s and stately$ the goddess poises herself on the
pro# of the ship$ s#aying #ith the imp%lse of !on:%ering daring
and strength.
Another stat%e #hi!h -elongs$ so far as artisti! reasoning may
!arry %s$ to the period and s!hool of ,ra0iteles$ is the so)
!alled +en%s of &ilo. The proper title to -e gien to this
stat%e is do%-tf%l$ for the drapery !orresponds to that of the
Roman type of +i!tory$ and if #e !o%ld -e s%re that the goddess
on!e held the shield of !on:%est in her no# -roken arms #e sho%ld
-e for!ed to !all the fig%re a +i!tory and pla!e its date no
earlier than the se!ond !ent%ry ..C. 2o#eer this may -e$ the
stat%e is 7%stly one of the most famo%s in the #orld. It
represents an ideal of p%rity and s#eetness. There is not a
tra!e of !oarseness or immodesty in the half)naked #oman #ho
stands perfe!t in the maidenly dignity of her o#n !on:%ering
fairness. 2er serio%s yet smiling fa!e$ her gra!ef%l form$ the
deli!a!y of feeling in attit%de and ga6e$ the tender mo%lding of
-reast and lim-s$ make it a #orthy !ompanion of the 2ermes or
,ra0iteles. It seems s!ar!ely possi-le that it sho%ld not hae
spr%ng from the inspiration of his e0ample.
The last of the great s!%lptors of Gree!e #as (ysippos of Sikyo%.
2e differed from ,heidias on the one hand and from ,oly!leitos on
the other. ,heidias stroe to make his gods all god)like;
(ysippos #as !ontent to represent them merely as e0aggerated
h%man -eings; -%t therein he differed also from ,oly!leitos$ #ho
aimed to model the h%man -ody #ith the -ea%ty only #hi!h a!t%ally
e0isted in it. (ysippos felt that he m%st set the standard of
h%man perfe!tion higher than it appears in the aerage of h%man
e0amples. 2en!e #e hae from him the stat%es of 2era!les$ in
#hi!h the ideal of manly strength #as !arried far -eyond the
range of h%man possi-ility. A reminis!en!e of this !on!eption of
(ysippos may -e fo%nd in the Farnese 2era!les of Gly!on$ no# in
the &%se%m of Naples. (ysippos also s!%lpt%red fo%r stat%es of
4e%s$ #hi!h depended for their interest largely on their heroi!
(ysippos #on m%!h fame -y his stat%es of Ale0ander the Great$ -%t
he is !hiefly kno#n to %s -y his stat%e of the athlete s!raping
himself #ith a strigil$ of #hi!h an a%thenti! !opy is in the
+ati!an. The fig%re differs de!idedly from the thi!k)set$ rather
heay fig%res of ,oly!leitos$ -eing tall$ and slender in spite of
its ro-%stness. The head is small$ the torso is small at the
#aist$ -%t strong$ and the #hole -ody is splendidly a!tie.
The !hanges in the models of earlier s!%lptors made -y (ysippos
#ere of s%ffi!ient importan!e to gie rise to a s!hool #hi!h #as
!arried on -y his sons and others$ prod%!ing among many famo%s
#orks the .ar-erini Fa%n$ no# at the Glyptothek$ &%ni!h. The
enormo%s Coloss%s of Rhodes #as also the #ork of a dis!iple of
.%t from this time the do#n#ard tenden!y in Greek art is only too
apparent$ and ery rapid. The spread of Greek infl%en!e oer
Asia$ and later$ in !onse:%en!e of the !on:%est of Gree!e -y
Rome$ oer E%rope$ had the effe!t of #idening the market for
Greek prod%!tion$ -%t of drying %p the so%r!es of #hat #as ital
in that prod%!tion. Athens and Sikyo% -e!ame mere proin!ial
!ities$ and #ere shorn then!eforth of all artisti! signifi!an!e;
and Greek art$ th%s depried of the roots of its life$ !ontin%ed
to gro# for a #hile #ith a rank l%0%rian!e of prod%!tion$ -%t
soon -e!ame normal and !onentional. The artists #ho follo#ed
(ysippos !ontented themseles !hiefly #ith seeking a merely
te!hni!al perfe!tion in reprod%!ing the !reations of the earlier
and more original age.
At ,ergamon %nder Attal%s$ in the last years of the third
!ent%ry$ there #as something of an artisti! reial. This
Attal%s s%!!essf%lly defended his !o%ntry against an oer#helming
atta!k of the Ga%ls from the north. To !ele-rate this i!tory$
an altar #as ere!ted to 4e%s on the A!ropolis of ,ergamon$ of
#hi!h the frie6e represented the !ontest -et#een 4e%s and the
giants. These s!%lpt%res are no# to -e fo%nd in .erli