ONE day when Sossius entertained us, after singing some Sapphic verses, this question was started, how it could be true
That love in all doth vigorous thoughts inspire,Since Philoxenus, on the contrary, asserts, that the Cyclops
And teaches ignorants to tune the lyre?
With sweet-tongued Muses cured his love.Some said that love was bold and daring, venturing at new contrivances, and eager to accomplish, upon which account Plato calls it the enterpriser of every things; for it makes the reserved man talkative, the modest complimental, the negligent and sluggish industrious and observant; and, what is the greatest wonder, a close, hard, and covetous fellow, if he happens to be in love, as iron in fire, becomes pliable and soft, easy, good-natured, and very pleasant; as if there were something in that common jest, A lover's purse is tied with the blade of a leek. Others said that love was like drunkenness; it makes men warm, merry, and dilated; and, when in that condition, they naturally slide down to songs and words in measure; and it is reported of Aeschylus, that he wrote tragedies after he was heated with a glass of wine; and my grandfather Lamprias in his cups seemed to outdo himself in starting questions and smart disputing, and usually said that, like frankincense, he exhaled more freely after he was warmed. And as lovers are extremely pleased with the sight of their beloved, so they praise with as much satisfaction as they behold; and as love is talkative in every thing, so more especially in commendation; for lovers themselves believe, and would have all others think, that the object of their [p. 218] passion is pleasing and excellent; and this made Candaules the Lydian force Gyges into his chamber to behold the beauty of his naked wife. For they delight in the testimony of others, and therefore in all composures upon the lovely they adorn them with songs and verses, as we dress images with gold, that more may hear of them, and that they may be remembered the more. For if they present a cock, horse, or any other thing to the beloved, it is neatly trimmed and set off with all the ornaments of art; and therefore, when they would present a compliment, they would have it curious, pleasing, and majestic, as verse usually appears.