God's wisdom is infinite-extends through time and eternity, and to all beings and events, and appoints and executes all his laws. Man's wisdom extends to all his duties—his virtues and his knowledge. Human wisdom is like divine wisdom, but infinitely less in degree. It is sufficient to enable man to do right, to please God, and to make him happy.

Solomon, in the book of Proverbs, has personified Wisdom—that is, spoken of this moral attribute of God as of an intelligent and living being. The power and virtue which the heathen imputed to Minerva, are far less exalted than the power and virtue of that Wisdom which the king of Israel described.

Solomon makes Wisdom say, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Receive my instruction and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not. He that sinneth against me, wrongeth his own soul. O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. Hear: for I will speak of excellent things ; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

“The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth : while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

“When he prepared the heaven I was there : when he set a compass upon the face of the depth : when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep : when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass bis commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth : then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.”

CIRCE'S PALACE. The following description of Circe's palace, and the transformations she wrought, is taken from the tenth book of the Odyssey.

“The palace in a woody vale they found,
High rais'd of stone; a shaded space around :
Where mountain wolves and brindled lions roam,
(By magic tam’d) familiar to the dome.
With gentle blandishment our men they meet,
And wag their tails, and fawning lick their feet.
As from some feast a man-returning late,
His faithful dogs all meet him at the gate,
Rejoicing round, some morsel to receive,
(Such as the good man ever us’d to give.)
Domestic thus the grisly beasts draw near;
They gaze with wonder, not unmix'd with fear.
Now on the threshold of the dome they stood,
And heard a voice resounding through the wood:
Plac'd at her loom within, the goddess sung;
The vaulted roofs and solid pavement rung.
O'er the fair web the rising figures shine,
Immortal labour ! worthy hands divine.
Polites to the rest the question mov'd,
(A gallant leader, and a man I lov’d.)

What voice celestial, chanting to the loom
(Or nymph, or goddess) echoes from the room?
Say shall we seek access ? with that they call;
And wide unfold the portals of the hall.

The goddess rising, asks her guests to stay,
Who blindly follow where she leads the way.
Eurylochus alone of all the band,
Suspecting fraud, more prudently remain’d.
On thrones around with downy cov'rings grac'd,
With semblance fair th’ unhappy men she plac'd.
Milk newly press'd, the sacred flour of wheat,
And honey fresh, and Pramnian wines the treat:
But venom'd was the bread, and mix'd the bowl,
With drugs of force to darken all the soul ;

Soon in the luscious feast themselves they lost,
And drank oblivion of their native coast.
Instant her circling wand the goddess waves,
To hogs transforms 'em, and the sty receives.
No more was seen the human form divine;
Head, face, and members, bristle into swine :
Still curst with sense, their minds remain alone,
And their own voice affrights them when they groan.
Meanwhile the goddess in disdain bestows
The mast and acorn, brutal food! and stows
The fruits of cornel, as their feast around;
Now prone and grov'ling on unsav'ry ground.”


When Ulysses was absent, the princes and noblemen of the neighbouring countries went into his kingdom, lived in his palace, fed upon his flocks, and severally demanded the queen Penelope in marriage-these, in the Odyssey, are called the Suitors.

Penelope, who loved her husband, refused them all, and lived with her son Telemachus in Ithaca, always in hopes of the return of Ulysses. After twenty years from his departure for Troy, he again entered the walls of his palace in the disguise of a beggar: he was treated with kindness by the Queen and Telemachus, but with contempt and insolence by the Suitors ; however he was soon recognized by an old domestic. In due time he declared himself, and with his son and their faithful adherents, killed the Suitors, and was restored to his ancient dignity. ;

ARGUS. A very interesting account is given of the dog Argus, who recognized his master Ulysses, when he approached his palace, attended by Eumaus, an old servant. This sagacious dog has been celebrated for three thousand years, and his history is thus related in the Odyssey,

“ Thus, near the gates conferring as they drew, Argus, the dog his ancient master knew;l He, not unconcious of the voice, and tread, Lifts to the sound his ear, and rears his head; Bred by Ulysses, nourish'd at his board, But ah! not fated long to please his lord ! To him, his swiftness and his strength were vain; The voice of glory call'd him o'er the main. 'Till then in ev'ry sylvan chase renown'd, With Argus, Argus, rung the woods around; With him the youth pursu'd the goat or fawn, Or trac'd the mazy leveret o'er the lawn. Now left to man's ingratitude he lay, Unhous’d, neglected in the public way; And where on heaps the rich manure was spread, Obscene with reptiles, took his sordid bed.

He knew his lord; he knew, and strove to meet ; In vain he strove, to crawl, and kiss his feet: Yet (all he could) his tail, his ears, his eyes Salute his master, and confess his joys. Soft pity touch'd the mighty master's soul; Adown his cheek a tear unbidden stole, Stole unperceiv'd; he turn'd his head, and dry'd The drop humane: then thus impassion'd cry'd:

What noble beast in this abandon'd state Lies here all helpless at Ulysses' gate? His bulk and beauty speak no vulgar praise; If, as he seems, he was in better days, Some care his age deserves: or was he priz'd For worthless beauty; therefore now despis'd! Such dogs, and men there are, inere things of state, And always cherish'd by their friends, the great.

Not Argus so, (Eumæus thus enjoin'd) But serv'd a master of a nobler kind, Who never, never shall behold him more! Long, long since perish'd on a distant shore ! Oh had you seen him, vig'rous, bold, and young, Swift as a stag, and as a lion strong;

Him no fell savage on the plain withstood,
None 'scap'd him, bosom'd in the gloomy wood;
His eye how piercing, and his scent how true,
To winde the vapour in the tainted dew!
Such, when Ulysses left his natal coast :
Now years unnerve him, and his lord is lost!
The women keep the gen'rous creature bare,
A sleek and idle race is all their care :
The master gone, the servants what restrains ?
Or dwells Humanity where Riot reigns ?
Jove fix'd it certain, that whatever day
Makes man a slave, takes half his worth away.”

« 前へ次へ »