I daresay that if a lively Frenchman could have watched the inspired Pythia on the sublime tripod, he would have cried, Elle s'écoute quand elle parle. When everything of that kind has been said, we have the profound satisfaction, which is not quite a matter of course in the history of literature, of finding after all that the woman and the writer were one.
And it came to pass on a day that the priestess for the temple was served by a woman, whom men called Pythia when she went into the shrine, after her custom, in the morning, saw therein a dreadful sight.
The prophetic influence was at first variously attributed to the goddess Earth, to Neptune, Themis, and others, but it was at length assigned to Apollo, and to him alone. A priestess was appointed whose office it was to inhale the hallowed air, and who was named the Pythia.
The Pythia, or priestess in the temple, desired him to settle at Tiryns, to serve as bondman to Eurystheus, who ruled at Mycenae as King, and to perform the great labours which Eurystheus should impose upon him. When these tasks were all accomplished, the inspired priestess added, Hercules should be numbered among the immortal gods.
Asuras!" thundered the voice. "How dare you appear before us? how dare you to stand on this holy ground in boots made of a cow's sacred skin? Be cursed for etern " But her curse was not destined to be finished. In an instant the Hercules-like Narayan had fallen on the Sivatherium, and upset the whole pile, the skull, the horns and the demoniac Pythia included.
A priestess delivered the responses, who was called Pythia, probably in commemoration of the exploit which had been performed by Apollo. She sat upon a tripod, or three-legged stool, perforated with holes, over the seat of the vapours.
My mother, by original choice, and by early training under a very aristocratic father, recoiled as austerely from all direct communication with her servants as the Pythia at Delphi from the attendants that swept out the temple.
The city of Delphi was the seat of the celebrated temple and oracle of that name. Here the Pythia, the priestess of Apollo, pronounced the prophetic responses, in extempore prose or verse; and here the Pythian Games were celebrated in honor of Apollo.
The hewn face of the rock, with a niche, supposed to be that where the Pythia sat upon her tripod, and a secret passage under the floor of the sanctuary, are all that remain. The Castalian fountain still gushes out at the bottom, into a large square enclosure, called the Pythia's Bath, and now choked up with mud, weeds, and stones.
"Were not the last words of the Pythia?" 'Then shall the lingering boat to the beckoning meadows convey thee, Which to the wandering foot peace and a home will afford? "Can you misunderstand their meaning? They speak of Charon's lingering boat, which will convey you to your last home, to the one great resting-place for all wanderers the kingdom of Hades." "Yes, my friend, you are right there.