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one of them exclaimed, "See yonder our despiser!" and threw at him her javelin. The weapon, as soon as it came within the sound of his lyre, fell harmless at his feet: so also the stones that they threw at him. But the women, raising a scream, drowned the voice of the music, and overwhelmed him with their missiles. Like maniacs they tore him limb from limb; then cast his head and lyre into the river Hebrus, down which they floated, murmuring sad music, to which the shores responded. The Muses buried the fragments of his body at Libethra, where the nightingale is said to sing over his grave more sweetly than in any other part of Greece. His lyre was placed by Jupiter among the stars; but the shade of the bard passed a second time to Tartarus, and rejoined Eurydice.
The superior melody of the nightingale's song over the grave of Orpheus is alluded to by Southey in his Thalaba: — v
"Then on his ear what sounds
Other mortals who visited the Stygian realm and returned were Hercules, Theseus, Ulysses, and /Eneas.1
1 See Index.
MYTHS OF NEPTUNE, RULER OF THE WATERS.
§ 108. Neptune was lord both of salt waters and of fresh. The myths that turn on his life as lord of the sea illustrate his defiant invasions of lands belonging to other gods, or his character as earth-shaker and earth-protector. Of his contests with other gods, that with Minerva for Athens has been related. He contested Corinth with Helios, Argos with Juno, ^Egina with Jove, Naxos with Bacchus, and Delphi with Apollo. That he did not always make encroachments in person upon the land that he desired to possess or to punish, but sent some monster instead, will be seen in the myth of Andromeda1 and in the following story of Hesione,2 the daughter of Laomedon of Troy.
Neptune and Apollo had fallen under the displeasure of Jupiter, after the overl throw of the giants. They were compelled, it is said, to resign for a season their respective functions, and to serve Laomedon, then about to build the city of Troy. They aided the king in erecting the walls of the city, but were refused the wages agreed upon. Justly offended, Neptune ravaged the land by floods, and sent against it a sea-monster, to satiate the appetite of which the desperate Laomedon was driven to offer his daughter Hesione. But Hercules appeared upon the scene, killed the monster, and rescued
the maiden. Neptune, however, nursed his wrath; and it was still warm when the Greeks marched against Troy.1
§ 109. Of a like impetuous and ungovernable temper were the sons of Neptune by mortal mothers. From him were sprung the savage Laestrygonians, Orion, the Cyclops Polyphemus, the giant Antaeus, whom Hercules slew, Procrustes, and many another redoubtable being whose fortunes are elsewhere recounted.2
As earth-shaker, the ruler of the deep was known to effect convulsions of nature that made Pluto leap from his throne lest the firmament of the underworld might be falling about his ears. But as god of the streams and fountains, Neptune displayed milder characteristics. When Amymone, sent by her father Danaiis to draw water, was pursued by a satyr, Neptune gave ear to her cry for help, despatched the satyr, made love to the maiden, and boring the earth with his trident called forth the spring that still bears the Danai'd's name. He loved the goddess Ceres also, through whose pastures his rivers strayed; and Arne the shepherdess, daughter of King ^Eolus, by whom he became the forefather of the Boeotians. His chijdren, Pelias and Neleus, by the princess Tyro, whom he wooed in the form of her lover Enipeus, became keepers of horses — animals especially dear to Neptune. Perhaps it was the similarity of horse-taming to wave-taming that attracted the god to these quadrupeds; perhaps it was because they increased in beauty and speed on the pastures watered by his streams. It is said, indeed, that the first and fleetest of horses, Arion, was the offspring of Neptune and Ceres, or of Neptune and a Fury.
§ 110. Pelops and Hippodamia.3—To Pelops, brother of Niobe, Neptune imparted skill in training and driving horses,—and with good effect. For it happened that Pelops fell in love with Hippodamia, daughter of CEnomaiis, king of Elis and son of Mars, — a girl of whom it was reported that none could win her save by worsting the father in a chariot race, and that none might fail in
1 $ 167. 2 See Index.
* Hyginus, Fab. 84, 253; Pindar, Olymp. 1:114.
that race and come off alive. Since an oracle, too, had warned CEnomaiis to beware of the future husband of his daughter, he had provided himself with horses whose speed was like the cyclone. But Pelops, obtaining from Neptune winged steeds, entered the race and won it, — whether by the speed of his horses or by the aid of Hippodamia, who, it is said, bribed her father's charioteer, Myrtilus, to take a bolt out of the chariot of CEnomaiis, is uncertain. At any rate, Pelops married Hippodamia. He was so injudicious, however, as to throw Myrtilus into the sea; and from that treachery sprang the misfortunes of the house of Pelops. For Myrtilus, dying, cursed the murderer and his race.1
1 For the house of Pelops see § 77, and Commentary.
MYTHS OF THE LESSER DIVINITIES OF HEAVEN.
§m. The tales of the Stars and the Winds, lesser powers of the celestial regions, are closely interwoven. That the winds, which sweep heaven, should kiss the stars, is easy to understand. The stories of Aurora, and of Aura, of Phosphor, and of Halcyone form, therefore, a ready sequence.
§ ri2. Cephalus and Procris.1— Aurora, the goddess of the dawn, fell in love with Cephalus, a young huntsman. She stole him away, lavished her love upon him, tried to content him, but in vain. He cared for his young wife Procris more than for the goddess. Finally Aurora dismissed him in displeasure, saying, "Go, ungrateful mortal, keep thy wife; but thou shalt one day be sorry that thou didst ever see her again."
Cephalus returned, and was as happy as before in his wife. She being a favorite of Diana, had received from her, for the chase, a dog and a javelin, which she handed over to her husband. Of the dog it is told that when about to catch the swiftest fox in the country, he was changed with his victim into stone. For