Obrazy na stronie

title of Howyovia, the Generation of Heroes. The favourers of the Shield of Hercules would have that poem received as a fragment of one of these; and all that Le Clerc says in defence of it is, 'since Hercules was the most famous of heroes, it is not absurd to imagine the Shield to be a part of the Howyovia, though it is handed down to us as a distinct work; and yet it is but a fragment of it.' Thus we see all their arguments, both for it being genuine, and a fragment of another poem, are but conjectures. I think they ought not to suspect it a part of another work, unless they could tell when, where, or by whom, the title was changed. It is certainly a very ancient piece, and well worth the notice of men of genius.

6. Poems which are lost.

Besides the pieces just mentioned, we find the following catalogue in Fabricius attributed to Hesiod, but now lost.

Παραίνεσις, οι Υποθηκαι χειρωνος. This was concerning the education of Achilles under Chiron; which Aristophanes, in one of his comedies, banters as the work of Hesiod.

Μελαμπόδια, οι εις

poem on divination.

τον Μαντιν Μελαμποδα: 2 The title is supposed to be



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took from Melampus, an ancient physician, said to be skilled in divination by birds. Part of this work is commended by Athenæus, book 13. Αςρονομια μεγάλη, or Αφρικη βιβλος: tise of astronomy.' Pliny says: according to Hesiod, in whose name we have a book of astrology extant, the early setting of the Pleiades is about the end of the autumn equinox.' Notwithstanding this quotation, Fabricius tells us, that

Athenæus and Pliny, in some other place, have given us reason to believe they thought the of astronomy supposititious.


Επικήδειος εις Βατραχυν. This is mentioned by Suidas, with the addition of τινα ερωμενον αυτ8, 6 a funeral song on Batrachus, whom he loved.' Περι Ιδαίων Δακτυλων. This was of the Idæi Dactyli, who (says Pliny, in his seventh book) are recorded by Hesiod as discoverers of iron in Crete.' This is likewise in the catalogue of Suidas.


Επιθαλάμιος Πελεως και Θετίδος : • an epithalamium on the marriage of Peleus and Thetis ;' two verses of which are in the Prolegomena of Isaac Tzetzes to Lycophron.

Tus wεgiodos. This book of geography is mentioned by Strabo.

Ayios: a poem on one Ægimius. 'This (Athenæus tells us) was writ by Hesiod, or Cecrops: a wretch whose name is now remembered only for being to Hesiod what Zoilus was to Homer.

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Θησεως εις τον αιδην καταβασις: the descent of Theseus into hell.' This is attributed to Hesiod, by Pausanias, in his Boeotics.

Επη μαντικα και εξηγήσεις επι τερασιν : ' on prophecies, or divination, with an exposition of prodigies, or portents.' This is likewise mentioned by Pausanias.

OεLOL λoyo: 'divine speeches ;' which Maximus Tyrius takes notice of in his sixteenth dissertation. Meyaha egya: 'great or remarkable actions.' We find the title of this work in the eighth book of Athenæus.

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Kyunos yaμos: the marriage of Ceyx.' We
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have an account of this poem, both by Athenæus, and Plutarch in his Symposiacs.

Of all these labours of this great poet, we see nothing but the titles remaining, excepting some fragments preserved by Pausanias, Plutarch, Polybius, &c. We are told that our poet composed some other works, of which we have not even the titles. We are assured, from diverse passages in Pliny, that he wrote of the virtues of herbs; but here Fabricius judiciously observes, that he might, in other poems, occasionally treat of various herbs; as in the beginning of his Works and Days,' he speaks of the wholesomeness of mallows, and the daffodil, or asphodelos. Quintilian, in his fifth book, denies the fables of Æsop to have been written originally by him, but says the first author of them was Hesiod; and Plutarch informs us that Æsop was his disciple: but this opinion, though countenanced by some, is exploded by others.

When we reflect on the number of titles, the poems to which are irreparably lost, we should consider them as so many monuments to raise our concern for the loss of so much treasure never to be retrieved. Let us turn our thoughts from that melancholy theme, and view the poet in his living writings; let us read him ourselves, and incite our countrymen to a taste of the politeness of Greece. Scaliger, in an epistle to Salmasius, divides the state of poetry in Greece into four periods of time: in the first arose Homer and Hesiod; on which he has the just observation that concludes my discourse: this (says he) you may not improperly call the spring of poesy; but it is rather the bloom than infancy.'

General Argument





THE poet begins with the difference of the two contentions and rejecting that which is attended with disgrace, he advises his brother Perses to prefer the other. One is the lover of strife, and the occasion of troubles: the other prompts us on to procure the necessaries of life in a fair and honest way. After Prometheus had by subtlety stole the fire clandestinely from Jove (the fire is by the divine Plato, in his allusion to this passage, called the necessaries, or abundance of life;' and those are called subtle,' who were solicitous after the abundance of life), the god created a great evil, which was Pandora, that is Fortune, who was endowed with all the gifts of the gods, meaning all the benefits of nature: so Fortune may from thence be said to have the disposal of the comforts of life; and from that time care and prudence are required in the management of human affairs. Before Prometheus had purloined the fire, all the common necessaries of life were near at hand, and easily attained; for Saturn had first made a golden age of men, to which the earth yielded all her fruits spontaneously; the mortals of the golden age submitted to a soft and pleasant death, and were afterwards made demons; and honour attended their names. To this succeeded the se

cond, the silver age; worse in all things than the first, and better than the following; which Jupiter, or Fate, took from the earth, and made happy in their death. Hence the poet passes to the third, the brazen age; the men of which, he says, were fierce and terrible, who ignobly fell by their own folly and civil discord: nor was their future fate like to the other, for they descended to hell. This generation is followed by a race of heroes, Eteocles and Polynices, and the rest who were in the first and oldest Theban war, and Aga

memnon and Menelaus; and such as are recorded by the poet' to be in the Trojan war; of whom some perished entirely by death, and some now inhabit the isles of the blessed. Next he describes the iron age, and the injustice which prevailed in it. He greatly reproves the judges, and taxes them with corruption, in a short and beautiful fable. In the other part of the book, he sets before our eyes the consequences of justice and injustice; and then, in the most sagacious manner, lays down some of the wisest precepts to Perses. The part which contains the precepts, is chiefly writ in an irregular, free, and easy way; and his is frequent epetitions (which custom modern writers have quite avoided bear no small marks of his antiquity. He often digresses, that his brother might not be tired with his precepts, because of a too much sameness. Hence he passes to rules economy beginning with agriculture. He points out the proper season for the plough, the harvest, the vintage and for felling wood; he shows the fruits of industry, and the ill consequences of negligence. He describes the different seasons, and tells us what works are proper to each. These are the subjects of the first part of his Enomony. In process of time, and the thirst of gain increasing in men, every method was tried to the procuring riches; men begun to extend their commerce over the seas; for which reason the poet laid down precepts for navigation. He next proceeds to a recommendation of divine worship, the adoration due to the immortal gods, and the various ways of paying our homage to them. He concludes with a short observation on days; dividing them into the good, bad, and indifferent.


I suppose Heinsius means Homer,

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