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selves the "Judgment of Paris,' as it was represented that day at Corinth. The mazy dance of the corps of ballet girls, the scenery, the pantomime, - in a word, the whole representation might be modern, except that public opinion in Corinth allowed a nearer approach to the costume in which the goddesses appeared on Mount Ida, than would be tolerated now-a-days, even in poses plastiques.
The slaves who had the charge of Lucius were so engrossed with the spectacle, that they left him to his own devices. He took advantage of the opportunity to escape, and galloping away to the neighbouring town of Cenchreæ, laid himself down to sleep in a retired spot on the sea-shore. When he awoke, the Moon was just rising above the waves. He prayed to her as the Queen of Heaven, to save him from his debased condition, and restore him to his former self. In answer to his prayer, Isis appeared, revealing herself as the one deity worshipped under many names, and bidding him wait till the morrow for deliverance. In return, she demanded that he should consider the remainder of life pledged to her service, to be spent in diligent obedience, devout ministrations, and inviolable purity.
In the morning, the streets of Cenchreæ were filled with crowds running hither and thither, preparing to celebrate the festival of Isis. Its contrast with the gloomy rites we witnessed just now is too marked not to be intentional. Their dismal howlings told of sin and expiation, the song of this is of mercy and thankfulness. They were sullied with hypocrisy and crime, this is all joy and purity. Even the objects of nature are supposed to sympathise in the rejoicings of the day. The ceremonial is minutely described. In front, were humorous representations of the different pursuits of mankind. There was the hunter, the soldier, the gladiator, the magistrate, the philosopher, the fowler, the fisherman, each with the emblems of his craft. There were also animals, connected by mythological fancy with the worship of Isis. A tame bear sat in a car, in the garb of a matron : the part of Ganymede was performed by an ape; and an ass, with a pair of wings glued to his back in imitation of Pegasus, walked beside a Bellerophon in the person of a decrepid old man. Next came the procession. A troop of women preceded the image of the goddess, carrying mirrors on their shoulders, to reflect her figure. Some with ivory combs imitated the action of dressing her hair, others sprinkled perfumes along the path, or brandished torches. They marched to the chant of a chorus, with an accompaniment of flutes and cymbals. Then followed the main-body of the initiated, - a crowd of men and women of all ranks and ages, dressed in white linen. The men had their heads shaved.
vory combs their shouldered the image of fame the proc
Priests of tall stature carried the sacred vessels,-a golden lamp like a boat, a palm tree, an altar, a model of the left hand, to signify fair dealing, and a winnowing-fan. Next were borne aloft the emblems of the gods — the dog Anubis, with his faces half sable, half gold, —a cow, the type of production, - an ark, and lastly, an object in the likeness neither of beast, nor bird, nor even human being; a small urn, covered with hieroglyphics, with a handle of the shape of an asp, — the peculiar symbol of the goddess. The high-priest closed the train, and, forewarned in a dream, paused at the approach of Lucius, to offer him his garland. He tasted, and the promise of the deity was fulfilled. The transformation was reversed. His neck, his ears, his teeth, re-assumed their human dimensions, and his tail, the feature in his asinine incarnation most galling, completely vanished. The priest explained to him the events of his life. In youth, notwithstanding the advantages of birth, social position, and learning, he had given way to debasing pleasures and ill-fated curiosity. But the punishment which the blindness of Fortune had inflicted, had brought him to a better mind. Calamity had no hold over those whose lives the goddess claimed for herself. • Let the unhallowed behold, let them behold and acknowledge • their error. Lo, delivered from his former woes by the provi. dence of the mighty Isis, Lucius has triumphed over his • destiny. Still, to be more secure, enlist in our sacred army. • Devote thyself from this hour to the observance of our ritual, • and freely take the yoke of its service : for when thou hast
begun to serve the goddess, thou wilt more truly enjoy • liberty.
When the rites of the day were celebrated, and the mimic ship sacred to Isis had been launched, to secure a prosperous navigation for the season, the crowd dispersed to spread abroad the fame of the miracle, and Lucius prepared to obey the monition of the goddess. A sense of religious awe delayed awhile his initiation. The ritual was difficult of observance. It ordained a severe rule of abstinence, and a life of the utmost circumspection. The high-priest, too, checked his impatience, representing the impiety of haste as no less than that of disobedience to the call. . At length, however, the will of the goddess was clearly revealed, and he was admitted to initiation He was bathed and sprinkled with pure water. Ten days of fasting were then prescribed. On the evening of the tenth day, the people flocked from all directions, according to ancient custom, to present him with their offerings. Presently the profane were ordered to withdraw, and the priest led him into the innermost sanctuary. We will hear from himself what he saw.
Lucius initiated into the Mysteries of Isis.
I approached the abode of death ; with my foot I pressed the threshold of Proserpine's palace. I was transported through the elements, and conducted back again. At midnight I saw the bright light of the sun shining. I stood in the presence of the gods, - the gods of heaven and of the shades below; aye, stood near and wor. shipped. And now have I only told thee such things, that, hearing, thou necessarily canst not understand; and, being beyond the comprehension of the profane, I can enunciate without committing a crime.'
In the morning the people were again admitted to see him, placed like a statue in the middle of the temple, in a linen robe embroidered with hieroglyphics, and a crown of palm leaves. This was his spiritual birth-day, and was spent in festivity and social intercourse. On the third day the same rites were repeated, and the initiation was then complete. Though Lucius bas told us that it is beyond our comprehension, there can be little doubt but that the ceremony typified death and a resurrection.
After this he went to Rome, and was there initiated into the mysteries of Osiris, which differed widely from those of Isis, in the mode of their celebration, though the two deities were closely connected, or, more properly speaking, substantially one. Osiris revealed to him that he should become famous for his forensic success; and to distinguish him from the great body of his sacred profession, appointed himn to a high office among the Pastophori, an order whose duty it was to bear the pall in the processions of the god.
· Thenceforward,' says Lucius, 'I fulfilled my duty as a member of that ancient college ; and, with a head newly and thoroughly shaved, joyfully exposed my bald pate to the gaze of the multitude whithersoever I went.'
Such is the outline of a story which acquired considerable popularity from the middle of the second to the fourth century. Its interest was increased by a curious theological discussion. When in their controversies with their heathen neighbours, the early Christians appealed for confirmation to the miracles of our Lord, they were met by a counter-appeal to current accounts of wonders performed by reputed magicians. Apuleius was ranked in this class, and the metamorphoses of Lucius, under which name he was supposed to represent himself, were quoted among his miracles. Lactantius and Jerome in the third century both allude to the dispute. At a later period Marcellinus applied to his father for an answer. The answer is remarkable. Apuleius has himself denied any knowledge of magic; and Augustin was obviously inclined to give credit to
the denial, though he was staggered by the universality of the rumour, and from feeling that those who started the difficulty would not appreciate so simple a solution. Adopting therefore the popular version, he contrasted him with David. Born in the higher ranks, highly educated and of great eloquence, he never with all his arts succeeded in obtaining any judicial office in the republic. And yet his actions showed that he was not insensible to ambition. He did his best, and his failure was due to want of power, not of will. David, on the contrary, not by magic, but by pleasing God, rose from a shepherd to a king. Without much astuteness, the heathen opponent might have replied that Apuleius was not really ambitious. He retired early in life from Rome to his native place Madaura, and there reached the highest judicial post a colony had to offer. He speaks with pride of succeeding to his father's office, and it is a fair conclusion that his ambition looked no higher. Be this as it may, the answer seems to have proved good as an argumentum ad homines, for we hear no more of the question.
But we should wrong Augustin were we to suppose his strong, capacious, and argumentative mind' could rest satisfied with this solution. In his work · On the City of God,' he has attempted to account for the phenomenon consistently with philosophy and religion. If true, it must be attributed to the agency of demons, beings to whom the power of creation, or of effecting real transformations, is denied by God, and the power of producing deceptive appearances alone conceded. Through some inexplicable exercise of that power, the phantasy of one man, that part of us which, though itself incorporeal, assumes with strange rapidity in thought, or sleep, a thousand corporeal shapes, is made to appear to another in the form of an animal ; in such a manner that, while the one, far removed and buried in deep sleep, imagines himself an animal carrying a load, the other sees, not a real animal, but the appearance of an animal, carrying a load, which, if real, is carried by the unseen demon. Our first impulse is to laugh, but Augustin had to explain the evidence of persons who testified to having heard of, and actually seen, such transformations. The controversy has left no trace, except that of compelling each succeeding editor to examine the proof of identity between Apuleius and his hero. The earlier commentators are nearly equally divided on the subject. Sir George Head says, “Unquestionably,' from the beginning to the end of the adventures of his hero Lucius, it was himself whom
he intended to personate;' while nearly all modern scholars of authority take a different view. This last is our opinion. If
The Personal History of Apuleius.
we except, perhaps, the scene describing the initiation, they have apparently no more in common than any other novelist of manners and his hero; though much that the hero relates must most probably consist of the experience of the novelist.
Apuleius hated magic, because it had exercised a real and unpleasant influence upon his life. While studying at Athens, he became intimate with a young man, Pontianus, an African like himself. Pontianus's mother, Pudentilla, was a rich lady of forty, who had remained in widowhood thirteen years, for the sake of her sons. That reason no longer applied; and now her own inclination prompted, her family advised, and her physicians prescribed, matrimony. Pontianus fixed upon Apuleius as worthy of being his mother's husband and his own stepfather; and he proceeded in the matter like an adept in match-making. Apuleius happened to be visiting at (Ea, the modern Tripoli, where Pudentilla lived, on his way to Alexandria. Pontianus sounded him on the subject of marriage, and seeing his unwillingness, entreated him not to risk his health by travelling that winter, but to wait till next year, when he would himself accompany him,begging him meanwhile to remain in their house, which was healthy, and commanded a view of the sea. Apuleius acquiesced, and common studies cemented his friendship with the lady. The favourable moment at length arrived; when after the delivery by Apuleius of a very successful public lecture, Pontianus told him that the whole of Ea agreed he would make an excellent husband for Pudentilla. She was, he admitted, a widow without personal attractions ; adding, with a shrewd knowledge of his friend's weaknesses, that to reserve himself in hope of a match for beauty or money, was unbecoming a friend and a philosopher. His wish to travel was the difficulty ; but soon he became as eager to win the lady, as if he had made the offer. Now her connexions began to object. Pontianus was gained over to their faction, and every obstacle was placed in the way of the lovers,—of course without success. The opposition, nevertheless, did not cease even upon the marriage. They prosecuted him in the Court of the Proconsul for dealing in magic, and so obtaining the lady's affections. Every topic, however irrelevant and absurd, which could make him ludicrous or unpopular, was foisted in to eke out the ridiculous charge; and it is to his Apology that we owe our knowledge of his personal history. He was handsome; —so had other philosophers been, but literary labour had worn away his good looks, and his neglected locks hung down in ropes: he used tooth-powder, - the habit was cleanly and not unphilosophical: he wrote love-sonnets, — his verses might be wanton, but his life was pure: he carried a looking-glass, — he