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The Træzenians probably took infinite pride in these public ornaments of their city, for they are described by Pausanias as a people who delighted in every circumstance that reflected honour on the spot they inhabited *
* Tpouk nylob GEUYUYOVTES, EITTED sau adob TIVES, TO Eyxwpio
PAUSANIAS, p. 181.
END OF THE NOTES ON THE SECOND EPISTLE.
NOTE I. Ver. 38.
A thirst for praise, and panting for the goal.
I follow the authority of Cicero, Vitruvius, and Quintilian in naming Myron as the earliest of the more accomplished Grecian sculptors, who acquired infinite celebrity by making near approaches to perfection in their art. Pausanias speaks of Myron as an Athenian : but Pliny affirms that he was born at Eleutheræ, (a city of Bæotia,) and a difciple of Agelades, an artist of Argos. The Bacchus of Myron is said by Pausanias to have excelled all his other productions, except his statue of Ereatheus at Athens : but this very diligent artist appears to have executed inany works of considerable excellence, and to have been most commended for what he probably regarded as a trifling performance. I allude to his famous heifer of brass, celebrated by no less than thirtyfix epigrams in the Greek Anthologia ; upon which the French sculptor
Falconet says, with some pleasantry and some justice, “ Les Atheniens “ étoient les François de la Grèce, et devoient faire autant de jolis vers “ sur un vache que nous en avons faits sur la chatte en sculpture de “ Madame de Lesdiguières *."
I ought, however, to observe, for the credit of Athens, that these epigrams are far from having been all produced by her citizens. They form, altogether, such a heap of insipid compliments as would not, I think, have appeared very flattering to an artist of Attic genius. The following, I believe, is one of the best of them :
Aut superinducta est isti cutis ænea vaccæ,
Aut æs hoc animam, quæ movet, intus habet.
Either this heifer has a brazen skin,
Myron, whofe Discobolos proved how successfully he had studied the human figure, could he have heard and understood the judicious lan
• Traduction des 34, 35, et 36 Livres de Pline, avec des Notes par Etienne Falconet, tom, i. p. 85.
guage in which Quintilian has mentioned that elaborate statue *, would have been more gratified perhaps by the praise of the Latin critic than by all the Greek epigrams on his heifer. This remark cannot be extended to Pliny, who has described the works of Myron as rather deficient in expression ; an opinion which Falconet pronounces to be an egregious mistake, if the antique head of Jupiter, that was stationed in the garden of Versailles, and ascribed to Myron, is in truth a performance of this celebrated artist. Though I am generally disposed to take the part of Pliny against the pert malevolence with which the lively and keen Falconet has attacked and derided his opinions, I must confess that I think the respectable connoisseur of ancient Rome mistaken in the present point; and his mistake appears sufficiently proved by the following animated Greek verses on the Ladas of Myron, a statue which, if the poet who describes it may be trusted, was surely a masterpiece of expression :
“A βασις. ω τεχνη, πνευματος ωκυτερα.
* " Quid tam distortum et elaboratum, quam est ille Discobolos Myronis ? Si quis tamen « ut parum rectum, improbet opus, nonne is ab intellectu artis abfuerit, in qua vel præcipue « laudabilis eft illa ipfa novitas et difficultas.” QUINTILIAN, 1ib. 2. c. 13.