The Iliad(1)

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BOOK1

I Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to do gs and vultures, for so were the counsels of Jove fulfille d from the day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles, first fell out with one another. And which of the god s was it tha t set them on to quarrel? It was the son of Jove and Leto; for he was angry with the ki ng and sent a pestilence upon the host to plague the people, becaus e the son of Atreus ha d dishonoured Chryses his priest. Now Chryses had come to the ships of the Achaeans to free his daughter, and had brought with him a great ransom: moreover he bore in his hand the sceptre of Apollo wreathed with a suppliant? s wreath, and he besought the Achaeans, but most of all the two sons of Atreus, who were their chiefs. ?Sons of Atr eus,? he cried, ? and all other Achaeans, may the gods who dwell in Olympus grant you to sack the city of Priam, and to reach your homes in safety; but free my 2 of 640 The Iliad daughter, and accept a ransom for her, in rev erence to Apollo, son of Jove.? On this the rest of the Achaean s with one voice were for respecting the pries t and taking the ransom that he offered; but not so Agamemnon, w ho spoke fi ercely to him and sent him roughly away. ?Old man,? said he, ?let me not find you tarrying about our ships, nor yet coming hereafter. Your sceptre of the god and your w reath shall profit you nothing. I will not free her. She shall grow old in my house at Argos far from her own home , busying herself with her loom and visiting my couch; so go, and do not provoke me or it s hall be the worse for yo u.? The old man feared him and obeyed. Not a word he spoke, but went by the shore of the sounding sea and prayed apart to King Apollo whom lovely Leto h ad borne. ?Hear me,? he cried, ?O god of the silver bow, that protectest Chryse and holy C illa and rulest Tenedos with thy might, hear me oh thou of S minthe. If I have ever decked your temple with garl ands, or burned your thigh- bones in fat of bulls or goats, grant my prayer, and let your arrows avenge these my tears upon the Danaans.? Thus did he pray, and Apo llo heard his prayer. He came down furious fro m the summits of Oly mpus, with his bow and his quiver upon his shoulder, and the arrows 3 of 640 The Iliad rattled on hi s back with the rage that trembled within him. He sat himself down away from the ships wi th a face as dark as night, and hi s sil ver bo w rang death as he shot hi s arrow in the midst of the m. First he smote their mules and their hounds, but presently he aimed his shafts at the people themselves, and all da y long t he pyres of the dead were burning. For nine w hole days he s hot his arrows among the people, but upon the tenth day Achilles calle d them in assembly? moved thereto by Juno, who saw the Achaeans in their death-throes and had compassi on upon them. Then, when they were got together, he rose and spoke among them. ?Son of Atreus,? said he, ?I deem that we should now turn roving home if we wou ld escap e destruction, for we are being cut down by war and pestilence at on ce. Let us ask some priest or prophet, or some reader of dreams (for dreams, too, are of Jove) who can tell us why Phoebus Apollo is so angry, and say whether it is for some vow that we have broken, or hecatomb that we have not offered, and whether he will accept the savour of lambs and goats without ble mish, so as to take away the plague from us.? With these words he sa t do wn, and Calchas son of Thestor, wisest of augurs, who knew things pa st present 4 of 640 The Iliad and to come , rose to speak. He it was who had guided the Achaeans with their fleet to Ilius, through the prophesyings with which Phoebus Apollo had inspired him. With all sincerity and goodwill he addressed the m thus:? ?Achilles, loved of heaven, you bid me tell you about the anger o f King Apo llo, I will therefore do so; but consider first and swear that you will stand by me heartily in word and deed, for I know that I shall offend one who rules the Argives with might, to whom all the Achaean s are in subjection. A plain m an cannot stand against the anger of a king, who if he swallow his displeasure now, will yet nurse revenge till he has wreaked it. Consider, therefore, whether or no you will protect me.? And Achille s answered, ?Fear not, but speak as it is borne in up on you from heaven, for by Apoll o, Calchas, to whom y ou pray, and whose oracles you reveal to us, not a D anaan at our ships sh all lay his hand upon you, while I yet live to look upon the face of the earth?no, not though you name Agamemnon himself, who is by far the foremost of the Achaeans.? Thereon the seer spoke boldly. ?The god,? he said, ?is angry neither about vow nor he cato mb, but for his priest?s sake, whom Agamemnon has dishonoured, in that he 5 of 640 The Iliad would not free his daughter nor take a ransom for her; therefore has he sent these evils upon us, and will yet send others. He will not deliver th e Danaans from thi s pestilence till Agamemnon has restored the girl without fee or ransom to her father, and has sent a holy hecatomb to Chryse. Thus we may perhaps appease him.? With these words he sat down, and Agamemnon rose in anger. His heart was black with rage, and his eyes flashed fire as he scowled on Calchas and said, ?Seer of evil, you never yet prophesied smooth things concerning me, but have ever loved to fo retell that which was evil. You have brought me neither comfort nor performance ; and now y ou come se eing among Danaans, and saying that Apollo has plague d us because I would not take a ransom for this girl, the daug hter of Chryses. I have set my heart on keeping her in my own house, for I love her better even than my ow n wife Clytemnestra, w hose peer she is alike in form and feature, in understanding and accomplishments. Still I will give her up if I must, for I would have the people live, not die; but you must find me a prize instead, or I alone among the Argives shall be without one . This is not well; for yo u behold, all of you, that my prize is to go els ewhither.? 6 of 640 The Iliad And Achilles answered, ?Mos t noble son of Atreus, covetous be yond all mankind, how shall the Achaeans find you anothe r prize? We have no common store from which to take one. Those we too k from the cities have been awarded; we cannot disallow the awards that have been made already. Give this girl, therefore, to the god, and if ever Jove grants us to sack the city of Troy we will requite you three and fo urfold.? Then Agamemnon said, ?Achilles, valiant thoug h you be, you shall not thus outwit me. You shall not overreach and you shal l not persuade me. Are you to keep your own prize, while I sit ta mely under my loss and give up the girl at your bidding? Let the Achaean s find me a prize in fair exchange to my liking, or I will co me and take your own, or that of Aj ax or of Uly sse s; and he to whomsoe ver I may come shall rue my coming . But of this we will take thought hereafter; for the presen t, let us draw a ship into the sea, and find a crew for her expressly; let us put a hecatomb on board, and let us send Chryseis also; further, let some chi ef man amo ng us be in command, either Ajax, or Idomeneus, or yourself, son of P eleus, mighty warrior that you are, that we may offer sacrifice and appease the the anger of the god.? 7 of 640 The Iliad Achilles scowled at him and answered, ?You are s teeped in insolence and lust of gain . With what heart can any of the Achaeans do your bidding, either on foray or in open fighting? I came not warring here for any ill th e Trojans had done me. I have no quarrel with them. They have not raided my cattle nor my horses, nor cut down my harvests on the rich plains o f Phthia; f or between me and the m there is a g reat space, both mountain and sounding sea. We have followed you, Sir Insolence! for your pleasure, not ours?to gain satisfaction from the Trojans for your shameless se lf and for Mene laus. You forget this, and threaten to rob me of the prize for which I have toiled, and which the sons of the Achaeans have given me. Never when the Achaeans sack any rich city of the Trojans do I receive so good a prize as you do, though it is my hands that do the better part of th e fighti ng. When the sharing comes, yo ur share is far the largest, and I, forsooth, must go back to my ships, take w hat I can get and be thank ful, when my labour of fig hting is d one. Now, therefore, I shall go back to Phthia; it will be much better for me to return home with my ships, for I will not stay here dishonoured to gather gold and substance for you.? And Agamemnon answered, ?Fly if you will, I shall make you no prayers to stay you. I have others here who 8 of 640 The Iliad will do me honour, and above all Jove, the lord of counsel. There is no king here so hateful to me as you are, for you are ever quarrelsome and ill- affecte d. What though you be brave? Was it not heaven that made you so? Go home, then, with your ship s and comrad es to lord it over the Myrmidons. I care neither for you nor for your anger; and thus will I do: sinc e Phoebus Apollo is taking Chryseis from me, I shall send her with my shi p and my followers, but I shall come to your tent and take your own prize Briseis, that you may learn how much stronger I am than you ar e, and that another may fear to set himself up as equal or comparable with me.? The son of Peleus was furious , and his heart within his shaggy breast was divided whether to draw his sword, push the others aside, and kill the son of Atre us, or to restrain himself and check his anger. While he was thus in two minds, and was drawing his mi ghty sword from its scabbard, Minerva came down from heaven (for Juno had sent her in the love she bore to them both), a nd seized the son of Peleus by hi s yellow hair, visi ble to hi m alone, for of the others no man could see he r. Achilles turned in amaze, and by the fire t hat flashed from her eyes at once knew that she was Minerva. ?Why are you here,? said he, ?daughter of aegis-bearing Jove? To see the pride of 9 of 640 The Iliad Agamemnon, son of Atreus? Le t me tell you?and it sh all surely be?h e shall pay f or this insolence with his life.? And Minerva said, ?I come from heaven, if you will hear me, to bid you stay y our anger. Juno has sent me, who cares for both of you alike. Cease, then, this brawling, and do not dr aw your sword; rail at him if you will, and your railing will not be vain, for I tell you?and it shall surely be?that you shall hereafter receive gifts three times as splendid by reas on of this present insult. Hold, therefore, and obey.? ?Goddess,? answered Achilles, ?however angry a man may be, he must do as you two co mmand him. This wil l be best, for the gods ever hear the prayers of him who has obeyed them.? He stayed his hand on the silver hilt of his sword, and thrust it b ack into the scabbard a s Minerva bade him. Then she w ent back to Olympus a mong the o ther gods, and to the house of aegis-bearing Jove. But the son of Peleus a gain began railing at the son of Atreus, for he was still in a rage. ?Wine-bibber,? he cried, ?with the face of a dog and the heart of a hind, y ou never dare to go out with the host in fi ght, nor yet with our chosen men in ambuscade. You shun this as you do death itself. You had rather go round and rob his prizes from any 10 of 640 The Iliad man who contradicts y ou. Y ou de vour your p eople, for you are king over a feeble fo lk; otherwise, son of Atreus, henceforward you woul d insult no man. Therefore I say, and swear i t with a great oa th?na y, by thi s my sceptre which shalt sprout neither leaf nor shoot, nor b ud anew from the day on which it left its parent stem upon the mountains?for the axe stripped it of leaf and bark, and now the sons of the Achaeans bear it as judges and guardians of the decrees of heaven?so surely and solemnly do I swear that hereafter t hey shall look fondly for Achilles and shall not find him. In the day of your distress, whe n your men fall dying by the murderous hand of Hector, you shall not know how to help them, and shall rend your heart with rage for the hour when you offered insult to the bravest of the Achaeans.? With thi s th e son of Peleus dashed his gold-bestudded sceptre on the ground and took hi s seat, while the son of Atreus was beginning fiercely from his place upon the other side. Then uprose smooth-tongued Nestor, the facile speaker of the Pylians, and the words fell from his lips sweeter than hone y. Two generations of men born and bred in Pylos had p assed away under his rule, and he was now reigning over the third. With all sincerity and goodwill, therefore, he addressed them thus:? 11 of 640 The Iliad ?Of a truth,? he said, ?a great sorro w has befallen the Achaean land. Surely Priam with hi s sons woul d rejoice, and the Trojans be glad at he art if they could hear this quarrel bet ween you two, who are so excellent in fight and counsel. I am older than either of you; the refore be guided by me. Moreover I have been the familiar friend of men even greater than you are, and they did not disregard my counsels. Never again c an I behold such men as Pirithous and Dryas shep herd of his p eople, or as Caeneus, Exadius, godlike Polyph emus, and Theseus son of Aegeus, peer of the immortal s. These were the mightiest men ever born upon this earth: mightiest were they, and when they fought the fiercest tribes of mountai n savages they utterly overthrew them. I came from distant Pylos, and went about among them, for they would have me come, and I fought as it was in me to do. Not a man now liv ing could withstand them, but they heard my words, and were persuaded by them. So be it also with yourselves, for this is the more excellent way. Th erefore, Agamemnon, though you be strong, take not this girl away, for the s ons of the Achaeans have already given her to Achilles; and you, Achilles, strive not further with the king, for no man who by the grace of Jove wields a sceptre has like honour with Agamemnon. You are strong, and have a goddess for your 12 of 640 The Iliad mother; but Agamemnon is stronger than you, for he has more people under him. Son of Atreus, check your anger, I implore you; end this quarrel with Achilles, who in the day of battle is a tower of strength to the Achaean s.? And Agame mnon answe red, ?Sir, all that you hav e said is true, but this fellow must needs become our lord and master: he must be lord of all, king of all, and captain of all, and this shall hardly be. Granted that the g ods hav e made him a great warrior, have they also given him the right to speak with railing?? Achilles interrupted him. ?I should be a mean coward,? he cried, ?were I to giv e in to you in all things. Order other people about, not me, for I shall obey no longer. Furthermore I say?and lay my saying to your heart?I shall fight neither you nor any man about thi s girl, for those that take were those also that gave. But of all else that is at my ship you shall carry away nothi ng by force. Try, that others may se e; if you d o, my spear shall be reddened with your blood.? When they had quarrell ed thus angrily, they ros e, and broke up the assembly a t the ship s of the Acha eans. The son of Peleus went ba ck to his tents a nd ships with the son of Menoetius and his company , while Agamemnon drew a vessel into the water and chose a crew of twenty oarsmen. 13 of 640 The Iliad He escorted Chryseis on board and sent moreover a hecatomb fo r the god. And Ulysses went as captain. These, then, went on bo ard and sailed their ways over the sea. But the son of Atreus bade the people purify themselves; so they puri fied themsel ves and ca st their filth into the sea. Then they offered hec atombs of bulls and goats without blemish on th e sea-shore, and the smoke with the sav our of their sacrifice rose curling up towards heaven. Thus did they busy themse lves thr oughout the host. But Agamemnon did not forget the threat that he had made Achilles, and called his tr usty messengers and squires Talthybius and Eurybates. ?Go,? said he, ?to the tent of Achilles, son of Peleus; take Briseis b y the hand and bring her hither; if he will not give h er I sh all come with others and take her?which will press him harder.? He charged them straigh tly further a nd dismi ssed them, whereon they went their way sorrowfully by the seaside, till they came to the ten ts and ships of the Myrmidons. They found Achilles si tting by his tent and his ships, and ill-pleased he was whe n he beheld them. They stood fearfully and reverently before him, and never a word did they speak, but he k new them and said, ? W elcome, heralds, messengers of gods and men; draw near; my 14 of 640 The Iliad quarrel is n ot with you but with Agamemnon who has sent you for the girl Briseis. Theref ore, Patroclus, bring her and give her to them, but let the m be witnesses by the blessed gods, by mortal men, and by the fierceness of Agamemnon?s anger, that if ever again there be need of me to save the people from ruin, they shall seek and they shall not fi nd. Agamemnon is mad with rage and knows not how to look before and after that the Achaeans may fight by their ships in safety.? Patroclus did as his dear comrade had bidden him. He brought Briseis from the tent and gave her over to the heralds, who took her with them to the shi ps of the Achaeans?and the woman was loth to go. Then Achilles went all alone by the side of the hoar sea, weeping and looking out upon the boundless waste of waters. He raised his hand s in prayer to his immortal mother, ?Mother,? he cried, ?you bore me do omed to live but for a little season; surely Jove, who thunders from Olympus, might have made that little glorious. It is not so. Agamemnon, son of Atreus, has done me dis honour, and has robbed me of my prize by force.? As he spoke he wept aloud, and his mother heard him where she was sitting in the depths of the sea hard by the old man her father. Forthwith she r ose as it we re a grey 15 of 640 The Iliad mist o ut of the waves, sat down bef ore him as he stood weeping, caressed him with her hand, and said, ?My son, why are you weeping? What is it that grieves yo u? Keep it not from me, but tell me, that we may know it together.? Achilles drew a deep sigh and said, ?You know it; why tell you what you know well already? We went t o Thebe the strong ci ty of Eetio n, sacked i t, a nd brought hither the spoil. The sons of the Achaeans shared it duly among themselves, and chose lovely Chryseis as the meed of Agamemno n; but Chryses, priest of Apollo, ca me to the ships of the Achaeans to free his daughter, and brought with him a great ransom: mo reover he bore in his hand the sceptre of Apollo, wreathed with a suppliant?s wreath, and he besought the Achae ans, but most of all the two sons of Atreus who were their chiefs. ?On this the rest of the Achaean s wi th one voi ce were for respecting the pries t and taking the ransom that he offered; but not so Agamemnon, w ho spoke fi ercely to him and sent him roughly away. So he went back in anger, and Apollo, w ho loved him dearly, heard his prayer. Then the god sent a de adly dart upon the Argives, and the people died thick on one another, for the arrows went everywhither among th e wide host of the Achaeans. At last a seer in the fulness of his knowledge d eclared to us 16 of 640 The Iliad the oracles of Apollo, and I was myself first to sa y that we should appease him. Whereon the son of Atreus rose in anger, and threatened that which he has si nce d one. The Achaean s are now takin g the girl in a ship to C hryse, and sending gifts of sacrifice to the god; but the heralds have just taken from my tent the daughter of Briseus, whom the Achaeans had awarded to myself. ?Help your brave son, therefore, if you are able. Go to Olympus, and if you have ever done him service in word or deed, im plore the aid of Jove. Ofttimes in my father?s house have I heard you glory in that you alone of the immortal s sa ved the son of Saturn f rom ruin, when the others, with Juno, Neptune, and Pallas Minerva would have put him in bonds. It was you, goddess, who delivered him by calling to Olympus the hundred-handed monster whom gods cal l Briareus, but men Aegaeon, for he is stronger even than his fa ther; when therefore he took his seat all -glorious beside the son of Saturn, the other gods were afraid, and did not bin d him. Go, then, to him, remind him of all this, clasp his knees, and bid him give succour to the Trojans. Let the Ach aeans be hemmed in at the sterns of their ships, and p erish on the sea-shore, that they may reap what joy they may of their king, and that 17 of 640 The Iliad Agamemnon may rue his blindness in offering in sult to the foremost of the Achaeans.? Thetis wept and answered, ?M y son , woe is me tha t I should have borne or suckled y ou. Would indeed that you had lived your span free from all sorrow at your ships, for it is all too brief; alas, that you should be at once short of life and long of sorrow above your p eers: woe, therefore, was the hour in which I bore you; nevertheless I will go to the snow y heights of Olympus, an d tell thi s tal e to Jove, if he will hear our prayer: meanwhile stay where you are with your ships, nurse your anger against the Achaeans, and hold al oof from fi ght. For Jove went yesterday to Oceanus, to a feast among th e Ethi opians, and the other gods went with him. He will return to Olympus twelv e days hence; I will the n go to his mansion paved with bronze and will beseech him; nor do I doubt that I shall be able to persu ade him.? On this she left him, still furious at the loss of her that had been taken from him. Meanw hile Ulysses reached Chryse with the hecato mb. When they had co me inside the harbour they furled the sails and laid them in the ship?s hold; they slackened the forestays, lowered the mast into its place, and rowed the ship to the place where they would have her lie; th ere they cas t out their mooring- 18 of 640 The Iliad stones and made fast the haws ers. They then got out upon the sea-sho re and landed the hecatomb fo r Apollo; Chryseis also left the ship, and Ulysses led her to the altar to deliver her into the hands of her father. ?Chryses,? said he, ?King Agamemnon has sent me to brin g you back your child, and to offer sacrific e to Apollo on behalf of the Danaans, that we may propit iate the god, who has now brought sorrow upon the Argives.? So saying he gave the girl over to her father, who received her gladly, and they ranged the holy hecatomb all orderly rou nd the altar of the god. They washed their hands and took up the barley-meal to sprinkle over the victims, while Chryses lifted up his hands and prayed aloud on their behalf. ?Hear me,? he cried, ?O god of the silver bow, that protectest Chryse and holy Cilla, and rulest Tenedos with thy might. Even as thou didst hear me aforetime when I prayed, and didst press hardly upon the Achaeans, so hear me yet ag ain, and stay this fearful pestilence from the Danaans.? Thus did he pray, and Apollo heard his prayer. When they had done praying and sprinkling the bar ley-meal, they drew back the heads of the v ictims and killed and flayed them. They cut o ut the thigh -bones, wrapped the m round in two layers of fat, set some pieces of raw meat on 19 of 640 The Iliad the top of th em, and then Chryses laid them on the wood fire and poured wine over th em, while the young men stood near him with fi ve-pr onged spits i n their hands. When the thigh-bones were bu rned and they had tasted the inward meats, they cut the rest up small, put the pieces upon the spits, roasted them t ill they were done, and drew them off: then, when they had finished their work and the feast was ready, they ate it, and every man had his full share, so that all were satisfied. As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink, pages filled the mixing-bowl with wine and water and handed it round, after giving every man his drink-offering. Thus all day long the young men worshipped the god with song, hymning him and chaunti ng the joyous paean, and the god took pleasure in their voices; but when the sun went d own, and it came on dark, they laid themselves down to sle ep by the stern cables of the ship, and when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared they again set sai l for the host of the Achaean s. Apollo sent them a fair wind, so they rais ed their mast and hoisted their white sails aloft. As th e sail bellied with the wind the ship flew through the deep blue water, and the foam hissed against her bows as she sped onward. When they reached the wide-stretching host of the Achaeans, they 20 of 640 The Iliad drew the vessel ashore, high and dry upon the sands, set her strong props beneath her, and went their ways to their own tents and ships. But Achilles abode at his ships and nursed his anger. He went not to the honourable a ssembly, and sallied not forth to fight, but gnawed at his own heart, pining for battle and the war-cry. Now after twelve days t he immortal gods came back in a body to O lympus, and Jove led the way. Thetis was not unmindful of the charge her son had laid upon he r, so she rose from under the sea and went through great heaven with early morning to Ol ympus, where she found the mighty son of Saturn sitting all alone upon i ts topmost ridges. She sat herself do wn before him, and with her left hand seized his knees, while with her right she c aught him under the chin, and besought him, saying:? ?Father Jove, if I ever did y ou servic e in word o r deed among the i mmortal s, hear my prayer, and do honour to my son, w hose life is to be cut short so e arly. King Agamemnon has dishonoured hi m by taking his prize and keeping her. Honour him then yourself, Olympian lord of counsel, and grant victory to the Trojans, till the Achaeans give my son his due and load him with riches in requital.? 21 of 640 The Iliad Jove sat for a while sil ent, and wi thout a wor d, but Thetis still kept firm hold of his knees, and besought him a second time . ?Incline your head,? said she, ?and promise me surely, or else deny me?for you have nothing to fear?that I may learn h ow greatly you disdain me.? At this Jove was much trou bled and answered, ?I shall have trouble if you set me quarrelling with Juno, for she will provoke me with her taunting speeches; e ven now she is always railing at me before the other gods and accusing me of giving aid to the Trojans. Go b ack now, lest she should find out. I will consider the m atter, and will bring it about as you wish. See, I incline my head that you may believe me. This is th e most solemn pro mise tha t I can give to any god. I never recall my word, or deceive, or fail to do what I say, when I have nodded my head.? As he spoke the son of Saturn bow ed his dark brows, and the amb rosial lock s swayed on hi s immortal head, till vast Olympus reel ed. When the pair had thus laid their plans, they parted? Jove to his h ouse, while th e goddess quitted the splendour of Olympus, and plunged into the d epths of the sea. The gods rose from their seats, before the coming of their sire. Not one of them dared to remain sitting, but all stood up as he came among them. There, t hen, he took his seat. 22 of 640 The Iliad But Juno, when she saw him, knew that he and the old merman?s daughter, silver-footed Thetis, had been hatchi ng mischief, so she at once began to upbraid him. ?Trickster,? she cried, ?which of the gods have you been taking into your counse ls now? You are always settling matters in se cret behind my back, an d have never yet told me, if you could help it, one word o f your intentions.? ?Juno,? replied the sire o f gods and men, ?you must not expect to be informed of all my counsels. You are my wife, but y ou would find it hard to understand them. When it is proper for yo u to hear, there is no one, god or man, who will be told sooner, but when I mean to keep a matter to myself, you must not pry nor ask questions.? ?Dread son of Saturn,? answered Juno, ?what are you talking about? I? Pry an d as k questions? Never. I let you have your o wn way in everything. Still, I have a strong misgiving that the old merman?s daughter Thetis has been talking you over, for she wa s with you and had hold of your knees this self-same morning. I believe, therefore, that you have been promis ing her to give glory to Achilles, and to kill much people at the ships of the Achaeans.? ?Wife,? said Jove, ?I can do nothing but y ou suspect me and find it out. You will take nothing by it, for I shall only 23 of 640 The Iliad dislike you the more, and it will go harder with you. Granted that it is as you say; I mean t o have it so; sit down and hold your tongue as I bid you for if I once begin to lay my hand s about you, thoug h all heaven were on your side it would profit you nothing.? On this Juno was frightened, so she curbed her stubborn will and sat down in sile nce. But the heavenly beings were disquieted throughout the house of Jove, till the cunning workman Vulcan be gan to try and pacify his mother Juno. ?It will be intolerable,? said he, ?if you two fall to wrangling and setting heaven in an uproar about a pack of mortals. If such i ll counsels are to prevail, we shall have no pleasure at our banquet. Let me then advise my mother?and she must herself kn ow that it will be better?to make friends with my d ear father Jove, lest he again scold her and disturb our feast. If the Olympian Thunderer wants to hurl us all from our seats, he can do so, for he is far the stro ngest, so give him fair words, and he will then soon be in a good humour with us.? As he spok e, he took a double cup of nectar, and placed it in his mother?s hand. ?Cheer up, my dear mother,? said he, ?and make the best of it. I love you dearly, and should be very sorry to se e you get a thrashing; however grieved I migh t be, I could not help, for there is 24 of 640 The Iliad no standi ng against Jove. Once before when I was trying to help you, he caught me by the foot and flung me from the heavenly threshold. All day lon g from morn till eve, was I falling, till at sunset I came to g round in the island of Lemnos, and there I lay , with very l ittle life left in me, till the Sintians came and tended me.? Juno smiled at this, and as she smile d she took the cup from her son?s hand s. Then Vulcan drew sweet nectar from the mixing-bowl, and s erved it round among the gods, going from left to ri ght; and the blessed gods laughed out a loud applause as they saw him bustling about the heavenly mansion. Thus throug h the livelong day to the going down of the sun they feasted, and every one had his full share, so that all were satisfied. Apollo struck his lyre, and the Muses lifted up their sweet voices, calling and answering one another. But when the sun?s glor ious light had faded, they went home to bed, each in his own abod e, which lame Vulcan with his consum mate skill had fashioned for them. So Jove, the Olympian Lord of Thunder, hied him to the bed in which he always slept; and when he had got on to it he went to sleep, with Juno of the golden throne by his side. 25 of 640 The Iliad
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