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The opposite of truth is falsehood , which, correspondingly, can also take on logical , factual , or ethical meanings. Language and words are a means by which humans convey information to one another in semiotic associations, and the method used to recognize a truth is termed a criterion of truth.

There are differing claims as to what constitutes truth, what things are truthbearers capable of being true or false, how to define and identify truth, the roles that revealed and acquired knowledge play, and whether truth is subjective or objective, relative or absolute. Wikipedia has an article about: Truth. Look up truth in Wiktionary , the free dictionary. Category : Themes. There were tables, some yet spread with eatables; others overturned upon those who had hoped to hide themselves under them; others grasped by hands which had snatched them up as weapons.

Cups lay in disorder, half fallen out of the hands of those who had been drinking from them, or which had been flung instead of missiles; for the suddenness of the affray had converted goblets into weapons.

INTRODUCTION.

Here lay one wounded with an axe, another bruised by a shell picked up on the beach, a third had his limbs broken with a billet, a fourth was burnt with a torch, but the greater part were transfixed with arrows; in short, the strangest contrast was exhibited within the shortest compass; wine mingled by fate with blood, war with feasting, drinking and fighting, libations and slaughters. Such was the scene that presented itself to the eyes of the pirates.

They gazed some time, puzzled and astonished. The vanquished lay dead before them, but they nowhere saw the conquerors; the victory was plain enough, but the spoils were not taken away; the ship rode quietly at anchor, though with no one on board, yet unpillaged, as much as if it had been defended by a numerous crew, and as if all had been peace. They soon, however, gave up conjecturing, and began to think of plunder; and constituting themselves victors, advanced to seize the prey.

But as they came near the ship, and the field of slaughter, a spectacle presented itself which perplexed them more than any which they had yet seen. A maiden of uncommon and almost heavenly beauty sat upon a rock; she seemed deeply afflicted at the scene before her, but amidst that affliction preserved an air of dignity. Her head was crowned with laurel; she had a quiver at her shoulder; under her left arm was a bow, the other hung negligently down; she rested her left elbow on her right knee, and leaning her cheek on her open hand looked earnestly down on a youth who lay upon the ground at some distance.

He, wounded all over, seemed to be recovering a little from a deep and almost deadly trance; yet, even in this situation, he appeared of manly beauty, and the whiteness of his cheeks became more conspicuous from the blood which flowed upon them. The pirates upon the mountain, struck with wonder and admiration, as by a sudden flash of lightning, began to hide themselves among the bushes; for at her rising she appeared still greater and more divine.

Her "shafts [6] rattled as she moved;" her gold-embroidered garments glittered in the sun; and her hair flowed, from under her laurel diadem, in dishevelled ringlets down her neck. The pirates, alarmed and confused, were totally at a loss to account for this appearance, which puzzled them more than the previous spectacle; some said it was the goddess Diana, or Isis, the tutelary deity of the country; others, that it was some priestess, who, inspired by a divine frenzy from the gods, had caused the slaughter they beheld; this they said at random, still in ignorance and doubt.

She, flying towards the youth and embracing him, wept, kissed him, wiped off the blood, fetched a deep sigh, and seemed as if she could yet scarcely believe she had him in her arms. The Egyptians, observing this, began to change their opinion. These, said they, are not the actions of a deity; a goddess would not with so much affection kiss a dying body. They encouraged one another therefore to go nearer, and to inquire into the real state of things.

Collecting themselves together, then, they ran down and reached the maiden, as she was busied about the wounds of the youth; and placing themselves behind her, made a stand, not daring to say or do any thing. But she, startled at the noise they made, and the shadow they cast, raised herself up; and just looking at them, again bent down, not in the least terrified at their unusual complexion and piratical appearance, but earnestly applied herself to the care of the wounded youth: so totally does vehement affection, and sincere love, overlook or disregard whatever happens from without, be it pleasing or terrifying; and confines and employs every faculty, both of soul and body, to the beloved object.

But when the pirates advancing, stood in front, and seemed preparing to seize her, she raised herself again, and seeing their dark complexion [7] and rugged looks,—"If you are the shades of the slain," said she, "why do you trouble me? Most of you fell by each other's hands; if any died by mine it was in just defence of my endangered chastity.

But, if you are living men, it appears to me that you are pirates; you come very opportunely to free me from my misfortunes, and to finish my unhappy story by my death. They not understanding what she said, and from the weak condition of the youth, being under no apprehension of their escaping, left them as they were; and proceeding to the ship, began to unload it. It was full of various merchandize; but they cared for nothing but the gold, silver, precious stones, and silken garments, of all which articles they carried away as much as they were able.

When they thought they had enough, and they found sufficient even to satisfy the avidity of pirates, placing their booty on the shore, they divided it into portions not according to value but to weight; intending to make what related to the maiden and the youth, matter of their next consideration.

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At this instant another band of plunderers appeared, led by two men on horseback; which as soon as the first party observed, they fled precipitately away, leaving their booty behind them, lest they should be pursued; for they were but ten, whereas those who came down upon them were at least twice as many. The maiden in this manner ran a second risk of being taken captive. The pirates hastening to their prey, yet from surprise and ignorance of the facts stopt a little. They concluded the slaughter they saw to have been the work of the first robbers; but seeing the maid in a foreign and magnificent dress, little affected by the alarming circumstances which surrounded her, employing her whole attention about the wounded youth, and seeming to feel his pains as if they were her own, they were much struck with her beauty and greatness of mind: they viewed with wonder too the noble form and stature of the young man, who now began to recover himself a little, and to assume his usual countenance.

After some time, the leader of the band advancing, laid hands upon the maiden, and ordered her to arise and follow him. She, not understanding his language, yet guessing at his meaning, drew the youth after her who still kept hold of her ; and pointing to a dagger at her bosom, made signs that she would stab herself, unless they took both away together.

The captain, comprehending what she meant, and promising himself a valuable addition to his troop in the youth, if he should recover, dismounted from his horse, and making his lieutenant dismount too, put the prisoners upon their horses, and ordered the rest to follow when they had collected the booty; he himself walked by their side, ready to support them, in case they should be in danger of falling. There was something noble in this; a commander appearing to serve, and a victor waiting upon his captives; such is the power of native dignity and beauty, that it can even impose upon the mind of a pirate, and subdue the fiercest of men.

They travelled about two furlongs along the shore; then, leaving the sea on their right hand, they turned towards the mountains, and with some difficulty ascending them, they arrived at a kind of morass, which extended on the other side. The features of the place were these: the whole tract is called The Pasturage by the Egyptians; in it there is a valley, which receives certain overflowings of the Nile, and forms a lake, the depth of which in the centre is unfathomable.

On the sides it shoals into a marsh; for, as the shore is to the sea, such are marshes to lakes. Here the Egyptian [9] pirates have their quarters; one builds a sort of hut upon a bit of ground which appears above the water; another spends his life on board a vessel, which serves him at once for transport and habitation. Here their wives work for them and bring forth their children, who at first are nourished with their mother's milk, and afterwards with fish dried in the sun; when they begin to crawl about they tie a string to their ancles, and suffer them to go the length of the boat.

Thus this inhabitant of the Pasturage is born upon the lake, is raised in this manner, and considers this morass as his country, affording as it does shelter and protection for his piracy. Men of this description therefore are continually flocking thither; the water serves them as a citadel, and the quantity of reeds as a fortification. Having cut oblique channels among these, with many windings, easy to themselves, but very difficult for others, they imagined themselves secure from any sudden invasion; such was the situation of the lake and its inhabitants.

Here, about sunset, the pirate-chief and his followers arrived; they made their prisoners dismount, and disposed of the booty in their boats. A crowd of others, who had remained at home, appearing out of the morass, ran to meet them, and received the chief as if he had been their king; and seeing the quantity of spoils, and almost divine beauty of the maiden, imagined that their companions had been pillaging some temple, and had brought away its priestess, or perhaps the breathing image [10] of the deity herself.

They praised the valour of their captain, and conducted him to his quarters; these were in a little island at a distance from the rest, set apart for himself and his few attendants. When they arrived he dismissed the greater part, ordering them to assemble there again on the morrow; and then taking a short repast with the few who remained, he delivered his captives to a young Greek whom he had not long before taken to serve as an interpreter , assigning them a part of his own hut for their habitation; giving strict orders that the wounded youth should have all possible care taken of him, and the maiden be treated with the utmost respect; and then, fatigued with his expedition, and the weight of cares which lay upon him, he betook himself to rest.

Silence now prevailed throughout the morass, and it was the first watch of night, when the maiden, being freed from observers, seized this opportunity of bewailing her misfortunes; inclined to do so the rather, perhaps, by the stillness and solitude of the night, in which there was neither sound nor sight to direct her attention, and call off her mind from ruminating on its sorrows.

She lay in a separate apartment on a little couch on the ground; and fetching a deep sigh, and shedding a flood of tears, "O Apollo," she cried, "how much more severely dost thou punish me than I have deserved! Is not what I have already suffered sufficient? Deprived of my friends, captured by pirates, exposed to a thousand dangers at sea, and now again in the power of buccaneers, am I still to expect something worse? Where are my woes to end? If in death, free from dishonour, I embrace it with joy; but if that is to be taken from me by force, which I have not yet granted even to Theagenes, my own hands shall anticipate my disgrace, shall preserve me pure in death, and shall leave behind me at least the praise of chastity.

Theagenes, who was lodged near, overheard her complaints, and interrupted them, saying, "Cease, my dear Chariclea; you have reason, I own, to complain, but by so doing you irritate the deity: he is made propitious by prayers, more than by expostulations; you must appease the power above by prayers, not by accusations. I know this by experience; for since I was brought here a captive, if any of the pirates have returned wounded, by the application of this plant they have been healed in a few days. Wonder not that I pity your misfortunes; you seem to be sharing my own ill fate; and, as I am a Greek myself, I naturally compassionate Grecians.

Perhaps some relief to our misfortunes is at hand. You seem to have had sorrows enough of your own; there is no need to increase them by a recital of mine; besides, what remains of the night would not be sufficient for the relation; and the fatigues you have gone through to-day demand sleep and rest.

Cnemon then began in this manner:—"My father's name was Aristippus, an Athenian, a member of the Upper Council, [11] and possessed of a decent fortune. My father, entangled in these wiles, was entirely wrapped up in her. At first she pretended to behave to me as if I had been her own son; this likewise helped to influence my father. She would sometimes kiss me, and constantly wished to enjoy my society. I readily complied, suspecting nothing, but was agreeably surprised at her behaving to me with so much maternal affection. When, however, she approached me with more wantonness; when her kisses became warmer than those of a relation ought to be, and her glances betrayed marks of passion, I began to entertain suspicions, to avoid her company, and repress her caresses.

I need not enumerate what artifices she used, what promises she employed to gain me over, how she called me darling, sweetest, breath of her life; how she mingled blandishments with these soft words; how, in serious affairs, she behaved really as a mother, in less grave hours but too plainly as a mistress.

She, as soon as she saw me, unable to contain herself, no longer dissembled her love, but, her eyes sparkling with desire, ran up to me, embraced me, and called me her dear Theseus, her young Hippolytus: How do you imagine I then felt, who now blush even at the recital? I had not long retired to my apartment, when she followed me, and endeavoured to obtain the gratification of her wishes; but when she saw that I resisted with horror, regardless of her allurements, her promises, or her threats, fetching a deep-drawn sigh, she retired; and the very next day, with uncommon wickedness, began to put her machinations in force against me.

But when he insisted, with great tenderness, on knowing what had so disordered her, with seeming reluctance she thus addressed him:—'This dainty youth, this son of yours, whom I call the gods to witness I loved as much as you could do yourself, suspecting me to be with child which, till I was certain of it, I have yet concealed from you , taking the opportunity of your absence, while I was advising and exhorting him to temperance, and to avoid drunkenness and loose women for I was not ignorant of his inclinations though I avoided dropping the least hint of them to you, lest it should appear the calumny of a step-mother —while, I say, I took this opportunity of speaking to him alone, that I might spare his confusion, I am ashamed to tell how he abused both you and me; nor did he confine himself to words; but assaulting me both with hands and feet, kicked me at last upon the stomach, and left me in a dreadful condition, in which I have continued ever since.

When he had wreaked his resentment, 'Now, at least,' said I, 'father, tell me the reason of this shameful treatment. But this implacable woman, not yet satisfied, laid another plot against me. She, by her mistress's orders, put herself in my way; and though she had before frequently resisted solicitations, which, I own, I had made to her, she now made advances herself, in gestures, words, and behaviour.

I, like a silly fellow as I was, began to be vain of my own attractions; and, in short, made an appointment with her to come to my apartment at night. We continued our commerce for some time, I always exhorting her to take the greatest care lest her mistress should detect her. What would you think this very mistress deserves, who, calling herself of an honourable family, having a lawful husband, and knowing death to be the punishment of her crime, yet commits adultery?

If you are a man, therefore, seize her paramour. Now was the time for me to punish him as he deserved; and that I should go in, sword in hand, lest he should escape. When I arrived there, and perceived there was a light burning within, my passion rising, I burst open the door, and, rushing in, cried out, 'Where is the villain, the vile paramour of this paragon of virtue? I have used you ill, I confess, but not so as to deserve death from you. Let not passion transport you; do not imbrue your hands in a parent's blood! I looked about for Thisbe, but she had withdrawn.

I cast my eyes in amaze round the chamber, confounded and stupified: the sword fell from my hand. I brought him up genteelly; I gave him a first-rate education; [15] I went through every step needful to procure him the full privileges of a citizen of Athens; in short, my whole life was a scene of solicitude on his account. But he, forgetting all this, abused me first with words, and assaulted my wife with blows; and at last broke in upon me in the night, brandishing a drawn sword, and was prevented from committing a parricide only by a sudden consternation which seized him, and made the weapon drop from his hand.

I have recourse, therefore, to this assembly for my own defence and his punishment.

Periculum: A Daring Chances Story

I might, I know, lawfully have punished him even with death myself; but I had rather leave the whole matter to your judgment than stain my own hands with his blood:' and, having said this, he began to weep. When I replied, 'I did indeed attack him, but hear how I came so to do'—the whole assembly exclaimed that, after this confession, there was no room for apology or defence.

Some cried out I ought to be stoned; others, that I should be delivered to the executioner, and thrown headlong into the Barathrum. The remainder, to the number of about a thousand, having some suspicions of the machinations of my mother-in-law, adjudged me to perpetual banishment; and this sentence prevailed: for though a greater number had doomed me to death, yet there being a difference in their opinions as to the kind of death, they were so divided, that the numbers of neither party amounted to a thousand.

I was fortunate enough to find them on my arrival, and passed the first days of my exile agreeably enough among them.

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After I had been there about three weeks, taking my accustomed solitary walk, I came down to the port; a vessel was standing in; I stopped to see from whence she came, and who were on board. The ladder was no sooner let down, when a person leapt on shore, ran up to me, and embraced me.


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He proved to be Charias, one of my former companions. Tell me how all this has happened; I fear she has died a natural death, and escaped that which she deserved. From my connexion with Thisbe, I have been made acquainted with the whole affair. She lamented your misfortunes and her own, calling day and night in a frantic manner upon Cnemon, her dear boy, her soul; insomuch that the women of her acquaintance, who visited her, wondered at and praised her; that, though a step-dame, she felt a mother's affection.

They endeavoured to console and strengthen her; but she replied that her sorrows were past consolation, and that they were ignorant of the wound which rankled at her heart. How ready in administering to my revenge! You deprived me of him I loved above all the world, without giving me an instant to repent and be appeased. It has always been my study to obey your will in the best manner I could; if anything unlucky has happened, fortune is to blame; I am ready now, if you command me, to endeavour to find a remedy for your distress.

Impossibility of gratification extinguishes desire, and despair makes the heart callous. But now I seem to have him before my eyes: I hear, and blush at hearing him upbraid me with his injuries. Sometimes I flatter my fond heart that he will return again, and that I shall obtain my wishes; at other times I form schemes of seeking him myself, on whatever shore he wanders. These thoughts agitate, inflame, and drive me beside myself. Ye gods! I am justly served. Why, instead of laying schemes against his life, did I not persist in endeavouring to subdue him by kindness?

He refused me at first, and it was but fitting he should do so; I was a stranger, and he reverenced his father's bed. Time and persuasion might have overcome his coldness; but I, unjust, and inhuman as I was, more like a tyrant, than his mistress, cruelly punished his first disobedience. But, my dear Thisbe, what remedy is it you hint at?

After his misfortune, she promised to go into exile with him, and keeps him concealed at her house till she can prepare herself for setting out. But what is all this to me? I will take care that he shall have drunk a little freely when he goes to bed. If you obtain your wishes, perhaps you may be cured of your passion. The first gratification sometimes extinguishes the flame of desire.

Love soon finds its end in satiety: but if yours which I hope will not be the case should still continue, we may perhaps find some other scheme to satisfy it; [19] at present let us attend to this which I have proposed. I have been the cause of your losing your son; not indeed willingly, but yet I was instrumental in his destruction: for when I perceived that my mistress led a dissolute life, and injured your bed, I began to fear for myself, lest I should suffer if she should be detected by anybody else. I pitied you too, who received such ill returns for all your affection; I was afraid, however, of mentioning the matter to you, but I discovered it to my young master; and coming to him by night, to avoid observation, I told him that an adulterer was sleeping with my mistress.

He, hurried on by resentment, mistook my meaning, and thought I said that an adulterer was then with her. His passion rose; he snatched a sword, and ran madly on towards your bedchamber. It was in vain I endeavoured to detain him, and to assure him that no adulterer was then with my mistress; he regarded not what I said, either made deaf by rage, or imagining that I changed my purpose.

The rest you know. I shall, perhaps, take some comfort in life, when I have got rid of this wicked woman. I have for some time been uneasy within myself: I have suspected her; but, having no proofs, I was silent. But what must we do now? He follows her, rushes into the house, and, by help of a little moonlight which shone, with difficulty finding the bed, exclaims, "I have caught you now, you abandoned creature! But she feeling deeply the situation she was in, the disappointment of her hopes, the ignominy which must attend her offences, and the punishment which awaited them, vexed and enraged at being deceived and detected, when she came near the pit which is in the Academy you know the place where our generals sacrifice to the Manes of our heroes , suddenly disengaging herself from the hands of the old man, flung herself headlong in: and thus she died [20] a wretched death, suited for a wretch like herself.

What success he has met with I cannot inform you of; for I have been obliged, as you see, to sail here on my own private business. But I think you have the greatest reason to expect that the people will consent to your return, and that your father will himself come to seek you, and conduct you home. How I came to this place, and what have been my fortunes since, would take up more time and words than there is at present opportunity for. Having said this, he wept; the strangers wept with him, seemingly for his calamities, really, perhaps, in remembrance of their own: nor would they have ceased from lamentation, had not sleep coming over them through the luxury of grief, at length dried their tears.

They then lay in repose, but Thyamis for that was the name of the pirate captain having slept quietly the first part of the night, was afterwards disturbed by wandering dreams; and starting from his sleep, and pondering what they should mean, was kept awake by his perplexities the remainder of the night. For about the time when the cocks crow whether a natural instinct induces them to salute the returning sun, or a feeling of warmth and a desire of food and motion excites them to rouse those who are about them with their song the following vision appeared to him.

He seemed to be in Memphis, his native city; and entering into the temple of Isis, he saw it shining with the splendour of a thousand lighted lamps; the altars were filled with bleeding victims of all sorts; all the avenues of the temple were crowded with people, and resounded with the noise of the passing throngs.

You shall have her, and not have her; that is, you shall have her as a wife, not as a virgin: and as for the killing, he understood it to mean, thou shalt wound her virginity, but the wound shall not be mortal. And thus, led by his desires, he interpreted his vision. When they were being brought, "What fortune," they exclaimed, "awaits us now?

He promised to do all that was in his power for them, and comforted and encouraged them. He told them that the pirate captain had nothing barbarous in his disposition; that his manners were rather gentle; that he belonged to an illustrious family, and from necessity alone had embraced this kind of life.

When all were met together, and they too made their appearance, Thyamis, seating himself on an eminence, and ordering Cnemon, who understood the Egyptian tongue, whereas he himself could not speak Greek to interpret what he said to the captives, thus addressed the assembly:—. You are not ignorant, how being the son of the high-priest of Memphis, and being frustrated of succeeding to the office [21] after the departure of my father, my younger brother against all law depriving me of it, I fled to you, that I might revenge the injury, and recover my dignity. I have been thought worthy to command you, and yet I have never arrogated any particular privileges to myself: if money was to be distributed, I desired only an equal share of it; if captives were to be sold, I brought their price into the common stock; for I have always deemed it to be the part of a valiant leader, to take the larger share of toil, and only an equal share of spoils.

As to the captives, those men whose strength of body promised to be serviceable to us, I kept for ourselves; the weaker I sold. I never abused the women. Those of any rank I suffered to redeem themselves with money; and sometimes, out of compassion, dismissed them without ransom: those of inferior condition, who, if they had not been taken, would have passed their lives in servile offices, I employed in such services as they had been accustomed to.

But now I do ask of one part of these spoils for myself, this foreign maiden. I might take her by my own authority, but I would rather receive her by your common consent; for it were foolish in me to do anything with a prisoner against the will of my friends. Neither do I ask this favour of you gratis; I am willing, in recompense for it, to resign my share in all the other booty. For since the priestly caste despises common amours, I am determined to take this maiden to myself, not out of mere lust, but for the sake of offspring. And I will explain to you the reasons which induce me to do so.

But what recommends her above every thing to me is, that she appears to be a priestess of some god; for, in all her misfortunes, she has with a pious regard refused to lay aside her sacred robe and chaplet. Where then can I a priest find a partner more fitting for me, than one who is herself a priestess? The applause of the whole company testified their approbation. They exhorted him to marry, and wished him all possible happiness.

He then pursued his discourse:—"I thank you, comrades; but it will now be proper to inquire how far my proposal is agreeable to this maiden. Were I disposed to use the power which fate has put into my hands, my will would be sufficient; they who can compel have no need to entreat. But in lawful marriage, the inclination of both parties ought to coincide. What is your country, and who were your parents? At length, raising herself gently towards Thyamis, and dazzling him with more than her usual charms for her eyes shone with uncommon lustre, and the circumstances she was in gave an additional glow to her cheeks , Cnemon serving as interpreter, she thus addressed him:.

Since, however, you address yourself to me, and shew this first mark of humanity, in that you seek to obtain what you desire, by persuasion rather than force; since the main subject of your discourse relates to me alone; I am compelled to lay aside the common reserve of my sex, and to explain myself in regard to the proposal of marriage which you have made, even before such an audience. Hear then what is our state and condition. In early youth, as the laws appointed, we entered into the priesthood. I was consecrated to Diana, my brother to Apollo.

But as the office is an annual one, and the time was elapsed, we were going to Delos to exhibit games [22] according to the custom of our country, and to lay down the priesthood. We loaded a ship therefore with gold, silver, costly garments, and other things necessary for the show and the entertainment which we were to give to the people. We set sail; our parents being advanced in years, and afraid of the sea, remained at home: but a great number of our fellow citizens attended us, some on board our ships, others in vessels of their own.

When we had completed the greatest part of our voyage, a tempest suddenly arose; winds and hurricanes, raising the waves, drove the ship out of its course. The pilot yielded at length to the fury of the storm; and deserting the government of the ship, let her drive at the mercy of the winds. We scudded before them for seven days and nights; and at length were cast upon the shore where you found us, and where you saw the slaughter which had happened there.

Rejoicing at our preservation, we gave an entertainment to the ship's company. In the midst of it, a party of the sailors, who had conspired to make themselves masters of our riches, by taking away our lives, attacked us; our friends defended us; a dreadful combat ensued, which was continued with such rage and animosity, on both sides, that of the whole number engaged we alone survived would to God we had not! I do not by any means decline the offer.

Prisoner as I am, I ought to esteem it an honour and a happiness to be permitted to aspire to the bed of my conqueror. It seems too, to be by a particular providence of the gods, that I, a priestess, should be united to the son of a high priest.

Permit me, at the first city I arrive at in which there is a temple or altar of Apollo, to resign my priesthood, and lay aside these badges of my office: this perhaps would with most propriety be done in Memphis, when you shall have recovered the dignity you are entitled to. Thus would our wedlock be celebrated with better auspices, joined with victory and prosperous success: but, if you would have it sooner, be it as you please; let me only first perform those rites which the custom of my country demands.

This I know you will not refuse me, as you have yourself been, as you say, dedicated to holy things from childhood, and have just and reverend notions of what relates to the gods. Here she ceased, and her tears began to flow. Her speech was followed by the approbation and applause of the company, who bid her do thus, and promised her their aid.

Thyamis could not help joining with them, though he was not entirely satisfied, for his eager desire to possess Chariclea made him think even the present hour an unreasonable delay. Her words, however, like the siren's song, soothed him, and compelled his assent; he thought, too, he saw in this some relation to his dream, and brought himself to agree that the wedding should be celebrated at Memphis.

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He then dismissed the company, having first divided the spoils, a great part of the choicest of which were forced upon him by his people. He gave orders that, in ten days, they should all be ready to march to Memphis; and sent the Greeks to the habitation in which he had before placed them. Cnemon, too, by his command, attended them no longer now as a guard, but as a companion: their entertainment was the best which Thyamis could afford; and Theagenes, for his sister's sake, partook of the same handsome treament.

He determined within himself to see Chariclea as seldom as possible, lest the sight of her should inflame the desire which tormented him, and urge him on to do anything inconsistent with what he had agreed to and promised. He deprived himself, therefore, of that company in which he most delighted, fearing that to converse with her, and to restrain himself within proper bounds, would be more than he could answer for.

When the crew had dispersed, each to his habitation in the lake, Cnemon went to some distance from it, in search of the herb which he had promised to procure for Theagenes; and Theagenes, taking the opportunity of his absence, began to weep and lament, not addressing himself to Chariclea, but calling earnestly upon the gods: and she with tender solicitude inquiring whether he was only lamenting their common misfortunes, or suffering any new addition to them?

I can bear ill fortune; nor shall any force compel me to do anything unworthy of the modesty and virtue of my sex. In one thing alone, I own, I am immoderate, my love for you; but then it is a lawful one; and, however great, it did not throw me inconsiderately into your power; I resigned myself to you on the most honourable conditions; I have hither to lived with you in the most inviolate purity, resisting all your solicitations, and looking forward to a lawful opportunity of completing that marriage to which we are solemnly pledged. Can you then be so unreasonable as to think it possible that I should prefer a barbarian to a Greek?

To call me your brother, indeed, was prudent enough, to keep Thyamis from suspecting the real nature of our love, and to induce him to let us continue together. I understood, too, the meaning of your veiling the true circumstances of our voyage under the fictions of Ionia and Delos. But so readily to accept his proposals, to promise to marry him, nay, to fix a time for the ceremony—this, I own, disturbs me, and passes my comprehension; but I had rather sink into the earth than see such an end of all my hopes and labours on your account.

Chariclea flung her arms round Theagenes, gave him a thousand kisses, and bedewing him with tears, cried out, "How delightful to me are these apprehensions of yours! You must be sensible that contradiction only adds force to violent passion; seeming compliance allays the impulse in its birth, and the allurement of promises lulls the violence of desire. Your rough lovers think they have got something when they have obtained a promise: and, relying upon the faith of it, become quieter, feeding themselves with hope.

I, being aware of this, in words resigned myself up to him, committing what shall follow to the gods, and to that genius who presides over our loves. I saw nothing better to be done than to endeavour to ward off a certain and imminent danger, by a present, though uncertain, remedy. We must, therefore, my dearest Theagenes, use this fiction as our best ally, and carefully conceal the truth even from Cnemon; for though he seems friendly to us, and is a Greek, yet he is a captive, and likely, perhaps, to do anything which may ingratiate him with his master. Our friendship with him is as yet too new, neither is there any relation between us sufficiently strong to give us a certain assurance of his fidelity.

If he suspects, therefore, and inquires into our real situation, we must deny it: for even a falsehood is commendable when it is of service to those who use it, and does no injury to the hearers of it. While Chariclea was thus suggesting this course, Cnemon comes running in, with an altered countenance, and seemingly in much agitation. They found him employed in burnishing his helmet and sharpening his spear. I saw them advancing over the top of the neighbouring hill, and have made all possible haste to bring you information, giving the alarm to every one I met with in my passage.

Thyamis, at these tidings, started up and cried out, "Where is Chariclea? When Cnemon showed her standing near the door. Cnemon proceeded to execute his commission, and leading off Chariclea, who turned earnestly towards Theagenes, and lamented her hard fate, he let her down into the cave. This was not, as many are, the work of nature, an accidental excavation, but the contrivance of the pirates, who, imitating her operations, had hollowed out an artificial cavern for the reception of their treasures.

It was formed in this manner: its entrance, [23] narrow and dark, was under the doors of a hidden chamber, the threshold became, in case of need, a second door, for farther descent; it fitted exactly, and could be lifted up with great facility; the rest of the cave was cut into various winding passages, which, now diverging, now returning, with a multitude of ramifications, converged at last into an open space at the bottom, which received an uncertain light from an aperture at the extremity of the lake.

Here Cnemon introduced Chariclea, and led her to the farthest recess, encouraging and promising her that he and Theagenes would come to her in the evening; and that he would not suffer him to engage in the battle which impended. Chariclea was unable to answer him; and he went out of the cave, leaving her half dead, silent, and stupified, as if her soul had been separated from her with Theagenes.

He shut down the door, dropping a tear for her as he did it, and for the necessity he was under of burying her in a manner alive, and consigning the brightest of human forms to darkness and obscurity. He made what haste he could to Thyamis. He found him burning with ardour for the fight, and Theagenes by his side splendidly armed; he was even to frenzy rousing the spirits of his followers who surrounded him, and thus began to address them:.

I do not put you in mind of your wives and children as is usual on these occasions, though nothing but victory can preserve them from destruction and violation. This contest is for our very being and existence; no quarter, no truce, ever takes place in piratic warfare; we must either conquer or die. Let us exert, then, our force to the utmost, and with determined minds fall upon the enemy. Having said this, he looked round for his lieutenant, Thermuthis, and called him several times by his name. When he nowhere appeared, throwing out hasty threats against him, he rushed on towards the ferry.

The battle was already begun, and he could see at a distance those who inhabited the extremities and approaches of the lake in the fact of being routed by the enemy, who set on fire the boats and huts of those who fell or fled. The flames spread to the neighbouring morass, caught hold of the reeds which grew there in great abundance, dazzled every eye with an almost intolerable blaze, and, crackling and roaring, stunned their ears. War [24] now appeared in all its horrid forms: the inhabitants for some time, with readiness and energy, supported and repelled the attack; but being astonished by the sudden incursion, and pressed by the superior numbers of the enemy, those on the land gave way, and many of those on the lake, together with their boats and habitations, were overwhelmed in the waters!

Thyamis, at this sight, called to mind his dream, and the temple of Isis shining with lamps, and flowing with the blood of victims; he saw a resemblance in it to the scene before him, and began to fear that he must give up his former favourable interpretation; that Chariclea was destined to fall in this tumult, and that so having had her in his possession, he should now have her no longer; that she would be slain, not merely be wounded in her virginity; exclaiming, therefore against the goddess, for having deceived him, and unable to bear the thought that any one else should possess Chariclea, he ordered the men who were about him to halt, and if they were obliged to engage, to defend themselves as well as they could, by retiring behind, and making sallies from, the numerous little islands: as by so doing they might, for some time, be able to resist the attack of the enemy.

He then, under pretence of going to seek Thermuthis, and sacrificing to his household gods, returned in great agitation to his tent, suffering no one to follow him. The disposition of the barbarians is obstinate and determined; [25] when they despair of their own safety, they are accustomed to destroy those who are most dear to them; either wildly imagining that they shall enjoy their company after death; or thinking that by so doing they shall deliver them from the injuries and insults of the enemy.

Stimulated by some of these motives, Thyamis, forgetting the urgent danger which pressed upon him, and the enemies by whom he was surrounded as by a net; burning with anger, love, and jealousy, rushed headlong to the cave: he poured out his Egyptian exclamations with a loud voice, and soon after his entrance, being addressed by some one in the Greek tongue, the voice guided him to the person; he seized her hair with his left hand, and with his right plunged his sword into her bosom: the unfortunate creature sank down, uttering a last and piteous groan.

Issuing forth and closing the trap-door, he threw a little dust over her, and dropping a tear he exclaimed, "Are these then the nuptial presents you were to expect from me! Theagenes and Cnemon got into another, and in the same manner all the rest embarked. When they had proceeded a little from the shore, rowing round the side rather than launching out into the deep, they lay upon their oars, and drew up in a line, to receive the enemy; but at their approach, a sudden panic seized the pirates, and not sustaining the first hostile shout of their opponents, they fled in disorder: Cnemon and Theagenes gradually retired, but not from fear: Thyamis alone disdained to fly; and perhaps not wishing to survive Chariclea, rushed into the midst of his foes.

A cry was instantly heard among them, "This is Thyamis, let all have an eye to him:" immediately they turned their boats and surrounded him; he, vigorously fighting, wounded some and killed others, and yet strange was that which ensued: out of so great a multitude no one lifted up a sword, or cast a dart at him, but every one did their utmost to capture him alive. He continued manfully to resist, till at length his spear was wrested from him, and he had lost his lieutenant, who had nobly seconded him; and who, having received, as he thought, a mortal wound, leaped into the lake, and with great difficulty reached the shore, no one offering to pursue him; for now they had laid hold on Thyamis, and esteemed the capture of one man a victory; and though he had destroyed so many of their men, their joy at having taken him alive far exceeded their grief for the loss of their comrades; for gain is dearer to robbers than their lives; and friendship and relationship are only so far considered among them as they conduce to this main end.

The leaders of this attack were the men who had fled from Thyamis and his followers at the Heracleotic mouth of the Nile: they, enraged at the loss of a booty, which through plunder, they considered as their own, gathered their friends together, and many others from the neighbouring towns, by proposing to them an equal division of the spoils; and became their guides in the expedition.


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  • The reason why they were so desirous of taking Thyamis alive was this: Petosiris, who resided at Memphis, was his younger brother; by his artifices he had unlawfully deprived Thyamis of the priesthood, and hearing that he was now at the head of the pirates, he feared that he might take some opportunity to attack him, or that in time his treachery might be discovered; he was besides suspected of having made away with his brother, who nowhere appeared. For these reasons he proclaimed great rewards among all the nests of pirates in his neighbourhood, to any one who should capture him alive: they, stimulated by these offers, and in the heat of battle, not losing sight of gain, took him prisoner at the price of many of their lives.

    They sent him, under a strong guard, to the main land, he reproaching them all the while for their seeming lenity, and bearing bonds much more indignantly than he would have borne death. The rest proceeded towards the island in quest of treasures and spoil; but when, after a long and strict search, they found nothing of any consequence, some few things excepted, which out of hurry or forgetfulness were left out of the cavern, they set fire to the tents; and the evening coming on, fearing to remain there any longer, lest they should be surprised by the enemy whom they had driven thence, they returned to their companions upon the continent.

    They haunted the most marshy part of the Delta, where the papyrus reeds effectually masked their retreats. The wales are strong planks extending along a ship's side through the whole length at different heights, serving to strengthen the decks and form the curves.

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    A passage in the Cyclops of Euripides may illustrate the above—. Indum sanguineo veluti violaverat ostro Si quis ebur. Perhaps Heliodorus afterwards a bishop had derived the materials for his graphic description of their haunts and manners from personal residence among them, as was the case so Horace Walpole informs us with Archbishop Blackburne temp. II, who in his younger days is said to have been a buccaneer. In Herod. When mortals violate her sacred laws, When judges hear the bribe and not the cause, Close by her parent god behold her stand, And urge the punishment their sins demand.

    Ammianus Marcellinus says, B. See Robinson's Antiquities of Greece. The poet, Walter Lisle, gives the passage thus:—. Within, a maze it has Of sundrie wayes, entangled like the roots Of thicke-set trees, amids and all abouts , That meet in plaine. See Ferguson's Rom. He ordered his wives and sisters to destroy themselves, fearful of their falling into the enemy's hands. In this manner, as we have related, were the flames spread over the lake; the conflagration escaped the notice of Theagenes and Cnemon while the sun was above the horizon, the superior lustre of that planet overcoming the blaze; but when it set, when night came on, and the fire had no longer any rival to contend with, it appeared at a distance to their great consternation, as they began to raise themselves out of the morass.

    Theagenes tearing his hair, thus broke out into passionate exclamations; "May this day be the last of my life; may my fears, cares, and dangers now have an end, and my hopes and love conclude together. Chariclea is no more, and I am undone; in vain, wretch, that I am, have I become a coward, and submitted to an unmanly flight, that I might preserve myself for you, the delight of my life.

    For you, alas! I live no longer; you have fallen by an untimely death, nor was he on whom you doated present to receive your latest breath; but you are become the prey of flames, and these are the nuptial torches which cruel fate has lighted up for you. All is consumed, and there now remains no trace of the most perfect of human forms: O! Chariclea is alive; be comforted. Theagenes at these assurances began to recover his spirits, and hastened towards the island, having Chariclea, and a joyful meeting in the cave before his eyes, ignorant, alas!

    They proceeded forwards with great ardour, plying the oars themselves, for their rower had fallen overboard in the confusion of the first flight; they went on with an unsteady course from inexperience in rowing, not able to keep stroke, and the wind being against them; but their ardour overcame their unskilfulness, and with great difficulty at last, and bathed in sweat, they reached the shore, and ran eagerly towards the tents.

    Of these they saw only the ashes, they having been totally consumed; the stone, however, which formed the threshold and entrance of the cavern, was conspicuous enough; for the huts being built of reeds and such slender materials, were soon consumed and turned into a light ash, which the wind scattering away, left the earth bare in many places for a passage, cooling it at the same time with the blast. Finding some torches half burnt, and lighting some reeds which remained, they opened the cave's mouth, and under the guidance of Cnemon, descended into it.

    Theagenes threw himself upon the body, and held it a long time in his arms, closely embraced; Cnemon seeing him overwhelmed with this stroke, and fearing when he recovered his senses he would make some attempt upon himself, took away unobserved the sword which hung by his side, and leaving him for a moment, ran out to light his torch. Chariclea is no more, she lies slain by a violent death; doubtless, she has fallen in defence of her chastity, determined to preserve herself unspotted for my sake. Are life and breath for ever gone? Those eyes glance no more whose lustre dazzled all beholders, whose brightness, if your murderer had met, he could not have executed his purpose; what shall I call you, my wife?

    Theagenes, I think she is safe, for the sound seems to me to proceed from that very part of the cavern where I know I left her. Theagenes, on the contrary, now began to recover his spirits, and in his turn supported and encouraged Cnemon, who was ready to faint; and besought him that he would lead him instantly to Chariclea; Cnemon, by degrees coming to himself, again examined the body, which really was that of Thisbe; he knew, too, by its hilt, the sword which Thyamis from rage and haste had left sticking in the wound. He perceived also a tablet appearing out of her bosom; he took it, and was beginning to read what was written upon it; but Theagenes would not suffer him, and earnestly entreated him, if all he saw was not the illusion of some demon, that he would take him to Chariclea; you may afterwards, said he, read this tablet.

    Cnemon obeyed; and, taking up the tablet and the sword, hastened towards Chariclea. She, creeping on hands and knees towards the sound of their voices as well as she could, at length saw the light, flew to Theagenes, and hung upon his neck. And mutually exclaiming, "And are you restored to me, my dear Theagenes?

    So much does a sudden rush of joy overpower the human faculties, and excess of pleasure passes into pain.