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From the height of glory, he has fallen into the depth of degradation; and the contrast of the two conditions is to the utmost degree affecting-the breast, on which Andromache was wont to lay her head, mangled by ignoble hands-the Prince of the people, a naked corpse insulted by slaves! Had Shakspeare some thought of this sort in his mind, when he makes Falstaff stab the dead body of "Hotspur, coldspur;" and shows us the glorious corpse of a hero hanging across the shameful shoulders of a buffoon?

But what matter all these indignities that idly seek to dishonour the corpse? It is but a lump of clay. The soul of the Defender is beyond and above insult, alike from the base and the brave. The ensuing speech of Achilles re-invests the corpse with grandeur. "Let us return to the hollow ships, and carry Hector along with us! Great glory have we won; we have slain the illustrious Hector! to whom the Trojans, throughout the city, as to a God, were wont to

offer prayers." Nobler eulogium

never graced the head of fallen hero. Achilles alone could kill-the meanest Myrmidons might insult Hector when dead, who had all shunned his path when he was hewing it to set the ships on fire. Hector is conquered; but the sacred cause for which he died survives; the glory of his character is immortal. "Tell me not," he once said, " tell me not of auguries! Let your birds fly to the east or the west-I care not in this cause: we obey the will of Jupiter, who rules over all, and

Εἷς οἰωνὸς ἄριστος ἀμύνεσθαι περι πάτρης. The one best omen is our country's cause."

Therefore, in spite of defeat and death, Hector is victorious still in our imagination; his waving crest may be dragged in the dust, but the patriot spirit sees it high in air, not only unextinguished, but uneclipsed, even by the god-wrought golden helm of Achilles.

But let us look at the Speech of the Destroyer in the five translators.


Him when the powerful-footed, illustrious Achilles, had despoil'd,
Standing among the Greeks, (these) winged words he utter'd :-
Friends, chiefs of the Greeks, and counsellors,

Since this man, the gods have permitted (us) to subdue,
(Him) who hath done more evil than all the rest beside,

Let us on—and essay the city with arms,

That we may know the intention of the Trojans, what it may be,
Whether they are to abandon the Acropolis, since he has fallen;
Or whether they dare remain, when Hector is no more.

But why does my mind revolve these things?

(He) lies at the ships a corpse unwept, unburied ;— (My) Patroclus! him will I not forget, while I

Shall be among the living, and my knees move.

And though (the living) forget the dead in Ades,

I, for my part, will remember my friend, even though there.

Come now, ye youths of the Greeks, chanting paans

Let us return to the hollow ships, and carry him (Hector) along with us.

Great glory have we won; we have slain the illustrious Hector,

To whom the Trojans throughout the city, as to a god, were-wont-to-offer prayers."


High o'er the slain the great Achilles stands,
Begirt with heroes, and surrounding bands,
And thus aloud, while all the host attends:
"Princes and leaders! countrymen and friends!
Since now at length the powerful will of Heaven
The dire destroyer to our arms has given,
Is not Troy fallen already? Haste, ye powers!
See, if already their deserted towers
Are left unmann'd; or if they yet retain
The souls of heroes, their great Hector slain?
But what is Troy, or glory what to me?
Or why reflects my mind on aught but thee,

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Divine Patroclus! Death has seal'd his eyes;
Unwept, unhonour'd, uninterr'd he lies!
Can his dear image from my soul depart,
Long as the vital spirit moves my heart?
If, in the melancholy shades below,

The flames of friends and lovers cease to glow,
Yet mine shall sacred last; mine undecay'd,
Borne on through death, and animate my shade.
Meanwhile, ye sons of Greece, in triumph bring
The corpse of Hector, and your pæans sing.
Be this the song, slow-moving toward the shore,
'Hector is dead! and Ilion is no more!""


And now, the body stripp'd, their noble chief,
The swift Achilles, standing in the midst,
The Grecians in wing'd accents thus address'd;
"Friends, chiefs, and senators of Argos' host!
Since, by the will of Heav'n, this man is slain,
Who harm'd us more than all our foes beside,
Essay we next the city; so to learn
The Trojan purpose, if, this hero slain,
They will forsake the citadel, or still
Defend it, although Hector be no more.
But wherefore speak I thus? still undeplored,
Unburied in my fleet Patroclus lies;
Him never, while, alive myself, I move
And mix with living men, will I forget.
In Ades, haply, they forget the dead,
Yet will not I Patroclus, even there.
Now chanting pæans, ye Achaian youths!
Return we to the fleet with this our prize;
We have achieved great glory, we have slain
Illustrious Hector, him whom Ilium praised
In all her gates, and as a god revered."


"Princes, and leaders, since, by favouring heav'n,
To us o'er such a foe this victory giv❜n,
This mighty man, whose force, surpassing all,
Long injured Greece, and guarded Ilion's wall,
Come, with our battle gird in arms their towers,
So learn the purpose of their hostile powers,-
If they abandon Troy, its guardian slain,
Or, the great Hector perish'd, dare remain?
But why thus commune? still Patroclus lies
Unwept, ungraced with solemn obsequies.
Ne'er, while I breathe, he sleeps by me forgot,
Ne'er, while remembrance mine, remember'd not.
E'en in the dark oblivion of the grave,

My soul with thine, sweet friend, shall commune have.
Now, youths! your pæans raise, now swell the song,
Lead to the navy, lead the corse along.
Great is our glory; Hector breathes no more,
Whom Ilion hail'd, and wont as god adore."
Chapman fails, and therefore we
do not quote him. He is harsh, in-
verted, and elaborate overmuch; nor
has his version the majestic march
of the original. But, "dead, unde-
plored, unsepulchred, he lies at fleet
unthought on," is passionate-and
reminds one of "unhousel'd, disap-
pointed, unanneal'd ;" and there is a
melancholy grandeur in what he says
of Oblivion and of Memory in Hell.

We say he fails; because, in such noble passages, he in general nobly succeeds. Pope is magnificent. Cowper is somewhat tame in a few lines; and perhaps his version is throughout wanting in passion; but the close is simple and stately-so it seems to us as in Homer. The last three lines sound to our ears like a song of triumph in the Old Testament. They are heroic as if in

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the Book of Kings. Sotheby, in the first part of his version, is not so felicitous as usual; but the lines about Patroclus are more tender than in any of the other translations, though we do not think "the dark oblivion of the grave" Homeric, and the conclusion breathes of the true Achillean spirit. There is not in all the Iliad one finer touch-one bolder stroke of nature-than the sudden revulsion of feeling that tears the

heartstrings of the exulting victor, and "checks his thunder in midvolley," when, about to storm the city, he is struck, as it were, with palsy by the cold air from the corpse of Patroclus.

But rage rises again out of grief. Sorely mangled had been the body of Patroclus-Achilles sees it in all its ghastliness-and shall it fare better with the body of Hector? No-let there be horrid retribution.


He said, and purposed unseemly deeds against the illustrious Hector;
Of both feet he pierced the tendons behind

From heel to ankle, and inserted thongs of ox's hide,

And bound them behind the chariot; but allowed the head to be dragg'd.
Having ascended the chariot, and the renown'd arms up-lifted,

He lash'd (the horses) onward; and they not unwilling flew;
From (the corpse) thus dragged rose dust; on both sides, his hair
Of-a-dark-hue was scattered, and his head in the dust completely
Lay, so graceful once; then, indeed, had Jupiter to foes
Given him to be dishonour'd, in his own native land.


This said; a work not worthy him, he set to; of both feet

He bored the nerves through, from the heel to th' ankle; and then knit
Both to the chariot, with a thong of whitleather; his head

Trailing the centre. Up he got to chariot, where he laid

The arms repurchas't, and scourged on his horse that freely flew,

A whirlwind made of startled dust drave with them as they drew ;
With which were all his black-brown curls, knotted in heaps, and filed.
And there lay Troy's late Gracious, by Jupiter exiled

To all disgrace, in his own land, and by his parents' care, &c.


Then his fell soul a thought of vengeance bred,
Unworthy of himself and of the dead.

The nervous ankles bored, his feet he bound
With thongs inserted through the double wound;
There fixed up high behind the rolling wain,
His graceful head was trail'd along the plain.
Proud on the car th' insulting victor stood,
And bore aloft his arms distilling blood.
He smites the steeds; the rapid chariot flies;
The sudden clouds of circling dust arise.
Now lost is all that formidable air;
The face divine and long-descending hair
Purple the ground, and streak the sable sand;
Deform'd, dishonour'd in his native land!
Given to the rage of an insulting throng,
And in his parents' sight now dragg'd along!


He said; then purposing dishonour vile
To noble Hector, both his feet he bored
From heel to ankle, and inserting thongs,
Them tied behind his chariot, but his head
Left unsustain'd to trail along the ground.
Ascending next, the armour at his side

He placed, then lash'd the steeds; they willing flew.
Thick rose the dust, as with his sable locks
He swept the ground; his head, so graceful once,
Plough'd deep the dust; to such dishonour Jove
That day consign'd him on his native plain.

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With leathern thongs behind his chariot bound,
And left the head to trail along the ground;
Sprung in his seat, the arms in order placed,
And lash'd the willing steeds that swiftly raced :
From the dragg'd corse the dust in clouds upflew,
The dark clay grim'd his locks of sable hue;
And that once beauteous head, half hid in earth,
Tore, as it trail'd, that soil which gave him birth.
So Jove, who oft had o'er him stretch'd his hand,
Dishonour'd Hector in his native land.

Ay-this was indeed "purposing
unseemly deeds against the illustri-
ous Hector," and horridly carrying
them into execution. But one single
moment before, and Achilles was
commanding his Myrmidons to lift
along the body of Hector to the hol-
low ships, himself leading the song
of triumph. "Great glory have we
won-we have slain the illustri-
ous Hector-to whom the Trojans,
throughout the city, as to a god were
wont to offer prayers!" Now whelm-
ed in dust, the corpse is dragged at
his chariot wheels-while the mo-
ther-queen, standing on the battle-
ments, fills the air with shrieks, and
casting far aside her lucid veil, flings
her hairs by handfuls from the roots,
and his father weeps aloud, and all
around, long, long lamentations are
heard through the streets of Troy,
"Not fewer, or less piercing, than if flames
Had wrapt all Ilium to her topmost


And Andromache, who, in her chamber at the palace-top, was framing a splendid texture, on either side with flowers of various hues all dazzling bright, and had given command to her maidens to encompass an ample vase with fire, that a bath might be prepared for Hector on his return from battle, hears the voice of the queen-mother! so piercing-shrill it was, in her agony the shuttle falls from her fingers, and she knows of a truth that her Hector is dead. She crests the tower-and then indeed she sees him in front of Ilium, whirled in such shameful guise, away towards the Grecian fleet. But what cared Achilles for all that mortal misery? He knew it not. Deaf in his own distraction, he heard not theirs ; his passion was concentrated on two dead bodies-Patroclus and Hector; love and hate, ruth and rage, pity and ferocity, each with its scalding tears; unforgiving was he, without mercy and without remorse; and as the axle of his chariot glowed, and

unimpeded were the wheels by the accursed corse, so burned his spirit in the terrible turmoil of its insatiate revenge.

Let us take relief from all this misery in a small bit of what is called Philosophical Criticism. Aristotle, the best of critics and Eustathius, not one of the worst-have made each a remark on this combat, which seem to us scarcely worthy such philosophers. Aristotle says, according to Pope, "the wonderful ought to have place in Tragedy, but still more in Epic Poetry, which proceeds in this point even to the unreasonable; for as in Epic Poems one sees not the persons acting, so whatever passes the bounds of reason is proper to produce the admirable and the marvellous. For example, what Homer says of Hector pursued by Achilles, would appear ridiculous on the stage; for the spectators could not forbear laughing to see on one side the Greeks standing without any motion, and, on the other, Achilles pursuing Hector, and making signs to the troops not to dart at him. But all this does not appear when we read


poem; for what is wonderful is always agreeable, and as a proof of it, we find that they who relate any thing usually add something to the truth, that it may the better please those who hear it." This is miserable murder of Aristotle-especially the barbarity in italics-and we quote it as an example of the style of treatment it has been his fate to receive alike from friends and foes. Take Twining's version-which is sense. "The surprising is necessary in Tragedy; but the Epic Poem goes farther, and admits even the improbable and incredible, from which the highest degree of the surprising results, because there the action is not seen." What follows it is needless to quote, as Pope's translation gives, generally, the sense of the original, with considerable confusion. But the question is, would the Flight and Pur

suit appear ridiculous on the stage? Twining thinks "the idea of stopping a whole army by a nod or shake of the head," (a circumstance, he says, distinctly mentioned by Homer, but sunk in Mr Pope's version,)" was perhaps the absurdity here principally meant; and that, if this whole Homeric scene were represented on our stage, in the best manner possible, there can be no doubt that the effect would justify Aristotle's observation. It would certainly set the audience in a roar." Pye again, who is in general empty, and on Twining extremely crusty, says sensibly enough here, that he "cannot possibly conceive that the idea of stopping an army by the nod of a head, could be the absurdity meant by Aristotle, or that there could have been any thing more absurd in an army stopping at a nod of the head in the theatre, than by the single word halt in Hyde Park." Pope seems to have entirely missed the meaning of Aristotle, whatever that may have been-who, he says," was so far from looking on this passage as ridiculous or blamable, that he esteemed it admirable and marvellous." True, he did so esteem it, occurring as it does in the Epopee; but had it happened in Tragedy, then, he says, it would have been ridiculous; and the question is, why? The answer seems to be, "it would have been ridiculous to see on the stage the army standing still;" and so it would, thinks Twining-so it would not, thinks Pye-and so it would not, thinks North. Pye gives the rationale. The defect mentioned by Aristotle lies deeper; for he, in the next chapter, mentions this identical circumstance as a general error against probability, excusable only as it renders the scene more interesting. To us, who are used to the point of honour in military affairs, this improbability does not appear. But the ancients made war on a different plan.








The ancients looked on this action of Achilles as censurable on the ground of rashness-which appears from a remark on it in Plutarch's Life of Pompey, where, speaking of a rash action of Pompey, in assisting the Cretan pirates merely to deprive Metellus of a triumph, he compares this action-which he calls rather

the exploit of a mad boy, intoxicated with the love of fame, than of a brave man." Pye adds, "in deference to the opinion of Plutarch, it does not appear that Achilles was actuated by the love of fame, but the wish to monopolize the revenge of his friend's death.” And we, in deference to the opinion of Pye, say that Pye is mistaken, for we have seen that Achilles is inspired by both passions, which Homer makes him tell us in the clearest and boldest words. Therefore, Aristotle, Plutarch, Pope, Twining, and Pye, are all wrong-Homer and North, as usual, all right; for, though it is true that it was not exactly a pitched single combat, in which case any assistance from the army would have been wicked, and not ridiculous, yet it was very like one indeed, and, therefore, again begging Aristotle's pardon, we really cannot yet see how the non-interference of the army would have been ridiculous on the stage, any more than on the field.

Eustathius, who, if we mistake not, was a bit of a bishop, says t that this is not a single combat of Achilles against Hector, but a rencontre in a battle; and so Achilles might and ought to take all advantage to rid himself, the readiest and surest way, of an enemy whose death would procure an entire victory to his party. Wherefore does he leave the victory to chance? Why expose himself to the hazard of losing it? Why does he prefer his private glory to the public weal, and the safety of all the Greeks, which he puts to the venture by delaying to conquer, and endangering his own person? We grant it is a fault, but it must be owned to be the fault of a hero.

All the above is given us by Pope, through Dacier, from Eustathius. And is it not pretty considerable stuff? Achilles ought to have killed Hector by hook or crook-by the spears and swords of the soldiers! (Loud cries of oh! oh! oh!) The Greeks, it has been observed, were no favourites with the feudal writers on the Trojan war, and to depreciate the character of Achilles, they have made him in that way murder Hector. See Shakspeare's Troilus and Cressida, where Achilles is at once a sumph and a savage. As to his leaving the victory to chance, and

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