And Alexis, in his Sleep, proposes a griphus of this kind—
A. It is not mortal, nor immortal eitherAnd Eubulus, in his Sphingocarion, proposes grip i of this kind, himself afterwards giving the solution of there—
But as it were compounded of the two,
So that it neither lives the life of man,
Nor yet of God, but is incessantly
New born again, and then again deprived
Of this its present life; invisible,
Yet it is known and recognised by all.
B. You always do delight, O lady, in riddles.
A. No, I am speaking plain and simple things.
B. What child then is there which has such a nature!
A. 'Tis sleep, my girl, victor of human toils.
A. There is a thing which speaks, yet has no tongueAgain:—
A female of the same name as the male;
The steward of the winds, which it holds fast;
Rough, and yet sometimes smooth; full of dark voices
[p. 710] Scarce to be understood by learned men;
Producing harmony after harmony;
'Tis one thing, and yet many; e'en if wounded
'Tis still invulnerable and unhurt.
B. What can that be?
A. Why, don't you know, Callistratus?
It is a bellows.
B. You are joking now.
A. No; don't it speak, although it has no tongue?
Has it not but one name with many people?
Is't not unhurt, though with a wound i' the centre?
Is it not sometimes rough, and sometimes smooth?
Is it not, too, a guardian of much wind?
There is an animal with a locust's eye,('Tis the Egyptian ichneumon.) For he does seize upon the crocodile's eggs, And, ere the latent offspring is quite form'd, Breaks and destroys them: he's a double head, For he can sting with one end, and bite with th' other. Again:—
With a sharp mouth, and double deathful head;
A mighty warrior, who slays a race
Of unborn children.
I know a thing which, while it's young, is heavy,This is thistledown. For it—
But when it's old, though void of wings, can fly
With lightest motion, out of sight o' th' earth.
While it is young, stands solid in its seed,Listen, now, to this one—
But when it loses that, is light and flies,
Blown about every way by playful children.
There is an image all whose upper partAnd you yourselves may decide here, that he means the box into which the votes are thrown, so that we may not borrow everything from Eubulus.
Is its foundation, while the lower part
Is open; bored all through from head to feet;
'Tis sharp, and brings forth men in threefold way,
Some of whom gain the lot of life, some lose it:
All have it; but I bid them all beware.