Analogies from the Bible, Myth and Fable

 “Apollo Amusing the Gods”
  Source:  Harper’s Weekly
  Date:   November 16, 1872, pp. 896-897

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This playful vision of “Apollo Amusing the Gods” (dated November 16) was published November 6, the day after the presidential election.  It was clearly designed to provide general comic relief.  At the center of the action, Whitelaw Reid is Apollo, god of the sun (and music, poetry, and other civilized pursuits), performing on his lyre (a pun on Reid’s alleged journalistic lies), with the usual “This Is Not An Organ” notice attached.  Greeley (right) is Minerva, goddess of wisdom, who strokes a donkey wearing the hide of a lion. In front of Greeley as Cupid is Theodore Tilton, biographer of free-love advocate Victoria Woodhull.

The rest of the pantheon include (center-left to right): a wistful Boss Tweed as Pluto (or Hades), god of the underworld; over him, Manton Marble, editor of the New York World, as Atlas bearing the world on his shoulders; Senator Reuben Fenton of New York as Mercury, god of Commerce and the divine thief, stands behind Reid/Apollo; James Gordon Bennett Jr., editor of the New York Herald and an avid yachtsman, is King Neptune; Chief Justice Salmon Chase, perennial seeker of the presidency, is Diana, goddess of hunting and chastity; seated center-top is Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts as Jupiter, god of thunder; continuing rightward is vice-presidential nominee Gratz Brown as Bacchus, god of wine, wearing a wreath of crabs and sitting astride a watermelon, with a generous lump of butter at his side (recalling his inebriation at a Yale dinner at which he reportedly buttered his watermelon); and, on the far right-center, Senator Carl Schurz as Mars, god of war.

The cherubs around the globe are (counterclockwise from the top-left): Peter Sweeny of Tammany Hall; New York City Mayor Oakey Hall; New York Governor John Hoffman; August Belmont, former chairman of the Democratic Party; John Morrissey of Tammany Hall; Congressman James Brooks (wearing glasses) of New York; Thomas Ledwith of Tammany Hall; ex-President Andrew Johnson; and Tom Fields of Tammany Hall. The four flying in the center are (left-right): Benjamin Wood (smoking), editor of the New York Daily News; Sheriff Matthew Brennan of New York City; Congressman Fernando Wood of New York; and Horatio Seymour, the 1868 Democratic presidential nominee. The cherubs on the right are (left-right): Senator Thomas Tipton of Nebraska; Senator Lyman Trumbull of Illinois; Senator James Doolittle of Wisconsin; and Hugh Kilpatrick, a former Union general.



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