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attended near his person, Gyges the son of Dascylus had rendered him essential service, and was honoured by his particular confidence. To him he frequently extolled the beauty of his wife, in exaggerated terms. Under the influence of a most fatal delusion, he took an opportunity of thus addressing 'him : “ Gyges, I am satisfied, that we receive less conviction from what we hear, than from what we see“, and, as you do not seem to
bravest champions of the Lombards should be associated to the enterprise: but no more than a promise of secresy could be drawn from the gallant Perideus.- The mode of seduction employed by Rosamond, betrays her shameless insensibility both to honour and to love. She supplied the place of one of her female attendants, who was beloved by Perideus, and contrived some excuse for darkness and silence, till she could inform her companion, that he had enjoyed the queen of the Lombards, and that his own death, or the death of the king, must be the consequence of such treasonable adultery. In this alternative he chose rather to be the accomplice than the victim of Rosamond, whose undaunted spirit was incapable of fear or remorse."--Gibbon.
22 From what we hear, than from what we see.]~Dionysius Halicarnassensis remarks on this psssage, that Herodotus here, introducing a Barbarian to notice, makes use of a figu. rative expression peculiarly appropriate to Barbarians; substituting the ears and the eyes for the discourse and the sight of objects.
Segnius irritant animos demissa per aurem
Hor. Ars Poet. 180. Polybius coincides in part with our historian, when he advances, that nature having provided us with two instruments, if they may be so termed, of the senses, hearing and sight,
credit all I tell you of my wife's personal accomplishments, I am determined that you shall see her naked.”—Gyges replied, much agitated, " What you propose is exceedingly improper : Remember, Sir, that with her clothes a woman puts off her modesty.23. Many are the precepts
the latter, according to Heraclitus, is the most certain, the eyes being more decisive evidences than the ears. This is in many respects true; but Theophrastus has sagaciously remarked, according to Plutarch, that of all the senses the ear is that by which the passions may be most easily excited. Larcher.
Our veneration for the ancients, however, must not prevent us from perceiving, that both the above remarks want solidity. The truth is, that we do not more implicitly believe our eyes than our ears, or the contrary, except in those cases which respectively demand the testimony of either organs. It should be remembered, that when any thing is related to us, our ears give no kind of testimony concerning the fact, they inform us only that such words are spoken to us : after which, if what is related be an object of sight, we wish to appeal to our eyes for proof; if an object of hearing, to our ears; if of taste, smell, or touch, to the organs formed for such decision: and this is the sole ground of preference in any case. The remark of Horace rests on a different foundation, and is very just.—T.
23 With her clothes a woman puts off her modesty. ]-We can by no means, says Plutarch, in his Conjugal Precepts, allow this saying of Herodotus to be true : for surely, at this time, a modest woman is most effectually veiled by bashfulness, when the purest but most diffident affection proves, in the privacy of matrimonial retirement, the surest testimony of reciprocated love.-T.
Timæus in Athenæus affirms, that the Tyrrhenians accustomed themselves to be waited upon by naked women; and Theopompus, in the same author, adds, that among the D4
recorded by wise men for our instruction, but : there is none more entitled to our regard than that
it becomes a man to look into those things only which concern himself.' I give implicit confidence to your assertions, I am willing to believe my mistress the most beautiful of her sex; but I entreat you to forbear repeating an unlawful request.”
· IX. Gyges, from apprehension of the event, would have persevered in his refusal ; but the king could not be dissuaded from his purpose. “ Gyges,” he resumed, “ you have nothing to fear from me or from your mistress; I do not want to make experiment of your fidelity, and I shall render it impossible for the queen to detect you. I myself will place you behind an open door of the apartment in which we sleep. As soon as I enter, my wife will make her appearance; it is her custom to undress herself at leisure, and to place her garments one by one on a chair near the entrance. You will have the best opportunity of contemplating her person. As soon as she approaches the bed, and her face is turned from you, you must
above-mentioned people it was by no means disgraceful for women to appear naked amongst men.-Larcher.*
* A great variety of the richest wines were poured out in profusion; the desert was composed of the most delicious fruits; and the company was attended by a considerable number of extremely handsome negro and mulatto maids, all naked from the waist upwards, according to the custom af the country.—Stedman's Surinan.
be careful to leave the room without being discovered.
X. Gyges had no alternative but compliance, At the time of retiring to rest, he accompanied Candaules to his chamber, and the queen soon afterwards appeared. He saw her enter, and gradually disrobe herself. She approached the bed; and Gyges endeavoured to retire, but the queen saw and knew him. She instantly conceived her husband to be the cause of her disgrace, and determined on reyenge. She had the presence of mind to restrain the emotions of her wounded delicacy, and to seem entirely ignorant of what had happened; although, among all the Barbarian nations a4, and among the Lydians in particular, it is deemed a matter of the greatest turpitude even for a man to be seen naked.
XI. The queen preserved the strictest silence; and, in the morning, having prepared some confi
24. Among all the Barbarian nations.)–Plato informs us, that the Greeks had not long considered it as a thing equally disgraceful and ridiculous for a nian to be seen naked; an opinion, says he, which still exists amongst the greater part of the Barbarians.-Larcher.
To the above remark of Larcher may be added, that, according to Plutarch, it was amongst the institutes of Lycurgus, that the young women of Sparta should dance naked at their solemn feasts and sacrifices; at which time also they were accustomed to sing certain songs, whilst the young men stood in a circle about them, to see and hear them.-T,
dential servants for the occasion, she sent for Gyges. Not at all suspicious that she knew what had happened, he complied with the message, as he had been accustomed to do at other times, and appeared before his mistressas. As soon as he came into her presence, she thus addressed him: “Gyges, I submit two proposals to your choice; destroy Candaules, and take possession of me and of the Lydian kingdom, or expect immediate death. From your unqualified obedience to your master, you may again be a spectator of what modesty forbids: the king has been the author of my disgrace; you also, in seeing me naked, havė violated decorum; and it is necessary that one of you should die.”— Gyges, after he had somewhat recovered from his
25 Appeared before his mistress.]—The wife of Candaules, whose name Herodotus forbears to mention, was, according to Hephæstion, called Nyssia. Authors are divided in their account of this Gyges, and of the manner in which he slew Candaules. Plato makes him a shepherd in the service of the Lydian king, who was possessed of a ring which he found on the finger of a dead man inclosed within a horse of bronze. The shepherd, learning the property which this ring had, to Jender him invisible when the seal was turned to the inside of his hand, got himself deputed to the court by his fellows, where he seduced the queen, and assassinated Candaules. Xenophon says he was a slave; but this is not inconsistent with the account of Plato, were it in other respects admissible. Plutarch pretends, that Gyges took up arms against Candaules, assisted by the Milesians. The opinion of Herodotus seerns preferable to the rest: born in a city contiguous to Lydia, no person could be better qualified to represent what related to that kingdom.--Larcher,