Thomas Bulfinch - Greek and Roman Mythology

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A competent and comprehensive approach to Green and Roman mythologies.

Transcript of Thomas Bulfinch - Greek and Roman Mythology

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APOLLO BELVEDEREicvome.)

THE AGE OF FABLEOR

BEAUTIES OF

MYTHOLOGY

BY

THOMAS BULFINCHA NEW, REVISED AND ENLARGED EDITION

EDITED BY

REV.

J.

LOUGHRAN SCOTT,

D.D.

'O, ye delicious fables

!

where the wave

And woods wereSolovelyI

why, ah

peopled, and the air, with things why has science grave!

Scattered afar your sweet imaginings?"

Barry Cornwall.

WITH A CLASSICAL INDEX AND DICTIONARY AND NEARLY TIYO HUNDRED ILLUSTRATIONS

PHILADELPHIA!

DAVID McKAY, PUBLISHER,604-8

SOUTH WASHINGTON SQUARE.

http://blog.sina.com.cn/wgzfanyi

Copyright, 1898, by

David McKay.

BL

TO

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW,THE POET ALIKE OF THE MANY AND OF THE FEW,THIS ATTEMPT TO POPULARIZE

MYTHOLOGY,AND EXTEND THE ENJOYMENT OF ELEGANT LITERATURE,IS

RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED.

To E. L.

^.

Bo''na Dc'a, Clym-'e-ne,Ni''ke, Psy'che, Graces three.

Myths, indeed,

Compared with

thee.

Editor.

Aurora (Reni")

AUTHOR'S PREFACE.If no other knowledge deserves to be called useful but that

which helpssociety, thenif that

to enlarge our possessions or to raise our station in

Mythology has no claimto

to the appellation.

But

which tendsthen

make

us happier

and

better can be called;

useful,

we claim

that epithet for our subjectliterature,

for

Mythol-

ogy

is

the

handmaid of

and

literature

is

one of the best

allies

of virtue and promoters of happiness.litera-

Without a knowledge of mythology much of the elegantture of our

own language cannot be understood andcalls

appreciated.

When Byron

Rome

the Niobe of nations, or says, of Venice,

she looks a sea-Cybele fresh from ocean, he calls up to the

mind

of one familiar with our subject illustrations more vivid andstriking than the pencil could furnish, but

which are

lost to the

reader ignorant of mythology.sions.

Milton abounds in similar

allu-

The short poem Comus contains more than

thirty such,

and the ode

On

the

Morning of the Nativity halfare scattered profusely.

as

many.is

Through Paradise Lost theyreason

This

one

why we

often hear persons

by no means

illiterate

say thattc

they cannot enjoy Milton,

But were these persons to add

(V)

Vi

A UTEORS PREFACE,moresolid acquirements

their

the easy learning of this

little

volume,

much

of the poetry of Milton which has appeared toasis

them harsh and crabbed would be found musicallute.

Apollo's

Our

citations, taken

from more than twenty-five poets,

from Spenser to Longfellow, will show

how

general has been the

practice of borrowing illustrations from mythology.

The

prose writers also avail themselves of the same source of

elegant and suggestive illustration.

But howit

is

mythology

to

be taught to one who does not learn

through the medium of the languages of Greece and

Rome ?

To

devote study to a species of learning which relates wholly tomarvels and obsolete faithsis

false

not to be expected of thethis.

general reader in a practical age likethe youngis

The time even ofand things

claimed by so

many

sciences of facts

that little can

be spared for

set treatises

on a science of mere

fancy.

But may not the requisite knowledge of the subject be acquired

by reading the ancient poetsis

in translations?

We

reply, the fieldtransla-

too extensive for a preparatory course,

and these very

tions require

some previous knowledge of the subjectan attempt to solvein such a

to

make

them

intelligible.is

Our bookstories of

this

problem by

telling the

mythology

manner

as to

make them a

sourceac-

of amusement.

We

have endeavored to

tell

them correctly

cording to the ancient authorities, so that when the reader finds

them referred to he may not beence.

at a loss to recognize the refer-

Thus we hope

to teach;

mythology not as a study, but as

a relaxation from study

to give ourto impart

work the charm of a

story-

book, yet by means of

it

a knowledge of an important

branch of education.

Most of the Ovid and

classical

legends in this book are derived fromare not literally translated, for, in theis

Virgil.

They

author's opinion, poetry translated into literal proseattractive reading.

very un-

Neither are they in verse, as well for other

AUTHORS PREFACE.reasons as from a conviction that to translate faithfully underthe embarrassments of

vii

all

rhyme and measure

is

impossible.

The

attempt has been

madeitself,

to tell the stories in prose, preserving sois

much

of the poetry as resides in the thoughts and

separable

from the language

and omitting those amplifications which

are not suited to the altered form.

The

poetical citations so freely introduced are expected to

answer several valuable purposes.

They

will tend to fix in

mem-

ory the leading fact of each story, they will help to the attainmentof a correct pronunciation of the proper names, and they willenrich the

memory with many gems of

poetry,

some of them

such as are most frequently quoted or alluded to in reading andconversation.

Having chosen mythologyprovince,

as

connected with

literature for our

we have endeavoredis

to omit nothing

which the readerSuchstories

of elegant literature

likely to find occasion for.

and

parts of stories as are offensive to pure taste

and good moralsto,

are not given.

But such

stories are

not often referred

and

if

they occasionally should be, the English reader needmortification in confessing his ignorance of them.

feel

no

Our bookeither sex,

is

not for the learned, nor for the theologian, nor

for the philosopher, but for the reader

of English

literature,

of

who

wishes to comprehend the allusions so frequently

made by

public speakers, lecturers, essayists, and poets, and

those which occur in polite conversation.

Wementthose;

trust

our young readers will find

it

a source of entertainin their reading;

those

more advanced, a useful companionandvisit

who

travel,

museums and;

galleries of art,

an

interpreter of paintings

and sculptures

those

cultivated society, a key to allusions

which arelife,

who mingle in occasionally made;

and,

last

of

all,

those in advanced

pleasure in retracing a

path of literature which leads them back to the days of theirchildhood, and revives at every step the associations of the morning oflife.

,

viii

A UTHOB S PREFA CE.those associations:

The permanency ofin the

is

beautifully expressed

well-known*

lines of Coleridge

The The

intelligiblefair

forms of ancient poets,

humanities of old religion,the Beauty, and the Majesty

The Power,That had

their haunts in dale or piny mountain.

Or

forest,

by slow stream, or pebbly;

spring,

Or chasms and watery depthsTheyButlive

all

these have vanished;

no longer

in the faith of reason;

still

the heart doth need a language

still

Doth

the old instinct bring back the old names.

Spirits or

gods that used to shareas with their friend;

this earth

With man

and

at this

day

who brings whate'er is great And Venus who brings every thing that's'Tis Jupiter

fair."

EDITOR'S PREFACE.Mythology effort to knowseeks to relate.is

the dust of former beliefs.

It

is

man's

first

his

God.^

The

story of that effort this

book

There has always been a fascination about theIt

"Agelessen

of Fable" unequalled by any similar work.

was

first

given to the public some forty years ago, but time has failed tothe

appreciation

of

its

merit.

Mythologyits

itself

has

undergone marked changes, especially oncomparative sides;

philosophic and

still

the essential story remains unsurpassed.

The

simplicity of style

and purpose has contributed

largely to

this result.

By connecting mythology withfact.

literature, the

age

of fable became the one of

Other mythologists were content;

to introduce the gods to each other

Mr. Bulfinch sought to

make them acquainted with men.abandoned the conventional manualas a story.

In this he succeeded, and an

intimacy was formed which had not hitherto existed.idea,

He

also

and

treated

mythology

The

difference

between a manual and consecutive

history

is

the difference between a series of stagnant pools and

a running stream.

In the latter instance one

is

carried

on by

the force of the current.

which we have referrededition.

The marked changes, however, to demand a newer and more completereceived nois

The Pantheons of Greece and Rome have

important accessions, but the eastern skystars.

resplendent with

new

There has been a resurrection throughout Egypt andThis we have sought to recognize by introducing anSection on Babylon, Assyria and Phoenicia.

Babylon which has entirely transformed the mythologies of thosecountries. entirely

new

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