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away his fault and its punishment in the fountain head of the river Pactolus. Scarce had Midas touched the waters, before the gold-creating power passed into them, and the river sands became golden, as they remain to this day.
Thenceforth Midas, hating wealth and splendor, dwelt in the country, and became a worshipper of Pan, the god of the fields. But that he had not gained common sense is shown by the decision that he delivered somewhat later in favor of Pan's superiority, as a musician, over Apollo.'
1 See $ 83.
The search of Ceres for Proserpine, and of Orpheus for Eurydice, are stories pertaining both to Earth and Hades.
§ 105. The Rape of Proserpine.' — When the giants were imprisoned by Jupiter under Mount Ætna, Pluto feared lest the shock of their fall might expose his kingdom to the light of day. Under this apprehension, he mounted his chariot, drawn by black horses, and made a circuit of inspection to satisfy himself of the extent of the damage. While he was thus engaged, Venus, who was sitting on Mount Eryx playing with her boy Cupid, espied him, and said, “My son, take thy darts which subdue all, even Jove himself, and send one into the breast of yonder dark monarch, who rules the realm of Tartarus. Dost thou not see that even in heaven some despise our power? Minerva and Diana defy us; and there is that daughter of Ceres, who threatens to follow their example. Now, if thou regardest thine own interest or mine, join these two in one.” The boy selected his sharpest and truest arrow, and sped it right to the heart of Pluto.
1 Ovid, Metam. 5: 341-437.
In the vale of Enna is a lake embowered in woods, where Spring reigns perpetual. Here Proserpine was playing with her companions, gathering lilies and violets, when Pluto saw her, loved her, and carried her off. She screamed for help to her mother and her companions ; but the ravisher urged on his steeds, and outdistanced pursuit. When he reached the river Cyane, it opposed his passage, whereupon he struck the bank with his trident, and the earth opened and gave him a passage to Tartarus.
The Wanderings of Ceres.' --Ceres sought her daughter all the world over. Bright-haired Aurora, when she came forth in the morning, and Hesperus, when he led out the stars in the evening, found her still busy in the search. At length, weary and sad, she sat down upon a stone, and remained nine days and nights, in the open air, under the sunlight and moonlight and falling showers. It was where now stands the city of Eleusis, near the home of an old man named Celeus. His little girl, pitying the old woman, said to her, “Mother,” — and the name was sweet to the ears of Ceres, — “why sittest thou here alone upon the rocks?” The old man begged her to come into his cottage. She declined. He urged her. “Go in peace," she replied, " and be happy in thy daughter; I have lost mine." But their compassion finally prevailed. Ceres rose from the stone and went with them. As they walked, Celeus said that his only son lay sick of a fever. The goddess stooped and gathered some poppies. Then, entering the cottage, where all was in distress, — for the boy, Triptolemus, seemed past recovery, — she restored the child to life and health with a kiss. In grateful happiness the family spread the table, and put upon it curds and cream, apples, and honey in the comb. While they ate, Ceres mingled poppy juice in the milk of the boy. When night came, she arose and, taking the sleeping boy, moulded his limbs with her hands, and uttered over him three times a solemn charm, then went and laid him in the ashes. His mother, who had been watching what her guest was doing, sprang forward with a cry
1 Ovid, Metam. 5: 440, 642; Apollodorus, I. 5. § 2; Hyginus, Fab. 147.
and snatched the child from the fire. Then Ceres assumed her own form, and a divine splendor shone all around. While they were overcome with astonishment, she said, “ Mother, thou hast been cruel in thy fondness; for I would have made thy son immortal. Nevertheless, he shall be great and useful. He shall teach men the use of the plough, and the rewards which labor can win from the soil.” So saying, she wrapped a cloud about her, and mounting her chariot rode away.
Ceres continued her search for her daughter, till at length she returned to Sicily, whence she at first set out, and stood by the banks of the river Cyane. The river nymph would have told the goddess all she had witnessed, but dared not, for fear of Pluto; so she ventured merely to take up the girdle which Proserpine had dropped in her fight, and float it to the feet of the mother. Ceres, seeing this, laid her curse on the innocent earth in which her daughter had disappeared. Then succeeded drought and famine, flood and plague, until, at last, the fountain Arethusa made intercession for the land. For she had seen that it opened only unwillingly to the might of Pluto ; and she had also, in her flight from Alpheus through the lower regions of the earth, beheld the missing Proserpine. She said that the daughter of Ceres seemed sad, but no longer showed alarm in her countenance. Her look was such as became a queen,
- the queen of Erebus; the powerful bride of the monarch of the realms of the dead.
When Ceres heard this, she stood a while like one stupefied; then she implored Jupiter to interfere to procure the restitution of her daughter. Jupiter consented on condition that Proserpine should not during her stay in the lower world have taken any food; otherwise, the Fates forbade her release. Accordingly, Mercury was sent, accompanied by Spring, to demand Proserpine of Pluto. The wily monarch consented; but alas ! the maiden had taken a pomegranate which Pluto offered her, and had sucked the sweet pulp from a few of the seeds. A compromise, however, was effected by which she was to pass half the time with her mother, and the rest with the lord of Hades.
$ 106. Triptolemus and the Eleusinian Mysteries. — Ceres, pacified with this arrangement, restored the earth to her favor. Now she remembered, also, Celeus and his family, and her promise to his infant son Triptolemus. She taught the boy the use of the plough, and how to sow the seed. She took him in her chariot, drawn by winged dragons, through all the countries of the earth ; and under her guidance he imparted to mankind valuable grains, and the knowledge of agriculture. After his return, Triptolemus built a temple to Ceres in Eleusis, and established the worship of the goddess, under the name of the Eleusinian mysteries, which, in the splendor and solemnity of their observance, surpassed all other religious celebrations among the Greeks,