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their Vows, and afterwards to caft themselves from the Precipice into the Sea; for it was an established Opinion, that all those who were taken up alive, would immediately find themfelves rid of their former Paffion. Sappho try'd the Cure, but perished in the Experiment. Some write that she was the Inventress of this Custom; but Strabo tells us, that those who understood Antiquity better, reported one Cephalus first made the defperate Leap from that fatal Precipice called the Lovers Leap. Ovid introduces Sappho as advised to this Remedy by the Vifion of a Sea-Nymph, of which fhe fent the following Account to the cruel Phaon.

Hic ego cum laffos, &c.

Here as I lay and fwell'd with Tears the Flood, Before my Sight a watry Virgin ftood,

She stood and cry'd, "O you that love in vain, "Fly hence and seek the fair Leucadian Main; "There ftands a Rock, from whofe impending Steep,

"Apollo's Fane furveys the rolling Deep. “There injur❜d Lovers leaping from above, "Their Flames extinguish, and forget to love: "Deucalion once with hopeless Fury burn'd, "In vain he lov'd, relentlefs Pyrrha fcorn'd, "But when from hence he plung'd into the Main, "Deucalion fcorn'd, and Pyrrha lov'd in vain. "Hafte, Sappho, hafte, from high Leucadia throw "Thy wretched Weight, nor dread the Decps below.

THE Mitylenians had her Worth in fuch high Efteem, and were fo fenfible of the Glory they received from her being born amongst them,

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another Place, there was likewife a Statue of Hefiod in the Temple of Jupiter Olympicus. Fulrius Urfinus, and Boiffard, in his Antiquities, have exhibited a Breaft with a Head, a Trunk without a Head, and a Gem of him; and Urfinus fays, there is a Statue of Brafs of him in the publick College at Conftantinople; the only Original Monument of him befides now remaining, or at least known, is a Marble Bufto in the Pembroke Collection at Wilton.

THE Theogony, and Works and Days, are the only undoubted Pieces of our Poet now extant; though 'tis fuppofed that these Poems have not defcended perfect and finished to the prefentTimes. The Theogony, or Generation of the Gods, Fabricius puts out of difpute to be the Work of Hefiod; nor is it doubted, says he, that Pythagoras took it for his, who being come down to Hell, feigned he saw the Soul of Hefiod tied with Chains to a Brafs Pillar, and that of Homer hung to a Tree, both expofed to the Biting of Serpents, in punishment for what they had written concerning the Nature of the Gods. This, doubtless, is the Poem that gavé Herodotus occafion to say, that Hefiod with Homer was the first who introduced a Theogony among the Grecians, the first who gave Names to the Gods, afcribed to them Honours and Arts, giving particular Defcriptions of their Perfons. The EPIA, Works of Hefiod, Plutarch affures us, were used to be fung to the Harp; Manilius, whom Mr. Creech has evidently proved to be an Author of the Auguftan Age, in the fecond Book of his Aftronomy, takes notice in his Commendation of this Poem and his Writings, that those two Poems were the only remaining Pieces of Hefiod's in the

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Reign of Auguftus. Manilius gives this extraordinary Account of them, and of their Author. Hefiodus memorat, &c.

Hefiod fings the Gods immortal Race, He fings how Chaos bore the earthy Mass; How Light from Darkness ftruck did Beams difplay,

And Infant Stars first stagger'd in their way.

How Name of Brother veil'd a Husband's Love, And June bore unaided by her Jove.

How twice-born Bacchus burft the Thund'rer's
Thigh,

And all the Gods that wander through the Sky.
Hence he to Fields defcends, manures the Soil,
Inftructs the Plowman, and rewards his Toil.
He fings how Corn in Plains, how Vine in Hills
Delight; how both with vaft Increase the Olive fills.
How foreign Grafts th'Adulterous Stock receives,
Bears ftranger Fruit, and wonders at her Leaves:
An useful Work when Peace and Plenty reign,
And Art joins Nature to improve the Plain.

THERE is a Poem afcribed to Hefiod, and commonly printed with the other two, under the Title of The Shield of Hercules, which has not one convincing Argument in its favour, by which we may pofitively declare it a genuine Work. Ariftophanes the Grammarian fuppofes it to be fpurious, and that it is an Imitation of the Shield of Achilles in Homer. Of the other Labours of this Poet, we fee nothing but the Titles remaining, except fome Fragments preferved by Paufanias, Plutarch, and Polybius, who gloried as much in rescuing a Verse from the Ruins of Time, as a Prince in a Victory over his most powerful Enemy.

Enemy. We are told that Heftod compofed fome other Works, of which we have not even the Titles. Ve are aflured from divers Paffages in Pliny, that he wrote of the Virtues of Herbs, as in the beginning of his Works and Days he fpeaks of the Wholefomness of Mallows, and the Daffadil, or Afphadelos; Quintilian, in his fifth Book, denies the Fables of Esop to be originally written by him, but fays the firft Author of them was Hefiod; and Plutarch informs us, that Efop was his Difciple; but nothing certain can be determined upon this Subject.

THIS Greek Poet, with all his Excellencies, notwithstanding the Sweetness and easy Plainnefs of his Stile, the Pleasantnefs of his Fables, and the ftrict Virtue and Morality of his Precepts, has met with coarfe Treatment from Men of Note, who have defcanted upon his Writings: Le Feure remarks, that in his Poem of Works and Days, he has acted like our AlmanackMakers, who diftinguish between fortunate and unfortunate Days, and that this Piece upon the whole is not much to be valued. Vives fpeaking of his Theogony fays, It is of fome ufe for the understanding of the Poets, but in other refpects it is good for nothing. Quintilian gives him the Palm only in medio genere dicendi, in the middle Stile, not confidering that his Subjects. obliged him to rife no higher. Clemens Alexandrinus takes notice of feveral Verfes ftolen verbatim by Hefiod out of Mufæus the Poet; and Gale, in his Court of the Gentiles, affures us, that Hefiod received fome of his choiceft Traditions from the Scriptures, if not immediately, yet originally, as will appear probable to any one

who

who will take the trouble to draw up the Parallel.

BUT notwithstanding the Severity of these Cenfures, Hefiod has the Current of learned and judicious Criticism in his favour. Heinfius in the Preface to his Edition of this Poet remarks, that among all the Poets, he scarce knew any but Homer and Hefiod who understood how to reprefent Nature in her true native Drefs: Which, fays he, is infinitely to be preferr'd before all thofe artful Ways that were used in After-times. He proceeds to tell us, that which to him feemed the most wonderful was, that Nature had both begun and perfected at the fame time her Work in these two Perfons, whom for that very reafon he makes no fcruple to call Divine; adding, that Nature had in both thefe Authors exhibited to us a full and perfect Idea of all human Virtue.

THE learned Borrichius remarks, that Hefiod's Poem, call'd Works and Days, was writ with fo much Prudence, that even at this Day the reading of it may be of great Ufe to all fuch as apply themselves to Moral Philofophy, to Policy, to Economy, to Marine Affairs, and to Hufbandry; and as for his Theogony, or Generation of the Gods, he obferves, that we may learn much more by that Piece, than the Title feems to import; fince thofe that are curious in finding out the Nature of Things, difcover under the Covert of thefe Fables, natural Truths, and wholefome Maxims, drawn from the deepest Philofophy. Paterculus ftiles him a Poet of a most curious Fancy, one famous and diftinguished for the Sweetness of his Verse, most defirous of his own Peace and Quiet.

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