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If I were sure they should endure ;

But it is often seen,
When men will break promise they speak

The word6s on the spleen.
Te shape some wile, me to beguile,

And steal from me, I ween :
Then were the case worse than it WM

And I more woe-begone !
For, in my mind, of all mankind

I love but you alone.

HE. Te shall not need further to dread ;

I will not disparage
Tou (God defend !), sith ye descend

Of so great linefige.
Now understand ; to Westmoreland,

Which is mine heritage,
I will you bring ; and with a ring,

By way of marriage
I will you take, and lady make,

As shortly as I can :
Thus have you won an Erly's son,

And not a banished man.

AUTHOR. Here may ye see that woman be,

In love, meek, kind, and stab's :
Let never man reprove them then,

Or call them variable ;
But rather pray God that we may

To them be comfortable ;
Which sometimes proveth such, as he loveth,

If they be charitable.
For sith men would that women should

Be meek to them each one;
Much more ought they to God obey

And serve but him alone.



THE THEOGONY.



181



THE THEOGONY.

[HESIOD, next to Homer, the oldest of the Grecian
poets whose works are known to us, and founder of the
epic-didactic school of poetry at the foot of Mt. Helicon
in Bosotia, as Homer was the representative of the epic-
Ionian school of Asia Minor. The two schools had little
in common except the epic form and dialect, for while
Homer sang the exploits of heroes, and sought to in-
spire admiration for adventurous enterprises, Hesiod
inculcates the duty of labor and frugality, and treats of
the daily round of domestic life. From these character-
istics Cleomenes claimed the former as the bard of the
Spartan warriors, while Hesiod was termed by him the
poet of the Holota. Of the period when he flourished
and the circumstances of his life, we know little. What
little is known is derived from his own writings ; for
while Homer, in whom there is greater objectivity than
in any other poet, has left in his productions no personal
allusions, Hesiod has introduced in many passages inci-
dental accounts of his life and f.imily relations. But in
neither poet isany indication given of the period in which
he lived. Nor is there any external testimony worthy of
confidence. Herodotus says that Hesiod and Homer lived
400 years before his time, and not more, which would give
their date about 810 B. c. Most writers make the two
contemporary, while some place Hesiod before, others
100 years later than Homer.

The various statements are collected in Clinton's Fasti
Hellenic!, (vol. I, pp. 359-3G1.) Gottling coincides in the
opinion of Herodotus, while Grote, from the internal
evidence of style and sentiment, places him shortly
after 700 B. c.. Hesiod was of ^Eolian parentage, boru
at Ascra in Bueotia. His father had been a resident of
Cyme, a town of JEMs in Asia Minor, but had removed
to Ascra, where he possessed and cultivated a farm
which he left at hU deatli to his two sons, Hesiod and
Perses. After the division, Perses, the younger brother,
who seems to have been fond of lawsuits, and the har-
assing business of the agora, managod by bribing the
judges to defraud his brother of a portion of his inheri-
tance. Hesiod thereupon in disgust left his native
Ascra, and removed to Orchomenus, whero he spont the
rest of his life. He further intimates that he was
engaged in farming pursuits, and precepts which are
embodied in his Works and Days appear to bo the re-
sult of a practical acquaintance with agriculture. The
way in which he was led to attempt pootic composition
is related in the opening of tha Theogony. The Muses,
who frequented Mt. Helicon, on one occasion met Hesiod
as he was pasturing his flocks at the foot of the moun-
tain. They thereupon bestowed on him the gift of
poetry, and consecrated him to their service by present-
ing him a laurel branch.

The Rv. .Tamos Davies, M. A., of Oxford, has given
such a clear review of Hesiod's great work, " The T/ieogo-
ny," that we cannot do a bettr service to the reader
than make extract from his criticism and use the trans-
lations which he has adopted.]

Hesiod's " Theogony " consists of three



divisions : a cosmogony, or creation of the
world, its powers, and its fabric ; a theogony
proper, recording the history of the dynas-
ties of Cronus and Zeus ; and a fragmentary
generation of heroes, sprung from the inter-
course of mortals with immortals. Hesiod
and his contemporaries considered that in
their day Jupiter or Zeus was the lord of
Olympus; but it was necessary to chronicle
the antecedents of his dynasty, and hence
the account of the stages and revolutions
which had led up to the established order
under which Ilesiod's generation found it-
self. And so, after a preface containing
amongst other matters the episode of tne
Muses' visit to the shepherd poet, Hesiod
proceeds to his proper task, and represents
Chaos as primeval, and Earth, Tartarus, and
Eros (Love), as coming next into ex-
istence :

" Love then arose,

Most beauteous of immortals; he at once

Of every god and every mortal man.

Unnerves the limbs, dissolves the wiser breast

By reason steeled, and quells the very soul."

Elton, 171-175.

At first Chaos spontaneously produces
Erebus and Night, the latter of whom gives
birth to Ether and Day ; whilst Earth cre-
ates in turn the heaven, the mountains, and
the sea, the cosmogony so far corresponding
generally with the Mosaic. But at this
point Eros or Love begins to work. The
union of Earth with Heaven results in the
birth of Oceanus and the Titans, the Cyc-
lopes, and the hundred-handed giants. The
sire of so numerous a progeny, and first
ruler of creation, Uranus, conceiving that
his sovereignty is imperilled by his offspring,
resorts to the expedient of relodging each
child, as soon as it is born, within the bow-
els of its mother, Earth. Groaning under
such a burden, she arms her youngest and
wiliest son, Cronus, with a sickle of her own
product, iron, and hides him in an ambush
with a view to his mutilating his sire. The
conspiracy is justified on the principle of
retributive justice. Uranus is disabled and
dethroned, and, by a not very clear nor pre-
sentable legend, the foam -born goddess,
Aphrodite, is fabled to have sprung from his
mutilation. Here is the poet's account of
her rise out of the sea :

" So severing with keen gteel
The sacred spoilt), he from the continent
Amid the many surges of the sea



182



THE THEOGONY.



Hurled thorn. Full long they drifted o'er the deeps,

Till now swift-circling a white foam arose

From that immortal substance, and a nymph

Wad nourished in their midat. The wafting waves

First oore her toCythera the divine:

To wave-encircled Cyprus came she then,

And forth emerged a goddess in the charms

Of awful beauty. Wliere her delicate feet

Had pressed the sands, green herbage, flowering sprang.

Her Aphrodite gods and mortal name,

The foam- born goddess : arid her name is known

As Cytherea with the blooming wreath,

For that she touched Cythorea's flowery coast ;

And Cyprus, for that on the Cyprian shore

She rose amid the multitude of waves.

Love tracked her steps, and beautiful Desire

Pursued ; while soon as born she bent her way

Towards heaven's assembled gods ; her honours these

From tho beginning : whether gods or men

Her presence bless, to her the portion falls

Of virgin whisperings and alluring smiles,

And smooth deceits, and gentle ecstacy,

And dalliance and tho blandishments of love."

Frere 258-283.

The concluding verses of this passage are
notable as enumerating the fabled accesso-
ries of Venus ; and the italicised lines, which
find modern parallels in Milton, Scott, and
Tennyson, may have suggested the invoca-
tion of the benignant goddess in the open-
ing of Lucretius :

" Before thee, goddess, Iheo I the winds are hushed,
Before thy coming are the clouds dispersed ;
The plastic earth spreads flowers before thy feet ;
Thy presence makes tho plains of ocean smile,
And sky shines placid with diffused light."

Lncret. i. 7-12 (Johnson).

By the act of Cronus, the Titans, released
from durance, arose to a share in the de-
liverer's dynasty, the Cyclopes and giants
still, it would seem, remaining shut up in
their prison-house. Before the poet pro-
ceeds to the history of this dynasty and
succession of rulers, he apparently con-
ceives it to be his duty to go through the
generations of the elder deities with a
genealogical minuteness which, it must be
confessed, is now and then tedious ; though,
on the other hand, there are occasional
points of interest in the process, which
would be interminable if not so relieved. It
is curious, for example, to find "the Hes-
perian maids "

" Whose charge o'ersees the frnitg of bloomy gold
Beyond the sounding ocean, tho fair trees
Of golden fruitage " Elton, 293-297.



ranked with Death, and Sleep, and Gloom
and its kindred, as the unbegotten brood of
Night. Possibly the clue is to be found in
Hesiod's having a glimmering of the Fail
and its consequences, because death and
woe were in the plucking of the fruit of
"that forbidden tree." Again, from the
union of Nereus, the sea-god par excellence,
and the eldest offspring of Pontus, one of
the original powers, with the Oceanid,
Doris, are said to have sprung the fifty
Nereids, whose names, taken from some
characteristic of the sea its wonders, its
treasures, and its good auguries corres-
pond in many instances with Homer's list
in the Iliad (xviii. 38-48), and point to a
pre-cxistent legend approached by botli
poets. In due order, also, are recorded the
children of Tethys and the Titan Ocennus,
to wit, the endless rivers and springs, and
the water nymphs, or Oceanids, whose func-
tion is to preside over these, and to convey
nourishment from the sire to all things liv-
ing. As to the list of rivers, it is noticeable
that Hesiod includes the Nile, known to
Homer only by the name of ^Egyptus and
the Eridanus, supposed to represent the
llhodanus or Rhone ; also that the rivers of
Greece appear to be slighted in comparison
with those of Asia Minor and the Troad a
circumstance to be accounted for by the
Asiatic origin of the poet's father, which
would explain his completer geographical
knowledge of the colonies than of the
mother country. The names of the water-
nymphs are referable to islands and conti-
nents e- g. Europa, Asia, Doris, _Persia
or to physical characteristics, such as clear-
ness, turbidness, violet hue, and the like.
But the poet gives a good reason for fur^
nishing only a selection :

" More remain untold. Three thousand nymphs
Of Oceanic line, in beauty tread
With ample step, and far and wide dispersed
Haunt tho green earth and azure depth of lakes,
A blooming race of glorious goddesses.
As many rivers also yet untold,
Rushing with hollow dashing sound, wore born
To awful Tethys, but their every name
Is not for mortal man to momorate.
Arduous, yet known to all tho dwellers round "

Elton, 492-501.

We must not trespass upon our readers'
patience, by enumerating with the conscien-
tious etenealogist the progeny of the rest of
the Titans. Two goddesses, however, stand



THE THEOGONY.



183



out from amidst one or other of these
broods, as of more special note, and more
direct bearing on the world's government
and order. Asteria, the goddess of stars, a
Titanid in the second generation, bears to
Perses, a god of light, and a Titan of the
original stock, one only daughter, Hecate.
The attributes of this goddess, as de-
scribed by Hesiod, are so discrepant from
those ascribed to her by later poets, as to
afford strong proof of the antiquity of this
poem. She is not, as in later poetry, the
patron of magic arts, but the goddess who
blesses labour and energy, in field, senate,
and forum :

" When the mailed men rise
To deadly battle, comes the goddess prompt
To whom she wills, bids rapid victory
Await them, and extends the wreath of fame.
She sits upon the sacred judgment-seat
Of venerable monarchs. She is found
Propitious when in solemn games the youth
Contending strive; there is the goddess nigh
With succor ; he whose hardiment and strength
Victorious prove, with ease the graceful palm
Achieving, joyous o'er his father's age,
Sheds a bright gleam of glory. She is known
To them propitious, who the fiery steed
Rein in the course, and them who laboring cleave
Through the blue watery waste the untructable way."
Elton, 581-595.

The other goddess, Styx, a daughter of
Oceanus, is memorable not more for her
own prominent position in ancient fable,
than for having amongst her offspring
those iron-handed ministers of Jove, Strength
(Kratos) and Force (Bia), whom the clas-
sical reader meets again in the opening of
the ' Prometheus ' of ^Eschylus. Their
nearness to Zeus is ascribed by Hesiod to
the decision with which their mother es-
poused his cause in the struggle with Cro-
nus and the Titans :

" Lo! then incorruptible Styx the first,
Swayed by the awful counsels of her sire,
Stood on Olympus and her sons beside ;
There graced with honour and with goodly gifts,
Her Zeus ordained the great tremendous oath
Of deities ; her sons for evermore
Indwellers in the heavens. Alike to all,
E'en as he pledged his sacred word, the god
Performed ; so reigned he strong in might and power."
Elton, 537-545.

But here Hesiod has been anticipating
the sequeuce of events, and forestalling, to
this extent, the second stage of the poem.



According to Hesiod, Cronus or Saturn was
alive to the faults of his sire's policy of
self-protection, and conceived an improve-
ment in the means of checking revolution-
ary development on the part of his off-
spring, by imprisoning them in his own
bowels rather than their mother's. Mind-
ful of the destiny that " to his own child he
should bow down his strength," he pro-
ceeded to swallow up his progeny with such
regularity, that the maternal feelings of his
consort, Rhea, roused her to a spirit of op-
position. When about to be delivered of
her sixth child, Zeus, she called in the aid
of her parents, Heaven and Earth, in the
concealment of his birth :

"And her they sent to Lyctus, to the clime
Of fruitful Crete ; and when her hour was como,
The birth of Zeus, her youngest born, thr;n Earth
Took to herself the mighty babe, to rear
With nurturing softness, in the spacious Lde
Of Crete ; so came she then, transporting him
Swift through the darksome air, to Lyctus first,
And thence upbearing in her arms, concealed
Beneath the sacred ground in sunless cave,
Where shagged with densest wood the JEgean mount
Impends. But to the imperial son of heaven,
Whilom the King of Gods, the stone she gave
Inwrapt in infant swathes, and this with grasp
Eager he matched, and in his ravening breast
Conveyed away ; unhappy 1 nor once thought
That for the stone his child remained behind
Invincible, secure ; who soon with hands
Of strength o'ercoming him, should cast him forth
From glory, and himself the immortals rule "

Elton, 641-659.

As the gods in ancient mythology grow
apace, Zeus is soon ripe for the task of aid-
ing his mother, whose craft persuades Cronus
to disgorge first the stone which he had mis-
taken for his youngest-born, and then the
five children whom he had previously de-
voured. A stone, probably meteoric, was
shown at Delphi in Pausanias's day as the
stone in question, and an object of old me-
morial to the devout Greek. The rescued
brethren at once take part with their de-
liverer. The first act of Zeus was, as we
have seen, to advance Force and Strength,
with their brothers Victory and Rivalry, to
the dignity of " a body-guard," and to give
their mother Styx the style and functions of
" oath-sanctioner." His next was to free
from the prison to which their father Uranus
had consigned them, the hundred-handed
giants, and the Cyclopes, who furnished his
artillery of lightnings and hot thunderbolts.



184



THE THEOGONY.



His success in the struggle was assured by
the oracles of Gaea (Earth), if only he
could band these towers of strength and
muscularity against Cronus and his Titans ;
and so the battle was set in array, and a
fierce war ensued

" Karli with each

Ten years and more the furious battle joined
Uuintermitted ; nor to either host
Was issue of stern strife nor end ; alike
DiJ either stretch the limit of the war "

Elton, 846-850.

Hesiod's description of the contest, which
has been justly held to constitute his title to
a rank near Homer as an epic poet, is pre-
faced by a feast at which Zeus addresses
his allies, and receives in turn the assurance
of their support. The speeches are not
wanting in dignity, though briefer than those
which, in his great epic, Milton has moulded
on their model. Our English poet had
bathed his spirit in Hesiod before he essayed
the sixth book of his 'Paradise Lost;' and
it was well and wisely done by the transla-
tor of the following description of the war
betwixt Zeus and the Titans to aim at a
Miltonic style and speech :

"All on that day roused infinite the war,

Female and male ; the Titan deities,

The gods from Cronus sprang, and those whom Zeus

From subterranean gloom released to light :

Terrible, strong, of force enormous ; burst

A hundred arms from all their shoulders huge :

From all their shoulders fifty heads upspransf

O'er limbs of sinewy mould. They then arrayed

Against the Titans in fell combat stood,

And in their nervous grasp wielded aloft

Precipitous rocks. On the other side alert

The Titan phalanx closed : then hands of strength

Joiu*l prowess, and displayed the works of war.

Tremendous then the immeasurable sea

Roared : earth resounded : the wide heaven throughout

Groaned shattering : from its base Olympus vast

Reeled to the violence of the gods : the shock

Of deep concussion rocked the dark abyss

Remote of Tartarus : the shrilling din

Of hollow tramplings and strong battle-strokes,

And measureless uproar of wild pursuit.

So they reciprocal their weapons hurled

Oroan-scattcrlnp;, and the shout of either host

Hurst in exhorting ardour to the stars

Of h"aven : with mighty war-cries either host

Encountering closed."

Elton, 883-908.

In the conflict with the Titans. Zeus has
to exert all his might to insure victory :



" Nor longer then did Zeus
Curb his full power, but instant in his soul
There grew dilated strength, and it was filled
With his omnipotence. At mice he loosed
His whole of might, and put forth all the tjod.
The vaulted sky, the mount Olympian flashed
With his continual presence, for he passed
Incessant forth, and scattered fires on fires.
Hurled from his hardy grasp the lightnings flew
Reiterated swift : the whirling flash
Cast sacred splendour, and the thunderbolt
Fell ; roared around the nurture-yielding earth
In conflagration ; for on every side
The immensity of foresta crackling blazed :
Yea, the broad earth burned red, the streams that mix
With ocean and the deserts of the sea.
Round and around the Titan brood of earth
Rolled the hot vapour on its fiery surge.
The liquid heat air's pure expanse divine
Suffused : the radiance keen of quivering flama
That shot from writhen lightnings, each dim orb,
Strong though they were, intolerable smote,
And scorched the blasted vision : through the void
Of Erebus the preternatural glare
Spread mingling fire with darkness. But to see
With human eye and hear with the ear of man
Had been as if midway the spacious heaven
Hurtling with earth shocked e'en as nether earth
Crashed from the centre, and the wreck of heaven
Fell ruinous from high. So vast the din
When, gods encountering gods, the clang of arms
Commingled, and the tumult roared from heaven."

Elton, 908-939.

To heighten the turmoil, the winds and ele-
ments fight on the side of Zeus. The tide
of battle turns. Jove's huge auxiliaries
overwhelm the Titans with a succession of
huge missiles, send them sheer beneath the
earth, and consign them to a durance " as
far beneath, under earth, as heaven is from
earth, for equal is the space from earth to
murky Tartarus." There, in the deeper
chamber of an abyss from which there is no
escape, the Titans are thenceforth imprison-
ed, with the hundred-handed giants set
over them as keepers, and with Day and
Night acting as sentries or janitors in front
of the brazen threshold:

" There Night

And Day, near passing, mutual greeting still
Exchange, nlternate as they glide athwart
The brazen threshold vast. This enters, that
Forth issues, nor the two can one abode
At once constrain. This passes forth and roams
The round of earth, that in the mansion waits
Till the due season of her travel come.
Lo ! from the one the far-discerning light
Beams upon earthly dwellers : but a cloud
Of pitchy darkness veils the other rcund ;



THE THEOGONY.



185



Pernicious Night, aye leading in her hand

Sleep, Death's twin brother : sons of gloomy Night,

There hold they habitation, Death and Sleep,

Dread deities : nor them doth shining sun

E'er with his beam contemplate, when he climbs

The cope of heaven, or when from heaven descends.

Of these the one glides gentle o'er the space

Of earth and broad expanse of ocean waves,

Placid to man. The other has a heart

Of iron ; yea, the heart within his breast

Is brass unpitying : whom of men he grasps,

Stern he retains : e'en to immortal gods

A foe." Elton, 992-1014.

Of these sentries the readers of Milton's
" Paradise Lost" may recall the description
at the opening of the sixth book ; whilst the
counterparts of the twin children of Night
may be found in the Iliad, l as well as in
the ^Eneid. 2

Another wonder of the prison-house, in
Hesiod's account of it, is Cerberus :

" A grisly dog, implacable,
Watching before the gates. A stratagem
Is his, malicious : them who enter there,
With tail and bended ears he fawning soothes,
But suffers not that they with backward step
Repass : whoe'er would issue from the gates
Of Pluto strong and stern Persephone,
For them with marking eye he lurks: on them
Springs from his couch, and pitiless devours."

Elton, 1018-1026.

In close proximity to this monster was the
fabled Styx, in some respects the most aw-
ful personage in the " Theogony." The le-
gend about her is somewhat obscure, but it
is curious as being connected with that of
Iris, the rainbow, whose function of carrying
up water when any god has been guilty of
falsehood seems a vague embodiment of the
covenant sealed by the " bow set in the
cloud:"

" Jove sends Iris down
To bring the great oath in a golden ewer,
The far-famed water, from steop, sky-capt rock
Distilling in cold stream. Beneath the earth
Abundant from the sacred river-head
Through shades of darkest night the Stygian horn
Of Ocean flows : a tenth of all the streams
To the dread Oath allotted. In nine streams
Circling the round of earth and the broad seas
With silver whirlpools twine'l with many a maze,
It falls into the deep : one stream alone
Glides from the rock, a mighty liane to gods.
Who of immortals, that inhabit still



l II. xlv. 231, &c.



vi. 278, &c.



Olympus topped with snow, libation pour*
And is forsworn, he one whole year entire
Lies reft of breath, nor yet approaches once
The nectared and ambrosial sweet repast :
But still reclines on the spread festive couch
Mute, breathless : and a mortal lethargy
O'erwhelms him : but his malady absolved
With the great round of the revolving year,
More ills on ills afflictive seize : nine yean
From everlasting deities remote
His lot is cast; in council nor in feast
Once joins he, till nine years entire are full.

*******

So great an oath the deities of heaven
Decreed the waters incorruptible,
Ancient, of Styx, who sweeps with wandering ware
A rugged region : where of dusky Earth,
And darksome Tartarus, and Ocean waste,
And the starred Heaven, the source and boundary
Successive rise and end : a dreary wild
And ghastly, e'en by deities abhorred."

Elton, 1038-1072.

Such, according to Hesiod, are the sur-
roundings of the infernal prison-house which
received the vanquished Titans when Jove's
victory was assured. Not yet, however, could
he rest from his toil : he had yet to scotch
the half-serpent, Typhceus, the offspring of a
new union betwixt Earth and Tartarus, a
monster so terror-inspiring by means of its
hundred heads and voices to match, that
Olympus might well dread another and less
welcome master should this pest attain full
development. Zeus, we are told, foresaw
the danger :



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