The Age of Fable

The Age of Fable

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Excerpt: ...courtiers and sycophants, he grudged every verse that did not rehearse his own praises. When Simonides approached to receive the promised reward Scopas bestowed but half the expected sum, saying, "Here is payment for my portion of thy performance; Castor and Pollux will doubtless compensate thee for so much as relates to them." The disconcerted poet returned to his seat amidst the laughter which followed the great man's jest. In a little time he received a message that two young men on horseback were waiting without and anxious to see him. Simonides hastened to the door, but looked in vain for the visitors. Scarcely, however, had he left the banqueting hall when the roof fell in with a loud crash, burying Scopas and all his guests beneath the ruins. On inquiring as to the appearance of the young men who had sent for him, Simonides was satisfied that they were no other than Castor and Pollux themselves. SAPPHO Sappho was a poetess who flourished in a very early age of Greek literature. Of her works few fragments remain, but they are enough to establish her claim to eminent poetical genius. The story of Sappho commonly alluded to is that she was passionately in love with a beautiful youth named Phaon, and failing to obtain a return of affection she threw herself from the promontory of Leucadia into the sea, under a superstition that those who should take that "Lover's-leap" would, if not destroyed, be cured of their love. Byron alludes to the story of Sappho in "Childe Harold," Canto II.: "Childe Harold sailed and passed the barren spot Where sad Penelope o'erlooked the wave, And onward viewed the mount, not yet forgot, The lover's refuge and the Lesbian's grave. Dark Sappho! could not verse immortal save That breast imbued with such immortal fire? "'Twas on a Grecian autumn's gentle eve Childe Harold hailed Leucadia's cape afar;" etc. Those who wish to know more of Sappho and her "leap" are...show more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 8mm | 268g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1236711106
  • 9781236711106