« PreviousContinue »
Here the sons of the forest have gathered of yore, as a challenge to drink deep, in which case, it was To defy the tyrant's rude sway;
announced by '\xe, “come,” or will, "drink.” It But their pride,—it is gone, their tribes are no more; was esteemed disreputable not to respond promptly, Like its leaves, they've all past away.
in a cup of equal size. Bad as this custom was, and
disastrous as were the results of the deep drinking And where are the scenes where they spent their to which it led, it was one of the commonest at rude childhood,
a Greek Symposium. Thus, Anacreon, Ode 37The gay flowered meadow and lea ? They, too, are no more, and of all the bright wild
και μεν θέλων μάχεσθαι wood,
παρέστω και μαχίσθω. . Alone stands the mulberry tree !
tuoi xícÀNov, ô mai,
έγκεράσας φόρησον. . Virginia.
G. C. B
Is there a warrior here to-night?
Filled with the sparkling neciar up.
more moderate and refined drinkers. Sophocles AND ITS MATERIALS.
thus enters his protest against such treatmentOr įyw riw ròv oivov
I do dislike to drink against my will,
As much as to be forced to go athirst.
It may readily be supposed, that where such
customs prevailed, free livers suffered much from [Continued from p. 630.1
drunkenness, and its effects. To remove some of The customs of the Greek Symposium, with res
the unpleasant consequences of excess, they repect to drinking, were neither so numerous, nor
sorted to many expedients. Various substances so different from our own, as to require a long de- were supposed to possess the power of alleviating, lay. After the rage of hunger was satisfied, and or preventing the disagreeable effects of wine, and the wine brought in, the King of the banquet were frequently employed for that purpose. The took a goblet, which he touched to his lips, and Illyrians had a custom of tying a band round the passed round among the guests, each tasting it, as stomach, at the commencement of a debauch, loosethe sign and bond of good fellowship. After this, ly at first, and gradually tightening it, as the even
Pressure of the head was also supa full cop of pure wine was emptied round, in ing wore on. honor of Jupiter Servator, and the business of the posed to relieve the headache, which follows too entertainment began. When a guest proposed a
free a use of wine, and to effect this permanently, general toast, he emptied the bowl, and passed it bands were tied tightly round it. The natural eleround by a boy for each in his turn. This was gant taste of the Greeks, which made them love generally done to the right, though the party,
flowers to such an extent, and to employ them so before commencing, might decide on this, or any universally, soon induced them to make use of other doubtful points, and adopt rules for the regu
wreaths and garlands for compressing the head. lation of the day. Thus, Anasandrides
For this purpose, roses were the flowers most com
monly sought, as there was supposed to be a pecuA. By what arrangement shall we drink to-night?
liar virtue in their fragrance, which relieved intoxiB. Whatever you may like.
cation. Ivy, the plant of Bacchus, was also in A.
Say, does it please you,
request, and, at Athens, the city of the violetB. Drink to the right ? O heavenly A pollo,
crown, violets were in especial favor. Thus Alci. As though it were a funeral !
biades, in Plato's banquet, is represented as enter
ing the room with a thick fillet of ivy and violets Freqnently one of the guests would drink to around his head. Other means, less poetical, were another, who was immediately to respond in a cup also tried. Cabbage was supposed to have an inof equal size. If he refused the pledge, he was herent power of alleviating the effects of ebriety, forced to leave the room, or to commute the pun particularly when boiled. Thus, Alexis-ishment, by allowing the rest to pour on his head the wine that he should have taken. In thus drink- Too much of wine thou drankest yesterday, ing to each other, it was sometimes merely as a
And now thy head is racked with pain, and heavy.
Would'st have it cured ? Let some one bring to thee, health, either of the person addressed, or of some
Boiled cabbage quickly! absent friend; and when full honor was intended, a brimmer was emptied, for every letter in his Its effects were supposed to be so potent, that, name. Often, however, the salutation was merely in Egypt, feasts always began with a course of boiled cabbage; indeed, there was a law to that No! they alone our friends shall be, effect. Byron recommends to us “ hock and soda
Whose souls are formed for love and mirth;
Whose laugh and song, and revelry, water," as the best palliative; but unfortunately,
Release us from all cares of earth. both of these agreeable remedies were out of the reach of the dihenian devotee of Bacchus.
But the opinion of this careless bard of old, was After the guests had imbided as much wine as not generally entertained. Frequent were the lisely they could conveniently carry, or as they desired, sallies, the laughing retorts, the ingenious puzzles, a bumper passed round in honor of Mercury, in the keen wit, or the beautiful speculations poured voking his aid for sound repose and pleasant dreams; forth round the board, where the kindling soul of and the party broke up, as best they could. the Athenian was elevated by the inspiration of
But it was not merely to drink, that the Greeks the vintage of Chios, or Rhodes. An old forgotassembled over the social board. They were often poet, quoted by Athenæus, speaks to the point. the same opinion as old Phocylides, who remarks,
From food unmixed with copious draughts of wine, Xρή δ' εν συμποσίω, κυλίκων περινισσομενάων,
There springs not pleasant mirth, nor sparkling wit, ήδέα κωτίλλοντα καθήμενον οινοποτάζειν. .
Nor verses made upon the moment. Where
Bacchus is not, our soul's ne'er mount to heaven. Or, as Christopher North translates it,
Among the lighter amusements of the Sympo'Tis good for all wine-bibbing people,
sium, one of the greatest favorites was the griphus, Not to let the jug pace round the board like a cripple, or enigma. This was an exercise peculiarly suitBut gaily to talk, while enjoying their tipple.
ed to the liveliness and ingenuity of Grecian wit,
and accordingly, we find it highly praised by va. They carried it even further. Frequently knot. rious writers. Clearchus tells us, rūv ypiður í Jórnsis ty questions of philosophy and metaphysics were ovx addorpia ditocopias dori," the guessing of enig. discussed over the circling bowl; and the glorious- más is not unallied to philosophy;" and he proly beautiful discussions of the Symposium of Plato, nounces it far better than idle talk or learned disquiwere but the types of the convivial entertainments sition. Still, notwithstanding our expectations, the of the time. Their philosophers were men of the few of these little trifles, that have been handed world, and of sense, who understood and appre- down to us, are by no means as good as we should ciated the distich' of Sophocles.
have supposed. The most ingenious of them,
however, are not such as are exacıly presentable Διψώντι γάρ τοι πάντα προσφέρων σοφά,
to a modern reader, and we must content ourselves Ούκ άν πλέον τέρψειας μη πιείν διδους. .
with one or two rather indifferent ones. Alexis,
in one of his comedies, gives the followingGo, talk your wisest to a thirsty man, You'll teach him naught, until you give him wine.
A. “I am not mortal, yet I canno: boast
Of immortality. With men I dwell, They followed out this precept, and, after inun- E'en while I converse hold with the celestials, dating their fortunate disciples with mighty Maro- And yet I am new born with every hour." nean, or delicious Thasian, their no less delightful
B. You do amuse yourself with my simplicity.
A. Nay, what I say is easy to be guessed. arguments would fall, with tenfold effect, on the
B. Who is there that can boast sucb double nature ? arrested ears of their auditory. It must be con
A. Thou simple one! 'Tis SLEEP, the balm for cares, fessed, that occasionally this might be carried to an undue extent, and the pleasure of an uninter- Antiphanes puts into the mouth of Sapphorupted enjoyment of the bowl, be interfered with
There is a girl,* who, in her breast, by some unscrupulous dogmatist, or long-winded
Keeps many children dearly pressed; proser, like one or two of the interlocutors in de
And they, though mule and dumb from birth, lightful old Athenæus, or the Telephus of Hora- Speak to be heard o'er all the earth, ce's “Quantum distet ab Inacho;" but, on the
It matters not, or far, or near;
And whom they please, though deaf, can hear. whole, a Grecian Symposium must have been an unsurpassable entertainment, where every sense One or two unsuccessful attempts are made to was gratified, and the intellect left not unsatisfied. answer it, and she finally resolves it herself. In the only good epigram of Anacreon's, that time has spared us, the poet has left us his opinion, as The girl doth mean a letter, holding
Words in its breast, in close enfolding, to the proper subjects to be discussed at a banquet.
Which speak, though mute, to all, at will,
Though absent far, o'er sea and bill.
* We have thus endeavored to render the original çites Is circling gaily round our board,
Ondera, an ambiguous expression, which loses jts double Will quench the sparkling of the soul,
meaning in the English, and wbich improves the point of With tales of blood, and war abhorred.
And speak so softly, none may tell,
| life itself for the safety or advancement of the misSave those they please, the secret spell.
tress of the seas, who can imagine it to want inte
rest, or enthusiasm ? When a person was challenged with a griphus, and unable to solve it, the punishment was a draught
Παλλάς Τριτογενεί, κ. τ. λ. of wine, copiously intermingled with salt and water.
Pallas, fair Athens' guardian queen, But the crowning glory of the Greek Sympo
Preserve thy favorite city still, sium, was the Scolium. This was the song in
From dread sedition's threatening mein, tended for entertainments, and sung in succession From sudden pest, or 'whelming ill. by the guests, each holding a branch of myrtle in Be thou, and thy drearl father, Jove, the hand, and passing it from one to the other. Our bulwarks, 'mongst the powers above! The name has caused the waste of much learned
But there are some of them that are quite pretty, and ingenious disquisition among both ancient and modern grammarians. Its root is evidently the independently of their old associations. Here is word okolsóv, crooked, or irregular, but etymolo
a charming little one, addressed to Pan, and intendgists have been much puzzled to discover the rea
ed, we presume, to be sung at the feast of the vic
tors in the Pandrosian games. It is attributed to son for this appellation. Artemon Cassandreus, in the second book “ De usu Carminum Scolio- several poets, none of whom seem to have any rum,” explains it, by the manner in which the rightful claim over it. song was recited, commencing with the guest
Ιώ Παν Αρκαδίας, κ. τ. λ. who sat at the head of the table, and the myrtle branch passing round among those who occu- lo Pan! to thee we sing, pied the first place on each couch, then again round Fair Arcadia's sylvan king! the second series of guests, and finally round the Thou, who lovest the merry dance, third. Sometimes a lyre was passed round with
Thou, who eyest the nympbs askance,
And chasest them through stream and wood, the myrile, in which case, only those who were
Loving to be thus pursued ! skilled were expected to perform ; and occasion- Io Pan! propitious be, ally musicians were bired to give eclat to the feast. While we raise the song to thee,There were several other methods of passing the
While the festive couch we press, Scolium round, all irregular enough to merit the
And druin the bowl in sweet excess!
With victor wreaths our brows are bound, title, though the true reason for employing the term,
For Jove our every wish has crowned, would appear rather to be the irregolarity and care
And Pandrosos, Minerva's care, Jessness of the metre usually employed in these To every God in heaven is dear. little compositions. This seems, indeed, to be the principal criterion of a Scolium ; for the odes of The following beautiful little hymn to Virtue is Anacreon, though chiefly drinking songs, and un- by Aristotle, the philosopher. The Hermeias menquestionably often song at Symposia, are never tioned in it was much beloved by hiin. He was classed as Scolia by the grammarians, while many the tyrant of Atarnea, and was treacherously murlittle hymns and moral epigrams, from their use dered by the Persians. and structure, are most certainly to be considered as such. It was from a feeling similar to that,
Αρητά πολύμοχθε, κ. τ.λ. which induced the Egyptians of old to place a
O Virtue! heavenly maid, although skeleton at the head of the banquet table, as an
Thou bringest many a toil to man, emblem of mortality, that caused the Athenians to Yet thou to him dost ever show interrupt the course of mirth and conviviality by
How best to pass his narrow span, some distich on morality or religion.
For thy dear sake, O Virgin fair!
In Greece we hold it bliss to die, According to Artemon, after the principal and
Or fiercest toils unmoved to bear, more solid part of the feast was disposed of, he
Or sternest griefs without a sigh. who sat at the head of the table commenced the singing, by a short pæan to some God, in which Thou to the immortal soul dost bring, the rest of the company joined. Several of these
Gifts worthier than ought else on earth, little prodnctions have been preserved, and though
Than wealth, or sleep, care-lesseping,
Or e'en than those who gave us birth! many of them may seem to us short and pointless, yet we should reflect, that in those days, the names For thee, Alcmena's offspring bore of the Gods and heroes called npon, in themselves The direst labors heaven could show; excited deep feelings, and needed not poetical ideas
For thee, fair Leda's twins, of yore,
Contemned the thoughts of earthly woe. and expressions to give them interest. For in
Through love for thee, O Heavenly One! stance, the following little hymn has no peculiar
Achilles sought the Stygian shore, beauty to onr ears, and yet, when sung by a cho- With glorious Ajax Telamon, rus of glowing Athenians, each one ready to peril And many a deathless hero more.
And now, by thy dread beauty fired,
With the god-like Diomed,
With Achilles, fleet and bold;
For the Happy Islest shall be
Thy home throughout eternity.
Myrtle shall twine my sword around :-
So his Aristogiton wore;
So, Harmodius! thine was bound,
When Hipparchus fell, before
Minerva's shrine, for there did ye
Give to proud Athens liberty ! followed moral sentences, or grave observations. Many of these are preserved, but they are usually
With men your names shall never die,
While Freedom doth on earth remain, too trite and common-place to be worth quoting.
But on, through all eternity, Some of them, however, are not inelegant, as the
Still gathering glory, shall ye gain; following, by Simonides,
For ye, with strong hearts, proud and free,
To Athens gave equality!
Hybrias, the Cretan, was a writer of Scolia,
and though Time has, unfortunately, spared us but The next is beauty, gist of heaven;
one of his compositions, yet that is so bold and The third, is unstained, boundless wealth ; spirited, that his name will not soon be forgotten. The fourth, to share our hopes and fears,
In those times, soldiers were often little more than With friends we've loved from earliest years. freebooters, who assumed the sword to open the
world—“their oyster;" such an adventurer is Anaxandrides, the comic poet, does not subscribe to this succession of blessings; hear his them as a contrast to those of Callistratus.
well depicted in the following lines. We give opinion. Ο τον σκολιον εύρων, κ. τ. λ.
Εστί μοι πλούτος, κ. τ.λ.
Here is my wealth-a sword, a spear,
And a brave hide-covered shield,
That bears me safe through paths of fear,
Where'er mine arms I wield.
With these I plough, with these I reap,
And a golden barvest gain.
The fruits of earth, I hold them cheap, You'll find him but a sorry sight.
For my sword will all obtain.
I rule o'er him, whose craven soul But Scolia sometimes rose to a more heroic
Shrinks from the battle's flame. strain, and the glorious one of Callistratus, Ev púp- All bend the knee to my control, Tov adadi to šipos popñow, on the death of Hipparchus, And tremble at my name ! is well known. We can readily conceive the enthusiasm with which it would be chanted round by a cho
But Callistratus, though he could breathe such rus of Sery Athenians, each stimulating the other, spirit-stirring strains as the Ode to Harmodius, was and we feel that its effect was to be noted in the equally successful on lighter themes. There are ardent love of popular liberty manifested, at all a couple of Scolia attributed to him, by some of times, by the inhabitants of the turbulent city. the commentators, that are very pretty in their Still, we can hardly agree with the opinion of the simplicity. It is but right, however, to own, that hyperbolical old grammarian, who declares, that there are other claimants for them, among whom, one such ode was of more weiglie, than all Cicero's may be numbered Anacreon. Philippics against Antony. This Scolium has been
Είθε θύρα καλή γενοίμην, κ. τ.λ. translated oftener perhaps than any other remnant of antiquity, if we except the first Ode of Ana
I would I were an ivory lyre,
That, borne by laughing boys, creon, and yet we cannot resist the temptation of
I'd sound amid the Bacchic choir, again laying before the reader
Praising the vintage joys.
I would I were a golden bowl,
Untouched by fire, and bright, -
By virgins fair, and pure of soul,
Borne to some mystic rite.
* The Nuci Marápuv, or Isles of the Blessed, were a
separate Elysium for heroes, who there became immortal, Thou, Harmodius! art not dead;
and amused themselves with the pleasures of war and of But with all the heroes old,
Σύν μοι πίνε, συνήβα, κ. τ.λ.
stances under which they were produced. A single example will soffice. It is by Bacchylides.
Drain with me the purpling tide,
Pass with me thy youthful hours;
With me crown thy head with flowers.
When I rave, with wine excited,
Then do thou be mad with me;
Then will I be wise with thee!
0% βόων πάρεστι σώματ, κ. τ. λ.
Luxurious couch, nor golden bowl,
And songs that cheer the revelling soul.
It is singular, considering the purposes for which This is said to have been produced by the poet the Scolium was composed, how few there are, at a feast given in honor of his rival, Pindar. which relate to the pleasures of the table and of This explains the allusion to the “Bæotian cups." drinking. Among the fragments classed as Sco
In considering thus, in extenso, the materials of lia, by the critics, we can scarcely find one on these a Grecian drinking party, and the intellectual part subjects; though, indeed, it is not always easy to of the entertainment, many of our readers may define the difference between a Scolium and the think, that the details into which we have gone, are abrupt fragments of irregular lyric poetry, which trivial and unworthy of consideration ; but, as long have escaped the ravages of time. Here is a as we regard the mighty men of old, as almost unJrinking song, by Bacchylides, which we should approachable models of excellence in the points be tempted to class as a true Scolium, though we to which they directed their attention, it is surely have never seen it so considered.
not uninteresting to trace out their daily habits of
life, and observe them, as far as we can, in the priΓλυκεϊ' αναγκη σευομένη κυλίκας, κ, τ.λ.
vacy of their more unbended hours. " In vino veO sweet is the necessity that sends us to the bowl,
ritas,"—the traits which are exhibited over the And gives to Bacchus all the cares, that wound the aching bowl, are often those which are of most value in soul.
determining a man's character; and when we find, Come, Venus, come, with thy dear hopes, and all thy little that, even under the influence of wine, the Greeks
arts, Which, mingled with the Bromian, can gladden our hearts. preserved their intellectuality, we must admit, on O, Baccbus is the first of gods, whom men do most obey; some points, our decided inferiority. Nor walls, nor bulwarks, keep him out,-he rules with ab.
L. solute sway.
Philadelphia, July 1845.
wealth we're blest ;-
TO AN ANGEL IN HEAVEN. Then, since we're blessed with plenty, to the winds give loose our cares,
Sadly thy name, oh! thou, the early sainted, And seize the utmost joy, that every brimming goblet bears. Sounds now to me,
Bacchylides was a native of Cos, an Island When all the hopeful dreams, my spirit painted, which had much of the trade of the Levant, and
Are lost with thee, whose citizens were wealthy merchants ; from Now all things lovely to my gaze are bearing this we can easily comprehend the mercatorial al- A shade of woe ; lusions of the poet. Timocreon, of Rhodes, ano- And the bright, sunny earth, a gloom is wearing ther writer of Scolia, is of a very different opinion Where'er I go. respecting wealth.
Thy sweet and simple name I often hear,
To strangers given,
And startled, turn, as if thou still wert here,
And not in heaven!
There was a rapture in thy brief existence,
My soul to fill ;
And it is happiness through all resistance
To love thee still. Another of the amusements of the Greeks, at their Symposia, was in singing impromptu songs. Not as a being by human sorrows tainted, Some of these have been handed down to us, but I prize thee now; they have little intrinsic merit, and of course de- But as a seraph, sanctified and sainted, rived their principal interest from the circum- Light on thy brow!