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ADVENTURES OF THEAGENES AND CHARICLEA.
As the thread of the story in the Ethiopics is rather entangled, through the author's method of telling it, the following summary from Dunlop's “ History of Fiction,” will be useful.
“The action of the romance is supposed to take place previous to the age of Alexander the Great, while Egypt was tributary to the Persian monarchs. During that period a queen of Ethiopia, called Persina, having viewed at an amorous crisis a statue of Andromeda, gives birth to a daughter of fair complexion. Fearing that her husband might not think the cause proportioned to the effect, she commits the infant in charge to Sisimithres, an Ethiopian senator, and deposits in his hands a ring and some writings, explaining the circumstances of her birth. The child is named Chariclea, and remains for seven years with her reputed father. At the end of this period he becomes doubtful of her power to preserve her chastity any longer in her native country; he therefore determines to carry her along with him, on an embassy to which he had been appointed, to Oroondates, satrap of Egypt. In that land he accidentally meets Charicles, priest of Delphi, who was travelling on account of domestic afflictions, and to him he transfers the care of Chariclea. Charicles brings her to
Delphi, and destines her for the wife of his nephew Alca
In order to reconcile her mind to this alliance, he delivers her over to Calasiris, an Egyptian priest, who at that period resided at Delphi, and undertook to prepossess her in favour of the young man.
About the same time, Theagenes, a Thessalian, and descendant of Achilles, comes to Delphi, for the performance of some sacred rite: Theagenes and Chariclea, having seen each other in the temple, become mutually enamoured.
Calasiris, who had been engaged to influence the mind of Chariclea in favour of her intended husband Alcamenes, is warned in a vision by Apollo that he should return to his own country, and take Theagenes and Chariclea along with him. Henceforth his whole attention is directed to deceive Charicles, and effect his escape from Delphi. Having met with some Phænician merchants, and having informed the lovers of his intentions, he sets sail along with them for Sicily, to which country the Phænician vessel was bound; but soon after, passing Zacynthus, the ship is attacked by pirates, who carry Calasiris and those under his protection to the coast of Egypt.
“On the banks of the Nile, Trachinus, the captain of the pirates, prepares a feast to solemnize his nuptials with Chariclea; but Calasiris, with considerable ingenuity having persuaded Pelorus, the second in command, that Chariclea is enamoured of him, a contest naturally arises between him and Trachinus during the feast, and the other pirates, espousing different sides of the quarrel, are all slain except Pelorus, who is attacked and put to flight by Theagenes. The stratagem of Calasiris, however, is of little avail, except to himself: for immediately after the contest, while Calasiris is sitting on a hill at some distance, Theagenes and Chariclea are seized by a band of Egyptian robbers, who conduct them to an establishment formed on an island in a remote lake. Thyamis, the captain of the banditti, becomes enamoured of Chariclea, and declares an intention of espousing her. Chariclea pretends that she is the sister of Theagenes, in order that the jealousy of the robber may not be excited, and the safety of her lover endangered. Chariclea, however, is not long compelled to assume this character of sister.
“The colony is speedily destroyed by the forces of the satrap of Egypt, who was excited to this act of authority by a complaint from Nausicles, a Greek merchant, that the banditti had carried off his mistress. Thyamis, the captain of the robbers, escapes by flight, and Cnemon, a young •Athenian, who had been detained in the colony, and with whom Theagenes had formed a friendship during his confinement, sets out in quest of him.
“ Theagenes and Chariclea depart soon after on their way to a certain village, where they had agreed to meet Cnemon, but are intercepted on the road by the satrap's forces.
“ Theagenes is sent as a present to the King of Persia ; I and Chariclea, being falsely claimed by Nausicles as his mistress, is conducted to his house. Here Calasiris had accidentally fixed his abode, since his separation from Theagenes and Chariclea; and was also doing the honours of the house to Cnemon in the landlord's absence. Chariclea being recognised by Calasiris, Nausicles abandons the claim to ber which he had advanced, and sets sail with Cnemon for Greece, while Calasiris and Chariclea proceed in search
1 of Theagenes. On arriving at Memphis, they find that with his usual good luck, he had again fallen into the power of Thyamis, and was besieging that capital along with the robber. A treaty of peace, however, is speedily concluded. Thyamis is discovered to be the son of Calasiris, and is elected high-priest of Memphis.
Arsace, who commanded in that city, in the absence of her husband, falls in love with Theagenes; but as he perseveres in resisting all her advances, and in maintaining his fidelity to Chariclea, she orders him to be put to the torture : she also commands her nurse, who was the usual confidant of her amours and instrument of her cruelty, to poison Chariclea; but the cup-bearer having given the nurse the goblet intended for Chariclea. she expires in convulsions. This, however, serves as a pretext to conderın Chariclea as a poisoner, and she is accordingly appointed to , be burnt. After she had ascended the pile, and the fire had been lighted, she is saved for that day by the miraculous effects of the stone Pantarbe, which she wore about her person, and which warded off the flames. During the en. suing night a messenger arrives from Oroondates, the husband of Arsace, who was at the time carrying on a
war against the Ethiopians: he had been informed of the misconduct of his wife, and had despatched one of his officers to Memphis, with orders to bring Theagenes and Chariclea to his camp. Arsace hangs herself; but the lovers are taken prisoners, on their way to Oroondates, by the scouts of the Ethiopian army, and are conducted to Hydaspes, who was at that time besieging Oroondates in Syene. This city having been taken, and Oroondates vanquished in a great battle, Hydaspes returns to his capital, Meröe, where, by advice of the Gymnosophists, he proposes to sacrifice Theagenes and Chariclea to the Sun and Moon, the deities of Ethiopia.
“As virgins were alone entitled to the privilege of being accepted as victims, Chariclea is subjected to a trial of chas
tity. Theagenes, while on the very brink of sacrifice, perW forms many feats of strength and dexterity. A bull, which
was his companion in misfortune, having broken from the altar, Theagenes follows him on horseback and subdues him. At length, when the two lovers are about to be immolated, Chariclea, by means of the ring and fillet which had been attached to her at her birth, and had been carefully preserved, is discovered to be the daughter of Hydaspes, which is further confirmed by the testimony of Sisimithres, once her reputed father; and by the opportune arrival of Charicles, priest of Delphi, who was wandering through the world in search of Chariclea. After some demur on the part of the Gymnosophists, Chariclea obtains her own release and that of Theagenes, is united to him in marriage, and acknowledged as heiress of the Ethiopian empire."
L O N G U S.
ROMANCE OF DAPHNIS AND CHLOE.
“In the neighourhood of Mytilene, the principal city of Lesbos, Lamon, a goatherd, as he was one day tending his flock, discovered an infant sucking one of his goats with surprising dexterity. He takes home the child, and presents him to his wife Myrtale; at the same time he delivers to her a purple mantle with which the boy was adorned, and a little sword with an ivory hilt, which was lying by his side. Lamon having no children of his own, resolves to bring up the foundling, and bestows on him the pastoral name of Daphnis.
“ About two years after this occurrence, Dryas, a neighbouring shepherd, finds in the cave of the Nymphs, a female infant, nursed by one of his ewes. The child is brought to the cottage of Dryas, receives the name of Chloe, and is cherished by the old man as if she had been his daughter.
“When Daphnis had reached the age of fifteen and Chloe that of twelve, Lamon and Dryas, their reputed fathers, had corresponding dreams on the same night. The Nymphs of the cave in which Chloe had been discovered appear to each of the old shepherds, delivering Daphnis and Chloe to a winged boy, with a bow and arrows, who commands that Daphnis should be sent to keep goats, and the girl to tend the sheep. Daphnis and Chloe have not long
* From Dunlop's History of Fiction.