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I L iC A D





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I 3 3





The reconciliation of Achilles and Agamemnon.

THETIS brings to her fort the armour made by Vulcan.
She preferves the body of bis friend from corruption, and
commands him to ajfemble the army, to declare his re-
fentment at an end. Agamemnon and Achilles are fo-
lemnly reconciled: thefpeeches,prefents, and ceremonies
en that occafion. Achilles is with great difficulty per*
fuaded to refrain from the battle till the troops have
refrejhed themfehes, by the advice of Ulyfes. The
prefents are conveyed to the tent of Achilles ; where Br'f
feis laments over the body of Patroclus. The hero obfli'
nately refufes all repafl, and gives himfelfup to lament a-
t ions for his friend. Minerva defends to flreng then him.y
by the order of Jupiter. He arms for the fight : his ap~
feamnce defcribed. He addrefes himfelfto his horfes,

i and reproaches them with the death of Patroclus. One
of them is miraculoujly endued with voice, and infpired
toprcphefy his fate; but the hero, not aflonijhed by that
prodigy, rujkes with fury to the combat e.

The thirtieth day. Thefcene is on thefea-fiore.

COON as Aurora heav'd her orient head

Above the waves, that blufti'd with early red,

(With new-born day to gladden mortal fight,

And gild the courts of heav'n with facred light,)
A 2

4 H-OMER's ILIA D. Book XIX.

Th* immortal arms the Goddefs-mother bears 5

Swift to her fon : her Ton fhe finds in tears

Stretch 'd o'er Patroclus' corfe ; while all the reft

Their fov'reign's forrows in their own expreft.

A ray divine her heav'nly prefence filed,

And thus, his hand foft- touching, Thetis faid. 10

Supprefs (my fon) this rage of grief, and know
It was not man, but heav'n that gave the blow j
Behold what arms by Vulcan are beftow'd,
Arms worthy thee, or fit to grace a God.

Then drops the radiant burden on the ground; 15
Clang the flrong arms, and ring the mores around:
Back fiirink the Myrmidons with dread furprize,
And from the broad effulgence turn their eyes.
Unmov'd, the hero kindles at the mow,
And feels with rage divine his bofom glow ; fi0

from his fierce eye-balls living flames expire,
And flam mediant like a dream of fire:
He turns the radiant gift, and feeds his mind
On all th' immortal artlfr had defign'd.

>\ 13. Behold what arms, etc.] It is not poetry only
which has had this idea, of giving divine arms to a hero;
we have a very remarkable example of it in our holy
books. In the fecond of Maccabees, chap. 16. Judas
fees in a dream the prophet Jeremiah bringing to him a
fvvordas from God : though this was only a dream, or
a vifion, yet ftill it is the fame idea. This example is
likewife fo much the more worthy of obfervation, as it
is much later than die age of Homer; and as thereby it
is feen, that the fame way of thinking continued a long
time amongft the oriental nations. Dacier.

Book XIX. H O M E R's I L I A D. 5

Goddefs (he cry'd) the-e glorious arms that mine 25
With matchlefs art, confefs the hand divine.
Now to the bloody battel let me bend :
But ah ! the relics of my flaughter'd friend !
In thofe wide wounds thro' which his fpirit fled,
Shall flies, and worms obfcene, pollute the dead ? 3a

f. 30. Shall flies, and worms obfcene, pollute the dead ?~\
The care which Achilles takes in this place to drive a-
way the flies from the dead body of Patroclus, fecms to
ds a mean employment, and a care unworthy of a hero.
But that office was regarded by Homer, and by all the
Greeks of his time, as a pious duty confecrated by cuftora
and religion ; which obliged the kindred and friends of
the deceafed to watch his corps, and prevent any cor-
ruption before the folemn day of his funerals. It is
plain this devoir was thought an indifpenfable one, fince
Achilles could not difcharge himfelf of it but by impos-
ing it upon his mother. It is alfo clear, that in thofe
times the prefervation of a dead body was accounted a.
very important matter, fince the GoddefTes themfelves y ,
nay the raoft delicate of the GoddefTes, made it the fub-
jed of their utmoft attention . As Thetis preferves the 1
body of Fatroclus > and chafes from it thofe infects- that
breed in the wounds and caufe putrefaction, fo Venus
fs employed day and night about that of Heclor, in driv-
ing away the dogs to which Achilles had expofed it..
Apollo, on his part, covers it with a thick cloud, and
preferves its freffinefa' amidd the greateft heats of the
ftn : and this care of the deities over the dead was
looked upon by men as a fruit of their piety.

There is an excellent remark upon this paflage in;
BomYs admirable treadle of the epic poem, lib. 3. c. io-
" To (peak (fays this author) of the arts and fcie-nces
'* a? a poet ought, we ihcuid veil them under names.
**• and a£dcna of peHbns, fi&ittous, and allegorical-

6 HO M E R's ILIA D. Book XIX.

That unavailing care be' laid afide,
(The azure Goddefs to her Ton reply 'd)
"Whole years untouch'd, uninjur'd fhall remair?
Frefli as in life, the carcafe of the (lain.
But go, Achilles, (as affairs require) 35

Before the Grecian peers renounce thine ire :
Then uncontroll'd in boundlefs war engage,
And heav'n with ftrength fupply the mighty rage !

Then in the noftrils of the (lain fhe pour'd
Nectareous drops, and rich ambrofia fhower'd 40

O'er all the corfe. The flies forbid their prey,
Untouch 'd it refts, and facred from decay.
Achilles to the ftrand obedient went:
The (hores refounded with the voice he lent.
The heroes heard, and all the naval train 45;

That tend the mips, or guide them o'er the main,

i: Homer will not plainly fay that fait has the virtue to

*' -preferve dead bodies, and prevent the flies from en-

4< gendering worms in them; he will not fay, that the

€t fea prefented Achilles a remedy to preferve Patroclus

4< from putrefaction; but he will make the fea a God-

t{ defs, and tell us, that Thetis to comfort Achilles,

'•' engaged to perfume the body with an ambrofia which

" mould keep it a whole year from corruption : it is

** thus Homer teaches the poets to fpeak of arts and

<; fciences. This example fhews the nature of the

'• things, that flies caufe putrefaction, that faltpreferves

'• bodies from it; but all this is told us poetically, the

'• whole is reduced into action, the fea is made a per-

tl fon who fpeaks and acts, and this profopopceia is ac-

*' companied with paffion, tenderness, and affection^
" in a word, there is nothing which is not (according

4t to Ariftode's precept) endued with manners."

BookXIX. H O M E R's I L I A D. 7

Alarm'd, tranfported, at the well known found,

Frequent and full, the great afTembly crown 'd ;

Studious to fee that terror of the plain,

Long loft to battel, fhine in arms again. 50

Tydides and Ulyffes firlt appear,

Lame with their wounds, and leaning on the fpear;

Thefe on the facred feats of council plac'd,

The king of men, Atrides came the lad:

He too fore wounded by Agenor's fon. 55

Achilles (rifing in the midft) begun.

O monarch ! better far had been the fate
Of thee, of me, of all the Grecian (late,
If (ere the day when by mad paffion fway'd,
Rafh we contended for the black cy'd maid) 60

Preventing Dian had difpatch'd her dart,
And mot the mining mifchiefto the heart!

f. 61. Preventing Dian had difpatch'd her dart,
Andjhot the Jhining mifchiefto the heart. ]
Achilles wifhes Brifeis had died before (he had occa-
fioned fo great calamities to his countrymen: I will not
fay, to excufe him, that his virtue here overpowers his
love, but that the wifh is not fo very barbarous as it
may feem by the phrafe to a modern reader. It is not,
that Diana had aclually killed her, as by a particular
ftroke or judgment from heaven; it means no more
than a natural death, as appears from this paiTage in
OdyfT. 15.

When age and fi 'chiefs have unnerved the ftnng,
Apollo comes > and Cynthia comes along,
They bend the fiber bows for fudden il/ P
And every Jhining arrow flies to kilL

8 H O M E R r s 1 L I A P. Book XIX,

Then many a hero had not prefs'd the (hore,

Nor Troy's glad fields been fatten 'd with our gore:

Long, long (hall Greece the woes we caus'd, bewail, 65

And fad pofterity repe.it the tale.

But this, no more the fubjec'l of debate,

Is paft, forgotten, and refign'd to fate:

Why mould (alas) a mortal man, as I,

Burn with a fury that can never die ? 70

Here then my anger ends : let war fucceed,

And ev'n as Greece has bled, let Ilion bleed.

Now call the hods, and try, if in our fight,,

Troy yet mail dare to camp a fecond night ?

I deem, their mightieft, when this arm he knows, j$

Shall 'fcape with tranfport, and with joy repofe.

He faid: his fihiflTd wrath with loud acclaim
The Greeks accept, and (hout Pelides' name.
"When thus, not riling from his lofty throne,
In frate unmov'd, the king of men begun, 80

Hear me, ye fons of Greece ! with iilence hear t
And grant yosr monarch an impartial ear;.
A while your loud, untimely joy fufpend,
And let your rafh, injurious clamours end :
Unruly murmurs, or ill tim'd applaufe,. 8£

Wrong the beft fpcaker, and the jufleft caufe.
Nor charge on me, ye Greeks, the dire debate ;
Know, angry Jove, and ail-compelling- Fate,

And he does not wi(h her death now, after (he had
been his mirtrefs, but only that {he had died, before he
knew, or loved her.

Book XIX. H O M E R's I L I A D. 9

"With fell Erinnys, urg'd my wrath that day

When from Achilles' arms I forc'd the prey. 90

What then could 1, againlt the will of heav'n?

Not by myfelf, but vengeful Ate driv'n ;

She, Jove's dread daughter, fated to infeft

The race of mortals, enter'd in my breaft.

f. 93. She, Jove's dread daughter. ,] This fpeech of
Agamemnon, confiding of little elfe than the long (lory
of Jupiter's carting Difcord out of heaven, feems odd
enough at firft fight ; and does not indeed anfwer what
I believe every reader expects, at the conference of thefe
two princes. Without excufing it from the juftnefs
and proper application of the allegory in the prefent
cafe, I think it a piece of artifice, very agreeable to the
character of Agamemnon, which is a mixture of haugh-
tinefs and cunning ; he cannot prevail with himfelf any
way to leflfen the dignity of the royal character, of which
he every where appears jealous : fomething he is obliged
to fay in public, and not brooking directly to own him-
felf in the wrong, he flurs it over with this tale. With
what ftatelinefs is it that he yields ! " I was mifled,
" (fays he) but I was mifled like Jupiter. We inveft you
* with our powers, take our troops and our treafures: our
" royal promife fhall be fulfilled, but be you pacified."

f. 93. She, Jove's dread daughter , fated to infejl

The race of mortals J

It appears from hence, that the ancients owned a Dae-
mon, created by God himfelf, and totally taken up in
doing mifchief.

This fiction is very remarkable, in as much as it
proves that the Pagans knew that a daemon of difcord
and malediction was in heaven, and afterwards precipi*
tated to earth, which perfectly agrees with holy hiftory.
St. Juftin will have it, that Homer attained to the
knowlege thereof in -£gypt, and that he had even read

10 H O M E R's I L I A D, Book XIX.

Not on the ground that hanghty fury treads, 95

But prints her lofty footfteps on the heads

Of mighty men ; inflicting as (he goes

Long feft'ring wounds, inextricable woes !

Of old, me ftalk'd amid the bright abodes;

And Jove himfelf, the fire of men and Gods, 100

The world's great ruler, felt her venom'd dart ;

Deceiv'd by Juno's wiles, and female art;

For when Alcmena's nine long months were run,

And Jove expected his immortal fon ;

To gods and goddefTes th' unruly joy X05

He fhow'd, and vaunted of his matchlefs boy:
From us (he faid) this day an infant fprings,

Fated to rule, and born a king of kings.

Saturnia alk'd an oath, to vouch the truth,

And fix dominion on the favour'd youth. 1 IO

The thund'rer unfufpicious of the fraud,

Pronounc'd thofe folemn words that bind a God.

The joyful Goddefs, from Olympus' height,

Swift to Aehaian Argos bent her flight ;

what Ifaiah writes, chap. 14. How art thou fallen from
heaven , Lucifer, fon of the morning , bow art thni cut
down to the ground which didfl weaken the nations? But
our poet could not have feen the prophecy of ifaiah, be-
caufe he lived ico, or 150 years before that prophet;
and this anteriority of time makes this pafTage the more
obfcrvable. Homer therein bears authentic witnefs to
the truth of the (lory, of an- angel thrown from heaven,
and gives this teftimony above ioq years before one of
the greatefl prophets fpoke of it. Dacier.

Book XIX. H O M E R*s I L I A D. n

Scarce fev'n moons gone, lay Sthenelus his wife ; 115

She pufh'd her Hng'ring infant into life :

Her charms Alcmena's coming labours (lay,

And (lop the babe, juft iflbing to the day.

Then bids Saturnius bear his oath in mind ;

" A youth (faid (he) of Jove's immortal kind 120

u Is this day born: from Sthenelus he fprings,

u And claims thy promife to be king of kings.

Grief feiz'd the thund'rer, by his oath engag'd;

Stung to the foul, he forrow'd, and he rag'd.

From his ambrofial head, where perch 'd (he fate, 125

He fnatch'd the fury-Goddefs of Debate,

The dread, th' irrevocable oath he fwore,

Th' immortal feats mould ne'er behold her more ;

And whirl 'd her headlong down, for ever driv'n

From bright Olympus and the ftarry heav'n: 1 30

Thence on the nether world the fury fell;

Ordain'd with man's contentious race to dwell.

Full oft' the God his fon's hard toils bemoan'd,

Curs'd the dire fury, and in fecret groan'd.

Ev'n thus, like Jove himfelf, was I mified, 135

While raging Hec"tor heap'd our camps with dead.

What can the errors of my rage atone ?

My martial troops, my treafures are thy own :

This inftant from the navy (hall be fent

Whate'er Ulyfles promis'd at thy tent: 140

But thou ! appeas'd, propitious to our prayY,

Refume thy arms, and mine again in war.

12 HOME R's ILIAD. Book XIX.

O king of nations ! whofe fuperior fway
(Returns Achilles) all our hofts obey !
To keep or fend the prefents, be thy care; 145

To us, 'tis equal: all we aik is war.
While yet we talk, or but an inftant fhun
The fight, our glorious work remains undone.
Let ev'ry Greek, who fees my fpear confound
The Trojan ranks, and deal deftruclion round, I5«
With emulation, what I act, furvey,
And learn from thence the bufinefs of the day,

The fon ofPeleus thus: and thus replies
The great in councils, Ithacus the wife.
Tho' godlike thou art by no toils oppreft, 155

At leaft our armies claim repafl: and reft :
Long and laborious muft the combate be,
When by the Gods infpir'd, and led by thee.
Strength isderiv'd from fpirits and from blood,
And thofe augment by gen'rous wine and food; 160

)K 145. To keep or fend .the prefents be thy care.']
Achilles neither refufes nor demands Agamemnon's pre-
fents : the firft would be too contemptuous, and the o-
ther would look too feliifli. It would feemas if Achilles
fought only for pay like a mercenary, which would be
utterly unbecoming a hero, and difhonourable to that
character : Homer is wonderful as to the manners.
Spond. Dacier.

f. 159. Strength is cferiv'd from fpirits, etc,} This
advice of Uly lfes, that the troops mould refrefh themfel ves
with eating and drinking, was extremely necefTary after a
battel of fo long continuance as that of the day before:
and Achilles's defire that they mould charge the enemy


Book XIX. H O M E R's ILIAD. 13

What boaftful Ton of war, without that ftay,
Can laft a hero thro' a fingle day ?
Courage may prompt ; but, ebbing out his ftrength,
Mere unfupported man mult yield at length;
Shrunk with dry famine, and with toils declin'd, 165
The dropping body will defert the mind :
-But built a-new with {trength-conferring fare,
With limbs and foul untam'd, he tires a war.
Difmifs the people then, and give command,
With ftrong repaft to hearten ev'ry band; 170

But let the prefents to Achilles made,
In full afTembly of all Greece be laid.
The king of men fhall rife in public fight,
And folemn fwear (obfervant of the rite)
That fpotlefs as (he came, the maid removes,. ij J

Pure from his arms, and guiklefs of his loves.
That done, a fumptuous banquet fhall be made.
And the full price of injur'd honour paid.

immediately, without any reflection on the nece/Hty of
that refrefnment, was aMb highly natural to his violent
character. This forces UiyiTes to repeat that advice,,
and infill upon it fo much : which thofe critics did not
,' fee into, who through a falfe delicacy are (hocked at his
infilling fo warmly upon eating and drinking. Indeed
to a common reader who is more fond of heroic and
romantic, than of jull and natural images, this at nrft
fight may have an air of ridicule; but I'll venture to
fay there is nothing ridiculous in the thing itfeii, nor
mean and low in Homer's manner of expelling it: and
I believe the fame of this translation, though 1 have not
foft?\ied or abated of the idea they are fo ofFended with—
Vol. IV. B

i 4 H O M E R's I L I A D. Book XIX.
Stretch not henceforth, O prince ! thy fov 'reign might,
Beyond the bounds of reafon and of right ; i§q

'Tis the chief praife that e'er to kings belong'd
To right with juftice whom with powYthey wrong'd.

To him the monarch. Juft is thy decree,
Thy words give joy, and wifdom breathes in thee.
Each due atonement gladly I prepare; 185

And heav'n regard me as I juftly fwear !
Here then a while let Greece aflfembled ftay,
Nor great Achilles grudge this fhort delay ;
'Till from the fleet our prefents be convey'd,
And, Jove attefting, the firm compact made. 190

A train of noble youth the charge (hall bear;
Thefe to feletf, UlyflTes, be thy care:
In order rank'd let all our gifts appear,
And the fair train of captives cloie the rear :
Talthybius (hall the victim boar convey, 195

Sacred to Jove, and yon' bright orb of day,

For thfe (the (tern iEacides replies)
Some lefs important feafon may fuffice,

)J\ 197. The jiern JEaciJes replies .] The Greek verfe is,

"lot y dxctf.'.u(Zoy.tvos XfOaifr) •xoix.q cJx.v? "" hy^iWiv^.

Which is repeated very frequently throughout the Iliad.
It is a very juft remark of a French critic, that what
makes it fo much taken notice of, is the rumbling found
and length of the won! d*au.ufi : f,'.;vo;: this is io true,
that if in a poem or romance of the fame length as the
Iliad, we fliould repeat 'The hero anfwered, full as often,
we fhould never be fenfible of that repetition. And if
ve are not (hocked at the like frequency of thofe ex-

Book XIX. H O M E R's ILIA D. IS

When the ftern fury of the war is o'er,

And wrath extinguifh'd burns my breaft no more. 200

preflrons in the JEne'id, fie ore rcfert, tal'ia voce refsrty
tulla did a dabat, vix eafatus erat, etc. it is only becaufe
the found of the Latin words does not fill the ear like
that of the Greek *xap.a&iu*K- ,

. The difcourfe of the fame critic upon thefe fort of re-
petitions in general, deferves to be tranfcribed. That
tlfelefs nicety (fays he) of avoiding every repetition,
which the delicacy of later times has introduced, was
not known to the fir:1 ages of antiquity : the books of
Molls abound with them. Far from condemning their
frequent ufe in the moft ancient of all the poets, we
mould look upon them as the certain character of the
age in which he lived : they fpoke lb in his time, and to
have fpoken otherwife had been a fault. And indeed
nothing is in itfeif fo contrary to the true fublime, as
that painful and frivolous exactnefs, with which we a-
void to make ufe of a proper word becaufe it was ufed
before. It is certain that the Romans were lefs fcru-
puious as to this point : you have often in a (ingle page
of Tully, the fame word five or fix times over. If it
were really a fault, it is not to be conceived how an
author who fo little wanted variety of expreflions as
Homer, could be fo very negligent herein. On the
contrary, he feems to have afFetfted to repeat the fame
things in the fame words, on many occafions.

It was from two principles equally true, that among
fevered people, and in feveral ages, two practices intire-
]y different took their rife. Mofes, Homer, and the
writers of the firft times, had found that repetitions of
the fame words recalled the ideas of things, imprinted
them much more flrongly, and rendered the difcourfe
more intelligible. Upon this principle, the cuftom of
repeating words, phrafes, and even intire fpeeches, in-
fenfibly eftablifhed itfeif both in profe and poetry, efpe-
cially in narrations.



By Hector flain, their faces to the fky,

All grim with gaping wounds, our heroes lie :

The writers who fucceeded them obferved, even from
Homer himfeif, that the greateft beauty of ftyle confuted
in variety. This they made their principle: they
therefore avoided repetitions of words, and ftill more
pf whole fentences; they endeavoured to vary their
tranfitions; and found out new turns and manners of
exprefling the fame things.

Either of thefe practices is good, but the excefs of
either vicious: we mould neither on the one hand,
through a love of fimplicity and cleamefs, continually
repeat the fame words, phrafes, or difcourfes ; nor on
the other, for the pieafure of variety, fall into a chiidifli
affectation of*exprefiing every thing twenty different
ways, though it be never [o natural and common.

Nothing fo much cools the warmth of a piece, or
puts out the lire of poetry, as that perpetual care to vary
inceffantly even in the fmalleft circumftances. In this,
as in many other points, Homer has defpifed the un-
grateful labour of too fcrupdlous a nicety. He has
done like a great painter, who does not think himfelf
obliged to vary all his pieces to that degree, as not one
of them fhall have the leaft refemblance to another : if
jhe principal figures are intireiy different, we eailly ex-
jeufe a refemblance in the landfcapes, the ffcies, or the
Graperies. Suppofe a gallery full of pictures, each of
which reprefents a particular fubject: in one I fee A-
chilies in fury, menacing Agamemnon ; in another the
fame hero with regret delivers up Brifeis to the heralds;
in a third it is ftill Achilles, but Achilles overcome with
-grief, and lamenting to his mother. If the air, the
gedure, the countenance, the character of Achilles, are
the fame in each of thefe three pieces ; if the ground of
one of thefe be the fame with that of the others in the
compofition and general deJign, whether it be landfcape
or architecture > then indeed one mould have reafon to

Book XIX. H O M E R's ILIAD. 1J

Thofe call to war I and miglit my voice incite,
Mow, now, this mftant fhou'd commence the fight.
Then, when the day's complete, let gen'rous bowls, 20$
And copious banquets, glad your weary fouls.
Let not my palate know the tafte of food,
'Till my infatiate rage be cloy'd with blood:
Pale lies my friend, with wounds disfigured o'er,
And his cold feet are pointed to the door. 210

blame the painter for the uniformity of his figures and
grounds. But if there be no lamenefs but in the folds
of a few draperies, in the ftrudure of fome part of a
building, or in the figure of fome tree, mountain, or
cloud, it is what no one would regard as a fault. The
application is obvious: Homer repeats, but they are
not the great ftrokes which he repeats, not thofe which
flrike and fix our attention : they are only the little-
parts, the tranfitions, the general circumftances, or fa-
miliar images, which recur naturally, and upon which
the reader but cafts his eye careiefly : fiich as tlie de-
fections of facrifrces, repads, or embarquements : fucb
in fhortj as are in their own nature much the fame,
which it is fufHcient juft to (hew, and which, are in a-
manner incapable of different ornaments.

f. 2CO. Pale lies my friend, etc.] It is in the Greek,,
liesrexfjLied injiy tent wit/) his face turning towards the:
door^S. *p&v*o* TirpxrcyJvo;, that is to fay, as the (cho-
Eaft has explained it, having his feet turned towards t he-

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