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"I am the eye with which the universe
All prophecy, all medicine, are mine,
§ 39. Diana (Artemis), twin sister of Apollo^ born on Mount Cynthus, in the island of Delos.i Latona, the future mother of Diana and Apollo, flying from the wrath of Juno, had besought, one after another, the islands of the .Aegean to afford her a place of rest; but they feared too much the potent queen of heaven. Delos alone consented to become the birthplace of the future deities. This isle was then floating and unstable ; but on Latona's arrival, Jupiter fastened it with adamantine chains to the bottom of the sea, that it might be a secure resting-place for his beloved. The daughter of Latona is, .as her name Artemis indicates,/a virgin goddess, the ideal of modesty, grace, and maidenly vigor.) She is associated with her brother, the prince of archery, in nearly all his adventures,1 and in attributes she is his feminine counterpart. As he is identified with sunlight, so is she, his fair-tressed sister, with the chaste brilliance of the moon. Its slender arc is her bow; its beams are her arrows with which she sends upon womankind a speedy and painless death. In her prerogative of moon-goddess she is frequently identified with Selene, daughter of Hyperion, just as Apollo is with Helios. Despising the weakness of love, Diana imposed upon her nymphs vows of perpetual maidenhood, any violation of which she was swift and severe to punish. Graceful in form and free of movement, equipped for the chase, and surrounded by a bevy of fair companions, the swift-rushing goddess was wont to scour hill, valley, forest, and plain. I She was, however, not only huntress, but guardian, of wild beasts, 4-mistress withal of horses and kine and other domestic brutes. She ruled marsh and mountain; her gleaming arrows smote sea as well as land. Springs and woodland brooks she favored, for in them she and her attendants were accustomed to bathe. She blessed with verdure the meadows and arable lands, and from them obtained a meed of thanks. When weary of the chase, she turned to music and dancing; for, the lyre and flute and song were dear to her. i Muses, Graces, nymphs, and the fair goddesses themselves thronged the rites of the chorus-leading queen. But ordinarily a woodland chapel or a rustic altar sufficed for her worship. There the hunter laid his offering — antlers, skin, or edible portions of the deer that Artemis of the golden arrows had herself vouchsafed him. The holy maid, however, though naturally gracious, gentle, and a healer of ills, was, like her brother, quick to resent injury to her sacred herds, or insult to herself. To this stern temper Agamemnon, Orion, and Niobe bore regretful testimony. They found that the " fair-crowned queen of the echoing chase," though blithe and gracious, was by no means a frivolous personage.
Diana was mistress of the brute creation, protectress of youth, patron of temperance in all things, guardian of civil right. /The cypress tree was sacred to her; and her favorites were the bear, the boar, the dog, the goat, and specially the hind.
"Queen and Huntress, chaste and fair,
State in wonted manner keep:
"Earth, let not thy envious shade
Bless us then with wished
Goddess excellently bright.
"Lay thy bow of pearl apart,
§ 40. ^enus, goddess of love and beauty^ was,(according, to^the more'ancient Greek .conception, a daughter of Jupiter and Dione \ * but jHesiod says that she arose from the foam of the sea|at the time of the wounding of Uranus, and therefore was called, by the Greeks, Aphrodite, the foam-born.* Wafted by the west wind, and borne upon the surge, she won first the island of Cythera; thence, like a dream, she passed to Cyprus, where the grace and blossom of hep beauty conquered every heart. Everywhere, at the touch of her feet the herbage quivered into flower. The Hours and Graces surrounded her, twining odorous garlands and weaving robes for her, that reflected the hues, and breathed the perfume, of crocus and hyacinth, violet, rose, lily, and narcissus. To her influence is ascribed the fruitfulness of the animal and of the vegetable creation. She is goddess of gardens and flowers, of the rose, the myrtle, and the linden. The heaths and slumberous vales, pleasant with spring and vernal breezes, are hers. In her broidered girdle lurk "love and desire, and loving converse that steals the wits even of the wise." Fori she is the mistress of feminine charm and beauty.jthe golden, sweetly-smiling Aphrodite, who rules the hearts of men. She lends to mortals seductive form and
1 Ben Jonson, Hymn to Diana. - Iliad 5: 370, etc. 3 A popular etymology. fascination. To a few, indeed, her favor is a blessing; but to many her gifts are treacherous, destructive of peace. Her various influence is exemplified in the stories of Pygmalion and Adonis, Paris and ^Eneas, Helen, Ariadne, Psyche, Procris, Pasiphae, and Phaedra. Her power extended over sea as well as land; and her temples rose from many a shore. On the waters swan and dolphin were beloved of her; in air, the sparrow and the dove. She was usually attended by her winged son Cupid, of whom much is to be told. Especially dear to her were Cyprus, Cnidos, Paphos, Cythera, Abydos, Mount Eryx, and the city of Corinth.
Of artistic conceptions of Aphrodite, the most famous are the statues called the Venus of Melos, and the Venus of the Medici.1 A comparison of the two conceptions is instituted in the following poem.2 The worshipper apostrophizes the Venus of Melos, that "inner beauty of the world," whose tranquil smile he finds more fair than "The Medicean's sly and servile grace " : —
"From our low world no gods have taken wing;
In song of wind and wave, and every flitting bird.
1 For Venus in poetry and art, see Commentary, § 40.
2 From the Venus of Milo by E. R. Sill, formerly professor of English Literature in the University of California. The cut, p. 67, represents the Melos.
8 The references are to the Berkeley Hills, the Bay of San Francisco, and the glimpses of the Pacific.