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of lotos, which the companions of Ulysses tasted; and if it was prepared, it gives a reason why they were overcome with it; for being a wine, it had the power of intoxication.

V. 114. The charm tasted, had return'd no more.] It must be confessed, that the effects of this lotos are extraordinary, and seem fabulous; how then shall we reconcile the relation to credibility? the foundation of it might perhaps be no more than this: the companions of Ulysses might be willing to settle amongst these Lotophagi, being won by the pleasure of the place, and tired with a life of danger and the perils of seas. Or perhaps it is only an allegory, to teach us that those who indulge themselves in pleasures, are with difficulty withdrawn from them, and want an Ulysses to lead them by a kind of violence into the paths of glory.

V. 119. The land of Cyclops first] Homer here confines himself to the true geography of Sicily: for, in reality, a ship may easily sail in one day from the land of the Lotophagi to Sicily: these Cyclops inhabited the western part of that island, about Drepane and Lilybæum. Bochart shews us, that they derive their name from the place of their habitation; for the Phæacians call them Chek-lub, by contraction for Chek-lelub; that is, the gulf of Lilybæum, or the men who dwell about the Lilybæan gulf. The Greeks (who understood not the Phæacian language) formed the word Cyclop, from Chek-lub, from the affinity of sound; which word in the Greek language, signifying a circular eye, might give occasion to fable that they had but one large round eye in the middle of their foreheads. DACIER.

Eustathius tells us, that the eye of the Cyclops is an allegory, to represent that in anger, or any other violent passion, men see but one single object, as that passion directs, or see but with one eye: εις εν τι, και μονον έφορα : and that passion transforms us into a kind of savages, and makes us brutal and sanguinary, like this Polypheme; and he that by reason extinguishes such a passion, may like Ulysses be said to put out that eye that made him see but one single object.

I have already given another reason of this fiction; namely, their wearing a head-piece, or martial vizor, that had but one sight through it. The vulgar form their judgments from appear

ances; and a mariner, who passed these coasts at a distance, observing the resemblance of a broad eye in the forehead of one of these Cyclops, might relate it accordingly, and impose it as a truth upon the credulity of the ignorant: it is notorious that things equally monstrous have found belief in all ages.

But it may be asked, if there were any such persons who bore the name of Cyclops? No less an historian than Thucydides informs us, that Sicily was at first possessed and inhabited by giants, by the Læstrigons and Cyclops, a barbarous and inhuman people: but he adds, that these savages dwelt only in one part of that island.

Cedrenus gives us an exact description of the Cyclops: Εκείθεν Οδυσσευς εμπιπίει Κυκλωπι εν Σικελία εκ ενι οφθαλμω, &c. 'Ulysses fell among the Cyclops in Sicily; a people not oneey'd, according to the mythologists, but men like other men, only of a more gigantic stature, and of a barbarous and savage temper.' From this description, we may see what Homer writes as a poet, and what as an historian; he paints these people in general agreeably to their persons, only disguises some features, to give an ornament to his relation, and to introduce the marvellous, which demands a place chiefly in epic poetry.

What Homer speaks of the fertility of Sicily, is agreeable to history: it was called anciently, Romani Imperii Horreum.' Pliny, lib. x. cap. 10. writes, that the Leontine plains bear for every grain of corn an hundred. Diodorus Siculus relates in his History what Homer speaks in poetry, that the fields of Leontium yield wheat without the culture of the husbandman: he was an eye-witness, being a native of the island. From hence in general it may be observed, that wherever we can trace Homer, we find, if not historic truth, yet the resemblance of it; that is, as plain truth as can be related without converting his poem into an history.

V. 134, An isle, whose hills, &c.] This little isle is now called Ægusa, which signifies the isle of goats. Cluverius describes it after the manner of Homer, Prata mollia, et irrigua, solum fertile, portum commodum, fontes limpidos.' It is not certain whether the poet gives any name to it: perhaps it had not received

any in those ages, it being without inhabitants; though some take axea for a proper name, as is observed by Eustathius.

V. 144. Bleating goat.] It is exactly thus in the original, verse 124, μnnadas balantes;' which Pollux, lib. v. observes not to be the proper term for the voice of goats, which is Φημαγμας.

V. 178. The woodland nymphs.] This passage is not without obscurity, and it is not easy to understand what is meant by the daughters of Jupiter.' Eustathius tells us, the poet speaks allegorically, and that he means to specify the plants and herbs of the field. Jupiter denotes the air, not only in Homer, but in the Latin poets. Thus Virgil:

'Tum pater omnipotens fœcundis imbribus Æther

Conjugis in gremium lætæ descendit ......'

and consequently the herbs and plants, being nourished by the mild air and fruitful rains, may be said to be the daughters of Jupiter, or offspring of the skies; and these goats and beasts of the field, being fed by these plants and herbs, may be said to be awakened by the daughters of Jupiter, that is, they awake to feed upon the herbage early in the morning: Kuga Atos) αλληγορικώς αι των φυτων αυξητικαι δυναμεις ας ο ζευς ποιεί. Thus Homer makes deities of the vegetative faculties and virtues of the field. I fear such boldnesses would not be allowed in modern poetry. It must be confessed that this interpretation is very refined: but I am sure it will be a more natural explication to take these for the real mountain nymphs (Oreades) as they are in many places of the Odyssey; the very expression is found in the sixth book,

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and there signifies the nymphs attending upon Diana in her sports and immediately after Ulysses, being awakened by a sudden noise, mistakes Nausicaa and her damsels for nymphs of the mountains or floods. This conjecture will not be without probability, if we remember that these nymphs were huntresses, as is evident from their relation to Diana. Why then may not

this other expression be meant of the nymphs that are fabled to inhabit the mountains?

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V. 221. A form enormous! far unlike the race of human birth.] Geropius Becanus, an Antwerpian, has wrote a large discourse to prove, that there never were any such men as giants; contrary to the testimony both of profane and sacred history: thus Moses speaks of the Rephaims of Asteroth, the Zamzummims of Ham, the Emims of Moab, and Anakims of Hebron. See Deut. ii. ver. 20. That also was called a land of giants, it was a great people, and tall as the Zamzummims.' Thus Goliath must be allowed to be a giant, for he was six cubits and a span, that is, nine feet and a span in height; his coat of mail weighed five thousand shekels of brass, about one hundred and fifty pounds (but I confess others understand the lesser shekel): the head of his spear alone weighed six hundred shekels of iron, that is, about eighteen or nineteen pounds. We find the like relations in profane history: Plutarch in his life of Theseus says, that age was productive of men of prodigious stature, giants. Thus Diodorus Siculus; Ægyptii scribunt, Isidiis ætate, fuisse vasto corpore homines, quos Græci dixere gigantes.' Herodotus affirms that the body of Orestes was dug up, and appeared to be seven cubits long; but Aulus Gellius believes this to be an error. Josephus writes, 1. xviii. c. 6. that Vitellius sent a Jew named Eleazar, seven cubits in height, as a present from Artabanes king of the Parthians, to Tiberius Cæsar; this man was ten feet and a half high. Pliny vii. 16. speaks of a man that was nine feet nine inches high; and in another place, vi. 30. Sybortas, gentem Æthiopum Nomadum, octona cubita longitudine excedere.'


Thus it is evident, that there have been men of very extraordinary stature in former ages. Though perhaps such instances were not frequent in any age or any nation So that Homer only amplifies, not invents; and as there really was a people called Cyclopeans, so they might be men of great stature, or giants.

It may seem strange that in all ancient stories the first planters of most nations are recorded to be giants: I scarce persuade myself but such accounts are generally fabulous; and hope to be pardoned for a conjecture which may give a seeming reason how

such stories came to prevail. The Greeks were a people of very great antiquity; they made many expeditions, as appears from Jason, &c. and sent out frequent colonies: now the head of every colony was called Avaέ, and these adventurers being persons of great figure in story, were recorded as men of war, of might and renown, through the old world: it is therefore not impossible but the Hebrews might form their word Anac from the Greek avaş, and use it to denote persons of uncommon might and abilities. These they called Anac, and sons of Anac; and afterwards in a less proper sense used it to signify men of uncommon stature, or giants. So that in this sense, all nations may be said to be originally peopled by a son of Anac, or a giant. But this is submitted as a conjecture to the reader's judgment.

V. 229. Precious wine, the gift of Maron.] Such digressions as these are frequent in Homer, but I am far from thinking them always beauties: it is true, they give variety to poetry; but whether that be an equivalent for calling off the attention of the reader from the more important action, and diverting it with small incidents, is what I much question. It is not indeed impossible but this Maron might have been the friend of Homer, and this praise of him will then be a monument of his grateful disposition; and in this view a beauty. It must be confessed that Ulysses makes use of this wine to a very good effect, viz. to bring about the destruction of Polypheme, and his own deliverance; and therefore it was necessary to set it off very particularly, but this might have been done in fewer lines. As it now stands it is a little episode; our expectations are raised to learn the event of so uncommon an adventure, when all of a sudden Homcr breaks the story, and gives us a history of Maron. But I distrust my judgment much rather than Homer's.

V. 243. Scarce twenty measures from the living stream
To cool one cup suffic'd...

There is no wine of so strong a body as to bear such a disproportionable quantity; but Homer amplifies the strength of it to prepare the reader for its surprising effects immediately upon Polypheme.

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