Sixth Post - The Iliad

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The Iliad
By Homer


Translated by Samuel Butler

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BOOK I

Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought
countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying
down to Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures,
for so were the counsels of Jove fulfilled from the day on which the
son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles, first fell out with
one another. 

And which of the gods was it that set them on to quarrel? It was the
son of Jove and Leto; for he was angry with the king and sent a pestilence
upon the host to plague the people, because the son of Atreus had
dishonoured Chryses his priest. Now Chryses had come to the ships
of the Achaeans to free his daughter, and had brought with him a great
ransom: moreover he bore in his hand the sceptre of Apollo wreathed
with a suppliant's wreath and he besought the Achaeans, but most of
all the two sons of Atreus, who were their chiefs. 

"Sons of Atreus," he cried, "and all other Achaeans, may the gods
who dwell in Olympus grant you to sack the city of Priam, and to reach
your homes in safety; but free my daughter, and accept a ransom for
her, in reverence to Apollo, son of Jove." 

On this the rest of the Achaeans with one voice were for respecting
the priest and taking the ransom that he offered; but not so Agamemnon,
who spoke fiercely to him and sent him roughly away. "Old man," said
he, "let me not find you tarrying about our ships, nor yet coming
hereafter. Your sceptre of the god and your wreath shall profit you
nothing. I will not free her. She shall grow old in my house at Argos
far from her own home, busying herself with her loom and visiting
my couch; so go, and do not provoke me or it shall be the worse for
you." 

The old man feared him and obeyed. Not a word he spoke, but went by
the shore of the sounding sea and prayed apart to King Apollo whom
lovely Leto had borne. "Hear me," he cried, "O god of the silver bow,
that protectest Chryse and holy Cilla and rulest Tenedos with thy
might, hear me oh thou of Sminthe. If I have ever decked your temple
with garlands, or burned your thigh-bones in fat of bulls or goats,
grant my prayer, and let your arrows avenge these my tears upon the
Danaans." 

Thus did he pray, and Apollo heard his prayer. He came down furious
from the summits of Olympus, with his bow and his quiver upon his
shoulder, and the arrows rattled on his back with the rage that trembled
within him. He sat himself down away from the ships with a face as
dark as night, and his silver bow rang death as he shot his arrow
in the midst of them. First he smote their mules and their hounds,
but presently he aimed his shafts at the people themselves, and all
day long the pyres of the dead were burning. 

For nine whole days he shot his arrows among the people, but upon
the tenth day Achilles called them in assembly- moved thereto by Juno,
who saw the Achaeans in their death-throes and had compassion upon
them. Then, when they were got together, he rose and spoke among them.

"Son of Atreus," said he, "I deem that we should now turn roving home
if we would escape destruction, for we are being cut down by war and
pestilence at once. Let us ask some priest or prophet, or some reader
of dreams (for dreams, too, are of Jove) who can tell us why Phoebus
Apollo is so angry, and say whether it is for some vow that we have
broken, or hecatomb that we have not offered, and whether he will
accept the savour of lambs and goats without blemish, so as to take
away the plague from us." 

With these words he sat down, and Calchas son of Thestor, wisest of
augurs, who knew things past present and to come, rose to speak. He
it was who had guided the Achaeans with their fleet to Ilius, through
the prophesyings with which Phoebus Apollo had inspired him. With
all sincerity and goodwill he addressed them thus:- 

"Achilles, loved of heaven, you bid me tell you about the anger of
King Apollo, I will therefore do so; but consider first and swear
that you will stand by me heartily in word and deed, for I know that
I shall offend one who rules the Argives with might, to whom all the
Achaeans are in subjection. A plain man cannot stand against the anger
of a king, who if he swallow his displeasure now, will yet nurse revenge
till he has wreaked it. Consider, therefore, whether or no you will
protect me." 

And Achilles answered, "Fear not, but speak as it is borne in upon
you from heaven, for by Apollo, Calchas, to whom you pray, and whose
oracles you reveal to us, not a Danaan at our ships shall lay his
hand upon you, while I yet live to look upon the face of the earth-
no, not though you name Agamemnon himself, who is by far the foremost
of the Achaeans." 

Thereon the seer spoke boldly. "The god," he said, "is angry neither
about vow nor hecatomb, but for his priest's sake, whom Agamemnon
has dishonoured, in that he would not free his daughter nor take a
ransom for her; therefore has he sent these evils upon us, and will
yet send others. He will not deliver the Danaans from this pestilence
till Agamemnon has restored the girl without fee or ransom to her
father, and has sent a holy hecatomb to Chryse. Thus we may perhaps
appease him." 

With these words he sat down, and Agamemnon rose in anger. His heart
was black with rage, and his eyes flashed fire as he scowled on Calchas
and said, "Seer of evil, you never yet prophesied smooth things concerning
me, but have ever loved to foretell that which was evil. You have
brought me neither comfort nor performance; and now you come seeing
among Danaans, and saying that Apollo has plagued us because I would
not take a ransom for this girl, the daughter of Chryses. I have set
my heart on keeping her in my own house, for I love her better even
than my own wife Clytemnestra, whose peer she is alike in form and
feature, in understanding and accomplishments. Still I will give her
up if I must, for I would have the people live, not die; but you must
find me a prize instead, or I alone among the Argives shall be without
one. This is not well; for you behold, all of you, that my prize is
to go elsewhither." 

And Achilles answered, "Most noble son of Atreus, covetous beyond
all mankind, how shall the Achaeans find you another prize? We have
no common store from which to take one. Those we took from the cities
have been awarded; we cannot disallow the awards that have been made
already. Give this girl, therefore, to the god, and if ever Jove grants
us to sack the city of Troy we will requite you three and fourfold."

Then Agamemnon said, "Achilles, valiant though you be, you shall not
thus outwit me. You shall not overreach and you shall not persuade
me. Are you to keep your own prize, while I sit tamely under my loss
and give up the girl at your bidding? Let the Achaeans find me a prize
in fair exchange to my liking, or I will come and take your own, or
that of Ajax or of Ulysses; and he to whomsoever I may come shall
rue my coming. But of this we will take thought hereafter; for the
present, let us draw a ship into the sea, and find a crew for her
expressly; let us put a hecatomb on board, and let us send Chryseis
also; further, let some chief man among us be in command, either Ajax,
or Idomeneus, or yourself, son of Peleus, mighty warrior that you
are, that we may offer sacrifice and appease the the anger of the
god." 

Achilles scowled at him and answered, "You are steeped in insolence
and lust of gain. With what heart can any of the Achaeans do your
bidding, either on foray or in open fighting? I came not warring here
for any ill the Trojans had done me. I have no quarrel with them.
They have not raided my cattle nor my horses, nor cut down my harvests
on the rich plains of Phthia; for between me and them there is a great
space, both mountain and sounding sea. We have followed you, Sir Insolence!
for your pleasure, not ours- to gain satisfaction from the Trojans
for your shameless self and for Menelaus. You forget this, and threaten
to rob me of the prize for which I have toiled, and which the sons
of the Achaeans have given me. Never when the Achaeans sack any rich
city of the Trojans do I receive so good a prize as you do, though
it is my hands that do the better part of the fighting. When the sharing
comes, your share is far the largest, and I, forsooth, must go back
to my ships, take what I can get and be thankful, when my labour of
fighting is done. Now, therefore, I shall go back to Phthia; it will
be much better for me to return home with my ships, for I will not
stay here dishonoured to gather gold and substance for you."

And Agamemnon answered, "Fly if you will, I shall make you no prayers
to stay you. I have others here who will do me honour, and above all
Jove, the lord of counsel. There is no king here so hateful to me
as you are, for you are ever quarrelsome and ill affected. What though
you be brave? Was it not heaven that made you so? Go home, then, with
your ships and comrades to lord it over the Myrmidons. I care neither
for you nor for your anger; and thus will I do: since Phoebus Apollo
is taking Chryseis from me, I shall send her with my ship and my followers,
but I shall come to your tent and take your own prize Briseis, that
you may learn how much stronger I am than you are, and that another
may fear to set himself up as equal or comparable with me."

The son of Peleus was furious, and his heart within his shaggy breast
was divided whether to draw his sword, push the others aside, and
kill the son of Atreus, or to restrain himself and check his anger.
While he was thus in two minds, and was drawing his mighty sword from
its scabbard, Minerva came down from heaven (for Juno had sent her
in the love she bore to them both), and seized the son of Peleus by
his yellow hair, visible to him alone, for of the others no man could
see her. Achilles turned in amaze, and by the fire that flashed from
her eyes at once knew that she was Minerva. "Why are you here," said
he, "daughter of aegis-bearing Jove? To see the pride of Agamemnon,
son of Atreus? Let me tell you- and it shall surely be- he shall pay
for this insolence with his life." 

And Minerva said, "I come from heaven, if you will hear me, to bid
you stay your anger. Juno has sent me, who cares for both of you alike.
Cease, then, this brawling, and do not draw your sword; rail at him
if you will, and your railing will not be vain, for I tell you- and
it shall surely be- that you shall hereafter receive gifts three times
as splendid by reason of this present insult. Hold, therefore, and
obey." 

"Goddess," answered Achilles, "however angry a man may be, he must
do as you two command him. This will be best, for the gods ever hear
the prayers of him who has obeyed them." 

He stayed his hand on the silver hilt of his sword, and thrust it
back into the scabbard as Minerva bade him. Then she went back to
Olympus among the other gods, and to the house of aegis-bearing Jove.

But the son of Peleus again began railing at the son of Atreus, for
he was still in a rage. "Wine-bibber," he cried, "with the face of
a dog and the heart of a hind, you never dare to go out with the host
in fight, nor yet with our chosen men in ambuscade. You shun this
as you do death itself. You had rather go round and rob his prizes
from any man who contradicts you. You devour your people, for you
are king over a feeble folk; otherwise, son of Atreus, henceforward
you would insult no man. Therefore I say, and swear it with a great
oath- nay, by this my sceptre which shalt sprout neither leaf nor
shoot, nor bud anew from the day on which it left its parent stem
upon the mountains- for the axe stripped it of leaf and bark, and
now the sons of the Achaeans bear it as judges and guardians of the
decrees of heaven- so surely and solemnly do I swear that hereafter
they shall look fondly for Achilles and shall not find him. In the
day of your distress, when your men fall dying by the murderous hand
of Hector, you shall not know how to help them, and shall rend your
heart with rage for the hour when you offered insult to the bravest
of the Achaeans." 

With this the son of Peleus dashed his gold-bestudded sceptre on the
ground and took his seat, while the son of Atreus was beginning fiercely
from his place upon the other side. Then uprose smooth-tongued Nestor,
the facile speaker of the Pylians, and the words fell from his lips
sweeter than honey. Two generations of men born and bred in Pylos
had passed away under his rule, and he was now reigning over the third.
With all sincerity and goodwill, therefore, he addressed them thus:-

"Of a truth," he said, "a great sorrow has befallen the Achaean land.
Surely Priam with his sons would rejoice, and the Trojans be glad
at heart if they could hear this quarrel between you two, who are
so excellent in fight and counsel. I am older than either of you;
therefore be guided by me. Moreover I have been the familiar friend
of men even greater than you are, and they did not disregard my counsels.
Never again can I behold such men as Pirithous and Dryas shepherd
of his people, or as Caeneus, Exadius, godlike Polyphemus, and Theseus
son of Aegeus, peer of the immortals. These were the mightiest men
ever born upon this earth: mightiest were they, and when they fought
the fiercest tribes of mountain savages they utterly overthrew them.
I came from distant Pylos, and went about among them, for they would
have me come, and I fought as it was in me to do. Not a man now living
could withstand them, but they heard my words, and were persuaded
by them. So be it also with yourselves, for this is the more excellent
way. Therefore, Agamemnon, though you be strong, take not this girl
away, for the sons of the Achaeans have already given her to Achilles;
and you, Achilles, strive not further with the king, for no man who
by the grace of Jove wields a sceptre has like honour with Agamemnon.
You are strong, and have a goddess for your mother; but Agamemnon
is stronger than you, for he has more people under him. Son of Atreus,
check your anger, I implore you; end this quarrel with Achilles, who
in the day of battle is a tower of strength to the Achaeans."

And Agamemnon answered, "Sir, all that you have said is true, but
this fellow must needs become our lord and master: he must be lord
of all, king of all, and captain of all, and this shall hardly be.
Granted that the gods have made him a great warrior, have they also
given him the right to speak with railing?" 

Achilles interrupted him. "I should be a mean coward," he cried, "were
I to give in to you in all things. Order other people about, not me,
for I shall obey no longer. Furthermore I say- and lay my saying to
your heart- I shall fight neither you nor any man about this girl,
for those that take were those also that gave. But of all else that
is at my ship you shall carry away nothing by force. Try, that others
may see; if you do, my spear shall be reddened with your blood."

When they had quarrelled thus angrily, they rose, and broke up the
assembly at the ships of the Achaeans. The son of Peleus went back
to his tents and ships with the son of Menoetius and his company,
while Agamemnon drew a vessel into the water and chose a crew of twenty
oarsmen. He escorted Chryseis on board and sent moreover a hecatomb
for the god. And Ulysses went as captain. 

These, then, went on board and sailed their ways over the sea. But
the son of Atreus bade the people purify themselves; so they purified
themselves and cast their filth into the sea. Then they offered hecatombs
of bulls and goats without blemish on the sea-shore, and the smoke
with the savour of their sacrifice rose curling up towards heaven.

Thus did they busy themselves throughout the host. But Agamemnon did
not forget the threat that he had made Achilles, and called his trusty
messengers and squires Talthybius and Eurybates. "Go," said he, "to
the tent of Achilles, son of Peleus; take Briseis by the hand and
bring her hither; if he will not give her I shall come with others
and take her- which will press him harder." 

He charged them straightly further and dismissed them, whereon they
went their way sorrowfully by the seaside, till they came to the tents
and ships of the Myrmidons. They found Achilles sitting by his tent
and his ships, and ill-pleased he was when he beheld them. They stood
fearfully and reverently before him, and never a word did they speak,
but he knew them and said, "Welcome, heralds, messengers of gods and
men; draw near; my quarrel is not with you but with Agamemnon who
has sent you for the girl Briseis. Therefore, Patroclus, bring her
and give her to them, but let them be witnesses by the blessed gods,
by mortal men, and by the fierceness of Agamemnon's anger, that if
ever again there be need of me to save the people from ruin, they
shall seek and they shall not find. Agamemnon is mad with rage and
knows not how to look before and after that the Achaeans may fight
by their ships in safety." 

Patroclus did as his dear comrade had bidden him. He brought Briseis
from the tent and gave her over to the heralds, who took her with
them to the ships of the Achaeans- and the woman was loth to go. Then
Achilles went all alone by the side of the hoar sea, weeping and looking
out upon the boundless waste of waters. He raised his hands in prayer
to his immortal mother, "Mother," he cried, "you bore me doomed to
live but for a little season; surely Jove, who thunders from Olympus,
might have made that little glorious. It is not so. Agamemnon, son
of Atreus, has done me dishonour, and has robbed me of my prize by
force." 

As he spoke he wept aloud, and his mother heard him where she was
sitting in the depths of the sea hard by the old man her father. Forthwith
she rose as it were a grey mist out of the waves, sat down before
him as he stood weeping, caressed him with her hand, and said, "My
son, why are you weeping? What is it that grieves you? Keep it not
from me, but tell me, that we may know it together." 

Achilles drew a deep sigh and said, "You know it; why tell you what
you know well already? We went to Thebe the strong city of Eetion,
sacked it, and brought hither the spoil. The sons of the Achaeans
shared it duly among themselves, and chose lovely Chryseis as the
meed of Agamemnon; but Chryses, priest of Apollo, came to the ships
of the Achaeans to free his daughter, and brought with him a great
ransom: moreover he bore in his hand the sceptre of Apollo, wreathed
with a suppliant's wreath, and he besought the Achaeans, but most
of all the two sons of Atreus who were their chiefs. 

"On this the rest of the Achaeans with one voice were for respecting
the priest and taking the ransom that he offered; but not so Agamemnon,
who spoke fiercely to him and sent him roughly away. So he went back
in anger, and Apollo, who loved him dearly, heard his prayer. Then
the god sent a deadly dart upon the Argives, and the people died thick
on one another, for the arrows went everywhither among the wide host
of the Achaeans. At last a seer in the fulness of his knowledge declared
to us the oracles of Apollo, and I was myself first to say that we
should appease him. Whereon the son of Atreus rose in anger, and threatened
that which he has since done. The Achaeans are now taking the girl
in a ship to Chryse, and sending gifts of sacrifice to the god; but
the heralds have just taken from my tent the daughter of Briseus,
whom the Achaeans had awarded to myself. 

"Help your brave son, therefore, if you are able. Go to Olympus, and
if you have ever done him service in word or deed, implore the aid
of Jove. Ofttimes in my father's house have I heard you glory in that
you alone of the immortals saved the son of Saturn from ruin, when
the others, with Juno, Neptune, and Pallas Minerva would have put
him in bonds. It was you, goddess, who delivered him by calling to
Olympus the hundred-handed monster whom gods call Briareus, but men
Aegaeon, for he is stronger even than his father; when therefore he
took his seat all-glorious beside the son of Saturn, the other gods
were afraid, and did not bind him. Go, then, to him, remind him of
all this, clasp his knees, and bid him give succour to the Trojans.
Let the Achaeans be hemmed in at the sterns of their ships, and perish
on the sea-shore, that they may reap what joy they may of their king,
and that Agamemnon may rue his blindness in offering insult to the
foremost of the Achaeans." 

Thetis wept and answered, "My son, woe is me that I should have borne
or suckled you. Would indeed that you had lived your span free from
all sorrow at your ships, for it is all too brief; alas, that you
should be at once short of life and long of sorrow above your peers:
woe, therefore, was the hour in which I bore you; nevertheless I will
go to the snowy heights of Olympus, and tell this tale to Jove, if
he will hear our prayer: meanwhile stay where you are with your ships,
nurse your anger against the Achaeans, and hold aloof from fight.
For Jove went yesterday to Oceanus, to a feast among the Ethiopians,
and the other gods went with him. He will return to Olympus twelve
days hence; I will then go to his mansion paved with bronze and will
beseech him; nor do I doubt that I shall be able to persuade him."

On this she left him, still furious at the loss of her that had been
taken from him. Meanwhile Ulysses reached Chryse with the hecatomb.
When they had come inside the harbour they furled the sails and laid
them in the ship's hold; they slackened the forestays, lowered the
mast into its place, and rowed the ship to the place where they would
have her lie; there they cast out their mooring-stones and made fast
the hawsers. They then got out upon the sea-shore and landed the hecatomb
for Apollo; Chryseis also left the ship, and Ulysses led her to the
altar to deliver her into the hands of her father. "Chryses," said
he, "King Agamemnon has sent me to bring you back your child, and
to offer sacrifice to Apollo on behalf of the Danaans, that we may
propitiate the god, who has now brought sorrow upon the Argives."

So saying he gave the girl over to her father, who received her gladly,
and they ranged the holy hecatomb all orderly round the altar of the
god. They washed their hands and took up the barley-meal to sprinkle
over the victims, while Chryses lifted up his hands and prayed aloud
on their behalf. "Hear me," he cried, "O god of the silver bow, that
protectest Chryse and holy Cilla, and rulest Tenedos with thy might.
Even as thou didst hear me aforetime when I prayed, and didst press
hardly upon the Achaeans, so hear me yet again, and stay this fearful
pestilence from the Danaans." 

Thus did he pray, and Apollo heard his prayer. When they had done
praying and sprinkling the barley-meal, they drew back the heads of
the victims and killed and flayed them. They cut out the thigh-bones,
wrapped them round in two layers of fat, set some pieces of raw meat
on the top of them, and then Chryses laid them on the wood fire and
poured wine over them, while the young men stood near him with five-pronged
spits in their hands. When the thigh-bones were burned and they had
tasted the inward meats, they cut the rest up small, put the pieces
upon the spits, roasted them till they were done, and drew them off:
then, when they had finished their work and the feast was ready, they
ate it, and every man had his full share, so that all were satisfied.
As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink, pages filled the
mixing-bowl with wine and water and handed it round, after giving
every man his drink-offering. 

Thus all day long the young men worshipped the god with song, hymning
him and chaunting the joyous paean, and the god took pleasure in their
voices; but when the sun went down, and it came on dark, they laid
themselves down to sleep by the stern cables of the ship, and when
the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared they again set
sail for the host of the Achaeans. Apollo sent them a fair wind, so
they raised their mast and hoisted their white sails aloft. As the
sail bellied with the wind the ship flew through the deep blue water,
and the foam hissed against her bows as she sped onward. When they
reached the wide-stretching host of the Achaeans, they drew the vessel
ashore, high and dry upon the sands, set her strong props beneath
her, and went their ways to their own tents and ships. 

But Achilles abode at his ships and nursed his anger. He went not
to the honourable assembly, and sallied not forth to fight, but gnawed
at his own heart, pining for battle and the war-cry. 

Now after twelve days the immortal gods came back in a body to Olympus,
and Jove led the way. Thetis was not unmindful of the charge her son
had laid upon her, so she rose from under the sea and went through
great heaven with early morning to Olympus, where she found the mighty
son of Saturn sitting all alone upon its topmost ridges. She sat herself
down before him, and with her left hand seized his knees, while with
her right she caught him under the chin, and besought him, saying-

"Father Jove, if I ever did you service in word or deed among the
immortals, hear my prayer, and do honour to my son, whose life is
to be cut short so early. King Agamemnon has dishonoured him by taking
his prize and keeping her. Honour him then yourself, Olympian lord
of counsel, and grant victory to the Trojans, till the Achaeans give
my son his due and load him with riches in requital." 

Jove sat for a while silent, and without a word, but Thetis still
kept firm hold of his knees, and besought him a second time. "Incline
your head," said she, "and promise me surely, or else deny me- for
you have nothing to fear- that I may learn how greatly you disdain
me." 

At this Jove was much troubled and answered, "I shall have trouble
if you set me quarrelling with Juno, for she will provoke me with
her taunting speeches; even now she is always railing at me before
the other gods and accusing me of giving aid to the Trojans. Go back
now, lest she should find out. I will consider the matter, and will
bring it about as wish. See, I incline my head that you believe me.
This is the most solemn that I can give to any god. I never recall
my word, or deceive, or fail to do what I say, when I have nodded
my head." 

As he spoke the son of Saturn bowed his dark brows, and the ambrosial
locks swayed on his immortal head, till vast Olympus reeled.

When the pair had thus laid their plans, they parted- Jove to his
house, while the goddess quitted the splendour of Olympus, and plunged
into the depths of the sea. The gods rose from their seats, before
the coming of their sire. Not one of them dared to remain sitting,
but all stood up as he came among them. There, then, he took his seat.
But Juno, when she saw him, knew that he and the old merman's daughter,
silver-footed Thetis, had been hatching mischief, so she at once began
to upbraid him. "Trickster," she cried, "which of the gods have you
been taking into your counsels now? You are always settling matters
in secret behind my back, and have never yet told me, if you could
help it, one word of your intentions." 

"Juno," replied the sire of gods and men, "you must not expect to
be informed of all my counsels. You are my wife, but you would find
it hard to understand them. When it is proper for you to hear, there
is no one, god or man, who will be told sooner, but when I mean to
keep a matter to myself, you must not pry nor ask questions."

"Dread son of Saturn," answered Juno, "what are you talking about?
I? Pry and ask questions? Never. I let you have your own way in everything.
Still, I have a strong misgiving that the old merman's daughter Thetis
has been talking you over, for she was with you and had hold of your
knees this self-same morning. I believe, therefore, that you have
been promising her to give glory to Achilles, and to kill much people
at the ships of the Achaeans." 

"Wife," said Jove, "I can do nothing but you suspect me and find it
out. You will take nothing by it, for I shall only dislike you the
more, and it will go harder with you. Granted that it is as you say;
I mean to have it so; sit down and hold your tongue as I bid you for
if I once begin to lay my hands about you, though all heaven were
on your side it would profit you nothing." 

On this Juno was frightened, so she curbed her stubborn will and sat
down in silence. But the heavenly beings were disquieted throughout
the house of Jove, till the cunning workman Vulcan began to try and
pacify his mother Juno. "It will be intolerable," said he, "if you
two fall to wrangling and setting heaven in an uproar about a pack
of mortals. If such ill counsels are to prevail, we shall have no
pleasure at our banquet. Let me then advise my mother- and she must
herself know that it will be better- to make friends with my dear
father Jove, lest he again scold her and disturb our feast. If the
Olympian Thunderer wants to hurl us all from our seats, he can do
so, for he is far the strongest, so give him fair words, and he will
then soon be in a good humour with us." 

As he spoke, he took a double cup of nectar, and placed it in his
mother's hand. "Cheer up, my dear mother," said he, "and make the
best of it. I love you dearly, and should be very sorry to see you
get a thrashing; however grieved I might be, I could not help for
there is no standing against Jove. Once before when I was trying to
help you, he caught me by the foot and flung me from the heavenly
threshold. All day long from morn till eve, was I falling, till at
sunset I came to ground in the island of Lemnos, and there I lay,
with very little life left in me, till the Sintians came and tended
me." 

Juno smiled at this, and as she smiled she took the cup from her son's
hands. Then Vulcan drew sweet nectar from the mixing-bowl, and served
it round among the gods, going from left to right; and the blessed
gods laughed out a loud applause as they saw him ing bustling about
the heavenly mansion. 

Thus through the livelong day to the going down of the sun they feasted,
and every one had his full share, so that all were satisfied. Apollo
struck his lyre, and the Muses lifted up their sweet voices, calling
and answering one another. But when the sun's glorious light had faded,
they went home to bed, each in his own abode, which lame Vulcan with
his consummate skill had fashioned for them. So Jove, the Olympian
Lord of Thunder, hied him to the bed in which he always slept; and
when he had got on to it he went to sleep, with Juno of the golden
throne by his side.