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To thee their vows rough Germans pay,
To thee the wand'ring Scythians bend,
Thee mighty Rome proclaims a friend;
And for their tyrant sons

The barbarous mothers pray

To thee, the greatest guardian of their thrones.

They bend, they vow, and still they fear
Lest you should kick their empire down,
And cloud the glory of their crown;

They fear that you would raise
The lazy crowd to war,

And break their empire, or confine their praise.

Sure Hope and Friendship, clothed in white,
Attend on thee; they still remain

The chiefest glories of thy train ;

Though you enraged retreat,
And with a hasty flight

Thy garment changed, forsake the falling great.

Ode 35.


PLUTUS, the god of riches, was the son of Ceres and Jason: the care of his infancy devolved upon the goddess Fortuna, who

is therefore sometimes drawn with him seated in her lap, to intimate the connection between them. This god appears to have been of Grecian origin, but was also known and worshipped at Rome. He is frequently represented as blind, from a similar reason to that named in the case of Fortune,—lame, because riches are usually acquired slowly and by degrees,—and with wings, to shew that he often takes flight suddenly from those whom he has favoured. Plutus is described as being of a bountiful and generous disposition, but fickle and uncertain.

Plutus, all-bountiful, who roams
Earth, and th' expanded surface of the sea:

And him that meets him on his way, whose hands
He grasps, him gifts he with abundant gold,
And large felicity.

HESIOD. Theogony.


CHARON, the grisly boatman of the infernal regions, was the son of Erebus and Nox, and is usually depicted as a robust old man, with a hideously wrinkled countenance, piercing eyes, and a shagged white beard, The office of Charon was to conduct the souls of those who had received funeral rites across

the Styx, for which each passenger paid him a piece of money; on this account it was customary, amongst the ancients, to place a small coin either under the tongue, or in the hand of the deceased, as an offering to Charon, who had power to refuse a passage to those who neglected to propitiate him in this manner. A similar custom was observed by the Egyptians.

Those who fell in battle, and did not receive the honours of sepulture, were condemned to wander for a hundred years on the cold and barren shores of Styx, before they were admitted to the tribunal of Minos and his fellow judges.

In relating the exploits of the powerful sorceress, Erictho, Lucan speaks of the unwillingness of Charon to permit those to revisit Earth whom he had once ferried across the gloomy river.

Thou, old Charon, horrible and hoar !
For ever labouring back from shore to shore;
Who, murmuring, dost in weariness complain,
That I so oft demand thy dead again.

Pharsalia, book 6.

Our lots are cast, Fate shakes the urn,
And each man's lot must take his turn;
Some soon leap out, and some more late:
But still 'tis sure each mortal's lot

Will doom his soul to Charon's boat,
To bear th' eternal banishment of Fate.

HORACE, ode 3.


ESCULAPIUS was the son of Apollo and Coronis, daughter of Phlegias, and was committed, during his early years, to the Care of Chiron, the centaur, his mother having perished by lightning from the anger of Apollo. He was nourished in his infancy by a goat, belonging to Arasthanas, and protected by his dog, and was judged to be of illustrious descent from the resplendent rays which surrounded his head, when discovered by the master of the flock, from which the goat had strayed. Esculapius was indebted to this preceptor for instruction in the science of physic, and was hence termed the god of medicine.

He accompanied the Argonauts in their expedition to Colchis, and became much renowned for his skill in the healing art. He incurred the anger of Pluto by restoring many persons to life; and Jupiter, to whom the grisly king complained, struck Æsculapius with thunder: Apollo, furious at the loss of his son, retaliated by destroying the Cyclops, who

rge the thunderbolts. Divine honours were paid to Esculapius after his decease, at Smyrna, Athens, Epidaurus, and Pergamus. At Rome he was worshipped with peculiar solem

nity; the cock and the serpent were deemed sacred to him, and his sacrifices consisted of goats, pigs, lambs, and bulls.

Esculapius is generally depicted as a venerable old man, with a flowing beard, holding in his hand a staff enwreathed with a serpent. He married Epione; and by her had two sons, who inherited their father's skill in medicine, and four daughters, of whom Hygeia, the goddess of health, is the most celebrated.

When the dreadful plague desolated Rome, A. U. C. 462, the Romans implored the aid of the god of medicine, and, in gratitude for his timely assistance, erected a temple to his honour, in which he was represented under the form of a huge and splendid serpent, an evident allusion to the miracle narrated in the Old Testament, when the multitude were cured of the pestilence by looking, with faith, on the brazen serpent displayed by Moses.

Melodious maids of Pindus, who inspire
The flowing strains, and tune the vocal lyre;
You who can hidden causes best expound,
Say whence the isle which Tiber flows around,
Its altars with a heavenly stranger graced,
And in our shrines the god of physic placed.

While dubious they remained, the wasting light
Withdrew before the growing shades of night.

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