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ance is in favor of the theory of her having been seduced rather than forced, notwithstanding the fact that Homer more than once applies to her case the term opunuará (rape). For example, we find in the second book of the Iliad the line

τίσασθαι δ' Ελένης ορμήματά τε στoναχας. In the third book she is called Διός εκγεγαυια (the child of Jupiter), (Il. iiia 199); in the same book (v. 171) she is called dia yuvainov (the flower of women).* Both in the Iliad and Odyssey she is frequently called EvtaTepeia (the high-born, &c.,) (II. vi., 292; Od. xxii., 227). But if we had no other evidence of the intentions of Homer, as to the character of Helen, than the fact that he gives her the third place, as mourner, beside Andromache and Hecuba over the dead body of Hector, it would be sufficient to prove that he regarded her as leading a blameless life. True, indeed, the speech she makes on this occasion shows that she had enemies among the Trojans—at least, that there were many who did not like her; but this is abundantly accounted for by her being looked upon as the cause of the war, whether the willing cause or not. At all events, there is not a passage in the whole Iliad more imbued with true pathos, or more like what a woman of sensibility and tenderness would say in similar circumstances. We quote Sotheby's translation, as nearest to the original :

“Grief fell on all around;
Then Helen thus breathed forth her plaintive sound:-
'Hector, to Helen's soul more lov'd than all,
Whom I in Ilivn's walls dare brother call,
Since Paris here to Troy his consort led,
Who in the grave had found a happier bed.
'Tis now, since here I came, the twentieth year,

o Madame Dacier has well and truly said, that there never was a greater panegyric on female beauty and loveliness than that of Homer, where he represents the assembled counsellors of Troy, while deliberating on the means of putting an end to the war, as exclaiming, when they see Helen approach, VÉJ E615 (no wonder--no matter of censure.-11. III., 136). Though all old men, they were so much struck with her wonderful beauty, that, notwithstanding all the calamities they had suffered on her account, not one could condemn her. Quintilian has a fine observation on the same subject, which we quote for the benefit of the classical student: " Quænam igitur illa forma credenda est ? Non enim hoc dicit Paris qui rapuit; non aliquis juvenis; non unus vulgo ; sed senes et prudentissimi, et Priamo assidentes. Verum et ipse rex decenni bello exhaustus, amissis tot liberis immenente summo discrimine ; cui facem illam ; et quâ tot lacrymarum origo fluxisset, invisam atque abominandam esse opportet; et audit hæc et eam filiam appellans juxta se tocat et excusat etiam, atque sibi esse malorum causum regat.”

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Since left my land, and all I once held dear:
But never from that hour has Helen heard
From thee a harsh reproach or painful word;
But if thy kindred blam'd me, if unkind
The queen e'er glanced at Helen's fickle mind-
(For Priam, still benevolently mild,
Looked on me as a father viers his child)-
Thy gentle speech, thy gentleness of soul,
Would by thine own, their harsher minds control.
Hence, with a heart by torturing misery rent,
Thee and my hapless self I thus lament;
For no kind eye in Troy on Helen rests,

But who beholds me shudders and detests.' Need we say that this is not the language of a corrupt woman, though it does little justice to Homer? In the first couplet of the translation the words that show most sorrow are not rendered. There is no rendering of ulaivovoa (weeping); Homer uses yoov in one line and yóoio in the other ; which are but poorly represented by the phrases“ grief fell,” &c., and “plaintive sound.” Still, sufficient of the Homeric spirit is preserved to render the passage, as a whole, deeply affecting. The large crowd of people (8ņuos aneipov) present on the occasion are represented by Homer as having given expression to their sympathy by a sort of simultaneous sigh or wail. Priam, though overcome with grief and emotion, waits patiently until Helen has concluded, and then addresses the assembled people, calling on them to bring wood for the funeral pyre, and have no fear of the Greeks until the truce was expired. The speech of Andromache is, indeed, more beautiful and touching, as well as of greater length, than that of Helen. But the former had more to mourn for —not only her noble husband, slain, and son in danger of assassination, but also her own fate, certain as she felt of being taken into captivity by the conquerors. Yet, surrounded as she was by her own people, she does not seem to have excited so much sympathy as Helen, since, when the former concluded, only the women (yuvalues) are said to have responded, while in the case of the latter the whole crowd (8ņuos) gave expression to their sorrow.

But harshly as Virgil has treated Helen, all the other poets have treated her still worse, not excepting the great Shakespeare, who does not scruple to degrade her, in his Troilus and Cressida, down to the position of a common courtesan. For the sake of the fame of the author of Hamlet, we have often wished to see this play omitted from his


works, especially as there is reason to believe that other
hands have been engaged upon it; though it seems beyond
doubt that he wrote the greater part of it, and that the re-
mainder received his sanction, if he did not actually adopt it
as his own. Nowhere else can the admirers of Shakespeare
find so much reason to regret that he understood " little
Latin and less Greek" than in Troilus and Cressida, since the
whole piece is little better, so far as poetical justice is con-
cerned, than a caricature of such of the men and women of
Homer as form the dramatis persona. Nothing could be
more evident than that his conception of Helen was not de-
rived from Homer, but from some of his most unsuccessful
imitators—those who had degraded her most. Had he studied
the original, or any decent translation, he would never have
put a speech like the following into the mouth of Diomed:

“She is bitter to her country: hear me, Paris !
For every false drop in her bawdy veins
A Grecian's life hath sunk; for every scruple
Of her contaminated carrion weight

A Trojan hath been slain.''-Act IV., sc. 1.
She is not respected so far as to be called by her

proper name; as, for example, when Paris is made to say, in the third act, “ I would fain have armed to-day, but my Nell would not have so.” To this Helen answers, “ He hangs his lip at something ; you know all, Lord Pandarus."

Nor is it Helen alone that is thus degraded in Troilus and Cressida. The treatment received by Achilles, Agamemnon, Nestor, Ulysses and Ajax, is little, if anything, better. Paris becomes a much more important personage than Ulysses ; Ajax is made a coxcomb and mere pretender to valor ; Patroclus is represented by implication, if not in express terms, as a pander to the vices of Achilles ; nay, the son of Peleus himself makes but a poor figure in Troilus and Cressida. That all this would have been the reverse, could Shakespeare have studied Homer for himself, no one who has read Hamlet, Othello, or Macbeth, will deny. We do not mean that the play of Troilus and Cressida is bad in itself; for it is not. On the contrary, there are passages in it not often surpassed, even in the Iliad. It is not of the structure or style of the play we are speaking, or of its comparative merits as a play, but of its characters. These are degraded, as we have said, though through no fault of Shakespeare's, but because they had passed through inferior hands since first taken from the portrait gallery of the Homeric poems before they reached him.

Virgil is called a woman-hater for his treatment of levuwɛvos (the white-armed) Helen, and for some traits which he has given to the character of Dido, although his portraiture of the latter is undoubtedly his noblest effort. No one, inexperienced in love, could have imparted so much natural passion to the Tyrian queen. Nor is she the only true woman Virgil has drawn, independently of Helen. His Lavinia has, indeed, not much to say, but the impression she makes is decidedly favorable ; and her character has been deemed worthy of imitation by several of our modern poets. To Virgil also we owe Juturna, Amata, and Camilla ; portraitures which show, at least, that if the author of the Æneid has failed to render Helen amiable, or even respectable, it was not for want of genius.

Ulysses is not allowed to develope his own character in the Æneid as he is in the Iliad. In the former he has very little to do with the action of the poem. True, his name is frequently introduced, but rarely, or never, favorably; while Æneas is everywhere styled pius. Ithacus is almost invariably distinguished by some disparaging epithet—almost always introduced as engaged in an imposture of some kind. The epithets most generally applied to him are artifex, pellax, dirus, fandi fictor, &c. None acquainted with Homer need be told how differently the Prince of poets treats Ulysses. True, he occasionally designates him the crafty (Tolljet 15), but in no disparaging sense. Ithacus is crafty, too; but his craft is seldom, if ever, of a reprehensible nature. Perhaps no fairer specimen of it could be given, in the space at our disposal, than that which he exercises on his return to Ithaca, in order to ascertain whether his father Laërtes still loved him. At all events, a more admirable passage of its kind was never written; it is one which may be read and re-read at all periods of life, without losing any of its beauty, freshness, or pathos.

Ulysses discovers his old father digging with his spade alone in the “ well-laid orchard,” in which he himself had spent so many happy days. The posture of the old man, every article he wears, his whole appearance, are described as none but Homer could have done. The whole scene possesses an all-absorbing interest, and shows that Ithacus is anything but “ durus," or "saevus,” but we can only make room for a brief extract, here and there, omitting most of the old man's part of the dialogue :

“When brave Ulysses, tried in sufferings, saw
And recognized his father worn with age,
While a great sorrow on his spirits weigh'd,
He stood beneath a pear-tree's lofty boughs,
And dropp'd a tear. Then, musing, he resolvid
Within his mind and heart if he should kiss
And clasp his father, and in order tell
By what events he reach'd his country's shores,
Or, first with questions prove him. Till while thus
He turn'd it in his thoughts, it better pleas'd
With cutting words to try the old man's heart;
And so considering, brave Ulysses went
Straight to his father. He with head bow'd down
Dug round about the plant. His noble son
Stood near him, and addressd himself in speech :-
Old man, no want of skill is thine to tend
This garden, for thy care appears throughout;
No plant, no fig-tree, vine, nor olive-tree,
Pear-tree, nor bed, escape thy culturing hand
In all the garden. I would something add,
Nor let thy anger rise at this my speech.
Thy carefulness becomes thee not; thy age
Is heavy on thee; thou dost seem in plight
Ill-favor'd, and thy garb uncoinely shows.
Good sooth, from no complaint of idle heed
Thy lord neglects thee thus; nor art thou mean
To look upon, nor servile in thy form
Or stature; rather like a king; like one
Who, having bathed and eaten, should repose
Softly; the custom due for aged men.
But come, I pray thee tell me, and with truth,
Whom servest thou? whose garden dost thou keep?
And tell me too, that I may surely know,
If this, the land which I have reach'd, indeed
Be Ithaca? as he, the first I met,
Has told me; but a man of what he knew
Sparing; nor had he patience to disclose
All that I wished, or listen to the drift
Of what I ask'd concerning one, my guest;
If yet he live, or lie within the grave.
But I will tell it thee; vouchsafe thine ear,
And hear me. In my native land, I once
Received within my house a man, than whom
No stranger more beloved from distant parts
E’er cross'd my threshold; and he named his race
Of Ithaca, Laërtes as his sire.
Him did I entertain and feast with love,
And spared not cost, for I had store within.
I gave him, tov, as fitting, many gifts
In hospitable pledge; seven talents coin'd
Of gold well minted, and a goblet framed
Entire of silver, and enchased with flowers;

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