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The reafon why Apollo is angry at Diomed, accord-
ing to Euftathius, is becaufe he was mterefted for Eu-
melus, whofe mares he had red, when he ferved Admetus ;
but I fancy he is under a miftake : this indeed is a reafen
why he mould favour Eumelus, but not why he fhould
be angry at Diomed. I rather think that the quarrel
of Apollo with Diomed was perfonal ; becaufe he offer-
ed him a violence in the fifth book, and Apollo (till re-
fents it.

The fiction of Minerva's aflifting Diomed is grounded
upon his being fo wife as to take a couple of whips to
prevent any mifchance: fo that Wifdom, or Pallas,
may be faid to lend him one. Euftathius.

Vol. IV. R


The fraud celefcial Pallas fees with pain,

Springs to her knight, and gives the fcourge again,

And fills his fteeds witfc vigour. At a ftroke,

She breaks his rival's chariot from the yoke; 47G

No more their way the flartled horfes held ;

The car revers'd came ratling on the field ;

Shot headlong from his feat, befide the wheel,

Prone on the duft th' unhappy matter fell;

His batter'd face and elbows ftrike the ground ; 475

Nofe, mouth and front, one undiftinguifli'd wound ;

Grief ftops his voice, a torrent drowns his eyes ;

Before him far the glad Tydides flies ;

Minerva's fpirit drives his matchlefs pace,

And crowns him viclor of the labour'd race. 480

The next, tho' diflant, Menelaus fucceeds ;
While thus young Neftor animates his fleeds.
Now, now, my gen'rous pair, exert your force :
Not that we hope to match Tydides' horfe,
Since great Minerva wings their rapid way, 48$

And gives their lord the honours of the day.

f. 483 Thefpeech of Antikchus to his horfes. ~\ I feafi
Antilochus his fpeech to his horfes is blameable; Eufta-,
thius himfelf feems to think it a fault that he mould
fpeak fo much in the very heat of the race. He com-
mands and fooths, counfels and threatens his horfes,
as if they were reafonable creatures. The fubfequent
fpeech of Menelaus is more excufable as it is more fhort,
but both of them are fpoken in a pafllon, and anger we
know makes us fpeak to every thing, and we difchargc
it upon the mod fenfelefs objecls.

3ook XXIII. H O M E R's I L I A D. 195

But reach Atrides ! mail his mare out-go

Four fwiftnefs ? vanquifh'd by a female foe ?

Thro' your neglect, if lagging on the plain

The laft ignoble gift be all we gain ; /J 90

No more fhall Neftor's hand your food fnpply,

The old man's fury rifes, and ye die.

Hafte then ; yon' narrow road before our fight

Prefents th' occafion, couid we ufe it right.

Thus he. The courfers at their matter's threat 495
With quicker fteps the founding champam beat.
A.nd now Antilochus with nice furvey,
Obferves the compafs of the hollow way.
'Twas where by force of wintry torrents torn,
Faft by the road a precipice was worn : 500

Here, where but one could pafs, to fhun the throng
The Spartan hero's chariot fmoak'd along.
Clofe up the vent'rous youth refolves to keep,
Still edging near, and bears him tow'rd the Preen.
Atrides, trembling cafts his eye below, 505

And wonders at the rafhnefs of his foe.
Hold, (lay your iteeds — What madnefs thus to ride
This narrow way ; take larger field (he cry'd)
Or both mud fall — Atrides cry'd in vain ;
He flies more faft, and throws up all the rein. 5 10

Far as an able arm the difk can fend,
When youthful rivals their full force extend,
So far, Antilochus ! thy chariot flew
Before the king: he cautious, backward drew
R 2

i 9 6 HOME R's ILIAD. BookXXIIT.j

His horfe compel] 'd ; foreboding in his fears 515

The rattling ruin of the clafhing cars,

The fiound'ring courfers rolling on the plain,

And conqueft loft thro' frantic hafte to gain :

But thus upbraids his rival as he flies;

Go, furious youth, ungen'rous and unwife ! 5

Go, but expecl not I'll the prize refign :

Add perjury to fraud, and make it thine

Then to his fteeds with all his force he cries ;

Be fwift, be vig'rous, and regain the prize !

Your rivals, deftitute of youthful force, 5

With fainting knees (hall labour in the courfe,

And yield the glory yours— The fteeds obey;

Already at their heels they wing their way,

And feein already to retrieve the day.

Meantime the Grecians in a ring beheld 5

The courfers bounding o'er the dufty field.
The firft who mark'd them was the Cretan king ;
High on a riling ground, above the ring,
The monarch fate : from whence with fure furvey
lie well obferv'd the chief who kd the way, 5

And heard from far his animating cries,
And faw the foremoil fteed with (harpen'd eyes ;
On whofe broad front, a blaze of fhining white
Like the full moon, ftood obvious to the fight.
He faw ; and rifmg, to the Greeks begun. 5.

Are yonder horfe difcern'd by me alone ?
Or can ye, all, another chief furvey,
And other fteeds, than lately led the way I

Book XXIII. H O M E R's ILIAD. 197

Thofe, tho' the fwifteft, by fome God with-held,

Lie fure difabled in the middle field : 545

For fince the goal they c!oubled, round the plain

I fearch to find them, but I fearch in vain.

Perchance the reins forfook the driver's hand,

And, turn'd too (hort, he tumbled on the (brand,

Shot from the chariot; while his courfers ftny 550

"With frantic fury from the deftin'd way.

Rife then fome other, and inform my fight,

(For thefe dim eyes, perhaps, difcern not right)

Yet fure he feems, (to judge by (hape and air,)

The great MtoWm chief, renownM in war. 555

Old man ! (Oileus raflily thus replies)
Thy tongue too haftily confers the prize.
Of thofe who view the courfe, not (harpeft ey'd,
Nor youngeft, yet the readieft to decide.
Eumelus' feeds high-bounding in the chace, 560

Still, as at firft, unrivall'd lead the race :
I well difeern him, as he fhakes the rein,
And hear his fhouts victorious o'er the plain.
Thus he. Idomeneus incens'd rejoin'd.
Barb'rous of words! and arrogant of mind J S&S

^'.565. The dt/pnte between l.hmerieus and Jjax-2
Nothing could be" more naturally imagined than this
contention at a horfe-race : the leaders were divided
into parties, and each was interefted for his friend : the
poet had a two-fold defign, not only to embellifli and
diverfiry his poem by fuch natural circumftances, but aL-
fo to (hew us, as Euftathius obferves, from the condua
of Ajax, thatp.flionate men betray therafelves inK>

19$ H O M E R's ILIAD. Book XXIII.

Contentious prince, of all the Greeks befide

The laft in merit, as the firft in pride.

To vile reproach what anfwer can we make ?

A goblet or a tripod let us flake,

And be the king the judge. The molt unwife 57a-

Will learn their rafliriefs, when they pay the price.

He faid: and Ajax by mad paffion born,
Stern had reply'd; fierce fcorn enhancing fcorn

follies, and are therofelves guilty of the faults of which,
they accufe others.

It is with a particular decency that Homer makes
Achilles rhe arbitrator between Idomeneus andAiax::
Agamemnon was his fuperior in the army, but as Achil-
las exhibited the mows, he was the proper judge of any
difference that mould arife about them. Had the con-
teft been between Ajax and Idomeneus, confidered as
foidkrs, the caufe muft have been brought before Aga.
memnon; but as they are to be confidered as fpeclatora
of the games, they ought to be determined by Achilles.

It may not be unneceffary juft to obferve to' the reader
the judicioufnefs of Homer's conducl in making Achilles
exhibit the games, and not Agamemnon : Achilles is the
hero of the poem, and cenfequently mufl be the chief I
actor in all the great fcenes of it : he had remained in-
active during a great part of the poem, yet the poet,
makes his very inactivity contribute to the carrying oS
tie defign cf his Mas ? and to flipply his abfence from
many of the bufy fcenes cf the preceding parts of ir, he
now in the conclufion makes him almoft the fole aoent;
.by thefe means he leaves a noble idea of his hero Tipon
the mind of his reader; -as he raifed our expectations
when he brought him upon the ihgc of action, fo hei
Wake* him go oif with the utmoft pomp and applaufd


To fell extreams. But Thetis' god-like Ton
Awful amidft them rofe, and thus begun. 57^

Forbear, ye chiefs ! reproachful to contend ; *

Much would ye blame, mould others thus offend: >
Andlo! th' approaching fteeds your contefl end. J
Tso fooner had he fpoke, but thund'ring near,
Drives, thro' a dream of duft, the charioteer; 580

High o'er his head the circling lam he wields;
His bounding horfes fcarcely touch the fields :
His car amidft the dufty whirlwind roll'd,
Bright with the mingled blaze of tin and gold,
Refulgent thro' the cloud: no eye could find 585

The track his flying wheels had left behind:
And the fierce courfers urg'd their rapid pace
So fwift, it fee,m'd a flight, and not a race.
Kow viclor at the goal Tydides (lands,
Quits his bright car, and fprings upon the fands; 590
From the hot fteeds the fvveaty torrents dream ;
The well-ply'd whip is hung athwart the beam:

^.581. High o'er his head the circling lafh he wields i\
I am perfuaded that thecommon translation of the word
kula/xxtfov, in the original of this verfe, is faulty: it is
rendered, helajhedthe horfes continually over the [boulders ,-
whereas I fancy it mould be tranflated thus, ajfidue-
(equos) agiiabat feuiica ab humero duBa. This naturally
expreHcs the very action, and whirl of the whip over
the driver's moulder, in the act of laming the horfes,
and agrees with the ufe of the fame word in the 431^
Kne of this book, where l P a s'^v^ xa?i^j,: ia mult be
tranflated/tfif7/Af dlfci ab humero vibraii.

200 H M E R's I L I A D. Book XXIII.
"With joy brave Sthenelus receives the prize,
The tripod-vafe, and dame with radiant eyes :
Thefe to the mips his train triumphant leads, $oe

The chiefhimfelfunyok.es the panting fteeds.

Young "Neftor follows (who by art, not force,
O'er-paft Atrides) fecond in the courfe.
Behind, Atrides urg'd the race, more near
Than to the courfer in his fwift career 6oO

The following car, juft touching with his heel
And brufhing with his tail the whirling wheel.
Such, and fo narrow now the fpace between
The rivals, late fo diftant on the green ;
So foon fwift JEthe her loft ground regain'd, 605

One length, one moment had the race obtain'd.
Merion purfu'd, at greater diftance ftill,

With tardier courfers, and inferior fldll.

Laft came, Admetus ! thy unhappy fon ;

Slow dragg'd the fteeds his batter'd chariot on r \ 610

Achilles faw, and pitying thus begun.

Behold ! the man whofe matchlefs art furpaft

The fons of Greece I the ableft, yet the laft !

Fortune denies, but juftice bids us pay

(Since great Tydides bears the firft away) y» 615

To him, the fecond honours of the day.

f. 614. Fortune denies, but juft ice, etc.] Achilles
here intends to {hew, that it is not juft, fortune mould
rule over virtue, but that a brave man who had per-
formed his duty, and who did not bring upon himfelf
his misfortune, ought to have the recompence he has
deferved : and this principle is juft, provided we do not


The Greeks confent with loud applauding cries,
And then Eumelus had receiv'd the prize,
But youthful Neftor, jealous of his fame,
Th' award oppofes, and afTerts his claim. 620

Think not (he cries) I tamely will refign
O Peleus' fon ! rhe mare fo juftly mine.
"What if the Gods, the fkilful to confound,
Have thrown the horfe and horfeman to the ground !
Perhaps he fought not heav'n by facrifke, 625

And vows omitted forfeited the prize.
If yet, (diflinclion to thy friend to mow,
And pleafe a foul defirous to bellow,)
Some gift muft grace Eumelus ; view thy ftore
Of beauteous handmaids, deeds, and mining ore, 650
An ample prefent let him thence receive,
And Greece mall praife thy gen'rous third to give.
But this, my prize, I never fhall forego ;
This, who but touches, warriors ! is my foe.

reward him at the expence of another's right: Eumelus
is a TheiTalian, and it is probable Achilles has a par-
tiality to his countryman. Dacier.

f. 633. But this, my prize, I never /ball forego. — ]
There is an air of bravery in this difcourfe of Antilo-
chus: he fpeaks with the generolity of a gallant foldier,
and prefers his honour to his intered; he tells Achilles
if he pleafes he may make Eumelus a richer prefent than
his prize ; he is not concerned for the value of it ; but
as it was the reward of viftory, he would not refign it,
becaufe that would be an acknowlegement thatEumelu3
deferved it.

The character of Antilochus is admirably fuftained
through this whole epifode ; he is a very fenfible man,

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

Thus fpake the youth ; nor did his words offend ; 635
Pleas'd with the well-turn'd flatt'ry of a friend,
Achilles frail'd : the gift propos'd (he cry'd)
Antilochus ! we fhall ourfelf provide.
"With plates of brafs the corfelet cover'd o'er,
(The fame renown'd Afteropaeus wore) 64*

Whofe glittering margins rais'd with filver mine,
(No vulgar gift) Eumelus, fhall be thine.

He laid: Automedon at his command
The corfelet brought, and gave it to his hand.
Diflingufh'd by his friend, his bofom glows 645

With gen'rous joy : then Menelaus rofe;
The herald plac'd the fceptre in his hands,
And ftill'd the clamour of the (homing bands.
Kot without caufe incens'd at TNeflor's fon,
And inly grieving, thus the king begun: 650

The praife of wifdom, in thy youth obtain'd,
An act fo rafh (Antilochus) has ftain'd.
Robb'd of my glory and my juft reward,
To you, O Grecians ) be my wrong declar'd :
So not a leader mail our conduct blame, 6$$

Or judge me envious of a rival's fame;
But (hall not we, ourfelves, the truth maintain?
What needs appealing in a fact fo plain ?

but tranfported with youthful heat, and ambitious of
glory: his rafhnefs in driving fo furioufly againft Me-
nelaus mud be imputed to this; but his paffions being
gratified by the conqueft in the race, his reafon again
returns, he owns his error, and is full of refignation to

BookXXIIl. H O M E R's ILIAD. 203

What Greek (hall blame me, if I bid tbee rife,

And vindicate by oath th' ill-gotten prize ? 660

Rife if thou dar'ft, before thy chariot ftand,

The driving fcourge high-lifted in thy hand,

And touch thy fteeds, and fwear, thy whole intent

Was but to conquer, not to circumvent.

Swear by that God whofe liquid arms furround 66$

The globe,and whofe dread earthquakes heave the ground.

The prudent chief with calm attention heard j
Then miidly thus : Excufe, if youth have err'd ;
Superior as thou art, forgive th' offence,
Nor I thy equal, or in years, or fenfe. 670

-Thou know'ft the errors of unripen'd age,
Weak are its counfels, headlong is its rage.
The prize I quit, if thou thy wrath refign ;
The mare, or ought thou aik'ft, be freely thine,
Ere I become (from thy dear friendfhip torn) 6j$

Hateful to thee, and to the Gods forfworn.

So fpake Antilochus; and at the word
The mare contefted to the king reftor'd.

j/.66%. And touch thy /feeds, arid /wear ] It is

evident, fays Euftathius, from hence, that all fraud was
forbid in the chariot race ; but it is not very plain what
unlawful deceit Antilochus ufed againfl: Menelaus : per-
haps Antilochus in his hafle had declined from the race-
ground, and avoided fome of the uneven places of it,
and confequently took an unfair advantage of his adver-
fary; or perhaps his driving fo furioufly againfl: Mene-
laus, as to endanger both their chariots and their lives,
might be reckoned foul play ; and therefore Antilochus
refufes to take the oath.

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

Joy fwells his foul, as when the vernal grain

Lifts the green ear above the fpringing plain, 680

The fields their vegetable life renew,

And laugh and giltter with the morning dew ;

Such joy the Spartan's mining face o'er-fpread

And lifted his gay heart, while thus he faid.

Still may our fouls, O gen'rous youth ! agree, 6S$
•Tis now Atrides' turn to yield to thee.
Ram heat perhaps a moment might controul,
Not break, the fettled temper of thy foul.
Not but (my friend) 'tis Rill the wifer way
To wave contention with fuperior fway ; 690

For ah ! how few, who mould like thee offend,
Like thee, have talents to regain the friend ?
To plead indulgence, and thy fault atone,
Suffice thy father's merit and thy own:

f. 679. Joy fwells his foul ', as when the vernal
grain, etc.]
Euftathius is very large in the explication of this fimif
litude, which at the fird view feems obfeure : his words
are thefe :

As the dew raifes the blades of corn, that are for
want of it weak and depreffed, and by pervading the,
pores of the corn animates and makes it flourifli, Co did
the behaviour of Antilochus raife the dejected mind of
Menelaus, exalt his fpirits, and rcftore him lo a full

I have given the reader his interpretation, and tranf-
lated it with the liberty of poetry: it is very much in
the language of fcripture, and in the fpirit of the


Book XXIII. H O M E R's ILIAD. 205
iGen'rous alike, for me, the fire and Ton 695

I Have greatly fuffer'd, and have greatly done.
I yield; that all may know, my foul can Bend,
Is or is my pride preferr'd before my friend.

He faid; and pleas'd his paffion to command,
Refign'd the courfcr to Noeman's hand, 700

Friend of the youthful chief: himfelf content,
The mining charger to his vefTel fent.
The golden talents Merion next obtain'd ;
The fifth reward, the double bowl, remain'd.
Achilles this to rev'rend Neflor bears, 705

And thus the purpofe of his gift declares.

Accept thou this, O facred fire ! (he faid)
In dear memorial of Patroclus dead ;
Dead, and for ever loft Patroclus lies,
For ever match 'd from our defiring eyes ! 710

f. 707. Accept thou this, f acred fire!'] The poet
in my opinion preferves a great deal of decency towards
this old hero and venerable counfellor: he gives him
an honorary reward for his fuperior wifdom, and there-
fore Achilles calls it asGxov. and not Sapov, a prize, and
not a prcfent. The moral of Hon.er is, that princes
ought no lefs to honour and recompence thofe who ex-
cel in wifdom and counfel, than thofe who are capable
of actual fervice.

Achillea, perhaps, had a double view in paying him
this refpecl, net only out of deference to his age, and
wifdom, but alfo becaufe he had in a manner won the
prize by the advice he gave his fon ; fo that- Neftor
may be faid to have conquered in the perfon of Antilo-
chus. Euftathius.

Vol. IV. S

206 H O M E R's ILIAD. BookXXIII.

Take thou this token of a grateful heart,

Tho' 'tis not thine to hurl the diftant dart,

The quoit to tofs, the pond'rous mace to wield,

Or urge the race, or wreftle on the field.

Thy prefent vigour age has overthrown, 7 IJ

But left the glory of the part thy own.

He faid, and plac'd the goblet at his fide;
With joy, the venerable king reply'd.

Wifely and well, my fon, thy words have prov'd
A fenior honour'd, and a friend belov'd ! 720

f. 719. Neftor'' s fpeech to Achilles.'] This fpeech is
admirably well adapted to the character of Neftor : he
aggrandizes, with an infirmity peculiar to age, his own
exploits; and one would think Horace had him in
his eye,

. Laudatur temporis afii

Se puero

Neither is it any blemifh to the character of Neftor thus
to be a little talkative about hisownatchievements: to
have defcribed him otherwife, would have been an out-
rage to human nature, in as much as the wifefl: man liv-
ing is not free from the infirmities of man ; and as every
(lage of life has feme imperfection peculiar to itfelf.

. — -EftxtSov jvioxjv.

The reader may obferve that the old man takes a-
bundance of pains to give reafons how his rivals came
to be victors in the chariot-race: he is very follicitous
to make it appear that it was not through any want of
(kill or power in htmfelf: and in my opinion Neftor is
never more vain -glorious than in this recital of his own

Book XXIII. H O M E R's ILIAD. 307

Too true it is, deferted of my ftrengtb,

Thefc wither M arms and limbs have fail'd at length.

Oh ! had I now that force I felt of yore,

Known thro' Bnprafium and the Pylian more !

Victorious then in ev'ry folemn game, 725

Ordain'd to Amarynces' mighty name;

The brave Epeians gave my glory way,

iEtoIians, Pylians, all refign'd the day.

It is for the fame reafon he repeats the words I have
cited above: he obtrudes (by that repetition) the dis-
advantages under which he laboured, upon the obferva-
tion of the reader, for fear he fnould impute the lofs of
the victory to his want of {kill.

Neftor fays that thefe Moliones overpowered him by
their number. The critics, as Euftathius remarks, have
laboured hard to explain this difficulty; they tell us a
formal ftory, that when Neftor was ready to enter the
lifts againft thefe brothers, he objected againft them as
unfair adverfaries, (for it muft be remembered that they
were monfters that grew together, andconfequendy had
four hands to Neftor's two) but the judges would not
allow his plea, but determined, that as they grew to-
gether, fo they ought to be conficered as one man.

Others tells us that they brought feveral chariots in-
to the lifts, whofe charioteers combined together in fa-
vour of Eurytus and Cteatus, thefe brother-monfters.

Others fay, that the multitude of the fpectators con-
{pired to difappoint Neftor.

I thought it neceftary to give my reader thefe feveral
conjectures that he might underftand why Neftor fays
he was overpowered by ljx»8«, or numbers ; and alfo,
becaufe it confirms my former obfervation, that Neftor
is very careful to draw his own picfture in the ftrongeft
colours, and to mew it in the faired light.
S 2

208 HOME R»s ILIA D. Book XXIII,

I quell'd Clytomedes in fights of hand,

And backward hurl'd Ancaeus on the fand, 730

Surpaft Iphyclus in the fwift career,

Phyleus and Polydorus, with the fpear.

The Tons of Aclor won the prize of horfe,

But won by numbers, not by art or force :

For the fam'd twins, impatient to furvey, 73$

Prize after prize by Neftor born away,

Sprung to their car ; and with united pains

P«e lafh'd the courfers, while one rul'd the reins.

Such once I was I now to thefe tafks fucceeds

A younger race, that emulate our deeds : 74$

I yieid alas ! (to age who mult not yield ?)

Tho* once the foremoft hero of the field.

Go thou ! my Ton ! by gen'rous friendfhip led,

"With martial honours decorate the dead ;

"While pleas'd I take the gift thy hands prefenr, 74J

(Pledge of benevolence, and kind intent)

Kejoic'd, of all the num'rous Greeks, to fee

Not one but honours facred age and me:

Thofe due diftinc*Hons thou fo well can'ft pay,

May the juit Gods return another day. 75^

Proud of the gift, thus fpake the full of days :
Achilles heard him, prouder of the praife.

The prizes next are ordered to the field,
For the bold champions who the Cseftus wield.
A ftately mule, as yet by toils unbroke, 75 £

Of fix years age, unconfcious of the yoke,


Is to the Circus led, and firmly bound J

Kext (lands a goblet, marly, large and round.

Achilles rifing thus : Let Greece excite

Two heroes equal to this hardy fight; 76*0

Who dares his foe with lifted arms provoke,

And rufh beneath the long-defcending (broke ?

On whom Apollo (hall the palm befiow,

And whom the Greeks fupreme by conqueft know,

This mule his dauntlefs labour (hall repay ; j6§

The vanquifh'd bear the mafly bowl away.

This dreadful combate great Epeus chofe,
High o'er the croud, enormous bulk ! he rofe,
And feiz'd the bead, and thus began to fay:
Stand forth fome man, to bear the bowl away ! 770
(Price of his ruin :) for who dares deny
This mule my right ? th' undoubted victor I.
Others, 'tis o\vn'd,-in fields of battel fhine y ■
But the firft: honours of this fight are minej
For who excels in all ? Then let my foe JJ$

Draw near, but firft his certain fortune know,
Secure, this hand fhall his whole frame confound,
Mafh all his bones, and all his body pound :
So let his friends be nigh, a needful train
To heave the batter'd carcafe of the plain. 7&>

The giant fpoke ; and in a (rapid gaze

The hoft beheld him, filent with amaze I

Twas thou, Euryalus ! who durft afpire

To meet his might, and emulate thy firevj



The great Meciftheus; who in days of yore* 78 c j

In Theban games the nobleft trophy bore,

(The games ordain 'd dead Oedipus to grace)

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