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    Chapter 4

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    Chapter 4
    Previous Chapter
    Chapter IV
    Midas. Baucis and Philemon. Pluto and Proserpine.

    Bacchus, on a certain occasion, found his old school master and
    foster father, Silenus, missing. The old man had been drinking,
    and in that state had wandered away, and was found by some
    peasants, who carried him to their king, Midas. Midas recognized
    him, and treated him hospitably, entertaining him for ten days
    and nights with an unceasing round of jollity. On the eleventh
    day he brought Silenus back, and restored him in safety to his
    pupil. Whereupon Bacchus offered Midas his choice of whatever
    reward he might wish. He asked that whatever he might touch
    should be changed into GOLD. Bacchus consented, though sorry
    that he had not made a better choice. Midas went his way,
    rejoicing in his newly acquired power, which he hastened to put
    to the test. He could scarce believe his eyes when he found that
    a twig of an oak, which he plucked from the branch, became gold
    in his hand. He took up a stone it changed to gold. He
    touched a sod it did the same. He took an apple from the tree
    you would have thought he had robbed the garden of the
    Hesperides. His joy knew no bounds, and as soon as he got home,
    he ordered the servants to set a splendid repast on the table.
    Then he found to his dismay that whether he touched bread, it
    hardened in his hand; or put a morsel to his lips, it defied his
    teeth. He took a glass of wine, but it flowed down his throat
    like melted gold.

    In consternation at the unprecedented affliction, he strove to
    divest himself of his power; he hated the gift he had lately
    coveted. But all in vain; starvation seemed to await him. He
    raised his arms, all shining with gold, in prayer to Bacchus,
    begging to be delivered from his glittering destruction.
    Bacchus, merciful deity, heard and consented. "Go," said he, "to
    the river Pactolus, trace the stream to its fountain-head, there
    plunge in your head and body and wash away your fault and its
    punishment." He did so, and scarce had he touched the waters
    before the gold-creating power passed into them, and the river
    sands became changed into GOLD, as they remain to this day.

    Thenceforth Midas, hating wealth and splendor, dwelt in the
    country, and became a worshipper of Pan, the god of the fields.
    On a certain occasion Pan had the temerity to compare his music
    with that of Apollo, and to challenge the god of the lyre to a
    trial of skill. The challenge was accepted, and Tmolus, the
    mountain-god, was chosen umpire. Tmolus took his seat and
    cleared away the trees from his ears to listen. At a given
    signal Pan blew on his pipes, and with his rustic melody gave
    great satisfaction to himself and his faithful follower, Midas,
    who happened to be present. Then Tmolus turned his head toward
    the sun-god, and all his trees turned with him. Apollo rose, his
    brow wreathed with Parnassian laurel, while his robe of Tyrian
    purple swept the ground. In his left hand he held the lyre, and
    with his right hand struck the strings. Ravished with the
    harmony, Tmolus at once awarded the victory to the god of the
    lyre, and all but Midas acquiesced in the judgment. He
    dissented, and questioned the justice of the award. Apollo would
    not suffer such a depraved pair of ears any longer to wear the
    human form, but caused them to increase in length, grow hairy,
    within and without, and to become movable, on their roots; in
    short, to be on the perfect pattern of those of an ass.

    Mortified enough was King Midas at this mishap; but he consoled
    himself with the thought that it was possible to hide his
    misfortune, which he attempted to do by means of an ample turban
    or headdress. But his hairdresser of course knew the secret. He
    was charged not to mention it, and threatened with dire
    punishment if he presumed to disobey. But he found it too much
    for his discretion to keep such a secret; so he went out into the
    meadow, dug a hole in the ground, and stooping down, whispered
    the story, and covered it up. Before long a thick bed of reeds
    sprang up in the meadow, and as soon as it had gained its growth,
    began whispering the story, and has continued to do so, from that
    day to this, with every breeze which passes over the place.

    The story of King Midas has been told by others with some
    variations. Dryden, in the Wife of Bath's Tale, makes Midas'
    queen the betrayer of the secret.

    "This Midas knew, and durst communicate
    To none but to his wife his ears of state."

    Midas was king of Phrygia. He was the son of Gordius, a poor
    countryman, who was taken by the people and made king, in
    obedience to the command of the oracle, which had said that their
    future king should come in a wagon. While the people were
    deliberating, Gordius with his wife and son came driving his
    wagon into the public square.

    Gordius, being made king, dedicated his wagon to the deity of the
    oracle, and tied it up in its place with a fast knot. This was
    the celebrated GORDIAN KNOT, of which, in after times it was
    said, that whoever should untie it should become lord of all
    Asia. Many tried to untie it, but none succeeded, till Alexander
    the Great, in his career of conquest, came to Phrygia. He tried
    his skill with as ill success as the others, till growing
    impatient he drew his sword and cut the knot. When he afterwards
    succeeded in subjecting all Asia to his sway, people began to
    think that he had complied with the terms of the oracle according
    to its true meaning.


    On a certain hill in Phrygia stand a linden tree and an oak,
    enclosed by a low wall. Not far from the spot is a marsh,
    formerly good habitable land, but now indented with pools, the
    resort of fen-birds and cormorants. Once on a time, Jupiter, in
    human shape, visited this country, and with him his son Mercury
    (he of the caduceus), without his wings. They presented
    themselves at many a door as weary travellers, seeking rest and
    shelter, but found all closed, for it was late, and the
    inhospitable inhabitants would not rouse themselves to open for
    their reception. At last a humble mansion received them, a small
    thatched cottage, where Baucis, a pious old dame, and her husband
    Philemon, united when young, had grown old together. Not ashamed
    of their poverty, they made it endurable by moderate desires and
    kind dispositions. One need not look there for master or for
    servant; they two were the whole household, master and servant
    alike. When the two heavenly guests crossed the humble
    threshold, and bowed their heads to pass under the low door, the
    old man placed a seat, on which Baucis, bustling and attentive,
    spread a cloth, and begged them to sit down. Then she raked out
    the coals from the ashes, kindled up a fire, and fed it with
    leaves and dry bark, and with her scanty breath blew it into a
    flame. She brought out of a corner split sticks and dry
    branches, broke them up, and placed them under the small kettle.
    Her husband collected some pot-herbs in the garden, and she shred
    them from the stalks, and prepared them for the pot He reached
    down with a forked stick a flitch of bacon hanging in the
    chimney, cut a small piece, and put it in the pot to boil with
    the herbs, setting away the rest for another time. A beechen
    bowl was filled with warm water that their guests might wash.
    While all was doing they beguiled the time with conversation.

    On the bench designed for the guests was laid a cushion stuffed
    with sea-weed; and a cloth, only produced on great occasions, but
    old and coarse enough, was spread over that. The old woman, with
    her apron on, with trembling hand set the table. One leg was
    shorter than the rest, but a shell put under restored the level.
    When fixed, she rubbed the table down with some sweet-smelling
    herbs. Upon it she set some olives, Minerva's-fruit, some
    cornel-berries preserved in vinegar, and added radishes and
    cheese, with eggs lightly cooked in the ashes. All were served
    in earthen dishes, and an earthenware pitcher, with wooden cups,
    stood beside them. When all was ready, the stew, smoking hot,
    was set on the table. Some wine, not of the oldest, was added;
    and for dessert, apples and wild honey; and over and above all,
    friendly faces, and simple but hearty welcome.

    Now while the repast proceeded, the old folks were astonished to
    see that the wine, as fast as it was poured out, renewed itself
    in the pitcher, of its own accord. Struck with terror, Baucis
    and Philemon recognized their heavenly guests, fell on their
    knees, and with clasped hands implored forgiveness for their poor
    entertainment. There was an old goose, which they kept as the
    guardian of their humble cottage; and they bethought them to make
    this a sacrifice in honor of their guests. But the goose, too
    nimble for the old folks, eluded their pursuit with the aid of
    feet and wings, and at last took shelter between the gods
    themselves. They forbade it to be slain; and spoke in these
    words: "We are gods. This inhospitable village shall pay the
    penalty of its impiety; you alone shall go free from the
    chastisement. Quit your house, and come with us to the top of
    yonder hill." They hastened to obey, and staff in hand, labored
    up the steep ascent. They had come within an arrow's flight of
    the top, when turning their eyes below, they beheld all the
    country sunk in a lake, only their own house left standing.
    While they gazed with wonder at the sight, and lamented the fate
    of their neighbors, that old house of theirs was changed into a
    TEMPLE. Columns took the place of the corner-posts, the thatch
    grew yellow and appeared a gilded roof, the floors became marble,
    the doors were enriched with carving and ornaments of gold. Then
    spoke Jupiter in benignant accents: "Excellent old man, and woman
    worthy of such a husband, speak, tell us your wishes; what favor
    have you to ask of us?" Philemon took counsel with Baucis a few
    moments; then declared to the gods their united wish. "We ask to
    be priests and guardians of this your temple; and since here we
    have passed our lives in love and concord, we wish that one and
    the same hour may take us both from life, that I may not live to
    see her grave, nor be laid in my own by her." Their prayer was
    granted. They were the keepers of the temple as long as they
    lived. When grown very old, as they stood one day before the
    steps of the sacred edifice, and were telling the story of the
    place, Baucis saw Philemon begin to put forth leaves, and old
    Philemon saw Baucis changing in like manner. And now a leafy
    crown had grown over their heads, while exchanging parting words,
    as long as they could speak. "Farewell, dear spouse," they said,
    together, and at the same moment the bark closed over their
    mouths. The Tyanean shepherd long showed the two trees, standing
    side by side, made out of the two good old people.

    The story of Baucis and Philemon has been imitated by Swift, in a
    burlesque style, the actors in the change being two wandering
    saints and the house being changed into a church, of which
    Philemon is made the parson The following may serve as a

    "They scarce had spoke when, fair and soft,
    The roof began to mount aloft;
    Aloft rose every beam and rafter;
    The heavy wall climbed slowly after.
    The chimney widened and grew higher,
    Became a steeple with a spire.
    The kettle to the top was hoist,
    And there stood fastened to a joist,
    But with the upside down, to show
    Its inclination for below;
    In vain, for a superior force,
    Applied at bottom, stops its course;
    Doomed ever in suspense to dwell,
    'Tis now no kettle, but a bell.
    A wooden jack, which had almost
    Lost by disuse the art to roast,
    A sudden alteration feels,
    Increased by new intestine wheels;
    And, what exalts the wonder more,
    The number made the motion slower;
    The flier, though 't had leaden feet,
    Turned round so quick you scarce could see 't:
    But slackened by some secret power,
    Now hardly moves an inch an hour.
    The jack and chimney, near allied,
    Had never left each other's side.
    The chimney to a steeple grown,
    The jack would not be left alone;
    But up against the steeple reared,
    Became a clock, and still adhered;
    And still its love to household cares
    By a shrill voice at noon declares.
    Warning the cook-maid not to burn
    That roast meat which it cannot turn.
    The groaning chair began to crawl,
    Like a huge snail, along the wall;
    There stuck aloft in public view,
    And, with small change, a pulpit grew.
    A bedstead of the antique mode,
    Compact of timber many a load,
    Such as our ancestors did use,
    Was metamorphosed into pews,
    Which still their ancient nature keep
    By lodging folks disposed to sleep."


    Under the island of Aetna lies Typhoeus the Titan, in punishment
    for his share in the rebellion of the giants against Jupiter.
    Two mountains press down the one his right and the other his
    left hand while Aetna lies over his head. As Typhoeus moves,
    the earth shakes; as he breathes, smoke and ashes come up from
    Aetna. Pluto is terrified at the rocking of the earth, and fears
    that his kingdom will be laid open to the light of day. He
    mounts his chariot with the four black horses and comes up to
    earth and looks around. While he is thus engaged, Venus, sitting
    on Mount Eryx playing with her boy Cupid, sees him and says: "My
    son, take your darts with which you conquer all, even Jove
    himself, and send one into the breast of yonder dark monarch, who
    rules the realm of Tartarus. Why should he alone escape? Seize
    the opportunity to extend your empire and mine. Do you not see
    that even in heaven some despise our power? Minerva the wise,
    and Diana the huntress, defy us; and there is that daughter of
    Ceres, who threatens to follow their example. Now do you, if you
    have any regard for your own interest or mine, join these two in
    one." The boy unbound his quiver, and selected his sharpest and
    truest arrow; then, straining the bow against his knee, he
    attached the string, and, having made ready, shot the arrow with
    its barbed point right into the heart of Pluto.

    In the vale of Enna there is a lake embowered in woods, which
    screen it from the fervid rays of the sun, while the moist ground
    is covered with flowers, and spring reigns perpetual. Here
    Proserpine was playing with her companions, gathering lilies and
    violets, and filling her basket and her apron with them, when
    Pluto saw her from his chariot, loved her, and carried her off.
    She screamed for help to her mother and her companions; and when
    in her fright she dropped the corners of her apron and let the
    flowers fall, childlike, she felt the loss of them as an addition
    to her grief. The ravisher urged on his steeds, calling them
    each by name, and throwing loose over their heads and necks his
    iron-colored reins. When he reached the River Cyane, and it
    opposed his passage, he struck the river bank with his trident,
    and the earth opened and gave him a passage to Tartarus.

    Ceres sought her daughter all the world over. Bright-haired
    Aurora, when she came forth in the morning, and Hesperus, when he
    led out the stars in the evening, found her still busy in the
    search. But it was all unavailing. At length, weary and sad,
    she sat down upon a stone and continued sitting nine days and
    nights, in the open air, under the sunlight and moonlight and
    falling showers. It was where now stands the city of Eleusis,
    then the home of an old man named Celeus. He was out in the
    field, gathering acorns and blackberries, and sticks for his
    fire. His little girl was driving home their two goats, and as
    she passed the goddess, who appeared in the guise of an old
    woman, she said to her, "Mother," and the name was sweet to the
    ears of Ceres, "why do you sit here alone upon the rocks?" The
    old man also stopped, though his load was heavy, and begged her
    to come into his cottage, such as it was. She declined, and he
    urged her. "Go in peace," she replied, "and be happy in your
    daughter; I have lost mine." As she spoke, tears or something
    like tears, for the gods never weep fell down her cheeks upon
    her bosom. The compassionate old man and his child wept with
    her. Then said he, "Come with us, and despise not our humble
    roof; so may your daughter be restored to you in safety." "Lead
    on," said she, "I cannot resist that appeal!" So she rose from
    the stone and went with them. As they walked he told her that
    his only son, a little boy, lay very sick, feverish and
    sleepless. She stooped and gathered some poppies. As they
    entered the cottage they found all in great distress, for the boy
    seemed past hope of recovery. Metanira, his mother, received her
    kindly, and the goddess stooped and kissed the lips of the sick
    child. Instantly the paleness left his face, and healthy vigor
    returned to his body. The whole family were delighted that is,
    the father, mother, and little girl, for they were all; they had
    no servants. They spread the table, and put upon it curds and
    cream, apples, and honey in the comb. While they ate, Ceres
    mingled poppy juice in the milk of the boy. When night came and
    all was still, she arose, and taking the sleeping boy, moulded
    his limbs with her hands, and uttered over him three times a
    solemn charm, then went and laid him in the ashes. His mother,
    who had been watching what her guest was doing, sprang forward
    with a cry and snatched the child from the fire. Then Ceres
    assumed her own form, and a divine splendor shone all around.
    While they were overcome with astonishment, she said, "Mother,
    you have been cruel in your fondness to your son. I would have
    made him immortal, but you have frustrated my attempt.
    Nevertheless, he shall be great and useful. He shall teach men
    the use of the plough, and the rewards which labor can win from
    the cultivated soil." So saying, she wrapped a cloud about her,
    and mounting her chariot rode away.

    Ceres continued her search for her daughter, passing from land to
    land, and across seas and rivers, till at length she returned to
    Sicily, whence she at first set out, and stood by the banks of
    the River Cyane, where Pluto made himself a passage with his
    prize to his own dominions.

    The river-nymph would have told the goddess all she had
    witnessed, but dared not, for fear of Pluto; so she only ventured
    to take up the girdle which Proserpine had dropped in her flight,
    and waft it to the feet of the mother. Ceres, seeing this, was
    no longer in doubt of her loss, but she did not yet know the
    cause, and laid the blame on the innocent land. "Ungrateful
    soil," said she, "which I have endowed with fertility and clothed
    with herbage and nourishing grain, No more shall you enjoy my
    favors" Then the cattle died, the plough broke in the furrow, the
    seed failed to come up; there was too much sun, there was too
    much rain; the birds stole the seeds, thistles and brambles
    were the only growth. Seeing this, the fountain Arethusa
    interceded for the land. "Goddess," said she, "blame not the
    land; it opened unwillingly to yield a passage to your daughter.
    I can tell you of her fate, for I have seen her. This is not my
    native country; I came hither from Elis. I was a woodland nymph,
    and delighted in the chase. They praised my beauty, but I cared
    nothing for it, and rather boasted of my hunting exploits. One
    day I was returning from the wood, heated with exercise, when I
    came to a stream silently flowing, so clear that you might count
    the pebbles on the bottom. The willows shaded it, and the grassy
    bank sloped down to the water's edge. I approached, I touched
    the water with my foot. I stepped in knee-deep, and not content
    with that, I laid my garments on the willows and went in. While
    I sported in the water, I heard an indistinct murmur coming up as
    out of the depths of the stream; and made haste to escape to the
    nearest bank. The voice said, 'Why do you fly, Arethusa? I am
    Alpheus, the god of this stream.' I ran, he pursued; he was not
    more swift than I, but he was stronger, and gained upon me, as my
    strength failed. At last, exhausted, I cried for help to Diana.
    'Help me, goddess! Help your votary!' The goddess heard, and
    wrapped me suddenly in a thick cloud. The river-god looked now
    this way and now that, and twice came close to me, but could not
    find me. 'Arethusa! Arethusa!' he cried. Oh, how I trembled,
    like a lamb that hears the wolf growling outside the fold. A
    cold sweat came over me, my hair flowed down in streams; where my
    foot stood there was a pool. In short, in less time than it
    takes to tell it I became a fountain. But in this form Alpheus
    knew me, and attempted to mingle his stream with mine. Diana
    cleft the ground, and I, endeavoring to escape him, plunged into
    the cavern, and through the bowels of the earth came out here in
    Sicily. While I passed through the lower parts of the earth, I
    saw your Proserpine. She was sad, but no longer showing alarm in
    her countenance. Her look was such as became a queen, the
    queen of Erebus; the powerful bride of the monarch of the realms
    of the dead."

    When Ceres heard this, she stood for a while like one stupefied;
    then turned her chariot towards heaven, and hastened to present
    herself before the throne of Jove. She told the story of her
    bereavement, and implored Jupiter to interfere to procure the
    restitution of her daughter. Jupiter consented on one condition,
    namely, that Proserpine should not during her stay in the lower
    world have taken any food; otherwise, the Fates forbade her
    release. Accordingly, Mercury was sent, accompanied by Spring,
    to demand Proserpine of Pluto. The wily monarch consented; but
    alas! the maiden had taken a pomegranate which Pluto offered her,
    and had sucked the sweet pulp from a few of the seeds. This was
    enough to prevent her complete release; but a compromise was
    made, by which she was to pass half the time with her mother, and
    the rest with her husband Pluto.

    Ceres allowed herself to be pacified with this arrangement, and
    restored the earth to her favor. Now she remembered Celeus and
    his family, and her promise to his infant son Triptolemus. When
    the boy grew up, she taught him the use of the plough, and how to
    sow the seed. She took him in her chariot, drawn by winged
    dragons, through all the countries of the earth, imparting to
    mankind valuable grains, and the knowledge of agriculture. After
    his return, Triptolemus build a magnificent temple to Ceres in
    Eleusis, and established the worship of the goddess, under the
    name of the Eleusinian mysteries, which, in the splendor and
    solemnity of their observance, surpassed all other religious
    celebrations among the Greeks.

    There can be little doubt but that this story of Ceres and
    Proserpine is an allegory. Proserpine signifies the seed-corn,
    which, when cast into the ground, lies there concealed, that
    is, she is carried off by the god of the underworld; it
    reappears, that is, Proserpine is restored to her mother.
    Spring leads her back to the light of day.

    Milton alludes to the story of Proserpine in Paradise lost, Book

    "Not that fair field
    Of Enna where Proserpine gathering flowers,
    Herself a fairer flower, by gloomy Dis (a name for Pluto)
    Was gathered, which cost Ceres all that pain
    To seek her through the world,
    . . . . might with this Paradise
    Of Eden strive."

    Hood, in his Ode to Melancholy, uses the same allusion very

    "Forgive, if somewhile I forget,
    In woe to come the present bliss;
    As frightened Proserpine let fall
    Her flowers at the sight of Dis."

    The River Alpheus does in fact disappear under ground, in part of
    its course, finding its way through subterranean channels, till
    it again appears on the surface. It was said that the Sicilian
    fountain Arethusa was the same stream, which, after passing under
    the sea, came up again in Sicily. Hence the story ran that a cup
    thrown into the Alpheus appeared again in Arethusa. It is this
    fable of the underground course of Alpheus that Coleridge alludes
    to in his poem of Kubla Khan:

    "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
    A stately pleasure-dome decree,
    Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
    Through caverns measureless to man,
    Down to a sunless sea."

    In one of Moore's juvenile poems he alludes to the same story,
    and to the practice of throwing garlands, or other light objects
    on the stream to be carried downward by it, and afterwards thrown
    out when the river comes again to light.

    "Oh, my beloved, how divinely sweet
    Is the pure joy when kindred spirits meet!
    Like him the river-god, whose waters flow,
    With love their only light, through caves below,
    Wafting in triumph all the flowery braids
    And festal rings, with which Olympic maids
    Have decked his current, as an offering meet
    To lay at Arethusa's shining feet.
    Think, when he meets at last his fountain bride,
    What perfect love must thrill the blended tide!
    Each lost in each, till mingling into one,
    Their lot the same for shadow or for sun,
    A type of true love, to the deep they run."

    The following extract from Moore's Rhymes on the Road gives an
    account of a celebrated picture by Albano at Milan, called a
    Dance of Loves:

    "'Tis for the theft of Enna's flower from earth
    These urchins celebrate their dance of mirth,
    Round the green tree, like fays upon a heath,
    Those that are nearest linked in order bright,
    Cheek after cheek, like rosebuds in a wreath;
    And those more distant showing from beneath
    The others' wings their little eyes of light.
    While see! Among the clouds, their eldest brother,
    But just flown up, tells with a smile of bliss,
    This prank of Pluto to his charmed mother,
    Who turns to greet the tidings with a kiss."


    Glaucus was a fisherman. One day he had drawn his nets to land,
    and had taken a great many fishes of various kinds. So he
    emptied his net, and proceeded to sort the fishes on the grass.
    The place where he stood was a beautiful island in the river, a
    solitary spot, uninhabited, and not used for pasturage of cattle,
    nor ever visited by any but himself. On a sudden, the fishes,
    which had been laid on the grass, began to revive and move their
    fins as if they were in the water; and while he looked on
    astonished, they one and all moved off to the water, plunged in
    and swam away. He did not know what to make of this, whether
    some god had done it, or some secret power in the herbage. "What
    herb has such a power?" he exclaimed; and gathering some, he
    tasted it. Scarce had the juices of the plant reached his palate
    when he found himself agitated with a longing desire for the
    water. He could no longer restrain himself, but bidding farewell
    to earth, he plunged into the stream. The gods of the water
    received him graciously, and admitted him to the honor of their
    society. They obtained the consent of Oceanus and Tethys, the
    sovereigns of the sea, that all that was mortal in him should be
    washed away. A hundred rivers poured their waters over him .
    Then he lost all sense of his former nature and all
    consciousness. When he recovered, he found himself changed in
    form and mind. His hair was sea-green, and trailed behind him on
    the water; his shoulders grew broad, and what had been thighs and
    legs assumed the form of a fish's tail. The sea-gods
    complimented him on the change of his appearance, and he himself
    was pleased with his looks.

    One day Glaucus saw the beautiful maiden Scylla, the favorite of
    the water-nymphs, rambling on the shore, and when she had found a
    sheltered nook, laving her limbs in the clear water. He fell in
    love with her, and showing himself on the surface, spoke to her,
    saying such things as he thought most likely to win her to stay;
    for she turned to run immediately on sight of him and ran till
    she had gained a cliff overlooking the sea. Here she stopped and
    turned round to see whether it was a god or a sea-animal, and
    observed with wonder his shape and color. Glaucus, partly
    emerging from the water, and supporting himself against a rock,
    said, "Maiden, I am no monster, nor a sea-animal, but a god; and
    neither Proteus nor Triton ranks higher than I. Once I was a
    mortal, and followed the sea for a living; but now I belong
    wholly to it." Then he told the story of his metamorphosis and
    how he had been promoted to his present dignity, and added, "But
    what avails all this if it fails to move your heart?" He was
    going on in this strain, but Scylla turned and hastened away.

    Glaucus was in despair, but it occurred to him to consult the
    enchantress, Circe. Accordingly he repaired to her island, the
    same where afterwards Ulysses landed, as we shall see in another
    story. After mutual salutations, he said, "Goddess, I entreat
    your pity; you alone can relieve the pain I suffer. The power of
    herbs I know as well as any one, for it is to them I owe my
    change of form I love Scylla. I am ashamed to tell you how I
    have sued and promised to her, and how scornfully she has treated
    me. I beseech you to use your incantations, or potent herbs, if
    they are more prevailing, not to cure me of my love, for that I
    do not wish, but to make her share it and yield me a like
    return." To which Circe replied, for she was not insensible to
    the attractions of the sea-green deity, "You had better pursue a
    willing object; you are worthy to be sought, instead of having to
    seek in vain. Be not diffident, know your own worth. I protest
    to you that even I, goddess though I be, and learned in the
    virtues of plants and spells, should not know how to refuse you
    If she scorns you, scorn her; meet one who is ready to meet you
    half way, and thus make a due return to both at once." To these
    words Glaucus replied, "Sooner shall trees grow at the bottom of
    the ocean, and seaweed on the top of the mountains, than I will
    cease to love Scylla, and her alone."

    The goddess was indignant, but she could not punish him, neither
    did she wish to do so, for she liked him too well; so she turned
    all her wrath against her rival, poor Scylla. She took plants of
    poisonous powers and mixed them together, with incantations and
    charms. Then she passed through the crowd of gambolling beasts,
    the victims of her art, and proceeded to the coast of Sicily,
    where Scylla lived. There was a little bay on the shore to which
    Scylla used to resort, in the heat of the day, to breathe the air
    of the sea, and to bathe in its waters. Here the goddess poured
    her poisonous mixture, and muttered over it incantations of
    mighty power. Scylla came as usual and plunged into the water up
    to her waist. What was her horror to perceive a brood of
    serpents and barking monsters surrounding her! At first she
    could not imagine they were a part of herself, and tried to run
    from them, and to drive them away; but as she ran she carried
    them with her, and when she tried to touch her limbs, she found
    her hands touch only the yawning jaws of monsters. Scylla
    remained rooted to the spot. Her temper grew as ugly as her
    form, and she took pleasure in devouring hapless mariners who
    came within her grasp. Thus she destroyed six of the companions
    of Ulysses, and tried to wreck the ships of Aeneas, till at last
    she was turned into a rock, and as such still continues to be a
    terror to mariners.

    The following is Glaucus's account of his feelings after his

    "I plunged for life or death. To interknit
    One's senses with so dense a breathing stuff
    Might seem a work of pain; so not enough
    Can I admire how crystal-smooth it felt,
    And buoyant round my limbs. At first I dwelt
    Whole days and days in sheer astonishment;
    Forgetful utterly of self-9ntent,
    Moving but with the mighty ebb and flow.
    Then like a new-fledged bird that first doth show
    His spreaded feathers to the morrow chill,
    I tried in fear the pinions of my well.
    "Twas freedom! And at once I visited
    The ceaseless wonders of this ocean-bed."

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