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BUT Virgil compleats the Character of Hefiod; he frequently mentions him with Honour, and follows him as his great Example, particularly thus,

Aferaumque cano Romana per oppida Carmen.


Græcè. Inter principes heroici Carminis.

apud Hen. Stephanum 1566. Folio.

Gr. Lat. Scholiis Græcis. notis Var. & Tho.

メ Robinson.

Oxon. 4to.

Gr. Lat. Scholiis Gr. Notis Gravii & Joh. Clerici.

Amft. 1702. 8vo.




HIS excellent Poetefs, who enjoyed the Titles of the Ninth Lyrick, and the Tenth Mufe, was a Native of Mitylene, the Capital of the Molian Cities in the Ifland of Lefbos. Her Mother's Name was Cleis, but who was her Father is uncertain, there being no lefs than eight Perfons contending for that Honour in Suidas; the most received Opinion decides in favour of Scamandronymus. She flourished, according to Suidas, about the forty-fecond Olympiad, and was Contemporary with Pittacus, Tyrant of Mitylene, and according to the common Account one of the seven renowned Sages of Greece. She had the Acquaintance of the two famous Poets, Stefichorus and Alcaus. The laft of thefe is faid to have been her Suitor, and a Rebuke which fhe gave him, is ftill extant in Aristotle. He informs us, that Alcaus one Day accofting Sappho, and telling her he had fomething to fay to her, but was alhamed to utter it: Was it any thing good, replied fhe, and not rather fome Difhonefty which you have conceived in your Mind, you would not be afhamed to disclose it.

DIPHILUS the Comick Poet, and Hermefionax the Colophonian, affure us, that Anacreon of Teos was alfo one of her Lovers; but this Amour has been generally esteemed too repugnant to Chro


nology to be admitted, and it must still be confider'd as fuch, notwithstanding Mr. Barnes's learned Endeavours to prove the contrary.

We have no Account by which we can judge of her Quality, whether he was of a Noble or Vulgar Extraction; for though Strabo tells us, that her Brother Charaxus traded in Wines from Lefbos to Egypt, yet we can conclude nothing from thence, for People of the best Rank among the Ancients employed themselves in Traffick, and frequently used it as a means to travel. Solon, when in Egypt, defrayed his Expences by Commerce, and Plato maintained himfelf there by the Oils which he fold. Befides Charaxus, whom I mentioned, fhe had alfo two elder Brothers, Larychus and Eurygius. Larychus fhe highly commended in her Verses for his Virtue and Generofity, and particularly for his having diftributed Wine among the Mitylenians in the Prytanaum; but Charaxus fhe as bitterly inveighed against for the extravagant. Love he bore to a famous Courtezan called Rhodope.

THIS Rhodope is reported to have been Fellow-Slave with the celebrated fop, and to have built one of the Pyramids of Egypt. As fhe was once bathing in the Nile (for fhe was a Native of Naucratis, a City of Egypt) an Eagle fnatch'd one of her Slippers out of the Hands of her Waiting-Woman, and carrying it to Memphis, where the King fat adminiftring Juftice in a publick Place of the City, drop'd it in his Lap. The King was furprized at the Novelty of the Adventure, and being fmitten with the Beauty of the Slipper, immediately difpatch'd Meffengers over the Country, with Orders

Orders to bring him the Woman with whom they fhould find the Fellow of that Slipper: In fhort, Rhodope being found, was brought to the King, and made by him Queen of Egypt.

To return to Sappho: She married one Cercolus, a Gentleman of great Wealth and Power in the Ifle of Andros, by whom she had a Daughter named Cleis; but he leaving her a Widow very young, fhe would never endure any fecond Match; not bearing to confine that Paffion to one Perfon, which as the Ancients tell us, was too violent in her to be reftrained even to one Sex. She had many Female Favourites whom the lafciviously careffed, Athis, Andromeda, Telefylla, Megara, and others. Upon the account of thefe Intimates, her Character fuffers much from the Charge of dishonest and unnatural Pleasure; it being a conftant Tradition that her Amorous Humour was not fatisfied with the Addreffes of Men, but that fhe was willing to have her Miftreffes as well as her Gallants.

BUT no one seems to have been the Object of her Admiration, fo much as the lovely Phaon. He was at first a kind of Ferryman, as is reported, and thence fabled to have carry'd Venus with a great deal of Care over the Stream in his Boat, and to have received from her as a Reward, the Favour of being the most beautiful Man in the World. Sappho, it feems, had not Charms fufficient to fubdue this obdurate Lover. He withdrew from her Addreffes, and retired from Lefbos to Sicily. She took a Voyage in purfuit of him, and there, upon that occafion, it is imagined fhe composed her Hymn to Venus. Her Difappointments in Love produced

duced fome of her finest Pieces, particularly that delicate Epistle which Ovid makes her write to her ungrateful Phaon, the best Thoughts of which, he is supposed to have borrowed from fome of her Compofitions that are now loft.

IT is no wonder that the Charms of her Person made no Impreffion upon Phaon's Heart, for it seems she was a very plain Lady, and as fhe is commonly defcribed, of a very ordinary Stature, and of a brown Complexion. Ovid knew very well this Part of her Character, and he only had the Art to excuse it.

Si mihi difficilis, &c.

To me what Nature has in Charms deny'd,
Is well by Wit's more lasting Charms supply'd;
I own my fhort Dimensions; that they fuit
Juft with my Verse, and make with that two Foot.
Tho' fhort of Stature, yet my Name extends
To Heaven itself, and Earth's remotest Ends.
Brown as I am; an Ethiopian Dame
Infpir'd young Perfeus with a generous Flame.
White Doves will bill with those of shining Jet,
And the Green Turtle woo a speckled Mate:
If to no Charms thou wilt thy Heart refign,
But fuch as merits, fuch as equals thine,
By none alas, by none thou canst be mov❜d,
Phaon alone by Phaon must be lov'd.

FINDING her Prayers ineffectual, and her dear Phaon inexorable, fhe was tranfported with the Violence of her Paffion, and refolved to get rid of it at any rate. There was a Promontory in Acarnania called Leucate, on the Top of which ftood a Temple dedicated to Apollo; in this Temple it was ufual for defpairing Lovers to make

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