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"Tis hushed-and onward the billows roll,
On the subsiding waves,
Of sunny brightness laves.
And still each night,
On the rippling waves is glancing,
Of fairies merrily dancing.
PRIDE AND HUMILITY.
“ It may seem strange to an inconsiderate eye, that such a poor violet virtue (as
Humility) should ever dwell with honour; and that such an aspiring fume as
Felltham's Century of Resolves.
INSCRIPTION ON A STONE WELL AT PARIS.
“Quæ dat aquas, saxo latet hospita nympha sub imo.
Sic tu, quum dederis dona, latere velis."
IDEM ANGLICE REDDITUM.
The nymph, who gives these waters, lies
Beneath the inmost rock concealed.
Be willing to be unrevealed.
Ναΐδ' ύδωρ παρέχουσαν αει σπιλας ήδε καλύπτει.
Των δωρων κόσμημ' έστι, το δόντα λαθείν.
ETON SCHOOL MAGAZINE.
ON THE ORESTEIA OF ÆSCHYLUS, No. III.
(Continued from p. 167.) THE EUMENIDES.
τα ακίνητα νόμιμα άριστα.-THUc.
The Eumenides, properly speaking, cannot be considered in the light of a drama, inasmuch as there is no attempt at a plot in its construction, but simply a detail of circumstances in the order in which they are supposed to have occurred. Æschylus, however, in writing this play, had a different object in view from that which appears most prominent in the two former,-a political object, which necessarily biassed his mind in a certain direction, and to which he rendered the legend he had to deal with subservient. This was the proposed diminution of the power of the court of Arcopagus by Pericles and Ephialtes, a measure which, being in itself so entirely of a democratical nature, could not but fill the minds of the nobler part of the citizens, who looked upon this tribunal as their chief bulwark, with doubt and apprehension. The influence of the drama was always considerable over the minds of the people of Athens, through its intimate connection with religion ; and hence we shall have
little difficulty in perceiving for what reason Æschylus chose to embody his political sentiments in a dramatic form. It is from this cause that the action of destiny is less conspicuous in this than in the two preceding tragedies : something however was wanting to declare in what way the até in the family of Pelops, which had been receiving fresh renewals of strength through various crimes, was at length set to rest for ever; and the poet has contrived to effect this in a manner calculated to impress on the minds of all reflecting persons the deep veneration due to divine things, and more especially to those whose worth and excellence had been sanctioned by antiquity. To understand how this is done, it will be necessary first to give a brief outline of the action in this play, from which its connection with the others will be more distinctly
It opens with the solemn address of the aged Pythoness to the primæval gods, before approaching to consult the oracle at the sacred Delphic shrine. When she has concluded her invocation, she enters, but presently returns and relates how she has seen the Furies asleep in the temple, a race of women,
άπτεροί γε μην ιδεϊν αυται, μέλαιναι δ' ες το πάν βδελύκτρoποι, ρέγκουσι δ' ού πλαστοίσι φυσιάμασι. (νν. 51-53.)
Apollo and Orestes then enter; and after a conversation, in which the latter expresses his doubts and fears, Apollo recommends him to flee to the statue of Pallas at Athens, under the guidance of Hermes, who is invisibly present. Then the ghost of the murdered Clytæmnestra rises, and taunts the Furies for their supineness and negligence, in thus allowing their prey to escape εκ μέσων άρκυσμάτων,* and at the same time bewails the wretched effects of her own crime, now terribly visited on herself in the world of shades. She at length disappears, when the Furies wake, and in a choral ode declare their implacable enmity against Apollo and the younger gods, for having thus despolied them ; till they are driven out of the temple by the entrance of the god himself.
ούτοι δόμοισι τοϊσδε χρίμπτεσθαι πρέπει, ,
A conversation follows, the result of which is, that both parties resolve to appeal to the wisdom of Pallas for arbitration, and, by means of a change of scenery, we discover Orestes in the attitude of a suppliant before the image of the virgin goddess in the Parthenon. A choral ode succeeds, in which the Furies hymn forth their power over mortals, and the punishments they are enabled to inflict, in the most superb language. The whole spirit of this hymn is thoroughly Æschylean, and there could hardly be selected a better proof of the grandeur of Eschylus' conceptions, and the power he possessed of clothing them in suitable forms of expression, than this chorus.
Pallas now appears, and after some deliberation
* v. 112. Ed. Wellauer.