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V. 437. Could I myfelf the bloody ban^uef join /jIUrvz
before hinted that there is fomething very fierce and vio-
lent in this paf/age ; but 1 fancy what I have there ob-
ferved will jultify Homer in his relation, though not A-
chilles in his favage fenliments : yet the poet foftens thi2
expreffion by making Achilles only wifli that his hear^t
ivould permit him to devour him : tliis is much more to-
lerable than a pafTage in the Thebais of Statins, where
Tydeus in the very pangs of deathisreprefented as gnaw-
ing the head of his enemy,

V, 439. Should Troy, to bribe mc-^ etc,n Such refolu-
tions as Achilles here makes, are very natural to men in
anger; he tells He(5lor that no modves fliall ever pre-
vail with him to fuffer his body to be ranlomed ; yet
when time had cooled his heat, and he had fomewhat fa-
tisfied his revenge by infulting his remains, he reftores
them to Priam. This perfectly agrees with his condutSt
in the ninth book, where at firft he gives a rough denial,
and afterwards foftens into an eafier temper. And this is
very agreeable to the nature of Achilles ; his anger abates
very flowly ; it is ftubborn, yet dill it remits : had the
poet drawn him as never to be pacified, he had outraged, and not reprefented his hero as a man, but as 5,
moiiflei Euftathius.

Vol. IV. N

146 H O M E R's I L I A D. Book XXII.

Should Dardan Priam, and his weeping dame
Drain their whole realm to buy one fun'ral flame :
Their Heilor on the pile they Ihould not fee,
Nor rcb the vultures of one limb of thee.

Then thus the chief his dying accents drew : 445'
Thy rage, implacable ! too well I knew :
The furies that relentlefs brealt have fteel'd*
X And curft thee with a heart that cannot yield.
Yet think, a day will come, when fate's decree
And angry Gods, fnall v/reak this wrong on thee ; 450
Phoebus and Paris (liall avenge my fate.
And (Iretch thee here, before tliis Sc^an gate.

He ceas'd. The fates fuppreft his labVing breath.
And his eyes ftiffen'd at the hand of death ;
To the dark realm the fpirit wings its v/ny, 45 J

(The manly body left a load of day)
And plaintive glides along the dreary coafl,
A naked, wand'ring, melancholy ghoft !
Achilles, muling as he roU'd his eyes'
-O'er die dead hero, thus (unheard) replies. 46©.

Die thou the firft ! when Jove and heav'n ordain,
I follow thee He {l;id, and ftripp'd the ilaln.

V. 449. y4 day nvi/l co??;e'——^'] Hq^ov prophejies at
'his death that Achilles {hall fall by, the hand of Paris.
This contirms an obfervation made in a former note,
that the words of dying men were looked upon as prophe-
cies : but v/hether fuch conjedturcs are true or falfe, it ap-
pears from hence, that fuch opinions have prevailed in the
world aboTe tlireethoufand years.

Book XXII. H O M E R^s ILIAD. 147

Then forcing backward from the gaping wound

The reeking jav'lin, ca(l: it on the ground.

The thronging Greeks behold with wond'ring eyes 465

His manly beauty and fuperior fize ;

AVhile fome ignobler, the great dead deface

With wounds ungen'rous, or with taunts difgrace.

'* How clian^'d diat Hector ! who like Jove of late
t> - ^

" Sent light'ning on our fleets, and fcatter <. fate ? ". 470

High o'er the flain the great Achilles f!ands.
Begirt with heroes, and furrounding bands ;

V. 467. Th'^ great dead deface nviih '^jjoundsy etc. J
Euftathius tells us that Homer introduces the foldiers
wounding the dead body of Hector, in order to mitigate
the cruelties which Achilles exercifes upon it. For if
every common foldier takes a pride in giving him a
wound, what bfults may we not expedl from the inex-
orable Inflamed Achilles ? But I muft confcfs myfclf
unable to vindicate the poet in giving us fiich an idea of
his countrymen. I think the former courage of their
enemy Ihould have been fo far from moving them to re-
venge, that it fhould have recommended him to their
elteem : what Achilles afterwards ads is fuitable to his
character, and confequently the poet is jufHfied; but
furely all the Greeks are not of his temper ? Patroclus
was not fo dear to them all, as he was to Achilles. It is
true, the poet reprefents Achilles (^as Euflathius obferves)
enumerating the many ills they had fuflered fcom Hec-
tor ; and feems to endeavour to infed the whole army
with his refentment, 'Had Hedor been living, they had
been adted by a generous indignation againd him : but
thefe men feem as if they only dared approach him dead ;
in fliort, what they fay over his body is a mean infwlt,
and the (labs they give it are cowaidly and barbarous.

N z

148 H O M E R's I L I A D. Book XXIf.

And thus aloud, while all the hod attends.

Princes and leaders ! countrymen and friends !

Since now at length the pow'rful will of heav'n 475

The dire deftroyer to our arm has giv'n, ^

Js not Troy fall'n already ? Hade, ye pow'rs I

See, if already their deferted tow'rs

Are left unmann'd ; ©r if they yet retain

The fouls of heroes, t1:ieir great Hedlor flain ? /^Sc

But what is Troy, of glory what to me ?

Or why refle6ls my mind on aught but thee.

Divine Patroclus ! death has feaFd bis eyes ;

Unwept, iMihonour'd, aninterr'd he lies !

V. 474. Thefpeechof Jchilles.'\ We have a very fine
obfervation of Euftathius on this place, that the judg-
ment and addrefs of Homer here is extremely worthy
of remark : he knew, and had often faid, that the gods
and fate had not granted Achilles the glory of taking
Troy : there was then no reafbn to make him march
againfl the town after the death of He6tor, fince all his
efforts mud have been ineffedual. What has the poet
done in this conjuncture? It was but reafonable that
the fird thought of Achilles fhouid be to march diredly
to Troy, and to profit himfelf of the general conderna*
tion into which the death of Heftor had thrown the
Trojans, We here fee he knows the duty, and does
not want the ability, of a great general : but after this
on a fudden he changes his defign, and derives a plau-
fiblc pretence from the impatience he has to pay the laft,
devoirs to his friend. The manners of Achilles, and
•what he has already done for Patroclus, make this very
natural. At the fame time, this turnir.g off to the ten-
der'and pathetic has a line effect ; the reader in the very
fury of the hero's vengeance, perceives that Achilles is
dill a man, and capable of fofter pafiions.

Wook XXIT. H M E R's ILIAD. 149

Can his dear image from my foul depart, 485

Long as the vital fpirit moves my heart ?
If, in the melancholy ihades below,-
The flames of friends and lovers ceale to glow,
Yet mine fhall facred laft ; mine undecay'd,
Burn on thro' death, and animate my fhade, 49'^ '

Meanwhile, ye fons of Greece, in triumph bring
The corps of Hedor, and your Pasans fing.
Be this the fong,, flow-moving tow'rd the fhore,
" He<5lor is dead, and llion is no more."

Then his fell foul a thought of vengeance bred, 495.
(Unworthy of himfelf, and of the dead)

V. 494. " He^or is dcad^ and lUon is no niore»^'\ .,
IJiave followed the opinion of Eui]:athius, who thought
that what Achilles fiys here was the chorus or burdtn cf
^fong of triumph, in which his troops bear a paft with
him, as he returns from this glorious combate. Dacier
obferves that this is very correfpondent to the majwif-rs ^
of thofe times ; and inftances in that palTage of the book -
of Kings, when David returns from the conqueft of Go- -
liah : the women there go out to meet him from all the
cities of Ifrael, and (irg a triumphal fong, the chorus
whereof is, Saul has killed his thoufands^ and David his -■
ten thcufands.

V. 496. Unnxjorthy .of himfelf, and cfth'e dead."] This
inhumanity of Achilles in dragging the dead body of '
Mclflor, has been fsverely (and 1 think indeed not with-
out Ibme julHce) cenfared by feveral, both ancients and
modems. Plato in his third book de republics, fpeaks
of it with detcflaiion : but niethinks it is a great injuf-
rice to Homer to reflect upon the morals of the author,
himfelf, for things wliich he only paints as the . manners'-i
of a vicious hero.

N 3,



The nervous ancles bor'd, his feet he bound

Widi thongs inferted diro' the double wound ;

Thefe fix'd up high behind the rolling wain.

His graceful head was trail'd along the plain, 5CQ

proud on his car th* infuldng vi^flor flood.

And bore aloft his arms, didilling blood.

He fmites the deeds ; the rapid chariot flies ;

The fudden clouds of circling duft arife..

It may juflly be obfervedin general of all Plato*s obi-
jeflions againft Homer, that they are flili in a view to
morality, conftantly blaming him for reprefenting ill
and immoral things as the opinions or adions of his
perfons. To every one of thefe, one general anfwer
will ferve, which is, that Homer as often defcribes ill
things, in order to make us avoid them, as good, to in-
duce us to follow them, (which is the cafe with all writers
whatever.) But what is extremely remarkable, and e-
vidently fhews the injuftice of Plato's cenfure, is, that
many of thofe very a<5tions for which he blames him, are
cxprefly charadlerized and marked by Homer himfelf as
evil and deteflable, by previous expreflions or cautions.
Thus in the prefent place, before he deicribes this bar-
barity of Achilles, he tells us it was a moft unworthy

-Kcit'^EKro^sc ^Tov kuKicc f^li^iTo s/)ytfc.

When Achilles facrlfices the twelve young Trojans in
1. 23. he repeats the fame words. When Pandarusi
broke the truce in 1, 4. he told us it was a mad, unjufl
deed ;

— T« ti^p^^lvxi a^fovi TTiThy,

And fo of the ref!.


Now loft is all that formidable air '^ 505

The face divine, and long defcending hair

Purple the ground, and ftreak the fable fand;

Deform'd, dillionour'd, in his native land !

Giv n to the rage of an inluking throng !

And, in his parent's fight, now dragg'd along ! 510

The mother firft beheld with fad furvey ;
She rent her trefles, venerable grey,
And call, far off, the regal veils away.
With piercing {hrieks his bitter fate (he moans.
While the fid father anfwers groans with groans, 515
Tears after tears his mournful cheeks o'evflovv^,
And the whole city wears one face of woe.
No lefs than if the rage of hoftile fires
From her foundations curling to her fpires,

V. 506. The face divine, and long-defcending hair7\
It is impofKble to read the actions of great men without
having our curiofity raifed to know the leaft circum-
ftance that relates to them. Homer, to fatisfy it, has
taken care in the procefs of his poem to give us the fliape
of his heroes, and the very colour of their hair; thus
V" he has told us that Achilles's locks were yellow, and
here the epithet Ku«y£«( fliiews us that thofe of Hedor
were of a darker colour : as to his perfon, he told us a
little above, that it was fo handfome, that all the Greeks
were furprized to fee it. Plutarch recites a remarkable
ftory of the beauty of Hector : it was reported in Lace-
daemon, that a handfome youth who very much refem-
bled Hector was arrived there ; immediately the whole
city run in fuch numbers to behold him, that he was
trampled to death by the croud. Euftathius.


O'er the proud citadel a^ length fnould rife, 520

And the lad: blaze fend Illon to the fkles.

The wretched monarch of the faUing ftate,

Difl:raa:ed, preffes to the Dardan gate.

Scarce the v/hole people flop his defp'rate courfe.

While ftrong affiaion gives the feeble force: 525?-;

Grief tears his heart, and drives him to and fro,

In all the raging impotence of woe.

At length he roll'd in d\ii\, and thus begun :

Imploring all, and naming one by one.

Ah ! let me, let rae go where forrow calls ; 530:

I, only I, will iffue from your walls, .

(Guide or companion, friends ! Laflc ye none.)

And bow before the murd'rer of my fon.

My grief perhaps his pity may engage ;

Perhaps at leaft he may refpedl my age., 53^:

He has a father too ; a man like me ;,.

One, not exempt from age and mifery,

(Vig'rous no more, as when his young embrace

Begot this gefl of me, and all my race.)

H6w many valiant Ions, in early bloom, 540.

Has that curft hand fent headlong to the tomb I

Thee, He6lor ! laft: thy lofs (divinely brave) ■

Sinks my fad foul widi forrow to the grave.

V. ^d^. Sinks ?}}y fad foul ivith forro'W to the grave'r\
It is in the Greek,

It is needlefs to obferve to the reader with what a
beautiful pathos the wretched father laments his fon

Book XXII. H O M E R's I L I A D. IJ3

Oh had thy gentle fpirit paft in peace,
• The Ton expiring in the fire's embrace, 54J

While both thy parents wept thy fatal hour.
And bending o'er thee, mix'd the tender fhow'r !
Some comfort that had been, fome fad relief.
To melt in full fatiety of grief!

Thus wail'd the father, grov'ling on the ground, 55Q
And all the eyes of I lion ftream'd around.

Amidft her matrons Hecuba appears,
(A mourning princefs, and a train In tears)
Ah why has heav'n prolong'd this hated breath,
Patient of horrors, to behold thy death ? SS5

Oh Heflor I late thy parents pride and joy.
The boaft of nations ! the defence of Troy !
To whom her fafety and her fame fiie ow'd.
Her chief, her hero, and almoft her God1
O fatal change ! become In one fad day - S^P

A fenfelefs corfe I Inanimated clay !
- But not as yet the fatal news had fpread
To fair Andromache, of Hedor dead ;

Keclor : it Is impoflible not to join with Priam in his for-
rows. But what I would chiefly point out to my reader,
is the beauty of this line, which Is particularly tender,
and almoft word for word the fame with that of the pa-
triarch Jacob ; who upon a like occafion breaks out into
the fame complaint, and tells his children, that If they de-
prive him of his fon Benjamin they will ^r/;?^ doiun hit
grey hairs 'voith forronx) to the grave,

V. 563. etc.'] The grief of Andromache, which is
painted In the following part, is far beyond all the
praifes that can be given it ; but I mufl: take notice of


As yet no melTenger had told his fate,

Nor ev'n his ftay without the Scaean gate. 565

Far in the clofe recefTes of the dome,

Penfive flie ply'd the melancholy loom ;

A growing work employ 'd her fecret hours,

Confus'dly gay with Intermingled flowVs.

Here fair-hair'd handmaids heat the brazen urn, 570

The bath preparing for her Lord's return :

In vain : alas ! her Lord returns no more !

Unbath'd he. lies, and bleeds along the {hore^!

Now from the walls the clamours reach her ear,

And all her members fhake with fudden fear ; 575

forth from her Iv'ry hand the fliutrie falls.

As thus, afionifli'd, to her maids fhe calls.

Ah follow me ! (fhe ciy'd) what plaintive noife
Invades my ear ? 'Tis fure my mother's voice.
My fault 'ring knees their trembling frame defert, 5 80
A pulfe unufual flutters at my heart.
Some itrange difafter, fome reverfe of fate
(Ye Gods avert it) threats the Trojan flate.

one particular which fliews the great art of the poet. In
order to make the v/ife of Heftor appear yet more afflic-
ted than his parents, he has taken care to increafe her
afRi6lion by /urprize : it is finely prepared by the circum-
ftances of her being retired to her innermofl apartment,
of her employment in weaving a robe for her hufband,
(as may be conje<5lured from what Hie fays afterward,
V. 657.) and of her maids preparing the bath for his re-
turn : all which (as the critics have obferved) augment
the furprize, and render this reverfe of fortune mucli
more dreadful and afflicting.

Book XXir. H O M E R's ILIAD. 155

Far be the omen which ray thoughts fuggeft !

Bat much I fear, my Hector's daimtlefs breaft 585

Confronts Achilles ; chas'd along the plain,

Shut from our walls ! I fear, I fear him flam !

Safe in the croud he ever fcorn'd to wait.

And fought for glory in the jaws of fate :

Perhaps that noble heat has coft his breath, 590

Now quench'd for ever in the arms of death.

She fpoke ; and funous, with diftraded pace.
Fears in her heart, and anguifh in her face.
Flies ihra' the dome, (the maids her fteps purfue)
And mounts the walls, and fends around her view. 595
Too foon her eyes the killing obje(51: found.
The godlike Hector dragg'd along the ground.
A fudden darknefs fhades her fwinmimg eyes : -
She faints, flie falls ; her breath; her colour ilies. .
Her hair's fair ornaments, the braids that bound, 600
The net that held them, and the wreadi that crown'd,

V. 600. Her halves fair ornafnents.~\ Euftathius re-
marks, that in fpeaking ot Androinache and Hecuba, Ho-
mer expatiates upon the ornaments of drefs m Androma-
che, becaufe (he was a beautiful young prmcefs ; but is
very concife about that of Hecuba, becaufe ihe was old,
and wore a drefs rather fultable to her age and gravity,
than to her ftate, birth, and condition. 1 cannot pafs o-
ver a matter of fuch importance as a lady's diefs, without
endeavouring to explain what fort of heads were worn a-
bove three thoufand years ago.

It is difficult to defcribv^ particularly every ornament
mentioned by the poet, but I fliall lay befoie my female
^readers die bifliop's ex5)Ianation. The''A/**-y| was ufed^


1^6 HO U E R's ILIAD. Book XXII.

The veil and diadem, flew far away ;

{The gift of Venus on her bridal day)

Around a train of weeping (iflers (lands

To raife her linking with affiftant hands. 6o>

Scarce from the verge of death recall'd again,

She faints, or but recovers to complain.

O wretched husband of a wretched wife !
Bom with one fate, to one unhappy life !
For fiire one ftar its baneful beam difplay'd 6 ID

On Priam's roof, and Hippoplacia's fliade.
From diff 'rent parents, diff'rent climes we came,
At dllf'rent periods, yet our fate the fame !
Why was my birth to great Action ow'd,.
And why was all that tender csre beflow'd ? 615

TO rxr hi,7r^o^(xi; r^i'p(^X(; hcc^Hv^ that is, to tie back-
wards the hair that' grew on the forepart of the head:
the K£*:^y^«Ao5 was a veil of net-work that covered the
hair when It was fo tied : 'Avi^^ec^jj was an ornament uf-
ed KVKXaTi^i T»j K^oTKipac (ivx^etv, to tie backwards the
hair that grew on the temples ; and the K^vio'iuvcv was a
fillet perhaps embroidered with gold, (from the expref-
fion of ;>^^v(ry, A^^e^^Tj;) that boand tlie whole and com- •
pleated tJie drefs.

The ladies cannot but be pleafed to fee fo much learn-
ing and Greek upon this Important fubje(f>.

Homer is in nothing- more excellent than in tliat dl-
ftIn(5lion of charaders which he maintains thro' his whole
poem : what Andromache here fays, cannot be fpokea
properly by any but /-.ndromache : therc is nothing ge-
neral in her forrows nothing that can be transferred to
another cliaratfler : the mother laments the fon, and the

wife weeps over the husband,


Eook XXII. H O M E R's ILIAD. 157

Would I had never been ! — O thou, the ghoU

Of my dead husband ! miferably loft !

Thou to the difmal realms for ever gone !

And I abandon'd, defolate, alone!

An only child, once comfort of my pains, ^20

Sad product now of haplefs love remains !

No more to fmile upon his fire ! no friend

To help him now ! no fither to defend '!

For fhould he 'fcape the fword, the common doom !

What wrongs afttend him, and what griefs to come ? 62$

Ev'n from his own paternal roof expell'd,

Some ftranger plows his patrimonial lield.

The day, that to the fliades the father fends,

Robs the fad orphan of his father's friends ;

V. 628. T/;e day, that to the (Ijadcs, etc.] The fol-
lowing verfes, which {o finely defcribc the condition of
an orphan, have been rejefted by fbme ancient critics :
it is a proof there were always critics of Jio manner of
tafle ; it being impolfible any where to meet with a
more exquifite pafTage. I will venture to fay, tliere
are not in all Homer any lines .more worthy of him :
the "beauty of tliis tender and corepaffionate image is
fuch, that it even makes amends for the many cruel ones,
with which the Iliad is too much ftained. Thefp cenfurers
imagined this defcription to be of too abjecl and mean
a nature of one of the quality of Aftyanax ; but had they
confidered (fays Euftathius) that thefe are the words of
■a fond mother, who feared every thing f jr her fon ; that
women are by nature timorous, and think all misfortunes
will happen, becaufe there is a poffibility thatt^iey may ;
that Andromache Is in the very height of her forrovv^s,
in the inftant (lie is fpeaking; I Fancy they v/ould hav?
altered their opinion.

Vol. IV. O

1 58 H O .At E R's ILIA D. Book XXII.

He, wretched outcad: of mankind ! appears 630

For ever Tad, for ever badi'd in tears ;

Amongfi die happy, unregarded he.

Hangs on the robe, or trembles at the knee,

"While thofe his father's former bounty fed.

Nor reach the goblet, nor divide the bread: 63^;

The kindefl but his prefent wants allay,

To leave him wretched the (ucceeding day.

Frugal compaiTion ! heedlcfs they who boafl

Both parents liill, nor feel what he has loft,

Shall cry, *' Be gone ! thy father feafts not here : " 64O

The wretch obeys, retiring with a tear.

Thus wretched, thus retiring all in tears,

To my fid foul Adyanax appears !

Forc'd by repeated infults to return,

And to his widow'd mother vainly mourn. 645

He, who with tender delicacy bred,
With princes fported, and on dainties fed,

It is undoubtedly an aggravation to our misfortunes
when they fink us in a moment from the higheft flow of
profpcrlty to the lowed adverhry : the poet judicioufly
makes nfe of this circumftance, the more to excite our
pity, and introduces the mother with the utmoft tender-
ncfs, lamenting this reverfc of fortune in her fon ; chang-
ed all at once into a ilave, a beggar, an orphan ! have we
not examples in our ov^^n times offuch unhappy princes,
v.'hofe condition renders this ofAflyanax but too probable?
V. 647. On dainties fed,'] It is in the Greek, " Who
'' upon his father's knees, ufed to eat marrow and the
■** fat of ilieep." This would feem grofs if it were li-
terally tranfiatcd, but it Is a figurative expreflion; in

BookXXir. H O M E R's I L T A D. 1^9

And when ftill ev'ning gave him up to reft.

Sunk foft in down upon the nurfe's breafl,

Muft — ah what nmii he not ? Whom Ilion calls 650

Aliyanax, from her well-guarded walls.

Is now that name no more, unhappy boy !

Since now no more the father guards his Troy.

But thou, my Keclor, ly'd expos'd in air,

Far from thy parent's and thy confort's care, 6^5

AVhofe hand in vain, dircAed by her love.

The martial fcarf and robe of triumph wove.

the ftyle of the orientals, marrow and fatnefs are taken for
whatever is beii:, tendereli, and moft delicious. *Thus in
Job xxi. 24. Vifcera ejus plena funt adipe, et meduUis
cfflx ejus irrigantur. And xxxvi. 16. Requles autem
inenfae tua erit plena pinguedine. Injer. xxxi. 14. God
fays, that he will fatiate the foul of the priefts with fat-
nefs. Inebrtabo a7nvia'm facer dot urn pingue dine . Dacier.

V. 657. Tke martial fcarf and robe of triumph imvel^
This idea very naturally offers itfelf to a woman, who
reprefents to herfelf the body of her husband daflied to
pieces, and all his limbs dragged upon the ground unco-
vered ; and nothing is more proper to excite pity. It is
well known, that it was anciently the cudom among prin-
ceffes and great ladies to have large quantities of (hilKj
and moveables. This prcvifion was more neceffary in
thofe times than now, becaufe of the great confumption
made of them on tliofe occafions of mourning. Dacier.

I am of opinion that Homer had a farther view in ex-
patiating thus largely upon the death of Hedlor. Every
word that Hecuba, Priam, and Andromache fpcak, faews
us the importance of Hc5tor : every word adds a weight
to the concluding action of the poem, and at the fame
time reprefents the fad etfev5ts of the anger of Achilles,
which is the fubjed of it.

O 2

l6o HOME R's ILIA D. Book XXIL

Now to devouring flames be thefe a prey,

Ufelefs to tlice, from this accurfed day !

Yet let the facrifiee at leaft be paid, 660

An honour to the Kving, not the dead !

So fpake the mournful dame : her matrons hear,
Sigh back her fighs, and anfwer tear with tear.





AC H Ih L E S and the Myrmidons do honours to the'
body ofPatroclus, After the funeral feajl he retires
to the/ea-JJ?orey 'where falling ajleep^ the gbofl of his

friend at^pears to hi?n, and demands the rites cf bu^
rial; the next morning the foldiers are fent nvith

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