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And feeds on bundles of our fragrant hay.
Victumque feres et virgea lætus
Pabula, nec tota claudes fænilia bruma.
The marsh, the groves that hide NEETHUS' floods.
SWINBURNE, fpeaking of the marshes in these parts, fays that they are very proper for the breeding of the buffalo-a species of cattle, which are of a heavy yet laborious difpofition, and delight in marshes. During the broiling heats of fummer they lay themselves down in the water, and leaving only the end of their nofes above the furface, defy the affaults of the myriads of infects that fwarm in these low grounds.
The air is unwholefome on the banks of the Nieto (anciently Neethus) which divides the two Calabrias; but the herbage must be incomparable, if a judgment may be formed from the delicacy and sweetness of the milk and cream cheeses, for which this canton is renowned. SWINBURNE.
Yes! and to hell, too, will thy cattle go
Here neither the commentators, nor tranflators of THEOCRITUS feem to have noticed the peculiar propriety and beauty of the original; in which CORYDON, defcribing the different places whither the cattle were driven for pafture, fays: They go fometimes to this place-fometimes to that.' BATTUS replies, And they will go es Aidav.'
I chaunt fweet GLAUCA's fongs, and PYRRHUS' lays; GLAUCA was a lutanift of CHIOS-PYRRHUS, a Lesbian poet.
Salubrious Croton and Zacynthus praise!
Cotrone hath fucceeded to the Greek city of Croton; but does not cover the fame extent of ground. In fummer, this climate is faid to be unhealthy; a misfortune that cannot proceed from local caufes; for the falubrity of Croton was famous to a proverb among the ancients. The Efaro (anciently farus) which very centre of the old town, now runs in a flowed through the fhallow ftony bed, at a confiderable distance north of the gates. Of the ancient Croton, HERCULES was the fuppofed founder. There is no doubt but it was occupied by navigators from Achaia. Here PYTHAGORAS, after his long travels in search of knowledge, fixed his refidence. Under the influence of his philofophy, the Crotoniates inured their bodies to hardships, and their minds to felf-denial, and patriotifm. In one Olympiad, feven of the victors in the games were citizens of Croton. Its phyficians were in high repute. ALCMEON was the first who dared to amputate a limb, in order to fave the life of a patient and the firft who inculcated moral precepts, under the form of apologues, though this invention is more commonly attributed to Æsop. DEMOCIDES, its other celebrated phyfician, was fo fingularly attached to his native foil, that, though careffed and enriched by the King of Perfia, whofe Queen he had fnatched from the jaws of death, he abandoned wealth and honors, and by stratagem escaped to the humble comforts of a private life at Croton. The victory of the Crotoniates over the Sybarites, proved fatal to the conquerors; whose rigid practices of virtue were foon relaxed by the corruption of riches and their pernicious attendants. Not long after this took place, the Locrians defeated them on the banks of the Sagra. They fuffered much in the war with PYRRHUS; and by repeated misfortunes, decreased in strength and numbers, from age to age, down to that of HANNIBAL, when they could not mufter 20,000 inhabitants. Croton was taken by the Carthaginians. The Romans fent a colony thither 200 years before Chrift. In the Gothic war this city rendered itself confpicuous by its fidelity to JUSTINIAN.
Lacinium is a promontory not far from Croton, known in modern geography by the name of Cape delle Colonne, which, with the promontory of Salentum or St. Maria di Leuca, forms the mouth of the Tarentine Gulf, feventy miles wide. The land is very high-rocks, coarse granite and breccia. On a point impending over the waves are some scattered ftones, and a few regular courses of building, faid to be the ruins of the School of PYTHAGORAS, and of the Temple of JUNO LACINIA.
Our EGON, (who devour'd, alone, that day,
ATHENAEUS, PHILOSTRATUS, ELIAN, and other ancient writers, tell wonderful stories of the appetite and strength of these athletic exhibitors. In this Idyllium EGON hath his twenty fheep-and is here faid to have devoured fourfcore cakes: HERCULES could eat a bullock at a meal, bones and all-Nor was MILO overmatched by him in the merit of voraciousness.
• Those who prepared themselves for boxing used all the means ⚫ they could contrive to render themselves fat and fleshy, so that
they might be better able to endure blows. Hence corpulent men or women were ufually called pugiles, according to • TERENCE:
Siqua eft habitior paulo, pugilem effe aiunt.'
So far POTTER; whofe obfervations throw confiderable light on the subject, and are more to the purpose than a hundred examples of exaggerated gluttony. It is by no means probable, that these feats of cramming ordinarily preceded the days of public contest. The competitors in the race and the wrestlingmatch (whatever might be the cafe in boxing) had acted more prudently in living abftemiously, by way of preparation. VOL. II.
Every man that striveth for the mastery, is temperate in all things.' And it may here be remarked, that our ÆGON's twenty fheep were intended for his provifion during his ftay at Elis; and, perhaps, for facrifice and the entertainment of his friends. And if, as CASAUBON tells us, thofe who meant to be competitors at the Olympic games, were expected to attend at least thirty days before their commencement, in order to be duly trained up and prepared for exhibiting, the combatants (the games themselves lafting nearly a week) must have remained above five and thirty days at Elis.
FLY, fly, my goats, that wicked Sybarite, &c.
A few extracts from Mr. SWINBURNE's travels may pleasingly enough illustrate the Italian scene of the Idyllium before us.
After dinner (fays Mr. S.) we croffed the river Sybaris, (near the Cofile) and entered the peninfula formed by that river and the Crathis, where a few degraded fragments of aqueducts and tombs indicated the spot on which stood the city of Sybaris, noted to a proverb in ancient hiftory for the luxury and effeminacy of its inhabitants. Attention to the management of these two large ftreams enfured fertility to the lands, and deep fafe channels for trading fleets. Many ages, 'alas! have now revolved, fince man inhabited these plains, in 'fufficient numbers to fecure falubrity. The rivers have long 'rolled lawless and unreftrained, over these low defolate fields, leaving, as they fhrink back to their beds, black pools and ⚫ftinking swamps to poifon the whole region, and drive mankind. • ftill farther from its ancient poffeffions. Nothing in reality ' remains of Sybaris, which once gave law to four nations, ⚫ reckoned twenty-five cities among its fubjects, and could mufter
three hundred thousand fighting men-nothing remains of a
I city whofe walls inclosed a space of fix miles and a half, and 'whofe fuburbs extended near feven miles along the Crathis.
Seventy days, fays STRABO, were fufficient to deftroy all the 'grandeur and prosperity of Sybaris. Five hundred and seventy< two years before the Christian æra, the Crotoniates, under their 'famous MILO, defeated the Sybarites in a pitched battle; and ⚫ broke down the dams that kept out the Crathis; which rush⚫ing into the town, swept away every building of use and orna'ment. The inhabitants were maffacred without mercy; and the few that escaped the flaughter, and attempted to restore the city, were cut to pieces by a colony of Athenians, who ⚫ afterwards
IDYLLIUM the FIFTH.