of Emesa Helidorus.

The Greek romances of Heliodorus, Longus, and Achilles Tatius : comprising the Ethiopics : or, Adventures of Theagenes and Chariclea ; The pastoral amours of Daphnis and Chloe; and The loves of Clitopho and Leucippe online

. (page 37 of 50)
Online Libraryof Emesa HelidorusThe Greek romances of Heliodorus, Longus, and Achilles Tatius : comprising the Ethiopics : or, Adventures of Theagenes and Chariclea ; The pastoral amours of Daphnis and Chloe; and The loves of Clitopho and Leucippe → online text (page 37 of 50)
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back, now thrown back upon his croup, now pitched forward
upon his neck. At length overmastered by the storm, and
unable to recover possession of the reins, he gave himself
up to this whirlwind of speed, and was at Fortune's mercy.
The horse still in full career, turned from the public road,

* " And, starting to each accent, sprang

As from a sudden trumpet's clang." Byron,
f " Away, away, my steed and I,

Upon the pinions of the wind,

All human dwellings left behind ;

We sped like meteors through the sky." Byron.

" I felt as on a plank at sea,

When all the waves that dash o'er thee,
At the same time upheave and whelm,
And hurl thee towards a desert realm.
My undulating life was as
The fancied lights that flitting pass
Our shut eyes in deep midnight, when
Fever begins upon the brain." Byron.

It must be remembered that throughout this description the
expressions are borrowed from a storm at sea. An illustration occurs
in Soph. vi. Electra 729 and 733. " vavayiuv 'nnriK&v." t( jcXucwv',



made for a wood, and dashed his unhappy rider against a
tree. Charicles was shot from off his back as from an
engine, and his face encountering the boughs, was lacerated
with a wound from every jagged point. Entangled by the
reins, he was unable to release his body, but was dragged
along upon the road to death ; for the horse, yet more
affrighted by the rider's fall, and impeded by his body,
kicked and trampled the miserable youth who was the
obstacle to his farther flight ;* and such is his disfigurement
that you can no longer recognize his features."

After listening to this account, Clinias was for some
moments speechless through bewilderment, then awakening
from his trance of grief, he uttered a piercing cry, and was
rushing out to meet the corpse, I following and doing my
best to comfort him. At this instant the body of Charicles
was borne into the house, a wretched and pitiable sight, for
he was one mass of wounds,t so that none of the bystanders
could restrain their tears. His father led the strains of
lamentation, and cried out, " My son, in how different a
state hast thou returned from that in which thou didst leave
me ! Ill betide all horsemanship ! Neither hast thou died
by any common death, nor art thou brought back a corpse
comely in thy death ; others who die preserve their well-
known lineaments, and though the living beauty of the
countenance be gone, the image is preserved, which by its
mimickry of sleep consoles the mourner.J In their case,

* " Each motion which I made to free
My swoln limbs from their agony
Increased his fury and affright." Byron.

f "Totum est pro corpore vulnus." Lucan ix. 814.

" He who hath bent him o'er the dead
Ere the first day of death is fled,
(Before decay's effacing fingers
Have swept the lines where beauty lingers),
And marked the mild angelic air ;
The rapture of repose that's there,
The fix'd yet tender traits that streak
The languor of the placid cheek.

He still might doubt the tyrant's power ;

So fair, so calm, so softly seal'd,

The first, last look by death reveal'd." Byron*


death has taken away the soul, but leaves in the body the
semblance of the individual : in thy case, fate has destroyed
both, and, to me, thou hast died a double death, in soul and
body, so utterly has even the shadow of thy likeness
perished ! Thy soul has fled, and I find thee no more, even
in body ! Oh, my son, when shall be now thy bridal day ?
"When, ill-starred horseman and unwedded bridegroom,
when shall be the joyous nuptial festivities? The tomb
will be thy bridal bed, death thy partner, a dirge thy
nuptial song, wailing thy strains of joy !* I thought, my
son, to have kindled for thee a very different flame, but
cruel fate has extinguished both it and thee, and in its
stead lights up the funeral torch. Oh, luckless torch
bearing, whore death presides and takes the place of mar-

Thus bitterly did the father bewail the loss of his son,
and Clinias vied with him in the expression of his grief,
breaking forth into soliloquy. " I have been the death of
him who was master of my affection ! Why was I so ill-
advised as to present him with such a gift ! Could I not have
given him a golden beaker, out of which, when pouring a
libation, he might have drunk, and so have derived pleasure
from the gift ? Instead of doing this, wretch that I was, I
bestowed upon this beauteous youth a savage brute, and
moreover decked out the beast with a pectoral and frontlet
and silver trappings.f Yes, Charicles, I decked out your
murderer with gold ! Thou beast, of all others most evil,
ruthless, ungrateful, and insensible to beauty, thou hast
actually been the death of him who fondled thee, who wiped
away thy sweat, promised thee many a feed, and praised the
swiftness of thy pace! Instead of glorying in being the
bearer of so fair a youth, thou hast ungratefully dashed his
beauty to the earth ! Woe is me, for having bought this
homicide, who has turned out to be thy murderer!"

JN\) sooner were the funeral obsequies over, than I hastened
to the maiden, who was in the pleasance belonging to the

* In Heliodonis, B. i. Theagenes and Charicles express their grief
in similar language.

f Mention of these different ornaments occurs in Xen. Cyrop. B. vi.
c. 4, sec. 1.


house. It consisted of a grove, which afforded a delightful
object to the eyes ; around it ran a wall, each of the four
sides of which had a colonnade supported upon pillars, the
central space being planted with trees, whose branches were
so closely interwoven, that the fruits and foliage inter-
mingled in friendly union.* Close to some of the larger
trees grew the ivy and the convolvulus ; the latter hanging
from the plane-trees, clustered round it, with its delicate
foliage; the former twining round the pine, lovingly em-
braced its trunk, so that the tree became the prop of the
ivy, and the ivy mrnished a crown for the tree. On
either side were seen luxuriant vines, supported upon
reeds ; these were now in blossom, and hanging down from
the intervening spaces were the ringlets of the plant ;f
while the upper leaves, agitated by the breeze and inter-
penetrated by the rays of the sun, caused a quivering
gleam to fall upon the ground, which partially lighted
up its shade. Flowers also displayed the beauty of
their various hues. The narcissus, the rose, and violet,
mingling together, imparted a purple colour to the earth ;
the calyx of both these flowers was alike in its general
shape, and served them for a cup ; the expanded rose-leaves
were red and violet above, milky white below, and the nar-
cissus was altogether of the latter hue ; the violet had no
calyx, and its colour resembled that of the sea when under
the influence of a calm. In the midst of the flowers bubbled
a fountain, whose waters received into a square basin,
the work of art, served the flowers for their mirror, and gave
a double appearance to the grove, by adding the reflection
to the reality. Neither were there wanting birds : some of
a domestic kind, reared by the care of man, were feeding in
the grove ; while others, enjoying their liberty of wing, flew
and disported themselves among the branches. The song-
sters were grasshoppers J and swallows, of which the one

* See the description of the garden in the 3rd Book of Longus.
+ fjv /36(rrpwxo TOV tyvrov

J " The shrill cicalas, people of the pine,

Making their summer lives one ceaseless song." Byron.

The swallow was generally considered the representative of what
yas barbaric, chattering, and troublesome. See Aristoph. Frogs, 649,


celebrated the rising of Aurora, the other the banquet of
Tereus. Those of a domestic kind were the peacock, the
swan, and the parrot ; the swan was feeding near the foun-
tain ; a cage suspended from a tree contained the parrot ;
the peacock drew after him his splendid train ; nor was it
easy to decide which surpassed the other in beauty, the
tints of the flowers themselves, or the hues of his flower-
like feathers.

Leucippe happened at this time to be walking with Clio,
and stopped opposite the peacock who was just then spread-
ing his train, and displaying the gorgeous semicircle of his
feathers.* Wishing to produce amorous sensations in her
mind, I addressed myself to the slave Satyrus,t making
the peacock the subject of our discourse. " The bird," I
said, " does not do this without design ; he is of an amorous
nature, and always bedecks himself in this manner when he
wishes to attract his favourite mate. Do you see," I added,
(pointing in the direction) " the female, near the plane-tree
yonder ? It is to her that he is now displaying the
' enamelled meadow ' of his plumes, and this meadow of his
is assuredly more beautiful than any mead in nature, each
plume has in it a spot of gold, and the gold is encircled by
a purple ring, and so in every plume there is seen an eye."
Satyrus readily comprehended the drift of my discourse, and
in order to give me scope for continuing the subject, he
asked "whether Love could possibly possess such power as to
transmit his warmth even unto the winged tribes ?" " Yes,"
I replied, "not only unto them for there is no marvel in this,
since he himself is winged but also into reptiles and wild

and ^Esch. Ag. 1017, nevertheless is introduced by Moschus, in his
lament for Bion :

" Nor on their mountain thrones,

The swallows utter such lugubrious tones."

Chapman's Tr.
The reader will call to mind the line in Gray.

" The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed."
The chirping noise of the cicada (rrri) is constantly used by the
poets as a simile for sweet sounds.

*".... pecta pandat spectacula cauda." Hor. S. ii. 2. 25.
" Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks ?"

Job xxxix. 13,
f- Clio and Satyrus, slaves not mentioned before.


beasts and plants ; nay, in my opinion even unto stones.
The magnet, for instance loves the iron, and upon the first
sight and touch draws that metal towards it, as if containing
within itself the fire of love. Is there not in this, a mani-
fest embrace between the amorous stone and the iron the
object of its affection ? Philosophers, moreover, tell, con-
cerning plants, what I should deem an idle tale were it not
confirmed by the experience of husbandmen. They main-
tain that one plant becomes enamoured of another, and that
the palm is most sensible of the tender passion ; there are,
you must know, male* and female palms; supposing the
female is planted at a distance from it, the male droops and
withers; the husbandman upon seeing this, easily under-
stands the nature of the malady, and ascending an eminence
he observes in what direction the tree inclines which is
always towards the beloved object ; having ascertained this
point, he employs the following remedy : taking a shoot
from the female he inserts it into the very heart of the
male ; this immediately revives it, and bestows new life
upon its sinking frame, so that it recovers its pristine
vigour ; and this arises from delight in embracing its
beloved ; such are the loves of the plants.f

" The same holds true concerning streams and rivers also ;
for we hear of the loves of the river Alpheus and the Sici-
lian fountain Arethusa. J This river takes its course through
the sea as through a plain, and the sea instead of impreg-
nating it with its saltness, divides and so affords a passage
for the river, performing the part of bridesman, by con-
ducting it to Arethusa; when, therefore, at the Olympic
Festival, persons cast various gifts into the channel of thia

* See Herod, i. ch. 194.

} " Vivunt in Venerem frondes omnisque vicissim
Felix arbor amat ; mutant ad mutua palmaa
Foedera, populeo suspirat populus ictu,
Et platani platanis, alnoque assibilat alnus." Claudian.
See also Darwin's poem, the " Botanic Garden."

$".... Alpheum fama est hue Elidis amnem
Occultas egisse vias subter mare ; qui nunc
Ore, Arethusa, tuo Siculis confunditur undis."

Virg. Mn. iii. 694.




river, it immediately bears them to its beloved, these being
its nuptial gifts.* A yet stranger mystery of Love is seen
in reptiles, not merely in those of like race, but of different
kind^ The viper t conceives a violent passion for the lam-
prey, which though in form a serpent, is to all intents and
purposes a fish. When these reptiles wish to copulate, the
viper goes down to the shore and hisses in the direction of
the sea, which is a signal to the lamprey ; she understands
the sound, and issues from the water, but does not imme-
diately hasten to her lover, knowing that he carries deadly
poison in his teeth, but gliding up a rock, there waits until
he has cleansed his mouth. After looking at one another
for a space, the loving viper vomits forth the poison so
dreaded by his mistress, and she upon perceiving this,
descends and entwines him in her embrace, no longer
dreading his amorous bite."

During my discourse, I kept observing Leucippe to see
how she took these amatory topics, and she gave indi-
cations that they were not displeasing to her. The dazzling
beauty of the peacock which I just now mentioned seemed
to me far inferior to her attractions ; indeed the beauty of
her countenance might vie with the flowers of the meadow ;
the narcissus was resplendent in her general complexion,
the rose blushed upon her cheek, the dark hue of the violet
sparkled in her eyes, her ringlets curled more closely than
do the clusters of the ivy ; -her face, therefore, was a reflex
of the meadows. J Shortly after this, she left the pleasance,
it being time for her to practise upon the harp. Though
absent she appeared to me still present, for her form and
features remained impressed upon my eyes.

Satyrus and I congratulated each other upon our mutual
performances. I for the subjects I had chosen, he for having
given me the opportunity of discussing them. Supper time
soon arrived and we reclined at table as before.

t An account of the loves of the viper and the lamprey will be
found in JElian, B. i. 50 ; and the polite consideration of the former
in getting rid of his disagreeable qualities is related by the same
writer, B. ix. 66, with the addition of his " hissing an amorous air."

The same comparison occurs in Aristsenetus, B ii. Ep. 1 : "
Xaftwa>i, cat oTrep tfccii/y rd dv9rj, rouro ye ravry TO Ka\\0f."



PBEVIOFS to this, however, Satyrus and I, praising our
mutual tact, proceeded to the maiden's chamber, under the
pretext of hearing her performance on the harp, but in
reality because I could not bear her to be out of my
sight, for however short a space. The first subject of her
song was, the engagement between the lion and the boar,
described by Homer;* afterwards she chose a tenderer
theme, the praises of the rose.

Divested of its poetic ornaments,t the purport of the
strain was this : Had Jove wished to impose a monarch
upon the flowers, this honor would have been given to the
rose,J as being the ornament of the earth, the boast of
shrubs, the eye of flowers, imparting a blush to the mea-
dows and dazzling with its beauty. The rose breathes of
love, conciliates Venus, glories in its fragrant leaves, exults
in its tender stalks, which are gladdened by the Zephyr.
Such was the matter of the song. For my part, I seemed
to behold a rose upon her lips, as though the calyx of the
flower had been converted into the form of the human
mouth. She had scarcely ended when the supper hour
arrived. It was then the time of celebrating the Festival of
Bacchus, " patron of the vintage," whom the Tyrians

* II. xvi. 823.

" As when the lion and the sturdy boar,
Contend in battle on the mountain tops
For some scant rivulet which both desire,
Ere long the lion quells the panting boar." Cowper's Tr.

f KdfjLTrai, signify properly, the changes and inflections in a piece of

J " The rose, of flow'rs th* enchanting pride ;
The rose is Spring's enchanting bride ;
The rose of every god 's the joy ;
With roses Cytherea's boy,
When, dancing, he'd some Grace ensnare,
Adorns the love-nets of his hair."

Anacreon. v. Addiaou's Tr.

2 B 2


esteem to be their god, quoting a legend of Cadmus which
attributes to the feast the following origin : Once upon a
time, mortals had no such thing as wine, neither the black
and fragrant kind, nor the Biblian, nor the Maronaean,*
nor the Chian, nor the Icarian; all these they maintain
came originally from Tyre, their inventor being a Tyrian.
A certain hospitable neatherd (resembling the Athenian
Icarius, who is the subject of a very similar story) gave
occasion to the legend which I am about to relate. Bacchus
happened to come to the cottage of this countryman, who
set before him whatsoever the earth and the labours of his
oxen had produced. Wine, as I observed, was then unknown,
like the oxen, therefore, their beverage was water.

Bacchus thanked him for his friendly treatment and pre-
sented to him a "loving cup," t which was filled with wine.
Having taken a hearty draught, and becoming very jovial
from its effects, he said : " Whence, stranger, did you pro-
cure this purple water, this delicious blood ? It is quite
different from that which flows along the ground ; for that
descends into the vitals, and affords cold comfort at the
best ; whereas this, even before entering the mouth, rejoices
the nostrils, and though cold to the touch, leaps down into
the stomach and begets a pleasurable warmth." J To this
Bacchus replied, " This is the water of an autumnal fruit,
this is the blood of the grape," and so saying, he conducted
the neatherd to a vine, and squeezing a bunch of grapes
said, " here is the water, and this is the fountain from
whence it flows." Such is the account which the Tyrians
give as to the origin of wine.

* The wine of most early celebrity was that which the minister of
Apollo, Maron, who dwelt upon the skirts of Thracian Ismarus gave
to Ulysses. It was red and honey-sweet ; so precious, that it was
unknown to all in the mansion save the wife of the priest and one
trusty housekeeper; so strong, that a single cup was mixed with
twenty of water ; so fragrant, that even when thus diluted it diffused
a divine and most tempting perfume.

See Odyss. ix. 203. ; Diet, of Greek and Roman Antiq.

f KvXiKo. <j>t\oTriaiav.

J . . . . " this is from above a stream

Of nectar and ambrosia, all divine !" Od. B. ix. 355, Cowper.

" He washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the Hood of
grapes" * Gen. xlix. 11.


It was, as I before said, the festival of this deity which
was being celebrated. My father anxious to do everything
handsomely, had made grand preparations for the supper,
and there was set in honor of the god, a magnificent goblet
of crystal,* in the beauty of its workmanship second only
to that of the Chian Grlaucus.f Vines seemingly growing
from within encircled it, and their clusters hung down all
around ; as long as the goblet remained empty each grape
appeared unripe and green; but no sooner was the wine
poured in than each grape began to redden, and assumed
the hue of ripeness; and among them was represented Bac-
chus himself as dresser of the vineyard. As the feast went
on, and the good wine did its office, I began to cast bold
lawless glances at Leucippe ; for Love and Bacchus are two
very potent deities, they take possession of the soul J and
so inflame it that it forgets every restraint of modesty ; the
one kindles in it a flame, and the other supplies fuel for the
tire, for wine may truly be called the meat and drink of
love. The maiden also became gradually emboldened so as
to gaze at me more fixedly. In this manner, ten days
passed on without anything beyond glances being inter-
changed between us.

At length I imparted the whole affair to Satyrus, request-
ing his assistance ; he replied, " I knew it all before you
told me, but was unwilling that you should be aware of the
fact, supposing it your wish to remain unobserved ; for very
often he who loves by stealth hates the party who has dis-

* vaXov opwpvy/tlvjje. Herodotus, iii. 24, uses the word t/aXof, to
describe the clear transparent stone, supposed to be Oriental alabaster,
used by the Egyptians to enclose their mummies.

f The translation of this passage follows Villoisin's reading. For
a mention of the cup of Glaucus, see Herod, i. 25. Mr. Blakesley,
in his Edition remarks, that 77 rXavicov Tt%vT), was in the time of
Plato (Phsedon, 132) a proverbial one, applied to everything requiring
an extraordinary amount of skill.

+ " While Venus fills the heart . . .

Ceres presents a plate of of vermicelli,

For love must be sustain'd like flesh and blood,
While Bacchus pours out wine or hands a jelly. Byron.


covered his passion, and considers himself to Lave received
an insult from him. However," continued he, " fortune has
provided for our contingences,* for Clio, Leucippe's chamber-
maid, has an understanding with me, and admits me as her
lover. I will gradually buy her over to give us her assist-
ance in this affair ; but you, on your part, must not be con-
tent with making trial of the maiden merely by glances ;
you must speak to her and say something to the point,
then take a farther step by touching her hand, squeezing
her fingers, and fetching a deep sigh ; if she permits this
willingly, then salute her as the mistress of your affections,
and imprint a kiss upon her neck.' J " By Pallas, you coimsel
wisely," was my reply, " but I fear me, I shall prove but a
craven wrestler in the school of love."

" The god of love," said he, " has no notion of craven-
heartedness ; do you not see in what warlike guise he is
equipped ? He bears a bow, a quiver, arrows, and a lighted
torch, emblems all of them, of manhood and of daring.
Filled, then, as you are with the influence of such a god,
are you a coward and do you tremble ? Beware of shewing
yourself merely a counterfeit in love. I will make an open-
ing by calling away Clio, as soon as an opportunity occurs
for your having a private conversation with Leucippe."
With these words he left the room; excited by what he
had said, I was no sooner alone, then I used every endea-
vour to collect my courage for the approaching interview.
" Coward," said I, " how long wilt thou continue silent?
Thou, the soldier of such a warlike ' god, and yet a craven.'
Dost thou intend to wait until the maiden comes to thee
of her own accord?" Afterwards I proceeded, " and yet
fool that thou art, why not come to thy senses ? "Why not
bestow thy love upon a lawful object ? Thou hast another
maiden in this house; one possessed of beauty. Be con-
tent with loving her, and gazing upon her ; her it is per-
mitted thee to take to wife." My purpose was almost fixed ;
when from the bottom of my heart Love spoke in reply and
said ; " Hash man, darest thou to set thyself in array and to
war with me me, who have wings to fly, arrows to wound,
and a torch to burn ? How, pry thee, wilt thou escape ? If
thou wardest off my shafts, how wilt thou avert my fire ?

* TO avToparov


and even supposing thy chastity should quench the fl&me,
still I can overtake thee with my wings." *

While engaged in this soliloquy, the maiden unexpectedly
made her appearance ; I turned pale, and the next moment
became crimson ; she was quite alone, not even Clio accom-
panied her ; in a very confused manner, and not knowing
what else to say, I addressed her with the words, " Good
morrow, fair mistress ;" sweetly smiling, she shewed by her
countenance that she comprehended the drift of my salu-
tation, and said, " Do you call me your mistress ?" " Indeed I
do, for one of the gods has told me to be your slave, as Her-
cules was sold to Omphale." " Sold, if I remember, by
Mercury," rejoined she, " and Jove employed him in the
business ;" this she said with an arch smile ? " What non-
sense," rejoined I, "to trifle so, and talk of Mercury when
all the while you understood my meaning." f While one
pleasantry led on to another and so prolonged our conver-
sation, fortune came to my assistance.

About noon on the preceding day, Leucippe had been
playing on the harp and Clio was sitting beside her. I
was walking up and down, when suddenly a bee flying in,
stung Clio's hand; she immediately shrieked out, upon
which the maiden, hastily rising from her seat and laying

Online Libraryof Emesa HelidorusThe Greek romances of Heliodorus, Longus, and Achilles Tatius : comprising the Ethiopics : or, Adventures of Theagenes and Chariclea ; The pastoral amours of Daphnis and Chloe; and The loves of Clitopho and Leucippe → online text (page 37 of 50)