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celestial Gods, with the statues of terrestrial Divinities between the pillars: the dome was covered on the outside with plates of silver, and adorned on the inside with the images of heroes, who had been deified for their merit.

Cyrus entered this temple; the silence and majesty of the place filled him with awe and respect he prostrated himself and adored the Divinity present; he had learned from Zoroas ter that the Jupiter Olympius of the Greeks was the same with the Oromazes of the Persians, and the Osiris of the Egyptians. He then cast his eye over all the wonders of art which beautified this place; he was less struck with the richness and magnificence of the altars than with the nobleness and expression of the statues as he had learned the Greek mytho logy, he could easily distinguish all the Divinities and discern the mysteries couched in all the allegorical figures that were before him. What drew his attention more especially, was to see that each of the celestial Deities held in his hand a golden tablet; upon these tablets were written the exalted ideas of Minos in religion, and the several answers which the oracles had given that lawgiver, when he consulted them about the nature of the Gods, and the worship they required.

Upon the tablet of Jupiter Olympius were to be read these words : « I give being, life, and motion to all creatures (1); no one can › know me but he who seeks to resemble » me (2) ». Upon that of Pallas: «The Gods

(1) See Hammond on Acts of apost. chap. xvij.

ver. 28.

(2) Plat. Epinom.

mais encore pour apprendre de vous la doctrine d'Orphée touchant le siècle d'or. On me dit qu'elle ressemble à celle des Perses sur l'empire d'Oromaze, et à celle des Egyptiens sur le règne d'Osiris. On se plaît à voir les traces de ces grandes vérités chez tous les peuples ; daignez me développer vos anciennes traditions ». Solon, répondit Pythagore, m'a informé de votre projet de venir dans cette île ; je devais aller à Crotone, mais j'ai différé mon voyage pour avoir le plaisir de voir un héros dont la naissance et les conquêtes ont été prédites par les oracles de presque toutes les nations. Je ne vous cacherai rien des mystères de la sagesse " parce que je sais que vous serez un jour le législateur et le conquérant de l'Asie. Ils s'assirent ensuite auprès d'une statue de Minos dans le bois sacré, et le Philosophe leur exposa toute la mythologie des premiers Grecs, en se servant du style poétique d'Orphée qui, par ses peintures et ses images, rendait sensibles les vérités les plus sublimes.

(1) Pendant le siècle d'or les habitans de la terre vivaient dans une parfaite innocence: tels que sont les champs Elysées pour les héros, tel était alors l'heureux séjour des hommes. L'intempérie de l'air et le combat des élémens n'étaient point connus ; les aquilons n'étaient. pas encore sortis de leurs grottes profondes; les seuls zéphyrs animaient tout par leur haleine douce et agréable; on ne ressentait jamais ni les chaleurs brûlantes de l'été, ni les rigueurs de l'hiver ; le printems couronné de fleurs, et l'automne chargée de fruits régnaient alterna

(1) Voyez le Disc.

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to be instructed in the laws of Minos, but to learn from you the doctrine of Orpheus about the golden age; I am told that it resembles that of the Persians concerning the empire of Oromazes, and that of the Egyptians relating to the reign of Osiris; it is a pleasure to see the traces of those great truths in all nations; vouchsafe to unfold to me your ancient traditions. Solon, replied Pythagoras, acquainted me with your design of coming into this island; I was going to Croton, but I have put off my voyage to have the pleasure of seeing a hero, whose birth and conquests have been foretold by the oracles of almost all nations: I will conceal nothing from you of the mysteries of wisdom, because I know that you will one day be the lawgiver of Asia as well as its conqueror. After this they sat down near a statue of Minos in the sacred wood, and the philosopher rehearsed to them all the mythology of the first Greeks, making use of the poetic stile of Orpheus, which by its painting and images rendered sensible the sublimest truths.

(1) In the golden age the inhabitants of the earth lived in perfect innocence: such as are the Elysian fields for heroes, such was then the happy abode of men; the intemperature of the air, and the war of the elements were unknown; the north winds were not yet come forth from their deep grottoes; the zephyrs only enlivened all things with their soft and gentle breezes; neither the scorching heats of summer nor the severities of winter were ever felt; the spring crowned with flowers, and the autumn loaded with fruits, reigned

9

(1) See the Disc.

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tivement; la mort, les maladies et les crimes n'osaient approcher de ces lieux fortunés; l'âme n'était pas alors emprisonnée, comme elle l'est aujourd'hui, dans un corps grossier et mortel; elle était unie à un corps lumineux, céleste et éthérien (1), qui lui servait de véhicule pour fendre les airs, s'élever jusqu'aux astres, et parcourir toutes les régions de l'immensité. Tantôt ces premiers hommes, se reposant dans des bocages odoriférans, goûtaient tous les plaisirs les plus purs de l'amitié ; tantôt ils s'asseyaient à la table des Dieux, et se rassasiaient de nectar et d'ambroisie. Quelquefois Jupiter, suivi de toutes les Divinités, montait dans son char ailé, et les conduisait au-dessus des cieux. Les poëtes n'ont connu ni célébré (2) ce lieu suprême; c'était là que les âmes voyaient la vérité, la justice. la justice et la sagesse dans leur source; c'était là, qu'avec les yeux du pur esprit, elles contemplaient l'Essence première, dont Jupiter et les autres Dieux ne sont que des là elles se nourrissaient de cette vue, rayons; jusqu'à ce que n'en pouvant plus soutenir la splendeur, elles redescendissent dans leur séjour ordinaire. Les Divinités se plaisaient alors à converser avec les hommes; les bergères étaient aimées des Dieux, et les Déesses ne dédaignaient point l'amour des bergers; les grâces les accompagnaient partout, et ces grâces étaient les vertus elles-mêmes. Mais, hélas! ce siècle d'or ne dura pas long-tems.

Les hommes négligèrent un jour de suivre le char de Jupiter; ils restèrent dans le champ d'Hécate, s'enivrèrent de nectar, perdirent

(1) Voyez Cudworth, p. 785 — 800. (2) Voyez le Disc.

together;'death, diseases and crimes durst not approach these happy places. The soul was not then imprisoned in a gross mortal body as it is now; it was united to a luminous, heavenly, ethereal body (1), which served it as a vehicle to fly through the air, rise to the stars, and wander over all the regions of immensity. Sometimes those first men reposing themselves in odoriferous groves, tasted all the purest pleasures of friendship; sometimes they sat at the tables of the Gods, and were feasted with nectar and ambrosia; at other times Jupiter, attended by all the Divinities, mounted his winged chariot, and conducted them above the heavens. The poets have not celebrated nor known that (2) highest place; it was there that the soul beheld truth, justice and wisdom in their source; it was there that with the eyes of the pure spirit they contemplated the first Essence of whose brightness Jupiter and the other Gods are but so many rays; there they were nourished with beholding that object, till being no longer able to support its splendor, they descended again to their ordinary abode. The Deities at that time took a pleasure in conversing, with men; the shepherdesses were loved by the Gods, and the Goddesses did not disdain the love of shepherds; the graces accompanied them every where, and these graces were the virtues themselves! but alas! this golden age was of no long duration.

One day men neglected to follow Jupiter's chariot, stayed in the fields of Hecate, got drunk with nectar, lost their taste for pure

(1) See Cudworth, p. 785, to p. 800. (2) See the Disc.

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