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    Chapter 20

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    Chapter 20
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    Chapter XX
    The Trojan War

    Minerva was the goddess of wisdom, but on one occasion she did a
    very foolish thing; she entered into competition with Juno and
    Venus for the prize of beauty. It happened thus. At the
    nuptials of Peleus and Thetis all the gods were invited with the
    exception of Eris, or Discord. Enraged at her exclusion, the
    goddess threw a golden apple among the guests with the
    inscription, "For the most beautiful." Thereupon Juno, Venus,
    and Minerva, each claimed the apple. Jupiter not willing to
    decide in so delicate a matter, sent the goddesses to Mount Ida,
    where the beautiful shepherd Paris was tending his flocks, and to
    him was committed the decision. The goddesses accordingly
    appeared before him. Juno promised him power and riches, Minerva
    glory and renown in war, and Venus the fairest of women for his
    wife, each attempting to bias his decision in her own favor.
    Paris decided in favor of Venus and gave her the golden apple,
    thus making the two other goddesses his enemies. Under the
    protection of Venus, Paris sailed to Greece, and was hospitably
    received by Menelaus, king of Sparta. Now Helen, the wife of
    Menelaus, was the very woman whom Venus had destined for Paris,
    the fairest of her sex. She had been sought as a bride by
    numerous suitors, and before her decision was made known, they
    all, at the suggestion of Ulysses, one of their number, took an
    oath that they would defend her from all injury and avenge her
    cause if necessary. She chose Menelaus, and was living with him
    happily when Paris became their guest. Paris, aided by Venus,
    persuaded her to slope with him, and carried her to Troy, whence
    arose the famous Trojan war, the theme of the greatest poems of
    antiquity, those of Homer and Virgil.

    Menelaus called upon his brother chieftains of Greece to fulfil
    their pledge, and join him in his efforts to recover his wife.
    They generally came forward, but Ulysses, who had married
    Penelope and was very happy in his wife and child, had no
    disposition to embark in such a troublesome affair. He therefore
    hung back and Palamedes was sent to urge him. When Palamedes
    arrived at Ithaca, Ulysses pretended to be mad. He yoked an ass
    and an ox together to the plough and began to sow salt.
    Palamedes, to try him, placed the infant Telemachus before the
    plough, whereupon the father turned the plough aside, showing
    plainly that he was no madman, and after that could no longer
    refuse to fulfil his promise. Being now himself gained for the
    undertaking, he lent his aid to bring in other reluctant chiefs,
    especially Achilles. This hero was the son of that Thetis at
    whose marriage the apple of Discord had been thrown among the
    goddesses. Thetis was herself one of the immortals, a sea-nymph,
    and knowing that her son was fated to perish before Troy if he
    went on the expedition, she endeavored to prevent his going. She
    sent him away to the court of king Lycomedes, and induced him to
    conceal himself in the disguise of a maiden among the daughters
    of the king. Ulysses, hearing he was there, went disguised as a
    merchant to the palace and offered for sale female ornaments,
    among which he had placed some arms. While the king's daughters
    were engrossed with the other contents of the merchant's pack,
    Achilles handled the weapons and thereby betrayed himself to the
    keen eye of Ulysses, who found no great difficulty in persuading
    him to disregard his mother's prudent counsels and join his
    countrymen in the war.

    Priam was king of Troy, and Paris, the shepherd and seducer of
    Helen, was his son. Paris had been brought up in obscurity,
    because there were certain ominous forebodings connected with him
    from his infancy that he would be the ruin of the state. These
    forebodings seemed at length likely to be realized, for the
    Grecian armament now in preparation was the greatest that had
    ever been fitted out. Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, and brother of
    the injured Menelaus, was chosen commander-in-chief. Achilles
    was their most illustrious warrior. After him ranked Ajax,
    gigantic in size and of great courage, but dull of intellect,
    Diomedes, second only to Achilles in all the qualities of a hero,
    Ulysses, famous for his sagacity, and Nestor, the oldest of the
    Grecian chiefs, and one to whom they all looked up for counsel.
    But Troy was no feeble enemy. Priam, the king, was now old, but
    he had been a wise prince and had strengthened his state by good
    government at home and numerous alliances with his neighbors.
    But the principal stay and support of his throne was his son
    Hector, one of the noblest characters painted by heathen
    antiquity. Hector felt, from the first, a presentiment of the
    fall of his country, but still persevered in his heroic
    resistance, yet by no means justified the wrong which brought
    this danger upon her. He was united in marriage with Andromache,
    and as a husband and father his character was not less admirable
    than as a warrior. The principal leaders on the side of the
    Trojans, besides Hector, were Aeneas and Deiphobus, Glaucus and

    After two years of preparation the Greek fleet and army assembled
    in the port of Aulis in Boeotia. Here Agamemnon in hunting
    killed a stag which was sacred to Diana, and the goddess in
    return visited the army with pestilence, and produced a calm
    which prevented the ships from leaving the port. Calchas the
    soothsayer thereupon announced that the wrath of the virgin
    goddess could only be appeased by the sacrifice of a virgin on
    her altar, and that none other but the daughter of the offender
    would be acceptable. Agamemnon, however reluctant, yielded his
    consent, and the maiden Iphigenia was sent for under the pretence
    that she was to be married to Achilles. When she was about to be
    sacrificed the goddess relented and snatched her away, leaving a
    hind in her place, and Iphigenia enveloped in a cloud was carried
    to Tauris, where Diana made her priestess of her temple.

    Tennyson, in his Dream of Fair women, makes Iphigenia thus
    describe her feelings at the moment of sacrifice, the moment
    represented in our engraving:

    "I was cut off from hope in that sad place,
    Which yet to name my spirit loathes and fears;
    My father held his hand upon his face;
    I, blinded by my tears,

    "Still strove to speak; my voice was thick with sighs,
    As in a dream. Dimly I could descry
    The stern black-bearded kings, with wolfish eyes,
    Waiting to see me die.

    "The tall masts quivered as they lay afloat,
    The temples and the people and the shore;
    One drew a sharp knife through my tender throat
    Slowly, and nothing more."

    The wind now proving fair the fleet made sail and brought the
    forces to the coast of Troy. The Trojans came to oppose their
    landing, and at the first onset Protesilaus fell by the hand of
    Hector. Protesilaus had left at home his wife Laodamia, who was
    most tenderly attached to him. When the news of his death
    reached her she implored the gods to be allowed to converse with
    him only three hours. The request was granted. Mercury led
    Protesilaus back to the upper world, and when he died a second
    time Laodamia died with him. There was a story that the nymphs
    panted elm trees round his grave which grew very well till they
    were high enough to command a view of Troy, and then withered
    away, while fresh branches sprang from the roots.

    Wordsworth has taken the story of Protesilaus and Laodamia for
    the subject of a poem. It seems the oracle had declared that
    victory should be the lot of that party from which should fall
    the first victim to the war. The poet represents Protesilaus, on
    his brief return to earth, as relating to Laodamia the story of
    his fate:

    "The wished-for wind was given; I then revolved
    The oracle, upon the silent sea;
    And if no worthier led the way, resolved
    That of a thousand vessels mine should be
    The foremost prow impressing to the strand,
    Mine the first blood that tinged the Trojan sand.

    "Yet bitter, ofttimes bitter was the pang
    When of thy loss I thought, beloved wife!
    On thee too fondly did my memory hang,
    And on the joys we shared in mortal life,
    The paths which we had trod, these fountains, flowers;
    My new planned cities and unfinished towers.

    "But should suspense permit the foe to cry,
    'Behold they tremble! Haughty their array,
    Yet of their number no one dares to die!'"
    In soul I swept the indignity away;
    Old frailties then recurred; but lofty thought
    In act embodied my deliverance wrought.
    . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .
    Upon the side
    Of Hellespont (such faith was entertained)
    A knot of spiry trees for ages grew
    >From out the tomb of him for whom she died;
    And ever when such stature they had gained
    That Ilium's walls were subject to their view,
    The trees' tall summits withered at the sight,
    A constant interchange of growth and blight!"


    The war continued without decisive results for nine years. Then
    an event occurred which seemed likely to be fatal to the cause of
    the Greeks, and that was a quarrel between Achilles and
    Agamemnon. It is at this point that the great poem of Homer, the
    Iliad, begins. The Greeks, though unsuccessful against Troy, had
    taken the neighboring and allied cities, and in the division of
    the spoil a female captive, by name Chryseis, daughter of
    Chryses, priest of Apollo, had fallen to the share of Agamemnon.
    Chryses came bearing the sacred emblems of his office, and begged
    the release of his daughter. Agamemnon refused. Thereupon
    Chryses implored Apollo to afflict the Greeks till they should be
    forced to yield their prey. Apollo granted the prayer of his
    priest, and sent pestilence into the Grecian camp. Then a
    council was called to deliberate how to allay the wrath of the
    gods and avert the plague. Achilles boldly charged their
    misfortunes upon Agamemnon as caused by his withholding Chryseis.
    Agamemnon enraged, consented to relinquish his captive, but
    demanded that Achilles should yield to him in her stead Briseis,
    a maiden who had fallen to Achilles' share in the division of the
    spoil. Achilles submitted, but forthwith declared that he would
    take no further part in the war. He withdrew his forces from the
    general camp and openly avowed his intention of returning home to

    The gods and goddesses interested themselves as much in this
    famous war as the parties themselves. It was well known to them
    that fate had decreed that Troy should fall, at last, if her
    enemies should persevere and not voluntarily abandon the
    enterprise. Yet there was room enough left for chance to excite
    by turns the hopes and fears of the powers above who took part
    with either side. Juno and Minerva, in consequence of the slight
    put upon their charms by Paris, were hostile to the Trojans;
    Venus for the opposite cause favored them. Venus enlisted her
    admirer Mars on the same side, but Neptune favored the Greeks.
    Apollo was neutral, sometimes taking one side, sometimes the
    other, and Jove himself, though he loved the good King Priam, yet
    exercised a degree of impartiality; not however without

    Thetis, the mother of Achilles, warmly resented the injury done
    to her son. She repaired immediately to Jove's palace, and
    besought him to make the Greeks repent of their injustice to
    Achilles by granting success to the Trojan arms. Jupiter
    consented; and in the battle which ensued the Trojans were
    completely successful. The Greeks were driven from the field,
    and took refuge in their ships. Then Agamemnon called a council
    of his wisest and bravest chiefs. Nestor advised that an embassy
    should be sent to Achilles to persuade him to return to the
    field; that Agamemnon should yield the maiden, the cause of the
    dispute, with ample gifts to atone for the wrong he had done.
    Agamemnon consented, and Ulysses, Ajax, and Phoenix were sent to
    carry to Achilles the penitent message. They performed that
    duty, but Achilles was deaf to their entreaties. He positively
    refused to return to the field, and persisted in his resolution
    to embark for Greece without delay. The Greeks had constructed a
    rampart around their ships, and now, instead of besieging Troy,
    they were in a manner besieged themselves within their rampart.
    The next day after the unsuccessful embassy to Achilles, a battle
    was fought, and the Trojans, favored by Jove, were successful,
    and succeeded in forcing a passage through the Grecian rampart,
    and were about to set fire to the ships. Neptune, seeing the
    Greeks so pressed, came to their rescue. He appeared in the form
    of Calchas the prophet, encouraged the warriors with his shouts,
    and appealed to each individually till he raised their ardor to
    such a pitch that they forced the Trojans to give way. Ajax
    performed prodigies of valor, and at length encountered Hector.
    Ajax shouted defiance, to which Hector replied, and hurled his
    lance at the huge warrior. It was well aimed, and struck Ajax
    where the belts that bore his sword and shield crossed each other
    on the breast. The double guard prevented its penetrating, and
    it fell harmless. Then Ajax, seeing a huge stone, one of those
    that served to prop the ships, hurled it at Hector. It struck
    him in the neck and stretched him on the plain. His followers
    instantly seized him, and bore him off stunned and wounded.

    While Neptune was thus aiding the Greeks and driving back the
    Trojans, Jupiter saw nothing of what was going on, for his
    attention had been drawn from the field by the wiles of Juno.
    That goddess had arrayed herself in all her charms, and, to crown
    all, had borrowed of Venus her girdle called Cestus, which had
    the effect to heighten the wearer's charms to such a degree that
    they were quite irresistible. So prepared, Juno went to join her
    husband, who sat on Olympus watching the battle. When he beheld
    her she looked so charming that the fondness of his early love
    revived, and, forgetting the contending armies and all other
    affairs of state, he thought only of her and let the battle go as
    it would.

    But this absorption did not continue long, and when, upon turning
    his eyes downward, he beheld Hector stretched on the plain almost
    lifeless from pain and bruises, he dismissed Juno in a rage,
    commanding her to send Iris and Apollo to him. When Iris came he
    sent her with a stern message to Neptune, ordering him instantly
    to quit the field. Apollo was dispatched to heal Hector's
    bruises and to inspirit his heart. These orders were obeyed with
    such speed that while the battle still raged, Hector returned to
    the field and Neptune betook himself to his own dominions.

    An arrow from Paris's bow wounded Machaon, son of Aesculapius,
    who inherited his father's art of healing, and was therefore of
    great value to the Greeks as their surgeon, besides being one of
    their bravest warriors. Nestor took Machaon in his chariot and
    conveyed him from the field. As they passed the ships of
    Achilles, that hero, looking out over the field, saw the chariot
    of Nestor and recognized the old chief, but could not discern who
    the wounded chief was. So calling Patroclus, his companion and
    dearest friend, he sent him to Nestor's tent to inquire.

    Patroclus, arriving at Nestor's tent, saw Machaon wounded, and
    having told the cause of his coming would have hastened away, but
    Nestor detained him, to tell him the extent of the Grecian
    calamities. He reminded him also how, at the time of departing
    for Troy, Achilles and himself had been charged by their
    respective fathers with different advice; Achilles to aspire to
    the highest pitch of glory, Patroclus, as the elder, to keep
    watch over his friend, and to guide his inexperience. "Now,"
    said Nestor, "is the time for such influence. If the gods so
    please, thou mayest win him back to the common cause; but if not
    let hm at least send his soldiers to the field, and come thou,
    Patroclus, clad in his armor, and perhaps the very sight of it
    may drive back the Trojans."

    Patroclus was strongly moved with this address, and hastened back
    to Achilles, revolving in his mind all he had seen and heard. He
    told the prince the sad condition of affairs at the camp of their
    late associates; Diomedes, Ulysses, Agamemnon, Machaon, all
    wounded, the rampart broken down, the enemy among the ships
    preparing to burn them, and thus to cut off all means of return
    to Greece. While they spoke the flames burst forth from one of
    the ships. Achilles, at the sight, relented so far as to grant
    Patroclus his request to lead the Myrmidons (for so were
    Achilles' soldiers called) to the field, and to lend him his
    armor that he might thereby strike more terror into the minds of
    the Trojans. Without delay the soldiers were marshalled,
    Patroclus put on the radiant armor and mounted the chariot of
    Achilles, and led forth the men ardent for battle. But before he
    went, Achilles strictly charged him that he should be content
    with repelling the foe. "Seek not," said he, "to press the
    Trojans without me, lest thou add still more to the disgrace
    already mine." Then exhorting the troops to do their best he
    dismissed them full of ardor to the fight.

    Patroclus and his Myrmidons at once plunged into the contest
    where it raged hottest; at the sight of which the joyful Grecians
    shouted and the ships reechoed the acclaim. The Trojans, at the
    sight of the well-known armor, struck with terror, looked every
    where for refuge. First those who had got possession of the ship
    and set it on fire left and allowed the Grecians to retake it and
    extinguish the flames. Then the rest of the Trojans fled in
    dismay. Ajax, Menelaus, and the two sons of Nestor performed
    prodigies of valor. Hector was forced to turn his horses' heads
    and retire from the enclosure, leaving his men entangled in the
    fosse to escape as they could. Patroclus drove them before him,
    slaying many, none daring to make a stand against him.

    At last Sarpedon, son of Jove, ventured to oppose himself in
    fight to Patroclus. Jupiter looked down upon him and would have
    snatched him from the fate which awaited him, but Juno hinted
    that if he did so it would induce all others of the inhabitants
    of heaven to interpose in like manner whenever any of their
    offspring were endangered; to which reason Jove yielded.
    Sarpedon threw his spear but missed Patroclus, but Patroclus
    threw his with better success. It pierced Sarpedon's breast and
    he fell, and, calling to his friends to save his body from the
    foe, expired. Then a furious contest arose for the possession of
    the corpse. The Greeks succeeded and stripped Sarpedon of his
    armor; but Jove would not allow the remains of his son to be
    dishonored, and by his command Apollo snatched from the midst of
    the combatants the body of Sarpedon and committed it to the care
    of the twin brothers Death and Sleep, by whom it was transported
    to Lycia, the native land of Sarpedon, where it received due
    funeral rites.

    Thus far Patroclus had succeeded to his utmost wish in repelling
    the Trojans and relieving his countrymen, but now came a change
    of fortune. Hector, borne in his chariot, confronted him.
    Patroclus threw a vast stone at Hector, which missed its aim, but
    smote Cebriones, the charioteer, and knocked him from the car.
    Hector leaped from the chariot to rescue his friend, and
    Patroclus also decended to complete his victory. Thus the two
    heroes met face to face. At this decisive moment the poet, as if
    reluctant to give Hector the glory, records that Phoebus took
    part against Patroclus. He struck the helmet from his head and
    the lance from his hand. At the same moment an obscure Trojan
    wounded him in the back, and Hector pressing forward pierced him
    with his spear. He fell mortally wounded.

    Then arose a tremendous conflict for the body of Patroclus, but
    his armor was at once taken possession of by Hector, who,
    retiring a short distance, divested himself of his own armor and
    put on that of Achilles, then returned to the fight. Ajax and
    Menelaus defended the body, and Hector and his bravest warriors
    struggled to capture it. The battle raged with equal fortune,
    when Jove enveloped the whole face of heaven with a dark cloud.
    The lightning flashed, the thunder roared, and Ajax, looking
    round for some one whom he might dispatch to Achilles to tell him
    of the death of his friend and of the imminent danger that his
    remains would fall into the hands of the enemy, could see no
    suitable messenger. It was then that he exclaimed in those
    famous lines so often quoted,

    "Father of heaven and earth! Deliver thou
    Achaia's host from darkness; clear the skies;
    Give day; and, since thy sovereign will is such,
    Destruction with it; but, oh, give us day."

    Or, as rendered by Pope,

    "Lord of earth and air!
    Oh, king! Oh, father! Hear my humble prayer!
    Dispel this cloud, the light of heaven restore;
    Give me to see and Ajax asks no more;
    If Greece must perish we thy will obey
    But let us perish in the face of day."

    Jupiter heard the prayer and dispersed the clouds. Then Ajax
    sent Antilochus to Achilles with the intelligence of Patroclus's
    death, and of the conflict raging for his remains. The Greeks at
    last succeeded in bearing off the body to the ships, closely
    pursued by Hector and Aeneas and rest of the Trojans.

    Achilles heard the fate of his friend with such distress that
    Antilochus feared for a while that he would destroy himself. His
    groans reached the ears of his mother, Thetis, far down in the
    deeps of ocean where she abode, and she hastened to him to
    inquire the cause. She found him overwhelmed with self-reproach
    that he had indulged his resentment so far, and suffered his
    friend to fall a victim to it. But his only consolation was the
    hope of revenge. He would fly instantly in search of Hector.
    But his mother reminded him that he was now without armor, and
    promised him, if he would but wait till the morrow, she would
    procure for him a suit of armor from Vulcan more than equal to
    that he had lost. He consented, and Thetis immediately repaired
    to Vulcan's palace. She found him busy at his forge making
    tripods for his own use, so artfully constructed that they moved
    forward of their own accord when wanted, and retired again when
    dismissed. On hearing the request of Thetis, Vulcan immediately
    laid aside his work and hastened to comply with her wishes. He
    fabricated a splendid suit of armor for Achilles, first a shield
    adorned with elaborate devices, then a helmet crested with gold,
    then a corslet and greaves of impenetrable temper, all perfectly
    adapted to his form, and of consummate workmanship. It was all
    done in one night, and Thetis, receiving it, descended with it to
    earth and laid it down at Achilles' feet at the dawn of day.

    The first glow of pleasure that Achilles had felt since the death
    of Petroclus was at the sight of this splendid armor. And now
    arrayed in it, he went forth into the camp, calling all the
    chiefs to council. When they were all assembled he addressed
    them. Renouncing his displeasure against Agamemnon and bitterly
    lamenting the miseries that had resulted from it, he called on
    them to proceed at once to the field. Agamemnon made a suitable
    reply, laying all the blame on Ate, the goddess of discord, and
    thereupon complete reconcilement took place between the heroes.

    Then Achilles went forth to battle, inspired with a rage and
    thirst for vengeance that made him irresistible. The bravest
    warriors fled before him or fell by his lance. Hector, cautioned
    by Apollo, kept aloof, but the god, assuming the form of one of
    Priam's sons, Lycaon, urged AEneas to encounter the terrible
    warrior. AEneas, though he felt himself unequal, did not decline
    the combat. He hurled his spear with all his force against the
    shield, the work of Vulcan. It was formed of five metal plates;
    two were of brass, two of tin, and one of gold. The spear
    pierced two thicknesses, but was stopped in the third. Achilles
    threw his with better success. It pierced through the shield of
    Aeneas, but glanced near his shoulder and made no wound. Then
    AEneas seized a stone, such as two men of modern times could
    hardly lift, and was about to throw it, and Achilles, with sword
    drawn, was about to rush upon him, when Neptune, who looked out
    upon the contest, moved with pity for AEneas, who he saw would
    surely fall a victim if not speedily rescued, spread a cloud
    between the combatants, and lifting AEneas from the ground, bore
    him over the heads of warriors and steeds to the rear of the
    battle. Achilles, when the mist cleared away, looked round in
    vain for his adversary, and acknowledging the prodigy, turned his
    arms against other champions. But none dared stand before him,
    and Priam looking down from his city walls beheld his whole army
    in full flight towards the city. He gave command to open wide
    the gates to receive the fugitives, and to shut them as soon as
    the Trojans should have passed, lest the enemy should enter
    likewise. But Achilles was so close in pursuit that that would
    have been impossible if Apollo had not, in the form of Agenor,
    Priam's son, encountered Achilles for a while, then turned to
    fly, and taken the way apart from the city. Achilles pursued and
    had chased his supposed victim far from the walls, when Apollo
    disclosed himself, and Achilles, perceiving how he had been
    deluded, gave up the chase.

    But when the rest had escaped into the town Hector stood without,
    determined to await the combat. His old father called to him
    from the walls and begged him to retire nor tempt the encounter.
    His mother, Hecuba, also besought him to the same effect, but all
    in vain. "How can I," said he to himself, "by whose command the
    people went to this day's contest, where so many have fallen,
    seek safety for myself against a single foe? But what if I offer
    him to yield up Helen and all her treasures and ample of our own
    beside? Ah no! It is too late. He would not even hear me
    through, but slay me while I spoke." While he thus ruminated,
    Achilles approached, terrible as Mars, his armor flashing
    lighting as he moved. At that sight Hector's heart failed him
    and he fled. Achilles swiftly pursued. They ran, still keeping
    near the walls, till they had thrice encircled the city. As
    often as Hector approached the walls Achilles intercepted him and
    forced him to keep out in a wider circle. But Apollo sustained
    Hector's strength, and would not let him sink in weariness. Then
    Pallas, assuming the form of Deiphobus, Hector's bravest brother,
    appeared suddenly at his side. Hector saw him with delight, and,
    thus strengthened, stopped his flight and turned to meet
    Achilles. Hector threw his spear, which struck the shield of
    Achilles and bounded back. He turned to receive another from the
    hand of Deiphobus, but Deiphobus was gone. Then Hector
    understood his doom and said, "Alas! It is plain this is my hour
    to die! I thought Deiphobus at hand, but Pallas deceived me, and
    he is still in Troy. But I will not fall inglorious." So
    saying, he drew his falchion from his side and rushed at once to
    combat. Achilles, secured behind his shield, waited the approach
    of Hector. When he came within reach of his spear, Achilles,
    choosing with his eye a vulnerable part where the armor leaves
    the neck uncovered, aimed his spear at that part, and Hector
    fell, death-wounded, and feebly said, "Spare my body! Let my
    parents ransom it, and let me receive funeral rites from the sons
    and daughters of Troy." To which Achilles replied, "Dog, name
    not ransom nor pity to me, on whom you have brought such dire
    distress. No! Trust me, nought shall save thy carcass from the
    dogs. Though twenty ransoms and thy weight in gold were offered,
    I would refuse it all."

    So saying, he stripped the body of its armor, and fastening cords
    to the feet, tied them behind his chariot, leaving the body to
    trail along the ground. Then mounting the chariot he lashed the
    steeds, and so dragged the body to and fro before the city. What
    words can tell the grief of King Priam and Queen Hecuba at this
    sight! His people could scarce restrain the old king from
    rushing forth. He threw himself in the dust, and besought them
    each by name to give him way. Hecuba's distress was not less
    violent. The citizens stood round them weeping. The sound of
    the mourning reached the ears of Andromache, the wife of Hector,
    as she sat among her maidens at work, and anticipating evil she
    went forth to the wall. When she saw the sight there presented,
    she would have thrown herself headlong from the wall, but fainted
    and fell into the arms of her maidens. Recovering, she bewailed
    her fate, picturing to herself her country ruined, herself a
    captive, and her son dependent for his bread on the charity of

    When Achilles and the Greeks had taken their revenge on the
    killer of Patroclus they busied themselves in paying due funeral
    rites to their friend. A pile was erected, and the body burned
    with due solemnity; and then ensued games of strength and skill,
    chariot races, wrestling, boxing, and archery. Then the chiefs
    sat down to the funeral banquet and after that retired to rest.
    But Achilles neither partook of the feast nor of sleep. The
    recollection of his lost friend kept him awake, remembering their
    companionship in toil and dangers, in battle or on the perilous
    deep. Before the earliest dawn he left his tent, and joining to
    his chariot his swift steeds, he fastened Hector's body to be
    dragged behind. Twice he dragged him round the tomb of
    Patroclus, leaving him at length stretched in the dust. But
    Apollo would not permit the body to be torn or disfigured with
    all this abuse, but preserved it free from all taint or

    When Achilles indulged his wrath in thus disgracing brave Hector,
    Jupiter in pity summoned Thetis to his presence. He told her to
    go to her son and prevail on him to restore the body of Hector to
    his friends. Then Jupiter sent Iris to King Priam to encourage
    him to go to Achilles and beg the body of his son. Iris
    delivered her message, and Priam immediately prepared to obey.
    He opened his treasures and took out rich garments and cloths,
    with ten talents in gold and two splendid tripods and a golden
    cup of matchless workmanship. Then he called to his sons and
    bade them draw forth his litter and place in it the various
    articles designed for a ransom to Achilles.

    When all was ready, the old king with a single companion, as aged
    as himself, the herald Idaeus, drove forth from the gates,
    parting there with Hecuba his queen, and all his friends, who
    lamented him as going to certain death.

    But Jupiter, beholding with compassion the venerable king, sent
    Mercury to be his guide and protector. Mercury, assuming the
    form of a young warrior, presented himself to the aged couple,
    and while at the sight of him they hesitated whether to fly or
    yield, the god approached, and grasping Priam's hand, offered to
    be their guide to Achilles' tent. Priam gladly accepted his
    offered service, and he, mounting the carriage, assumed the reins
    and soon conveyed them to the tent of Achilles. Mercury's wand
    put to sleep all the guards, and without hindrance he introduced
    Priam into the tent where Achilles sat, attended hy two of his
    warriors. The old king threw himself at the feet of Achilles and
    kissed those terrible hands which had destroyed so many of his
    sons. "Think, O Achilles," he said, "of thy own father, full of
    days like me, and trembling on the gloomy verge of life. Perhaps
    even now some neighbor chief oppresses him, and there is none at
    hand to succor him in his distress. Yet doubtless knowing that
    Achilles lives he still rejoices, hoping that one day he shall
    see thy face again. But no comfort cheers me, whose bravest
    sons, so late the flower of Ilium, all have fallen. Yet one I
    had, one more than all the rest the strength of my age, whom
    fighting for his country, thou hast slain. I come to redeem his
    body, bringing inestimable ransom with me. Achilles, reverence
    the gods! Recollect thy father! For his sake show compassion to
    me!" These words moved Achilles and he wept; remembering by
    turns his absent father and his lost friend. Moved with pity of
    Priam's silver locks and beard, he raised him from the earth and
    thus spake: "Priam, I know that thou has reached this place
    conducted by some god, for without divine aid no mortal even in
    the prime of youth had dared the attempt. I grant thy request;
    moved thereto by the evident will of Jove." So saying he arose,
    and went forth with his two friends, and unloaded of its charge
    the litter, leaving two mantles and a robe for the covering of
    the body, which they placed on the litter, and spread the
    garments over it, that not unveiled it should be borne back to
    Troy. Then Achilles dismissed the old king with his attendants,
    having first pledged himself to allow a truce of twelve days for
    the funeral solemnities.

    As the litter approached the city and was descried from the
    walls, the people poured forth to gaze once more on the face of
    their hero. Foremost of all, the mother and the wife of Hector
    came, and at the sight of the lifeless body renewed their
    lamentations. The people all wept with them, and to the going
    down of the sun there was no pause or abatement of their grief.

    The next day preparations were made for the funeral solemnities.
    For nine days the people brought wood and built the pile, and on
    the tenth they placed the body on the summit and applied the
    torch; while all Troy, thronging forth, encompassed the pile.
    When it had completely burned, they quenched the cinders with
    wine, collected the bones and placed them in a golden urn, which
    they buried in the earth, and reared a pile of stones over the

    "Such honors Ilium to her hero paid,
    And peaceful slept the mighty Hector's shade."
    Pope's Homer

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