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the plea that such only could live in the water: his woodnymphs with faces of knotted oak; his angels without breath and song, because no lungs could exist between the earth's atmosphere and the empyrean. The Grecian tendency in this respect is safer than the Gothic; nay, more imaginative; for it enables us to imagine beyond imagination, and to bring all things healthily round to their only present final ground of sympathy -the human. When we go to heaven, we may idealize in a superhuman mode, and have altogether different notions of the beautiful; but till then, we must be content with the loveliest capabilities of earth. The sea-nymphs of Greece were still beautiful women, though they lived in the water. The gills and fins of the ocean's natural inhabitants were confined to their lowest semi-human attendants; or if Triton himself was not quite human, it was because he represented the fiercer part of the vitality of the seas, as they did the fairer.
To conclude this part of my subject, I will quote from the greatest of all narrative writers two passages ;-one exemplifying the imagination which brings supernatural things to bear on earthly, without confounding them; the other, that which paints events and circumstances after real life. The first is where Achilles, who has long absented himself from the conflict between his countrymen and the Trojans, has had a message from heaven, bidding him re-appear in the enemy's sight, standing outside the camp-wall upon the trench, but doing nothing more; that is to say, taking no part in the fight. He is simply to be The two armies down by the sea-side are contending which shall possess the body of Patroclus; and the mere sight of the dreadful Grecian chief-supernaturally indeed impressed upon them, in order that nothing may be wanting to the full effect of his courage and conduct upon courageous men-is to determine the question. We are to imagine a slope of ground towards the sea, in order to elevate the trench; the camp is solitary; the battle ("a dreadful roar of men," as Homer calls it) is raging on the sea-shore; and the goddess Iris has just delivered her message, and disappeared.
Αυταρ Αχιλλευς ωρτο Διι φιλος αμφι δ' Αθήνη
Ωμοις ιφθιμοισι βαλ' αιγιδα θυσσανοεσσαν
Αμφι δε δι κεφαλη νεφος εστεφε δια θεάων
Χρυσεον, εκ δ' αυτου δαιε φλογα παμφανόωσαν.
'Ως δ' ότε καπνος ιων εξ αστεος αιθερ ̓ ἱκηται
Τηλοθεν εκ νήσου, την δηιοι αμφιμάχονται,
Οιτε πανημέριοι στυγερω κρινονται Αρηι
Αστεος εκ σφετερου ἅμα δ' ηελίω καταδυντι
Πυρσοι τε φλεγεθουσιν επήτριμοι, ύψοσε δ' αυγη
Γίγνεται αισσουσα, περικτιονεσσιν ιδεσθαι,
Αι κεν πως συν νηυσιν αρης αλκτηρες ἱκωνται·
Ως απ' Αχιλληος κεφαλης σελας αιθερ' ἱκανεν.
Στη δ' επι ταφρον ιων απο τειχεος' ουδ' ες Αχαιους
Μισγετο· μητρος γαρ πυκινην ωπιζετ' εφετμην.
Ενθα στας ηυσ' απατερθε δε Παλλας Αθηνη
Φθεγξατ’· αταρ Τρωεσσιν εν ασπετον ωρσε κυδοιμον
Ως δ' δτ αρίζηλη φωνη, ότε τ' ιαχε σαλπιγξ
Αστυ περιπλομενων δηιων ὑπο θυμοραιστεων
'Ως τότ' αριζήλη φωνη γενετ' Αιακιδαο.
Οι δ' ὡς ουν αιον οπα χαλκεον Αιακίδαο,
Πασιν όρινθη θυμος* αταρ καλλιτριχες ἵπποι
Αψ οχεα τροπεον' οσσοντο γαρ αλγεα θυμω.
'Ηνιοχοι δ' εκπληγεν, επει ιδον ακαματον πυρ
Δεινον ὑπερ κεφαλης μεγαθυμου Πηλείωνος
Δαιομενον· το δε δαιε θεα γλαυκωπις Αθηνη.
Τρις μεν ύπερ ταφρου μεγαλ' ιαχε διος Αχιλλευς,
Τρις δε κυκήθησαν Τρωες, κλειτοι τ επικουροι.
Ενθα δε και τοτ' ολοντο δυωδεκα φωτες αριστοι
Αμφι σφοις οχεεσσα και εγχεσιν.
Iliad, Lib. xviii., v. 203.
But up Achilles rose, the lov'd of heaven;
And Pallas on his mighty shoulders cast
The shield of Jove; and round about his head
She put the glory of a golden mist,
From which there burnt a fiery-flaming light.
And as, when smoke goes heaven-ward from a town,
In some far island which its foes besiege,
Who all day long with dreadful martialness
Have pour'd from their own town; soon as the sun
Has set, thick lifted fires are visible,
Which, rushing upward, make a light in the sky,
And let the neighbors know, who may perhaps
Bring help across the sea; so from the head
Of great Achilles went up an effulgence.
Upon the trench he stood, without the wall,
But mix'd not with the Greeks, for he rever'd
His mother's word; and so, thus standing there,
He shouted; and Minerva, to his shout,
Added a dreadful cry; and there arose
Among the Trojans an unspeakable tumult.
And as the clear voice of a trumpet, blown
Against a town by spirit-withering foes,
So sprang the clear voice of acides.
And when they heard the brazen cry, their hearts
All leap'd within them; and the proud-maned horses
Ran with the chariots round, for they foresaw
Calamity; and the charioteers were smitten,
When they beheld the ever-active fire
Upon the dreadful head of the great-minded one
Burning; for bright-eyed Pallas made it burn.
Thrice o'er the trench divine Achilles shouted;
And thrice the Trojans and their great allies
Roil'd back; and twelve of all their noblest men
Then perished, crush'd by their own arms and chariots.
Of course there is no further question about the body of Patroclus. It is drawn out of the press, and received by the awful hero with tears.
The other passage is where Priam, kneeling before Achilles, and imploring him to give up the dead body of Hector, reminds. him of his own father; who, whatever (says the poor old king) may be his troubles with his enemies, has the blessing of knowing that his son is still alive, and may daily hope to see him return. Achilles, in accordance with the strength and noble honesty of the passions in those times, weeps aloud himself at this appeal, feeling, says Homer, "desire" for his father in his very "limbs." He joins in grief with the venerable sufferer, and can no longer withstand the look of "his great head and his grey chin." Observe the exquisite introduction of this last word. It paints the touching fact of the chin's being imploringly thrown upward by the kneeling old man, and the very motion of his beard as he speaks.
Ηρως Αυτομέδων τε και Αλκιμος, οζος Apnos,
Ποιπνυον παρεοντε" νεον δ' απεληγεν εδωδης
Εσθων και πινων, ετι και παρεκειτο τραπεζα.
'Τους δ' ελαθ ̓ εισελθων Πριαμος μεγας, αγχι Ꮄ
Χερσιν Αχιλληος λαβε γουνατα, και κυσε χειρας
Δεινας, ανδροφόνους, αἱ οἱ πολεας κτανον υιας.
'Ως δ' όταν ανδρ' ατη πυκινη λαβη, όστ' ενι πατρη
Φωτα κατακτείνας, αλλων εξικετο δήμον,
Ανδρος ες αφνειου, θαμβος δ' εχει εισορόωντας,
Ως Αχιλευς θαμβησεν, ιδων Πριαμον θεοειδεα·
θαμβησαν δε και αλλοι, ες αλληλους δε ιδόντο.
Τον και λισσομενος Πριαμος προς μυθον εειπεν
Μνησαι πατρος σειο, θεοις επιεικελ' Αχιλλευ,
Τηλικου, ώσπερ εγων, ολοω επι γηραος ουδω.
μεν που κεινον περιναιεται αμφις εοντες
Τειρουσ', ουδε τις εστιν αρην και λοιγον αμυναι
Αλλ' ήτοι κεινος γε, σεθεν ζωοντος ακουων,
Χαιρει τ' εν θυμω, επι τ' ελπεται ηματα παντα
Οψεσθαι φιλον ὑιον απο Τροιηθεν ιοντα
Αυταρ εγω παναποτμος, επει τεκον ὑιας αριστους
Τροιη εν ευρείη, των δ' ουτινα φημι λελειφθαι.
Πεντηκοντα μοι ησαν, , ότ' ηλυθον υιες Αχαιων
Εννεακαιδεκα μεν μοι της εκ νηδυος ησαν,
Τους δ' αλλους μοι ετικτον ενι μεγαροισι γυναικες.
μεν πολλων θουρος Αρης ὑπο γουνατ' ελυσεν
Ως δε μοι οιος εην, ειρυτο δε αστυ και αυτους,
Τον συ πρωην κτεινας, αμυνόμενον περι πάτρης,
Έκτορα του νυν εινεχ ̓ ἱκανω νηας Αχαιων,
Λυσομενος παρα σειο, φερω δ' απερεισι' αποινα.
Αλλ' αιδειο θεους, Αχιλευ, αυτον τ ̓ ελεησον,
Μνησαμενος σου πατρος' εγω δ' ελεεινοτερος περ,
Ετλην δ', δι ουπω τις επιχθονιος βροτος αλλος,
Ανδρος παιδοφόνοιο ποτι στομα χειρ ̓ ορέγεσθαι.
Ως φατο· τω δ' αρα πατρος ὑφ' ίμερον ωρσε γοοιο.
Αψαμενος δ' αρα χειρος, απώσατο ηκα γεροντα.
μνησαμένω, μεν Έκτορος ανδροφόνοιο,
Κλαι' αδινα, προπαροιθε ποδων Αχιληος ελυσθείς·
Αυταρ Αχιλλευς κλαιεν ἷον πατερ', αλλοτε δ' αυτε
Πατροκλον* των δε στοναχη κατα δωματ' ορώρει.
Αυταρ επει ῥα γοοιο τεταρπετο διος Αχιλλευς,
Και δι απο πραπιδων ηλθ' ίμερος ηδ' απο γυιων,
Αυτικ' απο θρονου ωρτο, γεροντα δε χειρος ανιστη,
Οικτειρων πολιον τε καρη, πολιον τε γένειον.
Iliad, Lib. xxiv., v. 468.
So saying, Mercury vanished up to heaven:
And Priam then alighted from his chariot,
Leaving Idous with it, who remain'd
Holding the mules and horses; and the old man
Went straight in-doors, where the belov'd of Jove
Achilles sat, and found him. In the room
Were others, but apart; and two alone,
The hero Automedon, and Alcimus,
A branch of Mars, stood by him. They had been
At meals, and had not yet removed the board.
Great Priam came, without their seeing him,
And kneeling down, he clasp'd Achilles' knees,
And kiss'd those terrible, homicidal hands,
Which had deprived him of so many sons.
And as a man who is press'd heavily
For having slain another, flies away
To foreign lands, and comes into the house
Of some great man, and is beheld with wonder,
So did Achilles wonder to see Priam;
And the rest wonder'd, looking at each other.
But Priam, praying to him, spoke these words :-
"God-like Achilles, think of thine own father!
To the same age have we both come, the same
Weak pass; and though the neighboring chiefs may vex
Him also, and his borders find no help,
Yet when he hears that thou art still alive,
He gladdens inwardly, and daily hopes
To see his dear son coming back from Troy.
But I, bereav'd old Priam! I had once
Brave sons in Troy, and now I cannot say
That one is left me. Fifty children had I,
When the Greeks came; nineteen were of one womb;
The rest my women bore me in my house.
The knees of many of these fierce Mars has loosen'd;
And he who had no peer, Troy's prop and theirs,
Him hast thou kill'd now, fighting for his country,
Hector; and for his sake am I come here
To ransom him, bringing a countless ransom.
But thou, Achilles, fear the gods, and think
Of thine own father, and have mercy on me;
For I am much more wretched, and have borne
What never mortal bore, I think, on earth,
To lift unto my lips the hand of him
Who slew my boys."