Daphnis and Chloe (Thornley translation)

Daphnis and Chloe
by Longus, translated by George Thornley

Daphnis and Chloe is the only known work of the 2nd century AD Greek novelist and romancer Longus, translated into English in 1657

By LONGUS Translated out of Greek by GEORGE THORNLEY Anno. 1657

Daphnis and Chloe A Most Sweet, and Pleasant Pastorall ROMANCE for Young Ladies. By Geo: Thornley, Gent

Humili Casā nihil antiquius, nihil nobilius Sen. Philos.

London, Printed for John Carfield, at the Sign of the Rolling Presse for Pictures near the Royal Exchange in Cornhill, over against Popes- Head-Alley, 1657.

The Epistle DedicatoryEdit

To Young Beauties THIS little, pleasant Laundschip of Love, by its own destiny and mine, belongs moat properly to your fair eyes, and hands, and happier laps. And then, who would not lay his legge over a book; although that, sometimes, has been the complaint of a Schollar's solitude? But hold! There is nothing here to that purpose, but what Lycænium taught her Schollar in the Wood: Here Cupid is a Shepherd: Pan, a Souldier: Chloe, a maid, of whom Love would write a storie: a Youth, the Darling of the Nymphs: Love caught robbing an Orchard; and his own Herald from a Myrtle Grove. Here are Pipes that drown Pirats; others reduceing a Captive maid; paaorall Festivalls, and Games. The ceremonies, customes, and manners of the ancient Greekes; with a delightfull interspersion of their old and sweet Tales: And in short; nothing to vex you, unlesse perchance, in your own conscience. Chloe knew well enough (though the Author makes her simple) what, and where, her Fancie was; and Daphnis too, needed not Lvcænium's Lanthorn to a plakit, or to follow Will with the wispe. But hark you Lady; and I will tell you a storie; one I had at a Tavern vesper; a Dialogue from a Summer shade. A boy, and a Girle were gott thither together: The boy opened his shop, and drew out all a young beginner had to show: The Girle askt him, what it was: The boy said, It was his purse: the Girlie looked upon her selfe; And, if that be thy purse; Then (quoth she) my purse is curt. And these are parallells to the simple ruralls here. But what say you to that Tradition of the Hebrewes; That a very wise man, knew not the way of a Serpent upon a Rock, nor of a young man with a maid? And those that say, Nicaula Sabæa had like to have puzzled him quite, with Boyes and Girles in the same dresse, but that he made them wash before him, and found out (as you do) all the Boyes, by a stronger kind of rubbing. But besides; it is so like your owne either simplicitie, or Art, you cannot but approve it here. You do not know what we meane, when we speak as plain as day. And now you have an Author too (which you never had before) to prove you do not counterfeit; The sophist in his third book; a man of great Authoritie; a Magistrate among the maids. For this, I have deserved a kisse of every sweet ingenious Girle; and if I find that this book lyes nearer to you, then the other Romances do, those of the affected twirling tongue; I shall trie, either to find, or ideate, somewhat for you, that for its various invention, intertexture, and the style; shall be composed, examin'd, and sent to your hands, by the test of Musick, beautie, Pleasure, and Love.

Your loving Servant, GEO. THORNLEY.

To the Criticall ReaderEdit

THE Pastorals of Longus Sophista, to my knowledge have bin signed with the Youthful Emeralds of some of our own, most excellent, sparky, astrall Wits. But Those have kept within their own Ingenious, quiet Cortina, and have not come abroad by their Pens; and therefore I shall give you Testimonies to the Drama in hand, as from the Laureats of other Countreys. Angelus Politian an Eloquent Italian, in his Books of Miscellanies: Quatuor (sayes he) extant Græcè nimis quàm Libelli elegantes, Pæmenicaton Titulo. There are extant in the Greek four very spruce Books under the Title of Pœcemenica, and I am sure he meant These, for that's the Title to the Four; and there are no other Extant. Other Erotic Writers indeed there are; Aristinœtus, Achilles Tatius, Heliodorus, Eustathius, or Eumathius, as others call him; but not under that Title. Longi liber lectu Dignissimus; and again, Dulcissimus ac Suavissimus Scriptor, is the language Maretus gives him. Longus his Book is very well worth reading: A most sweet, and pleasant Writer. And now for him speaks the Tripos of the World; so the Criticks call their Joseph Scaliger; and indeed in my Judgment, he has hit him to a hair: Auctor est Amænissimus, et Character eo melior, quo Simplicior. He is an Author pleasant as the Spring: pleasant as Groves, Launs, Hills, Vales, Eccho's, soft winds; and his style, or Character, so much the better, by how much the more Simple, and rurall. Heinsius too gives him the Venus. Longo Sophista Nil Venustius. And besides these, the Patriarch Photius, very well might be cited hither too, to the Assertion of the Book, where he speaks of the Greek Erotic Writers, though but to the generall; and gives a breviary of Antonius Diogenes his book, Of the wonderful, Incredible Things beyond Thule; and tell us, that That book was the Fountain of all Writings of this kind; but I had rather (if an Ingenuous man, when he has satisfied himself, may speak what he thinks of his own Work) close up this discourse with our Author's own words: τέτταρας βίβλους ἐξεπονησάμηυ, Aνάθημα μέν Ἔρωτι, καὶ Nύμφαις, καὶ Πάνι· κτήμα δέ τερπνὸν πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις.

I drew up these four Books; A Perpetual Oblation to Love; In Everlasting Anathema, Sacred to Pan, and the Nymphs; and, A Delightfull Possession even for all. But here comes a Snapdragon Objection from a Poetaster in the way; and he would spoil our Poetry, as Prophetasters do Theologie. These Books (sayes he) are handsome in the Greek, but in our Saxon (make the best) it cannot be. Our Pastorall Doricque (Sir) has shewn it self in verse, and prose, fine as Arcadian Holy-dayes,. . . But there is another ftill. To imagine Children exposed, (the very basis of the book) is not at all for this Age, an Age wiser far then that. It may be so; For Æsculapius had always a great beard, though his Father Apollo never had any. Did you never leave any your self to Saint Antholin's or Greggs? Then read the Stories of the East and South, and you shall find many Children, both exposed, and Fortunate. This. . . . enough to face the Cuffs of this Book; and make me laugh in me sleeve if any man require more.

Yours to serve you, GEO: THORNLEY.

Upon the Most Ancient and Elegant Poem of Daphnis and Chloe, accurately and deliciously rendered by his Learned Friend Mr. George Thornley.

To the ReaderEdit

As flesh and Fish and Plants thy Body feed,
(Gentle Sweet Reader) so thy Mind has need,
With Speakings, Writings, Printings to be fed,
And fresh-suggested Notions nourished.

And as our Rabbies of severest brow,
Not only food to keep thee live, allow,
But to delight thee many daintie dishes,
Of Flesh and Fruit, or Pastorall and Fishes,
By Art compos'd; So, that thou have, 'tis fit,
Custards, Tarts, Puf-pasts, Florentines of wit,
For to refresh the Palate of thy mind,
And to divert those rugged cares that grind
And fret thy Heart and overtire thy Braine;
Mingling delight (as Cato bids) with Paine.
See here, of Græcian Turtle Dovesa paire,
Dish't up in White-Broath, by the witty care
Of learned Longus, and our Thornlyes Art;
Whose Alchemie is able to convert
The Græcian Silver into English Gold,
And all the Elegancies to unfold,
Of that sweet language. Come and sit awhile,
And let these innocent Lovers make thee smile.
R. W.

Upon the AuthorEdit

Ofter the Scaligers and Heinsius name,
Aur Critick-Cæsars, who can raise thy fame,
Great Sophist ? unlesse Colledges, and the Pen
Of all our best new University men,
If yet in all their Libraries there be
So much of the Arts left as to praise thee.
Let them their Aristotle himself rehearse,
And prove thy worth by Syllogisms in verse;
And then Conclude, None truly can declare
The Sophists praise but the great Sophister.
James Wright.

Upon the TranslatorEdit

You're prodigal, Sir, and give more then our due;
For you translate Longus and Lesbos too:
That Island's now turnd English, and we see
Greek Mitylene made of London free;
Both Citties speat one Language, and our stock
Of sheep first sure were brought from Chloes Flock.
For when I see the Lesbian Dorick Fleece
Spun to so fine an English thred from Greece;
I straight conclude, The Sheep, the Wool's the same.
And differ not in goodnesse but in name.
Only I with Lycamium and her Goose
Had still spoke Greek; and not her selfe prov'd loose,
And publike too: For sure a dimme eye may,
See through her thick dark Grove too much of day;
And I, who yet am young, thus censure can,
The Book thee Scholar speaks, the Grove a man.
James Wright.


    This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.


This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.