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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Two Foundlings
By Longus (Second Century?)
 
From ‘Daphnis and Chloe’

IN the island of Lesbos, whilst hunting in a wood sacred to the Nymphs, I beheld the most beauteous sight that I have seen in all my life: a painting which represented the incidents of a tale of love. The grove itself was charming: it contained no lack of flowers, trees thick with foliage, and a cool spring which nourished alike trees and flowers. But the picture was more pleasing than aught else by reason both of its amorous character and its marvelous workmanship. So excellently was it wrought, indeed, that the many strangers who had heard speak of it came thither to render worship to the Nymphs and to view it. Women in the throes of childbirth were depicted in it, nurses wrapping infants in swathing-clothes, little babes exposed to the mercy of fortune, animals suckling them, shepherds carrying them away, young people exchanging vows of love, pirates at sea, a hostile force scouring the country; with many other incidents, all amorous, which I viewed with so much pleasure and found so beautiful that I felt desirous of recording them in writing. Accordingly I sought for some one who could fully explain them to me: and having been informed of everything, I composed these four books, which I dedicate as an offering to Cupid, to the Nymphs, and to Pan; hoping that the tale will prove acceptable to many classes of people,—inasmuch as it may serve to cure illness, console grief, refresh the memory of him who has already loved, and instruct him who as yet knows not what love is. Never was there and never will there be a man able to resist love, so long as beauty exists in the world and there are eyes to behold it.  1
  The gods grant that whilst describing the emotions of others, I may remain undisturbed myself.  2
  Mitylene is a beautiful and extensive city of Lesbos, intersected by various channels of the sea flowing through and around it, and adorned with bridges of polished white stone. You might imagine on beholding it that it was a collection of islets rather than a city. About twenty-four miles from Mitylene, a rich man had an estate, none finer than which could be found in all the surrounding country. The neighboring woods abounded with game, the fields yielded corn, the hillocks were covered with vines, there was pasture land for the herds; and the whole was bounded by the sea, which washed an extensive smooth and sandy shore.  3
  On this estate, whilst a goatherd named Lamon was tending his herds in the fields, he found a little child whom one of his she-goats was suckling. There was here a dense thicket of brakes and brambles, covered with intermingling branches of ivy; whilst underneath, the soil was carpeted with soft fine grass, upon which the infant was lying. To this spot the she-goat often betook herself, abandoning her own kid and remaining with the child, so that it was not known what had become of her. Lamon, who was grieved to see the kid neglected, watched the dam’s movements; and one day when the sun was burning in his meridian heat, he followed her and saw her softly enter the thicket, stepping carefully over the child so that she might not injure it, whilst the babe took hold of her udder as if this had been its mother’s breast. Greatly surprised, and advancing close to the spot, Lamon discovered that the infant was a male child with well-proportioned limbs and handsome countenance, and wearing richer attire than seemed suited to such an outcast; for its little mantle was of fine purple and fastened by a golden clasp, whilst near it lay a small knife with a handle of ivory.  4
  At first Lamon resolved to leave the infant to its fate, and only to carry off the tokens which had been left with it; but he soon felt ashamed of showing himself less humane than his goat, and at the approach of night he took up the infant and the tokens, and with the she-goat following him, went home to Myrtale his wife.  5
  Myrtale, who was astonished at the sight, asked if goats now gave birth to babes instead of kids; whereupon her husband recounted to her every particular of the discovery, saying how he had found the child lying on the grass and the goat suckling it, and how ashamed he had felt at the idea of leaving the babe to perish. His wife declared that it would have been wrong to do so, and they thereupon agreed to conceal the tokens and to adopt the child. They employed the goat as his nurse, affirmed on all sides that he was their own offspring, and in order that his name might accord with their rustic condition they called him Daphnis.  6
  Two years had elapsed, when Dryas, a neighboring shepherd, met with a similar adventure whilst tending his flock. In this part of the country there was a grotto of the Nymphs, which was hollowed out of a large rock rounded at the summit. Inside there were statues of the Nymphs carved in stone, their feet bare, their arms also naked, their hair flowing loosely upon their shoulders, their waists girt, their faces smiling, and their attitudes similar to those of a troop of dancers. In the deepest part of the grotto a spring gurgled from the rock; and its waters, spreading into a copious stream, refreshed the soft and abundant herbage of a delightful meadow that stretched before the entrance, where milk-pails, transverse flutes, flageolets, and pastoral pipes were suspended,—the votive offerings of many an old shepherd.  7
  An ewe of Dryas’s flock, which had lately lambed, frequently resorted to this grotto, raising apprehensions that she was lost. The shepherd, to prevent her straying in future, and to keep her with the flock as previously, twisted some green osiers so as to form a noose, and went to seize her in the grotto. But upon his arrival there, he beheld a sight far contrary to his expectation. He found his ewe presenting, with all the tenderness of a real mother, her udder to an infant; which, without uttering the faintest cry, eagerly turned its clean and glossy face from one teat to the other, the ewe licking it as soon as it had had its fill. This child was a girl; and in addition to the garments in which it was swathed, it had, by way of tokens to insure recognition, a head-dress wrought with gold, gilt sandals, and golden anklets.  8
  Dryas imagined that this foundling was a gift from the gods: and, inclined to love and pity by the example of his ewe, he raised the infant in his arms, placed the tokens in his bag, and invoked the blessing of the Nymphs upon the charge which he had received from them; and when the time came for driving his cattle from their pasture, he returned to his cottage and related all the circumstances of his discovery to his wife, exhibiting the foundling, and entreating her to observe secrecy and to regard and rear the child as her own daughter.  9
  Nape (for so his wife was called) at once adopted the infant, for which she soon felt a strong affection; being stimulated thereto, perhaps, by a desire to excel the ewe in tenderness. She declared herself a mother; and in order to obtain credit for her story, she gave the child the pastoral name of Chloe.  10
  Daphnis and Chloe grew rapidly, and their comeliness far exceeded the common appearance of rustics. The former had completed his fifteenth year and Chloe her thirteenth, when on the same night a vision appeared to Lamon and Dryas in a dream. They each thought that they beheld the Nymphs of the grotto, where the fountain played and where Dryas had found the little girl, presenting Daphnis and Chloe to a young boy of very sprightly gait and beautiful mien, who had wings on his shoulders, and who carried a little bow and some arrows in his hand. The urchin lightly touched the young people with one of his shafts, and commanded them to devote themselves to a pastoral life. To Daphnis he committed the care of the sheep.  11
  When this vision appeared to the shepherd and the goatherd, they were grieved to think that their adopted children should, like themselves, be destined to tend animals. From the tokens found with the infants, they had augured for the latter a better fortune; and in this expectation they had brought them up in a more delicate manner, and had procured for them more instruction and accomplishments, than usually fall to the lot of shepherds’ offspring.  12
  It appeared to them, however, that with regard to children whom the gods had preserved, the will of the gods must be obeyed; and each having communicated his dream to the other, they repaired to the grotto, offered up a sacrifice to the companion of the Nymphs,—“the winged boy,” with whose name they were unacquainted,—and then sent the youth and maiden forth into the fields, having however first instructed them in their pastoral duties. They taught them, for instance, whither they should guide their herds before the noonday heat, whither they should conduct them when it had abated, at what time it was meet to lead them to the stream, and at what hour they should drive them home to the fold. They showed them also in which instances the use of the crook was required, and in which the voice alone would suffice.  13
  The young people received the charge of the sheep and goats with as much exultation as if they had acquired some powerful sovereignty, and felt more affection for their animals than shepherds usually feel; for Chloe reflected that she owed her preservation to a ewe, and Daphnis remembered that a she-goat had suckled him.  14
  It was then the beginning of spring. In the wood and meadows and on the mountains the flowers were blooming amid the buzzing murmurs of the bees, the warbling of the birds, and the bleating of the lambs. The sheep were skipping on the slopes, the bees flew humming through the meadows, and the songs of the birds resounded among the bushes. All nature joined in rejoicing at the springtide; and Daphnis and Chloe, as they were young and susceptible, imitated whatever they saw or heard. Hearing the carols of the birds, they sang; at sight of the playful skipping of the lambs they danced; and in imitation of the bees they gathered flowers, some of which they placed in their bosoms, whilst with others they wove chaplets which they carried as offerings to the Nymphs. They tended their flocks and herds together, and carried on all their vocations in common. Daphnis frequently collected such of the sheep as had strayed; and if a goat ventured too near a precipice, Chloe drove it back. Sometimes one took the entire management both of the goats and the sheep, whilst the other was engaged in some amusement.  15
  Their sports were of a childish, pastoral character: Chloe would neglect her flocks to roam in search of day-lilies, the stalks of which she twisted into traps for locusts; while Daphnis often played from morn till eve upon a pipe which he had formed of slender reeds, perforating them between their joints and securing them together with soft wax. The young folks now often shared their milk and wine, and made a common meal of the food which they had brought from home as provision for the day; and the sheep might sooner have been seen to disperse and browse apart than Daphnis to separate himself from Chloe.  16
 
 
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