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sailors to depart with them ; but, as if his very soul had passed into hers, he was not able to tear himself away from her, and, groaning deeply, only gazed at her the more intensely. For this reason, with melancholy demeanour, they took up her dead body, and placed her in the ship with every possible decorum. Then, as a shade following the body, he cast himself, sighing, on the poop, and the sailors placed themselves around him.
Immediately the rowers cleared the waves, which were more tranquil while the sun shone over their heads. Erostratus at its splendour awoke as from the lethargy of death, and exclaimed, “Do I then live, or is it a dreadful dream? How do I breathe, if she for whom I live is denied breath? Why did not my soul depart with hers, since they are joined in eternal love? Alas! that I should now remain an inconsolable widower, to which indeed my riven heart bears witness. Art thou then she, the motion of whose brow even ought to have appeased Neptune, and now liest thou here, cast upon the shore by his waves? Why did not Thetis receive thee in her shell? Why did not the Nereids bring thee to shore? Ah! beautiful limbs, the dwelling-place of a soul, more beautiful than yourselves. Oh! eyes ! the arbiters of my heart! sweet voice, tender arms, and snowy bosom! how miserably are ye now disfigured by death! And thou, oh, perfidious sea! why dost thou, deriding as it were my anguish, calmly contemplate the sad effects of thy authority ?” Saying this, he fell upon his deplored wife, exhausted by his labour.
Meanwhile the sailors tried their utmost to reach Lemnos. Upon the cliff, the parents were wandering, with their anxious eyes fixed upon
When at last they saw the boat, they descended to the harbour, which they reached just as the boat arrived. Agarista fainted, when she saw the sad conclusion of the nuptials. Her matronly deportment being overcome by grief, with her hair dishevelled, she called herself the wretched promoter of the expedition, and pronounced the deity barbarous under whose auspices it was undertaken. Thestoris, the fixed image of grief, kept his marble eyes rivetted on his daughter; it was not the bridal couch, but the bier which carried her; and near it, with downcast eyes and hands crossed on his bosom, the wretched father was dragging his tardy steps. Agarista, with her arms round the neck of her afflicted son, wiped away her tears with her veil. He had his gaze fixed, as one who sleeps with open eyes, and death sat impressed upon his brow. The paths of Lemnos resounded with mournful murmurs, as the lamentable occurrence was reported in the Temples and the Forum, and every one who heard it yielded his ready sympathy.
No one requires that I should relate fully, how much the minds of the parents were shocked, since one cannot well describe extreme suffering. Thestoris had lost the only comfort of his old age, and had seen his race extinct. His house was deprived of children and wife, and he called himself the most miserable of all, since he had been the first to endure life, and the last to leave it; in this particular, indeed, most miserable that his heavy misfortunes had not come upon him by slow degrees, but by a sudden change from happiness to profound grief. Shut up in his apartments, he refused all friendly consolations, capable of nothing but sinking, in silence and solitude, into the sea of grief.
His servants, in the meantime, were repairing the ravages of the storm upon the lifeless virgin, by fragrant lotions and precious aromatics; by binding her in clean soft clothes, and decking her hair with a chaplet of flowers. When night fell, they went, silent and sorrowful, to the family tomb. The glare of the torches illuminated the scene, and a concert of pipers, with mournful notes, brought tears into their eyes.
The tombs were not more than a stadium distant from the city, in a marble building, and surrounded by mournful cypresses. The mound which encompassed them was adorned with statues of the dead, and on the summit of it was an image of Time, in the act of moving his destructive sithe ; an iron gate creaking on its hinges, gave access to the interior. There, in a subterraneous vault, was the tomb; some inscriptions, in ancient simplicity and without ornament, recorded in modest words the merits of the deceased; others, with cultivated elegance, and proud memorials, betrayed how much those who were enclosed were ambitious of eternal fame. The maiden was deposited in a new tomb, while the chant of death was mournfully sung. Her attendants scattered flowers over her, and, weeping, recalled to memory her beauty, her soft manners, her lovely voice, her piety towards the Gods, and the misery of the nuptial day.
The assembled multitude, with humble prayers, beseeched the infernal Gods to receive her spirit mercifully, and to grant her that peace in Elysium which the inhabitants of heaven had denied her upon earth. The gates were at length closed, and the party separated.
Whilst these sorrowful rites were fulfilling, Agarista, who was unable to comfort herself, was obliged to curb the passions of her son. For a long time, like a marble image of himself, unmoved and mute, he had his eyes cast down, and maddening
he struck his breast and sides, disfigured his beautiful hair, tore his clothes, cried out aloud, and running through his apartments, spread grief, terror, and commiseration around him. IIis eyes, darkened by weeping, hated the light; sleep fled from them, and he could shed no more tears—their fountains in his petrified heart was exhausted. He often looked at the fine linen, the veils, the armlets, the necklaces, and the ornamented dresses prepared for his bride, and kissed them sighing. Then, looking on the deserted couch, never warmed by Hymen, he fell down upon it, and called upon his companion for ever separated from him. He did not languish in delicious sleep, but in a deadly lethargy, and rising up, he returned to vent his rage in his wretched abode. His mother, the servants, and maidens, followed him, and sometimes endeavoured to calm his fiery passions by kind attention; at others, prudently waited till the vehemence of his grief should exhaust itself.
Glycystoma, on the day preceding her nuptials, had surrounded her waist with a band of purple and gold, most skilfully interwoven by herself, and at the same time had placed at her side a poniard with a hilt studded with gems, and having on its shining steel this sentence engraved, “May love render you invincible.” Both nuptial trophies hung from the altar of the Penates. Erostratus, in one of his fits, having cast his upon them, his heart was inflamed with dreadful desperation, and rushing with resolute silence towards the weapon, he would have plunged it into his heart, had not his watchful attendants prevented him. But they could scarcely restrain him, as his fury from being curbed became more tremendous. As the confined wind rages, so he broke forth into inarticulate murmurs. Nither did he cease, with vigorous effort, to demand the horrible privilege of slaying himself. At this moment, Agarista, throwing her arms affectionately round his neck, said, “How s'iall I remain if you depart this life? These are the arms which received you as a child ; this is the bosom in which you recovered yourself when abandoned in your infancy. Alas ! may it now be a comfort to you, and do not make me regret that I ever nourished you. This is the only return I ask of you, that as I took care of you in your infancy, you will protect me in my old age. Oh! have pity on me, and preserve yourself to pay this debt. With the same mercy that I regarded your helplessness, may you now listen to my sad voice. ungratefully abandon me, nothing will be left but to descend to
Whilst she was thus speaking, her tears dropped down upon his breast. Erostratus, softened by them, fell into the arms of his servants. Then, with a stified voice, he exclaimed, Why, kind lady, why have you preserved me for so wretched a life? Better would it have been that I had fallen into the deep sea! Behold me now, twice saved from its storms, but a prey to others far more grievous.” He wished to proceed, but grief prevented his utterance.
But if you
Thestoris, in the meantime, feeding on his grief, thought solely on honouring the memory of his lost daughter. Before she had given her in marriage, he had preserved an image of her, sculptured by an excellent artist, in order that he might keep it always in his room. It was now a source of sorrow to him, and his eyes were afflicted at its ht. He therefore transferred the image to her monument, amongst those of her forefathers, which were ranged in order round the edifice; on the base of the statue, the lamentable accident of her death was described in pathetic language. Erostratus, not less immersed in inconsolable grief, passed his sad days in visiting those places in which he had met his lamented bride. “Here, he said, sighing," she sat upon the flowery herbs, while the zephyrs softly blew through her golden hair. This beech-tree extended its cool shade to defend us from the mid-day heats; this stone was the seat on which love promised deceitful joy.”
Her name, which had been cut on the buildings and trees by himself, and his own, cut by her upon the bark, were now so many thorns in his heart, as indelible as
the names. Sometimes, when oppressed by his deep anguish, he would fall into a profound sleep, and the loved form which was in his every thought would present itself to him, now sorrowful, now gay, and not only alive, but endowed with celestial beauty. He would rush to seize her in his embrace, and she, smiling with divine love, would evince a sweet sympathy at his being deceived. Aroused by the troubles of these dreams, he would call himself the more unfortunate, since sleep, which yields to others oblivion of their evils, only brought him greater pain or deceitful comfort. He would often meditate upon the vast empire of love, to which the heavens, the sea, the universe, bore ample testimony. The murmur of brooks, the breeze which brushes off the fragrance of the flowers, the doves which grieve on the turrets of lordly mansions, and the lowing of cattle, appeared but as the united chorus of nature to this deity.
The hapless widower only derived from the contemplation, odious comparisons between the universal joy of nature and his own condition; and then, maddened, he would exclaim—“Oh! sad heaven, the dwelling-place of sad Gods, what behoves it that I have offered you incense and vows, since you only send a cloud of tears? And you, Deities, who boast of having charge of us, why do you remain happy, looking upon us who are so wretched? Where's your mercy, if you govern us as fools? Misfortunes deride you, and you are silent; the devout pray to you, and you are deaf. In what has the innocent Glycystoma offended you? She has in vain requested you to be favourable to her nuptials, yet behold Neptune has drowned her. Presumptuous temples! better would it be that some daring hand should take vengeance on your lying oracles."
( To be Continued.)
JAUNTING VERSICLES :
BY J. G. GRANT, ESQ., AUTHOR OF “RUFUS,” ETC.
* Huzza, Hodgson ! we are going :
Huzza, G-n! we are going :
Our embargo's off at last !
Hip, my hearties,
Time to start 'tis ;
Snow, Sir ? Pugh, Sir !
We'll go through, Sir,
Now the women well have blubbered,
See the trunks all safely stowed;
Hard your case is !
• Packed and jammed, Sir!
You be d-d, Sir !
Fellow-passengers, I swear now,
go on, Sir,
We've a most infernal crew ; Sulky beasts, en militaire, now, And old maids--as sulky too!
Queen and Don, Sir, T'other side the Pyrenees ? "
" When I've seen, Sir,
Don or Queen, Sir, Hanged-we'll talk on't, if you please." Northern bear's cub, licked to no form, Worse than e'en a Northern Snow-storm.