ePub 版

fon of Cypselus, had sent to Alyattes, at Sardis, three hundred children of the principal families of the Corcyreans to be made eunuchs. They were entrusted to the care of certain Corinthians, who by distress of weather were compelled to touch at Samos. The Samians soon learned the purpose of the expedition, and accordingly instructed the children to fly for protection to the temple of Diana, from whence they would not suffer the Corinthians to take them. But as the Corinthians prevented their receiving any food, the Samians instituted a festival on the occasion, which they yet observe. At the approach of night, as long as the children continued as suppliants in the temple, they introduced a company of youths and virgins, who in a kind of religious dance, were to carry cakes made of honey and four 57 in their hands. This was done that the young Corcyreans, by snatching them away, might fatisfy their hunger, and was repeated till the Corinthians who guarded the children des

:- In an epigram inserted in Stephens's Anthologia, and translated by Ausonius, goas spalsevv is the maxim attributed to Pe. riander, “ Reftrain your anger :" of which rule he must have severely felt the necesity, if, as Laertius relates, he killed his wife Melissa in a transport of passion, by kicking her or throwing a chair at her when pregnant. Her name, according to the fame author, wąs. Lyfide; Melissa was probably substituted through fondness, certain nymphs and departed human soulę þeing called Melilla.--Menage. T.

5? Honey and four. ]—The cakes of Samos were very famous, Şee Athenæus, book xiv. C. 13;


parted. The Samians afterwards sent the children back to Corcyra 58.

XLIX. If after the death of Periander there had existed any friendship betwixt the Corinthians and the Corcyreans, it might be supposed that they would not have assisted in this expedition against Samos.' But notwithstanding these people had the same origin (the Corinthians having built Corcyra) they had always lived in a state of enmity. The Corinthians, therefore, did not forget the affront which they had received at Samos; and it was in resentment of injuries formerly received from the Corcyreans, that Periander had sent to Sardis these three hundred youths of the first families of Corcyra, with the intention of their being made eunuchs.

58 Back to Corcyra.]_Plutarch, in his Treatise on the Maliga nity of Herodotus, says, “ that the young Corcyreans were not preserved by the Samians, but by the Cnidians.”—This assertion is examined and refuted by Larcher. · Pliny says, that the fish called echines stopped the vessel going swift before the wind, on board of which were messengers of Periander, having it in command to castrate the sons of the

Cnidian noblemen ; for which reason these shells were highly re... verenced in the temple of Venus at Cnidos, M. Larcher, avow

edly giving the reader the above passage from Pliny, is guilty of a misquotation : “ these shells,” says he, “arreterent le vaisseau où étoient ces enfans;!' whereas the words of Pliny (see Gronovius's edition, vol. i. page 609) are these, “ Quibus inhærentibus fetisse navem portantem nuncios a Periandro ut castrarentur nobiles pueri.”-T.

L. When Periander had put his wife Melifsa to death, he was involved in an additional calamity. By Melissa he had two sons, one of whom was fe venteen, the other eighteen years old: Procles, their grandfather by the mother's fide, had sent for them to Epidaurus, of which place he was prince ; and had treated them with all the kindness due to the children of his daughter. At the time appointed for their departure, he took them aside, and asked them if they knew who had killed their mother. To these words the elder brother paid no attention; but the younger, whose name was Lycophron, took it fo exceedingly to heart, that at his return to Corinth he would neither falute his father, converse' with, nor answer him; in indignation at which behaviour Periander banished him his house.

LI. After the above event Periander asked his elder son, what their grandfather had said to them. The youth informed him, that their grandfather had received them very affectionately, but as he did not remember, he could not relate the words he had used to them at parting. The father, however, continued to press him ; saying, it was impoffible that their grandfather lhould dilmits them without some advice. This induced the young man more seriously to reflect on what had passed; and he afterwards informed his father of every particular. Upon this Periander was determined not at all to relax from his severity, but immediately fent to those who had received his son under their


protection, commanding them to dismiss him. Ly. cophron was thus driven from one place to another, and from thence to a third, and from this last also the severity of Periander expelled him. Yet, fearful as people were to entertain him, he still found, an asylum, from the confideration of his being the son of Periander.

LII. Periander at length commanded it to be publickly proclaimed, that whoever harboured his fon, or held any conversation with him, should pay, 4 stipulated fine for the use of Apollo's temple, After this no person presumed either to receive or converse with him, and Lycophron himself acquiefced in the injunction, by retiring to the public portico. On the fourth day Periander himself observed him in this situation, covered with rags and perishing with hunger : his heart relenting, he approached, and thus addressed him: “My son, "which do you think preferable, your present exo tremity of distress, or to return to your obedience, « and share with me my authority and riches? You as who are my son, and a prince of the happy Coa

rinth, choose the life of a mendicant, and perse« vere in irritating him who has the strongest claims ç upon your duty, If the incident which induces « you to think unfavourably of my conduct has ♡ any evil resulting from it, the whole is fallen “ upon myself; and I feel it the more sensibly, from ç the reflection that I was myself the author of it, * Experience has taught you how much better it is


et to be envied than pitieds, and how dangerous it to is to provoke a superior and a parent-return k therefore to my house.” To this speech Periander received no other answer from his fon, than that he himself, by conversing with him, had incurred the penalty which his edict had imposed. The king, perceiving the perverseness of his son to be immutable, determined to remove himn from his sight; he therefore sent him in a vessel to Corcyra, which place also belonged to him. After this, Periander made war upon his father-in-law Procles, whom he considered as the principal occasion of what had happened. He made himself master of Epidaurus 6, and took Procles prisoner ; whom neverthelefs he preserved alive.


[ocr errors]

$9 Envied than pitied.] –Of this M. Larcher remarks, that it is a proverbial expression in the French language: it is no less so in our own. The same sentiment in Pindar is referred to by the learned Frenciman, which is thus beautifully translated by Mr. Welt.

Nor le's distasteful is excessive fame

To the four palate of the envious mind;
Who hears with grief his neighbour's goodly name,

And hates the fortune that he ne'er shall find;
Yet in thy virtue, Hiero, persevere,

Sizce to be en vied is a nobler fate
Than to be pitied, and let strict justice steer

With equitable hand the helm of state,
And arm thy tongue with truth : Qh king! beware

Of every step, a prince can never lightly err. 7. 60 Epidaurus - This was a city of the Peloponnese, famous for a temple of Æsculapius. When the Romans were once afflicted by a grievous pertidence, they were oftered by the


[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »