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fear we must concur in the sweeping present day, though they are now bet. censure of a Quarterly Reviewer, (vol. ter known by the title of. Cbarielea'" X. p. 301,) who condemns them en -(the name of the heroine)" and it masse, with the single exception of the was by reason thereof that he lost his • Ethiopics” of the last-named author, For, inasmuch as very many of as " a few tiresome stories, absolutely the youth were drawn into peril of void of taste, invention, or interest; sin by the perusal of these amorous without influence even upon the de- tales, it was determined by the proclining literature of their own age, vincial synod that either these books, and in all probability quite unknown which kindled the fire of love, should to the real forerunners of Richardson, themselves be consumed by fire, or Fielding, and Rousseau.”
that the author should be deposed A work thus excepted, by common from his episcopal functions--and this consent, from the general reprobation choice being propounded to him, he in which all its compeers are involved, preferred resigning his bishopric to must deserve some notice from its ne- suppressing his writings.”--(Niceph. gative, if not from its positive merits; Hist. Ecclesiast. lib. xii. c. 34.)Heand the particulars which have been liodorus, according to the same aupreserved of its literary history are thority, was the first Thessalian bialso somewhat curious. Even in these shop who had insisted on the married days, when almost every other indi- clergy putting away their wives, vidual is a novelist, either in esse or in which may probably have tended to embryo, the announcement of a love- make him unpopular: but the story story from the pen of a bishop would of his deposition, it should be observed, create what is called “a considerable rests solely on the statement of Nicesensation"-though perhaps it would phorus, and is discredited by Bayle hardly draw down on the author such and Huet, who argue that the silence condign and summary punishment as of Socrates (Ecclesiast. Hist. v. chap. was inflicted by the straitlaced Kirk 22.) in the passage where he expressly of Scotland, less than a century ago, assigns the authorship of the “ Ethioon one of her ministers, for the high pics” to the Bishop Heliodorus, more than crime and misdemeanour of having counterbalances the unsupported asindited “a stage play, called the Tra- sertion of Nicephorus—"an author," gedy of Douglas." Yet not only the says Huet, "of more credulity than
Ethiopics, but the best known of judgment.” If Heliodorus were, inits successors, the “ Clitophon and deed, as bas been generally supposed, Leucippe" of Achilles Tatius, are both the same to whom several of the Episuniversally asserted to have been ju- tles of St Jerome were addressed, ihis venile productions of ecclesiastics who circumstance would supply an addiafterwards attained the episcopal dig- tional argument against the probabili. . nity: and the former, if we may cre- ty of his having incurred the censures dit the Ecclesiastical History of Nice- of the church: but whatever the tesphorus, fared not much better at the timony of Nicephorus may be worth hands of the Provincial Synod of on this point, his mention of the work Thessaly than did the “ Tragedy of affords undeniable proof of its long Douglas' at those of the Scottish Pres- continued popularity, as his Ecclesiasbyteries. Hear what saith the histo. tical History was written about A.D. rian :- " This Heliodorus, bishop of 900, and Heliodorus lived under the Trica, had in his youth written cer- reign of the sons of Theodosius, or tain love-stories called the“Ethiopics,” fully five hundred years earlier. which are highly popular even at the Enough, however, has been said of
* Home was expelled the ministry for this heinous offence, which raised a fearful turmoil at the time among Synods and Presbyteries. The Glasgow Presbytery published a declaration (Feb. 14, 1757) on the “melancholy but notorious fact, that one, who is a minister of the Church of Scotland, did himself write and composé a stage play intitled the Tragedy of Douglas ;” and to this declaration various other presbyteries published their adhesion.
4 This sentence might, with more justice, have been visited upon the work of the other bishop, Achilles Tatius, for his not infrequent transgressions against delicacy, a fault never chargeable on Heliodorus.
him in his capacity of a bishop-and lakes and morasses, all the robberwe shall proceed to consider him in community of Egypt hold their comthat of an author, by which he is far monwealth; some building huts wherbetter known than by his episcopacy. ever there is enough of dry land for the
The time of the story is laid in the purpose, and others living wholly on middle ages of Grecian history, after board their boats, which serve them the conclusion of the wars between for a home, as well as to transport Greece and Persia, and while Egypt them from place to place. In these was still governed by the satraps of narrow craft their children are born the great king; and the first scene at and brought up, tied by a cord round once plunges the reader, in accord- their foot, in their infancy, to keep ance with the Horatian precept, in them from falling overboard, and medias res. A band of marauders, tasting for their first food, after being prowling on the coast of Egypt, are weaned, the fish of the lake dried in surprised by the sight of a ship moored the sun. Thus, many of these bucto the shore without any one on board, caneers are natives of the lake itself, while the beach around is strewed which they regard as their country with the fragments of a costly ban- and their fortress; and they also requet, and with a number of dead ceive among them many recruits of bodies of men, slain apparently in the same sort as themselves. The mutual conflict; the only survivors waters serve them for a defence, and being a damsel of surpassing beauty, they are further fortified by the vast arrayed as a priestess of Diana, who quantity of reeds overgrowing the is wailing over the inanimate form of borders of the lake, through which a wounded youth. Before they have they have contrived certain narrow time, however, either to unravel the winding paths known only to themmystery, or to avail themselves of the selves, to guard them against sudden booty thus unexpectedly spread before incursions from without." them, they are in turn put to flight The chief, Thyamis, is forth with by a more numerous party of robbers, desperately smitten by the charms of or rather buccaneers, (bucoli or Chariclea, and announces, in a set herdsmen,) who carry off the forlorn speech to his followers, when assemcouple to their retreat, in the inner- bled for the division of the booty, his most recesses of a vast lake or morass, intention of taking her to wife. The near the Heracleotic mouth of the heroine, as usual with heroines in Nile.* The description of this rob- such trying circumstances, feigns ber-colony appears to have been compliance, stipulating only for the drawn from an existing or well-re- delay of the ceremony till she could membered state of things, and bears deposit her sacred ornaments in a considerable resemblance, except in temple; a request which Thyamisthe presence of women and children, who, by the way, is no vulgar depreto a setsha, or stronghold, of the dator, but an Egyptian of rank, who Zaporog Cossacks in the islets of the has been deprived of an hereditary † Dniepr.
priesthood, and driven into hiding, by - This whole region is called by the baseness of a younger brother the Egyptians the Bucolia, or pas- is too well bred to refuse. The beauturages,' and is a tract of low land, tiful captive is accordingly, (with which has been converted by the in- Theagenes, whom she calls her broundations of the Nile into a lake, of ther,) given in charge, for the time, great depth in the middle, and gradu- to an Athenian prisoner named Cneally shoaling towards the margins into mon, who had been driven into exile a marsh.
Among this labyrinth of by the vindictive artifices of his step
* This is usually called the Canopia mouth; but Herodotus (who says that it was dug by artificial means) calls it the Bucolic, perhaps from the haunts above described in its neighbourhood.
† The hereditary succession of the Egyptian priesthood is stated both by Herodotus and Diodorus; but Sir J. G. Wilkinson (Manners of the Ancient Egyptians, i. 262,) believes that, “ though a priest was son of a priest, the peculiar office held by a son may sometimes have been different in point of rank from that of his father,"
mother and her confidante, and the invite him to the house of a friend of recital of whose adventures (appa- whom he is himself a guest, and the rently borrowed from those of Hip- honours of whose mansion he is doing politus) occupies a considerable space in the temporary absence of the owner. at this juncture, without much advan- This obliging offer is, of course, accing the story. On the following day, cepted with great alacrity; and, in however, the settlement is attacked the course of after-dinner conversaby an irresistible force, guided by the tion, the incidental mention by Calagang who had been driven from their siris of the names of Theagenes and prey on the beach. Thyamis, after Chariclea, and the consequent enperforming prodigies of valour, is quiries of Cnemon, who recognises taken prisoner; and Theagenes and them as those of his late fellow.cap. Chariclea, with Cnemon, escaping in tives, lead to a long episodical narra. the confusion, find themselves alone tion from the old gentleman, during in an island of the lake. Caemon, as which Cnemon, in return for the hosbeing best acquainted with the lan- pitality and confidence thus unexpect. guage and the surrounding country, edly shown him, displays most enviis sent the next day to the main land, able powers as a listener, and which, to make discoveries, accompanied by in a great measure, unfolds the plot Thermuthis, the buccanier lieutenant, to the reader. who had returned when the fray was It appears that Persina, consort of over, in hopes of recovering a fair cap. Hydaspes, King of Ethiopia, had tive of his own. The object of his given birth, in consequence of one of search, however, who proves to be no those accidents which will sometimes other than Thisbe, the treacherous happen in the best regulated families, soubrette through whom Cremon's to a white or fair-complexioned daughmisfortunes had arisen, had been slain ter; † and dreading lest the hue of by accident in the conflict; and Ther. her offspring, unusual in that counmuthis, whose suspicions had been try, might draw on herself suspicions awakened by the joy expressed by which might expose her to certain Cnemon, is meditating the murder of pains and penalties, she secretly comhis fellow-traveller, when he oppor- mitted the infant to the care of Sisitunely perishes by the bite of an asp. mithres, an officer of the court, plaCnemon, contiuuing on his way,* cing at the same time in his hands, as reaches the margin of the Nile oppo. tokens by which she might afterwards site the town of Chemmis, and there be recognised, various costly ornaencounters a venerable personage, ments, especially a ring which had who, wrapt in deep thought, is pen- been given her by the king at their sively pacing the banks of the river. nuptials, bearing the royal symbol This old Egyptian priest, (for such engraven within a circle on the talishe proves to be,) Calasiris by name, manic stone Pantarbé," and a fillet not only takes the abrupt intrusion of on which was embroidered, in the Cnemon in perfect good part, but Ethiopic character, # the story of the carries his complaisance so far as to child's birth. Under the guardian
* Before setting out on this expedition, he “reduces his hair to a more moderate quantity than that usually worn by robbers.” Thus, the Italian bravoes of the middle ages, when they repented their evil ways, were wont to “shave the tust,” which was thrown over the face as a disguise; hence the phrase, radere il ciuffo, still used as synonymous with becoming an honest man. See Manzoni's well-known romance of “ I Promessi Sposi.”
+ The incidents of the birth of Chariclea have been copied by Tasso in the story of Clorinda, as related to her by Arsete, in the 12th canto of “Gierusalemme Liberata.” In the" Shah-Nameh,” also, Zal, the father of the Persian hero Rustan, being born with white hair, is exposed by his father Sam on the mountain of Elborz, where he is preserved and brought up by the giant bird Simorgh.
$ “ In the royal character”. γράμμασιν Αιθιοπικοίς ου δημοτικούς, αλλα Becorninois.” This distinction between the royal and popular system of hieroglyphics, as well as the etiquette, before mentioned, of inscribing the title of the king within a circle or oval, is borrowed, as need hardly be mentioned, from the monuments of Egypt.
VOL, LIV. NO, CCCXXXIII.
ship of Sisimithres, she remained author's manner, we shall quote the seven years; till, fearing for her safety procession of the Thessalians to the if she continued in Ethiopia, he took temple. the opportunity of his being sent to " In the van came the oxen destin. Thebes as ambassador from Hydas- ed for sacrifice, led by men of rustic pes to the Satrap of Egypt, to trans- guise and rude demeanour, each clad fer his charge, with the tokens attach- in a white tunic closely girt about ed to her, to a priest of the Delphian him, with the right arm bare to the Apollo, named Charicles, who was shoulder, and brandishing a doubletravelling in search of consolation for headed axe. The oxen were all black domestic afflictions. Before Sisimith- without mixture, with massive necks, res, however, had time to explain the low-hung dewlaps, and straight and previous bistory of the foundling, he even horns, which in some were gilt,
, was compelled to leave Egypt in in the others twined with garlands; haste; and Charicles, carrying her and their number was neither more with him on his return to his Grecian nor less than a hundred-a true hecahome, adopted her as his daughter, tomb. Next followed the rest of the and gave her the name of Chariclea. victims, each kind of animal kept She grew up at Delphi a miracle of separate and in order, and all margrace and beauty, dedicating herself shalled to the sound of flutes and other to the service of the temple, and obe
wind instruments. Then appeared, dient to the will of her supposed fa- in rich and flowing robes, and with ther in all points, except one, her de- their long locks floating loose on their termination to lead a single life. At shoulders, a band of the deep.zoned this juncture, Calasiris (who, as it virgins of Thessaly, divided into two now incidentally transpires, is father separate sets or choruses, the first of of Thyamis and his rival-brother Pe- which bore baskets of flowers and ripe tosiris) arrives at Delphi during the fruit, while those in the second carcelebration of the Pythian games, ried salvers of sweetmeats and rich having found it expedient to absent perfumes, which filled the air with the himself from Egypt for a time, for mingled fragrance breathing from various family reasons, and more them; but these light burdens were especially on account of the predic- supported on their heads, thus leaving tion of an oracle, that he should live their hands free to be joined in the to see his two sons engaged with each movements of the dance, to the slow other in mortal conflict. A favour- and stately measure of which they able response, vouchsafed to him by advanced; while one chorus led the the Pythia from the tripod, at his en- hymn, the strains of which were taken trance into the fane of Apollo, braving up by the other, in praise of Peleus pointed him out as a personage of and Thetis, their hero-son, and Neopconsideration, he is treated with high tolemus and the other heroes of his distinction by Charicles, who confides The alternate rhythm of the to him the history of Chariclea, as far chant keeping time with the fall of as he is himself acquainted with it, their footsteps, riveted the attention and entreats him to dispose her, by of the spectators, who seemed spellthose occult sciences in which the bound by the sweet voices of the Egyptian priests were supposed to be maidens, till the cavalcade which sucversed, to listen to the suit of his ceeded, flashing out from the crowd nephew Alcamenes, whom he had beyond, with their princely leader at destined for her husband. Calasiris their head, once more attracted all promises compliance; but the scene eyes to themselves. The troop conis now changed by the arrival of a sisted of fifty horsemen, who rode like magnificent deputation from the guards in double file, twenty-five on Ænianes, a noble tribe of Thessaly, each side of the chief, arrayed all headed by a princely youth named alike in white cloaks with borders of Theagenes, who, as a reputed de- azure embroidery, clasped across the scendant of Achilles, has come to sa- breast with golden buckles, and with crifice at the shrine of his ancestor buskins laced above the ancle with Neoptolemus. The pomp and page, scarlet thongs. Their steeds were all antry of the ceremonial is described of that generous breed which the rich in vivid language, and with considere plains of Thessaly alone produce, and able effect; and as a specimen of our pawed the ground as if impatient of
the bit by which their ardour was re- (which he does not, however, comstrained by their riders; and the sil- municate to Charicles,) at once rever and gold which glittered on their solves to contrive their elopement, frontlets and caparisons, showed the being further stimulated thereto by rivalry prevailing among these cava. Apollo in a dream—the agency of liers in the splendour of the equip- dreams, it should be remarked, being ments, rather of their coursers than introduced on almost every possible themselves. But it was on him who occasion throughout the narrative, rode in the midst of this gallant party, and their dictates in all cases religieclipsing all his comrades as the glare ously acted upon by the parties inteof lightning seems to obscure all rested. A passage is procured on lesser luminaries, that the eyes of the board a Phænician ship opportunely gazing crowd were now fixed. He lying in the Crissæan Gulf, the nearest was completely armed at all points, point of the coast to Delphi ; and the except his head, and grasped in his abduction of Chariclea having been hand an ashen lance; while a scarlet effected by apparent violence by the cloak, on which was depicted, in companions of Theagenes, the trio set figures of gold tissue, the battle of the sail for Sicily, the fugitives passing Centaurs with the Lapithæ, flowed as the children of Calasiris. The loose over his panoply, and was fas- voyage is at first prosperous; but the tened in front with a clasp, represent- ship happening to touch at Zacynthus, ing Pallas sculptured in amber, and the beauty of Chariclea attracts the holding before her the Gorgon's head eye of a noted pirate named Trachi, on her shield. The breeze, which nus, who, when the vessel resumes her blew back his locks from his forehead, course, pursues and captures her after gave his features more fully to view; a long chase, and turning the crew and even the horse which bore him adrift in the boat,* and carries his seemed to move with a statelier gait, prize, with his three captives, to the arching his neck and proudly caracol. coast of Egypt, where he prepares a ing, as if conscious of the noble pre- feast on the beach, from the materials sence of his master; while the ad- furnished by the rich cargo of the miration of the surrounding multitude Phænician ship, in honour of his inburst out into a spontaneous shout of tended nuptials. Calasiris, however, applause, and some of the women of whose genius seems ever fertile in the lower class even threw fruit and expedients, has contrived to possess flowers towards him, in the hope, I sup- the mind of Pelorus, the pirate lieupose, of drawing on themselves a glance tenant, with the belief that he is the of acknowledgement from his eye." object of the fair captive's preference;
The cavalier thus eulogized by Ca- and his assertion at the banquet of bis lasiris is of course Theagenes, who, claims gives rise to a furious conflict after thrice encompassing in due form
the intoxicated pirates, ending the tomb of Neoptolemus, at length in the slaughter of the whole party reaches the Temple of Apollo; but, except Pelorus himself, who in turn during the performance of the cere- falls by the sword of Theagenes. monial, it falls to his lot to receive Calasiris, who had prudently retired the torch with which the altar is to be to a safe distance till the fighting kindled from the hand of Chariclea, was over, is now on the point of comand love at first sight, mutual and in- ing forward to aid Chariclea in the stantaneous, is the result. The aid care of her wounded lover, when he of Calasiris is again invoked by both is anticipated by the arrival of the the lovers; and the good old gentle- robbers, by whom, as related at the man, whose knowledge of the Ethi- commencement of the story, he sees opian hieroglyphics, by enabling him his protegés carried off. to decipher the mysterious inscription Before this recital, however, had on the fillet, has put him in possession been brought to a close, Nausicles, f of the true parentage of Chariclea, the master of the house, returns, and
* The capture of the vessel has furnished the subject of a painting by Raffaelle and Giulio Romano.
† He is called " A merchant of Naucratis," though resident in Chemmis. But Naucratis, as we find from Herodotus, (i. 179,) " was of old the only free