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Full text of "Myths of old Greece"

MYTHS 

OF 

OLD GREECE 




VOL.111. 



e 






Myths 



OF 



Old Greece 



Volume III 



By .MARA L. PRATT, 

Author of " American History Stories"' 1 Young Folk's Library of 
Choice Literature." — etc. 



EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHING COMPANY 
BOSTON 

New York Chicago San Francisco 



Copyrighted 
By EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHING COMPANY, 
1S96. 



CONTENTS. 

Page 

Orpheus and Eurydice 7 

Hercules 15 

Theseus 34 

Daedalus 47 

The Race of Atlanta 52 

Castor and Pollux 59 

The Bee Keeper g3 

Arion the Prize- Winner 73 

Arion's Return gO 

Alpheus and Arethusa 92 

The Golden Apple .......... 07 

Ulysses' Return to Greece 12:, 

Polyphemus 132 

.Eolus, the Wind-Keeper 139 

Circe's Palace 14 7 

The Sirens 153 

Scylla and Charybdis 157 




ORPHEUS AND ELRYDICE. 



Myths of Old Greece, III, 



ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE. 

Orpheus was the son of the god Apollo ; 
and Apollo, proud of his beautiful son, gave 
him his own mellow-stringed lyre, and taught 
him to play so sweetly upon it, that not only 
men and women, but even the beasts of the 
field stopped to listen ; and, listening, forgot 
their wicked, savage passions and became, one 
and all, gentle and loving as the lambs on the 
sunny hillside. Even the trees quivered and 
sighed, and the rocks melted before his tender 
strains. 

When Orpheus became a man, he won 
with his sweet music the beautiful Eurydice 



8 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

for his wife; but alas, happy though they 
were, they were subject to an evil fate, and 
soon their joy was at an end. For one day, 
when Eurydice was wandering with her 
nymphs in the fields, she stepped upon a 
poisonous snake which turned and bit her, 
poisoning her so that she died from the cruel 
wound. 

Poor Orpheus ! For a time he had no 
heart to touch the lyre, and all the earth was 
sad and still. But one day he went out into 
the streets with it in his hand, and sang his 
grief out into the summer air. 

Brave men wept great tears of sympathy, 
so tender and so touching was his music, and 
even the gods on Mt. Olympus looked softly 
down upon him. 

" Go thou down into Hades," said Jupiter 
to Orpheus, " and thou shalt find thy wife ; 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

bring" her back with thee up into the light of 
day/' 

Gladly Orpheus obeyed. Down through 
the great cave, across the black river, Styx, 
into the abode of the shades, he boldly made 
his way, playing sweet music as he went; and 
there, in the midst of the great hosts that had 
left the earth, he saw his own Eurydice, most 
beautiful of them all. 

" O Pluto," he sang ; " give back to me 
my Eurydice, stolen from me and from the 
upper world while youth and beauty and 
happiness were yet full upon her." And so 
tender was his voice, so soft the tones of his 
lvre, that the shades gathered close around 
him ; and even Pluto's stern heart was moved 
to tears. Afar off, white and shining, stood 
Eurvdice, her arms stretched out towards him, 
and the tears pouring down her face. 



10 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

" Take her, take her," said Pluto ; " but 
one command you must obey. As you go out 
from this realm of mine, playing sweet music 
as you go, — music that shall draw Eurydice 
forth, following in the wake of its melody, not 
once must you look back, over-eager or 
doubting my word with regard to her. If this 
command you disobey, she is lost indeed to you 
until such time as you yourself shall come to 
dwell among us forever." 

With heart bounding with joy, Orpheus, 
with one radiant look of joy at Eurydice, 
raised his lyre, and turned his steps again 
towards the upper world. 

On, on, through the great masses of 
shades he hastened, making most joyous 
music as he passed. Out into the darkness, 
even down to the River Styx, he had made his 
way. But alas, alas, in his love for Eurydice, 



MYTHS oF OLD GREECE. 11 

and in his fear lest she should not have 
followed, he forgot the command of Pluto and 
turned his eager face to look upon her. 

Poor Orpheus ! poor Eurydice ! There 
stood the stern Pluto, his deep gaze full upon 
the twain. And when Orpheus turned, Pluto 
raised his sceptre ; his deep voice rolled out 
into the darkness and Eurydice was lost again 
to her brave husband who had dared so much 
for her. 

But the ferryman cared little for the 
grief that now fell upon the loving youth. 
Quickly and silently he rowed him across 
the Styx, and left him there upon the farther 
bank. 

For many and many a day Orpheus sat 
by the riverside, his broken lyre in his hand, 
and often in the deep darkness of the night he 
would play music so sad and tender, so full of 



12 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



the wail of a broken heart, that even the stars 
grew dim and the trees sighed in sympathy 
for him. 




CHARON, THE FERRYMAN. 



Sometimes Orpheus would wander up 
and down the bank, but never far away, 
singing always of the lost Eurydice, till, at last, 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



13 



the heart of Jupiter was moved with com- 
passion for him, and he sent down a message 
of death to the sad singer. So Orpheus 
was released from life, and the pale ferryman 

again rowed him across the dark waters, 

this time to dwell forever with Eurydice 
in the peaceful home of Pluto — the quiet 
land of shades. 




HERCULES. 

When Hercules, a mere babe, lay in his 
cradle by the sounding sea, there came up out 
of the deep waters two terrible serpents. Thev 
were cruel, venomous serpents, with the 
strength of an Atlas, and with the poison of 
death in their fangs. 

Swiftly and noiselessly they glided 
towards the cradle where the child slept. Up 
the sides of the cradle, over the top they 
writhed ; when lo ! the child raised himself 
from his pillow, stretched out his baby arms 
and strangled the great slimy creatures ! 

"Was there ever such a wonderful child?" 
said the people. " Surely he is born to do 
great things." 



15 



16 MYTHS OF oLD GREECE. 

And indeed, as the years went on; he 

proved himself worthy of this prophecy of his 
babyhood; for he came to be one of the greatest 
of all the Greek heroes, the bravest, the truest, 
the noblest. Little children in all the ag-es 
after were taught to admire this grand hero, 
and to try to be like him in heart and mind 
and courage. 

Now it happened that as he grew up, he 
was made subject to the control of a wicked, 
jealous cousin, who spared no pains to make 
the brave youth's life unhappy. 

More than that — he sought to slay him; 
and it was with this hope that he sent him to 
do the twelve hard tasks which made him 
famous — though that was far from the cousin's 
intention — and which came to be known as: 
Thk Twelve Labors oe Hercules. 

The first task was to go forth into the 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 17 

great valley of Nemea, and slay the terrible 
Nemean lion. 

For a long time this creature had infested 
the valley, and each morning had devoured the 
children of the people. 

" Bring me the skin of the lion," had been 
the cruel cousin's command; and bravely, 
though sad at heart, the hero had set forth. 

It was a fierce hard fight; clubs and 
arrows had no effect upon the thick, hard hide 
of the lion ; and in vain would Hercules have 
contended had he not thrown down his 
weapons, and, marching straight up to the 
roaring foe, seized him by the jaws and 
strangled him. 

"I will carry to my cousin," said Hercules, 
"not only the hide, but the whole animal." And 
so, throwing the lion across his shoulder, 
Hercules carried him home in victory. 



18 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



From the hide the brave hero made a 
mantle for himself, and from that time on 




— j ^iaM 



HERCULES. 



wore it always as a token of his own first 
great victory. 

Angry at his success, the cousin sent 
Hercules out at once upon a second labor. 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 19 

In the swamps of Argos, there dwelt in the 
slimy waters a horrible, nine-headed creature, 
called by the people the Hydra. 

Of these nine heads, one was immortal ; 
and, moreover, until that was struck off, two 
would grow in the place of each one that fell 
beneath the club. 

"Very well;' said Hercules, "if that is the 
effect of the club upon you, I will try another 
means ; " and so, holding the terrible Hydra 
with all his force, he burned off the eight 
heads ; and seizing the immortal one, he thrust 
it under a great mountain, where, able neither 
to die nor to get free, it writhes and roars even 
to this day. 

Again Hercules was sent forth— this 
time to the labor of cleaning the floors of the 
filthy Augean stables, where hundreds of cattle 
had been stalled for thirtv vears. 



20 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

" And this," said the cousin, " is to be 
done in a day." 

Hercules went to the stables and looked. 
Fifty men could not have performed the task 
in a year! But with Hercules there was no 
such word as fail. He stood in the great 
door-way and looked out across the fields. 
There lay the waters of the beautiful sparkling 
River Peneus. 

"Turn the waters of the river through the 
stable," whispered some good voice ; and 
Hercules went to work. In a few hours a great 
ditch was dug, and through it, straight into the 
stable, rushed the rapid current of the river. 
How it rushed, and roared, and foamed, cover- 
ing the stable floor ! And then, pouring forth 
itself and all the filth, it seethed out into the 
great meadows beyond. 

Next was given Hercules a task of a 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 21 

different nature; one requiring not strength 

but tact. 

In a far off land dwelt the Amazons, a 
race of war-like women, who had great cities, 
were very powerful in combat, and who 
allowed no stranger within their gates. Now, 
the Queen of the Amazons owned a wonderful, 
magic girdle ; that Hercules was sent to seize 
and bear away. 

No one knows how it was accomplished ; 
but Hercules was admitted to the city of the 
Queen, and even to her royal palace. For 
manv days he remained a guest in the city, 
feted and banqueted by his royal hostess. He 
even won from her the promise that when he 
went away he should wear the magic girdle 
for his own. But just here the fates interfered; 
the Queen became suspicious of her guest, and 
fell upon him with her army of trained 




;, ROME.) 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 23 

warriors. It was a terrible battle; but Hercules 
won the girdle, and away he flew across the 
plains and over mountains to his home, where 
he delivered the girdle to his cruel cousin. 

But no sooner had he reached home with 
the prize, than away he was hurried again — this 
time to slay the oxen of a terrible, three-headed 
monster who dwelt far away to the west, and 
who guarded the oxen by another two-headed 
monster as terrible as himself. On his way, 
when almost there, Hercules came upon a 
great mountain of rock which impeded his 
progress. He had neither time nor inclination 
to scale it, nor even to go around it. What 
more likely, then, than that he should grasp it 
in his mighty hands, tear it asunder, and pass 
through ! 

This he certainly did ; and there to this 
day the two great rocks stand — the Pillars of 



2i MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

Hercules — guarding the entrance right and 
left, and forming the Straits of Gibraltar. 

But of them all, the most wonderful was 
our hero's success in reaching the garden of 
the Hesperides and securing the golden apples 
of Juno. 

Now, many brave youths had gone in 
search of these golden apples, but the tree was 
guarded by a dragon so fierce that no one had 
ever dared go near it. 

" I will find this tree," said Hercules, the 
young giant, " and I will kill this dragon and 
bring back the apples." 

" Many brave youths have said that," 
thought the people ; " but the dragon is very 
terrible to look upon." 

"I'm not afraid," laughed Hercules. And, 
throwing his cloak of lion skin over his 
shoulders he started forth with his great club 
upon his journey. 



MYTHS (>F OLD GREECE. -_>;, 

Up and down mountains Hercules trav- 
eled, over hills and plains, across great rivers, 
until at last he reached the land beyond the 
setting sun. 

" Where is the tree that bears the golden 
apples?" cried Hercules, seeing afar off a 
great giant. 

" Come across the sea and I will tell you," 
shouted the giant. 

" I am coming," shouted Hercules ; and 
with, two or three great strides, Hercules had 
crossed the water. 

" What is this great round ball you carry 
upon your back?" asked Hercules as he came 
near. 

" This great round ball is the earth," 
answered the giant. 

11 Then you must be the giant Atlas," cried 
Hercules. 



-2i'. 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



4 That is my name," said the giant. 

T have heard of you," answered Hercules, 




"and I am glad to see you. There are 
wonderful stories told of you in my country; 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 27 

and I have often wished I might chance to 
find you in my journeys to distant countries." 

"Who are you, pray?" asked Atlas, 
shifting the earth over upon his other 
shoulder that he might see his bold guest 
more plainly. 

"I? I am Hercules," shouted our hero. 

" Hercules ! Hercules ! Are vou the 
Hercules that was a giant in strength even 
when a baby?" cried Atlas. "Are you the 
Hercules that has performed the great Labors? 
" Indeed, young man, your fame has 
reached me even in this far-off land. But, 
brave as you have been, you will never find 
the golden apples." 

"Why?" asked Hercules. ''Because,' 
answered Atlas, " no one can enter that garden 
but me. But if you will take this great ball 
upon your shoulders, I will go and get the 



28 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

apples for you. I shall be very glad of a little 
rest and change." 

So Hercules took the earth upon his 
shoulders, and away Atlas ran towards the far 
off garden. How heavy the earth grew ! " I 
can never hold it! O dear!" And the earth 
rolled back and forth from one shoulder to the 
other. 

14 O dear! O dear," cried the people on the 
earth. " How the earth rocks and rolls ! 
There must be a terrible earthquake!" 

Soon Atlas returned, bearing in his hand 
three golden apples. " Ha, ha, ha ! " he 
laughed. " How do you like to carry the 
earth ? " 

"() hurry," groaned Hercules, "my back 
will break ! " " O no," laughed Atlas, " I am 
not coming back. Ha! ha! good-bye!" and 
away he ran up the hillside. 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



29 




"Come back!" shouted Hercules. "At 
least you might help me to put my lion skin 
across my shoulder for the earth to rest upon." 



:\0 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

" O yes, I will do that," shouted Atlas, coming 
towards Hercules. 

Nov/ Atlas was not very bright. Such 
very heavy people usually are stupid ; and as 
he came near, laughing all the while at his 
own escape, Hercules, quick as a flash of 
lightning, rolled the earth over on to the 
shoulders of Atlas, seized the golden apples, 
and flew away. 

" Such dreadful earthquakes as there have 
been," said the people to Hercules when he 
had reached his home again. Whole cities 
have been laid flat. But Hercules held up the 
golden apples and the people, forgot all about 
their troubles, so glad were they to see the apples. 

" How did you get them ? " the people 
asked. Hercules did not answer, and the 
people never knew. 

Then there was the famous encounter 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. f,l 

with Antaeus, the son of Mother Earth, and 
whose strength could not be overcome so long 
as he stood upon the ground. 

Many and many a brave youth had fought 
with him ; but never had Antaeus been even 
harmed. 

Now Hercules would have been quite 
willing to have escaped from this giant; but 
Antaeus saw him passing through his territory 
and shouted to him to come and contend for 
his life, as, indeed, it was his custom to shout 
to every unfortunate that chanced to come 
within hearing of his mighty voice. 

There was no escape; and Hercules would 
not play the coward by taking to flight. 

Accordingly the two faced each other. 
Over and over they rolled; sometimes one, 
sometimes the other, seemed victorious; but 
at last the bright mind of the hero perceived 



32 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

that every time Antaeus was thrown to the 
ground, he arose with strength redoubled. 
"We will see," said Hercules; and, rushing 
upon the giant, he seized him by the waist 
and lifted him high in the air. 

How tne old giant kicked and howled ! 
But Hercules only held him all the more 
tightly, and very soon the thunderous tones 
grew weaker and weaker ; the kicking ceased ; 
and the great Antaeus gave himself up, a 
defeated, humbled creature ; and never again did 
he seize upon mortals who passed through that 
part of the country, challenging them to a battle 
in which there was for them no hope of victory. 

So passed the life of the Greek's favorite 
hero; and when at length the time came for 
him to die, Jupiter, descending from Olympus 
with his golden chariot of winged horses, 
wrapped him in a shining cloud, and bore him 
to the home of the gods. 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



33 



There he was met by the beautiful cup- 
bearer, Hebe, who gave him to drink of the 
immortal wine ; and he became henceforth one 
of the gods, and dwelt forever among them 
upon the Olympic Mount. 








STATUE OF THESEUS (BARVE ) 



THESEUS. 

There was in Greece another brave hero 
whose fame was as widely spread as that of 
Hercules himself. 

This hero's name was Theseus, and he 

34 



MYTHS OF old GREECE. 

was a son of one oi the kings of Minerva's 
proud city — Athens. 

Theseus was brought up in a simple 
village far away from Athens; but when he 
became a youth he was sent to his father at 
Athens, bearing with him a rare old signet 
ring, a sword, and a pair of ancient sandals, by 
which he might prove himself to the king to 
be the Theseus he claimed to be. 

Wry gladly the king received his son ; for 
he was tall, and straight, and brave, and 
handsome, and any king might well be proud 
of such a son. 

Nine days of feasting were at once 
appointed, and all the people in the city were 
invited to the royal palace to welcome the new 
prince. 

Already, on his journey, Theseus had met 
with wonderful adventures, and the countries 



36 MYTHS <>F OLD GREECE. 

through which he had passed were still 
ringing with praises of the brave lad who 
carried the sword and wore the strange old 
sandals. 

Theseus, like the true hero he was, did not 
tell of these adventures, hoping thereby to 
win honor from his kingly father and from the 
people. 

" I must do brave deeds in the city of 
Athens and for the people of Athens," said he, 
" if I would win their favor." 

But the stories of his brave deeds reached 
the city, and proud indeed were the king and 
the people that the prince had proven to be 
so grand a hero. 

" I come," said a courier from the far east, 
" to tell you of a brave youth, who, passing 
through my country, slew the terrible Peri- 
phetes, who, for all time, has held in fear the 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. ;;7 

travelers that pass our way ; for always did he 
bear an iron club with which he smote even 
the bravest who dared resist him." 

"And I," said another from another 
country, " come to tell the glad news. The 
cruel Procrustes, the king, is slain ; he 
whose pleasure it has been to seize upon 
travelers and bind them to his terrible iron 
frame, and with taunts and jeers bid the 
unfortunate ones to sleep. But alas ! little 
sleep was there for such as fell into his cruel 
power; for first must they be fitted to the 
frame, being stretched with cruel chains if 
perchance they proved too short, or have their 
limbs struck off with the sword if they proved 
too long. Alas, what terrors have our people 
borne, and with w r hat joy do we feast now that 
Procrustes is slain by the club of the brave 
young stranger." 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

But when the nine days of feasting were 
over, there fell upon the palace and the city a 
deep gloom. For whole hours the old king 
would sit looking out across the waters, and 
then deep groans would fill the air. 

"What is the meaning of this sorrow?" 
asked Theseus. 

But no one in the city would tell him. 
11 It is nothing that you can help," they would 
say, shaking their heads most sadly. 

" What right," said Theseus to the old 
king, " have these people to keep a secret from 
me, their prince ? I demand to know what 
this sorrow is that lies so heavily upon the 
hearts of you all." 

" Alas, brave Prince," said the king, " it is, 
as they have said, a hopeless sorrow ; nor is 
there any use to fight against the Fates that 
will these things. 



« 



MYTHS OF <>L1) GREECE. ;;;» 

" Each year is our city forced by cruel 
King Minos to send him seven of our bravest 
youths and seven of our most beautiful 
maidens." 

" But why?" cried Theseus, impatient. 

" These youths and maidens," the sad old 
king went on, " are devoured one by one by 
the terrible Minotaur, who will eat only human 
flesh and will drink only human blood." 

" This year, then," said Theseus, " there 
need be chosen only six brave youths, for I 
myself will go." 

In vain did the old king plead with 
Theseus to stay. " I have no other son," he 
wept, " on whom to lean in these my declining 
years." But neither the tears of his father nor 
the prayers of the people could change his 
purpose. "Think you," the Prince said, "that 
I would allow my helpless countrymen to 



40 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

suffer in my stead ? Think you I would rest 
here in the luxury of my father's palace while 
some brave son of the people gave his life for 
the country that I love?" 

And so a great vessel was made ready, 
black sails w T ere raised, and with sad hearts 
the people bade farewell to the youths and 
maidens who, they knew full well, would never 
return again to the city of Athens. 

It was a long, sad voyage ; and w r hen the 
island of King Minos was reached, there stood 
the king ready to receive them, and ready, too, 
w r as the tower in which they wxre to be 
imprisoned till such time as the dainty 
Minotaur should demand his victims. 

" I am Theseus, the son of the king of 
Athens," said our hero ; " and I have brought 
with me the thirteen other youths and maidens 
as, I am told, is the custom of the city over 
which my father reigns." 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 41 

"Theseus?" cried the king; "the Theseus 
that slew Periphetes and the terrible 
Procrustes as well ? " 

" I am that Theseus," was our hero's reply. 

" Come with me to my palace," said the 
king ; " for I would indeed talk with so great 
a hero as I know you to be." 

And so, while the thirteen youths and 
maidens were hurried away to the tower, 
Theseus was taken to the royal palace. 

There for long hours the king and the 
prince talked together. They talked of 
Athens, of the Minotaur, of Periphetes, of 
Procrustes, and of all the heroes that had ever 
been. 

" Cruel, cruel fate ! " groaned the king, 
" that so brave a youth as this should die." 

"Can vou not save him?" beeeed Ariadne, 



-£>fe 



the beautiful daughter of King Minos. 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 43 

But the old king- shook his head. " No, 
no," he said ; " he has come and he must die." 

But Ariadne's little head and heart were 
very busy. She waited until deep slumber 
had fallen upon the household, and then 
crept out to the tower where Theseus was 
imprisoned. 

11 Brave Prince," she whispered ; and 
Theseus heard. 

" Come down the staircase. Rouse all 
your comrades and bid them wait till you 
return. I have unbarred the door." 

Quickly Theseus obeyed the commands 
of Ariadne, and hurried out into the blackness. 

" Come quick," she said, " to the labyrinth 
where the Minotaur lies sleeping. 

It is a strange place, with winding ways; 
and without help no youth could find his way 
back into the world again. But here is a 



44 MYTHS OF <)LD GREECE. 

golden thread. Tie it to your waist. Go into 
the labyrinth, slay the Minotaur with this 
magic sword, then pull hard the golden thread, 
and by it I will draw vou safely out." 

Gladly did Theseus follow the beautiful 
Ariadne's directions, and into the labyrinth he 
plunged. 

It was, indeed, as she had said, winding 
and blind to follow. Nearer and nearer he 
crept to the great open space where the 
horrible Minotaur lay sleeping. Louder and 
louder grew the great beast's snores as he 
approached ; but with the golden thread, 
Theseus felt sure of success and a safe return 
to the upper world again. 

It was a quick, terrible battle that followed; 
but with a last thrust of the magic sword, 
the Minotaur, with one great roar, fell dead. 

11 That roar mieht have awakened the 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 45 

world," said Theseus to himself; and, pulling 
the thread, he was drawn along the paths back 
again to the entrance where the brave princess 
waited to guide him farther. 

" Hurry ! hurry ! " she said. " Get the 
youths and maidens ! Rush to the ship ; for I 
fear already the servants of the palace are 
awake ! " 

And away Theseus flew. Not a second 
too quick were they ; for hardly had Theseus 
pushed the keel out into the deep waters than 
there came rushing down from the palace the 
old king himself. For he had heard the dying 
roar of the Minotaur and had feared some 
harm had come to him. 

But he reached the shore too late; already 
the oarsmen were fast at work, and Theseus, 
with Ariadne close beside him, stood hard at 
the helm. 



•16 



MYTHS OF <»U> GREECE. 



Away, away they flew ; and when the sun 
arose above the waters, nowhere in all the 
world did it find so happy a band of youths 
and maidens, as those that danced and sang 
beneath the black sails of this little vessel out 
upon the sparkling waters. 




D^DALUS. 

The man who had made the labyrinth 
was ingenious in many another direction, 
as old King Minos learned to his sorrow. 

Now, at the time Daedalus made the 
labyrinth with its marvellously tortuous paths, 
he and the king had been great friends ; but 
the friendship of kings then, as later, is always 
an uncertain blessing ; and so it came about 
that, in course of time, Daedalus found himself 
a prisoner in the tower, and another favorite 
established in his place. 

The ingenuity of Daedalus came to his 
rescue, however, and soon he had invented an 
escape from the tower. 

" Let him wander up and clown the island 

47 



///.id 




MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 49 

if he prefers," sneered King Minos; "but let it 

be understood by the people that, whoever 
shall shelter him or his son, Icarus, or give 
them food, loses his life. 

" Moreover, set guards along the shore to 
intercept him if he attempts to swim away, or 
to build a boat, or in any way to escape from 
the kingdom. " 

11 We will see," thought Daedalus. " I 
shall find a way." And before long he did 
find a way. One day a flock of birds flew 
across the skies. Daedalus watched them 
with longing eves. " If only I could fly," he 
sighed. And then, "Why not?" was his next 
thought. 

At once the prisoner set to work. " I can 
make wings," said he ; and indeed, after long, 
long weeks of work, he did produce from the 
feathers of the birds of the island some wings. 



50 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



These he fastened to himself and his little son, 
and away they flew over the heads of the 
guards, out across the waters. 

On, on, past the islands of Samos and of 
Delos they flew; but Icarus, joyous in the 
new sport, began to ascend the sky. Up, up 
towards the Sun he flew, till, close upon it, the 
heat melted the wax with which the father had 
fastened the feathers together. 

"Help me! help me, Father Daedalus !'' 
he cried ; but there was no help for him. 

Down through the air he fell— the feathers 
falling about him and flying in every direction 
— and sank in the deep blue waters of the 
sea. 

From this time on, Daedalus became a 
bitter-hearted man ; and when, one time, he 
stood with his sister's son, Perdix, upon a 
high tower of rock, he pushed the child off, 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 51 

meaning" that he should be crushed upon the 
rocks below. 

But Minerva, seeing the cruel deed, 
changed Perdix into a bird — a partridge — 
and so saved him from the cruel fate. 

But Perdix never forgot his fall ; and that 
is why the partridge never soars to great 
heights ; but likes rather to build its nests 
in the low, safe coverts, where no harm can 
come to him. 




ATALANTA - RACE. 



THE RACE OF ATALANTA. 

Never was there a maiden so free and 
happy, so tall and straight and handsome. All 
her life had she dwelt in the forests and 
followed the chase, as brave and daring as any 
youth, and as unfailing with her arrows as 
Diana herself. 

Many a youth loved her and longed to 
win her to grace his. home; but the Oracle had 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 53 

said, "Nay, nay, Atalanta; never many; a 
terrible fate awaits you if you do." 

And so, when the youths came to her, 
rather than that they should count her heart- 
less, she would say, " There is but one condi- 
tion upon which I can hear your prayer. 
First, you must race with me. Such is my 
fate. If you outrun me, then will I give up 
my free life and come to dwell with you. If 
you fail to outrun me, then you must surrender 
up your life; such is the decree of the gods." 
And many a youth, so beautiful was she, 
had accepted her challenge; but, alas, brave 
lads though they were, none had succeeded in 
outrunning the fleet-footed Atalanta. 

But one day a youth came to her, so tall, 
and brave, and beautiful that her heart was 
touched. " It is a shame," thought she, " that 
such a noble life as this should be wasted." 



54 MYTHS oF OLD GREECE. 

Still what could she do. Never would it 
be acceptable either to gods or men that she 
should make an exception. 

" I know the risk I take," said Hippo- 
menes ; " but I am ready." 

It was with a heart as sad as her free 
heart could be, that Atalanta prepared for this 
contest. 

But in Hippomenes' heart there was only 
hope and courage. Already he had prayed to 
Venus, the goddess of love, and had offered 
rich sacrifices upon her alters. 

" I will give you aid," the goddess had 
answered. " Take these three golden apples 
from the far-off gardens of the Hesperides; and 
as you run, drop them, one at a time, that Ata- 
lanta may be tempted to stop to gather them." 

And so Atalanta and Hippomenes took 
their places before the king. 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

.1.1 

At a signal each bounded forward even 
like the wild forest deer. 

On, on they sped, so light of foot, it was 

but as the sweeping by of a western wind. 

The shouts of the people rent the air and 
cheered them on. 

" Courage ! Courage ! " they cried. 

" Haste ! haste ! " 

' Don't lose your speed ! Don't lose your 
speed ! " 

" ( )n ! on ! " 

'You gain' You gain! You gain on 
Atalanta ! " 

" She's won ! she's won ! " 

"On, on, Atalanta! He gains! he gains!" 

Thus did the shouts of the people mingle. 

But Hippomenes' strength was failing. 
Now, now," said Venus, "throw the 
apple." 



a6 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



And out it rolled beneath Atalanta's flying 
feet. Its rich color shone in the light. It was 
beautiful. Who could resist so rare a prize ? 
And Atalanta stooped to reach the apple. 

" Hippomenes with one great effort leaped 
forward, and for one moment shot ahead. 
But soon again Atalanta was abreast of him. 

"Again ! Throw another," whispered Venus, 
who heard the heavy heaving of Hippomenes' 
breath. 

" On ! On ! " 

"Atalanta!" 

" Hippomenes ! " 

" Atalanta ! " 

" Hippomenes ! " shouted the crowd of 
people, wild with excitement. 

" The third apple ! Now ! Quick ! " whis- 
pered Venus ; and out rolled the last of the 
three golden apples. 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 57 

Again Atalanta stooped to gather the 
wonderful fruit. It was one second lost. On, 
on the racers flew ; and with one last bound, 
one last summoning of strength, Hippomenes 
fell prostrate upon the goal — Atalanta one 
half leap behind. 

How the people cheered ! And the king 
himself, glad in his heart for the beautiful 
youth, arose and swung his sceptre and 
summoned the servants of the palace to 
prepare a feast in honor of the victor. 

But alas for Atalanta ! The Oracle will 
not be defied. And so it came about that, the 
ire of Venus being aroused because the happv 
youth and maiden forgot for a time their 
benefactor, she sent a heavy punishment upon 
them. 

In the midst of their happiness, a terrible 
change began to creep over them; their beauty, 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



their grace, failed. Their tall, handsome forms 
sank lower and lower to the earth ; their fair 
skins grew tough and hairy ; and alas, they 
stood at last before each other transformed 
from human beings to wretched beasts, ■ — 
brave, though, even now — and, as lion and 
lioness, they lived to drag, for many a year, the 
golden chariot of Cybele. 




CASTOR AND POLLUX. 

Castor and Pollux were two twin babv 
boys who sprang from a great white swan's 



per or 



They were very beautiful, with their 
golden hair and their sunny blue eyes, and as 
they grew through youth to manhood became 



59 



60 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

real heroes. Castor was famous the world 
over for his marvellous power of taming and 
training horses ; and without Pollux no boxing 
match in all Greece was of any note. 

It was wonderful how these twins loved 
each other. Never w T ere they separated ; 
never had one an interest into which the other 
did not enter, heart and soul. 

Many w T ere the battles in which the two 
brothers, mounted on their pure white horses, 
fought and conquered ; indeed, the time came, 
so successful were they, that in any battle 
w T here Castor and Pollux appeared, it was the 
signal for the foe to retreat ; for, said they, " Of 
no use is it to fight against the warriors of the 
white horse." 

But at last there came a battle in which 
one of the youths w T as slain. For twelve 
moons the brother wandered up and down the 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. (31 

earth, sad at heart, offering sacrifices to 
Jupiter, and praying ever that the great god 
would send him, too, to the land of shades, or 
restore his lost brother to him. 

But Jupiter could not do that, even for 
these brothers whom he loved so well. But 
there was one thing he could do ; he could 
make them both immortal and place them, as 
he had the Bears, in the sky. 

Gladly the twins accepted this honor ; 
and there to-day they are to be seen — a little 
above the brave Orion — shining and spark- 
ling, as happy and contented together as ever 
two loving brothers could be, either on the 
earth below, or on the great Mount where the 
gods and goddesses dwell. 



; .% >> * 



v P "1 




AKIST.iLb BEES. 



THE BEE KEEPER. 

It was the shepherd Aristaeus who, 
watching the bees at work gathering sweet 
honey from the flowers of field and hillside, 
said first, " Why may these bees not be taught 
to gather this honey in a hive, whereby, when 
great quantities shall be collected, man may 
eat of it ; for it is sweet and wholesome, and 
suitable as food for man as well as bee ? " 

And so it came about that, after many 
weeks of patient study of their ways, Aristaeus 
was able to draw great swarms of bees 
together in the hives he built; and from that 
time on, bee keeping became a favorite 
industry among the people of the valley. 

None of them, however, had such 



CA MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

marvellous hives, such countless swarms, and 
such a wealth of yellow, shining honey as 
had the shepherd Aristaeus. 

Proud was Aristaeus of his willing bees, 
and often, on great festal days, it was he who 
laid upon the altar of the gods great sheets of 
the sweet honey. 

But one morning, as he rose from his soft 
bed of moss, he missed the hum and song of 
his bees. He listened. Not a sound was to 
be heard. He crept softly toward his hives. 
Not a bee was there, nor w T as one to be found 
in the valley round about. 

All day long Aristaeus wandered up and 
down the hillsides, searching in every tree 
and in every bush for the lost bees ; but no 
trace of them could be found. And when the 
evening drew near, Aristaeus went down to the 
waterside and cried to his mother, the sea 







SEA NYMPH. (E. BURNE-JONBS. ) 



66 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

nymph Cyrene, and said, " O mother Cyrene, 
hear the cry of thy sorrowing son. Lo ! my 
bees are fled from me ; nowhere on hillside or 
in valley are they to be found ; nor is there 
honey in the hives to lay upon the altars." 

Cyrene heard the voice of her child, and 
sent her sea nymphs to bring him to her. 
The waters, at her command, rose in a great 
billow ; and then, falling back, made a path 
down into the depths of the ocean, that 
Aristaeus might enter. 

Down, down, through the dark waters, 
the youth passed, and came at last into the 
sparkling cave where his mother dw^elt. 

11 0, my son," she said, " indeed I can 
give thee no aid ; but far away from here 
dwelleth the old prophet, Proteus. To him are 
revealed all the wonders of the world. From 
him, if you are brave and daring, you may 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 67 

learn what power has stolen your bees and 
why; and, if it be the will of the gods, how 
you may bring them back to you. 

" But you must know this Proteus is a 
most terrible creature; none like him abide in 
the light of the world above. 

" Neither will he help you, unless first 
you subdue him by force. Prayers and 
offerings avail nothing with him. I will take 
you to the cave, to which at noonday he will 
betake himself with his great flock of sea-cows, 
that together they may drink in the air, and warm 
themselves in the light and warmth of the sun. 

" While he sleeps, you must bind him 
with strong chains. Awaking, he will hiss 
like serpents ; he will bellow like the angry 
ocean ; and he will change himself into the 
form of a beast with breath of fire ; or to a 
poisonous, scaly dragon, with yellow mane. 



68 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

" But in all this have no fear ; hold fast 
to the chain, and when at last he knows you 
are a brave hero, and that you have no fear of 
him, he will tell you all that is to be known of 
your bees, and will guide you to their 
recovery." 

All this came to be as Cyrene had told 
him ; but had Aristaeus not been as brave as 
Hercules himself, surely the terrible Proteus 
would have driven him back to his hillsides. 
But no fear came into the youth's heart, nor 
did his voice tremble when he cried, " No fear 
have I, O Proteus, of thy terrible forms ; 
neither will I release thee!" 

Then Proteus came back to his own natural 
form, and sat at the mouth of his cave looking 
at his daring captor. " Aristaeus," he said, 
" you came to learn of the fate of your 
bees. 




ORPHEUS AND EtRVDICE. ROBERT BEYSCHLAG.) 



70 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

" Let me tell you, first of all, it is a 
punishment upon you ; for it was in fleeing 
from vou that the sweet Eurydice met her 
death. It was in fleeing from you that she 
stepped upon the serpent whose poison 
destroyed her young life; and it is in just 
revenge and punishment that this loss has 
come to you. 

" There is but one way to appease the 
wrath of the gods, and that is by sacrifices to 
them, and by rendering funeral honors to 
Eurydice and to Orpheus as w T ell ; for it was 
for grief of Eurydice that Orpheus died. 

" Go, therefore, and select four of the 
largest, strongest bulls ; these, first tamed and 
overcome by your own prow r ess, lay upon four 
high altars. 

" These, sacrifice to the gods and leave 
upon the smoking altars in the leafy grove. 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 71 

" After nine days of humble fasting and 
sacrificing, go back to the leafy grove. If all 
these things you have done bravely and 
acceptably to the gods, there, swarming about 
the altars, vou will find vour bees arain ; nor 

» J J o 

will they refuse to return to their hives." 

And when Aristaeus had done all that 
Proteus had bid him do, behold, it was as the 
prophet had said ; the bees were found upon 
the altars, and when the hives were brought, 
they arose in busy swarms and gathered 
together in their homes. 

Then was Aristaeus glad ; and, raising his 
hands towards Olympus, he promised that the 
first wealth of yellow honey should be carried 
by him to the temple of Jupiter, and there be 
laid upon the altars, in testimony of joy and 
gratitude that his bees had been returned, and 
that the anger of the gods had been appeased. 




ARION. (ALBERT MOORE.) 



ARION, THE PRIZE-WINNER. 

Arion was a famous musician; so famous 
indeed that he was sent for from all the 
countries round about to come and play before 
the kings and princes. 

Xo festival at Corinth, where he dwelt 
with his good friend Periander, was complete 
unless Arion was there to make sweet music 
upon his lyre. Indeed, the gods themselves 
might well have envied him his skill, so 
delicately did he sweep the strings of the lyre, 
and so sweet were the sounds that were 
wafted out upon the air by his gentle touch. 
Apollo himself, and Hermes too, loved to 
listen; and whenever he played, the people 
said, "It is Orpheus come back again." 



73 



74 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

Now, there was to be a contest in Sicily 
among the musicians of every kingdom. 
Arion longed to go and try his skill ; " and 
besides," said he, " how happy it would be to 
listen to the music of all these wonderful 
players who will gather before the king of 
Sicily ! " 

" Yes," said his good friend, King Peri- 
ander; "it is as you say. Still, it is a long 
distance. It would take many a day to reach 
the island, and more than all that, think of 
the danger and risk of life. Our ships are 
frail ; the storms on the sea are heavy, and 
never is the sailor sure how soon the waters 
may rise, the winds roar, and his soul be sent 
to the land of pale shades. 

" Pray, stay here with me, and be content 
in my kingdom, where friends are on every 
side and no danger can approach." 



MYTHS OF <)L1) GREECE, ;;, 

Arion sighed, " ( ) good friend, well do I 
know that all you say is true ; still my soul 
longs for the change, and for the sight of 
other lands and other people. I will return ; 
but first give me permission to leave this 
kingdom, — though I have dwelt so long and 
happily here — and let me wander up and 
down the earth as the music-loving heart 
within me urges me to do." 

And Periander saw that Arion must have 
his way; of little use would it be, and of little 
comfort, to hold him when he longed to be 
away upon his wanderings. So, one day he 
called the youth to him and said, " Since it 
must be that you will go to Sicily and join in 
the contest for this prize, though already you 
have fame in many a land, take with vou 
this purse of gold and this robe of purple. I 
should be sorrowful indeed to feel that Arion 



76 MYTHS OF <)LT) GREECE. 

journeyed through the country and across the 
seas without money, or that he appeared 
before the king of Sicily robed less richly than 
the youths who will contend with him for this 
great prize. 

" Neither do I care, good friend, whether 
the prize is won by you or by some barbarian 
across the sea. To me there is no music like 
that of Arion, and whether a prize-winner or 
not, know that your welcome will be joyous 
when again you come to the court of 
Periander. Every day we shall miss our 
Arion ; and every morning we shall look out 
across the seas, and listen for the sound of his 
sweet music, coming nearer and nearer over 
the waters." 

" Good friend," said Arion, " I shall come 
back again, and gladly too ; for what would be 
the joy, even of a great prize won, could not 



MYTHS OF <)LL) GREECE. 77 

my friend and king rejoice with me, and 
could I not bring it and lay it at his feet?" 

And so the youth set forth upon his 
journey. Gaily the waters sparkled, and 
danced, and laughed up at him as the little 
boat sped across the sea ; and safely was he 
landed upon the shores of the kingdom of 
Sicily. It was a beautiful island ; the air was 
soft and sweet, and Arion's heart was filled 
with gladness. 

" Surelv I shall play as never I have 
played before," he said, " for my heart is 
bursting with joy." 

And so Arion went before the king. 
Already many musicians sat about the great 
marble hall, and all awaited the opportunity 
to display their skill. 

It was a wonderful gathering of beauty 
and talent and yalor. Arion's heart beat 



78 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

faster and faster ; hardly could he wait until 
his turn should come to sweep the lyre and 
send its melody out upon the air. 

One there was whose music rose like the 
rush of a mighty torrent ; another played like 
the sweet babbling brook ; another like the 
deep swell of the mighty ocean. 

" Tho' I win no prize," said Arion to 
himself, " it is joy enough to have heard the 
music of this day;" and, closing his eyes from 
very joy, Arion touched the chords of his lyre. 
Softly, sweetly, the music rose ; more and 
more tender, more and more delicate, now 
near, now far, until the people whispered, " It 
must be Hermes himself come to join this 
contest ; " and not a sound was heard in all 
the court save the soft sighing of Arion's 
music. On, on he played, his eyes closed, his 
face shining like the face of a god. 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 79 

"Tis Hermes," said the king; and no 

doubt was there of the issue of the contest 
when the last strains of Arion's music died 
away. 

And so Arion won the prize; and for 
twelve days and twelve nights the kingdom 
was joyous with banquet and feasting in 
honor of the hero. 




\. 



ARION'S RETURN. 

When Arion left the palace of the Sicilian 
king, there was a great gathering of the 
people ; for the chest of gold and the silver 
cup — the prize Arion had won — were to be 
given him, and the king and his pageant were 
to accompany the hero to his ship. 

Very grateful was Arion for the honors 
poured upon him ; and glad was he when he 
thought how proud Periander would be when 
he saw his friend returning a victor in 
the contest. 

80 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 81 

It was at the close of day when the little 
vessel sailed away from the Sicilian shore. 
The waters were smooth, the sky clear, the 
wind gentle, and there seemed no danger 
either from sea or sky. 

But alas, there were other dangers of 
which Arion did not dream ; for hardly was 
the ship well out at sea, and Arion lay 
sleeping, happily dreaming of his friend and 
the joy there would be at his home-coming, 
when the sailors, greedy of the gold they 
knew lay in the chest beside Arion's bed, 
began to plan and scheme together. 

" We must have that gold," said one. 

"But how shall we get it?" asked 
another. 

" We must first slay Arion," said the first. 

"But Periander- ■■- what shall we say to 
him when he asks us where Arion is?" 



82 MYTHS OF <>LD GREECE. 

" We will say he remains still in the 
court of the Sicilian king." 

- Then the seamen went to Arion's bedside, 
and shaking him roughly, said, " Up, Arion, 
up; for your hour of departure to the land 
of pale shade has come. The waters invite 
you ; even now the waves rise to meet you." 

" But why?" asked Arion. 

" We would have your gold," answered 
the sailors ; and even then they had begun to 
break open the heavy chest. 

" Take the gold ; yes, the gold and the 
silver cup if you will," pleaded Arion ; " but 
leave me free ; spare me my life, and allow me 
to go to my friend, Periander." 

" That is it," laughed the sailors ; " it is 
because Periander is your friend that we dare 
not spare your life. Think you that we 
dare allow you to go to him and tell him of 
your lost treasure ? " 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 83 

" But I promise not to tell him," said 
Arion. 

" We cannot risk our lives," laughed the 
sailors. " Prepare at once for the sea ; let 
there be no delay." 

Then Arion, sad at heart, knowing how 
useless were words or entreaties, dressed 
himself in his robe of purple and gold. He 
was indeed fair to look upon ; the purple tunic 
fell from his shoulders as from the shoulders 
of a king. The jewels upon his arms sparkled 
in the pale moonlight. 

Taking his lyre in his hand, he raised his 
eves towards heaven and played one last sad 
song. Even the sailor's hearts were touched. 
The waves stood still, and the fishes gathered 
round the vessel to catch the sounds. Arion's 
voice rose, soft and sad. " Ye heroes of 
Elysium, who have already passed the black 



84 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

waters, soon shall I join your band. Yet ye 
cannot relieve my sorrows. Alas ! I leave my 
friend behind. O thou who didst seek thy 
Eurydice in this land of shade, hear me ! I 
too must come. Ye Nereids, receive Arion 
who comes now to thee." 

So saving, Arion sprang into the sea ; the 
waters closed over him ; the ship moved on ; 
and the sailors sat down to divide their gold. 
" It is ours," they said, " nor have we any fear 
now of Arion." 

But they did not know. 

" Arion," said a voice, as the hero sank 
beneath the waters, " fear not. You shall not 
die ; for I have listened to your song and long 
to bring aid to you in this sad hour." 

Arion looked ; and there beside him, 
sinking, sinking slowly beneath the waters, even 
as he himself was sinking, swam a dolphin. 



MYTHS OF <>L1) GREECE. 

"Get upon my back, brave youth," said 

the dolphin " tell me where you would go, and 
gladly will I bear you to the home from which 
the cruel sailors have cut you off." 




A DOLPHIN. 



" O good friend," said Arion, leaping upon 
the dolphin's back, " how can I repay you?" 

" Speak not of reward," answered the 
dolphin ; " proud am I of such a burden." 
And away through the water he sped. All 
night, all day, all another night he sped ; and 
when again the sun rose, the shores of the 
kingdom of Periander were reached, and Arion 
once more stood upon the friendly sands. 



86 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



" Farewell, O kind and friendly dolphin!" 
he said. "Would that you could come with 
me to the court of the king and there receive 




GALATEA (RAPHAEL.) 



the thanks of Periander. But it cannot be; 
companionship there cannot be for us, and I 
must say farewell. May Galatea, the queen 
of the deep, accord to you her favor, that you, 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 87 

proud of your burden, may draw her chariot 
over the smooth waters." 

Then Arion hastened to the palace of the 
king. " O my friend," he cried, " I have come 
back to you ; nor did I fail to win the prize 
offered by the Sicilian king." 

Then Arion told his story : — he told of 
the days of feasting at the Sicilian court, of 
the plot of the wicked sailors, and of his 
wonderful rescue from death. 

" I will be upon the shore and await the 
coming of the ship that bears these cruel 
sailors. As they land I will greet them as 
becomes a king, and they shall tell their story." 

Soon the ship arrived. 

" O sailors," asked Periander, " have you 
not brought Arion back to the city that awaits 
his coming and to the king that loves him ? " 

" Alas," said the sailors, " it is sad ; but so 



88 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

happv was he in the court of the Sicilian king, 
who showered upon him every honor, that he 
bade us tell our king that it was his wish to 
remain in the island of Sicily another year; 
nor could we persuade him to return with us." 

11 A fair story," said the king sternly- 
11 Come now with me to my palace, and tell me 
of this wonderful island which has so captured 
my friend Arion." 

And the sailors, unsuspecting, followed 
the king. 

" Enter," said he as they reached the 
gateway. The sailors entered. At once, at a 
signal from the king, the sailors were seized 
and put in irons. Arion came and stood 
before them. The wicked men trembled with 
fear. They fell upon their knees and begged 
for mercy. 

" Such mercy as you showed Arion, that 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 8'.) 

do I show you," said the king", and the sailors 
were hurried away from the city, out, out 
across the country, into the borders of a 
barbaric country. 

" Begone, now," said the soldiers of the 
king, who had driven them hither. " Begone, 
and let no light from Perianders kingdom 
shine again upon your wretched faces. Flee 
into the forests ; and may the barbaric foe that 
dwells beside these forests hunt your lives, even 
as they hunt the wild beasts that you shall 
hide among." 




ARETHUSA CHANGED INTO A FOUNTAIN (CH. CRAUK.) 



ALPHEUS AND ARETHUSA. 

" O Artemis ! Artemis ! " cried Alpheus, 
" O beautiful huntress-queen ! but one boon do 
I ask of thee, or of the gods above in Mt. 
Olympus. Neither do I ask of thee great 
wealth or power or fame. Only this I ask : 
that I may wander, free from care, forever up 
and down these beautiful valleys amid the 
tree-clad hills, and dwell forever among the 
flowers and grasses that make the valley ever 
fresh and sweet." 

"But your wife and child at home?" — 
said Artemis. 

" They shall be cared for — that I prom- 
ise," Alpheus answered ; " but for me, let me 

91 







ARTEMIS (CQKKEGGIO.) 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 93 

wander here; there is no other life so free, so 
sweet." 

" It shall be as you wish," said Artemis ; 
and, raising her bow, she caused a vision to 
rise from out the hillside — a vision of a 
maiden pure and beautiful, with hair like 
the golden light, and a robe that shone like 
shimmering mist beneath the sun. 

And the maiden, singing cheerily, jovous 
as a bird, came tripping down the valley to 
where the huntress stood. 

" It is Arethusa," said the queen, and 
Alpheus turned to see. In the beautiful 
maiden's hands were flowers of choicest color, 
and on her head a chaplet of delicate leaves 
and buds. 

As Alpheus looked upon the vision of 
beauty, a strange spell fell upon him ; he 
forgot the valley and the hillsides ; he forgot 



94 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

the huntress queen ; the song of the birds 
grew fainter and fainter ; he saw not the 
nodding flowers at his feet, nor yet the deep 
blue sky above his head. Blind was he to 
all the world, save only the sweet, pure vision 
of Arethusa that stood before him in the 
valley. 

" O thou most beautiful Arethusa ! " he 
cried, raising his arms towards her. 

With a cry, Arethusa turned and fled. 
" Flee not from me, O vision fair ! " he cried ; 
but Arethusa flew like the wind down the 
valley. 

" Hear me ! hear me ! " cried Alpheus, 
following in hot pursuit. " I will not hurt 
thee, nor take thy freedom from thee. Hear 
me, only hear me, for alas, I cannot live 
without thee ! " 

On, on the maiden flew, down the valley, 



MYTHS OF <>LT) GREECE. 05 

across the fields, up the hillsides ; and, at last, 
with one sad cry to the gods for help, she 
sprang from the rocky cliff, whose high walls 
cast its dark shadow across the valley, and 
floated down a glistening, sparkling fall of 
water into the valley below. 

Then Alpheus wept, and threw himself 
upon his face in bitter, piteous grief. " O 
Arethusa! Arethusa!" he cried; but there came 
no answer save the plashing of the fountain. 

Then Alpheus rose, sad at heart, and 
turned to go away ; but lo, a change had 
fallen, too, upon him ; for no longer was he 
a huntsman, forgetting home and duty, but a 
river — a long, winding river, with the sea 
before him, and doomed henceforth to wander 
for all time in the valley he had loved so well. 

For thus had Artemis the huntress-queen 
answered the prayer of Alpheus. 




THETIS BEARING ARMOR OF ACHILLES (FRANCOIS GERARD.) 



THE GOLDEN APPLE. 

On the top of Mt. Pelion there was a 
great cave — so deep that no man had ever 
journeyed into the darkness of the mountain 
to find its inner chambers, where, on great 
occasions, the gods held high carnival. 

Beautiful indeed was this cave within. 
Its walls sparkled with crystals of Iris' colors, 
and the great hall floor shone like glass. 

Together, one evening when the davs were 
short and the Sun-god had earlv driven his 
chariot beyond the cloud-land of the west, the 
gods met in the wondrous cave. It was the 
wedding feast of King Pelcus and the goddess, 
Thetis, who rose each morning from the sea. 

Never was there a bride more beautiful. 



9s MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

Her soft green robe was woven by the Naiads 
in their grottos beneath the sea. Her chaplet 
of pearls was a gift of Neptune, and, as she 
walked, the sandals upon her snowy feet shone 
like the sunlight on the waves. 

Now Peleus had been banished from his 
own country, and for many a weary day had 
wandered, sad and lonely, up and down the 
valley by the sea. 

One morning there came a voice to him 
from among the trees. It was a soft voice, 
and it spoke to him in kindness ; " O Peleus, 
the gods have looked w r ith pity upon your 
weary exile; and to your prayers great Jupiter 
has listened. He sends to you now, to bring 
you joy, the beautiful sea-nymph, Thetis, who 
rises like the gentle morning mist from 
out the waters. Behold, already she is beside 
you ! " 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 99 

Peleus looked ; but nowhere did he see 
the maiden whom Jupiter had sent to be his 
bride. 

Then Peleus' heart grew sad again, and 
he bowed his head in grief. 

" But I am here," said a soft voice again 
by his side. " It is I — Thetis — the sea 
nymph." 

" But I see only the slow-rising mist 
that floats above the waters," said Peleus 
sadly. 

" But I am in the mist," said the voice 
again. " Care you not for the gifts of the 
gods ? Will you not search for me ? " 

" My life would I give for this sweet gift 
of the gods," said Peleus, fervently, " but 
where may I search for thee?" 

" In the mist ! in the mist ! " whispered 
the trees ; and Peleus hastened close to the 



100 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

water's brink. " Thetis, Thetis," he cried, " do 
not hide from me. Thetis ! Thetis ! " 

Then the mist came closer ; it rolled 
across the waters ; it lifted itself from the 
fields, and stood at last a shining pillar of 
white light upon the hill top. 

" Never, never will I permit thee to 
escape from me," said Peleus. Across the 
fields, up the hillside he hurried, calling upon 
the gods to give him strength and speed ; and 
when he reached the hill top, there Thetis 
stood, the beautiful water maiden, in her soft 
robe of trailing green. 

And so it came about that there was great 
rejoicing among the gods, and the great cave 
was ablaze with light ; for in the banquet hall 
a feast was spread, and all the gods and 
goddesses were there to celebrate the wedding 
of the beautiful Thetis and the brave Peleus. 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 101 

The vaulted roof of the cave was studded 
with precious stones ; and the shining floor 
reflected back the thousand flaming torches 
that the sea-nymphs bore. 

Peleus. clad in shining armor, the gift of 
Jupiter, shone with a glory that rivalled the 
Iris-colored walls; and Thetis, never so 
beautiful, stood like a shining moonlight 
cloud, amid the ten thousand happy guests. 

Wonderful were the gifts to Peleus. 
There were the deathless horses which 
Neptune brought, and a handsome chariot 
of finely wrought gold ; for such were the 
gifts suited to the hero who should win 
the heart of the lovely Thetis. 

First at the banquet table sat great 
Jupiter, and beside him the haughty Juno 
and the smiling Venus. The fleet-footed 
Mercury was there ; and Hebe who brought 




HEBE, THE CUP-BEARER (MME. SALLES-WAGNER. 



MYTHS OF <>LI> GREECE. 



103 



the golden cup; the Muses made soft music. 
Iris spread an arch of color above the wide- 
spread table ; the sea-nymphs danced ; and 
Apollo played upon his magic lyre. 




APOLLO AND THE MUSES (GIULIO ROMANO.) 



Never was there feast more joyous, never 
wedding more auspicious. But alas ! one 
goddess there was who stood in the darkness 
outside and muttered evil threats, and plotted 
to bring sorrow and disturbance upon the 
gods who had not bidden her to the feast. 

It was while Apollo sang his softest 
music, and the company sat hushed in happy 



104 MYTHS OF <)LD GREECE. 

silence, that Iris, taking upon herself a form 
invisible, crept into the banquet hall and 
threw into the midst of the gods assembled 
a golden apple. 

Large and golden was the apple, and 
upon it was written the words: 
For the Fairest. 

"Whence came this?" asked Jupiter, when 
Mercury laid it at his feet. 

"We know not," said Mercury; "it fell 
just now as from out the roof of the cave. 
Surely it is a gift for the beautiful " — but 
there Mercury stopped. " For the Fairest ! " 
Surely it was not for Mercury to say which of 
the beautiful goddesses was most fair. 

Even Jupiter looked from one to another, 
speaking not a word. What had at first 
seemed so simple became now a puzzle indeed, 
even to the all-wise Jupiter. 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 105 

"For the Fairest!" and Jupiter looked 
toward Juno. " For the Fairest ! " and he 
looked toward Venus, and Minerva. Would 
not some one claim it, and so relieve him of 
the task of choosing? 

"Why delay?" spoke out Juno, her hand- 
some face flushing angrily. " Is it so difficult 
to know that the apple is intended for me, 
the queen ? " 

"Of what moment is it to be queen," cried 
Minerva, " if one has not with it the grace of 
mind and gentleness of heart that makes one 
queenly? The apple is intended for me; for 
it is I who have the true beauty that perishes 
never." 

" Nonsense, both ! " cried Venus. " With 
me dwells joy. In me all mankind rejoices. 
To be happy, that is best. That is the true 
beauty. The apple should be mine." 



106 MYTHS OV OLD GREECE. 

11 Truly, it is an apple of discord," and 
Jupiter sighed. 

" It is mine ! " said Juno, haughtily. 

11 Mine ! " flashed Venus. 

14 It is mine alone," said Minerva, with a 
dignity that awed the gods and goddesses to 
silence. 

But soon the strife broke forth again. 
Not one, from the highest to the least among 
the nymphs, but arrayed herself upon the 
side of one or another of the beautiful 
goddesses who claimed the apple of discord 
for herself. The music of Apollo was hushed; 
the Muses fled in grief, and the sea-nymphs, 
frightened, crept back to their peaceful grottos 
beneath the sea; and in place of the joy that 
had been, now all was bitter wrangling. 

Already the chariot of the Sun-god had 
appeared in the eastern sky, when Jupiter, 




JUNO (NATIONAL MUSEUM, NAPLES.) 




PARIS (VATICAN, ROME.) 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 109 

rising, said : " Let now all discord cease. It is 
not for one of us to say which goddess is most 
beautiful. Let us leave the decision to some 
mortal who dwells upon the earth below. 
Even now, I see far across the sea, a youth 
who tends his sheep upon the hillside. He 
rises now from sleep, and stands beneath the 
grateful shade of the sacred tree. Flee, swift- 
footed Hermes, flee to the hillside where the 
youth Paris guards his flocks. Tell him of 
the gift for the fairest, and by his decision 
will we abide." 

Then Mercury, obedient, led the three 
goddesses across the sea and up the hillside 
where Paris watched his flock — an innocent, 
happy youth, not dreaming of the greatness so 
soon to be his. 

44 Hard, indeed, is it to choose," said Paris, 
when the three goddesses stood before him ; 



110 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



" but if choose I must, then would I give the 
apple to thee, O Venus." 

" Wise youth," said Venus ; and as a 




SLEEPING VENUS (TITIAN. J 



reward for your wisdom, you shall have that 
which shall make you the envied of all the 
world; for the most beautiful woman dwelling 
upon the earth shall be your wife ; and with 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. HI 

her you shall dwell, prince and princess, in a 
great and glorious city." 

" I thank you, kind Venus," said Paris; 
" but I have already a wife, Eone, who is to 
me the most beautiful in all the earth." 

Venus made no answer; for she knew 
full well that whatever the gods promise, that 
thing must happen; and the three goddesses 
rose high in the air and sped away towards 
Mt. Olympus ; and Paris, although he did not 
know it yet, was a changed man ; for all the 
future that was to have been was swept away, 
and a new future now beckoned him onward. 

It happened that on the next dav Priam, 
king of Troy, sat musing. " Once," said he to 
himself, " I had a little son whose beauty was 
like that of a god. But the Oracle prophesied 
that one day he would bring destruction upon 



112 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

this kingdom, and that, through him, this 
people would fall into the power of a foreign 
people." 

11 Alas, alas, my child ! what cruel fate set 
this decree upon your luckless life ; and what 
was there left for me to do but, for the safety 
of my people, to send you from the kingdom 
and command that you be slain ! Alas, my 
brave son, beautiful and strong, even as a god 
is beautiful and strong ! " 

And the old king sat for hours, looking 
out across the city, within whose walls peace 
had reigned for many a year. 

" But thou art not forgotten, pale shade of 
Trojan Prince," the old king said, rising, " and 
on the very morrow shall a great feast be 
made, and there shall be music and games — 
all in honor of the Trojan Prince whose life 
was sacrificed for the safety of his people ! " 



MYTHS i»K OLD (iKEECE. 



113 



Then the king called his trusty servants 
to him, and bade them go out into the fields 
and up the hillsides, where they would find 
the strongest, sleekest cattle. " From the 




THE SACRIFICE (FLAXMAN.) 



flock," said he, " bring to me the bull fittest 
for sacrifice ; and to-morrow shall be a festal 
day in honor of the Prince now gone years 
since to the pale land of shades." 

Now, there was one amongst the oldest 
servants who sighed a deep sigh. To him 



114 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

had been entrusted the slaying of the baby 
prince ; and well did he remember the great 
terror that came upon him when he threw the 
child into the fire and it burned not, and when 
he left him upon the cold hillside and he 
suffered not. 

" It was not the will of the gods," the old 
servant now whispered to himself, " that the 
child should die ; and it is a secret with them 
and me that even now he dwells amid his 
flocks upon the hillsides without the city ; and 
a brave youth he is — my young Paris the 
herdsman ! And well worthy is he to be the 
king of Troy when at last old King Priam 
passes from the light of day." 

Now it was from the herd of Paris that 
the bull was chosen for the sacrifice ; and so 
angry was Paris that his herds should be 
disturbed, that he declared that he himself 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 115 

would drive it into the city and that, moreover, 
he would contend for the prizes side by side 
with the youths of the city. 

The morning dawned bright and clear; 
and before the sun had spanned the arch of 
heaven by one half its course, the games w r ere 
at their height. Brave indeed w r ere the 
Trojan youths, and bravest of them all was 
Hector, the son of old King Priam ; but with 
the strong, young shepherd lad none could 
contend. Prize after prize w r as laid at his 
feet, until Hector, angry, took his place before 
the youth and bade him withdraw from the 
games. 

" I will not ! " thundered Paris ; and had 
Hector been less a hero, he would have quailed 
before the ringing voice of the daring youth. 

" Look ! look ! " cried Priam's queen. 
"Mark the two youths! How like they are! 



116 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

The same fair hair; the same clear eyes! 
Priam, Priam, I could believe it is our son, 
our Prince, lost so many years ago to us!" 




CASSANDRA (D. G. KOSSETTI.) 



"O blinded king! O blinded king!" cried 
Cassandra, the prophetess. " See you not that 
this is your own son --the son whoso long 



MYTHS OF <»H) GREECE. 117 

ago you sent forth to die upon the woody hills 
of Ida ? Do you not know that the gods slay 
not those whom they would have live, and that 
it is the same child that stands now before you, 
a victorious hero on his own first festal day ? " 

And so it came about that Paris was 
taken to the palace of the king and given a 
place of honor beside his father at the long 
table of the banquet hall. All the people 
rendered honor unto him, and he was hence- 
forth known in all the kingdoms round about 
as Paris, the long lost son of Priam — Paris, 
the Prince of Troy. 

For many happy months Paris dwelt in 
the palace of the king, rejoicing in his new- 
found home and friends ; and almost had the 
cruel prophesy been forgotten, so happy were 
the king and queen in their two brave and 
handsome sons, Hector and Paris. 



lis MYTHS OF <>LI) GREECE. 

But, alas, the gods forget not their 
decrees ; and one day there came to Troy 
a hero from the shores of Greece. Most 
valiant service had the Grecian Menelaus 
rendered Troy, and such friendship sprang up 
between him and Paris, that, when the Grecian 
returned to his home, he took the youth with 
him ; nor was there any honor that was not 
showered upon him, the fair-haired Prince of 
Trov. 

But now had come the time for the fulfil- 
ment of the prophesy. No sooner had 
Paris reached the kingdom of Menelaus than, 
forgetting honor, gratitude, all, he stole the 
beautiful Helen, the wife of Menelaus, and 
fled with her across the seas — for Helen was 
the most beautiful woman in all the world. 

And so it came about that through Paris, 
Troy fell, and the Trojans of the city lost their 




ABDUCTION OF HELEN (RUDOLPH VON DBUTSCH.) 



120 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



liberty and their glory, as a people. For when 
Menelaus knew the misfortune that had fallen 




HECTOR GOING TO BATTLE (A. MAIGNAN.) 



upon him, he raised a great army and marched 
against the city of Troy, whither Paris had fled 
with Helen, the beautiful queen of the Grecians. 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 121 

For long, long years the army besieged 
the city ; thousands upon thousands of the 
bravest Trojans and the bravest Grecians fell 
in battle; still there seemed no hope of victory 
to either side. 

With both armies the gods, too, fought — 
some with the Trojans, some with the Greeks, 
and bitter was the contest between the foes. 

But at last the Greeks, resorting to 
strategy, built a wonderful wooden horse, so 
large that hundreds of Greeks could easily 
conceal themselves within it, and this they left 
before the gates of Troy, withdrawing the 
armies to a distant shelter, that the Trojans 
might believe that, despairing of success, they 
had set forth for their distant homes, defeated. 

Great was the rejoicing of the Trojans 
when, looking out from the watch towers one 
morning, they found the plain outside the city 



122 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



clear, and no foe in sight as far as eye could 
reach. " But what is this ? " they said, as they 
saw the great wooden horse outside their 
gates. 







" It is an offering to the gods," said one. 
" Let us drag it into the city and place it 
where stood the Palladium, which the Greeks 
stole from us and so ruthlessly destroyed ! " 

And so it was the Trojans fell into the 
trap the Greeks had set for them ; and when 
the wooden image had been placed in the 
great square, and night had settled upon the 
city, the Greeks sprang forth from their hiding 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 123 

place, rushed to the gates, threw them 
open, signalled to the army waiting" outside, 
and before the Trojans knew the fate that had 
fallen upon them, the streets were filled with 
Greeks. With flaming torches they thronged 
the streets and set on fire the homes and 
public buildings ; the temple they razed to the 
ground ; the altars were desecrated ; the city 
walls were thrown down, and the people 
driven captive from the city that had been so 
long their home. 

Such was the end of the Trojan power; 
such was the fate brought upon the people by 
the perfidy of Paris, the fair-haired Prince of 
Troy, of whom it was prophesied at birth, 
" This child shall prove the destruction of the 
Trojan empire." 




STATUE OF PENELOPE (VATICAN, ROME.) 



ULYSSES' RETURN TO GREECE. 

Now, among the brave Greek generals 
who had fought with such skill and patience, 
who had been among the first to urge his 
countrymen on to avenge the wrong to 
Menelaus, who never for a day wavered in 
his purpose to rescue the beautiful Helen and 
so save the reputation of his country for 
courage and success in war, was Ulysses, the 
friend of Menelaus. 

Never a battle but Ulysses was in the 
foremost ranks and in the thickest of the 
fight ; never a success that Ulysses was not 
among the bravest of the victors ; and never 
a defeat that Ulysses was not still the ready 
support of the defeated, the daring, defiant, 



121 



126 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

never-failing man of courage, spurring his 
companions on to fresh endeavor, and to 
fiercer battle. For such was the hero of these 
early times when Greece and Troy fought 
together. 

Now this brave Ulysses had been watched 
over and protected during this long siege by 
more than one of the powerful gods that dwelt 
on Mt. Olympus ; still, there were other gods 
who, hating the Greek leaders and being 
determined that Troy should conquer in the 
great warfare, fought against Ulysses and 
pursued him with disaster, even on his 
homeward voyage. 

11 Now that the war is finished and Troy 
is overthrown," said Ulysses, " my heart turns 
towards home. There did I leave ray faithful 
Penelope and my brave son, a child only, but 
now a tall youth, noble and brave I know, 




MINERVA (CAPITOL, ROME), 



128 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

trained as he has been by so noble a mother." 

Then certain ones among the gods 
counciled together. "He shall endure great 
suffering ; he shall be wrecked ; enemies shall 
rise up on every side, and for long, long years 
shall he be tossed upon the wave." 

" But at last, in spite of all your threats," 
rang out the clear voice of Minerva, " he shall 
reach his home, and shall find awaiting him 
the noble Penelope and the brave youth." 

And so it was, Ulysses set forth upon the 
sea. The sails were set, the oarsmen were at 
their places, and with joyous hearts, Ulysses 
turned the vessels towards his home, happy 
and hopeful, not knowing the fate that lay 
before him. 

But hardly had the sun journeyed once 
across the sky, before Neptune, the sea-god, 
sent upon the little ships a terrible storm. 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 129 

The winds blew, the waxes rose high, and the 
little fleet, driven hither and thither, drifted upon 
the shores of the island of the Lotus eaters. 

Three men Ulysses sent inland to learn 
what manner of people these Lotus eaters 
might be. Day after day passed by, but the 
three men never returned. At last, no longer 
willing to endure the waiting, Ulysses and 
his men made their way into the island to 
learn what terrible fate might have overtaken 
their companions. 

Sadly and with hearts heavy, they made 
their way in from the rocky shore; but upon 
the sunny, flowery banks of the sparkling river 
there the three men lay, eating of the fruit of 
the lotus tree. 

" O come and eat," said they; " then let 
us remain forever in this land of ease and 
plenty." 



130 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

" But your homes ! " said Ulysses, sur- 
prised at the change that had come to his 
three most valiant men. 

" Do not trouble us," they answered 
dreamily ; " we are content. Eat of the lotus 
fruit ; then you, too, shall be content." 

But Ulysses saw that a spell was upon 
them, and, summoning his crew, he bade them 
seize the three spell-bound men and drag 
them to their vessel. And not until they were 
placed upon the benches and the oars again 
were within their grasp, did the spell lift itself 
from them, and give them power again to 
strive bravely in the struggle to reach their 
homes. 

" Let us row away from this spell-bound 
island," cried Ulysses, " with speed. Surely 
greater danger is here upon us than that of 
war. 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 131 

On, on the vessel sped. " Now we shall 
have fair sailing," said the crew ; but old 
Neptune, hearing these vain words, lashed the 
waters round about him and roared with glee ; 
for slowly, surely, as the night wore on, the 
vessel was drifting, drifting close upon the 
rocky shores of the island where Polyphemus 
tended his flocks, and watched with his one 
great eye for ships that came too near his 
shores. 




* ) JHtH 




m&SS&^g^^ '^T~ 


V[-i^F 



THE BLINDING OF POLYPHEMUS (FROM A GREEK VASE DRAWING.; 



POLYPHEMUS. 

When the sun rose beyond the waters far 
away to the east, Ulysses saw before him a 
great black cave. Great trees stood before it, 
and over it clustered heavy vines. 

Near by, large flocks of sheep lay sleeping 
on the hillsides. 

" These are goodly sheep," said the crew. 
" Let us rest here and feast ourselves." 

132 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. ,33 

But as they looked, behold, the whole 
dark forest raised itself black against the sky; 
— or at least, so it seemed — and, terrified, the 
crew stood trembling upon the shore, daring 
neither to advance nor to turn and flee to the 
ship. 

Then a great roar filled the air; the forest 
shook itself, and there above them, Marine 
down upon them with his one great horrid 
eye, stood the giant Polyphemus. 

But he saw them not, and when he had 
turned away, Ulysses and his adventure-loving 
crew made their way to the great cave where 
Polyphemus dwelt, and where at night he 
stabled his numerous flocks. 

Into the cave the men made their way, 
and finding food and wine, they seated 
themselves for a generous feast. 

Suddenly darkness fell upon the cave- 



134 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

for at the entrance stood the giant Poly- 
phemus, and before him into the cave came 
the vast flocks. 

" Let us hide," said Ulysses ; and glad 
indeed were all the crew to conceal themselves 
in niches in the rock. 

For a long time, Polyphemus perceived 
not the terror-stricken men ; but as the fire 
flashed higher, lighting up the gloomy walls 
of the dismal cave, the hiding places were 
revealed. 

" You sea-robbers ! You thieves ! " thun- 
dered Polyphemus, " how dare you steal into 
my home unasked ! " 

" We are no sea-robbers, neither are we 
thieves," answered Ulysses boldly. " We are 
Greeks, returning from the Trojan war, and 
driven by the unfriendly tide upon your shores." 

But little cared Polyphemus for tales of 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



135 



heroes or of disaster either upon land or sea ; 
and, seizing two of the companions of Ulysses, 
he swallowed them, while his roar of satisfied 
greed echoed through the cave and shook it to 
its foundations. 

Then the giant rolled a great stone up at 
the door of the cave that neither sheep nor 
men might escape, and stretched himself out 
upon the floor to sleep ; nor did he wake until 
the sun was high in the heavens. 

Then seizing two more of the unfortunate 
men, he swallowed them, drove forth his 
flocks, rolled up the great stone before the door, 
and went forth to tend his sheep in the pasture. 

Sad at heart were Ulysses and his men 
as the long day wore on. At nightfall the 
giant returned, ate two more men, and again 
lav down to sleep. 

But Ulysses had already planned revenge 



136 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



upon the cruel giant; and when again his 
heavy slumber shook the cave, the men crept 
forth from their hiding-places, thrust a sharp 
iron into the one eye the Cyclop had, and even 







while he roared with pain, hid themselves 
among the sheep. 

Wild with anger the huge creature roared 
and raged, and stretched his great arms in all 
directions to seize upon his foe; but they were 



MYTHS OF <)L1) GREECE. 137 

safe among- the sheep ; and when Polyphemus 
burst open the great cave door and roared out 
across the sea, the men, clinging to the long 
wool, and hidden from the touch of Poly- 
phemus, were dragged forth by the frightened 
sheep as they rushed forth from the cave. 

Never was there so narrow an escape 
from cruel death, not even in the fiercest of 
the Trojan battles ; and, weak with fright, 
daring not even yet to speak, the men 
staggered down to the shore, swam out to 
their ship, seized the oars in their trembling 
hands and made their way out into the sea, 
forgetting not to offer sacrifices and prayers of 
gratitude to the gods that they had been 
spared so terrible a death. 

For days the little ship sailed bravely on; 
the sky was fair, the winds favorable, and old 
Neptune seemed to have forgotten his cruel 
designs upon Ulysses and his weary crew. 




.EOLUS (CATHEDRAL, SIENA.; 



^X)LUS, THE WIND-KEEPER. 

But by and by there rose before them 
from out the sea, a great island of rock ; and 
around its crest was a great wall of shining 
brass. 

"Who dwells within these walls?" shouted 
Ulysses, coming nearer. 

And a voice answered, " I, yEolus, the 
Keeper of the Winds, dwell here ; and with 
me are my six strong sons and my six strong 
daughters. Bring thy vessel close upon my 
shores, and come and dwell with me ; for 
welcome are all strangers in my island." 

Very glad were Ulysses and his men, and 
straightway the vessel was driven ashore. 

For four long weeks the men rested in 

139 



Mil MYTHS OF <>LD GREECE. 

the island, feasted by King Mollis. But at 

the end of the fourth week, Ulysses bade 
farewell to their most kind host, and again the 
little crew set forth upon the sea. 

Many were the gifts and rare, with which 
King ^Eolus loaded the little vessel ; but 
strangest of them all was the gift of a bag 
of winds. For ^Eolus was, as he had said, 
the keeper of the winds, and without his 
permission no wind could blow. 

Knowing, then, that his guests, whom 
he had come to love full well, longed for 
clear weather and fair sailing, zEolus had 
fastened into a great bag, tied with strong 
silver cords, all but the soft west wind ; and it 
was this bag he had given into the keeping of 
Ulysses, saying, " Guard well this bag ; for in 
it have I imprisoned the adverse winds, so 
that only the west wind shall be abroad ; for 



MYTHS OF <>LI) GREECE. 141 

it is that wind that shall guide you gently 
towards your home, the sunny land of Ithaca." 

Gladly did Ulysses prize this greatest of 
all gifts ; and so true was the promise of 
^Eolus, that, at the end of nine days only, the 
shores of their loved land lay full in sight. 

" Now," sighed Ulysses, " our disasters 
are at an end. The rising of to-morrow's sun 
shall see our little vessel lying in the harbor 
from whence, so many long, long years ago, 
we sailed forth to carry war against the 
Trojans." 

But alas for Ulysses' hopes ! Not vet 
were the wishes of the god's fulfilled ; not 
yet was the time come when the wanderer 
should rest within the peace and quiet of his 
home. And so it came about that jealousy 
and suspicion rose in the hearts of the 
companions of Ulysses. 



U2 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

"Who is Ulysses," they said, "that he 
should hold a secret in which we have no part? 
How are we to know what may lie concealed 
in the great bag with the silver string? Let 
us open it, since it is not his will to tell us, 
and learn for ourselves. Surely we have 
shared his perils, and whatever treasure he has 
concealed, that, too, we have a right to share." 

And so, while Ulysses slept, the men 
crept towards the bag and unfastened the 
silver cord ; when, lo ! there rushed forth like 
hissing serpents the imprisoned winds. 

They shrieked and howled among the 
sails ; they lashed the water till it was white 
with foam ; the great black clouds rose on 
every side, and there was upon the sea a storm 
so terrible that even the gods on Mt. Olympus 
trembled, and the little ships were scattered 
far and wide upon the stormy waters. 




THE WINDS (MICHAEL ANGELO.) 



144 .MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

Days passed ; the storm abated, and 
Ulysses and his men, now penitent and heavy- 
hearted, found themselves upon a strange 
coast, where the cliffs rose black and tall, and 
the waters seethed around the treacherous 
rocks. 

" Let us rest, even upon this inhospitable 
shore," said the men ; but scarcely were the 
anchors dropped and the men on shore, when 
there rushed upon them a great giant, who 
seizing two of the men, swallowed them, and 
roared with glee to think how grand a feast he 
now should have. 

But the men, seeing the dreadful fate of 
the two, fled from the shore and scrambled up 
the sides of the vessels. 

After them in swift pursuit came the 
giants, hundreds upon hundreds of them ; and 
tearing up great rocks and trees, they hurled 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



Uo 



them at the vessels, crushing- them like shells, 
and scattering the crew upon the sea. 

Then, wading forth into the sea. they 
gathered up the struggling men and ate them 
in fierce delight. Only one vessel was saved 
from all the fleet; and with the few men who 
had escaped, Ulysses set forth again, sad at 
heart, upon the cruel sea. 








CIRCE AND THE FRIENDS OF ULYSSES (BRITON RIVIERE J 



CIRCE'S PALACE. 

For two days now the one lone vessel 
drifted ; for so stricken with grief were the 
crew, and so sick with terror were they, that 
none had courage even to guide the vessel. 

At last, another island rose out of the 
sea ; and as they drew near they saw, rising 
beyond the trees, the friendly smoke, as from 
an altar or from the hearth of some home- 
loving people. 

Drawing near, Ulysses, unable to trust 
his companions, disheartened as they were, 
himself set forth to find food for them in the 
unknown island. 

It was a beautiful island, and game was 
plenty. Then when all had feasted and had 

H7 



148 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

refreshed themselves, a little band of men set 
forth to explore, leaving behind Ulysses and 
fully half the crew. 

The farther inland they went, the more 
beautiful did they find the island ; and at last, 
rising out of the dense forest, the wonderful 
palace of Circe appeared before them. 

In the distance they heard her wonderful 
voice, singing softly the strange, sweet song 
no mortal could imitate ; the song which no 
mortal could resist. 

Forward the men pressed, each eager first 
to reach the palace. The great gates flew 
open upon their golden hinges, and the 
beautiful Circe came forth to welcome them. 

Gracious and most kind did she appear 
in the eyes of her guests. One only of them 
all was wise and wary. He, Eurylochus, 
remembering the dire disasters that had 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 149 

already befallen his comrades in this unfor- 
tunate voyage, held back ; and when the 
guests were led to the banquet hall, unnoticed 
he hid himself among the pillars of the 
portico. 

Then he watched his comrades, and saw 
them, eager, take their places at the bountifully 
spread table. 

" Eat," said Circe ; and they fell upon the 
food like swine, so hungry were they from 
long fastings. 

" Drink," said Circe ; and the wine poured 
freely. 

Then over Circe's face there came an evil 
glitter; and raising her sceptre she said, 
" Now, swine that you are, go ! Go, every 
man of you, to the sty wherein such as you 
should dwell. Live there in the form of those 
gross animals like which you are!" 



150 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

The heart of Eurylochus stood still with 
horror ; for scarcely had the words been said, 
when every man, grovelling on the floor of the 
great hall, grunted and squealed, and snouted 
like the very brutes into which they w T ere 
transformed ; and away they sped to the great 
sty outside to dwell among others of their kind. 

Then Eurylochus, speeding on the wings 
of the w r ind, fled back to the ship, and poured 
into the ears of Ulysses the tale of woe. 

" Our comrades must be rescued," was the 
answer Ulysses made; and at once he set 
forth to the palace. 

" Whither goest thou ? " said a voice 
close by. 

"It is you, O Hermes," said Ulysses; 
and well do you know whither I go and why." 

" But you are powerless before the power 
of Circe," Hermes replied. 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 151 

"That may be; still would I try to rescue 
my companions, even at the risk of my own 
life." 

44 The ever brave Ulysses ! "said Hermes ; 
" and I will help. Take this flower ; eat it ; 
then go fearless into the presence of the cruel 
Circe ; for the flower has magic power." 

Then Ulyssses did as he was bid, and 
entered most bravely the golden palace. 

Like his comrades before him Ulysses 
ate and drank as Circe commanded him ; but 
when, raising her glittering sceptre, she opened 
her lips to speak the fateful words, Ulysses 
raised his glittering sword, and looked defiance 
into the eyes of the witch goddess. Nor did 
any change come over him when her words 
were finished. 

Then Circe, knowing that the man before 
her must be some hero, protected by the gods 



152 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

by a spell more potent than her own, dropped 
her sceptre and fell, a suppliant, at the feet of 
her noble guest. 

Then did Ulysses demand of her the 
freedom of his comrades, and the safe return 
of every one to the vessel awaiting them 
outside the rocky shores. 

All this Circe fulfilled, and in due time 
again the little ship was making its way to 
Ithaca, the home so far away, and towards 
which the crew looked with sad hearts and 
weary eyes. 



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ULVSSBS AND THE SIRKXS FROM A GREEK VASE.. 

THE SIRENS. 

Merrily over the waves the vessel glided 

for many a day ; for Circe had promised a 
prosperous wind, and already hope had begun 
to rise in the hearts of the crew, and now and 
then the oars lay idle. 

But one evening, when all was still, the 
quick ear of Ulysses caught the sound of 
distant music. 

153 




STATUE OF SIREN (MUSEUM, ATHENS..) 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 155 

" Hark ! " said Ulysses ; and every oar 
was hushed. Softer, sweeter, came the music, 
nearer and yet nearer. 

" We are nearin^ the flowerv meadows ot 
the Sirens," said Ulysses. 

" This is charmed music, which no man 
can resist, let him try as he will. 

We then must shut it out from our ears; 
for it must not be that we shall fall entranced 
by the Siren music, when our journey is 
already so near its end." 

And speaking thus, Ulysses warmed and 
moulded a great mass of wax, and calling 
each man to him, stuffed his ears, that no 
sound might reach him as he passed the 
charmed meadows. 

" As for myself," said Ulysses, " I would 
know what the music is like. So bind me, 
good comrades, to the mast. Bind me 



156 MYTHS OF old GREECE. 

strongly that there may be no chance of 
escape for me, though I struggle and beg you 
to release me as the charm enthralls me." 

So Ulysses was bound, and the men, 
with ears sealed, took their places at the oars. 

Nearer and nearer came the music. 
''More wisdom for thee, wise Ulysses! 
Come, come, O come, Ulysses!" sang the 
Sirens; and Ulysses, charmed, strained and 
pulled at the ropes, and begged the men to loose 
him and to turn the vessel towards the shore. 

But the men only bound him the closer, 
and plied the oars with greater force and 
speed ; till at last quiet again came into the 
soul of Ulysses, and the oarsmen, seeing that 
the danger was past, unsealed their ears, and 
unbound their leader from the mast. So did 
they pass one danger without harm and with- 
out delay. 




SCVI.I.A FI.AXMAN.) 



SCYLLA AND CHARYBDIS. 

But another danger lay in wait tor the 
little crew; for it was decreed that none but 
Ulysses himself should ever reach again the 
shores of Ithaca. 

Suddenly there rose a terrible sound of 
thundef and rumble and roar. The vessel 
rocked and rolled, and the foam and clouds of 
spray blinded the eyes of the oarsmen, so that 
they knew not which way to guide the ship. 



;.:.: 



158 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

The hearts of the oarsmen were cold with 
fear; and even Ulysses had little courage to 
urge the men onward into the waters that lay 
between Scylla and Charybdis. 

But the men, desperate, plied the oars; 
and Ulysses, standing high upon the prow, 
sword in hand, watched with strained and 
eager eye, that he might catch the first 
glimpse of Scylla's terrible heads, and strike 
them ere she caught the shining of the blade 
of steel. 

But Scylla pushed not forth her heads ; 
and Ulysses, seeing the whirlpool into which 
the ship was drifting, cried "To the other side! 
To the other side! Closer to the higher rock!" 

Then the vessel turned, the whirlpool was 
passed, and the vessel for one second lay 
beneath the terrible cave in which the 
monster Scylla dwelt. 



MYTHS OF OLD GKEECE. i^ 

"Now, quick, quick! Row with all your 
might ! " Ulysses cried ; but, alas, no oarsmen 
could row with a speed that could escape the 
dreadful Scylla; and before even his sword 
could be raised, Ulysses saw six of his 
comrades seized by the six terrible arms, lifted 
from their benches, and drawn into the black 
cavern above. 

"On! on!" Ulysses shouted; and straining 
every nerve, the oarsmen pushed the vessel 
through the strait, and soon heard as from 
afar the roar and rush of the waters, mingled 
with the bellowing of Charybdis and the 
screams of Scylla, angry both, that even 
one of the crew should have escaped their 
power. 

Cold, and hungry, and weary, the crew 
now demanded that they be allowed to land 
upon the sunny island that lay now before 



160 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



them, and on the shores of which fat cattle 
grazed. 

Ulysses groaned aloud ; for well did he 
know the danger that lay in wait for them 
upon this sunny island. 




LAMFETIA COMPLAINS TO APOLLO. 



But the men were desperate and heeded 
not his warning. In the night, while Ulysses 
slept, they left the vessel, reached the island, 
slew the cattle, and sat dow r n to merry feasting. 

Now these were sacred cattle, loved and 



MYTHS OF <)LI) GREECE. ],;i 

tended by the goddess-shepherd, Lampetia; 

and when in the morning she saw the skin 
and bones of her slain cattle lying upon the 
shore, and knew they had been slain by the 
crew of Ulysses, she called aloud to Jupiter 
and said, "See, O Jupiter, what these wicked 
ones have done. Nor will I rest, nor shall 
there be fruits or grains ; the sun shall not 
shine, and there shall be desolation in all the 
earth, unless thy vengeance fall full speedilv 
upon these Greeks." 

Then up rose great Jupiter, and said, 
"This complaint, O Lampetia, is most just, 
and for their impious act these Greeks shall 
suffer. No more shall they look upon the 
light of day. I will, when night hangs dark 
upon the sea, send down my bright, swift 
thunderbolts; they shall cleave their boat in 
twain, and the wicked ones shall sink into the 
depths of the sea." 



162 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

And so it was that in the dense darkness 
suddenly a terrible storm arose ; the heavens 
grew red, and a great bolt, straight from the 
blackness overhead smote the vessel, tearing 
it from stem to stern, and carrying aw T ay both 
masts and men, as straws upon the restless 
waves. 

The groans of the drowning men filled 
the air ; but in the blackness no help could 
come from one to the other; only in the flashes 
of the lurid lightning could they see each 
other's wild faces, now and then struggling 
above the cold black w T aters. 

Seizing a floating mast, Ulysses clung 
to it through the long black night. To this, 
when the morning came, he bound the broken 
helm, making thus for himself a raft; and on 
this raft, though so frail, he floated and drifted 
on the tide. 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 



163 



On, on, for nine long days and nights 
Ulysses floated, and terrible were the suffer- 
ings he endured from hunger, from thirst, 
from cold, and from the terrors of the sea. 







it 



v 



fy^ 




CLYSSES FLOATING ON THE MAST. 



But there came a time, even as had been 
decreed, when the hero landed upon a friendly 
isle, where food and care were given him, and 
after davs of rest, a brave crew of Phaecian 



ie;4 MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 

youths set out with him upon the sea, and 
rowed him safe to the shores of his own loved 
Ithaca. 

A deep sleep lay upon Ulysses, and 
scarcely was he conscious of the voyage. 
Then, when the keel grated upon the shores 
of Ithaca, most carefully the youths lifted him, 
still sleeping, from out the vessel, placed him 
upon the soft hill slope beneath the trees, then 
quietly rowed away. 

For a long time Ulysses slept. Then, 
rising, he thanked the gods that at last his 
trials were at an end and that once more 
his feet might press the soil of his native 
land. 

"Ulysses will come," Penelope had always 
said, even when all had given him up as dead. 
" I know Ulysses will yet come." 

And the bov, Telemachus, now a fine 



MYTHS OF OLD GREECE. 165 

straight youth, had been taught to say, " Some 
day my father will come." 

And now, indeed, the brave hero had 
come ; and great was the rejoicing throughout 
the city. Great festivals were held in honor 
of him, and sacrifices were offered to the gfods 

But after these were over, content and 
happy, Ulysses, returning to his family and 
his acres, spent the remaing years of his life in 
peace, ever grateful to the gods who, through 
great danger, had thus brought him safety 
home at last. 



VOCABULARY. 

Achilles (a-kil'ez). A Greek warrior, son of Pelens and Thetis. 

.Eolus (e'6-lus). The god of the winds. 

Alpheus (a!-fe'us). A river-god, son of Oceanus and Tethys. 

Amazons (am'a-zonz). A race of -women -warriors. 

Anteus (an-te'us). A giant and wrestler, son of Poseidon and Ge. 

Apollo (a-poVo). Son of Zeus and leader of the Muses. 

Arethusa (ar-e-thv'za). A nymph who was changed into a spring. 

Argos (dr'gosj. A city iu Argolis, Greece. 

Arion (a-ri'on). A fabulous horse, gifted with speech. 

Ariadne (ar-i-ad'ne). Daughter of Minos, king of Crete. 

Arista-us (ar-is-i&us). The protector of the shepherds. 

Atalanta (at-a-lan'ta). A maideu in Greek legend. 

Artemis (ar'te-mis). Greek goddess of light, identified with Roman 

Diana. 
Athens (ath'enz). The capital of Greece. 
Atlas (at' las). The supporter of the sky. 
Cassandra (ka-san'dra). A prophetess. 
Castor (kas'tor). Brother of Pollux, son of Zeus and Leda. 
Charybdis (kd-rib'dis). " Hole of Perdition," aby-s. 
Circe (ser'se). An enchantress. 
Corinth (kor'inth). A city of aucient Greece. 
Cybele (sib'e-le). Mother of the Olympian gods. 
Cyclops (si'klops . A race of one-eyed giants. 
Cyrene (shre'ne). A nymph, mother of Aristaeus. 
Daedalus (de'da-lus). Deity of handicrafts and art. 
Delos (de'los). An island in the .Egian sea. 
Diana (di-an'dj. Goddess of the Moon. 
Elysium (eHz'ium . The abode of the souls of the good. 

166 



VOCABULARY. 

Eurydice (u-rid'ise) . Wife of Orpheus. 
Galatea (gal-a-te'd). A sea nvmph. 
Hades {ha'dez). « The world of shades " 
Hebe (he'be). Goddess of youth aud sprin- 
Hector {hek'tor). Champion of the Trojanl 
Hercules her'cu-lez). God of strength and courage 
Hermes (her'mez). Messenger of the gods 

Huh a (hi'dra). A monstrous dragon 

reams (ik'a-rm). Son of Daedalns. 

Iris (Vris). Goddess of the rainbow 

Ithaca (ith'a-ka). One of the Ionian islands. Greece 

Juno O'no). Roman divinity, ideatilied ,vith Greek Hera 

. np.ter C, f - to -). Roman divinity, Identified ,vith Greek Zens 

Lampetia (lam-pu'l-a). ApoUo'a danghter 

Mercury (n^iS-rt). God of trade, science, arts, etc 

Mr^r^kin^Cre:^^^ 1 - 1 "- 

Xemea («e'me-a). A valley in Argolis 
Nereids (ne< re-idz) . Sea nymphs 

Olympus (d-lim'pus). A mountain on the borders of u , • 

Thessaly. "orders of Macedonia and 

Orion {o-rl'on l. A giant and hnnter. 

Orpheus (<^. Son of Apollo, a wonderful musician 

Pans (partis). Second son of Priam, king of Trov 

Peleus (pele-us). A king in Thessaly, fatherof Achilles 

Penelope (pt-nd'd-ne) Wifp „f mi.. , ^mues. 

Peueus J^ri rt^^T- a ' ld mother of *—— ■ 

Periander ( per-i-an' der) . Tyrant of Corinth. 

1 luecia (fe-a'shira). A mythical land 

Pluto (plo'to). Lord of the infernal regions. 

Pollux (poVuks). Twin brother of Castor 

Polyphemus (jtol-i-fe'mus). A one-eyed giant. 

Priam (pri'am). A king of Trov. 



168 VOCABULARY. 

Procrustes (pro-krus'tez . An attic robber. 
Proteus (jpro'te-us). A sea-god. 

Samos (sa'mos). An island in the -Ei^eau sea. 

Scylla (siVa). A sea-monster. 

Sirens (sl'rens). Evil sea-nymphs. 

Styx {sticks). A river which flows in the lower world. 

Telemachus (te-lem'a-kus). Son of Odysseus and Penelope. 

Theseus (the'se-us). The youth who killed the minotaur. 

Thetis fthe'tis). Chief of the Nereids. 

Clysses (u-lis'ez). A kin<^ of Tthaca. 

Venus (re'nns). Goddess of beauty. 



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