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Greek Studies a series of essays by Walter Pater, The Perfect Library

By Walter Pater, The Perfect Library

Walter Pater used to be a nineteenth century English literary and paintings critic, and essayist. His number of essays reviews within the historical past of the Renaissance released in 1873 positioned Pater on the heart of a fascinating circle in Oxford, who won recognize in London and in different places. the rules of what will be referred to as the classy move have been partially traceable to Pater. Pater believed within the excellent of the cultured lifestyles, his cult of attractiveness instead of naked asceticism, and his thought of the stimulating impact of the pursuit of good looks as a terrific of its personal. In 1895 the es

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Portions of the text are missing, and there are probably some additions by later hands; yet most scholars have admitted that it possesses some of the true characteristics of the Homeric style, some genuine echoes of the age immediately succeeding that which produced the Iliad and the Odyssey. Listen now to a somewhat abbreviated version of it. "I begin the song of Demeter"--says the prize-poet, or the Interpreter, the Sacristan of the holy places--"the song of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, whom Aidoneus carried away by the consent of Zeus, as she played, apart from her mother, with the deep- bosomed daughters of the Ocean, gathering flowers in a meadow of soft grass--roses and the crocus and fair violets and flags, and hyacinths, and, above all, the strange flower of the narcissus, which the Earth, favouring the desire of Aidoneus, brought forth for the first time, to snare the footsteps of the flower-like girl.

The incidents of a fully developed human personality are superinduced on the mystical and abstract essence of that fiery spirit in the flowing veins of the earth-the aroma of the green world is retained in the fair human body, set forth in all sorts of finer ethical lights and shades-with a wonderful kind of subtlety. In the course of his long progress from land to land, the gold, the flowers, the incense of the East, have attached themselves deeply to him: their effect and expression rest now upon his flesh like the gleaming of that old ambrosial ointment of which Homer speaks as resting ever on the persons of the gods, and cling to his clothing--the mitre binding his perfumed yellow hair--the long tunic down to the white feet, somewhat womanly, and the fawn-skin, with its rich spots, wrapped about the shoulders.

For a suspicion growing up within her, she awaited her time, and one night peeped in upon [88] them, and thereupon cried out in terror at what she saw. And the goddess heard her; and a sudden anger seizing her, she plucked the child from the fire and cast it on the ground,--the child she would fain have made immortal, but who must now share the common destiny of all men, though some inscrutable grace should still be his, because he had lain for awhile on the knees and in the bosom of the goddess.

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