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THE WILL OF EUDAMIDAS.
Eudamidas, ef the city of Corinth, being attacked by a fatal malady, and, at an advanced age, is on the point of terminating his career. The physician places one of his hands on the bosom of the dying man, consults the beatings of his heart, and fixing the other hand on his own breast, appears to be sensible, by comparison, that there is no longer any hope for the life of Eudamidas.
Eudamidas avails himself of the little energy that remains to dictate his last requests. "I bequeath," said he, "my mother to Arctea, in order that she may nourish and support her in her old age. I bequeath my daughter to Charixerus, that he may give her away in marriage, with a considerable portion, which he is competent to do; and if either the one or the other should happen to die, it is my desire that the legacy devolve to the survivor." This trait, which is preserved in Lucan, is one of the finest that it is possible to cite. Endamidas was well convinced of the hearts of his friends, and this legacy, so honourable to his feelings, is the best eulogium of their virtue.
At the feet of the bed of Eudamidas, and in an attitude the most correct and affecting, his wife and daughter express all the exterior marks of profound grief. Nothing, in short, can equal the beauty of this pathetic scene, unless it be its rigid simplicity, which has excluded all useless accessaries. A lance and a buckler, suspended against the wall, solely announce that Eudamidas followed the profession of arms.
A very fine plate has been made from this composition, by J. Pense: It is engraved with all the sentiment, energy, and noble simplicity, that characterise the original picture.