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shores a hundred years, and then are carried over. But first they pay Charon his fare, awhich is at least a halfpenny.
P. Those three or four rivers (if my eyes do not de.. ceive me) must be passed over by the dead, must they not ?
- M. Yes : the first of them is Acheron, bwhich re. ceives them when they come first. This Acheron was the son of Terra or Ceres, born in a cave, and conceive ed without a father; and because he could not endure light, che ran down into hell and was changed into a river, whose waters are extremely bitter.
The second is Styx, which is a lake rather than a river, dand was formerly the daughter of Oceanus, and the mother of the goddess Victoria, by Acheron. When Victoria was on Jupiter's side, in his war against the Giants, she obtained this prerogative for her mother, that no oath that was sworn among the gods by her name, should ever be violated : for if any of the gods broke an oath sworn by Styx, they were banished from the nectar and the table of the gods a year and nine days. This is the Stygian Lake, by which fwhen the gods swore, they observed their oath with the utmost scrupulousness.
The third river, Cocytus, flows out of Styx with a lamentable groaning noise, and imitates the howling, and increases the exclamations of the damned.
Next comes Phlegethon or Puriphlegeton, so called because it swells with waves of fire, and all its streams are flames.
When the souls of the dead have passed over these four rivers, they are afterward carried to the palace of
a Lucian. de Luct. b Plato in Phædone. c Pausan, in Attic. d Hesiod. in Theog.
Serv. in Æn. 6. i Dii cujus jurare timent et fallere numen.
Virg. Æn. 6.
Attests in oaths, and fears to violate.
Pluto, where the gate is guarded by Cerberus, a dog with three heads, whose body is covered in a terrible manner with snakes, instead of hair. This dog is the porter of hell, abegotten of Echidna, by the giant Typhon, and is described by bVirgil and by "Horace. But from him let us pass to the prince and princess of hell, Plu. to and Proserpine.
This is Pluto, the king of hell, begotten of Saturn and Ops, and the brother of Jupiter and Neptune. He had these infernal dominions allotted to him, not only because in that division of his father's kingdom mentioned before, the western parts fell to his lot; but also, as, some say, because the invention of burying, and of honouring the dead with funeral obsequies, proceeded from him : for the same reason he is thought to exercise a sovereignty over the dead. Look upon him: he sits on a throne covered with darkness, and discover, if
a Hesiod. in Theog.
Cerberus hæc ingens latratu regna trifauci
From triple jaws made all these realms resound.
1. 3. od. 11.
No more his breath with venow flow'd. d Diodor. Sicul. 4. Bibl. e Idem apud Lil. Gyr. Eurip. in Phn.
you can, his habit, and the ensign of his majesty more narrowly.
P. I see him, though in the midst of so much darkness; and can distinguish him easily : ahe holds a key in his hand, instead of a sceptre, and is bcrowned with ebony.
M. Sometimes I have also seen him crowned with a diadem; and Csometimes with the flowers of narcissus, or white daffodils, and sometimes with cypress leaves ; because those plants greatly please him, and especially the narcissus, because he stole away Proserpine when she gathered that flower, as I shall show. presently, Very often a drod is put into his hand in the place of a sceptre, with which he guides the dead to hell : cand sometimes he wears a head-piece, which makes him finvisible. His chariot and horses are of a black colour, and &when he carried away Proserpine, he rode in his chariot. But if you would know what the key signifies which he has in his hand, the answer is plain, that when once the dead are received into his kingdom, the gates are locked against them, and hthere is no regress thence into this life again.
P. Why is he called Pluto?
M. I will tell you that, and also the meaning of the rest of his names.
His Greek name i Plouton or Pluto, as well as his Latin name Dis, signifies wealth. The reason why he is so called, is, because all our wealth comes from the lowest and most inward bowels of the earth ; and be
c Lil. Gyr.
a Pausan. in. pr. Iliac. b Marian. apud eund.
e Pind. in Od. f Hom. Iliad 5. Hygen. Astron. Poet.
8 Ovid. Met. 5. h
Facilis descensus Averni :
Virg. Æn. 6.
cause, as Cicero writes, aall the natural powers and faculties of the earth are under his direction; for all things proceed from the earth, and go thither again.
The name 'Adns [Hades] by which he is called among the Greeks, bsignifies dark, gloomy and melancholy; or else, cas others guess, invisible ; because he sits in darkness and obscurity: his habitation is melancholy and lonesome, and he seldom appears to open view.
He is likewise called d Agesilaus, because he leads people to the infernal regions; and sometimes e Agelastus, because it was never known that Pluto laughed.
His name Februus, comes from the old word februo, to purge by sacrifice, because purgations and lustrations were used at funerals : whence the month of February receives also its appellation; at which time especially, the sacrifices called Februa were offered by the Romans to this god.
He is also called Orcus, or Urgus, and Ouragus, as some say, sbecause he excites and hastens people to their ruin and death : but others' think that he is so named, hbecause, like one that brings up the rear of an army, he attends at the last moments of men's lives.
We find him sometimes called "Quietus, because by death he brings rest to all men.
He is called Summanus, that is, the chief kof all the infernal deities; the principal governor of all the ghosts and departed spirits. The thunder that happens in the night is attributed to him : whence he is commonly
a Terrena vis omnis ac natura ipsi dicata credebatur, Cic. de Nat. Deor. 2. b“Adns derdes, id est, triste, tenebrosum. C Aut quasi cópatos, quod videri minimè possit, aut ab a privante, et tidery videre. Socr. ap. Plut. Phurnut. Gaza. ap. Lil. Gyr. d Ilocó tò @yes te's naēs, à ducendis populis ad inferos. e Ab a non, et yenów rideo, quod sine risu sit.
Ovid. Fast. 2. : Orcus quasi Urgus et Ouragus ab urgendo, quod homines urgeat in interitum. Cic. in Verrem. 6.
h 'Oupayós, eum significat qui agmen claudit; simili modo Pluto postremum humanæ vitæ actum excipit. Guth. 1. 1. c. 4. de Jur. Man. ri Quod morte quietem cunctis afferat. Festus.
k Quasi suinmus Deorum manium. Aug. de Civ. Dei. 1. 4.
styled also, the Infernal Jupiter, the Stygian Jupiter, the Third Jupiter ; as Neptune is the Second Jupiter.
P. What was the office and power of Pluto?
M. If you do not fully understand that, from what has been said already, the Fates will tell you that he presides over life and death; that he not only governs the departed spirits below, but also can lengthen or shorten the lives of men here on earth, as he thinks fit.
PLUTUS. Though Plutus be not an infernal god, I join him to Pluto, because their names and office are
like and agreeable ; therefore I will take this occasion to say something of him ; for they are both of them gods of riches, which are the root of all evil, and which Nature, our common parent, hath placed near hell; and, indeed, there is not a nearer way to hell than to hunt greedily after riches.
This Plutus was the son of bJason, or Jasius, by Ceres : he was blind and lame, injudicious, and mighty timorous. And truly these infirmities are justly ascribed to him ; for, if he was not blind and injudicious, he would never pass over good men, and heap his treasures upon the bad. He is lame, because great estates come slowly. He is fearful and timorous; because rich men watch their treasures with a great deal of fear and care.
O maxime noctis
Who dost command 'em both.