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excel all human ftrength, and be equal to a deity.

Virgil has imitated this pafTage in his twelfth book,
and applied it to Turnus; but I cannot help thinking
that the action in a mortal is fomewhat extravagantly
imagined: what principally renders it fo, is an addition
of two lines to this fimile which he borrows from ano-
ther part of Homer, only with this difference, that where-
as Homer fays no two men could raife fuch a (lone,
Virgil extends it to twelve;

■Saxum circumfpicit ingens,

Saxum, antiquum, ingens, campo quod forte jacehat,
Limes agro pofiluSy lit am ut difcerneret arvis.

(There is a beauty in the repetition offaxum tngens > m

the fecond line ; it makes us dwell upon the image, and
gives us leifure to confider the vaftnefs of the (lone:)
the other two lines are as follow;

Fix Mud, letfi his J ex cervice fibirent,
Ghalia nunc hominum producii corpora tellus.

May I be allowed to think too, they are not fo well in-
troduced in Virgil -? For it is juft after Turnus is de-
fcribed as weakened and opprelfed with fears and ill
omens ; it exceeds probability ; and Turnus, methinks,
looks more like a knight-errant in a romance, than a
hero in an epic poem.

I 2

ico HOME R's ILIA D. BookXXI.
Thund'ring he falls; a mafs of monftrous fize,
And fev'n broad acres covers as he lies.
The dunning ftroke his ftubborn nerves unbound;
Loud o'er the fields his ringing arms refound : 475
The fcornful dame her conqueft views with fmiles,
And glorying thus, the proftrate God reviles.

Had thou not yet, infatiate fury ! known
How far Minerva's force tranfcends thy own >
Jam, whom thou rebellious dar'ft withftand, 480

Corrects thy folly thus by Pallas' hand;
Thus meets thy broken faith with juft difgrace,
And partial aid to Troy's perfidious race*.

The Goddefs fpoke, and turn'd her eyes away,
That beaming round, di&us'd celeftial day. 485

Jovt's Cyprian daughter, ftooping on the land,
Lent to the wounded God her tender hand :
Slowly he rifes, fcarcely breathes with pain,
And propt on her fair arm, forfakes the plain.
This the bright emprefs of the hsav'ns furvey'd, 490
And fcoffing, thus, to war's victorious maid.

ho ! what an aid on Mars's fide is- feen !
The Smiles and Loves unconquerable queen !
Mark with what infolence, in open view,
She moves : let Pallas, if iKe dares, purfue. 495

Minerva fmiiing heard, the pair o'ertook,
And flightly on her bread the wanton ftrook:
She, unrefifling, fell ; (her fpirits fled)
On earth together lay the lovers fpread.

Book XXI. H O M E R's ILIAD. ioi

And like thefe heroes, be the fate of all £00

(Minerva cries) who guard the Trojan wall !
To Grecian God3 fuch let the Phrygian be,
So dread, fo fierce, as Venus is to me ;
Then from the lowed (tone (hail Troy be mov'd—
Thus (he, and Juno with a fmile appro v'd. 505-

Meantime, to mix in more than mortal fight,
The God of Ocean dares the God of light.

f. 507. The God of Ocean dares the Cod of light.]
The interview between Neptune and Apollo is very ju-
diciously in this place enlarged upon by our author. The
poem now draws to a conclufion ; the Trojans are to be
punifhed for their perjury and violence: Homer accord-
ingly with a poetical juftice fums up the evidence againft
them, and reprefents the very founder of Troy as an in-
jurious perfon. There have been feveral references to
this ftory fince the beginning of the poem, but he for-
bore to give it at large till-near the end of it; that it
might be frefh upon the memory, and fhew, the Trojans
deferve the punimment they are going to fuffer.

Euftathius gives the reafon why Apollo aflifts the
Trojans, though he had been equally with Neptune af-
fronted by Laomedon: this proceeded from the ho-
nours which Apollo received from the pofterity of Lac-
medon; Troy paid him no lefs worihip than Cilia, or
Tenedos; and by thefe means won him over to a for-
givenefs: but Neptune {till was flighted, and confequent-
ly continued an enemy to the whole race.

The fame author gives us various opinions why Nep-
tune is faid to have built the Trojan wall, and. to have
been defrauded of his wages : Some fay that Laomedon.
facrilegioufly took away the treaiures out of the temples,
of Apollo and Neptune, to carry on the fortifications %.
from whence it was fabled that Neptune and Apollo built
the walls* Others will have it, that two of the woxk-

102 H O MER's ILIA D. Book XXT.
What floth has feiz'd us, when the fields around [found ?
Ring with confining pow'rs, and heav'n returns the
Shall ignominious we with fliame retire, 5 10

No deed perform'd, to our Olympian fire >
Come, prove thy arm ! for firlt the war to wage,.
Suits not my greatnefs, or fuperior age.
Ram as thou art to prop the Trojan throne, O
(Forgetful of my wrongs, and of thy own) \ jgj

And guard the race of proud Laomedon !


?nen dedicated their wages to Apollo and Neptune; and
that Laomedon detained them : fo that he might in fame
fenfe be faid to defraud the deities themfelves, by with-
holding what was dedicated to their temples.

The reafon why Apollo is faid to, have kept the herds
cf Laomedon, is not fo clear. Euftathius obferves that
all plagues firft feife upon the four-footed creation, and
are fjppofed to arife from this deity: thus Apollo in the
£rft book fends the plague into the Grecian army; the
ancients therefore made him to prefide over eattel, that
by preferving them from the plague, mankind might
be fafe from infetfious difeafes. Others tell us, that
this employment is afcribed to Apollo, becaufe he figni,
fles the fun: now the fun clothes the paftures with grafs
and herbs ; fo that Apollo may be faid himfelf to feed'
the cartel, by fupplying them with food. Upon either
«f thefe accounts Laomedon may be faid to be ungrate-
ful to tfeat deity,, for raifmg no temple to his honour.

It is obfervable that Homer, in this ftory, afcribes the
ftail-ding of the wall to Neptune only: I mould con-
jecture the reafon might be, that Troy being a fea-port
town the chief flrength of it depended upon its fitua-
*on, fo that the fea was in a- manner a wall to it : upon,
this, account Neptune may not improbably be faid to*
toe fetufe, ihe wai.


Haft thou forgot, how at the monarch's pray'r,

We fhar'd the lengthened labours of a year !

Troy walls I rais'd (for fuch were Jove's commands)

And yon' proud bulwarks grew beneath my hands: 520

Thy talk it was to feed the bellowing droves

Along fair Ida's vales, and pendent groves.

But when the circling feafons in their train

Brought back the grateful day that crown'd our pain ;

With menace ftern the fraudful king defy'd 525,

Our latent Godhead, and the prize deny'dt

Mad as he was, he threaten 'd fervile bands,

And doom'dus exiles far in barb'rous lands,

Incens'd, we heav'nward fled with fwifteft wing,

And deftin'd vengeance on the perjur'd king. 530

Doft thou, for this, afford proud Ilion grace,

And not like us, infeft the faithlefs race I

Like us, their prefent, future fons deftroy,

And from its deep foundations heave their Troy T

Apollo thus: To combate for mankind 53$

lil fuits the wifdom of celeftial mind :
For what is man ? calamitous by birth,
They owe their life and nouriftiment to earth;

f. 537; For what is- man? etc.] The poet is very
Happy in interfperfing his poem with moral fentences;.
in this place he fteals away his reader from war and>
horror, and gives him a beautiful admonition of his
own frailty. " Shall I (fays Apollo) contend with thee
u for the fake of man? man, who is no more than a
" leaf of a tree, now green and flourifhing, but foon
« withered away and .gone, i" The Ton of Sirachhas an

104 H O M E R's r L I A D. BoofcXXI.

Like yearly leaves, that now, with beauty crown'd,

Smile, on the fun ; now, wither on the ground : 540

To their own hands commit the frantic fcene,

Nor mix immortals in a caufe fo mean.

Then turns his face, far-beaming heav'nly fires,

And from the fenior pow'r, fubmifs retires;

Him, thus retreating, Artemis upbraids, 54^

The quiver'd hnntrefs of the Sylvan (hades.

And is it thus the youthful Phoebus flies,
And yields to Ocean's hoary fire, the prize ?
How vain that martial pomp, and dreadful mow
Of pointed arrows, and the filver bow I 55a

Now boaft no more in yon' celeftial bow'r,
Thy force can match the great earth-fhaking powV.

Silent, he heard the queen of woods upbraid:
Not fo Saturnia bore the vaunting maid ;
But furious thus. What infolence has driv'n $$$

Thy pride to face the majefty of heav'n ?

expreffion which very much refembfes this, Ecclus. xiv,
18. As the green leaves upon a thick tree, fome fall, and
fome grow^Jo is the generation offiejb and bloody one comet h
to an end, and one is born.

f, 544. And from the fenior poiu'r, fubmifs retires \\
Two things hinder Homer from making Neptune and
Apollo fight. Firft, becaufe having already defcribed
the fight between Vulcan and Xanthus, he has nothing
farther to fay here, for it is the fame conflict between-
humidity and drynefs. Secondly, Apollo being the
lame with Defiiny, and the ruin of the Trojans being
concluded upon and decided^ that God can no longer
defer it. Dacier.

Book XXI, H O M E R's ILIAD. 105
What tho' by Jove the female plague defign'd,
Fierce to the feeble race of woman-kind,
The wretched matron feels thy piercing dart ;
Thy fex's tyrant, with a tyger's heart ? 5 60

"What tho' tremendous in the woodland chafe,
Thy certain arrows pierce the favage race ?
How dares thy rafhnefs on the pow'rs divine
Employ thofe arms, or match thy force with mine ?

Learn hence, no more unequal war to wage 565L

She faid, and feiz'd her wrifts with eager rage - 7

f. 557. The female plague-

Fierce to the feeble race of woman-kind etc."}
The words in the original are, Though Jupiter has made
you a lion to women. The meaning of this is, that Diana
was terrible to that fex, as being the fame with the
moon, and bringing on the pangs of child-birth : or elfe
that the ancients attributed all fudden deaths of women
to the darts of Diana, as of men to thofe of Apollo %
which opinion is frequently alluded to in Homer. Eu-

f. $66. She faid, and feiz'd her wrifls, etc.] I mud
confefs I am at a lofs how to juftify Homer in every
point of thefe combats with the gods : when Diana and
Juno are to fight, Juno calls her an impudent bitch, xvo»
WtU\ When they fight, fhe boxes her-foundly, and
fends her crying and trembling to heaven : as foon as
(he comes thither, Jupiter falls a laughing at her : in-
deed the reft of the deities feem to be in a merry vein
during all the action : Pallas beats- Mars and laughs at
him; Jupiter fees them in the fame merry mood: Juno
when fhe had cuffed Diana is not more ferious : in
fhort, unlefs there be fome depths that I am not able to
fethom, Homer never better deferved than in this place
the cenfure pad upon him by the ancients, that as he

io6 H O M E R's I L T A D. Book XXI,
Thefe in her left hand lock'd, her right unty'd
The bow, the quiver, and its plumy pride.
About her temples flies the bufy bow ;
Nowhere, now there, (he winds her from the blow; 57©
The featuring arrows rattling from the cafe,
Drop round, and idly mark the dufty place.
Swift from the field the baffled huntrefs files,
And fcarce reftrains the torrent in her eyes :
So, when the falcon wings her way above, 575

To the cleft cavern fneeds the gentle dove,
(Not fated yet to die) there fafe retreats,
Yet ftill her heart againft the marble beats.
To her, Latona haftes with tender care;
Whom Hermes viewing, thus declines the war. 586

railed the characters of his men up to gods, fo he funk
thofe of gods, down to men.

Yet I think it but reafonable to conclude, from the
very abfurdity of all this, (fuppofmg it had no hidden
meaning or allegory) that there mult therefore certainly
be fome. Nor do I think it any inference to the con-
trary, that it is too obfeure for us to find out : the re-
motenefs of our times muft neceflarily darken yet more
and more fuch things as were myfteries at firft. Not
that it is at all impofiible, notwithftanding their, prefent
darknefs, but they might then have been very obvious;
as it is certain, allegories ought to be difguifed, but not
obfeured : an allegory mould be like a veil over a
beautiful face, fo fine and tranfparent ? as to (hew the
very charms it covers.

f. 580. Whom Hermes viewing, thus declines the war, 2
It is impoifible that Mercury mould encounter Latona:
fuch a fiction would be unnatural; he being a planet, and

Book XXI. HOMER'* ILIAD. 107

How (hall I face the dame, who gives delight
To him whofe thunders blacken heav'n with night ?
Go, matchlefs Goddefs ! triumph in the fides,
And boaft my conquest, while I yield the prize.

He fpoke; and part: Latona, looping low, 585

Collects the fcatter'd (hafts, and fallen bow,
That glitt'ring on the duft, lay here and there ;
Dimonour'd relicks of Diana's war.
Then fwift purfu'd her to her bleft abode,
Where, all confus'd, (he fought the fov'reign God ; 500
Weeping (he grafp'd his knees: the ambrofial veft
Shook with her fighs, and panted on her brealt.

The fire, fuperior fmil'd; and bade her (how
What heav'nly hand had caus'd his daughter's woe?
AbafrVd, (he names his own imperial fpoufe; 595

And the pale crefcent fades upon her brows.

Thus they above: while fwiftly gliding down,
Apollo enters Ilion's facred town :
The guardian God now trembled for her wall,
And fear'd the Greeks, tho' fate forbad her fall. 600
Back to Olympus, from the war's alarms,
Return the mining bands of Gods in arms;
Some proud in triumph, fome with rage on fire ;
And take their thrones around th' asthereal fire :

Thro' blood, thro' death, Achilles (lill proceeds, 605
O'er flaughter'd heroes, and o'er rolling deeds.

(he reprefenting the night; for the planets owe all their
luftre to the (hades of the night, and then only become
vifible to the world. Euftathius.

io8 H O M E RV I L I A D. Book XXI.

As when avenging flames with fury driv'n

On guilty towns exert the wrath of heav'n;

The pale inhabitants, fome fall, fome fly;

And the red vapours purple ail the fky. 6iO

So rag'd Achilles : death and dire difmay,

And toils, and terrors, fill'd the dreadful day.

High on a turret hoary Priam {lands,
And marks the wafte of hk deftrudtive hands ;

f. 607. As when avenging flames with fury driv'ti,

On guilty towns exert the wrath of ' heav'n. j
This pafTage may be explained two ways, each very re-
markable. Firft, by taking this fire for a real fire, fent
from heaven to punifh a criminal city, of which we have
example in holy writ. Hence w r e find that Homer had
a notion of this great truth, that God fometimes exerts
his judgments on whole cities in this fignal and terrible
manner. Or if we take it in the other fenfe, (Imply as
a fire thrown into a town by the enemies who afTault it,
and only expreffed thus by the author in the fame man-
ner as Jeremy makes the city of Jerufalem fay, when
the Chaldaeans burnt the temple, The Lord from above
hath fent fire into my bones, Lament, i. 13. Yet ftill thus
much will appear underftood by Homer, that the fire
which is caft into a city comes not, properly fpeaking,
from men, but from God, who delivers it up to their
fury. Dacier.

f. 613. High on a turret hoary Priam, etc.] The
poet ftill raifes the idea of the courage and ftrength of
his hero, by making Priam in a terror that he fhould
enter the town after the routed troops: for if he had
not furpafled all mortals, what could have been more
defirable for an enemy, than to have let him in, and
then deftroyed him ?

Here again there was need of another machine to
hinder him from entering the city; for Achilles being


Book XXI. H O M E R-'s ILIA D. 109

Views, from his arm, the Trojans fcatter'd flight, 6ij

And the near hero rifing on his fight !

No flop, no check, no aid ! with feeble pace,

And fettled forrow on his aged face,

Fad as he could, he fighing quits the walls;

And thus, defcendingon the guards he calls. 620

You to whofe care our city-gates belong,
Set wide your portals to the flying throng.
For lo ! he comes, with unrefifted fway;
He comes, and defolation marks his way !
But when within the walls our troops take breath, 625
Lock faft the brazen bars, and fhut out death.
Thus charg'd the rev 'rend monarch: wide were flung
The opening folds; the founding hinges rung,
Phoebus rufh'd forth, the flying bands to meet,
Strook (laughter back, and cover'd the retreat. 630

vatlly fpeedier than thofe he purfued, he muft necciTarily
overtake fome of them, and the narrow gates could not
let in a body of troops, without his mingling with the
hinJmoit.. The ftory of Agenor is therefore admirably
contrived, and Apollo, (who was to take care that the
fatal decrees mould be punctually executed) inierpetfes
both to lave Agenor and Troy; for Achilles might have
killed Agenor, and (till entered with the troops, if A-
polio had not diverted him by the purfuit of that phan-
tom. Agenor oppofed himfelf to Achilles only becaufe
he could not do better; for he fees himfelf reduced to a
dilemma, either inglorioufiy to perilh among the fugi
tives, or hide himfelf in the ibreft; both which were e-
qually unfafe: therefore he is pnrpofely infpired with a
generous refolution to try to fave his countrymen, and
as the reward of that fervice, is at (aft laved himfelf.
Vol. IV. K

no H O M E R's I L I A D. Book XXI.
On heaps the Trojans croud to gain the gate,
And gladfome fee their laft efcape from fate:
Thither, all parch 'd with third, aheartlefs train,
Hoary with dufl:, they beat the hollow plain :
And gafping, panting, fainting, labour on 635

With heavier ftrides, that lengthen tow'rd the town.
Enrag'd Achilles follows with his fpear ;
Wild with revenge, infatiable of war.

Then had the Greeks eternal praife acquir'd,
And Troy inglorious to her walls retir'd ; 640

But # he, the God who darts sethereal flame,
Shot down to fave her, and redeem her fame.
To young Agenor force divine he gave,
(Antcnor's offspring, haughty, bold and brave)
In aid of him, befide the beech he fate, 6*4$

And wrapt, in clouds, reftrain'd the hand of fate.
When now the gen'rous youth Achilles fpies,
Thick beats his heart, the troubled motions rife,
(So, ere a ftorm, the waters heave and roll)
He flops, and queftions thus his mighty foul. 650

What, (hall I fly this terror of the plain ?
Like others fly, and be like others (lain ?

* Apollo.
f. 651. What.fhalllfiyP etc.] This is a very beau-
tiful foliloquy of Agenor, fuch a one as would naturally
arife in the foul of a brave man, going upon a defpcrate
enterprize : he weighs every thing in the balance of
rcafon ; he fets before himfelf the bafenefs of flight, and
the courage of his enemy, until at lafl the thirffof glory
preponderates all other confiderations. From the con-

Book XXI. H O M E R's I L I A D. m

Vain hope ! to fhun him by the felf-famc road
Yon' line of flaughter'd Trojans lately trod.
No : with the common heap I fcorn to fall — 655

"What if they pafs'd me to the Trojan wall,
While I decline to j r onder path, that leads
To Ida's forefts and furronnding (hades ?
So may I reach, conceal'd, the cooling ricol,
From my tir'd body warn the dirt and blood, 660

As foon as night her dufky veil extends,
Return in fafety to my Trojan friends,
What if? — But wherefore all this vain debate?
Stand I to doubt, within the reach of fate?
Ev'n now perhaps, erj yet I turn the wall, 66$

The fierce Achilles fees me, and 1 fall:
; Such is his fwiftnefs, 'tis in vain to fly,
And fuch his valour, that who ftands muft die.
Howe'er 'tis better, Sghtingfor the (late,
Here, and in public view, to meet my fate. 670

Yet fure he too is mortal ; he may feel
(Like all the fons of earth) the force of fteel ;
One only foul informs that dreadful frame ;
And Jove's foie favour gives him all his fanie.

He faid, and ftood, collected in his might; 675

And all his beating bofom claim'd the fight.

clufion of this fpeech it is evident, that the frory of
Achilles's being invulnerable except in the heel, is an
invention of latter ages ; for had he been Co, there had
been nothing wonderful in his character. Euilathius,
K 2

212 H O M E R's ILIA D. Book XXI.

So from fome deep grown wood the panther ftarts,

Kous'd from his thicket by a dorm of darts :

Untaught to fear or fly, he hears the founds,

Of (homing hunters, and of clam'rous hounds ; 680.

Tho' ftruck, tho' wounded, fcarce perceives the pain,

And the barb'd jav'iin fKngs his bread in vain:

On their whole war, imtam'd the favage flies ;

And tears his hunter, or beneath him dies.

Not iefs refolv'd, Antenor's valiant heir 685

Confronts Achilles, and awaits the war,

Difdainful of retreat : high -held before,

His fhield (a broad circumference) he bore ;

Then graceful as he ftood, in act to throw

The lifted jav'iin, thus befpoke the foe. 690

How proud Achilles glories in his fame!
And hopes this day to fink the Trojan name
Beneath her ruins ! know, that hope is vainj

A thoufand woes, a thoufand toils remain.

Parents and children our juft arms employ, 695

And ftrong, and many, are the fons of Troy.

Great as thou art, ev'n thou may'ft (tain with gore

Thefe Phrygian field?, 2nd prefs a foreign more.
He faid : with matchlefs force the jav'iin flung

Smote on his knee; the hollow cuifhes rung 70a

Beneath the pointed fteel ; but fafe from harms

He Panels impuflive in th'aethereal arms.

Then fiercely rulhing on the daring foe,

His lifted arm prepares the fatal blow.


Book XXI. H O M E It's I L I A D. n 3

But jealous of his fame Apollo (hrouds y r

The God-like Trojan in a veil of clouds:

Safe from purfuit, and (hut from mortal view,

Difmiis'd with fame, the favour'd youth withdrew.

Meanwhile the God, to cover their efcape,

AfTumes Agenor's habit, voice, and fhape, 7 10

Flies from the furious chief in this difguife,

The furious chief Hill follows where he flies :

Now o'er the fields they ftretch with lengthcn'd flrrides,

Now urge the courfe where fwift Scamander glides :

The God now diftant fcarce a ftride before, 715

Tempts his purfuit, and wheels about the more :

\\ 709. Meanwhile the Cod, to cover their e/eape, etc."}
The poet makes a double life of this fiction of Apollo's
deceiving Achilles in the fliape of Agenor; by thefe
means he draws him from the purfuit, 2nd gives the
Trojans time to enter the city, and at (he fame time
brings Agenor handfomely off from the combate. The
moral of this fable is, that deftiny would not yet fuffer
Troy to fall.

Euftathius fancies that the occafion of the fiction
might be this : Agenor Bed from Achilles to the banks
of Xanthus, and might there conceal himfelffrom the
purfuer behind fome covert that grew on the mores;
this perhaps might be the whole of the ftory. So plain
a narration would have raffed in the month of an hifto-
rian, but the poet drcMes it in ficVion, and teiis us that
Apollo (or Deftiny) concealed hirn in a cloud from the
fight ofhis enemy.

The fame author farther obferyes, that Achilles by
an unfeafonable piece of vain glory, in purfuing a fingle
enemy, gives time to a whole army to efcape : he nei-
ther kills Agenor, ncr overtakes the Trojans.

U4 H O If ER'$ ILIA D. Book XXI,

"While all the flying troops their fpeed employ,

And pour on heaps into the walls of Troy.

No flop, no flay ; no thought to afk, or telf,

Who 'fcap'd by flight, or who by battel fell. 72a

Twas tumult all, and violence of flight;

And fudden joy confus'd, and mix'd affright:

Pale Troy againft Achilles fnuts her gate ;

And nations breathe, deliver'd from their fate,.

C "I 3




THE A R G ■ U M E N*T.
The Death of He&or.

THE Trojans being fafe -within the walls, HecJor only
flays to oppofe Achilles. Priam is ft ruck at his approach r
Old tries to per fade his fon to re-enter the town. He-
cuba joins her intreaties 7 but in vain. Hector confufti
within himfelf what meafures to take t kit at the ad-
vance of Achilles, his refolut ion fails him, and he flies ;
Achilles purfues him thrice round the walls of 'Troy.
The Gods debate concerning the fate of Hector ; at length
Minerva defends to the aid of Achilles. She deludes
Ueclor in the jhape of Deiphobus ; he ft ana's the corn-
bate, and is {lain. Achilles drags the dead body at his
chariot, in the fight of Priam and Hecuba. Their lamen-
tations, tears anddefpair. Their cries reach the ears of
Andromache, who, ignorant of this, was retired into the

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