Page images

Helenus afterwards advised them to pafs with caution the coaft of Italy facing Epirus; for those coafts were poffeffed by the Grecians, and called by them Gracia Magna. Here dwelt the favage Locrians, and fierce Idomeneus had fettled in Salentia, and Philoctetes in Petilia. That the prefent wind would bear them to the ftreights of Cape Pělorus, between Italy and Sicily; on the right of which ftreights ftands the dreadful rock Scylla, and on the left the roaring whirlpool Charybdis; to fhun which, he advifed him to double the whole island, and steer away for the Tiber. He concluded by particularly advifing them, wherever they came, to pay their devotions to Juno, and footh her with repeated oblations; and that after several dangers, they should arrive fafe at Cuma in Italy, where, in a dark rocky cave, dwelled the Cumaan Sybil, by whofe affiftance he should visit and confult his father Anchifes, who would then be in the infernal regions. After which Helenus made the Trojans many rich prefents of horfes, arms, and provisions; and Andromache prefented Afcanius with a Phrygian veft.

The Trojans, with warmeft thanks, depart, and fteer along the coaft near the Ceraunaan mountains, where they caft anchor, and again refresh themfelves all night on the fhore, while Pălinūrus, their chief pilot, obferving the watery Hyades, and Plyades, the bright conftellation of Orion and the two Bears, promised fair weather, orders that next morning they fhould fail directly across for Italy, where they worshipped the goddess June as Helenus had direct ed. From thence they failed cross the Tarentum gulph, and paffed within fight of Lacinia, the lofty cliffs of Caulon, and the fhipwrecking ftrands of Scyläceum.

They now arrive in view of the fmoaky mountain Etna in Sicily, and hear the dreadful roar of Scylla and Charybdis, which they avoid by bearing off to fea, and at length, after being toffed about by a ter



rible ftorm, they are driven on the Sicilian coasts of the Cyclops, very near burning Etna, where they lie all the night in the woods.

Early next morning they are greatly furprized at the fudden fight of Achamenides, a Grecian, who had by chance been left there fome months before by Ulyffes. He, with tears, prayed them to take him from those inhuman fhores, defcribing the vaft and cruel Cyclops Giant Polyphemus, whom Ulyffes had blinded with a firebrand in revenge for devouring fome of his men.

Scarce had Achaměnides done fpeaking, than the huge ill-fhaped monfter appeared in fight. The Trojans feized with a fudden terror, ran to their fhips, with the unfortunate Grecian Achæmenides, cut their cables, and in the greatest hurry put to fea. The fightless giant hearing the noife made by their oars, followed them far into the ocean, ter

ribly bellowing when he found he could go no further after them. His dreadful roarings brought from the mountains an hundred more huge frightful Cyclops. The Trojans ply their oars with all their force, and foon reach the fmall ifland Ortygia, by the affiftance of the north wind, having paffed the rocky mouth of the river Pantagia, the gulph of Megaris, and low Tapfus.

From the island Ortygia, they steer by the city Syracufe, and the ftill river of Elorus and its fruitful fhores, and double the high cliffs of Cape Pachỹnus, and come in fight of the town Camarina, the Gelonian Plains, the city of Gela; then of lofty Acrăgas, a town famous for breeding war horfes. Afterwards they pass the palmy ifle of Selīnus, and, fhunning the dangerous rocks near the promontory of Lilybeia, they come to fhore at Port Drăpinum ; where Æneas's father, Anchifes, worn out with endlefs toils and old age, died, and is much lamented by his pious fon and companions. After fome ftay at this melancholy place with the generous Aceftes,


they again fet fail for that part of Italy once called Hefperia, and inhabited by the Oenotrians.


ENEAS and his followers had fcarce loft fight of Sicily, and got into the Tufcan or Pyrrhanian fea, but revengeful Juno prevails upon Eolus *, god of the winds, to raise a prodigious tempeft. The ftorm finks one of their fhips, and fcatters the others three being driven on the hidden rocks called Aræ, and three more on the Getulian quick-fands, called the greater and the leffer Syrtes. The whole must inevitably have perifhed, had not Neptune + came timely to their help, who rebuking the winds, and chaftizing their master Æolus, for infolently meddling with his dominions, immediately calms the fea, by his trident, and, affifted by Triton and the fea nymphs, clears the veffels from the rocks and fands. Eneas with his own ship and fix more, which the late dreadful ftorm had fpared, failed for the nearest land, which happened to be a port called Nympharum Antrum, on the coaft of Africa or Lybia, in the mean time, Venus complains to Jupiter of her fon's misfortunes,

* EOLUS was fon of Jupiter by Acefta, daughter of Hippota. He prefided over the rougher winds, and is defcribed by the poets, of an angry temper, and rough look, fitting in a vast cave, with his fubjects fettered or chained down about him. These he was fuppofed to let out for a storm, and to fhut them up again after it.

NEPTUNE was governor of the inland feas; and is generally defcribed by the poets with a trident in his right-hand. This was his peculiar fceptre, and feems to have been used by him chiefly to roufe up the waves. He holds a dolphin in his left-hand, and rests one of his feet on part of a ship, to fhew he prefides over the inland feas, more particularly over the Mediterranean, which was the great and almost only scene for navigation among the Greeks and Romans. His afpect is majeftic and ferene, and is so described by Virgil, even when he is reprefented as in a paffion.

TRITON was the meffenger of Neptune, as Mercury was of Jupiter, and Iris of Juno. He is reprefented by the artifts and poets, with his upper part human, and his lower like a

[ocr errors]


mentioning Antenor and his party of Trojans being permitted to escape the Greeks, and quietly to fettle at Patavium or Padua, in Italy. Jupiter comforts her, and fends Mercury to procure Eneas a kind reception at Carthage.


ENEAS, next morning, going out to discover the country, meets his mother Venus in the fhape of a huntress, who informs him that he was in Lybia, near Carthage, a city which was then building by a Tyrian colony under Queen DIDO †, the daughter of Belus II. king of Tyre and Sidon in Phoenicia, who had fled hither by sea, paffing the feven mouths of the Nile, in Egypt, down the Carpathian, Lybian, and Mediterranean feas, from her brother Pygmalion, who afcended the throne of Tyre and Sidon, after the death of his father, and who, through covet

* MERCURY was the fon of Jupiter by Maia. His chief character is that of Jupiter's meffenger. His diftinguishing attributes are his Petafus, or winged cap: the Talaria or wings for his feet; and the Caduceus, or wand, with two ferpents about it. Mercury had alfo a general power given to him by Jupiter, of conducting fouls to their proper place, and of re-conducting them up again upon occafion.

+ We are told that Dido bought from the inhabitants of the country, as much ground as a bull's hide would cover; upon which the cut down a hide into many thongs, which encompaffed a quantity of ground fufficient to build a citadel upon, which from thence was called Byrfa, that is, a bull's hide; but this is a fable arifing from the Greeks pretending to find in their language the etymology of all antiquities, not knowing that Boftra, or Bothrah, in the Phoenician language, imports a citadel. Thus inftead of faying that Dido built a citadel, having found this barbarous word in the annals they had read, and not knowing its fignification, they tranflated it by that of Byrfa, which having no fenfe in this place, they framed the commentary now mentioned. We are further told, that thofe who dug the foundations of this citadel, found there a horfe's head, which they reckoned a prefage of its future grandeur; another fable, if we may believe Bochart, founded upon this citadel's being named Cacabé, a word which, in the language of the Phoenicians, fignifies a horse. See BOCHART, Chan. I. 1. c. 14.-VOSSIUS DE JOL. 1. i. c. 3.- and BANIER'S Myth. vol. iv. p. 318. Eng.


ousness, had murdered her husband Sichæus, that he might poffefs his immenfe riches. Venus, moreover, tells him, his fhips and friends, which he thought were loft in the late tempeft, were all fafely arrived at Carthage, whither the conveyed him: involved in a cloud, where he, and his companions, received a kind entertainment from the queen, and leave to ftay till they had refitted their fleet.

But, unfortunately for her, Dido, by the device of Venus, conceived a paffion for NEAS, and prevailed upon him to relate to her, in a particular manner, the hiftory of his adventures fince his departure from Troy, it being now feven years fince the deftruction of that city.

Next morning, the now amorous queen, difcovered to her fifter Anna, her love for NEAS, and her thoughts of marrying him; to accomplish which purpose, fhe generoufly entertained the Trojans, and propofed a hunting match; in the midst of which, Juno, by Venus's confent, raised a ftorm, which feparated the hunters, and drove ENEAS and Dido into the fame cave, where their marriage was confummated.

They had not lived thus as man and wife long, before the goddess Fame reported it to Tarbas, king of the Getulians, a former lover of Dido's, who appealed to Jupiter as injured; Jupiter moved with his intreaties, difpatched Mercury to ENEAS, to order him to fail for Italy. Æneas, fecretly, prepares for his voyage; but Dido difcovering his defign, to put a stop to it, makes ufe of her own and her fifter's intreaties, and discovers all the variety of paffions that are incident to a neglected lover; which not prevailing, fhe, in defpair at being abandoned by the man fhe loved, ftabbed herself on a funeral pile, and was burned to death.

Mean time NEAS, and his Trojans, put to fea in the night, but are thrown, by a moft dreadful ftorm, the fame evening, on the Sicilian coafts, and


« PreviousContinue »