Lydia Maria Child
Part 4 out of 5
and I could not understand why she did so."
"I was named Aristocles for my grandfather," answered the philosopher;
"and when I grew older, men called me Plato."
"But you cannot be the Plato that I mean," said Pterilaüs; "for you
carried my little sister Zoila on your shoulders--and played peep with
her among the vines; and when I chased you through the fields, you ran
so fast that I could not catch you." The philosopher smiled, as he
replied, "Nevertheless, I am Plato; and they call me by that name,
because my shoulders are broad enough to carry little children."
The boy still insisted that he alluded to another Plato. "I mean the
philosopher, who teaches in the groves of Academus," continued he. "I
knew a freedman of his, who said he never allowed himself to be angry,
or to speak in a loud voice. He never but once raised his hand to strike
him; and that was because he had mischievously upset a poor old woman's
basket of figs; feeling that he was in a passion, he suddenly checked
himself, and stood perfectly still. A friend coming in asked him what he
was doing; and the philosopher replied, 'I am punishing an angry man.'
"Speusippus, his sister's son, was such a careless, indecent, and
boisterous youth, that his parents could not control him. They sent him
to his uncle Plato, who received him in a friendly manner, and forbore
to reproach him. Only in his own example he was always modest and
placid. This so excited the admiration of Speusippus, that a love of
philosophy was kindled within him. Some of his relatives blamed Plato,
because he did not chastise the impertinent youth; but he replied,
'There is no reproof so severe as to show him, by the manner of my own
life, the contrast between virtue and baseness.'--That is the Plato I
want you to show me, when we are in Athens."
Proclus, perceiving a universal smile, modestly added, by way of
explanation: "My son means him whom men call the divine Plato. He
greatly desires to see that philosopher, of whom it is said Socrates
dreamed, when he first received him as his pupil. In his dream he saw a
swan without wings, that came and sat upon his bosom; and soon after,
its wings grew, and it flew high up in the air, with melodious notes,
alluring all who heard it."
Pericles laid his hand on the philosopher's shoulder, and smiling,
answered, "My unbelieving friend, this is the teacher of Academus; this
is the divine Plato; this is the soaring swan, whose melodious notes
allure all that hear him."
Proclus was covered with confusion, but still seemed half incredulous.
"What would Melissa say," exclaimed he, "if she knew that her frolicsome
little plaything, Zoila, had been rude enough to throw flowers at the
"Nay, my friend," replied the disciple of Socrates,--what better could
a philosopher desire, than to be pelted with roses by childhood?"
Eudora looked up with an arch expression; and Philothea smiled as she
said, "This is a new version of unknown Phoebus tending the flocks of
Pterilaüs seemed utterly confounded by a discovery so unexpected. It was
long before he regained his usual freedom; and from time to time he was
observed to fix a scrutinizing gaze on the countenance of Plato, as if
seeking to read the mystery of his hidden greatness.
As the travellers approached Athens, they were met by a numerous
procession of magistrates, citizens, and young men bearing garlands,
which they heaped on the urn in such profusion that it resembled a
pyramid of flowers. They passed the chariots with their arms and ensigns
of office all reversed; then turned and followed to the abode of
Pericles, singing dirges as they went, and filling the air with the
melancholy music of the Mysian flute.
The amiable character of the deceased, his genius, the peculiar
circumstances attending his death, and the accumulated afflictions of
his illustrious parent, all combined to render it an impressive scene.
Even the gay selfishness of Alcibiades was subdued into reverence, as he
carefully took the urn from the chariot, and gave it to attendants, who
placed it beside the household altar.
Early the next morning, a procession again formed to convey the ashes of
Paralus to the sepulchre of his fathers; called, in the beautiful
language of the Greeks, a Place of Sleep.
When the urn was again brought forth, Philothea's long golden hair
covered it, like a mantle of sunbeams. During his life-time, these
shining tresses had been peculiarly dear to him; and in token of her
love, she placed them on his grave. Her white robe was changed for
coarse black garments; and instead of flowery wreaths, a long black veil
covered the beautiful head, from which its richest ornament had just
been severed. She had rejoiced for his happy spirit, and now she mourned
her own widowed lot.
At the sepulchre, Pericles pronounced a funeral oration on the most
gifted, and best-beloved of his children. In the evening, kindred and
friends met at his house to partake a feast prepared for the occasion;
and every guest had something to relate concerning the genius and the
virtues of him who slept.
A similar feast was prepared in the apartments of the women, where
Philothea remained silent and composed; a circumstance that excited no
small degree of wonder and remark, among those who measured affection by
the vehemence of grief.
As soon as all ceremonies were completed, she obtained leave to return
to her early home, endeared by many happy scenes; and there, in the
stillness of her own heart, she held communion with the dear departed.
There await me till I die; prepare
A mansion for me, as again with me
To dwell; for in thy tomb will I be laid,
In the same cedar, by thy side composed:
For e'en in death I will not be disjoined.
It soon became evident that a great change had taken place in
Philothea's health. Some attributed it to the atmosphere of Athens,
still infected with the plague; others supposed it had its origin in the
death of Paralus. The widowed one, far from cherishing her grief, made a
strong effort to be cheerful; but her gentle smile, like moonlight in a
painting, retained its sweetness when the life was gone. There was
something in this perfect stillness of resignation more affecting than
the utmost agony of sorrow. She complained of no illness, but grew
thinner and thinner, like a cloud gradually floating away, and retaining
its transparent beauty to the last. Eudora lavished the most
affectionate attentions upon her friend, conscious that she was merely
strewing flowers in her pathway to the tomb.
A few weeks after their return to Athens, she said, "Dearest Eudora, do
you remember the story of the nymph Erato, who implored the assistance
of Areas, when the swelling torrent threatened to carry away the tree
over which she presided, and on whose preservation her life depended?"
"I remember it well," replied Eudora: "Dione told it to me when I was
quite a child; and I could never after see a tree torn by the lightning,
or carried away by the flood, or felled by the woodman, without a
shrinking and shivering feeling, lest some gentle, fair-haired Dryad had
perished with it."
Philothea answered, "Thus was I affected, when my grandfather first read
to me Hesiod's account of the Muses:
'Far round, the dusky earth
Rings with their hymning voices; and beneath
Their many-rustling feet a pleasant sound
Ariseth, as they take their onward way
To their own father's presence.'
"I never after could hear the quivering of summer leaves, or the busy
hum of insects, without thinking it was the echoed voices of those
'Thrice three sacred maids, whose minds are knit
In harmony; whose only thought is song.'
"There is a deep and hidden reason why the heart loves to invest every
hill, and stream, and tree, with a mysterious principle of life. All
earthly forms are but the clothing of some divine ideal; and this truth
we _feel_, though we _know_ it not. But when I spoke of Arcus and the
Wood Nymph, I was thinking that Paralus had been the tree, on whose
existence my own depended; and that now he was removed, I should not
Eudora burst into a passionate flood of tears. "Oh, dearest Philothea,
do not speak thus," she said. "I shall indeed be left alone in the
world. Who will guide me, who will protect me, who will love me when you
Her friend endeavoured to calm these agitated feelings, by every
soothing art her kindness could suggest.
"I would rather suffer much in silence, than to give you unnecessary
pain," she replied, affectionately: "but I ought not to conceal from you
that I am about to follow my beloved husband. In a short time, I shall
not have sufficient strength to impart all I have to say. You will find
my clothing and jewels done up in parcels, bearing the names of those
for whom they are intended. My dowry returns to Chrysippus, who gave it;
but Pericles has kindly given permission that everything else should be
disposed of according to my own wishes. Several of my grandfather's
manuscripts, and a copy of Herodotus, which I transcribed while I was in
Ionia, are my farewell gifts to him. When the silver tripod, which
Paralus gained as a prize for the best tragedy exhibited during the
Dionysia, is returned to his father's house, let them be placed within
it. The statue of Persephone, (that ominous bridal gift,) and the ivory
lyre bestowed by Aspasia, are placed in his trust for the youthful
Pericles; together with all the books and garments that belonged to his
departed brother. In token of gratitude for the parental care of Clinias
and his wife, I have bestowed on them the rich tripod received from
Heliodora. In addition to the trifling memorials I have already sent to
Melissa, and her artless little Zoila, you will find others prepared for
you to deliver, when restored to your peaceful home in Elis. To my
faithful Milza I have given all the garments and household goods suited
to her condition. My grandfather's books have been divided, as he
requested, between Plato and Philæmon; the silver harp and the ivory
tablet are likewise designed for them. Everything else belongs to you,
dearest Eudora. Among many tokens of my affection, you will not value
least the ivory cup lined with silver, which Philæmon gave me when he
departed from Athens. The clasp, representing the Naiades binding Eros
in garlands, will, I trust, be worn at your marriage with Philæmon."
With tearful eyes, Eudora answered, "Oh, Philothea! in the days of my
pride and gayety, I little knew what a treasure I threw from me, when I
lost Philæmon's love. Had it not been for my own perverse folly, I
should at this moment be his happy, honoured wife. The hope of his
forgiveness is now the only gleam of sunshine in a world of gloom; but I
hardly dare to cherish it."
Philothea kissed her affectionately, and said, "Believe me, you will yet
be united. Of this, there is an impression on my mind too strong to
admit of doubt. If at times you are tempted to despond, remember these
words were uttered by your friend, when she drew near the confines of
another world: you will be united to Philæmon."
As she spoke, Milza, who was occupied in the next apartment, sneezed
aloud. The sound was at Eudora's right hand, and she received the
auspicious omen with a sudden thrill of joy.
Philothea observed her emotion with a gentle smile, and added: "When we
were at Elis, I wrote an epistle to Philæmon, in which I spoke of you
as my heart dictated; and Artaphernes found opportunity to send it
directly into Persia."
The maiden blushed deeply and painfully, as she replied, "Nay, my
dearest friend--you know that I must appear contemptible in his eyes;
and I would not have insulted him with the offer of a heart, which he
has reason to believe is so capricious and ungrateful."
"Trust me, I said nothing whereby your modesty might be wounded,"
answered Philothea: "I wrote as I was moved; and I felt strong assurance
that my words would waken a response in Philæmon's heart. But there is
one subject, on which my mind is filled with foreboding. I hope you will
leave Athens as soon as it is safe to return to Elis."
"Do you then fear that I would again dance over a pit, because it was
artfully covered with garlands?" said Eudora. "Believe me, I have been
tried with too many sorrows, and too long been bowed under a load of
shame, to be again endangered by such treacherous snares."
Philothea looked upon her affectionately, as she replied: "You are good
and pure; but you have ever been like a loving and graceful vine, ready
to cling to its nearest support."
"'Tis you have made me so," rejoined Eudora, kissing her pale cheek: "To
you I have always applied for advice and instruction; and when you gave
it, I felt confident and happy, as if led by the gods."
"Then so much the more need that I should caution the weakness I have
produced," responded Philothea. "Should Aspasia gain access to you, when
I am gone, she will try to convince you that happiness consists not in
the duties we perform, but in the distinction we acquire; that my hopes
of Elysium are all founded on fable; that my beloved Paralus has
returned to the elements of which he was composed; that he nourishes the
plants, and forms some of the innumerable particles of the atmosphere.
I have seen him in my dreams, as distinctly, as I ever saw him; and I
believe the same power that enabled me to see him when these poor eyes
were veiled in slumber, will restore him to my vision when they are
closed in eternal sleep. Aspasia will tell you I have been a beautiful
but idle dreamer all my life. If you listen to her syren tongue, the
secret guiding voice will be heard no more. She will make evil appear
good, and good evil, until your soul will walk in perpetual twilight,
unable to perceive the real size and character of any object."
"Never," exclaimed Eudora. "Never could she induce me to believe you an
idle dreamer. Moreover, she will never again have opportunity to exert
influence over me. The conversation I heard between her and Alcibiades
is too well impressed upon my memory; and while that remains
unforgotten, I shall shun them both, as I would shun a pestilence."
Philothea answered: "I do indeed believe that no blandishments will now
make you a willing victim. But I have a secret dread of the character
and power of Alcibiades. It is his boast that he never relinquishes a
pursuit. I have often heard Pericles speak of his childish obstinacy and
perseverance. He was one day playing at dice with other boys, when a
loaded wagon came near. In a commanding tone, he ordered the driver to
stop; and finding his injunctions disregarded, he laid down before the
horses' feet, and told him to go on if he dared. The same character
remains with him now. He will incur any hazard for the triumph of his
own will. From his youth, he has been a popular idol; a circumstance
which has doubtless increased the requirements of his passions, without
diminishing the stubbornness of his temper. Milza tells me he has
already inquired of her concerning your present residence and future
intentions. Obstacles will only increase his eagerness and multiply his
"I have asked Clinias, whose dwelling is so closely connected with our
own, to supply the place of your distant guardian, while you remain in
Athens. In Pericles you might likewise trust, if he were not so fatally
under the influence of Aspasia. Men think so lightly of these matters, I
sometimes fear they might both regard the persecutions of Alcibiades too
trivial for their interference. For these reasons I wish you to return
to Elis as soon as possible when I am gone."
Eudora's countenance kindled with indignation, as she listened to what
Milza had told. In broken and contrite tones, she answered; "Philothea,
whatever trials I may suffer, my former folly deserves them all. But
rest assured, whenever it pleases the gods to remove your counsel and
protection, I will not abide in Athens a single hour after it is
possible to leave with safety."
"I find consolation in that assurance," replied Philothea; "and I have
strong belief that a divine shield will guard you from impending evil.
And now I will go to my couch; for I am weary, and would fain be lulled
Eudora tenderly arranged the pillows, and played a succession of sweet
and plaintive tunes, familiar to their childhood. Her friend listened
with an expression of tranquil pleasure, slowly keeping time by the
motion of her fingers, until she sunk into a peaceful sleep.
After long and sweet repose, she awoke suddenly, and looking up with a
beaming glance, exclaimed, "I shall follow him soon!"
Eudora leaned over the couch, to inquire why she had spoken in such
Philothea answered: "I dreamed that I sat upon a bank of violets, with
Paralus by my side; and he wove a garland and placed it on my head.
Suddenly, golden sounds seemed floating in the air, melting into each
other with liquid melody. It was such a scene as Paralus often
described, when his soul lived apart from the body, and only returned at
intervals, to bring strange tidings of its wanderings. I turned to tell
him so; and I saw that we were both clothed in garments that shone like
woven sunbeams. Then voices above us began to sing:
'Come hither, kindred spirits, come!
Hail to the mystic two in one!'
"Even after I awoke, I seemed to hear the chorus distinctly. It sounded
like the voice of Paralus in his youth, when we used to sing together,
to please my grandfather, as he sat by the side of that little sheltered
brook, over whose bright waters the trees embrace each other in silent
love. Dearest Eudora, I shall soon follow him."
The maiden turned away to conceal her tears; for resignation to this
bereavement seemed too hard a lesson for her suffering heart.
For several weeks, there was no apparent change in Philothea's health or
spirits. The same sad serenity remained--perpetually exciting the
compassion it never seemed to ask. Each day the children of the
neighbourhood brought their simple offering of flowers, with which she
wove fresh garlands for the tomb of Paralus. When no longer able to
visit the sepulchre herself, she intrusted them to the youthful
Pericles, who reverently placed them on his brother's urn.
The elder Pericles seemed to find peculiar solace in the conversation of
his widowed daughter. Scarcely a day passed without an interview between
them, and renewed indications of his affectionate solicitude.
He came one day, attended by his son, on whom his desolated heart now
bestowed a double portion of paternal love. They remained a long time,
in earnest discourse; and when they departed, the boy was in tears.
Philothea, with feeble steps, followed them to the portico, and gazed
after them, as long as she could see a fold of their garments. As she
turned to lean on Eudora's arm, she said, "It is the last time I shall
ever see them. It is the last. I have felt a sister's love for that dear
boy. His heart is young and innocent."
For a few hours after, she continued to talk with unusual animation, and
her eyes beamed with an expression of inspired earnestness. At her
request, Geta and Milza were called; and the faithful servants listened
with mournful gratitude to her parting words of advice and consolation.
At evening twilight, Eudora gave her a bunch of flowers, sent by the
youthful Pericles. She took them with a smile, and said, "How fragrant
is their breath, and how beautiful their colours! I have heard that the
Persians write their music in colours; and Paralus spoke the same
concerning music in the spirit-world. Perchance there was heavenly
melody written on this fair earth in the age of innocence; but mortals
have now forgotten its language." Perceiving Eudora's thoughtful
countenance, she said: "Is my gentle friend disturbed, lest infant
nymphs closed their brief existence when these stems were broken?"
"Nay;" replied Eudora: "My heart is sad; but not for the perished genii
of the flowers."
Philothea understood the import of her words; and pressing her hand
affectionately, said, "Your love has been as balm to my lonely heart;
and let that remembrance comfort you, when I go hence. Listen in
stillness to the whispered warnings of your attendant spirit, and he
will never leave you. I am weary; and would fain repose on your
Eudora gently placed her head as she desired; and carefully supporting
the precious burden, she began to sing, in low and soothing tones.
After some time, the quiet and regular respiration of the breath
announced that the invalid had fallen into tranquil slumber. Milza came,
to ask if the lamps were wanted; but receiving a silent signal from
Eudora, she crept noiselessly away.
For more than an hour, there was perfect stillness, as the shades of
evening deepened. All at once, the room was filled with soft, clear
light! Eudora turned her head quickly, to discover whence it came; but
could perceive no apparent cause for the sudden radiance.
With an undefined feeling of awe, she looked in the countenance of her
friend. It was motionless as marble; but never had she seen anything so
beautiful, and so unearthly.
As she gazed, doubting whether this could indeed be death, there was a
sound of music in the air--distinct, yet blended, like the warbling of
birds in the spring-time.
It was the tune Paralus had learned from celestial harps; and even after
the last note floated away, Eudora seemed to hear the well-remembered
Come hither, kindred spirit, come!
Hail to the mystic two in one!
Take courage I no vain dream hast thou beheld,
But in thy sleep a truth.
At the time of Philothea's death, Pandænus, the nephew of Phidias, was
in Athens, intending soon to return to Elis, in company with an
ambassador bound to Lacedæmon; and Eudora resolved to avail herself of
this opportunity to follow the farewell advice of her friend. As the
time for departure was near at hand, no change was made in household
arrangements; and though the desolate maiden at times experienced
sensations of extreme loneliness, the near vicinity of Clinias and
Phoenarete left her no fears concerning adequate protection.
This confidence seemed well grounded; yet not many days after the
funeral solemnities, Eudora suddenly disappeared. She had gone out, as
usual, to gather flowers for the tomb of the beloved sleeper; and not
rinding sufficient variety in the garden, had wandered into a small
field adjoining. Milza was the first to observe that her absence was
unusually protracted. She mentioned her anxiety to Geta, who immediately
went out in search of his young mistress; but soon returned, saying she
was neither in the house of Clinias, nor in the neighbouring fields, nor
at the Fountain of Callirhöe.
The faithful attendants at once suspected treachery in Alcibiades. "I
never rightly understood what was the difficulty, when Eudora was locked
up in her chamber, and Lucos chained to the door," said Geta; "but from
what I could hear, I know that Phidias was very angry with Alcibiades.
Many a time I've heard him say that he would always have his own way,
either by a straight course or a crooked one."
"And my good old master used to say he had changed but little since he
was a boy, when he made the wagoner turn back, by lying down in front of
his horses," rejoined Milza: "I thought of that, when Alcibiades came
and drank at the Fountain, while I was filling my urn. You remember I
told you that he just tasted of the water, for a pretence, and then
began to inquire where Eudora was, and whether she would remain in
After some further consultation, it was deemed best for Milza to request
a private interview with Phoenarete, during which she freely expressed
her fears. The wife of Clinias, though connected by marriage with the
house of Alcibiades, was far from resenting the imputation, or
pretending that she considered it groundless. Her feelings were at once
excited for the lonely orphan girl, whose beauty, vivacity, and
gentleness, had won upon her heart; and she readily promised assistance
in any plan for her relief, provided it met the approbation of her
There was in Salamis a large mansion built by Eurysaces, the ancestor of
Alcibiades, by whom it had been lately purchased, and repaired for a
summer residence. Report said that many a fair maiden had been decoyed
within its walls, and retained a prisoner. This place was guarded by
several powerful dogs, and vigilant servants were always stationed at
the gates. Milza proposed to disguise herself as much as possible, and,
with a basket on her head, go thither to offer fish for sale. Geta,
being afraid to accompany her, hired an honest boatman to convey her to
the island, and wait till she was ready to return to Athens.
As she approached the walls of the mansion, the dogs began to growl, but
were soon silenced by the porters. Without answering the indecent jibes,
with which they greeted her ears as she passed along, the little
fish-woman balanced her basket on her head, and began carelessly to sing
some snatches of a hymn to Amphitrite. It was a tune of which Eudora was
particularly fond; and often when Milza was humming it over her work,
her soft and sonorous voice had been heard responding from the inner
She had scarcely finished the first verse, ere the chorus was repeated
by some one within the dwelling; and she recognized the half-suppressed
growl of Hylax, as if his barking had been checked by some cautious
hand. Afraid to attract attention by a prolonged stay, Milza passed
along and entered the servants' apartment. Having sold a portion of her
fish, and lingered as long as she dared in conversation with the cooks,
she returned slowly in the same direction, singing as she went, and
carefully observing everything around her. She was just beginning to
fear the impossibility of obtaining any solution of her doubts, when she
saw a leaf fluttering near the ground, as if its motions were impelled
by some other cause than the wind. Approaching nearer, she perceived
that it was let down from a grated opening in the wall above, by a
small thread, with a little ball of wax attached to it for a weight. She
examined the leaf, and discovered certain letters pricked upon it; and
when the string was pulled gently, it immediately dropped upon her arm.
At the same time, a voice, which she distinctly recognized as Eudora's,
was heard singing:
On a rock, amid the roaring water,
Lies Cassiopea's gentle daughter.
Milza had just begun to sing, "Bold Perseus comes," when she perceived a
servant crossing the court, and deemed it prudent to retire in silence.
She carefully preserved the leaf, and immediately after her return
hastened to the apartment of Phoenarete, to obtain an explanation. That
matron, like most Grecian women, was ignorant of her own written
language. The leaf was accordingly placed in a vessel of water, to
preserve its freshness until Clinias returned from the Prytaneum. He
easily distinguished the name of Pandænus joined with his own; and
having heard the particulars of the story, had no difficulty in
understanding that Milza was directed to apply to them for assistance.
He readily promised to intercede with his profligate kinsman, and
immediately sent messengers in search of Pandænus.
Geta awaited intelligence with extreme impatience. He was grateful for
many an act of kindness from Eudora; and he could not forget that she
had been the cherished favourite of his beloved and generous master.
At night, Clinias returned from a conference with Alcibiades, in which
the latter denied all knowledge of Eudora; and it seemed hazardous to
institute legal inquiries into the conduct of a man so powerful and so
popular, without further evidence than had yet been obtained. Pandænus
could not be found. At the house where he usually resided, no
information could be obtained, except that he went out on the preceding
evening, and had not returned as usual.
During that night, and part of the following day, the two faithful
attendants remained in a state of melancholy indecision. At last, Geta
said, "I will go once more in search of Pandænus; and if he has not yet
returned, I have resolved what to do. To-day I saw one of the slaves of
Artaphernes buying olives; and he said he must have the very best,
because his master was to give a feast to-night. Among other guests, he
spoke of Alcibiades; and he is one that is always sure to stay late at
his wine. While he is feasting, I will go to Salamis. His steward often
bought anchovies of me at Phalerum. He is a countryman of mine; and I
know he is as avaricious as an Odomantian. I think money will bribe him
to carry a message to Eudora, and to place a ladder near the outer wall
for her escape. He is intrusted with all the keys, and can do it if he
will. And if he can get gold enough by it, I believe he will trust
Hermes to help him settle with his master, as he has done many a time
before this. I will be in readiness at the Triton's Cove, and bring her
back to Athens as fast as oars can fly."
"Do so, dear Geta," replied Milza; "but disguise yourself from the other
servants, and take with you the robe and veil that I wear to market.
Then if Eudora could only walk a little more like a fish-woman, she
might pass very well. But be sure you do not pay the steward till you
have her at the boat's edge; for he that will play false games with his
master, may do the same by you."
Necessary arrangements were speedily made. Geta resolved to offer the
earnings of his whole life as a bribe, rather than intrust the secret of
his bold expedition to any of the household of Clinias; and Milza,
fearful that their own store would not prove a sufficient temptation,
brought forth a sum of money found in Eudora's apartment, together with
a valuable necklace, which had been a birth-day present from Phidias.
It was past midnight when three figures emerged from the shadow of the
high wall surrounding the mansion of Alcibiades, and with cautious haste
proceeded toward the cove. Before they could arrive at the beach, a
large and gaily-trimmed boat was seen approaching the shore, from the
direction of the Piræus. It was flaming with torches; and a band of
musicians poured out upon the undulating waters a rich flood of melody,
rendered more distinct and soft by the liquid element over which it
floated. One of the fugitives immediately turned, and disappeared within
the walls they had left; the other two concealed themselves in a thick
grove, the darkness of which was deepened by the glare of torches along
its borders. A man richly dressed, with several fillets on his head, and
crowned with a garland of violets, ivy, and myrtle, stepped from the
boat, supported by the arm of a slave. His countenance was flushed with
wine, and as he reeled along, he sung aloud:
"Have I told you all my flames,
'Mong the amorous Syrian dames?
Have I numbered every one
Glowing under Egypt's sun!
Or the nymphs, who, blushing sweet,
Deck the shrine of Love in Crete--
Where the God, with festal play,
Holds eternal holiday?"
"Castor and Polydeuces!" whispered Geta, "there goes Alcibiades. He has
returned from his wine earlier than usual; but so blinded by the merry
god, that he would not have known us, if we had faced the glare of his
"Oh, hasten! hasten!" said Eudora, weeping and trembling, as she spoke.
"I beseech you do not let a moment be lost."
As Alcibiades and his train disappeared, they left the grove, and
hurried toward their boat; keeping as much as possible within the shadow
of the trees. They reached the cove in safety, and Geta rowed with
unwonted energy; but he was single-handed, and Salamis was many stadia
from Athens. Long before he arrived at the place were he had been
accustomed to land, they heard the sound of distant oars plied with
They landed, and with the utmost haste proceeded toward the city.
Eudora, fearful of being overtaken, implored Geta to seek refuge behind
the pillars of Poseidon's temple. Carefully concealing themselves in the
dense shadow, they remained without speaking, and almost without
breathing, until their pursuers had passed by. The moment these were out
of hearing, they quitted their hiding-place, and walked swiftly along
the Piræus. Intense fear imparted a degree of strength, which the
maiden, under other circumstances, would have hardly deemed it possible
to exert. She did not for a moment relax her speed, until they came
within sight of the Areopagus, and heard noisy shouts, apparently not
far distant. Eudora, sinking with fatigue and terror, entreated Geta not
to attempt any approach to the house of Clinias, where her enemies would
certainly be lying in wait for them. With uncertain steps they proceeded
toward the great Gate of the Acropolis, until the helpless maiden,
frightened at the approaching noise, stopped suddenly, and burst into a
flood of tears.
"There is one place of safety, if you have courage to try it," said
Geta: "We are nearly under the Propylæa; and close beside us is the
grotto of Creüsa. Few dare to enter it in the day-time, and no profane
steps will venture to pass the threshold after nightfall; for it is said
the gods often visit it, and fill it with strange sights and sounds.
Shall we enter?"
It was a windy night, and the clouds that occasionally passed over the
face of the moon gave the earth a dreary aspect. The high wall under
which they stood seemed to frown gloomily upon them, and the long flight
of white marble steps, leading from the Propylæa, looked cold and
cheerless beneath the fitful gleamings of the moon.
Eudora hesitated, and looked timidly around; but as the sound of riotous
voices came nearer, she seized Geta's arm, and exclaimed, in hurried
accents, "The gods protect me! Let us enter."
Within the grotto, all was total darkness. Having groped their way a
short distance from the entrance, they found a large rock, on which
they seated themselves. The voices approached nearer, and their
discordant revelry had an awful sound amid the echoes of the grotto.
These gradually died away in the distance, and were heard no more.
When all was perfectly still, Eudora, in whispered accents, informed
Geta that she had been seized, as she stooped to gather flowers within
sight of her own dwelling. Two men suddenly started up from behind a
wall, and one covered her mouth, while the other bound her hands. They
made a signal to a third, who came with two attendants and a curtained
chariot, in which she was immediately conveyed to a solitary place on
the seashore, and thence to Salamis. Two men sat beside her, and held
her fast, so as to prevent any possibility of communication with the few
people passing at that early hour.
Arrived at the place of destination, she was shut up in a large
apartment, luxuriously furnished. Alcibiades soon visited her, with an
affectation of the most scrupulous respect, urging the plea of ardent
love as an excuse for his proceedings.
Aware that she was completely in his power, she concealed her
indignation and contempt, and allowed him to indulge the hope that her
affections might be obtained, if she were entirely convinced of his wish
to atone for the treachery and violence with which she had been treated.
Milza's voice had been recognized the moment she began to sing; and she
at once conjectured the object that led her thither. But when hour after
hour passed without any tidings from Pandænus or Clinias, she was in a
state of anxiety bordering on distraction; for she soon perceived
sufficient indication that the smooth hypocrisy of Alcibiades was
assumed but for a short period.
She had already determined on an effort to bribe the servants, when the
steward came stealthily to her room, and offered to convey her to the
Triton's Cove, provided she would promise to double the sum already
offered by Geta. To this she eagerly assented, without even inquiring
the amount; and he, fearful of detection, scarcely allowed time to throw
Milza's robe and veil over her own.
Having thus far effected her escape, Eudora was extremely anxious that
Pandænus and Clinias should be informed of her place of retreat, as soon
as the morning dawned. When Geta told her that Pandænus had disappeared
as suddenly as herself, and no one knew whither, she replied, "This,
too, is the work of Alcibiades."
Their whispered conversation was stopped by the barking of a dog, to
which the echoes of the cavern gave a frightful appearance of nearness.
Each instinctively touched the other's arm, as a signal for silence.
When all was again quiet, Geta whispered, "It is well for us they were
not witty enough to bring Hylax with them; for the poor fellow would
certainly have betrayed us." This circumstance warned them of the danger
of listeners, and few more words were spoken.
The maiden, completely exhausted by the exertions she had made, laid her
head on the shoulder of her attendant, and slept until the morning
twilight became perceptible through the crevices of the rocks.
At the first approach of day, she implored Geta to hasten to the house
of Clinias, and ask his protection: for she feared to venture herself
abroad, without the presence of some one whose rank and influence would
be respected by Alcibiades.
"Before I go," replied Geta, "let me find a secure hiding-place for you;
for though I shall soon return, in the meantime those may enter whose
presence may be dangerous."
"You forget that this is a sacred place," rejoined Eudora, in tones that
betrayed fear struggling with her confidence.
"There are men, with whom nothing is sacred," answered Geta; "and many
such are now in Athens."
The cavern was deep, and wide. As they passed along, the dawning light
indistinctly revealed statues of Phoebus and Pan, with altars of pure
white marble. At the farthest extremity, stood a trophy of shields,
helmets, and spears, placed there by Miltiades, in commemoration of his
victory at Marathon. It was so formed as to be hollow in the centre, and
Geta proposed that the timid maiden should creep in at the side, and
stand upright. She did so, and it proved an effectual screen from head
to foot. Having taken this prudent precaution, the faithful attendant
departed, with a promise to return as soon as possible. But hour after
hour elapsed, and he came not. As Eudora peeped through the chinks of
the trophy, she perceived from the entrance of the cave glowing streaks
of light, that indicated approaching noon. Yet all remained still, save
the echoed din of noises in the city; and no one came to her relief.
Not long after the sun had begun to decline from its meridian, two men
entered, whom she recognized as among the individuals that had seized
and conveyed her to Salamis. As they looked carefully all around the
cave, Eudora held her breath, and her heart throbbed violently.
Perceiving no one, they knelt for a moment before the altars, and
hastily retreated, with indications of fear; for the accusations of
guilty minds were added to the usual terrors of this subterranean abode
of the gods.
The day was fading into twilight, when a feeble old man came, with a
garland on his head, and invoked the blessing of Phoebus. He was
accompanied by a boy, who laid his offering of flowers and fruit on the
altar of Pan, with an expression of countenance that showed how much he
was alarmed by the presence of that fear-inspiring deity.
After they had withdrawn, no other footsteps approached the sacred
place. Anxiety of mind, and bodily weariness, more than once tempted
Eudora to go out and mingle with the throng continually passing through
the city. But the idea that Geta might arrive, and be perplexed by her
absence, combined with the fear of lurking spies, kept her motionless,
until the obscurity of the grotto gave indication that the shadows of
twilight were deepening.
During the day, she had observed near the trophy a heap of withered
laurel branches and wreaths, with which the altar and statue of Phoebus
had been at various times adorned. Overcome with fatigue, and desirous
to change a position, which from its uniformity had become extremely
painful, she resolved to lie down upon the rugged rock, with the sacred
garlands for a pillow. She shuddered to remember the lizards and other
reptiles she had seen crawling, through the day; but the universal fear
of entering Creüsa's grotto after nightfall, promised safety from human
intrusion; and the desolate maiden laid herself down to repose, in such
a state of mind that she would have welcomed a poisonous reptile, if it
brought the slumbers of death. It seemed to her that she was utterly
solitary and friendless; persecuted by men, and forsaken by the gods.
By degrees, all sounds died away, save the melancholy hooting of owls,
mingled occasionally with the distant barking and howling of dogs.
Alone, in stillness and total darkness, memory revealed herself with
wonderful power. The scenes of her childhood; the chamber in which she
had slept; figures she had embroidered and forgotten; tunes that had
been silent for years; thoughts and feelings long buried; Philæmon's
smile; the serene countenance of Philothea; the death-bed of Phidias;
and a thousand other images of the past, came before her with all the
vividness of present reality. Exhausted in mind and body, she could not
long endure this tide of recollection. Covering her face with her hands,
she sobbed convulsively, as she murmured, "Oh, Philothea! why didst thou
leave me? My guide, my only friend! oh, where art thou!"
A gentle strain of music, scarcely audible, seemed to make reply. Eudora
raised her head to listen--and lo! the whole grotto was filled with
light; so brilliant that every feather in the arrow of Phoebus might be
counted, and the gilded horns and star of Pan were radiant as the sun.
Her first thought was that she had slept until noon. She rubbed her
eyes, and glanced at the pedestal of a statue, on which she distinctly
read the inscription: "Here Miltiades placed me, Pan, the goat-footed
god of Arcadia, who warred with the Athenians against the Medes."
Frightened at the possibility of having overslept herself, she started
up, and was about to seek the shelter of the trophy, when Paralus and
Philothea stood before her! They were clothed in bright garments, with
garlands on their heads. His arm was about her waist, and hers rested on
his shoulder. There was a holy beauty in their smile, from which a
protecting influence seemed to emanate, that banished mortal fear.
In sweet, low tones, they both said, as if with one voice, "Seek
Artaphernes, the Persian."
"Dearest Philothea, I scarcely know his countenance," replied the
Again the bright vision repeated, "Seek Artaphernes, nothing doubting."
The sounds ceased; the light began to fade; it grew more and more dim,
till all was total darkness. For a long time, Eudora remained intensely
wakeful, but inspired with a new feeling of confidence and hope, that
rendered her oblivious of all earthly cares. Whence it came, she neither
knew nor asked; for such states preclude all inquiry concerning their
own nature and origin.
After awhile, she fell into a tranquil slumber, in which she dreamed of
torrents crossed in safety, and of rugged, thorny paths, that ended in
blooming gardens. She was awakened by the sound of a troubled, timid
voice, saying, "Eudora! Eudora!"
She listened a moment, and answered, "Is it you, Milza?"
"Oh, blessed be the sound of your voice," replied the peasant. "Where
are you? Let me take your hand; for I am afraid in this awful place."
"Don't be frightened, my good Milza. I have had joyful visions here,"
rejoined the maiden. She reached out her arms as she spoke, and
perceived that her companion trembled exceedingly. "May the gods protect
us!" whispered she; "but it is a fearful thing to come here in the
night-time. All the gold of Croesus would not have tempted me, if Geta
had not charged me to do it, to save you from starving."
"You are indeed kind friends," said Eudora; "and the only ones I have
left in this world. If ever I get safely back to Elis, you shall be to
me as brother and sister."
"Ah, dear lady," replied the peasant, "you have ever been a good friend
to us;--and there is one that sleeps, who never spoke an ungentle word
to any of us. When her strength was almost gone, she bade me love
Eudora, even as I had loved her; and the gods know that for her sake
Milza would have died. Phoebus protect me, but this is an awful place to
speak of those who sleep. It must be near the dawn; but it is fearfully
dark here. Where is your hand? I have brought some bread and figs, and
this little arabyllus of water mixed with Lesbian wine. Eat; for you
must be almost famished."
Eudora took the refreshment, but ere she tasted it, inquired, "Why did
not Geta come, as he promised?" Milza began to weep.
"Has evil befallen him?" said Eudora, in tones of alarm.
The afflicted wife sobbed out, "Poor Geta! Poor, dear Geta! I dreaded to
come into this cavern; but then I thought if I died, it would be well,
if we could but die together."
"Do tell me what has happened," said Eudora: "Am I doomed to bring
trouble upon all who love me? Tell me, I entreat you."
Milza, weeping as she spoke, then proceeded to say that Alcibiades had
discovered Eudora's escape immediately after his return from the feast
of Artaphernes. He was in a perfect storm of passion, and threatened
every one of the servants with severe punishment, to extort confession.
The steward received a few keen lashes, notwithstanding his
protestations of innocence. But he threatened to appeal to the
magistrates for another master; and Alcibiades, unwilling to lose the
services of this bold and artful slave, restrained his anger, even when
it was at its greatest height.
To appease his master's displeasure, the treacherous fellow acknowledged
that Geta had been seen near the walls, and that his boat had been lying
at the Triton's Cove.
In consequence of this information, men were instantly ordered in
pursuit, with orders to lie in wait for the fugitives, if they could not
be overtaken before morning. When Geta left Creüsa's Grotto, he was
seized before he reached the house of Clinias.
Milza knew nothing of these proceedings, but had remained anxiously
waiting till the day was half spent. Then she learned that Alcibiades
had claimed Eudora and Geta as his slaves, by virtue of a debt due to
him from Phidias, for a large quantity of ivory; and notwithstanding the
efforts of Clinias in their favour, the Court of Forty Four, in the
borough of Alcibiades, decided that he had a right to retain them, until
the debt was paid, or until the heir appeared to show cause why it
should not be paid. "The gods have blessed Clinias with abundant
wealth," said Eudora; "Did he offer nothing to save the innocent?"
"Dear lady," replied Milza, "Alcibiades demands such an immense sum for
the ivory, that he says he might as well undertake to build the wall of
Hipparchus, as to pay it. But I have not told you the most cruel part of
the story. Geta has been tied to a ladder, and shockingly whipped, to
make him tell where you were concealed. He said he would not do it, if
he died. I believe they had the will to kill him; but one of the young
slaves, whose modesty Alcibiades had insulted, was resolved to make
complaint to the magistrates, and demand another master. She helped Geta
to escape: they have both taken refuge in the Temple of Theseus. Geta
dared trust no one but me to carry a message to Clinias. I told him he
supped with Pericles to-night; and he would not suffer me to go there,
lest Alcibiades should be among the guests."
"I am glad he gave you that advice," said Eudora; "for though Pericles
might be willing to serve me, for Philothea's sake, I fear if he once
learned the secret, it would soon be in Aspasia's keeping."
"And that would be all the same as telling Alcibiades himself," rejoined
Milza. "But I must tell you that I did not know of poor Geta's
sufferings until many hours after they happened. Since he went to
Salamis in search of you, I have not seen him until late this evening.
He is afraid to leave the altar, lest he should fall into the hands of
his enemies; and that is the reason he sent me to bring you food. He
expects to be a slave again; but having been abused by Alcibiades, he
claims the privilege of the law to be transferred to another master."
Eudora wept bitterly, to think she had no power to rescue her faithful
attendant from a condition he dreaded worse than death.
Milza endeavoured, in her own artless way, to soothe the distress her
words had excited. "In all Geta's troubles, he thinks more of you than
he does of himself," said she. "He bade me convey you to the house of a
wise woman from Thessalia, who lives near the Sacred Gate; for he says
she can tell us what it is best to do. She has learned of magicians in
foreign lands. They say she can compound potions that will turn hatred
into love; and that the power of her enchantments is so great, she can
draw the moon down from the sky."
"Nevertheless, I shall not seek her counsel," replied the maiden; "for I
have heard a better oracle."
When she had given an account of the vision in the cave, the peasant
asked, in a low and trembling voice, "Did it not make you afraid?"
"Not in the least," answered Eudora; "and therefore I am doubtful
whether it were a vision or a dream. I spoke to Philothea just as I used
to do; without remembering that she had died. She left me more composed
and happy than I have been for many days. Even if it were a vision, I
do not marvel that the spirit of one so pure and peaceful should be less
terrific than the ghost of Medea or Clytemnestra."
"And the light shone all at once!" exclaimed Milza, eagerly. "Trust to
it, dear lady--trust to it. A sudden brightness hath ever been a happy
Two baskets, filled with Copaic eels and anchovies, had been deposited
near the mouth of the cavern; and with the first blush of morning, the
fugitives offered prayers to Phoebus and Pan, and went forth with the
baskets on their heads, as if they sought the market. Eudora, in her
haste, would have stepped across the springs that bubbled from the
rocks; but Milza held her back, saying, "Did you never hear that these
brooks are Creüsa's tears? When the unhappy daughter of Erectheus left
her infant in this cave to perish, she wept as she departed; and
Phoebus, her immortal lover, changed her tears to rills. For this
reason, the water has ever been salt to the taste. It is a bad omen to
wet the foot in these springs."
Thus warned, Eudora turned aside, and took a more circuitous path.
It happened, fortunately, that the residence of Artaphernes stood behind
the temple of Asclepius, at a short distance from Creüsa's Grotto; and
they felt assured that no one would think of searching for them within
the dwelling of the Persian stranger. They arrived at the gate without
question or hindrance; but found it fastened. To their anxious minds,
the time they were obliged to wait seemed like an age; but at last the
gate was opened, and they preferred a humble request to see
Artaphernes. Eudora, being weary of her load, stooped to place the
basket of fish on a bench, and her veil accidentally dropped. The porter
touched her under the chin, and said, with a rude laugh, "Do you
suppose, my pretty dolphin, that Artaphernes buys his own dinner?"
Eudora's eyes flashed fire at this familiarity; but checking her natural
impetuosity, she replied, "It was not concerning the fish that I wished
to speak to your master. We have business of importance."
The servant gave a significant glance, more insulting than his former
freedom. "Oh, yes, business of importance, no doubt," said he; "but do
you suppose, my little Nereid, that the servant of the Great King is
himself a vender of fish, that he should leave his couch at an hour so
early as this?"
Eudora slipped a ring from her finger, and putting it in his hand, said,
in a confidential tone, "I am not a fish-woman. I am here in disguise. Go
to your master, and conjure him, if he ever had a daughter that he
loved, to hear the petition of an orphan, who is in great distress."
The man's deportment immediately changed; and as he walked away, he
muttered to himself, "She don't look nor speak like one brought up at
the gates; that's certain."
Eudora and Milza remained in the court for a long time, but with far
less impatience than they had waited at the gate. At length the servant
returned, saying his master was now ready to see them. Eudora followed,
in extreme agitation, with her veil folded closely about her; and when
they were ushered into the presence of Artaphernes, the embarrassment
of her situation deprived her of the power of utterance. With much
kindness of voice and manner, the venerable stranger said: "My servant
told me that one of you was an orphan, and had somewhat to ask of me."
Eudora replied: "O Persian stranger, I am indeed a lonely orphan, in the
power of mine enemies; and I have been warned by a vision to come hither
Something in her words, or voice, seemed to excite surprise, mingled
with deeper feelings; and the old man's countenance grew more troubled,
as she continued: "Perhaps you may recollect a maiden that sung at
Aspasia's house, to whom you afterwards sent a veil of shining texture?"
"Ah, yes," he replied, with a deep sigh: "I do recollect it. They told
me she was Eudora, the daughter of Phidias."
"I am Eudora, the adopted daughter of Phidias," rejoined the maiden. "My
benefactor is dead, and I am friendless."
"Who were your parents?" inquired the Persian.
"I never knew them," she replied. "I was stolen from the Ionian coast by
Greek pirates. I was a mere infant when Phidias bought me."
In a voice almost suffocated with emotion, Artaphernes asked, "Were you
_then_ named Eudora?"
The maiden's heart began to flutter with a new and strange hope, as she
replied, "No one knew my name. In my childish prattle, I called myself
The old man started from his seat--his colour went and came--and every
joint trembled. He seemed to make a strong effort to check some sudden
impulse. After collecting himself for a moment, he said, "Maiden, you
have the voice of one I dearly loved; and it has stirred the deepest
fountains of my heart. I pray you, let me see your countenance."
As Eudora threw off the veil, her long glossy hair fell profusely over
her neck and shoulders, and her beautiful face was flushed with eager
The venerable Persian gazed at her for an instant, and then clasped her
to his bosom. The tears fell fast, as he exclaimed, "Artaminta! My
daughter! My daughter! Image of thy blessed mother! I have sought for
thee throughout the world, and at last I believed thee dead. My only
child! My long-lost, my precious one! May the blessing of Oromasdes be
Whate'er thou givest, generous let it be.
When it was rumoured that Artaphernes had ransomed Eudora and Geta, by
offering the entire sum demanded for the ivory, many a jest circulated
in the agoras, at the expense of the old man who had given such an
enormous price for a handsome slave; but when it became known, that he
had, in some wonderful and mysterious manner, discovered a long-lost
daughter, the tide of public feeling was changed.
Alcibiades at once remitted his claim, which in fact never had any
foundation in justice; he having accepted two statues in payment for the
ivory, previous to the death of Phidias. He likewise formally asked
Eudora in marriage; humbly apologizing for the outrage he had committed,
and urging the vehemence of his love as an extenuation of the fault.
Artaphernes had power to dispose of his daughter without even making any
inquiry concerning the state of her affections; but the circumstances of
his past life induced him to forbear the exercise of his power.
"My dear child," said he, "it was my own misfortune to suffer by an
ill-assorted marriage. In early youth, my parents united me with
Artaynta, a Persian lady, whose affections had been secretly bestowed
upon a near kinsman. Her parents knew of this fact, but mine were
ignorant of it. It ended in wretchedness and disgrace. To avoid the
awful consequences of guilt, she and her lover eloped to some distant
land, where I never attempted to follow them.
Some time after, the Great King was graciously pleased to appoint me
Governor of the sea-coast in Asia Minor. I removed to Ephesus, where I
saw and loved your blessed mother, the beautiful Antiope, daughter of
Diophanes, priest of Zeus. I saw her accidentally at a fountain, and
watched her unobserved, while she bathed the feet of her little sister.
Though younger than myself, she reciprocated the love she had inspired.
Her father consented to our union; and for a few years I enjoyed as
great happiness as Oromasdes ever bestows on mortals. You were our only
child; named Artaminta, in remembrance of my mother. You were scarcely
two years old, when you and your nurse suddenly disappeared. As several
other women and children were lost at the same time, we supposed that
you were stolen by pirates. All efforts to ascertain your fate proved
utterly fruitless. As moon after moon passed away, bringing no tidings
of our lost treasure, Antiope grew more and more hopeless. She was a
gentle, tender-hearted being, that complained little and suffered much.
At last, she died broken-hearted."
After remaining in silent thoughtfulness for a few moments, he added:
"Of my two sons by Artaynta, one died in childhood; the other was killed
in battle, before I came to Athens. I had never ceased my exertions to
discover you; but after I became childless, it was the cherished object
of existence. Some information received from Phoenician sailors led to
the conclusion that I owed my misfortune to Greek pirates; and when the
Great King informed me that he had need of services in Athens, I
cherfully undertook the mission."
"Having suffered severely in my own marriage, I would not willingly
endanger your happiness by any unreasonable exercise of parental
authority. Alcibiades is handsome, rich, and of high rank. How do you
regard his proposal of marriage?"
The colour mounted high in Eudora's cheek, and she answered hastily, "As
easily could I consent to be the wife of Tereus, after his brutal
outrage on the helpless Philomela. I have nothing but contempt to bestow
on the man who persecuted me when I was friendless, and flatters me when
I have wealthy friends."
Artaphernes replied, "I knew not how far you might consider violent love
an excuse for base proceedings; but I rejoice to see that you have pride
becoming your noble birth. For another reason, it gives me happiness to
find you ill-disposed toward this match; for duty will soon call me to
Persia, and having just recovered you in a manner so miraculous, it
would be a grievous sacrifice to relinquish you so soon. But am I so
fortunate as to find you willing to return with me? Are there no strong
ties that bind your heart to Athens?"
Perceiving that Eudora blushed deeply, he added, in an inquiring tone,
"Clinias told me to-day, that Phidias wished to unite you with that
gifted artist, his nephew Pandænus?"
The maiden replied, "I have many reasons to be grateful to Pandænus;
and it was painful to refuse compliance with the wishes of my
benefactor; but if Phidias had commanded me to obey him in this
instance, my happiness would have been sacrificed. Of all countries in
the world, there is none I so much wish to visit as Persia. Of that you
may rest assured, my father."
The old man looked upon her affectionately, and his eyes filled with
tears, as he exclaimed, "Oromasdes be praised, that I am once more
permitted to hear that welcome sound! No music is so pleasant to my ears
as that word--father. Zoroaster tells us that children are a bridge
joining this earth to a heavenly paradise, filled with fresh springs and
blooming gardens. Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices
call him father! But, my daughter, why is it that the commands of
Phidias would have made you unhappy? Speak frankly, Artaminta; lest
hereafter there should be occasion to mourn that we misunderstood each
Eudora then told all the particulars of her attachment to Philæmon, and
her brief infatuation with regard to Alcibiades. Artaphernes evinced no
displeasure at the disclosure; but spoke of Philæmon with great respect
and affection. He dwelt earnestly upon the mischievous effects of such
free customs as Aspasia sought to introduce, and warmly eulogized the
strictness and complete seclusion of Persian education. When Eudora
expressed fears that she might never be able to regain Philæmon's love,
he gazed on her beautiful countenance with fond admiration, and smiled
incredulously as he turned away.
The proposal of Alcibiades was civilly declined; the promised sum paid
to his faithless steward, and the necklace, given by Phidias, redeemed.
Hylax had been forcibly carried to Salamis with his young mistress, lest
his sagacity should lead to a discovery of her prison. When Eudora
escaped from the island, she had reluctantly left him in her apartment,
in order to avoid the danger that might arise from any untimely noise;
but as soon as her own safety was secured, her first thoughts were for
the recovery of this favourite animal, the early gift of Philæmon. The
little captive had pined and moaned continually, during their brief
separation; and when he returned, it seemed as if his boisterous joy
could not sufficiently manifest itself in gambols and caresses.
When Artaphernes was convinced that he had really found his long-lost
child, the impulse of gratitude led to very early inquiries for
Pandænus. The artist had not yet re-appeared; and all Athens was filled
with conjectures concerning his fate. Eudora still suspected that
Alcibiades had secreted him, for the same reason that he had claimed
Geta as a slave; for it was sufficiently obvious that he had desired, as
far as possible, to deprive her of all assistance and protection.
The event proved her suspicions well founded. On the fourth day after
her escape from Salamis, Pandænus came to congratulate Artaphernes, and
half in anger, half in laughter, told the particulars of his story. He
had been seized as he returned home at night, and had been forcibly
conveyed to the mansion of Eurysaces, where he was kept a close
prisoner, with the promise of being released whenever he finished a
picture, which Alcibiades had long desired to obtain. This was a
representation of Europa, just entering the ocean on the back of the
beautiful bull, which she and her unsuspecting companions had crowned
At first, the artist resisted, and swore by Phoebus Apollo that he would
not be thus forced into the service of any man; but an unexpected
circumstance changed his resolution.
There was a long, airy gallery, in which he was allowed to take exercise
any hour of the day. In some places, an open-work partition, richly and
curiously wrought by the skilful hand of Callicrates, separated this
gallery from the outer balustrade of the building. During his walks,
Pandænus often heard sounds of violent grief from the other side of the
screen. Curiosity induced him to listen, and inquire the cause. A sad,
sweet voice answered, "I am Cleonica, daughter of a noble Spartan. Taken
captive in war, and sold to Alcibiades, I weep for my dishonoured lot;
for much I fear it will bring the gray hairs of my mother to an untimely
This interview led to another, and another; and though the mode of
communication was imperfect, the artist was enabled to perceive that the
captive maiden was a tall, queenly figure, with a rich profusion of
sunny hair, indicating a fair and fresh complexion. The result was a
promise to paint the desired picture, provided he might have the Spartan
slave as a recompense.
Alcibiades, equally solicitous to obtain the painting, and to prolong
the seclusion of Pandænus, and being then eager in another pursuit,
readily consented to the terms proposed. After Eudora's sudden change
of fortune, being somewhat ashamed of the publicity of his conduct, and
desirous not to lose entirely the good opinion of Artaphernes, he gave
the artist his liberty, simply requiring the fulfilment of his promise.
"And what are your intentions with regard to this fair captive?"
inquired the Persian, with a significant smile.
With some degree of embarrassment, Pandænus answered, "I came to ask
your protection; and that Eudora might for the present consider her as a
sister, until I can restore her to her family."
"It shall be so," replied Artaphernes; "but this is a very small part of
the debt I owe the nephew of Phidias. Should you hereafter have a favour
to ask of Cleonica's noble family, poverty shall be no obstruction to
your wishes. I have already taken measures to purchase for you a large
estate in Elis, and to remit yearly revenues, which will I trust be
equal to your wishes. I have another favour to ask, in addition to the
many claims you already have upon me. Among the magnificent pictures
that adorn the Poecile, I have not observed the sculptor of your gods. I
pray you exert your utmost skill in a painting of Phidias crowned by the
Muses; that I may place it on those walls, a public monument of my
gratitude to that illustrious man."
"Of his statues and drawings I have purchased all that can be bought in
Athens. The weeping Panthea, covering the body of Abradates with her
mantle, is destined for my royal and munificent master. By the kindness
of Pericles, I have obtained for myself the beautiful group,
representing my precious little Artaminta caressing the kid, in that
graceful attitude which first attracted the attention of her benefactor.
For the munificent Eleans, I have reserved the Graceful Three, which
your countrymen have named the presiding deities over benevolent
actions. All the other statues and drawings of your illustrious kinsman
are at your disposal. Nay, do not thank me, young man. Mine is still the
debt, and my heart will be ever grateful."
The exertions of Clinias, although they proved unavailing, were
gratefully acknowledged by the present of a large silver bowl, on which
the skilful artificer, Mys, had represented, with exquisite delicacy,
the infant Dionysus watched by the nymphs of Naxos.
In the midst of this generosity, the services of Geta and Milza were not
forgotten. The bribe given to the steward was doubled in the payment,
and an offer made to establish them in any part of Greece or Persia,
where they wished to reside.
A decided preference was given to Elis, as the only place where they
could be secure from the ravages of war. A noble farm, in the
neighbourhood of Proclus, was accordingly purchased for them, well
stocked with herds and furnished with all agricultural and household
conveniences. Geta, having thus become an owner of the soil, dropped the
brief name by which he had been known in slavery, and assumed the more
sonorous appellation of Philophidias.
Dione, old as she was, overcame her fear of perils by land and sea, and
resolved to follow her young mistress into Persia.
Before a new moon had begun its course, Pandænus fulfilled his
intention of returning to Olympia, in company with the Lacedæmonian
ambassador and his train. Cleonica, attended by Geta and Milza,
travelled under the same protection. Artaphernes sent to Proclus four
noble horses and a Bactrian camel, together with seven minæ as a
portion for Zoila. For Pterilaüs, likewise, was a sum of money
sufficient to maintain him ten years in Athens, that he might gratify
his ardent desire to become the disciple of Plato. Eudora sent her
little playmate a living peacock, which proved even more acceptable than
her flock of marble sheep with their painted shepherd. To Melissa was
sent a long affectionate epistle, with the dying bequest of Philothea,
and many a valuable token of Eudora's gratitude.
Although a brilliant future was opening before her, the maiden's heart
was very sad, when she bade a last farewell to the honest and faithful
attendants, who had been with her through so many changing scenes, and
aided her in the hour of her utmost need. The next day after their
departure was spent by the Persian in the worship of Mithras, and
prayers to Oromasdes. Eudora, in remembrance of her vision, offered
thanksgiving and sacrifice to Phoebus and Pan; and implored the deities
of ocean to protect the Phoenician galley, in which they were about to
depart from Athens.
These ceremonies being performed, Artaphernes and his weeping daughter
visited the studio of Myron, who, in compliance with their orders, had
just finished the design of a beautiful monument to Paralus and
Philothea, on which were represented two doves sleeping upon garlands.
For the last time, Eudora poured oblations of milk and honey, and placed
fragrant flowers, with ringlets of her hair, upon the sepulchre of her
gentle friend; then, with many tears, she bade a long farewell to scenes
rendered sacred by the remembrance of their mutual love.
A well-towered city, by seven golden gates
Inclosed, that fitted to their lintels hung.
Then burst forth
Aloud the marriage song; and far and wide
Long splendors flashed from many a quivering torch.
When the galley arrived at the opulent city of Tyre, the noble Persian
and his retinue joined a caravan of Phoenician merchants bound to
Ecbatana, honoured at that season of the year with the residence of the
royal family. Eudora travelled in a cedar carriage drawn by camels. The
latticed windows were richly gilded, and hung with crimson curtains,
which her father ordered to be closed at the slightest indication of
approaching travellers. Dione, with six more youthful attendants,
accompanied her, and exerted all their powers to make the time pass
pleasantly; but all their stories of romantic love, of heroes mortal and
immortal, combined with the charms of music, could not prevent her from
feeling that the journey was exceedingly long and wearisome.
She recollected how her lively spirit had sometimes rebelled against the
restraints imposed on Grecian women, and sighed to think of all she had
heard concerning the far more rigid customs of Persia. Expressions of
fatigue sometimes escaped her; and her indulgent parent consented that
she should ride in the chariot with him, enveloped in a long, thick
veil, that descended to her feet, with two small openings of net-work
for the eyes.
As they passed through Persia, he pointed out to her the sacred groves,
inhabited by the Magii: the entrance of the cave where Zoroaster penned
his divine precepts; and the mountain on whose summit he was wont to
hold midnight communication with the heavenly bodies.
Eudora remarked that she nowhere observed temples or altars; objects to
which her eye had always been accustomed, and which imparted such a
sacred and peculiar beauty to Grecian scenery.
Artaphernes replied, "It is because these things are contrary to the
spirit of Persian theology. Zoroaster taught us that the temple of
Oromasdes was infinite space--his altar, the air, the earth, and the
When the travellers arrived within sight of Ecbatana, the setting sun
poured upon the noble city a flood of dazzling light. It was girdled by
seven walls of seven different colours; one rising above the other, in
all the hues of the rainbow. From the centre of the innermost, arose the
light, graceful towers of the royal palace, glittering with gold. The
city was surrounded by fertile, spacious plains, bounded on one side by
Mount Orontes, and on the other by a stately forest, amid whose lofty
trees might here and there be seen the magnificent villas of Persian
Eudora's heart beat violently, when her father pointed to the residence
of Megabyzus, and told her that the gilded balls on its pinnacles could
be discovered from their own dwelling; but maiden shame prevented her
from inquiring whether Philæmon was still the instructor of his sons.
The morning after his arrival, Artaphernes had a private audience with
his royal master. This conference lasted so long, that many of the
courtiers supposed his mission in Greece related to matters of more
political importance than the purchase of pictures and statues; and this
conjecture was afterward confirmed by the favours lavished upon him.
It was soon known throughout the precincts of the court that the
favourite noble had returned from Athens, bringing with him his
long-lost daughter. The very next day, as Eudora walked round the
terraces of her father's princely mansion, she saw the royal carriages
approach, followed by a long train of attendants, remarkable for age and
ugliness, and preceded by an armed guard, calling aloud to all men to
retire before their presence, on pain of death. In obedience to these
commands, Artaphernes immediately withdrew to his own apartment, closed
the shutters, and there remained till the royal retinue departed.
The visiters consisted of Amestris, the mother of Artaxerxes; Arsinöe of
Damascus, his favourite mistress; and Parysatis, his daughter; with
their innumerable slaves. They examined Eudora with more than childish
curiosity; pulled every article of her dress, to ascertain its colour
and its texture; teased to see all her jewels; wanted to know the name
of everything in Greek; requested her to sing Greek songs; were
impatient to learn Ionian dances; conjured her to paint a black streak
from the eyes to the ears; and were particularly anxious to ascertain
what cosmetic the Grecian ladies used to stain the tips of their
When all these important matters were settled, by means of an
interpreter, they began to discuss the merits of Grecian ladies; and
loudly expressed their horror at the idea of appearing before brothers
unveiled, and at the still grosser indelicacy of sometimes allowing the
face to be seen by a betrothed lover. Then followed a repetition of all
the gossip of the harem; particularly, a fresh piece of scandal
concerning Apollonides of Cos, and their royal kinswoman, Amytis, the
wife of Megabyzus. Eudora turned away to conceal her blushes; for the
indelicacy of their language was such as seldom met the ear of a Grecian
The Queen mother was eloquent in praise of a young Lesbian girl, whom
Artaphernes had bought to attend upon his daughter. This was equivalent
to asking for the slave; and the captive herself evinced no
unwillingness to join the royal household; it having been foretold by an
oracle that she would one day be the mother of kings. Amestris accepted
the beautiful Greek, with many thanks, casting a triumphant glance at
Arsinöe and Parysatis, who lowered their brows, as if each had reasons
of her own for being displeased with the arrangement.
The royal guests gave and received a variety of gifts; consisting
principally of jewels, embroidered mantles, veils, tufts of peacock
feathers with ivory handles, parrots, and golden boxes filled with
roseate powder for the fingers, and black paint for the eyebrows. At
length they departed, and Eudora's attendants showered perfumes on them
as they went.
Eudora recalled to mind the pure and sublime discourse she had so often
enjoyed with Philothea, and sighed as she compared it with this
specimen of intercourse with high-born Persian ladies.
When the sun was setting, she again walked upon the terrace; and,
forgetful of the customs of the country, threw back her veil, that she
might enjoy more perfectly the beauty of the landscape. She stood
thoughtfully gazing at the distant pinnacles, which marked the residence
of Megabyzus, when the barking of Hylax attracted her attention, and
looking into the garden, she perceived a richly dressed young man, with
his eyes fixed earnestly upon her. She drew her veil hastily, and
retired within the dwelling, indulging the secret hope that none of her
attendants had witnessed an action, which Artaphernes would deem so
On the following morning commenced the celebrated festival called, 'The
Salutation of Mithras;' during which, forty days were set apart for
thanksgiving and sacrifice. The procession formed long before the rising
of the sun. First appeared a long train of the most distinguished Magii
from all parts of the empire, led by their chief in scarlet robes,
carrying the sacred fire upon a silver furnace. Next appeared an empty
chariot consecrated to Oromasdes, decorated with garlands, and drawn by
white steeds harnessed with gold. This was followed by a magnificent
large horse, his forehead flaming with gems, in honour of Mithras. Then
came the Band of Immortals, and the royal kindred, their Median vests
blazing with embroidery and gold. Artaxerxes rode in an ivory chariot,
richly inlaid with precious stones. He was followed by a long line of
nobles, riding on camels splendidly caparisoned; and their countless
attendants closed the train. This gorgeous retinue slowly ascended
Mount Orontes. When they arrived upon its summit, the chief of the Magii
assumed his tiara interwoven with myrtle, and hailed the first beams of
the rising sun with sacrifice. Then each of the Magii in turns sung
orisons to Oromasdes, by whose eternal power the radiant Mithras had
been sent to gladden the earth, and preserve the principle of life.
Finally, they all joined in one universal chorus, while king, princes,
and nobles, prostrated themselves, and adored the Fountain of Light.
At that solemn moment, a tiger leaped from an adjoining thicket, and
sprung toward the king. But ere the astonished courtiers had time to
breathe, a javelin from some unknown hand passed through the ferocious
animal, and laid him lifeless in the dust.
Eudora had watched the procession from the house-top; and at this moment
she thought she perceived hurried and confused movements, of which her
attendants could give no explanation.
The splendid concourse returned toward the palace in the same order that
it had ascended the mountain. But next to the royal chariot there now
appeared a young man on a noble steed, with a golden chain about his
neck, and two heralds by his side, who ever and anon blew their
trumpets, and proclaimed, "This is Philæmon of Athens, whom the king
delighteth to honour?"
Eudora understood the proclamation imperfectly; but afar off, she
recognized the person of her lover. As they passed the house, she saw
Hylax running to and fro on the top of the wall, barking, and jumping,
and wagging his tail, as if he too were conscious of the vicinity of
some familiar friend. The dog evidently arrested Philæmon's attention;
for he observed him closely, and long continued to look back and watch
A tide of sweet and bitter recollections oppressed the maiden's heart; a
deadly paleness overspread her cheeks; a suffocating feeling choked her
voice; and had it not been for a sudden gush of tears, she would have
When her father returned, he informed her that the life of Artaxerxes
had been saved by the promptitude and boldness of Philæmon, who
happened to perceive the tiger sooner than any other person at the
festival. He added, "I saw Philæmon after the rescue, but we had brief
opportunity to discourse together. I think his secluded habits have
prevented him from hearing that I found a daughter in Athens. He told me
he intended soon to return to his native country, and promised to be my
guest for a few days before he departed. Furthermore, my child, the
Great King, in the fulness of his regal bounty, last night sent a
messenger to demand you in marriage for his son Xerxes."
He watched her countenance, as he spoke; but seemed doubtful how to
understand the fluctuating colour. Still keeping his scrutinizing gaze
fixed upon her, he continued, "Artaminta, this is an honour not to be
lightly rejected; to be princess of Persia now, and hereafter perhaps
In some confusion, the maiden answered, "Perhaps the prince may not
approve his father's choice."
"No, Artaminta; the prince has chosen for himself. He sent his sister to
obtain a view of my newly discovered daughter; and he himself saw you,
as you stood on the terrace unveiled."
In an agitated voice, Eudora asked, "And must I be compelled to obey the
commands of the king?"
"Unless it should be his gracious pleasure to dispense with obedience,"
replied Artaphernes. "I and all my household are his servants. I pray
Oromasdes that you may never have greater troubles than the fear of
becoming a princess."
"But you forget, my dear father, that Parysatis told me her brother
Xerxes was effeminate and capricious, and had a new idol with every
change of the moon. Some fairer face would soon find favour in his
sight; and I should perhaps be shut up with hundreds of forgotten
favourites, in the old harem, among silly women and ugly slaves."
Her father answered, in an excited tone, "Artaminta, if you had been
brought up with more becoming seclusion, like those silly Persian women,
you would perhaps have known, better than you now seem to do, that a
woman's whole duty is submission."
Eudora had never heard him speak so harshly. She perceived that his
parental ambition was roused, and that her indifference to the royal
proposal displeased him. The tears fell fast, as she replied, "Dear
father, I will obey you, even if you ask me to sacrifice my life, at the
command of the king."
Her tears touched the feelings of the kind old man. He embraced her
affectionately, saying, "Do not weep, daughter of my beloved Antiope. It
would indeed gratify my heart to see you Queen of Persia; but you shall
not be made wretched, if my interest with the Great King can prevent
it. All men praise his justice and moderation; and he has pledged his
royal word to grant anything I ask, in recompense for services rendered
in Greece. The man who has just saved his life can no doubt obtain any
favour. But reflect upon it well, my daughter. Xerxes has no son; and
should you give birth to a boy, no new favourite could exclude you from
the throne. Perhaps Philæmon was silent from other causes than ignorance
of your arrival in Persia; and if this be the case, you may repent a too
hasty rejection of princely love."
Eudora blushed like crimson, and appeared deeply pained by this
suggestion; but she made no answer. Artaphernes departed, promising to
seek a private audience with the king; and she saw him no more that
night. When she laid her head upon the pillow, a mind troubled with many
anxious thoughts for a long time prevented repose; and when she did sink
to sleep, it was with a confused medley of ideas, in which the
remembrance of Philæmon's love was mixed up with floating visions of
regal grandeur, and proud thoughts of a triumphant marriage, now placed
within her power, should he indeed prove as unforgiving and indifferent,
as her father had suggested.
In her sleep, she saw Philothea; but a swift and turbid stream appeared
to roll between them; and her friend said, in melancholy tones, "You
have left me, Eudora; and I cannot come to you, now. Whence are these
dark and restless waters, which separate our souls?"
Then a variety of strange scenes rapidly succeeded each other--all
cheerless, perturbed, and chaotic. At last, she seemed to be standing
under the old grape-vine, that shaded the dwelling of Anaxagoras, and
Philæmon crowned her with a wreath of myrtle. In the morning, soon after
she had risen from her couch, Artaphernes came to her apartment, and
mildly asked if she still wished to decline the royal alliance. He
evinced no displeasure when she answered in the affirmative; but quietly
replied, "It may be that you have chosen a wise part, my child; for true
it is, that safety and contentment rarely take up their abode with
princes. But now go and adorn yourself with your richest apparel; for
the Great King requires me to present you at the palace, before the hour
of noon. Let your Greek costume be laid aside; for I would not have my
daughter appear like a foreigner, in the presence of her king."
With a palpitating heart, Eudora resigned herself into the hands of her
Persian tire-women, who so loaded her with embroidery and gems, that she
could scarcely support their weight.
She was conveyed to the palace in a cedar carriage, carefully screened
from observation. Her father rode by her side, and a numerous train of
attendants followed. Through gates of burnished brass, they entered a
small court with a tesselated pavement of black and white marble. Thence
they passed into a long apartment, with walls of black marble, and
cornices heavily gilded. The marble was so highly polished, that Eudora
saw the light of her jewels everywhere reflected like sunbeams.
Surprised by the multiplied images of herself and attendants, she did
not at first perceive, through the net-work of her veil, that a young
man stood leaning against the wall, with his arms folded. This
well-remembered attitude attracted her attention, and she scarcely
needed a glance to assure her it was Philæmon.
It being contrary to Persian etiquette to speak without license within
hearing of the royal apartments, the Athenian merely smiled, and bowed
gracefully to Artaphernes; but an audible sigh escaped him, as he
glanced at the Greek attendants. Eudora hastily turned away her head,
when he looked toward her; but her heart throbbed so violently that
every fold of her veil trembled. They continued thus in each other's
presence many minutes; one in a state of perfect unconsciousness, the
other suffering an intensity of feeling, that seemed like the condensed
excitement of years. At last a herald came to say it was now the
pleasure of the Great King to receive them in the private court, opening
into the royal gardens.
The pavement of this court was of porphyry inlaid with costly marbles,
in various hieroglyphics. The side connected with the palace was adorned
with carved open-work, richly painted and gilded, and with jasper
tablets, alternately surmounted by a golden ram and a winged lion; one
the royal ensign of Persia, the other emblematic of the Assyrian empire
conquered by Cyrus. The throne was placed in the centre, under a canopy
of crimson, yellow, and blue silk, tastefully intermingled and
embroidered with silver and gold. Above this was an image of the sun,
with rays so brilliant, that it dazzled the eyes of those who looked
The monarch seemed scarcely beyond the middle age, with long flowing
hair, and a countenance mild and dignified. On his right hand stood
Xerxes--on his left, Darius and Sogdianus; and around him were a
numerous band of younger sons; all wearing white robes, with jewelled
vests of Tyrian purple.
As they entered, the active buzzing of female voices was heard behind
the gilded open-work of the wall; but this was speedily silenced by a
signal from the herald. Artaphernes prostrated himself, till his
forehead touched the pavement; Eudora copied his example; but Philæmon
merely bowed low, after the manner of the Athenians. Artaxerxes bade
them arise, and said, in a stern tone, "Artaphernes, has thy daughter
prepared herself to obey our royal mandate? Or is she still contemptuous
of our kingly bounty?"
Eudora trembled; and her father again prostrated himself, as he replied:
"O great and benignant king! mayest thou live forever. May Oromandes
bless thee with a prosperous reign, and forever avert from thee the
malignant influence of Arimanius. I and my household are among the least
of thy servants. May the hand that offends thee be cut off, and cast to
"Arise, Artaphernes!" said the monarch: "Thy daughter has permission to
Eudora, awed by the despotic power and august presence of Artaxerxes,
spoke to her father, in a low and tremulous voice, and reminded him of
the royal promise to grant whatever he might ask."
Philæmon turned eagerly, and a sudden flush mantled his cheeks, when he
heard the pure Attic dialect, "with its lovely marriage of sweet
"What does the maiden say?" inquired the king. Artaphernes again paid
homage, and answered; "O Light of the World! Look in mercy upon the
daughter of thy servant, and grant that her petition may find favour in
thy sight. As yet, she hath not gained a ready utterance of the Persian
language--honoured and blessed above all languages, in being the
messenger of thy thoughts, O king. Therefore she spoke in the Greek
tongue, concerning thy gracious promise to grant unto the humblest of
thy servants whatsoever he might ask at thy hands."
Then the monarch held forth his golden sceptre, and replied, "Be it unto
thee, as I have said. I have sought thy daughter in marriage for Xerxes,
prince of the empire. What other boon does Artaphernes ask of the king?"
The Persian approached, and reverently touching the point of the
sceptre, answered: "O King of kings! before whom the nations of the
earth do tremble. Thy bounty is like the overflowing Nilus, and thy
mercy refreshing as dew upon the parched earth. If it be thy pleasure, O
King, forgive Artaminta, my daughter, if she begs that the favour of the
prince, like the blessed rays of Mithras, may fall upon some fairer
damsel. I pray thee have her excused."
Xerxes looked up with an angry frown; but his royal father replied, "The
word of the king is sacred; and his decree changeth not. Be it unto thee
even as thou wilt."
Then turning to Philæmon, he said: "Athenian stranger, our royal life
preserved by thy hand deserves a kingly boon. Since our well beloved son
cannot find favour in the eyes of this damsel, we bestow her upon thee.
Her father is one of the illustrious Pasargadæ, and her ancestors were
not unremotely connected with the princes of Media. We have never looked
upon her countenance--deeming it wise to copy the prudent example of our
cousin Cyrus; but report describes her beautiful as Panthea."
Eudora shrunk from being thus bestowed upon Philæmon; and she would have
said this to her father, had he not checked the first half-uttered word
by a private signal.
With extreme confusion, the Athenian bowed low, and answered, "Pardon
me, O King, and deem me not insensible of thy royal munificence. I pray
thee bestow the daughter of the princely Artaphernes upon one more
worthy than thy servant."
"Now, by the memory of Cyrus!" exclaimed Artaxerxes, "The king's favours
shall this day be likened unto a beggar, whose petitions are rejected at
Then, turning to his courtiers, he added: "A proud nation are these
Greeks! When the plague ravaged all Persia and Media, Hippocrates of Cos
refused our entreaties, and scorned our royal bounty; saying he was born
to serve his own countrymen, and not foreigners. Themistocles, on whom
our mighty father bestowed the revenues of cities, died, rather than
fight for him against Athens; and lo! here is a young Athenian, who
refuses a maiden sought by the Persian prince, with a dowry richer than
Philæmon bowed himself reverently, and replied: "Deem not, O king, that
I am moved by Grecian pride; for well I know that I am all unworthy of
this princely alliance. An epistle lately received from Olympia makes it
necessary for me to return to Greece; where, O king, I seek a beloved
maiden, to whom I was betrothed before my exile."
Eudora had trembled violently, and her convulsive breathing was audible,
while Philæmon spoke; but when he uttered the last words, forgetful of
the reverence required of those who stood in the presence of majesty,
she murmured, "Oh, Philothea!" and sunk into the arms of her father.
The young man started; for now, not only the language, but the tones
were familiar to his heart. As the senseless form was carried into the
garden, he gazed upon it with an excited and bewildered expression.
Artaxerxes smiled, as he said: "Athenian stranger, the daughter of
Artaphernes, lost on the coast of Ionia, was discovered in the household
of Phidias, and the Greeks called her Eudora."
Philæmon instantly knelt at the monarch's feet, and said, "Pardon me, O
king. I was ignorant of all this. I ----"
He would have explained more fully; but Artaxerxes interrupted him; "We
know it all, Athenian stranger--we know it all. You have refused
Artaminta, and now we bestow upon you Eudora, with the revenues of
Magnesia and Lampsacus for her dowry."
Before the next moon had waned, a magnificent marriage was celebrated in
the court of audience, opening into the royal gardens. On a shining
throne, in the midst of a stately pavilion, was seated Artaxerxes,
surrounded by the princes of the empire. Near the throne stood Philæmon
and Eudora. Artaphernes placed the right hand of the bride within the
right hand of the bridegroom, saying, "Philæmon of Athens, I bestow upon
thee, Artaminta, my daughter, with my estates in Pasagarda, and five
thousand darics as her dowry."
The chief of the Magii bore sacred fire on a silver censer, and the
bridal couple passed slowly around it three times, bowing reverently to
the sacred emblem of Mithras. Then the bridegroom fastened a golden
jewel about the bride's neck, and they repeated certain words, promising
fidelity to each other. The nuptial hymn was sung by six handsome
youths, and as many maidens, clothed in white garments, with a purple
Numerous lamps were lighted in the trees, making the gardens bright as
noon. Women belonging to the royal household, and to the most favoured
of the nobility, rode through the groves and lawns, in rich pavilions,
on the backs of camels and white elephants. As the huge animals were led
along, fireworks burst from under their feet, and playing for a moment
in the air, with undulating movements, fell in a sparkling shower.
Artaxerxes gave a luxurious feast, which lasted seven days; during which
time the Queen entertained her guests with equal splendour, in the
apartments of the women.
The Athenian decree against those of foreign parentage had been repealed
in favour of young Pericles; but in that country everything was in a
troubled and unsettled state; and Artaphernes pleaded hard to have his
daughter remain in Persia.
It was therefore decided that the young couple should reside at
Pasagarda, situated in a fertile valley, called the Queen's Girdle,
because its revenues were appropriated to that costly article of the
royal wardrobe. This pleasant city had once been the favourite residence
of Cyrus the Great, and a plain obelisk in the royal gardens marked his
burial-place. The adjacent promontory of Taoces afforded a convenient
harbour for Tyrian merchants, and thus brought in the luxuries of
Phoenicia, while it afforded opportunities for literary communication
between the East and the West. Here were celebrated schools under the
direction of the Magii, frequently visited by learned men from Greece,
Ethiopia, and Egypt.
Philæmon devoted himself to the quiet pursuits of literature; and
Eudora, happy in her father, husband and children, thankfully
acknowledged the blessings of her lot.
Her only daughter, a gentle maiden, with plaintive voice and earnest
eyes, bore the beloved name of Philothea.
_Zeus_--The Jupiter of the Romans.
_Zeus Xenius_--Jupiter the Hospitable.
_Pallas Athena_--An ancient appellation of Minerva, from which Athens
took its name.
_Pallas Parthenia_--Pallas the Virgin.
_Pallas Promachos_--Pallas the Defender.
_Phoebus_--The Apollo of the Romans; the Sun.
_Phoebus Apollo_--Phoebus the Destroyer, or the Purifier.
_Phoebe_--Diana; the Moon.
_Agrotera_--Diana the Huntress.
_Orthia_--Name of Diana among the Spartans.
_Urania_--The Heavenly Venus. The same name was applied to the Muse of
_Pandamator_--A name of Vulcan, signifying the All-subduing.
_Mnemosyne_--Goddess of Memory.
_Rhamnusia_--Name of a statue of Nemesis, goddess of Vengeance; so
called because it was in the town of Rhamnus.
_Taraxippus_--A deity whose protection was implored at Elis, that no
harm might happen to the horses.
_Erinnys_--The Eumenides, or Furies.
_Naiades_--Nymphs of Rivers, Springs, and Fountains.
_Nereides_--Nymphs of the Sea.
_Oreades_--Nymphs of the Mountains.
_Dryades_--Nymphs of the Woods.
_Oromasdes_--Persian name for the Principle of Good.
_Mithras_--Persian name for the Sun.
_Arimanius_--Persian name for the Principle of Evil.
_Cordax_--An immodest comic dance.
_Agora_--A Market House.
_Prytaneum_--The Town House.
_Deigma_--A place in the Piræus, corresponding to the modern Exchange.
_Cotylæ_--A measure. Some writers say one third of a quart; others much
_Arytana_--A small cup.
_Arabyllus_--A vase, wide at bottom and narrow at top.
_Archons_--Chief Magistrates of Athens.
_Prytanes_--Magistrates who presided over the Senate.
_Epistates_--Chairman, or speaker.
_Stadium_--Thirty-six and a half rods.
_Obulus_, (plural _Oboli_)--A small coin, about the value of a penny.
_Drachma_, (plural _Drachmæ_)--About ten-pence sterling.
_Mina_, (plural _Minæ_)--Four pounds, three shillings, four pence.
_Stater_--A gold coin; estimated at about twelve shillings, three pence.
_Daric_--A Persian gold coin, valued one pound, twelve shillings, three
(All the above coins are estimated very differently by different writers.)
* * * * *
"The midnight procession of the Panathenæa." p. 11.
This festival in honour of Pallas was observed early in the summer,
every fifth year, with great pomp.
"The Sacred Peplus." p. 12.
This was a white garment consecrated to Pallas, on which the actions of
illustrious men were represented in golden embroidery.
"Festival of Torches." p. 15.
In honour of Prometheus. The prize was bestowed on him who ran the
course without extinguishing his torch.
"Six months of seclusion within the walls of the Acropolis, were
required of the Canephoræ." p. 22.
Maidens of the first families were selected to embroider the sacred
peplus. The two principal ones were called Canephoræ, because they
carried baskets in the Panathenaic procession.
"Fountain of Byblis." p. 33.
This name was derived from a young Ionian, passionately fond of her
brother Caunus, for whom she wept till she was changed into a fountain,
"During the festivities of the Dionysia." p. 42.
This festival, in honour of Dionysus, was observed with great splendour.
Choragic games are supposed to have been celebrated; in which prizes
were given to the successful competitors in music, and the drama.
"The tuneful soul of Marsyas." p. 43.
Marsyas was a celebrated musician of Phrygia, generally considered the
inventor of the flute.
"Contest between fighting quails." p. 43.
In Athens, quails were pitched against each other, in the same manner as
game-cocks among the moderns.
"Pericles withdrew a rose from the garland." p. 44.
This flower was sacred to Silence. The ancients often suspended it above
the table at feasts, to signify that what was said _sub rosa_ was not to
"A life-time as long as that conferred upon the namesake of Tithonus."
It is related of him, that he asked and obtained the gift of immortality
in this world; but unfortunately forgot to ask for youth and vigour.
"Eleusinian Mysteries." p. 47.
Ceremonies at Eleusis, in honour of Demeter, observed with great
secrecy. Those who were initiated were supposed to be peculiarly under
the protection of the gods.
"Model for the sloping roof of the Odeum." p. 54.
Pericles was usually represented with a helmet, to cover the deformity
in his skull. It was jestingly said that the model for the Odeum was
from his own head.
"Patriotic song of Callistratus." p. 56.
Translated from the Greek, by the Rt. Rev. G. W. Doane, Bishop of New
"While our rosy fillets shed," &c. p. 57.
The 43d Ode of Anacreon. This and other extracts from the same poet are
translated by Thomas Moore, Esq.
"All ending in ippus and ippides." p. 61.
Ippus is the Greek for horse. Wealthy Athenians generally belonged to
the equestrian order; to which the same ideas of honour were attached as
to the knights, or cavaliers, of modern times. Their names often
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