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A bath to the Greeks, as we might expect at least, in their later development was a great enjoyment, if not a necessity of life. The epigrammatists supply us with many pleasant and playful inscriptions for baths or bathing places, illustrating their virtues and attractions. The purity and freshness of the water are natural themes of eulogium, and the patronage of divine beings is readily supposed. Here is a selection, all of them apparently anonymous: --

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This bath may boast the Graces' own to be,-
And for that reason it holds only three.

Or thus:

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Here bathed the Graces, and at leaving gave
Their choicest splendors to requite the wave.

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Or thus, which we may suppose written of the draped Graces:

Here bathed the Graces, and, by way of payment,

Left half their charms when they resumed their raiment.

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Here Venus bathed, ere she to Paris' eyes
Displayed the immortal form that gained the prize

Straight from this bath went Venus, wet and dripping;
To Paris showed herself. and won the pippin.

Either these waves gave Venus birth, or she,
Her form here bathing, made them what we see.


Blame not things little: Grace may on them wait.
Cupid is little; but his godhead's great.

We are warned, however, that excess in the use of the warm bath, as in other indulgences, may be injurious:

Wine and the bath, and lawless love for ladies,
Just send us quicker down the hill to Hades.

Some vices are particularly obnoxious to the satirical epigrammatist, especially avarice and envy :—


(By Pallas: translation altered from Wellesley.)

Most people dine but once, but when we've dined
With our friend Salaminus,

We dine again at home, for faith! we find
He did not truly dine us.


(By Lucilius: translation altered from Cowper.)

Asclepiades, the Miser, in his house
Espied one day, with some surprise, a mouse:
"Tell me, dear mouse," he cried, "to what cause is it
I owe this pleasant but unlooked-for visit?"

The mouse said, smiling: "Fear not for your hoard:

I come, my friend, to lodge, and not to board."

There are several vigorous denunciations of the vice of envy. This is anonymous:

Envy is vile, but plays a useful part,

Torturing in envious men both eyes and heart.

This is in that exaggerated style which the epigrams sometimes exhibit. It is by Lucilius the translation from Wellesley :

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Poor Diophon of envy died,
His brother thief to see

Nailed near him, to be crucified,

Upon a higher tree.

But the best epigram on this subject is to be found in one which seems to describe a picture of Momus the faultfinder, the impersonation of Envy, perhaps also, some will say, of Criticism, the Power who could produce nothing excellent himself, and who never saw unmixed excellence in the works of others. The picture is supposed to have been by Apelles. The epigram is anonymous; the translation partly from Hay :

Who here has formed, with faultless hand and skill,
Fault-finding Momus, source of endless ill?

On the bare earth his aged limbs are thrown,

As if in life, to lie and sigh and groan.

His frame is wasted, and his scanty hairs

One trembling hand from his thin temple tears:

With his old staff the other strikes the ground,

Which all insensate to the blows is found.

In double row his gnashing teeth declare

How much his neighbor's weal o'erwhelms him with despair. Swift made a well-known epitaph upon Vanbrugh as an architect:

Lie heavy on him, earth, for he
Laid many a heavy load on thee.

This is nearly the counterpart of the following Greek epigram:

Hail, Mother Earth! lie light on him
Whose tombstone here we see:
Æsigenes, his form was slim,

And light his weight on thee.

A similar request is made in another epigram by Ammianus, but with a very different feeling. The translation is by

Merivale :

Light lie the earth, Nearchus, on thy clay,-
That so the dogs may easier find their prey.

This anonymous epigram is upon a matricide, who does not deserve burial :

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Bury him not! no burial is for him:

Let hungry dogs devour him limb by limb.

Our general Mother, Earth, on her kind breast
Will ne'er allow a matricide to rest.

The satirical epigrammatists indulge often in national invective, and indeed the Greeks were too fond of abusing some of their neighbors. Here are specimens:

A viper bit a Cappadocian's hide;

But 'twas the viper, not the man, that died.

The natives of many other countries besides Cappadocia were called bad: among the rest the Lerians; thus:

Lerians are bad: not some bad, and some not,
But all; there's not a Lerian in the lot,

Save Procles, that you could a good man call;
And Procles is a Lerian after all.

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Our readers will here recognize the original of a well-known epigram by Porson, which exists both in a Greek and English shape, and where the satirist, after denouncing the Germans as all ignorant of Greek meters, concludes:

All, save only Hermann;
And Hermann's a German.

It was unfortunate for poor Hermann that his name and his nationality rhymed so well together.

An epigram may here be given in conclusion on this head, as tending, perhaps, to illustrate the transition by which the satirical Greek epigram came to resemble the favorite style of Martial, which has been so much adopted in modern times. The epigram we refer to is by Lucilius:

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A little pig, an ox, a goat (my only one), I lost,

And Menecles, to plead my cause, I fee'd at some small cost.
I only wanted back my beasts, which seemed my simple due;
Then, Menecles, what had I with Othryades to do?

I never thought in this affair to charge with any theft
The men who, at Thermopylæ, their lives and bodies left.
My suit is with Eutychides; and if I get decree,
Leonidas and Xerxes both are welcome to go free.
Plead my true case: lest I cry out (I can't my feelings

"The little pig one story tells, and Menecles another."

This satire upon a certain class of lawyers agrees completely with an epigram of Martial's; and as Lucilius and he lived nearly about the same time, it would be interesting to know if the one was borrowed from the other, and which. The preponderance of evidence rather is that Lucilius, as Lessing thinks, was a century, or at least half a century, later than Martial, and is probably, therefore, the imitator in this matter, though his imitation is not slavish. Martial's epigram has been translated into French by La Monnoye.

This chapter may be concluded with a mild satire upon the condition of the times, with reference to the two ancient worthies, Heraclitus and Democritus, the weeping and the laughing philosopher. The translation is mainly from Prior:

Sad Heraclitus, with thy tears return;

Life more than ever gives us cause to mourn.
Democritus, dear droll, revisit earth:

Life more than ever gives us cause for mirth.
Between you both I stand in thoughtful pother,
How I should weep with one, how laugh with t'other.



[LORD GEORGE NOEL GORDON BYRON: A famous English poet; born in London, January 22, 1788. At the age of ten he succeeded to the estate and title of his granduncle William, fifth Lord Byron. He was educated at Harrow and Cambridge, and in 1807 published his first volume of poems, "Hours of Idleness." After a tour through eastern Europe he brought out two cantos of "Childe Harold," which met with instantaneous success, and soon after he married the heiress Miss Millbanke. The union proving unfortunate, Byron left England, and passed several years in Italy. In 1823 he joined the Greek insurgents in Cephalonia, and later at Missolonghi, where he died of a fever April 19, 1824. His chief poetical works are: "Childe Harold," "Don Juan,' 'Manfred," 66 Cain,' ""Marino Faliero," "Sardanapalus,' "The Giaour," "Bride of Abydos," "The Corsair,” “Lara," and "Mazeppa."]


THE isles of Greece! The isles of Greece!

Where burning Sappho loved and sung, -
Where grew the arts of war and peace,
Where Delos rose and Phoebus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet, -
But all, except their sun, is set.

The Scian and the Teian muse,

The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse;
Their place of birth alone is mute
To sounds that echo further west
Than your sires' "Islands of the Blest."

The mountains look on Marathon,

And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,

I dreamed that Greece might still be free;
For, standing on the Persian's grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.

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