« EdellinenJatka »
Oh run «on or Aristocles.
Tt Arifiodidcs, the best of friends,
Pumici this flowery mantle made,
Mvi b» the lovely damsels have display'd
D.NOER A STATOI.
Ciuntii first fix'd me on this base
Fait ring to the view:
Tru trophy Areiphilus's son
Ts Bacchus consecrates, for battles won.
Thessalia's monarch, Echecratides,
Has fix'd me on this base,
And give the city grace.
To Mercury your oraisont address,
Great Sophocles, for tragic story prais'd,
EPIGRAM XX. ~
O Mercury! for honours paid to thee
NOTES ON THE EPIGRAMS.
Vet. a. Priam, speaking of the most valiant of titan, says,
arnkW As*; Iliad, B. i. wr. a6o.
*1 ihofc relentless Mars untimely flew,
*»4 left me these, a soft and servile crew. fefe.
Ver. 2. The Tcians, after their expulsion from j80 hy Harpagua the general of Cyras, failed Thrace, and settled in the city of Abdera; »tert they had Dot been long, before the Thra<*•», jealous of their new neighbours, endeavour
'•» give them disturbance. It seems to be in ade conflicts that Anacrcon lost those friends J*«n he celebrates in his epigrams. Bee the first, '^aad thirteenth.
This CVenorides, as Barnes observes, seems to :''c been cast away in attempting a voyage Aid era to his native country Teiot, in the tour.'
Myron was the most celebrated artist of hit we lot casting (Utoca in brass, retroniui speak
ing of him, says, " Pene hominum animas ferarumquc acre comprehendcrat:" He had almost found the art to enclose the souls of men and beasts in brass.
Among the many epigrams, which have been composed on Myron's cow, the following from Ausonius deserves commendation:
Bucula sum, cxlo genitoris fact* Myronis
Sic me taurus init; sic proxima bucula mugit;
Miraris quid sallo gregem? gregis ipse magister
By Myron's chifscl I was sorm'd of brass;
I found this epigram, thus excellently translated, in a paltry edition of Anacrcon in English, printed by Curl. 1
The following epigram on an excellent modern work has expressed the fame thought with the fame simplicity.
This work is nature's, every title in't
Ver. ». Pausinias, Eliac. 1. a. c. 13. mentions this mare of Phidola's, and tell< us she was named Aura, or Air; and that she woo the race herself, aster her rider was thrown.
Ver. 4. Anaxagoras, a native of Ægina, was a celebrated statuary. He flourished both before and alter the expedition of Xerxes. Birmti.
When the ancients escaped any imminent danger, it was usual for them to consecrate some memorial of it in the temples of their gods. Thus Horace, I. 1. Ode j.
Me tabula facer, &c. For me, the sacred tablet shows, '1 bar 1 have hung nty dripping clothes At Neptune's shrine Dtnumit.
Ver. 3. The Athenian academy was not far distant from the Areopagus, in a grove without the city.
EPIGRAM XIII. Nothing among the ancient Greeks and Romans was rstcensed a greater act of piety, than to fight for the good of the community; and they, who fiave greatly fallen in so righteous a cause, are. tmlalmed with immortal honours. Tjrtatsu wrote ioœc cable r-nejn&.oo rnaitiai yiruae. The. follow
ing lines are translated from a fragment of hit: Speaking of the hero that dares to die sot his country, he fays,
His fair renown shall never fade away,
Addison quotes a passage from Shakspeare sirtiw lar to this epigram:
We Hermia, like two artificial gods.
Ver. I. The ancients esteemed Mercury th.e federal protector of learning; and therefore alvaUy placed bis statae in their libraries, and in the potLtccxcs before their public schools and academies.
Thi» »pigram, -suitwithstaisding what Barnes, fays to the contrary, is thought not to be Ana. creon's; the mention of SophocWt bei^jg too itpignut to chronology, to- iioai* ia fax rcr^i.
THE LIFE OF SAPPHO.
Sappho was a native of Mitylene in the island of Lesbos, Who was her father is uncertain, there being no less than eight persons who have contended for that honour; but it is universally acknowledged that Cleis was her mother. She sWifaed, according to S-iidas, in the 4id Olympiad; according to Eusebius, in the 44th Olympiad, about 6co years before our Saviour Christ.She was contemporary with Pittacus, the famous tyrant of Mitylene, and the two celebrated poets Scesichorus and Alcxus. Barnes has endeavoured to prove, from the testimonies of Chamceleon and Herroefianax, that Anacreon was one of her lovers; bat this amour has been generally esteemed too repugnant to chronology, to be admitted for any tiling bnt a poetical fiction.
She married one Ccrcolas, a man of great wealth and power in the island of Andros, by whom she had a daughter named Cleis. He leaving her a widow very young, she renounced all thoughts of a second marriage, but not the pleafares of love; not enduring to confine that passion to one person, which, at the -"-dents tell us, was too violent in her to be restrained even to one fex.
But no one seems to have been the object of her admiration so much as the accomplished Phaon, a young man of Lesbos; who is said to have been a kind of ferryman, and thence fabled to have carried Venus over the stream in his boat, and to have received from her, as a reward, the favour of becoming the most beautiful man in the world. She fell desperately in love with him, and took a voyage into Sicily in pursuit of him, be hiving withdrawn himself thither on purpose to avoid her. It was in that island, and on this occasion, that she composed her hymn to Venus.
Her poem was ineffectual for the procuring that happiness which the prayed for in it. Phaon was still obdurate, and Sappho was so transported with the violence of her passion, that she reselved to get rid of it at any rate.
There was a promontory in Acarnania called I-cucate, on the top of which was a little temple dedicated to Apollo. In this temple it was usual for despairing lovers to make their vows in secret, and afterwards to fling themselves from the top of the precipice into the sea. For it wan an established opinion, (hat ail those who were tajecq up
alive, would immediately be cured of their formes paflion. Sappho tried the remedy; but perished, in the experiment. The original of this unaccountable humour is not known. Ovid represent* Sappho as advised to Bnderuke this strange pro. ject by the vision of a fca-nymph, of which she sent the following account to the cruel Phaon:
Hie ego cum lassos, &c.
Here as I lay, and swell'd with tears the flood,
Before my fight a wst'ry virgin stood; She stood and cry'd, •* O you that love in vain! "Fly hence and feck The fair I.eucadian main: "There stands a rock, from whose impend "steep
"Apollo's fane surveys ihe rolling deep:
She spoke, and vani!h'd with the voice—1 rise
Nor let a lover's death the guiltless flood pro- J
The Romans erected a most noble statue of porphyry to her memory -. and the Mirylenians, to express their sense of her worth, and the glory they received from her being born amongst them, paid her sovereign honours after her death, and coined money with her head for the impress.
The best idea we can have of her person, u from her own descriptiou os it in Ovid:
Si mihi difsicilis formam, &c.
To me what nature has in charms deny'd,