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And Alexis, in his Sleep, proposes a griphus of this kind—
A. It is not mortal, nor immortal either
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.
And Eubulus, in his Sphingocarion, proposes grip i of this kind, himself afterwards giving the solution of there—
A. There is a thing which speaks, yet has no tongue
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,
With a sharp mouth, and double deathful head;
A mighty warrior, who slays a race
Of unborn children.
('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:—
I know a thing which, while it's young, is heavy,
But when it's old, though void of wings, can fly
With lightest motion, out of sight o' th' earth.
This is thistledown. For it—
While it is young, stands solid in its seed,
But when it loses that, is light and flies,
Blown about every way by playful children.
Listen, now, to this one—
There is an image all whose upper part
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.
And 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.

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