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Translated from the GREEK 9




?nntedfor A. Horace, P. Virgil, and T. Cicero, In P a .
ternofter.Row, J, Milton in St. PauPs Church-yard, and
JD. Plato and A, Pope in the Strand. 1 7*0,


I (J I .■


. 3



book xiir.


The arrival of Ulyfles in Ithaca.

' Viytfes takes his leave of Alcinous and Arete, and emlarh In the
evening. Next morning the Jhip arrives at Ithaca; -where the
failors, as Ulyfies is yet fieeping, lay him on the pore ivith all ha
treafures. On their return, Neptune changes their Jhip into a
rock. In the mean-time, Vlyjfes awaking, knows not his native
Ithaca, by reafon of a mifi which Pallas had cajl round him. lis
breaks into loud lamentations; Hill the goddefs appearing to him
in the form of a fiepherd, difiovers the country to him and points
out the particular places. Be then tells a feigned Jlory of his
adventures, upon which fie manifefls herfelf, and they conjult to*
get her of the meafures to he taken to deftroy the fuitors. To co»
ceal his return, and dijguife his perfon the more efieBually, fie
changes him into the figure of an old beggar.

HE ceas'd ; but left fa pleafing on their ear
His voice, that lift'ning (till they feem'd to hear.
A paufe of filence hufli'd the (hady rooms :
The grateful conference then the king refumeSc

v. 3 The shady roor-

The epithet in the original is o-ziavrx. or g-
here ufed with a peculiar propriety, to kec[ n
oind the enact time when Ulylles made his.i

A 2


Whatever toils the great UlyfTes part, 5

Beneath this happy roof they end at laft^
No longer now from more to more to roam,
Smooth feas, and gentle winds, invite him home.
But hear me, princes ! whom thefe walls inclofe.
For whom my chanter lings,, and goblet flows 10

With wines unmixt, (an honour due to age,
To cheer the grave, and warm the poet's rage)
Though labour'd gold and many a dazling veft
Lie heap'd already for our god-like gueft ;
Without new treafures let him not remove,
Large and expreffive of the public love :
Each peer a tripod, each a vafe beftow,
A gen'ral tribute, which the ftate fhall owe.

the Phseacians, namely, in the evening 01 the thirty* third
day : we may likewife gather, from this diftin&ion of
times, the exact flay of UlyfTes among the Phseacians ; he
was thrown upon their mores on the thirty-firft day in the
evening, and lands about day-break on the thirty-fifth day
in his own country ; fo that he ftaid three days and three
nights only with Alcinous, one night being fpent in his
voyage to Ithaca from Phasacia.

v. 10. For whom my chanter Jingi, and goblet fionvs
With wine unmixt, etc.]
Homer calls the wine yifxriov, or wine drank at the en-
tertainment of elders, yi^ovrov, or men of diftinction, fays
Euftathius j by the bard, he means Demodocus.

The fame critic further remarks, that Homer judici-
oufly (hortens every circumftance before he comes to the
difmiflion of UlyfTes : thus he omits the defcription of the
facrifice, and the fubjecT: of the long of Demodocus; thefe
are circumftances that at beft would be but ufelefs orna-
ments, and ill agree with the impatience of UlyiTes to be-


This fentence pleas 'd: then all their fteps addrefl
To fep'rate manfions, and retir'd to reft. 2G>

Now did the rofy- finger 'd morn arife,
And fhed her facred light along the ikies.
Down to the haven and the mips in hade
They bore the treafures, and in fafety plac'd.
The king himfelf the vafes rang'd with care : ?e

Then bade his followers to the feaft repair.
A vi&im ox beneath the facred hand
Of great Alcinous falls, and ftains the fand.
To Jove th' eternal (pow'r above all pow'rs !
Who wings the winds, and darkens heav'n with fhow'rs)
The flames afcend : 'till evening they prolong 3 1

The rites, more facred made by heav'nly fong.r
For in the midlt, with public honours grac'd,
Thy lyre divine, Demodocus ! was plac'd.
All, butUlyffes, heard with fix'd delight r 35

He fat, and ey'd the fun, and wifh'd the night ;
Slow feem'd the fun to move, the hours to roll,
His native home deep imag'd in his foul.
As weary plowman fpent with flubborn toil,.
Whofe oxen long have torn the furrow'd foil, ^q

gin his voyage toward his country. Thefe therefore the
poet briefly difpatches.

v. 39. As weary plowman, etc."] The fimile which
Homer chufes is drawn from low life, but very happily
fets off the impatience of UlyfTes : it is familiar, but ex-
preflive. Horace was not of the judgment of thofe who .
thought it mean, for he ufes it in his epiflles.

A 3


Sees with delight the fun's declining ray,
When home, with feeble knees, he bends his way
To late repaft (the day's hard labour done :)
So to CJlyffes welcome fet the fun.
Then inftant, to Alcinous and the reft, 45

(The Scherian dates) he turn'd, and thus addreft.

O thou, the firft in merit and command !
And you the peers and princes of the land !
May ev'ry joy be yours ! nor this the lead,
When due libation (hall have crown'd the feafr, 50
Safe to my home to fend your happy gueft.
Compleat are now the bounties you have giv'n,
Be all thofe bounties but conflrm'd by heav'n !


Longa videtur opus debentibus : ut piger annus
PupilliSi quos dura pr emit cuflodia mat rum ;
Sic mihi tarda fluunt, ingraiaque tetnpora, qux fpem
Conftliumque morantur, etc*

It was very neceffary to dwell upon this impatience of U-
lyffes to return : it would have been^abfurd to have'repre-
fented him cool, or even moderately warm upon this oc-
cafion ; he had refufed immorality through the love of his
country *, it is now in his power to return to it ; he ought
therefore confidently with his .former character to be drawn
with the utmoft earnednefs of foul, and every moment mud
appear tedious that keeps him from it ; it (hews therefore
the judgment of Homer to defcribe him in this manner,
and not to pafs it over curforily, but force it upon the no»
•tice of the reader, by infiiting upon it fomewhat largely,
and illudrating it by a proper fimilitude, to fix it more
ftrongly upon our memory.

v. 53. Be all thofe bounties but confirmed by heaven Q


So may I find, when all my wand'rings ceafe,

My confort blamelefs, and my friends in peace. 55

On you be ev'ry blifs, and ev'ry day

In home-felt joys delighted roll away ;

Yourfelves, your wives, your long defcending race,

May ev'ry God enrich with ev'ry grace !

Sure fixt on virtue may your nation ftand, 60

And public evil never touch the land!

His words well weigh 'd, the gen'ral voice approv'd
Benign, and inftant his difmifHon mov'd.
The monarch to Pontonous gave the fign,
To fill the goblet high with rofy wine : 65

Great Jove the father, firft (he cry'd) implore,
Then fend the ftranger to his native more.

The lufcious wine th' obedient herald brought :
Around the manfion flow'd the purple draught:
Each from his feat to each immortal pours, *jq

"Whom glory circles in th' Olympian bow'rs.
UlyfTes fole with air majeftic Hands,
The bowl prefenting to Arete's hands ;

This is a pious and inftructive fentence, and teaches, that
though riches were heaped upon us with the greatefl: abun-
dance and fuperfluity ; yet unlefs Heaven adds its bene-
diction, they will prove but at beft a burthen and calamity;

v. 73. The bo'vol prefenting to Arete's bands ;
Then thus ■■■ ■]
It may be asked why UlyfTes addrefTes his words to the
queen rather than the king : the reafon is, becaufe (he
v/as his patronefs, and had firft received him with hofpitali-
ty, as appears from the 7th book of the udyfTey.

UlyfTes makes a libation to the gods, and prefents the
bowl to the queen : this was the pious practice of antiqui*


Then thus : O queen farewell ! be ftill pofTeft

Of dear remembrance, blefling ftill and blefti 75

'Till age and death fhall gently call thee hence^

(Sure fate of ev'ry mortal excellence !)

Farewell ! and joys fucceflive ever Spring

To thee, to thine, the people and the king !

Thus he ; then parting prints the fandy fliore SO 1
To the fair port : a herald march'd before,
Sent by Alcinous : of Arete's train
Three cholen maids attend him to the main ;
This does a tunic and white veft convey,
A various cafketthat, of rich inlay, 8y

And bread and wine the third. The chearful mates-
Safe in the hollow deck difpofe the cates :
Beneath the feats, foft- painted robes they fpread,
With linen cover'd, for the heroe's bed.
He climb'd the lofty (tern ; then gently preft 90

The fvvelling couch, and lay compos'd to reft.

Now plac'd in ofder, the Phgeacian train
Their cables Ioofe, and launch into the main r
At once they bend, and firike their equal oars,
And leave the finking hills, and lefs'ning fhores. 95

ty upon all folemn occaftons : Ulyfies here does it, be-
caufe he is to undertake a voyage, and it implies a prayer
for the profperity of it. The reafon why he prefents the
bowl to the queen is, that (he may firft drink out of it, for
fo 7r£07riveiv properly and originally fignifies, to jrgo sxvrS
Silfovxi nvt TTivav, fays Euftathius, Propinc is ufed dif-
ferently by the Romans.


"While on the deck the chief in filence lies,

And pleafing {lumbers (leal upon his eyes.

As fiery courfers in the rapid race,

Urg'd by fierce drivers through the dufly fpace,

Tofs their high heads, and fcour along the plain ; ICO

So mounts the bounding vefTel o'er the main.

Back to the ftern the parted billows flow,

And the black ocean foams and roars below.

v. 98. As fiery courfers in the rapid race,
Tofs their high heads > etc.]
The poet introduces two fimilitudes to reprefent the fail-
ing of the Phsacian vefTel : the former defcribes the mo-
tion of it, as it bounds and rifes over the waves, like hor-
fes tolling their heads in a race ; and alfo the (teddinefs
of it, in that it fails with as much firmnefs over the bil-
lows, as horfes tread upon the ground. The latter comr
parifon is foiely to (hew the fwiftnefs of the vefTel.

The word in the original is nr^o^i ; an inflance,
that four horfes were fometimes joined to the chariot.
Virgil has borrowed this comparifon, Mn. 5 .

Non iamprxcipites bijugo cert amine campum
Corripuere, ruuntque effufi career e currus,
Necjic imntijjii aurigx undantia lo ra
Concufere jugis, pronique in verbera pendent.

It muft be allowed that nothing was ever more happily
executed than this defcription, and the copy far exceeds
the original. Macrobius, Saturnal. lib 5. gives this as his
opinion, and his reafons for ft. The Greek poet (favs
that author) paints only, the fwiftnefs of the horfes when
fcourged by the driver ;. Virgil adds, the rufhing of the
chariot, the fields as it were devoured by the rapidity of
the horfes ; we fee the throwing up of the reins in undan-
tia bra ; and the attitude of the driver leaning forward


Thus with fpread fails the winged galley flies ;
Lefs fwift an tigle cuts the liquid fkies : 105

Divine Ulyfles was her facred load r
A man, in wifdom equal to a god !
Much danger, long and mighty toils he bore,
In ftorms by Tea, and combats on the more ;
All which foft fleep now banifh'd from his bread, no
Wrapt in a p-leafing, deep, and death-like reft.

But when the morning (tar with early ray
Flam'd in the front of heav'n, and promts 'd day;


in the act of ladling of the horfes, in the words, Prom*
que in verbera pendent. It is true, nothing could be ad-
ded more elegantly than the vbotr* aa^ouivo^m Homer ;
it paints at once the fwiftnefs of the race, and the rifing
pofture of the horfes in the act of running ; but Virgil is
more copious, and has omitted no circumirance, and fet
the whole race fully before our eyes ; we may add, that
the verification is as beautiful as the defcription compleatj
every ear mud be fenfible of it.

I will only further obferve the judgment of Homer in
fpeaking of every perfon in his particular character. When
a vain glorious Phasacian defcribed the failing of his own
verTels, they were fwift as thought, and endued with
reafon ; when Homer fpeaks in his own perfon. to his rea-
ders, they are faid only to be as fwift as hawks or hor-
fes : Homer fpeaks like a poet, with fome degree of am-
plification,, but not with fo much hyperbole as Alcinous.
No people fpeak fo fondly as failors of their own mips to
this day, and particularly are (till apt to talk of them as
of living creatures.

v. 112. But when the morning Jlar with early ray

F/am'd in the front of heaven ]

From this paffage we may gather, that Ithaca is difrant
from Corcyra or Phseacia no farther than a vefTel fails ia


Like diftant clouds the mariner defcries

Fair Ithaca's emerging hilis arife. 115

Far from the town a fpacious port appears,

Sacred to Phorcys' pow'r, v/hofe name it bears :

Two craggy rocks projecting to the main,

The roaring winds tempeftuous rage refrrain ;

Within, the waves in fofter murmurs glide, 120

And mips fecure without their haulfers ride.

High at the head a branching olive grows,

And crowns the pointed cliffs with fhady boughs.

the compafs of one night ; and this agrees with the real
diftance between thofe iflands ; an inftance that Homer
was well acquainted with geography : this is the morning
of the thirty J fifth day.

v. 116. A fpacious port appears %

Sacred to Phorcys j

Phorcys was the fon of Pontus and Terra, acording to
Hefiod's genealogy of the gods ; this haven is taid to be
facred to that deity, becaufe he had a temple near it, from
whence it received its appellation.

The whole voyage of Uly/Tes to his country, and in-
deed the whole OdyfTey, has been turned into allegory ;
which I will lay before the reader as an inftance of a trifl-
ing induflry and (trong imagination. UlylTes is in fearch
of true felicity, the Ithaca and Penelope of Homer : he
runs through many difficulties and dangers ; this fhews that
happinefs is not to be attained without labour and afflic-
tions. He has feveral companions, who perifli by their
vices, and he alone efcapes by the affiftance of the Pha>
acians, and is tranfported in his fleep'to his country ; that
is, the Phseacians, whofe name implies blacknefs, Quiet,
are the mourners at his death, and attend him to his grave :
the (hip is his grave, which is afterwards turned into a
tock ; which reprefents his monumental marble ; his fleep

Beneath, a gloomy grotto's cool recefs
Delights the Nereids of the neighboring feas-;

means death, through which alone man arrives at eternal
felicity. Spondanus.

v. 124. 4 gloom? grotto* s cool recej).~]

Porphyry has wrote a volume to explain this cave of the
nymphs, with more piety perhaps than judgment; and a-
nother perfon has perverted it into the utmoft obfcenity,
and both allegorically. Porphyry (obferves Euftathius)
is of opinion, that the cave means the world ; it is called
gloomy, but agreeable, becaufe ? it was made out of dark-
nefs, and afterwards fet in this agreeable -order by the
hand of the deity. It is confecrated to the nymphs ; that
is, it is deftined to be the habitation of fpiritual fubftances
united to the body : the bowls and urns of living flone,
are the body which are formed out of the earth ; the bees
that make their honey in the cave are the fouls of men,
which perform all their o:, .rations in the body, and ani-
mate it ; the beams on which the nymphs roul their webs,
are the bones over which the admirable embroidery of
nerves, veins, and arteries are fpitad ; the fountains which
water the cave are the fe^s, rivers and lakes, that water
the world : and the two gates, are the two poles ; through
the northern the foils defcsnd from heaven to animate the
body ; through the foutbern they afcend to heaven, after
they are feparated from the body by death. But I con-
fefs I mould rather ehufe to underftand the defcription
poetically, believing thai '.>mer nevev creamed of thefe
matters, though the age in which he flourifhed was addic-
ted to allegory. > *ow often do painters draw from the
imagination only 5 merely to pleafe the eye ! and why
might not Homer write after it, efoecially in this place
where he mafiifeftly indulges his fancy, while he brings
his hero to the firft dawning of happinefs ? he has long
dwelt upp] ^.lies of horrors, and his lmaginp.rion being
cired with the melancholy ftory, it is not impoilible but


Where bowls and urns were form'd of living (tone,

And marly beams in native marble fhone ;

On which the labours of the nymphs were roll'd,

Their webs divine of purple mix'd with gold.

Within the cave, the cluftring bees attend J30

Their waxen works, or from the roof depend.

Perpetual waters o'er the pavement glide ;

Two marble doors unfold on either fide ;

Sacred the fouth, by which the gods defcend,

But mortals -enter at the northern end.


his fpirit might be enlivened with the fubjec"t while he
wrote 5 and this might lead him to indulge his fancy in a
wonderful, and perhaps fabulous defcription. In fhort, I
fiiould much rather chufe to believe that the memory of
the things to which he alludes in the defcription of the
cave is loft, than credit fuch a laboured and diftant alle-

v. 134. Sacred the foutb, by nxih'ich the gods defcend,]
Virgil has imitated the defcription of this haven, ^En. lib. I.

Eft in feceffu longo locus, infula portum
Efficit, objeflu laterttm, quibus cmnis ab alio
Frangiticr, etc.

Within a long recefs there lies a bay,
Anifland (hades it from the rolling lea,
And forms a port fecure for fhips to ride,
Broke by the jutting land on either fide,
In double dreams the briny waters glide.
Betwixt two rows of rocks, a fylvau fcene
Appears above, and groves for ever green :
A grott is form'd beneath with mofly feats,
To reft the Nereids, and exclude the heats :
Vol. III. B jW


Thither they bent, and hauPd their (h'p to land,
(The crooked kee] divides the yellow iand)

Down from the crannies of the living walls
The chryital ftreams de.fcend in murmuring falls,
No haulfers need to binJ the velfels here,
Nor bearded anchors, for no florins they fear.

Scaliger infinitely prefers the Roman poet : Homer, fays
he, fpeaks humiiia himiilHer\ Virgitiut grandior i • . ni-
fee ; but what T would chiefly obferve -'s not wh-.c Vir-
gil has imitated, but what he has omitted ; namely, all
that feems odd or lefs intelligible ; I mean the works of
the bees in a cave fo damp and rcoifr ; and the two gates
through which the gods and men enter.

I mall offer a conjecture to explain thefe two lines.

Sacred the fouth, by which the gods defiend 3
But mortals enter at the northern end.

It has been already obferved, that the ^Ethiopians held an
annual Sacrifice of twelve days to the gods ; all that time
they carried their imager in proc (3ion ? .:nd placed them at
their feftivals, and for this reafon the gods were faid to
feaft with the /Ethiopians ; that is, they were prefent with
them by their (tames : thus alfo Themis was faid to form
or diflblve aflemblies, becaufe they carried her image to
the aflemblies, when they wei » convened. °nd when they
were broken up they carried it away. Now we have al-
ready remarked, that th port . as (acred to Phoreys,
becaufe he had a ft 5 ;• : . may r :n .... irapoP-

fible, but that this temple hd is wo doorsj they might
ca#y the ftatues of the gods in their proc .... through
the fouthern gate, \ '■' ifecrated to this

only, and the p< e be f I to enter by itj. for that

reafon the deities were (aid to enter, namely, by their i-
mages. A: the other gate being allotted to common ufe,
was faid to be the paffage for mentals.


UlyfTes fleepwig en his couch they bore,
An J gently phe'd him on the rocky (here.

v. 138. Vlyjfes (leeping onjjis couch it v fore,

And gently p\acd him on the rock; jh ore ?\
There is nothing in the whole Odyfley that more (hocks
oarreafon th expofing UfyGeS afleep on the ihoresby

the rS ce.ieiaos: ' the pafLge (fays AriOotle in his PoeticsJ

* where Ufylfes is landed in ftnaca, is fo full bfabfur-

* dities, that they would he intolerable in a . bad poet;
1 bat Homer has concealed them under an infinity of ad-

* rarrable beauties, with which he has adorned all that

* part of the Od'yfTey ; thefe he has cronded together,

* as fo many charms to hinder our perceiving the defects

* of the ftory ;' Ariftotje mult be allowed to fpeak with
great judgment ; for what probability is there that a man
io prudent as UlyfTes, who was alone in a vefTel at the dif-
cretion of itraagers, (houid deep fo foundly as to be taken
cut of it, carried with an his baggage on more, and the
Pbsacians fliould fet fail and he never awake ? this is ftiil
more abfurd, if we remember that UlyfTes has his foul fo
ftrongly bent upon his country : is- it then pouible, that
he could be thus funk into a lethargy, in the moment
when he arrives [at it ? ' However (fays Monf, Dacier in
' his reflections upon Ariftotle's Poetics) Homer was not
' aihamed of that abfurdity, but not being able to omit it,

* he ufed it to give probability to the fucceeding ftory : it
' was neceffary for UlyfTes to land alone, in order to his
' concealment ; if he had oeen difcovered, the fuitors wo

' immediately have deftroyed him, if not as the real U»

* lyffes, yet under the pretext of his being an impoftc

' they would then have felzed his dominions, and marri-
1 ed Penelope : now if he had been waked, the phra :iaas

* would have been obliged to have attended him, which

* he could not have denied with decency, fior accepted
4 with fafety : Homer therefore had no other v *y left to
' unravel his fable happily : but he knew what was. abfurd
1 in this method, and ufes means to hide it j he lavifnes

i6 HOME R's ODYSSE Y. Book XMi.

Ills treafures next, Alcinous' gifts, they laid 140

In the wild olive's unfrequented (hade,

out all his wit and addrefs, and lays together fuch an a-
bundance of admirable poetry, that the mind of the
reader is fo inchanted that he perceives not the defect ;
he is like UlyfTes lull'd afleep, and knows no more than
that hero, how he comes there. That great poet firft
defcribes the ceremony of UlyfTes taking leave of Alci-
nous and his queen Arete ; then he fets off the fwiftnefs
of the veffel by two beautiful companions ; he defcribes
the haven with great exadtnefs, and adds to it the de-
fcription of the cave of the nymphs ; this laft affonifhes
the reader, and he is fo intent upon it, that he has not
attention to conlider the abfurdity in the manner of U-
JyfTes's landing : in this moment when he perceives the
mind of the reader as it were intoxicated with thefe
beauties, he (tails UlyfTes on fhore, and difmifTes the
Phsacians ; all this takes but up eight verfes. And then
left the reader fhould reflect upon it, he immediately
introduces the deities, and gives us a dialogue between
Jupiter and Neptune. This keeps up dill our wonder,
and our reafon has not time to deliberate ; and when
the dialogue is ended, a fecond wonder facceeds, the
bark is transformed into a rock : this is done in the
fight of the Phxacians, by which method the poet car-
ries us a while from the confideration of UlyfTes , by re-
moving the fcene to a diftant ifland ; there he detains us
till we may be fuppofed to have forgot the. pad abftir-
dities by relating the aftonifhment of Alcinous at the
fight of the prodigy, and his offering up to Neptune, to
appeafe his anger, a facrifice of twelve bulls. Then he
returns to UlyfTes who now wakes, and not knowing the
place where he was, (becaufe Minerva made all things
appear in a difguifed view) he complains of his misfor-
tunes, andaccufes the Phaeacians of infidelity; at length
Minerva comes to him in the fhape of a young fhepherd*

Secure from theft ; then launched the bark again,
Refum'd their oars, and meafur'd back the main.

* etc. Thus this abfurdity, which appears in the fable,

■ when examined alone, is hidden by the beauties that fur-
' round it. This paffage is more adorned with ficlion,
' and more wrought up with a variety of poetical orm-

* mentsthan moil: other places of the OdyrTey. From hence

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