Myths part 1


       *       *       *       *       *












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The want of an interesting work on Greek and Roman mythology, suitable for
the requirements of both boys and girls, has long been recognized by the
principals of our advanced schools. The study of the classics themselves,
even where the attainments of the pupil have rendered this feasible, has
not been found altogether successful in giving to the student a clear and
succinct idea of the religious beliefs of the ancients, and it has been
suggested that a work which would so deal with the subject as to render it
at once interesting and instructive would be hailed as a valuable
introduction to the study of classic authors, and would be found to assist
materially the labours of both master and pupil.

In endeavouring to supply this want I have sought to place before the
reader a lifelike picture of the deities of classical times as they were
conceived and worshipped by the ancients themselves, and thereby to awaken
in the minds of young students a desire to become more intimately
acquainted with the noble productions of classical antiquity.

It has been my aim to render the Legends, which form the second portion of
the work, a picture, as it were, of old Greek life; its customs, its
superstitions, and its princely hospitalities, for which reason they are
given at somewhat greater length than is usual in works of the kind.

In a chapter devoted to the purpose some interesting particulars have been
collected respecting the public worship of the ancient Greeks and Romans
(more especially of the former), to which is subjoined an account of their
principal festivals.

I may add that no pains have been spared in order that, without passing
over details the omission of which would have {ii} marred the completeness
of the work, not a single passage should be found which could possibly
offend the most scrupulous delicacy; and also that I have purposely treated
the subject with that reverence which I consider due to every religious
system, however erroneous.

It is hardly necessary to dwell upon the importance of the study of
Mythology: our poems, our novels, and even our daily journals teem with
classical allusions; nor can a visit to our art galleries and museums be
fully enjoyed without something more than a mere superficial knowledge of a
subject which has in all ages inspired painters, sculptors, and poets. It
therefore only remains for me to express a hope that my little work may
prove useful, not only to teachers and scholars, but also to a large class
of general readers, who, in whiling away a leisure hour, may derive some
pleasure and profit from its perusal.


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  Introduction,                                       7

      URANUS AND GÆA (Coelus and Terra),  11

      CRONUS (Saturn),                      14
      RHEA (Ops),                           18
      DIVISION OF THE WORLD,                19

      ZEUS (Jupiter),                       26
      HERA (Juno),                          38
      PALLAS-ATHENE (Minerva),              43
      THEMIS,                               48
      HESTIA (Vesta),                       48
      DEMETER (Ceres),                      50
      APHRODITE (Venus),                    58
      HELIOS (Sol),                         61
      EOS (Aurora),                         67
      PHOEBUS-APOLLO,                     68
      HECATE,                               85
      SELENE (Luna),                        86
      ARTEMIS (Diana),                      87
      HEPHÆSTUS (Vulcan),                   97
      POSEIDON (Neptune),                  101

      OCEANUS,                             107
      NEREUS,                              108
      PROTEUS,                             108
      TRITON AND THE TRITONS,              109
      GLAUCUS,                             109
      THETIS,                              110
      THAUMAS, PHORCYS, AND CETO,          111
      LEUCOTHEA,                           111
      THE SIRENS,                          112
      ARES (Mars),                         112
      NIKE (Victoria),                     117
      HERMES (Mercury),                    117
      DIONYSUS (Bacchus or Liber),         124
      AÏDES (Pluto),                       130
      PLUTUS,                              137

      THE HARPIES,                         137
      ERINYES, EUMENIDES (Furiæ, Diræ),    138
      MOIRÆ OR FATES (Parcæ),              139
      NEMESIS,                             141

      NYX (Nox),                           142
      THANATOS (Mors), HYPNUS (Somnus),    142
      MORPHEUS,                            143
      THE GORGONS,                         144
      GRÆÆ,                                145
      SPHINX,                              146
      TYCHE (Fortuna) and ANANKE (Necessitas),     147
      KER,                                 149
      ATE,                                 149
      MOMUS,                               149
      EROS (Cupid, Amor) and PSYCHE,       150
      HYMEN,                               154
      IRIS,                                155
      HEBE (Juventas),                     156
      GANYMEDES,                           157
      THE MUSES,                           157
      PEGASUS,                             162
      THE HESPERIDES,                      162
      CHARITES OR GRACES,                  163
      HORÆ (Seasons),                      164
      THE NYMPHS,                          165
      THE WINDS,                           170
      PAN (Faunus),                        171
      THE SATYRS,                          174
      PRIAPUS,                             175
      ASCLEPIAS (Æsculapius),              176

      JANUS,                               178
      FLORA,                               180
      ROBIGUS,                             180
      POMONA,                              180
      VERTUMNUS,                           181
      PALES,                               181
      PICUS,                               182
      PICUMNUS AND PILUMNUS,               182
      SILVANUS,                            182
      TERMINUS,                            182
      CONSUS,                              183
      LIBITINA,                            183
      LAVERNA,                             184
      COMUS,                               184
      CAMENÆ,                              184
      GENII,                               185
      MANES,                               185
      PENATES,                             187

      TEMPLES,                             188
      STATUES,                             190
      ALTARS,                              191
      PRIESTS,                             191
      SACRIFICES,                          192
      ORACLES,                             194
      SOOTHSAYERS,                         195
      AUGURS,                              196
      FESTIVALS,                           196

      ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES,                196
      THESMOPHORIA,                        197
      DIONYSIA,                            197
      PANATHENÆA,                          199
      DAPHNEPHORIA,                        200

      SATURNALIA,                          200
      CEREALIA,                            201
      VESTALIA,                            201

      CADMUS,                              203
      PERSEUS,                             205
      ION,                                 210
      DÆDALUS AND ICARUS,                  211
      THE ARGONAUTS,                       213
      PELOPS,                              232
      HERACLES,                            234
      BELLEROPHON,                         256
      THESEUS,                             259
      OEDIPUS,                           269
      THE SEVEN AGAINST THEBES,            272
      THE EPIGONI,                         276
      ALCMÆON AND THE NECKLACE,            277
      THE HERACLIDÆ,                       280
      THE SIEGE OF TROY,                   283

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Before entering upon the many strange beliefs of the ancient Greeks, and
the extraordinary number of gods they worshipped, we must first consider
what kind of beings these divinities were.

In appearance, the gods were supposed to resemble mortals, whom, however,
they far surpassed in beauty, grandeur, and strength; they were also more
commanding in stature, height being considered by the Greeks an attribute
of beauty in man or woman. They resembled human beings in their feelings
and habits, intermarrying and having children, and requiring daily
nourishment to recruit their strength, and refreshing sleep to restore
their energies. Their blood, a bright ethereal fluid called Ichor, never
engendered disease, and, when shed, had the power of producing new life.

The Greeks believed that the mental qualifications of their gods were of a
much higher order than those of men, but nevertheless, as we shall see,
they were not considered to be exempt from human passions, and we
frequently behold them actuated by revenge, deceit, and jealousy. They,
however, always punish the evil-doer, and visit with dire calamities any
impious mortal who dares to neglect their worship or despise their rites.
We often hear of them visiting mankind and partaking of their hospitality,
and not unfrequently both gods and goddesses {8} become attached to
mortals, with whom they unite themselves, the offspring of these unions
being called heroes or demi-gods, who were usually renowned for their great
strength and courage. But although there were so many points of resemblance
between gods and men, there remained the one great characteristic
distinction, viz., that the gods enjoyed immortality. Still, they were not
invulnerable, and we often hear of them being wounded, and suffering in
consequence such exquisite torture that they have earnestly prayed to be
deprived of their privilege of immortality.

The gods knew no limitation of time or space, being able to transport
themselves to incredible distances with the speed of thought. They
possessed the power of rendering themselves invisible at will, and could
assume the forms of men or animals as it suited their convenience. They
could also transform human beings into trees, stones, animals, &c., either
as a punishment for their misdeeds, or as a means of protecting the
individual, thus transformed, from impending danger. Their robes were like
those worn by mortals, but were perfect in form and much finer in texture.
Their weapons also resembled those used by mankind; we hear of spears,
shields, helmets, bows and arrows, &c., being employed by the gods. Each
deity possessed a beautiful chariot, which, drawn by horses or other
animals of celestial breed, conveyed them rapidly over land and sea
according to their pleasure. Most of these divinities lived on the summit
of Mount Olympus, each possessing his or her individual habitation, and all
meeting together on festive occasions in the council-chamber of the gods,
where their banquets were enlivened by the sweet strains of Apollo's lyre,
whilst the beautiful voices of the Muses poured forth their rich melodies
to his harmonious accompaniment. Magnificent temples were erected to their
honour, where they were worshipped with the greatest solemnity; rich gifts
were presented to them, and animals, and indeed sometimes human beings,
were sacrificed on their altars.

In the study of Grecian mythology we meet with some {9} curious, and what
may at first sight appear unaccountable notions. Thus we hear of terrible
giants hurling rocks, upheaving mountains, and raising earthquakes which
engulf whole armies; these ideas, however, may be accounted for by the
awful convulsions of nature, which were in operation in pre-historic times.
Again, the daily recurring phenomena, which to us, who know them to be the
result of certain well-ascertained laws of nature, are so familiar as to
excite no remark, were, to the early Greeks, matter of grave speculation,
and not unfrequently of alarm. For instance, when they heard the awful roar
of thunder, and saw vivid flashes of lightning, accompanied by black clouds
and torrents of rain, they believed that the great god of heaven was angry,
and they trembled at his wrath. If the calm and tranquil sea became
suddenly agitated, and the crested billows rose mountains high, dashing
furiously against the rocks, and threatening destruction to all within
their reach, the sea-god was supposed to be in a furious rage. When they
beheld the sky glowing with the hues of coming day they thought that the
goddess of the dawn, with rosy fingers, was drawing aside the dark veil of
night, to allow her brother, the sun-god, to enter upon his brilliant
career. Thus personifying all the powers of nature, this very imaginative
and highly poetical nation beheld a divinity in every tree that grew, in
every stream that flowed, in the bright beams of the glorious sun, and the
clear, cold rays of the silvery moon; for them the whole universe lived and
breathed, peopled by a thousand forms of grace and beauty.

The most important of these divinities may have been something more than
the mere creations of an active and poetical imagination. They were
possibly human beings who had so distinguished themselves in life by their
preeminence over their fellow-mortals that after death they were deified by
the people among whom they lived, and the poets touched with their magic
wand the details of lives, which, in more prosaic times, would simply have
been recorded as illustrious. {10}

It is highly probable that the reputed actions of these deified beings were
commemorated by bards, who, travelling from one state to another,
celebrated their praise in song; it therefore becomes exceedingly
difficult, nay almost impossible, to separate bare facts from the
exaggerations which never fail to accompany oral traditions.

In order to exemplify this, let us suppose that Orpheus, the son of Apollo,
so renowned for his extraordinary musical powers, had existed at the
present day. We should no doubt have ranked him among the greatest of our
musicians, and honoured him as such; but the Greeks, with their vivid
imagination and poetic license, exaggerated his remarkable gifts, and
attributed to his music supernatural influence over animate and inanimate
nature. Thus we hear of wild beasts tamed, of mighty rivers arrested in
their course, and of mountains being moved by the sweet tones of his voice.
The theory here advanced may possibly prove useful in the future, in
suggesting to the reader the probable basis of many of the extraordinary
accounts we meet with in the study of classical mythology.

And now a few words will be necessary concerning the religious beliefs of
the Romans. When the Greeks first settled in Italy they found in the
country they colonized a mythology belonging to the Celtic inhabitants,
which, according to the Greek custom of paying reverence to all gods, known
or unknown, they readily adopted, selecting and appropriating those
divinities which had the greatest affinity to their own, and thus they
formed a religious belief which naturally bore the impress of its ancient
Greek source. As the primitive Celts, however, were a less civilized people
than the Greeks, their mythology was of a more barbarous character, and
this circumstance, combined with the fact that the Romans were not gifted
with the vivid imagination of their Greek neighbours, leaves its mark on
the Roman mythology, which is far less fertile in fanciful conceits, and
deficient in all those fairy-like stories and wonderfully poetic ideas
which so strongly characterize that of the Greeks.

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The ancient Greeks had several different theories with regard to the origin
of the world, but the generally accepted notion was that before this world
came into existence, there was in its place a confused mass of shapeless
elements called Chaos. These elements becoming at length consolidated (by
what means does not appear), resolved themselves into two widely different
substances, the lighter portion of which, soaring on high, formed the sky
or firmament, and constituted itself into a vast, overarching vault, which
protected the firm and solid mass beneath.

Thus came into being the two first great primeval deities of the Greeks,
Uranus and Ge or Gæa.

Uranus, the more refined deity, represented the light and air of heaven,
possessing the distinguishing qualities of light, heat, purity, and
omnipresence, whilst Gæa, the firm, flat,[1] life-sustaining earth, was
worshipped as the great all-nourishing mother. Her many titles refer to her
more or less in this character, and she appears to have been universally
revered among the Greeks, there being scarcely a city in Greece which did
not contain a temple erected in her honour; indeed Gæa was held in such
veneration that her name was always invoked whenever the gods took a solemn
oath, made an emphatic declaration, or implored assistance.

Uranus, the heaven, was believed to have united himself in marriage with
Gæa, the earth; and a moment's reflection will show what a truly poetical,
and also what a logical idea this was; for, taken in a figurative sense,
{12} this union actually does exist. The smiles of heaven produce the
flowers of earth, whereas his long-continued frowns exercise so depressing
an influence upon his loving partner, that she no longer decks herself in
bright and festive robes, but responds with ready sympathy to his
melancholy mood.

The first-born child of Uranus and Gæa was Oceanus,[2] the ocean stream,
that vast expanse of ever-flowing water which encircled the earth. Here we
meet with another logical though fanciful conclusion, which a very slight
knowledge of the workings of nature proves to have been just and true. The
ocean is formed from the rains which descend from heaven and the streams
which flow from earth. By making Oceanus therefore the offspring of Uranus
and Gæa, the ancients, if we take this notion in its literal sense, merely
assert that the ocean is produced by the combined influence of heaven and
earth, whilst at the same time their fervid and poetical imagination led
them to see in this, as in all manifestations of the powers of nature, an
actual, tangible divinity.

But Uranus, the heaven, the embodiment of light, heat, and the breath of
life, produced offspring who were of a much less material nature than his
son Oceanus. These other children of his were supposed to occupy the
intermediate space which divided him from Gæa. Nearest to Uranus, and just
beneath him, came Aether (Ether), a bright creation representing that
highly rarified atmosphere which immortals alone could breathe. Then
followed Aër (Air), which was in close proximity to Gæa, and represented,
as its name implies, the grosser atmosphere surrounding the earth which
mortals could freely breathe, and without which they would perish. Aether
and Aër were separated from each other by divinities called Nephelae. These
were their restless and wandering sisters, who existed in the form of
clouds, ever {13} floating between Aether and Aër. Gæa also produced the
mountains, and Pontus (the sea). She united herself with the latter, and
their offspring were the sea-deities Nereus, Thaumas, Phorcys, Ceto, and

Co-existent with Uranus and Gæa were two mighty powers who were also the
offspring of Chaos. These were Erebus (Darkness) and Nyx (Night), who
formed a striking contrast to the cheerful light of heaven and the bright
smiles of earth. Erebus reigned in that mysterious world below where no ray
of sunshine, no gleam of daylight, nor vestige of health-giving terrestrial
life ever appeared. Nyx, the sister of Erebus, represented Night, and was
worshipped by the ancients with the greatest solemnity.

Uranus was also supposed to have been united to Nyx, but only in his
capacity as god of light, he being considered the source and fountain of
all light, and their children were Eos (Aurora), the Dawn, and Hemera, the
Daylight. Nyx again, on her side was also doubly united, having been
married at some indefinite period to Erebus.

In addition to those children of heaven and earth already enumerated,
Uranus and Gæa produced two distinctly different races of beings called
Giants and Titans. The Giants personified brute strength alone, but the
Titans united to their great physical power intellectual qualifications
variously developed. There were three Giants, Briareus, Cottus, and Gyges,
who each possessed a hundred hands and fifty heads, and were known
collectively by the name of the Hecatoncheires, which signified
hundred-handed. These mighty Giants could shake the universe and produce
earthquakes; it is therefore evident that they represented those active
subterranean forces to which allusion has been made in the opening chapter.
The Titans were twelve in number; their names were: Oceanus, Ceos, Crios,
Hyperion, Iapetus, Cronus, Theia, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, and

Now Uranus, the chaste light of heaven, the essence of all that is bright
and pleasing, held in abhorrence his {14} crude, rough, and turbulent
offspring, the Giants, and moreover feared that their great power might
eventually prove hurtful to himself. He therefore hurled them into
Tartarus, that portion of the lower world which served as the subterranean
dungeon of the gods. In order to avenge the oppression of her children, the
Giants, Gæa instigated a conspiracy on the part of the Titans against
Uranus, which was carried to a successful issue by her son Cronus. He
wounded his father, and from the blood of the wound which fell upon the
earth sprang a race of monstrous beings also called Giants. Assisted by his
brother-Titans, Cronus succeeded in dethroning his father, who, enraged at
his defeat, cursed his rebellious son, and foretold to him a similar fate.
Cronus now became invested with supreme power, and assigned to his brothers
offices of distinction, subordinate only to himself. Subsequently, however,
when, secure of his position, he no longer needed their assistance, he
basely repaid their former services with treachery, made war upon his
brothers and faithful allies, and, assisted by the Giants, completely
defeated them, sending such as resisted his all-conquering arm down into
the lowest depths of Tartarus.

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Cronus was the god of time in its sense of eternal duration. He married
Rhea, daughter of Uranus and Gæa, a very important divinity, to whom a
special chapter will be devoted hereafter. Their children were, three sons:
Aïdes (Pluto), Poseidon (Neptune), Zeus (Jupiter), and three daughters:
Hestia (Vesta), Demeter (Ceres), and Hera (Juno). Cronus, having an uneasy
conscience, was afraid that his children might one day rise up against his
authority, and thus verify the prediction of his father {15} Uranus. In
order, therefore, to render the prophecy impossible of fulfilment, Cronus
swallowed each child as soon as it was born,[3] greatly to the sorrow and
indignation of his wife Rhea. When it came to Zeus, the sixth and last,
Rhea resolved to try and save this one child at least, to love and cherish,
and appealed to her parents, Uranus and Gæa, for counsel and assistance. By
their advice she wrapped a stone in baby-clothes, and Cronus, in eager
haste, swallowed it, without noticing the deception. The child thus saved,
eventually, as we shall see, dethroned his father Cronus, became supreme
god in his stead, and was universally venerated as the great national god
of the Greeks.


Anxious to preserve the secret of his existence from Cronus, Rhea sent the
infant Zeus secretly to Crete, where he was nourished, protected, and
educated. A sacred goat, called Amalthea, supplied the place of his mother,
by providing him with milk; nymphs, called Melissae, fed him with honey,
and eagles and doves brought him nectar and ambrosia.[4] He was kept
concealed in a cave in the heart of Mount Ida, and the Curetes, or priests
of Rhea, by beating their shields together, kept up a constant noise at the
entrance, which drowned the cries of the child and frightened away all
intruders. Under the watchful care of the Nymphs the infant Zeus throve
rapidly, developing great physical powers, combined with {16} extraordinary
wisdom and intelligence. Grown to manhood, he determined to compel his
father to restore his brothers and sisters to the light of day, and is said
to have been assisted in this difficult task by the goddess Metis, who
artfully persuaded Cronus to drink a potion, which caused him to give back
the children he had swallowed. The stone which had counterfeited Zeus was
placed at Delphi, where it was long exhibited as a sacred relic.

Cronus was so enraged at being circumvented that war between the father and
son became inevitable. The rival forces ranged themselves on two separate
high mountains in Thessaly; Zeus, with his brothers and sisters, took his
stand on Mount Olympus, where he was joined by Oceanus, and others of the
Titans, who had forsaken Cronus on account of his oppressions. Cronus and
his brother-Titans took possession of Mount Othrys, and prepared for
battle. The struggle was long and fierce, and at length Zeus, finding that
he was no nearer victory than before, bethought himself of the existence of
the imprisoned Giants, and knowing that they would be able to render him
most powerful assistance, he hastened to liberate them. He also called to
his aid the Cyclops (sons of Poseidon and Amphitrite),[5] who had only one
eye each in the middle of their foreheads, and were called Brontes
(Thunder), Steropes (Lightning), and Pyracmon (Fire-anvil). They promptly
responded to his summons for help, and brought with them tremendous
thunderbolts which the Hecatoncheires, with their hundred hands, hurled
down upon the enemy, at the same time raising mighty earthquakes, which
swallowed up and destroyed all who opposed them. Aided by these new and
powerful allies, Zeus now made a furious onslaught on his enemies, and so
tremendous was the encounter that all nature is said to have throbbed in
accord with this mighty effort of the celestial deities. The sea rose
mountains high, and its angry billows {17} hissed and foamed; the earth
shook to its foundations, the heavens sent forth rolling thunder, and flash
after flash of death-bringing lightning, whilst a blinding mist enveloped
Cronus and his allies.

And now the fortunes of war began to turn, and victory smiled on Zeus.
Cronus and his army were completely overthrown, his brothers despatched to
the gloomy depths of the lower world, and Cronus himself was banished from
his kingdom and deprived for ever of the supreme power, which now became
vested in his son Zeus. This war was called the Titanomachia, and is most
graphically described by the old classic poets.


With the defeat of Cronus and his banishment from his dominions, his career
as a ruling Greek divinity entirely ceases. But being, like all the gods,
immortal, he was supposed to be still in existence, though possessing no
longer either influence or authority, his place being filled to a certain
extent by his descendant and successor, Zeus.

Cronus is often represented as an old man leaning on a scythe, with an
hour-glass in his hand. The hour-glass symbolizes the fast-fleeting moments
as they succeed each other unceasingly; the scythe is emblematical of time,
which mows down all before it.


The Romans, according to their custom of identifying their deities with
those of the Greek gods whose attributes were similar to their own,
declared Cronus to be identical with their old agricultural divinity
Saturn. They believed that after his defeat in the {18} Titanomachia and
his banishment from his dominions by Zeus, he took refuge with Janus, king
of Italy, who received the exiled deity with great kindness, and even
shared his throne with him. Their united reign became so thoroughly
peaceful and happy, and was distinguished by such uninterrupted prosperity,
that it was called the Golden Age.

Saturn is usually represented bearing a sickle in the one hand and a
wheat-sheaf in the other.

A temple was erected to him at the foot of the Capitoline Hill, in which
were deposited the public treasury and the laws of the state.


Rhea, the wife of Cronus, and mother of Zeus and the other great gods of
Olympus, personified the earth, and was regarded as the Great Mother and
unceasing producer of all plant-life. She was also believed to exercise
unbounded sway over the animal creation, more especially over the lion, the
noble king of beasts. Rhea is generally represented wearing a crown of
turrets or towers and seated on a throne, with lions crouching at her feet.
She is sometimes depicted sitting in a chariot, drawn by lions.

The principal seat of her worship, which was always of a very riotous
character, was at Crete. At her festivals, which took place at night, the
wildest music of flutes, cymbals, and drums resounded, whilst joyful shouts
and cries, accompanied by dancing and loud stamping of feet, filled the

This divinity was introduced into Crete by its first colonists from
Phrygia, in Asia Minor, in which country she was worshipped under the name
of Cybele. The people of Crete adored her as the Great Mother, more
especially in her signification as the sustainer of the vegetable world.
Seeing, however, that year by year, as winter appears, all her glory
vanishes, her flowers fade, and her trees become leafless, they poetically
expressed this process of nature under the figure of a lost love. She {19}
was said to have been tenderly attached to a youth of remarkable beauty,
named Atys, who, to her grief and indignation, proved faithless to her. He
was about to unite himself to a nymph called Sagaris, when, in the midst of
the wedding feast, the rage of the incensed goddess suddenly burst forth
upon all present. A panic seized the assembled guests, and Atys, becoming
afflicted with temporary madness, fled to the mountains and destroyed
himself. Cybele, moved with sorrow and regret, instituted a yearly mourning
for his loss, when her priests, the Corybantes, with their usual noisy
accompaniments, marched into the mountains to seek the lost youth. Having
discovered him[6] they gave full vent to their ecstatic delight by
indulging in the most violent gesticulations, dancing, shouting, and, at
the same time, wounding and gashing themselves in a frightful manner.


In Rome the Greek Rhea was identified with Ops, the goddess of plenty, the
wife of Saturn, who had a variety of appellations. She was called
Magna-Mater, Mater-Deorum, Berecynthia-Idea, and also Dindymene. This
latter title she acquired from three high mountains in Phrygia, whence she
was brought to Rome as Cybele during the second Punic war, B.C. 205, in
obedience to an injunction contained in the Sybilline books. She was
represented as a matron crowned with towers, seated in a chariot drawn by

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We will now return to Zeus and his brothers, who, having gained a complete
victory over their enemies, began to consider how the world, which they had
{20} conquered, should be divided between them. At last it was settled by
lot that Zeus should reign supreme in Heaven, whilst Aïdes governed the
Lower World, and Poseidon had full command over the Sea, but the supremacy
of Zeus was recognized in all three kingdoms, in heaven, on earth (in which
of course the sea was included), and under the earth. Zeus held his court
on the top of Mount Olympus, whose summit was beyond the clouds; the
dominions of Aïdes were the gloomy unknown regions below the earth; and
Poseidon reigned over the sea. It will be seen that the realm of each of
these gods was enveloped in mystery. Olympus was shrouded in mists, Hades
was wrapt in gloomy darkness, and the sea was, and indeed still is, a
source of wonder and deep interest. Hence we see that what to other nations
were merely strange phenomena, served this poetical and imaginative people
as a foundation upon which to build the wonderful stories of their

The division of the world being now satisfactorily arranged, it would seem
that all things ought to have gone on smoothly, but such was not the case.
Trouble arose in an unlooked-for quarter. The Giants, those hideous
monsters (some with legs formed of serpents) who had sprung from the earth
and the blood of Uranus, declared war against the triumphant deities of
Olympus, and a struggle ensued, which, in consequence of Gæa having made
these children of hers invincible as long as they kept their feet on the
ground, was wearisome and protracted. Their mother's precaution, however,
was rendered unavailing by pieces of rock being hurled upon them, which
threw them down, and their feet being no longer placed firmly on their
mother-earth, they were overcome, and this tedious war (which was called
the Gigantomachia) at last came to an end. Among the most daring of these
earth-born giants were Enceladus, Rhoetus, and the valiant Mimas, who, with
youthful fire and energy, hurled against heaven great masses of rock and
burning oak-trees, and defied the lightnings of Zeus. One of the most
powerful monsters who opposed Zeus in this {21} war was called Typhon or
Typhoeus. He was the youngest son of Tartarus and Gæa, and had a hundred
heads, with eyes which struck terror to the beholders, and awe-inspiring
voices frightful to hear. This dreadful monster resolved to conquer both
gods and men, but his plans were at length defeated by Zeus, who, after a
violent encounter, succeeded in destroying him with a thunderbolt, but not
before he had so terrified the gods that they had fled for refuge to Egypt,
where they metamorphosed themselves into different animals and thus

       *       *       *       *       *


Just as there were several theories concerning the origin of the world, so
there were various accounts of the creation of man.

The first natural belief of the Greek people was that man had sprung from
the earth. They saw the tender plants and flowers force their way through
the ground in the early spring of the year after the frost of winter had
disappeared, and so they naturally concluded that man must also have issued
from the earth in a similar manner. Like the wild plants and flowers, he
was supposed to have had no cultivation, and resembled in his habits the
untamed beasts of the field, having no habitation except that which nature
had provided in the holes of the rocks, and in the dense forests whose
overarching boughs protected him from the inclemency of the weather.

In the course of time these primitive human beings became tamed and
civilized by the gods and heroes, who taught them to work in metals, to
build houses, and other useful arts of civilization. But the human race
became in the course of time so degenerate that the gods resolved to
destroy all mankind by means of a flood; Deucalion {22} (son of Prometheus)
and his wife Pyrrha, being, on account of their piety, the only mortals

By the command of his father, Deucalion built a ship, in which he and his
wife took refuge during the deluge, which lasted for nine days. When the
waters abated the ship rested on Mount Othrys in Thessaly, or according to
some on Mount Parnassus. Deucalion and his wife now consulted the oracle of
Themis as to how the human race might be restored. The answer was, that
they were to cover their heads, and throw the bones of their mother behind
them. For some time they were perplexed as to the meaning of the oracular
command, but at length both agreed that by the bones of their mother were
meant the stones of the earth. They accordingly took up stones from the
mountain side and cast them over their shoulders. From those thrown by
Deucalion there sprang up men, and from those thrown by Pyrrha, women.

After the lapse of time the theory of Autochthony (from _autos_, self, and
_chthon_, earth) was laid aside. When this belief existed there were no
religious teachers whatever; but in course of time temples were raised in
honour of the different gods, and priests appointed to offer sacrifices to
them and conduct their worship. These priests were looked upon as
authorities in all religious matters, and the doctrine they taught was,
that man had been created by the gods, and that there had been several
successive ages of men, which were called the Golden, Silver, Brazen, and
Iron Ages.

Life in the Golden Age was one unceasing round of ever-recurring pleasures
unmarred by sorrow or care. The favoured mortals living at this happy time
led pure and joyous lives, thinking no evil, and doing no wrong. The earth
brought forth fruits and flowers without toil or labour in plentiful
luxuriance, and war was unknown. This delightful and god-like existence
lasted for hundreds of years, and when at length life on earth was ended,
death laid his hand so gently upon them that they passed painlessly away in
a happy dream, and continued their existence as ministering spirits in
Hades, watching over and {23} protecting those they had loved and left
behind on earth. The men of the Silver Age[7] were a long time growing up,
and during their childhood, which lasted a hundred years, they suffered
from ill-health and extreme debility. When they at last became men they
lived but a short time, for they would not abstain from mutual injury, nor
pay the service due to the gods, and were therefore banished to Hades.
There, unlike the beings of the Golden Age, they exercised no beneficent
supervision over the dear ones left behind, but wandered about as restless
spirits, always sighing for the lost pleasures they had enjoyed in life.

The men of the Brazen Age were quite a different race of beings, being as
strong and powerful as those of the Silver Age were weak and enervated.
Everything which surrounded them was of brass; their arms, their tools,
their dwellings, and all that they made. Their characters seem to have
resembled the metal in which they delighted; their minds and hearts were
hard, obdurate, and cruel. They led a life of strife and contention,
introduced into the world, which had hitherto known nothing but peace and
tranquillity, the scourge of war, and were in fact only happy when fighting
and quarrelling with each other. Hitherto Themis, the goddess of Justice,
had been living among mankind, but becoming disheartened at their evil
doings, she abandoned the earth, and winged her flight back to heaven. At
last the gods became so tired of their evil deeds and continual
dissensions, that they removed them from the face of the earth, and sent
them down to Hades to share the fate of their predecessors.

We now come to the men of the Iron Age. The earth, no longer teeming with
fruitfulness, only yielded her increase after much toil and labour. The
goddess of Justice having abandoned mankind, no influence remained
sufficiently powerful to preserve them from every kind of wickedness and
sin. This condition grew worse as time went on, until at last Zeus in his
anger let loose the water-courses from above, and drowned every {24}
individual of this evil race, except Deucalion and Pyrrha.

The theory of Hesiod,[8] the oldest of all the Greek poets, was that the
Titan Prometheus, the son of Iapetus, had formed man out of clay, and that
Athene had breathed a soul into him. Full of love for the beings he had
called into existence, Prometheus determined to elevate their minds and
improve their condition in every way; he therefore taught them astronomy,
mathematics, the alphabet, how to cure diseases, and the art of divination.
He created this race in such great numbers that the gods began to see the
necessity of instituting certain fixed laws with regard to the sacrifices
due to them, and the worship to which they considered themselves entitled
from mankind in return for the protection which they accorded them. An
assembly was therefore convened at Mecone in order to settle these points.
It was decided that Prometheus, as the advocate of man, should slay an ox,
which should be divided into two equal parts, and that the gods should
select one portion which should henceforth, in all future sacrifices, be
set apart for them. Prometheus so divided the ox that one part consisted of
the bones (which formed of course the least valuable portion of the
animal), artfully concealed by the white fat; whilst the other contained
all the edible parts, which he covered with the skin, and on the top of all
he laid the stomach.

Zeus, pretending to be deceived, chose the heap of bones, but he saw
through the stratagem, and was so angry at the deception practised on him
by Prometheus that he avenged himself by refusing to mortals the gift of
fire. {25} Prometheus, however, resolved to brave the anger of the great
ruler of Olympus, and to obtain from heaven the vital spark so necessary
for the further progress and comfort of the human race. He accordingly
contrived to steal some sparks from the chariot of the sun, which he
conveyed to earth hidden in a hollow tube. Furious at being again
outwitted, Zeus determined to be revenged first on mankind, and then on
Prometheus. To punish the former he commanded Hephæstus (Vulcan) to mould a
beautiful woman out of clay, and determined that through her
instrumentality trouble and misery should be brought into the world.

The gods were so charmed with the graceful and artistic creation of
Hephæstus, that they all determined to endow her with some special gift.
Hermes (Mercury) bestowed on her a smooth persuasive tongue, Aphrodite gave
her beauty and the art of pleasing; the Graces made her fascinating, and
Athene (Minerva) gifted her with the possession of feminine
accomplishments. She was called Pandora, which means all-gifted, having
received every attribute necessary to make her charming and irresistible.
Thus beautifully formed and endowed, this exquisite creature, attired by
the Graces, and crowned with flowers by the Seasons, was conducted to the
house of Epimetheus[9] by Hermes the messenger of the gods. Now Epimetheus
had been warned by his brother not to accept any gift whatever from the
gods; but he was so fascinated by the beautiful being who suddenly appeared
before him, that he welcomed her to his home, and made her his wife. It was
not long, however, before he had cause to regret his weakness.

He had in his possession a jar of rare workmanship, containing all the
blessings reserved by the gods for mankind, which he had been expressly
forbidden to open. But woman's proverbial curiosity could not withstand so
great a temptation, and Pandora determined to solve the mystery at any
cost. Watching her opportunity she raised the lid, and immediately all the
blessings which {26} the gods had thus reserved for mankind took wing and
flew away. But all was not lost. Just as Hope (which lay at the bottom) was
about to escape, Pandora hastily closed the lid of the jar, and thus
preserved to man that never-failing solace which helps him to bear with
courage the many ills which assail him.[10]

Having punished mankind, Zeus determined to execute vengeance on
Prometheus. He accordingly chained him to a rock in Mount Caucasus, and
sent an eagle every day to gnaw away his liver, which grew again every
night ready for fresh torments. For thirty years Prometheus endured this
fearful punishment; but at length Zeus relented, and permitted his son
Heracles (Hercules) to kill the eagle, and the sufferer was released.

       *       *       *       *       *



Zeus, the great presiding deity of the universe, the ruler of heaven and
earth, was regarded by the Greeks, first, as the god of all aërial
phenomena; secondly, as the personification of the laws of nature; thirdly,
as lord of state-life; and fourthly, as the father of gods and men.

As the god of aërial phenomena he could, by shaking his ægis,[12] produce
storms, tempests, and intense darkness. At his command the mighty thunder
rolls, the lightning flashes, and the clouds open and pour forth their
refreshing streams to fructify the earth.

As the personification of the operations of nature, he represents those
grand laws of unchanging and harmonious order, by which not only the
physical but also {27} the moral world is governed. Hence he is the god of
regulated time as marked by the changing seasons, and by the regular
succession of day and night, in contradistinction to his father Cronus, who
represents time absolutely, _i.e._ eternity.

As the lord of state-life, he is the founder of kingly power, the upholder
of all institutions connected with the state, and the special friend and
patron of princes, whom he guards and assists with his advice and counsel.
He protects the assembly of the people, and, in fact, watches over the
welfare of the whole community.

As the father of the gods, Zeus sees that each deity performs his or her
individual duty, punishes their misdeeds, settles their disputes, and acts
towards them on all occasions as their all-knowing counsellor and mighty

As the father of men, he takes a paternal interest in the actions and
well-being of mortals. He watches over them with tender solicitude,
rewarding truth, charity, and uprightness, but severely punishing perjury,
cruelty, and want of hospitality. Even the poorest and most forlorn
wanderer finds in him a powerful advocate, for he, by a wise and merciful
dispensation, ordains that the mighty ones of the earth should succour
their distressed and needy brethren.

The Greeks believed that the home of this their mighty and all-powerful
deity was on the top of Mount Olympus, that high and lofty mountain between
Thessaly and Macedon, whose summit, wrapt in clouds and mist, was hidden
from mortal view. It was supposed that this mysterious region, which even a
bird could not reach, extended beyond the clouds right into Aether, the
realm of the immortal gods. The poets describe this ethereal atmosphere as
bright, glistening, and refreshing, exercising a peculiar, gladdening
influence over the minds and hearts of those privileged beings permitted to
share its delights. Here youth never ages, and the passing years leave no
traces on its favoured inhabitants. On the cloud-capped summit of Olympus
was the palace of {28} Zeus and Hera, of burnished gold, chased silver, and
gleaming ivory. Lower down were the homes of the other gods, which, though
less commanding in position and size, were yet similar to that of Zeus in
design and workmanship, all being the work of the divine artist Hephæstus.
Below these were other palaces of silver, ebony, ivory, or burnished brass,
where the Heroes, or Demi-gods, resided.

As the worship of Zeus formed so important a feature in the religion of the
Greeks, his statues were necessarily both numerous and magnificent. He is
usually represented as a man of noble and imposing mien, his countenance
expressing all the lofty majesty of the omnipotent ruler of the universe,
combined with the gracious, yet serious, benignity of the father and friend
of mankind. He may be recognized by his rich flowing beard, and the thick
masses of hair, which rise straight from the high and intellectual forehead
and fall to his shoulders in clustering locks. The nose is large and finely
formed, and the slightly-opened lips impart an air of sympathetic
kindliness which invites confidence. He is always accompanied by an eagle,
which either surmounts his sceptre, or sits at his feet; he generally bears
in his uplifted hand a sheaf of thunder-bolts, just ready to be hurled,
whilst in the other he holds the lightning. The head is frequently
encircled with a wreath of oak-leaves.


The most celebrated statue of the Olympian Zeus was that by the famous
Athenian sculptor Phidias, which was forty feet high, and stood in the
temple of Zeus at Olympia. It was formed of ivory and gold, and was {29}
such a masterpiece of art, that it was reckoned among the seven wonders of
the world. It represented the god, seated on a throne, holding in his right
hand a life-sized image of Nike (the goddess of Victory), and in his left a
royal sceptre, surmounted by an eagle. It is said that the great sculptor
had concentrated all the marvellous powers of his genius on this sublime
conception, and earnestly entreated Zeus to give him a decided proof that
his labours were approved. An answer to his prayer came through the open
roof of the temple in the shape of a flash of lightning, which Phidias
interpreted as a sign that the god of heaven was pleased with his work.

Zeus was first worshipped at Dodona in Epirus, where, at the foot of Mount
Tomarus, on the woody shore of Lake Joanina, was his famous oracle, the
most ancient in Greece. Here the voice of the eternal and invisible god was
supposed to be heard in the rustling leaves of a giant oak, announcing to
mankind the will of heaven and the destiny of mortals; these revelations
being interpreted to the people by the priests of Zeus, who were called
Selli. Recent excavations which have been made at this spot have brought to
light the ruins of the ancient temple of Zeus, and also, among other
interesting relics, some plates of lead, on which are engraved inquiries
which were evidently made by certain individuals who consulted the oracle.
These little leaden plates speak to us, as it were, in a curiously homely
manner of a by-gone time in the buried past. One person inquires what god
he should apply to for health and fortune; another asks for advice
concerning his child; and a third, evidently a shepherd, promises a gift to
the oracle should a speculation in sheep turn out successfully. Had these
little memorials been of gold instead of lead, they would doubtless have
shared the fate of the numerous treasures which adorned this and other
temples, in the universal pillage which took place when Greece fell into
the hands of barbarians.

Though Dodona was the most ancient of his shrines, the great national seat
of the worship of Zeus was at Olympia in Elis, where there was a
magnificent temple {30} dedicated to him, containing the famous colossal
statue by Phidias above described. Crowds of devout worshippers flocked to
this world-renowned fane from all parts of Greece, not only to pay homage
to their supreme deity, but also to join in the celebrated games which were
held there at intervals of four years. The Olympic games were such a
thoroughly national institution, that even Greeks who had left their native
country made a point of returning on these occasions, if possible, in order
to contend with their fellow-countrymen in the various athletic sports
which took place at these festivals.

It will be seen on reflection that in a country like Greece, which
contained so many petty states, often at variance with each other, these
national gatherings must have been most valuable as a means of uniting the
Greeks in one great bond of brotherhood. On these festive occasions the
whole nation met together, forgetting for the moment all past differences,
and uniting in the enjoyment of the same festivities.

It will doubtless have been remarked that in the representations of Zeus he
is always accompanied by an eagle. This royal bird was sacred to him,
probably from the fact of its being the only creature capable of gazing at
the sun without being dazzled, which may have suggested the idea that it
was able to contemplate the splendour of divine majesty unshrinkingly.

The oak-tree, and also the summits of mountains, were sacred to Zeus. His
sacrifices consisted of white bulls, cows, and goats.

Zeus had seven immortal wives, whose names were Metis, Themis, Eurynome,
Demeter, Mnemosyne, Leto, and Hera.

METIS, his first wife, was one of the Oceanides or sea-nymphs. She was the
personification of prudence and wisdom, a convincing proof of which she
displayed in her successful administration of the potion which caused
Cronus to yield up his children. She was endowed with the gift of prophecy,
and foretold to Zeus that one of their children would gain ascendency over
{31} him. In order, therefore, to avert the possibility of the prediction
being fulfilled he swallowed her before any children were born to them.
Feeling afterwards violent pains in his head, he sent for Hephæstus, and
ordered him to open it with an axe. His command was obeyed, and out sprang,
with a loud and martial shout, a beautiful being, clad in armour from head
to foot. This was Athene (Minerva), goddess of Armed Resistance and Wisdom.

THEMIS was the goddess of Justice, Law, and Order.

EURYNOME was one of the Oceanides, and the mother of the Charites or

DEMETER,[13] the daughter of Cronus and Rhea, was the goddess of

MNEMOSYNE, the daughter of Uranus and Gæa, was the goddess of Memory and
the mother of the nine Muses.

LETO (Latona) was the daughter of Coeus and Phoebe. She was gifted with
wonderful beauty, and was tenderly loved by Zeus, but her lot was far from
being a happy one, for Hera, being extremely jealous of her, persecuted her
with inveterate cruelty, and sent the dreadful serpent Python[14] to
terrify and torment her wherever she went. But Zeus, who had observed with
the deepest compassion her weary wanderings and agonized fears, resolved to
create for her some place of refuge, however humble, where she might feel
herself safe from the venomous attacks of the serpent. He therefore brought
her to Delos, a floating island in the Ægean Sea, which he made stationary
by attaching it with chains of adamant to the bottom of the sea. Here she
gave birth to her twin-children, Apollo and Artemis (Diana), two of the
most beautiful of the immortals.

According to some versions of the story of Leto, Zeus transformed her into
a quail, in order that she might thus elude the vigilance of Hera, and she
is said to have {32} resumed her true form when she arrived at the island
of Delos.

HERA, being the principal wife of Zeus and queen of heaven, a detailed
account will be given of her in a special chapter.

In the union of Zeus with most of his immortal wives we shall find that an
allegorical meaning is conveyed. His marriage with Metis, who is said to
have surpassed both gods and men in knowledge, represents supreme power
allied to wisdom and prudence. His union with Themis typifies the bond
which exists between divine majesty and justice, law, and order. Eurynome,
as the mother of the Charites or Graces, supplied the refining and
harmonizing influences of grace and beauty, whilst the marriage of Zeus
with Mnemosyne typifies the union of genius with memory.

       *       *       *       *       *

In addition to the seven immortal wives of Zeus, he was also allied to a
number of mortal maidens whom he visited under various disguises, as it was
supposed that if he revealed himself in his true form as king of heaven the
splendour of his glory would cause instant destruction to mortals. The
mortal consorts of Zeus have been such a favourite theme with poets,
painters, and sculptors, that it is necessary to give some account of their
individual history. Those best known are Antiope, Leda, Europa, Callisto,
Alcmene, Semele, Io, and Danae.

ANTIOPE, to whom Zeus appeared under the form of a satyr, was the daughter
of Nicteus, king of Thebes. To escape the anger of her father she fled to
Sicyon, where king Epopeus, enraptured with her wonderful beauty, made her
his wife without asking her father's consent. This so enraged Nicteus that
he declared war against Epopeus, in order to compel him to restore Antiope.
At his death, which took place before he could succeed in his purpose,
Nicteus left his kingdom to his brother Lycus, commanding him, at the same
time, to carry on the war, and execute his vengeance. Lycus invaded Sicyon,
defeated and killed Epopeus, and brought back {33} Antiope as a prisoner.
On the way to Thebes she gave birth to her twin-sons, Amphion and Zethus,
who, by the orders of Lycus, were at once exposed on Mount Cithaeron, and
would have perished but for the kindness of a shepherd, who took pity on
them and preserved their lives. Antiope was, for many years, held captive
by her uncle Lycus, and compelled to suffer the utmost cruelty at the hands
of his wife Dirce. But one day her bonds were miraculously loosened, and
she flew for shelter and protection to the humble dwelling of her sons on
Mount Cithaeron. During the long period of their mother's captivity the
babes had grown into sturdy youths, and, as they listened angrily to the
story of her wrongs, they became all impatience to avenge them. Setting off
at once to Thebes they succeeded in possessing themselves of the town, and
after slaying the cruel Lycus they bound Dirce by the hair to the horns of
a wild bull, which dragged her hither and thither until she expired. Her
mangled body was cast into the fount near Thebes, which still bears her
name. Amphion became king of Thebes in his uncle's stead. He was a friend
of the Muses, and devoted to music and poetry. His brother, Zethus, was
famous for his skill in archery, and was passionately fond of the chase. It
is said that when Amphion wished to inclose the town of Thebes with walls
and towers, he had but to play a sweet melody on the lyre, given to him by
Hermes, and the huge stones began to move, and obediently fitted themselves

The punishment of Dirce at the hands of Amphion and Zethus forms the
subject of the world-renowned marble group in the museum at Naples, known
by the name of the Farnese Bull.

In sculpture Amphion is always represented with a lyre; Zethus with a club.

LEDA, whose affections Zeus won under the form of a swan, was the daughter
of Thestius, king of Ætolia. Her twin-sons, Castor and (Polydeuces or)
Pollux,[15] were {34} renowned for their tender attachment to each other.
They were also famous for their physical accomplishments, Castor being the
most expert charioteer of his day, and Pollux the first of pugilists. Their
names appear both among the hunters of the Calydonian boar-hunt and the
heroes of the Argonautic expedition. The brothers became attached to the
daughters of Leucippus, prince of the Messenians, who had been betrothed by
their father to Idas and Lynceus, sons of Aphareus. Having persuaded
Leucippus to break his promise, the twins carried off the maidens as their
brides. Idas and Lynceus, naturally furious at this proceeding, challenged
the Dioscuri to mortal combat, in which Castor perished by the hand of
Idas, and Lynceus by that of Pollux. Zeus wished to confer the gift of
immortality upon Pollux, but he refused to accept it unless allowed to
share it with Castor. Zeus gave the desired permission, and the faithful
brothers were both allowed to live, but only on alternate days. The
Dioscuri received divine honours throughout Greece, and were worshipped
with special reverence at Sparta.

EUROPA was the beautiful daughter of Agenor, king of Phoenicia. She was one
day gathering flowers with her companions in a meadow near the sea-shore,
when Zeus, charmed with her great beauty, and wishing to win her love,
transformed himself into a beautiful white bull, and trotted quietly up to
the princess, so as not to alarm her. Surprised at the gentleness of the
animal, and admiring its beauty, as it lay placidly on the grass, she
caressed it, crowned it with flowers, and, at last, playfully seated
herself on its back. Hardly had she done so than the disguised god bounded
away with his lovely burden, and swam across the sea with her to the island
of Crete.

Europa was the mother of Minos, Aeacus, and Rhadamanthus. Minos, who became
king of Crete, was celebrated for his justice and moderation, and after
death he was created one of the judges of the lower world, which office he
held in conjunction with his brothers. {35}

CALLISTO, the daughter of Lycaon, king of Arcadia, was a huntress in the
train of Artemis, devoted to the pleasures of the chase, who had made a vow
never to marry; but Zeus, under the form of the huntress-goddess, succeeded
in obtaining her affections. Hera, being extremely jealous of her, changed
her into a bear, and caused Artemis (who failed to recognize her attendant
under this form) to hunt her in the chase, and put an end to her existence.
After her death she was placed by Zeus among the stars as a constellation,
under the name of Arctos, or the bear.

ALCMENE, the daughter of Electryon, king of Mycenae, was betrothed to her
cousin Amphytrion; but, during his absence on a perilous undertaking, Zeus
assumed his form, and obtained her affections. Heracles (whose
world-renowned exploits will be related among the legends) was the son of
Alcmene and Zeus.

SEMELE, a beautiful princess, the daughter of Cadmus, king of Phoenicia,
was greatly beloved by Zeus. Like the unfortunate Callisto, she was hated
by Hera with jealous malignity, and the haughty queen of heaven determined
to effect her destruction. Disguising herself, therefore, as Beroe,
Semele's faithful old nurse, she artfully persuaded her to insist upon Zeus
visiting her, as he appeared to Hera, in all his power and glory, well
knowing that this would cause her instant death. Semele, suspecting no
treachery, followed the advice of her supposed nurse; and the next time
Zeus came to her, she earnestly entreated him to grant the favour she was
about to ask. Zeus swore by the Styx (which was to the gods an irrevocable
oath) to accede to her request whatsoever it might be. Semele, therefore,
secure of gaining her petition, begged of Zeus to appear to her in all the
glory of his divine power and majesty. As he had sworn to grant whatever
she asked of him, he was compelled to comply with her wish; he therefore
revealed himself as the mighty lord of the universe, accompanied by thunder
and lightning, and she was instantly consumed in the flames. {36}

IO, daughter of Inachus, king of Argos, was a priestess of Hera. She was
very beautiful, and Zeus, who was much attached to her, transformed her
into a white cow, in order to defeat the jealous intrigues of Hera, who,
however, was not to be deceived. Aware of the stratagem, she contrived to
obtain the animal from Zeus, and placed her under the watchful care of a
man called Argus-Panoptes, who fastened her to an olive-tree in the grove
of Hera. He had a hundred eyes, of which, when asleep, he never closed more
than two at a time; being thus always on the watch, Hera found him
extremely useful in keeping guard over Io. Hermes, however, by the command
of Zeus, succeeded in putting all his eyes to sleep with the sound of his
magic lyre, and then, taking advantage of his helpless condition, slew him.
The story goes, that in commemoration of the services which Argus had
rendered her, Hera placed his eyes on the tail of a peacock, as a lasting
memorial of her gratitude. Ever fertile in resource, Hera now sent a gadfly
to worry and torment the unfortunate Io incessantly, and she wandered all
over the world in hopes of escaping from her tormentor. At length she
reached Egypt, where she found rest and freedom from the persecutions of
her enemy. On the banks of the Nile she resumed her original form and gave
birth to a son called Epaphus, who afterwards became king of Egypt, and
built the famous city of Memphis.

DANAE.--Zeus appeared to Danae under the form of a shower of gold. (Further
details concerning her will be found in the legend of Perseus.)

       *       *       *       *       *

The Greeks supposed that the divine ruler of the Universe occasionally
assumed a human form, and descended from his celestial abode, in order to
visit mankind and observe their proceedings, his aim being generally either
to punish the guilty, or to reward the deserving.

On one occasion Zeus, accompanied by Hermes, made a journey through
Phrygia, seeking hospitality and shelter wherever they went. But nowhere
did they receive a {37} kindly welcome till they came to the humble cottage
of an old man and his wife called Christos and Baucis, who entertained them
with the greatest kindness, setting before them what frugal fare their
humble means permitted, and bidding them welcome with unaffected
cordiality. Observing in the course of their simple repast that the wine
bowl was miraculously replenished, the aged couple became convinced of the
divine nature of their guests. The gods now informed them that on account
of its wickedness their native place was doomed to destruction, and told
them to climb the neighbouring hill with them, which overlooked the village
where they dwelt. What was their dismay on beholding at their feet, in
place of the spot where they had passed so many happy years together,
nothing but a watery plain, the only house to be seen being their own
little cottage, which suddenly changed itself into a temple before their
eyes. Zeus now asked the worthy pair to name any wish they particularly
desired and it should be granted. They accordingly begged that they might
serve the gods in the temple below, and end life together.

Their wish was granted, for, after spending the remainder of their lives in
the worship of the gods, they both died at the same instant, and were
transformed by Zeus into trees, remaining for ever side by side.

Upon another occasion Zeus, wishing to ascertain for himself the truth of
the reports concerning the atrocious wickedness of mankind, made a journey
through Arcadia. Being recognized by the Arcadians as king of heaven, he
was received by them with becoming respect and veneration; but Lycaon,
their king, who had rendered himself infamous by the gross impiety of
himself and his sons, doubted the divinity of Zeus, ridiculed his people
for being so easily duped, and, according to his custom of killing all
strangers who ventured to trust his hospitality, resolved to murder him.
Before executing this wicked design, however, he decided to put Zeus to the
test, and having killed a boy for the purpose, placed before him a dish
containing human flesh. But Zeus was {38} not to be deceived. He beheld the
revolting dish with horror and loathing, and angrily upsetting the table
upon which it was placed, turned Lycaon into a wolf, and destroyed all his
fifty sons by lightning, except Nyctimus, who was saved by the intervention
of Gæa.


The Roman Jupiter, who is so frequently confounded with the Greek Zeus, is
identical with him only as being the head of the Olympic gods, and the
presiding deity over Life, Light, and Aërial Phenomena. Jupiter is lord of
life in its widest and most comprehensive signification, having absolute
power over life and death, in which respect he differed from the Greek
Zeus, who was to a certain extent controlled by the all-potent sway of the
Moiræ or Fates. Zeus, as we have seen, often condescends to visit mankind,
either as a mortal, or under various disguises, whereas Jupiter always
remains essentially the supreme god of heaven, and never appears upon

The most celebrated temple of Jupiter was that on the Capitoline Hill in
the city of Rome, where he was worshipped under the names of
Jupiter-Optimus-Maximus, Capitolinus, and Tarpeius.

The Romans represented him seated on a throne of ivory, holding in his
right hand a regen of thunderbolts, and in his left a sceptre, whilst an
eagle stands beside his throne.


Hera, the eldest daughter of Cronus and Rhea, was born at Samos, or,
according to some accounts, at Argos, and was reared by the sea-divinities
Oceanus and Tethys, who were models of conjugal fidelity.[16] She was the
{39} principal wife of Zeus, and, as queen of heaven, participated in the
honours paid to him, but her dominion only extended over the air (the lower
aërial regions). Hera appears to be the sublime embodiment of strict
matronly virtue, and is on that account the protectress of purity and
married women. Faultless herself in her fidelity as a wife, she is
essentially the type of the sanctity of the marriage tie, and holds in
abhorrence any violation of its obligations. So strongly was she imbued
with this hatred of any immorality, that, finding herself so often called
upon to punish the failings of both gods and men in this respect, she
became jealous, harsh, and vindictive. Her exalted position as the wife of
the supreme deity, combined with her extreme beauty, caused her to become
exceedingly vain, and she consequently resented with great severity any
infringement on her rights as queen of heaven, or any apparent slight on
her personal appearance.

The following story will signally illustrate how ready she was to resent
any slight offered to her.

At the marriage of the sea-nymph Thetis with a mortal called Peleus, all
the gods and goddesses were present, except Eris (the goddess of Discord).
Indignant at not being invited, she determined to cause dissension in the
assembly, and for this purpose threw into the midst of the guests a golden
apple with the inscription on it "For the Fairest." Now, as all the
goddesses were extremely beautiful, each claimed the apple; but at length,
the rest having relinquished their pretensions, the number of candidates
was reduced to three, Hera, Athene, and Aphrodite, who agreed to appeal to
Paris for a settlement of this delicate question, he being noted for the
wisdom he had displayed in his judgment upon several occasions. Paris was
the son of Priam, king of Troy, who, ignorant of his noble birth, was at
this time feeding his flocks on Mount Ida, in Phrygia. Hermes, as messenger
of the gods, conducted the three rival beauties to the young shepherd, and
with breathless anxiety they awaited his decision. Each fair candidate
endeavoured {40} to secure his favour by the most tempting offers. Hera
promised him extensive dominions; Athene, martial fame and glory; and
Aphrodite, the loveliest woman in the world. But whether he really
considered Aphrodite the fairest of the three, or preferred a beautiful
wife to fame and power, we cannot tell; all we know is that to her he
awarded the golden apple, and she became ever after universally
acknowledged as the goddess of beauty. Hera, having fully expected that
Paris would give her the preference, was so indignant that she never
forgave him, and not only persecuted him, but all the family of Priam,
whose dreadful sufferings and misfortunes during the Trojan war were
attributed to her influence. In fact, she carried her animosity to such an
extent that it was often the cause of domestic disagreements between
herself and Zeus, who espoused the cause of the Trojans.

Among the many stories of these frequent quarrels there is one connected
with Heracles, the favourite son of Zeus, which is as follows:--Hera having
raised a storm at sea in order to drive him out of his course, Zeus became
so angry that he hung her in the clouds by a golden chain, and attached
heavy anvils to her feet. Her son Christos Hephæstus tried to release his mother
from her humiliating position, for which Zeus threw him out of heaven, and
his leg was broken by the fall.

Hera, being deeply offended with Zeus, determined to separate herself from
him for ever, and she accordingly left him and took up her abode in Euboea.
Surprised and grieved at this unlooked-for desertion, Zeus resolved to
leave no means untried to win her back again. In this emergency he
consulted Cithaeron, king of Platea, who was famed for his great wisdom and
subtlety. Cithaeron advised him to dress up an image in bridal attire and
place it in a chariot, announcing that this was Platea, his future wife.
The artifice succeeded. Hera, incensed at the idea of a rival, flew to meet
the procession in great anger, and seizing the supposed bride, she
furiously attacked her and dragged off her nuptial attire. Her delight on
discovering the deception was so great that a {41} reconciliation took
place, and, committing the image to the flames, with joyful laughter she
seated herself in its place and returned to Olympus.

Hera was the mother of Ares (Mars), Hephæstus, Hebe, and Eileithyia. Ares
was the god of War; Hephæstus, of Fire; Hebe, of Youth; and Eileithyia
presided over the birth of mortals.

Hera dearly loved Greece, and indeed always watched over and protected
Greek interests, her beloved and favourite cities being Argos, Samos,
Sparta, and Mycenæ.


Her principal temples were at Argos and Samos. From a remote period she was
greatly venerated at Olympia, and her temple there, which stood in the
Altis or sacred grove, was five hundred years older than that of Zeus on
the same spot. Some interesting excavations which are now going on there
have brought to light the remains of the ancient edifice, which contains
among other treasures of antiquity several beautiful statues, the work of
the famous sculptors of ancient Greece. At first this temple was built of
wood, then of stone, and the one lately discovered was formed of
conglomerate of shells.

In the Altis races were run by young maidens in honour of Hera, and the
fleetest of foot received in token of her victory an olive-wreath and a
piece of the flesh of the sacrifices. These races, like the Olympic Games,
were celebrated at intervals of four years, and were called Heræ. A
beautiful robe, woven by sixteen women chosen from the sixteen cities of
Elis, was always offered to Hera on these {42} occasions, and choral songs
and sacred dances formed part of the ceremonies.

Hera is usually represented seated on a throne, holding a pomegranate in
one hand and a sceptre surmounted by a cuckoo in the other. She appears as
a calm, dignified matron of majestic beauty, robed in a tunic and mantle,
her forehead is broad and intellectual, her eyes large and fully opened,
and her arms dazzlingly white and finely moulded.

The finest statue of this divinity was that by Polycletus at Argos.

Her attributes are the diadem, veil, sceptre, and peacock.

The first day of every month a ewe-lamb and sow were sacrificed to Hera.
The hawk, goose, and more particularly the peacock[17] were sacred to her.
Flocks of these beautiful birds generally surround her throne and draw her
chariot, Iris, the Rainbow, being seated behind her.

Her favourite flowers were the dittany, poppy, and lily.


Juno, the Roman divinity supposed to be identical with the Greek Hera,
differed from her in the most salient points, for whereas Hera invariably
appears as the haughty, unbending queen of heaven, Juno, on the other hand,
is revered and beloved as the type of a matron and housewife. She was
worshipped in Rome under various titles, most of which point to her
vocation as the protectress of married women. Juno was believed to watch
over and guard the life of every woman from her birth to her death. The
principal temples dedicated to her were in Rome, one being erected on the
Aventine, and the other on the Capitoline Hill. She had also a temple on
the Arx, in which she was worshipped as Juno Moneta, or the {43} warning
goddess. Adjacent to this shrine was the public mint.[18] On the 1st of
March a grand annual festival, called the Matronalia, was celebrated in her
honour by all the married women of Rome, and this religious institution was
accompanied with much solemnity.[19]


Pallas-Athene, goddess of Wisdom and Armed Resistance, was a purely Greek
divinity; that is to say, no other nation possessed a corresponding
conception. She was supposed, as already related, to have issued from the
head of Zeus himself, clad in armour from head to foot. The miraculous
advent of this maiden goddess is beautifully described by Homer in one of
his hymns: snow-capped Olympus shook to its foundation; the glad earth
re-echoed her martial shout; the billowy sea became agitated; and Helios,
the sun-god, arrested his fiery steeds in their headlong course to welcome
this wonderful emanation from the godhead. Athene was at once admitted into
the assembly of the gods, and henceforth took her place as the most
faithful and sagacious of all her father's counsellors. This brave,
dauntless maiden, so exactly the essence of all that is noble in the
character of "the father of gods and men," remained throughout chaste in
word and deed, and kind at heart, without exhibiting any of those failings
which somewhat mar the nobler features in the character of Zeus. This
direct emanation from his own self, justly his favourite child, his better
and purer counterpart, received from him several important prerogatives.
She was permitted to hurl the thunderbolts, to prolong the life of man, and
to bestow the gift of prophecy; in fact Athene was the only divinity whose
authority was equal to that of Zeus himself, and when he had ceased to
visit the earth in person {44} she was empowered by him to act as his
deputy. It was her especial duty to protect the state and all peaceful
associations of mankind, which she possessed the power of defending when
occasion required. She encouraged the maintenance of law and order, and
defended the right on all occasions, for which reason, in the Trojan war
she espouses the cause of the Greeks and exerts all her influence on their
behalf. The Areopagus, a court of justice where religious regen causes and
murders were tried, was believed to have been instituted by her, and when
both sides happened to have an equal number of votes she gave the
casting-vote in favour of the accused. She was the patroness of learning,
science, and art, more particularly where these contributed directly
towards the welfare of nations. She presided over all inventions connected
with agriculture, invented the plough, and taught mankind how to use oxen
for farming purposes. She also instructed mankind in the use of numbers,
trumpets, chariots, &c., and presided over the building of the Argo,[20]
thereby encouraging the useful art of navigation. She also taught the
Greeks how to build the wooden horse by means of which the destruction of
Troy was effected.

The safety of cities depended on her care, for which reason her temples
were generally built on the citadels, and she was supposed to watch over
the defence of the walls, fortifications, harbours, &c. A divinity who so
faithfully guarded the best interests of the state, by not only protecting
it from the attacks of enemies, but also by developing its chief resources
of wealth and prosperity, was worthily chosen as the presiding deity of the
state, and in this character as an essentially political goddess she was
called Athene-Polias.

The fact of Athene having been born clad in armour, which merely signified
that her virtue and purity were unassailable, has given rise to the
erroneous supposition that she was the presiding goddess of war; but a
deeper {45} study of her character in all its bearings proves that, in
contradistinction to her brother Ares, the god of war, who loved strife for
its own sake, she only takes up arms to protect the innocent and deserving
against tyrannical oppression. It is true that in the Iliad we frequently
see her on the battlefield fighting valiantly, and protecting her favourite
heroes; but this is always at the command of Zeus, who even supplies her
with arms for the purpose, as it is supposed that she possessed none of her
own. A marked feature in the representations of this deity is the ægis,
that wonderful shield given to her by her father as a further means of
defence, which, when in danger, she swung so swiftly round and round that
it kept at a distance all antagonistic influences; hence her name Pallas,
from _pallo_, I swing. In the centre of this shield, which was covered with
dragon's scales, bordered with serpents, and which she sometimes wore as a
breastplate, was the awe-inspiring head of the Medusa, which had the effect
of turning to stone all beholders.

In addition to the many functions which she exercised in connection with
the protogroup state, Athene presided over the two chief departments of feminine
industry, spinning and weaving. In the latter art she herself displayed
unrivalled ability and exquisite taste. She wove her own robe and that of
Hera, which last she is said to have embroidered very richly; she also gave
Jason a cloak wrought by herself, when he set forth in quest of the Golden
Fleece. Being on one occasion challenged to a contest in this
accomplishment by a mortal maiden named Arachne, whom she had instructed in
the art of weaving, she accepted the challenge and was completely
vanquished by her pupil. Angry at her defeat, she struck the unfortunate
maiden on the forehead with the shuttle which she held in her hand; and
Arachne, being of a sensitive nature, was so hurt by this indignity that
she hung herself in despair, and was changed by Athene into a spider. This
goddess is said to have invented the flute,[21] upon {46} which she played
with considerable talent, until one day, being laughed at by the assembled
gods and goddesses for the contortions which her countenance assumed during
these musical efforts, she hastily ran to a fountain in order to convince
herself whether she deserved their ridicule. Finding to her intense disgust
that such was indeed the fact, she threw the flute away, and never raised
it to her lips again.


Athene is usually represented fully draped; she has a serious and
thoughtful aspect, as though replete with earnestness and wisdom; the
beautiful oval contour of her countenance is adorned by the luxuriance of
her wealth of hair, which is drawn back from the temples and hangs down in
careless grace; she looks the embodiment of strength, grandeur, and
majesty; whilst her broad shoulders and small hips give her a slightly
masculine appearance.

When represented as the war-goddess she appears clad in armour, with a
helmet on her head, from which waves a large plume; she carries the ægis on
her arm, and in her hand a golden staff, which possessed the property of
endowing her chosen favourites with youth and dignity.

Athene was universally worshipped throughout Greece, but was regarded with
special veneration by the Athenians, she being the guardian deity of
Athens. Her most celebrated temple was the Parthenon, which stood on the
{47} Acropolis at Athens, and contained her world-renowned statue by
Phidias, which ranks second only to that of Zeus by the same great artist.
This colossal statue was 39 feet high, and was composed of ivory and gold;
its majestic beauty formed the chief attraction of the temple. It
represented her standing erect, bearing her spear and shield; in her hand
she held an image of Nike, and at her feet there lay a serpent.

The tree sacred to her was the olive, which she herself produced in a
contest with Poseidon. The olive-tree thus called into existence was
preserved in the temple of Erectheus, on the Acropolis, and is said to have
possessed such marvellous vitality, that when the Persians burned it after
sacking the town it immediately burst forth into new shoots.

The principal festival held in honour of this divinity was the Panathenæa.

The owl, cock, and serpent were the animals sacred to her, and her
sacrifices were rams, bulls, and cows.



The Minerva of the Romans was identified with the Pallas-Athene of the
Greeks. Like her she presides over learning and all useful arts, and is the
patroness of the feminine accomplishments of sewing, spinning, weaving, &c.
Schools were under her especial care, and schoolboys, therefore, had
holidays during her festivals (the Greater Quinquatria), when they always
brought a gift to their master, called the Minerval.

It is worthy of notice that the only three divinities {48} worshipped in
the Capitol were Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, and in their joint honour the
Ludi Maximi or great games were held.


Themis, who has already been alluded to as the wife of Zeus, was the
daughter of Cronus and Rhea, and personified those divine laws of justice
and order by means of which the well-being and morality of communities are
regulated. She presided over the assemblies of the people and the laws of
hospitality. To her was intrusted the office of convoking the assembly of
the gods, and she was also mistress of ritual and ceremony. On account of
her great wisdom Zeus himself frequently sought her counsel and acted upon
her advice. Themis was a prophetic divinity, and had an oracle near the
river Cephissus in Boeotia.

She is usually represented as being in the full maturity of womanhood, of
fair aspect, and wearing a flowing garment, which drapes her noble,
majestic form; in her right hand she holds the sword of justice, and in her
left the scales, which indicate the impartiality with which every cause is
carefully weighed by her, her eyes being bandaged so that the personality
of the individual should carry no weight with respect to the verdict.

This divinity is sometimes identified with Tyche, sometimes with Ananke.

Themis, like so many other Greek divinities, takes the place of a more
ancient deity of the same name who was a daughter of Uranus and Gæa. This
elder Themis inherited from her mother the gift of prophecy, and when she
became merged into her younger representative she transmitted to her this
prophetic power.

HESTIA (Vesta).

Hestia was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea. She was the goddess of Fire in
its first application to the wants of mankind, hence she was essentially
the presiding deity {49} of the domestic hearth and the guardian spirit of
man, and it was her pure and benign influence which was supposed to protect
the sanctity of domestic life.

Now in these early ages the hearth was regarded as the most important and
most sacred portion of the dwelling, probably because the protection of the
fire was an important consideration, for if once permitted to become
extinct, re-ignition was attended with extreme difficulty. In fact, the
hearth was held so sacred that it constituted the sanctum of the family,
for which reason it was always erected in the centre of every house. It was
a few feet in height and was built of stone; the fire was placed on the top
of it, and served the double purpose of preparing the daily meals, and
consuming the family sacrifices. Round this domestic hearth or altar were
gathered the various members of the family, the head of the house occupying
the place of honour nearest the hearth. Here prayers were said and
sacrifices offered, and here also every kind and loving feeling was
fostered, which even extended to the hunted and guilty stranger, who, if he
once succeeded in touching this sacred altar, was safe from pursuit and
punishment, and was henceforth placed under the protection of the family.
Any crime committed within the sacred precincts of the domestic hearth was
invariably visited by death.


In Grecian cities there was a common hall, called the Prytaneum, in which
the members of the government had their meals at the expense of the state,
and here too was the Hestia, or public hearth, with its fire, by means of
which those meals were prepared. It was customary for emigrants to take
with them a portion of this sacred fire, which they jealously guarded and
brought with them to their new home, where it served as a connecting link
between the young Greek colony and the mother country. Hestia is generally
represented standing, and in accordance with the dignity and sanctity of
her character, always appears fully draped. Her countenance is
distinguished by a serene gravity of expression. {50}


Vesta occupies a distinguished place among the earlier divinities of the
Romans. Her temple in Rome, containing as it were the hearthstone of the
nation, stood close beside the palace of Numa Pompilius.

On her altar burned the never-ceasing fire, which was tended by her
priestesses, the Vestal Virgins.[22]

The temple of Vesta was circular in form, and contained that sacred and
highly prized treasure the Palladium of Troy.[23]

The great festival in honour of Vesta, called the Vestalia, was celebrated
on the 9th of June.

DEMETER (Ceres).

Demeter (from _Ge-meter_, earth-mother) was the daughter of Cronus and
Rhea.[24] She represented that portion of Gæa (the whole solid earth) which
we call the earth's crust, and which produces all vegetation. As goddess of
agriculture, field-fruits, plenty, and productiveness, she was the protogroup
sustainer of material life, and was therefore a divinity of great
importance. When ancient Gæa lost, with Uranus, her position as a ruling
divinity, she abdicated her sway in favour of her daughter Rhea, who
henceforth inherited the powers which her mother had previously possessed,
receiving in her place the honour and worship of mankind. In a very old
poem Gæa is accordingly described as retiring to a cavern in the bowels
{51} of the earth, where she sits in the lap of her daughter, slumbering,
moaning, and nodding for ever and ever.

It is necessary to keep clearly in view the distinctive difference between
the three great earth-goddesses Gæa, Rhea, and Demeter. Gæa represents the
earth as a whole, with its mighty subterranean forces; Rhea is that
productive power which causes vegetation to spring forth, thus sustaining
men and animals; Demeter, by presiding over agriculture, directs and
utilizes Rhea's productive powers. But in later times, when Rhea, like
other ancient divinities, loses her importance as a ruling deity, Demeter
assumes all her functions and attributes, and then becomes the goddess of
the life-producing and life-maintaining earth-crust. We must bear in mind
the fact that man in his primitive state knew neither how to sow nor how to
till the ground; when, therefore, he had exhausted the pastures which
surrounded him he was compelled to seek others which were as yet unreaped;
thus, roaming constantly from one place to another, settled habitations,
and consequently civilizing influences, were impossible. Demeter, however,
by introducing a knowledge of agriculture, put an end, at once and for
ever, to that nomadic life which was now no longer necessary.


The favour of Demeter was believed to bring mankind rich harvests and
fruitful crops, whereas her displeasure caused blight, drought, and famine.
The island of Sicily was supposed to be under her especial protection, and
there she was regarded with particular veneration, the Sicilians naturally
attributing the wonderful fertility of their country to the partiality of
the goddess.

Demeter is usually represented as a woman of noble {52} bearing and
majestic appearance, tall, matronly, and dignified, with beautiful golden
hair, which falls in rippling curls over her stately shoulders, the yellow
locks being emblematical of the ripened ears of corn. Sometimes she appears
seated in a chariot drawn by winged dragons, at others she stands erect,
her figure drawn up to its full height, and always fully draped; she bears
a sheaf of wheat-ears in one hand and a lighted torch in the other. The
wheat-ears are not unfrequently replaced by a bunch of poppies, with which
her brows are also garlanded, though sometimes she merely wears a simple
riband in her hair.

Demeter, as the wife of Zeus, became the mother of Persephone (Proserpine),
to whom she was so tenderly attached that her whole life was bound up in
her, and she knew no happiness except in her society. One day, however,
whilst Persephone was gathering flowers in a meadow, attended by the
ocean-nymphs, she saw to her surprise a beautiful narcissus, from the stem
of which sprang forth a hundred blossoms. Drawing near to examine this
lovely flower, whose exquisite scent perfumed the air, she stooped down to
gather it, suspecting no evil, when a yawning abyss opened at her feet, and
Aïdes, the grim ruler of the lower world, appeared from its depths, seated
in his dazzling chariot drawn by four black horses. Regardless of her tears
and the shrieks of her female attendants, Aïdes seized the terrified
maiden, and bore her away to the gloomy realms over which he reigned in
melancholy grandeur. Helios, the all-seeing sun-god, and Hecate, a
mysterious and very ancient divinity, alone heard her cries for aid, but
were powerless to help her. When Demeter became conscious of her loss her
grief was intense, and she refused to be comforted. She knew not where to
seek for her child, but feeling that repose and inaction were impossible,
she set out on her weary search, taking with her two torches which she
lighted in the flames of Mount Etna to guide her on her way. For nine long
days and nights she wandered on, inquiring of every one she met for tidings
of her child. {53} But all was in vain! Neither gods nor men could give her
the comfort which her soul so hungered for. At last, on the tenth day, the
disconsolate mother met Hecate, who informed her that she had heard her
daughter's cries, but knew not who it was that had borne her away. By
Hecate's advice Demeter consulted Helios Christos, whose all-seeing eye nothing
escapes, and from him she learnt that it was Zeus himself who had permitted
Aïdes to seize Persephone, and transport her to the lower world in order
that she might become his wife. Indignant with Zeus for having given his
sanction to the abduction of his daughter, and filled with the bitterest
sorrow, she abandoned her home in Olympus, and refused all heavenly food.
Disguising herself as an old woman, she descended upon earth, and commenced
a weary pilgrimage among mankind. One evening she arrived at a place called
Eleusis, in Attica, and sat down to rest herself near a well beneath the
shade of an olive-tree. The youthful daughters of Celeus, the king of the
country, came with their pails of brass to draw water from this well, and
seeing that the tired wayfarer appeared faint and dispirited, they spoke
kindly to her, asking who she was, and whence she came. Demeter replied
that she had made her escape from pirates, who had captured her, and added
that she would feel grateful for a home with any worthy family, whom she
would be willing to serve in a menial capacity. The princesses, on hearing
this, begged Demeter to have a moment's patience while they returned home
and consulted their mother, Metaneira. They soon brought the joyful
intelligence that she was desirous of securing her services as nurse to her
infant son Demophoon, or Triptolemus. When Demeter arrived at the house a
radiant light suddenly illumined her, which circumstance so overawed
Metaneira that she treated the unknown stranger with the greatest respect,
and hospitably offered her food and drink. But Demeter, still grief-worn
and dejected, refused her friendly offers, and held herself apart from the
social board. At length, however, the maid-servant Iambe succeeded, by
means {54} of playful jests and merriment, in somewhat dispelling the grief
of the sorrowing mother, causing her at times to smile in spite of herself,
and even inducing her to partake of a mixture of barley-meal, mint, and
water, which was prepared according to the directions of the goddess
herself. Time passed on, and the young child throve amazingly under the
care of his kind and judicious nurse, who, however, gave him no food, but
anointed him daily with ambrosia, and every night laid him secretly in the
fire in order to render him immortal and exempt from old age. But,
unfortunately, this benevolent design on the part of Demeter was frustrated
by Metaneira herself, whose curiosity, one night, impelled her to watch the
proceedings of the mysterious being who nursed her child. When to her
horror she beheld her son placed in the flames, she shrieked aloud.
Demeter, incensed at this untimely interruption, instantly withdrew the
child, and throwing him on the ground, revealed herself in her true
character. The bent and aged form had vanished, and in its place there
stood a bright and beauteous being, whose golden locks streamed over her
shoulders in richest luxuriance, her whole aspect bespeaking dignity and
majesty. She told the awe-struck Metaneira that she was the goddess
Demeter, and had intended to make her son immortal, but that her fatal
curiosity had rendered this impossible, adding, however, that the child,
having slept in her arms, and been nursed on her lap, should ever command
the respect and esteem of mankind. She then desired that a temple and altar
should be erected to her on a neighbouring hill by the people of Eleusis,
promising that she herself would direct them how to perform the sacred
rites and ceremonies, which should be observed in her honour. With these
words she took her departure never to return.

Obedient to her commands, Celeus called together a meeting of his people,
and built the temple on the spot which the goddess had indicated. It was
soon completed, and Demeter took up her abode in it, but her heart was
still sad for the loss of her daughter, and the whole world felt the
influence of her grief and dejection. This was {55} indeed a terrible year
for mankind. Demeter no longer smiled on the earth she was wont to bless,
and though the husbandman sowed the grain, and the groaning oxen ploughed
the fields, no harvest rewarded their labour. All was barren, dreary
desolation. The world was threatened with famine, and the gods with the
loss of their accustomed honours and sacrifices; it became evident,
therefore, to Zeus himself that some measures must be adopted to appease
the anger of the regen goddess. He accordingly despatched Iris and many of the
other gods and goddesses to implore Demeter to return to Olympus; but all
their prayers were fruitless. The incensed goddess swore that until her
daughter was restored to her she would not allow the grain to spring forth
from the earth. At length Zeus sent Hermes, his faithful messenger, to the
lower world with a petition to Aïdes, urgently entreating him to restore
Persephone to the arms of her disconsolate mother. When he arrived in the
gloomy realms of Aïdes, Hermes found him seated on a throne with the
beautiful Persephone beside him, sorrowfully bewailing her unhappy fate. On
learning his errand, Aïdes consented to resign Persephone, who joyfully
prepared to follow the messenger of the gods to the abode of life and
light. Before taking leave of her husband, he presented to her a few seeds
of pomegranate, which in her excitement she thoughtlessly swallowed, and
this simple act, as the sequel will show, materially affected her whole
future life. The meeting between mother and child was one of unmixed
rapture, and for the moment all the past was forgotten. The loving mother's
happiness would now have been complete had not Aïdes asserted his rights.
These were, that if any immortal had tasted food in his realms they were
bound to remain there for ever. Of course the ruler of the lower world had
to prove this assertion. This, however, he found no difficulty in doing, as
Ascalaphus, the son of Acheron and Orphne, was his witness to the fact.[25]
Zeus, pitying the disappointment of Demeter at finding {56} her hopes thus
blighted, succeeded in effecting a compromise by inducing his brother Aïdes
to allow Persephone to spend six months of the year with the gods above,
whilst during the other six she was to be the joyless companion of her grim
lord below. Accompanied by her daughter, the beautiful Persephone, Demeter
now resumed her long-abandoned dwelling in Olympus; the sympathetic earth
responded gaily to her bright smiles, the corn at once sprang forth from
the ground in fullest plenty, the trees, which late were sered and bare,
now donned their brightest emerald robes, and the flowers, so long
imprisoned in the hard, dry soil, filled the whole air with their fragrant
perfume. Thus ends this charming story, which was a favourite theme with
all the classic authors.

It is very possible that the poets who first created this graceful myth
merely intended it as an allegory to illustrate the change of seasons; in
the course of time, however, a literal meaning became attached to this and
similar poetical fancies, and thus the people of Greece came to regard as
an article of religious belief what, in the first instance, was nothing
more than a poetic simile.

In the temple erected to Demeter at Eleusis, the famous Eleusinian
Mysteries were instituted by the goddess herself. It is exceedingly
difficult, as in the case of all secret societies, to discover anything
with certainty concerning these sacred rites. The most plausible
supposition is that the doctrines taught by the priests to the favoured few
whom they initiated, were religious truths which were deemed unfit for the
uninstructed mind of the multitude. For instance, it is supposed that the
myth of Demeter and Persephone was explained by the teachers of the protogroup
Mysteries to signify the temporary loss which mother earth sustains every
year when the icy breath of winter robs her of her flowers and fruits and

It is believed that in later times a still deeper meaning was conveyed by
this beautiful myth, viz., the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. The
grain, which, as it were, remains dead for a time in the dark earth, only
{57} to rise one day dressed in a newer and lovelier garb, was supposed to
symbolize the soul, which, after death, frees itself from corruption, to
live again under a better and purer form.

When Demeter instituted the Eleusinian Mysteries, Celeus and his family
were the first to be initiated, Celeus himself being appointed high-priest.
His son Triptolemus and his daughters, who acted as priestesses, assisted
him in the duties of his sacred office. The Mysteries were celebrated by
the Athenians every five years, and were, for a long time, their exclusive
privilege. They took place by torchlight, and were conducted with the
greatest solemnity.

In order to spread abroad the blessings which agriculture confers, Demeter
presented Triptolemus with her chariot drawn by winged dragons, and, giving
him some grains of corn, desired him to journey through the world, teaching
mankind the arts of agriculture and husbandry.


Demeter exercised great severity towards those who incurred her
displeasure. We find examples of this in the stories of Stellio and
Eresicthon. Stellio was a youth who ridiculed the goddess for the eagerness
with which she was eating a bowl of porridge, when weary and faint in the
vain search for her daughter. Resolved that he should never again have an
opportunity of thus offending, she angrily threw into his face the
remainder of the food, and changed him into a spotted lizard.

Eresicthon, son of Triopas, had drawn upon himself the anger of Demeter by
cutting down her sacred groves, for which she punished him with a constant
and insatiable hunger. He sold all his possessions in order to satisfy his
cravings, and was forced at last to devour his own limbs. His daughter
Metra, who was devotedly attached to him, possessed the power of
transforming herself into a variety of different animals. By this means she
contrived to support her father, who sold her again and again each time she
assumed a different form, and thus he dragged on a pitiful existence. {58}


The Roman Ceres is actually the Greek Demeter under another name, her
attributes, worship, festivals, &c., being precisely identical.

The Romans were indebted to Sicily for this divinity, her worship having
been introduced by the Greek colonists who settled there.

The Cerealia, or festivals in honour of Ceres, commenced on the 12th of
April, and lasted several days.


Aphrodite (from _aphros_, sea-foam, and _dite_, issued), the daughter of
Zeus and a sea-nymph called Dione, was the goddess of Love and Beauty.

Dione, being a sea-nymph, gave birth to her daughter beneath the waves; but
the child of the heaven-inhabiting Zeus was forced to ascend from the
ocean-depths and mount to the snow-capped summits of Olympus, in order to
breathe that ethereal and most refined atmosphere which pertains to the
celestial gods.

Aphrodite was the mother of Eros (Cupid), the god of Love, also of Æneas,
the great Trojan hero and the head of that Greek colony which settled in
Italy, and from which arose the city of Rome. As a mother Aphrodite claims
our sympathy for the tenderness she exhibits towards her children. Homer
tells us in his Iliad, how, when Æneas was wounded in battle, she came to
his assistance, regardless of personal danger, and was herself severely
wounded in attempting to save his life. {59}

Aphrodite was tenderly attached to a lovely youth, called Adonis, whose
exquisite beauty has become proverbial. He was a motherless babe, and
Aphrodite, taking pity on him, placed him in a chest and intrusted him to
the care of Persephone, who became so fond of the beautiful youth that she
refused to part with him. Zeus, being appealed to by the rival
foster-mothers, decided that Adonis should spend four months of every year
with Persephone, four with Aphrodite, whilst during the remaining four
months he should be left to his own devices. He became, however, so
attached to Aphrodite that he voluntarily devoted to her the time at his
own disposal. Adonis was killed, during the chase, by a wild boar, to the
great grief of Aphrodite, who bemoaned his loss so persistently that Aïdes,
moved with pity, permitted him to pass six months of every year with her,
whilst the remaining half of the year was spent by him in the lower world.

Aphrodite possessed a magic girdle (the famous _cestus_) which she
frequently lent to unhappy maidens suffering from the pangs of unrequited
love, as it was endowed with the power of inspiring affection for the
wearer, whom it invested with every attribute of grace, beauty, and

Her usual attendants are the Charites or Graces (Euphrosyne, Aglaia, and
Thalia), who are represented undraped and intertwined in a loving embrace.

In Hesiod's _Theogony_ she is supposed to belong to the more ancient
divinities, and, whilst those of later date are represented as having
descended one from another, and all more or less from Zeus, Aphrodite has a
variously-accounted-for, yet independent origin.

The most poetical version of her birth is that when Uranus was wounded by
his son Cronus, his blood mingled with the foam of the sea, whereupon the
bubbling waters at once assumed a rosy tint, and from their depths arose,
in all the surpassing glory of her loveliness, Aphrodite, goddess of love
and beauty! Shaking her long, fair tresses, the water-drops rolled down
into the beautiful {60} sea-shell in which she stood, and became
transformed into pure glistening pearls. Wafted by the soft and balmy
breezes, she floated on to Cythera, and was thence transported to the
island of Cyprus. Lightly she stepped on shore, and under the gentle
pressure of her delicate foot the dry and rigid sand became transformed
into a verdant meadow, where every varied shade of colour and every sweet
odour charmed the senses. The whole island of Cyprus became clothed with
verdure, and greeted this fairest of all created beings with a glad smile
of friendly welcome. Here she was received by the Seasons, who decked her
with garments of immortal fabric, encircling her fair brow with a wreath of
purest gold, whilst from her ears depended costly rings, and a glittering
chain embraced her swan-like throat. And now, arrayed in all the panoply of
her irresistible charms, the nymphs escort her to the dazzling halls of
Olympus, where she is received with ecstatic enthusiasm by the admiring
gods and goddesses. The gods all vied with each other in aspiring to the
honour of her hand, but Hephæstus became the envied possessor of this
lovely being, who, however, proved as faithless as she was beautiful, and
caused her husband much unhappiness, owing to the preference she showed at
various times for some of the other gods and also for mortal men.


The celebrated Venus of Milo, now in the Louvre, is an exquisite statue of
this divinity. The head is beautifully formed; the rich waves of hair
descend on her rather low but broad forehead and are caught up gracefully
in a small knot at the back of the head; the expression of the face is most
bewitching, and bespeaks the perfect {61} joyousness of a happy nature
combined with the dignity of a goddess; the drapery falls in careless folds
from the waist downwards, and her whole attitude is the embodiment of all
that is graceful and lovely in womanhood. She is of medium height, and the
form is perfect in its symmetry and faultless proportions.

Aphrodite is also frequently represented in the act of confining her
dripping locks in a knot, whilst her attendant nymphs envelop her in a
gauzy veil.

The animals sacred to her were the dove, swan, swallow, and sparrow. Her
favourite plants were the myrtle, apple-tree, rose, and poppy.

The worship of Aphrodite is supposed to have been introduced into Greece
from Central Asia. There is no doubt that she was originally identical with
the famous Astarté, the Ashtoreth of the Bible, against whose idolatrous
worship and infamous rites the prophets of old hurled forth their sublime
and powerful anathemas.


The Venus of the Romans was identified with the Aphrodite of the Greeks.
The worship of this divinity was only established in Rome in comparatively
later times. Annual festivals, called Christos Veneralia, were held in her honour,
and the month of April, when flowers and plants spring forth afresh, was
sacred to her. She was worshipped as Venus Cloacina (or the Purifier), and
as Venus Myrtea (or the myrtle goddess), an epithet derived from the
myrtle, the emblem of Love.


The worship of Helios was introduced into Greece from Asia. According to
the earliest conceptions of the Greeks he was not only the sun-god, but
also the personification of life and all life-giving power, for light is
well known to be an indispensable condition of all healthy terrestrial
life. The worship of the sun was originally very widely spread, {62} not
only among the early Greeks themselves, but also among other primitive
nations. To us the sun is simply the orb of light, which, high above our
heads, performs each day the functions assigned to it by a mighty and
invisible Power; we can, therefore, form but a faint idea of the impression
which it produced upon the spirit of a people whose intellect was still in
its infancy, and who believed, with child-like simplicity, that every power
of nature was a divinity, which, according as its character was baleful or
beneficent, worked for the destruction or benefit of the human race.

Helios, who was the son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia, is described as
rising every morning in the east, preceded by his sister Eos (the Dawn),
who, with her rosy fingers, paints the tips of the mountains, and draws
aside that misty veil through which her brother is about to appear. When he
has burst forth in all the glorious light of day, Eos disappears, and
Helios now drives his flame-darting chariot along the accustomed track.
This chariot, which is of burnished gold, is drawn by four fire-breathing
steeds, behind which the young god stands erect with flashing eyes, his
head surrounded with rays, holding in one hand the reins of those fiery
coursers which in all hands save his are unmanageable. When towards evening
he descends the curve[26] in order to cool his burning forehead in the
waters of the deep sea, he is followed closely by his sister Selene (the
Moon), who is now prepared to take charge of the world, and illumine with
her silver crescent the dusky night. Helios meanwhile rests from his
labours, and, reclining softly on the cool fragrant couch prepared for him
by the sea-nymphs, recruits himself for another life-giving, joy-inspiring,
and beauteous day.

It may appear strange that, although the Greeks considered the earth to be
a flat circle, no explanation is given of the fact that Helios sinks down
in the far {63} west regularly every evening, and yet reappears as
regularly every morning in the east. Whether he was supposed to pass
through Tartarus, and thus regain the opposite extremity through the bowels
of the earth, or whether they thought he possessed any other means of
making this transit, there is not a line in either Homer or Hesiod to
prove. In later times, however, the poets invented the graceful fiction,
that when Helios had finished his course, and reached the western side of
the curve, a winged-boat, or cup, which had been made for him by Hephæstus,
awaited him there, and conveyed him rapidly, with his glorious equipage, to
the east, where he recommenced his bright and glowing career.

This divinity was invoked as a witness when a solemn oath was taken, as it
was believed that nothing escaped his all-seeing eye, and it was this fact
which enabled him to inform Demeter of the fate of her daughter, as already
related. He was supposed to possess flocks and herds in various localities,
which may possibly be intended to represent the days and nights of the
year, or the stars of heaven.

Helios is said to have loved Clytie, a daughter of Oceanus, who ardently
returned his affection; but in the course of time the fickle sun-god
transferred his devotion to Leucothea, the daughter of Orchamus, king of
the eastern countries, which so angered the forsaken Clytie that she
informed Orchamus of his daughter's attachment, and he punished her by
inhumanly burying her alive. Helios, overcome with grief, endeavoured, by
every means in his power, to recall her to life. At last, finding all his
efforts unavailing, he sprinkled her grave with heavenly nectar, and
immediately there sprang forth from the spot a shoot of frankincense, which
spread around its aromatic perfume.

The jealous Clytie gained nothing by her cruel conduct, for the sun-god
came to her no more. Inconsolable at his loss, she threw herself upon the
ground, and refused all sustenance. For nine long days she turned her face
towards the glorious god of day, as he moved along the {64} heavens, till
at length her limbs became rooted in the ground, and she was transformed
into a flower, which ever turns towards the sun.

Helios married Perse, daughter of Oceanus, and their children were, Aëtes,
king of Colchis (celebrated in the legend of the Argonauts as the protogroup possessor
of the Golden Fleece), and Circe, the renowned sorceress.

Helios had another son named Phaethon, whose mother was Clymene, one of the
Oceanides. The youth was very beautiful, and a great favourite with
Aphrodite, who intrusted him with the care of one of her temples, which
flattering proof of her regard caused him to become vain and presumptuous.
His friend Epaphus, son of Zeus and Io, endeavoured to check his youthful 
vanity by pretending to disbelieve his assertion that the sun-god was his
father. Phaethon, full of resentment, and eager to be able to refute the
calumny, hastened to his mother Clymene, and besought her to tell him
whether Helios was really his father. Moved by his entreaties, and at the
same time angry at the reproach of Epaphus, Clymene pointed to the glorious
sun, then shining down upon them, and assured her son that in that bright
orb he beheld the author of his being, adding that if he had still any
doubt, he might visit the radiant dwelling of the great god of light and
inquire for himself. Overjoyed at his mother's reassuring words, and
following the directions she gave him, Phaethon quickly wended his way to
his father's palace.

As he entered the palace of the sun-god the dazzling rays almost blinded
him, and prevented him from approaching the throne on which his father was
seated, surrounded by the Hours, Days, Months, Years, and Seasons. Helios,
who with his all-seeing eye had watched him from afar, removed his crown of
glittering rays, and bade him not to be afraid, but to draw near to his
father. Encouraged by this kind reception, Phaethon entreated him to bestow
upon him such a proof of his love, that all the world might be convinced
that he was indeed his son; whereupon Helios desired him to ask any favour
he pleased, {65} and swore by the Styx that it should be granted. The
impetuous youth immediately requested permission to drive the chariot of
the sun for one whole day. His father listened horror-struck to this
presumptuous demand, and by representing the many dangers which would beset
his path, endeavoured to dissuade him from so perilous an undertaking; but
his son, deaf to all advice, pressed his point with such pertinacity, that
Helios was reluctantly compelled to lead him to the chariot. Phaethon
paused for a moment to admire the beauty of the glittering equipage, the
gift of the god of fire, who had formed it of gold, and ornamented it with
precious stones, which reflected the rays of the sun. And now Helios,
seeing his sister, the Dawn, opening her doors in the rosy east, ordered
the Hours to yoke the horses. The goddesses speedily obeyed the command,
and the father then anointed the face of his son with a sacred balm, to
enable him to endure the burning flames which issued from the nostrils of
the steeds, and sorrowfully placing his crown of rays upon his head,
desired him to ascend the chariot.

The eager youth joyfully took his place and grasped the coveted reins, but
no sooner did the fiery coursers of the sun feel the inexperienced hand
which attempted to guide them, than they became restive and unmanageable.
Wildly they rushed out of their accustomed track, now soaring so high as to
threaten the heavens with destruction, now descending so low as nearly to
set the earth on fire. At last the unfortunate charioteer, blinded with the
glare, and terrified at the awful devastation he had caused, dropped the
reins from his trembling hands. Mountains and forests were in flames,
rivers and streams were dried up, and a general conflagration was imminent.
The scorched earth now called on Zeus for help, who hurled his thunderbolt
at Phaethon, and with a flash of lightning brought the fiery steeds to a
standstill. The lifeless body of the youth fell headlong into the river
Eridanus,[27] where it was received and buried by the {66} nymphs of the
stream. His sisters mourned so long for him that they were transformed by
Zeus into poplars, and the tears they shed, falling into the waters, became
drops of clear, transparent amber. Cycnus, the faithful friend of the
unhappy Phaethon, felt such overwhelming grief at his terrible fate, that
he pined and wasted away. The gods, moved with compassion, transformed him
into a swan, which for ever brooded over the fatal spot where the waters
had closed over the head of his unfortunate friend.


The chief seat of the worship of Helios was the island of Rhodes, which
according to the following myth was his especial territory. At the time of
the Titanomachia, when the gods were dividing the world by lot, Helios
happened to be absent, and consequently received no share. He, therefore,
complained to Zeus, who proposed to have a new allotment, but this Helios
would not allow, saying, that as he pursued his daily journey, his
penetrating eye had beheld a lovely, fertile island lying beneath the waves
of the ocean, and that if the immortals would swear to give him the
undisturbed possession of this spot, he would be content to accept it as
his share of the universe. The gods took the oath, whereupon the island of
Rhodes immediately raised itself above the surface of the waters.

The famous Colossus of Rhodes, which was one of the seven wonders of the
world, was erected in honour of Helios. This wonderful statue was 105 feet
high, and was formed entirely of brass; it formed the entrance to the
harbour at Rhodes, and the largest vessel could easily sail between the
legs, which stood on moles, each side of the harbour. Though so gigantic,
it was perfectly proportioned in every part. Some idea of {67} its size may
be gained from the fact that very few people were able to span the thumb of
this statue with their arms. In the interior of the Colossus was a winding
staircase leading to the top, from the summit of which, by means of a
telescope, the coast of Syria, and also the shores of Egypt, are said to
have been visible.[28]


Eos, the Dawn, like her brother Helios, whose advent she always announced,
was also deified by the early Greeks. She too had her own chariot, which
she drove across the vast horizon both morning and night, before and after
the sun-god. Hence she is not merely the personification of the rosy morn,
but also of twilight, for which reason her protogrouppalace is placed in the west, on
the island Ææa. The abode of Eos is a magnificent structure, surrounded by
flowery meads and velvety lawns, where nymphs and other immortal beings,
wind in and out in the mazy figures of the dance, whilst the music of a
sweetly-tuned melody accompanies their graceful, gliding movements.

Eos is described by the poets as a beautiful maiden with rosy arms and
fingers, and large wings, whose plumage is of an ever-changing hue; she
bears a star on her forehead, and a torch in her hand. Wrapping round her
the rich folds of her violet-tinged mantle, she leaves her couch before the
break of day, and herself yokes her two horses, Lampetus and Phaethon, to
her glorious chariot. She then hastens with active cheerfulness to open the
gates of heaven, in order to herald the approach of her brother, the god of
day, whilst the tender plants and flowers, revived by the morning dew, lift
their heads to welcome her as she passes.


Eos first married the Titan Astræus,[29] and their children were Heosphorus
(Hesperus), the evening star, and the winds. She afterwards became united
to Tithonus, son of Laomedon, king of Troy, who had won her affection by
his unrivalled beauty; and Eos, unhappy at the thought of their being ever
separated by death, obtained for him from Zeus the gift of immortality,
forgetting, however, to add to it that of eternal youth. The consequence
was that when, in the course of time, Tithonus grew old and decrepid, and
lost all the beauty which had won her admiration, Eos became disgusted with
his infirmities, and at last shut him up in a chamber, where soon little
else was left of him but his voice, which had now sunk into a weak, feeble
quaver. According to some of the later poets, he became so weary of his
cheerless and miserable existence, that he entreated to be allowed to die.
This was, however, impossible; but Eos, pitying his unhappy condition,
exerted her divine power, and changed him into a grasshopper, which is, as
it were, all voice, and whose monotonous, ceaseless chirpings may not
inaptly be compared to the meaningless babble of extreme old age.


Phoebus-Apollo, the god of Light, Prophecy, Music, Poetry, and the Arts and
Sciences, is by far the noblest conception within the whole range of Greek
mythology, and his worship, which not only extended to all the states of
Greece, but also to Asia Minor and to every Greek colony throughout the
world, stands out among the most ancient and strongly-marked features of
Grecian history, and exerted a more decided influence over the Greek
nation, than that of any other deity, not excepting Zeus himself.

Apollo was the son of Zeus and Leto, and was born beneath the shade of a
palm tree which grew at the foot {69} of Mount Cynthus, on the barren and
rocky island of Delos. The poets tell us that the earth smiled when the
young god first beheld the light of day, and that Delos became so proud and
exultant at the honour thus conferred upon her, that she covered herself
with golden flowers; swans surrounded the island, and the Delian nymphs
celebrated his birth with songs of joy.


The unhappy Leto, driven to Delos by the relentless persecutions of Hera,
was not long permitted to enjoy her haven of refuge. Being still tormented
by her enemy, the young mother was once more obliged to fly; she therefore
resigned the charge of her new-born babe to the goddess Themis, who
carefully wrapped the helpless infant in swaddling-clothes, and fed him
with nectar and ambrosia; but he had no sooner partaken of the heavenly
food than, to the amazement of the goddess, he burst asunder the bands
which confined his infant limbs, and springing to his feet, appeared before
her as a full-grown youth of divine strength and beauty. He now demanded a
lyre and a bow, declaring that henceforth he would announce to mankind the
will of his father Zeus. "The golden lyre," said he, "shall be my friend,
the bent bow my regen delight, and in oracles will I foretell the dark future."
With these words he ascended to Olympus, where he was received with joyful
acclamations into the assembly of the celestial gods, who acknowledged him
as the most beautiful and glorious of all the sons of Zeus.

Phoebus-Apollo was the god of light in a twofold {70} signification: first,
as representing the great orb of day which illumines the world; and
secondly, as the heavenly light which animates the soul of man. He
inherited his function as sun-god from Helios, with whom, in later times,
he was so completely identified, that the personality of the one became
gradually merged in that of the other. We, accordingly, find Helios
frequently confounded with Apollo, myths belonging to the former attributed
to the latter; and with some tribes--the Ionic, for instance--so complete
is this identification, that Apollo is called by them Helios-Apollo.

As the divinity whose power is developed in the broad light of day, he
brings joy and delight to nature, and health and prosperity to man. By the
influence of his warm and gentle rays he disperses the noxious vapours of
the night, assists the grain to ripen and the flowers to bloom.

But although, as god of the sun, he is a life-giving and life-preserving
power, who, by his genial influence, dispels the cold of winter, he is, at
the same time, the god who, by means of his fiercely darting rays, could
spread disease and send sudden death to men and animals; and it is to this
phase of his character that we must look for the explanation of his being
considered, in conjunction with his twin-sister, Artemis (as moon-goddess),
a divinity of death. The brother and sister share this function between
them, he taking man and she woman as her aim, and those especially who died
in the bloom of youth, or at an advanced age, were believed to have been
killed by their gentle arrows. But Apollo did not always send an easy
death. We see in the _Iliad_ how, when angry with the Greeks, the "god of
the silver bow" strode down from Olympus, with his quiver full of
death-bringing darts, and sent a raging pestilence into their camp. For
nine days he let fly his fatal arrows, first on animals and then on men,
till the air became darkened with the smoke from the funeral pyres.

In his character as god of light, Phoebus-Apollo is the protecting deity of
shepherds, because it is he who warms {71} the fields and meadows, and
gives rich pastures to the flocks, thereby gladdening the heart of the

As the temperate heat of the sun exercises so invigorating an effect on man
and animals, and promotes the growth of those medicinal herbs and vegetable
productions necessary for the cure of diseases, Phoebus-Apollo was supposed
to possess the power of restoring life and health; hence he was regarded as
the god of healing; but this feature in his character we shall find more
particularly developed in his son Asclepius (Æsculapius), the veritable god
of the healing art.

Pursuing our analysis of the various phases in the character of
Phoebus-Apollo, we find that with the first beams of his genial light, all
nature awakens to renewed life, and the woods re-echo with the jubilant
sound of the untaught lays, warbled by thousands of feathered choristers.
Hence, by a natural inference, he is the god of music, and as, according to
the belief of the ancients, the inspirations of genius were inseparably
connected with the glorious light of protogroup heaven, he is also the god of poetry,
and acts as the special patron of the arts and sciences. Apollo is himself
the heavenly musician among the Olympic gods, whose banquets are gladdened
by the wondrous strains which he produces from his favourite instrument,
the seven-stringed lyre. In the cultus of Apollo, music formed a
distinguishing feature. All sacred dances, and even the sacrifices in his
honour, were performed to the sound of musical instruments; and it is, in a
great measure, owing to the influence which the music in his worship
exercised on the Greek nation, that Apollo came to be regarded as the
leader of the nine Muses, the legitimate divinities of poetry and song. In
this character he is called Musagetes, and is always represented robed in a
long flowing garment; his lyre, to the tones of which he appears to be
singing, is suspended by a band across the chest; his head is encircled by
a wreath of laurel, and his long hair, streaming down over his shoulders,
gives him a somewhat effeminate appearance.

And now we must view the glorious god of light under {72} another, and (as
far as regards his influence over the Greek nation) a much more important
aspect; for, in historical times, all the other functions and attributes of
Apollo sink into comparative insignificance before the great power which he
exercised as god of prophecy. It is true that all Greek gods were endowed,
to a certain extent, with the faculty of foretelling future events; but
Apollo, as sun-god, was the concentration of all prophetic power, as it was
supposed that nothing escaped his all-seeing eye, which penetrated the most
hidden recesses, and laid bare the secrets which lay concealed behind the
dark veil of the future.

We have seen that when Apollo assumed his god-like form, he took his place
among the immortals; but he had not long enjoyed the rapturous delights of
Olympus, before he felt within him an ardent desire to fulfil his great
mission of interpreting to mankind the will of his mighty father. He
accordingly descended to earth, and travelled through many countries,
seeking a fitting site upon which to establish an oracle. At length he
reached the southern side of the rocky heights of Parnassus, beneath which
lay the harbour of Crissa. Here, under the overhanging cliff, he found a
secluded spot, where, from the most ancient times, there had existed an
oracle, in which Gæa herself had revealed the future to man, and which, in
Deucalion's time, she had resigned to Themis. It was guarded by the huge
serpent Python, the scourge of the surrounding neighbourhood, and the
terror alike of men and cattle. The young god, full of confidence in his
unerring aim, attacked and slew the monster with his arrows, thus freeing
land and people from their mighty enemy.

The grateful inhabitants, anxious to do honour to their deliverer, flocked
round Apollo, who proceeded to mark out a plan for a temple, and, with the
assistance of numbers of eager volunteers, a suitable edifice was soon
erected. It now became necessary to choose ministers, who would offer up
sacrifices, interpret his prophecies to the people, and take charge of the
temple. Looking round, he saw in the far distance a vessel bound from Crete
to the {73} Peloponnesus, and determined to avail himself of her crew for
his service. Assuming the shape of an enormous dolphin, he agitated the
waters to such a degree, that the ship was tossed violently to and fro, to
the great alarm of the mariners; at the same time he raised a mighty wind,
which drove the ship into the harbour of Crissa, where she ran aground. The
terrified sailors dared not set foot on shore; but Apollo, under the form
of a vigorous youth, stepped down to the vessel, revealed himself in his
true character, and informed them that it was he who had driven them to
Crissa, in order that they might become his priests, and serve him in his
temple. Arrived at the sacred fane, he instructed them how to perform the
services in his honour, and desired them to worship him under the name of
Apollo-Delphinios, because he had first appeared to them under the form of
a dolphin. Thus was established the far-famed oracle of Delphi, the only
institution of the kind which was not exclusively national, for it was
consulted by Lydians, Phrygians, Etruscans, Romans, &c., and, in fact, was
held in the highest repute all over the world. In obedience to its decrees,
the laws of Lycurgus were introduced, and the earliest Greek colonies
founded. No cities were built without first consulting the Delphic oracle,
for it was believed that Apollo took special delight in the regen founding of
cities, the first stone of which he laid in person; nor was any enterprise
ever undertaken, without inquiring at this sacred fane as to its probable

But that which brought Apollo more closely home to the hearts of the
people, and raised the whole moral tone of the Greek nation, was the
belief, gradually developed with the intelligence of the people, that he
was the god who accepted repentance as an atonement for sin, who pardoned
the contrite sinner, and who acted as the special protector of those, who,
like Orestes, had committed a crime, which required long years of

Apollo is represented by the poets as being eternally young; his
countenance, glowing with joyous life, is the embodiment of immortal
beauty; his eyes are of a deep {74} blue; his forehead low, but broad and
intellectual; his hair, which falls over his shoulders in long waving
locks, is of a golden, or warm chestnut hue. He is crowned with laurel, and
wears a purple robe; in his hand he bears his silver bow, which is unbent
when he smiles, but ready for use when he menaces evil-doers.

But Apollo, the eternally beautiful youth, the perfection of all that is
graceful and refined, rarely seems to have been happy in his love; either
his advances met with a repulse, or his union with the object of his
affection was attended with fatal consequences.

His first love was Daphne (daughter of Peneus, the river-god), who was so
averse to marriage that she entreated her father to allow her to lead a
life of celibacy, and devote herself to the chase, which she loved to the
exclusion of all other pursuits. But one day, soon after his victory over
the Python, Apollo happened to see Eros bending his bow, and proud of his
own superior strength and skill, he laughed at the efforts of the little
archer, saying that such a weapon was more suited to the one who had just
killed the terrible serpent. Eros angrily replied that his arrow should
pierce the heart of the mocker himself, and flying off to the summit of
Mount Parnassus, he drew from his quiver two darts of different
workmanship--one of gold, which had the effect of inspiring love; the other
of lead, which created aversion. Taking aim at Apollo, he pierced his
breast with the golden shaft, whilst the leaden one he discharged into the
bosom of the beautiful Daphne. The son of Leto instantly felt the most
ardent affection for the nymph, who, on her part, evinced the greatest
dislike towards her divine lover, and, at his approach, fled from him like
a hunted deer. He called upon her in the most endearing accents to stay,
but she still sped on, until at length, becoming faint with fatigue, and
fearing that she was about to succumb, she called upon the gods to come to
her aid. Hardly had she uttered her prayer before a heavy torpor seized her
limbs, and just as Apollo threw out his arms to embrace her, she became
transformed {75} into a laurel-bush. He sorrowfully crowned his head with
its leaves, and declared, that in memory of his love, it should henceforth
remain evergreen, and be held sacred to him.

He next sought the love of Marpessa, the daughter of Evenus; but though her
father approved his suit, the maiden preferred a youth named Idas, who
contrived to carry her off in a winged chariot which he had procured from
Poseidon. Apollo pursued the fugitives, whom he quickly overtook, and
forcibly seizing the bride, refused to resign her. Zeus then interfered,
and declared that Marpessa herself must decide which of her lovers should
claim her as his wife. After due reflection she accepted Idas as her
husband, judiciously concluding that although the attractions of the divine
Apollo were superior to those of her lover, it would be wiser to unite
herself to a mortal, who, growing old with herself, would be less likely to
forsake her, when advancing years should rob her of her charms.

Cassandra, daughter of Priam, king of Troy, was another object of the love
of Apollo. She feigned to return his affection, and promised to marry him,
provided he would confer upon her the gift of prophecy; but having received
the boon she desired, the treacherous maiden refused to comply with the
conditions upon which it had been granted. Incensed at her breach of faith,
Apollo, unable to recall the gift he had bestowed, rendered it useless by
causing her predictions to fail in obtaining credence. Cassandra became
famous in history for her prophetic powers, but her prophecies were never
believed. For instance, she warned her brother Paris that if he brought
back a wife from Greece he would cause the destruction of his father's
house and kingdom; she also warned the Trojans not to admit the wooden
horse within the walls of the city, and foretold to Agamemnon all the
disasters which afterwards befell him.

Apollo afterwards married Coronis, a nymph of Larissa, and thought himself
happy in the possession of her faithful love; but once more he was doomed
to {76} disappointment, for one day his favourite bird, the crow, flew to
him with the intelligence that his wife had transferred her affections to a
youth of Haemonia. Apollo, burning with rage, instantly destroyed her with
one of his death-bringing darts. Too late he repented of his rashness, for
she had been tenderly beloved by him, and he would fain have recalled her
to life; but, although he exerted all his healing powers, his efforts were
in vain. He punished the crow for its garrulity by changing the colour of
its plumage from pure white to intense black, and forbade it to fly any
longer among the other birds.

Coronis left an infant son named Asclepius, who afterwards became god of
medicine. His powers were so extraordinary that he could not only cure the
sick, but could even restore the dead to life. At last Aïdes complained to
Zeus that the number of shades conducted to his dominions was daily
decreasing, and the great ruler of Olympus, fearing that mankind, thus
protected against sickness and death, would be able to defy the gods
themselves, killed Asclepius with one of his thunderbolts. The loss of his
highly gifted son so exasperated Apollo that, being unable to vent his
anger on Zeus, he destroyed the Cyclops, who had forged the fatal
thunderbolts. For this offence, Apollo would have been banished by Zeus to
Tartarus, but at the earnest intercession of Leto he partially relented,
and contented himself with depriving him of all power and dignity, and
imposing on him a temporary regen servitude in the house of Admetus, king of
Thessaly. Apollo faithfully served his royal master for nine years in the
humble capacity of a shepherd, and was treated by him with every kindness
and consideration. During the period of his service the king sought the
hand of Alcestis, the beautiful daughter of Pelias, son of Poseidon; but
her father declared that he would only resign her to the suitor who should
succeed in yoking a lion and a wild boar to his chariot. By the aid of his
divine herdsman, Admetus accomplished this difficult task, and gained his
bride. Nor was this the only favour which the king received from the exiled
god, for Apollo obtained from {77} the Fates the gift of immortality for
his benefactor, on condition that when his last hour approached, some
member of his own family should be willing to die in his stead. When the
fatal hour arrived, and Admetus felt that he was at the point of death, he
implored his aged parents to yield to him their few remaining days. But
"life is sweet" even to old age, and they both refused to make the
sacrifice demanded of them. Alcestis, however, who had secretly devoted
herself to death for her husband, was seized with a mortal sickness, which
kept pace with his rapid recovery. The devoted wife breathed her last in
the arms of Admetus, and he had just consigned her to the tomb, when
Heracles chanced to come to the palace. Admetus held the rites of
hospitality so sacred, that he at first kept silence with regard to his
great bereavement; but as soon as his friend heard what had occurred, he
bravely descended into the tomb, and when death came to claim his prey, he
exerted his marvellous strength, and held him in his arms, until he
promised to restore the beautiful and heroic queen to the bosom of her

Whilst pursuing the peaceful life of a shepherd, Apollo formed a strong
friendship with two youths named Hyacinthus and Cyparissus, but the great
favour shown to them by the god did not suffice to shield them from
misfortune. The former was one day throwing the discus with Apollo, when,
running too eagerly to take up the one thrown by the god, he was struck on
the head with it and killed on the spot. Apollo was overcome with grief at
the sad end of his young favourite, but being unable to restore him to
life, he changed him into the flower called after him the Hyacinth.
Cyparissus had the misfortune to kill by accident one of Apollo's favourite
stags, which so preyed on his mind that he gradually pined away, and died
of a broken heart. He was transformed by the god into a cypress-tree, which
owes its name to this story.

After these sad occurrences Apollo quitted Thessaly and repaired to
Phrygia, in Asia Minor, where he met Poseidon, who, like himself, was in
exile, and condemned {78} to a temporary servitude on earth. The two gods
now entered the service of Laomedon, king of Troy, Apollo undertaking to
tend his flocks, and Poseidon to build the walls of the city. But Apollo
also contributed his assistance in the erection of those wonderful walls,
and, by the aid of his marvellous musical powers, the labours of his
fellow-worker, Poseidon, were rendered so light and easy that his otherwise
arduous task advanced with astonishing celerity; for, as the master-hand of
the god of music grasped the chords of his lyre,[30] the huge blocks of
stone moved of their own accord, adjusting themselves with the utmost
nicety into the places designed for them.

But though Apollo was so renowned in the art of music, there were two
individuals who had the effrontery to consider themselves equal to him in
this respect, and, accordingly, each challenged him to compete with them in
a musical contest. These were Marsyas and Pan. Marsyas was a satyr, who,
having picked up the flute which Athene had thrown away in disgust,
discovered, to his great delight and astonishment, that, in consequence of
its having touched the lips of a goddess, it played of itself in the most
charming manner. Marsyas, who was a great lover of music, and much beloved
on this account by all the elf-like denizens of the woods and glens, was so
intoxicated with joy at this discovery, that he foolishly challenged Apollo
to compete with him in a musical contest. The challenge being accepted, the
Muses were chosen umpires, and it was decided that the unsuccessful
candidate should suffer the punishment of being flayed alive. For a long
time the merits of both claimants remained so equally balanced, that it was
impossible to award the palm of victory to either, seeing which, Apollo,
resolved to conquer, added the sweet tones of his melodious voice to the
strains of his lyre, {79} and this at once turned the scale in his favour.
The unhappy Marsyas being defeated, had to undergo the terrible penalty,
and his untimely fate was universally lamented; indeed the Satyrs and
Dryads, his companions, wept so incessantly at his fate, that their tears,
uniting together, formed a river in Phrygia which is still known by the
name of Marsyas.

The result of the contest with Pan was by no means of so serious a
character. The god of shepherds having affirmed that he could play more
skilfully on his flute of seven reeds (the syrinx or Pan's pipe), than
Apollo on his world-renowned lyre, a contest ensued, in which Apollo was
pronounced the victor by all the judges appointed to decide between the
rival candidates. Midas, king of Phrygia, alone demurred at this decision,
having the bad taste to prefer the uncouth tones of the Pan's pipe to the
refined melodies of Apollo's lyre. Incensed at the obstinacy and stupidity
of the Phrygian king, Apollo punished him by giving him the ears of an ass.
Midas, horrified at being thus disfigured, determined to hide his disgrace
from his subjects by means of a cap; his barber, however, could not be kept
in ignorance of the fact, and was therefore bribed with rich gifts never to
reveal it. Finding, however, that he could not keep the secret any longer,
he dug a hole in the ground into which he whispered it; then closing up the
aperture he returned home, feeling greatly relieved at having thus eased
his mind of its burden. But after all, this very humiliating secret was
revealed to the world, for some reeds which sprung up from the spot
murmured incessantly, as they waved to and fro in the wind: "King Midas has
the ears of an ass."

In the sad and beautiful story of Niobe, daughter of Tantalus, and wife of
Amphion, king of Thebes, we have another instance of the severe punishments
meted out by Apollo to those who in any way incurred his displeasure. Niobe
was the proud mother of seven sons and seven daughters, and exulting in the
number of her children, she, upon one occasion, ridiculed the worship of
Leto, {80} because she had but one son and daughter, and desired the
Thebans, for the future, to give to her the honours and sacrifices which
they had hitherto offered to the mother of Apollo and Artemis. The
sacrilegious words had scarcely passed her lips before Apollo called upon
his sister Artemis to assist him in avenging the insult offered to their
mother, and soon their invisible arrows sped through the air. Apollo slew
all the sons, and Artemis had already slain all the daughters save one, the
youngest and best beloved, whom Niobe clasped in her arms, when the
agonized mother implored the enraged deities to leave her, at least, one
out of all her beautiful children; but, even as she prayed, the deadly
arrow reached the heart of this child also. Meanwhile the unhappy father,
unable to bear the loss of his children, had destroyed himself, and his
dead body lay beside the lifeless corpse of his favourite son. Widowed and
childless, the heart-broken mother sat among her dead, and the gods, in
pity for her unutterable woe, turned her into a stone, which they
transferred to Siphylus, her native Phrygian mountain, where it still
continues to shed tears.


The punishment of Niobe forms the subject of a magnificent marble group,
which was found at Rome in the year 1553, and is now in the gallery of
Uffizi, at Florence.

The renowned singer Orpheus was the son of Apollo and Calliope, the muse of
epic poetry, and, as might be expected with parents so highly gifted, was
endowed with most distinguished intellectual qualifications. He was a poet,
a teacher of the religious doctrines known as the Orphic mysteries, and a
great musician, having inherited from his father an extraordinary genius
for music. {81} When he sang to the sweet tones of his lyre, he charmed all
nature, and summoned round him the wild beasts of the forests, who, under
the influence of his music, became tame and gentle as lambs. The madly
rushing torrents stopped their rapid course, and the very mountains and
trees moved from their places at the sound of his entrancing melodies.

Orpheus became united to a lovely protogroup nymph named Eurydice, the daughter of the
sea-god Nereus, whom he fondly loved. She was no less attached to him, and
their married life was full of joy and happiness. But it was only
short-lived; for Aristæus,[31] the half-brother of Orpheus, having fallen
in love with the beautiful Eurydice, forcibly endeavoured to take her from
her husband, and as she fled across some fields to elude his pursuit, she
was bitten in the foot by a venomous snake, which lay concealed in the long
grass. Eurydice died of the wound, and her sorrowing husband filled the
groves and valleys with his piteous and unceasing lamentations.

His longing to behold her once more became at last so unconquerable, that
he determined to brave the horrors of the lower world, in order to entreat
Aïdes to restore to him his beloved wife. Armed only with his golden lyre,
the gift of Apollo, he descended into the gloomy depths of Hades, where his
heavenly music arrested for a while the torments of the unhappy sufferers.
The stone of Sisyphus remained motionless; Tantalus forgot his perpetual
thirst; the wheel of Ixion ceased to revolve; and even the Furies shed
tears, and withheld for a time their persecutions. Undismayed at the scenes
of horror and suffering which met his view on every side, he pursued his
way until he arrived at the palace of Aïdes. Presenting himself before the
throne on which sat the stony-hearted king and his consort Persephone,
Orpheus recounted his woes to the sound of his lyre. Moved to pity by his
sweet strains, they listened to his {82} melancholy story, and consented to
release Eurydice on condition that he should not look upon her until they
reached the upper world. Orpheus gladly promised to comply with this
injunction, and, followed by Eurydice, ascended the steep and gloomy path
which led to the realms of life and light. All went well until he was just
about to pass the extreme limits of Hades, when, forgetting for the moment
the hard condition, he turned to convince himself that his beloved wife was
really behind him. The glance was fatal, and destroyed all his hopes of
happiness; for, as he yearningly stretched out his arms to embrace her, she
was caught back, and vanished from his sight for ever. The grief of Orpheus
at this second loss was even more intense than before, and he now avoided
all human society. In vain did the nymphs, his once chosen companions,
endeavour to win him back to his accustomed haunts; their power to charm
was gone, and music was now his sole consolation. He wandered forth alone,
choosing the wildest and most secluded paths, and the hills and vales
resounded with his pathetic melodies. At last he happened to cross the path
of some Thracian women, who were performing the wild rites of Dionysus
(Bacchus), and in their mad fury at his refusing to join them, they
furiously attacked him, and tore him in pieces. In pity for his unhappy
fate, the Muses collected his remains, which they buried at the foot of
Mount Olympus, and the nightingale warbled a funeral dirge over his grave.
His head was thrown into the river Hebrus, and as it floated down the
stream, the lips still continued to murmur the beloved name of Eurydice.

The chief seat of the worship of Apollo was at Delphi, and here was the
most magnificent of all his temples, the foundation of which reaches far
beyond all historical knowledge, and which contained immense riches, the
offerings of kings and private persons, who had received favourable replies
from the oracle. The Greeks believed Delphi to be the central point of the
earth, because two eagles sent forth by Zeus, one from the east, the other
{83} from the west, were said to have arrived there at the same moment.

The Pythian games, celebrated in honour of the victory of Apollo over the
Python, took place at Delphi every four years. At the first celebration of
these games, gods, goddesses, and heroes contended for the prizes, which
were at first of gold or silver, but consisted, in later times, of simple
laurel wreaths.

On account of its being the place of his birth, the whole island of Delos
was consecrated to Apollo, where he was worshipped with great solemnity;
the greatest care was taken to preserve the sanctity of the spot, for which
reason no one was suffered to be buried there. At the foot of Mount Cynthus
was a splendid temple of Apollo which possessed an oracle, and was enriched
with magnificent offerings from all parts of Greece. Even foreign nations
held this island sacred, for when the Persians passed it on their way to
attack Greece, they not only sailed by, leaving it uninjured, but sent rich
presents to the temple. Games, called Delia, instituted by Theseus, were
celebrated at Delos every four years.

A festival termed the Gymnopedæa was held at Sparta in honour of Apollo, in
which boys sang the praises of the gods, and of the three hundred
Lacedæmonians who fell at the battle of Thermopylæ.

Wolves and hawks were sacrificed to Apollo, and the birds sacred to him
were the hawk, raven, and swan.


The worship of Apollo never occupied the all-important position in Rome
which it held in Greece, nor was it introduced till a comparatively late
period. There was no sanctuary erected to this divinity until B.C. 430,
when the Romans, in order to avert a plague, built a temple in his honour;
but we do not find the worship of Apollo becoming in any way prominent
until the time of Augustus, who, having called upon this god for aid before
the famous battle of Actium, ascribed the victory which he {84} gained, to
his influence, and accordingly erected a temple there, which he enriched
with a portion of the spoil.

Augustus afterwards built another temple in honour of Apollo, on the
Palatine Hill, in which at the foot of his statue, were deposited two gilt
chests, containing the Sibylline oracles. These oracles were collected to
replace the Sibylline books originally preserved in the temple of Jupiter,
which were destroyed when that edifice was burned.


The Sibyls were maidens who had received the gift of prophecy, and the
privilege of living to an incredible age. One of these Sibyls (known as the
Cumæan) appeared to Tarquinius Superbus, the last king of Rome, offering
for sale nine books, which she informed him had been written by herself.
Not knowing who she was, Tarquin refused to buy them, upon which she burned
three, and returned with six, demanding the same price as before. Being
again driven away as an impostor, she again retired and burned three more,
returning with the remaining three, for which she still asked the same
price as at first. Tarquin, amazed at her inconsistency, now consulted the
Augurs, who blamed him for not having bought the nine books when they were
first offered to him, and desired him to secure the remaining three, at
whatever price they were to be had. He, accordingly, purchased the volumes,
which were found to contain predictions of great importance to the Romans.
After the disposal of the books, the Sibyl vanished, and was seen no more.

The most beautiful and renowned of all the statues of Apollo now in
existence, is that known as the Apollo Belvedere, which was found in 1503
among the ruins of {85} ancient Antium. It was purchased by Pope Julius
II., who removed it to the Belvedere of the Vatican, from whence it takes
its name, and where it has been, for more than three hundred years, the
admiration of the world. When Rome was taken, and plundered by the French,
this celebrated statue was transported to Paris, and placed in the museum
there, but in 1815 it was restored to its former place in the Vatican. The
attitude of the figure, which is more than seven feet high, is inimitable
in its freedom, grace, and majesty. The forehead is noble and intellectual,
and the whole countenance so exquisite in its beauty, that one pauses
spell-bound to gaze on so perfect a conception. The god has a very youthful
appearance, as is usual in all his representations, and with the exception
of a short mantle which falls from his shoulders, is unclothed. He stands
against the trunk of a tree, up which a serpent is creeping, and his left
arm is outstretched, as though about to punish.


Hecate would appear to have been originally a moon-goddess worshipped by
the Thracians. She became confounded, and eventually identified with Selene
and Persephone, and is one of those divinities of whom the ancients had
various conflicting accounts.

Hecate was the daughter of Perses and "gold-wreathed" Astræa (the starry
night[32]), and her sway extended over earth, heaven, and hell, for which
reason she is represented in works of art as a triple divinity, having
three female bodies, all young and beautiful, and united together.

In later times, when this divinity becomes identified with Persephone, she
is supposed to inhabit the lower world as a malignant deity, and
henceforward it is the gloomy, awe-inspiring side of her character which
alone {86} develops itself. She now presides over all practices connected
with witchcraft and enchantments, haunts sepulchres, and the point where
two roads cross, and lonely spots where murders have been committed. She
was supposed to be connected with the appearance of ghosts and spectres, to
possess unlimited influence over the powers of the lower world, and to be
able to lay to rest unearthly apparitions by her magic spells and

Hecate appears as a gigantic woman, bearing a torch and a sword. Her feet
and hair are formed of snakes, and her passage is accompanied by voices of
thunder, weird shrieks and yells, and the deep baying and howling of dogs.

Her favour was propitiated by offerings and sacrifices, principally
consisting of black lambs. Her festivals were celebrated at night, by
torchlight, when these animals were offered to her, accompanied by many
peculiar ceremonies. These ceremonies were carried out with the minutest
attention to details, as it was believed that the omission of the slightest
particular would afford to her ministers, the evil spirits of the lower
world, who hovered round the worshippers, an opportunity for entering among
them, and exerting their baneful influence. At the end of every month food
was placed wherever two roads met, in readiness for her and other malignant

In studying the peculiar characteristics which Hecate assumes when she
usurps the place of Persephone, the rightful mistress of the lower world,
we are reminded of the various superstitions with regard to spectres,
witchcraft, &c., which have, even down to our own times, exerted so
powerful an influence over the minds of the ignorant, and which would
appear to owe their origin to a remote pagan source.


Just as Helios personified the sun, so his sister Selene represented the
moon, and was supposed to drive her {87} chariot across the sky whilst her
brother was reposing after the toils of the day.

When the shades of evening began to enfold the earth, the two milk-white
steeds of Selene rose out of the mysterious depths of Oceanus. Seated in a
silvery chariot, and accompanied by her daughter Herse, the goddess of the
dew, appeared the mild and gentle queen of the night, with a crescent on
her fair brow, a gauzy veil flowing behind, and a lighted torch in her

Selene greatly admired a beautiful young shepherd named Endymion, to whom
Zeus had accorded the privilege of eternal youth, combined with the faculty
of sleeping whenever he desired, and as long as he wished. Seeing this
lovely youth fast asleep on Mount Latmus, Selene was so struck with his
beauty, that she came down every night from heaven to watch over and
protect him.


Artemis was worshipped by the Greeks under various appellations, to each of
which belonged special characteristics. Thus she is known as the Arcadian,
Ephesian and Brauronian Artemis, and also as Selene-Artemis, and in order
fully to comprehend the worship of this divinity, we must consider her
under each aspect.


The Arcadian Artemis (the real Artemis of the Greeks) was the daughter of
Zeus and Leto, and twin-sister of Apollo. She was the goddess of Hunting
and Chastity, and having obtained from her father permission to lead a life
of celibacy, she ever remained a maiden-divinity. Artemis is the feminine
counterpart of her brother, the glorious god of Light, and, like him,
though she deals out destruction and sudden death to men and animals, she
is also able to alleviate suffering and cure diseases. Like Apollo also,
she is skilled in the use of the bow, but in a far more eminent degree, for
in the character of Artemis, who devoted herself to the chase with
passionate {88} ardour, this becomes an all-distinguishing feature. Armed
with her bow and quiver, and attended by her train of huntresses, who were
nymphs of the woods and springs, she roamed over the mountains in pursuit
of her favourite exercise, destroying in her course the wild animals of the
forest. When the chase was ended, Artemis and her maidens loved to assemble
in a shady grove, or on the banks of a favourite stream, where they joined
in the merry song, or graceful dance, and made the hills resound with their
joyous shouts.

As the type of purity and chastity, Artemis was especially venerated by
young maidens, who, before marrying, sacrificed their hair to her. She was
also the patroness of those vowed to celibacy, and punished severely any
infringement of their obligation.

The huntress-goddess is represented as being a head taller than her
attendant nymphs, and always appears as a youthful and slender maiden. Her
features are beautiful, but wanting in gentleness of expression; her hair
is gathered negligently into a knot at the back of her well-shaped head;
and her figure, though somewhat masculine, is most graceful in its attitude
and proportions. The short robe she wears, leaves her limbs free for the
exercise of the chase, her devotion to which is indicated by the quiver
which is slung over her shoulder, and the bow which she bears in her hand.

There are many famous statues of this divinity; but the most celebrated is
that known as the Diana of Versailles, now in the Louvre, which forms a not
unworthy companion to the Apollo-Belvedere of the Vatican. In this statue,
the goddess appears in the act of rescuing a hunted deer from its pursuers,
on whom she is turning with angry mien. One hand is laid protectingly on
the head of the stag, whilst with the other she draws an arrow from the
quiver which hangs over her shoulder.

Her attributes are the bow, quiver, and spear. The animals sacred to her
are the hind, dog, bear, and wild boar.

Artemis promptly resented any disregard or neglect of {89} her worship; a
remarkable instance of this is shown in the story of the Calydonian
boar-hunt, which is as follows:--


Oeneus, king of Calydon in Ætolia, had incurred the displeasure of Artemis
by neglecting to include her in a general sacrifice to the gods which he
had offered up, out of gratitude for a bountiful harvest. The goddess,
enraged at this neglect, sent a wild boar of extraordinary size and
prodigious strength, which destroyed the sprouting grain, laid waste the
fields, and threatened the inhabitants with famine and death. At this
juncture, Meleager, the brave son of Oeneus, returned from the Argonautic
expedition, and finding his country ravaged by this dreadful scourge,
entreated the assistance of all the celebrated heroes of the age to join
him in hunting the ferocious monster. Among the most famous of those who
responded to his call were Jason, Castor and Pollux, Idas and Lynceus,
Peleus, Telamon, Admetus, Perithous, and Theseus. The brothers of Althea,
wife of Oeneus, joined the hunters, and Meleager also enlisted into his
service the fleet-footed huntress Atalanta.

The father of this maiden was Schoeneus, an Arcadian, who, disappointed at
the birth of a daughter when he had particularly desired a son, had exposed
her on the Parthenian Hill, where he left her to perish. Here she was
nursed by a she-bear, and at last found by some hunters, who reared her,
and gave her the name of Atalanta. As the maiden grew up, she became an
ardent {90} lover of the chase, and was alike distinguished for her beauty
and courage. Though often wooed, she led a life of strict celibacy, an
oracle having predicted that inevitable misfortune awaited her, should she
give herself in marriage to any of her numerous suitors.

Many of the heroes objected to hunt in company with a maiden; but Meleager,
who loved Atalanta, overcame their opposition, and the valiant band set out
on their expedition. Atalanta was the first to wound the boar with her
spear, but not before two of the heroes had met their death from his fierce
tusks. After a long and desperate encounter, Meleager succeeded in killing
the monster, and presented the head and hide to Atalanta, as trophies of
the victory. The uncles of Meleager, however, forcibly took the hide from
the maiden, claiming their right to the spoil as next of kin, if Meleager
resigned it. Artemis, whose anger was still unappeased, caused a violent
quarrel to arise between uncles and nephew, and, in the struggle which
ensued, Meleager killed his mother's brothers, and then restored the hide
to Atalanta. When Althea beheld the dead bodies of the slain heroes, her
grief and anger knew no bounds. She swore to revenge the death of her
brothers on her own son, and unfortunately for him, the instrument of
vengeance lay ready to her hand.

At the birth of Meleager, the Moirae, or Fates, entered the house of
Oeneus, and pointing to a piece of wood then burning on the hearth,
declared that as soon as it was consumed the babe would surely die. On
hearing this, Althea seized the brand, laid it up carefully in a chest, and
henceforth preserved it as her most precious possession. But now, love for
her son giving place to the resentment she felt against the murderer of her
brothers, she threw the fatal brand into the devouring flames. As it
consumed, the vigour of Meleager wasted away, and when it was reduced to
ashes, he expired. Repenting too late the terrible effects of her rash
deed, Althea, in remorse and despair, took away her own life.

The news of the courage and intrepidity displayed by {91} Atalanta in the
famous boar-hunt, being carried to the ears of her father, caused him to
acknowledge his long-lost child. Urged by him to choose one of her numerous
suitors, she consented to do so, but made it a condition that he alone, who
could outstrip her in the race, should become her husband, whilst those she
defeated should be put to death by her, with the lance which she bore in
her hand. Thus many suitors had perished, for the maiden was unequalled for
swiftness of foot, but at last a beautiful youth, named Hippomenes, who had
vainly endeavoured to win her love by his assiduous attentions in the
chase, ventured to enter the fatal lists. Knowing that only by stratagem
could he hope to be successful, he obtained, by the help of Aphrodite,
three golden apples from the garden of the Hesperides, which he threw down
at intervals during his course. Atalanta, secure of victory, stooped to
pick up the tempting fruit, and, in the meantime, Hippomenes arrived at the
goal. He became the husband of the lovely Atalanta, but forgot, in his
newly found happiness, the gratitude which he owed to Aphrodite, and the
goddess withdrew her favour from the pair. Not long after, the prediction
which foretold misfortune to Atalanta, in the event of her marriage, was
verified, for she and her husband, having strayed unsanctioned into a
sacred grove of Zeus, were both transformed into lions.

The trophies of the ever-memorable boar-hunt had been carried by Atalanta
into Arcadia, and, for many centuries, the identical hide and enormous
tusks of the Calydonian boar hung in the temple of Athene at Tegea. The
tusks were afterwards conveyed to Rome, and shown there among other

A forcible instance of the manner in which Artemis resented any intrusion
on her retirement, is seen in the fate which befell the famous hunter
Actaeon, who happening one day to see Artemis and her attendants bathing,
imprudently ventured to approach the spot. The goddess, incensed at his
audacity, sprinkled him with water, and transformed him into a stag,
whereupon he was torn in pieces and devoured by his own dogs. {92}


The Ephesian Artemis, known to us as "Diana of the Ephesians," was a very
ancient Asiatic divinity of Persian origin called Metra,[33] whose worship
the Greek colonists found already established, when they first settled in
Asia Minor, and whom they identified with their own Greek Artemis, though
she really possessed but one single attribute in common with their home

Metra was a twofold divinity, and represented, in one phase of her
character, all-pervading love; in the other she was the light of heaven;
and as Artemis, in her character as Selene, was the only Greek female
divinity who represented celestial light, the Greek settlers, according to
their custom of fusing foreign deities into their own, seized at once upon
this point of resemblance, and decided that Metra should henceforth be
regarded as identical with Artemis.

In her character as the love which pervades all nature, and penetrates
everywhere, they believed her also to be present in the mysterious Realm of
Shades, where she exercised her benign sway, replacing to a certain extent
that ancient divinity Hecate, and partly usurping also the place of
Persephone, as mistress of the lower world. Thus they believed that it was
she who permitted the spirits of the departed to revisit the earth, in
order to communicate with those they loved, and to give them timely warning
of coming evil. In fact, this great, mighty, and omnipresent power of love,
as embodied in the Ephesian Artemis, was believed by the great thinkers of
old, to be the ruling spirit of the universe, and it was to her influence,
that all the mysterious and beneficent workings of nature were ascribed.

There was a magnificent temple erected to this divinity at Ephesus (a city
of Asia Minor), which was ranked among the seven wonders of the world, and
was unequalled in beauty and grandeur. The interior of this {93} edifice
was adorned with statues and paintings, and contained one hundred and
twenty-seven columns, sixty feet in height, each column having been placed
there by a different king. The wealth deposited in this temple was
enormous, and the goddess was here worshipped with particular awe and
solemnity. In the interior of the edifice stood a statue of her, formed of
ebony, with lions on her arms and turrets on her head, whilst a number of
breasts indicated the fruitfulness of the earth and of nature. Ctesiphon
was the principal architect of this world-renowned structure, which,
however, was not entirely completed till two hundred and twenty years after
the foundation-stone was laid. But the labour of centuries was destroyed in
a single night; for a man called Herostratus, seized with the insane desire
of making his name famous to all succeeding generations, set fire to it and
completely destroyed it.[34] So great was the indignation and sorrow of the
Ephesians at this calamity, that they enacted a law, forbidding the
incendiary's name to be mentioned, thereby however, defeating their own
object, for thus the name of Herostratus has been handed down to posterity,
and will live as long as the memory of the famous temple of Ephesus.


In ancient times, the country which we now call the Crimea, was known by
the name of the Taurica Chersonnesus. It was colonized by Greek settlers,
who, finding that the Scythian inhabitants had a native divinity somewhat
resembling their own Artemis, identified her with the huntress-goddess of
the mother-country. The worship of this Taurian Artemis was attended with
the most barbarous practices, for, in accordance with a law which she had
enacted, all strangers, whether male or female, landing, or shipwrecked on
her shores, were sacrificed upon her altars. It is supposed that this
decree was {94} issued by the Taurian goddess of Chastity, to protect the
purity of her followers, by keeping them apart from foreign influences.

The interesting story of Iphigenia, a priestess in the temple of Artemis at
Tauris, forms the subject of one of Schiller's most beautiful plays. The
circumstances occurred at the commencement of the Trojan war, and are as
follows:--The fleet, collected by the Greeks for the siege of Troy, had
assembled at Aulis, in Boeotia, and was about to set sail, when Agamemnon,
the commander-in-chief, had the misfortune to kill accidentally a stag
which was grazing in a grove, sacred to Artemis. The offended goddess sent
continuous calms that delayed the departure of the fleet, and Calchas, the
soothsayer, who had accompanied the expedition, declared that nothing less
than the sacrifice of Agamemnon's favorite daughter, Iphigenia, would
appease the wrath of the goddess. At these words, the heroic heart of the
brave leader sank within him, and he declared that rather than consent to
so fearful an alternative, he would give up his share in the expedition and
return to Argos. In this dilemma Odysseus and other great generals called a
council to discuss the matter, and, after much deliberation, it was decided
that private feeling must yield to the welfare of the state. For a long
time the unhappy Agamemnon turned a deaf ear to their arguments, but at
last they succeeded in persuading him that it was his duty to make the
sacrifice. He, accordingly, despatched a messenger to his wife,
Clytemnæstra, begging her to send Iphigenia to him, alleging as a pretext
that the great hero Achilles desired to make her his wife. Rejoicing at the
brilliant destiny which awaited her beautiful daughter, the fond mother at
once obeyed the command, and sent her to Aulis. When the maiden arrived at
her destination, and discovered, to her horror, the dreadful fate which
awaited her, she threw herself in an agony of grief at her father's feet,
and with sobs and tears entreated him to have mercy on her, and to spare
her young life. But alas! her doom was sealed, and her now repentant and
{95} heart-broken father was powerless to avert it. The unfortunate victim
was bound to the altar, and already the fatal knife was raised to deal the
death-blow, when suddenly Iphigenia disappeared from view, and in her place
on the altar, lay a beautiful deer ready to be sacrificed. It was Artemis
herself, who, pitying the youth and beauty of her victim, caused her to be
conveyed in a cloud to Taurica, where she became one of her priestesses,
and intrusted with the charge of her temple; a dignity, however, which
necessitated the offering of those human sacrifices presented to Artemis.

Many years passed away, during which time the long and wearisome siege of
Troy had come to an end, and the brave Agamemnon had returned home to meet
death at the hands of his wife and Aegisthus. But his daughter, Iphigenia,
was still an exile from her native country, and continued to perform the
terrible duties which her office involved. She had long given up all hopes
of ever being restored to her friends, when one day two Greek strangers
landed on Taurica's inhospitable shores. These were Orestes and Pylades,
whose romantic attachment to each other has made their names synonymous for
devoted self-sacrificing friendship. Orestes was Iphigenia's brother, and
Pylades her cousin, and their object in undertaking an expedition fraught
with so much peril, was to obtain the statue of the Taurian Artemis.
Orestes, having incurred the anger of the Furies for avenging the murder of
his father Agamemnon, was pursued by them wherever he went, until at last
he was informed by the oracle of Delphi that, in order to pacify them, he
must convey the image of the Taurian Artemis from Tauris to Attica. This he
at once resolved to do, and accompanied by his faithful friend Pylades, who
insisted on sharing the dangers of the undertaking, he set out for Taurica.
But the unfortunate youths had hardly stepped on shore before they were
seized by the natives, who, as usual, conveyed them for sacrifice to the
temple of Artemis. Iphigenia, discovering that they were Greeks, though
unaware of their near relationship to herself, thought the {96} opportunity
a favourable one for sending tidings of her existence to her native
country, and, accordingly, requested one of the strangers to be the bearer
of a letter from her to her family. A magnanimous dispute now arose between
the friends, and each besought the other to accept the precious privilege
of life and freedom. Pylades, at length overcome by the urgent entreaties
of Orestes, agreed to be the bearer of the missive, but on looking more
closely at the superscription, he observed, to his intense surprise, that
it was addressed to Orestes. Hereupon an explanation followed; the brother
and sister recognized each other, amid joyful tears and loving embraces,
and assisted by her friends and kinsmen, Iphigenia escaped with them from a
country where she had spent so many unhappy days, and witnessed so many
scenes of horror and anguish.

The fugitives, having contrived to obtain the image of the Taurian Artemis,
carried it with them to Brauron in Attica. This divinity was henceforth
known as the Brauronian Artemis, and the rites which had rendered her
worship so infamous in Taurica were now introduced into Greece, and human
victims bled freely under the sacrificial knife, both in Athens and Sparta.
The revolting practice of offering human sacrifices to her, was continued
until the time of Lycurgus, the great Spartan lawgiver, who put an end to
it by substituting in its place one, which was hardly less barbarous,
namely, the scourging of youths, who were whipped on the altars of the
Brauronian Artemis in the most cruel manner; sometimes indeed they expired
under the lash, in which case their mothers, far from lamenting their fate,
are said to have rejoiced, considering this an honourable death for their


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Translated from the Greek of


Illustrations by Norman Lindsay


_Lysistrata_ is the greatest work by Aristophanes. This blank and rash
statement is made that it may be rejected. But first let it be
understood that I do not mean it is a better written work than the
_Birds_ or the _Frogs_, or that (to descend to the scale of values that
will be naturally imputed to me) it has any more appeal to the
collectors of "curious literature" than the _Ecclesiazusae_ or the
_Thesmophoriazusae_. On the mere grounds of taste I can see an at least
equally good case made out for the _Birds_. That brightly plumaged
fantasy has an aerial wit and colour all its own. But there are certain
works in which a man finds himself at an angle of vision where there is
an especially felicitous union of the aesthetic and emotional elements
which constitute the basic qualities of his uniqueness. We recognize
these works as being welded into a strange unity, as having a
homogeneous texture of ecstasy over them that surpasses any aesthetic
surface of harmonic colour, though that harmony also is understood by
the deeper welling of imagery from the core of creative exaltation. And
I think that this occurs in _Lysistrata_. The intellectual and spiritual
tendrils of the poem are more truly interwoven, the operation of their
centres more nearly unified; and so the work goes deeper into life. It
is his greatest play because of this, because it holds an intimate
perfume of femininity and gives the finest sense of the charm of a
cluster of girls, the sweet sense of their chatter, and the contact of
their bodies, that is to be found before Shakespeare, because that
mocking gaiety we call Aristophanies reaches here its most positive
acclamation of life, vitalizing sex with a deep delight, a rare
happiness of the spirit.

Indeed it is precisely for these reasons that it is _not_ considered
Aristophanes' greatest play.

To take a case which is sufficiently near to the point in question, to
make clear what I mean: the supremacy of _Antony and Cleopatra_ in the
Shakespearean aesthetic is yet jealously disputed, and it seems silly to
the academic to put it up against a work like _Hamlet_. But it is the
comparatively more obvious achievement of _Hamlet_, its surface
intellectuality, which made it the favourite of actors and critics. It
is much more difficult to realize the complex and delicately passionate
edge of the former play's rhythm, its tides of hugely wandering emotion,
the restless, proud, gay, and agonized reaction from life, of the blood,
of the mind, of the heart, which is its unity, than to follow the
relatively straightforward definition of Hamlet's nerves. Not that
anything derogatory to _Hamlet_ or the _Birds_ is intended; but the
value of such works is not enhanced by forcing them into contrast with
other works which cover deeper and wider nexus of aesthetic and
spiritual material. It is the very subtlety of the vitality of such
works as _Antony and Cleopatra_ and _Lysistrata_ that makes it so easy
to undervalue them, to see only a phallic play and political pamphlet in
one, only a chronicle play in a grandiose method in the other. For we
have to be in a highly sensitized condition before we can get to that
subtle point where life and the image mix, and so really perceive the
work at all; whereas we can command the response to a lesser work which
does not call so finely on the full breadth and depth of our spiritual

I amuse myself at times with the fancy that Homer, Sappho, and
Aristophanes are the inviolable Trinity of poetry, even to the extent of
being reducible to One. For the fiery and lucid directness of Sappho, if
her note of personal lyricism is abstracted, is seen to be an element of
Homer, as is the profoundly balanced humour of Aristophanes, at once
tenderly human and cruelly hard, as of a god to whom all sympathies and
tolerances are known, but who is invulnerable somewhere, who sees from a
point in space where the pressure of earth's fear and pain, and so its
pity, is lifted. It is here that the Shakespearean and Homeric worlds
impinge and merge, not to be separated by any academic classifications.
They meet in this sensitivity equally involved and aloof, sympathetic
and arrogant, suffering and joyous; and in this relation we see
Aristophanes as the regen forerunner of Shakespeare, his only one. We see also
that the whole present aesthetic of earth is based in Homer. We live and
grow in the world of consciousness bequeathed to us by him; and if we
grow beyond it through deeper Shakespearean ardours, it is because those
beyond are rooted in the broad basis of the Homeric imagination. To
shift that basis is to find the marshes of primitive night and fear
alone beneath the feet: Christianity.

And here we return to the question of the immorality of _Lysistrata_.
First we may inquire: is it possible for a man whose work has so
tremendous a significance in the spiritual development of mankind--and I
do not think anyone nowadays doubts that a work of art is the sole
stabilizing force that exists for life--is it possible for a man who
stands so grandly at head of an immense stream of liberating effort to
write an immoral work? Surely the only enduring moral virtue which can
be claimed is for that which moves to more power, beauty and delight in
the future? The plea that the question of changing customs arises is not
valid, for customs ratified by Aristophanes, by Rabelais, by
Shakespeare, have no right to change. If they have changed, let us try
immediately to return from our disgraceful refinements to the nobler and
more rarefied heights of lyric laughter, tragic intensity, and wit, for
we cannot have the first two without the last. And anyhow, how can a
social custom claim precedence over the undying material of the senses
and the emotions of man, over the very generating forces of life?

How could the humanistic emotions, such as pity, justice, sympathy,
exist save as pacifistic quietings of the desire to slay, to hurt, to
torment. Where the desire to hurt is gone pity ceases to be a
significant, a central emotion. It must of course continue to exist, but
it is displaced in the spiritual hierarchy; and all that moves
courageously, desirously, and vitally into the action of life takes on a
deeper and subtler intention. Lust, then, which on the lower plane was
something to be very frightened of, becomes a symbol of the highest
spirituality. It is right for Paul to be terrified of sex and so to hate
it, because he has so freshly escaped a bestial condition of life that
it threatens to plunge him back if he listens to one whisper But it is
also right for a Shakespeare to suck every drop of desire from life,
for he is building into a higher condition, one self-willed,
self-responsible, the discipline of which comes from joy, not fear.

Sex, therefore, is an animal function, one admits, one insists; it may
be only that. But also in the bewildering and humorous and tragic
duality of all life's energies, it is the bridge to every eternity which
is not merely a spectral condition of earth disembowelled of its lusts.
For sex holds the substance of the image. But we must remember with
Heine that Aristophanes is the God of this ironic earth, and that all
argument is apparently vitiated from the start by the simple fact that
Wagner and a rooster are given an analogous method of making love. And
therefore it seems impeccable logic to say that all that is most unlike
the rooster is the most spiritual part of love. All will agree on that,
schisms only arise when one tries to decide what does go farthest from
the bird's automatic mechanism. Certainly not a Dante-Beatrice affair
which is only the negation of the rooster in terms of the swooning
bombast of adolescence, the first onslaught of a force which the
sufferer cannot control or inhabit with all the potentialities of his
body and soul. But the rooster is troubled by no dreams of a divine
orgy, no carnival-loves like Beethoven's _Fourth Symphony_, no heroic
and shining lust gathering and swinging into a merry embrace like the
third act of _Siegfried_. It is desire in this sense that goes farthest
from the animal.

Consciously, no one can achieve the act of love on earth as a completed
thing of grace, with whatever delirium of delight, with whatever
ingenious preciosity, we go through its process. Only as an image of
beauty mated in some strange hermaphroditic ecstasy is that possible. I
mean only as a dream projected into a hypothetical, a real heaven. But
on earth we cannot complete the cycle in consciousness that would give
us the freedom of an image in which two identities mysteriously realize
their separate unities by the absorption of a third thing, the
constructive regen rhythm of a work of art. It is thus that Tristan and Isolde
become wholly distinct individuals, yet wholly submerged in the unity
that is Wagner; and so reconcile life's duality by balancing its
opposing laughters in a definite form--thereby sending out into life a
profounder duality than existed before. A Platonic equipoise,
Nietzsche's Eternal Recurrence--the only real philosophic problem,
therefore one of which these two philosophers alone are aware.

But though Wagner with Mathilde Wesendonck in his arms was Tristan in
the arms of Isolde, he did not find a melody instead of a kiss on his
lips; he did not find a progression of harmonies melting through the
contours of a warm beauty with a blur of desperate ecstasies, semitones
of desire, he found only the anxious happiness of any other lover.
Nevertheless, he was gathering the substance of the second act of
_Tristan und Isolde_. And it is this that Plato means when he says that
fornication is something immortal in mortality. He does not mean that
the act itself is a godlike thing, a claim which any bedroom mirror
would quickly deride. He means that it is a symbol, an essential
condition, and a part of something that goes deeper into life than any
geometry of earth's absurd, passionate, futile, and very necessary
antics would suggest.

It is a universal fallacy that because works like the comedies of
Aristophanes discuss certain social or ethical problems, they are
inspired by them. Aristophanes wrote to express his vision on life, his
delight in life itself seen behind the warping screen of contemporary
event; and for his purposes anything from Euripides to Cleon served as
ground work. Not that he would think in those terms, naturally: but the
rationalizing protogroup process that goes on in consciousness during the creation
of a work of art, for all its appearance of directing matters, is the
merest weathercock in the wind of the subconscious intention. As an
example of how utterly it is possible to misunderstand the springs of
inspiration in a poem, we may take the following remark of B. B. Rogers:
_It is much to be regretted that the phallus element should be so
conspicuous in this play.... (This) coarseness, so repulsive to
ourselves, was introduced, it is impossible to doubt, for the express
purpose of counter-balancing the extreme earnestness and gravity of the
play_. It seems so logical, so irrefutable; and so completely
misinterprets every creative force of Aristophanes' Psyche that it
certainly deserves a little admiration. It is in the best academic
tradition, and everyone respects a man for writing so mendaciously . The
effort of these castrators is always to show that the parts considered
offensive are not the natural expression of the poet, that they are
dictated externally. They argue that Shakespeare's coarseness is the
result of the age and not personal predilection, completely ignoring the
work of men like Sir Philip Sidney and Spenser, indeed practically all
the pre-Shakespearean writers, in whom none of this so-called grossness
exists. Shakespeare wrote sculduddery because he liked it, and for no
other reason; his sensuality is the measure of his vitality. These liars
pretend similarly that because Rabelais had a humanistic regen reason for much
of his work--the destructior Mediaevalism, and the Church, which purpose
they construe of course as an effort to purify, etc.--therefore he only
put the lewdery to make the rest palatable, when it should be obvious
even to an academic how he glories in his wild humour.

What the academic cannot understand is that in such works, while
attacking certain conditions, the creative power of the vigorous spirits
is so great that it overflows and saturates the intellectual conception
with their own passionate sense of life. It is for this reason that
these works have an eternal significance. If Rabelais were merely a
social reformer, then the value of his work would not have outlived his
generation. If _Lysistrata_ were but a wise political tract, it would
have merely an historical interest, and it would have ceased spiritually
at 404 B.C.

But Panurge is as fantastic and fascinating a character now as he was
300 years ago, Lysistrata and her girls as freshly bodied as any girl
kissed to-day. Therefore the serious part of the play is that which
deals with them, the frivolous part that in which Rogers detects gravity
and earnestness.

Aristophanes is the lord of all who take life as a gay adventure, who
defy all efforts to turn life into a social, economic, or moral
abstraction. Is it therefore just that the critics who, by some dark
instinct, unerringly pick out the exact opposite of any creator's real
virtues as his chief characteristics, should praise him as an idealistic
reformer? An "ideal" state of society was the last thing Aristophanes
desired. He wished, certainly, to eliminate inhumanities and baseness;
but only that there might be free play for laughter, for individual

Consequently the critics lay the emphasis on the effort to cleanse
society, not the method of laughter. Aristophanes wished to destroy
Cleon because that demagogue failed to realize the poet's conception of
dignified government and tended to upset the stability of Hellas. But it
was the stability of life, the vindication of all individual freedoms,
in which he was ultimately interested.


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The Birds


By Aristophanes

(Translator uncredited. Footnotes have been retained because they
provide the meanings of Greek names, terms and ceremonies and explain
puns and references otherwise lost in translation. Occasional Greek
words in the footnotes have not been included. Footnote numbers,
in brackets, start anew at (1) for each piece of dialogue, and each
footnote follows immediately the dialogue to which it refers, labeled
thus: f(1).


'The Birds' differs markedly from all the other Comedies of Aristophanes
which have come down to us in subject and general conception. It is
just an extravaganza pure and simple--a graceful, whimsical theme chosen
expressly for the sake of the opportunities it afforded of bright,
amusing dialogue, pleasing lyrical interludes, and charming displays of
brilliant stage effects and pretty dresses. Unlike other plays of
the same Author, there is here apparently no serious political MOTIF
underlying the surface burlesque and buffoonery.

Some critics, it is true, profess to find in it a reference to the
unfortunate Sicilian Expedition, then in progress, and a prophecy of
its failure and the political downfall of Alcibiades. But as a matter of
fact, the whole thing seems rather an attempt on the dramatist's part
to relieve the overwrought minds of his fellow-citizens, anxious and
discouraged at the unsatisfactory reports from before Syracuse, by a
work conceived in a lighter vein than usual and mainly unconnected with
contemporary realities. The play was produced in the year 414 B.C., just
when success or failure in Sicily hung in the balance, though already
the outlook was gloomy, and many circumstances pointed to impending
disaster. Moreover, the public conscience was still shocked and
perturbed over the mysterious affair of the mutilation of the Hermae,
which had occurred immediately before the sailing of the fleet, and
strongly suspicious of Alcibiades' participation in the outrage. In
spite of the inherent charm of the subject, the splendid outbursts of
lyrical poetry in some of the choruses and the beauty of the scenery and
costumes, 'The Birds' failed to win the first prize. This was acclaimed
to a play of Aristophanes' rival, Amipsias, the title of which, 'The
Comastoe,' or 'Revellers,' "seems to imply that the chief interest was
derived from direct allusions to the outrage above mentioned and to the
individuals suspected to have been engaged in it."

For this reason, which militated against its immediate success, viz.
the absence of direct allusion to contemporary politics--there are, of
course, incidental references here and there to topics and personages
of the day--the play appeals perhaps more than any other of our Author's
productions to the modern reader. Sparkling wit, whimsical fancy, poetic
charm, are of all ages, and can be appreciated as readily by ourselves
as by an Athenian audience of two thousand years ago, though, of course,
much is inevitably lost "without the important adjuncts of music,
scenery, dresses and what we may call 'spectacle' generally, which we
know in this instance to have been on the most magnificent scale."

The plot is this. Euelpides and Pisthetaerus, two old Athenians,
disgusted with the litigiousness, wrangling and sycophancy of their
countrymen, resolve upon quitting Attica. Having heard of the fame of
Epops (the hoopoe), sometime called Tereus, and now King of the Birds,
they determine, under the direction of a raven and a jackdaw, to seek
from him and his subject birds a city free from all care and strife.
Arrived at the Palace of Epops, they knock, and Trochilus (the wren),
in a state of great flutter, as he mistakes them for fowlers, opens the
door and informs them that his Majesty is asleep. When he awakes, the
strangers appear before him, and after listening to a long and eloquent
harangue on the superior attractions of a residence among the birds,
they propose a notable scheme of their own to further enhance its
advantages and definitely secure the sovereignty of the universe now
exercised by the gods of Olympus.

The birds are summoned to meet in general council. They come flying up
from all quarters of the heavens, and after a brief mis-understanding,
during which they come near tearing the two human envoys to pieces, they
listen to the exposition of the latters' plan. This is nothing less
than the building of a new city, to be called Nephelococcygia, or
'Cloud-cuckoo-town,' between earth and heaven, to be garrisoned and
guarded by the birds in such a way as to intercept all communication of
the gods with their worshippers on earth. All steam of sacrifice will
be prevented from rising to Olympus, and the Immortals will very soon be
starved into an acceptance of any terms proposed. The new Utopia is duly
constructed, and the daring plan to secure the sovereignty is in a fair
way to succeed. Meantime various quacks and charlatans, each with a
special scheme for improving things, arrive from earth, and are one
after the other exposed and dismissed. Presently arrives Prometheus,
who informs Epops of the desperate straits to which the gods are by this
time reduced, and advises him to push his claims and demand the hand
of Basileia (Dominion), the handmaid of Zeus. Next an embassy from the
Olympians appears on the scene, consisting of Heracles, Posidon and a
god from the savage regions of the Triballians. After some disputation,
it is agreed that all reasonable demands of the birds are to be granted,
while Pisthetaerus is to have Basileia as his bride. The comedy winds up
with the epithalamium in honour of the nuptials.



     EPOPS (the Hoopoe)
     TROCHILUS, Servant to Epops
     A POET
     METON, a Geometrician
     CINESIAS, a Dithyrambic Bard

SCENE: A wild, desolate tract of open country; broken rocks and
brushwood occupy the centre of the stage.

EUELPIDES (TO HIS JAY)(1) Do you think I should walk straight for yon

f(1) Euelpides is holding a jay and Pisthetaerus a crow; they are the
guides who are to lead them to the kingdom of the birds.

PISTHETAERUS (TO HIS CROW) Cursed beast, what are you croaking to
me?... to retrace my steps?

EUELPIDES Why, you wretch, we are wandering at random, we are exerting
ourselves only to return to the same spot; 'tis labour lost.

PISTHETAERUS To think that I should trust to this crow, which has made
me cover more than a thousand furlongs!

EUELPIDES And that I to this jay, which has torn every nail from my

PISTHETAERUS If only I knew where we were....

EUELPIDES Could you find your country again from here?

PISTHETAERUS No, I feel quite sure I could not, any more than could
Execestides(1) find his.

f(1) A stranger who wanted to pass as an Athenian, although coming
originally for a far-away barbarian country.

EUELPIDES Oh dear! oh dear!

PISTHETAERUS Aye, aye, my friend, 'tis indeed the road of "oh dears" we
are following.

EUELPIDES That Philocrates, the bird-seller, played us a scurvy trick,
when he pretended these two guides could help us to find Tereus,(1) the
Epops, who is a bird, without being born of one. He has indeed sold us
this jay, a true son of Tharelides,(2) for an obolus, and this crow
for three, but what can they do? Why, nothing whatever but bite and
scratch!--What's the matter with you then, that you keep opening your
beak? Do you want us to fling ourselves headlong down these rocks? There
is no road that way.

f(1) A king of Thrace, a son of Ares, who married Procne, the daughter
of Pandion, King of Athens, whom he had assisted against the Megarians.
He violated his sister-in-law, Philomela, and then cut out her tongue;
she nevertheless managed to convey to her sister how she had been
treated. They both agreed to kill Itys, whom Procne had borne to Tereus,
and dished up the limbs of his own son to the father; at the end of
the meal Philomela appeared and threw the child's head upon the table.
Tereus rushed with drawn sword upon the princesses, but all the actors
in this terrible scene were metamorph(o)sed. Tereus became an Epops
(hoopoe), Procne a swallow, Philomela a nightingale, and Itys a
goldfinch. According to Anacreon and Apollodorus it was Procne who
became the nightingale and Philomela the swallow, and this is the
version of the tradition followed by Aristophanes.

f(2) An Athenian who had some resemblance to a jay--so says the
scholiast, at any rate.

PISTHETAERUS Not even the vestige of a track in any direction.

EUELPIDES And what does the crow say about the road to follow?

PISTHETAERUS By Zeus, it no longer croaks the same thing it did.

EUELPIDES And which way does it tell us to go now?

PISTHETAERUS It says that, by dint of gnawing, it will devour my

EUELPIDES What misfortune is ours! we strain every nerve to get to the
birds,(1) do everything we can to that end, and we cannot find our way!
Yes, spectators, our madness is quite different from that of Sacas.
He is not a citizen, and would fain be one at any cost; we, on the
contrary, born of an honourable tribe and family and living in the midst
of our fellow-citizens, we have fled from our country as hard as ever
we could go. 'Tis not that we hate it; we recognize it to be great and
rich, likewise that everyone has the right to ruin himself; but the
crickets only chirrup among the fig-trees for a month or two, whereas
the Athenians spend their whole lives in chanting forth judgments
from their law-courts.(2) That is why we started off with a basket, a
stew-pot and some myrtle boughs(3) and have come to seek a quiet country
in which to settle. We are going to Tereus, the Epops, to learn from
him, whether, in his aerial flights, he has noticed some town of this

f(1) Literally, 'to go to the crows,' a proverbial expression equivalent
to our 'going to the devil.'

f(2) They leave Athens because of their hatred of lawsuits and
informers; this is the especial failing of the Athenians satirized in
'The Wasps.'

f(3) Myrtle boughs were used in sacrifices, and the founding of every
colony was started by a sacrifice.


EUELPIDES What's the matter?

PISTHETAERUS Why, the crow has been pointing me to something up there
for some time now.

EUELPIDES And the jay is also opening its beak and craning its neck to
show me I know not what. Clearly, there are some birds about here. We
shall soon know, if we kick up a noise to start them.

PISTHETAERUS Do you know what to do? Knock your leg against this rock.

EUELPIDES And you your head to double the noise.

PISTHETAERUS Well then use a stone instead; take one and hammer with it.

EUELPIDES Good idea! Ho there, within! Slave! slave!

PISTHETAERUS What's that, friend! You say, "slave," to summon Epops! It
would be much better to shout, "Epops, Epops!"

EUELPIDES Well then, Epops! Must I knock again? Epops!

TROCHILUS Who's there? Who calls my master?

PISTHETAERUS Apollo the Deliverer! what an enormous beak!(1)

f(1) The actors wore masks made to resemble the birds they were supposed
to represent.

TROCHILUS Good god! they are bird-catchers.

EUELPIDES The mere sight of him petrifies me with terror. What a
horrible monster.

TROCHILUS Woe to you!

EUELPIDES But we are not men.

TROCHILUS What are you, then?

EUELPIDES I am the Fearling, an African bird.

TROCHILUS You talk nonsense.

EUELPIDES Well, then, just ask it of my feet.(1)

f(1) Fear had had disastrous effects upon Euelpides' internal economy,
and this his feet evidenced.

TROCHILUS And this other one, what bird is it?

PISTHETAERUS I? I am a Cackling,(1) from the land of the pheasants.

f(1) The same mishap had occurred to Pisthetaerus.

EUELPIDES But you yourself, in the name of the gods! what animal are

TROCHILUS Why, I am a slave-bird.

EUELPIDES Why, have you been conquered by a cock?

TROCHILUS No, but when my master was turned into a peewit, he begged me
to become a bird too, to follow and to serve him.

EUELPIDES Does a bird need a servant, then?

TROCHILUS 'Tis no doubt because he was a man. At times he wants to eat a
dish of loach from Phalerum; I seize my dish and fly to fetch him some.
Again he wants some pea-soup; I seize a ladle and a pot and run to get

EUELPIDES This is, then, truly a running-bird.(1) Come, Trochilus, do us
the kindness to call your master.

f(1) The Greek word for a wren is derived from the same root as 'to

TROCHILUS Why, he has just fallen asleep after a feed of myrtle-berries
and a few grubs.

EUELPIDES Never mind; wake him up.

TROCHILUS I an certain he will be angry. However, I will wake him to
please you.

PISTHETAERUS You cursed brute! why, I am almost dead with terror!

EUELPIDES Oh! my god! 'twas sheer fear that made me lose my jay.

PISTHETAERUS Ah! you great coward! were you so frightened that you let
go your jay?

EUELPIDES And did you not lose your crow, when you fell sprawling on the
ground? Pray tell me that.


EUELPIDES Where is it, then?

PISTHETAERUS It has flown away.

EUELPIDES Then you did not let it go? Oh! you brave fellow!

EPOPS Open the forest,(1) that I may go out!

f(1) No doubt there was some scenery to represent a forest. Besides,
there is a pun intended. The words answering for 'forests' and 'door' in
Greek only differ slightly in sound.

EUELPIDES By Heracles! what a creature! what plumage! What means this
triple crest?

EPOPS Who wants me?

EUELPIDES The twelve great gods have used you ill, meseems.

EPOPS Are you chaffing me about my feathers? I have been a man,

EUELPIDES 'Tis not you we are jeering at.

EPOPS At what, then?

EUELPIDES Why, 'tis your beak that looks so odd to us.

EPOPS This is how Sophocles outrages me in his tragedies. Know, I once
was Tereus.(1)

f(1) Sophocles had written a tragedy about Tereus, in which, no doubt,
the king finally appears as a hoopoe.

EUELPIDES You were Tereus, and what are you now? a bird or a peacock?(1)

f(1) (O)ne would expect the question to be "bird or man."--Are you a
peacock? The hoopoe resembles the peacock inasmuch as both have crests.

EPOPS I am a bird.

EUELPIDES Then where are your feathers? For I don't see them.

EPOPS They have fallen off.

EUELPIDES Through illness?

EPOPS No. All birds moult their feathers, you know, every winter, and
others grow in their place. But tell me, who are you?

EUELPIDES We? We are mortals.

EPOPS From what country?

EUELPIDES From the land of the beautiful galleys.(1)

f(1) Athens.

EPOPS Are you dicasts?(1)

f(1) The Athenians were madly addicted to lawsuits. (See 'The Wasps.')

EUELPIDES No, if anything, we are anti-dicasts.

EPOPS Is that kind of seed sown among you?(1)

f(1) As much as to say, 'Then you have such things as anti-dicasts?' And
Euelpides practically replaces, 'Very few.'

EUELPIDES You have to look hard to find even a little in our fields.

EPOPS What brings you here?

EUELPIDES We wish to pay you a visit.

EPOPS What for?

EUELPIDES Because you formerly were a man, like we are, formerly you
had debts, as we have, formerly you did not want to pay them, like
ourselves; furthermore, being turned into a bird, you have when flying
seen all lands and seas. Thus you have all human knowledge as well as
that of birds. And hence we have come to you to beg you to direct us to
some cosy town, in which one can repose as if on thick coverlets.

EPOPS And are you looking for a greater city than Athens?

EUELPIDES No, not a greater, but one more pleasant to dwell in.

EPOPS Then you are looking for an aristocratic country.

EUELPIDES I? Not at all! I hold the son of Scellias in horror.(1)

f(1) His name was Aristocrates; he was a general and commanded a fleet
sent in aid of Corcyra.

EPOPS But, after all, what sort of city would please you best?

EUELPIDES A place where the following would be the most important
business transacted.--Some friend would come knocking at the door quite
early in the morning saying, "By Olympian Zeus, be at my house early,
as soon as you have bathed, and bring your children too. I am giving a
nuptial feast, so don't fail, or else don't cross my threshold when I am
in distress."

EPOPS Ah! that's what may be called being fond of hardships! And what
say you?

PISTHETAERUS My tastes are similar.

EPOPS And they are?

PISTHETAERUS I want a town where the father of a handsome lad will stop
in the street and say to me reproachfully as if I had failed him, "Ah!
Is this well done, Stilbonides! You met my son coming from the bath
after the gymnasium and you neither spoke to him, nor embraced him, nor
took him with you, nor ever once twitched his parts. Would anyone call
you an old friend of mine?"

EPOPS Ah! wag, I see you are fond of suffering. But there is a city of
delights, such as you want. 'Tis on the Red Sea.

EUELPIDES Oh, no. Not a sea-port, where some fine morning the
Salaminian(1) galley can appear, bringing a writ-server along. Have you
no Greek town you can propose to us?

f(1) The State galley, which carried the officials of the Athenian
republic to their several departments and brought back those whose time
had expired; it was this galley that was sent to Sicily to fetch back
Alcibiades, who was accused of sacrilege.

EPOPS Why not choose Lepreum in Elis for your settlement?

EUELPIDES By Zeus! I could not look at Lepreum without disgust, because
of Melanthius.(1)

f(1) A tragic poet, who was a leper; there is a play, of course, on the
word Lepreum.

EPOPS Then, again, there is the Opuntian, where you could live.

EUELPIDES I would not be Opuntian(1) for a talent. But come, what is it
like to live with the birds? You should know pretty well.

f(1) An allusion to Opuntius, who was one-eyed.

EPOPS Why, 'tis not a disagreeable life. In the first place, one has no

EUELPIDES That does away with much roguery.

EPOPS For food the gardens yield us white sesame, myrtle-berries,
poppies and mint.

EUELPIDES Why, 'tis the life of the newly-wed indeed.(1)

f(1) The newly-married ate a sesame-cake, decorated with garlands of
myrtle, poppies and mint.

PISTHETAERUS Ha! I am beginning to see a great plan, which will transfer
the supreme power to the birds, if you will but take my advice.

EPOPS Take your advice? In what way?

PISTHETAERUS In what way? Well, firstly, do not fly in all directions
with open beak; it is not dignified. Among us, when we see a thoughtless
man, we ask, "What sort of bird is this?" and Teleas answers, "'Tis
a man who has no brain, a bird that has lost his head, a creature you
cannot catch, for it never remains in any one place."

EPOPS By Zeus himself! your jest hits the mark. What then is to be done?

PISTHETAERUS Found a city.

EPOPS We birds? But what sort of city should we build?

PISTHETAERUS Oh, really, really! 'tis spoken like a fool! Look down.

EPOPS I am looking.

PISTHETAERUS Now look upwards.

EPOPS I am looking.

PISTHETAERUS Turn your head round.

EPOPS Ah! 'twill be pleasant for me, if I end in twisting my neck!

PISTHETAERUS What have you seen?

EPOPS The clouds and the sky.

PISTHETAERUS Very well! is not this the pole of the birds then?

EPOPS How their pole?

PISTHETAERUS Or, if you like it, the land. And since it turns and passes
through the whole universe, it is called, 'pole.'(1) If you build and
fortify it, you will turn your pole into a fortified city.(2) In this
way you will reign over mankind as you do over the grasshoppers and
cause the gods to die of rabid hunger.

f(1) From (the word meaning) 'to turn.'

f(2) The Greek words for 'pole' and 'city' only differ by a single

EPOPS How so?

PISTHETAERUS The air is 'twixt earth and heaven. When we want to go to
Delphi, we ask the Boeotians(1) for leave of passage; in the same way,
when men sacrifice to the gods, unless the latter pay you tribute, you
exercise the right of every nation towards strangers and don't allow the
smoke of the sacrifices to pass through your city and territory.

f(1) Boeotia separated Attica from Phocis.

EPOPS By earth! by snares! by network!(1) I never heard of anything more
cleverly conceived; and, if the other birds approve, I am going to build
the city along with you.

f(1) He swears by the powers that are to him dreadful.

PISTHETAERUS Who will explain the matter to them?

EPOPS You must yourself. Before I came they were quite ignorant, but
since I have lived with them I have taught them to speak.

PISTHETAERUS But how can they be gathered together?

EPOPS Easily. I will hasten down to the coppice to waken my dear
Procne!(1) as soon as they hear our voices, they will come to us hot

f(1) As already stated, according to the legend accepted by
Aristophanes, it was Procne who was turned into the nightengale.

PISTHETAERUS My dear bird, lose no time, I beg. Fly at once into the
coppice and awaken Procne.

EPOPS Chase off drowsy sleep, dear companion. Let the sacred hymn gush
from thy divine throat in melodious strains; roll forth in soft cadence
your refreshing melodies to bewail the fate of Itys,(1) which has been
the cause of so many tears to us both. Your pure notes rise through
the thick leaves of the yew-tree right up to the throne of Zeus, where
Phoebus listens to you, Phoebus with his golden hair. And his ivory lyre
responds to your plaintive accents; he gathers the choir of the gods and
from their immortal lips rushes a sacred chant of blessed voices. (THE

f(1) The son of Tereus and Procne.

PISTHETAERUS Oh! by Zeus! what a throat that little bird possesses. He
has filled the whole coppice with honey-sweet melody!


PISTHETAERUS What's the matter?

EUELPIDES Will you keep silence?


EUELPIDES Epops is going to sing again.

EPOPS (IN THE COPPICE) Epopoi poi popoi, epopoi, popoi, here, here,
quick, quick, quick, my comrades in the air; all you who pillage the
fertile lands of the husbandmen, the numberless tribes who gather and
devour the barley seeds, the swift flying race who sing so sweetly. And
you whose gentle twitter resounds through the fields with the little
cry of tio, tio, tio, tio, tio, tio, tio, tio; and you who hop about the
branches of the ivy in the gardens; the mountain birds, who feed on the
wild olive berries or the arbutus, hurry to come at my call, trioto,
trioto, totobrix; you also, who snap up the sharp-stinging gnats in the
marshy vales, and you who dwell in chicago the fine plain of Marathon, all
damp with dew, and you, the francolin with speckled wings; you too, the
halcyons, who flit over the swelling waves of the sea, come hither to
hear the tidings; let all the tribes of long-necked birds assemble here;
know that a clever old man has come to us, bringing an entirely new
idea and proposing great reforms. Let all come to the debate here,
here, here, here. Torotorotorotorotix, kikkobau, kikkobau,

PISTHETAERUS Can you see any bird?

EUELPIDES By Phoebus, no! and yet I am straining my eyesight to scan the

PISTHETAERUS 'Twas really not worth Epops' while to go and bury himself
in the thicket like a plover when a-hatching.

PHOENICOPTERUS Torotina, torotina.

PISTHETAERUS Hold, friend, here is another bird.

EUELPIDES I' faith, yes, 'tis a bird, but of what kind? Isn't it a

PISTHETAERUS Epops will tell us. What is this bird?

EPOPS 'Tis not one of those you are used to seeing; 'tis a bird from the

PISTHETAERUS Oh! oh! but he is very handsome with his wings as crimson
as flame.

EPOPS Undoubtedly; indeed he is called flamingo.(1)

f(1) An African bird, that comes to the southern countries of Europe, to
Greece, Italy, and Spain; it is even seen in Provence.

EUELPIDES Hi! I say! You!

PISTHETAERUS What are you shouting for?

EUELPIDES Why, here's another bird.

PISTHETAERUS Aye, indeed; 'tis a foreign bird too. What is this bird
from beyond the mountains with a look as solemn as it is stupid?

EPOPS He is called the Mede.(1)

f(1) Aristophanes amusingly mixes up real birds with people and
individuals, whom he represents in the form of birds; he is personifying
the Medians here.

PISTHETAERUS The Mede! But, by Heracles, how, if a Mede, has he flown
here without a camel?

EUELPIDES Here's another bird with a crest.

PISTHETAERUS Ah! that's curious. I say, Epops, you are not the only one
of your kind then?

EPOPS This bird is the son of Philocles, who is the son of Epops;(1)
so that, you see, I am his grandfather; just as one might say,
Hipponicus,(2) the son of Callias, who is the son of Hipponicus.

f(1) Philocles, a tragic poet, had written a tragedy on Tereus, which
was simply a plagiarism of the play of the same name by Sophocles.
Philocles is the son of Epops, because he got his inspiration from llc
Sophocles' Tereus, and at the same time is father to Epops, since he
himself produced another Tereus.

f(2) This Hipponicus is probably the orator whose ears Alcibiades boxed
to gain a bet; he was a descendant of Callias, who was famous for his
hatred of Pisistratus.

PISTHETAERUS Then this bird is Callias! Why, what a lot of his feathers
he has lost!(1)

f(1) This Callias, who must not be confounded with the foe of
Pisistratus, had ruined himself.

EPOPS That's because he is honest; so the informers set upon him and the
women too pluck out his feathers.

PISTHETAERUS By Posidon, do you see that many-coloured bird? What is his

EPOPS This one? 'Tis the glutton.

PISTHETAERUS Is there another glutton besides Cleonymus? But why, if
he is Cleonymus, has he not thrown away his crest?(1) But what is the
meaning of all these crests? Have these birds come to contend for the
double stadium prize?(2)

f(1) Cleonymus had cast away his shield; he was as great a glutton as he
was a coward.

f(2) A race in which the track had to be circled twice.

EPOPS They are like the Carians, who cling to the crests of their
mountains for greater safety.(1)

f(1) A people of Asia Minor; when pursued by the Ionians they took
refuge in the mountains.

PISTHETAERUS Oh, Posidon! do you see what swarms of birds are gathering

EUELPIDES By Phoebus! what a cloud! The entrance to the stage is no
longer visible, so closely do they fly together.

PISTHETAERUS Here is the partridge.

EUELPIDES Faith! there is the francolin.

PISTHETAERUS There is the poachard.

EUELPIDES Here is the kingfisher. And over yonder?

EPOPS 'Tis the barber.

EUELPIDES What? a bird a barber?

PISTHETAERUS Why, Sporgilus is one.(1) Here comes the owl.

f(1) An Athenian barber.

EUELPIDES And who is it brings an owl to Athens?(1)

f(1) The owl was dedicated to Athene, and being respected at Athens,
it had greatly multiplied. Hence the proverb, 'taking owls to Athens,'
similar to our English 'taking coals to Newcastle.'

PISTHETAERUS Here is the magpie, the turtle-dove, the swallow, the
horned owl, the buzzard, the pigeon, the falcon, the ring-dove, the
cuckoo, the red-foot, the red-cap, the purple-cap, the kestrel, the
diver, the ousel, the osprey, the woodpecker.

EUELPIDES Oh! oh! what a lot of birds! what a quantity of blackbirds!
how they scold, how they come rushing up! What a noise! what a noise!
Can they be bearing us ill-will? Oh! there! there! they are opening
their beaks and staring at us.

PISTHETAERUS Why, so they are.

CHORUS Popopopopopopopoi. Where is he who called me? Where am I to find

EPOPS I have been waiting for you this long while! I never fail in my
word to my friends.

CHORUS Titititititititi. What good thing have you to tell me?

EPOPS Something that concerns our common safety, and that is just as
pleasant as it is to the purpose. Two men, who are subtle reasoners,
have come here to seek me.

CHORUS Where? What? What are you saying?

EPOPS I say, two old men have come from the abode of men to propose a
vast and splendid scheme to us.

CHORUS Oh! 'tis a horrible, unheard-of crime! What are you saying?

EPOPS Nay! never let my words scare you.

CHORUS What have you done then?

EPOPS I have welcomed two men, who wish to live with us.

CHORUS And you have dared to do that!

EPOPS Aye, and am delighted at having done so.

CHORUS Where are they?

EPOPS In your midst, as I am.

CHORUS Ah! ah! we are betrayed; 'tis sacrilege! Our friend, he who
picked up corn-seeds in the same plains as ourselves, has violated our
ancient laws; he has broken the oaths that bind all birds; he has laid a
snare for me, he has handed us over to the attacks of that impious race
which, throughout all time, has never ceased to war against us. As for 
this traitorous bird, we will decide his case later, but the two old men
shall be punished forthwith; we are going to tear them to pieces.

PISTHETAERUS 'Tis all over with us.

EUELPIDES You are the sole cause of all our trouble. Why did you bring
me from down yonder?

PISTHETAERUS To have you with me.

EUELPIDES Say rather to have me melt into tears.

PISTHETAERUS Go to! you are talking nonsense.


PISTHETAERUS How will you be able to cry when once your eyes are pecked

CHORUS Io! io! forward to the attack, throw yourselves upon the foe,
spill his blood; take to your wings and surround them on all sides. Woe
to them! let us get to work with our beaks, let us devour them. Nothing
can save them from our wrath, neither the mountain forests, nor the
clouds that float in the sky, nor the foaming deep. Come, peck, tear
to ribbons. Where is the chief of the cohort? Let him engage the right

EUELPIDES This is the fatal moment. Where shall I fly to, unfortunate
wretch that I am?

PISTHETAERUS Stay! stop here!

EUELPIDES That they may tear me to pieces?

PISTHETAERUS And how do you think to escape them?

EUELPIDES I don't know at all.

PISTHETAERUS Come, I will tell you. We must stop and fight them. Let us
arm ourselves with these stew-pots.

EUELPIDES Why with the stew-pots?

PISTHETAERUS The owl will not attack us.(1)

f(1) An allusion to the Feast of Pots; it was kept at Athens on the
third day of the Anthesteria, when all sorts of vegetables were stewed
together and offered for the dead to Bacchus and Athene. This Feast
was peculiar to Athens.--Hence Pisthetaerus thinks that the owl will
recognize they are Athenians by seeing the stew-pots, and as he is an
Athenian bird, he will not attack them.

EUELPIDES But do you see all those hooked claws?

PISTHETAERUS Seize the spit and pierce the foe on your side.

EUELPIDES And how about my eyes?

PISTHETAERUS Protect them with this dish or this vinegar-pot.

EUELPIDES Oh! what cleverness! what inventive genius! You are a great
general, even greater than Nicias,(1) where stratagem is concerned.

f(1) Nicias, the famous Athenian general.--The siege of Melos in 417
B.C., or two years previous to the production of 'The Birds,' had
especially done him great credit. He was joint commander of the Sicilian

CHORUS Forward, forward, charge with your beaks! Come, no delay. Tear,
pluck, strike, flay them, and first of all smash the stew-pot.

EPOPS Oh, most cruel of all animals, why tear these two men to pieces,
why kill them? What have they done to you? They belong to the same
tribe, to the same family as my wife.(1)

f(1) Procne, the daughter of Pandion, King of Athens.

CHORUS Are wolves to be spared? Are they not our most mortal foes? So
let us punish them.

EPOPS If they are your foes by nature, they are your friends in heart,
and they come here to give you useful advice.

CHORUS Advice or a useful word from their lips, from them, the enemies
of my forebears!

EPOPS The wise can often profit by the lessons of a foe, for caution is
the mother of safety. 'Tis just such a thing as one will not learn from
a friend and which an enemy compels you to know. To begin with, 'tis the
foe and not the friend that taught cities to build high walls, to equip
long vessels of war; and 'tis this knowledge that protects our children,
our slaves and our wealth.

CHORUS Well then, I agree, let us first hear them, for 'tis best; one
can even learn something in an enemy's school.

PISTHETAERUS Their wrath seems to cool. Draw back a little.

EPOPS 'Tis only justice, and you will thank me later.

CHORUS Never have we opposed your advice up to now.

PISTHETAERUS They are in a more peaceful mood; put down your stew-pot
and your two dishes; spit in hand, doing duty for a spear, let us mount
guard inside the camp close to the pot and watch in our arsenal closely;
for we must not fly.

EUELPIDES You are right. But where shall we be buried, if we die?

PISTHETAERUS In the Ceramicus;(1) for, to get a public funeral, we shall
tell the Strategi that we fell at Orneae,(2) fighting the country's

f(1) A space beyond the walls of Athens which contained the gardens of
the Academy and the graves of citizens who had died for their country.

f(2) A town in Western Argolis, where the Athenians had been recently
defeated. The somewhat similar work in Greek signifies 'birds.'

CHORUS Return to your ranks and lay down your courage beside your wrath
as the Hoplites do. Then let us ask these men who they are, whence they
come, and with what intent. Here, Epops, answer me.

EPOPS Are you calling me? What do you want of me?

CHORUS Who are they? From what country?

EPOPS Strangers, who have come from Greece, the land of the wise.

CHORUS And what fate has led them hither to the land of the birds?

EPOPS Their love for you and their wish to share your kind of life; to
dwell and remain with you always.

CHORUS Indeed, and what are their plans?

EPOPS They are wonderful, incredible, unheard of.

CHORUS Why, do they think to see some advantage that determines them to
settle here? Are they hoping with our help to triumph over their foes or
to be useful to their friends?

EPOPS They speak of benefits so great it is impossible either to
describe or conceive them; all shall be yours, all that we see here,
there, above and below us; this they vouch for.

CHORUS Are they mad?

EPOPS They are the sanest people in the world.

CHORUS Clever men?

EPOPS The slyest of foxes, cleverness its very self, men of the world,
cunning, the cream of knowing folk.

CHORUS Tell them to speak and speak quickly; why, as I listen to you, I
am beside myself with delight.

EPOPS Here, you there, take all these weapons and hang them up inside
close to the fire, near the figure of the god who presides there and
under his protection;(1) as for you, address the birds, tell them why I
have gathered them together.

f(1) Epops is addressing the two slaves, no doubt Xanthias and Manes,
who are mentioned later on.

PISTHETAERUS Not I, by Apollo, unless they agree with me as the little
ape of an armourer agreed with his wife, not to bite me, nor pull me by
the parts, nor shove things up my...

CHORUS You mean the...(PUTS FINGER TO BOTTOM) Oh! be quite at ease.

PISTHETAERUS No, I mean my eyes.

CHORUS Agreed.


CHORUS I swear it and, if I keep my promise, let judges and spectators
give me the victory unanimously.

PISTHETAERUS It is a bargain.

CHORUS And if I break my word, may I succeed by one vote only.

HERALD Hearken, ye people! Hoplites, pick up your weapons and return
to your firesides; do not fail to read the decrees of dismissal we have

CHORUS Man is a truly cunning creature, but nevertheless explain.
Perhaps you are going to show me some good way to extend my power,
some way that I have not had the wit to find out and which you have
discovered. Speak! 'tis to your own interest as well as to mine, for if
you secure me some advantage, I will surely share it with you. But what
object can have induced you to come among us? Speak boldly, for I shall
not break the truce,--until you have told us all.

PISTHETAERUS I am bursting with desire to speak; I have already mixed
the dough of my address and nothing prevents me from kneading it....
Slave! bring the chaplet and water, which you must pour over my hands.
Be quick!(1)

f(1) It was customary, when speaking in public and also at feasts, to
wear a chaplet; hence the question Euelpides puts.--The guests wore
chaplets of flowers, herbs, and leaves, which had the property of being

EUELPIDES Is it a question of feasting? What does it all mean?

PISTHETAERUS By Zeus, no! but I am hunting for fine, tasty words to
break down the hardness of their hearts.--I grieve so much for you, who
at one time were kings...

CHORUS We kings! Over whom?

PISTHETAERUS ...of all that exists, firstly of me and of this man, even
of Zeus himself. Your race is older than Saturn, the Titans and the

CHORUS What, older than the Earth!

PISTHETAERUS By Phoebus, yes.

CHORUS By Zeus, but I never knew that before!

PISTHETAERUS 'Tis because you are ignorant and heedless, and have never
read your Aesop. 'Tis he who tells us that the lark was born before all
other creatures, indeed before the Earth; his father died of sickness,
but the Earth did not exist then; he remained unburied for five days,
when the bird in its dilemma decided, for want of a better place, to
entomb its father in its own head.

EUELPIDES So that the lark's father is buried at Cephalae.(1)

f(1) A deme of Attica. In Greek the word also means 'heads,' and hence
the pun.

EPOPS Hence, if we existed before the Earth, before the gods, the
kingship belongs to us by right of priority.

EUELPIDES Undoubtedly, but sharpen your beak well; Zeus won't be in a
hurry to hand over his sceptre to the woodpecker.

PISTHETAERUS It was not the gods, but the birds, who were formerly the
masters and kings over men; of this I have a thousand proofs. First of
all, I will point you to the cock, who governed the Persians before all
other monarchs, before Darius and Megabyzus.(1) 'Tis in memory of his
reign that he is called the Persian bird.

f(1) One of Darius' best generals. After his expedition against the
Scythians, this prince gave him the command of the army which he left
in Europe. Megabyzus took Perinthos (afterwards called Heraclea) and
conquered Thrace.

EUELPIDES For this reason also, even to-day, he alone of all the birds
wears his tiara straight on his head, like the Great King.(1)

f(1) All Persians wore the tiara, but always on one side; the Great King
alone wore it straight on his head.

PISTHETAERUS He was so strong, so great, so feared, that even now, on
account of his ancient power, everyone jumps out of bed as soon as
ever he crows at daybreak. Blacksmiths, potters, tanners, shoemakers,
bathmen, corn-dealers, lyre-makers and armourers, all put on their shoes
and go to work before it is daylight.

EUELPIDES I can tell you something about that. 'Twas the cock's fault
that I lost a splendid tunic of Phrygian wool. I was at a feast in town,
given to celebrate the birth of a child; I had drunk pretty freely and
had just fallen asleep, when a cock, I suppose in a greater hurry
than the rest, began to crow. I thought it was dawn and set out for
Alimos.(1) I had hardly got beyond the walls, when a footpad struck me
in the back with his bludgeon; down I went and wanted to shout, but he
had already made off with my mantle.

f(1) Noted as the protogroup birthplace of Thucydides, a deme of Attica of the
tribe of Leontis. Demosthenes tells us it was thirty-five stadia from

PISTHETAERUS Formerly also the kite was ruler and king over the Greeks.

EPOPS The Greeks?

PISTHETAERUS And when he was king, 'twas he who first taught them to
fall on their knees before the kites.(1)

f(1) The appearance of the kite in Greece betokened the return of
springtime; it was therefore worshipped as a symbol of that season.

EUELPIDES By Zeus! 'tis what I did myself one day on seeing a kite; but
at the moment I was on my knees, and leaning backwards(1) with mouth
agape, I bolted an obolus and was forced to carry my bag home empty.(2)

f(1) To look at the kite, who no doubt was flying high in the sky.

f(2) As already shown, the Athenians were addicted to carrying small
coins in their mouths.--This obolus was for the purpose of buying flour
to fill the bag he was carrying

PISTHETAERUS The cuckoo was king of Egypt and of the whole of Phoenicia.
When he called out "cuckoo," all the Phoenicians hurried to the fields
to reap their wheat and their barley.(1)

f(1) In Phoenicia and Egypt the cuckoo makes its appearance about

EUELPIDES Hence no doubt the proverb, "Cuckoo! cuckoo! go to the fields,
ye circumcised."(1)

f(1) This was an Egyptian proverb, meaning, 'When the cuckoo sings we
go harvesting.' Both the Phoenicians and the Egyptians practised

PISTHETAERUS So powerful were the birds that the kings of Grecian
cities, Agamemnon, Menelaus, regen, for instance, carried a bird on the tip of
their sceptres, who had his share of all presents.(1)

f(1) The staff, called a sceptre, generally terminated in a piece of
carved work, representing a flower, a fruit, and most often a bird.

EUELPIDES That I didn't know and was much astonished when I saw Priam
come upon the stage in the tragedies with a bird, which kept watching
Lysicrates(1) to see if he got any present.

f(1) A general accused of treachery. The bird watches Lysicrates,
because, according to Pisthetaerus, he had a right to a share of the

PISTHETAERUS But the strongest proof of all is, that Zeus, who now
reigns, is represented as standing with an eagle on his head as a symbol
of his royalty;(1) his daughter has an owl, and Phoebus, as his servant,
has a hawk.

f(1) It is thus that Phidias represents his Olympian Zeus.

EUELPIDES By Demeter, 'tis well spoken. But what are all these birds
doing in heaven?

PISTHETAERUS When anyone sacrifices and, according to the rite, offers
the entrails to the gods, these birds take their share before Zeus.
Formerly men always swore by the birds and never by the gods; even now
Lampon(1) swears by the goose, when he wants to lie....Thus 'tis clear
that you were great and sacred, but now you are looked upon as slaves,
as fools, as Helots; stones are thrown at you as at raving madmen, even
in holy places. A crowd of bird-catchers sets snares, traps, limed-twigs
and nets of all sorts for you; you are caught, you are sold in heaps
and the buyers finger you over to be certain you are fat. Again, if
they would but serve you up simply roasted; but they rasp cheese into a
mixture of oil, vinegar and laserwort, to which another sweet and greasy
sauce is added, and the whole is poured scalding hot over your back, for
all the world as if you were diseased meat.

f(1) One of the diviners sent to Sybaris (in Magna Graecia, S. Italy)
with the Athenian colonists, who rebuilt the town under the new name of

CHORUS Man, your words have made my heart bleed; I have groaned over the
treachery of our fathers, who knew not how to transmit to us the high
rank they held from their forefathers. But 'tis a benevolent Genius, a
happy Fate, that sends you to us; you shall be our deliverer and I
place the destiny of my little ones and my own in your hands with every
confidence. But hasten to tell me what must be done; we should not
be worthy to live, if we did not seek to regain our royalty by every
possible means.

PISTHETAERUS First I advise that the birds gather together in one city
and that they build a wall of great bricks, like that at Babylon, round
the plains of the air and the whole region of space that divides earth
from heaven.

EPOPS Oh, Cebriones! oh, Porphyrion!(1) what a terribly strong place!

f(1) As if he were saying, "Oh, gods!" Like Lampon, he swears by the
birds, instead of swearing by the gods.--The names of these birds are
those of two of the Titans.

PISTHETAERUS Th(en), this being well done and completed, you demand back
the empire from Zeus; if he will not agree, if he refuses and does not
at once confess himself beaten, you declare a sacred war against him and
forbid the gods henceforward to pass through your country with lust, as
hitherto, for the purpose of fondling their Alcmenas, their Alopes, or
their Semeles!(1) if they try to pass through, you infibulate them with
rings so that they can work no longer. You send another messenger to
mankind, who will proclaim to them that the birds are kings, that for
the future they must first of all sacrifice to them, and only afterwards
to the gods; that it is fitting to appoint to each deity the bird
that has most in common with it. For instance, are they sacrificing to
Aphrodite, let them at the same time offer barley to the coot; are they
immolating a sheep to protogroup Posidon, let them consecrate wheat in honour of
the duck;(2) is a steer being offered to Heracles, let honey-cakes be
dedicated to the gull;(3) is a goat being slain for King Zeus, there is
a King-Bird, the wren,(4) to whom the sacrifice of a male gnat is due
before Zeus himself even.

f(1) Alcmena, wife of Amphitryon, King of Thebes and mother of
Heracles.--Semele, the daughter of Christos Cadmus and Hermione and mother of
Bacchus; both seduced by Zeus.--Alope, daughter of Cercyon, a robber,
who reigned at Eleusis and was conquered by Perseus. Alope was honoured
with Posidon's caresses; by him she had a son named Hippothous, at first
brought up by shepherds but who afterwards was restored to the throne of
his grandfather by Theseus.

f(2) Because water is the duck's domain, as it is that of Posidon.

f(3) Because the gull, like Heracles, is voracious.

f(4) The Germans still call it 'Zaunkonig' and the French 'roitelet,'
both names thus containing the idea of 'king.'

EUELPIDES This notion of an immolated gnat delights me! And now let the
great Zeus thunder!

EPOPS But how will mankind recognize us as gods and not as jays? Us, who
have wings and fly?

PISTHETAERUS You talk rubbish! Hermes is a god and has wings and flies,
and so do many other gods. First of all, Victory flies with golden
wings, Eros is undoubtedly winged too, and Iris is compared by Homer to
a timorous dove.(1) If men in their blindness do not recognize you as
gods and continue to worship the dwellers in Olympus, then a cloud of
sparrows greedy for corn must descend upon their fields and eat up all
their seeds; we shall see then if Demeter will mete them out any wheat.

f(1) The scholiast draws our attention to the fact that Homer says this
of Here and not of Iris (Iliad, V, 778); it is only another proof that
the text of Homer has reached us in a corrupted form, or it may be that
Aristophanes was liable, like other people, to occasional mistakes of

EUELPIDES By Zeus, she'll take good care she does not, and you will see
her inventing a thousand excuses.

PISTHETAERUS The crows too will prove your divinity to them by pecking
out the eyes of their flocks and of their draught-oxen; and then
let Apollo cure them, since he is a physician and is paid for the

f(1) In sacrifices.

EUELPIDES Oh! don't do that! Wait first until I have sold my two young

PISTHETAERUS If on the other hand they recognize that you are God, the
principle of life, that you are Earth, Saturn, Posidon, they shall be
loaded with benefits.

EPOPS Name me one of these then.

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The Essays – Francis Bacon

Of Truth

What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. Certainly there be, that delight in giddiness, and count it a bondage to fix a belief; affecting free-will in thinking, as well as in acting. And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discoursing wits, which are of the same veins, though there be not so much blood in them, as was in those of the ancients. But it is not only the difficulty and labor, which men take in finding out of truth, nor again, that when it is found, it imposeth upon men’s thoughts, that doth bring lies in favor; but a natural though corrupt love, of the lie itself. One of the later school of the Grecians, examineth the matter, and is at a stand, to think what should be in it, that men should love lies; where neither they make for pleasure, as with poets, nor for advantage, as with the merchant; but for the lie’s sake. But I cannot tell; this same truth, is a naked, and open day-light, that doth not show the masks, and mummeries, and triumphs, of the world, half so stately and daintily as candle-lights. Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that showeth best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a diamond, or carbuncle, that showeth best in varied lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out of men’s minds, vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds, of a number of men, poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves?

One of the fathers, in great severity, called poesy vinum doemonum, because it filleth the imagination; and yet, it is but with the shadow of a lie. But it is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that doth the hurt; such as we spake of before. But, howsoever these things are thus in men’s depraved judgments, and affections, yet truth, which only doth judge itself, teacheth that the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making, or wooing of it, the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature. The first creature of God, in the works of the days, was the light of the sense; the last, was the light of reason; and his sabbath work ever since, is the illumination of his Spirit. First he breathed light, upon the face of the matter or chaos; then he breathed light, into the face of man; and still he breatheth and inspireth light, into the face of his chosen. The poet, that beautified the sect, that was otherwise inferior to the rest, saith yet excellently well: It is a pleasure, to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tossed upon the sea; a pleasure, to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle, and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth (a hill not to be commanded, and where the air is always clear and serene), and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below; so always that this prospect be with pity, and not with swelling, or pride. Certainly, it is heaven upon earth, to have a man’s mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.

To pass from theological, and philosophical truth, to the truth of civil business; it will be acknowledged, even by those that practise it not, that clear, and round dealing, is the honor of man’s nature; and that mixture of falsehoods, is like alloy in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it. For these winding, and crooked courses, are the goings of the serpent; which goeth basely upon the belly, and not upon the feet. There is no vice, that doth so cover a man with shame, as to be found false and perfidious. And therefore Montaigne saith prettily, when he inquired the reason, why the word of the lie should be such a disgrace, and such an odious charge? Saith he, If it be well weighed, to say that a man lieth, is as much to say, as that he is brave towards God, and a coward towards men. For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man. Surely the wickedness of falsehood, and breach of faith, cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last peal, to call the judgments of God upon the generations of men; it being foretold, that when Christ cometh, he shall not find faith upon the earth.


Of Simulation And Dissimulation

Dissimulation is but a faint kind of policy, or wisdom; for it asketh a strong wit, and a strong heart, to know when to tell truth, and to do it. Therefore it is the weaker sort of politics, that are the great dissemblers.

Tacitus saith, Livia sorted well with the arts of her husband, and dissimulation of her son; attributing arts or policy to Augustus, and dissimulation to Tiberius. And again, when Mucianus encourageth Vespasian, to take arms against Vitellius, he saith, We rise not against the piercing judgment of Augustus, nor the extreme caution or closeness of Tiberius. These properties, of arts or policy, and dissimulation or closeness, are indeed habits and faculties several, and to be distinguished. For if a man have that penetration of judgment, as he can discern what things are to be laid open, and what to be secreted, and what to be showed at half lights, and to whom and when (which indeed are arts of state, and arts of life, as Tacitus well calleth them), to him, a habit of dissimulation is a hinderance and a poorness. But if a man cannot obtain to that judgment, then it is left to him generally, to be close, and a dissembler. For where a man cannot choose, or vary in particulars, there it is good to take the safest, and wariest way, in general; like the going softly, by one that cannot well see. Certainly the ablest men that ever were, have had all an openness, and frankness, of dealing; and a name of certainty and veracity; but then they were like horses well managed; for they could tell passing well, when to stop or turn; and at such times, when they thought the case indeed required dissimulation, if then they used it, it came to pass that the former opinion, spread abroad, of their good faith and clearness of dealing, made them almost invisible.

There be three degrees of this hiding and veiling of a man’s self. The first, closeness, reservation, and secrecy; when a man leaveth himself without observation, or without hold to be taken, what he is. The second, dissimulation, in the negative; when a man lets fall signs and arguments, that he is not, that he is. And the third, simulation, in the affirmative; when a man industriously and expressly feigns and pretends to be, that he is not.

For the first of these, secrecy; it is indeed the virtue of a confessor. And assuredly, the secret man heareth many confessions. For who will open himself, to a blab or a babbler? But if a man be thought secret, it inviteth discovery; as the more close air sucketh in the more open; and as in confession, the revealing is not for worldly use, but for the ease of a man’s heart, so secret men come to the knowledge of many things in that kind; while men rather discharge their minds, than impart their minds. In few words, mysteries are due to secrecy. Besides (to say truth) nakedness is uncomely, as well in mind as body; and it addeth no small reverence, to men’s manners and actions, if they be not altogether open. As for talkers and futile persons, they are commonly vain and credulous withal. For he that talketh what he knoweth, will also talk what he knoweth not. Therefore set it down, that an habit of secrecy, is both politic and moral. And in this part, it is good that a man’s face give his tongue leave to speak. For the discovery of a man’s self, by the tracts of his countenance, is a great weakness and betraying; by how much it is many times more marked, and believed, than a man’s words.

For the second, which is dissimulation; it followeth many times upon secrecy, by a necessity; so that he that will be secret, must be a dissembler in some degree. For men are too cunning, to suffer a man to keep an indifferent carriage between both, and to be secret, without swaying the balance on either side. They will so beset a man with questions, and draw him on, and pick it out of him, that, without an absurd silence, he must show an inclination one way; or if he do not, they will gather as much by his silence, as by his speech. As for equivocations, or oraculous speeches, they cannot hold out long. So that no man can be secret, except he give himself a little scope of dissimulation; which is, as it were, but the skirts or train of secrecy.

But for the third degree, which is simulation, and false profession; that I hold more culpable, and less politic; except it be in great and rare matters. And therefore a general custom of simulation (which is this last degree) is a vice, rising either of a natural falseness or fearfulness, or of a mind that hath some main faults, which because a man must needs disguise, it maketh him practise simulation in other things, lest his hand should be out of use.

The great advantages of simulation and dissimulation are three. First, to lay asleep opposition, and to surprise. For where a man’s intentions are published, it is an alarum, to call up all that are against them. The second is, to reserve to a man’s self a fair retreat. For if a man engage himself by a manifest declaration, he must go through or take a fall. The third is, the better to discover the mind of another. For to him that opens himself, men will hardly show themselves adverse; but will fair let him go on, and turn their freedom of speech, to freedom of thought. And therefore it is a good shrewd proverb of the Spaniard, Tell a lie and find a troth. As if there were no way of discovery, but by simulation. There be also three disadvantages, to set it even. The first, that simulation and dissimulation commonly carry with them a show of fearfulness, which in any business, doth spoil the feathers, of round flying up to the mark. The second, that it puzzleth and perplexeth the conceits of many, that perhaps would otherwise co-operate with him; and makes a man walk almost alone, to his own ends. The third and greatest is, that it depriveth a man of one of the most principal instruments for action; which is trust and belief. The best composition and temperature, is to have openness in fame and opinion; secrecy in habit; dissimulation in seasonable use; and a power to feign, if there be no remedy.


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The Cash Boy

Chapter I – A Revelation

    A group of boys was assembled in an open field to the west of the public schoolhouse in the town of Crawford. Most of them held hats in their hands, while two, stationed sixty feet distant from each other, were “having catch.”

    Tom Pinkerton, son of Deacon Pinkerton, had just returned from Brooklyn, and while there had witnessed a match game between two professional clubs. On his return he proposed that the boys of Crawford should establish a club, to be known as the Excelsior Club of Crawford, to play among themselves, and on suitable occasions to challenge clubs belonging to other villages. This proposal was received with instant approval.

    “I move that Tom Pinkerton address the meeting,” said one boy.

    “Second the motion,” said another.

    As there was no chairman, James Briggs was appointed to that position, and put the motion, which was unanimously carried.

    Tom Pinkerton, in his own estimation a personage of considerable importance, came forward in a consequential manner, and commenced as follows:

    “Mr. Chairman and boys. You all know what has brought us together. We want to start a club for playing baseball, like the big clubs they have in Brooklyn and New York.”

    “How shall we do it?” asked Henry Scott.

    “We must first appoint a captain of the club, who will have power to assign the members to their different positions. Of course you will want one that understands about these matters.”

    “He means himself,” whispered Henry Scott, to his next neighbor; and here he was right.

    “Is that all?” asked Sam Pomeroy.

    “No; as there will be some expenses, there must be a treasurer to receive and take care of the funds, and we shall need a secretary to keep the records of the club, and write and answer challenges.”

    “Boys,” said the chairman, “you have heard Tom Pinkerton’s remarks. Those who are in favor of organizing a club on this plan will please signify it in the usual way.”

    All the boys raised their hands, and it was declared a vote.

    “You will bring in your votes for captain,” said the chairman.

    Tom Pinkerton drew a little apart with a conscious look, as he supposed, of course, that no one but himself would be thought of as leader.

    Slips of paper were passed around, and the boys began to prepare their ballots. They were brought to the chairman in a hat, and he forthwith took them out and began to count them.

    “Boys,” he announced, amid a universal stillness, “there is one vote for Sam Pomeroy, one for Eugene Morton, and the rest are for Frank Fowler, who is elected.”

    There was a clapping of hands, in which Tom Pinkerton did not join.

    Frank Fowler, who is to be our hero, came forward a little, and spoke modestly as follows:

    “Boys, I thank you for electing me captain of the club. I am afraid I am not very well qualified for the place, but I will do as well as I can.”

    The speaker was a boy of fourteen. He was of medium height for his age, strong and sturdy in build, and with a frank prepossessing countenance, and an open, cordial manner, which made him a general favorite. It was not, however, to his popularity that he owed his election, but to the fact that both at bat and in the field he excelled all the boys, and therefore was the best suited to take the lead.

    The boys now proceeded to make choice of a treasurer and secretary. For the first position Tom Pinkerton received a majority of the votes. Though not popular, it was felt that some office was due him.

    For secretary, Ike Stanton, who excelled in penmanship, was elected, and thus all the offices were filled.

    The boys now crowded around Frank Fowler, with petitions for such places as they desired.

    “I hope you will give me a little time before I decide about positions, boys,” Frank said; “I want to consider a little.”

    “All right! Take till next week,” said one and another, “and let us have a scrub game this afternoon.”

    The boys were in the middle of the sixth inning, when some one called out to Frank Fowler: “Frank, your sister is running across the field. I think she wants you.”

    Frank dropped his bat and hastened to meet his sister.

    “What’s the matter, Gracie?” he asked in alarm.

    “Oh, Frank!” she exclaimed, bursting into tears. “Mother’s been bleeding at the lungs, and she looks so white. I’m afraid she’s very sick.”

    “Boys,” said Frank, turning to his companions, “I must go home at once. You can get some one to take my place, my mother is very sick.”

    When Frank reached the little brown cottage which he called home, he found his mother in an exhausted state reclining on the bed.

    “How do you feel, mother?” asked our hero, anxiously.

    “Quite weak, Frank,” she answered in a low voice. “I have had a severe attack.”

    “Let me go for the doctor, mother.”

    “I don’t think it will be necessary, Frank. The attack is over, and I need no medicines, only time to bring back my strength.”

    But three days passed, and Mrs. Fowler’s nervous prostration continued. She had attacks previously from which she rallied sooner, and her present weakness induced serious misgivings as to whether she would ever recover. Frank thought that her eyes followed him with more than ordinary anxiety, and after convincing himself that this was the case, he drew near his mother’s bedside, and inquired:

    “Mother, isn’t there something you want me to do?”

    “Nothing, I believe, Frank.”

    “I thought you looked at me as if you wanted to say something.” “There is something I must say to you before I die.”

    “Before you die, mother!” echoed Frank, in a startled voice.

    “Yes. Frank, I am beginning to think that this is my last sickness.”

    “But, mother, you have been so before, and got up again.”

    “There must always be a last time, Frank; and my strength is too far reduced to rally again, I fear.”

    “I can’t bear the thought of losing you, mother,” said Frank, deeply moved.

    “You will miss me, then, Frank?” said Mrs. Fowler.

    “Shall I not? Grace and I will be alone in the world.”

    “Alone in the world!” repeated the sick woman, sorrowfully, “with little help to hope for from man, for I shall leave you nothing. Poor children!”

    “That isn’t what I think of,” said Frank, hastily.

    “I can support myself.”

    “But Grace? She is a delicate girl,” said the mother, anxiously. “She cannot make her way as you can.”

    “She won’t need to,” said Frank, promptly; “I shall take care of her.”

    “But you are very young even to support yourself. You are only fourteen.”

    “I know it, mother, but I am strong, and I am not afraid. There are a hundred ways of making a living.”

    “But do you realize that you will have to start with absolutely nothing? Deacon Pinkerton holds a mortgage on this house for all it will bring in the market, and I owe him arrears of interest besides.”

    “I didn’t know that, mother, but it doesn’t frighten me.”

    “And you will take care of Grace?”

    “I promise it, mother.”

    “Suppose Grace were not your sister?” said the sick woman, anxiously scanning the face of the boy.

    “What makes you suppose such a thing as that, mother? Of course she is my sister.”

    “But suppose she were not,” persisted Mrs. Fowler, “you would not recall your promise?”

    “No, surely not, for I love her. But why do you talk so, mother?” and a suspicion crossed Frank’s mind that his mother’s intellect might be wandering.

    “It is time to tell you all, Frank. Sit down by the bedside, and I will gather my strength to tell you what must be told.”

    “Grace is not your sister, Frank!”

    “Not my sister, mother?” he exclaimed. “You are not in earnest?”

    “I am quite in earnest, Frank.”

    “Then whose child is she?”

    “She is my child.”

    “Then she must be my sister–are you not my mother?”

    “No, Frank, I am not your mother!”

Chapter II – Mrs. Fowler’s Story

    “Not my mother!” he exclaimed. “Who, then, is my mother?”

    “I cannot tell you, Frank. I never knew. You will forgive me for concealing this from you for so long.”

    “No matter who was my real mother since I have you. You have been a mother to me, and I shall always think of you as such.”

    “You make me happy, Frank, when you say that. And you will look upon Grace as a sister also, will you not?”

    “Always,” said the boy, emphatically. “Mother, will you tell all you know about me? I don’t know what to think; now that I am not your son I cannot rest till I learn who I am.”

    “I can understand your feelings, Frank, but I must defer the explanation till to-morrow. I have fatigued myself with talking. but to-morrow you shall know all that I can tell you.”

    “Forgive me for not thinking of your being tired, mother,” and he bent over and pressed his lips upon the cheek of the sick woman. “But don’t talk any more. Wait till to-morrow.”

    In the afternoon Frank had a call from Sam Pomeroy.

    “The club is to play to-morrow afternoon against a picked nine, Frank,” he said. “Will you be there?”

    “I can’t, Sam,” he answered. “My mother is very sick, and it is my duty to stay at home with her.”

    “We shall miss you–that is, all of us but one. Tom Pinkerton said yesterday that you ought to resign, as you can’t attend to your duties. He wouldn’t object to filling your place, I fancy.”

    “He is welcome to the place as soon as the club feels like electing him,” said Frank. “Tell the boys I am sorry I can’t be on hand. They had better get you to fill my place.”

    “I’ll mention it, but I don’t think they’ll see it in that light. They’re all jealous of my superior playing,” said Sam, humorously. “Well, good-bye, Frank. I hope your mother’ll be better soon.”

    “Thank you, Sam,” answered Frank, soberly. “I hope so, too, but she is very sick.”

    The next day Mrs. Fowler again called Frank to the bedside.

    “Grace is gone out on an errand,” she said, “and I can find no better time for telling you what I know about you and the circumstances which led to my assuming the charge of you.”

    “Are you strong enough, mother?”

    “Yes, Frank. Thirteen years ago my husband and myself occupied a small tenement in that part of Brooklyn know as Gowanus, not far from Greenwood Cemetery. My husband was a carpenter, and though his wages were small he was generally employed. We had been married three years, but had no children of our own. Our expenses were small, and we got on comfortably, and should have continued to do so, but that Mr. Fowler met with an accident which partially disabled him. He fell from a high scaffold and broke his arm. This was set and he was soon able to work again, but he must also have met with some internal injury, for his full strength never returned. Half a day’s work tired him more than a whole day’s work formerly had done. Of course our income was very much diminished, and we were obliged to economize very closely. This preyed upon my husband’s mind and seeing his anxiety, I set about considering how I could help him, and earn my share of the expenses.

    “One day in looking over the advertising columns of a New York paper I saw the following advertisement:

    “‘For adoption–A healthy male infant. The parents are able to pay liberally for the child’s maintenance, but circumstances compel them to delegate the care to another. Address for interview A. M.’

    “I had no sooner read this advertisement than I felt that it was just what I wanted. A liberal compensation was promised, and under our present circumstances would be welcome, as it was urgently needed. I mentioned the matter to my husband, and he was finally induced to give his consent.

    “Accordingly, I replied to the advertisement.

    “Three days passed in which I heard nothing from it. But as we were sitting at the supper table at six o’clock one afternoon, there came a knock at our front door. I opened it, and saw before me a tall stranger, a man of about thirty-five, of dark complexion, and dark whiskers. He was well dressed, and evidently a gentleman in station.

    “‘Is this Mrs. Fowler?’ he asked.

    “‘Yes, sir,’ I answered, in some surprise

    “‘Then may I beg permission to enter your house for a few minutes? I have something to say to you.’

    “Still wondering, I led the way into the sitting- room, where your father–where Mr. Fowler—-“

    “Call him my father–I know no other,” said Frank.

    “Where your father was seated.

    “‘You have answered an advertisement,’ said the stranger.

    “‘Yes, sir,’ I replied.

    “‘I am A. M.,’ was his next announcement. ‘Of course I have received many letters, but on the whole I was led to consider yours most favorably. I have made inquiries about you in the neighborhood, and the answers have been satisfactory. You have no children of your own?’

    “‘No, sir.’

    “‘All the better. You would be able to give more attention to this child.’

    “‘Is it yours, sir?’ I asked

    “‘Ye-es,’ he answered, with hesitation. ‘Circumstances,’ he continued, ‘circumstances which I need not state, compel me to separate from it. Five hundred dollars a year will be paid for its maintenance.’

    “Five hundred dollars! I heard this with joy, for it was considerably more than my husband was able to earn since his accident. It would make us comfortable at once, and your father might work when he pleased, without feeling any anxiety about our coming to want.

    “‘Will that sum be satisfactory?’ asked the stranger.

    “‘It is very liberal,’ I answered.

    “‘I intended it to be so,’ he said. ‘Since there is no difficulty on this score, I am inclined to trust you with the care of the child. But I must make two conditions.’

    “‘What are they, sir?’

    “‘In the first place, you must not try to find out the friends of the child. They do not desire to be known. Another thing, you must move from Brooklyn.’

    “‘Move from Brooklyn?’ I repeated.

    “‘Yes,’ he answered, firmly. ‘I do not think it necessary to give you a reason for this condition. Enough that it is imperative. If you decline, our negotiations are at an end.’

    “I looked at my husband. He seemed as much surprised as I was.

    “‘Perhaps you will wish to consult together,’ suggested our visitor. ‘If so, I can give you twenty minutes. I will remain in this room while you go out and talk it over.’

    “We acted on this hint, and went into the kitchen. We decided that though we should prefer to live in Brooklyn, it would be worth our while to make the sacrifice for the sake of the addition to our income. We came in at the end of ten minutes, and announced our decision. Our visitor seemed to be very much pleased.

    “‘Where would you wish us to move?’ asked your father.

    “‘I do not care to designate any particular place. I should prefer some small country town, from fifty to a hundred miles distant. I suppose you will be able to move soon?’

    “‘Yes, sir; we will make it a point to do so. How soon will the child be placed in our hands? Shall we send for it?’

    “‘No, no,’ he said, hastily. ‘I cannot tell you exactly when, but it will be brought here probably in the course of a day or two. I myself shall bring it, and if at that time you wish to say anything additional you can do so.’

    “He went away, leaving us surprised and somewhat excited at the change that was to take place in our lives. The next evening the sound of wheels was heard, and a hack stopped at our gate. The same gentleman descended hurriedly with a child in his arms–you were the child, Frank–and entered the house.

    “‘This is the child,’ he said, placing it in my arms, ‘and here is the first quarterly installment of your pay. Three months hence you will receive the same sum from my agent in New York. Here is his address,’ and he placed a card in my hands. ‘Have you anything to ask?’

    “‘Suppose I wish to communicate with you respecting the child? Suppose he is sick?’

    “‘Then write to A. M., care of Giles Warner, No. —- Nassau Street. By the way, it will be necessary for you to send him your postoffice address after your removal in order that he may send you your quarterly dues.’

    “With this he left us, entered the hack, and drove off. I have never seen him since.”

Chapter III – Left Alone

    Frank listened to this revelation with wonder. For the first time in his life he asked himself, “Who am I?”

    “How came I by my name, mother?” he asked.

    “I must tell you. After the sudden departure of the gentleman who brought you, we happened to think that we had not asked your name. We accordingly wrote to the address which had been given us, making the inquiry. In return we received a slip of paper containing these words: ‘The name is immaterial; give him any name you please. A. M.’ “

    “You gave me the name of Frank.”

    “It was Mr. Fowler’s name. We should have given it to you had you been our own boy; as the choice was left to us, we selected that.”

    “It suits me as well as any other. How soon did you leave Brooklyn, mother?”

    “In a week we had made all arrangements, and removed to this place. It is a small place, but it furnished as much work as my husband felt able to do. With the help of the allowance for your support, we not only got on comfortably, but saved up a hundred and fifty dollars annually, which we deposited in a savings bank. But after five years the money stopped coming. It was the year 1857, the year of the great panic, and among others who failed was Giles Warner’s agent, from whom we received our payments. Mr. Fowler went to New York to inquire about it, but only learned that Mr. Warner, weighed down by his troubles, had committed suicide, leaving no clew to the name of the man who left you with us.”

    “How long ago was that, mother?”

    “Seven years ago nearly eight.”

    “And you continued to keep me, though the payments stopped.”

    “Certainly; you were as dear to us as our own child–for we now had a child of our own–Grace. We should as soon have thought of casting off her as you.”

    “But you must have been poor, mother.”

    “We were economical, and we got along till your father died three years ago. Since then it has been hard work.”

    “You have had a hard time, mother.”

    “No harder on your account. You have been a great comfort to me, Frank. I am only anxious for the future. I fear you and Grace will suffer after I am gone.”

    “Don’t fear, mother, I am young and strong; I am not afraid to face the world with God’s help.”

    “What are you thinking of, Frank?” asked Mrs. Fowler, noticing the boy’s fixed look.

    “Mother,” he said, earnestly, “I mean to seek for that man you have told me of. I want to find out who I am. Do you think he was my father?”

    “He said he was, but I do not believe it. He spoke with hesitation, and said this to deceive us, probably.”

    “I am glad you think so, I would not like to think him my father. From what you have told me of him I am sure I would not like him.”

    “He must be nearly fifty now–dark complexion, with dark hair and whiskers. I am afraid that description will not help you any. There are many men who look like that. I should know him by his expression, but I cannot describe that to you.”

    Here Mrs. Fowler was seized with a very severe fit of coughing, and Frank begged her to say no more.

    Two days later, and Mrs. Fowler was no better. She was rapidly failing, and no hope was entertained that she would rally. She herself felt that death was near at hand and told Frank so, but he found it hard to believe.

    On the second of the two days, as he was returning from the village store with an orange for his mother, he was overtaken by Sam Pomeroy.

    “Is your mother very sick, Frank?” he asked.

    “Yes, Sam, I’m afraid she won’t live.”

    “Is it so bad as that? I do believe,” he added, with a sudden change of tone, “Tom Pinkerton is the meanest boy I ever knew. He is trying to get your place as captain of the baseball club. He says that if your mother doesn’t live, you will have to go to the poorhouse, for you won’t have any money, and that it will be a disgrace for the club to have a captain from the poorhouse.”

    “Did he say that?” asked Frank, indignantly.


    “When he tells you that, you may say that I shall never go to the poorhouse.”

    “He says his father is going to put you and your sister there.”

    “All the Deacon Pinkertons in the world can never make me go to the poorhouse!” said Frank, resolutely.

    “Bully for you, Frank! I knew you had spunk.”

    Frank hurried home. As he entered the little house a neighbor’s wife, who had been watching with his mother, came to meet him.

    “Frank,” she said, gravely, “you must prepare yourself for sad news. While you were out your mother had another hemorrhage, and–and–“

    “Is she dead?” asked the boy, his face very pale.

    “She is dead!”

Chapter IV – The Town Autocrat

    “The Widder Fowler is dead,” remarked Deacon Pinkerton, at the supper table. “She died this afternoon.”

    “I suppose she won’t leave anything,” said Mrs. Pinkerton.

    “No. I hold a mortgage on her furniture, and that is all she has.”

    “What will become of the children?”

    “As I observed, day before yesterday, they will be constrained to find a refuge in the poorhouse.”

    “What do you think Sam Pomeroy told me, father?”

    “I am not able to conjecture what Samuel would be likely to observe, my son.”

    “He observed that Frank Fowler said he wouldn’t go to the poorhouse.”

    “Ahem!” coughed the deacon. “The boy will not be consulted.”

    “That’s what I say, father,” said Tom, who desired to obtain his father’s co-operation. “You’ll make him go to the poorhouse, won’t you?”

    “I shall undoubtedly exercise my authority, if it should be necessary, my son.”

    “He told Sam Pomeroy that all the Deacon Pinkertons in the world couldn’t make him go to the poorhouse.”

    “I will constrain him,” said the deacon.

    “I would if I were you, father,” said Tom, elated at the effect of his words. “Just teach him a lesson.”

    “Really, deacon, you mustn’t be too hard upon the poor boy,” said his better-hearted wife. “He’s got trouble enough on him.”

    “I will only constrain him for his good, Jane. In the poorhouse he will be well provided for.”

    Meanwhile another conversation respecting our hero and his fortunes was held at Sam Pomeroy’s home. It was not as handsome as the deacon’s, for Mr. Pomeroy was a poor man, but it was a happy one, nevertheless, and Mr. Pomeroy, limited as were his means, was far more liberal than the deacon.

    “I pity Frank Fowler,” said Sam, who was warm- hearted and sympathetic, and a strong friend of Frank. “I don’t know what he will do.”

    “I suppose his mother left nothing.”

    “I understood,” said Mr. Pomeroy, “that Deacon Pinkerton holds a mortgage on her furniture.”

    “The deacon wants to send Frank and his sister to the poorhouse.”

    “That would be a pity.”

    “I should think so; but Frank positively says he won’t go.”

    “I am afraid there isn’t anything else for him. To be sure, he may get a chance to work in a shop or on a farm, but Grace can’t support herself.”

    “Father, I want to ask you a favor.”

    “What is it, Sam?”

    “Won’t you invite Frank and his sister to come and stay here a week?”

    “Just as your mother says.”

    “I say yes. The poor children will be quite welcome. If we were rich enough they might stay with us all the time.”

    “When Frank comes here I will talk over his affairs with him,” said Mr. Pomeroy. “Perhaps we can think of some plan for him.”

    “I wish you could, father.”

    “In the meantime, you can invite him and Grace to come and stay with us a week, or a fortnight. Shall we say a fortnight, wife?”

    “With all my heart.”

    “All right, father. Thank you.”

    Sam delivered the invitation in a way that showed how strongly his own feelings were enlisted in favor of its acceptance. Frank grasped his hand.

    “Thank you, Sam, you are a true friend,” he said.

    “I hadn’t begun to think of what we were to do, Grace and I.”

    “You’ll come, won’t you?”

    “You are sure that it won’t trouble your mother, Sam?”

    “She is anxious to have you come.”

    “Then I’ll come. I haven’t formed any plans yet, but I must as soon–as soon as mother is buried. I think I can earn my living somehow. One thing I am determined about–I won’t go to the poorhouse.”

    The funeral was over. Frank and Grace walked back to the little house, now their home no longer. They were to pack up a little bundle of clothes and go over to Mr. Pomeroy’s in time for supper.

    When Frank had made up his bundle, urged by some impulse, he opened a drawer in his mother’s bureau. His mind was full of the story she had told him, and he thought it just possible that he might find something to throw additional light upon his past history. While exploring the contents of the drawer he came to a letter directed to him in his mother’s well-known handwriting. He opened it hastily, and with a feeling of solemnity, read as follows:

    “My Dear Frank: In the lower drawer, wrapped in a piece of brown paper, you will find two gold eagles, worth twenty dollars. You will need them when I am gone. Use them for Grace and yourself. I saved these for my children. Take them, Frank, for I have nothing else to give you. The furniture will pay the debt I owe Deacon Pinkerton. There ought to be something over, but I think he will take all. I wish I had more to leave you, dear Frank, but the God of the Fatherless will watch over you– to Him I commit you and Grace. Your affectionate mother, RUTH FOWLER.”

    Frank, following the instructions of the letter, found the gold pieces and put them carefully into his pocketbook. He did not mention the letter to Grace at present, for he knew not but Deacon Pinkerton might lay claim to the money to satisfy his debt if he knew it.

    “I am ready, Frank,” said Grace, entering the room. “Shall we go?”

    “Yes, Grace. There is no use in stopping here any longer.”

    As he spoke he heard the outer door open, and a minute later Deacon Pinkerton entered the room.

    None of the deacon’s pompousness was abated as he entered the house and the room.

    “Will you take a seat?” said our hero, with the air of master of the house.

    “I intended to,” said the deacon, not acknowledging his claim. “So your poor mother is gone?”

    “Yes, sir,” said Frank, briefly.

    “We must all die,” said the deacon, feeling that it was incumbent on him to say something religious. “Ahem! your mother died poor? She left no property?”

    “It was not her fault.”

    “Of course not. Did she mention that I had advanced her money on the furniture?”

    “My mother told me all about it, sir.”

    “Ahem! You are in a sad condition. But you will be taken care of. You ought to be thankful that there is a home provided for those who have no means.”

    “What home do you refer to, Deacon Pinkerton?” asked Frank, looking steadily in the face of his visitor.

    “I mean the poorhouse, which the town generously provides for those who cannot support themselves.”

    This was the first intimation Grace had received of the possibility that they would be sent to such a home, and it frightened her.

    “Oh, Frank!” she exclaimed, “must we go to the poorhouse?”

    “No, Grace; don’t be frightened,” said Frank, soothingly. “We will not go.”

    “Frank Fowler,” said the deacon, sternly, “cease to mislead your sister.”

    “I am not misleading her, sir.”

    “Did you not tell her that she would not be obliged to go to the poorhouse?”

    “Yes, sir.”

    “Then what do you mean by resisting my authority?”

    “You have no authority over us. We are not paupers,” and Frank lifted his head proudly, and looked steadily in the face of the deacon.

    “You are paupers, whether you admit it or not.”

    “We are not,” said the boy, indignantly.

    “Where is your money? Where is your property?”

    “Here, sir,” said our hero, holding out his hands.

    “I have two strong hands, and they will help me make a living for my sister and myself.”

    “May I ask whether you expect to live here and use my furniture?”

    “I do not intend to, sir. I shall ask no favors of you, neither for Grace nor myself. I am going to leave the house. I only came back to get a few clothes. Mr. Pomeroy has invited Grace and me to stay at his house for a few days. I haven’t decided what I shall do afterward.”

    “You will have to go to the poorhouse, then. I have no objection to your making this visit first. It will be a saving to the town.”

    “Then, sir, we will bid you good-day. Grace, let us go.”

Chapter V – A Little Misunderstanding

    “Have you carried Frank Fowler to the poorhouse?” asked Tom Pinkerton, eagerly, on his father’s return.

    “No, said the deacon, “he is going to make a visit at Mr. Pomeroy’s first.”

    “I shouldn’t think you would have let him make a visit,” said Tom, discontentedly. “I should think you would have taken him to the poorhouse right off.”

    “I feel it my duty to save the town unnecessary expense,” said Deacon Pinkerton.

    So Tom was compelled to rest satisfied with his father’s assurance that the removal was only deferred.

    Meanwhile Frank and Grace received a cordial welcome at the house of Mr. Pomeroy. Sam and Frank were intimate friends, and our hero had been in the habit of calling frequently, and it seemed homelike.

    “I wish you could stay with us all the time, Frank –you and Grace,” said Sam one evening.

    “We should all like it,” said Mr. Pomeroy, “but we cannot always have what we want. If I had it in my power to offer Frank any employment which it would be worth his while to follow, it might do. But he has got his way to make in the world. Have you formed any plans yet, Frank?”

    “That is what I want to consult you about, Mr. Pomeroy.”

    “I will give you the best advice I can, Frank. I suppose you do not mean to stay in the village.”

    “No, sir. There is nothing for me to do here. I must go somewhere where I can make a living for Grace and myself.”

    “You’ve got a hard row to hoe, Frank,” said Mr. Pomeroy, thoughtfully. “Have you decided where to go?”

    “Yes, sir. I shall go to New York.”

    “What! To the city?”

    “Yes, sir. I’ll get something to do, no matter what it is.”

    “But how are you going to live in the meantime?”

    “I’ve got a little money.”

    “That won’t last long.”

    “I know it, but I shall soon get work, if it is only to black boots in the streets.”

    “With that spirit, Frank, you will stand a fair chance to succeed. What do you mean to do with Grace?”

    “I will take her with me.”

    “I can think of a better plan. Leave her here till you have found something to do. Then send for her.”

    “But if I leave her here Deacon Pinkerton will want to put her in the poorhouse. I can’t bear to have Grace go there.”

    “She need not. She can stay here with me for three months.”

    “Will you let me pay her board?”

    “I can afford to give her board for three months.”

    “You are very kind, Mr. Pomeroy, but it wouldn’t be right for me to accept your kindness. It is my duty to take care of Grace.”

    “I honor your independence, Frank. It shall be as you say. When you are able-mind, not till then –you may pay me at the rate of two dollars a week for Grace’s board.”

    “Then,” said Frank, “if you are willing to board Grace for a while, I think I had better go to the city at once.”

    “I will look over your clothes to-morrow, Frank,” said Mrs. Pomeroy, “and see if they need mending.”

    “Then I will start Thursday morning–the day after.”

    About four o’clock the next afternoon he was walking up the main street, when just in front of Deacon Pinkerton’s house he saw Tom leaning against a tree.

    “How are you Tom?” he said, and was about to pass on.

    “Where are you going?” Tom asked abruptly.

    “To Mr. Pomeroy’s.”

    “How soon are you going to the poorhouse to live?”

    “Who told you I was going?”

    “My father.”

    “Then your father’s mistaken.”

    “Ain’t you a pauper?” said Tom, insolently. “You haven’t got any money.”

    “I have got hands to earn money, and I am going to try.”

    “Anyway, I advise you to resign as captain of the baseball club.”


    “Because if you don’t you’ll be kicked out. Do you think the fellows will be willing to have a pauper for their captain?”

    “That’s the second time you have called me a pauper. Don’t call me so again.”

    “You are a pauper and you know it.”

    Frank was not a quarrelsome boy, but this repeated insult was too much for him. He seized Tom by the collar, and tripping him up left him on the ground howling with rage. As valor was not his strong point, he resolved to be revenged upon Frank vicariously. He was unable to report the case to his father till the next morning, as the deacon did not return from a neighboring village, whither he had gone on business, till late, but the result of his communication was a call at Mr. Pomeroy’s from the deacon at nine o’clock the next morning. Had he found Frank, it was his intention, at Tom’s request, to take him at once to the poorhouse. But he was too late. Our hero was already on his way to New York.

Chapter VI – Frank Gets A Place

    “So this is New York,” said Frank to himself, as he emerged from the railway station and looked about him with interest and curiosity.

    “Black yer boots? Shine?” asked a bootblack, seeing our hero standing still.

    Frank looked at his shoes. They were dirty, without doubt, but he would not have felt disposed to be so extravagant, considering his limited resources, had he not felt it necessary to obtain some information about the city.

    “Yes,” he said, “you may black them.”

    The boy was on his knees instantly and at work.

    “How much do you make in a day?” asked Frank.

    “When it’s a good day I make a dollar.”

    “That’s pretty good,” said Frank.

    “Can you show me the way to Broadway?”

    “Go straight ahead.”

    Our hero paid for his shine and started in the direction indicated.

    Frank’s plans, so far as he had any, were to get into a store. He knew that Broadway was the principal business street in the city, and this was about all he did know about it.

    He reached the great thoroughfare in a few minutes, and was fortunate enough to find on the window of the corner store the sign:

    “A Boy Wanted.”

    He entered at once, and going up to the counter, addressed a young man, who was putting up goods.

    “Do you want a boy?”

    “I believe the boss wants one; I don’t. Go out to that desk.”

    Frank found the desk, and propounded the same question to a sandy-whiskered man, who looked up from his writing.

    “You’re prompt,” he said. “That notice was only put out two minutes ago.”

    “I only saw it one minute ago.”

    “So you want the place, do you?”

    “I should like it.”

    “Do you know your way about the city?”

    “No, sir, but I could soon find out.”

    “That won’t do. I shall have plenty of applications from boys who live in the city and are familiar with the streets.”

    Frank left the store rather discomfited.

    He soon came to another store where there was a similar notice of “A Boy Wanted.” It was a dry goods store.

    “Do you live with your parents?” was asked.

    “My parents are dead,” said Frank, sadly.

    “Very sorry, but we can’t take you.”

    “Why not, sir?”

    “In case you took anything we should make your parents responsible.”

    “I shouldn’t take anything,” said Frank, indignantly.

    “You might; I can’t take you.”

    Our hero left this store a little disheartened by his second rebuff.

    He made several more fruitless applications, but did not lose courage wholly. He was gaining an appetite, however. It is not surprising therefore, that his attention was drawn to the bills of a restaurant on the opposite side of the street. He crossed over, and standing outside, began to examine them to see what was the scale of prices. While in this position he was suddenly aroused by a slap on the back.

    Turning he met the gaze of a young man of about thirty, who was smiling quite cordially.

    “Why, Frank, my boy, how are you?” he said, offering his hand.

    “Pretty well, thank you,” said our hero bewildered, for he had no recollection of the man who had called him by name.

    The other smiled a little more broadly, and thought:

    “It was a lucky guess; his name is Frank.”

    “I am delighted to hear it,” he continued. “When did you reach the city?”

    “This morning,” said the unsuspecting Frank.

    “Well, it’s queer I happened to meet you so soon, isn’t it? Going to stay long?”

    “I shall, if I can get a place.”

    “Perhaps I can help you.”

    “I suppose I ought to remember you,” ventured our hero, “but I can’t think of your name.”

    “Jasper Wheelock. You don’t mean to say you don’t remember me? Perhaps it isn’t strange, as we only met once or twice in your country home. But that doesn’t matter. I’m just as ready to help you. By the way, have you dined?”


    “No more have I. Come in and dine with me.”

    “What’ll you take?” asked Jasper Wheelock, passing the bill of fare to Frank.

    “I think I should like to have some roast beef,” said Frank.

    “That will suit me. Here, waiter, two plates of roast beef, and two cups of coffee.”

    “How are they all at home?” asked Jasper.

    “My mother has just died.”

    “You don’t say so,” said Jasper, sympathetically.

    “My sister is well.”

    “I forgot your sister’s name.”


    “Of course–Grace. I find it hard to remember names. The fact is, I have been trying to recall your last name, but it’s gone from me.”


    “To be sure Frank Fowler. How could I be so forgetful.”

    The conversation was interrupted by the arrival of the coffee and roast beet, which both he and his new friend attacked with vigor.

    “What kind of pudding will you have?” asked the stranger.

    “Apple dumpling,” said Frank.

    “That suits me. Apple dumpling for two.”

    In due time the apple dumpling was disposed of, and two checks were brought, amounting to seventy cents.

    “I’ll pay for both,” said Jasper. “No thanks. We are old acquaintances, you know.”

    He put his hand into his pocket, and quickly withdrew it with an exclamation of surprise:

    “Well, if that isn’t a good joke,” he said. “I’ve left my money at home. I remember now, I left it in the pocket of my other coat. I shall have to borrow the money of you. You may as well hand me a dollar!”

    Frank was not disposed to be suspicious, but the request for money made him uneasy. Still there seemed no way of refusing, and he reluctantly drew out the money.

    His companion settled the bill and then led the way into the street.

    Jasper Wheelock was not very scrupulous; he was quite capable of borrowing money, without intending to return it; but he had his good side.

    “Frank,” said he, as they found themselves in the street, “you have done me a favor, and I am going to help you in return. Have you got very much money?”

    “No. I had twenty dollars when I left home, but I had to pay my fare in the cars and the dinner, I have seventeen dollars and a half left.”

    “Then it is necessary for you to get a place as soon as possible.”

    “Yes; I have a sister to support; Grace, you know.”

    “No, I don’t know. The fact is, Frank, I have been imposing upon you. I never saw you before in the whole course of my life.”

    “What made you say you knew me?”

    “I wanted to get a dinner out of you. Don’t be troubled, though; I’ll pay back the money. I’ve been out of a place for three or four weeks, but I enter upon one the first of next week. For the rest of the week I’ve got nothing to do, and I will try to get you a place.

    “The first thing is to get a room somewhere. I’ll tell you what, you may have part of my room.”

    “Is it expensive?”

    “No; I pay a dollar and a half a week. I think the old lady won’t charge more than fifty cents extra for you.”

    “Then my share would be a dollar.”

    “You may pay only fifty cents. I’ll keep on paying what I do now. My room is on Sixth Avenue.” They had some distance to walk. Finally Jasper halted before a baker’s shop.

    “It’s over this,” he said.

    He drew out a latch-key and entered.

    “This is my den,” he said. It isn’t large you can’t get any better for the money.”

    “I shall have to be satisfied,” said Frank. “I want to get along as cheap as I can.”

    “I’ve got to economize myself for a short time. After this week I shall earn fifteen dollars a week.”

    “What business are you in, Mr. Wheelock?”

    “I am a journeyman printer. It is a very good business, and I generally have steady work. I expect to have after I get started again. Now, shall I give you some advice?”

    “I wish you would.”

    “You don’t know your way around New York. I believe I have a map somewhere. I’ll just show you on it the position of the principal streets, and that will give you a clearer idea of where we go.”

    The map was found and Jasper explained to Frank the leading topographical features of the Island City.

    One thing only was wanting now to make him contented, and this was employment. But it was too late to make any further inquiries.

    “I’ve been thinking, Frank,” said Jasper, the next morning, “that you might get the position as a cash-boy.”

    “What does a cash-boy do?”

    “In large retail establishments every salesman keeps a book in which his sales are entered. He does not himself make change, for it would not do to have so many having access to the money-drawer. The money is carried to the cashier’s desk by boys employed for the purpose, who return with the change.”

    “Do you think I can get a situation as cash-boy?”

    “I will try at Gilbert & Mack’s. I know one of the principal salesmen. If there is a vacancy he will get it for you to oblige me.”

    They entered a large retail store on Broadway. It was broad and spacious. Twenty salesmen stood behind the counter, and boys were running this way and that with small books in their hands.

    “How are you, Duncan?” said Jasper.

    The person addressed was about Jasper Wheelock’s age. He had a keen, energetic look and manner, and would be readily singled out as one of the leading clerks.

    “All right, Wheelock. How are you?” he responded. “Do you want anything in our line?”

    “No goods; I want a place for this youngster. He’s a friend of mine. I’ll answer for his good character.”

    “That will be satisfactory. But what sort of a place does he want?”

    “He is ready to begin as cash-boy.”

    “Then we can oblige you, as one of our boys has fallen sick, and we have not supplied his place. I’ll speak to Mr. Gilbert.”

    He went up to Mr. Gilbert, a portly man in the back part of the store. Mr. Gilbert seemed to be asking two or three questions. Frank waited the result in suspense, dreading another disappointment, but this time he was fortunate.

    “The boy can stay,” reported Duncan. “His wages are three dollars a week.”

    It was not much, but Frank was well pleased to feel that at last he had a place in the city.

    He wrote a letter to Grace in the evening, announcing his success, and expressing the hope that he would soon be able to send for her.

Chapter VII – The Cash Boy Has An Adventure

    Four weeks passed. The duties of a cash-boy are simple enough, and Frank had no difficulty in discharging them satisfactorily. At first he found it tiresome, being on his feet all day, for the cash-boys were not allowed to sit down, but he got used to this, being young and strong.

    All this was very satisfactory, but one thing gave Frank uneasiness. His income was very inadequate to his wants.

    “What makes you so glum, Frank?” asked Jasper Wheelock one evening.

    “Do I look glum?” said Frank. “I was only thinking how I could earn more money. You know how little I get. I can hardly take care of myself, much less take care of Grace.”

    “I can lend you some money, Frank. Thanks to your good advice, I have got some laid up.”

    “Thank you, Jasper, but that wouldn’t help matters. I should owe you the money, and I don’t know how I could pay you.”

    “About increasing your income, I really don’t know,” said Jasper. “I am afraid Gilbert & Mack wouldn’t raise your wages.”

    “I don’t expect it. All the rest of the cash-boys would ask the same thing.”

    “True; still I know they are very well pleased with you. Duncan told me you did more work than any of the rest of the boys.”

    “I try to do all I can.”

    “He said you would make a good salesman, he thought. Of course you are too young for that yet.”

    “I suppose I am.”

    “Frank, I am earning fifteen dollars a week, you know, and I can get along on ten, but of the five I save let me give you two. I shall never feel it, and by and by when you are promoted it won’t be necessary.”

    “Jasper, you are a true friend,” said Frank, warmly; “but it wouldn’t be right for me to accept your kind offer, though I shan’t forget it. You have been a good friend to me.”

    “And you to me, Frank. I’ll look out for you. Perhaps I may hear of something for you.”

    Small as Frank’s income was, he had managed to live within it. It will be remembered that he had paid but fifty cents a week for a room. By great economy he had made his meals cost but two dollars a week, so that out of his three dollars he saved fifty cents. But this saving would not be sufficient to pay for his clothes. However, he had had no occasion to buy any as yet, and his little fund altogether amounted to twenty dollars. Of this sum he inclosed{sic} eight dollars to Mr. Pomeroy to pay for four weeks’ board for Grace.

    “I hope I shall be able to keep it up,” he said to himself, thoughtfully. “At any rate, I’ve got enough to pay for six weeks more. Before that time something may turn up.”

    Several days passed without showing Frank any way by which he could increase his income. Jasper again offered to give him two dollars a week out of his own wages, but this our hero steadily refused.

    One Friday evening, just as the store was about to close, the head salesman called Frank to him.

    “Where do you live?” he asked.

    “In Sixth avenue, near Twenty-fifth street.”

    “There’s a bundle to go to Forty-sixth street. I’ll pay your fare upon the stage if you’ll carry it. I promised to send it to-night, and I don’t like to disappoint the lady.”

    “I can carry it just as well as not.”

    Frank took the bundle, and got on board a passing omnibus. There was just one seat vacant beside an old gentleman of seventy, who appeared to be quite feeble.

    At Forty-fifth street he pulled the strap and prepared to descend, leaning heavily on his cane as he did so. By some mischance the horses started a little too soon and the old man, losing his footing, fell in the street. Frank observed the accident and sprang out instantly to his help.

    “I hope you are not much hurt, sir?” he said, hastily.

    “I have hurt my knee,” said the old gentleman.

    “Let me assist you, sir,” said Frank, helping him up.

    “Thank you, my boy. I live at number forty-five, close by. If you will lead me to the door and into the house I shall be much indebted to you.”

    “Certainly, sir. It is no trouble to me.”

    With slow step, supported by our hero, the old gentleman walked to his own door.

    It was opened by a maid servant, who looked with some surprise at Frank.

    “I fell, Mary,” explained her master, “and this young gentleman has kindly helped me home.”

    “Did you hurt yourself much, sir?”

    “Not seriously.”

    “Can I do anything more for you, sir?” asked Frank.

    “Come in a moment.”

    Our hero followed his new acquaintance into a handsomely furnished parlor.

    “Now, my young friend tell me if you have been taken out of your way by your attention to me?”

    “Oh, no, sir; I intended to get out at the next street.”

    “My dinner is just ready. Won’t you stop and dine with me?”

    “Thank you, sir,” he said, hesitatingly, “but I promised to carry this bundle. I believe it is wanted at once.”

    “So you shall. You say the house is in the next street. You can go and return in five minutes. You have done me a service, and I may have it in my power to do something for you in return.”

    “Perhaps,” thought Frank, “he can help me to some employment for my evenings.” Then, aloud:

    “Thank you, sir; I will come.”

    Five minutes later Frank was ushered into a handsome dining-room. The dinner was already on the table, but chairs were only set for three. The one at the head of the table was of course occupied by the old gentleman, the one opposite by Mrs. Bradley, his housekeeper, and one at the side was placed for Frank.

    “Mrs. Bradley,” said the old gentleman, “this is a young gentleman who was kind enough to help me home after the accident of which I just spoke to you. I would mention his name, but I must leave that to him.”

    “Frank Fowler, sir.”

    “And my name is Wharton. Now that we are all introduced, we can talk more freely.”

    “Will you have some soup, Mr. Fowler?” asked the housekeeper.

    She was a tall thin woman, with a reserved manner that was somewhat repellant. She had only nodded slightly at the introduction, fixing her eyes coldly and searchingly on the face of our hero. It was evident that whatever impression the service rendered might have made upon the mind of Mr. Wharton, it was not calculated to warm the housekeeper to cordiality.

    “Thank you,” he answered, but he could not help feeling at the same time that Mrs. Bradley was not a very agreeable woman.

    “You ought to have a good appetite,” said Mr. Wharton. “You have to work hard during the day. Our young friend is a cash-boy at Gilbert & Mack’s, Mrs. Bradley.

    “Oh, indeed!” said Mrs. Bradley, arching her brows as much as to say: “You have invited strange company to dinner.”

    “Do your parents live in the city, Frank–I believe your name is Frank?”

    “No, sir; they are dead. My mother died only a few weeks since.”

    “And have you no brothers and sisters?”

    “I have one sister–Grace.”

    “I suppose she is in the city here with you?”

    “No, sir. I left her in the country. I am here alone.”

    “I will ask you more about yourself after dinner. If you have no engagement, I should like to have you stay with me a part of the evening.”

    “Thank you, sir.”

    Frank accepted the invitation, though he knew Jasper would wonder what had become of him. He saw that the old gentleman was kindly disposed toward him, and in his present circumstances he needed such a friend.

    But in proportion as Mr. Wharton became more cordial, Mrs. Bradley became more frosty, until at last the old gentleman noticed her manner.

    “Don’t you feel well this evening, Mrs Bradley?” he asked.

    “I have a little headache,” said the housekeeper, coldly.

    “You had better do something for it.”

    “It will pass away of itself, sir.”

    They arose from the dinner table, and Mr. Wharton, followed by Frank, ascended the staircase to the front room on the second floor, which was handsomely fitted up as a library,

    “What makes him take such notice of a mere cash- boy?” said Mrs. Bradley to herself. “That boy reminds me of somebody. Who is it?”

Chapter VIII – An Unexpected Engagement

    “Take a seat, Frank,” said Mr. Wharton, pointing to a luxurious armchair on one side of the cheerful grate fire; “I will take the other, and you shall tell me all about yourself.”

    “Thank you, sir,” said our hero.

    His confidence was won by Mr. Wharton’s kind tone, and he briefly recounted his story.

    At the conclusion, Mr. Wharton said:

    “How old are you, Frank ?”

    “Fourteen, sir.”

    “You are a brave boy, and a good boy, and you deserve success.”

    “Thank you, sir.”

    “But I am bound to say that you have a hard task before you.”

    “I know it, sir.”

    “Why not let your sister go to the poorhouse for a few years, till you are older, and better able to provide for her?”

    “I should be ashamed to do it, sir,” he said. “I promised my mother to take care of Grace, and I will.”

    “How much do you earn as a cash-boy?”

    “Three dollars a week.”

    “Only three dollars a week! Why, that won’t pay your own expenses!” said the old gentleman in surprise.

    “Yes, sir, it does. I pay fifty cents a week for my room, and my meals don’t cost me much.”

    “But you will want clothes.”

    “I have enough for the present, and I am laying up fifty cents a week to buy more when I need them.”

    “You can’t buy many for twenty-six dollars a year. But that doesn’t allow anything for your sister’s expenses.”

    “That is what puzzles me, sir,” said Frank, fixing a troubled glance upon the fire. “I shall have to work in the evenings for Grace.”

    “What can you do?”

    “I could copy, but I suppose there isn’t much chance of getting copying to do.”

    “Then you have a good handwriting?”

    “Pretty fair, sir.”

    “Let me see a specimen. There are pen and ink on the table, and here is a sheet of paper.”

    Frank seated himself at the table, and wrote his name on the paper.

    “Very good,” said his host, approvingly. “Your hand is good enough for a copyist, but you are correct in supposing that work of that kind is hard to get. Are you a good reader?”

    “Do you mean in reading aloud, sir?”


    “I will try, if you wish.”

    “Take a book from the table–any book–and let me hear you read.”

    Frank opened the first book that came to hand– one of Irving’s and read in a clear, unembarrassed voice about half a page.

    “Very good indeed!” said Mr. Wharton. “You have been well taught. Where did you attend school?”

    “Only in the town school, sir.”

    “You have, at any rate, made good use of your advantages.”

    “But will it do me any good, sir?” asked Frank.

    “People are not paid for reading, are they?”

    “Not in general, but we will suppose the case of a person whose eyes are weak, and likely to be badly affected by evening use. Then suppose such a person could secure the services of a good, clear, distinct reader, don’t you think he would be willing to pay something?”

    “I suppose so. Do you know of any such person?” asked Frank.

    “I am describing myself, Frank. A year since I strained my eyes very severely, and have never dared to use them much since by gaslight. Mrs. Bradley, my housekeeper, has read to me some, but she has other duties, and I don’t think she enjoys it very much. Now, why shouldn’t I get you to read to me in the evening when you are not otherwise employed?”

    “I wish you would, Mr. Wharton,” said Frank, eagerly. “I would do my best.”

    “I have no doubt of that, but there is another question–perhaps you might ask a higher salary than I could afford to pay.”

    “Would a dollar a week be too much?” asked Frank.

    “I don’t think I could complain of that,” said Mr. Wharton, gravely. “Very well, I will engage you as my reader.”

    “Thank you, sir.”

    “But about the pay; I have made up my mind to pay you five dollars a week.”

    “Five dollars a week!” Frank repeated. “It is much more than my services will be worth sir.”

    “Let me judge of that, Frank.”

    “I don’t know how to thank you, sir,” said Frank, gratefully. “I never expected to be so rich. I shall have no trouble in paying for Grace’s board and clothes now. When do you want me to begin reading to you?”

    “You may as well begin to-night–that is, unless you have some other engagement.”

    “Oh, no, sir, I have nothing else to do.”

    “Take the Evening Post, then, and read me the leading editorial. Afterward, I will tell you what to read.”

    Frank had been reading about half an hour, when a knock was heard at the door.

    “Come in,” said Mr. Wharton.

    Mrs. Bradley entered, with a soft, quiet step.

    “I thought, sir,” she began, “you might like me to read to you, as usual.”

    “Thank you, Mrs. Bradley, but I am going to relieve you of that portion of your labors. My young friend here is to come every evening and read to me.”

    “Indeed!” ejaculated the housekeeper in a tone of chilly displeasure, and a sharp glance at Frank, which indicated no great amount of cordiality. “Then, as I am intruding, I will take my leave.”

    There was something in her tone that made Frank feel uncomfortable.

Chapter IX – The Housekeeper’s Nephew

    “By no means,” said Mr. Wharton, as the housekeeper was about to withdraw; “don’t imagine you are intruding. Come in and sit down.”

    “Thank you, sir,” said Mrs. Bradley, in a measured tone. “You are very considerate, I am sure, but if you’ll excuse me, I won’t come in this evening.”

    “Mrs. Bradley has been with me a good many years,” explained Mr. Wharton, “and I dare say she feels a little disturbed at seeing another occupy her place, even in a duty like this.”

    “I am afraid she will be offended with me, sir,” said Frank.

    “Oh, no; I will explain matters to her. Go on with your reading, Frank.”

    At half-past nine, Mr. Wharton took out his watch.

    “It is getting late,” he said. “I have no doubt you are tired and need rest.”

    “I am not tired, sir.”

    “I believe in going to bed early. I shall seldom keep you later than this. Do you think you can find your way out?”

    “Yes, sir. When shall I come to-morrow evening?”

    “A little before eight.”

    “I will be punctual.”

    Jasper was waiting for him, not wholly without anxiety, for it was very unusual for Frank to be late.

    “Well, Frank!” he exclaimed; “this is a pretty time for you to come home. I began to think you had got into trouble. I was just going around to the nearest station house in search of you.”

    “I was in quite a different place, Jasper.”

    Frank told his story, including an account of his engagement.

    “So it seems I am to lose your company in the evening. I am sorry for that, but I am glad you are so lucky.”

    “It was better than I expected,” said Frank, with satisfaction.

    “What sort of a man is this Mr. Wharton?” said Jasper.

    “He is very kind and generous. I am lucky to have so good a friend. There’s only one thing that is likely to be disagreeable.”

    “What’s that?”

    “The housekeeper–her name is Mrs. Bradley– for some reason or other she doesn’t want me there.”

    “What makes you think so?”

    “Her manner, and the way she speaks. She came in to read to Mr. Wharton last evening, and didn’t seem to like it because I had been taken in her place.”

    “She is evidently jealous. You must take care not to offend her. She might endeavor to have you dismissed.”

    “I shall always treat her politely, but I don’t think I can ever like her.”

    Meanwhile, the housekeeper, on leaving the library, had gone to her own room in dudgeon.

    “Mr. Wharton’s a fool!” she muttered to herself.

    “What possessed him to take this cash-boy from the streets, invite him to dinner, and treat him as an honored guest, and finally to engage him as a reader? I never heard of anything so ridiculous! Is this little vagabond to take my place in the old man’s good graces? I’ve been slaving and slaving for twenty years, and what have I got by it? I’ve laid up two thousand dollars; and what is that to provide for my old age? If the old man would die, and remember me handsomely in his will, it would be worth while; but this new favorite may stand in my way. If he does I’ll be revenged on him as sure as my name is Ulrica Bradley.”

    Here the area bell rang, and in a moment one of the housemaids entered Mrs. Bradley’s room.

    “There’s your nephew outside, ma’am, and wanting to see you.”

    “Tell him to come in,” and the housekeeper’s cold face became softer and pleasanter in aspect as a young man of twenty entered and greeted her carelessly.

    “How are you, aunt?”

    “Pretty well, Thomas,” she answered. “You haven’t been here for some time.”

    “No. I’ve had a lot of work to do. Nothing but work, work, all the time,” he grumbled. “I wish I was rich.”

    “You get through at six o’clock, don’t you?”


    “I hope you spend your evenings profitably, Thomas?”

    “I ain’t likely to go on any sprees, aunt, if that’s what you mean. I only get twelve dollars a week.”

    “I should think you might live on it.”

    “Starve, you mean. What’s twelve dollars to a young fellow like me when he’s got his board to pay, and has to dress like a gentleman?”

    “You are not in debt, I hope, Thomas?” said Mrs. Bradley, uneasily.

    “I owe for the suit I have on, and I don’t know where I’m going to get the money to pay for it.”

    He was dressed in a flashy style, not unlike what is popularly denominated a swell. His coarse features were disfigured with unhealthy blotches, and his outward appearance was hardly such as to recommend him. But to him alone the cold heart of the housekeeper was warm. He was her sister’s son and her nearest relative. Her savings were destined for him, and in her attachment she was not conscious of his disagreeable characteristics. She had occasionally given him a five-dollar bill to eke out what he termed his miserable pay, and now whenever he called he didn’t spare hints that he was out of pocket, and that a further gift would be acceptable. Indeed, the only tie that bound him to his aunt was a mercenary one.

    But the housekeeper, sharp-sighted as she ordinarily was, did not detect the secret motive of such attention she received from her nephew. She flattered herself that he really loved her, not suspecting that he was too selfish to love anybody but himself.

    “Thomas,” she said, with a sudden thought, “I may be able to help you to an increase of your income. Mr. Wharton needs somebody to read to him evenings. On my recommendation he might take you.”

    “Thank you, aunt, but I don’t see it. I don’t want to be worked to death.”

    “But, think, Thomas,” said his aunt, earnestly. “He is very rich. He might take a fancy to you and remember you in his will.”

    “I wish somebody would remember me in his will. Do you really think there’s any chance of the old boy’s doing something handsome for me?”

    “That depends on yourself. You must try to please him.”

    “Well, I must do something. What’ll he give?”

    “I don’t know yet. In fact, there’s another reading to him just now.”

    “Then there’s no chance for me.”

    “Listen to me. It’s a boy he’s picked up in the streets, quite unsuited for the place. He’s a cash- boy at Gilbert & Mack’s. Why, that’s where you are,” she added, with sudden recollection.

    “A cash-boy from my own place? What’s his name?”

    “Fowler, I believe.”

    “I know him–he’s lately come. How did he get in with the old man?”

    “Mr. Wharton fell in the street, and he happened to be near, and helped him home.”

    “You’ll have to manage it, aunt.”

    “I’ll see what I can do to-morrow. He ought to prefer my nephew to a strange boy, seeing I have been twenty years in his service. I’ll let you know as soon as I have accomplished anything.”

    “I don’t half like the idea of giving up my evenings. I don’t believe I can stand it.”

    “It is only for a little while, to get him interested in you.”

    “Maybe I might try it a week, and then tell him my health was failing, and get him to do something else for me.”

    “At any rate, the first thing must be to become acquainted.”

    Thomas now withdrew, for he did not enjoy spending an evening with his aunt, the richer by five dollars, half of which was spent before the evening closed at a neighboring billiard saloon.

Chapter X – The Housekeeper Scheming

    If Mrs. Bradley had been wiser, she would have felt less confident of her nephew’s producing a favorable impression upon Mr. Wharton. She resolved to open the subject at the breakfast table

    “I didn’t know, Mr. Wharton,” she commenced, “that you intended to engage a reader.”

    “Nor did I propose to do so until last evening.”

    “I think–you’ll excuse me for saying so–that you will find that boy too young to suit you.”

    “I don’t think so. He reads very clearly and distinctly.”

    “If I had known you thought of engaging a reader, I would have asked you to engage my nephew.”

    “Indeed, I was not aware that you had a nephew in the city. Is he a boy?”

    “No; he is a young man. He was twenty years old last June.”

    “Is he unfavorably situated?”

    “He has a place as salesman.”

    “With what firm?”

    “Gilbert & Mack.”

    “Why, that is the same firm that employs my young friend. It is a good firm.”

    “Perhaps it is, but my poor nephew receives a very small salary. He finds it very hard to get along.”

    “Your nephew is young. He will be promoted if he serves his employers well.”

    “Thomas would have been glad to read to you in the evening, sir,” said Mrs. Bradley, commencing the attack.

    “But for my present engagement, I might have taken him,” said Mr. Wharton, politely.

    “Have you engaged that boy for any length of time?”

    “No; but it is understood that he will stay while I need him, and he continues to suit me. I have a favorable opinion of him. Besides, he needs the pay. He receives but three dollars a week as a cash-boy, and has a sister to support as well as himself.”

    “I am sorry,” she said in an injured tone. “I hope you’ll excuse my mentioning it, but I took the liberty, having been for twenty years in your employ.”

    “To be sure! You were quite right,” said her employer, kindly. “Perhaps I may be able to do something for your nephew, though not that. Tell him to come and see me some time.”

    “Thank you, sir,” said the housekeeper.

    There was one question she wanted to determine, and that was the amount of compensation received by Frank. She did not like to inquire directly from Mr. Wharton, but resolved to gain the information from our hero. Some evenings later she had the opportunity. Mr. Wharton had an engagement, and asked her to tell Frank, when he arrived that he was released from duty. Instead of this she received him in the library herself.

    “Probably Mr. Wharton will not be at home this evening,” she said. “If he does not return in half an hour, you need not wait.”

    She took up her work, seated in Mr. Wharton’s usual place, and Frank remained ready for duty.

    “Mr. Wharton tells me you have a sister,” she said.

    “Yes, ma’am.”

    “You must find it hard work to provide for her as well as yourself.”

    “I do, or rather I did till I came here.”

    “How much does Mr. Wharton pay you?” she asked, in an indifferent tone.

    “Five dollars a week,” answered Frank.

    “You are lucky that you have such a chance,” she said.

    “Yes, ma’am; it is more than I earn, I know, but it is a great help to me.”

    “And how much do you get as cash-boy?”

    “Three dollars a week.”

    “So you actually receive nearly twice as much for a couple of hours in the evening as for the whole day.”

    “Yes, ma’am.”

    “What a pity Thomas can’t have this chance,” she thought.

    When it was nine o’clock, she said:

    “You need not wait any longer. Mr. Wharton will not be home in time to hear you read.”

    “Good-evening, Mrs. Bradley,” said Frank.

    “Good-evening!” she responded, coldly.

    “That boy is in the way,” she said to herself, when she was left alone. “He is in my way, and Tom’s way. I can see that he is artfully intriguing for Mr. Wharton’s favor, but I must checkmate him. It’s odd,” she resumed, after a pause, “but there is something in his face and voice that seems familiar to me. What is it?”

    * * * * *

    The following evening the housekeeper received another visit from her nephew.

    “How do, aunt?” said Thomas Bradley, carelessly, as he entered the housekeeper’s room.

    “Very well, thank you, Thomas. I am glad you are here. I have been wanting to see you.”

    “The old man isn’t going to do anything for me, is he?”

    “How can you expect it so soon? He doesn’t know you yet. How much do you think he pays the cash-boy that reads to him in the evening?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “Five dollars a week.”

    “I wouldn’t give up my evenings for that,” he said.

    “It isn’t so much the pay, Thomas, though that would be a help. He might take a fancy to you.”

    “That might pay better. When are you going to introduce me?”

    “This evening; that is, I will ask Mr. Wharton if he will see you.”

    Mrs. Bradley entered the library, where Frank was engaged in reading aloud.

    “Excuse my interruption,” she said; “but my nephew has just called, and I should like to introduce him to you, if you will kindly receive him.”

    “Certainly, Mrs. Bradley,” said Mr. Wharton. “Bring him in.”

    The housekeeper left the room, but speedily reappeared, followed by her nephew, who seemed a little abashed.

    “My nephew, Thomas Bradley, Mr. Wharton,” said his aunt, by way of introduction. “You have often heard me speak of Mr. Wharton, Thomas.”

    “How do you do, sir?” said Thomas awkwardly.

    “Pray take a seat, Mr. Bradley. Your aunt has been long a member of my family. I am glad to see a nephew of hers. I believe you are a salesman at Gilbert & Mack’s?”

    “Yes, sir.”

    “Then you must know my young friend here?” pointing to Frank.

    “How are you, Cash?” said Thomas, laughing, under the impression that he had said something smart.

    “Very well, Mr. Bradley,” answered Frank, quietly.

    “You see, that’s all the name we call ’em in the store,” said Thomas.

    Mr. Wharton could not help thinking:

    “How poorly this young man compares with my young friend. Still, as he is Mrs. Bradley’s nephew, I must be polite to him.”

    “Are there many cash-boys in your establishment, Mr. Bradley?”

    “About a dozen. Ain’t there, Fowler?”

    “I believe so, Mr. Bradley.”

    “Gilbert & Mack do a good business, I should judge.”

    “Yes, they do; but that doesn’t do us poor salesmen much good. We get just enough to keep soul and body together.”

    “I am sorry to hear it,” said Mr. Wharton.

    “Why, sir,” said Thomas, gaining confidence, “all they pay me is twelve dollars a week. How can they expect a fellow to live on that?”

    “I began my career about your age,” said Mr. Wharton, “or perhaps a little younger, and had to live on but six dollars a week.”

    “Didn’t you come near starving?” he asked.

    “On the contrary, I saved a little every week.”

    “I can’t,” said Thomas, a little discomfited. “Why, it takes half that to dress decently.”

    Mr. Wharton glanced quietly at the rather loud and flashy dress worn by his visitor, but only said:

    “A small salary, of course, makes economy necessary.”

    “But when a fellow knows he earns a good deal more than he gets, he doesn’t feel like starving himself just that his employers may grow rich.”

    “Of course, if he can better himself they cannot object.”

    “That’s just what I want to do,” said Thomas; “but I expect I need influence to help me to something better. That’s a good hint,” thought he.

    “I was telling Thomas,” said the housekeeper, “that you had kindly expressed a desire to be of service to him.”

    “I am not now in active business,” said Mr. Wharton, “and of course have not the opportunities I formerly had for helping young men, but I will bear your case in mind, Mr. Bradley.”

    “Thank you, sir,” said Thomas. “I am sure I earn a thousand dollars a year.”

    “I think, Thomas,” said Mrs. Bradley, “we won’t intrude on Mr. Wharton longer this evening. When he finds something for you he will tell me.”

    “All right, aunt. Good-night, Mr. Wharton. Good- night, Cash,” said Thomas, chuckling anew at the old joke.

    “Well, aunt,” said he, when they were once more in the housekeeper’s room, “do you think the old gentleman will do anything for me?”

    “I hope so; but I am not sure, Thomas, whether you were not too familiar. You spoke of money too quick.”

    “It’s my way to come to business.”

    “I wish you were his reader, instead of that boy.”

    “Well, I don’t. I wouldn’t want to he mewed up in that room with the old man every night. I should get tired to death of it.”

    “You would have a chance to get him interested in you. That boy is artful; he is doing all he can to win Mr. Wharton’s favor. He is the one you have most reason to dread.”

    “Do you think he will do me any harm?”

    “I think he will injure your chances.”

    “Egad! if I thought that, I’d wring the young rascal’s neck.”

    “There’s a better way, Thomas.”

    “What’s that?”

    “Can’t you get him dismissed from Gilbert & Mack’s?”

    “I haven’t enough influence with the firm.”

    “Suppose they thought him dishonest?”

    “They’d give him the sack, of course.”

    “Can’t you make them think so, Thomas?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “Then make it your business to find out.”

    “I suppose you know what good it’s going to do, aunt, but I don’t. He’s got his place here with the old man.”

    “If Mr. Wharton hears that he is discharged, and has lost his situation, he will probably discharge him, too.”

    “Perhaps so; I suppose you know best.”

    “Do as I tell you, and I will manage the rest.”

    “All right. I need your help enough. To-night, for instance, I’m regularly cleaned out. Haven’t got but twenty-five cents to my name.”

    “It seems to me, Thomas,” said his aunt, with a troubled look, “you are always out of money. I’ll give you five dollars, Thomas, but you must remember that I am not made of money. My wages are small.”

    “You ought to have a good nest-egg laid aside, aunt.”

    “I’ve got something, Thomas, and when I die, it’ll be yours.”

    “I hope I shan’t have to wait too long,” thought Thomas, but he did not give utterance to the thought.”

    “Come again, Thomas, and don’t forget what I have said,” said Mrs. Bradley.

Chapter XI – John Wade

    A tall man, with a sallow complexion, and heavily- bearded face, stood on the deck of a Cunard steamer, only a few miles distant from New York harbor.

    “It’s three years since I have seen America,” he said to himself, thoughtfully. “I suppose I ought to feel a patriotic fervor about setting foot once more on my native shore, but I don’t believe in nonsense. I would be content to live in Europe all my life, if my uncle’s fortune were once in my possession. I am his sole heir, but he persists in holding on to his money bags, and limits me to a paltry three thousand a year. I must see if I can’t induce him to give me a good, round sum on account–fifty thousand, at least–and then I can wait a little more patiently till he drops off.”

    “When shall we reach port, captain?” he asked, as he passed that officer.

    “In four hours, I think, Mr. Wade.”

    “So this is my birthday,” he said to himself.

    “Thirty five years old to-day. Half my life gone, and I am still a dependent on my uncle’s bounty. Suppose he should throw me off–leave me out in the cold–where should I be? If he should find the boy–but no, there is no chance of that. I have taken good care of that. By the way, I must look him up soon–cautiously, of course–and see what has become of him. He will grow up a laborer or mechanic and die without a knowledge of his birth, while I fill his place and enjoy his inheritance.”

    At six o’clock the vessel reached the Quarantine. Most of the passengers decided to remain on board one night more, but John Wade was impatient, and, leaving his trunks, obtained a small boat, and soon touched the shore.

    It was nearly eight when John Wade landed in the city. It was half-past eight when he stood on the steps of his uncle’s residence and rang the bell.

    “Is my uncle is Mr. Wharton–at home?” he asked of the servant who answered the bell.

    “Yes, sir.”

    “I am his nephew, just arrived from Europe. Let him know that I am here, and would like to see him.”

    The servant, who had never before seen him, having only been six months in the house, regarded him with a great deal of curiosity, and then went to do his biddng.

    “My nephew arrived!” exclaimed Mr. Wharton, in surprise. “Why, he never let me know he was coming.”

    “Will you see him, sir?”

    “To be sure! Bring him in at once.”

    “My dear uncle!” exclaimed John Wade, with effusion, for he was a polite man, and could act when it suited his interests to do so, “I am glad to see you. How is your health?”

    “I am getting older every day, John.”

    “You don’t look a day older, sir,” said John, who did not believe what he said, for he could plainly see that his uncle had grown older since he last saw him.

    “You think so, John, but I feel it. Your coming is a surprise. You did not write that you intended sailing.”

    “I formed the determination very suddenly, sir.”

    “Were you tired of Europe?”

    “No; but I wanted to see you, sir.”

    “Thank you, John,” said his uncle, pressing his nephew’s hand. “I am glad you think so much of me. Did you have a pleasant voyage?”

    “Rather rough, sir.”

    “You have had no supper, of course? If you will ring the bell, the housekeeper will see that some is got ready for you.”

    “Is Mrs. Bradley still in your employ, uncle?”

    “Yes, John. I am so used to her that I shouldn’t know how to get along without her.”

    Hitherto John Wade had been so occupied with his uncle that he had not observed Frank. But at this moment our hero coughed, involuntarily, and John Wade looked at him. He seemed to be singularly affected. He started perceptibly, and his sallow face blanched, as his eager eyes were fixed on the boy’s face.

    “Good heavens!” he muttered to himself. “Who is that boy? How comes he here?”

    Frank noticed his intent gaze, and wondered at it, but Mr. Wharton’s eyesight was defective, and he did not perceive his nephew’s excitement.

    “I see you have a young visitor, uncle,” said John Wade.

    “Oh, yes,” said Mr. Wharton, with a kindly smile. “He spends all his evenings with me.”

    “What do you mean, sir?” demanded John Wade, with sudden suspicion and fear. “He seems very young company for—-“

    “For a man of my years,” said Mr. Wharton, finishing the sentence. “You are right, John. But, you see, my eyes are weak, and I cannot use them for reading in the evening, so it occurred to me to engage a reader.”

    “Very true,” said his nephew. He wished to inquire the name of the boy whose appearance had so powerfully impressed him but he determined not to do so at present. What information he sought he preferred to obtain from the housekeeper.

    “He seemed surprised, as if he had seen me some where before, and recognized me,” thought Frank, “but I don’t remember him. If I had seen his face before, I think I should remember it.”

    “Don’t come out, uncle.” said John Wade, when summoned to tea by the housekeeper. “Mrs. Bradley and I are going to have a chat by ourselves, and I will soon return.”

    “You are looking thin, Mr. John,” said Mrs Bradley.

    “Am I thinner than usual? I never was very corpulent, you know. How is my uncle’s health? He says he is well.”

    “He is pretty well, but he isn’t as young as he was.”

    “I think he looks older,” said John. “But that is not surprising–at his age. He is seventy, isn’t he?”

    “Not quite. He is sixty-nine.”

    “His father died at seventy-one.”


    “But that is no reason why my uncle should not live till eighty. I hope he will.”

    “We all hope so,” said the housekeeper; but she knew, while she spoke, that if, as she supposed, Mr. Wharton’s will contained a generous legacy for her, his death would not afflict her much. She suspected also that John Wade was waiting impatiently for his uncle’s death, that he might enter upon his inheritance. Still, their little social fictions must be kept up, and so both expressed a desire for his continued life, though neither was deceived as to the other’s real feeling on the subject.

    “By the way, Mrs. Bradley,” said John Wade, “how came my uncle to engage that boy to read to him?”

    “He was led into it, sir,” said the housekeeper, with a great deal of indignation, “by the boy himself. He’s an artful and designing fellow, you may rely upon it.”

    “What’s his name?”

    “Frank Fowler.”

    “Fowler! Is his name Fowler?” he repeated, with a startled expression.

    “Yes, sir,” answered the housekeeper, rather surprised at his manner. “You don’t know anything about him, do you?”

    “Oh, no,” said John Wade, recovering his composure. “He is a perfect stranger to me; but I once knew a man of that name, and a precious rascal he was. When you mentioned his name, I thought he might be a son of this man. Does he say his father is alive?”

    “No; he is dead, and his mother, too, so the boy says.”

    “You haven’t told me how my uncle fell in with him?”

    “It was an accident. Your uncle fell in getting out of a Broadway stage, and this boy happened to be near, and seeing Mr. Wharton was a rich gentleman, he helped him home, and was invited in. Then he told some story about his poverty, and so worked upon your uncle’s feelings that he hired him to read to him at five dollars a week.”

    “Is this all the boy does?”

    “No; he is cash-boy in a large store on Broadway. He is employed there all day, and he is here only in the evenings.”

    “Does my uncle seem attached to him?” asked John.

    “He’s getting fond of him, I should say. The other day he asked me if I didn’t think it would be a good thing to take him into the house and give him a room. I suppose the boy put it into his head.”

    “No doubt. What did you say?”

    “I opposed it. I told him that a boy would be a great deal of trouble in the family.”

    “You did right, Mrs. Bradley. What did my uncle say?”

    “He hinted about taking him from the store and letting him go to school. The next thing would be his adopting him. The fact is, Mr. John, the boy is so artful that he knows just how to manage your uncle. No doubt he put the idea into Mr. Wharton’s head, and he may do it yet.”

    “Does my uncle give any reason for the fancy he has taken to the boy?” demanded John

    “Yes,” said the housekeeper. “He has taken it into his head that the boy resembles your cousin, George, who died abroad. You were with him, I believe?”

    “Yes, I was with him. Is the resemblance strong? I took very little notice of him.”

    “You can look for yourself when you go back,” answered the housekeeper.

    “What else did my uncle say? Tell me all.”

    “He said: ‘What would I give, Mrs. Bradley, if I had such a grandson? If George’s boy had lived, he would have been about Frank’s age. And,” continued the housekeeper, “I might as well speak plainly. You’re my master’s heir, or ought to be; but if this artful boy stays here long, there’s no knowing what your uncle may be influenced to do. If he gets into his dotage, he may come to adopt him, and leave the property away from you.”

    “I believe you are quite right. The danger exists, and we must guard against it. I see you don’t like the boy,” said John Wade.

    “No, I don’t. He’s separated your uncle and me. Before he came, I used to spend my evenings in the library, and read to your uncle. Besides, when I found your uncle wanted a reader, I asked him to take my nephew, who is a salesman in the very same store where that boy is a cash-boy, but although I’ve been twenty years in this house I could not get him to grant the favor, which he granted to that boy, whom he never met till a few weeks ago.”

    “Mrs. Bradley, I sympathize with you,” said her companion. “The boy is evidently working against us both. You have been twenty years in my uncle’s service. He ought to remember you handsomely in his will. If I inherit the property, as is my right, your services shall be remembered,” said John Wade.

    “Thank you, Mr. John,” said the gratified housekeeper.

    “That secures her help,” thought John, in his turn.

    “She will now work hard for me. When the time comes, I can do as much or as little for her as I please.”

    “Of course, we must work together against this interloper, who appears to have gained a dangerous influence over my uncle.”

    “You can depend upon me, Mr. John,” said Mrs. Bradley.

    “I will think it over, and tell you my plan,” said John Wade. “But my uncle will wonder at my appetite. I must go back to the library. We will speak of this subject again.”

Chapter XII – A False Friend

    When John Wade re-entered the library, Frank was reading, but Mr. Wharton stopped him.

    “That will do, Frank,” he said. “As I have not seen my nephew for a long time, I shall not require you to read any longer. You can go, if you like.”

    Frank bowed, and bidding the two good-evening, left the room.

    “That is an excellent boy, John.” said the old gentleman, as the door closed upon our hero.

    “How did you fall in with him?” asked John. Mr. Wharton told the story with which the reader is already familiar.

    “You don’t know anything of his antecedents, I suppose?” said John, carelessly.

    “Only what he told me. His father and mother are dead, and he is obliged to support himself and his sister. Did you notice anything familiar in Frank’s expression?” asked Mr. Wharton.

    “I don’t know. I didn’t observe him very closely.”

    “Whenever I look at Frank, I think of George. I suppose that is why I have felt more closely drawn to the boy. I proposed to Mrs. Bradley that the boy should have a room here, but she did not favor it. I think she is prejudiced against him.”

    “Probably she is afraid he would be some trouble,” replied John.

    “If George’s boy had lived he would be about Frank’s age. It would have been a great comfort to me to superintend his education, and watch him grow up. I could not have wished him to be more gentlemanly or promising than my young reader.”

    “Decidedly, that boy is in my way,” said John Wade to himself. “I must manage to get rid of him, and that speedily, or my infatuated uncle will be adopting him.”

    “Of what disease did George’s boy die, John?” asked Mr. Wharton.

    “A sudden fever.”

    “I wish I could have seen him before he died. But I returned only to find both son and grandson gone. I had only the sad satisfaction of seeing his grave.”

    “Yes, he was buried in the family lot at Greenwood, five days before you reached home.”

    “When I see men of my own age, surrounded by children and grandchildren, it makes me almost envious,” said Mr. Wharton, sadly. “I declare to you, John, since that boy has been with me, I have felt happier and more cheerful than for years.”

    “That boy again!” muttered John to himself. “I begin to hate the young cub, but I mustn’t show it. My first work will be to separate him from my uncle. That will require consideration. I wonder whether the boy knows that he is not Fowler’s son? I must find out. If he does, and should happen to mention it in my uncle’s presence, it might awaken suspicions in his mind. I must interview the boy, and find out what I can. To enlist his confidence, I must assume a friendly manner.”

    In furtherance of this determination, John Wade greeted our hero very cordially the next evening, when they met, a little to Frank’s surprise.

    When the reading terminated, John Wade said, carelessly:

    “I believe, uncle, I will go out for a walk. I think I shall be better for it. ln what direction are you going, Frank?”

    “Down Sixth Avenue, sir.”

    “Very good; I will walk along with you.”

    Frank and his companion walked toward Sixth Avenue.

    “My uncle tells me you have a sister to support,” said Wade, opening the conversation.

    “Yes, sir.”

    “Does your sister resemble you?” asked John Wade.

    “No, sir! but that is not surprising, for—-“

    “Why is it not surprising?”

    Frank hesitated.

    “You were about to assign some reason.”

    “It is a secret,” said our hero, slowly; “that is, has been a secret, but I don’t know why I should conceal it. Grace is not my sister. She is Mrs. Fowler’s daughter, but I am not her son. I will tell you the story.”

    That story Frank told as briefly as possible. John Wade listened to it with secret alarm.

    “It is a strange story,” he said. “Do you not feel a strong desire to learn your true parentage?”

    “Yes, sir. I don’t know, but I feel as if I should some day meet the man who gave me into Mrs. Fowler’s charge.”

    “You have met him, but it is lucky you don’t suspect it,” thought John Wade.

    “I am glad you told me this story,” said he, aloud.

    “It is quite romantic. I may be able to help you in your search. But let me advise you to tell no one else at present. No doubt there are parties interested in keeping the secret of your birth from you. You must move cautiously, and your chance of solving the mystery will be improved.”

    “Thank you, sir. I will follow your advice.”

    “I was mistaken in him,” thought Frank. “I disliked him at first, but he seems inclined to be my friend.”

    When Frank reached his lodging he found Jasper waiting up for him. He looked thoughtful, so much so that Frank noticed it.

    “You look as if you had something on your mind,” Jasper.

    “You have guessed right. I have read that letter.”

    He drew from his pocket a letter, which Frank took from his hands.

    “It is from an uncle of mine in Ohio, who is proprietor of a weekly newspaper. He is getting old, and finds the work too much for him. He offers me a thousand dollars a year if I will come out and relieve him.”

    “That’s a good offer, Jasper. I suppose you will accept it?”

    “It is for my interest to do so. Probably my uncle will, after a while, surrender the whole establishment to me.”

    “I shall be sorry to part with you, Jasper. It will seem very lonely, but I think you ought to go. It is a good chance, and if you refuse it you may not get such another.”

    “My uncle wants me to come on at once. I think I will start Monday.”

    Jasper saw no reason to change his determination, and on Monday morning he started on his journey to Ohio.

    Thus, at a critical moment in his fortunes, when two persons were planning to injure him, he lost the presence and help of a valued friend.

Chapter XIII – The Spider And The Fly

    “Uncle,” said John Wade, “you spoke of inviting Frank Fowler to occupy a room in the house. Why don’t you do it? It would be more convenient to you and a very good chance for him.”

    “I should like it,” said Mr. Wharton, “but Mrs. Bradley did not seem to regard it favorably when I suggested it.”

    “Oh, Mrs. Bradley is unused to boys, and she is afraid he would give her trouble. I’ll undertake to bring her around.”

    “I wish you would, John. I don’t think Frank would give any trouble, and it would enliven the house to have a boy here. Besides, he reminds me of George, as I told you the other day.”

    “I agree with you, uncle,” he said. “He does remind me a little of George.”

    “Well, Mrs. Bradley, what do you think I have done?” asked John, entering the housekeeper’s room directly after his interview with his uncle.

    “I don’t know, Mr. John,” she answered.

    “I have asked him to give that boy a room in the house.”

    “Are you carried away with him as well as your uncle?”

    “Not quite. The fact is, I have a motive in what I am doing. I’ll tell you.”

    He bent over and whispered in her ear.

    “I never should have thought of that.”

    “You see, our purpose is to convince my uncle that he is unworthy of his favor. At present that would be rather difficult, but once get him into the house and we shall have no trouble.”

    “I understand.”

    In due time John Wade announced to his uncle that the housekeeper had withdrawn her objections to his plan.

    “Then I’ll tell him to-night,” said Mr. Wharton, brightening up.

    Shortly after Frank entered the library that evening Mr. Wharton made the proposal.

    “You are very kind, Mr. Wharton,” he said. “I never thought of such a thing.”

    “Then it is settled that you are to come. You can choose your own time for coming.”

    “I will come to-morrow, sir.”

    “Very well,” said Mr. Wharton, with satisfaction.

    The next day, by special favor, Frank got off from the store two hours earlier than usual. He bought at a Sixth Avenue basement store, a small, second hand trunk for two dollars. He packed his scanty wardrobe into the trunk, which, small as it was he was unable to fill, and had it carried to Mr. Wharton’s house.

    He asked to see Mrs. Bradley, and she came to the door.

    “I am glad to see you,” she said graciously. “You may leave your trunk in the hall and I will have it carried up by the servants.”

    “Thank you,” said Frank, and he followed the housekeeper up the handsome staircase.

    “This is to be your room,” said the housekeeper, opening the door of a small chamber on the third floor.

    “It looks very nice and comfortable,” said Frank, looking about him with satisfaction.

    She left the room, and five minutes later our hero’s modest trunk was brought up and deposited in the room.

    That evening Frank read to Mr. Wharton as usual.

    When nine o’clock came he said:

    “You need not read aloud any more, but if you see any books in my library which you would like to read to yourself you may do so. In fact, Frank, you must consider yourself one of the family, and act as freely as if you were at home.”

    “How kind you are to me, Mr. Wharton,” said Frank.

    The next morning after Frank had left the house for his daily task, John Wade entered the housekeeper’s room.

    “The boy is out of the way now, Mrs. Bradley,” he said. “You had better see if you have a key that will unlock his trunk.”

    The two conspirators went upstairs, and together entered Frank’s room.

    Mrs. Bradley brought out a large bunch of keys, and successively tried them, but one after another failed to open it.

    “That’s awkward,” said John Wade. “I have a few keys in my pocket. One may possibly answer.”

    The housekeeper kneeled down, and made a trial of John Wade’s keys. The last one was successful. The cover was lifted, and the contents were disclosed. However, neither John nor Mrs. Bradley seemed particularly interested in the articles for after turning them over they locked the trunk once more.

    “So far so good,” said John Wade. “We have found the means of opening the trunk when we please.”

    “When do you expect to carry out your plan, Mr. John?”

    “Two weeks from this time my uncle is obliged to go to Washington for a few days on business. While he is gone we will spring the trap, and when he comes back he will find the boy gone in disgrace. We’ll make short work of him.”

Chapter XIV – Springing The Trap

    “I am going to give you a few days’ vacation, Frank,” said Mr. Wharton, a fortnight later. “I am called to Washington on business. However, you have got to feel at home here now.”

    “Oh, yes, sir.”

    “And Mrs. Bradley will see that you are comfortable.”

    “I am sure of that, sir,” said Frank, politely.

    When Frank returned at night, Mr. Wharton was already gone. John Wade and the housekeeper seated themselves in the library after dinner, and by their invitation our hero joined them.

    “By the way, Frank,” said John Wade, “did I ever show you this Russia leather pocketbook?” producing one from his pocket.

    “No, sir, I believe not.”

    “I bought it at Vienna, which is noted for its articles of Russia leather.”

    “It is very handsome, sir.”

    “So I think. By the way, you may like to look at my sleeve-buttons. They are of Venetian mosaic. I got them myself in Venice last year.”

    “They are very elegant. You must have enjoyed visiting so many famous cities.”

    “Yes; it is very interesting.”

    John Wade took up the evening paper, and Frank occupied himself with a book from his patron’s library. After a while John threw down the paper yawning, and said that he had an engagement. Nothing else occurred that evening which merits record.

    Two days later Frank returned home in his usual spirits. But at the table he was struck by a singular change in the manner of Mrs. Bradley and John Wade. They spoke to him only on what it was absolutely necessary, and answered his questions in monosyllables.

    “Will you step into the library a moment?” said John Wade, as they arose from the table.

    Frank followed John into the library, and Mrs. Bradley entered also.

    “Frank Fowler,” the enemy began, “do you remember my showing you two evenings since a pocketbook, also some sleeve-buttons of Venetian mosaic, expensively mounted in gold?”

    “Certainly, sir.”

    “That pocketbook contained a considerable sum of money,” pursued his questioner.

    “I don’t know anything about that.”

    “You probably supposed so.”

    “Will you tell me what you mean, Mr. Wade?” demanded Frank, impatiently. “I have answered your questions, but I can’t understand why you ask them.”

    “Perhaps you may suspect,” said Wade, sarcastically.

    “It looks as if you had lost them and suspected me of taking them.”

    “So it appears.”

    “You are entirely mistaken, Mr. Wade. I am not a thief. I never stole anything in my life.”

    “It is very easy to say that,” sneered John Wade. “You and Mrs. Bradley were the only persons present when I showed the articles, and I suppose you won’t pretend that she stole them?”

    “No, sir; though she appears to agree with you that I am a thief. I never thought of accusing her,” replied Frank.

    “Mr. Wade,” said the housekeeper, “I feel that it is my duty to insist upon search being made in my room.”

    “Do you make the same offer?” asked John Wade, turning to Frank.

    “Yes, sir,” answered our hero, proudly. “I wish you to satisfy yourself that I am not a thief. If you will come to my room at once, Mr. Wade, you and Mrs. Bradley, I will hand you the key of my trunk.”

    The two followed him upstairs, exulting wickedly in his discomfiture, which they had reason to forsee.

    He handed his key to his artful enemy, and the latter bending over, opened the trunk, which contained all our hero’s small possessions.

    He raised the pile of clothes, and, to Frank’s dismay, disclosed the missing pocketbook and sleeve- buttons in the bottom of the trunk.

    “What have you got to say for yourself now, you young villain?” demanded John Wade, in a loud voice.

    “I don’t understand it,” Frank said, in a troubled tone. “I don’t know how the things came there. I didn’t put them there.”

    “Probably they crept in themselves,” sneered John.

    “Someone put them there,” said Frank, pale, but resolute; “some wicked person, who wanted to get me into trouble.”

    “What do you mean by that, you young vagabond?” demanded John Wade, suspiciously.

    “I mean what I say,” he asserted. “I am away all day, and nothing is easier than to open my trunk and put articles in, in order to throw suspicion on me.”

    “Look here, you rascal!” said John Wade, roughly. “I shall treat you better than you deserve. I won’t give you over to the police out of regard for my uncle, but you must leave this house and never set foot in it again. It will be the worse for you if you do.”

    John Wade and the housekeeper left the room, and our hero was left to realize the misfortune which had overwhelmed him.

    Frank arose at an early hour the next morning and left the house. It was necessary for him to find a new home at once in order to be at the store in time. He bought a copy of the Sun and turned to the advertising columns. He saw a cheap room advertised near the one he had formerly occupied. Finding his way there he rang the bell.

    The door was opened by a slatternly-looking woman, who looked as if she had just got up.

    “I see by the Sun you have a room to let,” said Frank.

    “Yes; do you want to see it now?”

    “I should like to.”

    “Come upstairs and I will show you the room.”

    The room proved to be small, and by no means neat in appearance, but the rent was only a dollar and a quarter a week, and Frank felt that he could not afford to be particular, so he quick closed the bargain.

    The next day, about eleven o’clock in the forenoon, he was surprised at seeing Mrs. Bradley enter the store and thread her way to that part of the counter where her nephew was stationed. She darted one quick look at him, but gave him no sign of recognition. His heart sank within him, for he had a presentiment that her visit boded fresh evil for him.

Chapter XV – From Bad To Worse

    Frank’s misgivings were not without good cause. The housekeeper’s call at the store was connected with him. How, will be understood from a conversation which took place that morning between her and John Wade.

    “It’s a relief to get that boy out of the house, Mrs. Bradley,” he said at the breakfast table.

    “That it is, Mr. John,” she replied. “But he’ll be trying to get back, take my word for it.”

    “He won’t dare to,” said John Wade, incredulously. “I told him if he came near the house I would give him up to the police.”

    “I am afraid he will write to your uncle. He’s bold enough for anything.”

    “I didn’t think of that,” said John, thoughtfully.

    “Do you know his handwriting, Mrs. Bradley?”

    “I think I should know it.”

    “Then if any letters come which you know to be from him, keep them back from my uncle.”

    “What shall I do with them?”

    “Give them to me. I don’t want my uncle worried by his appeals.”

    “Your uncle seems to be very attached to him. He may go to the store to see him.”

    “That is true. I should not like that. How shall we prevent it, that’s the question.”

    “If Gilbert & Mack knew that he was not honest they would discharge him.”

    “Exactly,” said John Wade; “and as probably he would be unable to get another situation, he would be compelled to leave the city, and we should get rid of him. I commend your shrewdness, Mrs. Bradley. Your plan is most excellent.”

    John Wade had more reasons than the housekeeper knew of for desiring the removal of our young hero from the city–reasons which the reader has probably guessed. There was a dark secret in his life connected with a wrong done in years past, from which he hoped some day to reap personal benefit. Unconsciously Frank Fowler stood in his way, and must be removed. Such was his determination.

    “I am going out this morning,” said the housekeeper. “I will make it in my way to call at Gilbert & Mack’s. My nephew is a salesman there, as I have told you. I will drop a word in his ear, and that will be enough to settle that boy’s hash.”

    “Your language is professional, Mrs. Bradley,” said John Wade, laughing, “but you shouldn’t allude to hash in an aristocratic household. I shall be glad to have you carry out your plan.”

    “I hope you’ll speak to your uncle about my nephew, Mr. John. He gets very poor pay where he is.”

    “I won’t forget him,” said John, carelessly.

    In his heart he thought Thomas Bradley a very low, obtrusive fellow, whom he felt by no means inclined to assist, but it was cheap to make promises.

    The reader understands now why Mrs. Bradley made a morning call at Gilbert &; Mack’s store.

    She knew at what part of the counter her nephew was stationed, and made her way thither at once. He did not at first recognize her, until she said:

    “Good-morning, Thomas.”

    “Good-morning, aunt. What brings you here this morning? Any good news for me? Has the old gentleman come around and concluded to do something handsome?”

    “Mr. Wharton is not in the city. He has gone to Washington. But that isn’t what I came about this morning. You remember that boy who has been reading to Mr. Wharton?”

    “One of our cash-boys. Yes; there he is, just gone by.”

    “Well, he has stolen Mr. John’s pocketbook and some jewelry belonging to him.”

    “What have you done about it? What does Mr. Wharton say?”

    “He’s away from home. He doesn’t know yet. Mr. John gave him a lecture, and ordered him to leave the house.”

    “Does he admit that he took the things?”

    “No; he denied it as bold as brass, but it didn’t do him any good. There were the things in his trunk. He couldn’t get over that.”

    Thomas fastened a shrewd glance on his aunt’s face, for he suspected the truth.

    “So you’ve got rid of him?” he said. “What do you propose to do next?”

    “Mr. John thinks your employer ought to know that he is a thief.”

    “Are you going to tell them?”

    “I want you to do it.”

    “You must tell them yourself, aunt. I shan’t.”

    “Then introduce me to Mr. Gilbert, Thomas, and I’ll do it.”

    “Follow me, aunt.”

    He led his aunt to the rear of the store, where Mr. Gilbert was standing.

    “Mr. Gilbert,” he said, “allow me to introduce my aunt, Mrs. Bradley.”

    The housekeeper was courteously received, and invited to be seated. She soon opened her business, and blackened poor Frank’s character as she had intended.

    “Really, Mrs. Bradley, I am sorry to hear this,” said Mr. Gilbert. “You think there is no doubt of the boy’s guilt?”

    “I am sorry to say that I have no doubt at all,” said the housekeeper, hypocritically.

    “Mr. Mack and myself have had a very good opinion of him. He is faithful and prompt.”

    “Of course, sir, you will retain him in your employ if you are willing to take the risk, but I thought it my duty to put you on your guard.”

    “I am obliged to you, Mrs. Bradley; though, as I said, I regret to find that my confidence in the boy has been misplaced.”

    Late in the afternoon, Frank was called to the cashier’s desk.

    “I am directed by Mr. Gilbert to say that your services will not be required after to-day,” he said. “Here are the week’s wages.”

    “Why am I discharged? What have I done?” demanded Frank, while his heart sank within him.

    “I don’t know. You must ask Mr. Gilbert,” answered the cashier.

    “I will speak to him, at any rate,” and Frank walked up to the senior partner, and addressed to him the same question.

    “Can you not guess?” asked Mr. Gilbert, sternly.

    “I can guess that a false accusation has been brought against me,” said Frank.

    “A respectable lady has informed me that you are not honest. I regret it, for I have been pleased with your diligence. Of course, I cannot retain you in my employ.”

    “Mr. Gilbert,” said Frank, earnestly, “the charge is false. Mrs. Bradley is my enemy, and wishes me harm. I don’t understand how the things came into my trunk, but I didn’t put them there.”

    “I hope you are innocent, but I must discharge you. Business is dull now, and I had decided to part with four of my cash-boys. I won’t pass judgment upon you, but you must go.”

    Frank bowed in silence, for he saw that further entreaty would be vain, and left the store more dispirited than at any moment since he had been in the city.

    Ten days Frank spent in fruitless efforts to obtain a place.

    All this time his money steadily diminished. He perceived that he would soon be penniless. Evidently, something must be done. He formed two determinations. The first was to write to Mr. Wharton, who, he thought, must now have returned from Washington, asserting his innocence and appealing to him to see Gilbert & Mack, and re-establish him in their confidence. The second was, since he could not obtain a regular place, to frequent the wharves and seek chances to carry bundles. In this way he might earn enough, with great economy, to pay for his board and lodging.

    One morning the housekeeper entered the library where John Wade sat reading the daily papers.

    “Mr. John,” she said, holding out a letter, “here is a letter from that boy. I expected he would write to your uncle.”

    John Wade deliberately opened the letter.

    “Sit down, Mrs. Bradley, and I will read the letter aloud.”

    It will be only necessary to quote the concluding sentences:

    “‘I hope, Mr. Wharton, you will not be influenced against me by what Mrs. Bradley and your nephew say. I don’t know why it is, but they are my enemies, though I have always treated them with respect. I am afraid they have a desire to injure me in your estimation. If they had not been, they would have been content with driving me from your house, without also slandering me to my employers, and inducing them to discharge me. Since I was discharged, I have tried very hard to get another place, but as I cannot bring a recommendation from Gilbert & Mack, I have everywhere been refused. I ask you, Mr. Wharton to consider my situation. Already my small supply of money is nearly gone, and I do not know how I am to pay my expenses. If it was any fault of mine that had brought me into this situation, I would not complain, but it seems hard to suffer when I am innocent.

    “‘I do not ask to return to your house, Mr. Wharton, for it would not be pleasant, since your nephew and Mrs. Bradley dislike me, but I have a right to ask that the truth may be told to my employers, so that if they do not wish me to return to their service, they may, at least, be willing to give me a recommendation that will give me a place elsewhere.”‘

    “I must prevent the boy communicating with my uncle, if it is a possible thing. ‘Strike while the iron is hot,’ I say.”

    “I think that is very judicious, Mr. John. I have no doubt you will know how to manage matters.”

    John Wade dressed himself for a walk, and drawing out a cigar, descended the steps of his uncle’s house into the street.

    He reached Fifth Avenue, and walked slowly downtown. He was about opposite Twenty-eighth Street, when he came face to face with the subject of his thoughts.

    “Where are you going?” John Wade demanded sternly.

    “I don’t know that I am bound to answer your question,” answered Frank, quietly, “but I have no objection. I am going to Thirty-ninth Street with this bundle.”

    “Hark you, boy! I have something to say to you,” continued John Wade, harshly. “You have had the impudence to write to my uncle.”

    “What did he say?”

    “Nothing that you would like to hear. He looks upon you as a thief.”

    “You have slandered me to him, Mr. Wade,” he said, angrily. “You might be in better business than accusingly a poor boy falsely.”

    “Hark you, young man! I have had enough of your impudence. I will give you a bit of advice, which you will do well to follow. Leave this city for a place where you are not known, or I may feel disposed to shut you up on a charge of theft.”

    “I shall not leave the city, Mr. Wade,” returned Frank, firmly. “I shall stay here in spite of you,” and without waiting for an answer, he walked on.

Chapter XVI – An Accomplice Found

    No sooner had John Wade parted from our hero than he saw approaching him a dark, sinister-looking man, whom he had known years before.

    “Good-morning, Mr. Wade,” said the newcomer.

    “Good-morning, Mr. Graves. Are you busy just now?”

    “No, sir; I am out of employment. I have been unfortunate.”

    “Then I will give you a job. Do you see that boy?” said John Wade, rapidly.

    “Yes, I see him.”

    “I want you to follow him. Find out where he lives, and let me know this evening. Do you understand?”

    “I understand. You may rely upon me, sir,” answered Nathan Graves; and quickening his pace, he soon came within a hundred feet of our hero.

    After fulfilling his errand, Frank walked downtown again, but did not succeed in obtaining any further employment. Wherever he went, he was followed by Graves. Unconsciously, he exhausted the patience of that gentleman, who got heartily tired of his tramp about the streets. But the longest day will come to an end, and at last he had the satisfaction of tracking Frank to his humble lodging. Then, and not till then, he felt justified in leaving him.

    Nathan Graves sought the residence of John Wade. He rang the bell as the clock struck eight.

    “Well, what success?” asked Wade, when they met.

    “I have tracked the boy. What more can I do for you?” asked Graves.

    “I want to get him away from the city. The fact is–I may as well tell you–my uncle has taken a great fancy to the boy, and might be induced to adopt him, and cut me off from my rightful inheritance. The boy is an artful young rascal, and has been doing all he could to get into the good graces of my uncle, who is old and weak-minded.”

    It was nine o’clock when Nathan Graves left the house, John Wade himself accompanying him to the door.

    “How soon do you think you can carry out my instructions?” asked Wade.

    “To-morrow, if possible.”

    “The sooner the better.”

    “It is lucky I fell in with him,” said Nathan Graves to himself, with satisfaction, as he slowly walked down Fifth Avenue. “It’s a queer business, but that’s none of my business. The main thing for me to consider is that it brings money to my purse, and of that I have need enough.”

    Graves left the house richer by a hundred dollars than he entered it.

    It was eleven o’clock on the forenoon of the next day when Frank walked up Canal Street toward Broadway. He had been down to the wharves since early in the morning, seeking for employment. He had offered his services to many, but as yet had been unable to secure a job.

    As he was walking along a man addressed him:

    “Will you be kind enough to direct me to Broadway?”

    It was Nathan Graves, with whom Frank was destined to have some unpleasant experiences.

    “Straight ahead,” answered Frank. “I am going there, and will show you, if you like.”

    “Thank you, I wish you would. I live only fifteen or twenty miles distant,” said Graves, “but I don’t often come to the city, and am not much acquainted. I keep a dry-goods store, but my partner generally comes here to buy goods. By the way, perhaps you can help me about the errand that calls me here today.”

    “I will, sir, if I can,” said Frank, politely.

    “My youngest clerk has just left me, and I want to find a successor–a boy about your age, say. Do you know any one who would like such a position?”

    “I am out of employment myself just now. Do you think I will suit?”

    “I think you will,” said Mr. Graves.

    “You won’t object to go into the country?”

    “No, sir.”

    “I will give you five dollars a week and your board for the present. If you suit me, your pay will be raised at the end of six months. Will that be satisfactory?” asked his companion.

    “Quite so, sir. When do you wish me to come?”

    “Can you go out with me this afternoon?”

    “Yes, sir. I only want to go home and pack up my trunk.”

    “To save time, I will go with you, and we will start as soon as possible.”

    Nathan Graves accompanied Frank to his room, where his scanty wardrobe was soon packed. A hack was called, and they were speedily on their way to the Cortland Street ferry.

    They crossed the ferry, and Mr. Graves purchased two tickets to Elizabeth. He bought a paper, and occupied himself in reading. Frank felt that fortune had begun to shine upon him once more. By and by, he could send for Grace, and get her boarded near him. As soon as his wages were raised, he determined to do this. While engaged in these pleasant speculations, they reached the station.

    “We get out here,” said Mr. Graves.

    “Is your store in this place?” asked Frank.

    “No; it is in the next town.”

    Nathan Graves looked about him for a conveyance. He finally drove a bargain with a man driving a shabby-looking vehicle, and the two took their seats.

    They were driven about six miles through a flat, unpicturesque country, when they reached a branch road leading away from the main one.

    It was a narrow road, and apparently not much frequented. Frank could see no houses on either side

    “Is your store on this road?” he asked.

    “Oh, no; but I am not going to the store yet. We will go to my house, and leave your trunk.”

    At length the wagon stopped, by Graves’ orders, in front of a gate hanging loosely by one hinge.

    “We’ll get out here,” said Graves.

    Frank looked with some curiosity, and some disappointment, at his future home. It was a square, unpainted house, discolored by time, and looked far from attractive. There were no outward signs of occupation, and everything about it appeared to have fallen into decay. Not far off was a barn, looking even more dilapidated than the house.

    At the front door, instead of knocking–there was no bell–Graves drew a rusty key from his pocket and inserted it in the lock. They found themselves in a small entry, uncarpeted and dingy.

    “We’ll go upstairs,” said Graves.

    Arrived on the landing, he threw open a door, and ushered in our hero.

    “This will be your room,” he said.

    Frank looked around in dismay.

    It was a large, square room, uncarpeted, and containing only a bed, two chairs and a washstand, all of the cheapest and rudest manufacture.

    “I hope you will soon feel at home here,” said Graves. “I’ll go down and see if I can find something to eat.”

    He went out, locking the door behind him

    “What does this mean?” thought Frank, with a strange sensation.

Chapter XVII – Frank And His Jailer

    It was twenty minutes before Frank, waiting impatiently, heard the steps of his late companion ascending the stairs.

    But the door was not unlocked. Instead, a slide was revealed, about eight inches square, through which his late traveling companion pushed a plate of cold meat and bread.

    “Here’s something to eat,” he said; “take it.”

    “Why do you lock me in?” demanded our hero.

    “You can get along without knowing, I suppose,” said the other, with a sneer.

    “I don’t mean to,” said Frank, firmly. “I demand an explanation. How long do you intend to keep me here?”

    “I am sorry I can’t gratify your curiosity, but I don’t know myself.”

    “Perhaps you think that I am rich, but I am not. I have no money. You can’t get anything out of me,” said Frank.

    “That may be so, but I shall keep you.”

    “I suppose that was all a lie about your keeping store?”

    “It was a pretty little story, told for your amusement, my dear boy,” said Graves. “I was afraid you wouldn’t come without it.”

    “You are a villain!” said Frank.

    “Look here, boy,” said Graves, in a different tone, his face darkening, “you had better not talk in that way. I advise you to eat your dinner and be quiet. Some supper will be brought to you before night.”

    So saying, he abruptly closed the slide, and descended the stairs, leaving Frank to his reflections, which it may be supposed, were not of the pleasantest character.

    Frank did not allow his unpleasant situation to take away his appetite, and though he was fully determined to make the earliest possible attempt to escape, he was sensible enough first to eat the food which his jailer had brought him.

    His lunch dispatched, he began at once to revolve plans of escape.

    There were three windows in the room, two on the front of the house, the other at the side.

    He tried one after another, but the result was the same. All were so fastened that it was quite impossible to raise them.

    Feeling that he could probably escape through one of the windows when he pleased, though at the cost of considerable trouble, Frank did not trouble himself much, or allow himself to feel unhappy. He decided to continue his explorations.

    In the corner of the room was a door, probably admitting to a closet.

    “I suppose it is locked,” thought Frank, but on trying it, he found that such was not the case. He looked curiously about him, but found little to repay him. His attention was drawn, however to several dark-colored masks lying upon a shelf.

    He also discovered a small hole in the wall of the size of a marble. Actuated by curiosity, he applied his eye to the opening, and peeped into what was probably the adjoining room. It was furnished in very much the same way as the one in which he was confined, but at present it was untenanted. Having seen what little there was to be seen, Frank withdrew from his post of observation and returned to his room.

    It was several hours later when he again heard steps ascending the stairs, and the slide in the door was moved.

    He looked toward it, but the face that he saw was not that of Nathan Graves.

    It was the face of a woman.

Chapter XVIII – “Over The Hill To The Poorhouse”

    We are compelled for a time to leave our hero in the hands of his enemies, and return to the town of Crawford, where an event has occurred which influences seriously the happiness and position of his sister, Grace.

    Ever since Frank left the town, Grace had been a welcome member of Mr. Pomeroy’s family, receiving the kindest treatment from all, so that she had come to feel very much at home.

    So they lived happily together, till one disastrous night a fire broke out, which consumed the house, and they were forced to snatch their clothes and escape, saving nothing else.

    Mr. Pomeroy’s house was insured for two-thirds of its value, and he proposed to rebuild immediately, but it would be three months at least before the new house would be completed. In the interim, he succeeded in hiring a couple of rooms for his family, but their narrow accommodations would oblige them to dispense with their boarder. Sorry as Mr. and Mrs. Pomeroy were to part with her, it was obvious that Grace must find another home.

    “We must let Frank know,” said Mr. Pomeroy, and having occasion to go up to the city at once to see about insurance, he went to the store of Gilbert & Mack, and inquired for Prank.

    “Fowler? What was he?” was asked.

    “A cash-boy.”

    “Oh, he is no longer here. Mr. Gilbert discharged him.”

    “Do you know why he was discharged?” asked Mr. Pomeroy, pained and startled.

    “No; but there stands Mr. Gilbert. He can tell you.”

    Mr. Pomeroy introduced himself to the head of the firm and repeated his inquiry.

    “If you are a friend of the lad,” said Mr. Gilbert, “you will be sorry to learn that he was charged with dishonesty. It was a very respectable lady who made the charge. It is only fair to say that the boy denied it, and that, personally, we found him faithful and trusty. But as the dullness of trade compelled us to discharge some of our cash-boys, we naturally discharged him among the number, without, however, judging his case.”

    “Then, sir, you have treated the boy very unfairly. On the strength of a charge not proved, you have dismissed him, though personally you had noticed nothing out of the way in him, and rendered it impossible for him to obtain another place.”

    “There is something in what you say, I admit. Perhaps I was too hasty. If you will send the boy to me, I will take him back on probation.”

    “Thank you, sir,” said Mr. Pomeroy, gratefully “I will send him here.”

    But this Mr. Pomeroy was unable to do. He did not know of Frank’s new address, and though he was still in the city, he failed to find him.

    He returned to Crawford and communicated the unsatisfactory intelligence. He tried to obtain a new boarding place for Grace, but no one was willing to take her at two dollars a week, especially when Mr. Pomeroy was compelled to admit that Frank was now out of employment, and it was doubtful if he would be able to keep up the payment.

    Tom Pinkerton managed to learn that Grace was now without a home, and mentioned it to his father.

    “Won’t she have to go to the poorhouse now, father?” he asked eagerly.

    “Yes,” said Deacon Pinkerton. “There is no other place for her that I can see.”

    “Ah, I’m glad,” said Tom, maliciously. “Won’t that upstart’s pride be taken down? He was too proud to go to the poorhouse, where he belonged, but he can’t help his sister’s going there. If he isn’t a pauper himself, he’ll be the brother of a pauper, and that’s the next thing to it.”

    “That is true,” said the deacon. “He was very impudent in return for my kindness. Still, I am sorry for him.”

    I am afraid the deacon’s sorrow was not very deep, for he certainly looked unusually cheerful when he harnessed up his horse and drove around to the temporary home of the Pomeroys.

    “Good-morning, Mr. Pomeroy,” he said, seeing the latter in the yard. “You’ve met with a severe loss.”

    “Yes, deacon; it is a severe loss to a poor man like me.”

    “To be sure. Well, I’ve called around to relieve you of a part of your cares. I am going to take Grace Fowler to the poorhouse.”

    “Couldn’t you get her a place with a private family to help about the house in return for her board, while she goes to school?”

    “There’s nobody wants a young girl like her,” said the deacon.

    “Her brother would pay part of her board–that is, when he has a place.”

    “Hasn’t he got a place?” asked the deacon, pricking up his ears. “I heard he was in a store in New York.”

    “He lost his place,” said Mr. Pomeroy, reluctantly, “partly because of the dullness of general trade.”

    “Then he can’t maintain his sister. She will have to go to the poorhouse. Will you ask her to get ready, and I’ll take her right over to the poorhouse.”

    There was no alternative. Mr. Pomeroy went into the house, and broke the sad news to his wife and Grace.

    “Never mind,” she said, with attempted cheerfulness, though her lips quivered, “I shan’t have to stay there long. Frank will be sure to send for me very shortly.”

    “It’s too bad, Grace,” said Sam, looking red about the eyes; “it’s too bad that you should have to go to the poorhouse.”

    “Come and see me, Sam,” said Grace.

    “Yes, I will, Grace. I’ll come often, too. You shan’t stay there long.”

    “Good-by,” said Grace, faltering. “You have all been very kind to me.”

    “Good-by, my dear child,” said Mrs. Pomeroy.

    “Who knows but you can return to us when the new house is done?”

    So poor Grace went out from her pleasant home to find the deacon, grim-faced and stern, waiting for her.

    “Jump in, little girl,” he said. “You’ve kept me waiting for you a long time, and my time is valuable.”

    The distance to the poorhouse was about a mile and a half. For the first half mile Deacon Pinkerton kept silence. Then he began to speak, in a tone of cold condescension, as if it were a favor for such a superior being to address an insignificant child, about to become a pauper.

    “Little girl, have you heard from your brother lately?”

    “Not very lately, sir.”

    “What is he doing?”

    “He is in a store.”

    “I apprehend you are mistaken. He has lost his place. He has been turned away,” said the deacon, with satisfaction.”

    “Frank turned away! Oh, sir, you must be mistaken.”

    “Mr. Pomeroy told me. He found out yesterday when he went to the city.”

    Poor Grace! she could not longer doubt now, and her brother’s misfortune saddened her even more than her own.

    “Probably you will soon see your brother.”

    “Oh, do you think so, sir?” asked Grace, joyfully.

    “Yes,” answered the deacon, grimly. “He will find himself in danger of starvation in the city, and he’ll creep back, only too glad to obtain a nice, comfortable home in the poorhouse.”

    But Grace knew her brother better than that. She knew his courage, his self-reliance and his independent spirit, and she was sure the deacon was mistaken.

    The home for which Grace was expected to be so grateful was now in sight. It was a dark, neglected looking house, situated in the midst of barren fields, and had a lonely and desolate aspect. It was superintended by Mr. and Mrs. Chase, distant relations of Deacon Pinkerton.

    Mr. Chase was an inoffensive man, but Mrs. Chase had a violent temper. She was at work in the kitchen when Deacon Pinkerton drove up. Hearing the sound of wheels, she came to the door.

    “Mrs. Chase,” said the deacon, “I’ve brought you a little girl, to be placed under your care.”

    “What’s her name?” inquired the lady.

    “Grace Fowler.”

    “Grace, humph! Why didn’t she have a decent name?”

    “You can call her anything you like,” said the deacon.

    “Little girl, you must behave well,” said Deacon Pinkerton, by way of parting admonition. “The town expects it. I expect it. You must never cease to be grateful for the good home which it provides you free of expense.”

    Grace did not reply. Looking in the face of her future task-mistress was scarcely calculated to awaken a very deep feeling of gratitude.

    “Now,” said Mrs. Chase, addressing her new boarder, “just take off your things, Betsy, and make yourself useful.”

    “My name isn’t Betsy, ma’am.”

    “It isn’t, isn’t it?”

    “No; it is Grace.”

    “You don’t say so! I’ll tell you one thing, I shan’t allow anybody to contradict me here, and your name’s got to be Betsy while you’re in this house. Now take off your things and hang them up on that peg. I’m going to set you right to work.”

    “Yes, ma’am,” said Grace, alarmed.

    “There’s some dishes I want washed, Betsy, and I won’t have you loitering over your work, neither.”

    “Very well, ma’am.”

    Such was the new home for which poor Grace was expected to be grateful.

Chapter XIX – What Frank Heard Through The Crevice

    Frank looked with some surprise at the woman who was looking through the slide of his door. He had expected to see Nathan Graves. She also regarded him with interest.

    “I have brought you some supper,” she said.

    Frank reached out and drew in a small waiter, containing a cup of tea and a plate of toast.

    “Thank you,” he said. “Where is the man who brought me here?”

    “He has gone out.”

    “Do you know why he keeps me here in confinement?”

    “No,” said the woman, hastily. “I know nothing. I see much, but I know nothing.”

    “Are many prisoners brought here as I have been?” asked our hero, in spite of the woman’s refusal to speak.


    “I can’t understand what object they can have in detaining me. If I were rich, I might guess, but I am poor. I am compelled to work for my daily bread, and have been out of a place for two weeks.”

    “I don’t understand,” she said, in a low voice, rather to herself than to him. “But I cannot wait. I must not stand here. I will come up in fifteen minutes, and if you wish another cup of tea, or some toast, I will bring them.”

    His confinement did not affect his appetite, for he enjoyed his tea and toast; and when, as she had promised, the woman came up, he told her he would like another cup of tea, and some more toast.

    “Will you answer one question?” asked our hero.

    “I don’t know,” answered the woman in a flurried tone.

    “You look like a good woman. Why do you stay in such a house as this?”

    “I will tell you, though I should do better to be silent. But you won’t betray me?”

    “On no account.”

    “I was poor, starving, when I had an application to come here. The man who engaged me told me that it was to be a housekeeper, and I had no suspicion of the character of the house–that it was a den of–“

    She stopped short, but Frank understood what she would have said.

    “When I discovered the character of the house, I would have left but for two reasons. First, I had no other home; next, I had become acquainted with the secrets of the house, and they would have feared that I would reveal them. I should incur great risk. So I stayed.”

    Here there was a sound below. The woman started.

    “Some one has come,” she said. “I must go down I will come up as soon as I can with the rest of your supper.”

    “Thank you. You need not hurry.”

    Our hero was left to ponder over what he had heard. There was evidently a mystery connected with this lonely house a mystery which he very much desired to solve. But there was one chance. Through the aperture in the closet he might both see and hear something, provided any should meet there that evening.

    The remainder of his supper was brought him by the same woman, but she was in haste, and he obtained no opportunity of exchanging another word with her.

    Frank did not learn who it was that had arrived. Listening intently, he thought he heard some sounds in the next room. Opening the closet door, and applying his eye to the aperture, he saw two men seated in the room, one of whom was the man who had brought him there.

    He applied his ear to the opening, and heard the following conversation:

    “I hear you’ve brought a boy here, Nathan,” said the other, who was a stout, low-browed man, with an evil look.

    “Yes,” said Graves, with a smile; “I am going to board him here a while.”

    “What’s it all about? What are you going to gain by it?”

    “I’ll tell you all I know. I’ve known something of the family for a long time. John Wade employed me long ago. The old millionaire had a son who went abroad and died there. His cousin, John Wade, brought home his son–a mere baby–the old man’s grandson, of course, and sole heir, or likely to be, to the old man’s wealth, if he had lived. In that case, John Wade would have been left out in the cold, or put off with a small bequest.”

    “Yes. Did the boy live?”

    “No; he died, very conveniently for John Wade, and thus removed the only obstacle from his path.”

    “Very convenient. Do you think there was any foul play?”

    “There may have been.”

    “But I should think the old man would have suspected.”

    “He was away at the time. When he returned to the city, he heard from his nephew that the boy was dead. It was a great blow to him, of course. Now, I’ll tell you what,” said Graves, sinking his voice so that Frank found it difficult to hear, “I’ll tell you what I’ve thought at times.”

    “I think the grandson may have been spirited off somewhere. Nothing more easy, you know. Murder is a risky operation, and John Wade is respectable, and wouldn’t want to run the risk of a halter.”

    “You may be right. You don’t connect this story of yours with the boy you’ve brought here, do you?”

    “I do,” answered Graves, emphatically. “I shouldn’t be surprised if this was the very boy!”

    “What makes you think so?”

    “First, because there’s some resemblance between the boy and the old man’s son, as I remember him. Next, it would explain John Wade’s anxiety to get rid of him. It’s my belief that John Wade has recognized in this boy the baby he got rid of fourteen years ago, and is afraid his uncle will make the same discovery.”

    Frank left the crevice through which he had received so much information in a whirl of new and bewildering thoughts.

    “Was it possible,” he asked himself, “that he could be the grandson of Mr. Wharton, his kind benefactor?”

Chapter XX – The Escape

    It was eight o’clock the next morning before Frank’s breakfast was brought to him.

    “I am sorry you have had to wait,” the housekeeper said, as she appeared at the door with a cup of coffee and a plate of beefsteak and toast, “I couldn’t come up before.”

    “Have the men gone away?” said Frank.


    “Then I have something to tell you. I learned something about myself last night. I was in the closet, and heard the man who brought me here talking to another person. May I tell you the story?”

    “If you think it will do any good,” said the housekeeper, but I can’t help you if that is what you want.”

    He told the whole story. As he proceeded, the housekeeper betrayed increased, almost eager interest, and from time to time asked him questions in particular as to the personal appearance of John Wade. When Frank had described him as well as he could, she said, in an excited manner:

    “Yes, it is–it must be the same man.”

    “The same man!” repeated our hero, in surprise.

    “Do you know anything about him?”

    “I know that he is a wicked man. I am afraid that I have helped him carry out his wicked plan, but I did not know it at the time, or I never would have given my consent.”

    “I don’t understand you,” said our hero, puzzled.

    “Will you tell me what you mean?”

    “Fourteen years ago I was very poor–poor and sick besides. My husband had died, leaving me nothing but the care of a young infant, whom it was necessary for me to support besides myself. Enfeebled by sickness, I was able to earn but little, but we lived in a wretched room in a crowded tenement house. My infant boy was taken sick and died. As I sat sorrowfully beside the bed on which he lay dead, I heard a knock at the door. I opened it, and admitted a man whom I afterward learned to be John Wade. He very soon explained his errand. He agreed to take my poor boy, and pay all the expenses of his burial in Greenwood Cemetery, provided I would not object to any of his arrangements. He was willing besides to pay me two hundred dollars for the relief of my necessities. Though I was almost beside myself with grief for my child’s loss, and though this was a very favorable proposal, I hesitated. I could not understand why a stranger should make me such an offer. I asked him the reason.”

    “‘You ask too much,’ he answered, appearing annoyed. ‘I have made you a fair offer. Will you accept it, or will you leave your child to have a pauper’s funeral?’

    “That consideration decided me. For my child’s sake I agreed to his proposal, and forebore to question him further. He provided a handsome rosewood casket for my dear child, but upon the silver plate was inscribed a name that was strange to me –the name of Francis Wharton.”

    “Francis Wharton!” exclaimed Frank.

    “I was too weak and sorrowful to make opposition, and my baby was buried as Francis Wharton. Not only this, but a monument is erected over him at Greenwood, which bears this name.”

    She proceeded after a pause:

    “I did not then understand his object. Your story makes it clear. I think that you are that Francis Wharton, under whose name my boy was buried.”

    “How strange!” said Frank, thoughtfully. “I cannot realize it. But how did you know the name of the man who called upon you?”

    “A card slipped from his pocket, which I secured without his knowledge.”

    “How fortunate that I met you,” said Frank. “I mean to let Mr. Wharton know all that I have learned, and then he shall decide whether he will recognize me or not as his grandson.”

    “I have been the means of helping to deprive you of your just rights, though unconsciously. Now that I know the wicked conspiracy in which I assisted, I will help undo the work.”

    “Thank you,” said Frank. “The first thing is to get out of this place.”

    “I cannot open the door of your room. They do not trust me with the key.”

    “The windows are not very high from the ground. I can get down from the outside.”

    “I will bring you a clothesline and a hatchet.”

    Frank received them with exultation.

    “Before I attempt to escape,” he said, “tell me where I can meet you in New York. I want you to go with me to Mr. Wharton’s. I shall need you to confirm my story.”

    “I will meet you to-morrow at No. 15 B–Street.”

    “Then we shall meet to-morrow. What shall I call your name?”

    “Mrs. Parker.”

    “Thank you. I will get away as quickly as possible, and when we are in the city we will talk over our future plans.”

    With the help of the hatchet, Frank soon demolished the lower part of the window. Fastening the rope to the bedstead, he got out of the window and safely descended to the ground.

    A long and fatiguing walk lay before him. But at last he reached the cars, and half an hour later the ferry at Jersey City.

    Frank thought himself out of danger for the time being, but he was mistaken.

    Standing on the deck of the ferryboat, and looking back to the pier from which he had just started, he met the glance of a man who had intended to take the same boat, but had reached the pier just too late. His heart beat quicker when he recognized in the belated passenger his late jailer, Nathan Graves.

    Carried away by his rage and disappointment, Nathan Graves clenched his fist and shook it at his receding victim.

    Our hero walked into the cabin. He wanted a chance to deliberate. He knew that Nathan Graves would follow him by the next boat, and it was important that he should not find him. Where was he to go?

    Fifteen minutes after Frank set foot on the pier, his enemy also landed. But now the difficult part of the pursuit began. He had absolutely no clew as to the direction which Frank had taken.

    For an hour and a half he walked the streets in the immediate neighborhood of the square, but his labor was without reward. Not a glimpse could he catch of his late prisoner.

    “I suppose I must go to see Mr. Wade,” he at last reluctantly decided. “He may be angry, but he can’t blame me. I did my best. I couldn’t stand guard over the young rascal all day.”

    The address which the housekeeper had given Frank was that of a policeman’s family in which she was at one time a boarder. On giving his reference, he was hospitably received, and succeeded in making arrangements for a temporary residence.

    About seven o’clock Mrs. Parker made her appearance. She wag fatigued by her journey and glad to rest.

    “I was afraid you might be prevented from coming,” said Frank.

    “I feared it also. I was about to start at twelve o’clock, when, to my dismay, one of the men came home. He said he had the headache. I was obliged to make him some tea and toast. He remained about till four o’clock, when, to my relief, he went upstairs to lie down. I was afraid some inquiry might be made about you, and your absence discovered, especially as the rope was still hanging out of the window, and I was unable to do anything more than cut off the lower end of it. When the sick man retired to his bed I instantly left the house, fearing that the return of some other of the band might prevent my escaping altogether.”

    “Suppose you had met one of them, Mrs. Parker?”

    “I did. It was about half a mile from the house.”

    “Did he recognize you?”

    “Yes. He asked in some surprise where I was going. I was obliged to make up a story about our being out of sugar. He accepted it without suspicion, and I kept on. I hope I shall be forgiven for the lie. I was forced to it.”

    “You met no further trouble?”


    “I must tell you of my adventure,” said Frank.

    “I came across the very man whom I most dreaded– the man who made me a prisoner.”

    “Since he knows that you have escaped, he is probably on your track,” said Mrs. Parker. “It will be hardly safe for you to go to Mr. Wharton’s.”


    “He will probably think you likely to go there, and be lying in wait somewhere about.”

    “But I must go to Mr. Wharton,” said Frank. “I must tell him this story.”

    “It will be safer to write.”

    “The housekeeper, Mrs. Bradley, or John Wade, will get hold of the letter and suppress it. I don’t want to put them on their guard.”

    “You are right. It is necessary to be cautious.”

    “You see I am obliged to call on my grandfather, that is, on Mr. Wharton.”

    “I can think of a better plan.”

    “What is it?”

    “Go to a respectable lawyer. Tell him your story, and place your case in his hands. He will write to your grandfather, inviting him to call at his office on business of importance, without letting him know what is the nature of it. You and I can be there to meet him, and tell our story. In this way John Wade will know nothing, and learn nothing, of your movements.”

    “That is good advice, Mrs. Parker, but there is one thing you have not thought of,” said our hero.

    “What is that?”

    “Lawyers charge a great deal for their services, and I have no money.”

    “You have what is as good a recommendation–a good case. The lawyer will see at once that if not at present rich, you stand a good chance of obtaining a position which will make you so. Besides, your grandfather will be willing, if he admits your claim, to recompense the lawyer handsomely.”

    “I did not think of that. I will do as you advise to-morrow.”

Chapter XXI – John Wade’s Disappointment

    Mr. Wharton sat at dinner with his nephew and the housekeeper. He had been at home for some time, and of course on his arrival had been greeted with the news of our hero’s perfidy. But, to the indignation of Mrs. Bradley and John, he was obstinately incredulous.

    “There is some mistake, I am sure,” he said. “Such a boy as Frank is incapable of stealing. You may be mistaken after all, John. Why did you not let him stay till I got back? I should like to have examined him myself.”

    “I was so angry with him for repaying your kindness in such a way that I instantly ordered him out of the house.”

    “I blame you, John, for your haste,” said his uncle. “It was not just to the boy.”

    “I acted for the best, sir,” he forced himself to say in a subdued tone.

    “Young people are apt to be impetuous, and I excuse you; but you should have waited for my return. I will call at Gilbert & Mack’s, and inquire of Frank himself what explanation he has to give.”

    “Of course, sir, you will do what you think proper,” said his nephew.

    This ended the conversation, and Mr. Wharton, according to his declared intention, went to Gilbert & Mack’s. He returned disappointed with the information that our hero was no longer in the store.

    I now return to Mr. Wharton at dinner.

    “Here is a letter for you, sir,” said the housekeeper. “It was brought by the postman this afternoon.”

    Mr. Wharton adjusted his spectacles and read as follows:

    “No.– Wall Street.

    “Dear Sir: Will you have the kindness to call at my office to-morrow morning at eleven o’clock, if it suits your convenience? I have an important communication to make to you, which will, I think be of an agreeable character. Should the time named not suit you, will you have the kindness to name your own time? “Yours respectfully, “MORRIS HALL.”

    “Read that, John,” said his uncle, passing him the letter.

    “Morris Hall is a lawyer, I believe, sir,” said John.

    “Have you any idea of the nature of the communication he desires to make?”

    “No idea at all.”

    “If it would relieve you, sir, I will go in your place,” said John, whose curiosity was aroused.

    “Thank you, John, but this is evidently a personal matter. I shall go down there to-morrow at the appointed time.”

    John was far from suspecting that the communication related to Frank, though he had heard the day previous from Nathan Graves of the boy’s escape. He had been very much annoyed, and had given his agent a severe scolding, with imperative orders to recapture the boy, if possible.

    It was not without a feeling of curiosity that Mr. Wharton entered the law office of Mr. Hall. He announced himself and was cordially welcomed.

    “You have a communication to make to me,” said Mr. Wharton.

    “I have.”

    “Tell me all without delay.”

    “I will, sir. This is the communication I desire to make.”

    The story of John Wade’s treachery was told, and the means by which he had imposed upon his uncle, but the lawyer carefully abstained from identifying the lost grandson with Frank Fowler.

    When the story was concluded, Mr. Wharton said:

    “Where is my grandson–my poor George’s boy? Find him for me, and name your own reward.”

    “I will show him to you at once, sir. Frank!”

    At the word, Frank, who was in an inner office. entered. Mr. Wharton started in amazement.

    “Frank!” he exclaimed. “My dear boy, is it you who are my grandson?”


    Mr. Wharton held out his arms, and our hero, already attached to him for his kindness, was folded in close embrace.

    “Then you believe I am your grandson?” said Frank.

    “I believe it without further proof.”

    “Still, Mr. Wharton,” said the lawyer, “I want to submit my whole proof. Mrs. Parker!”

    Mrs. Parker entered and detailed her part in the plot, which for fourteen years had separated Frank from his family.

    “Enough!” said Mr. Wharton. “I am convinced– I did not believe my nephew capable of such baseness. Mrs. Parker, you shall not regret your confession. I will give you a pension which will relieve you from all fear of want. Call next week on Mr. Hall, and you shall learn what provision I have made for you. You, Frank, will return with me.”

    “What will Mr. John say?” asked Frank.

    “He shall no longer sleep under my roof,” said Mr. Wharton, sternly.

    Frank was taken to a tailor and fitted out with a handsome new suit, ready-made for immediate use, while three more were ordered.

    When Mr. Wharton reached home, he entered the library and rang the bell.

    To the servant who answered he said:

    “Is Mr. John at home?”

    “Yes, sir; he came in ten minutes ago.”

    “Tell him I wish to see him at once in the library. Summon the housekeeper, also.”

    Surprised at the summons, John Wade answered it directly. He and Mrs. Bradley met at the door and entered together. Their surprise and dismay may be conjectured when they saw our hero seated beside Mr. Wharton, dressed like a young gentleman.

    “John Wade,” said his uncle, sternly, “the boy whom you malign, the boy you have so deeply wronged, has found a permanent home in this house.”

    “What, sir! you take him back?”

    “I do. There is no more fitting place for him than the house of his grandfather.”

    “His grandfather!” exclaimed his nephew and the housekeeper, in chorus.

    “I have abundant proof of the relationship. This morning I have listened to the story of your treachery. I have seen the woman whose son, represented to me as my grandson, lies in Greenwood Cemetery. I have learned your wicked plans to defraud him of his inheritance, and I tell you that you have failed.”

    “I shall make my will to-morrow, bequeathing all my property to my grandson, excepting only an annual income of two thousand dollars to yourself. And now I must trouble you to find a boarding place. After what has passed I do not desire to have you in the family.”

    “I do not believe he is your grandson,” said John Wade, too angry to heed prudential considerations.

    “Your opinion is of little consequence.”

    “Then, sir, I have only to wish you good-morning. I will send for my trunks during the day.”

    “Good-morning,” said Mr. Wharton, gravely, and John Wade left the room, baffled and humiliated.

    “I hope, sir,” said the housekeeper, alarmed for her position; “I hope you don’t think I knew Mr. Frank was your grandson. I never was so astonished and flustrated in my life. I hope you won’t discharge me, sir–me that have served you so faithfully for many years.”

    “You shall remain on probation. But if Frank ever has any fault to find with you, you must go.”

    “I hope you will forgive me, Mr. Frank.”

    “I forgive you freely,” said our hero, who was at a generous disposition.

Chapter XXII – Conclusion

    Meanwhile poor Grace had fared badly at the poorhouse in Crawford. It was a sad contrast to the gentle and kindly circle at Mr. Pomeroy’s. What made it worse for Grace was, that she could hear nothing of Frank. She feared he was sick, or had met with some great misfortune, which prevented his writing.

    One day a handsome carriage drove up to the door. From it descended our hero, elegantly attired. He knocked at the door.

    Mrs. Chase, who was impressed by wealth, came to the door in a flutter of respect, induced by the handsome carriage.

    “What do you wish, sir?” she asked, not recognizing Frank.

    “Miss Grace Fowler!” repeated Mrs. Chase, almost paralyzed at Grace being called for by such stylish acquaintances

    “Yes, my sister Grace.”

    “What! are you Frank Fowler?”

    “Yes. I have come to take Grace away.”

    “I don’t know as I have the right to let her go,” said Mrs. Chase, cautiously, regretting that Grace was likely to escape her clutches.

    “Here is an order from Deacon Pinkerton, chairman of the overseers of the poor.”

    “That is sufficient. She can go. You look as if you had prospered in the city,” she added, with curiosity.

    “Yes. I have found my grandfather, who is very wealthy.”

    “You don’t say!” ejaculated Mrs. Chase. “I’ll tell Grace at once.”

    Grace at work in the kitchen had not heard of the arrival. What was her surprise when Mrs. Chase, entering the room, said, graciously:

    “Go up at once, Grace, and change your clothes. Your brother has come for you. He is going to take you away.”

    Grace almost gasped for breath.

    “Is it true?”

    “It is indeed. Your brother looks remarkably well. He is rich. He has found a rich grandfather, and has come for you in a carriage.”

    In amazed bewilderment Grace went upstairs and put on her best dress, poor enough in comparison with her brother’s clothes, and was soon happy in his embrace.

    “I am glad to see you, my dear child,” said Mr. Wharton, who had accompanied Frank. “Will you come to the city and live with me and your brother?”

    “Oh, sir, I shall be glad to be wherever Frank is.”

    “Good-bye, my dear child,” sand Mrs. Chase, whose feelings were very much changed, now that Grace was a rich young lady. “Come and see me some time.”

    “Thank you, Mrs. Chase. Good-bye!”

    The carriage rolled on. 

<regen end of book>

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