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the man whose brains he had sucked, and left him. At his departure, Homer is said to have observed: 6 O Thestorides, of the many things hidden from the knowledge of man, nothing is more unintelligible than the human heart.'

Homer continued his career of difficulty and distress, until some Chian merchants, struck by the similarity of the verses they heard him recite, acquainted him with the fact that Thestorides was pursuing a profitable livelihood by the recital of the very same poems. This at once determined him to set out for Chios. No vessel happened then to be setting sail thither, but he found one.ready to start for Erythræ, a town of Ionia, which faces that island, and he prevailed upon the seamen to allow him to accompany them. Having embarked, he invoked a favorable wind, and prayed that he might be able to expose the imposture of Thestorides, who, by his breach of hospitality, had drawn down the wrath of Jove the Hospitable.

At Erythræ, Homer fortunately met with a person who had known him in Phocæa, by whose assistance he at length, after some difficulty, reached the little hamlet of Pithys. Here he met with an adventure, which we will continue in the words of our author. “Having set out from Pithys, Homer went on, attracted by the cries of some goats that were pasturing. The dogs barked on his approach, and he cried out. Glaucus (for that was the name of the goat-herd) heard his voice, ran up quickly, called off his dogs, and drove them away from Homer, For some time he stood wondering how a blind man should have reached such a place alone, and what could be his design in coming He then went up to him, and inquired who he was, and how he had come to desolate places and untrodden spots, and of what he stood in need. Homer, by recounting to him the whole history of his misfortunes, moved him with compassion; and he took him, and led him to his cot, and having lit a fire, bade him sur.'

“The dogs, instead of eating, kept barking at the stranger, according to their usual habit. Whereupon Homer addressed Glaucus thus : 0 Glaucus, my friend, prythee attend to my behest. First give the dogs their supper at the doors of the hut: for so it is better, since, whilst they watch, nor thief nor wild beast will approach the fold.

Glaucus was pleased with the advice, and marvelled at its

8 Θεστορίδης, θνητοίσιν ανωίστων πολεών περ, ουδέν αφραστότερον πέλεται νόου åvo pustoloiv. Ibid. p. 315. During his stay at Phocæa, Homer is said to have composed the Little Iliad, and the Phocæid. See Muller's Hist. of Lit. vi. § 3. Welcker, 1. c. pp: 132, 272, 358, sqq., and Mure, Gr. Lit. vol. ii. p. 284, sq.

9 This is so pretty a picture of early manners and hospitality, that it is almost a pity to find that it is obviously a copy from the Odyssey. See the fourteenth book. In fact, whoever was the author of this fictitious biography, he showed some tact in identifying Homer with certain events described in his poems, and in eliciting from them the germs of something like a personal narrative.

author. Having finished supper, they banqueted 0 afresh on conversation, Homer narrating his wanderings, and telling of the cities he had visited.

At length they retired to rest; but on the following morning, Glaucus resolved to go to his master, and acquaint him with his meeting with Homer. Having left the goats in charge of a fellow-servant, he left Homer at home, promising to return quickly. Having arrived at Bolissus, a place near the farm, and finding his mate, he told him the whole story respecting Homer and his journey. He paid little attention to what he said, and blamed Glaucus for his stupidity in taking in and feeding maimed and enfeebled persons. However, he bade him bring the stranger to him.

Glaucus told Homer what had taken place, and bade him follow him, assuring him that good fortune would be the result. Conversation soon showed that the stranger was a man of much cleverness and general knowledge, and the Chian persuaded him to remain, and to undertake the charge of his children.".

Besides the satisfaction of driving the impostor Thestorides from the island, Homer enjoyed considerable success as a teacher. In the town of Chios' he established a school where he taught the precepts of poetry., “ To this day," says Chandler, 52

;2. “ the most curious remaining is that which has been named, not without reason, the School of Homer. It is on the coast, at some distance from the city, northward, and appears to have been an open temple of Cybele, formed on the top of a rock. The shape is oval, and in the centre is the image of the goddess, the head and an arm wanting. She is represented, as usual, sitting. The chair has a lion carved on each side, and on the back. The area is bounded by a low rim, or seat, and about five yards over. The whole is hewn out of the mountain, is rude, indistinct, and probably of the most remote antiquity.

So successful was this school, that Homer realized a considerable fortune. He married, and had two daughters, one of whom died single, the other married a Chian.

The following passage betrays the same tendency to connect

10 Alà dóywv éotiĝVTO. A common metaphor. So Plato calls the parties conversing daitýmoves, or éstiátopes, Tim. i. p. 522. A. Cf. Themist

. Orat. vi. p. 168, and xvi. p. 374, ed. Petav. So Binynuaci copois ouoü kai teprvois now tņu Tois dotiwuévous étoiel, Choricius in Fabric. Bibl. Gr. T. viii. p. 851. dóyous yàp cotia, Athenæus, vii. p. 275, A.

11. It was at Bolissus, and in the house of this Chian citizen, that Homer is said to have written the Batrachomyomachia, or Battle of the Frogs and Mice; the Epicichlidia, and some other minor works.

12. Chandler, Travels, vol. i. p. 61, referred to in the Voyage Pittoresque dans la Grèce, vol. i. p. 92, where a view of the spot is given, of which the author candidly j'en dunne ; car étant allé seul pour l'examiner, je perdis mon crayon, et je fus obligé de m'en fier à ma mémoire. Je ne crois cependant pas avoir trop à me plaindre d'elle the personages of the poems with the history of the poet, which has already been mentioned :

en cette occasion."

"In his poetical compositions Homer displays great gratitude towards Mentor of Ithaca, in the Odyssey, whose name he has inserted in his poem as the companion of Ulysses, 13 in return for the care taken of him when afflicted with blindness. He also testifies his gratitude to Phemius, who had given him both sustenance and instruction.”

His celebrity continued to increase, and many persons advised him to visit Greece, whither his reputation had now extended. Having, it is said, made some additions to his poems calculated to please the vanity of the Athenians, of whose city he had hitherto made no mention, 14 he set out for Samos. Here being recognized by a Samian, who had met with him in Chios, he was handsomely received, and invited to join in celebrating the Apaturian festival. He recited some verses, which gave great satisfaction, and by singing the Eiresione at the New Moon festivals, he earned a subsistence, visiting the houses of the rich, with whose children he was very popular.

In the spring he sailed for Athens, and arrived at the island of los, now Ino, where he fell extremely ill, and died. It is said that his death arose from vexation, at not having been able to unravel an enigma proposed by some fishermen's children.15

Such is, in brief, the substance of the earliest life of Homer we possess, and so broad are the evidences of its historical worthlessness, that it is scarcely necessary to point them out in detail. Let us now consider some of the opinions to which a persevering, patient, and learned—but by no means consistent -series of investigations has led. In doing so, I profess to bring forward statements, not to vouch for their reasonableness or probability.

“Homer appeared. The history of this poet and his works is lost in doubtful obscurity, as is the history of many of the first minds who have done honor to humanity, because they rose amidst darkness. The majestic stream of his song, blessing and fertilizing, flows like the Nile, through many lands and nations; and, like the sources of the Nile, its fountains will ever remain concealed.”

Such are the words in which one of the most judicious German critics has eloquently described the uncertainty in which

13 A more probable reason for this companionship, and for the character of Mentor itself, is given by the allegorists, viz. : the assumption of Mentor's form by the guardian deity of the wise Ulysses, Minerva.. The classical reader may compare Plutarch, Opp. t. ii. p. 880; Xyland. Heraclid. Pont. Alleg. Hom. p. 531-5, of Gale's Opusc. Mythol. Dionys. Halic. de Hom. Poes. C. 15; Apul. de Deo Socrate $. f.

14 Vit. Hom. § 28.
16 The riddle is given in $ 35. Compare Mackenzie's note. P. XXX.


the whole of the Homeric question is involved. With no less truth and feeling he proceeds :

“ It seems here of chief importance to expect no more than the nature of things makes possible. If the period of tradition in history is the region of twilight, we should not expect in it perfect light. The creations of genius always seem like miracles, because they are, for the most part, created far out of the reach of observation. If we were in possession of all the historical testimonies, we never could wholly explain the origin of the Iliad and the Odyssey; for their origin, in all essential points, must have remained the secret of the poet."

From this criticism, which shows as much insight into the depths of human nature as into the minute wire-drawings of scholastic investigation, let us pass on to the main question at issue. Was Homer an individual ? 17 or were the Iliad and Odyssey the result of an ingenious arrangement of fragments by earlier poets ?

Well has Landor remarked : “Some tell us there were twenty Homers; some deny that there ever was one. It were idle and foolish to shake the contents of a vase, in order to let them settle at last. We are perpetually laboring to destroy our delights, our composure, our devotion to superior power. Of all the animals on earth we least know what is good for us. My opinion is, that what is best for us is our admiration of good. No man living venerates Homer more than I do." 18

But greatly as we admire the generous enthusiasm which rests contented with the poetry on which its best impulses had been nurtured and fostered, without seeking to destroy the vividness of first impressions by minute analysis,our editorial office compels us to give some attention to the doubts and difficulties with which the Homeric question is beset, and to entreat our reader, for a brief period, to prefer his judgment to his imagination, and to condescend to dry details.

Before, however, entering into particulars respecting the question of this unity of the Homeric poems (at least of the Wiad), 1 must express my sympathy with the sentiments expressed in the following remarks :

“We cannot but think the universal admiration of its unity by the better, the poetic age of Greece, almost conclusive testimony to its original composition. It was not until the age of the grammarians that its primitive integrity was called in ques, tion; nor is it injustice to assert, that the minute and analytical spirit of a grammarian is not the best qualification for the profound feeling, the comprehensive conception of an harmonious

16 Heeren's Ancient Greece, p. 96. 17 Compare Sir E. L. Bulwer's Caxtons, v. i. p. 4: 1 Pericles and Aspasia, Letter lxxxiv., Works, vol. jis p. 387.


whole. The most exquisite anatomist may be no judge of the symmetry of the human frame: and we would take the opinion of Chantrey or Westmacott on the proportions and general beauty of a form, rather than that of Mr. Brodie or Sir Astley Cooper.

“There is some truth, though some malicious exaggeration, in the lines of Pope :

". The critic eye--that microscope of wit-..

Sees hairs and pores, examines bit by bit ;
How parts relate to parts, or they to whole.
The body's harmony, the beaming soul,
Are things which Kuster, Burmann, Wasse, shall see,

When man's whole frame is obvious to a flea."" 19 Long was the time which elapsed before any one dreamt of questioning the unity of the authorship of the Homeric poems. The grave and cautious Thucydides quoted without hesitation the Hymn to Apollo,20 the authenticity of which has been already disclaimed by modern critics. Longinus, in an oft-quoted passage, merely expressed an opinion touching the comparative inferiority of the Odyssey to the Iliad ; ar and, among a mass of ancient authors, whose very names 22 it would be tedious to detail, no suspicion of the personal non-existence of Homer ever

So far, the voice of antiquity seems to be in favor of our early ideas on the subject : let us see what are the discoveries to which more modern investigations lay claim.

At the end of the seventeenth century, doubts had begun to awaken on the subject, and we find Bentley remarking" that Homer wrote a sequel of songs and rhapsodies, to be sung by himself, for small comings and good cheer, at festivals and other days of merriment. These loose songs were not collected together, in the form of an epic poem, till about Peisistratus' time, about five hundred years after." 23

19 Quarterly Review, No. lxxxvii. p. 147:

20 Viz., the following beautiful passage, for the translation of which I am indebted to Coleridge, Classic Poets, p 286:

"Origias, farewell! and oh! remember me

Hereafter, when some stranger from the sea,
A hapless wanderer, may your isle explore,
And ask you, maid, 'of all the bards you boast,
Who sings the sweetest, and delights you most-

Oh! answer all,— A blind old man, and poor-
Sweetest he sings—and dwells on Chios' rocky shore.'".

See Thucyd. iii. 104 21 Longin. de Sublim. ix. $ 26. "Οθεν εν τη “Οδυσσεία παρεικάσαι τις αν καταδυομένω τον "Ομηρον ήλίω, ου δίχα της σφοδρότητος παραμένει το μέγεθος.

22 See Tatian, quoted in Fabric. Bibl. Gr. v. II. t. ii. Mr. Mackenzie has given three brief but elaborate papers, on the different writers on the subject, which deserve to be consulted. See Notes and Queries, vol. v. pp. 99, 171, and 221. views are moderate, and perhaps as satisfactory, on the whole, as any of the hypotheses hitherto put forth. In fact, they consist in an attempt to blend those hypotheses into something like consistency, rather than in advocating any individual theory.

23 Letters to Phileleuth. I.ips.

His own

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