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tins, and built Lavinium, so named after his wife. He died in the year before Christ 1197.

Ulyses, on his return by sea from the Trojan war to the island of Ithaca, of which he was king, was met by the Syrens, who used every effort to stop him ; but, that he might not be surprised by their melodious voices, he stopped his ears, and caused himself to be tied to the mast of the ship.

His wife Penelope, who was besieged by a numerous train of lovers in the absence of her husband, delivered herself by artifice. She promised to make choice of one of them as soon as a piece of tapestry, on which she was at work, should be finished ; but every night she unwove all she had done the preceding day.

Hercules was the son of Jupiter and Alcmene, wife of Amphytrion. He was exposed, through the whole course of his life, to perform the most dangerous adventures, by the malignity of Juno, and the fatality of his birth. His principal exploits are termed, by way of eminence, the twelve labours of Hercules.

Eurystheus, who fucceeded Perfeus, in the kingdom of Argos, had conceived a jealousy of Hercules, and imposed upon him, as fabulous history relates, the following hazardous enterprises. 1. He overcame the lion of Nemæa, whose skin he after

wards

wards wore.

2. He destroyed the hydra with sevea heads. 3. He took, on the mountain Erimanthus, in Arcadia, a wild boar that had made dreadful havock round the country, and dragged it alive to Eurystheus. 4. He catched an hind with golden horns and brazen hoofs, after hunting her a year on foot. 5. He cleansed the stable of Augeas, king of Elis; in which 3000 oxen had stood for many years. 6. He destroyed the harpies, or birds of prey. 7. He delivered Prometheus from mount Caucasus, and killed the eagle which fed upon his liver. 8. He killed Diomedes, and the horses which he fed on human flesh. 9. He subdued the giant Geryon, and carried away his flock of cattle.

10. He conquered the army of the Amazons, and took from Hippolite their queen, her girdle, and married her to Thefeus.

II. He went down to hell,and destroyed the three-headed dog Cerberus. He killed the dragon, which defended the garden of the Hesperides, and brought from thence the gelden apples.

Besides these, and many other notable atchievements, Hercules is said to have taken the heavens upon his shoulders, in order to ease Atlas, the son of Uranus, a great observer of the stars, and the fir who represented the world by a sphere.

I 2.

This famous hero ended his life in the following manner. Having slain the centaur Nessus, the dying monster gave Dejanira, Hercules's wife, a garment dipt in his own blood, as a preservative for love. This Dejanira soon after fent him to regain his affections. The hero had no sooner put on the poisoned shirt, than he was seized with violent and incurable pains; therefore, making a funeral pile on mount Oëta, he set fire to it, and closed, with the most dreadful agonies, a life of hardships for the good of his fellow-creatures,

Theseus was the fon of Ægeus, king of Athens, and Æthra, daughter of the wise Pitheus, at whofe court he was brought up by Træzenus. He killed the Minotaur, a monster which had a bull's head, and all its lower parts human. It was inclosed in the labyrinth at Crete, made by Dædalus, by the order of Minos, king of that island, the inhabi. tants of which facrificed men to Jupiter and Saturn; and where many of the gods and goddesses were born.

Perfeus was the fon of Jupiter and Danae, daughter of Acrisius, king of Argos. He was king of the Mycenians. He had the wings of Mercury, the field of Minerva, the helmet of Pluto, and a sword forged by Vulcan. Thus armed, he overcame and cut off the head of Medusa, which, ac

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cording to the poets, was surrounded by serpents instead of hair, and turned to stones those who had the rashness to look upon it. He also delivered Andromeda, daughter of Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, from a monster, and afterwards married her. He lived about 1348 years before Christ.

Achilles was the son of the goddess Thetis, daughter of Nereus and Doris, the most beautiful of the Nereides; and Peleus, son of the famous Æacus, king of Egina, and the nymph Endeis, daughter of Chyron. He was educated by the centaur Chiron. His mother dipped him in the Styx, all but the heel, by which she held him, to make him invulnerable. He was slain at the fiege of Troy by Paris, whofe arrows shot him in the heel, in the year before Christ 1180.

Jafon was the son of Eson and Alcimede. Upon the death of his father, he was placed under the tuition of Pelias, at whose persuasion he undertook the Argonautic expedition to Colchis for the golden fleece, which he carried away about 937 years before Christ.

The golden fleece was the skin and fleece of a ram, called golden, because it was of a golden colour. It was guarded by bulls that breathed fire from their.

* A Centaur is a monster, balf man and half horse..

nostrils

nostrils; and by a large and watchful dragon, in the grove of Mars. .

Pelias, the son of Neptune and Tyro, was brought up by a mare, and became the most cruel of all

He not only usurped the estates of Jasor, but caused him to be imprisoned. He sacrificed his mother-in-law to Juno, and put to death the wife and children of Efon; but Jason was faved from his fury, and educated in private.

men.

CHAP. L.

ON THE BEAUTY AND UTILITY OF FABULOUS

HISTORY.

SOME

ME weak, though perhaps well-meaning

men, condemn the delightful fictions, with which Homer and Hefiod, and their poetical imitators, have enriched and embellished their works. But although these fictions did not contain many useful instructions, and many important truths, would there be any reason to attack and destroy a systein, which peoples and animates nature, and makes a folemn temple of the vast universe ?

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