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Title: The Classic Myths in English Literature and in Art (2nd ed.) (1911) - Based Originally on Bulfinch's
Author: Gayley, Charles Mills
Language: English
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Archive/American Libraries and the Online Distributed


[Illustration: LEMNIAN ATHENA]



                           THE CLASSIC MYTHS

                         IN ENGLISH LITERATURE
                              AND IN ART

         BASED ORIGINALLY ON BULFINCH'S "AGE OF FABLE" (1855)

                 ACCOMPANIED BY AN INTERPRETATIVE AND
                        ILLUSTRATIVE COMMENTARY


                                  BY

                 CHARLES MILLS GAYLEY, LITT.D., LL.D.

           PROFESSOR OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
                    IN THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

                             _NEW EDITION_
                        _REVISED AND ENLARGED_

                           GINN AND COMPANY

                 BOSTON · NEW YORK · CHICAGO · LONDON
              ATLANTA · DALLAS · COLUMBUS · SAN FRANCISCO

            COPYRIGHT, 1893, 1911, BY CHARLES MILLS GAYLEY
                      ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL
                          ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
                                 817.6

                         +The Athenæum Press+
           GINN AND COMPANY · PROPRIETORS · BOSTON · U.S.A.



TO THE MUSES


    Whether on Ida's shady brow,
    The chambers of the sun, that now
      From ancient melody have ceas'd;

    Whether in Heav'n ye wander fair,
    Or the blue regions of the air,
      Where the melodious winds have birth;

    Whether on crystal rocks ye rove,
      Beneath the bosom of the sea,
    Wandering in many a coral grove,
      Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry;

    How have you left the ancient love
      That bards of old enjoyed in you!
    The languid strings do scarcely move,
      The sound is forc'd, the notes are few!

                                                 WILLIAM BLAKE

    O antique fables! beautiful and bright
      And joyous with the joyous youth of yore;
    O antique fables! for a little light
      Of that which shineth in you evermore,
    To cleanse the dimness from our weary eyes,
    And bathe our old world with a new surprise
      Of golden dawn entrancing sea and shore.

                                                 JAMES THOMSON



PREFACE


In this new edition of "The Classic Myths in English Literature" the
former order of materials has been altered in accordance with the
advice of the teachers who have had longest experience with the use of
the book; the old material has been thoroughly revised; and much new
material has been added. Since most people prefer to begin a story at
its beginning, and not with the career of its author and his genealogy,
I have reserved the history of the myths for the conclusion of the
text. Some of the myths have been restated in more careful form. Some
short narratives, before omitted, have been included. The sketches
of the Iliad and the Odyssey have been considerably expanded; and an
outline--which, I hope, will be deemed adequate--of Wagner's version of
the Ring of the Nibelung has been appended to the account of Norse and
German mythology. That version is, of course, not English literature;
but it has come to be received as the classic modern version of the
story; and the story is needed, at some time or other, by every lover
of music. Fresh examples of the employment of myth in English verse
have, where practicable, been incorporated in the text; and some new
references will be found in the Commentary.

I have thoroughly revised the list of illustrative cuts, have
interpreted the more difficult of the ancient figures, and indicated
the sources. The pictures themselves are a decided improvement upon
those in the former edition. In the determination of sources for
reproduction, I have had the valuable assistance of Dr. E. von Mach,
the author of more than one well-known work on ancient art; and to
him I am indebted, in addition, for the section on The Classic Myths
in Art, which is included in my Introduction. With this new equipment
the book should prove more useful to those who here make their first
acquaintance with art, especially the art of the ancients, as well as
to those who have been in the habit of using it as a guide to paintings
and sculptures of mythological subjects in foreign galleries.

Much of our best English poetry lies beyond the imaginative reach of
many readers because of their unfamiliarity with the commonplaces of
literary allusion, reference, and tradition. Of such commonplaces few
are more frequently recurrent than those furnished by the literature of
myth.

In view of this consideration, the Academic Council of the University
of California, some twenty years ago, introduced into its requirements
for entrance in English the subject of Classical Mythology in its
relation to English Literature, and recommended, as a textbook for
preparation, Bulfinch's "Age of Fable." The experience of English and
classical teachers in the schools of the state attested the wisdom of
the requirement; but the demand for some textbook adapted to the needs
of the classroom made necessary the preparation of this volume. For
while "The Age of Fable" offered a tempting collection of Greek, Norse,
and Oriental narratives, it was designed neither as a schoolbook nor as
a systematized presentation and interpretation of the myths that have
most influenced English literature.

At the request of my publishers I undertook at that time such a
revision and rearrangement of the materials of "The Age of Fable" as
might adapt it to the purposes of teacher and pupil, and to the taste
of readers somewhat more advanced in years than those addressed by the
original work or by the edition which bore the name of the Reverend
Edward Everett Hale. But after a year's work I found that half my
material for copy was new, and that the remainder differed in many
important respects from the book upon which it was based. Consequently,
while the obligation to "The Age of Fable" was acknowledged in full,
a different title was selected for the resulting volume. For neither
my publishers nor I desired that the scholarship or the taste of Mr.
Bulfinch should be held accountable for liberties that were taken with
his work.

In "The Classic Myths in English Literature and in Art," Chapters
XXIII-XXVII, containing sketches of the Fall of Troy, the Odyssey,
the Æneid, and of certain Norse lays, are a revision of corresponding
chapters in "The Age of Fable." Chapters VII-XX, and XXII, comprising
Myths of the Greater Divinities of Heaven, Earth, the Underworld, and
the Waters, Myths of the Lesser Divinities of the same regions, Myths
of the Older Heroes and Myths of the Younger Heroes, and the outline of
the Trojan War, represent a total rearrangement and recomposition of
the original material, section by section, and frequently paragraph by
paragraph,--such portions of "The Age of Fable" as have been retained
being abridged or rewritten, and, in places too frequent to enumerate,
supplemented by new and necessary sentences, paragraphs, and sections.
The Introduction, the first six chapters (on the Greek Myths of the
Creation, and the attributes of Greek and Roman divinities), Chapters
XXI and XXVIII-XXXII (on the Houses concerned in the Trojan War, the
Saga of the Volsungs, the Lay of the Nibelungs, Wagner's Ring of the
Nibelung, and on the origin, elements, distribution, and preservation
of myth), the choice of poetic and artistic illustration, the footnotes
referring to sources, and the Commentary are wholly, or essentially, my
own. In fact, there is little but the scaffolding of "The Age of Fable"
now remaining in the book.

Although in the Index of Mythological Subjects and their Sources the
more common myths of some other nations are briefly stated, no myths
save those known to the Greeks, Romans, Norsemen, or Germans have
been included in the body of the text. The scope of selection has
been thus confined for three reasons: first, the regard for necessary
limits; second, the desirability of emphasizing only such myths as
have actually acclimated themselves in English-speaking lands and have
influenced the spirit, form, and habit of English imaginative thought;
third, the necessity of excluding all but the unquestionably classic.
The term _classic_, however, is, of course, not restricted to the
products of Greece and Rome; nor is it employed as synonymous with
Classical or as antithetical to Romantic. From the extreme Classical to
the extreme Romantic is a far cry; but as human life knows no divorce
of necessity from freedom, so genuine art knows neither an unrelieved
Classical nor an unrestrained Romantic. Classical and Romantic are
relative terms. The Classical and the Romantic of one generation
may merit equally to be the classics of the next. Therefore certain
Hellenic myths of romantic spirit or construction have been included in
this work, and certain Norse and German myths have not been excluded.
Whatever is admitted, is admitted as first-class: first-class, because
simple, spontaneous, and beautiful; because fulfilling the requirements
of perennial freshness, of æsthetic potency, and of ideal worth.

In the matter of illustrative English and American poems the principle
of selection has been that the verses shall translate a myth from
the classic original, or exemplify the poetic idealization and
embellishment of the subject, or suggest the spirit and mien of ancient
art. But in each case regard has been had to the æsthetic value of
the poem or the citation. In the search for suitable examples I have
derived valuable assistance from Mr. E.C. Guild's "Bibliography of
Greek Mythology in English Poetry of the Nineteenth Century" (Bowdoin
College, _Library Bulletin No. 1_). The student is also referred to
A.E. Sawtelle's "Sources of Spenser's Mythology," C.G. Osgood's'
"Classical Mythology of Milton," and R.K. Root's "Classical Mythology
in Shakespeare" (Holt, 1896, 1900, and 1903, respectively).

In the Commentary four things have been attempted: first, an
explanation, under each section, of ordinary textual difficulties;
second, an unpretentious exposition of the myth or a brief statement
of the more evident interpretations advanced by philologists or
ethnologists; third, an indication of certain additional poems or
verses that illustrate the myth; fourth, special mention of such
masterpieces of ancient and modern sculpture and painting as may serve
to introduce the student or the general reader to a field of æsthetic
profit neglected by the great mass of our people. For the poetic
conception of most of the myths contained in Chapters I-XXIV, we are
indebted to the Greek imagination; but since this book is intended
for students of English poetry, and since in English poetry Latin
names of mythological characters are much more frequently employed
than Greek, the Latin designations or Latinized forms of Greek names
have been, so far as possible, retained; and such variations as
Jupiter, Jove--Proserpina, Proserpine, freely used. In the chapters,
however, on the attributes of the Greek gods, names exclusively Greek
have been placed in parentheses after the usual Roman equivalents,
Latin appellations, or designations common to both Greek and Roman
usage. In the transliteration of Greek names I have followed, also,
the prevalent practice of our poets, which is, generally speaking,
the practice of the Romans. The diphthong #ei#, for instance, is
transliterated according to the accepted English pronunciation,
which in individual words perpetuates the preference of the Latins
for the _e_ sound or the _i_ sound respectively. So #Atreidês#
becomes Atr[=i]des; #Iphimedeia#, Iphimed[=i]a. But, on the other
hand, #Kythereia# becomes Cyther[=e]a; #Pêneios#, Pen[=e]us; and
#Mêdeia#, Med[=e]a; while owing to purely popular English custom, such
a name as #Pheidias# has become, not Pheidias nor even Ph[=i]dias,
but--_Ph[)i]dias_. A few names of islands, towns, persons, etc., that
even in Latin retain their Greek forms,--such as Delos, Naxos, Argos,
Aglauros, Pandrosos,--have been transferred without modification.
So also has Poseidon, because that is the common English spelling.
In short, the practice aimed at has been not that of scientific
uniformity, but of acknowledged poetic usage. In the titles of the
illustrative cuts, Greek names have been used for works of Greek
origin, Latin for the Roman.

For the benefit of readers who do not know the fundamental rules for
the pronunciation of Greek and Latin proper names in English, a brief
statement of rules is prefixed to the Index; and in the Index of
Mythological Subjects and their Sources names are not only accented,
but, when necessary, diacritically marked.

In the preparation of the Text and Commentary more or less use has
been made of: Roscher's Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und
römischen Mythologie (Lieferungen 1-21, Teubner, Leipzig); Preller's
Griechische Mythologie (2 Bde., Berlin, 1861); Max Müller's Chips from
a German Workshop, Science of Religion (London, 1873), Science of
Language (7th ed., 2 vols., London, 1873), Oxford Essays (1856); Sir
G. W. Cox's Mythology of the Aryan Nations (2 vols., London, 1878);
Frazer's Golden Bough; W. Warde Fowler's Roman Festivals (London,
1899); Welcker's Griechische Götterlehre; Baumeister's Denkmäler des
klassischen Alterthums; Murray's Manual of Mythology (New York, 1880);
Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology; Duruy's
Histories of Rome and Greece; Keightley's Greek and Roman Mythology;
Kelsey's Outline of Greek and Roman Mythology (Boston, 1889); Horn's
Geschichte der Literatur des skandinavischen Nordens (Leipzig, 1880);
Cleasby and Vigfusson's Icelandic Dictionary; Lüning's Die Edda
(Zürich, 1859); Vigfusson and Powell's Corpus Poeticum Boreale (2
vols., Oxford, 1883); Paul's Grundriss der germanischen Philologie,
1 Bd., 5 Lfg. (article _Mythologie_, by E. Mogk); Grimm's Teutonic
Mythology (translated by Stallybrass, 3 vols.); Werner Hahn's Das
Nibelungenlied; Lang's Myth, Ritual, and Religion (2 vols., London,
1887), and _Mythology_ (Encyc. Brit., Vol. 9); Tylor's Anthropology
(New York, 1881) and Primitive Culture (2 vols.); J. W. Powell's Annual
Reports of the Bureau of Ethnology (7 vols., beginning 1879-1880,
Washington, D.C.); Keary's Outlines of Primitive Belief; Fiske's Myths
and Myth-makers (Boston); Whitney's Oriental and Linguistic Studies;
W. P. Johnston's The Origin of Myth; and of other works to which due
reference is made in the footnotes and Commentary. The student is also
referred to F. B. Jevons' edition of Plutarch's Romane Questions,
translated by Philemon Holland (London, 1892) (introduction on Roman
Mythology); and to C.G. Leland's Etruscan-Roman Remains in Popular
Tradition (London, 1892). The Maps, furnished by Messrs. Ginn and
Company from other of their publications, have, with the kind consent
of the authors of those works, in some instances been adapted by me to
suit the present purpose.

The principal authorities used in the selection of the illustrations of
this new edition are: Baumeister, Denkmäler des klassischen Alterthums
(3 vols., Munich, 1888); Furtwängler, Masterpieces of Greek Sculpture
(London, 1905); Ernest Gardner, Ancient Athens (New York and London,
1902); Percy Gardner, A Grammar of Greek Art (New York and London,
1905); and Sculptured Tombs of Hellas (London, 1896); Percy Gardner
and Jevons, A Manual of Greek Antiquities (London, 1895); Gerhard,
Auserlesene griechische Vasenbilder (1840-1858); Gusman, Pompeii
(London, 1900); Harrison and Maccoll, Greek Vase Paintings (London,
1894); E. von Mach, Handbook of Greek and Roman Sculpture (Boston,
1905); and Greek Sculpture, Its Spirit and Principles (Boston, 1903);
A. S. Murray, Handbook of Greek Archæology (London, 1892); History
of Greek Sculpture (2 vols., London, 1883); and Sculptures of the
Parthenon (London, 1903); A. S. Murray and C. A. Hutton, Greek
Bronzes and Terra Cotta Statuettes (London, 1898); C. O. Müller,
Denkmäler der alten Kunst (Göttingen, 1832); Overbeck, Griechische
Kunstmythologie (1871 ----); Emil Presuhn, Pompeii, 1874-1881 (Leipzig,
1882); Salomon Reinach, Peintures de vases antiques (including the
collections of Millin, 1808, and Millingen, 1813 (Paris, 1891)), and
Apollo (Paris, 1907); H. Roux Ainé, Herculaneum and Pompeii; Roscher,
Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie
(1884 ----) (Lieferungen 1-17 in Vol. I, 18 on in Vol. II); Anton
Springer, Handbuch der Kunstgeschichte (I _Alterthum_, Leipzig, 1904);
Charles Waldstein, The Argive Heræum (2 vols.); and the archæological
periodicals as cited in the List of Illustrations.

The acknowledgment of assistance made in the former edition is here
renewed.

                                                   CHARLES MILLS GAYLEY



CONTENTS


                                                                    PAGE

  INTRODUCTION                                                      xxix

  PART I

  MYTHS OF DIVINITIES AND HEROES

  CHAPTER I. GREEK MYTHS OF THE CREATION                               1

  Purpose of the Study. The Fable and the Myth. Origin of the World.
  Origin of the Gods. The Rule of Cronus. The War of the Titans.
  The Division of Empire. The Reign of Jupiter. The Origin of Man.
  Prometheus, a Creator. The Age of Gold. The Silver Age. Prometheus,
  Champion of Man. Pandora. Prometheus Bound. Longfellow's
  Prometheus. The Brazen Age. The Iron Age. The Flood. Deucalion and
  Pyrrha. The Demigods and Heroes.

  CHAPTER II. THE GODS OF HEAVEN                                      18

  Olympus. The Great Gods. Jupiter (Zeus). Conceptions of Jupiter.
  Juno (Hera). Minerva (Athene or Athena). Mars (Ares). Vulcan
  (Hephæstus). Apollo. Shelley's Hymn of Apollo. Diana (Artemis).
  Jonson's Hymn to Cynthia. Venus (Aphrodite). The "Venus of Milo."
  Mercury (Hermes). Vesta (Hestia). The Lesser Divinities of Heaven.

  CHAPTER III. THE GODS OF EARTH                                      42

  Conception of the World. Ceres (Demeter). Gæa (Ge). Bacchus
  (Dionysus). The Lesser Divinities of Earth.

  CHAPTER IV. THE GODS OF THE UNDERWORLD                              47

  The Underworld. Tartarus and the Elysian Fields. The Islands of
  the Blest. Pluto (Hades). Proserpina (Persephone). The Lesser
  Divinities of the Underworld.

  CHAPTER V. THE GODS OF THE WATERS                                   55

  The Older Dynasty. The Younger Dynasty. The Lesser Divinities of
  the Waters.

  CHAPTER VI. THE ROMAN DIVINITIES                                    59

  Gods Common to Greece and Italy. Italian Gods.


  CHAPTER VII. MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN                64

  Myths of Jupiter and Juno. Love Affairs of Jupiter. Io. Callisto.
  Europa. Semele. Ægina. Antiope. Jupiter, a Friend of Man. Juno's
  Best Gift. Myths of Minerva. Arachne. Myths of Mars. Mars and
  Diomede. Mars and Minerva. The Fortunes of Cadmus. Myths of Vulcan.
  Myths of Apollo. The Wanderings of Latona. Apollo, the Light
  Triumphant. Hyacinthus. Phaëthon. The Plague sent upon the Greeks
  before Troy. The Punishment of Niobe. The Lamentation for Linus.
  Æsculapius. Apollo in Exile. Lowell's Shepherd of King Admetus.
  Admetus and Alcestis. Apollo, the Musician. Apollo, Pan, and Midas.
  Shelley's Hymn of Pan. Marsyas. The Loves of Apollo. Daphne.
  Marpessa. Clytie. Myths of Diana. The Flight of Arethusa. Shelley's
  Arethusa. The Fate of Actæon. The Fortunes and Death of Orion. The
  Pleiads. Endymion. Myths of Venus. Adonis. Cupid and Psyche. Keats'
  Ode to Psyche. Atalanta's Race. Hero and Leander. Pygmalion and the
  Statue. Pyramus and Thisbe. Phaon. The Vengeance of Venus. Myths of
  Mercury.

  CHAPTER VIII. MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF EARTH               152

  Myths of Bacchus. The Wanderings of Bacchus. The Story of Acetes.
  The Choice of King Midas.

  CHAPTER IX. FROM THE EARTH TO THE UNDERWORLD                       159

  Myths of Ceres, Pluto, and Proserpine. The Rape of Proserpine. The
  Wanderings of Ceres. Triptolemus and the Eleusinian Mysteries.
  Orpheus and Eurydice.

  CHAPTER X. MYTHS OF NEPTUNE, RULER OF THE WATERS                   169

  Lord of the Sea. Lord of Streams and Fountains. Pelops and
  Hippodamia.

  CHAPTER XI. MYTHS OF THE LESSER DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN               172

  Myths of Stars and Winds. Cephalus and Procris. Dobson's The Death
  of Procris. Ceyx and Halcyone. Aurora and Tithonus. Tennyson's
  Tithonus. Memnon.

  CHAPTER XII. MYTHS OF THE LESSER DIVINITIES OF EARTH, ETC.         181

  Pan, and the Personification of Nature. Stedman's Pan in Wall
  Street. Other Lesser Gods of Earth. Echo and Narcissus. Echo,
  Pan, Lyde, and the Satyr. The Naiads. The Dryads, or Hamadryads.
  Erysichthon. Dryope. Rh[oe]cus. Pomona and Vertumnus. The Cranes of
  Ibycus.

  CHAPTER XIII. MYTHS OF LESSER DIVINITIES OF THE WATERS             198

  Galatea and Polyphemus. Glaucus and Scylla. Nisus and Scylla.
  Leucothea. Proteus and Aristæus. Acheloüs and Hercules. Milton's
  Sabrina Fair.

  CHAPTER XIV. MYTHS OF THE OLDER HEROES: THE HOUSE OF DANAÜS, AND
  ITS CONNECTIONS                                                    206

  The Older and the Younger Heroes. The Genealogy of Danaüs. The
  Danaïds. The Doom of King Acrisius. Perseus and Medusa. Perseus and
  Atlas. Perseus and Andromeda. Bellerophon and the Chimæra. Hercules
  (Heracles): His Youth. His Labors. His Later Exploits. The Loss of
  Hylas. The Rescue of Daphnis. The Expedition against Laomedon. The
  Death of Hercules.

  CHAPTER XV. THE FAMILY OF ÆOLUS                                    229

  Descendants of Deucalion. The Quest of the Golden Fleece. The
  Return of the Argonauts. Medea and Æson. Pelias.

  CHAPTER XVI. THE FAMILY OF ÆTOLUS AND ITS CONNECTIONS              237

  The Calydonian Hunt. Merope. Castor and Pollux. The Twin Brethren
  among the Romans.

  CHAPTER XVII. THE HOUSE OF MINOS                                   246

  Minos of Crete. Dædalus and Icarus.

  CHAPTER XVIII. THE HOUSE OF CECROPS AND ERICHTHONIUS               249

  From Cecrops to Philomela. Matthew Arnold's Philomela. Theseus.
  Theseus and Ariadne. Bacchus and Ariadne. The Amazons. Theseus and
  Pirithoüs. Phædra and Hippolytus.

  CHAPTER XIX. THE HOUSE OF LABDACUS                                 261

  The Misfortunes of Thebes. [OE]dipus and the Sphinx. [OE]dipus, the
  King. [OE]dipus at Colonus.

  CHAPTER XX. MYTHS OF THE YOUNGER HEROES: THE SEVEN AGAINST THEBES
       265

  Their Exploits. The Seven against Thebes. Antigone. The Epigoni.

  CHAPTER XXI. HOUSES CONCERNED IN THE TROJAN WAR                    269

  Three Families. Peleus. Achilles, Son of Peleus. Atreus. Tyndareus.

  CHAPTER XXII. THE TROJAN WAR                                       277

  Its Origin. Iphigenia in Aulis. Protesilaüs and Laodamia. Homer's
  Iliad. The Wrath of Achilles. The Enlistment of the Gods. Thetis
  intercedes for Achilles. Agamemnon calls a Council. Paris plays
  the Champion. Helen surveys the Grecian Host. Menelaüs defeats
  Paris. The Two Days' Battle. Hector and Andromache. Neptune aids
  the Discouraged Greeks. Jupiter inspirits the Trojans. Achilles
  and Patroclus. Patroclus in the Armor of Achilles. The Deaths of
  Sarpedon and Patroclus. The Remorse of Achilles. The Reconciliation
  of Agamemnon and Achilles. The Death of Hector. Achilles drags the
  Body of Hector. Priam in the Tent of Achilles.

  CHAPTER XXIII. THE FALL OF TROY                                    307

  The Fall of Troy. The Death of Achilles. Contest for the Arms of
  Achilles. Paris and [OE]none. The Palladium. The Wooden Horse.
  Laocoön and the Serpents. The Death of Priam. The Survivors. Helen,
  Menelaüs, and Agamemnon. Electra and Orestes. Orestes pursued by
  the Furies. His Purification.

  CHAPTER XXIV. THE WANDERINGS OF ULYSSES                            318

  From Troy to Phæacia. The Lotos-eaters. The Cyclopes. The Bag of
  Winds. The Læstrygonians. The Isle of Ææa. Ulysses visits Hades.
  The Sirens. Scylla and Charybdis. The Cattle of the Sun. Calypso's
  Island. The Land of the Phæacians. Fate of the Suitors. Tennyson's
  Ulysses.

  CHAPTER XXV. ADVENTURES OF ÆNEAS                                   346

  From Troy to Italy. The Departure from Troy. The Promised Empire.
  The Harpies. Epirus. The Cyclopes Again. The Resentment of Juno.
  The Sojourn at Carthage. Dido. Palinurus. Italy at Last. The Sibyl
  of Cumæ. The Infernal Regions. The Elysian Fields. The Valley of
  Oblivion.

  CHAPTER XXVI. THE WAR BETWEEN TROJANS AND LATINS                   362

  The Fulfillment of Prophecy. The Gates of Janus Opened. Camilla.
  Alliance with Evander. The Site of Future Rome. Turnus attacks the
  Trojan Camp. Nisus and Euryalus. The Death of Mezentius. The Deaths
  of Pallas and Camilla. The Final Conflict.

  CHAPTER XXVII. MYTHS OF THE NORSE GODS                             373

  The Creation. Yggdrasil. Odin and his Valhalla. The Valkyries. Thor
  and the Other Gods. Loki and his Progeny. The Conflict with the
  Mountain Giants. The Recovery of Thor's Hammer. Thor's Visit to
  Jötunheim. The Sword of Freyr. The Death of Balder. The Funeral of
  Balder. The Elves. Ragnarok.

  CHAPTER XXVIII. MYTHS OF NORSE AND OLD GERMAN HEROES               398

  The Saga of the Volsungs. The Lay of the Nibelungs.

  CHAPTER XXIX. THE RING OF THE NIBELUNG                             410

  Wagner's Tetralogy. The Rhine-gold. The Valkyrie. Siegfried. The
  Twilight of the Gods.

  PART II

  THE HISTORY OF MYTH

  CHAPTER XXX. THE ORIGIN AND ELEMENTS OF MYTH                       431

  Kinds of Myth. Divisions of Inquiry. Elements of the Myth.
  Reasonable Myths. Unreasonable Myths. Theory of Deterioration.
  Theory of Progress.

  CHAPTER XXXI. THE DISTRIBUTION OF MYTHS                            447

  Theories of Resemblance.

  CHAPTER XXXII. THE PRESERVATION OF MYTHS                           450

  Traditional History. In Greece. Roman Poets of Mythology. Records
  of Norse Mythology. Records of German Mythology. Records of
  Oriental Mythology: Egyptian. Indian Records. Persian Records.

  COMMENTARY                                                         465

  RULES FOR PRONUNCIATION                                            541

  INDEX OF MYTHOLOGICAL SUBJECTS AND SOURCES                         543

  INDEX OF MODERN AUTHORS AND ARTISTS                                582



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


  FIGURE                                                            PAGE

    1.  Jupiter surveying the World. Roman Wall Painting, Naples:
        _Herculaneum and Pompeii, by H. Roux Ainé_                     3

    2.  Athena and Giant. Greek Bronze, Mus. Kircherianum:
        _Journal of Hellenic Studies, 4, 90_                           7

    3.  Zeus and Giants. Ancient Gem: _Baumeister 3, 1791_             8

    4.  Prometheus making Man. Roman Sarcophagus in the Capitoline:
        _Baumeister 3, 1568_                                           9

    Upper row, from left to right: Oceanus, the Sun-god, Clotho,
    Lachesis, etc. Lower row: Cupid and Psyche, Gæa (Tellus),
    Prometheus, the newly created Man to whom Minerva gives life
    (the butterfly). Death, Cupid with down-turned torch, the first
    man dead, Atropos, Mercury.

    5.  Poseidon (Neptune), Dionysus (Bacchus) and Goddess. East
        Frieze, Parthenon, in the British Museum: _Photograph_        17

    6.  Two Hours. Greek Vase Painting, St. Petersburg:
        _Roscher 1, 2727_                                             18

    7.  Zeus from Dodona. Greek Bronze: _Photograph_                  20

    8.  Zeus after Phidias. Coin of Elis: _A. S. Murray, Greek
        Bronzes, opp. p. 81_                                          21

    9.  Hera of Argos. Greek Marble: _Argive Heræum, 1_               22

   10.  Athena Velletri. Ancient Marble in the Louvre:
        _Photograph_                                                  23

   11.  Ares Ludovisi. Ancient Marble in Rome: _Photograph_           24

   12.  Ares (Mars). Painting by Raphael: _Photograph_                25

   13.  The Forge of Vulcan. Roman Relief: _Baumeister 3, 1640_       25

   14.  Apollo (so-called Adonis). Ancient Marble in the Vatican:
        _Photograph_                                                  26

   15.  Apollo Belvedere. Ancient Marble in the Vatican:
        _Photograph_                                                  27

   16.  Apollo. Greek Bronze from Thessaly, British Museum:
        _Murray, Greek Bronzes, Fig. 28_                              28

   17.  Diana. Painting by Correggio: _Photograph_                    29

   18.  Diana (Artemis) of Versailles. Ancient Marble in the Louvre:
        _Photograph_                                                  30

   19.  Artemis Knagia. Ancient Silver Medallion from Herculaneum:
        _Roscher 1, 566_                                              31

   20.  Hermes Psychopompos. Greek Stele of Myrrhina: _P. Gardner,
        Sculptured Tombs, Fig. 72_                                    34

    Hermes (Mercury) leading to the underworld the spirit of a lady,
    Myrrhina, who has just died. From a relief on her tomb.

   21.  Eros (Cupid). Ancient Marble, Naples: _Photograph_            36

   22.  Rape of Ganymede. Ancient Marble in the Vatican:
        _Baumeister 2, 891_                                           37

   23.  Polyhymnia. Ancient Marble, Berlin:
        _Baumeister 2, 1185_                                          37

   24.  The Three Fates. Painting attributed to Michelangelo, but
        recently conjectured to be by Rosso Fiorentino. Florence:
        _Photograph_                                                  38

   25.  Boreas. Greek Reliefs, Athens: _Baumeister 3, 2370_           39

   26.  Zephyros. Greek Reliefs, Athens: _Baumeister 3, 2370_         39

   27.  Boreas carrying off Orithyia. Greek Vase Painting, Munich:
        _Baumeister 1, 373_                                           40

   28.  Iris carrying Child. Vase Painting: _Gerhard, Auserlesene
        Vasenbilder, 2, 83_                                           41

   29.  Demeter of Knidos. Greek Marble in the British Museum: _E.
        von Mach, Handbook of Greek and Roman Sculpture,
        Plate 247_                                                    42

   30.  Ceres. Roman Wall Painting:
        _I. Weir, Greek Painting, p. 343_                             43

   31.  Dionysus and the Vine. Ancient Marble in the British Museum:
        _Roscher 1, 292_                                              44

   32.  Pan the Hunter. Ancient Terra Cotta: _Murray and Hutton,
        Plate VI_                                                     45

   33.  A Satyr with Grafting Materials. Ancient Gem:
        _Pine's Virgil_                                               46

   34.  The Greek Underworld. Ancient Vase Painting from Canusium:
        _Baumeister 3, 2042 B_                                        48

    Center: Hades and Persephone. Above, left: Megara, wife of
    Heracles, and two of her children, slain by Heracles when mad.
    Above, right: a Fury guarding Pirithoüs and Theseus. Middle,
    left: Orpheus playing and dancing, and an unknown family group.
    Middle, right: the three judges of the dead. Below: Sisyphus, a
    Fury, Hermes, Heracles with Cerberus, a Fury, Tantalus.

   35.  Hermes conducting a Soul to Charon. Ancient Terra Cotta:
        _Archäologische Zeitung, Berlin_                              49

   36.  Hypnos (_Somnus_, Sleep).
        _Murray, Greek Bronzes, opp. p. 72_                           50

   37.  A Fury. Ancient Vase Painting: _Roscher 1, 1334_              51

   38.  Hades. Ancient Marble in the Villa Borghese, Rome:
        _Baumeister 1, 690_                                           53

   39.  Death, Sleep, and Hermes laying a Body in the Tomb. Ancient
        Vase Painting: _P. Gardner, Sculptured Tombs, Fig. 5_         54

   40.  Poseidon from Dodona. Greek Bronze in the British Museum:
        _Murray, Greek Bronzes, Fig. 32_                              55

   41.  Wedding of Poseidon and Amphitrite. Ancient Marble Frieze,
        Munich: _Baumeister 3, 1744 B_                                56

   42.  Triton carrying off a Nymph. Ancient Marble in the Vatican:
        _Baumeister 3, 1964_                                          57

   43.  Bearded Janus. Roman Coin: _Baumeister 2, 1166 A_             60

   44.  Genius Loci. Wall Painting from Herculaneum in the Naples
        Museum: _Gusman, Pompeii, p. 107_                             62

   45.  Ganymede feeding the Eagle. Ancient Relief:
        _Pietro Santi Bartoli, Gli. Antichi Sepolcri_                 64

   46.  Hermes (Mercury) kills Argus in presence of Zeus. Ancient
        Vase Painting: _Roscher 2, 279_                               65

   47.  Io, Argus, and Mercury. Wall Painting from Herculaneum in
        the Naples Museum: _Baumeister 1, 802_                        66

   48.  Europa on the Bull. Greek Vase Painting:
        _Harrison-Maccoll, Plate IV_                                  69

   49.  Nereïds on Sea Beasts. Ancient Marble Frieze in Munich:
        _Baumeister 3, 1744 A_                                        70

   50.  Youthful Bacchus embracing Semele in presence of Apollo and
        a Satyr. Etruscan Mirror, Berlin: _Baumeister 1, 557_         71

   51.  Amphion and Zethus. Ancient Relief in the Palazzo Spada,
        Rome: _Roscher 2, 311_                                        76

   52.  Contest of Athena and Poseidon for the Supremacy of Athens.
        Ancient Vase Painting, St. Petersburg:
        _Baumeister 3, 1542_                                          83

   53.  Athena. Ancient Marble in Hope Collection: _Furtwängler,
        Masterpieces, Fig. 27_                                        85

   54.  Cadmus slaying the Dragon. Ancient Vase Painting, Naples:
        _Baumeister 2, 822_                                           87

    Athena counseling. Above: river-god Ismenos, fountain-nymph
    Krene, and personification of Thebes.

   55.  Harmonia in Company of Deities. Greek Vase Painting:
        _Ephemeris, 1897-1898, Plate X_                               89

    Aphrodite, Eros, Harmonia standing, Peitho (Persuasion)
    sitting, and Koré, Hebe, Himeros (Desire).

   56.  The Forge of Vulcan. Painting by Velasquez:
        _Photograph_                                                  90

   57.  A Sacrifice to Apollo. Greek Vase Painting:
        _Gardner-Jevons Manual, p. 249, Fig. 16_                      91

   58.  Apollo with Hyacinthus. Ancient Marble in Hope Collection:
        _Roscher 16-17, 2765_                                         93

   59.  The Fall of Phaëthon. Roman Relief in the Louvre:
        _Baumeister 3, 1449_                                          97

    Upper left-hand corner: Phaëthon making his request of Helios
    (Ph[oe]bus). Below: the Heliades turning into trees. Center:
    the maddened horses, one chariot wheel, and Phaëthon falling
    into the arms of Eridanus. The horsemen left and right of the
    four horses are Castor and Pollux. Earth-gods, sea-gods, and
    other figures.

   60.  A Son of Niobe. Ancient Marble in Florence:
        _Baumeister 3, 1751_                                         100

   61.  The Children of Niobe. Ancient Relief, St. Petersburg:
        _Baumeister 3, 1759_                                         101

   62.  Niobe and her Youngest Daughter. Ancient Marble, Florence:
        _Baumeister 3, 1746_                                         102

   63.  Æsculapius (Asklepios). Ancient Marble, Florence:
        _Furtwängler, Masterpieces, Fig. 87_                         104

   64.  Admetus must Die. Wall painting from Herculaneum in Naples:
        _Baumeister 1, 53_                                           106

   65.  Heracles. Ancient Marble in Lansdowne House:
        _Photograph_                                                 108

   66.  The Palatine Apollo. Ancient Marble in Vatican:
        _Baumeister 1, 104_                                          110

   67.  Daphne. Ancient Marble:
        _Springer, Kunstgeschichte, 1, 336_                          113

   68.  Artemis (Diana). Ancient Marble, Dresden:
        _Furtwängler, Masterpieces, p. 325_                          117

   69.  Arethusa. Ancient Coin: _Baumeister 2, 1140_                 118

   70.  A Young River-god. Ancient Bronze Head:
        _Roscher 9, 1489_                                            119

   71.  Actæon. Ancient Marble Relief: _Baumeister 1, 41_            121

   72.  The Pleiades. Painting by Elihu Vedder: _Photograph_         123

   73.  Endymion. Ancient Relief in the Capitoline, Rome: _E. von
        Mach, Handbook of Greek and Roman Sculpture, Plate 306_      124

   74.  The Death of Adonis. Ancient Marble in the Louvre:
        _Baumeister 1, 17_                                           127

    Right: Adonis leaves Venus. Center: he is wounded. Left: he is
    cared for by Venus, Cupid, and attendants.

   75.  Psyche at the Couch of Cupid. Painting by Thumann:
        _Photograph_                                                 130

   76.  Psyche and Cupid on Mount Olympus. Painting by Thumann:
        _Photograph_                                                 136

   77.  Artemis of Gabii. Ancient Marble in the Louvre: _E. von
        Mach, Handbook of Greek and Roman Sculpture, Plate 207_      139

   78.  Atalanta's Race. Painting by Poynter: _Photograph_           140

   79.  Hero and Leander. Painting by Keller: _Photograph_           144

   80.  Thisbe. Painting by Edward Burne-Jones: _Photograph_         148

   81.  Hermes and Dog disguised as Pig. Ancient Vase Painting,
        Vienna: _Harrison-Maccoll, Plate XXXIIIa_                    151

   82.  Silenus taking Dionysus (Bacchus) to School. Ancient Terra
        Cotta: _Murray and Hutton, Fig. 36_                          152

   83.  Bearded Dionysus on Mule, attended by Satyr. Old Greek
        Terra Cotta Relief: _Baumeister 1, 481_                      153

   84.  Satyr and Mænad with Child Dionysus. Ancient Relief:
        _Baumeister 2, 932_                                          154

   85.  Dionysus at Sea. Greek Vase Painting in the Pinakothek,
        Munich: _Harrison-Maccoll, Plate I_                          155

   86.  Bacchic Procession. Greek Vase Painting: _Arch. Zeit._       156

   87.  Dionysus visiting a Poet. Ancient Relief, Naples:
        _Baumeister 3, 1849_                                         157

   88.  Rape of Proserpina. Ancient Relief:
        _Baumeister 1, 461_                                          159

   89.  Hades and Persephone. Ancient Terra Cotta:
        _P. Gardner, Sculptured Tombs, Fig. 29_                      161

   90.  Sacrifice to Demeter and Persephone. Greek Relief in Paris:
        _Baumeister 1, 457_                                          162

   91.  Triptolemus and the Eleusinian Deities. Greek Vase Painting:
        _Baumeister 3, 1958_                                         164

    Demeter behind the chariot and Persephone and the nymph Eleusis
    in front.

   92.  Demeter (Ceres), Triptolemus, and Proserpina. Greek Relief:
        _E. von Mach, Handbook of Greek and Roman Sculpture,
        Plate 178_                                                   165

   93.  Orpheus and Eurydice. Painting by Lord Leighton:
        _Photograph_                                                 166

   94.  Farewell of Orpheus and Eurydice (Mercury ready to lead her
        away). Ancient Marble Relief in Villa Albani, Rome:
        _Photograph_                                                 167

   95.  Isthmian Poseidon. Ancient Marble in Lateran:
        _Springer, Kunstgeschichte, 1, Fig. 495_                     169

   96.  Pelops winning the Race; Hippodamia looking on. Ancient Vase
        Painting: _Baumeister 2, 1395_                               171

   97.  Phosphor, Eos, and Helios (the Sun) rising from the Sea.
        Ancient Vase Painting:
        _Gerhard, Akademische Abhandlungen_                          172

   98.  Sun, rising, preceded by Dawn. Painting by Guido Reni:
        _Photograph_                                                 173

   99.  Sunrise; Eos (Dawn) pursuing Cephalus. Greek Vase Painting:
        _P. Gardner, Grammar of Greek Art, Fig. 71_                  174

    The young stars descending; to the left, the moon (Selene)
    riding over the hills.

  100.  The God of Sleep. Ancient Relief: _Baumeister 1, 770_        176

  101.  The Death of Memnon (Aurora lifting his body). Greek Vase
        Painting in the Louvre: _Harrison-Maccoll, Plate XVIII_      180

  102.  Pan blowing his Pipe, Echo answering. Ancient Earthenware
        Lamp: _Baumeister 1, 514_                                    182

  103.  The Music Lesson (Pan teaching a Boy). Ancient Marble,
        Florence: _Baumeister 2, 1340_                               184

  104.  Bacchic Dance (Nymph and Satyrs). Ancient Relief:
        _Baumeister 3, 1931_                                         184

  105.  Silenus. From an ancient candelabrum in Munich:
        _Baumeister 2, 895_                                          185

  106.  Satyr (Marble Faun). Ancient Marble in the Capitoline, Rome:
        _Photograph_                                                 186

  107.  Satyr swinging Maiden. Greek Vase Painting in Berlin:
        _Harrison-Maccoll, Plate XXXII_                              186

  108.  Satyr drinking from Amphora. Ancient Vase Painting in
        Baltimore: _Harrison-Maccoll, Plate IX_                      187

  109.  Narcissus gazing at his Reflection. Wall Painting from
        Pompeii, Naples: _Baumeister 2, 1213_                        188

  110.  A Rustic. Wall Painting from Herculaneum                     195

  111.  A Rustic. Wall Painting from Herculaneum                     196

  112.  Galatea and Polyphemus. Wall Painting in House of
        Germanicus, Rome: _Roscher 9, 1587_                          199

  113.  A Sea-god, perhaps Glaucus. Ancient Marble in Vatican:
        _Baumeister 2, 987_                                          200

  114.  Nereïds and Sea Monsters. Ancient Relief:
        _Baumeister 2, 1216_                                         204

  115.  The Danaïds. Ancient Marble Relief in Vatican:
        _Roscher 6, 951_                                             207

  116.  Danaë and Perseus and the Chest. Greek Vase Painting in St.
        Petersburg: _Harrison-Maccoll, Plate XXXIV_                  208

  117.  Medusa Rondanini (Front View). Ancient Marble in Munich:
        _Furtwängler, Masterpieces, Fig. 63_                         209

  118.  Medusa Rondanini (Profile). Ancient Marble in Munich:
        _Furtwängler, Masterpieces, Fig. 63_                         209

  119.  Perseus. Marble by Cellini in Florence: _Photograph_         210

  120.  Perseus with the Head of Medusa. Ancient Vase Painting:
        _Gerhard_                                                    211

  121.  Perseus finds Andromeda. Ancient Vase Painting in Museum,
        Berlin: _Jahrbuch des D. Arch. Instituts XI (1896),
        Plate II_                                                    212

    Right: Aphrodite holding wreath over Perseus' head. Left:
    Cepheus seated, Hermes with his wand, and an Æthiopian
    inhabitant.

  122.  Bellerophon and Pegasus. Ancient Relief:
        _Baumeister 1, 317_                                          215

  123.  Heracles strangling the Nemean Lion. Greek Vase Painting in
        British Museum: _Baumeister 1, 722_                          217

    Left: Iolaiis and the local nymph Nemea. Right: Athena and
    Hermes.

  124.  Heracles killing the Hydra (behind him Athena and Iolaiis).
        Greek Vase Painting: _Baumeister 1, 724_                     217

  125.  Heracles bringing Home the Boar (Eurystheus hiding in a
        wine jar). Greek Vase Painting: _Harrison-Maccoll,
        Plate XII_                                                   218

  126.  Heracles with the Bull: Metope of the Temple of Zeus at
        Olympia: _Baumeister 2, 1285_                                219

  127.  Heracles and Cerberus. Greek Vase Painting:
        _Baumeister 1, 730_                                          220

    Left: Athena and Hermes. Right: Goddess of the Underworld.

  128.  Heracles and Antæus. Greek Vase Painting in Athens:
        _Harrison-Maccoll, Plate XXIV_                               221

  129.  Hercules and Nessus (Dejanira in Chariot). Wall Painting
        from Pompeii: _Baumeister 1, 733_                            226

  130.  The Building of the Argo, Athene directing. Ancient Terra
        Cotta Relief in the British Museum: _Baumeister 1, 127_      229

  131.  Jason conquers the Bulls and steals the Fleece. Ancient
        Relief in Vienna: _Baumeister 2, 981_                        231

    Center: Æetes seated. Right: Medea assists her lover.

  132.  Medea deliberating upon the Murder of her Children. Wall
        Painting from Herculaneum: _Baumeister 2, 948_               234

  133.  Medea and Daughters of Pelias preparing the Caldron. Ancient
        Marble Relief, Berlin: _Photograph_                          235

  134.  Meleager on the Boar Hunt. Roman Relief:
        _Baumeister 2, 990_                                          238

    Atalanta appears twice,--as before the hunt to the left of the
    central figures, as during the hunt in front of Meleager, and
    shooting an arrow into the boar.

  135.  The Death of Meleager. Roman Sarcophagus in the Louvre:
        _Baumeister 2, 991_                                          241

    Right: the contest between Meleager and his uncles. Left:
    Althæa putting the fateful brand into the fire; behind her
    a Fury whose torch has lighted the fire. Center: the dying
    Meleager, and Atalanta seated mourning.

  136, 137. Castor and Pollux capturing the Giant Talus. Ancient
        Vase Painting: _Baumeister 3, 1804_                244, 245

    Pollux on foot in front of Medea. Seated Deities on right,
    Poseidon and Amphitrite.

  138.  Dædalus and Icarus. Ancient Relief in the Villa Albani,
        Rome: _Roscher 6, 934_                                       247

  139.  So-called Theseus. Greek Marble in the Parthenon:
        _Baumeister 2, 1370_                                         249

  140.  Æthra caresses Theseus and sends him forth with his
        Father's Sword. Greek Vase Painting, St. Petersburg:
        _Harrison-Maccoll, Plate XXII_                               251

  141.  Theseus receiving Thanks from the Rescued after killing the
        Minotaur. Campanian Wall Painting in Naples:
        _Baumeister 3, 1876_                                         252

  142.  The Sleeping Ariadne. Ancient Marble in Vatican:
        _Baumeister 1, 130_                                          254

  143.  Head of Dionysus. Ancient Marble, Leyden:
        _Roscher 7, 1128_                                            256

  144.  The Revels of Bacchus and Ariadne. Roman Sarcophagus:
        _Baumeister 1, 492_                                          257

    Large figures from left to right: Priest, Satyr, Mænad,
    Mercury, Bacchus and Ariadne seated, Satyr, Mænad, priest.
    Small figures: Desire (Himeros) and Love leading Pan captive,
    followed by Silenus.

  145.  Lapith and Centaur fighting. Greek Metope from the
        Parthenon, British Museum: _Photograph_                      259

  146.  [OE]dipus and the Sphinx. Greek Vase Painting:
        _P. Gardner, Grammar of Greek Art, Fig. 70_                  261

  147.  Eteocles and Polynices kill each other. Etruscan Relief,
        Florence: _Baumeister 3, 1841_                               266

  148.  The Gods bring Wedding Gifts. Ancient Relief from the Villa
        Albani, Rome: _Baumeister 1, 759_                            271

    From right to left, married couple, Vulcan, Minerva, the four
    seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn) Hymen with torch, Comus,
    Amor pushing jealous deity away.

  149.  Map of the Troad and the Hellespont                          273

  150.  Helen persuaded by Aphrodite; Paris (Alexander) held by
        Love. Ancient Relief in Naples:
        _E. von Mach, Handbook, Plate 312_                           277

  151.  Achilles taken from Scyros by Ulysses (to the right) and
        Diomedes (to the left). Pompeian Wall Painting, Naples:
        _Roscher 1, 27_                                              279

  152.  The Sacrifice of Iphigenia. Pompeian Wall Painting, Naples:
        _Baumeister 1, 807_                                          281

  153.  The Surrender of Briseïs. Relief by Thorwaldsen:
        _Photograph_                                                 284

  154.  Hector's Farewell. Relief by Thorwaldsen: _Photograph_       291

  155, 156. The Embassy to Achilles. Greek Vase Painting:
        _P. Gardner, Grammar of Greek Art, Fig. 72_        294, 295

    Left section: Briseïs is led away. Right section: Ajax and
    Ulysses, leaning on staff, plead with Achilles; at the right,
    Ph[oe]nix.

  157.  The Battle by the Ships. Greek Vase Painting:
        _Baumeister 1, 783_                                          296

    Perhaps the moment when Ajax retreats. Hector presses upon him
    followed by a youth with a torch. At the extreme right, Paris
    drawing a bow.

  158.  Supposed Menelaüs with the Body of Patroclus. Ancient
        Marble, Florence: _Baumeister 1, 785_                        298

  159.  Contest of Achilles and Hector. Ancient Vase Painting:
        _Baumeister 1, 788_                                          302

    Left: Athene. Right: Apollo.

  160.  Achilles over the Body of Hector at the Tomb of Patroclus
        (whose shade is running above the tomb). Greek Vase
        Painting:  _P. Gardner, Sculptured Tombs, Fig. 40_           303

  161.  Priam's Visit to Achilles (under whose couch lies the body
        of Hector). Greek Vase Painting: _Baumeister 1, 791_         304

    Achilles has been taking his dinner. Servants bear gifts behind
    Priam.

  162.  Achilles and the Amazon Penthesilea. Greek Vase Painting:
        _Baumeister 3, 2123_                                         307

  163.  [OE]none warning Paris not to sail for Greece. Ancient
        Relief, in the Villa Ludovisi, Rome:
        _Baumeister 2, 1360_                                         309

  164.  The Wooden Horse. Ancient Gem: _Baumeister 1, 794_           310

  165, 166. The Sack of Troy. Greek Vase Painting, Naples:
        _Baumeister 1, 795_                                312, 313

    Priam on altar, Astyanax on his lap, and Polites, whom Pyrrhus
    has just killed, at his feet. Pyrrhus is about to strike Priam.
    Behind him rushes Andromache to strike a kneeling soldier.
    Below, under the palm tree, sits Hecuba facing the statue of
    Minerva (a Palladium) behind which Helen is seen to cower. In
    front Cassandra clings to the statue, while Ajax, striding
    over the body of her dead lover, tries to drag her away by the
    hair. To the left, Æneas, with Anchises in his arms, and little
    Ascanius are hastening away.

  167.  Orestes and Electra at the Tomb of Agamemnon. Greek Vase
        Painting: _Baumeister 3, 1939_                               315

  168.  Orestes pursued by Furies. Greek Vase Painting:
        _Baumeister 2, 1313_                                         316

  169.  Orestes and Pylades before the King of the Tauri (Iphigenia
        as a priestess on the steps of the temple). Wall Painting
        from Pompeii, Naples: _Springer,
        Kunstgeschichte, 1, 529_                                     316

  170.  Ulysses offering the Cyclops Wine. Ancient Statuette in the
        Vatican: _Baumeister 2, 1251_                                318

  171.  Boring out the Cyclops' Eye. From an Attic Vase:
        _P. Gardner, Grammar of Greek Art, p. 225_                   322

  172.  Ulysses and Two Companions under the Rams. Greek Vase
        Painting: _Harrison-Maccoll, Plate XXIX_                     323

  173.  The Castle of Circe. Sicilian Vase Painting:
        _Baumeister 2, 839_                                          325

  174.  Ulysses and the Sirens. Greek Vase Painting in the British
        Museum: _P. Gardner, Grammar of Greek Art, p. 227,
        Fig. 78_                                                     329

  175.  Ulysses and Scylla. Etruscan Relief:
        _Baumeister 3, 1762_                                         330

  176.  Penelope at the Loom, and Telemachus. Greek Vase Painting in
        Museum, Chiusi: _Harrison-Maccoll, Plate XLI_                339

  177.  Ulysses recognized by Euryclea (behind him Eumæus). Ancient
        Terra Cotta Relief: _Baumeister 2, 1257_                     341

  178, 179. Ulysses kills the Suitors. Greek Vase Painting, Berlin:
        _Baumeister 3, 2139_                               342, 343

    It will be seen that the suitors are defending themselves.

  180.  The Nike (Victory) of Samothrace. Greek Statue in the
        Louvre: _Von Mach, Greek Sculpture, Plate facing p. 30_      345

  181.  Æneas, Anchises, and Iulus. Ancient Gem, Uffizi, Florence    347

  182.  Scylla (carved end of ancient table). _Chefs d'[OE]uvres
        de l'Art Antique_, Paris, 1867                               349

  183.  The Cumæan Sibyl. Painting by Michelangelo in the Vatican:
        _Photograph_                                                 353

  184.  Ixion on the wheel. Ancient Vase Painting, Berlin:
        _Baumeister 1, Fig. 821_                                     358

    Below, right: Vulcan looking at his handiwork; a Fury and
    Hermes. Above: winged forms, perhaps the Hours, to see that the
    motion is perpetual. One is even now shoving the wheel; the
    other has just taken off her hand to point "your turn."

  185.  Amazon. Ancient Marble Statue: _Guhl and Koner_              364

  186.  Valkyrie bearing a Hero to Valhalla. Painting by Dielitz:
        _Photograph_                                                 375

  187.  Loki and Siguna. Painting by Gebhardt: _Photograph_          393

  188.  Gunther and Brunhild. Fresco by Julius Schnorr von
        Carolsfeld: _Photograph_                                     406

  189.  Siegfried and Kriemhild. Fresco by Julius Schnorr von
        Carolsfeld: _Photograph_                                     407



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                                                                    PAGE

  Lemnian Athena                                            Frontispiece

    Statue, possibly after Phidias, reconstructed by Furtwängler
    from torso in Dresden and head in Bologna: _Photograph_.

  Hera of the Vatican                                                 22

    Ancient Marble in the Vatican: _Photograph_.

  Venus (Aphrodite) of Melos                                          32

    Greek Marble in the Louvre: _Photograph_.

  Greece in the Fifth Century B.C.                                    64

  The Farnese Bull Group: Amphion, Zethus, Dirce, and Antiope         74

    Ancient Marble in Naples: _E. von Mach, Handbook, Fig. 44_.

  Apollo and Daphne                                                  112

    Marble Group by Bernini, Villa Borghese, Rome: _Photograph_.

  Aphrodite (Petworth Head)                                          126

    Ancient Marble in London: _Furtwängler, Masterpieces, Plate
    XVII_.

  Eros with Bow                                                      136

    Ancient Marble in the Capitoline Museum: _Baumeister 1, 539_.

  Hermes of Praxiteles                                               150

    Greek Marble in Olympia: _Photograph_.

  Perseus freeing Andromeda                                          212

    Ancient Relief in the Capitoline Museum: _Roscher 2, 346_.

  The Wedding of Hercules and Hebe                                   226

    Ancient Apulian Vase Painting in Berlin: _Baumeister 1, 700_.

  Amazon                                                             306

    Ancient Marble in Lansdowne House: _Photograph_.

  Laocoön                                                            310

    Greek Marble in the Vatican: _Photograph_.

  The Outer Geography of the Odyssey                                 318

  Flying Mercury                                                     330

    Statue by Giovanni di Bologna in Florence: _Photograph_.

  Italy before the Growth of the Roman Empire                        346

  The Victory (Nike) of Brescia                                      372

    Ancient Bronze Statue: _E. von Mach, Greek Sculpture, Plate
    XXXV, No. 4_.



INTRODUCTION

THE STUDY OF MYTHOLOGY IN CONNECTION WITH ENGLISH POETRY AND WITH ART


Our American educational methods too frequently seek to produce the
effect of polish upon a kind of sandstone information that will
not stand polishing. With such fatuity many of our teachers in the
secondary schools exercise their pupils in the study of English
masterpieces and in the critical estimate of æsthetic qualities
before acquainting them with the commonplace facts and fables that,
transmitted through generations, are the material of much of our poetry
because the material of daily converse, imagination, and thought. These
commonplaces of tradition are to be found largely in the literature
of mythology. Of course the evil would be neither so widespread nor
so dangerous if more of the guardians and instructors of our youth
were at home even among the Greek and Latin classics. But for various
reasons,--some valid, as, for instance, the importance of increased
attention to the modern languages and the natural sciences; others
worthless, as the so-called utilitarian protest against the cultivation
of "dead" languages,--for various reasons the study of the classics
is at present considerably impaired. It is, therefore, incumbent upon
our universities and schools, recognizing this fact and deploring it,
to abate so far as possible the unfortunate consequences that proceed
therefrom, until, by a readjustment of subjects of instruction and
of the periods allotted them, the Greek and Latin classics shall be
reinstated in their proper place as a means of discipline, a humanizing
influence, the historic background against which our present appears.
For, cut off from the intellectual and imaginative sources of Greece
and Rome, the state and statesmanship, legislation and law, society
and manners, philosophy, religion, literature, art, and even artistic
appreciation, run readily shallow and soon dry.

Now, one evident means of tempering the consequence of this neglect
of the classics is the study of them through translations and
summaries. Such secondhand study must indeed be ever a makeshift; for
the literature of a people inheres in its language, and loses its
seeming and often its characteristic when caparisoned in the trappings
of another speech,--an utterance totally dissimilar, the outcome
of diverse conditions of physical environment, history, social and
intellectual tradition. But in dealing with the purely imaginative
products of antiquity, the inefficacy of translation may be somewhat
offset if those products be reproduced, so far as possible, not in the
prosaic but in the poetic atmosphere and in the imaginative garb of
art. For though the phenomena of plastic art are not the same in one
continent as in another, or from one century to the next, and though
the fashion of poetry itself varies from age to age and from clime
to clime, the genesis of imagination is universal, its products are
akin, and its process is continuous. For this reason the study of the
imaginative thought of the ancients through the artistic creations
of the moderns is commended to students and readers as feasible and
profitable.

The study of the classic myths stimulates to creative production,
prepares for the appreciation of poetry and other kinds of art, and
furnishes a clew to the spiritual development of the race.

1. Classic mythology has been for succeeding poetry, sculpture, and
painting, a treasure house replete with golden tales and glimmering
thoughts, passions in the rough and smooth, and fancies rich bejeweled.
Like Virgil's Shadows that flit by the Lethean stream until at beck
of Fate they revisit upper day and the ever-tranquil stars, these
ghosts of "far-off things and battles long ago," peopling the murmurous
glades of myth, await the artist who shall bestow on each his new and
predetermined form and restore them, purified and breathing of Elysian
air, to the world of life and ever-young mankind.

2. For the reader the study of mythology does, in this respect, as
much as for poet, sculptor, or painter. It assists him to thrid the
labyrinth of art, not merely with the clew of tradition, but with a
thread of surer knowledge whose surest strand is sympathy.

The knowledge of mythic lore has led men in the past broadly to
appreciate the motives and conditions of ancient art and literature,
and the uniform and ordered evolution of the æsthetic sense. And,
beside enriching us with heirlooms of fiction and pointing us to the
sources of imaginative joy from which early poets of Hellenic verse,
or Norse, or English, drank, the classic myths quicken the imaginative
and emotional faculties to-day, just as of old. How many a man held
by the sorrows of the Labdacidæ or the love of Alcestis, by some
curious wonder in Pausanias, or some woe in Hyginus, has waked to the
consciousness of artistic fancy and creative force within himself!
How many, indifferent to the well-known round, the trivial task, the
nearest care of home, have read the Farewell to Andromache and lived a
new sympathy, an unselfish thrill, a purified delight! And not only as
an impulse toward artistic output, or patriotic devotion, or domestic
altruism, but as a restraining influence, a chastener of æsthetic
excess, a moderator of the "unchartered freedom" that knows no mean
between idolatry and loathing, of the foolish frenzy that affects new
things, abnormal and sensational, in literature, music, and the plastic
arts,--as such a tutor and governor is the study of beautiful myths
invaluable. Long familiarity with the sweet simplicity, the orderly
restraint, the severe regard, the filial awe that pervade the myths
of Greece and Rome,--or with the newness of life and fullness and
wonder of it, the naïveté and the romance, of Eddic lore,--cannot but
graciously temper our modern estimate of artistic worth.

The study, when illustrated by masterpieces of literature and art,
should lead to the appreciation of concrete artistic productions of
both these kinds.

It goes without saying that a rational series of somewhat consecutive
stories is more serviceable to the reader than a congeries of data
acquired by spasmodic consultation of the classical dictionary,--a
mass of information bolted, as it were, but by no means digested. If,
moreover, these stories are narrated in genealogical and realistic
sequence and are illustrated by lyric, narrative, and descriptive
passages of modern literature, there is furnished not only that
material of allusion and reference for which the student nowadays
trusts to meager and disjointed textbook notes, but a potentiality
that should render the general reading of _belles-lettres_ more
profitable. For a previous acquaintance with the material of literary
tradition heightens the appreciation of each allusive passage as it is
encountered; it enables the reader to sympathize with the mood and to
enter into the purpose of the poet, the essayist, the novelist, the
orator; it expands the intellectual lungs for the atmosphere breathed
by the artist, at any rate for a literary and social atmosphere
less asthmatic than that to which so many of us are unconsciously
habituated. Of course all this advantage would far better result
from the first-hand nutriment and discipline of the Greek and Latin
classics; of course direct familiarity with the writers of Greece
and Rome is the _sine qua non_ of level-headed criticism and broad
evaluation of modern literature; and, of course, a sympathy with the
imaginings of old is the best incentive to an æsthetic estimate not
only of art but of nature to-day; but if our American pupils and many
of their teachers cannot quaff Massic and Falernian, they do well
to scent the bouquet. In time a sense of flavor may perchance be
stimulated, and ultimately a desire for nearer acquaintance with the
literatures that we inherit.

The study of these ancient tales serves, then, much more than the
purpose of special information. It refines the æsthetic judgment in
general, and heightens the enjoyment of such works of literature
as, not treating of mythical or classical subjects, still possess
the characteristics of the classic: the unconscious simplicity,
the inevitable charm, and the noble ideality. The Lycidas, the
Adonais, the Thyrsis, the In Memoriam, the Ode to Duty, the Bothie of
Tober-na-Vuolich, the Hymn of Man, Love is Enough, Prospice, Festus,
the Ode of Life, the Dream of Gerontius, Lying in the Grass, and
Simmenthal must mean little to one devoid of the spirit of classicism.

In respect of art a similar inspiration, aid, instruction, are afforded
by the study. This volume is liberally supplied with cuts of famous
paintings and sculptures of mythical subjects. Familiarity with
specimens of ancient art, even through the medium of photography and
engraving, must not only cultivate the historic sense but stimulate
the æsthetic. The cruder efforts of the ancients, no less than the
more refined, are windows through which we view the ancient mind.
The frequent contemplation of their nobler efforts and of the modern
masterpieces here reproduced may avail to lift some from the level of
apathy or provinciality in matters of imagination; some it may spur to
a study of the originals, some to artistic creation. A public which,
from year to year, displays a deeper interest in the art of foreign
lands will despise no auxiliary to a more intelligent appreciation of
that art. A country whose future in artistic achievement cannot be
prophesied in a paragraph will more and more truly recognize the value
of a study that is an introduction to much that is best in art as it
exists.

3. Furthermore, it must be borne in mind that the myths of the
ancients, as the earliest literary crystallization of social order and
religious fear, record the incipient history of religious ideals and
of moral conduct. For though ethnologists may insist that to search
for truth _in_ mythology is vain, the best of them will grant that to
search for truth _through_ mythology is wise and profitable. If we
accept the statement (often stretched beyond its proper limit) that
mythology is primitive philosophy, and the other statement that an
ancient philosophy never dies, but by process of internal growth, of
modification, and of accretion acquires a purer spirit and a new and
higher form,--then, since truth was never yet conceived of error (_ex
nihilo nihil fit_), the truth now recognized, while it did not exist
in that fraction of myth which happens to be irrational, existed as an
archetypal impulse,--set the myth in motion, and, as a process refining
the mind of man, tended steadily to eliminate from primitive philosophy
(that is, from the myths that embodied primitive philosophy) the
savage, ephemeral, and irrational element. For all myths spring from
the universal and inalienable desire to know, to enjoy, to teach. These
impulses of knowledge, of imaginative relaxation, of conduct, are the
throbbing of the heart of reason; the first or the second is the primal
pulse of every myth, and to the life of every myth each impulse may be,
at some period, contributory. This study has led men to trace soberly
the progress of their kind from the twilight of gray conjecture to the
dawn of spiritual conviction and rational individuality; to discern a
continuity of thought, an outward reach of imagination, an upward lift
of moral and religious ideas; to confess the brotherhood of humanity
and an inspiring purpose which holds good for every race and through
all time.


SUGGESTIONS TO TEACHERS

1. _Of the Classic Myths in their Relation to Literature._ It is
essential that the teacher of mythology, no matter what textbook
or system he uses or what classic epic he proposes to present,
should first make himself acquainted with the meaning of myth, its
origin and elements; the difference between myth and fable, between
myths explanatory and myths æsthetic, myths reasonable and myths
unreasonable, the theories of myth-making as a process of deterioration
or as a process of development. He should also inform himself
concerning the ways in which the leading myths have been disseminated,
and how the survivors have been preserved. Materials for this
preparation he will find in Chapters XXX-XXXII of this book as readily,
perhaps, as elsewhere; but no matter where he obtains this information
he should in a simple and interesting talk pass on the cream of it
to the pupils about to begin the study of the stories themselves. He
will in that way bring them to a reasonable appreciation of the value
of myths and their relation to our civilization, and awaken in them
anticipatory interest in the proposed reading. It is a great mistake to
plunge students of high-school age, without preliminary orientation and
a justification of the study, into a world which may otherwise appear
to them unreasonable in conception and unrelated in experience. Pupils
may, if time permits, read these concluding chapters, and so obtain
a systematic outlook upon the subject, during a brief review in the
senior year, but not earlier.

This book should be studied for its materials and the inspiration
that it affords,--not word by word for its style, or as a dictionary
or scientific authority; nor paragraph by paragraph with a painful
committing to memory of each myth and each episode in the myth.
Discrimination must be made. Some of these myths, and especially the
episodes from the epics (Chapters XXII-XXIX), are to be read rapidly
and in large assignments, sometimes at home with reports in class,
sometimes in class and at sight, but always for the enjoyment. Others
are to be studied in detail, but solely when they are of special and
vital significance, historically, morally, or æsthetically. Emphasis
should be laid only occasionally and sparingly upon interpretations of
mythical materials. What both teacher and student should aim at is the
picture--manners, morals, ideals, heroic figures, epic events, broad
and vivid against the canvas of antiquity: that, and the reality of
classic order, grandeur, and restraint.

The myths are here presented in a logical and genealogical arrangement;
and they should be studied in this order, so that the pupil may carry
away, not a jumble of sporadic recollections, but some conception
of the systems of creative imagination which obtained in earlier
civilizations. The knowledge of the myths and the proper perspective
of their relation, one to another, may further be fixed by the study
of the family ties that motivate many of the incidents of mythical
adventure, and that must have been commonplaces of information to the
inventors and narrators of these stories.

The myths may well be reproduced as exercises in narration, comparison,
description; and they may be regarded as stimulus for imaginative
invention concerning local wonders and beauties of nature. Pupils
may also be encouraged to consider, and to comment upon, the moral
qualities of the heroes and heroines of mythology. Thus they may be led
to recognize the difference between ancient and modern standards of
right and wrong. To this end, and for the supply of further nutriment,
it is important that teachers collect from their reading of the
classic originals, or from translations of the Iliad, the Odyssey,
the Greek dramatists, the Æneid, the Metamorphoses, etc., material
supplementary to the text, and give it freely to their classes. To
facilitate this practice the sources of the myths have been indicated
in the footnotes of this volume, and a few of the best translations
have been mentioned in the Commentary. Instructors should also read to
the classes illustrative English poems, or portions of them based upon
the myths under consideration; and they should encourage the pupils to
collect from their English reading additional examples of the literary
survival or adaptation of ancient story. For this purpose special
sections of the Commentary have been prepared, indicating some of the
best known literary applications of each myth.

The Commentary is numbered in sections corresponding to those of the
text. The Textual Notes should be studied in connection with each
lesson, the Interpretative more sparingly, as I have said. They should
not be suffered to spoil the interest in the stories as such. They
are of interest in themselves only to maturer minds. Allusions and
interpretations which the younger pupil does not appreciate will, if
the book is used for purposes of reference in his further English,
Latin, or Greek studies, be clear before the end of his course.

From the outset care should be taken that pupils give to the classical
names their proper accent, and that they anglicize both vowels and
consonants according to the recognized rules laid down in the Latin
grammars, the English dictionaries, and the pages preceding the Index
of this book.

Mythological and classical geography should not be neglected. The maps
accompanying this volume will be serviceable; but there should be
in the classroom one of Kiepert's maps of the World as Known to the
Ancients (Orbis Veteribus Notus), or maps of Ancient Italy, Greece,
and Asia Minor. The teacher will find the International Atlas (G.
P. Putnam's Sons, New York), A. Keith Johnston's School and College
Atlas of Ancient Geography, or the new edition of the same by James
Cranstoun, issued as Ginn and Company's Classical Atlas, indispensable
in the prosecution of general reading.

When it is the intention to study, in connection with the book,
an Homeric epic or a portion of it, the teacher should first make
sure that the class has an adequate preliminary training in general
mythology (such, for instance, as may be provided by the first
twenty-one chapters); he should then outline rapidly and entertainingly
the epic as a whole, emphasizing its position in the literature of the
world and its relation to the world of its own times, before proceeding
to read it in detail with the class. Excellent suggestions as to this
method of study are offered in the Introduction to Maxwell & Chubb's
Pope's Homer's Iliad, Books I, VI, XXII, and XXIV (Longmans), and in
the Introduction to the Riverside Edition of the Odyssey: Ulysses among
the Phæacians (Houghton Mifflin Company).

The more important myths and the best illustrative poems should provide
not only nutriment for thought, but material for memory. Our youth in
the push for hasty achievement bolt their meals; they masticate little,
swallow everything, digest nothing,--and having agonized, forget. If
fewer things were dispatched, especially in the study of literature,
and if more were intrusted to the memory, there would be something to
assimilate and time to assimilate it; there would be less dyspepsia and
more muscle. Teachers and parents are over-considerate, nowadays, of
the memory in children: they approach it gingerly; they have feared so
much to wring its withers that in most children the memory has grown
too soft for saddling. In our apprehension lest pupils may turn out
parrots, we have too often turned them out loons. It is better that a
few of the facts in their heads be wrong than that no facts be there
at all. With all our study of children and our gabble about methods
of teaching them, while we insist, properly enough, that youth is the
seedtime of observation, we seem to have forgotten that it is also the
harvest-time of memory. It is easy for children to remember what they
learn, it is a delight for them to commit to memory; we act criminally
when we send them forth with hardly a fact or a date or a glorious
verse in the memory of one out of ten of them. Such, unfortunately,
is the case in many of our schools; and such was not the case in the
day of our fathers. Pupils should be encouraged to recite _memoriter_
the best poems and verses that accompany the myths here given; and
they should not be allowed to pass allusions already explained without
recalling verses that contain them.

But above all things should be cultivated, by means of this study, the
spiritual capabilities of our youth. _Pabulum_ for thought, accurate
habits of memory, critical judgment, simplicity and directness of oral
and written expression, may all be furnished or developed by other
educative agencies; but what stimulus to fancy, to poetic sensitiveness
and reflection, to a near kinship with the spirit of nature humanized,
can be found more cogent than the contemplation of the poetic
traditions that abide in verse? Mythology, fraught with the fire of
imagination, kindles the present from the past.

In this new world of ours, shall slopes and mountains, gorges, cañons,
flowery fields and forests, rivers, bays, Titanic lakes, and shoreless
reach of ocean be seen of eyes that lack insight, be known of men for
whom nature does not live? Surely the age of myth is not wholly past;
surely the beauties and the wonders of nature are a fable of things
never fully revealed; surely this new republic of ours, no less than
her prototypes by Tyrrhenian and Ægean seas, utters, in her queenly
form and flowing robes, a spirit, a truth, a potential poetry, and a
beauty of art, the grace of which we Americans, with deeper imaginative
training and sympathy and awe, may yet more highly value and more
clearly comprehend.

2. _Of the Classic Myths in their Relation to Art._[1] The illustration
of a book on ancient mythology offers great difficulties, because
the modern reader expects one thing and the ancient artist, on whose
works one must rely, intentionally offers a very different thing. We
have grown to be a reading people, forming our ideas largely on the
written word, while in antiquity the spoken word opened the door to
understanding. A story which has been committed to writing is fixed
for all time, having lost its power of growth; whereas a tale that
passes from mouth to mouth, with no record by which to check its
accuracy in particulars, is free to expand. It changes with the moods
of those who tell it, and the intellectual and moral standards of those
who listen. People to-day are unimaginative and literal. They also
expect that the pictures which illustrate their books shall follow
the individual conceptions of the author closely. When the story is
dramatized a certain latitude is granted to the actor; the artist,
however, who illustrates the book has no such freedom. He is expected
to take precisely the author's view of a fictitious character, and,
consequently, his individuality may show itself only in the technique.
In antiquity there were no standard books of fiction or of myths.
When writing came into use with the sixth century before Christ, the
individual versions of this or that great epic poem or drama were
preserved; but the great mass of the people knew them, not because they
had read the manuscripts, but because they had heard them acted or
recited. Book illustrations, therefore, were unknown. Yet so powerful
was the impression which the myths made on the people that most of
the artists drew their inspiration from them. Artists and poets alike
wished to make real the powerful characters of Greek tradition. To make
a literally true illustration of any one version of a great myth was
not the aim of a classic artist.

Another difficulty is found in the fact that few ancient myths
continued to be equally interesting to the people all the time. It is
therefore necessary for us, in choosing illustrations, to draw on all
periods of ancient art, the crude beginning and the decline as well as
the brief span of fine art. The comparatively meager store of genuinely
classic works of art acts as one of the greatest obstacles to the
compilation of a continuous record of classic myths in classic art.
To give such a record, however, rather than to _illustrate_ his book,
must be the aim of the author who publishes to-day a version of ancient
mythology together with such pictures or reliefs or statues as are
preserved. The modern reader of such a book should therefore appreciate
this fact: he must make allowance for the gradual development of
ancient art. The picture is not there for the sake of strengthening
the written work, but for its own sake. It often offers an independent
version of the myth which he reads, and at all times may give him an
insight into the mental make-up of the classic people.

Sculpture was the finest art of the Greeks, if one may judge by the
remains. In this province the artists worked according to the best
principles of art, making their appeal directly to the nobler side
of man. Before an ancient statue one feels the power of an idea
immediately, and not by the circuitous route of remembering a sequence
of words which may have aimed to suggest a similar idea. The Greeks
were the least literal in their sculpture. Their marbles, therefore,
cannot yield _illustrations_ which the modern editor can use, except
when they embody, like the Demeter of Knidos (Fig. 29) or the Athena
of Velletri (Fig. 10), a well-defined character-conception. The modern
reader, on the other hand, cannot fail to notice that this conception
never does justice to the character of the goddess as it appears in
all the myths, and very rarely even to that characteristic which may
dominate the particular version of any one myth. If such pictures,
however, were entirely omitted from the book, the best means of
appreciating the essential nobility of the Greek mind would be lost.

None of the Greek masterpieces of painting are extant. Their attenuated
influence, however, may be traced in the Italian wall paintings from
Pompeii and elsewhere. Painting permits greater literalness than
sculpture. The picture from Herculaneum, for instance,--Io, Argus,
and Mercury (Fig. 47),--tells a definite story and one which is also
told by the poets. But the painter has considered the making of a
pleasing picture first, and given only a secondary thought to accuracy
of tradition. This must be so; for while we may without displeasure
listen to the description of a monster, we cannot see his actual
representation without discomfort. When we hear how the companions
of Ulysses were turned into swine, the tragic note is never lost. To
paint this scene, however, and not to border on the ridiculous or
the burlesque is given only to the greatest artist--if it is at all
possible.

Fortunately for our purposes of illustration, there was a class of
secondary artists in Greece which did not always shrink from selecting
subjects ill adapted for art, and from rendering them with slight
variations so that they are neither bad to look at nor altogether
untrue. These were the painters of vases. Some of them were masters of
their craft (cf. Fig. 116), others were of only mediocre skill. All,
however, like their nobler brethren, were primarily concerned with the
decorative and technical side of their art and but secondarily with
their subject. If the story, for instance, called for four persons and
their space for five, they unhesitatingly added the fifth person, and,
vice versa, removed one without compunction if they had place for fewer
figures than the story demanded. Being, moreover, commercial people,
they painted according to fashion. Whatever version of a myth happened
to be popular, that they selected, so that it has been possible to
trace by their vases the changes which several myths underwent from the
sixth century onward.

A careful student notices the similarity of types in many of these
pictures and realizes that the ancient painter of vases started out
with a certain stock-in-trade which he altered as little as possible,
adding something new only where it was absolutely necessary.

From these observations it is clear that the works of men who were
least gifted artistically are the best adapted for the purposes of book
illustrations; for a painter is literal in the inverse ratio of his
worth as artist. Nothing, therefore, could be less fair than to judge
Greek vase painting by the collection of pictures here offered. Only
paintings like Figures 85 and 101, for instance, can give a hint of the
best that these men produced.

Going gradually down the scale of artists one finally comes to the
level of the makers of Roman sarcophagi, in whose honor it can only be
said that to descend lower is impossible. Several myths, however,--the
story of the fall of Phaëthon (Fig. 59), for instance,--are not
illustrated in art before the decadent period of imperial Roman
sculpture. It is therefore necessary to draw also upon this source.

Of course unity of art or school or excellence cannot be preserved in
a set of pictures which groups the Demeter of Knidos (Fig. 29), the
blinding of Polyphemus (Fig. 171), and the fall of Phaëthon (Fig. 59).
But individually the pictures help to fix in memory the particular
stories that they are chosen to illustrate; and collectively they
show how strongly the myths here retold influenced the noblest fancy
of the great artists as well as the receptive minds of mediocre
artisans. The suggestive power of classic myths, moreover, was not
confined to antiquity. When learning and culture returned to the world
in the Renaissance, this power also returned. Raphael (see Fig. 12)
and Michelangelo (see Fig. 183) were under its sway, and so are many
modern artists (see Figs. 72 and 154). They did not all understand the
classic spirit equally, therefore some of their pictures are modern
in everything save the title, while others have caught the truth with
singular accuracy and are modern only in technique. Adding these
Italian and more recent pictures to the collection further destroys
mere unity, but it insures, on the other hand, a full appreciation of
the abiding and ennobling power of ancient mythology.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] See Preface.

THE CLASSIC MYTHS



PART I

MYTHS OF DIVINITIES AND HEROES



CHAPTER I

GREEK MYTHS OF THE CREATION


=1. Purpose of the Study.= Interwoven with the fabric of our English
literature, of our epics, dramas, lyrics, and novels, of our essays
and orations, like a golden warp where the woof is only too often of
silver, are the myths of certain ancient nations. It is the purpose of
this work to relate some of these myths, and to illustrate the uses to
which they have been put in English literature, and, incidentally, in
art.

=2. The Fable and the Myth.= Careful discrimination must be made
between the fable and the myth. A fable is a story, like that of
King Log, or the Fox and the Grapes, in which characters and plot,
neither pretending to reality nor demanding credence, are fabricated
confessedly as the vehicle of moral or didactic instruction. Dr.
Johnson narrows still further the scope of the fable: "It seems to
be, in its genuine state, a narrative in which _beings_ _irrational,
and sometimes inanimate_, are, for the purpose of moral instruction,
feigned to act and speak with human interests and passions." Myths,
on the other hand, are stories of anonymous origin, prevalent among
primitive peoples and by them accepted as true, concerning supernatural
beings and events, or natural beings and events influenced by
supernatural agencies. Fables are made by individuals; they may be told
in any stage of a nation's history,--by a Jotham when the Israelites
were still under the Judges, 1200 years before Christ, or by Christ
himself in the days of the most critical Jewish scholarship; by a
Menenius when Rome was still involved in petty squabbles of plebeians
and patricians, or by Phædrus and Horace in the Augustan age of Roman
imperialism and Roman letters; by an Æsop, well-nigh fabulous, to
fabled fellow-slaves and Athenian tyrants, or by La Fontaine to the
Grand Monarch and the most highly civilized race of seventeenth-century
Europe.

Fables are vessels made to order into which a lesson may be poured.
Myths are born, not made. They are born in the infancy of a people.
They owe their features not to any one historic individual, but to
the imaginative efforts of generations of story-tellers. The myth
of Pandora, the first woman, endowed by the immortals with heavenly
graces, and of Prometheus, who stole fire from heaven for the use of
man; the myth of the earthborn giants that in the beginning contested
with the gods the sovereignty of the universe; of the moon-goddess who,
with her buskined nymphs, pursues the chase across the azure of the
heavens, or descending to earth cherishes the youth Endymion,--these
myths, germinating in some quaint and childish interpretation of
natural events or in some fireside fancy, have put forth unconsciously,
under the nurture of the simple folk that conceived and tended them,
luxuriant branches and leaves of narrative, and blossoms of poetic
comeliness and form.

The myths that we shall relate present wonderful accounts of the
creation, histories of numerous divine beings, adventures of heroes
in which magical and ghostly agencies play a part, and where animals
and inanimate nature don the attributes of men and gods. Many of these
myths treat of divinities once worshiped by the Greeks and the Romans,
and by our Norse and German forefathers in the dark ages. Myths, more
or less like these, may be found in the literatures of nearly all
nations; many are in the memories and mouths of savage races at this
time existent. But the stories here narrated are no longer believed by
any one. The so-called divinities of Olympus and of Asgard have not a
single worshiper among men. They dwell only in the realm of memory and
imagination; they are enthroned in the palace of art.

The stories of Greek, Roman, Norse, and German mythology that have
most influenced our English literature will follow in the order
named. The Romans, being by nature a practical, not a poetic, people,
incorporated in their literature the mythology of the Greeks. We shall,
however, append to our description of the Greek gods a brief account
of the native Latin divinities that retained an individuality in Roman
literature.

[Illustration: FIG. 1. JUPITER SURVEYING THE WORLD]

=3. Origin of the World.=[2] There were among the Greeks several
accounts of the beginning of things. Homer tells us that River Ocean,
a deep and mighty flood, encircling land and sea like a serpent with
its tail in its mouth, was the source of all. According to other myths
Night and Darkness were the prime elements of Nature, and from them
sprang Light. Still a third theory, attributed to Orpheus, asserts
that Time was in the beginning, but had himself no beginning; that
from him proceeded Chaos, a yawning abyss wherein brooded Night and
Mist and fiery air, or Æther; that Time caused the mist to spin round
the central fiery air till the mass, assuming the form of a huge world
egg, flew, by reason of its rapid rotation, into halves. Of these, one
was Heaven, the other Earth. From the center of the egg proceeded Eros
(Love) and other wondrous beings.

But the most consistent account of the origin of the world and of the
gods is given by the poet Hesiod, who tells us that Chaos, the yawning
abyss, composed of Void, Mass, and Darkness in confusion, preceded all
things else. Next came into being broad-bosomed Earth, and beautiful
Love who should rule the hearts of gods and men. But from Chaos itself
issued Erebus,[3] the mysterious darkness that is under Earth,--and
Night, dwelling in the remote regions of sunset.

From Mother Earth proceeded first the starry vault of Heaven, durable
as brass or iron, where the gods were to take up their abode. Earth
brought forth next the mountains and fertile fields, the stony plains,
the sea, and the plants and animals that possess them.

=4. Origin of the Gods.= So far we have a history of the throes and
changes of the physical world; now begins the history of gods and
of men. For in the heart of creation Love begins to stir, making of
material things creatures male and female, and bringing them together
by instinctive affinity. First Erebus and Night, the children of Chaos,
are wedded, and from them spring Light and Day; then _Uranus_, the
personified Heaven, takes _Gæa_, the Earth, to wife, and from their
union issue Titans and hundred-handed monsters and Cyclopes.

The _Titans_[4] appear to be the personification of mighty convulsions
of the physical world, of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. They
played a quarrelsome part in mythical history; they were instigators of
hatred and strife. Homer mentions specially two of them, Iapetus and
Cronus; but Hesiod enumerates thirteen. Of these, the more important
are Oceanus and Tethys, Hyperion and Thea, Cronus and Rhea, Iapetus,
Themis, and Mnemosyne. The three _Cyclopes_ represented the terrors
of rolling thunder, of the lightning-flash, and of the thunderbolt;
and, probably, for this reason, one fiery eye was deemed enough for
each. The hundred-handed monsters, or _Hecatonchires_, were also three
in number. In them, probably, the Greeks imaged the sea with its
multitudinous waves, its roar, and its breakers that seem to shake the
earth. These lightning-eyed, these hundred-handed monsters, their
father Uranus feared, and attempted to destroy by thrusting them into
Tartarus, the profound abysm of the earth. Whereupon Mother Earth, or
Gæa, indignant, called for help upon her elder children, the Titans.
None dared espouse her cause save Cronus, the crafty. With an iron
sickle he lay in wait for his sire, fell upon him, and drove him,
grievously wounded, from the encounter. From the blood of the mutilated
Uranus leaped into being the Furies, whose heads writhe with serpents;
the Giants, a novel race of monsters; and the Melic Nymphs, invidious
maidens of the ashen spear.

=5. The Rule of Cronus.= Now follows the reign of Cronus, lord of
Heaven and Earth. He is, from the beginning, of incalculable years. In
works of art his head is veiled, to typify his cunning and his reserve;
he bears the sickle not only as memento of the means by which he
brought his father's tyranny to end, but as symbol of the new period of
growth and golden harvests that he ushered in.

For unknown ages Cronus and Rhea, his sister-queen, governed Heaven
and Earth. To them were born three daughters, Vesta, Ceres, and Juno,
and three sons, Pluto, Neptune, and Jupiter. Cronus, however, having
learned from his parents that he should be dethroned by one of his own
children, conceived the well-intentioned but ill-considered device
of swallowing each as it was born. His queen, naturally desirous of
discouraging the practice,--when it came to the turn of her sixth
child, palmed off on the insatiable Cronus a stone carefully enveloped
in swaddling clothes. Jupiter (or Zeus), the rescued infant, was
concealed in the island of Crete, where, nurtured by the nymphs
Adrastea and Ida, and fed on the milk of the goat Amalthea, he in due
season attained maturity. Then, assisted by his grandmother Gæa, he
constrained Cronus to disgorge the burden of his cannibal repasts.
First came to light the memorable stone, which was placed in safe
keeping at Delphi; then the five brothers and sisters of Jupiter,
ardent to avenge themselves upon the unnatural author of their
existence and their captivity.

=6. The War of the Titans.= In the war which ensued Iapetus and all
the Titans, except Oceanus, ranged themselves on the side of their
brother Cronus against Jupiter and his recently recovered kinsfolk.
Jupiter and his hosts held Mount Olympus. For ages victory wavered in
the balance. Finally Jupiter, acting again under the advice of Gæa,
released from Tartarus, where Uranus had confined them, the Cyclopes
and the Hecatonchires. Instantly they hastened to the battle-field
of Thessaly, the Cyclopes to support Jupiter with their thunders
and lightnings, the hundred-handed monsters with the shock of the
earthquake. Provided with such artillery, shaking earth and sea,
Jupiter issued to the onslaught. With the gleam of the lightning the
Titans were blinded, by the earthquake they were laid low, with the
flames they were well-nigh consumed: overpowered and fettered by the
hands of the Hecatonchires, they were consigned to the yawning cave of
Tartarus. Atlas, the son of Iapetus, was doomed to bear the heavens on
his shoulders. But a more famous son of the same Titan, Prometheus, who
had espoused the cause of Jove, acquired dignity hereafter to be set
forth.

=7. The Division of Empire.= In the council of the gods that succeeded,
Jupiter was chosen Sovereign of the World. He delegated to his brother
Neptune (or Poseidon) the kingdom of the sea and of all the waters; to
his brother Pluto (or Hades), the government of the underworld, dark,
unseen, mysterious, where the spirits of the dead should dwell, and
of Tartarus, wherein were held the fallen Titans. For himself Jupiter
retained Earth and the Heaven, into whose broad and sunny regions
towered Olympus, the favored mountain of the greater gods.[5]

=8. The Reign of Jupiter.= New conflicts, however, awaited this new
dynasty of Heaven--conflicts, the subject of many a tale among the
ancients. Gæa, though she had aided her grandson Jupiter in the war
against Cronus, was soon seized with compunctions of conscience; and
contemplating the cruel fate of her sons the Titans, she conceived
schemes of vengeance upon their conqueror. Another son was born to
her--_Typhon_, a monster more awful than his predecessors--whose
destiny it was to dispute the sway of the almighty Zeus. From the neck
of Typhon dispread themselves a hundred dragon-heads; his eyes shot
fire, and from his black-tongued chaps proceeded the hissing of snakes,
the bellowing of bulls, the roaring of lions, the barking of dogs,
pipings and screams, and, at times, the voice and utterance of the gods
themselves. Against Heaven this horror lifted himself; but quailing
before the thunderbolt of Jove, he too descended to Tartarus, his own
place and the abode of his brethren. To this day, however, he grumbles
and hisses, thrusts upward a fiery tongue through the crater of a
volcano, or, breathing siroccos, scorches trees and men.

[Illustration: FIG. 2. ATHENA AND GIANT]

Later still, the _Giants_, offspring of the blood that fell from the
wounded Uranus, renewed the revolt against the Olympian gods. They were
creatures nearer akin to men than were the Titans, or the Cyclopes,
or Typhon. They clothed themselves in the skins of beasts, and armed
themselves with rocks and trunks of trees. Their bodies and lower
limbs were of snakes. They were awful to encounter or to look upon.
They were named, like men, the _earthborn_; and their characteristics
would suggest some prehistoric brutish race, hotheaded, not amenable
to reason.[6] Of the Giants, the more mighty were Alcyoneus of the
winter storms and icebergs, Pallas, and Enceladus, and Porphyrion
the fire-king,--leader of the crew. In the war against them, Juno
and Minerva, divinities of the new dynasty of Heaven, took active
part,--and Hercules, an earthly son of Jupiter, whose arrows aided
in their defeat. It was from the overthrow of Pallas that Athena (or
Minerva) derived, according to certain records, her proud designation
of Pallas-Athena.[7] In due course, like the Titans and Typhon, the
Giants were buried in the abyss of eternal darkness. What other outcome
can be expected when mere physical or brute force joins issue with the
enlightened and embattled hosts of heaven?

[Illustration: FIG. 3. ZEUS AND GIANTS]

=9. The Origin of Man= was a question which the Greeks did not settle
so easily as the Hebrews. Greek traditions do not trace all mankind
to an original pair. On the contrary, the generally received opinion
was that men grew out of trees and stones, or were produced by the
rivers or the sea. Some said that men and gods were both derived from
Mother Earth, hence both _autochthonous_; and some, indeed, claimed
an antiquity for the human race equal to that of the divinities. All
narratives, however, agree in one statement,--that the gods maintained
intimate relations with men until, because of the growing sinfulness
and arrogance of mankind, it became necessary for the immortals to
withdraw their favor.

=10. Prometheus, a Creator.= There is a story which attributes the
making of man to Prometheus, whose father Iapetus had, with Cronus,
opposed the sovereignty of Jupiter. In that conflict, Prometheus,
gifted with prophetic wisdom, had adopted the cause of the Olympian
deities. To him and his brother Epimetheus was now committed the
office of making man and providing him and all other animals with the
faculties necessary for their preservation. Prometheus was to overlook
the work of Epimetheus. Epimetheus proceeded to bestow upon the
different animals the various gifts of courage, strength, swiftness,
sagacity; wings to one, claws to another, a shelly covering to a third.
But Prometheus himself made a nobler animal than these. Taking some
earth and kneading it with water, he made man in the image of the gods.
He gave him an upright stature, so that while other animals turn their
faces toward the earth, man gazes on the stars. Then since Epimetheus,
always rash, and thoughtful when too late, had been so prodigal of his
gifts to other animals that no blessing was left worth conferring upon
the noblest of creatures, Prometheus ascended to heaven, lighted his
torch at the chariot of the sun, and brought down fire. With fire in
his possession man would be able to win her secrets and treasures from
the earth, to develop commerce, science, and the arts.

[Illustration: FIG. 4. PROMETHEUS MAKING MAN]

=11. The Age of Gold.= Whether in this or in other ways the world was
furnished with inhabitants, the first age was an age of innocence and
happiness. Truth and right prevailed, though not enforced by law, nor
was there any in authority to threaten or to punish. The forest had
not yet been robbed of its trees to yield timbers for vessels, nor
had men built fortifications round their towns. There were no such
things as swords, spears, or helmets. The earth brought forth all
things necessary for man, without his labor in plowing or sowing.
Perpetual spring reigned, flowers sprang up without seed, the rivers
flowed with milk and wine, and yellow honey distilled from the oaks.
This Golden Age had begun in the reign of Cronus.[8] And when these
heroes fell asleep in death, they were translated in a pleasant dream
to a spiritual existence, in which, unseen by mortal eyes, they still
attended men as monitors and guardians.

=12. The Silver Age= came next, inferior to the golden. Jupiter
shortened the spring, and divided the year into seasons. Then,
first, men suffered the extremes of heat and cold, and houses became
necessary. Caves were their dwellings,--and leafy coverts of the woods,
and huts woven of twigs. Crops would no longer grow without planting.
The farmer was constrained to sow the seed, and the ox to draw the
plow. This was a race of manly men, but insolent and impious. And when
they died, Jupiter made them ghosts of the underworld, but withheld the
privilege of immortal life.

=13. Prometheus, Champion of Man.= During this age when, as Hesiod
says, the altars of the blessed were neglected, and the gods were
denied their due, Prometheus stood forth--the champion of man against
the Olympians.[9] For the son of Cronus had grudged mortals the use
of fire, and was, in fact, contemplating their annihilation and the
creation of a new race. Therefore, once upon a time, when gods and
men were in dispute at Sicyon concerning the prerogatives of each,
Prometheus, by an ingenious trick, attempted to settle the question
in favor of man. Dividing into two portions a sacrificial bull, he
wrapped all the eatable parts in the skin, cunningly surmounted with
uninviting entrails; but the bones he garnished with a plausible
mass of fat. He then offered Jupiter his choice. The king of Heaven,
although he perceived the intended fraud, took the heap of bones and
fat, and, forthwith availing himself of this insult as an excuse for
punishing mankind, deprived the race of fire. But Prometheus regained
the treasure, stealing it from Heaven in a hollow tube.

=14. Pandora.= Doubly enraged, Jupiter, in his turn, had recourse
to stratagem. He is declared to have planned for man a curse in the
shape of woman. How the race had persisted hitherto without woman is a
mystery; but that it had done so, with no slight degree of happiness,
the experience of the Golden Age would seem to prove. However, the
bewitching evil was fashioned,--in Heaven, properly enough,--and every
god and goddess contributed something to her perfection. One gave her
beauty, another persuasive charm, a third the faculty of music. And
they named her Pandora, "the gift of all the gods." Thus equipped,
she was conveyed to earth and presented to Epimetheus, who, without
hesitation, accepted the gift, though cautioned by his brother to
beware of Jupiter and all his ways. And the caution was not groundless.
In the hand of Pandora had been placed by the immortals a casket or
vase which she was forbidden to open. Overcome by an unaccountable
curiosity to know what this vessel contained, she one day lifted the
cover and looked in. Forthwith there escaped a multitude of plagues for
hapless man--gout, rheumatism, and colic for his body; envy, spite, and
revenge for his mind--and scattered themselves far and wide. Pandora
hastened to replace the lid; but one thing only remained in the casket,
and that was _hope_.

=15. Prometheus Bound.= Because of his unselfish devotion to the cause
of humanity, Prometheus drew down on himself the anger of Olympian
Jove, by whose order he was chained to a rock on Mount Caucasus, and
subjected to the attack of an eagle (or a vulture) which, for ages,
preyed upon his liver, yet succeeded not in consuming it. This state of
torment might have been brought to an end at any time by Prometheus,
if he had been willing to submit to his oppressor; for he possessed
a secret which involved the stability of Jove's throne. This was
that by a certain woman Jove would beget a son who should displace
him and end the sway of the Olympians. The god naturally desired more
accurate information of this decree of Fate. But to reveal the secret
Prometheus disdained. In this steadfastness the Titan was supported by
the knowledge that in the thirteenth generation there should arrive a
hero,--sprung from Jove himself,--to release him.[10] And in fullness
of time the hero did arrive: none other than the mighty Hercules
desirous of rendering the highest service to mankind. No higher
service, thinks this radiant and masterful personage,--who, as we shall
see, had already cleared the world of many a monster,--remains to be
performed than to free the champion of mankind, suffering through the
ages because he had brought light into the world. "The soul of man,"
says Hercules to the Titan--

    The soul of man can never be enslaved
    Save by its own infirmities, nor freed
    Save by its very strength and own resolve
    And constant vision and supreme endeavor!
    You will be free? Then, courage, O my brother!
    O let the soul stand in the open door
    Of life and death and knowledge and desire
    And see the peaks of thought kindle with sunrise!
    Then shall the soul return to rest no more,
    Nor harvest dreams in the dark field of sleep--
    Rather the soul shall go with great resolve
    To dwell at last upon the shining mountains
    In liberal converse with the eternal stars.[11]

And he kills the vulture; and sets Jove's victim free.

By his demeanor Prometheus has become the ensample of magnanimous
endurance, and of resistance to oppression.

    Titan! to whose immortal eyes
      The sufferings of mortality,
      Seen in their sad reality,
    Were not as things that gods despise,
    What was thy pity's recompense?
    A silent suffering, and intense;
    The rock, the vulture, and the chain,
    All that the proud can feel of pain,
    The agony they do not show,
    The suffocating sense of woe,
    Which speaks but in its loneliness,
    And then is jealous lest the sky
    Should have a listener, nor will sigh
      Until its voice is echoless....

    Thy godlike crime was to be kind,
      To render with thy precepts less
      The sum of human wretchedness,
    And strengthen man with his own mind.
    But, baffled as thou wert from high,
    Still, in thy patient energy,
    In the endurance and repulse
      Of thine impenetrable spirit,
    Which earth and heaven could not convulse,
      A mighty lesson we inherit[12]....

=16. Longfellow's Prometheus.= A happy application of the story of
Prometheus is made by Longfellow in the following verses:[13]

    Of Prometheus, how undaunted
      On Olympus' shining bastions
    His audacious foot he planted,
    Myths are told, and songs are chanted,
      Full of promptings and suggestions.

    Beautiful is the tradition
      Of that flight through heavenly portals,
    The old classic superstition
    Of the theft and the transmission
      Of the fire of the Immortals!

    First the deed of noble daring,
      Born of heavenward aspiration,
    Then the fire with mortals sharing,
    Then the vulture,--the despairing
      Cry of pain on crags Caucasian.

    All is but a symbol painted
      Of the Poet, Prophet, Seer;
    Only those are crowned and sainted
    Who with grief have been acquainted,
      Making nations nobler, freer.

    In their feverish exultations,
      In their triumph and their yearning,
    In their passionate pulsations,
    In their words among the nations,
      The Promethean fire is burning.

    Shall it, then, be unavailing,
      All this toil for human culture?
    Through the cloud-rack, dark and trailing,
    Must they see above them sailing
      O'er life's barren crags the vulture?

    Such a fate as this was Dante's,
      By defeat and exile maddened;
    Thus were Milton and Cervantes,
    Nature's priests and Corybantes,
      By affliction touched and saddened.

    But the glories so transcendent
      That around their memories cluster,
    And, on all their steps attendant,
    Make their darkened lives resplendent
      With such gleams of inward lustre!

    All the melodies mysterious,
      Through the dreary darkness chanted;
    Thoughts in attitudes imperious,
    Voices soft, and deep, and serious,
      Words that whispered, songs that haunted!

    All the soul in rapt suspension,
      All the quivering, palpitating
    Chords of life in utmost tension,
    With the fervor of invention,
      With the rapture of creating!

    Ah, Prometheus! heaven-scaling!
      In such hours of exultation
    Even the faintest heart, unquailing,
    Might behold the vulture sailing
      Round the cloudy crags Caucasian!

    Though to all there is not given
      Strength for such sublime endeavor,
    Thus to scale the walls of heaven,
    And to leaven with fiery leaven
      All the hearts of men forever;

    Yet all bards, whose hearts unblighted
      Honor and believe the presage,
    Hold aloft their torches lighted,
    Gleaming through the realms benighted,
      As they onward bear the message!

=17. The Brazen Age.= Next to the Age of Silver came that of brass,[14]
more savage of temper and readier for the strife of arms, yet not
altogether wicked.

=18. The Iron Age.= Last came the hardest age and worst,--of iron.
Crime burst in like a flood; modesty, truth, and honor fled. The gifts
of the earth were put only to nefarious uses. Fraud, violence, war at
home and abroad were rife. The world was wet with slaughter; and the
gods, one by one, abandoned it, Astræa, following last, goddess of
innocence and purity.

=19. The Flood.= Jupiter, observing the condition of things, burned
with anger. He summoned the gods to council. Obeying the call, they
traveled the Milky Way to the palace of Heaven. There, Jupiter set
forth to the assembly the frightful condition of the earth, and
announced his intention of destroying its inhabitants, and providing a
new race, unlike the present, which should be worthier of life and more
reverent toward the gods. Fearing lest a conflagration might set Heaven
itself on fire, he proceeded to drown the world. Not satisfied with his
own waters, he called his brother Neptune to his aid. Speedily the race
of men, and their possessions, were swept away by the deluge.

=20. Deucalion and Pyrrha.= Parnassus alone, of the mountains,
overtopped the waves; and there Deucalion, son of Prometheus, and
his wife Pyrrha, daughter of Epimetheus, found refuge--he a just man
and she a faithful worshiper of the gods. Jupiter, remembering the
harmless lives and pious demeanor of this pair, caused the waters to
recede,--the sea to return to its shores, and the rivers to their
channels. Then Deucalion and Pyrrha, entering a temple defaced with
slime, approached the unkindled altar and, falling prostrate, prayed
for guidance and aid. The oracle[15] answered, "Depart from the temple
with head veiled and garments unbound, and cast behind you the bones
of your mother." They heard the words with astonishment. Pyrrha first
broke silence: "We cannot obey; we dare not profane the remains of
our parents." They sought the woods, and revolved the oracle in their
minds. At last Deucalion spoke: "Either my wit fails me or the command
is one we may obey without impiety. The earth is the great parent of
all; the stones are her bones; these we may cast behind us; this, I
think, the oracle means. At least, to try will harm us not." They
veiled their faces, unbound their garments, and, picking up stones,
cast them behind them. The stones began to grow soft and to assume
shape. By degrees they put on a rude resemblance to the human form.
Those thrown by Deucalion became men; those by Pyrrha, women. It was a
hard race that sprang up, and well adapted to labor.

=21. The Demigods and Heroes.= As preceding the Age of Iron, Hesiod
mentions an _Age of Demigods and Heroes_. Since, however, these
demigods and heroes were, many of them, reputed to have been directly
descended from Deucalion, their epoch must be regarded as subsequent
to the deluge. The hero, Hellen, son of Deucalion and Pyrrha, became
the ancestor of the Hellenes, or Greeks. The Æolians and Dorians were,
according to legend, descended from his sons Æolus and Dorus; from his
son Xuthus, the Achæans and Ionians derived their origin.

Another great division of the Greek people, the Pelasgic, resident in
the Peloponnesus or southern portion of the peninsula, was said to have
sprung from a different stock of heroes, that of Pelasgus, son of
Phoroneus of Argos and grandson of the river-god Inachus.

The demigods and heroes were of matchless worth and valor. Their
adventures form the subject of many of the succeeding chapters. The
Older Heroes, especially, were endowed with godlike qualities, which
they devoted to the service of mankind in the destruction of monsters,
the founding of cities, or the introduction of civilization. Such were
Perseus, the hero of Argos and his descendant Hercules, who came to be
worshiped as the national hero of the Greeks. Such, too, Cadmus, the
founder of Thebes, and Cecrops of Athens, and one of his successors,
Theseus, a "second Hercules." Each city of Greece had its patron hero,
to whom it accorded the honors of divinity. The Younger Heroes were
chieftains in the Theban and the Trojan wars and in numerous other
military or predatory expeditions.

[Illustration: FIG. 5. POSEIDON, DIONYSUS, AND GODDESS]

FOOTNOTES:

[2] Supplementary information concerning many of the myths may be found
in the corresponding sections of the Commentary. For the pronunciation
of names see Index, and Rules preceding the Index.

[3] So far as possible, Latin designations, or Latinized forms of Greek
names, are used.

[4] On the Titans, etc., Preller's Griech. Mythol. 1, 37.

[5] On signification of Uranus, Cronus, Zeus, see Preller, 1, 37, 38,
and Commentary, §§ 4, 24.

[6] Roscher, Ausf. Lex., Article _Giganten_ [J. Ilberg].

[7] The name more probably signifies Brandisher [of the Lance].

[8] Consequently the creation of these men could not be assigned to
Prometheus,--unless they were made by him before the war of the Titans.

[9] There is uncertainty as to the mythical period of these events. The
order here given seems to me well grounded. Hes. Works and Days, 180;
Theog. 790-910.

[10] §§ 156, 161, 191 and Commentary, § 10.

[11] From Herakles, a drama by George Cabot Lodge.

[12] From Byron's Prometheus. See also his translation from the
Prometheus Vinctus of Æschylus, and his Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte.

[13] Prometheus, or The Poet's Forethought. See Commentary.

[14] Compare Byron's political satire, The Age of Bronze.

[15] Oracles, see §§ 24, 30, and Commentary.



CHAPTER II

THE GODS OF HEAVEN[16]


[Illustration: FIG. 6. TWO HOURS]

=22. Olympus.= The heaven of the Greek gods was the summit of an ideal
mountain called Olympus.[17] A gate of clouds, kept by goddesses,
the Hours or Seasons, opened to permit the passage of the Celestials
to earth, and to receive them on their return. The gods had their
separate dwellings; but all, when summoned, repaired to the palace
of Jupiter,--even the deities whose usual abode was the earth, the
waters, or the underworld. In the great hall of the Olympian king the
gods feasted each day on ambrosia and nectar. Here they conversed of
the affairs of heaven and earth; and as they quaffed the nectar that
Hebe poured, Apollo made melody with his lyre and the Muses sang in
responsive strain. When the sun was set, the gods withdrew to their
respective dwellings for the night.

The following lines from the Odyssey express the conception of Olympus
entertained by Homer:

    So saying, Minerva, goddess, azure-eyed,
    Rose to Olympus, the reputed seat
    Eternal of the gods, which never storms
    Disturb, rains drench, or snow invades, but calm
    The expanse and cloudless shines with purest day.
    There the inhabitants divine rejoice
    Forever.[18]

=23. The Great Gods.= The gods of Heaven were the following:[19]

  Jupiter (Zeus).[20]
  His daughter, Minerva (Athena), who sprang from his brain,
    full-grown and full-armed.
  His sister and wife, Juno (Hera).
  His children by Juno,--Mars (Ares), Vulcan (Hephæstus), and Hebe.
  His children by Latona,--Apollo, or Ph[oe]bus, and Diana (Artemis).
  His daughter by Dione,--Venus (Aphrodite).[21]
  His son by Maia,--Mercury (Hermes).
  His sister, Vesta (Hestia), the oldest born of Cronus and Rhea.

Of these all were deities of the highest order save Hebe, who must
be ranked with the lesser gods. With the remaining ten "Great Gods"
are sometimes reckoned the other sister of Jupiter, Ceres (Demeter),
properly a divinity of earth, and Neptune (Poseidon), ruler of the sea.

=24. Jupiter[22] (Zeus).= The Greek name signifies the radiant light of
heaven. Jupiter was the supreme ruler of the universe, wisest of the
divinities and most glorious. In the Iliad he informs the other gods
that their united strength would not budge him: that, on the contrary,
he could draw them and earth and the seas to himself, and suspend all
from Olympus by a golden chain. Throned in the high, clear heavens,
Jupiter was the gatherer of clouds and snows, the dispenser of gentle
rains and winds, the moderator of light and heat and the seasons, the
thunderer, the wielder of the thunderbolt. Bodily strength and valor
were dear to him. He was worshiped with various rites in different
lands, and to him were sacred everywhere the loftiest trees and the
grandest mountain peaks. He required of his worshipers cleanliness
of surroundings and person and heart. Justice was his; his to repay
violation of duty in the family, in social relations, and in the state.
Prophecy was his; and his will was made known at the oracle of Dodona,
where answers were given to those who inquired concerning the future.
This oracular shrine was the most ancient in Greece. According to one
account two black doves had taken wing from Thebes in Egypt. One flew
to Dodona in Epirus, and, alighting in a grove of oaks, proclaimed to
the inhabitants of the district that they should establish there an
oracle of Jupiter. The other dove flew to the temple of Jupiter Ammon
in the Libyan oasis, and delivered a similar command. According to
another account, these were not doves but priestesses who, carried off
from Thebes by the Ph[oe]nicians, set up oracles at Oasis and Dodona.
The responses of the oracle were given by the rustling of the oak trees
in the wind. The sounds were interpreted by priests.

[Illustration: FIG. 7. ZEUS]

That Jupiter himself, though wedded to the goddess Juno, should be
charged with numerous other love affairs, not only in respect of
goddesses but of mortals, is, in part, explained by the fact that
to the supreme divinity of the Greeks have been ascribed attributes
and adventures of numerous local and foreign divinities that were
gradually identified with him. It is, therefore, not wise to assume
that the love affairs of Jupiter and of other divinities always
symbolize combinations of natural or physical forces that have repeated
themselves in ever-varying guise. It is important to understand
that the more ideal Olympian religion absorbed features of inferior
religions, and that Jupiter, when represented as appropriating the
characteristics of other gods, was sometimes, also, accredited with
their wives.

Beside the children of Jupiter already enumerated, there should here be
mentioned, as of peculiar consequence, Bacchus (Dionysus), the god of
wine, a deity of earth,--Proserpine, the wife of Pluto and queen of the
underworld,--and Hercules, the greatest of the heroes.

[Illustration: FIG. 8. ZEUS AFTER PHIDIAS]

=25. Conceptions of Jupiter.= The Greeks usually conceived the Jupiter
of war as riding in his thunder-car, hurling the thunderbolt or
lashing his enemies with a scourge of lightning. He wore a breastplate
or shield of storm-cloud like the skin of a gray goat (the _Ægis_),
fearful to behold, and made by the god of fire. His special messenger
was the eagle. It was, however, only with the passage of generations
that the Greeks came to represent their greatest of the gods by
the works of men's hands. The statue of Olympian Jove by Phidias
was considered the highest achievement of Grecian sculpture. It
was of colossal dimensions and, like other statues of the period,
"chryselephantine," that is, composed of ivory and gold. For the parts
representing flesh were of ivory laid on a framework of wood, while the
drapery and ornaments were of gold. The height of the figure was forty
feet, of the pedestal twelve. The god was represented as seated on his
throne. His brows were crowned with a wreath of olive; he held in his
right hand a scepter, and in his left a statue of Victory. The throne
was of cedar, adorned with gold and precious stones.

The idea which the artist essayed to embody was that of the supreme
deity of the Hellenic race, enthroned as a conqueror, in perfect
majesty and repose, and ruling with a nod the subject world. Phidias
informs us that the idea was suggested by Homer's lines in the first
book of the Iliad:

    Jove said, and nodded with his shadowy brows;
    Waved on th' immortal head th' ambrosial locks,--
    And all Olympus trembled at his nod.[23]

Unfortunately, our knowledge of this famous statue is confined to
literary descriptions, and to copies on coins. Other representations
of Jove have been obtained from Greek bronze statuettes, or the
wall-paintings of Herculaneum and Pompeii.

=26. Juno[24] (Hera)=, sister and wife of Jupiter. According to some,
the name _Hera_ means Splendor of Heaven, according to others, the
Lady. Some think it approves her goddess of earth; others, goddess
of the air; still others, for reasons by no means final, say that it
signifies Protectress, and applies to Juno in her original function
of moon-goddess, the chosen guardian of women, their aid in seasons
of distress. Juno's union with Jupiter was the prototype of earthly
marriages. She is the type of matronly virtues and dignity.

[Illustration: FIG. 9. HERA OF ARGOS]

She was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea, but was brought up by Oceanus
and Tethys in their dwelling in the remote west beyond the sea. Without
the knowledge of her parents, she was wedded to Jupiter in this garden
of the gods where ambrosial rivers flowed, and where Earth sent up in
honor of the rite a tree of life, heavy with apples golden like the
sunset. Juno was the most worthy of the goddesses, the most queenly;
ox-eyed, says Homer; says Hesiod, golden-sandaled and golden-throned.
Glorious beyond compare was her presence, when she had harnessed her
horses, and driven forth the golden-wheeled chariot that Hebe made
ready, and that the Hours set aside. Fearful, too, could be her wrath.
For she was of a jealous disposition, which was not happily affected by
the vagaries of her spouse; and she was, moreover, prone to quarrels,
self-willed, vengeful, proud, even on occasion deceitful. Once, indeed,
she conspired with Minerva and Neptune to bind the cloud-compeller
himself. More than once she provoked him to blows; and once to worse
than blows,--for her lord and master swung her aloft in the clouds,
securing her wrists in golden handcuffs and hanging anvils to her feet.

The cities that the ox-eyed goddess favored were Argos, Sparta, and
Mycenæ. To her the peacock and the cow were dear, and many a grove and
pasture rejoiced her sacred herds.

[Illustration: HERA OF THE VATICAN]

[Illustration: FIG. 10. ATHENA VELLETRI]

=27. Minerva= (=Athene= or =Athena=), the virgin goddess. She sprang
from the brain of Jove, agleam with panoply of war, brandishing a
spear and with her battle-cry awakening the echoes of heaven and
earth. She is goddess of the lightning that leaps like a lance from
the cloud-heavy sky, and hence, probably, the name _Athene_.[25] She
is goddess of the storms and of the rushing thunderbolt, and is,
therefore, styled Pallas. She is the goddess of the thundercloud,
which is symbolized by her tasseled breastplate of goatskin, the
_ægis_, whereon is fixed the head of Medusa, the Gorgon, that turns
to stone all beholders. She is also the goddess of war, rejoicing
in martial music and protecting the war horse and the warship. On
the other hand, she is of a gentle, fair, and thoughtful aspect. Her
Latin name _Minerva_ is connected with the Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin
words for _mind_. She is eternally a virgin, the goddess of wisdom, of
skill, of contemplation, of spinning and weaving, of horticulture and
agriculture. She is protectress of cities, and was specially worshiped
in her own Athens, in Argos, in Sparta, and in Troy. To her were
sacrificed oxen and cows. The olive tree, created by her, was sacred to
her, and also the owl, the cock, the serpent, and the crow.

=28. Mars (Ares)=,[26] the war-god, son of Jupiter and Juno.
The meaning of the name _Ares_ is uncertain; the most probable
significations are the _Slayer_, the _Avenger_, the _Curse_. The
Roman god of war, Mars, is the _bright_ and _burning_ one. Homer, in
the Iliad, represents Ares as the insatiable warrior of the heroic
age, who, impelled by rage and lust of violence, exults in the noise
of battle, revels in the horror of carnage. Strife and slaughter
are the condition of his existence. Where the fight is thickest,
there he rushes in without hesitation, without question as to which
side is right. In battle array he is resplendent,--on his head the
gleaming helmet and floating plume, on his arm the leathern shield,
in his hand the redoubtable spear of bronze. Well-favored, stately,
swift, unwearied, puissant, gigantic, he is still the foe of wisdom,
the scourge of mortals. Usually he fights on foot, sometimes from a
chariot drawn by four horses,--the offspring of the North Wind and
a Fury. In the fray his sons attend him,--Terror, Trembling, Panic,
and Fear,--also his sister Eris, or Discord (the mother of Strife),
his daughter Enyo, ruiner of cities, and a retinue of bloodthirsty
demons. As typifying the chances of war, Mars is, of course, not always
successful. In the battles before Troy, Minerva and Juno bring him more
than once to grief; and when he complains to Jupiter, he is snubbed as
a renegade most hateful of all the gods.[27] His loved one and mistress
is the goddess of beauty herself. In her arms the warrior finds repose.
Their daughter Harmonia is the ancestress of the unquiet dynasty of
Thebes. The favorite land of Mars was, according to Homer, the rough,
northerly Thrace. His emblems are the spear and the burning torch; his
chosen animals are haunters of the battle field,--the vulture and the
dog.

[Illustration: FIG. 11. ARES LUDOVISI]

=29. Vulcan (Hephæstus)=, son of Jupiter and Juno, was the god of fire,
especially of terrestrial fire,--volcanic eruption, incendiary flame,
the glow of the forge or the hearth. But as the fires of earth are
derived from that of heaven, perhaps the name _Hephæstus_ (burning,
shining, flaming) referred originally to the marvelous brilliance
of the lightning. Vulcan was the blacksmith of the gods, the finest
artificer in metal among them. His forge in Olympus was furnished
not only with anvils and all other implements of the trade, but with
automatic handmaidens of silver and gold, fashioned by Vulcan himself.
Poets later than Homer assign to Vulcan workshops under various
volcanic islands. From the crater of Mount Ætna poured forth the fumes
and flames of his smithy. He built the dwellings of the gods; he made
the scepter of Jove, the shields and spears of the Olympians, the
arrows of Apollo and Diana, the breastplate of Hercules, the shield of
Achilles.

[Illustration: FIG. 12. ARES (MARS)]

He was lame of gait,--a figurative suggestion, perhaps, of the
flickering, unsteady nature of fire. According to his own story,[28]
he was born halt; and his mother, chagrined by his deformity, cast
him from Heaven out of the sight of the gods. Yet, again,[29] he says
that, attempting once to save his mother from Jupiter's wrath, he was
caught by the foot and hurled by the son of Cronus from the heavenly
threshold: "All day I flew; and at the set of sun I fell in Lemnos, and
little life was left in me." Had he not been lame before, he had good
reason to limp after either of these catastrophes. He took part in the
making of the human race, and in the special creation of Pandora. He
assisted also at the birth of Minerva, to facilitate which he split
Jupiter's head open with an ax.

[Illustration: FIG. 13. THE FORGE OF VULCAN]

His wife, according to the Iliad and Hesiod's Theogony, is Aglaia,
the youngest of the Graces; but in the Odyssey it is Venus. He is a
glorious, good-natured god, loved and honored among men as the founder
of wise customs and the patron of artificers; on occasion, as a god
of healing and of prophecy. He seems to have been, when he chose, the
cause of "inextinguishable laughter" to the gods, but he was by no
means a fool. The famous god of the strong arms could be cunning, even
vengeful, when the emergency demanded.

[Illustration: FIG. 14. APOLLO IN THE VATICAN]

=30. Apollo=, or Ph[oe]bus Apollo, the son of Jupiter and Latona, was
preëminently the god of the sun. His name _Ph[oe]bus_ signifies the
radiant nature of the sunlight; his name _Apollo_, perhaps, the cruel
and destructive heat of noonday. Soon after his birth, Jupiter would
have sent him to Delphi to inculcate righteousness and justice among
the Greeks; but the golden god Apollo chose first to spend a year in
the land of the Hyperboreans, where for six continuous months of the
year there is sunshine and spring, soft climate, profusion of herbs
and flowers, and the very ecstasy of life. During this delay the
Delphians sang pæans,--hymns of praise,--and danced in chorus about
the tripod (or three-legged stool), where the expectant priestess of
Apollo had taken her seat. At last, when the year was warm, came the
god in his chariot drawn by swans,--heralded by songs of springtide,
of nightingales and swallows and crickets. Then the crystal fount
of Castalia and the stream Cephissus overflowed their bounds, and
mankind made grateful offerings to the god. But his advent was not
altogether peaceful. An enormous serpent, Python, had crept forth from
the slime with which, after the flood, the Earth was covered; and in
the caves of Mount Parnassus this terror of the people lurked. Him
Apollo encountered and after fearful combat slew, with arrows, weapons
which the god of the silver bow had not before used against any but
feeble animals,--hares, wild goats, and such game. In commemoration
of this illustrious conquest, he instituted the Pythian games, in
which the victor in feats of strength, swiftness of foot, or in the
chariot race, should be crowned with a wreath of beech leaves. Apollo
brought not only the warm spring and summer, but also the blessings
of the harvest. He warded off the dangers and diseases of summer and
autumn; and he healed the sick. He was patron of music and of poetry.
Through his oracle at Delphi, on the slopes of Parnassus in Phocis, the
Pythian god made known the future to those who consulted him. He was a
founder of cities, a promoter of colonization, a giver of good laws,
the ideal of fair and manly youth,--a pure and just god, requiring
clean hands and pure hearts of those that worshiped him. But though a
god of life and peace, the far-darter did not shun the weapons of war.
When presumption was to be punished, or wrong righted, he could bend
his bow and slay with the arrows of his sunlight. As in the days of his
youth he slew the Python, so, also, he slew the froward Tityus, and so
the children of Niobe. While Ph[oe]bus Apollo is the Olympian divinity
of the sun, fraught with light and healing, spiritual, creative, and
prophetic, he must not be confounded with a god of the older dynasty,
Helios (offspring of Hyperion, Titanic deity of light), who represented
the sun in its daily and yearly course, in its physical rather than
spiritual manifestation. The bow of Apollo was bound with laurel in
memory of Daphne, whom he loved. To him were sacred, also, many
creatures,--the wolf, the roe, the mouse, the he-goat, the ram, the
dolphin, and the swan.[30]

[Illustration: FIG. 15. APOLLO BELVEDERE]

=31. Shelley's Hymn of Apollo.=

    The sleepless Hours who watch me as I lie,
      Curtained with star-inwoven tapestries,
    From the broad moonlight of the sky,
      Fanning the busy dreams from my dim eyes,--
    Waken me when their mother, the gray Dawn,
    Tells them that dreams and that the moon is gone.

[Illustration: FIG. 16. APOLLO]

    Then I arise, and climbing Heaven's blue dome,
      I walk over the mountains and the waves,
    Leaving my robe upon the ocean foam;
      My footsteps pave the clouds with fire; the caves
    Are filled with my bright presence, and the air
    Leaves the green earth to my embraces bare.

    The sunbeams are my shafts, with which I kill
      Deceit, that loves the night and fears the day;
    All men who do or even imagine ill
      Fly me, and from the glory of my ray
    Good minds and open actions take new might,
    Until diminished by the reign of night.

    I feed the clouds, the rainbows, and the flowers
      With their ethereal colors; the moon's globe
    And the pure stars in their eternal bowers
      Are cinctured with my power as with a robe;
    Whatever lamps on Earth or Heaven may shine,
    Are portions of one power, which is mine.

    I stand at noon upon the peak of Heaven,
      Then with unwilling steps I wander down
    Into the clouds of the Atlantic even;
      For grief that I depart they weep and frown:
    What look is more delightful than the smile
    With which I soothe them from the western isle?

    I am the eye with which the universe
      Beholds itself and knows itself divine;
    All harmony of instrument or verse,
      All prophecy, all medicine, are mine,
    All light of art or nature;--to my song,
    Victory and praise in their own right belong.

[Illustration: FIG. 17. DIANA. After Correggio]

=32. Diana (Artemis)=, twin sister of Apollo, was born on Mount
Cynthus in the island of Delos. Latona, the future mother of Diana
and Apollo, flying from the wrath of Juno, had besought, one after
another, the islands of the Ægean to afford her a place of rest; but
they feared too much the potent queen of heaven. Delos alone consented
to become the birthplace of the future deities. This isle was then
floating and unstable; but on Latona's arrival, Jupiter fastened it
with adamantine chains to the bottom of the sea, that it might be a
secure resting-place for his beloved. The daughter of Latona is, as
her name _Artemis_ indicates, a virgin goddess, the ideal of modesty,
grace, and maidenly vigor. She is associated with her brother, the
prince of archery, in nearly all his adventures, and in attributes she
is his feminine counterpart. As he is identified with sunlight, so is
she, his fair-tressed sister, with the chaste brilliance of the moon.
Its slender arc is her bow; its beams are her arrows with which she
sends upon womankind a speedy and painless death. In her prerogative
of moon-goddess she is frequently identified with Selene, daughter
of Hyperion, just as Apollo is with Helios. Despising the weakness
of love, Diana imposed upon her nymphs vows of perpetual maidenhood,
any violation of which she was swift and severe to punish. Graceful
in form and free of movement, equipped for the chase, and surrounded
by a bevy of fair companions, the swift-rushing goddess was wont to
scour hill, valley, forest, and plain. She was, however, not only
huntress, but guardian, of wild beasts,--mistress withal of horses
and kine and other domestic brutes. She ruled marsh and mountain; her
gleaming arrows smote sea as well as land. Springs and woodland brooks
she favored, for in them she and her attendants were accustomed to
bathe. She blessed with verdure the meadows and arable lands, and from
them obtained a meed of thanks. When weary of the chase she turned to
music and dancing; for the lyre and flute and song were dear to her.
Muses, Graces, nymphs, and the fair goddesses themselves thronged the
rites of the chorus-leading queen. But ordinarily a woodland chapel
or a rustic altar sufficed for her worship. There the hunter laid his
offering--antlers, skin, or edible portions of the deer that Artemis of
the golden arrows had herself vouchsafed him. The holy maid, however,
though naturally gracious, gentle, and a healer of ills, was, like
her brother, quick to resent injury to her sacred herds or insult
to herself. To this stern temper Agamemnon, Orion, and Niobe bore
regretful testimony. They found that the "fair-crowned queen of the
echoing chase," though blithe and gracious, was by no means a frivolous
personage.

[Illustration: FIG. 18. DIANA (ARTEMIS) OF VERSAILLES]

Diana was mistress of the brute creation, protectress of youth, patron
of temperance in all things, guardian of civil right. The cypress tree
was sacred to her; and her favorites were the bear, the boar, the dog,
the goat, and specially the hind.

[Illustration: FIG. 19. ARTEMIS]

=33. Jonson's Hymn to Cynthia (Diana).=

    Queen and Huntress, chaste and fair,
      Now the sun is laid to sleep,
    Seated in thy silver chair
      State in wonted manner keep:
        Hesperus entreats thy light,
        Goddess excellently bright.

    Earth, let not thy envious shade
      Dare itself to interpose;
    Cynthia's shining orb was made
      Heaven to clear when day did close:
        Bless us then with wishèd sight,
        Goddess excellently bright.

      Lay thy bow of pearl apart,
    And thy crystal-shining quiver;
      Give unto the flying hart
    Space to breathe, how short soever:
        Thou that mak'st a day of night,
        Goddess excellently bright.[31]

=34. Venus (Aphrodite)=, goddess of love and beauty, was, according to
the more ancient Greek conception, a daughter of Jupiter and Dione;[32]
but Hesiod says that she arose from the foam of the sea at the time
of the wounding of Uranus, and therefore was called, by the Greeks,
Aphrodite, _the foam-born_.[33] Wafted by the west wind, and borne
upon the surge, she won first the island of Cythera; thence, like a
dream, she passed to Cyprus, where the grace and blossom of her beauty
conquered every heart. Everywhere, at the touch of her feet the herbage
quivered into flower. The Hours and Graces surrounded her, twining
odorous garlands and weaving robes for her that reflected the hues and
breathed the perfume of crocus and hyacinth, violet, rose, lily, and
narcissus. To her influence is ascribed the fruitfulness of the animal
and of the vegetable creation. She is goddess of gardens and flowers,
of the rose, the myrtle, and the linden. The heaths and slumberous
vales, pleasant with spring and vernal breezes, are hers. In her
broidered girdle lurk "love and desire, and loving converse that steals
the wits even of the wise." For she is the mistress of feminine charm
and beauty, the golden, sweetly smiling Aphrodite, who rules the hearts
of men. She lends to mortals seductive form and fascination. To a few,
indeed, her favor is a blessing; but to many her gifts are treacherous,
destructive of peace. Her various influence is exemplified in the
stories of Pygmalion and Adonis, Paris and Æneas, Helen, Ariadne,
Psyche, Procris, Pasiphaë, and Phædra. Her power extended over sea as
well as land, and her temples rose from many a shore. On the waters
swan and dolphin were beloved of her; in air, the sparrow and the dove.
She was usually attended by her winged son Cupid, of whom much is to
be told. Especially dear to her were Cyprus, Cnidos, Paphos, Cythera,
Abydos, Mount Eryx, and the city of Corinth.

=35. The "Venus of Milo."= Of artistic conceptions of Aphrodite, the
most famous are the statues called the Venus of Melos and the Venus of
the Medici.[34] A comparison of the two conceptions is instituted in
the following poem.[35] The worshiper apostrophizes the Venus of Melos,
that "inner beauty of the world," whose tranquil smile he finds more
fair than "The Medicean's sly and servile grace":

[Illustration: VENUS OF MELOS]

    From our low world no gods have taken wing;
    Even now upon our hills the twain are wandering:[36]
    The Medicean's sly and servile grace,
    And the immortal beauty of thy face.
    One is the spirit of all short-lived love
    And outward, earthly loveliness:
    The tremulous rosy morn is her mouth's smile,
    The sky, her laughing azure eyes above;
    And, waiting for caress.
    Lie bare the soft hill-slopes, the while
    Her thrilling voice is heard
    In song of wind and wave, and every flitting bird.
    Not plainly, never quite herself she shows:
    Just a swift glance of her illumined smile
    Along the landscape goes;
    Just a soft hint of singing, to beguile
    A man from all his toil;
    Some vanished gleam of beckoning arm, to spoil
    A morning's task with longing, wild and vain.
    Then if across the parching plain
    He seek her, she with passion burns
    His heart to fever, and he hears
    The west wind's mocking laughter when he turns,
    Shivering in mist of ocean's sullen tears.
    It is the Medicean: well I know
    The arts her ancient subtlety will show,--
    The stubble field she turns to ruddy gold;
    The empty distance she will fold
    In purple gauze; the warm glow she has kissed
    Along the chilling mist:
    Cheating and cheated love that grows to hate
    And ever deeper loathing, soon or late.
    Thou, too, O fairer spirit, walkest here
    Upon the lifted hills:
    Wherever that still thought within the breast
    The inner beauty of the world hath moved;
    In starlight that the dome of evening fills;
    On endless waters rounding to the west:
    For them who thro' that beauty's veil have loved
    The soul of all things beautiful the best.
    For lying broad awake, long ere the dawn,
    Staring against the dark, the blank of space
    Opens immeasurably, and thy face
    Wavers and glimmers there and is withdrawn.
    And many days, when all one's work is vain,
    And life goes stretching on, a waste gray plain,
    With even the short mirage of morning gone,
    No cool breath anywhere, no shadow nigh
    Where a weary man might lay him down and die,
    Lo! thou art there before me suddenly,
    With shade as if a summer cloud did pass,
    And spray of fountains whispering to the grass.
    Oh, save me from the haste and noise and heat
    That spoil life's music sweet:
    And from that lesser Aphrodite there--
    Even now she stands
    Close as I turn, and O my soul, how fair!

[Illustration: FIG. 20. HERMES PSYCHOPOMPOS]

=36. Mercury (Hermes)=, born in a cave of Mount Cyllene in Arcadia,
was the son of Jupiter and Maia (the daughter of Atlas). According to
conjecture, his name _Hermes_ means the _Hastener_. Mercury, swift as
the wind, was the servant and herald of Jupiter and the other gods.
On his ankles (in plastic art), and his low-crowned, broad-brimmed
_petasus_, or hat, were wings. As messenger of Heaven, he bore a wand
(_caduceus_) of wood or of gold, twined with snakes and surmounted
by wings, and possessed of magical powers over sleeping, waking, and
dreams. He was beautiful and ever in the prime of youthful vigor.
To a voice sweet-toned and powerful, he added the persuasiveness of
eloquence. But his skill was not confined to speech; he was also the
first of inventors--to him are ascribed the lyre and the flute. He was
the forerunner, too, of mathematicians and astronomers. His agility
and strength made him easily prince in athletic pursuits. His cunning
rendered him a dangerous foe; he could well play the trickster and the
thief, as Apollo found out to his vexation, and Argus, and many another
unfortunate. His methods, however, were not always questionable;
although the patron of gamblers and the god of chance, he, at the same
time, was the furtherer of lawful industry and of commerce by land and
sea. The gravest function of the Messenger was to conduct the souls
of the dead, "that gibber like bats as they fare, down the dank ways,
past the streams of Oceanus, past the gates of the sun and the land of
dreams, to the mead of asphodel in the dark realm of Hades, where dwell
the souls, the phantoms of men outworn."[37]

=37. Vesta (Hestia)=, goddess of the hearth, public and private, was
the first-born child of Cronus and Rhea and, accordingly, the elder
sister of Jupiter, Juno, Neptune, Pluto, and Ceres. Vesta was an old
maid by choice. Averse to Venus and all her ways, she scorned the
flattering advances of both Neptune and Apollo, and resolved to remain
single. Whereupon Jupiter gave her to sit in the middle of his palace,
to receive in Olympus the choicest morsels of the feast, and, in the
temples of the gods on earth, reverence as the oldest and worthiest of
Olympian divinities. As goddess of the burning hearth, Vesta is the
divinity of the home: of settled, in opposition to nomadic, habits of
life. She was worshiped first of the gods at every feast. Before her
shrine in city and state the holy flame was religiously cherished.
From her altars those of the other gods obtained their fires. No new
colony, no new home, was duly consecrated till on its central hearth
there glowed coals from her ancestral hearth. In her temple at Rome a
sacred fire, tended by six virgin priestesses called Vestals, was kept
religiously aflame. As the safety of the city was held to be connected
with its conservation, any negligence, by which it might go out, was
severely punished. Whenever the fire did die, it was rekindled from the
rays of the sun.

=38.= Of the =Lesser Divinities of Heaven= the most worthy of mention
are:

1. _Cupid (Eros)_, small but mighty god of love, the son of Venus and
her constant companion. He was often represented with eyes covered
because of the blindness of his actions. With his bow and arrows, he
shot the darts of desire into the bosoms of gods and men. Another deity
named _Anteros_, reputed the brother of Eros, was sometimes represented
as the avenger of slighted love, and sometimes as the symbol of
reciprocal affection. Venus was also attended at times by another
brother of Eros, _Himeros_, or Longing, and by _Hymen_, a beautiful
youth of divine descent, the personification of the wedding feast and
leader of the nuptial chorus. Of Eros the poet Gosse writes:

[Illustration: FIG. 21. EROS]

    Within a forest, as I strayed
    Far down a somber autumn glade,
      I found the god of love;
        His bow and arrows cast aside,
        His lovely arms extended wide,
      A depth of leaves above,
    Beneath o'erarching boughs he made
    A place for sleep in russet shade.

    His lips, more red than any rose,
    Were like a flower that overflows
      With honey pure and sweet;
        And clustering round that holy mouth,
        The golden bees in eager drouth
      Plied busy wings and feet;
    They knew, what every lover knows,
    There's no such honey-bloom that blows.[38]

2. _Hebe_, daughter of Jupiter and Juno, goddess of youth and cupbearer
to the gods. According to one story, she resigned that office on
becoming the wife of Hercules. According to another, Hebe was dismissed
from her position in consequence of a fall which she met with one day
when in attendance on the gods. Her successor was _Ganymede_, a Trojan
boy whom Jupiter, in the disguise of an eagle, seized and carried off
from the midst of his playfellows on Mount Ida, bore up to Heaven, and
installed in the vacant place.

3. _The Graces_, daughters of Jove by Eurynome, daughter of Oceanus.
They were goddesses presiding over the banquet, the dance, all
social pleasures, and polite accomplishments. They were three in
number,--Euphrosyne, Aglaia, and Thalia. Spenser describes the office
of the Graces thus:

    These three on men all gracious gifts bestow
    Which deck the body or adorn the mind,
    To make them lovely or well-favored show;
    As comely carriage, entertainment kind,
    Sweet semblance, friendly offices that bind,
    And all the complements of courtesy;
    They teach us how to each degree and kind
    We should ourselves demean, to low, to high,
    To friends, to foes; which skill men call civility.

[Illustration: FIG. 22. RAPE OF GANYMEDE]

4. _The Muses_, daughters of Jupiter and Mnemosyne (Memory). They
presided over song and prompted the memory. They are ordinarily cited
as nine in number; and to each of them was assigned patronage in some
department of literature, art, or science. Calliope was the muse of
epic poetry, Clio of history, Euterpe of lyric poetry, Melpomene of
tragedy, Terpsichore of choral dance and song, Erato of love poetry,
Polyhymnia of sacred poetry, Urania of astronomy, Thalia of comedy.

[Illustration: FIG. 23. POLYHYMNIA]

5. _Themis_, one of the Titans, a daughter of Uranus. She sat, as
goddess of justice, beside Jupiter on his throne. She was beloved of
the father of gods and men, and bore him the Hours, goddesses who
regulated the seasons, and the Fates.

[Illustration: FIG. 24. THE THREE FATES

From the painting by Michelangelo(?)]

6. _The Fates_, three in number,--Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. Their
office was to spin the thread of human destiny, and they were provided
with shears with which they cut it off when they pleased.[39] According
to Hesiod, they were daughters of Night.

7. _Nemesis_, daughter of Night. She represented the righteous anger
and vengeance of the gods, particularly toward the proud, the insolent,
and breakers of the law.

8. _Æsculapius_, son of Apollo. By his skill in medicine he restored
the dead to life. Being killed by the lightning of Jove, he was
translated to the ranks of Heaven. His function was the art of healing.

9. _The Winds_,--Boreas, or Aquilo, the north wind; Zephyrus, or
Favonius, the west; Notus, or Auster, the south; and Eurus, the east.
The first two, chiefly, have been celebrated by the poets, the former
as the type of rudeness, the latter of gentleness. It is said that
Boreas loved the nymph Orithyia and tried to play the lover's part, but
met with poor success; for it was hard for him to breathe gently, and
sighing was out of the question.

Weary at last of fruitless endeavors, he acted out his true character,
seized the maiden and bore her off. Their children were Zetes and
Calaïs, winged warriors, who accompanied the Argonautic expedition
and did good service in an encounter with those monstrous birds, the
Harpies. Zephyrus was the lover of Flora (Chloris).

[Illustration: FIG. 25. BOREAS]

Here, too, may be mentioned Æolus, the king of the winds, although he
is not a lesser divinity of Heaven. His palace was on the precipitous
isle of Æolia, where, with his six sons and six daughters, he kept
eternal carouse. The winds, which he confined in a cavern, he let loose
as he saw fit or as he was bidden by superior deities. He is sometimes
called Hippotades.[40]

[Illustration: FIG. 26. ZEPHYROS]

10. _Helios_, _Selene_, and _Eos_, children of the Titan Hyperion.
Helios and Selene were the more ancient Greek divinities of Sun and
Moon respectively. Helios, the charioteer of the sun, is, as has been
already said, frequently identified with his successor, Apollo. The
attributes and adventures of Selene were merged in those of the more
modern Diana. Eos, or, in Latin nomenclature, Aurora, the rosy-fingered
goddess of the Morn, was mother of the stars and of the morning and
evening breezes. Saffron-robed she rises from the streams of Ocean, to
bring light to gods and men.

[Illustration: FIG. 27. BOREAS CARRYING OFF ORITHYIA]

11. _Phosphor_, the morning-star, the star of Venus, son of Aurora
and the hunter Cephalus. _Hesper_, the evening-star, was sometimes
identified with Phosphor. He was king of the Western Land, and, say
some, father of the Hesperides, who guarded the golden apples of the
sunset.

The Spirit in Milton's Comus tells of

              ... the gardens fair
    Of Hesperus, and his daughters three
    That sing about the golden tree.
    Along the crispèd shades and bowers
    Revels the spruce and jocund Spring;
    The Graces and the rosy-bosomed Hours
    Thither all their bounties bring.
    There eternal Summer dwells,
    And west winds with musky wing
    About the cedarn alleys fling
    Nard and cassia's balmy smells.
    Iris there with humid bow
    Waters the odorous banks, that blow
    Flowers of more mingled hue
    Than her purfled scarf can shew.

And Tennyson taking the lines as a text has written the melodious and
mystic song of the Hesperides, beginning--

    The golden apple, the golden apple, the hallowed fruit,
    Guard it well, guard it warily,
    Singing airily,
    Standing about the charmèd root.
    Round about all is mute,
    As the snowfield on the mountain-peaks,
    As the sandfield at the mountain-foot.
    Crocodiles in briny creeks
    Sleep and stir not: all is mute.
    If ye sing not, if ye make false measure,
    We shall lose eternal pleasure,
    Worth eternal want of rest.
    Laugh not loudly: watch the treasure
    Of the wisdom of the West.

Readers of this poem will notice that Tennyson follows the tradition
by which a sleepless dragon is introduced among the guardians of the
Hesperian fruit. Still other versions substitute for Hesperus, the
Titan Atlas.

12. _Various Other Personifications._ The constellation Orion, whose
story will be narrated; Victoria (Nike), the goddess of Victory;
Discors (Eris), the goddess of Strife; and Iris, goddess of the
rainbow, who is represented frequently as a messenger of the gods.

[Illustration: FIG. 28. IRIS CARRYING CHILD]

FOOTNOTES:

[16] Consult, in general, corresponding sections of the Commentary.

[17] Symbolized on earth by Mount Olympus in Thessaly.

[18] Cowper's translation.

[19] See Commentary, § 23, for Gladstone's latest utterance on the
number of the Olympians.

[20] The names included in parentheses represent the Greek, the others
being Roman equivalents, Latin names, or names common to both Greek and
Roman usage.

[21] See Commentary, § 34.

[22] On the Latin name, see Commentary, § 24.

[23] Iliad, I, 622-625, Earl of Derby's translation. See also the
passage in Chapman's translation.

[24] On the name _Juno_, see Commentary.

[25] For the names _Athene_ and _Minerva_, see Commentary.

[26] See Commentary.

[27] Iliad, 5, 590. See also 21, 395.

[28] Iliad, 18, 395.

[29] Iliad, 1, 390.

[30] On the birth of Apollo, his adventures, names, festivals, oracles,
and his place in literature and art, see Commentary. For other
particulars, see sections on _Myths of Apollo_.

[31] From Cynthia's Revels.

[32] Iliad, 5, 370, etc.

[33] A popular etymology.

[34] For Venus in poetry and art, see Commentary.

[35] From the Venus of Milo, by E. R. Sill, formerly professor of
English Literature in the University of California.

[36] The references are to the Berkeley Hills, the Bay of San
Francisco, and the glimpses of the Pacific.

[37] Lang, Odyssey, 24, 1; adapted.

[38] Eros, by Edmund Gosse. For verses on the blindness of Cupid, see
Lyly's Cupid and Campaspe in Commentary.

[39] For description of their spinning, see translation of Catullus,
LXIV, in § 191.

[40] See Commentary.



CHAPTER III

THE GODS OF EARTH[41]


[Illustration: FIG. 29. DEMETER OF KNIDOS]

=39. Conception of the World.= The Greek poets believed the earth to
be flat and circular. In their opinion their own country occupied the
middle of it, and the central point was either Mount Olympus, the abode
of the gods, or Delphi, famous for its oracle. The circular disk of the
earth was crossed from west to east and divided into two equal parts
by the _Sea_, as they called the Mediterranean and its continuation
the Euxine, the only seas with which they were acquainted. Around the
earth flowed _River_ _Ocean_, from south to north on the western side,
in a contrary direction on the eastern. It flowed in a steady, equable
current, unvexed by storm or tempest. The sea and all the rivers on
earth received their waters from it.

The northern portion of the earth was inhabited by the Hyperboreans,
dwelling in bliss and everlasting spring beyond the mountains whose
caverns sent forth the piercing blasts of the north wind. Their country
was inaccessible by land or sea. They lived exempt from disease or old
age, from toils and warfare. "I come" sings one of them,[42]--

    I come from a land in the sun-bright deep,
      Where golden gardens glow,
    Where the winds of the north, becalmed in sleep,
      Their conch-shells never blow.

[Illustration: FIG. 30. CERES]

On the south side of the earth, close to the stream of Ocean, dwelt
the Æthiopians, whom the gods held in such favor that they left at
times the Olympian abodes to partake of the Æthiopian sacrifices and
banquets. On the western margin of the earth, by the stream of Ocean,
lay the Elysian Plain, where certain mortals enjoyed an immortality of
bliss.

The Dawn, the Sun, and the Moon were supposed to rise out of Ocean on
the eastern side and to drive through the air, giving light to gods and
men. The stars, also, except those forming the Wain or Bear and others
near them, rose out of and sank into the stream of Ocean. There the
sun-god embarked in a winged boat, which conveyed him by the northern
part of the earth back to his place of rising in the east.

=40. Ceres (Demeter)=, the goddess of sowing and reaping, of harvest
festivals, and of agriculture in general, was sister of Jupiter and
daughter of Cronus and Rhea. She is connected through her daughter
Proserpine, queen of Hades, with the holy ceremonies and rites of
death and of the lower world. Of the institutions founded or favored
by her the most important were the mysteries celebrated at Eleusis,
concerning which we know that, in the presence of individuals initiated
in the secret ritual and perhaps with their coöperation, scenes were
enacted which represented the alternation of death and life in nature
and, apparently, forecast the resurrection and immortality of man.
Sacred to Ceres and to Proserpine were golden sheaves of corn and
soporific poppies; while, among animals, cows, sheep, and pigs were
acceptable to them.

[Illustration: FIG. 31. DIONYSUS AND THE VINE]

=41. Gæa (Ge)=, the Mother Earth, wife of Uranus, belongs to the older
order of gods; so also, another goddess of the earth, _Rhea_, the wife
of Cronus and mother of Jupiter. In Phrygia, Rhea became identified
with _Cybele_, whose worship, as mother of the gods, was at a later
period introduced into Rome. The Greek mother, Rhea, was attended by
the Curetes; the Phrygian mother by the Corybantes, who celebrated her
orgies with enthusiastic din of trumpets, drums, and cymbals. Cybele
presided over mountain fastnesses and fortified places.

=42. Bacchus (Dionysus)=, the god of wine, was the son of Jupiter and
Semele, daughter of Cadmus of Thebes. He was especially the god of
animal life and vegetation. He represented not only the intoxicating
power of wine but its social and beneficent influences, and was
looked upon as a promoter of civilization, a lawgiver, and a lover
of peace. His forehead was crowned with vine leaves or ivy. He rode
upon the tiger, the panther, or the lynx, or was drawn by them in a
car. His worshipers were Bacchanals, or Bacchantes. He was attended by
Satyrs and Sileni and by women called Mænads, who, as they danced and
sang, waved in the air the _thyrsus_, a staff entwined with ivy and
surmounted by a pine cone. Ordinarily, as in the following verses by
Dryden, the convivial qualities of the god overshadow all the rest:

    The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung,
      Of Bacchus ever fair, and ever young.
        The jolly god in triumph comes;
        Sound the trumpets, beat the drums;
          Flushed with a purple grace
          He shows his honest face:
    Now give the hautboys breath; he comes, he comes.
      Bacchus, ever fair and young,
        Drinking joys did first ordain;
      Bacchus' blessings are a treasure,
      Drinking is the soldier's pleasure;
          Rich the treasure,
          Sweet the pleasure,
        Sweet is pleasure after pain.[43]

[Illustration: FIG. 32. PAN THE HUNTER]

=43. The Lesser Divinities of Earth= were:

1. _Pan_, son of Mercury and a wood-nymph or Dryad. He was the god
of woods and fields, of flocks and shepherds. He dwelt in caves,
wandered on the mountains and in valleys, amused himself with the
chase, led the dances of the Dryads, and made love to them. But his
suit was frequently of no avail, for though good-natured he was not
prepossessing; his hoofs and horns did not enhance his comeliness. He
was fond of music and was himself inventor of the syrinx, or shepherd's
pipe, which he played in a masterly manner. Like other gods who dwelt
in forests, he was dreaded by those whose occupations caused them to
pass through the woods by night; for gloom and loneliness oppress and
appall the mind. Hence sudden unreasonable fright was ascribed to Pan
and called a Panic terror.

2. _The Nymphs._ Pan's partners in the dance, the Dryads, were but one
of several classes of nymphs. There were, beside them, the Oreads,
nymphs of mountains and grottoes; and the Water-Nymphs, who are
mentioned in later sections.

3. _The Satyrs_, deities of the woods and fields. In early art they
appear as bearded creatures with snub noses, goats' ears, and horses'
tails. Later they resemble youths, sometimes with sprouting horns. The
goat-legged satyr is found in Roman poetry.

[Illustration: FIG. 33. A SATYR]

FOOTNOTES:

[41] For references to poetry and works of art, see corresponding
sections in Commentary.

[42] According to Thomas Moore's Song of a Hyperborean.

[43] From Alexander's Feast.



CHAPTER IV

THE GODS OF THE UNDERWORLD[44]


=44. The Underworld= was the region of darkness inhabited by the
spirits of the dead and governed by Pluto (Hades) and Proserpina, his
queen. According to the Iliad, this realm lay "beneath the secret
places of the earth."[45] And from the Odyssey we gather that it is not
in the bowels of the earth, but on the under side at the limits of the
known world, across the stream Oceanus, where is a waste shore, the
land of the Cimmerians, shrouded in mist and cloud, never lighted by
the sun "neither when he climbs up the starry heavens nor when again
he turns earthward from the firmament."[46] From that land one goes
beside the stream till he reaches the dank house of Hades. The realm
of darkness is bounded by awful rivers: the Styx, sacred even among
the gods, for by it they sealed their oaths, and the Acheron, river of
woe,--with its tributaries, Phlegethon, river of fire, and Cocytus,
river of wailing. Hither past the White Rock, which perhaps symbolizes
the bleaching skeletons of the dead, and past the gates of the sun,
it is the duty of Hermes (Mercury) to conduct the outworn ghosts of
mortals. One of the Greek dramatists, Sophocles, tells us that this
shore of death is "down in the darkling west."[47] In later poems we
read that Charon, a grim boatman, received the dead at the River of
Woe, and ferried them across, if the money requisite for their passage
had been placed in their mouths and their bodies had been duly buried
in the world above.[48] Otherwise he left them gibbering on the hither
bank. The abode of Pluto is represented as wide-gated and thronged
with guests. At the gate Cerberus, a three-headed, serpent-tailed dog,
lay on guard,--friendly to the spirits entering, but inimical to those
who would depart. The palace itself is dark and gloomy, set in the
midst of uncanny fields haunted by strange apparitions. The groves of
somber trees about the palace,--the meads of Asphodel, barren or, at
best, studded with futile bushes and pale-flowered weeds, where wander
the shades,--and the woods along the waste shore "of tall poplars and
willows that shed their fruit before the season" are, without any
particular discrimination, celebrated by the poets as the _Garden of
Proserpine_.

[Illustration: FIG. 34. THE GREEK UNDERWORLD]

[Illustration: FIG. 35. HERMES CONDUCTING A SOUL TO CHARON]

    Here life has death for neighbor,
      And far from eye or ear
    Wan waves and wet winds labor,
      Weak ships and spirits steer;
    They drive adrift, and whither
    They wot not who make thither;
    But no such winds blow hither,
      And no such things grow here.

    No growth of moor or coppice,
      No heather-flower or vine,
    But bloomless buds of poppies,
      Green grapes of Proserpine,
    Pale beds of blowing rushes,
    Where no leaf blooms or blushes
    Save this whereout she crushes
      For dead men deadly wine.
           *       *       *       *       *
    Pale, beyond porch and portal,
      Crowned with calm leaves, she stands
    Who gathers all things mortal
      With cold immortal hands;
    Her languid lips are sweeter
    Than love's, who fears to greet her,
    To men that mix and meet her
      From many times and lands.

[Illustration: FIG. 36. HYPNOS]

    She waits for each and other,
      She waits for all men born;
    Forgets the earth her mother,
      The life of fruits and corn;
    And spring and seed and swallow
    Take wing for her and follow
    Where summer song rings hollow,
      And flowers are put to scorn.
           *       *       *       *       *
    We are not sure of sorrow,
      And joy was never sure;
    To-day will die to-morrow;
      Time stoops to no man's lure;
    And love, grown faint and fretful,
    With lips but half regretful
    Sighs, and with eyes forgetful
      Weeps that no loves endure.

    From too much love of living,
      From hope and fear set free,
    We thank with brief thanksgiving
      Whatever gods may be
    That no life lives forever;
    That dead men rise up never;
    That even the weariest river
      Winds somewhere safe to sea.

    Then star nor sun shall waken,
      Nor any change of light;
    Nor sound of waters shaken,
      Nor any sound or sight;
    Nor wintry leaves nor vernal,
    Nor days nor things diurnal:
    Only the sleep eternal
      In an eternal night.[49]

[Illustration: FIG. 37. A FURY]

=45. Tartarus and the Elysian Fields.= With the ghosts of Hades the
living might but rarely communicate, and only through certain oracles
of the dead, situate by cavernous spots and sheer abysms, deep and
melancholy streams, and baleful marshes. These naturally seemed to
afford access to the world below, which with the later poets, such as
Virgil, comes to be regarded as under the ground. One of these descents
to the Underworld was near Tænarum in Laconia; another, near Cumæ in
Italy, was Lake Avernus, so foul in its exhalations that, as its name
portends, no bird could fly across it.[50] Before the judges of the
lower world,--Minos, Æacus, and Rhadamanthus,--the souls of the dead
were brought to trial. The condemned were assigned to regions where
all manner of torment awaited them at the hands of monsters dire,--the
fifty-headed Hydra and the avenging Furies. Some evildoers, such as
the Titans of old, were doomed to languish in the gulf of Tartarus
immeasurably below. But the souls of the guiltless passed to the
Elysian Fields, where each followed the chosen pursuit of his former
life in a land of spring, sunlight, happiness, and song. And by the
Fields there flowed the river Lethe, from which the souls of those that
were to return to the earth in other bodies drank oblivion of their
former lives.

=46. The Islands of the Blest.= Homer mentions, elsewhere, an Elysium
of the western seas, which is a happy land, "where life is easiest
for men: no snow is there, nor yet great storm, nor any rain; but
always ocean sendeth forth the breeze of the shrill West to blow cool
on men."[51] Hither favored heroes pass without dying, and live under
the happy rule of Rhadamanthus. The Elysium of Hesiod and Pindar is
likewise in the Western Ocean, on the Islands of the Blessed, the
Fortunate Isles. From this dream of a western Elysium may have sprung
the legend of the island Atlantis. That blissful region may have been
wholly imaginary. It is, however, not impossible that the myth had
its origin in the reports of storm-driven mariners who had caught a
glimpse of occidental lands. In these Islands of the Blest, the Titans,
released from Tartarus after many years, dwelt under the golden sway of
the white-haired Cronus.[52]

    There was no heavy heat, no cold,
    The dwellers there wax never old,
      Nor wither with the waning time,
    But each man keeps that age he had
      When first he won the fairy clime.
    The night falls never from on high,
      Nor ever burns the heat of noon;
    But such soft light eternally
      Shines, as in silver dawns of June
    Before the sun hath climbed the sky!
           *       *       *       *       *
    All these their mirth and pleasure made
      Within the plain Elysian,
      The fairest meadow that may be,
    With all green fragrant trees for shade,
      And every scented wind to fan,
      And sweetest flowers to strew the lea;
    The soft winds are their servants fleet
      To fetch them every fruit at will
      And water from the river chill;
    And every bird that singeth sweet,
      Throstle, and merle, and nightingale,
      Brings blossoms from the dewy vale,--
    Lily, and rose, and asphodel,--
      With these doth each guest twine his crown
      And wreathe his cup, and lay him down
    Beside some friend he loveth well.[53]

=47. Pluto (Hades)= was brother of Jupiter. To him fell the sovereignty
of the lower world and the shades of the dead. In his character of
Hades, the viewless, he is hard and inexorable.

By virtue of the helmet or cap given him by the Cyclopes, he moved
hither and yon, dark, unseen,--hated of mortals. He was, however,
lord not only of all that descends to the bowels of the earth, but
of all that proceeds from the earth; and in the latter aspect he was
revered as Pluto, or the giver of wealth. At his pleasure he visited
the realms of day,--as when he carried off Proserpina; occasionally he
journeyed to Olympus; but otherwise he ignored occurrences in the upper
world, nor did he suffer his subjects, by returning, to find them out.
Mortals, when they called on his name, beat the ground with their hands
and, averting their faces, sacrificed black sheep to him and to his
queen. Among the Romans he is known also as Dis, Orcus, and Tartarus.
But Orcus is rather Death, or the Underworld, than ruler of the shades.

[Illustration: FIG. 38. HADES]

=48. Proserpina (Persephone)= was the daughter of Ceres and Jupiter.
She was queen of Hades,--a name applied both to the ruler of the shades
and to his realm. When she is goddess of spring, dear to mankind,
Proserpina bears a cornucopia overflowing with flowers, and revisits
the earth in duly recurring season. But when she is goddess of death,
sitting beside Pluto, she directs the Furies, and, like her husband, is
cruel, unyielding, inimical to youth and life and hope. In the story of
her descent to Hades will be found a further account of her attributes
and fortunes.

=49. The Lesser Divinities of the Underworld= were:

1. _Æacus_, _Rhadamanthus_, and _Minos_, sons of Jupiter and judges of
the shades in the lower world. Æacus had been during his earthly life a
righteous king of the island of Ægina. Minos had been a famous lawgiver
and king of Crete. The life of Rhadamanthus was not eventful.

2. _The Furies_ (_Erinyes_ or _Eumenides_), Alecto, Tisiphone, and
Megæra, born of the blood of the wounded Uranus. They were attendants
of Proserpina. They punished with the frenzies of remorse the crimes of
those who had escaped from or defied public justice. The heads of the
Furies were wreathed with serpents.

3. _Hecate_, a mysterious divinity sometimes identified with Diana and
sometimes with Proserpina. As Diana represents the moonlight splendor
of night, so Hecate represents its darkness and terrors. She haunted
crossroads and graveyards, was the goddess of sorcery and witchcraft,
and wandered by night, seen only by the dogs whose barking told of her
approach.

[Illustration: FIG. 39. DEATH, SLEEP, AND HERMES LAYING A BODY IN THE
TOMB]

4. _Sleep_, or _Somnus (Hypnos)_, and _Death (Thanatos)_, sons of
Night.[54] They dwell in subterranean darkness. The former brings to
mortals solace and fair dreams, and can lull the shining eyes of Jove
himself; the latter closes forever the eyes of men. _Dreams_, too, are
sons of Night.[55] They dwell beside their brother Death, along the
Western Sea. Their abode has two gates,--one of ivory, whence issue
false and flattering visions; the other of horn, through which true
dreams and noble pass to men.[56]

FOOTNOTES:

[44] For interpretation and illustration, see corresponding sections of
Commentary.

[45] Iliad, 22, 482; 9, 568; 20, 61.

[46] Odyssey, 10, 508; 11, 20; 24, 1.

[47] Sophocles, [OE]dipus Rex, 177.

[48] Æneid, 6, 295.

[49] From The Garden of Proserpine, by A. C. Swinburne.

[50] Æneid, 6.

[51] Odyssey, 4, 561.

[52] Hes. Works and Days, 169.

[53] From The Fortunate Islands, by Andrew Lang.

[54] Iliad, 14, 231; 16, 672.

[55] Odyssey, 24, 12; 19, 560. Æneid, 6, 893. Ovid, Metam. 11, 592.

[56] For genealogical table, see Commentary.



CHAPTER V

THE GODS OF THE WATERS[57]


[Illustration: FIG. 40. POSEIDON]

=50. The Older Dynasty.= There were two dynasties of the sea. The
Older, which flourished during the rule of Cronus, was founded by the
Titans, _Oceanus_ and _Tethys_, from whom sprang three thousand rivers
and ocean-nymphs unnumbered. The palace of Oceanus was beyond the
limits of the bountiful earth,[58] surrounded by gardens and all things
fair. From ages immemorial another dweller in the glimmering caves of
Ocean was _Pontus_ (the _deep sea_ or the _waterway_), who became, by
Mother Earth, father of Nereus. This _Nereus_, a genial old man of the
sea, was distinguished for his prophetic gifts, his knowledge, his love
of truth and justice. Taking to wife one of the daughters of Oceanus,
the nymph Doris, he was blessed with a family of fifty fair daughters,
the _Nereïds_.[59] Of these daughters the most famous are Panope,
Galatea, Thetis, and Amphitrite; the last of whom gave her hand to
Neptune (Poseidon), brother of Jove, and thus united the Older and the
Younger dynasties of the sea.

=51.= Of the =Younger Dynasty= of the waters _Neptune_ and _Amphitrite_
were the founders. Neptune's palace was in the depths of the sea,
near Ægæ in Eub[oe]a; but he made his home on Olympus when he chose.
The symbol of his power was the trident, or three-pronged spear,
with which he could shatter rocks, call forth or subdue storms, and
shake the shores of earth. He created the horse and was the patron of
horse races. His own steeds were brazen-hoofed and golden-maned. They
drew his chariot over the sea, which became smooth before him, while
dolphins and other monsters of the deep gamboled about his path. In his
honor black and white bulls, white boars, and rams were sacrificed.

[Illustration: FIG. 41. WEDDING OF POSEIDON AND AMPHITRITE]

=52. The Lesser Divinities of= =the Waters=[60] were:

1. _Triton_, the son of Neptune and Amphitrite, trumpeter of Ocean. By
his blast on the sea-shell he stirred or allayed the waves.

2. _Proteus_, an attendant and, according to certain traditions, a
son of Neptune. Like Nereus, he was a little old man of the sea. He
possessed the prophetic gift and the power of changing his shape at
will.

3. _The Harpies_, foul creatures, with heads of maidens, bodies, wings,
and claws of birds, and faces pale with hunger. They are the offspring
of Thaumas, a son of Pontus and Gæa.

4. The uncanny offspring of Phorcys and Ceto,--children of Pontus,--who
rejoiced in the horrors of the sea:

_a. The Grææ_, three hoary witches, with one eye between them which
they used in turn.

_b. The Gorgons_, whose glance was icy death.

_c. The Sirens_, muses of the sea and of death, who by their sweet
singing enticed seafarers to destruction.

_d. Scylla_, also destructive to mariners, a six-headed monster whose
lower limbs were serpents and ever-barking dogs.

[Illustration: FIG. 42. TRITON CARRYING OFF A NYMPH]

5. _Atlas_, who stood in the far west, bearing on his shoulders the
vault of heaven. He was once regarded as a divinity of the sea, but
later as a mountain. He was the son of Iapetus and the father of three
classes of nymphs,--the Pleiads, the Hyads, and, according to some
stories, the Hesperids. The last-mentioned, assisted by their mother
Hesperis and a dragon, guarded the golden apples of the tree that had
sprung up to grace the wedding of Jove and Juno. The daughters of Atlas
were not themselves divinities of the sea.

6. _The Water-Nymphs._ Beside the _Oceanids_ and the _Nereïds_, who
have already been mentioned, of most importance were the _Naiads_,
daughters of Jupiter. They presided over brooks and fountains. Other
lesser powers of the Ocean were Glaucus, Leucothea, and Melicertes, of
whom more is said in another section.

In the following statement of the difference between ancient and modern
conceptions of nature, the poet lends new charm to the fabled rulers of
the sea.

    The world is too much with us; late and soon,
    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
    Little we see in Nature that is ours;
    We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
    This sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
    The winds that will be howling at all hours,
    And are upgathered now like sleeping flowers;
    For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
    It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
    A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
    So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
    Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
    Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
    Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.[61]

FOOTNOTES:

[57] For references to poetry and works of art, see corresponding
sections of Commentary.

[58] Iliad, 14, 303.

[59] Iliad, 18, 30-50.

[60] For genealogical table, see Commentary.

[61] Wordsworth, Miscellaneous Sonnets.



CHAPTER VI

THE ROMAN DIVINITIES


=53. Gods Common to Greece and Italy.= Of the deities already
mentioned, the following, although they were later identified with
certain Greek gods and goddesses[62] whose characteristics and
adventures they assumed, had developed an independent worship in Italy:
Jupiter (Zeus); Juno (Hera); Minerva (Athene); Diana (Artemis); Mars
(Ares); Venus (Aphrodite); Vulcanus, or Mulciber (Hephæstus); Vesta
(Hestia); Mercurius (Hermes); Neptunus (Poseidon); Ceres (Demeter);
Liber (Bacchus); Libera (Persephone); Magna Mater, the great mother of
the gods (Rhea, Cybele); Orcus (Pluto, Hades); Tellus, the Earth (Gæa).

=54. Italian Gods.= There were also divinities always peculiar to Roman
mythology.[63] Of these the more important are:

1. _Saturn_, an ancient Italian deity (as his name indicates) of seeds
and sowing, the introducer of agriculture. Fanciful attempts were
made to identify him with the Grecian god Cronus; and it was fabled
that after his dethronement by Jupiter he fled to Italy, where he
reigned during the Golden Age. In memory of his dominion, the feast of
Saturnalia was held every year in the winter season. Then all public
business was suspended; declarations of war and criminal executions
were postponed; friends made presents to one another; and even slaves
were indulged with great liberties. A feast was given them at which
they sat at table while their masters served, to show the natural
equality of men, and that all things belonged equally to all in the
reign of Saturn. The wife of Saturn was _Ops_, goddess of sowing and
harvest (later confounded with Rhea). Another Roman deity of earth was
_Consus_, whose name means "the keeper of the stores." He is the god
of the stored-up harvest; and his altar is said to have been discovered
underground by Romulus. It was in the Circus Maximus and was uncovered
only on the days of his festivals, the harvest home of August and the
granary feast of December. The underground altar is a reminiscence
of the ancient custom of storing corn underground or at any rate of
burying the sacrifices offered to deities of the earth. The harvest
festival was celebrated with horse races, which, originating in a very
simple way with the primitive farmers, became in time the distinctive
feature of the Circus Maximus.

[Illustration: FIG. 43. BEARDED JANUS]

2. _Janus_, whose name is derived from the Latin root which means
"going" and is connected with _janua_, a passage or door, is the most
distinctive and most important of the native Italic deities. He is
not only the god of doors, or material openings, but more truly of
beginnings,--especially of good beginnings which insure good endings.
Hence undoubtedly he is represented as facing both ways; for the Romans
very properly believed that beginning and ending were of the same
piece, and that an undertaking ill begun could not achieve success.
His temple, or covered passage, in the Forum had doors facing east and
west for the beginning and ending of the day; and between stood his
two-faced statue. In every home the morning prayer was addressed to
him; in every domestic enterprise his assistance was implored. He was
the god, also, of the opening year; hence his month, January, on the
first day of which words only of good omen were uttered, and gifts were
given (_strenae_, a name still preserved in the French word for New
Year's presents, _étrennes_), and, for good luck, some stroke of work
was bestowed on every undertaking planned for the year. He was publicly
invoked not only on New Year's day, but on the first day of each
month, by priests and people alike; and in these prayers his name was
mentioned even before that of Jupiter. He is the god of civilization,
and is sometimes called Consivius, or the Sower.[64] Of course he was
invoked when wars were commenced. And during their progress the doors
of his temple stood always open. In peace they were closed; but they
were shut only once between the reign of Numa and that of Augustus.
It was natural that his worship should gradually absorb that of Sol,
the Sun, who opens the day and completes the year and blesses with his
rays the seeds that are sown; and such was the case. But Janus and his
wife Jana were not originally connected even in name with Dianus (Sol,
Apollo) and Diana (the moon).

3. _Quirinus_, a war-god, said to be no other than Romulus, the founder
of Rome, exalted after his death to a place among the immortals.

4. _Bellona_, a war-goddess.

5. _Lucina_, the goddess who brings to light, hence the goddess of
childbirth: a title bestowed upon both Juno and Diana.

6. _Terminus_, the god of landmarks. His statue was a rude stone or
post, set in the ground to mark the boundaries of fields.

7. _Faunus_, the grandson of Saturn. He was worshiped as a god of
fields and shepherds and also of prophecy. His name in the plural,
Fauni, expressed a class of gamesome deities, like the Satyrs of the
Greeks. There was also a goddess called _Fauna_, or _Bona Dea_ (good
goddess). To Maia, wife of Vulcan, this designation, _Bona Dea_, was
sometimes applied.

8. _Sylvanus_, presiding over forest-glades and plowed fields.

9. _Pales_, the goddess presiding over cattle and pastures. _Flora_,
the goddess of flowers. _Pomona_, presiding over fruit trees.
_Vertumnus_, the husband of Pomona, was guardian of fruit trees,
gardens, and vegetables.

    Pomona loves the orchard,
      And Liber loves the vine,
    And Pales loves the straw-built shed
      Warm with the breath of kine;
    And Venus loves the whisper
      Of plighted youth and maid
    In April's ivory moonlight,
      Beneath the chestnut shade.[65]

10. _The Penates_, gods who were supposed to attend to the welfare
and prosperity of the family. Their name is derived from Penus, the
storehouse or inner chamber, which was sacred to them. Every master of
a family was the priest to the Penates of his own house.

The _Lares_, or _Lars_, were also tutelary deities, but they differed
from the Penates since they were regarded as the deified spirits of
ancestors, who watched over and protected their descendants. The
Lares were more particularly divinities presiding over the household
or family; but there were also public Lares, or guardian spirits of
the city, Lares of the precincts, Lares of the fields, Lares of the
highways, and Lares of the sea. To the Penates, to the domestic Lares
(whose images were preserved in a private shrine), and to the _Manes_
(shades that hovered over the place of burial), the family prayers of
the Romans were addressed. Other spirits, the _Lemures_ and _Larvæ_,
more nearly correspond to our ghosts.

[Illustration: FIG. 44. GENIUS LOCI]

The Romans believed that every man had his _Genius_ and every woman her
_Juno_; that is, a spirit who had given them being and was regarded
as a protector through life. On birthdays men made offerings to their
Genius, women to their Juno.

11. Other Italian deities were the gods of the rivers, such as _Father
Tiber_, and the goddesses of the springs and brooks, such as _Juturna_,
whose pool in the Forum was sacred. This nymph was also a goddess of
healing and, according to later tradition, was beloved by Jupiter.
Earlier stories, however, make her the wife of Janus and the mother of
_Fontus_, the god of flowing waters, who had an altar on the Janiculan
hill and was worshiped at an annual festival called the Fontinalia,
when the wells were wreathed with garlands. Held in especial honor were
the _Camenæ_, fountain-nymphs, goddesses of prophecy and healing (later
identified with the Muses). The leader of them was _Carmenta_, who sang
both the future and the past. With her is sometimes associated the
nymph _Egeria_, from whom the Roman king Numa is said to have received
instruction concerning the forms of worship which he introduced.

12. The Romans worshiped, also, _Sol_, the Sun; _Luna_, the Moon;
_Mater Matuta_, the Dawn; _Juventus_, Youth; _Fides_, Honesty;
_Feronia_, goddess of groves and freedmen; and a great number of
personified abstractions of conduct and experience, such as Fortune and
Health.

Many of these Latin divinities were derived from the earlier cult and
ritual of the Etruscan inhabitants of Italy.

FOOTNOTES:

[62] Names of the corresponding Greek divinities are in parentheses.

[63] For illustrative material, see Commentary.

[64] Gellius, 5, 12. Ovid, Fasti, 1, 179. Macrobius, Sat. 1, 9-15.

[65] From Macaulay's Prophecy of Capys.



CHAPTER VII

MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN


=55. Myths of Jupiter and Juno.= Not a few of the adventures of Jupiter
turn upon his love affairs. Among the immortals his queen had rivals in
his affection; for instance, Latona, a goddess of darkness, daughter
of the Titans C[oe]us and Ph[oe]be. This goddess became, as we have
already seen, the mother of Apollo and Diana. The ire of Juno against
her was never appeased. In consequence of it, numerous trials were
visited upon Latona, some of which find a place among the adventures of
her children.

[Illustration: FIG. 45. GANYMEDE]

=56. Love Affairs of Jupiter.= Not only with immortals but with mortals
were Jupiter's relations sometimes of a dubious character. His devotion
to the beautiful daughters of men involved him in frequent altercations
with his justly jealous spouse. Of his fondness for Danaë, whom he
approached in a shower of gold, particulars are given in the story of
her son Perseus; of his love for Alcmene, the granddaughter of that
Perseus, we are informed in the myths of her son Hercules; and of his
attentions to Leda, whom he wooed in guise of a swan, we learn in the
accounts of their children Pollux and Helen. Other love passages, upon
which narratives depend, concern Io, Callisto, Europa, Semele, Ægina,
and Antiope.

[Illustration: GREECE IN THE FIFTH CENTURY B.C.]

=57. Io=[66] was of divine ancestry. Her father was the river-god
Inachus, son of Oceanus. It is said that Juno one day, perceiving the
skies suddenly overcast, surmised that her husband had raised a cloud
to hide some escapade. She brushed away the darkness and saw him on the
banks of a glassy river with a beautiful heifer standing near. Juno
suspected, with reason, that the heifer's form concealed some fair
nymph of mortal mold. It was Io, whom Jupiter, when he became aware of
the approach of his wife, had changed into that form.

[Illustration: FIG. 46. HERMES KILLS ARGUS]

The ox-eyed goddess joined her husband, noticed the heifer, praised
its beauty, and asked whose it was and of what herd. Jupiter, to
stop questions, replied that it was a fresh creation from the earth.
Juno begged it as a gift. What could the king of gods and men do? He
was loath to surrender his sweetheart to his wife; yet how refuse
so trifling a present as a heifer? He could not, without exciting
suspicion, and he therefore consented. The goddess delivered the heifer
to Argus, to be strictly watched.

Now Argus had a hundred eyes in his head, and never went to sleep with
more than two at a time, so that he kept watch of Io constantly. He
suffered her to graze through the day and at night tied a rope round
her neck. She would have stretched out her arms to implore freedom of
Argus, but that she had no arms to stretch out and her voice was a
bellow. She yearned in vain to make herself known to her father. At
length she bethought herself of writing, and inscribed her name--it
was a short one--with her hoof on the sand. Inachus recognized it,
and, discovering that his daughter whom he had long sought in vain was
hidden under this disguise, mourned over her. While he thus lamented,
Argus, observing, drove her away and took his seat on a bank from
whence he could see in every direction.

[Illustration: FIG. 47. IO, ARGUS, AND MERCURY]

Jupiter, grieved by the sufferings of his mistress, sent Mercury to
dispatch Argus. Mercury took his sleep-producing wand and presented
himself on earth as a shepherd driving his flock. As he strolled, he
blew upon his syrinx or Pandean pipes. Argus listened with delight.
"Young man," said he, "come and take a seat by me on this stone. There
is no better place for your flock to graze in than hereabouts, and here
is a pleasant shade such as shepherds love." Mercury sat down, talked,
told stories till it grew late, and played upon his pipes his most
soothing strains, hoping to lull the watchful eyes to sleep, but in
vain; for Argus still contrived to keep some of his eyes open, though
he shut the rest.

But among other stories, Mercury told him how the instrument on which
he played was invented. "There was a certain nymph," said he, "whose
name was Syrinx,--much beloved by the satyrs and spirits of the wood.
She would have none of them, but was a faithful worshiper of Diana
and followed the chase. Pan, meeting her one day, wooed her with many
compliments, likening her to Diana of the silver bow. Without stopping
to hear him she ran away. But on the bank of the river he overtook
her. She called for help on her friends, the water-nymphs. They heard
and consented. Pan threw his arms around what he supposed to be the
form of the nymph and found he embraced only a tuft of reeds. As he
breathed a sigh, the air sounded through the reeds and produced a
plaintive melody. Whereupon the god, charmed with the novelty and with
the sweetness of the music, said, 'Thus, then, at least, you shall be
mine.' Taking some of the reeds of unequal lengths and placing them
together, side by side, he made an instrument and called it Syrinx,
in honor of the nymph." Before Mercury had finished his story he saw
the eyes of Argus all asleep. At once he slew him and set Io free. The
eyes of Argus Juno took and scattered as ornaments on the tail of her
peacock, where they remain to this day.

But the vengeance of Juno was not yet satiated. She sent a gadfly to
torment Io, who, in her flight, swam through the sea, named after
her, Ionian. Afterward, roaming over many lands, she reached at last
the banks of the Nile. Then Jupiter interceded for her; and upon his
engaging not to pay her any further attention, Juno consented to
restore her to her form.

In a poem dedicated to Leigh Hunt, by Keats, the following allusion to
the story of Pan and Syrinx occurs:

    So did he feel who pulled the boughs aside,
    That we might look into a forest wide, ...
    Telling us how fair trembling Syrinx fled
    Arcadian Pan, with such a fearful dread.
    Poor nymph--poor Pan--how he did weep to find
    Nought but a lovely sighing of the wind
    Along the reedy stream; a half-heard strain,
    Full of sweet desolation, balmy pain.

=58. Callisto= of Arcadia was another maiden who excited the jealousy
of Juno. Her the goddess changed into a bear. Often, frightened by
the dogs, Callisto, though lately a huntress, fled in terror from the
hunters. Often, too, she fled from the wild beasts, forgetting that
she was now a wild beast herself; and, bear as she was, she feared the
bears.

One day a youth espied her as he was hunting. She saw him and
recognized him as her son Arcas, grown to manhood. She stopped and felt
inclined to embrace him. He, alarmed, raised his hunting spear and was
on the point of transfixing her, but Jupiter arrested the crime and,
snatching away both of them, placed them in the heavens as the Great
and Little Bear.

Juno, enraged at seeing her rival so set in honor, hastened to ancient
Tethys and Oceanus and, complaining that she was supplanted in Heaven,
cried, "So do my punishments result--such is the extent of my power! I
forbade her to wear human form,--she and her hateful son are placed
among the stars. Better that she should have resumed her former shape,
as I permitted Io to do. Perhaps my husband means to take her to
wife, and put me away! But you, my foster parents, if you feel for
me, and see with displeasure this unworthy treatment of me, show it,
I beseech you, by forbidding this guilty couple from coming into your
waters." The powers of the Ocean assented, and consequently the two
constellations of the Great and Little Bear move round and round in
the neighborhood of the pole, but never sink, as do the other stars,
beneath the Ocean.[67]

=59. Europa= was the daughter of Agenor, king of Ph[oe]nicia, son of
the god Neptune. The story of Jupiter's love for her is thus told by
the idyllic poet, Moschus:

    To Europa, princess of Asia, once on a time, a sweet dream was
    sent by Cypris.... Then she beheld two continents at strife for
    her sake, Asia and the further shore, both in the shape of women.
    Of these one had the guise of a stranger, the other of a lady of
    that land, and closer still she clung about her maiden, and kept
    saying how she was her mother, and herself had nursed Europa. But
    that other with mighty hands, and forcefully, kept haling the
    maiden, nothing loth; declaring that, by the will of ægis-bearing
    Jupiter, Europa was destined to be her prize.

    But Europa leaped forth from her strown bed in terror, with
    beating heart, in such clear vision had she beheld the dream....
    And she said, "Ah! who was the alien woman that I beheld in my
    sleep? How strange a longing for her seized my heart, yea, and
    how graciously she herself did welcome me, and regard me as it
    had been her own child! Ye blessed gods, I pray you, prosper the
    fulfillment of the dream!"

    Therewith she arose, and began to seek the dear maidens of her
    company, girls of like age with herself, born in the same year,
    beloved of her heart, the daughters of noble sires, with whom she
    was always wont to sport, when she was arrayed for the dance, or
    when she would bathe her bright body at the mouths of the rivers,
    or would gather fragrant lilies on the leas....

    Now the girls, so soon as they were come to the flowering
    meadows, took great delight in various sorts of flowers, whereof
    one would pluck sweet-breathed narcissus, another the hyacinth,
    another the violet, a fourth the creeping thyme; and on the
    ground there fell many petals of the meadows rich with spring.
    Others, again, were emulously gathering the fragrant tresses of
    the yellow crocus; but in the midst of them all the princess
    culled with her hand the splendor of the crimson rose, and shone
    preëminent among them all like the foam-born goddess among the
    Graces. Verily, she was not for long to set her heart's delight
    upon the flowers.... For of a truth, the son of Cronus, so soon
    as he beheld her, was troubled, and his heart was subdued by the
    sudden shafts of Cypris, who alone can conquer even Jupiter.
    Therefore, both to avoid the wrath of jealous Juno, and being
    eager to beguile the maiden's tender heart, he concealed his
    godhead, and changed his shape, and became a bull....

    [Illustration: FIG. 48. EUROPA ON THE BULL]

    He came into the meadow, and his coming terrified not the
    maidens, nay, within them all wakened desire to draw nigh the
    lovely bull, and to touch him, and his heavenly fragrance was
    scattered afar, exceeding even the sweet perfume of the meadows.
    And he stood before the feet of fair Europa, and kept licking her
    neck, and cast his spell over the maiden. And she still caressed
    him, and gently with her hands she wiped away the deep foam from
    his lips, and kissed the bull. Then he lowed so gently, ye would
    think ye heard the Mygdonian flute uttering a dulcet sound.

    He bowed himself before her feet, and bending back his neck, he
    gazed on Europa, and showed her his broad back. Then she spake
    among her deep-tressed maidens, saying,--

    "Come, dear playmates, maidens of like age with me, let us mount
    the bull here and take our pastime, for, truly, he will bear us
    on his back, and carry all of us! And how mild he is, and dear,
    and gentle to behold, and no whit like other bulls! A mind as
    honest as a man's possesses him, and he lacks nothing but speech."

    So she spake, and smiling, she sat down on the back of the bull,
    and the others were about to follow her. But the bull leaped up
    immediately, now he had gotten her that he desired, and swiftly
    he sped to the deep. The maiden turned, and called again and
    again to her dear playmates, stretching out her hands, but they
    could not reach her. The strand he gained, and forward he sped
    like a dolphin, faring with unwetted hooves over the wide waves.
    And the sea, as he came, grew smooth, and the sea monsters
    gamboled around, before the feet of Jupiter; and the dolphin
    rejoiced, and rising from the deeps, he tumbled on the swell of
    the sea. The Nereïds arose out of the salt water, and all of them
    came on in orderly array, riding on the backs of sea beasts. And
    himself, the thunderous shaker of the world, appeared above the
    sea, and made smooth the wave, and guided his brother on the
    salt sea path, and round him were gathered the Tritons, these
    hoarse trumpeters of the deep, blowing from their long conchs a
    bridal melody.

    Meanwhile, Europa, riding on the back of the divine bull, with
    one hand clasped the beast's great horn, and with the other
    caught up the purple fold of her garment, lest it might trail and
    be wet in the hoar sea's infinite spray. And her deep robe was
    swelled out by the winds, like the sail of a ship, and lightly
    still did waft the maiden onward. But when she was now far off
    from her own country, and neither sea-beat headland nor steep
    hill could now be seen, but above, the air, and beneath, the
    limitless deep, timidly she looked around, and uttered her voice,
    saying,--

    [Illustration: FIG. 49. NEREÏDS ON SEA BEASTS]

    "Whither bearest thou me, bull god? What art thou? How dost thou
    fare on thy feet through the path of the sea beasts, nor fearest
    the sea? The sea is a path meet for swift ships that traverse the
    brine, but bulls dread the salt sea ways. What drink is sweet to
    thee, what food shalt thou find from the deep? Nay, art thou then
    some god, for godlike are these deeds of thine." ...

    So spake she, and the horned bull made answer to her again: "Take
    courage, maiden, and dread not the swell of the deep. Behold,
    I am Jupiter, even I, though, closely beheld, I wear the form
    of a bull, for I can put on the semblance of what thing I will.
    But 'tis love of thee that has compelled me to measure out so
    great a space of the salt sea, in a bull's shape. So Crete shall
    presently receive thee, Crete that was mine own foster-mother,
    where thy bridal chamber shall be."[68]

According to tradition, from this princess the continent of Europe
acquired its name. Her three sons are famous in Greek myth: Minos, who
became king of Crete, and after his death a judge in the lower world;
Rhadamanthus, who also was regarded as king and judge in the world of
ghosts; and Sarpedon, who was ancestor of the Lycians.

The adventures of Europa's brother Cadmus, who by the command of his
father went forth in quest of the lost maiden, fall under the myths of
Mars.[69]

[Illustration: FIG. 50. BACCHUS EMBRACING SEMELE]

=60. Semele= was the daughter of Cadmus, founder of Thebes. She was
descended, through both parents, from the gods; for her mother Harmonia
was daughter to Mars and the laughter-loving Venus. To Semele Jupiter
had appeared, and had paid court in unostentatious manner and simple
guise. But Juno, to gratify her resentment against this new rival for
her lord's affections, contrived a plan for her destruction. Assuming
the form of Beroë, the aged nurse of Semele, she insinuated doubts
whether it was indeed Jove himself who came as a lover. Heaving a sigh,
she said, "I hope it will turn out so, but I can't help being afraid.
People are not always what they pretend to be. If he is indeed Jove,
make him give some proof of it. Ask him to come arrayed in all his
splendors, such as he wears in Heaven. That will put the matter beyond
a doubt." Semele was persuaded to try the experiment. She asks a favor,
without naming what it is. Jove gives his promise, and confirms it
with the irrevocable oath, attesting the river Styx, terrible to the
gods themselves. Then she made known her request. The god would have
stopped her as she spake, but she was too quick for him. The words
escaped, and he could neither unsay his promise nor her request. In
deep distress he left her and returned to the upper regions. There he
clothed himself in his splendors, not putting on all his terrors, as
when he overthrew the giants, but what is known among the gods as his
lesser panoply. With thunders and lightnings he entered the chamber
of Semele. Her mortal frame could not endure the splendors of the
immortal radiance. She was consumed to ashes.[70] Her son was the god
Bacchus.[71] Semele, in the blissful seats of Heaven, whither she was
transported by the sorrowful Jove, has been represented as recounting
thus the story of her doom:

    What were the garden-bowers of Thebes to me?
    What cared I for their dances and their feasts,
    Whose heart awaited an immortal doom?
    The Greek youths mocked me, since I shunned in scorn
    Them and their praises of my brows and hair.
    The light girls pointed after me, who turned
    Soul-sick from their unending fooleries....

    There came a change: a glory fell to me.
    No more 'twas Semele, the lonely girl,
    But Jupiter's Beloved, Semele.
    With human arms the god came clasping me:
    New life streamed from his presence; and a voice,
    That scarce could curb itself to the smooth Greek,
    Now and anon swept forth in those deep nights,
    Thrilling my flesh with awe; mysterious words--
    I knew not what; hints of unearthly things
    That I had felt on solemn summer noons,
    When sleeping Earth dreamed music, and the heart
    Went crooning a low song it could not learn,
    But wandered over it, as one who gropes
    For a forgotten chord upon a lyre.

    Yea, Jupiter! But why this mortal guise,
    Wooing as if he were a milk-faced boy?
    Did I lack lovers? Was my beauty dulled,
    The golden hair turned dross, the lithe limbs shrunk?
    The deathless longings tamed, that I should seethe
    My soul in love like any shepherd girl?
      One night he sware to grant whate'er I asked:
    And straight I cried, "To know thee as thou art!
    To hold thee on my heart as Juno does!
    Come in thy thunder--kill me with one fierce
    Divine embrace!--Thine oath!--Now, Earth, at last!"

    The Heavens shot one swift sheet of lurid flame;
    The world crashed: from a body scathed and torn
    The soul leapt through, and found his breast, and died.
      Died?--So the Theban maidens think, and laugh,
    Saying, "She had her wish, that Semele!"
    But sitting here upon Olympus' height,
    I look down, through that oval ring of stars,
    And see the far-off Earth, a twinkling speck--
    Dust-mote whirled up from the Sun's chariot wheel--
    And pity their small hearts that hold a man
    As if he were a god; or know the god--
    Or dare to know him--only as a man!
    O human love! art thou forever blind?[72]

=61. Ægina.= The extent to which those who were concerned only
indirectly in Jupiter's love affairs might yet be involved in the
consequences of them is illustrated by the fortunes of Ægina. This
maiden, the daughter of Asopus, a river-god, attracted the attention
of Jupiter, who straightway ran off with her. Now, on the one hand,
Sisyphus, king of Corinth, having witnessed the intrigue, was
indiscreet enough to disclose it. Forthwith the vengeance of the
king of gods and men fell upon him. He was condemned to Hades and,
attempting to escape thence, had resort to a series of deceptions
that resulted in his eternal punishment.[73] On the other hand, the
inhabitants of the island that had the misfortune to bear Ægina's name
incurred the displeasure of Juno, who devastated their land with a
plague. The following account of this calamity is placed in the mouth
of Æacus, king of the island:[74]

"At the beginning the sky seemed to settle down upon the earth and
thick clouds shut in the heated air. For four months together a deadly
south wind prevailed. The disorder affected the wells and springs.
Thousands of snakes crept over the land and shed their poison in
the fountains. The force of the disease was first spent on the lower
animals,--dogs, cattle, sheep, and birds. The oxen fell in the midst of
their work. The wool dropped from the bleating sheep. The horse groaned
at his stall and died an inglorious death. Everything languished;
dead bodies lay in the roads, the fields, and the woods; the air was
poisoned by them. Next the disease attacked the country people, and
then the dwellers in the city. At first the cheek was flushed and the
breath drawn with difficulty. The tongue grew rough and swelled, and
the dry mouth stood open, with its veins enlarged, and gasped for the
air. Men could not bear the heat of their clothes or their beds, but
preferred to lie on the bare ground. Nor could the physicians help, for
the disease attacked them also. At last men learned to look upon death
as the only deliverer from disease. All restraint laid aside, they
crowded round the wells and fountains, and drank, without quenching
thirst, till they died. On all sides lay my people strewn like
over-ripened apples beneath the tree, or acorns under the storm-shaken
oak. You see yonder a temple on the height. It is sacred to Jupiter.
Often, while the priest made ready for sacrifice, the victim fell,
struck down by disease without waiting for the blow. At length all
reverence for sacred things was lost. Bodies were thrown out unburied,
wood was wanting for funeral piles, men fought with one another for the
possession of them. Finally there were none left to mourn; sons and
husbands, old men and youths, perished alike unlamented.

[Illustration: FARNESE BULL]

"Standing before the altar, I raised my eyes to Heaven. 'O Jupiter,' I
said, 'if thou art indeed my father, give me back my people, or take
me also away!' At these words a clap of thunder was heard. 'I accept
the omen,' I cried. By chance there grew by the place where I stood
an oak with wide-spreading branches, sacred to Jupiter. I observed
on it a troop of ants busy with their labor. Observing their numbers
with admiration, I said, 'Give me, O father, citizens as numerous as
these, and replenish my empty city.' The tree shook, and the branches
rustled, though no wind agitated them. Night came on. The tree stood
before me in my dreams, with its numerous branches all covered with
living, moving creatures, which, falling to the ground, appeared to
gain in size, and by and by to stand erect, and finally to assume the
human form. Then I awoke. My attention was caught by the sound of many
voices without. While I began to think I was yet dreaming, Telamon,
my son, throwing open the temple gates, exclaimed, 'Father, approach,
and behold things surpassing even your hopes!' I went forth; I saw a
multitude of men, such as I had seen in my dream. While I gazed with
wonder and delight, they approached and, kneeling, hailed me as their
king. I paid my vows to Jove, and proceeded to allot the vacant city
to the new-born race. I called them Myrmidons from the ant (_myrmex_),
from which they sprang. They are a diligent and industrious race, eager
to gain, and tenacious of their gains."

The Myrmidons were the soldiers of Achilles, the grandson of King
Æacus, in the Trojan War.

=62. Antiope= was, according to the Odyssey, another daughter of
Asopus, therefore a sister of Ægina. But later poets make this darling
of Jove daughter of Nycteus, king of Thebes. While she was engaged in
the Mænad dances, Jupiter as a satyr wooed and won her. She bore him
two sons, Amphion and Zethus, who, being exposed at birth on Mount
Cithæron, grew up among the shepherds, not knowing their parentage.
After various adventures Antiope fell into the hands of her uncle
Lycus, the usurping king of Thebes, who, egged on by his wife Dirce,
treated her with extreme cruelty. Finally, when doomed by Dirce to
be dragged to death behind a bull, Antiope found means to inform her
children of her kinship to them. As it happened, they had been ordered
to execute the cruel sentence upon their mother. But with a band of
their fellow herdsmen, they attacked and slew Lycus instead, and, tying
Dirce by the hair of her head to a bull, let her perish by her own
device.[75]

While among the herdsmen, _Amphion_ had been the special care of
Mercury, who gave him a lyre and taught him to play upon it. His
brother Zethus had occupied himself in hunting and tending the flocks.
Amphion himself is one of the most famous of mythical musicians. Having
become king of Thebes, it is said that when he played on his lyre,
stones moved of their own accord and took their places in the wall with
which he was fortifying the city.

[Illustration: FIG. 51. AMPHION AND ZETHUS]

    ... 'Tis said he had a tuneful tongue,
      Such happy intonation,
    Wherever he sat down and sung
      He left a small plantation;
    Wherever in a lonely grove
      He set up his forlorn pipes,
    The gouty oak began to move,
      And flounder into hornpipes.

    The mountain stirred its bushy crown,
      And, as tradition teaches,
    Young ashes pirouetted down
      Coquetting with young beeches;
    And briony-vine and ivy-wreath
      Ran forward to his rhyming,
    And from the valleys underneath
      Came little copses climbing.

    The linden broke her ranks and rent
      The woodbine wreaths that bind her,
    And down the middle, buzz! she went
      With all her bees behind her:
    The poplars, in long order due,
      With cypress promenaded,
    The shock-head willows, two and two,
      By rivers gallopaded.

    Came wet-shot alder from the wave,
      Came yews, a dismal coterie;
    Each plucked his one foot from the grave,
      Poussetting with a sloe-tree:
    Old elms came breaking from the vine,
      The vine streamed out to follow,
    And, sweating rosin, plumped the pine
      From many a cloudy hollow.

    And wasn't it a sight to see,
      When, ere his song was ended,
    Like some great landslip, tree by tree,
      The country-side descended;
    And shepherds from the mountain-eaves
      Looked down, half-pleased, half-frightened,
    As dashed about the drunken leaves
      The random sunshine lightened.[76]

The musician's life was, however, not all harmony and happiness. Owing
to the pride of his wife Niobe, daughter of King Tantalus, there befell
him and his house a crushing calamity, which is narrated among the
exploits of Apollo and Diana.

=63. Jupiter, a Friend of Man.= The kindly interest evinced by the
Thunderer toward mortals is displayed in the story of Baucis and
Philemon. Once on a time Jupiter, in human shape, visited the land of
Phrygia, and with him Mercury, without his wings.

They presented themselves as weary travelers at many a door, seeking
rest and shelter, but found all closed; for it was late, and the
inhospitable inhabitants would not rouse themselves to open for their
reception. At last a small thatched cottage received them, where
Baucis, a pious old dame, and her husband Philemon had grown old
together. Not ashamed of their poverty, they made it endurable by
moderate desires and kind dispositions. When the two guests crossed
the humble threshold and bowed their heads to pass under the low door,
the old man placed a seat, on which Baucis, bustling and attentive,
spread a cloth, and begged them to sit down. Then she raked out the
coals from the ashes, kindled a fire, and prepared some pot-herbs and
bacon for them. A beechen bowl was filled with warm water, that their
guests might wash. While all was doing, they beguiled the time with
conversation.

The old woman with trembling hand set the table. One leg was shorter
than the rest, but a piece of slate put under restored the level. When
it was steady she rubbed the table down with sweet-smelling herbs.
Upon it she set some of chaste Minerva's olives, some cornel berries
preserved in vinegar, and added radishes and cheese, with eggs lightly
cooked in the ashes. The meal was served in earthen dishes; and an
earthenware pitcher, with wooden cups, stood beside them. When all was
ready the stew, smoking hot, was set on the table. Some wine, not of
the oldest, was added, and for dessert, apples and wild honey.

Now while the repast proceeded, the old folks were astonished to see
that the wine, as fast as it was poured out, renewed itself in the
pitcher of its own accord. Struck with terror, Baucis and Philemon
recognized their heavenly guests, fell on their knees, and with clasped
hands implored forgiveness for their poor entertainment. There was an
old goose, which they kept as the guardian of their humble cottage, and
they bethought them to make this a sacrifice in honor of their guests.
But the goose, too nimble for the old folk, with the aid of feet and
wings eluded their pursuit and at last took shelter between the gods
themselves. They forbade it to be slain, and spoke in these words:
"We are gods. This inhospitable village shall pay the penalty of its
impiety; you alone shall go free from the chastisement. Quit your house
and come with us to the top of yonder hill." They hastened to obey.
The country behind them was speedily sunk in a lake, only their own
house left standing. While they gazed with wonder at the sight, that
old house of theirs was changed. Columns took the place of the corner
posts, the thatch grew yellow and appeared a gilded roof, the floors
became marble, the doors were enriched with carving and ornaments of
gold. Then spoke Jupiter in benignant accents: "Excellent old man,
and woman worthy of such a husband, speak, tell us your wishes. What
favor have you to ask of us?" Philemon took counsel with Baucis a few
moments, then declared to the gods their common wish. "We ask to be
priests and guardians of this thy temple, and that one and the same
hour may take us both from life." Their prayer was granted. When they
had attained a great age, as they stood one day before the steps of
the sacred edifice and were telling the story of the place, Baucis saw
Philemon begin to put forth leaves, and Philemon saw Baucis changing in
like manner. While still they exchanged parting words, a leafy crown
grew over their heads. "Farewell, dear spouse," they said together,
and at the same moment the bark closed over their mouths. The Tyanean
shepherd still shows the two trees,--an oak and a linden, standing side
by side.[77]

The story of Baucis and Philemon has been imitated by Swift in a
burlesque style, the actors in the change being two wandering saints,
and the house being changed into a church, of which Philemon is made
the parson:

    ... They scarce had spoke, when, fair and soft,
    The roof began to mount aloft;
    Aloft rose every beam and rafter;
    The heavy wall climbed slowly after.
    The chimney widened and grew higher,
    Became a steeple with a spire.
    The kettle to the top was hoist,
    And there stood fastened to a joist,
    But with the upside down, to show
    Its inclination for below;
    In vain, for a superior force,
    Applied at bottom, stops its course;
    Doomed ever in suspense to dwell,
    'Tis now no kettle, but a bell.
    A wooden jack, which had almost
    Lost by disuse the art to roast,
    A sudden alteration feels,
    Increased by new intestine wheels;
    And, what exalts the wonder more,
    The number made the motion slower;
    The flier, though 't had leaden feet,
    Turned round so quick you scarce could see 't;
    But slackened by some secret power,
    Now hardly moves an inch an hour.
    The jack and chimney, near allied,
    Had never left each other's side.
    The chimney to a steeple grown,
    The jack would not be left alone;
    But up against the steeple reared,
    Became a clock, and still adhered;
    And still its love to household cares
    By a shrill voice at noon declares,
    Warning the cook-maid not to burn
    That roast meat which it cannot turn.
    The groaning chair began to crawl,
    Like a huge snail, along the wall;
    There stuck aloft in public view,
    And with small change, a pulpit grew.
    A bedstead of the antique mode,
    Compact of timber many a load,
    Such as our ancestors did use,
    Was metamorphosed into pews,
    Which still their ancient nature keep
    By lodging folks disposed to sleep.

=64. Juno's Best Gift.= What the queen of heaven deemed the greatest
blessing reserved for mortals is narrated in the beautiful myth of
Biton and Cleobis. One Cydippe, an ancient priestess of the white-armed
goddess, had desired to behold the famous new statue of Hera at
Argos. Her sons testified their affection for their mother by yoking
themselves, since no oxen were at hand, to her chariot, and so dragging
her through heat and dust many a weary league till they reached the
temple, where stood the gold and ivory masterwork of Polyclitus. With
admiration the devoted priestess and her pious sons were received by
the populace crowding round the statue. The priest officiating in the
solemn rites thought meet that so reverend a worshiper should herself
approach the goddess,--ay, should ask of Hera some blessing on her
faithful sons:

    ... Slowly old Cydippe rose and cried:
      "Hera, whose priestess I have been and am,
    Virgin and matron, at whose angry eyes
    Zeus trembles, and the windless plain of heaven
    With hyperborean echoes rings and roars,
    Remembering thy dread nuptials, a wise god,
    Golden and white in thy new-carven shape,
    Hear me! and grant for these my pious sons,
    Who saw my tears, and wound their tender arms
    Around me, and kissed me calm, and since no steer
    Stayed in the byre, dragged out the chariot old,
    And wore themselves the galling yoke, and brought
    Their mother to the feast of her desire,
    Grant them, O Hera, thy best gift of gifts!"

    Whereat the statue from its jeweled eyes
    Lightened, and thunder ran from cloud to cloud
    In heaven, and the vast company was hushed.
    But when they sought for Cleobis, behold,
    He lay there still, and by his brother's side
    Lay Biton, smiling through ambrosial curls,
    And when the people touched them they were dead.[78]

=65. Myths of Minerva.= Minerva, as we have seen,[79] presided over
the useful and ornamental arts, both those of men--such as agriculture
and navigation--and those of women--spinning, weaving, and needlework.
She was also a warlike divinity, but favored only defensive warfare.
With Mars' savage love of violence and bloodshed she, therefore, had
no sympathy. Athens, her chosen seat, her own city, was awarded to
her as the prize of a peaceful contest with Neptune, who also aspired
to it. In the reign of Cecrops, the first king of Athens, the two
deities had contended for the possession of the city. The gods decreed
that it should be awarded to the one who produced the gift most useful
to mortals. Neptune gave the horse; Minerva produced the olive. The
gods awarded the city to the goddess, and after her Greek appellation,
Athena, it was named.

=66. Arachne.= In another contest, a mortal dared to come into
competition with the gray-eyed daughter of Jove. This was Arachne, a
maiden who had attained such skill in the arts of carding and spinning,
of weaving and embroidery, that the Nymphs themselves would leave
their groves and fountains to come and gaze upon her work. It was not
only beautiful when it was done, but beautiful also in the doing. To
watch her one would have said that Minerva herself had taught her. But
this she denied, and could not bear to be thought a pupil even of a
goddess. "Let Minerva try her skill with mine," said she. "If beaten, I
will pay the penalty." Minerva heard this and was displeased. Assuming
the form of an old woman, she appeared to Arachne and kindly advised
her to challenge her fellow mortals if she would, but at once to ask
forgiveness of the goddess. Arachne bade the old dame to keep her
counsel for others. "I am not afraid of the goddess; let her try her
skill, if she dare venture." "She comes," said Minerva, and dropping
her disguise, stood confessed. The Nymphs bent low in homage and all
the bystanders paid reverence. Arachne alone was unterrified. A sudden
color dyed her cheek, and then she grew pale; but she stood to her
resolve and rushed on her fate. They proceed to the contest. Each
takes her station and attaches the web to the beam. Then the slender
shuttle is passed in and out among the threads. The reed with its fine
teeth strikes up the woof into its place and compacts the web. Wool of
Tyrian dye is contrasted with that of other colors, shaded off into one
another so adroitly that the joining deceives the eye. And the effect
is like the bow whose long arch tinges the heavens, formed by sunbeams
reflected from the shower,[80] in which, where the colors meet they
seem as one, but at a little distance from the point of contact are
wholly different.

Minerva wove the scene of her contest with Neptune (Poseidon). Twelve
of the heavenly powers were represented, Jupiter, with august gravity,
sitting in the midst. Neptune, the ruler of the sea, held his trident
and appeared to have just smitten the earth, from which a horse had
leaped forth. The bright-eyed goddess depicted herself with helmed
head, her ægis covering her breast, as when she had created the olive
tree with its berries and its dark green leaves.

[Illustration: FIG. 52. CONTEST OF ATHENA AND POSEIDON]

    Amongst these leaves she made a Butterfly,
      With excellent device and wondrous slight,
    Fluttering among the olives wantonly,
      That seemed to live, so like it was in sight;
    The velvet nap which on his wings doth lie,
      The silken down with which his back is dight,
    His broad outstretchèd horns, his hairy thighs,
    His glorious colors, and his glistering eyes.

    Which when Arachne saw, as overlaid
      And masterèd with workmanship so rare,
    She stood astonished long, ne aught gainsaid;
      And with fast-fixèd eyes on her did stare.[81]

So wonderful was the central circle of Minerva's web; and in the four
corners were represented incidents illustrating the displeasure of the
gods at such presumptuous mortals as had dared to contend with them.
These were meant as warnings from Minerva to her rival to give up the
contest before it was too late.

But Arachne did not yield. She filled her web with subjects designedly
chosen to exhibit the failings and errors of the gods. One scene
represented Leda caressing the swan; and another, Danaë and the golden
shower. Still another depicted Europa deceived by Jupiter under
the disguise of a bull. Its appearance was that of a real bull, so
naturally was it wrought and so natural the water in which it swam.

With such subjects Arachne filled her canvas, wonderfully well done
but strongly marking her presumption and impiety. Minerva could not
forbear to admire, yet was indignant at the insult. She struck the web
with her shuttle and rent it in pieces; then, touching the forehead
of Arachne, she made her realize her guilt. It was more than mortal
could bear; and forthwith Arachne hanged herself. "Live, guilty woman,"
said Minerva, "but that thou mayest preserve the memory of this
lesson continue to hang, both thou and thy descendants, to all future
times." Then, sprinkling her with the juices of aconite, the goddess
transformed her into a spider, forever spinning the thread by which she
is suspended.[82]

=67. Myths of Mars.= The relations of Mars to other deities may be best
illustrated by passages from the Iliad, which, generally speaking,
presents him in no very favorable light.

=68. Mars and Diomede.= In the war of the Greeks and the Trojans,[83]
the cause of the former was espoused by Minerva, of the latter by Mars.
Among the chieftains of the Greeks in a certain battle, Diomede, son of
Tydeus, was prominent. Now when Mars, scourge of mortals, beheld noble
Diomede, he made straight at him.

    ... And when they were come nigh in onset on one another, first
    Mars thrust over the yoke and horses' reins with spear of bronze,
    eager to take away his life. But the bright-eyed goddess Minerva
    with her hand seized the spear and thrust it up over the car, to
    spend itself in vain. Next Diomede of the loud war cry attacked
    with spear of bronze; and Minerva drave it home against Mars'
    nethermost belly, where his taslets were girt about him. There
    smote he him and wounded him, rending through his fair skin,--and
    plucked forth the spear again. Then brazen Mars bellowed loud as
    nine thousand warriors or ten thousand cry in battle as they join
    in strife and fray. Thereat trembling gat hold of Achæans and
    Trojans for fear, so mightily bellowed Mars insatiate of battle.

[Illustration: FIG. 53. ATHENA]

    Even as gloomy mist appeareth from the clouds when after heat a
    stormy wind ariseth, even so to Tydeus' son Diomede brazen Mars
    appeared amid clouds, faring to wide Heaven. Swiftly came he to
    the gods' dwelling, steep Olympus, and sat beside Jupiter, son
    of Cronus, with grief at heart, and showed the immortal blood
    flowing from the wound, and piteously spake to him winged words:
    "Father Jupiter, hast thou no indignation to behold these violent
    deeds? For ever cruelly suffer we gods by one another's devices,
    in showing men grace. With thee are we all at variance, because
    thou didst beget that reckless maiden and baleful, whose thought
    is ever of iniquitous deeds. For all the other gods that are
    in Olympus hearken to thee, and we are subject every one; only
    her thou chaste-nest not, neither in deed nor word, but settest
    her on, because this pestilent one is thine own offspring. Now
    hath she urged on Tydeus' son, even overweening Diomede, to rage
    furiously against the immortal gods. The Cyprian first he wounded
    in close fight, in the wrist of her hand, and then assailed he
    me, even me, with the might of a god. Howbeit my swift feet bare
    me away; else had I long endured anguish there amid the grisly
    heaps of dead, or else had lived strengthless from the smitings
    of the spear."

    Then Jupiter the cloud-gatherer looked sternly at him, and said:
    "Nay, thou renegade, sit not by me and whine. Most hateful to
    me art thou of all gods that dwell in Olympus; thou ever lovest
    strife and wars and battles. Truly thy mother's spirit is
    intolerable, unyielding, even Juno's; her can I scarce rule with
    words. Therefore I deem that by her prompting thou art in this
    plight. Yet will I no longer endure to see thee in anguish; mine
    offspring art thou, and to me thy mother bare thee. But wert thou
    born of any other god unto this violence, long ere this hadst
    thou been lower than the sons of Heaven."

    So spake he and bade Pæan heal him. And Pæan laid assuaging
    drugs upon the wound, and healed him, seeing he was in no wise
    of mortal mold. Even as fig juice maketh haste to thicken white
    milk, that is liquid but curdleth speedily as a man stirreth,
    even so swiftly healed he impetuous Mars. And Hebe bathed him and
    clothed him in gracious raiment, and he sate down by Jupiter, son
    of Cronus, glorying in his might.

    Then fared the twain back to the mansion of great Jupiter, even
    Juno and Minerva, having stayed Mars, scourge of mortals, from
    his man-slaying.[84]

=69. Mars and Minerva.= It would seem that the insatiate son of Juno
should have learned by this sad experience to avoid measuring arms with
the ægis-bearing Minerva. But he renewed the contest at a later period
in the fortunes of the Trojan War:

    ... Jupiter knew what was coming as he sat upon Olympus, and his
    heart within him laughed pleasantly when he beheld that strife
    of gods. Then no longer stood they asunder, for Mars, piercer of
    shields, began the battle and first made for Minerva with his
    bronze spear, and spake a taunting word: "Wherefore, O dogfly,
    dost thou match gods with gods in strife, with stormy daring,
    as thy great spirit moveth thee? Rememberest thou not how thou
    movedst Diomede, Tydeus' son, to wound me, and thyself didst take
    a visible spear and thrust it straight at me and pierce through
    my fair skin? Therefore deem I now that thou shalt pay me for all
    that thou hast done."

    Thus saying, he smote on the dread tasseled ægis that not
    even the lightning of Jupiter can overcome--thereon smote
    blood-stained Mars with his long spear. But she, giving back,
    grasped with stout hand a stone that lay upon the plain, black,
    rugged, huge, which men of old time set to be the landmark of a
    field; this hurled she, and smote impetuous Mars on the neck,
    and unstrung his limbs. Seven roods he covered in his fall, and
    soiled his hair with dust, and his armor rang upon him. And
    Minerva laughed, and spake to him winged words exultingly: "Fool,
    not even yet hast thou learnt how far better than thou I claim to
    be, that thus thou matchest thy might with mine. Thus shalt thou
    satisfy thy mother's curses, who deviseth mischief against thee
    in her wrath, for that thou hast left the Achæans and givest the
    proud Trojans aid."

    Thus having said, she turned from him her shining eyes. Him did
    Venus, daughter of Jupiter, take by the hand and lead away,
    groaning continually, for scarce gathered he his spirit back to
    him.[85]

=70. The Fortunes of Cadmus.= Toward mortals Mars could show himself,
on occasion, as vindictive as his fair foe, the unwearied daughter of
Jove. This fact not only Cadmus, who slew a serpent sacred to Mars, but
all the family of Cadmus found out to their cost.

[Illustration: FIG. 54. CADMUS SLAYING THE DRAGON]

When Europa was carried away by Jupiter in the guise of a bull, her
father Agenor commanded his son Cadmus to go in search of her and not
to return without her. Cadmus sought long and far; then, not daring
to return unsuccessful, consulted the oracle of Apollo to know what
country he should settle in. The oracle informed him that he would find
a cow in the field, should follow her wherever she might wander, and
where she stopped should build a city and call it Thebes. Cadmus had
hardly left the Castalian cave, from which the oracle was delivered,
when he saw a young cow slowly walking before him. He followed her
close, offering at the same time his prayers to Ph[oe]bus. The cow
went on till she passed the shallow channel of Cephissus and came
out into the plain of Panope. There she stood still. Cadmus gave
thanks, and stooping down kissed the foreign soil, then lifting his
eyes, greeted the surrounding mountains. Wishing to offer a sacrifice
to his protecting deity, Minerva, he sent his servants to seek pure
water for a libation. Near by there stood an ancient grove which had
never been profaned by the ax, in the midst of which was a cave thick
covered with the growth of bushes, its roof forming a low arch from
beneath which burst forth a fountain of purest water. But in the cave
lurked a serpent with crested head, and scales glittering like gold;
his eyes shone like fire; his body was swollen with venom; he vibrated
a triple tongue and showed a triple row of teeth. No sooner had the
Tyrians dipped their pitchers in the fountain and the in-gushing waters
had made a sound, than the monster, twisting his scaly body in a huge
coil, darted upon them and destroyed some with his fangs, others in his
folds, and others with his poisonous breath.

Cadmus, having waited for the return of his men till midday, went in
search of them. When he entered the wood and saw their lifeless bodies
and the dragon with his bloody jaws, not knowing that the serpent was
sacred to Mars, scourge of mortals, he lifted a huge stone and threw
it with all his force at the monster. The blow made no impression.
Minerva, however, was present, unseen, to aid her worshiper. Cadmus
next threw his javelin, which penetrated the serpent's scales and
pierced through to his entrails. The monster attempted to draw out
the weapon with his mouth, but broke it off, leaving the iron point
rankling in his flesh. His neck swelled with rage, bloody foam covered
his jaws, and the breath of his nostrils poisoned the air around. As he
moved onward, Cadmus retreated before him, holding his spear opposite
to the serpent's opened jaws. At last, watching his chance, the hero
thrust the spear at a moment when the animal's head thrown back came
against the trunk of a tree, and so succeeded in pinning him to its
side.

While Cadmus stood over his conquered foe, contemplating its vast size,
a voice was heard (from whence he knew not, but it was Minerva's)
commanding him to take the dragon's teeth and sow them in the earth.
Scarce had he done so when the clods began to move and the points of
spears to appear above the surface. Next, helmets with their nodding
plumes came up; next, the shoulders and breasts and limbs of men with
weapons, and in time a harvest of armed warriors. Cadmus prepared to
encounter a new enemy, but one of them said to him, "Meddle not with
our civil war." With that he who had spoken smote one of his earthborn
brothers with a sword, and he himself fell pierced with an arrow from
another. The latter fell victim to a fourth, and in like manner the
whole crowd dealt with each other till all but five fell slain. These
five joined with Cadmus in building his city, to which they gave the
name appointed.

[Illustration: FIG. 55. HARMONIA IN COMPANY OF DEITIES]

As penance for the destruction of this sacred serpent, Cadmus served
Mars for a period of eight years. After he had been absolved of his
impiety, Minerva set him over the realm of Thebes, and Jove gave him to
wife Harmonia, the daughter of Venus and Mars. The gods left Olympus to
honor the occasion with their presence; and Vulcan presented the bride
with a necklace of surpassing brilliancy, his own workmanship. Of this
marriage were born four daughters, Semele, Ino, Autonoë, and Agave,
and one son, Polydorus. But in spite of the atonement made by Cadmus,
a fatality hung over the family. The very necklace of Vulcan seemed to
catch the spirit of ill luck and convey a baleful influence to such
as wore it. Semele, Ino, Actæon the son of Autonoë, and Pentheus the
son of Agave, all perished by violence. Cadmus and Harmonia quitted
Thebes, grown odious to them, and emigrated to the country of the
Enchelians, who received them with honor and made Cadmus their king.
But the misfortunes of their children still weighing upon their minds,
Cadmus one day exclaimed, "If a serpent's life is so dear to the gods,
I would I were myself a serpent." No sooner had he uttered the words
than he began to change his form. Harmonia, beholding it, prayed the
gods to let her share his fate. Both became serpents. It is said that,
mindful of their origin, they neither avoid the presence of man nor
do they injure any one. But the curse appears not to have passed from
their house until the sons of their great-great-grandson [OE]dipus had
by fraternal strife ended themselves and the family.[86]

[Illustration: FIG. 56. THE FORGE OF VULCAN

From the painting by Velasquez]

=71. Myths of Vulcan.= The stories of Vulcan are few, although
incidents illustrating his character are sufficiently numerous.
According to an account already given, Vulcan, because of his lameness,
was cast out of Heaven by his mother Juno. The sea-goddesses Eurynome
and Thetis took him mercifully to themselves, and for nine years cared
for him, while he plied his trade and gained proficiency in it. In
order to revenge himself upon the mother who had so despitefully used
him, he fashioned in the depths of the sea a throne of cunning device,
which he sent to his mother. She, gladly accepting the glorious gift,
sat down upon it, to find out that straightway all manner of invisible
chains and fetters wound and clasped themselves about her so that she
could not rise. The assistance of the gods was of no avail to release
her. Then Mars sought to bring Vulcan to Heaven by force that he might
undo his trickery; but before the flames of the fire-god, the impetuous
warrior speedily retreated. One god, however, the jovial Bacchus, was
dear to the blacksmith. He drenched Vulcan with wine, conducted him to
Olympus, and by persuasion caused him to set the queen of gods and men
at liberty.

[Illustration: FIG. 57. A SACRIFICE TO APOLLO]

That Vulcan was not permanently hostile to Juno is shown by the
services that on various occasions he rendered her. He forged the
shield of her favorite Achilles; and, at her instance, he undertook a
contest against the river Xanthus. Homer[87] describes the burning of
elms and willow trees and tamarisks, the parching of the plains, the
bubbling of the waters, that signalized the fight, and how the eels and
other fish were afflicted by Vulcan till Xanthus in anguish cried for
quarter.

=72. Myths of Apollo.= The myths which cluster about the name of
Ph[oe]bus Apollo illustrate, first, his birth and the wanderings
of his mother, Latona; secondly, his victory over darkness and
winter; thirdly, his gifts to man,--youth and vigor, the sunshine of
spring, and the vegetation of early summer; fourthly, his baleful
influence,--the sunstroke and drought of midsummer, the miasma of
autumn; fifthly, his life on earth, as friend and counselor of
mankind,--healer, soothsayer, and musician, prototype of manly beauty,
and lover of beautiful women.

=73. The Wanderings of Latona.= Persecuted by the jealousy of the
white-armed Juno, Latona fled from land to land. At last, bearing in
her arms the infant progeny of Jove, she reached Lycia, weary with her
burden and parched with thirst. There the following adventure ensued.
By chance the persecuted goddess espied in the bottom of the valley a
pond of clear water, where the country people were at work gathering
willows and osiers. She approached and kneeling on the bank would have
slaked her thirst in the cool stream, but the rustics forbade her. "Why
do you refuse me water?" said she. "Water is free to all. Yet I ask
it of you as a favor. I have no intention of washing my limbs in it,
weary though they be, but only of quenching my thirst. A draft of water
would be nectar to me, and I would own myself indebted to you for life
itself. Let these infants move your pity, who stretch out their little
arms as if to plead for me."

But the clowns persisted in their rudeness; they added jeers, and
threatened violence if she did not leave the place. They waded into the
pond and stirred up the mud with their feet, so as to make the water
unfit to drink. Enraged, the goddess no longer supplicated the clowns,
but lifting her hands to Heaven exclaimed, "May they never quit that
pool but pass their lives there!" And it came to pass accordingly. They
still live in the water, sometimes totally submerged, then raising
their heads above the surface or swimming upon it; sometimes coming
out upon the bank, but soon leaping back again into the water. Their
voices are harsh, their throats bloated, their mouths distended by
constant railing; their necks have shrunk up and disappeared, and
their heads are joined to their bodies. Their backs are green, their
disproportioned bellies white. They dwell as frogs in the slimy
pool.[88]

=74. Apollo, the Light Triumphant.= Soon after his birth the sun-god
spent a year among the Hyperboreans, whose shining land has been
already described.[89] On his return, slaying with his golden arrows
the Python that had infested the slopes near Delphi, he sang for the
first time that song of victory which, as _the Pæan_, is still among
all nations synonymous with jubilation, praise, and thanksgiving. In
his conflict with another monster of darkness and winter, the god
of the silver bow had the assistance of his sister Diana. By their
unerring fiery darts they subdued the giant Tityus, who not only
had obstructed the peaceful ways to the oracle of Delphi, but had
ventured to insult the mother of the twin deities. They overthrew
also the Aloadæ, Otus and Ephialtes, sons of Iphimedia and Neptune.
These monsters, the reputed sons of Aloeus, represent, perhaps,
the unregulated forces of vegetation; they were renowned for their
strength, stature, and courage. They grew at the rate of three cubits
in height and one in breadth every year; and, when nine years of age,
they attempted, by piling Mount Ossa upon Olympus, and Mount Pelion on
top, to scale the skies and dethrone the immortals. It is reported that
not Apollo and Diana, but Jupiter himself with his lightning slew them.
They atoned for their presumption in Hades, where, bound by serpents
to a pillar, they were tormented by the perpetual hooting of a screech
owl.[90]

[Illustration: FIG. 58. APOLLO WITH HYACINTHUS]

=75. Hyacinthus.= The fiery force of the Far-darter was not felt by
the monsters of darkness alone. His friendship for the young and the
vigorous was frequently as dangerous as it was dear to the objects
of it. He was, for instance, passionately fond of a youth named
Hyacinthus. The god of the silver bow accompanied the lad in his
sports, carried the nets when he went fishing, led the dogs when he
went to hunt, followed him in his excursions in the mountains, and
neglected for him both lyre and arrows. One day they played a game of
quoits; Apollo, heaving aloft the discus with strength mingled with
skill, sent it high and far. Hyacinthus, excited with the sport and
eager to make his throw, ran forward to seize the missile; but it
bounded from the earth and struck him in the forehead. He fainted and
fell. The god, as pale as himself, raised him and tried all his art to
stanch the wound and retain the flitting life, but in vain. As when
one has broken the stem of a lily in the garden it hangs its head and
turns its flowers to the earth, so the head of the dying boy, as if too
heavy for his neck, fell over on his shoulder. "Thou diest, Hyacinth,"
spake Ph[oe]bus, "robbed of thy youth by me. Would that I could die
for thee! But since that may not be, my lyre shall celebrate thee, my
song shall tell thy fate, and thou shalt become a flower inscribed with
my regret." While the golden god spoke, the blood which had flowed on
the ground and stained the herbage ceased to be blood; and a flower of
hue more beautiful than the Tyrian sprang up, resembling the lily, save
that this is purple and that silvery white. Ph[oe]bus then, to confer
still greater honor, marked the petals with his sorrow, inscribing
"Ai! ai!" upon them. The flower bears the name of Hyacinthus, and with
returning spring revives the memory of his fate.[91]

It was said that Zephyrus (the west wind), who was also fond of
Hyacinthus and jealous of his preference of Apollo, blew the quoit out
of its course to make it strike Hyacinthus.

While this youth met his death by accident, another of Apollo's
favorites, his own son, brought death upon himself by presumption. The
story is as follows:

=76. Phaëthon=[2] was the son of Apollo and the nymph Clymene. One
day Epaphus, the son of Jupiter and Io,[92] scoffed at the idea of
Phaëthon's being the son of a god. Phaëthon complained of the insult
to his mother Clymene. She sent him to Ph[oe]bus to ask for himself
whether he had not been truly informed concerning his parentage.
Gladly Phaëthon traveled toward the regions of sunrise and gained at
last the palace of the Sun. He approached his father's presence, but
stopped at a distance, for the light was more than he could bear.
Ph[oe]bus Apollo, arrayed in purple, sat on a throne that glittered
with diamonds. Beside him stood the Day, the Month, the Year, the
Hours, and the Seasons. Surrounded by these attendants, the Sun beheld
the youth dazzled with the novelty and splendor of the scene, and
inquired the purpose of his errand. The youth replied, "Oh, light of
the boundless world, Ph[oe]bus, my father--if thou dost yield me that
name--give me some proof, I beseech thee, by which I may be known as
thine!" He ceased. His father, laying aside the beams that shone around
his head, bade him approach, embraced him, owned him for his son, and
swore by the river Styx[93] that whatever proof he might ask should
be granted. Phaëthon immediately asked to be permitted for one day to
drive the chariot of the sun. The father repented of his promise and
tried to dissuade the boy by telling him the perils of the undertaking.
"None but myself," he said, "may drive the flaming car of day. Not
even Jupiter, whose terrible right arm hurls the thunderbolts. The
first part of the way is steep and such as the horses when fresh in
the morning can hardly climb; the middle is high up in the heavens,
whence I myself can scarcely, without alarm, look down and behold the
earth and sea stretched beneath me. The last part of the road descends
rapidly and requires most careful driving. Tethys, who is waiting to
receive me, often trembles for me lest I should fall headlong. Add to
this that the heaven is all the time turning round and carrying the
stars with it. Couldst thou keep thy course while the sphere revolved
beneath thee? The road, also, is through the midst of frightful
monsters. Thou must pass by the horns of the Bull, in front of the
Archer, and near the Lion's jaws, and where the Scorpion stretches its
arms in one direction and the Crab in another. Nor wilt thou find it
easy to guide those horses, with their breasts full of fire that they
breathe forth from their mouths and nostrils. Beware, my son, lest I be
the donor of a fatal gift; recall the request while yet thou canst." He
ended; but the youth rejected admonition and held to his demand. So,
having resisted as long as he might, Ph[oe]bus at last led the way to
where stood the lofty chariot.

It was of gold, the gift of Vulcan,--the axle of gold, the pole and
wheels of gold, the spokes of silver. Along the seat were rows of
chrysolites and diamonds, reflecting the brightness of the sun. While
the daring youth gazed in admiration, the early Dawn threw open the
purple doors of the east and showed the pathway strewn with roses. The
stars withdrew, marshaled by the Daystar, which last of all retired
also. The father, when he saw the earth beginning to glow and the Moon
preparing to retire, ordered the Hours to harness up the horses. They
led forth from the lofty stalls the steeds full fed with ambrosia, and
attached the reins. Then the father, smearing the face of his son with
a powerful unguent, made him capable of enduring the brightness of the
flame. He set the rays on the lad's head, and, with a foreboding sigh,
told him to spare the whip and hold tight the reins; not to take the
straight road between the five circles, but to turn off to the left;
to keep within the limit of the middle zone and avoid the northern and
the southern alike; finally, to keep in the well-worn ruts and to drive
neither too high nor too low, for the middle course was safest and
best.[94]

Forthwith the agile youth sprang into the chariot, stood erect, and
grasped the reins with delight, pouring out thanks to his reluctant
parent. But the steeds soon perceived that the load they drew was
lighter than usual; and as a ship without ballast is tossed hither
and thither on the sea, the chariot, without its accustomed weight,
was dashed about as if empty. The horses rushed headlong and left the
traveled road. Then, for the first time, the Great and Little Bears
were scorched with heat, and would fain, if it were possible, have
plunged into the water; and the Serpent which lies coiled round the
north pole, torpid and harmless, grew warm, and with warmth felt its
rage revive. Boötes, they say, fled away, though encumbered with his
plow and unused to rapid motion.

When hapless Phaëthon looked down upon the earth, now spreading in vast
extent beneath him, he grew pale, and his knees shook with terror. He
lost his self-command and knew not whether to draw tight the reins
or throw them loose; he forgot the names of the horses. But when he
beheld the monstrous forms scattered over the surface of heaven,--the
Scorpion extending two great arms, his tail, and his crooked claws
over the space of two signs of the zodiac,--when the boy beheld him,
reeking with poison and menacing with fangs, his courage failed, and
the reins fell from his hands. The horses, unrestrained, went off into
unknown regions of the sky in among the stars, hurling the chariot
over pathless places, now up in high heaven, now down almost to the
earth. The moon saw with astonishment her brother's chariot running
beneath her own. The clouds began to smoke. The forest-clad mountains
burned,--Athos and Taurus and Tmolus and [OE]te; Ida, once celebrated
for fountains; the Muses' mountain Helicon, and Hæmus; Ætna, with fires
within and without, and Parnassus, with his two peaks, and Rhodope,
forced at last to part with his snowy crown. Her cold climate was no
protection to Scythia; Caucasus burned, and Ossa and Pindus, and,
greater than both, Olympus,--the Alps high in air, and the Apennines
crowned with clouds.

[Illustration: FIG. 59. THE FALL OF PHAËTHON]

Phaëthon beheld the world on fire and felt the heat intolerable.
Then, too, it is said, the people of Æthiopia became black because
the blood was called by the heat so suddenly to the surface; and the
Libyan desert was dried up to the condition in which it remains to this
day. The Nymphs of the fountains, with disheveled hair, mourned their
waters, nor were the rivers safe beneath their banks; Tanaïs smoked,
and Caïcus, Xanthus, and Mæander; Babylonian Euphrates and Ganges,
Tagus, with golden sands, and Ca[:y]ster, where the swans resort. Nile
fled away and hid his head in the desert, and there it still remains
concealed. Where he used to discharge his waters through seven mouths
into the sea, seven dry channels alone remained. The earth cracked
open, and through the chinks light broke into Tartarus and frightened
the king of shadows and his queen. The sea shrank up. Even Nereus and
his wife Doris with the Nereïds, their daughters, sought the deepest
caves for refuge. Thrice Neptune essayed to raise his head above the
surface and thrice was driven back by the heat. Earth, surrounded as
she was by waters, yet with head and shoulders bare, screening her
face with her hand, looked up to heaven, and with husky voice prayed
Jupiter, if it were his will that she should perish by fire, to end her
agony at once by his thunderbolts, or else to consider his own Heaven,
how both the poles were smoking that sustained his palace, and that all
must fall if they were destroyed.

Earth, overcome with heat and thirst, could say no more. Then Jupiter,
calling the gods to witness that all was lost unless some speedy remedy
were applied, thundered, brandished a lightning bolt in his right hand,
launched it against the charioteer, and struck him at the same moment
from his seat and from existence. Phaëthon, with his hair on fire,
fell headlong, like a shooting star which marks the heavens with its
brightness as it falls, and Eridanus, the great river, received him and
cooled his burning frame. His sisters, the Heliades, as they lamented
his fate, were turned into poplar trees on the banks of the river; and
their tears, which continued to flow, became amber as they dropped into
the stream. The Italian Naiads reared a tomb for him and inscribed
these words upon the stone:

    Driver of Ph[oe]bus' chariot, Phaëthon,
    Struck by Jove's thunder, rests beneath this stone.
    He could not rule his father's car of fire,
    Yet was it much so nobly to aspire.[95]

=77. The Plague sent upon the Greeks before Troy.= It was not, however,
only by accident, or by the ill-advised action of those whom he loved,
that Apollo's gifts of light and heat were turned into misfortunes.
Mortals who offended him were leveled by the cruel sunstroke, by arrows
of malarial venom, of manifold sickness and death.

When the host of the Achæans was encamped before Troy, the king of men,
Atrides, unjustly declined to restore his captive, Chryseïs of the fair
cheeks, to her father Chryses, the priest of far-darting Apollo. Then
the aged Chryses went apart and prayed aloud, "Hear me, god of the
silver bow, ... let the Danaans pay by thine arrows for my tears!"

    So spake he in prayer; and Ph[oe]bus Apollo heard him, and came
    down from the peaks of Olympus wroth at heart, bearing on his
    shoulders his bow and covered quiver. And the arrows clanged upon
    his shoulders in his wrath, as the god moved; and he descended
    like to night. Then he sate him aloof from the ships, and let an
    arrow fly; and there was heard a dread clanging of the silver
    bow. First did he assail the mules and fleet dogs, but afterward,
    aiming at the men his piercing dart, he smote; and the pyres of
    the dead burnt continually in multitude. Nor until Agamemnon had
    sent back his winsome captive to her father did Apollo remove
    from the Danaans the loathsome pestilence.[96]

=78. The Punishment of Niobe= is another illustration of the swift and
awful vengeance of Apollo, and also of his sister Diana. This Niobe
was the daughter of a certain Tantalus, king of Phrygia, who had been
received at the table of the gods by his father Jupiter. But there was
a strain of ingratitude and conceit in both father and daughter. The
father not only betrayed the secrets of the gods, but, to ridicule
their reputed omniscience, attempted at a banquet to deceive them into
eating the roasted flesh of his own son Pelops. The gods were not
deceived. Pelops was restored to life,--Tantalus consigned to Tartarus.
The daughter Niobe, although she owed her happy marriage with Jupiter's
son Amphion, and her seven stalwart sons and seven blooming daughters,
to the favor of the gods and of Latona in particular, boasted of her
birth, her marriage, and her offspring, bragged of her superiority to
Latona, and, on one occasion, scoffed at the annual celebration in
honor of the goddess and her two children. Surveying the people of
Thebes with haughty glance, she said, "What folly to prefer beings
whom you have never seen to those who stand before your eyes! Will you
prefer to me this Latona, the Titan's daughter, with her two children?
I have seven times as many. Were I to lose some of my children, I
should hardly be left as poor as Latona with her two only. Put off the
laurel from your brows,--have done with this worship!" The people left
the sacred services uncompleted.

[Illustration: FIG. 60. A SON OF NIOBE]

The goddess was indignant. On the Cynthian mountain top she thus
addressed her son and daughter: "My children, I who have been so proud
of you both and have been used to hold myself second to none of the
goddesses except Juno alone, begin now to doubt whether I am indeed
a goddess. I shall be deprived of my worship altogether unless you
protect me." She was proceeding in this strain, but Apollo interrupted
her. "Say no more," said he; "speech only delays punishment." So said
Diana also. Darting through the air, veiled in clouds, they alighted on
the towers of the city. Spread out before the gates was a broad plain
where the youth of the city pursued their warlike sports. The sons of
Niobe were there with the rest,--some mounted on spirited horses richly
caparisoned, some driving gay chariots. Ismenos, the first-born, as
he guided his foaming steeds was struck by an arrow from above. "Ah
me!" he cried,--dropped the reins and fell lifeless. Another, hearing
the sound of the bow, gave the rein to his horses and attempted to
escape. The inevitable arrow overtook him as he fled. Two others,
younger, stood wrestling breast to breast: one arrow pierced them both.
Alphenor, an elder brother, hastened to the spot to render assistance,
but fell in the act of brotherly duty. One only was left, Ilioneus.
"Spare me, ye gods!" he cried, addressing all of them, in his ignorance
that all needed not his supplication; and Apollo would have spared him,
but the arrow had already left the string, and it was too late.

[Illustration: FIG 61. THE CHILDREN OF NIOBE]

When Niobe was acquainted with what had taken place, she was indignant
that the gods had dared, and amazed that they had been able to do it.
Her husband Amphion, overwhelmed with the blow, destroyed himself. But
the mother knelt over the lifeless bodies and kissed them. Raising
her pallid arms to heaven, "Cruel Latona," said she, "satiate thy hard
heart while I follow to the grave my seven sons. Yet where is thy
triumph? Bereaved as I am, I am still richer than thou, my conqueror."
Scarce had she spoken, when the bow sounded and struck terror into all
hearts except Niobe's alone. She was brave from excess of grief. Her
daughters stood in garments of mourning over the biers of their dead
brothers. One after another they fell, struck by arrows, beside the
corpses that they were bewailing. Only one remained, whom the mother
held clasped in her arms and covered, as it were, with her whole body.
"Spare me one and that the youngest! Oh, spare me one of so many!" she
cried; and while she spoke, that one fell dead. Desolate she sat among
sons, daughters, husband, all dead, and seemed torpid with grief. The
breeze moved not her hair, no color was on her cheek, her eyes glared
fixed and immovable, there was no sign of life about her. Her very
tongue cleaved to the roof of her mouth and her veins ceased to convey
the tide of life. Her neck bent not, her arms made no gesture, her
foot no step. She was changed to stone, within and without. Yet tears
continued to flow; and borne on a whirlwind to her native mountain,
she still remains, a mass of rock from which a trickling stream flows,
the tribute of her never-ending grief.[97]

[Illustration: FIG. 62. NIOBE AND HER YOUNGEST DAUGHTER]

    Amid nine daughters slain by Artemis
    Stood Niobe; she rais'd her head above
    Those beauteous forms which had brought down the scath
    Whence all nine fell, rais'd it, and stood erect,
    And thus bespake the goddess enthroned on high:
      "Thou heardest, Artemis, my daily prayer
    That thou wouldst guide these children in the pass
    Of virtue, through the tangling wilds of youth,
    And thou didst ever guide them: was it just
    To smite them for a beauty such as thine?
    Deserv'd they death because thy grace appear'd
    In ever modest motion? 'twas thy gift,
    The richest gift that youth from heaven receives.
    True, I did boldly say they might compare
    Even with thyself in virgin purity:
    May not a mother in her pride repeat
    What every mortal said?
                            One prayer remains
    For me to offer yet.
    Thy quiver holds
    More than nine arrows: bend thy bow; aim here!
    I see, I see it glimmering through a cloud.
    Artemis, thou at length art merciful:
    My children will not hear the fatal twang."[98]

=79. The Lamentation for Linus.= How the people of Argos fell under
the displeasure of Apollo is told in the story of Linus, a beautiful
son of Apollo and Psamathe. In fear of her father the king, Psamathe
exposed the child on the mountains where, brought up by shepherds among
the lambs, he was in tender youth torn to pieces by dogs. Meanwhile,
Psamathe herself was driven from her father's home; wherefore Apollo
sent against the land of the Argives a monster that for a season
destroyed the children, but at last was slain by a noble youth named
Cor[oe]bus. To appease the wrathful deity, a shrine was erected midway
between Argos and Delphi; and every year Linus and his mother were
bewailed in melancholy lays by the mothers and children of Argos,
especially by such as had lost by death their own beloved. The fate of
Linus, like that of Hyacinthus and others who succumb in the springtime
of life under the excessive love of some shining deity,[99] typifies
the sudden withering of herbs and flowers and of animal life,--the
calves and lambs, young children too, under the fierce shafts of
summer. The very name of Linus is taken from the refrain _ai-linon_,
or "woe is me," of the lament anciently sung by the country people
when thus afflicted by the unhealthy heats, because of which the crops
fail and the dogs go mad and tear the little lambs to pieces. In the
Iliad there is a beautiful picture which shows us that the song was
not reserved completely for the dog days. It is of a vineyard teeming
plenteously with clusters:

    And there was a pathway through it by which the vintagers might
    go. And maidens and striplings in childish glee bare the sweet
    fruit in plaited baskets. And in the midst of them a boy made
    pleasant music on a clear-toned viol, and sang thereto a sweet
    Linos-song with delicate voice; while the rest with feet falling
    together kept time with the music and song.[100]

[Illustration: FIG. 63. ÆSCULAPIUS]

=80. Æsculapius.= The Thessalian princess Coronis (or the Messenian,
Arsinoë) bore to Apollo a child who was named Æsculapius. On his
mother's death the infant was intrusted to the charge of Chiron,
most famous of the Centaurs, himself instructed by Apollo and Diana
in hunting, medicine, music, and the art of prophecy. When the sage
returned to his home bearing the infant, his daughter Ocyrrhoë came
forth to meet him, and at sight of the child burst into a prophetic
strain, foretelling, the glory that he should achieve. Æsculapius,
when grown up, became a renowned physician; in one instance he even
succeeded in restoring the dead to life. Pluto resented this, and,
at his request, Jupiter struck the bold physician with lightning and
killed him, but after his death received him into the number of the
gods.[101]

=81. Apollo in Exile.= Apollo, indignant at the destruction of this
son, wreaked his vengeance on the innocent workmen who had made the
thunderbolt. These were the Cyclopes, who had their workshop under
Mount Ætna, from which the smoke and flames of their furnaces are
constantly issuing. Apollo shot his arrows at the Cyclopes, a deed
which so incensed Jupiter that he condemned him to serve a mortal
for the space of one year. Accordingly, Apollo went into the service
of Admetus, king of Thessaly, and pastured his flocks for him on the
verdant banks of the river Amphrysus. How the god lived among men, and
what they thought of him, is well told in the following verses.

=82. Lowell's Shepherd of King Admetus.=

    There came a youth upon the earth,
      Some thousand years ago,
    Whose slender hands were nothing worth,
    Whether to plow, or reap, or sow.

    Upon an empty tortoise-shell
      He stretched some chords, and drew
    Music that made men's bosoms swell
    Fearless, or brimmed their eyes with dew.

    Then King Admetus, one who had
      Pure taste by right divine,
    Decreed his singing not too bad
    To hear between the cups of wine:

    And so, well pleased with being soothed
      Into a sweet half-sleep,
    Three times his kingly beard he smoothed,
    And made him viceroy o'er his sheep.

    His words were simple words enough,
      And yet he used them so,
    That what in other mouths was rough
    In his seemed musical and low.

    Men called him but a shiftless youth,
      In whom no good they saw;
    And yet, unwittingly, in truth,
    They made his careless words their law.

    They knew not how he learned at all,
      For idly, hour by hour,
    He sat and watched the dead leaves fall,
    Or mused upon a common flower.

    It seemed the loveliness of things
      Did teach him all their use,
    For, in mere weeds, and stones, and springs
    He found a healing power profuse.

    Men granted that his speech was wise,
      But, when a glance they caught
    Of his slim grace and woman's eyes,
    They laughed, and called him good-for-naught.

    Yet after he was dead and gone
      And e'en his memory dim,
    Earth seemed more sweet to live upon,
    More full of love, because of him.

    And day by day more holy grew
      Each spot where he had trod,
    Till after-poets only knew
    Their first-born brother as a god.

[Illustration: FIG. 64. ADMETUS MUST DIE]

=83. Admetus and Alcestis.=[102] Admetus was a suitor, with others,
for the hand of Alcestis, the daughter of Pelias, who promised her to
him who should come for her in a chariot drawn by lions and boars.
This task Admetus performed by the assistance of his divine herdsman,
and was made happy in the possession of Alcestis. But Admetus falling
ill and being near to death, Apollo prevailed on the Fates to spare
him on condition that some one should consent to die in his stead.
Admetus, in his joy at this reprieve, thought little of the ransom,
and, perhaps remembering the declarations of attachment which he had
often heard from his courtiers and dependents, fancied that it would be
easy to find a substitute. But it was not so. Brave warriors, who would
willingly have periled their lives for their prince, shrunk from the
thought of dying for him on the bed of sickness; and old servants who
had experienced his bounty and that of his house from their childhood
up were not willing to lay down the scanty remnant of their days to
show their gratitude. Men asked, "Why does not one of his parents do
it? They cannot in the course of nature live much longer, and who can
feel like them the call to rescue the life they gave from an untimely
end?" But the parents, distressed though they were at the thought
of losing him, shrunk from the call. Then Alcestis, with a generous
self-devotion, proffered herself as the substitute. Admetus, fond as he
was of life, would not have submitted to receive it at such a cost; but
there was no remedy. The condition imposed by the Fates had been met,
and the decree was irrevocable. As Admetus revived, Alcestis sickened,
rapidly sank, and died.

Just after the funeral procession had left the palace, Hercules, the
son of Jupiter and Alcmena, arrived. He, to whom no labor was too
arduous, resolved to attempt her rescue. Said he:

    "I will go lie in wait for Death, black-stoled
    King of the corpses![103] I shall find him, sure,
    Drinking, beside the tomb, o' the sacrifice:
    And if I lie in ambuscade, and leap
    Out of my lair, and seize--encircle him
    Till one hand join the other round about--
    There lives not who shall pull him out from me,
    Rib-mauled, before he let the woman go!
    But even say I miss the booty,--say,
    Death comes not to the boltered blood,--why, then,
    Down go I, to the unsunned dwelling-place
    Of Koré[104] and the king there,--make demand,
    Confident I shall bring Alkestis back,
    So as to put her in the hands of him
    My host, that housed me, never drove me off:
    Though stricken with sore sorrow hid the stroke,
    Being a noble heart and honoring me!
    Who of Thessalians, more than this man, loves
    The stranger? Who that now inhabits Greece?
    Wherefore he shall not say the man was vile
    Whom he befriended,--native noble heart!"
    So, one look upward, as if Zeus might laugh
    Approval of his human progeny,--
    One summons of the whole magnific frame,
    Each sinew to its service,--up he caught,
    And over shoulder cast the lion-shag,
    Let the club go,--for had he not those hands?
    And so went striding off, on that straight way
    Leads to Larissa and the suburb tomb.
    Gladness be with thee, Helper of our world!
    I think this is the authentic sign and seal
    Of Godship that it ever waxes glad,
    And more glad, until gladness blossoms, bursts
    Into a rage to suffer for mankind,
    And recommence at sorrow: drops like seed
    After the blossom, ultimate of all.
    Say, does the seed scorn earth and seek the sun?
    Surely it has no other end and aim
    Than to drop, once more die into the ground,
    Taste cold and darkness and oblivion there:
    And thence rise, tree-like grow through pain to joy,
    More joy and most joy,--do man good again.
    So to the struggle off strode Herakles.

[Illustration: FIG. 65. HERACLES]

Long time the Thessalians waited and mourned. As for Herakles, no doubt
they supposed him dead. When--but can it be?

    ... Ay, he it was advancing! In he strode,
    And took his stand before Admetos,--turned
    Now by despair to such a quietude,
    He neither raised his face nor spoke, this time,
    The while his friend surveyed him steadily.
    That friend looked rough with fighting: had he strained
    Worst brute to breast was ever strangled yet?
    Somehow, a victory--for there stood the strength,
    Happy, as always; something grave, perhaps;
    The great vein-cordage on the fret-worked front,
    Black-swollen, beaded yet with battle-dew
    The golden hair o' the hero!--his big frame
    A-quiver with each muscle sinking back
    Into the sleepy smooth it leaped from late.
    Under the great guard of one arm, there leant
    A shrouded something, live and woman-like,
    Propped by the heartbeats 'neath the lion-coat.
    When he had finished his survey, it seemed,
    The heavings of the heart began subside,
    The helpful breath returned, and last the smile
    Shone out, all Herakles was back again,
    As the words followed the saluting hand.

"Admetus," said he, "take and keep this woman, my captive, till I come
thy way again." But Admetus would admit no woman into the hall that
Alcestis had left empty. Then cried Herakles, "Take hold of her. See
now, my friend, if she look not somewhat like that wife thou hast lost."

    Ah, but the tears come, find the words at fault!
    There is no telling how the hero twitched
    The veil off; and there stood, with such fixed eyes
    And such slow smile, Alkestis' silent self!
    It was the crowning grace of that great heart,
    To keep back joy: procrastinate the truth
    Until the wife, who had made proof and found
    The husband wanting, might essay once more,
    Hear, see, and feel him renovated now--
    Able to do now all herself had done,
    Risen to the height of her: so, hand in hand,
    The two might go together, live and die.

    Beside, when he found speech, you guess the speech.
    He could not think he saw his wife again:
    It was some mocking God that used the bliss
    To make him mad! Till Herakles must help:
    Assure him that no specter mocked at all;
    He was embracing whom he buried once,
    Still,--did he touch, might he address the true,
    True eye, true body of the true live wife?
    ... And Herakles said little, but enough--
    How he engaged in combat with that king
    O' the dæmons: how the field of contest lay
    By the tomb's self: how he sprang from ambuscade,
    Captured Death, caught him in that pair of hands.

    But all the time, Alkestis moved not once
    Out of the set gaze and the silent smile;
    And a cold fear ran through Admetos' frame:
    "Why does she stand and front me, silent thus?"
    Herakles solemnly replied, "Not yet
    Is it allowable thou hear the things
    She has to tell thee; let evanish quite
    That consecration to the lower Gods,
    And on our upper world the third day rise!
    Lead her in, meanwhile; good and true thou art,
    Good, true, remain thou! Practice piety
    To stranger-guests the old way! So, farewell!
    Since forth I fare, fulfill my urgent task
    Set by the king, the son of Sthenelos."[105]

[Illustration: FIG. 66. THE PALATINE APOLLO]

=84. Apollo, the Musician.= Not only in Arcadia, Laconia, and Thessaly
did Apollo care as a herdsman for the cattle of a mortal master; in
Mount Ida, too, by the order of Jupiter he herded for a year the
"shambling, crook-horned kine" of King Laomedon, and, playing on the
lyre, aided Neptune to build the walls of Troy, just as Amphion, in his
turn, had aided in the building of Thebes. Apollo's life as herdsman
was spent in establishing wise laws and customs, in musical contests on
the flute and the lyre, or in passages of love with nymphs and maidens
of mortal mold.

=85. Apollo, Pan, and Midas.=[106] It is said that on a certain
occasion Pan had the temerity to compare his music with that of Apollo
and to challenge the god of the lyre to a trial of skill. The challenge
was accepted, and Tmolus, the mountain-god, was chosen umpire. The
senior took his seat and cleared away the trees from his ears to
listen. At a given signal Pan blew on his pipes, and with his rustic
melody gave great satisfaction to himself and his faithful follower
Midas, who happened to be present. Then Tmolus turned his head toward
the sun-god, and all his trees turned with him. Apollo rose, his brow
wreathed with Parnassian laurel, while his robe of Tyrian purple swept
the ground. In his left hand he held the lyre and with his right hand
struck the strings. Tmolus at once awarded the victory to the lyric
god, and all but Midas acquiesced in the judgment. He dissented and
questioned the justice of the award. Apollo promptly transformed his
depraved pair of ears into those of an ass.

King Midas tried to hide his misfortune under an ample turban. But
his hair-dresser found it too much for his discretion to keep such a
secret; he dug a hole in the ground and, stooping down, whispered the
story, and covered it up. But a thick bed of reeds springing up in the
meadow began whispering the story, and has continued to do so from that
day to this, every time a breeze passes over the place.

=86. Shelley's Hymn of Pan.= In the following verses Pan taunts Apollo
as he might have done when Midas was sitting contentedly by:

    From the forests and highlands
        We come, we come;
    From the river-girt islands,
        Where loud waves are dumb,
          Listening to my sweet pipings.
    The wind in the reeds and the rushes,
      The bees on the bells of thyme,
    The birds on the myrtle bushes,
      The cicale above in the lime,
    And the lizards below in the grass,
    Were as silent as ever old Tmolus was
        Listening to my sweet pipings.

    Liquid Peneüs was flowing,
        And all dark Tempe lay,
    In Pelion's shadow, outgrowing
        The light of the dying day,
          Speeded by my sweet pipings.
    The Sileni, and Sylvans, and Fauns,
      And the Nymphs of the woods and waves,
    To the edge of the moist river-lawns,
      And the brink of the dewy caves,
    And all that did then attend and follow
    Were silent with love, as you now, Apollo,
          With envy of my sweet pipings.

    I sang of the dancing stars,
        I sang of the dædal Earth,
    And of Heaven--and the giant wars,
        And Love, and Death, and Birth,--
          And then I changed my pipings,--
    Singing how down the vale of Menalus
      I pursued a maiden, and clasp'd a reed:
    Gods and men, we are all deluded thus!
      It breaks in our bosom and then we bleed:
    All wept, as I think both ye now would,
    If envy or age had not frozen your blood,
          At the sorrow of my sweet pipings.

=87. Marsyas= also was unfortunate enough to underrate Apollo's musical
ability. It seems that the flute, an invention of Minerva's, had been
thrown away by that goddess because Cupid laughed at the grimaces which
she made while playing it. Marsyas found the instrument, blew upon it,
and elicited such ravishing sounds that he was tempted to challenge
Apollo himself to a musical contest. The god, of course, triumphed, and
he punished Marsyas by flaying him alive.

=88. The Loves of Apollo.= Beside Psamathe of Argos, Coronis of
Thessaly, and the nymph Clymene, who have been already mentioned,
Apollo loved the muse Calliope, who bore him Orpheus,[107] and the
nymph Cyrene, whose son was Aristæus.[108] Of his relations with other
maidens the following myths exist.

=89. Daphne.=[109] The lord of the silver bow was not always prosperous
in his wooing. His first love, which, by the way, owed its origin
to the malice of Cupid, was specially unfortunate. It appears that
Apollo, seeing the boy playing with his bow and arrows, had tauntingly
advised him to leave warlike weapons for hands worthy of them and
content himself with the torch of love. Whereupon the son of Venus had
rejoined, "Thine arrows may strike all things else, Apollo, but mine
shall strike thee."

[Illustration: APOLLO AND DAPHNE]

So saying, he took his stand on a rock of Parnassus, and drew from
his quiver two arrows of different workmanship,--one to excite love,
the other to repel it. The former was of gold and sharp pointed, the
latter blunt and tipped with lead. With the leaden shaft he struck
the nymph Daphne, the daughter of the river-god Peneüs, and with the
golden one Apollo, through the heart. Forthwith the god was seized with
love for the maiden, but she, more than ever, abhorred the thought of
loving. Her delight was in woodland sports and in the spoils of the
chase. Spurning all lovers, she prayed her father that she might remain
always unmarried, like Diana. He consented, but, at the same time,
warned her that her beauty would defeat her purpose. It was the face
of this huntress maiden that Apollo saw. He saw the charming disorder
of her hair, and would have arranged it; he saw her eyes bright as
stars; he saw her lips, and was not satisfied with only seeing them.
He longed for Daphne. He followed her; she fled swifter than the wind,
nor delayed a moment at his entreaties. "Stay," said he, "daughter of
Peneüs; I am not a foe. It is for love I pursue thee. I am no clown, no
rude peasant. Jupiter is my father. I am lord of Delphi and Tenedos. I
know all things, present and future. I am the god of song and the lyre.
My arrows fly true to the mark; but alas! an arrow more fatal than mine
has pierced my heart! I am the god of medicine and know the virtues of
all healing plants. Alas! I suffer a malady that no balm can cure."

[Illustration: FIG. 67. DAPHNE]

The nymph continues her flight and leaves his plea half-uttered. But
even as she flies she charms him. The wind catches her garments, and
her unbound hair streams loose behind her. The god, sped by Cupid,
gains upon her in the race. His panting breath blows upon her hair.
Her strength begins to fail, and, ready to sink, she calls upon her
father, the river-god: "Help me, Peneüs! open the earth to inclose me,
or change my form, which has brought me into this danger!" Scarcely had
she spoken when a stiffness seized her limbs; and little by little she
took on the appearance of a laurel tree. Apollo embraced the branches
and lavished kisses on the wood. The branches shrank from his lips.
"Since thou canst not be my wife," said he, "thou shalt assuredly be
my tree. I will wear thee for my crown. I will decorate with thee my
harp and my quiver. When the Roman conquerors conduct the triumphal
pomp to the Capitol, thou shalt be woven into wreaths for their brows.
And, as eternal youth is mine, thou also shalt be always green, and
thy leaf know no decay." The laurel tree bowed its head in grateful
acknowledgment.

The delicious humor of Lowell's extravaganza upon the story amply
justifies the following citation:

    Ph[oe]bus, sitting one day in a laurel tree's shade,
    Was reminded of Daphne, of whom it was made,
    For the god being one day too warm in his wooing,
    She took to the tree to escape his pursuing;
    Be the cause what it might, from his offers she shrunk,
    And, Ginevra-like, shut herself up in a trunk;
    And, though 't was a step into which he had driven her,
    He somehow or other had never forgiven her;
    Her memory he nursed as a kind of a tonic,
    Something bitter to chew when he'd play the Byronic,
    And I can't count the obstinate nymphs that he brought over
    By a strange kind of smile he put on when he thought of her.
    "My case is like Dido's," he sometimes remarked;
    "When I last saw my love, she was fairly embarked
    In a laurel, as _she_ thought--but (ah, how Fate mocks!)
    She has found it by this time a very bad box;
    Let hunters from me take this saw when they need it,--
    You're not always sure of your game when you've treed it.
    Just conceive such a change taking place in one's mistress!
    What romance would be left?--who can flatter or kiss trees?
    And, for mercy's sake, how could one keep up a dialogue
    With a dull wooden thing that will live and will die a log,--
    Not to say that the thought would forever intrude
    That you've less chance to win her the more she is wood?
    Ah! it went to my heart, and the memory still grieves,
    To see those loved graces all taking their leaves;
    Those charms beyond speech, so enchanting but now,
    As they left me forever, each making its bough!
    If her tongue _had_ a tang sometimes more than was right,
    Her new bark is worse than ten times her old bite."[110]

=90. Marpessa.= Another maiden who declined Apollo's love was
Marpessa.[1] She is called by Homer "the fair-ankled daughter of
Evenus."

    The god Apollo from the heaven of heavens
    Her mortal sweetness through the air allured;[2]

but Idas, "that was strongest of men that were then on earth,"[111]
carried her off, assisted by Poseidon who gave him a winged chariot.
Her father Evenus vainly tried to catch up with the fleeing lovers;
but Apollo found them in Messene, and wrested the maiden away. Then
Jupiter, while the lovers were engaged in combat, separated them,
saying, "Let her decide."

    They three together met; on the one side,
    Fresh from diffusing light on all the world
    Apollo; on the other without sleep
    Idas, and in the midst Marpessa stood.
    Just as a flower after drenching rain,
    So from the falling of felicity
    Her human beauty glowed, and it was new;
    The bee too near her bosom drowsed and dropped.[2]

According to the story as romantically told by the English poet
Phillips, first spoke Apollo. The god told her that he dreaded that one
so fair should ever taste of sorrow and death; how, if she lived with
him, she should bide

    In mere felicity above the world
    In peace alive and moving, where to stir
    Is ecstasy, and thrilling is repose,[112]

immortal, scattering joy without intermission, lighting the world,
bringing bliss to struggling men and sorrowing women, dispelling
shadows and shadowy fear.

Then Idas, humbly,--

    "After such argument what can I plead?
    Or what pale promise make? Yet since it is
    In women to pity rather than to aspire,
    A little will I speak."

And he tells her simply that he _loves_ her,--loves her not only for
her beauty, but

    "Because Infinity upon thee broods;
    And thou art full of whispers and of shadows;--"

and because her voice is music, her face mystery beyond his power to
comprehend;

    "O beauty lone and like a candle clear
    In this dark country of the world! Thou art
    My woe, my early light, my music dying."

And Marpessa?--

    As he was speaking, she with lips apart
    Breathed, and with dimmer eyes leaned through the air
    As one in dream, and now his human hand
    Took in her own; and to Apollo spoke,--

saying that she knew how sweet it might be forever with a god to aid
suffering men and women and "gild the face that from its dead looks
up"; but still she feared immortality, for, though dying not, she must
grow old, and her god lover would tire of her when once her youth was
faded. And as for that "existence without tears for evermore" which he
promised,--

    "Yet I being human, human sorrow miss.
    The half of music, I have heard men say,
    Is to have grieved."

To sorrow she was born. It is out of sadness that men have made this
world beautiful. If she chooses Idas, then they two will prosper
together, grow old together, and last descend into the "natural
ground," and "leave behind a wholesome memory on the earth."

    When she had spoken, Idas with one cry
    Held her, and there was silence; while the god
    In anger disappeared. Then slowly they,
    He looking downward, and she gazing up,
    Into the evening green wandered away.

=91. Clytie.=[113] In the story of Clytie the conditions are reversed.
She was a water-nymph and in love with Apollo, who made her no return.
So she pined away, sitting all day long upon the cold ground with her
unbound tresses streaming over her shoulders. Nine days she sat, and
tasted neither food nor drink,--her own tears and the chilly dew her
only sustenance. She gazed on the sun when he rose; and as he passed
through his daily course to his setting, she saw no other object,--her
eyes fixed constantly on him. At last, they say, her limbs took root in
the ground and her face became a flower, turning on its stem to follow
the journeying sun.

In the following lines, Thomas Moore uses the flower as an emblem of
constancy:

    The heart that has truly loved never forgets,
      But as truly loves on to the close;
    As the sunflower turns on her god when he sets
      The same look that she turned when he rose.

[Illustration: FIG. 68. ARTEMIS]

=92. Myths of Diana.= In company with her radiant brother, we find
Diana subduing Tityus and the Python and assisting in the punishment of
Niobe. The speedy transformation of Daphne has been attributed to this
goddess, the champion of maidenhood. According to some, it was she,
too, that changed Callisto into a bear, when for love of Jupiter that
nymph deserted the huntress-band. Numerous are the myths that celebrate
the severity of the goddess of the unerring bow toward those who
offended her. How she served Agamemnon for slaying one of her hinds is
told in the story of Troy;[114] how she punished [OE]neus for omitting
a sacrifice to her is narrated in the episode of the Calydonian
hunt.[115] Similar attributes of the goddess are exemplified in the
myths of Arethusa, Actæon, and Orion. It is only when she is identified
with Selene, the peaceful moonlight, that we perceive a softer side of
character, such as that displayed in her relations with Endymion.

=93. The Flight of Arethusa.=[116] A woodland nymph of Elis was this
Arethusa; she delighted not in her comeliness, but in the joys of
the chase. One day, returning from the wood heated with exercise, she
descended to a stream silently flowing, so clear that you might count
the pebbles on the bottom. She laid aside her garments; but while she
sported in the water, she heard an indistinct murmur rising as out of
the depths of the stream. She made haste to reach the nearest bank. A
voice followed her, "Why flyest thou, Arethusa? Alpheüs am I, the god
of this stream." The nymph ran, the god pursued. Arethusa, at last
exhausted, cried for help to Diana, who, hearing, wrapped her votary
in a thick cloud. Perplexed, the river-god still sought the trembling
maiden. But a cold sweat came over her. In less time than it takes
to tell, she had become a fountain. Alpheüs attempted then to mingle
his stream with hers. But the Cynthian queen cleft the ground, and
Arethusa, still endeavoring to escape, plunged into the abyss and,
passing through the bowels of the earth, came out in Sicily, still
followed by the passionate river-god.

[Illustration: FIG 69. ARETHUSA]

=94. Shelley's Arethusa.= In the following version of the pursuit,
Arethusa was already a river when Alpheüs espied her.

          Arethusa arose
          From her couch of snows
    In the Acroceraunian mountains,--
          From cloud and from crag,
          With many a jag,
    Shepherding her bright fountains,
          She leapt down the rocks,
          With her rainbow locks
    Streaming among the streams;--
          Her steps paved with green
          The downward ravine
    Which slopes to the western gleams:
          And gliding and springing
          She went, ever singing,
    In murmurs as soft as sleep;
          The Earth seemed to love her,
          And Heaven smiled above her,
    As she lingered towards the deep.
          Then Alpheüs bold
          On his glacier cold,
    With his trident the mountain strook
          And opened a chasm
          In the rocks;--with the spasm
    All Erymanthus shook.
          And the black south wind
          It concealed behind
    The urns of the silent snow,
          And earthquake and thunder
          Did rend in sunder
    The bars of the springs below;
          The beard and the hair
          Of the River-god were
    Seen through the torrent's sweep,
          As he followed the light
          Of the fleet nymph's flight
    To the brink of the Dorian deep.

[Illustration: FIG. 70. A YOUNG RIVER-GOD]

          "Oh, save me! Oh, guide me!
          And bid the deep hide me,
    For he grasps me now by the hair!"
          The loud Ocean heard,
          To its blue depth stirred,
    And divided at her prayer;
          And under the water
          The Earth's white daughter
    Fled like a sunny beam;
          Behind her descended
          Her billows unblended
    With the brackish Dorian stream:--
          Like a gloomy stain
          On the emerald main,
    Alpheüs rushed behind,--
          As an eagle pursuing
          A dove to its ruin
    Down the streams of the cloudy wind.

          Under the bowers
          Where the Ocean Powers
    Sit on their pearlèd thrones,
          Through the coral woods
          Of the weltering floods,
    Over heaps of unvalued stones;
          Through the dim beams
          Which amid the streams
    Weave a network of colored light;
          And under the caves,
          Where the shadowy waves
    Are as green as the forest's night:
          Outspeeding the shark,
          And the swordfish dark,
    Under the ocean foam,
          And up through the rifts
          Of the mountain clifts
    They past to their Dorian home.

          And now from their fountains
          In Enna's mountains,
    Down one vale where the morning basks,
          Like friends once parted
          Grown single-hearted,
    They ply their watery tasks.
          At sunrise they leap
          From their cradles steep
    In the cave of the shelving hill;
          At noontide they flow
          Through the woods below
    And the meadows of Asphodel:
          And at night they sleep
          In the rocking deep
    Beneath the Ortygian shore;--
          Like spirits that lie
          In the azure sky
    When they love but live no more.

=95. The Fate of Actæon.=[117] Diana's severity toward young Actæon,
grandson of Cadmus whose kindred fell under the curse of Mars, is thus
narrated.

[Illustration: FIG. 71. ACTÆON]

One day, having repaired to a valley inclosed by cypresses and pines,
where gushed a fountain of sparkling water, the chaste Diana handed her
javelin, her quiver, and her bow to one nymph, her robe to another,
while a third unbound the sandals from her feet. Then Crocale, the
most skillful of them, arranged her hair, and Nephele, Hyale, and
the rest drew water in capacious urns. While the huntress queen was
thus employed in the labors of the toilet, Actæon, the son of Autonoë
and Aristæus, having quitted his companions of the chase and rambling
without any especial object, came to the place, led thither by his
destiny. As he presented himself at the entrance of the cave, the
nymphs, seeing a man, screamed and rushed towards the goddess to hide
her with their bodies. But she was taller than the rest and overtopped
them all by a head. Such a color as tinges the clouds at sunset or
at dawn came over the countenance of Diana, thus taken by surprise.
Surrounded as she was by her nymphs, she yet turned half away and
sought with a sudden impulse for her arrows. As they were not at hand,
she dashed the water into the face of the intruder, saying, "Now go and
tell, if you can, that you have seen Diana unappareled." Immediately
a pair of branching stag's horns grew out of the huntsman's head, his
neck gained in length, his ears grew sharp-pointed, his hands became
feet, his arms, his long legs, and his body were covered with a hairy
spotted hide. Fear took the place of his former boldness, and the hero
fled. What should he do?--go home to the palace or lie hid in the
woods? While he hesitated his dogs saw him. Over rocks and cliffs,
through mountain gorges that seemed impracticable, he fled, and they
followed. The air resounded with the bark of the dogs. Presently one
fastened on his back, another seized his shoulder; the rest of the
pack came up and buried their teeth in his flesh. His friends and
fellow-huntsmen cheered on the dogs, and, looking everywhere for
Actæon, called on him to join the sport. At the sound of his name,
he turned his head and heard them regret that he should be away. He
earnestly wished he was. But Diana had no pity for him, nor was her
anger appeased till the dogs had torn his life out.

=96. The Fortunes and Death of Orion.= Orion, the son of Neptune, was a
giant and a mighty hunter, whose prowess and manly favor gained for him
the rare good will of Diana.

It is related that he loved Merope, the daughter of [OE]nopion, king
of Chios, and sought her in marriage. He cleared the island of wild
beasts and brought the spoils of the chase as presents to his beloved;
but as [OE]nopion constantly deferred his consent, Orion attempted to
gain possession of the maiden by violence. Her father, incensed at his
conduct, made Orion drunk, deprived him of his sight, and cast him out
on the seashore. The blinded hero, instructed by an oracle to seek
the rays of morning, followed the sound of a Cyclops' hammer till he
reached Lemnos, where Vulcan, taking pity on him, gave him Cedalion,
one of his men, to be his guide to the abode of the sun. Placing
Cedalion on his shoulders, Orion proceeded to the east, and there
meeting the sun-god, was restored to sight by his beam.[118]

After this he dwelt as a hunter with the queen of the echoing chase;
and it was even hinted that she loved him. Her brother, highly
displeased, often chid her, but to no purpose. One day, therefore,
observing Orion as he waded through the sea with his head just above
the water, Apollo pointed out the black object to his sister, and
maintained that she could not hit it. The archer goddess discharged a
shaft with fatal aim: the waves rolled the dead body of Orion to the
land. Then bewailing her fatal error with many tears, Diana placed him
among the stars, where he appears as a giant, with a girdle, sword,
lion's skin, and club.

Sirius, his dog, follows him, and the Pleiads fly before him.[119]
In the beginning of winter, all through the night, Orion follows the
chase across the heavens; but with dawn he sinks toward the waters of
his father Neptune. In the beginning of summer, he may be seen with
daybreak in the eastern sky, where, beloved by Aurora, he remains
gradually paling before the light of day till, finally, Diana, jealous
of his happiness, draws her gentle darts and slays him.

[Illustration: FIG. 72. THE PLEIADES

From the painting by Vedder]

=97. The Pleiads=,[120] who still fly before Orion in the heavens,
were daughters of Atlas, and nymphs of Diana's train. One day Orion
saw them in B[oe]otia, became enamored of them, and gave pursuit. In
their distress they prayed to the gods to change their form. Jupiter,
accordingly, turned them into pigeons, and made them a constellation.
Though their number was seven, only six stars are visible; for Electra,
it is said, left her place that she might not behold the ruin of Troy,
which had been founded by her son Dardanus. The sight had such an
effect on her sisters that they blanched, and have been pale ever
since. But Electra became a comet; her hair floating wildly behind her,
she still inconsolably ranges the expanse of heaven. According to some,
the lost Pleiad is Merope, who was vested with mortality in consequence
of her marriage with the mortal Sisyphus, king of Corinth.

Tennyson's reference to the Pleiads, in "Locksley Hall," is of course
familiar to all readers.

[Illustration: FIG. 73. ENDYMION]

=98. Endymion.= The frequent absence of Diana from her duties in heaven
is said to have awakened suspicion among the deities of Olympus, who
doubted whether she actually occupied these intervals with hunting.
It is easy to imagine the satisfaction with which Venus, who so often
had been reproached by Diana with her undue fondness of beautiful
youths, would welcome news of a corresponding weakness on the part of
the cold-hearted and apparently unyielding huntress queen. And such
satisfaction Venus once enjoyed, if we may trust the later classical
and the modern poets who have identified Diana with Selene, the more
ancient goddess of the moon.

For, one calm, clear night Selene looked down upon the beautiful
Endymion, who fed his flock on Mount Latmos, and saw him sleeping.
The heart of the goddess was unquestionably warmed by his surpassing
beauty. She came down to him; she kissed him; she watched over him
while he slept. She visited him again and again. But her secret could
not long be hidden from the company of Olympus. For more and more
frequently she was absent from her station in the sky, and toward
morning she was ever paler and more weary with her watching. When,
finally, her love was discovered, Jupiter gave Endymion, who had been
thus honored, a choice between death in any manner that was preferable,
or perpetual youth united with perpetual sleep. Endymion chose the
latter. He still sleeps in his Carian cave, and still the mistress of
the moon slips from her nocturnal course to visit him. She takes care,
too, that his fortunes shall not suffer by his inactive life: she
yields his flock increase, and guards his sheep and lambs from beasts
of prey.[121]

Keats, whose Endymion journeys on a mission under sea, thus describes a
meeting of the goddess and her lover:

                        On gold sand impearled
    With lily shells and pebbles milky white,
    Poor Cynthia greeted him, and soothed her light
    Against his pallid face: he felt the charm
    To breathlessness, and suddenly a warm
    Of his heart's blood: 'twas very sweet; he stayed
    His wandering steps, and half-entrancèd laid
    His head upon a tuft of straggling weeds,
    To taste the gentle moon, and freshening beads,
    Lashed from the crystal roof by fishes' tails.
    And so he kept, until the rosy veils,
    Mantling the east, by Aurora's peering hand
    Were lifted from the water's breast, and fanned
    Into sweet air; and sobered morning came
    Meekly through billows:--when like taper-flame
    Left sudden by a dallying breath of air,
    He rose in silence, and once more 'gan fare
    Along his fated way.[122]

=99. Myths of Venus.= Round the goddess of love cluster romances of
her own tender passion, of the affairs of the winged Cupid, and of the
loves of the worshipers at her shrine. Of the affection of Venus for
Mars and of her relations with Anchises,[123] the father of Æneas,
mention is elsewhere made. The following is the myth of Venus and
Adonis.

=100. Adonis.=[124] The sweetly smiling goddess, playing one day with
her boy Cupid, wounded her bosom with one of his arrows. Before the
wound healed, she looked upon Adonis, the son of Cinyras and Myrrha,
and was captivated by him. She no longer took any interest in her
favorite resorts,--Paphos, and Cnidos, and Amathus, rich in metals. She
absented herself even from Olympus, for Adonis was dearer to her than
heaven. Him she followed and bore him company. She who loved to recline
in the shade, with no care but to cultivate her charms, now rambled
through the woods and over the hills, girt like the huntress Diana.
She chased game that is safe to hunt, but kept clear of the wolves and
bears. She charged Adonis, too, to beware of dangerous animals. "Be
brave toward the timid," she would say, "courage against the courageous
is not safe." Having thus, on one occasion, warned him, she mounted her
chariot drawn by swans and drove away through the air. But Adonis was
too noble to heed such counsels. The dogs had roused a wild boar from
his lair, and the youth threw his spear and wounded the animal with
a sidelong stroke. The beast drew out the weapon with his jaws, and,
rushing after Adonis, buried his tusks in the lad's side, and stretched
him dying upon the plain. The rest of the story is thus recounted:


THE LAMENT FOR ADONIS[125]

    ... Low on the hills is lying the lovely Adonis, and his thigh
    with the boar's tusk, his white thigh with the boar's tusk, is
    wounded; and sorrow on Cypris he brings, as softly he breathes
    his life away.

    His dark blood drips down his skin of snow; beneath his brows
    his eyes wax heavy and dim; and the rose flees from his lip, and
    thereon the very kiss is dying, the kiss that Cypris will never
    forego.

[Illustration: PETWORTH APHRODITE]

    ... She hath lost her lovely lord, with him she hath lost
    her sacred beauty. Fair was the form of Cypris while Adonis
    was living, but her beauty has died with Adonis! _Woe, woe
    for Cypris_, the mountains all are saying. And the oak trees
    answer, _Woe for Adonis!_ And the rivers bewail the sorrows of
    Aphrodite, and the wells are weeping Adonis on the mountains.
    The flowers flush red for anguish, and Cytherea through all the
    mountain-knees, through every dell, doth shrill the piteous dirge:

    _Woe, woe for Cytherea, he hath_ _perished, the lovely Adonis!_

    ... When she saw, when she marked the unstanched wound of Adonis,
    when she saw the bright red blood about his languid thigh, she
    cast her arms abroad, and moaned, "Abide with me, Adonis, hapless
    Adonis, abide!... Awake, Adonis, for a little while, and kiss
    me yet again, the latest kiss!... This kiss will I treasure,
    even as thyself, Adonis, since, ah, ill-fated, thou art fleeing
    me, thou art fleeing far, Adonis, and art faring to Acheron, to
    that hateful king and cruel, while wretched I yet live, being
    a goddess, and may not follow thee! Persephone, take thou my
    lover, my lord, for thyself art stronger than I, and all lovely
    things drift down to thee. But I am ill-fated, inconsolable is my
    anguish; and I lament mine Adonis, dead to me, and I have no rest
    for sorrow.

    "Thou diest, oh, thrice-desired, and my desire hath flown away
    as a dream! Nay, widowed is Cytherea, and idle are the Loves
    along the halls! With thee has the girdle of my beauty perished.
    For why, ah, overbold, didst thou follow the chase, and being so
    fair, why wert thou thus overhardy to fight with beasts?"

    So Cypris bewailed her, the Loves join in the lament:

    _Woe, woe for Cytherea, he hath_ _perished, the lovely Adonis!_

[Illustration: FIG. 74. THE DEATH OF ADONIS]

    A tear the Paphian sheds for each blood-drop of Adonis, and tears
    and blood on the earth are turned to flowers. The blood brings
    forth the rose; the tears, the wind-flower.

    _Woe, woe for Adonis, he hath perished, the lovely Adonis!_

    ... Cease, Cytherea, from thy lamentations, to-day refrain from
    thy dirges. Thou must again bewail him, again must weep for him
    another year.

=101. Cupid and Psyche.=[126] A certain king and queen had three
daughters. The charms of the two elder were more than common, but the
beauty of the youngest was such that the poverty of language is unable
to express its praise. In fact, Venus found her altars deserted, while
men paid their vows to this virgin. When Psyche passed, the people sang
her praises and strewed her way with chaplets and flowers.

This perversion of homage gave great offense to Venus, who complained
that Paris might just as well not have yielded her the palm of beauty
over Pallas and Juno, if a mortal were thus to usurp her honors.
Wherefore she called Cupid and, pointing out Psyche to him, bade him
infuse into the bosom of that haughty girl a passion for some low,
unworthy being.

There were in Venus's garden two fountains,--one of sweet waters, the
other of bitter. Cupid filled two amber vases, one from each fountain,
and suspending them from the top of his quiver, hastened to the chamber
of Psyche, whom he found asleep. He shed a few drops from the bitter
fountain over her lips, though the sight of her almost moved him to
pity; and then he touched her side with the point of his arrow. She
awoke, and opening her eyes upon Cupid (himself invisible), so startled
him that in his confusion he wounded himself with his arrow. Heedless
of his wound, his thought now was to repair the mischief he had done.
He poured, at once, the waters of joy over her silken ringlets.

But Psyche, henceforth frowned upon by Venus, derived no benefit from
her charms. Her two elder sisters had long been married to princes; but
Psyche's beauty failed to awaken love. Consequently her parents, afraid
that they had unwittingly incurred the anger of the gods, consulted the
oracle of Apollo.

They received answer, "The virgin is destined for the bride of no
mortal lover. Her husband awaits her on the top of the mountain. He is
a monster whom neither gods nor men can resist."

This dreadful decree of the oracle filled the people with dismay; but,
at Psyche's request, preparations for her fate were made. The royal
maid took her place in a procession, which more resembled a funeral
than a nuptial pomp, and with her parents, amid the lamentations of
their subjects, ascended the mountain, where she was left alone.

While Psyche stood there, panting with fear and with eyes full of
tears, the gentle Zephyr lifted her and, with an easy motion, bore her
to a flowery dale. By degrees her mind became composed, and she laid
herself down on the grassy bank to sleep. When she awoke refreshed with
sleep, she beheld near by a pleasant grove of tall and stately trees.
Entering, she discovered in the midst a fountain, and fast by a palace
whose august front showed that it was not the work of mortal hands, but
the happy retreat of some god. She approached the building and entered.
Every object she met filled her with pleasure and amazement. Golden
pillars supported the vaulted roof, and the walls were enriched with
carvings and paintings that represented beasts of the chase and rural
scenes. Other apartments were filled with still other beautiful and
precious productions of nature and art.

While her eyes were thus occupied, the voice of an invisible being
addressed her: "Sovereign lady, all that thou beholdest is thine. We
whose voices thou dost hear are thy servants. Retire, we pray thee, to
thy chamber, repose on thy bed of down, and when it may please thee
repair to the bath. Food awaits in the adjoining alcove."

After repose and the refreshment of the bath, Psyche seated herself
in the alcove, where, without any visible aid, a table immediately
presented itself, covered with delicacies and nectareous wines. Her
ears, too, were delighted with music from invisible performers.

For a long time she did not see her husband. He came in the hours of
darkness and fled before the dawn of morning; but his accents were full
of love and inspired a like passion in her. Often she begged him to
stay and let her behold him, but he would not consent. "Having looked
upon me," he said, "mayhap thou wouldst fear, mayhap adore, me; but
all I ask of thee is love. I would rather thou shouldst love me as an
equal than adore me as a god." This reasoning somewhat quieted Psyche
for a time. But the thought of her parents and of her sisters, left
in ignorance of her fate, preyed on her mind to such a degree that at
last, telling her distress to her lord, she drew from him an unwilling
consent that her sisters should be brought to see her.

[Illustration: FIG. 75. PSYCHE AT THE COUCH OF CUPID

From the painting by Thumann]

Zephyr, promptly obedient, soon brought them across the mountain
down to their sister's valley. They embraced her. She returned their
caresses, and then committed them to the care of her attendant voices,
who should refresh them in her bath and at her table, and show them
her treasures. The view of these delights caused envy to enter their
bosoms. They plied their fortunate sister with questions about her
husband. Psyche replied that he was a beautiful youth, who generally
spent the daytime in hunting upon the mountains. The sisters, not
satisfied with this reply, soon made her confess that she had never
seen him. Then they proceeded to fill her bosom with dark suspicions.
Probably her husband was a dreadful monster, such as the Pythian oracle
had prophesied. Probably he was a direful serpent, who nourished her
now to devour her by and by. They advised her to provide herself
against the night with a lamp and a sharp knife, told her what to do if
her husband turned out the monster that they surmised, and, so saying,
departed.

These persuasions Psyche resisted as well as she could, but they did
not fail to have their effect on her mind. She prepared a lamp and a
sharp knife, and hid them out of sight of her husband. That night, when
he had fallen into his first sleep, she silently rose and uncovering
her lamp--

          Scarce kept back a cry
    At what she saw; for there before her lay
    The very Love brighter than dawn of day;
    And as he lay there smiling, her own name
    His gentle lips in sleep began to frame,
    And, as to touch her face, his hand did move;
    O then, indeed, her faint heart swelled for love,
    And she began to sob, and tears fell fast
    Upon the bed.--But as she turned at last
    To quench the lamp, there happed a little thing
    That quenched her new delight, for flickering
    The treacherous flame cast on his shoulder fair
    A burning drop; he woke, and seeing her there
    The meaning of that sad sight knew full well,
    Nor was there need the piteous tale to tell.[127]

Without a word, Cupid spread his white wings, and flew out of window.
Psyche, in vain endeavoring to follow, fell to the earth. For but an
instant Cupid, staying, reproached her with distrust of him. "No other
punishment inflict I than to leave thee forever. Love cannot dwell with
suspicion." And so he flew away.

When Psyche had recovered some degree of composure, she looked around
her. The palace and gardens had vanished. She found herself not far
from the city where her sisters dwelt. Thither she repaired, and told
them the story of her misfortunes, whereat they inwardly rejoiced.
"For now," thought they, "he will perhaps choose one of us." With this
idea, they rose early the next morning and, ascending the mountain,
each called upon Zephyr to receive her and bear her to his lord; then,
leaping up, failed of the support of Zephyr, fell down the precipice,
and was dashed to pieces.

Psyche, meanwhile, wandered day and night, without food or repose, in
search of her husband. But he was lying heartsick in the chamber of
his mother; and that goddess was absent upon her own affairs. Then the
white sea gull which floats over the waves dived into the middle deep,

    And rowing with his glistening wings arrived
    At Aphrodite's bower beneath the sea.

She, as yet unaware of her son's mischance, was joyously consorting
with her handmaidens; but he, the sea gull,

    But he with garrulous and laughing tongue
    Broke up his news; how Eros fallen sick
    Lay tossing on his bed, to frenzy stung
    By such a burn as did but barely prick:
    A little bleb, no bigger than a pease,
    Upon his shoulder 'twas, that killed his ease,
    Fevered his heart, and made his breathing thick.

    "For which disaster hath he not been seen
    This many a day at all in any place:
    And thou, dear mistress," said he, "hast not been
    Thyself among us now a dreary space:
    And pining mortals suffer from a dearth
    Of love; and for this sadness of the earth
    Thy family is darkened with disgrace....

    "'Tis plain that, if thy pleasure longer pause,
    Thy mighty rule on earth hath seen its day:
    The race must come to perish, and no cause
    But that thou sittest with thy nymphs at play,
    While on the Cretan hills thy truant boy
    Has with his pretty mistress turned to toy,
    And, less for pain than love, now pines away."[128]

And Venus cried angrily, "My son, then, has a mistress! And it is
Psyche, who witched away my beauty and was the rival of my godhead,
whom he loves!"

Therewith she issued from the sea, and, returning to her golden
chamber, found there the lad sick, as she had heard, and cried from
the doorway, "Well done, truly! to trample thy mother's precepts under
foot, to spare my enemy that cross of an unworthy love; nay, unite her
to thyself, child as thou art, that I might have a daughter-in-law who
hates me! I will make thee repent of thy sport, and the savor of thy
marriage bitter. There is one who shall chasten this body of thine, put
out thy torch, and unstring thy bow. Not till she has plucked forth
that hair, into which so oft these hands have smoothed the golden
light, and sheared away thy wings, shall I feel the injury done me
avenged." And with this she hastened in anger from the doors.

And Ceres and Juno met her, and sought to know the meaning of her
troubled countenance. "Ye come in season," she cried; "I pray you, find
for me Psyche. It must needs be that ye have heard the disgrace of my
house." And they, ignorant of what was done, would have soothed her
anger, saying, "What fault, Mistress, hath thy son committed, that thou
wouldst destroy the girl he loves? Knowest thou not that he is now of
age? Because he wears his years so lightly must he seem to thee ever to
be a child? Wilt thou forever thus pry into the pastimes of thy son,
always accusing his wantonness, and blaming in him those delicate wiles
which are all thine own?" Thus, in secret fear of the boy's bow, did
they seek to please him with their gracious patronage. But Venus, angry
at their light taking of her wrongs, turned her back upon them, and
with hasty steps made her way once more to the sea.[129]

And soon after, Psyche herself reached the temple of Ceres, where she
won the favor of the goddess by arranging in due order the heaps of
mingled grain and ears and the carelessly scattered harvest implements
that lay there. The holy Ceres then counseled her to submit to Venus,
to try humbly to win her forgiveness, and, mayhap, through her favor
regain the lover that was lost.

Obeying the commands of Ceres, Psyche took her way to the temple
of the golden-crowned Cypris. That goddess received her with angry
countenance, called her an undutiful and faithless servant, taunted
her with the wound given to her husband, and insisted that for so
ill-favored a girl there was no way of meriting a lover save by dint
of industry. Thereupon she ordered Psyche to be led to the storehouse
of the temple, where was laid up a great quantity of wheat, barley,
millet, vetches, beans, and lentils prepared for food for her pigeons,
and gave order, "Take and separate all these grains, putting all of the
same kind in a parcel by themselves,--and see that thou get it done
before evening." This said, Venus departed and left the girl to her
task. But Psyche, in perfect consternation at the enormous task, sat
stupid and silent; nor would the work have been accomplished had not
Cupid stirred up the ants to take compassion on her. They separated the
pile, sorting each kind to its parcel and vanishing out of sight in a
moment.

At the approach of twilight, Cytherea returned from the banquet of the
gods, breathing odors and crowned with roses. Seeing the task done, she
promptly exclaimed, "This is no work of thine, wicked one, but his,
whom to thine own and his misfortune thou hast enticed,"--threw the
girl a piece of black bread for her supper, and departed.

Next morning, however, the goddess, ordering Psyche to be summoned,
commanded her to fetch a sample of wool gathered from each of the
golden-shining sheep that fed beyond a neighboring river. Obediently
the princess went to the riverside, prepared to do her best to execute
the command. But the god of that stream inspired the reeds with
harmonious murmurs that dissuaded her from venturing among the golden
rams while they raged under the influence of the rising sun. Psyche,
observing the directions of the compassionate river-god, crossed
when the noontide sun had driven the cattle to the shade, gathered
the woolly gold from the bushes where it was clinging, and returned
to Venus with her arms full of the shining fleece. But, far from
commending her, that implacable mistress said, "I know very well that
by the aid of another thou hast done this; not yet am I assured that
thou hast skill to be of use. Here, now, take this box to Proserpine
and say, 'My mistress Venus entreats thee to send her a little of thy
beauty, for in tending her sick son she hath lost some of her own.'"

Psyche, satisfied that her destruction was at hand, doomed as she
was to travel afoot to Erebus, thought to shorten the journey by
precipitating herself at once from the summit of a tower. But a voice
from the tower, restraining her from this rash purpose, explained how
by a certain cave she might reach the realm of Pluto; how she might
avoid the peril of the road, pass by Cerberus, and prevail on Charon to
take her across the black river and bring her back again. The voice,
also, especially cautioned her against prying into the box filled with
the beauty of Proserpine.

So, taking heed to her ways, the unfortunate girl traveled safely to
the kingdom of Pluto. She was admitted to the palace of Proserpine,
where, contenting herself with plain fare instead of the delicious
banquet that was offered her, she delivered her message from Venus.
Presently the box, filled with the precious commodity, was restored to
her; and glad was she to come out once more into the light of day.

But having got so far successfully through her dangerous task, a desire
seized her to examine the contents of the box, and to spread the least
bit of the divine beauty on her cheeks that she might appear to more
advantage in the eyes of her beloved husband.

      Therewith down by the wayside did she sit
    And turned the box round, long regarding it;
    But at the last, with trembling hands, undid
    The clasp, and fearfully raised up the lid;
    But what was there she saw not, for her head
    Fell back, and nothing she rememberèd
    Of all her life, yet nought of rest she had,
    The hope of which makes hapless mortals glad;
    For while her limbs were sunk in deadly sleep
    Most like to death, over her heart 'gan creep
    Ill dreams; so that for fear and great distress
    She would have cried, but in her helplessness
    Could open not her mouth, or frame a word.[130]

But Cupid, now recovered from his wound, slipped through a crack in the
window of his chamber, flew to the spot where his beloved lay, gathered
up the sleep from her body and inclosed it again in the box, then
waked Psyche with the touch of an arrow. "Again," said he, "hast thou
almost perished by thy curiosity. But now perform the task imposed upon
thee by my mother, and I will care for the rest."

[Illustration: FIG. 76. PSYCHE AND CUPID ON MOUNT OLYMPUS

From the painting by Thumann]

Then Cupid, swift as lightning penetrating the heights of heaven,
presented himself before Jupiter with his supplication. Jupiter lent a
favoring ear and pleaded the cause of the lovers with Venus. Gaining
her consent, he ordered Mercury to convey Psyche to the heavenly
abodes. On her advent, the king of the immortals, handing her a cup of
ambrosia, said, "Drink this, Psyche, and be immortal. Thy Cupid shall
never break from the knot in which he is tied; these nuptials shall
indeed be perpetual."

Thus Psyche was at last united to Cupid; and in due season a daughter
was born to them whose name was Pleasure.

The allegory of Cupid and Psyche is well presented in the following
lines:

    They wove bright fables in the days of old,
      When reason borrowed fancy's painted wings;
    When truth's clear river flowed o'er sands of gold,
      And told in song its high and mystic things!
    And such the sweet and solemn tale of her
      The pilgrim-heart, to whom a dream was given,
    That led her through the world,--Love's worshiper,--
      To seek on earth for him whose home was heaven!

[Illustration: EROS WITH BOW]


    In the full city,--by the haunted fount,--
      Through the dim grotto's tracery of spars,--
    'Mid the pine temples, on the moonlit mount,
      Where silence sits to listen to the stars;
    In the deep glade where dwells the brooding dove,
      The painted valley, and the scented air,
    She heard far echoes of the voice of Love,
      And found his footsteps' traces everywhere.

    But never more they met! since doubts and fears,
      Those phantom-shapes that haunt and blight the earth,
    Had come 'twixt her, a child of sin and tears,
      And that bright spirit of immortal birth;
    Until her pining soul and weeping eyes
    Had learned to seek him only in the skies;
    Till wings unto the weary heart were given,
    And she became Love's angel bride in heaven![131]

The story of Cupid and Psyche first appears in the works of Apuleius, a
writer of the second century of our era. It is therefore of much more
recent date than most of the classic myths.

=102. Keats' Ode to Psyche.= To this fact allusion is made in the
following poem:

    O Goddess! hear these tuneless numbers, wrung
      By sweet enforcement and remembrance dear,
    And pardon that thy secrets should be sung
      Even into thine own soft-conchèd ear:
    Surely I dreamt to-day, or did I see
      The wingèd Psyche with awakened eyes?
    I wandered in a forest thoughtlessly,
    And, on the sudden, fainting with surprise,
            Saw two fair creatures, couchèd side by side
    In deepest grass, beneath the whispering roof
    Of leaves and tumbled blossoms, where there ran
            A brooklet, scarce espied!

    'Mid hushed, cool-rooted flowers, fragrant-eyed,
      Blue, silver-white, and budded Tyrian,
    They lay calm-breathing on the bedded grass;
      Their arms embracèd, and their pinions, too;
      Their lips touched not, but had not bade adieu,
    As if disjoinèd by soft-handed slumber,
    And ready still past kisses to outnumber
      At tender eye-dawn of Aurorean love:
              The wingèd boy I knew:
      But who wast thou, O happy, happy dove?
              His Psyche true!

    O latest born and loveliest vision far
      Of all Olympus' faded hierarchy!
    Fairer than Ph[oe]be's sapphire-regioned star,
      Or Vesper, amorous glowworm of the sky;
    Fairer than these, though temple thou hast none,
              Nor altar heaped with flowers;
    Nor virgin-choir to make delicious moan
              Upon the midnight hours;
    No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet
      From chain-swung censer teeming;
    No shrine, no grove, no oracle, no heat
      Of pale-mouthed prophet dreaming.

    O brightest! though too late for antique vows
      Too, too late for the fond believing lyre,
    When holy were the haunted forest boughs,
      Holy the air, the water, and the fire;
    Yet even in these days so far retired
      From happy pieties, thy lucent fans,
      Fluttering among the faint Olympians,
    I see, and sing, by my own eyes inspired.
    So let me be thy choir, and make a moan
              Upon the midnight hours;
    Thy voice, thy lute, thy pipe, thy incense sweet
      From swingèd censer teeming,
    Thy shrine, thy grove, thy oracle, thy heat
      Of pale-mouthed prophet dreaming.

    Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane
      In some untrodden region of my mind,
    Where branchèd thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain,
      Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind:
    Far, far around shall those dark clustered trees
      Fledge the wild-ridgèd mountains steep by steep;
    And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds and bees,
      The moss-lain Dryads shall be lulled to sleep;
    And in the midst of this wide quietness
    A rosy sanctuary will I dress
    With the wreathèd trellis of a working brain,
      With buds, and bells, and stars without a name,
    With all the gardener Fancy e'er could feign,
      Who breeding flowers, will never breed the same;
    And there shall be for thee all soft delight
      That shadowy thought can win,
    A bright torch, and a casement ope at night,
      To let the warm Love in!

The loves of the devotees of Venus are as the sands of the sea for
number. Below are given the fortunes of a few: Hippomenes, Hero,
Pygmalion, Pyramus, and Phaon. The favor of the goddess toward Paris,
who awarded her the palm of beauty in preference to Juno and Minerva,
will occupy our attention in connection with the story of the Trojan
War.

[Illustration: FIG. 77. ARTEMIS OF GABII]

=103. Atalanta's Race.=[132] Atalanta, the daughter of Sch[oe]neus of
B[oe]otia, had been warned by an oracle that marriage would be fatal
to her happiness. Consequently she fled the society of men and devoted
herself to the sports of the chase. Fair, fearless, swift, and free,
in beauty and in desire she was a Cynthia,--of mortal form and with a
woman's heart. To all suitors (for she had many) she made answer: "I
will be the prize of him only who shall conquer me in the race; but
death must be the penalty of all who try and fail." In spite of this
hard condition some would try. Of one such race Hippomenes was to be
judge. It was his thought, at first, that these suitors risked too much
for a wife. But when he saw Atalanta lay aside her robe for the race
with one of them, he changed his mind and began to swell with envy of
whomsoever seemed likely to win.

The virgin darted forward. As she ran she looked more beautiful than
ever. The breezes gave wings to her feet; her hair flew over her
shoulders, and the gay fringe of her garment fluttered behind her. A
ruddy hue tinged the whiteness of her skin, such as a crimson curtain
casts on a marble wall. Her competitor was distanced and was put to
death without mercy. Hippomenes, not daunted by this result, fixed his
eyes on the virgin and said, "Why boast of beating those laggards? I
offer myself for the contest." Atalanta looked at him with pity in
her face and hardly knew whether she would rather conquer so goodly a
youth or not. While she hesitated, the spectators grew impatient for
the contest and her father prompted her to prepare. Then Hippomenes
addressed a prayer to Cypris: "Help me, Venus, for thou hast impelled
me." Venus heard and was propitious.

[Illustration: FIG. 78. ATALANTA'S RACE

From the painting by Poynter]

She gathered three golden apples from the garden of her temple in her
own island of Cyprus and, unseen by any, gave them to Hippomenes,
telling him how to use them. Atalanta and her lover were ready. The
signal was given.

      They both started; he, by one stride, first,
    For she half pitied him so beautiful,
    Running to meet his death, yet was resolved
    To conquer: soon she near'd him, and he felt
    The rapid and repeated gush of breath
    Behind his shoulder.
                          From his hand now dropt
    A golden apple: she lookt down and saw
    A glitter on the grass, yet on she ran.
    He dropt a second; now she seem'd to stoop:
    He dropt a third; and now she stoopt indeed:
    Yet, swifter than a wren picks up a grain
    Of millet, rais'd her head: it was too late,
    Only one step, only one breath, too late.
    Hippomenes had toucht the maple goal
    With but two fingers, leaning pronely forth.
    She stood in mute despair; the prize was won.
      Now each walkt slowly forward, both so tired,
    And both alike breathed hard, and stopt at times.
    When he turn'd round to her, she lowered her face
    Cover'd with blushes, and held out her hand,
    The golden apple in it.
                            "Leave me now,"
    Said she, "I must walk homeward."
                                      He did take
    The apple and the hand.
                            "Both I detain,"
    Said he, "the other two I dedicate
    To the two Powers that soften virgin hearts,
    Eros and Aphrodite; and this one
    To her who ratifies the nuptial vow."
      She would have wept to see her father weep;
    But some God pitied her, and purple wings
    (What God's were they?) hovered and interposed.[133]

But the oracle was yet to be fulfilled. The lovers, full of their own
happiness, after all, forgot to pay due honor to Aphrodite, and the
goddess was provoked at their ingratitude. She caused them to give
offense to Cybele. That powerful goddess took from them their human
form: the huntress heroine, triumphing in the blood of her lovers, she
made a lioness; her lord and master a lion,--and yoked them to her car,
where they are still to be seen in all representations in statuary or
painting of the goddess Cybele.

=104 Hero and Leander= were star-crossed lovers of later classical
fiction.[134] Although their story is not of supernatural beings,
or of events necessarily influenced by supernatural agencies, and
therefore not mythical in the strict sense of the word, it deserves
to be included here both because of its pathetic beauty and its long
literary tradition. The poet Marlowe puts the story into English thus:

    On Hellespont, guilty of true love's blood,
    In view and opposite two cities stood,
    Sea-borderers, disjoin'd by Neptune's might
    The one Abydos, the other Sestos hight.
    At Sestos Hero dwelt; Hero the fair,
    Whom young Apollo courted for her hair,
    And offer'd as a dower his burning throne,
    Where she should sit, for men to gaze upon....
    Some say, for her the fairest Cupid pin'd,
    And, looking in her face, was strooken blind.
    But this is true: so like was one the other,
    As he imagined Hero was his mother;
    And oftentimes into her bosom flew,
    About her naked neck his bare arms threw,
    And laid his childish head upon her breast,
    And, with still panting rockt, there took his rest.

In Abydos dwelt the manly Leander, who, as luck would have it,
bethought himself one day of the festival of Venus in Sestos, and
thither fared to do obeisance to the goddess.

    On this feast-day,--O cursèd day and hour!--
    Went Hero through Sestos, from her tower
    To Venus' temple, where unhappily,
    As after chanc'd, they did each other spy.
    So fair a church as this had Venus none;
    The walls were of discolored jasper-stone, ...
    And in the midst a silver altar stood:
    There Hero, sacrificing turtle's blood,
    Vail'd to the ground, veiling her eyelids close;
    And modestly they opened as she rose:
    Thence flew Love's arrow with the golden head;
    And thus Leander was enamourèd.
    Stone-still he stood, and evermore he gaz'd,
    Till with the fire, that from his countenance blaz'd,
    Relenting Hero's gentle heart was strook:
    Such power and virtue hath an amorous look.

      It lies not in our power to love or hate,
    For will in us is overrul'd by fate.
    When two are stript long e'er the course begin,
    We wish that one should lose, the other win;
    And one especially do we affect
    Of two gold ingots, like in each respect:
    The reason no man knows; let it suffice,
    What we behold is censur'd by our eyes.
    Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
    Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first sight?

      He kneel'd; but unto _her_ devoutly prayed:
    Chaste Hero to herself thus softly said,
    "Were I the saint he worships, I would hear him";
    And, as she spake those words, came somewhat near him.
    He started up; she blush'd as one asham'd;
    Wherewith Leander much more was inflam'd.
    He touch'd her hand; in touching it she trembled:
    Love deeply grounded, hardly is dissembled....

So they conversed by touch of hands, till Leander, plucking up courage,
began to plead with words, with sighs and tears.

    These arguments he us'd, and many more;
    Wherewith she yielded, that was won before.
    Hero's looks yielded, but her words made war:
    Women are won when they begin to jar.
    Thus having swallow'd Cupid's golden hook,
    The more she striv'd, the deeper was she strook:
    Yet, evilly feigning anger, strove she still,
    And would be thought to grant against her will.
    So having paus'd awhile, at last she said,
    "Who taught thee rhetoric to deceive a maid?
    Ay me! such words as these should I abhor,
    And yet I like them for the orator."
    With that Leander stoop'd to have embrac'd her,
    But from his spreading arms away she cast her,
    And thus bespake him: "Gentle youth, forbear
    To touch the sacred garments which I wear." ...

Then she told him of the turret by the murmuring sea where all day long
she tended Venus' swans and sparrows:

    "Come thither." As she spake this, her tongue tripp'd,
    For unawares, "Come thither," from her slipp'd;
    And suddenly her former color chang'd,
    And here and there her eyes through anger rang'd;
    And, like a planet moving several ways
    At one self instant, she, poor soul, assays,
    Loving, not to love at all, and every part
    Strove to resist the motions of her heart:
    And hands so pure, so innocent, nay, such
    As might have made Heaven stoop to have a touch,
    Did she uphold to Venus, and again
    Vow'd spotless chastity; but all in vain;
    Cupid beats down her prayers with his wings....

[Illustration: FIG. 79. HERO AND LEANDER

From the painting by Keller]

For a season all went well. Guided by a torch which his mistress reared
upon the tower, he was wont of nights to swim the strait that he might
enjoy her company. But one night a tempest arose and the sea was rough;
his strength failed and he was drowned. The waves bore his body to
the European shore, where Hero became aware of his death, and in her
despair cast herself into the sea and perished.

A picture of the drowning Leander is thus described by Keats:[135]

    Come hither all sweet maidens soberly,
      Down looking aye, and with a chasten'd light,
      Hid in the fringe of your eyelids white,
    And meekly let your fair hands joinèd be,
    As if so gentle that ye could not see,
      Untouch'd, a victim of your beauty bright,
      Sinking away to his young spirit's night,
    Sinking bewilder'd 'mid the dreary sea:
    'Tis young Leander toiling to his death;
      Nigh swooning he doth purse his weary lips
    For Hero's cheek, and smiles against her smile.
      O horrid dream! see how his body dips
    Dead-heavy; arms and shoulders gleam awhile;
    He's gone; up bubbles all his amorous breath!

=105. Pygmalion and the Statue.=[136] Pygmalion saw so much to blame
in women, that he came at last to abhor the sex and resolved to live
unmarried. He was a sculptor, and had made with wonderful skill a
statue of ivory, so beautiful that no living woman was to compare with
it. It was indeed the perfect semblance of a maiden that seemed to
be alive and that was prevented from moving only by modesty. His art
was so perfect that it concealed itself, and its product looked like
the workmanship of nature. Pygmalion at last fell in love with his
counterfeit creation. Oftentimes he laid his hand upon it as if to
assure himself whether it were living or not, and could not even then
believe that it was only ivory.

The festival of Venus was at hand,--a festival celebrated with great
pomp at Cyprus. Victims were offered, the altars smoked, and the odor
of incense filled the air. When Pygmalion had performed his part in the
solemnities, he stood before the altar and, according to one of our
poets, timidly said:

    O Aphrodite, kind and fair,
      That what thou wilt canst give,
    Oh, listen to a sculptor's prayer,
      And bid mine image live!
    For me the ivory and gold
      That clothe her cedar frame
    Are beautiful, indeed, but cold;
      Ah, touch them with thy flame!
    Oh, bid her move those lips of rose,
      Bid float that golden hair,
    And let her choose me, as I chose,
      This fairest of the fair!
    And then an altar in thy court
      I'll offer, decked with gold;
    And there thy servants shall resort,
      Thy doves be bought and sold![137]

According to another version of the story, he said not, "bid mine image
live," but "one like my ivory virgin." At any rate, with such a prayer
he threw incense on the flame of the altar. Whereupon Venus, as an omen
of her favor, caused the flame to shoot up thrice a fiery point into
the air.

When Pygmalion reached his home, to his amazement he saw before him his
statue garlanded with flowers.

      Yet while he stood, and knew not what to do
    With yearning, a strange thrill of hope there came,
    A shaft of new desire now pierced him through,
    And therewithal a soft voice called his name,
    And when he turned, with eager eyes aflame,
    He saw betwixt him and the setting sun
    The lively image of his lovèd one.

      He trembled at the sight, for though her eyes,
    Her very lips, were such as he had made,
    And though her tresses fell but in such guise
    As he had wrought them, now was she arrayed
    In that fair garment that the priests had laid
    Upon the goddess on that very morn,
    Dyed like the setting sun upon the corn.

    Speechless he stood, but she now drew anear,
    Simple and sweet as she was wont to be,
    And once again her silver voice rang clear,
    Filling his soul with great felicity,
    And thus she spoke, "Wilt thou not come to me,
    O dear companion of my new-found life,
    For I am called thy lover and thy wife?...

      "My sweet," she said, "as yet I am not wise,
    Or stored with words aright the tale to tell,
    But listen: when I opened first mine eyes
    I stood within the niche thou knowest well,
    And from my hand a heavy thing there fell
    Carved like these flowers, nor could I see things clear,
    But with a strange, confusèd noise could hear.

      "At last mine eyes could see a woman fair,
    But awful as this round white moon o'erhead,
    So that I trembled when I saw her there,
    For with my life was born some touch of dread,
    And therewithal I heard her voice that said,
    'Come down and learn to love and be alive,
    For thee, a well-prized gift, to-day I give.'"[138]

A fuller account of Venus' address to the statue is the following:

    O maiden, in mine image made!
      O grace that shouldst endure!
    While temples fall, and empires fade,
      Immaculately pure:
    Exchange this endless life of art
      For beauty that must die,
    And blossom with a beating heart
      Into mortality!
    Change, golden tresses of her hair,
      To gold that turns to gray;
    Change, silent lips, forever fair,
      To lips that have their day!
    Oh, perfect arms, grow soft with life,
      Wax warm, ere cold ye wane;
    Wake, woman's heart, from peace to strife,
      To love, to joy, to pain![139]

The maiden was called Galatea. Venus blessed the nuptials, and from
the union Paphos was born, by whose name the city, sacred to Venus, is
known.

=106. Pyramus and Thisbe.=[140] Pyramus was the handsomest youth and
Thisbe the fairest maiden in Babylonia, where Semiramis reigned.
Their parents occupied adjoining houses. Propinquity brought the young
people together, and acquaintance ripened into love. They would gladly
have married, but their parents forbade. One thing, however, parents
could not forbid (for Venus and Cupid favored the match),--that love
should glow with equal ardor in the bosoms of both. They conversed by
signs and glances, and the fire burned the more intensely that it was
covered. In the wall between the two houses there was a crack, caused
by some fault in the structure. It afforded a passage to the voice;
and tender messages passed back and forth through the gap. When night
came and they must say farewell, the lovers pressed their lips upon the
wall, she on her side, he on his.

[Illustration: FIG. 80. THISBE

From the painting by Edward Burne-Jones]

One morning, when Aurora had put out the stars and the sun had melted
the frost from the grass, they met at the accustomed spot and arranged
a meeting for that night at a well-known edifice, standing without the
city's bounds,--the Tomb of Ninus. The one who first arrived should
await the other at the foot of a white mulberry tree near a cool
spring. Evening came. Thisbe, arriving first, sat alone by the monument
in the dim light of the evening. Suddenly she descried a lioness, her
jaws reeking with recent slaughter, approaching the fountain to slake
her thirst. The maiden fled at the sight, dropping her veil as she ran.
The lioness, after drinking at the spring, turned toward the woods,
and, seeing the veil on the ground, tossed and rent it with her bloody
mouth.

Now Pyramus approached the place of meeting. He saw in the sand the
footsteps of the lion. He found the veil all rent and bloody. "O,
hapless girl," cried he, "I have been the cause of thy death; but I
follow thee!" So saying, he drew his sword and plunged it into his
heart. The blood spurted from the wound and tinged the white mulberries
of the tree all red, and, sinking into the earth, reached the roots, so
that the sanguine hue mounted through the trunk to the fruit.

By this time Thisbe, still trembling with fear, yet wishing not to
disappoint her lover, stepped cautiously forth, looking anxiously for
the youth, eager to tell him the danger she had escaped. When she came
to the spot and saw the changed color of the mulberries, she doubted
whether it was the same place. While she hesitated, she saw the form of
her lover struggling in the agonies of death. She screamed and beat her
breast, she embraced the lifeless body, poured tears into its wounds,
and imprinted kisses on the cold lips. "O, Pyramus," she cried, "what
has done this? It is thine own Thisbe that speaks." At the name of
Thisbe Pyramus opened his eyes, then closed them again. She saw her
veil stained with blood and the scabbard empty of its sword. "Thine own
hand has slain thee, and for my sake," she said. "I, too, can be brave
for once, and my love is as strong as thine. But ye, unhappy parents
of us both, deny us not our united request. As love and death have
joined us, let one tomb contain us. And thou, tree, retain the marks
of slaughter. Let thy berries still serve for memorials of our blood."
So saying, she plunged the sword into her breast. The two bodies were
buried in one sepulcher, and the tree henceforth produced purple
berries.

=107. Phaon= ferried a boat between Lesbos and Chios. One day the queen
of Paphos and Amathus,[141] in the guise of an ugly crone, begged a
passage, which was so good-naturedly granted that in recompense she
bestowed on the ferryman a salve possessing magical properties of youth
and beauty. As a consequence of the use made of it by Phaon, the women
of Lesbos went wild for love of him. None, however, admired him more
than the poetess Sappho, who addressed to him some of her warmest and
rarest love-songs.

=108. The Vengeance of Venus.= Venus did not fail to follow with her
vengeance those who dishonored her rites or defied her power. The youth
Hippolytus who, eschewing love, preferred Diana to her, she brought
miserably to his ruin. Polyphonte she transformed into an owl, Arsinoë
into a stone, and Myrrha into a myrtle tree.[142] Her influence in
the main was of mingled bane and blessing, as in the cases of Helen,
[OE]none, Pasiphaë, Ariadne, Procris, Eriphyle, Laodamia, and others
whose stories are elsewhere told.[143]

=109. Myths of Mercury.= According to Homer,[144] Maia bore Mercury
at the peep of day,--a schemer subtle beyond all belief. He began
playing on the lyre at noon; for, wandering out of the lofty cavern
of Cyllene, he found a tortoise, picked it up, bored the life out of
the beast, fitted the shell with bridge and reeds, and accompanied
himself therewith as he sang a strain of unpremeditated sweetness. At
evening of the same day he stole the oxen of his half brother Apollo
from the Pierian mountains, where they were grazing. He covered their
hoofs with tamarisk twigs, and, still further to deceive the pursuer,
drove them backward into a cave at Pylos. There rubbing laurel branches
together, he made fire and sacrificed, as an example for men to follow,
two heifers to the twelve gods (himself included). Then home he went
and slept, innocent as a new-born child! To his mother's warning that
Apollo would catch and punish him, this innocent replied, in effect,
"I know a trick better than that!" And when the puzzled Apollo, having
traced the knavery to this babe in swaddling clothes, accused him of
it, the sweet boy swore a great oath by his father's head that he stole
not the cows, nor knew even what cows might be, for he had only that
moment heard the name of them. Apollo proceeded to trounce the baby,
with scant success, however, for Mercury persisted in his assumption of
ignorance. So the twain appeared before their sire, and Apollo entered
his complaint: he had not seen nor ever dreamed of so precocious a
cattle-stealer, liar, and full-fledged knave as this young rascal.
To all of which Mercury responded that he was, on the contrary, a
veracious person, but that his brother Apollo was a coward to bully
a helpless little new-born thing that slept, nor ever had thought of
"lifting" cattle. The wink with which the lad of Cyllene accompanied
this asseveration threw Jupiter into uncontrollable roars of laughter.
Consequently, the quarrel was patched up: Mercury gave Apollo the
new-made lyre; Apollo presented the prodigy with a glittering whiplash
and installed him herdsman of his oxen. Nay even, when Mercury had
sworn by sacred Styx no more to try his cunning in theft upon Apollo,
that god in gratitude invested him with the magic wand of wealth,
happiness, and dreams (the _caduceus_), it being understood, however,
that Mercury should indicate the future only by signs, not by speech
or song as did Apollo. It is said that the god of gain avenged himself
for this enforced rectitude upon others: upon Venus, whose girdle he
purloined; upon Neptune, whose trident he filched; upon Vulcan, whose
tongs he borrowed; and upon Mars, whose sword he stole.

[Illustration: HERMES OF PRAXITELES]

[Illustration: FIG. 81. HERMES AND DOG]

The most famous exploit of the Messenger, the slaughter of Argus, has
already been narrated.

FOOTNOTES:

[66] Ovid, Metam. I, 700 _et seq._

[67] Ovid, Metam. 2, 410 _et seq._

[68] Translated by Andrew Lang: Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus, London,
1880.

[69] § 70.

[70] Ovid, Metam. 3, 260 _et seq._

[71] §§ 42, 110-113.

[72] From E. R. Sill's Semele.

[73] Commentary, §§ 118, 255.

[74] Ovid, Metam. 7, 172 _et seq._

[75] Roscher, Ausf. Lex. Lfg. 3, 379 [Schirmer]. Originals in
Pausanias, Apollodorus, and Hyginus.

[76] From Tennyson's Amphion. See Horace, Ars Poet. 394.

[77] Ovid, Metam. 8, 620-724.

[78] From The Sons of Cydippe, by Edmund Gosse in his On Viol and Flute.

[79] § 27, and Commentary.

[80] From Ovid.

[81] From Spenser's Muiopotmos.

[82] Ovid, Metam. 6, 1-145.

[83] § 200.

[84] Iliad, 5, 850 _et seq._ (Lang, Leaf, and Myers' translation). In
accordance with the system of nomenclature adopted in this work, Latin
equivalents are given, wherever possible, for Greek names.

[85] Iliad, 21, 390 (Lang, Leaf, and Myers' translation).

[86] Ovid, Metam. 3, 1-137; 4, 563-614.

[87] Iliad, 2, 1335.

[88] Ovid, Metam. 6, 313-381.

[89] § 30.

[90] Roscher, Ausf. Lex. Lfg. 2, 254, Article _Aloadæ_ [Schultz].

[91] Ovid, Metam. 10, 162-219.

[92] Ovid, Metam. 2, 1-400.

[93] § 44.

[94] _Medio tutissimus ibis._--OVID.

[95]

    _Hic situs est Phaëthon, currus auriga paterni,_
    _Quem si non tenuit, magnis tamen excidit ausis._--OVID.

[96] Iliad, 1, 43-52 (Lang, Leaf, and Myers' translation).

[97] Ovid, Metam. 6, 165-312.

[98] From W. S. Landor's Niobe.

[99] See Commentary, §§ 64, 80.

[100] Iliad, 18, 564 (Lang, Leaf, and Myers' translation).

[101] Cicero, Natura Deorum, 3, 22.

[102] See Commentary.

[103] From Browning's Balaustion's Adventure. The Greek form of the
proper names has been retained.

[104] Proserpine.

[105] For the originals, see Iliad, 2, 715, and the Alcestis of
Euripides.

[106] Ovid, Metam. 11, 146-193.

[107] § 118.

[108] § 145.

[109] Ovid, Metam. 1, 452-567.

[110] From the Fable for Critics.

[111] Iliad, 9, 561; Apollodorus, 1, 7, § 8.

[112] Stephen Phillips, Marpessa.

[113] Ovid, Metam. 4, 256-270.

[114] § 196.

[115] § 168.

[116] Ovid, Metam. 5, 585-641.

[117] Ovid, Metam. 3, 138-252.

[118] Apollodorus, 1, 4, § 3.

[119] Ovid, Fasti, 5, 537; Iliad, 18, 486, and 22, 29; Odyssey, 5, 121,
274.

[120] The story is told by Hyginus in his Fables, and in his Poetical
Astronomy.

[121] Authorities are Pausanias, 5, 1, §§ 2-4; Ovid, Ars. Am. 3, 83;
Tristia, 2, 299; Apollonius, and Apollodorus.

[122] From the Endymion, Bk. 3.

[123] § 194.

[124] Ovid, Metam. 10, 503-559, 708-739.

[125] From an elegy intended to be sung at one of the spring
celebrations in memory of Adonis. Translated from Bion by Andrew Lang.
_Cypris_, _Cytherea_, and the _Paphian_ refer to Venus. See Commentary.
This elegy is also translated by Mrs. Browning and by Sir Edwin Arnold.

[126] Apuleius, Metam. Golden Ass, 4, 28, etc.

[127] William Morris, The Story of Cupid and Psyche, in The Earthly
Paradise.

[128] Robert Bridges, Eros and Psyche.

[129] The last three paragraphs are from Pater's version in Marius the
Epicurean.

[130] William Morris, The Earthly Paradise.

[131] By T. K. Hervey.

[132] Ovid, Metam. 10, 560-680.

[133] From W. S. Landor's Hippomenes and Atalanta.

[134] The poetical passages are from Marlowe's Hero and Leander, First
Sestiad. Marlowe's narrative was completed by Chapman. See Musæus of
Alexandria, De Amore Herois et Leandri; Virg. Georg. 3, 258; Ovid, Her.
18, 19; Stat. Theb. 6, 770.

[135] Sonnet, On a Picture of Leander.

[136] Ovid, Metam. 10, 243-297.

[137] Andrew Lang, The New Pygmalion.

[138] From William Morris, Pygmalion and the Image, in The Earthly
Paradise.

[139] Andrew Lang, The New Pygmalion, or The Statue's Choice. A witty
and not unpoetic bit of burlesque.

[140] Ovid, Metam. 4, 55-166.

[141] § 100, and Commentary.

[142] Murray, Manual of Mythology, p. 87; Ovid, Metam. 10, 298-502.

[143] See Index for sections.

[144] Hymn to Mercury (Hermes).



CHAPTER VIII

MYTHS OF THE GREAT DIVINITIES OF EARTH


=110. Myths of Bacchus.= Since the adventures of Ceres, although she
was a goddess of earth, are intimately connected with the life of
the underworld, they will be related in the sections pertaining to
Proserpine and Pluto. The god of vernal sap and vegetation, of the
gladness that comes of youth or of wine, the golden-curled, sleepy-eyed
Bacchus (Dionysus),--his wanderings, and the fortunes of mortals
brought under his influence (Pentheus, Acetes, Ariadne, and Midas),
here challenge our attention.

[Illustration: FIG. 82. SILENUS TAKING DIONYSUS TO SCHOOL]

=111. The Wanderings of Bacchus.= After the death of Semele,[145] Jove
took the infant Bacchus and gave him in charge to the Nysæan nymphs,
who nourished his infancy and childhood and for their care were placed
by Jupiter, as the Hyades, among the stars. Another guardian and tutor
of young Bacchus was the pot-bellied, jovial Silenus, son of Pan and
a nymph, and oldest of the Satyrs. Silenus was probably an indulgent
preceptor. He was generally tipsy and would have broken his neck early
in his career, had not the Satyrs held him on his ass's back as he
reeled along in the train of his pupil. After Bacchus was of age, he
discovered the culture of the vine and the mode of extracting its
precious juice; but Juno struck him with madness and drove him forth
a wanderer through various parts of the earth. In Phrygia the goddess
Rhea cured him and taught him her religious rites; and then he set
out on a progress through Asia, teaching the people the cultivation
of the vine. The most famous part of his wanderings is his expedition
to India, which is said to have lasted several years. Returning in
triumph, he undertook to introduce his worship into Greece, but was
opposed by certain princes who dreaded the disorders and madness it
brought with it. Finally, he approached his native city Thebes, where
his own cousin, Pentheus, son of Agave and grandson of Harmonia and
Cadmus, was king. Pentheus, however, had no respect for the new worship
and forbade its rites to be performed.[146] But when it was known that
Bacchus was advancing, men and women, young and old, poured forth to
meet him and to join his triumphal march.

[Illustration: FIG. 83. BEARDED DIONYSUS AND SATYR]

    Fauns with youthful Bacchus follow;
      Ivy crowns that brow, supernal
    As the forehead of Apollo,
      And possessing youth eternal.

    Round about him fair Bacchantes,
      Bearing cymbals, flutes, and thyrses,
    Wild from Naxian groves or Zante's
      Vineyards, sing delirious verses.[147]

It was in vain Pentheus remonstrated, commanded, and threatened. His
nearest friends and wisest counselors begged him not to oppose the god.
Their remonstrances only made him the more violent.

=112. The Story of Acetes.= Soon the attendants returned who had been
dispatched to seize Bacchus. They had succeeded in taking one of the
Bacchanals prisoner, whom, with his hands tied behind him, they brought
before the king. Pentheus, threatening him with death, commanded him
to tell who he was and what these new rites were that he presumed to
celebrate.

[Illustration: FIG. 84. SATYR AND MÆNAD WITH CHILD DIONYSUS]

The prisoner, unterrified, replied that he was Acetes of Mæonia; that
his parents, being poor, had left him their fisherman's trade, which
he had followed till he had acquired the pilot's art of steering his
course by the stars. It once happened that he had touched at the island
of Dia and had sent his men ashore for fresh water. They returned,
bringing with them a lad of delicate appearance whom they had found
asleep. Judging him to be a noble youth, they thought to detain him
in the hope of liberal ransom. But Acetes suspected that some god was
concealed under the youth's exterior, and asked pardon for the violence
done. Whereupon the sailors, enraged by their lust of gain, exclaimed,
"Spare thy prayers for us!" and, in spite of the resistance offered by
Acetes, thrust the captive youth on board and set sail.

Then Bacchus (for the youth was indeed he), as if shaking off his
drowsiness, asked what the trouble was and whither they were carrying
him. One of the mariners replied, "Fear nothing; tell us where thou
wouldst go, and we will convey thee thither." "Naxos is my home," said
Bacchus; "take me there, and ye shall be well rewarded." They promised
so to do; but, preventing the pilot from steering toward Naxos, they
bore away for Egypt, where they might sell the lad into slavery.
Soon the god looked out over the sea and said in a voice of weeping,
"Sailors, these are not the shores ye promised me; yonder island is
not my home. It is small glory ye shall gain by cheating a poor boy."
Acetes wept to hear him, but the crew laughed at both of them and sped
the vessel fast over the sea. All at once it stopped in mid-sea, as
fast as if it were fixed on the ground. The men, astonished, pulled at
their oars and spread more sail, but all in vain. Ivy twined round the
oars and clung to the sails, with heavy clusters of berries. A vine
laden with grapes ran up the mast and along the sides of the vessel.
The sound of flutes was heard, and the odor of fragrant wine spread all
around. The god himself had a chaplet of vine leaves and bore in his
hand a spear wreathed with ivy. Tigers crouched at his feet, and forms
of lynxes and spotted panthers played around him. The whole crew became
dolphins and swam about the ship. Of twenty men Acetes alone was left.
"Fear not," said the god; "steer towards Naxos." The pilot obeyed, and
when they arrived there, kindled the altars and celebrated the sacred
rites of Bacchus.

[Illustration: FIG. 85. DIONYSUS AT SEA]

So far had Acetes advanced in his narrative, when Pentheus,
interrupting, ordered him off to his death. But from this fate the
pilot, rendered invisible by his patron deity, was straightway rescued.

Meanwhile, the mountain Cithæron seemed alive with worshipers, and the
cries of the Bacchanals resounded on every side. Pentheus, angered by
the noise, penetrated through the wood and reached an open space where
the chief scene of the orgies met his eyes. At the same moment the
women saw him, among them his mother Agave, and Autonoë and Ino, her
sisters. Taking him for a wild boar, they rushed upon him and tore him
to pieces,--his mother shouting, "Victory! Victory! the glory is ours!"

So the worship of Bacchus was established in Greece.

It was on the island of Naxos that Bacchus afterward found Ariadne, the
daughter of Minos, king of Crete, who had been deserted by her lover,
Theseus. How Bacchus comforted her is related in another section. How
the god himself is worshiped is told by Edmund Gosse in the poem from
which the following extracts are taken:

[Illustration: FIG. 86. BACCHIC PROCESSION]

    Behold, behold! the granite gates unclose,
    And down the vales a lyric people flows;
    Dancing to music, in their dance they fling
    Their frantic robes to every wind that blows,
    And deathless praises to the vine-god sing.

    Nearer they press, and nearer still in sight,
    Still dancing blithely in a seemly choir;
    Tossing on high the symbol of their rite,
    The cone-tipped thyrsus of a god's desire;
    Nearer they come, tall damsels flushed and fair,
    With ivy circling their abundant hair;
    Onward, with even pace, in stately rows,
    With eye that flashes, and with cheek that glows,
    And all the while their tribute-songs they bring,
    And newer glories of the past disclose,
    And deathless praises to the vine-god sing.
    ... But oh! within the heart of this great flight,
    Whose ivory arms hold up the golden lyre?
    What form is this of more than mortal height?
    What matchless beauty, what inspirèd ire!
    The brindled panthers know the prize they bear,
    And harmonize their steps with stately care;
    Bent to the morning, like a living rose,
    The immortal splendor of his face he shows,
    And where he glances, leaf and flower and wing
    Tremble with rapture, stirred in their repose,
    And deathless praises to the vine-god sing....[148]

[Illustration: FIG. 87. DIONYSUS VISITING A POET]

=113. The Choice of King Midas.=[149] Once Silenus, having wandered
from the company of Bacchus in an intoxicated condition, was found by
some peasants, who carried him to their king, Midas. Midas entertained
him royally and on the eleventh day restored him in safety to his
divine pupil. Whereupon Bacchus offered Midas his choice of a reward.
The king asked that whatever he might touch should be changed into
gold. Bacchus consented. Midas hastened to put his new-acquired power
to the test. A twig of an oak, which he plucked from the branch, became
gold in his hand. He took up a stone; it changed to gold. He touched
a sod with the same result. He took an apple from the tree; you would
have thought he had robbed the garden of the Hesperides. He ordered
his servants, then, to set an excellent meal on the table. But, to his
dismay, when he touched bread, it hardened in his hand; when he put a
morsel to his lips, it defied his teeth. He took a glass of wine, but
it flowed down his throat like melted gold.

He strove to divest himself of his power; he hated the gift he had
lately coveted. He raised his arms, all shining with gold, in prayer
to Bacchus, begging to be delivered from this glittering destruction.
The merciful deity heard and sent him to wash away his fault and its
punishment in the fountainhead of the river Pactolus. Scarce had Midas
touched the waters, before the gold-creating power passed into them,
and the river sands became golden, as they remain to this day.

Thenceforth Midas, hating wealth and splendor, dwelt in the country and
became a worshiper of Pan, the god of the fields. But that he had not
gained common sense is shown by the decision that he delivered somewhat
later in favor of Pan's superiority, as a musician, over Apollo.[150]

FOOTNOTES:

[145] § 60.

[146] Ovid, Metam. 3, 511-733.

[147] Longfellow, Drinking Song.

[148] From The Praise of Dionysus.

[149] Ovid, Metam. 11, 85-145.

[150] See § 85.

[Illustration: FIG. 88. RAPE OF PROSERPINA]



CHAPTER IX

FROM THE EARTH TO THE UNDERWORLD


=114. Myths of Ceres, Pluto, and Proserpine.= The search of Ceres for
Proserpine, and of Orpheus for Eurydice, are stories pertaining both to
Earth and Hades.

=115. The Rape of Proserpine.=[151] When the giants were imprisoned
by Jupiter under Mount Ætna, Pluto (Hades) feared lest the shock of
their fall might expose his kingdom to the light of day. Under this
apprehension, he mounted his chariot drawn by black horses, and made a
circuit of inspection to satisfy himself of the extent of the damage.
While he was thus engaged, Venus, who was sitting on Mount Eryx playing
with her boy Cupid, espied him and said, "My son, take thy darts which
subdue all, even Jove himself, and send one into the breast of yonder
dark monarch, who rules the realm of Tartarus. Dost thou not see that
even in heaven some despise our power? Minerva and Diana defy us; and
there is that daughter of Ceres, goddess of earth, who threatens to
follow their example. Now, if thou regardest thine own interest or
mine, join these two in one." The boy selected his sharpest and truest
arrow, and sped it right to the heart of Pluto.

In the vale of Enna is a lake embowered in woods, where Spring
reigns perpetual. Here Proserpine (Persephone) was playing with her
companions, gathering lilies and violets, and singing, one may imagine,
such words as our poet Shelley puts into her mouth:

    Sacred Goddess, Mother Earth,
      Thou from whose immortal bosom,
    Gods, and men, and beasts, have birth,
      Leaf and blade, and bud and blossom,
    Breathe thine influence most divine
    On thine own child, Proserpine.

    If with mists of evening dew
      Thou dost nourish these young flowers
    Till they grow, in scent and hue,
      Fairest children of the hours,
    Breathe thine influence most divine
    On thine own child, Proserpine.[152]

Pluto saw her, loved her, and carried her off. She screamed for help to
her mother and her companions; but the ravisher urged on his steeds and
outdistanced pursuit. When he reached the river Cyane, it opposed his
passage, whereupon he struck the bank with his trident, and the earth
opened and gave him a passage to Tartarus.

=116. The Wanderings of Ceres.=[153] Ceres (Demeter) sought her
daughter all the world over. Bright-haired Aurora, when she came
forth in the morning, and Hesperus, when he led out the stars in the
evening, found her still busy in the search. At length, weary and
sad, she sat down upon a stone, and remained nine days and nights in
the open air, under the sunlight and moonlight and falling showers.
It was where now stands the city of Eleusis, near the home of an old
man named Celeus. His little girl, pitying the old woman, said to
her, "Mother,"--and the name was sweet to the ears of Ceres,--"why
sittest thou here alone upon the rocks?" The old man begged her to
come into his cottage. She declined. He urged her. "Go in peace," she
replied, "and be happy in thy daughter; I have lost mine." But their
compassion finally prevailed. Ceres rose from the stone and went with
them. As they walked, Celeus said that his only son lay sick of a
fever. The goddess stooped and gathered some poppies. Then, entering
the cottage, where all was in distress,--for the boy Triptolemus
seemed past recovery,--she restored the child to life and health with
a kiss. In grateful happiness the family spread the table and put upon
it curds and cream, apples, and honey in the comb. While they ate,
Ceres mingled poppy juice in the milk of the boy. When night came, she
arose and, taking the sleeping boy, molded his limbs with her hands,
and uttered over him three times a solemn charm, then went and laid
him in the ashes. His mother, who had been watching what her guest
was doing, sprang forward with a cry and snatched the child from the
fire. Then Ceres assumed her own form, and a divine splendor shone
all around. While they were overcome with astonishment, she said,
"Mother, thou hast been cruel in thy fondness; for I would have made
thy son immortal. Nevertheless, he shall be great and useful. He shall
teach men the use of the plow and the rewards which labor can win from
the soil." So saying, she wrapped a cloud about her and mounting her
chariot rode away.

[Illustration: FIG. 89. HADES AND PERSEPHONE]

Ceres continued her search for her daughter till at length she returned
to Sicily, whence she first had set out, and stood by the banks of the
river Cyane. The river nymph would have told the goddess all she had
witnessed, but dared not, for fear of Pluto; so she ventured merely
to take up the girdle which Proserpine had dropped in her flight, and
float it to the feet of the mother. Ceres, seeing this, laid her curse
on the innocent earth in which her daughter had disappeared. Then
succeeded drought and famine, flood and plague, until, at last, the
fountain Arethusa made intercession for the land. For she had seen that
it opened only unwillingly to the might of Pluto; and she had also, in
her flight from Alpheüs through the lower regions of the earth, beheld
the missing Proserpine. She said that the daughter of Ceres seemed sad,
but no longer showed alarm in her countenance. Her look was such as
became a queen,--the queen of Erebus; the powerful bride of the monarch
of the realms of the dead.

[Illustration: FIG. 90. SACRIFICE TO DEMETER AND PERSEPHONE]

When Ceres heard this, she stood awhile like one stupefied; then she
implored Jupiter to interfere to procure the restitution of her
daughter. Jupiter consented on condition that Proserpine should not
during her stay in the lower world have taken any food; otherwise, the
Fates forbade her release. Accordingly, Mercury was sent, accompanied
by Spring, to demand Proserpine of Pluto. The wily monarch consented;
but alas! the maiden had taken a pomegranate which Pluto offered her,
and had sucked the sweet pulp from a few of the seeds. A compromise,
however, was effected by which she was to pass half the time with her
mother, and the rest with the lord of Hades.

Of modern poems upon the story of the maiden seized in the vale of
Enna, none conveys a lesson more serene of the beauty of that dark
lover of all fair life, Death, than the Proserpine of Woodberry, from
which we quote the three following stanzas. "I pick," says the poet
wandering through the vale of Enna,

    I pick the flowers that Proserpine let fall,
      Sung through the world by every honeyed muse:
    Wild morning-glories, daisies waving tall,
      At every step is something new to choose;
                And oft I stop and gaze
                Upon the flowery maze;
    By yonder cypresses on that soft rise,
      Scarce seen through poppies and the knee-deep wheat,
      Juts the dark cleft where on her came the fleet
    Thunder-black horses and the cloud's surprise
                And he who filled the place.
    Did marigolds bright as these, gilding the mist,
    Drop from her maiden zone? Wert thou last kissed,
      Pale hyacinth, last seen, before his face?
           *       *       *       *       *
    Oh, whence has silence stolen on all things here,
      Where every sight makes music to the eye?
    Through all one unison is singing clear;
      All sounds, all colors in one rapture die.
                Breathe slow, O heart, breathe slow!
                A presence from below
    Moves toward the breathing world from that dark deep,
      Whereof men fabling tell what no man knows,
      By little fires amid the winter snows,
    When earth lies stark in her titanic sleep
                And doth with cold expire;
    He brings thee all, O Maiden flower of earth,
    Her child in whom all nature comes to birth,
      Thee, the fruition of all dark desire.
           *       *       *       *       *
    O Proserpine, dream not that thou art gone
      Far from our loves, half-human, half-divine;
    Thou hast a holier adoration won
      In many a heart that worships at no shrine.
                Where light and warmth behold me,
                And flower and wheat infold me,
    I lift a dearer prayer than all prayers past:
      He who so loved thee that the live earth clove
      Before his pathway unto light and love,
    And took thy flower-full bosom,--who at last
                Shall every blossom cull,--
    Lover the most of what is most our own,
    The mightiest lover that the world has known,
      Dark lover, Death,--was he not beautiful?[154]

[Illustration: FIG. 91. TRIPTOLEMUS AND THE ELEUSINIAN DEITIES]

=117. Triptolemus and the Eleusinian Mysteries.= Ceres, pacified with
this arrangement, restored the earth to her favor. Now she remembered,
also, Celeus and his family, and her promise to his infant son
Triptolemus. She taught the boy the use of the plow and how to sow the
seed. She took him in her chariot, drawn by winged dragons, through
all the countries of the earth; and under her guidance he imparted to
mankind valuable grains and the knowledge of agriculture. After his
return Triptolemus built a temple to Ceres in Eleusis and established
the worship of the goddess under the name of the Eleusinian mysteries,
which in the splendor and solemnity of their observance surpassed all
other religious celebrations among the Greeks.

[Illustration: FIG. 92. DEMETER, TRIPTOLEMUS, AND PROSERPINA]

=118. Orpheus and= =Eurydice.=[155] Of mortals who have visited Hades
and returned, none has a sweeter or sadder history than Orpheus, son of
Apollo and the Muse Calliope. Presented by his father with a lyre and
taught to play upon it, he became the most famous of musicians, and not
only his fellow mortals but even the wild beasts were softened by his
strains. The very trees and rocks were sensible to the charm. And so
also was Eurydice,--whom he loved and won.

[Illustration: FIG. 93. ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE

From the painting by Lord Leighton]

Hymen was called to bless with his presence the nuptials of Orpheus
with Eurydice, but he conveyed no happy omens with him. His torch
smoked and brought tears into the eyes. In keeping with such sad
prognostics, Eurydice, shortly after her marriage, was seen by the
shepherd Aristæus, who was struck with her beauty and made advances
to her. As she fled she trod upon a snake in the grass, and was bitten
in the foot. She died. Orpheus sang his grief to all who breathed the
upper air, both gods and men, and finding his complaint of no avail,
resolved to seek his wife in the regions of the dead. He descended by
a cave situated on the side of the promontory of Tænarus, and arrived
in the Stygian realm. He passed through crowds of ghosts and presented
himself before the throne of Pluto and Proserpine. Accompanying his
words with the lyre, he sang his petition for his wife. Without her
he would not return. In such tender strains he sang that the very
ghosts shed tears. Tantalus, in spite of his thirst, stopped for a
moment his efforts for water, Ixion's wheel stood still, the vulture
ceased to tear the giant's liver, the daughters of Danaüs rested
from their task of drawing water in a sieve, and Sisyphus sat on his
rock to listen.[156] Then for the first time, it is said, the cheeks
of the Furies were wet with tears. Proserpine could not resist and
Pluto himself gave way. Eurydice was called. She came from among
the new-arrived ghosts, limping with her wounded foot. Orpheus was
permitted to take her away with him on condition that he should not
turn round to look at her till they should have reached the upper air.
Under this condition they proceeded on their way, he leading, she
following. Mindful of his promise, without let or hindrance the bard
passed through the horrors of hell. All Hades held its breath.

[Illustration: FIG. 94. FAREWELL OF ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE]

                          ... On he slept,
    And Cerberus held agape his triple jaws;
    On stept the bard. Ixion's wheel stood still.
    Now, past all peril, free was his return,
    And now was hastening into upper air
    Eurydice, when sudden madness seized
    The incautious lover; pardonable fault,
    If they below could pardon: on the verge
    Of light he stood, and on Eurydice
    (Mindless of fate, alas! and soul-subdued)
    Lookt back.

                  There, Orpheus! Orpheus! there was all
    Thy labor shed, there burst the Dynast's bond,
    And thrice arose that rumor from the lake.
      "Ah, what!" she cried, "what madness hath undone
    Me! and, ah, wretched! thee, my Orpheus, too!
    For lo! the cruel Fates recall me now;
    Chill slumbers press my swimming eyes.... Farewell!
    Night rolls intense around me as I spread
    My helpless arms ... thine, thine no more ... to thee."
    She spake, and, like a vapor, into air
    Flew, nor beheld him as he claspt the void
    And sought to speak; in vain; the ferry-guard
    Now would not row him o'er the lake again,
    His wife twice lost, what could he? whither go?
    What chant, what wailing, move the Powers of Hell?
    Cold in the Stygian bark and lone was she.

      Beneath a rock o'er Strymon's flood on high,
    Seven months, seven long-continued months, 'tis said,
    He breath'd his sorrows in a desert cave,
    And sooth'd the tiger, moved the oak, with song.[157]

The Thracian maidens tried their best to captivate him, but he repulsed
their advances. Finally, excited by the rites of Bacchus, one of them
exclaimed, "See yonder our despiser!" and threw at him her javelin. The
weapon, as soon as it came within the sound of his lyre, fell harmless
at his feet; so also the stones that they threw at him. But the women,
raising a scream, drowned the voice of the music, and overwhelmed him
with their missiles. Like maniacs they tore him limb from limb; then
cast his head and lyre into the river Hebrus, down which they floated,
murmuring sad music to which the shores responded. The Muses buried the
fragments of his body at Libethra, where the nightingale is said to
sing over his grave more sweetly than in any other part of Greece. His
lyre was placed by Jupiter among the stars; but the shade of the bard
passed a second time to Tartarus and rejoined Eurydice.

Other mortals who visited the Stygian realm and returned were Hercules,
Theseus, Ulysses, and Æneas.[158]

FOOTNOTES:

[151] Ovid, Metam. 5, 341-347.

[152] Song of Proserpine, while gathering flowers on the plain of Enna.

[153] Ovid, Metam. 5. 440, 642; Apollodorus, 1, 5, § 2; Hyginus, Fab.
147.

[154] From Proserpine, stanzas written by Lake Pergusa; by George E.
Woodberry (_Century_ _Magazine_, July, 1909).

[155] Ovid, Metam. 10, 1-77.

[156] See Commentary

[157] From W. S. Landor's Orpheus and Eurydice in Dry Sticks.

[158] See Index.



CHAPTER X

MYTHS OF NEPTUNE, RULER OF THE WATERS


[Illustration: FIG. 95. POSEIDON]

=119. Lord of the Sea.= Neptune (Poseidon) was lord both of salt
waters and of fresh. The myths that turn on his life as lord of the
sea illustrate his defiant invasions of lands belonging to other gods,
or his character as earth shaker and earth protector. Of his contests
with other gods, that with Minerva for Athens has been related. He
contested Corinth with Helios, Argos with Juno, Ægina with Jove, Naxos
with Bacchus, and Delphi with Apollo. That he did not always make
encroachments in person upon the land that he desired to possess or
to punish, but sent some monster instead, will be seen in the myth of
Andromeda[159] and in the following story of Hesione,[160] the daughter
of Laomedon of Troy.

Neptune and Apollo had fallen under the displeasure of Jupiter after
the overthrow of the giants. They were compelled, it is said, to
resign for a season their respective functions and to serve Laomedon,
then about to build the city of Troy. They aided the king in erecting
the walls of the city but were refused the wages agreed upon. Justly
offended, Neptune ravaged the land by floods and sent against it a sea
monster, to satiate the appetite of which the desperate Laomedon was
driven to offer his daughter Hesione. But Hercules appeared upon the
scene, killed the monster, and rescued the maiden. Neptune, however,
nursed his wrath; and it was still warm when the Greeks marched against
Troy.

Of a like impetuous and ungovernable temper were the sons of Neptune
by mortal mothers. From him were sprung the savage Læstrygonians,
Orion, the Cyclops Polyphemus, the giant Antæus whom Hercules slew,
Procrustes, and many another redoubtable being whose fortunes are
elsewhere recounted.[161]

=120. Lord of Streams and Fountains.= As earth shaker, the ruler of the
deep was known to effect convulsions of nature that made Pluto leap
from his throne lest the firmament of the underworld might be falling
about his ears. But as god of the streams and fountains, Neptune
displayed milder characteristics. When Amymone, sent by her father
Danaüs to draw water, was pursued by a satyr, Neptune gave ear to her
cry for help, dispatched the satyr, made love to the maiden, and boring
the earth with his trident called forth the spring that still bears the
Danaïd's name. He loved the goddess Ceres also, through whose pastures
his rivers strayed; and Arne the shepherdess, daughter of King Æolus,
by whom he became the forefather of the B[oe]otians. His children,
Pelias and Neleus, by the princess Tyro, whom he wooed in the form of
her lover Enipeus, became keepers of horses--animals especially dear to
Neptune. Perhaps it was the similarity of horse-taming to wave-taming
that attracted the god to these quadrupeds; perhaps it was because they
increased in beauty and speed on the pastures watered by his streams.
It is said, indeed, that the first and fleetest of horses, Arion, was
the offspring of Neptune and Ceres, or of Neptune and a Fury.

=121. Pelops and Hippodamia.=[162] To Pelops, brother of Niobe, Neptune
imparted skill in training and driving horses,--and with good effect.
For it happened that Pelops fell in love with Hippodamia, daughter
of [OE]nomaüs, king of Elis and son of Mars,--a girl of whom it was
reported that none could win her save by worsting the father in a
chariot race, and that none might fail in that race and come off
alive. Since an oracle, too, had warned [OE]nomaüs to beware of the
future husband of his daughter, he had provided himself with horses
whose speed was like the cyclone. But Pelops, obtaining from Neptune
winged steeds, entered the race and won it,--whether by the speed of
his horses or by the aid of Hippodamia, who, it is said, bribed her
father's charioteer, Myrtilus, to take a bolt out of the chariot of
[OE]nomaüs, is uncertain. At any rate, Pelops married Hippodamia. He
was so injudicious, however, as to throw Myrtilus into the sea; and
from that treachery sprang the misfortunes of the house of Pelops. For
Myrtilus, dying, cursed the murderer and his race.

[Illustration: FIG. 96. PELOPS WINNING THE RACE, HIPPODAMIA LOOKING ON]

FOOTNOTES:

[159] § 154.

[160] Iliad, 5, 649; Apollodorus, 3, 12, § 7.

[161] See Index.

[162] Hyginus, Fab. 84, 253; Pindar, Olymp. 1, 114.



CHAPTER XI

MYTHS OF THE LESSER DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN


=122. Myths of Stars and Winds.= The tales of Stars and Winds and the
other lesser powers of the celestial regions are closely interwoven.
That the winds which sweep heaven should kiss the stars is easy to
understand. The stories of Aurora (Eos) and of Aura, of Phosphor and of
Halcyone, form, therefore, a ready sequence.

[Illustration: FIG. 97. PHOSPHOR, EOS, AND HELIOS (THE SUN) RISING FROM
THE SEA]

=123. Cephalus and Procris.=[163] Aurora, the goddess of the dawn, fell
in love with Cephalus, a young huntsman. She stole him away, lavished
her love upon him, tried to content him, but in vain. He cared for his
young wife Procris more than for the goddess. Finally, Aurora dismissed
him in displeasure, saying, "Go, ungrateful mortal, keep thy wife; but
thou shalt one day be sorry that thou didst ever see her again."

Cephalus returned and was as happy as before in his wife. She, being
a favorite of Diana, had received from her for the chase a dog and a
javelin, which she handed over to her husband. Of the dog it is told
that when about to catch the swiftest fox in the country, he was
changed with his victim into stone. For the heavenly powers, who had
made both and rejoiced in the speed of both, were not willing that
either should conquer. The javelin was destined to a sad office. It
appears that Cephalus, when weary of the chase, was wont to stretch
himself in a certain shady nook to enjoy the breeze. Sometimes he would
say aloud, "Come, gentle Aura, sweet goddess of the breeze, come and
allay the heat that burns me." Some one, foolishly believing that he
addressed a maiden, told the secret to Procris. Hoping against hope,
she stole out after him the next morning and concealed herself in the
place which the informer had indicated. Cephalus, when tired with
sport, stretched himself on the green bank and summoned fair Aura as
usual. Suddenly he heard, or thought he heard, a sound as of a sob in
the bushes. Supposing it to proceed from some wild animal, he threw his
javelin at the spot. A cry told him that the weapon had too surely met
its mark. He rushed to the place and raised his wounded Procris from
the earth. She, at last, opened her feeble eyes and forced herself to
utter these words: "I implore thee, if thou hast ever loved me, if I
have ever deserved kindness at thy hands, my husband, grant me this
last request; marry not that odious Breeze!" So saying, she expired in
her lover's arms.

[Illustration: FIG. 98. SUN, RISING, PRECEDED BY DAWN

From the painting by Guido Reni]

[Illustration: FIG. 99. SUNRISE; EOS PURSUING CEPHALUS]

=124. Dobson's The Death of= =Procris.= A different version of the
story is given in the following:

    Procris, the nymph, had wedded Cephalus;--
      He, till the spring had warmed to slow-winged days
    Heavy with June, untired and amorous,
      Named her his love; but now, in unknown ways,
    His heart was gone; and evermore his gaze
      Turned from her own, and even farther ranged
    His woodland war; while she, in dull amaze,
      Beholding with the hours her husband changed,
      Sighed for his lost caress, by some hard god estranged.

    So, on a day, she rose and found him not.
      Alone, with wet, sad eye, she watched the shade
    Brighten below a soft-rayed sun that shot
      Arrows of light through all the deep-leaved glade;
    Then, with weak hands, she knotted up the braid
      Of her brown hair, and o'er her shoulders cast
    Her crimson weed; with faltering fingers made
      Her golden girdle's clasp to join, and past
      Down to the trackless wood, full pale and overcast.

    And all day long her slight spear devious flew,
      And harmless swerved her arrows from their aim,
    For ever, as the ivory bow she drew,
      Before her ran the still unwounded game.
    Then, at the last, a hunter's cry there came,
      And, lo! a hart that panted with the chase.
    Thereat her cheek was lightened as with flame,
      And swift she gat her to a leafy place,
      Thinking, "I yet may chance unseen to see his face."

    Leaping he went, this hunter Cephalus,
      Bent in his hand his cornel bow he bare,
    Supple he was, round-limbed and vigorous,
      Fleet as his dogs, a lean Laconian pair.
    He, when he spied the brown of Procris' hair
      Move in the covert, deeming that apart
    Some fawn lay hidden, loosed an arrow there;
      Nor cared to turn and seek the speeded dart,
      Bounding above the fern, fast following up the hart.

    But Procris lay among the white wind-flowers,
      Shot in the throat. From out the little wound
    The slow blood drained, as drops in autumn showers
      Drip from the leaves upon the sodden ground.
    None saw her die but Lelaps, the swift hound,
      That watched her dumbly with a wistful fear,
    Till, at the dawn, the hornèd wood-men found
      And bore her gently on a sylvan bier,
      To lie beside the sea,--with many an uncouth tear.

=125. Ceyx and Halcyone.= The son of Aurora and Cephalus was Phosphor,
the Star of Morning. His son Ceyx, king of Trachis in Thessaly, had
married Halcyone, daughter of Æolus.[164] Their reign was happy until
the brother of Ceyx met his death. The direful prodigies that followed
this event made Ceyx feel that the gods were hostile to him. He thought
best therefore to make a voyage to Claros in Ionia to consult the
oracle of Apollo. In spite of his wife's entreaties (for as daughter
of the god of winds she knew how dreadful a thing a storm at sea was),
Ceyx set sail. He was shipwrecked and drowned. His last prayer was that
the waves might bear his body to the sight of Halcyone, and that it
might receive burial at her hands.

In the meanwhile, Halcyone counted the days till her husband's promised
return. To all the gods she offered frequent incense, but more than all
to Juno. The goddess, at last, could not bear to be further pleaded
with for one already dead. Calling Iris, she enjoined her to approach
the drowsy dwelling of Somnus and bid him send a vision to Halcyone in
the form of Ceyx, to reveal the sad event.

[Illustration: FIG. 100. THE GOD OF SLEEP]

Iris puts on her robe of many colors, and tinging the sky with her
bow, seeks the cave near the Cimmerian country, which is the abode of
the dull god, Somnus. Here Ph[oe]bus dare not come. Clouds and shadows
are exhaled from the ground, and the light glimmers faintly. The cock
never there calls aloud to Aurora, nor watchdog nor goose disturbs the
silence. No wild beast, nor cattle, nor branch moved with the wind,
nor sound of human conversation breaks the stillness. From the bottom
of the rock the river Lethe flows, and by its murmur invites to sleep.
Poppies grow before the door of the cave, from whose juices Night
distills slumbers which she scatters over the darkened earth. There
is no gate to creak on its hinges, nor any watchman. In the midst, on
a couch of black ebony adorned with black plumes and black curtains
the god reclines, his limbs relaxed in sleep. Around him lie dreams,
resembling all various forms, as many as the harvest bears stalks, or
the forest leaves, or the seashore sand grains.

Brushing away the dreams that hovered around her, Iris lit up the cave
and delivered her message to the god, who, scarce opening his eyes, had
great difficulty in shaking himself free from himself.

Then Iris hasted away from the drowsiness creeping over her, and
returned by her bow as she had come. But Somnus called one of his
sons, Morpheus, the most expert in counterfeiting forms of men, to
perform the command of Iris; then laid his head on his pillow and
yielded himself again to grateful repose.

Morpheus flew on silent wings to the Hæmonian city, where he assumed
the form of Ceyx. Pale like a dead man, naked and dripping, he stood
before the couch of the wretched wife and told her that the winds of
the Ægean had sunk his ship, that he was dead.

Weeping and groaning, Halcyone sprang from sleep and, with the dawn,
hastening to the seashore, descried an indistinct object washed to and
fro by the waves. As it floated nearer she recognized the body of her
husband. In despair, leaping from the mole, she was changed instantly
to a bird, and poured forth a song of grief as she flew. By the mercy
of the gods Ceyx was likewise transformed. For seven days before and
seven days after the winter solstice, Jove forbids the winds to blow.
Then Halcyone broods over her nest; then the way is safe to seafarers.
Æolus confines the winds that his grandchildren may have peace.

=126. Aurora and Tithonus.=[165] Aurora seems frequently to have been
inspired with the love of mortals. Her greatest favorite, and almost
her latest, was Tithonus, son of Laomedon, king of Troy. She stole him
away and prevailed on Jupiter to grant him immortality; but forgetting
to have youth joined in the gift, after some time she began to discern,
to her great mortification, that he was growing old. When his hair was
white she left his society; but he still had the range of her palace,
lived on ambrosial food, and was clad in celestial raiment. In time
he lost the power of using his limbs; and then she shut him up in his
chamber, whence his feeble voice might at times be heard. Finally, she
turned him into a grasshopper.

=127. Tennyson's Tithonus.= The following is, according to a fine
poetic conception, the lament of the old man when but a white-haired
shadow:

      The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
    The vapors weep their burthen to the ground,
    Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
    And after many a summer dies the swan.
    Me only cruel immortality
    Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,
    Here at the quiet limit of the world,
    A white-haired shadow roaming like a dream
    The ever silent spaces of the East,
    Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.

      Alas! for this gray shadow, once a man--
    So glorious in his beauty and thy choice,
    Who madest him thy chosen, that he seem'd
    To his great heart none other than a God!
    I ask'd thee, "Give me immortality."
    Then didst thou grant mine asking with a smile,
    Like wealthy men who care not how they give;
    But thy strong Hours indignant work'd their wills,
    And beat me down and marr'd and wasted me,
    And tho' they could not end me, left me maim'd
    To dwell in presence of immortal youth,
    Immortal age beside immortal youth,
    And all I was, in ashes. Can thy love,
    Thy beauty, make amends, tho' even now,
    Close over us, the silver star, thy guide,
    Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears
    To hear me? Let me go: take back thy gift:
    Why should a man desire in any way
    To vary from the kindly race of men,
    Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance
    Where all should pause, as is most meet for all?

      A soft air fans the cloud apart; there comes
    A glimpse of that dark world where I was born.
    Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals
    From thy pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure,
    And bosom beating with a heart renew'd.
    Thy cheek begins to redden thro' the gloom,
    Thy sweet eyes brighten slowly close to mine,
    Ere yet they blind the stars, and the wild team
    Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke, arise,
    And shake the darkness from their loosen'd manes,
    And beat the twilight into flakes of fire.

      Lo! ever thus thou growest beautiful
    In silence, then before thine answer given
    Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek.
      Why wilt them ever scare me with thy tears,
    And make me tremble lest a saying learnt
    In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true?
    "The gods themselves cannot recall their gifts."

     Ay me! ay me! with what another heart
    In days far-off, and with what other eyes
    I used to watch--if I be he that watched--
    The lucid outline forming round thee; saw
    The dim curls kindle into sunny rings;
    Changed with thy mystic change, and felt my blood
    Glow with the glow that slowly crimson'd all
    Thy presence and thy portals, while I lay,
    Mouth, forehead, eyelids, growing dewy-warm
    With kisses balmier than half-opening buds
    Of April, and could hear the lips that kiss'd
    Whispering I knew not what of wild and sweet,
    Like that strange song I heard Apollo sing,
    While Ilion like a mist rose into towers.

      Yet hold me not forever in thine East:
    How can my nature longer mix with thine?
    Coldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold
    Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet
    Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the steam
    Floats up from those dim fields about the homes
    Of happy men that have the power to die,
    And grassy barrows of the happier dead.
    Release me, and restore me to the ground;
    Thou seëst all things, thou wilt see my grave:
    Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn;
    I earth in earth forget these empty courts,
    And thee returning on thy silver wheels.

=128. Memnon=, the son of Aurora and Tithonus, was king of the
Æthiopians. He went with warriors to assist his kindred in the Trojan
War, and was received by King Priam with honor. He fought bravely, slew
Antilochus, the brave son of Nestor, and held the Greeks at bay until
Achilles appeared. Before that hero he fell.

Then Aurora, seeing her son's fate, directed his brothers, the Winds,
to convey his body to the banks of the river Æsepus in Mysia. In the
evening Aurora, accompanied by the Hours and the Pleiads, bewept her
son. Night spread the heaven with clouds; all nature mourned for the
offspring of the Dawn. The Æthiopians raised his tomb on the banks
of the stream in the grove of the Nymphs, and Jupiter caused the
sparks and cinders of his funeral pile to be turned into birds, which,
dividing into two flocks, fought over the pile till they fell into the
flame. Every year at the anniversary of his death they celebrated his
obsequies in like manner. Aurora remained inconsolable. The dewdrops
are her tears.[166]

[Illustration: FIG. 101. THE DEATH OF MEMNON]

The kinship of Memnon to the Dawn is certified even after his death. On
the banks of the Nile are two colossal statues, one of which is called
Memnon's; and it was said that when the first rays of morning fell
upon this statue, a sound like the snapping of a harp-string issued
therefrom.[167]

    So to the sacred Sun in Memnon's fane
    Spontaneous concords choired the matin strain;
    Touched by his orient beam responsive rings
    The living lyre and vibrates all its strings;
    Accordant aisles the tender tones prolong,
    And holy echoes swell the adoring song.[168]

FOOTNOTES:

[163] Ovid, Metam. 7, 394 _et seq._

[164] Ovid, Metam. 11, 583-748.

[165] Homeric Hymn to Venus; Horace, Odes, 1, 22; 2, 16; Apollodorus,
3, 12, § 4.

[166] Ovid, Metam. 13, 622, etc. Odyssey, 4, 188; 11, 522. Pindar,
Pyth. 6, 30.

[167] Pausanias, 1, 42, § 2.

[168] Darwin, Botanic Garden.



CHAPTER XII

MYTHS OF THE LESSER DIVINITIES OF EARTH, ETC.


=129. Pan, and the Personification of Nature.= It was a pleasing
trait in the old paganism that it loved to trace in every operation
of nature the agency of deity. The imagination of the Greeks peopled
the regions of earth and sea with divinities, to whose agency it
attributed the phenomena that our philosophy ascribes to the operation
of natural law. So Pan, the god of woods and fields,[169] whose name
seemed to signify _all_, came to be considered a symbol of the universe
and a personification of Nature. "Universal Pan," says Milton in his
description of the creation:

                            Universal Pan,
    Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance,
    Led on the eternal Spring.

Later, Pan came to be regarded as a representative of all the Greek
gods and of paganism itself. Indeed, according to an early Christian
tradition, when the heavenly host announced to the shepherds the birth
of Christ, a deep groan, heard through the isles of Greece, told that
great Pan was dead, that the dynasty of Olympus was dethroned, and the
several deities sent wandering in cold and darkness.

    The lonely mountains o'er,
    And the resounding shore,
      A voice of weeping heard and loud lament;
    From haunted spring and dale,
    Edged with poplar pale,
      The parting Genius is with sighing sent;
    With flower-inwoven tresses torn,
    The nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn.[170]

Many a poet has lamented the change. For even if the head did profit
for a time by the revolt against the divine prerogative of nature, it
is more than possible that the heart lost in due proportion.

His sorrow at this loss of imaginative sympathy among the moderns
Wordsworth expresses in the sonnet, already cited, beginning "The world
is too much with us." Schiller, also, by his poem, The Gods of Greece,
has immortalized his sorrow for the decadence of the ancient mythology.

[Illustration: FIG. 102. PAN BLOWING HIS PIPE, ECHO ANSWERING]

    Ah, the beauteous world while yet ye ruled it,--
      Yet--by gladsome touches of the hand;
    Ah, the joyous hearts that still ye governed,
      Gods of Beauty, ye, of Fable-land!
    Then, ah, then, the mysteries resplendent
      Triumphed.--Other was it then, I ween,
    When thy shrines were odorous with garlands,
      Thou, of Amathus the queen.

    Then the gracious veil, of fancy woven,
      Fell in folds about the fact uncouth;
    Through the universe life flowed in fullness,
      What we feel not now was felt in sooth:
    Man ascribed nobility to Nature,
      Rendered love unto the earth he trod,
    Everywhere his eye, illuminated,
      Saw the footprints of a God.
           *       *       *       *       *
    Lovely world, where art thou? Turn, oh, turn thee,
      Fairest blossom-tide of Nature's spring!
    Only in the poet's realm of wonder
      Liv'st thou, still,--a fable vanishing.
    Reft of life the meadows lie deserted;
      Ne'er a godhead can my fancy see:
    Ah, if only of those living colors
      Lingered yet the ghost with me![171]
           *       *       *       *       *

It was the poem from which these stanzas are taken that provoked the
well-known reply of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, contained in The Dead
Pan. Her argument may be gathered from the following stanzas:

    By your beauty which confesses
    Some chief Beauty conquering you,
    By our grand heroic guesses
    Through your falsehood at the True,
    We will weep _not_! earth shall roll
    Heir to each god's aureole,
                      And Pan is dead.

    Earth outgrows the mythic fancies
    Sung beside her in her youth;
    And those debonair romances
    Sound but dull beside the truth.
    Ph[oe]bus' chariot course is run!
    Look up, poets, to the sun!
                      Pan, Pan is dead.

=130. Stedman's Pan in Wall Street.=[172] That Pan, however, is not
yet dead but alive even in the practical atmosphere of our western
world, the poem here appended, written by one of our recently deceased
American poets, would indicate.

    Just where the Treasury's marble front
      Looks over Wall Street's mingled nations;
    Where Jews and Gentiles most are wont
      To throng for trade and last quotations;
    Where, hour by hour, the rates of gold
      Outrival, in the ears of people,
    The quarter chimes, serenely tolled
      From Trinity's undaunted steeple,--

    Even there I heard a strange, wild strain
      Sound high above the modern clamor,
    Above the cries of greed and gain,
      The curbstone war, the auction's hammer;
    And swift, on Music's misty ways,
      It led, from all this strife for millions,
    To ancient, sweet-do-nothing days
      Among the kirtle-robed Sicilians.

[Illustration: FIG. 103. THE MUSIC LESSON]

    And as it still'd the multitude,
      And yet more joyous rose, and shriller,
    I saw the minstrel where he stood
      At ease against a Doric pillar:
    One hand a droning organ play'd,
      The other held a Pan's pipe (fashioned
    Like those of old) to lips that made
      The reeds give out that strain impassioned.

    'T was Pan himself had wandered here,
      A-strolling through the sordid city,
    And piping to the civic ear
      The prelude of some pastoral ditty!
    The demigod had cross'd the seas,--
      From haunts of shepherd, nymph, and satyr,
    And Syracusan times,--to these
      Far shores and twenty centuries later.

    A ragged cap was on his head:
      But--hidden thus--there was no doubting
    That, all with crispy locks o'erspread,
      His gnarlèd horns were somewhere sprouting;
    His club-feet, cased in rusty shoes,
      Were cross'd, as on some frieze you see them.
    And trousers, patched of divers hues,
      Conceal'd his crooked shanks beneath them.

[Illustration: FIG. 104. BACCHIC DANCE]

    He filled the quivering reeds with sound,
      And o'er his mouth their changes shifted,
    And with his goat's-eyes looked around
      Where'er the passing current drifted;
    And soon, as on Trinacrian hills
      The nymphs and herdsmen ran to hear him,
    Even now the tradesmen from their tills,
      With clerks and porters, crowded near him.

    The bulls and bears together drew
      From Jauncey Court and New Street Alley,
    As erst, if pastorals be true,
      Came beasts from every wooded valley;
    The random passers stay'd to list,--
      A boxer Ægon, rough and merry,--
    Broadway Daphnis, on his tryst
    With Naïs at the Brooklyn Ferry.

[Illustration: FIG. 105. SILENUS]

    A one-eyed Cyclops halted long
      In tatter'd cloak of army pattern,
    And Galatea joined the throng,--
      A blowsy, apple-vending slattern;
    While old Silenus stagger'd out
      From some new-fangled lunch-house handy
    And bade the piper, with a shout,
      To strike up "Yankee Doodle Dandy!"

    A newsboy and a peanut girl
      Like little Fauns began to caper:
    His hair was all in tangled curl,
      Her tawny legs were bare and taper.
    And still the gathering larger grew,
      And gave its pence and crowded nigher,
    While aye the shepherd-minstrel blew
      His pipe, and struck the gamut higher.

    O heart of Nature! beating still
      With throbs her vernal passion taught her,--
    Even here, as on the vine-clad hill,
      Or by the Arethusan water!
    New forms may fold the speech, new lands
      Arise within these ocean-portals,
    But Music waves eternal wands,--
      Enchantress of the souls of mortals!

    So thought I,--but among us trod
      A man in blue with legal baton;
    And scoff'd the vagrant demigod,
      And push'd him from the step I sat on.
    Doubting I mused upon the cry--
      "Great Pan is dead!"--and all the people
    Went on their ways:--and clear and high
      The quarter sounded from the steeple.

[Illustration: FIG. 106. SATYR]

=131. Other Lesser Gods of Earth.= Of the company of the lesser gods
of earth, besides Pan, were the Sileni, the Sylvans, the Fauns, and
the Satyrs, all male; the Oreads and the Dryads or Hamadryads, female.
To these may be added the Naiads, for, although they dwelt in the
streams, their association with the deities of earth was intimate. Of
the nymphs, the Oreads and the Naiads were immortal. The love of Pan
for Syrinx has already been mentioned, and his musical contest with
Apollo. Of Silenus we have seen something in the adventures of Bacchus.
What kind of existence the Satyr enjoyed is conveyed in the following
soliloquy:

[Illustration: FIG. 107. SATYR SWINGING MAIDEN]

    The trunk of this tree,
      Dusky-leaved, shaggy-rooted,
      Is a pillow well suited
    To a hybrid like me,
      Goat-bearded, goat-footed;
    For the boughs of the glade
      Meet above me, and throw
    A cool, pleasant shade
      On the greenness below;
        Dusky and brown'd
        Close the leaves all around;
    And yet, all the while,
      Thro' the boughs I can see
    A star, with a smile,
      Looking at me....

[Illustration: FIG. 108. SATYR DRINKING]

    Why, all day long,
      I run about
    With a madcap throng,
      And laugh and shout.
    Silenus grips
      My ears, and strides
    On my shaggy hips,
        And up and down
        In an ivy crown
      Tipsily rides;
        And when in doze
        His eyelids close,
      Off he tumbles, and I
    Can his wine-skin steal,
      I drink--and feel
    The grass roll--sea high;
        Then with shouts and yells,
        Down mossy dells,
    I stagger after
      The wood-nymphs fleet,
    Who with mocking laughter
      And smiles retreat;
    And just as I clasp
        A yielding waist,
        With a cry embraced,
    --Gush! it melts from my grasp
      Into water cool,
        And--bubble! trouble!
        Seeing double!
    I stumble and gasp
      In some icy pool![173]

=132. Echo and Narcissus.=[174] Echo was a beautiful Oread, fond of
the woods and hills, a favorite of Diana, whom she attended in the
chase. But by her chatter she came under the displeasure of Juno, who
condemned her to the loss of voice save for purposes of reply.

[Illustration: FIG. 109. NARCISSUS]

Subsequently having fallen in love with Narcissus, the beautiful son of
the river-god Cephissus, Echo found it impossible to express her regard
for him in any way but by mimicking what he said; and what he said,
unfortunately, did not always convey her sentiments. When, however,
he once called across the hills to her, "Let us join one another,"
the maid, answering with all her heart, hastened to the spot, ready to
throw her arms about his neck. He started back, exclaiming, "Hands off!
I would rather die than thou shouldst have me!" "Have me," said she;
but in vain. From that time forth she lived in caves and among mountain
cliffs, and faded away till there was nothing left of her but her
voice. But through his future fortunes she was constant to her cruel
lover.

This Narcissus was the embodiment of self-conceit. He shunned the rest
of the nymphs as he had shunned Echo. One maiden, however, uttered a
prayer that he might some time or other feel what it was to love and
meet no return of affection. The avenging goddess heard. Narcissus,
stooping over a river brink, fell in love with his own image in the
water. He talked to it, tried to embrace it, languished for it, and
pined until he died. Indeed, even after death, it is said that when his
shade passed the Stygian river it leaned over the boat to catch a look
of itself in the waters. The nymphs mourned for Narcissus, especially
the water-nymphs; and when they smote their breasts, Echo smote hers
also. They prepared a funeral pile and would have burned the body, but
it was nowhere to be found. In its place had sprung up a flower, purple
within and surrounded with white leaves, which bears the name and
preserves the memory of the son of Cephissus.

=133. Echo, Pan, Lyde, and the Satyr.= Another interesting episode in
the life of Echo is given by Moschus:[175]

    Pan loved his neighbor Echo; Echo loved
    A gamesome Satyr; he, by her unmoved,
    Loved only Lyde; thus through Echo, Pan,
    Lyde, and Satyr, Love his circle ran.
    Thus all, while their true lovers' hearts they grieved,
    Were scorned in turn, and what they gave received.
    O all Love's scorners, learn this lesson true:
    Be kind to love, that he be kind to you.

=134. The Naiads.= These nymphs guarded streams and fountains of fresh
water and, like the Naiad who speaks in the following verses, kept them
sacred for Diana or some other divinity.

    Dian white-arm'd has given me this cool shrine
    Deep in the bosom of a wood of pine:
        The silver-sparkling showers
        That hive me in, the flowers
    That prink my fountain's brim, are hers and mine;
      And when the days are mild and fair,
        And grass is springing, buds are blowing,
        Sweet it is, 'mid waters flowing,
      Here to sit and know no care,
        'Mid the waters flowing, flowing, flowing,
      Combing my yellow, yellow hair.

    The ounce and panther down the mountain side
    Creep thro' dark greenness in the eventide;
        And at the fountain's brink
        Casting great shades, they drink,
    Gazing upon me, tame and sapphire-eyed;
      For, awed by my pale face, whose light
        Gleameth thro' sedge and lilies yellow
        They, lapping at my fountain mellow,
      Harm not the lamb that in affright
        Throws in the pool so mellow, mellow, mellow,
      Its shadow small and dusky-white.

    Oft do the fauns and satyrs, flusht with play,
    Come to my coolness in the hot noonday.
        Nay, once indeed, I vow
        By Dian's truthful brow,
    The great god Pan himself did pass this way,
      And, all in festal oak-leaves clad,
        His limbs among these lilies throwing,
        Watch'd the silver waters flowing,
      Listen'd to their music glad,
        Saw and heard them flowing, flowing, flowing,
      And ah! his face was worn and sad!

    Mild joys like silvery waters fall;
    But it is sweetest, sweetest far of all,
        In the calm summer night,
        When the tree-tops look white,
    To be exhaled in dew at Dian's call,
      Among my sister-clouds to move
        Over the darkness, earth bedimming,
        Milky-robed thro' heaven swimming,
      Floating round the stars above,
        Swimming proudly, swimming proudly, swimming,
      And waiting on the Moon I love.

    So tenderly I keep this cool, green shrine,
    Deep in the bosom of a wood of pine;
        Faithful thro' shade and sun,
        That service due and done
    May haply earn for me a place divine
      Among the white-robed deities
        That thread thro' starry paths, attending
        My sweet Lady, calmly wending
      Thro' the silence of the skies,
        Changing in hues of beauty never ending,
      Drinking the light of Dian's eyes.[176]

=135. The Dryads=, or =Hamadryads=, assumed at times the forms of
peasant girls, shepherdesses, or followers of the hunt. But they were
believed to perish with certain trees which had been their abode and
with which they had come into existence. Wantonly to destroy a tree was
therefore an impious act, sometimes severely punished, as in the cases
of Erysichthon and Dryope.

=136. Erysichthon=,[177] a despiser of the gods, presumed to violate
with the ax a grove sacred to Ceres. A venerable oak, whereon votive
tablets had often been hung inscribed with the gratitude of mortals
to the nymph of the tree,--an oak round which the Dryads hand in hand
had often danced,--he ordered his servants to fell. When he saw them
hesitate, he snatched an ax from one, and boasting that he cared not
whether it were a tree beloved of the goddess or not, addressed himself
to the task. The oak seemed to shudder and utter a groan. When the
first blow fell upon the trunk, blood flowed from the wound. Warned by
a bystander to desist, Erysichthon slew him; warned by a voice from the
nymph of the tree, he redoubled his blows and brought down the oak. The
Dryads invoked punishment upon Erysichthon.

The goddess Ceres, whom they had supplicated, nodded her assent. She
dispatched an Oread to ice-clad Scythia, where Cold abides, and Fear
and Shuddering and Famine. At Mount Caucasus, the Oread stayed the
dragons of Ceres that drew her chariot; for afar off she beheld Famine,
forespent with hunger, pulling up with teeth and claws the scanty
herbage from a stony field. To her the nymph delivered the commands of
Ceres, then returned in haste to Thessaly, for she herself began to be
an hungered.

The orders of Ceres were executed by Famine, who, speeding through the
air, entered the dwelling of Erysichthon and, as he slept, enfolded him
with her wings and breathed herself into him. In his dreams the caitiff
craved food; and when he awoke, his hunger raged. The more he ate, the
more he craved, till, in default of money, he sold his daughter into
slavery for edibles. Neptune, however, rescued the girl by changing her
into a fisherman; and in that form she assured the slave-owner that
she had seen no woman or other person, except herself, thereabouts.
Then, resuming her own appearance, she was again and again sold by
her father; while by Neptune's favor she became on each occasion a
different animal, and so regained her home. Finally, increasing demands
of hunger compelled the father to devour his own limbs; and in due time
he finished himself off.

=137. Dryope=, the wife of Andræmon, purposing with her sister Iole
to gather flowers for the altars of the nymphs, plucked the purple
blossoms of a lotus plant that grew near the water, and offered them to
her child. Iole, about to do the same thing, perceived that the stem of
the plant was bleeding. Indeed, the plant was none other than a nymph,
Lotis, who, escaping from a base pursuer, had been thus transformed.

Dryope would have hastened from the spot, but the displeasure of the
nymph had fallen upon her. While protesting her innocence, she began
to put forth branches and leaves. Praying her husband to see that no
violence was done to her, to remind their child that every flower or
bush might be a goddess in disguise, to bring him often to be nursed
under her branches, and to teach him to say "My mother lies hid under
this bark,"--the luckless woman assumed the shape of a lotus.

=138. Rh[oe]cus.=[178] The Hamadryads could appreciate services as well
as punish injuries.

    Hear now this fairy legend of old Greece,
    As full of freedom, youth, and beauty still,
    As the immortal freshness of that grace
    Carved for all ages on some Attic frieze.[179]

Rh[oe]cus, happening to see an oak just ready to fall, propped it
up. The nymph, who had been on the point of perishing with the tree,
expressed her gratitude to him and bade him ask what reward he would.
Rh[oe]cus boldly asked her love, and the nymph yielded to his desire.
At the same time charging him to be mindful and constant, she promised
to expect him an hour before sunset and, meanwhile, to communicate with
him by means of her messenger,--a bee:

      Now, in those days of simpleness and faith,
    Men did not think that happy things were dreams
    Because they overstepped the narrow bourn
    Of likelihood, but reverently deemed
    Nothing too wondrous or too beautiful
    To be the guerdon of a daring heart.
    So Rh[oe]cus made no doubt that he was blest,
    And all along unto the city's gate
    Earth seemed to spring beneath him as he walked,
    The clear, broad sky looked bluer than its wont,
    And he could scarce believe he had not wings,
    Such sunshine seemed to glitter through his veins
    Instead of blood, so light he felt and strange.

But the day was past its noon. Joining some comrades over the dice,
Rh[oe]cus forgot all else. A bee buzzed about his ear. Impatiently he
brushed it aside:

    Then through the window flew the wounded bee,
    And Rh[oe]cus, tracking him with angry eyes,
    Saw a sharp mountain peak of Thessaly
    Against the red disk of the setting sun,--
    And instantly the blood sank from his heart....

      ... Quite spent and out of breath he reached the tree,
    And, listening fearfully, he heard once more
    The low voice murmur, "Rh[oe]cus!" close at hand:
    Whereat he looked around him, but could see
    Naught but the deepening glooms beneath the oak.
    Then sighed the voice, "O Rh[oe]cus! nevermore
    Shalt thou behold me or by day or night,
    Me, who would fain have blessed thee with a love
    More ripe and bounteous than ever yet
    Filled up with nectar any mortal heart:
    But thou didst scorn my humble messenger
    And sent'st him back to me with bruisèd wings.
    We spirits only show to gentle eyes,
    We ever ask an undivided love,
    And he who scorns the least of Nature's works
    Is thenceforth exiled and shut out from all.
    Farewell! for thou canst never see me more."

      Then Rh[oe]cus beat his breast, and groaned aloud,
    And cried, "Be pitiful! forgive me yet
    This once, and I shall never need it more!"
    "Alas!" the voice returned, "'tis thou art blind,
    Not I unmerciful; I can forgive,
    But have no skill to heal thy spirit's eyes;
    Only the soul hath power o'er itself."
    With that again there murmured, "Nevermore!"
    And Rh[oe]cus after heard no other sound,
    Except the rattling of the oak's crisp leaves,
    Like the long surf upon a distant shore,
    Raking the sea-worn pebbles up and down.
    The night had gathered round him: o'er the plain
    The city sparkled with its thousand lights,
    And sounds of revel fell upon his ear
    Harshly and like a curse; above, the sky,
    With all its bright sublimity of stars,
    Deepened, and on his forehead smote the breeze:
    Beauty was all around him and delight,
    But from that eve he was alone on earth.

According to the older tradition, the nymph deprived Rh[oe]cus of his
physical sight; but the superior insight of Lowell's interpretation is
evident.

=139. Pomona and Vertumnus.=[180] Pomona was a Hamadryad of Roman
mythology, guardian especially of the apple orchards, but presiding
also over other fruits. "Bear me, Pomona," sings one of our poets,--

    Bear me, Pomona, to thy citron groves,
    To where the lemon and the piercing lime,
    With the deep orange, glowing through the green,
    Their lighter glories blend. Lay me reclined
    Beneath the spreading tamarind that shakes,
    Fanned by the breeze, its fever-cooling fruit.[181]

[Illustration: FIG. 110. A RUSTIC]

This nymph had scorned the offers of love made her by Pan, Sylvanus,
and innumerable Fauns and Satyrs. Vertumnus, too, she had time and
again refused. But he, the deity of gardens and of the changing
seasons, unwearied, wooed her in as many guises as his seasons
themselves could assume. Now as a reaper, now as haymaker, now as
plowman, now as vinedresser, now as apple-picker, now as fisherman, now
as soldier,--all to no avail. Finally, as an old woman, he came to her,
admired her fruit, admired especially the luxuriance of her grapes,
descanted on the dependence of the luxuriant vine, close by, upon the
elm to which it was clinging; advised Pomona, likewise, to choose some
youth--say, for instance, the young Vertumnus--about whom to twine
_her_ arms. Then he told how the worthy Iphis, spurned by Anaxarete,
had hanged himself to her gatepost; and how the gods had turned the
hard-hearted virgin to stone even as she gazed on her lover's funeral.
"Consider these things, dearest child," said the seeming old woman,
"lay aside thy scorn and thy delays, and accept a lover. So may neither
the vernal frosts blight thy young fruits, nor furious winds scatter
thy blossoms!"

When Vertumnus had thus spoken, he dropped his disguise and stood
before Pomona in his proper person,--a comely youth. Such wooing, of
course, could not but win its just reward.

=140. The Cranes of Ibycus=.[182] The Furies, called also Diræ (the
terrible ones), Erinyes (the persecutors, or the angered ones), and
finally, by way of euphemism, Eumenides (the well-meaning), though
they were spirits of the underworld, visited earth to punish filial
disobedience, irreverence to old age, perjury, murder, treachery to
guests, even unkindness toward beggars. They avenged the ghosts of
such as, dying violent deaths, possessed on earth no representatives
either by law or by kindred to avenge them. Therefore, as we shall see,
they persecuted Orestes, who had slain his mother. Therefore, like
the accusing voice of conscience, they marshaled to punishment the
murderers of Ibycus.

[Illustration: FIG. 111. A RUSTIC]

This poet, beloved of Apollo, was, while journeying to the musical
contest of the Isthmus at Corinth, attacked by two robbers in the
Corinthian grove of Neptune. Overcome by them, he commended his cause
as he fell to a flock of cranes that happened to be screaming hoarsely
overhead. But when his body was found, all Greece, then gathered at the
festival, demanded vengeance on the murderer.

Soon afterward, the vast assemblage in the amphitheater sat listening
to a play in which the Chorus personated the Furies. The Choristers,
clad in black, bore in their fleshless hands torches blazing with a
pitchy flame. Advancing with measured step, they formed ranks in the
orchestra. Their cheeks were bloodless, and in place of hair writhing
serpents curled around their brows. Forming a circle, these awful
beings sang their hymn. High it swelled, overpowering the sound of the
instruments:

"Happy the man whose heart is pure from guilt and crime! Him we
avengers touch not; he treads the path of life secure from us. But woe!
woe! to him who has done the deed of secret murder. We, the fearful
brood of Night, fasten ourselves upon him, soul and flesh. Thinks he by
flight to escape us? Fly we still faster in pursuit, twine our snakes
around his feet, and bring him to the ground. Unwearied we pursue; no
pity checks our course; still on, still on to the end of life, we give
no peace, no rest."

Stillness like the stillness of death sat over the assembly. Suddenly
a cry burst from one of the uppermost benches,--"Lo, comrade, the
avengers of Ibycus!" A flock of cranes crossed the sky. "The murderer
has informed against himself," shouted the assemblage. The inference
was correct. The criminals, straightway seized, confessed the crime and
suffered the penalty.

FOOTNOTES:

[169] His name is not derived from the Greek _p[=a]n_, all, but from
the root _p[)a]_, to feed, to pasture (i.e. the flocks and herds).

[170] Milton, Hymn on the Nativity.

[171] Translated by C. M. Gayley.

[172] By Edmund Clarence Stedman.

[173] From The Satyr, by Robert Buchanan.

[174] Ovid, Metam. 3, 339-510.

[175] Idyl VI (Lang's translation). For Moschus, see Commentary, § 298.

[176] From The Naiad, by Robert Buchanan.

[177] Ovid, Metam. 8, 738-884.

[178] See note (Scholium) on the Argonautics of Apollonius, B 477.
Keil's edition, p. 415, l. 32.

[179] J. R. Lowell, Rh[oe]cus. The student should read the whole poem.

[180] Ovid, Metam. 14, 623-771.

[181] Thomson, Seasons.

[182] Cf. Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, 4. 33, 71; and Statius, Silvæ,
5. 3, 152.



CHAPTER XIII

MYTHS OF LESSER DIVINITIES OF THE WATERS


=141. Galatea and Polyphemus.= The water-gods may be roughly classed
as dwellers in the sea and dwellers in the streams. Of the former,
daughters of Nereus and Doris, none was fairer than Galatea, sister
of Amphitrite and Thetis. She loved Acis, the son of Faunus by a
Naiad, and was loved in return; but her happiness was disturbed and
finally ruined by the persistent and jealous attentions of the Cyclops
Polyphemus.

For the first time in his life the Cyclops began to care for his
appearance; he harrowed his coarse locks with a currycomb, mowed his
beard with a sickle, and, looking into the sea when it was calm,
soliloquized, "Beautiful seems my beard, beautiful my one eye,--as I
count beauty,--and the sea reflects the gleam of my teeth whiter than
the Parian stone."[183]

    ... He loved, not with apples, not roses, nor locks of hair,
    but with fatal frenzy; and all things else he held but trifles
    by the way. Many a time from the green pastures would his ewes
    stray back, self-shepherded, to the fold. But he was singing
    of Galatea; and pining in his place, he sat by the seaweed of
    the beach from the dawn of day with the direst hurt beneath his
    breast of mighty Cypris' sending,--the wound of her arrow in his
    heart!

    Yet this remedy he found, and sitting on the crest of the tall
    cliff and looking to the deep, 'twas thus he would sing:

    "Oh, milk-white Galatea, why cast off him that loves thee? More
    white than is pressed milk to look upon, more delicate than the
    lamb art thou, than the young calf wantoner, more sleek than
    the unripened grape! Here dost thou resort, even so, when sweet
    sleep possesses me, and home straightway dost thou depart when
    sweet sleep lets me go, fleeing me like an ewe that has seen the
    gray wolf. I fell in love with thee, maiden, I, on the day when
    first thou camest, with my mother, and didst wish to pluck the
    hyacinths from the hill, and I was thy guide on the way. But to
    leave loving thee when once I had seen thee, neither afterward,
    nor now at all, have I the strength, even from that hour. But to
    thee all this is as nothing, by Zeus, nay, nothing at all!

    "I know, thou gracious maiden, why it is that thou dost shun me.
    It is all for the shaggy brow that spans my forehead, from this
    to the other ear, one long, unbroken eyebrow. And but one eye is
    on my forehead, and broad is the nose that overhangs my lip. Yet
    I (even such as thou seest me) feed a thousand cattle, and from
    these I draw and drink the best milk in the world. And cheese I
    never lack, in summer time or autumn, nay, nor in the dead of
    winter, but my baskets are always overladen.

[Illustration: FIG. 112. GALATEA AND POLYPHEMUS]

    "Also I am skilled in piping, as none other of the Cyclopes here,
    and of thee, my love, my sweet apple, and of myself, too, I sing,
    many a time, deep in the night. And for thee I tend eleven fawns,
    all crescent browed, and four young whelps of the bear. Nay, come
    thou to me and thou shalt lack nothing that now thou hast....

    "But if thou dost refuse because my body seems shaggy and rough,
    well, I have faggots of oak-wood, and beneath the ashes is fire
    unwearied, and I would endure to let thee burn my very soul, and
    this my one eye, the dearest thing that is mine.

    "Ah me, that my mother bore me not a finny thing, so would I have
    gone down to thee, and kissed thy hand, if thy lips thou would
    not suffer me to kiss! And I would have brought thee either white
    lilies or the soft poppy with its scarlet petals. Nay, these are
    summer's flowers, and those are flowers of winter, so I could not
    have brought thee them all at one time.

    "Now, verily, maiden, now and here will I learn to swim, if
    perchance some stranger come hither, sailing with his ship, that
    I may see why it is so dear to thee to have thy dwelling in the
    deep. Come forth, Galatea, and forget as thou comest, even as I
    that sit here have forgotten, the homeward way!...

    "Oh, Cyclops, Cyclops, whither are thy wits wandering? Ah, that
    thou wouldst go and weave thy wickerwork and gather broken boughs
    to carry to thy lambs: in faith, if thou didst this, far wiser
    wouldst thou be!

    "Milk the ewe that thou hast; why pursue the thing that shuns
    thee? Thou wilt find, perchance, another, and a fairer, Galatea.
    Many be the girls that bid me stay with them, and softly they all
    laugh, if perchance I answer them. On land it is plain that I,
    too, seem to be somebody!"[184]

Having, one day, in such wise sung, Polyphemus wandered, beside
himself for passion, into the woods. On a sudden he came in sight of
Galatea and Acis in the hollow of a rock, where they had hearkened to
the strains of the Cyclops. The monster, infuriate, crying that this
should be the last of their love-meetings, overwhelmed his rival with a
tremendous rock. Purple blood spirted from under the stone, by degrees
grew paler, and finally became the stream that still bears the name of
the unfortunate youth. But Galatea remained inconsolable.[185]

[Illustration: FIG. 113. A SEA-GOD]

=142. Glaucus and Scylla.=[186] Another deity of the sea was Glaucus,
the son of that Sisyphus who was punished in Hades for his treachery
to the gods. Glaucus had been a comely young fisherman; but having
noticed that a certain herb revived fishes after they were brought to
land, he ate of it and suffered metamorphosis into something new and
strange, half man, half fish, and after the fashion of a sea-god. Of
his experience during this "sea change" the following is an account:

    I plunged for life or death. To interknit
    One's senses with so dense a breathing stuff
    Might seem a work of pain; so not enough
    Can I admire how crystal-smooth it felt,
    And buoyant round my limbs. At first I dwelt
    Whole days and days in sheer astonishment;
    Forgetful utterly of self-intent,
    Moving but with the mighty ebb and flow.
    Then like a new-fledged bird that first doth show
    His spreaded feathers to the morrow chill,
    I tried in fear the pinions of my will.
    'Twas freedom! and at once I visited
    The ceaseless wonders of this ocean bed.[187]

He became guardian of fishes and divers and of those who go down to
the sea in ships. Later, being infatuated of the fair virgin Scylla
(daughter of the sea-god Phorcys and granddaughter of Pontus), he
paid his court to her, but the maiden rejected him. Whereupon, in
desperation, Glaucus sought the aid of Circe, an enchantress. She,
because she coveted for herself the handsome sea-green god, transformed
her rival into a monster hideously fashioned of serpents and barking
dogs.[188] In this shape Scylla thereafter infested the shore of Sicily
and worked evil to mariners,[189] till finally she was petrified as a
reef, none the less perilous to all seafarers.

A modern version of the fate of Glaucus and Scylla is given by Keats in
the Endymion. Glaucus consents to Circe's blandishments for a season,
but becoming disgusted with her treachery and cruelty, he endeavors
to escape from her. The attempt proving unsuccessful, he is brought
back and sentenced to pass a thousand years in decrepitude and pain.
Consequently, returning to the sea, he there discovers the body of
Scylla, whom the goddess has not transformed, but drowned, and learns
that if he passes his thousand years in collecting the bodies of
drowned lovers, a youth beloved of the gods will, in time, appear and
help him. This prophecy is fulfilled by Endymion, who aids in restoring
Glaucus to youth, and Scylla and the drowned lovers to life.

=143. Nisus and Scylla.=[190] The daughter of Phorcys is frequently
confounded with another Scylla, daughter of King Nisus of Megara.
Scylla of Megara betrayed her father to his enemy, Minos II of Crete,
with whom, although the kings were at war, she had fallen violently in
love. It seems that Nisus had on his head a purple lock of hair, upon
which depended his fortune and his life. This lock his daughter clipped
and conveyed to Minos. But recoiling from the treacherous gift, that
king, after he had conquered Megara, bound Scylla to the rudder of
his ship and so dragged her through the waves toward Crete. The girl
was ultimately transformed into the monster of the barking dogs, or,
according to another authority, into a bird continually the prey of the
sea eagle, whose form her father Nisus had assumed.

=144. Leucothea.=[191] Another sea change was that of Ino, the daughter
of Cadmus and wife of Athamas, who, flying from her frantic husband,
sprang, with her child Melicertes in her arms, from a cliff into the
sea. The gods, out of compassion, made her a goddess of the sea under
the name of Leucothea, and her son a god under that of Palæmon. Both
were held powerful to save from shipwreck and were invoked by sailors.
Palæmon was usually represented as riding on a dolphin. In his honor
the Isthmian games were celebrated. By the Romans he was called
Portumnus, and had jurisdiction of ports and shores.

=145. Proteus and Aristæus.=[192] Though Aristæus, the lover of
Eurydice, was son of Apollo and guardian himself of herds and flocks,
protector of vine and olive, and keeper of bees, still he was son of
Cyrene, a water-nymph, and his most interesting adventure brought him
into contact with another deity of the sea.

His bees having perished, Aristæus resorted for aid to his mother. She,
surrounded by her maidens in the crystalline abode under her river,
overheard his complaints and ordered that he should be brought into her
presence. The stream at her command opened itself and let him enter,
while it stood heaped like a mountain on either side. Cyrene and her
nymphs, having poured out libations to Neptune, gave the youth to eat
and listened to his complaint, then informed him that an aged prophet
named Proteus, who dwelt in the sea and pastured the sea calves of
Neptune, could explain the cause of the mortality among the bees and
how to remedy it; but that the wizard would have to be chained and
compelled to answer, and that even when chained, he would try to escape
by assuming a series of dreadful forms. "Still, thou hast but to keep
him fast bound," concluded Cyrene, "and at last, when he finds his
arts of no avail, he will obey thy behest." The nymph then sprinkled
her son with nectar, whereupon an unusual vigor filled his frame and
courage his heart.

Cyrene led her son to the prophet's cave, which was in the island of
Pharos, or of Carpathos,[193] and concealed him. At noon issued Proteus
from the water, followed by his herd of sea calves, which spread
themselves along the shore. He, too, stretched himself on the floor of
the cave and went to sleep. Aristæus immediately clapped fetters on him
and shouted at the top of his voice. Proteus, finding himself captured,
resorted to his craft, becoming first a fire, then a flood, then a
horrible wild beast, in rapid succession; nor did he succumb till all
schemes had failed to set him free. Then he resumed his old form and,
in response to the questioning of Aristæus, said: "Thou receivest the
merited reward of thy deed, by which Eurydice met her death. To avenge
her, the nymphs have sent this destruction on thy bees. Their anger
thou must appease. Four bulls shalt thou select, of perfect form and
size, and four cows of equal beauty; and four altars shalt thou build
to the nymphs, and shalt sacrifice the animals, leaving their carcasses
in the leafy grove. To Orpheus and Eurydice thou shalt pay such funeral
honors as may allay their resentment. Returning after nine days,
examine the bodies of the cattle slain and see what has befallen."
Aristæus faithfully obeyed these directions. Returning to the grove on
the ninth day he found that a swarm of bees had taken possession of one
of the carcasses and were pursuing their labors there as in a hive.[194]

=146. Acheloüs and Hercules.=[195] A similar contest took place
between Hercules and the river-god Acheloüs. The cause of the strife
was Dejanira of Calydon, whom both heroes loved. Hercules boasted his
divine descent. Acheloüs, not content with advancing his claim as
lord of the mightiest and most ancient river of Greece, insinuated
suspicions with regard to the value of Hercules' pretensions. Then
began a mighty struggle. Finding he was no match for Hercules in
the wrestler's art, Acheloüs glided away in the form of a serpent.
Hercules, remarking that it was the labor of his infancy to strangle
snakes,[196] clasped the neck of Acheloüs and choked him. Then
Acheloüs assumed the seeming of a bull. Whereupon Hercules, seizing
him by the horns, dragged his head to the ground, overthrew him, and
rent one horn away. This trophy the Naiads consecrated and filled with
flowers for the goddess of Plenty, who, adopting it as her symbol,
named it Cornucopia.

[Illustration: FIG. 114. NEREÏDS AND SEA MONSTERS]

=147. Milton's Sabrina Fair.= No writer in modern times has made more
graceful poetic use of the divinities of the streams than has Milton.
The following song, chanted by a Spirit in invocation of "the gentle
nymph" (of the poet's invention) "that with moist curb sways the smooth
Severn stream," is but one refrain of many caught by the poet from the
far-echoing chorus of classical verse:

    Sabrina fair,
      Listen where thou art sitting
    Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,
      In twisted braids of lilies knitting
    The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair;
      Listen for dear honor's sake,
      Goddess of the silver lake,
                   Listen and save.

    Listen and appear to us
    In name of great Oceanus.
    By th' earth-shaking Neptune's mace,
    And Tethys' grave, majestic pace,
    By hoary Nereus' wrinkled look,
    And the Carpathian wizard's hook,
    By scaly Triton's winding shell,
    And old soothsaying Glaucus' spell,
    By Leucothea's lovely hands,
    And her son that rules the strands,
    By Thetis' tinsel-slippered feet,
    And the songs of Sirens sweet,
    By dead Parthenope's[1] dear tomb
    And fair Ligea's[197] golden comb,
    Wherewith she sits on diamond rocks,
    Sleeking her soft, alluring locks,
    By all the nymphs that nightly dance
    Upon thy streams with wily glance;
    Rise, rise, and heave thy rosy head
    From thy coral-paven bed,
    And bridle in thy headlong wave,
    Till thou our summons answered have.
                     Listen and save.[198]

FOOTNOTES:

[183] Theocritus, Idyl VI. See Andrew Lang's translation.

[184] Theocritus, Idyl XI (Lang's translation).

[185] Ovid, Metam. 13, 750-867.

[186] Ovid, Metam. 13, 898; 14, 74; Tibullus, 3, 4-89.

[187] From Keats' Endymion.

[188] §§ 50, 52, and Commentary.

[189] See §§ 239, 250, Adventures of Ulysses and Æneas.

[190] Apollodorus, 3, 15, § 8.

[191] Ovid, Metam. 4, 432-542.

[192] Cf. Odyssey, 4, 410; Ovid, Fasti, 1, 369; Virgil, Georgics, 4,
317.

[193] Cf. § 147, Milton's Carpathian Wizard.

[194] See Commentary.

[195] Ovid, Metam. 9, 1-100.

[196] § 156.

[197] See Commentary.

[198] Milton, Comus, 859-889.



CHAPTER XIV

MYTHS OF THE OLDER HEROES: THE HOUSE OF DANAÜS, AND ITS CONNECTIONS


=148. The Older and the Younger Heroes.= We have already narrated
the adventures of certain demigods and heroes, such as Prometheus,
Deucalion, Cadmus, Amphion, Orpheus. Others of importance were Perseus,
Hercules, Minos, [OE]dipus, Theseus, Jason, Meleager, Peleus, Pelops,
Castor and Pollux. These and their contemporaries may be called the
_Older Heroes_. They are renowned either for individual exploits or for
the part played by them in one or more of three great expeditions,--the
War against Laomedon of Troy, the Voyage for the Golden Fleece, and the
Hunt of the Calydonian Boar.

The _Younger Heroes_ were of a later generation, which was concerned in
four important enterprises,--the War of the Seven against Thebes, the
Trojan War, the Wanderings of Ulysses, and the Adventures of Æneas.

The exploits of the Older Heroes may be arranged in respect of their
probable sequence in time, and of their grouping according to families
of heroes. If we observe the principle of genealogy, one race, that
of Inachus of Argos, attracts our notice in the heroes descended
from Pelasgus,[199] Belus, and Agenor. The family of Belus gives us
the famous House of Danaüs, the family of Agenor the Houses of Minos
and Labdacus. Another race, that of Deucalion, gives us the heroes
of the Hellenic branch, most notably those descended from Æolus.
With these families most of the Older Heroes are, by blood or by
adventure, to some extent connected. Bearing this fact in mind and at
the same time observing the chronological sequence of adventures, we
obtain an arrangement of myths as illustrating the races, families,
or houses--(1) of Danaüs of Argos, (2) of Æolus of Thessaly, (3) of
Ætolus, (4) of Minos of Crete, (5) of Cecrops and of Erichthonius of
Attica, (6) of Labdacus of Thebes.[200]

=149. The Genealogy of Danaüs.= As the Hellenes, in the north, traced
their descent from Deucalion and Pyrrha of Thessaly, so the Pelasgic
races of the south from the river-god Inachus, son of Oceanus. The
son of Inachus, Phoroneus, lived in the Peloponnesus and founded the
town of Argos. This Phoroneus conferred upon the Argives the benefits
attributed by other Greeks to Prometheus. He was succeeded by his son
Pelasgus, from whom a division of the Greek people derive their name.
With the love of Jupiter for the sister of Phoroneus, the fair Io, we
are already acquainted. Her son was Epaphus, king of Egypt, from whom
were descended (1) Agenor of Ph[oe]nicia, father of Europa and Cadmus,
and (2) Belus of Egypt, father of Ægyptus and Danaüs. To the family of
Agenor we shall return in the history of Minos, son of Europa, and of
[OE]dipus, descendant of Cadmus.

[Illustration: FIG. 115. THE DANAÏDS]

=150. The Danaïds.=[201] Ægyptus and his fifty sons drove Danaüs and
his fifty daughters back to Argos, the ancestral home of the race.
Finally, a reconciliation was arranged by means of a fiftyfold marriage
between the sons of Ægyptus and the Danaïds. But in accordance with
a treacherous command of Danaüs, all his daughters save Hypermnestra
slew their husbands on the wedding night. For this crime the forty-nine
Danaïds were condemned to spend eternity in Tartarus, trying to fill
with water a vessel full of holes. From Hypermnestra and her husband,
Lynceus, was sprung the royal house of Argos. Their son was Abas, their
grandson, Acrisius,--of whom the following narrative is told.

[Illustration: FIG. 116. DANAË AND PERSEUS AND THE CHEST]

=151. The Doom of King Acrisius.=[202] The daughter of Acrisius was
Danaë, of surpassing loveliness. In consequence of an oracle which
had prophesied that the son of Danaë would be the means of his
grandfather's death, the hapless girl was shut in an underground
chamber, that no man might love or wed her. But Jupiter, distilling
himself into a shower of gold, flooded the girl's prison, wooed, and
won her. Their son was Perseus. King Acrisius, in dismay, ordered
mother and child to be boxed up in a chest and set adrift on the sea.
The two unfortunates were, however, rescued at Seriphus by a fisherman,
who conveyed the mother and infant to Polydectes, king of the country,
by whom they were treated at first with kindness, but afterwards with
cruelty.

=152. Perseus and Medusa.=[203] When Perseus was grown up, Polydectes
sent him to attempt the conquest of the Gorgon Medusa,[204] a terrible
monster who had laid waste the country. She had once been a maiden
whose hair was her chief glory, but as she dared to vie in beauty
with Minerva, the goddess deprived her of her charms and changed her
ringlets into hissing serpents. She became a monster of so frightful an
aspect that no living thing could behold her without being turned into
stone. All around the cavern where she dwelt might be seen the stony
figures of men and animals that had chanced to catch a glimpse of her
and had been petrified at the sight. Perseus, favored by Minerva and
Mercury, set out against the Gorgon, and approached first the cave of
the three Grææ:

[Illustration: FIG. 117. MEDUSA]

    There sat the crones that had the single eye,
    Clad in blue sweeping cloak and snow-white gown;
    While o'er their backs their straight white hair hung down
    In long thin locks; dreadful their faces were,
    Carved all about with wrinkles of despair;
    And as they sat they crooned a dreary song,
    Complaining that their lives should last so long,
    In that sad place that no one came anear,
    In that wan place desert of hope and fear;
    And singing, _still they rocked_ their bodies bent,
    And ever each to each the eye they sent.[205]

[Illustration: FIG. 118. MEDUSA]

Snatching the eye, Perseus compelled the Grææ, as the price of its
restoration, to tell him how he might obtain the helmet of Hades that
renders its wearer invisible, and the winged shoes and pouch that were
necessary. With this outfit, to which Minerva added her shield and
Mercury his knife, Perseus sped to the hall of the Gorgons. In silence
sat two of the sisters,--

      But a third woman paced about the hall,
    And ever turned her head from wall to wall
    And moaned aloud, and shrieked in her despair;
    Because the golden tresses of her hair
    Were moved by writhing snakes from side to side,
    That in their writhing oftentimes would glide
    On to her breast, or shuddering shoulders white;
    Or, falling down, the hideous things would light
    Upon her feet, and crawling thence would twine
    Their slimy folds about her ankles fine.[206]

[Illustration: FIG. 119. PERSEUS

From the sculpture by Cellini]

This was Medusa. Her, while she was praying the gods to end her misery,
or, as some say, while she was sleeping, Perseus approached, and,
guided by her image reflected in the bright shield which he bore, cut
off her head, and so ended her miserable existence. Thus are described
the horror and the grace of her features in death:

    It lieth, gazing on the midnight sky,
      Upon the cloudy mountain peak supine;
    Below, far lands are seen tremblingly;
      Its horror and its beauty are divine.
    Upon its lips and eyelids seems to lie
      Loveliness like a shadow, from which shine,
    Fiery and lurid, struggling underneath,
    The agonies of anguish and of death.

    Yet it is less the horror than the grace
      Which turns the gazer's spirit into stone;
    Whereon the lineaments of that dead face
      Are graven, till the characters be grown
    Into itself, and thought no more can trace;
      'Tis the melodious hue of beauty thrown
    Athwart the darkness and the glare of pain,
    Which humanize and harmonize the strain.[207]...

=153. Perseus and Atlas.= From the body of Medusa sprang the winged
horse Pegasus, of whose rider, Bellerophon, we shall presently be
informed.

[Illustration: FIG. 120. PERSEUS WITH HEAD OF MEDUSA]

After the slaughter of Medusa, Perseus, bearing with him the head of
the Gorgon, flew far and wide, over land and sea. As night came on, he
reached the western limit of the earth, and would gladly have rested
till morning. Here was the realm of Atlas, whose bulk surpassed that
of all other men. He was rich in flocks and herds, but his chief pride
was his garden of the Hesperides, whose fruit was of gold, hanging from
golden branches, half hid with golden leaves. Perseus said to him,
"I come as a guest. If thou holdest in honor illustrious descent, I
claim Jupiter for my father; if mighty deeds, I plead the conquest of
the Gorgon. I seek rest and food." But Atlas, remembering an ancient
prophecy that had warned him against a son of Jove who should one
day rob him of his golden apples, attempted to thrust the youth out.
Whereupon Perseus, finding the giant too strong for him, held up the
Gorgon's head. Atlas, with all his bulk, was changed into stone. His
beard and hair became forests, his arms and shoulders cliffs, his head
a summit, and his bones rocks. Each part increased in mass till the
giant became the mountain upon whose shoulders rests heaven with all
its stars.

=154. Perseus and Andromeda.= On his way back to Seriphus, the
Gorgon-slayer arrived at the country of the Æthiopians, over whom
Cepheus was king. His wife was Cassiopea--

    That starred Æthiope queen that strove
    To set her beauty's praise above
    The sea-nymphs, and their powers offended.[208]

These nymphs had consequently sent a sea monster to ravage the coast.
To appease the deities, Cepheus was directed by the oracle to devote
his daughter Andromeda to the ravening maw of the prodigy. As Perseus
looked down from his aërial height, he beheld the virgin chained to
a rock. Drawing nearer he pitied, then comforted her, and sought the
reason of her disgrace. At first from modesty she was silent; but when
he repeated his questions, for fear she might be thought guilty of
some offense which she dared not tell, she disclosed her name and that
of her country, and her mother's pride of beauty. Before she had done
speaking, a sound was heard upon the water, and the monster appeared.
The virgin shrieked; the father and mother, who had now arrived, poured
forth lamentations and threw their arms about the victim. But the
hero himself undertook to slay the monster, on condition that, if the
maiden were rescued by his valor, she should be his reward. The parents
consented. Perseus embraced his promised bride; then--

    Loosing his arms from her waist he flew upward, awaiting the sea beast.
    Onward it came from the southward, as bulky and black as a galley,
    Lazily coasting along, as the fish fled leaping before it;
    Lazily breasting the ripple, and watching by sand bar and headland,
    Listening for laughter of maidens at bleaching, or song of the fisher,
    Children at play on the pebbles, or cattle that passed on the
        sand hills.
    Rolling and dripping it came, where bedded in glistening purple
    Cold on the cold seaweeds lay the long white sides of the maiden,
    Trembling, her face in her hands, and her tresses afloat on the
        water.[209]

[Illustration: FIG. 121. PERSEUS FINDS ANDROMEDA]

[Illustration: PERSEUS FREEING ANDROMEDA]

The youth darted down upon the back of the monster and plunged his
sword into its shoulder, then eluded its furious attack by means of
his wings. Wherever he could find a passage for his sword, he plunged
it between the scales of flank and side. The wings of the hero were
finally drenched and unmanageable with the blood and water that the
brute spouted. Then alighting on a rock and holding by a projection, he
gave the monster his deathblow.

The joyful parents, with Perseus and Andromeda, repaired to the
palace, where a banquet was opened for them. But in the midst of the
festivities a noise was heard of warlike clamor, and Phineus, who had
formerly been betrothed to the bride, burst in, demanding her for his
own. In vain, Cepheus remonstrated that all such engagements had been
dissolved by the sentence of death passed upon Andromeda, and that if
Phineus had actually loved the girl, he would have tried to rescue her.
Phineus and his adherents, persisting in their intent, attacked the
wedding party and would have broken it up with most admired disorder,
but

    Mid the fabled Libyan bridal stood
    Perseus in stern tranquillity of wrath,
    Half stood, half floated on his ankle plumes
    Out-swelling, while the bright face on his shield
    Looked into stone the raging fray.[210]

Leaving Phineus and his fellows in merited petrifaction, and conveying
Andromeda to Seriphus, the hero there turned into stone Polydectes and
his court, because the tyrant had rendered Danaë's life intolerable
with his attentions. Perseus then restored to their owners the charmed
helmet, the winged shoes, and the pouch in which he had conveyed the
Gorgon's head. The head itself he bestowed upon Minerva, who bore it
afterward upon her ægis or shield. Of that Gorgon shield no simpler
moral interpretation can be framed than the following:

    What was that snaky-headed Gorgon shield
    That wise Minerva wore, unconquered virgin,
    Wherewith she freezed her foes to congealed stone,
    But rigid looks of chaste austerity,
    And noble grace that dashed brute violence
    With sudden adoration and blank awe![211]

With his mother and his wife Perseus returned to Argos to seek his
grandfather. But Acrisius, still fearing his doom, had retired to
Larissa in Thessaly. Thither Perseus followed him, and found him
presiding over certain funeral games. As luck would have it, the hero
took part in the quoit throwing, and hurled a quoit far beyond the
mark. The disk, falling upon his grandfather's foot, brought about the
old man's death, and in that way the prophecy was fulfilled. Of Perseus
and Andromeda three sons were born, through one of whom, Electryon,
they became grandparents of the famous Alcmene, sweetheart of Jove and
mother of Hercules.

=155. Bellerophon and the Chimæra.=[212] The horse Pegasus, which
sprang from the Gorgon's blood, found a master in Bellerophon of
Corinth. This youth was of the Hellenic branch of the Greek nation,
being descended from Sisyphus and through him from Æolus, the son of
Hellen.[213] His adventures should therefore be recited with those of
Jason and other descendants of Æolus in the next chapter, but that
they follow so closely on those of Perseus. His father, Glaucus, king
of Corinth, is frequently identified with Glaucus the fisherman. This
Glaucus of Corinth was noted for his love of horse racing, his fashion
of feeding his mares on human flesh, and his destruction by the fury
of his horses; for having upset his chariot, they tore their master to
pieces. As to his son, Bellerophon, the following is related:

In Lycia a monster, breathing fire, made great havoc. The fore part
of his body was a compound of the lion and the goat; the hind part
was a dragon's. The king, Iobates, sought a hero to destroy this
Chimæra, as it was called. At that time Bellerophon arrived at his
court. The gallant youth brought letters from Pr[oe]tus, the son-in-law
of Iobates, recommending Bellerophon in the warmest terms as an
unconquerable hero, but adding a request to his father-in-law to put
him to death. For Pr[oe]tus, suspecting that his wife Antea looked with
too great favor on the young warrior, schemed thus to destroy him.

Iobates accordingly determined to send Bellerophon against the
Chimæra. Bellerophon accepted the proposal, but before proceeding to
the combat, consulted the soothsayer Polyidus, who counseled him to
procure, if possible, the horse Pegasus for the conflict. Now this
horse had been caught and tamed by Minerva and by her presented to the
Muses. Polyidus, therefore, directed Bellerophon to pass the night in
the temple of Minerva. While he slept, Minerva brought him a golden
bridle. When he awoke, she showed him Pegasus drinking at the well of
Pirene. At sight of the bridle, the winged steed came willingly and
suffered himself to be taken. Bellerophon mounted him, sped through the
air, found the Chimæra, and gained an easy victory.

[Illustration: FIG. 122. BELLEROPHON AND PEGASUS]

After the conquest of this monster, Bellerophon was subjected to
further trials and labors by his unfriendly host, but by the aid of
Pegasus he triumphed over all. At length Iobates, seeing that the hero
was beloved of the gods, gave him his daughter in marriage and made
him his successor on the throne. It is said that Bellerophon, by his
pride and presumption, drew upon himself the anger of the Olympians;
that he even attempted to fly to heaven on his winged steed; but the
king of gods and men sent a gadfly, which, stinging Pegasus, caused him
to throw his rider, who wandered ever after lame, blind, and lonely
through the Aleian field, and perished miserably.

=156. Hercules (Heracles): His Youth.=[214] Alcmene, daughter of
Electryon and granddaughter of Perseus and Andromeda, was beloved
of Jupiter. Their son, the mighty Hercules, born in Thebes, became
the national hero of Greece. Juno, always hostile to the offspring of
her husband by mortal mothers, declared war against Hercules from his
birth. She sent two serpents to destroy him as he lay in his cradle,
but the precocious infant strangled them with his hands. In his youth
he passed for the son of his stepfather Amphitryon, king of Thebes,
grandson of Perseus and Andromeda, and son of Alcæus. Hence his
patronymic, Alcides. Rhadamanthus trained him in wisdom and virtue,
Linus in music. Unfortunately the latter attempted one day to chastise
Hercules; whereupon the pupil killed the master with a lute. After this
melancholy breach of discipline, the youth was rusticated,--sent off
to the mountains, where among the herdsmen and the cattle he grew to
mighty stature, slew the Thespian lion, and performed various deeds
of valor. To him, while still a youth, appeared, according to one
story, two women at a meeting of the ways,--Pleasure and Duty. The
gifts offered by Duty were the "Choice of Hercules." Soon afterward
he contended with none other than Apollo for the tripod of Delphi;
but reconciliation was effected between the combatants by the gods
of Olympus, and from that day forth Apollo and Hercules remained
true friends, each respecting the prowess of the other. Returning to
Thebes, the hero aided his half brother Iphicles and his reputed father
Amphitryon in throwing off the yoke of the city of Orchomenus, and
was rewarded with the hand of the princess Megara. A few years later,
while in the very pride of his manhood, he was driven insane by the
implacable Juno. In his madness he slew his children, and would have
slain Amphitryon, also, had not Minerva knocked him over with a stone
and plunged him into a deep sleep, from which he awoke in his right
mind. Next, for expiation of the bloodshed, he was rendered subject
to his cousin Eurystheus and compelled to perform his commands. This
humiliation, Juno, of course, had decreed.

=157. His Labors.= Eurystheus enjoined upon the hero a succession
of desperate undertakings, which are called the twelve "Labors of
Hercules." The first was the combat with the lion that infested the
valley of Nemea, the skin of which Hercules was ordered to bring to
Mycenæ. After using in vain his club and arrows against the lion,
Hercules strangled the animal with his hands and returned, carrying its
carcass on his shoulders; but Eurystheus, frightened at the sight and
at this proof of the prodigious strength of the hero, ordered him to
deliver the account of his exploits, in future, outside the town.

[Illustration: FIG. 123. HERACLES AND THE NEMEAN LION]

His second labor was the slaughter of the Hydra, a water serpent that
ravaged the country of Argos and dwelt in a swamp near the well of
Amymone. It had nine heads, of which the middle one was immortal.
Hercules struck off the heads with his club; but in the place of each
dispatched, two new ones appeared. At last, with the assistance of his
faithful nephew Iolaüs, he burned away the other heads of the Hydra and
buried the ninth, which was immortal, under a rock.

[Illustration: FIG. 124. HERACLES AND THE HYDRA]

His third labor was the capture of a boar that haunted Mount Erymanthus
in Arcadia. The adventure was, in itself, successful. But on the
same journey Hercules made the friendship of the centaur Pholus,
who, receiving him hospitably, poured out for him without stint the
choicest wine that the centaurs possessed. As a consequence, Hercules
became involved in a broil with the other centaurs of the mountain.
Unfortunately his friend Pholus, drawing one of the arrows of Hercules
from a brother centaur, wounded himself therewith and died of the
poison.

The fourth labor of Hercules was the capture of a wonderful stag of
golden antlers and brazen hoofs, that ranged the hills of Cerynea,
between Arcadia and Achaia.

His fifth labor was the destruction of the Stymphalian birds, which
with cruel beaks and sharp talons harassed the inhabitants of the
valley of Stymphalus, devouring many of them.

His sixth labor was the cleaning of the Augean stables. Augeas, king
of Elis, had a herd of three thousand oxen, whose stalls had not been
cleansed for thirty years. Hercules, bringing the rivers Alpheüs and
Peneüs through them, purified them thoroughly in one day.

[Illustration: FIG. 125. HERACLES BRINGING HOME THE BOAR]

His seventh labor was the overthrow of the Cretan bull,--an awful but
beautiful brute, at once a gift and a curse bestowed by Neptune upon
Minos of Crete.[215] This monster Hercules brought to Mycenæ.

His eighth labor was the removal of the horses of Diomedes, king of
Thrace. These horses subsisted on human flesh, were swift and fearful.
Diomedes, attempting to retain them, was killed by Hercules and given
to the horses to devour. They were then delivered to Eurystheus; but,
escaping, they roamed the hills of Arcadia, till the wild beasts of
Apollo tore them to pieces.

His ninth labor was of a more delicate character. Admeta, the daughter
of Eurystheus, desired the girdle of the queen of the Amazons, and
Eurystheus ordered Hercules to get it. The Amazons were a nation
dominated by warlike women, and in their hands were many cities. It
was their custom to bring up only the female children, whom they
hardened by martial discipline; the boys were either dispatched to the
neighboring nations or put to death. Hippolyta, the queen, received
Hercules kindly and consented to yield him the girdle; but Juno, taking
the form of an Amazon, persuaded the people that the strangers were
carrying off their queen. They instantly armed and beset the ship.
Whereupon Hercules, thinking that Hippolyta had acted treacherously,
slew her and, taking her girdle, made sail homeward.

[Illustration: FIG. 126. HERACLES WITH THE BULL]

The tenth task enjoined upon him was to capture for Eurystheus the oxen
of Geryon, a monster with three bodies, who dwelt in the island Erythea
(the red),--so called because it lay in the west, under the rays of the
setting sun. This description is thought to apply to Spain, of which
Geryon was king. After traversing various countries, Hercules reached
at length the frontiers of Libya and Europe, where he raised the two
mountains of Abyla and Calpe as monuments of his progress,--the Pillars
of Hercules; or, according to another account, rent one mountain into
two and left half on each side, forming the Strait of Gibraltar.
The oxen were guarded by the giant Eurytion and his two-headed dog,
but Hercules killed the warders and conveyed the oxen in safety to
Eurystheus.

One of the most difficult labors was the eleventh,--the robbery of
the golden apples of the Hesperides. Hercules did not know where to
find them; but after various adventures, arrived at Mount Atlas in
Africa. Since Atlas was the father of the Hesperides, Hercules thought
he might through him obtain the apples. The hero, accordingly, taking
the burden of the heavens on his own shoulders,[216] sent Atlas to seek
the apples. The giant returned with them and proposed to take them
himself to Eurystheus. "Even so," said Hercules; "but, pray, hold this
load for me a moment, while I procure a pad to ease my shoulders."
Unsuspectingly the giant resumed the burden of the heavens. Hercules
took the apples.

[Illustration: FIG. 127 HERACLES AND CERBERUS]

His twelfth exploit was to fetch Cerberus from the lower world. To
this end he descended into Hades, accompanied by Mercury and Minerva.
There he obtained permission from Pluto to carry Cerberus to the upper
air, provided he could do it without the use of weapons. In spite of
the monster's struggling he seized him, held him fast, carried him to
Eurystheus, and afterward restored him to the lower regions. While
in Hades, Hercules also obtained the liberty of Theseus, his admirer
and imitator, who had been detained there for an attempt at abducting
Proserpine.[217]

After his return from Hades to his native Thebes, he renounced his wife
Megara, for, having slain his children by her in his fit of madness, he
looked upon the marriage as displeasing to the gods.

Two other exploits not recorded among the twelve labors are the
victories over Antæus and Cacus. Antæus, the son of Poseidon and Gæa,
was a giant and wrestler whose strength was invincible so long as he
remained in contact with his mother Earth. He compelled all strangers
who came to his country to wrestle with him, on condition that if
conquered, they should suffer death.

Hercules encountered him and, finding that it was of no avail to throw
him,--for he always rose with renewed strength from every fall,--lifted
him up from the earth and strangled him in the air.

Later writers tell of an army of Pygmies which, finding Hercules asleep
after his defeat of Antæus, made preparations to attack him, as if
they were about to attack a city. But the hero, awakening, laughed at
the little warriors, wrapped some of them up in his lion's skin, and
carried them to Eurystheus.

[Illustration: FIG. 128. HERACLES AND ANTÆUS]

Cacus was a giant who inhabited a cave on Mount Aventine and plundered
the surrounding country. When Hercules was driving home the oxen of
Geryon, Cacus stole part of the cattle while the hero slept. That their
footprints might not indicate where they had been driven, he dragged
them backward by their tails to his cave. Hercules was deceived by the
stratagem and would have failed to find his oxen, had it not happened
that while he was driving the remainder of the herd past the cave
where the stolen ones were concealed, those within, beginning to low,
discovered themselves to him. Hercules promptly dispatched the thief.

Through most of these expeditions Hercules was attended by Iolaüs, his
devoted friend, the son of his half brother Iphicles.

=158. His Later Exploits.= On the later exploits of the hero we can
dwell but briefly. Having, in a fit of madness, killed his friend
Iphitus, he was condemned for the offense to spend three years as the
slave of Queen Omphale. He lived effeminately, wearing at times the
dress of a woman and spinning wool with the handmaidens of Omphale,
while the queen wore his lion's skin. But during this period he
contrived to engage in about as many adventures as would fill the life
of an ordinary hero. He rescued Daphnis from Lityerses and threw the
bloodthirsty king[218] into the river Mæander; he discovered the body
of Icarus[219] and buried it; he joined the company of Argonauts,
who were on their way to Colchis to secure the golden fleece, and he
captured the thievish gnomes, called Cercopes. Two of these grotesque
rascals had made off with the weapons of Hercules while he was
sleeping. When he had caught them he strapped them, knees upward,
to a yoke and so bore them away. Their drollery, however, regained
them their liberty. It is said that some of them having once deceived
Jupiter were changed to apes.

=159. The Loss of Hylas.=[220] In the Argonautic adventure Hercules was
attended by a lad, Hylas, whom he tenderly loved and on whose account
he deserted the expedition in Mysia; for Hylas had been stolen by the
Naiads.

    ... Never was Heracles apart from Hylas, not when midnoon was
    high in heaven, not when Dawn with her white horses speeds
    upwards to the dwelling of Zeus, not when the twittering
    nestlings look towards the perch, while their mother flaps her
    wings above the smoke-browned beam; and all this that the lad
    might be fashioned to his mind, and might drive a straight
    furrow, and come to the true measure of man....

    And Hylas of the yellow hair, with a vessel of bronze in his
    hand, went to draw water against supper-time for Heracles himself
    and the steadfast Telamon, for these comrades twain supped ever
    at one table. Soon was he ware of a spring in a hollow land,
    and the rushes grew thickly round it, and dark swallowwort,
    and green maidenhair, and blooming parsley, and deer grass
    spreading through the marshy land. In the midst of the water
    the nymphs were arranging their dances,--the sleepless nymphs,
    dread goddesses of the country people, Eunice, and Malis, and
    Nycheia, with her April eyes. And now the boy was holding out
    the wide-mouthed pitcher to the water, intent on dipping it; but
    the nymphs all clung to his hand, for love of the Argive lad had
    fluttered the soft hearts of all of them. Then down he sank into
    the black water, headlong all, as when a star shoots flaming from
    the sky, plumb in the deep it falls; and a mate shouts out to the
    seamen, "Up with the gear, my lads, the wind is fair for sailing."

    Then the nymphs held the weeping boy on their laps, and with
    gentle words were striving to comfort him. But the son of
    Amphitryon was troubled about the lad, and went forth, carrying
    his bended bow in Scythian fashion, and the club that is ever
    grasped in his right hand. Thrice he shouted, "Hylas!" as loud as
    his deep throat could call, and thrice again the boy heard him,
    and thrice came his voice from the water, and, hard by though
    he was, he seemed very far away. And as when a bearded lion, a
    ravening lion on the hills, hears the bleating of a fawn afar off
    and rushes forth from his lair to seize it, his readiest meal,
    even so the mighty Heracles, in longing for the lad, sped through
    the trackless briars and ranged over much country.

    Reckless are lovers: great toils did Heracles bear, in hills
    and thickets wandering; and Jason's quest was all postponed to
    this....

    Thus loveliest Hylas is numbered with the Blessed; but for a
    runaway they girded at Heracles--the heroes--because he roamed
    from Argo of the sixty oarsmen. But on foot he came to Colchis
    and inhospitable Phasis.

=160. The Rescue of Daphnis.=[221] Daphnis was the ideal Sicilian
shepherd and to him was ascribed the invention of pastoral story and
song. His father was Hermes (Mercury); his mother, a nymph who laid
him when an infant in a charming valley in a laurel grove from which
he received his name,[222] and on account of which Apollo loved him
and endowed him with the gift of idyllic verse. He was brought up by
nymphs and shepherds, and, avoiding the noisy haunts of men, he tended
his flocks on Mount Ætna, winter and summer. He loved a maiden named
Piplea, but she was borne away by robbers. He followed them to Phrygia,
and there found his sweetheart in the power of the king of that realm,
Lityerses. This Lityerses had a pleasant custom of making strangers try
a contest with him in reaping corn. If he overcame them, he cut off
their heads in the evening and concealed their bodies in the sheaves,
singing a comfortable song meanwhile. In order to win back Piplea,
Daphnis entered upon the reaping contest with the king and made himself
comfortable, too, by singing a harvest song meanwhile. But Lityerses
surpassed him at the work and was about to put him to death, singing
no doubt a comfortable song of the reaper, Death, meanwhile,--when
suddenly Hercules appeared upon the scene. He doesn't seem to have
spent much time singing: he assured Daphnis of his head by cutting
off that of the pleasant king; and then he threw the body into the
river Mæander. Daphnis regained his Piplea and one would suppose that
they lived happy ever after. Another story, unfortunately, relates
events in which Piplea's name does not occur. A Naiad fell in love with
the handsome shepherd and made him promise eternal fidelity to her,
threatening him with blindness if he violated his vow. It was hard for
poor Daphnis, for nearly every lass he met made love to him. At last a
princess intoxicated him and he forgot his vow. Immediately the Naiad
showed the quality of her love by striking him blind. He consoled
himself for a while by singing his songs and playing the flute as he
wandered from place to place. Then weary, he called on his father for
aid. Mercury accordingly transported him to heaven and caused a well
to gush forth on the spot from which he ascended. Here the Sicilians
offered yearly sacrifice in his honor.

Theocritus gives us a Lityerses song as he undoubtedly used to hear it
sung by the harvesters of the country-side in Sicily:[223]

    Demeter, rich in fruit and rich in grain, may this corn be easy
        to win and fruitful exceedingly!
    Bind, ye binders, the sheaves, lest the wayfarer should cry, "Men
        of straw were the workers here; aye, and their hire was wasted!"
    See that the cut stubble faces the North wind, or the West;--'tis
        thus that the grain waxes richest.
    They that thresh corn should shun the noonday sleep; at noon the
        chaff parts easiest from the straw.
    As for the reapers, let them begin when the crested lark is
        waking, and cease when he sleeps, but take holiday in the heat.
    Lads, the frog has a jolly life: he is not cumbered about a
        butler to his drink; for he has liquor by him unstinted!
    Boil the lentils better, thou miserly steward; take heed lest
        thou chop thy fingers, when thou'rt splitting cummin seed.

When Matthew Arnold is writing of the death of his dear friend, the
poet, Arthur Hugh Clough, who died in Italy,[224] he says:

          And now in happier air,
    Wandering with the great Mother's train divine....
    Within a folding of the Apennine,

    Thou hearest the immortal chants of old!
      Putting his sickle to the perilous grain
        In the hot cornfield of the Phrygian king,
    For thee the Lityerses song again
      Young Daphnis with his silver voice doth sing;
          Sings his Sicilian fold,
    His sheep, his hapless love, his blinded eyes:--
      And how a call celestial round him rang,
      And heavenward from the fountain-brink he sprang,--
    And all the marvel of the golden skies!

=161. The Expedition against Laomedon.= After his servitude under
Omphale was ended, Hercules sailed with eighteen ships against Troy.
For Laomedon, king of that realm, had refused to give Hercules the
horses of Neptune, which he had promised in gratitude for the rescue of
his daughter Hesione from the sea-monster.[225] The hero, overcoming
Troy, placed a son of Laomedon, Priam, upon the throne, and gave
Hesione to Telamon, who, with Peleus, Oïcles, and other Greek heroes,
had accompanied him. Also worthy of mention among the exploits of
Hercules were his successful expeditions against Pylos and Sparta,
his victory over the giants, his struggle with Death for the body
and life of Alcestis,[226] and his delivery, according to prophecy,
of Prometheus, who until that time had remained in chains upon the
Caucasian Mountains.[227]

=162. The Death of Hercules.= Finally, the hero married Dejanira,
daughter of [OE]neus of Calydon and sister of Meleager of the
Calydonian hunt. With her he lived three prosperous years. But on one
occasion, as they journeyed together, they came to a river across
which the centaur Nessus carried travelers for a stated fee. Hercules
proceeded to ford the river and gave Dejanira to Nessus to be carried
across. Nessus, however, attempted to make off with her; whereupon
Hercules, hearing her cries, shot an arrow into his heart. The centaur,
as he died, bade Dejanira take a portion of his blood and keep it,
saying that it might be used as a charm to preserve the love of her
husband. Dejanira did so. Before long, jealous of Hercules' fondness
for Iole of [OE]chalia, a captive maiden, she steeped a sacrificial
robe of her husband's in the blood of Nessus. As soon as the garment
became warm on the body of Hercules, the poison penetrated his limbs.
In his frenzy he seized Lichas, who had brought him the fatal robe,
and hurled him into the sea; then tried to wrench off the garment, but
it stuck to his flesh and tore away whole pieces of his body.

[Illustration: FIG. 129. HERCULES AND NESSUS]

    Alcides, from [OE]chalia crowned
    With conquest, felt the envenomed robe, and tore,
    Through pain, up by the roots Thessalian pines,
    And Lichas from the top of [OE]ta threw
    Into the Euboic Sea.[228]

[Illustration: THE WEDDING OF HERCULES AND HEBE]

In this state he embarked on board a ship and was conveyed home.
Dejanira, on seeing what she had unwittingly done, hanged herself.
Hercules, prepared to die, ascended Mount [OE]ta, where he built a
funeral pile of trees, gave his bow and arrows to Philoctetes,[229] and
laid himself upon the pile, his head resting on his club and his lion's
skin spread over him. With a countenance as serene as if he were taking
his place at a festal board, he commanded Philoctetes to apply the
torch. The flames spread apace, and soon invested the whole mass.[230]

The gods themselves grieved to see the champion of the earth so brought
to his end. But Jupiter took care that only his mother's part in him
should perish by the flames. The immortal element, derived from Jupiter
himself, was translated to heaven; and by the consent of the gods--even
of reluctant Juno--Hercules was admitted as a deity to the ranks of the
immortals. The white-armed queen of heaven was finally reconciled to
the offspring of Alcmene. She adopted him for her son and gave him in
marriage her daughter Hebe.

    Deep degraded to a coward's slave,
    Endless contests bore Alcides brave,
    Through the thorny path of suffering led;
    Slew the Hydra, crushed the lion's might,
    Threw himself, to bring his friend to light,
    Living, in the skiff that bears the dead.
    All the torments, every toil of earth,
    Juno's hatred on him could impose,
    Well he bore them, from his fated birth
    To life's grandly mournful close.

    Till the god, the earthly part forsaken,
    From the man in flames asunder taken,
    Drank the heavenly ether's purer breath.
    Joyous in the new unwonted lightness,
    Soared he upwards to celestial brightness,
    Earth's dark heavy burden lost in death.
    High Olympus gives harmonious greeting
    To the hall where reigns his sire adored;
    Youth's bright goddess, with a blush at meeting,
    Gives the nectar to her lord.[231]

In the tragedy called The Maidens of Trachis, Sophocles describes this
hero as "The noblest man of all the earth, of whom thou ne'er shalt
see the like again." To some of us the manner of his earthly end may
seem unworthy; but the Greek poets teach that, in the unabated vigor of
one's powers, serenely to meet and accept one's doom is the happiest
death. This view is well expressed by Matthew Arnold in the following
fragment of a Greek chorus sung with reference to the death of Hercules:

    O frivolous mind of man,
    Light ignorance, and hurrying, unsure thoughts!
    Though man bewails you not,
      How _I_ bewail you!...

    For you will not put on
    New hearts with the inquirer's holy robe,
    And purged, considerate minds.

    And him on whom, at the end
    Of toil and dolor untold,
    The Gods have said that repose
    At last shall descend undisturb'd--
    Him you expect to behold
    In an easy old age, in a happy home;
    No end but this you praise.

    But him, on whom, in the prime
    Of life, with vigor undimm'd,
    With unspent mind, and a soul
    Unworn, undebased, undecay'd,
    Mournfully grating, the gates
    Of the city of death have forever closed--
    _Him_, I count _him_, well-starr'd.[232]

Here we take leave for a time of the descendants of Inachus. We shall
revert to them in the stories of Minos of Crete and of the house of
Labdacus.

FOOTNOTES:

[199] § 21, and Commentary, § 57.

[200] For references to genealogical tables, see Commentary, § 148.

[201] Apollodorus, 2, 1, § 5, etc.; Pausanias; Ovid, Heroides, 14;
Horace, Odes, 3; 11; 23.

[202] Simonides of Ceos, also Apollodorus, Pausanias, and Hyginus
(Fables).

[203] Ovid, Metam. 4, 608-739; 5, 1-249.

[204] For Gorgons and Grææ, see § 52.

[205] William Morris, The Doom of King Acrisius, in The Earthly
Paradise.

[206] William Morris, The Doom of King Acrisius, in The Earthly
Paradise.

[207] From Shelley's lines On the Medusa of Leonardo Da Vinci in the
Florentine Gallery.

[208] Milton, Il Penseroso, l. 19.

[209] From Charles Kingsley's Andromeda.

[210] Milman, Samor.

[211] Milton, Comus.

[212] Iliad, 6, 155-202; Apollodorus, 1, 9, § 3; Horace, Odes, 4; 11;
26.

[213] See Commentary, §§ 103, 155.

[214] Authorities are Homer,--Iliad and Odyssey; Theocritus 24; 25,
etc.; Apollodorus, 2, 4, § 7, etc.; Sophocles, Women of Trachis;
Euripides, Hercules Furens; Ovid, Metam. 9, 102-272; Seneca,--Hercules
Furens and [OE]tæus; Hyginus, etc.

[215] § 172.

[216] Atlas and the heavens, § 153.

[217] § 180.

[218] § 160.

[219] § 173.

[220] Theocritus. Idyl XIII (Lang's translation).

[221] Theocritus, Idyl X, 41, and the Scholia; Virgil, Bucol. 5; 8; 10;
and Comments.

[222] See the story of Daphne.

[223] Theocritus, Idyl X (Lang's translation).

[224] Thyrsis.

[225] § 119.

[226] § 83.

[227] § 15.

[228] Milton.

[229] See § 220. According to Sophocles, Philoctetes' father P[oe]as
applied the torch.

[230] See the spirited poems, Deïaneira and Herakles, in the classical,
but too little read, Epic of Hades, by Lewis Morris.

[231] Schiller's Ideal and Life. Translated by S. G. Bulfinch, brother
of Thomas Bulfinch.

[232] From Fragment of Chorus of a "Dejaneira."

[Illustration: FIG. 130. THE BUILDING OF THE ARGO]



CHAPTER XV

THE FAMILY OF ÆOLUS


=163. Descendants of Deucalion.= Athamas, brother of Sisyphus, was
descended from Æolus, whose father, Hellen, was the son of Deucalion
of Thessaly. Athamas had by his wife Nephele two children, Phrixus and
Helle. After a time, growing indifferent to his wife, Athamas put her
away and took Ino, the daughter of Cadmus. The unfortunate sequel of
this second marriage we have already seen.[233]

Nephele, apprehending danger to her children from the influence of
their stepmother, took measures to put them out of her reach. Mercury
gave her a ram with a golden fleece, on which she set the two children.
Vaulting into the air, the animal took his course to the east; but
when he was crossing the strait that divides Europe and Asia, the girl
Helle fell from his back into the sea, which from her was afterward
called the Hellespont--now the Dardanelles. The ram safely landed the
boy Phrixus in Colchis, where he was hospitably received by Æetes, the
king of that country. Phrixus sacrificed the ram to Jupiter, but the
fleece he gave to Æetes, who placed it in a consecrated grove under the
care of a sleepless dragon.[234]

=164. The Quest of the Golden Fleece.=[235] Another realm in Thessaly,
near to that of Athamas, was ruled over by his nephew Æson. Æson,
although he had a son Jason, surrendered the crown to a half brother,
Pelias,[236] on condition that he should hold it only during the
minority of the lad. This young Jason was, by the way, a second cousin
of Bellerophon and of the Atalanta who ran against Hippomenes, and a
first cousin of Admetus, the husband of Alcestis.[237] When, however,
Jason, being grown up, came to demand the crown, his uncle Pelias
with wily intent suggested to him the glorious quest of the golden
fleece. Jason, pleased with the thought, forthwith made preparations
for the expedition. At that time the only species of navigation known
to the Greeks consisted of small boats or canoes hollowed out from
trunks of trees; when, accordingly, Jason employed Argus to build a
vessel capable of containing fifty men, it was considered a gigantic
undertaking. The vessel was named _Argo_, probably after its builder.
Jason soon found himself at the head of a bold band of comrades, many
of whom afterward were renowned among the heroes and demigods of Greece.

    From every region of Ægea's shore
    The brave assembled; those illustrious twins
    Castor and Pollux; Orpheus, tuneful bard;
    Zetes and Calaïs, as the wind in speed;
    Strong Hercules and many a chief renowned.
    On deep Iolcos' sandy shore they thronged,
    Gleaming in armor, ardent of exploits,--
    And soon, the laurel cord and the huge stone
    Uplifting to the deck, unmoored the bark;
    Whose keel of wondrous length the skillful hand
    Of Argus fashioned for the proud attempt;
    And in the extended keel a lofty mast
    Upraised, and sails full swelling; to the chiefs
    Unwonted objects. Now first, now they learned
    Their bolder steerage over ocean wave,
    Led by the golden stars, as Chiron's art
    Had marked the sphere celestial.[238]

Theseus, Meleager, Peleus, and Nestor were also among these Argonauts,
or sailors of the _Argo_. The ship with her crew of heroes left
the shores of Thessaly, and touching at the island of Lemnos,
thence crossed to Mysia and thence to Thrace. Here they found the
sage Phineus, who instructed the Argonauts how they might pass the
Symplegades, or Clashing Islands, at the entrance of the Euxine Sea.
When they reached these islands they, accordingly, let go a dove, which
took her way between the rocks and passed in safety, only losing some
feathers of her tail. Jason and his men, seizing the favorable moment
of the rebound, plied their oars with vigor and passed safe through,
though the islands closed behind them and actually grazed the stern of
the vessel. They then rowed along the shore till they arrived at the
eastern end of the sea, and so landed in the kingdom of Colchis.

[Illustration: FIG. 131. JASON CONQUERS THE BULLS AND STEALS THE FLEECE]

Jason made known his message to the Colchian king, Æetes, who consented
to give up the golden fleece on certain conditions, namely, that Jason
should yoke to the plow two fire-breathing bulls with brazen feet,
and that he then should sow the teeth of the dragon that Cadmus had
slain. Jason, although it was well known that a crop of armed men
would spring up from the teeth, destined to turn their weapons against
their producer, accepted the conditions, and a time was set for the
undertaking. The hero, however, wisely spent the interval in wooing
Medea, the daughter of Æetes; and with such success that they plighted
troth before the altar of Hecate. The princess then furnished her hero
with a charm which should aid him in the contest to come.

Accordingly, when the momentous day was arrived, Jason with calmness
encountered the fire-breathing monsters and speedily yoked them to the
plow. The Colchians stood in amazement; the Greeks shouted for joy.
Next, the hero proceeded to sow the dragon's teeth and plow them in.
Up sprang, according to prediction, the crop of armed men, brandished
aloft their weapons, and rushed upon Jason. The Greeks trembled for
their hero. Medea herself grew pale with fear. The hero himself for a
time, with sword and shield, kept his assailants at bay; but he surely
would have been overwhelmed by the numbers, had he not resorted to
a charm which Medea had taught him: seizing a stone, he threw it in
the midst of his foes. Immediately they turned their arms against one
another, and soon there was not one of the dragon's brood alive.

It remained only to lull to sleep the dragon that guarded the fleece.
This was done by scattering over him a few drops of a preparation
which, again, Medea had supplied. Jason then seized the fleece, and,
with his friends and his sweetheart accompanying, hastened to the
vessel. It is said that, in order to delay the pursuit of her father
Æetes, Medea tore to pieces her young brother Absyrtus and strewed
fragments of him along the line of their flight. The ruse succeeded.

=165. The Return of the Argonauts.= On their way home the Argonauts
beat a devious course, sailing after other dangers had been overcome,
by the island that the Sirens infested. And here the heroes would
have hung their halsers and remained, had not Orpheus vanquished the
seductive strains of the sea-muses with his own more melodious and
persuasive song.[239]

    Oh, happy seafarers are ye
      And surely all your ills are past,
    And toil upon the land and sea,
      Since ye are brought to us at last;

chanted the Sirens, promising long rest and the kingdoms of sleep.

    But now, but now, when ye have lain
      Asleep with us a little while
    Beneath the washing of the main,
      How calm shall be your waking smile!

Then Orpheus replied, encouraging his men:

    A little more, a little more,
      O carriers of the Golden Fleece!
    A little labor with the oar,
      Before we reach the land of Greece.

    E'en now, perchance, faint rumors reach
      Men's ears of this our victory,
    And draw them down upon the beach
      To gaze across the empty sea.

Again the Sirens:

    Alas! and will ye stop your ears,
      In vain desire to do aught,
    And wish to live 'mid cares and fears,
      Until the last fear makes you nought?

But Orpheus, reminding the rowers of home and love and joy:

    Is not the May-time now on earth,
      When close against the city wall
    The folks are singing in their mirth,
      While on their heads the May flowers fall?

carried them past triumphant.

The Argonauts arrived safe in Thessaly. Jason delivered the fleece to
Pelias, and dedicated the _Argo_ to Neptune.

=166. Medea and Æson.=[240] Medea's career as a sorceress was, by no
means, completed. At Jason's request she undertook next to restore his
aged father Æson to the vigor of youth. To the full moon she addressed
her incantations, to the stars, to Hecate, to Tellus, the goddess of
the earth. In a chariot borne aloft by dragons she traversed the fields
of air to regions where flourished potent plants, which only she knew
how to select. Nine nights she employed in her search, and during that
period shunned all intercourse with mortals.

[Illustration: FIG. 132. MEDEA]

Next she erected two altars, the one to Hecate, the other to Hebe,
and sacrificed a black sheep,--pouring libations of milk and wine.
She implored Pluto and his stolen bride to spare the old man's life.
Then she directed that Æson be led forth; and throwing him into a deep
sleep, she laid him on a bed of herbs, like one dead. No eye profane
looked upon her mysteries. With streaming hair thrice she moved round
the altars, dipped flaming twigs in the blood, and laid them thereon
to burn. Meanwhile, the caldron with its contents was preparing. In
it she put magic herbs, with seeds and flowers of acrid juice, stones
from the distant East, and sand from the shore of all-surrounding
ocean, hoar-frost gathered by moonlight, a screech owl's head and
wings, and the entrails of a wolf. She added fragments of the shells
of tortoises and the liver of stags--animals tenacious of life--and
the head and beak of a crow, which outlives nine generations of men.
These, with many other things "without a name," she boiled together for
her purposed work, stirring them with a dry olive branch. The branch,
when taken out, instantly was green and erelong was covered with leaves
and a plentiful growth of young olives; and as the liquor boiled and
bubbled and sometimes bubbled over, the grass wherever the sprinklings
fell leaped into verdure like that of spring.

Seeing that all was ready, Medea cut the throat of the old man, let
out his blood, and poured into his mouth and his wound the juices of
her caldron. As soon as he had completely imbibed them, his hair and
beard lost their whiteness and assumed the color of youth; his paleness
and emaciation were gone; his veins were full of blood, his limbs of
vigor and robustness; and Æson, on awakening, found himself forty years
younger.

[Illustration: FIG. 133. MEDEA AND DAUGHTERS OF PELIAS]

=167. Pelias.=[241] In another instance, Medea made her arts the
instrument of revenge. Pelias, the usurping uncle of Jason, still kept
him out of his heritage. But the daughters of Pelias wished Medea
to restore their father also to youth. Medea simulated consent, but
prepared her caldron for him in a new and singular way. She put in only
water and a few simple herbs. In the night she persuaded the daughters
of Pelias to kill him. They at first hesitated to strike, but Medea
chiding their irresolution, they turned away their faces and, giving
random blows, smote him with their weapons. Starting from his sleep,
the old man cried out, "My daughters, would you kill your father?"
Whereat their hearts failed them, and the weapons fell from their
hands. Medea, however, struck the fatal blow.

They placed him in the caldron, but, as might be expected, with no
success. Medea herself had taken care to escape before they discovered
the treachery. She had, however, little profit of the fruits of her
crime. Jason, for whom she had sacrificed so much, put her away, for he
wished to marry Creüsa, princess of Corinth. Whereupon Medea, enraged
at his ingratitude, called on the gods for vengeance; then, sending a
poisoned robe as a gift to the bride, killing her own children, and
setting fire to the palace, she mounted her serpent-drawn chariot and
fled to Athens. There she married King Ægeus, the father of Theseus;
and we shall meet her again when we come to the adventures of that
hero.[242]

The incantation of Medea readily suggests that of the witches in
Macbeth:

    Round about the caldron go;
    In the poison'd entrails throw.--
    Toad, that under cold stone
    Days and nights has thirty-one
    Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
    Boil thou first i' the charmèd pot....
    Fillet of a fenny snake
    In the caldron boil and bake;
    Eye of newt and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
    Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
    Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,--
    For a charm of powerful trouble
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble....
    Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
    Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
    Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
    Root of hemlock digged i' the dark....
    Make the gruel thick and slab.[243]

FOOTNOTES:

[233] § 144.

[234] Apollodorus, 1, 9, § 1; Apollonius Rhodius, 1, 927.

[235] Ovid, Metam. 6, 667; 7, 143. The Argonautica of Apollonius of
Rhodes.

[236] See § 120.

[237] See Table G, Commentary, § 103.

[238] Dyer, The Fleece.

[239] William Morris, Life and Death of Jason.

[240] Ovid, Metam. 7, 143-293.

[241] Ovid, Metam. 7, 297-353.

[242] § 176.

[243] Macbeth, IV, i. Consult.



CHAPTER XVI

THE FAMILY OF ÆTOLUS AND ITS CONNECTIONS


=168. The Calydonian Hunt.=[244] One of the heroes of the Argonautic
expedition had been Meleager, a son of [OE]neus and Althæa, rulers
of Calydon in Ætolia. His parents were cousins, descended from a son
of Endymion named Ætolus, who had colonized that realm. By ties of
kinship and marriage they were allied with many historic figures. Their
daughter Dejanira had become, as we have already noted, the wife of
Hercules; while Leda, the sister of Althæa, was mother of Castor and
Pollux,[245] and of Clytemnestra and Helen, intimately concerned in the
Trojan War.

When her son Meleager was born, Althæa had beheld the three Destinies,
who, as they spun their fatal thread, foretold that the life of the
child should last no longer than a certain brand then burning upon the
hearth. Althæa seized and quenched the brand, and carefully preserved
it while Meleager grew to boyhood, youth, and man's estate. It chanced,
then, that [OE]neus, offering sacrifices to the gods, omitted to pay
due honors to Diana; wherefore she, indignant at the neglect, sent a
boar of enormous size to lay waste the fields of Calydon. Meleager
called on the heroes of Greece to join in a hunt for the ravenous
monster. Theseus and his friend Pirithoüs,[246] Jason, Peleus the
father of Achilles, Telamon the father of Ajax, Nestor, then a youth,
but who in his age bore arms with Achilles and Ajax in the Trojan
War,[247]--these and many more joined in the enterprise. With them
came, also, Atalanta, the daughter of Iasius, of the race of Callisto,--

    Arcadian Atalanta, snowy-souled,
    Fair as the snow and footed as the wind.[248]

A buckle of polished gold confined her vest, an ivory quiver hung on
her left shoulder, and her left hand bore the bow. Her face blended
feminine beauty with the graces of martial youth. Meleager saw and,
with chivalric reverence, somewhat thus addressed her:

    For thy name's sake and awe toward thy chaste head,
    O holiest Atalanta! no man dares
    Praise thee, though fairer than whom all men praise,
    And godlike for thy grace of hallowed hair
    And holy habit of thine eyes, and feet
    That make the blown foam neither swift nor white,
    Though the wind winnow and whirl it; yet we praise
    Gods, found because of thee adorable
    And for thy sake praiseworthiest from all men:
    Thee therefore we praise also, thee as these,
    Pure, and a light lit at the hands of gods.[249]

[Illustration: FIG. 134. MELEAGER ON THE BOAR HUNT]

But there was no time then for love; on to the hunt they pushed. To
the hunt went also Plexippus and Toxeus, brothers of Queen Althæa,
braggarts, envious of Meleager. Speedily the hunters drew near the
monster's lair. They stretched strong nets from tree to tree; they
uncoupled their dogs; they sought the footprints of their quarry in the
grass. From the wood was a descent to marshy ground. Here the boar, as
he lay among the reeds, heard the shouts of his pursuers and rushed
forth against them. One and another is thrown down and slain. Jason,
Nestor, Telamon open the attack, but in vain.

     ... Then all abode save one,
    The Arcadian Atalanta: from her side
    Sprang her hounds, laboring at the leash, and slipped,
    And plashed ear-deep with plunging feet; but she
    Saying, "Speed it as I send it for thy sake,
    Goddess," drew bow and loosed; the sudden string
    Rang, and sprang inward, and the waterish air
    Hissed, and the moist plumes of the songless reeds
    Moved as a wave which the wind moves no more.
    But the boar heaved half out of ooze and slime,
    His tense flank trembling round the barbèd wound,
    Hateful; and fiery with invasive eyes,
    And bristling with intolerable hair,
    Plunged, and the hounds clung, and green flowers and white
    Reddened and broke all round them where they came.[1]

It was a slight wound, but Meleager saw and joyfully proclaimed it. The
attack was renewed. Peleus, Amphiaraüs, Theseus, Jason, hurled their
lances. Ancæus was laid low by a mortal wound. But Meleager,--

    Rock-rooted, fair with fierce and fastened lips,
    Clear eyes and springing muscle and shortening limb--
    With chin aslant indrawn to a tightening throat,
    Grave, and with gathered sinews, like a god,--
    Aimed on the left side his well-handled spear,
    Grasped where the ash was knottiest hewn, and smote,
    And with no missile wound, the monstrous boar
    Right in the hairiest hollow of his hide,
    Under the last rib, sheer through bulk and bone,
    Deep in; and deeply smitten, and to death,
    The heavy horror with his hanging shafts
    Leapt, and fell furiously, and from raging lips
    Foamed out the latest wrath of all his life.[250]

Then rose a shout from those around; they glorified the
conqueror,--crowded to touch his hand. But he, placing his foot upon
the head of the slain boar, turned to Atalanta, and bestowed on her
the head and the rough hide--trophies of his success. Thereat she
laughed--

    Lit with a low blush to the braided hair,
    And rose-colored and cold like very dawn,
    Golden and godlike, chastely with chaste lips,
    A faint grave laugh; and all they held their peace,
    And she passed by them. Then one cried, "Lo now,
    Shall not the Arcadian shoot out lips at us,
    Saying all we were despoiled by this one girl?"
    And all they rode against her violently
    And cast the fresh crown from her hair, and now
    They had rent her spoil away, dishonoring her,
    Save that Meleager, as a tame lion chafed,
    Bore on them, broke them, and as fire cleaves wood,
    So clove and drove them, smitten in twain; but she
    Smote not nor heaved up hand; and this man first,
    Plexippus, crying out, "This for love's sake, Sweet,"
    Drove at Meleager, who with spear straightening
    Pierced his cheek through; then Toxeus made for him,
    Dumb, but his spear shake; vain and violent words,
    Fruitless; for him, too, stricken through both sides
    The earth felt falling....
    ... And these being slain,
    None moved, nor spake.[251]

Of this fearful sequel to the hunt, Althæa has heard nothing. As she
bears thank offering to the temples for the victory of her son, the
bodies of her murdered brothers meet her sight. She shrieks, and beats
her breast, and hastens to change the garments of joy for those of
mourning. But when the author of the deed is known, grief gives way
to the stern desire of vengeance on her son. The fatal brand, which
the Destinies have linked with Meleager's life, she brings forth. She
commands a fire to be prepared. Four times she essays to place the
brand upon the pile; four times draws back, shuddering before the
destruction of her son. The feelings of the mother and the sister
contend within her. Now she is pale at the thought of the purposed
deed, now flushed again with anger at the violence of her offspring.
Finally, the sister prevails over the mother:--turning away her face,
she throws the fatal wood upon the burning pile. Meleager, absent and
unconscious of the cause, feels a sudden pang. He burns; he calls upon
those whom he loves, Atalanta and his mother. But speedily the brand
is ashes, and the life of Meleager is breathed forth to the wandering
winds.

When at last the deed was done, the mother laid violent hands upon
herself.

[Illustration: FIG. 135. THE DEATH OF MELEAGER]

=169. Merope.= A heroine connected by blood with Atalanta was
Merope,[252] daughter of king Cypselus of Arcadia, and descended from
Arcas, the son of Callisto and Jupiter. On account of her relationship
to Atalanta her story may be told here, though she is not a member of
the family of Ætolus. Her husband, Cresphontes the Heraclid, king of
Messenia, had been slain with two of his sons by rebellious nobles;
and one Polyphontes, leader of the revolt, reigned in his stead and
took Merope to wife. But her third son by Cresphontes, Æpytus, had been
concealed by her in Arcadia. Thence, in due season, he returned unknown
to her, with the purpose of wreaking vengeance on the murderers of his
sire. He pretended to have slain Æpytus, and so as a stranger won the
favor of Polyphontes, but came near losing his life at his mother's
hands. A recognition being happily effected, Æpytus, aided by his
mother, put Polyphontes to death and took possession of the kingdom.
This story has been frequently dramatized, first by Euripides in a
lost play called Cresphontes, and most recently by Matthew Arnold,
whose Merope is a masterpiece of classical invention and of poetic
execution.

=170. Castor and Pollux.= Leda, the sister of Althæa and aunt of
Meleager, bore to Tyndareus, king of Sparta, Castor and Clytemnestra.
To Jove she bore Pollux and Helen. Pollux and Castor--one, the son
of a god and immortal, the other, of mortal breed and destiny--are
famous for their fraternal affection. Endowed with various manly
virtues,--Castor a horse-tamer, Pollux a boxer,--they made all
expeditions in common. Together they joined the Calydonian hunt.
Together they accompanied the Argonauts. During the voyage to Colchis
it is said that, a storm arising, Orpheus prayed to the Samothracian
gods and played on his harp, and that when the storm ceased, stars
appeared on the heads of the brothers. Hence they came to be honored as
patrons of voyagers.

They rendered, indeed, noteworthy service to the Argonauts returning
from Colchis with Medea and the Golden Fleece. For when the voyagers
attempted a landing at Crete they were confronted by the gigantic
warder of the island. This was Talus, a form of living brass, fashioned
by Hephæstus (Vulcan) and presented to King Minos, about whose Cretan
domain he made his rounds three times a day. Ordinarily when Talus saw
voyagers nearing the coast he fired himself red-hot and embraced them
as they landed. For some reason he did not welcome the Argonauts in
this warm fashion, but

            Whirling with resistless sway
    Rocks sheer uprent, repels them from the bay.[1]

Medea, objecting to the volley of stones, resorts to necromantic spells:

    Thrice she applies the power of magic prayer,
    Thrice, hellward bending, mutters charms in air;
    Then, turning toward the foe, bids Mischief fly,
    And looks Destruction as she points her eye.[253]

Maddened, as might be surmised, by so insidious and unaccustomed a form
of attack, the Man of Brass "tears up whole hills to crush his foes";
then fleeing in sudden panic, he is overcome by the stupor of the
enchantment and taken captive by Castor and Pollux. He had in his body
only one vein, and that plugged on the crown of his head with a nail.
Medea drew out the stopper.

At a later period when Theseus and his friend Pirithoüs had carried off
Helen from Sparta, the youthful heroes, Castor and Pollux, with their
followers hasted to the rescue. Theseus being absent from Attica, the
brothers recovered their sister. Later still, we find Castor and Pollux
engaged in a combat with Idas and Lynceus of Messene, some say over the
daughters of Leucippus, others, over a herd of oxen. Castor was slain;
but Pollux, inconsolable for the loss of his brother, besought Jupiter
to be permitted to give his own life as a ransom for him. Jupiter so
far consented as to allow the two brothers to enjoy the boon of life
alternately, each spending one day under the earth and the next in the
heavenly abodes. According to another version, Jupiter rewarded the
attachment of the brothers by placing them among the stars as Gemini,
the Twins. They received heroic honors as the _Tyndaridæ_ (sons of
Tyndareus); divine honors they received under the name of _Dioscuri_
(sons of Jove).[254]

=171. The Twin Brethren among the Romans.= In Rome they were honored
with a temple in the Forum and made the patrons of knighthood because
of the assistance they rendered in the battle of Lake Regillus. In the
moment of dire distress they had appeared, a princely pair:

    So like they were, no mortal
      Might one from other know;
    White as snow their armor was,
      Their steeds were white as snow.
    Never on earthly anvil
      Did such rare armor gleam,
    And never did such gallant steeds
      Drink of an earthly stream.

    And all who saw them trembled,
      And pale grew every cheek;
    And Aulus the Dictator
      Scarce gathered voice to speak:
    "Say by what name men call you?
      What city is your home?
    And wherefore ride ye in such guise
      Before the ranks of Rome?"

[Illustration: FIG. 136. CASTOR AND POLLUX CAPTURING THE GIANT TALUS

(Left portion)]

"By many names," they answered,--

    "By many names men call us;
      In many lands we dwell:
    Well Samothracia knows us;
      Cyrene knows us well;
    Our house in gay Tarentum
      Is hung each morn with flowers;
    High o'er the masts of Syracuse
      Our marble portal towers;
    But by the brave Eurotas
      Is our dear native home;
    And for the right we come to fight
      Before the ranks of Rome."

After the battle was won they were the first to bear the tidings to the
city. With joy the people acclaimed them,--

    But on rode these strange horsemen,
      With slow and lordly pace;
    And none who saw their bearing
      Durst ask their name or race.
    On rode they to the Forum,
      While laurel boughs and flowers,
    From housetops and from windows,
      Fell on their crests in showers.
    When they drew nigh to Vesta,
      They vaulted down amain,
    And washed their horses in the well
      That springs by Vesta's fane.
    And straight again they mounted,
      And rode to Vesta's door;
    Then, like a blast, away they passed,
      And no man saw them more....

    And Sergius the High Pontiff
      Alone found voice to speak:
    "The gods who live forever
      Have fought for Rome to-day!
    These be the Great Twin Brethren
      To whom the Dorians pray.
    Back comes the chief in triumph
      Who, in the hour of fight,
    Hath seen the Great Twin Brethren
      In harness on his right.
    Safe comes the ship to haven,
      Through billows and through gales
    If once the Great Twin Brethren
      Sit shining on the sails....
    Here, hard by Vesta's temple,
      Build we a stately dome
    Unto the Great Twin Brethren
      Who fought so well for Rome!"[255]

[Illustration: FIG. 137. CASTOR AND POLLUX CAPTURING THE GIANT TALUS

(Right portion)]

For many a year the procession, in which the knights, olive-wreathed
and purple-robed, marched in honor of the Twin Brethren, continued to
be held; and still there stand three columns of their temple above the
pool of Juturna and Vesta's ruined shrine.

FOOTNOTES:

[244] Ovid, Metam. 8, 260-546.

[245] § 170.

[246] § 180.

[247] Chapter XXI.

[248] From Swinburne's Atalanta in Calydon.

[249] From Swinburne's Atalanta in Calydon.

[250] From Swinburne's Atalanta in Calydon.

[251] From Swinburne's Atalanta in Calydon.

[252] Hyginus, Fab. 184; Apollodorus, 2, 8; Pausanias, 2, 18; 4, 3,
etc.; Aristotle, Poetics, 14, 9.

[253] Apollonius Rhodius, 4, 1629 (Broome's translation). See also
Apollodorus, 1; 9, 26.

[254] Hyginus, Fab. 80; Ovid, Fasti, 100. Theocritus, Idyl XXII, gives
a different version.

[255] Macaulay, Lays of Ancient Rome, The Battle of Lake Regillus.



CHAPTER XVII

THE HOUSE OF MINOS


=172. Minos of Crete= was a descendant of Inachus in the sixth
generation. A son of Jupiter and Europa, he was, after death,
transferred, with his brother Rhadamanthus and with King Æacus, to
Hades, where the three became judges of the Shades. This is the Minos
mentioned by Homer and Hesiod,--the eminent lawgiver. Of his grandson,
Minos II, it is related that when aiming at the crown of Crete, he
boasted of his power to obtain by prayer whatever he desired, and as
a test, he implored Neptune to send him a bull for sacrifice. The
bull appeared, but Minos, astonished at its great beauty, declined
to sacrifice the brute. Neptune, therefore incensed, drove the bull
wild,--worse still, drove Pasiphaë, the wife of Minos, wild with
love of it. The wonderful brute was finally caught and overcome by
Hercules, who rode it through the waves to Greece. But its offspring,
the Minotaur, a monster bull-headed and man-bodied, remained for many
a day a terror to Crete, till finally a famous artificer, Dædalus,
constructed for him a labyrinth, with passages and turnings winding
in and about like the river Mæander, so that whoever was inclosed in
it might by no means find his way out. The Minotaur, roaming therein,
lived upon human victims. For it is said that, after Minos had subdued
Megara,[256] a tribute of seven youths and seven maidens was sent every
year from Athens to Crete to feed this monster; and it was not until
the days of Theseus of Athens that an end was put to both tribute and
Minotaur.[257]

=173. Dædalus and Icarus.=[258] Dædalus, who abetted the love of
Pasiphaë for the Cretan bull, afterwards lost the favor of Minos and
was imprisoned by him. Seeing no other way of escape, the artificer
made, out of feathers, wings for his son Icarus and himself, which he
fastened on with wax. Then poising themselves in the air, they flew
away. Icarus had been warned not to approach too near the sun, and
all went well till they had passed Samos and Delos on the left and
Lebynthos on the right. But then the boy, exulting in his career,
soared upward. The blaze of the torrid sun softened the waxen fastening
of his wings. Off they came, and down the lad dropped into the sea
which after him is named Icarian, even to this day.

[Illustration: FIG. 138. DÆDALUS AND ICARUS]

    ... With melting wax and loosened strings
    Sunk hapless Icarus on unfaithful wings;
    Headlong he rushed through the affrighted air,
    With limbs distorted and disheveled hair;
    His scattered plumage danced upon the wave,
    And sorrowing Nereïds decked his watery grave;
    O'er his pale corse their pearly sea flowers shed,
    And strewed with crimson moss his marble bed;
    Struck in their coral towers the passing bell,
    And wide in ocean tolled his echoing knell.[259]

The story, save for its tragic conclusion, reads like a remarkable
anticipation of the exploits of the Wright brothers, Blériot, and
Latham with the aëroplane to-day, or of Count Zeppelin with his
airships.

Dædalus, mourning his son, arrived finally in Sicily where, being
kindly received by King Cocalus, he built a temple to Apollo and hung
up his wings, an offering to the god. But Minos, having learned of the
hiding place of the artificer, followed him to Sicily with a great
fleet; and Dædalus would surely have perished, had not one of the
daughters of Cocalus disposed of Minos by scalding him to death while
he was bathing.

It is said that Dædalus could not bear the idea of a rival. His sister
had placed her son Perdix under his charge to be taught the mechanical
arts. He was an apt scholar and gave striking evidences of ingenuity.
Walking on the seashore, he picked up the spine of a fish, and,
imitating it in iron, invented the saw. He invented, also, a pair of
compasses. But Dædalus, envious of his nephew, pushed him off a tower
and killed him. Minerva, however, in pity of the boy, changed him into
a bird, the partridge, which bears his name.

To the descendants of Inachus we shall again return in the account of
the house of Labdacus.

FOOTNOTES:

[256] § 143.

[257] § 177. Apollodorus, 3, 1, § 3; 15, § 8; Pausanias, 1, 27, § 9,
etc.; Ovid, Metam. 7, 456.

[258] Virgil, Æneid, 6, 14-36; Ovid, Metam. 8, 152-259; Hyginus, Fab.
40, 44.

[259] Erasmus Darwin.



CHAPTER XVIII

THE HOUSE OF CECROPS AND ERICHTHONIUS


[Illustration: FIG. 139. THESEUS]

=174. From Cecrops[260] to Philomela.= Cecrops, half-snake, half-man,
came from Crete or Egypt into Attica, founded Athens, and chose
Minerva rather than Neptune as its guardian. His successor was
Erichthonius,[261] or Erechtheus, a snake-formed genius of the fertile
soil of Attica. This Erichthonius[262] was a special ward of the
goddess Minerva, who brought him up in her temple. His son Pandion
had two daughters, Procne and Philomela, of whom he gave the former
in marriage to Tereus, king of Thrace (or of Daulis in Phocis). This
ruler, after his wife had borne him a son Itys (or Itylus), wearied
of her, plucked out her tongue by the roots to insure her silence,
and, pretending that she was dead, took in marriage the other sister,
Philomela. Procne by means of a web, into which she wove her story,
informed Philomela of the horrible truth. In revenge upon Tereus, the
sisters killed Itylus and served up the child as food to the father;
but the gods, in indignation, transformed Procne into a swallow,
Philomela into a nightingale, forever bemoaning the murdered Itylus,
and Tereus into a hawk, forever pursuing the sisters.[263]

=175. Matthew Arnold's Philomela.=

    Hark! ah, the nightingale--
    The tawny-throated!
    Hark, from that moonlit cedar what a burst!
    What triumph! hark!--what pain!
    O wanderer from a Grecian shore,
    Still, after many years in distant lands,
    Still nourishing in thy bewilder'd brain
    That wild, unquench'd, deep-sunken, old-world pain--
    Say, will it never heal?
    And can this fragrant lawn
    With its cool trees, and night,
    And the sweet, tranquil Thames,
    And moonshine, and the dew,
    To thy rack'd heart and brain
    Afford no calm?

    Dost thou to-night behold,
    Here, through the moonlight on this English grass,
    The unfriendly palace in the Thracian wild?
    Dost thou again peruse,
    With hot cheeks and sear'd eyes,
    The too clear web, and thy dumb sister's shame?
    Dost thou once more assay
    Thy flight, and feel come over thee,
    Poor fugitive, the feathery change
    Once more, and once more seem to make resound
    With love and hate, triumph and agony,
    Lone Daulis, and the high Cephissian vale?
    Listen, Eugenia--
    How thick the bursts come crowding through the leaves!
    Again--thou hearest?
    Eternal passion!
    Eternal pain!

According to another version of this story, it was Philomela who was
robbed of her tongue and who wove the web by means of which the queen
Procne learned the truth.

=176. Theseus.=[264] A descendant of Erechtheus, or of Cecrops, was
Ægeus, king of Athens. By Æthra, granddaughter of Pelops, he became
the father of the Attic hero, Theseus. Ægeus, on parting from Æthra,
before the birth of the child, had placed his sword and shoes under
a large stone and had directed her to send the child to him if it
should prove strong enough to roll away the stone and take what was
under. The lad Theseus was brought up at Tr[oe]zen, of which Pittheus,
Æthra's father, was king. When Æthra thought the time had come, she
led Theseus to the stone. He removed it with ease and took the sword
and shoes. Since at that time the roads were infested with robbers,
his grandfather Pittheus pressed him earnestly to take the shorter and
safer way to his father's country, by sea; but the youth, feeling in
himself the spirit and soul of a hero and eager to signalize himself
like Hercules, determined on the more perilous and adventurous journey
by land.

[Illustration: FIG. 140. ÆTHRA AND THESEUS]

His first day's journey brought him to Epidaurus, where dwelt
Periphetes, a son of Vulcan. This ferocious savage always went armed
with a club of iron, and all travelers stood in terror of his violence;
but beneath the blows of the young hero he speedily fell.

Several similar contests with the petty tyrants and marauders of
the country followed, in all of which Theseus was victorious. Most
important was his slaughter of Procrustes, or the Stretcher. This giant
had an iron bedstead on which he used to tie all travelers who fell
into his hands. If they were shorter than the bed, he stretched them
till they fitted it; if they were longer than the bed, he lopped off
their limbs.

In the course of time Theseus reached Athens, but here new dangers
awaited him. For Medea, the sorceress, who had fled from Corinth after
her separation from Jason,[265] had become the wife of Ægeus. Knowing
by her arts who the stranger was, and fearing the loss of her influence
with her husband if Theseus should be acknowledged as his son, she
tried to poison the youth; but the sword which he wore discovered him
to his father and prevented the fatal draft. Medea fled to Asia, where
the country afterwards called Media is said to have received its name
from her. Theseus was acknowledged by his sire and declared successor
to the throne.

[Illustration: FIG. 141. THESEUS AND THE MINOTAUR]

=177. Theseus and= =Ariadne.=[266] Now the Athenians were at that
time in deep affliction on account of the tribute of youths and
maidens which they were forced to send to the Minotaur, dwelling in
the labyrinth of Crete,--a penalty said to have been imposed by Minos
upon the Athenians because Ægeus had sent Androgeüs, the son of Minos,
against the Marathonian bull and so had brought about the young man's
death.

From this calamity Theseus resolved to deliver his countrymen or to
die in the attempt. He, therefore, in spite of the entreaties of his
father, presented himself as champion of Athens and of her fair sons
and daughters, to do battle against the Minotaur, and departed with the
victims in a vessel bearing black sails, which he promised his father
to change for white in the event of his returning victorious. So,--

    Rather than cargo on cargo of corpses undead should be wafted[267]
    Over the ravening sea to the pitiless monster of Creta,--
    Leaving the curvèd strand Piræan, and wooing the breezes,
    Theseus furrowed the deep to the dome superb of the tyrant.
      Then as the maid Ariadne beheld him with glances of longing,--
    Princess royal of Creta Minoan, tender, sequestered,--
    Locked in a mother's embrace, in seclusion virginal, fragrant,
    Like some myrtle set by streaming ways of Eurotas,
    Like to the varied tints that Spring invites with her breezes,--
    Then, as with eager gaze she looked her first upon Theseus,
    Never a whit she lowered her eyes nor ceased to consume him,
    Ere to the core profound her breast with love was enkindled.
    --God-born boy, thou pitiless heart, provoker of madness,
    Mischievous, mingling care with the fleeting pleasure of mortals,--
    Goddess of Golgi, thou, frequenter of coverts Idalian,
    In what wildering seas ye tossed the impassionate maiden
    Ever a-sighing,--aye for the fair-haired stranger a-sighing!
    Ah, what ponderous fears oppressed her languishing bosom,
    How, more pallid than gold her countenance flashed into whiteness,
    What time Theseus marched unto death or to glory undying,
    Manful, minded to quell the imbruted might of the monster!

Not unaided, however, did he undertake the task; for Ariadne,
apprehensive lest he might lose his way in the dædalian labyrinth,
furnished him with a thread, the gift of Vulcan, which, unrolled by
Theseus as he entered the maze, should enable him on his return to
retrace his former path. Meanwhile--

    Offering artless bribes, Ariadne invoked the Immortals,
    Kindled voiceless lip with unvoicèd tribute of incense,
    Suppliant, not in vain: for, like to an oak upon Taurus,
    Gnarlèd, swinging his arms,--like some cone-burthenèd pine tree
    Oozing the life from his bark, that, riven to heart by the whirlwind,
    Wholly uprooted from earth, falls prone with extravagant ruin,
    Perishes, dealing doom with precipitate rush of its branches,--
    So was the Cretan brute by Theseus done to destruction,
    E'en so, tossing in vain his horns to the vacuous breezes.
      Then with abundant laud he turned, unscathed from the combat,
    Theseus,--guiding his feet unsure by the filament slender,
    Lest as he threaded paths circuitous, ways labyrinthine,
    Some perverse, perplexing, erratic alley might foil him.

      Why should I tarry to tell how, quitting her sire, Ariadne
    Quitting the sister's arms, the infatuate gaze of the mother,--
    She whose sole delight, whose life, was her desperate daughter,--
    How Ariadne made less of the love of them all than of Theseus?
    Why should I sing how sailing they came to the beaches of Dia,--
    White with the foam,--how thence, false-hearted, the lover departing
    Left her benighted with sleep, the Minoïd, princess of Creta?

[Illustration: FIG. 142. THE SLEEPING ARIADNE]

      Gazing amain from the marge of the flood-reverberant Dia,
    Chafing with ire, indignant, exasperate,--lo, Ariadne,
    Lorn Ariadne, beholds swift craft, swift lover retreating.
    Nor can be sure she sees what things she sees of a surety,
    When upspringing from sleep, she shakes off treacherous slumber,
    Lone beholds herself on a shore forlorn of the ocean.
    Carelessly hastens the youth, meantime, who, driving his oar-blades
    Hard in the waves, consigns void vows to the blustering breezes.
    But as, afar from the sedge, with sad eyes still the Minoïd
    Mute as a Mænad in stone unmoving stonily gazes--
    Heart o'erwhelmed with woe--ah, thus, while thus she is gazing,--
    Down from her yellow hair slips, sudden, the weed of the fine-spun
    Snood, and the vesture light of her mantle down from the shoulders
    Slips, and the twisted scarf encircling her womanly bosom;
    Stealthily gliding, slip they downward into the billow,
    Fall, and are tossed by the buoyant flood at the feet of the fair one.
    Nothing she recks of the coif, of the floating garment as little,
    Cares not a moment then, whose care hangs only on Theseus,--
    Wretched of heart, soul-wrecked, dependent only on Theseus,--
    Desperate, woe-unselfed with a cureless sorrow incessant,
    Frantic, bosoming torture of thorns Erycina had planted....

      Then, they say, that at last, infuriate out of all measure,
    Once and again she poured shrill-voicèd shrieks from her bosom;
    Helpless, clambered steeps, sheer beetling over the surges,
    Whence to enrange with her eyes vast futile regions of ocean;--
    Lifting the folds, soft folds of her garments, baring her ankles,
    Dashed into edges of upward waves that trembled before her;
    Uttered, anguished then, one wail, her maddest and saddest,--
    Catching with tear-wet lips poor sobs that shivering choked her:--
    "Thus is it far from my home, O traitor, and far from its altars--
    Thus on a desert strand,--dost leave me, treacherous Theseus?
    Thus is it thou dost flout our vow, dost flout the Immortals,--
    Carelessly homeward bearest, with baleful ballast of curses?
    Never, could never a plea forfend thy cruelly minded
    Counsel? Never a pity entreat thy bosom for shelter?...
    Hence, let never a maid confide in the oath of a lover,
    Never presume man's vows hold aught trustworthy within them!
    Verily, while in anguish of heart his spirit is longing,
    Nothing he spares to assever, nor aught makes scruple to promise:
    But, an his dearest desire, his nearest of heart be accorded--
    Nothing he recks of affiance, and reckons perjury,--nothing.

      "Oh! what lioness whelped thee? Oh! what desolate cavern?
    What was the sea that spawned, that spat from its churning abysses,
    Thee,--what wolfish Scylla, or Syrtis, or vasty Charybdis,
    Thee,--thus thankful for life, dear gift of living, I gave thee?...
    Had it not liked thee still to acknowledge vows that we plighted,
    Mightest thou homeward, yet, have borne me a damsel beholden,
    Fain to obey thy will, and to lave thy feet like a servant,
    Fain to bedeck thy couch with purple coverlet for thee.

      "But to the hollow winds why stand repeating my quarrel,--
    I, for sorrow unselfed,--they, but breezes insensate,--
    Potent neither voices to hear nor words to re-echo?...
    Yea, but where shall I turn? Forlorn, what succor rely on?
    'Haste to the Gnossian hills?' Ah, see how distantly surging
    Deeps forbid, distending their gulfs abhorrent before me!
    'Comfort my heart, mayhap, with the loyal love of my husband?'
    Lo, the reluctant oar, e'en now, he plies to forsake me!--
    Nought but the homeless strand of an isle remote of the ocean!
    No, no way of escape, where the circling sea without shore is,--
    No, no counsel of flight, no hope, no sound of a mortal;
    All things desolate, dumb, yea, all things summoning deathward!
    Yet mine eyes shall not fade in death that sealeth the eyelids,
    Nor from the frame outworn shall fare my lingering senses,
    Ere, undone, from powers divine I claim retribution--
    Ere I call--in the hour supreme, on the faith of Immortals!

    "Come, then, Righters of Wrong, O vengeful dealers of justice,
    Braided with coil of the serpents, O Eumenides, ye of
    Brows that blazon ire exhaling aye from the bosom,
    Haste, oh, haste ye, hither and hear me, vehement plaining,
    Destitute, fired with rage, stark-blind, demented for fury!--
    As with careless heart yon Theseus sailed and forgot me,
    So with folly of heart, may he slay himself and his household!"
    ... Then with a nod supreme Olympian Jupiter nodded:
    Quaked thereat old Earth,--quaked, shuddered the terrified waters,
    Ay, and the constellations in Heaven that glitter were jangled.
    Straightway like some cloud on the inward vision of Theseus
    Dropped oblivion down, enshrouding vows he had cherished,
    Hiding away all trace of the solemn behest of his father.

[Illustration: FIG. 143. HEAD OF DIONYSUS]

For, as was said before, Ægeus, on the departure of his son for Creta,
had given him this command: "If Minerva, goddess of our city, grant
thee victory over the Minotaur, hoist on thy return, when first the
dear hills of Attica greet thy vision, white canvas to herald thy joy
and mine, that mine eyes may see the propitious sign and know the glad
day that restores thee safe to me."

    ... Even as clouds compelled by urgent push of the breezes
    Float from the brow uplift of a snow-envelopèd mountain,
    So from Theseus passed all prayer and behest of his father.
    Waited the sire meanwhile, looked out from his tower over ocean,
    Wasted his anxious eyes in futile labor of weeping,
    Waited expectant,--saw to the southward sails black-bellied--
    Hurled him headlong down from the horrid steep to destruction,--
    Weening hateful Fate had severed the fortune of Theseus.
    Theseus, then, as he paced that gloom of the home of his father,
    Insolent Theseus knew himself what manner of evil
    He with a careless heart had aforetime dealt Ariadne,--
    Fixed Ariadne that still, still stared where the ship had receded,--
    Wounded, revolving in heart her countless muster of sorrows.

[Illustration: FIG. 144. THE REVELS OF BACCHUS AND ARIADNE]

=178. Bacchus and Ariadne.= But for the deserted daughter of Minos
a happier fate was yet reserved. This island, on which she had been
abandoned, was Naxos, loved and especially haunted by Bacchus, where
with his train of reeling devotees he was wont to hold high carnival.

    ... Sweeping over the shore, lo, beautiful, blooming Iacchus,--
    Chorused of Satyrs in dance and of Nysian-born Sileni,--
    Seeking fair Ariadne,--afire with flame of a lover!
    Lightly around him leaped Bacchantès, strenuous, frenzied,
    Nodding their heads, "Euhoe!" to the cry, "Euhoe, O Bacchus!"
    Some--enwreathèd spears of Iacchus madly were waving;
    Some--ensanguined limbs of the bullock, quivering, brandished;
    Some--were twining themselves with sinuous snakes that twisted;
    Some--with vessels of signs mysterious, passed in procession--
    Symbols profound that in vain the profane may seek to decipher;
    Certain struck with the palms--with tapered fingers on timbrels,
    Others the tenuous clash of the rounded cymbals awakened;--
    Brayed with a raucous roar through the turmoil many a trumpet,
    Many a stridulous fife went, shrill, barbarian, shrieking.[268]

So the grieving, much-wronged Ariadne was consoled for the loss of
her mortal spouse by an immortal lover. The blooming god of the vine
wooed and won her. After her death, the golden crown that he had given
her was transferred by him to the heavens. As it mounted the ethereal
spaces, its gems, growing in brightness, became stars; and still it
remains fixed, as a constellation, between the kneeling Hercules and
the man that holds the serpent.

=179. The Amazons.= As king of Athens, it is said that Theseus
undertook an expedition against the Amazons. Assailing them before they
had recovered from the attack of Hercules, he carried off their queen
Antiope; but they in turn, invading the country of Athens, penetrated
into the city itself; and there was fought the final battle in which
Theseus overcame them.

=180. Theseus and Pirithoüs.= A famous friendship between Theseus and
Pirithoüs of Thessaly, son of Jupiter, originated in the midst of
arms. Pirithoüs had made an irruption into the plain of Marathon and
had carried off the herds of the king of Athens. Theseus went to repel
the plunderers. The moment the Thessalian beheld him, he was seized
with admiration, and stretching out his hand as a token of peace, he
cried, "Be judge thyself,--what satisfaction dost thou require?"--"Thy
friendship," replied the Athenian; and they swore inviolable fidelity.
Their deeds corresponding to their professions, they continued true
brothers in arms. When, accordingly, Pirithoüs was to marry Hippodamia,
daughter of Atrax, Theseus took his friend's part in the battle that
ensued between the Lapithæ (of whom Pirithoüs was king) and the
Centaurs. For it happened that at the marriage feast, the Centaurs were
among the guests; and one of them, Eurytion, becoming intoxicated,
attempted to offer violence to the bride. Other Centaurs followed his
example; combat was joined; Theseus leaped into the fray, and not a few
of the guests bit the dust.

[Illustration: FIG. 145. LAPITH AND CENTAUR]

Later, each of these friends aspired to espouse a daughter of Jupiter.
Theseus fixed his choice on Leda's daughter Helen, then a child, but
afterwards famous as the cause of the Trojan War; and with the aid of
his friend he carried her off, only, however, to restore her at very
short notice. As for Pirithoüs, he aspired to the wife of the monarch
of Erebus; and Theseus, though aware of the danger, accompanied the
ambitious lover to the underworld. But Pluto seized and set them on
an enchanted rock at his palace gate, where fixed they remained till
Hercules, arriving, liberated Theseus but left Pirithoüs to his fate.

=181. Phædra and Hippolytus.= After the death of Antiope, Theseus
married Phædra, sister of the deserted Ariadne, daughter of Minos. But
Phædra, seeing in Hippolytus, the son of Theseus, a youth endowed with
all the graces and virtues of his father and of an age corresponding
to her own, loved him. When, however, he repulsed her advances, her
love was changed to despair and hate. Hanging herself, she left for
her husband a scroll containing false charges against Hippolytus.
The infatuated husband, filled, therefore, with jealousy of his son,
imprecated the vengeance of Neptune upon him. As Hippolytus one day
drove his chariot along the shore, a sea monster raised himself above
the waters and frightened the horses so that they ran away and dashed
the chariot to pieces. Hippolytus was killed, but by Æsculapius was
restored to life, and then, removed by Diana from the power of his
deluded father, was placed in Italy under the protection of the nymph
Egeria.

In his old age, Theseus, losing the favor of his people, retired to the
court of Lycomedes, king of Scyros, who at first received him kindly,
but afterwards treacherously put him to death.

FOOTNOTES:

[260] Ovid, Metam. 2, 555; Apollodorus, 3, 14, § 1; Pausanias; and
Hyginus, Fab. 48.

[261] Ovid, Metam. 2, 554; 6, 676; Homer, Iliad, 2, 547; Odyssey, 7,
81; Hyginus, Poet. Astr. 2, 13.

[262] For Ruskin's interpretation, see Queen of the Air, § 38.

[263] Hyginus, Fab. 45; Apollodorus, 3, 14, § 8; Ovid, Metam. 6,
412-676. See Commentary.

[264] Ovid, Metam. 7, 350-424; Plutarch, Theseus.

[265] § 167.

[266] Odyssey, 11, 321; Plutarch, Theseus; Catullus, LXIV.

[267] Catullus, LXIV. From The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis. A
Translation in Hexameters, by Charles Mills Gayley.

[268] Catullus, LXIV (Charles Mills Gayley's translation).



CHAPTER XIX

THE HOUSE OF LABDACUS


[Illustration: FIG. 146. [OE]DIPUS AND THE SPHINX]

=182. The Misfortunes of Thebes.= Returning to the descendants of
Inachus, we find that the curse which fell upon Cadmus when he slew
the dragon of Mars followed nearly every scion of his house. His
daughters, Semele, Ino, Autonoë, Agave,--his grandsons, Melicertes,
Actæon, Pentheus,--lived sorrowful lives or suffered violent deaths.
The misfortunes of one branch of his family, sprung from his son
Polydorus, remain to be told. The curse seems to have spared Polydorus
himself. His son Labdacus, also, lived a quiet life as king of Thebes
and left a son, Laïus, upon the throne. But erelong Laïus was warned
by an oracle that there was danger to his throne and life if his son,
new-born, should reach man's estate. He, therefore, committed the child
to a herdsman with orders for its destruction; but the herdsman, moved
with pity yet not daring entirely to disobey, pierced the child's feet,
purposing to expose him to the elements on Mount Cithæron.

=183. [OE]dipus and the Sphinx.=[269] In this plight the infant was
given to a tender-hearted fellow-shepherd, who carried him to King
Polybus of Corinth and his queen, by whom he was adopted and called
[OE]dipus, or Swollen-foot.

Many years afterward, [OE]dipus, learning from an oracle that he was
destined to be the death of his father, left the realm of his reputed
sire, Polybus. It happened, however, that Laïus was then driving
to Delphi, accompanied only by one attendant. In a narrow road he
met [OE]dipus, also in a chariot. On the refusal of the youthful
stranger to leave the way at their command, the attendant killed one
of his horses. [OE]dipus, consumed with rage, slew both Laïus and the
attendant, and thus unknowingly fulfilled both oracles.

Shortly after this event, the city of Thebes, to which [OE]dipus had
repaired, was afflicted with a monster that infested the high-road.
She was called the Sphinx. She had the body of a lion and the upper
part of a woman. She lay crouched on the top of a rock and, arresting
all travelers who came that way, propounded to them a riddle, with the
condition that those who could solve it should pass safe, but those
who failed should be killed. Not one had yet succeeded in guessing it.
[OE]dipus, not daunted by these alarming accounts, boldly advanced to
the trial. The Sphinx asked him, "What animal is it that in the morning
goes on four feet, at noon on two, and in the evening upon three?"
[OE]dipus replied, "Man, who in childhood creeps on hands and knees, in
manhood walks erect, and in old age goes with the aid of a staff." The
Sphinx, mortified at the collapse of her riddle, cast herself down from
the rock and perished.

=184. [OE]dipus, the King.= In gratitude for their deliverance, the
Thebans made [OE]dipus their king, giving him in marriage their
queen, Jocasta. He, ignorant of his parentage, had already become the
slayer of his father; in marrying the queen he became the husband
of his mother. These horrors remained undiscovered till, after many
years, Thebes being afflicted with famine and pestilence, the oracle
was consulted, and, by a series of coincidences, the double crime of
[OE]dipus came to light. At once, Jocasta put an end to her life by
hanging herself. As for [OE]dipus, horror-struck,--

                                  When her form
    He saw, poor wretch! with one wild fearful cry,
    The twisted rope he loosens, and she fell,
    Ill-starred one, on the ground. Then came a sight
    Most fearful. Tearing from her robe the clasps,
    All chased with gold, with which she decked herself,
    He with them struck the pupils of his eyes,
    With words like these: "Because they had not seen
    What ills he suffered, and what ills he did,
    They in the dark should look, in time to come,
    On those whom they ought never to have seen,
    Nor know the dear ones whom he fain had known."
    With suchlike wails, not once or twice alone,
    Raising his eyes he smote them, and the balls,
    All bleeding, stained his cheek.[270]

=185. [OE]dipus at Colonus.= After these sad events [OE]dipus would
have left Thebes, but the oracle forbade the people to let him go.
Jocasta's brother, Creon, was made regent of the realm for the two sons
of [OE]dipus. But after [OE]dipus had grown content to stay, these sons
of his, with Creon, thrust him into exile. Accompanied by his daughter
Antigone, he went begging through the land. His other daughter, Ismene,
at first stayed at home. Cursing the sons who had abandoned him,
but bowing his own will in submission to the ways of God, [OE]dipus
approached the hour of his death in Colonus, a village near Athens.
His friend Theseus, king of Athens, comforted and sustained him to the
last. Both his daughters were also with him:

    And then he called his girls, and bade them fetch
    Clear water from the stream, and bring to him
    For cleansing and libation. And they went,
    Both of them, to yon hill we look upon,
    Owned by Demeter of the fair green corn,
    And quickly did his bidding, bathed his limbs,
    And clothed them in the garment that is meet.
    And when he had his will in all they did,
    And not one wish continued unfulfilled,
    Zeus from the dark depths thundered, and the girls
    Heard it, and shuddering, at their father's knees,
    Falling they wept; nor did they then forbear
    Smiting their breasts, nor groanings lengthened out;
    And when he heard their bitter cry, forthwith
    Folding his arms around them, thus he spake:
    "My children, on this day ye cease to have
    A father. All my days are spent and gone;
    And ye no more shall lead your wretched life,
    Caring for me. Hard was it, that I know,
    My children! Yet one word is strong to loose,
    Although alone, the burden of these toils,
    For _love_ in larger store ye could not have
    From any than from him who standeth here,
    Of whom bereaved ye now shall live your life."[271]

There was sobbing, then silence. Then a voice called him,--and he
followed. God took him from his troubles. Antigone returned to
Thebes,--where, as we shall see, her sisterly fidelity showed itself as
true as, aforetime, her filial affection.

Her brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, had meanwhile agreed to share the
kingdom between them and to reign alternately year by year. The first
year fell to the lot of Eteocles, who, when his time expired, refused
to surrender the kingdom to his brother. Polynices, accordingly, fled
to Adrastus, king of Argos, who gave him his daughter in marriage and
aided him with an army to enforce his claim to the kingdom. These
causes led to the celebrated expedition of the "Seven against Thebes,"
which furnished ample materials for the epic and tragic poets of
Greece. And here the younger heroes of Greece make their appearance.

FOOTNOTES:

[269] Sophocles, [OE]dipus Rex, [OE]dipus Coloneus, Antigone;
Euripides, Ph[oe]nissæ; Apollodorus, 3, 5, §§ 7, 8.

[270] Sophocles, [OE]dipus, the King (E. H. Plumptre's translation).

[271] Sophocles, [OE]dipus at Colonus, ll. 1600, etc. (E. H. Plumptre's
translation).



CHAPTER XX

MYTHS OF THE YOUNGER HEROES: THE SEVEN AGAINST THEBES


=186. Their Exploits.= The exploits of the sons and grandsons of the
chieftains engaged in the Calydonian Hunt and the Quest of the Golden
Fleece are narrated in four stories,--the Seven against Thebes, the
Siege of Troy, the Wanderings of Ulysses, and the Adventures of Æneas.

=187. The Seven against Thebes.=[272] The allies of Adrastus and
Polynices in the enterprise against Thebes were Tydeus of Calydon,
half brother of Meleager, Parthenopæus of Arcadia, son of Atalanta
and Mars, Capaneus of Argos, Hippomedon of Argos, and Amphiaraüs, the
brother-in-law of Adrastus. Amphiaraüs opposed the expedition for,
being a soothsayer, he knew that none of the leaders except Adrastus
would live to return from Thebes; but on his marriage to Eriphyle,
the king's sister, he had agreed that whenever he and Adrastus should
differ in opinion, the decision should be left to Eriphyle. Polynices,
knowing this, gave Eriphyle the necklace of Harmonia and thereby gained
her to his interest. This was the selfsame necklace that Vulcan had
given to Harmonia on her marriage with Cadmus; Polynices had taken it
with him on his flight from Thebes. It seems to have been still fraught
with the curse of the house of Cadmus. But Eriphyle could not resist
so tempting a bribe. By her decision the war was resolved on, and
Amphiaraüs went to his fate. He bore his part bravely in the contest,
but still could not avert his destiny. While, pursued by the enemy, he
was fleeing along the river, a thunderbolt launched by Jupiter opened
the ground, and he, his chariot, and his charioteer were swallowed up.

It is unnecessary here to detail all the acts of heroism or atrocity
which marked this contest. The fidelity, however, of Evadne stands out
as an offset to the weakness of Eriphyle. Her husband, Capaneus, having
in the ardor of the fight declared that he would force his way into the
city in spite of Jove himself, placed a ladder against the wall and
mounted; but Jupiter, offended at his impious language, struck him with
a thunderbolt. When his obsequies were celebrated, Evadne cast herself
on his funeral pile and perished.

[Illustration: FIG. 147. ETEOCLES AND POLYNICES KILL EACH OTHER]

It seems that early in the contest Eteocles consulted the soothsayer
Tiresias as to the issue. Now, this Tiresias in his youth had by chance
seen Minerva bathing, and had been deprived by her of his sight, but
afterwards had obtained of her the knowledge of future events. When
consulted by Eteocles, he declared that victory should fall to Thebes
if Men[oe]ceus, the son of Creon, gave himself a voluntary victim. The
heroic youth, learning the response, threw away his life in the first
encounter.

The siege continued long, with varying success. At length both hosts
agreed that the brothers should decide their quarrel by single combat.
They fought, and fell each by the hand of the other. The armies then
renewed the fight; and at last the invaders were forced to yield,
and fled, leaving their dead unburied. Creon, the uncle of the
fallen princes, now became king, caused Eteocles to be buried with
distinguished honor, but suffered the body of Polynices to lie where it
fell, forbidding any one, on pain of death, to give it burial.

=188. Antigone=,[273] the sister of Polynices, heard with indignation
the revolting edict which, consigning her brother's body to the dogs
and vultures, deprived it of the rites that were considered essential
to the repose of the dead. Unmoved by the dissuading counsel of her
affectionate but timid sister, and unable to procure assistance, she
determined to brave the hazard and to bury the body with her own hands.
She was detected in the act. When Creon asked the fearless woman
whether she dared disobey the laws, she answered:

    Yes, for it was not Zeus who gave them forth,
    Nor justice, dwelling with the gods below,
    Who traced these laws for all the sons of men;
    Nor did I deem thy edicts strong enough,
    That thou, a mortal man, should'st overpass
    The unwritten laws of God that know no change.
    They are not of to-day nor yesterday,
    But live forever, nor can man assign
    When first they sprang to being. Not through fear
    Of any man's resolve was I prepared
    Before the gods to bear the penalty
    Of sinning against these. That I should die
    I knew (how should I not?), though thy decree
    Had never spoken. And before my time
    If I shall die, I reckon this a gain;
    For whoso lives, as I, in many woes,
    How can it be but he shall gain by death?
    And so for me to bear this doom of thine
    Has nothing fearful. But, if I had left
    My mother's son unburied on his death,
    In that I should have suffered; but in this
    I suffer not.[274]

Creon, unyielding and unable to conceive of a law higher than that
he knew, gave orders that she should be buried alive, as having
deliberately set at nought the solemn edict of the city. Her lover,
Hæmon, the son of Creon, unable to avert her fate, would not survive
her, and fell by his own hand. It is only after his son's death and as
he gazes upon the corpses of the lovers, that the aged Creon recognizes
the insolence of his narrow judgment. And those that stand beside him
say:

      Man's highest blessedness
      In wisdom chiefly stands;
    And in the things that touch upon the gods,
      'T is best in word or deed,
      To shun unholy pride;
    Great words of boasting bring great punishments,
      And so to gray-haired age
      Teach wisdom at the last.[275]

=189. The Epigoni.=[276] Such was the fall of the house of Labdacus.
The bane of Cadmus expires with the family of [OE]dipus. But the
wedding gear of Harmonia has not yet fulfilled its baleful mission.
Amphiaraüs had, with his last breath, enjoined his son Alcmæon to
avenge him on the faithless Eriphyle. Alcmæon engaged his word, but
before accomplishing the fell purpose, he was ordered by an oracle of
Delphi to conduct against Thebes a new expedition. Thereto his mother
Eriphyle, influenced by Thersander, the son of Polynices, and bribed
this time by the gift of Harmonia's wedding garment, impelled not only
Alcmæon but her other son, Amphilochus. The descendants (_Epigoni_) of
the former Seven thus renewed the war against Thebes. They leveled the
city to the ground. Its inhabitants, counseled by Tiresias, took refuge
in foreign lands. Tiresias himself perished during the flight. Alcmæon,
returning to Argos, put his mother to death but, in consequence,
repeated in his own experience the penalty of Orestes. The outfit
of Harmonia preserved its malign influence until, at last, it was
devoted to the temple at Delphi and removed from the sphere of mortal
jealousies.

FOOTNOTES:

[272] Æschylus, Seven against Thebes; Euripides, Ph[oe]nissæ;
Apollodorus, 3. 6 and 7; Hyginus, Fab. 69, 70; Pausanias, 8 and 9;
Statius, Thebaid.

[273] Sophocles, Antigone; Euripides, Suppliants.

[274] Sophocles, Antigone, ll. 450-470 (E. H. Plumptre's translation).

[275] Sophocles, Antigone, closing chorus.

[276] Pausanias, 9, 9, §§ 2, 3; Herodotus, 5, 61; Apollodorus.



CHAPTER XXI

HOUSES CONCERNED IN THE TROJAN WAR


=190. Three Families.= Before entering upon the causes of the war
against Troy, we must notice the three Grecian families that were
principally concerned,--those of Peleus, Atreus, and Tyndareus.

=191. Peleus=[277] was the son of Æacus and grandson of Jove. It was
for his father Æacus, king of Phthia in Thessaly, that, as we have
seen, an army of Myrmidons was created by Jupiter. Peleus joined the
expedition of the Argonauts, and on that journey beheld and fell in
love with the sea-nymph Thetis, daughter of Nereus and Doris. Such
was the beauty of the nymph that Jupiter himself had sought her in
marriage; but having learned from Prometheus, the Titan, that Thetis
should bear a son who should be greater than his father, the Olympian
desisted from his suit and decreed that Thetis should be the wife
of a mortal. By the aid of Chiron, the Centaur, Peleus succeeded in
winning the goddess for his bride. In this marriage, to be productive
of momentous results for mortals, the immortals manifested a lively
interest. They thronged with the Thessalians to the wedding in
Pharsalia; they honored the wedding feast with their presence and,
reclining on ivory couches, gave ear while the three Sisters of Fate,
in responsive strain, chanted the fortunes of Achilles,--the future
hero of the Trojan War,--the son that should spring from this union of
a goddess with a mortal. The following is from a translation of the
famous poem, The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis:[278]

    ... Now, on the day foreset, Aurora forsaking the ocean
    Crimsons the orient sky: all Thessaly, seeking the palace,
    Fares to the royal seat, in populous muster exultant,
    Heavy of hand with gifts, but blithesome of cheer for the joyance.
    Scyros behind they leave, they leave Phthiotican Tempe,
    Crannon's glittering domes and the battlements Larissæan,
    Cumber Pharsalia, throng the abodes and the streets of Pharsalus.
    Fields, meanwhile are untilled, grow tender the necks of the oxen,
    None with the curving teeth of the harrow cleareth the vineyard,
    None upturneth the glebe with bull and the furrowing plowshare,
    None with gardener's knife lets light through the branches umbrageous;
    Squalid the rust creeps up o'er plows forgotten of plowmen.

      Bright is the palace, ay, through far retreating recesses
    Blazing for sheen benign of the opulent gold and the silver:
    Ivory gleams on the thrones, great goblets glint on the tables,
    Glitters the spacious home, made glad with imperial splendor,--
    Ay, but most--in the hall midmost--is the couch of the goddess,
    Glorious, made of the tusk of the Indian elephant--polished--
    Spread with a wonder of quilt empurpled with dye of the sea-shell.

On this coverlet of purple were embroidered various scenes illustrating
the lessons of heroism and justice that the poet would inculcate: to
the good falleth good; to the evil, evil speedily. Therefore, the
story of Theseus and Ariadne, which has already been recounted, was
here displayed in cunning handiwork. For Theseus, the false lover,
bold of hand but bad of heart, gained by retributive justice undying
ruth and misery; whereas Ariadne, the injured and innocent, restored
to happiness, won no less a reward than Bacchus himself. Gorgeously
woven with such antique and heroic figures was the famous quilt upon
the couch of Thetis. For a season the wedding guests feasted their eyes
upon it.

    Then when Thessaly's youth, long gazing, had of the wonder
    Their content, they gan give place to the lords of Olympus.
    As when Zephyr awakes the recumbent billows of ocean,
    Roughens the placid deep with eager breath of the morning,
    Urges the waves, and impels, to the threshold of journeying
        Ph[oe]bus,--
    They, at first, blown outward unroughly when Dawn is a-rising,
    Limp slow-footed, and loiter with laughter lightsomely plashing,
    But, with the freshening gale, creep quicker and thicker together,
    Till on horizon they float refulgent of luminous purple,--
    So from the portal withdrawing the pomp Thessalian departed
    Faring on world-wide ways to the far-off homes of their fathers.
      Now when they were aloof, drew nigh from Pelion's summit
    Chiron bearing gifts from copses and glades of the woodland--
    Gifts that the meadows yield: what flowers on Thessaly's mountains,
    Or, by waves of the stream, the prolific breath of the West Wind,
    Warming, woos to the day, all such in bunches assorted
    Bore he. Flattered with odors the whole house brake into laughter.
    Came there next Peneüs, abandoning verdurous Tempe--
    Tempe embowered deep mid superimpendent forests.

And after the river-god, who bore with him nodding plane trees and
lofty beeches, straight slim laurels, the lithe poplar, and the airy
cypress to plant about the palace that thick foliage might give it
shade, followed Prometheus, the bold and cunning of heart, wearing
still the marks of his ancient punishment on the rocks of Caucasus.
Finally the father of the gods himself came, with his holy spouse and
his offspring,--all, save Ph[oe]bus and his one sister, who naturally
looked askance upon a union to be productive of untold misfortune to
their favored town of Troy.

[Illustration: FIG. 148. THE GODS BRING WEDDING GIFTS]

    ... When now the gods had reclined their limbs on the ivory couches,
    Viands many and rare were heaped on the banqueting tables,
    Whilst the decrepit Sisters of Fate, their tottering bodies
    Solemnly swayed, and rehearsed their soothfast vaticination.
    --Lo, each tremulous frame was wrapped in robe of a whiteness,
    Down to the ankles that fell, with nethermost border of purple,
    While on ambrosial brows there rested fillets like snowflakes.
    They, at a task eternal their hands religiously plying,
    Held in the left on high, with wool enfolded, a distaff,
    Delicate fibers wherefrom, drawn down, were shaped by the right hand--
    Shaped by fingers upturned,--but the down-turned thumb set a-whirling,
    Poised with perfected whorl, the industrious shaft of the spindle.
    Still, as they span, as they span, was the tooth kept nipping and
        smoothing,
    And to the withered lip clung morsels of wool as they smoothed it--
    Filaments erstwhile rough that stood from the twist of the surface.
    Close at their feet, meantime, were woven baskets of wicker
    Guarding the soft white balls of the wool resplendent within them.
    Thus then, parting the strands, these Three with resonant voices
    Uttered, in chant divine, predestined sooth of the future--
    Prophecy neither in time, nor yet in eternity, shaken.

      "Thou that exaltest renown of thy name with the name of thy valor,
    Bulwark Emathian, blest above sires in the offspring of promise,
    Hear with thine ears this day what oracles fall from the Sisters
    Chanting the fates for thee;--but you, ye destiny-drawing
    Spindles, hasten the threads of the destinies set for the future!

      "Rideth the orb upon high that heralds boon unto bridegrooms--
    Hesperus,--cometh anon with star propitious the virgin,
    Speedeth thy soul to subdue--submerge it with love at the flood tide.
    Hasten, ye spindles, and run, yea, gallop, ye thread-running spindles!

      "Erstwhile, never a home hath roofed like generous loving,
    Never before hath Love conjoinèd lovers so dearly,--
    Never with harmony such as endureth for Thetis and Peleus.
    Hasten, ye spindles, and run, yea, gallop, ye thread-running spindles!

      "Born unto you shall be the undaunted heart of Achilles,
    Aye by his brave breast known, unknown by his back to the foeman,--
    Victor in onslaught, victor in devious reach of the race-course,
    Fleeter of foot than feet of the stag that lighten and vanish,--
    Hasten, ye spindles, and run, yea, gallop, ye thread-running spindles!"

=192. Achilles, Son of Peleus.= So the sisters prophesied the future
of the hero, Achilles,--from his father called Pelides; from his
grandfather, Æacides. How by him the Trojans should fall, as fall
the ears of corn when they are yellow before the scythe; how because
of him Scamander should run red, warm with blood, choked with blind
bodies, into the whirling Hellespont; how finally he himself, in
his prime, should fall, and how on his tomb should be sacrificed
the fair Polyxena, daughter of Priam, whom he had loved. "So," says
Catullus, "sang the Fates. For those were the days before piety and
righteous action were spurned by mankind, the days when Jupiter and
his immortals deigned to consort with zealous man, to enjoy the sweet
odor of his burnt-offering, to march beside him to battle, to swell his
shout in victory and his lament in defeat, to smile on his peaceful
harvests, to recline at his banquets, and to bless the weddings of fair
women and goodly heroes. But now, alas," concludes Catullus, "godliness
and chastity, truth, wisdom, and honor have departed from among men":

[Illustration: FIG. 149]

    Wherefore the gods no more vouchsafe their presence to mortals,
    Suffer themselves no more to be touched by the ray of the morning.
    But there were gods in the pure,--in the golden prime of the Ages.

The hero of the Trojan War, here prophesied, =Achilles=, fleet of foot,
the dauntless, the noble, the beloved of Zeus, the breaker of the ranks
of men, is the ideal hero of the Greeks,--the mightiest of the Achæans
far. Of his youth many interesting stories are told: how his mother,
endeavoring to make him invulnerable, plunged him in the river Styx,
and succeeded save with regard to his ankles by which she held him; and
how he was educated in eloquence and the arts of war by his father's
friend Ph[oe]nix, and by his father's other friend Chiron, the centaur,
in riding and hunting and music and the art of healing. One of the most
Greek-minded of our English poets, Matthew Arnold,[279] singing of a
beauteous dell by Etna, tells how

    In such a glen, on such a day,
    On Pelion, on the grassy ground,
    Chiron, the aged Centaur, lay,
    The young Achilles standing by.
    The Centaur taught him to explore
    The mountains; where the glens are dry
    And the tired Centaurs come to rest,
    And where the soaking springs abound
    And the straight ashes grow for spears,
    And where the hill goats come to feed
    And the sea eagles build their nest.
    He showed him Phthia far away.
    And said, "O boy, I taught this lore
    To Peleus, in long distant years!"
    He told him of the gods, the stars,
    The tides;--and then of mortal wars,
    And of the life which heroes lead
    Before they reach the Elysian place
    And rest in the immortal mead;
    And all the wisdom of his race.

Upon the character of Achilles, outspoken, brave, impulsive; to his
friends passionately devoted, to his foes implacable; lover of war
and lover of home; inordinately ambitious but submissive to divine
decree;--upon this handsome, gleaming, terrible, glooming, princely
warrior of his race, the poet of the Iliad delights to dwell, and the
world has delighted in the portraiture from that day to this.

=193. Atreus= was the son of Pelops and Hippodamia and grandson of
Tantalus, therefore great-grandson of Jove. Both by blood and by
marriage he was connected with Theseus. He took to wife Aërope,
granddaughter of Minos II, king of Crete, and by her had two sons,
Agamemnon, the general of the Grecian army in the Trojan War, and
Menelaüs, at whose solicitation the war was undertaken. Of Atreus it
may be said that with cannibal atrocity like that of his grandsire,
Tantalus, he on one occasion wreaked his vengeance on a brother,
Thyestes, by causing him to eat the flesh of two of his own children.
A son of this Thyestes, Ægisthus by name, revived in due time against
Agamemnon the treacherous feud that had existed between their fathers.

=194. Tyndareus= was king of Lacedæmon (Sparta). His wife was Leda,
daughter of Thestius of Calydon, and sister of Althæa, the mother of
Meleager and Dejanira. To Tyndareus Leda bore Castor and Clytemnestra;
to Jove she bore Pollux and Helen. The two former were mortal; the two
latter, immortal. Clytemnestra was married to Agamemnon of Mycenæ, to
whom she bore Electra, Iphigenia, Chrysothemis, and Orestes. Helen, the
fair immediate cause of the Trojan War, became the wife of Menelaüs,
who with her obtained the kingdom of Sparta.

Of the families of Peleus, Atreus, and Tyndareus, the genealogies will
be found in the Commentary corresponding with these sections of the
story; also the genealogy of Ulysses, one of the leaders of the Greek
army during the war and the hero of the Odyssey, which narrates his
subsequent adventures; and that of the royal family of Troy against
whom the war was undertaken. A slight study of these family trees will
reveal interesting relationships between the principal participants in
the war. For instance: that the passionate Achilles and the intolerant
Ajax, second only to Achilles in military prowess, are first cousins;
and that the family of Ajax is connected by marriage with that of the
Trojan Hector, whom he meets in combat. That Ulysses is a distant
cousin of his wife Penelope and of Clytemnestra, the wife of Agamemnon;
and that he is a kinsman of Patroclus, the bosom friend of Achilles. In
the family of Tyndareus we note most the tragic and romantic careers
of the women,--Clytemnestra, who murdered her husband and married
his cousin Ægisthus; Helen, whose beauty provoked war between her
two husbands and their races; Penelope, whose fidelity to her absent
lord is the marvel of the Odyssey. It will be noticed, too, that the
daughter of Helen, Hermione, is strangely enough married first by
the son of Achilles and, afterwards, by the son of Agamemnon, and so
becomes sister-in-law to her noble cousins, Electra and Iphigenia.

The kinsmen and descendants of Peleus--Telamon, Ajax, Teucer, Achilles,
Neoptolemus--are characterized by their personal valor, their
intolerant and resentful temper. In the family of Atreus, the men are
remarkable for their kingly attributes; the principal women for their
unwavering devotion to religious duty. The members of the royal family
of Troy are of richly varied and most unusual individuality: like
Tithonus and Memnon, Paris, Hesione, Cassandra and Polyxena, poetic
and pathetic; like Laomedon, Priam, Hector and Troilus, patriotic,
persistent in the face of overwhelming odds; but all fated to a
dolorous end. Of those engaged in the Trojan War, Æneas and his aged
father, Anchises, beloved of Venus, are practically the only survivors
to a happier day.

FOOTNOTES:

[277] Ovid, Metam. 11, 221-265; Catullus, LXIV; Hyginus, Fab. 14;
Apollonius Rhodius. Argon. 1, 558; Valerius Flaccus, Argon.; Statius,
Achilleid.

[278] Catullus, LXIV (Charles Mills Gayley's translation).

[279] Empedocles on Etna.

[Illustration: FIG. 150. HELEN PERSUADED]



CHAPTER XXII

THE TROJAN WAR


    ... At length I saw a lady within call,
      Stiller than chisel'd marble, standing there:
    A daughter of the gods, divinely tall,
      And most divinely fair.

    Her loveliness with shame and with surprise
      Froze my swift speech: she turning on my face
    The starlike sorrows of immortal eyes,
      Spoke slowly in her place.

    "I had great beauty; ask thou not my name:
      No one can be more wise than destiny.
    Many drew swords and died. Where'er I came
      I brought calamity."[280]

=195. Its Origin.= At the nuptials of Peleus and Thetis all the gods
had been invited with the exception of Eris, or Discord. Enraged at her
exclusion, the goddess threw a golden apple among the guests, with the
inscription, "For the fairest." Thereupon Juno, Venus, and Minerva each
claimed the apple. Not willing to decide so delicate a matter, Jupiter
sent the goddesses to Mount Ida where Paris, son of Priam, king of
Troy, was tending his flocks. Till that moment the shepherd-prince had
been happy. He was young and beautiful and beloved,--"White-breasted
like a star," says [OE]none, the nymph whom he had wedded:

                      White-breasted like a star
    Fronting the dawn he moved; a leopard skin
    Dropp'd from his shoulder, but his sunny hair
    Cluster'd about his temples like a god's:
    And his cheek brighten'd as the foam-bow brightens
    When the wind blows the foam, and all my heart
    Went forth to embrace him coming ere he came.[1]

But to him was now committed the judgment between the goddesses. They
appeared:

    And at their feet the crocus brake like fire,
    Violet, amaracus, and asphodel,
    Lotos and lilies: and a wind arose,
    And overhead the wandering ivy and vine,
    This way and that, in many a wild festoon
    Ran riot, garlanding the gnarlèd boughs
    With bunch and berry and flower thro' and thro'.[281]

Juno promised him power and riches, Minerva glory and renown in war,
Venus the fairest of women for his wife,--each attempting to bias
the judge in her own favor. Paris, forgetting the fair nymph to whom
he owed fealty, decided in favor of Venus, thus making the two other
goddesses his enemies. Under the protection of the goddess of love, he
soon afterwards sailed to Greece. Here he was hospitably received by
Menelaüs, whose wife, Helen, as fairest of her sex, was unfortunately
the prize destined for Paris. This fair queen had in time past been
sought by numerous suitors; but before her decision was made known,
they all, at the suggestion of Ulysses, son of Laërtes, king of Ithaca,
had taken an oath that they would sustain her choice and avenge her
cause if necessary. She was living happily with Menelaüs when Paris,
becoming their guest, made love to her, and then, aided by Venus,
persuaded her to elope with him, and carried her to Troy. From this
cause arose the famous Trojan War,--the theme of the greatest poems of
antiquity, those of Homer and Virgil.

[Illustration: FIG. 151. ACHILLES TAKEN FROM SCYROS]

Menelaüs called upon the chieftains of Greece to aid him in recovering
his wife. They came forward with a few exceptions. Ulysses, for
instance, who had married a cousin of Helen's, Penelope, daughter of
Icarius, was happy in his wife and child, and loth to embark in the
troublesome affair. Palamedes was sent to urge him. But when Palamedes
arrived at Ithaca, Ulysses pretended madness. He yoked an ass and an ox
together to the plow and began to sow salt. The ambassador, to try him,
placed the infant Telemachus before the plow, whereupon the father,
turning the plow aside, showed that his insanity was a mere pretense.
Being himself gained for the undertaking, Ulysses lent his aid to bring
in other reluctant chiefs, especially Achilles, son of Peleus and
Thetis. Thetis being herself one of the immortals, and knowing that
her son was fated to perish before Troy if he went on the expedition,
endeavored to prevent his going. She, accordingly, sent him to the
court of King Lycomedes of the island of Scyros, and induced him to
conceal himself in the garb of a maiden among the daughters of the
king. Hearing that the young Achilles was there, Ulysses went disguised
as a merchant to the palace and offered for sale female ornaments,
among which had been placed some arms. Forgetting the part he had
assumed, Achilles handled the weapons and thereby betrayed himself to
Ulysses, who found no great difficulty in persuading him to disregard
his mother's counsels and join his countrymen in the war.

It seems that from early youth Paris had been reared in obscurity,
because there were forebodings that he would be the ruin of the state.
These forebodings appeared, at last, likely to be realized; for the
Grecian armament now in preparation was the greatest that had ever
been fitted out. Agamemnon, king of Mycenæ and brother of Menelaüs,
was chosen commander in chief. Preëminent among the warriors was
the swift-footed Achilles. After him ranked his cousin Ajax, the
son of Telamon, gigantic in size and of great courage, but dull of
intellect; Diomede, the son of Tydeus, second only to Achilles in all
the qualities of a hero; Ulysses, famous for sagacity; and Nestor, the
oldest of the Grecian chiefs, to whom they all looked up for counsel.

But Troy was no feeble enemy. Priam the king, son of Laomedon and
brother of Tithonus and Hesione, was now old; but he had been a wise
prince and had strengthened his state by good government at home and
powerful alliances with his neighbors. By his wife Hecuba he had a
numerous family; but the principal stay and support of his throne was
his son Hector, one of the noblest figures of antiquity. The latter
had, from the first, a presentiment of the ruin of Troy, but still
he persevered in heroic resistance, though he by no means justified
the wrong which brought this danger upon his country. He was united
in marriage with the noble Andromache, and as husband and father his
character was not less admirable than as warrior. The principal leaders
on the side of the Trojans, beside Hector, were his relative, Æneas,
the son of Venus and Anchises, Deiphobus, Glaucus, and Sarpedon.

=196. Iphigenia in Aulis.= After two years of preparation, the Greek
fleet and army assembled in the port of Aulis in B[oe]otia. Here
Agamemnon, while hunting, killed a stag that was sacred to Diana. The
goddess in retribution visited the army with pestilence and produced
a calm which prevented the ships from leaving the port. Thereupon,
Calchas the soothsayer announced that the wrath of the virgin goddess
could only be appeased by the sacrifice of a virgin, and that none
other but the daughter of the offender would be acceptable. Agamemnon,
however reluctant, submitted to the inevitable and sent for his
daughter Iphigenia, under the pretense that her marriage to Achilles
was to be at once performed. But, in the moment of sacrifice, Diana,
relenting, snatched the maiden away and left a hind in her place.
Iphigenia, enveloped in a cloud, was conveyed to Tauris, where Diana
made her priestess of her temple.[282]

[Illustration: FIG. 152. THE SACRIFICE OF IPHIGENIA]

Iphigenia is represented as thus describing her feelings at the moment
of sacrifice:

    "I was cut off from hope in that sad place,
      Which men call'd Aulis in those iron years:
    My father held his hand upon his face;
      I, blinded with my tears,

    "Still strove to speak: my voice was thick with sighs
      As in a dream. Dimly I could descry
    The stern black-bearded kings, with wolfish eyes
      Waiting to see me die.

    "The high masts flicker'd as they lay afloat;
      The crowds, the temples, waver'd, and the shore;
    The bright death quiver'd at the victim's throat;
      Touch'd; and I knew no more."[283]

=197. Protesilaüs and Laodamia.= The wind now proving fair, the fleet
made sail and brought the forces to the coast of Troy. The Trojans
opposed their landing, and at the first onset one of the noblest of
the Greeks, Protesilaüs, fell by the hand of Hector. This Protesilaüs
had left at home his wife Laodamia (a niece of Alcestis),--who was
most tenderly attached to him. The story runs that when the news of
his death reached her, she implored the gods for leave to converse
with him if but for three hours. The request was granted. Mercury led
Protesilaüs back to the upper world; and when the hero died a second
time Laodamia died with him. It is said that the nymphs planted elm
trees round his grave, which flourished till they were high enough
to command a view of Troy, then withered away, giving place to fresh
branches that sprang from the roots.

Wordsworth has taken the story of Protesilaüs and Laodamia for a poem
invested with the atmosphere of the classics. The oracle, according
to the tradition, had declared that victory should be the lot of that
party from which should fall the first victim in the war. The poet
represents Protesilaüs, on his brief return to earth, relating to
Laodamia the story of his fate:

    "The wished-for wind was given:--I then revolved
      The oracle, upon the silent sea;
    And, if no worthier led the way, resolved
      That, of a thousand vessels, mine should be
    The foremost prow in pressing to the strand,--
      Mine the first blood that tinged the Trojan sand.

    "Yet bitter, ofttimes bitter, was the pang
      When of thy loss I thought, belovèd Wife!
    On thee too fondly did my memory hang,
      And on the joys we shared in mortal life,--
    The paths which we had trod--these fountains, flowers,
    My new-planned cities, and unfinished towers.

    "But should suspense permit the foe to cry,
      'Behold they tremble!--haughty their array,
    Yet of their number no one dares to die'?
      In soul I swept the indignity away:
    Old frailties then recurred:--but lofty thought,
    In act embodied, my deliverance wrought."...

                              ... Upon the side
      Of Hellespont (such faith was entertained)
        A knot of spiry trees for ages grew
    From out the tomb of him for whom she died;
      And ever, when such stature they had gained
        That Ilium's walls were subject to their view,
    The trees' tall summits withered at the sight;
    A constant interchange of growth and blight!

=198. Homer's Iliad.= The war continued without decisive result for
nine years. Then an event occurred which seemed likely to prove fatal
to the cause of the Greeks,--a quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon.
It is at this point that the great poem of Homer, the Iliad, begins.

Of this and the other epics from which the story is drawn an account
will be found in Chapter XXXII below; and a list of the best English
translations, in the corresponding sections of the Commentary. What
delight one may derive from reading the Greek epics even in translation
is nowhere better expressed than in the following sonnet of John Keats,
"On First Looking into Chapman's Homer":

    Much have I travel'd in the realms of gold,
      And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
      Round many western islands have I been
    Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
    Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
      That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne:
      Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
    Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
    --Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
      When a new planet swims into his ken;
    Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
      He stared at the Pacific--and all his men
    Look'd at each other with a wild surmise--
      Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

=199. The Wrath of Achilles.= The Greeks, though unsuccessful against
Troy, had taken the neighboring and allied cities; and in the division
of the spoil a female captive, by name Chryseïs, daughter of Chryses,
priest of Apollo, had fallen to the share of Agamemnon. Chryses came
bearing the sacred emblems of his office and begged the release of
his daughter. Agamemnon refused. Thereupon Chryses implored Apollo to
afflict the Greeks till they should be forced to yield their prey.
Apollo granted the prayer of his priest and sent such pestilence upon
the Grecian camp, that a council was called to deliberate how to allay
the wrath of the gods and avert the plague. Achilles boldly charged
the misfortunes upon Agamemnon as caused by his withholding Chryseïs.
Agamemnon, in anger, consented, thereupon, to relinquish his captive,
but demanded that Achilles should yield to him in her stead Briseïs,
a maiden who had fallen to that hero's share in the division of the
spoil. Achilles submitted, but declared that he would take no further
part in the war,--withdrew his forces from the general camp and avowed
his intention of returning to Greece.

[Illustration: FIG. 153. THE SURRENDER OF BRISEÏS From the relief by
Thorwaldsen]

=200. The Enlistment of the Gods.= The gods and goddesses interested
themselves as much in this famous siege as did the parties themselves.
It was well known in heaven that fate had decreed the fall of Troy, if
her enemies only persevered. Yet there was room for chance sufficient
to excite by turns the hopes and fears of the powers above who took
part with either side. Juno and Minerva, in consequence of the slight
put upon their charms by Paris, were hostile to the Trojans; Venus
for the opposite cause favored them; she enlisted, also, her admirer
Mars on the same side. Neptune favored the Greeks. Apollo was neutral,
sometimes taking one side, sometimes the other. Jove himself, though he
loved Priam, exercised a degree of impartiality,--not, however, without
exceptions.

=201. Thetis intercedes for Achilles.= Resenting the injury done by
Agamemnon to her son, Thetis, the silver-footed, repaired to Jove's
palace, and besought him to grant success to the Trojan arms and so
make the Greeks repent of their injustice to Achilles. The father of
the gods, wavering at first, finally sighed and consented, saying, "Go
thou now, but look to it that Juno see thee not, for oft she taunts me
that I aid the Trojan cause." Vain precaution: the jealous queen had
seen only too well, and quickly she confronted the Thunderer with her
suspicions,--

    "Fateful favor to Achilles, hast thou granted now I trow!"

said she.

    Zeus that rolls the clouds of heaven, her addressing answered then:
    "Moonstruck! thou art ever _trowing_; never I escape thy ken.
    After all, it boots thee nothing; leaves thee of my heart the less,--
    So thou hast the worser bargain. What if I the fact confess?
    It was done because I willed it. Hold thy place--my word obey,
    Lest if I come near, and on thee these unconquered hands I lay,
    All the gods that hold Olympus naught avail thee here to-day."[284]

=202. Agamemnon calls a Council.= In the events which immediately
follow we are introduced to the more important human personages on
both sides. To begin with, Agamemnon, king of men, deceived by a dream
sent by Jupiter, calls a council of the Greeks in which, desiring
to arouse them to fresh onslaught upon the Trojans, he tests their
patience first by depicting the joys of the return home to Greece, and
nearly overreaches himself in his cunning; for had it not been for the
wise Nestor, king of sandy Pylos, and Ulysses of many devices, peer of
Jove in wisdom, the common soldiers, fired with hope of viewing their
dear native land and wives and little children once more, would have
launched the ships and sailed forthwith. Among the murmuring host of
those who clamor for retreat the leader is Thersites, uncontrolled of
speech, full of disorderly words, striving idly against the chieftains,
aiming ever to turn their authority into ridicule. He is the one
ludicrous character of the Iliad, this boaster and scandalmonger,
sneering and turbulent of tongue:

    His figure such as might his soul proclaim;
    One eye was blinking, and one leg was lame;
    His mountain shoulders half his breast o'erspread,
    Thin hairs bestrewed his long misshapen head.
    Spleen to mankind his envious heart possest,
    And much he hated all, but most the best.
    Ulysses or Achilles still his theme;
    But royal scandal his delight supreme.[1]

Him Ulysses hearing rebukes, raising his scepter to strike:

    "Peace, factious monster, born to vex the state,
    With wrangling talents formed for foul debate....
    Have we not known thee, slave of all our host,
    The man who acts the least, upbraids the most?..."
    He said, and cowering as the dastard bends,
    The weighty scepter on his back descends:
    On the round bunch the bloody tumors rise;
    The tears spring starting from his haggard eyes:
    Trembling he sat, and, shrunk in abject fears,
    From his wild visage wiped the scalding tears.[285]

The revolt is thus stayed. A banquet of the Greek chieftains is then
held, merely of the greatest--Nestor, Idomeneus of Crete, Ajax the son
of Telamon and cousin of Achilles, and Ajax the less, son of Oïleus,
Ulysses, also, and Agamemnon himself. Menelaüs comes, unbid but not
unwelcome. Sacrifices are offered, but in vain; Jove heeds them not.
Finally, a muster of the Greek troops, by nations and by kings, is
determined upon; and so the army is set in array.

=203. Paris plays the Champion.= Likewise the army of the Trojans; and
battle is about to be joined when forth from the Trojan ranks steps
Paris himself to challenge some champion of the opposing host to single
combat,--the beauteous Paris,

    In form a god! The panther's speckled hide
    Flowed o'er his armor with an easy pride,--
    His bended bow across his shoulders flung,
    His sword beside him negligently hung,
    Two pointed spears he shook with gallant grace,
    And dared the bravest of the Grecian race.[1]

Him, Menelaüs whom he had betrayed, Menelaüs loved of Mars, raging
like a lion, swift espies and, leaping from his chariot, hastens to
encounter. But Paris, smitten with a sense of his own treachery,
fearful, trembling, pale at sight of the avenger, betakes himself to
his heels and hides in the thick of the forces behind. Upbraided,
however, by the generous Hector, noblest of Priam's sons, the handsome
Trojan recovers his self-possession and consents to meet Menelaüs
in formal combat between the opposing hosts: Helen and the wealth
she brought to be the prize; and, thus, the long war to reach its
termination. The Greeks accept the proposal, and a truce is agreed upon
that sacrifices may be made on either side for victory, and the duel
proceed.

=204. Helen surveys the Grecian Host.= Meantime, Iris, the goddess of
the rainbow, summons Helen to view the impending duel. At her loom in
the Trojan palace the ill-starred daughter of Leda is sitting, weaving
in a golden web her own sad story. At memory of her former husband's
love, her home, her parents, the princess drops a tear; then, softly
sighing, turns her footsteps to the Scæan gate. No word is said of
her matchless beauty, but what it was Homer shows us by its effect.
For as she approaches the tower where aged Priam and his gray-haired
chieftains sit, these cry,--

                      "No wonder such celestial charms
    For nine long years have set the world in arms;
    What winning graces! what majestic mien!
    She moves a goddess, and she looks a queen.
    Yet hence, oh Heaven! convey that fatal face,
    And from destruction save the Trojan race."[286]

--Words reëchoed by our English Marlowe, two thousand years later:

    Was this the face that launched a thousand ships,
    And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
    Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.--
    Her lips suck forth my soul: see, where it flies!
    Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again!
    Here will I dwell, for heaven is in these lips,
    And all is dross that is not Helena....
    Oh, thou art fairer than the evening air
    Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;
    Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter
    When he appeared to hapless Semele;...
    And none but thou shalt be my paramour![287]

Priam, receiving his daughter-in-law tenderly, inquires of her the
names of one and another of the Greeks moving on the plain below.--

                                  "Who, that
    Around whose brow such martial graces shine,
    So tall, so awful, and almost divine?"[2]

"The son of Atreus," answers she, shamefacedly. "Agamemnon, king of
kings, my brother once, before my days of shame."

    "What's he whose arms lie scattered on the plain?
    Broad is his breast, his shoulders larger spread,
    Though great Atrides overtops his head.
    Nor yet appear his care and conduct small;
    From rank to rank he moves and orders all."[2]

"That is Ulysses," replies Helen, "of the barren isle of Ithaca; but
his fame for wisdom fills the earth."

Old Antenor, seated by Priam's side, thereupon recalls the modesty and
the restrained but moving eloquence of the wondrous son of Laërtes.

    The king then asked, as yet the camp he viewed,
    "What chief is that, with giant strength endued;
    Whose brawny shoulders, and whose swelling chest,
    And lofty stature, far exceed the rest?"[288]

"That is Ajax the great," responds the beauteous queen, "himself a
host, bulwark of the Achæans." And she points out Idomeneus, also, the
godlike king of Crete; then scans the array for her own dear brothers
Castor and Pollux;--in vain, for them the life-giving earth held fast
there in Lacedæmon, their native land.

=205. Menelaüs defeats Paris.= Now from both sides sacrifices have been
made to Jove, avenger of oaths, with prayer for victory and vow of
fidelity to the contract made. But Jove vouchsafes not yet fulfillment.
The lists are measured out by Hector and Ulysses. The duel is on. Paris
throws his spear: it strikes, but fails to penetrate the shield of
Menelaüs. Menelaüs then breaks his blade upon the helmet of the Trojan,
seizes him by the horsehair crest, and drags him toward the Grecian
lines. But Aphrodite touches the chin strap of Paris' headpiece so that
it breaks and leaves the futile helmet in the victor's hand. Then,
wrapping her favorite in a mist, the goddess bears him from the pursuit
of the furious Menelaüs, and, laying him safe in Helen's chamber,
summons his mistress, who first upbraids, then soothes him with her
love.

The Greeks claim the victory, and with justice. The Trojans, then and
there, would have yielded Helen and her wealth, and the fate of Troy
might have been averted, had it not been for the machinations of the
goddesses, Juno and Minerva. These could not bear that the hated city
should thus escape. Prompted by the insidious urging of Minerva, one of
the Trojans, Pandarus, breaks the truce; he shoots his arrow full at
the heart of the unsuspecting Menelaüs. Minerva, of course, deflects
the fatal shaft. But the treachery has accomplished its purpose; the
war is reopened with fresh bitterness.

=206. The Two Days' Battle.= The battle which then begins lasts for
two whole days. In its progress we witness a series of single combats.
Pandarus the archer wounds Diomede, the son of Tydeus. He in turn,
raging over the plain, fells Pandarus with his spear and crushes Æneas,
Priam's valiant kinsman, to his knees with a great stone. Venus shrouds
her fallen son in her shining veil and will rescue him. But Diomedes,
clear of vision, spies her out and drives his pointed spear against
her hand, grazing the palm of it. Out leaps the ichor, life-stream of
the blessed gods, and the goddess shrieking drops her burden and flees
from the jeering Diomede;--nay, mounts even to Olympus where, sobbing
in the arms of her mother, Dione, she finds solace of her pain, and
straightway turns to hopes of vengeance. Æneas, meantime, is wrapped by
Ph[oe]bus Apollo in a dusky cloud and borne aloft to that god's temple,
where Diana and Latona heal him.

To Diomede still breathing slaughter, the god of war himself, Mars, now
appears in form of a Thracian captain, opposing him and stirring Hector
and the swiftly recovered Æneas and the godlike Sarpedon against the
Greeks. And the Greeks give back, but the keen eye of Diomede pierces
the disguise of the War-god, and he shouts a warning to his comrades.
Then Minerva descends to where Diomede, the son of Tydeus, is resting
beside his chariot, and she spurs him afresh to the fray. "Thou joy
of my heart," says she, "fear thou neither Mars nor any other of the
immortals, for I shall help thee mightily." So she takes the place of
his charioteer, and together they drive upon the War-god. And that one
cannot come at the son of Tydeus to strike him down, because of the
ward that Minerva vouchsafes. But, for his part, Diomede strikes his
spear against the nethermost belly of Mars and wounds him, rending
his fair skin; and he plucks forth the spear again. Then brazen Mars
bellows loud as nine or ten thousand soldiers all at once; and, like
Venus before him, betakes himself to Olympus. There, complaining to
Jove, he receives stern reprimand for his intolerant and hateful
spirit, stirring men ever to strife,--"like thine own mother Juno,
after whom, not after me, thou takest." Thus, the father of the gods;
and he makes an end, and bids Pæan, the family physician, heal him.

Diomedes, still bearing down upon the Trojans, is about to fight with
a young warrior when, struck by his appearance, he inquires his name.
It is Glaucus, and the youth is grandson of the noble Bellerophon.
Then Diomede of the loud war cry is glad and strikes his spear into
the earth and declines to fight. "For lo," says he, "our grandfathers
were guest-friends, and guest-friends are we. Why slay each other?
There are multitudes of Trojans for me to slay, and for thee Achæans
in multitude, if thou canst. Let us twain rather exchange arms as a
testimony of our good faith." And this they do; and Diomede gets the
best of the bargain, his armor being worth but nine oxen, and young
Glaucus' five score.

=207. Hector and Andromache.= The Trojans being still pushed nearer to
their own walls, Hector, bravest of Priam's sons, returns to the city
to urge the women to prayer, and to carry the loitering Paris back with
him to the defense. Here he meets his brave mother Hecuba, and then the
fair Helen; but most to our purpose and his, his wife, the white-armed
Andromache, the noblest of the women of the Iliad, for whom he has
searched in vain.

[Illustration: FIG. 154. HECTOR'S FAREWELL

From the relief by Thorwaldsen]

    But when he had passed through the great city and was come to the
    Scæan gates, whereby he was minded to issue upon the plain, then
    came his dear-won wife, running to meet him, even Andromache,
    daughter of great-hearted Eëtion.... So she met him now; and with
    her went the handmaid bearing in her bosom the tender boy, the
    little child, Hector's loved son, like unto a beautiful star. Him
    Hector called Scamandrius, but all the folk Astyanax, "defender
    of the city." So now he smiled and gazed at his boy silently, and
    Andromache stood by his side weeping, and clasped her hand in
    his, and spake and called upon his name. "Dear my lord, this thy
    hardihood will undo thee, neither hast thou any pity for thine
    infant boy, nor for hapless me that soon shall be thy widow; for
    soon will the Achæans all set upon thee and slay thee. But it
    were better for me to go down to the grave if I lose thee; for
    nevermore will any comfort be mine, when once thou, even thou,
    hast met thy fate,--but only sorrow. Moreover I have no father,
    now, nor lady mother.... And the seven brothers that were mine
    within our halls, all these on the selfsame day went within the
    house of Hades; for fleet-footed, goodly Achilles slew them all
    amid their kine of trailing gait and white-faced sheep.... Nay,
    Hector, thou art to me father and lady mother, yea and brother,
    even as thou art my goodly husband. Come now, have pity and abide
    here upon the tower, lest thou make thy child an orphan and thy
    wife a widow." ...

    Then great Hector of the glancing helm answered her: "Surely I
    take thought for all these things, my wife; but I have very sore
    shame of the Trojans and Trojan dames with trailing robes, if
    like a coward I shrink away from battle. Moreover mine own soul
    forbiddeth me, seeing I have learnt ever to be valiant and fight
    in the forefront of the Trojans, winning my father's great glory
    and mine own. Yea of a surety, I know this in heart and soul; the
    day shall come for holy Ilios to be laid low, and Priam and the
    folk of Priam of the good ashen spear. Yet doth the anguish of
    the Trojans hereafter not so much trouble me, neither Hecuba's
    own, neither king Priam's, neither my brethren's, the many and
    brave that shall fall in the dust before their foemen, as doth
    thine anguish in the day when some mail-clad Achæan shall lead
    thee weeping, and rob thee of the light of freedom.... But me in
    death may the heaped-up earth be covering, ere I hear thy crying
    and thy carrying into captivity."[289]

So spoke the great-hearted hero, and stretched his arms out to take his
little boy. But

    The babe clung crying to his nurse's breast,
    Scared at the dazzling helm, and nodding crest.
    With secret pleasure each fond parent smiled,
    And Hector hasted to relieve his child,--
    The glittering terrors from his brows unbound
    And placed the beaming helmet on the ground.
    Then kissed the child, and, lifting high in air,
    Thus to the gods, preferred a father's prayer:
        "O thou! whose glory fills the ethereal throne,
    And all ye deathless powers! protect my son!
    Grant him, like me, to purchase just renown,
    To guard the Trojans, to defend the crown,
    Against his country's foes the war to wage.
    And rise the Hector of the future age!
    So when, triumphant from successive toils
    Of heroes slain, he bears the reeking spoils,
    Whole hosts may hail him with deserved acclaim
    And say, 'This chief transcends his father's fame':
    While, pleased, amidst the general shouts of Troy,
    His mother's conscious heart o'erflows with joy."[290]

So prayed he, the glorious Hector, foreboding of the future, but
little thinking that, when he himself was slain and the city sacked,
his starlike son should be cast headlong to death from Troy's high
towers, and his dear wife led into captivity as he had dreaded,
indeed, and by none other than Neoptolemus, the son of his mortal foe,
Achilles. But now Hector laid the boy in the arms of his wife, and she,
smiling tearfully, gathered him to her fragrant bosom; and her husband
pitied her, and caressed her with his hand, and bade her farewell,
saying:

    "Andromache! my soul's far better part,
    Why with untimely sorrows heaves thy heart?
    No hostile hand can antedate my doom,
    Till fate condemns me to the silent tomb.
    Fixed is the term to all the race of earth;
    And such the hard condition of our birth,
    No force can then resist, no flight can save;
    All sink alike, the fearful and the brave.
    No more--but hasten to thy tasks at home,
    There guide the spindle, and direct the loom;
    Me glory summons to the martial scene,
    The field of combat is the sphere for men.
    Where heroes war, the foremost place I claim,
    The first in danger, as the first in fame."[291]

He took up his horsehair crested helmet; and she departed to her home,
oft looking back and letting fall big tears, thinking that he would no
more come back from battle.

=208. Neptune aids the Discouraged Greeks.= But the end was not to be
so soon. Hector, returning to the field, challenged the bravest of
the Greeks to combat. Nine accepted the challenge; but the lot fell
upon Ajax, the son of Telamon. The duel lasted till night, with deeds
of valor on both sides; and the heroes parted, each testifying to his
foeman's worth. The next day a truce was declared for the burning of
the dead; but, soon after, the conflict was renewed, and before the
might of Hector and his troops the Greeks were driven back to their
trenches.

Then Agamemnon, king of men, called another council of his wisest and
bravest chiefs and, grievously discouraged, proposed, this time in
earnest, that they reëmbark and sail home to Greece.[292] In the debate
that ensued Nestor advised that an embassy should be sent to Achilles
persuading him to return to the field; and that Agamemnon should yield
the maiden, the cause of dispute, with ample gifts to atone for the
wrong he had done. Agamemnon assented; and Ulysses, Ajax, and Ph[oe]nix
were sent to carry to Achilles the penitent message. They performed
that duty, but Achilles was deaf to their entreaties. He positively
refused to return to the attack and persisted in his determination to
embark for Greece without delay.

[Illustration: FIG. 155. THE EMBASSY TO ACHILLES

(Left section)]

Meanwhile the Greeks, having constructed a rampart around their ships,
were now, instead of besieging Troy, in a manner themselves besieged,
within their rampart. The next day after the unsuccessful embassy to
Achilles, another battle was fought, in which Agamemnon raged mightily
with his spear till, wounded, he was forced to retire to the hollow
ships; and Ulysses, too, bravely warring, had a narrow escape with
life.[293] Then the Trojans, favored by Jove, succeeded in forcing
a passage through the Grecian rampart and were about to set fire to
the ships. But Neptune, seeing the Greeks hard pressed, came to their
rescue.[294] Appearing in the form of Calchas the prophet, he raised
the ardor of the warriors to such a pitch that they forced the Trojans
to give way. Here Ajax, son of Telamon, performed prodigies of valor.
Bearing his massy shield and "shaking his far-shadowing spear," he
encountered Hector.[295] The Greek shouted defiance, to which Hector
replied, and hurled his lance at the huge warrior. It was well aimed
and struck Ajax where the belts that bore his sword and shield
crossed each other on the breast, but the double guard prevented its
penetrating, and it fell harmless. Then Ajax, seizing a huge stone,
one of those that served to prop the ships, hurled it at Hector. It
struck him near the neck and stretched him on the plain. His followers
instantly seized him and bore him off stunned and wounded.

[Illustration: FIG. 156. THE EMBASSY TO ACHILLES

(Right Section)]

=209. Jupiter inspirits the Trojans.= While Neptune was thus aiding
the Greeks and driving back the Trojans, Jupiter saw nothing of what
was going on, for his attention had been drawn from the field by
the wiles of Juno.[296] That goddess had arrayed herself in all her
charms, and to crown all had borrowed of Venus her girdle, the Cestus,
which enhanced the wearer's charms to such a degree that they were
irresistible. So prepared, Juno had joined her husband, who sat on
Olympus watching the battle. When he beheld her, the fondness of his
early love revived and, forgetting the contending armies and all other
affairs of state, he gave himself up to her and let the battle go as it
would.

But this oblivion did not continue long. When, upon turning his
eyes downward, the cloud-compeller beheld Hector stretched, almost
lifeless, on the plain, he angrily dismissed Juno, commanding her to
send Iris and Apollo to him.[297] The former bore a peremptory message
to Neptune, ordering him to quit the contest. Apollo was dispatched
to heal Hector's bruises and to inspirit his heart. These orders were
obeyed with such speed that while the battle was still raging, Hector
returned to the field and Neptune betook himself to his own dominions.

[Illustration: FIG. 157. THE BATTLE BY THE SHIPS]

=210. Achilles and Patroclus.= An arrow from the bow of Paris had
wounded Machaon, son of Æsculapius, a brave warrior, who, having
inherited his father's art, was of great value to the Greeks as their
surgeon. Nestor, taking Machaon in his chariot, conveyed him from the
field. As they passed the ships of Achilles, that hero, looking over
the battle, saw the chariot of Nestor, and recognized the old chief,
but could not discern who the wounded warrior was. Calling Patroclus,
his companion and dearest friend, he sent him to Nestor's tent to
inquire. Patroclus, performing the behest, saw Machaon wounded and,
having told the cause of his coming, would have hastened away, but
Nestor detained him to tell him the extent of the Grecian calamities.
He reminded him also how, at the time of the departure for Troy,
Achilles and himself had been charged by their respective sires: the
one to aspire to the highest pitch of glory; the other, as the elder,
to keep watch over his friend and to guide his inexperience. "Now,"
said Nestor, "is the time for such guidance. If the gods so please,
thou mayest win Achilles back to the common cause; but if not, let him
at least send his soldiers to the field, and come thou, Patroclus,
clad in his armor. Perhaps the very sight of it may drive back the
Trojans."[298]

=211. Patroclus in the Armor of Achilles.= Patroclus, strongly moved by
this address, hastened to his friend, revolving in his mind what he had
seen and heard.[299] He told the prince the sad condition of affairs
at the camp of their late associates; Diomede, Ulysses, Agamemnon,
Machaon, all wounded, the rampart broken down, the enemy among the
ships preparing to burn them and thus to cut off all means of return to
Greece. While they spoke, the flames burst forth from one of the ships.
Achilles, at the sight, relented so far as to intrust Patroclus with
the Myrmidons for the onslaught and to lend him his armor that he might
thereby strike the more terror into the minds of the Trojans. Without
delay the soldiers were marshaled, Patroclus put on the radiant armor,
mounted the chariot of Achilles, and led forth the men ardent for
battle. But before his friend went, Achilles strictly charged him to
be content with repelling the foe. "Seek not," said he, "to press the
Trojans without me, lest thou add still more to the disgrace already
mine." Then exhorting the troops to do their best, he dismissed them
full of ardor to the fight.

Patroclus and his Myrmidons at once plunged into the contest where
it raged hottest. At the sight of them the joyful Grecians shouted,
and the ships reëchoed the acclaim; but the Trojans, beholding the
well-known armor, struck with terror, looked everywhere for refuge.
First those who had got possession of the ship and set it on fire
allowed the Grecians to retake it and extinguish the flames. Then
the rest fled in dismay. Ajax, Menelaüs, and the two sons of Nestor
performed prodigies of valor. Hector was forced to turn his horses'
heads and retire from the enclosure, leaving his men encumbered in the
fosse to escape as they could. Patroclus drove all before him, slaying
many; nor did one dare to make a stand against him.

[Illustration: FIG. 158. MENELAÜS WITH THE BODY OF PATROCLUS]

=212. The Deaths of Sarpedon and Patroclus.= At last the grandson of
Bellerophon, Sarpedon, son of Jove and Laodamia, ventured to oppose
the Greek warrior. The Olympian looked down upon his son and would
have snatched him from the fate impending, but Juno hinted that if he
did so, the other inhabitants of heaven might be induced to interpose
in like manner whenever any of their offspring were endangered,--an
argument to which Jove yielded. Sarpedon threw his spear, but missed
Patroclus; the spear of the Greek, on the other hand, pierced
Sarpedon's breast, and he fell, calling to his friends to save his
body from the foe. Then a furious contest arose for the corpse. The
Greeks succeeded in stripping Sarpedon of his armor, but Jove would not
suffer the body to be dishonored. By his command Apollo snatched it
from the midst of the combatants and committed it to the care of the
twin brothers Death and Sleep. By them it was transported to Lycia,
Sarpedon's native land, and there received due funeral rites.

Thus far Patroclus had succeeded to the utmost in repelling the foe and
relieving his countrymen, but now came a change of fortune. Hector,
borne in his chariot, confronted him. Patroclus threw a vast stone at
the Trojan, which missed its aim, but smote Cebriones, the charioteer,
and felled him from the car. Hector leaped from the chariot to rescue
his friend, and Patroclus also descended to complete his victory. Thus
the two heroes met face to face. At this decisive moment the poet, as
if reluctant to give Hector the glory, records that Ph[oe]bus Apollo,
taking part against Patroclus, struck the helmet from his head and the
lance from his hand. At the same moment an obscure Trojan wounded him
in the back, and Hector pressing forward pierced him with his spear. He
fell mortally wounded.

Then arose a tremendous conflict for the body of Patroclus; but his
armor was at once taken possession of by Hector, who, retiring a short
distance, divested himself of his own mail, put on that of Achilles,
then returned to the fight.[300] Ajax and Menelaüs defended the body,
and Hector and his bravest warriors struggled to capture it. The battle
still raged with equal fortune, when Jove enveloped the whole face
of heaven in a cloud. The lightning flashed, the thunder roared, and
Ajax, looking round for some one whom he might dispatch to Achilles
to tell him of the death of his friend and of the imminent danger of
his remains falling into the hands of the enemy, could see no suitable
messenger. In desperation he exclaimed:

    "Father of heaven and earth! deliver thou
    Achaia's host from darkness; clear the skies;
    Give day; and, since thy sovereign will is such,
    Destruction with it; but, oh, give us day!"[301]

Jupiter heard the prayer and dispersed the clouds. Ajax sent Antilochus
to Achilles with the intelligence of Patroclus' death and of the
conflict raging for his remains; and the Greeks at last succeeded in
bearing off the body to the ships, closely pursued by Hector and Æneas
and the rest of the Trojans.

=213. The Remorse of Achilles.= Achilles heard the fate of his friend
with such distress that Antilochus feared for a while lest he might
destroy himself.[302] His groans reached the ears of Thetis, far down
in the deeps of ocean where she abode, and she hastened to inquire
the cause. She found him overwhelmed with self-reproach that he had
suffered his friend to fall a victim to his resentment. His only
consolation was the hope of revenge. He would fly instantly in search
of Hector. But his mother reminded him that he was now without armor
and promised, if he would but wait till the morrow, to procure for
him a suit of armor from Vulcan more than equal to that he had lost.
He consented, and Thetis immediately repaired to Vulcan's palace.
She found him busy at his forge, making tripods for his own use, so
artfully constructed that they moved forward of their own accord when
wanted, and retired again when dismissed. On hearing the request of
Thetis, Vulcan immediately laid aside his work and hastened to comply
with her wishes. He fabricated a splendid suit of armor for Achilles;
first a shield adorned with elaborate devices, of which a noble
description is given by Homer, then a helmet crested with gold, then a
corselet and greaves of impenetrable temper, all perfectly adapted to
the hero's form, and of consummate workmanship. The suit was made in
one night, and Thetis, receiving it, descended to earth and laid it at
Achilles' feet at the dawn of day.

=214. The Reconciliation of Agamemnon and Achilles.= The first glow of
pleasure that Achilles had felt since the death of Patroclus was at
the sight of this splendid armor.[303] And now arrayed in it, he went
forth to the camp, calling the chiefs to council. When the leaders were
assembled, Achilles addressed them. Renouncing his displeasure against
Agamemnon and bitterly lamenting the miseries that had resulted from
it, he called on them to proceed at once to the field. Agamemnon made
a suitable reply, laying the blame on Ate, the goddess of infatuation;
and thereupon complete reconcilement took place between the heroes.

Then Achilles went forth to battle, heartened by the inspiration of
Minerva and filled with a rage and thirst for vengeance that made him
irresistible. As he mounted his chariot, one of his immortal coursers
was, strange to say, endowed suddenly with speech from on high and,
breaking into prophecy, warned the hero of his approaching doom. But,
nothing daunted, Achilles pressed upon the foe. The bravest warriors
fled before him or fell by his lance.[304] Hector, cautioned by Apollo,
kept aloof; but the god, assuming the form of one of Priam's sons,
Lycaon, urged Æneas to encounter the terrible warrior. Æneas, though
he felt himself unequal, did not decline the combat. He hurled his
spear with all his force against the shield, the work of Vulcan. The
spear pierced two plates of the shield, but was stopped in the third.
Achilles threw his spear with better success. It pierced through the
shield of Æneas, but glanced near his shoulder and made no wound. Then
Æneas, seizing a stone, such as two men of modern times could hardly
lift, was about to throw it,--and Achilles, with sword drawn, was
about to rush upon him,--when Neptune, looking out upon the contest,
had pity upon Æneas, who was sure to have the worst of it. The god,
consequently, spread a cloud between the combatants and, lifting the
Trojan from the ground, bore him over the heads of warriors and steeds
to the rear of the battle. Achilles, when the mist cleared away, looked
round in vain for his adversary, and acknowledging the prodigy, turned
his arms against other champions. But none dared stand before him;
and Priam from his city walls beheld the whole army in full flight
toward the city. He gave command to open wide the gates to receive the
fugitives, and to shut them as soon as the Trojans should have passed,
lest the enemy should enter likewise. But Achilles was so close in
pursuit that that would have been impossible if Apollo had not, in the
form of Agenor, Priam's son, first encountered the swift-footed hero,
then turned in flight, and taken the way apart from the city. Achilles
pursued, and had chased his supposed victim far from the walls before
the god disclosed himself.[305]

=215. The Death of Hector.= But when the rest had escaped into the
town Hector stood without, determined to await the combat. His father
called to him from the walls, begging him to retire nor tempt the
encounter. His mother, Hecuba, also besought him, but all in vain.
"How can I," said he to himself, "by whose command the people went to
this day's contest where so many have fallen, seek refuge for myself
from a single foe? Or shall I offer to yield up Helen and all her
treasures and ample of our own beside? Ah no! even that is too late. He
would not hear me through, but slay me while I spoke." While he thus
ruminated, Achilles approached, terrible as Mars, his armor flashing
lightning as he moved. At that sight Hector's heart failed him and
he fled. Achilles swiftly pursued. They ran, still keeping near the
walls, till they had thrice encircled the city. As often as Hector
approached the walls Achilles intercepted him and forced him to keep
out in a wider circle. But Apollo sustained Hector's strength and
would not let him sink in weariness. Then Pallas, assuming the form of
Deiphobus, Hector's bravest brother, appeared suddenly at his side.
Hector saw him with delight, and thus strengthened, stopped his flight,
and, turning to meet Achilles, threw his spear. It struck the shield
of Achilles and bounded back. He turned to receive another from the
hand of Deiphobus, but Deiphobus was gone. Then Hector understood his
doom and said, "Alas! it is plain this is my hour to die! I thought
Deiphobus at hand, but Pallas deceived me, and he is still in Troy. But
I will not fall inglorious." So saying he drew his falchion from his
side and rushed at once to combat. Achilles, secure behind his shield,
waited the approach of Hector. When he came within reach of his spear,
Achilles, choosing with his eye a vulnerable part where the armor
leaves the neck uncovered, aimed his spear at that part, and Hector
fell, death-wounded. Feebly he said, "Spare my body! Let my parents
ransom it, and let me receive funeral rites from the sons and daughters
of Troy." To which Achilles replied, "Dog, name not ransom nor pity to
me, on whom you have brought such dire distress. No! trust me, nought
shall save thy carcass from the dogs. Though twenty ransoms and thy
weight in gold were offered, I should refuse it all."[306]

[Illustration: FIG. 159. CONTEST OF ACHILLES AND HECTOR]

=216. Achilles drags the Body of Hector.= So saying, the son of Peleus
stripped the body of its armor, and, fastening cords to the feet, tied
them behind his chariot, leaving the body to trail along the ground.
Then mounting the chariot he lashed the steeds and so dragged the body
to and fro before the city. No words can tell the grief of Priam and
Hecuba at this sight. His people could scarce restrain the aged king
from rushing forth. He threw himself in the dust and besought them
each by name to let him pass. Hecuba's distress was not less violent.
The citizens stood round them weeping. The sound of the mourning
reached the ears of Andromache, the wife of Hector, as she sat among
her maidens at work; and anticipating evil she went forth to the wall.
When she saw the horror there presented, she would have thrown herself
headlong from the wall, but fainted and fell into the arms of her
maidens. Recovering, she bewailed her fate, picturing to herself her
country ruined, herself a captive, and her son, the youthful Astyanax,
dependent for his bread on the charity of strangers.

[Illustration: FIG. 160. ACHILLES OVER THE BODY OF HECTOR AT THE TOMB
OF PATROCLUS]

After Achilles and the Greeks had thus taken their revenge on the
slayer of Patroclus, they busied themselves in paying due funeral
rites to their friend.[307] A pile was erected, and the body burned
with due solemnity. Then ensued games of strength and skill, chariot
races, wrestling, boxing, and archery. Later, the chiefs sat down to
the funeral banquet, and finally retired to rest. But Achilles partook
neither of the feast nor of sleep. The recollection of his lost friend
kept him awake,--the memory of their companionship in toil and dangers,
in battle or on the perilous deep. Before the earliest dawn he left
his tent, and joining to his chariot his swift steeds, he fastened
Hector's body to be dragged behind. Twice he dragged him round the tomb
of Patroclus, leaving him at length stretched in the dust. But Apollo
would not permit the body to be torn or disfigured with all this abuse;
he preserved it free from taint or defilement.[308]

[Illustration: FIG. 161. PRIAM'S VISIT TO ACHILLES]

While Achilles indulged his wrath in thus disgracing Hector, Jupiter
in pity summoned Thetis to his presence. Bidding her prevail on
Achilles to restore the body of Hector to the Trojans, he sent Iris to
encourage Priam to beg of Achilles the body of his son. Iris delivered
her message, and Priam prepared to obey. He opened his treasuries and
took out rich garments and cloths, with ten talents in gold and two
splendid tripods and a golden cup of matchless workmanship. Then he
called to his sons and bade them draw forth his litter and place in it
the various articles designed for a ransom to Achilles. When all was
ready, the old king with a single companion as aged as himself, the
herald Idæus, drove forth from the gates, parting there with Hecuba
his queen, and all his friends, who lamented him as going to certain
death.

=217. Priam in the Tent of Achilles.=[309] But Jupiter, beholding
with compassion the venerable king, sent Mercury to be his guide and
protector. Assuming the form of a young warrior, Mercury presented
himself to the aged couple; and, when at the sight of him they
hesitated whether to fly or yield, approaching he grasped Priam's hand
and offered to be their guide to Achilles' tent. Priam gladly accepted
his service, and Mercury, mounting the carriage, assumed the reins and
conveyed them to the camp. Then having cast the guards into a heavy
sleep, he introduced Priam into the tent where Achilles sat, attended
by two of his warriors. The aged king threw himself at the feet of
Achilles and kissed those terrible hands which had destroyed so many
of his sons. "Think, O Achilles," he said, "of thine own father, full
of days like me, and trembling on the gloomy verge of life. Even now,
mayhap, some neighbor chief oppresses him and there is none at hand
to succor him in his distress. Yet, knowing that Achilles lives, he
doubtless still rejoices, hoping that one day he shall see thy face
again. But me no comfort cheers, whose bravest sons, so late the
flower of Ilium, all have fallen. Yet one I had, one more than all the
rest the strength of my age, whom fighting for his country thou hast
slain. His body I come to redeem, bringing inestimable ransom with me.
Achilles! reverence the gods! recollect thy father! for his sake show
compassion to me!" These words moved Achilles, and he wept, remembering
by turns his absent father and his lost friend. Moved with pity of
Priam's silver locks and beard, he raised him from the earth and spake:
"Priam, I know that thou hast reached this place conducted by some
god, for without aid divine no mortal even in his prime of youth had
dared the attempt. I grant thy request, for I am moved thereto by the
manifest will of Jove." So saying he arose, went forth with his two
friends, and unloaded of its charge the litter, leaving two mantles and
a robe for the covering of the body. This they placed on the litter and
spread the garments over it, that not unveiled it should be borne back
to Troy. Then Achilles dismissed the old king, having first pledged
himself to a truce of twelve days for the funeral solemnities.

As the litter approached the city and was descried from the walls,
the people poured forth to gaze once more on the face of their hero.
Foremost of all, the mother and the wife of Hector came, and at the
sight of the lifeless body renewed their lamentations. The people wept
with them, and to the going down of the sun there was no pause or
abatement of their grief.

The next day, preparations were made for the funeral solemnities. For
nine days the people brought wood and built the pile; and on the tenth
they placed the body on the summit and applied the torch, while all
Troy, thronging forth, encompassed the pyre. When it had completely
burned, they quenched the cinders with wine, and, collecting the bones,
placed them in a golden urn, which they buried in the earth. Over the
spot they reared a pile of stones.

    Such honors Ilium to her hero paid,
    And peaceful slept the mighty Hector's shade.[310]

FOOTNOTES:

[280] From Tennyson's Dream of Fair Women.

[281] From Tennyson's [OE]none.

[282] Euripides, Iphigenia at Aulis, Iphigenia among the Tauri.

[283] From Tennyson's Dream of Fair Women.

[284] Gladstone's Translations from the Iliad.

[285] Iliad, 2 (Pope's translation).

[286] Iliad, 3 (Pope's translation).

[287] Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus.

[288] Iliad, 3 (Pope's translation).

[289] Iliad, 6, 390 _et seq._ (Lang, Leaf, and Myers' translation).

[290] Iliad, 6, 470-490 (Pope's translation).

[291] Iliad, 6 (Pope's translation).

[292] Iliad, 9.

[293] Iliad, 11.

[294] Iliad, 13.

[295] Iliad, 14, 400-440.

[296] Iliad, 14, 150-350.

[297] Iliad, 15.

[298] Iliad, 11.

[299] Iliad, 16.

[300] Iliad, 17.

[301] Cowper's translation. The lines are often quoted.

[302] Iliad, 18.

[303] Iliad, 19.

[304] Iliad, 20.

[305] Iliad, 21.

[306] Iliad, 22, 350.

[307] Iliad, 23.

[308] Iliad, 24, 15.

[309] Iliad, 24, 330-804.

[310] Iliad, 24, 804 (Pope's translation).

[Illustration: AMAZON]



CHAPTER XXIII

THE FALL OF TROY


[Illustration: FIG. 162. ACHILLES AND PENTHESILEA]

=218. The Fall of Troy.= The story of the Iliad ends with the death
of Hector, and it is from the Odyssey and later poems that we learn
the fate of the other heroes. After the death of Hector, Troy did not
immediately fall, but receiving aid from new allies, still continued
its resistance. One of these allies was Memnon, the Ethiopian prince,
whose story has been already told.[311] Another was Penthesilea, queen
of the Amazons, who came with a band of female warriors. All the
authorities attest the valor of these women and the fearful effect
of their war cry. Penthesilea, having slain many of the bravest
Greeks, was at last slain by Achilles. But when the hero bent over his
fallen foe and contemplated her beauty, youth, and valor, he bitterly
regretted his victory. Thersites, the insolent brawler and demagogue,
attempting to ridicule his grief, was in consequence slain by the
hero.[312]

=219. The Death of Achilles.= But Achilles himself was not destined
to a long life. Having by chance seen Polyxena, daughter of King
Priam,--perhaps on occasion of the truce which was allowed the Trojans
for the burial of Hector,--he was captivated with her charms; and to
win her in marriage, it is said (but not by Homer) that he agreed to
influence the Greeks to make peace with Troy. While the hero was in the
temple of Apollo negotiating the marriage, Paris discharged at him a
poisoned arrow,[313] which, guided by Apollo, fatally wounded him in
the heel. This was his only vulnerable spot; for Thetis, having dipped
him when an infant in the river Styx, had rendered every part of him
invulnerable except that by which she held him.[314]

=220. Contest for the Arms of Achilles.= The body of Achilles so
treacherously slain was rescued by Ajax and Ulysses. Thetis directed
the Greeks to bestow her son's armor on that hero who of all survivors
should be judged most deserving of it. Ajax and Ulysses were the only
claimants. A select number of the other chiefs were appointed to award
the prize. By the will of Minerva it was awarded to Ulysses,--wisdom
being thus rated above valor. Ajax, enraged, set forth from his tent
to wreak vengeance upon the Atridæ and Ulysses. But the goddess robbed
him of reason and turned his hand against the flocks and herds of the
Argives, which he slaughtered or led captive to his tent, counting them
the rivals who had wronged him. Then the cruel goddess restored to him
his wits. And he, fixing his sword in the ground, prepared to take his
own life:

                        "Come and look on me,
    O Death, O Death,--and yet in yonder world
    I shall dwell with thee, speak enough with thee;
    And thee I call, thou light of golden day,
    Thou Sun, who drivest on thy glorious car,
    Thee, for this last time,--never more again!
    O Light, O sacred land that was my home;
    O Salamis, where stands my father's hearth,
    Thou glorious Athens, with thy kindred race;
    Ye streams and rivers here, and Troïa's plains,
    To you that fed my life I bid farewell;
    This last, last word does Ajax speak to you;
    All else, I speak in Hades to the dead."[3]

Then, falling upon his sword, he died. So, in the words of his
magnanimous foe, Ulysses, passed to the god that ruleth in gloom

    The best and bravest of the Argive host,
    Of all that came to Troïa, saving one,
    Achilles' self.[315]

On the spot where his blood sank into the earth a hyacinth sprang up,
bearing on its leaves the first two letters of his name, Ai, the Greek
interjection of woe.[316]

[Illustration: FIG. 163. [OE]NONE WARNING PARIS]

It was now discovered that Troy could not be taken but by the aid
of the arrows of Hercules. They were in possession of Philoctetes,
the friend who had been with Hercules at the last and had lighted
his funeral pyre. Philoctetes[317] had joined the Grecian expedition
against Troy; but he accidentally wounded his foot with one of the
poisoned arrows, and the smell from the wound proved so offensive that
his companions carried him to the isle of Lemnos and left him there.
Diomede and Ulysses, or Ulysses and Neoptolemus (son of Achilles), were
now sent to induce him to rejoin the army. They succeeded. Philoctetes
was cured of his wound by Machaon, and Paris was the first victim of
the fatal arrows.

=221. Paris and [OE]none.= In his distress Paris bethought him of one
whom in his prosperity he had forgotten. This was the nymph [OE]none,
whom he had married when a youth and had abandoned for the fatal beauty
of Helen. [OE]none, remembering the wrongs she had suffered, refused to
heal the wound; and Paris went back to Troy and died. [OE]none quickly
repented and hastened after him with remedies, but came too late, and
in her grief hanged herself.

=222. The Palladium.= There was in Troy a celebrated statue of Minerva
called the Palladium. It was said to have fallen from heaven, and the
belief was that the city could not be taken so long as this statue
remained within it. Ulysses and Diomede entered the city in disguise
and succeeded in obtaining the Palladium, which they carried off to the
Grecian camp.

[Illustration: FIG. 164. THE WOODEN HORSE]

=223. The Wooden Horse.= But Troy still held out. The Greeks began to
despair of subduing it by force, and by advice of Ulysses they resorted
to stratagem.[318] They pretended to be making preparations to abandon
the siege; and a number of the ships were withdrawn and concealed
behind a neighboring island. They then constructed an immense wooden
horse, which they gave out was intended as a propitiatory offering to
Minerva; but it was, in fact, filled with armed men. The rest of the
Greeks then betook themselves to their ships and sailed away, as if for
a final departure. The Trojans, seeing the encampment broken up and the
fleet gone, concluded that the enemy had abandoned the siege. The gates
of the city were thrown open, and the whole population issued forth,
rejoicing at the long-prohibited liberty of passing freely over the
scene of the late encampment. The great horse was the chief object of
curiosity. Some recommended that it be taken into the city as a trophy;
others felt afraid of it. While they hesitated, Laocoön, the priest
of Neptune, exclaimed, "What madness, citizens, is this! Have you not
learned enough of Grecian fraud to be on your guard against it? For my
part, I fear the Greeks even when they offer gifts."[319] So saying,
he threw his lance at the horse's side. It struck, and a hollow sound
reverberated like a groan. Then perhaps the people might have taken his
advice and destroyed the fatal horse with its contents, but just at
that moment a group of people appeared dragging forward one who seemed
a prisoner and a Greek. Stupefied with terror, the captive was brought
before the chiefs. He informed them that he was a Greek, Sinon by name;
and that in consequence of the malice of Ulysses, he had been left
behind by his countrymen at their departure. With regard to the wooden
horse, he told them that it was a propitiatory offering to Minerva, and
had been made so huge for the express purpose of preventing its being
carried within the city; for Calchas the prophet had told them that if
the Trojans took possession of it, they would assuredly triumph over
the Greeks.

[Illustration: LAOCOÖN]

=224. Laocoön and the Serpents.= This language turned the tide of the
people's feelings, and they began to think how they might best secure
the monstrous horse and the favorable auguries connected with it,
when suddenly a prodigy occurred which left no room for doubt. There
appeared advancing over the sea two immense serpents. They came upon
the land and the crowd fled in all directions. The serpents advanced
directly to the spot where Laocoön stood with his two sons. They
first attacked the children, winding round their bodies and breathing
pestilential breath in their faces. The father, attempting to rescue
them, was next seized and involved in the serpent's coils.

                                            ... Vain
      The struggle; vain, against the coiling strain
      And gripe, and deepening of the dragon's grasp,
      The old man's clinch; the long envenomed chain
      Rivets the living links,--the enormous asp
    Enforces pang on pang, and stifles gasp on gasp.[320]

He struggled to tear them away, but they overpowered all his efforts
and strangled him and the children in their poisonous folds. The event
was regarded as a clear indication of the displeasure of the gods at
Laocoön's irreverent treatment of the wooden horse, which they no
longer hesitated to regard as a sacred object and prepared to introduce
with due solemnity into the city. They did so with songs and triumphal
acclamations, and the day closed with festivity. In the night the
armed men who were inclosed in the body of the horse, being let out by
the traitor Sinon, opened the gates of the city to their friends who
had returned under cover of the night. The city was set on fire; the
people, overcome with feasting and sleep, were put to the sword, and
Troy completely subdued.

[Illustration: FIG. 165. THE SACK OF TROY

(Left half)]

=225. The Death of Priam.= Priam lived to see the downfall of his
kingdom and was slain at last on the fatal night when the Greeks
took the city. He had armed himself and was about to mingle with the
combatants,[321] but was prevailed on by Hecuba to take refuge with
his daughters and herself as a suppliant at the altar of Jupiter.
While there, his youngest son, Polites, pursued by Pyrrhus, the son of
Achilles, rushed in wounded and expired at the feet of his father;
whereupon Priam, overcome with indignation, hurled his spear with
feeble hand against Pyrrhus and was forthwith slain by him.

[Illustration: FIG. 166. THE SACK OF TROY

(Right half)]

=226. The Survivors.=[322] Queen Hecuba and her daughter Cassandra were
carried captives to Greece. Cassandra had been loved by Apollo, who
gave her the gift of prophecy; but afterwards offended with her, he had
rendered the gift unavailing by ordaining that her predictions should
never be believed. Polyxena, another daughter, who had been loved by
Achilles, was demanded by the ghost of that warrior and was sacrificed
by the Greeks upon his tomb. Of the fate of the white-armed Andromache
we have already spoken. She was carried off as the wife of Neoptolemus,
but he was faithful to her for only a short time. After he had cast
her aside she married Helenus, a brother of Hector, and still later
returned to Asia Minor.

=227. Helen, Menelaüs, and Agamemnon.= On the fall of Troy, Menelaüs
recovered possession of his wife, who, it seems, had not ceased to
love him, though she had yielded to the might of Venus and deserted
him for another.[323] After the death of Paris, she aided the Greeks
secretly on several occasions: in particular when Ulysses and Diomede
entered the city in disguise to carry off the Palladium. She then saw
and recognized Ulysses, but kept the secret and even assisted them
in obtaining the image. Thus she became reconciled to Menelaüs, and
they were among the first to leave the shores of Troy for their native
land. But having incurred the displeasure of the gods, they were driven
by storms from shore to shore of the Mediterranean, visiting Cyprus,
Ph[oe]nicia, and Egypt. In Egypt they were kindly treated and presented
with rich gifts, of which Helen's share was a golden spindle and a
basket on wheels.

                          ... Many yet adhere
    To the ancient distaff at the bosom fixed,
    Casting the whirling spindle as they walk.
    ... This was of old, in no inglorious days,
    The mode of spinning, when the Egyptian prince
    A golden distaff gave that beauteous nymph,
    Too beauteous Helen; no uncourtly gift.[324]

Milton also alludes to a famous recipe for an invigorating draft,
called Nepenthe, which the Egyptian queen gave to Helen:

    Not that Nepenthes which the wife of Thone
    In Egypt gave to Jove-born Helena,
    Is of such power to stir up joy as this,
    To life so friendly or so cool to thirst.[325]

At last, arriving in safety at Sparta, Menelaüs and Helen resumed their
royal dignity, and lived and reigned in splendor; and when Telemachus,
the son of Ulysses, in search of his father, arrived at Sparta, he
found them celebrating the marriage of their daughter Hermione to
Neoptolemus, son of Achilles.

Agamemnon[326] was not so fortunate in the issue. During his absence
his wife Clytemnestra had been false to him; and when his return was
expected, she with her paramour, Ægisthus, son of Thyestes, laid a
plan for his destruction. Cassandra warned the king, but as usual her
prophecy was not regarded. While Agamemnon was bathing previous to the
banquet given to celebrate his return, the conspirators murdered him.

[Illustration: FIG. 167. ORESTES AND ELECTRA AT THE TOMB OF AGAMEMNON]

=228. Electra and Orestes.= It was the intention of the conspirators to
slay his son Orestes also, a lad not yet old enough to be an object of
apprehension, but from whom, if he should be suffered to grow up, there
might be danger. Electra, the sister of Orestes, saved her brother's
life by sending him secretly to his uncle Strophius, king of Phocis. In
the palace of Strophius, Orestes grew up with the king's son Pylades,
and formed with him a friendship which has become proverbial. Electra
frequently reminded her brother by messengers of the duty of avenging
his father's death; he, too, when he reached maturity, consulted the
oracle of Delphi, which confirmed him in the design. He therefore
repaired in disguise to Argos, pretending to be a messenger from
Strophius, who would announce the death of Orestes. He brought with
him what purported to be the ashes of the deceased in a funeral urn.
After visiting his father's tomb and sacrificing upon it, according
to the rites of the ancients, he met by the way his sister Electra.
Mistaking her for one of the domestics, and desirous of keeping his
arrival a secret till the hour of vengeance should arrive, he produced
the urn. At once his sister, believing Orestes to be really dead, took
the urn from him, and, embracing it, poured forth her grief in language
full of tenderness and despair. Soon a recognition was effected,
and the prince, with the aid of his sister, slew both Ægisthus and
Clytemnestra.[327]

[Illustration: FIG. 168. ORESTES PURSUED BY FURIES]

=229. Orestes pursued by the Furies.=[328] This revolting act, the
slaughter of a mother by her son, though extenuated by the guilt of the
victim and the express command of the gods, did not fail to awaken in
the breasts of the ancients the same abhorrence that it does in ours.
The Eumenides seized upon Orestes and drove him frantic from land to
land. In these wanderings Pylades accompanied him and watched over
him. At length in answer to a second appeal to the oracle, Orestes
was directed to go to the temple of the Tauri in Scythia and to bring
thence a statue of Diana which was believed to have fallen from heaven.
Accordingly the friends went to the Tauric Chersonese. Since there
the barbarous people were accustomed to sacrifice to the goddess all
strangers who fell into their hands, the two friends were seized and
carried bound to the temple to be made victims. But the priestess of
Diana of the Tauri was no other than Iphigenia, the sister of Orestes,
who had been snatched away by Diana at the moment when she was about to
be sacrificed. Ascertaining from the prisoners who they were, Iphigenia
disclosed herself to them; and the three made their escape with the
statue of the goddess, and returned to Mycenæ.[329]

[Illustration: FIG. 169. ORESTES AND PYLADES BEFORE THE KING OF THE
TAURI]

=230. His Purification.= But Orestes was not yet relieved from the
vengeance of the Erinyes. Finally, he took refuge with Minerva at
Athens. The goddess afforded him protection and appointed the court of
Areopagus to decide his fate. The Erinyes brought their accusation,
and Orestes pleaded the command of the Delphic oracle as his excuse.
When the court voted and the voices were equally divided, Orestes
was acquitted by the command of Minerva. He was then purified with
plentiful blood of swine.

FOOTNOTES:

[311] § 128.

[312] Pausanias, 5, 11, § 2; and Sophocles, Philoctetes, 445.

[313] Virgil, Æneid, 6, 57.

[314] Statius, Achilleid, 1, 269.

[315] Sophocles, Ajax.

[316] See Commentary.

[317] Servius Honoratus, Commentary on Æneid (3, 402). According to
Sophocles (Philoctetes), the wound was occasioned by the bite of a
serpent that guarded the shrine of the nymph Chryse, on an islet of the
same name near Lemnos.

[318] Virgil, Æneid, 2.

[319] _Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes._--Æneid. 2, 49.

[320] Byron, Childe Harold.

[321] Hecuba's exclamation, "Not such aid nor such defenders does the
time require," has become proverbial.

    _Non tali auxilio nec defensoribus istis_
    _Tempus eget._--Æneid, 2, 521.

[322] Euripides,--Troades, Hecuba, Andromache.

[323] According to Euripides (Helen), and Stesichorus, it was a
semblance of Helen that Paris won; the real Helen went to Egypt.

[324] Dyer, The Fleece.

[325] Milton, Comus.

[326] Æschylus, Agamemnon.

[327] Æschylus, Choëphori; Sophocles, Electra; Euripides,--Electra,
Orestes.

[328] Æschylus, Eumenides.

[329] Euripides, Iphigenia among the Tauri.



CHAPTER XXIV

THE WANDERINGS OF ULYSSES


[Illustration: FIG. 170. ULYSSES]

    As one that for a weary space has lain
      Lulled by the song of Circe and her wine
      In gardens near the pale of Proserpine,
    Where that Ææan isle forgets the main,
    And only the low lutes of love complain,
      And only shadows of wan lovers pine,--
      As such an one were glad to know the brine
    Salt on his lips, and the large air again,
    So, gladly, from the songs of modern speech
      Men turn and see the stars, and feel the free
        Shrill wind beyond the close of heavy flowers;
        And, through the music of the languid hours,
    They hear like ocean on a western beach
      The surge and thunder of the Odyssey.[330]

=231. From Troy to Phæacia.= The Odyssey of Homer narrates the
wanderings of Ulysses (=Odysseus=) in his return from Troy to his own
kingdom, Ithaca.[331]

From Troy the vessels first made land at Ismarus, city of the
Ciconians, where, in a skirmish with the inhabitants, Ulysses lost six
men from each ship.[332]

[Illustration: THE OUTER GEOGRAPHY OF THE ODYSSEY ACCORDING TO
GLADSTONE.]

=232. The Lotus-eaters.= Sailing thence they were overtaken by a storm
which drove them for nine days till they reached the country of the
Lotos-eaters. Here, after watering, Ulysses sent three of his men
to discover who the inhabitants were. These men on coming among the
Lotos-eaters were kindly entertained by them and were given some of
their own food, the lotos plant, to eat. The effect of this food was
such that those who partook of it lost all thought of home and wished
to remain in that country. It was by main force that Ulysses dragged
these men away, and he was even obliged to tie them under the benches
of his ship.

Tennyson in The Lotos-eaters has fittingly expressed the dreamy,
languid feeling which the lotus-food is said to have produced.

    ... How sweet it were, hearing the downward stream,
    With half-shut eyes ever to seem
    Falling asleep in a half-dream!
    To dream and dream, like yonder amber light
    Which will not leave the myrrh-bush on the height;
    To hear each other's whisper'd speech;
    Eating the Lotos, day by day,
    To watch the crisping ripples on the beach,
    And tender curving lines of creamy spray;
    To lend our hearts and spirits wholly
    To the influence of mild-minded melancholy;
    To muse and brood and live again in memory,
    With those old faces of our infancy
    Heap'd over with a mound of grass,
    Two handfuls of white dust, shut in an urn of brass!

    Dear is the memory of our wedded lives,
    And dear the last embraces of our wives
    And their warm tears: but all hath suffer'd change;
    For surely now our household hearths are cold:
    Our sons inherit us: our looks are strange:
    And we should come like ghosts to trouble joy.

    ... But, propt on beds of amaranth and moly,
    How sweet (while warm airs lull us, blowing lowly)
    With half-dropt eyelid still,
    Beneath a heaven dark and holy,
    To watch the long bright river drawing slowly
    His waters from the purple hill--
    To hear the dewy echoes calling
    From cave to cave thro' the thick-twined vine--
    To watch the emerald-color'd water falling
    Thro' many a wov'n acanthus-wreath divine!
    Only to hear and see the far-off sparkling brine,
    Only to hear were sweet, stretch'd out beneath the pine.

    The Lotos blooms below the barren peak:
    The Lotos blows by every winding creek:
    All day the wind breathes low with mellower tone:
    Thro' every hollow cave and alley lone
    Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotos-dust is blown.
    We have had enough of action, and of motion we,
    Roll'd to starboard, roll'd to larboard, when the surge was
        seething free,
    Where the wallowing monster spouted his foam-fountains in the sea.
    Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind,
    In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie reclined
    On the hills like Gods together, careless of mankind....

=233. The Cyclopes.= They next arrived at the country of the Cyclopes.
The Cyclopes[333] inhabited an island of which they were the only
possessors. They dwelt in caves and fed on the wild productions of
the island and on what their flocks yielded, for they were shepherds.
Ulysses left the main body of his ships at anchor, and with one vessel
went to the Cyclopes' island to explore for supplies. He landed with
his companions, carrying with them a jar of wine for a present. Coming
to a large cave they entered it, and, finding no one within, examined
its contents. They found it stored with the riches of the flock,
quantities of cheese, pails and bowls of milk, lambs and kids in their
pens, all in good order. Presently arrived the master of the cave,
Polyphemus, bearing an immense bundle of firewood, which he threw
down before the cavern's mouth. He then drove into the cave the sheep
and goats to be milked, and, entering, rolled to the cave's mouth an
enormous rock, that twenty oxen could not draw. Next he sat down and
milked his ewes, preparing a part for cheese and setting the rest
aside for his customary drink. Then turning round his one huge eye he
discerned the strangers, and growled out at them, demanding who they
were and where from. Ulysses replied most humbly, stating that they
were Greeks from the great expedition that had lately won so much
glory in the conquest of Troy, that they were now on their way home,
and finished by imploring his hospitality in the name of the gods.
Polyphemus deigned no answer, but reaching out his hand seized two of
the men, whom he hurled against the side of the cave and dashed out
their brains. He proceeded to devour them with great relish, and having
made a hearty meal, stretched himself on the floor to sleep. Ulysses
was tempted to seize the opportunity and plunge his sword into him as
he slept, but recollected that it would only expose them all to certain
destruction, as the rock with which the giant had closed up the door
was far beyond their power to remove, and they would therefore be in
hopeless imprisonment.

Next morning the giant seized two more of the men and dispatched them
in the same manner as their companions, feasting on their flesh till no
fragment was left. He then moved away the rock from the door, drove out
his flocks, and went out, carefully replacing the barrier after him.
When he was gone Ulysses planned how he might take vengeance for his
murdered friends and effect his escape with his surviving companions.
He made his men prepare a massive bar of wood cut by the Cyclops for
a staff, which they found in the cave. They sharpened the end of the
staff and seasoned it in the fire, and hid it under the straw on the
cavern floor. Then four of the boldest were selected, with whom Ulysses
joined himself as a fifth. The Cyclops came home at evening, rolled
away the stone, and drove in his flock as usual. After milking them
and making his arrangements as before, he seized two more of Ulysses'
companions, dashed their brains out, and made his evening meal upon
them as he had on the others. After he had supped, Ulysses approaching
him handed him a bowl of wine, saying, "Cyclops, this is wine; taste
and drink after thy meal of man's flesh." He took and drank it, and was
hugely delighted with it, and called for more. Ulysses supplied him
once and again, which pleased the giant so much that he promised him as
a favor that he should be the last of the party devoured. He asked his
name, to which Ulysses replied, "My name is Noman."

After his supper the giant sought his repose, and was soon sound
asleep. Then Ulysses with his four select friends held the end of the
stake in the fire till it was one burning coal, then poising it exactly
above the giant's only eye, they plunged it deep into the socket,
twirling it round as a carpenter does his auger. The howling monster
with his outcry filled the cavern, and Ulysses with his aids nimbly got
out of his way and concealed themselves in the cave. He, bellowing,
called aloud on all the Cyclopes dwelling in the caves around him, far
and near. They, on his cry, flocked round the den, and inquired what
grievous hurt had caused him to sound such an alarm and break their
slumbers. He replied, "O friends, I die, and Noman gives the blow."
They answered, "If no man hurts thee, it is the stroke of Jove, and
thou must bear it." So saying, they left him groaning.

[Illustration: FIG. 171. BORING OUT THE CYCLOPS' EYE]

Next morning the Cyclops rolled away the stone to let his flock out
to pasture, but planted himself in the door of the cave to feel of
all as they went out, that Ulysses and his men should not escape with
them. But Ulysses had made his men harness the rams of the flock
three abreast, with osiers which they found on the floor of the cave.
To the middle ram of the three one of the Greeks suspended himself,
so protected by the exterior rams on either side. As they passed,
the giant felt of the animals' backs and sides, but never thought
of their bellies; so the men all passed safe, Ulysses himself being
on the last one that passed. When they had got a few paces from the
cavern, Ulysses and his friends released themselves from their rams
and drove a good part of the flock down to the shore to their boat.
They put them aboard with all haste, then pushed off from the shore;
and when at a safe distance Ulysses shouted out, "Cyclops, the gods
have well requited thee for thy atrocious deeds. Know it is Ulysses
to whom thou owest thy shameful loss of sight." The Cyclops, hearing
this, seized a rock that projected from the side of the mountain, and
rending it from its bed, he lifted it high in the air, then exerting
all his force, hurled it in the direction of the voice. Down came the
mass, just forward of the vessel. The ocean, at the plunge of the huge
rock, heaved the ship toward Polyphemus; but a second rock which he
hurled, striking aft, propelled them fortunately in the direction that
they desired to take. Ulysses was about to hail the giant again, but
his friends besought him not to do so. He could not forbear, however,
letting the giant know that they had escaped his missile, but waited
till they had reached a safer distance than before. The giant answered
them with curses, while Ulysses and his friends, plying their oars
vigorously, regained their companions.

[Illustration: FIG. 172. ULYSSES AND TWO COMPANIONS UNDER RAMS]

=234. The Bag of Winds.= Ulysses next arrived at the island of
Æolus.[334] He treated Ulysses hospitably, and at his departure gave
him, tied up in a leathern bag with a silver string, such winds as
might be hurtful and dangerous, commanding fair winds to blow the barks
toward their country. Nine days they sped before the wind, and all
that time Ulysses had stood at the helm without sleep. At last quite
exhausted he lay down to sleep. While he slept, the crew conferred
together about the mysterious bag, and concluded it must contain
treasures given by the hospitable King Æolus to their commander.
Tempted to secure some portion for themselves, they loosed the string,
when immediately the winds rushed forth. The ships were driven far from
their course and back again to the island they had just left. Æolus,
indignant at their folly, refused to assist them further, and they were
obliged to labor over their course once more by means of their oars.

=235. The Læstrygonians.= Their next adventure was with the barbarous
tribe of Læstrygonians. The vessels all pushed into the harbor, tempted
by the secure appearance of the cove, completely landlocked; only
Ulysses moored his vessel without. As soon as the Læstrygonians found
the ships completely in their power, they attacked them, heaving huge
stones which broke and overturned them, while with their spears they
dispatched the seamen as they struggled in the water. All the vessels
with their crews were destroyed, except Ulysses' own ship which had
remained outside. He, finding no safety but in flight, exhorted his men
to ply their oars vigorously; and they escaped.

=236. The Isle of Ææa.= With grief for their slain companions mixed
with joy at their own escape, they pursued their way till they arrived
at the Ææan isle, where Circe dwelt, the daughter of the sun. Landing
here, Ulysses climbed a hill and, gazing round, saw no signs of
habitation except in one spot at the center of the island, where he
perceived a palace embowered with trees. He sent forward one half of
his crew, under the command of Eurylochus, to see what prospect of
hospitality they might find. As they approached the palace, they found
themselves surrounded by lions, tigers, and wolves, not fierce, but
tamed by Circe's art, for she was a powerful magician. These animals
had once been men, but had been changed by Circe's enchantments into
the forms of beasts. The sounds of soft music were heard from within,
and a sweet female voice singing. Eurylochus called aloud, and the
goddess came forth and invited them in; they all gladly entered except
Eurylochus, who suspected danger. The goddess conducted her guests to
a seat, and had them served with wine and other delicacies. When they
had feasted heartily, she touched them one by one with her wand, and
they became immediately changed into swine, in "head, body, voice, and
bristles," yet with their intellects as before. She shut them in her
styes and supplied them with acorns and such other things as swine
love.

Eurylochus hurried back to the ship and told the tale. Ulysses
thereupon determined to go himself and try if by any means he might
deliver his companions. As he strode onward alone, he met a youth
who addressed him familiarly, appearing to be acquainted with his
adventures. He announced himself as Mercury, and informed Ulysses of
the arts of Circe and of the danger of approaching her. As Ulysses
was not to be dissuaded from his attempt, Mercury provided him with a
sprig of the plant Moly, of wonderful power to resist sorceries, and
instructed him how to act.

[Illustration: FIG. 173. THE CASTLE OF CIRCE]

Meanwhile the companions of Ulysses made mournful plaint to their cruel
mistress:

    Huddling they came, with shag sides caked of mire,--
    With hoofs fresh sullied from the troughs o'er-turned,--
    With wrinkling snouts,--yet eyes in which desire
    Of some strange thing unutterably burned,
    Unquenchable; and still where'er She turned
      They rose about her, striving each o'er each,
      With restless, fierce importuning that yearned
      Through those brute masks some piteous tale to teach,
    Yet lacked the words thereto, denied the power of speech....

      ... "If swine we be,--if we indeed be swine,
      Daughter of Persé, make us swine indeed,
      Well-pleased on litter-straw to lie supine,--
      Well-pleased on mast and acorn-shales to feed,
      Stirred by all instincts of the bestial breed;
      But O Unmerciful! O Pitiless!
      Leave us not thus with sick men's hearts to bleed!--
      To waste long days in yearning, dumb distress,
    And memory of things gone, and utter hopelessness!

      ... "Make thou us men again,--if men but groping
      That dark Hereafter which th' Olympians keep;
      Make thou us men again,--if men but hoping
      Behind death's doors security of sleep;--
      For yet to laugh is somewhat, and to sleep;--
      To feel delight of living, and to plow
      The salt-blown acres of the shoreless deep;--
      Better,--yea better far all these than bow
    Foul faces to foul earth, and yearn--as we do now!"

      So they in speech unsyllabled. But She,
      The fair-tressed Goddess, born to be their bane,
      Uplifting straight her wand of ivory,
      Compelled them groaning to the styes again;
      Where they in hopeless bitterness were fain
      To rend the oaken woodwork as before,
      And tear the troughs in impotence of pain,--
      Not knowing, they, that even at the door
    Divine Odysseus stood,--as Hermes told of yore.[335]

Ulysses, reaching the palace, was courteously received by Circe, who
entertained him as she had done his companions, but after he had eaten
and drunk, touched him with her wand, saying, "Hence, seek the stye and
wallow with thy friends." But he, instead of obeying, drew his sword
and rushed upon her with fury in his countenance. She fell on her knees
and begged for mercy.

He dictated a solemn oath that she would release his companions and
practice no further harm against him or them; and she repeated it, at
the same time promising to dismiss them all in safety after hospitably
entertaining them. She was as good as her word. The men were restored
to their shapes, the rest of the crew summoned from the shore, and
all magnificently entertained day after day, till Ulysses seemed to
have forgotten his native land and to have reconciled himself to an
inglorious life of ease and pleasure.

=237. Ulysses visits Hades.= At length his companions recalled him to
nobler sentiments, and he received their admonition gratefully. Circe,
won over by his prayers, consented to send him on his homeward way. But
she warned him that first he must perform another journey, must visit
the Underworld and there learn from the shade of Tiresias, the blind
prophet of Thebes, the way and measure of his path, and how to proceed
to Ithaca over the teeming deep.

"But who will guide us?" queried Ulysses in amaze; "for no man ever yet
sailed to hell in a black ship."

"Son of Laërtes," replied the Goddess, "Ulysses of many devices, nay,
trouble not thyself for want of a guide, by thy ship abiding, but set
up the mast and spread abroad the white sails and sit thee down; and
the breeze of the North Wind will bear thy vessel on her way. But when
thou hast now sailed in thy ship across the stream Oceanus where is a
waste shore and the groves of Persephone, even tall poplar trees and
willows that shed their fruit before the season, there beach thy ship
by deep-eddying Oceanus, but go thyself to the dank house of Hades.
Thereby into Acheron flows Pyriphlegethon, and Cocytus, a branch of
the water of the Styx; and there is a rock, and the meeting of the two
roaring waters. There dig a trench and pour a drink offering to all the
dead, mead and sweet wine and water, sprinkling white meal thereon. And
when thou hast prayed to them, offer up a ram and a black ewe. Then
will many spirits come to thee of the dead that be departed; but thou
shalt draw thy sharp sword and suffer them not to approach the blood,
ere thou hast word of Tiresias."[336]

So Ulysses and his companions did as they were bid. And the ship came
to the limits of the world, to the deep-flowing Oceanus. There is the
land and city of the Cimmerians, where no ray of sunshine ever falls,
but deadly night is outspread over miserable mortals. And there Ulysses
and those with him performed the drink offering and the prayer and
the sacrifice; and Ulysses fended off the spirits of the dead from
the blood until the soul of the Theban prophet arrived. And that one,
having drunk of the dark blood, declared unto Ulysses the future of his
way: how the Earthshaker, god of the waters, should oppose him, but
how he should win home without further disaster if, when passing the
isle Thrinacia, he would but restrain the spirit of his men so that
they should do no injury to the cattle of the Sun grazing thereon. If,
however, these cattle were not respected but hurt, then there should
follow ruin for both ship and men; and Ulysses himself on the ship
of strangers should return late in time to his home, to find sorrows
there, proud men wasting his patrimony and wooing his godlike wife
to wed her. But that he should avenge their violence, and settle his
affairs at home, and then betake himself again to wandering; and that
from the sea should his own death come,--"the gentlest death that may
be, which shall end thee fordone with smooth old age; and the folk
shall dwell happily around thee."

In the land of Hades, Ulysses saw also the shade of his mother, and
spoke with her of his father and of Penelope, his wife, and of his
son Telemachus. And he saw also the shades of Antiope and Alcmene and
Phædra and Procris; and of Agamemnon, and Achilles, and Ajax, the son
of Telamon, and of many others, and spoke with them of their own fates
and of the affairs of the upper world.

=238. The Sirens.= Returning from the abode of the shades, Ulysses
revisited the Ææan isle and recounted to Circe his adventures and
the wondrous visions and the laws of Hell. She in return speeded his
homeward voyage, instructing him particularly how to pass safely by the
coast of the Sirens.[337]

These nymphs had the power, as has been already said, of charming by
their song all who heard them, so that mariners were impelled to cast
themselves into the sea to destruction. Circe directed Ulysses to stop
the ears of his seamen with wax, so that they should not hear the
strain; to have himself bound to the mast, and to enjoin his people,
whatever he might say or do, by no means to release him till they
should have passed the Sirens' island. Ulysses obeyed these directions.
As they approached the Sirens' island, the sea was calm, and over the
waters came notes of music so ravishing and attractive that Ulysses
struggled to get loose and, by cries and signs to his people, begged
to be released; but they, obedient to his previous orders, sprang
forward and bound him still faster. They held on their course, and the
music grew fainter till it ceased to be heard, when with joy Ulysses
gave his companions the signal to unseal their ears; and they relieved
him from his bonds. It is said that one of the Sirens, Parthenope, in
grief at the escape of Ulysses drowned herself. Her body was cast up on
the Italian shore where now stands the city of Naples, in early times
called by the Siren's name.

[Illustration: FIG. 174. ULYSSES AND THE SIRENS]

=239. Scylla and Charybdis.= Ulysses had been warned by Circe of the
two monsters Scylla and Charybdis. We have already met with Scylla in
the myth of Glaucus. She dwelt in a cave high up on the cliff, from
whence she was accustomed to thrust forth her long necks (for she had
six heads), and in each of her mouths to seize one of the crew of every
vessel passing within reach. The other terror, Charybdis, was a gulf
nearly on a level with the water. Thrice each day the water rushed
into a frightful chasm, and thrice was disgorged. Any vessel coming
near the whirlpool when the tide was rushing in must inevitably be
engulfed; not Neptune himself could save it. On approaching the haunt
of the dread monsters, Ulysses kept strict watch to discover them.
The roar of the waters as Charybdis engulfed them gave warning at a
distance, but Scylla could nowhere be discerned. While Ulysses and his
men watched with anxious eyes the dreadful whirlpool, they were not
equally on their guard from the attack of Scylla,[338] and the monster,
darting forth her snaky heads, caught six of his men and bore them away
shrieking to her den. Ulysses was unable to afford any assistance.

[Illustration: FIG. 175. ULYSSES AND SCYLLA]

=240. The Cattle of the Sun.= Both Tiresias and Circe had warned him
of another danger. After passing Scylla and Charybdis the next land he
would make was Thrinacia, an island whereon were pastured the cattle
of Helios, the Sun, tended by his daughters Lampetia and Phaëthusa.
These flocks must not be violated, whatever the wants of the voyagers
might be. If this injunction were transgressed, destruction was sure to
fall on the offenders. Ulysses would willingly have passed the island
of the Sun without stopping, but his companions so urgently pleaded
for the rest and refreshment that would be derived from anchoring and
passing the night on shore, that Ulysses yielded. He made them swear,
however, not to touch the sacred flocks and herds, but to content
themselves with what provision they yet had left of the supply which
Circe had put on board. So long as this supply lasted the people kept
their oath; but contrary winds detained them at the island for a month,
and after consuming all their stock of provisions, they were forced to
rely upon the birds and fishes they could catch. Famine pressed them,
and at last, in the absence of Ulysses, they slew some of the cattle,
vainly attempting to make amends for the deed by offering from them a
portion to the offended powers. Ulysses, on his return to the shore,
was horror-struck at perceiving what they had done, and the more so on
account of the portentous signs which followed. The skins crept on the
ground, and the joints of meat lowed on the spits while roasting.

[Illustration: FLYING MERCURY]

The wind becoming fair, they sailed from the island. They had not gone
far when the weather changed, and a storm of thunder and lightning
ensued. A stroke of lightning shattered their mast, which in its fall
killed the pilot. At last the vessel itself went to pieces. The keel
and mast floating side by side, Ulysses formed of them a raft to which
he clung; and, the wind changing, the waves bore him to Calypso's
island. All the rest of the crew perished.

=241. Calypso's Island.= Calypso, a sea-nymph, received Ulysses
hospitably, entertained him magnificently, became enamored of him, and
wished to retain him forever, offering him immortality. He remained
with her seven long years. But he persisted in his resolution to return
to his country and his wife and son.[339] Calypso at last received the
command of Jove to dismiss him. Mercury brought the message to her and
found her in her grotto.

    A garden vine, luxuriant on all sides,
    Mantled the spacious cavern, cluster-hung
    Profuse; four fountains of serenest lymph,
    Their sinuous course pursuing side by side,
    Strayed all around, and everywhere appeared
    Meadows of softest verdure, purpled o'er
    With violets; it was a scene to fill
    A god from heaven with wonder and delight.[340]

Calypso, with much reluctance, proceeded to obey the commands of
Jupiter. She supplied Ulysses with the means of constructing a raft,
provisioned it well for him, and gave him a favoring gale. He sped on
his course prosperously for many days, till at last, when in sight of
land, a storm arose that broke his mast and threatened to rend the
raft asunder. In this crisis he was seen by a compassionate sea-nymph,
Leucothea, who, in the form of a cormorant, alighted on the raft and
presented him with a girdle, directing him to bind it beneath his
breast, that, if he should be compelled to trust himself to the waves,
it might buoy him up and enable him to reach the land.

=242. The Land of the Phæacians.= Ulysses clung to the raft so long as
its timbers held together, and when it no longer yielded him support,
binding the girdle around him, he swam. Minerva smoothed the billows
before him and sent him a wind that rolled the waves towards the shore.
The surf beat high on the rocks and seemed to forbid approach; but at
length finding calm water at the mouth of a gentle stream, he landed,
spent with toil, breathless and speechless and almost dead. Reviving
after some time, he kissed the soil, rejoicing, yet at a loss what
course to take. At a short distance he perceived a wood, to which he
turned his steps. There finding a covert sheltered by intermingling
branches alike from the sun and the rain, he collected a pile of leaves
and formed a bed, on which he stretched himself, and, heaping the
leaves over him, fell asleep.

The land where he was thrown was Scheria, the country of the
Phæacians.[341] These people dwelt originally near the Cyclopes; but,
being oppressed by that savage race, they migrated to the isle of
Scheria under the conduct of Nausithoüs, their king. They were, the
poet tells us, a people akin to the gods, who appeared manifestly and
feasted among them when they offered sacrifices, and did not conceal
themselves from solitary wayfarers when they met them. They had
abundance of wealth and lived in the enjoyment of it undisturbed by
the alarms of war; for as they dwelt remote from gain-seeking man, no
enemy ever approached their shores, and they did not even require to
make use of bows and quivers. Their chief employment was navigation.
Their ships, which went with the velocity of birds, were endued with
intelligence; they knew every port and needed no pilot. Alcinoüs, the
son of Nausithoüs, was now their king, a wise and just sovereign,
beloved by his people.

Now it happened that the very night on which Ulysses was cast ashore on
the Phæacian island, and while he lay sleeping on his bed of leaves,
Nausicaa, the daughter of the king, had a dream sent by Minerva,
reminding her that her wedding day might not be far distant, and that
it would be but a prudent preparation for that event to have a general
washing of the clothes of the family.

This was no slight affair, for the fountains were at some distance and
the garments must be carried thither. On awaking, the princess hastened
to her parents to tell them what was on her mind,--not alluding to
her wedding day, but finding other reasons equally good. Her father
readily assented and ordered the grooms to furnish forth a wagon for
the purpose. The clothes were put therein, and the queen, her mother,
placed in the wagon likewise an abundant supply of food and wine.
The princess took her seat and plied the lash, her attendant virgins
following her on foot. Arrived at the riverside they turned out the
mules to graze, and unlading the carriage, bore the garments down to
the water, and, working with cheerfulness and alacrity, soon dispatched
their labor. Then having spread the garments on the shore to dry, and
having themselves bathed, they sat down to enjoy their meal; after
which they rose and amused themselves with a game of ball, the princess
singing to them while they played. But when they had refolded the
apparel and were about to resume their way to the town, Minerva caused
the ball thrown by the princess to fall into the water, whereat they
all screamed, and Ulysses awaked at the sound.

Utterly destitute of clothing, he discovered that only a few bushes
were interposed between him and a group of young maidens, whom, by
their deportment and attire, he discovered to be not mere peasant
girls, but of a higher class. Breaking off a leafy branch from a tree,
he held it before him and stepped out from the thicket. The virgins
at sight of him fled in all directions, Nausicaa alone excepted, for
her Minerva aided and endowed with courage and discernment. Ulysses,
standing respectfully aloof, told his sad case, and besought the fair
object (whether queen or goddess he professed he knew not) for food and
clothing. The princess replied courteously, promising present relief
and her father's hospitality when he should become acquainted with the
facts. She called back her scattered maidens, chiding their alarm and
reminding them that the Phæacians had no enemies to fear. This man,
she told them, was an unhappy wanderer, whom it was a duty to cherish,
for the poor and the stranger are from Jove. She bade them bring food,
and the garments of some of her brothers that were among the contents
of the wagon. When this was done, and Ulysses retiring to a sheltered
place had washed his body free from the sea-foam, and clothed himself,
and eaten, Pallas dilated his form and diffused grace over his ample
chest and manly brows.

The princess, seeing him, was filled with admiration and scrupled not
to say to her damsels that she wished the gods would send her such
a husband. To Ulysses she recommended that he repair to the city,
following herself and her train so far as the way lay through the
fields; but when they should approach the city, she desired that he no
longer be seen in her company, for she feared the remarks which rude
and vulgar people might make on seeing her return accompanied by such
a gallant stranger. To avoid this she directed him to stop at a grove
adjoining the city, in which were a farm and garden belonging to the
king. After allowing time for the princess and her companions to reach
the city, he was then to pursue his way thither, and should be easily
guided by any he might meet to the royal abode.

Ulysses obeyed the directions and in due time proceeded to the city,
on approaching which he met a young woman bearing forth a pitcher for
water.[342] It was Minerva who had assumed that form. Ulysses accosted
her and desired to be directed to the palace of Alcinoüs, the king. The
maiden replied respectfully, offering to be his guide; for the palace,
she informed him, stood near her father's dwelling. Under the guidance
of the goddess and, by her power, enveloped in a cloud which shielded
him from observation, Ulysses passed among the busy crowd and with
wonder observed their harbor, their ships, their forum (the resort of
heroes), and their battlements, till they came to the palace, where
the goddess, having first given him some information of the country,
king, and people he was about to meet, left him. Ulysses, before
entering the courtyard of the palace, stood and surveyed the scene. Its
splendor astonished him. Brazen walls stretched from the entrance to
the interior house, of which the doors were gold, the doorposts silver,
the lintels silver ornamented with gold. On either side were figures of
mastiffs wrought in gold and silver, standing in rows as if to guard
the approach. Along the walls were seats spread through all their
length with mantles of finest texture, the work of Phæacian maidens.
On these seats the princes sat and feasted, while golden statues of
graceful youths held in their hands lighted torches which shed radiance
over the scene. Full fifty female menials served in household offices,
some employed to grind the corn, others to wind off the purple wool or
ply the loom. For the Phæacian women as far exceeded all other women in
household arts as the mariners of that country did the rest of mankind
in the management of ships. Without the court a spacious garden lay,
four acres in extent. In it grew many a lofty tree, pomegranate, pear,
apple, fig, and olive. Neither winter's cold nor summer's drought
arrested their growth.

    The languid sunset, mother of roses,[343]
      Lingers, a light on the magic seas,
    The wide fire flames, as a flower uncloses,
      Heavy with odor, and loose to the breeze.

    The red rose clouds, without law or leader,
      Gather and float in the airy plain;
    The nightingale sings to the dewy cedar,
      The cedar scatters his scent to the main.

    The strange flowers' perfume turns to singing,
      Heard afar over moonlit seas:
    The Siren's song, grown faint in winging,
      Falls in scent on the cedar-trees.

    As waifs blown out of the sunset, flying,
      Purple, and rosy, and gray, the birds
    Brighten the air with their wings; their crying
      Wakens a moment the weary herds.

    Butterflies flit from the fairy garden,
      Living blossoms of flying flowers;
    Never the nights with winter harden,
      Nor moons wax keen in this land of ours.

    Great fruits, fragrant, green and golden,
      Gleam in the green, and droop and fall;
    Blossom, and bud, and flower unfolden,
      Swing and cling to the garden wall.

    Deep in the woods as twilight darkens,
      Glades are red with the scented fire;
    Far in the dells the white maid hearkens
      Song and sigh of the heart's desire.

Ulysses stood gazing in admiration, unobserved himself, for the
cloud which Minerva spread around him still shielded him. At length
having sufficiently observed the scene, he advanced with rapid step
into the hall where the chiefs and senators were assembled, pouring
libation to Mercury, whose worship followed the evening meal. Just
then Minerva dissolved the cloud and disclosed him to the assembled
chiefs. Advancing to the place where the queen sat, he knelt at her
feet and implored her favor and assistance to enable him to return to
his native country. Then withdrawing, he seated himself in the manner
of suppliants, at the hearth-side.

For a time none spoke. At last an aged statesman, addressing the king,
said, "It is not fit that a stranger who asks our hospitality should
be kept waiting in suppliant guise, none welcoming him. Let him,
therefore, be led to a seat among us and supplied with food and wine."
At these words the king, rising, gave his hand to Ulysses and led him
to a seat, displacing thence his own son to make room for the stranger.
Food and wine were set before him and he ate and refreshed himself.

The king then dismissed his guests, notifying them that the next day he
would call them to council to consider what had best be done for the
stranger.

When the guests had departed and Ulysses was left alone with the king
and queen, the queen asked him who he was and whence he came, and
(recognizing the clothes which he wore as those which her maidens and
herself had made) from whom he received those garments. He told them of
his residence in Calypso's isle and his departure thence; of the wreck
of his raft, his escape by swimming, and of the relief afforded by
the princess. The parents heard approvingly, and the king promised to
furnish a ship in which his guest might return to his own land.

The next day the assembled chiefs confirmed the promise of the
king.[344] A bark was prepared and a crew of stout rowers selected,
and all betook themselves to the palace, where a bounteous repast was
provided. After the feast the king proposed that the young men should
show their guest their proficiency in manly sports, and all went forth
to the arena for games of running, wrestling, and other exercises.
After all had done their best, Ulysses being challenged to show what he
could do, at first declined, but being taunted by one of the youths,
seized a quoit of weight far heavier than any the Phæacians had
thrown, and sent it farther than the utmost throw of theirs. All were
astonished and viewed their guest with greatly increased respect.

After the games they returned to the hall, and the herald led in
Demodocus, the blind bard,--

                Dear to the Muse,
    Who yet appointed him both good and ill,
    Took from him sight, but gave him strains divine.

He took for his theme the Wooden Horse, by means of which the Greeks
found entrance into Troy. Apollo inspired him, and he sang so feelingly
the terrors and the exploits of that eventful time that all were
delighted, but Ulysses was moved to tears. Observing which, Alcinoüs,
when the song was done, demanded of him why at the mention of Troy
his sorrows awaked. Had he lost there a father, or brother, or any
dear friend? Ulysses replied by announcing himself by his true name,
and, at their request, recounted the adventures which had befallen
him since his departure from Troy. This narrative raised the sympathy
and admiration of the Phæacians for their guest to the highest pitch.
The king proposed that all the chiefs should present him with a gift,
himself setting the example. They obeyed, and vied with one another in
loading the illustrious stranger with costly gifts.

The next day Ulysses set sail in the Phæacian vessel, and in a short
time arrived safe at Ithaca, his own island.[345] When the vessel
touched the strand he was asleep. The mariners, without waking him,
carried him on shore, and landed with him the chest containing his
presents, and then sailed away.

Neptune was so displeased at the conduct of the Phæacians in thus
rescuing Ulysses from his hands, that, on the return of the vessel to
port, he transformed it into a rock, right opposite the mouth of the
harbor.

=243. Fate of the Suitors.= Ulysses had now been away from Ithaca for
twenty years, and when he awoke he did not recognize his native land:

    "Some god hath cast me forth upon this land,
    And O! what land? So thick is the sea mist,
    All is phantasmal. What king ruleth here?
    What folk inhabit?--cruel unto strangers,
    Or hospitable? The gods have lied to me
    When they foretold I should see Ithaca.
    This is some swimming and Cimmerian isle,
    With melancholy people of the mist.
    Ah! Ithaca, I shall not see thee more!"[346]

But Minerva, appearing in the form of a young shepherd, informed him
where he was, and told him the state of things at his palace. More than
a hundred nobles of Ithaca and of the neighboring islands had been for
years suing for the hand of Penelope, his wife, imagining him dead, and
lording it over his palace and people as if they were owners of both.

Penelope was one of those mythic heroines whose beauties were not
those of person only, but of character and conduct as well. She was
the niece of Tyndareus,--being the daughter of his brother Icarius,
a Spartan prince. Ulysses, seeking her in marriage, had won her over
all competitors. But, when the moment came for the bride to leave
her father's house, Icarius, unable to bear the thoughts of parting
with his daughter, tried to persuade her to remain with him and not
accompany her husband to Ithaca. Ulysses gave Penelope her choice, to
stay or go with him. Penelope made no reply, but dropped her veil over
her face. Icarius urged her no further, but when she was gone erected a
statue to Modesty on the spot where they had parted.

Ulysses and Penelope had not enjoyed their union more than a year when
it was interrupted by the events which called Ulysses to the Trojan
War. During his long absence, and when it was doubtful whether he still
lived, and highly improbable that he would ever return, Penelope was
importuned by numerous suitors, from whom there seemed no refuge but
in choosing one of them for her husband. She, however, employed every
art to gain time, still hoping for Ulysses' return. One of her arts
of delay was by engaging in the preparation of a robe for the funeral
canopy of Laërtes, her husband's father. She pledged herself to make
her choice among the suitors when the web was finished. During the day
she worked at it, but in the night she undid the work of the day.

[Illustration: FIG. 176. PENELOPE AND TELEMACHUS]

That Ulysses on returning might be able to take vengeance upon the
suitors, it was important that he should not be recognized. Minerva
accordingly metamorphosed him into an unsightly beggar, and as such he
was kindly received by Eumæus, the swineherd, a faithful servant of his
house.[347]

Telemachus, his son, had for some time been absent in quest of his
father, visiting the courts of the other kings who had returned
from the Trojan expedition. While on the search, he received counsel
from Minerva to return home.[348] He arrived at this juncture, and
sought Eumæus to learn something of the state of affairs at the palace
before presenting himself among the suitors. Finding a stranger with
Eumæus, he treated him courteously, though in the garb of a beggar,
and promised him assistance. Eumæus was sent to the palace to inform
Penelope privately of her son's arrival, for caution was necessary with
regard to the suitors, who, as Telemachus had learned, were plotting
to intercept and kill him. When the swineherd was gone, Minerva
presented herself to Ulysses and directed him to make himself known to
his son. At the same time she touched him, removed at once from him
the appearance of age and penury, and gave him the aspect of vigorous
manhood that belonged to him. Telemachus viewed him with astonishment,
and at first thought he must be more than mortal. But Ulysses announced
himself as his father, and accounted for the change of appearance by
explaining that it was Minerva's doing.

                    Then threw Telemachus
    His arms around his father's neck and wept.
    Desire intense of lamentation seized
    On both; soft murmurs uttering, each indulged
    His grief.[349]

The father and son took counsel together how they should get the better
of the suitors and punish them for their outrages. It was arranged that
Telemachus should proceed to the palace and mingle with the suitors as
formerly; that Ulysses should also go as a beggar, a character which in
the rude old times had different privileges from what we concede to it
now. As traveler and storyteller, the beggar was admitted in the halls
of chieftains and often treated like a guest; though sometimes, also,
no doubt, with contumely. Ulysses charged his son not to betray, by any
display of unusual interest in him, that he knew him to be other than
he seemed, and even if he saw him insulted or beaten, not to interpose
otherwise than he might do for any stranger. At the palace they found
the usual scene of feasting and riot going on. The suitors pretended
to receive Telemachus with joy at his return, though secretly mortified
at the failure of their plots to take his life. The old beggar was
permitted to enter and provided with a portion from the table. A
touching incident occurred as Ulysses entered the courtyard of the
palace. An old dog lay in the yard almost dead with age, and seeing
a stranger enter, raised his head, with ears erect. It was Argus,
Ulysses' own dog, that he had in other days often led to the chase.

                            Soon as he perceived
    Long-lost Ulysses nigh, down fell his ears
    Clapped close, and with his tail glad sign he gave
    Of gratulation, impotent to rise,
    And to approach his master as of old.
    Ulysses, noting him, wiped off a tear
    Unmarked.

                ... Then his destiny released
    Old Argus, soon as he had lived to see
    Ulysses in the twentieth year restored.[350]

[Illustration: FIG. 177. ULYSSES RECOGNIZED BY EURYCLEA]

As Ulysses sat eating his portion in the hall, the suitors soon began
to exhibit their insolence to him. When he mildly remonstrated, one of
them raised a stool and with it gave him a blow. Telemachus had hard
work to restrain his indignation at seeing his father so treated in his
own hall; but, remembering his father's injunctions, said no more than
what became him as master of the house, though young, and protector of
his guests.

Once again was the wanderer all but betrayed;--when his aged nurse
Euryclea, bathing his feet, recognized the scar of a wound dealt him
by a boar, long ago.[351] Grief and joy overwhelmed the crone, and she
would have revealed him to Penelope had not Ulysses enjoined silence
upon her.

Penelope had protracted her decision in favor of any one of her suitors
so long that there seemed to be no further pretense for delay. The
continued absence of her husband seemed to prove that his return was no
longer to be expected. Meanwhile her son had grown up and was able to
manage his own affairs. She therefore consented to submit the question
of her choice to a trial of skill among the suitors. The test selected
was shooting with the bow.[352] Twelve rings were arranged in a line,
and he whose arrow was sent through the whole twelve was to have the
queen for his prize. A bow that one of his brother heroes had given to
Ulysses in former times was brought from the armory and with its quiver
full of arrows was laid in the hall. Telemachus had taken care that all
other weapons should be removed, under pretense that in the heat of
competition there was danger, in some rash moment, of putting them to
an improper use.

[Illustration: FIG. 178. ULYSSES KILLS THE SUITORS

(Left half)]

All things being prepared for the trial, the first thing to be done was
to bend the bow in order to attach the string. Telemachus endeavored
to do it, but found all his efforts fruitless; and modestly confessing
that he had attempted a task beyond his strength, he yielded the bow
to another, _He_ tried it with no better success, and, amidst the
laughter and jeers of his companions, gave it up. Another tried it, and
another; they rubbed the bow with tallow, but all to no purpose; it
would not bend. Then spoke Ulysses, humbly suggesting that he should be
permitted to try; for, said he, "beggar as I am, I was once a soldier,
and there is still some strength in these old limbs of mine." The
suitors hooted with derision and commanded to turn him out of the hall
for his insolence. But Telemachus spoke up for him, and, merely to
gratify the old man, bade him try. Ulysses took the bow and handled it
with the hand of a master. With ease he adjusted the cord to its notch,
then fitting an arrow to the bow he drew the string and sped the arrow
unerring through the rings.

[Illustration: FIG. 179. ULYSSES KILLS THE SUITORS

(Right half)]

Without allowing them time to express their astonishment, he said, "Now
for another mark!" and aimed direct at Antinoüs, the most insolent
of the suitors.[353] The arrow pierced through his throat and he
fell dead. Telemachus, Eumæus, and another faithful follower, well
armed, now sprang to the side of Ulysses. The suitors, in amazement,
looked round for arms, but found none, neither was there any way of
escape, for Eumæus had secured the door. Ulysses left them not long in
uncertainty; he announced himself as the long-lost chief, whose house
they had invaded, whose substance they had squandered, whose wife and
son they had persecuted for ten long years; and told them he meant to
have ample vengeance. All but two were slain, and Ulysses was left
master of his palace and possessor of his kingdom and his wife.

=244. Tennyson's Ulysses.= Tennyson's poem of Ulysses represents the
old hero,--his dangers past and nothing left but to stay at home and be
happy,--growing tired of inaction and resolving to set forth again in
quest of new adventures.

    It little profits that an idle king,
    By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
    Match'd with an agèd wife, I mete and dole
    Unequal laws unto a savage race,
    That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
    I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
    Life to the lees: all times I have enjoy'd
    Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those
    That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
    Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
    Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
    For always roaming with a hungry heart
    Much have I seen and known: cities of men,
    And manners, climates, councils, governments,
    Myself not least, but honor'd of them all;
    And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
    Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
    I am a part of all that I have met;
    Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
    Gleams that untravel'd world, whose margin fades
    Forever and forever when I move.
    How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
    To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!
    As tho' to breathe were life. Life piled on life
    Were all too little, and of one to me
    Little remains: but every hour is saved
    From that eternal silence, something more,
    A bringer of new things; and vile it were
    For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
    And this gray spirit yearning in desire
    To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
    Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

      This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
    To whom I leave the scepter and the isle--
    Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
    This labor, by slow prudence to make mild
    A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees
    Subdue them to the useful and the good.
    Most blameless is he, centered in the sphere
    Of common duties, decent not to fail
    In offices of tenderness, and pay
    Meet adoration to my household gods,
    When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FIG. 180. THE NIKE OF SAMOTHRACE]

      There lies the port: the vessel puffs her sail:
    There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
    Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me--
    That ever with a frolic welcome took
    The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
    Free hearts, free foreheads--you and I are old;
    Old age has yet his honor and his toil;
    Death closes all: but something ere the end,
    Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
    Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
    The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
    The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
    Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
    'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
    Push off, and sitting well in order smite
    The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
    To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
    Of all the western stars, until I die.
    It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
    It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
    And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
    Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

FOOTNOTES:

[330] Sonnet by Andrew Lang.

[331] For the authorship of the Odyssey, see § 298 (3); and for
translations, see corresponding section of the Commentary.

[332] Odyssey, 9.

[333] § 141.

[334] Odyssey, 10.

[335] From Austin Dobson's Prayer of the Swine to Circe.

[336] Odyssey, 10; adapted from Butcher and Lang's translation. So the
following from Odyssey, 11.

[337] Odyssey, 12.

[338] _Incidit in Scyllam, cupiens vitare Charybdim._

[339] Odyssey, 1, 10.

[340] Odyssey, 5, 64 (Cowper's translation).

[341] Odyssey, 6.

[342] Odyssey, 7.

[343] Andrew Lang, A Song of Phæacia.

[344] Odyssey, 8.

[345] Odyssey, 13.

[346] Stephen Phillips, Ulysses.

[347] Odyssey, 14.

[348] Odyssey, 15.

[349] Odyssey 16, 212 (Cowper's translation).

[350] Odyssey, 17, 290 (Cowper's translation).

[351] Odyssey, 19.

[352] Odyssey, 21.

[353] Odyssey, 22.



CHAPTER XXV

ADVENTURES OF ÆNEAS


    Roman Virgil, thou that singest
        Ilion's lofty temples robed in fire,
    Ilion falling, Rome arising,
        wars, and filial faith, and Dido's pyre;

    Landscape lover, lord of language
        more than he that sang the Works and Days,
    All the chosen coin of fancy
        flashing out from many a golden phrase;...

    Light among the vanish'd ages;
        star that gildest yet this phantom shore;
    Golden branch amid the shadows,
        kings and realms that pass to rise no more;...

    Now the Rome of slaves hath perish'd,
        and the Rome of freemen holds her place,
    I, from out the Northern Island
        sunder'd once from all the human race,

    I salute thee, Mantovano,
        I that loved thee since my day began,
    Wielder of the stateliest measure
        ever molded by the lips of man.[354]

[Illustration: ITALY BEFORE THE GROWTH OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE]

=245. From Troy to Italy.= Homer tells the story of one of the Grecian
heroes, Ulysses, in his wanderings on his return home from Troy. Virgil
in his Æneid[355] narrates the mythical fortunes of the remnant of the
_conquered_ people under their chief Æneas, the son of Venus and the
Trojan Anchises, in their search for a new home after the ruin of their
native city. On that fatal night when the wooden horse disgorged its
contents of armed men, and the capture and conflagration of the city
were the result, Æneas made his escape from the scene of destruction,
with his father and his wife and young son. The father, Anchises, was
too old to walk with the speed required, and Æneas took him upon his
shoulders. Thus burdened, leading his son and followed by his wife, he
made the best of his way out of the burning city; but in the confusion
his wife, Creüsa, was swept away and lost.

[Illustration: FIG. 181. ÆNEAS, ANCHISES, AND IULIUS]

=246. The Departure from Troy.= On arriving at the place of rendezvous,
numerous fugitives of both sexes were found, who put themselves under
the guidance of Æneas. Some months were spent in preparation, and at
length they embarked. They first landed on the neighboring shores of
Thrace, and were preparing to build a city, but Æneas was deterred by
a prodigy. Preparing to offer sacrifice, he tore some twigs from one
of the bushes. To his dismay the wounded part dropped blood. When he
repeated the act, a voice from the ground cried out to him, "Spare me,
Æneas; I am thy kinsman, Polydore, here murdered with many arrows, from
which a bush has grown, nourished with my blood." These words recalled
to the recollection of Æneas that Polydore was a young prince of Troy,
whom his father had sent with ample treasures to the neighboring land
of Thrace, to be there brought up, at a distance from the horrors of
war. The king to whom he was sent had murdered him and seized his
treasures. Æneas and his companions, considering the land accursed by
the stain of such a crime, hastened away.

=247. The Promised Empire.= They next landed on the island of Delos.
Here Æneas consulted the oracle of Apollo, and received an answer,
ambiguous as usual,--"Seek thy ancient mother; there the race of
Æneas shall dwell, and reduce all other nations to their sway." The
Trojans heard with joy and immediately began to ask one another, "Where
is the spot intended by the oracle?" Anchises remembered that there
was a tradition that their forefathers came from Crete, and thither
they resolved to steer. They arrived at Crete and began to build
their city; but sickness broke out among them, and the fields that
they had planted, failed to yield a crop. In this gloomy aspect of
affairs, Æneas was warned in a dream to leave the country and seek a
western land called Hesperia, whence Dardanus, the true founder of the
Trojan race, was reported to have migrated. To Hesperia, now called
Italy, they therefore directed their future course, and not till after
many adventures, and the lapse of time sufficient to carry a modern
navigator several times round the world, did they arrive there.

=248. The Harpies.= Their first landing was at the island of the
Harpies. These were disgusting birds, with the heads of maidens, with
long claws, and faces pale with hunger. They were sent by the gods to
torment a certain Phineus, whom Jupiter had deprived of his sight in
punishment of his cruelty; and whenever a meal was placed before him,
the harpies darted down from the air and carried it off. They were
driven away from Phineus by the heroes of the Argonautic expedition,
and took refuge in the island where Æneas now found them. When the
Trojans entered the port they saw herds of cattle roaming over the
plain. They slew as many as they wished, and prepared for a feast.
But no sooner had they seated themselves at the table than a horrible
clamor was heard in the air, and a flock of these odious harpies came
rushing down upon them, seizing in their talons the meat from the
dishes and flying away with it. Æneas and his companions drew their
swords and dealt vigorous blows among the monsters, but to no purpose,
for they were so nimble it was almost impossible to hit them, and their
feathers were, like armor, impenetrable to steel. One of them, perched
on a neighboring cliff, screamed out, "Is it thus, Trojans, ye treat
us innocent birds, first slaughter our cattle and then make war on
ourselves?" She then predicted dire sufferings to them in their future
course, and, having vented her wrath, flew away.

=249. Epirus.= The Trojans made haste to leave the country, and next
found themselves coasting along the shore of Epirus. Here they landed
and to their astonishment learned that certain Trojan exiles, who had
been carried there as prisoners, had become rulers of the country.
Andromache, the widow of Hector, had borne three sons to Neoptolemus
in Epirus. But when he cast her off for Hermione, he left her to her
fellow-captive, Helenus, Hector's brother. Now that Neoptolemus was
dead she had become the wife of Helenus; and they ruled the realm.
Helenus and Andromache treated the exiles with the utmost hospitality,
and dismissed them loaded with gifts.

[Illustration: FIG. 182. SCYLLA]

=250. The Cyclopes Again.= From hence Æneas coasted along the shore of
Sicily and passed the country of the Cyclopes. Here they were hailed
from the shore by a miserable object, whom by his garments tattered,
as they were, they perceived to be a Greek. He told them he was one
of Ulysses' companions, left behind by that chief in his hurried
departure. He related the story of Ulysses' adventure with Polyphemus,
and besought them to take him off with them, as he had no means of
sustaining his existence where he was, but wild berries and roots, and
lived in constant fear of the Cyclopes. While he spoke Polyphemus made
his appearance,--terrible, shapeless, vast, and, of course, blind.[356]
He walked with cautious steps, feeling his way with a staff, down to
the seaside, to wash his eye-socket in the waves. When he reached the
water he waded out towards them, and his immense height enabled him to
advance far into the sea, so that the Trojans in terror took to their
oars to get out of his way. Hearing the oars, Polyphemus shouted after
them so that the shores resounded, and at the noise the other Cyclopes
came forth from their caves and woods, and lined the shore, like a row
of lofty pine trees. The Trojans plied their oars and soon left them
out of sight.

Æneas had been cautioned by Helenus to avoid the strait guarded by the
monsters Scylla and Charybdis. There Ulysses, the reader will remember,
had lost six of his men, seized by Scylla while the navigators were
wholly intent upon avoiding Charybdis. Æneas, following the advice of
Helenus, shunned the dangerous pass and coasted along the island of
Sicily.

=251. The Resentment of Juno.= Now Juno, seeing the Trojans speeding
their way prosperously towards their destined shore, felt her old
grudge against them revive, for she could not forget the slight that
Paris had put upon her in awarding the prize of beauty to another. In
heavenly minds can such resentment dwell![357] Accordingly she gave
orders to Æolus, who sent forth his sons, Boreas, Typhon, and the other
winds, to toss the ocean. A terrible storm ensued, and the Trojan ships
were driven out of their course towards the coast of Africa. They were
in imminent danger of being wrecked, and were separated, so that Æneas
thought that all were lost except his own vessel.

At this crisis, Neptune, hearing the storm raging, and knowing that he
had given no orders for one, raised his head above the waves and saw
the fleet of Æneas driving before the gale. Understanding the hostility
of Juno, he was at no loss to account for it, but his anger was not
the less at this interference in his province. He called the winds and
dismissed them with a severe reprimand. He then soothed the waves, and
brushed away the clouds from before the face of the sun. Some of the
ships which had got on the rocks he pried off with his own trident,
while Triton and a sea-nymph, putting their shoulders under others, set
them afloat again. The Trojans, when the sea became calm, sought the
nearest shore,--the coast of Carthage, where Æneas was so happy as to
find that one by one the ships all arrived safe, though badly shaken.

=252. The Sojourn at Carthage. Dido.= Carthage, where the exiles had
now arrived, was a spot on the coast of Africa opposite Sicily, where
at that time a Tyrian colony under Dido, their queen, were laying
the foundations of a state destined in later ages to be the rival of
Rome itself. Dido was the daughter of Belus, king of Tyre, and sister
of Pygmalion, who succeeded his father on the throne. Her husband
was Sichæus, a man of immense wealth, but Pygmalion, who coveted his
treasures, caused him to be put to death. Dido, with a numerous body of
friends and followers, both men and women, succeeded in effecting their
escape from Tyre, in several vessels, carrying with them the treasures
of Sichæus. On arriving at the spot which they selected as the seat of
their future home, they asked of the natives only so much land as they
could inclose with a bull's hide. When this was readily granted, the
queen caused the hide to be cut into strips, and with them inclosed a
spot on which she built a citadel, and called it Byrsa (a hide). Around
this fort the city of Carthage rose, and soon became a powerful and
flourishing place.

Such was the state of affairs when Æneas with his Trojans arrived
there. Dido received the illustrious exiles with friendliness and
hospitality. "Not unacquainted with distress," she said, "I have
learned to succor the unfortunate."[358] The queen's hospitality
displayed itself in festivities at which games of strength and skill
were exhibited. The strangers contended for the palm with her own
subjects on equal terms, the queen declaring that whether the victor
were "Trojan or Tyrian should make no difference to her."[359] At the
feast which followed the games, Æneas gave at her request a recital of
the closing events of the Trojan history and his own adventures after
the fall of the city. Dido was charmed with his discourse and filled
with admiration of his exploits. She conceived an ardent passion for
him, and he for his part seemed well content to accept the fortunate
chance which appeared to offer him at once a happy termination of his
wanderings, a home, a kingdom, and a bride. Months rolled away in the
enjoyment of pleasant intercourse, and it seemed as if Italy and the
empire destined to be founded on its shores were alike forgotten.
Seeing which, Jupiter dispatched Mercury with a message to Æneas
recalling him to a sense of his high destiny, and commanding him to
resume his voyage.

Æneas parted from Dido, though she tried every allurement and
persuasion to detain him. The blow to her affection and her pride was
too much for her to endure, and when she found that he was gone, she
mounted a funeral pile which she had caused to be prepared, and having
stabbed herself was consumed with the pile. The flames rising over the
city were seen by the departing Trojans, and, though the cause was
unknown, gave to Æneas some intimation of the fatal event.

=253. Palinurus. Italy at Last.= After touching at the island of
Sicily, where Acestes, a prince of Trojan lineage, bore sway, and gave
them a hospitable reception, the Trojans reëmbarked and held on their
course for Italy. Venus now interceded with Neptune to allow her son at
last to attain the wished-for goal and find an end of his perils on the
deep. Neptune consented, stipulating only for one life as a ransom for
the rest. The victim was Palinurus, the pilot. As he sat watching the
stars with his hand on the helm, Somnus, sent by Neptune, approached
in the guise of Phorbas, and said, "Palinurus, the breeze is fair,
the water smooth, and the ship sails steadily on her course. Lie down
awhile and take needful rest. I will stand at the helm in thy place."
Palinurus replied, "Tell me not of smooth seas or favoring winds,--me
who have seen so much of their treachery. Shall I trust Æneas to the
chances of the weather and the winds?" And he continued to grasp the
helm and to keep his eyes fixed on the stars. But Somnus waved over
him a branch moistened with Lethæan dew, and his eyes closed in spite
of all his efforts. Then Somnus pushed him overboard, and he fell;
but as he kept his hold upon the helm, it came away with him. Neptune
was mindful of his promise, and held the ship on her track without
helm or pilot till Æneas discovered his loss and, sorrowing deeply for
his faithful steersman, took charge of the ship himself. Under his
guidance the ships at last reached the shores of Italy, and joyfully
the adventurers leaped to land.

[Illustration: FIG. 183. THE CUMÆAN SIBYL

From the painting by Michelangelo]

=254. The Sibyl of Cumæ.= While his people were employed in making
their encampment, Æneas sought the abode of the Sibyl. It was a cave
connected with a temple and grove, sacred to Apollo and Diana. While
Æneas contemplated the scene, the Sibyl accosted him. She seemed
to know his errand, and, under the influence of the deity of the
place, burst forth in a prophetic strain, giving dark intimations
of labors and perils through which he was destined to make his way
to final success. She closed with the encouraging words which have
become proverbial: "Yield not to disasters, but press onward the more
bravely."[360] Æneas replied that he had prepared himself for whatever
might await him. He had but one request to make. Having been directed
in a dream to seek the abode of the dead in order to confer with
his father Anchises to receive from him a revelation of his future
fortunes and those of his race, he asked her assistance to enable him
to accomplish the task. The Sibyl replied: "The descent to Avernus
is easy; the gate of Pluto stands open night and day; but to retrace
one's steps and return to the upper air, that is the toil, that the
difficulty."[361] She instructed him to seek in the forest a tree on
which grew a golden branch. This branch was to be plucked off and
borne as a gift to Proserpine, and if fate was propitious, it would
yield to the hand and quit its parent trunk, but otherwise no force
could rend it away. If torn away, another would succeed.

Æneas followed the directions of the Sibyl. His mother, Venus, sent
two of her doves to fly before him and show him the way, and by their
assistance he found the tree, plucked the branch, and hastened back
with it to the Sibyl.

=255. The Infernal Regions.= The region where Virgil locates the
entrance to the infernal regions is, perhaps, the most strikingly
adapted to excite ideas of the terrific and preternatural of any
on the face of the earth. It is the volcanic region near Vesuvius,
where the whole country is cleft with chasms from which sulphurous
flames arise, while the ground is shaken with pent-up vapors, and
mysterious sounds issue from the bowels of the earth. The lake Avernus
is supposed to fill the crater of an extinct volcano. It is circular,
half a mile wide and very deep, surrounded by high banks, which in
Virgil's time were covered with a gloomy forest. Mephitic vapors rise
from its waters, so that no life is found on its banks, and no birds
fly over it. Here Æneas offered sacrifices to the infernal deities,
Proserpine, Hecate, and the Furies. Then a roaring was heard in the
earth, the woods on the hilltops were shaken, and the howling of dogs
announced the approach of the deities. "Now," said the Sibyl, "summon
thy courage, for thou shalt need it." She descended into the cave of
Avernus, and Æneas followed. Before the threshold of hell they passed
through a group of beings who are enumerated as Griefs and avenging
Cares, pale Diseases, and melancholy Age, Fear and Hunger that tempt to
crime, Toil, Poverty, and Death,--forms horrible to view. The Furies
spread their couches there, and Discord, whose hair was of vipers tied
up with a bloody fillet. Here also were the monsters, Briareus, with
his hundred arms, Hydras hissing, and Chimæras breathing fire. Æneas
shuddered at the sight, drew his sword and would have struck, but
the Sibyl restrained him. They then came to the black river Cocytus,
where they found the ferryman Charon, old and squalid, but strong and
vigorous, who was receiving passengers of all kinds into his boat,
stout-hearted heroes, boys and unmarried girls, as numerous as the
leaves that fall at autumn or the flocks that fly southward at the
approach of winter. They stood pressing for a passage and longing to
touch the opposite shore. But the stern ferryman took in only such
as he chose, driving the rest back. Æneas, wondering at the sight,
asked the Sibyl, "Why this discrimination?" She answered, "Those who
are taken on board the bark are the souls of those who have received
due burial rites; the host of others who have remained unburied are
not permitted to pass the flood, but wander a hundred years, and flit
to and fro about the shore, till at last they are taken over." Æneas
grieved at recollecting some of his own companions who had perished
in the storm. At that moment he beheld Palinurus, his pilot, who fell
overboard and was drowned. He addressed him and asked him the cause of
his misfortune. Palinurus replied that the rudder was carried away,
and he, clinging to it, was swept away with it. He besought Æneas most
urgently to extend to him his hand and take him in company to the
opposite shore. The Sibyl rebuked him for the wish thus to transgress
the laws of Pluto, but consoled him by informing him that the people of
the shore where his body had been wafted by the waves should be stirred
up by prodigies to give it due burial, and that the promontory should
bear the name of Cape Palinurus,--and so it does to this day. Leaving
Palinurus consoled by these words, they approached the boat. Charon,
fixing his eyes sternly upon the advancing warrior, demanded by what
right he, living and armed, approached that shore. To which the Sibyl
replied that they would commit no violence, that Æneas' only object
was to see his father, and finally exhibited the golden branch, at
sight of which Charon's wrath relaxed, and he made haste to turn his
bark to the shore and receive them on board. The boat, adapted only to
the light freight of bodiless spirits, groaned under the weight of the
hero. They were soon conveyed to the opposite shore. There they were
encountered by the three-headed dog Cerberus, with his necks bristling
with snakes. He barked with all three throats till the Sibyl threw him
a medicated cake, which he eagerly devoured, and then stretched himself
out in his den and fell asleep. Æneas and the Sibyl sprang to land. The
first sound that struck their ears was the wailing of young children
who had died on the threshold of life; and near to these were those who
had perished under false charges. Minos presides over them as judge and
examines the deeds of each. The next class was of those who had died by
their own hand, hating life and seeking refuge in death. How willingly
would they now endure poverty, labor, and any other infliction if they
might but return to life! Next were situated the regions of sadness,
divided off into retired paths, leading through groves of myrtle. Here
roamed those who had fallen victims to unrequited love, not freed
from pain even by death itself. Among these Æneas thought he descried
the form of Dido, with a wound still recent. In the dim light he was
for a moment uncertain, but approaching, perceived it was indeed she.
Tears fell from his eyes, and he addressed her in the accents of love.
"Unhappy Dido! was then the rumor true that thou hadst perished? And
was I, alas! the cause? I call the gods to witness that my departure
from thee was reluctant and in obedience to the commands of Jove; nor
could I believe that my absence would have cost thee so dear. Stop,
I beseech thee, and refuse me not a last farewell." She stood for a
moment with averted countenance and eyes fixed on the ground, and
then silently passed on, as insensible to his pleadings as a rock.
Æneas followed for some distance, then with a heavy heart rejoined his
companion and resumed his route.

They next entered the fields where roam the heroes who have fallen in
battle. Here they saw many shades of Grecian and Trojan warriors. The
Trojans thronged around him and could not be satisfied with the sight.
They asked the cause of his coming and plied him with innumerable
questions. But the Greeks, at the sight of his armor glittering through
the murky atmosphere, recognized the hero, and, filled with terror,
turned their backs and fled, as they used to do on the plains of Troy.

Æneas would have lingered long with his Trojan friends, but the Sibyl
hurried him away. They next came to a place where the road divided,
the one way leading to Elysium, the other to the regions of the
condemned. Æneas beheld on one side the walls of a mighty city, around
which Phlegethon rolled its fiery waters. Before him was the gate of
adamant that neither gods nor men can break through. An iron tower
stood by the gate, on which Tisiphone, the avenging Fury, kept guard.
From the city were heard groans, and the sound of the scourge, the
creaking of iron, and the clanking of chains. Æneas, horror-stricken,
inquired of his guide what crimes were those whose punishments produced
the sounds he heard. The Sibyl answered, "Here is the judgment hall
of Rhadamanthus, who brings to light crimes done in life which the
perpetrator vainly thought impenetrably hid. Tisiphone applies her whip
of scorpions and delivers the offender over to her sister Furies." At
this moment with horrid clang the brazen gates unfolded, and within,
Æneas saw a Hydra with fifty heads guarding the entrance. The Sibyl
told him that the gulf of Tartarus descended deep, so that its recesses
were as far beneath their feet as heaven was high above their heads. In
the bottom of this pit the Titan race, who warred against the gods, lie
prostrate; Salmoneus also, who presumed to vie with Jupiter, and built
a bridge of brass over which he drove his chariot that the sound might
resemble thunder, launching flaming brands at his people in imitation
of lightning, till Jupiter struck him with a real thunderbolt and
taught him the difference between mortal weapons and divine. Here also
is Tityus, the giant, whose form is so immense that, as he lies, he
stretches over nine acres, while a vulture preys upon his liver, which
as fast as it is devoured grows again, so that his punishment will have
no end.

Æneas saw groups seated at tables loaded with dainties, while near by
stood a Fury who snatched away the viands from their lips as fast as
they prepared to taste them. Others beheld suspended over their heads
huge rocks, threatening to fall, keeping them in a state of constant
alarm. These were they who had hated their brothers, or struck their
parents, or defrauded the friends who trusted them, or who, having
grown rich, kept their money to themselves and gave no share to
others,--the last being the most numerous class. Here also were those
who had violated the marriage vow, or fought in a bad cause, or failed
in fidelity to their employers. Here was one who had sold his country
for gold, another who perverted the laws, making them say one thing
to-day and another to-morrow.

Ixion was there, fastened to the circumference of a wheel ceaselessly
revolving; and Sisyphus, whose task was to roll a huge stone up to a
hilltop; but when the steep was well-nigh gained, the rock, repulsed by
some sudden force, rushed again headlong down to the plain. Again he
toiled at it, while the sweat bathed all his weary limbs, but all to no
effect. There was Tantalus, who stood in a pool his chin level with the
water, yet he was parched with thirst and found nothing to assuage it;
for when he bowed his hoary head, eager to quaff, the water fled away,
leaving the ground at his feet all dry. Tall trees, laden with fruit,
stooped their heads to him,--pears, pomegranates, apples, and luscious
figs; but when, with a sudden grasp, he tried to seize them, winds
whirled them high above his reach.

[Illustration: FIG. 184. IXION ON THE WHEEL]

=256. The Elysian Fields.= The Sibyl now warned Æneas that it was
time to turn from these melancholy regions and seek the city of the
blessed. They passed through a middle tract of darkness and came upon
the Elysian Fields, the groves where the happy reside. They breathed a
freer air and saw all objects clothed in a purple light. The region had
a sun and stars of its own. The inhabitants were enjoying themselves in
various ways, some in sports on the grassy turf, in games of strength
or skill, others dancing or singing. Orpheus struck the chords of his
lyre and called forth ravishing sounds. Here Æneas saw the founders
of the Trojan state, great-hearted heroes who lived in happier times.
He gazed with admiration on the war chariots and glittering arms now
reposing in disuse. Spears stood fixed in the ground, and the horses,
unharnessed, roamed over the plain. The same pride in splendid armor
and generous steeds which the old heroes felt in life accompanied them
here. He saw another group feasting and listening to the strains of
music. They were in a laurel grove, whence the great river Po has its
origin and flows out among men. Here dwelt those who fell by wounds
received in their country's cause, holy priests also, and poets who
have uttered thoughts worthy of Apollo, and others who have contributed
to cheer and adorn life by their discoveries in the useful arts, and
have made their memory blessed by rendering service to mankind. They
wore snow-white fillets about their brows. The Sibyl addressed a
group of these and inquired where Anchises was to be found. They were
directed where to seek him, and soon found him in a verdant valley,
where he was contemplating the ranks of his posterity, their destinies
and worthy deeds to be achieved in coming times. When he recognized
Æneas approaching, he stretched out both hands to him, while tears
flowed freely. "Dost thou come at last," said he, "long expected, and
do I behold thee after such perils past? O my son, how have I trembled
for thee, as I have watched thy course!" To which Æneas replied, "O
father! thy image was always before me to guide and guard me." Then he
endeavored to infold his father in his embrace, but his arms inclosed
only an unsubstantial shade.

=257. The Valley of Oblivion.= Æneas perceived before him a spacious
valley, with trees gently waving to the wind, a tranquil landscape,
through which the river Lethe flowed. Along the banks of the stream
wandered a countless multitude, numerous as insects in the summer air.
Æneas, with surprise, inquired who were these. Anchises answered:
"They are souls to which bodies are to be given in due time. Meanwhile
they dwell on Lethe's bank and drink oblivion of their former lives."
"O father!" said Æneas, "is it possible that any can be so in love with
life as to wish to leave these tranquil seats for the upper world?"
Anchises replied by explaining the plan of creation. The Creator, he
told him, originally made the material of which souls are composed, of
the four elements, fire, air, earth, and water, all which when united
took the form of the most excellent part, fire, and became _flame_.
This material was scattered like seed among the heavenly bodies, the
sun, moon, and stars. Of this seed the inferior gods created man and
all other animals, mingling it with various proportions of earth,
by which its purity was alloyed and reduced. Thus the more earth
predominates in the composition, the less pure is the individual; and
we see that men and women with their full-grown bodies have not the
purity of childhood. So in proportion to the time which the union of
body and soul has lasted, is the impurity contracted by the spiritual
part. This impurity must be purged away after death, which is done
by ventilating the souls in the current of winds, or merging them in
water, or burning out their impurities by fire. Some few, of whom
Anchises intimates that he is one, are admitted at once to Elysium,
there to remain. But the rest, after the impurities of earth are purged
away, are sent back to life endowed with new bodies, having had the
remembrance of their former lives effectually washed away by the waters
of Lethe. Some souls, however, there still are, so thoroughly corrupted
that they are not fit to be intrusted with human bodies, and these pass
by metempsychosis into the bodies of brute animals.

Anchises, having explained so much, proceeded to point out to Æneas
individuals of his race who were hereafter to be born, and to relate
to him the exploits they should perform in the world. After this he
reverted to the present, and told his son of the events that remained
to him to be accomplished before the complete establishment of himself
and his followers in Italy. Wars were to be waged, battles fought, a
bride to be won, and, in the result, a Trojan state founded, from which
should rise the Roman power, to be in time the sovereign of the world.

As Æneas and the Sibyl pursued their way back to earth, he said to
her: "Whether thou be a goddess or a mortal beloved by the gods, by me
thou shalt always be held in reverence. When I reach the upper air, I
will cause a temple to be built to thy honor, and will myself bring
offerings." "I am no goddess," said the Sibyl; "I have no claims to
sacrifice or offering. I am mortal, yet, could I but have accepted
the love of Apollo, I might have been immortal. He promised me the
fulfillment of my wish, if I would consent to be his. I took a handful
of sand and, holding it forth, said, 'Grant me to see as many birthdays
as there are sand-grains in my hand.' Unluckily I forgot to ask for
enduring youth. This also he would have granted could I have accepted
his love, but, offended at my refusal, he allowed me to grow old. My
youth and youthful strength fled long ago. I have lived seven hundred
years, and to equal the number of the sand-grains I have still to see
three hundred springs and three hundred harvests. My body shrinks up as
years increase, and in time I shall be lost to sight, but my voice will
remain, and future ages will respect my sayings."

These concluding words of the Sibyl alluded to her prophetic power. In
her cave she was accustomed to inscribe on leaves gathered from the
trees the names and fates of individuals. The leaves thus inscribed
were arranged in order within the cave, and might be consulted by her
votaries. But if, perchance, at the opening of the door the wind rushed
in and dispersed the leaves, the Sibyl gave no aid to restoring them
again, and the oracle was irreparably lost.

FOOTNOTES:

[354] From Tennyson's To Virgil.

[355] For Virgil, see § 299; for translations of his Æneid, see
corresponding section in Commentary.

[356] _Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen
ademptum._--Æneid, 3, 658.

[357] _Tantaene animis coelestibus irae?_--Æneid, 1, 11.

[358] _Haud ignara mali, miseris succurrere disco._--Æneid, 1, 630.

[359] _Tros Tyriusve mihi nullo discrimine agetur._--Æneid, 1, 574.

[360]

    _Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito._--Æneid, 6, 95.

[361]

             _Facilis descensus Averno;_
    _Noctes atque dies patet atri janua Ditis;_
    _Sed revocare gradum, superasque evadere ad auras,_
    _Hoc opus, hic labor est._--Æneid, 6, 126-129.



CHAPTER XXVI

THE WAR BETWEEN TROJANS AND LATINS


=258. The Fulfillment of Prophecy.= Æneas, having parted from the Sibyl
and rejoined his fleet, coasted along the shores of Italy and cast
anchor in the mouth of the Tiber. The poet, having brought his hero to
this spot, the destined termination of his wanderings, invokes his Muse
to tell him the situation of things at that eventful moment. Latinus,
third in descent from Saturn, ruled the country. He was now old and had
no male descendant, but had one charming daughter, Lavinia, who was
sought in marriage by many neighboring chiefs, one of whom, Turnus,
king of the Rutulians, was favored by the wishes of her parents. But
Latinus had been warned in a dream by his father, Faunus, that the
destined husband of Lavinia should come from a foreign land. From that
union should spring a race destined to subdue the world.

Our readers will remember that in the conflict with the harpies, one of
those half-human birds had threatened the Trojans with dire sufferings.
In particular, she predicted that before their wanderings ceased they
should be pressed by hunger to devour their tables. This portent now
came true; for as they took their scanty meal, seated on the grass, the
men placed their hard biscuit on their laps and put thereon whatever
their gleanings in the woods supplied. Having dispatched the latter,
they finished by eating the crusts. Seeing which, the boy Iulus said
playfully, "See! we are eating our tables." Æneas caught the words and
accepted the omen. "All hail, promised land!" he exclaimed, "this is
our home, this our country!" He then took measures to find out who were
the present inhabitants of the land and who their rulers. A hundred
chosen men were sent to the village of Latinus, bearing presents and
a request for friendship and alliance. They went and were favorably
received. Latinus immediately concluded that the Trojan hero was
no other than the promised son-in-law announced by the oracle. He
cheerfully granted his alliance, and sent back the messengers mounted
on steeds from his stables and loaded with gifts and friendly messages.

Juno, seeing things go thus prosperously for the Trojans, felt her old
animosity revive, summoned Alecto from Erebus, and sent her to stir up
discord. The Fury first took possession of the queen, Amata, and roused
her to oppose in every way the new alliance. Alecto then sped to the
city of Turnus and, assuming the form of an old priestess, informed him
of the arrival of the foreigners and of the attempts of their prince
to rob him of his betrothed. Next she turned her attention to the camp
of the Trojans. There she saw the boy Iulus and his companions amusing
themselves with hunting. She sharpened the scent of the dogs and led
them to rouse up from the thicket a tame stag, the favorite of Silvia,
the daughter of Tyrrheus, the king's herdsman. A javelin from the
hand of Iulus wounded the animal, which had only strength left to run
homeward and die at its mistress's feet. Her cries and tears roused her
brothers and the herdsmen, and they, seizing whatever weapons came to
hand, furiously assaulted the hunting party. These were protected by
their friends, and the herdsmen were finally driven back with the loss
of two of their number.

These things were enough to rouse the storm of war, and the queen,
Turnus, and the peasants all urged the old king to drive the strangers
from the country. He resisted as long as he could, but, finding his
opposition unavailing, finally gave way and retreated to his retirement.

=259. The Gates of Janus Opened.= It was the custom of the country,
when war was to be undertaken, for the chief magistrate, clad in his
robes of office, with solemn pomp to open the gates of the temple
of Janus, which were kept shut as long as peace endured. His people
now urged the old king to perform that solemn office, but he refused
to do so. While they contested, Juno herself, descending from the
skies, smote the doors with irresistible force and burst them open.
Immediately the whole country was in a flame. The people rushed from
every side, breathing nothing but war.

Turnus was recognized by all as leader; others joined as allies, chief
of whom was Mezentius, a brave and able soldier, but of detestable
cruelty. He had been the chief of one of the neighboring cities,
but his people drove him out. With him was joined his son Lausus, a
generous youth worthy of a better sire.

[Illustration: FIG. 185. AMAZON]

=260. Camilla.= Camilla, the favorite of Diana, a huntress and warrior
after the fashion of the Amazons, came with her band of mounted
followers, including a select number of her own sex, and ranged herself
on the side of Turnus. This maiden had never accustomed her fingers to
the distaff or the loom, but had learned to endure the toils of war and
in speed to outstrip the wind. It seemed as if she might run over the
standing corn without crushing it, or over the surface of the water
without dipping her feet. Camilla's history had been singular from the
beginning. Her father, Metabus, driven from his city by civil discord,
carried with him in his flight his infant daughter. As he fled through
the woods, his enemies in hot pursuit, he reached the bank of the river
Amasenus, which, swelled by rains, seemed to debar a passage. He paused
for a moment, then decided what to do. He tied the infant to his lance
with wrappers of bark, and poising the weapon in his upraised hand,
thus addressed Diana: "Goddess of the woods! I consecrate this maid to
thee"; then hurled the weapon with its burden to the opposite bank.
The spear flew across the roaring water. His pursuers were already
upon him, but he plunged into the river, and swam across, and found
the spear with the infant safe on the other side. Thenceforth he lived
among the shepherds and brought up his daughter in woodland arts. While
a child she was taught to use the bow and throw the javelin. With her
sling she could bring down the crane or the wild swan. Her dress was a
tiger's skin. Many mothers sought her for a daughter-in-law, but she
continued faithful to Diana and repelled the thought of marriage.

=261. Alliance with Evander.= Such were the formidable allies that
ranged themselves against Æneas. It was night, and he lay stretched in
sleep on the bank of the river under the open heavens. The god of the
stream, Father Tiber, seemed to raise his head above the willows and
to say: "O goddess-born, destined possessor of the Latin realms, this
is the promised land; here is to be thy home, here shall terminate the
hostility of the heavenly powers, if only thou faithfully persevere.
There are friends not far distant. Prepare thy boats and row up my
stream; I will lead thee to Evander, the Arcadian chief. He has long
been at strife with Turnus and the Rutulians, and is prepared to become
an ally of thine. Rise! offer thy vows to Juno and deprecate her anger.
When thou hast achieved thy victory, then think of me." Æneas woke
and paid immediate obedience to the friendly vision. He sacrificed to
Juno, and invoked the god of the river and all his tributary fountains
to lend their aid. Then for the first time a vessel filled with armed
warriors floated on the stream of the Tiber. The river smoothed its
waves and bade its current flow gently, while, impelled by the vigorous
strokes of the rowers, the vessel shot rapidly up the stream.

About the middle of the day they came in sight of the scattered
buildings of the infant town where in after times the proud city of
Rome grew, whose glory reached the skies. By chance the old king,
Evander, was that day celebrating annual solemnities in honor of
Hercules and all the gods. Pallas, his son, and all the chiefs of the
little commonwealth stood by. When they saw the tall ship gliding
onward through the wood, they were alarmed at the sight and rose from
the tables. But Pallas forbade the solemnities to be interrupted and,
seizing a weapon, stepped forward to the river's bank. He called aloud,
demanding who the strangers were and what their object. Æneas, holding
forth an olive branch, replied: "We are Trojans, friends to you and
enemies to the Rutulians. We seek Evander and offer to join our arms
with yours." Pallas, in amaze at the sound of so great a name, invited
them to land, and when Æneas touched the shore, he seized his hand and
held it long in friendly grasp. Proceeding through the wood they joined
the king and his party, and were most favorably received. Seats were
provided for them at the tables, and the repast proceeded.

=262. The Site of Future Rome.= When the solemnities were ended, all
moved towards the city. The king, bending with age, walked between his
son and Æneas, taking the arm of one or the other of them, and with
much variety of pleasing talk shortening the way. Æneas with delight
looked and listened, observing all the beauties of the scene and
learning much of heroes renowned in ancient times. Evander said: "These
extensive groves were once inhabited by fauns and nymphs, and a rude
race of men who sprang from the trees themselves and had neither laws
nor social culture. They knew not how to yoke the cattle, nor raise
a harvest, nor provide from present abundance for future want, but
browsed like beasts upon the leafy boughs or fed voraciously on their
hunted prey. Such were they when Saturn, expelled from Olympus by his
sons, came among them and drew together the fierce savages, formed them
into society, and gave them laws. Such peace and plenty ensued that men
ever since have called his reign the Golden Age; but by degrees far
other times succeeded, and the thirst of gold and the thirst of blood
prevailed. The land was a prey to successive tyrants till fortune and
resistless destiny brought me hither, an exile from my native land,
Arcadia."

Having thus said, he showed him the Tarpeian rock, and the rude spot,
then overgrown with bushes, where in after times the Capitol was to
rise in all its magnificence. He next pointed to some dismantled walls
and said, "Here stood Janiculum, built by Janus, and there Saturnia,
the town of Saturn." Such discourse brought them to the cottage of
Evander, whence they saw the lowing herds roaming over the plain where
soon should stand the proud and stately Forum. They entered, and a
couch, well stuffed with leaves and covered with the skin of a Libyan
bear, was spread for Æneas.

Next morning, awakened by the dawn and the shrill song of birds beneath
the eaves of his low mansion, old Evander rose. Clad in a tunic, and a
panther's skin thrown over his shoulders, with sandals on his feet and
his good sword girded to his side, he went forth to seek his guest. Two
mastiffs followed him,--his whole retinue and bodyguard. He found the
hero attended by his faithful Achates, and Pallas soon joining them,
the old king spoke thus:

"Illustrious Trojan, it is but little we can do in so great a cause.
Our state is feeble, hemmed in on one side by the river, on the other
by the Rutulians. But I propose to ally thee with a people numerous
and rich, to whom fate has brought thee at the propitious moment. The
Etruscans hold the country beyond the river. Mezentius was their king,
a monster of cruelty, who invented unheard-of torments to gratify his
vengeance. He would fasten the dead to the living, hand to hand and
face to face, and leave the wretched victims to die in that dreadful
embrace. At length people cast him out, him and his house. They
burned his palace, and slew his friends. He escaped and took refuge
with Turnus, who protects him with arms. The Etruscans demand that
he shall be given up to deserved punishment, and would ere now have
attempted to enforce their demand; but their priests restrain them,
telling them that it is the will of heaven that no native of the land
shall guide them to victory and that their destined leader must come
from across the sea. They have offered the crown to me, but I am too
old to undertake such great affairs, and my son is native-born, which
precludes him from the choice. Thou, equally by birth and time of life
and fame in arms pointed out by the gods, hast but to appear to be
hailed at once as their leader. With thee I will join Pallas, my son,
my only hope and comfort. Under thee he shall learn the art of war and
strive to emulate thy great exploits."

Then the king ordered horses to be furnished for the Trojan chiefs,
and Æneas, with a chosen band of followers and Pallas accompanying,
mounted and took the way to the Etruscan city,[362] having sent back
the rest of his party in the ships. Æneas and his band safely arrived
at the Etruscan camp and were received with open arms by Tarchon and
his countrymen.

=263. Turnus attacks the Trojan Camp.= In the meanwhile Turnus had
collected his bands and made all necessary preparations for the war.
Juno sent Iris to him with a message inciting him to take advantage
of the absence of Æneas and surprise the Trojan camp. Accordingly the
attempt was made; but the Trojans were found on their guard, and
having received strict orders from Æneas not to fight in his absence,
they lay still in their intrenchments and resisted all the efforts of
the Rutulians to draw them into the field. Night coming on, the army
of Turnus, in high spirits at their fancied superiority, feasted and
enjoyed themselves, and finally stretched themselves on the field and
slept secure.

=264. Nisus and Euryalus.= In the camp of the Trojans things were far
otherwise. There all was watchfulness and anxiety, and impatience for
Æneas' return. Nisus stood guard at the entrance of the camp, and
Euryalus, a youth distinguished above all in the army for graces of
person and fine qualities, was with him. These two were friends and
brothers in arms. Nisus said to his friend: "Dost thou perceive what
confidence and carelessness the enemy display? Their lights are few and
dim, and the men seem all oppressed with wine or sleep. Thou knowest
how anxiously our chiefs wish to send to Æneas and to get intelligence
from him. Now I am strongly moved to make my way through the enemy's
camp and to go in search of our chief. If I succeed, the glory of
the deed will be reward enough for me, and if they judge the service
deserves anything more, let them pay it thee."

Euryalus, all on fire with the love of adventure, replied: "Wouldst
thou then, Nisus, refuse to share thy enterprise with me? And shall
I let thee go into such danger alone? Not so my brave father brought
me up, nor so have I planned for myself when I joined the standard of
Æneas and resolved to hold my life cheap in comparison with honor."
Nisus replied: "I doubt it not, my friend; but thou knowest the
uncertain event of such an undertaking, and whatever may happen to
me, I wish thee to be safe. Thou art younger than I and hast more of
life in prospect. Nor can I be the cause of such grief to thy mother,
who has chosen to be here in the camp with thee rather than stay and
live in peace with the other matrons in Acestes' city." Euryalus
replied, "Say no more. In vain dost thou seek arguments to dissuade
me. I am fixed in the resolution to go with thee. Let us lose no
time." They called the guard and, committing the watch to them, sought
the general's tent. They found the chief officers in consultation,
deliberating how they should send notice to Æneas of their situation.
The offer of the two friends was gladly accepted, themselves loaded
with praises and promised the most liberal rewards in case of success.
Iulus especially addressed Euryalus, assuring him of his lasting
friendship. Euryalus replied: "I have but one boon to ask. My aged
mother is with me in the camp. For me she left the Trojan soil and
would not stay behind with the other matrons at the city of Acestes. I
go now without taking leave of her. I could not bear her tears nor set
at naught her entreaties. But do thou, I beseech thee, comfort her in
her distress. Promise me that and I shall go more boldly into whatever
dangers may present themselves." Iulus and the other chiefs were moved
to tears and promised to do all his request. "Thy mother shall be
mine," said Iulus, "and all that I have promised thee shall be made
good to her, if thou dost not return to receive it."

The two friends left the camp and plunged at once into the midst of the
enemy. They found no watch, no sentinels posted, but, all about, the
sleeping soldiers strewn on the grass and among the wagons. The laws
of war at that early day did not forbid a brave man to slay a sleeping
foe, and the two Trojans slew, as they passed, such of the enemy as
they could without exciting alarm. In one tent Euryalus made prize of
a helmet brilliant with gold and plumes. They had passed through the
enemy's ranks without being discovered, but now suddenly appeared a
troop directly in front of them, which, under Volscens, their leader,
were approaching the camp. The glittering helmet of Euryalus caught
their attention, and Volscens hailed the two and demanded who and
whence they were. They made no answer, but plunged into the wood. The
horsemen scattered in all directions to intercept their flight. Nisus
had eluded pursuit and was out of danger, but, since Euryalus was
missing, he turned back to seek him. He again entered the wood and soon
came within sound of voices. Looking through the thicket he saw the
whole band surrounding Euryalus with noisy questions. What should he
do; how extricate the youth; or would it be better to die with him?

Raising his eyes to the moon which now shone clear, he said, "Goddess,
favor my effort!" and, aiming his javelin at one of the leaders of the
troop, struck him in the back and stretched him on the plain with a
deathblow. In the midst of their amazement another weapon flew, and
another of the party fell dead. Volscens, the leader, ignorant whence
the darts came, rushed sword in hand upon Euryalus. "Thou shalt pay
the penalty of both," he said, and would have plunged the sword into
his bosom, when Nisus, who from his concealment saw the peril of his
friend, rushed forward exclaiming, "'T was I! 't was I! Turn your
swords against me, Rutulians. I did it; he only followed me as a
friend." While he spoke the sword fell and pierced the comely bosom of
Euryalus. His head fell over on his shoulder, like a flower cut down
by the plow. Nisus rushed upon Volscens and plunged his sword into his
body, and was himself slain on the instant by numberless blows.

=265. The Death of Mezentius.= Æneas, with his Etrurian allies, arrived
on the scene of action in time to rescue his beleaguered camp; and now
the two armies being nearly equal in strength, the war began in good
earnest. We cannot find space for all the details, but must simply
record the fate of the principal characters. The tyrant Mezentius,
finding himself engaged against his revolted subjects, raged like a
wild beast. He slew all who dared withstand him, and put the multitude
to flight wherever he appeared. At last he encountered Æneas, and the
armies stood still to see the issue. Mezentius threw his spear, which,
striking Æneas' shield, glanced off and hit Antores,--a Grecian by
birth who had left Argos, his native city, and followed Evander into
Italy. The poet says of him, with simple pathos which has made the
words proverbial, "He fell, unhappy, by a wound intended for another,
looked up to the skies, and, dying, remembered sweet Argos."[363] Æneas
now in turn hurled his lance. It pierced the shield of Mezentius and
wounded him in the thigh. Lausus, his son, could not bear the sight,
but rushed forward and interposed himself, while the followers pressed
round Mezentius and bore him away. Æneas held his sword suspended over
Lausus and delayed to strike, but the furious youth pressed on, and he
was compelled to deal the fatal blow. Lausus fell, and Æneas bent over
him in pity. "Hapless youth," he said, "what can I do for thee worthy
of thy praise? Keep those arms in which thou gloriest, and fear not
but that thy body shall be restored to thy friends and have due funeral
honors." So saying, he called the timid followers and delivered the
body into their hands.

Mezentius meanwhile had been borne to the riverside, and had washed
his wound. Soon the news reached him of Lausus' death, and rage and
despair supplied the place of strength. He mounted his horse and dashed
into the thickest of the fight, seeking Æneas. Having found him, he
rode round him in a circle, throwing one javelin after another, while
Æneas stood fenced with his shield, turning every way to meet them.
At last after Mezentius had three times made the circuit, Æneas threw
his lance directly at the horse's head. The animal fell with pierced
temples, while a shout from both armies rent the skies. Mezentius asked
no mercy, but only that his body might be spared the insults of his
revolted subjects and be buried in the same grave with his son. He
received the fatal stroke not unprepared, and poured out his life and
his blood together.

=266. The Deaths of Pallas and Camilla.= While these things were doing
in one part of the field, in another Turnus encountered the youthful
Pallas. The contest between champions so unequally matched could not be
doubtful. Pallas bore himself bravely, but fell by the lance of Turnus.
The victor almost relented when he saw the brave youth lying dead at
his feet, and spared to use the privilege of a conqueror in despoiling
him of his arms. The belt only, adorned with studs and carvings of
gold, he took and clasped round his own body. The rest he remitted to
the friends of the slain.

After the battle there was a cessation of arms for some days to allow
both armies to bury their dead. In this interval Æneas challenged
Turnus to decide the contest by single combat, but Turnus evaded the
challenge. Another battle ensued, in which Camilla, the virgin warrior,
was chiefly conspicuous. Her deeds of valor surpassed those of the
bravest warriors, and many Trojans and Etruscans fell pierced with her
darts or struck down by her battle-ax. At last an Etruscan named Aruns,
who had watched her long, seeking for some advantage, observed her
pursuing an enemy whose splendid armor offered a tempting prize. Intent
on the chase she observed not her danger, and the javelin of Aruns
struck her and inflicted a fatal wound. She fell and breathed her last
in the arms of her attendant maidens. But Diana, who beheld her fate,
suffered not her slaughter to be unavenged. Aruns, as he stole away
glad but frightened, was struck by a secret arrow, launched by one of
the nymphs of Diana's train, and he died ignobly and unknown.

=267. The Final Conflict.= At length the final conflict took place
between Æneas and Turnus. Turnus had avoided the contest as long as
he could; but at last, impelled by the ill success of his arms and by
the murmurs of his followers, he braced himself to the conflict. The
outcome could not be doubtful. On the side of Æneas were the expressed
decree of destiny, the aid of his goddess-mother in every emergency,
and impenetrable armor fabricated by Vulcan, at her request, for her
son. Turnus, on the other hand, was deserted by his celestial allies,
Juno having been expressly forbidden by Jupiter to assist him any
longer. Turnus threw his lance, but it recoiled harmless from the
shield of Æneas. The Trojan hero then threw his, which, penetrating the
shield of Turnus, pierced his thigh. Then Turnus' fortitude forsook
him, and he begged for mercy; Æneas, indeed, would have spared his
opponent's life, but at the instant his eye fell on the belt of Pallas,
which Turnus had taken from the slaughtered youth. Instantly his rage
revived, and exclaiming, "Pallas immolates thee with this blow," he
thrust him through with his sword.

Here the poem of the Æneid closes, and we are left to infer that
Æneas, having triumphed over his foes, obtained Lavinia for his bride.
Tradition adds that he founded a city and called it Lavinium, after her
name. His son Iulus founded Alba Longa, which became the birthplace of
Romulus and Remus and the cradle of Rome.

FOOTNOTES:

[362] The poet here inserts a famous line which is thought to imitate
in its sound the galloping of horses: _Quadrupedante putrem sonitu
quatit ungula campum_.--Æneid, 8, 596.

[363]

    _Sternitur infelix alieno volnere, caelumque_
    _Aspicit, et dulcis moriens reminiscitur Argos._--Æneid 10, 781.

[Illustration: NIKE OF BRESCIA]



CHAPTER XXVII

MYTHS OF THE NORSE GODS[364]


=268. The Creation.= According to the Eddas there was once no heaven
above nor earth beneath, but only a bottomless deep, Ginungagap, and
a world of mist, Niflheim, in which sprang a fountain. Twelve rivers
issued from this fountain, Vergelmir, and when they had flowed far from
their source, they froze into ice, and one layer accumulating over
another, the great deep was filled up.

Southward from the world of mist was the world of light, Muspelheim.
From this proceeded a warm wind upon the ice and melted it. The
vapors rose in the air and formed clouds, from which sprang Ymir, the
rime-cold giant and his progeny, and the cow Audhumbla, whose milk
afforded nourishment and food to the giant. The cow got nourishment
by licking the hoar frost and salt from the ice. While she was one
day licking the salt stones there appeared at first the hair of some
being, on the second day his whole head, and on the third the entire
form endowed with beauty, agility, and power. This new being was a god,
Bori, from whom and his wife, a daughter of the giant race, sprang Bor,
the father of Odin, Vili, and Ve. These three slew the giant Ymir, and
out of his body formed the earth, of his blood the seas, of his bones
the mountains, of his hair the trees, of his skull the heavens, and of
his brain clouds, charged with hail and snow. Of Ymir's eyebrows the
gods built a fence around the Midgard or mid-earth between Niflheim and
Muspelheim, destined to become the abode of man.

Odin then regulated the periods of day and night and the seasons by
placing in the heavens the sun and moon, and appointing to them their
respective courses. As soon as the sun began to shed its rays upon
the earth, it caused the vegetable world to bud and sprout. Shortly
after the gods (the Anse-race, Anses, Æsir, or Asa-folk) had created
the world, they walked by the side of the sea, pleased with their new
work, but found that it was still incomplete, for it was without human
beings. They therefore took an ashen spar and made a man out of it;
woman they made out of a piece of elm; and they called the man Ask and
the woman Embla. Odin then gave them life and soul, Vili reason and
motion, and Ve bestowed upon them the senses, expressive features, and
speech. Midgard was given them as their residence, and they became the
progenitors of the human race.

=269. Yggdrasil.= The mighty ash tree, Yggdrasil, was supposed to
support the whole universe. It sprang from the body of Ymir, and had
three immense roots, extending one into Midgard (the dwelling of
mortals), another into Jötunheim (the abode of the giants), and the
third below Niflheim, into the region of Death. By the side of each
of these roots is a spring, from which it is watered. The root that
extends into Midgard is carefully tended by the three Norns,--goddesses
who are regarded as the dispensers of fate. They are Urd (the past),
Verdandi (the present), Skuld (the future). The spring at the Jötunheim
side is Mimir's well, in which wisdom and wit lie hidden, but that
below Niflheim refreshes also the dark dragon of despair, Nidhogg (the
back-biter), which perpetually gnaws at the root. Four harts run across
the branches of the tree and nip the buds; they represent the four
winds. Under the tree lies Ymir, and when he tries to shake off its
weight the earth quakes. The boughs overshadow the earth, and the top
rises into Asgard in the zenith.

=270. Odin and his Valhalla.= To Asgard, the abode of the gods,
access is gained only by crossing the bridge, Bifrost (the rainbow).
Asgard--Gladsheim for the gods, Vingolf for the goddesses--consists of
golden and silver palaces; but the most beautiful of these is Valhalla,
the great hall of Odin. When seated on his throne he overlooks
heaven and earth. Beside him sits _Frigga_ (or _Fricka_), his wife,
who knows all things. Upon his shoulders are the ravens, Hugin and
Munin,--Thought and Memory,--who fly every day over the whole world,
and on their return report to him what they have seen and heard. At his
feet lie his two wolves, Geri and Freki, to whom Odin gives the meat
that is set before him, for he himself stands in no need of food. Mead
is for him both food and drink. He invented the Runic characters; the
decrees of fate, inscribed therein, it is the business of the Norns
to engrave upon a metal shield. From Odin's name, spelt Woden, as it
sometimes is, comes our English word, Wednesday.

[Illustration: FIG. 186. VALKYRIE BEARING A HERO TO VALHALLA

From the painting by Dielitz]

Odin is frequently called Alfadur (Allfather), but this name is
sometimes used in a way that shows that the Scandinavians had an idea
of a deity superior to Odin, uncreated and eternal. In Valhalla Odin
feasts with his chosen heroes, all those who have fallen bravely in
battle, for all who die a peaceful death are excluded. The flesh of
the boar Serimnir is served up to them and is abundant for all. For
although this boar is cooked every morning, he becomes whole again
every night. For drink the heroes are supplied abundantly with mead
from the she-goat Heidrun. When the heroes are not feasting, they amuse
themselves with fighting. Every day they ride out into the court or
field and fight until they cut each other in pieces. This is their
pastime; but when mealtime comes, they recover from their wounds and
return to feast in Valhalla.

=271. The Valkyries.= The Valkyries are warlike virgins, mounted upon
horses and armed with helmets, shields, and spears. Odin is desirous
of gathering many heroes in Valhalla that he may gloriously meet
the giants in the day of the final contest; he therefore sends to
every battle field for the bravest of those who shall be slain. The
Valkyries, Choosers of the Slain, are his messengers. Later they are
called his daughters. When they ride forth on their errand, their armor
sheds a weird flickering light over the northern skies, making what men
call the Aurora Borealis.[365]

=272. Thor and the Other Gods.= Of the following, _Thor_, _Vidar_,
_Bragi_, _Balder_, and _Höder_ are sons of Odin. _Thor_, the thunderer,
Odin's eldest son, is the strongest of gods and men, and possesses
three precious things. The first is a hammer, which both the Frost and
the Mountain giants (Hrim-thursar and Berg-risar) know to their cost,
when they see it hurled against them in the air, for it has split many
a skull of their fathers and kindred. When thrown, it returns to his
hand of its own accord. The second rare thing he possesses is the belt
of strength. When he girds it about him his divine might is doubled.
The third is his iron gloves, which he puts on whenever he would use
his mallet efficiently. From Thor's name is derived our word Thursday.

_Vidar_ comes next in strength to Thor.

_Bragi_ is the god of poetry, and his song records the deeds of
warriors. His wife, _Iduna_, keeps in a box the apples which the gods,
when they feel old age approaching, have only to taste of to become
young again.

_Balder_, dearest of the Anses, is the god of sunlight, spring, and
gladness. _Höder_, his opposite, is the blind god of winter.

Of other gods, _Freyr_ presides over rain and sunshine and all the
fruits of the earth. His sister _Freya_ (Freia) is the most propitious
of the goddesses. She loves music, spring, and flowers, and the fairies
of Elfheim. She is the goddess of love. Her day is Friday.

_Tyr_ (_Ziu_ or _Tiw_), from whose name is derived our Tuesday, is the
wrestler among the gods; and preëminently the "god of battles."

_Heimdall_ is the watchman of the gods, and is therefore placed on the
borders of heaven to prevent the giants from forcing their way over the
bridge Bifrost. He requires less sleep than a bird, and sees by night
as well as by day a hundred miles around him. So acute is his ear that
no sound escapes him, for he can even hear the grass grow,--and the
wool on a sheep's back.

=273. Loki and his Progeny.= Loki (or Loge) is described as the
calumniator of the gods and the contriver of all fraud and mischief. He
is the son of Farbauti, the Charon of Norse mythology. He is handsome
and well made, but of fickle mood and evil disposition. Although of
the demon race, he forced himself into the company of the gods, and
seemed to take pleasure in bringing them into difficulties, and in
extricating them out of the danger by his cunning, wit, and skill. Loki
has three children. The first is the wolf _Fenris_, the second the
_Midgard Serpent_, the third _Hela_ (Death). The gods were not ignorant
that these monsters were maturing and that they would one day bring
much evil upon gods and men. So Odin deemed it advisable to send one
to bring them to him. When they came he threw the serpent in that deep
ocean by which the earth is surrounded. But the monster has grown to
such an enormous size that, holding his tail in his mouth, he encircles
the whole earth. Hela he hurled below Niflheim and gave her power over
nine worlds or regions, in which she distributes those who are sent to
her,--that is, all who die of sickness or old age. Her hall is called
Eliudnir, or Sleet-den. Hunger is her table, Starvation her knife,
Delay her man, Slowness her maid, Pale Woe her door, Stumbling-stone
her threshold, Care her bed; and Falling-peril forms the hangings of
her apartments. She may easily be recognized, for her body is half
flesh color and half blue, and she presents a stern and forbidding
countenance.

The wolf Fenris gave the gods a great deal of trouble before they
succeeded in chaining him. He broke the strongest fetters as if
they were made of cobwebs. Finally the gods sent a messenger to the
mountain spirits, who made for them the chain called Gleipnir. It is
fashioned of six things,--the noise made by the footfall of a cat, the
beards of women, the roots of stones, the breath of fishes, the nerves
(sensibilities) of bears, and the spittle of birds. When finished it
was as smooth and soft as a silken string. But when the gods asked the
wolf to suffer himself to be bound with this apparently slight ribbon,
he suspected their design, fearing that it was made by enchantment. He
therefore consented to be bound with it only upon condition that one of
the gods put his hand in his (Fenris') mouth as a pledge that the band
was to be removed again. Tyr alone had courage enough to do this. But
when the wolf found that he could not break his fetters and that the
gods would not release him, he bit off Tyr's hand. Tyr, consequently,
has ever since remained one-handed.

=274. The Conflict with the Mountain Giants.= When the gods were
constructing their abodes and had already finished Midgard and
Valhalla, a certain artificer came and offered to build them a
residence so well fortified that they should be perfectly safe from the
incursions of the Frost giants and the giants of the mountains. But he
demanded for his reward the goddess Freya, together with the sun and
moon. The gods yielded to the terms, provided that the artificer would
finish the whole work without any one's assistance, and all within the
space of one winter. But if anything remained unfinished on the first
day of summer, he should forfeit the recompense agreed on. On being
told these terms, the artificer stipulated that he be allowed the use
of his horse Svadilfari, and this request, by the advice of Loki,
was conceded. He accordingly set to work on the first day of winter,
and during the night let his horse draw stone for the building. The
enormous size of the stones struck the gods with astonishment, and they
saw clearly that the horse did one half more of the toilsome work than
his master. Their bargain, however, had been concluded and confirmed
by solemn oaths, for without these precautions a giant would not have
thought himself safe among the gods,--still less, indeed, if Thor
should return from the expedition he had then undertaken against the
evil demons.

As the winter drew to a close the building was far advanced, and
the bulwarks were sufficiently high and massive to render the place
impregnable. In short, when it wanted but three days to summer, the
only part that remained to be finished was the gateway. Then sat the
gods on their seats of justice and entered into consultation, inquiring
of one another who among them could have advised the rest to surrender
Freya, or to plunge the heavens in darkness by permitting the giant to
carry away the sun and the moon.

They all agreed that no one but Loki, the author of so many evil
deeds, could have given such counsel, and that he should be put to
a cruel death unless he contrived some way to prevent the artificer
from completing his task and obtaining the stipulated recompense. They
proceeded to lay hands on Loki, who in his fright promised upon oath
that, let it cost him what it might, he would so manage matters that
the man should lose his reward. That night when the man went with
Svadilfari for building-stone, a mare suddenly ran out of a forest and
began to neigh. The horse thereat broke loose and ran after the mare
into the forest, obliging the man also to run after his horse; thus,
therefore, between one and another the whole night was lost, so that at
dawn the work had not made the usual progress. The man, seeing that he
must fail of completing his task, resumed his own gigantic stature, and
the gods now clearly perceived that it was in reality a mountain giant
who had come amongst them. Feeling no longer bound by their oaths, they
called on Thor, who immediately ran to their assistance and, lifting
up his mallet, paid the workman his wages, not with the sun and moon,
and not even by sending him back to Jötunheim, for with the first blow
he shattered the giant's skull to pieces and hurled him headlong into
Niflheim.

=275. The Recovery of Thor's Hammer.= Soon afterward it happened that
Thor's hammer fell into the possession of the giant Thrym, who buried
it eight fathoms deep under the rocks of Jötunheim. Thor sent Loki to
negotiate with Thrym, but he could only prevail so far as to get the
giant's promise to restore the weapon if Freya would consent to be his
bride. Loki returned and reported the result of his mission, but the
goddess of love was horrified at the idea of bestowing her charms on
the king of the Frost giants. In this emergency Loki persuaded Thor to
dress himself in Freya's clothes and accompany him to Jötunheim. Thrym
received his veiled bride with due courtesy, but was greatly surprised
at seeing her eat for her supper eight salmon and a full-grown ox
besides other delicacies, washing the whole down with three tuns of
mead. Loki, however, assured him that she had not tasted anything
for eight long nights, so great was her desire to see her lover, the
renowned ruler of Jötunheim. Thrym had at last the curiosity to peep
under his bride's veil, but started back in affright, and demanded why
Freya's eyeballs glistened with fire. Loki repeated the same excuse,
and the giant was satisfied. He ordered the hammer to be brought in
and laid on the maiden's lap. Thereupon Thor threw off his disguise,
grasped his redoubted weapon, and slaughtered Thrym and all his
followers.

=276. Thor's Visit to Jötunheim.= One day Thor, with his servant
Thialfi and accompanied by Loki, set out for the giants' country.
Thialfi was of all men the swiftest of foot. He bore Thor's wallet
containing their provisions. When night came on they found themselves
in an immense forest, and searched on all sides for a place where
they might pass the night. At last they came to a large hall, with
an entrance that took the whole breadth of one end of the building.
Here they lay down to sleep, but towards midnight were alarmed by an
earthquake which shook the whole edifice. Thor, rising up, called on
his companions to seek with him a place of safety. On the right they
found an adjoining chamber into which the others entered, but Thor
remained at the doorway with his mallet in his hand, prepared to defend
himself whatever might happen. A terrible groaning was heard during
the night, and at dawn of day Thor went out and found lying near him a
huge giant, still snoring in the way that had alarmed them. For once
Thor was afraid to use his mallet, and as the giant soon waked up, Thor
contented himself with simply asking his name.

"My name is Skrymir," said the giant, "but I need not ask thy name, for
I know that thou art the god Thor. But what has become of my glove?"
Thor then perceived that what they had taken overnight for a hall was
the giant's glove, and the chamber where his two companions had sought
refuge was the thumb. Skrymir then proposed that they should travel in
company, and Thor consenting, they sat down to eat their breakfast.
When they had done, Skrymir packed all the provisions into one wallet,
threw it over his shoulder, and strode on before them, taking such
tremendous strides that they were hard put to it to keep up with him.
So they traveled the whole day, and at dusk Skrymir chose a place for
them to pass the night in under a large oak tree. Skrymir then told
them he would lie down to sleep. "But take ye the wallet," he added,
"and prepare your supper."

Skrymir soon fell asleep and began to snore strongly, but when Thor
tried to open the wallet, he found the giant had tied it up so tight he
could not untie a single knot. At last Thor became wroth, and grasping
his mallet with both hands, he struck a furious blow on the giant's
head. Skrymir, awakening, merely asked whether a leaf had not fallen on
his head, and whether they had supped and were ready to go to sleep.
Thor answered that they were just going to sleep, and so saying went
and laid himself down under another tree. But sleep came not that
night to Thor, and when Skrymir snored again so loud that the forest
reëchoed with the noise, he arose, and, grasping his mallet, launched
it with such force at the giant's skull that it made a deep dint in
it. Skrymir, awakening, cried out: "What's the matter? Are there any
birds perched on this tree? I felt some moss from the branches fall on
my head. How fares it with thee, Thor?" But Thor went away hastily,
saying that he had just then awoke, and, that as it was only midnight,
there was still time for sleep. He, however, resolved that if he had
an opportunity of striking a third blow, it should settle all matters
between them. A little before daybreak he perceived that Skrymir was
again fast asleep, and again grasping his mallet, he dashed it with
such violence that it forced its way into the giant's skull up to the
handle. But Skrymir sat up, and, stroking his cheek, said: "An acorn
fell on my head. What! Art thou awake, Thor? Methinks it is time for
us to get up and dress ourselves; but you have not now a long way
before you to the city called Utgard. I have heard you whispering to
one another that I am not a man of small dimensions, but if you come
to Utgard, you will see there many men much taller than I. Wherefore I
advise you, when you come there, not to make too much of yourselves;
for the followers of Utgard-Loki will not brook the boasting of such
little fellows as you are. You must take the road that leads eastward;
mine lies northward, so we must part here."

Hereupon he threw his wallet over his shoulders and turned away from
them into the forest, and Thor had no wish to stop him or to ask for
any more of his company.

Thor and his companions proceeded on their way, and towards noon
descried a city standing in the middle of a plain. It was so lofty that
they were obliged to bend their necks quite back on their shoulders in
order to see to the top of it. On arriving they entered the city, and
seeing a large palace before them with the door wide open, they went
in and found a number of men of prodigious stature, sitting on benches
in the hall. Going further, they came before the king Utgard-Loki,
whom they saluted with great respect. The king, regarding them with a
scornful smile, said, "If I do not mistake me, that stripling yonder
must be the god Thor." Then addressing himself to Thor, he said:
"Perhaps thou mayst be more than thou appearest to be. What are the
feats that thou and thy fellows deem yourselves skilled in?--for no one
is permitted to remain here who does not, in some feat or other, excel
all other men."

"The feat that I know," said Loki, "is to eat quicker than any one
else, and in this I am ready to give a proof against any one here who
may choose to compete with me."

"That will indeed be a feat, if thou performest what thou promisest,"
said Utgard-Loki, "and it shall be tried forthwith."

He then ordered one of his men, who was sitting at the farther end of
the bench and whose name was Logi, to come forward and try his skill
with Loki. A trough filled with meat having been set on the hall floor,
Loki placed himself at one end and Logi at the other, and each of them
began to eat as fast as he could, until they met in the middle of the
trough. But it was found that Loki had only eaten the flesh, while his
adversary had devoured both flesh and bone, and the trough to boot.
All the company therefore adjudged that Loki was vanquished.

Utgard-Loki then asked what feat the young man who accompanied Thor
could perform. Thialfi answered that he would run a race with any
one who might be matched against him. The king observed that skill
in running was something to boast of, but if the youth would win the
match, he must display great agility. He then arose and went, with all
who were present, to a plain where there was good ground for running
on, and calling a young man named Hugi, bade him run a match with
Thialfi. In the first course Hugi so much outstripped his competitor
that he turned back and met him not far from the starting-place. Then
they ran a second and a third time, but Thialfi met with no better
success.

Utgard-Loki then asked Thor in what feats he would choose to give
proofs of that prowess for which he was so famous. Thor answered that
he would try a drinking-match with any one. Utgard-Loki bade his
cupbearer bring the large horn which his followers were obliged to
empty when they had trespassed in any way against the law of the feast.
The cupbearer having presented it to Thor, Utgard-Loki said, "Whoever
is a good drinker will empty that horn at a single draft, though most
men make two of it; but the most puny drinker can do it in three."

Thor looked at the horn, which seemed of no extraordinary size, though
somewhat long; however, as he was very thirsty, he set it to his lips
and, without drawing breath, pulled as long and as deeply as he could,
that he might not be obliged to make a second draft of it; but when he
set the horn down and looked in, he could scarcely perceive that the
liquor was diminished.

After taking breath, Thor went to it again with all his might, but when
he took the horn from his mouth, it seemed to him that he had drank
rather less than before, although the horn could now be carried without
spilling.

"How now, Thor," said Utgard-Loki, "thou must not spare thyself; if
thou meanest to drain the horn at the third draft, thou must pull
deeply; and I must needs say that thou wilt not be called so mighty
a man here as thou art at home if thou showest no greater prowess in
other feats than methinks will be shown in this."

Thor, full of wrath, again set the horn to his lips and did his best to
empty it; but on looking in found the liquor was only a little lower,
so he resolved to make no further attempt, but gave back the horn to
the cupbearer.

"I now see plainly," said Utgard-Loki, "that thou art not quite so
stout as we thought thee; but wilt thou try any other feat?--though
methinks thou art not likely to bear any prize away with thee hence."

"What new trial hast thou to propose?" said Thor.

"We have a very trifling game here," answered Utgard-Loki, "in which we
exercise none but children. It consists in merely lifting my cat from
the ground; nor should I have dared to mention such a feat to the great
Thor if I had not already observed that thou art by no means what we
took thee for."

As he finished speaking a large gray cat sprang on the hall floor. Thor
put his hand under the cat's belly and did his utmost to raise him from
the floor, but the cat, bending his back, had, notwithstanding all
Thor's efforts, only one of his feet lifted up, seeing which Thor made
no further attempt.

"This trial has turned out," said Utgard-Loki, "just as I imagined it
would. The cat is large, but Thor is little in comparison to our men."

"Little as ye call me," answered Thor, "let me see who among you will
come hither now that I am in wrath and wrestle with me."

"I see no one here," said Utgard-Loki, looking at the men sitting on
the benches, "who would not think it beneath him to wrestle with thee;
let somebody, however, call hither that old crone, my nurse Elli, and
let Thor wrestle with her if he will. She has thrown to the ground many
a man not less strong than this Thor is."

A toothless old woman then entered the hall, and was told by
Utgard-Loki to take hold of Thor. The tale is shortly told. The more
Thor tightened his hold on the crone the firmer she stood. At length,
after a very violent struggle, Thor began to lose his footing, and
was finally brought down upon one knee. Utgard-Loki then told them to
desist, adding that Thor had now no occasion to ask any one else in the
hall to wrestle with him, and it was also getting late; so he showed
Thor and his companions to their seats, and they passed the night there
in good cheer.

The next morning, at break of day, Thor and his companions dressed
themselves and prepared for their departure. Utgard-Loki ordered a
table to be set for them, on which there was no lack of victuals or
drink. After the repast Utgard-Loki led them to the gate of the city,
and on parting asked Thor how he thought his journey had turned out and
whether he had met with any men stronger than himself. Thor told him
that he could not deny but that he had brought great shame on himself.
"And what grieves me most," he added, "is that ye will call me a person
of little worth."

"Nay," said Utgard-Loki, "it behooves me to tell thee the truth, now
thou art out of the city, which so long as I live and have my way thou
shalt never enter again. And, by my troth, had I known beforehand that
thou hadst so much strength in thee, and wouldst have brought me so
near to a great mishap I would not have suffered thee to enter this
time. Know then that I have all along deceived thee by my illusions;
first in the forest, where I tied up the wallet with iron wire so that
thou couldst not untie it. After this thou gavest me three blows with
thy mallet; the first, though the least, would have ended my days
had it fallen on me, but I slipped aside and thy blows fell on the
mountain, where thou wilt find three glens, one of them remarkably
deep. These are the dints made by thy mallet. I have made use of
similar illusions in the contests ye have had with my followers. In the
first, Loki, like hunger itself, devoured all that was set before him,
but Logi was in reality nothing else than Fire, and therefore consumed
not only the meat but the trough which held it. Hugi, with whom Thialfi
contended in running, was Thought, and it was impossible for Thialfi
to keep pace with that. When thou, in thy turn, didst attempt to empty
the horn, thou didst perform, by my troth, a deed so marvelous that had
I not seen it myself I should never have believed it. For one end of
that horn reached the sea, which thou wast not aware of, but when thou
comest to the shore thou wilt perceive how much the sea has sunk by
thy drafts. Thou didst perform a feat no less wonderful by lifting up
the cat, and to tell thee the truth, when we saw that one of his paws
was off the floor, we were all of us terror-stricken, for what thou
tookest for a cat was in reality the Midgard serpent that encompasseth
the earth, and he was so stretched by thee that he was barely long
enough to inclose it between his head and tail. Thy wrestling with
Elli was also a most astonishing feat, for there was never yet a man,
nor ever will be, whom Old Age, for such in fact was Elli, will not
sooner or later lay low. But now, as we are going to part, let me tell
thee that it will be better for both of us if thou never come near me
again, for shouldst thou do so, I shall again defend myself by other
illusions, so that thou wilt only lose thy labor and get no fame from
the contest with me."

On hearing these words Thor, in a rage, laid hold of his mallet and
would have launched it at him, but Utgard-Loki had disappeared, and
when Thor would have returned to the city to destroy it, he found
nothing around him but a verdant plain.

=277. The Sword of Freyr.= Freyr also possessed a wonderful weapon, a
sword which would of itself spread a field with carnage whenever the
owner desired it. Freyr parted with this sword, but was less fortunate
than Thor and never recovered it. It happened in this way: Freyr once
mounted Odin's throne, from whence one can see over the whole universe,
and looking round, saw far off in the giant's kingdom a beautiful maid,
at the sight of whom he was struck with sudden sadness, insomuch that
from that moment he could neither sleep nor drink nor speak. At last
Skirnir, his messenger, drew his secret from him, and undertook to
get him the maiden for his bride, if he would give him his sword as a
reward. Freyr consented and gave him the sword, and Skirnir set off on
his journey and obtained the maiden's promise that within nine nights
she would come to a certain place and there wed Freyr. Skirnir having
reported the success of his errand, Freyr exclaimed:

    "Long is one night,
    Long are two nights,
    But how shall I hold out three?
    Shorter hath seemed
    A month to me oft
    Than of this longing time the half."

So Freyr obtained Gerda, the most beautiful of all women, for his wife,
but he lost his sword.

=278. The Death of Balder.= Balder the Good, having been tormented with
terrible dreams indicating that his life was in peril, told them to
the assembled gods, who resolved to conjure all things to avert from
him the threatened danger. Then Frigga, the wife of Odin, exacted an
oath from fire and water, from iron and all other metals, from stones,
trees, diseases, beasts, birds, poisons, and creeping things, that
none of them would do any harm to Balder. Odin, not satisfied with
all this, and feeling alarmed for the fate of his son, determined to
consult the prophetess Angerbode, a giantess, mother of Fenris, Hela,
and the Midgard serpent. She was dead, and Odin was forced to seek her
in Hela's dominions.

But the other gods, feeling that what Frigga had done was quite
sufficient, amused themselves with using Balder as a mark, some hurling
darts at him, some stones, while others hewed at him with their swords
and battle-axes, for do what they would, none of them could harm him.
And this became a favorite pastime with them, and was regarded as an
honor shown to Balder. But when Loki beheld the scene, he was sorely
vexed that Balder was not hurt. Assuming, therefore, the shape of a
woman, he went to Fensalir, the mansion of Frigga. That goddess, when
she saw the pretended woman, inquired of her if she knew what the gods
were doing at their meetings. She replied that they were throwing
darts and stones at Balder, without being able to hurt him. "Ay," said
Frigga, "neither stones, nor sticks, nor anything else can hurt Balder,
for I have exacted an oath from all of them." "What," exclaimed the
woman, "have all things sworn to spare Balder?" "All things," replied
Frigga, "except one little shrub that grows on the eastern side of
Valhalla and is called Mistletoe, which I thought too young and feeble
to crave an oath from."

As soon as Loki heard this he went away and, resuming his natural
shape, cut off the mistletoe and repaired to the place where the gods
were assembled. There he found Höder standing apart, without partaking
of the sports on account of his blindness, and going up to him said,
"Why dost thou not also throw something at Balder?"

"Because I am blind," answered Höder, "and see not where Balder is, and
have, moreover, nothing to throw."

"Come, then," said Loki, "do like the rest and show honor to Balder by
throwing this twig at him, and I will direct thy arm toward the place
where he stands."

Höder then took the mistletoe and, under the guidance of Loki, darted
it at Balder, who, pierced through and through, fell down lifeless.
Never was there witnessed, either among gods or men, a more atrocious
deed.

    So on the floor lay Balder dead; and round[366]
    Lay thickly strewn swords, axes, darts, and spears,
    Which all the gods in sport had idly thrown
    At Balder, whom no weapon pierced or clove;
    But in his breast stood fixt the fatal bough
    Of mistletoe, which Lok the accuser gave
    To Höder, and unwitting Höder threw--
    'Gainst that alone had Balder's life no charm.
      And all the gods and all the heroes came,
    And stood round Balder on the bloody floor,
    Weeping and wailing; and Valhalla rang
    Up to its golden roof with sobs and cries;
    And on the tables stood the untasted meats,
    And in the horns and gold-rimmed skulls the wine.
    And now would night have fall'n and found them yet
    Wailing; but otherwise was Odin's will.

He bade them not to spend themselves in unavailing grief, for Balder,
though the brightest god of heaven and best beloved, had but met the
doom ordained at his birth by the Norns. Rather let the funeral pile
be prepared, and let vengeance on Loki be left to Odin himself. So
speaking, Odin mounted his horse Sleipnir and rode away to Lidskialf,
and the gods in Valhalla returned to the feast:

    And before each the cooks, who served them, placed
    New messes of the boar Serimnir's flesh,
    And the Valkyries crowned their horns with mead.
    So they, with pent-up hearts and tearless eyes,
    Wailing no more, in silence ate and drank,
    While twilight fell, and sacred night came on.

But the blind Höder, leaving the gods, went by the sea to Fensalir, the
house of Frigga, mother of the gods, to ask her what way there might be
of restoring Balder to life and heaven. Might Hela perchance surrender
Balder if Höder himself should take his place among the shades?
"Nay," replied Frigga, "no way is there but one, that the first god
thou meetest on the return to Asgard take Sleipnir, Odin's horse, and
ride o'er the bridge Bifrost where is Heimdall's watch, past Midgard
fortress, down the dark, unknown road to Hel, and there entreat the
goddess Hela that she yield Balder back to heaven." Höder, returning
cityward, met Hermod, swiftest of the gods,--

    Nor yet could Hermod see his brother's face,
    For it grew dark; but Höder touched his arm.
    And as a spray of honeysuckle flowers
    Brushes across a tired traveler's face
    Who shuffles through the deep dew-moisten'd dust
    On a May evening, in the darken'd lanes,
    And starts him, that he thinks a ghost went by,
    So Höder brush'd by Hermod's side, and said:
      "Take Sleipnir, Hermod, and set forth with dawn
    To Hela's kingdom, to ask Balder back;
    And they shall be thy guides who have the power."
      He spake, and brush'd soft by and disappear'd.
    And Hermod gazed into the night, and said:
      "Who is it utters through the dark his hest
    So quickly, and will wait for no reply?
    The voice was like the unhappy Höder's voice.
    Howbeit I will see, and do his hest;
    For there rang note divine in that command."
      So speaking, the fleet-footed Hermod came
    Home, and lay down to sleep in his own house;
    And all the gods lay down in their own homes.
    And Höder, too, came home distraught with grief,
    Loathing to meet, at dawn, the other gods;
    And he went in, and shut the door, and fixt
    His sword upright, and fell on it, and died.
      But from the hill of Lidskialf Odin rose,
    The throne, from which his eye surveys the world;
    And mounted Sleipnir, and in darkness rode
    To Asgard. And the stars came out in heaven,
    High over Asgard, to light home the king.
    But fiercely Odin gallop'd, moved in heart:
    And swift to Asgard, to the gate he came,
    And terribly the hoofs of Sleipnir rang
    Along the flinty floor of Asgard streets,
    And the gods trembled on their golden beds
    Hearing the wrathful father coming home--
    For dread, for like a whirlwind Odin came.
    And to Valhalla's gate he rode, and left
    Sleipnir; and Sleipnir went to his own stall,
    And in Valhalla Odin laid him down.

That night in a vision appeared Balder to Nanna his wife, comforting
her:

    "Yes, and I fain would altogether ward
    Death from thy head, and with the gods in heaven
    Prolong thy life, though not by thee desired--
    But right bars this, not only thy desire.
    Yet dreary, Nanna, is the life they lead
    In that dim world, in Hela's moldering realm;
    And doleful are the ghosts, the troops of dead,
    Whom Hela with austere control presides.
    For of the race of gods is no one there
    Save me alone, and Hela, solemn queen;
    For all the nobler souls of mortal men
    On battle field have met their death, and now
    Feast in Valhalla, in my father's hall;
    Only the inglorious sort are there below--
    The old, the cowards, and the weak are there,
    Men spent by sickness, or obscure decay.
    But even there, O Nanna, we might find
    Some solace in each other's look and speech,
    Wandering together through that gloomy world,
    And talking of the life we led in heaven,
    While we yet lived, among the other gods."
      He spake, and straight his lineaments began
    To fade; and Nanna in her sleep stretch'd out
    Her arms towards him with a cry, but he
    Mournfully shook his head and disappear'd.
    And as the woodman sees a little smoke
    Hang in the air, afield, and disappear,
    So Balder faded in the night away.
    And Nanna on her bed sank back; but then
    Frea, the mother of the gods, with stroke
    Painless and swift, set free her airy soul,
    Which took, on Balder's track, the way below;
    And instantly the sacred morn appear'd.

With the morn Hermod, mounting Sleipnir, set out on his mission. For
the space of nine days and as many nights he rode through deep glens so
dark that he could not discern anything, until he arrived at the river
Gyoll, which he passed over on a bridge covered with glittering gold.
The maiden who kept the bridge asked him his name and lineage, telling
him that the day before five bands of dead persons had ridden over the
bridge, and did not shake it as much as he alone. "But," she added,
"thou hast not death's hue on thee; why then ridest thou here on the
way to Hel?"

"I ride to Hel," answered Hermod, "to seek Balder. Hast thou perchance
seen him pass this way?"

She replied, "Balder hath ridden over Gyoll's bridge, and yonder lieth
the way he took to the abodes of death."

Hermod pursued his journey until he came to the barred gates of Hel.
Here he alighted, girthed his saddle tighter, and remounting clapped
both spurs to his horse, which cleared the gate by a tremendous leap
without touching it. Hermod then rode on to the palace, where he found
his brother Balder occupying the most distinguished seat in the hall,
and passed the night in his company. The next morning he besought
Hela to let Balder ride home with him, assuring her that nothing but
lamentations were to be heard among the gods. Hela answered that it
should now be tried whether Balder was so beloved as he was said to be.
"If, therefore," she added, "all things in the world, both living and
lifeless, weep for him, then shall he return to life; but if any one
thing speak against him or refuse to weep, he shall be kept in Hel."

Hermod then rode back to Asgard and gave an account of all he had heard
and witnessed.

The gods upon this dispatched messengers throughout the world to beg
everything to weep in order that Balder might be delivered from Hel.
All things very willingly complied with this request, both men and
every other living being, as well as earths, and stones, and trees,
and metals, just as we have all seen these things weep when they are
brought from a cold place into a hot one.

Then the messengers returned,--

    ... And they rode home together, through the wood
    Of Jarnvid, which to east of Midgard lies
    Bordering the giants, where the trees are iron;
    There in the wood before a cave they came,
    Where sate in the cave's mouth a skinny hag,
    Toothless and old; she gibes the passers-by.
    Thok is she called, but now Lok wore her shape;
    She greeted them the first, and laughed and said:
    "Ye gods, good lack, is it so dull in heaven
    That ye come pleasuring to Thok's iron wood?
    Lovers of change, ye are, fastidious sprites.
    Look, as in some boor's yard, a sweet-breath'd cow,
    Whose manger is stuffed full of good fresh hay,
    Snuffs at it daintily, and stoops her head
    To chew the straw, her litter at her feet--
    So ye grow squeamish, gods, and sniff at heaven!"
      She spake, but Hermod answered her and said,
    "Thok, not for gibes we come; we come for tears.
    Balder is dead, and Hela holds her prey,
    But will restore, if all things give him tears.
    Begrudge not thine! to all was Balder dear."
      Then, with a louder laugh, the hag replied:
    "Is Balder dead? and do ye come for tears?
    Thok with dry eyes will weep o'er Balder's pyre.
    Weep him all other things, if weep they will--
    I weep him not! let Hela keep her prey."
      She spake, and to the cavern's depth she fled,
    Mocking; and Hermod knew their toil was vain.[367]

So was Balder prevented from returning to Asgard.

=279. The Funeral of Balder.= The gods took up the dead body and bore
it to the seashore, where stood Balder's ship Hringham, which passed
for the largest in the world. Balder's dead body was put on the funeral
pile, on board the ship; and the body of Nanna was burned on the
same pile with her husband's. There was a vast concourse of various
kinds of people at Balder's obsequies. First came Odin accompanied by
Frigga, the Valkyries, and his ravens; then Freyr in his car drawn by
Gullinbursti, the boar; Heimdall rode his horse Gulltopp, and Freya
drove in her chariot drawn by cats. There were also a great many Frost
giants and giants of the mountain present. Balder's horse was led to
the pile fully caparisoned, and was consumed in the same flames with
his master.

[Illustration: FIG. 187. LOKI AND SIGUNA

From the painting by Gebhardt]

But Loki did not escape his merited punishment. When he saw how wroth
the gods were, he fled to the mountain and there built himself a hut
with four doors, so that he could see every approaching danger. He
invented a net to catch the fishes, such as fishermen have used since
his time. But Odin found out his hiding place and the gods assembled to
take him. He, seeing this, changed himself into a salmon and lay hid
among the stones of the brook. But the gods took his net and dragged
the brook, and Loki, finding he must be caught, tried to leap over the
net; but Thor caught him by the tail, and compressed it so that salmon
ever since have had that part remarkably fine and thin. They bound him
with chains and suspended a serpent over his head, whose venom falls
upon his face drop by drop. His wife, Siguna, sits by his side and
catches the drops as they fall, in a cup; but when she carries it away
to empty it, the venom falls upon Loki, which makes him howl with
horror and writhe so that the whole earth shakes.

=280. The Elves.= The Edda mentions another class of beings, inferior
to the gods, but still possessed of great power; these were the
Elves. The white spirits, or Elves of Light, were exceedingly fair,
more brilliant than the sun, and clad in garments of a delicate and
transparent texture. They loved the light, were kindly disposed to
mankind, and generally appeared as fair and lovely children. Their
country was called Elfheim, and was the domain of Freyr, in whose
sunlight they always sported.

The black elves, ugly, long-nosed dwarfs, of a dirty brown color,
appeared only at night. They avoided the sun as their most deadly
enemy, because his beams changed them immediately into stones.
Their language was the echo of solitudes, and their dwelling places
subterranean caves and clefts. They were supposed to have come into
existence as maggots produced by the decaying flesh of Ymir's body.
They were afterwards endowed by the gods with a human form and great
understanding. They were particularly distinguished for a knowledge of
the mysterious powers of nature, and for the runes which they carved
and explained. They were the most skillful artificers of all created
beings, and worked in metals and in wood. Among their most noted works
were Thor's hammer, and the ship _Skidbladnir_, which they gave to
Freyr. This vessel was so large that it could contain all the deities
with their war and household implements, but so skillfully was it
wrought that when folded together it could be put into a side pocket.

=281. Ragnarok.= It was a firm belief of the Northern nations that a
time would come when all the visible creation, the gods of Valhalla
and Niflheim, the inhabitants of Jötunheim, Elfheim, and Midgard,
together with their habitations, would be destroyed. The fearful day
of destruction will not however be without warning. First will come
a triple winter, during which snow will fall from the four corners
of the heavens, the frost be severe, the wind piercing, the weather
tempestuous, and the sun impart no gladness. Three such winters will
pass without being tempered by a single summer. Three other like
winters will follow, during which war and discord will spread over the
universe. The earth itself will be afraid and begin to tremble, the
sea leave its basin, the heavens tear asunder; men will perish in great
numbers, and the eagles of the air feast upon their still quivering
bodies. The wolf Fenris will now break his bands, the Midgard serpent
rise out of his bed in the sea, and Loki, released from his bonds, will
join the enemies of the gods. Amidst the general devastation the sons
of Muspelheim will rush forth under their leader Surter, before and
behind whom are flames and burning fire. Onward they ride over Bifrost,
the rainbow bridge, which breaks under the horses' hoofs. But they,
disregarding its fall, direct their course to the battle field called
Vigrid. Thither also repair the wolf Fenris, the Midgard serpent, Loki,
with all the followers of Hela, and the Frost giants.

Heimdall now stands up and sounds the Giallar horn to assemble the gods
and heroes for the contest. The gods advance, led on by Odin, who,
engaging the wolf Fenris, falls a victim to the monster. Fenris is, in
turn, slain by Vidar, Odin's son. Thor wins great renown by killing
the Midgard serpent, but, recoiling, falls dead, suffocated with the
venom which the dying monster vomits over him. Loki and Heimdall meet
and fight till they both are slain. The gods and their enemies having
fallen in battle, Surter, who has killed Freyr, darts fire and flames
over the world, and the universe is consumed. The sun grows dim, the
earth sinks into the ocean, the stars fall from heaven, and time is no
more.

After this Alfadur (not Odin but the Almighty) will cause a new heaven
and a new earth to arise out of the sea. The new earth, filled with
abundant supplies, will produce its fruits without labor or care.
Wickedness and misery will no more be known, but the gods and men will
live happily together.

This twilight of the gods is aptly described in a conversation held
between Balder and Hermod, after Hermod has a second time ridden to Hel:

    And the fleet-footed Hermod made reply:[368]--
    "Thou hast then all the solace death allows,
    Esteem and function; and so far is well.
    Yet here thou liest, Balder, underground,
    Rusting for ever; and the years roll on,
    The generations pass, the ages grow,
    And bring us nearer to the final day
    When from the south shall march the fiery band
    And cross the bridge of heaven, with Lok for guide,
    And Fenris at his heel with broken chain;
    While from the east the giant Rymer steers
    His ship, and the great serpent makes to land;
    And all are marshal'd in one flaming square
    Against the gods, upon the plains of heaven.
    I mourn thee, that thou canst not help us then."
      He spake; but Balder answered him, and said:--
    "Mourn not for me! Mourn, Hermod, for the gods;
    Mourn for the men on earth, the gods in heaven,
    Who live, and with their eyes shall see that day!
    The day will come, when fall shall Asgard's towers,
    And Odin, and his sons, the seed of Heaven;
    But what were I, to save them in that hour?
    If strength might save them, could not Odin save,
    My father, and his pride, the warrior Thor,
    Vidar the silent, the impetuous Tyr?
    I, what were I, when these can nought avail?
    Yet, doubtless, when the day of battle comes,
    And the two hosts are marshal'd, and in heaven
    The golden-crested cock shall sound alarm,
    And his black brother-bird from hence reply,
    And bucklers clash, and spears begin to pour--
    Longing will stir within my breast, though vain.
    But not to me so grievous as, I know,
    To other gods it were, is my enforced
    Absence from fields where I could nothing aid;
    For I am long since weary of your storm
    Of carnage, and find, Hermod, in your life
    Something too much of war and broils, which make
    Life one perpetual fight, a bath of blood.
    Mine eyes are dizzy with the arrowy hail;
    Mine ears are stunn'd with blows, and sick for calm.
    Inactive, therefore, let me lie in gloom,
    Unarm'd, inglorious; I attend the course
    Of ages, and my late return to light,
    In times less alien to a spirit mild,
    In new-recover'd seats, the happier day."
      He spake; and the fleet Hermod thus replied:--
    "Brother, what seats are these, what happier day?
    Tell me, that I may ponder it when gone."
      And the ray-crownèd Balder answered him:--
    "Far to the south, beyond the blue, there spreads
    Another heaven, the boundless--no one yet
    Hath reach'd it; there hereafter shall arise
    The second Asgard, with another name.
    Thither, when o'er this present earth and heavens
    The tempest of the latter days hath swept,
    And they from sight have disappear'd and sunk,
    Shall a small remnant of the gods repair;
    Höder and I shall join them from the grave.
    There reassembling we shall see emerge
    From the bright ocean at our feet an earth
    More fresh, more verdant than the last, with fruits
    Self-springing, and a seed of man preserved,
    Who then shall live in peace, as now in war.
    But we in heaven shall find again with joy
    The ruin'd palaces of Odin, seats
    Familiar, halls where we have supp'd of old,
    Reënter them with wonder, never fill
    Our eyes with gazing, and rebuild with tears.
    And we shall tread once more the well-known plain
    Of Ida, and among the grass shall find
    The golden dice wherewith we played of yore;
    And that shall bring to mind the former life
    And pastime of the gods--the wise discourse
    Of Odin, the delights of other days.
    O Hermod, pray that thou may'st join us then!
    Such for the future is my hope; meanwhile,
    I rest the thrall of Hela, and endure
    Death, and the gloom which round me even now
    Thickens, and to inner gulf recalls.
    Farewell, for longer speech is not allow'd."

FOOTNOTES:

[364] For Records of Norse Mythology, see § 300, and Commentary, §§
268, 282, and 300.

[365] Gray's ode, The Fatal Sisters, is founded on this superstition.

[366] From Matthew Arnold's Balder Dead.

[367] From Matthew Arnold's Balder Dead.

[368] From Matthew Arnold's Balder Dead.



CHAPTER XXVIII

MYTHS OF NORSE AND OLD GERMAN HEROES


=282. The Saga of the Volsungs.=[369] Sigi, son of Odin, was a mighty
king of the Huns whom Odin loved and prospered exceedingly. Rerir,
also, the son of Sigi, was a man of valor and one who got lordship and
land unto himself; but neither Sigi nor Rerir were to compare with
_Volsung_, who ruled over Hunland after his father Rerir went home to
Odin.

To Volsung were born ten sons and one daughter,--Signy by name; and
of the sons _Sigmund_ was the eldest and the most valiant. And the
Volsungs abode in peace till Siggeir, king of Gothland, came wooing
Signy, who, though loath to accept him, was, by her father's desire,
betrothed to him.

Now on the night of the wedding great fires were made in the hall of
the Volsungs, and in the midst stood Branstock, a great oak tree, about
which the hall had been built, and the limbs of the tree spread over
the roof of the hall; and round about Branstock they sat and feasted,
and sang of ancient heroes and heard the music of the harp that went
from hand to hand.

    But e'en as men's hearts were hearkening some heard the thunder
        pass[370]
    O'er the cloudless noontide heaven; and some men turned about
    And deemed that in the doorway they heard a man laugh out.
    Then into the Volsung dwelling a mighty man there strode,
    One-eyed and seeming ancient, yet bright his visage glowed;
    Cloud-blue was the hood upon him, and his kirtle gleaming-gray
    As the latter morning sun-dog when the storm is on the way;
    A bill he bore on his shoulder, whose mighty ashen beam
    Burnt bright with the flame of the sea, and the blended silver's gleam.
    And such was the guise of his raiment as the Volsung elders had told
    Was borne by their fathers' fathers, and the first that warred in
        the wold.
      So strode he to the Branstock, nor greeted any lord,
    But forth from his cloudy raiment he drew a gleaming sword,
    And smote it deep in the tree-bole, and the wild hawks overhead
    Laughed 'neath the naked heaven as at last he spake and said:
    "Earls of the Goths, and Volsungs, abiders on the earth,
    Lo there amid the Branstock a blade of plenteous worth!
    The folk of the war-wand's forgers wrought never better steel
    Since first the burg of heaven uprose for man-folk's weal.
    Now let the man among you whose heart and hand may shift
    To pluck it from the oak-wood e'en take it for my gift.
    Then ne'er, but his own heart falter, its point and edge shall fail
    Until the night's beginning and the ending of the tale.
    Be merry, Earls of the Goth-folk, O Volsung Sons be wise,
    And reap the battle-acre that ripening for you lies:
    For they told me in the wild wood, I heard on the mountain-side
    That the shining house of heaven is wrought exceeding wide,
    And that there the Early-comers shall have abundant rest
    While Earth grows scant of great ones, and fadeth from its best,
    And fadeth from its midward, and groweth poor and vile:--
    All hail to thee, King Volsung! farewell for a little while!"
      So sweet his speaking sounded, so wise his words did seem
    That moveless all men sat there, as in a happy dream
    We stir not lest we waken; but there his speech had end
    And slowly down the hall-floor, and outward did he wend;
    And none would cast him a question or follow on his ways,
    For they knew that the gift was Odin's, a sword for the world to
        praise.

Then all made trial, Siggeir and his earls, and Volsung and his people,
to draw forth the sword from Branstock, but with no success, till
Sigmund, laying his hand carelessly on the precious hilt, drew forth
the naked blade as though it were loose in the oak. Whereupon Siggeir
offered money for the sword, but Sigmund scorned the offer.

But in time Siggeir had his vengeance. Inviting King Volsung and his
sons to Gothland, he fell upon them, slew the king, and suffered
the sons, fastened under a log, to be devoured in succession by a
she-wolf--all but Sigmund, who through the wile of his sister Signy was
rescued. He, driven to the life of an outlaw, sought means to avenge
his father, and Signy, on her part, strove to aid him,--without avail,
however, till Sinfiotli, the son of herself and Sigmund, was grown
to manhood. This youth bore Sigmund company. For a season, as wolves,
they scoured the woods; finally resuming the form of men, they slew the
children of Siggeir and burned him in his hall. Signy, having helped to
avenge her father, died with her husband.

Sigmund, thereupon, became king, and took to himself a wife. But she,
suffering injury at the hands of Sinfiotli, poisoned him with a horn of
ale. Then Sigmund sorrowed nigh to death over his son, and drove away
that queen, and soon after she died. He then married Hiordis the fair;
but before long, doing battle against Lyngi, the son of Hunding,--a
chieftain who also had loved the fair Hiordis,--he got his death wound:

      For lo, through the hedge of the war-shafts a mighty man there came,
    One-eyed and seeming ancient, but his visage shone like flame;
    Gleaming-gray was his kirtle, and his hood was cloudy-blue;
    And he bore a mighty twibil, as he waded the fight-sheaves through,
    And stood face to face with Sigmund, and upheaved the bill to smite.
    Once more round the head of the Volsung fierce glittered the
        Branstock's light,
    The sword that came from Odin; and Sigmund's cry once more
    Rang out to the very heavens above the din of war.
    Then clashed the meeting edges with Sigmund's latest stroke,
    And in shivering shards fell earthward that fear of worldly folk.
    But changed were the eyes of Sigmund, and the war-wrath left his face;
    For that gray-clad mighty helper was gone, and in his place
    Drave on the unbroken spear-wood 'gainst the Volsung's empty hands:
    And there they smote down Sigmund, the wonder of all lands,
    On the foemen, on the death-heap his deeds had piled that day.

To Hiordis, after Sigmund's death, was born _Sigurd_, like whom was
never man for comeliness and valor and great-heartedness and might.
He was the greatest of the Volsungs. His foster-father was Regin, the
son of Rodmar, a blacksmith, who taught him the lore of runes and many
tongues; and, by means of a story of ancient wrongs, incited him to the
destruction of the dragon Fafnir. For Regin told that while the gods,
Odin and H[oe]nir, were wandering with Loki near Rodmar's house, Loki
slew one of Rodmar's sons, Otter. Whereupon Rodmar demanded that the
gods should fill the Otter-skin with gold and cover it with gold. Now
Loki, being sent to procure the gold, caught Andvari the dwarf, and
from him procured by force a hoard of the precious metal and with it
a magic ring, whose touch bred gold. But Andvari cursed the ring and
the gold and all that might possess either. The gods forthwith filled
Otter with the dwarf's gold, and surrendered both gold and ring to
Rodmar. Immediately the curse began to work. Fafnir, brother of Regin
and Otter, slew Rodmar and seized the treasure and, assuming a dragon's
form, brooded upon the hoard. With this tale Regin egged on Sigurd to
the undoing of Fafnir. He welded him, too, a resistless sword out of
the shards of Sigmund's sword, Gram (the wrath). Then Sigurd swore that
he would slay the dragon. But first, riding on his horse, Greyfell, of
the blood of Odin's Sleipnir, he avenged upon the sons of Hunding the
death of his father. This done, Sigurd rode to Glistenheath and slew
Fafnir, the dragon, and eating of his heart, learned the language of
the birds; and at their advice he slew Regin also, who plotted against
him.

So, setting the ring of Andvari on his finger and bearing the gold
before him on his horse, Greyfell, Sigurd comes to the Hill of Hindfell:

      And sitteth awhile on Greyfell on the marvelous thing to gaze:
    For lo, the side of Hindfell inwrapped by the fervent blaze,
    And naught 'twixt earth and heaven save a world of flickering flame,
    And a hurrying, shifting tangle, where the dark rents went and came....
    Now Sigurd turns in his saddle, and the hilt of the Wrath he shifts,
    And draws a girth the tighter; then the gathered reins he lifts,
    And crieth aloud to Greyfell, and rides at the wildfire's heart;
    But the white wall wavers before him and the flame-flood rusheth apart,
    And high o'er his head it riseth, and wide and wild is its roar
    As it beareth the mighty tidings to the very heavenly floor;
    But he rideth through its roaring as the warrior rides the rye,
    When it bows with the wind of the summer and the hid spears draw anigh;
    The white-flame licks his raiment and sweeps through Greyfell's mane,
    And bathes both hands of Sigurd and the hilts of Fafnir's bane,
    And winds about his war-helm and mingles with his hair,
    But naught his raiment dusketh or dims his glittering gear;--
    Then it falls and fades and darkens till all seems left behind,
    And dawn and the blaze is swallowed in mid-mirk stark and blind....

Then before him Sigurd sees a shield-hung castle, surmounted by a
golden buckler, instead of a banner, which rings against the flagstaff.
And he enters and finds the form of one asleep, in armor cap-a-pie.

      So he draweth the helm from the head, and, lo, the brow snow-white,
    And the smooth unfurrowed cheeks, and the wise lips breathing light;
    And the face of a woman it is, and the fairest that ever was born,
    Shown forth to the empty heavens and the desert world forlorn:
    But he looketh, and loveth her sore, and he longeth her spirit to move,
    And awaken her heart to the world, that she may behold him and love.
    And he toucheth her breast and her hands, and he loveth her
        passing sore;
    And he saith, "Awake! I am Sigurd," but she moveth never the more....

Then with his bright blade Sigurd rends the ring-knit mail that
incloses her, "till naught but the rippling linen is wrapping her
about,"--

    Then a flush cometh over her visage and a sigh upheaveth her breast,
    And her eyelids quiver and open, and she wakeneth into rest;
    Wide-eyed on the dawning she gazeth, too glad to change or smile,
    And but little moveth her body, nor speaketh she yet for a while;
    And yet kneels Sigurd, moveless, her wakening speech to heed,
    While soft the waves of the daylight o'er the starless heavens speed,
    And the gleaming vines of the Shield-burg yet bright and brighter grow,
    And the thin moon hangeth her horns dead-white in the golden glow.
    Then she turned and gazed on Sigurd, and her eyes met the
        Volsung's eyes.
    And mighty and measureless now did the tide of his love arise,
    For their longing had met and mingled, and he knew of her heart
        that she loved,
    As she spake unto nothing but him and her lips with the
        speech-flood moved.

Brynhild, it was,--the Valkyrie,--who long time had lain in that
enchanted sleep that Odin, her father, had poured over her, dooming her
to mortal awakening and to mortal love, for the evil she had wrought
of old when she espoused the cause in battle of those whom the Norns
had predestined to death. Her might none but the fearless awaken; and
her had Sigurd awakened; and she loved him, for he was without fear and
godlike. And she taught him many wise sayings; and they plighted troth,
one to the other, both then and again; and Sigurd gave her the ring of
Andvari. But they were not destined to dwell together in wedlock, and
Brynhild, foreseeing the future, knew even this.

Sigurd was to wed with another than Brynhild, and it fell in this wise.
In the land of the Nibelungs (Niblungs, Nibelungen) dwelt Gudrun,
daughter of Giuki, the Nibelung king. And Gudrun dreamed a dream in
which a fair hawk feathered with feathers of gold alighted upon her
wrist. She went to Brynhild for the interpretation of the dream. "The
hawk," said Brynhild, "is Sigurd." And so it came to pass. Sigurd,
visiting the court of the Nibelungs, was kindly entreated by King Giuki
and his three sons, Gunnar, Hogni, and Guttorm; and he performed deeds
of valor such that they honored him. But after many days, Grimhild, the
mother of Gudrun, administered to Sigurd a magic potion that removed
from him all memory of Brynhild. So Sigurd loved and wedded the fair
Gudrun. Indeed he soon joined others in urging his wife's brother
Gunnar, a doughty warrior, to sue for the hand of Brynhild herself. But
Brynhild would have no one that could not ride through the flames drawn
up around her hall. After Gunnar had made two unsuccessful attempts,
Sigurd, assuming the form of King Gunnar, mounted Greyfell and rode for
the second time through the flames of Hindfell. Then, still wearing
the semblance of Gunnar, he gained the consent of Brynhild to the
union, and exchanged rings with her,--she giving him none other than
the ancient ring of Andvari back again. But even this did not recall
to Sigurd's memory his former ride and his former love. Returning to
the land of the Nibelungs, he announced the success of his undertaking
and told all things to Gudrun, giving her the fatal ring that he had
regained from Brynhild.

In ten days came Brynhild by agreement to the Hall of the Nibelungs,
and though she knew well the deceit that had been practiced on her,
she made no sign; nay, was wedded, according to her promise, to King
Gunnar. But as they sat at the wedding-feast, the charm of Grimhild was
outworn,--Sigurd looked upon Gunnar's bride and knew the Brynhild of
old, the Valkyrie, whom he had loved; "and Brynhild's face drew near
him with eyes grown stern and strange."

But, apparently, all went well till the young queens, one day bathing
in the Water of the Nibelungs, fell into contention on a matter of
privilege. Brynhild claimed precedence in entering the river on the
ground that Gunnar was the liege lord of Sigurd. Gudrun, white with
wrath, flashed out the true story of the ride through the flames, and
thrust in Brynhild's face the Andvari ring. Consumed with jealousy,
Brynhild plotted revenge. She loved Sigurd still, and he, since he
had regained his memory, could not overcome his love for her. But the
insult from Gudrun Brynhild would not brook. By her machinations,
Guttorm, the brother of Gudrun, was incited to slay Sigurd. He,
accordingly, stabbed the hero while asleep, but Sigurd, throwing Gram
at the assassin, cut him in twain before he could escape.

    Woe me! how the house of the Niblungs by another cry was rent,
    The awakening wail of Gudrun, as she shrank in the river of blood
    From the breast of the mighty Sigurd: he heard it and understood,
    And rose up on the sword of Guttorm, and turned from the country
        of death,
    And spake words of loving-kindness as he strove for life and breath;
    "Wail not, O child of the Niblungs! I am smitten, but thou shalt live,
    In remembrance of our glory, mid the gifts the gods shall give!...
    It is Brynhild's deed," he murmured, "and the woman that loves me well;
    Nought now is left to repent of, and the tale abides to tell.
    I have done many deeds in my life-days, and all these, and my
        love, they lie
    In the hollow hand of Odin till the day of the world go by.
    I have done and I may not undo, I have given and I take not again;
    Art thou other than I, Allfather, wilt thou gather my glory in vain?"

So ended the life of Sigurd. Brynhild, overcome with sorrow, dealt
herself a mortal wound and was burned on the funeral pyre beside Sigurd
the Volsung.

In time Gudrun became the queen of Atli, the Budlung. He, in order to
obtain the hoard of Sigurd, which had passed into the hands of the
Nibelungs,--Gudrun's brothers,--bade them visit him in Hunland. Fully
warned by Gudrun, they still accepted the invitation and, arriving at
the hall of Atli, were after a fearful conflict slain. But they did not
surrender the hoard--that lay concealed at the bottom of the Rhine.
Gudrun with the aid of Nibelung, her brother Hogni's son, in the end
slew Atli, set fire to his hall, and brought ruin on the Budlung folk.
Then leaping into the sea, she was borne with Swanhild, her daughter
by Sigurd, to the realm of King Jonakr, who became her third husband.
Swanhild, "fairest of all women, eager-eyed as her father, so that
few durst look under the brows of her," met, by stress of love and
treachery, a foul end in a foreign land, trampled under foot of horses.

Finally Gudrun sent her sons by Jonakr to avenge their half-sister's
death; and so, bereft of all her kin and consumed with sorrow, she
called upon her ancient lover, Sigurd, to come and look upon her, as he
had promised, from his abiding-place among the dead. And thus had the
words of her sorrow an end.

Her sons slew Jormunrek, the murderer of Swanhild, but were themselves
done to death by the counsel and aid of a certain warrior, seeming
ancient and one-eyed,--Odin the forefather of the Volsungs,--the
same that had borne Sigi fellowship, and that struck the sword into
Branstock of Volsung's hall, and that faced Sigmund and shattered
Gram in the hour of Sigmund's need, and that brought to Sigurd the
matchless horse Greyfell, and oft again had appeared to the kin of the
Volsungs;--the same god now wrought the end of the Nibelungs. The hoard
and the ring of Andvari had brought confusion on all into whose hands
they fell.

=283. The Lay of the Nibelungs.=[371] In the German version of this
story--called the Nibelungenlied--certain variations of name, incident,
and character appear. Sigurd is Siegfried, dwelling in Xanten near
the Rhine, the son of Siegmund and Siegelind, king and queen of the
Netherlands. Gudrun is Kriemhild, sister of Gunther (Gunnar), king
of the Burgundians, and niece of Hagen (Hogni), a warrior of dark
and sullen mien, cunning, but withal loyal and brave, the foe of
the glorious Siegfried. Siegfried weds Kriemhild, takes her to the
Netherlands and lives happily with her, enjoying the moneys of the
Nibelungen hoard, which he had taken not from a dwarf, as in the Norse
version, but from two princes, the sons of King Nibelung. Meanwhile
Gunther dwells in peace in the Burgundian land, husband of the proud
Brunhild, whom Siegfried had won for him by stratagem not altogether
unlike that of the Norse story. For the Brunhild of the Yssel-land had
declared that she would marry no man save him who should surpass her
in athletic contest. This condition Siegfried, wearing the Tarnkappe,
a cloak that rendered him invisible, had fulfilled for Gunther. He had
also succored poor Gunther after his marriage with Brunhild. For that
heroine, in contempt of Gunther's strength, had bound him hand and
foot and suspended him from a nail on their bedroom wall. By agreement
Siegfried had again assumed Gunther's form and, after a fearful tussle
with the queen, had reduced her to submission, taking from her the
ring and girdle which were the secret sources of her strength, and
leaving her to imagine that she had been conquered by her bridegroom,
Gunther. The ring and girdle Siegfried had bestowed upon Kriemhild,
unwisely telling her at the same time the story of Brunhild's defeat.
Although the Nibelungenlied offers no explanation, it is evident that
the injured queen of Yssel-land had recognized Siegfried during this
ungallant intrigue; and we are led to infer that there had been some
previous acquaintance and passage of love between them.

[Illustration: FIG. 188. GUNTHER AND BRUNHILD.

From the fresco by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld]

At any rate, Siegfried and Kriemhild, retiring to the Netherlands, were
ruling happily at Xanten by the Rhine; and all might have continued in
peace had not Brunhild resented the lack of homage paid by Siegfried,
whom she had been led to regard as a vassal, to Gunther, his reputed
overlord.

    In her heart this thought she fostered, deep in its inmost core;[372]
    That still they kept such distance, a secret grudge she bore.
    How came it that their vassal to court declined to go,
    Nor for his land did homage, she inly yearned to know.

    She made request of Gunther, and begged it so might be,
    That she the absent Kriemhild yet once again might see,
    And told him, too, in secret, whereon her thoughts were bent,--
    Then with the words she uttered her lord was scarce content.

[Illustration: FIG. 189. SIEGFRIED AND KRIEMHILD

From the fresco by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld]

But Gunther yielded, and Siegfried and Kriemhild were invited to Worms,
nominally to attend a high festival.

    ... With what joy and gladness welcomed were they there!
    It seemed when came dame Brunhild to Burgundy whilere,
    Her welcome by dame Kriemhild less tender was and true;
    The heart of each beholder beat higher at the view....

    Received was bold Sir Siegfried, as fitted well his state,
    With the highest honors; no man bore him hate.
    Young Giselher and Gernot proffered all courtly care;
    Never met friend or kinsman reception half so fair.

One day at the hour of vespers certain knights proved themselves at
tilting in the regal courtyard. Conspicuous among these was Siegfried.
And the proud queens sitting together were thinking each on the good
knight that she loved full well. Then outspoke fair Kriemhild, "My
husband is of such might that surely he should rule these realms";
Brunhild answered, "So long as Gunther lives that can never be."

    ... Thereto rejoined fair Kriemhild, "See'st thou how proud he stands,
    How proud he stalks, conspicuous among those warrior bands,
    As doth the moon far-beaming the glimmering stars outshine?
    Sure have I cause to pride me when such a knight is mine."

    Thereto replied queen Brunhild, "How brave soe'er he be,
    How stout soe'er or stately, one greater is than he.
    Gunther, thy noble brother, a higher place may claim,
    Of knights and kings the foremost in merit and in fame."

So began the altercation. It attained its climax the same day, when
each queen attempted to take precedence of the other in entering the
cathedral for the celebration of the mass.

    Both met before the minster in all the people's sight;
    There at once the hostess let out her deadly spite.
    Bitterly and proud she bade fair Kriemhild stand;
    "No vassaless precedeth the lady of the land."

Then, full of wrath, Kriemhild, in terms anything but delicate,
acquainted her haughty sister-in-law with the deception that had
twice been practiced upon her by Siegfried and Gunther; nay, worse,
corroborated her statement by displaying both ring and girdle that
Brunhild had lost. The altercation came to the ears of the kings.
Gunther made complaint to Siegfried. Then,

    ... "Women must be instructed," said Siegfried, the good knight,
    "To leave off idle talking and rule their tongues aright.
    Keep thy fair wife in order, I'll do by mine the same.
    Such overweening folly puts me indeed to shame."

But it was too late to mend the matter. With devilish intent Brunhild
plotted vengeance. Siegfried, the author of her mortification, must
die the death. The foes of Siegfried persuaded his wife, unaware of
their design, to embroider in his vesture a silken cross over the one
spot where the hero was vulnerable. Then the crafty Hagen, who had been
suborned by Brunhild to the baleful deed, bided his time. One day,
Gunther, Hagen, and Siegfried, heated in running, stayed by a brook to
drink. Hagen saw his chance.

    ... Then, as to drink, Sir Siegfried down kneeling there he found,
    He pierced him through the crosslet, that sudden from the wound
    Forth the life-blood spurted, e'en o'er his murderer's weed.
    Nevermore will warrior dare so foul a deed....

    ... With blood were all bedabbled the flowerets of the field.
    Some time with death he struggled as though he scorned to yield
    E'en to the foe whose weapon strikes down the loftiest head.
    At last prone in the meadow lay mighty Siegfried dead.

Brunhild glories in the fall of Siegfried and exults over the mourning
widow. Kriemhild, sitting apart, nurses schemes of vengeance. Her
brothers affect to patch up the breach in order that they may obtain
the hoard of the Nibelungs. But this treasure, after it has been
brought to Worms, is sunk, for precaution's sake, by Hagen, in the
Rhine. Although in time Kriemhild becomes the wife of King Etzel
(Atli, Attila) of Hunland, still she does not forget the injury done
her by her kin. After thirteen years she inveigles her brothers and
their retainers, called now Nibelungs because of their possession of
the hoard, to Etzel's court, where, after a desperate and dastardly
encounter, in which their hall is reduced to ashes, they are all
destroyed save Gunther and Hagen. Immediately, thereafter, Gunther's
head is cut off at her orders; and she herself, with Siegfried's sword
Balmung, severs the head of the hated Hagen from his body. With these
warriors the secret of the hidden hoard passes. Kriemhild, having
wreaked her vengeance, falls by the hand of one of her husband's
knights, Hildebrand, who, with Dietrich of Bern, had played a prominent
part among the associates of King Etzel.

    "I cannot say you now what hath befallen since;
    The women all were weeping, and the Ritters and the prince,
    Also the noble squires, their dear friends lying dead:
    Here hath the story ending; this is the Nibelungen's Need."[373]

FOOTNOTES:

[369] For the Sagas, see § 300; and for translations, etc., see § 282
of the Commentary.

[370] The extracts in verse are from William Morris' Sigurd the Volsung.

[371] For Records of German Mythology, see § 301, below; for literature
and translations, see §§ 283 and 301 of the Commentary.

[372] The extracts in verse are, unless otherwise stated, from the
translation by W. N. Lettsom, London, 1890. Werner Hahn's Uebersetzung
has also been used.

[373] From Carlyle's translation of fragments of the poem.



CHAPTER XXIX

THE RING OF THE NIBELUNG


=284. Wagner's Tetralogy.= In his famous Ring of the Nibelung the
German composer, Richard Wagner, returns to the Norse version of the
stories recounted in the chapter preceding this. He is responsible
not only for the musical score of the four operas of which the Ring
consists, but for the text and scenic arrangement as well. As musical
dramas the four plays constitute the grandest series of the kind that
the world possesses. But even if they were not wedded to such music,
the _Rhine-gold_, the _Valkyrie_, the _Siegfried_, and the _Twilight_
(or _Dusk_) _of the Gods_ would be entitled, for creative invention,
imaginative insight and power, and poetic diction, to rank with notable
dramas, ancient or modern. The tetralogy (or series of four) presents
the whole story of the accursed Nibelung gold, from that dawn when it
was wrested from the daughters of the Rhine to that dusk when it was
restored, having wrought meanwhile the doom of Nibelungs, Volsungs, and
the gods themselves.

=285. The Rhine-gold.= We are at the bottom of the Rhine: a greenish
twilight, and moving water, and everywhere sharp points of rocks
jutting from the depths. Around the central rock three Rhine-daughters
swim, guarding it carefully, but laughing and playing, and chasing one
the other as they guard. To them from a chasm climbs Alberich, the
Nibelung, he who in the old Norse lay was known as Andvari. He views
the maidens with increasing pleasure. He addresses them, he clambers
after them, he strives to catch them; they lure him on, they mock him
and escape his grasp; he woos them each in turn, all unsuccessfully. He
gazes upward--"Could I but catch one"; then once more failing, remains
in speechless rage. Rage soon transformed to wonder: for through the
water from above there filters a brightening glow, a magical light,
streaming from the summit of the central rock where in the splendor of
the morning sun the Rhine-gold laughs a-kindle.

    "What is it, ye sleek ones,
    That there doth gleam and glow?"[374]

Has he never heard of the Rhine-gold? they ask. Of the wondrous star
whose glory lightens the waves? He has not. He scorns it.

"The golden charm," cries one of the maidens,--

      "The golden charm
      Wouldst thou not flout
    Knewest thou all of its wonders."

"The world's wealth," jeers another,

      "Could be won by a man
      If out of the Rhine-gold
      He fashioned the Ring
    That measureless might can bestow...
      He who the sway
      Of love forswears,
      He who delight
      Of love forbears,
    Only he can master the magic
    That forces the gold to a ring!"

"But we fear not thee--oh, no--for thou burnest in love for us."

So, lightly sing the Rhine-daughters; but Alberich, with his eyes on
the gold, has heeded well their chatter. "The world's wealth," he
mutters; "might I win that by the spell of the gold? Nay, though love
be the forfeit, my cunning shall win me delight." Then terribly loud he
cries,

      "Mock ye, mock on!
    The Nibelung neareth your toy;--"

then, clambering with haste to the summit,

    "My hand, it quenches your light;
    I wrest from the rock your gold;
    I fashion the ring of revenge;
      Now, hear me, ye floods--
    Accursèd be love henceforth."

Tearing the gold from the rock, he plunges into the depths and
disappears. After him dive the maidens. In vain. Far, far below, from
Nibelheim rises the mocking laughter of Alberich, Lord of the Gold.

The scene changes. An open space on a mountain height becomes visible.
The dawning day lights up a castle, glittering with pinnacles, on
the top of a cliff. Below flows silent the Rhine. At one side, on a
flowery bank, Wotan (Odin), king of the gods, lies sleeping, and Fricka
(Frigga) his wife. They wake. Wotan turns toward his castle, new-built
by the giants, and exults; but Fricka reminds him of the terrible price
that is yet to be paid for its building,--none other, forsooth, than
the person of Freia, the fair one, the goddess of spring and love, she
who tends the garden of the gods, and whose apples, eaten from day to
day, confer eternal youth,--she is the wage that the giants will claim.

"I mind me well of the bargain," returns Wotan, "but I give no thought
to fulfill it. My castle stands; for the wage--fret not thyself."

"Oh, laughing, impious lightness," reproves him Fricka, "thy bargain is
fast, and is still to rue."

Nay, on the moment rushes Freia to them, pleading, pursued by the
giants. "Give her to us!" they cry,--Fasolt and Fafner, mighty twain
that unslumbering had reared the walls of Wotan's castle, to win them a
woman, winsome and sweet.

"Now pay us our wage!"

"Nay," coolly answers Wotan, "other guerdon ask. Freia may I not grant!"

But the giants insist. They accuse the god of faithlessness. He jests
with them, temporizing, awaiting anxiously the arrival of Loge (Loki),
spirit of cunning, at whose suggestion that bargain had been struck.
For even then Loge had secretly assured Wotan that Freia should in the
emergency be ransomed. The giants, indignant at the delay, press on
Freia. She calls on her brothers, Froh (Freyr) and Donner (Thor). They
rush to her rescue: Froh clasps the fair one; Donner plants himself
before the importunates.

"Know ye the weight of my hammer's blow?" thunders he.

There is battle in the air.

Then enters Loge, demon of fire, mischief-maker, traitor, and thief,
whom long ago Wotan had lifted from his evil brood and of him made a
friend and counselor.

"Now hear, crabbèd one; keep thy word," says Wotan, sharply.

Loge appears to be nonplussed. He has restlessly searched to the ends
of the world to find a ransom for Freia; "but naught is so rich that
giant or man will take it as price for a woman's worth and delight." He
has sought amid the forces of water and earth and air; "but naught is
so mighty that giant or man will prefer it above a woman's worth and
delight!" And yet,--slyly Loge lets fall the word,--there is the ruddy
Gold:

"Yea, one I looked on, but _one_, who love's delights forswore, for
ruddy gold renouncing the wealth of woman's grace."

And he recounts the marvels of the Rhine-gold. The giants offer to take
it in lieu of Freia; nay, gods and goddesses as well are held by the
charm of the glittering hoard; by the lure, and the dread too, of the
Ring that, once fashioned, gives measureless might to its lord. Even
now, doubtless, he who has forsworn love has muttered the magic rune
and rounded the sovereign circlet of gold. If so, the gods themselves
shall be his slaves,--slaves of the Nibelung Alberich.

"The ring I must win me," decides Wotan.

"But at the cost of love?" queries Froh.

Loge counsels the theft of the gold from Alberich and its restoration
to the daughters of the Rhine. But the gods are not thus far-sighted,
and the giants insist upon the hoard as their due. They seize Freia,
and bear her away as pledge till that ransom be paid....

    "Alack, what aileth the gods?"

It is Loge who speaks. A pale mist falls upon the scene, gradually
growing denser. The light of the heavenly abodes is quenched. Wotan
and all his clan become increasingly wan and aged. Freia of the Garden
is departed: the apples of youth are decaying; "old and gray, worn and
withered, the scoff of the world, dies out the godly race!"

"Up, Loge," calls Wotan, dismayed, "descend with me. To Nibelheim go we
together. To win back our youth, the golden ransom must I gain."

The scene changes to Nibelheim, the subterranean home of the Nibelungs.
Wotan and Loge find Mime, Alberich's brother, bewailing the fate of
the Nibelungs--for Alberich has fashioned the Ring and all below groan
under his tyranny. Even now, reluctantly indeed, Mime is forging the
_Tarnhelm_ for his tyrant brother,--a wishing-cap by whose magic the
wearer may transfer himself through space and assume whatever form he
please, or make himself invisible, at will. Alberich, in the flush
of power, enters, driving before him with brandished whip a host
of Nibelungs from the caverns. They are laden with gold and silver
handiwork. At Alberich's command they heap it in a pile. He draws the
Ring from his finger; the vanquished host trembles and, shrieking,
cowers away.

"What seek ye here?" demands he, looking long and suspiciously at Wotan
and Loge.

They have heard strange tidings, says Wotan, and they come to see the
wonders that Alberich can work. Then Loge induces the Nibelung lord to
exhibit the virtues of the Tarnhelm. Readily beguiled, he displays his
necromantic power. First he transforms himself into a loathly dragon.
The gods pretend dismay:--he can make himself great; can he make
himself small, likewise? "Pah, nothing simpler! Look at me now!" He
dons the Tarnhelm, and lo, a toad!

"There, grasp quickly," says Loge. Wotan places his foot on the toad,
and Loge seizes the Tarnhelm. Alberich becomes visible in his own form,
writhing under Wotan's foot. The gods bind him and drag him to the
chasm by which they had descended.

The scene changes to the open space before Valhalla. Alberich, dragged
in by Loge, is forced to deliver up the hoard and the Tarnhelm and the
Ring. Wotan contemplates the Ring and puts it on. Alberich is set at
liberty.

"Am I now free?" cries he, "free in sooth? Thus greets you then my
freedom's foremost word: As by curse it came to me, accursed forever be
this Ring! As its gold gave measureless might, let now its magic deal
death to its lord. Its wealth shall yield pleasure to none. Care shall
consume him who doth hold it. All shall lust after its delights; yet
naught shall it boot him who wins the prize! To its lord no gain let
it bring; and forever be murder drawn in its wake, till again once more
in my hand, rewon, I hold it!"

So the baffled Nibelung curses, and departs. Then enter Fricka, Donner,
and Froh, followed soon by the giants, who bring Freia back. They
refuse, Fasolt and Fafner, to release the fair goddess until she is
fully redeemed; and they claim not only Tarnhelm and gold, but Ring as
well. With the Ring Wotan refuses to part. In that moment rises from
a rocky cleft the goddess of the earth, Erda, the beloved of heaven's
god, and mother by him of the Valkyries.

"Yield it, Wotan, yield it," she cries warningly. "Flee the Ring's
dread curse."

    "What woman warneth me thus?"

"All that e'er was, know I," pronounces Erda:

      "How all things are;
      How all things shall be.
    Hear me! hear me! hear me!
    All that e'er was, endeth:
      A darksome day
      Dawns for your godhood!
    Be counseled; give up the Ring."

She vanishes, the all-wise one; and Wotan surrenders the Ring. Freia
is redeemed, and the gods glow again with youth. No sooner have the
giants gained possession of the Ring than they proceed to quarrel over
it. Fafner strikes out with his staff and stretches Fasolt on the
ground. From the dying man he hastily wrests the Ring, puts it into his
sack, and goes on quietly packing the gold. In a solemn silence the
gods stand horrified. Care and fear fetter the soul of Wotan. That he
may shake himself free of them he determines to descend to Erda; she
yet can give him counsel. But first,--for Donner has cleared with his
thunder and lightning the clouds that had overspread the scene,--he
will enter "Valhalla," his castle, golden-gleaming in the evening
sunlight.

"What meaneth the name, then?" asks Fricka, as they cross the rainbow
bridge.

Wotan evades the question, for he still dreads the curse pronounced
by the Nibelung upon all who have owned the Ring; and that name,
"Valhalla," indicates just the means by which he hopes to escape the
curse. He has thought to avert the doom of the gods by gathering in
this Valhalla, or Hall of the Slain, the spirits of heroes fallen in
battle--especially of heroes of a race that shall spring from himself,
the Volsungs (or Wälsungs) yet to be born. They shall do battle for the
gods when sounds the crack of doom. But of all this Wotan says naught.
He will say in the hour of his triumph.

As the gods enter Valhalla the plaints of the Rhine-maidens for the
loss of their gold arise from the river below.

=286.= In =The Valkyrie= Wotan proceeds with his plan. During his
wanderings on earth, under the name of Wälse, he has become the father
of twin children, Siegmund and Sieglinde. These have, in early youth,
been separated by the murderous turmoil of warring clans, but now they
are to be reunited; and Wotan, with a primitive disregard of the fact
that they are brother and sister, intends to make them man and wife,
in order that from them may issue the heroic race that, in the latter
days, shall defend Valhalla from the onslaught of the powers of evil.

The play opens with the interior of a woodland lodge. In the center
rises the stem of a mighty ash tree, about which has been built an
apartment of roughly hewn logs. It is toward evening and a violent
thunderstorm is just subsiding. This is the home of Hunding, chieftain
of the Neiding clan. The door opens, and Siegmund, flying from his
enemies, wounded and weaponless, enters. Seeing no one, he closes the
door, strides toward the fire, and throws himself wearily down on a
bearskin:

    "Whoe'er own this hearth,
    Here must I rest me."

He remains stretched out motionless. A woman enters from an inner
chamber. It is Sieglinde. She takes compassion on the helpless
fugitive, admires his noble bearing, gives him drink, and bids him
tarry till her husband be home. They gaze upon each other with
ever-increasing interest and emotion. Suddenly Siegmund starts up as if
to go.

"Who pursues thee?" she inquires.

"Ill fate pursues where'er I go. To thee, wife, may it never come.
Forth from thy house I fly."

She calls him back. "Then bide thou here. Thou canst not bring ill fate
where ill fate already makes its home."

He leans against the hearth. Again the eyes of the twain meet.

Hunding enters, regards the stranger with suspicion, notes the
resemblance between him and Sieglinde; but he consents to harbor him
for the night.

"Thy name and fortune?"

"Wehwalt," says Siegmund, "for woe still waits on my steps; Wehwalt,
the son of Wolfe." And thus concealing his race, he tells a story in
other respects true: how in his childhood a cruel host had laid waste
his home and killed his mother and carried away the sister who was his
twin, and how he and his father, the Wolf, for years had battled in the
woodlands against the Neidings.

The Neidings! They are Hunding's clan.

"My house holds thee, Wölfing, to-night. To-morrow defend thee; with
death thou shalt pay for this life!" And Hunding withdraws, Sieglinde
with him.

Siegmund is weaponless. The firelight sends a sudden glow upon the
ash tree, and a sword-hilt there sends back an answering gleam. But
Siegmund knows not what it means. Clad in white, Sieglinde steals from
the inner room. She has left Hunding asleep, overcome by a slumberous
draft.

"Thy coming is life," cries Siegmund.

"A weapon, now, let me show thee," she replies. And she tells how, on
the day of her unhappy wedding, a stranger, all in gray, low-hatted and
one-eyed, had entered the Hunding hall and struck into the ash stem a
sword that none but the bravest of heroes could win, and how all in
turn had tried in vain to draw forth the sword. Now she knows for whom
it was ordained,--

"It was for thee, my deliverer, my hero held in my arms!"

They embrace. He declares his lineage. He is son of him whose eye
proudly glistened from under the low-brimmed hat,--son of Wälse,
the wanderer. He is Siegmund, the Victorious. For him, the sword
Nothung.--And he draws it easily forth.

"Art thou Siegmund?" she cries; "Sieglinde am I. Thine own twin sister
thou winnest at once with the sword."

"Bride and sister be to thy brother; then nourish the Wälsungs for aye!"

So the twain make their compact.

In the second act we are transported to a wild and rocky place. Before
Wotan, fully armed and carrying his spear, stands Brünnhilde, the
warrior maid, likewise fully armed. She is one of the nine Valkyries,
daughters of Wotan and Erda, fostered for battle that they might
forfend the doom foretold by Erda herself,--the shameful defeat of the
gods. Well have the Valkyrs, choosers of the slain, performed their
task, stirring mortal hearts to battle and riding through the air above
to designate the bravest for death, and with their spirits to fill the
halls on Valhalla's height. Now, however, Wotan is ordering Brünnhilde
to haste to the fray,--not on death's errand but on errand of life,--to
shield Siegmund the Wälsung in the fight. The Valkyrie springs shouting
from rock to rock, and disappears behind the mountain crags.

All seems to be arranged. But lo, Fricka, in her ram-drawn car! She
descends and strides toward her scheming spouse. The goddess has heard
the cry of Hunding, calling for vengeance on the twinborn pair who
have rashly wrought him wrong; and as guardian of wedlock she demands
the death of Siegmund in the coming conflict. Wotan tries to persuade
her that Siegmund's success is needful to the gods,--the warrior band
of mortal souls gathered by the Valkyries in the heights of Valhalla
cannot alone suffice to avert the onslaught of the powers of darkness.

"Needed is one who, free from help of godhood, fights free of the
godhead's control. Only such an one is meet for the deed which is
denied to a god to achieve."

But Fricka is not to be deceived nor thwarted in her aim. She brushes
aside the plea of Wotan and his subterfuge,--who has ever heard
that heroes can accomplish what the gods cannot? And as for heroes
unaided--none such is Siegmund.

"Who was it," she asks, "that brought him his conquering sword? and
whose shield is ordained to cover him in the fight?"

"I cannot o'erthrow him," breaks out Wotan; "he has found my sword."

"Destroy its magic then," retorts the implacable queen. "Give word to
thy shouting war-maid that Siegmund fall!"

Wotan is conquered. Sadly he revokes the order given to Brünnhilde.

"Then takest thou from Siegmund thy shield?" cries that one in
amazement.

And the god: "Yea! though Alberich's host threaten our downfall; though
again the Ring be won by the Nibelung, and Valhalla be lost forever.
By bargains bound myself, I may not wrest the Ring from the foeman,
from Fafner the giant. Therefore, to fulfill my purpose, I had thought
to create a Free One who for me should fight. Now, with loathing, I
find ever myself in all my hand has created. The Other for whom I
have longed, that Other I never shall find. Himself must the Free One
create him; my hand shapes nothing but slaves. For when this hand of
mine touched Alberich's Ring, my heart grew greedy of gold. I fled
from the curse, but the curse flies not from me. What I love best must
I surrender; whom most I cherish, I must slay. One thing awaits me
yet--the downfall! Yea, that portended Erda,--Erda, the all-wise.

"'When the dusky foe,' she said,--

    'When the dusky foe of love
    Grimly getteth a son,
      The doom of the gods
      Delays not long!'

And of late I have heard that the Nibelung has bought him a wife. Their
son shall inherit,--their son, the child of spite, shall inherit the
empty pomp of the gods!"

It was of Hagen, yet unborn, the baleful curse of the Volsungs, of
Hagen, the traitor, that Erda had prophesied. And thus dimly is
foreshadowed the Twilight of the Gods.

But Brünnhilde?

"Siegmund thou hast taught me to love," murmurs the Valkyrie. Then
boldly,--

"For his sake thy wavering word I defy!"

The war-father turns in wrath upon this new rebellion, and on pain of
eternal penalty enjoins upon his daughter her new duty:

"Fight truly for Fricka! Siegmund strike thou! Such be the Valkyrie's
task!"

The war-maid seeks out Siegmund and announces to him his approaching
death. But that hero's distress at the thought of parting from
Sieglinde stirs her to the quick. And, in the moment of battle,
Brünnhilde disobeys the All-father's injunction;--she shields the
warrior whom she loves. Then suddenly appears Wotan, standing over
Hunding and holding his spear across in front of Siegmund.

"Go back from the spear! In splinters the sword!" shouts the god.

In terror Brünnhilde sinks back. Siegmund's sword breaks on the
outstretched spear, and Hunding pierces the Volsung's breast.
Brünnhilde hastily gathers the bits of the broken sword, lifts
Sieglinde to horse, and escapes through the gorges behind.

The scene changes to the Valkyries' rocky home. Through the drifting
clouds come riding the eight sisters of Brünnhilde, in full armor
each, and each bearing before her the body of some slain hero. They
await Brünnhilde. She, fleeing from Wotan's pursuit, at last arrives.
She implores them to shield Sieglinde from the wrath of the god, but
unsuccessfully; and then she urges Sieglinde to fly. At first, benumbed
by despair, the widowed woman refuses; but when Brünnhilde mentions the
child that is to be born--the world's most glorious hero--she consents.

"Him thou shalt bear, thy son and Siegmund's. For him ward thou
well these mighty splinters of his father's sword. He shall weld
them anew and swing the victorious blade! His name from me let him
take--'Siegfried'; for Siegfried in _triumph_ shall live!"

Comforted and hopeful, Sieglinde betakes herself to that forest far to
the east, where the Nibelung's hoard had been borne by Fafner. There,
in dragon's form, he guarded the gold and the Ring; and thither Wotan
is not likely to pursue.

It thunders and lightens. Wotan, raging terribly, strides from crag to
crag. The other Valkyries are driven from the scene. Brünnhilde hears
her doom:

          "The heavenly host
          No more shall know thee;
          Outcast art thou
          From the clan of the gods:
    The bond by thee has been broken;
    Henceforth from sight of my face art thou banned!"

Immortal, she had followed the might of love; mortal, now she shall
sleep, and that sleep shall endure till one comes to awaken her; and to
him, whosoe'er it may be, she shall be subject thenceforth.

The Valkyrie drops to her knees:

"Ah, let no craven awake me!" she cries. "Surround me with horrors,
with fires that shall fright: that none but the most fearless of heroes
may find me here on the fell!"

Wotan accedes to her petition. He kisses her on both eyes and lays her
unconscious, asleep, in the shade of a broad-branching fir tree. Then,--

    "Appear! Come, waving fire,
    And wind thee in flames round the fell!
          Loge, Loge, appear!"

A sea of flames encircles the spot, and Wotan proclaims:

          "He who my spear-point's
          Sharpness feareth
    Shall cross not this flaming fire!"

Alone, under her long steel shield, sleeps the Valkyrie.

=287. Siegfried.= The drama of Siegfried opens in the cavern of Mime,
in the forest "far to the east" to which Sieglinde had fled. Mime,
the dwarf, is he whom erstwhile his Nibelung brother, Alberich, then
lord of the Ring, had held in thrall at the bottom of the Rhine. Some
years before the events represented in this play, the dwarf had found
Sieglinde dying in the woods, and had received from her Siegfried,
her new-born son, and with him the pieces of Siegmund's broken sword,
Nothung.

Young Siegfried, noble, proud, and strong, has been nurtured in
ignorance of his lineage and destiny, as Mime's son. But of that
lineage and destiny the cunning dwarf is well aware; and while he
trains Siegfried to doughty deeds, he ceaselessly forges at the
splinters of the sword, hoping to reweld them himself and through
Siegfried's might to win victory over Fafner, the present lord of the
Ring, and so achieve unmeasured wealth and the mastery of the world.
But Siegfried despises his foster-father and seeks ever to discover the
story of his own descent. The attempts of Mime to shape anew the pieces
of Nothung fail; and he daily forges other swords, which Siegfried
scorns and breaks at the first trial. In the course of time, however,
there comes to Mime's cave a "Wanderer"--it is Wotan himself--and tells
the dwarf that only one, a man who knows not fear, can remake the
all-conquering sword. He tells him, too, of the mighty spear, fashioned
of the world ash tree's hallowed branches, with which he, Wotan, rules
the earth. But no word he says of the doom that is to befall that spear
at the blow of the conquering sword,--the doom, forsooth, of the gods
themselves.

Mime, after trying in vain to arouse in Siegfried the sense of fear,
suggests to the youth that he try to reforge Nothung. Siegfried seizes
the splinters, pounds them, and files them to powder; melts them
over the charcoal of the ash tree's stem, and, singing at his work,
refashions the sword. While this is doing, through the pauses of
Siegfried's song can be heard the voice of Mime, muttering: "The sword
will be forged ... and Fafner vanquished.... When Siegfried has slain
that dragon ... he will be athirst.... I will brew him a drink.... One
drop will lay him in sleep.... With the sword that he forges I'll kill
him.... Mine, then, the Ring and the hoard!"

At last the sword is shaped and sharpened. Siegfried swings it before
him:

"Nothung, Nothung, conquering sword; again to life have I woke thee!
Strike at the traitor, cut down the knave! See, Mime, thou smith; so
sunders Siegfried's sword!" and he strikes the anvil in twain from top
to bottom. It falls asunder with a great noise, and the dwarf drops
with terror to the ground.

The scene changes to the forest in front of Fafner's cave. Alberich is
watching gloomily by, and the Wanderer rides in to taunt him with false
hope of the Ring.

"A hero nears to set free the hoard," says the Wanderer. "Fafner will
fall. Perchance if Alberich warn the dragon, he may win the Ring in
token of gratitude."

Alberich makes the approaches. Fafner yawns: "I have and I hold; let me
slumber!"

With scornful laughter the Wanderer rides away. But "one day," snarls
Alberich,--"one day shall I see you all fade, ye light-hearted
eternals. The wise one keepeth his watch and surely worketh his spite!"

As the day breaks Siegfried and Mime enter, Siegfried wearing his sword
hung in a girdle of rope, and blithely blowing a horn. Fafner, in the
shape of a huge lizardlike dragon, comes out of his cave and forward
to the stream for water. At sight of the nonchalant youth piping his
wood-notes gay, the monster emits a snort that serves his need of a
laugh,--"I came for drink; now, too, I find food."

The conflict is speedily joined. More than once Siegfried is well-nigh
lost; but his chance comes. The dragon exposes his heart, and Siegfried
sinks his sword into it up to the hilt. In the moment of death, Fafner
warns the young hero to beware of him who stirred him to the fight.
But Siegfried pays little heed. The blood of the dragon bespatters his
hand; it burns. Siegfried involuntarily carries his hand to his lips.
There is a wood bird singing. Siegfried regards him with astonishment.
"Almost," he says, "it seems as wood birds were speaking to me," and he
hearkens.

"Hei!" sings the wood bird; "now Siegfried owns all the Nibelung's
hoard. Let him but search the cavern, and hoard, Tarnhelm, and Ring
will make him the lord of the world!"

"Thanks, dearest birdling," Siegfried replies, and possesses himself of
Tarnhelm and Ring. The hoard he leaves where it was.

"Hei!" sings the wood bird; "Ring and Tarnhelm Siegfried has won. Now
let him not trust the treacherous tongue of the falsest of friends!"

No sooner is that warning given than Mime, who has meanwhile been
wrangling with Alberich over the division of the spoils, creeps forward.

"See, thou art weary; drink of the broth I have brewed, and take rest,"
he says smilingly to Siegfried. But under his breath he is muttering,
"Drink, and choke thee to death," as he pours the draft into the drink
horn and offers it.

"Taste thou my sword, loathsome babbler!" cries the young hero, and
strikes him dead at a blow; then pitches his body on top of the hoard
and stops up the mouth of the cave with the grinning corpse of the
dragon.

"Thanks, friendliest birdling! But happiness yet have I not. Brothers
and sisters hast thou; but I--am so alone; nor brother nor sister, nor
father nor mother. One comrade had I; he laid out to catch me, and now
I have slain him, perforce. Ah, birdling, find me a comrade true!"

"Hei!" chatters the wood bird; "a glorious bride for Siegfried have I.
On a rocky fastness she sleeps, and guarded by fire is her home. Who
fighteth the flames wakens the maid; Brünnhilde, Brünnhilde, he wins
for his own!"

"Where'er thou fliest, follows my foot," shouts Siegfried, bubbling
with joy.

The scene changes. In a wild spot at the foot of a rocky mountain
Wotan, the Wanderer, desiring the success of Siegfried and still
knowing that that success involves the doom of the gods, seeks counsel
from Erda. The all-wise one refuses to answer,--refers him to the
Norns. "The Norns are waking, they wind the rope. The Norns will give
thee answer!"

"Ah, no!" replies the Wanderer. "Their weaving is ever in thrall to
fate. To thee I come that I may learn how to stay the wheel that is
already rolling."

"Ask Brünnhilde!"

"In vain, All-wise One; the piercing sting of care was planted by thee.
Ruin and downfall were foretold by thee. Say to me, now, how a god may
conquer his care!"

"Thou art--_not_ what thou hast said." No more will Erda vouchsafe.

Not what he has said! Then, surely, the gods are beyond redemption. But
not even so shall the harvest be reaped by the Nibelungs. "Nay, to the
Volsung shall be my heritage," decrees Wotan: "to him who has known
me never, though chosen by me; to the lad of dauntless daring, though
untaught by my counsel. Pure from greed, gladdened by love-dreams, he
has won the Nibelung's Ring. Against him the curse of Alberich cannot
avail."

While yet the Wanderer is speaking, Erda descends to endless sleep.
Dawn illumines the scene. Siegfried's bird comes fluttering to the
foreground, but, frighted by vision of the god, takes wing and
disappears. Siegfried presses on.

"My birdling has flown from my eyes," he remarks. "I needs must find
out the rock for myself."

"The way that the wood bird pointed," announces Wotan, encountering
him, "shalt thou not pass!"

"Ho ho! Wouldst thou stay me? Who art thou, then, that here
withstandest?"

"Fear the fell's defender! By my might the slumbering maid is held
enchained. He who should wake her, he who should win her, mightless
would make me forever. Go back, then, foolhardy boy!"

As the Wanderer speaks, the splendor spreads from the flame-girdled
rock above.

"Go back thyself, thou babbler! There where the fires are blazing,--to
Brünnhilde now must I hie!" And Siegfried pushes forward.

The Wanderer bars the way to the mountain: "Once already that sword of
thine, Nothung, has broken on the haft of this sacred spear!"

"'Tis, then, my father's slayer!" thinks Siegfried; and nothing loath
to face that foe, he raises the new-forged sword and strikes to pieces
the All-father's spear!

"Fare on," says Wotan, quietly picking up the fragments, "I cannot
withstand thee."

The god vanishes in darkness. The hero, light-hearted, blowing his
horn, scales the cliffs, passes the fire,--wakes Brünnhilde. She, at
first, with maidenly might struggles against his passion for her and
her growing tenderness for him. She deplores the byrnie, shield and
helm, symbols of her godhead, that he has torn from her. But, mortal
now, she surrenders to a mortal's love:

    "O Siegfried, Siegfried, child of delight,
    Love thyself,--and turn thee from me;
        Oh, bring not thine own to naught!"

And Siegfried:

    "I--love thee: didst thou but love me!
    Mine am I no more: oh, would that thou wert mine!...
    Waken, O maid; live in laughter:
    Sweetest delight, be mine, be mine!"

Then she, with a joyful cry:

        "Oh, child of delight! Oh, glorious hero!
        Thou foolish lord of loftiest deeds!
        Laughing must I love thee,
        Laughing welcome my blindness;
        Laughing let us be lost,
        With laughter go down to death....
    Farewell, Valhalla's light-giving world:
    Thy stately towers let fall in dust!
    Farewell, O glittering pomp of the gods!
    Complete your bliss, eternal host!
    Now rend, ye Norns, your rope of runes:
    Dusk of Gods in darkness arise;
    Night of downfall dawn in mist!"

And thus, turning their backs on Valhalla, and radiant with the light
of human love, the twain, laughing, face toward death.

=288. The Twilight of the Gods.= The play opens with a prelude. By the
Valkyrie's rock sit the three Norns and sing of past, present, and
future, weaving through the night their rope of runes. As they foretell
the burning of Valhalla and the end of the gods, the rope breaks, and
the Norns disappear into the earth.

The sun rises, and in the first act of the play Siegfried and
Brünnhilde enter from their cave. She sends him forth in quest of
heroic adventures in the world, giving him her horse, Grane, and
receiving from him the Ring as a pledge of his love.

The scene changes, and we behold the interior of the Gibichungs' hall
on the Rhine. Gunther and Gutrune, his sister, are in converse with
Hagen, their half brother,--dark and treacherous son of Grimhilde,
their mother, and of Alberich the Nibelung, erstwhile owner of the
Ring. Hagen alone knows, it would seem, that Siegfried has already
ridden through the flames and won Brünnhilde. The others know merely
that that hero has slain Fafner and is lord of the Tarnhelm, hoard, and
Ring. Hagen, anxious to regain the heritage of the Nibelungs, urges
marriage on Gunther, naming Brünnhilde as a fitting bride for him. As,
however, Siegfried alone can pass through the fire to come at her,
he proposes that Gutrune shall win Siegfried's love and induce him
to serve Gunther. Siegfried's horn is heard, and he presently enters
and is made welcome. Gutrune, at the instigation of Hagen, brings
Siegfried a potion which causes him to love her, and drives clean out
of his mind all memory of Brünnhilde. In the madness of his passion for
Gutrune, Siegfried swears blood-brotherhood with Gunther, and promises
by the aid of the Tarnhelm to make Brünnhilde Gunther's wife, if only
in return Gutrune shall be his. The newly sworn "brothers" depart for
Brünnhilde's rock.

In the next scene we are again before the home of Brünnhilde.
Waltraute, a Valkyrie, comes to beg Brünnhilde to give back the Ring to
the Rhine-maidens, and so avert the doom of the gods.

"What, then, aileth the immortals?" cries Brünnhilde in alarm.

"Since Wotan doomed thee, no more hath he sent us to war," replies
Waltraute. "No more hath he gathered the souls of the slain about him
in Valhalla. Alone he has ridden unceasing through the world. But,
one day, home he came bearing his spear all splintered in his hand.
Wordless, with a sign he bade Valhalla's heroes hew the world ash tree
in pieces and pile it like firewood around the Hall of the Blest. And
from that hour silent he sits on his throne, about him the awe-struck
gods and heroes, the war-maids cowering at his knees. None tastes the
apples of youth. To-day Wotan remembered thee; his eye grew soft and,
as dreaming, he spake:

    'If once more the daughters of Rhine
    Should win from her finger the Ring,
        Of the load of the curse
    Were the world and immortals made free.'

Brünnhilde, yield up the Ring, and end all the grief of the world!"

"The Ring?" wails Brünnhilde. "Knowest thou what 'tis to me? One flash
of its fire outvalues all heaven's delight; for the gleam of that Ring
is Siegfried's love!

    "From love I never shall turn;
    Of his love they never shall rob me,
        Though into ruins
    Valhalla's splendor should fall!"

Thus Brünnhilde refuses, and sends Waltraute away to take her defiance
to Valhalla.

But retribution is swift, for on the moment Siegfried, changed to
Gunther's shape by the Tarnhelm, comes and claims Brünnhilde as his
bride. She resists and threatens him with the Ring. But now Siegfried,
forgetful of the past, struggles for another with his own dear wife,
overcomes her, and wrests the Ring from her. He then commands her to go
into the cave, whither, after drawing his sword to lay between them as
symbol of his loyalty to Gunther, he follows her.

The second act is outside the Gibichungs' hall. It is early morning of
the next day. After a short scene in which the ever-plotting Alberich
urges Hagen to get the Ring, Siegfried returns and tells Hagen and
Gutrune of the winning of Brünnhilde and her approach with Gunther.
Hagen calls together the vassals to welcome Gunther and his bride.
The royal pair presently arrive and are received with loud acclaim.
Straightway Brünnhilde recognizes Siegfried (who, however, does not
know her) and, seeing the Ring on Siegfried's finger, she asks Gunther
what he has done with the ring he took from her. His confusion reveals
the truth to her, and she proclaims that she is wedded to Siegfried and
not to Gunther. Siegfried swears on the point of Hagen's spear that her
accusation is false. She repeats it, taking the same oath. Siegfried,
Gutrune, and their vassals go out to prepare for the double wedding
celebration; Gunther, Hagen, and Brünnhilde remaining solemnly condemn
Siegfried to death for what seems treachery to one and all. Hagen, left
alone, glories in the prospect of regaining the Ring.

The third act discloses an open place on the banks of the Rhine. The
three Rhine-maidens pray to the sun for the return of the Rhine-gold.
Siegfried, who has strayed from his companions on a hunting expedition,
comes to the river bank. The maidens unsuccessfully attempt, by wiles
and warnings of ill fate, to get the Ring from him, and finally swim
away, foretelling his death that very day. Gunther, Hagen, and their
vassals come to the place, and all sit down to rest. At Hagen's
suggestion Siegfried relates the story of his life. But, lo! when he
comes to the episode of his first passage through the fire, a draft
given him by Hagen restores his memory, and innocently he tells of the
waking and winning of Brünnhilde. All start up in amaze; Hagen stabs
Siegfried in the back with his spear, and steals away. Siegfried falls,
and after a few words sung to Brünnhilde, whom he sees as in a vision,
he dies. His body is placed on a bier and borne away by the vassals
with great pomp and state as the sun sets.

In the last scene we have the interior of the Gibichungs' hall as
before. It is night. Gutrune comes from her chamber anxious for
Siegfried. Presently Hagen's voice is heard calling for torches to
light the returning hunters. He enters and, in reply to Gutrune's
questions, tells her that Siegfried has been slain by a wild boar. Then
come the vassals, bearing Siegfried's body. It is placed on a bier in
the center of the hall. Hagen claims the Ring as his right for slaying
Siegfried, but Gunther defies him to touch Gutrune's heritage. They
fight and Gunther falls. As Hagen approaches the corpse to take the
Ring, the dead Siegfried raises his arm threateningly. All start back
in horror, and just then Brünnhilde enters and comes down to the bier.
Here, after ordering a pyre to be built on the river bank, she sings
a funeral song over Siegfried. The body, from which she has taken the
Ring, is then placed on the pyre. Setting the Ring on her own finger,
Brünnhilde calls on the Rhine-maidens to take it in turn from her ashes:

    "Let fire, burning this hand
    Cleanse, too, the Ring from its curse."

She applies the torch:

    "So cast I the brand
    On Valhall's glittering walls.--
    When ye see in the kindling fire,
    Siegfried and Brünnhild' consumed;
    When ye see the river-daughters
    Bear the Ring away to the deep:
        To northward then
        Look through the night!
        When the heaven there gleams
        With a holy glow,
        Then know ye all
    That Valhall's end ye behold!"

Her horse is brought. She mounts it and springs into the flames, which
flare up and seize on the hall itself. The river overflows and rolls
over the fire. The Rhine-maidens swim up and regain the Ring. Hagen
rushes into the flood to get it from them, but is dragged down to the
depths by their arms as they swim away. In the sky is seen a vision of
Valhalla in flames.

The breed of the gods is gone like breath. The loveless Ring has
worked its curse. Each in his turn its lords have bitten the dust. And
Brünnhilde reads the moral:

       "Not goods nor gold
        Nor glory of gods
    Can fashion a blessing for weal,
    Can win a blessing from woe,--
        But Love alone!"

FOOTNOTES:

[374] For the translations of the Ring, especially the verse, I am
indebted to the edition of Frederick Jameson (Schott & Co., London).



PART II

THE HISTORY OF MYTH.



CHAPTER XXX

THE ORIGIN AND ELEMENTS OF MYTH


=289. Kinds of Myth.= If we classify the preceding stories according
to the reason of their existence, we observe that they are of two
kinds,--explanatory and æsthetic.

(1) _Explanatory myths_ are the outcome of naïve guesses at the truth,
of mistaken and superstitious attempts to satisfy the curiosity of
primitive and unenlightened peoples, to unveil the mysteries of
existence, make clear the facts of the universe and the experiences
of life, to account for religious rites and social customs of which
the origin is forgotten, to teach the meaning and the history of
things. There are certain questions that nearly every child and
every savage asks: What is the world and what is man? Who made them?
What else did the maker do? and what the first men? Whence came the
commodities of life? Why do we celebrate certain festivals, practice
certain ceremonials, observe solemnities, and partake of sacraments,
and bow to this or the other god? What is death, and what becomes
of us after death? The answers to such questions crystallized
themselves gradually into stories of the creation, of the gods, and
of the heroes--forefathers of men, but magnified, because unfamiliar,
mysterious, and remote.

Old literatures abound in explanatory myths of so highly imaginative
a character that we moderns are tempted to read into them meanings
which probably they never possessed. For the diverse and contradictory
significations that have in recent years been proposed for one and the
same myth could not all, at any one time, have been entertained by the
myth-makers. On the other hand, the current explanations of certain
myths are sufficiently apparent to be probable. "To the ancients,"
says John Fiske,[375] "the moon was not a lifeless body of stones and
clods; it was the horned huntress Artemis, coursing through the upper
ether, or bathing herself in the clear lake; or it was Aphrodite,
protectress of lovers, born of the sea foam in the East, near Cyprus.
The clouds were not bodies of vaporized water; they were cows, with
swelling udders, driven to the milking by Hermes, the summer wind;
or great sheep with moist fleeces, slain by the unerring arrows of
Bellerophon, the sun; or swan-maidens, flitting across the firmament;
Valkyries hovering over the battle field to receive the souls of
falling heroes; or, again, they were mighty mountains, piled one above
another, in whose cavernous recesses the divining wand of the storm-god
Thor revealed hidden treasures. The yellow-haired sun, Ph[oe]bus, drove
westerly all day in his flaming chariot; or, perhaps, as Meleager,
retired for awhile in disgust from the sight of men; wedded at eventide
the violet light ([OE]none, Iole) which he had forsaken in the morning;
sank as Hercules upon a blazing funeral pyre, or, like Agamemnon,
perished in a blood-stained bath; or, as the fish-god, Dagon, swam
nightly through the subterranean waters to appear eastward again at
daybreak. Sometimes Phaëthon, his rash, inexperienced son, would take
the reins and drive the solar chariot too near the earth, causing
the fruits to perish, and the grass to wither, and the wells to dry
up. Sometimes, too, the great all-seeing divinity, in his wrath at
the impiety of men, would shoot down his scorching arrows, causing
pestilence to spread over the land."

(2) _Æsthetic myths_ have their origin in the universal desire for
amusement, in the revulsion of the mind from the humdrum of actuality.
They furnish information that may not be practical, but is delightful;
they elicit emotion--sympathy, tears, and laughter--for characters and
events remote from our commonplace experience but close to the heart of
things, and near and significant and enchanting to us in the atmosphere
of imagination that embraces severed continents, inspires the dead
with life, bestows color and breath upon the creatures of a dream, and
wraps young and old in the wonder of hearing a new thing. The æsthetic
myth, first, removes us from the sordid world of immediate and selfish
needs, and then unrolls a vision of a world where men and things exist
simply for the purpose of delighting us. And the enduring measure of
delight which the æsthetic myth affords is the test of what we call its
_beauty_.

A myth, whether explanatory or æsthetic, is of unconscious growth,
almost never concocted with a view to instruction.

According to their subjects, æsthetic myths are either historic or
romantic. (_a_) If _historic_, they utilize events which have a
skeleton of fact. They supply flesh and sinew of divine or heroic
adventure and character, blood and breath of probability and
imagination. In historic myths the dependence of gods, heroes, and
events upon the stern necessity of an overruling power, of fate or
providence, is especially to be observed. Of this class is the Iliad of
Homer.

(_b_) If _romantic_, the myths are characterized by bolder selection or
creation of fundamental events; indeed, events appear to be chosen with
a view to displaying or developing the character of the hero. In such
myths circumstances are not so important as what the hero does with
circumstances. The hero is more independent than in the historic myth;
his liberty, his choice,--in judgment, in conduct, and in feeling,--his
responsibility, are the center of interest. In romantic myths like the
Odyssey this sense of freedom does not impel the poet to capricious
use of his material. But lesser bards than Homer have permitted their
heroes to run riot in adventures that weary the imagination and offend
the moral judgment.

=290. Divisions of Inquiry.= We are next led to ask how these myths
came into existence, and how it is that the same myth meets us under
various forms in literatures and among peoples widely separate in time
and place. These are questions of the _Origin_ and _Distribution_ of
myths; and in this chapter we shall discuss the former.

=291. Elements of the Myth.= The myths preserved in the literatures of
many civilized nations, such as the Greek, present to the imaginative
and the moral sense aspects fraught with contradiction. In certain
myths the gods display themselves as beautiful, wise, and beneficent
beings; in others they indulge in cruel, foolish, and unbeautiful
practices and adventures. These contradictory elements have been called
the reasonable and the senseless. A myth of Mother Earth (Demeter)
mourning the loss of her daughter, the Springtide, is reasonable; a
myth of Demeter devouring, in a fit of abstraction, the shoulder of
the boy Pelops, and replacing it with ivory, is capricious, apparently
senseless. "It is this silly, senseless, and savage element," as Max
Müller says, "that makes mythology the puzzle which men have so long
found it."

=292. Reasonable Myths.= If myths were always reasonable, it would not
be difficult to reach an agreement concerning some way by which they
may have come into existence.

_Imagination._ If we assume that the peoples who invented these
stories of supernatural beings and events had, with due allowance
for the discrepancy in mental development, imaginations like our
own, there is nothing in the history of reasonable myths to baffle
our understanding. For, at the present time, not only children and
simple-minded men, like sailors or mountaineers, but cultivated men of
ordinary poetic sensibility, bestow attributes of life upon inanimate
things and abstract ideas. The sun is nowadays thirsty, the ship is
a woman, the clouds threaten, charity suffereth long, the waves are
angry, time will tell, and death swallows all things. The sun still
rises, and, as Mr. Jasper maintains, "do move." By personification we,
every day, bestow the attributes of human beings upon inanimate nature,
animals, and abstractions. By our metaphors we perpetuate and diffuse
the poetic illusion; we talk not perhaps of the arrows of Apollo, but
of a sunstroke; our poetry abounds in symbols of the moon, of the
swift-wingèd wind, of the ravening sea. In our metonymies we use the
sign for the thing signified, the crown for the king, the flag for the
honor of the country; and the crown and the flag are to-day possessed
of attributes and individuality just as efficient as those that endowed
the golden handmaids of Vulcan or the eagle of Jove. Nor is hyperbole
any less in use among us than it was among the ancients; we glorify
our political heroes with superlatives, they dignified theirs with
divinity.

_Belief._ But this resemblance in habits of imagination, while it
may help us to appreciate the mental condition of primitive peoples,
accentuates the distinction between our imagination and theirs. They,
at some time or other, believed in these personifications. We do not
believe. But their belief is easier to comprehend when we remember
that the myths of savages are not a deliberate invention of any one
individual, but are constructed by generations of people, and that
many of them cluster about beings who were actually worshiped. Among
primitive nations the sense of awe in the presence of magnificent
objects of nature--mountains, the sky, the sun, the sea--is universal.
It springs from the fact that savages do not deem themselves superior
to nature. They are not conscious of souls whose flight is higher
than that of nature. On the contrary, since sun, sea, and winds move,
the savage invests them with free will and personality like man's. In
proportion, however, as their size is grander or their movement more
tremendous, these objects must be possessed of freedom, personality,
and power exceeding those of man. Why, then, should not the savage
believe, of beings worthy of worship and fear and gratitude, all and
more than all that is accredited to man? Why not confer upon them human
and superhuman passions and powers? If we were living, like the Greek
of old, close to the heart of nature, such personification of natural
powers would be more easy for us to appreciate.

"If for us also, as for the Greek," says Ruskin,[376] "the sunrise
means daily restoration to the sense of passionate gladness and of
perfect life--if it means the thrilling of new strength through every
nerve,--the shedding over us of a better peace than the peace of night,
in the power of the dawn,--and the purging of evil vision and fear by
the baptism of its dew;--if the sun itself is an influence, to us also,
of spiritual good,--and becomes thus in reality, not in imagination,
to us also, a spiritual power,--we may then soon overpass the narrow
limit of conception which kept that power impersonal, and rise with the
Greek to the thought of an angel who rejoiced as a strong man to run
his course, whose voice, calling to life and to labor, rang round the
earth, and whose going forth was to the ends of heaven."

Regarding thus the religious condition of the savage, we may comprehend
the existence of myths and his acceptance of them.

=293. Unreasonable Myths.= But he would maintain this attitude of
acceptance only in the matter of good and beneficent gods and of
righteous or reasonable myths.

For how could a human being believe of the god whom he worshiped and
revered, deeds and attributes more silly and more shameful than man
can conceive of his fellow man? When, therefore, we find senseless
and shameless myths existing side by side with stories of the justice
and righteousness of the same god, we must conclude that, since the
worshiper could not believe both sets of attributes, he preserved his
religious attitude before the good god only by virtue of rejecting the
senseless myth.

A man's religious belief would assist him to entertain only the
reasonable myths. How, then, did the senseless and cruel stories come
into existence? And were they ever believed?

There are many answers to these questions. They may, however, be
classified according to the theory of civilization that they assume.

According to the _Theory of Deterioration_, or Human Depravity, man,
although he had in the beginning knowledge of common facts, pure moral
and religious ideas, and true poetic conceptions, has forgotten, with
the lapse of time, the significance of words, facts, men, and events,
adopted corrupt moral and religious notions, and given license to the
diseased imagining of untrue and unlovely conceptions.

According to the _Theory of Improvement_, or Progress, man, beginning
with crude dreams and fancies about experience, life, the world, and
God, has gradually developed truer and higher conceptions of his own
nature, of his relation to the world about him, of duty, of art, and of
religion.

=294. Theory of Deterioration.= Let us consider first the
interpretations of mythology that assume a backward tendency in early
civilization. They are:

(1) The _Historical_, or better called after its author, Euhemerus
(B.C. 316), the _Euhemeristic_. This explanation assumes that myths
of the gods are exaggerated adventures of historic individuals,
chieftains, medicine men, heroes; and that supernatural events
are distortions of natural but wonderful occurrences. In fact, it
attributes to our forefathers a disease of the memory which prompted
them to pervert facts. Jupiter, Odin, and Hercules were accordingly men
who, after death, had been glorified, then deified, then invested with
numerous characteristics and adventures appropriate to their exalted
conditions of existence.

The custom of worshiping ancestors, still existent in China and other
countries, is adduced in support of this method of investigating myths,
and it is undoubtedly true that the method explains the origin and
growth of some myths. But it accounts rather for the reasonable than
the senseless element of mythical adventure, while it fails to show how
savages come to exaggerate their heroes into beings entirely out of the
realm of that actual experience which is the basis of the historical
assumption.

(2) _The Philological Interpretation_[377] assumes also a disease
of the memory by reason of which men misunderstand and confuse the
meanings of words, and misapply the words themselves. Professor Max
Müller calls this affection a disease of language. In ancient languages
every such word as _day_, _night_, _earth_, _sun_, _spring_, _dawn_,
had an ending expressive of gender, which naturally produced the
corresponding idea of sex. These objects accordingly became in the
process of generations not only persons, but male and female. As, also,
the phrases expressing the existence or the activity of these natural
objects lost their ancient signification under new colloquial coloring,
primitive and simple statements of natural events acquired the garb and
dignity of elaborate and often incongruous narratives, no longer about
natural events, but about persons. Ancient language may, for instance,
have said _sunrise_ follows the _dawn_. The word for sun was masculine;
the word for dawn, feminine. In time the sentence came to mean,
Apollo, the god of the sun, _chases_ Daphne, the maiden of the glowing
dawn. But the word, _Daphne_, meant also a laurel that burned easily,
hence might readily be devoted to the god of the sun. So Daphne, the
maiden, assuming the form of Daphne, the laurel, escaped the pursuit
of her ardent lover, by becoming the tree sacred to his worship.[378]
The merit of the philological method is, that, tracing the name of a
mythical character through kindred languages, it frequently ascertains
for us the family of the myth, brings to light kindred forms of the
myth, discovers in what language the name was born, and sometimes,
giving us the original meaning of the divine name, "throws light on the
legend of the bearer of the name and on its origin and first home."[379]

But unfortunately there is very often no agreement among scholars
about the original meaning of the names of mythical beings. The same
name is frequently explained in half a dozen different ways. The same
deity is reduced by different interpreters to half a dozen elements of
nature. A certain goddess represents now the upper air, now light, now
lightning, and yet again clouds. Naturally the attempts at construing
her adventures must terminate in correspondingly dissimilar and
unconvincing results. In fine, the philological explanation assumes
as its starting point masculine and feminine names for objects of
nature. It does not attempt to show how an object like the ocean came
to be male and not female, or how it came to be a person at all. And
this latter, in studying the origin of myths, is what should first be
ascertained. We must not, however, fall into the error of supposing
that the philologists look for the origin and growth of all myths in
words and the diseases of words. Max Müller grants that mythology does
not always create its own heroes, but sometimes lays hold of real
history. He insists that mythologists should bear in mind that there
may be in every mythological riddle elements which resist etymological
analysis, for the simple reason that their origin was not etymological,
but historical.

(3) _The Allegorical Interpretation_ is akin to the philological in its
results. It leads us to explain myths as embodiments in symbolic guise
of hidden meaning: of physical, chemical, or astronomical facts; or of
moral, religious, philosophical truth. The stories would at first exist
as allegories, but in process of time would come to be understood
literally. Thus Cronus, who devours his own children, is identified
with the power that the Greeks called Chronos (Time), which may truly
be said to destroy whatever it has brought into existence. The story
of Io is interpreted in a similar manner. Io is the moon, and Argus
the starry sky, which, as it were, keeps sleepless watch over her. The
fabulous wanderings of Io represent the continual revolutions of the
moon. This method of explanation rests upon the assumption that the
men who made the allegories were proficient in physics, chemistry,
astronomy, etc., and clever in allegory; but that, for some unknown
reason, their descendants becoming stupid, knowledge as well as wit
deserted the race. In some cases the myth was, without doubt, from the
first an allegory; but where the myth was consciously fashioned as
an allegory, in all probability it was preserved as such. It is not,
however, likely that allegories of deep scientific or philosophical
import were invented by savages. Where the myth has every mark of
great antiquity,--is especially silly and senseless and savage,--it
is safe to believe that any profound allegorical meaning, read into
it, is the work of men of a later generation, who thus attempted to
make reasonable the divine and heroic narratives which they could not
otherwise justify and of whose existence they were ashamed. We find,
moreover, in some cases a great variety of symbolic explanations of the
same myth, one with as great claim to credence as another, since they
spring from the same source,--the caprice or fancy of the expounder.

Among the ancients Theagenes of Rhegium, six hundred years before
Christ, suggested the allegorical theory and method of interpretation.
In modern times he has been supported by Lord Bacon, whose "Wisdom of
the Ancients" treats myths as "elegant and instructive fables," and by
many Germans, especially Professor Creuzer.

(4) _The Theological Interpretation._ This premises that mankind,
either in general or through some chosen nationality, received from
God an original revelation of pure religious ideas, and that, with the
systematic and continued perversion of the moral sense, this knowledge
of truth, morality, and spiritual religion fell into corruption.
So in Greek mythology the attributes of the various gods would be
imperfect irradiations of the attributes of the one God. A more limited
conception is, that all mythological legends are derived from the
narratives of Scripture, though the real facts have been disguised
and altered. Thus, Deucalion is only another name for Noah, Hercules
for Samson, Arion for Jonah, etc. Sir Walter Raleigh, in his "History
of the World," says, "Jubal, Tubal, and Tubal-Cain were Mercury,
Vulcan, and Apollo, inventors of pasturage, smithing, and music. The
dragon which kept the golden apples was the serpent that beguiled Eve.
Nimrod's tower was the attempt of the giants against heaven." There
are doubtless many curious coincidences like these, but the theory
cannot, without extravagance, be pushed so far as to account for any
great proportion of the stories. For many myths antedate the scriptural
narratives of which they are said to be copies; many more, though
resembling the scriptural stories, originated among peoples ignorant
of the Hebrew Bible. The theory rests upon two unproved assumptions:
one, that all nations have had a chance to be influenced by the same
set of religious doctrines; the other, that God made his revelation in
the beginning once for all, and has done nothing to help man toward
righteousness since then. The theological theory has been advocated by
Voss and other Germans in the seventeenth century, by Jacob Bryant in
1774, and in this century most ably by Gladstone.[380]

=295.= We are now ready for the explanation of myth-making based upon
the =Theory of Progress=. This is best stated by Mr. Andrew Lang,[381]
whose argument is, when possible, given in his own language. To the
question how the senseless element got into myths, the advocates
of this theory answer that it was in the minds and in the social
condition of the savages who invented the myths. But since we cannot
put ourselves back in history thousands of years to examine the habits
of thought and life of early savages, we are constrained to examine
whether anywhere nowadays there may exist "any stage of the human
intellect in which these divine adventures and changes of men into
animals, trees, stars, this belief in seeing and talking with the dead,
are regarded as possible incidents of daily human life." As the result
of such scientific investigation, numerous races of savages have been
found who at this present day accept and believe just such silly and
senseless elements of myth as puzzle us and have puzzled many of the
cultivated ancients who found them in their inherited mythologies.
The theory of development is, then, that "the savage and senseless
element in mythology is, for the most part, a legacy from ancestors
of civilized races who, at the time that they invented the senseless
stories, were in an intellectual state not higher than that of our
contemporary Australians, Bushmen, Red Indians, the lower races of
South America, and other worse than barbaric people of the nineteenth
century." But what are the characteristics of the mental state of
our contemporary savages? First and foremost, _curiosity_ that leads
them to inquire into the causes of things; and second, _credulity_
that impels them to invent or to accept childish stories that may
satisfy their untutored experience. We find, moreover, that savages
nowadays think of everything around them as having life and the parts
and passions of persons like themselves. "The sky, sun, wind, sea,
earth, mountains, trees, regarded as persons, are mixed up with men,
beasts, stars, and stones on the same level of personality and life."
The forces of nature, animals, and things have for these Polynesians
and Bushmen the same powers and attributes that men have; and in their
opinion men have the following attributes:

"1. Relationship to animals and ability to be transformed, and to
transform others, into animals and other objects.

"2. Magical accomplishments, such as power to call up ghosts, or to
visit ghosts and the region of the dead; power over the seasons, the
sun, moon, stars, weather, and so forth."[382]

The stories of savages to-day abound in adventures based upon qualities
and incidents like these. If these stories should survive in the
literature of these nations after the nations have been civilized,
they would appear senseless and silly and cruel to the descendants of
our contemporary savages. In like manner, "as the ancient Greeks,
Egyptians, and Norsemen advanced in civilization, their religious
thought and artistic taste were shocked by myths which were preserved
by local priesthoods, or in ancient poems, or in popular religious
ceremonials.... We may believe that ancient and early tribes framed
gods like themselves in action and in experience, and that the
allegorical element in myths is the addition of later peoples who had
attained to purer ideas of divinity, yet dared not reject the religion
of their ancestors."[383] The senseless element in the myths would,
by this theory, be, for the most part, a "survival." Instead, then,
of deteriorating, the races that invented senseless myths are, with
ups and downs of civilization, intellectually and morally improved,
to such extent that they desire to repudiate the senseless element in
their mythical and religious traditions, or to explain it as reasonable
by way of allegory. This method of research depends upon the science
of mind--psychology, and the science of man--anthropology. It may be
called the _Anthropological Method_. The theory is that of "survival."

According to this theory many of the puzzling elements of myth resolve
themselves into survivals of primitive philosophy, science, or history.
From the first proceed the cruder systems of physical and spiritual
evolution, the generations of gods and the other-world of ghosts; from
the second, the cruder attempts at explaining the phenomena of the
natural and animal world by endowing them with human and frequently
magical powers; from the third, the narratives invented to account for
the sanctity of certain shrines and rituals, and for tribal customs and
ceremonials, the origin of which had been forgotten. These last are
known as _ætiological_ myths; they pretend to assign the _aitía_, or
_reason_, why Delphi, for instance, should have the oracle of Apollo,
or why the ritual of Demeter should be celebrated at Eleusis and in a
certain dramatic manner.

It is of course probable that occasionally the questionable element of
the myth originated in germs other than savage curiosity and credulity:
for instance, in the adventures of some great hero, or in a disease of
language by which statements about objects came to be understood as
stories about persons, or perhaps in a conscious allegory, or, even,
in the perversion of some ancient purer form of moral or religious
truth. But, in general, the root of myth-making is to be found in the
mental and social condition of primitive man, the confused personality
that he extended to his surroundings, and the belief in magical powers
that he conferred upon those of his tribesmen who were shrewdest and
most influential. This mental condition of the myth-maker should be
premised in all scientific explanations of myth-making.

The transition is easy from the personification of the elements of
nature and the acceptance of fictitious history to the notion of
supernatural beings presiding over, and governing, the different
objects of nature--air, fire, water, the sun, moon, and stars, the
mountains, forests, and streams--or possessing marvelous qualities of
action, passion, virtue, foresight, spirituality, and vice.

The Greeks, whose imagination was lively, peopled all nature with such
invisible inhabitants and powers. In Greece, says Wordsworth,[384]

      In that fair clime the lonely herdsman, stretched
    On the soft grass through half a summer's day,
    With music lulled his indolent repose:
    And, in some fit of weariness, if he,
    When his own breath was silent, chanced to hear
    A distant strain, far sweeter than the sounds
    Which his poor skill could make, his fancy fetched,
    Even from the blazing chariot of the sun,
    A beardless Youth, who touched a golden lute,
    And filled the illumined groves with ravishment.
    The nightly hunter, lifting a bright eye
    Up towards the crescent moon, with grateful heart
    Called on the lovely wanderer who bestowed
    That timely light, to share his joyous sport:
    And hence, a beaming Goddess with her Nymphs,
    Across the lawn and through the darksome grove,
    Not unaccompanied with tuneful notes
    By echo multiplied from rock or cave,
    Swept in the storm of chase; as moon and stars
    Glance rapidly along the clouded heaven,
    When winds are blowing strong. The traveler slaked
    His thirst from rill or gushing fount, and thanked
    The Naiad. Sunbeams, upon distant hills
    Gliding apace, with shadows in their train,
    Might, with small help from fancy, be transformed
    Into fleet Oreads sporting visibly.
    The Zephyrs, fanning, as they passed, their wings,
    Lacked not, for love, fair objects whom they wooed
    With gentle whisper. Withered boughs grotesque,
    Stripped of their leaves and twigs by hoary age,
    From depth of shaggy covert peeping forth
    In the low vale, or on steep mountain side;
    And, sometimes, intermixed with stirring horns
    Of the live deer, or goat's depending beard,--
    These were the lurking Satyrs, a wild brood
    Of gamesome deities; or Pan himself,
    The simple shepherd's awe-inspiring God.

The phases of significance and beauty through which the physical or
natural myth may develop are expressed with poetic grace by Ruskin, in
his "Queen of the Air."[385] The reader must, however, guard against
the supposition that any myth has sprung into existence fully equipped
with physical, religious, and moral import. Ruskin himself says, "To
the mean person the myth always meant little; to the noble person,
much." Accordingly, as we know, to the savage the myth was savage;
to the devotee it became religious; to the artist, beautiful; to the
philosopher, recondite and significant--in the course of centuries.

"If we seek," says Ruskin, "to ascertain the manner in which the
story first crystallized into its shape, we shall find ourselves
led back generally to one or other of two sources--either to actual
historical events, represented by the fancy under figures personifying
them, or else to natural phenomena similarly endowed with life by the
imaginative power, usually more or less under the influence of terror.
The historical myths we must leave the masters of history to follow;
they, and the events they record, being yet involved in great, though
attractive and penetrable, mystery. But the stars and hills and storms
are with us now, as they were with others of old; and it only needs
that we look at them with the earnestness of those childish eyes to
understand the first words spoken of them by the children of men. And
then, in all the most beautiful and enduring myths, we shall find not
only a literal story of a real person--not only a parallel imagery of
moral principle--but an underlying worship of natural phenomena, out
of which both have sprung, and in which both forever remain rooted.
Thus, from the real sun, rising and setting; from the real atmosphere,
calm in its dominion of unfading blue and fierce in its descent of
tempest--the Greek forms first the idea of two entirely personal and
corporeal gods (Apollo and Athena), whose limbs are clothed in divine
flesh, and whose brows are crowned with divine beauty; yet so real that
the quiver rattles at their shoulder, and the chariot bends beneath
their weight. And, on the other hand, collaterally with these corporeal
images, and never for one instant separated from them, he conceives
also two omnipresent spiritual influences, of which one illuminates,
as the sun, with a constant fire, whatever in humanity is skillful and
wise; and the other, like the living air, breathes the calm of heavenly
fortitude and strength of righteous anger into every human breast that
is pure and brave.

"Now, therefore, in nearly every [natural] myth of importance, ...
you have to discern these three structural parts--the root and the
two branches. The root, in physical existence, sun, or sky, or cloud,
or sea; then the personal incarnation of that, becoming a trusted and
companionable deity, with whom you may walk hand in hand, as a child
with its brother or its sister; and lastly, the moral significance of
the image, which is in all the great myths eternally and beneficently
true."

What Ruskin calls, above, the historical myth may be the euhemeristic
transformation of real events and personages, as of a flood and those
concerned in it; or it may be the ætiological invention of a story
to account for rituals of which the origin has been forgotten, as
of the Dionysiac revels, with their teaching of liberation from the
sordid limits of mortality. In either case, especially the latter,
the imaginative and moral significance of the historical myth has in
general developed with the advance of civilization.

Myth, in fine, whether natural, historical, or spiritual, "is not to be
regarded as mere error and folly, but as an interesting product of the
human mind. It is sham history, the fictitious narrative of events that
never happened."[386] But that is not the full statement of the case.
Myth is also actual history of early and imperfect stages of thought
and belief; it is the true narrative of unenlightened observation,
of infantine gropings after truth. Whatever reservations scholars
may make on other points, most of them will concur in these: that
some myths came into existence by a "disease of language"; that some
were invented to explain names of nations and of places, and some to
explain the existence of fossils and bones that suggested prehistoric
animals and men; that many were invented to gratify the ancestral pride
of chieftains and clans and to justify the existence of religious
and tribal ceremonials, and the common cult of departed souls, and
that very many obtained consistency and form as explanations of the
phenomena of nature, as expressions of the reverence felt for the
powers of nature, and as personifications, in general, of the passions
and the ideals of primitive mankind.[387]

FOOTNOTES:

[375] Myths and Myth-Makers, p. 18. Proper nouns have been anglicized.

[376] Ruskin, Queen of the Air.

[377] See Max Müller's Chips from a German Workshop, Science of
Religion, etc.; Cox's Aryan Myths, and numerous articles by the learned
authors of Roscher's Ausführliches Lexikon.

[378] Max Müller, Essay on Comparative Mythology, Oxford Essays, 1856;
Science of Religion, 2, 548 _n_.

[379] Andrew Lang, Myth, Ritual, and Religion, 1, 24-25, and Professor
C. P. Tiele, as cited by Lang.

[380] W. E. Gladstone, Homer and the Homeric Age; Juventus Mundi; The
Olympian Religion, _North American Review_, Feb.-May, 1892.

[381] Andrew Lang, Myth, Ritual, and Religion, 2 vols., London, 1887;
and Encyc. Brit., 9th ed., article, _Mythology_. Mannhardt, Antike
Wald-und Feldkultus, Berlin, 1877. E. B. Tylor, Anthropology; Primitive
Culture.

[382] Encyc. Brit., _Mythology_.

[383] Chr. A. Lobeck, Aglaophamus: On the Causes of Greek Mythology.
Cited by Lang.

[384] Excursion, Bk. 4.

[385] Concerning which may be accepted the verdict that Mr. Ruskin
passes upon Payne Knight's Symbolical Language of Ancient Art, "Not
trustworthy, being little more than a mass of conjectural memoranda;
but the heap is suggestive, if well sifted."

[386] E. B. Tylor, Anthropology, p. 387. New York, 1881.

[387] See also L. Preller, Griechische Mythologie, 1, 19. Max Müller,
Comparative Mythology, Oxford Essays, 1856, pp. 1-87; also Science of
Religion, 1873, pp. 335-403; Philosophy of Mythology; and Science of
Language, 7th ed., 2, 421-571. Hermann Paul, Grundriss der Germanischen
Philologie, Bd. 1, Lfg. 5, 982-995, Mythologie (von E. Mogk). W. Y.
Sellar, Augustan Poets. Louis Dyer, Studies of the Gods in Greece.
Talfourd Ely, Olympus. A. H. Petiscus, The Gods of Olympus (translated
by Katherine A. Raleigh). E. Rohde, Psyche. B. I. Wheeler, Dionysos and
Immortality.



CHAPTER XXXI

THE DISTRIBUTION OF MYTHS


=296. Theories of Resemblance.= Several theories of the appearance of
the same explanatory or æsthetic myth under various guises, in lands
remote one from another, have been advanced; but none of them fully
unveils the mystery. The difficulty lies not so much in accounting for
the similarity of thought or material in different stories, as for the
resemblance in isolated incidents and in the arrangement of incidents
or plot. The principal theories of the distribution of myths are as
follows:

(1) That the resemblances between the myths of different nations are
purely _accidental_. This theory leaves us no wiser than we were.

(2) That the stories have been _borrowed_ by one nation from another.
This will account for exchange only between nations historically
acquainted with each other. It will not account for the existence of
the same arrangement of incidents in a Greek myth and in a Polynesian
romance.

(3) That all myths, if traced chronologically backward and
geographically from land to land, will be found _to have originated_
_in India_.[388] This theory fails to account for numerous stories
current among the modern nationalities of Europe, of Africa, and of
India itself. It leaves also unexplained the existence of certain myths
in Egypt many centuries before India had any known history: such as, in
all probability, the Egyptian myth of Osiris. The theory, therefore, is
open to the objection made to the theory of borrowing.

(4) That similar myths are based upon _historical traditions_ similar
in various countries or inherited from some mother country. But,
although some historical myths may have descended from a mother race,
it has already been demonstrated (§ 294, (1)) that the historical
(euhemeristic) hypothesis is inadequate. It is, moreover, not likely
that many historical incidents, like those related in the Iliad and
the Odyssey, happened in the same order and as actual history in Asia
Minor, Ithaca, Persia, and Norway. But we find myths containing such
incidents in all these countries.[389]

(5) That the Aryan tribes (from which the Indians, Persians, Phrygians,
Greeks, Romans, Germans, Norsemen, Russians, and Celts are descended)
"started from a common center" in the highlands of Northern India, "and
that from their ancient home they must have carried away, if not the
developed myth, yet the quickening germ from which might spring leaves
and fruits, varying in form and hue according to the soil to which
it should be committed and the climate under which the plant might
reach maturity."[390] Against this theory it may be urged that stories
having only the undeveloped germ or idea in common would not, with
any probability, after they had been developed independently of each
other, possess the remarkable resemblance in details that many widely
separated myths display. Moreover, the assumption of this common stock
considers only Aryan tribes: it ignores Africans, Mongolians, American
Indians, and other peoples whose myths resemble the Aryan, but are
not traceable to the same original germ. The _Aryan germ-theory_ has,
however, the merit of explaining resemblances between many myths of
different Aryan nations.

(6) That the existence of similar incidents or situations is to
be explained as resulting from the common facts of human thought,
experience, and sentiment. This may be called the _psychological_
_theory_. It was entertained by Grimm, and goes hand in hand with the
anthropological, or "survivalist," explanation of the elements of
myth. "In the long history of mankind," says Mr. Andrew Lang, "it is
impossible to deny that stories may conceivably have spread from a
single center, and been handed on from races like the Indo-European and
Semitic to races as far removed from them in every way as the Zulus,
the Australians, the Eskimos, the natives of the South Sea Islands.
But while the possibility of the diffusion of myths by borrowing and
transmission must be allowed for, the hypothesis of the origin of myths
in the savage state of the intellect supplies a ready explanation of
their wide diffusion." Many products of early art--clay bowls and stone
weapons--are peculiar to no one national taste or skill, they are
what might have been expected of _human_ conditions and intelligence.
"Many myths may be called 'human' in this sense. They are the rough
product of the early human mind, and are not yet characterized by
the differentiations of race and culture. Such myths might spring up
anywhere among untutored men, and anywhere might survive into civilized
literature."[391]

The distribution of myth, like its origin, is inexplicable by any one
theory. The discovery of racial families and of family traditions
narrows the problem, but does not solve it. The existence of the
same story in unrelated nationalities remains a perplexing fact,
towards the explanation of which the theories of "borrowing" and of
"similar historic tradition," while plausible, are but unsubstantiated
contributions. And until we possess the earliest records of those
unrelated nationalities that have similar myths, or until we discover
monuments and log books of some commercial nation that in prehistoric
times circumnavigated the globe and deposited on remote shores and
islands the seeds of the parent mythic plant, we must accept as our
only scientific explanation the psychological, or so-called _human_,
theory:--Given similar mental condition with similar surroundings,
similar imaginative products, called myths, will result.[392]

FOOTNOTES:

[388] Benfey and Cosquin. See Lang's Myth, Ritual, and Religion, 2, 299.

[389] Lang, Myth, Ritual, and Religion, 2, 300; Cox, Mythology of the
Aryan Nations, 1, 100.

[390] The Rev. Sir G. W. Cox, Mythology of Aryan Nations, 1, 99; also,
same theory, Max Müller's Chips from a German Workshop; Andrew Lang,
Myth, Ritual, and Religion, 2, 297.

[391] Encyc. Brit., 9th ed. Article, _Mythology_. Cf. Tylor's Primitive
Culture, 1, 369; Tylor's Anthropology, p. 397.

[392] See T. C. Johnston's Did the Ph[oe]nicians Discover America? 1892.



CHAPTER XXXII

THE PRESERVATION OF MYTHS


=297. Traditional History.= Before the introduction of writing, myths
were preserved in popular traditions, in the sacred ceremonials
of colleges of priests, in the narratives chanted by families of
minstrels or by professional bards wandering from village to village
or from court to court, and in occasional hymns sung by privileged
harpists, like Demodocus of Phæacia,[393] in honor of a chieftain, an
ancestor, or a god. Many of these early bards are mere names to us.
Most of them are probably as mythical as the songs with which they are
accredited. The following is a brief account of mythical prophets, of
mythical musicians and poets, and of the actual poets and historians
who recorded the mythologies from which English literature draws its
classical myths,--the Greek, the Roman, the Norse, and the German.

=298. In Greece.= (1) _Mythical Prophets._ To some of the oldest bards
was attributed the gift of prophecy. Indeed, nearly every expedition of
mythology was accompanied by one of these seers, priests, or "medicine
men," as we might call them.

_Melampus_ was the first Greek said to be endowed with prophetic
powers. Before his house there stood an oak tree containing a serpent's
nest. The old serpents were killed by the slaves, but Melampus saved
the young ones. One day when he was asleep under the oak, the serpents
licked his ears with their tongues, enabling him to understand the
language of birds and creeping things.[394] At one time his enemies
seized and imprisoned him. But Melampus, in the silence of the night,
heard from the woodworms in the timbers that the supports of the house
were nearly eaten through and the roof would soon fall in. He told
his captors. They took his warning, escaped destruction, rewarded the
prophet, and held him in high honor.

Other famous soothsayers were Amphiaraüs, who took part in the War
of the Seven against Thebes; Calchas, who accompanied the Greeks
during the Trojan War; Helenus and Cassandra, of King Priam's family,
who prophesied for the Trojan forces; Tiresias, the blind prophet of
Thebes; and Mopsus, who attended the Argonauts. The stories of these
expeditions are given in preceding chapters.

(2) _Mythical Musicians and Poets._ Since the poets of antiquity sang
their stories or hymns to an accompaniment of their own upon the harp
or lyre, they were skilled in the art of music as well as in that of
verse.

_Orpheus_, whose adventures have been narrated, passes in tradition for
the oldest of Greek lyrists, and the special favorite, even the son,
of the god Apollo, patron of musicians. This Thracian bard is said to
have taught mysterious truths concerning the origin of things and the
immortality of the soul. But the fragments of Orphic hymns which are
attributed to him are probably the work of philosophers of a much later
period in Greek literature.

Another Thracian bard, _Thamyris_, is said in his presumption to have
challenged the Muses to a trial of skill. Conquered in the contest,
he was deprived of his sight. To _Musæus_, the son of Orpheus, was
attributed a hymn on the Eleusinian mysteries, and other sacred poems
and oracles. Milton couples his name with that of Orpheus:

    But, O sad Virgin! that thy power
    Might raise Musæus from his bower,
    Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing
    Such notes as, warbled to the string,
    Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek,
    And made Hell grant what love did seek.[395]

Other legendary bards or musicians were Linus, Marsyas, and Amphion.

(3) _The Poets of Mythology._ _Homer_, from whose poems of the Iliad
and Odyssey we have taken the chief part of our chapters on the Trojan
War and the return of the Grecians, is almost as mythical a personage
as the heroes he celebrates. The traditionary story is that he was a
wandering minstrel, blind and old, who traveled from place to place
singing his lays to the music of his harp, in the courts of princes or
the cottages of peasants,--a dependent upon the voluntary offerings of
his hearers. Byron calls him "the blind old man of Scio's rocky isle";
and a well-known epigram, alluding to the uncertainty of the fact of
his birthplace, runs:

    Seven wealthy towns contend for Homer dead,
    Through which the living Homer begged his bread.

These seven places were Smyrna, Chios (now Scio), Colophon, Ithaca,
Pylos, Argos, and Athens.

Modern scholars have doubted whether the Homeric poems are the work of
any single mind. This uncertainty arises, in part, from the difficulty
of believing that poems of such length could have been committed to
writing in the age usually assigned to these, when materials capable of
transmitting long productions were not yet in use. On the other hand,
it is asked how poems of such length could have been handed down from
age to age by means of the memory alone. This question is answered by
the statement that there was a professional body of men whose business
it was to commit to memory and rehearse for pay the national and
patriotic legends.

Pisistratus of Athens ordered a commission of scholars (about 537 B.C.)
to collect and revise the Homeric poems; and it is probable that at
that time certain passages of the Iliad and Odyssey, as we now have
them, were interpolated. Beside the Iliad and the Odyssey, many other
epics passed in antiquity under Homer's name. The so-called Homeric
Hymns to the gods, which were composed by various poets after the
death of Homer, are a source of valuable information concerning the
attributes of the divinities addressed.

The date assigned to Homer, on the authority of Herodotus, is 850 B.C.
The preservation and further fashioning of myths fell, after Homer's
time, into the hands of the Rhapsodists, who chanted epic songs, and
of the Cyclic poets, who elaborated into various epic _circles_, or
completed wholes, neglected traditions of the Trojan War. Among these
cyclic poems were the Cyprian Lays, which related the beginnings of
the Trojan War and the first nine years of the siege, thus leading up
to the Iliad; the Æthiopis, which continued the Iliad and told of the
death of Achilles; the Little Iliad and the Iliupersis, which narrated
the fall of Troy and magnified the exploits of Ajax and Philoctetes;
and the Nostoi, or Home-Comings, which told the adventures of various
Greek heroes during the period of ten years between the end of the
Iliad and the beginning of the Odyssey. Most of these poems were once
attributed to Homer. They are all lost, but the names of some of their
authors survive. There was also a cycle which told of the two wars
against Thebes.

_Hesiod_ is, like Homer, one of the most important sources of our
knowledge of Greek mythology. He is thought by some to have been a
contemporary of Homer, but concerning the relative dates of the two
poets there is no certainty. Hesiod was born in Ascra in B[oe]otia;
he spent his youth as a shepherd on Mount Helicon, his manhood in the
neighborhood of Corinth, and wrote two great poems, the Works and
Days, and the Theogony, or Genealogy of the Gods. From the former we
obtain a connected account of Greek traditions concerning the primitive
commodities of life, the arts of agriculture and navigation, the sacred
calendar, and the various prehistoric ages. From the latter poem we
learn the Greek mythology of the creation of the world, the family of
the gods, their wars, and their attitude toward primeval man. While
Hesiod may have composed his works at a somewhat later period than
Homer, it is noteworthy that his stories of the gods have more of the
savage or senseless element than those attributed to Homer. The artist,
or artists, of the Iliad and the Odyssey seem to have refined the
stories into poetic gold; Hesiod has gathered them in the ore, like so
many specimens for a museum.

A company of _Lyric Poets_, of whom Stesichorus (620 B.C.), Alcæus
(611 B.C.), Sappho (610 B.C.), Arion (600 B.C.), Simonides of Ceos
(556 B.C.), Ibycus (540 B.C.), Anacreon (530 B.C.), and Pindar (522
B.C.) are the most prominent, have contributed much to our knowledge of
mythology. They have left us hymns to the gods, references to mythical
heroes, and accounts of more or less pathetic legendary adventures.

Of the works of _Sappho_ few fragments remain, but they establish her
claim to eminent poetical genius. Her story is frequently alluded
to. Being passionately in love with a beautiful youth named Phaon,
and failing to obtain a return of affection, she is said to have
thrown herself from the promontory of Leucadia into the sea, under a
superstition that those who should take that "Lover's Leap" would, if
not destroyed, be cured of their love.

Of _Arion_ the greatest work was a dithyramb or choral hymn to the god
of wine. It is said that his music and song were of such sweetness as
to charm the monsters of the sea; and that when thrown overboard on
one occasion by avaricious seamen, he was borne safely to land by an
admiring dolphin. Spenser represents Arion, mounted on his dolphin,
accompanying the train of Neptune and Amphitrite:

      Then was there heard a most celestial sound
      Of dainty music, which did next ensue
      Before the spouse: that was Arion crowned
      Who, playing on his harp, unto him drew
      The ears and hearts of all that goodly crew;
      That even yet the dolphin which him bore
      Through the Ægean seas from pirates' view,
      Stood still by him astonished at his lore,
    And all the raging seas for joy forgot to roar.[396]

_Simonides_ was one of the most prolific of the early poets of Greece,
but only a few fragments of his compositions have descended to us.
He wrote hymns, triumphal odes, and elegies, and in the last species
of composition he particularly excelled. His genius was inclined to
the pathetic; none could touch with truer effect the chords of human
sympathy. The Lamentation of Danaë, the most important of the fragments
which remain of his poetry, is based upon the tradition that Danaë and
her infant son were confined by order of her father Acrisius in a chest
and set adrift on the sea. The myth of her son, Perseus, has already
been narrated.

Myths received their freest and perhaps most ideal treatment at the
hands of the greatest lyric poet of Greece, _Pindar_ (522 B.C.). In his
hymns and songs of praise to gods and in his odes composed for the
victors in the national athletic contests, he was accustomed to use the
mythical exploits of Greek heroes as a text from which to draw morals
appropriate to the occasion.[397]

The three great _Tragic Poets_ of Greece have handed down to us a
wealth of mythological material. From the plays of _Æschylus_ (525
B.C.) we gather, among other noble lessons, the fortunes of the
family of Agamemnon, the narrative of the expedition against Thebes,
the sufferings of Prometheus, benefactor of men. In the tragedies of
_Sophocles_ (495 B.C.) we have a further account of the family of
Agamemnon, myths of [OE]dipus of Thebes and his children, stories
connected with the Trojan War, and the last adventure and the death of
Hercules. Of the dramas of _Euripides_ (480 B.C.) there remain to us
seventeen, in which are found stories of the daughters of Agamemnon,
the rare and beautiful narrative of Alcestis, and the adventures of
Medea. All of these stories have been recounted in their proper places.

The _Comedies of Aristophanes_, also, are replete with matters of
mythological import.

Of the later poets of mythology, only two need be mentioned
here,--_Apollonius_ of Rhodes (194 B.C.), who wrote in frigid style
the story of Jason's Voyage for the Golden Fleece; and _Theocritus_ of
Sicily (270 B.C.), whose rural idyls are at once charmingly natural and
romantic.[398]

(4) _Historians of Mythology._ The earliest narrators in prose of
the myths, legends and genealogies of Greece lived about 600 B.C.
Herodotus, the "father of history" (484 B.C.), embalms various myths
in his account of the conflicts between Asia and Greece. Apollodorus
(140 B.C.) gathers the legends of Greece later incorporated in the
Library of Greek Mythology. That delightful traveler, Pausanias, makes
special mention, in his Tour of Greece, of the sacred customs and
legends that had maintained themselves as late as his time (160 A.D.).
Lucian, in his Dialogues of the Gods and Dialogues of the Dead, awakens
"inextinguishable laughter" by his satire on ancient faith and fable.

=299. Roman Poets of Mythology.= _Virgil_, called also by his surname,
Maro, from whose poem of the Æneid we have taken the story of Æneas,
was one of the great poets who made the age of the Roman emperor,
Augustus, celebrated. Virgil was born in Mantua in the year 70 B.C.
His great poem is ranked next to those of Homer, in that noble class
of poetical composition, the epic. Virgil is inferior to Homer in
originality and invention. The Æneid, written in an age of culture and
science, lacks that charming atmosphere of belief which invests the
naïve, or _popular_, epic. The myths concerning the founding of Rome,
which Virgil has received from earlier writers, he has here fused
into a _literary_ epic. But what the Æneid lacks of epic simplicity,
it makes up in patriotic spirit, in lofty moral and civic ideals, in
correctness of taste, and in stylistic form.

_Ovid_, often alluded to in poetry by his other name, Naso, was born
in the year 43 B.C. He was educated for public life and held some
offices of considerable dignity; but poetry was his delight, and he
early resolved to cultivate it. He accordingly sought the society of
contemporary poets and was acquainted with Horace and saw Virgil,
though the latter died when Ovid was yet too young and undistinguished
to have formed his acquaintance. Ovid spent an easy life at Rome
in the enjoyment of a competent income. He was intimate with the
family of Augustus, the emperor; and it is supposed that some serious
offense given to a member of that family was the cause of an event
which reversed the poet's happy circumstances and clouded the latter
portion of his life. At the age of fifty he was banished from Rome
and ordered to betake himself to Tomi on the borders of the Black
Sea. His only consolation in exile was to address his wife and absent
friends. His letters were all in verse. They are called the "Tristia,"
or Sorrows, and Letters from Pontus. The two great works of Ovid are
his "Metamorphoses" or Transformations, and his "Fasti," or Poetic
Calendar. They are both mythological poems, and from the former we have
taken many of our stories of Grecian and Roman mythology. These poems
have thus been characterized:

"The rich mythology of Greece furnished Ovid, as it may still furnish
the poet, the painter, and the sculptor, with materials for his art.
With exquisite taste, simplicity, and pathos he has narrated the
fabulous traditions of early ages, and given to them that appearance of
reality which only a master hand could impart. His pictures of nature
are striking and true; he selects with care that which is appropriate;
he rejects the superfluous, and when he has completed his work, it is
neither defective nor redundant. The 'Metamorphoses' are read with
pleasure by the young and old of every civilized land."

In an incidental manner, _Horace_, the prince of Roman lyric poets,
and the lyric and elegiac writers, _Catullus_, _Tibullus_, and
_Propertius_, have liberally increased our knowledge of Greek and Roman
myth.[399]

_Seneca_, the teacher of Nero, is best known for his philosophical
treatises; but he wrote, also, tragedies, the materials of which
are well-known Greek legends. _Apuleius_, born in Africa, 114 A.D.,
interests us as the compiler of a clever romance, The Golden Ass;[400]
the most pleasing episode of which, the story of Cupid and Psyche, has
been elsewhere related.[401]

=300. Records of Norse Mythology.=[402] A system of mythology of
especial interest,--as belonging to the race from which we, through
our English ancestors, derive our origin,--is that of the Norsemen,
who inhabited the countries now known as Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and
Iceland. Their mythological lore has been transmitted by means of
Runes, Skaldic poems, the Eddas, and the Sagas.

_The Runes._ The earliest method of writing prevalent among the
Norsemen was by runes. The word means _hidden lore_, or _mystery_.
The earliest runes were merely fanciful signs supposed to possess
mysterious power. As a synonym for _writing_, the term was first
applied to the Northern alphabet, itself derived from ancient Greek
and Roman coins. Of the old Scandinavian runes several specimens have
been found--one an inscription on a golden horn of the third or fourth
century A.D., which was dug up in Schleswig a hundred and sixty years
ago; another, on a stone at Tune in Norway. From such an alphabet the
Anglo-Saxon runes were derived. Inscriptions in later Scandinavian
runes have been discovered in Sweden, Denmark, and the Isle of Man.
The characters are of the stiff and angular form necessitated by the
materials on which they were inscribed,--tombstones, spoons, chairs,
oars, and so forth.[403] It is doubtful whether mythological poems were
ever written in this way; dedications to pagan deities, ditties of the
eleventh century, and love-spells have, however, been found.

_The Skaldic Poems._ The bards and poets of the Norsemen were the
Skalds. They were the depositaries of whatever historic lore there
was; and it was their office to mingle something of intellectual
gratification with the rude feasts of the warriors, by rehearsing,
with such accompaniments of poetry and music as their skill could
afford, the exploits of heroes living or dead. Such songs were called
Drapas. The origin of Skaldic poetry is lost in mythic or prehistoric
darkness, but the Skalds of Iceland continued to play a most important
part in the literary development of the north as late as the end of the
fourteenth century. Without their coöperation, the greater part of the
songs and sagas of genuine antiquity could hardly have reached us. The
Skaldic diction, which was polished to an artistic extreme, with its
pagan metaphors and similes retained its supremacy over literary form
even after the influence of Christianity had revolutionized national
thought.[404]

_The Eddas._ The chief mythological records of the Norse are the Eddas
and the Sagas. The word _Edda_ has usually been connected with the
Icelandic for _great-grandmother_;[405] it has also been regarded
as a corruption of the High German _Erda_, Mother Earth, from whom,
according to the lay in which the word first occurs, the earliest
race of mankind sprang,[406]--or as the _point_ or _head_ of Norse
poetry,[407] or as a tale concerned with _death_,[408] or as derived
from Odde, the home of the reputed collector of the Elder Edda. But,
of recent years, scholars have looked with most favor upon a derivation
from the Icelandic _óðr_, which means mind, or poetry.[409] There are
two Icelandic collections called Eddas: Snorri's and Sæmund's. Until
the year 1643 the name was applied to a book, principally in prose,
containing Mythical Tales, a Treatise on the Poetic Art and Diction, a
Poem on Meters, and a Rhymed Glossary of Synonyms, with an appendix of
minor treatises on grammar and rhetoric--the whole intended as a guide
for poets. Although a note in the Upsala manuscript, of date about 1300
A.D., asserted that this work was "put together" by Snorri Sturlason,
who lived 1178-1241, the world was not informed of the fact until 1609,
when Arngrim Johnsson made the announcement in his Constitutional
History of Iceland.[410] While the main treatises on the poetic art
are, in general, Snorri's, the treatises on grammar and rhetoric have
been, with more or less certitude, assigned to other writers of the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries. It is probable, too, that in the
Mythical Tales, or the Delusion of Gylfi, Snorri merely enlarged and
edited with poetical illustrations the work of earlier hands. The poets
of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries do not speak of Snorri, but
they refer continually to the "rules of Edda," and frequently to the
obscurity and the conventionality of Eddic phraseology, figures, and
art. Even at the present day in Iceland it is common to hear the term
"void of Eddic art," or "a bungler in Eddic art." A rearrangement of
Snorri's Edda, by Magnus Olafsson (1574-1636), is much better known
than the original work.

In 1642, Bishop Bryniolf Sveinsson discovered a manuscript of the
mythological poems of Iceland. Misled by theories of his own and
by a fanciful suggestion of the famous antiquary Biorn of Scardsa,
he attributed the composition of these poems to Sæmund the Wise, a
historian who lived 1056-1133. Henceforth, consequently, Snorri's
work is called the Younger, or Prose Edda, in contradistinction to
Bryniolf's find, which is known as the Elder, the Poetical Edda, or the
Edda of Sæmund. The oldest manuscript of the Poetical Edda is of the
thirteenth century. Its contents were probably collected not later
than 1150. The composition of the poems cannot well be placed earlier
than the ninth or tenth centuries after Christ; and a consideration
of the habits, laws, geography, and vocabulary illustrated by the
poems leads eminent scholars to assign the authorship to emigrants
of the south Norwegian tribes who, sailing westward, "won Waterford
and Limerick, and kinged it in York and East England."[411] The poems
are Icelandic, however, in their general character and history. They
are principally of heroic and mythical import: such as the stories of
Balder's Fate, of Skirnir's Journey, of Thor's Hammer, of Helgi the
Hunding's Bane, and the twenty lays that in fragmentary fashion tell
the eventful history of the Volsungs and the Nibelungs.[412]

_The Sagas._ The Eddas contain many myths and mythical features that
contradict the national character of both Germans and Norsemen, but
the sagas have their roots in Norse civilization and are national
property.[413] Of these mythic-heroic prose compositions the most
important to us is the Volsunga Saga, which was put together probably
in the twelfth century and is based in part upon the poems of the Elder
Edda, in part upon floating traditions, and in part upon popular songs
that now are lost.[414]

=301. Records of German Mythology.=[412] The story of the Volsungs
and the Nibelungs springs from mythological sources common to the
whole Teutonic race. Two distinct versions of the saga survive,--the
Low or North German, which we have already noticed in the lays of
the Elder Edda and in the Norse Volsunga Saga, and the High or South
German, which has been preserved in German folk songs and in the
Nibelungenlied, or Lay of the Nibelungs, that has grown out of them.
The Norse form of the story exhibits a later survival of the credulous,
or myth-making, mental condition. The Lay of the Nibelungs absorbed, at
an earlier date, historical elements, and began sooner to restrict the
personality of its heroes within the compass of human limitations.[415]

Although there are many manuscripts, or fragments of manuscripts, of
the Nibelungenlied that attest its popularity between the thirteenth
and sixteenth centuries, it was not until the Swiss critic, J. J.
Bodmer, published, in 1757, portions of two ancient poems, "The
Revenge of Kriemhild" and "The Lament over the Heroes of Etzel,"
that the attention of modern scholars was called to this famous
German epic. Since that time many theories of the composition of the
Nibelungenlied have been advanced. It has been held by some that the
German epic is an adaptation of the Norse version;[416] by others,
that the Scandinavians, not the Germans, borrowed the story; and by
others still, that the epics, while proceeding from a common cradle,
are of independent growth. The last theory is the most tenable.[417]
Concerning the history of the Nibelungenlied, it has been maintained
that since, during the twelfth century, when no poet would adopt
any other poet's stanzaic form, the Austrian Von Kürenberg used the
stanzaic form of the Nibelungenlied, the epic must be his.[418] It
has also been urged that the poem, having been written down about
1140, was altered in metrical form by younger poets, until, in 1200 or
thereabouts, it assumed the form preserved in the latest of the three
great manuscripts.[419] But the theory advanced by Lachmann is still
of great value: that the poem consists of a number of ancient ballads
of various age and uneven worth; and that, about 1210, a collector,
mending some of the ballads to suit himself, strung them together on a
thread of his own invention.

In fine, the materials of the poem would persuade us not only of
its origin in very ancient popular lays, but of their fusion and
improvement by the imaginative effort of at least one, and probably
of several poets, who lived and wrote between 1120 and 1200 A.D. The
metrical structure, also, would indicate derivation from the German
folk song and modification due to multifarious handling on the part of
popular minstrels and poets of written verse.[420]

=302. Records of Oriental Mythology: Egyptian.=[421] Although
the myths of Egypt, India, and Persia are of intense interest and
importance, they have not materially affected English literature. The
following is, however, a brief outline of the means by which some of
them have been preserved.

The Egyptian records are (1) _The Hieroglyphs_, or sacred inscriptions
in Tombs of the Kings, and other solemn places,--conveying ideas by
symbols, by phonetic signs, or by both; (2) _The Sacred Papyri_,
containing hymns to the gods; (3) _The_ _Books of the Dead_ and of the
_Lower Hemisphere_,--devoted to necromantic incantations, prayers for
the souls of the departed, and other rituals.

=303. Indian Records.= (1) _The Vedas_, or Holy Scriptures of the
Hindus, which fall into four divisions. The most ancient, the Rig-Veda,
consists of hymns of an elevated and spiritual character composed by
families of Rishis, or psalmists, as far back, perhaps, as 3000 B.C.,
not later than 1400 B.C. They give us the religious conceptions of
the Aryans when they crossed the Himalayas and began to push toward
Southern Hindustan. The Sama-Veda is a book of solemn chants and
tunes. The Yajur-Veda comprises prayers for sacrificial occasions,
and interpretations of the same. The Atharva-Veda shows, as might be
expected of the youngest of the series, the influence upon the purer
Aryan creed of superstitions borrowed, perhaps, from the aboriginal
tribes of India. It contains spells for exorcising demons and placating
them.

(2) _The Indian Epics_ of classical standing. They are the Mahâbhârata
and the Râmâyana. Scholars differ as to the chronological precedence.
The Great Feud of the Bhâratas has the air of superior antiquity
because of the numerous hands and generations that have contributed
to its composition. The Adventures of Râma, on the other hand,
recalls a more primitive stage of credulity and of savage invention.
The Mahâbhârata is a storehouse of mythical tradition. It contains
several well-rounded epic poems, the most beautiful of which is the
Episode of Nala,--a prince who, succumbing to a weakness common to
his contemporaries, has gambled away his kingdom. The Great Feud of
the Bhâratas is, indeed, assigned to an author--but his name, Vyâsa,
means simply the Arranger. The Râmâyana purports to have been written
by the poet Vâlmîki. It tells how Sita, the wife of Prince Râma, is
carried off to Ceylon by Râvana, king of the demons, and how Râma, by
the aid of an army of monkeys, bridges the straits between India and
Ceylon and, slaying the demon, recovers his lovely and innocent wife.
The resemblance between the plot and that of the Iliad has inclined
some scholars to derive the Indian from the Greek epic. But, until the
relative antiquity of the poems is established, the Iliad might as well
be derived from the Râmâyana. The theory is unsubstantiated. These
epics of India lack the artistic spirit and grace of the Iliad and the
Odyssey, but they display a keener sympathy with nature and a more
romantic appreciation of the loves and sorrows of mankind.

=304. Persian Records.= _The Avesta_, or Sacred Book of the ancient
Persians, composed in the Zend language and later translated into
medieval Persian,--or Pahlavi,--contains the Gáthás, or hymns of
Zoroaster and his contemporaries, and scriptures of as recent a date
as the fifth century B.C. Zoroaster, a holy man of God, was the
founder or the reformer of the Persian religion. He lived as early
as the fourteenth or fifteenth century B.C., and his system became
the dominant religion of Western Asia from the time of Cyrus (550
B.C.) to the conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great. The teachings
of Zoroaster are characterized by beautiful simplicity, and by an
unwavering faith in the ultimate victory of righteousness (Ormuzd) over
evil (Ahriman).

FOOTNOTES:

[393] Odyssey 8, 250.

[394] Cf. the experience of Sigurd.

[395] Il Penseroso, II. 103-108.

[396] _Faerie Queene_, 4, 11, 23.

[397] See E. B. Clapp, Greek Morality and Religion as Set forth by
Pindar (_Hibbert Journal_, 8, 283).

[398] For other authorities and for a few standard translations of the
Greek Classics, see Commentary, § 298.

[399] With regard to translations of these and other Latin poets, see
Commentary, § 299.

[400] Based upon Lucian's Lucius or the Ass, and other Greek stories.

[401] Translation in Walter Pater's Marius the Epicurean.

[402] For literature, see Commentary.

[403] Cleasby and Vigfusson's Icelandic-English Dictionary.

[404] F. W. Horn's Geschichte d. Literatur d. Skandinavischen Nordens,
27-42.

[405] Cleasby and Vigfusson's Dictionary; Lüning's Die Edda, 1859.

[406] The Lay of Rig in Snorri's Edda; Vigfusson and Powell's Corpus
Poeticum Boreale, 2, 514.

[407] Jacob Grimm.

[408] The Celtic _aideadh_: Professor Rhys, _Academy_, January 31, 1880.

[409] Arne Magnússon, see Morley's English Writers, 2, 336, and
Murray's New English Dictionary.

[410] Corpus Poeticum Boreale, 1; xxvii, etc.

[411] Corpus Poeticum Boreale, 1; lxxi; lxiii-lxiv.

[412] For literature, see Commentary.

[413] Paul's Grundriss d. Germanischen Philologie: Bd. 1, Lfg. 5,
_Mythologie_.

[414] Morris and Magnusson's The Story of the Volsungs and Nibelungs.
Horn's Geschichte d. Literatur d. Skandinavischen Nordens, 27-42, 58,
etc.

[415] Werner Hahn, Das Nibelungenlied.

[416] The Grimm Brothers; v. d. Hagen; Vilmar.

[417] Werner Hahn; Jas. Sime, Encyc. Brit. _Nibelungenlied_.

[418] Pfeiffer.

[419] Bartsch, see Encyc. Brit.

[420] Werner Hahn, 18, 58-60.

[421] For translations of Oriental Myths, see Commentary. For mythical
personages, see Index and Dictionary.



COMMENTARY[422]

    [It is hoped that this Commentary may be useful to general
    readers, to students of art, and to teachers in the secondary
    schools, as well as to pupils. The cross references are always to
    sections; and the section numbers correspond with those of the
    text in the body of the book. The letter C. prefixed to a number
    indicates Commentary.]


=3. Chaos=: a gap. Compare the "Beginning Gap" of Norse mythology.
=Eros=: a yearning. =Erebus=: black, from root meaning _to cover_.

=4. Uranus= (Greek _Ouranos_) corresponds with the name of the Indian
divinity Varunas, root _var_, 'to cover.' Uranus is the starry vault
that covers the earth; Varunas became the rain-giving sky. =Titan=: the
honorable, powerful; the king; later, the signification was limited to
the sun. =Oceanus= probably means _flood_. =Tethys=: the nourisher,
nurse. =Hyperion=: the wanderer on high;[423] the sun. =Thea=: the
beautiful, shining; the moon. She is called by Homer Euryphaëssa, the
far-shining. =Iapetus=: the sender, hurler, wounder. =Themis=: that
which is established, law. =Mnemosyne=: memory. Other Titans were
C[oe]us and Ph[oe]be, figurative of the radiant lights of heaven; Creüs
and Eurybië, mighty powers, probably of the sea; Ophion, the great
serpent, and Eurynome, the far-ruling, who, according to Apollonius
of Rhodes, held sway over the Titans until Cronus cast them into the
Ocean, or into Tartarus.

=Cronus= (Greek _Kronos_) is, as his name shows, the god of ripening,
harvest, maturity. =Rhea= comes from Asia Minor, and was there
worshiped as the Mother Earth, dwelling creative among the mountains.
Cronus (_Kronos_) has been naturally, but wrongly, identified with
Chronos, the personification of _Time_, which, as it brings all
things to an end, devours its own offspring; and also with the Latin
Saturn, who, as a god of agriculture and harvest, was represented with
pruning-knife in hand, and regarded as the lord of an ancient golden
age.

The three =Cyclopes= were Brontes, Steropes, and Arges. Cyclops means
the round-eyed. The =Hecatonchires= were Briareus, the strong, called
also Ægæon; Cottus, the striker; Gyes, or Gyges, the vaulter, or
crippler. Gyges is called by Horace (Carm. 2, 17, 14) Centimanus,--the
hundred-handed.

=_Illustrative._= Milton, in Paradise Lost, 10, 581, refers to the
tradition of Ophion and Eurynome, who "had first the rule of high
Olympus, thence by Saturn driven." =Hyperion=: see Shakespeare's
Hamlet, "Hyperion's curls, the front of Jove himself." Also Henry V,
IV, i; Troilus and Cressida, II, iii; Titus Andronicus, V, iii; Gray,
Progress of Poesy, "Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts
of war"; Spenser, Prothalamion, "Hot Titans beames." On =Oceanus=,
Ben Jonson, Neptune's Triumph. On =Saturn=, see Shakespeare, Much Ado
About Nothing, I, iii; 2 Henry IV, II, iv; Cymbeline, II, v; Titus
Andronicus, II, iii; IV, iii; Milton, Paradise Lost, 1. 512, 519, 583,
and Il Penseroso, 24. See Robert Buchanan, Cloudland, "One like a Titan
cold," etc.; Keats, Hyperion; B. W. Procter, The Fall of Saturn.

=_In Art._= Helios (Hyperion) rising from the sea: sculpture of eastern
pediment of the frieze of the Parthenon (British Museum). Mnemosyne: D.
G. Rossetti (crayons and oil).

=5.= Homer makes Zeus (Jupiter) the oldest of the sons of Cronus;
Hesiod makes him the youngest, in accordance with a widespread savage
custom which makes the youngest child heir in chief.--LANG, Myth,
Ritual, etc., 1, 297. According to other legends Zeus was born in
Arcadia, or even in Epirus at Dodona, where was his sacred grove. He
was in either case reared by the nymphs of the locality. According to
Hesiod, Theog. 730, he was born in a cave of Mount Dicte, in Crete.

=6. Atlas=, according to other accounts, was not doomed to support the
heavens until after his encounter with Perseus.

=8.= See Milton's Hymn on the Nativity, "Not =Typhon= huge ending in
snaky twine." The monster is also called Typhoeus (Hesiod, Theog.
1137). The name means _to smoke_, _to burn_. The monster personifies
fiery vapors proceeding from subterranean places. Other famous =Giants=
were Mimas, Polybotes, Ephialtes, Rh[oe]tus, Clytius. See Preller,
1, 60. Briareus (really a Centimanus) is frequently ranked among the
giants.

=_Illustrative._= Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, I, ii; Milton,
Paradise Lost, 1, 199, and Hymn on the Nativity, 226; M. Arnold,
Empedocles, Act 2; Pope, Dunciad, 4, 66. For giants, in general, see
Milton, Paradise Lost, 3, 464; 11. 642, 688; Samson Agonistes, 148.

=10-15. Prometheus=: forethought.[424] =Epimetheus=: afterthought.
According to Æschylus (Prometheus Bound) the doom of Zeus (Jupiter) was
only contingent. If he should refuse to set Prometheus free and should,
therefore, ignorant of the secret, wed Thetis, of whom it was known to
Prometheus that her son should be greater than his father, then Zeus
would be dethroned. If, however, Zeus himself delivered Prometheus,
that Titan would reveal his secret and Zeus would escape both the
marriage and its fateful result. The Prometheus Unbound of Æschylus
is lost; but its name indicates that in the sequel the Titan is freed
from his chains. And from hints in the Prometheus Bound we gather
that this liberation was to come about in the way mentioned above,
Prometheus warning Zeus to marry Thetis to Peleus (whose son, Achilles,
proved greater than his father,--see =191=); or by the intervention
of Hercules who was to be descended in the thirteenth generation from
Zeus and Io (see =161= and =C. 149=); or by the voluntary sacrifice
of the Centaur Chiron, who, when Zeus should hurl Prometheus and his
rock into Hades, was destined to substitute himself for the Titan,
and so by vicarious atonement to restore him to the life of the upper
world. In Shelley's great drama of Prometheus Unbound, the Zeus of
tyranny and ignorance and superstition is overthrown by Reason, the
gift of Prometheus to mankind. =Sicyon= (or Mecone): a city of the
Peloponnesus, near Corinth.

_=Illustrative.=_ Milton, Paradise Lost, "More lovely than =Pandora=
whom the gods endowed with all their gifts." Shakespeare, Titus
Andronicus, II, i, 16.

_=Poems.=_ D. G. Rossetti, Pandora; Longfellow, Masque of Pandora,
Prometheus, and Epimetheus; Thos. Parnell, Hesiod, or the Rise of
Woman. =Prometheus=, by Byron, Lowell, H. Coleridge, Robert Bridges;
Prometheus Bound, by Mrs. Browning; translations of Æschylus,
Prometheus Bound, Augusta Webster, E. H. Plumptre; Shelley, Prometheus
Unbound; R. H. Horne, Prometheus, the Fire-bringer; E. Myers, The
Judgment of Prometheus; George Cabot Lodge, Herakles, a drama. See
Byron's Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte. =The Golden Age=: Chaucer, The
Former Age (_Ætas Prima_); Milton, Hymn on the Nativity.

_=In Art.=_ Ancient: Prometheus Unbound, vase picture (Monuments
Inédits, Rome and Paris). Modern: Thorwaldsen's sculpture, Minerva and
Prometheus. Pandora: Sichel (oil), Rossetti (crayons and oil), F. S.
Church (water colors).

=16. Dante= (_Durante_) =degli Alighieri= was born in Florence, 1265.
Banished by his political opponents, 1302, he remained in exile
until his death, which took place in Ravenna, 1321. His Vita Nuova
(New Life), recounting his ideal love for Beatrice Portinari, was
written between 1290 and 1300; his great poem, the Divina Commedia
(the Divine Comedy) consisting of three parts,--Inferno, Purgatorio,
Paradiso,--during the years of his exile. Of the Divine Comedy, says
Lowell, "It is the real history of a brother man, of a tempted,
purified, and at last triumphant human soul." =John Milton= (b. 1608)
was carried by the stress of the civil war, 1641-1649, away from
poetry, music, and the art which he had sedulously cultivated, into
the stormy sea of politics and war. Perhaps the severity of his later
sonnets and the sublimity of his Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained,
and Samson Agonistes are the fruit of the stern years of controversy
through which he lived, not as a poet, but as a statesman and a
pamphleteer. =Cervantes= (1547-1616), the author of the greatest
of Spanish romances, Don Quixote. His life was full of adventure,
privation, suffering, with but brief seasons of happiness and renown.
He distinguished himself at the battle of Lepanto, 1571; but in 1575,
being captured by Algerine cruisers, he remained five years in harsh
captivity. After his return to Spain he was neglected by those in
power. For full twenty years he struggled for his daily bread. Don
Quixote was published in and after 1605. =Corybantes=: the priests of
Cybele, whose festivals were violent, and whose worship consisted of
dances and noise suggestive of battle.

=18. Astræa= was placed among the stars as the constellation Virgo, the
virgin. Her mother was Themis (Justice). Astræa holds aloft a pair of
scales, in which she weighs the conflicting claims of parties. The old
poets prophesied a return of these goddesses and of the Golden Age. See
also Pope's Messiah,--

    All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud shall fail,
    Returning Justice lift aloft her scale:

and Milton's Hymn on the Nativity, 14, 15. In Paradise Lost, 4, 998 _et
seq._, is a different conception of the golden scales, "betwixt Astræa
and the Scorpion sign." Emerson moralizes the myth in his Astræa.

=19-20. _Illustrative._= B. W. Procter, The Flood of Thessaly. See
Ovid's famous narrative of the Four Ages and the Flood, Metamorphoses,
1, 89-415. =Deucalion=: Bayard Taylor, Prince Deukalion; Milton,
Paradise Lost, 11, 12.

_=Interpretative.=_ This myth combines two stories of the origin of
the Hellenes, or indigenous Greeks,--one, in accordance with which the
Hellenes, as earthborn, claimed descent from Pyrrha (the red earth);
the other and older, by which Deucalion was represented as the only
survivor of the flood, but still the founder of the race (Greek laós),
which he created by casting stones (Greek lâes) behind him. The myth,
therefore, proceeds from an unintended pun. Although, finally, Pyrrha
was by myth-makers made the wife of Deucalion, the older myth of the
origin of the race from stones was preserved. See Max Müller, Sci.
Relig., London, 1873, p. 64.

=21.= For genealogy of the race of Inachus, Phoroneus, Pelasgus, and
Io, see Table D. Pelasgus is frequently regarded as the grandson, not
the son, of Phoroneus. For the descendants of Deucalion and Hellen, see
Table I of this commentary.

=22.= In the following genealogical table (A), the names of the great
gods of Olympus are printed in heavy-face type. Latin forms of names or
Latin substitutes are used.

_=Illustrative.=_ On the =Gods of Greece=, see E. A. Bowring's
translation of Schiller's Die Götter Griechenlands, and Bayard Taylor's
Masque of the Gods. On =Olympus=, see Lewis Morris, The Epic of Hades.
Allusions abound; _e.g._ Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, III, iii;
Julius Cæsar, III, i; IV, iii; Hamlet, V, i; Milton, Paradise Lost, 1,
516; 7, 7; 10, 583; Pope, Rape of the Lock, 5, 48, and Windsor Forest,
33, 234; E. C. Stedman, News from Olympia. See also E. W. Gosse, Greece
and England (On Viol and Flute).

=23. The Olympian Gods.= There were, according to Mr. Gladstone (_No.
Am._ _Rev._ April, 1892), about twenty Olympian deities:[425] (1) The
five really great gods, Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Apollo, and Athene; (2)
Hephæstus, Ares, Hermes, Iris, Leto, Artemis, Themis, Aphrodite, Dione,
Pæëon (or Pæon), and Hebe,--also usually present among the assembled
immortals; (3) Demeter, Persephone, Dionysus, and Thetis, whose
claims are more or less obscured. According to the same authority,
the =Distinctive Qualities of the Homeric Gods= were as follows: (1)
they were immortal; (2) they were incorporated in human form; (3) they
enjoyed power far exceeding that possessed by mortals; (4) they were,
however (with the possible exception of Athene, who is never ignorant,
never deceived, never baffled), all liable to certain limitations of
energy and knowledge; (5) they were subject also to corporeal wants and
to human affections. The =Olympian= =Religion=, as a whole, was more
careful of nations, states, public affairs, than of individuals and
individual character; and in this respect, according to Mr. Gladstone.
it differs from Christianity. He holds, however, that despite the
occasional immoralities of the gods, their general government not only
"makes for righteousness," but is addressed to the end of rendering it
triumphant. Says Zeus, for instance, in the Olympian assembly, "Men
complain of us the gods, and say that we are the source from whence
ills proceed; but they likewise themselves suffer woes outside the
course of destiny, through their own perverse offending." But, beside
this general effort for the triumph of right, there is little to be
said in abatement of the general proposition that, whatever be their
collective conduct, the common speech of the gods is below the human
level in point of morality.[426]

=24-25. Zeus.= In Sanskrit _Dyaus_, in Latin _Jovis_, in German _Tiu_.
The same name for the Almighty (the Light or Sky) used probably
thousands of years before Homer, or the Sanskrit Bible (the Vedas).
It is not merely the blue sky, nor the sky personified,--not merely
worship of a natural phenomenon, but of the Father who is in Heaven.
So in the Vedas we find _Dyaus pitar_, in the Greek _Zeu_ _pater_, in
Latin _Jupiter_ all meaning _father of light_.--MAX MÜLLER, Sci. Relig.
171, 172. =Oracle=: the word signifies also the answers given at the
shrine.

_=Illustrative.=_ Allusions to Jove on every other page of Milton,
Dryden, Pope, Prior, Gray, and any poet of the Elizabethan and Augustan
periods. On the =Love Affairs of Jupiter= and the other gods, see
Milton, Paradise Regained, 2, 182. =Dodona=: Tennyson's Talking Oak:

    That Thessalian growth,
    On which the swarthy ringdove sat,
      And mystic sentence spoke....

Poem: Lewis Morris, Zeus, in The Epic of Hades.

_=In Art.=_ Beside the representations of Jupiter noted in the text may
be mentioned that on the eastern frieze of the Parthenon; the Jupiter
Otricoli in the Vatican; also the Jupiter and Juno (painting) by
Annibale Carracci; the Jupiter (sculpture) by Benvenuto Cellini.

TABLE A. THE GREAT GODS OF OLYMPUS

  Uranus
  =Gæa
     +-- Cronus
     |   =Rhea
     |   +-- =Vesta=
     |   +-- Ceres
     |   +-- =Juno=
     |   |   +=Jupiter=
     |   |   +-- Hebe
     |   |   +-- =Mars=
     |   |   +-- =Vulcan=
     |   +-- Pluto
     |   +-- Neptune
     |   +-- =Jupiter=
     |       +-- Minerva
     |       ==Juno=
     |       +-- Hebe (see above)
     |       +-- =Mars= (see above)
     |       +-- =Vulcan= (see above)
     |       =Latona
     |       +-- =Apollo=
     |       +-- =Diana=
     |       =Dione
     |       +-- =Venus=
     |       =Maia
     |       +-- =Mercury=
     |       =Ceres
     |       +-- Proserpina
     |       =Semele
     |       +-- Bacchus
     |       =Alcmene
     |       +-- Hercules
     +-- Rhea
     |   =Cronus
     |   +-- Vesta (see above)
     |   +-- Ceres (see above)
     |   +-- Juno (see above)
     |   +-- Pluto (see above)
     |   +-- Neptune (see above)
     |   +-- Jupiter (see above)
     +-- C[oe]us
     |   =Ph[oe]be
     |   +-- Latona
     |       =Jupiter
     |       +-- Apollo (see above)
     |       +-- Diana (see above)
     +-- Ph[oe]be
     |   =C[oe]us
     |   +-- Latona (see above)
     +-- Iapetus
         +-- Epimethius
         |   +-- Dione
         |       =Jupiter
         |       +-- Venus (see above)
         +-- Prometheus
         +-- Atlas
             +-- Maia
                 =Jupiter
                 +-- Mercury (see above)

=26. Juno= was called by the Romans Juno Lucina, the special goddess of
childbirth. In her honor wives held the festival of the Matronalia on
the first of March of each year. The Latin =Juno= is for _Diou-n-on_,
from the stem _Diove_, and is the feminine parallel of Jovis, just as
the Greek Dione (one of the loves of Zeus) is the feminine of Zeus.
These names (and Diana, too) come from the root _div_, 'to shine,' 'to
illumine.' There are many points of resemblance between the Italian
Juno and the Greek Dione (identified with Hera, as Hera-Dione). Both
are goddesses of the moon (?), of women, of marriage; to both the cow
(with moon-crescent horns) is sacred. See Roscher, 21, 576-579. But
Overbeck insists that the loves of Zeus are deities of the earth: "The
rains of heaven (Zeus) do not fall upon the moon."

_=Illustrative.=_ W. S. Landor, Hymn of Terpander to Juno; Lewis
Morris, Heré, in The Epic of Hades.

=_In Art._= Of the statues of Juno the most celebrated was that made
by Polyclitus for her temple between Argos and Mycenæ. It was of gold
and ivory. See Paus. 2, 17, 4. The goddess was seated on a throne of
magnificent proportions; she wore a crown upon which were figured
the Graces and the Hours; in one hand she held a pomegranate, in the
other a scepter surmounted by a cuckoo. Of the extant representations
of Juno the most famous are the Argive Hera (Fig. 9 in the text), the
torso in Vienna from Ephesus, the Hera of the Vatican at Rome, the
bronze statuette in the Cabinet of Coins and Antiquities in Vienna, the
Farnese bust in the National Museum in Naples, the Ludovisi bust in the
villa of that name in Rome, the Pompeian wall painting of the marriage
of Zeus and Hera (given by Baumeister, Denkmäler 1, 649; see also
Roscher, 13, 2127), and the Juno of Lanuvium.

=27. Athenë= (Athena) has some characteristics of the warlike kind in
common with the Norse Valkyries, but she is altogether a more ideal
conception. The best description of the goddess will be found in
Homer's Iliad, 5, 730 _et seq._

The derivation of =Athene= is uncertain (Preller). Related, say some,
to _æth[=e]r_, #aithêr#, the clear upper air; say others, to the word
_anthos_, #anthos#, 'a flower'--virgin bloom; or (see Roscher, p. 684)
to _ath[=e]r_, #athêr#, 'spear point.' Max Müller derives Athene from
the root _ah_, which yields the Sanskrit Ahanâ and the Greek Daphne,
the Dawn (?). Hence Athene is the Dawn-goddess; but she is also the
goddess of wisdom, because "the goddess who caused people to wake was
involuntarily conceived as the goddess who caused people to know"
(Science of Language, 1, 548-551). This is poor philology.

Epithets applied to Athene are the bright-eyed, the gray-eyed, the
ægis-bearing, the unwearied daughter of Zeus.

The festival of the =Panathenæa= was celebrated at Athens yearly in
commemoration of the union of the Attic tribes. See =C. 176-181=.

The name =Pallas= characterizes the goddess as the _brandisher_ of
lightnings. Her Palladium--or sacred image--holds always high in air
the brandished lance.

=Minerva=, or =Menerva=, is connected with Latin _mens_, Greek _ménos_,
Sanskrit _manas_, 'mind'; not with the Latin _mane_, 'morning.' The
relation is not very plausible between the awakening of the day and
the awakening of thought (Max Müller, Sci. Lang, 1, 552).

For the meaning of the Gorgon, see Commentary on the myth of Perseus.

_=Illustrative=_. Byron, Childe Harold, 4, 96, the eloquent passage
beginning,

    Can tyrants but by tyrants conquer'd be,
    And Freedom find no champion and no child
    Such as Columbia saw arise when she
    Sprung forth a Pallas, arm'd and undefiled?

Shakespeare, Tempest, IV, i; As You Like It, I, iii; Winter's Tale,
IV, iii; Pericles, II, iii; Milton, Paradise Lost, 4, 500; Comus, 701;
Arcades, 23; Lewis Morris' Athene, in The Epic of Hades; Byron, Childe
Harold, 2. 1-15, 87, 91; Ruskin's Lectures entitled "The Queen of the
Air" (Athene); Thomas Woolner's Pallas Athene, in Tiresias.

_=In Art.=_ The finest of the statues of this goddess was by Phidias,
in the Parthenon, or temple of Athena, at Athens. The Athena of the
Parthenon has disappeared; but there is good ground to believe that we
have, in several extant statues and busts, the artist's conception.
(See Frontispiece, the Lemnian Athena, and Fig. 53, the Hope Athena,
ancient marble at Deepdene, Surrey.) The figure is characterized by
grave and dignified beauty, and freedom from any transient expression;
in other words, by repose. The most important copy extant is of the
Roman period. The goddess was represented standing; in one hand a
spear, in the other a statue of Victory. Her helmet, highly decorated,
was surmounted by a Sphinx. The statue was forty feet in height, and,
like the Jupiter, covered with ivory and gold. The eyes were of marble,
and probably painted to represent the iris and pupil. The Parthenon, in
which this statue stood, was also constructed under the direction and
superintendence of Phidias. Its exterior was enriched with sculptures,
many of them from the hand of the same artist. The Elgin Marbles now
in the British Museum are a part of them. Also remarkable are the
Minerva Bellica (Capitol, Rome); the Athena of the Acropolis Museum;
the Athena of the Ægina Marbles (Glyptothek, Munich); the Minerva
Medica (Vatican); the Athena of Velletri in the Louvre. (See Fig. 10.)
In modern sculpture, especially excellent are Thorwaldsen's Minerva
and Prometheus, and Cellini's Minerva (on the base of his Perseus). In
modern painting, Tintoretto's Minerva defeating Mars.

=28.= While the Latin god =Mars= corresponds with Ares, he has also
not a few points of similarity with the Greek Ph[oe]bus; for both
names, Mars and Ph[oe]bus, indicate the quality _shining_. In Rome, the
Campus Martius (field of Mars) was sacred to this deity. Here military
maneuvers and athletic contests took place; here Mars was adored by
sacrifice, and here stood his temple, where his priests, the Salii,
watched over the sacred spear and the shield, _Ancile_, that fell from
heaven in the reign of Numa Pompilius. Generals supplicated Mars for
victory, and dedicated to him the spoils of war. See Roscher, pp. 478,
486, on the fundamental significance, philosophical and physical, of
_Ares_. On the derivation of the Latin name _Mars_, see Roscher (end of
article on Apollo).

_=Illustrative in Art.=_ Of archaic figures, that upon the so-called
François Vase in Florence represents =Ares= bearded and with the armor
of a Homeric warrior. In the art of the second half of the fifth
century B.C., he is represented as beardless, standing with spear and
helmet and, generally, _chlamys_ (short warrior's cloak); so the marble
Ares statue (called the Borghese Achilles) in the Louvre. There is a
later type (preferred in Rome) of the god in Corinthian helmet pushed
back from the forehead, the right hand leaning on a spear, in the left
a sword with point upturned, over the left arm a _chlamys_. The finest
representation of the deity extant is the _Ares Ludovisi_ in Rome,
probably of the second half of the fourth century B.C.,--a sitting
figure, beautiful in form and feature, with an Eros playing at his
feet. (See Fig. 11.) Modern sculpture: Thorwaldsen's relief, Mars and
Cupid. Modern painting, Raphael's Mars (text, Fig. 12).

=29.= On the derivation of =Hephæstus=, see Roscher, p. 2037. From
Greek _aph[=e]_, 'to kindle,' or _pha_, 'to shine,' or _spha_, 'to
burn.' The Latin =Vulcan=, while a god of fire, is not represented by
the Romans as possessed of technical skill. It is said that Romulus
built him a temple in Rome and instituted the Vulcanalia,--a festival
in honor of the god. The name _Vulcanus_, or _Volcanus_, is popularly
connected with the Latin _fulgere_, 'to flash' or 'lighten,' _fulgur_ a
'flash of lightning,' etc. It is quite natural that, in many legends,
fire should play an active part in the creation of man. The primitive
belief of the Indo-Germanic race was that the fire-god, descending to
earth, became the first man; and that, therefore, the spirit of man was
composed of fire. Vulcan is also called by the Romans Mulciber, from
_mulceo_, 'to soften.'

_=Illustrative.=_ Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, V, i; Much Ado About
Nothing, I, i; Troilus and Cressida, I, iii; Hamlet, III, ii; Milton,
Paradise Lost, 1, 740:

                        From morn
    To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve,
    A summer's day; and with the setting sun
    Dropt from the zenith, like a falling star,
    On Lemnos, the Ægean isle.

_=In Art.=_ Various antique illustrations are extant of the god as a
smith with hammer, or at the forge (text, Fig. 13); one of him working
with the Cyclopes; a vase painting of him adorning Pandora; one of him
assisting at the birth of Minerva; and one of his return to Olympus
led by Bacchus and Comus. Of modern paintings the following are
noteworthy: J. A. Wiertz, Forge of Vulcan; Velasquez, Forge of Vulcan
(Museum, Madrid) (text, Fig. 56); the Forge of Vulcan by Tintoretto.
Thorwaldsen's piece of statuary, Vulcan forging Arrows for Cupid, is
justly famous.

=30. Castalia=: on the slopes of Parnassus, sacred to Apollo and the
Muses. =Cephissus=: in Phocis and B[oe]otia. (Another Cephissus flows
near Athens.)

_=Interpretative.=_ The birth, wanderings, return of =Apollo=, and
his struggle with the Python, etc., are explained by many scholars
as symbolic of the annual course of the sun. Apollo is born of Leto,
who is, according to hypothesis, the Night from which the morning
sun issues. His conflict with the dragon reminds one of Siegfried's
combat and that of St. George, The =dragon= is variously interpreted
as symbolical of darkness, mephitic vapors, or the forces of winter,
which are overcome by the rays of the springtide sun. The dragon is
called Delphyne, or Python. The latter name may be derived simply from
that part of Phocis (Pytho) where the town of Delphi was situate, or
that again from the Greek root _p[=u]th_, 'to rot,' because there the
serpent was left by Apollo to decay; or from the Greek _p[)u]th_,
'to inquire,' with reference to the consultation of the Delphian or
Pythian oracle. "It is open to students to regard the =dolphin= as
only one of the many animals whose earlier worship is concentrated
in Apollo, or to take the creature for the symbol of spring when
seafaring becomes easier to mortals, or to interpret the dolphin as the
result of a _volks-etymologie_ (popular derivation), in which the name
_Delphi_ (meaning originally a hollow in the hills) was connected with
_delphis_, the dolphin."--LANG, Myth, Ritual, etc., 2, 197. Apollo is
also called =Lycius=, which means, not the wolf-slayer, as is sometimes
stated, for the wolf is sacred to Apollo, but either the wolf-god
(as inheriting an earlier wolf-cult) or the golden god of Light. See
Preller and Roscher. This derivation is more probable than that from
_Lycia_ in Asia Minor, where the god was said originally to have been
worshiped. To explain certain rational myths of Apollo as referring to
the annual and diurnal journeys of the sun is justifiable. To explain
the savage and senseless survivals of the Apollo-myth in that way is
impossible.

=Festivals.= The most important were as follows: (1) The =Delphinia=,
in May, to celebrate the genial influence of the young sun upon
the waters, in opening navigation, in restoring warmth and life to
the creatures of the wave, especially to the dolphins, which were
highly esteemed by the superstitious seafarers, fishermen, merchants,
etc. (2) The =Thargelia=, in the Greek month of that name, our May,
which heralded the approach of the hot season. The purpose of this
festival was twofold: to propitiate the deity of the sun and forfend
the sickness of summer; to celebrate the ripening of vegetation
and return thanks for first-fruits. These festivals were held in
Athens, Delos, and elsewhere. (3) The =Hyacinthian= fast and feast
of Sparta, corresponding in both features to the Thargelian. It was
held in July, in the oppressive days of the Dog Star, Sirius. (4) The
=Carnean= of Sparta, celebrated in August. It added to the propitiatory
features of the Hyacinthian, a thanksgiving for the vintage. (5)
Another vintage-festival was the =Pyanepsian=, in Athens. (6) The
=Daphnephoria=: "Familiar to many English people from Sir Frederick
Leighton's picture. This feast is believed to have symbolized the
year.... An olive branch supported a central ball of brass, beneath
which was a smaller ball, and thence little globes were hung." "The
greater ball means the sun, the smaller the moon, the tiny globes
the stars, and the three hundred and sixty-five laurel garlands used
in the feast are understood to symbolize the days." (_Proclus and
Pausanias._)--LANG, Myth, Ritual, etc., 2. 194, 195. Apollo is also
called the =Sminthian=, or Mouse-god, because he was regarded either
as the protector or as the destroyer of mice. In the Troad mice were
fed in his temple; elsewhere he was honored as freeing the country
from them. As Mr. Lang says (Myth, Ritual, etc., 2, 201), this is
intelligible "if the vermin which had once been sacred became a pest in
the eyes of later generations."

=Oracle of Delphi.= It had been observed at a very early period that
the goats feeding on Parnassus were thrown into convulsions when they
approached a certain long deep cleft in the side of the mountain. This
was owing to a peculiar vapor arising out of the cavern, and a certain
goatherd is said to have tried its effects upon himself. Inhaling the
intoxicating air, he was affected in the same manner as the cattle
had been; and the inhabitants of the surrounding country, unable to
explain the circumstance, imputed the convulsive ravings to which he
gave utterance while under the power of the exhalations to a divine
inspiration. The fact was speedily spread abroad, and a temple was
erected on the spot. 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 she was
named the Pythia. She was prepared for this duty by previous ablution
at the fountain of Castalia, and being crowned with laurel was seated
upon a tripod similarly adorned, which was placed over the chasm whence
the divine afflatus proceeded. Her inspired words while thus situated
were interpreted by the priests.

Other famous oracles were that of =Trophonius= in B[oe]otia and that of
the Egyptian =Apis=. Since those who descended into the cave at Lebadea
to consult the oracle of Trophonius were noticed to return dejected
and melancholy, the proverb arose which was applied to a low-spirited
person, "He has been consulting the oracle of Trophonius."

At Memphis the sacred bull Apis gave answer to those who consulted him,
by the manner in which he received or rejected what was presented to
him. If the bull refused food from the hand of the inquirer, it was
considered an unfavorable sign, and the contrary when he received it.

It used to be questioned whether oracular responses ought to be
ascribed to mere human contrivance or to the agency of evil spirits.
The latter opinion would of course obtain during ages of superstition,
when evil spirits were credited with an influence over human affairs.
A third theory has been advanced since the phenomena of mesmerism
have attracted attention: that something like the mesmeric trance was
induced in the Pythoness, and the faculty of clairvoyance called into
action.

Scholars have also sought to determine when the pagan oracles ceased
to give responses. Ancient Christian writers assert that they became
silent at the birth of Christ, and were heard no more after that date;
Milton adopts this view in his Hymn on the Nativity, and in lines of
solemn and elevated beauty pictures the consternation of the heathen
idols at the advent of the Saviour:

    The Oracles are dumb;
    No voice or hideous hum
    Runs through the archèd roof in words deceiving.
    Apollo from his shrine
    Can no more divine,
    With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving.
    No nightly trance, or breathèd spell
    Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic cell.

_=Illustrative.=_ Spenser, Faerie Queene, 1, 2, 2; 1, 2, 29; 1, 11, 31;
1, 12, 2. Sir Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella; as, for instance,
the pretty conceit beginning

    Ph[oe]bus was judge between Jove, Mars, and Love,
    Of those three gods, whose arms the fairest were.

Dekker, The Sun's Darling; Burns (as in the Winter Night) and other
Scotch song-writers find it hard to keep Ph[oe]bus out of their verses;
Spenser, Epithalamion; Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's Dream, II, i
(Apollo and Daphne); Cymbeline (Cloten's Serenade); Love's Labour's
Lost, IV, iii; Taming of the Shrew, Induction ii; Winter's Tale, II, i;
III, i; III, ii; Titus Andronicus, IV, i; Drayton, Song 8; Tickell, To
Apollo making Love; Swift, Apollo Outwitted; Pope, Essay on Criticism,
34; Dunciad, 4, 116; Prologue to Satires, 231; Miscellaneous, 7, 16;
Armstrong, The Art of Preserving Health.

_=Poems.=_ Drummond of Hawthornden, Song to Ph[oe]bus; Keats, Hymn
to Apollo; A. Mary F. Robinson, A Search for Apollo, and In Apollo's
Garden; Shelley, Homer's Hymn to Apollo; Aubrey De Vere, Lines under
Delphi; Lewis Morris, Apollo, in The Epic of Hades; R. W. Dixon, Apollo
Pythius.

=The Python.= Milton, Paradise Lost, 10, 531; Shelley, Adonais.
=Oracles.= Milton, Paradise Lost, 1. 12, 515; 5, 382; 10, 182; Paradise
Regained, 1. 395, 430, 456, 463; 3, 13; 4, 275; Hymn on the Nativity,
173. In Cowper's poem of Yardley Oak there are mythological allusions
appropriate to this subject. On Dodona, Byron, Childe Harold, 2, 53;
Tennyson, The Talking Oak. Byron alludes to the oracle of Delphi when
speaking of Rousseau, whose writings he conceives did much to bring on
the French Revolution: Childe Harold, 3, 81,--

    For then he was inspired, and from him came,
    As from the Pythian's mystic cave of yore,
    Those oracles which set the world in flame,
    Nor ceased to burn till kingdoms were no more.

_=In Art.=_ One of the most esteemed of all the remains of ancient
sculpture is the statue of Apollo, called the Belvedere from the name
of the apartment of the Pope's palace at Rome in which it is placed
(see Fig. 15). The artist is unknown. It is conceded to be a work of
Roman art, of about the first century of our era (and follows a type
fashioned by a Greek sculptor of the Hellenistic period, probably
in bronze). A variation of the type has been discovered in a bronze
statuette which represents Apollo holding in the left hand an ægis.
Some scholars have therefore surmised that the Apollo of the original
was similarly equipped. The Belvedere Apollo, however, is a standing
figure, in marble, more than seven feet high, naked except for the
cloak which is fastened around the neck and hangs over the extended
left arm. It is restored to represent the god in the moment when he
has shot the arrow to destroy the monster Python. The victorious
divinity is in the act of stepping forward. The left arm which seems
to have held the bow is outstretched, and the head is turned in the
same direction. In attitude and proportion the graceful majesty of the
figure is unsurpassed. The effect is completed by the countenance,
where, on the perfection of youthful godlike beauty, there dwells the
consciousness of triumphant power. To this statue Byron alludes in
Childe Harold, 4, 161:

      Or view the Lord of the unerring bow,
      The God of life, and poetry, and light,--
      The Sun, in human limbs arrayed, and brow
      All radiant from his triumph in the fight;
      The shaft hath just been shot--the arrow bright
      With an immortal's vengeance; in his eye
      And nostril, beautiful disdain, and might
      And majesty flash their full lightnings by,
    Developing in that one glance the Deity.

The standing figure in our text reproduces this conception.[427] Also
famous in sculpture are the "Adonis" Apollo of the Vatican (Fig. 14,
text); the Greek bronze from Thessaly (Fig. 16, text); the Palatine
Apollo in the Vatican (Fig. 66, text); the Apollo Cithar[oe]dus of
the National Museum, Naples, and the Glyptothek, Munich; the Lycian
Apollo; the Apollo Nomios; Apollo of Thera; the Apollo of Michelangelo
(National Museum, Florence). A painting of romantic interest is Paolo
Veronese's St. Christina refusing to adore Apollo. Of symbolic import
is the Apollo (Sunday) by Raphael in the Vatican. Ph[oe]bus and Boreas
by J. F. Millet.

=32. Latona.= A theory of the numerous =love-affairs= of Jupiter
is given in =24= of the text. =Delos= is the central island of
the Cyclades group in the Ægean. With its temple of Apollo it was
exceedingly prosperous.

_=Interpretative.=_ Latona (Leto), according to ancient interpreters,
was night,--the shadow, therefore, of Juno (Hera), if Hera be the
splendor of heaven. But the early myth-makers would hardly have
reasoned so abstrusely. It is not at all certain that the name _Leto_
means darkness (Preller 1, 190, note 4); and even if light is born of
or after darkness, the sun (Apollo) and the moon (Artemis, or Diana)
can hardly be considered to be twins of Darkness (Leto), for they do
not illuminate the heavens at the same time.--LANG, Myth, Ritual, etc.,
2, 199.

_=Illustrative.=_ Byron's allusion to Delos in Don Juan, 3, 86:

    The isles of Greece! the isles of Greece!
      Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
    Where grew the arts of war and peace,
      Where Delos rose, and Ph[oe]bus sprung!
    Eternal summer gilds them yet,
    But all, except their sun, is set.

See Milton's Sonnet, "I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs,"
for allusion to Latona.

_=In Art.=_ In the shrine of Latona in Delos there was, in the days of
Athenæus, a shapeless wooden idol.

=Diana.= The Latin =Diana= means either "goddess of the bright
heaven," or "goddess of the bright day." She is frequently identified
with Artemis, Hecate, Luna, and Selene. According to one tradition,
Apollo and Diana were born at =Ortygia=, near Ephesus. =Diana of the
Ephesians=, referred to (Acts xix, 28), was a goddess of not at all the
maidenly characteristics that belonged to the Greek Artemis (Roscher,
p. 591; A. Lang, 2, 217). Other titles of Artemis are Munychia, the
moon-goddess; Calliste, the _fair_, or the _she-bear_; Orthia, the
_severe_, worshiped among the Taurians with human sacrifices; Agrotera,
the _huntress_; Pythia; Eileithyia, goddess of childbirth; Cynthia,
born on Mount Cynthus.

_=Illustrative.=_ Spenser, Faerie Queene, 1, 7, 5; 1, 12, 7;
Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, V, i, "Come, ho, and wake Diana
with a hymn," etc.; Twelfth Night, I, iv; Midsummer Night's Dream,
I, iv; All's Well that Ends Well, I, iii; IV, ii; IV, iv; Butler,
Hudibras, 3, 2, 1448. _=Poems=_: B. W. Procter, The Worship of Dian;
W. W. Story, Artemis; E. W. Gosse, The Praise of Artemis; E. Arnold,
Hymn of the Priestess of Diana; Wordsworth, To Lycoris; Lewis Morris,
Artemis, in The Epic of Hades; A. Lang, To Artemis. =Ph[oe]be= (Diana):
Spenser, Epithalamion; Keats, To Psyche. =Cynthia= (Diana): Spenser,
Prothalamion, Epithalamion; Milton, Hymn on the Nativity; H. K. White,
Ode to Contemplation.

_=In Art.=_ In art the goddess is represented high-girt for the chase,
either in the act of drawing an arrow from her quiver or watching her
missile in its flight. She is often attended by the hind. Sometimes,
as moon-goddess, she bears a torch. Occasionally she is clad in a
_chiton_, or robe of many folds, flowing to her feet. The Diana of the
Hind (_à la Biche_), in the Palace of the Louvre (see Fig. 18), may be
considered the counterpart of the Apollo Belvedere. The attitude much
resembles that of Apollo, the sizes correspond and also the styles of
execution. The Diana of the Hind is a work of a high order, though
by no means equal to the Apollo. The attitude is that of hurried and
eager motion, the face that of a huntress in the excitement of the
chase. The left hand of the goddess is extended over the forehead of
the hind which runs by her side, the right arm reaches backward over
the shoulder to draw an arrow from the quiver. Fig. 19 in the text is
the Artemis Knagia (Diana Cnagia), named after Cnageus, a servant of
Diana who assisted in transferring the statue from Crete to Sparta. In
Dresden there is a statue of Artemis in the style of Praxiteles (Fig.
68, text); and in the Louvre an ancient marble called the Artemis of
Gabii (Fig. 77, text).

In modern painting, noteworthy are the Diana and her Nymphs of Rubens;
Correggio's Diana (Fig. 17); Jules Lefebvre's Diana and her Nymphs;
Domenichino's Diana's Chase. Note also the allegorical Luna (Monday) of
Raphael in the Vatican; and D. G. Rossetti's Diana, in crayons.

=34. _Interpretative._= The worship of =Aphrodite= was probably of
Semitic origin, but was early introduced into Greece. The Aphrodite of
Hesiod and Homer displays both Oriental and Grecian characteristics.
All Semitic nations, except the Hebrews, worshiped a supreme goddess
who presided over the moon (or the Star of Love), and over all animal
and vegetable life and growth. She was the Istar of the Assyrians,
the Astarte of the Ph[oe]nicians, and is the analogue of the Greek
Aphrodite and the Latin Venus. See Roscher, p. 390, etc. The native
Greek deity of love would appear to have been, however, =Dione=,
goddess of the moist and productive soil (=C. 26=), who passes in the
Iliad (5. 370, 428) as the mother of Aphrodite, is worshiped at Dodona
by the side of Zeus, and is regarded by Euripides as _Thyone_, mother
of Dionysus (Preller I, 259).

The epithets and names most frequently applied to Aphrodite are the
Paphian, Cypris (the Cyprus-born), Cytherea, Erycina (from Mount Eryx),
Pandemos (goddess of vulgar love), Pelagia (Aphrodite of the sea),
Urania (Aphrodite of ideal love), Anadyomene (rising from the water);
she is, also, the sweetly smiling, laughter-loving, bright, golden,
fruitful, winsome, flower-faced, blushing, swift-eyed, golden-crowned.

She had temples and groves in Paphos, Abydos, Samos, Ephesus, Cyprus,
Cythera, in some of which--for instance, Paphos--gorgeous annual
festivals were held. See Childe Harold, I, 66.

=Venus= was a deity of extreme antiquity among the Romans, but not
of great importance until she had acquired certain attributes of the
Eastern Aphrodite. She was worshiped as goddess of love, as presiding
over marriage, as the goddess who turns the hearts of men, and, later,
even as a goddess of victory. A festival in her honor, called the
Veneralia, was held in Rome in April.

=_Illustrative._= See Chaucer's Knight's Tale for frequent references
to the goddess of love; also the Court of Love; Spenser's Prothalamion,
and Epithalamion, "Handmaids of the Cyprian queen"; Shakespeare,
Tempest, IV, i; Merchant of Venice, II, vi; Troilus and Cressida,
IV, v; Cymbeline, V, v; Romeo and Juliet, II, i; Milton, L'Allegro;
Paradise Regained, 2, 214; Comus, 124; Pope, Rape of the Lock 4, 135;
Spring, 65; Summer, 61; Thomas Woolner, Pygmalion (Cytherea).

=_Poems._= Certain parts of Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis and
occasional stanzas in Swinburne's volume, Laus Veneris, may be adapted
to illustrative purposes. Chaucer, The Complaint of Mars and Venus;
Thomas Wyatt, The Lover prayeth Venus to conduct him to the Desired
Haven. See the melodious chorus to Aphrodite in Swinburne's Atalanta in
Calydon; Lewis Morris, Aphrodite, in The Epic of Hades; Thomas Gordon
Hake, The Birth of Venus, in New Symbols; D. G. Rossetti, Sonnets;
Venus Verticordia, Venus Victrix.

=35. _In Art._= One of the most famous of ancient paintings was the
Venus rising from the foam, of Apelles. The Venus found (1820) in the
island of Melos, or of Milo (see text, opp. p. 32), now to be seen in
the Louvre in Paris, is the work of some sculptor of about the fourth
century B.C. Some say that the left hand uplifted held a mirrorlike
shield; others, an apple; still others, a trident; and that the goddess
was Amphitrite. A masterpiece of Praxiteles was the Venus of Cnidos,
based upon which are the Venus of the Capitoline in Rome and the Venus
de' Medici in Florence. Also the Venus of the Vatican, which is, in
my opinion, superior to both. The Venus of the Medici was in the
possession of the princes of that name in Rome when, about two hundred
years ago, it first attracted attention. An inscription on the base
assigns it to Cleomenes, an Athenian sculptor of 200 B.C., but the
authenticity of the inscription is doubtful. There is a story that the
artist was employed by public authority to make a statue exhibiting the
perfection of female beauty, and that to aid him in his task the most
perfect forms the city could supply were furnished him for models. Note
Thomson's allusion in the Summer:

    So stands the statue that enchants the world;
    So bending tries to veil the matchless boast,
    The mingled beauties of exulting Greece.

And Byron's

    There too the goddess loves in stone, and fills
    The air around with beauty.--Childe Harold, 4, 49-53.

One of the most beautiful of the Greek Aphrodites is the Petworth (opp.
p. 126, text).

Of modern paintings the most famous are: the Sleeping Venus and other
representations of Venus by Titian; the Birth of Venus by Bouguereau;
Tintoretto's Cupid, Venus, and Vulcan; Veronese's Venus with Satyr and
Cupid. Modern sculpture: Thorwaldsen's Venus with the Apple; Venus and
Cupid; Cellini's Venus; Canova's Venus Victrix, and the Venus in the
Pitti Gallery; Rossetti's Venus Verticordia (crayons, water colors,
oil).

=36. _Interpretative._= Max Müller traces =Hermes=, child of the Dawn
with its fresh breezes, herald of the gods, spy of the night, to the
Vedic Saramâ, goddess of the Dawn. Others translate Saramâ, _storm_.
Roscher derives from the same root as Sarameyas (son of Saramâ), with
the meaning _Hastener_, the _swift wind_. The invention of the syrinx
is attributed also to Pan.

=_Illustrative._= To Mercury's construction of the lyre out of a
tortoise shell, Gray refers (Progress of Poesy), "Parent of sweet and
solemn-breathing airs, Enchanting shell!" etc. See Shakespeare, King
John, IV, ii; Henry IV, IV, i; Richard III, II, i; IV, iii; Hamlet,
III, iv; Milton, Paradise Lost, 3, "Though by their powerful art they
bind Volatile Hermes"; 4, 717; 11, 133; Il Penseroso, 88; Comus, 637,
962. =_Poems_=: Sir T. Martin, Goethe's Ph[oe]bus and Hermes; Shelley's
translation of Homer's Hymn to Mercury.

=_In Art._= The Mercury in the Central Museum, Athens; Mercury
Belvedere (Vatican); Mercury in Repose (National Museum, Naples). The
Hermes by Praxiteles, in Olympia (text, opp. p. 150), and the Hermes
Psychopompos leading to the underworld the spirit of a woman who has
just died (text, Fig. 20; from a relief sculptured on the tomb of
Myrrhina), are especially fine specimens of ancient sculpture.

In modern sculpture: Cellini's Mercury (base of Perseus, Loggia del
Lanzi, Florence); Giov. di Bologna's Flying Mercury (bronze, Bargello,
Florence: text, opp. p. 330); Thorwaldsen's Mercury. In modern
painting: Tintoretto's Mercury and the Graces; Francesco Albani's
Mercury and Apollo; Claude Lorrain's Mercury and Battus; Turner's
Mercury and Argus; Raphael's allegorical Mercury (Wednesday), Vatican,
Rome; and his Mercury with Psyche (Farnese Frescoes).

=37. _Interpretative._= The name =Hestia= (Latin _Vesta_) has been
variously derived from roots meaning _to sit_, _to stand_, _to burn_.
The two former are consistent with the domestic nature of the goddess;
the latter with her relation to the hearth-fire. She is "first of the
goddesses," the holy, the chaste, the sacred.

=_Illustrative._= Milton, Il Penseroso (Melancholy), "_Thee_
bright-haired Vesta long of yore To solitary Saturn bore," etc.

=38.= (1) =Cupid= (Eros). References and allusions to Cupid throng our
poetry. Only a few are here given. Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, I,
iv; Merchant of Venice, II, vi; Merry Wives, II, ii; Much Ado About
Nothing, I, i; II, i; III, ii; Midsummer Night's Dream, I, i; II,
ii; IV, i; Cymbeline, II, iv; Milton, Comus, 445, 1004; Herrick, The
Cheat of Cupid; Pope, Rape of the Lock, 5, 102; Dunciad, 4, 308; Moral
Essays, 4, 111; Windsor Forest,--on Lord Surrey, "In the same shades
the Cupids tuned his lyre To the same notes of love and soft desire."

=_Poems._= Chaucer, The Cuckow and Nightingale, or Boke of Cupid (?);
Occleve, The Letter of Cupid; Beaumont and Fletcher, Cupid's Revenge,
and the Masque, A Wife for a Month; J.G. Saxe, Death and Cupid, on
their exchange of arrows, "And that explains the reason why Despite
the gods above, The young are often doomed to die, The old to fall in
love"; Thomas Ashe, The Lost Eros; Coventry Patmore, The Unknown Eros.
Also John Lyly's Campaspe:

    Cupid and my Campaspe playd,
    At cardes for kisses, Cupid payd;
    He stakes his quiver, bow, and arrows,
    His mother's doves, and teeme of sparows;
    Looses them too; then, downe he throwes
    The corrall of his lippe, the rose
    Growing on's cheek (but none knows how),
    With these, the cristall of his brow,
    And then the dimple of his chinne:
    All these did my Campaspe winne.
    At last hee set her both his eyes;
    Shee won, and Cupid blind did rise.
      O love! has shee done this to thee?
      What shall (alas!) become of mee?

See also Lang's translation of Moschus, Idyl I, and O. Wilde, The
Garden of Eros.

=_In Art._= Antique sculpture: the Eros in Naples, ancient marble from
an original perhaps by Praxiteles (text, Fig. 21); Eros bending the
Bow, in the Museum at Berlin; Cupid bending his Bow (Vatican); Eros
with his Bow, in the Capitoline (text, opp. p. 136).

Modern sculpture: Thorwaldsen's Mars and Cupid. Modern paintings:
Bouguereau's Cupid and a Butterfly; Raphael's Cupids (among drawings in
the Museum at Venice); Burne-Jones' Cupid (in series with Pyramus and
Thisbe); Raphael Mengs' Cupid sharpening his Arrow; Guido Reni's Cupid;
Van Dyck's Sleeping Cupid. See also under _Psyche_, =C. 101=.

=Hymen.= See Sir Theodore Martin's translations of the _Collis O
Heliconii_, and the _Vesper adest, juvenes_, of Catullus (LXI and
LXII); Milton, Paradise Lost, 11, 591; L'Allegro, 125; Pope, Chorus of
Youths and Virgins.

(2) =Hebe.= Thomas Lodge's Sonnet to Phyllis, "Fair art thou, Phyllis,
ay, so fair, sweet maid"; Milton, Vacation Exercise, 38; Comus, 290;
L'Allegro, 29; Spenser, Epithalamion. =_Poems_=: T. Moore, The Fall of
Hebe; J. R. Lowell, Hebe. =_In Art_=: Ary Scheffer's painting of Hebe;
N. Schiavoni's painting.

=Ganymede.= Chaucer, Hous of Fame, 81; Tennyson, in the Palace of Art,
"Or else flushed Ganymede, his rosy thigh Half-buried in the Eagle's
down," etc.; Shelley in the Prometheus (Jove's order to Ganymede);
Milton, Paradise Regained, 2,353; Drayton, Song 4, "The birds of
Ganymed." =_Poems_=: Lord Lytton, Ganymede; Bowring, Goethe's Ganymede;
Roden Noël, Ganymede; Edith M. Thomas, Homesickness of Ganymede; S.
Margaret Fuller, Ganymede to his Eagle; Drummond on Ganymede's lament,
"When eagle's talons bare him through the air." =_In Art_=: The Rape of
Ganymede, marble in the Vatican, probably from the original in bronze
by Leochares (text, Fig. 22). Græco-Roman sculpture: Ganymede and
the Eagle (National Museum, Naples). Modern sculpture: Thorwaldsen's
Ganymede.

(3) =The Graces.= Rogers, Inscription for a Temple; Matthew Arnold,
Euphrosyne. These goddesses are continually referred to in poetry. Note
the painting by J. B. Regnault (Louvre), also the sculpture by Canova.

(4) =The Muses.= Spenser, The Tears of the Muses; Milton, Il Penseroso;
Byron, Childe Harold, 1, 1, 62, 88; Thomson, Castle of Indolence,
2, 2; 2, 8; Akenside, Pleasures of Imagination, 3. 280, 327; Ode
on Lyric Poetry; Crabbe, The Village, Bk. 1; Introductions to the
Parish Register, Newspaper, Birth of Flattery; M. Arnold, Urania.
=Delphi=, =Parnassus=, etc.: Gray, Progress of Poesy, 2, 3. =Vale of=
=Tempe=: Keats, On a Grecian Urn; Young, Ocean, an ode. =_In Art._=
Sculpture: Polyhymnia, ancient marble in Berlin (text, Fig. 23); Clio
and Calliope, in the Vatican in Rome; Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia,
and Urania, in the Louvre, Paris; Terpsichore by Thorwaldsen.
Painting: Apollo and the Muses, by Raphael Mengs and by Giulio Romano;
Terpsichore (picture), by Schützenberger.

(5) =The Hours=, in art: Raphael's Six Hours of the Day and Night.

(6) =The Fates.= Refrain stanzas in Lowell's Villa Franca, "Spin, spin,
Clotho, spin! Lachesis, twist! and Atropos, sever!" =_In Art_=: The
Fates, painting attributed to Michelangelo, but now by some to Rosso
Fiorentino from Michelangelo's design (text, Fig. 24, Pitti Gallery,
Florence); painting by Paul Thumann.

(7) =Nemesis.= For genealogy see Table B, =C. 49=.

(8) =Æsculapius.= Spenser, Faerie Queene, 1, 5, 36-43; Milton, Paradise
Lost, 9, 507.

(9) (10) =The Winds=, =Helios=, =Aurora=, =Hesper=, etc. =Æolus=:
Chaucer, Hous of Fame, 480. See =C. 125= and genealogical tables H and
I. =Hippotades= is Æolus (son of Hippotes). In Lycidas, 96, Milton
calls the king of the winds Hippotades, because, following Homer
(Odyssey, 10, 2) and Ovid (Metam. 14, 224), he identifies Æolus II with
Æolus III. =Boreas and Orithyia=: Akenside, Pleasures of Imagination,
1, 722.

=_In Art._= The fragment, Helios rising from the Sea, by Phidias, south
end, east pediment of the Parthenon. Boreas and Zetos, Greek reliefs
(text, Figs. 25 and 26); Boreas and Orithyia (text, Fig. 27), on a vase
in Munich.

(11) =Hesperus.= Milton, Paradise Lost, 4, 605; 9, 49; Comus, 982;
Akenside, Ode to Hesper; Campbell, Two Songs to the Evening Star,
Tennyson, The Hesperides.

(12) "=Iris= there with humid bow waters the odorous banks," etc.,
Comus, 992. See also Milton's Paradise Lost, 4, 698; 11, 244. =_In
Art_=: Fig. 28, text; and painting by Guy Head (Gallery, St. Luke's,
Rome). She is the swift-footed, wind-footed, fleet, the Iris of the
golden wings, etc.

=39. Hyperborean.= _Beyond the North_. Concerning the Elysian Plain,
see =46.= =_Illustrative_=: Milton, Comus, "Now the gilded car of day,"
etc.

=40. Ceres. _Illustrative._= Pope, Moral Essays, 4, 176, "Another age
shall see the golden ear Imbrown the slope ... And laughing Ceres
reassume the land"; Spring, 66; Summer, 66; Windsor Forest, 39; Gray,
Progress of Poesy; Warton, First of April, "Fancy ... Sees Ceres grasp
her crown of corn, And Plenty load her ample horn"; Spenser, Faerie
Queene, 3, 1, 51; Milton, Paradise Lost, 4, 268; 9, 395.

=_Poems_.= Tennyson, Demeter and Persephone; Mrs. H. H. Jackson,
Demeter. =_Prose_=: W. H. Pater, The Myth of Demeter (_Fortn. Rev._
Vol. 25, 1876); S. Colvin, A Greek Hymn (_Cornh. Mag._ Vol. 33, 1876);
Swinburne, At Eleusis.

The name _Ceres_ is from the stem _cer_, Sanskrit _kri_, 'to make.' By
metonomy the word comes to signify _corn_ in the Latin. Demeter (#Gê
mêtêr#, #da matêr#) means _Mother Earth_. The goddess is represented
in art crowned with a wheat-measure (or _modius_), and bearing a horn
of plenty filled with ears of corn. Demeter (?) appears in the group
of deities on the eastern frieze of the Parthenon. Also noteworthy are
the Demeter from Knidos (text, Fig. 29, from the marble in the British
Museum); two statues of Ceres in the Vatican at Rome, and one in the
Glyptothek at Munich; and the Roman wall painting (text, Fig. 30).

=41. Rhea= was worshiped as =Cybele=, the Great Mother, in Phrygia
and at Pessinus in Galatia. During the Second Punic War, 203 _B.C._,
her image was brought from the latter place to Rome. In 191 B.C.
the Megalesian Games were first celebrated in her honor, occupying
six days, from the fourth of April on. Plays were acted during this
festival. The Great Mother was also called Cybebe, Berecyntia, and
Dindymene.

=The Cybele of Art.= In works of art, Cybele exhibits the matronly air
which distinguishes Juno and Ceres. Sometimes she is veiled, and seated
on a throne with lions at her side; at other times she rides in a
chariot drawn by lions. She wears a mural crown, that is, a crown whose
rim is carved in the form of towers and battlements. Rhea is mentioned
by Homer (Iliad, 15, 187) as the consort of Cronus.

=_Illustrative._= Byron's figure likening Venice to Cybele, Childe
Harold, 4, 2, "She looks a sea-Cybele, fresh from ocean," etc. Also
Milton's Arcades, 21.

=42. _Interpretative._= It is interesting to note that Homer (Iliad
and Odyssey) recognizes Dionysus neither as inventor, nor as exclusive
god of wine. In Iliad, 6, 130 he refers, however, to the Dionysus cult
in Thrace. Hesiod is the first to call wine the gift of Dionysus.
=Dionysus= means the Zeus or _god_ of Nysa, an imaginary vale of
Thrace, B[oe]otia, or elsewhere, in which the deity spent his youth.
The name =Bacchus= owes its origin to the _enthusiasm_ with which the
followers of the god lifted up their voices in his praise. Similar
names are Iacchus, Bromius, Evius (from the cry _evoe_). The god was
also called Lyæus, the _loosener_ of care, Liber, the _liberator_. His
followers are also known as Edonides (from Mount Edon, in Thrace,
where he was worshiped), Thyiades, the _sacrificers_, Lenæa and
Bassarides. His festivals were the Lesser and Greater Dionysia (at
Athens), the Lenæa, and the Anthesteria, in December, March, January,
and February, respectively. At the first, three dramatic performances
were presented.

_=Illustrative.=_ A few references and allusions worth consulting:
Spenser, Epithalamion; Fletcher, Valentinian, "God Lyæus, ever young";
Randolph, To Master Anthony Stafford (1632); Milton, L'Allegro, 16;
Paradise Lost, 4, 279; 7, 33; Comus, 46, 522; Shakespeare, Midsummer
Night's Dream, V, i; Love's Labour's Lost, IV, iii; Antony and
Cleopatra, II, vii, song; Shelley, Ode to Liberty, 7, Rome--"like a
Cadmæan Mænad"; Keats, To a Nightingale, "Not charioted by Bacchus and
his pards." On =Semele=, Milton, Paradise Regained, 2, 187; Spenser,
Faerie Queene, 3, 11, 33.

_=Poems.=_ Ben Jonson, Dedication of the King's New Cellar; Thomas
Parnell, Bacchus, or the Drunken Metamorphosis; Landor, Sophron's Hymn
to Bacchus; Swinburne, Prelude to Songs before Sunrise; Roden Noël, The
Triumph of Bacchus; Robert Bridges, The Feast of Bacchus; others given
in text. See Index.

_=In Art.=_ Of ancient representations of the Bacchus, the best
examples are the marble in the British Museum (text, Fig. 31); the
Silenus holding the child Bacchus (in the Louvre); the head of Dionysus
found in Smyrna (now in Leyden--see text, Fig. 143), from an original
of the school of Scopas; the head (now in London) from the Baths of
Caracalla, of the later Attic school; the Faun and Bacchus (Museum,
Naples); a standing bronze figure in Vienna, and the statue of the
Villa Tiburtina (Rome). The bearded or Indian Bacchus is represented as
advanced in years, grave, dignified, crowned with a diadem and robed to
the feet. See also Figs. 82-87, in text.

In modern sculpture note especially the Drunken Bacchus of
Michelangelo. Among modern paintings worthy of notice are Bouguereau's
Youth of Bacchus, and C. Gleyre's Dance of the Bacchantes. See also
under _Ariadne_.

=43.= The invention of the syrinx is attributed also to Mercury. For
poetical illustrations of Pan see =C. 129-138=. So also for Nymphs and
Satyrs.

_=In Art.=_ Pan the Hunter (text, Fig. 32); the antique, Pan and
Daphnis (with the syrinx) in the Museum at Naples. See references above.

=44-46.= It was only in rare instances that mortals returned from
Hades. See the stories of Hercules, Orpheus, Ulysses, Æneas. On the
tortures of the condemned and the happiness of the blessed, see
=254-257= in The Adventures of Æneas.

_=Illustrative.=_ Lowell, addressing the Past, says:

    Whatever of true life there was in thee
      Leaps in our age's veins; ...
    Here, 'mid the bleak waves of our strife and care
      Float the green Fortunate Isles
    Where all thy hero-spirits dwell, and share
      Our martyrdom and toils;
    The present moves attended
      With all of brave and excellent and fair
    That made the old time splendid.

Milton, Paradise Lost, 3, 568, "Like those Hesperian gardens," etc.
See also the same, 2, 577 ff.,--"Abhorrèd =Styx=, the flood of deadly
hate,"--where the rivers of Erebus are characterized according to
the meaning of their Greek names; and L'Allegro, 3. =Charon=: Pope,
Dunciad, 3, 19; R. C. Rogers, Charon. =Elysium=: Cowper, Progress of
Error, Night, "The balm of care, Elysium of the mind"; Milton, Paradise
Lost, 3, 472; Comus, 257; L'Allegro; Shakespeare, 3 Henry VI, I, ii;
Cymbeline, V, iv; Twelfth Night, I, ii; Two Gentlemen of Verona, II,
vii; Shelley, To Naples. =Lethe=: Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, IV, i;
Julius Cæsar, III, i; Hamlet, I, v; 2 Henry IV, V, ii; Milton, Paradise
Lost, 2, 583. =Tartarus=: Milton, Paradise Lost, 2, 858; 6, 54.

=47. _Interpretative._= The name =Hades= means "the invisible," or
"he who makes invisible." The meaning of Pluto (_Plouton_), according
to Plato (Cratylus), is _wealth_,--the giver of treasure which lies
underground. Pluto carries the cornucopia, symbol of inexhaustible
riches; but careful discrimination must be observed between him
and Plutus (_Ploutos_), who is merely an allegorical figure,--a
personification of wealth and nothing more. =Hades= is called also
the Illustrious, the Many-named, the Benignant, _Polydectes_ or the
Hospitable.

_=Illustrative.=_ Milton, L'Allegro, and Il Penseroso; Paradise Lost,
4, 270; Thomas Kyd, Spanish Tragedy (Andrea's descent to Hades;--this
poem deals extensively with the Infernal Regions); Shakespeare, 2 Henry
IV, II, iv; Troilus and Cressida, IV, iv; V, ii; Coriolanus, I, iv;
Titus Andronicus, IV, iii.

_=Poems.=_ Buchanan, Ades, King of Hell; Lewis Morris, Epic of Hades.

=48. Proserpina.= Not from the Latin _pro-serpo_, 'to creep forth'
(used of herbs in spring), but from the Greek form Persephone, _bringer
of death_. The later name =Pherephatta= refers to the doves (_phatta_),
which were sacred to her as well as to Aphrodite. She carries ears
of corn as symbol of vegetation, poppies as symbol of the sleep of
death, the pomegranate as the fruit of the underworld of which none
might partake and return to the light of heaven. Among the Romans her
worship was overshadowed by that of =Libitina=, a native deity of the
underworld.

_=Illustrative.=_ Keats, Melancholy, 1; Spenser, Faerie Queene, 1, 2,
2; Milton, Paradise Lost, 4, 269; 9, 396.

_=Poems.=_ Aubrey De Vere, The Search after Proserpine; Jean Ingelow,
Persephone; Swinburne, Hymns to Proserpine; L. Morris, Persephone (Epic
of Hades); D. G. Rossetti, Proserpina. (Also in crayons, in water
colors, and in oil.)

_=In Art.=_ Sculpture: Eastern pediment of Parthenon frieze. Painting:
Lorenzo Bernini's Pluto and Proserpine; P. Schobelt's Abduction of
Proserpine.

=49. _Textual._= (1) For Æacus, son of Ægina, see =61= and =C. 190=,
Table O; for Minos and Rhadamanthus, see =59. Eumenides=: euphemistic
term, meaning the _well-intentioned_. =Hecate= was descended through
her father Perses from the Titans, Creüs and Eurybië; through her
mother Asteria from the Titans, C[oe]us and Ph[oe]be. She was
therefore, on both sides, the granddaughter of Uranus and Gæa.

The following table is based upon Hesiod's account of =The Family of
Night=. (Theogony.)

According to other theogonies, the Fates were daughters of Jove and
Themis, and the Hesperides daughters of Atlas. The story of the true
and false =Dreams= and the horn and ivory gates (Odyssey, 19, 560)
rests on a double play upon words: (1) #elephas# (_elephas_),
'ivory,' and #elephairomai# (_elephairomai_), 'to cheat with false
hope'; (2) #keras# (_keras_), horn, and #krainein# (_krainein_), 'to
fulfill.' See Mortimer Collins, The Ivory Gate, a poem.

=_Illustrative._ Hades=: Milton, Paradise Lost, 2, 964; L. Morris,
Epic of Hades. =Styx=: Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, V, iv; Titus
Andronicus, I, ii; Milton, Paradise Lost, 2, 577; Pope, Dunciad, 2,
338. =Erebus=: Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, V, i; 2 Henry IV, II,
iv; Julius Cæsar, II, i. =Cerberus=: Spenser, Faerie Queene, 1, 11, 41;
Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost, V, ii; 2 Henry IV, II, iv; Troilus
and Cressida, II, i; Titus Andronicus, II, v; Maxwell, Tom May's Death;
Milton, L'Allegro, 2. =Furies=: Milton, Lycidas; Paradise Lost, 2, 597,
671; 6, 859; 10, 620; Paradise Regained, 9, 422; Comus, 641; Dryden,
Alexander's Feast, 6; Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's Dream, V, i;
Richard III, I, iv; 2 Henry IV, V, iii. =Hecate=: Shakespeare, Macbeth,
IV, i. =Sleep and Death=: Shelley, To Night; H. K. White, Thanatos.

=_In Art._= Vase-painting of Canusium of the Underworld (text, Fig.
34); painting of a =Fury= by Michelangelo (Uffizi, Florence); also
Figs. 35-39 in text.

=50-52.= See next page for Genealogical Table, Divinities of the Sea.

For stories of the Grææ, Gorgons, Scylla, Sirens, Pleiades, etc.,
consult Index.

=_Illustrative._ Oceanus=: Milton, Comus, 868. =Neptune=: Spenser,
Faerie Queene, 1, 11, 54; Shakespeare, Tempest, I, ii; Midsummer
Night's Dream, II, ii; Macbeth, II, ii; Cymbeline, III, i; Hamlet, I,
i; Milton, Lycidas; Paradise Regained, 1, 190; Paradise Lost, 9, 18;
Comus, 869; Prior, Ode on Taking of Namur; Waller's Panegyric to the
Lord Protector. =Panope=: Milton, Lycidas, 99.

=Harpies.= Milton, Paradise Lost, 3, 403. =Sirens=: Wm. Morris, Life
and Death of Jason--Song of the Sirens. =Scylla= and Charybdis (see
Index): Milton, Paradise Lost, 2, 660; Arcades, 63; Comus, 257; Pope,
Rape of the Lock, 3, 122. =Sirens=: Rossetti, A Sea-Spell; A. Lang,
"They hear the Sirens for the second time."

TABLE B. THE FAMILY OF NIGHT

   =Night=
     +-- Goddesses of Destiny and Fate (_Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos_)
     +-- Death (_Thanatos_)
     +-- Sleep
     |   +-- Morpheus
     |   +-- Icelus
     |   +-- Phantasus
     +-- Dreams
     +-- Momus (god of ridicule--adverse criticism)
     +-- Care
     +-- Hesperides
     +-- Nemesis

=Naiads.= Landor, To Joseph Ablett; Shelley, To Liberty, 8; Spenser,
Prothalamion, 19; Milton, Lycidas; Paradise Regained, 2, 355; Comus,
254; Buchanan, Naiad (see =134=); Drummond of Hawthornden, "Nymphs,
sister nymphs, which haunt this crystal brook, And happy in these
floating bowers abide," etc.; Pope, Summer, 7; Armstrong, Art of
Preserving Health, "Come, ye Naiads! to the fountains lead."

TABLE C. DIVINITIES OF THE SEA

  Gæa
  =Uranus
     +-- =Oceanus=
     |   ==Tethys=
     |   +-- Inachus and other river-gods
     |   +-- Oceanids
     |   +-- Doris (the Oceanid)
     |       =Nereus
     |       +-- =Amphitrite=
     |       |   ==Neptune=
     |       |   +-- Proteus (_acc. to Apollodorus_)
     |       |   +-- Triton
     |       +-- =Galatea=
     |       +-- Thetis
     |           =Peleus
     |           +-- Achilles
     +-- Cronus
     |   =Rhea
     |   +-- =Neptune=
     |       ==Amphitrite=
     |       +-- Proteus (_acc. to Apollodorus_) (see above)
     |       +-- Triton (see above)
     +-- Rhea
         =Cronus
         +-- =Neptune= (see above)

  Gæa
  =Pontus
     +-- Nereus
     |   =Doris (the Oceanid)
     |   +-- Amphitrite (see above)
     |   +-- Galatea (see above)
     |   +-- Thetis (see above)
     +-- Thaumas
     |   +-- Iris
     |   +-- Harpies
     +-- Phorcys
     |   =Ceto
     |   +-- Grææ
     |   +-- Gorgons
     |   +-- Sirens
     |   +-- Scylla
     +-- Ceto
         =Phorcys
         +-- Grææ (see above)
         +-- Gorgons (see above)
         +-- Sirens (see above)
         +-- Scylla (see above)

=Proteus.= Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, I, i; II, ii; III, ii;
IV, iv; Pope, Dunciad, 1, 37; 2, 109. The Water Deities are presented
in a masque contained in Beaumont and Fletcher's Maid's Tragedy.

=_In Art._= Poseidon: see text, Figs. 40 and 41 (originals in the
British Museum and the Glyptothek, Munich); also the Isthmian Poseidon,
Fig. 95. The Atlas (Græco-Roman sculpture) in National Museum, Naples;
the Triton in Vatican (text, Fig. 42). Modern painting: J. Van Beers,
The Siren; D. G. Rossetti, The Siren.

=_Textual._ Consus=, from _condere_, 'to stow away.' The sisters of
=Carmenta=, the forward-looking Antevorta and the backward-looking
Postvorta, were originally but different aspects of the function of the
Muse.

=54. _Illustrative._ Saturn=: Milton, Il Penseroso; Keats, Hyperion;
Peele, Arraignment of Paris. =Janus=, as god of civilization: Dryden,
Epistle to Congreve, 7. =Fauns=: Milton, Lycidas; R. C. Rogers, The
Dancing Faun. See Hawthorne's Marble Faun. =Bellona=: Shakespeare,
Macbeth, "Bellona's bridegroom, lapp'd in proof"; Milton, Paradise
Lost, 2, 922. =Pomona=: Randolph, To Master Anthony Stafford; Milton,
Paradise Lost, 9, 393; 5, 378; Thomson, Seasons, Summer, 663. =Flora=:
Milton, Paradise Lost, 5, 16; Spenser, Faerie Queene, 1, 4, 17; R. H.
Stoddard, Arcadian Hymn to Flora; Pope, Windsor Forest, 38. =Janus=:
Jonathan Swift, To Janus, on New Year's Day, 1726; =Egeria=, one of the
Camenæ; Childe Harold, 4, 115-120; Tennyson, Palace of Art, "Holding
one hand against his ear," etc. =Pan=, etc.: Milton, Paradise Lost, 4,
707; 4, 329.

=_In Sculpture._= The Satyr, or so-called Faun, of Praxiteles in the
Vatican (text, Fig. 106); Dancing Faun (Lateran, Rome); Dancing Faun,
Drunken Faun, Sleeping Faun, and Faun and Bacchus (National Museum,
Naples); The Barberini Faun, or Sleeping Satyr (Glyptothek, Munich).

=Flora.= Painting by Titian (Uffizi, Florence).

=55.= The first love of Zeus was =Metis=, daughter of Oceanus and
Tethys. She is Prudence or Foreknowledge. She warned Zeus that if
she bore him a child, it would be greater than he. Whereupon Zeus
swallowed her; and, in time, from his head sprang Athene, "the virgin
of the azure eyes, Equal in strength, and as her father wise" (Hesiod,
Theog.). On =Latona=, see =32=, =73=, and Commentary.

=56.= For Danaë see =151=; for Alemene, =156=; for Leda, =194=.

=57.= In the following general table of the =Race of Inachus= (see p.
488), marriages are indicated in the usual manner (by the sign =, or by
parentheses); the more important characters mentioned in this work are
printed in heavy-faced type. While numerous less important branches,
families, and mythical individuals have been intentionally omitted,
it is hoped that this reduction of various relationships, elsewhere
explained or tabulated, to a general scheme, may furnish the reader
with a clearer conception of the family ties that motivate many of the
incidents of mythical adventure, and that must have been commonplaces
of information to those who invented and perpetuated these stories. It
should be borne in mind that the traditions concerning relationships
are by no means consistent, and that consequently the collation of
mythical genealogies demands the continual exercise of discretion, and
a balancing of probabilities. Notice that from the union of Jupiter and
Io (Table D), Hercules is descended in the thirteenth generation.

=Inachus= is the principal river of Argolis in the Peloponnesus.

_=Interpretative.=_ =Io= is explained as the horned moon, in its
various changes and wanderings. =Argus= is the heaven with its myriad
stars, some of them shut, some blinking, some always agleam. The wand
of Hermes and his music may be the morning breeze, at the coming of
which the eyes of heaven close (Cox, 2, 138; Preller 2, 40). The
explanation would, however, be just as probable if Mercury (Hermes)
were a cloud-driving wind. =Pan and the Syrinx=: naturally the wind
playing through the reeds, if (with Müller and Cox) we take Pan to be
the all-purifying, but yet gentle, wind. But see p. 181.

_=Illustrative.=_ Shelley, To the Moon, "Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth, Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth?" Milton's "To behold the
wandering moon, Riding near her highest noon, Like one that had been
led astray, Through the heaven's wide pathless way" (Il Penseroso).
See also for Io, Shelley's Prometheus Bound. =Argus=: Milton, Paradise
Lost, 11, 131; Pope, Dunciad, 2, 374; 4, 637.

=_In Art._= Fig. 47 in the text, from a wall-painting of Herculaneum
(Museum, Naples). Correggio's painting, Jupiter and Io; not a