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Who now before him, now beside him stood,
blood : In vain old Mentor's form the god belied : 'Twas Heaven that struck, and Heaven was on his side."
515 A sudden horror all the assembly shook, When slowly rising, Halitherses spoke : (Reverend and wise, whose comprehensive view At once the present and the future knew :) “Me too, ye fathers, hear! from you proceed 520 The ills ye mourn; your own the guilty deed. Ye gave your sons, your lawless sons, the rein; (Oft warn'd by Mentor and myself in vain ;) An absent hero's bed they sought to soil, An absent hero's wealth they made their spoil ; 525 Immoderate riot, and intemperate lust! The offence was great, the punishment was just. Weigh then my counsels in an equal scale, Nor rush to ruin. Justice will prevail.”
His moderate words some better minds persuade : They part, and join him: but the number staid. 531 They storm, they shout, with hasty phrensy fired, And second all Eupithes’ rage inspired. They case their limbs in brass; to arms they run; The broad effulgence blazes in the sun.
535 Before the city, and in ample plain, They meet: Eupithes heads the frantic train. Fierce for his son, he breathes his threats in air ; Fate hears them not, and Death attends him there.
This pass'd on earth, while in the realms above 540 Minerva thus to cloud-compelling Joxe : “ May I presume to search thy secret soul? Oh Power supreme, oh Ruler of the whole ! Say, hast thou doom'd to this divided state Or peaceful amity, or stern debate !
545 Declare thy purpose, for thy will is fate."
“Is not ihy thought my own!" the god replies Who rolls the thunder o'er the vaulted skies;
“ Hath not long since thy knowing soul decreed,
Now sat Ulysses at the rural feast,
* Behold, Telemachus! (nor fear the sight,) The brave embattled, the grim front of fight! 585 The valiant with the valiant must contend: Shame not the line whence glorious you descend,
Wide o'er the world their martial fame was spread; Regard thyself, the living, and the dead."
“ Thy eyes, great father! on this battle cast, 590 Shall learn from me Penelope was chaste.”
So spoke Telemachus! the gallant boy Good old Laertes heard with panting joy ; “ And bless'd! thrice bless'd this happy day!" he
cries, “ The day that shows me, ere I close my eyes, 595 A son and grandson of the Arcesian name Strive for fair virtue, and contest for fame !"
Then thus Minerva in Laertes' ear: “Son of Arcesius, reverend warrior, hear! Jove and Jove's daughter first implore in prayer, 600 Then, whirling high, discharge thy lance in air.” She said, infusing courage with the word. Jove and Jove's daughter then the chief implored, And, whirling high, dismiss'd the lance in air. Full at Eupithes drove the deathful spear : 605 The brass-cheek'd helmet opens to the wound: He falls, earth thunders, and his arms resound.
Before the father and the conquering son Heaps rush on heaps, they fight, they drop, they
Now by the sword, and now the javelin fall 610
Blazing they fell, and at her feet expired ;
“Descended from the gods! Ulysses, cease ; Offend not Jove: obey, and give the peace.”
So Pallas spoke : the mandate from above The king obey'd. The virgin-seed of Jove, In Mentor's form confirm'd the full accord, 630 And willing nations knew their lawful lord.
END OF THE ODYSSEY.
I cannot dismiss this work without a few observations on the character and style of it. Whoever reads the Odyssey with an eye to the Iliad, expecting to find it of the same character or of the same sort of spirit, will be grievously deceived, and err against the first principle of criticism, which is, to consider the nature of the piece, and the intent of its author. The Odyssey is a moral and political work, instructive to all degrees of men, and filled with images, examples, and precepts of civil and domestic life. Homer is here a person, “Qui didicit, patriæ quid debeat, et quid amicis,
Quo sit amore parens, quo frater amandus, et hospes :
Pleníus et melius Chrysippo et Crantore dicit.” The Odyssey is the reverse of the Iliad, in moral, subject, manner, and style ; to which it has no sort of relation, but as the story happens to follow in order of time, and as some of the same persons are actors in it. Yet from this incidental connection many have been misled to regard it as a continuation or second part, and thence to expect a parity of character inconsistent with its nature.
It is no wonder that the common reader should fall into this mistake, when so great a critic as Longinus seems not wholly free from it; although what he has said has been generally understood to import a severer censure of the Odyssey than it really does, if we consider the occasion on which it is introduced, and the circumstances to which it is confined. “ The Odyssey,” says he,
is an instance how natural it is to a great genius, when it begins to grow old and decline, to de. light itself in narrations and fables : for that Homer composed the Odyssey after the Iliad, many proofs may be given, &c. Froin hence, in my judgment, it proceeds, that as the Iliad was written while his spirit was in its greatest vigour, the whole structure of that work is dramatic and full of action; whereas, the greater part of the Odyssey is employed in narration, which is the taste of old age : so that in this latter piece we may com