After this had been said, Plutarch cited the following passage from the Phædrus of Alexis:—
As I was coming from Piræus lately,And Eubulus, or Ararus, in his Campylion, says—
In great perplexity and sad distress,
I fell to thoughts of deep philosophy.
And first I thought that all the painters seem
Ignorant of the real nature of Love;
And so do all the other artists too,
Whoe'er make statues of this deity:,
For he is neither male nor female either;
Again, he is not God, nor yet is he man:
He is not foolish, nor yet is he wise;
But he's made up of all kinds of quality,
And underneath one form bears many natures.
His courage is a man's; his cowardice
A very woman's. Then his folly is
Pure madness, but his wisdom a philosopher's;
His vehemence is that of a wild beast,
But his endurance is like adamant;
His jealousy equals any other god's.
And I, indeed,—by all the gods I swear,—
Do not myself precisely understand him;
But still he much resembles my description,
Excepting in the name.
What man was he, what modeller or painter,And Alexis, in his Man Lamenting, says—
Who first did represent young Love as wing'd?
He was a man fit only to draw swallows,
Quite ignorant of the character of the god.
For he's not light, nor easy for a man
Who's once by him been master'd, to shake off
But he's a heavy and tenacious master.
How, then, can he be spoken of as wing'd?
The man's a fool who such a thing could say.
For this opinion is by all the Sophists
Embraced, that Love is not a winged god;
[p. 900] But that the winged parties are the lovers,
And that he falsely bears this imputation:
So that it is out of pure ignorance
That painters clothe this deity with wings.