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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.
The pastoral is in general very beautifully written ;-the style, though it has been censured on account of the reiteration of the same forms of expression, and as betraying the sophist in some passages by a play on words, and affected antithesis, is considered as the purest specimen of the Greek language produced in that late period ;' the descriptions of rural scenery and rural occupations are extremely pleasing, and, if I may use the expression, there is a sort of amenity and calm diffused over the whole romance. This, indeed, may be considered as the chief excellence in a pastoral; since we are not so much allured by the feeding of sheep as by the stillness of the country. In all our active pursuits, the end proposed is tranquillity, and even when we lose the hope of happiness, we are attracted by that of repose ;
;-hence we are soothed and delighted with its representation, and fancy we partake of the pleasure.
In some respects, however, this romance, although its excellencies are many, is extremely defective. It displays little variety, except what arises from the vicissitude of the
The courtship of Daphnis is to the last degree monotonous, and the conversations between the lovers extremely insipid. The mythological tales also are totally uninteresting, and sometimes not very happily introduced.?
Although the general moral attempted to be inculcated in the romance is not absolutely bad, yet there are particular passages so extremely reprehensible, that I know nothing like them in almost any work whatever. This de
1 “Son style est simple, aisé, naturel, et concis sans obscurité; ses expressions sont pleine de vivacité et de feu, il produit avec esprit, il peint avec agrément, et dispose ses images avec adresse.”— De l'Orig. des Rom.
“Longi oratio pura, candida, suavis, mutis articulis mcmbrisque concisa et tamen numerosa, sine ullis salibus melle dulcior profluit, tanquam amnis argenteus virentibus utrinque sylvis inumbratus ; et ita florens, its picta, ita expolita est ut in ea, verborum omnes, omnes sententiarum illigentur lepores. Translationes cæteraque dicendi lumina ita apte disponit ut pictores colorum varietatem.”– Villoison, Prooem to his ed. 1778. Longus is also called by Muretus, “ dulcissimus ac suavissimus scriptor” (var. lect. 9, 16); and by Scaliger, “auctor amoenissimus, et eo melior quo simplicior” (Miscell. c. 2).
2 See Koräes, Heliodorus, p. 13.
3 This seems somewhat exaggerated blame. There are certainly no passages in this tale to be compared with many in, for instance, the Metamorphoses of Apuleius, and in many other works whicb Dunlop must have read before writing this history.-H. JENNER.
pravity is the less excusable, as it was the professed design of the author to paint a state of the most perfect innocence.
There can be no doubt that the pastoral of Longus had a considerable influence on the style and incidents of the subsequent Greek romances, particularly those of Eustathius and Theodorus Prodromus ;but its effects on modern pastorals, particularly those which appeared in Italy during the sixteenth century, is a subject of more difficulty. Huet is of opinion, that it was not only the model of the Astrea of D'Urfé, and the Diana of Montemayor, but gave rise to the Italian dramatic pastoral. This opinion is combated by Villoison, on the grounds that the first edition of Longus was not published till 1598,3 and that Tasso died in the year 1595. It is true that the first Greek edition of Longus was not published till 1598, but there was a French translation by Amyot, which appeared in 1559, and one in Latin verse by Gambara in 1569, either of which might have been seen by Tasso. But although this argument brought forward by Villoisono be of little avail, he is probably right in the general notion he has adopted, that Daphnis and Chloe was not the origin of the pastoral drama. The Sacrificio of Agostino Beccari, which was the earliest specimen of this style of composition, and was acted at Ferrara in 1554, was written previous to the appearance
edition or version of Longus. Nor is there any similarity in the story or incidents of the Aminta to those in Daphnis and Chloe, which should lead us to imagine that the Greek romance had been imitated by Tasso.
It bears, however, a stronger likeness to the more recent dramatic pastorals of Italy. These are frequently founded on the exposure of children, who, after being brought up as shepherds by reputed fathers, are discovered by their real parents by means of tokens fastened to them when they
1 See pp. 77, etc.
2 Theodorus Prodromus lived in the first half of the twelfth century, and wrote a romance entitled, The Loves of Dorante and Dosicles.
By Colombanus in Florence. The editor states it was printed from a MS. which he procured from the library of Luigi Alamanni, and which was compared by one of the editor's friends, Fulvius Ursinus, with a MS. at Rome, and the various readings transmitted to him.
4 In Introduction to his edition of Lungus. Paris, 1778.
are abandoned. There is also a considerable resemblance between the story of Daphnis and Chloe and that of the Gentle Shepherd : the plot was suggested to Ramsay by one of his friends, who seems to have taken it from the Greek pastoral. Marmontel, too, in his Annette and Lubin, has imitated the simplicity and inexperience of the lovers of Longus. But of all modern writers the author who has most closely followed this romance is Gessner. In his Idylls there is the same poetical prose, the same beautiful rural descriptions, and the same innocence and simplicity in the rustic characters. In his pastoral of Daphnis, the scene of which is laid in Greece, he has painted, like Longus, the early and innocent attachment of a shepherdess and swain, and has only embellished his picture by the incidents that arise from rural occupations, and the revolutions of the
year. We shall conclude this article with remarking, that the story of Daphnis and Chloe is related in the person of the author. He feigns, that while hunting in Lesbos, he saw in a grove consecrated to the nymphs a most beautiful picture, in which appeared children exposed, lovers plighting their faith, and incursions of pirates—that, having found an interpreter of this painting, he had expressed in writing what it represented, and produced a gift to Cupid, to Pan, and the nymphs; but which would be pleasing to all men, a medicine to the sick, a solace to the afflicted, which would remind him, who had felt the power of love, of his sweetest enjoyments, and teach the inexperienced the nature and happiness of that passion.
Although the work of Longus was much admired by his contemporaries, and although many of the incidents were adopted in the fictitious narratives by which it was succeeded, none of the subsequent Greek fablers attempted to write pastoral romance, but chose Heliodorus, or rather Tatius, as their model.
1 So also has Bernardine de St. Pierre in Paul et Virginie. See Schöll's Hist. de la litt. grecque, iii. 161, and an article upon the “ collection des romans grecs traduit en français ; avec des notes, par MM. Courier, Larcher, et autres Hellénistes, Paris, 1822,” etc. in the Foreign Quarterly Review, vol. v. p. 135. Perhaps, too, there is sufficient resemblance to warrant the mention in the same connection ot Goethe's “ Hermann and Dorothea" and Longfellow's “ Evangeline."