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by having recourfe to the Pagan theology : it was an
opinion that obtained in thofe early days, that Jupiter
frequently fent fome friendly meiTengers to protect the
innocent, fo that Homer might intend to give his readers
a lecture of morality, by telling us that this unhappy
king was under the protection of the gods.

Madam Dacier carries it farther. Homer (fay me)
inftructed by tradition, knew that God fends his angels
to the fuccour of the aSided. The fcriptute is foil o£

258 H O M E R's ILIAD. Book XXIV.
Why roam thy mules and deeds the plains along,
Thro' Grecian foes, fo num'rous and fo ftrong ! 450
What could'ft thou hope, mould thefe thy treafures view,
Thefe, who with endlefs hate thy race purfue ?
Tor what defence, ahs ! could'ft thou provide ?
Thy felf not young, a weak old man thy guide.
Yet furfer not thy foul to fink with dread; 455

From me no harm mall touch thy rev'rend head ;
From Greece I'll guard thee too; for in thofe lines
The living image of my father fhines.

Thy words, that fpeak benevolence of mind
Are true, my foil ! (the god-like fire rejoin'd) 460

Great are my hazards ; but the Gods furvey
My fieps, and fend thee, guardian of my way.

examples of this truth. The (lory of Tobit has a won-
derful relation with this of Homer: Tobit fent his fon
to Rages, a city of Media, to receive a confiderable furn;
Tobias did not know the way; he found at his door a
young man clothed with amajeftic glory, which attract-
ed admiration ; it was an angel under the form of a man.
This angel being afoed who he was, anfwered (as Mer-
cury does helre) by a fidion ; he faid that he was of the
children of ifrael, that his name was Azarias, and that
he was fon of Ananias. This angel conducted Tobias |
in fafety ; he gave him inftruclions; and when he was
to receive the recompence which the father and fon ofi
feredhira, he declared that he was the angel of the Lord,
took his flight towards heaven, and difappeared. Hera
is a great conformity in the ideas and in the ftyle; and
the example of our author fo long before Tobit, proves,
that this opinion of God's fending his angels to the aid
of nun was very common, and much fpread amongft
the Pfgaiw in thofe former times. Dacier.

Book XXIV. H O M E R's ILIAD. 259
Hail, and be bleft ! for fcarce of mortal kind
Appear thy form, thy feature, and thy mind.

Nor true are all thy words, nor erring wide ; 465
(The facred mefTenger of heav'n reply'd)
But fay, convey'ft thou thro' the lonely plains
What yet mod precious of thy ftore remains,
To lodge in fafety with fome friendly hand?
Prepar'd perchance to leave thy native land. 47©

Or fly 'II thou now? what hopes can Troy retain?
Thy matchlefs fon, her guard and glory, {lain !

The king alarm'd. Say what, and whence thou art,
Who fearch the forrows of a parent's heart,
And know fo well how god-like Heclor dy'd? 475

Thus Priam fpoke, and Hermes thus reply'd.

You tempt me, father, and with pity touchy
On this fad fubject you enquire too much.
Oft' have thefe eyes that god-like Heclor view'd
In glorious fight with Grecian blood embru'd : 480

I faw him, when like Jove his flames he toft
On thoufand (hips, and wither'd half a hoft:
I faw, but help'd not : (tern Achilles' ire
Forbad afliftance, and enjoy'd the Are.
For him I ferve, of Myrmidonian race ; 485

One (hip convey'd us from our native placej
Polyclor is my fire, an honour'd name,
Old like thyfelf, and not unknown to fame ;
Of fcv'n his ions by whom the loft was caft
To ferve our prince, it fell on me, the l^ft. 49a

2 6o HOMER's ILIAD. Book XXIV.

To watch this quarter my adventure falls,

For with the morn the Greeks attack your walls ;

Sleeplefs they fit, impatient to engage,

And fcarce their rulers check their martial rage.

If then thou art of ftern Pelides' train, 495

(The mournful monarch thus rejoin'd again)
Ah tell me truly, where, oh ! where are laid
My fon's dear relics? what befalls him dead?
Have dogs difmember'd on the naked plains,
Or yet unmangled reft his cold remains ? 500

O favour'd of the Ikies! (thus anfwer'd then
The pow'r that mediates between Gods and men)
Nor dog? nor vultures have thy Hector rent,
But whole he lies, neglected in the tent:
This the twelfth ev'ning fince he refted there, 505

Untouch 'd by worms, untainted by the air.
Still as Aurora's ruddy beam is fpread,
Round his friend's tomb Achilles drags the dead:
Yet undisfigur'd, or in limb or face,
All frefh he lies, with ev'ry living grace, 51©

Majeflical in death ! no ftains are found
O'er all the corfe, and clos'd is ev'ry wound ;
(Tho' many a wound they gave) fome heav'nly care,
Some hand divine, preferves him ever fair:
Or all the hoft of heav'n, to whom he led 515:

A life fo grateful, ftiJl regard him dead.

Thus fpoke to Priam thr coeleftial guide,
And joyful thus the royal fire reply'd.

Book XXIV. H O M E R's ILIAD. 261

Bled is the man who pays the Gods above

The conftant tribute of refpect and love ! 52©

Thofe who inhabit the Olympian bow'r

My Ton forgot not, in exalted pow'r ;

And heav'n, that ev'ry virtue be^rs in mind,

Ev'n to the afhes of the juft, is kind.

But thou, oh gen'rous youth ! this goblet take, 525

A pledge of gratitude for Hector's fake;

And while the fav'ring Gods our fteps furvey,

Safe to Pelides' tent conduct my way.

To whom the latent God. O king forbear
To tempt my youth, for apt is youth to err: 53©

But can I, abfent from my prince's fight,
Take gifts in fecret, that mud (hun the light ?

^.5:19. Blejl is the man, etc.] Plomer now begins,
after a beautiful and long fable, to give the moral of it,
and difplay his poetical juftice in rewards and pnnifh-
ments : thus Hector fought in a bad caufe, and there-
fore fuffers in the defence of it ; but becaufe he was a
good man, and obedient to the gods in other refpects,
his very remains become the care of heaven.

I think it necefFary to take notice to the reader, that
nothing is more admirable than the conduct of Homer
throughout his whole poem, inrefpect to morality. He
juftifies the character of Horace,

Quid pukkr urn, quid turpe, quid 'utile ', quid nzn>

Pleuiiu et melius Chryfippo et Cr ant ore dicit. -

If the reader does not obferve the morality of the
Ilias, he lofes half, and the nobler part of its beauty :
he reads it as a common romance, and miftakes the
chief aim of it, which is to inliruct.

f, 531. But can I, abfent y etc.] In the original of

262 H O M E R's I L I A D. Book XXIV.

What from our matter's int'reft thus we draw,

Is but a licens'd theft that 'fcapes the law.

Refpecling him, my foul abjures th' offence; 535

And as the crime, I dread the confequence.

Thee, far as Argos, pleas'd I could convey :

Guard of thy life, and partner of thy way.

On thee attend, thy fafety to maintain,

O'er pathlefs forefts, or the roring main. 540

He faid, then took the chariot at a bound,
And fnatch'd the reins, and whirl'd the lafh around :
Before th' infpiring God that urg'd them on,
The courfers fly, with fpirit not their own.
And now they reach'd the naval walls, and found 54J
The guards repaying, while the bowls go round ;
On thefe the virtue of his wand he tries,
And pours deep flumber on their watchful eyes :
Then heav'd the mafly gates, remov'd the bars,
And o'er the trenches led the rolling cars, 550

Unfeen, thro' all the hoftile camp they went,
And now approach'd Pelides' lofty tent.

this place (which I have paraphrafed a little) the word
i^>\tvuv is remarkable. Priam offers Mercury (whom
he looks upon as a foldier of Achilles) a prefent, which
he refufes becaufe his prince is ignorant of it: this pre-
fent he calls a direct theft or robbery ; which may (hew
us how (trie! the notions of juftice were in the days of
Homer, when if a prince's fervant received any prefent
without the knowlege of his matter, he was efteemed a
thief and a robber. Euftathius.

BookXXIV. H O M E R's ILIAD. 263

Of fir the roof was rais'd, and cover'd o'er

With reeds collected from the marfliy more ;

And, fenc'd with palifades, a hall of ftate, 5^

(The work of foldiers) where the hero fate.

f*S5B- Offi r the roof was rais'd.'] I have in the
courfe of thefe obfervations described the method of en-
camping ufed by the Grecians: the reader has here a
full and exact defcription of the tent of Achilles: this
royal pavilion was built witli long palifadocs made of
fir: the top of it covered with reeds, and the infide was
divided into feveral apartments: thus Achilles had his
*v\n fjaydhr, or large hall, and behind it were lodging
rooms. So in the ninth book Phoenix has a bed pre-
pared for him in one apartment, Patroclus has another
for him felf and his captive Iphis, and Achilles has a third
for himfelf and his miftrefs Diomeda.

But we mud not imagine that the other Myrmidons
had tents of the like dimenfions : they were, as Eu> :a-
thius obferves, inferior to this royal one of Achilles:
which indeed is no better than an hovel, yet agrees very
well with the duties of a foldier, and the fimplicity of
thofe early times.

I am of opinion that fuch fixed tents were not ufed
by the Grecians in their common marches, but only du-
ring the time of fieges, when their long flay in one
place made it necefTary to build fuch tents as are here
defcribed ; at other times they lay like Diomed in the
tenth book, in the open air, their fpears (landing up-
right, to be ready upon any alarm ; and with the hides
of beafts fpread on the ground, inftead of a bed.

It is worthy obfervation, that Homer even upon Co
trivial an occafion as the defcribing the tent of Achilles,
takes an opportunity to fhew the fuperior ftrength of
his hero ; and tells us that three men could fcarce open
the door of his pavilion, but Achilles could open it a-


Large was the door, vhofe well-compadred flrength

A folid pine-tree barr'd, of wond'rous length;

Scarce three flrong Greeks could' lift its mighty weight,

But great Achilles fingly clos'd the gate, 560

This .Hermes (fuch the pow'.r of Gods) fet wide ; .

Then fwift alighted the celeiKal guide,

And thus, reveal'd — Hear, prince ! and understand

Thou ow'fl: thy guidance to no mortal hand :

Hermes I am, defcended from above, $6$

The king of arts, the meffenger of Jove.

Farewell: to mun Achilles' fight. I fly ; O

Uncommon are fuch favours of the Iky, >

Nor (land confeft to frail mortality. 3

Now.fearlefs enter, and prefer thy. pr3y'rs; 570

Adjure him by his father's filver hairs,

f. 569. Nor fl and confefl to frail mortality^ Euda?
thius thinks it was from this maxim, that the princes
of the eafl: alfumed that air of majeity which feparates
them from the fight of their fubjecls; but I mould ra-
ther believe that Homer copied this after, the originals^
from fome kings of his time: .it not being unlikely that
this policy is very ancient. Dacier.

f. 571. A J jure him by hh father, etc.] EuftathiuS
obferves that Priam does not intirely follow the indrucr
tions of Mercury, but only calls to his remembrance his
aged father Peleus : and this was judicioufly done by
Priam : for what motive to compafHon could arife from
the mention of Thetis, who was a goddef?, and incapr
able of misfortune ? Or how could Neoptolemus be any
inducement to make Achilles pity Priam, when at the
fame time heflourifnedin thegreatnt profperity ? there-
fore Priam only mentions his father Peleus, who, like
him, Hood upon the very brink of the grave, and was

Book XXIV. H O M E R's ILIAD. 2 6>
His Ton, his mother! urge him to bellow
Whatever pity that (tern heart can know.

Thus having faid, he vanifh'd from his eyes,
And in a moment fiiot into the fkies: $y $

The king, confirmed from heav'n, alighted there,
And left his aged herald on the car.
With folcmn pace thro' various rooms he went,
And found Achilles in his inner tent:
There fate the hero ; Alcimus the brave, 580

And great Automedon, attendance gave:
Thefe ferv'd his perfon at the royal feaft,
Around, at awful diftance, (lood the reft,

Unfeen by thefe, the king his entry made;
And proftrate now before Achilles laid, 585

Sudden, (a venerable fight!) appears;
Embrac'u his knees, and bath'd his hands in tears;

liable to the fame misfortunes he (iifFered. Thefe are
the remarks of Euftathius; but how then mall wejuftify
Mercury, who gave him fuch improper inftruclions with
relation to Thetis ? All that can be faid in defence of
the poet is, that Thetis, though a goddefs, has through
the whole ccurfe of the Ilias been defct'ibed as a partner
in all the afflictions of Achilles, and cqr.fequentiy n
be made u(e of as an inducement to raife the compaflioh
of Achilles. Priam might have faid, I conjure thee by
the love thou beared to thy mother, take pity on me !
for if fne who is a goddefs would grieve for the lofs of
her beloved fon, how greatly muft the lofs of Hector
afHicT: the unfortunate Hecuba and Priam ?

y. 586. Sudden t {a venerable fight /) appears.'} I
ifancy this interview between Priam and Achilles would
furnifh an admirable fubjeel: for a painter, in the furprize

Vol. IV. Z

266 H O M E R's I L I A D. Book XXIV,
Thofe direful hands his kifles prefs'd, embru'd
Ev'n with the bed, the deareft of his blood !

As when a wretch, (who confeious of his crime, 590
Purfu'd for murder, flies his native clime)
Juft gains fome frontier, breatblefs, pale ! amaz'd !
All gaze, all wonder: thus Achilles gaz'd :
Thus flood th' attendants ftupid with furprize;
All mute, yet feem'd to queftion with their eyes : 595
Each look'd on other, none the filence broke,
'Till thus at laft the kingly fuppliant fpoke.

Ah think, th«u favour'd of the pow'rs divine !
Think of thy father's age, and pity mine !

of Achilles, and the other fpeclators, the attitude of
Priam, and the forrows in the countenance of this un-
fortunate king.

That circumftance of Priam's kitting the hands of
Achilles is inimitably fine; he killed, fays Homer, the
hands of Achilles ; thofe terrible, murderous hands that
had robbed him of fo many fons : by thefe two words
the poet recalls to our mind all the noble a&ions per-
formed by Achilles in the whole Uias ; and at the fame
time (hikes us with the utmofl: compaflion for this un-
happy king, who is reduced fo low, as to be obliged to
kifs thofe hands that had llain his fubje&s, and ruined
his kingdom and family.

f. 598. The fpeech of Priam to Achilla .] The cu-
riofity of the reader muft needs be awakened to know
how Achilles would behave to this unfortunate king ; it
requires all the art of the poet to fuftain the violent
character of Achilles, and yet at the fame time to foften
him into companion. To this end the poet ufes no
preamble, but breaks direclly into that circumftance
which is molt likely to mollify him, and the two firft
words he utters are, y.^s-ui nurpo^fee thy father, O A-

Book XXIV. H O M E R's ILIAD. 267

In me, that father's rev'rend image trace, 600

Thofe filver hairs, that venerable face :

His trembling limbs, his helplefs perfon, fee!

In all my equal, but in mifery !

Yet now, perhaps, fome turn of human fate

Expels him helplefs from his peaceful Rate ; 605

Think, from fome pow'rful foe thou fce'it him fly,

And beg protection with a feeble cry.

Yet dill one comfort in his foul may rife ;

He hears his fen (till lives to glad his eyes ;

chilles, in me! Nothing could be more happily imagin-
ed than this entrance into his fpcech ; Achilles h?.s every
where been defcribed as bearing a great affection to his
father, and by two words the poet recalls all the ten-
dernefs that love and duty can fuggeft to an affectionate

Priam tells Achilles, that Heclor fell in the defence
of his country: I am far from thinking that this was
inferted accidentally: it could not fail of having a very
good effect upon Achilles, not only as one brave man
naturally loves another, but as it implies that Heclor had
no particular enmity againfl: Achilles, but that though he
fought againft him, it was in defence of his country.

The reader will obferve that Priam repeats the be-
ginning of his fpeech, and recalls his father to his me-
mory in the conclufion of it. This is done with great
judgment; the poet takes care to enforce his petition
with the (rrongefl: motive, and leaves it frefh upon his
memory; and poifibly Priam might perceive that the
mention of his father had made a deeper impreflion up-
on Achilles than any other part of his petition, there-
fore while the mind of Achilles dwells upon it, he again
fets him before his imagination by this repetition, and
loft ens him into compafHon.
Z 2

c68 H O M E R*s ILIAD. Book XXIV.

And hearing ftill may hope, a better day 6io

May fend him thee, to chafe that foe away.

Ko comfort to my griefs, no hopes remain,

The heft, the bravefi: of my fons are flam !

Yet what a racej ere Greece to Uion came,

The pledge of many a lov'd, and loving dame: 6i£

Nineteen one mother bore— Dead, all are dead !

How oft', alas ! has wretched Priam bled ?

Still one was left, their lofs to recompenfe;

His father's hope, his country's laft defence.

Him too thy rage has flain ! beneath thy fteel 6ld

Unhappy in his country's caufe he fell !

For him, thro' hoftile camps I bent my way,
For him thus proitrate at thy feet I lay ;

Large gifts proportion'd to thy wrath I bear;

l'h hear the wretched, and the Gods revere ! 625

Think of thy father, and this face behold !

See him in me, as helplefs and as old !

Tho' not fo wretched : there he yields to me,

The firft of men in fov'reign mifery.

Thus forc'd to kneel, thus grov'ling to embrace 630

The fcourge and ruin of my realm and race:

Suppliant my children's murd'rer to implore,

And kifs thofe hands yet reeking with their gore !
Thefe words foft pity in the chief infpire,

Touch 'd with the dear remembrance of his fire. 63 J

f. 634. T'hefc words J ft pity, etc.] We are now
come almoft to the end of the poem, and confequently
to the end of the anger of Achilles : and Homer has de-

Book XXIV. H O M E R's ILIAD. 269
I Then with his hand (as proftrate (till he lay)
! The old man's cheek he gently ttirn'd away.
I Kow each by turns indulg'd the gufh of woe;

And now the mingled tides together flow:

This low on earth, that gently bending o'er, 640

A father one, and one a fon deplore :

But great Achilles diff'rent paflions rend,

And now his (ire he mourns, and now his friend.

Th' infectious foftnefs thro' the heroes ran; "}

One univerfal folemn (how'r began ; J> 645

They bore as heroes, but they felt as man. J

Satiate at length with unavailing woe?,

From the high throne divine Achilles rofe;

The rev'rend monarch by the hand he rais'd;

On his white beard and form majeftic gaz'd, 650

Kot unrelenting i -then ferene began

With words to foothe the miferable man.

Alas ! what weight of anguifh haft thou known f

Unhappy prince ! thus guardlefs and alone

icribed the abatement of it with excellent judgment.
We may here obferve how necefTary the conduct of
Homer was, in fending Thetis to prepare her fon to ufe
Priam with civility: it would have been ill fuited with
the violent temper of Achilles to have nfed Priam with-
tendernefs without fuch pre-admonition ; nay, the un-
expected fight of his enemy might probably have carried
him into violence and rage? but Hvier has avoided
thefe abfurdities ; for Achilles being already prepared
for a reconciliation, the mifery of this venerable prince
naturally melts him into companion.-

)K 653. Achilla 'sfteech to Priam.1 There is not a

27© HOME R's I L I A D. BookXXIV.

To pafs thro' foes, and thus undaunted face 65$

The man whofe fury has deflroy'd thy race ?

Heav'n fure has arm'd thee with a heart of fleel,

A ftrength proportion'd to the woes you feel.

Rife then: let reafon mitigate our care:

To mourn, avails not : man is born to bear. 660

Such is, alas ! the Gods fevere decree :

They, only they are bleft, and only free.

Two urns by Jove's high throne have ever flood,

The fource of evil one, and one of good ;

more beautiful paflage in the whole Ilias than thisbefore
us : Homer to ihew that Achilles was not a mere foldier,
here draws him as a perfon of excellent feme and found
reafon: Plato himfelf (who condemns this paffage)
could not fpeak more like a true philofopher: and it
was a piece of great judgment thus to defcribe him;
for the reader would have retained but a very indifferent
opinion of the hero of a poem, that had no qualification
but mere ftrength : it alio (hews the art of the poet
thus to defer this part of his character to the very con- .
clufion of the poem: by thefe mesns he fixes an idea of
his greatnefs upon our minds, and makes his hero go
off the flage with applaufe.

Neither does he here afcribemore wiJHom to Achilles
than he might really be matter of; for as Eufiathius
cbicrves, he had Chiron and Phcenix for his tutors, and
a goddefs for his mother.

f. 663. Two urns by Jove's high throne, etcl This:
jsan admirable allegory, and very beautifully imagined -
by the poet. Pit m has accu fed it as an impiety to fay
that God gives evil : but it teems borrowed from the
eaftern way of fpeaking, and bears a great refemblance'
to feveral exprdlions in fcripture : thus in the PfalmsJ
h thf band ofihe Lord there is a cup, and he pour 6th cut

Book XXIV. H 6 M'E R's ILIAD. 271

From thence the cup of mortal man he fills, 665

Bleflings to thefe, to thofc diftributes ills;

To moft, he mingles both : the wretch decreed

To tafte the bad, unmix'd, is enrft indeed ;

Purfu'd by wrongs, by meagre famine driv'n,

He wanders, outcaft both of earth and heav'n. 670

The happieft tafte not bappinefs fincere,

But find the cordial draught is danYd with care.

Who more than PeJeus mone in wealth and pow'r?

What (tars concurring bled his natal hour?

A realm, a Goddefs, to his wifhes giv'n, 675

Crac'd by the Gods with all the gifts of heav'n!

One evil yet o'ertakes his latefr day,

No race fucceeding to imperial fway :

cf the fame; as for the dregs thereof, all the ungodly of
the earth {hall drink them.

It was the culLom of the Jews to give condemned
perfons jud before execution, oivov etrftvpvto-p&rot, wine
mixed with myrrh, to make them lefs fenflble of pain:
thus Prov. xxxi. 6. Give Jlrong drink to him that it
ready to perijh. This cufrom was fo frequent among
the Jews, that the cup which was given him before ex-
ecution, came to denote death itfelf, as in that paifa^e,
Father, let this cup pafs from ine.

Some have fuppofed that there were three urns, one
, of good, and two of evil ; thus Pindar,

fiv yap ccSAoy, tuy-ara cvvSvo
AcclovTOii (ZpoTo7c aAa.va.Tti,

Eut, as Euftathius obferves, the word htpeg {hews that
there were but two, for that word is never ufed whea
more than two are intended.

272 H O M E R's ILIAD. Book XXIV.
An only fon ! and he (alas !) ordain'd
To fall untimely in a foreign land ! 680

See him, in Troy, the pious care decline
Of his weak age, to live the curfe of thine !
Thou too, old man, haft happier days beheld;
In riches once, in children once excell'd;
Extended Phrygia own'd thy ample reign, J 68$

And all fair Lefbos' blifsful feats contain,
And all wide Hellefpont's unmeafur'd main.
But fince the God his hand has pleas'd to turn,
And fill thy meafure from his bitter urn,
What fees the fun, but haplefs heroes falls ? 690

War, and the blood of man, furround thy walls !
"What muft be, muft be. Bear thy lot, nor fhed
Thefe unavailing forrows o'er the dead ;
Thou canft not call him from the Stygian more,
But thou, alas i may 'ft live to naffer more ! 695

To whom the king. O favour'd of the fkies ! )
Here let me grow to earth ! fince Heclor lies
On the bare beech, depriv'd of obfequies. J

^.685. Extended Phrygia, etc.] Homer here gives
-Ms a piece of geography, and (hews the full extent of
Priam's kingdom. Lefbos bounded it on the fouth,
Phrygia on the eaft, and the He-lefpont on the r.orth.
This kingdom, according to Strabo in the 13th book,
was divided into nine dynafties, who all depended upon
Priam as their king : fo that what Homer here relates
of Priam's power is literally true, and confirmed by hi-
(lory. Eullathius.

Book XXIV. H O M E R's ILIAD. 273

O give me Hector ! to my eyes reftore

His corfe, and take the gifts: I afk no more. 7CO

Thou, as thou may'it, thefe boundlefs (lores enjoy;

Safe may'ft thou fail, and turn thy wrath from Troy ;

So {hail thy pity and forbearance give

A weak old man to fee the light and live !

Move me no more (Achilles thus replies, 705

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