« PreviousContinue »
SCRIPTORES EROTICI GRÆCI.
THE ETHIOPICS; OR, ADVENTURES OF THEAGENES
THE PASTORAL AMOURS OF DAPHNIS AND CHLOE;
THE LOVES OF CLITOPHO AND LEUCIPPE.
Translated from the Greek, with Notes,
BY THE REV. ROWLAND SMITH, M.A.,
FORMERLY OF ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, OXFORD.
LONDON: GEORGE BELL AND SONS, YORK STREET,
By no reader of classical antiquity will any of its remains be regarded as entirely devoid of worth. The “fine gold” will naturally stand first in estimation, but the “silver and brass and iron,” nay even the “iron mingled with miry clay,” will each possess its respective value. Accordingly, while the foremost place will ever be assigned to its Historians, Philosophers, Orators, and Poets, the time will not be esteemed thrown away which makes him acquainted with those authors who struck out a new vein of writing, and abandoning the facts of history and the inventions of mythology, drew upon their own imagination and sought for subjects in the manners and pursuits of domestic life.
The publication of a revised translation of Heliodorus and Longus, and of a new translation of Achilles Tatius, calls for some brief prefatory observations upon the origin of fictitious narrative among the Greeks; that department of literature which, above any other, has been prolific in finding followers, more especially in modern times; and which, according to the spirit in which it is handled, is capable of producing some of the best or worst effects upon society.
Works of fiction may, as we know, administer a poisoned cup, but they may also supply a wholesome and pleasing draught; they may be the ministers of the grossest immorality and absurdity, but they may likewise be the vehicles of sound sense and profitable instruction.
“As real History,” says Bacon, “ gives us not the success of things according to the deserts of rice and virtue