Imágenes de páginas



in are

very reverse of that by which subli. To mount the burning axletree, but I: mity is produced. The poet has Not Jove himself, the ruler of the sky, laboured to bring down what is in That hurls the tbree-forked thunder from nature vague, mysterious, and un. above, earthly, to the opposite predicament Dares try his strength : yet who so strong of distinctness, intelligibility, and as Jove ? conformity with human analogies. The steeds climb up the first ascent with The journey of the sun is made to pain; differ not in kind, but in degree only, And when the middle firmament they gain, from that of any terrestrial charioteer; If downward from the heavens my head i yet, within the limits to which it is

bow, ibus confined, the representation is in- Ev'n I am seized with horror and affright,

And see the earth and ocean bang below, teresting and impressive, and brings And my own heart misgives me at the sight. with it sometimes a powerful though A mighty downfall steeps the evening transitory illusion, not without an oc

stage, casional feeling of the ludicrous at

And steady reins must curb the horses' the grossness of the fiction.

rage. “ Magna petis, Phaeton ; et quæ nec vi- Tethys herself has fear'd to see me driven ribus istis

Down headlong from the precipice of HeaMunera conveniant, nec tam puerilibus annis.

Besides, consider what impetuous force Sors tua mortalis : Non est mortale quod

Turns stars and planets in a different optas. Plus etiam quàm quod Superis contingere

I steer against their motions; nor am I fas sit

Borne back by all the current of the sky. Nescius affectas : placeat sibi quisque

But how could you resist the orbs that

roll licebit; Non tamen ignifero quisquam consistere

In adverse whirls, and stem the rapid pole?

But you perhaps may hope for pleasing Me valet excepto : vasti quoque Rector

woods Olympi,

And stately domes, and cities fill'd with Qui fera terribili jaculatur fulmina dextrâ, Non agat hos currus; et quid Jove majus

While through a thousand spares your habemus?

progress lies, Ardua prima via est : et quâ vix mane re

Where forms of starry monsters stock the centes

skies." Enitantur equi : media est altissima cælo; We conclude our extracts, which Unde mare et terras ipsi mihi sæpe videre we confine as much as possible within Fit timor, et pavidâ trepidat formidine the limits of our subject, by transcribpectus.

ing the animated account of the preUltima prona via est, et eget moderamine paration and departure of the chariot certo.

at the appointed hour; observing, that Tunc etiam quæ me subjectis excipit undis, the poet assumes the licence of makNe ferar in præceps, Tethys solet ipsa ve- ing the kindling dawn and vanishing

reri. Adde, quod assiduâ rapitur vertigine forth on his journey, instead of de

stars give warning to the sun to set cælum,

scribing them as the effects of his apSideraque alta trahit, celerique volumine proach. There are in this part of the

torquet. Nitor in adversum : nec me, qui cetera, nations, full of that pictorial grace and

picture many other pleasing impersovincit Impetus; et rapido contrarius evehor orbi. poetical beauty for which the fictions Forsitan et lucos illic urbesque domosque

of Grecian mythology are so emi. Concipias apimo, delubraque ditia donis

nently remarkable. Esse: per insidias iter est formasque fe- “Ergo, qua licuit genitor cunctatus, ad altos rarum."

Deducit juvenem, Vulcania munera, currus.

Aureus axis erat, temo aureus, aurea sum“Too vast and hazardous the task appears, - Nor suited to thy strength nor to thy Curvatura rotæ ; radiorum argenteus ordo. years.

Per juga chrysolithi, positæque ex ordine Thy lot is mortal; but thy wishes fly

gemmæ, Beyond the province of mortality.

Clara repercusso reddebant lumina Phæbo. There is not one of all the Gods that dares Dumque ea magnanimus Phaeton miratur, (However skill'd in other great affairs,) opusque



Perspicit, ecce vigil ratito patefecit ab ortu They spring together out, and swiftly
Purpureas Aurora fores, et plena rosarum bear
Atria : diffugiunt stellæ, quarum agmina The Aying youth through clouds and yield-

ing air : Lucifer, et coeli statione novissimus exit. With wingy speed outstrip the eastern At pater, ut terras mundumque rubescere wind, vidit,

And leave the breezes of the morn behind," Cornuaque extremæ velut

Some of the Greek authors repreLunæ,

sent the fable of Phaeton as having an Jungere equos Titan velocibus imperat Ho

allegorical reference either to physiris. Jussa Deæ celeres peragunt, ignemque cal phenomena or to historical facts.

But it seems allowable to regard it vomentes Ambrosiæ succo saturos, præsepibus altis rather as a story of human incident Quadrupedes ducunt, adduntque sonantia and feeling, engrafted with much frena.

beauty and probability on the assum

ed reality of an original metaphor or “ Interea volucres Pyroeis Eous et Æthon, superstition, and ingeniously adapted Solis equi, quartusque Phlegon, hinniti. at the same time to explain the condibus auras

tion of those regions of the earth Flammiferis implent, pedibusque repagula which lie pulsant:

“ sub curru nimium propinqui Quæ postquam Tethys, fatorum ignara

Solis."nepotis, Reppulit, et facta est immensi copia mundi. Those who thus believed, or fabled, Corripuere viam, pedibusque per aëra motis that the sun in his daily course traObstantes findunt nebulas, pennisque levati versed the heavens in his chariot, Prætereunt ortos îsdem de partibus Euros."

must have been somewhat puzzled to

reconcile, with the early notions of “ When the fond father, for in vain he

cosmography, the fact of his invisible pleads,

return before morning, from the west At length to the Vulcanian chariot leads,

to the east. Most of the poets are A golden axle did the work uphold,

silent on this subject, and leave the Gold was the beam, the wheels were orb'd with gold,

question to stand on the indefinite The spokes in rows of silver pleased the footing which is given to it in some sight,

lines of Boethius : The seat with party-colour'd gems was

" Cadit Hesperias Phoebus in undas ; bright;

Sed secreto tramite rursus Apollo shined amid the glare of light.

Cursum solitos vertit ad ortus.” The youth with secret joy the work sur. veys,

* Phoebus into the western main When now the morn disclosed her purple

Sinks headlong ; but a secret track, rays : The stars were fled, for Lucifer had

Ere morning calls, conducts him back

To his old starting-place again." chased The stars away, and fled himself at last, Some of the mythologists, however, Soon as the father saw the rosy morn attempted to theorise the facts more And the moon shining with a blunter horn, minutely, and after their accustomed He bid the nimble hours without delay fashion. A title in Athenæus, L. xi. Bring forth the steeds ; the nimble hours

c. 6. § 38, 39, cited by Mr Keightley obey.

in his Mythology, contains several From their full racks the generous steeds retire,

passages from ancient authors, in

which the sun is represented as passDropping ambrosial foams and snorting ing at night horizontally along the fire,

ocean stream, from west to east, in a « Meanwhile the restless horses neigh'd

cup or caldron, manufactured by

Vulcan for the purpose. aloud,

We insert Breathing out fire, and pawing where

the verses there quoted from Mimnerthey stood.

mus, who refers to this singular speTethys, not knowing what had pass’d, cies of craft, under the more general gave way,

description of a hollow bed, and we And all the waste of heaven before them venture to subjoin a rough translation lay.

of them :


ortu They spring together out, and swiftly arum bear mina The Aying youth through clouds and yield

ing air : exit. With wingy speed outstrip the eastern


And leave the breezes of the morn bebind." сеге

Some of the Greek authors repreHo

sent the fable of Phaeton as having an

allegorical reference either to physimque

cal phenomena or to historical facts.

But it seems allowable to regard it altis rather as a story of human incident antia and feeling, engrafted with much

beauty and probability on the assum

ed reality of an original metaphor or Thon, superstition, and ingeniously adapted mitin at the same time to explain the condi

tion of those regions of the earth gula which lie

“ sub curru nimium propinqui Solis." endi.

Those who thus believed, or fabled, potis that the sun in his daily course tra=vati versed the heavens in his chariot, -os.” must have been somewhat puzzled to

reconcile, with the early notions of cosmography, the fact of his invisible return before morning, from the west to the east. Most of the poets are silent on this subject, and leave the

question to stand on the indefinite the

footing which is given to it in some lines of Boethius :

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" Cadit Hesperias Phæbus in undas ;

Sed secreto tramite rursus ur

Cursum solitos vertit ad ortus,"

* Phoebus into the western main ple

Sinks headlong; but a secret track,

Ere morning calls, conducts him back
To his old starting-place again.”

Some of the mythologists, however,

attempted to theorise the facts more En, minutely, and after their accustomed

fashion. A title in Athenæus, L. xi. c. 6. § 38, 39, cited by Mr Keightley in his Mythology, contains several passages from ancient authors, in

which the sun is represented as passng ing at night horizontally along the

ocean stream, from west to east, in a cup or caldron, manufactured by Vulcan for the purpose. We insert the verses there quoted from Mimner.

mus, who refers to this singular spede

cies of craft, under the more general description of a hollow bed, and we venture to subjoin a rough translation of them:




«'Hέλιος μεν γας έλαχεν πόνον ήματα πάντα,

Ουδέποτ' άμπαυσις γίνεται έδεμία
“Ιπποισίν τε και αυτό, επήν ροδοδάκτυλος Ηώς

'Ωκεανόν προλιπάσ' έρανόν είσαναβή.
Τον μεν γαρ δια κύμα φέρει πολυήρατος εύνη

Κοίλη, Ηφαίστε χερσίν εληλαμένη
Χρυσε τιμήεντος, υπόπτερος, άκρον εφ' ύδως

Εύδονθ' αρπαλέως, χώρα αφΕσπερίδων,
Γαίαν ές Αιθιόπων: ένα οι θοον άρμα και ίπποι.

Εστάσ', όφρ' 'Hώς ήριγένεια μόλη.

"Εν9' επιβη ετέρων οχίων Υπηρίονος υιός.“ Toil is the daily lot that Helios knows; having observed, and revealNor ever find his steeds or he repose, fraudulent attempt to drink t When once the morn, with rosy fingers brosia of the gods. The Ind bright,

tions, however, bestow upon the From ocean upward takes her heavenly in question, and particularly up flight.

sun, a magnificent equipage, The grateful couch that glads his evening ing what the homeliness of T.

hour, Hollowed in purest gold by Vulcan's paganism could afford, and ri

in splendour the imaginations power, With winged whirl conveys him, sunk in

sical poetry. On this subject, sleep,

of quoting from the dull e Along the bosom of the billowy deep,

gance of Indian antiquaries, From the Hesperides to the Ethiop's Jones,+ we prefer to adorn ou

the monotonous glitter of Sir land, Where his swift car and coursers take

with an apposite extract from their stand,

lightful poem of Kehama, in t Till early morn shall summon him on quisite description of Kailya high

brief abode with both her par Once more to journey through the kind. the Holy Valley of Meru. ling sky."

“ Lovely wert thou, O flower of e The moon, we must suppose, per Above all flowers of mortal bir formed her evolutions much in the But, fostered in this blissful bo

The poets generally from day to day, and hour to ho represent her as drawn in a chariot Lovelier grew the lovely flower and pair; but they have given us fewer O blessed, blessed company! details of her proceedings.

The sun careering round the sky Less elegant and poetical were the Beheld them with rejoicing eye attempts of the Teutonic mythologists And bade his willing chariotee to explain the course of the great hea. Relax his speed as they drew nes venly bodies. The sun and moon

Aurounin I check'd the rainbow were fabled by our ancestors as flying The seven green coursers sho in fear through the heavens, pursued by two wolves of giant-breed that

And brighter rays around then --sought severally to devour them,* an

The car of glory in their view

More radiant, more resplendent attempt in which, ultimately, it was

And Surya & through his veil of 1 believed they were destiped to suc

Beheld the bower and blest the s ceed. It is remarkable that a somewhat

The lord of night || as he saile

Stay'd his pearly boat on high similar fable is mixed up with the my

And while around the blissful bo thology of India, in which the dragon He bade the softest moonlight Rahu, an allegorical being supposed Linger'd to see that earthly flowe to represent, with Ketu, the lunar Forgetful of his Dragon foe, nodes, is made to persecute the Who, mindful of their ancient sun and moon in revenge for their With open jaws of rage pursue

same manner.


* Grimm's Deutsche Mythologie, pp: 150 and 401.

See his Hymn to Surya, or the Sun, among his poems. # The sun's charioteer, the Dawn.

$ The Sun-god. || The Moon-god.


The persecutors of the sun and αλλα Φρικη και θαμβος το στρατοπεδου moon were supposed, in the utmost κατειχεν, και λογος ήσυχη δια πολλων heat of their fury, to produce the

εχωρει, βασιλεως το φασμα σημαινειν eclipses of those bodies. In parti- existov." cular, by a wide-spread superstition, the labours of the moon were ascribed

“ When they had supped and were to the successful attacks of the enemy, thinking of nothing but going to rest, on who seemed to be rapidly devouring and very high, began to be darkened, and

a sudden the moon, which was then at full, or tearing to pieces the object of his

after changing into various colours, was at hostility. It has been a usage ac

last totally eclipsed. The Romans, accordingly, in many countries, to issue forth at such times in large multicording to their custom, made a great

noise, by striking upon vessels of brass, tudes, with sounding instruments and and held up lighted faggots and torches in clamorous shouts, designed, as it would the air, in order to recall her light; but seem, to frighten the monster from his the Macedonians did no such thing: hore prey, and to encourage the fainting ror and astonishment seized the whole luminary to maintain the conflict

camp, and a whisper passed among the against the powers of darkness. The multitude, that this appearance portended cry of “ Vince Luna" seems to have the fall of the king." been the Latin watchword of en.

A picture of the same scene, but in couragement on such occasions; and we find the early Christian preach- sented to us on the sketchy but power

a somewhat different aspect, is preerz inveighing earnestly against the ful page of Tacitus, when describing practice, as a remnant of heathenism. Maximus of Turin, an ecclesiastic

a mutiny among the Pannonian leof the fifth century, has a homily

gions on the accession of Tiberius. on the eclipse of the moon, and

“ Noctem minacem, et in scelus eruptuexplains the object of the cere.

ram, fors lenivit. Nam Luna claro repente mony which he denounces.-" Circa colo visa languescere. Id miles, rationis vesperam tanta vociferatio populi ex- ignarus, omen præsentium accepit, ac suis stitit, ut irreligiositas ejus penetraret laboribus defectionem sideris adsimilans, ad cælum. Quod cum requirerem, prospereque cessura quæ pergerent, si quid sibi clamor hic velit, dixerunt fulgor et claritudo deæ redderetur ; igitur

æris sono, tubarum cornuumque concentu mihi, quod laboranti lunæ vestra vocie feratio subveniret, et defectum ejus lætari aut mærere, et postquam ortæ nubes

strepere ; prout splendidior obscuriorve, suis clamoribus adjuvaret."* Plutarch, offecere visui, creditumque conditam tenedescribing, in his Life of Paulus bris, ut sunt mobiles ad superstitionem Emilius, the eclipse which occurred perculsæ semel mentes, sibi æternum laon the eve of a great battle with the

borem portendi, sua facinora adversari Macedonians, represents the peculiar deos lamentantur.”+ superstition we are now referring to " The night that followed seemed big as a customary observance of the with some fatal disaster, when an unexRomans, while their adversaries were pected phenomenon put an end to the affected with that “ fear of change commotion. In a clear and serene sky which, in ignorant minds, the obscu- the moon was suddenly eclipsed. This ration of the lights of heaven so na- appearance, in its natural cause not underturally inspires.

stood by the soldiers, was deemed a pro« Επει δε νυξ γέγονει, και μετα δειπνον gnostic denouncing the fate of the army.

The planet, in its languishing state, repreετραποντο προς υπνον και αναπαυσιν, ,

sented the condition of the legions: if it αιφνιδιον η σεληνη, πληρης 8σα και μετε- recovered its former lustre, the efforts of ωρος, εμιλαινετο και τη φωτος απολιπου- the men would be crowned with success. τος αυτην, κροας αμειψασα παντοδαπας, To assist the moon in her labours, the air ηφαισθη. . Των δε Ρωμαιων, ώσπερ εστι

resounded with the clangor of brazen

instruments, with the sound of trumpets, νενομισμενον, χαλκ8 τε παταγοις ανακα

and other warlike music. The crowd, in λεμενων το φως αυτης, και παρα πολλα

the mean time, stood at gaze : every gleam δαλοις και δασιν ανεχοντων προς τον of light inspired the men with joy; and spavor,

υδεν ομοιον επραττον οι Μακεδονες: the sudden gloom depressed their hearts

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* Apud Grimm, Myth. 402. See also Hoffman and Du Cange, vo. Vince Luna. † Annal i, c. 28.

with grief. The clouds condensed and the casion they were greeted with the moon was supposed to be lost in utter sound of trumpets and the beating of darkness. A melancholy horror seized drums and gongs from the temple of the multitude; and melancholy is sure Narayan, the ceremony being preto engender superstition. A religious cisely the same as that which is prac. panic spread through the army: The tised in the temples, and even in the appearance in the heavens foretold eternal palace of the Emperor of China.”I labour to the legions; and all lamented

The natives of the Barbary States that by their crimes they had called down

are represented as exhibiting a similar upon themselves the indignation of the

state of excitement during an eclipse gods."

of the sun :Other examples of the very preva- “ When the eclipse was at its height, lent superstition which gave rise to they ran about distracted, in companies, this singular ceremony, will be found firing volleys of muskets at the sun, to among the customs of various nations

frighten away the monster or dragon, as having but little affinity with each they called it, by which they supposed it other.

was being devoured. At that moment the A representation mentioned by De Moorish Song of Death and woulliah-woo, Guignes as exhibited in presence of or the howl they make for their dead, not the Chinese emperor and his mini- only resounded from the mountains of sters, and worthy of Bottom the weaver Tripoli, but was undoubtedly re-echoed or any of his company, seems intended throughout the continent of Africa. The to reduce the theory of a lunar eclipse

women brought into the streets all the to the level of the meanest capacity:

brass pans, kettles, and iron utensils they

could collect, and striking on them with “ A number of Chinese, placed at the all their force, and screaming at the same distance of six feet from one another, now time, occasioned a horrid noise that was entered, bearing two long dragons of silk heard for miles.”'S or paper, painted blue, with white scales, and stuffed with lighted lamps.

Once more, we learn in an account These

of the Nicobar islanders, who appear two dragons, after saluting the emperor with due respect, moved up and down

to have a species of lunar worship, with great composure, when the moon

that “ during an eclipse they beat all suddenly made her appearance, upon

their gongs with the utmost violence, which they began to run after her. The

and hurl their spears into the air, to moon, however, fearlessly placed herself frighten away the demon who is debetween them, and the two dragons, after vouring the celestial body. No susurveying her for some time, and con- perstitious notion," adds the writer cluding apparently that she was too large whom we quote, “ seems to be so a morsel for them to swallow, judged it widely prevalent as this ; it is found prudent to retire, which they did with the among the savages of America and same ceremony as they entered. The Africa as well as in Asia, and whermoon, elated with her triumph, then with- ever it exists the same practice acdrew with prodigious gravity; a little companies it.” flushed, however, with the chase which From these descriptions, as well she had sustained."*

as from the purpose of the proceedings, In conformity with this astronomi, the clamour and noise with which the cal system, the custom in China at no moon's auxiliaries thus attempted to distant period was, that their“ learned reinforce her, must always have been men and state officers on such occa- pre-eminently obstreperous, and they sions turned out with drums and are selected accordingly as a climax gongs and trumpets, making all-man- of comparison by Juvenal, when de. ner of hideous noises to frighten the scribing the loudness of a talkativo monster away, and liberate the suffer- blue-stocking, in a passage which we ing luminary, in which in due time ask the forgiveness of our fair readers they always succeeded."

for here inserting entire, along with It appears from Moorcroft's Travels Dryden's translation of it, in which, in Little Thibet, that as he and his as might be expected, nothing of the fellow-travellers “entered Daba, the spirit of the original is suffered to moon became eclipsed ; on which oc- escape :

Quarterly Review, ii, 262. 1 Ibid. xvii. 429.

+ Ibid, xiii. 62, $ Ibid. xv. 167.

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