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wedding night, which orders they all obeyed, except Hypermnestra, whose husband Lynceus, escaped. She was cited before her father; but the people, satisfied of her innocence, interposed, pleaded in her favour, and procured her honourable acquital. Some suppose that Lynceus murdered Danaus, as had been predicted by an oracle. According to some, the sisters were pardoned by Jupiter; while others maintain, that they were condemned to fill a tub, full of holes, with water, and hourly attempt to fetch water in it.— See Fig. 49.

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Obs. The fable, imagined to represent this singular kind of punishment, is founded on a custom observed by the Egyptians at Memphis. Near the Lake Acherusia, beyond which the dead were buried, priests poured water into a tub full of holes, to show the impossibility of any one's returning to life.


Who were the most remarkable sufferers in hell?

Please to describe the Giants.

Who was Typhoeus or Typhon?
Who was Egeon?

Describe Tityus.

Describe the Titans.

Give a description of Phlegyas.

Describe Sisyphus.

Describe Ixion.

What is said of Salmoneus?

Favour me with an account of Tantalus.

Acquaint us with the history of the Danaides.


The Centaurs, Geryon, the Harpies, Gorgons, the Chimara, the Sphinx.

THE CENTAURS were monsters, described as half men, and half horses, and are said to have been born of a cloud by Ixion, whence they are called Nubiginæ. The most eminent of the Centaurs were Chiron, Eurytus, Amy

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cus, Gryneus, Caumas, Lycidas, Arneus, Medon, Rhotus, Pisenor, Mermeros, Pholus, &c.

Obs. The idea of this fable of the Centaurs, may be referred to the men of Thessaly, who were the first, seen riding on horseback.

GERYON was a monster, with three bodies and three heads. His residence was on the island Erythia, near Gades, (now Cadiz,) where he kept numerous flocks, which were guarded by a two-headed dog, called Orthos, and a seven-headed dragon, which devoured the strangers who visited them. Hercules killed the guards, and drove the flocks away.

Obs. This fable inclines us to the belief, that Geryon was a prince who reigned over three islands, called Baleares.

The HARPIES were winged monsters, with the face of a woman, the body of a vulture, the claws of a dragon, and the ears of a bear. Their parents were Neptune, or Oceanus, and Terra; and their names, Aello, Ocypete, and Celeno. They were filthy in their habits, and voracious in their appetite. They plundered the tables of Phoneus, king of Phoenicia, and haunted many, whom they affected with severe hunger. They had the power of predicting future events.

Obs. Among the Greeks, the Harpies were generally associated with the ideas of powerful and active demons, influencing the terrors and ravages of the storm, the nature of which their names are descriptive.

The GORGONS were three sisters, daughters of Phorcys and Cete. Their names were Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa. In lieu of hair, their heads were covered with vipers, which had the power of transforming those into stones who looked at them. Their hands were brazen; their wings, golden; their bodies were covered with impenetrable scales; and they had one eye and one tooth, which served them all by turns. This tooth exceeded in strength the strongest tusks of a wild-boar; and their looks caused death. They dwelt near the gardens of the Hesperides, and made sad ravages in the country, attacking travellers; but they

were overcome by Perseus, who cut of the head of Medusa, which he presented to Minerva. The latter placed it on her ægis.

Obs. 1.-The learned among the ancients, were divided respecting the origin of the Gorgons. Diodorus pretends that they were warlike women, dwelling in Libya, near the lake Tritonis. In the time of Perseus, they were often at war with the Amazons, and were governed by Medusa, their queen. That hero fought them, and killed Medusa; but Hercules alone could destroy them all. Some represent the Gorgons as female warriors of great beauty. The admiration which their appearance produced, banished the power of self-defence. Profitting by this advantage, they attacked their enemies, and overcame them. The poets painted this fatal effect of their beauty, by saying that their looks changed to stone and rendered immovable whoever beheld them. Pliny the naturalist represents them as wild and redoubtable women. "Near the Cape West," says he, "are the Gorgates, the ancient abode of the Gorgons." Hanno, general of the Carthaginese, penetrated even into their country, and found women whose running equaled in swiftness that of horses, and even the flight of birds. He took two of them, whose bodies were thickly set with horsehair. Their skins were suspended in the temple of Jupiter at Carthage, until the ruin of that city.

Obs. 2.-Mr. Fourmont, versed in the Oriental languages, finds in the names of the three Gorgons, those of three ships, once engaged in commerce on the coast of Africa, where were found gold, the tusks of elephants, the horns of different animals, and precious stones. These goods were afterwards brought to the ports of Phoenicia. Such is, says he, the explanation of the tooth, the horn, and the eye which the Gorgons mutually lent to each other. Those ships had prows representing monsters. Perseus met them in his voyages, fought, and took them. The ship he mounted, was called Pegasus; the prow represented a winged

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horse. As soon as he returned to Greece, laden with immense riches, his return was celebrated, and the poets contrived the fable of the Gorgons and of Medusa.

The CHIMERA was a monster begotten of Typhon and Echidna. He had the head and breast of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a dragon, and vomitted forth flames.

"A lion's head and breast resemble his,
His waist a goat's, his tail a dragon's is.

66. -And on the craggy top

Chimæra dwells, with lion's face and mane,

A goat's rough body, and a serpent's train."-OVID.

Obs. Some explain this fable by recollecting that there was a volcano in Lycia, called Chimæra, the top of which being covered with desolate wilds, was occupied by lions; the middle, was pasturage, covered with goats; and the bottom or the marshy ground, abounded with serpents. Bellerophon is said to have cleared the mountain of the Chimera, and made it habitable. Others think that it was the captain of some pirates, who carved on the ships the figures of a lion, a goat, and a dragon.

The SPHINX was a monster, having the head and breast of a woman, the body of a dog, the tail of a serpent, the wings of a bird, and the paws of a lion. She resided in Mount Sphincius in the neighbourhood of Thebes, proposing enigmas to the inhabitants, and devouring those who could not solve them; but the Thebans were informed by the oracle of Apollo, that the Sphinx would kill herself if one of the enigmas she propounded should be explained. She proposed the following riddle: "What animal is that which walks on four feet in the morning, on two feet at noon, and three in the evening?" Creon, then king of Thebes, declared that he would give a crown and his sister Jocasta in marriage to him who could explain it. This was successfully done by Edipus, who replied, "Man. He walks on his hands and feet when

young, or in the morning of life; at noon of life, he walks erect on two feet; and in the evening of his days, he supports his infirmities with a stick." The Sphinx heard the correct explanation, dashed her head against a rock, and instantly expired.


Edipus was the son of Laius, king of Thebes by Jocasta. His father was informed by an oracle that He therehe should one day be killed by his son. fore ordered his wife to destroy their child soon after his birth; but the mother gave this child to a servant, and ordered her to expose him on a mountain. servant pierced his feet with a hook, and hung him on the bough of a tree by the heels on mount Citheron. One of the shepherds of Polybius, king of Corinth, soon found him and brought him home. Periboa, the queen, being childless, brought him up as her own, and called him Edipus, because his feet were swollen. When arrived at manhood, he did not acknowledge the king for his father, but resolved to inquire after his parents. In consulting the oracle of Delphi, he was told that he would meet his father in Phocis. On his way thither, he met Laius and his armor-bearer, riding in a chariot in a narrow road; but he did not Laius commanded Edipus to give know his father. way to him: an affray ensued, in which Laius and his After this, he rearmour-bearer both lost their lives. sumed his journey, arrived at Thebes, beat the Sphinx, and married Jocasta whom he knew not to be his mother. She bore two sons, Eteocles and Polynices, and two daughters Ismena and Antigone. In process of time, he found, by clear proof, that he had kil led his father, and married his mother: upon which he became so frantic as to put out his eyes, and would have laid violent hands upon himself, had not Antigone, his constant attendant, prevented him. Eteocles and Polynices succeeded their father in the government, and agreed alternately to reign a year each. Eteocles reigned the first year, and then refused his brother his crown; upon which a war followed, and they were both killed in single combat. Their enmity was of

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