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[83] I came into a gallery hung with a wonderful collection of various pictures. I saw the works of Zeuxis not yet overcome by the defacement of time, and I studied with a certain terrified wonder the rough drawings of Protogenes, which rivalled the truth of Nature herself. But when I came to the work of Apelles the Greek which is called the One-legged, I positively worshipped it. For the outlines of his figures were defined with such subtle accuracy, that you would have declared that he had painted their souls as well. In one the eagle was carrying the Shepherd of Ida1 on high to heaven, and in another fair Hylas resisted a tormenting Naiad. Apollo2 passed judgement on his accursed hands, and adorned his unstrung lyre with the newborn flower. I cried out as if I were in a desert, among these faces of mere painted lovers, “So even[p. 167] the gods feel love. Jupiter in his heavenly home could find no object for his passion, and came down on earth to sin, yet did no one any harm. The Nymph who ravished Hylas would have restrained her passion had she believed that Hercules would come to dispute her claim. Apollo recalled the ghost of a boy into a flower, and all the stories tell of love's embraces without a rival. But I have taken for my comrade a friend more cruel than Lycurgus himself.”

Suddenly, as I strove thus with the empty air, a white-haired old man3 came into the gallery. His face was troubled, but there seemed to be the promise of some great thing about him; though he was shabby in appearance, so that it was quite plain by this characteristic that he was a man of letters, of the kind that rich men hate. He came and stood by my side. . . .

“I am a poet,” he said, and one, I hope, of no mean imagination, if one can reckon at all by crowns of honour, which gratitude can set even on unworthy heads. 'Why are you so badly dressed, then?' you ask. For that very reason. The worship of genius never made a man rich.

"The man who trusts the sea consoles himself with high profits; the man who follows war and the camp is girded with gold; the base flatterer lies drunk on a couch of purple dye; the man who tempts young wives gets money for his sin; eloquence alone shivers in rags and cold, and calls upon a neglected art with unprofitable tongue.

1 Ganymede, who became the cupbearer of Jupiter.

2 Apollo killed Hyacinthus, a Spartan boy whom he loved, by a mis-throw of the discus. The hyacinth flower sprang up from the boy's blood.

3 Eumolpus.

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