Chamberlain ("Foundations of the Nineteenth Century") sees in the problem a biologic suicide because of the enormous amount of illegitimacy among Mediterranean peoples at that time. I believe that illegitimacy tends rather to mediocrity and to living for pleasure. It appears after all that there were, at that time, ﬁne and noble people who, disgusted with the frightful chaos of that period which was merely an expression of the disruption of the individual, put an end to their lives, and thus caused the death of the old civilization with its endless wickedness.
4 Δίκη (Justice), daughter of Zeus and Themis, who, after the Golden Age, forsook the degenerate earth.
5 Thanks to this eclogue, Virgil later attained the honor of being a semi-Christian poet. To this he owes his position as guide to Dante.
6 Both are represented not only as Christian, but also as Pagan. Essener and Therapeuten were quasi orders of the Anchorites living in the desert. Probably, as, for instance, may be learned from Apuleius ("Metamorphoses," lib. XI), there existed small settlements of mystics or consecrated ones around the sacred shrines of Isis and Mithra. Sexual abstinence and celibacy were also known.
"Below the hills, a marshy plain
Infects what I so long have been retrieving:
This stagnant pool likewise to drain
Were now my latest and my best achieving.
To many millions following let me furnish soil."
The analogy of this expression with the quotation above is striking.
8 Compare Breuer and Freud: "Studien über Hysterie"; also Bleuler: "Die Psychoanalyse Freuds," Jahrbuch, 1910, Vol. II, 2nd half.
9 Faust (in suicide monologue):
"Out on the open ocean speeds my dreaming!
The glassy ﬂood before my feet is gleaming!
A new day beckons to a newer shore!
A ﬁery chariot, borne on buoyant pinions,
Sweeps near me now; I soon shall ready be
To pierce the ether's high, unknown dominions,
To reach new spheres of pure activity!
This godlike rapture, this supreme existence
Do I, but now a worm, deserve to track?
Yes, resolute to reach some brighter distance;
On Earth's fair sun I turn my back!
Ah, that no wing can lift me from the soil,
Upon its tract to follow, follow soaring!
Then would I see eternal Evening gild
The silent world beneath me glowing.
And now before mine eyes expands the ocean,
With all its bays in shining sleep!
The newborn impulse fires my mind,
I hasten on, his beams eternal drinking."
We see it is the same longing and the same sun.