Page images

12. This Zamolxis, as I have been informed by those Greeks who inhabit the Hellespont and the Euxine, was himself a man, and formerly lived at Samos in the service of Pythagoras, son of Menesarchus; having obtained his liberty, with considerable wealth, he returned to his country. Here he found the Thracians distinguished equally by their profligacy and their ignorance; whilst he himself had been accustomed to the Ionian mode of life, and to manners more polished than those of Thrace; he had also been connected with Pythagoras, one of the most celebrated philosophers of Greece. He was therefore induced to build a large mansion, to which he invited the most eminent of his fellow-citizens: he took the opportunity of the festive hour to assure them, that neither himself, his guests, nor any of their descendants, should ever die, but should be removed to a place, where they were to remain in the perpetual enjoyment of every blessing. After saying this, and conducting himself accordingly, he constructed a subterranean edifice: when it was completed, he withdrew himself from the sight of his countrymen, and resided for three years beneath the earth. -During this period, the Thracians regretted his loss, and lamented him as dead. In the fourth year, he again appeared amongst them, and by this artifice gave the appearance of probability to what he had before asserted.

13. To this story of the subterraneous apartment I do not give much credit, though I pretend not to dispute it; I am, however, very certain that Zamolxis must have lived many years before Pythagoras: whether, therefore, he was a man, or the deity of the Getæ, enough has been said concerning him. These Getæ, using the ceremonies I have described, after submitting themselves to the Persians under Darius, followed his army.

1. Ως δε εγω πυνθανομαι των τον Ελλησποντον οικεον των Ελλήνων και Ποντον, τον Ζαμολξιν τουτον εοντα ανθρωπον, δουλευσαι εν Σαμῳ· δουλευσαι δε Πυθαγορῃ τῳ Μνησαρχου· ενθευτεν δε αυτον γενομενον ελευθερον, χρηματα κτησασθαι συχνα· κτησαμενον δε, απελθειν εις την ἑωϋτου άτε δε κακοβιων τε εοντων των Θρηϊκων και ύπαφρονεστερων, τον Ζαμολξιν τουτον επισταμενον διαιταν τε Ιαδα, και ηθεα βαθυτερα η κατα Θρηϊκας (οἷα Ελλησι τε ὁμιλησαντα και Ελληνων ου τῳ ασθενέστατῳ σοφιστῃ Πυθαγορῃ) κατασκευασασθαι ανδρεωνα, ες τον πανδοκευοντα των αστων τους πρώτους, και ευωχέοντα, αναδιδασκειν ὡς ουτε αυτος ουτε οἱ συμποται αυτου, ουτε οἱ εκ τουτεων αιει γινομενοι αποθανεονται, αλλ' ήξουσι ες χώρον τουτον ἵνα αει περιεοντες έξουσι τα παντα αγαθα· εν ᾧ δε εποιεε τα καταλεχθεντα, και ελεγε ταύτα, εν τούτῳ καταγαιον οικημα εποιεετο· ὡς δὲ οἱ παντελεως ειχε το οικημα, εκ μεν των Θρηϊκων ηφανισθη· καταβάς δε κατω ες το καταγαιον οικημα, διαιτατο επ' ετεα τρια· οἱ δε μιν εποθεον τε και επενθεον ὡς τεθνεωτα· τεταρτῳ δε ετεϊ εφανη τοισι Θρηϊξι, και οὕτω πιθανα σφι εγενετο τα ελεγε ὁ Ζαμολξις. Ταύτα φασι

μιν ποιησαι.

13. Εγω δε περι μεν τουτου και του καταγαιου οικήματος ούτε απιστεω, ουτε ων πιστευω τι λιην· δοκεω δε πολλοισι ετεσι προτερον τον Ζαμολξιν τουτον γενεσθαι Πυθαγορεω· είτε δε εγενετο τις Ζαμολξις ανθρωπος, ειτ' εστι δαιμων τις Γετῃσι οὗτ τος επιχώριος, χαιρετω· οὗτοι μεν δη, τροπῳ τοιουτῳ χρεωμενοι, ὡς εχειρώθησαν ὑπ ̓ Δαρειου και Περσεων, είποντο τῳ αλλῳ Herodotus. στρατών


14. Need, Diophantus, ready wit imparts,
Is labour's mistress, and the nurse of arts;
Corroding cares the toiling wretch infest,
And spoil the peaceful tenor of his breast:
And if soft slumbers on his eye-lids creep,
Some cursed care steals in, and murders sleep.

Two ancient fishers in a straw-thatch'd shed,
(Leaves were their walls, and sea-weed was their bed,}
Reclined their weary limbs: hard by were laid
Baskets, and all their implements of trade,

Rods, hooks, and lines, composed of stout horse-hairs, And nets of various sorts, and various snares,

The seine, the cast-net, and the wicker maze,

To waste the watery tribes a thousand ways:


crazy boat was drawn upon a plank:

Mats were their pillow, wove of osier dank;

Skins, caps, and rugged coats, a covering made: This was their wealth, their labour, and their trade.

No pot to boil, no watch-dog to defend;

Yet blest they lived, with penury their friend.

None visited their shed, save every tide,

The wanton waves that wash'd its tottering side.

When half her course the moon's bright car had sped,

Joint labour roused the tenants of the shed;

The dews of slumber from their eyes they clear'd,
And thus their minds with pleasing parley cheer'd:-
A. I hold, my friend, that trite opinion wrong,
That summer nights are short when days are long.
Yes I have seen a thousand dreams to-night,
And yet no morn appears, nor morning light;
Sure on my mind some strange illusions play,
And make short nights wear heavily away.
B. Fair summer seasons you unjustly blame,
Their bounds are equal, and their pace
the same;


14. ̔Α πενια, Διοφάντε, μονα τας τέχνας εγειρει
Αυτα τω μοχθοιο διδασκαλος· ουδε γας εὕδειν
Ανδρασιν εργατιναισι κακαι παρέχοντι μεριμναι.
Καν ολιγον νυχτος τις επιψαύσῃσι τον ύπνον,
Αιφνιδιον θορυβευσιν εφισταμεναι μελεδωναι.
Ιχθυος αγρευτηρες όμως δυο κειντο γεροντες,
Στρωσαμενοι βρυον αυον ὑπο πλεκταις καλυβαισι,
Κεκλιμενοι τοιχῳ τῳ φυλλινῳ· εγγυθι δ' αυτοιν
Κειτο τα ταιν χειροιν αθληματα, τοι καλαθισκοι,
Τοι καλαμοι, τωγκιστρα, τα φυκιοεντα τε ληδα,
Ορμειαι, κυρτοι, και εκ σχοινων λαβυρινθοι,
Μηρινθοι, κωας τε, γερων δ' επ' ερεισμασι λέμβος.
Νερθεν τας κεφαλας φορμος βραχυς, είματα, πιλοι.
Οὗτος ταις ἁλιευσιν ὁ πας πονος οὗτος ὁ πλουτος.
Ουδεις δ' ου χυτραν ειχ ̓, ου κυνα· παντα περισσα,
Παντ' εδοκει τηνας αγρας· πενια σφιν ἑταιρα.
Ουδεις δ' εν μεσσῳ γειτων, παντα δε παρ' αυτην
Θλιβομεναν καλυβαν τρυφερον προσεναχε θαλασσα.
Ούπω τον μεσατον δρομον ανυεν ἁρμα σελάνας,
Τους δ ̓ ἁλιεις ηγειρε φιλος πονος' εκ βλεφαρων δε
Υπνον απωσάμενοι σφετεραις φρεσιν ηρεθον ῳδαν.

Α. Ψευδονται φιλε παντες όσοι τας νυκτας εφασκον
Τω θερεος μινυθειν, ὅτε ταματα μακρα φερει Ζευς·
Ηδη μυρί' εσειδον ονείρατα, κουδέπω αως.
Μη λαθομην ; τι το χρημα; χρονον

δ' αἱ νυκτες εχοντι.
Β. Ασφαλίων, μεμφῃ το καλον θερος· ου γαρ δ καιρος
Αστοματως παρεβα τον ἷον δρομον αλλά τον ύπνον.



But cares, Asphalion, in a busy throng,

Break on your rest, and make the night seem long. A. Say, hast thou genius to interpret right

My dream? I've had a jolly one to-night.

Thou shalt go halves, and more thou canst not wish; We'll share the vision as we share our fish:

I know thee shrewd, expert of dreams to spell; He's the best judge who can conjecture well. We've leisure time, which can't be better spent, By wretched carles in wave-wash'd cabin pent, And lodg'd on leaves; yet why should we repine, While living lights in Prytaneum shine?

B. To thy fast friend each circumstance recite, And let me hear this vision of the night.

A. Last evening, weary with the toils of day,
Lull'd in the lap of rest secure I lay ;
Full late we supp'd, and sparingly we ate;
No danger of a surfeit from our meat.
Methought I sat upon a shelfy steep,
And watch'd the fish that gambol'd in the deep;
Suspended by my rod, I gently shook
The bait fallacious, which a huge one took;
(Sleeping, we image what awake we wish;
Dogs dream of bones, and fishermen of fish.)
Bent was my rod, and from his gills the blood
With crimson stream distain'd the silver flood.
I stretch'd my arm out, lest the line should break;
The fish so vigorous, and my hook so weak!
Anxious I gazed; he struggled to be gone;
"You're wounded- I'll be with you, friend, anon
"Still do you teaze me?" for he plagued me sore;
At last, quite spent, I drew him safe on shore,
Then grasp'd him with my hand, for surer hold,
A noble prize, a fish of solid gold!

But fears suspicious in my bosom throng'd,
Lest to the god of ocean he belong'd;

« PreviousContinue »