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course of time it may happen, that posterity will be puzzled which master to ascribe it to.
• There are many more pictures well deserving your attentive notice, particularly that by Pamphilus, which represents Alcmena with Heraclidæ asking aid of the Athenians against Eurystheus: and this inspired old figure by Polygnotus with a lyre in his hand, which is the portrait of no less a person than the great Sophocles ;-but come, let us be gone, for we have much besides to see; and I perceive Zeno coming this way with his scholars to hold his lectures in this portico; and I for one must confess I am no friend to the Stoics, or as we call them the Zenonians.'
LIBANIUS IN ORATIONE.
Ad vetustissimam et sapientissimam et diis carissimum en commu.
nem amasiam, hominumque ac Deorum terram, Athenas mit
tebaris. . From the painted portico, in which my last was dated, my Athenian conductor took me to the Ptolemaic Gymnasium, in which I observed several statues of Mercury in marble, and others of brass, which he cxplained to me to be of Ptolemy the founder, Juba and Chrysippus the philosopher. There was one of Berosus the astrologer with a tongue of pure gold, in commemoration of his divine predictions: on one hand of me stood the doric temple of Theseus, enriched with some inestimable paintings of Micon, particularly one upon the sub
ject of the fight of the Lapithæ and Centaurs: on the other hand was the antient temple of the Dioscuri, in which I was shewn many capital pictures by Polygnotus; it is here, says my conductor, we administer to the Athenian youth that solemn oath, which binds them not to desert their ranks in action, but to perish, when necessity so requires, in defence of their country ; the form is rather long, says he, but this is the substance of the oath. The Prytaneum, or Court-house, was now in view, where the magistracy of the city assemble for the dispatch of public business: here I saw the venerable laws of Solon in a chest of stone, the statues of Pax and Vesta, and (which were more interesting to me) the figures of Miltiades and Themistocles of exquisite workmanship in pure marble; in this place all those citizens, and the posterity of those who have deserved well of the state, receive their public doles or allowance of bread in cakes composed of meal, oil, and water; here also I saw the perpetual fire upon the altar of Vesta, and the celebrated image of the Bona Fortuna of the Athenians. In the adjoining temple of Lucina I was shewn the famous statues of that deity clothed in drapery to the feet :
: my guide now carried me to the great temple of Olympian Jupiter, founded by the tyrant Pisistratùs, and perfected by his sons and successors. I observed to my conductor, that I had seen no temple in Athens, except this, with interior columns; he informed me that the great span of the roof made it necessary in this instance, but that it was contrary to their rule of architecture and obtained in no other : he further told me, that the city bad expended ten thousand talents in this edifice: the image of the god was cut in ivory and gold; to every column was uffixed a brazen statue, representing the colonial cities of the Athenian empire. The display of sta
tuary exceeded all description or belief, nor was the painter's art wanting in its share of the decoration ; for wherever pictures could be disposed, and particularly about the pedestal of the statue of Jupiter, the most capital paintings were to be seen.
My sight was now so dazzled with the display of brilliant images, and my mind so overpowered with the miracles of art, which had passed in review, that I beseeched my guide to carry me either to some of those groves which were in my eye, where I could meditate on what I had seen, or to spectacles of any other sort according to his choice and discretion, for otherwise I should apprehend, from the variety of objects, I should retain the memory of none. He told me in reply, that this was his intention, observing that the proportion I had seen was very small indeed to what the city contained; there was however one more statue, which he could not dispense with himself from shewing me, being a model of beauty and perfection; and having so said, methought he took me into a neighbouring garden, and in a grove of cypress and myrtle presented to my view the most exquisite piece of sculpture I had ever beheld.-This, says he, is the Venus called Celestial, the workmanship of the immortal Alcamen.--After I had contemplated this divine original with astonishment and rapture, I was satisfied within myself, that we are mistaken in supposing it has descended to us, and I now acknowledge that our celestial Venus is a copy far inferior to its inimitable prototype. Having examined this statue for some time, I turned to my conductor and said :--Let us gratify our senses in some other way; I have seen enough of art.
• It is impossible to avoid it, replies he, in this city, and so saying led me into the Lyceum; this Gymnasium, says he, has been lately instituted by Pericles, and these plantations of plane-trees are of his making ; so are these aqueducts; the Lyceum was originally dedicated to Pastoral Apollo; and owes its foundation and beauty in the first instance to the elegant Pisistratus, who from the surprising resemblance of their persons we now call the elder Pericles. The place is delightful, and before you leave it take notice of this statue of Apollo; the artist has described him in the attitude of resting after his daily course; you see he leans against a column; his right arm bent over his head, and in his left he holds his bow; it is a first-rate piece of sculpture. Leaving the Lyceumn my conductor took me by the way of the Tripods; here he shewed me the inimitable satyr in brass, the boasted master-piece of Praxiteles, and the Cupid and Bacchus of Thymilus; we were now close by the theatre, in the portico of which I was shewn the statue of Eschylus, and two pedestals for the statues of Sophocles and Euripides, then under the artist's hands, although both those poets were now living: the doors of the theatre were not yet opened, and the temple of Venus being near at hand, methought we entered, and I beheld the beautiful Cupid crowned with roses, painted by Zeuxis; from hence I could see the works that Pes ricles had been carrying on upon the citadel, but this we did not enter.
Methought I was now carried into the theatre amidst a prodigious crowd of people; the comedy of the night was intitled The Clouds, and the famous Aristophanes was announced to be the author of it. It was expected that Socrates would be personally attacked, and a great party of that philosopher's enemies were assembled to support the poet. I was much surprized, when my companion pointed out to me that great philosopher in person, who had actually taken his seat in the theatre, and was sitting
between Alcibiades and Antipho the son of Pericles; hy the side of Alcibiades sate Euripides, and at Antipho's left hand sate Thucydides; I never beheld two more venerable old r.en than the poet and the historian, nor such comely persons as Alcibiades and Antipho: Socrates was exceedingly like the busts we have of him, his head was hald, his beard bushy, and his stature low; there was something very deterring in his countenance; his person was mean and his habit squalid; his vest was of loose drapery, thrown over his left shoulder after the fashion of a Spanish Capa, and seemed to be of coarse cloth, made of black wool undyed; he had a short staff in his hand of knotted wood with a round head, which he was continually rubbing in the palm of his hand, as he talked with Alcibiades, to whom he principally addressed his discourse : Thucydides had lately returned from exile upon a general amnesty, and I observed a melancholy in his countenance mixed with indignation; Euripides seemed employed in examining the countenances of the spectators, whilst Antipho with great modesty paid a most respectful attention to the venerable philosopher on his right hand. Whilst I was engaged in observing this respectable group, my conductor whispered the following words in my ear— This is the second attack from the same hands upon Socrates; that of last year was defeated by Alcibiades; but if this night's comedy succeeds, I predict that our philosopher is undone : and in truth his school is much out of credit; for some of the worst characters of the
have come out of his hands of late.'
• When the players came first on the stage there was so great a murmur in the theatre, that I could scarce hear them; after a short time however the silence became pretty general, and the plot of the play, such as it was, began to open.