and his Mighty Folk
had not always dwelt amid the clouds on the mountain top. In times long
past, a wonderful family called Titans had lived there and had ruled
all the world. There were twelve of them-six brothers and six
they said that their father was the Sky and their mother the Earth.
had the form and looks of men and women, but they were much larger and
far more beautiful.
The name of
of these Titans was Saturn; and yet he was so very old that men often
him Father Time. He was the king of the Titans, and so, of course, was
the king of all the earth besides.
never so happy as
they were during Saturn's reign. It was the true Golden Age then. The
lasted all the year. The woods and meadows were always full of
and the music of singing birds was heard every day and every hour. It
summer and autumn, too, at the same time. Apples and figs and oranges
hung ripe from the trees; and there were purple grapes on the vines,
melons and berries of every kind, which the people had but to pick and
nobody had to do
any kind of work in that happy time. There was no such thing as
or sorrow or old age. Men and women lived for hundreds and hundreds of
years and never became gray or wrinkled or lame, but were always
and young. They had no need of houses, for there were no cold days nor
storms nor anything to make them afraid.
poor, for everybody
had the same precious things-the sunlight, the pure air, the wholesome
water of the springs, the grass for a carpet, the blue sky for a roof,
the fruits and flowers of the woods and meadows. So, of course, no one
was richer than another, and there was no money, nor any locks or
for everybody was everybody's friend, and no man wanted to get more of
anything than his neighbors had.
happy people had
lived long enough they fell asleep, and their bodies were seen no more.
They flitted away through the air, and over the mountains, and across
sea, to a flowery land in the distant west. And some men say that, even
to this day, they are wandering happily hither and thither about the
causing babies to smile in their cradles, easing the burdens of the
and sick, and blessing mankind everywhere.
What a pity
it is that this
Golden Age should have come to an end! But it was Jupiter and his
who brought about the sad change.
It is hard
to believe it,
but men say that Jupiter was the son of the old Titan king, Saturn, and
that he was hardly a year old when he began to plot how he might wage
against his father. As soon as he was grown up, he persuaded his
Neptune and Pluto, and his sisters, Juno, Ceres, and Vesta, to join
and they vowed that they would drive the Titans from the earth.
followed a long and
terrible war. But Jupiter had many mighty helpers. A company of
monsters called Cyclopes were kept busy all the time, forging
in the fire of burning mountains. Three other monsters, each with a
hands, were called in to throw rocks and trees against the stronghold
the Titans; and Jupiter himself hurled his sharp lightning darts so
and fast that the woods were set on fire and the water in the rivers
with the heat.
good, quiet old
Saturn and his brothers and sisters could not hold out always against
foes as these. At the end of ten years they had to give up and beg for
peace. They were bound in chains of the hardest rock and thrown into a
prison in the Lower Worlds; and the Cyclopes and the hundred-handed
were sent there to be their jailers and to keep guard over them forever.
began to grow dissatisfied
with their lot. Some wanted to be rich and own all the good things in
world. Some wanted to be kings and rule over the others. Some who were
strong wanted to make slaves of those who were weak. Some broke down
fruit trees in the woods, lest others should eat of the fruit. Some,
mere sport, hunted the timid animals which had always been their
Some even killed these poor creatures and ate their flesh for food.
instead of everybody
being everybody's friend, everybody was everybody's foe.
So, in all
the world, instead
of peace, there was war; instead of plenty, there was starvation;
of innocence, there was crime; and instead of happiness, there was
was the way in which
Jupiter made himself so mighty; and that was the way in which the
Age came to an end.