make the transition from our life in Arkansas into the
But the lovers were so full of their own happiness that they forgot to pay due honor to Venus; and the goddess was provoked at their ingratitude. She caused them to give offence to Cybele. That powerful goddess was not to be insulted with impunity. She took from them their human form and turned them into animals of characters resembling their own: of the huntress-heroine, triumphing in the blood of her lovers, she made a lioness, and of her lord and master a lion, and yoked them to her ear, there they are still to be seen in all representations, in statuary or painting, of the goddess Cybele.
Cybele is the Latin name of the goddess called by the Greeks Rhea and Ops. She was the wife of Cronos and mother of Zeus. In works of art, she exhibits the matronly air which distinguishes Juno and Ceres. Sometimes she is veiled, and seated on a throne with lions at her side, at other times riding in a chariot drawn by lions. She sometimes wears a mural crown, that is, a crown whose rim is carved in the form of towers and battlements. Her priests were called Corybantes.
Byron in describing the city of Venice, which is built on a low island in the Adriatic Sea, borrows an illustration from Cybele:
"She looks a sea-Cybele fresh from ocean, Rising with her tiara of proud towers At airy distance, with majestic motion, A ruler of the waters and their powers." Childe Harold, IV
In Moore's Rhymes on the Road, the poet, speaking of Alpine scenery, alludes to the story of Atalanta and Hippomenes, thus:
"Even here, in this region of wonders, I find That light-footed Fancy leaves Truth far behind, Or at least, like Hippomenes, turns her astray By the golden illusions he flings in her way."
Chapter XII Hercules. Hebe and Ganymede
Hercules (in Greek, Heracles) was the son of Jupiter and Alemena. As Juno was always hostile to the offspring of her husband by mortal mothers, she declared war against Hercules from his birth. She sent two serpents to destroy him as he lay in his cradle, but the precocious infant strangled them with his own hands. (On this account the infant Hercules was made the type of infant America, by Dr. Franklin, and the French artists whom he employed in the American Revolution. Horatio Greenough has placed a bas- relief of the Infant Hercules on the pedestal of his statue of Washington, which stands in front of the Capitol.) He was however by the arts of Juno rendered subject to his cousin Eurystheus and compelled to perform all his commands. Eurystheus enjoined upon him a succession of desperate adventures, which are called the twelve "Labors of Hercules." The first was the fight with the Nemean lion. The valley of Nemea was infested by a terrible lion. Eurystheus ordered Hercules to bring him the skin of this monster. After using in vain his club and arrows against the lion, Hercules strangled the animal with his hands. He returned carrying the dead lion on his shoulders; but Eurystheus was so frightened at the sight of it and at this proof of the prodigious strength of the hero, that he ordered him to deliver the account of his exploits in future outside the town.