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- " - ■ Gaudent ibi, vert ice rafo

Garrulajscuri narrare pericula naut.e.

This feeming contradI<ftion will be fblx'ed by having re-
fpe6l to the different pradtices of different nations. If
it was the general cuftom of any country to wear long
hair, then the cutting it off was a token of forrow ; but
if it was the cuflom to wear fliort hair, then the letting
it grow long and negle<5ting it, (hewed that fuch people
were mourners.

v. 168. Supporting ivith his hands the heroes head.']
Achilles follows the corpfe as chief mourner, and fuffains
the head of his friend : this laft circumflance feems to
be general; thus Euripides in the funeral of- Rhefus, r.

Book XXIII. H O iM E R's ILIA D. 177

Patroclus decent on th' appointed ground » 170
They place, and heap the fylvan pile around.
But great Achrlles (lands apart in pray'r.
And from his head divides the yellow hair ;.
Thofe curling locks which from his youth he vow'd.
And facred grew, to Sperchias' honour'd flood : 175
Then fighing, to the deep his looks he caft.
And roird his eyes around the wat'ry wafte.

Sperchius ! whofe waves in mazy errors lolt
Delightful roil along my native coaft !
To whom w£ vainly vow'd, at our return, 180

Thefe locks to fall, and hecatombs to burn :

Il^hat GoJy kingy ^^iih his hands fupports the head of
the deceafed?
V. i"} ^..Jtid facred grevj to Sperchius* honoured ftood~\
It was the cuftom of the ancients not only to offer their
own hair, but likewife to confecrate that of their children
to the river- gods of their country. This is what Paufi-
nias fhews in his Attics : Before you pafs the Ccphifa
(fays he) you find the tomh ofTheodoruSi luho ivas the
moft excellent aCior of his time for tragedy; and on J he
banks you fee t^iuofatues^ one of Mnefimachusy and the
other of his fon, 'who cut off hts hair in honour of the
rivers ; for that this nuas in all ages the cuftom of the
Creeks y may be inferred from Ho7ners poetry^ nxihere
Peleus promifes by a folemn vonxj to conjecrate to the
river Sperchius the hair of his fon^ if he returns fa fe
from the Trojan 'war. This cuftom was likewife in X.-
gypt, where Philoftratus tells us that Memnon confecra-
ted his hair to the Nile. This practice of Achilles was
imitated by Alexander at the funeral of Hephaeftion,


Full fifty rams to bleed in facrifice,

AVhere to the day thy filver fountains rife,

And where in (hade of confecrated bowVs

The altars ftand, perfum'd with native flow'rs ! 185

So vow'd my father, but he vow'd in vain ;

No more Achilles fees his native plain ;

In that vain hope thefe hairs no longer grow,

Patroclus bears them to the fliades below.

Thus o'er Patroclus while the hero pray'd, 190

On his cold hand the facred lock he laid.
Once more afrefli the Grecian forrows flow :.
And now the hn had fet upon their woe ;
But to the king of men thus fpoke the chief.
Enough Atrides I give the troops relief : 195

Permit the mourning legions to retire,
And let the chiefs alone attend the pyre ;

The pious care be ours, the dead to burn

He faid : the people to their /hips return r

While thofe deputed to inter the (lain, 200

Heap with a riiing pyTamid the plain.

j\ hundred foot in length, a hundred wide.

The growing rtru(flure fpreads on ev'ry iide ;

High on the top the manly corfe they lay.

And well-fed fhecp, and fable oxen flay : 205

Achilles cover'd with their fat the dead,

And the pil'd vidims round the body fpread.

Then jars of honey, and of fragrant oil

Sufpends around, low-bending o'er the pile.

Book XXIII. H O M E R's I L I A D. 179

Four fprightly courfers, with a deadly groan 210

Pour forth their lives, and on the pyre are thrown.

Of nine large dogs, domeftic at his board.

Pall two, feleded to attend their Lord.

Then lad of all, and horrible to tell.

Sad facriHce ! twelve Trojan captives fell. 215

On tliefe the rage of fire vidorious preys,

Involves and ^oins them in one common blaze.

Smear'd with the bloody rites, he (lands on high.

And calls the fpirit with a dreadful cry.

All hail, Patroclus ! let thy vengeful ghoft 220

Hear, and exult on Pluto's dreary coaft.
Behold, Achilles' promife fully paid.
Twelve Trojan heroes ofFer'd to thy fliade ;
But heavier fates on Hec^lor's corfe attend,
Sav'd from the flames, for hungry dogs to rend. 225

So fpake he, tlireat'ning : but the Gods made vain
His threat, and guard inviolate the flain :
Celeftial Venus hover'd o'er his head.
And rofeate unguents, heav nly fragrance ! ilied :

V. 228. CeleftiaWsmiSt etc.] Homer has here intro-
duced a feries of allegories in the compafs of a few lines:
the body of Heclor may be fuppofed to continue beauti-
ful even after he was Hain ; and Venus being the prefi-
-dent of beauty, the poei by a natural fidion tells us it
v/as preferved by that goddefs.

Apollo's covering the body with a cloud is a very na-
tural allegory ; for the fun (fays Euftathius) has a double
quality which produces contrary effecls ; the heat of it
caufes adrynefs, but at the farne time it exhales the va-
•pours of the earth, from \^"hence the clouds of heaven

i8o II O M E R's ILIAD. Book XXIIl.

^he watch'd him all the night, and all the day, 2 30

And drove the bloodhounds from their deftin'd prey.

Nor facred Phoebus lefs employ'd his care ;

He pour'd around a veil of gather'd air,

And kept the nerves undry'd, the flefh intire,

A^aind the folar beam and Sirian fire. 2-3^

Nor yet the pile where dead Patroclus lies.
Smokes, nor as yet the fallen flames arife ;
But fafl befide Achilles flood in pray'r,
Invok'd the Gods whofe fpirit moves the air.
And viiflims promis'd, and libations cafl, 240

To gentle Zephyr and the Boreal blaft :
He call'd th' aerial pow'rs along die flvies
To breathe, and whifper to the fires to rife.
The winged Iris heard the hero's call.
And infhnt haden'd to their airy hall, 245

"Where, in. old Zephyr's open courts on high.
Sate all the bluft'ring brethren of the flvy.
She flione amidfl them, on her painted bow ;
The rocky pavement glitter'd with die fhow.
All from the banquet rife, and each invites 250

The various Goddefs to partake the rites.
Not fo, (the dame reply'd) I hafte to go
To facred Ocean, and die floods IkIow :

are formed. This allegory may be founded upon truth j'
there might happen to be a cool feafon while Heftor
lay unburied, and Apollo, or the fun, raifmg clouds
which intercept the heat of his beams, by a very eafy
fi(5lion in poetry may be introduced •iiuperfon to preferve

the body of Hedor,



Ev'n now our folemn hecatombs attend.

And heav'n is feafling on the world's green end, 25 J

With righteous ^^thiops (uncorruptci train!)

Far on th' extrenicfl: limits of the main.

But PeleusTon inireats, with factifice.

The Weftern Spirit, and the North to rife :

I^ton Patroclus'pile yourblad b'j driv'n, 260

And bear tlie blazing honours high to licav*n.

Swift as the word, (lie vanifti'd'from their view ;
•Swift as die word the winds tumultuous flew ;

V. 263. Tie allegory cfiheivinds^ A poet ought
to exprefs nodiing vulgarly ; and fure no poet ever tref-
pafTed lefs againft this rule than Homer ; die fruiifulnefs
of his invention is continually raifing incidents new and
furprifing. Take this paflage out of its poetical drefs
and it will be no more than this ; a ftrong gale of wind
blew, and fo increafed the flame that it foon confumcd
the pile. But Homer introduces the gods of die winds
in perfon : and Iris, or the rain-bow, being (as Eultathi-
us obferves) a fign not only of Ihowers, but of winds, he
makes them come at her fummons.

Every circumdance is well adapted : as foon as the
winds fee Iris, they rife ; that is, when the rain-bow ap-
pears, the v/ind rifes : ilie refules to fit, and immediate-
ly -returns ; that is, the rain-bow is never feen Ion ji; at
one time, but foon appears, and foon vaniflies : (lie re-
turns over the ocean ; that is, the bow is compofcd of
waters, and it would have been an unnaturai ficlion to
have defcribed her as palliag by land.

The winds are altogether in the cave of Zephyrus,

which may imply that tliey were there as at their genc-

! ral rendezvous ; or that the nature of all the winds is

the fame; or that die weftern wind is in that country the

mod conftant, and confequently it may be faid tjiat a-.

V o L. IV. Q_

iS2 H M E R's I L 1 A D. Book XXIIT.

Forth buiiL the ftormy band with thundVing rore,
And heaps on heaps the clouds are tofs'd before. 265"
To the wide main then /looping from the flcies,
The heaving deeps in v/at'ry mountains rife :
Troy feels the blafi: along her fhaking walls,
''Till on the pile the gather'd temped falls.
The (Iruifture crackles in the roaring fres, 270

And all the night the plenteous flame afpires-
All night Achilles hails Patroclus' foul,
Widi large libation from the golden bowl.
As a poor father, helplels and undone,
IVIourns o'er the afhes of an only Ton, aj^

Takes a fad pleafure the laft bones to burn,
And pour in tears, ere yet they clofe the urn :
So ftay'd Achilles, circling round the fhore,
So watch'd tlie fkiraes, 'till now they flame no more.
*Twas when, emerging thro' the fliades of night, 280
Tlie morning .planet told th' approach of light;

fach leafons all the winds are aiTembled in one corner, or
rendezvous v/ith Zephyr us.

Iris will not enter the cave : it is the nature of the rarn-
bov*^ to be (Iretched intirely upon the furface, and there-
fore this ii&Aon is agreeable to reafon.

When Iris fays that the gods are partaking hecatombs
In /It^thiopia, it is to be remembered that the gods are re-
prefentcd xhere in the firft book, before the fcenesofwar
-were opened ; and now they areclofcd, they return thi-
ther. Euftathius. ■ Thus Homer makes the anger
of his hero fo important, tlrat it roufcd heaven to arms,
and now when it is almoft appeaftd, Achilles as it were
Oives peace -to t'ne r.odf.

Book XXni. n O M E R's ILIA D. 185

And faft behind, Aurora's warmer ray

G'er the broad ocean pour'd the golden day :

Then fimk the blaze^ the pile no longer burn'dj

And to their caves die whill ling winds return'd: sSy

Acrofs tlie Thracian feas their courfe they bore ;

The ruffled Teas beneath their pafliige rorc.

Then parting from the pile he ceas'd to weep,
And 1 link to quiet in th' embrace of ileep,
^Exhaulled with his grief: meanwhile the croud 290
Of thronging Grecians round Achilles flood ;
The tumult wak'd him : from his eyes he iliook
Unwilling (lumber, and the cliiefs befpoke.

Ye kings and princes of th'Achaian name !
Firfl let us quench the yet remaining flame 295

With fable wine ; then, (as the rites dired)
The horo's bones wich careful view felet5^.-
(Apart, and eafy to be Laown they lie.
Amidft the heap, and obvious to the eye :
The reft around the margins will be feen, 200

Promlfcuous, (teeds, and immolated men)
Thefe wrapt in double cawls of fat, prepare •
And in the golden vafe difpofe with care ;
There let them reft, with decent honour hid,
'Till I fhall follow to th' infernal fhade. - ,305

Meantime ered the tomb with pious hands,
A common ftrudure on the humble fands ;


1^4 H O M E R's ILIAD. Book XXIir.

Hereafter Greece fome nobler work may ralfe,
And late pollerity record our praife.

The Greeks obey ; where yet the embers glow ^310
Wide o'er the pile the fable wine they throw,
And deep fubfides the afhy heap below.
Next the white bones his fad companions place
"With tears colleded, in the golden vafe.
The facred relics to the tent they bore ; 315

The nrn a veil of linen cover'd o'er,
Tliat done, they bid the fepulchre afpire.
And call the deep foundations round the pyre ;
jlJigh in the midft they heap the fwelling bed
■ Of nfing earth, memorial of the dead. 3 20

The fv/arming populace the chief detains.
And leads aniidil a wide extent of plains ;

V. 508. Hereafter Greece a fiohlerpHe fJ:aII raifeS]
■**Vc fee iiow Achilles confults his own glory ; the defire
of it prevails over his tendernefs for Patroclus, and he
will not permit any man, not even his beloved Patroclus,
to fhaje an equality of iionour Vvith himfelf, even in the
grave, EuQathius.

V. 321. The games for Patroclus.'] The conduift of
Homer in inlarging upon the games at the funeral of
Patroclus is very judicious : there had undoubtedly been
fuch honours paid to feveral heroes during this war, as
appears from a palTage in the ninth book, where Aga-
memnon to enhance the value of the horfcs which he
offers Achilles, fays, that any perfon would be rich that
had treafures equal to the value of the prizes they had
won ; which races mufl: have been run during the fiege :
forbad they been before it, the horfes would now have
been too old to be of any value, this being the tenth

Book XXIII. H M E R's I L I A D. 1^5

There plac^^d *em round : then from the fhips proceeds

A train of oxen, mules, and ftately fteeds,

Vafes and tripods, for the fun'ral games, 32^

Refplendent brafs, and more refplendent dames.

Firft flood the prizes to reward the force

Of rapid racers in the dufty courfe.

A woman for the firft, in beauty's bloom,

Skill 'd in the needle, and the lab'ring loom ; 3?^

And a large vafe, where two bright handles rife.

Of twenty meafures its capacious fize.

The fecond vi(5tor claims a mare unbroke.

Big with a mule, unknowing of the yoke ;

year of the war. But the poet pafTes all thofe games
over m filence, and referves them for this feafon ; not
only in honour of Patroclus, but alfo of his. hero A-
chilles ; who exhibits games to a whole army ; great
generals are candidates for the prizes, and he himfelf
fits the judge and arbitrator : thus in peace as well as.
war the poet maintains the fuperiority of the charader of

But there is anodier reafon why the poet deferred to
relate any games that were exhibited at any preceding
f.inerals : the death of Patroclus was the mod eminent
period ; and confequently the 'moil; proper time for fuch

It is farther obferrable, that he chufes this peculiar
time with great judgment. When the fury of the war ra-
ged, the army could not well have found leifure for the
games, and tiiey might have met with interruption from
the enemy : but Heritor being dead, all Troy was in con-
fuiion : they are in too great a condernation to make any
ntrempts, and therefore the poet could not poiTibly have,
chofen a more hapny opportunltv. Eudadiius.

l86 HO M E R's ILIA D. Book XXIII.

The third, a charger yet untouch 'd by flame ; 33S
Four ample meafures held the fhining frame :
Two golden talents for the fourth were plac'd ;
An ample double bowl contents the laft.

Thefe in fair order rang'd upon the plain,

The hero, rifing, thus addreft the train. 34®

Behold the prizes, valiant Greeks ! decreed
To the brave rulers of the racing fteed ;
prizes which none befide ourfelf could gain.
Should our immortal courfers take the plain ;
(A race unrivall'd, which from Ocean's God 34^

Peleus receiv'd, and on his fon bcftow'd.)
But this no time our vigour to difplay.
Nor fuit, with them, the games of this fad day :
Loft is Patroclus now, that wont to deck
' Their flowing manes, and fleek their gloffy neck. 350

V. 349. loft is Patrocluf no'W, etc.] I am not igno-
rant that Homer has frequently been blamed for fuch little
digrefiions as thefe ; in tliis paflage he gives us the ge-
nealogy of his horfes, which he has frequendy told us in
tlie preceding part of the poem. But Eullathius jufti-
iies his copdua, and fays that it was very proper to com-
mend the virtue of thefe horfes upon diis occafion , when
horfes vv^ere to contend for vi^ory : at the fame time he
takes an opportunity to make an honourable mention of
his friend Patroclus, in whofe honour thefe games were

exhibited .

It may be added as a farther juflification of Plomer,
that this lafl circumdance is very natural; Achilles,
while he commends his horfes, remembers how careful
Patroclus had been of them : his love for his friend is
fo <Treat, that the minuteft circumflance recalls him to

Book XXIII. H M E R's I L I A D. 187

Sad, as they fliar'd in human grief, they ftand.
And trail thofe graceful honours on the fand !
Let others for the noble talk prepare,
Who truft the courfer, and the flying car,

Fir'd at his word, the rival racers rife; ^cc

But far the firft, Eumelus hopes the prize,
Fam'd thro' Pieria for the fleeteft breed,
And fldll'd to manage the high-bounding fleed,
With equal ardour bold Tydides fwelFd
The deeds of Tros beneath his yoke compell'd, 560
(Which late obey 'd. the Dardan chief's coraraandj
When fcarce a God redeem'd him from his hand.)
Then Menelaus his Podargus brings,
And the fam'd courfer of the king of kings :
Whom rich Echepolus, (more rich than brave) '^^^
To 'fcape the wars, to Agamemnon gave,

his mind ; and fuch little digreffions, fuch avocations of
thought as thefe, very naturally proceed from the over-
flows of love and forrow.

V. 365. iVhom rich Echepolui, etc.] One would think
that Agamemnon might be accufed of avarice, in dif-.
penfing with a man from going to the war for die fake
ofahorfe; but Arifbtle very well obferves, that this
prince is pralfe-v/orthy for having preferred a horfe to
a perfon lb cowardly, and fo uncapable of fervice. It
may be alfo conjedured from this palliige, that even in
thofe elder times it was the cuftom, that thofe who were
willing to be excufed from the war, fliould give either
a horfe or a man, and often both. Thus Scipio going
to Africa, ordered the Sicilians either to attend him, or
to give him horfes or men : and Agcfilaus being at Ephe-
fus and wanting cavalry, made a proclamation, that die


(.Ethe her name) at home to end h< days,

Bafe wealth preferring to eternal praife.

Next him Antilochus demands the courfe,

"With beating heart, and chears his Pylian horfe. 3 70

Experienc'd Ne;ior gives his Ton the reins,

Direds his judgment, and his heat reftrains ;

rich men who would not I'erve in the war fliould be dlf^
penfed with, provided they furniftied a man and a horle
in their (lead : in which, fays Plutarch, he wifely followed
the example of king Agamemnon, who excufed a very
rich coward from ferving in perfon, for a prefent of a
good mare. Euftathius. Dacier.

V. 371. Experienced Nejior^ etc.] The poet omits
CO opportunity of paying honour to his old favourite
Ncltor, and I think he is no where more particularly
complemented than m this book^ His age had difabled
him from bearing any fiiare in the games ; and yet he
artfully introduces him not as a mere fpe^tator, but as
an acTlor in the fports. Thus he as it were wins the
prize for Antilochus ; Antilochus wins- not by the fwift-
Defs of his horfes, but by the wifdom of Neftor.

This fatherly tendernefs is wonderfully natural : we-
fee him in all imaginable inquietude and concern for his
fon : he comes to the barrier, (lands befide the chariot,
animates his fon by his praifes, and direfts him by his
ieffons : you think the old man's foul mounts on the cha-
roit with his Antilochus, to partake the fame dangers,
and run the fame career.

Nothing can be better adapted to the chara»5ler than
this fpeech ; he expatiates upon the advantages of wif-
dom over ftrength, which is a tacit complement to him-
f€lf : and had there been a prize for wifdom, undoubt-
edly the old man would have claimed it as his right. Eu-

Book XXIII. H O M £ R's I L I A D. 189

Nor idly warns the hoary fire, nor liears
The pnident Ton with unattending ears.

My Ton, tho' youthful ardour fire thy breafl, 375
The Gods have lov'd thee, and with arts have bled*
Neptune and Jove on thee conferr'd the fkill.
Swift round the goal to turn the flying wheel.
To guide thy condudl, little precept needs ;
But flow, and pad their vigour, are my fteeds. 380
Fear not thy rivals, tho' for fwiftnefs known.
Compare tliofe rivals judgment, and thy own :
It is not flrength, but art, obtains the prize, 4-

And to be fwift is lefs than to be wife : r

'Tis more by art, than force of num'rous flrokes, 3S5
The dexterous woodman fliapes the ftubbom oaks;
By art the pilot, thro' the boiling deep
And howling tempeft, (leers the feariefs fliip :
And 'tis the artift wins the glorious courfe, x

Not thofc, who trud in chs riots, and in hcifc, 396

In vain unfiiilful to the goal they drive.
And fliort, or wide, th' ungovern'd courfer drive :
"While with fure /kill, tho' with inferior fleeds.
The knowing racer to his end proceeds ;
Fix'd on the goal his eye fore-runs the courfe, 395
His hand unerring fteers the fteady horfe.
And now contracts, or now extends the rein,
Oblerving ftill the foremoft on the plain.
Mark then the goal, 'tis eafy to be found ;
Yon' aged trunk, a cubit from the ground ; 400

1 90 HO M E R's ILIAD. Book XXllh

Of feme once (lately oak the laft remains,

Or hardy fir, unperifli'd with tlie rains.

Inclos'd witli flones confpicuous from afar.

And round, a circle for the wheeling car. a

(Some tomb perhaps of old, the dead to grace; 405

Or then, as now, the limit of a race)

Bear clofe to this, and warily proceed,

A little bending to the left-hand fleed ;

But 'irge the right, and give him all the reins ;
• VJlrAe thy flri(5l hand his fellow's head retrains, 41O

And turns him Hiort ; 'till doubling as they roll>

The wheel's round naves appear to brufh the goal.

Yet (not to break the car, or lame the horfe)

Clear of the ftony heap dired the courfe ;

Left thro' incaution failing, thou may'ft be 415

A joy to others, a reproach to me.

So {halt thou pafs the goal, fecure of mind,

And leave unskilful Aviftnefs far behind.

Tho' thy fierce rival drove the matchlefs fteed

Which bore Adraftus, of celeftial breed ; 420

Or the fam'd race thro' all the regions known.

That whirl'd the car of proud Laomedon.

Thus, (nought unfaid) the much-advifing fage
Concludes ; then fate, ftifl with unwieldy age.
Next bold Meriones was feen to rife, 425

The laft, but not lead ardent for the prize.

BookXXTII. HOiMER's I LI AD. i^i

They mount their feats ; the lots their place difpofe ;

(Roird in his helmet, thefe, Achilles throws.)

Young Neftor leads the race : Eumelus then ;

And next tlie brother of the king of men : 430

Thy lot, iMeriones, the fourth was caft ;

And far the braved, Diomed, was laft.

V. 427. The lots their place difpofe.'] According to
thefe lots the cliarioteers took their places ; but to know
whether they ftood all in an equal front , or one behind
another, is a difficulty : Euflathius fays, the ancients were
of opinion that they did not ftand in one front; becaufe
it is evident he who had the firft lot, had a great advan-
tage of the other charioteers : if he had not, why fhould
Achilles caft lots ? Madam Dacier is of opinion that they
all ftood a-breaft at the barrier, and that the firft would
ftill have a fufticlent advantage, as he was nearer the
bound, and ftood within the reft • whereas the others
mcift take a larger circle, and confequently were forced to
run a greater compafs of ground. Phoenix was placed
as an infpecftor of the race, that is, fays Euftathius, he
was to make report Vv'hether they had oblerved the laws
iOf the race in their feveral turnings.

Sophocles obferves the fame method with Homer in
relation to the lots and infpe6lors, in his Eledlra.

The conjlit lit ed judges ajpgncd the places according
to the lots.

The ancients fay that the charioteers ftarted at the Si-
gSEum, where the fhips of Achilles lay, and ran towards
the RhiTteum, from the fnips towards the iliores. But
Ariftarchus affirmed that they run in the compafs of
ground five jUd':.^, which lay between the wall and the
tentstov/ardiliefliore, Euftathius.

192 ' HOME R's ILIAD. Book XXIII.

They -ftand in order an Impatient train ;

Pelides points the barrier on the plain.

And fends before old Phoenix to the place, 435

To mark the racers, and to judge the race.

At once the courfers from the barrier bound;

The lifted fcourges all at once refoimd ;

Their heart, their eyes, their voice, they fend before ;

And up the champain thunder from the fliore : 440

Thick, where they drive, the dufty clouds arife.

And the loft courfer in the whirlwind flies ;

Loofe on their fhoulders the long manes reclln'd

Float in their fpeed, and dance upon the wind :

The fmoaking chariots, rapid as they bound, 44 j

Now fecm to touch the fl<y, and now the ground.

While hot for fame, and conqueft all their care,

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