« AnteriorContinuar »
The tenth day Achilles assembled the council, and encourages Chalcas to speak for the surrender of Chryseïs to appease Apollo. Agamemnon and Achilles storm at one another, notwithstanding which, Agamemnon will not release his prisoner, unless he has Briseïs in her stead. After long contestations, (yherein Agamemnon gives a glorious character of Achilles's valour, he determines to restore Chryseïs to her father, and sends two heralds to fetch away Briseïs from Achilles, who abandons himself to sorrow and despair. His mother Thetis comes to comfort him under his affliction, and promises to represent his sorrowful lamentations to Jupiter; but he could not attend to it; for, the evening before, he had appointed to divert himself for two days beyond the seas with the harmless Ethiopians.
It was the twenty-first day after Chriseïs's arrival at the camp, that Thetis went very early to demand an audience of Jupiter. The means he used to satisfy her were, to persuade the Greeks to attack the Trojans; that so they might perceive the consequence of contemning Achilles, and the miseries they suffer, if he does not head them. The next night he orders Agamemnon, in a dream, to attack them; who was deceived with the hopes of obtaining a victory, and also taking the city, without sharing the honour with Achilles.
On the twenty-second in the morning, he assembles the council, and having made a feint of raising the siege and retiring, he declares to them his dream; and, together with Nestor and Ulysses, resolves on an engagement.
This was the twenty-third day, which is full of incidents, and which continues from almost the beginning of the second canto to the eighth. The armies being then drawn up in view of one another, Hector brings it about that Menelaus and Paris, the two persons concerned in the quarrel, should decide it by a single combat, which tending to the advantage of Menelaus, was interrupted by a cowardice sinfused by Minerva: then both armies engaged, where the Trojans have the disadvantage; but being afterwards animated by Apollo, they repulse the enemy, yet they are once again forced to give ground; but their affairs were retrieved by Hector, who has a single combat with Ajax. The gods threw themselves into the battle : Juno and Minerva took the Grecians' part, and Apollo and Mars the Trojans'; but Mars and Venus are both wounded by Diomedes.
The truce for burying the slain ended the twenty-third day, after which the Greeks threw up a great intrenchment, to secure their navy from danger. Councils are held on both sides. On the morning of the twenty-fourth day the battle is renewed, but in a very disadvantageous manner to the Greeks, who are beaten back to their intrenchments. Agamemnon, being in despair at this ill-success, proposes to the council to quit the enterprise, and retire from Troy. But, by the advice of Nestor, he is persuaded to regain Achilles, by returning Briseïs, and sending him considerable presents. Hereupon Ulysses and Ajax are sent to that hero, who continues inflexible in his anger. Ulysses, at his return, joins himself with Diomedes and goes in the night to gain intelligence of the enemy; they enter into their very camp, where finding the centinels asleep, they made a great slaughter. Rhesus, who was just then arrived with recruits from Thrace for the Trojans, was killed in that action. Here ends the tenth canto. The sequel of this journal will be inserted in the next article from this place.
St. James's Coffee-house, April 22. We hear from Italy, that, notwithstanding the Pope has received a letter from the Duke of Anjou demanding of him to explain himself upon the affair of acknowledging king Charles, his holiness has not yet thought fit to send any answer to that prince. The court of Rome appears very much mortified, that they are not to see his majesty of Denmark in that city, having perhaps given themselves vain hopes from a visit made by a Protestant prince to that see.
The Popc has dispatched a gentleman to compliment his Majesty, and sent the King a present of all the curiosities and antiquities of Rome, represented in seventeen volumes very richly bound, which were taken out of the Vatican library. Letters from Genoa, of the fourteenth instant, say, that a felucca was arrived there in five days from Marseilles, with an account, that the people of that city had made an insurrection, by reason of the scarcity of provisions; and that the intendant had ordered some companies of marines, and the men belonging to the galleys, to stand to their arms to protect him from violence; but that he began to be in as much apprehension of his guards, as of those from whom they were to defend him. When that vessel came away, the soldiers murmured publicly for want of pay; and it was generally believed they would pillage the magazines, as the garrisons of Grenoble and other towns of France had already done. A vessel which lately came into Leghorn brought advice, that the British squadron was arrived at Port-Mahon, wher
they were taking in more troops, in order to attempt the relief of Alicant, which still made a very vigorous defence. It is said admiral Byng will be at the head of that expedition. The king of Denmark was gone from Leghorn towards Lucca.
They write from Vienna, that in case the allies should enter into a treaty of peace with France, Count Zinzendorf will be appointed first Plenipotentiary, the Count de Goes the second, and Monsieur Von Konsbruch a third. Major General Palmes, envoy extraordinary from her Britannic Majesty, has been very urgent with that court to make their utmost efforts against France the ensuing campaign, in order to oblige it to such a peace as may establish the tranquillity of Europe for the future.
We are also informed, that the Pope uses all imaginable shifts to elude the treaty concluded with the Emperor, and that he demanded the immediate restitution of Comacchio; insisting also, that his Imperial Majesty should ask pardon, and desire absolution for what had formerly passed, before he would solemnly acknowledge King Charles. But this was utterly refused.
They hear at Vienna by letters from Constantinople, dated the twenty-second of February last, that, on the twelfth of that month, the Grand Seignior took occasion, at the celebration of the festivals of the Mussulmen, to set all the Christian slaves which were in the galleys at liberty.
Advices from Switzerland import, that the preachers of the county of Tockenburg continue to create new jealousies of the Protestants; and some disturbances lately happened there on that account. The Protestants and Papists in the town of Hamman go to diyine service one after another in the same church, as is usual in many other parts of Switzerland; but on Sunday, the tenth instant, the Popish Curate having ended his service, attempted to hinder the Protestants from entering into the Church according to custom ; but the Protestants briskly attacked him and his party, and broke into it by force.
Last night, between seven and eight, his Grace the Duke of Marlborough arrived at Court.
From my own Apartment, April 22. The present great captains of the agc, the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, haying been the subject of the discourse of the last company I was in ; it has naturally led me into a consideration of Alexander and Cæsar, the two greatest names that ever appeared before this century. In order to enter into their characters, there needs no more but examining their behaviour in parallel circumstances. It must be allowed, that they had an equal greatness of soul ; but Cæsar's was more corrected and allayed by a mixture of prudence and circumspection. This is seen conspicuously in one particular in their histories, wherein they seem to have shown exactly the difference of their tempers. When Alexander, after a long course of victories, would still have led his soldiers farther from home, they unanimously refused to follow him. We meet with the like behaviour in Cæsar's army in the midst of his march against Ariovistus. Let us therefore observe the conduct of our two generals in so nice an affair : and here we find Alexander at the head of his army, upbraiding them with their cowardice, and meanness of spirit; and in the end telling them plainly he would go forward himself, though not a man followed him.