The Library of History

Page 114

Page 114 Upon the Discovery of this sad Disaster, Selene, who passionately lov'd her Brother, threw her self down headlong from the House-top; and the Mother, while she was seeking for her Son at the River side, with Grief fell asleep, and dreamt that she saw Helios standing by her to comfort her, and wish'd her not to grieve too much and afflict her self for the Death of her Children; for the Titanes should execute due Revenge upon the Malefactor, and that he and his Sister by the Providence of the Gods were to be deify'd, so as that which before was call'd the Holy Fire in Heaven should then be call'dHelios, and that which before had the Name of Mene should then be term'd Selenes.

When she awak'd she told her Dream, and repeated all her Misfortunes, and then intreated her Subjects that they would adore her deceas'd Children as Gods, and that none for the future would come near her.

Presently afterwards in a furious Rage of Madness (taking her Daughters gingling Gewgaws) she wandred up and down, with her Hair dishevell'd about her Ears, and playing like a mad Woman upon a Timbrel and Cymbal, she was even a Terror to the Spectators: And while every body pity'd her miserable Condition, and some attempted to lay hold on her, there arose on a sudden a terrible Storm of Rain, Thunder and Lightning, and she was never seen after. The People hereupon admiring this Prodigy, began to transfer the Name of Helios and Selene (in Honour of them) to the Sun and the Moon in the Heavens; and being persuaded that the Mother was a Goddess, they erected Altars, and (with the noise of Timbrels and tinkling of Cymbals, and other things agreeable to her Circumstances) offer'd Sacrifices, and instituted other divine Rites and Ceremonies in Honour of her.

But however Phrygia is said to be the Birth-place of this Goddess: For the Inhabitants fabulously report, that Meones heretofore reign'd in Phrygia and Lydia, and that he marry'd Dyndima, and upon her begat a Daughter, which he unnaturally expos'd in the Mountain Cybelus: And that there, by a divine Providence, Leopards and other fierce and wild Beasts, nourish'd the Child with their own Milk: But Shepherdesses thereabouts observing what was done, and (admiring the Strangeness of the thing) took away the Child, and call'd it, from the Place, Cybele. The young Lady growing up both in Strength and Years, was admir'd by all for her Beauty, Modesty and Ingenuity: For she was the first that invented the Pipe, compos'd of many Reeds, and the Timbrel and Cymbal in Sports and Dances: She taught likewise how to cure (by purging) Diseases both in Children and Cattle.

For her extraordinary Love to Children, whom she often restor'd to Health, by singing and lulling them in her Arms, she was call'd by all The Mother of the Mount. Marsyas the Phrygian (they say) was very much with her, and the chiefest of all her Lovers: This Man, it's said, was mighty ingenious, and wonderfully chast. His Ingenuity they gather hence, that imitating the Sound of a Pipe compos'd of many Reeds, he found out how one single Pipe might make the same Harmony: And as an Argument for his Chastity (they say) he never had to do with any Woman all the days of his Life.

Cybele being now ripe of Years, lov'd a young Man, one of the Natives, first call'd Attis, afterwards Papas: This Youth she accompany'd with, and was got with Child, about which time she was own'd by her Parents, and receiv'd by her Father into his Palace, as a Virgin: But being afterwards inform'd of the Miscarriage of his Daughter, caus'd Attis and her Nurses to be put to Death, and their Bodies to lye expos'd without Burial: Whereupon (they say) Cybele (through the Love she bore to the young Man, and overwhelm'd with Grief for her Nurses) fell into a furious Madness, and ran out into the Fields, where all alone with her Hair about her Ears she fill'd the whole Country with the noise of her Timbrel, and her Wayling and Lamentations. But Marsyas pitying her miserable Condition, and prompted thereunto by the Remembrance of his ancient Love and Kindness he had for her, follow'd her wherever she went; and coming together at length to Bacchus in Nysa, found there Apollo, then in great Esteem for his Skill in playing upon the Harp, invented by Mercury. There Marsyas contended with Apollo who should be accounted the greatest Artist, and the Nysians were to be the Judges. And first Apollo play'd only upon his Harp. But Marsyas as soon as he had winded his Hoboy (tickling their Ears with the Novelty of the Melody, and the Sweetness of his Notes) seem'd far to excel his Rival. Then they made a

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books