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fixing the Python, --for Laertiades IIis daughter there the sorrowing chief stretched along his ancestral floor reclaims, the whole serpent brood.
And ever with smooth spirit, insidious The opening of the Iliad is very
seeks simple--and so is the opening of the To wean his heart from Ithaca, meantime Odyssey-and both openings are- Ulysses, bappy might he but behold you will agree with us in thinking The smoke ascending from bis native -sublime. In the one you are
Death covets. brought in a moment into the midst
Canst thou not, Olymof heaven-sent death threatening the
pian Jove, annihilation of a whole host; and, At last relent? Hath not Ulysses oft in pacifying Apollo, Agamemnon in- With victim's slain amid Achaia's fleet censes Achilles, whose wrath lowers Thee gratified, while yet at Troy he calamity almost as fatal as the visita- How, therefore, bath he thus incensed
fought? tion of the Plague. Men’s minds are
Thee, Jove?” troubled—there is debate of doom in Heaven-nation is enraged a- At once we love the Man of whom gainst nation—and each trusts to its the Muse is to sing-longing for his auxiliar gods. In the other there is home-his wife and his son-and no din below—the earth is silent- pitied at last by Jove, at the interand you hear not the sea. Corn cession of Minerva, because of his grows where Troy-Town stood— piety. That she should fly to Ithaca, and you feel that Achilles is dust. and that Hermes should wing his All the chiefs who fought there way to the Isle of Secrecy-on beand fell not-as Sotheby solemnly half of Ulysses-seems demanded of says
the justice of heaven. And simple " At home once more
as all this is--we said it was sublime Dwell free from battle and the ocean - for our sympathies are already roar''
awakened for and there is an almost melan
“ A good man struggling with the choly peace. There is mysterious storms of fate." mention of shipwreck on account of sin-and one guiltless and great Sur
Ulysses longs for Ithaca - but vivor is spoken of and then named- knows not what may have passed, who is to take the place in our ima- or may be passing there-if Peneginations of all the other heroes living lope and Telemachus be alive or or dead-affectingly named--for he dead. All we are told is, that year has been and is to be a Sufferer-- after year he has been lamenting “ All but Ulysses !" And shall the for his native Isle-sighing for å Celestial Synod care for that One sight of its ascending smoke, ere he Man! Aye, Minerva says to Jove,
dies-unforgetful of Ithaca even in “ With bosom anguish-rent I view
Calypso's arms. Ulysses, hapless chief! who from his How finely Sotheby has given Mifriends
nerva’s “ alighting,” and the sudden Remote, affliction hath long time en
shewing of the scene—the first sight dured
of which reveals to us all the lawIn yonder woodland isle, the central boss less life of the Suitors, and the evils of ocean. That retreat a Goddess holds, to which the kingless Island has been Daughter of sapient Atlas, who the so long a prey! We are at once in abyss
the heart of it all--and the thought Knows to its bottom, and the pillars high comes across us in the midst of the Himself upbears which separate Earth revelry, “if Ulysses were here!"
" Then on her feet her golden sandals laced,
Then downward flew from steep Olympus' height,
“ Hail! stranger-welcome—now the banquet share,
and at the word, the blue eyed Maid
And, preluding the song, the measure play'd.”
pains to describe bis character. He
me that I am the son of puts him, however, into some situa. Ulysses—but I know it not." In tions that serve to shew what is in this, says Pope, “there seems somehim--and he behaves, we think, like thing very shocking,”—but as Miheir-apparent to the throne. Here nerva approved of it—and said cheerhe allows the dicers to shake their ingly, “heaven shall one day grace elbows undisturbed-in their pas. thee, not nameless, nor of a nametimes perhaps playing for the Queen. less race, sprung from Penelope,”But he is picturing in his mind an- there can be no doubt that it was other kind of game-in which his fa- the answer usually returned to such ther will play the Lion, and be the a question, in that simple age, a sort Lion's Whelp. Mentes, the leader of of apophthegm, that conveyed no imthe Taphian Band, though no vulgar putation on any mother's fidelity to stranger, is disregarded bythe Suitors, her husband, but, on the contrary, heralds, and menials—but how cour- entire reliance on every mother's teous is the Prince !
“ Manners truth. That Telemachus in this conmaketh the man," and Telemachus, versation expresses no tenderness we feel, will be a hero. He takes not for his mother, has been foolishly his guest into some nook or corner, to said to shew a want of due filial afquestion him of his Sire-but places fection. But he knew she was pretty him on a stately seat, with a foot well, up-stairs-while he feared his stool, “and near it drew his own re- father was dead or in misery-and splendent throne.” Let all the Suit- that was the thought that wrung his ors behold them two in converse- heart. It would have been exceednor dare to intrude upon their pri- ing silly to begin puling about Pevacy - apart but open-and confi- nelope to a person who was not dential during the measure prelud- much troubling his head about her ing the Poet-Laureate's song. Mi- —but who had paid her, neverthenerva must have been pleased with less, a high and just compliment. such graceful and dignified reception There can be no doubt that he loved -and how wisely does she insinuate and honoured her—but he was nowin into bis heart, by half-truth and half- his twentieth year—and at that age fable, hopes even of bis sire's return! sons are shy of seeming before stranTrue that Telemachus speaks like gers too fond of their mothers-nay one that will not be comforted; but even before their mothers themhis looks belie his words, for we see selves-especially when surrounded his face brightening as he listens to by suitors. But hear him on his the stranger's counsel. Who does father. not see that he believes his father
“ Once I had hope while here my sire will return, as Minerva, after foretel.
remained, ling that return, says,
That wealth and virtue had our house “ But this I urge—now truly this declare,
sustained; Art thou, for such thou seem'st, Ulysses' But heaven, devising ill, not this deheir ?
signed, Thy features such, thy eyes so beaming And left bis fate obscurest, 'mid mankind; bright,
Nor could bis death so sharply have imSuch as the chief oft towered before my
The sting of sorrow in my filial breast, Ere with their bravest heroes, Argos' If, with his brave compeers, in Phrygia boast,
slain, The Warrior moor'd his fleet on Phrygia's Or,'mid his friends from Troy returned coast."
again. Pallas was not a goddess addicted Then all the Greeks had raised his futo the complimentary-and she loved neral mound, Ulysses too well to be easily satisfied And by his father's fame the son rewith his son. But she was satisfied
nowned. with his beaming eyes—nor at all
But him the Harpies from the light of dissatisfied with his answer about
day his mother, though it has given se
Unknown, unseen, unheard, have swept rious offence in certain quarters, not
away." in the contemplation of Telemachus. The poble boy listens with deThe Prince said, “my mother as- light to the recital of his Father's prowess, and the eagerness with to echo to that hunter's horn, while which he embraces the advice of she, fair as Diana, Mentes to sail to Pylos, and travel thence to Lacedemon, to enquire
" A silvan buntress by his side,
Pursued the flying deer?” if Nestor or Menelaus can give him any tidings of his lot, gives assur. Not now. In her chamber weaving ance not only of a confiding and an that famous web? That artifice has affectionate, but of an adventurous been detected, and the shuttle is and heroic spirit. He weeps to emu- still. Sunk in stupor there-or late Orestes, who had so nobly aimlessly employing her hands on avenged his murdered Sire-and on embroidery in the listlessness of a the stranger suddenly vanishing, in long despair ? Not far off the truth awe and wonder he feels that his —yet hardly are you Homer. She guest was a god, while heroic fire is in her chamber-but not in stupor is more strongly kindled in his nor despair-her senses are all wideheart. Is not this a picture-in a awake-her ear has caught the meafew bold bright strokes-of the cha- sure wild of the aged harper-into racteristic virtues of youth? What her soul sinks the strain that sings is wanting here that should have of the return of the chiefs on the been seen in the son of Ulysses ? downfall of Troy! That mournful
But where is Penelope ? Guess. inspiration is more than she can Walking with her maids of honour on bear-the music is but an insupthe beach, eyeing the sea for a sail, portable memory of her husband-a or blindly listening to the idle dash dirge for the dead. She fears not of waves ? No-guess again. Sit- the face of the Suitors in their feastting among the rocks, in some small ing—and appears before us in all the secret glen, where twenty years ago tenderness, the affection, and the she used to take an evening-walk dignity of a wife, a mother, and a with Ulysses ? No. Wandering sad queen. and slow in the woods once wont
“ The Prince the wooers sought, who, seated, hung
“* Bard, thy sweet touch can temper to the lyre
"• My mother! why displeased ?' the Prince rejoin'd,
But many a Grecian strews the Trojan plain,
Penelope, astonish'd, back return'd,
Music poetry-love-grief - leading down to the great hall, in comfort-repose of passion-and to hushed admiration they beheld the the afflicted heaven-sent sleep not Queen. No interruption is attempted unvisited-let us hope—by soothing of her pathetic address to the Bard dreams! The song sung to the harp -no insult, while she is present, to did of itself still the souls of the her Son. Their bad nature is reSuitors—for though fit for murders, buked and abashed by the Matron stratagems, and plots—they were still beautiful in her fidelity to her high-born men-and had they fought godlike Lord-their better nature at lium, not a few of them would feels how “awful goodness is," have been heroes. A lawless and “ Virtue in her own shape how lovedespotic life had not wholly quench- ly,”-conjugal, maternal, and filial ed their hereditary fire-and the love have their hour of triumphIthacenses were by nature a noble and on the cheek of old Phemius race. Laertes had been a warrior bending over his silent harp, may be in his youth-in his prime of man- seen the heart-sprung tear. hood a king. But old age had sub- And is there any harshness-as dued the regal spirit—and where has been often said in the behaviour and what is he now? In the palace, of Telemachus ? None. His soul was 'tis affectingly said,
elate. He had sought the Suitors, " he no more resides,
the moment after having held conBut in his fields afar his misery hides,
verse with a Divinity-and his Hope With one who serves his board, an aged
hushed, impatiently, but not unkinddame,
ly-his mother's fears. Now he felt While sore fatigue comes o'er his toil- himself a man-commissioned by worn frame,
heaven for a holy quest. He would When, from slow creeping through his fain that the Bard had prolonged his vineyard rows,
Lay - for his inspiration too was The old man seeks his dwelling's still from the will of Jove. Ulysses is not repose.
dead-heis but a wanderer-and that
harp shall ring through all its chords His wife, too, had died of " love congratulation on the King's return. and longings infinite," and the suit- His looks and his tones reconciled ors had long had their sway. Duli- his mother's heart to all his words chium, Samos, and Zacinthus sent -astonished, she obeyed the child their princes-accomplished men whom till that hour she had commany of them-nor unworthy altoge- manded—and if her high heart was ther of a widow's love. Fierce as fire, satisfied, who, after the lapse of three and as bright, is Antinous—and Eury- thousand years, shall be offended machus, with passion not less strong with her noble progeny for the first but more controllable, is a chief expansion of his pride in the conthat might prevail on one less tender sciousness of being about to enter on and true than Penelope to change a destiny that ere another moon had the garments of grief for the saffron waned was to be gloriously fulfilled robe of joy. The devourers of that in a shower of blood ! widow's house were not dancing See and hear him among the Suitors bears, but leaping leopards—they now-passive no more-but flashing knew how to fawn-and hoped to far-sighted scorn. Their outrages “ bold her with their glittering eyes” break out again on the disappearance till she became a prey. Descending of Penelope-but he beards them all. in stately sorrow the flight of steps “ Banquet in peace - cease your