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have of polish'd ivory was the covering res of wrought; fancy The matter vied not with the sculptor's appli. thought; (!) o the Por in the portal was display'd on bigb, pe of (The work of Vulcan) a fictitious sky; ill la. A waving sea the inferior earth embraced, onis;
And gods and goddesses the water - bave
graced." ng to
The day-god himself is well repre. 2 was sented, and encircled with an approces of priate train of attendants. are to hich
“ Purpureâ velatus veste sedebat “ In solio Phæbus, claris lucente sma: s be
ragdis.* iving A dextrâ lævâque Dies, et Mensis
, et hs in
Seculaque, et positæ spatiis æqualibus ected Horæ: sun's
Verque novum stabat, cinctum florente
coronâ ; ssical
Stabat nuda Æstas, et spicea serta gerejour. bat; piliar Stabat et Autumnus, calcatis sordidusuvis
Et glacialis Hiems, canos hirsuta capillos."
“ The God sits high exalted on a throne ed in
Of blazing gems, with purple garments on; h the The Hours in order ranged on either hand, trive And Days and Months and Years and rect
Ages stand. most Here Spring appears with flowery chaplets sio..,
Here Summer in her wheaten garland osaic
Here Autumn the rich trodden grapes sion
very reverse of that by which subli. To mount the burning axļetree, bmity is produced. The poet has Not Jove himself, the ruler of the laboured to bring down what is in That hurls the tbree-forked thund nature vague, mysterious, and un. above, earthly, to the opposite predicament Dares try his strength : yet who s of distinctness, intelligibility, and
as Jove ? conformity with human analogies. The steeds climb up the first asc The journey of the sun is made to pain; differ not in kind, but in degree only, And when the middle firmament th from that of any terrestrial charioteer; If downward from the heavens my yet, within the limits to which it is
bow, thus confined, the representation is in
And see the earth and ocean hang teresting and impressive, and brings And myown heart misgives me att
Ev'n I am seized with horror and with it sometimes a powerful though A mighty downfall steeps the transitory illusion, not without an oc
stage, casional feeling of the ludicrous at
And steady reins must curb the the grossness of the fiction.
rage. “ Magna petis, Phaeton ; et quæ nec vi
Tethys herself has fear'd to see m ribus istis
Down headlong from the precipice Munera conveniant, nec tam puerilibus annis.
Besides, consider what impetuous Sors tua mortalis : Non est mortale quod
Turns stars and planets in a optas. Plus etiam quàm quod Superis contingere
I steer against their motions ; no fas sit
Borne back by all the current of Nescius affectas : placeat sibi quisque
But how could you resist the c
In adverze whirls, and stem the raj
And stately domes, and cities fi Qui fera terribili jaculatur fulmina dextrâ,
gods; Non agat hos currus; et quid Jove majus
While through a thousand sna habemus ?
progress lies, Ardua prima via est : et quâ vix mane re
Where forms of starry monsters =
skies." centes Enitantur equi : media est altissima colo;
We conclude our extracts Unde mare et terras ipsi mihi sæpe videre we confine as much as possib] Fit timor, et pavidâ trepidat formidine the limits of our subject, by tr pectus.
ing the animated account of Ultima prona via est, et eget moderamine paration and departure of the certo.
at the appointed hour; observ Tunc etiam quæ me subjectis excipit undis, the poet assumes the licence Ne ferar in præceps, Tethys solet ipsa ve- ing the kindling dawn and v reri.
stars give warning to the su Adde, quod assiduâ rapitur vertigine forth on his journey, instea
cælum, Sideraque alta trahit, celerique volumine proach. There are in this pa
scribing them as the effects torquet. Nitor in adversum : nec me, qui cetera, nations, full of that pictorial :
picture many other pleasing vincit Impetus ; et rapido contrarius evehor orbi. poetical beauty for which th Forsitan et lucos illic urbes que domosque
of Grecian mythology are Concipias animo, delubraque ditia donis
nently remarkable. Esse : : per insidias iter est formasque fe- “Ergo, qua licuit genitor cunctatu
Deducit juvenem, Vulcania mune:
Aureus axis erat, temo aureus, E “ Too vast and bazardous the task appears, Nor suited to thy strength nor to thy
And hoary Winter shivers in the rear.”
The reception of Phaeton by bis ce.
lestial father contains a trait which ante has often been admired as natural and
pleasing, if it do not rather belong to bat; the category of “pretty."
At genitor circum caput omne micantes Deposuit radios, propiusque accedere im
And bid the youth advance.-
The description given by Sol of his daily progress through the heavens, can scarcely be called sublime, because it is framed on a principle the
Curvatura rotæ ; radiorum argen years.
Per juga chrysolithi, positæque Thy lot is mortal; but thy wishes fly
gemmæ, Beyond the province of mortality.
Clara repercusso reddebant lumi There is not one of all the Gods that dares Dumque ea magnanimus Phaeto(However skill'd in other great affairs,) opusque
more glowing description, and remember that
yal state, which far
Perspicit, ecce vigil ratilo patefecit ab ortu They spring together out, and swiftly
ing air : Lucifer, et coeli statione novissimus exit. With wingy speed outstrip the eastern At pater, ut terras mundumque rubescere wind, vidit,
And leave the breezes of the morn behind," Cornuaque extremæ velut evanescere
Some of the Greek authors repreLunæ,
sent the fable of Phaeton as having an Jungere equos Titan velocibus imperat Ho
allegorical reference either to physiris. Jussa Deæ celeres peragunt, ignemque
cal phenomena or to historical facts.
But it seems allowable to regard it vomentes Ambrosiæ succo saturos, præsepibus altis
rather as a story of human incident Quadrupedes ducunt, adduntque sonantia
and feeling, engrafted with much frena.
beauty and probability on the assum
ed reality of an original metaphor or “ Interea volucres Pyroeis Eous et Æthon, superstition, and ingeniously adapted Solis equi, quartusque Phlegon, hinniti. at the same time to explain the condibus auras
tion of those regions of the earth Flammiferis implent, pedibusque repagula which lie pulsant:
-"sub curru nimium propinqui Quæ postquam Tethys, fatorum ignara si,
nepotis, Reppulit, et facta est immensi copia mundi. Those who thus believed, or fabled, Corripuere viam, pedibusque per aëra motis that the sun in his daily course traObstantes findunt nebulas, pennisque levati versed the heavens in his chariot, Prætereunt ortos îsdem de partibus Euros.”
must have been somewhat puzzled to
reconcile, with the early notions of “ When the fond father, for in vain he
cosmography, the fact of his invisible pleads,
return before morning, from the west At length to the Vulcanian chariot leads,
to the east. Most of the poets are A golden axle did the work uphold, Gold was the beam, the wheels were
silent on this subject, and leave the orb'd with gold,
question to stand on the indefinite The spokes in rows of silver pleased the
footing which is given to it in some sight,
lines of Boethius : The seat with party-colour'd gems was
" Cadit Hesperias Phoebus in undas; bright;
Sed secreto tramite rursus Apollo shined amid the glare of light.
Cursum solitos vertit ad ortus." The youth with secret joy the work sur. veys,
" Phoebus into the western main When now the morn disclosed her purple
Sinks headlong ; but a secret track, rays : The stars were fled, for Lucifer had
Ere morning calls, conducts him back
To his old starting-place again.' chased The stars away, and fled himself at last, Some of the mythologists, however, Soon as the father saw the rosy morn attempted to theorise the facts more And the moon shining with a blunter horn, minutely, and after their accustomed He bid the nimble hours without delay fashion. A title in Athenæus, L. xi. Bring forth the steeds; the nimble hours c. 6. $ 38, 39, cited by Mr Keightley obey.
in his Mythology, contains several From their full racks the generous steeds
passages from ancient authors, in retire,
which the sun is represented as passDropping ambrosial foams and snorting
ing at night horizontally along the
ing at night ho fire,
ocean stream, from west to east, in a « Meanwhile the restless horses neigh'd
cup or caldron, manufactured by aloud,
" Vulcan for the purpose. We insert Breathing out fire, and pawing where
the verses there quoted from Mimnerthey stood.
mus, who refers to this singular speTethys, not knowing what had pass'd, cies of craft, under the more general gave way,
description of a hollow bed, and we And all the waste of heaven before them venture to subjoin a rough translation lay.
of them :
ortu They spring together out, and swiftly arum bear mina The Aying youth through clouds and yield
ing air : exit. With wingy speed outstrip the eastern
And leave the breezes of the morn bebind." сеге
Some of the Greek authors repreHo
sent the fable of Phaeton as having an
allegorical reference either to physimque
cal phenomena or to historical facts.
But it seems allowable to regard it altis rather as a story of human incident antia and feeling, engrafted with much
beauty and probability on the assum
ed reality of an original metaphor or Thon, superstition, and ingeniously adapted mitin at the same time to explain the condi
tion of those regions of the earth gula which lie
“ sub curru nimium propinqui Solis." endi.
Those who thus believed, or fabled, potis that the sun in his daily course tra=vati versed the heavens in his chariot, -os.” must have been somewhat puzzled to
reconcile, with the early notions of cosmography, the fact of his invisible return before morning, from the west to the east. Most of the poets are silent on this subject, and leave the
question to stand on the indefinite the
footing which is given to it in some lines of Boethius :
" Cadit Hesperias Phæbus in undas ;
Sed secreto tramite rursus ur
Cursum solitos vertit ad ortus,"
* Phoebus into the western main ple
Sinks headlong; but a secret track,
Ere morning calls, conducts him back
Some of the mythologists, however,
attempted to theorise the facts more En, minutely, and after their accustomed
fashion. A title in Athenæus, L. xi. c. 6. § 38, 39, cited by Mr Keightley in his Mythology, contains several passages from ancient authors, in
which the sun is represented as passng ing at night horizontally along the
ocean stream, from west to east, in a cup or caldron, manufactured by Vulcan for the purpose. We insert the verses there quoted from Mimner.
mus, who refers to this singular spede
cies of craft, under the more general description of a hollow bed, and we venture to subjoin a rough translation of them:
«'Hέλιος μεν γας έλαχεν πόνον ήματα πάντα,
Ουδέποτ' άμπαυσις γίνεται έδεμία
'Ωκεανόν προλιπάσ' έρανόν είσαναβή.
Κοίλη, Ηφαίστε χερσίν εληλαμένη
Εύδονθ' αρπαλέως, χώρα αφ’ Εσπερίδων,
Εστάσ', όφρ' 'Hώς ήριγένεια μόλη.
"Εν9' επιβη ετέρων οχίων Υπηρίονος υιός.” “ Toil is the daily lot that Helios knows; having observed, and revealNor ever find his steeds or he repose, fraudulent attempt to drink t When once the morn, with rosy fingers brosia of the gods. The Ind bright,
tions, however, bestow upon the From ocean upward takes her heavenly in question, and particularly up flight.
sun, a magnificent equipage, The grateful couch that glads his evening ing what the homeliness of T.
hour, Hollowed in purest gold by Vulcan's paganism could afford, and ri
in splendour the imaginations power, With winged whirl conveys him, sunk in
sical poetry. On this subject, sleep,
of quoting from the dull e Along the bosom of the billowy deep,
gance of Indian antiquaries, From the Hesperides to the Ethiop's Jones,+ we prefer to adorn ou
the monotonous glitter of Sir land, Where his swift car and coursers take
with an apposite extract from their stand,
lightful poem of Kehama, in t Till early morn shall summon him on quisite description of Kailya high
brief abode with both her par Once more to journey through the kind. the Holy Valley of Meru. ling sky."
“ Lovely wert thou, O flower of e The moon, we must suppose, per Above all flowers of mortal bir formed her evolutions much in the But, fostered in this blissful bo
The poets generally from day to day, and hour to ho represent her as drawn in a chariot Lovelier grew the lovely flower and pair; but they have given us fewer O blessed, blessed company! details of her proceedings.
The sun careering round the sky Less elegant and poetical were the Beheld them with rejoicing eye attempts of the Teutonic mythologists And bade his willing chariotee to explain the course of the great hea. Relax his speed as they drew nes venly bodies. The sun and moon
Aurounin I check'd the rainbow were fabled by our ancestors as flying The seven green coursers sho in fear through the heavens, pursued by two wolves of giant-breed that
And brighter rays around then --sought severally to devour them,* an
The car of glory in their view
More radiant, more resplendent attempt in which, ultimately, it was
And Surya & through his veil of 1 believed they were destiped to suc
Beheld the bower and blest the s ceed. It is remarkable that a somewhat
The lord of night || as he saile
Stay'd his pearly boat on high similar fable is mixed up with the my
And while around the blissful bo thology of India, in which the dragon He bade the softest moonlight Rahu, an allegorical being supposed Linger'd to see that earthly flowe to represent, with Ketu, the lunar Forgetful of his Dragon foe, nodes, is made to persecute the Who, mindful of their ancient sun and moon in revenge for their With open jaws of rage pursue
* Grimm's Deutsche Mythologie, pp: 150 and 401.
See his Hymn to Surya, or the Sun, among his poems. # The sun's charioteer, the Dawn.
$ The Sun-god. || The Moon-god.
The persecutors of the sun and addee Peixen tai Jaußos to OTPUTotidov moon were supposed, in the utmost
κατειχεν, και λογος ήσυχη δια πολλων heat of their fury, to produce the
εχωρει, βασιλεως το φασμα σημαινειν eclipses of those bodies. In parti
exAsiyev.” cular, by a wide-spread superstition,
« When they had supped and were the labours of the moon were ascribed to the successful attacks of the enemy,
thinking of nothing but going to rest, on who seemed to be rapidly devouring
a sudden the moon, which was then at full,
and very high, began to be darkened, and or tearing to pieces the object of his
after changing into various colours, was at hostility. It has been a usage ac
last totally eclipsed. The Romans, accordingly, in many countries, to issue
cording to their custom, made a great forth at such times in large multi
noise, by striking upon vessels of brass, tudes, with sounding instruments and
and held up lighted faggots and torches in clamorous shouts, designed, as it would
the air, in order to recall her light; but seem, to frighten the monster from his
the Macedonians did no such thing: hore prey, and to encourage the fainting
ror and astonishment seized the whole
ror and astonishment seized luminary to maintain the conflict camp, and a whisper passed among the against the powers of darkness. The multitude, that this appearance portended cry of “ Vince Luna" seems to have the fall of the king." been the Latin watchword of en: A picture of the same scene, but in couragement on such occasions; and
a somewhat different aspect, is prewe find the early Christian preach
sented to us on the sketchy but powerer3 inveighing earnestly against the
ful page of Tacitus, when describing practice, as a remnant of heathenism. Maximus of Turin, an ecclesiastic
a mutiny among the Pannonian leof the fifth century, has a homily
gions on the accession of Tiberius. on the eclipse of the moon, and “Noctem minacem, et in scelus eruptuexplains the object of the cere. ram, fors lenivit. Nam Luna claro repente mony which he denounces.-" Circa
cælo visa languescere. Id miles, rationis vesperam tanta vociferatio populi ex
ignarus, omen præsentium accepit, ac suis stitit, ut irreligiositas ejus penetraret
laboribus defectionem sideris adsimilans, ad cælum. Quod cum requirerem,
prospereque cessura quæ pergerent, si quid sibi clamor hic velit, dixerunt
fulgor et claritudo deæ redderetur ; igitur mihi, quod laboranti lunæ vestra voci
æris sono, tubarum cornuumque concentu feratio subveniret, et defectum ejus
strepere ; prout splendidior obscuriorve,
lætari aut mærere, et postquam ortæ nubes suis clamoribus adjuvaret."* Plutarch,
offecere visui, creditumque conditam tenedescribing, in his Life of Paulus
bris, ut sunt mobiles ad superstitionem Emilius, the eclipse which occurred
perculsæ semel mentes, sibi æternum laon the eve of a great battle with the
borem portendi, sua facinora adversari Macedonians, represents the peculiar deos lamentantur.”+ superstition we are now referring to “The night that followed seemed big as a customary observance of the with some fatal disaster, when an unexRomans, while their adversaries were pected phenomenon put an end to the affected with that “ fear of change". commotion. In a clear and serene sky which, in ignorant minds, the obscu the moon was suddenly eclipsed. This ration of the lights of heaven so na appearance, in its natural cause not underturally inspires.
stood by the soldiers, was deemed a pro« Επει δε νυξ γέγονει, και μετα δειπνον
gnostic denouncing the fate of the army.
The planet, in its languishing state, repreετραποντο προς ύπνος και αναπαυσιν,
sented the condition of the legions: if it αιφνιδιων η σεληνη, πληρης εσα και μετε recovered its former lustre, the efforts of ωρος, εμιλαινετο και το φωτος απολιπον• the men would be crowned with success. TOS AUTOU, Xeons ausryara TayTodanas, To assist the moon in her labours, the air ηφαισθη. Των δε Ρωμαιων, ώσπερ εστι
resounded with the clangor of brazen
instruments, with the sound of trumpets, νενομισμενον, χαλκε τε παταγοις ανακα
and other warlike music. The crowd, in λεμενων το φως αυτης, και παρα πολλα
the mean time, stood at gaze : every gleam dañois xalt detty are ortovigos Toy of light inspired the men with joy; and spavor, sosy oplotoy s7 PATTOY OI Maxidoves" the sudden gloom depressed their hearts
* Apud Grimm, Myth. 402. See also Hoffman and Du Cango, vo. Vince Luna. † Annal i, c. 28.
and αλλα Φρικη και θαμβος το στρατοπέδου (most κατειχεν, και λογος ήσυχη δια πολλων e the
εχωρει, βασιλεως το φασμα σημαινε.) parti
εκλειψιν." ition, ribed
“ When they had supped and were emy,
thinking of nothing but going to rest, on iring
a sudden the moon, which was then at full, of his
and very high, began to be darkened, and
after changing into various colours, was at issue
last totally eclipsed. The Romans, acmulti
cording to their custom, made a great
noise, by striking upon vessels of brass, s and and held up lighted faggots and torches in vould
the air, in order to recall her light; but m his
the Macedonians did no such thing: hor.
ror and astonishment seized the whole nflict
camp, and a whisper passed among the The multitude, that this appearance portended have the fall of the king."
A picture of the same scene, but in and
a somewhat different aspect, is pre-ach
sented to us on the sketchy but powert the
ful page of Tacitus, when describing nism.
a mutiny among the Pannonian leTastic
gions on the accession of Tiberius. emily
and Noctem minacem, et in scelus eruptucere.
ram, fors lenivit. Nam Luna claro repente Circa
cælo visa languescere. Id miles, rationis i ex
ignarus, omen præsentium accepit, ac sus raret
laboribus defectionem sideris adsimilans, rem, erunt atoci. ejus
lætari aut mærere, et postquam ortæ nubes arch, aulus rred
with grief. The clouds condensed and the casion they were greeted w moon was supposed to be lost in utter sound of trumpets and the bea darkness. A melancholy horror seized drums and gongs from the te the multitude; and melancholy is sure Narayan, the ceremony bein to engender superstition. A religious cisely the same as that which panic spread through the army. The
tised in the temples, and ever appearance in the heavens foretold eternal palace of the Emperor of Chir labour to the legions; and all lamented
The natives of the Barbar that by their crimes they had called down
are represented as exhibiting a upon themselves the indignation of the
state of excitement during an gods."
of the sun :Other examples of the very preva " When the eclipse was at its lent superstition which gave rise to they ran about distracted, in co this singular ceremony, will be found firing volleys of muskets at the among the customs of various nations frighten away the monster or dr having but little affinity with each they called it, by which they sup other.
was being devoured. At that mo A representation mentioned by De Moorish Song of Death and woul Guignes as exhibited in presence of or the howl they make for their the Chinese emperor and his mini only resounded from the mour sters, and worthy of Bottom the weaver Tripoli, but was undoubtedly r or any of his company, seems intended throughout the continent of Afric to reduce the theory of a lunar eclipse
women brought into the streets to the level of the meanest capacity:
brass pans, kettles, and iron uter
could collect, and striking on th “ A number of Chinese, placed at the all their force, and screaming at distance of six feet from one another, now
time, occasioned a horrid noise entered, bearing two long dragons of silk heard for miles. "S or paper, painted blue, with white scales, and stuffed with lighted lamps.
Once more, we learn in an
These two dragons, after saluting the emperor
of the Nicobar islanders, who with due respect, moved up and down
to have a species of lunar with great composure, when the moon
that“ during an eclipse they suddenly made her appearance, upon
with the utmost which they began to run after her. The
and hurl their spears into th moon, however, fearlessly placed herself frighten away the demon wl between them, and the two dragons, after vouring the celestial body. surveying her for some time, and con perstitious notion," adds the cluding apparently that she was too large whom we quote, a morsel for them to swallow, judged it widely prevalent as this; it prudent to retire, which they did with the among the savages of Ame same ceremony as they entered. The Africa as well as in Asia, an moon, elated with her triumph, then with ever it exists the same prac drew with prodigious gravity; a little companies it.” flushed, however, with the chase which From these descriptions, she had sustained." *
as from the purpose of the proc In conformity with this astronomi the clamour and noise with w cal system, the custom in China at no moon's auxiliaries thus atten distant period was, that their“ learned reinforce her, must always ha men and state officers on such occa- pre-eminently obstreperous, sions turned out with drums and are selected accordingly as gongs and trumpets, making all-man of comparison by Juvenal, ner of hideous noises to frighten the scribing the loudness of a monster away, and liberate the suffer- blue-stocking, in a passage y ing luminary, in which in due time ask the forgiveness of our fai they always succeeded.” |
for here inserting entire, al It appears from Moorcroft's Travels Dryden's translation of it, is in Little Thibet, that as he and his as might be expected, nothira fellow-travellers “entered Daba, the spirit of the original is su moon became eclipsed ; on which oc escape :
prospereque cessura quæ pergerent
, si fulgor et claritudo deæ redderetur ; igitur æris sono, tubarum cornuumque concentu strepere; prout splendidior obscuriorte, offecere visui, creditumque conditam tene. bris, ut sunt mobiles ad superstitionem perculsæ semel mentes, sibi æternum la
. the borem portendi, sua facinora adversari uliar deos lamentantur." | og to “ The night that followed seemed big
the with some fatal disaster, when an unerwere pected phenomenon put an end to the ge commotion. In a clear and serene sky
the moon was suddenly eclipsed. This appearance, in its natural cause not understood by the soldiers, was deemed a prognostic denouncing the fate of the army. The planet, in its languishing state, repre. sented the condition of the legions: if it recovered its former lustre, the efforts of the men would be crowned with success.
To assist the moon in her labours, the air COTI
resounded with the clangor of brazen instruments, with the sound of trumpets, and other warlike music. The crowd, in the mean time, stood at gaze : every gleam
of light inspired the men with joy; and oviso the sudden gloom depressed their hearts
also Hoffman and Du Cange, vo. Vince Luna.