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the romance, it would appear that at the period of its composition the temperature of the Lesbian climate was colder than it is now represented by travellers. We are told in the pastoral, that early in winter a sudden fall of snow shuts up all the roads, the peasants are confined to their cottages, and the earth nowhere appears except on the brinks of rivers, or sides of fountains. No one leads forth his flocks to pasture; but by a blazing fire some twist cords for the net, some plait goat's hair, and others make snares for the birds;
the hogs are fed with acorns in the sty, the sheep with leaves in the folds, and the oxen with chaff in the stalls.
The season of the year precludes the interviews of Daphnis and Chloe. They could no longer meet in the fields, and Daphnis was afraid to excite suspicion by visiting the object of his passion at the cottage of Dryas. He ventures, however, to approach its vicinity, under pretext of laying snares for birds [iii. 6]. Engaged in this employment, he waits a long time without any person appearing from the house. At length, when about to depart, Dryas himself comes out in pursuit of a dog who had run off with the family dinner [ii. 7]. He perceives Daphnis with his game, and accordingly, as a profitable speculation, invites him into the cottage. The birds he had caught are prepared for supper, a second cup is filled, a new fire is kindled, and Daphnis is asked to remain next day to attend a sacrifice to be performed to Bacchus. By accepting the invitation, he for some time longer enjoys the society of Chloe. The lovers part, praying for the revival of spring; but while the winter lasted, Daphnis frequently visits the habitation of Dryas.
When spring returns, Daphnis and Chloe are the first to lead out their flocks to pasture. Their ardour when they meet in the fields is increased by long absence, and the season of the year, but their hearts remain innocent;-a purity which the author still imputes not to virtue, but to ignorance.
Chromis, an old man in the neighbourhood, had married a young woman called Lycænium, who falls in love with
1 The bird-catching episode occurs also in the Letters of Alciphron (iii. 30), who was a contemporary of Lucian. See Rohde, p. 502.
Daphnis; she becomes acquainted with the perplexity in which he is placed with regard to Chloe, and resolves at once to gratify her own passion, and to free him from his embarrassment.
Daphnis, however, still hesitates to practise with Chloe the lesson he had received from Lycænium; and the reader is again tired with the repetition of preludes, for which he can no longer find an excuse.
In the fourth book we are told that, towards the close of summer, a fellow-servant of Lamon arrives from Mytilene, to announce that the lord of the territory on which the reputed fathers of Daphnis and Chloe pastured their flocks, would be with them at the approach of vintage.
Lamon prepares everything for his reception with much assiduity, but bestows particular attention on the embellishment of a spacious garden which adjoined his cottage (iv. 2], and of which the different parts are described as ħaving been arranged in a manner fitted to inspire all the agreeable emotions which the art of gardening can produce. “ It was,” says the author, “ the length of a stadium, and the breadth of four plethra, was in a lofty situation, and formed an oblong. It was planted with all sorts of trees; with apples, myrtles, pears, pomegranates, figs, olives, and the tall vine, which, reclining on the pear and apple trees, seemed to vie with them in its fruits. Nor were the forest trees, as the plane, the pine, and the cypress, less abundant. To them clung not the vine, but the ivy, whose large and ripening berry emulated the grape. These forest trees surrounded the fruit-bearers, as if they had been a shelter formed by art; and the whole was protected by a slight inclosure. The garden was divided by paths—the stems of the trees were far separated from each other, but the branches entwined above, formed a continued arbour: here too were beds of flowers, some of which the earth bore spontaneously, while others were produced by cultivation ;-roses, hyacinths, were planted and tended; the ground of itself yielded the violet and the narcissus. Here were shade in summer, sweetness of flowers in spring, the pleasures of vintage in autumn, and fruits in every season of the year. Hence too the plain could be seen, and flocks feeding; the sea also, and the ships sailing over it; so that all these might be numbered among the delights of the garden. In the centre there was a temple to Bacchus, and an altar erected; the altar was girt with ivy--the temple was surrounded with palm: within were represented the triumphs and loves of the god.”
On this garden Daphnis had placed his chief hopes of conciliating the good-will of his master, and through his favour of being united to Chloe; for it would appear the consent of parties was not sufficient for this, and that in Greece, as among the serfs in Russia, the finest gratification of the heart was dependent on the will of a master. Lampis, a cowherd, who had asked Chloe in marriage from Dryas, and had been refused, resolves on the destruction of this garden. Accordingly, when it is dark, he tears out the shrubs by the roots, and tramples on the flowers. Dreadful is the consternation of Lamon, in beholding on the following morning the havoc that had been made [iv. 7]. Towards evening his terror is increased by the appearance of Eudromus, one of his master's servants, who gives notice that he would be with them in three days.
Astylus (the son of Dionysophanes, proprietor of the territory) arrives first, and promises to obtain pardon from his father of the mischance that had happened to the garden. Astylus is accompanied by a parasite, Gnatho, who is smitten with a friendship, à la Grecque, for Daphnis : this having come to the knowledge of Lamon, who overhears the parasite ask and obtain Daphnis as a page from Astylus, he conceives it incumbent on him to reveal to Dionysophanes, who had by this time arrived, the mysteries attending the infancy of Daphnis. He at the same time produces the ornaments he had found with the child, on which Dionysophanes instantly recognizes his son. Having married early in youth, he had a daughter and two sons, but being a prudent man, and satisfied with this stock, he had exposed his fourth child, Daphnis; a measure which had become somewhat less expedient, as his daughter and one of his sons died immediately after on the same day, and Astylus alone survived.
The change in the situation of Daphnis does not alter his attachment to Chloe. He begs her in marriage of his
father, who, being informed of the circumstances of her infancy, invites all the distinguished persons in the neighbourhood to a festival, at which the articles of dress found along with Chloe are exhibited. This was not his own scheme, but had been suggested to him in a dream by the nymphs; for in the pastoral of Longus, as in most other Greek romances, the characters are only
Tunc recta scientes cum nil scire valent, The success of this device fully answers expectation ; Chloe being acknowledged as his daughter by Magacles, one of the guests, who was now in a prosperous condition, but rivalling his friend Dionysophanes in paternal tenderness, had exposed his child while in difficulties. There being now no farther obstacle to the union of Daphnis and Chloe, their marriage is solemnized with rustic pomp, and they lead through the rest of their days a happy and a pastoral life.
In some respects a prose romance is better adapted than the eclogue or drama to pastoral composition. The eclogue is confined within narrow limits, and must terminate before interest can be excited. A series of Bucolics, where two or more shepherds are introduced contending for the reward of a crook or a kid, and at most descanting for a short while on similar topics, resembles a collection of the first scenes of a number of comedies, of which the commencement can only be listened to as unfolding the subsequent action. The drama is, no doubt, a better form of pastoral writing than detached eclogues, but at the same time does not well accord with rustic manners and description. In dramatic composition, the representation of strong passions is best calculated to produce interest or emotion, but the feelings of rural existence should be painted as tranquil and calm.
In choosing a prose romance as the vehicle of pastoral writing, Longus has adopted a form that may include all the beauties arising from the description of rustic manners, or the scenery of nature, and which, as far as the incidents of rural life admit, may interest by an an agreeable fable, and delight by a judicious alternation of narrative and dialogue.
Longus has also avoided many of the faults into which his modern imitators have fallen, and which have brought this style of composition into so much disrepute; his characters never express the conceits of affected gallantry, nor involve themselves in abstract reasoning ; and he has not loaded his romance with those long and constantly recurring episodes, which in the Diana of Montemayor, and the Astrea of D'Urfé, fatigue the attention and render us indifferent to the principal story. Nor does he paint that chimerical state of society, termed the golden age, in which the characteristic traits of rural life are erased, but attempts to please by a genuine imitation of Nature, and by descriptions of the manners, the rustic occupations, or rural enjoyments, of the inhabitants of the country where the scene of the pastoral is laid.
Huet, who seems to have considered the chief merit of a romance to consist in commencing in the middle of the story, has remarked, I think unjustly, that it is a great defect in the plan of this pastoral, that it begins with the infancy of the hero and heroine, and carries on the story beyond the period of their marriage. The author might, perhaps, have been blameable had he dwelt long on these periods ; but, in fact, the romance concludes with the nuptials of Daphnis and Chloe; and the reader is merely told in a few lines that they lived a pastoral life, and had a son and daughter. Nor, if the reader be interested in the characters of the preceding story, is it unpleasant for him to hear in general terms, when it comes to an end, how these persons passed their lives, and whether their fortune was stable. I do not see that in a pastoral romance, even a more ample description of conjugal felicity would have been so totally disgusting as the critic seems to imagine; far less is an account of the childhood of the characters objectionable, even where it is more minute than that given by Longus.
1 « L'économie mal entendue de sa fable est un défaut encore plus essentiel. Il commence grossièrement, à la naissance de ses bergers, et ne finit pas même à leur mariage. Il étend sa narration jusq’ à leurs enfants et à leur vieillesse; and again, “ C'est sortir entièrement du vrai caractère de cette espèce d'écrits : il les faut finir au jour des noces, et se taire sur les suites du mariage. Une heroine de Roman grosse et accouchée est un étrange personnage.”—Huet, de l'Origine des Romans.