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who is even thought to have written not only the Iliad and Odyssey, but a number of other poems, to be fung at feasts, by hisself or others, to the sound of the lyre. Nor is it the leaft derogation to the father of poetry to be found in this character. Tle bards or chanters of ancient Greece were treated with the highest respect, and even regarded as person's divinely inspired (22). Neither does this distinction appear to have arisen more from their extraordinary talents, than from their exemplary virtues, Agamemnon leaves one of them as the properest guardian or monitor of his wife Clytemnestra; that she, by continually hearing sung the praises of women, eminent for their chastity and goodness, might continue virtuous through emulation. Nor could Ægisthus corrupt her till he had dispatched the musician in a desert island (23),
The poetical part of the song, the melody, and the dance, are frequently represented, in ancient authors, as one and the same thing, and were certainly called by one and the same name. We find the youths in Homer dancing to the song. In the warlike dance, one youth strikes the lyre, others fing the song, the rest dance. The dance was in. imitation of the things expressed in thewords of the song. A ceremony which Xenophon in his Expedition, relates to have been practised at the feast of Seuthes the Thracian (24).
Songs for the table, however, were by much the most numerous. Originally it Thould seem that, after the repast, all the guefts sung, either together, or in their turns. The custom was, in the latter case, for the finger to hold in his hand a branch of myrtle, which was passed from one to another, according to the rank or ftation they occupied at table (25).
Afterwards, when the lyre was introduced, and finga ing required more than ordinary talents, that instrument, (22) Burney, 1. 357.
(23) Athenæus, p. 14. (24) Athenæus, p. 15. where is a curious account of a warlike dance. (25) M. de la Nauge. b4
with, perhaps, the myrtle, was sent to those only wha were of diftinguished merit, or known to possess the requisite abilities, whereever they might happen to be placed ( 26). Hence it was that, from the irregular fituation of the performers, the songs obtained the name of Scolia, or unequal, a term afterwards applied to songs in gene, ral. This practice is said to have been invented by Terpander, who flourished in the twenty-fifth Olympiad, i.e, about 680 years before Christ. Perhaps the time of that poet was only the æra of its commencement.
Athenæus tells us, that the Scolia were originally sung after the common songs by ordinary persons were over; for then, says he, it was the custom for each wise man to produce some elegant song; and it was admired as elegant, if it contained some precept or sentiment useful in life (27).
These Scolia were on all subjects; but chiefly on those of love and wine. That “ Love inspires music and “poetry," was a celebrated sentiment among the Greeks, and makes the subject of a question in Plutarch (28). The learned Frenchman, who has treated this difficult subject with a degree of comprehension and perspicuity not easily paralleled in fimilar disquisitions (29), has arranged them under the following heads: 1. Moral, 2. Mythological and hitorical, 3. Common and ordinary subjects. Of all which, fufficient fpecimens, either entire or in fragiments, are preserved by Athenæus and other ancient writers.
The most famous and pleasing writers of Scolia on love, wine, and good chear, are Alcæus and Anacreon. “Sing me," says a character in Arifophaneses comedy of the Banqueters, Sing me,” says he, one of the
(26) It has been thought by some that when a guest declined to receive the lyre, from a want of skill, they immediately sent nim a mvrte branch, to which be was, in that case, obliged to ling. Hence, it is paid, to bid a man “ling to the myrile,” become a commo i proverbial expreflion; implying that he wanted learning or eloquence to rungle in the conyert:tion of men of bitters and genius. Erasmi Adagia, 947. See allo Potters Antiquiries of Greece, IĮ. 403. (27) 1. 15. p. 693 (28' M. de la Nauze. (29) Idem.
« Scolia of Alcæus or Anacreon.” The former, in one of
and in all situations of life (30). The lyric rhapsodies of Anacreon are well known; they are pure Scolia, and every thing we can imagine the most perfect and elegant songs on those subjects should be. But, however excellent or admirable the compositions of this great poet are, we ought not to suppose that he was without a rival. The following song, preserved by Athenæus (31), is altogether in his best fpirit.
Quaff with me the purple wine,
Into dull fobriety.
Among the Scolia of this description, few are so frequently mentioned, or so much applauded by ancient writers, as those in praise of Harmodius and Ariftogiton, whose story is shortly this. Hipparchus, one of the sons and successors of Pififtratus,who had ufurped the regal power in Athens, having publicly insulted the fifter of Harmodius, he, in conjunction with his friend Aristogiton, few the tyrant at the Panathenean games: an event which was the lignal to the Athenians to recover their liberty (32). These songs appear to have been numerous. One of them, beginning, * There was never an Athenian,” is mentioned by Aristophanes, in his comedy of the Wolps, where it is proposed to be sung at table by the old mans son. But the most celebrated is, undoubtedly, that preserved by Athenæus, of which the following is a translation. The author is supposed to be one Calliitratus, whom the present bishop of (30) M. de la Nauze. (31) I. 15. (32) Burney, I. 469.
London has pronounced an ingenious poet and excellens citizen (33).
In myrtle leaves I'll wear my sword,
The world your praises shall resound,
And Athens freedom gain'd by you (34). The song of Eriphanis, addressed to her lover Menalcas, called Nomion;- of Calyce, whose story resembles that of Sappho ;--and of Harpalyce, were famous love songs among the Greeks, but are now loft (35).
The moral and miscellaneous Scolia, according to dr, Burney, are wonderfully simple and insipid. He gives a Titeral version of one, which does not, it must be confessed, appear to have any extraordinary merit. It is this: (but the latter part, which is less intelligible, and, indeed, appears to labour under fome considerable mistake, is not vanslated by dr. Burney:)
"Son of Telamon, warlike Ajax! they say you are the ** bravest of the Grecians who came to Troy, next to A
(33) De facxa Poefi. The learned prelate spiritedly adds, that such a Fong in the mouths of the people of Rome after the death of Cæfar, would have been of more service than all Ciceros Philippics. a mebercule valuiffet," says he, "unum 'Agnosis ugdos quàm Ciceronis * Pbilippicæ omnes."
(34) A different, and far from inelegant, version may be read in dr. Berneys history (I. 469). The ingenious author is, however, (though fupported by the authority of Casaubon) certainly mistaken, in confi. dering the long as two difind fragments. 633) M. de la Nauza
"chilles. (They say that Telamon was the first and Ajax «s the second who came to Troy, next to Achilles.]"
Another, of which, as the same ingenious writer pleasantly observes, neither the poetry nor morality is very exalted,
thus : • He who does not betray his friend, has great honour r both with gods and men,-in my opinion (36).”
Alcman was one of the first and most eminent composers of songs upon love and gallantry, He is faid to haya banished hexameters, and adopted a fhor measure for his verses, which, from being sung to the lyre, afterwards obtained the name of lyrics. He sung his airs to the founder of the Aute. A few fragments of his numerous and celebrated compositions are imagined to be still extant(37).
Simonides, a famous bard, who fourished about the year 500 before Christ, composed songs of victory and triumph for the conquerors at public games. His poetry was so tender and plaintive, that he was called Melicertes, sweet as honey; and the tearful eye of his Muse was pro verbial. A beautiful fragment of this poet is preserved by Dionyfius of Halicarnassus (38). We may
likewise rank Pindar in the list of writers of Scolia, not on account of his odes, which, though written for, and sung to the lyre, are undoubtedly no fongs, but on the authority of Athenæus, who has inferted pieces of that description under his name.
Sapphos elegance as a poetess is too well known to need mentioning here. The fragment preserved by Longinus, of which mr. Philips has given fa happy a
(36) The author of this Scolium, does not, however, on confuking Athenæus, appear to have had perfect justice done him.
“ Alas! alas! Lipsydrium, betrayer of thy friends, what heroes " thou haft destroyed, men brave in battle, and lovers of their country, « who then shewed from what ancestors they fprung. The man who “ betrays not his friend, deserves, in my opinion, great glory among “ men and gods."Lipsydrjum was a place in Attica, of which the Alçmæonidæ, (the family or relations of the patriot Megacles) took poffeffion, and fortified it against the Pififtratidæ, the ufurping lovereigns of Athens. The former were routed with great Naughter. (37) Barney, I. 357 (38) Idem, I. 995.