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THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

INTRODUCTION.

The common opinion concerning the nymphs whom the ancients called Hamadryads, is more to the honour of trees than anything yet mentioned. It was thought that the fate of these nymphs had so near a dependance on some trees, more especially oaks, that they lived and died together. For this reason they were extremely grateful to such persons as preserved those trees with which their being subsisted.

A certain youth, being about to fell an oak, having, at the entreaty of the Hamadryad who inhabited it, preserved it in this manner, the nymph conceived a violent attachment to him, and they long lived together in the forest, happy in each other's society.

But he, becoming weary of this simple life, returns to his old friends and associates in the city, which desertion threw the unfortunate Hamadryad into the most grievous despair.

One day she chanced to spy her lover, who had wandered into the forest; and, casting herself at his feet, besought him not to forsake her; but finding him inflexible, she passionately conjured Pan to prevent his departure, who deprived him of the use of his limbs. However, says the story, he was not so much a cripple, but he made a shift to cut down the tree, and consequently to fell his mistress.

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