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OF THE

PYTHAGOREAN PHILOSOPHY,

From the Fifteenth Book of

OVID's METAMORPHOSE S.

The fourteenth book concludes with the death and deification of Romulus: the fifteenth begins with the election of Numa to the crown of Rome. . On this occasion, Ovid, following the opinion of some authors, makes Numa the scholar of Pythagoras; and to have begun bis acquaintance with that philofopher at Crotona, a town in Italy; from thence he makes a digression to the moral and natural philosopby of Pythagoras : on both which our author enlarges; and which are the most learned and þeautiful parts of the Metamorphofes.

A

King is sought to guide the growing state,

One able to support the public weight, And fill the throne where Romulus had sate. Renown, which oft bespeaks the public voice, Had recommended Numa to their choice : A peaceful, pious prince; who, not content To know the Sabine rites, his study bent

To cultivate his mind: to learn the laws
Of nature, and explore their hidden cause.
Urgʻd by this care, his country he forsook,
And to Crotona thence his journey took.
Arriv'd, he first enquir'd the founder's name
Of this new colony; and whence he came.
Then thus a senior of the place replies,
(Well read, and curious of antiquities)
'Tis faid, Alcides hither took his way
From Spain, and drove along his conquer'd prey ;
Then, leaving in the fields his grazing cows,
He fought himself some hofpitable house :
Good Croton entertain'd his godlike guest;
While he repair'd his weary limbs with rest.
The hero, thence departing, bless’d the place;
And here, he said, in Time's revolving race,
A rising town shall take its name from thee;
Revolving Time fulfill’d the prophecy :
For Myscelos, the justest man on earth,
Alemon's son, at Argos had his birth :
Him Hercules, arm'd with his club of oak,
O'ershadow'd in a dream, and thus bespoke ;
Go, leave thy native soil, and make abode
Where Æsaris rolls down his rapid food;
He said; and sleep forsook him, and the God.

Trembling he wak'd, and rose with anxious heart;
His country laws forbad him to depart :
What should he do ? 'Twas death to go away;
And the God menac'd if he dar'd to stay :
All day he doubted, and when night came on,
Sleep, and the same forewarning dream, begun:
Once more the God stood threatning o'er his head;
With added curses if he disobey'd.
Twice warn’d, he study'd flight; but would convey,
At once, his person and his wealth away:
Thus while he linger'd, his design was heard;
A speedy process form'd, and death declar'd.
Witness there needed none of his offence,
Against himself the wretch was evidence:
Condemn’d, and destitute of human aid,
To him, for whom he suffer'd, thus he pray'd.

O Paw'r, who hast deserv'd in heav'n a throne
Not giv’n, but by thy labors made thy own,
Pity thy suppliant, and protect his cause,
Whom thou hast made obnoxious to the laws.

A custom was of old, and still remains, Which life or death by fuffrages ordains; White stones and black within an urn are cast, The first absolve, but fate is in the last. The judges to the common urn bequeath Their votes, and drop the fable signs of death;

The box receives all black; but pour'd from thence
The stones came candid forth, the hue of in-

nocence.
Thus Alimonides his safety won,
Preserv'd from death by Alcumena's son:
Then to his kinsman God his vows

he

pays, And cuts with prosp'rous gales th' Ionian feas: He leaves Tarentum, favor'd by the wind, And Thurine bays, and Temiles, behind ; Soft Sibaris, and all the capes that stand Along the shore, he makes in sight of land; Still doubling, and still coasting, till he found The mouth of Æfaris, and promis'd ground: Then faw.where, on the margin of the flood, The tomb that held the bones of Croton stood: Here, by the God's command, he built and wall’d The place predicted; and Crotona call’d: Thus fame, from time to time, delivers down The sure tradition of th' Italian town.

Here dwelt the man divine whom Samos bore, But now self-banish'd from his native shore, Because he hated tyrants, nor could bear The chains which none but servile souls will wear: He, tho from heav'n remote, to heav'n could move, With strength of mind, and tread th' abyss above;

And penetrate, with his interior light,
Those

upper depths, which Nature hid from fight: And what he had observ'd, and learnt from thence, Lov'd in familiar language to dispense.

The crowd with silent admiration stand, And heard him, as they heard their God's com

mand;

While he discours’d of heav'n's mysterious laws,
The world's original, and nature's cause;
And what was God, and why the fleecy snows
In silence fell, and rattling winds arose ;
What shook the stedfast earth, and whence begun
The dance of planets round the radiant sun;
If thunder was the voice of angry Jove,
Or clouds, with nitre pregnant, burst above:
Of these, and things beyond the common reach,
He spoke, and charm'd his audience with his speech.

He first the taste of flesh from tables drove,
And argu'd well, if arguments could move.
O mortals ! from your fellows blood abstain,
Nor taint

bodies with a food profane: While corn and pulse by nature are bestow'd, And planted orchards bend their willing load; While labor’d gardens wholsom herbs produce, And teeming vines afford their gen’rous juice ;

your

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