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was once Pythagoras, and has since been a king, a beggar, a woman, a horse, and a jack-daw-of all which existences, that of a king was the most miserable; and he assures his master that he is far happier than many of the wealthy and great. This the cobbler doubts; but, the cock having taken him a flying visit to the houses of two of his rich neighbours, where he finds one hoarding his money, and unable to sleep from fear of thieves, and the other cheated and betrayed by his wife and servants, he returns home wiser and more contented with his lot.
Having lived in the second century of the Christian era, Lucian was, no doubt, acquainted with the tenets of the new religion, and he has left an account of the selfimmolation of a disciple named Peregrinus or Proteus, respecting whose claims to the honour of martyrdom the learned are not agreed. Lucian represents him as exercising extraordinary influence over his followers, who, when he was imprisoned for preaching the strange doctrines, brought him food and money, and bribed the jailors to allow them to pray with him.
For, Lucian adds, these poor wretches persuade themselves that they shall live for ever, and that they are all brothers.; so they hold all their goods in common, and any clever impostor might easily practise upon their credulity.
Many commentators have inferred from these remarks, and from the tone of his description of Peregrinus mounting the burning pile, that Lucian was a scoffer at the new faith as at the old pagan superstitions. It seems, however, more probable that he only imperfectly understood the former, whilst his persistent ridicule of the latter helped to upset their attempted revival in the earlier days of Christianity, and thus cleared the way for its progress and triumph.
HE meaning of Anthology is a collection of Epigrams,
or flowers of speech, which have always been highly
prized and imitated by scholars; and the space of time over which the writers of such effusions successively flourished may be said to extend to upwards of a thousand years.
Originally and literally the word epigram denoted simply an offering or inscription in a temple, in honour of the deity to whom success in war, or at the public games, was attributed by the victors. Afterwards moral sentences were engraved on statues and memorial columns, as well as records of affection on tombs. The Greeks also imagined natural scenery and objects to be animated by some spiritual essence which could be reverenced and addressed, and these impulses are apparent in many of their votive poems, which embrace a very varied range of topics, and are found scattered among the works of old historians, biographers, and other authors, —the simpler and more natural the composition, if it has genius, the greater the probability that it is ancient and original.
The early Greek epigrams do not aim at wit, or seek to produce surprise, but merely to set forth some fact or feeling in the simplest language, with perfect purity and elegance of diction, beauty being regarded as the true ideal, whether in the statue which enchants the eye, or in the lines which have the power to please the fancy or touch the heart.
The following specimens have been arranged in classes of the same character, as more convenient for comparison and reference than if placed in order of date or authorship.
The first division consists of those which may be called *Dedicatory or Votive,' either as consecrated to some divine power, or as monumental records of victories and public events; some being actual inscriptions, whilst others are only commemorative verses, as their different construction will indicate.
ON THERMOPYLÆ, BY SIMONIDES :‘Go tell the Spartans, thou that passest by, That here, obedient to their laws, we lie;'
and, “Of those at famed Thermopylæ who lie, Glorious the fortune, bright the destiny. Their tomb an altar is ; their noble name A fond remembrance of ancestral fame. Their death a song of triumph; neither rust Nor time, that turns all mortal things to dust, Shall dim the splendour of that holy shrine, Where Greece for ever sees her native virtues shine.'
ON THEMISTOCLES :-
To DIANA, BY A VIRGIN ABOUT TO MARRY :-
And keep her holy in thy holy way.'
BY AN OLD FISHERMAN :-
TO VENUS, BY LAIS :-
TO THE WATER DEITIES, BY A THIRSTY TRAVELLER :
ON A TEMPLE OF VENUS :-
Quails as it sees the image in her shrine.' Sepulchral' inscriptions form the next division, and the following are selected as specimens of ancient Greek epitaphs :
• Proté, thou art not dead ; but thou hast passed
‘Oh, why, my brother-mariners, so near the boisterous wave
Great King Darius, he's as great as thou.'
And now you shine as Hesperus, a star among the dead.'
From their ‘Amatory' effusions, which constitute the third division, we learn how keenly alive the Greeks were to personal beauty and graceful accomplishments :
"We reached the grove's deep shadow, and there found
To ply their waxen task, and leave their honey there.'