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Thus discoursing, we kept on our walk; but when we came into the Corinthian Hall and observed the brazen palm-tree, the only remainder left of all the consecrated donatives, Diogenianus wondered to observe several figures of frogs and water-snakes, all in cast work about the root of the tree. Nor were we less at a stand, well knowing the palm to be no tree that grows by the water or delights in moist or fenny places; neither do frogs at all concern or belong to the Corinthians, either by way of emblem or religious ceremony, or as the city arms; as the [p. 81] Selinuntines formerly offered to their Gods parsley or smallage (selinon) of goldsmith's work and of the choicest yellow metal: and the inhabitants of Tenedos always kept in their temple a consecrated axe, a fancy taken from their esteem of the crab-fish that breed in that island near the promontory of Asterium, they being the only crabs that carry the figure of an axe upon the upper part of their shells. For as for Apollo, we were of opinion that crows, swans, wolves, sparrow-hawks, or any other sort of creature, would be more acceptable to him than despicable animals. To this Serapio replied, that sure the workman thereby designed to show that the Sun was nourished by moisture and exhalations; whether it was that he thought at that time of that verse in Homer,
The rising Sun then causing day to break,
Quits the cool pleasure of the oozy lake,

or whether he had seen how the Egyptians, to represent sunrise, paint a little boy sitting upon a lotus. Thereupon, not able to refrain laughing, What, said I, are you going about to obtrude your stoicisms again upon us; or do you think to slide insensibly into our discourse your exhalations and fiery prodigies? What is this but, like the Thessalian women, to call down the Sun and Moon by enchantments from the skies, while you derive their original from the earth and water?

Therefore Plato will have a man to be a heavenly tree, growing with his root, which is his head, upward. But you deride Empedocles for affirming that the Sun, being illumined by the reflection of the celestial light, with an intrepid countenance casts a radiant lustre back upon the convex of heaven; while you yourselves make the Sun to be a mere terrestrial animal or water plant, confining him to ponds, lakes, and such like regions of frogs. But let us refer these things to the tragical monstrosity of Stoical [p. 82] opinions, and now make some particular reflections touching the extravagant pieces of certain artificers, who, as they are ingenious and elegant in some things, so are no less weakly curious and ambitious in others of their inventions; like him who, designing to signify the dawn of day-light or the hours of sunrise, painted a cock upon the hand of Apollo. And thus may these frogs be thought to have been designed by the artist to denote the spring, when the Sun begins to exercise his power in the air and to dissolve the winter congealments; at least, if we may believe, as you yourselves affirm, that Apollo and the Sun are both one God, and not two distinct Deities. Why, said Serapio, do you think the Sun and Apollo differ the one from the other? Yes, said I, as the Moon differs from the Sun. Nay, the difference is somewhat greater. For the Moon neither very often nor from all the world conceals the Sun; but the Sun is the cause that all men are ignorant of Apollo, by sense withdrawing the rational intellect from that which is to that which appears.

1 Odyss. III. 1.

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