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THE GODS OF OLD; 

AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 



THE GODS OF OLD; 



AND THE 



STORY THAT THEY TELL 



BY 



REV. JAMES A. FITZ SIMON, 

AND 

VINCENT A. FITZ SIMON, M.D. 



" In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas 
Corpora." OVID, Met. 1. 1. 



LONDON: T. FISHER UNWIN 
PATERNOSTER SQUARE. 1899 







BRADBURY, AGNEW, & CO. LJ)., PRINTERS 
LONDON AND TONBRIDGB. 




[All Eights reserved."] 



1006428 



INTRODUCTION. 



IT would be difficult to find a single branch of knowledge 
in which we are not more or less indebted to the writers of 
pre-christian times. They excelled us in some things, such as 
poetry, painting, sculpture, oratory, and logic ; in others they 
were our equals ; and in others still they pointed out the way. 

What strikes us particularly, however, is their system, or 
rather systems, of Philosophy, in which they follow matter 
and force and mind to their ultimate grounds in the 
endeavour to satisfy those two innate feelings, " to know," 
and " to worship," implanted in the breast of man. For a 
period extending over 3QO years we have an uninterrupted 
succession of schools and systems, founded by such men as 
Zeno the Stoic, who flourished 260 B.C., Epicurus, Aristotle, 
Plato, Socrates, Protagoras, Empedocles, Democritus, 
Anaxagoras, Heraclitus, Xenophanes, Pythagoras, Anaxi- 
menes, Anaximander, and Thales who is supposed to have 
been born 636 B.C. 

Of all these the Ionic school, founded by Thales, was the 
oldest, and its followers referred the origin and constitution 
of the universe as a whole to a single primordial principle 
which Thales called water, Anaximenes air, Heraelitus^re, 
or a clear light fluid " self -kindled and self -extinguished," 
and Anaximander called apxn, " the unlimited, eternal, and 
unconditioned " material which embraced all things, from 
which the cold, warm, dry, and moist of all things were 
secreted, and into which all things were resolved on their 
dissolution. 

However differently all these may sound, they refer to 
one sensuous principle, namely, that simplest form of 
visible matter as seen in the heavens and called nebulous, 



vi INTRODUCTION. 

which we ourselves, like Thales, Anaximenes, and Heraclitus, 
describe indifferently as misty, or gaseous, or " & fire-mist," 
or, like Anaximander, as the condition of our universe in 
the beginning, when it was one universal whole, an in- 
definitely extended mass, exempt from addition or annihila- 
tion, and homogeneous, a whole from which all things 
were evolved, and to which all things will finally return 
when suns grow cold and stellar bodies lose their way. In 
brief language, the Ionian philosophy of some twenty-five 
centuries or so ago, disguise it as we may, was nothing 
more nor less than the famous "Nebular Hypothesis " of 
our own day. 

In addition to this physical knowledge, Thales is also 
credited with having maintained the unity of the world, the 
immortality of the soul, and the personality of God. It is 
on record that he calculated an eclipse of the sun, turned 
the course of the river Halys, excelled in mathematics, and 
signalised himself so much by his prudence, learning, and 
knowledge as to be numbered among the Seven Sages. 
From whom did he get this knowledge ? As the founder 
of the Ionic school he stands at the head of Philosophy, 
and there is no mention of an immediate predecessor from 
whom he could derive instruction. Aristotle, however, 
when writing of Thales, suggests that his primordial 
principle, " water," was derived from the teachings of " the 
old theologians," and by these he is supposed to allude to 
Homer and Hesiod. If so, it points to a Dark Age in 
Grecian literature extending from the time of Thales to 
that of the above-named poets, an interval of at least 300 
years, and consequently pushes knowledge back to about 
1000 B.C. 

And, again, from whom did Hesiod and Homer derive 
their knowledge ? No one art or science, poetry least of 
all, can flourish extensively at the expense of others, and 
judging by the Theogony, Iliad, and Odyssey, we must 
suppose the age their writers lived in to be characterised by 
profound thought and advanced knowledge. But those 
works are closed books; they make no mention of other 
writers nor of schools of learning ; and those works are the 
sole remnants that we have of their own and of preceding ages. 



INTRODUCTION. vii 

Now, the one only inheritance which we find those two 
poets receiving from the wise who lived before them, and 
which they in turn handed down to Thales and his 
successors, is a bare list of words or names of divinities 
around which is woven all the Theogony, the greater part 
of the Iliad and Odyssey, and much of the poetry from the 
days of Grecian Thales to those of the Eoman Caesars, the 
whole constituting what is commonly called Mythology. 

The question for consideration is, " What do these names 
stand for?" 

All that we know of them may be stated thus : 

1. They are of unknown antiquity, the all that has been 
saved from the wreck of ages. If the survival of the fittest 
holds good for literature as it does for species, then must 
these names stand for what was best in knowledge. 

2. Many of them, such as Gsea, Uranus, JEther, Kronos, 
Helios, Selene, &c., are, even at first sight, strikingly 
suggestive of the heavens and the earth; many more, 
considered derivationally, point quickly to the same con- 
clusion. The inference is, consequently, that all the names 
are connected more or less intimately with the matter and 
force of our universe in the whole and in the part. 

3. They are not a loose assemblage of disconnected 
words. Each one is dependent for its being on another, 
that on another, and so on, till by a chain of cause and 
effect we finally arrive at Chaos. This Chaos heads the 
list ; from it flow all the others, and to it can all the others 
be traced. It is thus to the names what the primordial 
principle is to Philosophy, the beginning and the end of all. 

4. In this Chaos, as Hesiod tells us, were Gaea and Eros. 
Now supposing, as will be rendered plainer later on, that 

these words stand for matter and force, then a Chaos, or 
first principle, that contained matter and force is an 
additional proof that the mythological names are closely 
connected with the construction of the universe and of 
earth. 

5. The names, in connection no doubt with what they 
meant, commended themselves for preservation, amplifica- 
tion, and detailed description to Hesiod and Homer, and 
through them to the founders and disciples of every 



viii INTRODUCTION. 

school of ancient philosophy, to poets and statesmen, 
artists and mathematicians, in short to the cultured of 
every clime where Greece and Eome held sway. The 
number of names, too, was being continually added to, 
each writer coining as it were a divinity of his own. 
This widespread sanction, adoption, and multiplication 
can only be accounted for in one of three ways, namely, 
that the words symbolised religious knowledge, scientific 
knowledge, or the two combined. So far as multiplication 
alone is considered, it is a very strong proof that the names 
related to scientific knowledge, since the nomenclature of 
each and every branch of science must necessarily increase 
with time and progress. 

6. There is no doubt whatsoever that to the masses at 
large the words represented so many potential deities to 
be adored and worshipped, and thus constituted a Pagan 
system of religion. 

7. But with the educated it was different. A belief in 
One Supreme Being seems never to have been lost sight of 
in ancient Greece and Eome, and judging from their own 
writings Monotheism, not Paganism, must he considered as 
the religion of the cultured. The following are instances 
of how undisguised and pervading this belief in One God 
was : 

Eis eoV miroyfvrjs, evos efcyora Trdvra TSTVKTCII. Orpheus. 
One is the self-begotten, and all things 
Derived from this same One created were 
'Ey<J> elp.1 irav TO yeyovbs KOI ov, KOI ecrofifvov. 
" I am all that was, and is, and will be," 

an inscription placed publicly on a temple at Sais. These 
two voice the religious feeling of early times ; this, trans- 
lated from Seneca (Nat. Qusest. II. 45), is a fair exponent of 
his own and preceding days : ' 

' ' The wisest among men understand Tirm whom we call Jove to be 
the guardian and ruler, soul and spirit, of the universe, the lord and 
maker of this mundane sphere, and one to whom every name is 
applicable. Dost wish to call Tiim Fate ? Thou wilt not err. He it 
is on whom all things are dependent, from whom are all the causes of 
causes. Dost wish to call him Providence ? Bightly wilt thou do so ; 
for by his counsel it is that provision is made for this world, so that it 
may proceed in orderly fashion and unfold his deeds to view. Dost 



INTRODUCTION. ix 

wish to call Mm. Nature ? Thou wilt commit no sin ; for he it is from, 
whom all things are sprung, and by whose spirit we breathe life. 
Dost wish to call him the World ? Thou wilt not be mistaken ; for he, 
the all that thou dost behold, is all infused in its parts, and self- 
existing by power his own." 

8. Since the mythological names, then, did not appeal 
directly to a One Supreme Being in the minds of the 
educated, there is nothing else left for them to appeal to 
except Philosophy ; and this same Philosophy, then as now, 
may have constituted the entire religion of the atheistically 
inclined, or been cultivated as a means of understanding 
the Creator better through His works among those who 
believed in and worshipped a One True God. Their God 
and their gods were very different, and their worship of the 
latter must be taken in a very restricted sense. As being 
the works of God, they felt themselves quite free to respect 
and speak well of such, and so to avoid the wrath of rulers 
and the mob. To raise an altar to Bacchus or a temple to 
Mars had probably no more significance in their eyes than 
it has in ours to erect a university or build an arsenal. 

The conclusions deducible from all these points may be 
thus summed up. The mythological names are but word- 
pictures of a condensed knowledge that has immediate 
reference to the construction of the universe, of earth, and 
to the things of earth. Much of this knowledge is very old ; 
in its written form it was as old as Hesiod and Homer ; its 
traditional form, while ending, it may be, with the days in 
which these poets lived, goes back, for aught we know to 
the contrary, to Noah to Adam even certainly to the first 
man or men who deemed it wise and profitable to know and 
study the works of God, and to tell his or their children by 
word of mouth the ends for which the world and mankind 
were made. 

On this presumption, that the names of the divinities are 
really but the nomenclature of science, we can readily 
understand the fascination which they held for the cultured 
of every age and country. On and around these kernels of 
knowledge they could safely weave story after story, which 
would either describe or amplify existing scientific truths 
or add to the general store such information as time, 



x INTRODUCTION 

progress, and research -would necessarily bring to being. 
It was a glorious field for philosophical tillage, and each 
writer readily availed himself of the means provided so as 
to exhibit his own knowledge of the past and present, and 
pit his skill with others in the art of myth-making. No 
mean art was this either, since a myth, to prove successful 
and acceptable, should be perfectly true to science, and still 
capable of being read by the vulgar throng according to its 
light. And if it was a fascinating pursuit for pure science 
to thus mystify the ignorant pagan, we may fancy how 
much more fascinating it would be for religious enthusiasm 
to mystify the atheistical scientist ! 

With the remark that such a feat was actually accom- 
plished, let us pass to the word Mythology itself, which 
means " the story of the pvOos." 

What is this ^vdos ? Lexically defined it is " a legend," 
" words or speech," and especially words or speech handed 
down by word of mouth, that is " tradition." Derivationally 
considered it would imply (pv<a or ^uew Oelos) " the murmur- 
ing, pondering over, or initiation into things divine," and 
hence true ; or jj,vdos may be but a transposed form of eru/xo?, 
"true, real," and as in our own term "etymology," would 
have reference to radical truths condensed as far as possible 
into short speech, individual words, or word-pictures. 

Mythology would thus mean " the story of the legends " 
for the uneducated, and "the story of the traditional 
words " for the educated. The mere scientist would confine 
the meaning of "traditional words" to knowledge; the 
religious scientist, while accepting this meaning would 
extend it to divine truth, to the One God who is " the way, 
and the truth, and the life." Where the former saw but 
"the word," the latter would see "the Word"; so that 
while both travelled on the self-same highway, the religious 
wayfarer chose to go further than his helpmate on the road. 

The main point to be dwelt upon, however, is that, as 
the philosopher and the poet accepted the traditional names 
for what they were, the terminology of science, we must 
naturally regard all that they wrote in prose or verse with 
respect to these names as genuine science, not as fable. 



INTRODUCTION. xi 

The first, for all we know to the contrary, to write upon 
them was Hesiod, and his Theogoriy may well be considered 
as the Genesis of Mythology. He begins with Chaos, " the 
first of all," and ends virtually with Zeus; or in other 
words, he begins with the primordial principle of Philosophy 
and ends with life and the struggles of life. This is 
evidently the story, or rather stories of our earth, for earth 
has many stories, all of them interesting in their own way, 
and all of them requisite for the full understanding and 
proper elaboration of the plan for which it was constructed. 
Geology begins, or rather ends, the series. It classifies 
the rocky strata of our globe, describes their materials and 
mode of arrangement, and tells the causes that have led to 
and produced such ariangement. It strips the earth for 
our benefit of its temporal raiment ; it removes one by one 
the Pliocene, Miocene, and Eocene rocks, the Cretaceous, 
Jurassic, and Triassic, the Carboniferous, Devonian, and 
Silurian ; and while dwelling for a space upon each system 
and each group, it tells the story of its past, the life forms 
that graced it, the most remarkable features of the surface, 
and the great physical events which occurred while it 
constituted the theatre of life. And so it proceeds till it 
finally reaches the Archaean granite, and can go no further. 

Then does Astronomy take up the story, telling how, 
previous to the granite, Earth was probably like what Venus 
is at present ; how before that it was like Jupiter or Saturn, 
half planet half star ; and how earlier still it was even a 
sun, as bright and hot as that which beams on us to-day. 

Then comes Philosophy with its portion of the tale, 
reasoning out how Earth, the planets, and their Sun were 
all one nebula at first ; how this nebula was previously 
part and parcel of another, the Milky "Way ; this of another ; 
and so on till we go back to the beginning of all when 
Earth and planets, Sun, stars, and nebula were all one, one 
simple and homogeneous nebulous mass. 

A story like unto this triple one is that which Mythology 
has to tell. The building of our earth from the beginning 
of created matter is its theme ; the Divine Author of that 
matter is once for all stated distinctly in the title, for while 



xii INTRODUCTION. 

Genesis means simply " the generations," Thepgony means 
"the generations of God"; matter, force, life, and mind, 
with all their respective forms, are the gods of old; and the 
story is told by those other gods of old, Hesiod, Homer, 
Virgil, Ovid, Horace, and many others who have deservedly 
won immortality by the telling of the- story. How well 
they tell it is for the reader to judge ; but it looks as if 
there was an immense debt between them and us. 

Their noble theme has been ignobled, and their science 
called idolatry; their personages are vivid word-pictures, as 
clear and intelligible as the Christian, Great-heart, Giant 
Despair, and Doubting Castle of Bunyan, but we have 
closed our eyes and ears to the ideas involved therein ; 
they have furthermore facilitated the explication of those 
personages by giving their genealogy and progeny, or 
cause and effect, but this family tree so carefully constructed 
has little or no meaning in our estimation ; they ask for no 
licence save the poet's own and the sparing adaptation of 
Greek words to the Latin tongue, as mentioned in the Ars 
Poetica of Horace, but we, often as not, give this licence 
when not required and refuse it when required ; finally, 
they write the story clearly, and thoroughly in consonance 
with their theme, but we, having given them a fictitious 
theme, construe their words to suit our own ideas of this 
theme, with the melancholy consequence occasionally that 
when our ideas grow too prurient, we expurgate the poets' 
lines ! Every Greek and Latin extract in this volume, 
when translated as they are at present in our schools, 
painfully accentuates the truth of what we say. Let us 
hope that the rendering which we offer may appease the 
shades of those Immortals, and serve as a moiety towards 
payment of the debt we owe them. Prosit ! 



CONTENTS. 



INTRODUCTION. 

Uninterrupted succession of philosophical schools from 636 B.C. to 260 B.C. 
Ionic, the first From whom did Thales, its founder, derive his know- 
ledge 1 " The old theologians " The only relics of pre-Hesiodic learn- 
ing are personified terms, around which the Theogony, Iliad, and 
Odyssey are woven Significance of these terms, first, to the uneducated ; 
second, to the educated Myth, and Mythology ; tradition, and the story 
of tradition Earth's story, threefold : philosophical, astronomical, 
geological Mythology is the telling of this story Have we grasped 
the idea and meaning of the classic poets ? . . . . v xii 



BOOK FIRST. 

THE GENESIS OF BEING. 

CHAPTER I. 
Theogony ; Chaos to Hemera Myths . 1 

CHAPTER II. THE "UKtrs VULTUS" OF NATITBE. 

Nebulous matter, the simplest visible The Nebular Hypothesis, pushed to 
its ultimate, goes back to one most simple mode of Being in which were 
all of matter and of force ; Mythology goes back to a Chaos in which 
were Gsea and Eros Hesiod's invocation to the Muses (Theog. 104-116) 
embodies a personal protest against the charge of Paganism Collision 
of stellar bodies and intense heat are preludes to the universal sim- 
plicity of -Being; the same are alluded to as preludes of a Chaos, by 
Hesiod (Theog. 69.5-705),. by Ovid (Met. II. 298, 299) Further identifi- 
cation of pure -Being with -Chaos, through derivation, through Hesiod 
(Theog. 116-122), through Ovid (Met. I. 5-20) The mythological Gsea, 
a gradually diminishing quantity Harmony between Scriptural, 
mythological, and scientific accounts of primal Being Matter not 
identical with force 2 12 

CHAPTER III. " QUISQUIS PUIT ILLB DEOBUM." 

Change from simplicity and rest to complexity and motion Constructive 
Evolution necessarily involves Dissolution -What these two are to 
simple Being and to each other, Erebus and Nox are to Chaos and to 
each other Identity further established by derivation, by the " melior 
natura " of Ovid, and by the " Erebus " of Hades Relation of Erebus 
to the Qenesiac " morning and evening " 13 16 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER IV. " LET THESE BE LIGHT." 

Light and its theories Touman on light and ether Derivative relation 
of the mythological JEther to light, heat, and motion Passages from 
Virgil and Ovid, some favouring the nndulatory, others the corpuscular 
theory Identity, through comparison, between the scientific ether and 
the mythological JSther Motion, the first result of change, would be 
productive not only of light but of division : our universe, a type of this 
division, personified by Hemera Idea of " division " transferred from 
quantity to time Genesis (i. 2) supplies the link missing in the mytho- 
logical and scientific stories Harmony between the three The ri^pa 
ftla. of Genesis in its relation to quantity and time Hesiod's First 
Day (Theog. 123-125) ; Ovid's (Met. I. 21-31) Uriel's address to 
Satan 1726 



BOOK SECOND. 

THE ONENESS OF OUR UNIVERSE. 

CHAPTER I. 
Theogony ; Gaea, Uranus, their offspring Myths . . . 27 28 

CHAPTER II. "WITHOUT FOBM, AND VOID." 



The collective universe ; the 70X0 ireXtiafn] Astronomy connects entire 
sidereal system with the Galaxy or Milky Way ; same theory enter- 
tained by ancient philosophers and poets ; Ovid (Met. I. 168-176) 
Hesiod's narrative (Theog. 126-130) ; it tells how form and porosity 
were first produced Matter, form, and substance Primal condition of 
matter, indeterminate ; Evolution would bring determinateness, viz., 
orbicularity as to form, and atoms with porosity as to matter 29 34 

CHAPTER III TN FOEMAL CHAINS. 

Results of further evolution Helmholtz on dower of matter and force 
received by the nebulous offshoot of a greater nebula Birth of 
molecular matter, chemical force, and great physical forces : the 
Titans, Cyclopes, and Hecatoncheires Order of succession ; did force 
impress itself on matter, or matter on force ? Inferences from Hesiod 
and Apollodorus ...... . . . 35 36 

CHAPTER IV. MOLECULAS MATTES. 

Birth of the Titans (Theog. 132-138) The Atomic Theory Change of 
matter from atomic to molecular ; results The Titans identified with 
molecular matter, by (1) genealogy, order of coming, need of being, 
and kindred ; (2) by Hesiod's description (Theog. 207-210) ; (3) by 
derivation and mythical details ; (4) by the Titanic force which science 
claims as residing in molecules . . . . . . 37 39 



CONTENTS. xv 



CHAPTER V. CHEMICAL FOBCE. 

Elements, molecules, atoms Atoms and molecules compared Chemical 
force the only means of combining atoms into molecules, or of 
separating molecules into atoms For this to operate there must be 
bodies of a different nature The Cyclopes personify Chemical Force ; 
proofs, by repeated comparison, derivation, kindred, and connection 
with Laestrygones Same idea involved in "Cyclopes" and "Chemistry" 
Chemical force and volcanic energy Three distinct stages in chemical 
action, namely, attractive strength, decomposition, and composition : 
identified, through derivation, with Brontes, Steropes, and Arges 
* Hesiod's description (Theog. 139-146) The Cyclopes in relation t<> 
volcanoes and volcanic action Homer's "Land of the Cyclopes" 
(Odyss. IX. 106-115) Ovid's " Polyphemus and Galatea " (Met. XIII. 
750-897) 4064- 

CHAPTER VI. GREAT PHYSICAL FORCES. 

The Hecatoncheires Universal properties of matter reducible to three 
The forces ruling these are Figure, Divisibility, and Gravitation or 
Gravity : in Mythology they are Gyes, Cottus, and Briareus or JEgseon 
"Hecatoncheires" and "universal" Priority of the three forces 
Briareus ; influence of gravitation on the tides (Theog. 817-819) ; on 
Nature in general (Iliad I. 396-406) Gyes ; Horace (Car. II. 17-22) 
Cottus Significative epithets applied to each force Hesiod's 
Hecatoncheires (Theog. 147-153) Passages from Hesiod, Homer, and 
Virgil suggest a knowledge of the great law of gravitation . 65 74- 

CHAPTER VII. THE FIXED CUT-OFF. 

Magnitude of our universe ; its form and boundary The " limitary 
boundary " of science, " Oranus " of mythology, and " firmament " of 
Genesis, expressive of same thing When formed? Its nature and 
constituents? How produced? The Genesiac narrative (i. 6-8), and 
" derivative creation " The Nebular Hypothesis The mythological 
story compared with the scientific Hesiod's version (Theog. 154-181) 
Creation's Plan 7582 

CHAPTER VIII." CONCOEDIA MTJNDI." 

Gradual arrangement of the parts Ether as a connecting medium 
Harmony of our Universe Hesiod (Theog. 188-206) . . 8386 



BOOK THIRD. 

TOILERS OP THE NIGHT. 



CHAPTER I. 

Theogony Nox and her offspring : identical with shapes which Virgil 
stations at entrance to Hades (-33n. VI. 273-284) Hesiod's description 
(Theog. 211-232) of Destiny, Responsibility, Death, Sleep, Dreams, 
Doubt, Woe, the Obscure, the Fates, Cares, Apprehension, Deceit, 
Afiinity, Old Age, Strife, and the offspring of Strife . . 87 92 



ivi CONTENTS. 

BOOK FOURTH. 

WORLD -BUILDING. 



CHAPTER I. 
Theogony ; Pontus, Gaea, their offspring Myths . . . 93 97 

CHAPTER II. THE LUMINOUS PAST. 

Introductory remarks -Comparison of incidents in this book with work of 
the Third Genesiac Day Our orb as it was once, an immense mass of 
luminous vapour : symbolised by Gsea and Pontus ; proofs, from com- 
parison, derivation, and extracts from Hesiod and Virgil How Pontus, 
as a term, came to be applied to the ocean Sketch of our orb and its 
aspects during incandescent and igneous stages Figuier's description 
Conditions prevalent towards the close .... 98 107 

OHAPTER III. THE BIRTH-PLACE, BIETH, AND COMING OF THE SEA. 

The story; .told by Gunning and by Figuier of the primal rain ; by 
Mythology of Nereus Distinction between Neptune, Pontus, and 
Nereus Nereus identified with the sea, through comparison, derivation, 
and extracts Virgil (Eel. VI.) Hesiod (Theog. 233-236) The sea as 
a metamorphist ; as an oracle ...... 108 112 

CHAPTER IV. THE RIVEES OF THE SEA. 

Hesiod's version (Theog. 240-242 and seq.~) Circulation of oceanic waters- 
Immense currents traverse the sea in all directions and at all depths 
Their effect on temperature, commerce and navigation, coasts and 
cliffs, and on .terrigenous deposits in the bed of ocean Comparison 
through these effects, through number and names, identify them with 
the Nereides Probabilities 113 115 

CHAPTER V. THAUMATOBGY. 

Electricity ; known only through manifestations and effects ; its sources 
All these sources were present when the primal rain came down 
Winchell paints the scene " Thaumas " and " wondrous manifestations " 
" Electra " and " electricity " 116118 

CHAPTER VI. "!EI, DECUS CCELI." 

Iris and the rainbow Hesiod suggests an electrified condition of the 
atmosphere as a chief requisite for its appearance Quotations from 
Virgil and Ovid Messenger and' message ; the dualistic idea in " Iris " 
The rainbow's message, in our day, in days of old Why Iris, 
rather than Proserpine, was selected to cut the thread of Dido's 
life 119121 

CHAPTER VII. THE PIEATES OF THE AIE. 

The Harpies (Theog. 265-269) Changes in aerial envelope occasioned by 
the primal rain A "thermal sea" below, a "storm sea" above The 
Harpies identified with cyclones and other revolving tempestuous 
winds ; proofs, from derivation, individual names, pedigree, and 
mythical details The blind Phineus and the Strophades A revolving 
storm, as described by Reclus : by Virgil (^En. III. 192-219) 122127 



CONTENTS. xvii 



CHAPTEE VIII. THK KEEPER AND THE KEEP. 

Phorcys and Ceto (Theog. 237-239) ; symboliral of exterior and interior of 
our globe ; proofs, from implication, genealogy, relationship, and 
significance of names and epithets How Phorcys came to be recognised 
as a marine deity 128 129 

OHAPTEE IX. THE GRAY FROM BIETH. 

Clouds; when first produced and how Three principal kinds, Cumulus, 
Stratus, Cirrhus Comparison between the clouds and the Graise, drawn 
from parentage, position, number, collective and individual names, and 
from the epithet " gray from birth " Hesiod's description (Theog. 
270-273) The one eye and one tooth of the clouds, and how they 
borrow them from one another 130 134 

CHAPTEK X. THE LIGHT THAT FAILED. 
Sect. 1. The Golden Age. 

Earth as an incandescent orb ; time measurement Bonney's description of 
our planet as a sun, and of the three forces operating thereon These 
personified in mythology ; collectively, as the Gorgons ; respectively, as 
Stheno, Euryale, Medusa ; proofs, from genealogy, kindred, elimination, 
derivation, and mythical details How science vouches for the immor- 
tality of two, and the mortality of one Self-luminous earth considered 
in its three stages : (1) Incandescence ; (2) Sub-incandescence ; (3) 
Non-incandescence Medusa, tJie Gorgon, considered under her three 
aspects ; (1) Beautiful, with golden locks ; (2) Convulsed, with snaky 
tresses ; (3) Decapitated Incandescence compared with Medusa of the 
golden locks Ovid's testimony (Met. IV. 791-797) ; Virgil's (Georg. I. 
125) Ovid's "Golden Age "(Met. I. 89-112) . . . 135 142 

Sect. 2. A Dying-out Sun. 

Sub-incandescence compared with Medusa of the snaky tresses What water 
did to incandescent earth ; what Neptune did to golden-haired Medusa 
Ovid- epitomises the acme and wane of incandescent days (Met. IV. 
790-801) 142146 

Sect. 3 The " Closing " Scene. 

The story ; as related by Winchell, Bonney, Figuier ; and by Mythology 
Hesiod's description (Shield 207-215) Memorable dwellers of this 
period : Ixion, Lapithse and Centaurs, Acrisius, Perseus Decapitation 
of Medusa ; the mythical equivalent of non-incandescence, or incrusta- 
tion of the fiery surface The active agent employed in congealing the 
liquid exterior, as told by Winchell, Fignier, Bonney ; as told by 
Mythology Perseus synonymous with " cold and pressure " ; proofs, 
from derivation, epithets, and classical description Horace (Sat. I. 7) ; 
Ovid (Met. IV-. 7(59-789) ; Hesiod (Shield 216-229) ; Apollodorus 
(2.4.2.3-2.4.2.9) Where science has placed the Gorgon's head ; and 
where her trunk 146 164 

CHAPTER XI. THE MISSING GARMENT. 

The primal crust of our globe ; no visible relics of it Probable nature of its 
material? Was solidification gradual? What regions were first in- 
crusted? Mode and time of formation? How long the process? 
Opinions of modern writers ; of Ovid and Hesiod Chrysaor identified 
with this missing crust, through genealogy, through name Was life 
existent at this period ? What mythology says thereon ; what science 
says A few flash lights on contemporary events Callirrhoe' and the 
waters that rested on the primal covering .... 165 170 

G.O. b 



xviii CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XII. THE WINGED STEED. 

Pegasus and evaporation ; each coeval with original incrustation of the 
globe Interstitial water present in all rocks and minerals Vapour 
springs from the earth, but never returns as vapour ; identity with 
Pegasus, as shown by derivation and details Vaporisation and evapora- 
tion The flight of vapour, and of Pegasus Helicon and Hippocrene 
Connection of evaporation with Aurora, Zeus, and the Muses Hesiod's 
description of the Gorgons. of Chrysaor, and of Pegasus (Theog. 
274-288) . 171175 

CHAPTEB XIII. How THE MOUNTAINS WEBE " LIFTED." 

Our continental areas Their germinal outlines were mountain chains, and 
existed from Archsean time Originally produced by wrinkling of the 
primal crust Geryon emblematic of this wrinkling force of earth ; his 
cattle are the terrestrial ridges ; proofs, furnished by genealogv, name, 
epithets, mythical details, and classical allusions Virgil (jEn. VI. 
286-289) ; Horace (Car. II. 14)" fats," " boves," and " mountains " 
The giant and his cattle ; pre-tertiary time and its ridges Modern 
testimony as to distribution of land and water during Cretaceous and 
early Tertiary Days ; testimony of Apollodorus (2.5.10-2.5.10.4) Dana 
describes the work performed during Tertiary period ; the Tenth 
Labour of Hercules tells the same story Hesiod's Geryon (Theog. 
287-294)" Hercules " and " great earth movements "The " Twelve 
Labours " and " Great geological periods " of our earth Tenth Labour 
synchronous with our Tertiary Age Was America known to the 
ancients? 176185 

CHAPTER XIV. THE EOCK OF AGES. 

The closing leaf in the world's volume Granite Its relation to the missing 
crust Different opinions of modern writers as to its source ; different 
opinions as to genealogy of Echidna Hesiod, a " Neptunist " ; 
Apollodorus, a " Plutonist " " Sinuous," the most striking character- 
istic of granite, is embalmed in the " Echidna " of mythology 
Minute description by Hesiod (Theog. 295-306) Offspring of the 
granite 186 190 

CHAPTER XV. THE HEAT AND DAEKNESS OF OTHER DATS. 

Abnormal heat of the newly-inerusted globe ; Bonney's description Steam, 
formed by rain rejected from the glowing surface, caused intense 
darkness ; Winchell pictures the Cimmerian gloom Those character- 
istics continued in a varying degree up to beginning of Tertiary time 
Figuier, on climatic conditions of the successive geological periods ; 
Hugh Miller, on those of Archzean days This combination of " heat and 
darkness " symbolised by the Chimsera ; proofs, from genealogy, 
epithets and phrases, derivation, description Linguistic relics of the 
monster Apollodorus on the darkness (2.3.1.3) Three fiery heads and 
three different aspects of the heat " The true Chimsera " (Lucretius, 
V. 903) Abnormal heat finally overcome ; by radiation, in the 
language of science, by Belleroplion, in the language, of Mythology 
Hesiod's version (Theog" 319-325) ; Homer's Chimrera (II. VI. 152-183) 
Date of Chimiera's death Final effort of Bellerophon ; last ride of 
terrestial radiation 191 201 

CHAPTER XVI. "HYDBA S^VIOB INTTJS HABET SEDEM." 

Ophis, the remaining descendant of Phorcys and Ceto ; the centre of our 
elobe Hesiod (Theog. 333-33G) A brief review" Is not Theogony 
Cosmogony?" Ovid's outline of events in this Book (Met. I. 32-71) 
The condensed scriptural account (Gen. i. 9, 10) . . 202 206 



CONTENTS. xix 

BOOK FIFTH. 

TITANIC TIBS. 



CHAPTER I. 
Theogony ; Titans and their offspring Myths .... 207 210 

CHAPTEK II. OCEANUS, THE TIE OF WATERS. 

Whence come our seas, springs, rivers? Volatilising process carried on 
during incandescence would be succeeded by oxidation ; remarks of 
Gunning Atoms of oxygen and hydrogen would unite and form the 
first molecular tie, that of Aqueous Vapour ; this, as comparison shows, 
is identical with Oceanus Genesis (ii. 5, 6) Characteristics of 
aqueous vapour ; an Oceanid for each characteristic Hesiod (Theog. 
346-370) Scientific significance of the "perfect river," "the backward 
flowing," and other epithets applied to Oceanus No fixed limits in 
space assigned to diffusion of aqueous vapour ; consequences thereof 

211218 

CHAPTEE III. HYPEKION, THE TIE OF WOELDS. 

A contracting nebula entailed a differential space around and beyond 
Hither rushed all cosmic matter given off by radiation and disruption 
The Nebular Hypothesis This rush of cosmic inaiter to outer space 
symbolised by Hyperion and Tbea Hesiod (Theog. 371-374) Our 
sun True system of astronomy taught by Pythagoras Colloquial and 
figurative language regarding sun's course employed by modern as well 
as by ancient writers " Sun-rise," " sun-high," and " sun-set " 
describe but half his course " The golden boat " Some modern 
similes 219222 

CHAPTEPv IV. 
Sect. 1. Crius, the Tie of Order. 

" Order," " course," and the " Crius " of mythology ; idea of " separation " 
involved in all ; separation leads to order Ovid (Met. I. 22, 23, 33) 
Changes in matter necessitate a new arrangement or order among the 
atoms of molecules Alexander Pope on the Course of Being Order 
divisible into (1) Constant and Uniform ; (2) Changeable and Multi- 
form ; and (3) either Constant and Multiform, or Changeable and 
Uniform These three personified by the offspring of Crius, viz. : 
Astrseus, Pallas, and Perses Only in the stars is constant and uniform 
order observable 223 225 

Sect. 2. The Constant and the Dawn. 

Looking backward ; from earth to sun to stars to star clusters to 
nebute Chain of evidence proves that luminous nebulous matter is 
the Dawn of all the harbinger of light, the begetter of stars, and (as 
ascending heat) the begetter of constant winds This subtle cosmic 
matter identified with Eos or Aurora ; her partner, Astrseus, with the 
constant and uniform type of order Progressive cooling and shrinking 
of our globe, the basis of myth regarding Aurora and Tithonus 
Hesiod's version (Theog. 378-382) 225230 



xx CONTENTS. 



Sect. 3. The Changeable and the Glovm. 

Offspring of Crius and Eurybia ; Hesiod (Theog. 375-377) Mutations of 
and on the earth Type of order observable in these is changeable and 
multiform ; identified with Pallas ; proofs, from parentage, kindred, 
and derivation Potent effects of change on things of earth, air, and 
water Hesiod's appellation, " the god of gods " Pallas wedded to 
Styx Evolution carried on at expense of force and motion 
Integration wedded therefore to Disintegration Equipoise of the two 
The matter is constant ; integration and disintegration are functions of 
each other; the changeable and multiform order ever goes on, now- 
above ground, now below Pope, Shakespeare, Young, on " the 
lurking principle " of disintegration This dread principle, threatening 
death above and corruption below, personified as Styx Guardian of 
the Stygian torrent (Ovid, Met. III. 291) The whither of matter 
after death One phase of Metempsychosis (Ovid, Met. XV. 88-90, 
165-168) A " via declivis " for all dead matter ; limited downward 
only by the descent of water Underground water, its permeation, 
circulation, operations within the crust, measure of descent A review 
and comparison with Styx The " via declivis " of Ovid (Met. IV. 
432-446) The Styx of Hesiod (Theog. 383-403, 775-807) . 230246 



CHAPTEE V. 

Sect. 1. Cceus, tJie Tie of Union. 

Union, essential for a stable globe Cohesion ; its varying strength in 
solids, liquids, gases The radical idea involved in union of all kinds is 
" commonness : " this commonness symbolised as Cseus During incan- 
descence all kinds of matter capable of being vaporised were held in a 
condition of gaseous commonness high above the globe Virgil 
(Eel. VI. 31) First step towards progress would be purification of the 
promiscuous mass ; this purifying process identified with Phoebe, the 
consort of Cseus Horace (Car. Ssec. 1) The primal rain would not 
only establish an ocean on the crust, but would also affect the atmos- 
phere and its gaseous mineral contents The former would be rendered 
clearer ; the latter would be precipitated into the sea below This last 
result compared with myth of Asterie Hesiod on Cseus and his off- 
spring (Theog. 404-410) ; Apollodorus- (1.4.1-1.4.3) . . 247251 

Sect 2. Our Atmosphere. 

Latona ; identified by comparison of attributes with the atmosphere 
Extent of atmospheric air, its components, and mode of union How it 
came to settle round our globe Modern conjecture points to caverns 
if earth as the place where it originated Reasoning on this presump- 
tion is but going over incidents connected with the wanderings of 
Latona Atmosphere of early times very unlike what we have to-day ; 
Hugh Miller on that of the Archsean age ; Winchell on that of the Car- 
boniferous period Not till close of the Coal Age was there an atmos- 
phere suitable for air-breathing animals Ovid's fable of Latona and 
the frogs (Met. VI. 313-381) ; it is a story of Carboniferous time, and 
agrees essentially with our own theories of the probable conditions 
then existing Latona ; Diana ; Apollo Comparison with our atmos- 
phere, and the direct and indirect transmission of light, heat, and 
sound A bit of condensed science from Apollodorus . . 251 264 



CONTENTS. xxi 

Sect. 3. The Metamorpliic- Rocks. 

Different theories as to the origin of Aletamorphic rocks ; prevalent opinion 
favours the aqueous source ; their crystalline texture explained in two 
ways Presence of sediment in primal ocean conceded in both cases 
Whence derived ? The gaseous envelope of incandescent days ; its vast 
extent, and immense amount of mineral matter therein, as described by 
Figuier The Asterie of mythology compared with the source, matter, 
and translation of the Metamorphic rocks ; Perses, her partner, identi- 
fied with the crystallising agency that affected these rocks Conclusions 
based on a study of the myth Horace's "Ad Asterien" (Car. III. 7) ; 
it is descriptive of the Metamorphic and Devonian rocks, and agrees 
with our own conceptions of each formation . . . 264 272 

Sect. 4. Mysterious Ups and Downs. 

From the establishment of the Metamorphic rocks sprang a mighty and 
mysterious process ; from Asterie and Perses sprang the mighty and 
mysterious Hecate Bach formation derived from ruins of the preceding 
The story of one ; it is that of all Important r61e played by slow 
Elevation and Depression ; (1) below the ocean ; (2) above the ocean ; 
(3) higher up, as in hills and mountains These movements are one in 
essence, mysterious, powerful, and still continue Identified with 
Hecate, as shown by derivation, parentage, and in a special manner by 
Hesiod's description (Theog. 411-453) Elevation, considered under 
three heads, geological, astronomical, and mental, will explain all 
the epithets and attributes of Hecate 273 284 



BOOK SIXTH. 

TITANIC TIBS (continued}. 



CHAPTER I. 
Theogony ; Kronos, and his offspring Myths .... 285 290 

CHAPTER II. KRONOS, THE TIE OF TIES. 

Time Its connection, from mythological standpoint, with the First Day of 
Genesis ; with the Second, Third, and Fourth Days Helmholtz, 
Flammarion, and Faraday on unremitting and resistless Time The 
period of incandescence ; changes accomplished in it by time Bonney 
describes how Kronos swallowed his children Hesiod's narrative 
(Theog. 453-467) Apollodorus relates the story (1.5.1) Spectroscopic 
analysis Astronomy tells how Kronos was compellel to vomit up his 
offspring Genesis and mythology furnish clues for approximating the 
date Conclusions based on collating the two accounts . 291 301 

CHAPTER III. THE CURDLED SPUME OF AGES. 

Hestia (Vesta), and the foundations of our globe Demeter (Ceres), and 
mother earth Hera (Juno), and the dry land Hades (Pluto), and the 
underground world Poseidon (Neptune), and water . . 302 30S 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER IV. LIFE. 

Zeus ; identity with Life ; proofs, from order of being, attributes, power, 
derivation, epithets, union with Juno, offspring, and all classical 
allusions First indisputable evidences of life are found in Cambrian 
rocks The Archsean series (gneiss, schists, &c.), below these are desti- 
tute of visible fossil remains, with one supposed exception ; but that 
life did exist among them is generally favoured by geologists Lyell 
and Winchell on the subject Reasons for entertaining this belief The 
mythological Narrative corroborates the idea It goes even further 
back, and begins life with the wane of the incandescent period Virgil 
(Georg. I. 125-132) As we associate life with the graphite, the 
ancients may have associated it with the diamond The chemistry of 
life : represented by the Dactyli, Cabiri, and Telchines Dactyli ; they 
personify " the ternary group," carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen Ovid 
identifies one of the Dactyli with a member of the group (Met. IV. 
281-282) ; further identification from derivation, number, and mythical 
details Cabiri; comparison with " the nitrogenous group," carbon, 
oxygen, hydrogen, aiid nitrogen ; proofs, from relationship, number, 
powers for good and ill, connections, description, derivation individual 
and collective, and association with Hecate Herodotus on the Cabiri 
Teleliineis ; they are to the Dactyli and Cabiri what inorganic chemistry 
is to organic Their names ; significative of chief characteristic proper- 
ties of the metals and metalloids ; further proofs of identity found in 
their origin, derivation, description, and mythical details The 
physiology of life : represented by Amalthea, the Nymphs Adrastea 
and Ida, and the Curetes The cave of Dicte, and the cellular theory 
Amalthea, and germination Adrastea, and absorption ; Ida, and 
secretion The Curetes, and growth The Zeus of Hesiod (Theog. 
468-506) Life conditions of Archasan time Touman on Life Possi- 
bility of life on the planets ; on the sun Fungous nature of primal 
vegetation Lindley on fungous growth No fixed limits to its endur- 
ance and capabilities 309 338 



BOOK SEVENTH. 
TITANIC TIBS (continued). 



CHAPTER I. 
Theogony ; lapetus and his offspring Myths .... 339 340 

CHAPTER II. IAPETUB, THE TIE OB 1 APTITUDE. 

Design and change in all things The great Plan of Creation As the 
receptacle of the Plan, matter may be supposed as having an aptitude 
for receiving and exhibiting it ; this aptitude or eternal fitness of 
things towards an end is personified as lapetus Plan, aptitude, and the 
" anima mundi " (Virgil, JS,n. VI. 724-732) Earth's aptitude for 
incandescence was banished from the exterior and confined within the 
centre of our globe, when it became a planet ; the myth that plunges 
an lapetus into Tartarus is expressive of the same idea Homer 
(II. VIII. 477-481) 341-343 



CONTENTS. xxiii 

CHAPTER III. "Too HIGH BOBN TO BE PBOPEBTY'D." 

As a sun our earth was spherical ; as a planet it is an oblate spheroid In 
adapting itself to the change, remnants of the sphere were sacrificed by 
shrinking ; these remnants are the Menoetius of mythology Hesiod's. 
version of lapetus and his offspring (Theog. 507-516) . . 344 346 

CHAPTER IV. THE WOBLD'S WHEEL. 

The equatorial plane and Atlas The scientific aspects ; the mythological 
Hesiod (Theog. 517-520) Farther proofs from derivation, epithets, 
and phrases Viewed in various ways by the poets ; by. Homer in 
connection with the depths (Odyss. I. 52, 53) ; by Ovid, with the 
rational horizon (Met. XV. 147-149) ; by Virgil, for its services to 
astronomical research (2En. I. 744-750) Each hemisphere, resting on 
the equatorial plane. M a vast mountain, and has been transformed ; 
Ovid tells the story (Met. IV. 614-662) 347354 

CHAPTER V. THE METAPHYSICS OF MYTHOLOGY. 

Inner significance of the symbols from Chaos to Hemera Ancient philo- 
sophy ; Thales, Anaximenes, Anaximander, Pythagoras, Xenophaues, 
Parmenides, Zeno, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Democritus, Anaxagoras 
The Greek schools only unraveled a pre-Hesiodic philosophy that had 
been crystallised into word pictures Theogony Chaos to Hemera ; 
Genesis i. 1-5 What was the religious belief of the ancient philo- 
sophers and poets ? Some curious cryptographic possibilities that point 
to a knowledge of the Christ to come 355 376 

CHAPTER VI. MIND. 

Close association in the philosophies between Eros, Light or -3Sther, and 
Mind Influence of light ; on the universe, as law ; on molecular 
matter, as aptitude This aptitude exhibited as a rotating spheroid for 
our globe ; as mind, in varying nature and degree, for the three 
kingdoms of nature Mental aptitude as displayed in minerals ; in 
vegetables ; in animals ; in man Sensation, emotion, and volition of 
plants Darwin's comparison Cnvier on the "anima mundi " Cell 
development embodied in the conjunction of Prometheus, Zeus, and 
Minerva Minerva, and organic structure The theft of mind, the 
narthex, and other particulars The myth of Prometheus studied in 
connection with the long procession of life forms upon our globe, and 
with the gradual development of mind and structure Man appears ; 
reason is set free " Eleventh Labour " of Hercules synchronous with 
the coming of man Hesiod's version (Theog. 521-534) The 
incident at Mekone compared with the Fall in Eden ; Hesio-l 
(Theog. 535-564) 377395 

CHAPTEE VII. THE MEASTJBE AND THE FOIL OP MIND. 

Life and sex Priority of Ihe male kinl Distinction of sex in vegetable 
and animal kingdoms The generative organ in plants ; its parts ; 
process of generation Sexual structure and function of plant life is 
ihe basis of the myth which introduces a Pandora for an Epimetheus 
First partnership between Life and Mind It necessarily embraced a 
third member The Protophyte, and his Pandora Hesiod (Theog. 
565-589) How the firm of Life, Mind, and Co. operated through the 
ages Post-tertiary time ; man becomes the third member ; " I am the 
firm I " His Pandora appears Hesiod tells the story (Works and 
Days, 47-89) 396408 



xxiv CONTENTS. 

BOOK EIGHTH. 

WRESTLING WITH THEIR FATU. 

CHAPTER I. 

Myths ; the War of the Titans ; the Battle of the Giants ; the Struggle of 
Typhceus 409410 

CHAPTEE II. HEAT VERSUS LIFE. 

Forces on each side ; duration of the contest ; Hesiod (Theog. 617-638) 
The Council of war ; Life appeals to his auxiliary forces ; Theog. 
(639-666) Preparing for the final struggle ; the chronological date as 
recorded in rock-bound pages ; Theog. (666-678) A memorable field 
of battle ; ominous signs ; " the shock the shout the groan of war ; " 
victory 1 vse victis ! Theog. (678-720) 411 426 

CHAPTEE III. THE TRAP BOOKS VEESTTS LIFE. 

How Life shared the spoils, and became ruler ; Hesiod (Theog. 881-885) 
The harness wrings into the raw ; insurrection of the Traps Their 
origin, names and numbers, intrusive manners, savage nature, ambitious 
desires, size and strength ; how they warred against life, and how they 
were finally laid low The story as told by science ; as told by 
Mythology (Apollodorus, 1.6-1.6.2.5) 427438 

CHAPTEE IV. THE VOLCANO VEESUS LIFE. 

Past and present activity of the volcano More widely distributed in the 
past "Typhaon," and " Volcano, " Apollodorus (1.6.3-1.6.3.12) 
describes the origin, construction, geographical distribution, &c., of the 
volcano ; how it battled against life for supremacy ; and how and when 
it was overcome Distinction between the giant Traps and the 
Typhcean volcano well marked in classic poetry ; Horace (Car. III. 
4-7; Car. II. 12-15); Virgil (Georg. I. 278-283); Ovid (Met. I. 
151-162 ; Met. V. 346-358) Hesiod's references to the Trap rocks 
(Theog. 182-186) ; he favours their association with volcanic ones. 
The poet pictures the struggle between volcanic and life energies 
(Theog. 820-868) 439456 



THE GODS OF OLD; 

AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL 



BOOK FIEST. 

THE GENESIS OF BEING. 

/ 

CHAPTER I. 

THEOGONY. 

CHAOS 

EREBTTS Nox 
JETHER HEMERA 

MYTHS. 

Chaos a rude and shapeless mass that pre-existed the formation of 
the 'world, and out of which the gods, men, and all things 
arose. 

Erebus son of Chaos, and wedded to his sister Nox. 

Nox daughter of Chaos, and wife of Erebus. The Egyptians 
esteemed her as the most ancient of the gods. Homer calls 
her the subduer of gods and men, and a deity of whom 
Jupiter himself stands in awe. 

As the personification of Night, she is represented as 
venerable and majestic in appearance, crowned with poppies 
or with stars, equipped with large dark wings and a long 
robe, and riding in a chariot drawn by two black horses, 

^EtJier the son of Erebus and Nox, regarded by the poets as the pure 
upper air and the residence of the gods. 

Hemera daughter of Erebus and Nox, and wedded to JEther, her 

brother. 
G.O. I; 



THE GODS OF OLD; 



CHAPTBE II. 

THE "UNUS VULTUS" OF NATUEE. 

Chaos. Oar earth represents one extreme of matter and 
force, Eor the other, or what is conjectured to be the 
other, -we must go beyond our solar and stellar systems, 
beyond even the furthest resolvable of the stars, and gaze 
upon other systems to which the general name of Nebulae 
has been given from their cloud-like appearance. Some 
few of these are visible to the naked eye on a clear night, 
and look like faint patches of cloud or specks of fog. 
Many of them are resolvable under telescopic power into 
individual stars, but others have been evoked from the 
depths of space that appear as faint and misty to the 
mightiest of our telescopes as those which it resolves 
appear to the unaided eye. 

Science assures us that our solid Earth of to-day, its less 
solid sister planets and its central sun, were all originally 
in a nebulous condition. It concludes the same of the 
fixed stars and of every heavenly body that is visible to the 
naked eye or the most powerful telescope. It furthermore 
implies that the nebulae embracing our solar system, each 
stellar system, and each nebular system, may originally 
have been one ; or in other words that the cluster of worlds 
which we call the Universe may have been primarily one 
immense aggregated nebulous mass in which resided all 
the knowable as well as the unknowable forms of matter 
and force in their simplest condition. 

The composition of those most distant nebulae is, so far, 
somewhat of a puzzle. The combined efforts of telescope 
and spectroscope have tracked the regular sequence of Earth 
from planet, planet from star, and star from " star-dust." 
But beyond this star-dust, or the diffused gaseous material 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 3 

of which the nebulse are made up, their efforts have been 
powerless. " Probably gaseous " and " probably not 
gaseous " are the more or less Pythian responses of even 
that most powerful of scientific implements, the spectro- 
scope, when confronted by some, and those not even the 
most distant, of the nebulse. . . . And yet these nebulee 
must be as old as Earth itself, must have undergone change 
after change daring the countless million years that geology 
assigns to our own orb, and they visibly evince those 
changes in the multiplicity of forms, circular, elliptical, 
spiral, and otherwise, which they present for view to-day. 
Now, if their change of form be, as it is asserted to be, in 
the line of evolution, then there must have also been a 
corresponding change from the matter and force originally 
resident in them. So that, however simple the matter of 
those nebulae be even now, so much so as to defy the 
prism and the lens, there must have been a time past 
when it was simpler still, and an archaic day when the 
nebulous mass that embraced our universe, and (it may be) 
external universes, contained matter and force in their 
simplest forms. What the nature of such force could be is 
one of the vexed questions of to-day. It could not have 
been any of our known forces ; not even gravitation, for in 
space filled with nebulous matter, the plenum et inani of 
Epicurus, there was nothing to gravitate to or to be gravi- 
tated by. Space and matter were one. What the nature 
of the matter was is equally incomprehensible, since it is 
almost as difficult to believe it gaseous as it is to believe it 
fluid or solid ; and we know of matter under no other than 
these three forms. Be this as it may, a universal nebulous 
mass, characterised l>y the extreme of simplicity as to form, 
matter, and force, is the "fons et origo " of approved 
modern science when tracing back our universe to its cog- 
nisable beginning. 

If we now turn to Mythology we find Chaos heading the 
list of all existences, the " first of all," the embracing all, 
and than which there was none older. This must conse- 
quently be the mythic synonym of our scientific fons et 

B 2 



4 THE GODS OF OLD; 

origo, and if so, must be found to agree with a universal 
nebula having the extreme of simplicity as to matter, force, 
and form. So far as priority is concerned the proof is 
evident enough. Hesiod, invoking the Muses, writes as 
follows and effectually disposes, it will be observed, not only 
of the priority of Chaos, but also of the false notions con-, 
cerning the religious views attached to the so-called Pagan 
deities. 

Xcupere, TeKva Ator, Sore &' i(tepae<ro-av doiftrjv. 
(cXetere 8' ddavdrcov lepov yevos alev f6vra>v, 
01 yrjs e^eyevovro Kal ovpavov dcrrepoevros, 
VVKTOS re dvcxpfpr/s, ovs ff &\fj.vpbs eVpecpe ITOVTOS. 
earare S', as Tairp&ra Beoi Kal yala yevovro, 
Kal TTora/ioi KOI TTOITOS direlptTos, oi'S/aari Bvtav, 
aarpa T Xa/iireTotowa Kal ovpavos evpiis virepOev, 
ol r IK. rcav fyevovro 6eoi, 8a>rijpes edaiv, 
&s T atpevov SdatravTo KOI cos rijuar SieXoi/ro, 
fjde Kal a>s rcarpatTa iroXinrrv^ov ea-xov"O\vfj,Trov. 
TCLvrd fioi etrirere Nlov(ra.i 'OXv/iTTta Sco/tar' ep^outrai 
e dpxfjs, KOL eiiraff o TI irp&rov yever OVT&V- 
"Hrot p.ev Trpcortora Xdor yever'. 

Theog. 104116. 

Jove's cliildi-en, kail, and grant tlie pleasing song. 

Of gods immortal voice the blessed race 

Who claimed descent from earth and starry heaven, 

From gloomy night, and whom the salt sea nursed. 

Tell how ttie elements were gods and earth, 

Eivers, and boundless billow-beaten sea, 

The shining stars and the wide heaven above ; 

And who of gods, the givers of all good, 

Were from them sprung ; and how they shared the spoil, 

And how the honours meted ; also how 

Those elements Olympus wreathy held. 

Muses, ye that have Olympian domes, 

Those things relate to me from day of eld, 

And whichso of them was the first declare. 

Truly, indeed, was Chaos first of all. 

The possibility of producing such a nebula as has been 
described has occupied the attention of Science. 

Helmholtz says : " If our earth were by a sudden shock 
brought to rest on her orbit, a quantity of heat would be 
generated sufficient to fuse its mass and reduce it for the 
most part to vapour. If, in addition, the earth having 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 5 

been thus brought to rest should fall into the sun (which of 
course would be the case); the quantity of heat developed 
by the shock would be 400 times greater." 

That is to say, the condition of nebulous matter would 
be attenuated or simplified to a degree beyond ordinary 
comprehension. Other writers have carried the same 
agent, heat, and the same modus operandi to systems 
beyond our solar one, and shown that progressive concen- 
tration or clustering of stellar bodies would of necessity 
lead to collisions : those collisions would generate heat so 
much the more intense than that produced by the earth 
falling into the sun, as the distance and magnitude of the 
colliding stellar bodies are greater than those of earth and 
sun : the diffused matter produced therefrom would form a 
resisting medium tending to diminish the velocities of 
other stellar bodies, and to increase the possibility of more 
frequent collisions with the same result : and so on, thus 
entailing eventually complete dissipation of matter and 
force and a universal nebulous condition. From all this we 
can infer that heat, intense heat, would be a prime factor 
in the causation of a more or less simple universal nebula. 

Now, the same intense heat is mentioned by Hesiod as 
the one agent capable of producing a condition of things 
approximating the most nearly to Chaos. "When describing 
the battle of Jupiter against the Titans, the poet pictures 
Zeus as collecting all his strength and hurling thick and 
fast both bolt and lightning on his foes till at last earth 
itself and all upon it shared in the conflagration. He then 
continues thus : 

efee e %6cav jracra KCU 'QKeavolo pee$pa, 
TTOVTOS T arpiyeros' roiis ' a/Kpenre deppbs dvrp.r) 
TiTTJvas x$o'ouy, <pXo 8' f/epa Slav iKavev 
acnreros, otrcre &' a/iepSe /cat I(p0ifj.a>v irep eovrcov 
avyfi fiapp-aipovcra Kepavvov re orepoirijs re. 

Se OeffTrecriov Kare^ev lidos' e'lcraro S' avra 

a'i.v Ifteiv 17$' ovatriv ocrtrav aKov<rai 
S) a>s ore Taia Kill Qvpavbs evpis virepdfv 
irikiiaivff. olos yap Ke peyurros dovTros opaipoi 
TTJS pev EpeiTro/ievi;?, rov S' u^odev f^epmovros, 
Tocnros SOVTTOS eyevro 6eS>v epiSt ^widvrcov. 

Theog. 695705, 



6 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Then steamed the all of earth, the ocean's springs, 
The boiling sea. Then circling round and round 
Those earthy Titans coursed the fiery surge ; 
And flame untold to air celestial came ; 
And mighty though they were, the dazzling glare 
Of bolt and lighting 'reft them of their sight. 
Then awful Chaos checked the heat intense, 
And seemed as face to face "with eyes to see, 
With ears to hear a boding sound, the same 
As when wide heaven above and earth drew nigh. 
Eor such a crash tremendous as arose 
Prom him compressing and from her compressed, 
Some such the crash was of conflicting gods. 

Ovid, too, bears similar testimony. Writing of the 
hardihood of Phsethon in guiding the chargers of the sun, 
he pictures the conflagration that ensued therefrom as 
come to earth, destroying city and plain, mountain, river, 
and the depths of land and sea, till finally earth herself, 
compelled by dire necessity, implores relief and mercy from 
the intense heat, and thus winds up her prayer : 

' ' Si fretaj si terras periunt, si regia coeli ; 
In Chaos antiquum confundimur." 

Met. n. 298299. 

If perish water, land, and sky's domain, 
To oldest Chaos are we blent again. 

When we turn to the derivation of the word Chaos we find 
additional points of resemblance between the scientific and 
mythological starting points. The primal nebula was such, 
we are told, as would be the last recipient of matter and 
force if dissipated by long-continued collisions of stellar 
bodies in space: it was also the general receptacle from 
which matter and force would be evoluted in the order of 
time. It was thus the refuge and the source, the coffin 
and the cradle, the goal and starting point of created being. 

Now, if it be possible for a single word to picture this 
dual idea, then Chaos is that word. It x." os comes from 
an old root x. a that has a twofold meaning, "namely, holding, 
and releasing. The former is well seen in x av ^ LVO> > " to 
hold, comprise, contain "; the latter, in yaha, " to let 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 7 

loose, to release." Other characteristically nebulous ideas 
are instanced in xaivn and x^ "^, "to gape, open, separate"; 
in x^ l *> '"' pure or unmixed wine," that is, in its simplest 
form ; in yjwvoa, " to make light, to weaken both the force 
and the weight"; in x a ' LOS > "original"; and in x.ii(iu>, the 
imperative form of which, yatpe, is used to signify both 
" welcome " and " farewell." So that Chaos would literally 
mean the Holdtr and Eeleaser, the Welcome and Farewell 
of all things, and would thus be the -exact personification of 
the idea embodied in the greater nebular hypothesis of 
science. 

For further particulars we quote Hesiod : 



1 "Hroi [lev itpa>TUTTa Xaos y/ver', mirap 

Tat fupvtrrepvos, itavrasv eSos dacpaXer afei 
ddavdratv, ot f^ovffi Kapr) vupoevros ' O\V/J.TTOV, 
Taprapd T' rjepoevra pv%f ^dovbs evpvoSeiT/s 1 , 

5 178' "'S.pos, os KaXX(oToy ev ddavdroicri 6eoi<ri, 
Xutri/teXijr, Trdvrcov re 6ea>v iravrwv T dvdpa>ira>v 
ddfivdrai ev trn^ecrtrt voov KOL eVi^pova jSovXrjv. 

Theog. 116122. 

Truly, indeed, was Chaos first of all ; 

But consequent therefrom, the wide-stretched GO, 

The e'er persistent bed of all the gods 

Who of Olympus snowy hold the peaks, 

And nebulous depths in wide-grooved earth's recess ; 

And Eros too, amongst immortal gods, 

Most subtile and resolving, who rules o'er 

The duteous wish and feeling in the breasts 

Of all, of all, both gods and men alike. 

NOTES. 

a This word in Greek expresses tJie immediate sequence from 
what goes before, and shows that both Tata and "Epos, Matter 
and Force, were inevitably blended in the chaos. 
Tat' The matter of our universe, evidently disseminated 
(fvpvvTepvos) through the nebulous mass. It seems connected 
with, if not derived from, yda>, an obsolete root denoting " to be 
derived from, to be born," as also, " to be proud of, to exult." 
If we regard the y as but an aspirate form the digamma 
we can trace the word through its other form, ala, to &>, "to 
sleep ; to satiate ; to breathe," all three meanings indicative 
of the rest and oneness that prevailed in the chaos when "the 
Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." 



8 THE GODS OF OLD; 

" By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all 
the host of them by the breath of his mouth." Psalm yyyn'i, 6. 
eSos Matter is persistent (do-<poX alei), the great foundation or led 
of all created things, whether in air above or in the very 
nucleus (pvxy) f our globe. 

5 "Epos Force. The word is derived immediately from <pepa>, as 

our "force" is from (popd, the Latin impetus: hence <popd 
n-payp-aTcnv, " the force of circumstances," and <pepe yap, or 
<p<rpe alone when introductory, answering to our "for" or 
"perforce." In many other words, too, of similar meaning, 
the (p is omitted; as in (pripl, r/pt', (po\Kos, O\KOS; (pepta-ros, 
apioros, &C. 

Force produces either motion or rest, motion being a change 
of place, and rest being the opposite of motion. As the mini- 
mum of force is accompanied inseparably by the minimum of 
motion, the simplest form of force and motion may be said to 
reside in cJiange, a passing from one state to another, an altera- 
tion immeasurably great or infinitely small, as the case may be. 
Change implies both force and motion; its absence implies rest. 
Now, epos curiously enough becomes by metathesis peos, "flux 
or change," and the term ol peovres has been given to such 
philosophers as Heraclitus and his followers, who held the 
theory that " all things are in a constant state of flux " a 
theory equivalent to our own idea that " change is persistent." 

The Chaos would thus mean simplicity or Absolute Eest, in 
which were the substance of matter (Gre), and rudimentary force 
and motion, or change (eros). 

6 Xva-i/ieXTjs From Xuo-is fieXo>, "presiding over resolution," as seen 

in the law styled "the resolution of force." 

Ovid, too, adds his contribution no mean one either, for 
every line is brimful of information as regards the proper 
understanding of the Chaos : 

1. Ante mare et terras, et, quod tegit omnia, ccelum, 

"Onus erat toto Naturae vultus in orbe, 

Quern dixere Chaos ; rudis indigestaque moles ; 

Nee quicquam nisi pondus iners, congestaque eodem 
5. Non bene jnnctarum discordia semina rerum. 

Nullus adhuc mundo prsebebat lumina Titan ; 

Nee nova crescendo reparabat cornua Phoebe ; 

Nee circumfuso pendebat in aere tellus, 

Ponderibus librata suis ; nee brachia longo 
10. Margine terrarum porrexerat Amphitrite. 

Quaque fuit tellus, illic et pontus, et ae'r : 

Sic erat instabilis tellus, innabilis unda, 

Lucis egens ae'r : nulli sua forma inanebat. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 9 

Obstabatque aliis aliud : quia corpore in uno 
15. Frigida pugnabant calidis, humentia siccis, 

Mollia cum duris, sine pondere habentia pocdus. 

Met. I. 520. 

Tore sea and lands, and sky that covers all, 

In the whole round was Nature's aspect one ; 

'Twas Chaos called ; a mass unformed and crude ; 

Nought save a passive bulk, and packed in same 

Incongruous seeds of things but badly joined. 

As yet no Titan gave the world its rays ; 

No Phoebe by increase new horns refilled ; 

Nor hung the earth self-balanced in the air 

Poured all around ; nor o'er the margin, long 

Of lands had Amphitrite stretched her arms. 

And where was dust, there moisture was and air : 

Thus wanting in stability was earth, 

In yielding way the wave, in light the air : 

Its own peculiar form for none remained. 

Each hindered each : for in the substance one 

Did cold oppose the hot, did moist the dry, 

Did soft the hard, and weight those wanting weight. 

NOTES. 

2 unus vultus- -Oneness, uniformity, or complete simplicity, was the 

characteristic of all creation's round (in toto orbe) in the 
beginning. 

3 rudis The nebulous mass was fresh (rudis) from the Creator's 

hand, and as yet destitute of form and order (indigesta). 

4 iners It was powerless for effect, and replete (congesta) with 

embryonic matter and force (semina renim) thoroughly diffused 
(non bene junctarmn). 

5 rerum "res" has a wide meaning in Latin, seeing that it signifies 

" thing ; whatever one can think of, corporeal and incorporeal; 
matter; force; the world; the universe." Ovid must have 
been of the opinion that the matter and force in the Chaos were 
not such as we know them to-day, for he uses the words 
' ' semina rerum." 

6 nullus Titan There was as yet no nearest sun, no distant star : 

all was darkness. 

" And darkness was upon the face of the deep." Gen. i. 2. 
9 librata Any body that is poised evenly ~by its own weigh tis " self- 
balanced." 

11 Quaque fuit tellus Nebulous matter is scientifically described as 
"a cloud of intensely-heated gas, a fire-mist; or a cloud of 
intensely-heated dust, finely divided particles of solid or liquid 



10 THE GODS OF OLD; 

matter, each, particle enveloped as it were with, a layer of 
permanent gas." 

13 sua forma Again does the poet suggest the unknowable form of 

matter in the Chaos. 

14 obstabat They nullified one another, and thus kept up the 

Absolute Eest. 

Let us say here that the Ge of Mythology and of Hesiod 
must be considered in the light of a diminishing quantity. 
In the Chaos it stands for Matter as opposed to Force, each 
unknowable as to nature. Afterwards, when separated 
from the Chaos, it stands for the circle of the universe as 
opposed to the circumferential Uranus or firmament ; later 
on, for the nebulous mass from which our Solar System was 
evolved ; later still, for the residual nebula from which 
earth and its atmosphere were derived ; still later, for the 
globe as opposed to the gaseous envelope surrounding it ; 
and finally, for the dry land in contradistinction to the sea. 
This is in consonance too with the scientific hypothesis 
that each successive mass, when disrupted from the parent 
nebula, would represent the density of that nebula and 
would consist of progressively heavier matter. The same 
interpretation of Ge is observable in Genesis, chap. i. 

"In the beginning God made rbv oiipavov and T^V -yrjv." 
Now the writer defines rbv oiipavov in the 8th verse, where he 
says " And God called the firmament Ovpavbv," so that we are 
naturally led to infer that rrjv -fyv included all creation, the 
firmament excepted. Again it is unreasonable to suppose 
that the yij aoparos Kal dicaracrKevaoTos of verse 2, invested 
as it is with the unlimited characteristics of the "abyss" 
or " deep," is identical in size, form, or nature with the 
limited yij surrounded afterwards by a firmament and 
alluded to in verse 7, " the waters which were under the 
firmament," as opposed to " the waters which were above 
the firmament " ; and in no way can we confound this last 
yrj or the preceding ones with that mentioned in verse 10, 
" And God called the dry land y??z> ; and the gathering 
together of the waters called he seas," where the distinction 
is obvious. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 11 

Turning now to that verse of Genesis which concerns most 
immediately the very beginning of created things, we find 
a condition, similar to the Chaos of the myths and to the 
universal nebula of science, described, emphatically and 
clearly enough too, taking into account the highly condensed 
nature of the sacred narrative : 

'H Se yrj fjv doparos, Kal dKciTcurKevacrTos' Kal CTKOTOS firavto TTJS n/3v<rcrov 
0eov erre^epETO eVdvro TOV vbarof. Gen. l. 2. 



This afivo-a-os, "abyss," or "deep," as it is generally 
rendered, is universally accepted as the Chaos or primal 
aspect of Nature. Its derivation, " the unfathomable " 
(a /SiWoy), points to the unlimited extent of the nebulous 
mass, and the nebulous or misty characteristic of the 
whole is shown by the epithet TOV {/'Saro? assigned it at the 
conclusion of the verse. The same TOV #8aros occurs in 
verses 6 and 7, when the division is made by the firmament, 
and when we must suppose the universe as still in a 
nebulous condition. Not till the 9th and 10th verses, when 
dry land as opposed to water comes into being, do we 
find a change to vo<op and {>ba.T<i>. The distinction is well 
marked in verse 6, where instead of the T&V vbdrtav that we 
would naturally enough accept, the writer makes use of the 
singular form, even at the expense of reiteration. The 
verse runs thus : 

Kal fiTrev 6 Qebs, Tevt]8rjTa> (TTepeafia Iv //eV<o TOV vdaros' Kal ecru 
dva [itirov vdaros Kal vdaros' Kal eylvero OUTOJS. 



In this mass, unfathomable, dark, and nebulous, was the 
% yri of the Genesiac narrative, fresh (rudis, as Ovid calls 
it) from the creative act alluded to in the opening verse. 
If, as is certain from verses 6 and 7, it was nebulous matter 
after the firmament, what must or can we suppose it as 
being at a time so much anterior to this event as is 
measured by two of the Genesiac Days ? "Whether know- 
able or not, it was at least nebulous matter, and charac- 
terised as aoparos Kal aKaracrKetJao-ros. The former of those 
epithets, aoparos, has been rendered as " void," an inter- 



12 THE GODS OF OLD ; 

pretation that, however agreeable it may be with the 
Vulgate, is lacking in the preciseness of the Greek. It 
literally means " incapable of being seen " (a opaw), and if 
we admit the close relation between 6/>ao>, ei8&>, and oT8a, it 
would also imply " incapable of being known." 

The second epithet, d /carao-Kevao-7-os, means " shapeless," 
or " unformed," and hence " that which is characterised by 
simplicity." 

Applying these meanings then to the 2nd verse, it would 
read thus : 

"And matter was incapable of being perceived and simple; and 
darkness -was upon the face of the abyss." 

Enough has been written, we submit, to bring conviction 
to the mind that the story as told by Genesis, Science, and 
Mythology, is identical and harmonious so far as Chaos, 
and what Chaos stands for, is concerned. It only remains 
to point out how curiously close in touch are Genesis and 
Mythology, as instanced by finding the mythic characters 
in the 2nd verse of the scriptural record, thus, x 0? 
Faia, yfj ; and even "Epos can be detected in the 
attributed to the m>e//,a Qeov, thus alike fastening 
the derivation, and tending to show that motion in some 
phase was the primal force in the opinion of the framers of 
Mythology. There is no other feasible conclusion left that 
we can see : Genesis sustains it, and Science has nothing 
else to offer than " change," which is but the minimum of 
force and motion. One other conclusion can be derived 
from Mythology. We look in vain to this source for the 
idea advanced by some scientists of our day that matter 
and force are identical, are but forms of one another. On 
the contrary, it seems positive from the distinct mention 
of a yaia and an epos in the Chaos that ancient lore 
considered the two as entities distinct and separate. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 13 



- CHAPTER III. 

" QUISQUIS FUIT ILLS DEORUM." 

Erebus and Nox, The condition of uniformity and 
simplicity was not lasting. Science, as already mentioned, 
has pointed out a possible means whereby such a condition 
might be brought about. It states in general language 
that change is continuous and universal, and that the 
processes of integration and disintegration, or evolution 
and dissolution, apply equally to our earth, our system, 
and our universe as they do to organised beings on our 
globe. 

Evolution is a change from the simple or general to the 
complex or special, and is constructive in its nature. 
Dissolution is the reverse of this. 

The constructive change in the arrangement of parts, 
which constitutes evolution, must necessarily involve not 
alone the matter that makes up the parts thus re-arranged, 
but also the motion exhibited during the re-arrangement 
and the force that produces this motion. But since 
motion is ever carried on at the expense of deduction, and 
force at the expense of dissipation, evolution, cannot cease, 
owing to the persistency of force, till a point or stage is 
arrived at when the forces which favour evolution are 
counterbalanced by the forces which oppose it. When 
this point, the equilibrium mobile, as it is called, is 
reached, change still goes on, but a reverse one, owing 
to the disintegrating forces being now in the ascendant. 
The change is now from the complex to the simple, from 
the special to the general, from the many to the one : it 
is destructive, and does not cease till a point or stage is 
reached when complete equilibrium, absolute rest, or the 



14 THE GODS OF OLD; 

uniform, simplicity of a nebulous mass occurs. This 
reversed change is called Disintegration or Dissolution. 

Such is the destiny that the philosophy of to-day, 
reasoning from the more or less probable data of collision, 
gradual cooling, tidal and ethereal friction, shrinkage, &c. 
predicts for organised existence in general and, inevitably 
though slowly, for the universe as a whole. It is a 
gloomy one enough, and must be borne in mind by those 
who condemn the ancients for entertaining the melancholy 
and grim ideas they did with regard to Masra and the 
Mserse, their personifications of Destiny and the Fates. 

Turning from the what-may-be to the what-was, we find 
as the starting point of existence a vast mass made up 
of diffused matter and force reduced to the extreme of 
simplicity. Now, change, to occur, could only transpire 
by altering this simplicity, by summoning from the 
uniform the two principles of Evolution and Dissolution, 
twin congeners, inseparably united, and the last if older 
creations there had been to lay down their arms Dissolu- 
tion the last of all. 

This is the evolutionary theory, and "mutatis nominibus," 
it is the mythological theory also, since from the nebulous 
mass or Chaos were born Nox and Erebus, Nox or 
Dissolution, the most ancient of the deities, the subduer 
of gods and men ; the one of whom Zeus (Life) himself 
stands in awe, as well he may ; Nox or Dissolution, sister 
and mate to, and sprung from the same source as Evolution 
or Erebus, from whom came .ZEther and Hemera, the 
archetypes of all that followed. 

Nu may be derived from vu or vvv, a particle that has 
reference to time past, present, or to come, and thus 
pointing out Dissolution as the beginning, middle, and end 
of all things ; or from vva-a-a, " the starting point, and the 
turning point " in the course of creation ; or simply and 
perferably from \v<o, " to dissolve, to break up," v and A 
being interchangeable in Greek. 

As with Nox, so too have we a choice of words regarding 
the derivation of Erebus ("Epe/3os) : they may differ more 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 15 

or less, but they all point to the idea contained in 
Evolution. Thus epos /3cuz/o> " the inarch of force " ; <e'pw 
/3ta or </)/3&> /3ios, "force-bearing," or " bearing the way of 
life "; pe/rw, "to be ever shifting, to change." 

There is another derivation suggested by Ovid in the 
line: 

Hanc Deus et melior litem Natura diremit. 

Met. I. 21. 

The word "Nature" has been defined in eight or nine 
different ways, but they can all be covered by the one, 
namely, "the course of being": this too agrees closest 
with the probable derivation, naturus, the future participle 
of nascor. But since the course of being tends to either 
motion or rest, Ovid says in substance "this chaos, or 
Absolute Eest, was put an end to by some deity, even a 
letter course of being." He thus refers to that phase of 
Nature which is called by Aristotle active as opposed to 
passive, that is, motion as opposed to rest, or Evolution 
as opposed to Dissolution. The melior natura of the poet 
would thus be the equivalent of the Greek apeiW /3to?, or 
"Epe/Qos, "a intercourse of Being," or Evolution. We have 
further confirmation in the fact that Ovid, having described 
the general outline of the accomplished work in two lines, 
summarises the whole in one expressive word : 

Nam coelo terras, et terris abscidit undas; 

Et liquidum spisso secrevit ab aere ccelum. 

Q,use postquam evolvit. Met. I. 22. 

It may be objected that the same term Erebus was given 
to a portion of the Greek Hades. But in this we but see 
confirmatory evidence of the " evolution " interpretation. 
Beyond Erebus was Tartarus, the domain of fire and flame 
and igneous vapour, believed by the ancients to consist of 
molten matter, an idea entertained by most modern writers 
when treating of the probable nature of the interior of our 
globe. Exterior to this Tartarus and beyond the Styx was 
Erebus. If, as is generally supposed, our earth is growing 
cooler and more solid towards the centre, it would be 



16 THE GODS Of OLD; 

in this midway region or Erebus, that is neither solid crust 
nor molten interior, that evolution of matter would be going 
on, if at all. 

It would seem at first sight as if there were no exact 
equivalents in the Genesiac narrative for Erebus. But 
there is really much suggestive of it. The work of each 
Day concludes with the phrase " Ka! eyeWro e<mepa, Kal 
eyeWro Trpwi," "And there was evening and there was 
morning." If each Day was made up of an evening and a 
morning, and represents, as it is generally supposed to do, 
a long continued period of time, then " the evening and 
morning" would stand for successive centuries during 
which the forces of disintegration and of integration would 
preponderate in turn. In other words, each Day would 
consist of an evening that witnessed the decline of force 
and its disintegrating consequences, and of a morning that 
beamed on the progress of force. And when we study the 
words, we find that- ea-irepa can signify " the consequences 
of force" (liTTi-ojuat l/sos),. and TT/J&H "the march of force, or 
progress" (irpoi-rjiu). They both constitute "the Day" or 
riiitpa, and Hemera in mythology is the child of Erebus 
and Nox. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL 17 



CHAPTER IV. 

"LET THEEB BE LIGHT." 

Milier and Hemera. With respect to the nature of light 
there are two theories, the Corpuscular or Emissive, and 
the Unclulatory or Wave. The former teaches that light 
consists of very minute material particles or corpuscles 
thrown off with immense velocities and in all directions 
from luminous sources. The latter considers light as the 
effect of an undulation or vibration produced by luminous 
bodies in an exceedingly rare, elastic, and imponderable 
medium called Ether, that is diffused through space. 
While each of these theories has its advocates, and while 
each admits of no actual demonstration or proof, the 
Unclulatory is found more consistent with the phenomena 
produced and is the one generally adopted to-day. Neither 
theory supposes the' existence of a vacuum, since the 
Emissive fills space with the matter itself of light, and the 
Undulatory with the all penetrating Ether. Youman puts 
the matter thus : "Now the radiant forces are believed to 
be all propagated by undulatory motions ; but motions in 
what ? Sound has its medium the air ; and the sound 
rays cannot cross a vacuum, as there is nothing to convey 
them. But heat, light, and the chemical force dart 
through the most perfect vacuum we can produce, and 
traverse in all directions the interstellar spaces. There 
must be something throughout these spaces to transmit the 
motion. The Wave theory of light assumes the existence 
of a universal Ether an infinitely rare and elastic medium 
which is diffused through Nature, pervading even the most 
solid bodies. It connects atom with atom and star with 
star. Through this universal medium the dynamic bond 
of nature waves are sent with a velocity far exceeding 

G.o, n 



18 THE GODS OF OLD; 

those of sound. It is objected to this idea of Ether that it 
is a pure creation of fancy, like caloric and phlogiston. It 
is urged that as we know the forces only as manifested in 
matter, and as a perfect vacuum has never been produced, 
it is better to assume that some form of actual matter is 
universal, and that the wave motions take place in that. 
But it is after all very much a question of terms. Both 
views assume a universal medium capable of transmitting un- 
dulatory motions ; one calls it material, and the other ethereal. 
Ether is not held to be force, but only the medium for 
representing those motions by which force is transmitted. 
One Ether suffices for all the forces, and thus by introducing 
the idea of unity in their modes of action we are prepared 
to comprehend their mutual relations." 

There can be no hesitation in taking the 2Ether of 
mythology for the ether of our own day. Science has 
accepted the very name, one of the few not destined to die 
throughout the ages. The word aWt]p shows by its deriva- 
tion aWa " to light up, to keep burning " the intimate 
relation between light and heat, and aWta-a-a, " to put in 
rapid motion," is significative of the connection between 
both and motion. 

Everywhere throughout the classics do we note the same 
uncertainty we have ourselves regarding the absolute proof 
of 2Ether as a material and as an ethereal medium. We 
give some examples : 

Largior Me campos tetlier et lumine Yestit 
Purpureo : solernque suum, sua sidera norunt. 

-ZEn. VI. 640. 

Purior aether 
Fulsit, et a toto pectore cessit onus. 

Ars Amor. III. oo. 

Ovid, when describing Phasthon as starting on his 
journey to the sun, makes use of a phrase that brings 
vividly to the mind the objection, " a pure . reation of fancy," 
cited by Youman : 

Emicat exteniplo Isetus post talia matris 
Dicta suse Pha41ion, et concipit cethera mente. 

Met. I. 776. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 19 

Here is a passage that can be translated in conformity 
with the Undulatory theory by rendering " aquae tremulum " 
as " undulating " : 

Sicut aquse tremulum labris ubi lumen aenis, 
Sole repercussurn, ant radiantis imagine Lunse, 
Omnia pervolitat late loca. JEn. TEL 22. 

Here is another from Ovid strongly pointing to the 
Corpuscular : 

Sed timuit, ne forte sacer tot ab ignibus aether 
Conciperet flammas. Met. 254. 

But feared lest hap the ether pure derived 
From many igneous fonts should take the flames. 

But that JEther stands, mediately or immediately, for 
light is everywhere clear. As the nature of a word is best 
recognised by the phrases and epithets used in connection 
with it, we give an itemised resume of the scientific Ether, 
annexing after each characteristic the corresponding phrase 
or epithet as found applied to J3ther in the classics. 

It is an exceedingly rare and imponderable medium : 

Hsec super imposuit liquidum et gravitate carentem 
2Ethera, nee quicquam terrenae fsecis habentem. 

Met. 67. 

It is elastic (revolubilis), the source of light (lucidus, 
candens), and acts with incredible velocity (rapidus); it is 
universal as to space (vastus, arcluus, altus), binds star to 
star (signifer), is the "dynamic bond of nature" (sacer, 
omnipotens), and produces a variety of effects, light, heat, 
colour, &c. (pictus, igneus, cceruleus, purpureus, &c.). 

"Whether light be the material offshoots of. or the medium 
thrown into vibration by some luminous body or bodies, 
the question arises as to the origin and location of the 
source or sources. The only scientific datura properly 
granted is a Universal Nebula, the embodiment of that 
complete equilibrium or Absolute Rest which philosophy 
points to as the goal and start. To effect anything this 
state of rest must be disturbed. 

c 2 



20 THE GODS OF OLD; 

If we can only cause change or active effect of any kind 
in the mass, all else is comparatively easy ; for force 
accompanies and is the result of change. Science has 
searched for this primal cause : it is still searching. Until 
it has solved the prohlem it is compelled, even though 
conflicting with the strict idea of Absolute Best, to grant a 
state of incessant movement to ultimate atoms. With this 
added condition the problem becomes solvable, and is in 
reality that which Plato proposed, namely, " a rude indi- 
gested mass of matter animated by an irregular principle of 
motion." 

If Absolute Eest be the end of all things, then motion 
for the mass must naturally be conceived as the last weapon 
employed by Force ere Force itself sank to Best : if 
Absolute Best be the beginning of all things, then this last 
of weapons dropped would be the first to be taken up and 
employed. If the end of the predominantly destructive 
be the beginning of the predominantly constructive, then 
motion would be given to the mass, and according to the 
correlation of forces motion can be converted into light, 
heat, magnetism, electricity, and chemical affinity if, 
indeed, we do not go further and agree with Grove in 
thinking all these but modes of motion. 

Would this force of motion accomplish any other result 
besides the generation of light, heat, &c. ? Our universe, 
vast as it is, must be conceived as having been but a portion, 
a small portion, of the chaotic nebula ; and though all that 
the most powerful telescope observes as yet is claimed by 
astronomical science for our universe's domain, the same 
science argues for and admits the existence of what it calls 
" external universes." In conformity with the doctrine of 
Evolution, all these must have been one originally: in 
conformity with the same Evolution they must have been 
separated some time. Our universe is a visible proof that 
they were. 

The Chaotic Nebula may, on an infinitely vaster scale, be 
likened to our Solar System when it too was a homogeneous 
mass, and the same Nebular Hypothesis may be applied to 



AND THE STORY THAT TREY TELL. 21 

one as to the other. It would thus be presented as a 
luminous mass in which condensation as to substance, 
differentiation as to space, and a rotatory motion of the 
whole would occur, with the final result of division into 
Universes, and the establishment of material sources of 
light or of an ethereal medium for transmitting light. 

Conjectural as all this must necessarily be on the part of 
modern science, it receives confirmation from Mythology. 
" Granted," says one, " a universal homogeneous nebula 
and rudimentary motion; then light and division into 
universes will follow." "Granted," says Mythology, "a 
Chaos and an Erebus ; then vEther and Kernera will 
follow." The data in each case are the same : light and 
Either have been shown to be synonymous. "What does 
Hemera then represent ? It, w*epa, is derivable from 
/*et/>o/*at, "to receive one's due, to obtain by lot, to be 
divided from ; " so that it is very probably but 17 p*pa, " the 
division," the first of all divisions, the division par 
excellence; that is, the division into universes, thus 
bearing testimony to the truth of modern philosophical 
conjecture. 

From being a division of the unknowable in space, 
matter, and quantity, it was transferred to our universe, 
our System, and our Earth, and made to denote a division 
of time, or a " day," the length of which would mark the 
return of certain phenomena in the same order, and bring 
back, as it were, the end to the beginning. It would thus 
signify an ordinary day of 24 hours, marked by the regular 
succession of day and night ; or a Lunar Cycle of 19 years, 
after the lapse of which, the phases of the moon would 
occur on the same day of the year ; or a Solar Cycle of 
28 years, after the termination of which the days of the 
month return to the same days of the week; or the 
Platonic year, our own Precession of the Equinoxes, a 
period of about 25,868 years, at the end of which the stars 
and constellations return to their former places in respect 
to the Equinoxes. 
The Eomans, who kept such names as Chaos, Erebus, 



22 THE GODS Off OLD; 

Nox, and J3ther, substituted Dies for the Greek fj^fpa. If 
we derive it from dia, "passing right through and going out 
of" as to space, and "throughout, or during," that is, 
extension as to time, we .can see in dies, as in ^epa, the 
same division as to universes, and the same measurement 
as to that duration of which each heavenly body, our 
universe and external ones are, after all, but the great 
timekeepers. 

Nor is the idea of "heavens of heavens," or external 
universes confined to the very ancient or very modern 
times. Everywhere through mediaeval literature do we find 
allusion made to them, to a heaven for our system, a 
coelum stellatum for our universe, to a crystalline heaven, 
a primum mobile, and above all those mobile heavens to a 
supremum ccelum immobile or Empyrean. 

Turning now to Genesis, we find the self -same story 
told, and some of the missing links supplied : 

2 C H Se yfj yv doparos, Kal aKaracrKeiiaoTos' Kal O-KOTOS eirdvas TTJS dfivcrarov' 

Kal TTvevpa Qeov eVe<^>Ta> lirdvca TOV vSaros. 

The writer, it is seen, presents but one condition, the 
ideal one of science, Absolute Best, or " matter incapable 
of being perceived, and simple." He solves the problem of 
creation by alluding to motion as the force brought first 
into action, and " the Spirit of God " as the First Cause in 
changing the passivity to activity. 

The results that followed are in harmony with the 
deductions of Science and Mythology : 

3 Kal fliTfV 6 Qeos, TevTjdfjTco (pas' Kal eyeveTo (j)>s. 

4. Kal eidev 6 Qeos TO (f>S>s, on KaXov' Kal die%d>pio-ev 6 Qeos dva p.eo~ov 

TOV (focarbs, Kal dva y.ea~ov TOV O~KOTOVS. 
5 Kal fKd\fo~fi> 6 Qeos TO (j)S>s, 'Hfifpav, KOI TO <TKOTOS exaXecre, NVKTO' Kal 

eyeveTO eoTrepa, Kal lyevero irpcai, Tj/nepa [ila. 



Here we find $<Ss and 'U^pa as the representatives of 
JEther and Heniera, of light and division of the chaotic 
nebula. That the Genesiac Heniera of the First Day has 
reference to external universes may be understood by 
reasoning in the same manner as before. It is rationally 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 23 

absurd to suppose it as a day measured by the revolution of 
a universe, much less of an earth, that was still in the 
bosom of the abyss. There was (and still is) a Seventh 
Day peculiarly for our earth, and a Sixth, a Fifth, and a 
Fourth (tacitly implied), and a Third when the fiat for its 
separate existence went forth thus : " Let the waters under 
the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the 
dry land appear." There was a Second Day when God 
said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the 
waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And 
God made the firmament and divided the waters which were 
under the firmament from the waters which were above the 
firmament." 

Was this Second Day for Earth ? or for the Sun, Moon, 
and Stars ? They were not in existence, save in as much 
as they formed one mass, " the waters which were under the 
firmament." This Second Day was consequently for our 
universe as an independent whole. 

But there was a Day preceding all these, when the waters 
above and the waters under were one, when our universe 
was bat part of that vast world of waters upon the face of 
which moved the Spirit of God, and with regard to which 
God said, " Let there be light." What then of those waters 
that were above, when the division by a firmament was 
accomplished? They too were as material, however un- 
knowably so, as the waters under the firmament ; they, 
too, enjoyed the light that was made. They, too, must have 
shared in the benevolence of creation and of evolution, and 
we see no other way that they could do so unless as an 
external universe or as universes. Neither do we see any 
other Genesiac Day during which the division was likely to 
be accomplished, if not that which the writer of Genesis 
has distinctly and notably avoided calling " first." We see 
every reason, then, for taking the concluding words of verse 
5 literally, ^epa //.to, " one day," the one day of all others 
that witnessed the Oneness of Being, that witnessed the 
Darkness o'er one and all, the Light which still lasteth for 
one and all, and the division of the Oneness, 



24 THE GODS OF OLD; 

If there be a day measured by hours for Earth, by years 
for our System, by hundreds of centuries for our Universe, 
what is the measure of the Day for the most external of 
external universes ? And if day and night be fateful 
phenomena for Earth, menstrual and hebdomadal days for 
our System, and the stars and constellations for our 
Universe, what must be the phenomena for the most 
external of universes, the orderly return of which will bring 
back the end to the beginning ? 

There is no answer, not even from the higher mathe- 
matics, to the first question ; but the reply to the second 
is forced, absolutely forced upon us by the same ratio- 
cination that has told what the beginning of all things 
was, Absolute Eest. And if so, this -fj^pa pia. is the one 
day to come, foretold alike by Genesis, Mythology, and 
Science, when the axles of our Earth, our System, our 
own and other universes will grow tired and worn out ; 
when the worlds will rush from their allotted spheres 
and be dissipated by collision into a condition similar in 
all respects to the " matter incapable of being perceived, 
and simple " of Genesis, to the Chaos of Mythology, to 
the Absolute Eest of Science. Then will the long, long 
round of this " One Day " be circled ; then will the end 
be brought back to the beginning; then will matter and 
force be one and simple, meet for the God, One and 
Simple, who created it so ; then surely, unless Science, 
Writ and Myth be all three false, will the words from 
the Sermon on the Mount be verified to completion, 
" Thy Kingdom come ! " 

Hesiod disposes of the general separation in a few lines : 

6K Xdeos 8' "EpejSos re peXaivd re Nii eyevovro' 
Nv/cros 8' OUT A.l8rjp, re Kal 'Hpepr] e^e-ysvovro, 
ovs TtKe Kvcrapevrj, 'Epe/3et (pikoTrjTi /uyera. 

Theog. 1235. 



"o- 



From Chaos came dark Nox arid Erebus ; 

J?rom Nox was .ZEther sprung and Hemera, 

"Whom site that big with them had grown brought forth, 

Mixed in affinity with Erebus. 



AND TEE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 25 

He reserves details of the general for the particular 
separation of our own firmament, showing that the same 
cause or causes operated iu one as in the other. 

Ovid, on the contrary, writes at large of the general 
separation, and lets the reader understand that from one 
event he may learn whatever other followed with regard to 
our universe, and later on to our System and our Earth : 

1 Ilanc Dcus et melior litem Natura diremit : 
Nam ccelo terras, et terris abscidit undas ; 
Et liquidum spisso secrevit ab acre ccelum. 
Q,ue postquam evolvit, ceeeoque exemit acervo, 

5 Dissociata loeis concord! pace ligavit. 
Ignea convex! vis et sine pondere coali 
Emicuit, summaque locuin sibi legit in arce. 
Proximus est aer illi levitate, locoque : 
Densior his telhis, elementaquo grandia traxit, 
10 Et pressa est gravitate sui. Gircumfhrus humor 
Ultima possedit, solidumque coercuit orbem. 

Met. 2131. 

This liss some god, a better Nature, broko : 

Por by a firmament the "worlds, and by 

Those -worlds the waters separated he ; 

And from, the darkness rent the liquid vault. 

Which once evolved and freed from the Unseen, 

Apart in place he bound in concord's peace. 

The fiery and imponderable strength 

Of heaven's convexity flashed forth and chose 

Its own location in the furthest court. 

In place and lightness next to it is air : 

To those the denser earth, and did attract 

The glorious elements and down was pressed 

By weight its own. The vapour wide-diffused 

Grasped the extremes and bound the concrete orb. 

NOTES. 

1 Detis. " Some god," for in line 32, Ovid says "quisquis fuit ille 
Deorum." The et is definitive, and shows that the god was " a 
better course of being," that is Erebus or Evolution, 
litern. Et nova fictaque nuper habebunt verba fidem, si 
Grseco fonte cadent, parce detorta. 

Hor. Ars Poet. 

Ovid makes use of a Greek word \LTOS " simple," slightly twisted 
into a Latin form in order to describe the absolute rest or sim- 
plicity of the Chaos. This signification pervades the Latin 
litera, our own letter, the first or simplest element of written 



26 ZHE GODS OF OLD. 

language. "We find it also in litany, the simplest form of sup- 
plication to God ; and in the word we have used, liss, which, 
though now obsolete, is used by Chaucer to imply " a freedom 
from care, grief, pain, strife, &c." 

2 Nam coelo. This line and the next describe briefly and tersely the 
work of the First Genesiac Day. He tells how the division was 
made (1) into worlds or universes separated as one mass from the 
Chaos and illumined by light. " AM God divided the light 
from the darkness." 

(2) Those worlds would then, as a distinct mass, be a separa- 
tion between the nebulous matter or waters of which they them- 
selves were composed, and the nebulous matter or waters that 
lay beyond the light. 

4 evolvit. A significative word as applied to Erebus or Evolution, 
coeco acervo The chaos, the f]- yrj aoparos of Genesis, the unknow- 
able and unseen matter of creation. 

The matter illumined by the light had evoluted and assumed 
some visible form that distinguished it from the invisible matter 
of the Chaos. 

5 dissociata. The worlds or universes, while separate from each 

other, were united by accordance. Concord precedes harmony. 

6 ignea vis. Light and heat accompanied the division, and pro- 

ceeded from the furthest ends of the division, from the highest 
heaven. 

9 his tellus. Next to the light and air ; proximus is understood 
from the preceding line. The gradual settling and arrange- 
ment of the mass is now described., of matter into its three 
forms, solid, liquid, and gaseous. 

10 humor. The watery or aqueous vapour was mingled and diffused 
more or less with the solids and gases from, surface to centre 
(ultima). Every form of matter contains water. 

We conclude with the following lines from Milton's 
Paradise Lost. Uriel speaks thus to Satan : 

" I saw when at His word the formless mass, 
This world's material mould, came to a heap : 
Confusion heard His voice and wild uproar 
Stood ruled, stood vast infinitude confined; 
Till at His second bidding darkness fled, 
Light shone, and order from disorder sprung. 
Swift to their several quarters hasted then 
The cumbrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire ; 
And this ethereal quintessence of heaven 
Flew upward, spirited with various forms, 
That rolled orbicular, and turned to stars 
Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move ; 
Each had his place appointed, each Ms course ; 
The rest in circuit walls this universe." 



BOOK SECOND, 

THE ONENESS OF OUE UNIVEESE. 

CHAPTER I. 

THEOGONY. 

G^EA 



GJEA URANUS, OUK.EA, PONTTJS 



TITANS, CYCLOPES, HECATOKCHEIEES 

viz. vie. viz. 

Oceanus Brontes Cottus 

Cams Steropes Briareus 

Crius Arges Gyes 
Hyperion 
lapetus 

Thea 

Ehea 

Themis 

Mnemosyne 

Phcebe 

Tethys 

Eronos 

MYTHS. 

Crcea or Ge, the Latin Tellus, is described as resident in the Chaos, 
and as having prodnced TJranus first, and then the Ourea and 
Pontus. By Uranus she begot the Titans, Cyclopes, and 
Hecatoncheires, the last of which were called Centimani by 
the Eomans. As the personification of Earth, Ge was 
regarded as one of the deities of the nether world, to whom 
cows and black sheep were sacrificed, and who was evoked 
by persons taking oaths. Her worship was universal, and 
her temples and altars numerous. 

Titans twelve children begotten by Uranus and Ge, six sons and six 



28 THE GODS OF OLD ; 

daughters, namely, Oceanus, Cseus, Crius, Hyperion, 
lapetus, and Eronos; Thea, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, 
Phoebe, and Tethys. 

Apollodorus adds an additional daughter, Dione. Of those 
Titans, Oceanus was esteemed the eldest, and Eronos the 
youngest. 

Cyclopes children of Uranus and Ge, three in number, namely, 
Brontes, Steropes, and Arges, each of whom had but one eye 
in the middle of his forehead. They were imprisoned by 
Uranus and delivered by Eronos who again thrust them 
into Tartarus, from which they were finally released by 
Zeus in his war against the Titans. They it was who 
fashioned the thunder, the bolt, and the lightning for Zeus, 
the helmet for Pluto, and the trident for Neptune. Later 
myths make them assistants of Vulcan, many in number, 
and volcanoes the workshops where they forged metal 
armour and ornaments for the gods. The strongest and 
most impregnable natural fortresses are said to bo their 
works. Homer and other poets, Greek and Latin, speak of 
the Cyclopes as a gigantic and lawless race dwelling in 
Sicily, and having but one eye in their forehead, as caring 
naught for Zeus, and as devourers of human flesh. 

Hecatoncheires " the hundred-handed," were three other children of 
Uranus and Ge, namely, Cottus, Briareus, and Gyes. They 
are described as beings of extraordinary size and strength, 
with fifty heads and a hundred hands. They underwent the 
same fortunes at the hands of Uranus and Exonos as did the 
Cyclopes, but were finally released by Zeus when he freed 
the Cyclopes, and assisted him in the Titanomachia. Of 
these Briareus, so called by the gods, but styled .ZEgeon by 
men, was united to Cymopoleia, the daughter of Neptune. 

Uranus son of Gsea and afterwards united to her. Through dislike 
of his children, the Cyclopes and Hecatoncheires, he bound 
and thrust them, as soon as each was born, into Tartarus. 
Ge, their mother, indignant at such treatment, manufactured 
an adamantine sickle, took counsel with her other children, 
the Titans, and succeeded in gaining them over to her side. 
Placing Eronos, her youngest born and the one who had 
first volunteered his services, in ambush, she gave him the 
sickle and instructed him how to use it. This he did, 
unmanned his father Uranus, and flung the several parts 
into the sea. From the drops of blood that fell on Ge, while 
this was being done, were afterwards sprung the Erinyes, 
the Giants, and the Melian Nymphs ; and from the foam 
that gathered round the severed parts floating in the sea was 
sprung Aphrodite or Yenus. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 29 



CHAPTER II. 

"WITHOUT POEM AND YOID." 

Gaa. The myth from Chaos to 2Ether and Hemera is, 
as we have seen, descriptive of the theory which the 
ancients held regarding the gradual evolution of primordial 
matter from a state of Absolute Best or Total Uniformity 
to separate masses, the pre-eminent characteristic of which 
was luminosity. What further follows has to deal with 
what we call the collective Universe, the Greeks ro TTO.V, 
"the all," and the Latins mundus, "the one course" 
(JJ.QVOS o8os) a derivation confirmed by the other meaning, 
"provision of any kind," assigned to mundus and oScuos 
(fromoSo's). 

It commences with a time when our heaven and our 
earth were one. In this period Ge is no longer to be 
considered as the passive Ge that rested in the Chaos. She 
is rather an active agent that begets a Uranus and by him 
the Titans, Cyclops, and Hecatoiicheires ; a mass that 
shrinks with pain at the maltreatment of her offspring and 
that plans for their deliverance from the depths. No 
longer does she bear the distinctive title of Foi' evpvo-repvos 
that characterised her in the Chaos : she bears another 
title now, and for the first time, that of Fcua ireAw/sTj. It 
is still nebulous matter that we have to deal with at the 
start, matter that is simple, shapeless, and unknowable. 
It is so far a chip of the old block, but it differs from the 
Chaos in being a discrete mass, and endowed with 
luminosity and motion of some kind. It is our Universe 
as we may imagine it when first separated from the 
chaotic mass, when earth and system and every stellar 
body in the heaven were all one nebulous whole. 

Astronomy tells the story thus. 

Our universe is composed of clusters of worlds separated 
from each other by vast intervals of space. Each mos 



30 THE GODS OF OLD; 

faint and distant of the nebulae constitutes a cluster. Our 
own system and all the stars observable by naked eye or 
most powerful telescope belong to another cluster or nebula 
called the Galaxy or Milky Way; and the probable 
conjecture is that this same Galaxy originally embraced 
not only our cluster but all the others as well. " The vast 
siderial system," says Gore, " in which our Solar system 
is situated includes, in all likelihood, the whole of the 
stars and nebulas visible in our largest telescopes." To 
the unaided eye the Galaxy looks like a broad whitish 
band arching the heavens from horizon to horizon, and 
maintaining the same position relatively to the stars. 
Under the telescope it is resolvable into millions of stars 
and star dust, is lenticular as to form, and bifurcated at 
one extremity, our place in the system being supposed 
to be close to the point of bifurcation. 

That the ancients conceived much the same idea with 
regard to the Galaxy as we do ourselves is evidenced by the 
name given to it by them. Galaxy denotes " the milky 
worth " (yaXa agio), or that quality which is most charac- 
teristic of the thing; and yaAa with the Greeks, as lac 
with the Latins, is often used to denote the elementary 
nature or first principles of a thing, in this case, the 
nebulous nature of the mass. It must have been this 
erstwhile Gasa that Anaxixnander and Anaxagoras had in 
mind when they compared Earth to a cylinder, at one end 
of which was situated the known surface of land and 
water. Aristotle called it the splendour of innumerable 
distant stars. Ovid thus describes its appearance, lustre, 
and shape ; says that the stars have their orbits in it, and 
even points out the very location in it of our solar system : 

1 Est via sublimis, coelo manifesta sereno, 

Lactea ncmien habet ; candore notabilis ipso. 

Hac iter esfc Superis ad magni tecta Tonantis, 

Begalemque domtun. DextrS, lasvaque Deorum 
5 Atria nobilium valvis celebrantur apertis. 

Plebs habitant diversa locis. A fronte potentes 

Coelicolse, clarique suos posuere penates. 

Hie locus est, quern, si verbis audacia dctur, 

Haud timeam magni dixisse Palatia cceli. 

Met. 168-176. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 31 

Aloft there is a Way, in clear sky plain, 

Called Milky, famed for lustre of its own. 

Here is the path for luminaries bright 

Close to great Jove, his belts and royal house. 

On right and left the courts of noble gods 

With gates thrown ope are far and wide renowned : 

The lesser sundry in their places dwell. 

Celestials bright and potent have in front 

Their own peculiar habitations fixed : 

Here is the spot I'd fear not to have called, 

If license be permitted to my words, 

The mighty Empyrean's masterpiece. 

NOTES. 

3 Superis. The planet Jupiter is attended by four satellites, all but 

one exceeding our own Moon in size. They are said to have 
been discovered by Galileo. But as both belts (tecta) and 
satellites can be seen with telescopes of very moderate power it 
is more than likely that they were known to the ancients, and 
the line in Ovid is almost positive of the supposition being true. 
Magni Tonantis Jupiter, which we often call " the giant planet." 

4 regalem domum So, in astrological language, we speak of the 

" house" of Jupiter, of Mars, (fee. 
nobilium deorum So Byron. 

" Ye multiplying masses of increased 
And still increasing lights ! What are ye ? 

***** 
God ! Gods ! or whatsoe'er ye are, 
How beautiful ye are ! " 

5 atria The constellations, the " courts " of heaven. 

valvis apertis The shape of the Milky Way is roughly thus < 
The poet alludes to the curious valvular openings, and to the 
fact that many of the brightest stars (nobilium deorum) have 
their location on either side of the bifurcation. 

6 plebs Galacteal photographs tend to show that the small stars of 

which the Milky Way is principally composed, are probably 
really as well as apparently small. 

1 Coelicolae He now alludes to the particular bodies that compose 
our Solar System, bright to the eye and potent on each other 
through attraction, and points out the angle, the front (a fronte) 
of the bifurcation, where our System is placed in the galaxy. 

8 Hie locus Our own Earth amid the " Ccelicolee," Earth that is 
the "masterpiece of creation." 

It is presumably then this Galacteal nebula that, fresh 
from the Chaos, presents itself for consideration as the 
Universe in its infancy. Let us again reiterate its charac- 
teristics in those early days. It was homogeneous, 



32 THE GODS OF OLD; 

unformed, indefinite as to extent, and possessed of matter 
and force that were unknowable: it was richer by the 
dowry of luminosity and motion. How would such a mass 
behave at the start ? 

1 Tata Se rot TrpatTov p.ev eyfiva.ro io~ov eauri; 

Ovpavov do-Tfp6fv0\ Iva fuv irfpl iravra KaXvirroi, 
opp fir) fjLOKdpea-Q-i deals eSoj do-<paXes atet- 
yfivaro 8' Ovpea paKpd, 6e5>v ^apievras evauXovy, 

5 T$vfj,<pea>v, at vaiovo~iv dv ovpea /ST/troTJevra. 

Theog. 126130. 

And firstly then did Go indeed produce 
Like to herself the starry Uranus, 
To wrap her all around, that she might be 
An e'er persistent bed for blessed gods : 
And Ouria far-stretching she produced, 
The charming halls of deities, the Nymphs 
"Who occupy those transcendental courts. 

NOTES. 

1 I<TOV fav-rji The nebulous Go produced the firmament (Ovpavbs) 

like to herself. It might be done by a further expansion of its 
own matter, caused by the heat involved in the process of 
separation from, the Chaos. "When matter is heated, the 
vibration of its particles is augmented ; they move more freely, 
are urged apart, and thus produce expansion. This expansion 
involves form, as seen in the change of solid ice to liquid water, 
and of this -water to steam. Similar figures ('la-ov) differ in 
magnitude, not in composition. 

2 KoXvirroi to envelop her, to give her form orbicular form. 

4 Ovpea ficiKpd TO ovpos or opos means "a mountain, a chain of hills," 
literally, " a something rising," to define and limit. Hence 
ovpos or opos, "a boundary, limit, space between objects." 
The poet alludes not only to the interstices (larger than the 
atoms themselves, i.e., paKpa), between the ultimate atoms, but 
to the universal porosity of matter. Curious instances of such 
have been observed in the openings known as the "fish mouth" 
in the nebula of Orion, the "key-hole" in Argo, the "coal 
sacks " of many of the large irregular nebulae, and the dark 
rifts or tunnels noticed in Andromeda. Gore, speaking of 
them, says, ' ' We must suppose these vacuities to represent 
tunnels through a gaseous mass * * * or perforations 
* * *. In either case, it is not easy to understand how an 
opening through a gaseous mass can be kept open, and 
prevented from closing up by fluid pressure." 
evav\ovs an expressive word, "hollows," applied to the pores of 
matter. 

a dvaftaiva, " to exceed, to go beyond." 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 33 

Such is the Hesiodic narrative. Apparently simple as 
the lines read, they would seein to be the reiteration of all 
that was contended and fought for over and over again in 
the old philosophies, being and not-being, the becoming, 
the one going into the many, the love principle of Par- 
menides, the strife principle of Heraclitus, the love and 
strife combined of Empedocles, the fulness and void, and 
so on, all in the endeavour to account for the passing of 
possible being into actual matter. If so, we must under- 
stand the production of Uranus and the Ourea as the first 
efforts of matter in changing from the unknowable to the 
knowable, and may reason briefly thus. 

We can change ice to water, and this water to vapour. In 
each of the three stages the matter is still present, one and 
unalterable imperishable, as we say. Has the form 
perished ? It would seem not, inasmuch as we can bring 
it back by changing the vapour to water and this to ice. 
But it has certainly changed. And that we cannot in all 
cases bring back the form, as in the case of decomposed 
organisms, is no valid objection ; it is only to confess our 
inability to do in some instances what we can do in others. 
Form, as we know it, clings to and changes with matter as 
we know it, that is, to matter invested with its properties 
A writer states the question briefly enough thus : 

"Matter, or that which composes all bodies, has certain 
properties ; by which is meant that it has the power of 
making certain impressions upon our senses, or of exciting 
in us sensations. Through these sensations we are said to 
have a perception of matter and bodies ; but as for what 
matter is in itself, beyond its power of affecting our senses, 
we know nothing. The something, whatever it is, in which 
this power is conceived to reside, is called siibstance. Some 
philosophers deny the existence of anything beyond the pro- 
perties ; but though we have no direct evidence of anything 
else, it is difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of the notion 
that there is a substance in which the properties inhere." 

Again, as in the ordinary course of nature we must 
conceive matter as the basis of form, as a something 
knowable, without which knowable form cannot be, so too 

G.o. D 



34 THE GODS OF OLD; 

must we conceive the substance of matter as a something 
unknowable, without which unknowable form cannot be, 
and therefore as a something precedent to form. 

There is much, therefore, pointing to the conclusion that 
it is this Substance, or matter without its properties, that 
Mythology has personified by the Gsea of our universe. 
The Gsea of the Chaos would be a Gsea over which, accord- 
ing to Genesis, the O-KOTO? was; and PHOTOS, if it be sus- 
ceptible of derivation, would be cmd '6ns, " the shadow of 
substance." The Gasa of the Universe would be substance 
from which this darkness was removed by the production 
of an j-Ether and a Hemera, of .light and translation from 
the Chaos. The idea of evolution would thus be rigidly 
preserved, though we are scientifically at a loss as to how 
it was carried out. The same evolution would continue 
only by making this substance assume form ; and this, too, 
agrees with the myth when it says that Gaea was first, 
and that she subsequently begot Uranus, with whom she 
was then united, and by whom she afterwards begot the 
Titans, Cyclopes, and Hecatoncheires. So that in general 
Uranus may be regarded as the junction between the 
potentiality and the actuality of matter. Matter would 
thus take the first step to pass from the indeterminate 
to the determinate that is, to atomic matter. But atomic 
matter implies porosity, since atoms, to be indivisible and 
impenetrable, must be limited and separated from each other. 
The atoms of matter are never in actual contact, it is said ; 
and the intervals between them are thought to be far greater 
than their diameters. Sir Isaac Newton believed that if the 
earth were compressed so that its particles would be in actual 
contact, it would occupy the space of but one cubic inch. 

With the first advance from the unknown of matter to 
the known, we would have the substance which filled all 
space, changing from the mere potential to the atomically 
real, and thus entailing also the production of space intervals 
between the atoms. This is expressed in the myth by Gsea 
producing Uranus like to herself, and then the Ourea, those 
charming evav\ovs or space intervals, inhabited by their own 
peculiar forces that tend to keep the atoms apart. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 35 



CHAPTER III. 

IN FOEMAL CHAINS. 

FUKTHSB evolution on the part of our universe should 
bring a further advance in the nature of those atoms, as 
also in that of the force associated with them, for force and 
matter are inseparable, and we know of one only through 
the other. Helmholtz writes thus : 

" When the nebulous chaos first separated itself from 
other fixed star masses, it must not only have contained 
all kinds of matter which was to constitute the future 
planetary system, but also, in accordance with our new law, 
the whole store of force which at one time must unfold 
therein its wealth of actions. Indeed in this respect an 
immense dower was bestowed in the shape of the general 
attraction of all the particles for each other. This force, 
which on the earth exerts itself as gravity, acts in the 

heavenly spaces as gravitation The chemical forces 

must have been also present, ready to act ; but as those 
forces can only come into operation by the most intimate 
contact of the different masses, condensation must have 
taken place before the play of chemical forces began." 

This would mean the production of atoms endowed with 
magnitude, of chemical force, and of physical force ; and 
this, as will be shown, is what Mythology teaches by 
asserting that from Gsea and Uranus, or substance with 
form, were produced the Titans, the Cyclopes, and the 
Hecatoncheires . 

Which of these came into being in the order of pre- 
cedency, if precedency there was ? Did force impress itself 
on matter, or matter on force ? There are advocates for 
each supposition in our philosophies of to-day, and it 
would seem as if the same dispute was a matter of opinion 

D ! 



36 THE GODS OF OLD; 

among the ancients, judging from the mere sequence in 
which they are mentioned by Hesiod and Apollodorus. 
The former, when mentioning the offspring of Uranus and 
Graea, does so in the order of Titans, Cyclopes, and Hecaton- 
cheires; rather, however, of forced order than of actual 
precedency, since 6'aS and a\\oi b'av could signify " and 
moreover " and " and others too " respectively. Apollo- 
dorus, on the other hand, would appear to be more positive 
and precise, seeing that he names them in the order of 
Hecatoncheires, Cyclopes, and Titans, and that he also 
uses ereKVcocre Trparovs for the Hecatoncheires, pera TOVTOVS 8e 
TSKVOI for the Cyclopes, and after a notable digression 
reKi/ot Se avdis for the Titans. He would thus lead us to 
infer that the Physical forces were first, that the Chemical 
forces succeeded the Physical, and that the Titans or 
matter may have been among the first or subsequent to the 
first, for avflts can be considered as indefinite in time and 
order. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 37 



CHAPTER IV. 

MOLECULAR MATTER. 

Titans. avrap 

Qvpavto evvrjSelcra. reV 'QK.ea.vbv J3a6v8tvr;v, 
K.OIOV re KpTw r', "Yirfpiova. T 'IcnreTov re, 
Qeiav Tf 'iff Lav re, Qep.iv re Mvrj/j.oa'vvqv re, 
&oif3r]v re xpvcroarefpavov Trj&vv T' epareivfjv. 
Tovf fie ped' djrAoraros yevero Kpovos d 
Sewdraroy TraidcaV 6a\epbv S' fi^Or/pe TOKrja. 

Theog. 132138. 

But bedded then with Uranus she bore 
Deep-rolling Oceanus, Coaus too, 
Orius, Hyperion, and lapetus, 
Thea, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, 
Phoebe with crown of gold, and Tethys loved. 
And after these her youngest, mightiest child, 
The wily counselling Kronos was produced ; 
But he opposed was to his haughty sire. 

THE Atomic Theory supposes atoms as being the smallest 
conceivable particles of matter, incapable of division 
physically or chemically, inappreciable to the senses and 
the microscope, and about whose size, shape, and absolute 
weight we have no certain knowledge. They are thus as 
purely hypothetical creations with respect to matter as are 
points with respect to lines, surfaces, and solids. Each 
has position but no magnitude. The union of any number 
of things possessing of themselves no magnitude ought still 
to give no magnitude, and yet we postulate points and atoms 
as respectively producing lines and molecules, each of 
which has magnitude. How the change has been done it 
is difficult to understand, but it gave to existing substance 
and quality the additional accident of quantity, and thus 
transformed the theoretical to the real, the atoms to mole- 
cules. A wondrous change, a vast stride in Evolution was 



38 THE GODS OF OLD; 

this that had been accomplished. The invisible was 
changed to the visible, the indivisible to the divisible, and 
matter that had previously been but the very fabric of a 
dream became invested with shape and size and weight, 
with what constitutes the hard and the soft, the dry and 
the wet, the hot and the cold, with all that tends to make 
earth, water, fire, and air, or in other words, the solid, 
fluid, and gaseous constituents that make up the matter of 
our universe. The whole aspect of creation was conse- 
quently altered, and all because of the assumption of 
magnitude ; all because of the atoms stretching themselves 
to length, to breadth, and to thickness ; all because of the 
Titans having been born. 

There can be no doubt of the mythical personification of 
those Titans. Their genealogy, order of coming, necessity 
for existence, and their kindred, all point to the one con- 
clusion. Hesiod calls them -)(6oviovs Tirfvas, " earthy 
Titans," in line 697 of his Theogony. Their own father, 
Uranus, gave them the appellation when, on the eve of his 
expulsion, he reproached them for an act that earned for 
themselves a name and deprived him of further control. 
Thus : 

1 Toiis 8e narrip TtTrjvas emK\rjfriv KtiAeetrKO' 
TraTSas veittfiasv fieyas Ovpavos our reKev avros. 
(jbderKe 8e Tiraivovras aratrGaXi-r/ fieya pe^ai 

4 epyov, TOIO 3' 7reiTa Titriv neTomcrflev etretrdai. 

Theog. 207210. 

Reproaching then the children whom he tore, 
Their sire, great Uranus, them Titans called. 
Declared he too, that stretching as they did 
Against his haughtiness, a mighty work 
They had accomplished, but of such a kind 
As would hereafter be a punishment. 

NOTES. 

4 Tia-iv peromcrBev A prophetic threat, since those molecular 
Titans were [fated to lose their own individuality later on, 
when fiieir efforts at extension caused molecules to be merged 
in molar masses and compounds. 

The very name is significative, as we see, of the sense 
meant. When we examine the word Tn-av we find it com- 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 39 

posed of rt and rav ; of these n means " some being, some 
creature, some thing, anything conceivable," and ravvco is 
" to stretch, to strain, to extend." So that Titan is literally 
" substance extended," or " substance with magnitude," 
that is, molecular matter. This, by the way, shows that 
contrary to what is sometimes asserted, there is nothing 
pleonastic in the use of ovbsv n or pfSev n, seeing that they 
would mean "not a single thing, not a particle." 

By this real or molecular matter, then, in contradistinc- 
tion to the theoretical or atomic, must we understand those 
mythical Titans, the far-famed beings who revolted against 
the indefinite Uranus and were successful, who warred 
against Zeus, more definite than themselves, and were 
overthrown hurled to Tartarus by the Life that conquered 
but could not annihilate them ; who, during the ten full 
cycles that we are told the battle lasted, stretched their 
limbs to space in the accomplishment of what was to be ; 
who fashioned Sirius, our Sun, and suns like to both ; and 
who acted as the forbears of the stars above us, the atmo- 
sphere around us, the seas that divide us, and of the earth 
the common clay from which plant and animal have the 
matter of their being. 

It may be, perhaps, that while conviction is established 
in the mind as to the identity of Titans and Molecules, a 
feeling of disappointment may be left when comparing a 
simple molecule of matter with one of those Titanic beings 
whom the all-powerful Zeus could not destroy till aided by 
the lightning forged for him by the Cyclopes ? 

Such a feeling must vanish when we recall what Science 
tells with regard to the enormous force that must be 
brought to bear in order to overcome molecular union : 
" The quantity of electricity required to decompose a single 
drop of water is estimated to be equal to a powerful flash 
of lightning." 

To change a molecule of aqueous vapour to a molecule 
of snow demands, says Tyndall, " an exertion of energy 
competent to gather up the shattered blocks of the largest 
stone avalanche I have ever seen, and pitch them to twice 
the height from which they fell." 



40 THE GODS OF OLD; 



CHAPTER V 

CHEMICAL FOEOE. 

Cyclopes. Matter, as suggested by some writers, may 
be only one in its nature, and compound bodies but phases 
of that one condition. A similar theory is observable in 
the later myths that make "Titan" the oldest of the 
Titanic progeny, and the one who gave the empire of the 
world to Kronos on condition of his bringing up no male 
children. 

But so far as is yet discovered there are about seventy 
simple substances to which all known bodies can be 
reduced ; and these, as being incapable of further separa- 
tion, are called Elements. An atom must consequently be 
the smallest conceivable part of an element, one which is 
indivisible. A molecule consists of two or more atoms, 
and is defined as " the smallest particle of any kind of 
matter that can subsist alone." It resembles an atom in 
being inappreciable to the senses or microscope, and in 
being separated from other molecules by pores. It differs 
from an atom, in possessing individuality and divisibility. 
This divisibility is into atoms, and cannot be accomplished 
by mechanical or physical means. Trituration and 
solution may weaken the cohesion that binds the atoms, 
but there is only one means, Chemical force, that can 
separate the atoms from the molecule. 

Since atoms are incapable of separate subsistence, it 
follows that, when separated from one molecule, they 
immediately enter into combination with other atoms to 
form another molecule of a different kind of matter, and 
this is done by the same chemical force that decomposed 
them. A molecule is thus, as it were, what the body is to 
the soul, a garment for atoms, one which they wear to-day 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 4-1 

and discard to-morrow for another according as desire or 
chemical affinity may prompt. If there were but one kind 
of matter there might be desire but no chemical play, for 
chemical force can. only operate as a rule between bodies of 
a different nature. Two or two thousand molecules of 
oxygen alone, or of hydrogen alone, would for ever remain 
the same; but a mixture of the two in the proportion 
of one to two by bulk, or of eight to one by weight, will 
produce an entirely new substance, and we find a molecule 
of water acting for the time being as a garment of oxygen 
and hydrogen, and one which they will retain until such 
time as a more enticing fabric, potash for instance, comes 
within their- means. 

It is this chemical force that has been personified as 
Cyclopes in mythology. The following comparison will 
tend to strengthen the truth of the assertion : 

We must presuppose atomic matter to arrive at chemical 
force : the Cyclopes were sprung from Uranus and Gea. 
Chemical force is closely allied with physical force and 
molecular matter : the Cyclopes were kin to the Hecaton- 
cheires and Titans. While the atomic matter of our 
universe was passing into molecular, chemical and physical 
forces would be latent : the Cyclopes and Hecatoncheires 
were, imprisoned in the womb of Gsea. Chemical force 
comes into play when powerful changes are in operation : 
the Cyclopes were liberated by Kronos to expel Uranus, 
and by Zeus to expel Kronos. Chemical force is essentially 
directed against molecules : the Cyclopes warred against 
the Titans. Thunder and lightning are the grandest 
natural exhibitions of chemical force : thunder and 
lightning were fabricated by the Cyclopes. Heat is a 
prime agent for making chemical force operate : the 
Cyclopes were the assistants of Vulcan. Chemical force 
is ever active in volcanoes : volcanoes were the workshops 
of the Cyclopes. 

Let us now pass to the name itself. Considered as a 
whole, chemical force cannot be said to create anything 
of itself; it but takes matter already formed, an atom 
or atoms here, an atom or atoms there, and combines 



42 THE GODS OF OLD; 

them. Colour, shape, hardness, specific gravity, &c., are 
not really its creations : such are latent in the matter 
itself or brought about by other forces. It takes 1 Ib. of 
hydrogen and 8 Ibs. of oxygen, and turns them over to 9 Ibs. 
of -water ; it takes 105 Ibs. of iron and 120 Ibs. of sulphur, 
and turns them over to 225 Ibs. of iron pyrites. It can 
reverse the process and change back the 9 Ibs. of water 
to its constituents, but we get no more, no less than 8 Ibs. 
of oxygen and 1 Ib. of hydrogen ; so, too, with the pyrites. 
In each case, the transference is complete, but increase or 
diminution there is none. There has been a total change 
of properties, it is true, but it has simply robbed Peter to 
pay Paul. And in this sense it is that Mythology has given 
the name of Cyclopes to Chemical force. 

The derivation, KVK\OS &^ "round eyed," universally 
given it, rests on the following lines of Hesiod : 

~K.VK\K>ires d' ovop,' fjirav eTra>v\ifwv, OVVSK apa (T(j)ea>v 
Kv/cXorepijs 6(j)6a\fji,bs eets eveKetro peranra). 

Theog. 144. 

But the poet only calls the name an " auspicious " one, 
prophetically significant or ominous (eTrww/xos) of the 
volcanoes that were to come afterwards and serve, through 
what may be called the one round eye or crater, as mediums 
for the exhibition of Chemical force. Hesiod seldom 
assigns the derivation of a name to his personages, per- 
mitting it rather to be gathered from the nomenclature and 
context ; but when he does, he uses as a prelude such words 
as /caAe'e<rKez>, as in the case of the Titans ; or KiKA?jo-Koucri, 
as in the case of Aphrodite. We have instances, similar to 
the Cyclopes, in the names Chrysaor and Pegasus, of which 
he also says r<2 fjiev IH&VVI>.QV tfv, and yet as we shall see, XP VIT S 
and T t f\y}] do not enter directly into the derivations. When 
we find then the word k-ndivv^ov used, the quick conclusion 
is that the true derivation is different from the 'chance 
resemblance, and that Hesiod but commented on the 
suitability of the name to phenomena that were to appear 
afterwards. 
However time-honoured, then, be the usual derivation we 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 43 



are compelled to ignore it and to suggest KVOS 
robber of the embryo, a robber of what is already conceived 
or made," as the proper one. This, too, would be in 
accordance with our own definition of Chemical force, " one 
that destroys the properties of the substance engaged and 
gives rise to a new kind of matter." The whole aim of the 
force is to compose, but it cannot possibly do this without 
first decomposing or robbing something already in existence. 
Decomposition and robbing may sound different, but the 
idea involved is identical and is confessedly the essential 
characteristic that distinguishes Chemical force from all 
others. This same characteristic would bring back the 
idea of the force and its mode of action to the nebulous 
age where it had a being, an all-important point to be 
taken into consideration. There were no volcanoes in that 
age. How then can we associate KVK\OS &\jj as significa- 
tive of what was yet to be, with chemical force which 
already was ? Ku/cAoj &ty would suit only a particular 
epoch or epochs of the world : KVOS /cAoty will suit all time. 
The Lsestrygones, too, described as the most ancient 
possessors of Sicily and devourers of human flesh, must 
evidently be classed among the volcanic agencies, descendants 
as it were of the original Cycles ; and here the derivation 
comes out in the open, namely, Ai/icrrTyp yivo^ai " the 
robber born." 

And while on this subject, let us say that it is not at all 
certain but that our own word "chemistry" has for its 
radical the selfsame idea permeating the Greek " Cyclopes." 
The derivations assigned it are by no means satisfactory, 
and the word itself has been handed clown through mediaeval 
times as a relic of the alchemy that had transmutation for 
its fundamental. The Greek word for chemistry, x r 3/ At/a > 
would seem by a simple transposition to be derived from 
fj-nxps, "a contrivance, artificial means," and we would 
thus have both " Mechanics " and " Chemistry " descended 
from the same root, very properly, too, when we consider 
that chemistry is but Nature's mechanics. If we derive 
this p?x os fr m M 7 ? *X W ( anc ^ "artificial" implies "that 



44 THE GODS OF OLD; 

which is really not "), we find the same idea of " not 
having of their own " running through both Cyclopes and 
Chemistry. 

Be this as it may, we see that Mythology had a well- 
defined idea of chemical force ; that it considered it as 
dependent upon matter already existing, as stealing from 
this matter in order to form new combinations, and as but 
repeating the same " modus agendi " when, after the solid 
crust was formed, volcanoes emitted from their craters 
what had been robbed from the igneous interior. 

The crater is to the volcano what decomposition is to the 
molecule a means whereby chemical force can see the 
light or, in other words, can use its eye. Volcanic energy 
can rend a mountain for its eye to see : chemical force can 
decompose a molecule for its eye to see. A molecule is a 
volcano in miniature, and the eye is as much resident in 
the one as in the other, and composed of matter simpler 
than its envelope, of visible lava, let us say, in one case ; 
of invisible atoms certainly, in the case of the molecule, 
since there is nothing simpler in it. "Chemical force," 
says Attfield, " appears to reside in atoms, that is to say, 
it is exerted inside a molecule, while all other forces affect 
entire moleculfis." 

Nor does it make any difference whether there be two or 
two hundred atoms in a molecule. They may penetrate 
one another and be a unit in it for all we know, since 
impenetrability applies no more to atomic matter than 
does extension or divisibility or any of the other properties 
that come into being only with molecular matter. To 
Chemical force acting on that molecule all its atoms are 
certainly a unit in which the force resides, whether for 
attraction, decomposition, or combination, and just as the 
centre of gravity is the point d'appui of mechanical force, 
so is the atom the point de vise, or eye, of chemical force. 

Locked up in the molecule it is dormant until chemical 
affinity occurs, and by its agency rends the molecule and 
enables the atom to see for a time, infinitesimally brief 
though that time be, before it again enters into new 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 45 

combinations. And it is only by this robbing agency that 
the atom (KVOS) or the eye (wap) can see. As in the case of 
the Titans, the Cyclopes earned an appellation from their 
action. 

Whenever and however Chemical force may act, we 
cannot conceive it as instantaneous. There must be a 
succession of events associated with its operation. The 
mind must call into being hydrogen and oxygen separately 
before the conception of water is evolved; carbon and 
sulphur separately before carbon disnlphide is evolved. 
" We must regard an atom," to quote Attfield again, " as 
the home of an attractive force of great intensity ; but a 
free, uncombined atom we cannot conceive as existing for 
any appreciable length of time. Freed from one com- 
bination it finds itself in proximity to other atoms having 
similar desires for union : the result is an impetuous 
rushing together and formation of either couples, trios, or 
groups, according to the nature of the atoms." We thus 
see that there are three distinct stages in chemical action, 
namely, Attractive strength; Decomposition; and Com- 
position, formation, or molecular union. These same 
three agencies are well depicted in one of Hesiod's lines : 



r* rj8e f3ir) Kal fiijxaval ^crav lir epyois. 



Theos;. 146. 



"e 



They are also personified in Brontes, Steropes, and Arges, 
Brontes (fipi-ovrd) " the innate force of matter " ; Steropes 
(o-repew o^jr) " the robbing of the eye"; Arges (epyov) "the 
formation or work " ; Brontes, Steropes, and Arges, who 
forged for Zeus " the thunder and the lightning, and the 
blazing bolt " ; for Neptune, the famous trident whose three 
prongs stand for the solid, fluid, and gaseous conditions of 
water; and for Pluto, the crust of earth which chemical 
action has joined and solidified, the solid crust that acts as a 
helmet to protect and cover from our view the powers 
below. 

Hesiod thus introduces the Cyclopes : 



46 THE GODS OF OLD; 



1 yeivaro S' cri/ KwcXton-ar wrepfiiov 

T5p6vrr]v re 'Srtpojnjv re KOI "Apyrjv 6j3pip.66vfi,ov, 
01 Zijvl fipovrrjv r' edcxrav revt-dv re KepawoV. 
ot d' TJTOI TO. p.ev aXXa 8eols evaXiyiuoi qa 
5 p.ovvos 5' o(jWaA/i6s jLtecrcrQ) eWKetro 

KwcXa>7res S' ovo/i' ^o-ai/ iTraivvfiav, ovvei? apa crfpeuv 

6(f>8d\fios eels eW/ceiro /ifraura)' 
^Se /3t?j KOI nr/^avai y(rav eV epyois. 

Theos-. 139146. 



"o 1 



She also bore tlie Cyclopes that have 
A heart unconquered, Brontes, Steropes, 
And the strong-minded Arges, all of whom 
Por Zeus the thunder gave and shaped the bolt. 
Like to the gods in all respects were they, 
Save that there lay in middle of their front 
A single eye. And " Cyclopes " was thus 
A name auspicious, since one rounded eye 
Within their forehead lay. And in their deeds 
Were strength and force and structural designs. 

NOTES. 

v jjrop The indestructible atom. 

v The intense desire of atoms for combination. Apollo- 
dorus names the Cyclopes in the order of Arges, Steropes and 
Brontes. There is really no difference which of the extremes 
goes first, provided that Sterope or decomposition be in the 
middle. 

5 fieW<B p-eranra A molecule of matter is generally supposed to be 
spherical : if so, the front is any and every portion of the surface, 
and the middle of the front must consequently be the central 
point of the molecule. 

The later myths deal principally with the Cyclopes as 
volcanic agencies. Thus the well-known relationship of 
volcanoes to land bordering on the sea, or to insular masses, 
accounts for the Cyclopes being described as children of 
Neptune. " The presence of volcanoes on or close to the 
coast," says Bonney, " suggest that their paroxysmal 
activity, perhaps their existence, depends on the proximity 
of water." 

They are gigantic in size. Two miles is the height of 
2Etna, and this particular Cyclop is but a baby to some 
of his brothers, such as Mauna Loa and Cotopaxi. Their 
cannibal propensities have been experienced by many a 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 47 

Pompeii and Herculaneum, and by many, too many, 
thousands destroyed by the deadly fire damp and choke damp 
of our mines. And when we behold such mighty structures 
as ^Etna, Teneriffe, Loa and Kea in the Sandwich Islands, 
and many others, when we see the immense cones super- 
imposed upon the colossal Chimborazo and others of the 
Andes, when, especially, we gaze with wonder on the trap 
formations as seen in the Giant's Causeway and the 
Palisades, and are told by geologists that all these are the 
works of volcanic action, we must heartily coincide with 
Mythology when it says "the most solid walls and im- 
pregnable fortresses are said to be the work of the Cyclopes." 
Chemical force was a fruitful theme for the classic poets, 
affording as it did a wide field of knowledge, extended 
observation, and the use of highly figurative language. 
The greater part of the 9th book of the Odyssey is devoted 
to the Cyclopes, and all through the close connection 
between volcanic agency and chemical force is apparent. 
They are thus introduced : 



1 K.VK\<nTra>v ' es yatav V7rep(f>id\a>v t d 

$', oi pa deolo'i TreTroidores ddavdroKriv, 
(pvTevovcrLV xepcriv (pvrov, ovr' apoaxriv' 
dXXa rdy aff-jrapra Kal avrfpora irdvra <${JOVTO.I, 
5 mipdi, KOI Kpidal, fj8' afweXot, cure (pepovcriv 
OLVOV epKrrd(pv\ov, KOI <r(j)iv Aios o/i/3pos d4^i. 
TOLO-IV &' OVT dyopal /3ov\r)<p6pot, ovre 6efj.ia-Tfs' 
dXX' oiy' v\l/-rj\S>v opetov vaiovfri Kaprjva, 
iv cnreira'L y\a<pvpol(ri' OefuKTrevet. de CKCIOTOS 
1 iraidcov rjS 1 a\<j%cav' tw8' d\\rj\cav (iXtyoufrj. 

Odyss. 106115. 

Then come we to the land of Cyclopes, 

The overflowing, arbitrary, who 

Belying merely on the immortal Gods, 

Nor plant with hands a crop nor do they till, 

But all things grow, indeed, unsown, untilled, 

The grain of wheat and barley, vines that bear 

Rich grapy juice, and Jove r s rain fosters such. 

For them are neither parliaments nor laws ; 

But in the scooped out caves upon the peaks 

Of mountains huge they dwell ; and each his wives 

And children rules ; of others reck they not. 



48 THE GODS OF OLD; 



NOTES. 

1 vnfp(piaXa>v. \nrep (piaXr) "Eunning over the bowl" or crater. 
From the peculiarity exhibited by volcanic rocks of resting 
upon other rocks as if they had overflmved, they have been 
called " overlying" by some writers on geology. 

v a de/us, "not adhering to the law of right," i.e. robbers. 
-Chemical force depends on what is already in 
existence. At the same time it is independent of Life and all 
other forces, as the Cyclops tells Ulysses. 

OS yap KvKXcoTres Alos alyioxpv aXeyoixni', 
ovSe 6eS>v paKapatv' eireifj iro\v c^eprepoi elfiev. 

Odyss. IX. 2756. 

" Most of the volcanic rocks produce a fertile soil by their disin- 
tegration. It seems that their component ingredients, silica, 
alumina, lime, potash, iron, and the rest, are in proportion well 
fitted for vegetation." Lyell. 

It is well to observe, too, thatiriipoi, Kpidai, and ju,7reXot are but 
thinly veiled allusions to the attractive energy (jrvp), decomposi- 
tion (Kplva> Inpl6r)v), and combination (ova. TreXdca) of chemical 
force, ending in the production of lava, or oi rock in a molten 
state (pivov). 

epicrrd<f)v\ov. As if epi-trrdfio <pv\fj "in an exceedingly fluid con- 
dition." 

opfipos. Underground water plays an important part in the 
stirring up of volcanic action. 

oSY' dyopal /3. There is no delay or restraint to chemical force. 
When the proper conditions are present it acts without con- 
sultation or check. There may also be reference to the gene- 
rally isolated position of volcanoes. 

8ffj.caTfvei Hicao-Tof. The respective atoms are governed by their 
own affinities (iraiS<av rjb* dXd^tav) Every chemical reaction is 
the best translation of the poet's concluding lines. Here is an 
instance. Heat Sal Ammoniac (H 4 NC1) with Lime (CaO), and 
the reaction will be 

2 (H 4 N 01) + CaO 

L/ 




2H 3 N H 2 CaCl 



2 



"And each his wives 
And children rules : of others reck they not." 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 49 

In the 13th Book of his Metamorphoses, Ovid -writes at 
length of the Cyclop Polyphemus. It affords an excellent 
illustration of the assertion that scientific truth is the 
theme which runs through a no inconsiderable portion of 
classic poetry. Instead of being a silly and grotesque love 
story with a preposterous transformation, it is a vivid 
description of a volcanic outburst and its after effects, 
written with the master hand of a poet and a scientist. 

He takes a newly elevated promontory and calls it Acis ; 
the elements of matter that were embraced by this promon- 
tory, and calls them Galatea ; chemical force, and calls it 
Polyphemus ; and a long-dormant volcano which he styles 
JStna. All that occurred is thus retrospectively described 
by Galatea : 

1 Acis erat Eauho nymphaque Symcetbide cretus, 
Magna quidem patrisque sui matrisque voluptas, 
Nostra taraen major. Nam me sibi junxerat uni, 
Pulcher : et oetonis iterum natalibus actis 
5 Signarat dubia teneras lanugine malas. 

Hunc ego, me Cyclops irulla cum fine petebat : 
Nee, si qusesteris, odium Cyclopis, amorne 
Acidis in nobis fuerit prsesentior, edam: 
Par utrumque fait. Pro quanta potentia regni 

10 Est, Venus alma, tui ! nempe ille immitis et ipsia 
Horrendus sylvis, et visus ab liospite nullo 
Impune, et magni cum dls contemptor Olympi, 
Quid sit amor, sentit, nostrique cupidin.9 captus 
TJritur, oblitus pecorum antrorumque suorum. 

15 Jamque tibi fonnse, jamque est tibi cura placendi : 
Jam rigidos pectis rastris, Polyplieme, capillos : 
Jam libefc hirsutam tibi falce recidere barbam, 
Et spectare feros in aqua et componere vultus. 
Osedis amor f eritasque sitisque immensa cruoris 

20 Cessant, et tutee veniuntque abeuntqiie caiinae. 
Telemus interea Sicilian! delatus ad JEtnen, 
Telemus Eurymides, quern nulla f ef ellerat ales, 
Terribilem Polyphemon adit, " Lumen" quo, " qnod unum 
Eronte geris media, rapiet tibi" dixit " Ulixes." 

25 Eisit, et " vatum stolidissime, falleris " inquit : 
" Altera jam rapuit." Sic frustra yera monentem 
Spernit, et aut gradiens ingenti litora passu 
Degravat, aut fessus sub opaca revertitur antra, 

Prominet in pontum cuneatus acumine longo 
30 Collis : utrumque latus circumfluit asquoris unda. 
0.0. E 



50 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Hue ferus ascendit Cyclops, niediusque resedit. 

Lanigerse pecudes, nullo ducente, secutse. 

Cui postquam pinus, baculi qure prsebuit usum, 

Ante pedes posita est, antennis apta ferendis, 
35 Sumptaque arundinibus compacta est fistula centum, 

Senserunt toti pastoria sibila montes, 

Senserunt undse. Latitans ego rupe, meique 

Acidis in gremio residens, procul auribus kausi 

Talia dicta meis, auditaque mente notavi : 
40 " Candidior folio nivei, Galatea, ligustri, 

Ploridior pratis, longa procerior alno, 

Splendidior vitro, tenero lascivior hcedo, 

Levior assiduo detritis sequore conchis, 

Solibus hibemis, sestiva gratior umbra, 
45 Nobilior forma, platano conspectior alta, 

Lucidior glacie, matura dulcior uva, 

Mollior et cygni plumis et lacte coacto, 

Et, si non fugias, riguo formosior horto. 

Sjevior indomitis eadem Galatea juvencis, 
50 Durior annosa quercu, fallacior undis, 

Lentior et salicis virgis et yitibus albis, 

His immobilior scopulis, violentior amne, 

Laudato pavone superbior, acrior igni, 

Asperior tribulis, fceta truculentior urea, 
55 Surdior sequoribus, calcato immitior hydro, 

Et, quod prsecipue vellem tibi demere possem, 

Non tantum cervo claris latratibus acto, 

Verum etiam ventis volucrique fugacior aura. 

At, bene si noris, pigeat f ugisse, morasque 
60 Ipsa tuas damnes, et me ratinere labores. 

Sunt mibi, pars montis, viyo pendentia saxo 

Antra, quibus nee Sol medio sentitur in sestu, 

Nee sentitur hiems. Sunt poma gravantia ramos : 

Sunt auro similes longis in vitibus uvse : 
65 Sunt et purpurese : tibi et nas servamus, et illas. 

Ipsa tuis manibus silyestri nata sub umbra 

Mollia fraga leges, ipsa autumnalia corna, 

Prunaque, non solum nigro liventia succo, 

Verum etiam generosa novasque imitantia ceras. 
70 Nee tibi castanese me conjuge, nee tibi deerunt 

Arbutei foetus : omnis tibi serviet arbos. 

Hoc pecus omne nieum est : multse quoque vallibus errant, 

Multas silva tegit, multse stabulantur in antris. 

Nee, si forte roges, possim tibi dicere, quot sint : 
75 Pauperis est numerare pecus. De laudibus liarum 

Nil TniTn credideiis : prsesens potes ipsa videre, 

Tit vix circumeant diGtentum cruribus uber. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 51 

Sunt, f cetura minor, tepidis in ovilibus agni : 
Sunt quoque, par zetas, aliis in ovilibus hoadi. 

SO Lac mihi semper adest niveum : pars inde bibenda 
Servatur : partem liquefacta coagula durant. 
Nee tibi delicise faoiles, vulgataque tantum 
Munera contingent, damse, leporesque, caperque, 
Parve columbarum, demptusye cacumine nidus : 

85 Inveni geminos, qui tectun ludere possint, 
Inter se similes, vix ut dignoscere possis, 
Villosse catulos in summis montibus ursfe : 
Inveni, et dixi, " Dominse servabimus istos." 
Jam modo coeruleo nitidum. caput exsere ponto, 
90 Jam, Galatea, veni, nee munera despice nostra. 
Certe ego me novi, liquidsBque in imagine vidi 
Nuper aquse, placuitque mini mea forma videnti. 
Aspioe, sim qnantus. Non est hoc corpora major 
Jupiter in coelo : nam vos narrare soletis 
95 Nescio quern regnare Jovem. Coma plurima torvos 
Prominet in vultus, humerosque, ut lucus, obunibrat. 
Nee mihi quod rigidis horrent densissima setis 
Corpora, turpe puta : turpis sine frondibus arbor : 
Turpis equus, nisi colla jubse flaventia yelent. 

100 Pluma tegit volucres : ovibus sua lana decori est : 
Barba viros hirtaeque decent in corpore setse. 
Unum est in medio lumen mihi fronte, sed instar 
Ingentis clypei. Quid ? Non hsec omnia magno 
Sol videt e coelo ? Soli tamen unicus orbis. 

105 Adde, quod in vestro genitor meus sequore regnat : 
Hunc tibi do socerum. Tantum miserere, precesque 
Supplicis exaudi : tibi enim succum.bim.us uni : 
Quique Jovem et ccelum sperno et penetrabile fulmen, 
Nerei, te vei'eor : tua fulmine ssevior ira est. 

] 10 Atque ego contemptus essem patientior hujus, 
Si f ugeres omnes. Sed cur Cyclope repulso 
Acin arnas ? preef ersque meis amplexibus Aciu ? 
Die tamen placeatque sibi, placeatque licebit, 
Quod nollem, Galatea, tibi, modo copia detur 

115 Sentiet esse rnihi tanto pro corpore vii'es. 

Yiscera viva traham, divulsaque membra per agros, 
Perque tuas spargam sic se tibi misceat ! undas. 
Uror enim, loesusque exsestuat acrius ignis : 
Cumque suis videor translatam viribus ^Itnam. 

120 Pectore ferre meo : nee tu, Galatea, moTeris." 

Talia nequicquam questus nam cuncta videbam 
Surgit, et ut taurus vacca furibundus adempta, 
Stare nequit, silvaque et notis saltibus errat. 

E 2, 



52 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Cum ferus ignaros, nee quicquam tale timenteg 
125 Me videt atque Acin, " Videoque " exclamat, " et ista 
Ultima sit, faeiam, veneris concordia vestrse." 
Tantaque vox, quantam Cyclops iratus habere 
Debtdt, ilia fuit. Clamore perfiorrtiit JEtne. 
Ast ego vicino pavefacta sub sequore merger. 
130 Terga fugse dederat conversa Symeefchius lieros, 

Bt "3?er opem, Galatea, precor, mihi; ferte parentes," 
Dixerat " et vestris periturum admittite regnis." 
Jnsequitur Cyclops, partemque e monte revulsani 
Mittit : et exfcremus quamvis pervenit ad ilium 
135 Augulus is montis. totuin tamen obruit Acin. 

At nos, quod solum fieri per fata licebat, 
Fecimus, ut vires assumeret Acis avitas. 
Puniceus de mole cruor manabat, et intra 
Temporis exiguum rubor evanescere cospit : 

140 Ktque color primo turbati fluminis imbre, 

Purgaturque mora. Turn moles fracta dehiscit, 
Vivaque per rimas proceraque surgit arundo : 
Osque cavum saxi sonat exsultantibus undis : 
Miraque res, subito media tenus exstitit alvo 

145 Incinctus juvenis flexis nova comua cannis, 
Q,ui, nisi quod major, quod toto coerulus ore, 
Acis erat. Sed sic quoque erat tamen Acis in amnem 
Versus. Et antiquum tenuerunt flumina nomen. 

Met. Xm. 750897. 

From Fatmus and the nymph. Syxnaethis sprung 
Was Acis, aye his parents' great delight, 
Still greater ours. Me to himself as one 
He comely joined, and, years twice eight elapsed, 
Displayed his tender cheeks with dubious growth. 
Him I, the Cyclop me, unceasing craved ; 
Nor questioned can I tell if livelier were 
Our hate of Cyclop, or of Acis love : 
'Twas even both. How potent is thy sway, 
fervent love ! for he most hard of heart, 
And source of dread unto the very woods, 
And by no entertainer viewed unharmed, 
And holding in contempt Olympus vast 
With gods thereof, now feels what love can be, 
And, all oblivious of bis flocks and caves, 
Is captive kindled through desire of me. 
Anal now is form, attraction now thy care ; 
Anon, Polyphemus, dost thou beat 
Thy matted locks with harrows ; yet anon 
Art keen to cut with blade thy bristling beard, 
View thy fierce looks in vapour, and combine. 



AND THE STORY TEAT THEY TELL. 53 

Dormant the -wanton love of slaughter is, 
And savagery, and thirst immense for gore ; 
And vessels safely come and safely go. 
Meanwhile, unto Sicilian JEtna borne 
The rumour far, of wide report hegot, 
(Swift rumour that no bird had e'er outdone,) 
Approaches Polyphemus grim and spoke : 
" Ulysses yet will snatch the single eye 
Thou bearest in the middle of thy front ! " 
He scoffed and said, " Not so, most foolish seer ; 
Another's snatched it now ! " Contemns he thus 
It telling truth in vain ; and presses down, 
Traversing with huge stride, the shores ; or tired 
Is 'neath his sheltered caves again restored. 

Wedged in the promontory long a hill 

Hangs o'er the deep ; the sea surrounds each side. 

Here mounts the Cyclop fierce, and midway stopped. 

Without a guide there followed fleecy crowds : 

Before his feet was later fixed a pine, 

Eor mainyard fit, that served him for a club ; 

A pipe with hundred shafts was got and framed ; 

The mountains all the growing rumblings felt, 

Eelt too the waves. Concealed within the rock 

And in my Acis' bosom nestling close, 

I drank from far with ears of mine those words 

And pondered well in mind o'er what I heard : 

" Oh, Galatea ! fairer than the flower 

Of piivet white, more blooming than the swards, 

Stauncher than alder firm, than glass more bright, 

More wanton than the kidling, smoother far 

Than shells soft polished by the constant sea, 

Sweeter than wintry suns, than summer's shade, 

Nobler than form, plainer than platane tree, 

Clearer than ice, than ripe grape daintier, 

Softer than down of swan, and milk when pressed. 

More beauteous than an Eden, did'st but stay. 

Ah, Gralatea ! wilder thou the same 

Than steers untamed, harder than aged oak, 

More fickle than the waves, more easy bent 

Than twigs of osier and than whity vines, 

More steadfast than those rocks, stronger than flood 

Prouder than peacock vain, fiercer than fire, 

Rougher than thorns, vengeful more than snake 

When trodden on, and (what I most would fain 

I could deprive thee of), more fleeting than 

Not deer alone urged on by bayings loud, 

But even than the winds and passing breeze. 



54 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Did'st know me well 'twould grieve thee to have fled, 

And voluntarily wouldst thou condemn 

Thy own delays and strive to hold me back. 

Poised in the living rock are antres mine, 

Of mount a part, in which midsummer's sun 

Nor winter's cold is felt : russets there are 

Weighing the branches down ; in the long boughs 

Are golden currants, there are dark ones too ; 

And these for thee we save and those as well. 

With thy own hands, O child of matter's shade, 

Thou'lt gather soft fragarias, the late 

Cornels and prunes that livid with false juice 

Not only are, but open-handed too, 

And imitating honeycombs in shape. 

Nor arbute growths nor chestnuts thee will fail 

When yoked to me. Bach shrub will be thy slave. 

This stock's all mine : yet many roam in vales, 

The grove clothes more, and more are housed in caves. 

Nor could I tell how many, should'st thou ask : 

'Tis test of poverty to count one's stock. 

As to their praises trust me nought ; thou canst 

In person see how scarce they move around 

The udder wide distended 'twixt their thighs. 

In their warm folds are lambs, a lesser breed ; 

In other folds, too, kids, of equal age. 

3?or me the milk is ever white ; a part 

Is liquid kept, moist clots make hard the rest. 

Such cheap delights and gifts too mean, as deer, 

And hares, and goat, small share of doves, and nest 

That's robbed from craggy peak, affect thee not : 

Twins that can play with thee I've found, the cubs 

Of polar she-bear in the furthest mounts, 

So like that thou couldst scarce tell them apart : 

I found and said, ' We'll keep them for our queen.' 

Prom depths of blue raise now thy simple head ; 

Come, Galatea, now, nor spurn our gifts. 

Surely I've known and seen myself of late 

In liquid water's shape, and to mine eye 

My form was pleasing. See, how great I am. 

Not greater than this body is the Jove 

In heaven's expanse, for ye are wont to tell 

That he, the Jove whom I know nought of, rules. 

A wealth of hair hangs o'er my features stern 

And hides my shoulders like a grove. Nor, since 

The firmest bodies with coarse hairs are stiff, 

Think base of me : base is the leafless tree, 

The steed whose shining neck no mane adorns. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 55 

Plumage clothes birds ; for sheep is wool a grace ; 

Bough hairs on body and a beard suit men. 

One eye I have in midmost front, but large, 

Large as a mighty shield. What then ? 

Sees not the sun all things from vasty heaven ! J 

Yet for this sun is but a single orb. 

My founder, mark it well, rules in your sea : 

Him as a sire-in-law to thee I give. 

Have mercy only, hear a suppliant's vows, 

For we to thee alone succumb ; and I 

Who Jove and sky and piercing bolt despise 

In reverence thee, Nereus born, hold ; 

Far worse is thy displeasure than the bolt. 

Of this contempt more patient too I'd be 

If thou would' st all avoid. But why dost thou, 

Bejecting Cyclop, Acis love? And why 

Prefer' st thou Acis to caresses mine ? 

Though please he does and may himself, and thee, 

Which latter, Galatea, I like not, 

Let but the chance be given, he will feel 

That strength proportioned to my frame is mine. 

I'll tear his living vitals out and strew 

His mangled limbs o'er plains, aye, o'er thy waves ; 

So may he mingle his own self with thee ! 

For I am all of me consxuned with heat ; 

And surges fiercer still the troublous fire ; 

And in this breast of mine I seem to bear 

Translated ^Etna's self with all its might. 

Nor yet art thou, O Galatea, moved ! " 

In vain complaining thus he rises up, 

(For I saw all,) and like a bull that fumes 

With rage at cow removed, he cannot rest, 

And roams at large in wood and well-known glades. 

When fierce he spies us, me and Acis, crude, 

And dreading nought like this, he roars aloud, 

" I see, and I'll combine, and may this be 

The final union of your love ! " That roar 

Was such as furious Cyclop ought to have. 

All JEtna with the loud explosion quaked. 

But in the nearing flood aghast I'm merged. 

His back to flight the SymEethian hero gave, 

And fleeing said, " Bring help to me, I pray ; 

Tour parents, Galatea, bring, and oh ! 

Admit me perishing to your domains ! " 

The Cyclop follows in hot haste and hurls 

A portion torn from the mount away ; 

And though but it, the mountain's highest peak, 

Fell on him, yet it buried Acis all. 



56 THE GODS OF OLD; 

But all that could be lawful done we did, 

That Acis might resume his former strength. 

Volatile juice kept flowing from the mass ; 

And in short time the redness 'gan to fade ; 

And with condensed vapour's early rain 

The hue comes back, and by delay 'tis purged. 

Then fractured gapes the mass ; and live and staunch 

A reed springs through the chinks ; and hollowed face 

Of rock resounds with the impetuous waves. 

And wondrous change ! from mid-waist up straightway 

Stood forth, begirt with waving canes on both 

The new-made horns, a youth who Acis was, 

But greater and in all his aspect green. 

E'en so 'twas Acis pointing seaward still : 

And running brooks have kept the ancient name. 

NOTES. 

1 5 A promontory, favoured by the union of elementary matter and 
covered with a sparse vegetation, is pictured. 

I Acis. OKI'S, " a point or promontory; " Faunus, (frcovrjeis, "en- 

dowed with sound," as members of the animal kingdom are. 
SymcetJiides, crvv aWta, " descended in common from igneous 

sources." So that Acis would signify a promontory formed 

from organic and inorganic materials. 
8 me. That is Galatea (ydXa) " elementary matter," whether of a 

solid, fluid, or gaseous nature. 
6 14 The elementary conditionis as eagerly desired by chemical force, 

as the compound matter of the promontory is by the elements. 

II horrendus sylvis. Vegetable decay is but a slow form of chemical 

action. 

12 impune. No form of matter can entertain chemical force with- 
out imperilling its previous existing form. 

14 oblitus. Eorgetful of the bodies (pecoruiri) in which it resides, and 
of the pores (antrorum) in these bodies, it longs for elementary 
change. 

15 18 The first line is descriptive of chemical force as component 
and attractive ; the next as endeavouring to rend the bonds 
that bind it in the compound ; the third and fourth as sunder- 
ing those bonds, obtaining a short-lived freedom, and again 
entering into combination. 

16 The rigidos of this line and the Mrsutam of the next, mark the 
growth of chemical affinity for other compounds. 

18 in aqua. la vapour, the result of harmless explosions, whereby 
decomposition is carried out. 

19 28 So far chemical force, whether aerial or submarine, was 
harmless in effect on the formation of land or on navigation of 
the sea. But gradually there arose louder and louder reports 
upon the air that prognosticated either the upheaval of some 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 57 



or renewed energy on the part of some long dormant 

.ZEtna, and the atmosphere, as a consequence, grew denser at 

times. 
21 Telemus. rijAe rjfj.L "far spoken." Eurymides, "sprung from 

Eurymus," eiipwrjui " wide spoken." 
26 altera. forma is xinderstood. While the seer was speaking a 

chemical change was taking place. 

28 degravat. The results of the nascent volcano made the atmosphere 

denser and thus exercised increased pressure on the land ; 
"ingenti passu" denotes the extent of aerial space thus 
affected. 

There is, according to some authorities, a connection between 
atmospheric pressure and volcanic energy. Stromboli is said to 
be more active in stormy weather, and ,ZEtna in the winter 
months. 

aut fessus. There would be intervals of rest every now and again 
from chemical combinations. So, too, are there intervals of 
quiescence on the part of active volcanoes. 

29 37 An .ZEtna appears upon the scene, and chemical force pro- 

ceeds to make it its peculiar home. As time rolls on, changes 
occur within and without the mountain. Fleecy columns of 
smoke issue slowly from its pores and crevices ; its summit is 
clothed with brushwood, and its base with heavy forest growth ; 
a main funnel or pipe is established leading from the summit 
to the fires below. 

3t ascendit. The lava rose to a certain point, and there (mediusque 
resedit) stopped, rising and,f ailing with a slow rhythmical move- 
ment, as has been observed of the lava in Stromboli and other 
volcanoes. 

32 lanigerse pecudes. " Vapour shows itself in the earliest stage of a 
volcano's history. Even from volcanoes which, like the Solfa- 
tara, near Naples, have been dormant for many centuries, it 
sometimes still rises without intermission and in considerable 
volume." 

34 Ante pedes. The foot or base of the mountain, clothed with forest 

trees. Each tree, in the volcanic outburst, would act as a club 
against its fellows. 

35 fistula. The main pipe leading from the crater down to the 

central fire. A huge volcano, such as .ZEtna, consists of one or 
more cones, "and many lateral fissures or pipes from which 
the heated volcanic products are given out." 

38 58 The poet pictures Elementary Matter as listening mutely to 
the rumbling notes poured forth from the hundred-passaged 
pipe of the volcano, and drawing proper conclusions therefrom 

40 Candidior, &c. Since all compound matter is formed of the 
elements, the poet feels himself at liberty to predicate of those 
elements any quality pertaining to compound matter, whether 



58 THE GODS OF OLD; 

whiteness, bloom, staunchness, brightness, &c. The regular 
succession of comparatives in or tend to preserve the idea of 
"rumbling," sibila, throughout. 

41 longa. Long, in the sense of " lasting," and so applied to the 
alder, the wood of -which is noted for its firm grain. 

48 riguo horto. "Than a well watered garden," or, as we say, an 
Eden. The Greek n-apaSeuros is the Latin riguus hortus. 

59-71 Chemical force continues his roundelay, tells Elementary 
Matter that if she would but once embrace him, she would be 
eager to detain him, and proceeds to enumerate the treasures 
he has in store for her in the mountain, such as volcanic bombs, 
lava, tuffs, stones, scoriae, explosive fissures, vapours and fetid 
gases. 

62 antra. The " pastoiia sibila " must be borne in mind, as also the 

remark that the sounds came from a distance (procul) and 
required much pondering over (mente notavi) chemical force 
really, as it were, said " nitra," but the rumbling and rever- 
berations made it sound like " antra." The Latin nitrum and 
the Greek virpov is bur own Potassa, or Soda, or a mixture of 
both, and these enter largely into the composition of rocks in 
general, as well as into the various kinds of lavas. Hence the 
words employed by Ovid, "pars mentis, vivo pendentia saxo 
antra." 

The English word " antre " has been used in the translation 
from its likeness to natron or anatron ; and, in the same way, 
an effort has been made to represent the succeeding terms in 
phonetic English so as to be in consonance with the Latin. 

63 porna. The " rumbling " /3oyca "an elevation," volcanic bombs 

rounded like an apple or pear-shaped, from a few inches to 
several feet in diameter, and sometimes solid, sometimes 
vesicular, sometimes hollow in the centre. Some writers are 
of opinion that tibe material of these bombs is in a molten con- 
dition like the lava itself, and that when detached and hurled 
into the air from the surface of the boiling lava, the initial 
rotatory motion and the expansion of the interstitial vapour, 
aided by rapid surface cooling, would give them the vary- 
ing degrees of roundness as to shape, and their internal 
structure. 

The likeness between poma and irS>p.a " a lid, cover," 
suggests that Ovid held the theory of their being more or less 
solidified matter that acted as covers or lids over the molten 
lava filling the larger branching passages (ramos) the term 
gravantia supports the idea. It is well to note that when a 
volcano is inactive for any length of time, the cavity of the 
crater is found to be shut up with a solid crust of lava. 

64 uvse. The " juicy or grapy " lava. The radical idea of both lava 

and uva, as seen in lavo and uveo, is "liquid, or flowing," and 



AND THE STORT THAT THEY TELL. 59 

the likeness between alluvies, diluvies, and uvse, recommended 
itself to the poet in his choice of words. 

Lavas vary in colour ; the less dense are huff or pale yellow 
(auro similes'), while the heavier lavas are dark gray or almost 
Hack (purpurece). 

vitibus While keeping up the simile he chooses a word 
resemhling itibus (itus) "passages." The vitilus refer to the 
minor passages, ramos to the main pipes. 

The poet is not singular in taking a tree, its branches, and 
fruit for a simile. So staid a writer as Lyell has done the 
same when comparing the volcanic products with the trap 
rocks : "the external cone with its loose ashes and porous lava 
may be likened to the light foliage and branches, and the rocks 
concealed far below to the roots." 

66 silvestri nata, &c. Silvestris and silva are the equivalents of the 

Greek vXalos and V\TJ, the latter of which is used in Greek to 
denote matter in general. " Produced subsequent to matter's 
shade," says the Cyclop of Galatea for elementary matter, as 
we have seen, was preceded by the Gsea over which the 
encores was. 

67 mollia fraga. The usual similitude is kept Tip,fraga being fracta, 

such soft (mollia} fragmentary materials as dust, ashes, sand, 
&c., included under the general names of tuffs. All these are 
thrown up in immense quantities and are often turned into 
mud by the volume of condensed steam falling upon them in 
showers of rain. It was principally by such fragmentary 
materials and niud, and not by lava, that Pompeii and 
Heruulaneuni were buried. 

Soft mud itself, too, often issues in vast quantities from 
volcanic reservoirs, forming what are called mud lavas that are 
equal in point of extent and destructiveness to the igneous ones. 
In 1698, torrents of mud from Carguara, one of the Andes, 
covered an area of four square leagues. A similar outpouring 
in Java buried a large extent of territory to a depth of 100 feet, 
corna. Other fragmentary volcanic products, but larger and 
ranging from the size of a pea to that of a walnut, are called 
lapilli. Still others are tufaceous conglomerate}, or rolled 
pebbles cemented together with tuff. 

The poet likens both these to cornels, red berries having a 
hard kernel in the middle ; and as the showers of stones and 
cinders continue longer or later than the flow of lava, the word 
" autumnalia," "later in the season, or the fall," is added to 
cornea and pruna. 

68 pruna. Athirdclassof fragmentary materials iscomposedof scoria- 

ceous matter, such as cinders, slag, pumice, all of which are 
more or less porous, or honey-combed. As they are usually of a 
reddish-brown, gray, or black hue, they are styled liventia. 
Nigro succOj " false juice," denotes the dryness of the scoriae, 



60 THE GODS OF OLD; 

niger being used as we use it in such terms as "black galena ' 
for false galena, "black-lead" for a mineral containing no 
lead, "black oak" for barren oak, and so on. 

Pruna in Latin signifies also " a live coal, a hot cinder," and 
hence the selection of the word by Ovid. 

" No part of the operations of a volcano has greater 
geological significance than the ejection of such enormous 
quantities of fragmentary matter. As every shower of dust 
and sand adds to the height of the ground on which it falls, 
thick volcanic accumulations may be formed far beyond the 
base of the mountain. ILL these are entangled trees and other 
kinds of vegetation, together with the bodies of many animals, 
as well as the works of man. Hence new geological formations 
arise." AH this is expressed by the poet's prefacing words, 
" ipsa tuis manibus leges." 

70 castanese. x<*<rrot, " gapings, clefts, fissures, rents of all kinds," 

caused originally at the focus of action, and thence spreading 
and intersecting in all directions. These are always present 
(nee deerunt) in greater or less numbers for all active volcanoes. 

71 arbutei. Another constant and important attendant of volcanoes 

are gases and vapours: " they show themselves in the earliest 
stages of a volcano's history, and continue to appear for 
centuries after all other evidences of subterranean action have 
ceased." Mixed with the steam are such acrid gases as 
sulphuretted hydrogen, sulphuric, carbonic, and hydrochloric 
acids. These are denoted by " arbutei foetus," " arbutus 
growths " ; the arbutus being noted for the acidity of its fruit. 
It is well also to note the closeness between foetus and fetidus. 
arbos. d/3/jdy "simple": "everything simple will serve thee." 
The pastoria sibila make it sound like arbos, just as "shrub" 
sounds like " shruff," metallic dross. 

72-77 The stock enumerated is peculiarly volcanic. But besides 
this, chemical changes are constantly taking place in innumer- 
able ways amid the carbon compounds of animal and vegetable 
life. 

73 in antris. Not alone the beasts and reptiles and creeping things 

that dwell therein, but also such chemical denizens as choke- 
damp, fire-damp, &c. 

74 quot sint. The list of organic compounds is as endless as it is 

wonderful. 

77 distentum uber. Equally remarkable with their multitude is the 
number of atoms that organic substances contain. "While 
inorganic bodies are simple in construction and contain but a 
few atoms, the organic are extremely complex, and contain a 
large number. Thus, such large-atomed molecules (distentum 
uber) as sugar, stearine, and albumen, contain respectively 45, 
173, and 222, if not more, atoms. 

78-81 Still other treasures has chemical force in the boiling and 



AND THE STOUT THAT THEY TELL. 61 

thermal springs, and in the gas, oil, and mineral springs of all 
kinds. 

78 tepidis, &c. The geysers and thermal springers (agni) of the 

world : though powerful in their way they are still inferior 
(/cetera minor') to volcanic energy. 

79 hsedi. Carbonic acid, carburetted hydrogen, naphtha, petroleum, 

chalybeate, sulphur, and other springs : in point of time they 
are coeval (par Betas) with the thermal. 

80 lac, &c. The steam, gas, oil, and water, spouting from these 

"springers " are of a white or light straw colour, 
pars bibenda. The Baiceof old, and in our own day, certain springs, 
such as Vichy and Saratoga, Bath, Kissingen, Wiesbaden, and 
numerous others, are resorted to for the purpose of drinking 
tJieir medicinal tvaters. 

81 coagula durant. The hot water of the geysers and thermal springs 

is rich in silica, which, on cooling and evaporating, is 
hardened and deposited round their basins. One such bed in the 
geyser regions of Iceland is about six miles long, one mile wide, 
and 100 feet thick. The same process of hardened deposition 
goes on round other springs, producing coagulated masses of 
sulphur, salt, lime, &c. 

82-90 As special gifts to Elementary Matter, and ones with which 
she can play and sport to her heart's content, there are promised 
Magnetism and Electricity. 

So geminos. Magnetism and Electricity, convertible one into the 
other, and so like to one another in many well-known respects 
that Ovid calls them ' ' geminos inter se similes vix ut dignoscere 
possis." 

The globe is a vast magnet and the common reservoir of 
electricity. 

87 villosse ursse. Magnetism and Electricity are polar forces, and this 
is denoted by calling them the " cubs of the white, that is, the 
polar bear, dwelling on the furthest mounts." 

SS inveni. Electricity and Magnetism are intimately connected with 
chemical force, and it is a general law that no chemical action 
can occur without producing electrical disturbance of some 
kind, even though such disturbance be inappreciable. That 
volcanic outbursts are accompanied by electric and magnetic 
changes is evidenced by the lightning that frequently accom- 
panies the eruptions, and by variations observed in the magnetic 
needle. 

91-109 Chemical force passes on to a personal description of itself. 

92 liquidse aquae. Of steam or vapour. 

93 Adspice. " Behold ! " and a mighty volume of steam and smoke 

shot heavenwards, for the denouement was approaching, 
hoc corpore. Life (Jupiter) is organised matter, and organised 
matter is but substance (carpus). 



62 THE GODS OF OLD; 

95 coma. The tangled brushwood on the mountain's head or summit, 
and the heavier growth of vegetation (lucus) lower down 
(liumeros). Previous to 79 A.D. the crater of Vesuvius " was a 
wilderness of wild vines and brushwood," and again during its 
quiescence previous to the outburst of 1631, "the crater had 
once more become choked with copsewood." 

105 genitor. Each element has its equivalent number, with which or 

a multiple of which it combines with other elements to form 
compounds. In the relative scale generally adopted, Hydrogen, 
owing to its superior lightness and diffusive power and to its 
combining in the smallest proportions of any element, is chosen 
for the base or 1. As this Equivalent Notation is all essential 
to Chemistry, and as Hydrogen is the foundation on which 
Equivalence rests, Ovid describes Chemical force as claiming 
Hydrogen for the founder of its race or being, the same 
Hydrogen that, as its name denotes, rules in water, H 2 0. 

The line, as bearing on Equivalence, is thus as remarkable 
in its way as that of Homer's pointing to chemical reaction. 

106 hunc socermn. Hydrogen, an element itself and the lightest 

of all others, is surely the lawful parent, or father-in-law of 
' Elementary Matter. 
109 Nereii. Kerens literally means ' ' not changed, unchangeable " 

(vrj pea>}. Compound bodies are always undergoing changes ; it 

is only the elements that are unchangeable or constant so that 

Nereis means "born of the unchangeable," that is, Elementary 

matter. 
110-120 The rumblings are growing louder, and denser go up the 

smoke and steam. Each succeeding moment is now threatful 

of a terrible eruption. 

117 Spargam, &c. Lava streams have protruded into the sea in 

many instances. In 1794, one from Vesuvius entered the 
Mediterranean to a distance outwards of 360 feet, with a 
breadth of 1,100 and a height of 15 feet. 

118 uror. The volcanic crisis is at hand. 

119 translatani .ZEtnam. Byron has evolved a similar idea : 

" The cold in clime are cold in blood, 

Their love can scarce deserve the name ; 
But mine was like the lava flood 

That boils in ^Etna's breast of flame." 

121-135 The following description of an outburst of Vesuvius will 
help to bring before the -mi-nil 'a eye much of what has preceded 
and the pith of what is to come : 

" Frequent indications of an approaching outburst are con- 
veyed by sympathetic movements of the ground beneath. 
Erumblings and groanings from a subterranean source are 
heard; slight tremors succeed, increasing in frequency and 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 63 

violence till they become distinct earthquake shocks. The 
vapours from the crater rise more abundantly into the air. All 
this time the lava column in the pipe or funnel of the volcano 
has been slowly ascending, forced upward and kept in 
perpetual agitation by the passage of the elastic vapours through 
its mass. If a long previous interval of quiescence has elapsed 
there may be much solidified lava towards the top of the vent 
which will restrain the ascent of the still molten portion under- 
neath. 

"A vast pressure is thus exercised on the sides of the cone. 
Should these be too weak to resist, they will open in one or 
more rents, and the liquid lava will issue from the outer 
slope of the mountain ; or the energies of the volcano will be 
directed towards clearing the obstruction in the chief throat, 
until, with tremendous explosions, and the rise of a vast 
cloud of dust and fragments, the bottom and sides of the 
crater are finally blown out, and the top of the cone dis- 
appears. The lava may now escape from the lowest part of 
the lip of the crater, while, at the same time, immense numbers 
of red-hot bombs, scorire, and stones are shot up into the air, 
most of them falling back into the crater, but many descending 
upon the outer slopes of the cone, and some even upon the 
country beyond the base of the mountain. 

' ' The lava rushes down at first like one or more rivers of 
melted iron, but, as it cools, its rate of motion lessens." 

122 Surgit. The lava. 

123 errat. From the numerous fissures in the mountain's side. 

Oftener than not, especially in lofty volcanoes, the lava 
issues at first from these fissures. 

124 ignaros. But sparsely clothed with vegetation, immature. 

Our use of "green" in the sense of raw, unripe, crude, 
points to ignarus as its derivation. 

125 video. -The explosion (exclamat] comes at last : molecular 

matter is disrupted by the mighty convulsion, the imprisoned 
steam gets free, and Chemical force shouts out " video ! " 

126 faciam. To maJee is to combine. 

129 ast ego mergor. The aqueous vapour, with which lava is abun- 

dantly charged even when emitted, escapes at once as a dense 
white cloud of steam that hangs over and advances in line 
with the moving lava torrent. 

130 terga fugse. The tremors and earthquake shocks would cause 

an undulating motion through the surface or back of the 
promontory. 

133 insequitur. The lava from Mauna Loa in 1852 travelled 1 5 miles 

in two hours ; that from Vesuvius in 1805 went nearly 4 miles 
in the first four minutes. 

134 Extrernus angulus. The entire summit, or furthest angle of the 



64 THE GODS OF OLD; 

mountain, was blown out and scattered in fragments over the 
doomed promontory. 

Antuco, in Chili, has hurled stones to a distance of 36 miles, 
and Cotopaxi has hurled a 200-ton block nine miles. In 1538 
an eruption of Vesuvius formed a hill 440 feet high and a mile 
and a-half in circumference, from the stones, scoriae, and ashes 
ejected. 

136 148 The outburst is over. Centuries of quiescence ensue 
during -which the loving elements of air and water are at work 
cooling the lava, changing its hue from, glowing red to black, 
and causing it to assume a cindery aspect. Eents and fissures 
appear over the whole surface ; it finally crumbles down to a 
soil excellently fitted for a luxuriant vegetation ; and once 
more a promontory, the same Acis and yet not the same, is 
beheld jutting into the sea, encircled with rushes and aquatic 
plants, and decked all over with verdant grass and shrubs. 

138 puniceus. " Carthaginian," that is, not to be depended on, 
volatile, puniceus cruor, "volatile moisture," or steam and 
imprisoned gases. After the lava has escaped and flowed over, 
it continues to exhale steam from every point of its surface. 
Here and there, too, fissures, or fumaroles as they are called, 
are formed whence issue the more liquid lava underneath, 
columns of hissing steam and gaseous vapours of several kinds. 

140 fluminis. The aqueous vapour of the atmosphere, the mythological 

symbol for which is Oceanus, which has in turn been described 
as a river surrounding the entire globe. 

141 purgatur. The lava bed is rendered porous or cindery. 

143 Os cavum. A cove or inlet is formed by the sea in front of the 
promontory so as to give it a crescentic or horned appearance, 
as mentioned later (nova cornua], 

146 major. The lava that had projected into the sea helped to make 

the new promontory larger than it was before the eruption. 

147 aninem. The word means not only "a river," but also "the 

sea, the ocean," and is so used by Tibullus in the line " solis 
anhelantes abluet amnis equos." 

148 nomen. Acis, in some form or other, is a favourite name for 

rivers, as directing their course into the sea ; thus, Acalandrus, 
Acampsis, Aces, Acis, Acesines, Achardeus, Achates, 
Achelous, Acheron, &c. 



AND THE STORY TEAT THEY TELL. 65 



CHAPTER VI. 

GEEAT PHYSICAL FOECES. 

Hecatoncheires. In scientific language there is a marked 
relationship between Matter, Chemical force, and the 
Physical forces : in mythological language there is the 
same relationship between the Titans, Cyclopes, and 
Hecatoncheires. If, then, we accept the identity of the 
Titans and Cyclopes with molecular matter and chemical 
force, it is only natural to infer that the Physical forces are 
symbolised by the Hecatoncheires. 

With the coming of molecular matter there would also 
come what are called the Universal properties of matter, 
and these, though variously subdivided, may be reduced to 
three, namely, Extension, Impenetrability, and Attraction. 
These are the only observable forces that can be appreciated 
when we gaze upon infant matter, or the nebulae, through 
the most powerful telescope. 

We behold them isolated in space, and are conscious of 
some mighty force that has been and is at work shaping 
and governing their extent from the wholly irregular to 
elongated, spiral, annular, circular, elliptical, and other 
forms. We call this extension-ruling force Figure. 

We look again and see these nebulous masses going 
through all degrees of condensation, and are conscious of 
another mighty force that has been and is separating the 
mass into fissures, nuclei, rings, convolutions, globular 
clusters, star balls, and stars. We call this system-making 
force Divisibility, one that rules impenetrability with as 
iron a rod as Figure rules extension. 

Once more we look, and are mentally conscious of a 
third force, as mighty as if not mightier than its fellows, 

G.o. F 



66 THE GODS OF OLD; 

which sways the attraction of atom for atom, molecule for 
molecule, and mass for mass. This attraction-ruling force 
we call Gravity or Gravitation. 

And not alone in those most distant nebulas are Figure, 
Divisibility, and Gravitation present : they are equally 
potent in every star, sun, and planet, earth included, that 
compose the universe. The particle of aqueous vapour that 
is divided from the cloud, shaped into a rain drop, and 
attracted to the earth, is as subject to the influences of 
those mighty three as is the Earth itself, separate in place, 
rounded in form, and bound by attraction to its orbit. 
The stars in our visible universe must be calculated by 
hundreds of millions as to number, by billions of miles as 
to distance, and most of them, by multiples of our sun as 
to volume. Even so, the hands of Gravitation, of Figure, 
and Divisibility are long enough and numerous enough to 
grasp them all, to bind them as a whole, to shape their 
ends, and measure out the amount of space allotted to 
their bulk and to their paths in ether. 

Can the mind conceive or desire more mighty forces 
than these ? We call them Universal or far-reaching : 
Mythology has styled them Hecatoncheires or hundred- 
handed. The sounds are different, but the idea is identical. 

The same doubt existing as to precedency in their order 
of being as a whole is noticeable in them individually, for 
while Hesiod introduces them as Cottus, Briareus, and 
Gyes, Apollodorus mentions them in the order of Briareus, 
Gyes, and Cottus. It would seem as if the primordial 
agencies in the evolution of a nebulous universe presented 
themselves to the mind of the more ancient writer in the 
sequence of Differentiation as to space, Traction towards a 
common centre, and Shape more or less specified ; while 
to Apollodorus the order of evolution would be Traction, 
Shape, and finally Division. Those scientists who favour 
the throwing off of successive rings from the parent mass 
to form our system would appear to have Apollodorus on 
their side ; while those who, like Faye, argue for the 
establishment of our system, not by the formation of rings 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 67 

but by local condensations within the nebula, can claim 
Hesiod as an authority. 

Let us examine those Hecatoncheires separately. 

Briar 'cus (Bpiapews), whether derived directly from fidpos 
"weight, gravity," or from /3pi-apo>, "well or mightily 
joined," is evidently that greatest form of attraction called 
Gravitation. We see the idea of "weight " and "gravity" 
running too plainly through such cognates as (3apvs, fipidw, 
/3pia<o, and others, to permit of any doubt as to the intent 
of the appellation. His other name, Mg&on (AtycuW), is 
seen by the derivation, ala ycuW, to signify " the exultation 
or strong desire of earth," and denotes the downward 
pressure of a body in its tendency to seek the centre of 
the earth. It is thus synonymous with, and indeed the 
true derivation of our word "weight." So that when 
Homer says " Whom gods Briareus, men ^Bgseon call," he 
simply distinguishes, as we do ourselves, between the 
learned and the common usages of Gravitation and Weight, 
and formulated the dictum of modern science, " this force 
which on the earth exerts itself as gravity acts in the heavenly 
spaces as gravitation." It is probably too, to distinguish 
between gravitation as affecting the heavenly bodies, and 
mere terrestrial gravity, .that the latter (as the more 
important for earth), has been written by some writers 
'O /3piapecos, the 6 being emphatic. 

The influence that Gravitation exerts on the tides, causing 
the waters of our oceans to ebb and flow and preventing 
them from falling off the surface of the globe, is not lost 
sight of in the myths ; for the battle of the Titans being 
finished, Hesiod thus concludes : 

~Bpidpea>v ye [j.ev TJVV eovra 
ya[ij3pov eov woirjcre ftapvicrinros ''Evvocrlyaios, 
8>Ke Be Ku/ioTToAeitzz' OTruieiv, 6vyarepa rjv. 

Theog. 817819. 

The loud-resounding one that shakes the earth 
Attached in ties of kin Briareus famed, 
And gave him Moving "Wave, his child, to wed. 

Time and again during the many epochs of our earth's 
existence have the convulsive movements of the crust and 

v 2 



68 THE GODS OF OLD; 

overwhelming onsets of the sea shattered and submerged 
whole continents and threatened the very existence of life 
itself upon our globe. Time and again have the organised 
structures themselves preyed upon their fellows, exter- 
minated whole colonies, and helped in no little measure 
to fetter the life that gave them being. Still, during all, 
Gravitation was there with its hundred hands; Gravity 
was there with overwhelming might, to keep our orb ever 
secure in its daily and yearly round and to check the 
rebel passions of the deep ; and just as long as it con- 
tinues to put forth its powers, so long will Life and the 
law that life stands for continue to be triumphant over 
the seismic convulsions of the land, the onsets of the sea, 
and the destruction of organised beings by natural decay 
or an untimely end. 

A great truth this, vouched for by time and the teachings 
of the rocks; so great and undoubted a truth that we 
find it incorporated into the myths and thus immortalised 
by Homer. 



HoXXa/ci yap o-eo Trarpbs evl p-eydpounv 
evxop-ffrjs, or' e(prjcr8o Kf\aive<pei Kpovlavi 
oil] ev ddavdroia-iv deucea Xoiybv dp.vvai, 
omroYe p,iv ^wSrjcrai ' O\t/fiirtot fj6e\ov aXXoi, 
5 "Hp?; T', ride ttotreitidcov, Kai IlaXXaff 'A.6rjvrj- 

'AXXa <jt> TOV y IXdovtra, Sea, weXvtrao de<rp.S>v, 
&X 'EKaroy^etpoi/ KaXeVao"' es paKpbv O\Vfnrov, 
ov Zpidpecav KaX/ovcrt deal, tivftpes fie re Trdvres 
Alyaitav p yap avre fity oS irarpof ap.eiva>v 
10 op pa Trapa 'Kpovitovi Ka6eeTO, Kvde'i yaia>v. 

tuv Kul {nr48$eicrav p-dxapes 8eol, ovSe T' ebr]<rav. 

IKad I. 396406. 

For oft I've heard thee in my father's halls 
Eelate -with pride bow you, the only one 
Among immortals, showed the cloud-clad son 
Of Saturn how to ward untimely wreck 
When erst those other gods would fetter him, 
Both Juno, Neptune, and Minerva too. 
But you arriving loosed the bonds below, 
Having, Goddess, summoned with despatch 
To wide Olympus In'm with hundred hands 
Whom gods Briareus, men 2Egeeon call, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL 69 

(For one, inversely in Hs native strength, 

Superior is) ; who then his station took, 

With glory swelling, near to Saturn's son. 

From Tiim in fear the over- joyous gods 

Shrank back, and thought of binding had they not. 

NOTES. 

5 "Hpri, &c. Juno is the mythical symbol for tJie land, Neptune for 

the sea, and Minerva for organised force. 

6 crii . . . . 0eo Thetis. When land and sea and organised force 

break bounds, as they have done in the past, all life and nature 
are threatened for a while. But at last there comes the natural 
order of things (Thetis r/%u), that, aided by the mere 
presence of gravitation, brings back order from confusion. For 
this reason, too, is Thetis said to have "loosed the bonds below," 
as it is on the surface that peace and order begin. 

9 6 yap aSre, &c. The 6 refers evidently to Briareus or Gravitation, 
as opposed to .2Ego3on or Gravity, afire means " contrariwise, 
conversely, or inversely." So that the whole line is explanatory 
of the great scientific truth with regard to Gravitation and its 
law. We shall find additional evidence in the description of the 
Hecatoncheires given by Hesiod. 

11 vTre88fiirav The convulsed earth and sea, and organised violence, 
shrank back to their original and orderly positions under the 
influence of Gravitation and Gravity. 

Gyes (TV???). is certainly related to yviov, "a limb," that 
is, the extremity of anything whereby it is limited or 
shaped. The connection is well denoted in a line of 
Prior's : 

" Grace shaped her limbs and beauty decked her face." 

We can trace the Greek word in the Latin fiyura, more 
plainly in the English " guise," and can detect a corre- 
sponding relationship between " limb " and " limn " similar 
to that between yviov and Twjs. That the real derivation of 
the word is yva. or >w?s, " tilled land, the womb," receives 
much confirmation from the use in English of the words 
" mould, to fashion, to shape," and of mould, "the matrix 
or womb in which anything is cast and receives its form." 

The word is thus by both derivation and kin synonymous 
with Figure or Shape, the force that has given their out- 
lines to the continents, oceans, and organisms of Earth, to 



70 THE GODS OF OLD; 

our own and other systems, to the cosmopolitan comets, 
to Sirius and Aldebaran, to the Universe as a whole. 
Chemical changes are not under his jurisdiction, for such 
belong to his Cyclopean brethren. But all physical changes 
acknowledge the sway of Gyes ; for while water remains 
water, whether as ice, rain, or vapour, while woody fibre 
remains the same, whether in the plant, the tree, or girder, 
while each element retains its individual nature, be it 
solid, fluid, or gaseous, they are all under the power of 
Gyes. Let them be transformed as they are again, again, 
and again, this master Figure draws circumscribing lines 
around them. 

" There's a divinity that shapes our ends, 
Rough-hew them how we will." 

Horace alludes to Figure in his Odes. Eeproaching 
Maecenas for his nervous fears, and prophetically declaring 
that their destinies for weal or woe are too closely connected 
for any separation in this world or the next, he says : 

Ibiinus, ibimus, 
Utcunque prsecedes, supremum 
Carpere iter comites parati. 
Me nee Ghimserse spiritus ignese, 
Nee si resurgat centimanus Gyas, 
Divellet unquarn. 

Car. H. 17. 

Prepared to enter on that journey last, 

Like comrades marching, marching shall we go ; 

Thou first may be : 

Not me Ohimsera's all-consuming blast, 
Not me the resurrected Gyes vast, 

Shall bar from thee. 

The poet evidently means that no extreme of heat 
(chimsera), not even boundless space, or the universal and 
unshapen mass that existed when Gyes came into being, 
could separate the spiritual affinity between his patron and 
himself. 

Coitus. If there be, as is generally supposed, but one 
force from which all others are" evolved, then there must 
have been a time when gravitation, figure, and divisibility, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 71 

three distinct forms of force, did not exist, and when 
consequently there was an absence of attraction, extension, 
and impenetrability. This state of things can only apply 
to the very earliest stage of the nebula, when G-aea had not 
yet borne molecular children, the Titans, to Uranus ; to 
that tantalizing era of existence when simple apprehension 
is the only refuge for intelligence ; when we are forced to 
consider the Universe as a point, and matter as composed 
of indivisible atoms. Mathematics throws up its hands at 
a "point," chemistry at an "atom." 

But in whatever way or fashion indivisible matter was 
compelled to become divisible, we must take it for granted 
that such really did occur, that the theoretical atoms of the 
nebulous age were evolved later on into the practical 
molecules, that matter capable of being divided or cut 
made its appearance, that Divisibility the mythological 
Coitus (Ko'rros, KOTTTCO, "to cut, divide") was born. 

Not often is he alluded to in the myths ; yet there is one 
part in the battle of the Titans where he is appropriately 
made by Hesiod to speak for himself and brothers in reply 
to Jupiter's appeal for help. But the very name is sugges- 
tive and all-sufficient. When we look at the myriads of 
stars and reflect that once they were all united in the one 
nebulous mass, we are conscious of a Cottus who has used 
his falchion wondrous well and wise. "When we come to 
earth and find that a single grain of copper can by solution 
be divided into a hundred million parts, that a drop of 
blood contains one hundred and twenty millions of globules, 
and that an ounce of gold can be drawn out to 432 
thousand million parts, we are struck with the vast power 
of this dividing Cottus. Amazement comes to a climax 
when we are told that one cubic inch of tripoli consists of 
the fossil shells of animalcules each of which is but the 41 
thousand millionth of that cubic inch ; and yet each of 
these was once alive, and presumably in possession of limbs 
and internal organs through which nourishment was taken 
and fluids circulated ! 

Distinctive epithets have been assigned by Hesiod to 



72 THE GODS OF OLD; 

each of the Hecatoneheires, ^yaQv^os, " the strong-spirited," 
to the attractive Briareus ; aaros TroXe/xoio, " the insatiable 
for strife/' to the ever-changing Gyes ; and apvpuv to Cottus. 
The derivation of this apvpatv is most probably a negative 
and p.v(o, " to close, to keep close," especially as applied 
to the lips and eyes. While this does not interfere with the 
accepted rendering, " blameless, irreproachable," in as much 
as a person so gifted is " one who need not close his lips or 
eyes through shame," it must be taken literally in the case 
of Cottus as "not keeping close" that is dividing, or the 
complex process whereby Evolution is advanced. 

Hesiod's description of the Hecatoneheires runs thus : 

1 uXXoi 8' av Tai7]s re rat Ovpavov e^eyevovro 

rpets jraTSes fieya\oi re rat ofipipoi, OVK ovo/zaorot, 
KOTTOS re Bpiapecas TC Tvrjs 6', virpT](pava TeKva. 
T&V eKaTov p.ev X ^P es 71 "' ^P- 

5 ttTrXaaroi, Ke^jaXat fie eKaerra) 
f wfjuov fwefpvKov eVl crTiftapolcri 
Icrxvs 8' (nrXjjros Kpareprj p.eyd\<a eVi 

Theog. 147. 

From. Ge and Uranus were also sprung 

Three other sons, children known far and wide, 

Both great and strong beyond description's bounds, 

Cottus and Q-yes and Biiareus. 

'Way from the shoulders hundred hands there flashed 

Proportioned not ; from fifty shoulders grew, 

Anent the well-squared members, heads for each. 

And more than great upon a mighty form 

"Was their exceedingly surpassing force. 

NOTES. 

3 inrfpfifpava That is " universal." 

5 airXao-rot a wXairrdr " not shaped, out of proportion." 

6 7re<f>vKov Literally "were made to grow." 

(mfiapoiin " close pressed, compact," as anything is when square. 
Thus "a gate close shut" is a gate that closes square, and 
a " square of soldiery" is a compact body of men. 



The three lines commencing with " T&V e/caroy /xez; 
are of astounding importance in as much as they contain 
the formula for the great law of Gravitation. The law is, 
" Attraction is inversely as the squares of the distances." 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 73 

Thus, if we represent the respective distances by x and y, 
the known attraction of x by a, and that required of y by b ; 
the proportion will be, not in the direct ratio of x to y, but 
inversely as their squares, as follows : 

y 2 : x 2 : : a : b 

To explain this is the poet's task, and he does it thus : 
He regards the ratio sign (:) as " shoulders " ; the respec- 
tive distances (x and y) as " hands " shooting away from 
those shoulders ; and the measures of attraction (a and b) 
as "heads " lying opposite to the squared members of the 
proportion. As those last run in the order of 50 2 :50 2 , 
49 3 :51 2 , 48 2 :52 2 , 47 3 :63 3 , and so on, in sums always of 100, 
till we get to the last combination or I 2 : 99 2 , and as there 
are just 50 of those combinations, there would consequently 
be 50 " heads," made to grow in a ratio proportional to that 
of the inverse squares. 

For ingenuity and vividness the lines are probably without 
a parallel. Let us take them as they run, and we actually 
see the proportion growing under our very eyes, and Gravita- 
tion's laiv evolving with the groioth : 

T>V a?r' a>fj.a>v ...... : 

fKarbv fj.fv xelpes di<r<rovTO rarAaoToi . y : x 

Se TrfvrfjKovTa ft; &fj.a>v . . . y : X : 

&C. &c. 

ri trri^apoicn fieXeircnv . . . . y 2 : x 2 : 

Kf(J3a\al eKaorrfi) erre<pvKov . . . . y 2 : x 2 : : a : b 



It is possible then, however the knowledge was lost up to 
the time when Newton re-discovered it, that Gravitation and 
the law governing it were well-known to the ancients, as far 
back at least as the days of Hesiod. We have already 
pointed out a line in the Iliad showing that Homer was also 
acquainted with the. law, and it may be remarked here that 
the words of the succeeding line, " Kvbei ycuuv," are worthy 
of thought and inspection from the strong resemblance 
between KVOS and Kvfios, " a solid square," as also between 
KuSpo's and the Latin quadra. That the knowledge survived 
among the well-informed up to the time of the Augustan 



74 TEE GODS OF OLD; 

Era appears more than probable from this passage in the 
.ffineid : 

Centauri in foribus stabulant, Scyllseque biformes, 
Et centum geminus Briareus. 

To translate geminus as "handed," with ge as merely 
euphonic, has no authority whatsoever and is simply an 
ipse dixit of some commentator. If we render centum 
geminus literally, it will be " hundred double," that is " a 
hundred squared " or " the centuple, Briareus," a meaning 
that brings it into consonance with gravitation and its law. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 75 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE FIXED CUT-OFF. 

Uranus. Our earth is, roughly speaking, 8,000 miles in 
diameter. As it is somewhat over 2J billions of miles 
distant from Neptune, it would take over 300,000 of our 
earths to reach the boundary of our system. Again, the 
diameter of this solar system is about six billions of miles. 
Yet, it would take over four such systems in a straight line 
to reach the nearest fixed star, a Centauri ; over eight of 
them to reach Sirius which is but the fourth nearest to us ; 
over 33 to arrive at Capella ; 200 to get to Arcturus ; and 
over 45,000 of our Solar systems to stretch to Algol ! Yet, 
all these and myriads like them, thousands of others too 
far to have their distances computed, and other thousands 
too far to be even discerned by telescope yet made, form our 
universe and must be supposed as at one far distant time 
composing that aggregated mass of which mention has so 
frequently been made. And enormous though these figures 
be, and however vast the diameter if we knew it of our 
universe, the mind must still go on and compare it too with 
the other universes of infinite space, just as we compared 
Earth with its system, and our system with its universe. 

What does all this imply ? This ; that, though 
humanly speaking, it, our universe, was the TO TTO.V, it was 
nevertheless finite, and lack of infinity implies the presence 
of a boundary, or of that which gives form to the collective uni- 
verse. Expand as it would, and contract as it might in order 
to gain additional distention, the limit had been assigned 
beyond which there was no thoroughfare for the Nebula. 

What was this boundary ? When was it formed ? What 
its nature ? How was it produced ? 

Answer to these questions must necessarily be vague ; 
still, answer there is some. 



76 THE GODS Off OLD ; 

It was the " firmament " called Uranus or Heaven, 
according to Genesis, "dividing the waters from the 
waters:" it was the "Uranus" cut off by Kronos, as 
related in the myths : it was the " limitary boundary " of 
our universe, separating it from external universes, as 
expounded by Science. 

According to Genesis it was the work of the Second Day. 
It was thus subsequent to the time when " the Earth was 
without form and void : and darkness upon the face of the 
deep," and to a Day when God said, " Let there be light : 
and there was light. ' ' According to Myth ology, it was formed 
subsequently to Chaos, Erebus, and Nox, to 2Ether and 
Hemera. Science has no date or landmark for the event. 

As to the nature of this firmament much has been said, 
but only conjecturally. Scripture leads us to infer that it 
was such as could divide and keep divided the waters above 
it from those under it, for whatever change may have 
occurred in time to alter the waters under it, we have for 
those above it the words of Psalm cxlviii. 4 : " Praise Him, 
ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above 
the heavens." Most of the epithets applied to it in the 
classics are more significative of height, clearness, con- 
vexity, splendour, colour, and stelligerence, than they are of 
material nature. The Greek poets, Homer frequently, 
make use of x^ KfOS an d o^peos in connection with it, 
just as we speak of the " brazen vault " and " golden 
gates ; " and in Job xxxvii. 18, we find, " Hast thou with Him 
spread out the sky which is strong, and as a molten 
looking-glass?" 

The scholastics, as a rule, were of opinion tha.t it resem- 
bled elementary matter in being corporeal, inanimate, and 
simple, but maintained that, while the matter of the 
elements was corruptible and capable of three forms, solid, 
fluid, and gaseous, the matter of the firmament was 
incorruptible, and consisted of a fourth form, or one that 
was neither solid, fluid, nor gaseous. This, in a sense, is in 
accordance with Mythology. Hesiod, as already seen, 
says : 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 77 

And firstly then did Ge indeed produce 
Like to herself the starry Uranus. 

We are thus led to suppose that, whatever was the 
nature and whatever were the constituents of the primal 
mass when disrupted from the Chaos, the firmament 
possessed the same, and that it went in all likelihood 
through the same changes in composition that Gasa did, 
until such time as it was made an independent existence. 
It would, as a consequence, range in material nature from the 
extreme of pure atomic to that of pure molecular matter, 
and as the all-penetrating Ether or light of the Empyrean 
had to traverse it, the old epithet of " Crystalline Sphere " 
must be looked on with respect. In view of what we know 
to-day regarding the Eoentgen or so-called X-rays, the 
firmament may be other than Crystalline and still be 
capable of transmitting light. Helmholtz adumbrates the 
idea of a material firmament when he says, " It (solar heat) 
has proceeded outwards, and daily proceeds outwards into 
infinite space ; and we know not whether the medium 
which transmits the undulations of light and heat possesses 
an end where the rays must return, or whether they 
eternally pursue their way through infinitude." Whatever 
it may be, whether material and capable of reflecting force 
and the forces evolved from this force, or an unsubstantial 
vault, but beyond which no force or material component of 
our universe dare swerve by a hair's breadth, is kept from 
human knowledge so far. All we know about it from the 
united testimony of Scripture, Science, and Mythology points 
conclusively to its existence, favourably to its being of a 
material form, but negatively as to the nature of the matter. 

As to the manner of its formation, the Genesiac narrative 
runs thus : 

6 Kai flirev 6 Qebs, Tevrj6i]TC> orepetofta ev fte<r<u TOV vSaros' Kal eora 

8iax<ap!.ov dva peaov vdaTOS Kal vftaros' Kal eyevfTO OVTCOS. 

7 Kal fTToirjcrev 6 Qebs TO arept'cB/ja' Kal Siex&pio-ev 6 Qebs ava pea-ov 

TOV vSaros, o rjv inroKarca TOV o~Tepea>p.aTos, Kal ava peirov TOV vSaros, 
TOV eirdva) TOV orepeco/iaro?. 

8 Kal fKokeorev 6 Qebs TO <TTepea>fJia, 'Qvpavov- Kal f"8ev 6 Geos, on 

Ka\6v' Kal eyevero ecnrepa, Kal eyevfTO irpaA, Tjpepa 



78 THE GODS OF OLD; 

This literally rendered would read : 

6. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the 
water : and let there be a division through the midst of water and 
of water : and it was so. 

7. And God made the firmament : and God made a division through 
the midst of the water, the which was under the firmament, and 
through the midst of the water, that above the firmament. 

8. And God called the firmament Heaven : and God saw that it was 
good: and there was evening, and there was morning, the second day. 

Those verses are certainly not opposed to the theory of 
" Heavens of Heavens " or external universes ; on the 
contrary they are rather favourable. Another point in 
connection with them must be borne in mind. Many of 
the Fathers and Theologians, notably St. Augustine, 
distinguish between the opus creationis and the opus 
formationis, and consider the evolvement of the physical 
universe indirectly, or through the agency of natural 
causes, derivative creation, as not opposed to the text 
of Scripture, and as being more reasonable. In the work 
of the Six Days Genesis states the fiat of the Creator and 
the accomplishment of the fiat. This, with the regular 
order or siiccession of creative formations, is deemed 
sufficient by its author, considering the main point he had 
in view, an Omnipotent and Beneficent Deity. The 
subsidiary means and length of time occupied in each 
individual formation were but of secondary importance in 
his estimation and outside the religious scope of his work. 
He was satisfied with enunciating truths : science might or 
might not work out the details. 

Science has grappled the task, and applying the 
ancillaries of the Nebular Hypothesis, Condensation, 
Alteration, and Liberation, argues thus : Let condensa- 
tion be permitted to occur in the universal nebula, let 
alterations take place in the nature of the matter resident 
therein, and let there be liberation of the physical and 
chemical forces which have sprung up : let all these act 
in time, and disruption would occur whereby a firmament, 
such as is mentioned, would be formed, acting as a 
boundary for that from which it was separated, and within 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 79 

which the nebula could undergo further transformations 
and disruptions. 

Now, whether Science be right or wrong, it would appear 
at least to have the sanction of the ages, since we find its 
reasoning, mutatis nominibus, to be the Mythologic version 
pure and simple. The pains and contractions of Gsea 
personified the local condensation ; the Titans represented 
the alterations that took place in matter ; the Hecaton- 
cheires and Cyclopes stood respectively for the physical 
and chemical forces : all these acted through Kronos or 
time, with the final result of Uranus or the firmament 
being separated from participation in the further changes 
that were destined for our Universe and Earth. 

Could personification be more appropriate, more terse, or 
better applied? It is after this fashion that Hesiod 
proceeds to describe the results of that <eternum vulnus 
which has been recorded by Jew, Greek, Eoman, Persian, 
Goth, and Indian, by the wise indeed of every nation that 
has a written language upon record. The narrative is the 
first of three remarkable passages in his Theogony where 
the poet resorts to dialogue. Having mentioned the 
Cyclopes and Hecatoncheires he proceeds thus : 

1 ocrcroi 8' ap Tair/s re Kal Ovpavov eeyevoJTo, 
Seworaroi TraiScav, <r<erepa> 8' fjxdovro TOKTJ'L 
e dpxys' Kal T&V p.ev OTTOS Tis TrpSra yevoiro, 
Trdvras diroKpinrraarKf, Kal Is (f>aos OVK dvleo-Kf, 
5 Tairjs ev Kevduavi, KaKca 8' eVeTepTrero fpyca 
Ovpavos. f) 8' evrof (rrova^tfero Tata irikaiprj 
(rrfivofi.evr]- SoXirjv 8e KUKTJV e<ppdcr(raTO rexvrjv. 
ati^a 8e TTOi^o-ao-a yevos iroXiov abdp-avros 
reve p.eya bpeiravov Kal eTreCppafte iraurl (piXoicnv, 
10 fare 8e 6apo~uvov<ra, (piXov TeTirjfievrj qrop- 

HolSes epol Kal iraTpos dracrddXov, a'L K f6eXr]Te 
irelQefrBai, jrarpdr ne KUKTJV TLcralfieda \a>[3r)V 
ifierepou- Trparepos yap deiKea ftTjcraro epya. 
Qs <f>dro- TOVS S' apa irdvras e\ev Seos, ouSe TIS avruv 
15 (j)6eyaTO- 6apcrrj<ras 8e peyas Kpovos dyKv\op.rjTr]s 
ai/r avns [ivdouri 7rpooT;vSa [ir]Tepa KedvrjV 

M^rep, ey<a Ki/ TOVTO y wotr^o/j.ei'os Te\<raip.i 
epyov, eirel Trarpos ye 8va-<avvfj.ov OVK d\eyico 
rj/j-erepov' Trporepos yap deiKea prjcraro epya. 
20 Qs <pdro' yri&rjcrev 8e p-eya e^peer! Fala Tre\a>pr). 



80 THE GODS OF OLD; 



eicre 8e p.iv Kpv^raara Xd^o)' evedijKe Se X e 'P' 
apTTrjv Kapxapodovra' 86\ov 8' imedf^Karu irdvra. 
f]\6e 8e NJJKT' eVaytov psyas Ovpavos. dfj,(pl <5e 
Ifieipcov <pi\6rr]TOS eTTf cr^ero (cat p* 
25 TrdvTT]' 6 8' eVc Xo^eolo Traiff apef-aro 
trieauj, 8eirep?; 8e 7reAa>pioi> e\\ 
paicpfiv, Kcipxapodovra, (j)[\ov S' njro pf/dea irarpos 
ecr<rvp.evcos rjiirftrf, iraXti' 8' eppiifre (pepefrflcu 
e^ojTtVa). Theog. 154181. 

Of all that sprang from Uranus and Ge, 

Most mighty of her children then were these 

Who from the first proved hateful to their sire ; 

And Uranus, as each was first begot, 

Concealed them all within the womb of G e, 

Allowed them not to go towards the light, 

And kept rejoicing in his evil work. 

But moving Ge, contracted, groaned within 

And pondered on the artful evil work. 

Quick, with her offspring dear, she planned and shaped 

A mighty semilunar curve, a work 

That she had made of crystal hard and clear. 

Then cheering spoke, though tortured in her heart : 

' ' sons of an expansive sire, and mine, 
If only willing were ye to be moved 
"We could correct your father's evil blow ; 
Eor he the first has planned incongruous works." 

Thus she ; then tremor seized them all, but yet 
No part of them responded. Boldly now, 
With crafty speech great "Kroiios answered back 
In words responsive to his parent kind : 

" It may be, mother, crouched beneath this work 
The deed I'll do, since for this sire of ours, 
With name so inauspicious, I care not ; 
For he the first has planned untimely works." 

Thus he ; and moving Ge rejoiced in heart. 
In wait she secret laid him ; in his hand 
A weapon curved, with jagged teeth, she placed; 
And artifice of all kind set below. 

Then bringing night came mighty Uranus, 
Who yearning fellowship was stretched round Ge, 
And strained indeed was she on every side. 
But from his ambush stretched himself her son, 
Who brandished, now to left, and now to right, 
The quivering, far-reaching, jagged blade, 
And from his sire cut swift and flung behind 
The plans, hereafter to be claimed his own. 



AND TtiE STORY T&AT THEY TELL. 81 

NOTES. 

2 rj^dovro CJb.enli.cal force as requiring bodies of different kinds to 
act on, arid Attraction, I'igure, and Divisibility, as tending to 
cohesion, distinctness, and limitation, are antagonistic to the 
expansion or diffusion of matter. In the Hebrew version of 
Genesis the' word used for " firmament " is expansion^ 

3-5 As matter cooled and assumed form on the surface it would 
commence to seek the centre of the mass. 

6-7 As Helmholtz says, "Condensation" (trreivoplvr)) "must have 
taken place before the play of chemical forces began," and the 
result would be a shrinkage of the interior (trrovaxifrro eVroy): 
7r'e\a>pr] The usual meaning assigned the word is ' ' monstrous* pro- 
digious, huge', &c.," with thei collateral notion of terrible. The 
derivation is ire\a> " to be in motion/' and this idea of motiwi it 
is that as " writhing, distorted, convulsive, hissing, quivering; 
&c." renders it tenible and monstrous, and equally applicable to 
the earth as a moving whole, as to the things of earth, such as the 
Cyclops, a goose, a sword blade, &c. Not the size but the 
motion of an object it is that strikes us with awe and terror. 

8 TroXioS aSdftazroy We do not know what the composition of the 
ancient adamant was. The derivation (if a Sa.fj.aco) points to 
" hardness, unalterableness," and connects it with the matter 
of the " crystalline spheres." Lines 8 and 9 are vividly 
descriptive of the Nebular Hypothesis. 

11 draa-GaXov aras 0aAXo>, " to swell excessively." 

12 irfUJeo-dai If the molecules would only " be moved to act" intensely 

enough, the vibration of their component atoms would" be such 
as to overcome all cohesion, and to bring matter back to 
that simple condition the formless universe when Uranus 
was not. 

14 e\ez> Se'os Her words had at least roused them from inaction, and 
some trembling efforts were made on their part towards 
assuming dimensions; but their atomic parts responded not 
sufficiently. 

17 imocrxofi.evos. vTT)(to, wreo'xop?!' Let alterations in matter go on 

below, and let time be added ; then would disruption follow. 

18 Svoxoi/vfiou The name, Uranus or "Expansion," is not pleasing 

to insatiate Eronos; neither is that of Uranus or " the limiting 
boundary, or firmament." 

" I bring the truth to light, detect the ill ; 
My native greatness scorneth bounded ways." 

Lord Brooke, on Time. 

19 deiKea epya. He ends with the same words that Ge did. But, 

whereas Ge regarded the works from a mate.-ial point of view, 
and called them "incongruous," Kronos looks on them from 
his standpoint and terms them " untimely, not suited for time." 
G.O. 



82 'THE &ODS OF OLD; 

He draws a subtle distinction, in. the meaning of deixea ; but we 
must remember that he is the fifyas dy/cuXo/i^r?;?. 

24 fTavvtrdrj. Owing to the pressure from, above, and to the heat 
below. " A volume of gas can be compressed with very little 
force to half or one-fourth of its bulk, or in short to such an 
extent that in many cases the molecules sufficiently approxi- 
mate to form a liquid: further pressure, or pressure under 
abnormal conditions, will form it into a solid." 

26 o-Kcufji degiTtpfi. With two mighty sweeps, an upper and ail under, 
was the firmament cut away ; and all that remained embraced 
within was henceforth tinder the sway of Time (<pepetr8ai. 



That the Universe has been formed on a great .plan or 
scheme is universally conceded. The astronomer views 
the stars, recognises the existence of laws that govern their 
movements, rotation, brightness, eclipse, and relative posi- 
tions, and has successfully tracked the gradual building of 
an orb from, incandescent gas to solid crust, from a nebula 
to an earth. 

The geologist searches the rocks of our planet and sees 
strata after strata from granite to drift, and always in 
orderly succession. The palaeontologist follows in his 
steps and finds a methodical succession of plant and animal 
life, from algae to olive, from protozoa to Man. 

There is no faltering, no break in the Scheme. It 
commences with Being that embraced matter and mind 
closely mingled in the vast nebula : it culminates with the 
rational and self-conscious individual, Man. Between the 
two extremes were many links, thousand ramifications, and 
innumerable changes, not only for the orbs of heaven, but 
for the mineral, vegetable, and animal individualities of 
our globe. But for the firmament there were none that we 
know of. When formed it must be supposed as deprived of 
further participation in the changes destined to go on 
within its boundary. To put it still plainer, when the 
incorruptible or unchangeable firmament was cut away 
from the changeable nebula, the plans of 'this changeable Gcea 
were cut away from Uranus. This is what the myth means, 
and what Hesiod says distinctly when he writes " and 
swiftly cut away from (airo) his dear sire the plans." 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. S3 



CHAPTER VIII. 

" QONCORDTA MUNDI." 

AND thus was the Firmament spread out "like a curtain," 
and the work of the Second Day completed. 

Henceforward we have to regard our nebulous universe 
not as a more or less homogeneous whole, but as composed 
of three distinct parts, a Uranus or firmament acting as a 
circumferential boundary ; a Gsea or nebulous mass that 
had grown smaller by shrinkage, with a constant tendency 
to such contractions within itself as would bring on the 
pangs of labour and minimise its bulk by the throwing off 
of ring after ring of its own substance ; and an interval of 
space between the first and second, in which a succession 
of all-important changes was destined to occur. 

We cannot conceive this last as a perfect vacuum, since 
from the very first fiocculi from both firmament and nebula 
would probably be found therein, and form by further 
expansion an attenuated medium or ether ; and as from 
time to time there floated away from the mass nebulse that 
were to form the starry denizens visible to the reason, 
telescope, or eye, this medium must have received additions 
which rendered it comparatively denser, and thus proved a 
factor in limiting the distance to which each successive 
misty world advanced. 

It served, too, as a medium for that tie which binds as a 
whole the disassociated members of the Cosmos, that 
Harmony of the Universe which has been recognised by 
the science and hymned by the poetry of every age. Ovid, 
as already pointed out, alludes to it in the line 

Dissociata locis concord! pace ligavit. 

G 2 



84 THE GODS OF OLD; 

We quote from Lucan, and from what might be its 
paraphrase by Tickel, 

Nunc ades, seterno coinplectens omnia nexu, 
rerum, mixtique salus Concordia mundi, 
Bt sacer orbis amor. 

' ' Kind Concord, heavenly born ! whose blissful reign 
Holds this vast globe in one surrounding chain." 

It is with a description of this Concord, under the 
mythical name of Aphrodite, that Hesiod appropriately 
concludes the separation of the firmament. Having told in 
a few anticipatory lines how our Earth, as a consequence 
of the separation, produced in after years the Erinyes, 
Giants and Melian Nymphs, he resumes the thread of his 
narrative : 



8' <BS TOTrpSiTov dTTOTfifj^as do'dp.aVTi 
Ka/3/3aX' car 1 ^Trei'poio TroXuKXvcma Ivl TTOITOJ, 
&s (peper ap. jreXoyos TTOV\VV xpovov, dfi(j)l 5e Xeu/tos 
d<f>pbs car' ddavarov ^poos aipwro' ro> 8' evi Kovprj 
5 I6pi<f)6r]. Trparov de TLvBripourt a6eoiiriv 
etr^rjT, evBev fireira Trepippvrov ?Kero 
K S' efir) alSoir] KoXij dens, afjL(j)l Se TTOHJ 
iroiro-lv viro paftuioicnv deero' TTJV 8' ' 
d(f>poyevia re Sfav KOI ev<rr4(pavov Kvdepfuiv, 

10 WKX^o-Koucrt deoi re KOI dvepts, ovvex.' Iv d<ppto 
6pt<f)dr)' drop Kvdepeiav, on Trpoa-eKvpa-f 
Kvirpoyevea 8', on yevro iro\VK\v(rTq> eVt 
TjSe <j)i\op.p.ri8ea., on p^dfosv e^e 
rfj S' "Epos Q}^,dpTTj(rf Kal "ipepos fffirero 

15 yfivo[ievrj TcnrpSnTa. 8ea>v T' es <pv\ov lo 
TOVTTJV 8' e npxn s fifi:i}V fx et *) 
p.oipav ev avdpdmoifri Kal adavdroia-i 
irapQevlavs T" odpovs /*8ij/iara T' e^airaras re 
rep^nv re yXwcepiji/ (fnXoTrfTd re /ietXi^i'jji' T6. 

Theog. 188206. 

So too the plans, the very first as 'twere 
That he had severed from the adamant 
And from the main had flung for basis sure 
On the tempested deep, were long time borne 
Upon the waters, and a whitish froth 
Prom the immortal surface rose all round. 
Therein a maid did thrive ; and she at first 
Was to empyreal matter close attached ; 
And then to fluid incandescence came. 



'AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL, ss 

And forth, a stately beauteous goddess passed, 

And 'neath her taper feet the season grew. 

Then her, the foam-begotten deity 

And the well-circled Cytherea too, 

Both gods and mortals Aphrodite call 

For reason that in froth she nurtured was ; 

But Cytherea, since she reached the clear ; 

Cyprogenia, too, since got she was 

In swelling tide of incandescent heat ; 

And Philomede, as from plans she came. 

On her when born and come unto the throng 

Of gods, the elements, did Eros wait 

And sweet Desire did follow in her wake. 

This honour too 'mongst men and gods renowned 

She has from first and gained it as her due, 

The warbling converse, smiles, and wiles of maids, 

Their joy and honeyed love and blandishment. 

NOTES. 

1-4 When cut away from the firmament, the plans abided henceforth 
with the enclosed nebula. As the ages rolled by this would be 
divided and sub-divided to form the various bodies of our 
universe, and interstellar space would become filled with a 
subtle ether. 

d/3/3aX'. " Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters." 
Psalm civ. 3. 

2 dir' rjireipoio From the original whole that existed before the 

separation. 

irovrca. This and the n-cXoyo? of the succeeding line refer to the 
nebulous or misty nature of the mass that now lay within the 
firmament. 

4 d<ppbs. The ether, so subtle and impalpable that the poet compares 

it to the light, unsubstantial bubbles produced by the fermen- 
tation or agitation of a liquid mass. 

5-15 In this ether was Concord nursed, and through it as medium 
was celestial harmony established, and the spheres bound 
together as a whole. 

5 THv6{]poiin. As it would be absurd to conceive of localities existing 

at an age prior to the formation of a crust upon our globe, it is 
evident that the terms Cythera and Cyprus are used only for the 
sake of the ideas implied derivationally . K.vfirjpa (icadaipa>, fKa&rjpa, 
the a being changed into v as in o-upg for a-apg) means " pure, 
the purified, clear," and Kwrpos (Kcurvpos, or Kmnrvpos, the poetic 
form of KaraTTvpos) denotes " blazing, burning, incandescent." 
Spectral analysis has shown that the simplest stellar bodies 
ponsist mainly of luminous gas or incandescent hydrogen, But 



86 THE GODS OF OLD. 

that there is a still more simplified form of matter is reasonable 
to believe. It is this most simple condition that Hesiod styles 
Kvdfipoia-L a6toi(Tiv, "while he denotes the swelling incandescence 
by Trepippvrov JUvirpov, making it, as seen, subsequent to the 
other. 

8 'AcppoSiTrjv. By a simple metathesis of the p this becomes ptxpoSiTrjv 
that is (pdirra 686s) "the binder of the orbits." She would be 
so understood by the learned (Qeoi), while men of inferior 
intelligence would recognise her as but ' ' the ethereal wayfarer " 
(d(ppos oSiTijs). It would be the same distinction as was made 
between Briareus ar.d JEgseon. The Latin Venus is probably 
evcocrif, "Union." 

13 <pL\op.p.ri8ea. Cytherean Yenus would thus denote " the purest 

affection"; Cyprian Venus, "ardent or impassioned love"; 
Philomede, or Erycinian Venus, "artful love, the love that 
laughs at locksmiths." 

14 "Epos. Change and Desire attended her on earth. 

" Ah me ! for aught that I could ever read, 
Could ever hear by tale or history, 
The course of true love never did run smooth." 

Shakspeare. 



BOOK THIRD. 

TOILERS OF THE NIGHT. 



Nox 



CHAPTEE I. 

THEOGONY. 

Moros 

Ker 

Tnanatos 

Upnos 

Oneiroi 

Monms 

Oi'zus 

Hesperides 



Clotao 

Lacnesis 

Atropos 



Keres 

Nemesis 

Apate 

Philotes 

Geras 

Eris 

THE characters in the foregoing table, serving as a sequel 
to what preceded and a prelude to what was to come, are 
pictured by Hesiod as the offspring of Night without a 
consort. In describing the descent of ^Eneas into Hades, 
Virgil writes thus : 

Yestibuhim ante ipsum, primisque in faucibus Orci, 
Luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curso ; 
Pallentesque habitant Morbi, tristisque Senectas, 
Et Metus, et malesuada Fames, ac turpis Egestas ; 
Terribiles visu f ormse ; Letumque, Labosque ; 
Turn consanguineus Leti Sopor ; et mala mentis 
Gaudia ; mprtiferumque adverso in limine 



88 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Ferreique Eumenidum thalami, et Discordia demens, 
Yipereum crinem vittis innexa cruentis. 
In medio ramos annosaque brachia pandit 
IJlmus, opaca, ingens ; quam sedem Somnia yulgo 
Vana tenere ferunt, foliisque sub omnibus lissrent. 

VI. 273284. 

A cursory examination of those lines will tend to show that 
the entities mentioned in them, while not arranged in the 
same order as those of Hesiod, are similar in number and 
characteristics to these of .the children of Nox. The 
following parallel arrangement may serve to identify them 
still further and to throw additional light, one on the other. 

arvyepos Mdpos .... mortiferum Bellum 

fi\aiva K.TJP . . . Labos 

QOVO.TOS .... Letum 

"Yjn/os ..... Sopor 

Oveipot .... Somnia vana 

MSpvoff ..... turpis Egestas 

aXyivoea-ira 'O'ivs . . . Luctus 

'E(77repi'8es . . . . mala mentis gaudia 

Moi'poi .... ferrei Eumenidum thalami 

vi)\eoirolvoi Krjpes . . . ultrices Curse 

.... Metus 

. ... malesuada Fames 

.... pallentes Morbi 

ov\6p.evos Trjpas . . . tristis Senectus 

Kaprfp66vfjLos''Epis . . . Discordia demens 

As most of these characters are self-explanatory, we pro- 
ceed at once to quote Hesiod's enumeration and description ; 

Nu 8' ereite irruyepov re Mopoi/ KOL Kjypa pf\aivav 
KOI Qdvarov, reKf &' "Yirvov, eriicre de (pvhov 'Ovelpov' 



fievrepov av MB/IOV Kai 'Oi'f 
5 '~E(nrfpi8as 6', als /xJjXa irepyv K)WTOV ' 

Xpvtrea. KoXa /teXovo-t (f>fpovrd re Sevftpea Kaprrov. 
Kai Mo/pas Kal Krjpas eyeiva.ro vrjXeoTroivovs, 
KXtuda) re Aaxeo-'iv re Kal "ArpOTrov, cure j3poTOi(n 
yeivop-evoitri StSoutrtv e^fiv dyaGdv Te KOKOV re, 
10 CUT avbpaiv TE 6e>v Te Trapai^aarias e<pe7rovirai 
ovdenore \T)yowri 6eal Seu/oZo ^dXoio, 
irplv y OTTO TO) SaxBtri KUK^V omv t otrrts a/ 
TiKTe de Kal Nep-eaiv, jrrjfia 6vr)Toi(ri 

]V 8' 'Aird.TT)v rene nal 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 89 

15 rijpa'j r' ov\6p.evov, Ka\*Epiv Teite Kaprepodvp-ov. 

Avrap "TZpis cmiyepr) re<e fnev Hovov a\yivoevra 
Afjdrjv re Aip.ov re Kal "A\yea dmepvoevra, 
'Y<rp.'ivas re $owovs Tf, Ma^as T' 'AvSpoKTatrt'as re, 
Net'icea re ijsevSeas re Aoyovs 'Aju.$iXoyi'aff re, 

20 AVO-VOIUTJV* ATTJV re, o~i>VT)deas aXX^Aoicrti', 

"OpKov 6', os fiij irXeiarov emx^ovlovs av8pa>Trovs 
7TTjp.aivi,, ore KSV ris CKOIV emopKov 0/j.ocro-r]. Theog. 211. 

But Night, the Night of ages rolling on, 

With no one mated, bore dread Destiny 

And grim Responsibility ; and Death 

And Sleep she bore and multitude of Dreams. 

Again begot she Doubt and grievous Woe, 

And Processes Occult that care full well, 

On this our side of Oceanus famed, 

For flocks and beauteous trees that bring forth fruit. 

She bore the Pates, to Be, to Do, to Die, 

Who good and ill to mortal beings give ; 

And the remorseless Cares, all-forceful powers, 

Who following up the sins of gods and men 

Ne'er cease from anger dire till vengeance dread 

Inflict they may upon the one who errs. 

And likewise Apprehensive Dread, a bane 

To living mortals, bore destroying Night ; 

And then Deceit she bore, Affinity, 

Carking Old Age, and Strife magnanimous. 

But dreaded Strife did grievous Toil beget, 

Oblivion, Hunger, tearful-bringing Pains, 

Quarrels and Murders, Fights and Homicides, 

Contentions, Lying Stories, Equivoques, 

And lawless Hate, compatriots all these ; 

Likewise the Solemn Oath that worketh woe 

In great degree for dwellers on the earth 

When one perchance has knowingly forsworn. 

NOTES. 

. The word is derived from fj.eipop.ai, perf. ep.p.opa, "to 
receive as one's portion, to get one's due." The Latin equiva- 
lent is fatum, "fate; that order and series of things decreed 
from eternity, and from which there is no deviation or escape." 
Dryden pictures it well : 

' ' Alas, what stay is there in human state, 
Or who can shun inevitable fate ? 
The doom was written, the decree was past, 
Ere the foundations of the world were cast." 

Since destiny comes into operation with life, and since life is 



90 THE GODS OF OLD ; 

but a battle for existence, and a battle that inevitably leads to 
death, Virgil has called Moros, " mortiferum bellum." 
Kijpa There is but one Ker, as there is but one Moros, in Mythology, 
and that Ker (xpji, "that which must needs be"; XP. OS > " a 
business of necessity, a charge, a care"), is the personification 
of "Kesponsible charge" or " Cure," for in the strict sense of 
the word, Care is a " charge implying responsibility, a trust, 
the management of a trust." 

Ker would thus be the equivalent of the "Providence" of 
God, of that divine arrangement of all things to one end. 
Everything, the universe, earth, man, has been created in 
accordance with a plan and towards an end. In its own way, 
each created work is indebted for the purchase price of 
existence from nihility, and is responsible for the amount to 
the last farthing. And the higher in creation's rank each 
being is, and the more endowed with intellectual attributes to 
understand the plan and end, the greater must justifiably be 
the responsibility attached. As Russ_o puts it : " Can we 
suppose that when God, by an act of His infinite power, sends 
forth rational creatures into space and time, He tells them that 
they are not bound to acknowledge the Author of their 
existence; that they are dispensed with showing "FTi-m senti- 
ments of gratitude and love ; that, in a word, they are 
independent as He himself is independent? Creation with such 
a sequel would be an absurdity and the greatest of misfortunes." 

In this general idea of " responsible charge " is consequently 
involved that of "conscience" for rational beings, and hence 
we can understand the relation of KTJ/J to w/p, "the heart," as 
also of xp*l to xpdto, " to deliver an oracle," for, as Byron says, 
" Man's conscience is the oracle of God." We can in this way, 
too, trace the dominant idea in Virgil's mind when he paralleled 
KTJP by "Labos," since " we must voorli out our salvation with 
fear and trembling," each for himself. 

There are many passages in the Greek classics where the 
interpretation of " charge, care, conscience, duty_," will render 
the meaning more intelligible and vivid. Thus it is that love 
of strife, the martial din, and the soldier's duty '' with con- 
science wide as hell," are made companions in the battle-field 
under the names of Uris, Kudoimos, and Ker. Thus, too, it is 
that Achilles scoffingly remarks to Agamemnon, after having 
reproached him with never joining in the fray or ambuscade, 
" rf> Se TOI Krjp f [Serai elvai," H. I. 228, "But this to thee OIU' 
duty seems to be." 

3 epe^evvrj epeftos twos, " the evolution of the years." 

4 UStfiov From pfj ol^ai, "to suppose, imagine, or believe as not " ; 

or fi-fj 2>fifiai, " not to see, not to know, not to understand " ; or 
fj.Sip.ai, "to desire eagerly, to inquire, or seek after." Censure 
and ridicule are the peculiar weapons of Doubt, whose mission 
it is to thirst and search for truth and facts, and when found, 
to see them not, to hear them not, to understand them not. 
Hence does Virgil style it "turpis egestas," "shameless 
negation," shameless want, whether of confidence, truth, know- 
ledge, or religion. The censure of the gods by Momus means 
that Doubt finds flaws in all things from earth below to stars 
on high ; even the gait of Venus the harmony of the universe, 
js discordapt to his senses, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 91 

ffirfptSas There are "unexplored remainders" everywhere around 
us. We find them in every branch of knowledge physical, 
mental, and intellectual. The divine meets them in the Unity 
and Trinity; the astronomer in the sun-spots and nebulous 
rifts; the geologist in. the primal crust; the chemist in the 
atom ; mathematician in the point ; geographical explorer in 
the North and South Poles ; the physicist in the embryo ; and 
so on. There is ever and always a something that we cannot 
grasp, an intangible tangibility, and it is this that Mythology 
personifies in the Hesperides. They are the influences that 
preside over the ' unexplored remainders"; they are, as the 
name denotes (ea-jrepa efSos), "the evening-like, the obscure' 5 ; 
or, if we so prefer, they are (o-Trctpda), "whatever is wrapped 
up or concealed from the view or understanding." Their 
genealogy marks them as being connected with those germinal 
processes of which we know so little. Hesiod makes them 
children of Nox ; other writers describe them as the offspring 
of Phorcys and Ceto, of Atlas and Hesperia, of Zeus and 
Themis. There is really no difference save as to the beginning, 
one writer going back to the universe, and the others to our 
system, our earth, or to Life. 

We thus see that whatever their ancestry be, they are 
invariably_ connected with what is "obscure or unexplored." 
Geographically applied, we find them, as a consequence, 
shifted, as knowledge advanced, from the original habitat of 
the human race to the countries west of Asia Minor, thence to 
the equatorial tracts of Africa, to the extreme west or Western 
hemisphere, and finally to the Hyperborean or Polar regions 
the geographical Hesperides of modern tunes. In the same 
manner, do they stand for all those other "unexplored 
remainders" that elude the view, the knowledge, skill, or 
understanding ; and they are confessedly not a few in number. 

" The mind of man is this world's true dimension, 

And knowledge is the measure of the mind : 
And as the mind, in her vast comprehension, 

Contains more worlds than all the world can find, 
So Knowledge doth itself far more extend 
Than all the minds of man can comprehend." Brooke. 

To explore his world is the mission and the duty of the living 
man, no doubt. Is there a limit to each charge ? Time, for 
one thing, bounds the former. Does anything bound his duty? 
If a purely physical act could weaken the understanding, can 
a purely mental one antagonise the intellect ? Is not obedience 
as likely a factor in one case as the other, and does not 
obedience imply something forbidden? What is that something 
that dividing line between the sacred and the accursed springs 
of knowledge? Even that does the "audax gens humana" 
want to know. 

" The wish to know that endless thirst, 

Which even by quenching is awaked, 
And which becomes or blest or curst, 
As is the fount whereat 'tis slaked." Moore. 

It must have been such a sentiment that made YirgiJ 
parallel the Hesperides by " mate mentis gaudia," 



92 THE GODS OF OLD. 



K\. QK. Oceanus represents the vast mass of aqueous vapour 
surrounding our earth. It has, consequently, two sides, one 
spreading into infinite space, the other limited by the surface 
of our globe where the Hesperides are stationed. 
xpvcrea SevS. 



" Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit 
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste 
Brought Death into the world and all our woe." Milton. 

1 Moipas The Mserse were the agents or distributors of Moros or 
Fate, and were accordingly termed Parcce by the Eomans, as 
being "the accomplishers or fulfillers " (irpao-o-o)) of the eternal 
and irrevocable d>aroV. As the destiny of all things can be 
said to consist in being, doing, dying, Mythology enumerates 
three Mserse, viz. : Clotho, the fate that spins (KXo>0o>) the 
thread of being; Lachesis, she who assorts (\a.yx<iva>) the 
duties to be done ; and Atropos, the fate that cannot be avoided 
(a rpeTTO)). 

" While man is growing, life is in decrease, 
Our cradles rock us nearer to the tomb ; 
Our birth is nothing but our death begun." Young. 

If it be true that we are all born with the germs of life, action, 
and decay, then each of the three weird sisters is a spinner at 
the loom, and the white and black threads of Olotho and of 
Atropos are inextricably mingled with the chequered one of 
Lachesis. What the prevailing colour of her thread may be 
depends entirely on ourselves. "Asa man sows, so shall he 
reap," is Scriptural language, of which the homely paraphrase 
is, " We must all lie upon the bed "which we have made." 
Either text will serve to show why Virgil has paralleled the 
Greek Mserse by "ferrei Bumenidum thalami." 
What the Mserae are to Moros, the Keres are to Ker, distri- 
buting agents of Providence. Providence is two-fold ; the 
arrangement of all things towards their ends, and the 
execution in time of such arrangement through suitable media. 
The Keres are emblematic of those media by means of which 
the arrangement of Providence is carried to accomplishment. 
Each of us, like Achilles, has a choice of Keres or duties, 
whether of war or peace, action or indolence, plough or pen ; 
but whatever we embrace, however high we mount or low we 
fall, we are attended by the satellites of grim responsibility. 
If we perform our part properly, it is well; if not, then 
conscience stings us with its thousand tongues. 

" The human race are sons of sorrow born, 
And each must have his portion." Mallett. 

14 $tXdr7?ra If matter remained elementary there would be no 
decay. Affinity, by causing the elements to unite and become 
compounds, brings on disorganisation and disease. Bust is an 
example of what Affinity can effect in metals. Hence it is that 
Virgil has paralleled Philotes by ' ' pallentes morbi." 



BOOK FOUBTH. 

WORLD-BUILDING. 



CHAPTER I. 

THEOGONY. 
PONTTTS G.ZEA. 



NEKETJS 

m. 

Doris 






THATJMAS 

m. 
Electra 



PHORCYS 



OETO 




Q 



o3 r f*] 

OH 


/ \ 
Neptune Medusa fel eg 

If 


Callirrhoe 


Chrysaor 


Pegasus ^ 
Typhaon 


Geryon 


\ 
Echidna 


' Q M Q 

3- H S P . 
O O M P 

01 H g 8 

"I" 

r 


^e5? 
^, 

>-<. 



MYTHS. 

Pontua born of Gsea and united to her after her separation from 
"Uranus. Their offspring were &ve in number, namely, 
Nereus, Thaumas, Phorcys, Ceto, and Eurybia. 



94 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Ncreus the eldest bom of Pontus, and united to Doris, daughter of 
Oceanus, by whom he became the father of the Nereides. 
His domain is the sea, and the poets have gifted him, -with 
prophecy and the power of assuming different shapes. 

Nereides daughters of Nereus and Doris, and fifty in number. As 
being marine nymphs they dwell in their sire's domains. 
They are propitious to sailors, and were worshipped 
throughout Greece, particularly in the seaport towns. 

Thaumas another son of Pontus, wedded to the Oceanid Blectra, 
by whom he begot Iris and the Harpies. 

Iris the messenger of the gods to one another and to men, but later 
on the peculiar attendant and messenger of Juno. Some 
writers identify her with the rainbow, while others make it 
as but the path on which she travels, appearing and vanishing 
as required. 

One of her peculiar functions is to bear in a golden bowl 
the Stygian waters to such divinities as have proved faithless 
in the eyes of Zeus. She has wings on her shoulders, a 
herald's staff in her hand, and a tunic or zone of many 
colours. 

Harpies described by Hesiod as fair-haired, winged beings, attended 
by winds and birds of prey. Homer alludes to them as 
storm-winds reputed to carry off whatever or whosoever was 
reported as having suddenly disappeared from earth. 
2Eschylus represents them as hideous creatures with wings ; 
Yirgil as part bird, part maid, with long claws and faces pale 
with hunger, and as defiling whatever food they left unde- 
voured. Hesiod names two, Aello and Ocypete ; Virgil 
mentions another, Celseno; Aellopos, Nicothoe, Ocythoe, 
Ocypode and Acholoe are added by other writers. Their 
original abode was Salmydessus in Thrace, where they 
tormented the blind Phineus. "When expelled from there by 
the sons of Boreas they took refuge in the Strophades, and 
here it was that JEneas -encountered them previous to his 
arrival at Carthage. 

Phorcys son of Pontus and Gsea, brother of Ceto, to whom he was 
united, and by whom he begot the Graise, the Gorgons, and 
Ophis. 

Ceto daughter of Pontus and Gsea, and joined in wedlock to her 
brother, Phorcys. 

Graice children of Phorcys and Ceto, and alluded to by all writers as 
being gray from their birth. Hesiod mentions but two, 
Pephredo and Enyo. Apollodorus names three, Pephredo, 
Bnyo, and Deino, and says that they had only one eye and 
one tooth in common, which they borrowed from one another 
when required. 

Gorgons children of Phorcys and Cefco, who resided on the borders of 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 95 

Night beyond Oceanus, where the Hesperides were situated. 
Homer mentions but one, Gorgo, dwelling in the depths of 
Hades. Hesiod enumerates three, Stheno, Euryale, and 
Medusa. The first two were immortal ; Medusa alone was 
mortal, and the most famed in song and story. Originally 
she was a maiden, most beautiful in form, and one of her 
chief attractions was her golden hair. Neptune had inter- 
course with her, it is said, in the temple of Minerva, in con- 
sequence whereof the incensed goddess changed the Gorgon's 
hair to writhing snakes, and rendered her head and those of 
her sisters so hide'ous as to turn all who looked upon them to 
stone. Some writers say that Medusa was the only one of 
the three who had serpents in her hair. 

Perseus, son of Zeus and Danae, was commissioned by 
Polydectes to cut off Medusa's head. The details of the 
story are thus told by Apollodorus (2. 4. 2. 3) : 

" Guided by Mercury and Minerva, he (Perseus) comes to 
the daughters of Phorcys, namely, Enyo, Pephredo, and 
Deino. These were children of Phorcys and Ceto, sisters to 
the Gorgons, and gray from birth. The three had but one 
eye and one tooth, and these they changed in turn with one 
another. Of which having got possession, Perseus said, 
when they demanded them, back, that he would return them 
if they took him down to the path leading to the nymphs. 
These nymphs had the winged sandals, the kibisis (which is 
said to be a bag), and the helmet. 

"The daughters of Phorcys having taken him down, he 
gave them back the eye and tooth ; and when he came to the 
nymphs and got what he desired, he put the kibisis round him, 
fitted the sandala to his ankles, and placed the helmet on his 
head : having this last, he was able to see whomsoever he 
wished, and could not be seen by others. Having also got 
an adamantiue rapier from Mercury, he came to Oceanus 
ilying and found the Gorgons lulled to sleep. These were by 
name, Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa. Medusa alone was 
mortal; and for this reason had Perseus been sent for her 
head. These Gorgons had heads encompassed with the scales 
of dragons, had teeth monstrous as those of boars, brazen 
hands, golden wings with which they flew, and they made 
stones of all that kenned them (TOVS 8e Idovras Xidovs eVoiouv). 
Standing over them asleep, Minerva directing his hand 
aright, Perseus turned one side, and looking into the brazen orb 
through which he saw the likeness of the Gorgon, he decapi- 
tated her." Then he put the head into his kibisis, and by 
means of the helmet which rendered him invisible he escaped 
from the pursuit of the remaining two Gorgons. After 
going through many other adventures, Perseus returned the 



96 THE GODS OF OLD; 

sandals, kibisis, and helmet to Mercury, who restored them 
to the nymphs. The Gorgon's head he gave to Minerva, who 
placed it in the middle of her shield or breast-plate. 

Pegasus. When the Gorgon's head was cut off by Perseus, her two 
children by Neptune sprang from the wound: these were 
Ohrysaor and Pegasus. This latter is described as a winged 
horse that was born near the springs of Ocean, whence he 
ascended to the immortals, and dwells in the halls of Zeus, 
to whom he carries the thunder and the lightning. Other 
traditions describe Tn'm as the horse of Aurora, and place him 
among the starSi All unite in regarding hini as connected 
with the Muses, and as having produced the fountain of 
Hippocrene from Mount Helicon with a blow of his hoof. 

Chrysaor son of Neptune and Medusa, brother of Pegasus, and born 
with him after the decapitation of the Gorgon. He was 
united to Callirrhoe, daughter of Oceamis, and by her he 
begot Geryon and Echidna. 

Geryon son of Chrysaor and Callirrhoe, reputed to have had three 
heads, or, according to some, three bodies united together. 
He dwelt in the island of Erythia, situated in the west near 
the ocean, and had magnificent, reddish-colored oxen, that 
were tended hy the herd Eurytion, and guarded by Orthos, 
a two-headed dog born of Echidna and Typhaon. To carry 
off those oxen was assigned to Hercules as his Tenth Labour. 
This he succeeded in doing after killing the dog, the herd, 
and Geryon himself. 

Echidna sister of Geryon, and called by Hesiod the daughter of 
Chrysaor and Callirrhoe. Other writers call her the offspring 
of Tartarus and Gsea ; still others, of Peiras and Styx. She 
is described as a huge, unformed being ; a beautiful nymph 
in face and body, but snake-like as to her limbs ; as im- 
mortal, undecaying, and devouring raw flesh in caves beneath 
the ground. According to Hesiod, she was drawn down 
beneath the Arimi ; Apollodorus says that she was reported 
to have been destroyed by Argos Panoptes. In quest of his 
Ninth Labour, the girdle of Hippolyte, queen of the Amazons, 
Hercules is said to have visited the Hyperboreans, and to have 
begotten there by Echidna three children, Agathyrsus, 
Gelomis, and Scythes. She is described as wedded to 
Typhaon, by whom she begot Orthos the two-headed dog of 
Geryon, Cerberus the three-headed dog of Hades, the 
Lernsean Hydra, the Cbimsera, the Nemean Lion, and the 
Sphinx. According to Hesiod, the last two the Sphinx 
and Nemean Lion were born of Echidna and of Orthos; 
others call them children of Orthos and the Chimsera ; still 
others, of Typhaon and Chimsera. 

GhimcEra, a fire-breathing monster, huge, swift, and strong, having 



AND THE STORY TEAT THEY TELL. 97 

three heads, a lion's placed in front, a goat's in the middle, 
an! a dragon's head behind. She committed terrible havoc, 
but was finally destroyed. The story runs thus : Bellero- 
phon, having unwittingly killed his brother (who has been 
variously called Bellerus, Deliades, Peiren, and Alcimenes), 
came to the court of Praetus in order to be purified. Antsea 
(called Sthenobsea by some writers), the wife of Prsetus, and 
daughter of the Lycian king, lobates, conceived an attach- 
ment for Bellerophon, and made overtures to him. When he 
fled from her advances she became incensed, and made her 
husband believe that Bellerophon had attempted to betray 
her. Either fearing or being unwilling to kill him with his 
own hands, Praatus sent his guest to Lycia, and gave him 
letters to lobates, requesting that the bearer should be 
destroyed. To make his death assured, as he thought, 
lobates ordered him to wage battle against the dreaded 
Chimaera. Aided by the gods, the hero caught and mounted 
the winged horse Pegasus, rose into the air, and destroyed 
the monster with his arrows. 

The continuation of Bellerophon's story is as follows : 
After various adventures he married the daughter of 
lobates and was named successor to the throne. But having 
attempted to fly to heaven upon Pegasus, the winged steed, 
by order of Zeus, flung him blind and maimed to earth. 
Homer says that he drew upon himself the anger of the gods, 
and was finally compelled to wander blind, solitary, and far 
from the paths of men, in the Aloe'an fields. 



G.O 



H 



98 THE GODS OF OLD ; 



CHAPTER II. 

THE LUMINOUS PAST. 

THE separation of Uranus from Gsea is one of the fore- 
most events in Mythology. The next to stand out in 
importance is the Battle of the Titans. But whereas the 
first has reference to our universe as a whole and ends with 
the formation of a firmament, the Titanomachia belongs 
peculiarly to our globe and ends with well-established Life. 

Gasa, Pontus, and their immediate offspring, are universal 
terms, it is true, since they are applicable not only to our 
universe as a whole, apart from the firmament, but also to 
each of the stellar systems and to the individual stars of 
such systems into which our universe was subsequently 
divided. But henceforward our attention is peculiarly 
invited to that particular portion of matter which sometime 
in the course of ages assumed an existence apart from all 
other portions, and which we have called our Earth. The 
beginning of this independent existence is marked in 
Mythology as the union of Gfea with Pontus, and the off- 
spring begotten of these and the descendants of such 
offspring denote the many and varied changes that occurred 
and intervened between an incandescent mass and the same 
mass with granite for a basis. 

Principal among those changes would be the first crust 
that solidified upon the molten surface, the waters that 
established themselves upon the crust, and the elevation of 
dry land above the surrounding waters. 

Having described the formation of a firmament, Genesis 
thus proceeds : 

9. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered 
together unto one place, and let the dry land appear : and it was so, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 99 

10. And God called the dry land earth; and the gathering together 
of the waters called He seas : and God saw that it was good. 

11. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding 
seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in 
itself, upon the earth : and it was so. 

12. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after 
his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after 
his kind : and God saw that it was good. 

13. And the evening and the morning were the third day. 

It is with the events of this third day that all the mythical 
characters from Pontus to Zeus are connected ; and it is 
with the events described in verses 9 and 10 that the off- 
spring and descendants of Pontus and G-sea are specially 
concerned. How the dry land appeared, how the seas were 
gathered together, and how corresponding changes occurred 
in the gaseous envelope around our globe, are the pith and 
marrow of all the myths and mythical characters embraced 
between Pontus and Echidna. 

Pontus ami G&a. What the condition of its matter was 
when our earth, sufficiently cooled to prevent all further 
disruption on its part, began a sure and independent 
existence in space, is not known. There may be, and 
probably is, a still more simple condition than that of 
incandescence. Hesiod has suggested it; in his " Cytherea," 
and certain of the nebulge which the most powerful telescope 
has failed to resolve into stars are conceived by some 
scientists to be "belated portions, so to speak, of the same 
soft and diffused material which, countless ages ago, was 
condensed into the denned bodies forming the remainder of 
our solar system." It is worthy of note, too, that the 
coronal atmosphere of the sun is said to consist mainly of 
sub-incandescent hydrogen "and another element which 
may be new." Such a condition, if existing, may be con- 
sidered as the closing chapter of speculative philosophy 
with regard to the matter of our globe. The succeeding 
stage and much of what followed belong to speculative 
geology, and in this wise does ife proceed to tell the story. 
In its early infancy, when earth had dissolved for good and 
aye co-partnership with each and every of the celestial 

H 2 



100 THE GODS OF OLD; 

cohort, it was a luminous gaseous mass, surging ever from 
internal convulsions or outward disturbances, or from both, 
irregular in shape, thousands of times greater in volume 
than at present, and equalling, if not surpassing Sirius, 
"the monarch of the skies," in heat and brilliancy. It 
was, in brief, a sun illumined by its own light, glowing 
with its own heat, and composed of matter elementary or 
fashioning into elementary, since the same hydrogen line 
would be shown by the spectroscope that we now observe in 
Sirius and stars like Sirius. As it waxed in years and lost 
S3>nie of its intensity by radiation of its light and heat into 
outer space, its materials became more differentiated into 
elements, it shrank in volume, and assumed a structure 
like to that of our sun, namely, a solid or liquid incan- 
descent nucleus, surrounded with layer after layer of glowing 
vapour that evinced the presence of iron, zinc, copper, 
sodium, magnesium, calcium, and other elements in addition 
to vast quantities of hydrogen. All these would be in a 
state of incandescent vapour, and the orb itself would 
in all respects resemble our sun in light, heat, and gaseous 
layers which would every now and again be thrown into 
violent and surging billows that revealed the dark spots 
underneath. And so would it proceed for cycle after cycle, 
cooling and contracting, defining into shape and boundary, 
changing in colour possibly from white to yellow, from yellow 
to orange, and from that to red, till it became at last a 
" dying out sun." While these changes were occurring, 
the atoms that had been there from the first, and that had 
been kept disassociated by the intense heat, came closer and 
closer together, and the elements appeared, one by one, as 
it were, hydrogen first, then the metals, and then the 
metalloids, oxygen, nitrogen, silicon, carbon, sulphur, 
chlorine, and others. 

During all these seons what was the principal charac- 
teristic of our earth ? There is but one answer 
Luminosity; for it was at the expense of luminosity that it 
cooled, shrank, and allowed the elements to differentiate. 
And this luminosity was derived from no outward source ; 



AND THE SfOR? THAT THEY TELL. 101 

it must have been inherent in matter itself from the 
beginning, must have grown with its growth, divided with 
its division, and attached itself to each member of the 
universe ; among others, to earth itself. 

Now, this is identical with the myth which makes Pontus 
the offspring of Gsea without a partner, antecedent in being 
even to molecular matter, and subsequently united to his 
parent after her divorce from Uranus. The derivation 
points to the same conclusion, since IToVos (allowing for 
the well-recognised interchanges of and <, and of o and a, 
as instanced in Trows and irarv^ for <pavos and tyarvri, arporos 
and ovia for arparos and avia), is equivalent to ( l>dvros, and 
thus signifies " giving light, luminous." 

Hesiod, having mentioned how Gtea begot Uranus and 
the Ourea, says : 

rj fie Kal drpvycTov TreXayos TeKfv, oi'fyicm 6vov, 
Tiovrov, (irep (pt\OTr]TOs efpiftepov. Theog. 131. 

And Pontus, too, a vaporous expanse 

That glowing raged with turbulence, she bore 

While still from sweet affinity aloof. 

. a rpvyco " not dry," that is " moist, vaporous," just as 
we say " in a nebulous condition." "Wo also find arpvyos (a 
rpvg) "clarified, pure, simple." With the same meaning, 
' ' moist " or ' ' pure," does Homer apply it to the ether : 



8' opvpaydas 
ovpavov oce St' aldepos aTpvyemo. II. XVII. 424. 

The usual rendering, "yielding no harvest, unfruitful" (a 
rpvyaca) has nothing to recommend it, since in their own way 
the sea and air are as fruitful as is the land in its way. 

Tre'Xayos. The word is used to denote anything vast in volume, 
extent, &c. So do we speak of " a sea of troubles," " the ocean 
of eternity." 

oi'fyitm 6vov. "raging with swell," as the gaseous layers of the 
incandescent orb would be by commotions within and without 
the mass. Hesiod has elsewhere (line 189) used the words 
TToXwcXvorcB eVt Tro'vrca " on the tempested deep," and again in 
line 199, Tro\vK\i/a-rca eVi Kvirpu " in the tempested incandescent 
mass." 6va>, "to slay or burn a victim in sacrifice; to rush 
with violence," has for its radical, according to Passow, the 
sense of "to burn, to fire." 
2 crrep (pi\drr)Tos. There can be no affinity when there is only one kind 



102 THE GOD8 OF OLD; 

of matter. At tliis stage of being matter was but atomic, for 
tlie molecular Titans were not yet born. ' ' If the earth, con- 
sisted of but one kind of matter, mercury, for instance, there 
might be gravitation and cohesion, but affinity "would be 
impossible." Youman. 

It is consequently but a question of words for Science to 
say that our earth was at one time an incandescent mass, 
in a vaporous condition, and liable to violent commotions 
in its surrounding layers ; and for Mythology to say that 
Gssa was united to Pontus, and that this Pontus was an 
arpvyeTOi' TreAayo? ot8ju.an 6vov. 

It must be this early stage of Earth's existence that 
Virgil writes of in his sixth Eclogue, and. it must be in this 
sense of vaporous incandescence that the " liquid! ignis " 
must be understood : 

Namque canebat uti magnum per inane coacta 
Semina terrarumque, animseque, ma-risque fuissent, 
Et liquid! simul ignis : ut his exordia primis 
Omnia, et ipse tener mundi concreverit orbis. 

For how the elements of continents, 

Of vital air, and sea, and liquid fire 

Had been collected through the mighty void ; 

And how from those same elements there grew 

Beginnings all, and Earth's own slender round, 

All these in pleasing numbers told he of. 

From the notions of vastness, oneness, fluidity, and 
turbulence, connected with the word in its original sense, 
the transition of Pontus to a terrestrial ocean or large sea 
was natural and easy of application. It may be, too, that 
there is a connection in Latin between pontus and pons, 
the idea being that an incandescent globe was a transition 
stage or bridge between the totally unknown form of matter 
that preceded, and the well-known that was to follow. The 
conjecture is strengthened by the Greek yifyvpa, the 
derivation of which (yea fyvpaw " matter mixed with 
moisture ") brings us back to the same idea of vaporous 
incandescence that actuated the formation of the Latin 
pons ; as also by Homer's using the word 'E<j>vpr], II. VI. 152, 
to denote this transition phase of earth. It can only be in 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 103 

this sense foakpontifev signifies " bridge-maker," Plutarch 
calls the derivation from pons an absurd one. If, however, 
we take pontus, the word would signify " the light-maker," 
and pontifex -maximus would thus be the exact and suitable 
equivalent of the Greek HieropJiant. Earth's reckless 
dissipation of heat and light into an outer space that with 
chilling impassibility received all and gave back nothing, 
could not, did not last for ever. Long as it was coming 
more than 50 millions of years, if we place credence on 
conjectural calculations the day of reckoning arrived, as 
the geological narrative tells us, when insolvency stared it 
in the face, when it could no longer queen it with the 
brightest of celestial denizens, and was compelled, possibly 
for its own welfare, to take its station in the humbler walks 
of being. Figuratively and literally it woke one morning to 
find its property in liquidation, and itself, when all just 
debts were settled, in the condition of mostly planet, partly 
star ; that is to say, in a condition resembling that which 
is supposed to prevail at present in our furthest planets, 
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. It had still an 
emblazoned scutcheon, it is true ; but the motto was no 
longer " Incandescence ; " it was now " Igneous fluidity," 
and such it retained for many a long, long day. While 
insolvent, it was not bankrupt quite, and Geology has taken 
the following inventory of its assets at this period of its 
career. It had, first of all, the cherished memory of the 
past ; it had also, as a modest independence, a volume 
sufficiently large, if we include its envelopes, to reach the 
moon ; a, well-defined spherical form with an inclination to 
assume that of an oblate spheroid ; movements of rotation 
and translation ; heat of its own sufficient to fuse the most 
refractory of metals ; and a residuum of inherent light, 
enough possibly to make it still appear as it were a sun to 
the moon, if moon there was, and if there" were no dense 
canopy of clouds between the two to interfere. 

A goodly portion in its \vay, after all, was this that was 
saved from the wreck, and had Earth only hoarded it with 
economy the famous Golden Age of traditional history 



104 THE GODS OF OLD; 

would yet be in existence. But Mother Earth was ever liberal 
and generous, and she still continued lavishing both heat 
and light upon spendthrift space till such time as she had 
spent much of the former and all the latter, and till 
herself was left the semblance of what she is to-day. But 
this is anticipatory, and so we return to a more minute 
description of Earth in its liquid or fluid igneous condition, 
or, as it might well be called, the decadence of the incan- 
descent stage. 

A most curious and interesting condition it was, 
however we regard it, since we find the globe proper in a 
thoroughly molten condition throughout, a veritable sea of 
liquid fire, such as we are inclined to believe the interior 
of its mass is to-day. Not a drop of water or of air was 
there on or close to the glowing orb ; and yet the measures 
of all our oceans, seas, and rivers, of all our atmospheres, 
were in existence, but thousands, hundreds of thousands 
of miles above. And even there they existed but as 
elementary gases oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbonic 
acid, mere phantoms of themselves and all aflame, thus 
attesting their descent from the paternal Pontus. And 
between those far-away regions and Earth's fiery furnace 
below was a mass of incandescent vapour filling the entire 
space, growing denser, heavier, darker and more opaque, 
as it approached the confines of our globe. And in it were 
the measures of all our coal beds, of all the salt in our 
mines and oceans, of all our chalk cliffs and common clay, 
and the earthy constituents of every plant and animal that 
was to occupy our globe ; of even the very metals, copper, 
iron, silver, gold, and the many others that are now 
embowelled in the depths of the earth. These too, like the 
water and the air, were but phantoms of what they were to 
be, reduced as they were to vapour by the intense fire below 
and by their own inherent heat, that was continuously 
fanned into fresh energy by friction of the particles and 
by the tempestuous surging of the mass. 

What then was left for the globe proper ? Fire, liquid 
fire at a white heat ; the same that is now belched from an 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 105 

JLtna and a Vesuvius, the same that vomited itself again 
and again from below in Archaean time to rupture the first 
crust that formed on the molten surface, to rear above and 
overflow the crust, and subsequently to cool into the primal 
granite that lies at the base of the lithological structure. 

Was ever anything stranger or more mythical than this? 
And yet it is the conclusion, the only rational conclusion 
arrived at and acknowledged by the sober, practical science 
of to-day. An encyclopaedic writer tells us that " the 
oxygen which now forms fully half of the outer crust was 
originally doubtless part of the atmosphere. So, too, the 
vast beds of coal found all over the -world in geological 
formations of many different ages, represent so much 
carbonic acid once present in the air. The chlorides in the 
sea likewise were probably carried down out of the 
atmosphere in the primitive condensation of the aqueous 
vapour." 

In the same strain writes every geologist who touches on 
the subject, and especially Figuier, from whose " World 
before the Deluge " we quote at length. 

"At this excessive temperature the gaseous mass which we 
have described would be borne in space much as the sun may 
be supposed to be, and it would shine with the same brilliancy 
with which, in our eyes, the fixed stars and planets burn 
in the serenity of night. ... As it got cooler, it gradually 
transposed portions of its warmth to the glacial regions of 
the interplanetary spaces, in the middle of which it traces 
the line of its flaming orbit. Consequent on its continual 
cooling, but at the end of a period of time of which it 
would be impossible, even approximately, to fix the duration, 
the star, at first gaseous, would reach its liquid state. . . 
If it did not follow, as a consequence of the partial cooling 
down of the terrestrial mass, that all the gaseous substances 
composing it should pass into a liquid state, some of these 
would remain in the state of gas or vapour, and would form 
round the terrestrial spheroid an envelope or atmosphere. 
We shall not Jiave formed a very inexact idea of the atmo- 
sphere which surrounded the globe at this remote period if 
we compare it with that which surrounds us now ; but the 



106 THE GODS OF OLD; 

extent of atmosphere which surrounded the primitive 
earth must have been immense ; it doubtless reached the 
moon. It included, in short, in the state of vapour, the 
enormous mass of waters which now, in their condensed 
form, constitute the mighty ocean, added to other 
substances which preserved their gaseous state at the 
temperature then exhibited by the incandescent earth, 
and it is certainly no exaggeration to place this at 
2,000 Centigrade. The atmosphere would participate 
in this temperature and, acted on by this excessive 
heat, the pressure that it would exercise on the earth 
would be infinitely more considerable than that which it 
exercises at the present time. To the gases which form 
the component parts of the air namely, azote, oxygen, 
and carbonic acid gas to the enormous masses of watery 
vapour, we should have to add vast quantities of mineral 
substances, metallic or earthy, reduced to the gaseous 
state, and maintained in that state by the temperature of 
this gigantic furnace. The metals, the chlorides metallic, 
alkaline, and earthy, the sulphurets, and even the earthy 
bases of silica, of alumina, and of lime; all at this 
temperature would exist in a vapoury form in the atmo- 
sphere surrounding the primitive globe. It is thought 
that, under these circumstances, the different substances 
composing the atmosphere would be ranged round the 
globe in the order of their density : the first layer that 
nearest to the surface being formed of the heavier vapours, 
as the metals, iron, platinum, copper, mixed doubtless with 
clouds of fine metallic grains produced by the partial, 
condensation of their vapours. This first and heaviest 
zone, and the thickest also, would be opaque, although the 
surface of the earth was still at a red heat. Next in order 
would come the more vaporisable substances, such as the 
metallic and alkaline chlorides, particularly the chloride of 
sodium or marine salt, of sulphur and phosphorus, with 
all the volatile combinations of these substances. The 
upper zone would contain matter still more easily vaporised, 
such as watery vapour or steam, united with bodies naturally 
gaseous, as oxygen, azote, and carbonic acid. This order of 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 107 

superposition, however, would not maintain itself constantly. 
In spite of their unequal density the three atmospheric 
beds would often be mixed, producing formidable storms, 
violent ebullitions ; throwing down, tearing, upheaving, 
and confounding these incandescent zones. As to the 
globe itself, without being so much agitated as its fiery 
and mobile atmosphere, it would be no less the prey of 
perpetual storms, occasioned by the thousand chemical 
processes which were in action in its molten mass. On 
the other hand the electricity resulting from those powerful 
chemical operations, conducted on a scale so unlimited, 
would provoke frightful detonations, the echoes of thunder 
adding to the horror of this primitive picture." 

Such, then, was the condition of our world under Pontus 
and Geea, and it is well to bear in mind that the change 
from incandescence to igneous fluidity did not occur all 
suddenly, but slowly, almost imperceptibly, and from the 
very first ; and that only at an advanced stage of incan- 
descent decadence would the following summary and it is 
well to note it be pronouncedly applicable : 

1. An outermost zone where the constituents of water, 

oxygen and hydrogen, were most abundant. 

2. A more or less dense mass of luminous elastic vapour, 

the product of all the other elements, metallic and 
non-metallic, reduced to the gaseous state by heat, 
reaching from earth to heaven, and frequently dis- 
turbed by violent commotions. 

3. The earth proper, a globe of liquid fire, and then as 

always, even to-day, presenting for reflection an 

exterior surface, and an interior beneath the surface. 
. 4. The never-ceasing, inseparable tendency to form and 

arrangement in every part of the mass, individually 

and collectively. 

It is well to note them, we repeat, for each in its own 
way was the offspring of incandescent matter ; and 
Mythology tells us that five children Nereus, Thaumas, 
Phorcys and Ceto, and Eurybia were born to Pontus and 
Gaea. 



308 THE GODS Of 1 OLD; 



CHAPTER III. 

THE BIRTH-PLACE, BIRTH, AND COMING OP THE 

SEA. 

Ncrcus. "When the world was incandescent," writes 
Gunning in his " Life History of our Planet," "the oceans 
were not on but above the earth. No matter has been 
added, save in the fall of meteorites, and none has been 
taken away. The waters were here from 'the beginning,' 
here in their elemental gases. As silica is the oxide of 
silicon, and implies a time when its elements were free, so 
water is the oxide of hydrogen, and implies a time when its 
elements had not combined." 

How those elements of oceans came to be above, Figuier 
has already described. Let the same writer tell how the 
world of waters was translated from heaven to earth. 

" As the globe continued to cool, a time arrived when the 
temperature became insufficient to maintain in a state of 
vapour the vast masses of water which floated, suspended 
and vaporised, in the atmosphere. These vapours would 
pass into the liquid state, and now the first rain-drops fell 
upon the earth. Let us here remark that these were 
veritable rain-drops of boiling water ; for, in consequence 
of the very considerable pressure of the atmosphere, water 
would be condensed and become liquid at a temperature 
very superior to 100 Centigrade. . . . , The first water 
which fell in the liquid state upon the gradually cooling 
surface of the earth would be rapidly reduced to steam by 
the elevation of its temperature. Thus rendered much 
lighter than the surrounding atmosphere, these vapours 
would rise to the utmost limits of the upper atmospheric 
zone : thus circumstanced, they would radiate towards the 
glacial regions of space, and, again condensing, would thus 
again descend to the earth in a liquid state, to reascend as 
vapour and fall again in a state of condensation. But these 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 109 

alternate changes in the physical condition of water could 
only be maintained by a very considerable temperature on 
the surface of the globe, which these alternations of heat 
and cold were very rapidly diminishing : the excess of heat 
was being dissipated in the regions of celestial space. This 
phenomenon extending itself by degrees to the whole mass 
of watery vapour existing in the atmosphere, the waters in 
increasing quantities covered the earth ; and as the con- 
version of all liquids into vapour is provocative of a notable 
disengagement of electricity, a vast quantity of electric 
fluid necessarily resulted from the conversion of such 
masses of water into vapour. Bursts of thunder and bright 
gleams of lightning were the necessary accompaniments of 
this extraordinary struggle of the elements. How long did 
this struggle for supremacy between fire and water, with 
the incessant noise of thunder, continue ? All that can be 
said in reply is, that a day came when water was trium- 
phant. After having covered to a vast extent the basins 
and hollows of the earth, it finally occupied and covered 
the whole surface : for there is good reason to believe 
that at a certain epoch, at the commencement, so to speak, 
of its evolutions, the earth was covered by the waters in its 
whole extent. Ocean was universal." 

When now we turn to the Mythological narrative, it 
seems almost superfluous to point out the identity between 
our sea, the first product of incandescence, that originally 
affected the hollows of our globe, and subsequently covered 
the greater part of its expanse, and between Nereus, the 
eldest born of Pontus, who loves peculiarly the hollow depths 
of ocean, and who is described by every classic poet as the 
Sea. Neptune is the ruler of water in all its three forms, 
solid, fluid, and gaseous, and his symbol, the trident, is 
indicative of such authority : Pontus is the vast expanse, 
the sea as contrasted with the sky, as is well evidenced by 
the following quotations : 

Jamque mare et telliis nullum discrimen habebat, 
Omnia pontus erant. Deerant quoque lifctora ponto. 

Ov. Met. 291. 



110 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Postquain altum tenuere rates, nee jam. amplius ullre 
Apparent teme, coslum undique et undique pontus. 

JEn. HI. 192. 

But Nereus is the true, the real sea of earth, the sea as 
contrasted with the land. Virgil testifies to his origin and 
translation froin heaven to earth in the sixth Eclogue. 
After writing the lines already quoted in connection -with 
Pontus, we find in immediate order of succession, too 
these words : 

Turn durare solum et discludere Nerea Ponto 
Coeperit, et rerum pauUatini suinere f orinas. 

Then, how the surface essayed to condense, 
]?roin Pontus Nereus to separate, 
And forms of being slowly to assume. 

The derivation of N?jpei>s (wj-pe'to " not changing ") is 
expressive, for with the first drop of water that formed on 
the outer atmospheric zone, and that did not change to 
vapour, was Nereus born, however long he may have subse- 
quently been before coming to his kingdom upon earth. 
And when he did come, he proved himself still further 
entitled to the name he bears by (vn\ /5e'co) not flowing ofi the 
surface of our globe, a wonderful thing in itself, even 
when explained by gravity, and by remaining unchanged 
(ni] /5e'&>) during all geologic cycles in contradistinction to the 
solid land which, during those cycles, has been repeatedly 
moved upwards and downwards. It is probable, too, that 
his name has been commemorated in our own language, for 
what is "rain " but Nereus transposed? pyvevs. Hesiod's 
description runs thus : 

N>;pea ' di^evSea Kai akrjQla yeivaro ttovros, 
irpecr^vraTov ira.[dcov' avrap KaAe'ou(7i yepovra, 
ovi'CKO. vrmfpTrfs Tf Kal f/Trios, ovde OzjJiUTTeaiv 
\f]6fTai, aXXa SiKtiia Kal j/ma d^vea olSev. Theog. 233. 

Of Pontus born was Nereus, the true, 

The real, eldest of his children all ; 

And him they style " the Old," since ever he, 

The same and soft, forgets not nature's laws ; 

But measures all, the strict and fair, lie knows. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. Ill 

NOTES. 

1 fyevBea." These were veritable rain-drops," says Eguier. 

2 irpfo-fivTciTov. "When the earth and its atmosphere had cooled to 

the dew point, condensation occurred. Oxidation, the com- 
bination of oxygen and hydrogen, must have occurred before." 
Gunning, 
yepovra. " Look how the gray, old ocean 

From the depths of his heart rejoices." Lowell. 

3 vrjfj.epTrjs. " unerring, not deviating, the same." 

"Thou art the same, eternal sea ! 
The earth hath many shapes and forms, 
Of hill and valley, flower and tree." Lunt. 

fjmos. " Soft," that is, "impressible, yielding." 

" Eoll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean roll ! 
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain." Byron. 

4 8r]vea ot'Sev. The sea has witnessed all and every change that has 

convulsed and altered earth and its boundaries from the 
beginning. 

As to the power assigned Nereus of appearing in different 
shapes to mortals, we have only to remember that the sea 
has many moods and forms. It may be calm or tempestuous, 
cerulean, dark, phosphorescent, &c. ; it may be transformed 
to vapour, or solid as the berg. And as to his prophetic 
power there can be no question of doubt. His oracular 
responses are still extant and bound, not in cloth or leather 
it is true, but bound in rocky covers. Our earth is the 
book ; its foliated structure the leaves ; and ripple marks, 
rain-prints, sun-cracks, raised beaches, terraces, shells, 
coal, chalk, lake deposits, diatom mud, calcareous and 
siliceous ooze, all these and others are the prophetic 
characters inscribed, indelibly inscribed, upon the leaves 
and capable of being deciphered. Ocean has taken the 
mollusk for a text and prophesied to the mailed ganoid and 
the placoid of the Devonian Age ; these in their turn served 
him as a homily for the reptile ; it for the mammal ; all of 
them combined for pre-diluvian man : 

"Ohi how old 

Thou art to me ! 3?or countless years thou' st rolled ; 
Before an ear did hear thee, thou didst mourn, 
Prophet of sorrow, o'er a race unborn." Dana. 



112 THE GODS OF OLD; 

The calm of ocean is even more awesome than its turbu- 
lence. There are times when nought is visible but a glassy 
expanse of waters, and when, perhaps 

"The sky 

Spreads like an ocean hung on high, 
Bespangled with those isles of light 
So wildly, spiritually bright." 

It is at such moments, with infinity all round, that the 
soul is most apt to commune with itself, and be startled 
by the prophetic warnings of a guilty conscience. It must 
have been such a sea and such a night that came for Priam's 
son when sailing o'er the main with Grecian Helen : 

Pastor qutun traheret per freta navibus 
Idfeis Helenen perfidus hospitam, 

Ingrato celeres obruit otio 

Ventos, ut caueret fera 
Nereus fata. 

Hor. Od. I. 15. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 113 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE EIVBES OF THE SEA. 



8' eyevovro peyfjpaTa reKva 6faa>v 
ev arpvylrco Kai Aapidos rjiJKopoio, 
Kovprjf 'fiKfavoio, TeXrjfvros iroTap.olo. Theog. 240. 

Of Neretis and the fair-haired Doris, child 
Of Oceanus, of the perfect stream, 
There was begotten in the liquid deep 
A passing lovely race of deities. 

THE sea is wedded to this Doris, to the (focop) water of 
aqueous vapour that remains invisible above till condensa- 
tion occurs and sends it down from the gaseous ocean above 
to the sea below, whence again it is raised by evaporation 
to descend once more. And this process "has never ceased 
since the first shower of rain fell upon the earth." Largely 
raised as it is from the ocean surface, it falls back directly 
upon that surface, and that portion of it which falls on 
land finds its way eventually through the brooks and rivers 
that it feeds, to the bosom of the sea. " All the rivers run 
into the sea ; yet the sea is not full : into the place from 
whence the rivers come, thither they return again." 
Ecclesiastes. 

One of the most interesting circumstances connected with 
the ocean is the circulation of its waters. In the first place 
we have a general drift, or set of the warmer and lighter 
waters flowing on the surface towards the poles, and of the 
colder, heavier waters of those arctic regions flowing under- 
neath the warmer towards the equator. In addition to 
this general drift both ways, there are found to be immense 
currents, " the rivers of the sea," as they have been 
aptly called, which traverse the ocean in all directions and 
at different depths, and of which the well-known Gulf 
Stream is a type. "There is," says Maury, "a river in 

G.o 



114 THE GODS OF OLD; 

the ocean. In the severest droughts it never fails, and in 
the mightiest floods it never overflows. Its banks and its 
bottoms are of cold water, while its current is of warm* 
The Gulf of Mexico is its fountain, and its mouth is in the 
arctic seas. There is in the world no such majestic flow of 
waters." Besides the Gulf Stream, there is ; a great 
-Equatorial Current crossing the Atlantic from Africa to 
Brazil, where it divides, one part going southwards, the 
'other northwards to the Gulf of Mexico, then to continue 
as or to feed the Gulf Stream. The Indian Ocean has its 
own currents and its own Gulf Stream, one that runs from 
the Straits of Malacca northwards to China and Japan, and 
'thence across the Pacific towards north-western America, 
The Pacific has its own currents ; so, too, probably have the 
Polar Seas, and every great inland sea connected with the 
ocean. 

Those currents play an all-important part in tending to 
equalise the temperature of the ocean in all latitudes, and 
in modifying to a considerable extent the climates of 
different regions. They are furthermore connected closely 
with nil that concerns navigation, trade, commerce, and 
civilisation in general. In the ocean itself, too, they must 
play an important part, seeing that they have much to do 
with the fretting, and abrasion of the coasts and cliffs, with 
the transportation to deeper water of the debris from those 
sources, as also of that carried by every river to the 
ocean, and with the friction, comminution, and wide-spread 
diffusion over the sea-bottom of all terrigenous deposits. 
" The rock-forming materials," says a writer, " are .spread 
out far and wide by the numerous ocean currents, some of 
which flow for hundreds of miles ; and so the bed of ocean 
can be very slowly raised by their accumulations." 

It must have been long since evident that those currents, 
in the sea and born of the sea, are the Nereides of 
Mythology, born of Nereus, as their name denotes, and of 
the aqueous vapour's water that descended to the sea from 
lime immemorial. They, like those ocean currents, are 
many in number, propitious to sailors, and worshipped in 
the seaports of every country. Well do they deserve our 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 115 

culture and all the altars built to them in the shape of 
wharves, docks, and lighthouses. Were it not for those 
rivers of the sea, or for such of the Nereides as are 
embodied in the Gulf Stream, we are told on good authority 
that London would have a mean annual temperature 40 
lower than it has, and that much of Europe would be 
placed under glacial conditions. 

Their numbers and names are not the same with all 
writers. Hesiod mentions 50, Homer 34, and Apollodorus 
45. Even in a casual and hasfcy examination such ex- 
pressive names are noticed as Proto, " the surface " ; Bao, 
"the saver"; Galene, "the tranquil"; Pherousa, "the 
transporter " ; Enagore, " the collector " ; Lysianassa, 
" the dissolver, or comminute" ; Euarne, " the strewer "; 
down to the lowest depths of ocean, to Nemertes, "the 
unchanging," ?? irarpcs ex et v ov adavaToio. Hesiod finishes 
the enumeration thus : 

aSrai p,ev Nrjprjos dfJ-v/JLOvos s^eylvovro 
Koiipui irevTrjKOVTa, (ijj.vfi.ova fpya ISvlai. 

From open sea there sprang those fifty maids, 
Witnesses of the works exposed to view. 

There arises the not improbable idea that a well-systerna- 
tised effort was made by Hesiod, if not by the other writers 
too, to represent in regular order from surface to bottom 
the most striking characteristics of the different marine 
strata as to colour, motion, density, solvency, and depo- 
sition. Considering also that there is a general drift of 
upper waters towards the poles, and of lower waters towards 
the equator that is to say, of a mass of warm water 
overlying one of cold it is suggestive, to say the least, 
that if we draw a dividing line between the forty-five 
Nereids mentioned by Apollodorus, we will have for the 
twenty- third 'AAt/^'S?/, "the guardian of the deep"; and if 
we draw a similar line between the fifty of Hesiod, we will 
have for the twenty-fifth Awpls, "water" or "a gift," pre- 
ceded by npcorcjue'Seta, " the guard of the surface " the 
division, as it were, between the warmer upper and the 
lower cooler currents. 

i 2 



116 TEE GODS OF OLD; 



CHAPTER V. 

THATJMATTJEGY. 

TJiaumas. The atmosphere is always more or less 
charged with electricity, due in part, it is said, to evapora- 
tion going on over the oceans, in part to other causes not 
well understood yet. Of the precise nature of electricity 
itself we know very little. "It is neither matter nor 
energy," says Thompson ; " yet it apparently can be 
associated or combined with matter; and energy can be 
spent in moving it." All that we know with regard to it is 
that which is derived from its manifestations, from the 
effects which it produces ; and that some of its sources are 
friction, percussion, vibration, disruption and cleavage, 
evaporation, pressure, heat, chemical action, contact of 
dissimilar substances, &c. If all these sources are potent 
for electric manifestation to-day, how much more so must 
they have been at that stage of our igneous globe when the 
rain rushed for the first time upon the earth through the 
heated vaporous zone that then served for atmosphere? 
The conditions for electricity were all there, and in an 
intensified degree ; the heat and pressure were enormous, 
the atmosphere was loaded with dissimilar substances, 
matter had not advanced beyond the initial stage of mole- 
cularity, there was abundance of disruption and chemical 
action, and especially was there constant friction from the 
uprise of intensely heated steam and the downfall of the 
comparatively colder rain, the two forming, as it were, an 
endless revolving band of contraries around the blazing orb. 

Figuier has already testified to the excessive electrical 
disturbances that came into being in those early days of 
Earth. Another writer, Winchell, in his " Sketches of 
Creation," writes to the same effect : "A scene of terrible 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 117 

sublimity approaches. As yet no water existed upon the 
earth. No rain had fallen upon the parched and blackened 
crust. All the water which now fills the oceans and the 
rivers and the lakes, all which saturates the atmosphere 
and the soil, and the rocks, rested then, upon the earth as 
an acrid, elastic, invisible vapour, extending to an unknown 
distance into surrounding space. This vapour was not 

cloud-like, but intensely hot and transparent The 

time had now arrived, however, when the remoter regions to 
which this aqueous gas extended began to be so far reduced 

in temperature as to cause condensation to begin 

Particle drew particle to itself, and rain-drops began to 
precipitate themselves through the lower strata of the fervid 
atmosphere. In their descent they were scorched to evapo- 
ration, as the meteor's light vanishes in mid-heaven. The 
vapours hurrying back to the bosom of the cloud were again 
sent forth, again to be consumed. At length they reached 
the fervid crust, but .only to be exploded into vapour and 
driven back to the overburdened cloud which had an ocean 
to transfer to earth. The clouds poured the ocean con- 
tinually forth, and the seething crust continually rejected 
the offering. The field between the cloud and the earth 
was one stupendous scene of ebullition. But the descent of 
rains and the ascent of vapours disturbed the electricities 
of the elements. In the midst of this cosmical contest 
between fire and water the voices of heaven's artillery were 
heard. Lightnings darted through the Cimmerian gloom, and 
world-convulsing thunders echoed through the universe." 

If we are thus forced to have cognisance of electricity 
only through its manifestations or the phenomena produced, 
we can understand why Mythology assigned the name of 
Thaumas to the same phenomena, inexplicable and wonderful 
(daviui) as they are. It is, indeed, from the kindred 0a M /3os, 
"wonder," that we must derive "amber," the first sub- 
stance, so far as we know, in which electrical properties 
were discovered. If, however, we seek a derivation for 
Thaumas (and it is only rational to suppose that all 
emotions must have had entities to give them their nomen- 



118 THE GODS OF OLD; 

clature), it may be probably found In a dual sense. The 
word is written Oafy-a, dS>fj.a, and dotv^a, and this last, the 
Ionic form, is suggestive of 0e'&> v^a (uo-jxa) " swift-falling 
rain," (and it is well to note that 6e<a is used to especially 
denote circular motion, or that which runs round into itself), 
and 6va> v^a, " burning vapour." We would thus be brought 
back to the original conditions to the conditions, indeed, 
that maintain to-day for the production of electricity, 
namely, the descent of cooled vapour and the ascent of 
heated. When we turn to Electricity, or the Electra 
of Mythology to whom Thaunias was united, we have, in 
the first place, the conviction derived from the similarity of 
names. It is also to be noted that she was the daughter of 
Oceanus (aqueous vapour), and is thus connected closely with 
the same evaporation which we consider so potential in 
influencing electricity. That the name Electra is derived 
from jjXfKTpov, "electron" (either amber or a precious 
metal) is improbable ; the reverse is more likely. Lightning, 
the most evident manifestation of electricity, would also be 
the first to be observed, reflected on, and named. The most 
characteristic and striking form of lightning would be 
the zigzag, and Eleel.ra ('HXeKrpa), allowing for the 
metathesis of p, would signify (aX?j pa/a?j) " the wandering 
and the broken " that is, forked lightning. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 119 



CHAPTER VI. 

"IEI, DEOUS CCELI." 

Iris. The identity of Iris with the rainbow is too well 
established to admit of doubt. She is the " Iri, decus 
cceli " of the classic, and the " Triumphal arch, that fill'st 
the sky " of the modern poet. 

There appears, however, to be a discrepancy between her 
mythical and her modern parentage, for while both Mytho- 
logy and Science agree with regard to one side of the 
ancestral house, namely, Thaumas, or the rain in transit, 
they disagree as to the other. Hesiod assigns Electra, or 
electric influence ; Science asserts that it is the rays of the 
sun. If the former be correct, then we would be led to 
infer the presence of an unusual amount of electricity in 
the atmosphere previous to the exhibition of rainbows ; if 
Science be altogether right, the question naturally crops up 
why, with the quite common presence of two such factors, 
rain and sun, we do not see rainbows oftener than- we do. 
Be this as it may, the Latin poets were evidently inclined 
to look with suspicion on the female side of the genealogical 
tree. Iris is always mentioned by Virgil and Ovid with 
the paternal appellative of " Thaumantias " : Electra is 
never alluded to. That their theories in regard to the 
formation of rainbows were similar to our own is evident 
from the following quotations : 

Qualis ab imbre solet percussus solibus arena 
Inficere ingenti longum curvamine coolum, 

Ov. Met. VI. 63. 

As when the rainbow, struck by sunny rays, 
Spans the wide heaven with its mighty arch. 

Ctti mibibus arcus 
Mille jacit varies adverse sole colores. .ZEn. V. 88, 

As when the rainbow, opposite the sun, 
A thousand intermingled colours throws, 



120 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Ergo Iris croceis per coelum roscida pennis, 
Mille trahens varies adverse sole colores, 
Devolat. JEn. IV. 700. 

"With, saffron wings then dewy Iris flies 

Through heaven's expanse, a thousand varied dyes 

Extracting from the sun, opposed in place. 

Does Iris bear a message ? It would be difficult to deny 
the fact. To the observant shepherd, the weatherwise 
sailor, to the scientific meteorologist, it brings a warning of 
what may occur, of storm and rain if seen in the morning, 
of calm and fair weather if beheld in the evening. To the 
human race as a whole it brings a reminder of the last great 
cataclysm that convulsed our earth, and an assurance of an 
everlasting covenant between Creator and post-diluvian 
beings that " the waters shall no more become a flood to 
destroy all flesh." It is thus impossible for the religious or 
scientific mind to separate the purely physical emblem from 
the event which that emblem indicates ; and hence it is that 
Iris may be considered as the rainbow, or the rainbow as 
but the path on which she travels. In the same way, for 
example, may we consider the apices of an indefinite 
number of right angles and a semicircle as one and the 
same, or the semicircle as but the path described and brought 
into being by the motion of a right angle having the 
diameter of a circle for hypothenuse. 

It is in this dual sense physical and portentous that 
Iris is introduced in classic poetry, and the distinction, subtle 
as it is, is always more or less implied. Even in the name 
is this the case, for "I pis is derivable from ei'pw, which has 
the dual meanings of "to join or fasten in rows," as the 
colours in the rainbow; " to speak, to announce." 

She is described as the peculiar attendant and messenger 
of Juno, (the dry land) , because the elevation of the moun- 
tains has a very approximate ratio to the altitude of the 
cloud-bearing and storm-producing strata of the air. But 
before she became the special favourite of the land upon our 
globe, there were days when she was selected for a more 
portentous mission. While the sea has been unchangeable, 
not so the land. Often and often in geologic time has it 
gone down on a large scale beneath the waters, Such ocea* 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 121 

sions, as Hesiod tells us later on, were not comparatively 
often ; but when they did occur, when each age had run its 
round, evoluted itself probably to the furthest point it could, 
and was then found lacking in the essentials of developing 
the progress marked out in the grand scheme of creation, 
the formations of such age were doomed, the bond was 
broken, and they passed away in the convulsions of nature 
to give place to others and to better. How were these con- 
vulsions produced ? Chiefly by volcanic disturbances ; and 
the rocks bear testimony of the fact in the unconformability 
of their structure. There must have been atmospheric 
storms too in those days, when continental and insular gods 
went clown and others took their place ; there must have 
been signs and tokens of those storms an Iris that arched 
the heavens and foretold to those recreant worlds that their 
race was run, an Iris that had been commissioned, by the 
Life that never died, to bring the erst cool waters in a golden 
bowl, and that did- bring them in the steam which bubbled 
and rose from the golden crater of volcanoes roused to action, 
steam in whose vapoury spray Iris herself may have 
appeared, as in that of a fountain, treading on the rainbow 
path. 

It has been a matter of debate why Iris was selected by 
Virgil to cut the last tie that held the dying Dido to life. 
The reason may be twofold. First, to show that Dido by 
her own rash act had sundered the covenant between the 
Creator and the created. Secondly, to foreshow the 
tempest that cast .ZEneas on the shores of Sicily. The 
context shows that -Dido perished in the early morning, and 
a rainbow in the morning foretells the storm and rain with 
which the 5th Book opens. For a similar reason is Iris 
introduced in the 2nd Book of the Iliad as a premonition 
not only of the stormy battles that were to come, but also 
of the covenant between the Greeks and Trojans that was 
subsequently broken by the arrow of Pandarus. Ovid, 
also, when describing the deluge of Deucalion, introduces 
Iris as significative of the disaster that was to come and of 
the covenant destroyed by the wickedness of Lycaon, 



122 THE GODS OF OLD 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE PIEATES OF THE AIE. 

Harpies. Qa.vp.as 8' 'QKeavoio ftaOvppetrao dvyarpa' 

'H\eKTpr)V f) 8' aiKslav TeKsv 'Ipiv, 
ff "Apirutas, 'AeXXti r' 'QKVTTITTJV re, 



at p 1 avepcav -irvoiytri KOI ol<avois dp. enovrai 



S>Kflrjs irrepiryfo-(ri' [ifraxpoi/iai -yap 'idXXov- Theog. 265. 



But Thaumas cliose Electra for his spouse, 

Of the deep-flowing ( )ceanus child , 

She bore swift Iris, fair-haired Harpies too, 

Aello and Ocypete, that rush 

O:i pinions swift, followed hy gales and hirds ; 

Por after time of Kronos canie they forth. 

THERE came a day, we are assured, "when the rain from 
above established itself as a thermal ocean upon the newly- 
formed crust. Thousands of years may have elapsed 
before the victory was gained ; but whatever was the length 
of time many other changes took place during the interval. 
Some of these were immediately connected with the atmo- 
spheric envelope. The constant and excessive downpour of 
the rain would not only unload the aqueous vapours upon 
earth, but would also wash down the mineral substances 
with which the atmosphere was weighted, and much of the 
acid and poisonous gases that permeated it. The air, thus 
purged and comparatively purified, and approximating 
more closely in character to what it is to-day, would offer 
an extended field for those aerial eddies than which there is 
nothing more appallingly phenomenal save perhaps the 
volcanic outbursts on earth below. The cyclones, hurri- 
canes, tornadoes, typhoons, and all other revolving tem- 
pests, must have had a beginning, and the early days of the 
solid globe presented all the necessary conditions in an 
intensified degree. Modern research has shown that the 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 123 

origin and growth of storms are naturally associated with 
the expansion of uprising moist air and the formation of 
clouds and rain. These associations were pre-eminently 
present in Archaic times ; the air was still loaded with 
clouds and rain, the globe was much hotter than to-day, 
and radiating heat to outer space ; there was very little land 
to interfere with the action of aerial currents, and from the 
vast thermal sea enormous quantities of warm, moist 
vapour were incessantly ascending and being met directly 
and laterally by cooler currents descending to supply their 
place. All the storm essentials, then, were present, and as 
the natural result we would have earth revolving in space 
for an indefinite period, girt with a " thermal sea " below, 
and with a " storm sea " above, that helped the ocean to 
demolish the blackened isles and crags which raised them- 
selves for a brief while above the raging waters. 

To those cyclones and other storm winds that suddenly 
carry off whatever opposes them, the name of Harpies is 
given in Mythology. The word, "Apirviai (ap-nafa, "to tear, 
rend, to carry off ") is expressive of the effects produced. 
Their modes of action are visible in the particular names 
assigned them ; thus Aello (ao> etAAco), " the revolving wind, 
or cyclone ; " Ocypete (UKVS Wro^cu), " the swift-flying, or 
hurricane;" Acholoe (dxAuw), "the darkener ; " and 
Celseno (KeAau-o's), " the black," whom Virgil calls " furiarum 
maxima," to denote that storms are ever presaged and 
intensified by blackened skies. Their primal abode, 
Sahnydessus (SaA/^jo-o-o's), or Halrnydessus (aA/xwSTjo-o-Js), 
evidently refers to the early days of earth, when its atmo- 
sphere was (aAs /^8os) a sea of damp, moist vapour, wherein 
the storm winds had full play, and lashed and tormented 
the blinded Phineus below, that is, the ($aiwo) visible land 
of an earth deprived of self-luminosity. As time rolled on, 
those revolving storms would no longer have control over 
earth's expanse, but would be confined to certain localities 
where the conditions for a whirling motion (orpe'^w) would 
be most favourable Strophades, from where not even the 
sons of Boreas could rout them, Still another, arid 



124 THE GODS OF OLD; 

probably the true reason for the term Strophades is found 
in the fact that " the revolving tempests of the equatorial 
regions occur especially at the time of the reversal (orpe'^w) 
of the regular winds," and this is denoted by the myth 
which mentions how the Harpies were pursued from 
Salmydessns by Zetes and Calais, the sons of Boreas, who 
did not return from the chase till they had reached the 
Strophades. Hesiod calls them children of Thaumas and 
Electra, and it is well known that cyclones, hurricanes, and 
other revolving storms are charged with electricity and 
often accompanied by sheets of driving rain. The following 
description of a cyclone by Eeclus will best explain this, as 
also the general idea of the Harpies being winged beings 
who carried away whatever suddenly disappeared from the 
earth. " Some days before the terrible hurricane is un- 
chained, nature, already gloomy and as if veiled, seems to 
anticipate a disaster. The little white clouds, which float 
in the heights of air with the counter trade-winds, are 
hidden under a yellowish or dirty white vapour ; the heavenly 
bodies are surrounded by vaguely iridescent halos and 
heavy layers of clouds, which in the evening present the 
most magnificent shades of purple and gold stretching far 
over the horizon, and the air is as stifling as if it came 
from the mouth of some great furnace. The cyclone, 
which already whirls in the upper regions, gradually 
approaches the surface of the ground or water. Torn 
fragments of reddish or black clouds are carried furiously 
along by the storm, which plunges and hurries through 
space : the column of mercury is wildly agitated in the 
barometer and sinks rapidly ; the birds assemble as if to 
take counsel, then fly swiftly away so as to escape the 
tempest that pursues them. Soon a dark mass shows itself 
in the threatening part of the sky ; this mass increases and 
spreads itself out, gradually covering the azure with a veil 
of a terrible darkness or a blood-coloured hue. This is the 
cyclone, which falls and takes possession of its empire, 
twisting its immense spirals around the horizon. The roaring 
of the sea and skies succeeds to this awful silence. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 125 

"The progress of the wind experiences much more 
resistance in the interior of continents than on the seas, 
but the phenomena which are produced there during the 
hurricane are not less terrible. Buildings which occur in 
the path of the storm are razed to their foundations, the 
waters of rivers are arrested and flow back towards their 
source, isolated trees are torn up and plough the earth with 
their roots, the forests bend as if they formed but a single 
mass, and give to the tempest their broken branches and 
torn leaves. Even the grass is uprooted and swept from 
the ground. Innumerable fragments fly in the track of the 
hurricane, like the waifs carried away by a fluvial or 
marine current. Ordinarily, the action of electricity is 
added to the violence of the air in movement, to increase 
the ravages of the tempest. Sometimes the flashes of 
lightning are so numerous that they fall in sheets like 
cascades of fire ; the clouds and even the drops of rain emit 
light; the electric tension is so strong that sparks have 
been seen, says Eeed, to dart spontaneously from the body 
of a negro." 

The foregoing description of a cyclone's approach and 
onset is almost an amplified paraphrase of what Virgil 
writes in his .ZEneid with regard to the Harpies : 

Postquam altum tenuere rates, nee jam amplius uLUe 

Apparent terrse, coelum undique et undique pontus ; 

Turn, mibi cceruleus supra caput astitit imber, 

Noctem hiememque ferens, et inhorruit unda tenebris. 
5 Continue venti volvunt mare, magnaque surgunt 

Aequora : dispersi jactamur gurgite vasto. 

Involvere diem nimbi, et nox humida coelum 

Abstulit; ingeminant abruptis nubibus ignes. 

Excutimur cursu, et csecis erramns in undis. 
10 Ipse diem noctenique negat discernere coelo, 

Nee meminisse vise media Palinurus in unda. 

Tres adeo incertos csecS, caligine soles 

EiTanms pelago, totidem sine sidere noctes. 

Quarto terra die primum se attollere tandem 
15 Visa, aperire procul montes, ac volvere fumum. 

Vela cadunt ; remus insurgirnus ; hand mora, naiitce 

Annixi torquent spuinas, et ccerula veiTunt. 



126 THE GODS OF OLD- 

Servatnm ex undis, Strophaduin me litora prinrum 
Accipiunt : Stropliades Graio stant nomine dictee 

20 Insulae lonio in. magno, quas dira Celeeno, 
Harpyiseque colunt alias, Phineia postquam. 
Clausa domus, mensasque rnetu. liquere priores. 
Tristius haud illis inonstrum., nee sasvior ulla 
Pestis et ira deum Stygiis sese extulit undis. 

25 Vii'ginei volucruni vultus, foodissima ventris 
Proluvies, uncseque nianus, et pallida semper 
Orafame. in. 192. 

When now our crafts possessed the briny deep, 

When disappears the land, and all around 

Is nought save sky and sea, then o'er my head 

Impending stood a purple cloud that bears 

Darkness and tempest, and the wave beneath 

Frowned with the horrors of Cimmerian gloom. 

The winds incessant move in spiral curves 

The sea's expanse, and raise stupendous waves. 

Tossed by the cyclone vast we're cast adrift. 

The lowering clouds involved the light of day, 

And reeking darkness blotted out the sky ; 

Prom the rent clouds the lightnings freely flash. 

We're driven from our course and roam at large 

Upon the giddy waves. Nor night nor day 

Can Palinurus' self discern in heaven, 

Nor on the high seas bear in mind the way. 

For three such days obscured by blinding mist, 

As many starless nights, we roam the deep. 

Land for the first time on the fourth is seen 

To raise itself, disclose the hills far off, 

And roll away the haze. The sails grow slack ; 

To oars we rush ; and quick, the sailors braced 

Toss the salt spray and sweep the azure depths. 

Saved from the waves, the Strophadean shores 

Eeceive me first : in the Ionian main 

Stand forth those islands dubbed with Grecian name, 

Which dread Celaeno and the Harpy crew 

Take for a habitation when the house 

Of Phineus was closed, and leave they did 

Their erstwhile feasting places through alarm. 

Than these no dread phenomenon more dire, 

No bane more ruthless, and no scourge of gods 

E'er raised itself above the Stygian waves. 

Of things on wing the pzimal aspect's theirs ; 

The flux most boist'rous of a central vent ; 

Ximbs that are curved ; and mouths e'er wan with greed. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 127 



NOTES. 

5 volvuiit mare. The cyclone above had communicated its eddying 

motions to the waters below. 

6 gurgifce. The aerial and marine alike. 

9 emmms. A vessel tossed about in the eddies caused by a cyclone 
" has travelled 1,500 -miles in 5 days, and yet at the end of that 
time was but 410 miles from the point of departure." 
clausa donms. "When earth was covered by a crust of some kind. 
23-27. The poet proceeds to enumerate the principal characteristics 
of revolving storms, namely, velocity, a central axis, spiral 
cui-rents, and suction. 

25 volucrum. Cyclones move at a rate of from 50 to 100 miles an 

hour. 

ventris. "In severe storms there is always present a system 
of surface winds revolving about and blowing in towards a 
storm centre." 

26 uncfe manus. "At a short distance above the earth's surface is a 

system of oiitward moving spiral currents immediately above 
the lower inward moving winds." 

27 pallida s. o. fame. There is hardly any limit to their powers of 

suction. The waters of the sea have been frequently observed 
to be drawn- in, in greater or less quantity, by the vacuum 
which is formed in the midst of the whirlwind. In Barbadoes 
Reed saw showers of salt water fall at a great distance from 
the shore, and in such abundance as to destroy all the fish of 
the lakes and streams. 



128 THE GODS OF OLD; 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE KEEPER AND THE KEEP. 

Phorcys and Ceto. Hesiod, it will be remembered, wlieii 
enumerating the offspring of Pontus and Gasa, began with 
Nereus, the eldest ; that is, with water or the constituents 
of water placed originally, as we have seen, in the furthest 
confines of earth's atmospheric envelope. Continuing his 
narrative, the Greek poet says : 

aSris ' av Qavf^avra fieyav KOL ayrjvopa 3>6pKW 

Tail} fiiayofifvos KOL Kiyro) KahXardpgov, 

~Evpv8ir)v T addfiavros evl <ppe<rl Ovp.bv e^owav. Theog. 237. 



Backward and backward still with Gre conjoined, 
Great Thaumas bore he, Phorcys well-defined, 
The blushing Ceto, and Eurybia too 
With adamantine spirit in her breast. 

NOTES. 

1 dyiji/opa. ayrjixap, Dor. dydvcap, signifies literally (fiyav opda>) " much 
seen, very much seen, too much seen," owing to the varied 
constructions of ayav. It is in this way that the term has 
been applied in the sense of "manifest, conspicuous, very 
conspicuous," to an Achilles ; and of " too manifest, too con- 
spicuous, barefaced," to Thersites and the wooers of Penelope. 

There is nothing pleonastic or superfluous in the words 
" avns 8' av." They bring the reader from the confines of 
the incandescent orb where our oceans were conceived doivn 
to the aerial regions where such phenomena as electricity, 
the rainbow, and mighty storm winds hold sway ; and still 
further doivn to where those new characters, Phorcys, Ceto, 
and Eurybia are situated. If we look back at the tabulated 
summary of existing conditions at the conclusion of Pontus 
and Gaea, we see plainly how Nereus and Thaumas are 
respectively applicable to those marked (1) and (2). 
Eurybia will be treated of when we come to her consort, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 129 

the Titan Grius ; but even as it is, the name is sufficiently 
suggestive of "diffused force" to connect her with that 
marked (4) . If then the offspring, as a whole, be consonant 
with the specified conditions as a whole, it naturally follows 
that the mythological remainder must be the equivalent of 
the scientific one, that is to say, Phorcys and Ceto must 
represent the conditions marked (8). Everything with 
regard to them is confirmative of this conclusion. They end 
the " OVTLS 8'aS " of Hesiod's material beings, just as earth 
proper ends the material zones into which the incandescent 
globe arranged itself : they are the children of Pontus and 
Gsea, as the diminished igneous globe is of the larger 
incandescent: they are brother and sister and united 
in wedlock, as the exterior and interior of our orb are 
close kin to one another and inseparably united. Nor 
is this all; the very names breathe conviction. Phorcys 
(<&6pKVs) is (<pau> epKos) " the visible boundary"; while Ceto 
(KTJTW) is but Doric for Kara, " underneath "; so that the 
two deities are emblems respectively of the exterior and 
the interior of the orb. The epithets ayrivopa and 
KaXhardpyov applied to them respectively by Hesiod 
accentuate both the derivation and interpretation. Phorcys, 
the exterior surface, is "well seen, well defined"; Ceto, 
that which is beneath the surface, is " blushing," to denote 
the glowing heat of our orb in those days days when 
Phorcys was a mighty potentate who held sway over 
earth's expanse. He, like others of the older deities, was 
shorn in time of much of his dominion, obliterated as he 
was by his Gorgon child, Medusa, as she was by her 
offspring Chrysaor, and he by his descendants. But he 
still retained a portion, in the sea whose exterior surface, 
unlike that of land, has never changed. There, though 
under the control of Neptune, he is the marine Phorcys 
who generates the clouds, and controls the surface play of 
the waters, beneath which, as in a ring, the " Nereidum, 
Phorcique chorus " exercise their functions. As he holds 
the surface, so does his partner Ceto hold the depths of 
ocean, where the whales and monsters of the sea disport. 

G.O. K 



130 THE GODS OF OLD; 



CHAPTEE IX. 

THE GEAT FBOM BIRTH. 

Graice. How old are the clouds? They precede the 
formation of rain in these our days ; but in view of their 
being but the elastic invisible vapour of water made visible 
by condensation and cold, we must suppose this invisible 
vapour as antecedent in point of time. Were there no 
vapour, there would certainly be no clouds. This is pointed 
out in Mythology by saying that Nereus was the eldest 
born of Pontus and Graea, and in science by the assertion that 
" oxidation must have preceded condensation." 

Whether the elemental rain was so constituted as to be 
capable of falling without any previous condensation into 
cloud is even within the range of possibility, taking into 
account the abnormal condition of all existing things in 
the primal age of earth, and from the fact that rain falls, 
though rarely, from a clear and cloudless sky. If con- 
densation did occur it might be caused either by cooling 
from space without, or by cooling from a diminution of the 
heat from the surface of the earth below. The latter is 
equally probable with the former, more likely indeed, as 
the orb was constantly losing heat ; it is more consistent 
with our theory of the cloud-making of to-day, and is 
certainly the opinion entertained by Mythology, which says 
that the Graise were children of Phorcys and Ceto, that is, of 
the orb below. 

True aqueous vapour is invisible and always present in 
the atmosphere. Eain is aqueous vapour condensed 
sufficiently to make it fall in drops. Cloud is inter- 
mediate between these two, since it is visible like rain, 
but suspended in the air like vapour. If close to the 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 131 

surface this visible vapour is generally called mist or fog ; 
if high up, clouds. 

Endless though the forms of clouds be, there are three 
principal ones, namely, Cirrus, Cumulus, and Stratus. Of 
these the Cirrus is curled in appearance and the most 
elevated, so much so that its particles are supposed to be 
made up of minute crystals of ice or snow. The Cumulus, 
" the cloud of day," is mountainous-like in appearance, 
having above a bossy top that often becomes Cirrus, and below 
a horizontal base that stretches sometimes into Stratus. 

This last, " the cloud of evening," is lowest in situation, 
and comprehends the mists and fogs. 

That the Graias are but the Clouds personified admits of 
little doubt, even without going further into explanation. 
Like the clouds they are emanations from Phorcys and 
Ceto, from the upper and under parts of earth, and es- 
pecially from the former, as they are always genealogically 
alluded to as "Phorcydes"; like the clouds they are close 
akin to our globe, with which the G-orgons will presently be 
identified ; like the clouds they are three in number ; but 
above all, like the clouds are they " gray gray from 
birth," e* -yeveTrjs -tro\ias. To what other class of objects 
in all creation, except the clouds, can such a phrase be 
applicable ? For no matter what its situation may be, its 
height, colour, form, or extent, no matter whether it be the 
silvery cirrus, a purple mountain, bank of fog, or a nimbus 
black as night, the cloud was gray at first, gray from its 
birth. The word itself signifies (ypcuos) "old, aged, gray," 
and the epithet, e* yever^js iroAias, but intensifies the idea. 
Hesiod writes of them thus : 

>dpKvi' S' a5 KIJTO) Fpeuas reKe fcaAXwrapijovs 

fK yeverrjs Tro\ids, ras 89 Tpaias Ka\eovtriv 

dddvaroi re deal x a ^ 1 epxopevoi T' avdpamoi, 

He<j)pT]&d> r' euTrewXov 'Evua> re KpoKvjreir\ov. Theog. 270. 

For Phorcys Ceto retrogressive bore 

The fair-cheeked Graise, hoary from their birth, 

Pephredo well tricked out in fair attire, 

Enyo too, in saffron mantle clad ; 

And these both gods immortal and the men 

That come to earth's domain, the Graiae call. 

K 2 



132 THE GODS OF OLD; 

NOTES. 

1 av. The description of the terrestrial orb commences with the 
clouds lying over the exterior, and proceeds downwards to the 
centre of the earth ; thus, the Graise, the Gorgons, Ophis. 
KoXXwrapijovs. The colouring of the clouds is often exceedingly 
beautiful, varying from creamy white to blushing red. 

" Ye clouds that are the ornament of heaven, 
Who give to it its gayest shadowings 
And its most awful glories ; ye who roll 
In the dark tempest, or at dewy evening 
Bow low in tenderest beauty ; ye are to us 
A volume full of wisdom." Percival. 

4 Ue<pprj8a>. The word, allowing for the interchange of X and p, 
is equivalent to Ile^XijSa), and thus has the very same significa- 
tion of ((p\idda>) " overflowing, heaping," that we find in our 
own cumulus. The idea is strengthened by the use of evireirhov. 
'Ewa>. Doric for eXt/<B, and hence (Awo) "that which looses or 
scatters," like our word stratus. The same word, Xva>, signifies 
" to kill, to slay," and is hence applied to Enyo, the goddess of 
war. 

KpoKonfiikov- The stratus is "the cloud of evening," and an 
evening sky of a greenish or yellowish tinge indicates rain. 

Hesiod, it is seen, classifies clouds as Cumuli and Strati. 
Apollodorus mentions the same two Graise, and adds a 
third whom he calls Dino (Aeiz>w), that is, (6Wcu) " the 
whirler," evidently a personification of our cirrus, or 
" curler." 

It is further ohservable that the original myth contains 
no mention of the one eye and one tooth possessed in 
common by the Graise, and which they borrowed from one 
another when required. Such is either an addition to or 
an amplification of- and it is difficult to judge which the 
knowledge extant in Hesiod's time. Grotesque as it sounds, 
it is perfectly in accordance with the truth. 

Evaporation is constantly occurring and from all sur- 
faces, even the most parched. The elastic force of the 
aqueous vapour thus generated is dependent on the tempera- 
ture, and expressed by the number of inches the mercury 
will be depressed in the barometric column. The sam& 
figures represent the saturating point of air, or the amount 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 133 

of vapour which air is capable of absorbing at a certain 
degree of temperature. Thus, at 65, 70, and 80 P., the 
respective elasticities and saturating points are '617, '727, 
and 1*001 inches of barometric pressure. At 70, for 
instance, water could give forth vapour enough to depress 
the mercury '727 of an inch. If the barometric pressure 
showed but '627, there would consequently be room for 
'I inch more, and the air is said to be dry or thirsty to the 
extent of ('!) one-tenth of an inch of the barometer, that 
is, to the full elastic force of air at 70. If the full amount, 
727, be arrived at, no more vapour can be absorbed at a 
heat of 70, and the air is said to be saturated, or the 
elastic force to have arrived at its maximum. Any further 
change above or below 70 will cause different results. If 
raised, say to 80, evaporation will resume its action and 
can continue till the air has absorbed as much additional 
vapour as can counterbalance I'OOl inches of mercury: and 
so on, additional vapour being produced and supported by 
every additional degree of heat. If, however, the tempera- 
ture at 70, instead of being raised, were lowered, say to 
65, then the excess of vapour represented by the difference 
between the respective saturating points, '727 and '617, 
would be thrown out as visible vapour in the form of cloud. 

In general, then, it may be said that aqueous vapour up 
to the point of saturation remains invisible, and that pro- 
gress on its part towards cloud-making entails the action of 
Condensation and a lowering of the temperature. The 
former reduces the mass to a smaller bulk ; the latter 
renders a portion of it visible : the former by itself might 
only produce dew ; the two combined produce cloud. 

Let but a wisp of gray appear in a sky that has previously 
been intensely blue, and we know that one of the Graiae is 
gazing down upon us. What has caused that wisp of 
gray? What has given vision to the cloud? What has 
given its eye to this one of the Graiae ? All three questions 
are identical, and the answer to each and all is, "A lower- 
ing of the temperature," or, in brief language, Cold. Let 
the temperature but rise and that eye of gray will vanish ; 



134 THE GODS OF OLD; 

let it fall, and that eye appears once more. Cold, then, is 
the one and only eye belonging to the clouds. 

Again, with the appearance of our friend in gray there 
was liberated not alone the latent visibility but also that 
latent heat which true .aqueous vapour always has, and which 
it parts with only when changed to the liquid form, or 
condensed. Condensation triturates the vapoury mass, 
reduces its volume, liberates the heat, and prepares it for 
subsequent liquefaction and excretion. It is thus to 
aqueous vapour for all intents and purposes what mastica- 
tion is to food, and may consequently be well compared to 
what the myth has styled it, the one and only tooth belong- 
ing to the clouds. 

But neither tooth nor eye is a permanent possession, for 
we have seen how our cloudlet vanished for a while. What 
became of Condensation and Cold in the interval? 
" Although evaporation is going on abundantly in the lower 
regions, and the temperature such as to sustain it in the 
invisible form at the earth's surface, yet when it rises up- 
wards, it will come to some stratum too cold for it, and 
where, therefore, a certain portion must be thrown out of 
the invisible into the visible state, and cause a cloudy layer 
to be formed. Above this the air will perhaps be clear for 
a considerable way, but at a certain additional height the 
same excessive coldness will occur, causing a succession of 
cloudy layers." Some other portion of the atmosphere, 
then, suitably saturated and affected by its own measure of 
cold, seized for its own the condensation and cold that had 
vanished from the cloudlet with the accession of heat, 
seized upon them, and looked down on earth from a 
different quarter of the sky. The saturated and as yet in- 
visible 69 borrowed the tooth and eye from 70, 68 from 
69, 67 from 68, and so on interminably ; so that, as the 
myth tells us, the tooth and eye are ever changing places, 
and will continue to do so as long as aqueous vapour and 
difference in temperature subsist. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 135 



CHAPTEE X. 

THE LIGHT THAT FAILED. 
SECT. 1. THE GOUXEN AGE. 

Gorgons. The Theogony of Pontus and Gsea has thus 
far brought us retrogressively (aims 8'aS) from Nereus to 
Thaumas, and from Thaumas to Phorcys and Ceto, that is, 
from the confines of our Earth's gaseous envelope, when 
extended furthest and prior to contraction, down to the 
exterior and interior of our globe. Of Phorcys and Ceto, 
we are told, were sprung in the same retrogressive (5'at) 
manner, the Graise, the Gorgons, and Ophis. The Graise 
have been identified as the clouds that surround the sur- 
face from which they had their being. What, then, still 
proceeding retrogressively, can be left for the others to 
represent ? Evidently nothing but the globe proper. 

"We have seen it as it was under Pontus and Gaea, a 
homogeneous, all-incandescent, circular mass, loosely 
defined and of vast extent. With the first contraction and 
differentiation that ensued, there would be a Nereus or 
rain-making region left on the outside, a Phorcys and Ceto 
or evoluting nucleus inside, and an electric-producing 
Thaumas occupying the space between the two. But the 
nucleus was ever shrinking in size and ever changing from 
the nebulous to the fluid igneous state. In proportion as 
it grew smaller and parted with all that was vaporisable on 
its surface, so did the differentiating space grow larger and 
filled with the elementary matter thus thrown off in a 
gaseous condition. Contraction, radiation of heat, and the 
throwing off of vaporisable matter would end only when a 
crust was established on the glowing surface. How long 
the period was between the initial and final stages is not 



136 THE GODS OF OLD; 

known. The time measurements occupied by our earth in 
Cainozoic, Mesozoic, Palaeozoic, nay, even in cooling from 
-the fused state to incrustation, have been calculated, with 
different results it is true, by different writers. Still they 
have been attempted. But, says Helmholtz, " with regard 
to the time during which the first nebulous mass condensed 
into our planetary system, our most daring conjectures 
must cease." 

During this interval, however long it may have been, 
what forces would be at work within and upon the gradually 
shrinking orb? "Let us follow rather further," says 
Bonney, "the history of one of these planetary masses 
detached from the central sun. It is composed of some- 
what similar material, and even at the moment of severance 
probably is still in a more or less nebulous condition and at 
a very high temperature. As it proceeds on its journey 
heat is lost by radiation into space ; the temperature of the 
whole mass falls, but the outer layers are especially chilled. 
For a considerable while there will be an up and down 
movement in the orb, the cooler matter descending from the 
exterior, the hotter ascending from the interior. By this 
means, in process of time, a kind of stratification will be 
produced in the mass, the lighter and more readily 
vaporised substances working their way towards the exterior, 
the heavier and those which most readily solidify accumu- 
lating at the interior. This transference and selective 
ordering will continue as long as the materials of the planet 
remain in a vaporous or even in a thoroughly liquid condi- 
tion. As time goes on, internal movements and relative 
displacements will become more difficult. The outer surface 
of the globe will begin to crust over, and the condition of 
the interior (whether simultaneously or not we cannot say) 
will be modified by another cause. Here obviously the 
condensation of the mass produces a tremendous pressure. 
The high temperature of the interior tends to drive its 
molecules apart from one another, but the weight of the 
outer layer tends to pack them closer and closer, and thus 
to produce a solid nucleus. The two tendencies are anta- 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 137 

gonistie, and our knowledge does not yet enable us to 
determine which of the two will prevail." 

A summary statement of the above-mentioned conditions 
would be as follows : 

1. Downward movements from the exterior, thus causing 
a packing closer and closer of the particles, and hence 
contraction of the mass. 

2. Upward movements from the interior, with a consequent 
spreading and diffused lateral arrangement. 

3. The radiation of light and heat from the glowing 
nucleus itself, and particularly from the surface. 

Those three agencies are respectively called in the mytho- 
logical annals, Stheno, Buryale, and Medusa. The deriva- 
tions are sufficiently suggestive. 20ez>w or 20eiz>o> from 
oreW> or crrdvto, " to contract, to straiten by cramming full " ; 
Evpvd\r], from evpvs a\rj, " wide-wandering, diffused " ; 
Me'Souo-o, from /neo-o'co /^e'croira (8 and or being interchanged, as 
in o8jixij for 007x17), " she that occupies the middle, the nucleus." 
The glowing orb, and particularly its surface, was not 
only in the middle of its enveloping gaseous layers ; it was 
also in a middle or transition state of being, and a prize 
placed in the midst of two great contestants, fire and water. 
All three were collectively called Gorgons, FopyoVes (yrj epya) 
"the works or agencies of earth." Two, Stheno and 
Euryale, are immortal according to Mythology. We must 
admit it, if we believe with science that earth is growing 
colder, denser, and more contracted. We must admit it 
even from the evidence of our senses. The up and down 
and lateral movements are with us still : every volcanic 
outburst shows that the central fires are rising and that 
Euryale is still alive ; every earthquake suggests that the 
subterranean rocks have snapped and fallen in, and that 
Stheno is immortal. Not till the lava ceases to flow from 
the molten interior, and the crust to vibrate and tremble 
from the subterranean wave, not till then will those two 
Gorgon sisters die. 

But while such inner movements are constant factors in 
the world's being, how would it be with the surface and the 



138 THE GODS OF OLD; 

incandescent glow extending from it ? It would not share 
in the immortality of the central forces; it would be 
vulnerable to cold and pressure ; it, Medusa, would be the 
mortal one of the three and doomed to suffer. And yet it 
is owing to this mortality that she stands out so pre- 
eminently, and the most distinguished character of the age 
she lived in. That age,, as already pointed out, embraced 
much of the vaporous incandescent and all the fluid igneous 
down to the formation of a crust that barred in the central 
heat and ended for ever the self-luminous days of earth. 
Its natural sub-divisions, so far as regards the surface, would 
consequently be Incandescence, Sub-incandescence, and 
Non-incandescence. 

In the same way are we invited by the myths to consider 
Medusa under three consecutive aspects ; first, as a beautiful 
maiden with golden locks ; secondly, as one with convulsed 
features and snaky tresses ; thirdly, as having been de- 
capitated. The consecutive aspects of Medusa and the 
consecutive stages of the orb's exterior are but the mytho- 
logical and scientific rendering of the same conditions. 

If we wish to form a conception of what our earth looked 
like in the first or incandescent stage, we have but to re- 
member that it was then self-luminous, and a sun like unto 
our own of to-day. It, our sun, consists in brief of a solid 
or liquid incandescent nucleus surrounded by an atmosphere 
of glowing vapour. This atmosphere embraces several 
distinct gaseous layers or envelopes of great depth, all of 
which consist of some form or other of elementary matter 
in a vaporous condition, and most of which are luminous. 
Such, then, was earth and such did it appear in palmy days 
long past. While the heat and light continued so abundant 
and intense, it would have no need or use of metal, metal- 
loid, or compound body ; with such a degree of light and 
heat no ram would fall, no cloud condense, and lif e with all 
its cares and troubles would not be. And so it would tran- 
quilly wend its destined path in space, a gloiving nucleus 
encircled by ringlet upon ringlet of luminous vapour, most 
glorious and conspicuous to be seen. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 139 

Is not this Medusa ? The beautiful Me'Souo-a or nucleus, 
who was famed in song and story for the golden ringlets she 
possessed in early youth ? 

What does Ovid say ? 

Clarissima forma 

Multorumque fuit spes invidiosa proconun, 
Ilia ; nee in tota conspeetior ulla capillis 
Pars fuit. Inveni, qui se vidisse referret. 

Met. IV. 794. 

Though beautiful us a whole, says the poet, still the 
charm that rendered her most conspicuous was the luminous 
rays or golden harvest of her head. 

Her destroyer, the cold-blooded son of Danae, never saw 
her in this stage. The wondrous curious robe of Nature's 
giving had been transformed sadly when Perseus set out 
upon his vengeful mission. Even Zeus himself, the sire of 
Perseus, was later born than Medusa, since there was 
certainly no life while incandescence was at its acme. Virgil 
alludes to this period and to its prevalent conditions : 

Ante Jovem nulli subigebant arva colon! : 
Nee signare qnidem, ant partiri liinite campum 
Pas erat ; in medium quserebant : ipsaque tellus 
Omnia liberius, nullo poscente, ferebat. Georg. I. 125. 

Ere dawn of life no hills pressed down tlie plains : 
To even shape or mark its range with bounds 
Was granted not : all things the centre sought : 
And earth itself, with none to say it nay, 
Continued sending forth too freely all. 

NOTES. 

1 coloni. The Greek KO\COVOS, " a hill," is Latinised by the poet. 

3 nee fas. The incandescent orb was undefined and vast. 
in rned. quaerebant. Gravitation was at work. 

4 Omnia liberius. As light and heat. 

We must expect that an age so important and so fascinat- 
ing as this would have a distinctive name assigned it in 
Mythology. It has. Under the title of "The Golden 
Age " it has been alluded to by many of the prose writers 
and has been written of in some form or other by most 
of the classic poets. Here is Ovid's description : 



140 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Aurea prima sata est zetas, quse vindice rnillo 
Sponte sua, sine lege fidem rectumque colebat. 
Pcena metusque aberant, nee verba minacia fixo 
JEre legebantur, nee supplex turba timebat 
5 Judicis ora sni, sed erant sine judice tuti. 

Nondum caesa suis, peregrinum ut viseret orbem, 
Montibus in liquidas pinus descenderat undas ; 
Nullaque mortales prseter sua litora ndrant. 
Nondum prsecipites cingebant oppida fossae : 

10 Non tuba directi, non aeris cornua flexi, 

Non galese, non eusis erant. Sine militis usu 
Mollia seeurse peragebant otia gentes. 
Ipsa quoque immunis rastroque intacta, nee ullis 
Saucia vomeribus per se dabat omnia tellus : 

15 Contentique cibis nullo cogente ereatis, 
Arbuteos fetus montanaque fraga legebant, 
Cornaque et in duris nserentia mora rubetis, 
Et quae deciderant patula Jovis arbore glandes. 
Ver erat asternum, placidique tepentibus auris 

20 Mulcebant zephyri natos sine semine flores. 
Mox etiam fruges tellus inarata ferebat, 
Nee renovatus ager gravidis canebat aristis : 
Mumina jam lactis, jam flumina nectaris ibant, 
Mavaque de viridi stillabant ilice mella. ^Met. I. 89-112. 

All glorious was tne first of ages sprung, 

That freely, wildly, none to say it nay, 

Its trust and course unswerving did pursue. 

Far off abided dreadful Doom and Care, 

(Nor tbreat'ning words were read in air on high, 

Nor feared its judge's looks a prostrate world,) 

But harmless both were those without the judge. 

As yet no clay, from its own mountains lashed, 

That it might visit an outlandish sphere, 

Had downward sunk into the liquid waves : 

And save those banks aught mortal none had known. 

As yet no fossils deep the ramparts girt, 

No tube of straight, no whorls of twisted mail, 

No helms, no swords there were ; their seed exempt 

Prom strife and care spent happy days of ease. 

Earth's self too, unconfined, untouched by brake, 

Gashed by no ploughs, gave naturally all. 

And nought compelling them, the close-packed seeds 

In the created fare were gathering 

The acrid vapours, alpine tuffs and grits, 

The berries clinging in the swelling red, 

And kernels fallen from life's opening tree. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 141 

'Twas constant spring ; and zephyrs softly licked 
With tepid blasts the seedless floss produced. 
Yet in the time to come that virgin earth 
Bore fruit of every nature, and the land 
That knew no tilth was hoar with teeming corn. 
But now the milky, now the nectar floods 
Kept rolling on, and from the humid vault 
The yellowed honey drops distilled alway. 

NOTES. 

1 vindice nullo. So Genesis ii. 5. " Andjevery plant of the field 
before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it 
grew : for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the 
earth, and there was not a man to till the ground." 

3 poena, metus. The equivalents of Virgil's " mortiferum bellum " 

and " labos," and both the Latin forms of the Greek /idpo? and 
Ktjp, the first-born of Nox. 

verba minacia. There were no clouds, portentous of storms : all 
was incandescent vapor. 

" Storms when I was young, 
"Would still pass o'er like nature's fitful fevers, 
And rendered all more wholesome. Now their rage, 
Sent thus unseasonably and profitless, 
Speaks like the threats of heaven." Maturin. 

4 turba. Our ' ' world " and the Latin twrba have the same meaning, 

that which is whirled round. 

5 tuti. Supply ' ' poena metusque " from line 3. 

7 pinus. The Greek irivos, " dirt, clay." There were no mountains, 
nothing to suffer denudation. Hence there was no clay to be 
carried to the bed of ocean (peregrinum orbem), and organic 
beings have no other habitats except the land and sea (praeter 
sua litora). 

9 fossae. There was no life ; therefore, no fossils. Ovid mentions 
in anticipation some of the fossils of Palaeozoic times, such as 
the Orthoceratites (cephalopods with straight shells), Lituites 
(cephalopods with spiral shells), and the Ganoids or mailed and 
sworded fishes. 
10 seris. So Gay : 

"We strip the lobster of his scarlet mail." 

12 securae se curse " apart from, or exempt from care." 

13 immunis. It had as yet no walls, no covering or crust; and 

there were no denuding (rastris'), nor upheaving (vomeribus) 
agencies : all was comparatively calm (ver erat seternum). 

14 per se dabat. Earth was freely parting with its light and heat. 

15 Contenti. Supply " gentes " from line 12. The seeds of matter, 

organic and inorganic, were packed closer together (contenti 
contineor) by the downward movements from the exterior. 



142 THE GODS OF OLD; 

16 Ovid has already made use of the terms arbwteoa foetus, fraga, and 

corna in his fable of " Polyphemus and Galatea," and in the 
sense mentioned here. 

17 mora dwrus means " swelling," just as duritice denotes " tumors, 

swellings," and is used in connection with mora " mulberries," 
to characterize the berry-like or blistered appearance of lava 
when rishig or swelling in the crater. " At the constantly, but 
quietly active volcano of Stromboli, the column of lava in the 
pipe may be watched slowly rising and falling with a slow 
rythmical movement. At every rise the surface of the lava 
swells up into blisters several feet in diameter, which by and 
by burst with a sharp explosion that makes the walls of the 
crater vibrate." Bncyc. Brit. 

20 sine semine flores. The efflorescence or vitreous scum that must 
have sometime formed on the molten surface. 

23 lactis. Even in the crater of Elauea the boiling lava is often 

observed to be at a white heat, indicating a temperature of 
2400 F. 

24 flava mella. The vapour in the upper regions was getting cooler 

and condensing into the first rain drops. 

ilice. Ovid Latinizes the Greek e\t| or e?Xi, " anything twisted 
or spiral ; a vault or arch " and hence applied to the twisted 
roots and spreading branches of the ilex or holm tree. 

SECT. 2. A DYnra-ouT SUIT. 

We must suppose thousands upon thousands of years to 
have rolled on ere next we gaze upon the Gorgon children 
of Phoreys and Ceto. It is now the sub-incandescent 
period, and its seons also are drawing to a close. We look 
for the two immortals and still behold them occupied, 
though not quite so actively as of yore, with their works, of 
transference and selection. Medusa too appears ; but ah ! 
how changed! Beauty, a troublous beauty is hers still, 
symmetry too, and the poetry of motion ; but twin snakes 
have coiled their folds around her head, and her crowning 
charm, those golden tresses that had made her once so 
conspicuously enchanting, are now transformed to a writh- 
ing, hissing mass of serpents ! What has brought about 
those horrors ? When Ovid wrote the concluding line of 
his Golden Age 

Mavaque de viridi stillabant ilice mella 
he pointed out the source and means. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 143 

Let us go back a little as to time. 

"WMle our orb was still incandescent and haughtily dis- 
missing from its domains one element after another, some 
of those that had been first rejected were plotting for a 
return to their native shores. Chilled in the distant climes 
to which they had been exiled, and ardently longing for 
more genial lands, the hydrogen and oxygen united their 
forces in the proportion of two to one, and for the first time 
in the history of matter was that combination formed which 
we call water. With the first drop that distilled above was 
the tocsin of rebellion sounded, boding irreparable mischief 
to the splendour and tranquillity of golden incandescence. 
Science has told us how the primal rain came down. Inch 
by inch it fought its way from the glacial regions of space. 
Beaten back as steam, it condensed its columns, reformed 
its ranks, and hurled itself again with redoubled vigour on 
the very layer of fiery vapour that had lately succeeded in 
repulsing it : that overcome, it attacked the next, and the 
next ; and so on, till it forced its way through every 
gaseous layer and every atmosphere that surrounded the 
nucleus of our globe. Here, too, was no cessation from the 
struggle between fire and water. The intruding drops, 
whether one by one, or massed in serried lines, were 
instantly rejected from the glowing surface and forced, 
seething, sputtering, and hissing, to retreat in volumes of 
dark vapour. Again did they advance, again retreat, till, in 
the words of Winchell, " the field between the cloud and 
earth was one stupendous scene of ebullition." 

The results must have been terrific. The descending 
rain, when beaten back as super-heated steam, would be 
in a condition to part readily with its elemental con- 
stituents ; and the oxygen and hydrogen uniting with the 
carbon, sulphur, phosphorus, nitrogen, sodium, potassium, 
and other elements that pervaded the gaseous layers, would 
cause a series of chemical combinations with the consequent 
explosions and deflagrations, such as it is impossible to 
picture. In our thunderstorms of to-day the gaseous 
nitrogen and oxygen are supposed to be combined by light- 



144 THE GODS OF OLD; 

ning and to produce the deadly nitric acid. No combina- 
tion that we know of would be impossible in those early 
days of earth when the descent of rain and ascent of heated 
vapour made an endless band with constant friction ; when 
such enormous volumes of steam generated electricity, and 
produced flash after flash of lightning to decompose, com- 
bine, and decompose again ; and when every element that 
we know of was contained in the atmosphere and thirsting 
for affinities. Imagination cannot paint too highly the 
horrors of this primeval day, nor the change produced in 
the once incandescent region that enveloped earth. The 
vast volumes of black, gray, and spotted vapour, that 
resulted from steam and chemical reactions, curled, 
writhed, and twisted into spiral folds ; they blotted out the 
heaven and shot forth every now and then tongues of fire 
and flame ; they dropped a thousand acrid, poisonous gases 
from their pores; all these and more, while thunders 
pealed, and while ever there was heard the hissing and the 
seething of the rain drops scorched to evaporation by the 
dreadful heat. 

What better comparison what other comparison can 
there be for this most astounding change in incandescence 
than that which is given to us in the Myths ? Can anything 
be more brief, more comprehensive, more vividly descrip- 
tive of the scene than to say that Medusa's golden locks 
were transformed to a mass of hideous, hissing, and 
envenomed snakes ? And why ? For the reason, the self- 
same reason which Science mentions, namely, that Neptune, 
the powerful god of water, made advances to Medusa, 
incandescent earth, and would not be denied. It may be 
said that it was Nereus, the primal rain, who came down. 
But it was not water in this form that caused such changes : 
it was steam, and Neptune represents water in all its 
forms. 

Ovid describes the past glories and present horrors of 
Medusean incandescence. Eequested by one of the chief- 
tains at the banquet-board of Gepheus, Perseus has told of 
that portion only of the Gorgon's history in which he 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 145 

himself so prominently figured. The poet continues 

thus : 

Ante expectation, tacuit tamen. Excipit unus 

Ex numero procerum, quserens, cur sola sororum. 

Gesserit alternis immixtos crinibua anguea. 

Hospes ait, ' ' Quoniam scitaris digna relatu, 
5 Accipe qusesiti causam. Clarissima forma 

Multorumque fuit spes invidiosa procorum 

Ula : Nee in tota conspectior ulla capillis 

Pars fuit. Inveni, qui se vidisse referret. 

Hanc pelagi rector templo vitiasse Minervse 
10 Dicitur. Aversa est et castos segide vultus 

Nata Jovis texit : neve hoc impune fuisset, 

Gorgoneuni crinem turpes mutavit in hydros." 

Met. IV. 790801. 

Yet nought he spoke of what had happed before. 
One of the nobles' train takes up the theme, 
Asking why she alone of all the three 
Bore snakes commingled with alternate locks. 
The guest replies, " Since things you wish to know 
Well worthy of being told, the reason hear. 
Most luminous in aspect once she was, 
And tantalizing hope of many flames : 
Yet all in all no other part was there 
More obvious than her ringlets to the view. 
I've met with one who said he saw herself. 
The ruler of the blue is rumoured wide 
To have denied her for Minerva's shrine. 
Backward, she shrunk, and o'er her features chaste 
The maid of Jove the mantling aegis drew : 
Nor yet was this without its load of care, 
To grimy snakes it changed the Gorgon hair. 

NOTES. 

8 se vidisse. Commotions in the luminous layers would cause 

openings whereby, as in the case of our own sun, those dark 
spots would be seen which we suppose to be portions of the 
orb's surface. 

9 templo Minervse. Minerva is the goddess of organised force, or 

organic force. Every change that occurred to earth tended 
towards fitting it as a habitation for organised beings. 
10 aversa est. Cooled by the onset of the rain, the earth contracted 
in its volume. As a general rule, all bodies passing from a 
liquid to a solid state are diminished in size ; by one-tenth, it is 
said, in the case of molten metals. 

segide texit. The cooling caused by vapour and rain would induce 
. the elements to combine, to organise as it were. 
G.O. L 



146 THE GODS OF OLD; 

11 neve impune. But this same cooling and elementary combina- 

tion would cause also such dense fumes as would throw a pall 
of darkness around the globe. 

12 mutavit supply hoc from the preceding line. The use of 

"hydros" is very significant, as it means "water-snakes," that 
is, the grimy volumes of steam. 

SECT. 3. THE "CLOSING" SCENE. 

"We come to the last stage of Earth's eventful incan- 
descent history. Neptune had done his work and done it 
well. One by one he spoiled the luminous layers that 
graced its head ; one by one did he convulse every feature 
of that head itself. With all his bland and soft and 
sinuous ways, he, this water god, was a cruel wooer and 
tortured his victim to the very last. And if, perchance, he 
did show some pity once in a while, the blue-eyed virago 
sprung from the head of Jove, was ever at his side, 
whispering the magic word "organisation," telling him 
that the end justified the means, and spurring him with the 
hope that in the time to come he would be the sole ruler of 
three-fourths of earth's domain, and a mighty potentate over 
what was left. And so he continued harrying and lashing 
the still beautiful but doomed earth below, removing the 
whiteness from its brow, the blush from its cheeks, the 
carmine from its lips ; searing its very eyeballs till at last 
the light went out and the enforced darkness was a blessing, 
till the tears, " tears of vengeance, drops of liquid fire," 
that gushed apace were changed to viscous rheum which 
stained the once fair surface with scum and pus and filmy 
scoriaceous matter, the recrements of oxidation on the 
molten surface. Alas for incandescence ! The end has 
come, or nearly come, and "all the world's glory is but 
dross unclean." 

The description is not a fanciful one, nor overdrawn. It 
is the natural prologue to a more stable incrustation, and 
the only result that could accrue from cooling and tha 
downpour of the rain. 

The following quotations are interesting as serving to 
point out the general idea entertained of Earth's aspects at 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 147 

this stage of its existence. " In obedience to the law of 
thermal equilibrium a law which undoubtedly rose into 
being with the birth of matter the high temperature of 
the earth gradually subsided through radiation into 
external space. A crystallisation of the least fusible ele- 
ments and simple compounds eventually took place in the 
superficial portions of the molten mass. This process 
continued till a crystalline crust had been formed, resting 
upon the liquid mass which still constituted the chief bulk 
of the globe. . . . We may conclude, then, that a solid film 
began to form over the surface of the molten sea. But the 
earth was even then, as from the beginning, obedient to the 
law of axial rotation ; and the sun and moon reached forth 
with their attractive influences to solicit the mobile rocks 
into tidal elevations. As the wave pursued the moon 
around the earth, it daily ruptured the forming film, and 
only a wilderness of floating fragments remained, strewn 
over the surface of the fiery abyss." Winchell. 

Bonney, writing on the same topic^ says that the Earth 
would contract in cooling ; that the strain produced by this 
change in volume, aided as it would be by the pressure of 
imprisoned vapours and by the tidal waves of the molten sea 
beneath, would again and again rend and shatter the 
primal filmy covering into innumerable fragments; and 
that " as the crust would be heavier than the fluid on which 
it had formed, those fragments might be engulfed and 
perhaps again melted down; or, as the fluid would be 
already in a viscous condition and the difference in specific 
gravity would not be great, the fragments would very 
probably continue to float." 

Figuier writes in the same strain : " Those glacial regions 
which would be traversed in its course by the glowing 
incandescent globe, would necessarily cool it step by step ; 
at first, superficially, when it would take a pasty consistency. 
Nor must it be forgotten that the earth in its liquid state 
would be obedient in all its mass to the action of flux and 
reflux which proceeds from the attraction of the sun and 
moon, but to which the sea alone is now subject. This 

L 2 



148 THE GODS OF OLD; 

action, to which all liquid and movable molecules are subject, 
would singularly accelerate the preludes to solidification in 
the terrestrial mass : it would thus gradually assume that 
sort of consistence which iron attains when it is first with- 
drawn from the furnace for puddling. In its cooling 
process beds or strata of a concrete substance would be 
produced, which, floating at first in isolated masses on the 
surface of the semifluid matter, would float together, con- 
solidate, and form continuous banks such as we now see 
icebergs form on the shores of the Polar Seas ; and finally, 
when washed by the agitation of the waves, the masses 
would coalesce and form banks more or less movable." 

Now, exactly the same conditions are presented to us in 
the myths when we view the Gorgons under their most 
dreadful aspects. Moating on and above the nucleus of 
the globe there would be a wilderness of fine metallic 
particles, some of them washed down from the lower layers 
of the atmosphere whither they had been raised ages before 
in the gaseous state, more of them driven up from the 
elemental crust by the still radiating heat and by the burst- 
ing fires below : such would be the scales of dragons that 
surrounded the Gorgons' heads. Again, the eruptive 
agencies and corroding gases that unceasingly bit into and 
ripped open each newly forming crust with gaping wounds, 
huge chasms, and crevasses, are mythologically rendered 
as enormous teeth ; the fragments, of metallic or other 
nature into which the crust was shattered and which would 
partly float and partly sink in the molten mass, would be 
the brazen hands stretching out, as it were, to grasp their 
fellow fragments with a warmth that tended to combine and 
cement the bonds of union ; and the wild bursts of vivid 
flame and fire, that shot up continuously and traversed 
earth's whole surface, were the golden wings with which 
the Gorgons flew. As for their petrifying qualities, there 
is nothing more absolutely certain. The Gorgons were the 
stone-makers of the world ; by them the molten surface 
was changed to a covering that, however filmy, was still 
rock ; by them was that film shattered, re-cemented, and 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 149 

strengthened ; by them was the process repeated again and 
again till finally the entire superficies of earth's expanse 
all that had been daring enough to Ken or have knowledge 
of the Gorgon sisters was transformed to solid stone, was 
petrified. 

The elementary and fragmentary nature of the primal 
covering is well pointed out by Hesiod in his description of 
the Shield of Hercules : 

ev Se \ififjv evopfjios dfj,aifiaKeTOU> da\da-(rr)s 
KVK\.orep^s erervKTO irave<f>dov KcurcriTepoio, 
K\vo[ifvca tfceXos' TroXXot ye p.ev ap peirov avrov 
de\(j)Ives rg Kai rfj edvveov l^dvdovres, 
vrixpfievois oceXot' Sotol 8' ava(pv(ri6cavTs 
dpyvpeoi 8e\(p?ves e<poira>v eXXojras r^tfCs. 
rav ' VTTO xdXxeioi rpeov l%6ves' aura/3 fir' dicrats 
rjcrro dvr/p dXteis SeSoK^ei/os* f'X e ^ j^epo'ti' 

V dn<pij3\i]crTpov, cnrappfyoim eoiKms. 207. 



And in it, out of all-fused metal ore, 

Was fasMoned, rounded as to shape and like 

To what's washed over by the waves, a port, 

The refuge safe of the resistless sea. 

And in its midst indeed roamed wildly round, 

Like gliding fish, a wilderness of white 

Metallic fragments ; like to swimming ones, 

Bobbing in it as in to-day's, they rushed ; 

And both were blowing. "Underneath them shook 

Eishes of metal red. But on the heights 

Sat Man, the fisher, waiting for his time ; 

And in his hands, as if about to cast, 

A net for all the fishes did he grasp. 

NOTES. 

v. The bed of ocean. 
rri KQI TJ/. In that molten sea of fire the fragmentary materials of 
the crust roamed and bobbed up and down, just as dolphins do 
when disporting in this of to-day's. 
dva(j>vcri6a>vTs. Those fragments spurted forth gases, as our whales 

and dolphins spurt water. 

dpyvpeoi. The fragments at a white heat would float on the surface; 
those at a red heat (^oXicetoi), being cooler and denser, would 
sink more or less below. 

eV aKTols. Winchell, writing of the Primary Period, makes use 
of the same figurative language : " The generations of men 
yet slumbered in the chambers of futurity. The order of 



150 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Providence had assigned them their position in the grand pro- 
cession of life which was now beginning to move, and the 
scouts of which had passed by in the preceding age ; but we 
must wait for Man till a long line of grotesque and marvellous 
forms has marched before our view." 

This entire period of Earth's existence was an eventful 
one and graced by the presence of many an important 
personage. In those days flourished Ixion, whose very 
name identifies him with the (tfo's) viscous or pasty 
condition of the surface, and whose foolish love for a 
phantom crust condemned him to the interior of that 
circling orb over whose exterior he once held sway. Now 
began the memorable contest between the Centaurs and 
the Lapithse that lasted in a general way till the central 
forces of our Earth, overcome by the external lapidifying 
ones, were forced to leave the plains and take refuge in the 
mountain heights. Now lived Acrisius and his daughter 
Danae ; now, too, was born Perseus who made history for 
himself by decapitating Medusa, by ending thus for ever 
the incandescent days of Earth. 

Those two expressions are evidently identical, and as 
the latter could only be thoroughly accomplished by the 
formation of a solid crust all round the globe, the decapita- 
tion of the Gorgon must imply the same. Her trunk 
pointed down towards the centre ; her head was on a level 
with the surface : it was that head, that now half -molten 
surface, which Perseus was commissioned to cut off. How 
the deed was accomplished we proceed to explain as best 
we may. 

The quotations lately given have left the surface of the 
globe in the condition of an archipelago of fragments 
floating, at various depths it may be, upon the still molten 
mass beneath. " In due time," writes Winchell, " let us 
be liberal in our concessions of time the rocking and 
jostling fragments became permanently frozen together, 
as the broken ice of Arctic Seas, after being worried 
by winds and currents, seizes an interval of calm to 
consolidate into a vast and rugged floe. So the rock-floe 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 151 

of this fiery ocean formed at length a bridge of rough and 
sturdy strength." 

" The masses would coalesce," says Figuier, " and 
form banks more or less movable. By extending this 
phenomenon to the whole surface of the globe, the total 
solidification of its surface would be produced. A solid 
but still thin and fragile crust would thus surround the 
whole earth, enclosing entirely its liquid interior." 

The inference drawn from these passages is that a 
freezing process, or cold, was a prime factor in the total 
solidification. Another, atmospheric pressure, is alluded 
to by Bonney. Assuming, he argues, that the molten 
surface would be at the same temperature, not less than 
2,000 F., which lava has when first emitted, it would 
then be at a white heat and no water could rest upon it. 
"The drops of boiling rain," he goes on to say, " would 
be rejected hissing from the uncongenial surface. But 
what would this mean? If the present ocean were 
converted into vapour, the weight of the atmosphere would 
be augmented by that of a shell of water of the area of 
the globe and two miles in thickness or in other words, 
the atmospheric pressure would be then about three 
hundred and fifty times its present amount. If so, even a 
lava flow would consolidate under a pressure equivalent 
to that of some 4,000 ft. of average rock ; it would be like 
an intrusive sill for nearly three-fourths of a mile below 
the surface ; but the cooling would be slower because the 
temperature of the atmosphere would be far higher than 
that of the earth is now, and for long has been, at this 
depth." 

When now we turn to the mythological account we find 
that these two agencies, cold and pressure, are embodied 
in the one term, Perseus. The word seems to be connected 
with TtfpOo), " to waste, destroy, carry off as plunder," and 
through it with Trpq&o, " to blow, to swell," and Trpqonjp, 
" a violent wind." The radical of all these is <pe'p&>, " to 
bear " as a load, and with the collateral notion of motion 
" to carry off ; " also, " to rush, to be borne violently along," 



152 THE GODS OF OLD; 

as seen in the cognate <opeco. As -n and $ are interchange- 
able, ITepcreus is derivable from this <<fpw, and would thus 
be connected with "bearing" and "motion" in any 
direction, that is, with "pressure and wind." A simpler 
derivation, irepi o-ewo, " rushing all round," will give the 
same idea of a cold ivind or wave. It is certainly under 
this aspect of a cold wind or wave that we find Perseus 
alluded to by the poets as a rule. The epithets, celer, 
ferox, penniger, prsepes, alatus, &c. applied to him are 
distinctive enough in their way. 



avTos de oTrevdovri KOI eppiyovrt 
Hepcrevs Aavatdrjs eriraivero. Shield. 228. 
Gorgonis anguicomse Perseus superator, et alls 
.ZEtherias ausus jactatis ire per auras. Ov. Met. IV. 699. 

The same inference can be drawn from every other 
Greek and Latin quotation bearing upon Perseus, and 
is strikingly confirmed by what Horace writes in his 
Satires, I. 7. A cursory examination of this particular 
satire tends to show that all the characters and names of 
places mentioned are fictitious, and that there is no proof 
whatever of Hex Eupilius, Persius, the Sisennse and the 
Barri having been living personages. If, however, we 
consider the names as Greek words " slightly twisted " so 
as to suit the Latin (a privilege the poet is so particular in 
claiming in his Ars Poetica), we shall find that the motive, 
or one of the motives, of the piece is the formation of a 
crust upon our globe. 

Prescript! Eegis Eupili pus atque venenum 
Hybrida quo pacto sit Persius uitus, opinor 
Omnibus et lippis notum et tonsoribus esse. 
Persius Lie permagna negotia dives habebat 
5 Clazomenis, etiam lites cum P^ege molestas ; 

Durus homo atque odio qui posset vincere Begem, 
Confidens tumidusque, adeo sermonis amari, 
Sisennas, Barros ut equis praecurreret albis. 
Ad Begem redeo. Postquam nihil inter utrumque 
10 Convenit : (hoc etenim sunt omnes jure molesti, 
Q,uo fortes, quibus adyersum bellum incidit ; inter 
Hectora Priamiden animosum atque inter Achillem 
Ira fuifc capitalis, ut ultima divideret mors, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 153 

Non aliam ob causam, nisi quod virtus in utroque 
15 Summa f uit ; duo si discordia vexet inertes, 

Aut si disparibus bellum incidat, ut Diomedi 

Gum Lycio Glauco, discedat pigrior, ultro 

Muneribus missis), Bruto prsetore tenente 

Ditem Asiam, Bupili et Persl par pugnat, uti non 
20 Oompositum meliua cum Bitho Bacchius. In. jus 

Acres procurrunt, magnum spectaculum uterque. 

Persius exponit causam ; ridetur ab omni 

Conventu ; laudat Brutum laudatque cohortem, 

Solem Asise Brutum appellat, stellasque salubres 
25 Appellat comites, excepto Rege ; canem ilium, 

Invisum agricolis sidus, venisse. Ruebat, 

Mumen. ut hybernum, fertur quo rara securis. 

Turn Prsenestinus salso multoque fluenti 

Expressa arbusto regerit convicia, durus 
30 Vindemiator et invictus, cui ssepe viator 

Cessisset, magna compellans voce cucullum. 

At Q-rsecus, postquam est Italo perfusus aceto, 

Persius exclamat, ' ' Per magnos, Brute, Deos te 

Oro, qui reges consueris tollere, cur non 
35 Hunc Eegem jugulas ? Operum hoc, milii crede, tuorum est. 

To trimmers all and blear-eyed, I should say 

'Tis known how mongrel Perseus had a rod 

In pickle for the pus and virus of 

That outlawed regent, ycleped Purblind Fire. 

This Perseus, who himself could draw a draft 

Ad lib., had much to do with blusterers, 

And troublous quarrels with the regent too ; 

A hardy fellow who in bitterness 

Could beat the regent, reckless, puffed with airs, 

Of breath so cutting that he could outstrip 

Loud-rumbling earthquakes on his coursers gray. 

Back to the regent go we. After nought 

Between them intervenes, (since brawlers all 

Are in this same dilemma as the brave 

For whom the tide of battle comes to pass ; 

Between the boastful Hector, Priam's son, 

And 'tween Achilles was there wrath, so great 

That death should end at last, for reason none 

Save that in each was bravery supreme ; 

But if two laggards discord vexes, or 

If war breaks out between an ill-matched pair, 

As Diomed with Lycian Glaucus, then 

The more faint-hearted of the two must yield, 

With bribes thrown in for grace,) the ample earth 

Being governed by brute matter as its lord, 



154 THE GODS OF OLD; 

The even fight begins of Purblind Ere 
And Perseus, so that better matched was not 
Bithus with Bacchius. To viscous paste 
The edges run, a wondrous sight the two. 
His motive Perseus shows ; by all the pack 
He flouted is ; brute matter it exalts ; 
The crowd too it exalts ; a sun it styles 
The earth's brute matter, calls the adjuncts all, 
Outside the regent, healthy ornaments ; 
Perseus himself, a hound for having come 
A blast distasteful to the toilers all. 

Like a cold wave, wherewith a fine-edged axe 
Is borne, did he rush. Then headlong stretched, 
This bold, undaunted stripper of the vines 
To whom had yielded oft the wayfarer 
With voice stentorian railing at his cowl, 
Flings right behind him all the filth expressed 
From the salt, molten nursery below. 
But when well-drenched with verjuice strong he is, 
This Perseus volatile cries out aloud, 
" O matter brute, whose wont it will have been 
To make away with kings, those powerful gods, 
"Why do you butcher not this king, I pray ? 
This is, believe me, worthy of your pains. 

NOTES. 

1 Regis. "Rex" is the Latin form of the Greek Me'Sovo-a, " a ruler." 
Rupili. Rupilius is but the transposed form of jrvp/XXos, that is, 

(irvp iXXos) ' ' fire half blinded," and denotes the half-molten, 
half-filmy nature of the earth's exterior covering. 

2 hybrida. Perseus was the offspring of dissimilars, namely, of Zeus 

or life, and of Danae (85 wito) "the floating earth," or the 
floating fragmentary surface. 

3 lippis tonsoribus. He alludes to the scum forming on the surface, 

and to the manner in which the exterior was clipped or trimmed 
by Perseus. 

5 Clazomenis. KXafto, "to make a loud noise; to rush" like the 
winds, " to clash or rattle " like fragments. 

6-8. These three lines are strikingly illustrative of a cold, bitter, 
violent, and impetuous wind. 

8 Sisennas, Barros. "Sisennas" is but a transposition of ewoais, 
"shaking, quaking." "Sisennas Barros" is really but one 
word, and the Latinized form of ewocreis fiapfias, a phrase used 
by Hesiod in his Titanomachia, " evoo-is 8' IKOVC /3apeta Tdprapov 
Tjfpoevra." It is worthy of note also that there is no copulative 
between the two words in the Latin text. 

The vibrations of some powerful earthquakes have been 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 155 

known to traverse half a hemisphere. During the famous 
Lisbon one in 1755, many of the lakes in central and north- 
western Europe were affected to the extent of raising waves 2 
or 3 feet above their usual level. 

9 nihil. When, after having come from the glacial regions of the 
Poles, there was no intervening space between the action of the 
cold and the debris on the molten surface. 

Horace plunges in medias res, and brings Perseus face to face 
with the Gorgon. 

10 hoc jure. It is only when combatants, whether brave or 
cowardly, do come face to face, that results follow. 

18 Bruto. Indus, " senseless, brute matter." The Greek equivalent 

PpvTos, "fermented liquor," points out the active internal 
motion of the molten mass that still ruled over the entire globe. 

19 Asiam. The Greek ala, "earth"; so too, we find omcrdev for 

omdev, M&a for MoStra, oppaov for opp-atrov, &c. 

21 acres. The sharpened ends ; aKpis, " the extremity." 

22 exponit. If two pieces of ice have their surfaces moist, and if the 

temperature be 32 E., they will freeze solidly together, when 
their edges are brought in contact. This process is known as 
Eegelation, and it or some process akin to it, as the welding of 
metals, has been assigned by modern science, as well as by 
Horace, as efficacious in uniting and consolidating the fragments 
of the primal crust. 

23 laudat. The word brings to mind the surging of the nery mass. 

24 Solem Brutum. There was still intense heat, intense enough for 

light, in the entire mass, except the surface (excepto Bege) which 
the fragmentary scum had reduced to a purblind condition 
(Eupill). 

26 Euebat. The preceding word venisse ends the criticism of the 

conventus. Perseus now proceeds to complete his work of 
consolidation. 

27 flumen ut hibernum. This idea of " a cold wave " is in striking 

conformity with the modern theory that our earth has under- 
gone many lengthened periods of heat and cold during its long 
existence, and that the historic Glacial Period was but the last 
of many that preceded it. According to Dr. Croll there is a 
great climatic change for each hemisphere every 10,000 years 
or so. If we divide this length of time into the millions of 
years occupied by the earth in its change from incandescence 
to non-incandescence, there will be quite a respectable quotient. 
So that our orb, while impervious in a degree to the earliest 
glacial cycles, owing to its intense heat and light, would feel 
perceptibly the latest one when the heat and light were on the 
wane. 

28 Praenestinus. A composition of irp^vijs TEIWB " stretched out head- 

foremost." 



156 THE GODS OF OLD; 

29 regent. The wind, like a cyclone, carried off all the flame, sparks, 

and lighter refuse from the surface over which it rushed, 
arbusto. A common simile with writers is to compare earth at 
this time to a " furnace " : Horace compares it to a " nursery," 
where seeds are planted for future growth. 

30 cui saepe viator &c. This description of how in after ages the 

wayfaring traveller -would often have his hat or cowl torn from 
his head by the same " stripper " is enough of itself to establish 
Perseus as a bitter, violent wind. 

32 Grsecus. " After the fashion of a Greek, fickle, volatile." Hence 

the use of "Italo" in opposition to Grsecus, to denote "that 
which is steadfast, strong." The corrosive gases and deadly 
combinations in the atmosphere are denoted by Italo aceto. 

33 per magnos. One word, permagnos. 

His identity being thus established, we can have no 
hesitation in believing Perseus as the one potential agent 
to whom was entrusted the freezing or regelation of the 
fragments, edge to edge, and the consolidation of the whole 
as a crust for our globe. This, as already noticed, is the 
most feasible solution of the problem according to modern 
theories, and Horace is close in touch with science when he 
says " in jus acres procurrunt " ; and then, after a period of 
tumultuous rocking, jostling, and surging, "ruebat, flumen 
ut hibernum, fertur quo rara securis." Other writers, 
while not committing themselves so notably as Horace does, 
to the precise way in which a crust was formed, are equally 
pronounced in pointing to Perseus as a cold wind or wave 
that came from the glacial regions after a fashion some- 
what similar to that of the great polar current of air towards 
the equatorial regions of to-day. Ovid describes the event 
in his Metamorphoses. While the wine is going round at 
the festive board of Cepheus, Lyncides at the request of 
Perseus gives the hero some general information about the 
manners and habits of the Ethiopians. Then 

Qui simul edocuit "Nunc, o fortissimo," disit 
"Eare precor, Perseu, quanta virtute, quibusque 
Artibus abstuleris crinita draconibus ora." 
Narrat Agenorides gelido sub Atlante jacentem 
5 Esse locum solidse tutum munimine molis, 
Cujus in introitu geminas habitasse sorores 
Phorcydas, unius partitas luminis usum : 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 157 

Id se sollerti furtim, dura traditur, astu 
Subposita cepisse manu : perque abdita longe 

10 Deviaque et- silvis horrentia saxa fragosis 

Gorgoneas tetigisse domos : passimque per agros 
Perque vias vidisse liominuia simulacra ferarumque 
In silicem ex ipsis visa conversa Medusa : 
Se tamen horrendse clipei, quod Iseva gerebat 

15 Aere repercusso formam aspexisse Medusse : 

Dumque gravis somnus colubrasque ipsamque tenebat, 
Eripuisse caput collo : pennisque fugacem 
Pegason et fratrem, matris de sanguine natos 
Addidit, et longi non falsa pericula cursus : 

20 Q.UE9 freta, quas terras sub se vidisset ab alto, 

Et quse jactatis tetigisset sidera pennis. Met. IV. 769 789. 

When what was asked for had been told, he said, 
"Now, prithee, Perseus, bravest of the brave, 
Gome tell us with what force and by what means 
Thou did'st remove the dragon-crested face." 
Th' Agenor-sprung begins, and tells how lies 
A place 'neath chilly Atlas, guarded well 
By natural bulwark of the mass entire ; 
How in the entrance sisters two there dwelt, 
From Phorcys sprung, who shared a single eye ; 
How this, while furtive in the welkin passed, 
He took with dex'trous hand placed underneath : 
And how he reached the Gorgon dwellings, rocks 
Far, far remote, straggling, and quaking all 
With jarring fragments ; and how everywhere 
Through suburbs wide and passage ways he saw 
The simulacra of wild beasts and men 
Changed, like for like, to quartz by Gorgon ken : 
How, still, the orb's, the rough Medusa's shape 
He gazed on in deflected air, because 
She eastward bore ; and. how while slumber deep 
The snakes and her possessed, he sheared her head. 
Of the winged Pegasus and Geryon, 
Sprung from the mother's blood, he also told ; 
Th' unvarnished ventures of his own long flight, 
What floods, what fields beneath he saw on high, 
And to what heights his outspread wings drew nigh. 

NOTES. 

4 9. The wind came from the chilly Arctic regions, says Ovid, and, 
as being heavier, slipped under (supposita manu) the Cirri, the 
highest (cujus in introitu) and coldest of the clouds; from these, 
through compression and superior dryness, it removed the con- 
densation and cold whereby they were rendered visible. 



158 THE GODS OF OLD; 

1 unius luminis. The poet does not make mention of the " tooth," 
for the reason, it is to be supposed, that cold will also produce 
condensation. 

8 astu. The Greek aim usually denotes "the upper town," and 

Ovid applies it to the upper heavens. 

9 per longe. One word, perlonge, like the permagnos of Horace. 

10 silvis. ' ' Stock, or plenty of matter: matter brought together " 
is one of the recognised meanings of this word. The fragments 
were to the molten surface what the trees are to woodland. 

12 simulacra in silicem. The floating fragments were, according to 

Ovid, of a siliceous, quartzose, or flinty nature. Silica is one of 
the main constituents of the granite and fundamental rocks, 
from the crumbling of which the earthy matter of man and 
other organised beings is composed. 

13 ex ipsis. "According to themselves, like for like." 

visa. The Latin video, Greek e*8a>, and English "ken," imply 
not alone "to see," but also "to know., to have knowledge of, 
to have close connection with." 

" And Adam knew Eve his wife." Gen. iv. 1. 

14 horrenda. " rough " from inequalities on the surface, and rough 

from the jarring, jostling, and din of the floating fragments, 
clipei. This and " horrendse Medusse" are in apposition. 

The force and meaning of the lines will be better understood 
by remembering how the great polar atmospheric current is said 
to behave when arriving at the equatorial regions. Owing to 
the earth's revolution round its axis from west to east in 24 
hours, there is for objects on its surface a constantly diminish- 
ing velocity from the maximum of about 1,000 miles an hour on 
the equator to 860 miles at latitude 30, 500 at 60, and so on till 
we reach the poles, where the velocity is nothing. 

" From this it follows that a wind blowing along the earth's 
surface in the direction of the equator is constantly arriving at 
places which have a greater eastward velocity than itself. As 
the wind thus lags behind, these places come up, as it were, 
against it, the result being an east wind. Since, therefore, the 
wind north of the equator is under the influence of two forces 
one, the low pressure near the equator, drawing it southwards, 
and the other, the rotation of the earth, deflecting it eastwards 
it will, by the law of the composition of forces, take an inter- 
mediate direction, and blow from north-east. For the same 
reason, south of the equator, the south is deflected into a south- 
east wind." Encyc. Brit. 

It is this "lagging behind" or " beaten back" of the wind, 
as also its " deflection" from a north or south to a north-east 
or south-east wind, that Ovid marks by the term "aere 
repercusso." 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 159 

Iseva. "Medusa," the clypeus or orb of earth, is understood. 

Perrel, and before him Poisson, enunciated the general law 
that " in whatever direction a free-moving body passes along 
near the earth's surface, there is a force arising from the rota- 
tion of the earth upon its axis, which deflects it to the right in 
the northern hemisphere, to the left in the southern." 

The use of Icevus in Latin is ambiguous, astronomically 
applied, since it means "favourable" or "unfavourable," or 
right and left, according to the relative positions of augur and 
spectator. It is for this ambiguity that Ovid uses the word, so 
that it might apply to either hemisphere. 

16 gravis somnus. The wind arrived at an opportune time, when 
the surging billows of fire were comparatively at rest. 

In his Theogony, Hesiod simply says : " Perseus cut off 
her head," /ce^aX?^ aTreSei/soroYwjo-ei'. But in his " Shield " 
we are presented with the following vivid picture of the 
hero, armed cap-a-pie, and flushed with the triumph of his 
deed : 

ev S' rjv TjVKOfjLov Aawnjy TCKOS, tmrora Uepcrevf, 
OVT (ip 1 eiwjravaiv craKfos irotriv otW e/cas avrov, 
6avfj.a fteya cppda'O'aa'8' fTTfl ovdapg foTTjpiKro. 
TOJS yap p.iv TrdXdp.ais rev^e K^VTOS 'Afi(j)iyvrjeis. 
5 xputreos' dfixpl 8e Trocrcrii/ e^e Trrepoevra 
&JJLOKTIV de [uv dp.<f)l fie\dv8frov aop eKfiro 
XdXieeov fK re\a/j.S>vos' 6 S' wore v6r]fj.' 
irav 8e fierd<ppfvov et^e Kaprj deivolo irehdipov, 
Topyovs' dp,<pl de [JLIV Kiftuns 6le, davfia Idea-dai, 
10 dpyvpei}' dviravot, de KaTgcapevvro (paeivot, 
Xpvffeioi' beiyy Se trepl KpoTacpoitriv avaKros 
Kelr' "At'Sor Kvverj WKTOS d<j)o!' alvov e^ovo-a. 
avros Se <nrevdovTi KCU eppiyovri eoiKias 
Hep(revs AovaiSrjs eTiraiKero. 216. 

And in it too was trim Danae's son, 

The rider Perseus, of a high degree, 

Nor touching with full pressure on the shield 

Nor yet far off from it, a wonder great 

To ponder deeply in the mind upon, 

Since nowhere fastened had he been ; for thus 

The fabricator shaped him with his hands. 

Winged sandals had he 'bout his feet ; a sword 

Keen-tempered, bare, and edged all round with black 

His shoulders graced ; and like a thought he flew. 

The space entire within his midriff held 

The horrible, convulsive Gorgon's head ; 

Encircling him all round there flashing ran, 



160 THE GODS OF OLD; 

A wonder to behold, impulsive force, 
And surface fringes crowding hung therefrom ; 
And round his brows lay Pluto's helmet dread ' 
That holds the fear-inspiring Hack of night. 
But Perseus' self, Danae's son, was stretched 
Like to one pressing, quivering with cold. 

NOTES. 

v. The word can be derived from rjvs, and KOJLUIO> or 
" well-plumed, well-equipped ; well put in order, well- 
adjusted." Danae, as the elementary covering, would fit the 
surface close, and be ready for future order and adjustment. 
In English, both ideas are best expressed by " trim." 

Mnrora. "The rider "of the wind. Aeronauts have travelled at 
the rate of a mile a minute in the upper regions when a speed 
of but a quarter of a mile was noted in the same interval of 
time below. What, then, must the astonishing speed be above, 
of a storm which travels on the surface at the rate of 100 miles 
an hour ? 

s. Used as a simile. Just as we say " golden drops " for 
rain, "a golden harvest" for wheat, "golden hair," in 
reference to the utility, worth, and colour of the metal, so does 
Hesiod apply the well-known characteristic of heaviness to the 
degree of pressure exercised by wind. 

irocriv, The word is evidently used after the same fashion as Kara 
jroSas, " with all the power of one's feet ; with full speed ; with 
full pressure." 

Gavpa i*.tya. The ordinary pressure of the atmosphere at the sea 
level is lolbs. on every square inch of surface. On a mass of 
ordinary size the pressure is consequently about 30,0001bs. : the 
weight of the whole atmosphere surrounding our globe has 
been computed to be equal to that of a globe of lead 60 miles in 
diameter. And yet, tiavpa pt-ya (ppdcraa-a-ff , the pressure is not 
inconveniently felt by either man or earth ! 

'A/i<tyuijeis. Ovid, when describing the winds, writes thus : 

"His quoque non passim mundi fabricator habendum 
Aera permisit." Met. 57. 



irrepoevra we'StXa. To denote the velocity, as aop in the following 
line denotes the keenness of the wind. 

" The wrathful winter hastening on apace, 
"With blust'ring blasts had all ybared the treen, 

And old Saturnus with his frosty face 

With chilling cold had pierced the tender green." Dorset. 

dp-cfi /ieXavfisTov. All great storm winds are, as a rule, accompanied 
by a darkening band of clouds. "In a cyclone the broadest 
feature of weather is an area of rain about or rather somewhat 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 161 

in front of the centre, surrounded by a ring of cloud, outside 
which the sky is clear." Encyc. Brit. 
" So does Ovid say of Perseus 

" Nunc hue, nunc illuc, exemplo nubis aquosse 
Fertur." Met. IV. 622. 

7 x^ Kf01> - " Brazen, hard; well or keen tempered." 

8 fierd<ppevov. The literal meaning of the word is (p.era (ppevos) ' ' in 

the midst of the midriff." As an instance of the carrying 
power of wind the following is quoted from the Encyc. Br. : 
" The tornado which passed over Mount Cannel (Illinois), 
June 4, 1877, swept off the spire, vane, and gilded ball of the 
Methodist church, and carried them bodily 15 miles to north- 
eastward. The velocity of the ascending current which kept 
this heavy object suspended in the air for 15 or 20 miles must 
have been very great." 

9. Ki'j&crw. KIO> Qia, ' ' moving force," or as we say, " kinetic energy." 
In all extensive severe storms there is present a storm centre 
that has a progressive motion of its own, and a system of 
surface winds, some of which blow in towards the storm centre, 
while others move in outward spiral currents. The storm 
centre is the Kiftuns, and we find, in confirmation, the word 
written as KV$UTIS (K.VOS or yva fidivca), "moving in the centre or 
womb." The surface or visible currents are the " Bvtravoi 
(paeivoi" that crowd with pressure (xpiio-eioi) round the centre 
of the storm. 

Let us now refer to and review briefly the recital of the 
exploit as given by Apollodorus : 

Guided by fluxion (Mercury) and organised procedure 
(Minerva), the wind or cold wave conies from the glacial 
regions of arctic space. It is colder, and consequently drier 
and heavier, than the surrounding air. Owing to this 
heaviness it slips under the banks of clouds and steals from 
them through compression, and possibly in virtue of its own 
dryness and superior coldness, the condensation and the 
cold wherewith they digested their food and saw the light 
of heaven. Now since ascending currents of air are known 
to become moister with every degree of ascent, and descend- 
ing currents drier with every addition of descent, our cold 
wind would on going down become drier and colder, and 
would meet with ascending currents of different velocities 
and temperatures, whereby the processes of cloud-making 
would be again renewed, the latent heat would be liberated, 

G.O. M 



162 THE GODS OF OLD; 

and the temperature lowered. Its original characteristic 
thus resumed, it would acquire from the innate forces of 
the air for wind and weather have their own nymphal 
or innate laws, some of which we are not well cognisant of 
velocity, kinetic energy of a vorticose order, and the pall 
of gloom that ever bodes a storm. The last would crown 
its head ; the second would be its garment a bag of wind, 
as the historian says it is called in common parlance (7-171; 
Ki(3t(riv t rjv <f>acnv elvai Tt-qpav) ; the first would be placed most 
effectively on its lower extremities, as in its course from pole 
to equator the volocity would be more needed at the latter. 
Equipped with these and with the keen bitter blast 
derived from rapid motion, our wind, flying through the 
vapoury billows of the atmosphere, comes finally to the 
half molten, half scummy surface of our globe, and at an 
opportune moment when the raging fire and jostling frag- 
ments are in a comparatively tranquil condition. What 
followed ? Science has told the sequel ; Ovid and Horace 
have told their tale ; it is but right that Apollodorus should 
tell his and in his own tongue : 



fmcrras oSv avTais 6 Hepa-fvs Koificafievaif, 
rr)v X*ip a 'A6r)vas, aireirrpafji.fj.evos Kai 0\eira>v els a 
Xa\Kfjv, fit' 175 Trjv eiKova. TTJS Topyovos J3\e7rev, 
avrrjv. 2. 4. 2. 8. 



It is the self same story and the self same ending. Our 
bitter wind swooped over the molten fire and fragments 
while at rest, and prepared itself to give the final blow. 
Even then it might have failed were it not that the 
organised directress of nature, who presides as well over 
the composition of forces as she does of bodies, stayed his 
impetuous advance and guided his hand aright. The wind 
god changed his course from a direct to an indirect one, 
turned aside from north and south to north-east and south- 
east, and so of necessity viewed the reflection of his prey in 
the condensed orb of air (els ao-m'Sa ^a\Krjv), while he pro- 
ceeded with that work of regelation and consolidation which 
deprived the Gorgon of her head and robbed our globe for 
ever of its light. With the grisly head within its vorticose 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 163 

midriff, fche cold blast rushed onwards enveloped in dread 
darkness, while pursuing it from below there surged and 
spouted wave on wave of molten matter that had rent the 
tender crust. 

Through many other adventures and hazards did this 
Perseus, this " vindemiator," as Horace calls him, proceed; 
but no further shall we follow him for the present. "We 
need only remark that he kept the Gorgon's head for many 
a day till consolidation was secured by petrifaction. This 
accomplished, he with his spouse, Andromeda, retired to 
Tiryns where he still may be, for we have no record of his 
death. But previous to his retirement, he gave the sandals, 
kibisis, and helmet to Mercury, who, as Apollodorus tells 
us, " restored them to the nymphs, as being fore-ordained 
for them." 

'Epjtzijs [lev ovv TO. TTpoeipr]fj,eva iraXw djreScoKe Tats vvfufiais. 2. 4. 3. 7. 

The Gorgon's head he gave to Minerva, who placed it in 
her shield. It is there still. 

" Through knowledge we behold the world's creation, 

How in his cradle first he fostered was ; 
And judge of nature's cunning operation, 
How things she formed of a formless mass." Spencer. 

Science is the systematic and organised arrangement of 
knowledge ; and it is in the tomes and books and pamphlets, 
which science has arranged for shield, and called the 
Circle of the Sciences, that we behold this head, this 
light of other days. With this shield and this light has 
Science petrified its foes, and petrifies them still. It is the 
ayeAeta, the "virago," the driver of men, and has done 
yeoman service in the fight for progress. It has its darker 
side, however, begotten of the hydra-headed laws and 
canons with which the segis is equipped ; for Science is 
proverbially a cold goddess and an arbitrary, who frowns 
upon the ardent advances of a Vulcan, and looks askance at 
Eros when he comes too near : and then, as Young says, 

" Your learning, like the lunar beam, affords 
Light, but not heat ; it leaves you undevout, 
Frozen at heart, while speculation shines." 

M 2 



164 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Thus, then, ends this o'er-true narrative of Medusa. 

Earth's incandescence was gone for good and aye, and 
our orb became a planet a Lazarus dependent on the 
crumbs that fall from that greater orb for which it is no task 
to shine. 

The light had fled on high, and all that remained of the 
Gorgon was her warm trunk below. There, inforibus, did 
.ZEneas spy it when the Sibyl led the way to Hades. To the 
same region, but further in, did Ulysses penetrate, and 
thence, after beholding the wives and daughters and the 
sons of heroes dead and gone, after gazing undismayed on 
Tityus and Tantalus, Sisyphus, and the simulacrum of 
Hercules himself, thence he turned and fled in terror at 
the bare idea of seeing the Gorgon's head. There, too, does 
Science place it when it asserts that there is no fact more 
evident or more important than that the temperature 
invariably rises as we penetrate towards the centre, and at 
the average rate of 1 F. for every 50 ft. or 60 ft. of 
descent ; and that at the depth, it may be, of 100 miles 
below the surface, even the least fusible mineral masses 
may be in a state of incandescence. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 165 



CHAPTER XL 

THE MISSING GARMENT. 

Chrysaor. The first solid crust that covered the molten 
matter of our globe is interesting in many particulars. Its 
date, the length of time occupied in its formation, its mode 
of formation, whether it was formed in globo or in detached 
pieces, what portions of the globo were first encrusted, the 
nature of its materials, and its possible existence to-day, 
all these have been matter of much debate and curiosity. 

Eeason convinces us that there must have been a first 
crust; but all exploration has hitherto failed to find any 
indubitable traces of it. We have never got below the 
granite, and yet the strong belief is that this rock is not the 
primal crust. "Whether any relics," says Bonney, "of 
the Primeval Crust can still be recognised is a matter of 
conjecture." " The crust," writes Gunning, " which first 
hardened over a molten incandescent globe, nowhere 
appears : the oldest rocks are everywhere buried under 
their own ruins." 

This being so, all remarks as to the nature of its material 
must be more or less conjectural, the strong opinion, 
however, being that it must have been crystalline or 
crystallized in character. " The original crust may have 
been of a glassy character, like some of the vitreous lavas ; 
but whatever it was, no trace of it has ever been or is ever 
likely to be found." Encyc. Brit. Winchell has already 
mentioned the crystalline nature of Earth's first solid 
covering. He says further : " It was a mixed conglomerate 
of crystalline fragments, such as we now witness in some of 
the granites, which are mixtures of quartz, feldspar, and 
mica; or the syenites, which are mixtures of quartz, feld- 
spar, and hornblende ; or the diorites, which are mostly 
mixtures of feldspar and hornblende. Or, perchance, the 



166 THE GODS OF OLD; 

solidification took place under such circumstances that the 
crystallisation was more obscure, as in the various dolerites, 
which everyone admits to have been born of fire." 

The same doubt, of course greater, if possible rests 
over all the other points connected with it. Bonney says : 
" There is no evidence when the Earth first solidified that 
every part of its vaporous envelope was in a perfectly 
uniform condition, or the surface beneath completely 
homogeneous in composition and in state. Some parts of 
the exterior may have solidified before other parts, and the 
crust, when formed, may not have been as thick in some 
parts as in others. When the atmosphere had reached its 
present condition, if not before, the sun's heat must have 
had more effect in equatorial than in polar regions, so that 
the crust would stiffen and thicken rather more rapidly 
near the polar than near the equatorial region." 

Its probable mode of formation has been already pointed 
out ; its date was evidently subsequent to the termination of 
the incandescent period ; and the time taken to establish a 
solid crust, that would permanently hold its own over the 
molten fire below, is not known. 

The classic poets must have indulged in conjectures 
similar to our own as regards the first crust. Ovid intro- 
duces Perseus as flying over Libya, then he transports him 
to the Hesperian or Western hemisphere, and finally to 
J5thiopia. Eemembering that Perseus came first from 
places "gelido sub Atlante," Ovid would seem to imply 
that the Polar regions were first solidified, then the 
Temperate, and lastly the Equatorial. The same poet 
gives us also the idea of a vast length of time being 
involved in the solidifying process. Not to mention what 
elapsed later on, he speaks thus of Perseus immediately 
after his exploit and previous to his experience on the 
Hesperian shores : 

Inde per immensum. ventis discordibus actus 

Nunc Luc, nunc illuc, exemplo nubis aquosse 

Fertur, et ex alto seductas eethere longe 

Despectat terras, totumque supervolat orbem. 

Ter gelidas Arctos, ter Cancri brachia vidit : 

SsBpe sub occasus, ssepe est ablatus in ortus. Met. TV. 621. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 167 

We have also seen his use of " in silicem " as pointing 
out the quartzose or siliceous nature of the material 
constituting the crust. In view of incandescence heing cut 
off, no better material than silica can in one sense be 
imagined for the crust, since, as is well known, quartz 
intercepts light but transmits heat. Hesiod in his use of 
"vavtyOov Katra-iTepoio," Shield 208, seems to strengthen 
"Winchell's theory of a mixed crystalline conglomerate. 

Putting by, however, all more or less nebulous conjec- 
tures from either source, and coming down to facts, we find 
Science on the one hand asserting that there was a primal 
crust, that it sprang from incandescence, and that no 
vestiges of it have been found ; and Mythology, on the 
other hand, asserting that there was a Chrysaor, who 
sprang from Medusa, and who has not been seen by the eye 
of man for that is what Xpuo-dwp means (XP^S aopaw) " the 
unseen crust " (v and w being interchangeable, as in 
XeXvi'Tj for x e ^<6w?)- There is thus a complete accordance 
between the two. 

Let us digress a little here and say that, according to the 
mythological record, Life had long since come into being ; 
and not only life, but an organised life, too, that had 
sprung ready armed from the cloven head of Zeus, and that 
had assisted Neptune and Perseus in their onslaughts upon 
Medusa. We mention this principally for the reason that 
early text-books on geology deny the existence of life in 
Archaean time, owing to the absence of any fossil remains 
in the rocks of this period. It is well to notice, however, 
that a supposed fossil, the Eozoon, has been discovered of 
late ; and that, even apart from this, the general opinion 
of modern geologists trends to the belief that the mere non- 
discovery of fossils does not suppose their non-existence ; 
that in the primeval days of earth organised beings, suited 
to the conditions round them, may have flourished, the 
remains of which could be so transformed by heat and 
crystallisation as to render them totally unrecognisable. 
" As well," says Agassiz, " might we expect to find the 
e mains of fish, or shells, or crabs at the bottom of geysers 



168 THE GODS OF OLD; 

or of boiling springs, as on those early shores bathed by an 
ocean of which the heat must have been so intense." 
Anderson remarks, "A productive flora, then, may have 
existed from the earliest period, all traces of which may have 
been obliterated." 

The reign of Ghrysaor was a long one, a stormy, and 
undoubtedly a most important one for earth in several 
particulars. Many a geological incident and mythological 
story the two are inseparable are woven round it. Let 
us throw a flashlight on a few. 

. The newly- formed crust for which Life fought would here 
and there be shattered, ripped, and overflowed by the fires 
below, the intense heat of which would reduce the com- 
ponents of the crust, the water on it, and the air above it 
to their original molecules ; again would the crust solidify, 
and this time stronger than before ; again would it be 
reduced to molecularity ; and so on till consolidation was 
fully achieved, till the granite and the schists sealed up the 
fire, and the molecule-making forces were pent up below : 
those were the days when Gods and Titans fought for 
supreme sway, and faced one another for the final struggle ; 
when Zeus collected all those forces that we read of in 
order to put forth all that strength which finally ended in the 
defeat of the Titans and their precipitation into Tartarus. 

Sparse and poor, fungous and unicellular, must have 
been the life upon that early and fervid crust ; yet, such as 
it was, it was Life, the lord of creation, jealous of innova- 
tions, and quick to resent whatsoever revolutions threatened 
its dynasty, even though revolution meant progress : those 
were the days when Prometheus, the crafty son of lapetus, 
stole and concealed within a hollow narthex the far-seeing 
light of fire for the benefit of mortals. 

The crust, though often shattered, as we have seen, grew 
ever stronger and thicker till it finally succeeded in hiding 
the fire below, in cooling as to itself, and in growing more 
and more dependent on the sun for heat : those were the 
days when Zeus withdrew from mortals the fire which 
Prometheus had stolen. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 169 

That same crust which first enveloped earth and wit- 
nessed the dawn of life, is no longer visible ; it was bent 
and broken, upheaved, ground, denuded, and spread in 
finest particles over land and sea, so as to fashion the forma- 
tion that succeeded ; that too, after its long span, underwent 
the same mutations ; and so with the next and the next, 
and with each that followed, down to that particular forma- 
tion trodden by Adam, who was himself formed of the earth 
he trod on ; nothing has been added from above, and con- 
sequently the primeval crust of which we speak must, in 
whole or in part, have permeated every formation that 
followed in its wake ; those were the clays and this the 
Scythian or hidden (/ceu^co) rock to which, as some writers 
affirm, Prometheus was originally chained by Vulcan, and 
with which he was hurled to Tartarean depths, because he 
had offended Zeus. 

All these will be spoken of at more length in their proper 
place ; they are introduced here principally for the purpose 
of establishing what may be called Mythological Chronology, 
of inducing the belief that we must look to the primal 
crust and to the conditions under which it was formed, 
when endeavouring to explain some of the earliest and most 
interesting of the mythical characters and the historical 
garb with which they are invested. 

The myth describes Chrysaor as wedded to Callirrhoe 
(KoAAt-peco), " the beauteous flowing" daughter of Oceanus. 
It is even so, for next to confining the molten sea below, the 
most immediate and important function of the crust was to 
receive and cherish, for better and worse, the waters coming 
to it from the vaporous ocean above. " Just as soon," says 
Hooker, " as solidification took place on the surface of the 
great melted ball which once constituted our earth, a large 
part of the steam surrounding it was condensed into water, 
which of course fell in rain. At the same time, the form- 
ing crust, as is the case with all matter except water, in 
passing from the melted to the solid state, contracted, and 
this contraction crumpled it into folds, regular and irregular, 
and thus made channels and cavities for the water to run 



170 THE GODS OF OLD; 

and dash in. Water thus began that great work of denuda- 
tion which ... it has been carrying on ever since. 
From that denudation in this first age of the world was 
supplied material for the strata of the grand Azoic floor 
which covers up the fiery deeps within, and upon and against 
which the rocks of after ages were laid." 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 171 



CHAPTER XII. 

THE WINGED STEED. 

Pegasus. Chrysaor and Callirrhoe have come, the fiery 
furnace is being well-sealed, and an ocean of waters flows 
upon our globe. Prometheus, as an offset to the fire with- 
drawn, has stolen it from Helios, and the effects of the sun 
begin perceptibly to be felt. In what way ? In many 
heat, light, vivifying influences, but first and fore- 
most in what we call Evaporation, and Mythology calls 
Pegasus. With the first drop of water that rested on our 
globe was the process felt as vaporisation ; with the first 
rocky covering indeed, it may be said, that surrounded 
earth was it felt, for no substance that we know of, not ex- 
cluding even flint, is free from water. "Bocks," to quote 
the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "which have undoubtedly 
once been in a fluid or at least pasty condition, and which 
have been injected as veins and dykes into previously con- 
solidated masses, contain water imprisoned within their 
component crystals. This is not water which has been 
subsequently introduced. It is contained in minute cells, 
which it usually does not now completely fill, but which it 
no doubt did occupy completely at the time and temperature 
at which the rock was consolidated. ... In the solid 
crystals of lava which were erupted only recently, as well 
as in those of early geological periods, the presence of water 
in minute cavities may be readily detected. It is in the 
quartz of such rocks, and still more in that of granite, that 
the detection of water-cavities is most easily made. The 
quartz of granite is usually full of them." 

Coincident with the crust, then, would vapour spring 
heavenward from the surface ; and the process that com- 
menced when incandescence ended has never ceased. 



372 THE GODS OF OLD; 

It never returns ; it is always the rain, or snow, or hail 
that leaves ethereal mansions for our earth; it is the 
vapour that always leaves earth for heaven, the vapour that 
mounts its winged steed and flies upon the sunbeam to the 
heights above. This most prominent characteristic of 
vapour it was that gave Pegasus his name, ElTjyao-os, (/3?j yrjs, 
a and fi being interchangeable) " springing from the earth," 
and the same derivation evidently applies to Tnjy??, " a well 
or spring." 

At a high temperature water will boil and fly off as 
steam, or vapour : this is called Vaporisation, and implies 
rapid action and more or less artificial agency. At 
ordinary temperatures, at all seasons, in all climates, and 
from all kinds of matter, there is a slow natural process 
going on from the surfaces of bodies whereby vapour is 
raised up without ebullition or other disturbance of those 
bodies : this is called Evaporation, and everyone is familiar 
with the process. 

We see the outbursts of an immense volcano and are 
struck with the vast volumes of vapour that go curling 
upwards : we see the mist rising in the calm of a summer 
evening from the juicy flats and meadows, and rolling 
upwards, like an inundation, over the visible horizon. But 
immense though they be, they are puny in magnitude, 
artificial in nature, and mere darkeners of the sky when 
compared with the simple, quiet, diaphanous, and enormous 
mass of vapour raised daily and hourly by the force of 
Evaporation from land and sea alike. Mountain high and 
curling as it goes, a veritable Helicon (e'At), does this mass 
rise from off the surface of our globe, gladly responsive to 
the creative hymn. Higher and still higher does it go 
while the refrain goes on, and while still the heaven's blue 
is clear. Like an intellectual giant that soars to heights 
beyond the ken and range of wordy vaporers, so has it left 
far below ihe fog-producing and sulphur-reeking efforts of 
Pierian marsh-lands and volcanoes ; it has even dispersed 
their darksome fumes, and still goes up, up till the winged 
steed has lost some of his elastic vigour, till he grows thirsty 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 173 

and drinks his full. Then,, satiated with the delight of his 
own being, or influenced it may be by the friendly counsels 
of the water-god within, he rears with the joy of surfeit, 
stamps this Helicon of vapour with his hoof, stamps it to 
condensation, and straightway does a Hippocrene appear ! 
What is vapour, then, but the source, the Kp^vr] of every 
spring and well and Bandusian fount upon our globe ? All 
that it requires is the last kick, so to speak, of the elastic 
force which rides it, in order to become condensed to clouds 
and fall as rain and snow, which in their turn penetrate 
the crevices of earth and produce springs. The rivers are 
fed by springs, the springs by rain, rain by condensed vapour, 
which is thus the source or Hippocrene of all. 

There remains little else to be said except that Evapora- 
tion increases with the break of morn, hence has Pegasus 
been made the horse of Aurora ; and that it is generally 
believed to be a prime factor in the production of electricity 
in the atmosphere, as noticed carefully in the original 
myth. His special office as the horse of the Muses is of 
course but the intellectual adaptation of the physical 
meaning, and is graphically outlined thus by Pope : 

"A little learning is a dangerous thing; 
Drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring : 
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, 
And drinking largely sobers us again." 

Hesiod's account of the Gorgon sisters could not be 
suitably inserted previous to the present. By giving it 
now in conjunction with that of Chrysaor and Pegasus, the 
connection between incandescence and incrustation will be 
better marked. Having told how the Graise were sprung 
from Phorcys and Ceto, he continues as follows : 

Topyovs ff, at vaiavtri irepijv xXurov 'Qiceavoio, 
f(rx<iTii) irpos WKTOS, 1v 'EoTrept'Ses \iyv(pravoi, 
2detva> T lEvpvdXr} re MeSouo-a re Auypa iradovaa. 
TJ [Jifv erjv 6vT)T7), at ' ddavarot KOL dyf/pcp, 
5 at Svo' TT] 8e p.irj 7rapeXearo Kvaco^at'rj;? 
i> p.a\aKq) \eip.>vi (cat avdeiriv flapivoiffi. 
rijy S' ore 8^ Hepcrevs Kefpa^f/v arrf^eiporoptja-ev, 
fK0ope XpiKracop re peyas Kal Hr)ya<ros "iriros. 
TIB [lev oroji/u/icw qv, or' ap* 'StKeavov nepl 



174 THE GODS OF OLD; 



16 yevff ', 6 8' Sop xpvo-fuiv fX fv pera- 

Xa> fiev airoTrrdp.evos, 7rpo\nrcov xdova. prjTepa p.r)\a>v, 
liter' Eff a6a.va.Tovs' Zqvos 8* Iv 8&yia<ri vaifi, 

fBpOVTTIV T {TTfpOirqV TC <pfpO>V Alt p.t]Tl6eVTl. - TLfiOg. 274. 

The Gorgons too she bore, who dwell at large 

From sounding ocean to th' extreme of night 

Where the high-toned Hesperides are placed, 

Stheno, Euryale, Medusa too, 

The woe-distraught : immortal, undecayed, 

The former two ; mortal alone was she. 

With this one lay the ruler of the blue 

In the unwrinkled plain and early bloom. 

From her, when Perseus sheared her head, there sprang 

Chrysaor prime, and Pegasus the steed. 

Auspicious was the name for each, because 

One held a golden sword with out-stretched hands, 

The other rose from near the ocean's springs : 

Then taking wing arid soaring from the earth, 

The mother of all fruits, to Gods he came ; 

And dwells in halls of Zeus, delivering 

Thunder and lightning for the Life that plans. 

NOTES. 

vaiova-i. The great inner movements, or active agencies of seismic 
and volcanic disturbance extend all over our globe, or from the 
equatorial regions where ocean prevails to the poles. 

fcrxarifj. The Hesperides, as already explained, mark "the obscure 
or unknown " in all things. Geographically they would mean 
any portion of earth's surface not well known or altogether un- 
explored ; but the context points to these particular Hesperides 
as being the elevated polar regions (\iyv(pa>voi "high-toned, 
elevated ") where the extreme of darkness (ecr^a/ npbs WKTOS], 
six months of night each year, is experienced. 

KvavoxaiTTjs. The usual meaning assigned the word is "dark- 
haired " (KVOVOS x "" 7 ?) ! ^ u ^ Ovid, when describing the same 
incident, Met. IV". 798, says: 

" Hanc pelagi rector templo vitiasse Minervae 
Dicitur." 

So that "pelagi rector " would seem to be the Latin form for 
Kvavo^aiTTjs, the derivation of which would be KUO.VOS o^ea> or 
Kvavos e^ta " that which sustains, holds, or governs the KVO.VOS." 

What the " nvavos " really was is a matter of debate ; that it 
was of blue colour is generally conceded, and the application of 
" blue " to the sea (pelagi) by Ovid strengthens the opinion. 
/iaXa/c<5 " soft, smooth, unwrinkled." The wrinkles or corruga- 
tions were to come later on with the new -formed crust. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 175 

Ovid expresses the same idea in his Golden Age : 
"Ipsa quoque immunis rastroque intacta nee ullis 
Saucia vomeribus, per se dabat omnia tellus." 

avdea-tv elaptvoltri. Early in the incandescent period when Medusa 
had golden hair. Compare Ovid's lines in his Golden Age : 

" Ver erat se^ernum, placidique tepentibus auris 
Mulcebant Zephyri natos sine semine flores." 

Hesiod uses the same two words for "a wealth of hair" 
(Works and Days, 75). 

8 peyas. " Great" in the sense of prime or first. So do we say " a 

prime scholar," "the prime of manhood," "prime numbers." 

9 eirawpov. The word shows that injyri and X/JTJO-OI> Sop are not to be 

considered as the radicals of Pergasus and Chrysaor ; rather as 
fortuitous resemblances, as in the case of the Cyclopes. 

10 Sop xpva-eiov. "What," says Hutchinson, " is the source of the 

gold and silver and other metals found in mineral veins? This 
question cannot as yet be fully answered. Some geologists 
look upon the sea as the source, since small quantities of 
various metals are found in sea-water. But it is possible that 
the source is far .down below in the depths of earth, and that 
by means of steam and highly-heated water during periods of 
volcanic activity, they were erupted and injected into fissures 
in the crust." 

Xpcrt. It has been remarked of metalliferous veins that they 
usually strike east and west. 



176 THE GODS OF OLD; 



CHAPTER XIII. 

HOW THE MOUNTAINS WERE "LIFTED." 

Geryon. Our continents in their present forms and 
dimensions are the finished work of a geologic yesterday. 
The Tertiary period looked on while Nature, with a skill 
begotten of long experience, was painting and finishing her 
work ; Post- tertiary times saw it when un draped and open 
for exhibition. It was not the first time that the artist had 
tried her hand at continent -making. Again and again in 
the ages previous to those mentioned had she put forth her 
efforts and placed the same on view : again and again had 
she looked upon her work with a critical and disapproving 
eye, and washed out the pigments from the canvas. Never 
from the first, though, could it be called a perfect tabula 
rasa, for some few outlines sketched with unerring hand 
always remained as evidence of her maiden trial and of 
the grand idea that she had formed in imagination. 

The picture sketched in sombre Silurian colours, erased, 
and reproduced in brighter Devonian reds, retained the 
master-lines of Archaic days ; so too did the chiaro-oscuro 
of the Carboniferous, the nondescript of the Permian, and 
the foamy white of the Cretaceous ; so did every other 
reproduction of the work, even to this the latest which we 
see to-day. Those germinal outlines are the mountain 
chains, the backbone around which our continents have 
grown bit by bit and shaped themselves to their present 
huge proportions. " Continents," says Winchell, " have 
been developed, like organisms, from their primeval germs. 
Geologic force, like vital force, operates always towards the 
accomplishment of some definite end. . . . The outline of 
the Continent was consequently marked out while yet in 
embryo. The foundations of the Alleghanies and Eocky 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 177 

mountains were laid ages before the superstructure rose 
above the waves." 

" The inference to be drawn from these facts is that the 
present continental regions, through many local oscillations, 
have existed as terrestrial ridges from a remote geological 
antiquity, and that the ocean basins in like manner have, 
on the whole, retained their identity. When the geologist 
asks himself how the present distribution of sea and land is 
to be accounted for, he finds that the answer to the question 
goes back to early Paleozoic times, whence he can in some 
cases trace the gradual growth of a continent downward 
through the long cycles of geologic time." Encyclopaedia 
Britannica. 

From the very beginning of our crust, therefore, was the 
plan of our continents laid down at the bottom of the ocean 
which embraced the globe, and this plan exhibited itself at 
first and for many a succeeding age in the form of terrestrial 
ridges that were occasionally elevated and again submerged 
as the years flew by. 

How those germs of continents came into existence is 
still somewhat of an unsolved problem. The most accepted 
opinion is that they originated in the corrugations or 
wrinkles into which the early crust was thrown, owing to 
unequal contraction on the part of the fluid interior and of 
the solid exterior. "In the process of refrigeration," 
writes Winehell, " the stiff ening crust would become too 
large for the nucleus within. This would necessarily result 
from the more rapid contraction of the more highly heated 
portions. If the solid and the molten portions suffered 
equal losses of heat, the molten, by shrinking the most, 
became too small for the enveloping crust. The crust 
therefore must wrinkle to fit the shrinking nucleus. Thus 
incipient inequalities of the surface began to appear : these 
were the germs of mountains and of continents. JProm a 
new-born wrinkle grew the lofty Cordilleras." 

In much the same fashion does writer after writer express 
himself, all agreeing on the one fact, however they may differ 
in non-essentials, that our continents date their existence 

G.O. N 



178 THE GODS OF OLD; 

from a primal crust surrounded by a world of waters. The 
same fact is enunciated in Mythology when it says that 
the three-headed Geryon was sprung from Chrysaor and 
Callirrhoe. The genealogy is plainly indicative of the date 
and origin. If name, epithets, description, and allusions 
count for aught, then there is evidence enough, and more 
than enough, to prove that Geryon is the personification of 
the beginning of our continents. The name alone, Tr)pv<av 
or Tr)pv6vr)s (yrj pvo)), " the wrinkling or corrugating force of 
earth," is enough in itself to bring conviction. The three 
heads and one body, or three bodies united together, as 
pictured by some, evidently refer to our continental areas 
according as we view them on the surface, or united 
together in the depths of earth. Mneas, when descending 
to Hades, saw Geryon in the latter aspect : 

Centauri in foribus stabulant, Scyllseque biform.es, 
Et centumgemiims Briareus, ac bellua Lernse 
Horrendum sfcridens, flammisque armata Ciimsera; 
G-orgones, Harpyiseque, et forma tricorporis Timbrse. 

Mn. vi. 286. 

Horace associates him with the depths of earth and ocean : 

Non, si trecenis, quotquot eunt dies, 
Amice, places illacrimabilein 

Plutona tauris, qui ter ampluin 

Greryonen Tityonque tristi 
Compescit unda. Odes Et. 14. 

The three heads and his wealth of oxen are the main 
characteristics of Geryon, and each will not suffer from a 
few words of explanation. 

To the Greek poets, and the Latin also, the mountains 
were jSo'es, boves, "the oxen of the earth." This will be 
plainly evident in classical passages to be quoted as we go 
along. From /3owo's, " a hill," a little /3oi)s or mountain as 
it were, our own " mountain " and the Latin mons are 
derived through the recognised interchange of ft and p.. 
Concerning the derivation of fiovs and our own " bull," it 
may be said that the Greek paiv<a and /3aAAw have much in 
common as to the character of motion. The former signi- 
fies " to tread, step ; go away, depart ; to drive up or down, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 179 

to lift, to hurl ; " the latter means " to throw, cast, hurl ; 
to strike ; to let fall, move, to go." 

The G-reeks probably derived their ySofls from @afo<, 
adopting the slow, peaceful idea of motion as suited to the 
animal; we, on the other hand, would appear to have 
adopted the minatory idea involved in j8d\A<o, and applied it 
to " bull," just as we have applied the rapid idea of the 
same word to " ball." Just, then, as we call earth " a 
mighty ball," did tbe Greeks style it a fceya? /3oi"s (as 
implied by Hesiod when describing the incident at Mekone) ; 
and as we call mountains " the bulwarks of our globe," so 
did the ancients call them fiovs or boves. 

As additional evidence there may be cited ovpos, " a 
bull ; " the same word also means " a boundary, landmark ; 
a watcher, bulwark ; a fair wind." We also find oiipos, 
" the serum or watery part, of any substance ; a water- 
way ; " and finally ovpos, " a mountain, a chain of hills." 
Now, different as their meanings be, there must evidently 
be a connection between all those, and it can only be found 
by going to the original ovpos, and bearing in mind that 
the mountains are the bulls or guardians of our earth, the 
watchers on high that protect alike from the encroach- 
ments of aerial and subterranean influences ; that they are 
also the boundaries and landmarks of continents, countries, 
and provinces ; the breakers of gales and storm-winds, the 
condensers of watery vapour into clouds, and the great 
waterways or watersheds of continental areas, whence the 
rivers take their source and fertilise the plains while gliding 
down to ocean. 

In the depths of ocean, then, restrained by earth and 
sea alike, as Horace tells us and as science teaches, were 
those mountain cattle and their three-headed owner. 
When he woke and raised his heads each geologic morning, 
the cattle left their stalls, one herd ranging westwards and 
two eastwards. They sought their feeding grounds on the 
heights above the waves, and there, dotted over the land- 
scape, did they browse and chew the cud till evening came 
and the tremulous pipe of their master gave warning of the 

N 2 



180 THE GODS OF OLD; 

night drawing on, and summoned each one back. And so 
they hied them home a few strays now and then excepted 
to their ocean barn, there to wait for the following day in 
order to return to the light above. 

This is strictly in accordance with the established know- 
ledge of to-day. All through Archaic, Palaeozoic, and 
Mesozoic time, the Eastern Hemisphere had no land area 
sufficiently large to be deemed even approximately as a 
continent. Europe, Asia, and Africa were represented by a 
number of islands, crags, and ridges, scattered far and 
wide in a mighty ocean that made the Atlantic and Pacific 
one. Conditions somewhat similar prevailed in the "Western 
half of our globe. The Archaic peaks and reefs, glutted 
with provender, had their day and sank below the waves, 
to rise again next morning branded with Silurian marks. 
Those, too, browsed upon the heights and slaked their thirst 
at the Silurian beach till evening came and sent them 
homewards. Another day dawned, and up came the Devon 
cattle to feast and fare in the old pastures and the new. 
And so on down through the ages till the close of the 
Cretaceous and the dawn of that long day, the Tertiary, 
when the herd of oxen left their stalls and forgot from that 
day to this to return home. 

How this archipelagic condition of our globe prevailed 
during the interval between those periods is clearly shown 
by what follows, taken from the Encyc. Brit. The Cretaceous 
rocks " bring before us the records of a time when one 
continuous sea stretched over all the centre with most of the 
south of Europe, covered the north of Africa, and swept 
eastwards to the far east of Asia. There were doubtless 
many islands and ridges in this wide expanse of water, 
whereby its areas of deposit and biological provinces must 
have been more or less sharply defined. Some of these 
barriers can still be traced.' 

In North America too, while there was more of a land 
area than in the case of Europe, a sea dotted here and 
there with islands and reefs still covered the long strip 
from New Jersey to the Gulf of Mexico, the entire 



AND THE STORT THAT THEY TELL. 181 

Mississippi valley to beyond the mouth of the Ohio, and 
extensive areas over the Eocky Mountain region, California, 
and Oregon. Similar conditions existed in the early part 
of the Tertiary period or Eocene, when, with the excep- 
tion of some land in the northern parts of Eussia, 
Scandinavia, and Britain, there existed, as Bonney tells 
us, " a sea which apparently covered parts of North 
Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Northern France, and south- 
eastern England. Beyond this, in the same direction lay 
land or a closely connected group of islands, and then came 
a sea which occupied the whole of South Europe, the 
present Mediterranean, far into Africa on the south, and 
eastwards right across Asia to join the Pacific Ocean. Here 
and there, however, it was interrupted by islands, now in- 
corporated into the Alps, Carpathians, Pyrenees, and 
Apennines." 

Compare this with the mythical description of Geryon, 
as told by Apollodorus : 

deKorov fie eVerdyi; aff\ov ras Trjpvovov ftovs e' 'Epvffeias Kopietv. 
Epu$eia $ ijv 'Sixeavov Tr\i)triov Keifievrj vrj(ros, )} vvv Tdfiftpa /caXirai. 
Tavrrjv KO.TCOK.fi rr]pv6vr)s Xpvtrdopos /cat Ka\\ippoTjs rrjs 'Qxeavov, rpi&v 
f%a>v di>8pi> trvfi(pves crat/jta, ffvvrjyfievov p,ev els ev Kara TTJV yatrTepa, 
fa-jfurftevov de elf rpels airo \ayovtav re KCLL p.rjpS>v. ei^e Se (poivtKas )3daj, 
S>v TJV jSouxoXos 'EupvTitoi', ^>uXa fte*6p6pos 6 KUOIV St/ce^aXos e^ 'E^tSw/s 
Kal Tvcpcovos -yeyfvvrjfievos. 2. 5. 10. 

To take up and carry off the oxen of Geryon from Erythia was 
assigned as the Tenth Labour. This Erythia, the deposited island of 
the ocean near, was that which is now called Gadeira. Here dwelt 
Geryon, the son of Ohrysaor and of Callirrhoe, the daughter of Oceanus, 
who had the naturally compact frame of three individuals, contracted 
into one at the navel, but separated into three by both lagoons and 
ridges. And he had sandy oxen, of which Burytion was herd, and 
the guardian was the two-headed dog Orthrus, the offspring of 
Typhaon and Echidna. 

The only difference between the ancient and the modern 
account is that we put the summits of our continental 
areas in the foreground, and the foundations in the back ; 
Apollodorus, in consonance with his topic, makes use of 
a reverse procedure. " The Creator worked from the 
beginning after a plan in developing the continents on 



182 THE GODS OF OLD; 

the crust of the earth, and if we could go down into the 
depths of the ocean, and examine the irregularity of its 
floor, we should undoubtedly see the same thing there." 
Hooker. 

Such then was " the grand terraqueous spectacle " 
at the opening of the Tertiary day, one-embracing 
ocean, islanding a few plateaus and a thousand craggy 
peaks of mountains. 

What was the spectacle at its close? Let us first view 
the character of the work performed during this long 
Tertiary day. Dana tells us : " There was, 1, the finishing 
of the rocky substratum of the continents ; 2, the expan- 
sion of the continental a'reas to their full limits and their 
permanent recovery from the waters of the ocean ; 3, the 
elevation of many of the great mountains of the globe, 
or considerable portions of them, through a large part of 
their height." 

All these were done ; the Eocene sea had its bed elevated, 
the continental bounds were essentially completed, and the 
Eocky Mountains, Alps, Apennines, Pyrenees, Carpathians, 
Hindoo Koosh, Himalayas, and others were raised thousands 
of feet above their previous heights. " These vast corru- 
gations of the earth's crust were general over the whole 
globe about the same period." 

Yes ; the Tenth task assigned had been successfully 
carried through ; the cattle were " lifted," taken up and 
carried off for good, and the corrugating or wrinkling force 
of earth, G-eryon, had received its death-blow, for since 
that fateful day there has been no further mountain making, 
and those mountains successfully carried off have remained 
and still remain above, the back-bones as we dub them, 
the thigh-bones (pi}pS>v) as Apollodorus styles them, of our 
mighty continents. 

Hesiod gives the myth in its simplest form : 

'X.pvcrdcap 8' ETEKE TpLKf<j>d\.ov Tijpvovija 
p.i)(6e\s KoXAtpdj Kovpy K^VTOV 'flKeavoIo. 
TOV p.fv ap' tevapi%e J3irj 'HpcucXjjEtT; 
J3ov(riv sV etXiTroSficrtrt Trepippvrcp elf 'E 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 183 



5 fjfj.an T& ore irep /3ovy ^Xacr 

Tipvvff els ifpr/v, diajSas iropov 'Qiteavoio, 
"Opdov re KTftvas KOI Bavicohov 'Evpvritova 
crra$/ia> ev rjepoevri irepqv K^VTOV 'QKeavoto. Theog. 287. 

United with Callirrhoe, tlie child 

Of Oceanus famed, Chrysaor bore 

Three-headed Geryon. Herculean strength 

Destroyed him for the crumple-f ooted kine 

In sea-girt Erythia, on that day 

When haying passed through ocean's path and slain, 

In their dark lair afar from ocean loud, 

The herd Burytion and Orthos, he 

To sacred Tiryns drove those broad-browed kine. 



NOTES. 

4 fiXiirobforcri. eiX<B irovs, " compressed as to the feet or base." It 

is universally conceded, since Sir James Hall's experiment, 
that the flexures in rocky strata were produced by lateral 
pressure from below. 

'Epv&tj/. epvca, " to draw away, guard, conceal." Each formation 
has been elevated, and then submerged or drawn away to the 
bottom of the ocean. While submerged it was covered with 
the sedimentary deposits of its own denuded matter pre- 
cipitated from the ocean above. It is this congeries of de- 
posited matter at the bottom of the sea that is called ' ' the 
sea-girt Erythia." Apollodorus makes it still plainer, for, 
as already seen, he calls Erythia "the deposited island of the 
ocean near, that which is now called Gadeira," or (yrj depas} 
"the crust of earth." If an island is that which is surrounded 
by water, then in very truth would Erythia be one. 

5 wan TIB. The Tertiary. 

6 Tipvvd'. Tipws by metathesis and transposition becomes a-vvrpi 

(<nv Tpia) "the three together," that is Europe, Asia, and 
Africa. We read of a Tiryns previous to this, but it was only 
in posse : not till the three were joined as one above, in the 
Tertiary period presumably, would it be called lepa Tiryns. 

7 'Opdov KOI TLvpvriwva. The first of these refers to the force which 

produces a jointed structure in all our rocks, but especially in 
the granite. Those joints run straight up and down (op6os) ; 
and as they commonly consist of two sets of joints, one running 
at right angles or nearly so to the other, and are especially 
marked in the granite, we find this Orthos called two-headed, 
and the offspring of Echidna. 

Tn the same way does Eurytion mean (evpvs pvco) ' ' the wide 
wrinkles, curvatures, or flexures " into which the rocky strata 



184 THE 'GODS OF OLD; 

were originally thrown. The connection between Ortaos and 
Eurytion, or Strike and Curvature, is noticed in our works on 
Geology. This, by the way, establishes the derivation of 
/SouKoXos from /Sous KoXor, since it was only by sliorteniiig the 
horizontal extent of the mountains that the flexures could be 
produced ; and hence the use of the epithet by Hesiod in order 
to show the agency that operated. 

There is no need of pursuing the myth further. It only 
remains to point out that the same agency, " great earth 
movements," which geology ascribes as the cause of the 
upheaval of mountains and continents, is identical with 
"the Herculean strength " mentioned by Hesiod. The 
context proves it. The derivation proves it. "Hpa (or Juno), 
as will be shown later on, is the personification of " dry 
land," and 'HpctKAeV is therefore (jj'pa KeA?;s) "the move- 
ment of the land." The famous " Twelve Labours " prove 
it also, since they will be found to correspond with the 
strata comprised in our Geological Periods, that is to say, 
they represent the achievements of those "land move- 
ments" whereby the land was periodically elevated and 
submerged, and time divided geologically into the Archaean, 
Silurian, Devonian, and other eras. The solution of those 
Labours, when rightly unravelled, must consequently prove 
useful and interesting in the highest degree, as tending to 
throw light upon our own theories as regards the lithological 
structure of our globe in past ages, its fauna and flora, 
its geographical extent, and the coming of man. The Tenth 
Labour, this of Geryon, is evidently synchronous with the 
Tertiary period, and, when pursued further than we have 
gone, affords much food for reflection as to whether the 
three heads of Geryon were not Europe, Asia, and Africa, 
but Europe and Asia, Africa, and America. The know- 
ledge of a far distant continent must have permeated 
historic times. Not to mention Plato's Atlantis, and 
allusions by some other prose writers, there are many 
passages in the poets which lend additional weight to the 
opinion that this " pastor Iberus " was really and truly the 
Iberian shepherd, " the Western ploughman " who wrinkled 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL, 185 

up the Laurentian Hills before an Alpine, Caucasian, or 
other ox was turned loose in the Eastern Hemisphere. 
For those who may take up the elucidation of the Twelve 
Labours, this Tenth one, as being the Tertiary period, would 
be a vantage point from which to start in proceeding 
regularly backwards and forwards. 



186 THE GODS OF OLD; 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE BOOK OF AGES. 

Echidna. We open a book of stories from which some of 
the leaves have been torn here and there, so as to leave 
blanks at the beginning, middle, or end of each or some of 
the tales. "We read, we note the gaps, can distinguish one 
narrative from the other despite those gaps, and endeavour 
to supply the omissions from what precedes or follows, as 
the case may be. And so we continue till we come to 
" finis," and are satisfied ; even if the last page be torn out 
or pasted to the cover, we reason from experience as to how 
the story ended. 

So is it with the crust of earth. Full of leaves, and with 
many breaks, we can trace each and every story pretty 
clearly notwithstanding. We can piece the Eocene pages 
from the Miocene, the Jurassic from the Cretaceous, and are 
never in doubt as to whether we are reading the Cainozoic 
or Mesozoic narrative. And so we turn leaf after leaf of 
the rocky volume till we come to the granite ; and if that 
leaf be lost or pasted to the cover, we believe it to have 
been there, or to be there if only we could go further. In 
either case we close the book. There is no more to be read, 
for experience has taught us so far that the granite is " the 
end," and that below this granite we have never got. 
Whether it be the offspring of and rest upon the primal 
crust all round the globe, or whether it has incorporated its 
progenitor into its own being, or whether it be but an 
intruder from the fiery depths that has reared its massive 
front regularly or irregularly above the primeval crust, or 
whether even it be any two or all three of these combined, 
we know not, and probably never will know, for the reasons 
already mentioned. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 187 

Our rocks are igneous or aqueous as to their origin. 
Lava and other volcanic products are a type of the first ; 
ordinary fossiliferous and metamorphic (presumably but an 
altered sedimentary) are types of the second. The granite 
remains, and some diversity of opinion exists as to its 
source. Some, and by far the greater number of geologists, 
call it Plutonic, and claim it as of igneous origin ; others 
maintain that it is an aqueous or sedimentary rock, the 
ingredients of which have but been transformed to a further 
extent than the gneiss and other schists. 

The reasons adduced in each case it is unnecessary to 
mention. It is enough for our purpose to show that the 
genealogy of granite has been and is still contested, and that 
the same diversity of opinion is entertained with regard to 
the mythological Echidna. This is the more remarkable 
as she is the first person of the Theogony so far whose- 
descent has been positively disputed. Hesiod must have 
favoured the aqueous origin of granite, since he makes 
Echidna the daughter of Chrysaor and Callirrhoe. 

Apollodorus usually a conservative writer and one who, 
when in doubt himself, quotes Hesiod, Homer, the 
tragedians, &c. ignores all authorities in this instance, 
and calls Echidna the daughter of Tartarus and Geea, thus 
ranging himself as an advocate for her igneous birth. 
Still other writers style her the offspring of Peiras and 
Styx, by which is meant the formation of granite in all 
ages of the world, the oldest and the latest, for Peiras is 
the extreme (ireTpas) or centre of the earth in one direction, 
and Styx, the invisible but actual boundary line between 
life and death, one inch or less below the surface, is the 
other extreme. 

But, if her ancestry had never been mentioned, if there 
had been no marked disagreement on this point, and if 
even there was never a word of description regarding her, 
the very name, Echidna, would mark her as the granite. 
One of the most visible and distinguishing characteristics 
of the rock is its intrusive nature, as best exemplified in 
the numerous ramifying veins which it sends forth. 



188 THE GODS OF OLD; 

" No rock," says one -writer, " exhibits so admirably as 
granite the varieties assumed by veins." Lyell too : " As a 
general rule, however, granite veins in all quarters of the 
globe are more sinuous in their course than those of trap." 
The truth of these remarks is easily evidenced by the plates 
and illustrations in every text book on geology. Swelling 
out from the parent mass appear branches, varying in 
breadth from yards and feet, which pierce and traverse the 
adjacent and overlying rocks even their own granitic pre- 
decessors in every direction, till they become mere filaments 
at the end ; they cross and twine and curl and writhe so 
much so and so strikingly that no other possible remark 
than " snaky-looking " can fall from the lips of the observer, 
whether he views the sketch or the rocks from which the 
sketch is taken. Put those expressive words into Greek and 
we have v E%ibva (H-^is eioeWi) " the snaky-looking one." 

Description, however, is not wanting. Here is Hesiod's, 
every line so bristling with characteristics of the granite as 
to make the blood run riot in the veins of a geologist : 

'H 8" ere/e' oXXo ireXapov, dfirj-^avov, oi/8e foucos 
Gvrfrois avBpamois ovd' ddavdroun Bedim, 
(nriji evi -yXafftvpoj, Bf'a]V Kparepd(j>poi> > "E^idvav, 
jjfiurv pev vij[i<j)j]v eXucoWiSa, KaXXwrapgof, 
5 i][iio~v 8' afire ireKcopov ocf)iv, deivov TC p,eyav Te, 
ald\ov aprjarfiv, ader)s wo Keijdecri yairjs. 
evda Se ol (TTTEOS etrrl Karat Koi\rj viro trtTprj 
nf\ov air' ddavdrcav re 6easv 6vrfrS>v T dvSpaarov' 
evd' apa ol SdtrtraiTO dedi xXura Sa)/xara valeiv. 
10 f) 8' epvr elv 'Apipouriv into x^ova Xuyp^ "E^iSva, 

a6a.va.Tos vvp.<j)r) KOI dyijpaos ^'/iara irdvra. Theog. 295. 

She bore another in a sculptured cave, 
Echidna, of a nature wondrous hard, 
Intrusive, shapeless, and adapted not 
For gods immortal or for mortal men ; 
Half nymph, of oval face and cheeks so fair ; 
Half sinuous snake, exceeding strange and strong, 
Its altered food incorporating raw 
Under the crannies of majestic earth. 
And there, aloof from gods and mortals both, 
Her cave's far down beneath the concave rock ; 
There, sooth to say, the gods immortal have 
Assigned for her as home those famed abodes. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 189 

And 'mongst the Arimi beneath, the earth 
"Was she, forlorn Echidna, drawn, a nymph 
Immortal, never-aging for all time. 

NOTES. 

1 'H 8'. Callirrhoe, daughter of Oceanus, and consort of Chrysaor. 
TreXcBpov, &c. The first two lines contain three important charac- 
teristics of the granite : it is eruptive and intrusive (TreXapov) ; 
it is shapeless or unstratified (a^xavov) ; and it is incapable, in 
a sense, of supporting organic existence, or non-fossiliferous 
(ouSe eoiKos dvrfrois, &C.). 

3 cnrffi yXatpvpiS. In the depths of the crust, hollowed out by a 
denuding or sculpturing process, was the granite -produced. 
"The granites have been formed at great depths in the earth, 
and have cooled and crystallised slowly under enormous pres- 
sure where the contained gases could not expand." Lyell. 
6etr]v Kparep6<ppov' . Another mark of the granite is its exceeding 
hardness and durability. Egyptian obelisks made from it are 
still intact after a lapse of 3,000 years. The Pyramids, though 
internally constructed of limestone, are coated externally with 
granite. 

vvfKprjv. The granite is presented to our view in two forms, 
half mountainous, half sinuous. In the first case it appears as 
large eruptive bosses, of which Lyell remarks, " Granite often 
preserves a very uniform character throughout a wide range of 
territory, forming hills of a peculiar rounded form " (eXiKamSa). 
KoAXiTrdpjjov refers to the crystalline texture, and to the white, 
grey, or flesh-red colour of the rock. 

5 jjpurv ocpiv. In the second case, it rises, as already remarked, 

from the central mass and penetrates other rocks in highly 
tortuous veins and ramifications that present a snaky ap- 
pearance. 

6 alo\ov ap.r}a~rfjv. It scorches, reddens, fuses, transforms, and 

alters in every way the rocks which it penetrates ; it changes 
shale to mica-schist, sandstone to quartz, and limestone to- 
marble. " As Mr. Jukes has shown, the Silurian strata are 
underlaid by a vast mass of Cambrian rocks, all of which must 
have been invaded by the granite before it could have reached 
its present horizon. He infers that the granite must have 
slowly and irregularly eaten its way upward through the 
Silurian rocks, absorbing much of them into its own mass as it 
rose." Eiicyc. Brit. 

7 The deep subterranean origin of granite is reiterated by the poet. 

9 Sdcro-avro deol. The intellectual gods, the literati, or scientists of 

those days. The Latin poets often use " superi " and " dii" in 
a similar sense. 

10 'Api/ioio-tj/. aipopai, "lifted, raised up." The modern theory is 



190 THE GODS OF OLD; 

that while volcanic rocks have cooled and consolidated at and 
above the surface, the granite has consolidated at great depths 
beneath, and always under considerable pressure; and that 
such granite as is now visible is owing to denudation of those 
original rocks under which it consolidated. To these latter, 
then, is the term Arimoi applied, and it may be said in addition 
that granite occupies the central parts of many mountain 
chains all over the world, "forming a kind of core round 
which the gneisses, schists, and other crystalline rocks are 
arranged." 

11 ayfipaos rj^ma irdvra. " We must conclude that granite does not 
belong exclusively to the earliest nor to any one geological 
period, but rather that it has been formed at various epochs, 
and may even be forming now." Encyc. "Brit. 



TT; Se Tv(f>aovd <pa<n [ii-yfipevai ev <pi\arr)Ti, 

Seivov 6' {ij3piirTT]V T avep-ov eAwccajriSi Kovprj' 

T] 8' vwoKVfrap.fvr] TfKero Kparepofppova. reKva. Theog. 306. 

With her, this maiden of the oval face, 
Mingled in union was (the story goes), 
Typhon, eruptive, overbearing, strange : 
And she conceiving bore a stubborn brood. 
2 avefiov. avffieca " to vomit up, to belch. 5 ' 

This brood, as Hesiod tells us, embraced Orthos, Cerberus, 
the Lernaean Hydra, the Chimsera, Sphinx, and the Nemean 
Lion. Orthos we have already met in connection with 
Geryon ; Cerberus should be studied with the Greek Hades, 
as should the Sphinx with (Edipus, and the Hydra and Lion 
with the Twelve Labours. The Chimaera alone properly 
belongs to the scope of our work. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 191 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE HEAT AND DARKNESS OF OTHEE DAYS. 

Chimeera. In its very earliest existence our earth, as 
already noted, was a self-luminous orb like the sun, possessed 
of an immeasurable intensity of light and heat that tended 
to make all its particles expand and be driven to the 
periphery. Cooled in time by contact with outer space and 
thus rendered heavier, those peripheral particles would 
gravitate towards the centre, and the orb would contract as 
a whole and shrink in volume. And so in varying degree 
would it proceed till a crust was established on the molten 
surface. But all this while radiation was going on, of both 
light and heat while incandescence lasted, of heat alone 
after the reckless dissipation of the one had unwittingly 
killed the other and blinded Mother Earth for ever. 

What the measure of the heat was when our globe was 
covered with its primal crust is a matter of conjecture. 
" The temperature," says Bonney, " at which the crust 
would begin to form would probably be something like 
2000 P. ... The crust would probably be formed in 
all cases at a temperature above that of ' white heat,' and it 
would change slowly down through the various grades of 
colour till the natural tint of the constituent rock was 
assumed. Yet even then water would not at first be able 
to rest upon it, but if by some chance the vapour in the 
atmosphere were locally condensed, the drops of boiling 
rain would be rejected hissing from the uncongenial 
surface." 

As a consequence of this steam atmosphere, another factor, 
namely intense darkness, would be added to the heat. 
Winchell has already graphically alluded to it, but we quote 
again : " The clouds poured the ocean continually forth, 



192 THE GODS OF OLD; 

and the seething crust continually rejected the offering. 
The field between the cloud and the earth was one stupen- 
dous scene of ebullition. But the descent of rains and 
the ascent of vapours disturbed the electricities of the 
elements. In the midst of this cosmical contest between 
fire and water, the voices of heaven's artillery were heard. 
Lightnings darted through the Cimmerian gloom, and world- 
convulsing thunders echoed through the universe." 

That this heat and this darkness characterised the climate 
of our globe for many a succeeding period is emphasised 
by Figuier when describing the climatic conditions of each. 
In the Silurian " the atmosphere was still dense, and a 
pale sun was seen, struggling to penetrate this atmosphere, 
and yielding but a dun and imperfect light." In the 
Devonian was "a semi-opaque atmosphere, and a light still 
pale." In the Carboniferous, " the attributes of the atmo- 
sphere were excessive heat, extreme humidity, and a soft 
light from the sun veiled by permanent fogs." And so on 
till we reach the Jurassic period, when " the progressive 
cooling of the globe would produce a perceptible diminution 
of the heat towards the northern regions, and there would 
be a brilliant light from the sun." If such conditions, 
then, prevailed more or less up to the close of Palasozoie 
time, how raging must we suppose the heat and how black 
the gloom in the early Archasan days when the granite and 
the granite-born rocks were without a rival ? Any descrip- 
tion that could be given pales in significance and vividness 
when contrasted with this of Hugh Miller : " Let us suppose 
that during the earlier part of this period of excessive heat 
the waters of the ocean had stood at the boiling point even 
at the surface, and much higher in the profounder depths ; 
and farther, that the half -molten crust of the earth, stretched 
out over a molten abyss, was so thin that it could not 
support, save for a short time, after some convulsion, even 
a small island above the sea level. What, in such circum- 
stances, would be the aspect of the scene, optically exhibited 
from some point in space elevated a few hundred yards over 
the sea ? It would be simply a blank, in which the intensest 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 193 

glow of fire would fail to be seen at a few yards' distance. 
An inconsiderable escape of steam from the safety-valve of 
a railway engine forms so thick a screen that, as it lingers 
for a moment, in the passing, opposite the carriage windows, 
the passengers fail to discern through it the landscape 
beyond. A continuous stratum of steam, then, that attained 
to the height of even our present atmosphere, would wrap 
up the earth in a darkness gross and palpable as that of 
Egypt of old a darkness through which even a single ray 
of light would fail to penetrate. And beneath this thick 
canopy the unseen deep would literally " boil as a pot " 
wildly tempested below ; while from time to time, more 
deeply seated, would upheave suddenly to the surface vast 
tracts of semi-molten rock, soon again to disappear, and 
from which waves of bulk enormous would roll outward, to 
meet in wild conflict with the giant waves of other convul- 
sions, or to return to hiss and sputter against the intensely- 
heated and fast-foundering mass, whose violent upheaval 
had first elevated and sent them abroad." 

Now, it is this excessive heat and gross palpable darkness 
which stamped the Archaean and many subsequent days, 
that Mythology has personified as the Chimasra. 

In the first place, she was born of Echidna and Typhaon : 
her ancestors evidently point to the early days of the newly 
formed crust when the scorching blasts of heat intense went 
up from the semi-molten granite. In the next place, every 
epithet and phrase applied to her breathe of fire, of raging 
heat, ignea, ignifera, rabida, fera, rnonstrumflammivomum, 
Chimaera spiritus ignese, flammis armata Chimaera ; some, 
also, of intense gloom, horrida, horrenda. 

But it is when we examine the name itself that the com- 
plete significance bursts forth, for Xtjtuupa means literally 
(/cauo /aaupow) " the heated and darkened ; " and our 
language retains a relic of the dread monster in the word 
" Cimmerian," where, while obliterating the idea of heat, 
we have intensified that of darkness. " Cremation " is 
another relic, the ideal process being reversed. The 
" heated " characteristic is that which is principally alluded 

G.O. o 



194 THE GODS OF OLD; 

to by the poets ; but the " darkened " or blinded is dis- 
tinctly mentioned by Apollodorus when writing of the 
Chimaera : 

rjv yap ov \iovov evl dXXa iro\\ois OVK evdXaiTov. 2. 3. 1. 3. 

"For she was all but well-blinded (eu aXao'o)) in one 
respect, but in many others not so well ; " where he evi- 
dently means that while earth had lost altogether or nearly 
so the light of incandescence, she still had the inferior light 
proceeding from the heated granite and the eruptions of 
volcanoes. 

With this dual idea of heat and darkness we can under- 
stand that comparison of the Chimsera given by Hesiod, 
and retained by succeeding writers. The heat would have 
its lair in the molten mass of our globe, coiled like a dragon, 
as it were, in the sinuous billows of the liquid fire below : 
the scorching blast, ravenous, as hot air always is, of the 
steamy moisture that could not saturate it to repletion, 
would rise, like a lion raging for its prey and enveloped 
with a mane of darkness, to the heights above : from the 
surface of the crust itself that was midway between the 
two, the heat which was fed from the furnace underneath 
would radiate, would, like a bounding goat, spring forth in 
all directions. This radiating surface would be the real, 
the true Chiiaaera, and Lucretius expressly says so : 

Priina leo, postrema draco, media ipsa Chimsera. 

De Her. Nat. v. 903. 

It was necessary for the welfare of our earth, and of those 
beings who inhabited and were to inhabit it, that many 
processes, such as denudation, deposition, silting, stratifica- 
tion, upheaval, and depression should occur as the ages 
winged their flight. But above all others it was absolutely 
essential that the conditions alluded to under the Chimera 
should be destroyed that the heat should be reduced and 
the darkness be dispelled. This done, all other operations 
would be facilitated. 

"While the external envelope of our orb continued all 
gaseous, or all igneous, or even while the ocean was 
universal, there could be no proper temperature for earth, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 195 

since the heat would radiate equally from, all portions of 
the surface. But just as soon as the universality of the 
ocean was broken up by an archipelago of craggy isles of 
granite, there ensued as a consequence unequal heating of 
the surface, and as a further consequence there began that 
interchange of atmospheric currents evidenced on a small 
scale by our land and sea breezes, and on a larger scale by 
the trade winds an interchange that must have increased 
more and more according as the earth cooled towards the 
poles, and as the power of the sun began to be felt through 
the pall of clouds. 

Briefly stated, the law of temperature is based on the 
fact that cold air descends, and that hot air ascends and 
has a capacity for absorbing moisture. Since both heat 
and evaporation are at a maximum in the equatorial 
regions, and decrease steadily towards the poles, the first 
great effect of unequal heating is to produce over the 
equator an ascending current of hot air that, absorbing 
aqueous vapour as it rises, flows as an upper-current to the 
poles and necessitates an under-current from the poles to 
the equator. The colder regions are thus made warmer, 
the heated ones cooler, and a suitable temperature is 
acquired for our earth as a whole. 

Now, this simple theory of modern science is identical 
with that brought forward by Mythology, for Bellerophon, 
as the name BeAAepo^wr??? denotes, is (/3dAAa> po<f>dv(a) " the 
ascending and absorbing one " who, with the assistance of 
Pegasus or Evaporation, destroyed the Chimsera with his 
arrows from on high. 

Hesiod tells the story in its simplest form : 

fj de 'X.ip.aipav enicre, Trveov<rav ajiatfioKerov irvp, 

Sfivrjf re /j.e-ya\r]v re, TroSowcea re KpaTfpfjv re. 

njs 5' r/v rpeis Kec^aXat' fiia ptv ^apOTrolo \eovros, 

T] de xifiaipris, t) 8' o<pws, Kparepoio dpaKovros, 

irpoffde \fa>v, ojriSev Se bpaKtov, fiftraTj Se Xifiaipa, 

Sfivbv airorirveiovcra Trvpbs pevos cudofievoio. 

TTJV p,v nijyacros ei\e xat eV$X6s 'BeXhepotyovnjs. Theog. 319. 



Ghimaera too, breathing resistless fire, 
The feared and vast, the svsoft and strong, she bore. 

o 2 



196 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Her heads were three : of ravenous lion one, 
Ghimsera's own, and snake's of aspect grim ; 
The lion, fore ; the dragon, aft ; and placed 
Betwixt the two, Chimsera, breathing forth 
The fearful energy of blazing fire. 
But, ne'ertheless, she sank beneath the yoke 
Of Pegasus and rare Bellerophon. 

The story has been amplified by other writers, and new 
characters introduced. They tell us how in the very earliest 
days a transferring process went on whereby the particles 
of matter were driven to the surface, and gravitated back 
again towards the centre : this process they called Prcetus 
(npoirjfjiL "to drive forward, to abandon"). The clear ex- 
ternal space immediately surrounding the surface they 
called Lycia (Aewco's), and its ruler they named lobates 
(oio/3ctT?]s), " the lone dweller." They tell us also how from 
the friendly intimacy between the heated peripheral par- 
ticles and the cold external space, the former obtained 
for itself a partner, what some would call a contracted 
filmy crust, Sthenobcea (arevos /3oeia), and what others would 
term efflorescence, Anteia (avdos). They further tell us 
how in the course of time the ascending current (Bellero- 
phon) that had shattered its own constitution by reckless 
dissipation and had unwittingly destroyed the radiant light 
and existence of incandescence, its near relative (Bellerus), 
sought refuge and pristine vigour in the well- warmed courts 
of Proatus ; how, while recuperating, the too ardent film, 
forgetful of its spouse below, became enamoured of its glow- 
ing guest and made, film that she was, markedly semi- 
transparent advances to further intimacy on their part. 
But in vain, we are informed : the heated current was 
possessed of too chaste, too rarefied a nature for such com- 
munion, and fled from adulteration, leaving the film it 
made light of flushed with passion, quivering with rage, 
and framing what would impel its spouse to destroy their 
guest. What could this spouse do? Scrupulous by 
nature, next to nothing in attainments, he was with all his 
power but the puppet of the stronger side, a very atomy 
of what he should be ; and so, as Horace tells us urged 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 197 

by the misleading charges of the frail spouse that imposed 
upon him, he could not withstand the pressure brought to 
bear, and gave vent to a wrath which expelled the heat 
and proved detrimental to himself. 

Ut Proetus mulier perfida credulum 

Pal sis impulerit ciiminibus minis 
Casto Bellerophonti 
Maturare necem refert. Odes iii. 7. 

The Chimsera, without Homer's narrative, would be im- 
perfectly described. We insert it here, hoping that the 
foregoing remarks may prove serviceable in reading between 
the poet's lines. 

Glaucus, a white-livered descendant of a gassy stock, 
meets Diomed in the field of battle, and tells the tale. 



"Eort jroXiff 'Etpupi;, p.v%ca "Apyeos 
'Ev6a8e 2i'<ru<pos eo~KfV, 5 KcpStoros yever 1 dvftpcbv, 
2ia~v(f>os AZoXiSjyff' 6 d' apa TXavKOV TfKtff vlov' 
Avrap rXauKOff erucrev dfi.iifj.ova BeXXfpotpovnjv' 
5 T<5 be 6foi KaXXos Te KOI f]vopti)v epaTfivrjv 

*Qira<raV avrdp ol JXpoiTos KCIKU firfa-aro dvp.&. 
"Os p' fK drjfiov 6\aatrfv, eVet TTO\V <pepTfpos ijev 
'Apyeicov' Zevs yap ol VTTO aKTjTTTpa fdduatrcre- 
Tw 8e yvvrj Hpoirov fTrefirjvaTo, 81' v Ai/reta, 

10 KpuTiraStij <ptXarr)Ti jj.iyrjp.fvat' aXXa TOV oijrt 
Jleiff dya6a (jipoveovra 8at<ppova Be\\epo<f>6vTT)v. 
'H 8e ^rtva'aptvr] TLpoirov /3a<rtX^a irpoffyvda' 
TeBvairjs, Si HpoiT, jj Kanrave BeX\epo<j)6vTT)V, 
"Or ft fde\e <pi\oTr)Ti fiiyfjfifvai OVK e^eXovaiy. 

15 flr (pdro' TOV Se avaiera ^oXor XajSev, oiov aicova-e. 
Kreivai pev p 1 dXeeivf, crf/3do~o~aTo yap roye 6vp.(o, 
Se juv A.vKirjvo'f, itopev 8' oye o-ij/iara \vypa 
s ev TTIVUKI TrrvKTfa 8vp.o(j)66pa TroXXa, 
Aeiai 8' rjvnyei a TtevOepai, ofpp' OTroXotro. 

20 Airrap 6 /3iJ AvKirjvde 0eS>v vir dp,vfiovi Tro/infj. 
'AXX' ore 8^ A.VKITJV le, Sdvdov re peovra, 
Hpo<ppove<as fiiv riev ava AVKLTJS evpeiqs' 
''E.vvrjtJ.ap ^eiviiro-e, KOI evvea jBovs leprutrev. 
'AXX' ore 817 SfKaTT] efpavr; poSo8dKTV\os 'Hear, 

25 Kat TOTC fitv epeeive, /cat ijree OTJ/Lin I8eo~8ai, 
"OTTI pa ol yafi/3poTo irapa Upotroto (pepoa-o. 
Avrap eVeiSij aijfia KOKOV Trapedei-aTO yap.[3pov, 
UpGiTOV jj.lv pa ~X.ipa.ipav dfj.aiaaKfTr]v eWXetJcre 
nf(pvep,ev. r] 8' ap' erjv Belov yevos, ovS' dvdpdanov, 



198 THE GODS OF OLD ; 



30 TLpoaBe \ecav, omdev 8e SpaKcav, fie<r<rr] 

Aeivov ajroirvfiova'a. irvpos pevos aWop-evoio. 

Kal TTJV (lev Ka.Teire(pve, 6ea>v repaecrat iridrjffas. Iliad, vi. 152. 

In some compartment of that massive pile 

Which feeds the fiery steeds, there is a state 

Called Ephyre, where Sisyphus abode, 

Of all most greedy, and JEolian sprung. 

He Grlaucus bore ; Glaucus, Bellerophon, 

The open-hearted, unto whom the gods 

For gifts gave radiance and a spirit fine. 

But badly for himself did Proetus plot, 

(When he of agents far more powerful was, 

For Zeus had brought all others 'neath his yoke,) 

Who from his broad domain expelled the youth. 

The spouse of Prostus, blest Antea, longed 

With him in secret intercourse to join ; 

But no not in the least does she persuade 

Him, the high-minded, rare Bellerophon. 

Specious she spoke the monarch Prcetus then : 
" Let Proetus die, or slay Bellerophon 

Who wished me not for love inclined to join." 

Thus she ; and hearing, rage possessed the king. 

To slay him, sooth to say, he scrupled much, 

For this inspired his inmost thoughts with fear ; 

And so to Lycia he despatched him straight, 

And many sorry, deadly tokens gave 
That on a folded tablet he had marked, 

And bade him show them to his sire-in-law 

In order his destruction to insure. 

Yet ne'ertheless, to Lycia stretched beneath 

The open safeguard of the gods he went. 

But when to Lycia and the molten red 

He came at length, then spacious Lycia's king 

With outstretched hands did pay him all respect. 

Nine days he feasted him, nine oxen killed ; 

But when at last the tenth bright morning dawned, 

Then questioned he and asked to see what sign 

From his near cousin, Proetus, might he bring. 

But when his cousin's baneful sign was shown, 

Then first indeed he charged him as a task 

To slay Chimsera, the resistless one. 

And she was of the race of gods, not men : 

A lion, fore ; a dragon, aft ; and placed 

Betwixt the two, Ghimsera, breathing forth 

The fearful energy of blazing fire. 

Though such she was, she lost her life to him 

Brimmed to the heart with tokens of the gods. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 199 



NOTES. 

I tort, &c. We are transported in thought to a time when the 

molten mass began to feel the effects of cooling, to work more 
sluggishly as a whole sufficiently so to make the surface 
assume a thickened, pasty ($upao>) consistency. 

Argos, related by derivation to both epyov, " a work, that 
which is wrought or made," and to dpyos, "glistening; 
sluggish," evidently refers to our globe as a whole in those 
days, just as amoftoTos does to the eruptive lava, granite, &c., 
nourished within it. 

If our earth, as claimed, is still molten in the interior, then 
there must be an Ephyre still in existence, where the molten 
lava is thickened in consistence through contact with the rocks 
or vesicular air within : for this reason, possibly, does Homer 
commence with " ?<rri." 

3 The genealogy of Bellerophon is best understood by noting the 

steam from the furnace or locomotive. The ascent (Bellerophon) 
must have been preceded by the gray colouring (Glaucus), and 
that by the steam-process or ebullition (Sisyphus). The same 
order of being may be said of Combustion. 

4 dfivfiova. a piico, ' ' not keeping close, open-hearted." 

8 Zevs ydp oi. The ot refers to Zeus himself. Life had established 
its sway over the surface; but the half-molten particles 
beneath the surface (Proetus) were still independent. 

II 8ai<ppova. Hesiod calls Bellerophon eV^Xdy, and Horace calls him 

nimis castus : they are both synonymous with Homer's phrase 

8ai(ppcov (Saico (ppriv), "kindled in spirit, or divided in spirit," 

hence, rare, rarefied. 
14 The specious pleading (^euo-afiew/) comes in with the use of OVK, 

for the line will have very different meanings according as we 

refer OVK to the preceding juyTj/xewzi or to the following fdeXovtrrj. 
An attempt has been made to give the same ambiguity in the 

English rendering, and the reader may put a comma after me, 

or after not, according as he sympathises with Antea. 
16 o-e/Sao-traro. It proved a sorry day for himself, as the poet has 

already remarked, when Prcetus expelled the heated air and 

drove it to the light of day, since he thus 

grew colder in his own nature and fell an 

easier prey to Perseus, as Ovid relates. 
18 irivaiu Trruwa). The folded tablet is literally 

true, and can be readily understood from 

the following cut and remarks taken E 

from Comstock's Philosophy. ^D 

" Suppose ABO to represent a portion 
of the earth's surface, A being towards 
the north pole, towards the south pole, 




200 THE GODS OF OLD; 

and B the equator. The currents of air are supposed to pass in 
the direction of the arrows. The wind, therefore, from A to B, 
would blow on the surface of the earth, from north to south, 
while from E to A the upper current would pass from south to 
north, until it came to A, when it would change its direction 
towards the south. The currents in the southern hemisphere, 
being governed by the same laws, would assume similar 
directions." 

The ascending current at the equator would be thus double- 
troughed or folded, and would contain some of the lateral cold 
air, enough to make the crrjiiara \v-ypa, Ovpotpdopa. 

20 The heated current ascends to the exterior surface (Lycia), which 
was still but molten fire (Sdvdov peovra), and is eagerly received 
by exterior space. 

23 24 The connection between the Twelve Labours of Hercules and 
our own great geological formations has been already pointed 
out, when treating of Geryon. When Homer says, " Nine 
days he feasted him, nine oxen killed," he means that for nine 
cycles, preceding the tenth, the great ox, Earth, passed through 
nine great mutations, each mutation a different ox as it were, 
during all of which the conditions embodied in the Chimsera 
prevailed more or less. On the morning of the tenth was 
Bellerophon commissioned to slay the Chimsera. What was 
this tenth day ? Evidently, the Tertiary period, that has been 
shown to be synchronous with the Tenth Labour. According 
to Mythology, then, it was on the morning of the Tertiary 
period, in Eocene times, when the temperature of our earth, 
began to be reduced so as to resemble somewhat that of 
to-day. 

This is in perfect accordance with the conclusion arrived at 
by modern theories based on geological research. 

The Cretaceous preceded the Eocene, and Piguier says of it, 
"The seasons are no longer marked by indications of central 
heat, and the influence of the light and heat of the sun began 
to be felt more strongly. Zones of latitude show signs of 
existence, and biological conditions are such as we can com- 
prehend." "It is supposed," says Hooker, "that after the 
Cretaceous period was completed, in the movement which raised 
the mountains there was a general elevation of the land of the 
northern regions, and that the severe cold which was thus pro- 
duced was at least a prominent agency in the destruction of 
life at this period." 

32 Ttpaetra-i tndfi<ras. Saturated with evaporation, mounted on 
Pegasus. 

The tale has been amplified further in connection with 
Pegasus, but in the hope that the personified characters 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 201 

are already sufficiently identified, there is no necessity for 
further elaboration. Let us conclude by saying that the 
Chimsera was destroyed, and that temperature and an 
orderly succession of the seasons were secured for earth ; 
that Proatus rued the day when he drove the hot ascend- 
ing current from his court, and thus permitted a solid 
crust of some fifty miles or more in depth to encroach on 
his domain ; and that Bellerophon himself, the too rare 
Bellerophon of those older days, outlived his usefulness 
for good, grew hateful to the gods, and now wanders blind, 
solitary, and far from the trodden path of mankind, in 
the Aloean fields where our miners start at his shadow 
and his breath as they go down, down into the bowels of 
the earth. We have still, it is true, an ascending current ; 
but it is not that which in the days of old proceeded 
directly from the glowing orb itself not the true terrestrial 
rider who ambitioned heaven, unconscious that his steed 
was recalcitrant, and oblivious of the fact that he still 
carried the (rfniara Xvypa, 0vfj.o(f>66pa, in the shape of a 
sluggish side wind, or " segni pede," as Horace puts it, 
Ode III. 12 : 

Eques ipso melior Belleroplionte, neque pugno 
Neque segni pede victus. 

Our earth has assuredly grown colder and colder, and 
is now at best but a storehouse for the sun. Bankruptcy 
has dogged her steps ever since she acquired the oxen of 
the Iberian ploughman, and to-day she is compelled to 
borrow heat from the same source from which she pre- 
viously borrowed light. 



202 THE GODS OF OLD; 



CHAPTEK XVI. 

"HYDRA SAVIOR INTUS HABET SEDEM." 

Ophis. Of the children of Phorcys and Ceto, this 
character alone remains. All connected with it genea- 
logy, order of being, name, and description point to it as 
being the centre of our earth, personified. 

Kjjro) 8* oirXorarov 3?6picv (pi.\6n]Ti fjnyeiaa 

yeivaTo Seivbv o(f)iv, os epefivois Kevdetri ya'ajs 

TTfipacriv ev /le-yoA^s irayxpva-ea /w)Xa <pv\dtrtrei. 

TOVTO fiev fK TSjjTovs KOI $6pitvvos yevos eem. -Theog. 333. 

In union mixed -with Phorcys Oeto bore 

A serpent terrible, her youngest child, 

That in the closes, in the joyless depths 

Of mighty earth, guards the all-golden seeds. 

Prom Ceto and from Phorcys is this breed. 

With the arrival of Echidna comes a pause in the 
Hesiodic narrative, the poet breaking off, as it were, in 
order to return to and dwell further on the Titans and 
their offspring. But we have read enough to put the 
question in all seriousness, " Is not Theogony Cosmogony? 
And is not its author's theme ' the building of our Earth?' " 
Step by step, without break or intermission, has the story 
progressed, from the unknowable of matter and force to 
the knowable ; from oneness to division ; from the universe 
to earth : that earth is then taken up and traced from 
incandescence onwards : we are told how our orb was once 
a molten ball of fire ; how a crust became established on 
it, and an ocean of waters on that crust ; how those great 
natural phenomena, the rain, the clouds, the storm-winds, 
and the rainbow had their being ; how the germs of our 
mountains and continents came into existence; how the 
granite basis of our globe was laid ; and how evaporation 
and temperature were secured. If this be not world- 
building, then nothing is. 



AND TEE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 203 

Ovid, in his 2nd Fabula, gives a running sketch of all 
the principal happenings from Pontus down. In his 1st 
Fabula, he brought the story from Chaos down to the 
Light and Universes. He then proceeds : 

Sic ubi dispositam quisquis fuit ille deomm, 
Congeriem secuit, sectamque in membra redegit. 
Principio terram, ne non sequalis ab omni 
Parte foret, magni speciem glomeravit in orbis. 
5 Turn freta diffudit, rapidisque tumescere ventis 
Jussit et ambitse circumdare litora terrse. 
Addidit et fontes et stagna immensa lacusque, 
Fluminaque obliquis cinxit declivia ripis, 
Q,use, diversa locis, partim sorbentur ab ipsa, 

10 In mare perveniunt partim, campoque recepta 
Liberioris aquse pro ripis litora pulsant. 
Jussit et extendi campos, subsidere valles, 
Pronde tegi silvas, lapidosos surgere moutes. 
TJtque duse dextra cselum totidemque sinistra 

15 Parte secant zonse, quinta est ardentior illis : 
Sic onus inclusum numero distinxit eodem 
Cura dei, totidemque plagse tellure premuntur. 
Quarum quse media est, non est habitabilis sestu : 
Nix tegit alta duas : totidem inter utramque locavit, 

20 Temperiemque dedit mixta cum frigore flamma. 
Imminet his aer, qui, quanto est pondere terrse 
Pondus aquae levius, tanto est onerosior igni. 
Hlic et nebulas, illic consistere nubes 
Jussit, et humanas motura tonitrua mentes, 

25 Et cum fulminibus facientes frigora ventos. 

TTia quoque non passim mundi fabricator babendum 
Aera permisit. Yix nunc obsistitur illis, 
Cum sua quisque regant diverse flamina tractu, 
Quin lament mundum, tanta est discordia fratrum. 

30 Eurus ad Auroram Nabatseaque regna recessit 
Persidaque et radiis juga subdita matutinis. 
Yesper et occiduo quse litora sole tepescunt, 
Proxima sunt Zepbyro : Scythiam septemque trionem 
Horrifer invasit Boreas. Oontraria tellus 

35 Nubibus assiduis pluyioque madescit ab Austro. 
Hsec super imposuit liquidum et gravitate carentem 
Aetbera, nee quicquam terrense fsecis babentem. 
Yix ita limitibus disssepserat omnia certis, 
Cum quse pressa diu massa latuere sub ilia, 
Sidera cceperunt toto effervescere ccelo. 

Met. I. 3271. 



204 THE GODS OF OLD; 

The mass when thus disposed some god soe'er 

Cut, and when cut reduced it into parts. 

And first of all the earth, that it might be 

In all directions equal, did he round 

After the fashion of a mighty orb. 

Then poured he forth the seas, and these he bade 

To heave and swell with winds of boist'rous sweep, 

And clasp the shores of earth environed round. 

Springs, too, he added, vast lagoons, and lakes, 

And girt with winding banks the rushing streams 

"Which, scattered wide, are some by earth absorbed, 

Some reach the sea and beat for banks the coasts, 

When gathered in the freer tide's expanse. 

Ordered he, too, the plains to be outstretched, 

The vales to sink, the woods to be enwrapped 

With foliage, the stony hills to rise. 

As circles two, on right, on left, divide 

The vault above hotter than these the fifth 

E'en so the god's solicitude defined 

With number congruous the charge consigned, 

And same for clime are stamped upon the earth. 

Of these unfit for life through heat is that 

Which midmost is ; snow covers deep two more ; 

Twixt each of those a like amount he placed 

And tempered them, the heat being mixed with cold. 

O'er these hangs air, which heavier is than fire 

As water's weight is lighter than the earth's : 

And there he bade abide the fogs, the clouds, 

The thunderclaps that awe the minds of men, 

And cold-producing winds with lightning's bolts. 

But yet no leave to rule the air at large 

To those was granted by the demiurge : 

With difficulty now, when each its own 

Peculiar blasts in varied clime controls, 

Is curb put to them so they may not rend 

The world's domain : so great is strife of kin. 

To eastern tracts and Nabatean realms, 

Persia, and peaks touched with the -morning's rays, 

Did Eurus go : for Zephyrus are next 

The west and shores by setting sun made mild : 

Bude Boreas seized on Scythia and the north : 

By Auster is the opposite extreme 

Of earth made moist with constant clouds and rain. 

O'er these the ether, liquid, free from weight, 

And having nought of earthly dross, he placed. 

Scarce had he thus with fixed bounds hedged all, 

When stars, that long lay pressed beneath the mass, 

Began to shed their light in heaven's expanse. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 205 

NOTES. 

1 2 In the preceding fable lie described the division into universes. 
He now deals with our particular universe (congeries), and in 
two brief lines tells how it, too, was disrupted by some force 
not well recognised, and reduced to the various heavenly bodies 
comprised within it. 

3 principio. He begins with that particular portion (membrarn) of 
the universe, our earth. 

17 totidem. "As many circles (zonse) " that is five, the equatorial 

circle, the two tropics, and the two polar circles " are stamped 
upon our earth to mark its climate." 

18 quae media. The equatorial circle; for places directly on the 

equator suffer excessively, as a rule, from the intense heat. 

1 9 duas. Zonas is understood, the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. 
totidem inter, &c. Between the equator and each polar circle 

(inter utramque) was placed the same number (totidem) of 
degrees or parallels of latitude, thug constituting the two tem- 
perate and the two torrid zones ; so that all the earth between 
the polar circles is really what is meant by the poet as having 
temperature. 

It only remains to say a few words with regard to the 
Scriptural narrative. Genesis has condensed it to the 
extreme of simplicity in I. 9, where all minor additions 
and subtractions are ignored, and only the grand total 
mentioned : 

"And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be 
gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land 
appear : and it was so." 

But here and there throughout the Scriptures we come 
across allusions and phrases that are startling in their 
nature. Most of them, it is true, are interrogational ; but 
even so, they tend to prove that the construction of the 
heavens and the building of our earth were topics that 
occupied, deeply occupied, the minds of those who penned 
the words. "Dost thou know the balancings of the 
clouds ? " asks Elihu of Job, and the question remains 
question still. 

It would be fatuous to deny, after reading portions of 
Job, the Proverbs, and the Psalms, that an intelligence 
had applied its heart to wisdom, burnt the midnight oil, 
and probed knowledge to its depths, only at last to say 



206 THE GODS OF OLD. 

submissively with Ecclesiastes, " Then I beheld all the 
work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that 
is done under the sun : because though a man labour to 
seek it out, yet he shall not find it ; yea, further ; though 
a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to 
find it." 



BOOK FIFTH. 

TITANIC TIES. 



CHAPTEE I. 



Oceanus, md, Tetliys 
Hyperion, md. TMa 

Onus, md. Eurybia 
Cceus, md. Phoebe 

Eronos, md. Bhea 
lapetus, md. Olymene 



THEOGONY. 

f Potamoi 
\ Oceanides 

Helios 

Selene 

Eos 

Astrseu.8 



I Hecate I Bia 



Pallas, md. Styx . . 

Perses 

Asterie 

Latona 

Vesta 

Demeter 

Juno 

Pluto 

Neptune 

Jupiter 

Atlas 

Mencstius 

Prometheus 

Epimetheus 



MYTHS. 






Oceanus. Son of Uranus and Ge, and married to bis sister Tethys, 
by whom he begot all the river gods or Potami, and over 
3,000 water nymphs or Oceanides. The Orphic hymns call 
him the son of Coelus and Vesta; Homer styles him the 
father of all the gods ; and the ancients in general regarded 
him as the father not only of the rivers, but of all animals 
and of the gods themselves. Apollodorus says that he alone 
of all the Titans did not enter into the conspiracy against his 



208 THE GODS OF OLD ; 

lather, Uranus. He is represented as an old man, with, long 
flowing beard, sitting upon the waves of the sea, and as 
honoured with frequent visits from the other deities. The 
early Greeks regarded Earth as encompassed by a river 
perpetually flowing round it, which they called Oceanus, and 
from which was derived the source of all the rivers and other 
waters of our globe. Out of and into this river the sun and 
stars were supposed to rise and set, and on its banks were 
the abodes of the dead. Prom its thus being the earth's 
outer covering, the name came later on to be used for the 
great outer waters of earth, and particularly the Atlantic, as 
distinguished from the inner waters, or Mediterranean. 

Tethys. Daughter of Uranus and Ge, wife of Oceanus, and mother 
of the Potami and Oceanides. 

Potamoi. Eivers, such as Nile, Alpheus, Eridanus, and others. 

Oceanides. Nymphs, daughters of Oceanus and Tethys, over 3,000 ia 
number, the most famous of whom were Electra, Doris, 
Clymene, Callirrhoe, Dione, Metis, Asia, Calypso, and Styx. 
They were honoured with libations and sacrifices, and their 
favour was invoked by sailors as a protection against storms 
and the dangers of the deep. 

Hyperion. A Titan, married to his sister Thia, and father of Helios, 
Selene, and EOs. 

Thia. Daughter of Uranus and Ge, and wife of Hyperion. In the 
Homeric hymn she is called Euryphzessa. 

Helios. The Latin Sol, our own Sun, described as the god who sees 
and hears everything, and who gives light to gods and men. 
He rises from Oceanus in the east, traverses heaven in a 
chariot drawn by four fiery steeds, and descends in. the 
evening into the darkness of the west and Oceanus. Later 
writers, in describing his return passage from west to east, 
picture hrm when sailing on his nightly voyage either t as 
slumbering in a golden bed or as carried in a golden boat, 
the work of Yulcan. 

Selene. The Luna of the Latins, our own Moon, daughter of Hyperion 
and Thia ; or, according to later writers, of Zeus and Latona, 
or of Pallas. She is pictured with long wings and a golden 
diadem or crescent, is clothed in a flowing robe, and traverses 
the heavens in a chariot drawn by two milk-white steeds. 

Eos. The Latin Aurora, and goddess of the dawn. Carried in a rose- 
coloured chariot by two horses, Lampus and Phaethon, she 
opens the gates of the east, announces the coming of the 
Sun, pours dew upon the earth, and chases Somnus, Nox, 
and the stars from heaven. By Astrseus, the son of Crius 
and Eurybia, she begot the Winds and Stars. She loved 
Tithonus and obtained immortality for him, but not eternal 
youth ; as a consequence, he grew old and shrunken, and 
was finally changed to a grasshopper. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 209 

Crius. A Titan, married to Eurybia, by whom he begot Astrseus, 
Pallas, and Perses. 

Eurylm. Daughter of Pontus and Ge, and wife of Crius. 

Astrceus. Married to Eos, by whom he begot the Winds and the Stars. 

Pallas and Styx. Married to Styx, by whom he begot Zelus, Nike, 
Cratos, and Bia. Styx, the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, 
was the first of all the older immortals who, with her children, 
assisted Zeus against the Titans. In return for such services, 
her children were allowed to dwell near Zeus in Olympus, 
and Styx herself was made the solemn oath of the gods, a 
violation of which entailed a deprival of divinity and of the 
use of nectar and ambrosia for the space of 100 years, more 
or less, according to different accounts. As a river, Styx is 
described as a branch of Oceanus, proceeding from its tenth 
source, flowing seven times round the nether world, and 
dwelling at the entrance to Hades in a lofty grotto supported 
by silver pillars. 

Perses. Brother of Asfcrseus and Pallas, and married to Asterie, by 
whom he begot Hecate. 

Caeus. A Titan, married to his sister Phoebe, and by her the father of 
Asteria and Latona. 

Phcebe. Sister and wife of Oceus, mother of Leto and Asterie. 

Leto. The Latona of the Latins, daughter of Cceus and Phoebe, and 
sister of Asterie. She was beloved by Zeus, having been 
wed to him before Juno according to some accounts, while 
others say that she was but one of his favourites. During her 
pregnancy she was persecuted by the jealous Juno, and all 
the world was consequently afraid to give her refuge. She 
wandered about till finally she came to Delos, which was then 
a floating island and bore the name of Asterie or Ortygia. 
Zeus fastened it with adamantine chains to the bottom of the 
sea so as to be a secure resting place for Latona, and here 
after nine days' labour were her children born, first Diana, and 
then Apollo. 

Asterie. The sister of Latona. To escape from the advances of Zeus, 
she was changed to a quail and threw herself into the sea. 
There she was metamorphosed into a rock that lay for a long 
time under the surface of the waters, over which it subse- 
quently rose and was called Asterie ("the island that had 
fallen from heaven like a star") after her name. It was 
subsequently called Delos, and this island it was that received 
Latona in her confinement. 

Asterie became the wife of Perses, son of Crius and 
Eurybia, and by him she begot Hecate. 

Hecate. This Hecate is described as having power in heaven, earth, 

and sea. Jupiter not only permitted her to retain all the 

honours she possessed under the Titan rule, but even added 

to them himself, especially by making her the guardian of 

G.O. P 



210 THE GODS OF OLD; 

the young. She bestows honour and happiness on those she 
favours ; she helps in council, war, the courts of justice, and 
in public games; she aids hunters and sailors, assists in 
caring for the flocks, and in nourishing the young. Much 
has been added by later "writers. She has been made a deity 
of the lower world, and a very powerful one; described as 
dwelling at places where two roads crossed; in cemeteries, 
and near the blood of murdered persons ; as wandering about 
with the souls of the dead, teaching sorcery and witchcraft, 
and as sending forth at night spectres and phantoms to 
frighten mortals. Her approach is announced by the whining 
and howling of dogs. She has often been confounded with 
other divinities, such as Luna in heaven, Diana on earth, 
and Proserpine in the lower world, and has thus been called 
Tergemina, Triformis, Triceps. She is variously pictured as 
having three bodies or three heads, that of a horse on the 
right, a dog on the left, and in the middle that of a lion, a 
woman, the moon, or a sow, for authors differ considerably 
on the point. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 211 



CHAPTER II. 

OCEANUS, THE TIB OP WATBES. 

HAVING in the early part of his Theogony alluded to the 
Titans as " matter endowed with magnitude," Hesiod now 
takes up each individual Titan and descants upon him and 
upon those sprung from him. This he does in regular 
order, commencing with Oceanus, but leaving lapetus to be 
described the last. 

Oceanus. "Whence came our oceans, seas, rivers, springs, 
and every source of water upon our globe? In the 
nebulous period all things were as one, whether of matter 
or force. As evolution proceeded, the forces grew separate 
into physical and chemical, while the nebulous atoms of 
matter assumed to themselves dimensions, with the com- 
bined result of a firmament being evolved as a boundary 
for our Universe. There would thus, as already mentioned, 
be eventuated a midway region between this firmament 
and a constantly active and contracting mass whose density 
must ever increase towards the centre previous to the 
throwing off of further portions of its being, and must 
probably vary towards the surface from the heat evolved in 
its jaculatory efforts. In the midway region alluded to 
would be assembled the vapour of every element that is 
volatile at a high temperature, and chief among them the 
elements of which water is composed. " When the earth 
was incandescent," says Gunning, " the oceans were above 
not on the earth : the waters were here from ' the begin- 
ning,' here in their elemental gases. As silica is the oxide 
of silicon, water is the oxide of hydrogen : both imply a 
time when their elements had not combined, were free." 
" When the earth and its atmosphere," resumes the same 
writer, " had cooled to the dew point, condensation occurred : 

P 2 



212 THE GODS OF OLD; 

oxidation must have occurred before condensation : the 
oceans must have hung as a pavilion of clouds and a thick 
veil of mist before they fell in rain upon the earth." 

The nebulous atoms had thus changed in time into 
elements, and some of those elements had later on 
combined to form -what we call Aqueous Vapour : in other 
words, the nebulous atoms of Ge had become endowed 
with magnitude, and one particular class of those combined 
atoms formed what Mythology has called Oceanus. 

Let us study in condensed form this aqueous vapour : 

1. It, or its elements, are of hoary antiquity, since, as 
being the most volatile, it would be among the first to 
be evolved from the heated mass. 

2. Being the immediate source of rain, and rain of 
springs, and those springs of rivers, then every 
stream and river may well be said to have their origin 
in this aqueous vapour. 

3. Until it condensed to form the first rain that fell, 
there could be no life, vegetable or animal, upon earth. 

Now, wherein does this condensed science differ from 
Mythology when it tells us that Oceanus was one of the 
oldest deities; the father of mighty rivers and gladsome 
streams ; the father of the G-ods themselves ? And 
wherein does Science or Mythology differ materially from 
the following passages in Genesis, Chap. II., 5 and 6. 

5. And every plant of the field before it was in the 
earth, and every herb of the field before it grew : for 
the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the 
earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 

6. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered 
the whole face of the ground. 

TTJ#VS d' 'Q.Kfavia Uorafiovt TeKf btvrjfvras. Theog. 337. 

For Oceanus Tethys then begot 
The eddying rivers, 

both the Nile, and Alpheus, and wide-wandering Eridanus, 
and so on for those rivers biv^evras, that is, the rivers that 
flow in an eddying or circular course, from the aqueous 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 213 

vapour above to sea beneath, and back again to whence 
they came, and so on interminably. 

Once more referring to what is stated in our modern 
works as regarding the nature of this aqueous vapour, we 
find the following among others : 

1. It is a bland, impalpable gas, which the atmosphere 
in combination with the waters of the sea is constantly 
secreting. 

2. By absorbing the radiated heat, it acts as a mantle 
to earth in securing it against cold ; and it is an 
important factor in the meteorological phenomena of 
our globe. 

3. Beneath its benign shelter live mankind, animals, and 
plants. " Eliminate the aqueous vapour for the short 
interval of a summer night," says a writer on geology, 
"and the sun would rise next morning on an earth 
petrified with frost." 

4. It is ever in motion, forms a connecting link between 
heaven and earth, and according to its density or 
rarity are hearing, sight, and motion affected. It is 
the presence of aqueous vapour that affects the density 
of the air, and the denser the air the better is sound 
heard, the more resistance is there to motion, and the 
more interference with vision, as instanced well on a 
foggy day. 

5. Being the source of rain and moisture, it is all- 
conducive to the fertility of the land, the growth of 
vegetation, and the welfare of cattle. 

6. It is always, even on the hottest day, present in the 
atmosphere, is potent in the rarefaction or density of 
the air, and must consequently by the production of 
rain, hail, and snow, be considered as an active agent 
in the corrosion and disintegration of the rocks. 

The following is Hesiod's description of the daughters of 
Oceanus, the Oceanides. Close examination will show that 
it is no mere jumble of names ; that, on the contrary, it is 
a well digested summary of the attributes which modern 
science assigns to aqueous vapour : 



214 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Tiwe Se Qvyartpcav lepov yevos, ai Kara yaiav 
avSpaf Kovpi^ova'i a~i>v 'AjroXXoji'i avciKTt 
KOI norapois, ravn;)> 8e Aios Trapa polpav el 
Hfi6a> T 'A8p.Jjrij re 'idvdr] T 'HXe/apT; re, 
5 Aajpi'y re Hpvfivdt re Kal Ovpavaj Qeoeiftrjs, 
'Iinrat re KAu/nei/?? re 'PoSeid re KaXXiptfy re 
Zevd> re KXvriTj re 'iSvia re Hatnddjj re 
re raXa^au/j?; T' tparij re 
Te GOT; re Kai eveiSrjs 

10 Kepiajis re, (pvf/v eparrj, H\ovr<b re 

HepaTjis r* 'Idveipd i* 'AKOOTI; Te Sdv6i] re, 
UfrpaLrj i* epoecrtra Mevecr^a) T^ TZvpdnrr) re, 
Mart's r" "Evpvv6[aj re TeXe<rra> re 
XpuoTjis T' 'Aa-tTj re KOI i/iepoeo-tra 

15 EtiSapr; re TV^T; re Kat 'A.p.<pipa> 'Qmipor) re, 
/cat 2ru^, 77 ST; (r(j)fa>v irpofpepeoraTi} etrrlv 
aSrai 8' 'QKeavoS icai Trjdvos f^eyevovro 
Trpetr^vrarat (coupaf TroXXot ye p.6i/ ei<ri Kal aXXai. 
rplff yap ^tXiai ettri TavvirCpopoi 'S 

20 ai pa TroXvoTrepees yaiav Kal fievdea 
irdvrr) 6{iS>s f<peTrov(ri, 6ed<av ayXaa 
rotrtroi 8' av^' erepoi Trora/tot Kava^rjSa peovres, 
vlefs 'QKfavov row yeivaTo TTOTVUI Ti]6vs' 
T>V ovop.' dpyaXebv irdvrcov /Sporw avSpt evurireiv, 

25 01 8e eKaoToi io-ao-ii', OOTH Trepivaterdovcri. ^Theog. 346. 

A "blessed race of daughters she begot, 
"Who with the rivers and Apollo king 
Mortals caress, from Jove this lot they have : 
The bland and impalpable, -warm, electee, 
The blessing, and anthem proemial, divine, 
The restless, pervading, the fkrwing, and changing, 
Help to life, hearing, vision, to motion diffused, 
The moistening, fertile, sweet heavenly treasure, 
All-nutrient, cursive, and well-favoured fount, 
The beauteous-shaped circlet, the wealthy for oxen, 
Dispelling, cloud-melting, condensing, and gilding, 
The daintily crumbling, corrosive, and mould'ring, 
The subtle in nature, the boundless, mysterious, 
The pale-golden, teeming, desire-breeding mantle, 
The kind, the auspicious, circumfluous, swift, 
And Styx which indeed of them all is the first. 

Of Oceanus and of Tethys then 

These maids, the oldest of their kind, were sprung ; 

Yet many others too there are besides. 

For thousands three these tiny hammerers are, 

These ocean-born, who everywhere alike 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 215 

Roam scattered o'er the earth, and depths of sea, 

A glorious race of goddesses divine. 

And rivers just as many are there, sons 

Of Oceanus, dashing on their course, 

These too the venerable Tethys bore, 

Whose names in full 'twere hard for man to tell, 

But kno-wn they are to those who near them dwell. 

NOTES. 

2 3 The aqueous vapour, light and heat, and size of rivers, have 
much to do with the civilisation of mankind. 

4 'Afyt^TT;, ad/jajros, " unconquered, untouched, impalpable." 

5 Hpvfiva>, irpo vp.vos " the first hymn," the proem of creation. 

" Before eternal Love had lit the sun, 
Or Time had traced his dial-plate in stars, 
The joyful anthem of the ocean flowed." Mrs. Hale. 

6 KXv/iewj K\VO> pevos " force or strength perceived, or viewed in all 

its aspects,'' hence, "renowned, pervading." 

8 nATjIarfpj;, ir\fi6os frpos " filling the dry; " TaXagavpr], yaXa gqpos 

" making the dry flow with -milk ; " Aitow; 8los a>vfi "a heavenly 
purchase." 

9 HoXvdaprj, Tro\iis dS>pov, Or TTO\VS v8a>p. 

11 'Idvetpd, laivat elpos " to melt the fleece ; " 'A/caonj, a \aoTOs " not 

opened"; hence, close, dense; Sdvdrj, a.v8os, "yellow, red," 
referring to the varying colour of the clouds. 

12 HfTpairj, Trtrpa paito "to break the rocks;" t/Lfve<r6a>, p.evos ecrdlca 

" to eat the strength ; " Eupcom/, evp&s " mould, decay." 

14 'Ao-iij, &a> " to satiate." 
Ip.epoetra'a KoXv^ti) 

" With the fertile moisture cheered, 
The orchards smile, joyous the farmers see 
Their'thriving plants, and bless the heavenly dew.'' Phillips. 

15 TV^T;, rvyxavto " to happen, fall out, come by chance." 

The absence of aqueous vapour makes a Sahara ; its presence, 
an oasis. Huxley says, " The well-being and even the very 
existence of every living thing is absolutely dependent on the 
composition of the air." 

19 Tavvcr<popoi, ravvca <r<pvpd " to beat with the hammer." So too we 
say "the pattering of the rain; " and one writer on elementary 
geology makes use of the words " those tiny hammerers " for 
the raindrops. And if, as is probable, tiny be derived from the 
Latin tennis, which certainly comes from re Lva> or ravva>, the 
word ravv<r(popoi will literally signify " tiny hammerers." 

23 'aneavov. The usual derivation is anew vda>, " rapid flowing," 
or "flexibly flowing;" WACVS lavov, "the flexible mantle," 
would suit equally well, and be more in accordance with the 
characteristics. 



216 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Apollodorus, while mentioning the number of the 
Oceanides as 8,000, enumerates but six, namely Asia, 
Styx, Electra, Doris, Eurynome, and Metis. At the same 
time he introduces as one of the Oceanides, Amphitrite, 
the wife of Neptune, whom Hesiod classifies as a Nereid, 
calling her eiV^vpw 'A/x^ir/Hrr/, " the well-hammering 
Amphitrite," as the waters of the seas beat and dash the 
rocky coasts of the neighbouring lands. When Apollodorus 
says that Oceanus alone of all the Titans did- not enter into 
the conspiracy against Uranus, he means that this aqueous 
vapour is of far-reaching extent, permeating possibly the 
ether that unites all the bodies of our Universe ; or else, 
that disruption of the firmament could not take place were 
the elements of this aqueous vapour present to interfere 
with the heat evolved in the act of separation. Well, 
therefore, have 8e&v yeWo-ty, o<nrep yeVetns iravretnri TITVKTO.L, 
Oceanum, patrem rerum, and other like epithets been 
applied to Oceanus. 

But far more frequently, and with equal significance, 
has another class of epithets been assigned him, such as 
aKaXappelrrjs, /3advppoos, a^roppoos, 'flueavos irora/xos, 
Troraju,o's, and lepos -iroTa.tJ.6s. Vast as are the oceanic 
waters on our globe, and small though be the amount of 
aqueous vapour in a given quantity of air from 4 to 16 
grains in 1000 yet when we consider the extent and 
circumference of our atmosphere, we must believe that 
there is a much larger ocean above than below. This 
mighty aqueous vapour ocean has its own eddies, its own 
currents, its own storms ; and under ordinary circumstances 
remains invisible, colourless, and transparent, until the air 
containing it is cooled below the point of saturation by the 
union of aerial currents of different temperatures, or by the 
rise of air into upper and colder regions of the atmosphere. 
In the one case saturation augments the aqueous vapour ; 
in the other, expansion, radiation, and contact with the 
cold peaks of mountain regions, chill it. In both cases 
minute particles appear that retain a liquid, or more or less 
solid condition, according to the varying degree of tempera- 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 217 

ture, and fill the upper region with masses of clouds, 
fantastic in form, and varying in size and altitude. Further 
condensation augments the size of those cloud particles, 
and finally they fall to earth as dew, rain, snow, hail, or 
sleet. In some one or other of those forms does this 
aqueous vapour fall on ocean, sea, and lake, on mountain, 
valley, marsh, and plain ; it sinks even into earth itself, 
and permeates through the solid crust to unknown depths, 
or circulates through the tunnels and crevices which in 
great measure it has fashioned for itself underground. But 
this is not the end of the aqueous river from above : by the 
sun's heat this liquid downfall is again more or less 
collected from every part of sea and land on which it fell, 
and is raised as vapour to the airy regions whence it came, 
there again to be condensed to clouds, again to fall on 
earth, again to be restored to the realms above ; and so on, 
without end. 

Here is a vast system of circulation ceaselessly going on ! 
From the first day a drop of water was formed on the 
nebulous confines of our globe to the present moment, the 
action has been the same ; we behold, as Mythology tells 
us, a vast, soft-flowing ocean river, moving to depths below 
and to heights above, flowing back into itself; a perfect 
river, encircling earth as it does ; a sacred river surely, as 
the gift of God, and as mentioned in sacred history : 

" But there went up a mist from the earth, 
And watered the whole face of the ground." 

Genesis ii. 6. 

How far does this aqueous vapour stretch ? Our atmos- 
phere is stated to extend 50 miles or so above earth, and is 
conjectured to reach to an inconceivable distance beyond 
this in a condition of greater or less tenuity. Wherever 
air is found, there certainly is aqueous vapour ; and owing 
to the superior lightness of its constituents, it would be 
rash to assert that it could not exist in that common 
medium, if such there be, which binds all the bodies of our 
system, perhaps our universe. 

It must be with an added interest and a broader interpre- 



218 THE GODS OF OLD; 

tation that we read such passages as have Oceanus or 
Tethys for their theme : 

Qua sol utrumque recurrens 
Aspicit Oceanum. JEneid vii. 101. 

Nos manet Oceanus circumvagus. Horace Ep. xvi. 41. 

Oceani finem juxta solemque cadentem, 

Ultimus JSthiopum locus est : ubi maximus Atlas 

Axem humero torquet stellis ardentibus aptum. 

JEneid iv. 480. 

Earth, then, is one of the banks of this endless river, and 
on this bank surely are the abodes of the dead : accepting 
the widespread diffusion of aqueous vapour, we see the 
reason, and must acknowledge the truth, why the sun and 
stars of our system at least should be described as 
rising and setting therein. 

And when life and life's forces lie parched and breathless 
under a torrid sun, when the baked earth and glassy sea 
are incapable, as it were, of affording sufficient nutriment 
to being, then does a visit to this beneficent Oceanus 
invigorate and strengthen the drooping plant, the listless 
animal, and exhausted man. 

" The clouds consign their treasures to the fields, 

And softly shaking on the dimpled pool 

Prelusive drops, let all their moisture flow, 

In large effusion, o'er the freshened world." Thomson. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 219 



CHAPTER III. 

HYPERION, THE TIE OE WORLDS. 

Hyperion. The nebula at one time filled all space. 
When the firmament was separated there must have 
eventuated a differential space between the two. It is 
evident enough that this space would be constantly aug- 
menting at the expense of a constantly contracting and 
diminishing nebulous mass, and that thither should rush 
all the cosmic matter given off through the aeons whether 
by radiation or disruption. 

Seasoning of the universe somewhat in the same 
fashion as we do of our System, we may suppose the 
combined forces of attraction and rotation on a constantly 
shrinking mass as resulting in a peripheral velocity so 
great that gravity would be overcome and the peripheral 
portion be detached. 

This process, repeated again and again, would eventuate 
in the establishment of independent masses, the beginnings 
of the sun systems of the universe. We are also at 
liberty to imagine that instead of those repeated abstrac- 
tions from the original nebula, there might have occurred 
but one, whereby far and away the mightiest portion 
would be detached as one mass, leaving but a minimum 
behind. The former would be evolved into the sidereal 
system by further disruptions ; the latter, into our solar 
system. 

However, or how manifold the division, there would be 
outer space to fill, and a rush of cosmic matter to fill it, 
each mass taking its destined place. This rusli of cosmic 
matter to outer space would seem to be the Hyperion and 
Thea of the myths. The derivation of Hyperion from imep 
l&v, " moving above or beyond," is not satisfactory to many, 



220 THE GODS OF OLD; 

owing to the position of the accent. Now we find irapa and 
o"ia written -napaL and Siat by Homer and others. If we do 
the same with this 'Tnepiaiv and derive it from virspi u>v, 
then the accent will be satisfied and we get for equivalent 
" being beyond " or " being above," which agrees with the 
idea of outer space. Again as to eta, we find 0e'a> or 0euo 
signifying "to run," "to rush," and intimately associated 
with Qv<a, the original sense of which Passow has suggested 
to be " to fire," " to burn." So that Thea and Hyperion 
would imply much the same notion as " the heavenly 
fires " of Milton, or " the incandescent orbs of space," as 
plain prose is sometimes forced to put it. Let us also 
remark that there is a suspicious resemblance between 
6eia and " heat," and still more so between it and the 
Gothic " heito," to which our English word is traced. 

Qeia 8' 'HeXtov re yt,eyav \ap.TTpdv re 

'HS ff, TJ jrdvrecrfri.v Im^BovloKri (fiaeivet 

adavdrots re 0eoi<rc, rot ovpavov evpvv f^ 

yelvaff inroSfajdeia 1 'Ympiovos ev (f)i\6iTjTi. Theog. 371. 

But in Hyperion's fellowship subdued, 
Thia begot the mighty Sun, bright Moon, 
And ECs too, who shines o'er all terrene 
And deathless gods that hold the heaven wide. 

In plain prose, the heat of the separated nebulous mass 
was at length overcome by the temperature of outer space, 
overcome sufficiently to produce a Sun, a Moon, and Eos. 

Helios. The same figurative mode of speaking which 
we use as bearing on the rising and setting of the Sun 
has been also largely used by the ancients. That the true 
system of astronomy was taught by Pythagoras and his 
disciples is well substantiated and recognised; and Ovid 
thus testifies to the sun's setting on one-half of the world 
only to illumine the other half : 

Ipse Dei clypeus, terri cum tollitur ima, 
Mane rubet : terr&que rubet cum conditur im.8, : 
Candidus in summo est. Met. xv. 192. 

God's shadow too, when raised o'er earth below, 
The morning fires : and fires when hid from earth : 
'Tis in the zenith bright. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 221 

1 clypeus. So Byron in his Manfred : 

" Thou material God ! 
And representative of the unknown 
Who chose thee for His shadow." 

2 terraque rubefc reddens the morning elsewhere. 

The ancients described the Sun as traversing the 
heavens, in the same colloquial fashion we do ourselves, 
and the golden boat or couch in which he made the journey 
from west to east is simply figurative, after the same 
colloquial fashion, of the under half, so to speak, of our 
world .being illuminated when the upper half is in darkness 
and in slumber. 

Awake, we behold the Sun racing in the heavens, and 
say so, while recognising the reverse to be true : in dark- 
ness and asleep we cannot any longer continue the fiction 
of a race that we do not see ; but to be consistent, collo- 
quially consistent, we must get the Sun back from the 
west after the same quasi fashion we spoke of him as 
going to the west, and the myth of the golden boat, sailing 
along in an ocean of aqueous vapour, was evolved as the 
best solution of the problem, how to placate the deception 
of the senses. There could scarcely be a better. Cowley 
has imitated it, using "a clear river" for "a swift 
vessel " : 

"Through the soft ways of heaven, and air, and sea, 

Which open all their pores to thee, 

Like a clear river thou dost glide, 

And with thy living stream through the close channel slide." 

Flammarion writes thus : " In the centre of this group 
shines the sun, a source of light which illuminates it, and 
of heat which warms it. Floating in the bosom of the 
space which surrounds it on every side, this group is 
like a fleet of many boats rocked in the ocean of the 
heavens." 

Further description of Helios does not come within 
the scope of this book, and though there are multitudinous 
myths connected with the Sun God, he does not enter 
prominently into the Hesiodic narrative which we are 
intending to follow as closely as possible. 



222 THE GODS OF OLD ; 

Sufficient for our purpose is it that Helios is really 
our Sun, that there is no concealment about his per- 
sonality ; for, as Virgil says, 

" Solem quis dicere falsum audeat." 

Selene, too, is not essential to our narrative. So long 
as it is clearly recognised that our Moon is meant, we 
are satisfied, for the reasons mentioned already, to leave 
" the queen of night," and proceed to others not so well 
understood. 

Eos will be treated of best in connection with her con- 
sort Astrseus. Let us remark, however, that, as the child 
of Hyperion and Thea, she too is cosmic matter, that 
most ethereal form of it which composes our starry worlds, 
just as the Sun and Moon are less ethereal forms of the 
same matter. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 223 



CHAPTER IV. 

SECT. 1. CBIUS, THE TIE OE OKDER. 

Crius. " Order is Heaven's first law," sings Pope, and 
cavil as we may at the precedency, we mast assent to the 
efficacy of the mighty power which the poet mentions. 
What is Order ? It involves much or all that is implied in 
method, arrangement, system, manner, way, rule, design, 
plan, scheme, and organisation. There is a distinction 
discernible in all these : while design, plan, and scheme 
have reference usually to the totality of a thing, the others 
refer to the parts as connected with the whole ; and while 
the dominant idea in " rule " is that of sway or precept, 
in " method " it is orderly procedure ; and so on. But 
Order embraces them all, the general principle of arrange- 
ment as well as the idea of authority, the universal notions 
of some as well as the restricted meanings of others. 

And yet this " Order " is too definite in its usually 
received application, too well developed to denote the 
incipiency of what is implied too mature, in short, to suit 
our purpose. There is another word, broader in meaning, 
more generic, and smacking more of the nebulous, which 
offers itself for approval ; it is the word " Course." It 
involves all that Order does, and something more, as evinced 
in such phrases, "the course of creation," "a course of 
studies," "westward the course of empire wends its way," 
" the course of true love never did run smooth ; " it is derived 
indirectly from the Greek Ketpu ; it has the additional 
advantage of being the correct English analogue for the 
particular Titan that Mythology has termed Kptos, and of 
whom we are now treating. 

Whether Kptos, or as it is sometimes written Kpetos, be 
derived from /ceipco or from Kpivco, we shall not insist on, nor 



224 THE GODS OF OLD; 

need we, in as much as the radical of each word implies 
" to cut, to separate ; " and so long as this idea of separa- 
tion is kept in mind, the derivation leads up to the idea of 
Order, that all-essential adjuvant to Evolution, which is 
but a change or separation from the simple to the complex. 
It is this notion of separation and consequent arrangement 
that Ovid has dwelt on when describing the events connected 
with the early construction of our universe and earth : 

Nam. ccelo terras, et tenis abscidit undas, 

Et liquidum spisso secrevit ab sere coelum. Met. i. 22. 

Sic ubi disposifcam quisquis fu.it ille Deorum, 
Congeriem secuit, sectamque in membra redegit. 

Met. i. 32. 

Matter is observed only in its compounds. The atoms of 
which it is composed are beyond our ken. But from the 
day when first those atoms assumed existence there was a 
Crius which impelled them to arrange themselves definitely 
in molecules and compounds, an order or course of being 
that was irrevocably associated with Eurybia (fvpvs /3ta), 
with a far-extended power that reached from heaven above 
to earth and the denizens of earth. Alexander Pope has 
hymned this Titanic Crius as no other poet has ever done : 

" Yast chain of Being ! which from God began, 
Natures ethereal, human, angel, man, 
Beast, bird, fish, insect, -what no eye can see, 
No glass can reach ; from infinite to thee, 
Prom thee to Nothing. On superior pow'rs 
"Were we to press, inferior might on ours : 
Or in the full creation leave a void, 
"Where, one step broken, the great scale's destroyed ; 
From Nature's chain whatever lintr you strike, 
Tenth, or ten-thousandth, breaks the chain alike. 
And if each system in gradation roll 
Alike essential to th' amazing whole, 
The least confusion but in one, not all 
That system only, but the whole must fall. 
Let Earth unbalanced from her orbit fly, 
Planets and stars run lawless through the sky ; 
Let ruling angels from their spheres be hurled, 
Being on Being wrecked, and world on world ; 
Heaven's whole foundations to their centre nod, 
And Nature trembles to the throne of God." 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 225 

From this nebulous course springs definite order, which 
may be subdivided into (1) constant and uniform; (2) 
changeable and multiform ; and (3) a mixture of the 
preceding two, namely, that which is either constant and 
multiform, or changeable and uniform. The last two may 
be predicated of things terrestrial, and are symbolised 
respectively by the Pallas and Perses that are born of 
Crius. The first the constant and uniform is found 
nowhere but in the heavens, and is called Astrseus as being 
observable only in " the movement of the stars " 



To this Astrseus, the remaining son of Crius, was Eos, 
the daughter of Hyperion and Thia, mated according to 
the myth. 



SECT. 2. THE CONSTANT AND THE DAWN. 

Eos. When treating of Hyperion, it was mentioned how 
the parent nebula might be conceived, after the formation 
of a firmament, as disrupting into many successive portions, 
or into two very unequal masses, one to form our Solar 
System, the other to evolve the Sidereal System, and that 
as a consequence evolution would go on apace in both. 
The larger of these masses would by subsequent disruption 
be itself separated into other nebulas, and these into others, 
and so on, all varied as to size, shape, and distance, but 
all possessed of that faint, hazy, ill-defined light charac- 
teristic of the nebulae of our own day when viewed with 
the naked eye or telescope. 

Nebulous matter may consequently be considered as the 
dawn of our universe, so far as the light from extended 
matter be considered. Comparing our Earth with its Sun 
the spectroscope shows many of the constituents of the 
former as resident in the latter. Thus proceeding from 
within outwards, we find in the reversing layer of the Sun 
traces of incandescent copper, nickel, cobalt, iron, and 
manganese ; the spot zone exhibits titanium and sodium ; 
the chromosphere presents the vapours of calcium and 

G.O. Q 



226 THE GODS OF OLD; 

magnesium; and the coronal atmosphere, or outermost 
envelope, consists mainly of sub-incandescent hydrogen 
and one other not well-recognised element. And further- 
more, as Lockyer has pointed out, those elements would 
appear to have succeeded each other according to their 
densities. 

Again, comparing the Sun with the fixed stars, we find 
some like Capella, Arcturus, Aldebaran, and others, to 
resemble it so closely in the character of the light emitted 
as to prove them to contain the same constituents ; others, 
like Sirius, Vega, and many more, show by the prepon- 
derance of the hydrogen line that they are hotter, and 
brighter, and consequently less evoluted in the order of 
being than our own Sun ; still others, and particularly the 
majority of the red-coloured stars, show by their banded 
spectra that they are more advanced in progress than our 
Sun, that they are cooler, " dying out Suns," as they have 
been termed. 

Once again comparing those fixed stars with the " star 
clustres," distinguished for their isolation, variety in form 
and size, and for different degrees of condensation, we find 
the purely gaseous spectra observed in only the hottest and 
whitest of the single stars, as Sirius, common to all the 
components of the "clustres," showing a less degree of 
evolution for them as a whole. 

When, finally, we compare those " clustres " with the 
nebulae, and note, as in certain of the spiral varieties, 
the rifts or dark spaces between the central nucleus and 
the surrounding rings, the convolutions round a central 
star, and the stars formed and forming in those very 
convolutions, with the connecting nebulous matter between 
the stars and convolutions, we are forced to believe that 
stars are formed, as Roberts puts it, "by the condensation 
of nebulosity, or by the aggregation of meteoric or other 
cosmic matter." 

Reasoning thus from Earth to Sun. and from Sun to 
single stars, star clusters, and nebulae, we discover a chain 
of evidence proving that the stars are formed of nebulous 



AND THE STORY THAT TRET TELL. 227 

matter, and are cooling to the condition of our Sun, that 
all, it matters not how slowly, are approaching the condition 
of our Earth ; and reversely, that our Earth, cold and 
shrunken as it now is, was once like its own Sun, could at 
one time compare with Sirius in heat and brilliancy, and 
was composed of luminous gas, the first stage we know of 
in evolution from purely nebulous matter. 

This nebulous matter, then, that broke away from its 
smaller partner and, soaring upwards, assumed an upper 
place in space, to be subsequently itself subdivided, may 
be looked on as the dawn of created matter, begetter of the 
stars, and the early precursor of the light which was emitted 
by those stars, our Sun included. But this is Eos, or 
Aurora, child of Hyperion and Thia, mother of the stars, 
and precursor of the morning red. By her alone was the 
light of matter visible, faintly and indefinitely like our 
dawn, when the sidereal system was yet in its nebulous 
incipiency, and when our Sun was in embryo; by her, 
assisted by the methodical procedure of her spouse 
Astrseus, were Sirius, " the monarch of the skies," the 
" demon " Algol and the " variable " V of Cygni, were the 
white Vega and yellow Capella, the orange Arcturus, 
Aldebaran the red, were all the hosts of heaven brought 
into being and nursed from infancy to age, from 
nebulosity to luminosity; by her and by him was 
our own System evolved into Sun and planets ; and 
by her is the light of former days, still resident in the 
stars, brought to us each morning when the goddess 
driving her steeds, Lampus and Phsethon (<pdos e0ewz>), 
ushers in the dawn. 

"Of Eos and Astraeus were the winds and stars," is the 
brief description of Apollodorus. The ascent of heated 
air, or nebulous matter, is an all-important and well- 
understood factor in the causation of winds. Much more 
important must it have been in the very early youth of our 
globe when heated nebulous matter was more potent and 
more extended over its surface, and when there existed no 
such obstructions as mountain peaks, or even continents, to 

Q 2 



228 THE GODS OF OLD; 

the production of those northerly, westerly, and southerly 
winds which we call constant (as opposed to the periodical and 
variable winds), and which under the name of trade winds 
are the prevailing type to-day in the equatorial regions. 
Bearing in mind that nebulous matter is Eos, and that 
Astraeus is the symbol of constant or unvarying order, we 
can see why the myth has made the Constant Winds 
children of Eos and Astrseus. The other winds, it will be 
remembered, had as progenitors Thaumas and Electra, and 
did not come into being till after the time of Kronos, since 
Hesiod says, " peraxpwtai yap taAAov." 

There was a day, then, when Earth was as bright and 
hot as Sirius ; when, later, it was as brilliant as our Sun ; 
when, still later and covered with its primal crust, the sur- 
face glowed with heat from pole to pole. But even so, 
there was ever an unceasing radiation of its heat to out- 
ward space, a radiation that continued through all the ages 
from the Archaic to the Cainozoic. Colder and more 
shrunken then did Earth get to be from age to age ; the 
polar regions were the first to suffer, and the heat was 
being constantly transferred towards what is now the equa- 
torial zone. 

It is this theory of Earth's progressive cooling that has 
been incorporated into mythology under the fable of Eos 
and Tithonus. 

Heat was carried away from Earth as a whole, and 
gradually transferred from the poles to the tropics : 
Tithonus, Qvuv "heated matter," was carried off by 
Aurora to Ethiopia, aW<ov oty- ; " Tithonusque remotus in 
auras," as Horace says. But our Earth, or the matter of 
it, will always possess some heat : Aurora obtained immor- 
tality for Tithonus. The consequence of progressive 
radiation of heat has been to make Earth colder and more 
contracted : so too did Tithonus lose the freshness of youth 
and grow shrunken in his old age ; " Longa Tithonum 
minuit senectus," as Horace says again. Science asserts 
that changes of climate have been recurrent on our globe, 
that the glaciation of one hemisphere and warmth of the 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 229 

other has been the rule, and that such alternate conditions 
occur every ten or twelve thousand years. 

Though Earth, then, may grow colder and colder, it 
retains sufficient heat to nourish the vital spark Tithonus 
cannot die ; and hy transferring the snow and ice from 
one hemisphere to the other, it continues its existence : 
even so some myths relate that Tithonus was changed into a 
grasshopper, an insect that according to old belief, moults 
when it is old and grows young again. 

1 'AorpaitB 8' 'Ha>s avep.ovs TEKS KapTepo6vfj.ovs, 

dpyearrjv Zefpvpov, Bopeiji/ T' aty-rjpoKe\ev6ov 

(cat Noroi', fv (ptXdnjTi 6ea deep evvr)dei<ra. 

TOVS 8e //eV dfTTepa TLKTfv 'Eaxnpopoi' 'Kpiyeveia 
5 atrrpa re Aa/Mrerdtowa, TOT' ovpavos f<rre<pdva>Tcu. Tlieog. 378. 

Couched with the god in sweet companionship 

Did Eos for Astrseus bear the winds, 

The constant winds, the placid Zephyrns, 

The drying Boreas, and Notus too. 

Then after these Erigeneia bore 

Phosphor, the star of morning, and the stars 

That steady shine, and those that deck the sky. 

NOTES. 

1 KaprepoBvuovs. Stout-hearted, enduring, constant. 

2 apyeaTTjv. dpyeca "to be unemployed, to rest." So Ovid, "placidi 

Zephyri." 

atyiipoKe\evdov. del i^pdy KeXevdov, " ever drying the ways." The 
North Wind is dry and cold. In the latter sense Ovid uses 
" horrifer Boreas." 

3 Kal Noroi'. The South Wind was born last, as being essentially 

the one that brings rain. Ovid too, describing the arrange- 
ment of the Winds in his Metamorphoses, lines 61 to 66, puts 
Auster, the South Wind, last. 

4 TOVS Se per dorepa. The words can also be rendered, "And these 

did Erigeneia beget after the star Phosphorus, &c." But we 
prefer the rendering given, since not only does Hesiod commence 
with the formation of the winds, but also Apollodorus, who 
says " 'Hovs 8e KOI 'Aorpcuov uvffioL KOI atrrpa." In Genesis, too, 
the Sun, Moon, and Stars were the work of the Pourth Day, 
which period, as we shall find, was posterior to the "Golden 
Age " of Mythology. When writing of this Age, Ovid makes 
distinct mention of the existence of winds : 

' ' Yer erat seternum : placidique tepentibus auris 
Mulcebant Zephyri natos sine semine flores." 



230 THE GODS OF OLD; 

And it is not till after the formation and distribution of the 
Winds that he says : 

" Yix ea limitibus dissepserat omnia certis : 
Cum, quse pressa diu massS latuere sub ilia, 
Sidera cseperunt toto effervescere cselo." Met. 69. 

'HptyeWia. An epithet of Eos, and used frequently as such in the 
Iliad and Odyssey. It has been variously taken to mean 
" early born," " morn-producing," " child of morn," and 
" mother of morn." Of all four, the first, "early born," is the 
closest to the derivation assigned, rjpi yelvofuu. It may equally 
well be derived from fjrjp or d^p yen/cpu, and would thus signify 
" air bearing," or " air born," that is, producing the winds, 
and sprung from nebulous or airy matter. Erigeneia would 
thus be both the child of air and the mother of air. 
5 aor/ja Xii/im-roauTa. The planets that shine with a steady light : 
rdr' ovpavos t<rre(pdvcoTai, the fixed stars. 



SECT. 3. THE CHANGEABLE AND THE GLOOM. 

Pallas. Kpi'o) 8' TLvpvfiiT] retcev lv (piXorrjn fiiyeicra 
'Acrrpaldv re fie-yav HdXAawa re bla Ged&v 
HepaTjv ff , os KCLI TTCUTI /JLereirpeTrev Idfioiruvfla'iv. Theog. 375. 

Eurybia, with Crius mingled, bore 
Astrseus mighty, Pallas god of gods, 
And Perses who in skill, outvies them all. 

It is safe to assert that as the stars shine and move to- 
day, so did they shine and move when gazed on by the first 
man, probably by the first animal, that ever moved upon 
this Earth. An order characterised by constancy of being 
and uniformity of motion has been theirs, and has been 
symbolised by Astrseus in the myths. But there is another 
kind of order begotten of the general course of creation, a 
terrestrial order that deals peculiarly with our own globe 
and its inhabitants. While the heavenly bodies as a whole 
have not changed in their nature, movement, or apparent 
position, our Earth as a whole has undergone many changes. 
It has from a luminous mass become an opaque one ; has 
been growing colder and colder; has been accelerated or 
retarded in its motion by proximity or distance from the 
Sun round which it revolves; has been covered in turn 
with incandescent gas, with water, and with a solid crust ; 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 231 

has changed from a uniform season, that probably lasted 
for thousands of years, to a regular round of spring, 
summer, autumn, and winter. The construction of its 
crust too has been marked by variability ; and as it was from 
the first so has it continued. The unceasing efforts of 
Evolution are changing the simple into the complex, and this 
into the more complex : those changes necessitate arrange- 
ment after arrangement in the matter, and subdivision 
after subdivision in the forces and motions ; so that all is 
progressive, or retrogressive, which is but progression 
backwards. 

The type of order for the heavens is constant and uni- 
form, that for earth is changeable and multiform : if 
Astrseus be the symbol of one, then Pallas, as his brother, 
must have some valid claim to be the mythological repre- 
sentative of the other. 

The derivation of the word is as suggestive as is its 
relationship to Astrseus or its birth from Crius and Eurybia. 
The interchange of and 4> is quite common in the Greek, 
as instanced in irai-o's, -narvr], &c., for (ftavos, <j)a.Tvr), &c. ; so 
that UdXXas is but a changed form for <t>aAAas, which latter 
is derived from $ao> aAAos, " appearing different." Such 
cognates as <aA.A.o's, the Bacchic emblem for Nature's gene- 
rating power, and aXdcro-a), "to change," "to alter," "to 
make otherwise," have reference to and fasten the derivation. 

This is the Pallas who, when Crius was hurled to 
Tartarus, succeeded his nebulous, insufficient sire, and 
commencing where he left off, arranged and rearranged, 
and arranged again and again, the simple atoms into 
molecules and those into compounds, to form all things, 
organic and inorganic alike. " The elements," says Miller, 
" have no more likeness to the compounds which they form 
than the separate letters of the alphabet have to the words 
which may be made from them." Pallas is the great 
lexicographer of nature. He has taken the quartz, feldspar, 
and mica, which he fashioned, and from them made the 
granite and the gneiss to serve as a rocky basis ; and when 
these were disrupted and changed by his agency, too he 



232 THE GODS OF OLD; 

once and again arranged their constituents, ever adding, 
ever altering, to produce the different strata which surround 
our globe. He works equally powerful in water and in air, 
forming the latter out of nitrogen, oxygen, carbonic acid, 
and other gases ; the former from oxygen and hydrogen : 
he adds nitrogen to hydrogen and forms ammonia : from 
this he takes a little of the nitrogen and adds some oxygen, 
and the deadly nitric acid is the result. 

And as it is with earth and water and air, so too is it 
with the organisms that have dwelt and dwell in all three 
habitats ; for whether oak or algss, shrimp or whale, fly or 
eagle, worm or mammoth, all from the well-nigh structure- 
less Amcebus to that most complete of beings, Man, have 
been moulded and framed, and their parts arranged by 
this variable order which has been fitly called by Hesiod, 
HaXkavra. 8ia 6edcav, " Pallas, the God of gods." 

And it is to this God of gods that Mythology has assigned 
a Styx ; an atra, stagnans, tristes, inamabilis Styx, as 
partner ! Willingly would we deny it, gladly disprove it, 
were it not that poet, preacher, and scientist, and grim 
experience, best teacher of all, assert the self-same fact 
and maintain that this particular myth, like all the others, 
is but a plain, unvarnished tale of fact, not fiction. 

Styx. Constructive order involves not only the matter 
which makes up the parts arranged, but also the motion 
exhibited during the arrangement as well as the force 
which produces this motion. Many causes, however, such 
as gravity, inertia, friction, &c., tend from the very first to 
produce continuous deductions in the motion ; and con- 
tinual division and subdivision tend to produce continuous 
dissipation of the force. It is evident then, that destruction 
is present from the very inception of construction, and that 
an agency exists which grimly follows on the steps of 
progressive order, biding its time, and watching for an 
opportune moment to assert its reality and to introduce 
another but reversed order of things. There is no un- 
certainty or doubt as to the fact. Science asserts in cold 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 233 

language that for the whole and for the part Evolution or 
progressive order advances until a point is reached when 
the antagonising forces of integration and disintegration 
come to an Equipoise, or Equilibrium Mobile : this point 
reached, integrating forces yield to disintegrating ones, and 
a new order of arrangement begins. So that this Variable 
Order, which appertains to earth, consists ever and always 
of two elements. An algebraic formula but explains it. 
Eepresenting the variables, Constructiveness and Destruc- 
tiveness, by C and D, and the constant by 0, then we 
have C=(0 D) a , where Constructiveness is a decreasing 
function of Destructiveness for all values of D less 
than that assigned to 0, and an increasing function of 
Destructiveness for all values of D greater than that of 0. 
C and D are variables never apart ; they are wedded to one 
another for weal or woe ; the Order is constant. So is it 
with the constructive Pallas and destructive Styx that 
Mythology has wedded fast unto one another. 

And what the philosopher has reasoned out, the preacher 
has proclaimed, and the poet has sung : 

' ' As man, perhaps the moment of his breath, 
Receives the lurking principle of death ; 
The young disease that must subdue at length, 
Grows with his growth, and strengthens with his strength." 

What Pope has applied to the part, Shakespeare has 
enunciated of the whole : 

" The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, 
The solemn temples, the great globe itself, 
Tea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve ! 
And like this unsubstantial pageant faded, 
Leave not a rack behind." 

Still, nothing has been lost. It is true that a some- 
thing which we call Life has departed; but for Matter 
itself, the same forces remain, and the round of Order, 
though now retrogressive, still proceeds. What is left, 
whether incorporated for a while or not, will sooner or 
later moulder and be resolved into the elements from which 
they sprung. In either case subsisting life is benefited, 



234 THE GODS OF OLD; 

and the sum total of matter remains the same. Young 
lias expressed the idea aptly in his " Night Thoughts." 

' ' Look nature through. : 'tis revolution all ; 
All change ; no death. Day follows Night, and Night 
The dying Day ; stars rise, and set, and rise ; 
Earth takes th' example. 

****** 

All to reflourish fades ; 
As in a wheel, all sinks to reascend, 
Emblems of man, who passes, not expires." 

At what stage the dreaded equilibrium mobile occurs, we 
know not. There is undoubtedly a natural limit assigned 
to all, to hill and vale, river and forest, and to every being 
that moves in water, air, or earth ; but with this, and 
independent of this, there is the terrible uncertainty 
and fear of death or destruction which is ever impending 
over all. When Ovid describes Zeus as pledging his word 
to Semele, he puts the f ollowing into the mouth of the god : 

Quoque magis credas ; Stygii quoque conscia sunto 
Numina torrentis Timor, et Deus ille Deorum. 

Met. m. 290. 

And that the more reliant thou may'st be ; 
Let these, the Stygian torrent's guardians, Fear 
And he, the God of gods, bear witness too. 

We must all drink of this torrent on the way, but how 
long we know not. The earthquake, landslide, volcano 
and glacier, have brought ruin on many a towering peak, 
fertile plain, and meandering stream, and have buried 
them and all organisms upon them fathoms deep under 
rock and clay and ice and lava : the budding plant has 
been nipped by frost, the stately oak been levelled by 
lightning, the cyclone, or the axe : all these forces, and 
with them war, disease, famine, care, and pestilence, have 
hurried away by an untimely end millions of men, 
and animals inferior to men. Hurried them to where? 
Sooner or later beneath the earth. Flesh may be devoured by 
flesh, man's by animals, and animal's by its own kin or by 
men ; but earth eventually swallows destroyer and destroyed. 
This is in part one phase the physical of the celebrated 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 235 

Metempsychosis of Pythagoras ; and it is with this idea 
that much of what Ovid has written in his 15th Book of 
the Metamorphoses must be read. 

Hen. quantum scelus est, in viscera viscera condi, 
Congestoque avidum piaguescere corpore corpus ; 
Alteriusque animantem animantis vivere letho ! 

Met. XV. 88. 

To bury flesh, in flesh, fat greedy frame 
With mass congested, and retain life's spark 
By life's destruction ; oh ! how loathsome 'tis ! 

Omnia mutantur : m"hi1 interit. Errat, et illinc 
Hue venit, hinc illuc, et quoslibet occupat artus 
Spiritus : eque feris humana in corpora transit, 
Inque feras noster : nee tempore deperit ullo. 

Met. XV. 165. 

Things change ; nought perishes. Life's spirit roams, 

And to and fro, repeatedly, it comes, 

And occupies whatever frames it may ; 

The beast's to human, ours to beasts, doth go : 

And yet at no time passes it away. 

There is a downward tendency, a via declivis, for all 
existences created. Gravity alone urges us thither, says 
philosophy; and geology teaches that our broadest continents 
and highest mountains were once and again beneath the 
surface, and may be so again, for all that we are absolutely 
assured of. And as regards organic life the same holds 
good. Man's last duty to his departed fellows, the cultiva- 
tion of the soil, the downward force of rain and snow and 
ice, the floods of overflowing rivers, the tidal waves and 
inundations of the sea, the earthquake and volcano, and 
that constantly slow but sure subsidence going on in 
different regions at a time, all these and other causes tend 
eventually to make organic beings disappear from view 
beneath the surface, there to decay, moulder, putrefy, and 
be dissolved into their original elements. 

How far beneath ? "Who can tell. It is safe to say, how- 
ever, that the elementary particles can be carried to what- 
ever depth the water derived from rain, snow, and melted 
ice, can penetrate. Of all this water, some goes off with the 
streams and rivers down to the deep sea, but by far the 



236 THE GODS OF OLD; 

greater part sinks into the ground. Of this latter a portion 
reappears upon the surface as springs and wells, and some- 
times even as rivers: the remaining portion we never 
hehold unless some of nature's convulsions cause it to 
appear once more in the steam of volcanic outbursts or in 
the sudden mutations arising from earthquakes. We cannot 
tell what proportion of the whole is thus detained below 
and prevented from rising, but judging from the rainfall 
and melting snow and from the fact that the floors of sea 
and ocean as well as the beds of rivers and lakes are all 
leaky, it is stated that the amount of underground water 
itself must be enormous. Even the rocks and minerals 
are not capable of resisting its downward progress. The 
fragmental rocks, whether sand or clay, coal or chalk, lime- 
stone or other, contain water ; so do the metamorphic rocks 
beneath them, and even in the granite basis of our globe 
has it been discovered. The microscope has found in every 
rock and mineral a series of minute interstices between the 
particles or crystals of which they are composed, and 
through those interstices and through even the particles 
themselves has water been proved to be capable of infil- 
trating. The smaller and closer the interstices the more 
difficult will be the passage, but the fact remains that no 
rock or mineral, not even flint, is absolutely impervious to 
the permeation of water. And when it does reach in some 
places a relatively impervious layer, it proceeds to form 
there pools or lakes, and the surplus water overflowing 
percolates through some more porous beds till at length it 
finds a devious way beneath the obstruction to its downward 
trend. That water not only passes down, but that it also 
circulates under ground in channels and tunnels, formed 
along the natural joints and crevices of the rocks, and 
widened by its own mechanical action, is evidenced from 
the occasional rise of leaves, twigs, and even live fish, in 
the shafts of artesian wells bored in the sandy deserts of 
Algeria and other like regions where there is no surface 
water and where rain seldom if ever falls, thus proving that 
the water, which must have come from a distance many 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 237 

leagues away, has circulated for miles and miles beneath 
the surface. 

To whatever depth it goes, there is not a particle of organic 
or mineral matter secure from its attacks. 

As rain, it always absorbs some of the air through which 
it falls, and thus becomes possessed of carbonic acid gas 
and organic germs, with minute quantities of other ingre- 
dients with which our atmosphere is freighted. 

By virtue of its own powers as a solvent, and aided by 
these auxiliaries, it proceeds to disintegrate the surface 
rocks by hydration, weathering, solution, oxidation, deoxida- 
tion, and mechanical action. 

Carrying with it the same reagents it sinks into the 
earth, thereto pursue even more markedly the disintegration 
and decomposition it had begun above. It now, too, gains 
fresh forces from the abundant organic matter it meets with 
in the soil and from the reservoirs of carbonic acid gas it 
finds pent up in the natural cavities below. No substance, 
it is said, is capable under certain conditions of resisting 
the solvent force of water containing carbonic acid : the 
water in its downward course finds those conditions in the 
increased heat and pressure and the recruits of decomposi- 
tion. Armed thus, it defies the resisting powers of all 
even the siliceous rocks that bars its progress or its circula- 
tion. And as it goes it ever scoops out, first the most 
yielding and friable of obstructions, leaving the more 
massive and hardier to stand. Chemically and mechanically 
working, it trickles along here, in a fuller stream there, 
forms a pool or lake or cascade elsewhere, winds round 
some hardy, opposing rock to attack its weaker neighbour, 
swells out in some cretaceous bed to form caves that throw 
our Mammoth into insignificance and that are, it may be, 
supported with pillars of chalcedony and chert and other 
lustrous varieties of quartz. But it ever goes down, down. 
Not mere imagination this : Every spring that comes to the 
surface brings the debris of the work going on below, and 
the immense deposits of sulphur, lime, magnesia, iron, 
soda, salt, silica and mineral oil brought up, must represent 



238 THE GODS OF OLD; 

a corresponding waste of matter below, and as a conse- 
quence the existence of tunnels, caves, lakes, and river beds. 
Karnsay has estimated the annual discharge of mineral 
matter from the warm springs of Bath to be equal to a 
square column 9 feet in diameter and 140 feet in height. 
And this is only for a single year and for a minor spring ! 

To what depth this surface water is capable of descending 
is not absolutely known. There is nothing, as we have 
shown, to prevent it from sinking to the granitic or other 
crust that overlies the interior fires of our globe ; it is even 
asserted that it may infiltrate this and be a means of so 
rousing up the central fire as to produce the volcanic out- 
breaks of to-day, just as it may have helped to produce 
those of a former age. Daubree has shown that capillary 
water has the capacity of penetrating rocks even against a 
high counter pressure of vapour, and that water at extreme 
depths may be under such a pressure as to retain its liquid 
condition at a red or even at a white heat. 

Let us review : 

We have a vast body of underground water, begotten of 
aqueous vapour, circulating in the stratified beds, reaching 
to the solid crust, and probably infiltrating into the fiery 
depths of the nucleus, carrying with it from the surface 
down the hydrated and sodden remains of all organisms 
bereft of life, and, though very slowly, of inorganic dust ; 
and while carrying them, witnessing and helping in the 
resolution of those bodies, of the compound rocks and 
vegetable fibre, of animal flesh, of the gray matter of the 
brain and of all that is latent in this gray matter. 

Let us compare : 

We have- Styx, born of Oceanus, that river of the 
nether world round which it flows nine times, connected 
with the more central rivers of Acheron, Cocytus, and 
Pyriphlegethon, that hateful Styx which we all dread to 
embark on ; that gloomy Styx which when our bodies have 
to cross, the quicker the better, for corruption is more 
loathsome by its slowness ; that Styx which is open for our 
voyage provided a little clay be sprinkled over our 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 239 

remains ; Styx from which we are assuredly kept back for 
a period by suffering a too slow decay for want of a little 
earth denied us by poverty, by shipwreck, or the ferocity of 
savage beasts. 

There is nothing mythical to use the word in its baser 
sense in this Styx. It is a reality, as substantial, alas ! 
as the underground waters themselves ; a real river which, 
dreadful though it be in anticipation and the changes that 
accompany it, we must all embark on soon or late. 

' ' Our life is onward and our very dust 
Is longing for its change, that it may take 
New Combinations." 

The explanation given will tend to solve what has been 
much of a puzzle to translators of the classics, namely, 
why Styx has been sometimes described as a river, at other 
times as a lake, and again as a stagnant pool. It would 
be an almost endless task to quote the passages where Styx 
is mentioned, but we give the following from Ovid : 

1 Est via declivis funesta nubila taxo : 

Ducit ad infernas, per muta silentia, sedes. 
Styx nebulas exhalat iners, umbrseque recentes 
Descendant iliac, simulacraque functa sepulchris. 
5 Pallor, hyemsque tenent late loca senta : novique 
Qua sit iter manes, Stygiam quod ducit ad urbem, 
Ignorant, ubi sit nigri fera regia Ditis. 
Mille capax aditus, et apertas undique portas, 
"Urbs habet. Utque fretum de totS, flumina terra, 

10 Sic cmvn.es animas locus accipit ille : nee nlli 
Exiguus populo est, turbamve accedere sentit. 
Errant exsangues sine corpore et ossibus umbrae : 
Parsque forum celebrant, pars imi tecta tyranni ; 
Pars aliquas artes antiquse imitamina vitse 

15 Exercent; aliam partem sua pcena coercet. Met. IV. 432. 

Downward's the path obscured by dismal yew : 
Through silence mute to nether climes it leads. 
There sluggish Styx exhales its fogs ; and shades 
Just laid to rest, and such as are but graced 
With empty honours of a tomb, descend. 
Pallor and cold those sentines widely hold : 
And manes new know not what way may be 
That to the grewsome stronghold doth conduct 
'Where stands the cruel court of swarthy Dis. 



240 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Full many avenues and open gates 

On all sides Lath this stronghold vast. And as 

From every land the sea receives the streams, 

So too all beings does this place receive : 

Nor cramped it is by race of any kind, 

Nor recks it of the crowd that ever comes. 

There wander shades sans blood, sans flesh, sans bones : 

Part throng the deck, and part the very roof 

Of central tyrant force ; some devious ways, 

A past life's semblances, are used by more ; 

Still others their own punishment restrains. 

NOTES. 

1 funesta taxo. So Byron : 

" The very cypress droops to death 
Dark tree, still sad when others' grief is fled, 
The only constant mourner o'er the dead." 

3 iners. Dissolution is in its beginning just below the surface. 

5 loca senta. Filthy places, sink - holes. "Sentines," though 

marked in our dictionaries as obsolete, should be restored if 
only for propriety's sake. 

" A stinking sentine of all vices." Latimer. 

6 Qua sit iter. There are many and devious paths for the under- 

ground water. 

urbem. Literally "a walled town," and thus most applicable to 
the rocky crust immediately surrounding the central fire, the 
fern regia. 
10 nee ulli exiguus. " 'Tis here all meet ! 

The shivering Icelander, and sunburnt Moor ; 
Men of all climes that never met before ; 
* * * * 

The wrecks of nations, and the spoils of time, 
With all the lumber of six thousand years." Blair. 

13 Forum that is, from the surface of the earth all the way down. 
for us, the deck or hat oh of a ship, which is above, and leads from 

deck to deck down to the hold or cellar, 
tecta. The rocky crust covering the central fire, imi tyranni. 

14 artes. The sinuous or winding passages through the rocks, 
imitamina. " E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires." Gray. 

Hesiod gives two descriptions of Styx. The first bears 
on the help she afforded Zeus in his battle with the Titans : 

1 2rv ' ereK 'QKfavov Gvyarrip UaX^avri juyfio-a 
ZijXov KOI NiKTji/ KaXh.i(r(f)vpov Iv fieydpoia-i' 
Kal ~K.pa.Tot T)Sf Bii}v dpiSet'/cera yeiva.ro reicva, 
TO>V OVK tor* mravfvBe Aios Sdjiios, ovde ns edprj, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 241 

5 tnfS' 68os omn] fir] iceivois dfbs f)yep.ovevtj 

dXX' alel Trap Zrjvl ftapvKTvirca ebpiocavrai. 

cos yap f/Hovhfvcre 2rv atpdiTos 'QKeavivrj 

rjfiari rca ore travras 'Q\vfimos dorepomfr^s 

a6a.va.Tovs e/cdXeo-o-e Oeovs es fiaKpbv*Qi\viJiirov, 
10 elire 8', os av p,Ta eio 6fS>v Tirrjo'i /id^oiro, 

\a\ TIV' diroppaicrfiv yepaajv, Tiftrjv de eKaarov 

ef-epev f^v TO irdpos ye per' ddavaTouri Ocoltrc. 

TOV S' e<paff, Sorts art/tor VTTO Kpovov 778' dyepaaros, 

Tifirjs KOI yepdatv firifir](re[j:v rj 6ep.is earlv. 
15 TJXSe ff apa irpcoTT] STU| afyBiTos OVKvp-irovSe 

trvv crfpoicriv Traidecrcri <pfa.ov Sta fir/Sea irarpos. 

TTJV Se Zevs Tt/ntjcre, irfpurcra 8e 8p' cme&exfv. 

avTrfv fiev yap edijKe 6ea> ptyav ffiftevoi opuov, 

TToidas 8* rjftara irdvra eov [ifTavaieras eivai. 
20 &>s 8' aSrass iravrecrtn biapnepes, coinrep VTrearr], 

ffTe\t(r(r'' avTos 8e fitya Kparei ijSe dvdcrtrei. ^Tteog. 383 



"With Pallas mated Ocean's daughter, Styx, 

Bore Zeal and Victory that's rounded "well 

Within the crypts ; -well-guiding Strength and Might 

She also bore, an offspring whose abode 

Is not aloof from Jove ; nor certain seat 

Por single one of these, nor way whereby 

A god may point the path ; but ever near 

Loud-sounding Jupiter they take their stand. 

Por so advised the Oceanian born, 

Imperishable Styx, that fateful day, 

When to Olympus wide all deathless gods 

Th' Olympian light'ner summoned, and declared 

No one of gods who'd fight the Titan crew 

With him should lose his claims, that each would have 

The self-same honour 'mongst the immortal gods. 

This too he said, whoe'er 'neath Kronos was 

Unhonoured and untitled, he'd attain 

To rank and titles such as right 'twould be. 

So then by means of her beloved sire 

Was Styx imperishable first to come 

Towards Olympus, and her sons with her. 

Zeus honoured her and gave surpassing gifts. 

Herself indeed he made the gods' great oath ; 

Her sons, to be his changelings for all time. 

In self -same manner for the others all 

Precisely as he pledged himself he did ; 

And great his strength, and mighty does he rule. 



G.O. B 



242 THE GODS OF OLD; 

NOTES. 

2 ZijXov. " Not Kings alone, 

Each. Tillager has Ms ambition too." Young. 

NIKIJV KoAXun^upoi'. KahXi-(r<paip6to, " well-rounded." 

" Our little life is rounded with a sleep." Shakespeare. 

" For with, thy side shall dwell at last 

The victory of endurance born." Bryant. 

peydpouri. peyapos signifies "a large common hall," "a house of 
many rooms," and so earth, as a vast cemetery. TO peyapa 
were " the underground caves " sacred to Demeter and Proser- 
pine. 

3 dptSeiKera. " 'Tis great to have a gianf s strength, 

But tyrannous to use it." 

4 OVK airdvevBe Aios. A. generation dies; but its passions, all em- 

braced by zeal, victory, might, and strength, survive. 

5 ovSe TIS edpT), ovS' dSos. There is a different ideal for all, but the 

way to it is not always the same; there is no royal road to 
success or learning. 

"Life is before ye ! " from the fated road 
Ye cannot : turn then, take ye up the load. 
Not yours to tread or leave the unknown way, 
Ye must go o'er it, meet ye what ye what ye may. 

Mrs. Buthr. 

15 ij\0e Srvg. Decomposition is a prime factor in fertilising the soil, 

and is thus an auxiliary, the first, for Zeus or Life. 
" But creeping things shall revel in their spoil, 
And fit thy clay to fertilise the soil." Byron. 

"Life mocks the idle hate 
Of his arch-enemy, Death ; yea, seats himself 
"Upon the tyrant's throne, the sepulchre, 
And of the triumph of his ghastly foe 
Makes his own nourishment." Bryant. 

" That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die." 

1 Corinth, xv. 36. 

16 Sia jjirfbea jrarpds. By means of aqueous vapour, or of evaporation, 

is the soil pulverised, decomposition brought to the surface, 
and life thus benefited. 

18 peyav opKov. Dissolution accompanies us from birth, and life's 

tenure is uncertain. What then can be the most binding oath 
for Life (Zeus), but the fear and reality of Death, that is, 
Styx? _ _ ; _ 

19 neravcutTas. There is no annihilation of matter; death in one 

form is but a resurrection in another. 

" There is no rest in all the realms of life ; 
Man's an epitome of endless strife." 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 243 

After Zeus had hurled the Titans into Tartarus, Hesiod 
gives a further description of Styx : 

1 *Ev$a e i/aceraei trruyepij deos ddavdrowi, 
A.eivr] STU^, Bvydrrip d^oppoou ' 'QKeavow 
Trpea-^vraTT]. i>6(r(piv fie 6ea>v /cXvra Sahara vaiei 
p.aKprj<riv Trerpgiri Karrjpf(pe'- dp.(j)l df Trdvrrj 
5 Kioinv dpyvpeoLcri irpos ovpavov ea-TTjpiKTat. 
Travpa 8e QavfiavTos Bvydrqp TroSas awce'a 'ipis 
dyyeXirjv ir<a\fiTat r" evpea viaTa 6a\d(r(ri;s, 
OTTTTOT' epts Kal veiKos eV d^avdroKnv opr/rai, 
KO.I p ore rts \jffvdr]Tai 'OXvprna Sco^or' exovrcov, 

10 Zevs Se re T Ipti' eirep^re 0e&v p.eyav SpKOV evfiiau 
Tr)\6dev ev xputro; Trpo^oca, Tro\va>wp.ov vdcop, 
^ru^po!/, o r' e ireTprjs /caraXet^erat iJXt/Saroto, 
VTJrr)\.rjs' TroXXof Se 5' VTTO ^dovos evpvoSeirjs 
It; iepov Trora/ioio peet Sia vvicra peXatvav 

15 'GKeavoIo Kepas' beKarrj 8' ejrt /tioTpa SeSaoTai. 
evvea p,ev Trepi y^v Te KQI evpea vaira 8a\d(rtrr]S 
Sivrjs dpyvpegs eiXiyfievos els a\a mTrrei, 
TI Se /xt' fK irerprjs Trpopeei peya Trfjfia 6eoi<riv. 
os Kev rrjv eiriopKov aTroXet^as eirofioffa-r] 

20 ddavdrcov, 01 e^ovtrt Kap^ vxpoevros 'OXv^wrou, 
Kelrat vrjiJTfios TereXetr/iei'oj/ ets eviavrov, 
ovSe 7TOT 1 djiftpoiriris Kal veKrapos ep^erai curtrov 
jBpoocrios, aXX' oye KfTrat draffyevoTos /cat avavftot 
arrpaiTois ev \exee<rcri, KCIKOV de e K&JJ.O. KaXvirrei. 

25 avrap eirr/v vovcrov reXearp peyav els tviavTov, 
aXXor S' e^ aXXoi) fie^erat ^aXeTTcorepoy ddXo;. 
flvderes Se ^ei/ drropeipeTai alev eovrtnv, 
ovde TTOT' es ^ovXfjv emfiiayeTai ov8' em Satray 
ewea Trdvra erea* SeKarw 8' eVt/Ato-yerai avrty 

30 elpeas ddararwv, at 'OXv/iTTta 8a>/iaT } e^ovcri. 

rolov ap' SpKOV edevro deal Sruyos acpdnov vdcap, 

wyi/yioi', TO 5' ojo-t KaratrrvfpeXov did \atpov Theog. 775. 

Tkere, h.ated by immortals, lies dread Styx, 

Of backward flowing Ocean eldest child : 

Apart from gods there lie those famed abodes 

Eoofed o'er with mighty rocks, and all around 

"With shining pillars heavenwards they've been propped. 

Once in a while upon her message goes 

The child of Thaumas, Iris swift of foot, 

O'er the broad surface of the deep when strife 

And rivalry are 'mongst immortals roused ; 

And surely then, when some of those that had 

Olympian domes perverted grew, and Zeus 

Sent Iris forth to bring from far away 

In rich outpouring the great oath of gods, 

The well-known water, cold, and trickling from 

B 2 



244 THE GODS OF OLD; 

The rock that's seated deep and towers on high. 

And far 'neath fissured earth through black of night 

This branch of ocean's sacred river runs ; 

But tenth has been the measure fixed by fate. 

For nine, in silvery spires rolled round the earth 

And sea's broad back, falls one into the deep ; 

But forward flows this other from the rock, 

A grievous scourge to the immortals all. 

Of gods that hold Olympian snowy peaks, 

"Whoe'er for this has left the pledge he took, 

Senseless he lies for the predestined time, 

Nor e'er of sustenance desirous comes 

Near to the nectar and ambrosia, but 

Breathless and voiceless lies he there within 

The stratified beds, and comatose as 'twere. 

But when this suffering for ages long 

He has discharged, another task's received, 

Another, and another, more severe. 

For periods nine away from livelong gods, 

Nor once he's mixed in council nor in feast 

The full nine cycles long ; but on the tenth 

Once more he's mingled with the host of gods 

Immortal who Olympian domes possess. 

Such then the oath the gods have made of Styx, 

Of its imperishable water, old ; 

And such through regions rugged down it goes. 

NOTES. 

4 ficiKprjcriv TTfTprja-i. Owing primarily to unequal contraction of the 
crust, and subsequently to subterranean agitation and the 
chemical action of underground water, the whole thickness of 
the earth's rocky covering is supposed to be extensively 
fissured and intersected with tunnels and caverns. 
9 Kal p' ore. Occasionally, says the poet, does the rainbow go forth 
upon its mission; "but surely did it go forth once when the 
greater part of mankind and of earth grew corrupt (TIS -^ffv^rfrai), 
and there ensued a Deluge that brought back the Stygian 
waters to aid in the general destruction. 

"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second 
month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were 
all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows 
of heaven were opened." Genesis vii. 11. 

12 ex Trerpijs. The rocky crust of earth, with deep foundations and 
lofty mountains, and permeated with water from top to base. 

15 SEKOTTJ. The ancients believed in a general renovation of the 
surface of land and water upon our globe at the end of every 
ten thousand years or so, this period being half of their magnus 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 245 

annus, or Great Platonic Cycle. For nine (eiw/a) of those 
thousands would the aqueous vapour roll round our planet, 
replenishing the rivers, lakes, aud springs that finally empty 
into the ocean ; and during the same nine periods would one 
branch of this ocean river, namely the underground water, 
trickle from the surface downwards through the rocky envelope 
of earth. The tenth (Se/cdr^) period would be the fateful one, 
since the entire configuration of land and water would be 
altered by seismic, volcanic, depressing, and elevating influences. 
A somewhat analogous theory is held by modern writers to 
account for the long periods of cold (similar to the historic Ice 
Age), and equally long of heat, which occurred at widely 
separated intervals during the history of our Earth. Dr. Croll 
ascribes the cause to the combined effect of change of eccentricity 
and the precession of the equinoxes, the magnus annus of the 
ancients, and while arguing that the northern hemisphere was 
glaciated while the southern was warm, and vice versa, says, 
"owing to the precession of the equinoxes, the condition of 
things on the two hemispheres must be reversed every 10,000 
years or so." 

16-17. The context, as well as the p.ev 8e (line 18) shows that the 
overground circulation of aqueous vapour as a whole (lepos 
jroTapos 'QKeavos) is referred to in these lines, just as line 18 has 
reference to the underground water. 

18 peya Trrjfia. It is generally conceded that the descent of water 

from the surface is an essential exciting cause of volcanic 
outbursts, landslips, and possibly of earthquakes. The 
scourging effects of volcanoes and earthquakes are well known. 
In 1806 a landslip in Switzerland swept across the valley of 
Goldau, burying four villages and about 500 people. In 1839 
a mass of chalk on the Dorsetshire coast of England slipped 
into the sea, bearing with it houses, roads, and fields, and 
leaving behind a rent three-quarters of a mile long, 150 feet 
deep, and 240 feet wide. 

19 rffv emopKov. The ri follows its case, the reading being TTJV em 

SpKOV, 

Every particle of matter has its own station to guard and its 
own function to fulfil. If it proves untrue to duty, and leaves 
behind the bond of union (SpKov drroXetyay) for the sake of 
this (T^V eiri) underrunning water, it will assuredly rue the day. 
The poet tells us how ; and modern science thus confirms his 
words : 

"The great plains of the earth's surface are due to the 
deposit of gravel, sand, and loam. They are thus monuments 
at once of the destructive and reproductive processes which 
have been in progress unceasingly since the first land rose 
above the sea and the first shower of rain fell. Every pebble 



246 THE GODS OF OLD; 

and particle of their soil, once part of the distant mountains, 
has travelled slowly and fitfully down-wards. Again and again 
have these materials teen shifted, ever moving downward and 
sea-ward. For centuries, perhaps, they have taken their share 
in the fertility of the plains, and have ministered to the 
necessities of flower and tree, of the bird of the air, the beast of 
the field, and of man himself. But their destiny is still the 
great ocean. In that bourne alone can they find undisturbed 
repose, and there slowly accumulating in massive beds, they 
will remain until, in the course of ages, renewed upheaval shall 
raise them into future land, there once more to pass through 
the same cycle of change." Bncyc. Brit. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 247 



CHAPTER V. 

SECT. 1. CCEUS, THE TIE OE UNION. 

Cceus. There is another characteristic as indelibly 
associated with matter as is Order. Mere arrangement of 
atomic matter would still leave matter as atomic, and an 
Earth composed of individual atoms, however often and 
variously permutations might occur among them, would be 
but very little more advanced in evolution than purely 
nebulous matter itself. To continue moving on the lines 
of progress, it was necessary for atomic matter to be 
endowed with Union. "In union there is strength," and 
a stable crust for our globe was all essential to its future 
development. 

There are many shades of union, from that of mere coa- 
lescence or coition to that exhibited in our most stable com- 
pounds. And by compound we do not mean here those 
substances evolved through chemical agency and in which 
a total change of properties takes place, such as have been 
mentioned under the Cyclopes. We mean those substances 
produced by the natural inclination of particles to cling to 
each other, and to thus make molecules from atoms, and 
masses from molecules, while each ingredient still retains 
its own properties. 

This natural inclination or inherent property is called 
Cohesion or Adhesion : it is common to all matter, being 
strongest in the solids to which it gives their varying 
degrees of hardness, tenacity, elasticity, malleability, and 
ductility ; in a less degree it is found in liquids ; least of all 
in gaseous bodies, in which indeed so weak is it that it is 
said to be apparently absent. Now, whether we view this 
Cohesion as exhibited in the hardest of our sedimentary 
rocks, in the sturdy oak, and healthy animal body, or in 



248 THE GODS OF OLD; 

its weaker form, as in water, where the association of parts 
but enables the particles to roll over other particles, or in 
its still weaker condition, where, as in air, there is but seen 
a mixture or diffusion, we find one resemblance, namely, 
a mingling or mixture of the ingredients, a condition or 
state in which different constituents are blended in common. 
If we hunt down such evoluted words from union, as co- 
hesion, mixture, association, society, and their offshoots, we 
shall bring them finally to bay when we arrive at the 
notion of " common " ; and communion, community, 
commonweal, common woe, common lot, and many other 
compounds of " common " bear witness to the assertion. 
Eadicals are to language what the nebulous period is to 
time, the beginning of all, misty and uncertain in their ap- 
plication, and a basis for word- spinning. In dealing with the 
nebulous past it is to those radicals we must look for light; 
and in this particular case, it will be found that the idea of 
Common must be taken when considering the Titan Cceus. 

The word Koio? is but KOLVOS " common," tbe v being 
omitted, as we see in /wSoy for nwbos, a^os and a^inis, fpijfuos 
and epepvos ; and KOLVOCD is used in the New Testament to 
signify " to defile, or pollute," from the notion of " pro- 
iniscuousness " as associated with things in common. Our 
own " cohesion " is a relic of this Craus. In Chaos, which 
was but a state of " oneness," we do not expect to find a 
Coeus or commonness. But when disruption was accom- 
plished, when the oneness was pui an end to, then we would 
have a condition favourable to the assemblage of things in 
common, and it was, accordingly, at that period of existence 
that our Titan came into being. This state of things would 
continue and be more intensified when, later on, we come 
to a time, already mentioned, that presents to view a 
midway region confined by the firmament above and by a 
fluid igneous orb below. This region contained the semina 
rerum, the seeds of all .things that make up water, air, and 
earth. All these, however scattered and apart originally, 
must have gradually mingled and been drawn closer to- 
gether to form a vaporous, heated, acrid, atmosphere of 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 249 

their own, must have participated in storms and convul- 
sions of their own that confounded and mingled together 
the nebulous layers, the heavy .and the light, the moist and 
the dry. A condition of commonness would thus of necessity 
be produced, a commonness that implied but mere coition, 
it is true ; still, it was the nebulous parent of a more 
evoluted cohesion that was to be. 

Namque canebat uti magnum per inane coada 
Semina terrarumque, animseque, marisque fuissent, 
Et liquidi simul ignis : ut his exordia primis 
Omnia, et ipse tener mundi concreverit orbis. 

Virg. Eel. VI. 31. 

But though an improvement on pre- existence, this loose 
gathering of matter was not sufficient. A crust on earth 
and an atmosphere above earth were fore-ordained, and such 
could be accomplished only by some agency that would 
purify the promiscuous mass in translating the semina 
rerum to their proper sphere, the orb below. Mythology 
provides such agency. 

$o/)3)j 8' av Koi'ou nokurjparov rj\6ev fiivrjv. Theog. 404. 

This purifying agent or Phoebe, (<jf>oi/3os, bright, pure), 
that came to the exalted region where promiscuous matter 
awaited her, is more likely to have been the deity, and not 
Apollo, whom Horace invokes in the first line of his Carmen 
Sseculare : 

Phoebe silvannnque potius Diana, 
Lucidum coeli decus, o colendi 
Semper et culti, date, quse precarcmr. 

Considering the ostensible purpose for which the famous 
Ode was written, and the real purpose in the mind of him 
who penned it, how better could the poet commence than 
by invoking Purity in conjunction with the Chastity of 
Secluded Nature ? 

How would this promiscuous assemblage of all things 
become purified, and what would follow ? 

So long as no water fell, so long would the common 
condition remain; but with the onset of the rain, a new 
period in the evolution of our sphere began, and change 



250 THE GODS OF OLD; 

after change occurred in the regions below and in those 
above : 

1. The falling rain, no matter how long resisted by the 
intense heat of the fiery orb beneath, would finally 
establish a world of waters or " thermal ocean " on the 
earth's surface. 

2. The metallic and earthy of the sernina rerum, as 
being more dense, would be the first to fall from above 
with the downward rain. Again and again would they 
be hurled back with the rain when changed to steam 
by the heated surface; yet they constantly, like a 
quail in flight, kept getting closer and closer to the 
gradually cooling surface, and a time came at last 
when the vast pile of loose, unstable matter, purged 
from the quasi airy envelope of earth, and flying from 
the advances of the rain, would be plunged into the sea. 

3. Thence they would fall as precipitates to the bottom, 
and in conjunction with the denudations and wear of 
the primal crust form the lowest strata of our aqueous 
rocks. 

If we compare the myth of Asteria with the foregoing, 
we find the facts identical. Asteria (a ore/ieos), the " not 
solidified," " the unstable," who flying from the advances of 
Zeus, the life-giving rain, hovered, as a quail, over the 
expanse of sea, and plunged into its protecting depths, there 
to remain as "an island that had fallen from heaven like a 
star " (aarfip), and so " well-named," till she rose above 
the surface, to be termed indifferently Asterie or Ortygia 
(opro yrf). 

We shall have a good deal more to say regarding this 
Asteria ; but we leave her for the present and turn to her 
sister Leto, or Latona : 

1 $ot/3ij S' ad ~S.aLav'iro\vrjpaTov rjkBev es fvvfjv 

Kvcra/Jteit] dtj ejrfira 6ea 6eov ev (pi\OTi)Ti 

ArjTai Kvavmreir\ov eyeivaro, ftetXt^oi/ alti, 

rjmov avdpo>Troi(ri /cat aSavdroitn deotffi, 
5 [ietXi\ov f dpffls, ayav&raTov euros 'O\vp.irov. 

yelva.ro 8' 'AoreptijK ev<bwp.oi>, rjv -irorf Hfpcrrjf 

es peya dS>fj.a (plXrjv KeK\r]a6ai OKOITIV. Theog. 404. 



AND THE STOUT THAT THEY TELL. 251 

To the high couch of Cceus Phoebe came, 
And then in union with the god grown large 
The goddess bore Latona, the blue-robed, 
The ever balmy one, the ever mild 
For men and gods immortal ; balmy aye, 
Least solid structure of th' Olympian realm. 
Asteria too, the well-named, she begot, 
Whom Perses once brought to his mansion great 
To be acclaimed his dear beloved spouse. 

NOTES. 

TroXvijparoi/ TTO\VS a'ipca. The region above the earth, containing 
the semina renim. There is an " airy " sound about the Greek 
word that savours of the nebulous. 

dyavaiTarov Zyavos (<ryiti/u) " most liable to break," hence, "least 
solid." fvros we take as a substantive. 

Apollodorus is more diffuse in the account : 

rSiv de Koiov 6vyarepa>v 'Aorepia p.ev op.oucQfia'a. 

oprvyi eavrfiv els BaXacrfrav eppi^fe, (pevyovcra TTJV irpbs 

Ai'a tTTjvoviriav KOI rroXts air 1 fKetvr)s 'AoTfpi'a irpairov 

K\T)6eiira, varepov Se AiJXos. ArjTia df 

Ail Kara rrjv yfjv airacrav v(j)' "Hpar TJhavvero, 

els A^Xov e\$ov<ra yevva Trp&njv Aprfp.iv, v(p' TJS 

fiaicodeitra varepov 'AiroXKcova eyevvjjcrev 1. 4. 



SECT. 2.-OUE ATMOSPHEEE. 

Latona. ^Let us anticipate somewhat by saying that 
Leto, the Eoman Latona, is the personification of our 
Atmosphere. 

A curious combination is this atmosphere of ours. It is 
material, common to all substances, highly elastic, essential 
to life, and, though invisible in small quantities, in large 
masses it is blue, and imparts this blueness to objects seen 
through it. 

This description tallies with that given by Hesiod; 
Leto, daughter of Cceus or Commonness, least solid of all 
structures, ever mild for men and gods, the blue-robed 
one. 

It is composed principally of Nitrogen and Oxygen in the 
ratio of 4 to 1, and though it surrounds our globe to a 



252 THE GODS OF OLD; 

distance of 50 miles and further, yet those gases form 110 
chemical compound in the air : the Nitrogen and Oxygen 
remain a mere mechanical mixture, as distinct from one 
another as a mixture of sand and sugar in a barrel. Why 
this is so we know not : neither do we well understand how 
our atmosphere came to settle round the globe, the general 
conjecture being that it somehow originated in the caverns 
of the earth, whence it eventually found egress. Whether 
this supposition be deduced from scientific data, or whether 
it be a dim relic of ancient lore, we cannot say, but it 
sounds suspiciously like that portion of the Myth which 
says, " Leto was prosecuted by Juno through the entire 
world." One thing is clear ; that our information as to 
the genesis of the atmosphere is far from complete, and the 
late discovery in it of a new element, Argon, throws doubt 
on our exact knowledge even of its constituents. The same 
]ack of full information is stated in the classics. Thus 
Ovid in VI. 319, of his Metamorphoses says : 

Ees otscura quidem est ignobilitate virorum, 
Mira tamen. 

But whatever uncertainty there may be through our 
ignobilitas with regard to the exact formation and appear- 
ance of an atmosphere, there appears to be very little doubt 
as to the main point at issue, namely, that Leto is its 
mythical personification. All things, earthy, fluid, and 
gaseous, were bound together loosely in Coeus till Phoebe 
came to purify the exalted couch on which he lay. And 
when the grosser elements were purged and fled before the 
rain to plunge themselves into the sea, what would betide 
the more volatile, the Nitrogen and Oxygen that are the 
main components of atmospheric air ? Some portion would 
be washed down by the rain and fall to the depths of ocean, 
entangled in the earthy and metallic elements ; another 
portion might rest over the surface of the deep, and be 
prevented by the intense heat from mingling in the requisite 
proportion ; still a third may have been left higher up, but 
so vitiated by other gases as to be almost useless for a life- 
supporting medium. It would thus, as Mythology says, be 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 253 

debarred as it were from all regions ; be the " exul raundi," 
"Earth's Vagrant/' as Ovid makes Niobe contemptuously 
style Latona. 

In the meanwhile precipitation, denudation, and disin- 
tegration were going on in and at the bottom of the sea, 
and the first stratified rocks would appear in time above 
the surface, to take on additional cohesiveness when 
raised above the waters. This cohesion would be at the 
expense of porosity, and the particles of air and water 
elements bubbling from the baked backs of the sand and 
mud banks would seem to offer a refuge for our atmo- 
sphere. Only a seeming one, however, as the heat would 
of itself debar any permanent mixture of the elements, 
especially of such a one as Nitrogen, so remarkable for 
the instability of its compounds that it has been likened 
to a " half reclaimed gypsy from the wilds." The refuge 
would be but temporary at best, as these Ortygian islands, 
succumbing to the onsets of fire below and water above, 
would quickly be swallowed in the ocean depths, and 
compel our atmospheric elements to be exiled once and 
again. This condition of instability in early land-making 
is well recognised in treatises on geology, and subsisted 
more or less up to Carboniferous times. Silurian land- 
making resembled so much the accumulations of sand 
thrown upon our beaches by the sea waves that Agassiz 
remarks of it : "In the Silurian period, the world, so 
far as it was raised above the ocean, was a beach." Of 
the Devonian, Hugh Miller writes thus : " Over dark and 
shallow seas mud-banks of vast extent occasionally raised 
their flat, dingy backs, and remained hardening in the 
hot sun until their, oozy surfaces had cracked and warped, 
and become hard as the sun-baked brick of Eastern 
countries ; and then, ere the seeds of terrestrial plants, 
floated from some distant inland, or wafted in the air, 
had found time to strike root into the crevices of the soil, 
some of the frequent earth-tremors of the age shook the 
flat expanse under the water out of which it had arisen, 
and the waves rippled over it as before." 



254 THE GODS OF OLD; 

And so it would go on through the ages till such time 
as some land area would emerge, more cohesive in its 
structure, and more strengthened in its base by the pro- 
tozoans of early life. All elevated land areas before this 
would be Asterias or Ortygias, marked by instability 
and. mere visibility : this would be the Delos, the perma- 
nently visible, the certain, anchored in the ocean by the 
foraminifers and the corals of Zeus or life : in this stable 
location would the Atmosphere find a secure abiding 
place wherein to gather its forces and bring forth those 
agencies whereby we are afforded the direct and reflected 
light and heat of the Sun. This once achieved, vegetable 
life that takes in carbonic acid and exhales the oxygen 
would accomplish the rest, as it did in the carboniferous 
Era, would purify the air, give fresh sustenance to the 
atmosphere, and establish a medium suited to the wants 
of a life more evoluted than the fish and mollusk of 
Devonian and Silurian Days. 

The derivation assigned Leto (A?;0<, to lie hid, to be 
unseen), is suitable enough to our atmosphere, considering 
our lack of knowledge with regard to it in many points, 
its own invisibility, and its being a common medium 
wherein lie hid the volatile portions of water, earth, and 
organic life, the perfume of the rose as well as the germs 
of disease, the effluvia of electricity, the rays of light, and 
the flame that goeth upwards. 

"When was atmospheric air well established round our 
globe ? Every treatise on geology states that the atmo- 
sphere of the early ages was very different from that of 
to-day. Miller says of the Azoic Age, " A continuous 
stratum of steam, then, that attained to the height of 
even our present atmosphere, would wrap up the earth 
in a darkness gross and palpable as that of Egypt of 
old a darkness through which even a single ray of light 
would fail to penetrate." 

Layers of dank, dense vapour pierced occasionally, it 
may be, by a few straggling wisps of palest sunshine 
characterised the atmosphere of Silurian and Devonian 



AND THE STORY TEAT THEY TELL. 255 

times. When we come to the Carboniferous Era, the air 
was so loaded, it is supposed, with carbonic acid that, 
to use the language of Winchell, " No air-breathing animal 
could survive, and Nature was called upon to solve the 
problem of the elimination of the noxious gas which 
unfitted the atmosphere for respiration." 

The problem was solved by the vegetation of immense 
size and universal extent which characterised the period, 
and which by absorbing the superfluity of carbonic acid 
from the air helped to purify it and render respiration 
possible. 

Not, then, till the end or towards the end of the 
Carboniferous Age can it be said that an atmosphere 
existed similar in a measure to our own in ingredients, 
proportion, and respirable qualities. 

This is conjectural science, as we find it in the text- 
books : yet, when we turn to the Myths, we find much to 
verify such conjectural conclusion. 

The words of Apollodorus in regard to Asteria and Leto 
have some significance : " eavr^v els 6a\a<ro-av eppn/re " point 
to the atmosphere not being matured till after the 
" thermal ocean " was formed and more or less perma- 
nently solid land had been thrust above the waters. 

We gain further information from Ovid who devotes 
much space to Latona. Having related how the arrogance 
of Niobe towards Latona was punished by Apollo and 
Diana at the entreaty of their mother, the poet takes a re- 
trospective view and describes the wanderings, sufferings, 
and final triumph of the atmosphere personified. 

We shall understand the poet better by entering into 
his plot. He goes back in thought to the day when the 
Glacial period had passed, and when nature donned once 
more its garb of green. He introduces a denizen of Post- 
tertiary times, possibly the humble fern, as relating to its 
fellow companions of the wood the incidents which it, 
or its type, had witnessed in the early and closing periods 
of the Carboniferous Age, and how the atmosphere was 
affected thereby. 



256 THE GODS OF OLD; 

1 Tune verd cuncti manifestam Numinis iram 

Fcemina virque timent : cultuque impensius omnes 
Magna gemelliparse venerantur numina Divae. 
Utque fit, a facto propiore priora renarrant. 
5 B quibus unus ait : Lycise quoque fertilis agris 
Haud impune Deam veteres sprevere coloni. 
Ees obscura quidem est ignobilitate virorum ; 
Mira tamen : vidi prsesens stagnumque lacumque 
Prodigio notum. Nam me jam grandior sevo, 
10 Impatiensque vise ganitor, deducere lectos 
Jusserat inde boves ; gentisque ilKus eunti 
Ipse ducem dederat : cum quo dum pascua lustro, 
Ecce ! lacus medio, sacrorum nigra favilla, 
Ara vetus stabat, trenmlis circumdata cannis. 

15 Restitit : et pavido, Paveas mihi, murmure dixit 
Dux meus : et simili, Paveas, ego murmure dixi. 
Naiiadum, Paunine foret tamen ara rogabam, 
Indigensene Dei ? Cum talia reddidit hospes. 
Non hac, 6 juvenis, montanum Numen in ar, est : 

20 Ilia suam vocat hanc, cui quondam regia Juno 
Qrbe interdixit : quam vix erratica Delos 
Orantem accepit, tune cum levis insula nabat. 
Ulic incumbens cdm Palladia arbore palmse, 
Edidit invita geminos Latona neverca. 

25 Hinc quoque Junonem fugisse puerpera fertur, 
Inque suo portasse sinu duo Numina natos. 

Jamque Chimseriferse, cum Sol gravis ureret arva, 
Pinibus in Lycise, longo Dea fessa labore, 
Sidereo siccata sitim collegit ab sestu, 

30 Uberaque ebiberant avidi lactantia nati. 

Porte lacum melioris aquse prospexit in i-miB 
ValKbus : agrestes illic fruticosa legebant 
Yimina cum juncis, gratamque paludibus ulvam. 
Accessit, positaque genu Titania terram 

35 Pressit, ut nauriret gelidos potura liquores : 
Eustica turba yetant. Dea sic affata vetantes, 
Quid pronibetis aquis ? TJsus communis aquarum". 
Nee solem proprium Natura, nee aera fecit, 
Nee tenues undas. Ad publica munera veni. 

'10 Quse tamen ut detis, supplex peto. Non ego nostros 
Abluere Me artus, lassataque membra parabam : 
Sed relevare sitim. Caret os humore loquentis ; 
Et fauces arent ; vixque est via vocis in illis. 
Haustus aquse inihi nectar erit ; vitamque fatebor 

45 Accepisse simul : yitam dederitis in uuda. 

Hi quoque vos moveant, qui nostro bracbia tendunt 
Parva sinu. Et casu tendebant brachia nati. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 257 

Quern non blanda Dese potuissent verba movere ? 

Hi tamen orantem perstant probibere, minasque, 
50 Ni prociil abscedat, conviciaque insuper addunt. 

N"ec satis hoc. Ipsos etiam pedibusque manuque 

Turbavere lacus : imoque e gurgite mollem 

Hue illuc limum saltu movere maligno. 

Distulit ira sitim. Neque enim jam filia Coei 
55 Supplicat indignis ; nee dicere sustinet ultra 

Verba minora Dei ; tollensque ad sidera palmas, 

.ZEternum stagno, dixit, vivatis in isto ! 

Bveniunt optata Dese. Juvat Isse sub undas ; 

Et modd tota cava submergere membra palude 
60 Nunc prof eire caput : summo modo gurgite nare : 

Ssepe super ripam stagni considere : ssepe 

In gelidos resUire lacus. Sed nunc quoque turpes 

Litibus exercent linguas : pulsoque pudore, 

Quamvls sint sub aqu, sub aqua maledicere tentant. 
65 Vox quoque jam rauca est; inflataque colla tumescunt, 
Ipsaque dilatant patulos convicia rictus. 

Terga caput tangunt ; colla intercepta videntur ; 

Spina viret : venter, pars maxima corporis, albet ; 

Limosoque novse saliunt in gurgite ranse. 

Met. VI. 313381. 

Then fear they all, of either sex, the wrath 

Made manifest of the divinity ; 

And all by garb more zealously respect 

The twin-bearing deity's controlling means. 

And as it haps, from later incident 

They hearken back to those done long before. 

Of whom one thus : " With rue the settlers old 

In fertile Lycia's fields this goddess scorned. 

Not clear the subject through man's ignorance ; 

Yet wondrous 'tis : a witness I have seen 

The marsh and lake for strange event renowned : 

For me onr sire, now older grown in years 

And for the way incapable, ordained 

To carry down from there the oxen choice ; 

And gave me going guide of his own stock : 

With whom while I traverse the sedgy plains, 

Behold ! amid the lake, and black with ash 

Of sacred rites, a hoary temple stood 

Begirt with rustling canes. Paused then my guide 

And said with trembling accent, ' Favour me ! ' 

And ' Favour me ! ' with accent like I said. 

When asked I if, howbeit, this were shrine 

Of Naiads, Faun, or country born god, 

G.O. S 



258 THE GODS OF OLD; 

My comrade friend made answer thus : ' youth. 
No mountain deity is in this shrine : 
Her own does this she call whom Juno proud 
In time past from this orb debarred : and whom 
Imploring, wandering Delos scarce received 
"When erst it floated, an unstable isle. 
Incumbent there on palm with wisdom's tree 
Latona brought forth twins, their stepdame loath. 
Here too she's said, delivered, to have fled 
From Juno, and have carried on her breast 
The two divinities, her offspring born. 

And now in Lycia's climacteric bounds, 

When mighty Sol should search with heat the plains, 

The goddess wearied by her longsome toil, 

Parched by the iron surge grew thirst, and dry 

The milk-paps had her eager children drained. 

Amidst the lowest vales she spied by chance 

A lake of purer water : there did roam 

The country's dwellers through the shrubby plains, 

Osiers with reeds and sedge for marshes suit. 

The Titan born approached and pressed the earth 

"With bended knee, that fain to drink she might 

The waters cool : the rustic crowd say nay. 

Them saying nay the goddess thus addressed : 

' Why bar me from the waters ? Common is 

The waters' use. Nor sun particular, 

Nor yet the air, nor yet the waters thin, 

Has Nature formed. To public gifts I've come. 

Which yet that ye may give I humbly pray. 

Not here to bathe our limbs and wearied frame 

Was I preparing : only thirst to ease. 

The mouth of aught conversing moisture lacks, 

The throat is parched, it scarce has way for sound. 

A draught of water nectar I shall find ; 

And own that life has likewise been received, 

The life ye may have given in the wave. 

Let these, too. move you, who upon our breast 

Their little arms extend.' And, as by chance, 

Her offspring young extending were their arms. 

Whom would the deity's sweet words not move ? 

Tet those persist the suppliant to bar. 

And threats and scurrile croaks moreover add 

Should she not far retire. Nor this the end. 

Them, feet and hands alike, the lakes engulfed ; 

And they, in their convulsive struggling, stirred 

The mud on all sides from the depth below. 

Such wrath as this the raging drought dispelled: 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 259 

For now no more the child of Uceus wooes 
Unworthy beings : and no longer brooks 
To utter words unmeet for deity. 
And lifting to the stars her palms she said, 
' In this stagnation may ye dwell for aye ! ' 

The wishes of the goddess come to pass. 

It boots that they have gone beneath the waves ; 

And sometimes in a hollowed marsh to sink 

Their limbs entire, anon to raise the head ; 

To sometime swim on surface of the pool ; 

To often squat upon the marsh's bank ; 

To oft leap back into the waters cool. 

But even now those filthy tongues they use 
In times of rest : and void of shame they try 
Though 'neath the wave, -beneath the wave to croak. 
E'en now their voice is harsh, and puffed up necks 
They swell, and croaks dilate their gaping jaws. 
Head touches back ; the necks are seen between ; 
The back-bone greenish is ; th' abdomen too, 
By far their body's greater part, is white ; 
As frogs, they jump anew in slimy pool." 

NOTES. 

2 cultu. The snow and ice of the glacial age, symbolised by Niobe, 

had gone under the influence of the heat and light, the offspring 
of the atmosphere. As a consequence, vegetation began once 
more to deck itself in green. 

3 numina. The influences of the atmosphere in reflecting light and 

heat. 

4 priora renarrant. This shows that the scientific fact represented 

by Niobe was posterior to the circumstances about to be related. 

5 E quibus linus ait. The "fern" loquitur. 

Lycise. Aev/cos, "light, clear," as the atmosphere began to be in. 
carboniferous times. The ancient name of Lycisa was MiXvds, 
where the black (/zeXas) colour of the coal-fields is pointed out. 
The epithet fertilis, added to Lycise, denotes the excessive vege- 
tation and growth of the period. 

8 stagnumque lacumque. The vegetation that formed coal was, for 
the most part, a swampy growth. 

10 genitor. The vegetable race must have had an ancestor, the first 

of its kind, who in Carboniferous time would certainly be 
" grandior sevi, impatieusque vise." 

11 boves. It is quite a common simile with the classic poets to com- 

pare the lands submerged or emerged in the early ages of the 
earth to cattle : they pictured them, when above the waters, as 

s 2 



260 THE GODS OF OLD; 

oxen grazing ; and when submerged, as oxen brought to their 
stalls. Thus Geryon's oxen were the germs of continental 
areas raised up by Herculean force, and the oxen of Juno were 
the plateaux and mountains raised above the earth's surface. 

In no other age were alternate subsidence and elevation of 
land so marked as in the Carboniferous. When the growth and 
decay of luxuriant vegetation had .so accumulated as to form 
a bed of varying thickness, subsidence ensued, and under the 
water and under the detritus brought on by the water, those 
beds were transformed into coal by heat, moisture, and 
pressure. Later on, those beds with the debris upon them 
were raised to the surface, assumed a swampy nature, and 
were again filled with the luxurious vegetation requisite 
to form another bed of coal, to sink again, and have the 
same process repeated. Ovid has pictured the whole process 
briefly and concisely in "deducere lectos boves," and the use 
of lectos, as capable of being applied to "beds" or "layers," 
is significative. 
12 ducem. Perhaps one of the algae or fucoids, among the earliest 

forms of vegetable life. 

pascua. The fern and its companion appeared above the waters 
in the midst of a swamp. 

14 ara vetus. The solid land, " the old sod," elevated enough to be 

distinguished from the swamps and marshes hard by, and Hack 
with the convulsions of past ages, and of coal-making periods, 
cannis. Many of the carboniferous trees, especially the calamites, 
resembled our cane trees, having a hollow, jointed stem, and 
longitudinal striations : they were from 20 to 40 feet high, and 
may well be described as tremutts. 

15 restitit. Both fern and fucoid had originally appeared in a 

swampy tract beyond the confines of the more solid and 
elevated island (pascua lustro). They now approached this ara 
vetus, as being better suited for their growth and requirements. ' 
19 Juvenis. The carboniferous fern was but a youth in the eyes of 
the Silurian fucoid. 

Vast platforms, swampy for the most part, were the charac- 
teristics of Carboniferous time : there were no mountain ranges 
(non montanum numeri). 

23 Palladia arbore palmse. The palm and olive, types of the 

endogens and exogens that were yet to be, were still germinally 
belo'" : hence the use of incumbens. Endogens have been found 
in Devonian times, and fragments of what Dr. Dawson has 
likened to dicotyledinous wood. 

24 invitS, noverca. The dry land, Juno, was not yet well prepared for 

higher forms of life, and for a light and heat giving atmosphere 
that was requisite for such forms. 
26 portitsc sinu. The atmosphere, though possessed of light and 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 261 

heat giving qualities from, an early period, was forced to keep 
them latent till a more suitable age appeared. 

27 Jamque. The dux, fucoid, may be considered as closing its 
relation of past events with the words " numina nntos" The 
fern now proceeds to tell what it had witnessed for itself. The 
fucoid's story has reference to all before Carboniferous time ; 
the fern's to Carboniferous time itself, and probably its close. 
Chimseriferse. Chimrara, as already mentioned, means a long 
degree of heated temperature. 

The belief among the ancients, and among many modern 
writers, Dr. Croll for instance, is that our Earth in early ages 
went through a succession of hot and cold periods, lasting for 
about 10,000 years, the half of the magnus annus, or Platonic 
year, or of the cycle produced by the Precession of the 
Equinoxes. 

The words "cum Sol gravis ureret arva" show that the 
climatic condition at the period denoted by "Jamque" was 
tropical throughout ; as indeed it is asserted to be in Carboni- 
ferous time, in our geological treatises. 

29 sidereo. Ovid Latinises the Greek word o-ifiijpeos, "iron," just as 
Pliny uses siderites for the loadstone, that draws iron. The 
long 5 does not affect the scansion, as eo can be taken as one 
syllable. 

The coal measures are intercalated everywhere with strata of 
shale in which beds of iron are always found associated. The 
New Red Sandstone group, overlying the Carboniferous, owes 
its colour to the presence of ferruginous matter, oxide of iron. 
On the stagnant water of marshes, bogs, pools, &c. we see an 
iridescent scum : this has been produced by alternate changes 
of peroxide to protoxide and protoxide to peroxide of iron, thus 
causing a constant interchange of the life-giving element, 
oxygen, and the sidereo cestu of the poet. 

31 lacum melioris aquae. Marine shells found lying on the coal bed 
or its attached shales show that a portion of the vegetation which 
formed the coal nourished in salt or brackish water. But other 
portions flourished in bitter or fresh water. ' ' Some of the coal 
measures are of fresh water origin, and many have been formed 
in lakes ; others seem to have been deposited in estuaries, or at 
the mouths of rivers, in spaces alternately occupied by fresh 
and salt water." Lyell. 

33 The whole line describes well the Carboniferous flora. 

36 vetaut.--The denizens of the period, cold-blooded animals, did 
not want a better atmosphere 

42 caret os humore loquentis. The atmosphere is requisite for the 
proper production of sound or speech. 

Dana, writing of the Carboniferous Age, says, " There was 
no music in the groves, save, perhaps, that of insect life and 
the croaking Batrachian." 



262 THE GODS OF OLD; 

44 vitam. Oxygen is the life-giving principle. 

47 Et casu. A stray gleam, or two of pale sunshine may have 
occasioually pierced the dense air of those days. 

49 Hi. The agrestes mentioned in line 32. 

In the Carboniferous Age purely air-breathing animals could 
not exist, owing to the excessive amount of carbonic acid in the 
air, and animal life was represented chiefly by fishes and such 
cold-blooded animals as do not require much oxygen. But all 
through this Coal Age and extending -into the Triassic are 
found the remains and tracks of a supposed amphibian, called 
the Labyrinthodont, or Cheirotherium, from the likeness of its 
tracks to those of an open hand. Some class it as a marsupial, 
but the general opinion is that it was a batrachian. It 
measured from 7 or 8 feet to as many inches long. The larger 
specimens are thus described by Hooker : ' ' Though having a 
head of three or four feet in length, and teeth three inches 
long, and being about the size of an ox, with his long hind 
legs, he was very much like a frog." 

51 pedibusque manuque. The peculiar marks of the Labyrintho- 
donts or Cheirotheria are noted. 

One of nature's convulsions, so common in Carboniferous 
times, occurred, with the usual result of submergence for land 
and life. 

5-4 Distulit ira sitim. Platform after platform went down, freighted 
with the carbonic acid which vegetation had taken from the 
air. The atmosphere was consequently purified, and we find 
such air-breathing animals as reptiles, monstrous birds, and 
marsupials appearing in the Mesozoic Age that followed the 
Carboniferous. 

54 Neque enim jam. The "fern" breaks off his narrative for a 

while to laud the greater intelligence of those who were fortu- 
nate enough to live with it in Post-tertiary days. It says in 
effect, " Look around on the fauna and flora of our days ; they 
are not unworthy of a beneficial atmosphere. Listen to the 
chirpings and the songs of birds, the lordly roaring and 
bellowing of the animals, &c. : such sounds, more or less 
articulate, are the only ones pleasing to the deity of the 
atmosphere." 

55 dicere sustinet. It is the air that proclaims sounds and speech. 

No air, no sound. 

56 Tollensque. The " fern " resumes the thread of its narrative ; 

and proceeds to describe the change or evolution of the Carbo- 
niferous Cheirotheria into Post-tertiary frogs. 

58 Juvat. Better in evolution is a frog than a Cheirotherium. 

63 Litibus. Frogs are loudest in their croaking on stilly evenings. 
This is not the first time Ovid has Latinised the Greek \a-6s, 
"plain, simple." See his description of the Chaos. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 263 

While Apollo and Diana are not within the direct scope 
of this work, yet a few words may be spared them, and may 
not be amiss. As children of Latona, it is evident that their 
origin must be traced to what Latona represents, viz. : our 
atmosphere. Both are described as deities who punish, and 
send plagues, pestilence and death on men and animals ; also 
as divinities who help, save, and ward off evils from living 
beings. 

These seemingly contradictory attributes are reconciled 
when we remember that atmospheric agencies are construc- 
tive and destructive ; that the atmosphere is not only a 
source of health and well-being, but also an agent which 
rusts and corrodes and introduces blight, plague, and 
germinal diseases on all organisms alike, animal and vege- 
table. The ayava. jSeAea of Apollo and Diana would con- 
sequently be tantamount to natural deaths from apncea, as 
in pleurisy, phthisis, and such other diseases, as opposed 
to death from violence. 

As both sound and solar light and heat are dependent on 
a medium for the vibrations so all-essential for their produc- 
tion, and as this medium is our atmosphere, it is evident 
how dependent on this atmospheric agency is life with all 
its civilisation ; how dependent on it are the gifts of speech, 
song, and music. It is thus that Apollo is said to be the 
founder of cities and of civilisation, as also the god of 
prophecy, music, and song. 

The permanence of the atmosphere it is that produces all 
the uniformity of sound. Change its stability, and sound 
grows fainter until silence ensues ; change its proportions, 
and discord takes the place of barmony. 

But light, heat, and sound are not only transmitted in 
direct lines, but also indirectly, through reflection. Diana 
is the deity who presides over such subtle agents ; she is 
peculiarly the goddess of the chase or hunting ; and reflected 
light, reflected heat, and reflected sound are nothing but 
light chasing light, heat chasing heat, and sound chasing 
sound the Triformis Diana of the myths. She is never 
connected with prophecy, song, or music, like Apollo, since 



264 THE GODS OF OLD; 

grave speech and musical sounds are produce by direct, not 
indirect vibrations. She has been often confounded with 
Luna, as has Apollo with Helios, owing probably to the 
close connection between those light-giving deities and the 
light-manifesting ones. But if we bear in mind that Apollo 
represents the direct agency of the atmosphere in trans- 
mitting light, heat, and sound, and Diana, the indirect 
agency of the atmosphere in reflecting the same, we can 
never fall into such confusion. 

Apollodorus, describing the accouchement of Latona, 
says " she begot first Artemis ; besought by her, she then 
begot Apollo." It is another bit of condensed science, 
implying as it does that we see the reflected or refracted 
light of the sun before his direct rays are actually visible. 

SECT. 3. THE METAMORPHIO BOCKS. 

Let us now go back to Asteria. 

Asteria. The rocks of our globe have been classified as 
Fossiliferous, Metamorphic, Volcanic, and Plutonic. Of 
these the latter two are universally conceded to be the pro- 
ducts of igneous action, and the first or fossiliferous, of 
watery action. But the same unanimity of opinion does not 
exist as to the origin of the Metamorphic. They form a 
huge mass of not less than 80,000 feet in thickness, at the 
least, have the plutonic granite for a basis and the fossili- 
ferous for a canopy, and consist of varying combinations 
of quartz, feldspar, mica, hornblende, chlorite, limestone, &c., 
so as to form the Gneiss and other rocks called by the general 
name of Schists, from their natural tendency to fissility. 
They are all crystalline in structure and devoid of fossils : in 
these respects they resemble the granite on which they rest, 
and differ from those above them. They are also foliated 
or stratified in arrangement : in this they resemble the rocks 
above them and differ from the amorphous granite. Hence 
the doubt and dispute that have arisen as to their origin. 
Are those Metamorphic rocks the result of fire, like the 
granite ; or of water, like the sedimentary ? 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 265 

Many things combine to eliminate the first or igneous 
mode of origin: the foliated arrangement cannot well be 
accounted for under such a theory, while, on the contrary, 
the crystalline structure can result from changes brought to 
bear on sedimentary rocks under heat, water, pressure, and 
introduced gases ; all which conditions were pre-eminently 
present at the time when the Schists were formed, and 
would not alone give them a crystalline texture but would 
also destroy all vestiges of fossil remains, supposing such to 
have existed. 

The aqueous origin has proved more acceptable to most 
writers on geology, and has given rise to two theories. 
Some, following the " Neptunian " theory of Werner, 
contend that the " thermal ocean " of our early globe 
was loaded with mineral matter of all kinds, and that the 
Schistose rocks are chemically formed sediments or 
precipitates from this ocean : that the crystalline texture 
was gained in the waters before the particles subsided to 
the bottom, and that all subsequent changes were merely 
molecular or re-actionary. 

Others maintain that the Schists were originally sedi- 
mentary, and derived partly from disintegration of the 
pre-existing granitic crust below or above the surface of the 
ocean, and partly from chemical precipitates ; that those 
mechanical and chemical accumulations, strewed over the 
ocean's bed in coarse or fine debris, would then be subjected 
to the great internal heat of the earth, be more or less 
fused and rearranged, and would thus under heat, water, 
pressure, and escaping gases, be finally transformed into 
what are called altered or Metamorphic rocks. 

Whichsoever of those theories be preferred, it is evident 
that the precipitation of chemically formed sediment is one 
of the important factors to be considered, since both sides 
allow its presence, one to a very large extent, the other in 
an inferior degree. This importance will be increased by 
the proportion of precipitated matter. 

Who can tell the comparative proportions of denuded 
granite and of chemical sediments that formed those 



266 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Schists ? All the waters of our oceans came confessedly 
from above. How much of the solid crust came from the 
same source? 

That the extent of the original matter-bearing airy 
envelope was immense is granted by such writers as 
descant upon the topic. " It doubtless reached the moon," 
saj's Figuier in his " World before the Deluge." That the 
quantity of rocky material held by it in a gaseous form was 
also immense can be gathered from the same writer who 
says that it held not only the components of all our oceans 
and our atmosphere, but also " vast quantities of mineral 
substances, metallic and earthy, reduced to the gaseous 
state, and maintained in that state by the temperature of 
the gigantic furnace. The metals, the chlorides metallic, 
alkaline, and earthy, the sulphurets, and. even the earthy 
bases of silica, aluminum, and of lime, all at this 
temperature would exist in a vapoury form in the atmo- 
sphere surrounding the primitive globe." Granting this, 
then, there would surely be enough of matter, when 
translated from aerial to watery regions, to form when 
precipitated the Schistose rocks, thick though they be. 

The matter, source, and mutations of those Metamorphic 
rocks are embodied in the Asteria of the myths. Let us 
compare her story with that of the Schists. She was 
begotten in the lofty couch of Coeus, the promiscuous 
matter of air above ; she was the sediment of this matter 
when purified by Phoebe ; wooed by Jupiter Pluvius she 
fled from aerial homes above and plunged into the sea ; 
there changed to a rock she remained long before emerging 
to the surface as an Ortygia or Delos. 

More than this too. She is the same Asteria 

"Whom Perses once brought to his mansion great 
To be acclaimed his dear beloved spouse. 

We have met this Perses before. He is the son of Crius 
and Eurybia, and brother to Astrseus and Pallas : he must, 
consequently, have some connection with the course and 
order of things. The name, IJe'poTjs, implies all that is 
common to irep0o>, TrtfATrpTj/At, Tipf\Qa>, and -npita, all of which 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 267 

resemble one another quite closely in their radical and the 
formation of a future and aorist tense: it therefore 
embodies the ideas of " destruction," " burning," " swelling 
out," and "severing." 

Hesiod, as noticed, has characterised the three brothers 
expressively : " Astrseus, mighty ; Pallas, god of gods ; and 
Perses, " os Kai iracri jnereV/>eirei> Ibnoavvijcrii'." What is this 
Ibpoavvr), peculiar to Perses, and in some way associated 
with Order or Arrangement ? " Skill," or " craft," is the 
usually accepted rendering of the word ; but the derivation, 
i^Huiv OTW'TJJUI, implies more " the craft or knowledge of 
bringing together." Bringing what ? Hesiod says, when 
speaking of the offspring of Phoebe : 

Asteria too, the well-named, she be^ot, 

Whom Perses once brought to his mansion great 

To be acclaimed his dear beloved spouse. 

It was Asteria, then, that Perses exercised his art on, 
it was the mineral and earthy matter which "had fallen 
from heaven like a star," and had plunged into the sea, 
that Perses brought to his mansion great, and there 
impressed his subtle work on. 

What was the nature of this work ? If Asteria represent 
the mineral sedimentary of the Metamorphic rocks, what 
does Perses represent ? The question is best answered by 
reflecting on the further change impressed on those rocks 
to make them what they are, Crystalline Schists. What 
the agency is that produces crystallisation in rock or gem 
is mere or less mysterious. That the atoms of common 
carbon and of equally common quartz, alumina, silica, and 
lime, have been transformed respectively into the diamond, 
amethyst, sapphire, opal, and pearl, we know ; but we do 
not know the precise manner nor agency whereby the 
wonderful transformation has been effected. So, too, we 
do not definitely understand the agency that has brought 
about the crystalline texture of those Metamorphic rocks. 
" The metamorphic theory," says Lyell, " does not require 
us to affirm that some contiguous mass of granite has been 
he altering power ; but merely that an action, existing in 



268 THE GODS OF OLD; 

that interior of the earth at an unknown depth, whether 
thermal, electrical, or otherwise, analogous to that exerted 
near intruding masses of granite, has in the course of vast 
and indefinite periods, and when rising perhaps from a 
large heated surface, reduced strata thousands of yards 
thick to a state of semi-fusion, so that on cooling they 
have become crystalline, like gneiss." 

But what we do know regarding the process is found to 
agree so closely with nomenclature and mythical narrative 
as to make it evident that Perses is the personification of 
Crystallisation. 

A certain though unexplainable arrangement of parts, 
heat, a tendency to expansion, and cleavage, are the 
requisites of crystallisation : these four requisites are 
expressed by the origin and brotherhood of Perses, and by 
the mJLHrpTHu, "to burn," irpijdfo, " to swell out," and TT/DUU, 
" to sever," that are discernible in the derivation. Matter 
and water are essential to crystallisation, and its most general 
mode of formation is by deposit from a solution : So, too, 
is Perses described as bringing an Asteria, who had 
plunged into the sea, to his great abode. What was this 
great abode ? It could not be the sea itself, for the myth 
leads us to believe that Perses brought her thence to his 
great abode. Whither ? The only answer is, to the led 
of ocean, where the sedimentary matter, spread out and 
exposed to the ifyxotnJn/ of its subtle partner, was meta.- 
morphosed into the Crystalline Schists. It would conse- 
quently look as if the framers of mythology agreed with 
the " Neptunists " as regards the origin of the Metamorphic 
rocks, but with their opponents as regards the changes effected 
on them : the one side can claim Asteria ; the other, Perses. 
The 7th Ode of his 3rd Book is addressed by Horace 
to Asterie. The personages mentioned in it have so failed 
to be recognised that all commentators are forced to agree 
with the following remark of Orellius, "Asterie, Gyges, 
Chloe, andEnipeus are all imaginations of the poet's brain." 
Quite true ; but the imaginations of the true poet, ancient 
or modern, are bred of reality. There must be a theme for 



AND THE 8TORY THAT THEY TELL. 269 

song, and the theme in this case was one of the geological 
mutations through which our earth has gone. 

We have already seen how Ovid took advantage of Latona 
to describe some of the characteristics of the Carboniferous 
age. In the same fashion does Horace utilise Asteria to 
describe some traits of the Devonian period. 

We must enter, of course, into the poet's conceit. Taking 
the well-established Asteria as the Metamorphie rocks from 
whose disintegration all our great sedimentary formations 
are really sprung, he pictures her as a mother weeping for 
the departure of each child according as it leaves her to go 
to the surface above. Calling the igneous force of the 
central fire, that lay beneath those altered rocks, by the 
name of Enipeus, and the luxuriant vegetation of the 
Carboniferous age, that was yet to be, by the name of 
Chloe, the poet transports himself in thought to the 
commencement of the Devonian formation, which he calls 
Gyges, and then proceeds to evolve the phantoms of his 
intellectual knowledge. 

1 Quid fles, Asterie, quern, tibi candidi 
Primo restituenfc vere ITavonii 
Thyna merce beatum, 
Constantis juvenum fide, 

5 Gygen ? Hie Notis acfcus ad Oricum 
Post insana Caprae sidera frigidas 
Noctes non sine multis 
Insomnis lacrimis agit. 

Atqui sollicitse mintius hospitse, 
10 Suspirare Chloen et miseram tuis 
Dicens ignibus ttri, 
Tent-at mille vafer modis. 

Ut Praetum mulier perfida credulum 
Falsis impulerit criminibus nimis 
15 Gasto Belleroph.on.ti 

Maturare necem refert. 

Narrat posne datum Pelea Tartaro, 
Magnessam Hippolyten dum fugit abstinens ; 

Et peccare docentes 
20 Fallax historias movet. 



270 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Frustra : nam scopulis surdior Icari 
Yoces audit adliuc integer. At tibi 
Ne vicinus Enipeus 
Plus justo placeat, cave ; 

25 Quamvis non alius flectere equum scions 
.ZEque conspicitur gramine Martio, 
Nee quisquam citus seque 
Tusco denatat alveo. 

Prima nocte domum claude neque in vias 
30 Sub cantu querulse despice tibiae, 
Et te saepe vocanti 
Duram difficilis mane. 

Why, O Asterie, weepest tliou for Gyges 
Young with, assurance of a long existence, 
That zephyrs fair -will in the early springtide 
Back to thee bring -with finny ware rejoicing. 

Brought to the opening with his spots peculiar 
After the stars of Capra madly raging, 
Restless he hies through darkness that is chilling, 
Darkness that marked is by excessive moisture. 

E'en so, the envoy of an anxious hostess, 
(Proving how Ohloe eager is desirous, 
How she inflamed is wretchedly by thy fires), 
Cunning attacks him in a thousand fashions. 

Tells he in story how a woman, lost for 
Love to all honour, by her false assertions 
"Urged a confiding Prsetus to prepare death 
For an exceeding rare Bellerophontes : 

Mentions how Peleus, continently fleeing 
From the Magnessian Hippolyt, was given 
Almost to Hades : subtly does he alter 
Stories instructive, purposely to tempt him. 

All unavailing ; deafer than Icarian 
Rocks does he listen, still is he uninjured. 
But for thyself, beware ! Let not Enipeus, 
Near as he is, be welcomed more than proper ; 

E'en though no other equally as skilled is 
Seen in the warring plain to bend the courser ; 
E'en though no other equally as swift is 
Seen to glide onwards in the fashioned channel. 

Bar thou thy house with coming of the darkness; 
"When the pipe rumbles gaze not at its sounding 
Down on the causeways ; and to him that often 
Hardhearted calls thee, obdurate continue. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 271 



NOTES. 

1-8 Lament not, O Metamorphic rocks, for the Devonian formation. 
"When cyclical time will bring round the spring, then will the 
prodigal return, freighted with mollusks and crustaceans, with 
the ganoids and the placoids. But at present it is flushed with 
the confidence of youth, has all the world hefore it, and is 
heedless to appeals. 

3 Thyna merce. thynnus, " a tunny fish." The Greek word is 

dvwos or dvvos, and the omission of a letter is as free to the 
Latin as to the Greek poet. 

The fishes form the most remarkable feature of the Devonian 
period, so much so that it has been called " The age of fishes." 

4 constantis. Literally, " a youth with the belief of being con- 

stant." The Devonian rocks had just commenced their ex- 
istence, and thought, poetically, that they would last for ever. 

5 Gygen. yiyvopai yij, "earth-born," as being derived from the 

disintegration of a previous formation. 

notis. Nota, ' ' a mark, spot." Bach formation has its own cha- 
racteristic marks, in addition to the stratified form which is 
common to all. So much has this been the case with the 
Devonian that it has been called " The old red sandstone," 
from the abundance of such rocks in the formation. "We our- 
selves use the word "sandy" to denote "speckled, or marked 
with spots." 

Oricum. upi/cor, "mature, in one's prime, the first opening of a 
thing." So we say "the prime of the moon," to denote the 
new moon, when it first appears or opens after the change. 

6 Caprae. According to Horace, the Devonian formation appeared 

at the end (post] of a hot or summer cycle, and was notable 
while it lasted for cold spells (frigidas), a murky atmosphere 
(noctes}, abundant moisture (multis lacrimis), and much local 
disturbance (imomnis). 

frigidas. It has been remarked of the Devonian rocks, and 
noticeably of those in the south of Scotland, that " some of the 
brecciated conglomerates have much resemblance to glacial 
detritus, and it has been suggested that they have been con- 
nected with contemporaneous ice -action." 

7 noctes. ' ' A light still pale, and a semi-opaque atmosphere " 

characterised the Devonian period, according to Eiguier 

8 insomnis. "restless, disturbed," owing to volcanic action, erup- 

tions of trap, upheavals, &c. Hugh Miller, describing the 
scenery of the Devonian age, says, " Ere the seeds of terrestrial 
plants, floated from some distant island, or wafted in the air, 
had found time to strike root into the crevices of the soil, some 
of the frequent earth-tremors of the age shook the flat expanse 
under the water out of which it had arisen, and the waves 
rippled over it as before." 



272 THE GODS OF OLD; 

9-22 Even to the advances of vegetation is it heedless, for anxious 

though this Chloe be, the Devonian soil responds not to the 

. ardent entreaties of her messenger, but remains cold, as cold 

to vegetation as Bellerophon was to Antea or Peleus to 

Hippolyte. 

9 nuntius. Vegetation in the preceding Silurian age was princi- 
pally marine and of a low type, as the algae. But in Devonian 
days, some land plants began to appear, the forerunners or 
'messengers of the luxuriant carboniferous plants that were to 
come. The dominant organisms of each geologic age may be 
said, in the same way, to have had their couriers in the preced- 
ing age. 

hospifee. The poet's idea seems to be that the germs of rich car- 
boniferous vegetation were in the depths, roused to activity by 
their proximity to the heat of the metamorphic rocks (tuis igni- 
bin urf), and anxiously waiting, as a hostess does a guest, for 
the Devonian formation to come down so that the Carboniferous 
might take its place at the head of nature's table. 

10 Chloen. X^OTJ " the first light green shoot of plants " in spring. 

12 tentat. " tries to explore " the sandy soil, as the advance guard 
of terrestrial vegetation would do. 

21 Frustra. The Devonian period, while rich in fishes, was singu- 

larly barren as a whole in the vegetable forms of life. Not till 
the latter part of the age did plants obtain any footing, and 
even then but a scanty one. 

22 integer. The formation showed no symptoms yet of disintegra- 

tion. 

22-32 Until the Devonian formation does return take heed to thy 
own ways, Metamorphic rocks, and beware of the sinuous 
advances and dashing manner of thy neighbour, the central fire. 
Guard well thy rocky home when blackened skies and rumbling 
noises forebode eruptions from below ; look not behind, since 
such would show weakness on your part; and above all, remain 
hard, hard as the nether millstone, to the fire that surges 
against your walls. 

23 Enipeus. Iv iinrevs " the "Knight, or Hotspur, within," that is, 

the igneous force of the central fire, contiguous (vicinus) to the 

metamorphic rocks. It must have some outlet; but keep it 

within proper bounds (ne plus justo}. 
25 flectere. This refers to the " sinuous veins," just as denatat does 

to the "dikes" and "volcanic funnels," through which the 

molten lava flows. 

28 Tusco alveo. Tm/oTco/iat, " to fashion." 
30 tibia. The pipe or channel leading to the central fire below, and 

through which a rumbling (guerulce) sound would be the first 

indication of an approaching eruption. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 273 



SECT. 4. MYSTERIOUS UPS AND DOWNS. 

Hecate. With the establishment of the Metamorphic 
rocks was initiated a new and rather mysterious order of 
the course of things. From their ruins in the depths of 
ocean was formed the first of the fossiliferous rocks, the 
Cambrian : these in their turn provided material for the 
Silurian, the Silurian for the Devonian, and so on through- 
out all the ages from Palaeozoic to Post-tertiary. The 
existence of each formation was twofold : one, above the 
surface of the waters ; the other, submerged in the ocean. 
When above, it was the receptacle of vegetable and animal 
life; when below, it was being prepared for the life to 
come. 

The story of one is the story of all. 

The ruins of its predecessor, spread broadcast over ocean's 
bed, the coarser here, the finer further on, were exposed to 
heat and pressure and the action of submarine convulsions, 
were intimately moulded and mixed, and mixed over again 
and again in well-defined layers, till finally consolidation 
was attained and a stratified formation came into being, 
essentially differing in characteristics from its progenitor. 
Consolidation to the required extent having been obtained, 
a mysterious principle came into play whereby this new 
formation was raised slowly from the bed of ocean to the 
air of heaven. Nor at the level of the waters did it cease. 
Aided occasionally by shocks of earthquake, this raising 
principle thrust up the lofty mountains in one place, the 
curved strata that make the hills in another, terraces 
or raised beaches in a third, the lowlands and the shores, 
each in their proper place and in their own time. Alone 
and almost unassisted did this principle work at first, and 
peak and crag and mountain top reared their heads in 
honour of it while yet Life was in its infancy. And those 
elevating privileges Life itself could not wrest away, were it 
so inclined. But it could add to them ; and it did. 

During the countless years that passed over the newly 
elevated formation, whose head was in the clouds of heaven 

G.O. T 



274 THE GODS OF OLD; 

and -whose base reposed in the depths of ocean, Life the 
life that had waxed in years honoured it and with no 
niggard hand. The ranges and hills, the valleys and 
plains, river, brook, and inland sea, the very ocean itself, 
all teemed with myriad hordes of animated forms which, by 
their passing and going, swelled the volume of matter and 
thus glorified the elevating principle. Diatom mud and 
mangrove swamps, peat mosses and coal beds, all testify to 
the fact ; so do the calcareous and siliceous ooze of ocean, 
the marl of lakes, the chalk cliffs, and the nummulitic 
limestone. 

And during all these years, this elevating divinity looked 
on, watchful, working, and observant. Seated on its 
throne, the domes of lofty mountains, it viewed the strife 
of centuries as they rolled by, and marked the din of battle 
when and where it raged. It saw the curved strata riven 
by convulsions and denuded by water, wind, and air, by 
snow and ice, until all the graceful, undulating outline was 
disturbed and the continuity was broken : with joy too did 
it mark how some portions, stronger and more erect than 
their fellows, withstood the fury of the destroyers and 
nodded smilingly to each other as hills across the ravines, 
the gorges, and the valleys that separated them when the 
contest ended. It saw the weaker strata go down amid the 
turmoil, and stood by to assist those which raised them- 
selves on high, crumpled, distorted, vertical, and plicated 
from their efforts to ward off attacks upon the flank. It 
noted the fissure and the fault, and occasionally helped 
with its presence the side that was willing to do homage to 
elevation. And witness was it also of the dreaded earth- 
quake when every now and then it came by land and 
sea, riding swiftly on its billowy steeds, to stagger even 
monarch mountains with its shock, to tumble the lesser 
princes, to open gaping fissures and yawning chasms, to 
spread havoc and ruin far and wide, and to depress in 
one place, elevate in another, a vast stretch of country. 
Thirty square miles of territory in Java subsided and 
disappeared in the year 1772; while in 1822 the coast 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 275 

of Chili was raised three feet over an area of 100,000 
square miles. 

But each formation had its allotted span, and a day 
came when the life upon it had run through all the phases 
of existence that such a formation could produce and 
evolute to the highest standard, had exhausted the treasures 
of the soil, and could consequently proceed no further on 
the lines of elevation. Inorganic matter was sated with 
organic, and organic with inorganic. Each had given of 
its wealth and highest aspirations till nought that was 
valuable remained. 

The elevating principle was quick to perceive the fact ; 
and gathering all, the spoilers and the spoiled, it reversed 
its course, and slowly, silently, majestically conveyed earth 
and life to the sheltering bosom of the deep. Not as a 
whole, however.' Some parts led the way; others followed 
in their turn ; still others, the loftiest of their kind, 
remained long enough behind to witness probably the 
appearance of new arrivals and to give a welcome, part 
cheer, part sob, ere they went with heads bowed down to 
rejoin the comrades that awaited them below. 

And here, with the hoar of ages on its brow, was com- 
parative rest for some portions of our formation ; but for 
others there went on a further disintegration and that 
moulding, mixing, and general transforming process already 
mentioned, whereby matter was altered, layer after layer 
was piled up, and hardening was advanced. Even then 
was the elevating principle present, observant of the work, 
superintending the stratification, and fostering with tender 
care the nuclei of the mountain, hill, and terrace that were 
yet to be. 

Such is the scientific story. Every text book on geology 
vouches for the doctrine that, as Lyell puts it, " the solid 
land has been repeatedly moved upwards or downwards so 
as permanently to change its position relatively to the sea." 
"With like unanimity do they teach that to these movements 
primarily are due the general contour of earth's surface, 
such as mountain, hill, plain, and valley : they " will 

T 2 



276 THE GODS OF OLD; 

account," says Lyell, " equally for the position of those 
elevated masses of marine origin in which the stratification 
remains horizontal, and for those in which the strata are 
disturbed, broken, inclined, and vertical." 

Nor have those movements been confined to any one age, 
early or late. They were initiated in the first of the fossili- 
ferous rocks, they continued through all ages, they are still 
going on. " Such changes," remarks Lyell, "have actually 
occurred in our own days, and are now in progress, being 
accompanied in some cases by violent convulsions, while in 
others they proceed insensibly." 

The usual name given to such movements are Elevation 
and Subsidence, or Upheaval and Depression. But though 
dual in name it does not necessarily follow that they are so 
in essence. 

The general who advances far into an enemy's country 
and who then retreats with the spoils of war is still one and 
the same personage : the earthquake that elevates at one 
time and depresses at another is still an earthquake, and 
attributable to some common cause. So with Elevation 
and Subsidence. Their effects are manifest and intelligible, 
but their cause, while more or less a matter of uncertainty, 
is conceded to be one. While no solution of this cause has 
hitherto proved generally satisfactory, the general belief is 
that it is due to consequences ensuing in some way from 
the original internal heat of the earth. 

Thus, both the movements and their cause are alike 
more or less of a mystery to modern science ; very aptly, 
then, has Mythology symbolised those movements of 
Elevation and Subsidence by Hecate, a goddess whose 
attributes and offices are so many and strange that we find 
her described in classical dictionaries as "a mysterious 
and powerful being." 

"When Lyell postulates the elevated position of strata to 
the gradual uprising of land from the bed of ocean, and not 
to the going down of the sea, he says, " This idea, however 
startling it may at first appear, is quite in accordance with 
ihe analogy of changes now going on in certain regions of 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 277 

the globe." We may paraphrase the quotation by remark- 
ing that however startling the analogy between Hecate and 
the movements of Elevation and Subsidence may appear at 
first, it will be found quite in accordance with Hesiod's 
description of the goddess, and with all the various 
attributes assigned her. 

In the first place, the derivation of 'E/ccm; is very 
suggestive, e/ca? firry, " ruin or destruction far away," 
pointing as it does to the fact that each formation has been 
formed from the ruins or destruction of the preceding, far 
down in the bed of ocean. 

Her parents, too, Asteria and Perses, are suggestive of 
the scientific cause generally assigned for elevation, 
inasmuch as the Metamorphic rocks are close to the 
central heat, and destruction, scattering, and moulding 
have much to do with stratification : 

Tj 8' vjfOKVcrapevrj 'EKOTTJV TeKe, Trjv irepl irdvT:ov 
Zeiis Kpow'Sqs riprja-e' iropev fie 01 dyXaa da pa, 
p.dipav e%eiv yairjs re Kal drpvyeroto 6d\daraT]s. 
fj fie Kal dorepoevTos air' ovpavov <=fj.p.ope TifJ.r]s, 
5 ddavdrois re deolcri Teripevr] etrn ftdXiara. 
Kal yap vw ore TTOV TIS fTTi^doviav dvdpanrcav 
epScav lepa KoXa Kara voftov cXda-Krjrai, 
KiK\7]<rKfi 'EKaTTjv TroXXij re ol eoTrero Tipy 
peia fid\', <a rp6(f)pa>v ye 6ea vjrode^eTai ev%df 

10 (cat Te ol S\j3ov oTrdfei, eirel 8vvap.is ye irdpeortv. 
5<r<roi yap Talr/f re KOI Ovpavov eeyevovro 
KOL Tip,f)V eXaxpv, TOVTIOV ej(fi alaav anavriav, 
ovfte 77 fiiv Kpovidrjs ^St^traTO, ovSe i 3 aTnjvpa 
ocrtr" e\a^ev "TiTjjtri peTa Trporepouri deoia-iv, 

15 dXX' e^ d>s Tmrp&rov air' apxys eVXero fiaer/xos. 
ovS", oTt fiovvoyevfjs, T)(T<TOV 6ea efj.jj.ope nu^y, 
Kal yepas ev yalrj Te Kai ovpava r]8e SaXdiraT). 
d\X' en Kal TroXv fia\\ov, enel Kal Zeiis riev avrf)v. 
to 8" ede\ti /j.eyd\ais napayiyverai rj8' ovlvrjiriv 

20 ev i 3 dyoprj \aoliri fiercnrpeTrei ov K" edehycriv 
at 8' oTTor' es ir6\ep,ov <fr6i<rr]vopa $a>p7jcr<ra>irai 
dvepes, evda 6ea irapayiyverat, ols K' ede\T)(Ti 
viiajv irpo<ppovecas oirdcrat Kal KvSos opeai' 
ev re 8tKj7 @a(Ti\ev<ri trap' aifiotoio-t Ka6iei' 

25 eo-^X^ 8' alff, OTTOT' avdpes dywvi deSXevatariv, 
evda 6ea Kal TO'LS irapayiyvtTai 7j8' 6vivr]<ri. 
viKrjcras 8e jStiy Kal Kapret KO\OV 



278 THE GODS OF OLD; 

pela (pepei ^atpoiv re, TOK* vcri Se xvSos oTrd 

etr$X^ 8' lirirrjea-a-i irapeo-Tap-ev ois K' eff 
30 Kal Tots 01 yXavjc^i/ dv<nrffjL<pe\ov fpydovrat' 

ev)(ovrai 8' 'E/azri; KOI tpiKnnrta Ewotriya/a). 

prfiSiats 8' ofypjyi/ Ki/8vv #f or amacre iro\\rjv, 

pela 8' mpetXero <pcuvop,evi)ii, e$eXovo-d ye 6vfi>. 

eV$X^ 8' eV aTadfj.oi(ri <rvv 'Epp 
35 fiovKoXias T aye'Xas TE Kat aiTroXia 

Troipvas T' elpoiroKcav otcov, 6vfj.u> y' edeXovcra, 

e oXiycav f3pidei, KOI eie iro\\>v peiova dtJKfV. 

t \ \ > x 

our&> TOI *cat fjLOvvoyevrjs e/c p.r]rpos fovira 

Tratri per' ddavaTouri TfTiprfrai yepdearcri. 
40 ^K 8e /icv KpoviSijs Kovporpo<|)ov, ot fier' fKtivrjv 
o<f>0a\.fi.oi(ru> ISovro (pdos noXvSfpKtos 'W.ovs. 
ovrass ef; dpxqs novparpotpos' ai8f re rifial. Theog. 411. 

Tlien with, the pangs of labour smarting sore 

She ushered into being Hecate 

Whom. Zeus Kronides honoured over all. 

On her were poured these peerless gifts, to have 

The portioning of land and watery main ; 

Grouped has she too the starry vault's display ; 

And by immortal gods been most revered. 

For even now when haply one of men, 

Who walks this earth and works at hallowed rites, 

Would lawful please, he calls on Hecate ; 

And honour great full quickly him attends 

Whose fervent vows the goddess gracious hears, 

And bliss she adds when genius stands his friend. 

For many as were born of heaven and earth 

And held as heritance the post of sway, 

Of all of these the destiny she holds ; 

Nor did the Kronos-born coerce her aught, 

Nor wrest what rights of heritance she had 

'Mongst former Titan gods, but these she holds 

As from all time the sharing was at first. 

And no mean share, one-kinded though she was, 

Of rank the goddess got, seignioral right 

In earth, the sea, and in the starry dome ; 

But much more still when Zeus revered her too. 

And much she helps and aids the one she lists ; 
In forum thronged ennobles whom she wills ; 
When, men their armour don for wasting war, 
Then comes the goddess, with advisement keen 
To victory insure, and glory great 
Mete out for such as haply she elects ; 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 279 

She sits in judgment close by rulers grave ; 

When freemen too would struggle in the lists, 

Then does the friendly goddess help and aid, 

And he who wins by dint of force and strength 

Quickly and blithely takes the precious prize, 

And on his parents glory bright reflects. 

Por whom of knights she lists to have stayed by, 

And mariners who plough the stormy blue, 

A friend she is ; to Hecate they pray 

And him who shakes with booming loud the earth. 

But spoil immense the kindly goddess caused 
To follow free ; and, when disposed in mind, 
She quick removed all open to the view. 
A friend she's too, with Mercury combined, 
To shepherd in its stalls the booty all, 
The mountains, hills, raised beaches of the waves, 
And lines of surf-lashed cliffs, as she's inclined. 
Prom few she's strong, from many has made less. 

And so, one-kinded as she was from birth, 

She has been marked by all the gods with gifts ; 

But Zeus installed her as the nurse of youth 

That sees through her. the dawn's far-searching light. 

Of tender youth a rearer thus she is 

From time of old ; and such her honours are. 



NOTES. 

1 rj 8' vrroKvo-opevT). "We know," writes Lyell, M that there are 
operations now in progress, at great depths in the interior of 
the earth, by which both large and small tracts of ground 
are made to rise above and sink below their former level, some 
slowly and insensibly, others suddenly and by starts, a few- 
feet or yards at a time." 

3-5 It is elevation (physical) that decides the configuration of land 
and water (yoi^r- #0X00-017?) ; it is elevation (astronomical) or 
altitude that enables the configuration or relative aspects of the 
heavenly bodies to be marked out (aarepoevros OTT' ovpavov) ; and 
it is elevation (mental) that raises men above the common level, 
and ranks them as immortal (adavarouri re 6foia-i). 

Tn this way we see why the myth describes Hecate as having 
power in heaven, earth, and sea; and it is owing to these 
physical, astronomical, and mental distinctions of elevation that 
Hecate has been pictured with three bodies or three heads, and 
called Tergemina, &c. 



280 THE GODS OF OLD; 

5 Beoicri. The immortal poets. 

" Poetry is itself a thing of God ; 
He made his prophets poets, and the more 
We feel of poesie do we become 

Like Grod in love and power undermakers." Bailey. 
6-10 Having mentioned how Elevation, is specially honoured by the 
poets, the writer adds in complacent spirit, "for eveti now when 
haply one of men," thus alluding probably to himself as one 
who works at the sacred rites of poetry (eptimv iepa /coXa), and 
who invokes Elevation. 

"The land of song -within thee lies, 
Watered by living springs ; 
The lids of Fancy's sleepless eyes 
Are gates unto that Paradise, 
Holy thoughts, like stars, arise, 
Its clouds are angels' wings. 
Look, then, into thy heart and writa ! 
Yes, into Life's deep stream ! 
All forms of sorrow and delight, 
All solemn Voices of the Night, 
These can soothe thee, or affright, 
Be these henceforth thy theme." Longfellow. 
1 KOTO, vofiov. According to the canons of poetry. 
10 SwafLis power, ability, faculty ; and hence, genius, as referring 

to poetry. So Plato writes, " Swa/us rijs iroaja-eats." 
11-12 Elevation presides over the destiny of each geological forma- 
tion. It raised them from the depths to the surface where they 
held the post of sway for ages, and their destiny being accom- 
plished, the same elevation, reversed in principle, submerged 
them in the ocean. 

13 ovSe ri. The principle of Elevation is independent of the son of 
Eronos, that is, of Zeus or Life, so far at least as mere 
matter and force (irporepouri deoiatv") are concerned. 
16 fiovvayevTis. Elevation, physically and astronomically considered, 
rules over one kind of matter, the inorganic. 

Powerful as she was, even when restricted to this one king- 
dom, she became still more so when Life (eVel KOI Zeus) rendered 
her a mental force. 

20-31 It is the skill, tactics, judgment, dexterity, or other ready 
power of performance acquired by elevated or concentrated 
thought, that distinguishes the orator in the forum, the warrior 
in battle, the ruler in council, the poet in song, the wrestler in the 
arena, the charioteer in the race, and the mariner in the storm. 
cv T' dyopfj. " O heavenly eloquence ! 

That with the strong rein of commanding words 
Dost manage, guide, and master th' eminence 
Of men's affections." Daniel. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 281 

21-23. "For 'by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war; and in 
multitude of counsellors there is safety." Prov. xxiv. 6. 

24 " He, -who the sword of heaven will bear, 

Should be as holy as severe." Shakespeare. 

32 ayprjv. Disintegration and denudation are favoured by elevation. 
The Appalachian and other ranges are supposed to have lost 
from removal as much, material as is now contained in them, 
or even more ; our valleys were once as high as the hills in 
which they nestle. "Where has all the original material gone ? 
From the Jiigher to the lower grounds, thence to the still lower, 
and so on tiH the ocean receives all the spoil ; and eventually 
receives the entire formation when its span is run, and a reflex 
elevation quietly submerges it in the deep (peta 8' 



34-36 The preceding lines treat chiefly of Hecate above the Earth, 
or Elevation, and serve to show why the goddess has been 
described as three-fold in nature, and an auxiliary in debate, 
war, courts of justice, public games of all kinds, navigation, 
and hunting. 

The poet now proceeds to describe her as a goddess of the 
lower world. 

34 orafyioZeri. To the ocean, as already remarked, comes all the 
spoils of air and water upon the surface of the land, and 
finally the formation as a whole. Once there, erosion goes 
on unceasingly, chemically by means of oxidation and the 
formation of carbonates, and mechanically by the action of 
waves and currents upon the disintegrated materials, till 
finally a new formation is ready to emerge. 

The ocean is thus, as it has been aptly called, "the coffin 
and the cradle of the earth," or classically, the orafyioi or 
"stalls" to which the mountain cattle wend their way each 
geologic evening for the necessary rest and recuperation. 
'Epfif/. That is, with fluxion. Erosive action is assisted by the 
waves, tides, and currents ; and by the same agencies is the 
debris scattered broadcast over the ocean floor, the coarser and 
larger in one place, the finer and smoother further on, and the 
finest, as sand and mud, furthest of all. 

It is for this reason that Mercury and Hecate are said to 
conduct and wander with the dead. All matter, organic or 
inorganic, when brought from the surface to the ocean floor, 
may be considered as dead; it has fulfilled the end for which 
it was made, has existed and passed away from the busy scene 
of life. 

S' aefuf degco " to increase, swell, multiply, foster," as would 
be the case with the detritus when layer would be raised on 
layer while the process of stratification was going on below, 
and while the sedimentary matter was hardening and assuming 



282 THE GODS OF OLD; 

that configuration of mountain, bill, coast barrier, and plateau, 
which is patent to the view when the formation emerges above 
the level of the sea. 

35-36 Even in the usual acceptation of the words, the gradation 
of oxen, cattle, goats, and sheep, is noticeable as descriptive 
of various degrees of elevation, of mountain, hill, terrace, and 
incline. As already mentioned, " oxen " is the mythical and 
poetical symbol for " mountains ; " and this being so, smaller 
and inferior cattle would naturally be used to represent smaller 
elevations. 

Apart, however, from poetical license, the context as well as 
the words derivationally considered, are thoroughly significa- 
tive of the physical meaning intended to be conveyed. 

BouKoXt'as. (SoiJs KoXor " the hornless oxen," or mountains. 

dyeXas ayrj eiX<a, "the rolling curve," that is, the curved strata 
from which our hills are formed. This dyfj may be considered 
the root of the Latin agger, just as etXo, or iXXco, is of the 
English word "hill." 

atTToXta aiirus TTO\IS "highland;" and aiTroXia rXare" "the flat 
highlands," that is, the tablelands, ten-aces, raised beaches, all 
of which rank among the most characteristic signs of elevation 
that survive to this day, and all of which are connected with 
the action of the waves along the coasts. 

alyS>v a?, from ditrcrca, strictly means " a springer, a rasher," 
and hence, a goat, a fiery meteor, a billow; and alyes, "high 
waves," is regularly used by Artemidorus. 

36 iroipvas a herd, or flock, as applied to cattle ; a line, or rank, as 

applied to inorganic objects. 
ota>v ota or oa, " a sheepskin, a hem, edge, or border ; " the 

borders or cliffs that confine the land and separate it from the 

sea. 
flpoTTOKow eiposmKto " wool-combing," and hence metaphorically, 

" surf-beaten." Even in our own language " comber" is used 

to signify a loijg curling wave breaking on the coast. 

37 Erom a few elementary substances (< 6\iya>v) are our mountains 

and hills made solid ; and from innumerable particles (c 
7roXXo)i>) are they condensed into smaller compass. And in a 
mental sense, brevity and condensation are notable characteristics 
of the elevated or sublime in language. 

40 Kovporp6<pov. Education is elevation ; and in the word - "educate" 
we see " Hecate " peeping forth, as it were, and almost 
encouraging the derivation of the Goddess from egdya>, the 
equivalent of the Latin educo. 

" Delightful task ! to rear the tender thought, 
To teach the young idea how to shoot, 
To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 283 

To breathe the enlivening spirit and to fix 
The generous purpose in the glowing breast ! " 

Thomson. 

With the idea of " elevation," much of the apparently 
mysterious disappears from the mythological Hecate. 
Hesiod's lines have elucidated many of the attributes 
assigned her, such as helping the poet, orator, warrior, and 
judge, the athlete, hunter, sailor, and the shepherd ; as 
being the fostering guardian of the young ; and a powerful 
influence in the moulding of prospective formations. 
Especially has he explained her title to Triformis and 
Triceps by showing that elevation is physical, astronomical, 
and mental. As for the epithet Tergemina, it really implies 
." thrice doubled, or three pairs," and means that each form 
of the Triformis or three-formed goddess is susceptible of a 
double sense. Physically, she would be upheaval and 
depression ; astronomically, altitude and declination ; and 
mentally, sublimity and bathos. In the character of 
upheaval, altitude, and sublime, she would be apt to be 
confounded with Luna ; in those of depression, declination, 
and bathos, with Proserpine ; and midway between the high 
and low, in a state of tremor, oscillation, or reflection, with 
Diana. 

The cross-roads, as a pictorial emblem, is suggestive of 
high and low ; and the same dual idea is evidently con- 
nected with cemeteries, and with the blood of the murdered 
which sinks into the ground and cries to heaven above 
for vengeance. 

" Other sins only speak, murder shrieks out. 
The elements of water moisten the earth, 
But blood flies upward and bedews the heavens." 

Webster. 

Again, since each formation is the sepulchre of the 
preceding one, Earth is a vast cemetery ; and since sorcery 
is but transformation, what greater sorcerer can there be. 
physically, than a Hecatean process which, after submerg- 
ing any one formation and wandering with its freight of 
organic and inorganic dead for countless thousands of years, 
has transformed it, elevated it, and has thus sent forth the 



284 THE GODS OF OLD. 

spectres and phantoms of the, Silurian age to the Devonian, 
of this to the Carboniferous, and so on to Post-tertiary 
time. 

" And in that rock are shapes of shells, and forms 
Of creatures in old worlds, of nameless worms, 
AVhose generations lived and died ere man, 
A -worm of other class, to crawl began." Orable. 

And what greater sorcerers, mentally speaking, can there 
be than the poet, philosopher, and scientist, who with magic 
wands transform the pebbles of thought and of reality to 
pearls, and leave such crystallised fossils of the mind in 
the written page wherein we walk and commune with the 
mighty dead. 

" The past but lives in words : a thousand ages 
"Were blank, if books had not evoked iheir ghosts, 
And kept the pale, unbodied shades to warn us 
Prom fleshless lips." Bulwer. 

In a physical sense, tremors and other convulsive move- 
ments of the earth are announced by the uneasiness of 
cattle and by the howling of dogs ; in a mental sense, the 
cynic and critic are the first to hail with praise or condem- 
nation the productions of literary aspirants, and to act as 
" whetstones, which unable of themselves to cut, can still 
give a cutting edge to iron." 

As to the pictured representation of the three-headed 
goddess, the dog would be emblematic of the subsiding 
process, or the long night during which each formation 
sank into and was guarded in the depths ; the horse, of the 
elevating process whereby it rode from the bottom to the 
surface of the sea ; and as for the middle head, the lion 
(Ado), " to see ") may denote the visibility of earth above the 
waters ; the moon, the incessant changes going on in it ; 
the sow, the productive powers of nature ; and the woman, 
that our terrestrial globe was destined for the human race. 



BOOK SIXTH. 

TITANIC TIES (continued). 

CHAPTER I. 

THEOGONY. 

I" Hestia (Vesta) 
I Demeter (Ceres) 

KRONOS and EHEA ) Hera ( Juno ) x 
: Hades (Pluto) 

| Poseidon (Neptune) 
I Zeus (Jupiter) 

MYTHS. 

Kronos. The Saturn of the Latins, son of Uranus and Ge, and 
youngest of the Titans. He it was who, at the instigation of 
Ge, used the sickle upon his father and expelled >ifm from the 
throne. He delivered the Hecatoncheires and Cyclopes from 
Tartarus, only, however, to thrust them back again when he 
had been raised to the kingdom. He married his sister 
Ehea, but as Uranus and Ge had predicted that he would be 
dethroned by his own son, he swallowed each of his children 
according as they were born. Kronos is generally identified 
with " Time," and is represented as having wings on his 
shoulders, chains on his feet, and a pruning-hook in his 
hand. 

Rhea. The Ops of the Latins, sister and wife of KJronos, by whom 
she begot Vesta, Ceres, Juno, Pluto, Neptune, and Jupiter. 
Kronos having devoured the first five of these, the incensed 
mother sought counsel of her parents, Uranus and Ge, before 
the birth of her last child. By their advice she went, when 
near her time, to Lyctus in Crete and there begot Jupiter in 
a cave of Dicte. In order to deceive Kronos, she dressed a 
stone in swaddling clothes and gave it to her husband, who 
swallowed it in the belief that it was his child. 



236 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Hestia. The Roman Vesta, the first of the children swallowed by her 
father Kronos. When Apollo and Neptune sued for her 
hand, she obtained from Jupiter the privilege of remaining 
a virgin for ever. Always regarded as the goddess of the 
hearth, or of the fire burning on the hearth, she thus 
symbolised not only the central hearth of the Universe and 
that of Earth, but also the central hearth of cities and towns 
and the inner chamber of private homes. But few special 
temples were erected to her honour, as each residence and 
town had in itself the altar of the goddess, namely, the 
hearth, which was at once the centre of domestic and civic 
happiness, and a sanctuary for the suppliant when fleeing from 
danger. The town-hall, or Prytaneum, was consecrated to 
her, whence she is also called Prytanitis : in it, and in 
whatever temple was erected to her, a perpetual fire was 
kept burning, some of which was taken by intending 
emigrants to kindle on the hearth of their new homes. 
When sacrifices were offered, Vesta was the first deity to be 
invoked, and to her were the first libations presented. 

Demeter. The Roman Ceres, universally recognised as "Mother 
Earth," yjj /ujr^p, the protectress of agriculture and of all 
the products of earth, and consequently the introducer of the 
laws and regulations that lead up to civilised life. By 
Jupiter she begot Persephone, or Proserpine, who was 
afterwards carried off by Pluto with Jupiter's consent. To 
appease Demeter, who shunned Olympus and refused fer- 
tility to earth, Proserpine was finally permitted to return 
and remain for two-thirds of the year with her mother. It 
is stated that Demeter fell in love with lasion, and in a 
thrice ploughed field in Crete, she became by him the mother 
of Plutus. The Eleusinian mysteries were instituted in her 
honour ; and in Rome the property of traitors to the common- 
wealth was often made over to her temple. She is pictured 
with large breasts, robes falling to her feet, and crowned with 
corn or poppies. 

Hera. The Roman Juno, was brought up, according to Homer, by 
Oceanus and Teihys, and subsequently became the wife of 
Jupiter, by whom she begot Hebe, Mars, and Ilithya. 
Hesiod says that she begot Vulcan without assistance, while 
other writers affirm that he too was the son of Jupiter and 
. Juno. On her marriage with Jupiter, she was honoured 
with presents from all the gods, and particularly from Ge, 
who presented her with a tree bearing golden apples. These 
apples Juno in turn gave to Jupiter, who consigned them to 
the care of the Hesperides. This marriage, the "Sacred 
Marriage" (lepus ydpos), as it has been called, made her be 
esteemed as the deity presiding over wedlock and the birth 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 287 

of children ; and almost as many cities contended for the 
honour of its celebration as for that of her birth. The other 
deities reverence her; Jupiter listens to her counsels, com- 
municates his secrets to her, and is often swayed sometimes 
against his -will -by her entreaties, her passions, or her 
jealous fears. She is ever jealous of any one being preferred 
before her, and persecutes alike, whether mortal or immortal, 
all those favoured with the love of Jupiter. She is pictured 
as majestic in appearance, of mature age, with forehead 
broad, and eyes large and widely opened; a diadem is on 
her head, a sceptre in her hand, and a flowing veil hangs 
down behind or covers her from head to foot. Peacocks 
draw her chariot, and Iris is her peculiar messenger. 

Hades. The Roman Pluto, after the conquest of the Titans, got for 
his share the empire of the nether world. He has been 
variously called Aides, Plouton, Dis, the infernal Jupiter 
(Ztiis KaraxOovios), King of the Shades (avag svepcov) and 
various other names. He abducted Persephone, the daughter 
of Ceres, and made her his queen. He is described as fierce, 
inexorable, and hateful to mortals ; as keeping the gates of 
the lower world closed to bar egress, and as the possessor 
and giver of all the metals contained within the earth. No 
temples were raised to his honour. He is generally pictured 
as sitting on a throne, holding in his hand a key, and having 
the three-headed dog Cerberus lying near. 

Poseidon The Eoman Neptune, was allotted the sea for empire when 
the Titans were overcome. He is generally regarded as the 
god of the fluid element, and has for his queen Amphitrite, 
daughter of Nereus according to Hesiod, or of Oceanus 
according to others. He rules the sea, gathers the clouds, 
calls forth storms, and has it in his power to shake the very 
earth round which his waters roll : hence he is styled 
yai7]o^os, (vo<rl)(8a>v, ~K.ivj]T^p "yrjs, and other like epithets. He 
has also the power of assuaging the angry billows and of 
calming the tempests which he or the wind gods may have 
raised. He rides over the waves in a chariot drawn by 
horses with brazen hoofs and golden manes, and in his hand 
he holds a trident, the peculiar emblem of his authority, as 
the key is of his brother Hades. The dolphin and horse are 
other symbols of his, particularly the latter which he was 
said to have created, and the management of which he 
taught to mortals : for this reason he has been styled lirmos 
avail, and was considered the patron of horse and chariot 
races. 

Zeus The Eoman Jupiter, was the youngest child of Ivronos and 
Ehea. Kronos, as already related, having swallowed all the 
preceding children he had by Ehea, the latter was so grieved 



2S8 THE GODS OF OLD; 

that, when about to give birth, to Zeus, she took counsel of 
Uranus and Ge in order to try and save her unborn child. 
They, influenced by her entreaties, sent her to Lyctus in 
Crete where Zeus was born. Thence he was brought to 
Dicte and concealed in a cave of Mt. .ZEgseon. Ehea dressed 
a' stone in swaddling clothes and gave it to Kronos, who 
swallowed it in the belief that it was his son. As the years 
rolled by Zeus increased in strength, and Kronos, deceived 
by the crafty counsels of Ge, threw up the children whom he 
had swallowed, and first of all the stone, which stone was 
afterwards fixed by Zeus at Pytho under Parnassus. After 
this, one of the first acts done by Zeus was to deliver the 
Cyclopes from Tartarus, and they in gratitude gave him the 
thunder and lightning with which he rules gods and men. 

Such is the Hesiodic account, to which many additions 
have been made by later writers. Thus Apollodorus makes 
no mention of Ehea taking counsel of her parents nor of her 
going to Lyctus : he says that Ehea, when ready to bring 
forth Zeus, went to Crete, begot the child in a cave of Dicte, 
and gave tmn in charge of the Curetes and the nymphs, 
Adrastia and Ide. These latter were the daughters of 
Melisseus, and they brought up Zeus with the milk of 
Amalthea : the Curetes in the meantime kept guard over the 
child, and struck their shields with spears so as to prevent 
Kronos from hearing the infant's cries. Ehea gave Kronos 
a stone to swallow, dressed in the manner already described. 
"When Zeus grew up, he took Metis, the daughter of Oceanus, 
as his ally : she gave Kronos a potion to drink that made 
TiiTn vomit, first the stone, then the children whom, he had 
swallowed. Many places, such as Mt. Ithome in Messenia, 
Thebes in Boaotia, 2Egseon in Achaia, Olenus in JEtolia, 
Parrhasius in Arcadia, Dodona in Epirus, and other 
localities claimed the honour of being the birthplace of Zeus ; 
but he is generally believed to have been born in Crete. 
While other nurses, such as the Hyades and the Arcadian 
nymphs, have been mentioned by writers, still the common 
belief held good with regard to the daughters of Melisseus, 
and to Amalthea. This last was supposed to be a goat, which 
Zeus afterwards placed among the stars ; but other accounts 
affirm that Amalthea was a nymph, daughter of Oceanus, 
or of Helios, Hsemonium, Olenus, or Melisseus, for traditions 
vary in this particular too, who fed Zeus with the milk of a 
goat. Amalthea is alluded to by the poets sometimes as 
" Olenia capella." 

Closely associated with the birth and bringing up of Zeus 
we find in addition to the Curetes mentioned by Apollodorus, 
other more or less curious divinities, such as the Dactyli, 
the Telchines, and the Cabiri. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 289 

Dactyli (AaKnAoi), mythical beings connected -with the worship of 
Hhea and Cybele in Crete, and, according to some, in Phrygia 
and Samothrace. To them were ascribed the discovery of iron, 
and the art of working it by means of fire. They are said to be 
the original inhabitants of Mt. Ida in Crete, and are hence 
called the Idsean Dactyli, Ad/cruXot 'iSaToi, and Cicero calls them 
" Digiti Idsei." They were originally three in number, accord- 
ing to Strabo, viz., KeXftis, Aajiva/ieveus, and *AK^WBU, but their 
number was afterwards increased to five, ten, fifty-two, and one 
hundred. 

The Cabin (Ka/3eipoi) are described as mystic divinities worshipped 
particularly at Samothrace, Lemiios, and Imbros, as also at 
Thebes, Anthedon, Pergamus, and various other parts of the 
world. According to some accounts they are descended from the 
Dactyli, but most of the ancient writers ascribe their parentage 
to Vulcan and Cabeira, the daughter of Proteus. 

In Egypt their number was said to be eight, but the best 
accounts make them three originally, viz., Axieros, Axiokersa, 
Axiokersos, and to these was subsequently added a fourth, 
Cadmilos or Casmilos. 

They are described sometimes as kindly, sometimes as 
malevolent beings, who were skilled in metallurgy; and as 
dwarfs with protuberant bellies, or with large genitals. 
Herodotus says that they were worshipped at Memphis as the 
children of Yulcan, and that they resembled the dwarf gods, or 
iraraiKoi, whom the Phoenicians attached to the prows of their 
vessels. 

Their influence over vintage is suggested by their promising 
abundance of Lemnian wine to the Argonauts, and by the vows 
which the Pelasgians offered in a time of scarcity to Zeus, 
Apollo, and the Cabiri. 

Additional accounts relate how lovers swear by them when 
pledging their vows, how those who are crossed in love call upon 
them for vengeance, and how such as are exposed to loss of life, 
especially from the sea, invoke their assistance. 

Their rites lasted for nine days ; were celebrated with great 
secrecy, splendour, and attention to details ; and their mysteries, 
according to Attic writers, were particularly calculated to 
protect the lives of the initiated. 

They have been more or less connected with some one or all 
three of the following group of deities, Ehea, Ceres, Proserpine ; 
Ehea, Ceres, Venus; Zeus, Minerva, Mercury; Zeus, Juno, 
Minerva; and it has been particularly noted that wherever 
the worship of the Cabiri prevailed, there, too, did that of 
Hecate. 

! The Telchines (TeX^iWr) are said to be a family or tribe descended 
from Thalassa, or from Neptune, and the following names of 
G.O. IT 



290 THE GODS OF OLD; 

individuals among them have been preserved, Argyron, 
Chrysaon, Chalcon, Hormeneus, Mylos, Simon, Lycus, Ataby- 
rius, Antseus, Megalesius, and Nikon. 

Eustathius describes tbem as marine beings without feet, and 
having fins for hands ; and the same writer alludes elsewhere 
to them as the dogs of Actseon who were changed into men. 
According to some accounts they were the original inhabitants 
of Crete, and went from there to Cyprus, and thence to Rhodes, 
where, in conjunction with Caphira, daughter of Oceanus, they 
brought up Neptune, who had been entrusted to their care by 
Rhea ; other accounts describe them as proceeding from Rhodes 
to Crete, and thence to Boeotia. They are variously alluded 
to as 

(a) Cultivators of the soil, and ministers of the gods. 

(b) Inventors of useful arts and institutions. They worked in brass 

and iron, made images of the gods, and fashioned the scythe for 
Kronos and the trident for Neptune. 

(c) Sorcerers who could assume different forms at pleasure, and were 

able to bring on rain, hail, and snow. They mixed Stygian 
water with sulphur in order to destroy plants and animals; and 
their very eyes and aspect are said to have been destructive. 

Strabo says that those Rhodian Telchines who assisted in 
bringing up the infant Zeus in Crete were called Curetes ; and 
it is also stated that Ehea, Zeus, and Apollo were hostile to 
them and encompassed their ruin, Apollo in the shape of a wolf, 
and Zeus by an inundation. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 291 



CHAPTER II. 

KRONOS, THE TIE OF TIES. 

Kronos. "What is Time ? By comparison with Eternity 
we arrive at the notion of a something having a beginning 
and an end. When was the beginning ? Following 
Genesis and Mythology, the only literary sources we have 
left to follow, we find that Kronos, personified Time, was 
subsequent to ^Bther and Hemera, that is, to Light and 
external universes ; subsequent too, as being the youngest, 
to his brother Titans, that is, to matter endowed with 
magnitude ; but previous to the cutting away of Uranus, 
that is, to the formation of a firmament. This would lead 
to the deduction that time did not enter into the work of 
the First Day mentioned in Genesis, and that it is an 
unknown quantity for Light and for universes other than 
ours ; that time had a beginning subsequent, however 
short, to actual matter, and came into being somewhere 
between the evening and the morning of what constituted 
the Second Day in Genesis ; and that time consequently ap- 
pertains to each and every sun, star, and planet, embraced 
within the firmament. In brief words, time is not for 
Earth alone : it is for our Universe. This is curiously 
interesting, as bearing on that much mooted question, 
the Hexameron of Genesis, and pointing to the opinion 
entertained regarding the signification of the word " day " 
by the framers of Mythology. 

What the measure could be of time previous to the 
formation of a firmament is unintelligible. Container and 
contained were one, and standard there was none unless 
we except the changes going on in the mass, and denote 
those changes simply as events. The same may be said 
of many an age succeeding the firmament of the Second 

u 2 



292 THE GODS OF OLD ; 

Day, during which, we must suppose the parent mass as 
disentangling and disrupting and forming itself into 
systems, and those systems into suns, and the minor 
bodies moving round those suns. The myth that weds a 
Kronos to a Ehea is but equivalent in this sense to saying 
that "time rolled on," that event succeeded event, and 
that while the celestial bodies were being propagated and 
were fashioning themselves into shape, Time reigned 
supreme. But this would bring us down to that evening 
and morning which constitutes the Fourth Genesiac Day, 
when "God made two great lights; the greater light to 
rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night : the 
stars also." 

There is no multiplication of celestial bodies after this 
period, and we now find definite measurers or rulers 
appearing on the scene for the first time, to stand " for 
signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years," to 
disturb the despot sway of Time, and afford an opportunity 
for one, if one there were, combining force and matter in a 
pre-eminent degree, to oust the potentate from his throne. 
And one there was. But to dwell upon this would be to 
anticipate the Hesiodic narrative, and so we leave it for 
the present. 

The derivation of Kronos would at first sight appear to 
be Kpivo) " to order," " to arrange," as time may be con- 
sidered "an order or succession of events;" but it is 
more likely to be /copeWu/xi, " to satiate," "to glut," seeing 
that the Latin Saturnus has the same idea of satiety (sat) 
involved in it. 

The ancients had no inordinate idea of the power and 
antiquity of Kronos. Modern writers entertain much the 
same opinions in regard to him. Thus : 

" We estimate the duration of human history at 6,000 
years ; but immeasurable as this time may appear to us, 
what is it in comparison with the time during which the 
earth carried successive series of rank plants and mighty 
animals, and no men ; during which, in our neighbour- 
hood, the amber tree bloomed and dropped its costly gum 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 293 

upon the earth and in the sea ; when in Siberia, Europe, 
and North America groves of tropical palms nourished ; 
when gigantic lizards, and after them elephants, whose 
mighty remains we still find buried in the earth, found 
a home ? Different geologists, proceeding from different 
premises, have sought to estimate the duration of the 
above created period, and vary from a million to nine 
millions of years. And the time during which the earth 
generated organic beings is again small when we compare 
it with the ages during which the world was a ball of 
fused rocks. 

" For the duration of its cooling from 2,000 deg. to 200 
deg. Centigrade, the experiments of Bishop upon basalt 
show that above 350 millions of years would be necessary. 
And with regard to the time during which the first 
nebulous mass condensed into our planetary system, out- 
most daring conjectures must cease." Helmlioltz. 

" In order that cosmical matter or the prodigious 
assemblage of so many stars could be distributed according 
to the curves revealed by the telescope, and winding round 
each other in gigantic spirals under the governing action 
of the combined attraction of all parts which compose this 
universe, it would require an incalculable series of accumu- 
lated years to pass away." Flammarion. 

" ' Time ' is growing up daily into importance as an 
element in the exercise of force. The earth moves in its 
orbit in time ; the crust of the earth moves in time ; light 
moves in time ; an electric magnet requires time for its 
charge by an electric current. In some of the known 
cases of action in time, something happens while the 
time is passing which did not happen before, and does not 
continue after." Faraday. 

With these tributes to the mighty Kronos, let us go back 
to the time when he wrested from his sire the reins of 
government. All the characters that have been introduced 
and described from that fateful event, the progeny of 
Night, the epe/Seyw? and oA.o?j ; of Pontus who begot Nereus, 
Thaumas, Phorcys, Ceto, and Eurybia; of their descendants 



294 THE GODS OF OLD; 

too, as well as of those sprung from Oceanus, Hyperion, 
Crius, and Cceus ; all these are but interludes cunningly 
and methodically brought in by the master hand of Hesiod 
to prepare the mind for Kronos and the children of Kronos. 
Intentionally has he wandered in individual detail, and 
brought the reader through heaven and earth, through air 
and sea, through water and through land, until he has 
forced upon even the dimmest intelligence a perception of 
the glorious truths he was desirous to impart. The 
intelligence thus aroused, he now goes back to the misty 
past of his departure, and collecting his forces gives a 
condensed but succinct account of how each particular 
mass, our earth especially, could evolute from nebulosity 
to what we see it in our own planet. 

When the bond of union between Uranus and Ge was 
dissolved, and when the former had retired, leaving for 
sole heritage to his children the obloquy of a name and the 
prophetic threat that as they sowed, so should they reap, 
Ge retained, as we have seen, the offspring born of the two, 
the matter and force of all kinds, knowable and unknow- 
able. But immortal mothers no more than mortal ones 
seem destined to retain for ever their sons and daughters : 
preferences and mutual affinities occur, ties are formed, 
offspring born, and the inevitable separation and emigra- 
tion from the "noverca " are the result. So too with the 
parent nebula, the -xeXdpr] and fvpvo-repvos Ge. Thia and 
Hyperion wooed and wed and went to seek their fortunes 
in distant countries, carrying with them such a magnificent 
dowry surely they must have been favoured children ! as 
enabled them to stud the canopy of heaven with the sun, 
the moon, the planets, and the stars. It was but a small 
pittance, this earth of ours, that Ge reserved unto herself 
in her declining years, for old she had grown. The love 
light had departed from her eyes with Uranus, and their 
exceeding brilliancy had been dimmed when Hyperion and 
Thia had gone with their belongings ; her steps felt heavier, 
the warm blood ran more sluggishly in her veins, and day 
by day she grew more secretive and retiring within herself. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 295 

Anatomical Geology has hunted up the record of those 
days and has vouched for the foregoing. It states that loss 
of light and heat was constantly going on for the parent 
mass and for each successive one ; that each nebula left 
behind consisted of progressively heavier matter, and that 
cooling, condensation, and gravitation towards its nucleus 
went hand in hand. 

And yet withal she was still a stately dame and never 
disinclined to assert herself when her children's wrongs 
roused her into action. Zeus, all powerful Zeus himself, 
was witness to her wrath when in after years she spurred 
on the Giants to avenge her Titan children, and still later 
commissioned Typhceus to take vengeance for the Giants. 
Love of offspring was indeed her virtue and her weakness ; 
otherwise she might still be queen regnant with Uranus. 
And she kept this characteristic to the last. Widowed and 
bereft, she grew colder to the outside world, retired more 
and more to the privacy of her chamber, and left the 
management of affairs to the two who still clung closest to 
her, to Kronos surnamed the Wily, and his sister partner, 
Ehea. And thus did time roll on " unsoiled and swift, 

and of a silken sound," till But let the scientific 

records of the past relate what followed. 

When further disruption as regards our planet ceased, it 
probably left earth in a more or less nebulous condition 
and equal to the sun in volume, heat, and brilliancy. But 
as heat was being constantly lost by radiation into space, 
with the necessary consequence of cooling, the result would 
be that in time, the duration of which it is impossible to 
fix even approximately, our planet, originally gaseous, 
would ultimately assume a condition of igneous fusion or 
fluidity. Now, between these two extremes changes 
occurred, the magnitude and number of which can be only 
compared with the length of time in carrying them out ; 
and these changes will best be understood by repeating in 
part the history of an independent nebulous mass, such as 
earth was, as told by Bonney : " It is composed of some- 
what similar material, and even at the moment of severance 



296 THE GODS OF OLD; 

is probably still in a more or less nebulous condition, and 
at a very high temperature. As it proceeds on its journey 
heat is lost by radiation into space ; the temperature of the 
whole mass falls, but the outer layers are especially chilled. 
For a considerable while there will be an up and down 
movement in the orb, the cooler matter descending from 
the exterior, the hotter ascending from the interior. By 
this means, in process of time, a kind of stratification will 
be produced in the mass, the lighter and more readily 
vaporised substances working their way towards the 
exterior, the heavier and those which most readily solidify 
accumulating at the interior. This transference and 
selective ordering will continue so long as the materials of 
the planet remain in a vaporous or even in a thoroughly 
liquid condition." 

While, then, the nebulous or highly fluid condition 
prevailed, it would be only when cooled at the surface that 
matter could at first assume any of its specific properties, 
to lose them possibly again when it experienced the increased 
heat after sinking by its weight ; but as time went on and 
as the cooling process extended from the surface downwards, 
every particle of matter on or coming to the periphery, 
and which did not mount upward owing to its superior 
volatilisation, would feel the effects of cooling and gravita- 
tion, and begin to move downwards towards the centre, the 
heavier first, the less heavy next, and so on according to 
their respective densities. 

In brief language, according as elementary and compound 
matter came into being through time, it was swallowed 
down. And this is exactly what Mythology tells us when 
it declares that Kronos swallowed his children as soon as 
each one was born. 

Here is Hesiod's description of the occurrence : 

'Pela 8' inro^iJajdeiora Kpovca TSKC (f)aidip.a reKVa, 
'Ifrrirjv, A.r]fir)Tpa, Kal "Hpr]V ^pucroTreStXoi', 
"L^diftov i' 'Atdrjir, os VTTO ^Awt Sahara vaiei 
vrjXfes Tfrop ex iav ' Ka " 1 fpiKTWov 'Ewotriyaiov, 
5 Zrjva re p.7]Tt6fvra, 6ea>v irarep' ^Se Kat avbpaiv, 
TOV KOI VTTO fipovrfjs weXe/n/feTat fvpeia x6a>v. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 297 

Kai TOVS ftev Karemve TUpovos peyas, Sorts eKaaros 

vrjSvos f Ifprjs /ujTpos irpbs yovvaff IKOITO, 

TO. (ppovecav, iva p.r] ns dyavlav Ovpavid>vti)V 
10 aXXoy ev adavaroianv ?x' /SacrtXT/tSa TLfirjV. 

TrcudfTO yap Tairjs re <a\ Qvpavov dtrrepoevros, 

ovvfKa ol aiirpuno ea> VTTO naiSl Safirjviu, 

Kai KparepiS irep eovri, Aws [ifyaXov 8ia J3ov\ds' 

TOVVCK ap' oiiK dXaoo'KOjri^i' *X tv > "^01 8oKev<av 
15 TralSas fovs Karemve' 'Ptr/v 8' e^e TrevSos aXaoTov. 

Theog. 453. 

Subdued by !Kronos Rhea children bore 
Distinguished, Hestia, Demeter too, 
And Hera who has sandals flecked with gold ; 
Despotic Hades with a ruthless heart 
Who dwells within the mansions underground ; 
The one that rocks our globe with, rumbling hoarse ; 
And purposing Zeus, of gods and men the sire, 
Whose thunder shakes the broad domain of earth. 
All these indeed, as one by one they came 
Prom mother's hallowed womb unto her knees, 
Did the all-powerful KJronos swallow up ; 
Planning those things betimes that other none 
Of all the high, and mighty gods would have 
Imperial sway among th' immortal host. 
For judge he did from earth and starry sky 
How, powerful even though he was, his doom 
To be by his own child subdued, was fixed 
Through the wise counsels of a mighty God. 
Eor reason such no careless watch he kept, 
But, biding time, swallowed his children all ; 
And pain, tormenting pain held Ehea fast. 

NOTES. 

from pea>, " to flow," and allied to epa, " the earth," denotes 
our globe in a state of fluxion, as it was all through the 
nebulous and far on into fluid igneous time, 
ofyuj&io-a " subdued" in the sense of having been (amed or 
quieted. The nebula had lost a great deal of its pristine 
brilliancy and heat by radiation into space. 
iSifia (pda> 'iStos, " specific appearing." Matter, owing to 
cooling, began to assume specific or distinctive qualities. 
Instead of being mere matter, it assumed the characteristics 
of solid, liquid, and aeriform, to shape itself into the elements, 
their oxides, and the compounds of those oxides. "It is 
possible, of course, that every elemental substance is only a 
form or mode of manifestation of some one common matter, so 



298 THE GODS OF OLD; 

that in the apparent diversity of inorganic nature there may be 
a latent unity." Bonney. 

2 xpuo-cwfSiXoi'. Our precious metals, metals of all kinds indeed, 
are seldom, in a state of purity, but generally occur as oxides, 
carbonates, sulphurets, &c., and are found especially in the 
primary and metamorphic rocks, the feet of the geological rocks. 

4 vr)\ffs fjrop.The nucleus of our globe. 

8 vrjdvos e' leprjs. As matter worked from the interior (i/qSuds) to 
the exterior (irpoj yowaff) of the earth (fjirjTpbs], it would 
on arriving be cooled, assume specific properties, and thus 
becoming denser would again sink or be swallowed down 



9 dyava>v dyavos or dyavpos, from aya> avca, or ayS> avpa, would 
literally mean " going to the air," as matter would when 
ascending from the interior to the surface. Even the usual 
meaning, "illustrious, proud, stately," is simply "having a 
lofty air, having a haughty air," and refers to the character- 
istics one assumes. 

11 ireiBero. Experience of the past, of changes caused by cooling 
that produced a firmament and a more contracted nebulous 
mass, gave promise of what would come. 

15 Trevdos aXatrrov. The high temperature of the interior would be 
constantly antagonistic to the pressure from above of cooling 
matter, and for many a long day would our orb be thus racked. 
Speaking of the early igneous period, Piguier says, "As to 
the globe itself, without being so much agitated as its fiery 
and mobile atmosphere, it too would be no less the prey of 
perpetual storms, occasioned by the thousand chemical pro- 
cesses which were in action in its molten mass." 

Apollodorus, while condensing the above description, 
emphasises the order in which the offspring were swallowed. 
Having mentioned how Kronos had liberated the Cyclopes 
and Hecatoncheires from Tartarus, he goes on thus : 



" o Se TOVTOVS p-ev ev r<5 Taprapm rrah.iv Sijeras Ka$e7p|e, T^V Se aS 
'Pfav yfjp-as, eVetSr) Fi) Te (cat Qvpavbs edecnricadovv airrta \eyovres vrrb 
Idiov TTJV dpxfiv d(f>aipe(}f]O'fa'6a.i, Karemve TO. yewtap-eva. Kal 7rp<bn)v p.ev 
yvvrj6ei(rav 'EoTtai/ Karemev, fira Ar]p.rjrpav KOI "Upav, fieff as TSXovTa>va 
sat Ilotrei.SaJj'a." 1. 5. 1. 

" But those indeed having again bound he imprisoned in Tartarus, 
and having wed his sister Ehea, he swallowed all those begotten of 
her, since both Ge and Uranus, lying quiescent, foreshadowed to Tifm 
that the supreme power would be wrested by his own son. And he 
swallowed Testa, the first indeed that was begotten, then Demeter and 
Hera, after these Pluto and Neptune." 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 299 

And thus did Time roll on through the ages, Kronos 
"biding his day," as Hesiod says, and well earning his 
name by satiating his maw with the grewsome diet begotten 
of himself. On it rolled. The aftermath of the nebulous 
period, the sowing of the igneous, crop after crop that but 
scarce appeared, all were gathered with its scythe and 
stowed away to appease its cravings and prolong its sway. 

If we would form a better conception of those events, 
and of what resulted from them, we must turn to the 
heavens for information. By means of the spectroscope 
the light from self-luminous bodies can be analysed so as to 
show what elements are present in their luminous vapour. 
Some nubulas, either through distance, size, or elementary 
nature, defy or leave in doubt even spectroscopic analysis. 
But those stellar bodies over which it has control have been 
distinguished into four great classes : those which, like 
Sirius, show the presence of hydrogen only, or of hydrogen 
and a feeble proportion of metallic vapours ; those which, 
like our sun, give evidence in addition to hydrogen, of the 
more stable metals such as sodium, magnesium, iron, &c., 
but of no metalloids or compounds ; those which, like 
the red stars, indicate the presence of others of the metals 
and of metalloids ; lastly, those which, like Mars, Venus, 
and the Moon, present the evident appearance of compound 
bodies similar to our own. 

According to Lockyer, nebulae and stars of the first type 
are the hottest and most brilliant ; those of the second are 
cooler and their materials more differentiated into elements ; 
those of the third and fourth are still cooler, their materials 
still more differentiated and marked by the appearance of 
metalloids and compounds ; and so on, the loss of hydrogen 
accompanying increased evolution, till finally we come to 
conditions of temperature and materials such as are repre- 
sented by our Earth, when all the free hydrogen will have 
disappeared. Commenting upon this a writer says, " Ac- 
cording to this view the atoms of all the elements existed 
originally in the nebula disassociated from each other by 
reason of the intense heat. As the nebula gravitated 



300 THE GODS OF OLD; 

towards its nucleus and cooled, the atoms canie together 
and the elements appeared in a certain order, beginning 
with hydrogen, and passing on through the metals and 
metalloids into compounds such as we find upon our globe." 
Reasoning thus, we would have in time a very different 
order of things from that which took place earlier, as 
expounded by Bonney. The earlier periods of incandescence 
and of igneous fluidity swallowed elementary matter as soon 
as it was formed. We now find that a reverse procedure is in 
wait for every stellar body ; that it has commenced for some, 
is more advanced for others, and that it has been most 
fully accomplished with regard to one particular nebula 
which, after cooling and differentiating into hydrogen and 
elements not yet recognised, into calcium and magnesium, 
sodium, titanium, iron, manganese, and other metallic 
elements, has gone through the further stages of metalloids 
and compounds, till at last it has become the Earth we call 
our own. The Kronos, that once swallowed those his chil- 
dren, has been somehow and sometime forced to disgorge 
them, " to vomit them up," as the Myth words it. 

Particulars regarding the time when such an event 
occurred are interesting. The book of Science is mute con- 
cerning it : it assigns no period for the change from the 
swallowing of elementary and compound matter to the dis- 
gorgement and establishment of the same. It simply 
asserts that the first process was followed by the second, 
without indicating any great event whereby the parting of 
the ways may be sharply distinguished. Not so, however, 
with Genesis and Mythology. We get a more definite idea 
of the event from these two sources, and find one supple- 
menting the other. 

"After Zeus was torn and had waxed in strength, and years, Eronos 
was compelled to throw up the children he had swallowed : assisted 
by those, Zeus, after a protracted struggle, succeeded in conquering 
the Titans and banishing Kronos." 

So runs the substance of the Myth. 

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding 
seed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in 
itself, upon the earth : and it was so. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 301 

" And the earth brought forth grass and herb yielding seed after his 
kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his 
kind : And God saw that it was good. 

" And the evening and the morning were the third day. 1 ' 

Gen. i. 11, 12, 13. 

In those words of Genesis we find Life introduced for the 
first time upon our globe. If, then, we succeed in prov- 
ing that the Zeus of Mythology is personified Life, we may 
be warranted in arriving at the following more or less 
definite and important conclusions, through collating 
Genesis and Mythology : 

1. That Zeus or Life came into existence during the 
interregnum that marked the ingulfing of matter 
formed by surface cooling and the permanent appear- 
ance of elementary and compound bodies on the sur- 
face : that this period, characterised as the Third 
Genesiac Day and presumably, its later portion, 
was also the later part of the " Golden Age " of 
Mythology. 

2. That Zeus or Life appeared first as vegetable, not 
animal matter. 

3. That the condition of matter as denoted by Kronos 
and Bhea, a struggle on the part of molecular matter, 
did not cease for some time after Life or Zeus appeared. 

4. That the Titanomachia marked the end of this 
struggle. 

5. That it is within the bounds of reasoning conjecture 
to suppose some form or forms of life as capable of 
existing in any stellar body evincing a decided advance 
from atomic to molecular and molar matter. 



302 THE GODS OF OLD; 



CHAPTER III. 

THE CURDLED SPUME OF AGES. 

THERE are scores of myths connected with the offspring 
of Time, each myth embodying a scientific truth ; but they 
are so interwoven with other characters that their explana- 
tion would interfere too much with the continuity of the 
story. It will be sufficient for our purpose to identify and 
establish the physical fact embodied in each divinity. 

Hestia, the Latin Yesta, is the physical emblem for the 
foundation of our earth. This primal vestment, or first 
step towards building on the molten fire, is manifested 
clearly by calling her the eldest born of Kronos and Ehea, 
by making her the goddess of the hearth and of the fire 
burning thereon, by including her in all sacrificial rites, 
invoking her first, presenting her with the primal offerings, 
and by giving her such epithets as antiqua, pi-iineeva, cana, 
&c. The derivation, too, i<mj/, " to stand, check, make 
fast," points indubitably to the superstructure which stands 
over and checks the central fire, and affords a solid basis or 
stability for all that is above. This is well marked by 

Ovid: 

Stat vi Terra sua, -yi stando Vesta vocatur. 

The earth is stable through, inherent force ; 
Prom this stability is Yesta named. 

With this idea of stability, Vesta has by a natural transition 
been extended from earth as a whole to its magnified types, 
our system, and the universe ; and to its miniature types, 
countries, cities, towns, and private dwellings. What the 
foundation would be to the earth, the hearth-stone would 
be to the family, the first essential to a home, the basis 
and prop of the surrounding structure, a foundation where- 
by fire could be kindled with safety and kept in check, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 303 

a prytaneum (nvp ravvw, "stretched over the fire") round 
which the members could gather for social converse and the 
comforts of civilised life, and at which order, respect for 
authority and age, and purity of morals could be inculcated, 
and the rites of hospitality afforded. It is as the representa- 
tive of stability that Vesta is included among the twelve 
Dii Consentes who formed the council of Zeus. 

But the primal idea was the physical one, namely, the 
foundation of our earth. What this is composed of is as 
much a matter of mystery to-day as when Job was asked 

" Where wast thou \vlien I laid the foundations of the earth ? 

declare, if thou hast understanding. 
Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest ? or who 

hath stretched the line upon it ? 

Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened ? or who laid the 
corner-stone thereof ? " 

The only reasonable conjecture offered by science has been 
noticed under Chrysaor ; this supposes that it was, or is, 
of a crystalline or vitreous character, that is, composed of 
the elements themselves in a pure or virgin state, a sur- 
mise to which mythology adds some weight by asserting 
that Vesta remained a virgin goddess. 

Demeter. The derivation is suggestive in itself. What 
is 8a ^TTJP, " mother earth," but the materials from which 
are derived the rocks and clay that make our earth, our 
soil? And those are silica, alumina, soda, potassa, lime, 
magnesia, iron oxide, and other oxides of the elements, all 
well recognised rock-makers. Silica, for instance, is the 
base of all the quartzose or arenaceous rocks that comprise 
nearly one-half of the earth's crust ; alumina, " the clay 
rock," as it is otherwise called, is the base of clay, mica, 
slate, and feldspar, and next to silica ranks most abun- 
dantly in the earth's crust. It is easy to see how those 
oxides of the elements personified by Demeter would come to 
signify the source of all soil, and hence of fertility and 
civilisation, as typified by the Koman Ceres. We never 
find rocks composed of the pure elements themselves, for 
which reason mythology has made Vesta a virgin, but of 
their compounds, the oxides : we never find silicon in 



304 THE GODS OF OLD; 

nature, for instance, but we do find silica, pure as in quartz 
rock, or united with other oxides, as in the feldspar and 
mica of the granite. So with alumina, soda, and the other 
rock-makers of our crust. 

Ceres, the Eoman equivalent for the Greek Demeter, has 
been variously derived from gero, sero, and cresco. This 
last, as significative of growth, is the best of the three, and 
would admit of Ceres being one of the twelve Dii Con- 
sentes, since growth is as essential as stability to the opera- 
tions of life. It is more than likely, however, that the 
Latins went to Greek fountains for the names of their 
deities, at least the most important ones ; and if so, Kepdu) 
has much to recommend itself derivationally. It is another 
form of Kfpdwvfj.1, " to mix, to compound," and differs 
from fj.iywfjLL in implying that the mixture or compound is 
a chemical one. By such a chemical combination would 
the oxides be formed from the basic elements ; by combina- 
tion would the ingredients of the soil be mixed and agri- 
culture flourish ; by the same combination or union would 
law and civilisation be established ; and finally, it would be 
owing to mixture, combination, or union of some kind or 
other that growth would come. 

Hera. If Vesta then be a foundation composed of pure 
elementary substances, and Ceres be the oxides of those 
elements, what is there naturally and logically left for Hera 
to personify but the mixture of those oxides with one 
another ? Eocks composed of one mineral alone are very 
few, since most are constituted by a mixture of different 
minerals, and it may be said that the land, as opposed to 
water, is a compound. Vesta appropriated the elements ; 
Ceres, the oxides of those elements ; Hera or Juno symbo- 
lised the compounds of those oxides, the solid land. The 
derivation, ap<a, "to join," points to the same conclusion; 
so do such cognates as epa, " the earth," fripd, " the dry 
land;" so do the Latin terra and the English earth. 
Again, the Latin form, Juno, is from Qeayvvta, "to join," 
and Virgil in the JBneid, IV. 59, says plainly : 

" Junoni ante omnes, cui yincla jugalia curse." 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 305 

In virtue of her being so important a personage in 
classic literature, let us descant a little further on this 
queen of the gods. She has usually been supposed to be the 
personification of the denser or lower strata of the atmos- 
phere. But her ancestry and kin, her power, her offspring 
by Jupiter, and her pictured representations do not warrant 
any such conclusion, even if the atmosphere were not 
already occupied by a Latona. Neither do many passages 
from the poets, unless sometimes after a very forced 
manner; while in other passages, such as where Virgil 
makes her descend into Hades to summon forth Alecto, 
and where Ovid does the same to call forth Tesiphone, it is 
impossible to retain "air" as the personification intended. 
But if we take Juno as " the land," we can follow the 
mythical track of the goddess from her birth to her union 
with Zeus or Life ; can see why Youth and War and Birth 
(Hebe, Mars, and Ilithya) should spring from such union ; 
can see why Heat (Vulcan), considered as force expended in 
the past by the contraction of earth into itself, may be con- 
sidered as the offspring of Juno individually, or why Heat, 
considered as force that has never been separated from some 
form of life, should be considered as the joint issue of Juno 
and Jupiter. "We can, as Land, willingly assent to her 
being "divum regina, Jovisque et soror et conjux," 
especially when we allow Jupiter to symbolize Life ; and, 
as Land, we can grant all the epithets applied to her, 
whether saeva or sacra, alma or aspera, regia or sceptrigera. 
We can readily understand how the land, which in geologic 
time has repeatedly sought the depths of ocean bed and 
descended by its own weight towards the nucleus of our 
globe, could be described thus by Virgil : 

" Electere se neqpieo superos, Acheronta movebo." M. VII. 312. 

We can give Ovid credit for geological lore and not 
poetic fiction when, on Juno's entering Hades, the poet 

says : 

" Qud sinml iatravit, sacroque a corpore pressum 
Ingemuit limen." Met. IV. 449. 

G.o. X 



306 THE GODS OF OLD; 

We can also understand how the close association of 
land, from lowest vale to highest peak, with the surround- 
ing atmosphere has led to the confounding of the divinity 
with the lower strata of air, and to whatever chance resem- 
blance there may be in this erroneous personification. And 
as to other particulars s who can better be said to have 
fostered and brought up the land than Oceanus and 
Tethys, that sea which covered our globe at one time 
throughout, the thermal ocean of geology, the bed of which, 
peaking up here and there it may be above the waters, was 
destined to form the dry land later on ? And what union 
can be more worthily dignified as the first or sacred 
marriage, the tepos yd/^os of the myth, than the wedding of 
Land to Life ? What see we more majestic and mature, 
with broader front, than this ox-eyed Juno, this Bovvaia, 
this Earth of ours, whose hills, " broad, round, and green," 
are described by Bryant as " Kindling with the spirit of the 
morning," and whose mountains are pictured by Rogers as 
" So ethereal as to belong rather to heaven than earth " ? 
What but land, with its isles, its continents, and its Alps of 
every clime, can so influence . meteorological conditions as 
to lay special claim in the summoning of an Iris, " with a 
wing on the earth and a wing on the sea " ? And finally, 
what more jealous of Life and of the doings of Life should 
we or do we find than this same Land, ever the acknow- 
ledged partner of his couch and sharer of his secrets, but 
never, so long as air and water be, the sole partner of his 
affections ? 

Hades. From the very beginning of the evolution of 
matter there appears a curious tendency to the formation of 
chasms or tunnels in the constituted mass. This has 
already been alluded to when mentioning the " rifts " 
observed in the great nebula of Andromeda, the "fish- 
mouth " in that of Orion, the " Key-hole " of Argo, and the 
" coal sacks " of other nebulae ; of all which Gore has said, 
" It is not easy to understand how an opening through a 
gaseous mass can be kept open and prevented from closing 
up by fluid pressure." And as to cur earth later on, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 307 

secular contraction has ever accompanied cooling, with the 
further consequences of intermittent upheaval and sub- 
sidence over irregular areas. During these subsidences of 
the outer shell on the inner nucleus, vast masses of matter 
would, in the effort at adjustment, acquire a greater 
vertical depth, would he crumpled, crushed, and abundantly 
fractured, would thus generate heat and chemical action 
sufficient in some cases to produce reservoirs of fused 
matter, especially when underground water would find 
access to the intensely heated materials, and would make 
the crust of our globe " a complicated network of fissures." 
This hypogene action that takes place beneath the surface, 
due to the original internal heat and that portion of it 
which has survived, and those modifications which have 
been effected by its means in the internal structure and 
composition, of the crust as a whole, are personified by 
Hades, the potentate of the unseen world, whence his 
name, a etSw, '" not seen," according to some authorities. 
We may not see those changes all, nor be well cognisant of 
them, but what we do recognise adds to the horrors of what 
we do not. 

His is a rich domain, this Pluto' s,- increased ever from 
without, a world interior fed from an outer one, for every 
thing, all three of nature's kingdoms alike, is going down 
slowly but surely towards the centre, meeting on its way 
Cerberus, " fame rabida tria guttura pandens," one for the 
mineral, another for the vegetable, a third for the animal. 
All roads lead to Hades, the gates are ever open for 
admission and are situate but an inch or less beneath the 
surface ; but egress there is none, for Hades may be called 
the " binder-fast " (ad 8&>). 

And from those gates branch off avenues many and 
intricate, broad and narrow, intersected with rivers, lakes 
and stagnant pools, with springs of water clear and cool as 
crystal, with others reeking with the fumes of sulphur and 
mephitic gases, and with still others where waters bubble 
and boil and hiss with superheated steam. All these are 
in our earth, are lorded over by the autocratic Pluto, 

x 2 



308 THE GODS OF OLD; 

the brother of Zeus, the undercrust of Life ; and here take 
place for flesh and woody fibre those curious and appalling 
changes that, when coolly and dispassionately brought 
before the mind's eye by geological prose, make the flesh 
creep and the soul shudder as never could a Virgil or a 
Dante. 

Poseidon, the Latin Neptune, is "as well recognised a per- 
sonification as his brother, Pluto. Water may differ in 
specific gravity, salinity, dissolved minerals and gases, taste, 
colour, temperature, in many other respects, according as 
it appears in the broad ocean or the solid berg, as it is found 
in gulf or lake, in chalybeate or other spring, in the river 
that traverses half a continent or the purling stream that 
meanders for a mile or two, in the interstitial water of our 
rocks, or in the aqueous vapour that descends from the 
clouds, that hangs as steam over a volcano, or that is 
erupted from a geyser. All these, whatever minor satraps 
may have power over them, acknowledge the sway of this 
Poseidon, this universal water that drinks up the lands 
(7700-15 8a) over which it flows. For our hill tops are battered 
and fretted and stripped by the rain, the snow, and ice ; 
our plains are denuded by the streams and rivers ; our 
coasts by the waves, and the debris of continents is received 
and swallowed by the great salt sea. 

The Latin form, Neptune, may perhaps come from 
vrj-TTTvui, " that which disgorges not," but WI-KOIVOS, " un- 
punished, free," is preferable, the r being merely euphonic, 
as we find it in m-oAts and Tiro'Ae/ios for TroAts and /roAe/^oj. 

He is a mighty potentate, this Water, and with his trident, 
one tine of which is gaseous, a second liquid, and the third 
solid as the ice it stands for, has with impunity clipped and 
carved and hewn the surface of our globe, has shaped its 
outlines, and furnished the sinews whereby a Vesuvius is 
roused and an earthquake propagated. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 309 



CHAPTER IV. 

LIFE. 

Zeus. Is it likely that the myths which personified 
matter and force and every variety of the two, would pass 
over Life ? That water, land, and air, that time, the sun, 
the moon, the stars, and all other phenomena connected 
with these, would each have its personifying word, and that 
Life, the Life for which all these earthy, aqueous, and 
celestial beings were formed, would be omitted or forgotten ? 
Surely not. Genesis was written in the interests of life ; 
Science has ever had, and still has, life for its aim in all that 
it searches out and evolves. Mythology, which has unfolded 
itself so far as a scientific record of creation and created 
works, must have a word personifying the idea. Nor is it 
difficult or puzzling to determine. The graven characters, 
commencing with a Chaos, proceed regularly, and systema- 
tically from this, the most simple condition of matter and 
force combined, down to that miniature Chaos, the parent 
nebula from which our universe was evolved, and further 
down to the formation of a firmament. We see in these 
the personifications of evolution, dissolution, light, and 
division into universes, our own included ; of physical and 
chemical forces, of matter changed from a nebulous to an 
atomic condition, and of a boundary to our universe. But 
we find no life, nor do we expect to find it under such a 
constituted mode of being. Beginning with Uranus, the 
characters go on in an equally orderly and systematic 
fashion, from the formation of a firmament to the evolution 
in time of atomic matter into molecular and compound. 
Here we see the personifications of the celestial bodies, of 
aqueous vapour, a nascent atmosphere, arrangement of 
particles, of metallic, metalloid, and of compound bodies. 



310 THE GODS OF OLD; 

None of these is or could be Life. Still, we may now look 
for its appearance. But not as sky, land, water, or air, for 
these are already occupied by Uranus, Juno, Neptune, and 
Cceus. Life should be born after those, in order to have 
a habitat ; should be born superior to those ; be destined to 
change the old and establish a new order of things upon our 
globe, and be capable of reigning over earth and sea and 
air alike. 

There is one, and only one mythical divinity who fulfils 
the required conditions, namely Zeus, born of Kronos and 
the youngest of his children, recognised as leader from the 
first, who expelled Kronos and effected change after change 
in both force and matter, and who was universally 
acknowledged as the most powerful among the immortals. 
The creative works trended towards and culminated in 
Life and in the highest form of life, man : the mytho- 
logical divinities trended towards and culminated in Zeus, 
the father of gods and men. What have we greater than 
Life ? And than Zeus what greater deity have the myths ? 
None, as Ovid makes Sol thus declare to Phaethon : 

Vasti quoque rector Olympi, 
Qui fera terribili jaculafrux fulmina dextra, 
Non aget lios currus : et quid Jove majus habemus ? 

Met. H. 60. 

The very derivation is convincing. We find C w , " to 
live," and can trace the curious genitive Zyvos to the 
infinitive C??z> of the same verb. The Latin Jupiter is 
probably Zeus -narfip , " father Life," and its genitive Jovis 
but a form of &6s, "living." 

Eemembering how intimately associated life is with law 
and civilised being, we can understand the appropriateness 
of all such epithets as ayopaios, Ipxetos, opmos, faios, and 
many other phrases, as " father of men and gods," 
"counselling Jove," "far-seeing Jove," and the like, 
when applied to Zeus, epithets which have little or no 
significance when applied to air, fire, the sky, fate, or any 
other material or immaterial existence supposed to personify 
the divinity. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 311 

And what but Life could be the spouse of Juno, the land, 
of compound inorganic matter, and therefore a type of 
organisms, all of which are compound in their nature ? 
So, too, we can trace this life through the children begotten 
of Zeus ; through the Horse for instance, that marked the 
seasons of life, the spring, summer, and winter of life as well 
as of the year ; through the Mserse, the destinies that shape 
life from opening to close; through the Charitse or Graces, the 
physical, intellectual, and moral beauties that tend to refine 
and civilise life ; through Minerva, the organised or guarded 
strength derived from life's experiences and troubles ; 
through Persephone, the seed wherein latent life resides for 
the third of the year in which Hades claims his bride ; 
through the Nine Muses, that surely can be ascribed to 
nought else than life. And so on indefinitely. Whenever 
and wherever Zeus or Jupiter is mentioned in the classic 
poets, there we must look for Life, and there we shall find 
it either as manifested in organic being or as affecting 
inorganic bodies and the earth as a whole. 

In many cases, indeed, the interpretation is absolutely 
thrust upon us by the poet. Thus, to take Horace alone, 
what else than "life" can be rationally deduced from the 
following in his Odes : 

Sen plures hiem.es seu tribuit Jupiter ultimam, 
Qute nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare 
Tyrrhenum, sapias, vina liques et spatio brevi 
Spem longam reseces. I. xi. 4. 

Pone me pigris ubi nulla campis 
Arbor sestiva recreatur aura, 
Quod latus mundi nebulse malusque 
Jupiter urget. I. xxii. 17. 

decus Phcebi et dapibus supremi 
Grata testudo Jovis. I. xxxii. 13. 

Begum timendorum in proprios greges, 
Reges in ipaos imperium est Jovis. TTT. i. 5. 

The researches of geology have brought the record of 
life in an unbroken line from the most recent of the Post- 
tertiary rocks down to the Cambrian, the oldest of the 
Palaeozoic. In these Cambrian rocks, consisting of slates, 



312 THE GODS OF OLD; 

flags, sandstones, and conglomerates, we find representa- 
tives of the vegetable kingdom, chiefly as fucoids ; and in 
the animal we find abundant remains of Protozoans, 
Eadiates, Mollusks, and Articulates. So great a profusion 
of life, indeed, is there, that Agassiz says, " It would seem 
as if God, in the joy of creation, had compensated Himself 
for a less variety of forms in the greater richness of the 
early types." Under the Cambrian lies what is called the 
Archaean series of rocks, consisting of granite, gneiss, 
schists, limestones, &c. " That they are separated by a 
vast interval of time from the rocks which lie upon them is 
shown by the strong unconf or in ability with which they are 
related to every formation of younger date than themselves. 
Everywhere thoroughly crystalline, they are disposed in 
rude, crumpled, often vertical beds, out of the ruins of 
which the overlying formations have been partly built." 

Their thickness is unknown, though an approximate 
estimate of from 20,000 to 30,000 feet has been conjectured 
for them ; they are supposed to overlie the molten interior 
of our globe; and nowhere, with one supposed exception, 
has any vestige of life been found among them. In con- 
tinental Europe they crop to the surface in Scotland, 
Scandinavia, Finland, Kussia, Bohemia and Bavaria, in 
the Ural Mountains, the Carpathians, and the Alps. In 
North America, where they have been divided into an 
upper or Huronian and a lower or Laurentian series, they 
range from Nova Scotia westwards to the base of the Kocky 
Mountains, and appear along the central parts of the Eocky 
and Appalachian ranges. The Laurentian or lower series 
consists chiefly of gneiss with bands of quartz rocks, 
schists, iron ore, and limestone ; and in the limestone here, 
as also in the Archaean limestone of Bavaria and Bohemia, 
has been found what is supposed by many geologists to be 
the earliest known fossil, and so far the sole representative 
of life in the Archaean rocks. It has been called the 
Eozoon, and is supposed by Dawsoa, Carpenter, and others, 
to be the remains of a massive foraminifer that grew in 
large thick sheets over the sea bottom. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 313 

Apart however from this disputed Eozoon, the bulk of 
unproved testimony is in favour of believing that life existed, 
and existed abundantly, in Archaean times, nathless the 
great heat of land and sea and air alike, and that its visible 
absence is due to the intense mechanical and chemical 
agencies of that early period having so metamorphosed 
the organisms as to defy any methods of proof or any 
instrument as yet known to science. Lyell reasons thus : 
" We ought not indeed to marvel at the general absence of 
organic remains from the crystalline strata when we bear 
in mind how often fossils are obliterated, wholly or in part, 
even in tertiary formations how often vast masses of sand- 
stone and shale, of different ages, and thousands of feet 
thick, are devoid of fossils how certain strata may first 
have been deprived of a portion of their fossils when they 
became semi-crystalline, or assumed the transition state of 
Werner and how the remaining organic remains may 
have been effaced when they were rendered metamorphic. 
Some rocks of the last mentioned class, moreover, must 
have been exposed again and again to renewed plutonic 
action." 

Winchell too : " These underlying crystalline masses 
are not confined to the deep-seated regions of the earth's 
crust. We find them thrusting their heads up through 
the ruptured strata which repose upon their flanks : higher 
than the highest summits formed by the stratified rocks 
do those foundation masses rear their bold giant heads. 
Some of those venerable domes may be supposed as 
having been reared before a particle of sediment had been 
product d, or before even the world-embracing sea had 
descended from the regions of space around the earth, 
and as having watched the procession of all subsequent 
events. Others were the level floor of the ocean when 
the oldest sediments began to accumulate upon them. In 
some subsequent period a mighty force has raised them 
with their load of sediment above the level of the sea, 
to be partially stripped of their sedimentary coverings by 
tempests, or to break through tension into chasms from 



314 THE GODS OF OLD; 

exposed top to the molten base below, and permit the 
fiery sea rise to the lips of the fissure, or even to overflow 
in a consuming and terrific flood of lava. The same 
course of events may have occurred beneath the waters 
of the sea, with the same results, and an entire oceanic 
basin may have been converted into a seething caldron 
in which seed-weeds, corals, and all living forms have 
been destroyed cooked as it were." 

Among some of the many reasons for inducing belief 
in the fact of organised vegetable existence during Archaean 
time, the following may be interesting : 

1. Vegetable life can flourish under conditions of abnor- 
mal heat and cold. We behold plants making their 
habitat in the hot springs of California, the Geysers 
of Iceland, and the snows of Greenland. Infusions 
of living matter, boiled at a temperature of 212 Fah. 
for two hours, and then kept in hermetically sealed glass 
vessels, have shown the presence of living infusoria 
after a few days, thus proving the tenacity of life in 
the germs. 

2. Vegetation can flourish in abnormal situations. The 
masses of floating hyacinths that choke the bends of 
the St. John's river in Florida and the Mississippi of 
Louisiana furnish an instance of profuse vegetation 
not requiring soil. So, too, does the seaweed in that 
part of the Atlantic known as the Sea of Sargasso, 
which extends from west longitude 45 to 70. 

8. Large quantities of graphite a mixture of carbon 
with a small proportion of iron have been found in 
the Archaean rocks, and this graphite is supposed to 
be due to the deoxidation of carbonic acid by the 
vegetation that flourished in this age. 

4. An equally remarkable characteristic of the Archaean 
rocks is the prevalence of iron ore. Haematite and 
titaniferous iron, magnetic and iron sulphides are 
everywhere found in the crystalline schists, some- 
times to 200 feet thick. Dr. Sterry Hunt considers 
these masses of ore as proving the precipitation of 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 315 

iron by decomposing vegetation during Archaean 
time, and on a grander scale, he asserts, than at 
any subsequent geologic period. 

While Palaeontological Geology, then, has come to a 
halt at the crystalline schists, it is in favour of believing 
that some forms of life had existed during the Archaean 
Age, that the earliest form was probably vegetable, that 
abnormal conditions of heat, etc., might be counter- 
balanced by abnormal structure, and that the presence of 
graphite and iron ore in those early formations strongly 
favours such belief. 

The Mythology which has personified life by Zeus 
would seem to corroborate this opinion. We have 
identified Asteria with the Crystalline Schists, and noted 
how Zeus, then a lusty wooer, forced her to seek refuge 
from his advances in the depths of ocean. Farther, much 
farther back than this Asteria may we go and still find 
evidence of Zeus or life. Chrysaor, the personification of 
the first covering worthy of being dignified as the primeval 
crust of earth, was born of Medusa, and she was decapi- 
tated by Perseus, who was born of Zeus. This brings us 
to the " Golden Age " of mythology, the conditions of 
which have already been described, and the duration of 
which embraced the vast length of time occupied by our 
earth from an incandescent state to one admitting of a 
crust upon the molten surface. That the myths have 
pushed back Zeus to so early a period is evident enough. 
Ovid, when writing of the Golden Age, alludes to life as 
just opening, or " patulous," at some time during this 
period : 

" Et quse deciderant patula Jovis arbore glandes." 

Virgil, in the Georgics, alludes to the same age first, 
as it was before life : 

1 Ante Jovem nuHi subigebant arva colon! : 

Nee signare qtudem, aut partiri limite campum 
Fas erat : in medium, quserebant : ipsaque tellus 

4 Omnia liberius, nullo poscenti, ferebat. I. 125. 



316 THE GODS OF OLD; 

And then, after life : 

Tllfl malum virus serpentibus addidit atris, 
Praedarique lupos jussit, pontumque moveri, 
Mellaque decussit foliis, ignemque removit, 
8 Et passim rivis currentia vina repressit. I. 129. 

Previous to life no Mils pressed down the plains ; 

Not possible it was to trace or bound 

The wide expanse ; all things the centre sought ; 

And earth itself, with none to say it nay, 

Too lavishly expended all it had. 

To the foul dragons life their venom gave, 

Made wolves rush forth, and sea translated be, 

Shook down the honeyed rain drops on the schists, 

Moved back the fire, and checked the lava red 

That everywhere in rivers swiftly flowed. 

NOTES. 

1 coloni. The Greek KO\COVOS, " a hill." 

3 nee fas. A fused condition of our orb admitted of no bounds or 

marks. 

in medium. It was the stage when gravitation of matter from 
the surface to the centre was most active. 

4 nullo poscenti. There was no life as yet ; and radiation of heat 

and light went on apace (liberius). 

5 malum virus. Life brought the rain, and water at first added but 

venom to the flames (serpentibus). Furthermore, it is the 
water that actually gives their strength to poisonous sub- 
stances : remove their water from nitric and sulphuric acids, 
and they become more or less inert. 

atris. The colour had changed from the original " golden " to a 
more or less dark hue, owing to the radiation of heat and onset 
of the rain. Molten metal or mineral changes with cooling 
from a white, through various grades of colour, till the natural 
tint is assumed. 

6 Inpos. The eruptions of igneous matter that every now and then 

ruptured the crust and played havoc with the still tender 
formation, 
pontum moveri. Erom the regions above to earth below. 

7 foliis. The foliated or schistose rocks. 

ignem. The central fire was more and more encroached on and 
confined by the external crust which life assisted so much to 
form and to strengthen. 

8 vina. The torrents of liquid lava from volcanic eruptions. 

It is impossible to know the precise reasons which induced 
the framers of mythology to predicate so early a date for 



AND THJS STORY THAT THEY TELL. 317 

life. They may have done so guided by purely theoretical 
reasoning, or through information derived from practical 
scientific research. We must not hastily judge with regard 
to the possibility of this latter supposition. We find them, 
contrary to what has been imagined, well acquainted with 
the nebular hypothesis, the doctrine of evolution, the 
essential truths of matter and of force, and with many of 
the intricate points in the geological formation of our globe. 
How much further they went in the field of investigation 
cannot be said, but it is well to remember always that they 
had the benefit of the ages, and of the learning of some 
of the greatest intellects the world has yet seen, and that 
the Greek mind was ever acute and persistent in the 
acquirement of knowledge. But apart from this, theory 
alone may have led them to the same conclusion, and just 
as we deduce a possible and probable life in the Metamor- 
phic rocks from the presence of graphite and iron ore, so 
may they have reasoned out life as capable of existence at a 
still earlier date from the first appearance of the carbon 
element itself. 

Graphite is carbon, sometimes crystallised, sometimes 
compact, and generally found mixed with a varying propor- 
tion of iron. The diamond is almost pure carbon, and always 
in the crystallised condition : it is often associated with 
the quartz that enters so prominently into the composition 
of our oldest rocks, the gneiss and granite, and is generally 
sought for in the "pans" or "pipes" of a circular form 
that run down into the inferior strata and are filled with 
a peculiar igneous rock called diabase or gabbro. The 
strong supposition is consequently that the rocks among 
which diamonds are found are not the mother rock in which 
they were originally formed, but that through volcanic 
agencies they have been brought up from the very bowels 
of the crust through those " pipes." Nor is the plant 
origin of the diamond an unknown or new theory. Newton 
supposed it to be " an unctuous substance coagulated " ; 
Jameson and Brewster traced it to vegetable sources ; 
Lavoisier noticed the black specks in diamonds when burned, 



318 THE GODS OF OLD; 

and ascribed them to uncrystallised carbon ; Petzhold and 
Goeppert affirmed the presence of vegetable cells in its ashes ; 
and the general opinion to-day is that nothing precludes the 
idea of the diamond having originally been some peculiar 
vegetable product, subsequently altered and crystallized 

Actuated by their knowledge, then, that carbon is the one 
essential constituent in organised being, the ancients may 
have simply pushed our own theory further, and based the 
inception of life not with the later graphite of the Meta- 
morphic but with the earlier diamond of the unstratified 
rocks. 

This is strongly confirmed by that portion of the myth 
which introduces the Idaean Dactyli in connection with the 
infant Zeus. 

Excluding a very small proportion of mineral matter or 
ash left after burning, the entire mass of vegetable and 
animal forms is made up of only four elements, viz., carbon, 
oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen. But, while we find all 
four in the most complex and highly organised of vital 
products, the albuminous group, we find only three in the 
simplest of organic substances, such as starch, sugar, and 
woody fibre ; and these three are carbon, oxygen, and 
hydrogen, the ternary group, as they are called. 

Now, the Dactyli too were originally three in number, 
namely, Celmis, Damnameneus, and Acmon ; their title, 
Idsean Dactyli, is synonymous with our phrase, "the ternary 
group," for tSea means " a class, a group," and baKrvXoi 
signifies " fingers, dactyls, anything consisting of or pro- 
ceeding by threes," (each finger having three joints), 
and hence ternary; and just as C, 0, and H are the 
custodians of infant life, so were the Dactyli appointed as 
custodians of the infant Zeus. Equally must we affirm 
of our ternary group that which mythology affirms of the 
Dactyli, namely, the discovery and working of iron. This 
metal is never found pure in nature, but always as ore ; so 
that, were it not for those discoverers, C, 0, and H, we 
-would have no iron carbonate (Fe CO-s), nor ferric oxide 
(Fe 3 ), nor ferric hydrate (Fe 2 s , 3H 2 0) ; and were it not 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 319 

for the same C, 0, and H, it would be impossible to work 
and smelt the iron ores in those blast-furnaces of to-day, 
which are but miniatures of the great natural furnace in 
earth itself. Such marks of similarity are almost con- 
clusive in themselves towards establishing the relationship 
between the Idsean Dactyli and the ternary group of carbon 
compounds ; but all remaining doubt must vanish with the 
open assertion that one of the mythic group is identical 
with one of the scientific, since it is but logical to infer that 
"from one we may recognise all." Ovid furnishes this 
assertion in the following lines, and they have the additional 
merit of proving that Zeus is life, and that life's earliest 
form can be traced back to the existence of the diamond : 

Te quoque nunc adamas, quondam fidissime parvo, 
Celme, Jovi ****** 
Prsetereo. Met. IV. 281. 

Thee too, Celmis, diamond of to-day, 
Most true of yore to infant life, I pass. 

If Celmis, then, be the diamond pure carbon what 
else can his brother Dactyli be except oxygen and hydrogen ? 
Each name, too, is pregnant with the chief characteristic of 
the element it represents, and breathes a significance that 
is notably lacking in the modern term. Thus pure carbon, 
as being the hardest of known substances, is styled KeA/xt?, 
" notable or noble strength " (/caAo's is, the /* being inserted 
for euphony as in ojujSptjuos for oppipos) ; oxygen, the most 
abundant and dominant of the elements, and one which 
combines with every simple body save, perhaps, fluorine, is 
called Aajurajuepeus, " the conqueror, the tamer, the one that 
yokes or combines" (^d/j-vr]^ , and Youman voices the 
mythical idea when he writes thus of oxygen, " enveloping 
our planet in its free condition, it manifests an irresistible 
passion to seize upon and possess all things " ; and finally 
hydrogen, the lightest of all known substances, and hence 
the most volatile, has been called "A/cpcou, "reaching to the 
highest point " (d/cjiu; <v). 

Increasing the number of Dactyli from three to five, 
ten, &c., can be readily accounted for by making use of the 



320 THE GODS OF OLD; 

original three as a compound radical. Thus starch 
(C 6 H 10 5 ) becomes grape sugar (C 6 H 12 6 ) by the addition 
of H 2 or two new Dactyli, differing essentially from 
the. other three inasmuch as it is by their agency that the 
change from starchy to saccharose matter has been effected. 
If to these five complete or male Dactyli (C 6 Hj20 ) we add 
as many more, but incomplete or female (C 6 H 10 5 ), we get 
ten Dactyli, the representatives of C^H^Ou or cane sugar ; 
and so on indefinitely. 

All this impresses the belief that a well-grounded know- 
ledge of chemistry, its symbols, notation and laws, existed 
among the ancients, and that this knowledge was very old. 
What we read concerning the Cabiri but strengthens the 
conclusion, since all the details connected with these 
mysterious divinities can be explained intelligibly in no other 
way save by studying them from, an organically chemical 
point of view. They are said to have been descended from 
the Daetyli according to some accounts, or from Vulcan 
according to others ; and in either case then: chemical origin 
is pointed out, emphasised as it is by saying that they were 
proficient in the art of metallurgy. Like the Dactyli, they 
were originally three (C 1 H 1 1 ), were afterwards increased 
to four (C^HjOiNj), and like the Dactyli, they can evidently 
be increased to any number by the system of compound 
radicals. They are beneficent or malevolent as the case 
may be, as much so as alcohol (C 2 H 6 0) is; or the white of 
eggs and its isomeric mate, the venom of rattlesnakes ; or 
as glycerine and nitro-glycerine, &c. They are closely 
connected with Bhea (the operations of early earth), 
Demeter (the oxides of the elements), with Zeus, Minerva, 
and Venus, (life, organisation, and affinity), and with Hermes, 
(the flux, fusion, or solution whereby chemical changes are 
facilitated). They are potent over growth, over the vine, 
the grape, the saccharine matter of the grape, and 
alcoholic fermentation ; and hence it is that they pro- 
mised wine to the Argonauts, and that in conjunction 
with life and genial warmth (Zeus and Apollo) they were 
invoked by the Pelasgians in a time of dearth. 



AND TEE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 321 

Emblematic as they are of strong affinity and the closest 
union, they were naturally invoked by lovers and appealed 
to for vengeance by the slighted ; being the embodiments of 
life, and constituting water (H 2 0) in the proper proportions, 
as two of them always do in the ternary group, they were 
called upon for help in all perils to that lif e from the sea 
and otherwise ; and to describe them as dwarfs with pro- ' 
tuberant stomachs is but a ludicrously correct word-picture 
of the symbols as presented by the protuberant combining 
volumes when attached to the simple elements, as thus, 
C 6 H 10 5 (starch), C^H^Otf (tannic acid), and these must 
yield in the way of obesity to albumen, which has been 
stated as C72H U0 022N 18 , with a trace of sulphur. Their 
names too have a chemical flavour. 'Aiepos signifies (agios 
epos) "noble or notable force," and, though differently 
garbed, is thus the exact synonym of Celmis, or the carbon ; 
'Aio/cepo-a and ' A&oKcpa-os denote (aftos Kepaco) " noble or 
notable chemical union," that is, of hydrogen and oxygen in 
the proper proportions for forming the water (H 3 O) which 
is so essential to animals, vegetables, and even to minerals, 
and on whose various qualities depends the very stability of 
nature ; Kd8/iuA.os or Ka<r/*iA.os (from KaTajue\e<o, " to care 
not, be indifferent," or Xd<r/ca> f*e'A.os, " the sluggish mem- 
ber ") has peculiar reference to the inert characteristic of 
nitrogen ; and finally, all four combined, C, H, 0, and N, 
would be the Kd/3etpoi, or by metathesis the Kdp/3eioi, that 
is, would be " the carbon compounds " (/i/>/3coi>) . 

As the knowledge of chemistry involves a high degree of 
intelligence and information, and as its votaries have been 
proverbially looked upon with suspicion by the uneducated, 
it is very significant to read how the cult of the Cabiri was 
generally associated with that of Hecate (mental elevation), 
how the rites were celebrated for nine days (a ternary 
period), at night and with great secrecy, and how it was 
openly intimated by some writers that the mysteries of the 
Cabiri were particularly, calculated to protect the lives of 
the initiated. Still more significant of "the Black Art" 
are these words of Herodotus, who was born 484 B.C., 

G.O. Y 



322 THE GODS OF OLD; 

and if we read " test tubes for solution " in place of 
" phallic Hermse," we will be true to the simile and to the 
context : " The Athenians received their phallic Hermse 
from the Pelasgians, and those who are initiated in the 
mysteries of the Cabiri will understand what I am saying ; 
for the Pelasgians formerly inhabited Samothrace, and it is 
from them that the Samothracians received their orgies. 
But the Samothracians had a sacred legend about Hermes, 
which is explained in their mysteries." 

When we come to those other entities, the Telchines, we 
find that chemistry is still the theme, and that the term 
embraces in a sense all the elements with their simple 
combination into acids and bases. 

The names would certainly warrant this conclusion. 
Argyron, Chrysaon, and Chalcon point unmistakably to 
silver, gold, and copper; Hormeneus, Mylos, and Simon 
are equally manifest as mercury (4/j/xTJs), lead (noA.u/3os), 
and antimony (ortjuju) ; Lycus exhibits the characteristic 
luminosity (XevKos) of phosphorus, and Atabyrius (' Ardfivpos) 
points to " the pest of fire " (07-77 Kvp6s) or sulphur which 
is found native in volcanic regions, and which itself 
is probably but (dA.oo's -rrvp) "the plague of fire"; the 
peculiar crackling, or " tin cry " as it is called, given out 
by tin when bent, is as visible in the Greek Antseus 
"to sound back") as it is in the Latin stannum 
" to cry ") ; Megalesius is (/xeyaXos oXs) the type of 
our halogens or salt-formers, and consequently may stand 
for chlorine, or sodium, or for both ; and Nikon is left for 
iron, the symbol of victory (ZH/CTJ) among the ancients, the 
symbol of victory to-day when iron has proved the universal 
conqueror, in war, agriculture, navigation, mining, manu- 
factures, trade, travel, and the press. 

As to their origin, it must be remembered how, when the 
world was incandescent, everything that was volatile was 
driven to the outskirts by the intense heat, and how as a 
consequence the constituents of air, ocean, and of the crust 
itself, were not on but above the earth as a vast nebulous or 
misty envelope. In this nebulous ocean were the elements 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 323 

evolved, and here did the first instances of oxidation occur, 
that of oxygen with hydrogen, to form the primal rain, and 
of oxygen with carbon, sulphur, phosphorus, &c. to form 
phosphoric, sulphuric, carbonic, and other acids. The Tel- 
chines may therefore be considered as descended from this 
gaseous sea, or from Thalassa. And when the rain did fall, 
it " did not fall alone," to use Gunning's words ; "the primal 
atmosphere was loaded with other vapours, with all that was 
vaporisable, and chlorine, sulphur, carbon (as acid gases), 
and other volatile vapours, all mixed with aqueous vapour, 
filled the original atmosphere. The rain washed down those 
vapours and acids, which entered into combination with cer- 
tain bases, and loaded the sea as they had loaded the air." 
Hence it can be seen why some writers would describe the 
Telchines as sprung from this primal water, or Poseidon. 

It is for this reason, probably, that they are called 
QeXytves, "the sea-born" (6d\aa-a-a yevos) ; still, if 0eA.yo> 
("to charm, bewitch, to change" as in sorcery, "to 
enchain " by imperceptible but overwhelming force) be 
older than eAyu>, it would be an apt derivation for the 
chemical transformations personified by the Telchines. 
The form Tetylves, if not equivalent to 0eAyu>, would 
signify (re'Aos ex 6 "') " reaching towards the end, putting 
the finish to," since the evolution and oxidation of 
elementary matter would be the final stage of the unknow- 
able, and the beginning of the knowable, and the 
distinction of incipiency as well as of finality is connected 
with the use of rt\os in some instances. 

Their origin and the naked simplicity of the elements, 
as also of the acids and bases as a rule, (S, P, C0 2 , NO, &e.) 
are denoted in the myih by calling them marine beings 
without feet, and having fins for hands, a simile which 
points to the small combining volumes, and is evidently 
in harmony with that which makes the large-atomed 
nitrogenous compounds "pot-bellied." 

The comparison of these oxides to Actseon's dogs is a 
forceful simile, for we all go a hunting in the hey-day of 
our youth, one after power, another after love, a third after 

Y 2 



324 THE GODS OF OLD; 

riches, a fourth after knowledge, and still another after 
something else ; and coursing with us goes this oxygen 
which Huxley calls "the great sweeper" of the body, and 
which Eustathius has likened to " a pack of hounds." 
Each dog serves us faithfully and well, and answers 
responsively to every cry and whispered breathing we may 
give. Breaking cover at the bronchi they nose through 
every ramification till they scent and lap the dark blood in 
the vesicles of lung tissue, and reeking now with arterial 
red they hasten in full cry to the heart, thence to the 
aorta, and from there to every muscle, bone, and vessel of 
the frame, keen meanwhile to search for and snap at all 
that is torpid and effete within us. We cheer them on, 
the chase grows hot, and at last it may be that we hunt 
the quarry to its lair, only to find that the glamour of 
youth has gone and that we see more clearly the nudity 
and nullity of things terrestrial. Age has come during the 
chase, and with age reflection, the Diana of the mind. 
We would gladly lie down and rest, but the oxygen pack is 
as eager as before and cannot be restrained by muzzle or 
by leash. We care no longer for the hunt ; and so these 
dogs, for want of better game, turn savage on their master 
and hound him to his death. "When," says Steele, 
" there is plenty of fuel in our human furnaces, the burns 
that ; biit if there is a deficiency, the destructive must 
still unite with something, and so it combines with the 
flesh ; first the fat, and the man grows poor ; then the 
muscles, and he grows weak ; finally the brain, and he 
becomes crazed. He has simply burned up, as a candle 
burns out to darkness." 

As the phases of each element are distinction, oxidation, 
and further change, or, as some may prefer, change, 
distinction, and increasing density, the Telchines are said 
to have gone from Crete (xpii'to Kpireov, " rendered distinct") 
to Cyprus (Kd-mrupos, "burning," and oxidation is combus- 
tion), and thence to Ehodes (pe'&> dSo'y, "changing ways ") ; 
or from Bhodes to Crete and thence to Boeotia, an emblem 
for sluggishness or density. But the Ehodes that typified 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 325 

the endless chemical changes going on in matter owing to 
the combining and liberating action of oxygen, was their 
favourite abode, and hence we may consider them best 
under the aspect of oxides. 

As such, and in conjunction with Capheiro, the daughter 
of Oceanus, they would help in bringing up Neptune, if we 
only suppose this Capheiro, the offspring of aqueous vapour, 
to represent hydrogen. Thus, if the Telchines calcium 
oxide, carbonic acid, and chlorine be united with hydrogen 
so as to form Ca C0 3 + 2 HC1, we find them so far mindful 
of their charge as to bring Neptune (H 2 0) up in the 
reaction which ensues, C0 2 + CaCU + H 2 0. 

As such too they admit of ready explanation under each 
of their three apparently different aspects : 

1. What better cultivators of the soil can there be than 
lime (CaO), gypsum (CaO, S0 3 ), carbonic acid (C0 2 ), 
potash (K 3 0), salt (NaCl), magnesia (MgO), &c.? 
These simple oxides are Telchines that mix with the 
decaying rocks and pass as cultivators into the soil, 
whence they are taken up by plants, stored away in 
seeds or stalks, and through this vegetable medium 
serve as ministers to the wants of animals and men. 

2. Silver nitrate (AgN0 3 ) is the basis of photography, 
as PbO is of paint, and K 2 of soap ; were it not 
for mercury, the thermometer, barometer, and mirror 
would be wanting or imperfect, and gold and silver 
would be scarcer for lack of an amalgam ; were it not 
for other useful and inventive Telchines, glass, 
matches, gunpowder, dyeing, printing, and many other 
arts and manufactures would not exist. Again, it is 
of gold, silver, copper, their alloys, and of marble 
(CaC0 3 ) that our statues and costliest monuments are 
raised ; it is copper and zinc that work in brass, just 
as it is iron that produces the wrought variety, the 
malleable, and steel. The trident of Neptune is but 
water in its three forms, solid, liquid, and gaseous, 
and since this water (H 2 0) is but an oxide of hydrogen, 
the Telchines must have fabricated it. Equally is it 



326 THE GODS OF OLD; 

evident that they made the scythe of Kronos, for all 
things perish through decay, and decay is but another 
name for oxidation. 

3. As sorcerers they are unrivalled, and compared with 
them Merlin was a bungler, the Cappadocian Apollo- 
nius a charlatan, and Pharaoh's wise men but tyros. 
Transformation was their pastime. The Telchin 
oxygen could assume two shapes, as ozone and ant- 
ozone ; carbon could change to three, the diamond, 
graphite, and charcoal; sulphur figured under four 
forms ; and so on, for we have a dim idea that they, 
one and all, are allotropic. Phosphorus was perhaps 
the greatest adept of them all, since by some in- 
describable hocus-pocus he could appear under six 
different aspects, as viscous, crystallised, transparent, 
white, black, and red. What they practised on them- 
selves they practised upon others. They changed 
H 2 to H 2 0, and brought it down as rain, snow, or 
hail ; they transformed C to C0 2 and a gas resulted ; 
this they squeezed and it became a liquid ; and this 
again they exposed to the air and it was rendered 
solid ; they threw lime upon it, and marble fit for 
building came forth. Gold had bragged, unfortunately 
for himself, that he was the king of metals; the 
Telchins Cl and 5 waved their respective wands over 
H and N 2 , sprinkled some water upon the latter, flung 
the product upon the monarch, and, presto ! the king 
was dead. They joined the solid yellow sulphur to the 
equally solid black carbon, and, like magic, the colours 
and solidity disappeared and a clear colourless liquid, 
carbon disulphide, took their place. Again they took 
the sulphur, oxidised it to S0 3 , added some Stygian 
water, and sulphuric acid (H 2 SOi) appeared, most 
powerful of all others, and a mortal foe to the living 
tissues of animal and plant. In a peculiar degree were 
they possessed of " the evil eye," a phrase handed 
down from remote antiquity, and one that probably 
owes its origin to these Telchins of old. Those eyes 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 827 

were hydrogen and oxygen, the only two that unite 
with other elements to form acids, all of which have 
a characteristically sour taste and a more or less 
corrosive and deadly action. These qualities they owe 
to H and 0, for if we remove the eyes from HC1, CO 2 , 
HN0 3 , H 2 SO 4 , P 2 5 , &c., we have the simple and harm- 
less elements remaining. 

There is every reason to believe that at an early period 
of our globe's existence, when the elements exulted with the 
joy of being and thirsted greedily for combination after 
combination, when heat and darkness were at a maximum 
and cohesion at a minimum, those Telchin sorcerers used 
earth and the envelope of earth as a vast laboratory 
wherein to practise their unholy spells and too rapid 
transformations. Is it to be wondered at, then, that they 
were hateful to the gods who stood for progress and 
stability ? ft is true that some few Telchins were adjuvants 
to the infant Zeus, and had much to do in the bringing up 
of rust, blight, smut, mould, mildew, and hundred other 
microscopic forms of fungous growth, the creatures of 
quick change, and yet the pioneers of life. But as an acid 
group they were too corrosive, too changeful, and too 
antagonistic to organised existence to suit the designs of a 
Ehea yearning for a solid crust, of an Apollo longing for an 
atmosphere simpler, purer, and permanent in elementary 
proportions, of a Zeus who aimed at being the father of gods 
and men ; and so, as the myth tells us, cohesion, light, and 
life were hostile to these magicians from the first, and the 
same hostility subsists to-day. When Zeus, then, took on 
a soul superior to the microscopic fungi, and when Apollo 
succeeded in transmitting the first wan wisps of light (or 
" wolf -light " as the story goes), the night of sorcery was 
ended. The sunbeam, itself a powerful wizard but a kindly 
one, dispelled the darkness and fostered vegetable life ; life 
in its turn brought cohesion ; and the rain, attracted by 
vegetation, name down in a steady flow to purify the atmos- 
phere from its acids, to temper the heat, give stability to all, 
and keep chemical transmutations within proper bounds. 



328 THE GODS OF OLD; 

While the chemistry of life is thus portrayed in the 
Dactyli, Cabiri, and Telchines, the purely physiological 
aspects of the same life are dwelt upon in other myths, that 
for instance which brings in Amalthea, the nymphs, and 
the Curetes. 

Zeus, we are told, was begotten " ev avrpw TTJS AIKTTJS." 
To translate this as "in the cave of Dicte" is true enough 
in a sense, but not very intelligible. If we bear in mind 
that AIKTTJ (evidently but another form of SaKTiAos, both 
being derived from 8eiKiwjui) is but the Dactyl or ternary 
group, and translate the words as " in a cell of carbonaceous 
matter," the meaning becomes perfectly clear, since our 
cellular theory teaches that vegetable life springs from a 
cell whose walls are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and 
oxygen, and that all living tissues and structures are 
built from the metamorphoses and union of cells. This 
cellular theory a very old one, since Hesiod distinctly 
alludes to it is referred to in many ways connected with 
the infant Zeus, as we shall see presently. 

The three most important functions belonging to early 
plant life are germination, absorption, and secretion. While 
there is much that is known and capable of explanation 
regarding each of these, there is also much that is puzzling 
especially so when we come to their principia. When 
we ask ourselves, "How does a dry seed stored away for 
years still retain the power of germination ? Why does the 
root invariably go down, not up ? And why does each seed 
flourish, blossom, and bear only after its own kind?" we 
find that we have played the quid nvnc, or vvv ffi once too 
often, and must take for answer, " such is their nature, 
their essence," the modern adaptation of the mythical 
phrase, "they are nymphs." We can and do theorise of 
course, and may assert that germination, taking it as an 
instance, is the product chiefly of cell development, or 
moisture, or solar heat, or atmospheric influence, or of the 
conversion of starch into sugar, and so on. Our theories 
are old, as old as the myths themselves which personify this 
mysterious germination as the nymph Amalthea 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 329 

<iA0ea>, " tender or embryonic growth "), and ascribe her 
parentage to Olenus (avX-q, " the court round which the 
house itself is built," and hence, a cell), or to Oceanus, 
or to Helios, or to Hsemonius (a-qp-a, "air in motion "), or to 
Melisseus {^e'Aco-o-a, "honey "). As germination is followed 
by shooting the radicle going down and the stem up, 
and absorption of the sap, so too is Amalthea followed by a 
goat (<uf dicr(ra>, "to shoot"), and with its milk or sap is the 
necessary nutriment furnished to the infant Zeus. Some 
writers, like Apollodorus, ignore the distinction between 
germination and shooting, and so make the goat, under the 
name of Amalthea, stand directly for germination, and its 
milk, as before, for the sap. That germination is intimately 
connected with cell-growth is pointed out by the poetical 
appellation " Olenia capella," "the cellular germinator " ; 
and the irresistible power of germination is equally marked 
by the term " Adamantea " or this last may have reference 
to the diamond or pure carbon, as being the first repre- 
sentative of inorganic matter in which budding or germina- 
tion occurred. 

With Amalthea for germination, it naturally follows that 
Adrastia and Ida are the respective representatives of 
absorption and secretion. Both processes are connected 
with germination, are mysterious in their simplest aspects, 
spring into active being with the first change of starch into 
sugar, and nourish infant life with sap : Adrastia and Ida 
are connected with Amalthea, are nymphs, children of 
Melisseus, and feed the infant Zeus with the milk of 
Amalthea. The absorbing agent we call the radicle, and 
the Greeks Adrastia, since it is the paramount portion 
which, like a root in language, runs no further (a bidpda-Ku) , 
- or that part of the plant which, unlike the stem, does not 
run away from earth. "The embryo is stamped with a 
polarity a tendency to develop in opposite directions ; one 
part is to live in the earth, the other in the air." The 
secreting agent is that unknown property in woody fibre 
whereby the cells can so assimilate the sap as to make each 
plant grow, blossom, and bear fruit, after its own kind ; and 



330 THE GODS OF OLD; 

this secretive individuality is well expressed by Ida (Ibea, 
'' a class, kind, pattern, type of the archetype." 

When we come to the Curetes we reach a somewhat more 
developed stage of vegetable existence than that denoted by 
Amalthea and the nymphs. The story of infant life reads 
after this fashion. Every perfect seed consists of a com- 
pact mass of starch and gluten, and securely wrapped in 
this lies the germ or embryo. Exposed to air, moisture, a 
proper temperature, and a suitable habitat, the seed swells, 
germination starts into being, and every portion is more or 
less simultaneously affected by the impulse. The gluten 
becomes diastase and dissolves the starch ; the starch be- 
comes sugar and is assimilated by the germ ; the germ 
expands and developes into radicle and stem ; the radicle 
absorbs crude sap which is quickly improved by mingling 
with the organised juices ; the stem assimilates and secretes 
this sap. 

This continues while the starch and gluten last; but 
when the store is exhausted, another stage of existence 
arrives, and a new train of phenomena appears. The stem 
is peeping above the surface, the embryo is now a child 
crying lustily for its wants, and a new force or process not 
germination, for that ended with the last morsel of trans- 
formed starch appears in order to satisfy those wants. 
This force is growth, the Curetes of mythology ; for as 
growth is a gradual increase to maturity, or in other words, 
a filling process up to the completeness of development, so 
are the KovpfJTfs " the satisfiers or fillers of early youth," 
(Kopos or Kovpos, "fulness, satiety; a youth,") and it is not 
very difficult to see our own "growth" in the slightly 
transposed form of the word, KpovrJTes. Ovid tells us, what 
we all know, that growth is induced by rain, when he says 
" largoque satos Curetas ab imbri; " Strabo mentions how 
certain of the Telchines who assisted in the bringing up of 
Zeus were called Curetes ; and this too we know, for it is 
such Telchines as H 2 (water), C0 3 (carbonic acid), H 3 N 
(ammonia), and some other inorganic compounds that the 
growing plant takes in from the air and from the soil. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 331 

In a certain sense these Curetes are associated from the 
very first with life, as suggested in the myth, for the dry 
seed contains albumen (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, 
sulphur, and phosphorus, in proportions not well deter- 
mined), and the rudiments of the plant are in the embryo 
itself, " in some varieties so complete that the microscope 
reveals its structure root, stem, and leaves," waiting for 
germination, and germination may be considered as embry- 
onic growth. But properly speaking, it is when the stored 
matter of the seed is exhausted that true growth comes 
into active operation ; it is only when the plant appears 
above the surface, armed with stem and leaf, that the Curetes 
are (voirXoi, the stem being their spear, and the leafy cover- 
ing their shield. If our simplest forms of vegetation were, 
as may be well supposed, the first representatives of life 
upon our globe, then some of these thallogens, such as the 
mushroom with its stipe aud pileus, mast have stood forth 
as striking illustrations of those armed Curetes. 

The conspicuous office assigned them in the myth is as 
true as it is important. One of the chief requisites for 
growth is the elaboration of the sap by taking in carbonic acid 
from the atmosphere. This is done by means of the leaves, 
fronds, or thallous expansion, as the case may be ; and as 
the amount of gas taken in is always in proportion to the 
extent of atmospheric surface in contact with the leafy cover- 
ing, it is evident that rustling of the leaves, by increasing 
the contact area, augments the amount of nutritive material. 
Whenever, accordingly, we see a plant whose swaying stem 
is setting its leafy covering in motion, or, to speak mytholo- 
gically, when the Curetes strike their shields with their spears, 
we may be confident that nutrition and growth are going on 
apace, and can readily understand how the same rustling 
process which feeds the life within the cell is also satisfying 
the cravings of the infant and smothering its cry. 

All the foregoing, the Dactyli, Cabiri, &c., are bits of 
science elaborated and incorporated with the myths in times 
later than those of Hesiod. They are important in many 
respects since, while establishing the identity of Zeus with 



332 THE GODS OF OLD; 

life, and vegetation as the primal form of life, they also 
throw the fierce light of truth on the real nature of the 
myths, on the purpose for which they were digested, and on 
the scientific attainments of those who composed and wrote 
them. 

Hesiod's own description of Zeus runs thus : 

dXX' ore 877 A? e/ieXXe de&v rrarep' fj8e KOI dv8pa>v 

Tee<r6ai, TOT eweiTa (f)i\ovs XiroVeve Toicrjas 

TOVS avTTJs Fatal/ T6 KOI Ovpavbv dorepoeira, 

P.TJTIV o~vft,<ppd<ro'ao~dai, OTTMS \e\ddoiTO TfKOVtra 
5 traida (pi\ov, r'uraiTo 8' eptvvf irarpof eolo 

iraiScav ff otis Karemve fieyas Kpovos dyKv\ofj.r)TTjs. 

oi Se dvyarpl (j>ip-g ftaXa p.ev K^VOV f/d' emSovro, 

Kai oi irf<ppaSeTTjv oo-cnrep ircTrpaTo yeve&dai 

d/j.<pl Kpdvo) /SacrtX^i' Kai vtei' KapTtpoOvfiai. 
10 Treptyav 8* Is AVKTOV, KpJjT7;y es TTLOVO. STJUOV, 

ojrrror' ap' OTrXoTaroi/ naidaiv ^'/teXXe TeKfO-6ai, 

Zrjva fieyav' TOV jneV oi eSf^aro Tola jreXaipj; 

TOpfiTrj ev fvpeij] Tpacpefifv artraXXe/ievai TE. 

fvda fiiv IKTO (pepovcra Qorjv 8ia VVKTO. pf\aivav 
15 irpoirrjv ff ALKTT)V' Kpvijffv &/ e ^epcri \a/3ovcra 

ajrrpco tv ^XijSara), a6er)s inrb Kev8e(ri yairjs, 

Atyaia) EV opei, jreTTVKaa-p.evca, v\rjfvri. 

Tffl be o-Trapyavi<rao-a fieyav \idov eyyvd\it;ev 

QvpaviSr) p.ey' avaKTi, 6ea>v irporepta /3a<rtX^i'. 
20 TOV To6' f\a>v ^e/peo-triv er)V eo-KarBero njSui/, 

trxfrXtos, 0118' evorjtre pera <ppe<rlv, &s oi oirio-crto 

dvrl \idov ebs vlos dvliafros Kai dKrjSrjs 

\eiireff, o [itv rd^ e^ieXXc, ftirj Kai X f P tr 'i bap-dira-at, 

rifi-qs ee\dav, 6 8' ev ddavaToicrtv dvdeiv. 
25 Ka/wraXi/i<BS 8' ap' fireiTa fievos Kai (pai8ifj.a yvla 

i)veTO rolo SVOKTOS' c7TLTr\o[i:fva>v 8" evtavrStv 

Taiijs evvea'trjo'i iroXvi^paSe'eo-trt do\a>6flf 

ov yovov ai/r dverjKe p.eyas Kpovos dyKV\op.ijTT]S, 

viKt)6els Tfxvgin /3/ij^t Te TratSoy eolo. 
30 irpS>Tov 8' erj[ieo-o-f \L6ov, irvfiaTOV KaraTrivaiv' 

TOV [iev Zevs trrijpi^e Kara xGovbs evpvo&eiijs 

HuSol. ev rjyader] yvdXots viro Hapvrjiroio 

<rrj[i' efitv eoiri<r<a, Bavfia SvrjToIcri ftporolo-i. 

A.vo~f 8e TraTpoKatriyvijTovs 6\o>v dirb Becrficbv 
35 OvpaviSas, ovs Srjere irarrjp de<ri<ppo<rvvr)(ri.v 

oi oi airep.vrjo'avTO 'Xapiv evepyeaidcav, 

d>Kav 8e ftpovrrfv r]b' aldaXoevra Kepavvbv 

Kai trrepoTrfiv' TO Trplv 8e ireX&prj Tata KeKfi'6ei' 

rols iria-vvos Bvrfro'un KOI ddavdroKrw dvaao-ei. Tteog. 468. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 333 

But "when upon the point of bearing Zeus, 

The sire of gods and men, then did she pray 

Her parents dear, both earth and starry sky, 

That nought material be devised, whereby 

She might unknown bring forth her cherished son, 

And satisfy the wrongs done to her sire, 

And to those children of her own as well 

Whom the great crafty Kronos had devoured. 

Their daughter dear, exceeding dear, they heard, 

Were influenced, and planned right well for her 

Whate'er by fate's decree was held in store 

For royal ICronos and his high-souled sou. 

So to the light, distinctiou's rich domain, 

They sent her on the point of bringing forth 

Her youngest, greatest child, the mighty Zeus. 

Revolving earth first took him to herself 

To rear in broad distinction and to nerve ; 

Whilst bearing him through darkness passing black, 

To the first indicant she came, and neath 

The nooks oE righteous earth hid what she grasped 

Inside a sapless cell, within a mass 

That woody, compact, and expansive was. 

But in the palms of the great high-born king, 
The former ruler of the gods, she placed 
A mighty stone concealed in swaddling garb : 
This grasping then he swallowed in his maw. 
The reckless one ! nor minded well in thought 
How, in the ages yet to come for him, 
There would be left, as price of this same stone, 
His son unconquered, calm, transcending all 
In force and skill, whose destiny 'twould be 
To quickly chase him from his high estate 
And 'mongst immortals reign himself supreme. 

Eapid, moreover, waxed this ruler's strength 
And limbs distinct ; and as the years rolled by, 
Great crafty Kronos spewed his offspring back, 
By matter's fine suggestive ways deceived, 
O'ercome by arts and vigour of his son. 
The stone, that last he gulped, he first disgorged ; 
And that same stone was rendered fast by Zeus 
Down in the fissured earth at Pytho fair 
Under the hollows of Parnassus mount, 
To be a token for all time to come, 
A wondrous work to perishable flesh. 

From galling ties he also freed his kin, 
The high-bom whom his sire had fatuous bound ; 



334 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Thanks for his benefits they felt, and gave 
Thunder and lightning and the flaming bolt ; 
(These the revolving earth had previous hid) ; 
Trusting to these he rules both gods and men. 

NOTES. 

4 [ojnv. She begged for the existence of that which would be (/j 
riv) not matter, that is, life. 

" A breath thou art, 
Servile to all the skyey influences 
That doth this habitation, where thou keep'st, 
Hourly afflict." Shakspeare. 

o irarpos eolo. Were there no life on earth, there would be no soul ; 
so that through life alone could the separation of heaven from 
earth be avenged. 

" There is, they say, (and I believe there is,) 
A spark within us of th' immortal fire, 
That animates and moulds the grosser frame ; 
Add when the body sinks, escapes to heaven, 
Its native seat, and mixes with the gods." Armstrong. 
7 emdovro. All the bodies in our universe influence and are 

influenced by one another through gravitation. 
10 AVKTOV. \EVKOS, "light, clear, brilliant." Life came from on high. 

" In him was life ; and the life was the light of men." 

John i. 4. 

" Between two worlds life hovers like a star, 
'Twixt night and morn, upon the horizon's verge." Byron. 
TipT)TT)s. Kpivcot. Kpireov, "to distinguish, separate, test." The 
outer verge of earth would be the " distinguishing ground " for 
all that would be evolved, the criterion as it were of their 
characteristics and distinctive marks. 

14 VVKTO. peKaivav. As it was " the Golden Age " when earth was 
like unto our sun in all respects, this " darkness passing 
black " has reference to the opaque, relatively cool and com- 
pressed mass of vapour lying between the body of the aim and the 
outer luminous corona, and to which, as some say, the appear- 
ance of the sun spots is attributable. If life received its being 
on the verge, it would have to pass through tbis dark or non- 
luminous zone in order to reach earth proper. 

15-17 The derivation 8fiKwp.i, deiicreos, "to indicate, point out," 
marks ALKTIJV as being identical with the ActKrvXoi of later 
mythology, that is, with C, O, and H, as already noticed ; so 
that TTpamiv &IKTT]V is consequently " the first or most important 
dactyl, the pointer, the indicating element," that is, carbon. 
16 ijXtj3dr<B. Ionic form of aXi/Sdra, which like dX//3as (from aXt/3dj) 
denotes " sapless, lifeless." 
The entire paragraph has reference to cell growth. Earth, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 335 

says the poefc, endowed -with the principle of life came to the 
characteristic indicator of life, the carbon, and enclosed the 
precious gift in a cell (avrpn) devoid of sap and surrounded by 
a mass (ev Spei) starch and gluten that was compact in 
texture (Trcmiaurptvai), vegetable in nature (vXjjem), and 
possessed of expansive or germinating powers (Alyaup, dei yaia>, 
"ever exulting, ever springing "). 

"Every plant," writes Youman, "springs from a seed, and 
every perfect seed contains the rudiment of a new plant, called 
the germ or embryo. . , . The minute plant lies imbedded 
within the seed, surrounded by a protecting mass, which con- 
sists chiefly of starch and gluten. . . . Wrapped in this 
envelope, the embryo remains at the disposal of external 
agents. In certain conditions it continues at rest and torpid ; 
but when these conditions are changed, it suddenly awakens 
from its slumber, puts forth a new power and begins to grow ; 
this is called germination." 

18-24 Our rocks are formed from the ruins of their predecessors ; 
they are new personages, so to speak, dressed up in garments 
that have been made over again from the raiment worn by 
those who lived immediately before them. These coverings 
consist of compound matter which becomes less composite in a 
sense according as we go down the scale of geological forma- 
tions. The fundamental granite is no exception. Its consti- 
tuents are quartz, mica, and feldspar, all three of which are 
extremely simple in composition, being either pure silica (SiO 2 ) 
as in the case of quartz, or silicates of alumina with a small 
proportion of potash, soda, iron, lime, and magnesia, as in the 
case of mica and feldspar. These it received, as we must 
believe, from the primal crust ; and if they be simple in the 
granite, how much simpler must they have been in its pre- 
decessor ? Simple enough, certainly, to warrant their being 
called cnrdpyava, "swaddling clothes; anything reminding us 
of our birth, our family, and our childhood." But though 
these swaddling clothes, however altered, have been handed 
down by the first crust to the granite, and by it to the fossili- 
ferous pile above, the primeval crust itself nowhere appears : it 
was swallowed by time in the fiery ocean underneath. 

It was this primal crust, then, swathed in elementary 
coverings, that Rhea gave to BLronos, and it was this he 
swallowed, not knowing, as Hesiod says, that the price of this 
mighty stone would be the granite and f ossilif erous rocks where 
life would flourish and have sway. 

27 fwea-ir/o-i. Matter was busily employed in insinuating one element 
into another, so as to form compounds and establish solidity. 
Life, too, was increasing in vitality, and multiplying its visible 
forms. 

30 irp3>Tov \L6ov. The stone that time had swallowed, it now dis- 



336 THE GODS OF OLD; 

gorged. It went down as the primeval crust, but it came up 
as granite, which, as mentioned in the text, has a deep-seated 
origin in the earth, forms the nucleus, or hollows, of our 
mountain chains, has subsisted for all time, and owing to its 
hardness and durability contrasts wonderfully with mortal flesh 
that perishes all too quickly. 

Such is the mythological narrative of the introduction 
of life upon our globe. It is wonderful, fascinating, daring 
in the extreme. It takes us beyond the metamorphic rocks 
where geology stops, beyond the granite to which the same 
geology looks conjecturally, beyond even that crust from 
which, though unrecognised, our granite is supposed to 
have got its own constituents by disintegration. Beyond 
all these does it take us, to a period in earth's history when 
our globe was a dying out sun, hot enough to prevent the 
elements from permanently combining, hot enough to 
permit but a molecular existence. Here and under such 
conditions, with no soil wherein to plant its radicle, no rain 
from which it could derive sap, no atmosphere propel- 
whence it could draw carbonic acid, does mythology place 
the beginning of Life ! Both the time and the conditions 
are bewildering. 

But life itself is equally bewildering. " However viewed," 
writes Youman, "the transcendent miracle of -nature is LIFE. 
Whether considered as supporting the spiritual fabric of 
mind above, or as rooted in the inorganic world below, it is 
alike wonderful. Springing from ethereal airs and yet 
invincible ; constantly perishing, and yet abounding in 
earth, air, and sea ; forever conquered by death, yet ever- 
more triumphant ' strongest and weakest of the things 
God has made,' it is not surprising that it has been 
regarded as unlike all else in nature." 

To deny the capabilities of this life, no matter what the 
conditions may be, would be injudicious ; to argue on its 
possibility when our earth was half star half planet is 
admissible, since the astronomical mind is strongly 
impressed with the idea of life in Mars, Venus, and the 
other planets, and is not inclined to deny it absolutely 
even in the Sun. " Some hold it not improbable that the 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 337 

sun may be inhabited. The gaseous stratum, which is the 
source of light and heat, appears to be at a great elevation 
above the solid nucleus ; and the non-luminous stratum or 
atmosphere that intervenes may be of a nature to temper 
the rays, and render their intensity consistent with organic 
life." What holds good for the sun to-day holds equally 
good for earth in its sun days. 

It may be remarked too that whatever knowledge science 
possesses as regards the structure and origin of our 
precious stones points to a far distant period beyond the 
metamorphic rocks, and admits also the strong probability 
of plant life having been a factor in initiating the change 
from carbon to diamond. 

Much evidently depends on the nature of the first 
vegetation ; and with respect to this, mythology and science 
alike declare that it consisted of algae and fungi, thallogens 
both, and the lowest varieties of plant life with which we 
are acquainted. The simpler of the two would seem to be 
the fungi which have the mushroom for apex, and thence 
go down the scale to the microscopic mould, mildew, smut, 
rust, and hundred others which we have no name for, and 
know so little of. " We are entirely ignorant," says Lindley, 
" of the manner in which the stems of those that are 
arborescent are developed, and of the course taken by their 
ascending and descending sap if indeed in them there 
really exist currents similar to those of flowering-plants ; 
which may be doubted. We know not in what way the 
fertilising principle is communicated to the sporules or 
reproductive grains ; the use of the different kinds of 
reproductive matter found in most tribes is entirely con- 
cealed from us. It is even suspected that some of the 
simplest forms of algae and fungi, at least are the 
creatures of spontaneous growth : and, in fine, we seem to 
have discovered little that is positive about the vital 
functions of those plants, except that they are reproduced 
by their sporules, which differ from seeds, in germinating 
from any part of their surface, instead of from two 
invariable points." 

G.O. z 



338 THE GODS OF OLD. 

Could these exist under the conditions which our igneous 
globe presented ? Nothing forbids the idea. Plant life of 
this most simple kind must be next in endurance to the 
spores themselves which we must suppose as existing from 
created matter and subjected to even still greater heat. 
Nor would some favourable circumstances be entirely absent. 
The meridian of the " Golden Age " would have passed 
and earth have felt the cooling effects of outer space. The 
rain, trickling from the summits where it originated, would 
constantly and increasingly keep vaporous the steamy 
atmosphere which enveloped the nucleus of our globe. 
Oxidation, the first step towards crust-making, would 
quickly occur for elementary matter, but the same oxida- 
tion that brought combination would also bring decay. A 
decayed particle or two of inorganic material would be a 
fertile kingdom for a microscopic spore ; heat and moisture, 
when combined, would be its proper sustenance ; and, once 
developed, it mattered little how long it would survive, for 
in its case, decay meant victory and strength, plenitude 
and renewal, all four the children of primeval St.yx. 

To microscopic algas and fungi that thrive alike in earth, 
air, or water, and seem to be independent of soil and light, 
of colouring matter and of sex, that can defy an abnormal 
degree of heat, if moisture be but present, that can grow, 
like our puff-ball, " in a single night from a mere point to 
the size of a large gourd, forming on an average not fewer 
than 20,000 new cells per minute," to such simple life- 
forms, the bafflers of more complex ones on the battle- 
ground of generation, there are evidently no set bounds as 
to time, conditions, capability, or endurance. 



BOOK SEVENTH. 

TITANIC TIES (continued}. 

CHAPTER I. 

THEOGONT. 

I Atlas 

T jo I Mencetius 

IAPETTJS and CLYHENE -. - ,, 

I Prometheus 

! Epimetheus 

MYTHS. 

lapetus. A Titan, married to Clymene, according to Hesiod ; to Asia, 
according to Apollodorus. He was the father of Atlas, 
Mencetius, Prometheus, and Epimetheus; and was looked 
on by the Greeks as the ancestor of the human race. 

Clymene. Daughter of Oceanus, and wife of lapetus. 

Atlas. A son of lapetus, and condemned by Zeus to Lear the heavens 
on his head and shoulders. Later traditions assert that he was 
metamorphosed into a mountain, on which rested heaven 
with all its stars. At first the story of Atlas referred to only 
one mountain which was believed to exist on the extreme 
boundary of the earth ; but the name was gradually given to 
other mountains, so that we are told of a Mauretanian Atlas, 
an Italian, Arcadian, Caucasian, &c. 

Mencetius. A brother of Atlas. He was killed by Zeus with lightning, 
and hurled to Tartarus. 

Prometheus. The most famous of all the children of lapetus. The 
Hesiodic legend, as generally rendered with regard to him, 
runs thus : Once, when gods and men were in dispute at 
Mekone, Prometheus cut up a mighty ox, and divided it into 
parts for the purpose of alluring Zeus. The first heap 
contained the flesh, intestines, fat, and akin ; the second heap 
consisted of bones covered with shining fat. "When Zeus 
commented on the shares, Prometheus told him that he could 

Z 2 



340 THE GODS OF OLD; 

make his choice. Zeus, though, cognisant of what he did, 
chose the bones covered with fat. The father of the gods 
avenged himself by withholding fire from mortals, but 
Prometheus stole it in a hollow receptacle or vdpdrjg. There- 
upon Zeus chained Prometheus to a rock where his liver, 
consumed by an eagle in the daytime, was again restored 
each night. This torture he endured for many centuries. 
Finally, however, when Hercules in pursuance of his 
Eleventh Labour went in quest of the Golden Apples of the 
Hesperides, he killed the eagle and delivered Prometheus, 
Zeus not being unwilling. 

Various additions have been given to the story by later 
writers. We are told, for instance, that Prometheus helped 
Zeus in his war against the Titans ; that he it was who split 
the head of Zeus and thus enabled the god to give birth to 
Minerva; that he entertained an ardent affection for this 
goddess, and was assisted by her when he secretly stole fire 
from heaven, and gave it, concealed in a vdpdr]^, to those 
mortals whom he had fashioned from earth and water ; and 
that for doing so without the cognisance and will of Zeus, he 
was chained to a rock, hurled with this rock to Tartarus, 
again brought back to the upper world, and fastened to 
Mount Caucasus, where his liver was devoured by an eagle, 
as already mentioned, until Hercules delivered him. 

He is represented as the friend of mankind, and their 
teacher in architecture, astronomy, mathematics, and many 
other arts and sciences ; and it is further stated that when 
Zeus proposed to destroy the whole race of mortals, and to 
fill their place with a new race of beings, Prometheus 
succeeded in warding off the general destruction. 

JSpimetheus When Prometheus committed his famous theft, Zeus 
caused Yulcan to fashion from earth and water a female 
whose grace and beauty would prove a snare, and bring 
misery on the mortal race to whom Prometheus had given 
fire. The woman who was thus made, and who was called 
Pandora, or " the all-gifted," because each of the gods had 
dowered her with some charm, was brought to Epimetheus, 
who made her his wife, and who forgot till too late the 
injunction given him by his brother, Prometheus, namely, 
never to receive a gift from Olympian Zeus. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 341 



CHAPTER II. 

IAPETUS, THE TIE OE APTITUDE. 

lapetus. Design and change are stamped unmistakably 
on the heavens and the earth and the things of earth. The 
astronomer bears witness to the fact, and thereby builds a 
filmy nebula into a fused ball of fire. 

The geologist takes up the cry and constructs this igneous 
ball into a well-clad earth ; he points to the separate 
formations and marks their order in succession and in 
time ; he directs attention to the fossils in these forma- 
tions, and notes the gradual change from algae to olive, 
from mollusk to man. The scientist, too, each in his own 
way, proclaims that the atmosphere has its laws whereby 
light, heat, sound, and meteorological phenomena are 
regulated ; that the ocean is disciplined as to tides and 
currents ; that earth as a whole is so strictly governed as 
to ever make the day succeed the night, and the seasons to 
pursue their unvarying round; and that the things of 
earth, rocks with their constituents, crystals with their 
angles, plants with their cellular and vascular tissues, and 
animals with their complex parts, are all subject to law, 
order, and definite arrangement. The universe and its 
parts, the mass and the molecule, the inanimate and the 
animate have been fashioned after a Plan or Scheme, the 
beginning, end, and reason of which we know not, but the 
course, order, and law of which we can trace distinctly in 
all that we see around us. 

The Plan must be either a provisional one, or else there 
must be some impulse in matter and force whereby they 
adapt themselves to the Plan. As the former hypothesis is 
contrary to our notions of an omnipotent and immutable 
Deity, we must embrace the latter and suppose that there 



342 THE GODS OF OLD; 

is an eternal fitness of things, an adaptation of themselves 
towards the end for which they were determined. How 
far back can we push it? Possibly, to matter itself; but as 
we do not recognise matter except through its phenomena, 
a safe point to go back to is that where matter, in changing 
from the unknown to the known, became visible. This 
visibility appeared with the coming into being of molecular 
matter, that is, with the Titans, of whom lapetus was one ; 
and it is this lapetus (6foro/u, " to fit," the t being euphonic 
as in lava for aw) that personifies the aptitude or fitness of 
things towards the destined end. 

As this adaptation necessarily implies both mind and 
spirit, the former to prompt, the latter to act, then both of 
these must have been present in the condition of our globe 
when lapetus flourished, when earth, a sun satisfied for 
the time being with its gaseous nature and magnified to 
the utmost by swelling incandescence, had nevertheless a 
prompting towards planetary existence and the capability 
of adapting itself wholly and partly to this end, its shape 
and surface for the spheroid and the crust which cooling 
would bring about, its constituents, (especially its organic 
ones as being possessed of greater receptivity or capacity), 
for the structures that were to be vitalised. 

It is with this idea of general adaptation that we must 
receive the " anima mundi " of ancient philosophy : and 
with this same idea we should read Virgil's lines, for that 
which applies to our earth as it once was is equally 
applicable to every stellar body in the universe : 

Principio, ccelum, ac terras, camposque liquentes, 
Lucentemque globum Lunse, Titaniaque astra, 
Spiritus intus alit ; totamque, infusa per artus, 
Mens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet. 
Inde hominum pecudumque genus, vitseque volantum, 
Et quse marmoreo fert monstra sub sequore pontus. 
Igneus est ollis vigor, et ccelestis origo, 
Seminibus ; quantum non noxia corpora tardant, 
Terrenique hebetant artus, moribundaque membra. 

Ma. VI. 724. 

From time's first onset, heaven, and earth., and sea, 
The moon's resplendent orb, the gaseous stars, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 343 

Are by the spirit in them magnified ; 

And, all infused throughout the several parts, 

The mind excites the structure as a -whole, 

And with capacious matter joins it; elf. 

Thence conies the race of mankind and of beasts, 

Thence too of flying kind the living forms, 

And monstrous creatures whom the ocean bears 

Beneath its burnished surface. For such germs 

There is a fiery strength, a birth divine, 

Such that defective bodies do not slow, 

And earthy joints and mortal limbs not dull. 

That our earth-sun did look forward to the planetary 
stage, and did follow out the bent of its impulse, is 
evidenced by its solidity of to-day. But it had to sacrifice 
something to adapt itself to the changed condition, and as 
incandescence was a prime obstacle to solidity, this same 
incandescence the lapetus for the time being had to go, 
and to go where approved mythology and science have 
placed it, in the centre of our globe. 

The masterful Life that, with countless million subjects 
in the ocean and the air, can disregard, if need be, the 
animated forms on dry land, thus sternly addresses the 
personification of terra firma : 



<Ttdev 8* ryo> OVK 
r, ovS' e? /ce ra veiara nelpaff 
yalrjt Kal trovroio, 1v 'laTrerof re Kpovof re 
i, OVT avyfjs inrepiovos 'HfXioio 

r avffiourt, J3a6vs 8e re Taprapos dp.<pis f 

Hiad, Yin. 477. 

And as for thee possessed with raging hate, 
I heed thee not, not even should'st thou go 
To earth's and ocean's deepest ends, to where 
lapetus and Kronos all-aflame 
Enjoy nor beams of heaven's sun, nor winds, 
And hell's extent abysmal round them lies. 



344 THE GODS OF OLD; 



CHAPTER III. 

"TOO HIGKH-BOEN TO BE PEOPEETY'D." 

Mencetius. Incandescence, though the greatest, was not 
the only loss which our globe had to endure in order to fit 
itself for enrolment among planets. Shape too had to be 
sacrificed. 

When, to go back in point of time, Earth had adapted 
itself through lapetus to solar conditions, it brought into 
being four distinguished entities, namely, rotation, 
sphericity, light, and visibility. 

This, as explained later on, is the same as saying that 
lapetus begot Atlas, Mencetius, Prometheus, and Epi- 
metheus. While such is the order in which they a.re 
mentioned by Hesiod, Apollodorus enumerates them as 
rotation, light, visibility, and sphericity, since he names 
Menoatius last ; and each reader can decide for himself 
which of the two mythographers was the more correct. 

One of these, sphericity or Menoatius, was doomed to die 
an early death in the change from solar to planetary 
existence. Why and how are best explained by the cut 
where the dotted spherical line repre- 
sents earth as a sun, and the inner line 
as the planet which it aimed to be. 
The sphere is evidently too rounded in 
outline, too glorious ({nttpK.vba.vra) as 
Hesiod says, for a spheroid; too over- 
bearing (vppurniv) by ab and cd for an 
oblate spheroid; too diffusive 
and gaseous or high-spirited 
in nature for well-defined circumference and in- 
crustation. Now, that which gives its sphericity to the 
outer figure is evidently the difference between the two 




AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 345 

figures, and it is this difference, the remnant of the sphere, 
that is personified by Mencetius (jj-evertov, " that which 
remains, the remnant "). When earth, accordingly, deemed 
it prudent to embrace the planetary state, it did so by 
simply sacrificing this remnant. Science expresses this by 
saying that as a result of continued cooling and rotation 
earth would shrink from the dimensions and shape of a 
gaseous sphere to those of an oblate spheroid : mythology 
tells the same story in its own language when it says that 
Zeus, the life that came with cooling, stamped down 
Mencetius into Erebus. 

Hesiod tells the story thus : 



Kovpjv 8' 'Icnrerbs KaXAiVtpvpoi' 'QKfavivr\v 
fiydyero KXvftevrjv KOI Ofidv Xe^oy fla-av 
TJ de ol "ArAaira Kparepo(ppova yelvaro iralda- 
Ti'/we 8' vjTfpKvdavra t/levo'mov ^8e Hpop,rj6ea 
5 TTOIKI\OV, alo\6p.r)Tiv, apaprivoov r 'Em/J.r]6ea, 
os KaKov eg dpxjjs yever dvdpd<riv aXcprjarfjcrf 
jrp&ros yap pa Atos ir\aarriv rnre8e(cro yvvalica 
irapSevov. v/Spurrriv 8e MevoLrtov evpvoTra Zevs 
elf "Epe/Sos KareTrffJAJre j3a)(.a>v fyo\6fvri Kfpavvy 
10 eiveK a.Ta<r6d\Lrjs re (cat Tjvoperjs VTrepojrXov -- Theog. 507. 

Clymene, vapour's child, and rounded well, 

lapetus selected for nis spouse, 

And led her to the couch he shared himself. 

She tore him Atlas, even-tempered youth ; 
Menoatius too, o'er glorious in his ways ; 
Prometheus, changeful, quick-devising soul ; 
And erring Hpimetheus, who from yore 
An evil proved to pleasure-loving men, 
For he it was who first did hearken to 
His spouse, the maiden fashioned him by Jove. 
But Zeus, the Zeus who searches far and wide, 
Inclined in thought to smoky, thund'rous bursts, 
Struck down the one that held his head too high, 
Mencetius, into lower, troublous depths, 
Since too diffuse and spirited he was. 

NOTES. 

TSXvp.evr)v. Clymene, as a child of Oceanus. has reference to 
aqueous vapour in its characteristic of (K\TJO> fi.4vos} "all-per- 
vading force; force heard of," though not seen. Our globe, 
as the adaptive Titan first received it, previous to incandescence, 



346 THE GODS OF OLD; 

was nebulous or vaporous in consistency, and shaping itself 
into a circular form (tuMdtrfyvpov). 

9 TJro\6evri Kfpawui. The poet implies that the philosophers of his own 
and of preceding times, the fvpvoira Zfvs or life that inquires 
into all things, had thrown out the .suggestion (/SaXow, " to 
throw, to ponder ") that flattening at the poles was due to volcanic 
action. The same opinion was entertained by Apollodorus, 
who flourished B.C. 140, for he says that Mencetius was de- 
stroyed in the war of Zeus against the Titans, a period when 
volcanic energy was in full play. The modern opinion is that 
polar flattening is due to rotation of the earth while it was still 
in a soft or plastic state. 



AND THE STORY THAT THE7 TELL. 347 



CHAPTEE IV. 

THE WOELD'S "WHEEL. 

Atlas. The earth turns on its axis once in twenty-four 
hours. As this axis passes through the centre from pole to 
pole and is itself immovable, the points of rotation are 
evidently in circular planes parallel to the equatorial one 
which passes from east to west, through the centre of the 
earth. 

For earth as a revolving sphere, then, this equatorial 
plane is the one great essential, since its revolution 
involves that of all the others. It is this plane that is 
personified by Atlas. 

Let us examine it in detail, as in the cut, where the 
outer circle represents the concave surface of the heavens, 
the inner one our earth, E Q the 'plane of the earth's 
equator, and N S the axis. 

1. The weight of each hemisphere rests upon it. 

2. It runs through the centre of the earth. 




8. It faces the north and south poles. 

4. It is set upright, or perpendicular to the axis. 

5. Its extension in all directions to meet the concave 
celestial arch forms what is called the Celestial 
Equator (e q), which divides the heavens into the 
northern and southern hemispheres. 



348 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Let us now read Hesiod's description of Atlas, and we 
shall find ourselves going over the same details : 

"ArXas 8' ovpavov fvpvv e\et Kparfprjs VTT' dvayKTjs, 
ireipatnv ev yalrjs, irpmap ''E<nrepi8a>v \iyv<p<ova>v, 
ffrrrjais, Ke(pd\rj Tf KOI aKafiargai xepetrm. 
TCLVTTJV yap ol fioipav eSdertraTo [ajriera Zeus. Theog. 517. 

But under pressure that's immensely great, 
Placed in the very roots of mother earth, 
Facing the unexplored and lofty poles, 
And upright set, does Atlas with his head 
And tireless hands hold up the heavens wide. 
For such his lot sagacious Zeus assigned. 

NOTES. 

1 "ArXaf. From bearing the pressure of each hemisphere does he 

derive his name (rAda, "to hear, suffer"). 

2 'EOTT. Xty. This phrase has already occurred in connection with the 

Gorgons, where it denoted the elevated and unexplored regions 
surrounding the poles. 

3 aKapMTrja-i. The head is at the poles and immovable; the hands 

are the planes of the equator and parallels of latitude, all of 
which are tireless in their motion round the axis. 

i firfrlcTa Zeus. That is, the deliberations of science. The tvpvotra 
Zfiis represents philosophical research ; the pjr/era Zeds stands 
for the well-digested knowledge which springs from such 
research. 

It is thus that the Farnese Atlas is represented, with head 
at the pole, shoulders at right angles to the axis, arms 
embracing the periphery as if they were meridians, and 
hands resting on the equator. 

The classical epithets and phrases are numerous and 
varied, but always suggestive. Ccelifer and astrifer have 
peculiar reference to the plane ; sublimis and pruinosus to 
the poles ; arduus and altus to the sloping space between 
the two. The purely terrestrial is visible in " caput inter 
nubila;" the celestial in " astrorum pondere pressus ; " 
and his functions are marked in " humeris ecelum qui 
sustinet," "qui coalum vertice fulcit," "et fessos excipit 
axes Atlas," " ubi stellifer Atlas axem humero torquet," 
and many others. Each poet alludes to him after a fashion 
of his own, and the following are interesting instances. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 349 

Homer recalls how the distribution of land and water 
has never been the same during all the great geologic ages 
which have elapsed since an ocean laved the globe ; how 
the forbears of our continents and islands have time and 
again been covered by a sea, the depths of which, varying 
as they did at different periods, were plumbed by the 
shoulders and the hands of this great equatorial plane, and 
by it alone : 

&ta 8' ev Stopon vaitt 

"ArXavros Gvydrrjp oXoofppotos, Sore 6a\da-crr]s 
HdaT)s fifvdea oldev, e^ei 8e TE Kinvas avrbs 
MaKpas, at yaiav re Kal ovpavov dp.(p\s exovtri. Odyss. I. 52. 

Ovid regards Atlas from another point of view, namely, 
as the plane of the rational horizon ; and as this embraces 
all other horizons so far as the fixed stars are concerned, 
he calls it at one time the northern horizon (" gelido sub 
Atlante "), at another time the western (" Hesperio, regnis 
Atlantis, in orbe"), and still at other tunes, as here, the 
horizon in general : 

Juvat ire per alta. 

Astra : juvat, terns et inerti sede relictis, 
Nube vehi, validique humeris insistere Atlantis. 

Met. XV. 147. 

Virgil lauds the axis in epitrochio for its services to 
astronomy. To what are we indebted for our knowledge of 
the moon's phases, if not to revolution round an axis ? To 
what is due the vicissitudes of our seasons, those labours of 
the sun whereby earth is fitted for men and animals, 
whereby the spring-time with its rain, and the summer 
with its heat, appear in turn ? To what is the mapping of 
the heavens due but to the head of Atlas, that Pole-star 
which guides us to the " pointers " and " guardians " of 
the twin Dippers ; from these to others, to the circumpolar 
Arcturus of Bootes, the equinoctial Hyades of Taurus, and 
so on ? And what again but revolution is it that makes 
our winter days so short, and nights so long ? 

All these were once chanted at the festive board of Dido 
by the tcpwiros "Ica^as, the inquiring seer who gazed upon 
the stars and had the world's wheel and axle for a teacher : 



350 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Cithara crinitus lopas 

Personal aurata, docuit quse maxiinus Atlas. 
Hie canit errantem Lunam, Solisque labores : 
Unde hominum genus, et pecudes ; unde imber, et ignes : 
Arcturum, pluviasque Hyadas, geminosque Triones : 
Quid tantum Oceano properant se tingere soles 
Hyberni, vel quae tardis mora noctibus obstefc. JEn. I. 740. 

Coming now to the later myth concerning Atlas, we have 
but to look at the cut in order to see how each hemisphere, 
sloping regularly from the equator to the pole, with a base 
of 25,000 miles in circumference and an altitude of 4,000 
miles, is a vast mountain as to shape ; and that this 
mountain has been transformed from the fused ball of 
fire which it once was, to the solid mass it is at present. 
The change is thus described by Ovid, who was evidently a 
believer in the theory that incrustation was a gradual pro- 
cess which commenced at the polar regions, and extended 
from there to the torrid zone : 

Et alter 

Viperei ref erens spolium memorabile monstri 

Aera carpebat tenerum stridentibus alis. 

Cumque super Libycas victor penderet arenas, 

Gorgonei capitis guttse cecidere cruentse, 
5 Quas numus exceptas varies animavit in angues : 

Unde frequens ilia est. infestaque, terra colubris. 

Inde per immensum venfcis discordibus actus 

Nunc hue, nunc illuc, exemplo nubis aquosse 

Pertur, et ex alto seductas sethere longe 
10 Despectat terras, totumque supervolat orbem. 

Ter gelidas Arctos, ter Cancri brachia vidit : 

Ssepe sub occasus, ssepe est ablatus in ortus. 

Jamque cadente die veritus se credere nocti, 

Gonstitit Hesperio, regnis Atlantis, in orbe : 
15 Exiguamque petit requiem, dum. Lucifer ignes 

Evocet Aurorse, currus Aurora diurnos. 

Hie nominum cunctos ingenti corpora prsestans 

lapetionides Atlas fuit. Ultima tellus 

Eege sub h6c, et pontus erat, qui Solis anaelis 
20 ^Equora subdit equis et fessos excipit axes. 

Mille greges illi totidemque armenta per nerbas 

Errabant : et Lumum vicinia nulla premebant. 

Arborese frondes auro radiante nitentes 

Ex auro ramos, ex auro poma tegebaiit. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 351 

' Hospes,' ait Perseus illi, ' seu gloria tangit 
Te generis magni, generis mihi Jupiter auctor : 
Sive es mirator rerum, mirabere nostras. 
Hospitium requiemque peto.' Memor ille vetustae 
Sortis erat : Themis hanc dederat Parnassia sortem : 
' Tempus, Atia, veniet, tua quo spoliabitur auro 
Arbor, et hunc prsedse titulum Jove natus habebit.' 
Id metuens soKdis pomaria clauserat Atlas 
Moenibus et vasto dederat servanda draconi, 
Arcebatque suis externos finibus omnes. 

35 Huic quoque, ' Vade procul, ne longfe gloria rerum 
Quam mentiris,' ait, ' longe tibi Jupiter absit,' 
Yimque minis addit, manibusque expellere tentat 
Cunctantem et placidis miscentem forfcia dictis. 
Viribus inferior (quis enim par esset Atianti 
Yiribus ?) ' At quoniam parvi tibi gratia nostra est, 
Accipe munus,' ait ; Isevaque & parte Medusae, 
Ipse retro versus squalentia prodidit ora. 
Quantus erat, mons factus Atlas : nam barba comseque 
In sylvas abeunt, juga sunt humerique manusque : 

45 Quod caput ante fuit, summo est in monte cacumen : 
Ossa lapis fiunt. Turn partes auctus in omnes 
Crevit in immensum (sic Di statuistis) et omne 
Cum tot sideribus ccelum requievit in illo. Met. IV. 614. 

With strident wings the other cleaved thin air, 

The snaky monster's memorable spoil 

Transporting. And when over Atric's courts 

The victor hung, from Gorgon's head there fell 

Those gory drops that earth, when captured, warmed 

Eor spotted snakes ; for reason which that clime 

With serpents favoured and infested is. 

Thence through wide space, by varying winds impelled, 

He's driven, like a rain cloud, here and there ; 

And high in air looks down upon the lands 

Snatched from the top, and speeds all round the globe. 

Thrice the cold poles, thrice Cancer's arms he saw : 

Oft to the west, oft to the east was borne. 

And now, the day declining, loth to trust 

Himself to night, he stayed his course awhile 

In realms of Atlas on the western bounds, 

And craves short rest : till Lucifer may call 

Aurora's lights the daily courses, she. 

And here, all men forestalling, huge of bulk, 

Was Atlas, of lapetus the son. 

Beneath this king was circumpolar land, 

Beneath him too was circumpolar sea, 

This king who forges for Sol's panting steeds 



352 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Wide realms of space, and the fixed axes holds. 

All at a loss for herbage roamed his herds 

And thousand flocks, their like ne'er pressed the soil. 

The branching fronds, aglo-w with radiant gold, 

The golden arms, golden circles hid. 

To him speaks Perseus, " Hospitable lord, 

If great ancestral glory weigh with thee, 

The author of my birth is Jove ; or if 

Of actions great admirer thou should'st be, 

Ours thou'lt admire. Shelter and rest I crave." 

The other bore in mind the olden lot, 

(This lot Parnassian Themis had assigned), 

' ' The time will come, O Atlas, when of gold 

Thy tree shall be despoiled, and when Jove's son 

Shall have it as the token of his spoil." 

His orchards Atlas, fearing this, had kept 

Aloof from solid walls, and placed as guard 

A dragon huge of bulk ; and he himself 

Kepelled all strangers from his confines wide. 

And so to him he cried, " Away I begone ! 

Lest Jove, or glorious deeds you brag so of, 

Prove but of small advantage unto thee " ; 

And force to threats he adds, and with his hands 

Endeavours to expel him lingering 

And interspersing fierce with soothing speech. 

Made answer he, inferior much in strength, 

(Eor who in strength with Atlas could compare ?) 

" Since then of small account our thanks to thee, 

Thy meed receive " ; and, backward turned, prolonged 

Medusa's squalid features from the left. 

Atlas, though great, a mountain then was made ; 

Por beard and locks now into woodlands go : 

The couples are his shoulders and his hands : 

What once was head is now the pole on high : 

His bones to stone are changed : and later on, 

Swelled out in all directions he has grown 

To boundless space, (so ye, O Gods, ordained,) 

And on him laid is heaven with all its stars. 

NOTES. 

1-6 The poet goes back in thought to the time when our globe was a 
fused ball of fire, except at the circumpolar regions (the 
Gorgon's head), where a crust had been formed by the first cold 
wave that notably affected earth. 

alter. This wave, or Perseus, is introduced as carrying, like a 
tornado, the flaming and fiery particles which it had licked up 
from the hardened polar surfaces. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 353 

3 aer.i. The atmosphere was but a quasi one, being excessively thin 

or attenuated, owing to rarefaction. 

4 cecidere. The greater heat of the Libyan regions rarefied the air 

still further, diminished the pressure, and so permitted some of 
the fiery debris to fall. 

7-14 For century after century (ter-ter) did the cold wave range the 
globe in all directions, viewing as it were with satisfaction the 
circumpolar parts snatched (ex alto seductas terras) from the 
fiery vortex and congealed. It was only at the close of the 
long igneous day (cadente die) that the intensely heated 
equatorial regions could be successfully attacked. 
14 Hesperio in orbe. Geologically speaking, the western hemisphere 
is the first born among continents. 

19 Eege sub hoc. The polar regions (ultima tellus) already crusted 

over, and the waters (et pontus) that rested on this crust, were 
(and still are) under the equatorial plane. The same plane 
extends in imagination (subdit) into realms of space far beyond 
our solar system, to the very confines of the universe. 

20 fessos " Tired out, not able to move, immovable " as the axis is. 

21 greges armenta. The hills and mountains in embryo, cattle 

whose like was never seen on earth, and searching vainly for 
that which did not exist as yet the grass. 
The per is separated from errabant by tmesis. 

23-24 Each hemisphere, consisting as it does of a succession of 
parallel circular planes that narrow in diameter from the 
equator to the pole, is likened by the poet to a tree. The fiery 
surface arborescence concealed from view the branching radii 
(ramos) of these circles, and the planes themselves or circular 
fruit (poma) produced by these radii. 

30 Themis. The law already laid down (riQrifii) or established, right, 
the Latin fas ; Parnassus (Hapvacros or Hapvrjaos, from irpavrjs or 
irpr]VT)s) signifies "forward, before." Parnassian Themis is 
consequently "the law laid down from the beginning." 

34 arcebat. The dragon of fire inside guarded the tree and fruit ; 
Atlas himself, the glowing surface, kept out the rain, vapour, 
and such other dangerous strangers. 

38 placidis fortia. There was a succession of cold spells, some with 
stormy winds, others without. 

40 par esset viribus. Rotation increases from north or south towards 

the equator. The minimum is at the poles ; the maximum is 
at the equator where the rate is 1000 miles per hour. The most 
violent hurricane that we know of travels but about 100 miles 
an hour. 

41 Iseva. The word, as already noticed in connection with the 

Gorgons, is indefinite as to direction. 

42 retro versus. The current changed from a descending to an 

ascending, and turned back from the equator, as explained 
when, treating of Bellerophon. 
0.0. A A 



354 THE GODS OF OLD; 

43 mons factus. The cold descending current from the poles had 

time and again essayed to keep near the surface when 
approaching the equator, but -was as often beaten back by the 
intense heat and forced to abide in the high upper regions 
(sethere longe). But now, when the decline of the Igneous 
Day afforded more favourable conditions, it renewed the attack, 
succeeded in landing on the torrid regions of the Western 
Hemisphere, and this time with better results. The crusty 
features (Medusae squalentia ora) already established at the 
poles were prolonged (prodidit) to the equator, and an Atlas of 
fluid fire was transformed to solid stone. 

44 juga. juguni is " a yoke, a pair " of anything. Here, of course, 

it denotes any pair of quadrants or semi-meridians, that extend 
like arms from pole to equator, and bound the hemisphere. 
46 Turn auctus. The equatorial plane, swelled out to meet the 
concave surface of the heavens, forms the base of the sidereal 
hemisphere: "such is the teaching of astronomers," (sic Di 
statuistis) says Ovid, concluding after the fashion of Hesiod. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 355 



CHAPTEE Y. 

THE METAPHYSICS OF MYTHOLOGY. 

THAT mythology, a description of matter and force, would 
be oblivious of Mind, the most exalted of forces, is a 
supposition that cannot be reasonably entertained. It 
must consequently have some word personifying mental 
force ; and everything, genealogy, derivation, verbal garb, 
and classical quotations point to Prometheus as that word. 

What is this mind of which we are possessed, and 
whence does it come ? Is it material, or immaterial, or a 
combination? If a combination, how came it to be asso- 
ciated with matter ? Is it primordial, or evoluted ? Is it 
confined to the human being, or common to all three of 
nature's kingdoms ? 

All these queries are more or less connected with the 
genealogy of Prometheus. As philosophy also is concerned 
with them, it may be well to outline the doctrines of the 
various Greek schools, if for no other reason than to point 
out the real aspect of the mythical symbols from Chaos to 
Hemera, and the large extent to which metaphysics is 
indebted to mythology in solving such fundamental in- 
quiries as " What original principle lies at the basis of all 
matter? What was the primal agent in determining 
motion ? How did abstract being pass over to the con- 
crete ? How came mind to be associated with matter ? " 

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY. 

Tholes. Born about 636 B.C. Water is the origin of 
all things ; " the principle of all things is water ; from 
water everything arises, and into water everything re- 
turns." The earth floats upon a sea of this elemental 
fluid. All things are full of gods. The soul originates 
motion. There is a soul in the magnet. 

A A 2 



356 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Anaximenes. Flourished about 544 B.C. Air is the 
primal principle. At a greater or less degree of density, 
everything becomes boundless air. Movement pervades it, 
heat expands it, cold contracts it ; under these three 
moving forces, and with various degrees of condensation, 
the earth, sun, and stars were formed. 

Anaximander. Born about 610 B.C. The beginning or 
dpx^ of all things is that which in itself is undetermined 
and simple (aireipov), embracing all, ruling all, the prime 
source of all separate existences and individual forms, and 
also the final end to which such existences and forms 
should return. 

The above-named philosophers are the chief represen- 
tatives of the Ionic School, and all three are said to have 
adopted a sensuous substratum for the origin of matter. But 
this is questionable. Thales, with the Theogony for his 
guide, might have come to the conclusion that as Oceanus 
was the first born of molecular matter, this same Oceanus 
or watery vapour must have had a previous existence in 
the shape of atomic matter, and would thus through a long 
series of abstractions constitute the first or oldest principle 
of being. Anaximenes, reasoning after the same fashion, 
would be led to the same conclusion as to the primal 
base, with this exception that what was watery vapour to 
Thales would be the vapour of water to him. So that what 
one called water, and the other air, would in reality signify 
the self -same thing. In no way does the term " sensuous " 
apply to Anaximander, whose apx 7 ? forcibly recalls the 
Chaos of mythology, or the simplicity of being, as the 
Chaos has been shown to represent. The founders of the 
Ionic School may consequently be considered as the 
pioneers of abstraction as well as of philosophy; and since 
all three were contemporaries, the principle of pure being 
may well be dated from the very earliest of the Greek 
Schools. 

Pythagoras. Flourished between 540 and 510 B.C. 
Scarcely were the founders of the Ionic School gathered to 
their forefathers when Pythagoras and Xenophanes ap- 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 357 

peared in the philosophical arena. As Pythagoras and 
his immediate successors committed none of their doctrines 
to writing, it is through such followers as Philolaus, 
Eurytas, and Archytas, who flourished a century or so 
later, and were contemporaries of Socrates and Plato, that 
we get what information there is regarding the tenets of 
the school. The general dogma maintained by them, 
namely, that " number is the essence of things, every 
thing is number," has excited much inquiry. Did they 
regard number as the principle itself of things, or only as 
the archetype? Is everything but a representation of 
number, or is number merely a representation of every 
thing ? While there is much that is vague and mysterious 
attached to the history of the founder, his followers, and 
the philosophy, three leading points are said to stand 
prominently forth, the religious, the philosophical, and the 
occult. As pure philosophy would involve no more 
personal danger to him than to those who preceded him 
or to the Eleatics who flourished in his day, the great 
secrecy attached to his teachings, the rigid examination 
of would-be-disciples and the probationary periods of such, 
the silence to which they were pledged with regard to all 
persons outside their own ranks, and the signs and pass- 
words by which they recognised each other, all these 
must be ascribed to the religious cult, or to the occult, or 
to both. 

If, now, we suppose (what is very likely) that in his 
travels through Egypt and the East Pythagoras had 
acquired a knowledge of the One true God, of the Trinity, 
and of a Christ to come, we can readily account for the 
caution and secrecy which play so prominent a part in the 
inculcation of his doctrines. Many circumstances are in 
harmony with the supposition. The religious element in 
his teachings profoundly impressed the philosophers of his 
own and subsequent times; his immediate followers re- 
garded him in the light not so much of a philosopher as of 
a prophet whose mission it was to reveal divine truths and 
to inculcate a mode of life distinguished for abstinence, 



354 THE GODS OF OLD; 

43 mons factus. The cold descending current from, the poles had 

time and again essayed to keep near the surface "when 
approaching the equator, but was as often beaten back by the 
intense heat and forced to abide in the high upper regions 
(sethere longe). But now, when the decline of the Igneous 
Day afforded more favourable conditions, it renewed the attack, 
succeeded in landing on the torrid regions of the Western 
Hemisphere, and this time with better results. The crusty 
features (Medusae squalentia ora) already established at the 
poles were prolonged (prodidifc) to the equator, and an Atlas of 
fluid fire was transformed to solid stone. 

44 juga. juguni is " a yoke, a pair " of anything. Here, of course, 

it denotes any pair of quadrants or semi-meridians, that extend 
like arms from pole to equator, and bound the hemisphere. 
46 Turn auctus. The equatorial plane, swelled out to meet the 
concave surface of the heavens, forms the base of the sidereal 
hemisphere : " such is the teaching of astronomers,'' (sic Di 
statuistis) says Ovid, concluding after the fashion of Hesiod. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 355 



CHAPTEE Y. 

THE METAPHYSICS OF MYTHOLOGY. 

THAT mythology, a description of matter and force, would 
be oblivious of Mind, the most exalted of forces, is a 
supposition that cannot be reasonably entertained. It 
must consequently have some word personifying mental 
force ; and everything, genealogy, derivation, verbal garb, 
and classical quotations point to Prometheus as that word. 

What is this mind of which we are possessed, and 
whence does it come? Is it material, or immaterial, or a 
combination? If a combination, how came it to be asso- 
ciated with matter ? Is it primordial, or evoluted ? Is it 
confined to the human being, or common to all three of 
nature's kingdoms ? 

All these queries are more or less connected with the 
genealogy of Prometheus. As philosophy also is concerned 
with them, it may be well to outline the doctrines of the 
various Greek schools, if for no other reason than to point 
out the real aspect of the mythical symbols from Chaos to 
Hemera, and the large extent to which metaphysics is 
indebted to mythology in solving such fundamental in- 
quiries as " What original principle lies at the basis of all 
matter ? What was the primal agent in determining 
motion ? How did abstract being pass over to the con- 
crete ? How came mind to be associated with matter ? " 

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY. 

Thales. Born about 636 B.C. Water is the origin of 
all things ; " the principle of all things is water ; from 
water everything arises, and into water everything re- 
turns." The earth floats upon a sea of this elemental 
fluid. All things are full of gods. The soul originates 
motion. There is a soul in the magnet. 

A A 2 



356 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Anaximenes. Flourished about 544 B.C. Air is the 
primal principle. At a greater or less degree of density, 
everything becomes boundless air. Movement pervades it, 
heat expands it, cold contracts it ; under these three 
moving forces, and with various degrees of condensation, 
the earth, sun, and stars were formed. 

Anaximander. Born about 610 B.C. The beginning or 
apxij of all things is that which in itself is undetermined 
and simple (a-neipov), embracing all, ruling all, the prime 
source of all separate existences and individual forms, and 
also the final end to which such existences and forms 
should return. 

The above-named philosophers are the chief represen- 
tatives of the Ionic School, and all three are said to have 
adopted a sensuous substratum for the origin of matter. But 
this is questionable. Thales, with the Theogony for his 
guide, might have come to the conclusion that as Oceanus 
was the first born of molecular matter, this same Oceanus 
or watery vapour must have had a previous existence in 
the shape of atomic matter, and would thus through a long 
series of abstractions constitute the first or oldest principle 
of being. Anaximenes, reasoning after the same fashion, 
would be led to the same conclusion as to the primal 
base, with this exception that what was watery vapour to 
Thales would be the vapour of water to him. So that what 
one called water, and the other air, would in reality signify 
the self -same thing. In no way does the term " sensuous " 
apply to Anaximander, whose apyri forcibly recalls the 
Chaos of mythology, or the simplicity of being, as the 
Chaos has been shown to represent. The founders of the 
Ionic School may consequently be considered as the 
pioneers of abstraction as we]l as of philosophy; and since 
all three were contemporaries, the principle of pure being 
may well be dated from the very earliest of the Greek 
Schools. 

Pythagoras. Flourished between 540 and 510 B.C. 
Scarcely were the founders of the Ionic School gathered to 
their forefathers when Pythagoras and Xenophanes ap- 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 357 

peared in the philosophical arena. As Pythagoras and 
his immediate successors committed none of their doctrines 
to writing, it is through such followers as Philolaus, 
Eurytas, and Archytas, who flourished a century or so 
later, and were contemporaries of Socrates and Plato, that 
we get what information there is regarding the tenets of 
the school. The general dogma maintained by them, 
namely, that " number is the essence of things, every 
thing is number," has excited much inquiry. Did they 
regard number as the principle itself of things, or only as 
the archetype? Is everything but a representation of 
number, or is number merely a representation of every 
thing ? While there is much that is vague and mysterious 
attached to the history of the founder, his followers, and 
the philosophy, three leading points are said to stand 
prominently forth, the religious, the philosophical, and the 
occult. As pure philosophy would involve no more 
personal danger to him than to those who preceded him 
or to the Eleatics who flourished in his day, the great 
secrecy attached to his teachings, the rigid examination 
of would-be-disciples and the probationary periods of such, 
the silence to which they were pledged with regard to all 
persons outside their own ranks, and the signs and pass- 
words by which they recognised each other, all these 
must be ascribed to the religious cult, or to the occult, or 
to both. 

If, now, we suppose (what is very likely) that in his 
travels through Egypt and the East Pythagoras had 
acquired a knowledge of the One true God, of the Trinity, 
and of a Christ to come, we can readily account for the 
caution and secrecy which play so prominent a part in the 
inculcation of his doctrines. Many circumstances are in 
harmony with the supposition. The religious element in 
his teachings profoundly impressed the philosophers of his 
own and subsequent times ; his immediate followers re- 
garded him in the light not so much of a philosopher as of 
a prophet whose mission it was to reveal divine truths and 
to inculcate a mode of life distinguished for abstinence, 



358 THE GODS OF OLD; 

temperance, patience, harmony, and such other virtues as 
tended to purify and elevate mankind. In proof of this it 
has been generally conceded that the followers of his school 
were men noted for their self-restraint, upright lives, and 
for devoted friendship to each other. 

Apart, however, from their religious teachings, they 
appear to have practised and inculcated some one branch 
of knowledge not generally known, one which created a 
kind of brotherhood among the members, necessitated the 
greatest skill, caution, and secrecy on their part, and had 
some bearing on their teachings as a whole. "What this 
peculiar knowledge was is not openly stated, but the 
weight of circumstantial evidence points to chemistry, or 
the alchemy of old. It was in Sarnothrace that the cult 
of the Cabiri was especially active, and this cult the 
Samothracians had received from the Pelasgians, as 
Herodotus tells us. 

Would such a thinker and inquirer as Pythagoras was 
remain in ignorance of this chemical knowledge, espe- 
cially as he was born in Sarnos, not many leagues from 
Samothrace ? A science like chemistry, so broad in aim, 
so fertile in research and practical in results, so exclusive 
to the many and so fascinating to the mind, would in- 
stantly draw round its expounder the " Three Hundred" of 
Crotona, Tarentum, and of other important towns in Italy 
where up to this chemistry was unknown. As the chemist 
of those days was looked upon as a magician who juggled 
with the property and lives of those outside his circle, as a 
dealer in the " Black Art " to be shunned, suspected, and 
forcibly removed, there would be an absolute necessity for 
observing the scrutiny, probation, secrecy, and shibboleths 
which we read of. " Everything is not to be told to every- 
body" is a motto originating with them. It is difficult 
from a perusal of his life to understand Pythagoras in 
the light of a politician, but it is thoroughly consonant 
with his characteristics to understand him as devoted to 
chemistry. " Of all men," said Heraclitus, " Pythagoras, 
the son of Mnesarchus, was the most assiduous inquirer." 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 359 

Finally, there is BO other branch of knowledge save 
chemistry that deals so extensively with number, or that 
identifies matter and number so closely together. To the 
chemist all things are number; what we call hydrogen, 
oxygen, -sulphur, iron, gold, are to him 1, 16, 32, 56, 196 ; 
and so on with every other element and with every known 
combination of elements, solid, fluid, and gaseous. 

Taking, then, their science, philosophy, and religious 
cult together, we arrive at a better meaning of what 
Aristotle alludes to when he regards the Pythagorean 
system as something which in its leading features charac- 
terised the school generally. Thus while their primary 
unit would represent the One true God in religion, it would 
also represent the oneness of abstract being in metaphysics, 
and the oneness of elementary being in chemistry. This 
is in .harmony with what Aristotle says when he refers to 
this unity as (1) the principium, (2) the essence, and (3) 
the element of all things, the divine unity being the first 
principle and cause ; and one, the first of all numbers and 
the element of all numbers, being the basis of existence, 
and when itself become possessed of extension, the element 
of all that possesses extension. Since the nature of the 
subject under discussion would decide the character of 
the units, no confusion would arise ; for while 9 would 
represent the digits to an arithmetical conclave, or the 
nonagon to a geometrical, it would represent the Muses to 
a poetical one, the orders of angels to a theological, or 
some element like Glucinum to a chemical. If not, then 
we must condemn our own methods, since outside of 
Infinity there is nothing which we do not divide, subdivide, 
and still further classify into orders expressly, into numbers 
tacitly. Animate beings, for instance, may be divided into 
(1) men, (2) animals, and (3) plants ; men are subdivided 
into (1) Caucasian, (2) Asiatic, (3) African, &c. ; and 
Caucasians are classified as (1) English, (2) French, (8) 
Germans, &c. In all these instances (1) will be repre- 
sentative respectively of man, Caucasian, or English, 
according as we are discussing animate being, race, or 



360 THE GODS OF OLD; 

nationality; and not only representative but identical so 
to speak, since often as not we allude to them as the first, 
the second, the third, &c. Thus what Aristotle said of the 
Pythagoreans, "they held things for numhers" is in a 
measure applicable to ourselves. 

In their philosophy they also appear to have gone back 
to the Chaos of Mythology, but instead of regarding this 
basal being in the line of simplicity, as Anaximander did, 
they, in conformity with their number method, viewed it 
as oneness ; and instead of using the a-neipov as a positive 
attribute of " the solitary one," they used it in the sense 
of " the indefinitely many " in opposition to " a definite 
plurality." Anaximander had taught that the primal 
principle of matter was that which was characterised by 
the extreme of simplicity, and had made use of this term 
TO a-neipoi' in connection therewith. Some claim that he 
applied it directly to his apx? or principle of being ; if so, 
it must have been in the sense of " unknowable, undistin- 
guishable, inexperienced, simple." Others assert that it 
was substance with determination, having a middle 
nature between the "water" and "air" principles of 
Thales and Anaximenes. Aristotle and Theophrastus say 
that it consisted of a mixture of unchangeable elements ; 
and more claim that Anaximander had left the nature of 
the aireipov undetermined. However the question may be 
decided, it is certain that the Ionic School had laid the 
foundation stone of being, and left it so for others to 
build upon and evolve the phenomenal from the abstract. 
The Pythagoreans took up the task. Change, to occur, 
should be a passing over from the abstract to the less 
abstract, from the simple to the less simple, from the one 
to the more than one. This passing over would embrace 
both matter and force, since action would of necessity 
include the acted on ; and while not the first cause of 
change, it was the direct result of the movement of the 
first cause. 

To this passing over, or becoming, as it is better known, 
the Pythagoreans gave the name of irepaivov ; to its opposite, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 36i 

the not-passing over or not-becoming, they applied the term 
avfipov ; and from the combination of these two all things 
are produced according to the words of Philolaus, " QVO-LS 
be fv T(S /CO'T^W apfjLoxQ') ef aireipcav re KOI TrepaivovTuv, nal 
oAos KOCTJUOS KOU TO. ev avra -rravra." "But from the not- 
becoming and the becoming is composed the essence in the 
Cosmos, and the entire Cosmos, and all the things therein." 
The sentence is a remarkable one, since it not only 
shadows out the next two mythological symbols, the JBther 
as (pva-is and the Hemera as oAos KO'O-JUOS, but also establishes 
the identity of the nepaivovTa and the d-n-ei/aa with Erebus 
and Nox, these latter being the immediate born of Chaos, 
and the parents of JSther and Hemera ; the irtpaivovra 
and aTTfLpa being the immediate born of the oneness, and 
(as Philolaus says) the parents of <t>va-i.s and the o\os KOO-^OS. 
This, coupled with the additional fact that the a^eipov is 
mentioned by Archytas as partaking of corporeity, removes 
this latter equally with the Trepawov from any parity or 
opposition with pure being, and leaves them as the becoming 
and riot-becoming, the antitheses of each other, as much 
so as are Erebus and Nox. For what is Erebus or 
Evolution but a passing over (-nfpaivca) from the simple to 
the less simple and from that to the complex, the more 
complex, and so on ? And what other antithesis has this 
except Dissolution or Nox ? The dark antithesis is older 
than the bright one, or, as the myth says, Nox is the eldest 
born of Chaos, for if, numerically speaking, the Chaos be 
one and Erebus a solid two, then must Nox be J, , ^, ^, 
-z, &c., or the countless parts between the two which, 
however far they depart from one number and approach 
the other, will still never quite make a whole one ; singly 
or totally there will be a residuum lacking in order to make 
unity; singly or totally they can never coalesce with the 
2 so as to make 3. Hence it is that Parmenides calls 
Chaos " the solitary one," Nox " the indefinitely many," 
and Erebus " the definite plurality ; " hence too it is that 
Heraclitus calls Chaos " the one," Erebus "the whole, the 
coalescing," and Nox "the not-whole, and not-coalescing." 



362 THE GODS OF OLD; 

As we can conceive evolution not only as a continuous 
becoming, but also as non-continuous, or as being evoluted 
to a certain point and then stationary, we have not far to 
go in order to find what is meant in a physico-metaphysical 
sense by the not-becoming. The ground is already broken 
for us in Mythology, since we find the aireipov taken 
altogether is Nox or Dissolution, and that the direipa are 
the offspring derived from her, such filmy fabrics of 
corporeity as destiny, responsibility, death, sleep, doubt, 
woe, 

"Or any other of that heavenly host 
Set down in cloudy throne to do the world some good." 

As positive and immanent as are the fractional parts 
between one and two, they run in goodly measure through 
the web of all existence, and yet are of themselves incapable 
of constituting actual existence. 

Thus, by gradual advance, was the knowledge of pre- 
Hesiodic days unravelled, tested, and approved. From 
the time that Thales started on the quest and that 
Ana.-xTma.ndeT had identified the simplicity of being with 
Chaos, a full century elapsed ere the Pythagoreans 
identified becoming and not-becoming with Erebus and 
Nox. But in symbolising the Deity as the One, and in 
representing the fundamental principle of matter as one, 
there was grave danger that, outside the Pythagorean 
circle, God and matter would be confounded with one 
another in the minds of men. There was also the appre- 
hension lest the cnreipov, instead of being relatively opposed 
to the irepaivov and signifying the not-becoming as the 
Pythagoreans intended would be construed as an opposi- 
tion of being, that is, as not-being or nothing. To combat 
such false notions was the endeavour of the next school, 
the Eleatic. 

Xenophanes. Flourished about 540 B.C. He maintained 
the unity of the Deity, and all his sayings savour as much 
of theology as of philosophy. The most important of 
these sayings are : " There is one God, greatest among 
gods and men, neither in shape nor in thought like unto 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 363 

mortals." " Prom earth all things are and to earth all 
things return." "From earth and water come all of us." 
" All things are matters of opinion. . . . That which I say 
is opinion like unto truth." 

Parmenides, Born 513 B.C. He is supposed by some 
to have been a disciple of Xenophanes, and by others of 
Pythagoras; and is spoken of with much respect by the 
philosophers of his own and subsequent times, so much 
so that a Parmenidean life became synonymous with a 
Pythagorean one for uprightness, truth, and virtue. He 
wrote a poem part of which has been lost which he 
divided into three parts, a Proem, Truth, and Opinion. 

Let us follow out the poetical conceit. 

Perplexed by the varieties and mutabilities of this 
fleeting world, and eager for true knowledge, he is con- 
ducted by the Heliadic virgins on the road from darkness 
to Light, to gates where the paths of Night and Day 
separate; that is, he comes in thought to J3ther where 
Nox and Hemera are separated by the barrier between the 
two. Dike, the law of being, unbolts the gates of the 
vinculum, and an unnamed goddess appears upon the 
threshold who tells him that he must study and write of 
all things, of the Truth which is certain, and of Opinion 
which is uncertain, yet valuable as a searcher after truth. 
" Look upward !" and she points towards Chaos. "Behold 
the truth of Being, being abstracted from its formal robes. 
Write what you see." And he wrote : One, simple, and 
indivisible is pure being, continuous, unchangeable, and 
indestructible ; object and subject, it is the solitary one of 
matter and thought; generated not, neither from being, 
for being cannot precede itself (save to the re-echoing 
hearing, ^x.' > l <ra ' a - KOV 'n) > nor from not-being, for such is 
inconceivable (save to the mentally blinded eye, aa-Koirov 
ojx/xa) , created it must have been. 

"Well hast thou written, philosopher, and well has 
the Ao'yos guided thee to a conclusion. And now look 
downwards on this other path, and write as best thou 
knowest." 



364 THE GODS OF OLD; 

And looking down upon all the generations below 
Hemera or Day, lie wrote in this wise : What I have 
already seen and written of is the one, the real, the 
knowahle, and the all- worthy of being known; and in this 
canon, ov Urm, jxij ov OVK lort, lies the Truth, and the sum 
total of the Truth. But what I now behold is no longer 
the one and simple, but the many and the multiform, the 
changeable and illusive, the all-appealing to my senses, 
the all-distracting to nay reason. So that in what I further 
write let no man place implicit credence, since my words 
are but opinion, and even golden opinion is but like unto 
the truth. 

The poet-philosopher goes on to show that the Aaijtuop 
or first of gods ( 8a7j//<oz>, "knowing," from 8auo, "to light 
up, to portion out," and hence the Plan of creation) 
devised Eros first, and after him the other gods. So long 
as the "solitary one" (Chaos or the ov) and the "in- 
definitely many " (Nox or the a-neipov of the Pythagoreans) 
are absolutely separated, determinate results cannot appear ; 
but when a "definite plurality" (Erebus or the Pythagorean 
nepaivov) is interpolated between the two, coalescence and 
consistency arise, and determinateness ensues. 

While he thus refers vaguely to the becoming and the 
not-becoming, he regards them neither in the light of first 
cause nor of principles, but rather as occupying a neutral 
state between the abstract and phenomenal. He lays down two 
primary forms (jj.op<f>ai) from which the phenomenal world 
appears (1) the ethereal fire of flame (<Ao'yoy aWepiov -nup), 
which is gentle, subtle, and homogeneous, the ^Ether of 
mythology or primal Light ; (2) the cold, dense, and heavy 
structure (5e'/xas) of darkness, the Hemera or Cosmos of 
mythology. Different writers refer to the two as heat and 
cold, fire and earth, but only by way of example and in 
allusion to the nature of light and the material frame of 
the universe. Parmenides looked upon the first as active, 
real, and animating ; and on the second as passive, unreal, 
and inert, and as only attaining reality when animated by 
the first. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 365 

The whole Cosmos is thus filled with light and darkness ; 
the opposing principles in the two are harmonised by 
Eros; of these two all things consist and by them are 
they characterised ; degrees of organisation are due to the 
different proportions in which they mingle; and what 
symmetrical composition does for each of the multifarious 
members of the animated kingdom, intelligence does for 
man, (us yap e/ca<rro) ?xet Kpacris jueAeaw TtO\vir\ayru>v, robs voos 
avdpu>7coi<ri) . While the consciousness and thought of the 
phenomenal world are to be deduced from the coalescence 
of the two primordial forms, this thought must be separated 
in a sense from the thought which is coincident with the ov 
or pure being. 

Finally, all intermingling of every kind between the two 
primary jj.op<pai is directed by the Aai/xwz>, or Plan, which 
reigns in the midst of all (ev 8e jueVw rovrtav bai^M f\ -navra. 
Kvfifpvq), and is the origin of fateful growth and combina- 
tion (crTvyepoio TOKOV KCU fj.i^ios apxh)- 

Zeno. Born 488 B.C. The jouj ov, not-being or nothing, 
which Parmenides had contemptuously dismissed with the 
denial not alone of its parity with the ov, but of affirmation 
in general, seemed worthy of more attention to his pupil 
Zeno. He established the nullity of the MI) ov beyond a 
doubt, and in no small degree through a series of ingenious 
paradoxes, Achilles and the tortoise for instance, so in- 
genious as to make Plato call him the Eleatic Palamedes. 
To assume that they were a source of perplexity to the 
brain that contrived them is absurd; they were evidently 
intended to emphasise his master's words as regards the 
futility of assuming not-being or of putting it 011 a par 
with being, by showing how plausible to " the re-echoing 
hearing " and to " the careless eye " statements can be 
made involving the infinitely divisible and the infinitely 
great, space and magnitude, the deception of the senses, 
motion and rest. 

Heraclitus. Flourished about 513 B.C. Though it would 
appear as if the Chaos had been viewed in all its aspects 
by the Eleatic and preceding schools, there was still 



366 THE GODS OF OLD; 

another phase pertaining thereto which suggested itself to 
Heraclitus as a basis for his philosophy. If this Chaos, he 
reasoned, be what its derivation implies, the x a of all, the 
holder and releaser, source and refuge, the " salve " and 
"vale " of all things, then mustBeing be conceived as an end- 
less chain, a continuous flax and change from the one to the 
many, and from the many to the one. He thus recognises 
the Eleafcic ov, but with him it is an ov actuated from the 
beginning by a mythological Eros a very flux (pe'os) in 
name that is (as Hesiod mentions) /caAAioros and Xuo-t/xeA^s, 
"harmonious and relaxing" at the same time, by a condi- 
tion or tone possessed of agreement or accord and of 
disagreement or discord. 

Hence it happens that all becoming must be the result 
of one in its opposite , determinations, or of Eros agreeing 
to disagree with itself. " The one," says Heraclitus, 
" setting itself at variance with itself, harmonises with 
itself, like the harmony of the bow and viol." " Strife is 
the father of things," is another of his sayings ; and still 
another, showing how all things come from and again 
return to Chaos through the medium of evolution (Erebus), 
of dissolution (Nox), and of the harmonious-discordant 
Eros that pervades all, runs thus : " Unite the whole and 
the not-whole, the coalescing and the not-coalescing, the 
harmonious and the discordant, and thus we have the one 
becoming from the all, and the all from the one." 

It is his so-called principle of Fire that distinguishes 
the Heraclitic philosophy from preceding schools ; and an 
attentive perusal of his doctrine leaves little doubt but 
that this principle is the mythological .ZEther or primeval 
Light. 

In the first place he states that this Fire is the complete 
embodiment of the process of becoming ; and as the 
Pythagorean Philolaus has already said that the product 
of the not-becoming and the becoming is the essence 
(Averts) in the Cosmos and the entire Cosmos, this Fire and 
essence must be identical. But the product of the not- 
becoming and the becoming, or of Nox and Erebus, is 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 367 

2Ether and 'Hemera, and this ^Ether has been shown to 
be symbolical of primeval Light the one most subtle and 
imponderable substance that, as lumen and lux, appeals to 
mental and sensible vision, and which Ovid, with the same 
feelings as Heraclitus, has described as fire : 

"Ignea convex! vis et sine pondere cceli 
Emicuit." 

As the first possible sensuous principle of being, then, the 
remark of Aristotle is significant, namely, that Heraclitus 
selected fire in the same way that Thales selected water, 
and Anaximenes air. Bemembering that Light was the 
work of the First Day, that the simplest form of stellar 
bodies is luminous gas out of which are evolved by conden- 
sation the stars, our sun, the planets, and our earth, and 
that while this luminous gas is the first manifestation of 
phenomenal matter in the heavens it is extinguished when 
the elements are fully differentiated and a crust is formed, 
remembering these points we shall have a better conception 
of the philosopher's own words when he describes this 
Fire as the principle of existence, out of which all things 
grow by way of a quasi-condensation, " a clear, light fluid, 
self-kindled and self-extinguished." He marks the nebulous 
phase of matter by saying that Fire assumes the shape of 
water previous to that of earth ; and he distinctly affirms 
that the manifold is due to hindrances of this Fire and to 
its partial extinction, the extreme product of such being 
our earth. This Fire it is that pervades, inheres in, and 
constitutes the ground of all phenomena, life included. It 
manifests itself in different forms, is ever passing into new 
forms, and is the essential factor in keeping up a state 
of continual flux or change. Still there are periods of 
possible repose, for, as the descending lightning meets 
the upward heat, and order again succeeds the temporary 
resolution of matter into elemental rest, we are told how 
harmony occasionally results from the downward motion 
of eome part of the fire encountering the upward motion 
of another part, and how this quasi rest is the result not of 
accident but of law and order. Outside this quasi rest the 



368 THE GODS OF OLD; 

totality of things is in an eternal flow. In the heavens 
there is no rest : nebulas are breaking up, star dust is 
condensing, the so-called fixed stars are all in motion, and 
planets whirl round a sun which itself is not at rest. On 
earth there is no rest : the waters are ever descending and 
ascending in circles of distillation and evaporation ; the air 
is unceasingly kept in motion by rarefaction and condensa- 
tion, by winds and storms, by tides and currents of its 
own ; the land is ever being swallowed by the sea, and the 
sea is in turn robbed of its domain by land. Among 
living forms there is no rest : their constituent atoms are 
continuously combining, separating, and again combining 
into new arrangements during life, they are, and they are 
not ; and death affords no end to the cycle of change. 
" The creation of a plant," says Dana, " was the simul- 
taneous institution of life and death the establishment of 
an incoming and outgoing stream to be in constant flow 
as long as the kingdoms of life should last." Somewhat 
the same thought was uttered ages ago by Heraclitus : 
" Into the same stream we descend, and at the same time 
we do not descend : we are, and also we are not. For into 
the same stream we cannot possibly descend twice, since it 
is always scattering and collecting itself again, or rather 
it at the same time flows to us and from us." 

Empedocles. Flourished about 444 B.C. But, said 
Ernpedocles, following out the train of thought suggested 
by Heraclitus, if this Chaos be the holder and releaser of 
all things, it must have contained within it from the first, 
though undistinguishable and motionless, the independent 
and unalterable materials of all matter, the four radical 
forms of phenomenal being (rea-a-apa T&V -navrtov pL^nara) , 
that is, the solid, fluid, gaseous, and the ethereal or fiery. 
Nothing new outside of these four root forms can flow 
from or back to the solitary ov ; in their aggregation 
and segregation lie the processes of growth, increase, and 
decrease; and the organic structure of plants as well as 
the flesh, blood, bones and nervous structure of animals 
varies with the different proportions in which the four 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 369 

combine with one another. Since their nature is thus one, 
and all are links of the one chain, plants and animals 
are possessed of their own measures of sense and under- 
standing. In man alone does the mind culminate, and in 
him is its peculiar seat; but even in man the mind, as 
dependent on and intermingled with the body, varies with 
its changing conditions. 

The active agencies of Empedocles, though two in 
number, are essentially the same as that of Heraclitus, 
the only difference being that the accord and discord of 
Eros are considered as original entities independent of 
each other, and not as manifestations of one and the same 
fundamental power. These two are called by different 
names, probably to denote the various stages of evolution 
when they became prominent. The first, for instance, is 
called 4>Xtrj, 4>iAor7js, 'Ap/xoz>fy, and Sropy^, that is, Love 
or Agreement, A.mnity, Union, and Affection; the second 
is styled Netxos, &rjpis, and KOTOS, that is, Disagreement, 
Division, and Disaffection. 

Originally, runs the Ernpedoclean narrative, (one in which 
are readily traced the workings of such world-making forces 
as condensation, contraction, and division), the four roots 
of matter and the two potentials co-existed as a mighty 
sphere in which all six were absolutely un distinguishable 
from each other, and in a state of complete rest. This 
condition prevailed while Agreement predominated and 
while Disagreement was inactive. But as the latter grew 
more influential, it commenced to display increased energy 
until, from "guarding the extreme ends of the sphere," it 
gradually pressed from the circumference to the centre and 
broke the bonds which had hitherto rendered the four 
radicals alike and motionless. These latter, separated by 
one potential, were again united by the other ; and through 
a series of such combinations and divisions arose the 
phenomenal world. While strange forms of organic being 
appeared at first, they did not continue long, permanence 
for any considerable length of time being obtained only by 
those structures whose parts were properly adapted to each 
G.O. B B 



370 THE GODS OF OLD; 

other in conformity with the original Plan for Empedocles 
also alludes to the Aafawv, -which passes through all nature, 
nowhere finding a home, as also to periodical changes in 
the formation of the world. 

Democritus. Born 460 B.C. As Thales and Anaximenes 
may have been led to their primordia by supposing that 
the first substance evoluted to appearance in our universe 
was the base of all, so may Democritus have been guided 
to his theory ; but, instead of taking an individual Titan 
like Oceanus, he took the children of Gsea as a whole, and 
abstracting magnitude from these molecules he formed the 
conception of indivisible atoms as the basis of all being. 
His doctrine runs thus : 

All that exists, both physical and mental, is derived 
from the Fulness (TO nXijOos), the Void (TO KSVOV), and 
'Aixiy/c??. The fulness consists of atoms which are un- 
changeable, indivisible, impenetrable, infinite in number, 
capable of extension, homogeneous as to quality, diverse as 
to form (and to density, according to some writers), and 
the ultimate material of all matter and of all mind. The 
void is the space intervals between the atoms, which keeps 
them, separate and impenetrable ; and this void must be 
considered as possessed of being, equally with the atoms. 
""AvdyK-r] is the principle, co-eternal with the fulness and 
the void, whereby the atoms were originally enabled to 
come together and combine in various ways : this motive 
principle is called T^- 

Apparently new though this Atomistic doctrine may 
sound, it is but the myth over again, and the myth in 
its simplest rendition. The void or TO KCVOV is evidently 
the x oy > both terms being equally linked with x" /w " to 
gape"; the fulness or atoms is the abstraction of the 
Titans born of Gsea; and the avayar] is again the Eros, 
the former being the aorist form of $e/>o> just as Eros is 
the present. So that when Hesiod declares that Chaos 
(formless being) was first, and in it were Gsea (matter) and 
Eros (force), Democritus repeats the self-same assertion by 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 371 

saying that the void was first, and in it were the fulness 
and &vdyi<r]. 

The vulgar idea of " chance "is as inapplicable to rvx? 
as is " necessity " to avayKt] ; and Democritus himself 
expressly says that the common acceptation of chance is 
but an apology for one's own want of knowledge (-npoQaa-Lv 
i8t'r;s avoids), and the invention of those who are too 
indolent to think. His TV-XT], related as it is to Tvyxavco, 
" to happen," and to its cognate rev^a), " to prepare, to 
construct," is more likely to be the uncognisable reason for 
all happening, and would thus have reference to the Plan 
of Creation in its inscrutable workings. Beyond the idea 
involved in this Plan or rv^n there is no beginning, say the 
Atomists, for a beginning of the Infinite is inconceivable. 

The philosophy goes on to state how the four radical 
forms of Empedocles are produced by the preponderating 
attraction of similar atoms, and how real combinations 
arise wherein the atoms still continue to be separated from 
one another by the void, that is, by pores. Sensuous 
perception is due to there being given off in all directions 
from external objects images (et&&>A.a) which enter the 
organs of sense. The soul, the origin of life, consciousness, 
and thought are derived from the finest and most spherical 
of the ethereal or fire atoms. All human knowledge is 
uncertain ; that from the senses is obscure, and that from 
mere reason is darkened owing to the soul's admixture 
with the body. A purer and higher knowledge is the 
thought directed not to the phenomenal but to the be- 
ginning of things. 

Anaxagoras. Born 500 B.C. His cosmology is as 
follows : 

Tii the beginning was the vovs ; co-eternal with it were the 
seeds of all things that have been and now are, endless in 
number, infinitesimal in size, and contained in a Chaotic 
mass where the homogeneous and heterogeneous were 
inextricably mixed and un distinguishable from each other. 
The segregation and summation of these constituent parts 
into such totals as solid, fluid, gaseous, and 

B B 2 



372 THE GODS OF OLD; 

ethereal, was the work of vovs, and was so accomplished 
that every object in nature is still more or less of a 
mixture, and is what it is only through a preponderance 
of certain original homogeneous elements. . This vovs, 
Anaxagoras tells us, was not the creator of matter. 
Co-eternal with the Chaotic seeds, it, the vovs, was most 
subtle and refined, cognoscent in itself and the principle 
of all cognition, and stood apart from all things, pure and 
independent, until its first appearance as manifested 
rotatory motion in the mass. 

Much of this, so similar to the Atomistic doctrine as to 
suggest that Democritus borrowed from it in part, has 
evident reference to the myth, the Chaotic ojuoio/ie/nj of the 
one writer representing the Chaos and Gasa of the Theogony, 
just as did the void and fulness of the other. It was in 
regard to the Eros which was also in the Chaos that the 
two philosophers differed. 

To Democritus it was Force, avayKii, and the derivative 
of (f>epta ; to Anaxagoras it was Mind, the Eeason, vovs, 
and the derivative of epo/j-ai, "to inquire, to seek; " to one 
it was KciAAtoTos and Auo-t/xeA?/? ; to the other it was in 
addition that which 

irdvrcov re 6e&v iravrani T avQpanrani 
Sapvarai ev arifdeavi voov /cat em<f>pova f3ov\riv. 

To Democritus the mind was material, atoms of the 
fulness or Gsea, and dependent on force in order to 
manifest itself as an emanation, in its highest form 
(reason) of primeval light, in its lowest (sensation) of 
phenomenal objects; to Anaxagoras the mind was imma- 
.terial, an Eros purely distinct from Gsea, which manifested 
itself primarily as an Erebus or passing over of mind to 
matter so as to originate motion in the inert mass and 
give distinction to the homceomeric wholes, and subse- 
quently as a subtle agent working with design, ruling over 
life in all its forms, and enabling us to see the real truth 
and essence of things in opposition to the misleading 
conclusions of the senses. 

This passing over of Eros to Gsea seems to have been 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 373 

more or less well recognised by all the schools, even by 
those philosophers who, like Empedocles and the Atomists,. 
conceived it as but a change of place. Anaxagoras 
accepts it in its fulness, and defines Erebus and Nox more 
clearly when saying " we should name the becoming more 
correctly a combination, and the departing a separation." 

In orderly continuation of the symbols and the myth 
he tells how the division into warm Ether and cold mist 
(2Ether and the nebulous Hemera) first broke the spell ; 
how the misty nebula, with increasing cold, gave rise to 
water, earth, and stones ; how the seeds of life that floated 
in the air were washed down by the rain and produced 
vegetation; and how animals, man included, sprang from 
the warm and moist clay. 

The vovs was triumphant ! Whether exalted to sub- 
jectivity by the Sophists, or brought back to the objective 
by Socrates and his disciples, or confused with the Divinity 
by the -Stoics, the Eros of Mythology was henceforth 
recognised as the symbol of mental force. 

So far as the point which we contend for the close 
relation between the metaphysics of historic and pre- 
historic tunes is concerned, it is needless to follow the 
philosophies subsequent to the Anaxagorean. While they 
explained and amplified some tenets of their predecessors, 
and refuted others, they neither added to nor subtracted 
from the sum of the universals. Plato may have given us in 
his grand pre-existent Idea a glimpse of a higher universal, 
of a verbum mentis or Ao'yos similar to St. John's, that 
preceded and produced the chaotic Gsea and Eros ; but to 
do so he had to break through the pure metaphysical domain 
and encroach upon the theological. Aristotle made the 
" becoming " apparently more feasible by such tentacles as 
potentiality and actuality ; but even these failed to account 
satisfactorily for the increment of motion whereby the 
passive became active. The dialectic fray had raged for 
close on two centuries, and the battle had repeatedly 
shifted to and fro and back again from Being to Light and 
from Light to Being, taking in Force and the Becoming on 



370 THE GODS OF OLD; 

other in conformity with the original Plan for Empedocles 
also alludes to the Aaiju&w, which passes through all nature, 
nowhere finding a home, as also to periodical changes in 
the formation of the world. 

Democritus. Born 460 B.C. As Thales and Anaximenes 
may have been led to their primordia by supposing that 
the first substance evoluted to appearance in our universe 
was the base of all, so may Democritus have been guided 
to his theory; but, instead of taking an individual Titan 
like Oceaiius, he took the children of Gasa as a whole, and 
abstracting magnitude from these molecules he formed the 
conception of indivisible atoms as the basis of all being. 
His doctrine runs thus : 

All that exists, both physical and mental, is derived 
from the Fulness (TO 7r\ijdos), the Void (TO KCVOV), and 
'AvayKr]. The fulness consists of atoms which are un- 
changeable, indivisible, impenetrable, infinite in number, 
capable of extension, homogeneous as to quality, diverse as 
to form (and to density, according to some writers), and 
the ultimate material of all matter and of all mind. The 
void is the space intervals between the atoms, which keeps 
them separate and impenetrable; and this void must be 
considered as possessed of being, equally with the atoms. 
""Ava-yKr] is the principle, co-eternal with the fulness and 
the void, whereby the atoms were originally enabled to 
come together and combine in various ways : this motive 
principle is called Tvxn- 

Apparently new though this Atomistic doctrine may 
sound, it is but the myth over again, and the myth in 
its simplest rendition. The void or TO KCVOV is evidently 
the yaos, both terms being equally linked with x a ' w " to 
gape " ; the fulness or atoms is the abstraction of the 
Titans born of Gsea; and the avaynrj is again the Eros, 
the former being the aorist form of $epo> just as Eros is 
the present. So that when Hesiod declares that Chaos 
(formless being) was first, and in it were Gaea (matter) and 
Eros (force), Democritus repeats the self-same assertion by 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 371 

saying that the void was first, and in it were the fulness 
and &vdyKY], 

The vulgar idea of " chance " is as inapplicable to rvxn 
as is " necessity " to wayKrj ; and Democritus himself 
expressly says that the common acceptation of chance is 
but an apology for one's own want of knowledge (npofyaa-iv 
18675 avoi-rjs), and the invention of those who are too 
indolent to think. His TV\T], related as it is to Tvyxavo, 
" to happen," and to its cognate rei^co, " to prepare, to 
construct," is more likely to be the uncognisable reason for 
all happening, and would thus have reference to the Plan 
of Creation in its inscrutable workings. Beyond the idea 
involved in this Plan or rvxn there is no beginning, say the 
Atomists, for a beginning of the Infinite is inconceivable. 

The philosophy goes on to state how the four radical 
forms of Empedocles are produced by the preponderating 
attraction of similar atoms, and how real combinations 
arise wherein the atoms still continue to be separated from 
one another by the void, that is, by pores. Sensuous 
perception is due to there being given off in all directions 
from external objects images (etScoAa) which enter the 
organs of sense. The soul, the origin of life, consciousness, 
and thought are derived from the finest and most spherical 
of the ethereal or fire atoms. All human knowledge is 
uncertain ; that from the senses is obscure, and that from 
mere reason is darkened owing to the soul's admixture 
with the body. A purer and higher knowledge is the 
thought directed not to the phenomenal but to the be- 
ginning of things. 

Anaxagoras. Born 500 B.C. His cosmology is as 
follows : 

In the beginning was the vovs co-eternal with it were the 
seeds of all things that have been and now are, endless in 
number, infinitesimal in size, and contained in a Chaotic 
mass where the homogeneous and heterogeneous were 
inextricably mixed and undistinguishable from each other. 
The segregation and summation of these constituent parts 
?}) into such totals as solid, fluid, gaseous, and 

B B 2 



372 THE GODS OF OLD; 

ethereal, was the work of vovs, and was so accomplished 
that every object in nature is still more or less of a 
mixture, and is what it is only through a preponderance 
of certain original homogeneous elements. This vovs, 
Anaxagoras tells us, was not the creator of matter. 
Co-eternal with the Chaotic seeds, it, the vovs, was most 
subtle and refined, cognoscent in itself and the principle 
of all cognition, and stood apart from all things, pure and 
independent, until its first appearance as manifested 
rotatory motion in the mass. 

Much of this, so similar to the Atomistic doctrine as to 
suggest that Democritus borrowed from it in part, has 
evident reference to the myth, the Chaotic 6/ioiojue^ of the 
one writer representing the Chaos and Gsea of the Theogony, 
just as did the void and fulness of the other. It was in 
regard to the Eros which was also in the Chaos that the 
two philosophers differed. 

To Democritus it was Force, avayiai, and the derivative 
of </>e/>o> ; to Anaxagoras it was Mind, the Reason, vovs, 
and the derivative of epo/xai, "to inquire, to seek; " to one 
it was K&\\LOTOS and Aim/xeAv/s ; to the other it was in 
addition that which 

irdvrcov re Qeatv Trdvrtov T dvdpd>TT<ov 
bdp.va.Tai ev arq6e<rcn voov xai e7ri(f>pova (3ov\T)v. 

To Democritus the mind was material, atoms of the 
fulness or Gasa, and dependent on force in order to 
manifest itself as an emanation, in its highest form 
(reason) of primeval light, in its lowest (sensation) of 
phenomenal objects ; to Anaxagoras the mind was imma- 
.terial, an Eros purely distinct from Gsea, which manifested 
itself primarily as an Erebus or passing over of mind to 
matter so as to originate motion in the inert mass and 
give distinction to the homceomeric wholes, and subse- 
quently as a subtle agent working with design, ruling over 
life in all its forms, and enabling us to see the real truth 
and essence of things in opposition to the misleading 
conclusions of the senses. 

This passing over of Eros to Gsea seems to have been 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 373 

more or less well recognised by all the schools, even by 
those philosophers who, like Empedocles and the Atomists, 
conceived it as but a change of place. Anaxagoras 
accepts it in its fulness, and defines Erebus and Nox more 
clearly when saying " we should name the becoming more 
correctly a combination, and the departing a separation." 

In orderly continuation of the symbols and the myth 
he tells how the division into warm Ether and cold mist 
(JEther and the nebulous Hemera) first broke the spell ; 
how the misty nebula, with increasing cold, gave rise to 
water, earth, and stones ; how the seeds of life that floated 
in the air were washed down by the rain and produced 
vegetation ; and how animals, man included, sprang from 
the warm and moist clay. 

The vovs was triumphant ! Whether exalted to sub- 
jectivity by the Sophists, or brought back to the objective 
by Socrates and his disciples, or confused with the Divinity 
by the .Stoics, the Eros of Mythology was henceforth 
recognised as the symbol of mental force. 

So far as the point which we contend for the close 
relation between the metaphysics of historic and pre- 
historic tunes is concerned, it is needless to follow the 
philosophies subsequent to the Anaxagorean. While they 
explained and amplified some tenets of their predecessors, 
and refuted others, they neither added to nor subtracted 
from the sum of the universals. Plato may have given us in 
his grand pre-existent Idea a glimpse of a higher universal, 
of a verbum mentis or Aoyos similar to St. John's, that 
preceded and produced the chaotic Gsea and Eros ; but to 
do so he had to break through the pure metaphysical domain 
and encroach upon the theological. Aristotle made the 
" becoming " apparently more feasible by such tentacles as 
potentiality and actuality ; but even these failed to account 
satisfactorily for the increment of motion whereby the 
passive became active. The dialectic fray had raged for 
close on two centuries, and the battle had repeatedly 
shifted to and fro and back again from Being to Light and 
from Light to Being, taking in Force and the Becoming on 



374 THE GODS OF OLD; 

its way. But not one step beyond the two metaphysical 
goals did it go, and the final result was what ? That the 
keenest minds and the most subtle reasoning had found 
nothing which had not been thought of before, reasoned 
on before ; and that the sum and substance of all meta- 
physical conclusions had been crystallised by the unnamed 
and forgotten dead into this 

Oeoyowa. 



Xaos (raia, "Epos) 




Here at the head we find the opx 7 / an d * ne "> ^ e oneness, 
the deep whence being flows and ebbs, the unruffled 
mooring-ground of nature's radicals, the void ; and in this 
Chaos is the formless Gaea, that one abiding thing which 
lies at the basis of all matter and does not change, whether 
it be fluid, gaseous, earthy, ethereal, or a homogeneous 
combination of all four, or atomic fulness, or homoeomeric 
seeds ; and in this Chaos is also Eros, whom Heraclitus 
pictured as the hypotenuse to the sides, and Empedocles as 
the sides to the hypotenuse, whom Democritus called 
'AvayKr], and Anaxagoras proclaimed as the independent 

VOVS. 

Coming to the second link in the chain of being we find 
Erebus and Nox as the first result of mind passing over to 
matter ; this Erebus or continuous evolution that has been 
variously called the irepaivov, the definite plurality, the 
whole, the coalescing, the becoming, the metastasis of 
being, the combination of things ; and this Nox or dissolu- 
tion who, with her fateful brood, oscillates between the 
abstract and the concrete, who is absolutely at rest though 
relatively in motion, and who in contrast to Erebus has 
been styled the airelpov, the indefinitely many, the not- 
whole, the not-coalescing, the departing, the separation, 

And, lastly, in bold relief stands out the ^Bther which 
Philolaus calls " the essence in the Cosmos," the <j>v<rts 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 375 

derived from the aireipov and -nepaivov ; that greater Light 
to whose gates Parmenides was transported by the virgins 
of the sun, and which he described as " the ethereal fire of 
flame ; " that allotropic Fire which Heraclitus expounded 
scientifically as incandescent gas, metaphysically as the com- 
pletion of the becoming, and religiously as to use Milton's 
words " Holy Light ! bright effluence of bright essence 
increate." 

As a precis of metaphysics the symbols are unrivaled ; 
as a syllabus, they are without an equal ; and taking (as 
we may) the title <-oyovta, " the works of God," in con- 
nection with these symbols, the whole bears a curious 
resemblance to the Genesiac narrative when written thus : 
In tlie beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 

And the earth was without form, and void ; 



And the Spirit of God And darkness was 

moved upon the upon the face 

face of the waters. of the deep : 

/ ^ ' ^ 

And God said, Let there And God divided the light 

be light : and there was from the darkness. And 

light. And God saw the God called the light Day, 

light, that it was good : and the darkness he called 

Night: 
and the evening and the morning were the first day. 

So striking, indeed, is the likeness as to suggest some 
inner connection between the two, and to warrant the 
inquiry as to whether the Hesiodic outline was not derived 
from the older Scriptural, or the two from a pre-existing 
narrative of much greater antiquity. But this would open 
up another field of investigation, a large one too and most 
important, namely, the true religious belief of the philo- 
sophers and classic poets. Pagans they certainly were not, 
for they openly taught the existence of one Supreme Being, 
and many of them were daring enough to defy fines, 
imprisonment, exile, and even death, in endeavouring to 
throw a proper light upon the idols of the people. But, it 
is often asked, if they had cognisance of and belief in the 
Trinity and a Christ to come, why did they not exhibit it 



876 THE GODS OF OLD; 

in their writings ? Perhaps they did ; and the same words 
and symbols that struck the demotic ear and eye in one 
sense may have struck the initiated in another. The 
subject is an extensive one and we can only allude to it 
here ; but a few examples will best illustrate our meaning, 
and the possibility to which we refer. 

Ovid opens his Metamorphoses with the line 
Ante mare et terras et quod tegit omnia coelum. 

This, by transposition of the letters, becomes 

Ante Dexis coeluiu et terrain, atq'omnia ore tegit. 
" In the beginning God clothes heaven and earth and all 
things by his word." 

The Theogony begins thus : 

v Hroi fjifv irparrioTa Xao? yevtr 1 

Transposition alters it to 

Xpiords ya iroip.T]v r' A rt Q. re 

"Christ, indeed, the shepherd, is both the Alpha and the 
Omega." 

In the same fashion does the celebrated dictum of Par- 
menides, 

ov eaTi, p>T] ov owe toTi become TO fifiov K.tvr 'Itjirovs 
" Jesus is called the Lamb." 



Here is another, strikingly recalling the well-known 
in its relation to the initial letters of 'Ijjo-oSs Xpioro's, &eov 
vto's, o-wnjp. The triple interwoven triangle, or star-shaped 
pentagon, with the letters v, y, i, 9, a, at its prominent 
vertices, was used as a symbol or sign of 
t recognition by the Pythagoreans, and was 

generally called Pythagoras figura from 
having been referred to by Pythagoras 
himself in connection, it is supposed, with 
the oath of his sect. The figure, as being 
three in one, is very suggestive of the Unity and Trinity ; 
and the letters form the initials of 'Irjvovs, vlos tov, yeWo 
AX<f>a, " Jesus the Son of God, was the Alpha." 




AND THE STOET THAT THEY TELL. 377 



CHAPTEE VI. 

MIND. 

Prometheus It is observable how closely all the 

philosophies have associated the primordial Eros -with 
Light, and through this Light with human thought. 
Judged as a whole, the inert Eros would appear to be the 
active JEther which, when commingled with the phenomenal 
world, manifests itself agreeably to the conditions requisite 
for an allotted end. In the universe it exhibits its prepon- 
derating influence in the bringing forth of gravitation, 
figure, divisibility, and chemical energy, (Hecatoncheires 
and Cyclopes) ; and as these forces act according to fixed 
laws whereby the Cosmos is divided into systems, shaped 
as to figure and orbits, and bound together by mutual 
attraction, the universe is a rational whole, or, as 
mythology puts it, is possessed of an anima nmndi. 

Again, in the elementary construction of our globe, the 
Light would so impress itself on molecular matter as to 
give this latter an aptitude for actualising itself to the 
furthest point consistent with the purposes of earth as a 
whole, and with the nature of each individual kingdom in 
it. In this way Gsea would bring forth an lapetus who 
would in turn produce an Atlas and a Prometheus ; or, 
in other words, matter would bring forth a molecular 
aptitude whereby there would arise a rotating and re- 
volving oblate spheroid for the mass, and a mens or 
mind pervading the entire scene of elemental working, 
mineral, vegetable, and annual. In the mineral, the 
least porous of the three and hence the most obdurate 
to Light, the mental aptitude would display itself most 
prominently as impressibility, magnetism and electricity, 
" The magnet has a soul," said Thales of old ; and this 



378 THE GODS OF OLD; 

insouling of inorganic matter by the Lumen de Ccelo is 
being rendered more manifest and more general by the 
magnetic and electric discoveries of to-day. In organic 
bodies the Light finds a more open and congenial field, and 
one in which the chemical process is overcome by the 
living one. As a consequence the mental aptitude breaks 
forth as growth, propagation, and irritability in vegetables; 
advances to sensation, locomotion, and instinct in animals ; 
and culminates in man as thought or reason. Mineral 
being and human being are thus, as it were, the opposite 
poles of mind, and the Promethean spark which first lay 
stiffened, chained, and crystallised in the rock bursts forth 
ultimately and after a long series of gradations as the living, 
free, and conscious Ego. 

Modern philosophy arranges mind under four principal 
divisions, sensation, emotion, volition, and intellect. The 
last of these, embracing memory, reason, abstraction, 
judgment, imagination, &c., is the highest, the most 
evoluted form of mind, and was reserved for man, the 
most evoluted of animal beings. The other three he has 
in common with the members of the animated kingdom ; 
and being the last of created works, he may even be 
considered as having appropriated a modicum of fear, 
hunger, pleasure, desire, &c., from pre-existing beings. 
It was thus that Horace reasoned, when he wrote in 
Ode i. 16, 13. 

Fertur Prometheus, addere principi 
Limo coactus particulam undique 
Desectam, et insani leonis 
Vim stomacho apposuisse nostro. 

We have used the words " animated kingdom " instead 
of "animal kingdom" designedly, for just as we notice 
and speculate on the insensible gradation of the vegetable 
into the animal kingdom, and are inclined, almost com- 
pelled, to grant a certain degree of sensation, emotion, and 
volition to such plants as Venus's Fly-Trap, the Moth- 
Catching Plant, and to many others remarkable for their 
curious irritability and movements, so too did the later 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL 379 

writers add to existing mythology by describing Prometheus 
as assisting Zeus, or early vegetable life, in the war against 
the Titans, and as having Minerva, or organised being, 
for a staunch companion, the one celestial who appreciated 
his capabilities and aided him in his efforts to ascend 
from earth to heaven, from a lower to a higher sphere of 
existence. 

If irritability and movement be manifestations of mind, 
and it is generally conceded that they are, we cannot brush 
aside unceremoniously certain assertions made by philoso- 
phers, both ancient and modern. 

Darwin, for instance, maintained that plants are but 
inferior animals, and that they, or some of them, have a 
brain, a stomach, and a low form of sensation residing in 
the pith, the analogue of the spinal marrow of animals. 
Fanciful though it may sound, this doctrine is difficult 
to refute in some respects, and the difficulty is increased 
when in addition to irritability and spontaneous move- 
ments, we notice other unaccountable phenomena on the 
part of plant forms, how soil can change the colour of their 
flowers ; how sea-weeds in the depths of ocean, where light 
can have very little if any effect, are found nevertheless 
possessed of the most brilliant green and red tints ; how 
fragrant odours are given off from flowers, leaves, bark, 
etc., in a manner not yet explained, unless it be that, 
as some botanists profess, fragrance is but the excrernen- 
titious matter thrown off by the living plant ; how they 
differ in taste, how they evolve heat, luminosity, electricity ; 
and many other equally curious phenomena. 

If such considerations influenced Darwin to extend the 
sphere of mind to vegetable life, we cannot scoff at the 
extension of it to the earth itself, which as a whole is 
notably possessed of irritability and movement. 

If those last-named qualities be a form of mind, no 
matter how low, then our Earth, the Fata TreAwpr;, by right 
of its diurnal and annual movements, of secular subsidence 
and upheaval, of earthquake shocks and volcanic outbreaks, 
can lay claim to a something higher than mere inertness. 



380 THE GODS OF OLD; 

There is room for reflection in the following : " Plato, the 
Stoics, Kepler and others, have considered the globe itself 
as possessed of vital faculties. According to them, a vital 
fluid circulates in it ; a process of assimilation goes 011 in 
it, as well as in animated bodies ; every particle of it is 
alive ; it possesses instinct and volition, even to the most 
elementary molecules, which attract and repel each other 
according to sympathies and antipathies. Each kind of 
mineral has the power of converting immense masses into 
its own nature, as we convert our food into flesh and blood. 
The mountains are the respiratory organs of the globe, 
and the schists its organs of secretion ; it is by these latter 
that it decomposes the waters of the sea, in order to pro- 
duce the matter ejected by volcanoes. The veins are 
caseous sores, abscesses of the mineral kingdom ; and the 
metals are products of rottenness and disease." Cuvier. 

But leaving these conceptions, partly allegorical and 
wholly true in a scientific sense, we find mind restricted, 
as a rule, to animated beings, presumed of in the vegetable, 
acceded to in the animal, and universally acknowledged 
in man. 

The association of Zeus, Minerva, and Prometheus is 
very close, as noticed in the myths, and requires some 
explanation. Life, as we have seen, made its first ap- 
pearance in the most primitive of fashions, in the mold 
and mildew and thousand other fungous forms . that, while 
possessed of animation, could lay no valid claim to 
organism. But as Life progressed and gained the benefi- 
cence of moisture for partner, and when it had absorbed 
that partner as Zeus swallowed the Oceanid Metis the 
foundation for a better vegetation was laid and the rudi- 
ments of organic structure commenced to. breed in the 
highest existing living type, in the head of Zeus. Organic 
structure is almost as wonderful as life itself. We trace it 
back to a single cell, but there are forced to stop. Yet 
within this cell we know that development is going on, 
that changes of some nature are working which tend to 
alter the nature of the cell that pains are racking the 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 381 

liead of Zeus. But for a space no results are visible. 
.Zeus cannot deliver himself, and is forced to send for a 
Prometheus to split his head, the cell would for ever 
remain a cell and life be for ever unicellular and thallo- 
genous of the lowest type, were it not that some noumenon 
eomes along to split the cell in two. This division is all 
sufficient, for segmentation once begun organism appears. 
The reign of the fungous dynasty is ended, and a higher 
race of plants endowed with organic structure and with 
ehlorophyl to give colour to the parts, springs into life: 
Minerva, y\avK&mi Athene, springs forth fully armed and 
equipped from the head of father Zeus. 
Claudian's remark is suggestive : 

Auratos Khodiis imbres, nascente Minerva, 
Induxisse Jovem ferunt. 

Was it in return for those services as accoucher 
that organised existence arrayed itself on the side of 
Prometheus? And did the irritability and spontaneous 
movements of arly mind conceive an attachment, as 
the myths hint, for the emerald-eyed (ehlorophyl forbids 
writing " blue-eyed ") Minerva ? We cannot doubt it. 
From the first, organic force has ever been in close 
sympathy with the evolutions of the mind, has kept 
apace with it from the almost structureless amoebus to 
the highly structured man, has evolved organ after organ 
to meet the requirements of an increased intelligence, has 
been, as it were, a Minerva, or \>iv vevpa, the very ties, or 
fibres, or nerves, whereby all matter is rendered organised. 

One thing is evident, that organic being led the way 
when once upon a time, after the sun became a personage, 
says Mythology; on the Fifth Day, says Genesis, and the 
coincidence is. noteworthy, Mind girt up its loins and, 
lighting its torch from solar heat, brought intelligence and 
animals to earth. 

A noble achievement surely, and one that gained a name 
and fame for Prometheus. Hitherto he had been styled 
7ToiKiA.os and .cuoA.dp7rt$ ; but when he evolved the faculties 
that distinguish the animal from the vegetable, song, 



382 THE GODS OF OLD; 

grateful song which has ever hymned and lauded the 
glorious actions of the great, bestowed upon him the well- 
deserved titles of ayKuA.o/x7jr?7S and TrouaXo'jSouAos. And he 
deserved them. Change its forms and colours and crafty 
movements as it may, a plant is still a plant. Be it lowly 
moss or giant oak, daisy modest or blooming rose, morning- 
glory or night-blooming cereus, there is that visibly lacking 
which renders it inferior far to the meanest protozoan in 
existence. This something is nerve structure. In the most 
conplex and curiously-developed plant we fail to find a 
nervous system visible : in all the forms of animal life its 
presence is assured, is allowed, even though it be not so 
far detected in those animalcules that occupy the border 
ground between the two animated kingdoms. 

It was Mind, then, the mind which" had possibly so 
much to do with the pith of life, and which progressively 
accommodates itself to being, it was this mind that 
appropriated or stole for the nervous structure fashioned 
by Minerva that measure of intelligence without which 
no animal could have its being, no man his existence, 
and without which, consequently, artificial fire would be 
unknown, whether we regard the same as the product of 
quick combustion or as the fire of knowledge. 

" Having concealed it in a narthex " is the way in which 
Mythology describes the fire as brought from heaven. We 
have solved one of the two unknown quantities : let us 
substitute its value in seeking for the other. "Having 
concealed the nervous structure in a ?" The reader is 
almost prepared to give the answer. The nerves of 
animals are given off from collections of gray matter called 
nervous centres or ganglia, which are distributed in various 
parts of the frame, and symmetrically, according to the 
type upon which the animal is built. In all cases the 
ganglion is but a repository or case of the nervous filaments, 
and this is the vapdrig of the myth, the vevpov STJK?;, or 
" repository of the nerves." It is well to note in confirma- 
tion of the derivation that certain Greek physicians called 
their treatises on medicine vapOrjKfs or vapOrJKia, that is, "on 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 38S 

nervous diseases " ; and that the Greek schoolmaster's rod 
or cane was also styled vapdrjg, showing the opinion, it may 
be, that the early classical pedagogues entertained about 
brain and a birch rod ! 

"Unknown to Zeus did he take it." There is a good 
deal of suggestiveness in the \d6pq At'os of the prose writer 
and the \a0wv Aia Tepmitepavvov of the poet. The theft 
which Prometheus committed was of huge dimensions and 
brought many new and strange subjects under the control 
of Life. Though, to follow .ZEschylus, the Titans had still 
to be subdued on the courts of Thessaly, Zeus was fast 
becoming a power in the land, was acknowledged as war- 
lord by the Olympians, and ruled with absolute sway over 
his vegetable kingdom, such as it was. He must have 
consequently regarded with surprise and suspicion the new 
accessions to his ranks, headed as they were by one whose 
mental capabilities he dreaded and of whose real allegiance 
he was very doubtful. Life was ever the evpvo-jra Zevs, 
and though he may have despised the ragged crowd of 
Protozoans that Prometheus brought forward to help him 
on to victory, his keen glance must have detected the subtle 
difference between them and his own vegetative followers, 
may have even pierced the veil of centuries and observed 
that though Infusoria occupied one end of this new chain 
of being, the other end was held by Man and Eeason. If 
so, however, he held his peace till the Titanomachia was 
fought and won. 

And then he acted. "Why should this new race be 
forced upon him? He wanted no imperium in imperio, 
and yet he had to accept it. He had never asked for a 
new order of being." The old leaven, inherited from his 
sire and grandsire, was breaking out! "He had toiled 
and moiled, and he bore many a scar, mementoes of the 
well-fought fray : all he desired now was peace and rest 
and the nectar and ambrosia that make life pleasant. Why 
could not this upstart son of an expedient father have 
remained quiet then, and instead of foraging gray matter 
from the sources of Helios, be satisfied with the pith 



384 THE GODS OF OLD; 

already provided? Pith and gray matter ^irresponsibility 
&nd responsibility. Besponsibility for Zeus ! A thing 
undreamt of up to this! 'Tis rank rebellion! Let its 
author be crucified ! " 

And so the fiat was issued. Prometheus was bound and 
nailed to a rock, there to suffer for many ages, during all of 
which an eagle devoured by day the lobes of his liver that 
grew again by night. 

"Within the brain's most secret cells, 
A certain lord chief justice dwells, 
Of sovereign power, whom one and all, 
With common voice we Eeason call." 

Churchill. 

Zeas must have noted well those ganglia from the first. 
It was not the fish or bird or beast that he dreaded, 
but what he saw reflected in the depths, the " sovereign 
power of reason." It was Intellect and Will that Life saw 
in those "most secret cells," and it was for this intellect 
and will that Mind was chained and tortured and bound to 
a rock. It was the same intellect and will that helped it 
to defy the tyranny of Life and to endure its sufferings. 

When Man appeared upon the globe, Intellect was 
unloosed. As each geological formation has been formed 
from the preceding, that from the one before, and so on, it 
follows that the rocky crust which the primitive man trod 
upon was part and parcel of the first permanent covering 
that ever settled over the central fire of earth. To this 
rock, whether Glacial or Eecent, that was held in the grasp 
.of the primeval granite, was Mind attached with indis- 
soluble bonds ; and no more fitting agent could there be 
for forging and fastening its chains than Vulcan, the raging 
heat of centre and surface and air above that prevailed in 
those days of old, heat that forbade man's being, heat 
that nothing but the principle of Mind and its most pristine 
forms could withstand. 

To this granite was he bound, and thence he watched 
and was watched by the march of centuries. The spread 
.of Centuries! The flight of Ages! What is this but 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 385 

"the Eagle with wide extended wings" of the Myth? 
What is aUros but ata Iroy, "the times of Earth," "the 
years," and atero's e$e7jra/xei>os but " the flying years," and 
aiero's Tavv-nrepos but " the long spread of flying years," or 
" the flight of Centuries " ? 

The classical metaphor has its modern simile, as seen in 
the lines of Bishop King : 

"Like to the falling of a star ; 
Or as the flights of eagles are ; 
Even such is man, whose horrowed light 
Is straight called in and paid to-night." 

From this Eock of Ages did the Mind observe the living 
tide roll on. It saw the granite and the gneiss, the red 
gneiss and the gray, interstratified with schists and 
serpentine and graphitic limestone, forming in rude and 
massive beds during the long Archaic Day. And ever 
through that Day were the forces of disintegration at work, 
gnawing and rending the rocky surface and destroying bit 
by bit what had been built up : and ever during the flight 
of Archasan time was the watching Mind tortured by the 
eagle of destruction. It came, " the destruction that 
wasteth at noonday," with wings expanded and talons 
sharp, and flecked the rocks with the life juice and remains 
of animal existences. Strange and lowly though they 
may have been, unkenned by mortal eye, if we exclude the 
Eozoon, they represented Mind. Even if we suppose them 
as possessed of but the merest rudiments of a nervous 
system, still they represented Mind. It may have been 
this inferiority, as well as the inferiority of all animals to 
man, that made Mythology particularise the liver of 
Prometheus as the eagle's prey. The liver is an organ 
supplied in common with the other abdominal viscera by 
the solar plexus of the sympathetic, and receives but a 
few filaments from the brain and spinal cord : it is con- 
sequently endowed with much less movement and sensibility 
than if it were supplied from the cerebro-spinal system, 
and the consciousness and will have no immediate control 
over it. 

a.o. c c 



386 THE GODS OF OLD; 

But the Night came, the Night that ended and succeeded 
the Archaean Day, the Night of whose workings Geology 
knows so little save the results that followed and that it 
lasted for a vast interval of time. Shall we use Brandon's 
words of it ? 

"Who can express the horror of that night, 
"When darkness lent his robes to monster fear ? 
And heaven's black mantle banishing the light 
Made everything in ugly form appear ? " 

Or Bowring's ? 

" The night comes calmly forth, 
Bringing sweet rest upon the -wings of even : 
The golden wain rolls round the silent north, 
And earth is slumbering 'neath the smiles of heaven." 

In whatever form it came and however long it lasted, 
light broke at last and gave to the cohort of the ages 
another Day, the Silurian Day, that had the Cambrian 
for its dawn. And lo ! the granite, gneiss, and schists 
that had been destroyed by disintegration, have come forth 
from the workings of the Night, fresh and recuperated, as 
slates and grits, as sandstone, limestone, shales and 
conglomerates. And lo ! the fauna that had been de- 
voured by the granite-born eagle for the monstrous bird 
was sprung from Echidna, and her we have already 
identified with the granite appear in the more evoluted 
shapes of protozoan sponges and graptolites ; of radiated 
Cystideans, Crinoids, Starfishes, and Corals ; of molluscous 
Brachiopods and Lamellibranchs, Pteropods, Gasteropods, 
and Cephalopods ; and of the articulated Annelides, jEnto- 
mostraca, Phyllopods, and Trilobites. The lobes of the 
chained one's liver had grown in very truth, and grown in 
all directions, "TO b' ae^ero Icrov airavrr] micros." But with 
the Day came disintegration's agencies again, and once 
more the Mind heard the dreadful whirring of Life's 
destroying bird, once more was witness of the carnage 
that water, air, and storm, that rain and lightning and 
natural decay, that pestilence and brute force and cunning 
made among its own creations : once more did the eagle 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 387 

devour the lobes and cause the rocks to weep with Prome- 
thean gore. 
Again 

" In sable pomp, with, all her starry train, 
The Night resumed her throne." 

It may have brought strength and rest and comfort to 
the rock-bound Mind, but its inmost fibres were intelli- 
gential and, though knowing well the torments that were 
in store, it must have longed for the coming Day and the 
offspring it would bring. It came, the glorious Devonian 
Day ! with its shales and flags, its mottled limestones and 
its red, red sandstones. It came, and though it retained 
the feudal lords of the preceding age, the aristocratic 
Cephalopod, the Orthoceratous viking, and the wonderful- 
eyed Trilobite, it brought that with it which ended for ever 
the dynasty of the Mollusk, it brought a vertebrated being. 
Surely Mind must have sent up a paean when it beheld 
the Coccosteus and Ptericthys, the Asterolepis and Cepha- 
laspis, disporting in the waters and clad with coat of mail 
that cunning armourer of to-day could never fashion ! 
What though they were but fish ! They had a jointed 
skeleton, a spinal column, and a brain. What mattered 
it if tortures hitherto unknown racked the whole Prome- 
thean frame when the eagle came, true to its tune and 
mission, and clawed and pecked the liver rendered now 
more sensitive by the pneumogastric and the phrenic? 
The Man within the Mind was stirred for the first time 
from his long, long lethargy. 

And thus the precession of the Ages went marching on. 
Through the Carboniferous, Triassic, Jurassic, and Creta- 
ceous, through the Eocene, Miocene, and Pliocene, on it 
went, Day following Night and Night the Day ; Day 
bringing disintegration and dissolution ; Night, recon- 
struction and evolution. The liver was still the eagle's 
prey by Day, but it ever grew through Night, and ever in 
all directions. It evoluted in the Eadiates, the Mollusks, 
and Articulates ; it evoluted in the Vertebrates, bringing to 
life the fish, the reptile, the bird, and, last of all, the 

c c 2 



388 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Mammal. And now once more within the Mind was Man 
stirred up from the deep sleep that had succeeded 
lethargy. Henceforward he but slumbered, for the end 
was nearing. 

The myth tells us how the end occurred : how Hercules, 
having killed the eagle, freed Prometheus from his bonds 
with the consent of Zeus who thus permitted Hercules to 
obtain greater renown than ever. 

There came a Day when the rocky surface . of our globe 
was fitted for the highest order of terrestrial being. There 
surely came a Day when Man roamed at large upon .those 
rocks. On that Day was Mind unfolded to its furthest 
capabilities ; and Prometheus, freed from the chains 
the irritability and movement, sensations and emotions, 
instinct and volition, from the all that was common to 
animated being shook off the last shackle that enfettered 
him, and casting it off gave Eeason to the world, and with 
that reason, Immortality, the gift of Chiron, as the myth 
relates. 

" And this was done with the consent of Zeus," OVK de'/c?? 
ZT)VOS, as Hesiod tells us. By this time Life had conquered 
all his foes, had grown older and more experienced, more 
cognisant of his own power and less alarmed at the advent 
of a new being. He had seen the gradual procession of 
plant and animal forms that occupied in turn the sea, 
the land, the air, and felt that he had received as much 
obeisance from the lepidodendron as from the mushroom, 
from the ichthyosaurus as from the sponge. And as in 
the past, so was it now. Here were those lately arrived 
exogens, the oak, the maple, the elm, and the plane ; and 
here were the mammoth and the horse, the leviathan and 
the seal, the dodo and the singing bird. Did they fail 
aught in obedience and respect for Zeus ? Not a whit ; on 
the contrary, the finer they grew in fibre and the more 
evoluted in structure, the more did they seem to cling to 
life. How, then, would it be with this rational idea of 
Prometheus, if set free? Would its corporeal possessor 
cling to life, or would the ethereal indweller urge him to 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 389 

draw distinctions and incline his aspirations to the older 
gods, to 2Ether and the Eros? Even so, it was only 
through and by means of life that the thing of clay could 
see the light here or hereafter. Let Man come then. What 
had Zeus to fear ? If this vitalised clay clung slavishly to 
life, it was nought to Zeus ; if this human being worked 
loyally for life, it would redound to both ; if this Man 
aspired to Light and Love, to jJEther and Eros, then man 
should work during life's pleasure with fear and trembling. 
Let him come, and with no niggard greeting, to the ban- 
queting house of Life. The ox, the sheep, and the wild 
goat would welcome his presence ; roses and lilies would 
strew his path ; the fig tree would give him shade, and the 
vine would glad his heart. Man could add nought save 
reason to the wondrous works of life. 

Still another reason for Life's not being unwilling was 
that the marvellous results of earth's great movements 
in the past might be manifested, or, as the myth says, 
that the renown of Hercules might be greater than before : 

bfpp 'HpcueAijos QT)j3ayfveos K\fos tii] 
irXeiov eT fj rojrdpoidfv ewi xdova 



Long since had the Titans been sealed down ; later on 
the Giants had been buried in the Phlegrsean fields ; and 
Typhoeus himself could now be heard groaning beneath the 
2Etnean pile. During all these centuries had earth been 
storing its gold and silver and precious stones, its wells of 
oil, its salt and gypsum, marble, coal, iron, and metal ore 
of all kinds ; and as yet there had been no creature worthy 
to receive the key or capable of unlocking the treasure 
chambers. Now too were the continents developing their 
outlines to the full, and the seas and oceans lapping their 
proper bounds ; now were the rivers racing from mountain 
heights to the plains and thence to ocean, and now were 
the rocks covered with a most fertile soil. Earth and life 
were alike ready for the Man, and prepared to give him of 
their best in return for the single jewel which he claimed 
as birthright. 



390 THE GODS OF OLD ; 

When was Prometheus delivered ? When did Man make 
his first appearance on our globe? The answer to one 
question will be the answer to the other. The myth is 
apparently as indefinite to the precise date as is the science 
of our day, but it distinctly points to post-tertiary tune. 
The Tenth Labour has already been identified with the 
Tertiary period, and it was during the latter part of 
the Eleventh Labour (fetching the golden apples of the 
Hesperides), that Hercules delivered Prometheus. 

Such are the main outlines of this most strange and 
interesting of the myths, which, owing to its subject- 
matter, has been variously treated and added to by poet 
and philosopher. 

Hesiod's own account runs thus : 



S' dXtiKTOTreSflcri JIpop.rjdea 

.pya\foi<ri [ifo~ov 

Kal ol ETT" alerov S>po-e Tavtmrepov avrap oy 1 
rjaBifV a6a.va.TOV, TO 8' deero lo~ov airdvrrj 
5 WKTOS, S<rov irpoirav r/^ap eSoi TawmTrrepos opvis. 

TOV fifV ap\ ' A\K[ITIVT]S KahXlO-(f>llpOV ci\Klp.OS VIOS 

'HpaKXe^s eKTfive, Kaxfjv S' aTTO vovaov aXaX/cei' 
lairenoviSrj, KCU eXucraro o'vo~(ppoo~vvd<ov, 
OVK deKTjTi Zrjvbs 'Q\vp,Triov ir 
10 3<f>p' 'HpaK\7Jos Qr/^ayeve 

jrXeloi' eT f] Toirdpoidev em x66va irov\vj36Teipa.v. 

TOVTOV ap a6p.fvos Ti'/ta apiBeiKfTov vlov' 

KaiTrep ^ojo/xevo? iravdr] ^oXov ov irplv e^ea-Kev, 

ovveK 1 EpieTo jSovXas v7Tfpp.fve'i K.povia>vt. Tlieog. 521. 

Prometheus too, the versatile, lie held 

In durance vile half driven through the rock 

With bonds most irksome ; and against him urged 

An eagle with a stretch of wing immense, 

That on his deathless liver gorged its fill ; 

And what the bird the live-long day devoured 

As much by night in all directions grew. 

Yet even so its end was brought to pass 

By the well-curved Alcmene's forceful son, 

By Hercules who saved the Titan- born 

Prom evil plight and freed "hfm from his cares, 

Olympus-ruling Zeus demurring not, 

So that still greater might the glorious call 

Of Hercules, the vigorous born, be 

Than ere before upon prolific earth. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 391 

With such regard this son renowned he loves ; 
Though still disturbed he lulled the rage first felt, 
For that he urged free-will on lordly Zeus. 

NOTES. 

8 ftv<r<$>pocrova<m> " from, irrationality," since 8vo-<ppa>v, like &<ppa>v, 
signifies ""without intelligence, without reason." In the same 
way does A.pollodorus describe the event, 2. 5. 11. 10. Kai TOV 
HpofurjOea eXvtre, 8eer/i6i' eXo/iei/os TOV Tys fXatas, " and removing 
the shackle of irrationality, he freed Prometheus," e\aias 
being the Ionic form of dXai'as, for dXato? as well as 8v<r(pp<ov are 
employed by .ZEschylus in the same sense as a(ppa>v. 
10 6j7/3ayei>oy. fjftr) ytvto, the 6 merely standing for the spiritus asper, 
as in 6afj.d for dfpz. Hercules was born of vigour (Alcmene, 
oXxq /j.evos), and wedded after death to Hebe, the goddess of 
youth and vigour. 

13 Ka'mep xaopevos. Volcanic and seismic disturbances, elevation and 

subsidence of the land, and other changes affecting life did not 
cease with the coming of man ; they are occurring even to-day. 
But they are minor in their way, and neither in intensity nor 
in range do they approach the vast disturbances of former ages. 

14 /3ovXas. Eree-will, to be such, implies tivo -wills ; this is denoted 

in the text by the plural |3ovAas. 

The fiov\ai or Free-will leads up immediately to the 
episode at Mekone, thus pointing to the conclusion that 
this incident is connected with the Fall in Eden when 
man's wills clashed with each other for the first time. The 
poet writes with a license all his own. He goes hack to 
the dim and musty venue of philosophy when the abstract 
was passing over to the phenomenal, and to this transition 
stage of heing he applies the term MTJKCOI'T/ or Not-coming 
Oxjj T]K(av). In this Not-coming, where destiny, death, 
responsibility, and all the other offspring of the Darkness 
play so prominent a part, he depicts the great event that 
was to be, and the personages. Life and Mind are passing 
from the solitary 6V, are assuming a shadowy existence, 
and already there commences the struggle between the 
two for the forerunner of the human race, whom the 
poet calls a mighty ox (p.iyav fiovv), just as 2Eschylus uses 
rijs /3o6s TOV ravpov in reference to Clytemnestra and 
Agamemnon. Here, then, in the shadow of being as it 



392 THE GODS OF OLD; 

were, with all the attributes and surroundings of an after 
period, do " immortalised things of sense " prognosticate the 
future. 

Let us try, as best may be, to follow distributively the 
poet in his conception. 

There is conjured from the deep a time, a scene, and a 
garden fair to view, where Mind shapes forth the future. 
Here is the glory of his Maker, that [>.iya.v fiovv in whom 
Mind and Life are united to the fullest and the noblest 
extent ; here too, Tenderness personified and " fair as the 
first that fell of womankind " is the pleasing abstract of 
this exquisite connexion ; and here in this garden of the 
world are fleshes of all kind, of fish, of fowl, of beast, 
are the inwards of our globe, marble, coal, and metal ore, 
gold, silver, and precious stones, crusted with the fatty clay, 
and some bulging from the surface, others deep in the 
bowels of the earth. All these, with dominion, were for 
Life and Life's partner ; but for Life's own self was she 
reserved who had been taken from his bones and built by ' 
hands divine- 

Kat yap or' eKpivovro deal dvrjTOi T' av9pa>7roi 

TAr]Ka>V7], ivr' eireira peyw f3ovv irpo<f>povi Bvfup 

8a<r<ra/iej'os npovBrjK.e, Ator voov eaira<pia-Kcov. 

rots fiev yap trapKas Tf Kal eyKara irtova 

lv piva KareSrjKe, Ka\v^as yaarpl /3o 

TU> 8' aur' oorea Xevxa jSoor 80X17; ri 

tvderiaras KareStjitf, KaAvi/ras dpyen 8r)/jLcp. Theog. 535-541. 
For once in the Not-becoming, when that gods 
And mortal men. -were being appraised, he shaped 
A mighty creature whom with prudent thought 
He had disjoined to tempt the mind of Zeus. 
For them it was the fleshes he had placed, 
For them the inwards juiced with fat he hid 
Within the crust, within the depths of earth ; 
For him to boot the creature's naked bones 
He placed and fitted in a cunning way, 
And covered over with all-shining fat. 

Life awoke and came unto his own. For all too short 
a period did he enjoy the wealth of nature, feeling that 
life and mind were one, and that she, the soft, the tender, 
and mature, was another self. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 393 

But there came a day when all this happy unity was 
sundered, when the tender -neitcov stood below the salt and 
appealed to Life, an apple in her hand. With inhorn 
intuition did he know that a crisis had arrived, that his 
choice should be made, that this heaven on earth was 
lost. From one to the other did he look, from the feast of 
reason and the flow of soul to her his likeness, help, and 
heart's desire. How glorious one ? How vied with it the 
other ? Which must he choose ? Must ? Could he not, 
then, choose the -nt-nav ? The additional pang marked 
already the one on whom his thought was centred. Yes ; 
the /3ouAai battling in his breast made him now for the first 
time fully conscious of the marvellous gift inherent in him 
for good or ill ; and so strange are the ways of life that in 
all his pain and anguish he smiled wanly at the new-felt 
power within his mind for option and defiance. 

Sij Tore [iiv Trpoo-teMre irarfip dv8pa>v Tf 6ea>v rf 

'laireTioidrj, Trdvrcav aptSeiKer' dvdienav, 
3> ireirov, a>s eTfpo^fjhas 8ieSacro-ao poipas. 

Qs cpdro KepTopetov Zfi/s afpOira p.r)8ea el8a>s, 
TOV 8' avre irpocreeiire Jlpo^devs dyKvXoprjTrjs, 
TJK fmp.eidr](ras, o\ir)s d' ov \rj6ero Te^vrjs' 

Zev (cvStcrre, jieytore 6fSiv aleiyeverdcav, 
r>v8' e\ev 6irrroTepr)v ere evl (ppecrl 6v[ibs avayet. 

&TJ pa do\o<ppovea>v. 542-550. 

Soliloquised the sire of gods and men : 

" apt-born mind, the honoured of all thrones ! 

O being soft, so tender and mature ! 

How vieing each with each hast made the shares ! " 

In anguished accents thus did Zeus commune, 

The Zeus who knew the never-changing plans. 

But then spoke him the subtle Mind, and smiled 

A little, mindful of the nice deceit : 

" Most noble Zeus, of gods immortal chief, 

Take which of these the spirit prompts in soul." 

So spoke the tempter. 

Life could not plead ignorance. Better, far better than 
any of his seed did he know the Cosmos and its plans, and 
the nature of the things around him. But yesterday had 
he given names to living creatures, to the cattle, fowl, and 



394 THE GODS OF OLD; 



beast, yea, to that last and tearful -n^^v now before him, 
and that which he called each was its name. 

Life could not plead ignorance. The apple offered by 
the irro>i> recalled the high behest, " Thou shall not eat 
of it." 

Life could not plead ignorance. In his ears there rang 
the words, "In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt 
surely die." 

And yet, though reason pointed to wisdom and dominion, 
and memory to rectitude and divine love, and imagination 
to the loss of these, to countless ills and death for all his 
kind, he made his choice and, for better for worse, took 
that which was but a fair veneer, an outward show, a 
veritable XCVKOV aA.ei<|>a. 

Zeiis 8' atpQira /iqSea eiS&s 

yva> p ovb' Tjyvoirjfre 86\ov' xaxa S' orrcrero 6v[i> 
6vr)Tois avdpatiroKri, TO. KOI reXeeer&u e^tfXXe. 
Xeptr! 8' oy ap.(pOTeprj(nv avelXero \VKOV aXfi(f)a. 550-553. 

But the Zeus who knew 
The plans immutable knew too the snare 
And ignorance could not plead ; in mind he saw 
The ills for mankind, that they were to be ; 
And yet he clasped a beauty formed to fade. 

Eepentance came. The lightning, cold, and driving 
rain, the wild beast's roar, the thorns and thistles of the 
earth, the daily toil and sweat for bread, and the sorrowful 
pangs of labour were constant reminders how deceitful is 
favour, how vain is beauty, and how hard is transgression's 
path. In many ways did bitter grief fasten in the heart of 
Life and darkness in his understanding ; but most of all 
when that for which he erred proved but skin-deep. For 
as time rolled on with its routine of work and duty, the 
beauty of the ireinov faded ; " assaulted every hour by 
creeping minutes of defacing time," the suppleness and 
symmetry were lost, the skin grew shrivelled, and the bony 
framework told a sorrowful story. And gazing on her was 
the Life who loved her still and murmured the pet name of 
yore, the Life around whose own head the cloud of age 
and death was gathering fast, and who, loyal to the last, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 395 

made no reproach save this, " How long, Lord, how long 
wilt thou remember our iniquities ! " 

XOHraro de (ppevaf ap<j>l, ^oXoy 5e jj.iv iiceTO 6v/J.6v, 

tor Idev oerrea \evKa /3oo? 80X117 eiri Tf)(VTj, 

etc TOV 8' aGavarouriv liri %6ov\ (pSX' av9payira>v 

Katovcr' oorea \evKa Ovrjevrtav em fta>fj.5>v. 

TOV 8e fiey' o)(dij<ras irpo<re(j)Tj ifecj)f\7]ytpfTa Ztvr 

'laTrfTioviBrj, iravrutv irepi p.fj8ea el$d>s, 
& mnov, OVK Spa irto SoX/iys eireXriflfo Textnjs. 

*fls (paro ^ojo^tei/os Zeis 1 a(f)8iTa ftjjSea eiScis. 554-561. 

But gloom his mind and bitterness his heart 

Possessed when he the creature's nice-planned tones 

Distinctly saw. Hence is it that the race 

Of men on earth consume with fire hare bones 

Upon the smoking altars of the gods. 

And sore at heart communed cloud-gathering Zeus : 

" apt-born mind, that knew the plans of all ! 

tender heart ! Not ever then may be 

Forgetfulness of the deceitful way ! " 

Thus sad spoke Zeus who knew the changeless plans. 

The conclusion is brief, pointed, and only too true ; for 
that which we have is no longer the -nvpos jue'vos axa/^ciroto 
" the not-to-be-worked-for " or immediate intelligence that 
Adam had. At best it is but a knowledge of things, gained 
only by years of study and experience, and liable, too liable 
to err. 

EK TOVTOV $17 eTrara, SoXou fiepvr)ij.vos alet, 
OVK eSidov p.e\eouri irvpos p,evos aKapdroio 
dvrjTols av6pa>irois, ot eiri %6ov\ vaieraovo'iv. 562-564. 

And hence, rememb'ring ever his deceit, 
He did not give the strength of fire instinct 
To ill-starred mortals dwelling on the earth. 



396 THE GODS OF OLD ; 



CHAPTEE YII. 

THE MEASURE AND THE FOIL OP MIND. 

Epimetheus. The question of sex enters largely into life, 
the first and broadest distinction of animated forms being 
that of male and female ; and as the former preceded the 
latter in the ease of human beings, it is not irrational to 
suppose the same priority for the male in all other life 
forms, plants as well as animals. 

In the animal kingdom there is, as a rule, an individua- 
tion of the sexes, the exception being said to exist in the 
case of such hermaphrodites as the snail, tapeworm, and 
some others of a low order. In the vegetable kingdom we 
find instances of individuation when the male and female 
flowers are on separate plants, as in the screw-pine, willow, 
mistletoe, and other Dicecia ; but in all the Phaenogams or 
flowering plants outside this class, the male and female 
organs are found upon one and the same root. In the 
Cryptogams or lowest order of vegetation there are no 
flowers, spores take the place of true seeds, and as 
we descend the scale to mold, mildew, rust, and other 
microscopic fungi, the difficulty in distinguishing sex and 
the mode of reproduction correspondingly increases. The 
same difficulty, it may be observed, exists in the case of 
Infusoria and of Zoophytes in general. 

In the Phsenogams the flower is the generative apparatus, 
since from it come the fruit and seeds. It consists of the 
calyx, corolla, stamens, and pistil. The latter two are the 
sexual organs of the plant, and round them are the calyx 
and corolla which are termed the floral envelopes. The 
calyx is the external leafy covering, usually green, and 
divided into segments or sepals, like the fingers of a hand. 
Grasped in these sepals is the corolla, brilliant with colour 
and surrounding all the inner parts like a veil. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 39T 

Within the beautiful corolla, and extending from base 
to apex of it are several slender filaments or stamens, 
bearing upon their extremities the male organs or anthers, 
which are mitre-shaped and consist of two small mem- 
branous sacs that contain the pollen or fertilising dust. 
The pistil, or female organ of fructification, is the most 
central of all, and is made up of three parts, (1) the 
ovary, which lies at the base and contains the ovules or 
rudimentary germs ; (2) the style, or filamentous part, 
which is not so essential as the others, and is sometimes 
wanting, as in the pine ; and (3) the stigma, or head of 
the pistil, which is cloven, vascular, destitute of epidermis, 
and, formed as it is of the everted inner surface of the 
pistil itself, is thus the analogue of the vagina in animals. 

The process of generation is simple. The anthers, when 
mature, open their valves and discharge the pollen upon 
the stigma, the papillary or hair-like cells of which are 
ready to retain it ; the pollen penetrates downward through 
the loose tissue of the style, when such exists, and finally 
reaches the ovary where, coming in contact with the ovules, 
an embryo is produced that ultimately ripens into a perfect 
seed, the parent of a new plant similar to the old one. 

It is this sexual structure and function of a plant, 
simple and well-known as it is, that forms the groundwork 
for the myth which introduces Pandora and Epimetheus. 
It comes in quick succession to the Mekonian era when 
Zeus saw, as in a glass darkly, the phantoms rising from 
the mists of time, and was so little pleased with what he 
saw that he preferred an independent existence, such as he 
had, to any combination with Prometheus leading up to 
disobedience mad and to woes innumerable for life. 

And yet, resumes Hesiod, this same Life was eventually 
enticed by the soothing ways of Mind to enter into partner- 
ship. When? While later poets bring Helios into the 
myth and thus limit the date either to the Fourth Genesiac 
Day with a higher order of plant life, or to the Fifth Day 
with animal life, Hesiod makes no mention of the sun, and 
shows plainly by his narrative that mind and life were 



398 THE GODS OF OLD; 

first associated with vegetable forms, aud almost from the 
beginning that is, from the Third Scriptural Day when 
" The earth brought forth grass and herb yielding seed 
after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was 
in itself, after his kind." 

What form or mode of existence Life had previous to 
his union with Mind is not known, there must have been 
many such between the abstract and the phenomenal, 
but when the compact tvas entered into, Life, whether 
pulsating on the earth or (as the poet suggests) high above 
(u\lnfipep.fTr]v) as a germinal revolving mass, must have been 
doubly vivified, stung to the inmost recesses of his being, 
and roused to new activity by the advent of an intelligent 
partner. 

And when the new firm of Life, Mind, and Co. this 
last being a personage useful only in name, and changed 
from tune to time as business interests demanded, came 
into being, there must have appeared a Protophyte with as 
much right and title to " the lord of creation " as his 
antitype Adam had in after ages. "Why not ? He looked 
around this new world of earth, and all that he saw was 
nought but water, clay, and air. In him alone were life 
and mind. He was Zeus ; he was Prometheus ; he was 
the first of mortals. For him mortality had as yet no 
sinister meaning, and his vegetative soul sent up an 
appropriate anthem to the Maker. It was a joyful song ; 
but still there was a minor note of sorrow running through 
it, for the solitude was hard to bear. In creation's span 
there was no helpmate fit for the Protophyte, and he 
wished for one. The wish was granted; and then appeared 
in the world's mart the first of female kind, the close 
resemblance of the Kronos-born Protophyte in all save sex, 
the Pandora of her class, and his own particular Eve, who 
shared his life and occupied his thoughts to the exclusion of 
other subjects. 

The original myth runs thus : 

dXXd fuv fcnra.TT](rev evs Trots 'Icrareroib, 
KAe ij^ar aKafj-droio irvpbs rrjKeffKcnrov aiiyjjv 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 399 



ev KotXcp vdp&rjKi' SaKev 8e e vet&Bi 

Zfjv' v^i8pe[j.Tr]V, e^oXtocre Se p.iv (pikov 
5 <us 10 ev av6pa>Trouri Trvpos Trj\tcrKOTrov avyr/v. 

airriKa 8 dvrl irupbs revev KUKOV dvOpwiroun, 

yaajs yap <ri;/MrXa(rcre irepiK\vrbs ' Apfpryvfieis 

trapdeva 0180117 'ineXov Kpovi'&eo) Sta Bov\ds. 

fSire Se Kal Kotrfj-rjo'e dea y\avKanris 'A.6r)vr] 
10 dpyvfper) ecr6rfTi. KaraKpr)6ev fie 

SatSaX/ijj/, ^ei'pe(7(7t Kareo-^e^e, Gavjia 

d/J.(pl 8e 01 OTt<pdvovs, veodrj\eas avdetr 

1/j.eprovs T firedjjice Kaprjari IlaXAar 'A0qvrj' 

dp.(f)l 8e ol crretpdvrjv xpvtrerjv KefpaXrjfpiv tB 
15 rf)v avrbs Troirjtre irepueXwos 'Afi(piyvi)eit, 

d<rKT]<ras TraXa/i^trt, ^aptfo^tei/os Ait Trarpi. 

tTf S' evt Sai'SaXa ?roXXa rrrev^aro, 6a\j}ia l^ 

KviSaX', o<r' rjireipos TroXXa rpe(pei fjde OdXturcra- 

T>V oye TroXX' evedrjKe, (xdpis S' aTreXd/iTrero 
20 6avfid(ria, O>OI<TLV eoiKora <pa>vr)f(r<riv- 

Avrap emtSti Tev^e KaXov KUKOV dvr dyadolo, 

edyay' evda jrep aXXoi e<rav 6eoi rj8' avBpamoi 

(cder/iG) dyaXXo/tei'Tjv yXavKeoTriSos oppifioirdrprjs. 

6avfia S' c^' ddavaTovs re Beovs 6vi)Toiis T' dvBpamovs, 
25 cos ctSoi' SoXov alurvv, dfj,f))(a.vov dvBpanfoia'iv. THeog. 565-589. 

But this, lapet's clever son disguised, 
Wio Lid instinctive fire's far-seeing light 
Within a hollow narthex. To the quick 
In soul it stung Trim, high-pulsating Zeus ; 
And pain spasmodic racked his inmost core 
When fire's far-seeing light in men he knew. 
Then he with expedition swift prepared 
An ill for men, a rival of the fire : 
For at his wish the far-famed demiurge 
Moulded of clay, with maiden grace attached, 
A close resemblance of the Kronos-born. 
Then did Minerva, bright-eyed goddess, gird 
And deck her with a garment finest spun : 
Grasped in her hands she held a wondrous veil 
Checkered with colours, circumambient : 
Around her too Pallas Minerva placed 
Crowns newly budding with the summer's bloom, 
All yearning for her head with sweet desire ; 
And round her placed for head a circlet rare 
Penned by the far-famed demiurge himself, 
And moulded palmate, father Zeus to please. 
In her own self had ovules strange been made, 
Wondrous to see, innumerable as 
The earth's expanse and ocean wide support. 



400 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Many of these lie also stored away, 
"Wondrous, befitting life endowed with, sound, 
And from them grace in goodly measure beamed. 

But when this beauteous ill-for-good he framed, 
Then to the world where others, gods and men, 
Abode, he led this prided in of her, 
The bright-eyed daughter of a mighty sire ; 
And mortals frail, and gods immortal too 
Were seized with wonder, gazing on the lure 
Enchanting, irresistible to men. 

NOTES. 

1 oXXd. The oXXa shows that something different from what was 

said before is now introduced. 

juv. The strength of intelligential fire (Trupbs pe'vos d*:a/naroto), 
already alluded to, was so disguised as to be suitable for 
nature's simplest animated kingdom, the vegetable. 

5 ev dvGpanroun. That is, when life first felt in its vegetable being 

the intelligential fire, (even though disguised or weakened), that 
men were to possess in full. 

6 avrl " opposed to, rivaling." 

7 yairp (rvfnr\a<ro-f. " And the earth brought forth grass." 

Gen. i. 12. 

'A.fi.<piyvT)fis. Homer describes Vulcan as lame from birth ; other 
writers ascribe this lameness to his having been hurled from 
heaven by Zeus. The epithet d^iyinjew, (d/u^i yuios), " doubly 
lame, or lame in both feet," applied to Tirm in consequence is 
simply indicative of the fact that incandescence for earth was 
born with the germs of decay, and that the innate light and 
heat of our orb are crippled in comparison with what they once 
were. 

It is only as an epithet, however, that the term is used for 
Vulcan. The true ' Apfayvfieis has a birth anterior to the 
crippled son of Zeus, or to Zeus himself, and must be con- 
sidered as synonymous with the mythological .ZEther, with 
that "Essence in the Cosmos," "ethereal fire of flame," 
" Fire," or primeval Light, alluded to so often in the Greek 
philosophies as that from which all the members of the 
phenomenal world are derived. The derivation, apffti yvlov, 
"all-limbed, membered all around," supports this interpreta- 
tion ; so also does the Latin equivalent, Mulciler, which 
signifies "the director of matter ; " (vXrj /cv/3epi>aco, the /* being 
euphonic) ; and so do such phrases as mundi fabricator, and 
opifex rerum, used by Ovid in his description of the formation 
of the universe, Metamorphoses, lines 57 and 79. 

The 'AfL<ryuqetff bears to the Creator the same relation that 
the opus formations does to the opus creationis. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 401 



8 Kptw'&eco. That is, the protophyte ; for he was " born in time." 

9 'Adrjvrj. The plant, once moulded by the fabricator, is developed 

by Minerva or organic structure, who gives colour (yXavKaans) to 
animated nature. 
10 apywperj (dpyos v<paivca), " fine-spun." 

" Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil 
not, neither do they spin ; and yet I say unto you, that even 
Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." 

Matt. vi. 28, 29. 

KoraKp^dev. The most important parts of the plant are now 
described, and may be compared with the cut, the portion 
to the right repre- 
senting the male 
and female organs, 
that to the left, the 
floral envelopes. 
Ka\inrrpr)v. The co- 
rolla, grasped in 
the hands (^e/peo-trt) 

or sepals of the C N 

calyx. 

12 <rrf(pdvovs. The 
mitre-shaped an- 
thers, swelling with 
pollen, and sur- 
rounding the head 
or stigma (Kaplan) 
of the pistil. 

14 aT(f>dvTjv. The stigma, which is club-shaped or palmate in 
appearance. 

17 777 8' eVi. In the ovary. 

18 Ki/a>8aX'. The ovules ; either from their being " motile and 

turgid" (KU/EQJ oiSoXe'or) ; or because they are the "well-known 
evidences " (yvS> 8j;Ao'a>) of our origin. 

In his Deucalion and Pyrrha, Ovid calls these ovules 
" documenba," in the concluding line : 

" Et documenta damus, qua simus origine nati." 

19 T&V TrdAX' evedrjKf. The ovules of beasts, birds, and fishes, all of 

which were to appear in their own time. 

23 dyoXXo/j.ei'Tji'. The female is the last and proudest effort of organic 
structure. 

' ' fairest of creation, last and best 

Of all God's works." Milton. 
25 SoXov aarvv 

" For beauty is the bait which, with delight, 
Doth man allure, for to enlarge his kind ; 
G.O. D D 




a, a. Stamens, -with anthers, b, c, d. Pistil, with 
stigma (b), style (c), and ovary (d). e. Caliz, 
with sepals. /. Corolla. 



402 THE GODS OF OLD ; 

Beauty, the burning lamp of heaven's light, 
Darting her beams into each feeble mind, 
Against whose power nor god nor man can find 

Defence." Spenser. 

As it was with, the Protophyte, so was it with the first 
of every new species of plant and animal that appeared 
upon the earth. Since each one had a previous existence 
as a male being, and an after existence when he wished for 
and received the female of his kind, his history consisted in 
brief of a prologue and an epilogue, and he necessarily 
figured in it as a Prometheus and an Epimetheus. Inlthe 
human being there was no exception to the great design, 
since man was formed first, the greatest Prometheus of 
them all ; nor to the general result, for then came woman. 

It is in his " Works and Days " that^Hesiod'dwells upon 
the Epimethean phase of man's existence, and his ^descrip- 
tion of creation's animated last is as terse and graphic as 
that of the first of female sex. He goes back to the point 
of leaving off the first partnership between the two 
immortals. 

Entangled as he was time and again in the meshes of 
Prometheus, Zeus avenged himself to the full. If Mind 
introduced him to a third party, Life accepted the new 
member and allowed him to participate in the general 
business for a time. In this way appeared the Protophyte 
and the Mushroom, the Calamite and Lepidodendron, the 
gigantic Fern, and many another of pith and moment in 
their day; in this way too came the Protozoon and the 
Eozoon, the Orthoceras and Trilobite, the mailed Pterich- 
thys, the Pterodactyl, Dinotherium, Mastodon, and count- 
less others of high repute in the world's exchange. 

But niany-kinded as they were, and numerous as they 
were, and whether they ploughed the sea or drummed the 
land for a living, a day came for each when Life grew 
surfeited with affluence, irritated with the connection, and 
disturbed in spirit. As he could not sunder altogether the 
compact between himself and Mind, he revenged himself 
upon the third party, and retired the obnoxious individuals, 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 403 

one after another, to the cold oblivion of the ocean's depths. 
With every geological subsidence were the flora and fauna 
of centuries destroyed ; with every such cataclysm was the 
fire concealed, not alone the intelligential fire of these 
animated beings, but also the central fire of our globe that 
was hidden more and more by the crust which the lifeless 
bodies of these beings helped in no small degree to 
thicken. 

There came another day, however, when the heaven was 
blue and the sun shone bright and clear, a Post-tertiary 
Day when Prometheus, stealing again the fire, or the last 
consignment of the fire, brought Zeus face to face with a 
new partner who called himself Man. Did Life expect 
him through the fulness of prefiguration ? The Greek 
poet does not think so, for he says that man's advent was 
hidden from thunder- loving Zeus (XaOvv Aia Tepirue'paiwoi;) , 
that is, from existing plants and animals with whose and 
for whose vital workings the rain clouds gather which 
bring on the thunder. Was man but an evolution of some 
pre-existent mammal ? The poet again says " No ; " for 
not from Life in any concrete form did man come, but 
from self-counselling, self - communing, or abstract life 
(Aios Trdpa priTioevTos) and it is well to note that /^rtoets is 
but the adjective form of MTIS, and that this is w TLS, " not 
something, not concrete, abstract." 

Man came, and exhibited his independence from the 
first. He stared critically at Life from foot to head, and 
then, with much complacency, looked up beyond him. He 
measured himself with Mind, and found no difference. He 
took the well-worn ledger from the shelf and opened a new 
account. He cried out, " I am the measure of life, I am 
the measure of mind, I am the measure of all things. I 
am the firm ; and being so ." He left out his part- 
ners' names and wrote down " Man." 

The immortalised ideals must have revolted at the 
slight, Zeus wrioeis particularly so. Ousted as he was, 
abstract life may have had influence enough to point the 
looks at fowl and beast and to note the two of every kind, 

D D 2 



404 THE GODS OF OLD; 

to institute fine distinctions between solitude and happiness, 
between enjoyment and content, and to instil strange, 
elusive yearnings in this new lord and master. 

" The world was sad ! the garden was a wild ! 
And man, the hermit, sighed ! till woman smiled ! " 

If so, life's promptings bore their fruit, and woman was 
made, the counterpart of Promethean man, the Eve of 
Epimethean Adam. Then did the epilogue begin which 
ended so fatefully for the human race. 

With mind inferior to that of man alone, Eve was his 
superior in grace and beauty ; so that in comparison with 
him she was the Zeus Olympian, the acme of visible life. 
She was Pandora, " the all-endowed ; " she was Pandora, 
" the giver of all ; " and among some of the things in her 
giving was the tempting apple. 

Had the Epimethean Adam, says Hesiod in conclusion, 
but minded well the warning given to Promethean man, 
all would have been well. But he did not. He accepted a 
gift from this living acme, Eve ; and only when he had 
eaten of the fruit and had experienced the miseries atten- 
dant on expulsion from the garden, only then did he 
ponder ! 

dXXd Ztvs fKpv^re ^oXaKrdpevos <ppea\v ya-tv, 
om fj.iv faira.T7)(re JIpopriQevs dyKuXo/i^njs- 
Touve/c' ap' dvdpamoicriv ep.rjO'aTO KijSea \vypd. 
Kpfye 8e nvp' rb p.ev avns evs irais 'icureToio 
5 eK\ei|r' dvdpamouTi Aids irdpa prjTioevros 
ev KOtXa) vdpdr/Ki, \a6a>v Aid TfpmKepavvcv- 
TOV Sf xoXaxrap-fvos rrpoaefpr] ve(pf\i]yepeTa Zevs' 

'lairertovidri, iravrasv Trepi prj^ea eldibs, 
%a.ipeis irvp K\'^as Kat epas (ppevas fjirfpOTrevtras, 
10 (rot T" avTw fteya irrjiia KOI dvSpdcriv etrarofilvoitn' 
TOIS 5' fy<& civri irvpos 8<ncra> KOKOV Kev &iravres 
TepTTcovrai KOTO. 6vp,6v ebv KO.KOV aiifyaycarcovTes. 

Os e(j}ar' CK S' eyeXatrtre irarffp dvftpwv re 6ea>v rf 
a J3.<paurTOV S' eKeXeutre Trept/cXtrrov OTTI Td^tcrra 
15 yaiav vSft (j)vpeiv, ev S' dv6panrov defj-tv avdrjv 
Kai (rdevos, ddavdrois Se deals els 2wra ettrKeiv 
TrapdfviKrjs KaXov eiSor, eirf)pa.Tov' avrap 
epya 8i8a<rKTJ<ra.i, jroXvSai'SaXoi' iarbv ixpalvetv' 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 405 



Ke<pa\fj xpvtreijv 'A(ppoSinjv, 
20 KOI Trodov dpya\eov Kai yviofiopovt fteXeSSiw 

tV 8e 6ffJ.fl> KVVfOV Tf VOOV KOI firiK^OTTOV TjQoS 

'Epftelav fjvcoye, HiaKTopov ' Apyeupovryv. 

Qs f<j)ad'' ol 8' fTTtSovro Ail KpowWt avaim- 
miTiKa 8 fK yatr/s TrXaoxre (cXuroj 'Ap.(piyv^ns 
25 Trapdevco 018017; ?KC\OV KpoviSeco Sta /SovXas' 
ffior Se Acai KO(r[J.r)(re 6la y\avK.a>irts 'Ad^vr}' 
d[j.<pi Se ol Xapires re 6eal KOI irarvia JIfi6a> 
Spfiovf XpvtTfiovs e0ecrav XP 1 ' Ofitpi SE rr/vye 
T flpat KaXX/KO/^oi art(pov avdecrtv fiapivoliri' 
30 iravra be ol xpot Koirpov f(j}f]p[ioa-f IlaXXas 'A6rjvr]. 
ev S' Spa ol trrr]6eo-cri bidicropos 'ApyeKpoiTrjs 
\lftv8ed &' aljuvXi'ovr re \6yovs Kal 7ri(cXo7roi' rjdos 
revl-f Atos jSovXjert fSapvierinrov' ev 8' apa (patvrjv 
6rJKf 6fS>v Krjpvi;- ovo/iTyve 8e TrjvSf yvvaiKa 
3d JIav8a>pr)v, on. iravres 'O\vp.ina Saip-ar f-^ovres 
d&pov fdapT/trav, irijp-' dvSpdiriv dX<pTj<rrfi(nv. 

Avrap fTTfl 80X01' aliriiv d[i.r])(ai>ov eeTe\fcro-fV, 
fls 'Emfirjdea irepire irarrjp K\VTOV ' Apyeifpovnjv 
8>pov ayovra, Sea>v raxiiv ayyeXoV oiS' 'Emfajdevs 
40 ffppdcraff, Sis ol fenre Upopridevs fifjTTOTf dSipov 
. nap Zrjvos 'OXu/Mr/ou, aXX' diroirefnrfiv 
), p.r] TTOV TI KOKOV Gvrfrolo-t yevrfrai. 
avrap o de^dfj,fvos, ore 817 KOKOV flx> fvorjo-f. 

Works and Days, 47-89. 

But Zeus, disturbed in spirit, covered o'er 
Whate'er Prometheus subtly lured him to ; 
And thus were dire disasters framed for men. 
He hid the fire ; once more from abstract Zeus, 
"Unknown to thunder-loving Zeus, 'twas filched 
Within a hollow narthex for the race 
Of mankind by lapet's noble son. 
And thus did gloomy Zeus disturbed converse : 

" O apt-born Mind who knows the plans of all, 
Thou'rt pleased in soul at having lured my thoughts, 
At having stolen fire, a mighty scourge 
For thine own self and men that are to come ; 
But I shall give them that which rivals fire, 
An ill with which, embracing each his own, 
AH will be gladdened to their heart's desire." 

Thus he ; and laughed the sire of gods and men. 
Then did he prompt the fabricator famed ; 
" With water quickly mingle earth, and place 
Man's speech, man's energy therein, and shape 
A maiden's beauteous and beloved form, 
In visage like to the immortal gods ; " 



406 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Minerva too, " Teach, her all useful works, 
To deftly weave the many- coloured web ; " 
The golden Venus, " Pour around her head 
Grace in abundance, troubled tenderness, 
And household cares relaxing to the limbs ; " 
And Mercury, chief minister that slays 
Simplicity, he prompted thus, " In her 
Infuse a fitful mind and tricksy way." 

Thus he ; and they the Kronos-born obeyed. 
The far-famed demiurge immediate framed 
Erom earth the likeness of a bashful maid, 
Conforming to the Kronos-born's desires ; 
Bright- eyed Minerva robed and decked her out ; 
The Graces fair and sweet Persuasion placed 
A wealth of breastwork on her chest, both sides ; 
The well-tressed Seasons circled her all round 
"With harvest rich and rare ; Minerva's all 
Of ornament was moulded to her shape. 
But in her breast, for boasting life's free-will, 
The candour-slaying minister prepared 
Pretexts, and wheedling words, and tricksy way, 
And in her, too, he placed no lack of speech. 

This maid a scourge for pleasure-seeking men,- 
The herald of the gods Pandora called, 
Because with gifts endowered she had been 
By all that revel in Olympian homes. 

But when this rare, this matchless piece of art 
Was all complete, to Epimetheus then 
The Father sent an envoy swift, divine, 
Bearing as gift the candour- slayer famed : 
Nor kept this Epimetheus well in mind, 
As told him by Prometheus, ne'er to take 
A present from Olympian Zeus, but back 
To thrust it from him, lest perchance some ill 
Should happen to the race of mortal men. 
But when he took and suffered ill, he thought ! 



NOTES. 

3 KTjSea \vypa. The periodic destruction and subsidence of living 
forms throughout the ages was a presage of the Deluge for 
mankind. 



20 [ifXedavaf. " Women act tiieir parts 

When they do make their ordered houses know them." 

Knowlee. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 407 

21 Kvve&v. Dogged, stubborn; and in a better sense, having convic- 

tion without proof , and adhering to it against reason. 

" I have no other but a woman's reason ; 

I think him so, because I think him so." Shokspeare. 

" When a woman wills she will, you may depend on't ; 
And when she won't she won't, so there's an end on't." 

22 'Ep/iei'aj/ (po) Change, variety, inconstancy. 

" woman, in our hours of ease, 
Uncertain, coy, and hard to please, 

And variable as the shade 
By the light quivering aspen made." Scott. 

' ApyeKpovrrjv. A transposed form of aypei<f>ovrr)v (aypfios (pevta), 
" the slayer of what is rural." 

Rural life has ever been considered typical of simplicity and 
innocence. Thomson apostrophises it thus : 

" Here too dwells simple truth; plain innocence; 
Unsullied beauty; sound unbroken youth." 

What alters this happy mode of being ? Change ('Ep/zetas), 
which is at once the herald (Sid/cropov) and the slayer of sim- 
plicity (dpyeKpovTTjv). 

28 oppovs. A haven, place of shelter or refuge ; the breasts. 

" On her bare breast, the heart of all her land." Shafapeare. 

29 avBfsriv elapivoivi. 

"A silver line, that from the brow to the crown, 
And in the middle, parts the braided hair, 
Just serves to show how delicate a soil 
The golden harvest grows in." Wordsworth. 

30 irdvTo. Ko<rfiov. " Is it for that such outward ornament 

Was lavished on their sex ? '' Milton. 

33 <pa>v))v. " A dearth of words a woman need not fear." Young. 

34 GfS>v KTJpuf. We have altered the punctuation, and joined 6eS>v 

K?jpv to ov6fj.rjve. Adam is meant, as being the herald of the 
gods, the fore-runner of immortal men. 

" And Adam called his wife's name, Eve, because she was 
the mother of all living." Genesis iii. 20. 



408 THE GODS OF OLD. 

35 irdvrfs 'OXv/wna. "Adorned 

With what all earth or heaven could bestow 
To make her amiable." Milton. 

38 'A.pyet<j)6vTTiv. That is, Eve, by whom primeval innocence was 
slain. 

"But once beguiled and ever more beguiling." Byron. 



BOOK EIGHTH. 

WRESTLING WITH THEIR FATE. 
CHAPTEE I. 

MYTHS 

The Titanomachia. When Zeus had -waxed sufficiently in strength 
and years, and had been reinforced by those of his kin 
whom the potion, so skilfully prepared by Metis, compelled 
Kronos to disgorge, war was declared between him and the 
Titans for the sovereignty of the world. The latter were 
encamped on Othrys, Zeus and his forces on Olympus ; and 
the combat lasted for ten years without any marked advan- 
tage for either side. At the end of this period Zeus, 
assisted materially by the Hecatoncheires and Cyclopes 
whom, owing to the advice of Gsea, he had delivered from 
Tartarus, obtained the victory after a most desperate struggle. 
Having plunged his enemies into Tartarus and set the 
Hecatoncheires over them as guard, he proceeded to reward 
his followers and allies with the spoils. Reserving Olympus 
for himself, he gave the empire of the sea to Neptune, and 
that of the infernal regions to Pluto. 

The Gigantomachia. Inflamed greatly by the punishment meted to 
her Titan offspring, Gsea next brought forth the Giants, 
begotten of the drops of blood that flowed from the wound 
inflicted by Eronos upon Uranus. These Giants are de- 
scribed as large in stature, irresistible in strength, and 
terrible in aspect. Their hair hung loose upon their 
shoulders, their beard was permitted to grow untouched, 
and their feet resembled those of dragons. They were born, 
according to some writers, in the Phlegraean plains, and 
according to others, in Pallene. Headed by Alcyoneus and 
Porphyrion, and armed with immense rocks and trunks o 
trees, they waged war on the immortals, and endeavoured, 
according to some accounts, to scale to heaven by piling 



410 THE GODS ; OF OLD ; 

mountain, upon mountain, Ossa upon Pelion, and Olympus 
upon Ossa. As there was a current rumour among the 
Gods that the Giants could not be conquered -without the 
assistance of a mortal, Zeus summoned Hercules to aid hi 
in the combat. The hero first attacked Alcyoneus, and as 
this giant was immortal in his native land, Hercules, aided 
by Minerva, dragged him from Pallene and thus made an 
end of him. He then turned his attention to Porphyrion 
who, while struggling with Juno, was struck with lightning 
by Zeus, and then stretched low by the arrows of Hercules. 
In like manner did Apollo, Bacchus, Vulcan, Minerva, 
Neptune, and the other deities each engage a giant foe and 
destroy him with the help of Hercules. 

The Typhomachia. When Gsea felt that the Giants were being 
worsted by the Gods, she entered into close communion 
with Tartarus and begot the youngest and last of her 
children, Typhceus. Hesiod describes him as having im- 
mense hands, tireless feet, eyes that blazed forth fire, and a 
hundred heads like to those of a dragon, from which there 
issued fire and terrible voices of every conceivable descrip- 
tion. Apollodorus says that Typhxeus was born in Cilicia, 
and had the mingled nature of man and beast; that in size 
and bulk he overtopped the mountains, his head approached 
the stars, and so immense were his hands that one rested on 
the east and the other on the west of earth. His body was 
winged all over, he had a hundred dragon heads, his lower 
parts resembled those of a dragon, and from every head and 
every eye there darted fire. With terrible voices issuing 
from his heads, with surging waves of fire, and hurling 
upwards masses of red-hot rocks, he advanced towards 
Olympus and laid claim to absolute dominion. At his 
approach the Gods fled, as it is said, to Egypt, and 
metamorphosed themselves to animals, with the exception, 
as some aver, of Zeus and Minerva. After a most fearful 
contest, during which Zeus scourged the terrific being and 
blew off one head after another, the monster was "finally 
overcome and buried under Mount .ZEtna. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 411 



CHAPTEE II. 

HEAT VERSUS LIFE. 

The Battle of the Titans. Assuming the granite to be 
the oldest of the rocks, we must then believe it to be the 
first compound formed, that is, the first matter rendered 
molar by molecular combination or attraction. This 
implies a previous time when compound matter was not, 
and when molecular matter was all-powerful. 

If we deny the priority of granite, and believe that a 
crust existed previously, no traces of which have as yet 
been discovered, we only push back the existence of a 
compound body, and intensify the molecular existence of 
matter previous to this compound, since the further back 
we go the greater will be the heat, and heat is the all- 
essential agent in reducing matter to molecularity and 
keeping it so. 

At whatever point, consequently, we date the inception 
of compound matter, there and then must we admit the 
potentiality of molecularity, and from that point believe 
that the struggle for superiority commenced between 
the two. 

That matter is still in a molecular or vaporous condition 
in the central parts of our globe is believed by many 
geologists; that it was once universal and all-powerful 
when that globe was a molten ball of fire, is believed by 
all. Tt was for the covering or crust of our globe that the 
fight was. waged between molecular and molar matter, 
and we are all cognisant of the result. A long one 
millions of years it was, and the duration of the battle 
was only equalled by the fierceness with which it was 
fought, by that exhibition of force requisite to combine and 
destroy the union of elements. How mighty was the force 



412 THE GODS OF OLD; 

on either side can be intelligibly grasped only by remem- 
bering that the energy displayed by the combination of 
hydrogen and oxygen into steam is equal to the impact of 
22,820 tons falling from a height of one foot, and that the 
respective energies of steam condensing into water, and of 
water freezing into ice, are equal to the impact of 2,900 
and 433 tons falling from a like distance. 

Those are the combining or actual energies : we have 
but to reverse the process in order to know the decom- 
posing or potential energies. " As potential energy dis- 
appears, actual energy comes into play; throughout the 
universe, the sum of these two energies is constant." 

The combat was certainly an unequal one at the start, 
owing to the intense heat which disassociated the com- 
bining particles and repelled them from one another. But 
still the war went on in one shape or another, and the 
molecular Titans, strive as they might, could not altogether 
prevent the elements from differentiating one by one, nor 
from occasionally banding together on the confines for 
some fierce foray that invariably terminated in their quick 
dispersion and slaughter. And so it went on for ages, 
during all which the potential energy of the Titans ruled 
the world, and matter bowed the head to molecular being. 

A day came at last when there was born of time that 
which was neither molar nor molecular, neither solid, 
liquid, nor gaseous, that which was not even an element 
and therefore was not matter, and that which, if a force, 
differs from all other forces when tested by the principle of 
correlation. Life was born, and Zeus threw in his lot 
with the weaker side and against the Titan crew. A 
formidable foe he proved, and feared from the beginning. 
The tradition had been handed down that he would rule 
the world ; and Kronos, pledged by the Titans, had agreed 
to swallow him when born. A kindly earth and his own 
immaterial nature saved him from the maw that had 
already swallowed his material brothers and sisters, and 
so imperceptible were the beginnings of infant life upon 
our globe that it was suckled and guarded, strengthened 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 413 

and fortified for many a day before the insolent Titans 
were even aware of his existence. When they did become 
cognisant of the fact, it was too late. 

Life had waxed in years and in strength, had raised his 
head and seen that the broad domain of earth was one well 
worth contending for to the death ; and so he boldly flung 
down the gauntlet and defied his foes. The challenge was 
accepted, and the Titanomachia began. 

The molecular forces fought naturally from the stand- 
point of radiant heat, that is, from matter sublimed or 
brought to a state of vapour by heat and moving in direct 
lines the v^X^ "Odpvos (opdos) of the myth. Without a 
well-recognised leader, they trusted to their numbers, their 
ardour, to their impetuosity of motion, and direct charges. 

The molar forces, on the other hand, contended from 
the visible combinations (Olympus, ovXos Xaju-n-co) of matter. 
While fewer in number, they too were equally resolute with 
their foes, were more united as a body, and had Life as 
leader, a host in himself, and a wary general that saw 
confusion in the numbers of the enemy, rashness in their 
ardour, the weakness of expansion in their motion, and who 
opened his lines to the direct charges and harassed his 
adversaries from flank and rear. 

A host in himself we have said was Zeus, and the 
assertion is in no way hyperbolical. Man is an aggregate 
of molecules. Let us compute the population of to-day as 
1,500,000,000, and the average weight of each individual as 
80 Ibs. Some fifty years ago this billion and a-half of 
people may be considered as existing in the germinal form, 
as capable consequently of being crowded into a cubic inch 
of space, and as weighing less probably than an ounce or 
two. Bit by bit, molecule by molecule, did they grow in 
size and weight, until now they occupy the land surface of 
the globe and have a gross weight of 60 millions of tons. 
What has done all this, what has abstracted this enormous 
molar mass from molecularity ? Life. And yet this is 
but a small portion of what Life achieves in its own 
kingdom. Every beast, fowl, and fish, and every creeping 



414 . THE GODS OF OLD; 

thing, commenced existence as a germ, and to-day they 
swarm in the fields, the air, the sea, the nooks and crannies 
of our earth, greater, far greater in number than the 
human race, and head for head outmeasuring the bulk 
and weight of individual man. Nor is this all; there is 
still the vegetable kingdom, each member of which also 
began its being as a germ or cell, and grew molecule by 
molecule ; whose numbers are . countless, and whose bulk 
in many cases outvies that of the most unwieldy dweller of 
the land and sea. To make an estimate of the molar mass 
of either animal or plant kingdom would be impossible, 
and were it capable of being done, the figures in billions, 
trillions of tons, would but pain the eye and madden the 
comprehension. "What, again we ask, has achieved all this? 
Life. In cell and germ has he planted his standard : they 
grow with his growth and strengthen with his strength. 
His presence is infused in every bone and muscle, trunk 
and bough, in every member, leaf, and rootlet, every nerve 
and vessel ; his active energy pervades in part and whole, 
directing, guiding, and overseeing the humblest and the 
greatest of his subjects ; through him do they exist and 
procreate, and through his counsels do they abstract 
molecule after molecule of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and 
nitrogen, of iron, lime, potash, phosphorus, of every known 
element in short, to combine into their own mass and prove 
to the world at large that the dynasty of the Titans is no 
more. What has happened recently and is happening to- 
day happened also in the past. The coral islands of the 
Pacific, the nummulitic strata of the Tertiary period, the 
hippuritic limestone and chalk of the Cretaceous, and 
the coal beds of the Carboniferous are evidences not alone 
of the profusion of living beings in their respective eras, 
but also of the inordinate amount of molecular matter 
which they abstracted from sea and air and land in order 
to form those rocky layers that are tens of hundreds, some 
of them tens of thousands of feet in thickness. 

Hooker, citing carbonate of lime in sea-water as an 
instance of the processes of life, says, " Shell-animals 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 415 

there gather it to make their shells, or coral animals to 
make their skeletons. This is a vital operation, for in the 
bodies of these animals, by a vital power, the carbonate of 
lime is separated from the water in which it is dissolved, 
and is deposited in a solid form. Then by a mechanical 
operation, these shells and skeletons become massed into 
solid rock." And elsewhere the same writer says, " A 
large portion of the crust of the earth is, in fact, the result 
of the aggregate labour of minute animals and vegetables." 

But to go back to the days of Kronos. While Life was 
by no means the universal and potential being that he was 
later on and is to-day, he was still a force possessed of great 
capabilities, actively energetic, the one and only leader for 
the cohorts of combination to rally round, and a foeman 
worthy of being dreaded even from the beginning. 

Hesiod, when writing of the great primal battle between 
the combining and the repelling forces, brings us back to 
the time when Life entered on his first campaign and 
impressed upon his followers the strong necessity of union 
if they hoped to win success. They followed his advice, 
even to the death, for thousands of them went down, down 
towards the centre, as science tells us, after having become 
noted for their weight and influence and distinguished 
qualities upon the surface, down towards the centre, as 
Hesiod tells us, when he says that Gsea " did ever deposit 
all" in the hope of sharing eventually in the prize -when 
the grand distribution of land and sea and air would be 
brought about. And these were succeeded by thousands 
more who, after imitating the noble example of their 
predecessors while in life, followed them into the fiery 
furnace when they could fight no more. Thus it went on, 
the surface particles growing heavier in Olympus, and then 
sinking towards the centre, while the central particles, 
hotter and lighter, mounted from the ancient Othrys to the 
regions above. Such determined action on the part of 
Life's followers was productive from the first of notable 
consequences, for with this union or combination of matter 
there necessarily appeared Weight or Gravity, Shape or 



416 THE GODS OF OLD; 

diversity of form, and Division or that complex process 
which accompanies matter when evoluting from the simple. 
Life had, in truth, brought back these Hecatoncheires ; 
and Hesiod commences the Titanomachia by appropriately 
introducing them upon the scene. 

'Qfipidpfca 5' a>f irpatra iraTrjp 6>5v<rtraTO 6vfi<a 

KOTTO) T' TjSe TV?;, 8fj<re Kparepa evl Seo~[ifp, 

jjvopeijv inrepoTrXov dya>p.evos f/Se KOI elSos 

KOI peyeSos' Ka.Tevao~<re S' viro %()ov&s evpvodeirjs' 

evS" oly oXye' expires viro -}(6ov\ vaierdovres 

e?or' eV r;^ar7, fieya\r]S ev ireipa<ri yair/s, 

T)8a fiaX', dxyvfievoi, KpaSir/ p,eya TTfvQos e)(ovres. 

aXXa fffpeas Kpovi'S^s re <cat d6d.va.Toi deal dXXot, 

ovs reKev fiVKo^os 'Pela Kpovou ev (piKorrjTi, 

Tai'ijs <f>pao'p.oo-vvT]o-iv dvyyayov es <f>dos avns- 

avri) yap ir<piv ajravra 8irjveKea>s KareXf^e, 

o~vv Kfivois VIKT/V re Kai dy\aov eu^os dpeo~6ai. 

fypov yap fidpvavro, TTOVOV OvpaXye' exovres, 

"TiTrjves re 6eol Kal oo~oi Kpovov e^eyfvovro, 

avriov dXX^XoKrt Sta Kparepas inr/ji.tvas' 

ol [lev d<f>' v^fTJ\rjs v O6pv6s Tcnjves dyavoi, 

ol 8' ap' dir' Oiih.v/j.iroio 6eoi, ftarrijpes edcav, 

ovs reKev fivKOfios 'Pela 'K.povca evvTidelo-a' 

at pa TOT aXXiyXottri iravov OvfidXye^ empires 

o-vvexea>s epaxovro SeKa irXeiovs evtavTovs. 

ovSe TIS rfV fpibos xaXeTrfJf \vo~is ovSe reXeur^ 

ovSerepois, 'urov Se reXos TTOTO ^roXe^ioio. Theog. 617-638. 

When first in spirit wrathful grew their sire 

With Gyes, Cottus, and Briareus, 

Struck Iby their overwlielming strength, their shape, 

Their size, he held them fast in durance vile 

And stamped them down beneath the wide-wayed earth. 

There, filled with pain, those subterraneous ones 

Lay on the verge in mighty earth's extremes, 

Long, long in anguish, and in heart distressed. 

But these did Zeus and other deathless gods 

Whom fair-haired Ehea, wife of Kronos, tore, 

Bring back to light through artful ways of Ge, 

Since she did e'er deposit all for them, 

To win with them and glory bright obtain. 

For long they fought, with toil and moil beset, 

And face to face throughout the conflicts dire, 

Those Titan gods and all from Kronos sprung ; 

The Titans haught from Othrys the sublime, 

And from Olympus all the gods benign 

Whom fair-haired Ehea, wed to Kronos, bore. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 417 

And so, -with, toil and moil for both, they fought 
Unceasing ever for ten periods full ; 
Nor let nor stay from bitter strife was there 
For either, and war's tide rolled even on. 

"For ten periods full," says the poet, did the fight 
between molecular and molar force continue, and fierce as 
it was, unceasing as it was, neither side could claim the 
victory at the close. Let us hear well in mind the different 
states of matter and the conditions on our glohe at the 
time. In solids, the particles are so firmly held together 
by attraction that the bodies retain their figure and 
capability of division : in gases, the repulsive forces so 
predominate that the attractive force is overcome and 
with it figure and divisibility, and the particles are 
driven asunder. 

Life, all the other Kronos-bom, and the Hecatoncheires 
fought for the solid ; the molecular Titans for the gaseous ; 
and so intense was the heat on one side, and the desire for 
combination on the other, that neither solid nor gas could 
gain a marked advantage for many a long day. " Nor let, 
nor stay," to use the poet's words, there was from the 
bitter fight ; and the tenth day, as he says, still saw them 
encamped against each other as hostile and apparently as 
vigorous as before. Supposing, as there is every reason 
for doing so, a period (eviavros) to be equal in length of time 
to that of each Labour of Hercules, and the Tenth Labour 
(the carrying off of Geryon's oxen) to be synchronous with 
the Tertiary Period, then, according to Hesiod, the duration 
of the contest between the forces of early heat and of early 
life was as long as all the years that elapsed from the end 
of that contest up to the close of Tertiary time. This, by 
the way, is curiously in unison with Hitchcock's supposition 
that the period occupied by earth in changing from a molten 
surface to a solid one was longer than all Palaeozoic, 
Mesozoic, and Cainozoic time put together. 

The poet resumes his narrative by taking advantage of 
a poet's license. On or about the close of the tenth cycle, 
Life summons all his followers in high conclave. "While 

G.O. E E 



418 THE GODS OF OLD; 

the nectar flows, he reminds the Hecatoncheires how, 
through means of his, they had been called back from the 
enfeebled state in which they had been held confined in 
gaseous matter, and while bidding them to stretch forth 
for a final effort the arms, as irresistible as they are 
imperceptible, of attraction, shape, and divisibility, he at 
the same time admonishes them to be ever mindful of the 
interests of solidity. He is answered, not by Attraction, 
not by Figure, it made but little difference to the latter 
and less to the former, whether life ruled or not over the 
molar masses, but by Cottus, whose prophetic instinct 
warned him of the cold that was to come for earth in ages 
yet unborn, cold, the deadly foe of germination, budding, 
procreation, decay, of the myriad complex or dividing pro- 
cesses for which Cottus stands. The Hecatoncheir dreaded 
" the chilly curse," and knowing that vital force was the 
one and only protection against it, he promises for himself 
and brethren to safeguard the domain of life by throwing 
it into vast foldings or plications. 

dXX' ore 8r\ KeLvourt irapea^edev apfiara irdvra, 
veicrap T dp/SpacTa} re, Tcmtp deal mini eSovcri, 
Trdvrcav r' ev (TTT)de<ro-iv de'ero 8vpbs dyiji/ajp, 
&s veKrap 8' ewdo-avro KOI anftpotritjv epareti/jjv, 
8JJ rore rots p.er genre Trarfip dv8pa>v Tf 6eiav re' 

Ke/cXvre p,ev, Tairjs re Kal Qvpavoij dyXaa TeKVa, 
ofpp' ewrto TO. p,e 6vp.os evl orr/deo-cn Kf\evei. 
r]dt] yap jj.aXa brjpbv evmmoi aXX^Xottrt 
viKrjf KOI Kpdreos Trepi fia.pvdiJ.e6' rj(uiTa wdvra 
Ti-rfjves, re 6eol Kal $<roi Kpovov eKyevofieada. 
vp.eTs Be fi.eyd\r)v Tf ^ITJV Kal ^eipas daTTTous 
(paivere TiT^vecra-u' evavrioi ev Sat Xvypjj, 
p.vqo'dfjifvoi (ptXorrjTos evrjeoSt o(r(ra iraBovres 
Is (pdos fty afpiKetrQe, dvcnyXeyeoj OTTO detrpov, 

pas dia /3ov\as virb 6<j)ov r)epoevros. 
<pdro' TOV 8' eavTis dfieifiero KOTTOS dp.v[ia>v' 

vi.', OVK dSaTjTa irapavKeai' dXXa Kal airol 
fv, o TOI irepl [lev irpairides, irtpl 8' earl v6rjfj,a, 
d\Krr)p 8' ddavdrouriv dpfjs yeveo Kpvepolo. 
ctyoppov 8' egavris, dp.ei\iKTa>v OTTO e<rfj.S>v, 
(rfjcnv em<ppo(rvvi](ru> VJTO 6(f>ov rjfp&evros 

v, Kpovov vie aval;, dvaeXirra iraOdvres. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 419 



ra Kcii vvv artvfi re you Kal eiri(f>povi 
pv<rdft,f6a Kparof vfiov ev alvfj SrfioTrJTi, 
fj.apvdfj.evoL TITTJCTIV ava Kparepas va-filvas. 
Qs <J)CLT- eirf/vrjcrav Se 6eoi, dcorrjpes edaiv, 
aKova-avres' jroXe/nov 8' eXtXaiero dvpos 
v er rj TOTrapoide. Theog. 639-666. 



"When now before them lay refreshments spread, 
Ambrosia, nectar, such as gods consume, 
When spirit plainly swelled in breasts of all 
While nectar and divine ambrosia passed, 
Then thus harangued the sire of gods and men : 
" Give heed, great race of Uranus and Ge, 
That I may speak the urgings of my mind. 
For long, exceeding long, and front to front, 
Have we, the Titan gods and Eronos-born, 
Waged war each day for victory and rule. 
Your strength and hands impalpable now show 
In conflict dread against the Titan host, 
Giving due heed to kindly union, and 
How back to light through plans of ours ye came, 
Ye that had suffered, suffered much and long 
Prom galling bondage 'neath the misty gloom." 
Thus he ; and complex Cottus answered back : 
" With words of wisdom hast thou spoken, lord ; 
But we too know, in sooth, what there's in store 
For vitals and for mind, and that thou'rt born 
A warder of the chilly curse from gods. 
And we, king, thou from Kronos sprung, 
We, who have suffered almost hopeless 'neath 
The misty darkness, have at thy behests 
Come back once more from bondage without stint. 
So now with mind intent and duteous wish, 
Fighting with Titans through the conflicts dire, 
Shall we in war's dread tug infold thy might." 
He spoke ; the gods, the givers of all good, 
Hearing his speech applauded to the full ; 
And more than ever raged the thirst for war. 

The day approached that witnessed the final struggle 
between heat and life for absolute dominion. 

Whatever obscurity there may be as to the time when 
the Titanomachia commenced, there appears to be very 
little, if any, as to that of its termination. In the first 
place it will be remembered that Hesiod, in his building 
of our earth, goes no further than the granite (Echidna) 

E E 2 



420 THE GODS OF OLD; 

and the schistose rocks (Asteria). All his personages and 
incidents lead up to these, and these presumably to the battle 
itself. In the next place, there are many words and phrases 
(to be noticed further on), in the concluding part of his 
description that point indubitably to those same schistose 
rocks, and to the notable characteristics of plication, 
schistous division, and inclination impressed upon them. 

Again, what are the main characteristics of the con- 
test? 

1. A struggle that lasted for unknown ages between the 
forces of heat and those of life, without advantage to 
either side. 

2. A final and tremendous conflict between the two at 
the close of the tenth cycle, in which land, sea, and 
air were alike involved, and in which fire, scorching 
heat, earthquakes, chemical explosions, thunder, light- 
ning, and the great physical forces of nature played so 
prominent a part. 

8. The triumph of life or Zeus. 

4. The hurling of the Titans into Tartarus. 

In the geological record there is no period but one that 
will suit these characteristics. The purely sedimentary 
rocks are derived from the ruins of the preceding, show an 
originally tranquil deposition, are unaltered in texture, bear 
no impress of scorching heat 'or of disturbance outside of 
what upheaval, volcanic energy, and localised plutonic 
action would cause, and are equally rich in fossils differing 
not so much in profusion as they do in evolution. 

But underneath the oldest of those sedimentary strata 
there lies a mixed mass of granite, and of gneiss and other 
schists, computed to be 80,000 feet or more in thickness, 
whose base has never been discovered, and all of which 
are classed as Archaean rocks. There is much that is vague 
as to their origin, but their crystalline structure, the 
welding of then* particles and laminae, their crumpled and 
vertical bedding and vast plications denote intense internal 
and external disturbance, and stamp them with the 'marks 
of fire and heat. Furthermore, no fossils have been die- 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 421 

covere'd in them. They may have existed it is the strong 
opinion that they did exist fewer in number probably, 
and simpler in nature it is to be supposed; but if so, al 
vestiges of their remains, the possible Eozoon excluded, 
have been destroyed by fire, heat, and other agencies. 
Fire and heat are as conspicuous in those hypogene rocks 
as life is in those above them. Since the stratified nature 
of the gneiss and other rnetamorphic rocks denotes an 
originally quiet and horizontal deposition on their part 
equally with the sedimentary pile above them, the altered, 
convulsed, and non - fossiliferous appearance of these 
Archaean rocks leads geologists to conclude 

1. That their crystalline structure was a subsequent 
process that went on for an indefinite length of time, 
during all of which the heat was so intense that life 
must have had a hard struggle for existence. 

2. That the close of the Archaean age was witness to the 
occurrence among the Archaean rocks of one of the 
most fearful convulsions that ever wrecked our earth 
since a crust was established upon it. 

3. That the end of the struggle was a complete triumph 
for life, since we find the Silurian rocks, that succeed 
and rest upon the Archaean, graced by the presence 
in profusion of Protozoans, Eadiates, Mollusks, and 
Articulates, that is, by every division of the animal 
kingdom, the Vertebrates alone excepted. 

4. That the melting and re-cementing of the schistose 
rocks formed a more stable crust for our globe, and 
served essentially to confine the fire and heat within 
the depths below. 

If we compare these geological outlines with the mytho- 
logical ones, we are struck by the close correspondence 
between the two, and may reasonably infer that the 
Titanomachia is synchronous with the close of the Archaean 
age, and that the celebrated battle of the Gods and Titans 
is a vivid picture of what may well be supposed to have 
occurred at a period when our earth was so mysteriously 
and so terribly convulsed 



422 THE GODS OF OLD; 



apeyaprov eyetpav 
iravres, 6i]\fiai re Kal apcreves, f/pari Kfivca, 
^lTTjvs TC deal KOI otroi Kpovov eeyevovro, 
ovs TE Zeiis 'Epe8e<r(piv viro xdovbs rJKe (poaxrSf, 
Seivot re Kparepoi re, ftirjv {mfpoTrXov e^ovres. 
ra>v fKarbv [lev X e 'P es ""' &p.cov dtcr<rovTo 

op.S>s, Kf(j)d\ai 8e eKacrrn irevTT]KOVTa 
eirl cmfiapoicri jj,eke(r<nv. 
of Tore TiTrjVfircri KarearaSev ev 8ai \vypfj, 
irerpas rjkifiaTovs (mfiap^s ev ^epcrli/ e^on-es. 
Tmjves ' frzpaidev eKaprvvavro (paXayyas 
irpo<ppovf<os, xeipiov re J3ir]s ff afia epyov e<paivoy 
L. Theog. 666-678. 



Then on that day unenviable strife 

Was roused ty all, by male and female like, 

By Titan gods, by all from Eronos sprung, 

And by those likewise, wondrous strange and strong, 

With overwhelming force, whom Zeus brought back 

From evolution under earth to light : 

'Way from whose shoulders hundred hands there flashed 

Alike for all ; from fifty shoulders grew 

Anent the well-squared members heads for each : 

These faced the Titans then in deadly strife, 

With well-squared hands that grasped the massy rocks. 

The Titans, on their side, with forward soul 

Their columns reinforced ; quick showed the two 

The work of hands, and that of simple force. 

The rocks themselves bear testimony to the fierceness of 
the Archaean hattle. Whole strata, miles in extent, have 
heen crumpled and folded as if they were but so many 
sheets of paper ; they have been raised from the horizontal 
position and inclined at every angle, even to the perpen- 
dicular; their laminae and smallest particles are shown 
microscopically to have been sharers in the fight, for they 
too are welded, as it were, into each other and exhibit the 
same contortions, crumpling, and intense plication that the 
larger masses do. "Imagination," says M'Culloch, when 
writing of those rocks as observed in Scotland, " can 
scarcely conceive an intricacy of flexure of which a 
resemblance could not be found in the gneiss." 

" The nucleus of the whole group," writes Anderson 
of the Grampian Hills, "is granite, one dense aggregation 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 423 

of crystals, now rent and furrowed by a thousand seams, 
the heart and penetralia bared and open, a convulsed sea 
of molten matter still and motionless as the grave ! The 
associated rocks, all of the primary class, are gneiss, raiea- 
slate, quartz-rock, chlorite-slate, and limestone ; and these 
enclose no relic of a living thing." 

Their very constituents, the quartz, mica, and feldspar 
are inextricably laced, and the micaceous folia curl and 
twist in a manner scarcely to be distinguished from that of 
the fluid structure of obsidian or any other purely igneous 
rock. 

All this denotes a previous state of great flexibility, if not 
of thorough fusion, when the particles and masses were free 
to move and enter into' new combination ; all this denotes 
mighty forces and a mighty conflict, such as could change 
miles of rock from the horizontal to the perpendicular, and 
squeeze them together as we would a newspaper. Land, 
sea, and air, fire, heat, steam, pressure, even electricity, 
all appear to have participated in the geological struggle. 
Water, crystals of common salt, and liquid carbonic acid 
have been observed in the minute cavities of the crystalline 
particles ; and the joints have been ascribed to electric 
influence. So that to the horrors of a land wrecked with 
eruptions of molten matter and convulsed with the quakings 
of a fragile crust, we must add the additional horrors, as 
described by Hugh Miller, of a sea " boiling as a pot," of an 
atmosphere intensely hot, reeking with vapour, surcharged 
with carbonic acid gas, wrapped " in a darkness gross and 
palpable as that of Egypt of old," a darkness rendered all 
the more terrible by the roaring wind, the sheeted rain, the 
rending lightning, and the all-shaking thunder. 

"Who," says Figuier, " would dare to paint the horrors 
of these first and mysterious convulsions of the globe ? " 
Only one that we know of, Hesiod ; and if mere words 
are capable of bringing the scene before the mind's eye, 
then the poet has done it, and done it well. Even in bald 
English the description is imposing and realistic: how 
much more so in the original. In a whirl of words vivid 



424 THE GODS OF OLD; 

with imagery, and teeming -with onomatopoeia, are we carried 
from the ominous sounds of ocean to the general collapse ; 
then, to the warring lightning, universal quaking and 
general conflagration, till nought remains of solid matter 
but crackling dust wherein the constituents, quartz, 
feldspar, mica, &c., still carry on the struggle. One step 
further and, as the poet suggests, matter would be reduced 
to the simple and unknown that it was originally in Chaos ! 
Then do the multiple hands of Attraction, Figure, and 
Divisibility come into play and act upon the elements : the 
first binds them fast into rocky masses, shape gives them 
their various outlines interiorly and exteriorly, and the 
complex Cottus separates the whole into the gneiss, the 
talc, mica, hornblende, chlorite, and other schists. Then 
too ensue those various mysterious processes, the vast 
Dwelling or plication (oro/3os), the schistous structure (fed/arcs), 
and inclination from the horizontal (ecAiz>0??), that mark the 
Metarnorphic rocks and make them what they are, the 
overshadowing prison of central fire and heat, and the 
progenitors of the Cambrian and other strata that openly 
testify to the sway of Life. 

deivov 8e jrepur^e TTOVTOS dirflpcav, 
yrj 8e piy fcrp-apdyrjcrev, eire&reve 8' ovpavbs eiipiis 
treiopevos, ireSoOev S' eTivdao-ero p.aKpbs "O\vp,7ros 
purfj vir d6avdrcav, evocris S' iKave jSapela 
Tdprapov rjepoevra, iroficov T alireia Icor/ 
dfnrerov la>xp.olo jSoXdtoi' re Kparepa&v' 
&s a/)' eV dXX?jXots ie<rav jSeXea trrovoevra. 
cpaivT] S' a.fj,{poTpa>v IKCT ovpavbv atrrepoevra 
KfK\O[ieva>v' ol de ^vvurav peydXco dXaX^rw. 
oiy lip' eri Zevs la-^ev eov ftevos dXXa vu Tovye 
eidap p.ev fjieveos ir\rjvro (frpeves, EK Se re Tracrav 
(fdive fiirjv' ap.v8is 8' cip OTT' ovpavov ^8' air' 'O\vp.7rov 
aarpcarTcav ecrret^e crwoo^aSdi'' ol de Kfpavvol 

S.[ia jBpovrfj re KOI dtrrepoirfj woreovro 
ciTro-am^aprjs, ieprjv <f>\6ya etXvfpoaivres, 

fs - dp.<pl Se yaia (pepe<r/3ios ecrfiapdyi^ev 
tvr], XOKS 8' dfifpl nvpl p.eya)\? acnreros v\rj, 
eee 8e x&a>v Trdtra KOL 'QKeavolo pieBpa, 
TTOVTOS T' drpvyeros' TOIIS 8' afXpewe 6epfibs diJ 
TiTrjvas -xBovlovs, <p\b 8' f/epa Slav iKavev 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 425 



s, oVo-e 8' a/xep8e Kal l<p0Lfj,aiv irep eovrcov 
avyq p.app.aipova-a Kepavvov re arepoTrfjs 1 re. 
KaCfta 8e decrirea-iov Kare^ey Xaoy e't(raro 8' aWa 
6(p6a\iJ.di(nv ISelv r;8' oiiacriv ocrcrav aKovo-ai 
aurar, as ore Tata /ail Ovpavbf evpvs vTrepdev 
Tri\vaiv& '. oios yap Ke [teyioros SOUTTOJ opcopot 
rrjs p.ev epemofievTys, TOV & vfyaOev e^epnrovros, 
Tcxrcros SOVTTOS 'lyevTO 6ea>v tptSt ^VVLOVTCOV- 
. <rvv 8" iivffj.oi T' evocris re Kovirjv e(r(f)a.p<iyiov 
ftpovTrjv re trrfpoirty re Kal aWaXoevra Kepavvov, 
KrjXa Albs peyaXoio, (pepov 8' la-^v T' lvanr]v re 
es [J-eirov a/JitpoTepaiv, &Toj3os 8" aTrXrjTos opwpet 
<rp.ep8a\er)s eptSor, Kapros 8' dveffraivero epya>v, 
eKkiv6rj de pd^r]' irplv d' dXXryXots eVe^ovreff 
ep.p,vecos e/id^oiro Sia Kparepas vtrpivas. 
01 8' ap' eVt Trpa>TOL(7L jJM^rfV Sptjuelav e-yeipav 
Ko'rroy re /Sptapecas re Tu^s r' ciaros iroXefioio, 
OL pa rpirjKocrias irerpaj omjSapSz' OTTO ^etptt>f 

eVacrcrure'pay, Kara 8' eo-Kt'acrav /3eXeeo-(7t 

, ai row /ze> i?ro x@ovbf evpvodeirjs 

Kal 8fa-poi(rLV ev apyaXeoKTiv e^rjcrav, 
viKrja-avres x^P ^" inrfp6v[jiovs Trep eovrn?, 
To&trov evepff VTTO yi/s, Scrov ovpavos e'trr' (ITTO yaijjs. 

Theog. 678-720. 

Tlien dreadful boomed the boundless sea ; the earth 

Bumbled throughout ; wide heaven convulsive moaned ; 

Olympus broad shook to its very plinth 

Under the rushing of immortal gods ; 

And to dark Hades reached the throes of earth, 

The hollow ring of its foundations, and 

Of wildering echo of the mighty shocks. 

Thus then on each fell fast the scathing blows. 

The sound of both, urging their fellows on, 

Beached the starred canopy of heaven ; and then 

With cry terrific they encountering closed. 

No longer Zeus restrained his strength, but straight 

His vitals now with energy were filled, 

And all his force flashed forth : ceaseless he ranged 

Lighting Olympus and the heaven alike ; 

Q,uick with the thunder and the lightning flew 

From massive hands of his the dreaded bolts 

That whirled and interlinked the sacred fire ; 

The burning, foodful globe on all sides quaked ; 

And matter cracked beyond compare with fire. 

Then steamed the all of earth, the ocean's springs, 

The boiling sea ; then circling round and round 

Those earthy Titans coursed the fiery surge ; 



426 THE GODS OF OLD; 

Then flame untold to air celestial came ; 

And mighty though they were, the dazzling glare 

Of bolt and lightning 'reft them of their sight. 

Then awful Chaos checked the heat intense, 

And seemed as face to face with eyes to see, 

With ears to hear a boding sound, the same 

As once when heaven above and earth drew nigh : 

For such a crash tremendous as arose 

From Tiim compressing and from her compressed, 

Some such the crash was of conflicting gods. 

Then in the thick of both the blasts and throes 

Crackled the dust with loud explosion, yea, 

The veiy weapons of great Zeus himself, 

The thunder, lightning, and the blazing bolt 

That brings the bitter cry and shrieking wail. 

Immense the swell of dread compression rose ; 

The schistous structure of the works appeared ; 

And sloping upward grew the field of fight. 

But previous, grappling with eixch other they 

Commingled fought throughout the conflicts dire. 

Then in the elements was piercing strife 

Boused up by Cottus, by Briareus, 

By Gryes too, insatiate for war : 

For thick and fast from well-squared hands they sent 

Rocks full three-hundred ; winning by their hands, 

They gloomed the Titans, haughty as they were, 

"With missiles such ; bound them in irksome bonds ; 

And plunged them under widely-fissured earth, 

As far 'neath earth as earth is from the heaven. 



AND TEE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 42T 



CKAPTEB III. 

THE TBAP BOCKS VERSUS LIFE. 

The Battle of the Giants. The conquest of those Archaean 
Titans may well be said to have established the sway of 
Zeus, for from the beginning of Palaeozoic time there is no 
break in the record of life upon our globe. If deficient or 
absent in one locality, it is present and abundant in 
another, and, as plant or animal or both, has ruled forma- 
tion after formation according as they came into being. As 
Hesiod says 

A.i>Tap eVei pet TTOVOV p-aKapes deal e'^treAecrtrai', 

TiTT/vecra-i. de Tifidcov Kpivavro $ir\fyi, 

STJ pa TOT' earpvvov ftacriXevefiev f]8e dvdfrcreiv 

ratifs <j)pabnoirvvr]<nv 'OXvfimov tvpvoTra ZTJV 

a.6avar<av' 6 8e rcncnv ev die8a.cra-a.To Ttp.ds. Theog. 881-885. 

But when their task the gods had gladly wrought 

And bravely stripped the Titans of the bays, 

Forthwith, through cunning ways of Ge, they urged 

Zeus, the Olympian and far-seeing Zeus, 

To wield the sceptre and immortals rule ; 

And well has he the prizes 'mongst them shared. 

To Neptune was the watery domain allotted ; and to 
Pluto, Hades or the all-unseen of earth; Juno got the 
continental and insular areas ; Minerva, the organisation 
of the living kingdoms; Venus, the affinity that attracts 
and binds all things : Apollo and Diana were given the 
influences of the atmosphere over light, heat, and sound ; 
Mars chose battle for his share, and the Life that was 
compelled to mete it out gave it with a frown and a rooted 
dislike for the recipient; Bacchus took liberty; Vulcan, 
fire ; and so on, not one being forgotten or overlooked, not 
even those who, like Styx and Hecate, came over to the 
winning side. But Zeus himself, while retaining the clear 
Olympus for his peculiar abode, was the lord paramount 



428 THE GODS OF OLD; 

of all, and manfully has he maintained the title from that 
day to this. 

Life's troubles, however, did not end with the overthrow, 
cr rather underthrow of the Titans. Scarcely had it re- 
covered from the moil and toil of the great Metarnorphic 
battle, when it had once more to take the field, and this 
time against the bold intrusions of what we call igneous 
rocks, and the Mythologists called Giants. The difference 
is but a seeming one to the eye, for the Latin ignis and gigas 
are equally related to yiyvopai, the initial y in the one, and 
the v in the other, being omitted ; and both are confessedly 
" earth-born." 

The igneous rocks have been produced, as their name 
denotes, from the action of fire or subterranean heat, and 
are roughly divided into Plutonic and Volcanic, the broad 
distinction between the two being that in the case of the 
Volcanic the matter has come to the surface in a molten 
condition and there consolidated, while in the Plutonic 
the molten matter has never quite reached the surface, 
but has consolidated at a greater or less depth beneath it. 
Lava is the type of one, granite of the other. Between 
these two extremes in type there is a class of rocks called 
by the general name of Trap, which embraces porphyry, 
serpentine, syenite, greenstone, clinkstone, basalt, trachyte, 
and many others. They are all of igneous origin, uustrati- 
fied, more or less crystalline, devoid of fossils, and form. a 
connecting link between the ancient granite and modern 
lava. They are generally believed to have been formed of 
matter in a thoroughly molten state which, after being 
thrust up through rents and fissures in the crust, cooled 
off and solidified without, as a rule, breaking through the 
rocks upon the surface. That we see them to-day is due 
to the effects of water, air, and other agencies that have 
disintegrated and denuded those upper strata and left the 
trap exposed to observation. Many writers, Lyell among the 
number, associate them very closely with the volcanic rocks, 
and suggest that they may be the underground portions of 
once active volcanoes, the cones and craters of which have 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 429 

been washed away in the course of ages, leaving the dikes 
or central vents as mementos of their descent and past 
ambition. " The abrupt manner," says Lyell, " in which 
dikes of trap usually terminate at the surface, and the 
water- worn pebbles of trap in the alluvium which covers 
the dike, prove incontestably that whatever was uppermost 
in these formations has been swept away. It is easy, there- 
fore, to conceive that what is gone in regions of trap may have 
corresponded to what is now visible in active volcanos." 

There are many other writers on geology, however, who 
are more inclined to give the traps a distinctive place to 
themselves, and to divide the unstratified rocks into 
Granitic, Trap, and Volcanic ; and even Lyell feels com- 
pelled to say, " Although the principal component minerals 
of subaerial lava are the same as those of intrusive trap, 
and both the columnar and globular structure are common 
to both, there are yet some volcanic rocks which "ever 
occur as lava, such as greenstone, clinkstone, the more 
crystalline porphyries, and all those traps in which quartz 
and mica frequently appear as constituents. In short, the 
intrusive trap rocks, forming the intermediate step between 
lava and the Plutonic rocks, depart in their character from 
lava in proportion as they approximate to granite." 

As seen to-day those masses of trap occur as (1) dikes, 
or wall-like intrusions of igneous rock filling vertical or 
highly-inclined fissures in the crust, that vary from inches 
to fathoms in width, and from yards to miles in extent ; 
(2) veins; (3) necks, or the filled-up pipes of former 
volcanic vents; (4) as huge masses, some of which are 
shapeless, some terraced, and more columnar and jointed ; 
and (5) horizontal sheets, the lava outflow, as it were, of 
the dikes below, that have intercalated themselves between 
the bedding planes of other strata by thrusting upwards the 
overlying mass. 

In every geological formation are the trap rocks found. 
Dikes and beds of greenstone, porphyry, clinkstone, and 
tuff have disturbed and metamorphosed the Cambrian and 
Silurian strata to such an extent as to make this system the 



430 THE GODS OF OLD; 

most dislocated of all formations ; the same traps, with 
clay stone and amygdaloid, have intruded into the Old Eed 
'Sandstone ; some of these, with basalt in addition, have 
dislocated and faulted the coal beds of the Carboniferous 
era ; and so on down to the end of Tertiary time. They 
pierce the schists, the sandstones, limestones, even their 
-own trap brethren, and assert the might and savagery of 
their nature by changing chalk and limestone to marble, 
sandstone to quartz, coal to coke, and shale to flinty slate 
.and jasper. Most characteristic of all their forms is that 
-of terraced hills, or large tabular masses that rise above 
one another like steps or stairs, a configuration which has 
given them, their name of " Trap " (Swedish trappa, " a 
flight of steps"). But nowhere are they so conspicuous 
and imposing as when they assume that columnar and 
jointed aspect of which Fingal's Cave in Scotland, the 
Giant's Causeway in Ireland, and the Palisades on the 
Hudson are examples. It is impossible to gaze upon some 
of those massive dikes with solid walls as perpendicular 
.and parallel, and joints as regular, as the most finished 
piece of masonry; or on those "furnaced pillars" with 
well-shaped sides and nicely-fitting joints, that tower 200, 
sometimes 1,000 feet above the surface ; or on those 
terraced heights that step by step scale upwards to the 
heaven, without harbouring the traditional belief that 
they were the work, in a sense, of giant hands. The 
cultured " Ettrick Shepherd " has thus immortalised both 
rfche Traps of Staffa and the tradition : 

"Awed to deep silence they tread the strand 

"Where furnaced pillars in order stand ; 

All framed of the liquid burning levin, 

And bent like the bow that spans the heaven; 

Or upright ranged in wondrous array 

With purple of green o'er the darksome gray. 

The solemn rows in that ocean den 

Were dimly seen like the forms of men ; 

Like giant monks in ages agone, 

Whom the god of the ocean had scared to stone ; 

And their path was a wondrous pavement old 

In blocks all cast in some giant mould." 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 431 

Those Traps, we repeat, are the Giant race of Mythology. 
The ancients regarded those rocks as observantly as our- 
selves; and, if our present knowledge be a criterion, they 
must have studied them well. They called them Giants 
(TiycOTes), to denote their might, their size, their savage 
nature, and their connection with the depths of earth, for 
yiyos is (yiyvopai aias) "born of the earth." They marked 
their igneous origin by asserting that they were born in the 
Phlegrsean plains (q!>Xeyco "to burn"); they looked upon 
the overlapping steps, and likened them to mountain piled 
on mountain whereby the giants might scale to heaven; 
they raised their eyes to the lofty, slender, prismatic 
columns, and called them the long spears (" boXfa' ey%ea," 
Hesiod, 186) that were brandished by earth's warrior 
children. 

They noted also the changes which were effected in the 
adjacent rocks, and concluded, as we do, that such con- 
solidation and variety of appearance in the traps, and such 
faulting, dislocation, metamorphism, and general disturb- 
ance in the surrounding strata could not have occurred 
without consequent havoc to existing life, in other words, 
that the Giants made war on Zeus, and that Hercules, or 
great earth movements, had been called into play and 
actively employed all through the contest. 

Those Trap giants naturally commended themselves as 
a, favourite theme to the earlier and later writers of the 
myths, and especially to Apollodorus, a thorough Pluto- 
nist, whq writes of them in cxtenso. He adopts the theory 
of individuality maintained by many modern geologists, and 
disassociates those igneous rocks which are indubitably 
volcanic in character, that is, which are scoriaceous or 
vesicular and intercalated with bands of tuff, from the traps 
which are closer in grain and unaccompanied by tuff : the 
former he calls Typhaon, the latter the Giants. 

His version runs thus : 

TJ) 8e irepl Tirdvcov ayavaKTOv<ra yfvva Tiyavras 
f Ovpavov, peyedei fiev <ra>p.d.Ta>v awTrep(3\r)Tovs, 
Svvdp.fi Se dKaraycavttrrovs, ot (pofitpol fiev rdis 



432 THE GODS OF OLD; 



KOTe(paivovTo, KaGeifievoi fiadfiav Kopajv eK 
5 KefpaXrjs KOI yeveicov, efyov Be TCLS /3aas <po\t8as 
8paKovT(ov. eyevovro Be, o>s p.ev rives \eyovo~iv, ev 
<S>\eypais, ais 5e aXXoi, ev HaX\f)vrj. jjKoWtfoi/ Be 
els ovpavov Trerpas Kal Bpvs fip.fj.evas. 
8ie(j)epe Be irdvrcav Hop(pvpia>v re KOI 'AXifuove iis, os 
10 817 KOI a6a.va.Tos rjv ev yirep eyewf/drj yjj fjui^ofievos. 

OVTOS Be KOI Tas 'HX/oti ^3day e 'Epvdeias ^Xacre. rols 
8e Geols Xaytov r/v viro 6eS>v p.ev p.r)8eva TO>V Fiydvrcov 
airo\ea-6ai, Svva(r6a.i, a-upfiaxovvros Se dvrjrov TWOS 
re\evri]O-eiv. ala'dop.evr] de FT) TOVTO er)Tei (pdpp.aK.ov, 
15 fra p.ri8' inro GinjTov bwrjBaxriv diroXetrdcu. Zevs Se 
direnrcav (fraiveiv 'Hoi Te Kal SeX^r/j Kal 'HAi'o> TO p.ev 
(pdppuKov airros eTap.e (foddiras, 'HpafcXea Se o~vp.p.a%ov 
81 'A.0r)vas 7reKaXeo-aTo. KaKelvos irpairov p,ev 
ero^evtrev 'AXmiovea' & Se em TTJS yijs /iSXXoi' dve- 
20 $aX7rcro* 'A0rjvaf 8e vjrodepevrjs ea> TT/S 
eT\KV(rev avrov. Kaxetvos fiev OVTOJS 
TIop(pvpia>v fie "HpajcXel KOTO fidxrjv e(pd>ppj)o-e Kal 
"Hpg. Zeiis Se avra irodov "Hpas evef3a\ev, TJTIS Kal 
KaTappr)yvvvros avrov row ireir\ovs Kal J3ide(r8ai 6e\ovros 
25 ^orjBovs eirexaXeiTO' /cat Atos Kepavvdxravros avrov 

'HpaicX^s Toev<ras direKretve, r>v Se \oiir>v 'AiroXXaiv 
p.ev 'TL<pid\Tov TOV dpiarepov eTo^evtrev o(pda\p,6v, " 
Se TOV Se^Lov' "Evpvrov be Svpirq Ai6wo~os ficreive, 
KXvTi'oi' 8e, <pa<rlv, 'EKOTT], /iaXXov 8e "HfpaiaTOS /3a\a>v 
30 fivfipois. 'Adrjva 8e 'EyKeXaSm (pevyovri 

Ineppi^e TTJV VTJO-OV, ndXXawos Se TTJV Sopav 
rainy Kara TTJV p-dxyv TO "Stoi/ eTre^Keire erSf 
IIoXv)3(B7T;s fie fita TTJS dakdtrarjs 8ia>x@els wri rov 
Ho<rfi8S>vos rjKev els ~K.S>' Hoo-eidiav &e TJjy vr)o~ov fiepos 
35 diropprjas fTreppvjrev avra, TO Xeyo/ierov T$io~vpov- 
'Epft^s Se T^V "AtSor Kvveriv ef(a>v Kara T^V p.djffiv 
'IjnroXvrvv direiereivev,*'A.pTfp.is Se TpaTitava, p.oipai tie 
*Ayptov Kal Qda>va xa\Keois poird\oif yita^o/zevoiis. Tour Se 
SXXovs Kepavvois Zevs /3aXa>v ie<pdeipf. irdvras 8e 
40 'HpaKX^s aTroXXvfiei/ous eToevo-ev. 1. 6. 1. 6. 2. 5. 

Gsea, being violently disturbed owing to tbe Titans, brings forth 
the Uramis-begotten Giants, wto in height of body indeed did not 
overshoot the mark, but in force were irresistible. Imposing to the 
looks did they appear, wrapped as they were in deep covering on head 
and front ; they had steps like the scales of dragons, were born in the 
Phlegrsean territories, as some say, but, according to others, in Pallene ; 
and they thrust up towards heaven both rocks and rooted trees. 

All these were overtopped by Porphyrion and Alcyoneus, the latter 
of whom was also everduring in whatsoever region he happened to be 
contending, and he it was too that carried off the marine oxen from 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 433 

Erythia. But among the immortals the general opinion was that 
none of the Giants could be utterly destroyed by the Gods, did not 
some mortal-born ally bring the thing to pass. 

Now Gsea, being swelled out by expansion, sought this as an 
outward appliance, so that they might not be utterly destroyed by the 
mortal-born one ; but Zeus, telling the sun, moon, and dawn to shine 
upon it, first cut up this outward appliance himself, then by means 
of Minerva summoned Hercules as an ally, and he discharged his 
shafts first of all at Alcyoneus. This latter was overmuch heated 
again upon the earth; but Minerva having placed herself beneath, 
Hercules dragged him out of Pallene, and after such fashion did this 
one come to his end. 

Porphyrion, in his fight with Hercules, rushed furiously upon Juno 
also. Then Zeus infused in Tri-m a yearning for Juno, who, as he 
commenced to rend her garments and desired to offer violence to her, 
called the allied forces to her aid; and when Zeus had struck him 
with the thunderbolt, Hercules stretched him low with his shafts. 

Of those that remained, Apollo shot the left eye of Ephialtus, and 
Hercules the right ; Eurytion was stretched out by Bacchus with his 
wand; Olytion, by Hecate, as some say, but preferably by Vulcan 
who struck him with his fire- stones ; Minerva hurled the Sicilian 
island upon Enceladus when on the point of shrinking, and having 
cut the skin off Pallas, she covered the nucleus of his carcase in it all 
through the contest ; Polybotes, chased through the sea by Neptune, 
came to Cos, and Neptune, having torn away that portion of the 
island which is called Nisyra, hurled it upon him; Mercury, pos- 
sessed of Pluto's helmet during the battle, stretched out Hippolytus ; 
Diana, Gration; the Mserse, Agrios and Thoon who fought with 
metal clubs. Zeus, striking all that were left with his thunder- 
bolts, withered them up; and Hercules cut them all down while 
perishing. 

NOTES. 

1 Trepl TiTawov dyavaitTovo-a. The expansion of the imprisoned vapour 
in the interior urged the earth to further convulsions which 
brought on the eruptions of the Trap rocks. 

2-8. The principal characteristics of those Traps are enumerated: 
they did not reach the surface (dwirepj3\T)Tovs) ; they were 
strongly eruptive (aKarayiaviarovs) ; imposing looking ((poftepol) ; 
covered with superincumbent strata and vegetation (fiajdeiav 
Koprjv); had the form of steps (/3ao-eiy) that overlapped each 
other like the scales of dragons ; and thrust upwards by their 
eruptive force all (irerpas KOI SpSs) that was above them. They 
are furthermore igneous in origin (ei> $X'ypais). To say that 
they were born in Pallene is but to assert their igneous descent 
in other words, that is, that they were impelled upivards (iroXXco 
or /3dXXo>) by pressure from below. 
G.O. F *" 



434 THE GODS OF OLD; 

9 dietpepe. "To carryover, surpass," that is, "to overflow." The 
porphyry and serpentine Traps (Hop<pvpia>v re KOI 'AXwovevs) 
broke through the surface and overflowed in lava beds. Lyell 
points to an instance in the rocks near Christiana where beds 
of euritic porphyry alternate with fossiliferous transition 
strata. 

11 fj\iov. Ionic form of dXt'ou, "belonging to the sea"; so that 

f)\iov poas is but a compound word, and refers to the " marine 
oxen," or germs of mountains produced by corrugations of the 
primal crust, as noticed in Geryon. This is further established 
by the words * '~Epv6eias. 

12 deals \6yiov, That is, the " literati. " were unanimous in believing' 

that those molten masses of trap would be impervious to the 
attacks of life's agents, the air, rain, &c. (6e&v), were they not 
aided by great earth movements (Hercules). 

14 ala-dofievt) ditrtica, "to breathe out." This breathing, or swelling 

out on the part of earth, formed cones or dome-like masses of 
rock and clay that shielded, as it were, the dikes, sheets, and 
other forms of trap from rapid cooling and consequent solidifi- 
cation or destruction. In so far, it is confirmative of Lyell's 
theory. 

15 Zeiis 8e. But Life, the life of the Third Day that had grown and 

evoluted still further when the Fourth Day brought the sun, 
moon, and stellar bodies into being, was actively employed 
upon those outward appliances. In many ways did it cut up 
the cones or domes, by its roots which pierced and loosened the 
soil and rocks, by the rain that hammered and the running 
water that scoured them, by the burrowing of creeping things, 
by decay and consequent decomposing gases, by many other 
processes, all of which lead to the disintegration and destruction 
of rocky strata. 

17 'HpoucXea <rvfj.fj.axov. The demolition begun by life was aided and 
completed by those great earth movements (Hercules) that were 
called into operation through the organised structure (Minerva) 
of its being. "In the revolutions to which the crust of the 
earth has been subjected, however, the subterranean continua- 
tions of volcanic sheets have often been laid bare, and not only 
so, but sections have been opened into the very heart of masses 
which, though molten and eruptive, seem never to have been 
directly connected with actual volcanic outbursts." Encyc. 
Brit. 

19 'AXifuovea. That this is identical with serpentine may be deduced 
by comparison. 

Serpentine, for instance : 

(1) is found associated with the gneisses and other schistous 
rocks of the oldest mountains, such as the Laurentian 
Hills of the Archaean age ; 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 435 

(2) is an exceedingly durable rock ; 

(3) is believed to be, in part at least, an original deposit of 

oceanic waters. 
Alcyoneus, on the other hand : 

(1) is said to have carried off the marine oxen, that is, the 

oldest mountains from the depths of ocean ; 

(2) is styled everduring (aBavaros) ; 

(3) is, as the derivation (oXs KV<O) denotes, " sea-born." 

To say that "Minerva placed herself beneath" is but to say 
that serpentine is associated with the organised or stratified 
limestone, through which it is drawn out or dragged (eT\Kv<rfv) 
in bands. " With many Palaeozoic limestones, and more par- 
ticularly with the crystalline beds which occur among the 
schistose rocks, serpentine is frequently associated." 
Encyc. Br. 

22 TIop(pvp(cav. The name tells its own story. It is the quartz- 
porphyry, or felsite porphyry, which occurs not only as veins, 
necks, &c., but also as submarine or subaerial flows of lava, or 
sheets. It is a distinguishing characteristic of sheets of trap 
that they do not rigidly conform to the bedding, but break into 
and involve portions of the overlying strata. Particularly is 
this so with the porphyry, as witnessed in the Silurian rocks ; 
and a remarkable feature of the Permian formation is the out- 
pouring of great sheets of quartz-porphyry, granitic-porphyry, 
porphyrites, and melaphyre. This yearning for and rending of 
the surface overhead is mentioned by Apollodorus (nodov 'Hpas 
}, and the outpouring in sheets is marked by 
(wre/cre/wo). 

26 r&v &e \onrS>v. He now proceeds to classify the remaining traps 

according to the shape of the channel by which the molten rock 
escaped. 

27 'E^toXrou. em oXXopzt, " to spring or leap upon; to weigh upon," 

as observable in eiriaXrrjs, "the nightmare, the Latin incubus," 
that weighs upon the sleeper's chest ; hence anything that weighs 
on something else, as a " wall " does on the ground. So, too, 
$10X17 (Latin vattus, our English " wall "), " sunken work." 

The molten trap came up through fissures in the rocks, and 
formed dikes which are now visible as walls (raised dikes), or as 
deep trenches (sunk dikes), according as the surrounding rock 
in one case or the trap itself in the other has been destroyed. 
"We ascribe the decay in both cases to atmospheric action ; but 
Apollodorus suggests that, while this action (Apollo) was 
effective in decomposing the surrounding rocks and the better 
of the two (dpiirrepov), it was the great earth movements 
(Hercules), which made the fissure originally, that emptied the 
receptacle (8et;iov 8e^o/) of its contents. 

28 Ejjpvrov. ev pva>, " well wrinkled, sinuous," the tortuous veins, 

F F 2 



436 THE GODS OF OLD; 

or portions of molten trap injected into rents of previously 
solidified rocks by some means no better understood to-day 
than by what the myth tells us, namely, wherever freedom 
(Bacchus or Liber) pointed out the way. The eiereive (eicreiva> 
" to spin out ") marks the ramifications. 

Horace refers to the same giant form in Ode ii. 19, under 
the slightly altered name of Rhoetus, and marks the tortuous 
character of the veins by retorsisti, and the entire general 
appearance of ramifications from a central mass by the claws 
and mandible of a crab (leonis) : 

Tu, quum parentis regna per arduum 
Cohors Gigantum scanderet impia, 
JKhcetum retorsisti leonis 
Uhguibus horribilique mala. 

When Giant crew would impious scale 
The realms on high of parent thine, 
With crabbish claws and Gorgon jaw 
Did'st thou twist Rhcetus back. 

29 T&.VTIOV. Prom /cXv^ia, and signifying, like Kkv(rnjp, " a pipe or 

funnel," in allusion to the "necks," the filled up pipes, it is 
supposed, of past volcanoes, the cones and craters of which 
have been removed by extensive denudation, leaving those 
orifices bare to view. They are filled up with crystalline ma- 
terial, such as quartz-porphyry, felstone, basalt, clinkstone, 
&c. ; or with fragmental matter that fell back after each erup- 
tion into the throat of the volcano, and there solidified ; or by 
both. It is this fragmental debris (pvo-pois) that recommends 
itself to Apollodorus as having destroyed Clytion, in preference 
to subsidence or Hecate. That there is, however, some authority 
for ascribing the destruction to Hecate may be gathered from 
the following passage in the Encyc. Brit.: "Pieces of fine 
stratified tuff not infrequently appear in the agglomerates. This 
fact, coupled with the not uncommon occurrence of a tumul- 
tuous fractured and highly-inclined bedding of the materials in 
the necks, appear to show that the pipes were partly filled up 
by the subsidence of the tuff consolidated in beds within the 
crater and at the upper part of the funnel." 

30 'EywXdSo) ayKukos ei&os, " of a curved or rounded form," that is, 

the prismatic, columnar form assumed sometimes by trap, as 
exhibited in the Giants' Causeway, Pingal's Cave, &c. How 
this columnar structure has been produced is a matter of much 
discussion, but the most accepted theory, that of Mallet, agrees 
with the myth in believing it to be due to slow cooling, or 
shrinking (tpevyovrij. 

21 HoXXavTos. As Enceladus represents the columnar form of trap, 
so does Pallas represent the globular (jroXXa, " a ball or sphere"). 



AND TEE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 43T 

" In some masses of decomposing greenstone, basalt, and other 
trap rocks," says Lyell, "the globular structure is so con- 
spicuous that the rock has the appearance of a heap of large 
cannon-balls." He instances a pitchstone-porphyry in one of 
the Ponza islands, and quotes thus from Scrope: ""When the 
balls have been exposed a short time to the weather, they scale 
off at a touch into numerous concentric coats, like those of a 
bulbous root, inclosing a compact nucleus. The laminae of this 
nucleus have not been so much loosened by decomposition ; but 
the application of a ruder blow will produce a still further ex- 
foliation." It is evident that the nucleus of the geologist is the 
'{iov 0-ca/j.a of the mythologist, and that it is enveloped by its 
own skin, that has been flayed as it were. Since this concentric 
coating is the nearest approach that a mineral can make to 
organised arrangement, Minerva, the organising goddess, has 
been assigned as the destroying agent. It may be remarked 
here that the fact of our globe as a whole (TroXXa) being a highly 
organised structure accounts for the common epithet of " Pallas 
Minerva." 

33 Hohvp&TTjs. Submarine eruptions are not unknown in our time, 
but in the early ages of the world they were far more frequent 
and general, thereby causing that humped or irregularly 
undulating condition of the ocean's bed which exists more or 
less to-day. This is expressed by saying that Polybotes (rrokus 
v$oa>, "the much humping") was driven through the sea 
where, after forming hillocks (x?)> he was overwhelmed by 
the alluvial deposits (Nisyra, that is, via> avpca, "the washings 
dragged along ") which the ocean and running water (Neptune) 
had broken off from those same hillocks as well as from islands 
above the sea-level. " Subterranean movements," says Lyell, 
"have caused almost everywhere in regions of active volcanoes, 
great changes in the relative level of land and sea, in times 
comparatively modern, so as to expose to view the effects 
of volcanic operations at the bottom, of the sea. Thus, for 
example, the recent examination of the igneous rocks of Sicily, 
especially those of the Val di Noto, has proved that all the 
more ordinary varieties of European trap have been there 
produced under the waters of the sea, at a modern period ; that 
is to say, since the Mediterranean has been inhabited by a 
great proportion of the existing species of tesfcacea. These 
igneous rocks of the Yal di Nbto, and the more ancient 
trappean rocks of Scotland and other countries, differ from 
subaerial volcanic formations * * * * in the absence of 
regular cones and craters, and in the want of conformity of 
the lava to the lowest levels of existing valleys. It is highly 
probable, however, that insular cones did exist in some parts 
of the Val di Noto ; and that they were removed by the waves. 



438 THE GODS OF OLD; 

* * * * A multitude of causes tend, near the land, to 
reduce the bottom of the sea to a nearly uniform level, the 
sediment of rivers, materials transported by the waves and 
currents of the sea from wasting cliffs, showers of sand and 
scoriae ejected by volcanoes, and scattered by the wind and 
waves. When, therefore, lava is poured out on such a surface, 
it will spread far and wide in every direction in a liquid sheet, 
which may afterwards, when raised up, form the tabular capping 
of the land." 

37 'iTTTroXvroi'. The " tWos " here, as elsewhere, has reference to the 

granite charger, and the qualifying " \vros " (Xvco "to weaken, 
to relax") tends to point out Hippolytus as denoting such 
rocks as syenite, diorite, dolerite, diabase, and others of the 
" greenstone " group, whose texture is of that crystalline 
kind commonly called granitic. They are erupted in irregular 
masses and intrusive sheets, and send out highly tortuous veins 
which pierce, alter, and cut across the surrounding rocks. All 
these, as the myth says, were brought to an end or stretched 
out by fluxion (Mercury) operating at a considerable depth 
beneath the surface. 

Tparicova. Another form of intrusive veins, distinctly peculiar, 
is that which runs horizontal for a space, then upward, then 
horizontal again, and so on in what may be called a much-broken 
or zig-zag ('powdj) fashion. This, says the writer, was stretched 
out by Diana, or refraction. 

38 "Ayptov /cat oWa. Allusion is now made to the sheets in which 

trap rock occur. These are characterised (1) by roughness 
(Sypios) of the upper surface, owing to their breaking into and 
involving portions of the overlying strata; (2) by rushing 
(6o6s) across the bedding, and running along on a different 
platform. 

It may be said, then, that it was these strata or divisional 
planes (/noTpoi) that stretched out the trap in sheets. 

The words " xo)uw pon-oXots " have reference to the 
metalliferous veins or lodes in connection with the trap 
rocks. " Granite, syenite, and those porphyries which have 
a granitiform structure, in short, all plutonic rocks, are 
frequently observed to contain metals at or near their junction 
with stratified formations." Lyell. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 439 



CHAPTER IY. 

TEE VOLCANO VERSUS LIFE. 

The Battle of Typluxus. However close or remote may 
be the relationship between the trap rocks and their igneous 
brethren, sufficient evidence, such as masses of tuff hundreds 
of feet thick, and either alone or associated with interbedded 
lavas, remains to prove that volcanic energy, apart alto- 
gether from the intrusive trap, has been rife at every period 
of the earth's existence since Palaeozoic time, and that 
every great formation from the Silurian onwards has had 
its own volcanoes, even though the craters, cones, and all 
elevated traces of such have disappeared. In every way, the 
prodromes of disturbance, ejection of lava and fragmentary 
materials from the depths below, the formation of a cone 
built gradually from this erupted matter and intersected 
with pipes and fissures, the crater connected with a central 
vent, in all these ways, as well as in lineal arrangement 
and intervals of activity and repose, do they appear to have 
resembled those of our own day. The only difference is 
that, while possibly occurring singly on no more violent a 
scale than those of the historic period, they seem to have 
acted simultaneously over a wider geographical range ; for 
those now active have, as a rule, broken out on the sites of 
prehistoric ones, and those now extinct, not to mention 
such as have lost all visible evidences of cones and craters, 
were assuredly once active, and far outnumber the living 
ones of to-day. 

It is those volcanoes of the past, which, then as now, 
waged a destructive war on existing life, that Apollodorus 
next describes under the general name of Typhaon. The 
word, Tu</>wz>, could hardly be better chosen, since smoke 
or vapour (TV^OS) is the inevitable accompaniment of volcanic 



440 THE GODS OF OLD; 

energy. " Gases and vapours play an important part in 
volcanic activity; they show themselves in the earliest 
stages of a volcano's history, and continue to appear for 
centuries after all the other evidences of subterranean 
action have ceased to be manifested. By much the most 
abundant of them all is steam." Encyc. Brit. It may be 
remarked that the marvellous being has left a memorial of 
his name in our literature, since the word " tuff " is, as 
defined by Lyell, " a substance produced by the showering 
down from the air, or incumbent waters, of sand and 
cinders, first shot up from the interior of the earth by 
explosions of volcanic gases." 
Apollodorus writes thus : 

a>s be ftcpdrrjcrav ol 6eol ra>v Tiydvraiv, Trj /iSXXoi' 
XoXtadelo-a fiiywrai laprdpca, Kai yevva TvfpSiva ev 
KtXueia, (i[uynevr}v e%ovTa (pvo-iv dvfipos Kai Brjpiov. 
SVTOS Kai /j-eyedfi KOI dvvdfj.fi irdvrcav diriveyxev 
5 Strove eyfwr]o~f Tfj, r/v fie avrcp TO. u.ev a^pi pypStv 

aTrXeroi' fieye6os dvBpoaop(f>ov, (Sore inrepf^eiv u.ev irdvrcov 
TO>V opa>v, fj 8e Ke(^)aX^ TroXXaxts TO>V aarpiav eijfave' 



TTJV fie eiii ras di/aroXas' ex. TOVTOV fie e^ei^ov eKarov 
10 Ke(^>aXat SpaKovratv. ra fit diro [ujpaiv (nrfipas 
vireppfyeOeis e^ifii/Si/, Siv O\KOL irpbs avTrjv 
Kopvfpfjv trvpiypbv iro\vv Qiea'av. irav fie OVTOV TO 
<rS>[ia KaTeirrepatTO, aii^p.r]pa.l fie e/c Ke(pd\rjs Kai yeveicav 
rpixfs e^Tjve[j.ovvTO, irvp fie e'SepKero Tols oppatri. 

15 TOtOUTOS >V 6 TlK^XBI' KOL TT]\IKOVTOS TJpfifVaS jSaXXcBJ' 

irerpas fir avrov rov ovpavov p.fra o-vpiyp>v 6p.ov Kai 
jBorjs f(pfpero' TroXX^ fie e rov oTO/xaror irvpbs e 
faX?;. 6fol fie a>s eLSov avrbv fir' ovpavov 
fls AZyinrrov (pvyddfs f<pfpovro, Kai 

20 ras tfieas /nere/SaXoi' fls faa. Zfvs fie iroppai p.fv 

ovra Tv(pa>va ejSaXXe Kfpavvols, Trkricrlov fie yfvofifvov 
dda/Jiavrivr] Karfirrrj^ev apTrg, Kai (pfvyovra a^pi rov 
Katrtou opovs tmi'efitaj^e 1 TOVTO fie tmfpKftrai Supi'as 
KfWi fie avrbv KarartTptoufvov l8a>v fls \flpas crvvf- 

25 /3aXe- Tv(p3>v fie Tat? aitftpats irfpar\fxdfls 
avTov, KOI rrfv apirqv 7rfpif\6[j.fvos rd re r&v 
Kai rS>v TroSfij' 8ieVe/xe vfvpa, dpdfifvos fie eTri TO>V 
&pcov difKopio-fv avrbv fiia rrjs 6a\do-OT]S fls KiXiKiav 
Kai Trape\6o>v els TO KcapvKtov avrpov KareQero. 

30 ofiolas fie KOI TO vevpa Kpinffas apKTOv Sopa fceMe 
o, Kai KareoTijcrf Ae\<pvvriv SpaKaivav' 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 441 



Se r\v aSn] J) Koprj. 'Epjtt^s 8e KOI Aiyiicav fKK^ 
TO. vevpa rjpp.Ofrav TO> Ail \a66vrfs. Zevs Se TTJV 
Idiav dvtiKop.t(7dfji:fVos lar)(yv eai<pvr]S e ovpavov, em 

35 imjvatv 6xpv[j.tvos tmratv option, jSdXXojv Ktpavvois 
en' opos e8ia>e Tv(pS>va TO \fyop,fvov NiJ(rav, OTTOU 
juotpat OVTOV dia>xdevra TiTrdrrjo-av' ireurdeis yap on 
pa>o~6j)(TTai p.SX\ov, eyei/craTO rS>v e<prjp,epa>v KapirStv. 
8imep eVtSicoKo/ieKos avdts TjKev els Qpaiajv, Kal 

40 p.a^6p,evos irepi rbv Al/Jiov oXa ej3aXXev oprj. TOVTCOV Se 
eir* OVTOV inrb TOV Kepavvov TrdXiv aidovfievcav iro\ii 
cm TOTJ opovs eeKh.v(rfv aifia' /cat (pcurlv SK TOVTOV 
TO opos KJ\.r)6fjvai Aipov. (pevyeiv 8e dpfirjdevros OUTOV 
Sta T^S 'SiKfh.iKrjs dah.do'a-rjs, Zeiis eirepptifrev A.'ITVTJV 

45 opos ev SixeX/a' TOVTO 8e virfpfieyfdes ecrriv, e o5 
jue^pi 8evpo (pa<riv diro rS>v fiXrjdevrcov Kepavv&v 
ylvecrGai irvpbs dva<pvcrri/j.aTa. 1. 6. 3. 1. 6. 3. 12. 

Now, as the Gods proved superior to the Giants, Gsea, more stirred 
up than ever, is mingled with Tartarus, and in a cone begets Typhaon 
who had his nature mixed up with that of man and beast. In both 
size and might indeed he outmeasured all others, many and great as 
they were that were born of Gsea. Erom the thighs upwards Ms 
parts formed a huge manly mass, so as to raise him above all the 
mountains ; many times did his head approximate the stars ; hands 
too he had, one verging upon the west, and another on the east ; and 
from these stood forth a hundred dragon heads. But the parts from 
the thighs down had serpentine windings to an immense degree, 
whose trails, stretching to the very summit, emitted much rumbling J 
all his body was furnished with wings ; the tangled covering of his 
head and jaws was shaken by the wind ; and fire darted from his eyes. 
A being of such nature was Typhaon produced, and one that, when 
old enough, hurled against the very heaven red-hot rocks in the midst 
of combined rumblings and explosion ; and great was the surge of fire 
that was vomited from his mouth. 

Now the Gods, when they saw him advancing upon heaven, were 
borne, dispersedly in the superincumbent waters, and such as followed 
these archetypes changed to animals. But later on indeed Zens 
struck this being, Typhaon, with his bolts ; forced him with adamantine 
hook to cringe when near ; followed him, retreating, up even to the 
chasm of the mountain ; now this lies over the central vent, and there, 
seeing him sorely scotched, he took him in hands. 

Then Typhaon, having entangled him in his folds, held him fast, 
and rooting out the hook all round, cut in pieces the nerves of both 
hands and feet ; then heaving him high upon his shoulders he carried 
him in the cone through the sea ; and overflowing on the saffron-like 
grot, was there deposited. And there in like fashion too did he cover 
and preserve the nerves in the hide of the great bear ; and there did 
he deposit the dolphin-saurian, for half a beast was this same 



442 THE GODS OF OLD; 

creature. But those cunning appropriates, regular progression and 
vivifying nature, secretly fitted nerves to Zeus. 

Now Zeus, having acquired his proper strength in an unlocked for 
degree from, on high, and being borne on a chariot of winged horses, 
pursued Typhaon with his thunderbolts to the turning point, the 
pillar so to speak, where the divisional planes circumvented Tn'm while 
shrinking; for prompted by the feeling that he could rush still 
further, he made trial of regularly arranged ball and socket joints. 

Persistently pursued then, he came in course of time to Thrace, and 
whilst warring around Hsemus he threw up whole mountains. These 
being thrown back upon him by the thunderbolts, his life juice in 
abundance streamed forth upon the range ; and hence, they say, was 
the range called Hsemus. Then, while endeavouring to retreat 
through the Sicilian sea, Zeus hurled Mount JEfeaa in Sicily upon him 
and this is of immense size, from which up to the present date 
eruptions of fire burst forth, due, as the rumour goes, to the thunder- 
bolts that were hurled. 

NOTES. 

I The " a>s," the context, and the myth as a whole, tend to show 
that, while the interval between the inception of eruptive trap 
and of volcanic action was comparatively short, the latter 
however was in point of time subsequent to the former. 

3 KiXiK/g KV\LKLOV, " a small cup," (the v being changed into t, as in 

(j)irvo), <p\i8aa>, for (pvTfiico, <p\v8da>). A. volcano is defined as a 
conical or cup-shaped eminence, formed not by upheaval, as in 
the case of mountains, but by material ejected from below and 
accumulated at the surface around the vent of eruption. The 
tendency in construction is invariably to the form of a cone. 
p.ffuyfnevt]v (pva-tv. Volcanic action has been at work in every age 
from the early Palaeozoic with its purely animal forms to the 
coming of man, and even to the present date. 

4 fieyedei Kal Svvapei.. Stromboli, Vesuvius, and Hecla are three well- 

known volcanoes, about 3000, 4000, and 5000 feet respectively 
in height. Placed one on top of the other they would be but 
little more elevated than 2Etna which is two miles high and 
over ; Stromboli put on .ZEtna would give the height of Mauna 
Loa, a volcano in the Sandwich Islands ; to this add Hecla, 
and we would behold Popocatepetl in Mexico ; and let us pile 
all three, Stromboli, Vesuvius, and Hecla, on top of 2Etna 
itself, and we would not yet have the height of Bahama, the 
Peruvian Typhaon, that rises to an elevation of over four miles. 
So much for the peyeSos ; and as to the 8wa.fi.is, in an eruption 
of JEtna in 1693, the city of Catania was destroyed in a few 
moments, and 18,000 people perished in the ruins ; in 1783 
Hecla ejected two streams of lava from 40 to 50 miles long, 
7 to 13 feet broad, and 100 to 600 feet deep, whereby 20 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 443 

villages and 9000 people were destroyed ; in 1815 the explosions 
of Tomboro were heard at a distance of 900 miles, the ashes 
darkened the air for 300 miles around, the cinders floating on 
the sea to the windward of Sumatra formed a mass two feet 
thick and several miles long, and over 11,000 persons were 
destroyed. 

6 dvdpofiopipov. There is much to TOcoTmnBTi.fi the simile. A volcano 

has an upright trunk, ramified channels, through which, like 
the blood in arteries, flows the lava, and a central vent ; it has 
periods of activity and repose, and the history of a volcano, 
like that of man, is one, as Hutchison remarks, of youth, 
middle age, old age, and decay. Again, we say " a mountain 
of a man," to mark the superiority in some respects of an indi- 
vidual above his fellow men ; and the simile may be reversed to 
denote the superiority of a volcano above its fellow mountains. 

7 ao-rpav e^rave. That is, by repeated additions (7roAAa/s) to the 

height of the cone, and consequent elevation of the mountain. 
As long as the activity of a volcano exists, so long is the work 
of construction going on to some extent. 

8 xpas. The dominant arrangement of volcanoes is in lines east 

and west along the coasts of continental areas. Thus, beginning 
with the Andaman isles in the Bay of Bengal, there is a chain 
of active or extinct volcanoes running along the entire eastern 
coast of Asia and embracing Sumatra, Java, the Moluccas, 
Philippines, Japan, Kurile Islands, Kamschatka, and Aleutian 
isles. There is a similar volcanic range along the west coast of 
North and South America, manifesting itself by eruptions along 
the whole line from Alaska through the Eocky Mountains, 
Cordilleras, and Andes, down to Terra del Puego. Prom these 
eastern and western hands stand forth, it is not too much to say, 
a hundred volcanic vents or heads out of the 200 or more that 
are in activity throughout the earth, not to mention those that 
are dormant or extinct. 

10 o-ireipas ex^vaiv. The sinuous fissures communicating with the 
molten interior and reaching to the summit (Kopur/>r)i>). They 
radiate from the focus of action and sometimes ramify and 
intersect in all directions. In the eruption of JEtna in 1660, 
one of many fissures that appeared ran in a winding course for 
a distance of 12 miles from the side of the mountain to within 
a mile of the top. 

13 KareirrepoiiTo. That is, " with the means of flight." So does 
Shakespeare say, " Let fiery expedition be my wing." Prom 
the rents and clefts that open at all points on the outside of the 
cone, as well as from those on the sides and bottom of the 
crater, jets of steam and gaseous vapour rush forth like so many 
pinions, and so numerous at times as to conceal the rock from 
view. 



444 THE GODS OF OLD; 

14 rp/xes. "Wild vines and brushwood grew luxuriantly in the crater 

of Vesuvius previous to the famous eruption of 79 A.D., and 
again during the long interval of quiescence between the erup- 
tions of 1500 and 1637. The older tuffs of the same volcano 
exhibit numerous remains of the trees and shrubs which clothed 
its flanks at successive periods. 

15 fifipevas irerpas. Mantell, an eye-witness of one of the eruptions 

of Mount JEtna, writes thus : "If any person could accurately 
fancy the effect of 500,000 sky-rockets darting up at once to a 
height of three or four thousand feet, and then falling back in the 
shape of red-hot balls, shells, and large rocks of fire, he might 
have an idea of a single explosion of this burning mountain ; 
but it is doubtful whether any imagination can conceive the 
effect of one hundred of such explosions in the space of five 
minutes, or of twelve hundred or more in the course of an hour, 
as we saw them." 

19 AiyvTrrov. The word, like Cilicia, is chosen for the idea intended 

to be conveyed, namely, " on the waters over the submerged 
land." The derivation is yala vimos, "the land in a contrary 
position to its usual one," and as the ordinary and proper posi- 
tion is one of elevation, A'iyvm-os consequently denotes " the 
land submerged." Egypt from the earliest historic times has 
been noted for the inundations of the Nile, so much so that the 
verb alyvjmdfa has been used to signify " to be like Egypt, 
that is, to be under water." 

(pvyaSfs. The first indubitable traces of vegetable life are found in 
the Cambrian rocks, and consist entirely of algae or sea- weeds 
that floated ((pvydSes tyepovro) on the waters. 

20 f<3a. Vegetation, the primal form of organised existence, was 

followed by animal life. This establishes the chronology of 
this portion of the myth, Biblically with the beginning of the 
Fifth Geuesiac Day, and geologically with the beginning of 
Silurian time, since it is in the Cambrian rocks of that period 
that animals make their first appearance, and these are all of 
the marine type. 

Zew Be w6ppa>. J3ut later on in Silurian days, when the volcanic 
giant had raised his head nearer (irXrjcriov') to the domain of vital 
operations, Life attacked him with the lightning which it 
attracted, with the rootlets or hooks (apirrj) of algaa and other 
fucoids, with saxicavous mollusks that bored into the mass, 
with air and rain, with everything that tended to weather and 
decompose the rock, and so make it cringe or contract 
(naTeimj^ev) upon itself. 

22 dSapavrivri apiri). Every crag, and rock, and architectural ruin, 
bears witness to the unconquerable ravages of atmospheric 
influences and of vital agencies. As an instance of what 
weathering can accomplish, granite has been dug into for a 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 445 

depth, of 30 feet, owing to the decomposition of its felspar into 
kaolin. 

<j)eiryovra a^pi. Life followed up its advantage over the shrinking 
and temporarily quiescent giant by establishing a growth, of 
vegetation not only as far as the crater's mouth. (Kao-i'ou x<* ns > 
"a chasm"), but even over the sides and floor of the 
crater itself. Erom this spot, which was directly over the 
central vent (Supi'as, from <rupifeo, and like <ri)pty, "a pipe or 
funnel "), did Life look down with, the complacency of triumph 
upon its badly mutilated foe. 

25 TrepwrXex&is. It was a dangerous position that Life had chosen : 
for centuries, it may be, after the copsewood had become fast- 
rooted in the flanks and crater (Kare'<rx'), the volcano, that was 
dormant (na.TaTerpiaii.evov), not extinct, resumed its activity once 
more. Lava poured forth, from every rent and fissure in the 
sides, and in this way, aided by the decomposition and disin- 
tegration of the rock through, weathering, was the connecting 
hook of vegetable growth, removed from the slopes ; volumes of 
vapour and super-heated steam rushed from innumerable clefts 
and crannies in the sides and crater, and thus were the nerves 
of existing animal life lacerated ; finally, with one tremendous 
explosion, the entire top of the cone, with crater and life forms, 
was blown into fragments that rose thousands of feet above the 
mountain's shoulders (apdpevos, &c.) and were subsequently 
scattered over the neighbouring sea (8ta lijs AzAaa-a^s). 

An explosion similar to this in every way occurred to 
Vesuvius in 79 A.D., and in 1822 the top of the same volcano 
was blown off to the extent of more than 800 feet. 

Erakatoa, in the Straits of Sunda, had at one period a cone 
with a base of 25 miles in circumference, and a height of 10,000 
feet. An eruption, the date of which is not known, occurred 
and blew away the cone, leaving but a height of a few hundred 
feet. 

29 Trape\6a>v. Following the explosion the lava overflowed in torrents 
that spread over the bed of ocean and helped to cover up the 
tuffs, scoriae, dust, &c., and the organic relics, all of which had 
resulted from the eruption that demolished the cone and crater. 
"In the earth's crust," says Lyell, "there are volcanic tuffs 
of all ages, containing marine shells, which bear witness to 
eruptions at many successive geological periods. These tuffs, 
and the associated trappean rocks, must not be compared to 
lava and scoriae which had cooled in the open air. Their 
counterparts must be sought in the products of modern sub- 
marine volcanic eruptions." 

TLaipvKiov. The " Corycian cave," alluded to by Pindar, Strabo, and 
JEschylus, as the abode of Typhaon, and famous for its saffron 
s), whence the name Coryciau. Saffron is used as a 



446 THE GODS OF OLD; 

simile for tuff, owing to its being light, porous, fibrous in 
texture, and yellowish or reddish brown in colour, as some 
tuffs are. It is in these tuffs that the fossil remains of life are 
generally found. "Small irregular fragments of the scoriae 
and pumice above mentioned, and the dust of the same, pro- 
duced by volcanic explosions, form the tuffs which abound in 
all regions of active volcanoes, where showers of these materials, 
together with small pieces of other rocks ejected from the 
crater, fall down upon the land or into the sea. Here they 
often become mingled with shells, and are stratified." Lyell. 
30 6p,oi<as, SpKTov. In a similar way did the lava and tuffs cover and 
conceal the fossil remains of later ages, of the mammoth, for 
instance, which, clothed as it was in a mixture of hair and 
wool, is evidently the apxros or "great bear" alluded to by 
Apollodorus, just as the "dolphin-dragon" is probably the 
ichthyosaur or some other of the strange deinosaurs half fish, 
half beast that flourished up to the opening of the Tertiary 
period. 

"Extinct quadrupeds of that era," says Lyell of the Miocene, 
"belonging to the genera Mastodon, Ehinoceros, and others, 
were buried in ashes and beds of alluvial sand and gravel, 
which owe their preservation to sheets of lava which spread 
over them." 

32 'TLp/jajs. The efforts of the volcanic giant were in vain, however, 

for destroy as he might, and cover and conceal as he would, 
form, after form of the life that was, the regular course of 
events ('Epp)s, p/to) and the all-vivifying power of nature 
(Aiyiirav, diWcB irav) brought into being others of their type. 

33 Zevs 8e. We are now led on to the Tertiary period, remarkable 

(1) for the ushering in of life in its highest and most potential 
(ISlav loyyv) form, namely, the mammal ; and (2) for the last 
great general exhibition of volcanic energy. 

The previous period was distinguished for its reptiles, as the 
one before it was for its mollusks; but now in Cainozoic or 
Tertiary time, vegetation began to assume the forms of to-day, 
and the mammals, though uncouth and strange at first, 
gradually verged into species closely like those of the present 
age. Thus, among the Pliocene or late Tertiary remains in the 
Upper Missouri region there are enumerated species resembling 
our camel, rhinoceros, elephant, deer, wolf, fox, tiger, beaver, 
porcupine, " and four or five species of the horse family, one 
of which was closely like the modern horse." Birds too now 
appeared in numbers. So that the writer feels justified in 
describing Life as borne on a chariot " of winged horses." 

34 fgovpavov The "development theory" of Darwin finds no 

support from those words. The Greek evidently believed that 
a new species, the mammal for instance, meant a new creation. 



AND THE STORT THAT THEY TELL. 447 

35 Kfpawois. The general accompaniments of violent volcanic erup- 

tions are darkness, thunder and lightning, explosive reports, 
and earthquake shocks. 

36 Tv<j>>va. But, if Zeus became thus remarkably endowed at this 

period with strength and activity, so too did his Typhcean 
foe, for Geology notices the fact of widespread and vigorous 
volcanic action with successive outpourings of lava on a 
prodigious scale all during the Miocene or Middle Tertiary 
time. In France, Spain, Italy, Sicily, and Greece, in the 
"West Indies, Central Am erica, and the Andes, even in arctic 
Greenland there are found evidences plain and plentiful point- 
ing to the fierceness of the fight, and to battle grounds gory 
with the lava that flowed from the giant's wounds. Hundreds 
of maimed volcanoes in Auvergne, Velais, and Vivarais in 
Central Prance, attest how Zeus blew off the monster's heads, 
and the basaltic plateaux of Antrim in Ireland and of Mull 
in Scotland mark some of the spots where, all surrounded by 
joints (fjalpai fj.fipofj.aL, "to divide ") while cooling (Siux^Va) or 
shrinking, the lava was tempted to make trial of the columnar 
structure. 

r' opoy. Literally, " to the serum" (dpds) or watery part of blood 
and other more or less viscid fluids. Blood before coagulation 
consists of (1) Globules, and (2) Plasma, this latter containing 
fibrine, albumen, water, and salts ; after coagulation, blood is 
separated into (1) Clot, which contains the globules and fibrine, 
and (2) Serum, which contains the albumen, water, and salts. 
Microscopic examination of the lava tends to show that it 
consists fundamentally of (1) a glassy base, and (2) of micro- 
lites, crystals, and interstitial aqueous vapour, the component 
molecules of which are diffused through this base. It is also 
shown that as lava advances from a fluid to a solid state, 
" clots," as it were, the amount of aqueous vapour diminishes, 
while the microlites and crystals develop and increase. 

The idea of the Greek writer then, namely, that the serum is the 
"turning point" in coagulation, whether of blood or of lava, 
is perfectly legitimate, has much to recommend it, and has 
been developed by Gregory Watt who attributed the columnar 
structure of lava to the production of globules or spherical 
concretions in the cooling mass. 

Nvaav vvo-o-a, "a turning post or pillar" in a racecourse. Life 
with its electricity pursued the lava in its onward course till it 
reached the turning point, and began to pass from the fluid to 
the solid state. What further ensues is thus described in the 
Encyc. Brit. : " In passing from a fluid to a solid condition, 
and thus contracting, lava acquires different structures. Lines 
of divisional planes or joints traverse it, especially perpendi- 
cular to the upper and under surfaces of the sheet. These lines 



448 THE GODS OF OLD; 

at various irregular distances cross each, other so as to divide 
the rock into rude prisms. * * * Where this arrangement 
occurs, as it does so commonly in basalt, the mass is divided 
into tolerably regular pentagonal, hexagonal, or irregularly 
polygonal prisms 'or columns, set close together at a right angle 
to the main cooling surfaces. These prisms vary from two or 
three to eighteen or more inches in diameter, and range up to 
100 or even 150 feet in length. * * * In the more perfectly 
columnar basalts the columns are sometimes articulated, each 
prism being separable into vertebrae, -with a cup and ball 
socket at each articulation." 

38 pa>cr6t)(rerai pcoo/xcu, " to dart, to rush." 

tfapepcav. e(f>T]iJ.epis signifies " a diary, journal, calendar," and 
in general "a record or tabular statement of daily events." 
Hence the adjective, ffpr/pepos, may be used to signify either 
of the dominant ideas implied in its substantive, that is, 
" lasting but for a day, ephemeral," or, as it is used here by 
Apollodorus, "regularly arranged, tabulated or tabular,'' as 
the columnar structure of lava is. 

naprr5>v Kapiros, " the wrist joint." The term is chosen advisedly ; 
for the wrist, as described in works on anatomy, presents many 
of the characters of an enarthrodial (" ball and socket ") joint. 

39 Siowep. All that follows may be considered as happening in the 

historic era, or closely preceding. 

" One portion of the lavas, tuffs, and trap dikes of .ZEtna, 
Vesuvius, and the island of Ischia, has been produced within 
the historical era; another and a far more considerable part 
has originated at times immediately antecedent, when the 
waters of the Mediterranean were already inhabited by the 
existing species of testacea." Lyell. 

Since there is no room for doubt, and much food for 
reflection, in the foregoing double narrative of Apollodorus, 
it is consequently with an interest and respect begotten of 
geologic lore that we must read the numerous allusions to 
the Giants and Typhaon, or Typhoeus as he is otherwise 
called, in the classic poets. They all embody the same 
idea, the igneous rocks ; but when comparison is made, the 
distinction is always well-marked between the purely 
intrusive giant traps and the volcano that belches forth 
smoke and fire. The latter lusts for supreme sway and 
relies upon the extent and might of those mountain arms 
wherein nestle a hundred volcanic heads; the former 
endeavour to scale to heaven on the step-like terraces of trap, 
and fight with thrust-up rocks and massive trunks of trees. 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 449 

The distinctive comparison is -well-marked by Horace : 
Magnum ilia terrorem intulerat Jovi 
IPidens juventus horrida bracliiis, 
Fratresque tendentes opaco 
Pelion imposuisse Olympo. C. iii. 4. 

Again, the volcanoes, while numerous, are still but one, 
Typhaon, one in construction, one in action, one in mode 
of dying ; the history of one is the history of all. Not so 
with the traps ; offspring of the same parents, they are as 
like and unlike as brothers : as unlike as spotted serpentine 
is to porphyry, syenite to the resonant clinkstone, as all 
these to diabase and melaphyre; as like as it is possible 
for individuals to be in whose veins runs the same blood, 
who are actuated by the same desires, and banded together 
for a common purpose. This idea is well expressed by 

Virgil in his Georgics, I. 278 : 

Turn partu Terra nefando 

Cseumque, lapetumque creat, ssevumque Typhcea, 
Et conjuratos ccelum rescindere fratres. 
Ter stint conati imponere Pelio Ossam 
Scilicet, atque Ossse frondosum involvere Olympian. : 
Ter Pater extructos disjecit fulmine montes. 

The " igneous " theme serves to throw a new light, often 
a new reading, on many passages from the poets. Here is 
an instance of the latter from Horace : 

domitosque Herculea marni 
Telluris juvenes, unde periculum 

Pulgens contremuit domus 
Saturni veteris. 0. ii. 1 2. 
And warrior sons of earth. 
By mighty force laid low, 
Whence flaming danger shook 
Old time abodes. 

How pointless after all, in the ordinary sense, is the ter 
in the lines just quoted from the " Bard of Mantua." 
Eeiteration is its only redeeming feature. But if we bear 
in mind that this ter embraces Palseozoic, Mesozoic, and 
Cainozoic time, what a new meaning dawns upon us, one 
worthy of the understanding and of the poet, and one that 
brings up a host of geological recollections. 

Ovid, as we would expect, does not forget in his Meta- 
G.O. a Q 



450 THE GODS OF OLD; 

morphoses to make mention of the igneous rocks. He too 
separates the trap giants from the volcanic Typhoeus, and 
when writing of the former deftly weaves in, as will be 
observed, the tradition mentioned in Genesis vi. 4 and 11 : 

4. " There were giants in the earth in those days ; and also after 
that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and 
they bare [children] to them : the same [became] mighty men, which 
[were] of old, men of renown." 

11. " The earth also was corrupt before God; and the earth was 
filled with violence." 

Neve foret terris securior arduus aether, 

Affectasse ferunt regnum cseleste gigantas, 

Altaque congestos struxisse ad sidera montes. 

Turn pater omnipotens misso perfregit Olympum 

Fulmine, et excussit subjecto Pelio Ossam. 

Obruta mole sua cum corpora dira jacerent, 

Perfusam multo natorum sanguine Terrain 

Immaduisse ferunt calidumque animasse cruorem, 

Et, ne nulla suse stirpis monimenta manerent, 

In faciem vertisse hominum. Sed et ilia propago 

Contemptiix superum ssevseque avidissima csedis 

Et violenta fuit. Scires e sanguine natos. Met. i. 151. 

Nor more immuned the welkin than the lands ; 

For giants, as the common story goes, 

Aspired to realms supernal, and in throngs 

Thrust mountains upward to the stars on high. 

Then through Olympus crashed the sire of gods, 

All-powerful with the lightning's bolt, and shook 

The Ossa from the Pelion underneath. 

When their dread trunks by weight their own lay stretched, 

Earth, with its offspring's reddened tide all strewn, 

Soaked in, 'tis said, and vivified the gore ; 

And, that some tokens of the seed might last, 

Changed on to shape of men : but that race too 

Contemned the gods, showed eagerness intense 

For slaughter dire, and violence pursued. 

From blood you ought those born of blood to know. 

In all this we see but the eruptive efforts of those 
igneous traps, many in number (congestos), and rearing 
themselves step by step (Pelio Ossam) on high through 
means of the terraced mountains they had thrust up or built 
up, whichever way we like to construe " struxisse," until 
the surface action of air, water, and life, aided by the great 
oscillatory movements of the land itself, put an end to 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 451 

their bold endeavours. But there is no allusion to volcanic 
action, or to aught connected with such action. 

How different reads the following description of Typhoeus 
from the same poetic hand. Here is no lack of that 
"volcanic energy and drapery which we missed in the 
Giants ; here we behold the tuggings of the lava-monster 
in the depths below, and its occasional efforts at vomiting 
fire and clouds of sand and dust, in the vain hope of 
building once again the whilom cones (ponclera terras) and 
craters nestling like towns within their rock-ribbed walls, 
and of evoluting from its own substance such huge piles as 
.ZEtna, Vesuvius, and the like : 

Vasta giganteis ingesta est insula membris 

Trinacris, et magnis subjectum molibus urget 

.ZEtherias ausum sperare Typhoea sedes. 

Nititur ille quidem, pugnatque resurgere ssepe : 

Dextra sed Ausonio manus est subjecta Peloro, 

Lseva, Pachyne, tibi ; Lilybseo crura premuntur ; 

Degravat 2Etna caput : sub qua resupinus arenas 

Ejectat, flammamque fero vomit ore Typhoeus. 

Ssepe remoliri luctatur pondera terrse 

Oppidaque, et magnos evolvere corpore montes. 

Inde tremit tellus, et rex pavet ipse silentum, 

Ne pateat, latoque solum retegatur biatu, 

Immissusque dies trepidantes terreat umbras. Met. v. 346. 

O'er giant limbs a large and three-caped isle 

Was thrown ; and now by its enormous mass 

It presses hard the prone Typhoeus down, 

Who dared to hope for mansions in the sky. 

Still does he strain, and often strives to rise ; 

But on his right hand is Pelorus couched, 

Pachyne on the left ; his thighs are weighed 

By Lilybseuni ; JEtna bows his head ; 

'Neath which the resupine Typhoaus spews 

Vast clouds of sand, and vomits flakes of fire. 

Oft tries he mounds of earth and crater walls 

To build again, and mountains huge to frame 

Erom substance all his own : then quakes the earth, 

And fears the ruler of the dead and gone 

Lest gape it should and hell's foundation be 

Disclosed within the yawning chasm, and lest 

Th' admitted light should fright the trembling shades. 

We end, as we began, this " Story of the Gods of Old," 



452 TEE GODS OF OLD; 

with Hesiod. In the early part of his Theogony he tells 
how, in the separation of the incorruptible firmament from 
the heavens " that will pass away," Kronos 

" from Ms sire cut swift and flung behind 
The plans, hereafter to be claimed his own." 

He then proceeds, partly consecutively, partly anticipa- 

TO. p,ev OVTI eY&xna eK(pvye ^etpos' 
otrerai yap paddp-iyyts direcra-vdev ai/naroeo-om, 
iratras df^aro Tala' <7repnrXop.evav 8' fviavr&v 
yetvar 'Epivvs re Kparepas [LeydXovs re Tiyavras, 
\ap,iroftevovs, SoXi^' eyx ea X P a ^ v fX OVTas ' 
s ff as MeA.ias KaXeoucr' eV aireipova yalav' 

Theog. 182. 

Not useless 'scaped the efforts of his hand ; 
For many as the blood-red liquid drops 
That flowed therefrom, did Ge receive them all; 
And in the course of ages speeding by 
She brought the mortal passions to -the world ; 
And mighty Giants, for their rigging famed, 
Grasping their long spears close ; and Nymphs she bore, 
Called " Essences " on this benighted earth. 

NOTES. 
'Epivvs Kparepas. " The ruling passion, be it what it will, 

The ruling passion conquers reason still." 

Pope. 

i. The elevated plateaux or terraces of trap, -whereby the 
giants hoped to mount to heaven. 

"implements of any kind; the rigging of a ship," or 
general mounting apparatus, whereby the sails are hoisted and 
sailors climb aloft. The word is so suspiciously like rei^co-i, 
"walls, or dikes," as to suggest a further examination of the 
original codices. 

6 MeXi'as fie\a>, "to be an object of care, anxiety, or thought"; 
hence, "to be essential." The Nymphs (vvp.(pai) are the 
quiddities, innate nature, or essences of things, the final 
answer to repetitions of vyv (pr/s ', " what then ?" or as the Latin 
has it, quid esfc ? quid nunc ? 

The myth is true. All three, Erinyes, Giants, and Nymphs, are 
relics of the primal Uranus : all three, the ruling passions, the 
burning lava, and the essences of things, are heirlooms received 
from the incorruptible, and the last to perish for man, for the 
earth as a whole, and for things material, respectively. 

This parenthetic clause, so far as it relates to the Giants, 
points clearly enough to the tabular and columnar structure 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 453 

of the trap rocks. It also apparently encourages the hope 
that the further narrative of these Giants would be resumed 
elsewhere in the Theogony ; hut as they are never alluded 
to by name again, and as the battle with Typhoaus imme- 
diately follows the battle of the Titans, it is highly 
probable, almost certain indeed, that Hesiod considered 
the Giants and Typhoeus as but different forms of the one 
class of rocks, the igneous, in other words, that he held 
the same theory with regard to the trappean and volcanic 
rocks which Lyell favours and which M'Culloch formulates 
thus : " It is a mere dispute about terms to refuse to the 
ancient eruptions of trap the name of submarine volcanoes; 
for they are such in every essential point, although they no 
longer eject fire and smoke." 

Additional confirmation is furthermore obtained from 
the poet's making use of the terms Tu^atoi; and Tu^xaeus ; 
this latter he reserves for the volcanic outbursts; the 
former, Typhaon, " eruptive, overbearing, strange," he 
applies for comparative distinction to the traps, and unites 
him appropriately to the granite (Echidna), as noticed in 
lines 306-7 of the Theogony. There is consequently no real 
discrepancy, chronological or otherwise, between Hesiod's 
account and that of Apollodorus, and the conclusion is that 
while the later writer favoured the separation, the earlier one 
favoured the conjunction of the igneous rocks as a whole. 

The Typhomachia of Hesiod may therefore be considered 
as a description of what ensued after the great Archaean 
struggle when the granite, gneiss, and metamorphic rocks 
were reduced to submission, and tamed sufficiently for the 
evoluting purposes of life. 

Serpentine, porphyry, greenstone, syenite, and the entire 
Trappean crew made fiery charges from the depths below 
upon the outposts guarding the life that was above. Some 
they devoured, others they hacked, others still they spitted 
with their spears, and more they trampled down, using the 
dismembered bodies as stepping stones to higher grounds. 
And when Life's cohorts still held their ground and gave 
back blow for blow, up to the rescue of its kindred trap 



454 THE GODS OF OLD; 

came the volcano, last and most lasting (as we know only 
too well) of the warring sons of earth. With arms that 
grasped the east and west, with feet that waded in the ever- 
during lava, with smoke and steam and sounds terrific, 
and above all with fire, did this Anak advance upon the 
earth, and from earth to heaven on the cones that served 
it for so many heads. 

How they fought and how long, how they were subdued 
and when, is the subject matter of Hesiod's description, 
a description inimitable, and scarcely inferior to his Battle 
of the Titans. 

Notes are superfluous in his case ; and we need only 
remark that the ^fxart Kefow is again the fateful Tertiary 
period of our earth's existence, and that the <pa>val 
mentioned by the poet are true to nature and true in order. 
Volcanic eruptions are preceded, as a rule, by tremors that 
finally merge into distinct shocks of earthquake, and the 
sounds ((fxavcu) proceeding from these have been likened by 
writers and observers to " thunder," " a hollow booming," 
" the rolling of a heavy wagon," or " the bellowing of 
bulls." Then comes a series of explosive reports, which the 
poet alludes to as the " barking of dogs " ; and the rushing 
of steam with a screaming noise like to that from a locomo- 
tive. Such accompaniments as thunder, lightning, hurri- 
canes, and tidal waves, are well recognised in volcanic and 
seismic disturbances : 

Avrap eTret TiTTJvas djr' ovpavov e^eXaire Zevs, 
ojrXdraToi' TEKC TraiSa Tv(f>a>ea Fata m\a>pr) 
faprdpov Iv (^iXoTTjri Sta xpvtrerjv 'A(ppo8Lrj]v. 
oS X 'P ey /**" aaTTTOt, eV Ifrxy? epypaT e^ovtrai, 
Kal TroSes dicdfiaTOi Kparepov 6fov' ex Se 01 ap.an> 

fjV fKCLTOV Kf^)a\al OtplOS, Sfivolo SpOKOVTOS, 

yXa)tro7/(rt bvo^teprjcri \e\ft^fj.6ref, la de ol ocrcrcov 
6f<nreffiris Kf^aXjcru' VTT' ocppvtri ir 
7raeroj> 8' EK Ke^aXeajv Trvp /catero 
<j)(ovai S' ev irdo-rjcnv ecrav Seivrjs 
iravToir^v on lelcrat, ddefrfpaTov' aXXore p,ev yap 
<j)deyyovff &<rre deoltri <ruviep.ev, aXXore 8' avre 
Tavpov fpij3pv%fta, fievos da~xTOV ocrorav, dyavpov, 
aXXore 8' aure \eovrof dvaiSea dvfiov e^ojros, 
aXXore 8' au <rKv\dice<r(nv eoiKora, 6avfi.aT' aKovaa 
aXXore 8' av polf<r\' VTO 8' TJX efv i*P ea 



AND THE STORY THAT THEY TELL. 4,55 



Kal vu Kev eWXero fpyov ap.t)%avov TJIIOTI Keivco, 
Kal nev oyc 6vrfroi<ri KOI ddavdroKrit avagev, 
el jj.fj ap' ogii vorja-f trarrip dvSpcbv re deaiv re. 
ai&Tjpov 8' e/3p6iTr;o-e Kal oQpiftov, dp.(pl 8e yaia 
a-fiepdaXfov Kovdf3r)o-f Kal ovpavos evpvs virepdev, 
TTOVTOS T 'QKeavov re pool Kal rdprapa yairjs. 
Troircrl S' VTT' ddavaTouri fieyas TreXe fitter' "'OXvp.TTOf 
6pwp,fvoio avaicros' virf(rTfvd)(ie8eya'ia. 
Kavfw. S' VTT d/j.<poTepa>v Kdrf^ev loetSra TTOVTOV 
Ppovrrjs re areponris re, irvpos T diro TOIO ire\a>pov, 
irpTiarfip&v dvefttav re Kepavvov re <p\eyfdovros. 
efee Se j(6a>v <ira<ra Kal ovpavos ^Se OdXavara' 
0ve S' ap' dfXp' auras irfpl r' d[i<pi re Kvfiara 
pnrfl vir d6avartav, evoo-is 8' ao-Bforos opa>pei' 
T-peVo-' 'AtSijs, eWpottrt KaTa(p6ip.evounv dvd<T(T(ov, 
Tirrjves ffi VTroraprdpioi, Kpovov dptpls lovres, 
do~l3eaTov Ke\d8oio Kal alvrjs difioTfJTOS. 
Zfi/s 8', eTrel otiv Kopdvvev eov fj-evos, ei\ero 8' OTrXa, 
^povrrjv Te arepOTT^v re Kal aWaXoevra Kepavvov, 
ir\fjev cm OuXv/LiTroio eVaXftevos' dp<pl 8e irdcras 
rpe<re ^eoTreer/ay Kf<f>a\as Sfivoto ire\a>pov. 
avrap ejrei 8^ ft.iv ddfiao-e TT\r)y^o-iv ifido-o-as, 
TJpmf yvia>6fis, OTeva^tfe 8e yaia TreXcupij- 
<p\bi; 8e KtpawcaBeVTOs aireo~cruTO rolo avaKTOs 
ovpeos ev j3rio-o-ijo-iv 'Atrvrjs jranraXoecro-^ff, 
Tr\rjyevTos' TroXXij 8e TreXcopj; Kat'ero yaia 
drp.?! 0eo~Treo-ir] Kal erTjKero, KatrcriVepos a>s 
rex! fa' alij)&v UJTO T fvrpr)Tov xodvoto 
6a\<j)deis, rje a-i^rjpos, ojrep Kparepwraros etrriv, 
ovpeos ev ftricrtrricri dapagopevos irvpl wyXeo) 

ev -)(dov\ blri v<f>' 'J3.<paio~rov TraXdjujcru'. 
apa TrjKero yaia creXa irvpbs aldopevoio. 
8e fuv 6v/j,a dKa%cbv es TdpTapov evpvv. Theog. 820. 



When Zeus the Titans had expelled from heaven, 

Eevolving earth, with Tartarus conjoined 

In love's most ardent tie, Typhceus bore, 

Last and most lasting of her children all. 

His hands, that served as barriers for strength, 

Baffled comparison ; his parts below 

Were everduring as a mighty god's ; 

A hundred snaky, dreadful dragon heads, 

That licked all over were with lurid tongues, 

Sprang from his shoulders ; and from eyes of his, 

Under the brows of these most wondrous heads, 

There darted fire, from every head of his 

That gazed upon the light was kindled fire. 

And sounds of every sort and hard to tell 

A going were in all those fearful heads : 

They one time sounded like to warring gods ; 



45t> THE GODS OF OLD. 

At others to the roaring of a bull 

Loud-bellowing, lordly, and of strength unmatched, 

Or that of lion swayed by hungry feel ; 

Anon 'twas, strange to hear, like barking dogs ; 

And yet again it rushed with>hissing scream, 

And the long ranges echoed from below. 

And haply now a deed past mending quite 

On that most noted day were done, and ruled 

O'er gods and mortals he might have, had not 

The sire of gods and men been quick to see. 

Then he the thunder hoarse, intense, sent forth ; 

And earth's expanse, and heaven's broad dome above, 

The sea, the ocean's springs, and nether depths, 

Bang with the deaf 'ning sound ; then roused to wrath 

This Anak's everduring feet convulsed 

The earth, and shook Olympus far and wide. 

Then did the burning tide beneath these two 

Invade the dark-blue sea, while ever raged 

The thunder, lightning, stormy winds, the bolt, 

And fire from this phenomenon eo strange. 

Then steamed the all of earth, and heaven, and sea ; 

Then surged the long waves round and round the shores 

Under the rushing of immortal powers ; 

And ceaseless quaking of the earth was roused. 

The god that rules the dead and gone beneath, 

Th' abysmal Titans all round Kronos ranged, 

Shook with the ceaseless din and dreadful strife. 

But now when Zeus massed all his strength, and grasped 

His weapons, thunder, lightning, flaming bolt, 

Bushing from his Olympian home he sprang .,, 

He smote, and blew off all the awesome heads ^/ 

Of this phenomenon so passing strange 

At length when scourged and tamed with blows it fell 

Dismembered down, and earth revolving shook, 

This thunder-scarred, this blasted Anak's fire 

Broke loose in time-worn glens of .ZEtna's mount ; 

And by the awful heat revolving earth 

Was far and wide consumed, and melted like 

The tin that's melted 'neath a wide-oped pit 

Under the cunning skill of brawny men, 

Or iron, most tenacious, that, reduced 

By ardent fire in mountain depths, is fused 

Within the glorious earth 'neath Vulcan's hands. 

By the wild blaze of deflagrating fire 

Was earth consumed like this : then anguished sore 

She plunged it down to wide and troubled depths. 

THE EOT). 



BRADBURV, AONETT, & CO. LD.. PRINTKRS, LONDON AND TONBRIDQE. 



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