Lucian, The Hall

LCL 14: 176-177

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The Works of Lucian

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Εἶτα Ἀλέξανδρος μὲν ἐπεθύμησεν ἐν τῷ1 Κύδνῳ λούσασθαι καλόν τε καὶ διαυγῆ τὸν ποταμὸν ἰδὼν καὶ ἀσφαλῶς βαθὺν καὶ προσηνῶς ὀξὺν καὶ νήξασθαι ἡδὺν καὶ θέρους ὥρᾳ ψυχρόν, ὥστε καὶ ἐπὶ προδήλῳ τῇ νόσῳ ἣν ἐνόσησεν ἀπ᾿ αὐτοῦ, δοκεῖ μοι οὐκ ἂν τοῦ λουτροῦ ἀποσχέσθαι· οἶκον δέ τις ἰδὼν μεγέθει μέγιστον καὶ κάλλει κάλλιστον καὶ φωτὶ φαιδρότατον καὶ χρυσῷ στιλπνότατον καὶ γραφαῖς ἀνθηρότατον οὐκ ἂν ἐπιθυμήσειε λόγους ἐν αὐτῷ διαθέσθαι, εἰ τύχοι περὶ τούτους διατρίβων, καὶ ἐνευδοκιμῆσαι καὶ ἐλλαμπρύνασθαι καὶ βοῆς ἐμπλῆσαι καὶ ὡς ἔνι μάλιστα καὶ αὐτὸς μέρος τοῦ κάλλους αὐτοῦ γενέσθαι, ἀλλὰ περισκοπήσας ἀκριβῶς καὶ θαυμάσας μόνον ἄπεισι κωφὸν αὐτὸν καὶ ἄλογον καταλιπών, μήτε προσειπὼν μήτε προσομιλήσας, ὥσπερ τις ἄναυδος ἢ φθόνῳ σιωπᾶν ἐγνωκώς; Ἡράκλεις, οὐ φιλοκάλου2 τινὸς οὐδὲ περὶ τὰ εὐμορφότατα ἐρωτικοῦ τὸ ἔργον, ἀγροικία δὲ πολλὴ καὶ ἀπειροκαλία καὶ προσέτι γε ἀμουσία, τῶν ἡδίστων αὑτὸν ἀπαξιοῦν καὶ τῶν καλλίστων ἀποξενοῦν καὶ μὴ συνιέναι ὡς οὐχ ὁ αὐτὸς περὶ τὰ θεάματα νόμος ἰδιώταις τε καὶ πεπαιδευμένοις ἀνδράσιν, ἀλλὰ τοῖς μὲν ἀπόχρη τὸ κοινὸν τοῦτο, ἰδεῖν μόνον καὶ περιβλέψαι καὶ τὼ ὀφθαλμὼ περιενεγκεῖν καὶ πρὸς

176

The Hall

The Hall

Alexander longed to bathe in the Cydnus on seeing that the stream was fair and clear, safely deep, agreeably swift, delightful to swim in and cool in the height of summer; even with foreknowledge of the fever which he contracted from it, I do not think he would have abstained from his plunge. Then can it be that on seeing a hall beyond compare in the greatness of its size, the splendour of its beauty, the brilliance of its illumination, the lustre of its gilding and the gaiety of its pictures, a man would not long to compose speeches in it, if this were his business, to seek repute and win glory in it, to fill it with his voice and, as far as lay in him, to become part and parcel of its beauty? Or after looking it over carefully and admiring it, would he rather go away and leave it mute and voiceless, without according it a word of greeting or a particle of intercourse, as if he were dumb or else out of ill-will had resolved to hold his tongue? Heracles! such conduct would not be that of a connoisseur or a lover of beauty; it would be very vulgar, tasteless, even Philistine to despise what is sweetest, to reject what is fairest, and not to comprehend that in all that appeals to the eye, the same law does not hold for ordinary and for educated men. No, for the former it is enough to do the usual thing—just to see, to look about, to cast their eyes everywhere, to crane

177
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.lucian-hall.1913