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OF THE MUSES, GRACES, AND OTHER INFERIOR
*HE MUSES, daughters of Jupiter and
Mnemosync, goddess of memory, were the reputed goddesses of the several arts and sciences, and presided over the feasts and folemnities of the gods.
They were the companions of Apollo, and lived with him chiefly on the hills of Parnasus, Helicon, and Pindus. The Hippocrene, and other fountains at the foot of Parnassus, were sacred to them, as were also the palm-tree and the laurel. They are represented young and very handsome, and are nine in number. Their names are, Clio, CALLIOPE, Erato, THALIA, MELPOMENE, TERPSICHORE, EUTERPE, POLYHYMNIA, and URANIA.
Clio presides over history, and is said to be the inventress of the lute. Calliope, so called from the sweetness of her voice, presides over eloquence and heroic poetry. Erato, or the Lovely, presides over lyric poetry. Thalia is the goddess of comedy ; Melpomene, of tragedy; and Terpsichore, or the Jovial, of dancing. Euterpe is so called, because she im
parts joy. She invented the flute, and presided over the mufic. She is also said to be the patroness of logic. Polyhymnia is so called from her multiplicity of songs. She is said to excel in memory, and is the goddess of the ode. Urania, or the celestial muse, presided over divine presy; and is said to be the inventrefs of astronomy.
The Muses are distinguished by masks, lyres, garlands, globes, and other emblems, expressive of their different offices or accomplishments.
Pegasus, the famous horse of ancient fable, was an attendant on Apollo and the Muses. He inhabited the mountains of Parnassus and Helicon. It is said that he fprung from the blood of Medusa, killed by Perseus ; and he is represented by the poets with wings to his sides, expressive of the flights and elevation of the mind in poetry. When Perseus struck off the head of Medusa, the horfe Pegasus struck the ground with his foot; upon which, at the bottom of the hill, a fountain arose named Hippocrene. This fountain was sacred to Apollo and the Muses.
The Graces, called also Charites, were three sisters, daughters of Jupiter and Eurynome, or Venus. The first was named Aglaia from her chearfulness; the second Thalia, from her perpetual verdure, and the third Euphrosyne, from delight. They were
companions of the Muses and Mercury, and attendants' on Venus. They are represented with pleasing countenances, and without garments, to denote that our actions should be free and candid, not covered over with diffimulation or deceit. A chain binds their arms together, to express that the link of love and harmony should be united and unbroken.
THEMIS, ASTREA, and NEMESIS, were three goddelles : the first of law and peace; the second of justice ; and the third, a rewarder of virtue, and punisher of vice.
OF THE ÆGYPTIAN DEITIES.
OSIRIS, Apis, and Serapis, are different names
of one and the same deity, son of Jupiter by Niobe, and husband to Isis.
Their son Orus was deemed, by the Ægyptians, the Protector of the River Nile, the Averter of Evils, Governor of the World, and the Author of Plenty.
These deities of the Ægyptians were held in the greatest veneration. Temples were erected, and
divine honours paid to Ofiris under the figure of an ox; and the priestesses of Isis sacrificed to that gode dess under different shapes, according to the purposes for which they were intended.
As fable is said to take its origin from the Ægyptions, it will appear, from their intercourse with the Jews, long resident in Ægypt, that a mixture of true religion and error increased that false worship, which first prevailed in that country, and afterwards spread into Rome, and the more distant parts of the world,
These gods of the Ægyptians were worshipped under various names and characters, according to the prevailing opinion of different countries, or some other incident. Thus, according to Herodotus, Osiris and Bacchus are the fame; and this is said to be the same with the Roman Cybele, Ceres, Minerva, and Luna. Orus also was the fymbol of light, and was figured as a winged boy. He was named the Hermes of the Greeks, and the Apollo and Cupid of the Romans,
CHAP CHAP. XLV.
OF THÉ PANTHEON.
BOTH in Ægypt and Rome, each deity had a
temple, where the most folemn sacrifices were made to them, according to the prevailing notion of their power and influence.
The worship of these gods so far prevailed among the Romans, that they erected to their honour a public edifice, named the PANTHEON, in which, as a general repository, were placed the statues of their several deities, with their respective symbols. Jupiter was distinguished by a thunder-bolt ; Jung by a crown ; Mars by a helmet ; Apollo, or the Sun, by his beams; Diana, or the Moon, by a crescent ; Ceres by a cornucopia, or horn of plenty, or an ear of corn ; Cupid by a bundle of arrows; Mercury by the wings on his feet, and a caduceus, or wand, in his hand; Bacchus by the ivy; Venus " by the beauty of her person ; and the rest had the like distinguishing characters placed above their ftatues, or in their hands, according to the received opinion of the people, or the ingenuity of the artist.