Citation
The book of wonder voyages

Material Information

Title:
The book of wonder voyages
Alternate title:
Wonder voyages
Creator:
Jacobs, Joseph, 1854-1916 ( Editor )
Batten, John Dickson, 1860-1932 ( Illustrator )
Nutt, David ( Publisher )
Thordarson Collection
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
David Nutt
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xii, 224, 12 p., [7] leaves of plates : ill. ; 23 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Children's stories ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1896 ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1896 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1896
Genre:
Children's stories
Publishers' catalogues ( rbgenr )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Illustrated t.-p.
General Note:
Publisher's catalogue follows text.
Statement of Responsibility:
edited by Joseph Jacobs ; illustrated by John D. Batten.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026596855 ( ALEPH )
ALG2641 ( NOTIS )
05142838 ( OCLC )

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TOT RAL CENT TS eT ate Te eee,

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Tk BO Ook ©:
WONDER VOYAGES





THETIS SAVES THE ARGONAUTS FROM SCYLLA





* THE:B BOOK:OF
WONDER
a VOYAGES

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V

EDITED WS

Tey 1
fit any he
Heit GD Yipee







LONDON
DAVID NVTT-: IN- THE-STRAND

13 96



Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & Co.
At the Ballantyne Press



EREBAGE

0 5) T was my custom for several years to
“tell my children every Friday night a
voyage, told in the first person, but, if
the truth must come out, simply



“lifted,” or at best adapted from all
the imaginary voyages I could come across. I led the
youngsters to understand that I had gone through one
hundred voyages in my time, but that I should never be
able to tell them my hundredth voyage, for if I told
that 1 should burst. Sure enough | got to the ninety-
ninth voyage, and on the following Friday there was, of
course, no narrative forthcoming. But the following
week a deputation from the young ones begged for my
hundredth voyage, whatever the consequences.

I have thought that if my poor recital of these
imaginary voyages could rouse interest and curiosity to
such an unfilial pitch among my own children the
originals from which I derived them might be equally
attractive to other children ; and I have brought together



al Preface

in the present volume the most memorable of those
flights of the imagination which form almost as marked
a class of popular literature as fairy tales themselves. It
seems as natural to build ships, as to build castles, in the
air; and there can be but few children of any age that
have not at one time or another seen themselves trans-
ported to lands where the ordinary Laws of Mechanics
or Physiology do not apply, and things throw off the
causal nexus of common life. But though we fly our
kite of imagination, it is always secured, if only by a
thread, to earthly fact, and in the wildest flights of
imaginary voyagers there is always some germ of geo-
graphic truth.

So natural is this tendency towards these voyages to
the Land of Fancy that we find specimens of them in
almost all lands, and it has been my aim in the present
collection to bring characteristic specimens from as many
and as diverse quarters as my space permitted. Hellas
gives us The Argonauts; the Celts tell The Voyage of
Maelduzn, which attracted Tennyson’s notice. Szxdbad
would have perhaps been the appropriate representative
of Arabia, but one hesitates to divorce him from the
“Nights,” and Mr. Batten had treated him in his appro-
priate connection. So I have selected Hasan of Bassorah
and his Voyage to the Islands of Wak-Wak to represent



Preface Vil

Arabia. Curiously enough, the greatest voyagers of all,
the Norsemen, seemingly found little temptation to let
their imagination play about their business concerns, and
in order to obtain a representative Wonder Voyage from
the most wonderful voyagers of medieval times, I have
had to combine two minor sagas which can be classed
under that genre.

To be at all effective, a Wonder Voyage requires a
certain amount of sea-room. One does not get one’s sea
legs, so to speak, till a sheet or two of print has been let
loose. Hence I have not been able to include more
than four or five voyages in the present volume, but
they will surely serve as Winter Nights’ Tales. They
should be read when the stormy winds do blow, do blow.

- The story of The Argonauts had been told so well by
Kingsley that I dared not commit the sacrilege of pro-
ducing a rival version. I have to thank Messrs. Mac-

millan for permitting me to utilise his ‘‘ Heroes.” Mr.

“Alfred Nutt with his usual kindness has provided me

with a version of MZaelduzn, in which he has had per-
mission from Dr. Whitley Stokes to use his translation
which appeared in the Revue Celtzgue. Hasan I have
retold in an abridged form, using as my “originals” the
three translations from the Arabic, none of which were

sufficiently simple to suit the audience for whom |



Vill Preface

intended his Adventures. For my Icelandic I have had
to resort to the friendly offices of the Rev. J. Sephton,
who has been good enough to translate the Arzc Saga
for this volume, while I have combined with it an adapta-
tion of Thorkill’s ““Voyage to the World Beyond the
Ocean,” from Saxo Grammaticus, utilising for that purpose
Mr. Elton’s version published by the Folk-Lore Society.
To all these gentlemen I hereby record my grateful
thanks.

As the world grows old and grey, and men become
everywhere alike, the value of the imagination for
ornament and for delight will become more and more
appreciated, even in education. The training and the
practice of the imagination will become ever increasingly
important as life gets more neutral tinted. Let therefore
our children be early trained to adventurous voyages on

the Sea of Imagination.
JOSEPH JACOBS.





CONTENTS

The Argonauts

The Voyage of Maelduin

Hasan of Bassorah.

The Journeyings of Thorkill and of Eric the Far-

Travelled

Notes

PAGE

87

123

181

211











List OF ILEUSTRAMONS

Thetis saves the Argonauts from Scylla . : : ee
Title Page 3 : ‘ ; : , ; : y alll
Phrixus and Helle 3
“Eson and Fason : : : : ; : : . : 6
Chiron’s Farewell to the Argonauts . : ; : : aol
The Chase of the Harpies . : a : : : : eS
The Crop of the Dragon’s Teeth : : : ; ee 9)
Orpheus and Medea charm the Snake : : ; . to face 5A
Circe and Medea : : . o : , i . to face O61
The Beguiling of Talus. : : : : : : 5 Bi
The Giant Ants : : : : ee : : 04:
The Monster of the Feats . : : : : : : . 98
The Red Hot Swine. : f : : 2 : : 09)
The Mill of Grudging . : : : 2 : . to face 1O4
The Queen of the Magic Clew . : : : ; . to face 114
The Great Bird : : : et ; ; : . 116
The Persian sews up Hasan . ees : : : pees il

The Flight of the Swan Maidens. 5 : : . to face 140



Xil List of Illustrations

Hasan’s Wife carries off her Children. : : : : a
The Shaykh Abu al-Ruwaysh . g : : ; E 6 180)
The King and Manar al-Sana . : : : : : oy LOY,
Hasan rejoins his Wife . : : : : : . to face 171
Shawahi on the Far. : : : ; : : : 73
Thorkill and the Serpent . 2 : : : : Se 1O2
The Horn-snouted Giants . : : : 4 : 3 196

The Illustrations are from process blocks prepared
by the WESTERN Mai, Lrp.

The Photogravure Frontispiece has been executed by
the SwAN ELEcTRIC ENGRAVING CoMPANY





THE ARGONAUTS





The Argonauts

|

How the Centaur Trained the Heroes on Pelion

yA\OW I have a tale of heroes who sailed
i} away into a distant land, to win them-
selves renown for ever, in the adventure
of the Golden Fleece.
ee E And what was that Golden Fleece?
The old Hellens said that it hung in Colchis, which
we call the Circassian coast, nailed to a beech-tree in
the War-god’s wood; and that it was the fleece of
the wondrous ram who bore Phrixus and Helle across-
the Euxine sea. For Phrixus and Helle were the
children of the cloud-nymph, and of Athamas the Minuan
king. And when a famine came upon the land, their
cruel stepmother Ino wished to kill them, that her own
children might reign, and said that they must be sacri-
ficed on an altar, to turn away the anger of the gods.
So the poor children were brought to the altar, and the
priest stood ready with his knife, when out of the clouds
came the Golden Ram, and took them on his back, and





The Argonauts 3

vanished. Then madness came upon that foolish king,
Athamas,*and ruin upon Ino and her children. For
Athamas killed one of them in his fury, and Ino fled from



him with the other in her arms, and leaped from a cliff
into the sea, and was changed into a dolphin, such as
you have seen, which wanders over the waves for ever
sighing, with its little one clasped to its breast.

But the people drove out King Athamas, because he
had killed his child; and he roamed about in his misery,
till he came to the Oracle in Delphi. And the Oracle



4 The Book of Wonder Voyages

told him that he must wander for his sin, till the wild
beasts should feast him as their guest. So he went on
in hunger and sorrow for many a weary day, till he saw
a pack of wolves. The wolves were tearing a sheep;
but when they saw Athamas they fled, and left the sheep
for him, and he ate of it; and then he knew that the
oracle was fulfilled at last. So he wandered no more;
but settled, and built a town, and became a king again.

But the ram carried the two children far away over
land and sea, till he came to the Thracian Chersonese,
and there Helle fell into the sea. So those narrow
straits are called ‘‘ Hellespont,” after her; and they bear
that name until this day.

Then the ram flew on with Phrixus to the north-east
across the sea which we call the Black Sea now; but the
Hellens called it Euxine. And at last, they say, he
stopped at Colchis, on the steep Circassian coast; and
there Phrixus married Chalciope, the daughter of Aietes
the king; and offered the ram in Sacrinter and Aietes
nailed the ram’s fleece to a beech, in the grove of Ares
the War-god.

And after a while Phrixus died, and was buried, but his
spirit had no rest; for he was buried far from his native
land, and the pleasant hills of Hellas. So he came in
dreams to the heroes of the Minuai, and called sadly by
their beds, ‘Come and set my spirit free, that I may go
home to my fathers and to my kinsfolk, and the pleasant
Minuan land.”

And they asked, ‘‘ How shall we set your spirit free?”

“You must sail over the sea to Colchis, and bring



The Argonauts 5

home the golden fleece; and then my spirit will come
back with it, and I shall sleep with my fathers and have
rest.”

He came thus, and called to them often; but when
they woke they looked at each other, and said: ‘‘ Who
dare sail to Colchis, or bring home the golden fleece?”
And in all the country none was brave enough to try it;
for the man and the time were not come.

Phrixus had a cousin called A®son, who was king in
Iolcos by the sea. There he ruled over the rich Minuan
heroes, as Athamas his uncle ruled in Beeotia ; and, like
Athamas, he was an unhappy man. For he had a step-
brother named Pelias, of whom some said that he was a
nymph’s son, and there were dark and sad tales about his
birth, When he was a babe he was cast out on the
mountains, and a wild mare came by and kicked him.
But a shepherd passing found the baby, with its face all
blackened by the blow; and took him home, and called
him Pelias, because his face was bruised and black. And
he grew up fierce and lawless, and did many a fearful
deed; and at last he drove out A¢son his step-brother,
and then his own brother Neleus, and took the kingdom
to himself, and ruled over the rich Minuan heroes, in
lolcos by the sea.

And Aéson, when he was driven out, went sadly away
out of the town, leading his little son by the hand; and
he said to himself, ‘I must hide the child in the moun-
tains; or Pelias will surely kill him because he is the
heir.” or

So he went up from the sea across the valley, throug



6 The Book of Wonder Voyages |

the vineyards and the olive groves, and across the
torrent of Anauros, toward Pelion the ancient mountain,
whose brows are white with snow.



He went up and up into the mountain, over marsh,
and crag, and down, till the boy was tired and footsore,
and A‘son had to bear him in his arms, till he came to
the mouth of a lonely cave, at the foot of a mighty cliff.

Above the cliff the snow-wreaths hung, dripping and





The Argonauts 7

cracking in the sun; but at its foot around the cave's
mouth grew all fair flowers and herbs, as if in a garden,
ranged in order, each sort by itself. There they grew
gaily in the sunshine, and the spray of the torrent from
above; while from the cave came the sound of music,
and a man’s voice singing to the harp.

Then A£son put down the lad, and whispered :

“Fear not, but go in, and whomsoever you shall find,
lay your hands upon his knees and say, ‘In the name of
Zeus, the father of gods and men, I am your guest from
this day forth.’”

Then the lad went in without trembling, for he too
was a hero’s son; but when he was within, he stopped in
wonder to listen to that magic song.

And there he saw the singer lying upon bear-skins
and fragrant boughs: Chiron, the ancient centaur, the
wisest of all things beneath the sky. Down to the waist
he was a man, but below he was a noble horse; his
white hair rolled down over his broad shoulders, and his
white beard over his broad brown chest; and his eyes
were wise and mild, and his forehead like a mountain-
wall.

And in his hands he held a harp of gold, and struck it
with a golden key; and as he struck, he sang till his
eyes glittered, and filled all the cave with light.

And he sang of the birth of Time, and of the heavens
and the dancing stars; and of the ocean, and the ether,
and the fire, and the shaping of the wondrous earth.
And he sang of the treasures of the hills, and the hidden
jewels of the mine, and the veins of fire and metal, and



8 The Book of Wonder Voyages

the virtues of all healing herbs, and of the speech of
birds, and of prophecy, and of hidden things to come.

Then he sang of health, and strength, and manhood,
and a valiant heart; and of music, and hunting, and
wrestling, and all the games which heroes love ; and of
travel, and wars, and sieges, and a noble death in fight ;
and then he sang of peace and plenty, and of equal
justice in the land; and as he-sang the boy listened
wide-eyed, and forgot his errand in the song.

And at the last old Chiron was silent, and called the
lad with a soft voice.

And the lad ran trembling to him, and would have
laid his hands upon his knees; but Chiron smiled, and
said, ‘Call hither your father A*son, for I know you,
and all that has befallen, and saw you both afar in the
valley, even before you left the town.”

Then A*son came in sadly, and Chiron asked him,
“Why camest you not yourself to me, A®son the
fEolid ?”

And Aéson said :

“T thought, Chiron will pity the lad if he sees him
come alone; and I wished to try whether he was
fearless, and dare venture like a hero’s son. But now I
entreat you by Father Zeus, let the boy be your guest
till better times, and train him among the sons of the
heroes, that he may avenge his father’s house.”

Then Chiron smiled, and drew the lad to him, and
laid his hand upon his golden locks, and said, “Are you
afraid of my horse’s hoofs, fair boy, or will you be my
pupil from this day ?”



The Argonauts 9

“TI would gladly have horse’s hoofs like you, if I could
sing such songs as yours.”

And Chiron laughed, and said, “Sit here by me till
sundown, when your playfellows will come home, and
you shall learn like them to be a king, worthy to rule
over gallant men.”

Then he turned to A%son, and said, “Go back in
peace, and bend before the storm like a prudent man.
This boy shall not cross the Anauros again, till he has
become a glory to you and to the house of A®olus.”

And A£son wept over his son and went away ; but the
boy did not weep, so full was his fancy of that strange
cave, and the centaur, and his song, and the playfellows
whom he was to see.

Then Chiron put the lyre into his hands, and taught
how how to play it, till the sun sank low behind the cliff,
and a shout was heard outside.

And then in came the sons of the heroes, A“neas, and
Hercules, and Peleus, and many another mighty name.

And great Chiron leapt up joyfully, and his hoofs
made the cave resound, as they shouted, ‘Come out,
Father Chiron ; come out and see our game.” And one
cried, ‘I have killed two deer ;” and another, ‘“‘I took a
wild cat among the crags;” and Hercules dragged a
wild goat after him by its horns, for he was as huge as a
mountain crag; and Czeneus carried a bear-cub under
each arm, and laughed when they scratched and bit, for
neither tooth nor steel could wound him.

And Chiron praised them all, each according to his
deserts.



Io The Book of Wonder Voyages

Only one walked apart and silent, A“ sculapius, the too-
wise child, with his bosom full of herbs and flowers, and
round his wrist a spotted snake; he came with downcast
eyes to Chiron, and whispered how he had watched the
snake cast its old skin, and grow young again before his
eyes, and how he had gone down into a village in the
vale, and cured a dying man with a herb which he had
seen a sick goat eat.

And Chiron smiled, and said, ‘‘To each Athené and
Apollo give some gift; and each is worthy in his place ;
but to this child they have given an honour beyond all
honours, to cure while others kill.”

Then the lads brought in wood, and split it, and lighted
a blazing fire; and others skinned the deer and quartered
them, and set them to roast before the fire; and while
the venison was cooking they bathed in the snow-torrent,
and washed away the dust and sweat.

And then all ate till they could eat no more (for they
had tasted nothing since the dawn), and drank of the
clear spring water, for wine is not fit for growing lads.
And when the remnants were put away, they all lay
down upon the skins and leaves about the fire, and each
took the lyre in turn, and sang and played with all his
heart.

And after a while they all went out to a plot of grass
at the cave’s mouth, and there they boxed, and ran, and
wrestled, and laughed till the stones fell from the cliffs.

Then Chiron took his lyre, and all the lads joined
hands ; and as he played, they danced to his measure, in
and out, and round and round. There they danced hand







The Argonauts Il

in hand, till the night fell over land and sea, while the
black glen shone with their broad white limbs and the
gleam of their golden hair.

And the lad danced with them, delighted, and then
slept a wholesome sleep, upon fragrant leaves of bay,
and myrtle, and marjoram, and flowers of thyme; and
rose at the dawn, and bathed in the torrent, and became
a schoolfellow to the heroes’ sons, and forgot Iolcos, and
his father, and all his former life. But he grew strong,
and brave and cunning, upon the pleasant downs of
Pelion, in the keen hungry mountain air. And he learnt
to wrestle, and to box, and to hunt, and to play upon the
harp ; and next he learnt to ride, for old Chiron used to
mount him on his back ; and he learnt the virtues of all
herbs, and how to cure all wounds; and Chiron called
him Jason the healer, and that is his name until this
day.



I]

How Jason Lost his Sandal in Anauros

1) ND ten years came and went, and Jason
was grown to be a mighty man. Some
of his fellows were gone, and some were
growing up by his side. A®sculapius was
gone into Peloponnese to work his won-
drous cures on men; and some say he used to raise the
dead to life. And Hercules was gone to Thebes to fulfil
those famous labours which have become a_ proverb
among men. And Peleus had married a sea-nymph, and
his wedding is famous to this day. And A‘neas was
gone home to Troy, and many a noble tale you will read
of him, and of all the other gallant heroes, the scholars of
Chiron the just. And it happened on a day that Jason
stood on the mountain, and looked north and south and
east and west ; and Chiron stood by him and watched
him, for he knew that the time was come.

And Jason looked and saw the plains of Thessaly,
where the Lapithai breed their horses; and the lake of
Boibé, and the stream which runs northward to Peneus
and Tempe; and he looked north, and saw the mountain
wall which guards the Magnesian shore; Olympus, the







The Argonauts 13

seat of the Immortals, and Ossa, and Pelion, where he
stood. Then he looked east and saw the bright blue sea,
which stretched away for ever toward the dawn. Then
he looked south, and saw a pleasant land, with white-
walled towns and farms, nestling along the shore of a
land-locked bay, while the smoke rose blue among the
trees ; and he knew it for the bay of Pagasai, and the
rich lowlands of Heemonia, and Iolcos by the sea.

Then he sighed, and asked, “Is it true what the heroes
tell me—that I am heir of that fair land?”

‘And what good would it be to you, Jason, if you were
heir of that fair land?”

““T would take it and keep it.”

‘“‘A strong man has taken it and kept it long. Are
you stronger than Pelias the terrible?”

“JT can try my strength with his,” said Jason; but
Chiron sighed, and said :

‘You have many a danger to go through before you
rule in Iolcos by the sea: many a danger and many a
woe ; and strange troubles in strange lands, such as man -
never saw before.”

‘The happier I,” said Jason, ‘to see what man never
saw before.”

And Chiron sighed again, and said, ‘‘ The eaglet must
leave the nest when it is fledged. Will you go to Iolcos
by the sea? Then promise me two things before you

Jason promised, and Chiron answered, “Speak harshly
to no soul whom you may meet, and stand by the word
which you shall speak.”



14 The Book of Wonder Voyages

Jason wondered why Chiron asked this of him; but
he knew that the Centaur was a prophet, and saw things
long before they came. So he promised, and leapt down
the mountain, to take his fortune like a man.

He went down through the arbutus thickets, and
across the downs of thyme, till he came to the vineyard
walls, and the pomegranates and the olives in the glen ;
and among the olives roared Anauros, all foaming with a
summer flood.

And on the bank of Anauros sat a woman, all wrinkled,
grey, and old; her head shook palsied on her breast, and
her hands shook palsied on her knees; and when she
saw Jason, she spoke whining, ‘Who will carry me
across the flood ?”

Jason was bold and hasty, and was just going to leap
into the flood: and yet he thought twice before he leapt,
so loud roared the torrent down, all brown from the
mountain rains, and silver-veined with melting snow;
while underneath he could hear the boulders rumbling
like the tramp of horsemen or the roll of wheels, as they
ground along the narrow channel, and shook the rocks
on which he stood.

But the old woman whined all the more, ‘(1 am weak
and old, fair youth. For Hera’s sake, carry me over the
torrent.”

And Jason was going to answer her scornfully, when
Chiron’s words came to his mind.

So he said, ‘“‘ For Hera’s sake, the Queen of the Im-
mortals on Olympus, I will carry you over the torrent,
unless we both are drowned midway.”





The Argonauts 19

Then the old dame leapt upon his back as nimbly as a
goat; and Jason staggered in, wondering; and the first
step was up to his knees.

The first step was up to his knees, and the second
step was up to his waist; and the stones rolled about his
feet, and his feet slipped about the stones ; so he went on
staggering and panting, while the old woman cried from
off his back :

‘Fool, you have wet my mantle! Do you make game
of poor old souls like me ?”

Jason had half a mind to drop her, and let her get
through the torrent by herself; but Chiron’s words were
in his mind, and he said only, ‘‘ Patience, mother; the
best horse may stumble some day.”

At last he staggered to the shore, and set her down
upon the bank; and a strong man he needed to have
been, or that wild water he never would have crossed.

He lay panting a while upon the bank, and then leapt
up to go upon his journey ; but he cast one look at the
old woman, for he thought, ‘She should thank me once

at least.”

And as he looked, she grew fairer than all women, and
taller than all men on earth; and her garments shone
like the summer sea, and her jewels like the stars of
heaven ; and over her forehead was a veil, woven of the
golden clouds of sunset ; and through the veil she looked
down on him, with great soft heifer’s eyes; with great
eyes, mild and awful, which filled all the glen with light.

And Jason fell upon his knees, and hid his face between
his hands.



16 The Book of Wonder Voyages

And she spoke, ‘“‘] am the Queen of Olympus, Hera
the wife of Zeus. As thou hast done to me, so will I do
to thee. Call on me in the hour of need, and try if the
Immortals can forget.” |

And when Jason looked up, she rose from off the
earth, like a pillar of tall white cloud, and floated away
across the mountain peaks, towards Olympus the holy
hill.

Then a great fear fell on Jason: but after a while he
grew light of heart ; and he blessed old Chiron, and said,
‘Surely the Centaur is a prophet, and guessed what
would come to pass, when he bade me speak harshly to
no soul whom I might meet.”

Then he went down toward Iolcos; and as he walked
he found that he had lost one of his sandals in the flood.

And as he went through the streets, the people came
out to look at him, so tall and fair was he; but some of
the elders whispered together; and at last one of them
stopped Jason, and called to him, “ Fair lad, who are
you, and whence come you; and what is your errand in
the town?”

“My name, good father, is Jason, and I come from
Pelion up above; and my errand is to Pelias your king ;
tell me, then, where his palace is.”

But the old man started, and grew pale, and said, ‘“‘ Do
you not know the oracle, my son, that you go so boldly
through the town with but one sandal on?”

“T am a stranger here, and know of no oracle; but
what of my one sandal? I lost the other in Anauros,
while I was struggling with the flood.”





The Argonauts 17

Then the old man looked back to his companions ; and
one sighed, and another smiled; at last he said, “I will
tell you, lest you rush upon your ruin unawares. The
Oracle in Delphi has said that a man wearing one sandal
should take the kingdom from Pelias, and keep it for
himself. Therefore beware how you go up to his palace,
for he is the fiercest and most cunning of all kings.”

Then Jason laughed a great laugh, like a warhorse in
his pride. ‘‘Good news, good father, both for you and
me. For that very end I came into the town.”

Then he strode on toward the palace of Pelias, while
all the people wondered at his bearing.

And he stood in the doorway and cried, ‘Come out,
come out, Pelias the valiant, and fight for your kingdom
like a man.”

Pelias came out wondering, and, ‘‘Who are you, bold
youth ?” he cried.

“T am Jason, the son of A*son, the heir of all this
land.”

Then Pelias lifted up his hands and eyes, and wept, or
seemed to weep; and blessed the heavens which had
brought his nephew to him, never to leave him more.
“For,” said he, “I have but three daughters, and no son
to be my heir. You shall be my heir, then, and rule the
kingdom after me, and marry whichsoever of my daughters
you shall choose ; though.a sad kingdom you will find it,
and whosoever rules it a miserable man. But come in,
come in, and feast.”

So he drew Jason in, whether he would or not, and
spoke to him so lovingly and feasted him so well, that

B



18 The Book of Wonder Voyages

Jason’s anger passed ; and after supper his three cousins
came into the hall, and Jason thought that he should like
well enough to have one of them for his wife.

But at last he said to Pelias, ‘‘Why do you look so
sad, my uncle? And what did you mean just now when
you said that this was a doleful kingdom, and its ruler a
miserable man?”

Then Pelias sighed heavily again and again and again,
like a man who had to tell some dreadful story, and was
afraid to begin; but at last :

“For seven long years and more have I never known
a quiet night; and no more will he who comes after me,
till the golden fleece be brought home.”

Then he told Jason the story of Phrixus, and of the
golden fleece; and told him, too, which was a lie, that
Phrixus’ spirit tormented him, calling to him day and
night. And his daughters came, and told the same tale
(for their father had taught them their parts), and wept,
and said, ‘‘Oh, who will bring home the golden fleece,
that our uncle’s spirit may rest; and that we may have
rest also, whom he never lets sleep in peace?”

Jason sat a while, sad and silent; for he had often
heard of that golden fleece ; but he looked on it as a thing
hopeless and impossible for any mortal man to win it.

But when Pelias saw him silent, he began to talk of
other things, and courted Jason more and more, speaking
to him as if he were certain to be his heir, and asking
his advice about the kingdom ; till Jason, who was young
and simple, could not help saying to himself, “ Surely he
is not the dark man whom people call him. Yet why



The Argonauts 19

did he drive my father out?” And he asked Pelias
boldly, ‘‘Men say that you are terrible, and a man of
blood ; but I find you a kind and hospitable man ; and as
you are to me, so will I be to you. Yet why did you
drive my father out?”

Pelias smiled and sighed. ‘Men have slandered me
in that, as in all things. Your father was growing old
and weary, and he gave the kingdom up to me of his own
will. You shall see him to-morrow, and ask him; and
he will tell you the same.”

Jason’s heart leapt in him when he heard that he was
to see his father; and he believed all that Pelias said,
forgetting that his father might not dare to tell the truth.

‘One thing more there is,” said Pelias, ‘on which I
need your advice; for, though you are young, I see in
you a wisdom beyond your years. There is one neigh-
bour of mine, whom I dread more than all men on earth.
I am stronger than he now, and can command him ; but
I know that if he stay among us, he will work my ruin in
the end. Can you give me a plan, Jason, by which I can
rid myself of that man?”

After a while Jason answered, half laughing, ‘Were I

you, I would send him to fetch that same golden fleece ;

for if he once set forth after it you would never be troubled
with him more.”

And at that a bitter smile came across Pelias’ lips, and
a flash of wicked joy into his eyes; and Jason saw it and
started ; and over his mind came the warning of the old
man, and his own one sandal, and the oracle, and he saw
that he was taken in a trap.



20 The Book of Wonder Voyages

But Pelias only answered gently, ‘‘ My son, he shall be
sent forthwith.”

“You mean me?” cried Jason, starting up, ‘‘ because
I came here with one sandal?” And he lifted his fist
angrily, while Pelias stood up to him like a wolf at bay ;
and whether of the two was the stronger and the fiercer
it would be hard to tell.

But after a moment Pelias spoke gently, ‘‘ Why then
so rash,my son? You, and not I, have said what is
said ; why blame me for what I have not done? Had
you bid me love the man of whom I spoke, and make
him my son-in-law and heir, I would have obeyed you ;
and what if I obey you now, and send the man to win
himself immortal fame? I have not harmed you, or
him. One thing at least I know, that he will go, and
that gladly ; for he has a hero’s heart within him, loving
glory, and scorning to break the word which he has
given.”

Jason saw that he was entrapped; but his second
promise to Chiron came into his mind, and he thought,
‘“What if the Centaur were a prophet in that also, and
meant that I should win the fleece!” Then he cried
aloud :

‘You have well spoken, cunning uncle of mine! [|
love glory, and I dare keep to my word. I will go and
fetch this golden fleece. Promise me but this in return,
and keep your word as I keep mine. Treat my father
lovingly while I am gone, for the sake of the all-seeing
Zeus ; and give me up the kingdom for my own on the
day that I bring back the golden fleece.”



The Argonauts 21

Then Pelias looked at him and almost loved him, in
the midst of all his hate; and said, ‘I promise, and I
will perform. It will be no shame to give up my king-
dom to the man who wins that fleece.”

Then they swore a great oath between them; and
afterwards both went in, and lay down to sleep.

But Jason could not sleep for thinking of his mighty
oath, and how he was to fulfil it, all alone, and without
wealth or friends. So he tossed a long time upon his
bed, and thought of this plan and of that ; and sometimes
Phrixus seemed to call him, in a thin voice, faint and
low, as if it came from far across the sea, ‘‘ Let me come
home to my fathers and have rest.” And sometimes he
seemed to see the eyes of Hera, and to hear her words
again: “Call on me in the hour of need, and see if the
Immortals can forget.”

And on the morrow he went to Pelias, and said,
‘‘Give me a victim, that I may sacrifice to Hera.” So
he went up, and offered his sacrifice ; and as he stood by
the altar Hera sent a thought into his mind; and he
went back to Pelias, and said :

‘If you are indeed in earnest, give me two heralds,
that they may go round to all the princes of the Minuai,
who were pupils of the Centaur with me, that we may
fit out a ship together, and take what shall befall.”

At that Pelias praised his wisdom, and hastened to
send the heralds out ; for he said in his heart, ‘‘ Let all
the princes go with him, and, like him, never return ;

‘for so.I shall be lord of all the Minuai, and the greatest
king in Hellas.”



III
How they Built the Ship Azgo in lolcos

the heroes of the Minuai, ‘‘Who dare
come to the adventure of the golden
fleece?”

And Hera stirred the hearts of all the
princes, and they came from all their valleys to the
yellow sands of Pagasai. And first came Hercules the
mighty, with his lion’s skin and club, and behind him
Hylas his young squire, who bore his arrows and his
bow ; and Tiphys, the skilful steersman ; and Butes, the
fairest of all men; and Castor and Polydeuces the twins,
the sons of the magic swan; and Czneus, the strongest
of mortals, whom the Centaurs tried in vain to kill, and
overwhelmed him with trunks of pine-trees, but even so
he would not die; and thither came Zetes and Calais,
the winged sons of the north wind; and Peleus, the
father of Achilles, whose bride was silver-footed Thetis,
the goddess of the sea. And thither came Telamon and
Oileus, the fathers of the two Ajaxes, who fought upon
the plains of Troy ; and Mopsus, the wise soothsayer,
who knew the speech of birds; and Idmon, to whom





The Argonauts DR

Phcebus gave a tongue to prophesy of things to come ;
and Ancaios, who could read the stars, and knew all the
circles of the heavens ; and Argus, the famed shipbuilder,
and many a hero more, in helmets of brass and gold with
tall dyed horse-hair crests, and embroidered shirts of
linen beneath their coats of mail, and greaves of polished
tin to guard their knees in fight; with each man his
shield upon his shoulder, of many a fold of tough bull's
hide, and his sword of tempered bronze in his silver-
studded belt ; and in his right hand a pair of lances, of
the heavy white ash-staves.

So they came down to Iolcos, and all the city came
out to meet them, and were never tired with looking at
their height, and their beauty, and their gallant bearing, :
and the glitter of their inlaid arms. And some said,
“ Never was such a gathering of the heroes since the
Hellens conquered the land.” But the women sighed
over them, and whispered, ‘‘ Alas! they are all going to
their death!”

Then they felled the pines on Pelion, and shaped them
with the axe, and Argus taught them to build a galley,
the first long ship which ever sailed the seas. They
pierced her for fifty oars—an oar for each hero of the
crew—and pitched her with coal-black pitch, and painted
her bows with vermilion; and they named her Argo
after Argus, and worked at her all day long. And at
night Pelias feasted them like a king, and they slept in
his palace-porch.

But Jason went away to the northward, and into the

land of Thrace, till he found Orpheus, the prince of min-



24 The Book of Wonder Voyages

strels, where he dwelt in his cave under Rhodope, among
the savage Cicon tribes. And he asked him, ‘“ Will you
leave your mountains, Orpheus, my fellow-scholar in old
times, and cross Strymon once more with me, to sail
with the heroes of the Minuai, and bring home the
golden fleece, and charm for us all men and all monsters
with your magic harp and song ?”

Then Orpheus sighed, ‘Have I not had enough of
toil and of weary wandering far and wide since I lived
in Chiron’s cave, above ITolcos by the sea? In vain is
the skill and the voice which my goddess mother gave
me; in vain have I sung and laboured ; in vain I went
down to the dead, and charmed all the kings of Hades,
to win back Eurydice my bride. For I won her, my
beloved, and lost her again the same day, and wandered
away in my madness, even to Egypt and the Libyan
sands, and the isles of all the seas, driven on by the
terrible gadfly, while I charmed in vain the hearts of
men, and the savage forest beasts, and the trees, and
the lifeless stones, with my magic harp and song, giving
rest, but finding none. But at last Calliope my moe
delivered me, and brought me home in peace; and |
dwell here in the cave alone, among the savage Cicon
tribes, softening their wild hearts with music and the
gentle laws of Zeus. And now I must go out again, to
the ends of all the earth, far away into the misty dark-
ness, to the last wave of the Eastern Sea. But what is
doomed must be, and a friend’s demand obeyed ; for
prayers are the daughters of Zeus, and weal honours
them honours him.”





The Argonauts DIG

Then Orpheus rose up sighing, and took his harp, and
went over Strymon. And he led Jason to the south-
west, up the banks of Haliacmon and over the spurs of
Pindus, to Dodona the town of Zeus, where it stood by
the side of the sacred lake, and the fountain which
breathed out fire, in the darkness of the ancient oak-
wood, beneath the mountain of the hundred springs.
And he led him to the holy oak, where the black dove
settled in old times, and was changed into the priestess
of Zeus, and gave oracles to all nations round. And he
bade him cut down a bough, and sacrifice to Hera and
to Zeus; and they took the bough and came to Iolcos,
and nailed it to the beak-head of the ship.

And at last the ship was finished, and they tried to
launch her down the beach; but she was too heavy for
them to move her, and her keel sank deep into the sand.
Then all the heroes looked at each other blushing ; but
Jason spoke, and said, ‘ Let us ask the magic bough;
perhaps it can help us in our need.”

Then a voice came from the bough, and Jason heard
the words it said, and bade Orpheus play upon the harp,
while the heroes waited round, holding the tae
rollers, to help her toward the sea.

Then Orpheus took his harp, and began his magic
song: ‘‘ How sweet it is to ride upon cy surges, one to
leap from wave to wave, while the wind sings cheerful in
the cordage, and the oars flash fast among the foam!
How sweet it is to roam across the ocean, and see new
towns and wondrous lands, and to come home laden with
treasure, and to win undying fame!”



26 The Book of Wonder Voyages
And the good ship 47go heard him, and longed to be

away and out at sea; till she stirred in every timber, and
heaved from stem to stern, and leapt up from the sand
upon the rollers, and plunged onward like a gallant
horse ; and the heroes fed her path with pine-trunks, till
she rushed into the whispering sea.

Then they stored her well with food and water, and
pulled the ladder up on board, and settled themselves
each man to his oar, and kept time to Orpheus’ harp ;
and away across the bay they rowed southward, while
the people lined the cliffs; and the women wept, while
the men shouted, at the starting of that gallant crew.





IV

How the Argonauts Sailed to Colchis

Z ))ND what happened next, my children,
7) whether it be true or not, stands written
in ancient songs, which you shall read
for yourselves some day. And grand
old songs they are, written in grand old
rolling verse ; and they call them the Songs of Orpheus,
or the Orphics, to this day. And they tell how the
heroes came to Aphetai, across the bay, and waited for
the south-west wind, and chose themselves a captain
from their crew: and how all called for Hercules,
because he was the strongest and most huge; but
Hercules refused, and called for Jason, because he was
the wisest of them all. So Jason was chosen captain ;
and Orpheus heaped a pile of wood, and slew a bull, and
offered it to Hera, and called all the heroes to stand
round, each man’s head crowned with olive, and to strike
their swords into the bull. Then he filled a golden
goblet with the bull’s blood, and with wheaten flour, and
honey, and wine, and the bitter salt-sea water, and bade
the heroes taste. So each tasted the goblet, and passed
it round, and vowed an awful vow: and they vowed





28 The Book of Wonder Voyages

before the sun, and the night, and the blue-haired sea
who shakes the land, to stand by Jason faithfully in the
adventure of the golden fleece ; and whosoever shrank
back, or disobeyed, or turned traitor to his vow, then
justice should minister against him, and the Erinnues
who track guilty men.

Then Jason lighted the pile, and burnt the carcass of
the bull; and they went to their ship and sailed east-
ward, like men who have a work to do; and the place
from which they went was called Aphetai, the sailing-
place, from that day forth. Three thousand years and
more they sailed away, into the unknown Eastern seas ;
and great nations have come and gone since then, and
many a storm has swept the earth; and many a mighty
armament, to which Avgo would be but one small boat ;
English and French, Turkish and Russian, have sailed
those waters since; yet the fame of that small Axgo
lives for ever, and her name is become a proverb among
men.

So they sailed past the Isle of Sciathos, with the Cape
of Sepius on their left, and turned to the northward
toward Pelion, up the long Magnesian shore. On their
right hand was the open sea, and on their left old Pelion
rose, while the clouds crawled round his dark pine-
forests, and his caps of summer snow. And their hearts
yearned for the dear old mountain, as they thought of
pleasant days gone by, and of the sports of their boy-
hood, and their hunting, and their schooling in the cave
beneath the cliff And at last Peleus spoke, ‘Let us
land here, friends, and climb the dear old hill once more.



The Argonauts 29

We are going on a fearful journey; who knows if we
shall see Pelion again? Let us go up to Chiron our
master, and ask his blessing ere we start. And I have a
boy, too, with him, whom he trains as he trained me
once—the son whom Thetis brought me, the silver-
footed lady of the sea, whom I caught in the cave, and
tamed her, though she changed her shape seven times.
For she changed, as I held her, into water, and to
vapour, and to burning flame, and to a rock, and to a
black-maned lion, and to a tall and stately tree. But I
held her and held her ever, till she took her own shape
again, and led her to my father’s house, and won her for
my bride. And all the rulers of Olympus came to our
wedding, and the heavens and the earth rejoiced together,
when an Immortal wedded mortal man. And now let
me see my son; for it is not often I shall see him upon
earth: famous he will be, but short-lived, and die in the
flower of youth.”

So Tiphys the helmsman steered them to the shore
under the crags of Pelion; and they went up through
the dark pine-forests towards the Centaur’s cave.

And they came into the misty hall, beneath the snow-
crowned crag; and saw the great Centaur lying, with
his huge limbs spread upon the rock; and beside him
stood Achilles, the child whom no steel could wound,
and played upon his harp right sweetly, while Chiron
watched and smiled.

Then Chiron leapt up and welcomed them, and kissed
them every one, and set a feast before them of swine’s
flesh, and venison, and good wine; and young Achilles



30 The Book of Wonder Voyages

served them, and carried the golden goblet round. And
after supper all the heroes clapped their hands, and
called on Orpheus to sing; but he refused, and said,
“How can I, who am the younger, sing before our
ancient host?” So they called on Chiron to sing, and
Achilles brought him his harp; and he began a wondrous
song; a famous story of old time, of the fight between
the Centaurs and the Lapithai He sang how his
brothers came to ruin by their folly, when they were
mad with wine; and how they and the heroes fought,
with fists, and teeth, and the goblets from which they
drank ; and how they tore up the pine-trees in their fury,
and hurled great crags of stone, while the mountains
thundered with the battle, and the land was wasted far
and wide; till the Lapithai drove them from their home
in the rich Thessalian plains to the lonely glens of
Pindus, leaving Chiron all alone. And the heroes
praised his song right heartily; for some of them had
helped in that great fight.

Then Orpheus took the lyre, and sang of Chaos, and
the making of the wondrous World, and how all things
sprang from Love, who could not live alone in the
Abyss. And as he sang, his voice rose from the cave,
above the crags, and through the tree-tops, and the glens
of oak and pine. And the trees bowed their heads when
they heard it, and the grey rocks cracked and rang, and
the forest beasts crept near to listen, and the birds for-
sook their nests and hovered round. And old Chiron
clapt his hands together, and beat his hoofs upon the
ground, for wonder at that magic song,



The Argonauts Bar

Then Peleus kissed his boy, and wept over him, and
they went down to the ship; and Chiron came down
with them, weeping, and kissed them one by one, and

























blest them, and promised to them great renown. And
the heroes wept when they left him, till their great hearts
could weep no more ; for he was kind and just and pious,
and wiser than all beasts and men. Then he went up to
a cliff, and prayed for them, that they might come home





22 The Book of Wonder Voyages

safe and well; while the heroes rowed away, and watched
him standing on his cliff above the sea, with his great
hands raised toward heaven, and his white locks waving
in the wind; and they strained their eyes to watch him
to the last, for they felt that they should look on him no
more.

So they rowed on over the long swell of the sea, past
Olympus, the seat of the Immortals, and past the wooded
bays of Athos, and Samothrace the sacred isle ; and they
came past Lemnos to the Hellespont, and through the
narrow strait of Abydos, and so on into the Propontis,
which we call Marmora now. And there they met with
Cyzicus, ruling in Asia over the Dolions, who, the songs
say, was the son of A‘neas, of whom you will hear many
a tale some day. For Homer tells us how he fought at
Troy, and Virgil how he sailed away and founded Rome ;
and men believed until late years that from him sprang
our old British kings. Now Cyzicus, the songs say,
welcomed the heroes, for his father had been one of
Chiron’s scholars; so he welcomed them, and feasted
them, and stored their ship with corn and wine, and
cloaks and rugs, the songs say, and shirts, of which no
doubt they stood in need.

But at night, while they lay sleeping, came down on
them terrible men, who lived with the bears in the
mountains, like Titans or giants in shape; for each of
them had six arms, and they fought with young firs and
pines. But Hercules killed them all before morn with
his deadly poisoned arrows; but among them, in the
darkness, he slew Cyzicus the kindly prince.



The Argonauts 33

Then they got to their ship and to their oars, and
Tiphys bade them cast off the hawsers and go to sea.
But as he spoke a whirlwind came, and spun the 47go
round, and twisted the hawsers together, so that no man
could loose them. Then Tiphys dropped the rudder
from his hand, and cried, ‘‘This comes from the gods
above.” But Jason went forward, and asked counsel of
the magic bough.

Then the magic bough spoke, and answered, “ This is
because you have slain Cyzicus your friend. You must
appease his soul, or you will never leave this shore.”

Jason went back sadly, and told the heroes what he
had heard. And they leapt on shore, and searched till
dawn; and at dawn they found the body, all rolled in
dust and blood, among the corpses of those monstrous
beasts. And they wept over their kind host, and laid
him on a fair bed, and heaped a huge mound over him,
and offered black sheep at his tomb, and Orpheus sang a
‘magic song to him, that his spirit might have rest. And
then they held games at the tomb, after the custom of
those times, and Jason gave prizes to each winner. To
Anczeus he gave a golden cup, for he wrestled best of
all; and to Hercules a silver one, for he was the strongest
of all; and to Castor, who rode best, a golden crest ; and
Polydeuces the boxer had a rich carpet, and to Orpheus
for his song a sandal with golden wings. But Jason him-
self was the best of all the archers, and the Minuai
crowned him with an olive crown; and so, the songs say,
the soul of good Cyzicus was appeased and the heroes
went on their way in peace.
Cc



34 The Book of Wonder Voyages

But when Cyzicus’ wife heard that he was dead, she
died likewise of grief; and her tears became a fountain
of clear water, which flows the whole year round.

Then they rowed away, the songs say, along the
Mysian shore, and past the mouth of Rhindacus, till they
found a pleasant bay, sheltered by the long ridges of
Arganthus, and by high walls of basalt rock. And there
they ran the ship ashore upon the yellow sand, and furled
the sail, and took the mast down, and lashed it in its
crutch. And next they let down the ladder, and went
ashore to sport and rest.

And there Hercules went away into the woods, bow
in hand, to hunt wild deer; and Hylas, the fair boy, slipt
away after him, and followed him by stealth, until he lost
himself among the glens, and sat down weary to rest
himself by the side of a lake ; and there the water-nymphs
came up to look at him, and loved him, and carried him
down under the lake to be their playfellow, for ever happy
and young. And Hercules sought for him in vain, shout-
ing his name till all the mountains rang ; but Hylas never
heard him, far down under the sparkling lake. So while
Hercules wandered searching for him, a fair breeze sprang
up, and Hercules was nowhere to be found ; and the Avgo
sailed away, and Hercules was left behind, and never saw
the noble Phasian stream.

Then the Minuai came to a doleful land, where Amycus
the giant ruled, and cared nothing for the laws of Zeus,
but challenged all strangers to box with him, and those
whom he conquered he slew. But Polydeuces the boxer
struck him a harder blow than he ever felt before, and



The Argonauts 35

slew him; and the Minuai went on up the Bosphorus,
till they came to the city of Phineus, the fierce Bithynian
king ; for Zetes and Calais bade Jason land there, because
they had a work to do.

And they went up from the shore toward the city,

through forests white with snow; and Phineus came out
to meet them with a lean and woeful face, and said:
“Welcome, gallant heroes, to the land of bitter blasts,
the land of cold and misery; yet I will feast you as best
I can.” And he led them in, and set meat before them ;
but before they could put their hands to their mouths,
down came two fearful monsters, the like of whom man
never saw ; for they had the faces and hair of fair maidens,
but the wings and claws of hawks; and they snatched the
meat from off the table, and flew shrieking out above the
roofs.
Then Phineus beat his breast and cried: ‘These are
the Harpies, whose names are the Whirlwind and the
‘Swift, the daughters of Wonder and of the Amber-nymph,
and they rob us night and day. They carried off the
daughters of Pandareus, whom all the gods had blest ;
for Aphrodite fed them on Olympus with honey and milk
and wine; and Hera gave them beauty and wisdom, and
Athené skill in all the arts ; but when they came to their
wedding, the Harpies snatched them both away, and
gave them to be slaves to the Erinnues, and live in
horror all their days. And now they haunt me, and my
people, and the Bosphorus, with fearful storms; and
sweep away our food from off our tables, so that we
starve in spite of all our wealth.”



36 The Book of Wonder Voyages

Then up rose Zetes and Calais, the winged sons of the
North-wind, and said: ‘‘Do you not know us, Phineus,
and these wings which grow upon our backs?” And
Phineus hid his face in terror; but he answered not a
word.

—“ Because you have been a traitor, Phineus, the
Harpies haunt you day and night. Where is Cleopatra
our sister, your wife, whom you keep in prison? and
where are her two children, whom you blinded in your
rage, at the bidding of an evil woman, and cast them out
upon the rocks? Swear to us that you will right our
sister, and cast out that wicked woman ; and then we will
free you from your plague, and drive the whirlwind
maidens to the south; but if not, we will put out your
_eyes, as you put out the eyes of your own sons.”
~ Then Phineus swore an oath to them, and drove out
the wicked woman; and Jason took those two poor
children, and cured their eyes with magic herbs.

But Zetes and Calais rose up sadly and said: “ Fare-
well now, heroes all ; farewell, our dear companions, with
whom we played on Pelion in old times; for a fate is
laid upon us, and our day is come at last, in which we
must hunt the whirlwinds over land and sea for ever ; and
if we catch them they die, and if not, we die ourselves.”

At that all the heroes wept; but the two young men
sprang up, and aloft into the air after the Harpies, and
the battle of the winds began.

The heroes trembled in silence as they heard the
shrieking of the blasts; while the palace rocked and all
the city, and great stones were torn from the crags, and



The Argonauts | au

the forest pines were hurled earthward, north and south
and east and west, and the Bosphorus boiled white with
foam, and the clouds were dashed against the cliffs.

But at last the battle ended, and the Harpies fled



screaming toward the south, and the sons of the North-
wind rushed after them, and brought clear sunshine where
they passed. For many a league they followed them,
over all the isles of the Cyclades, and away to the south-
_ west acrost Hellas, till they came to the Ionian Sea, and



38 The Book of Wonder Voyages

there they fell upon the Echinades, at the mouth of the
Achelous; and those isles were called the Whirlwind
Isles for many a hundred years. But what became of
Zetes and Calais I know not, for the heroes never saw
them again: and some say that Hercules met them, and
quarrelled with them, and slew them with his arrows ;
and some say that they fell down from weariness and the
heat of the summer sun, and that the Sun-god buried
them among the Cyclades, in the pleasant Isle of Tenos ;
and for many hundred years their grave was shown there,
and over it a pillar, which turned to every wind. But
those dark storms and whirlwinds haunt the Bosphorus
until this day.

But the Argonauts went eastward, and out into the
open sea, which we now call the Black Sea, but it was
called the Euxine then. No Hellen had ever crossed it,
and all feared that dreadful sea, and its rocks, and shoals,
and fogs and bitter freezing storms ; and they told strange
stories of it, some false and some half true, how it
stretched northward to the ends of the earth, and the
sluggish Putrid Sea, and the everlasting night, and the
regions of the dead. So the heroes trembled, for all
their courage, as they came into that wild Black Sea, and
saw it stretching out before them, without a shore, as far
as eye could see.

And first Orpheus spoke, and warned them: ‘We
shall come now to the wandering blue rocks; my mother
warned me of them, Calliope, the immortal muse.”

And soon they saw the blue rocks shining like spires
and castles of grey glass, while an ice-cold wind blew



The Argonauts 39

from them and chilled all the heroes’ hearts. And as
they neared they could see them heaving, as they rolled
upon the long sea-waves, crashing and grinding together,
till the roar went up to heaven. The sea sprang up in
spouts between them, and swept round them in white
sheets of foam; but their heads swung nodding high in
air, while the wind whistled shrill among the crags.

The heroes’ hearts sank within them, and they lay
upon their oars in fear; but Orpheus called to Tiphys
the helmsman: ‘‘ Between them we must pass; so look
ahead for an opening, and be brave, for Hera is with
us.” But Tiphys the cunning helmsman stood silent,
clenching his teeth, till he saw a heron come flying mast-
high toward the rocks, and hover a while before them, as
if looking for a passage through. Then he cried,
“Hera has sent us a pilot; let us follow the cunning
bird.”

Then the heron flapped to and fro a moment, till he
‘saw a hidden gap, and into it he rushed like an arrow,
while the heroes watched what would befall.

And the blue rocks clashed together as the bird fied
swiftly through; but they struck but a feather from his
tail, and then rebounded apart at the shock.

Then Tiphys cheered the heroes, and they shouted ;
and the oars bent like withes beneath their strokes as
they rushed between those toppling ice-crags and the
cold blue lips of death. And ere the rocks could meet
again they had passed them, and were safe out in the
open sea.

And after that they sailed on wearily along the Asian



40 Tike Pol: of Wonder Voyages

coast, by the Black Cape and Thyneis, where the hot
stream of Thymbris falls into the sea, and Sangarius,
whose waters float on the Euxine, till they came to Wolf
the river, and to Wolf the kindly king. And there died
two brave heroes, Idmonand Tiphys the wise helmsman :
one died of an evil sickness, and one a wild boar slew.
So the heroes heaped a mound above them, and set
upon it an oar on high, and left them there ‘to sleep
together, on the far-off Lycian shore. But Idas killed
the boar, and avenged Tiphys; and Ancaios took the
rudder and was helmsman, and steered them on toward
the east,

And they went on past Sinope, and many a mighty
river's mouth, and past many a barbarous tribe, and the
cities of the Amazons, the warlike women of the East,
till all night they heard the clank of anvils and the roar
of furnace-blasts, and the forge-fires shone like sparks
through the darkness in the mountain glens aloft; for
they were come to the shores of the Chalybes, the
smiths who never tire, but serve Ares the cruel War-
god, forging weapons day and night.

And at day-dawn they looked eastward, and midway
between the sea and the sky they saw white snow-peaks
hanging, glittering sharp and bright above the clouds.
And they knew that they were come to Caucasus, at the

end of all the earth: Caucasus the highest of all.

mountains, the father of the rivers of the East. On his
peak lies chained the Titan, while a vulture tears his
heart; and at his feet are piled dark forests round the
magic Colchian land.



The Argonauts At

And they rowed three days to the eastward, while
Caucasus rose higher hour by hour, till they saw the
dark stream of Phasis rushing headlong to the sea, and,
shining above the tree-tops, the golden roofs of King
Aietes, the child of the Sun. :

Then out spoke Ancaios the helmsman, “We are
come to our goal at last, for there are the roofs of
Aietes, and the woods where all poisons grow; but who
can tell us where among them is hid the ‘golden fleece?
Many a toil must we bear ere we find it, and bring it
home to Greece.”

But Jason cheered the heroes, for his heart was
high and bold; and he said, “I will go alone up
to Aietes, though he be the child of the Sun, and win
him with soft words. Better so than to go all together,
and to come to blows at once.” But the Minuai
would not stay behind, so they rowed boldly up the
stream.

And a dream came to Aietes, and filled his heart with
fear. He thought he saw a shining star, which fell into
his daughter’s lap; and that Medea his daughter took it
gladly, and carried it to the river-side, and cast it in, and
there the whirling river bore it down, and out into the
Euxine Sea.

Then he leapt up in fear, and bade his servants bring
his chariot, that he might go down to the river-side and
appease the nymphs, and the heroes whose spirits haunt
the bank. So he went down in his golden chariot, and
his daughters by his side, Medea the fair witch-maiden,
and Chalciope, who had been Phrixus’ wife, and behind



42 The Book of Wonder Voyages

him a crowd of servants and soldiers, for he was a rich
and mighty prince. ;

And as he drove down by the reedy river he saw
Argo sliding up beneath the bank, and many a hero in
her, like Immortals for beauty and for strength, as their
weapons glittered round them in the level morning
sunlight, through the white mist of the stream. But
Jason was the noblest of all; for Hera, who loved him,
gave him beauty and tallness and terrible manhood.

And when they came near together and looked into
each other’s eyes the heroes were awed before Aietes as
he shone in his chariot, like his father the glorious Sun ;
for his robes were of rich gold tissue, and the rays of his
diadem flashed fire; and in his hand he bore a jewelled
sceptre, which glittered like the stars; and sternly he
looked at them under his brows, and sternly he spoke
and loud :

“Who are you, and what want you here, that you
come to the shore of Cutaia? Do you take no account
of my rule, nor of my people the Colchians who serve
me, who never tired yet in the battle, and know well
how to face an invader?”

And the heroes sat silent a while before the face of that
ancient king. But Hera the awful goddess put courage
into Jason’s heart, and he rose and shouted loudly in
answer, ‘‘ We are no pirates nor lawless men. We come
not to plunder and to ravage, or carry away slaves from
your land; but my uncle, the son of Poseidon, Pelias the
Minuan king, he it is who has set me on a quest to bring
home the golden fleece. And these too, my bold



The Argonauts 43

comrades, they are no nameless men; for some are the
sons of Immortals, and some of heroes far renowned.
And we too never tire in battle, and know well how to
give blows and to take; yet we wish to be guests at your
table : it will be better so for both.”

Then Aietes’ rage rushed up like a whirlwind, and his
eyes flashed fire as he heard; but he crushed his anger
down in his breast, and spoke mildly a cunning speech :

“If you will fight for the fleece with my Colchians,
then many a man must die. But do you indeed expect
to win from me the fleece in fight? So few you are that
if you be worsted I can load your ship with your corpses.
But if you will be ruled by me, you will find it better far
to choose the best man among you, and let him fulfil the
labours which I demand. Then I will give him the
golden fleece for a prize and a glory to you all.”

So saying, he turned his horses and drove back in
silence to the town. And the Minuai sat silent with
sorrow, and longed for Hercules and his strength ; for
there was no facing the thousands of the Colchians and
the fearful chance of war.

But Chalciope, Phrixus’ widow, went weeping to the
town ; for she remembered her Minuan husband, and all
the pleasures of her youth, while she watched the fair
faces of his kinsmen, and their long locks of golden hair.
And she whispered to Medea her sister: “Why should
all these brave men die? why does not my father give
them up the fleece, that my husband’s spirit may have
TEStas

And Medea’s heart pitied the heroes, and Jason most



44 The Book of Wonder Voyages

of all; and she answered: ‘Our father is stern and
terrible, and who can win the golden fleece?” But
Chalciope said: ‘‘ These men are not like our men ; there
is nothing which they cannot dare nor do.”

And Medea thought of Jason and his brave counte-
nance, and said: “If there was one among them who
knew no fear, I could show him how to win the fleece.”

So in the dusk of evening they went down to the
river-side, Chalciope and Medea the witch-maiden, and
Argus, Phrixus’ son. And Argus the boy crept forward,
among the beds of reeds, till he came where the heroes
were sleeping, on the thwarts of the ship, beneath the
bank, while Jason kept ward on shore, and leant upon
his lance full of thought. And the boy came to Jason,
and said :

“‘T am the son of Phrixus, your cousin ; and Chalciope
my mother waits for you, to talk about the golden
fleece.”

Then Jason went boldly with the boy, and found the
two princesses standing; and when Chalciope saw him
she wept, and took his hands, and cried :

“O cousin of my beloved, go home before you die!”

“It would be base to go home now, fair princess, and
to have sailed all these seas in vain.” Then both the
princesses besought him; but Jason said, “It is too
late.”

‘But you know not,” said Medea, “what he must do
who would win the fleece. He must tame the two
brazen-footed bulls, who breathe devouring flame; and
with them he must plough ere nightfall four acres in the



The Argonauts 45

field of Ares; and he must sow them with serpents’
teeth, of which each tooth springs up into an armed man.
Then he must fight with all those warriors; and little
will it profit him to conquer them, for the fleece is
guarded by a serpent, more huge than any mountain
pine; and over his body you must step if you would
reach the golden fleece.”

Then Jason laughed bitterly. “ Unjustly is that fleece
kept here, and by an unjust and lawless king ; and un-
justly shall I die in my youth, for I will attempt it ere
another sun be set.”

Then Medea trembled, and said: ‘‘“No mortal man
can reach that fleece unless I guide him through. For
round it, beyond the river, is a wall full nine ells high,
with lofty towers and buttresses, and mighty gates of
threefold brass ; and over the gates the wall is arched,
with golden battlements above. And over the gateway
sits Brimo, the wild witch-huntress of the woods, brand-
‘ishing a pine-torch in her hands, while her mad hounds
howl around. No man dare meet her or look on her,
but only I her priestess, and she watches far and wide
lest any stranger should come near.”

“No wall so high but it may be climbed at last, and
no wood so thick but it may be crawled through; no
serpent so wary but he may be charmed, or witch-queen
‘so fierce but spells may soothe her; and I may yet win
the golden fleece, if a wise maiden help bold men.”

And he looked at Medea cunningly, and held her with
his glittering eye, till she blushed and trembled, and
said :



46 The Book of Wonder Voyages
‘“Who can face the fire of the bulls’ lorena, and fight

ten thousand armed men ?”
‘He whom you help,” said Jason, flattering her, “for
your fame is spread over all the earth. Are you not

the queen of all enchantresses, wiser even than your

sister Circe, in her fairy island in the West ?”

‘Would that I were with my sister Circe in her fairy
island in the West, far away from sore temptation and
thoughts which tear the heart! But if it must be so—
for why should you die ?—I have an ointment here; I
made it from the magic ice-flower which sprang from
Prometheus’ wound, above the clouds on Caucasus, in
the dreary fields of snow. Anoint yourself with that,
and you shall have in you seven men’s strength; and
anoint your shield with it, and neither fire nor sword can
harm you. But what you begin you must end before
sunset, for its virtue lasts only one day. And anoint
your helmet with it before you sow the serpents’ teeth ;
and when the sons of earth spring up, cast your helmet
among their ranks, and the deadly crop of the War-god’s
field will mow itself, and perish.”

Then Jason fell on his knees before her, and thanked
her and kissed her hands ; and she gave him the vase of
ointment, and fled trembling through the reeds. And
Jason told his comrades what had happened, and showed
them the box of ointment; and all rejoiced but Idas, and
he grew mad with envy.

And at sunrise Jason went and bathed, and anointed
himself from head to foot, and his shield, and his helmet,
and his weapons, and bade his comrades try the spell.

seared



The Argonauts 47

So they tried to bend his lance, but it stood like an iron
bar ; and Idas in spite hewed at it with his sword, but
the blade flew to splinters in his face. Then they hurled
their lances at his shield, but the spear-points turned like
lead ; and Caineus tried to throw him, but he never
stirred a foot ; and Polydeuces struck him with his fist a
blow which would have killed an ox, but Jason only
smiled, and the heroes danced about him with delight ;
and he leapt, and ran, and shouted in the joy of that
enormous strength, till the sun rose, and it was time to
go and to claim Aietes’ promise.

So he sent up Telamon and Aithalides to tell Aietes
that he was ready for the fight; and they went up
among the marble walls, and beneath the roofs of
gold, and stood in Aietes’ hall, while he grew pale with
rage.

‘Fulfil your promise to us, child of the blazing Sun.
Give us the serpents’ teeth, and let loose the fiery bulls ;
for we have found a champion among us who can win
the golden fleece.”

And Aietes bit his lips, for he fancied that they had
fled away by night: but he could not go back from his
promise ; so he gave them the serpents’ teeth.

Then he called for his chariot and his horses, and sent
heralds through all the town; and all the people went
out with him to the dreadful War-god’s field.

And there Aietes sat upon his throne, with his warriors
on each hand, thousands and tens of thousands, clothed
from head to foot in steel chain-mail. And the people
and the women crowded to every window and bank and



48 The Book of Wonder Voyages

wall; while the Minuai stood together, a mere handful
in the midst of that great host. :

And Chalciope was there and Argus, trembling, and
Medea, wrapped closely in her veil ; but Aietes did not
know that she was muttering cunning spells between her
lips.

Then Jason cried, ‘ Fulfil your promise, and let your
fiery bulls come forth.”

Then Aietes bade open the gates, and the magic bulls
leapt out. Their brazen hoofs rang upon the ground,
and their nostrils sent out sheets of flame, as they rushed
with lowered heads upon Jason; but he never flinched
a step. The flame of their breath swept round him,
but it singed not a hair of his head; and the bulls
stopped short and trembled when Medea began her
spell.

Then Jason sprang upon the nearest and seized him
by the horn; and up and down they wrestled, till the
bull fell grovelling on his knees; for the heart of the
brute died within him, and his mighty limbs were loosed,
beneath the steadfast eye of that dark witch-maiden and
the magic whisper of her lips.

So both. the bulls were tamed and yoked; and Jason
bound them to the plough, and goaded them onward
with his lance till he had ploughed the sacred field.

And all the Minuai shouted ; but Aietes bit his lips
with rage, for the half of Jason’s work was over, and the
sun was yet high in heaven.

Then he took the serpents’ teeth and sowed them,
and waited what would befall. But Medea looked at





The Argonauts 49
him and at his helmet, lest he should forget the lesson
she had taught.

And every furrow heaved and bubbled, and out of
every clod arose a man. Out of the earth they rose by

aI

OS)
Wa

OID
Coe)
OS SAY

iw
ESR
CS24
es

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es

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thousands, each clad from head to foot in steel, and drew

their swords and rushed on Jason, where he stood in the
midst alone. .

Then the Minuai grew pale with fear for him; but
Aietes laughed a bitter laugh. “See! if I had not

D



50 The Book of Wonder Voyages

warriors enough already round me, I could call them out
of the bosom of the earth.”

But Jason snatched off his helmet, and hurled it into
the thickest of the throng. And blind madness came
upon them, suspicion, hate, and fear; and one cried to
his fellow, ‘‘ Thou didst strike me!” and another, ‘“‘ Thou
art Jason ; thou shalt die!” So fury seized those earth-
born phantoms, and each turned his hand against the
rest; and they fought and were never weary, till they all
lay dead upon the ground. Then the magic furrows
opened and the kind earth took them home into her
breast; and the grass grew up all green again above
them, and Jason’s work was done.

Then the Minuai rose and shouted, till Prometheus
heard them from his crag. And Jason cried, ‘‘ Lead
me to the fleece this moment, before the sun goes
down.”

But Aietes thought, ‘‘ He has conquered the bulls, and
sown and reaped the deadly crop. Who is this who is
proof against all magic? He may kill the serpent yet.”
So he delayed, and sat taking counsel with his princes
till the sun went down and all was dark. Then he bade
a herald cry, ‘‘ Every man to his home for to-night. To-
morrow we will meet these heroes, and speak about the
golden fleece.”

Then he turned and looked at Medea. ‘This is your
doing, false witch-maid! You have helped these yellow-
haired strangers, and brought shame upon your father
and yourself!”

Medea shrank and trembled, and her face grew pale



The Argonauts Sit

with fear; and Aietes knew that she was guilty, and
whispered, ‘If they win the fleece, you die!”

But the Minuai marched toward their ship, growling
like lions cheated of their prey; for they saw that Aietes
meant to mock them, and to cheat them out of all their
toil. And Oileus said, “ Let us go to the grove together,
and take the fleece by force.”

And Idas the rash cried, “ Let us draw lots who shall
go in first ; for, while the dragon is devouring one, the
rest can slay him and carry off the fleece in peace.” But
Jason held them back, though he praised them; for he
hoped for Medea’s help. |

And after a while Medea came trembling, and wept a
long while before she spoke. And at last:

‘‘My end is come, and I must die; for my father has
found out that I have helped you. You he would kill if
he dared; but he will not harm you, because you have
been his guests. Go, then, go, and remember poor
Medea when you are far away across the sea.” But all
the heroes cried :

“If you die, we die with you; for without you we
cannot win the fleece, and home we will not go without
it, but fall here fighting to the last man.”

“You need not die,” said Jason. ‘Flee home with
us across the sea. Show us first how to win the fleece ;
for you can do it. Why else are you the priestess of
the grove? Show us but how to win the fleece, and
come with us, and you shall be my queen, and rule
over the rich princes of the Minuai, in Iolcos by the

”

. S€a.



Ee The Book of Wonder Voyages

And all the heroes pressed round, and vowed to her
that she should be their queen.

Medea wept, and shuddered, and hid her face in her
hands ; for her heart yearned after her sisters and her
playfellows, and the home where she was brought up as
a child. But at last she looked up at Jason, and spoke
between her sobs :

‘Must I leave my home and my people, to wander
with strangers across the sea? The lot is cast, and |
must endure it. I will show you how to win the golden
fleece. Bring up your ship to the wood-side, and moor
her there against the bank; and let Jason come up at
midnight, and one brave comrade with him, and meet me
beneath the wall.”

Then all the heroes cried together, “I will go!” “and
I!" “and I!” And Idas the rash grew mad with envy ;
for he longed to be foremost in all things. But Medea
calmed them, and said, “Orpheus shall go with Jason,
and bring his magic harp; for I hear of him that he is the
king of all minstrels, and can charm all things on earth.”

And Orpheus laughed for joy, and clapped his hands,
because the choice had fallen on him; for in those days
poets and singers were as bold warriors as the best.

So at midnight they went up the bank, and found
Medea: and beside came Absyrtus her young brother,
leading a yearling lamb.

Then Medea brought them to a thicket beside the
War-god’s gate; and there she bade Jason dig a ditch
and kill the lamb, and leave it there, and strew on it
magic herbs and honey from the honeycomb.



The Argonauts Ee

Then sprang up through the earth, with the red fire
flashing before her, Brimo the wild witch-huntress, while
her mad hounds howled around. She had one head like
a horse’s, and another like a ravening hound’s, and another
like a hissing snake’s, and a sword in either hand. And
she leapt into the ditch with her hounds, and they ate and
drank their fill, while Jason and Orpheus trembled, and
Medea hid her eyes. And at last the witch-queen vanished,
and fled with her hounds into the woods; and the bars of
the gates fell down, and the brazen doors flew wide, and
Medea and the heroes ran forward and hurried through
the poison wood, among the dark stems of the mighty
beeches, guided by the gleam of the golden fleece, until
they saw it hanging on one vast tree in the midst. And
Jason would have sprung to seize it; but Medea held
him back, and pointed, shuddering, to the tree-foot,
where the mighty serpent lay, coiled in and out among
the roots, with a body like a mountain pine. His coils
stretched many a fathom, spangled with bronze and gold;
and half of him they could see, but no more, for the rest
lay in the darkness far beyond.

And when he saw them coming he lifted up his head,
and watched them with his small bright eyes, and flashed
his forked tongue, and roared like the fire among the
woodlands, till the forest tossed and groaned. For his
cries shook the trees from leaf to root, and swept over
the long reaches of the river, and over Ajietes’ hall, and
woke the sleepers in the city, till mothers clasped their
children in their fear.

But Medea called gently to him, and he stretched out



54 The Book of Wonder Voyages

his long spotted neck, and licked her hand, and looked
up in her face, as if to ask for food. Then she made a
sign to Orpheus, and he began his magic song.

And as he sung, the forest grew calm again, and the
leaves on every tree hung still; and the serpent’s head
sank down, and his brazen coils grew limp, and _ his
glittering eyes closed lazily, till he breathed as gently as
a child, while Orpheus called to pleasant Slumber, who
gives peace to men, and beasts, and waves.

Then Jason leapt forward warily, and stept across that
mighty snake, and tore the fleece from off the tree-
trunk; and the four rushed down the garden, to the
bank where the 47go lay.

There was a silence for a moment, while Jason held
the golden fleece on high. Then he cried, “Go now,
good Argo, swift and steady, if ever you would see
Pelion more.”

And she went, as the heroes. drove her, grim and
silent all, with muffled oars, till the pine-wood bent like
willow in their hands, and stout 4Azvgo groaned beneath
their strokes.

On and on, beneath the dewy darkness, they fled
swiftly down the swirling stream; underneath black
walls, and temples, and the castles of the princes of the
East; past sluice-mouths, and fragrant gardens, and
groves of all strange fruits; past marshes where fat
kine lay sleeping, and long beds of. whispering reeds ;
till they heard the merry music of the surge upon the
bar, as it tumbled in the moonlight all alone.

Into the surge they rushed, and Avzgo leapt the





ir
gall Yh
Ga yoo
Ne; Mae ied
WU" Q

EVS-AND-MEDEA‘CHARM
E-SNAKE-THAT-GVARDS-THE
LDEN-: FLEECE: NSASASASAS





The Argonauts 55

breakers like a horse; for she knew the time was come
to show her mettle, and win honour for the heroes and
herself.

Into the surge they rushed, and Azgo leapt the
breakers like a horse, till the heroes stopped all panting
each man upon his oar, as she slid into the still broad
sea.

Then Orpheus took his harp and sang a pzan, till the
heroes’ hearts rose high again; and they rowed on
stoutly and steadfastly, away into the darkness of the
West.



V

How the Argonauts were Driven into the Unknown Sea

26) aa @8\O they fled away in haste to the westward ;
LAs
NE

( Sy but Aietes manned his fleet and followed
Qe

them. And Lynceus the quick-eyed saw
OF

him coming, while he was still many a

mile away, and cried, ‘I see a hundred
ships, like a flock of white swans, far in the east.” And
at that they rowed hard, like heroes; but the ships came
nearer every hour.

Then Medea, the dark witch-maiden, laid a cruel and
a cunning plot; for she killed Absyrtus, her young
brother, and cast him into the sea, and said, “‘ Ere my
father can take up his corpse and bury it, he must wait
long, and be left far behind.”

And all the heroes shuddered, and looked one at the
other for shame; yet they did not punish that dark
witch-woman, because she had won for them the golden
fleece.

And when Aietes came to the place he saw the floating
corpse; and he stopped a long while, and bewailed his
son, and took him up, and went home. But he sent on
his sailors toward the westward, and bound them by a






The Argonauts Ba

mighty curse: “Bring back to me that dark witch-
woman, that she may die a dreadful death. But if you
return without her, you shall die by the same death
yourselves.”

So the Argonauts escaped for that time; but Father
Zeus saw that foul crime; and out of the heavens he sent
a storm, and swept the ship far from her course. Day
after day the storm drove her, amid foam and blinding
mist, till they knew no longer where they were, for the
sun was blotted from the skies. And at last the ship
struck on a shoal, amid low isles of mud and sand, and
the waves rolled over her and through her, .and the
heroes lost all hope of life.

Then Jason cried to Hera, ‘‘ Fair queen, who hast
befriended us till now, why hast thou left us in our
misery, to die here among unknown seas? It is hard to
lose the honour which we have won with such toil and
danger, and hard never to see Hellas again, and the
pleasant’bay of Pagasai.”

Then out and spoke the magic bough which stood
upon the Axgo’s beak, “ Because Father Zeus is angry,
all this has fallen on you; for a cruel crime has been
done on board, and the sacred ship is foul with blood.”

At that some of the heroes cried, ‘‘ Medea is the mur-
deress. Let the witch-woman bear her sin, and die!”
And they seized Medea, to hurl her into the sea, and
atone for the young boy’s death; but the magic bough
spoke again, “ Let her live till her crimes are full. Ven-
geance waits for her, slow and sure ; but she must live,
for you need her still She must show you the way to



58 The Book of Wonder Voyages

her sister Circe, who lives among the islands of the
West. To her you must sail, a weary way, and she shall
cleanse you from your guilt.”

Then all the heroes wept aloud when they heard the
sentence of the oak; for they knew that a dark journey
lay before them, and years of bitter toil. And some up-
braided the dark witch-woman, and some said, ‘‘ Nay, we
are her debtors still; without her we should never have
won the fleece.” But most of them bit their lips in
silence, for they feared the witch’s spells.

And now the sea grew calmer, and the sun shone out
once more, and the heroes thrust the ship off the sand-
bank, and rowed forward on their weary course under the
guiding of the dark witch-maiden, into the wastes of the
unknown sea.

Whither they went I cannot tell, nor how they came to
Circe’s isle. Some say that they went to the westward,
and up the Ister stream, and so came into the Adriatic,
dragging their ship over the snowy Alps. And others
say that they went southward, into the Red Indian Sea,
and past the sunny lands where spices grow, round
“Ethiopia toward the West; and that at last they came
to Libya, and dragged their ship across the burning
sands, and over the hills into the Syrtes, where the flats
and quicksands spread for many a mile, between rich
Cyrene and the Lotus-eaters’ shore. But all these
are but dreams and fables, and dim hints of unknown
lands.

But all say that they came to a place where they had
to drag their ship across the land nine days with ropes





The Argonauts 59

and rollers, till they came into an unknown sea. And
the best of all the old songs tells us how they went away
toward the North, till they came to the slope of Caucasus,
where it sinks into the sea; and to the narrow Cimme-
rian Bosphorus, where the Titan swam across upon the
bull; and thence into the lazy waters of the still Mzeotid
lake. And thence they went northward ever, up the
Tanais, which we call Don, past the Geloni and Sauro-
matai, and many a wandering shepherd-tribe, and the
one-eyed Arimaspi, of whom old Greek poets tell, who
steal the gold from the Griffins, in the cold Riphaian hills.

And they passed the Scythian archers, and the Tauri
who eat men, and the wandering Hyperboreai, who feed
their flocks beneath the pole-star, until they came into
the northern ocean, the dull dead Cronian Sea. And
there Argo would move on no longer; and each man
clasped his elbow, and leaned his head upon his hand,
heartbroken with toil and hunger, and gave himself up to
death. But brave Ancaios the helmsman cheered up
their hearts once more, and bade them leap on land, and
haul the ship with ropes and rollers for many a weary
day, whether over land, or mud, or ice, I know not, for
the song is mixed and broken like a dream. And it says
next, how they came to the rich nation of the famous
long-lived men ; and to the coast of the Cimmerians, who
never saw the sun, buried deep in the glens of the snow
mountains; and to the fair land of Hermione, where
dwelt the most righteous of all nations: and to the
gates of the world below, and to the dwelling-place of
dreams.



60 The Book of Wonder Voyages

And at last Ancaios shouted, “ Endure a little while,
brave friends, the worst is surely past; for I can see the
pure west wind ruffle the water, and hear the roar of
ocean on the sands. So raise up the mast, and set the
sail, and face what comes like men.”

Then out spoke the magic bough: “ Ah, would that I
had perished long ago, and been whelmed by the dread
blue rocks beneath the fierce swell of the Euxine! Better
so, than to wander for ever, disgraced by the guilt of my
princes ; for the blood of Absyrtus still tracks me, and
woe follows hard upon woe. And now some dark horror
will clutch me, if I come near the Isle of Ierne. Unless
you will cling to the land, and sail southward and south-
ward for ever, I shall wander beyond the Atlantic, to the
ocean which has no shore.”

Then they blest the magic bough, and sailed south-
ward along the land. But ere they could pass lerne, the
land of mists and storms, the wild wind came down, dark
and roaring, and caught the sail, and strained the ropes.
And away they drove twelve nights, on the wide wild
western sea, through the foam, and over the rollers, while
they saw neither sun nor stars. And they cried again :
‘“We shall perish, for we know not'where we are. We
are lost in the dreary damp darkness, and cannot tell
north from south.”

But Lynceus the long-sighted called gaily from the
bows: “ Take heart again, brave sailors ; for I see a pine-
clad isle, and the halls of the kind Earth-mother, with a
crown of clouds around them.”

But Orpheus said: “Turn from them, for no living



Wy
CF



CIRCE AND MEDEA



The Argonauts 61

man can land there; there is no harbour on the coast,
but steep-walled cliffs all round.”

So Ancaios turned the ship away ; and for three days
more they sailed on, till they came to Aiaia, Circe’s home,
and the fairy island of the West.

And there Jason bid them land, and seek about for any
sign of living man. And as they went inland Circe met
them, coming down toward the ship; and they trembled
when they saw her, for her hair, and face, and robes
shone like flame.

And she came and looked at Medea ; and Medea hid
her face beneath her veil.

And Circe cried: ‘‘ Ah, wretched girl, have you for-
gotten all your sins, that you come hither to my island,
where the flowers bloom all the year round? Where is
your aged father, and the brother whom you killed? Little
do I expect you to return in safety with these strangers
whom you love. I will send you food and wine: but
your ship must not stay here, for it is foul with sin, and
foul with sin its crew.”

And the heroes prayed her, but in vain, and cried,
“Cleanse us from our guilt!” But she sent them away,
and said, “Go onto Malea, and there you may be cleansed,
and return home.” :

Then a fair wind rose, and they sailed eastward, by
Tartessus on the Iberian shore, till they came to the
Pillars of Hercules, and the Mediterranean Sea. And
thence they sailed on through the deeps of Sardinia, and
past the Ausonian Islands, and the capes of the Tyrrhenian
shore, till they came to a flowery island upon a still



62 The Book of Wonder Voyages

bright summer’s eve. And as they neared it, slowly and
wearily, they heard sweet songs upon the shore. But
when Medea heard it, she started, and cried, ‘‘ Beware,
all heroes, for these are the rocks of the Sirens. You must
pass close by them, for there is no other channel; but
those who listen to that song are lost.”

Then Orpheus spoke, the king of all minstrels, ‘“ Let
them match their song against mine. I have charmed
stones, and trees, and dragons, how much more the hearts
of men!” So he caught up his lyre, and stood upon the
poop, and began his magic song.

And now they could see the Sirens on Anthemousa,
the flowery isle ; three fair maidens sitting on the beach,
beneath a red rock in the setting sun, among beds of
crimson poppies and golden asphodel. Slowly they sung
and sleepily, with silver voices, mild and clear, which
stole over the golden waters, and into the hearts of all the
heroes, in spite of Orpheus’ song.

And all things stayed around and listened ; the gulls
sat in white lines along the rocks; on the beach great
seals lay basking, and kept time with lazy heads ; while
silver shoals of fish came up to hearken, and whispered
as they broke the shining calm. The Wind overhead
hushed his whistling, as he shepherded his clouds toward
the west; and the clouds stood in mid-blue, and listened
dreaming, like a flock of golden sheep.

And as the heroes listened, the oars fell from their
hands, and their heads drooped on their breasts, and they
closed their heavy eyes ; and they dreamed of bright still
gardens, and of slumbers under murmuring pines, till all



The Argonauts 63

their toil seemed foolishness, and they thought of their
renown no more.

Then one lifted his head suddenly, and cried, “‘ What
use in wandering for ever? Let us stay here and rest
a while.” And another, “Let us row to the shore, and
hear the words they sing.” And another, “I care not
for the words, but for the music. They shall sing me to
sleep, that I may rest.”

And Butes, the son of Pandion, the fairest of all mortal
men, leapt out and swam toward the shore, crying, “I
come, I come, fair maidens, to live and die here, listening
to your song.”

Then Medea clapped her hands together, and cried,
‘Sing louder, Orpheus, sing a bolder strain; wake up
these hapless sluggards, or none of them will see the land
of Hellas more.”

Then Orpheus lifted his harp, and crashed his cunning
‘hand across the strings ; and his music and his voice rose
like a trumpet through the still evening air; into the air
it rushed like thunder, till the rocks rang and the sea;
and into their souls it rushed like wine, till all hearts beat
fast within their breasts.

And he sung the song of Perseus, how the gods led
him over land and sea, and how he slew the loathly
Gorgon, and won himself a peerless bride ; and how he
sits now with the gods upon Olympus, a shining star in the
sky, immortal with his immortal bride, and honoured by
all men below.

So Orpheus sang, and the Sirens, answering each
other across the golden sea, till Orpheus’ voice



64 The Book of Wonder Voyages

drowned the Sirens’, and the heroes caught their oars
again.

And they cried, ‘‘We will be men like Perseus, and
we will dare and suffer to the last. Sing us his song
again, brave Orpheus, that we may forget the Sirens and
their spell.”

And as Orpheus sang, they dashed their oars into the
sea, and kept time to his music, as they fled fast away ;
and the Sirens’ voices died behind them, in the hissing of
the foam along their wake.

But Butes swam to the shore, and knelt down before
the Sirens, and cried, ‘Sing on! sing on!” But he
could say no more, for a charmed sleep came over him,
and a pleasant humming in his ears; and he sank all
along upon the pebbles, and forgot all heaven and earth,
and never looked at that sad beach around him, all strewn
with the bones of men.

Then slowly rose up those three fair sisters, with a
cruel smile upon their lips; and slowly they crept down
towards him, like leopards who creep upon their prey ;
and their hands were like the talons of eagles as they
stept across the bones of their victims to enjoy their
cruel feast.

But fairest Aphrodite saw him from the highest
Idalian peak, and she pitied his youth and his beauty,
and leapt up from her golden throne; and like a falling
star she cleft the sky, and left a trail of glittering light,
till she stooped to the Isle of the Sirens, and snatched
their prey from their claws. And she lifted Butes as he
lay sleeping, and wrapt him in a golden mist; and she



The Argonauts 65

bore him to the peak of Lilybeeum, and he slept there
many a pleasant year.

But when the Sirens saw that they were conquered,
they shrieked for envy and rage, and leapt from the
beach into the sea, and were changed into rocks until
this day.

Then they came to the straits by Lilybzeum, and saw
Sicily, the three-cornered island, under which Enceladus
the giant lies groaning day and night, and when he turns
the earth quakes, and his breath bursts out in roaring
flames from the highest cone of A*tna, above the chest-
nut woods. And there Charybdis caught them in its
fearful coils of wave, and rolled mast-high about them,
and spun them round and round; and they could go
neither back nor forward, while the whirlpool sucked
them in.

And while they struggled they saw near them, on the
other side the strait, a rock stand in the water, with its
peak wrapt round in clouds—a rock which no man could
climb, though he had twenty hands and feet, for the
stone was smooth and slippery, as if polished by man’s
hand; and half-way up a misty cave looked out toward
the west.

And when Orpheus saw it he groaned, and struck his
hands together. And “Little will it help us,” he cried,
“to escape the jaws of the whirlpool; for in that cave
lives Scylla, the sea-hag with a young whelp’s voice ;
my mother warned me of her ere we sailed away from
Hellas; she has six heads, and six long necks, and hides
in that dark cleft. And from her cave she fishes for all

E



66 The Book of Wonder Voyages

things which pass by—for sharks, and seals, and dolphins,
and all the herds of Amphitrite. And never ship’s crew
boasted that they came safe by her rock, for she bends
her long necks down to them, and every mouth takes up
a man. And who will help us now? For Hera and
Zeus hate us, and our ship is foul with guilt; so we must
die, whatever befalls.”

Then out of the depths came Thetis, Peleus’ silver-
footed bride, for love of her gallant husband, and all her
nymphs around her; and they played like snow-white
dolphins, diving on from wave to wave, before the ship,
and in her wake, and beside her, as dolphins play. And
they caught the ship, and guided her, and passed her on
from hand to hand, and tossed her through the billows,
as maidens toss the ball. And when Scylla stooped to
seize her, they struck back her ravening heads, and foul
Scylla whined, as a whelp whines, at the touch of their
gentle hands. But she shrank into her cave affrighted—
for all bad things shrink from good—and Azgo leapt safe
past her, while a fair breeze rose behind. Then Thetis
and her nymphs sank down to their coral caves beneath
the sea, and their gardens of green and purple, where
live flowers bloom all the year round; while the heroes
went on rejoicing, yet dreading what might come next.

After that they rowed on steadily for many a weary
day, till they saw a long high island, and beyond it a
mountain land. And they searched till they found a
harbour, and there rowed boldly in. But after a while
they stopped, and wondered, for there stood a great city
on the shore, and temples and walls and gardens, and



The Argonauts 67

castles high in air upon the cliffs. And on either side
they saw a harbour, with a narrow mouth, but wide
within ; and black ships without number, high and dry
upon the shore.

Then Ancaios, the wise helmsman, spoke: ‘What
new wonder is this? I know all isles, and harbours, and
the windings of all seas; and this should be Corcyra,
where a few wild goat-herds dwell. But whence come
these new harbours and vast works of polished stone?”

But Jason said, ‘‘ They can be no savage people. We
will go in and take our chance.”

So they rowed into the harbour, among a thousand
black-beaked ships, each larger far than Avgo, toward a
quay of polished stone. And they wondered at that
mighty city, with its roofs of burnished brass, and long
and lofty walls of marble, with strong palisades above.
And the quays were full of people, merchants, and
mariners, and slaves, going to and fro with merchandise
among the crowd of ships. And the heroes’ hearts were
humbled, and they looked at each other and said, ‘““We
thought ourselves a gallant crew when we sailed from
Tolcos by the sea; but how small we look before this
city, like an ant before a hive of bees.”

Then the sailors hailed them roughly from the quay:
‘‘What men are you?—we want no strangers here, nor
pirates. We keep our business to ourselves.”

But Jason answered gently, with many a flattering
word, and praised their city and their harbour, and their
fleet of gallant ships. ‘Surely you are the children of
Poseidon, and the masters of the sea; and we are but



68 The Book of Wonder Voyages

poor wandering mariners, worn out with thirst and toil.
Give us but food and water, and we will go on our voyage
in peace.”

Then the sailors laughed, and answered: “Stranger,
you are no fool; you talk like an honest man, and you
shall find us honest too. Weare the children of Poseidon,
and the masters of the sea; but come ashore to us, and
you shall have the best that we can give.”

So they limped ashore, all stiff and weary, with long
ragged beards and sunburnt cheeks, and garments torn
and weather-stained, and weapons rusted with the spray,
while the sailors laughed at them (for they were rough-
tongued, though their hearts were frank and kind). And
one said, ‘‘ These fellows are but raw sailors; they look
as if they had been sea-sick all the day.” And another,
“Their legs have grown crooked with much rowing, till
they waddle in their walk like ducks.”

At that Idas the rash would have struck them; but
Jason held him back, till one of the merchant kings spoke
to them, a tall and stately man:

“Do not be angry, strangers; the sailor boys must
have their jest. But we will treat you justly and kindly,
for strangers and poor men come from God; and you
seem no common sailors by your strength, and height,
and weapons. Come up with me to the palace of
Alcinous, the rich sea-going king, and we will feast you
well and heartily ; and after that you shall tell us your
name.”

But Medea hung back, and trembled, and whispered
in Jason’s ear, ‘‘ We are betrayed, and are going to our





The Argonauts 69

ruin, for I see my countrymen among the crowd; dark-
eyed Colchi in steel mail-shirts, such as they wear in my
father’s land.”

“Tt is too late to turn,” said Jason. And he spoke to
the merchant king: ‘‘What country is this, good sir?
And what is this new-built town?”

‘This is the land of the Phzeaces, beloved by all the
Immortals; for they come hither and feast like friends
with us, and sit by our side in the hall. Hither we came
from Laburnia to escape the unrighteous Cyclopes ; for
they robbed us, peaceful merchants, of our hard-earned
wares and wealth. So Nausithous, the son of Poseidon,
brought us hither, and died in peace; and now his son
Alcinous rules us, and Arete the wisest of queens.”

So they went up across the square, and wondered still
more as they went; for along the quays lay in order
great cables, and yards, and masts, before the fair temple
of Poseidon, the blue-haired king of the seas. And round
the square worked the shipwrights, as many in number as
ants, twining ropes, and hewing timber, and smoothing
long yards and oars. And the Minuai went on in silence
through clean white marble streets, till they came to the
hall of Alcinous, and they wondered then still more. For
the lofty palace shone aloft in the sun, with walls of plated
brass, from the threshold to the innermost chamber, and
the doors were of silver and gold. And on each side of
the doorway sat living dogs of gold, who never grew old
or died, so well Hephaistos had made them in his forges
in smoking Lemnos, and gave them to Alcinous to guard

-his gates by night. And within, against the walls, stood



70 The Book of Wonder Voyages

thrones on either side, down the whole length of the hall,
strewn with rich glossy shawls ; and on them the merchant
kings of those crafty sea-roving Phzeaces sat eating and
drinking in pride, and feasting there all the year round.
And boys of molten gold stood each on a polished altar,
and held torches in their hands, to give light all night to
the guests. And round the house sat fifty maid-servants,
some grinding the meal in the mill, some turning the
spindle, some weaving at the loom, while their hands
twinkled as they passed the shuttle, like quivering aspen
leaves.

And outside before the palace a great garden was
walled round, filled full of stately fruit-trees, grey olives
and sweet figs, and pomegranates, pears, and apples,
which bore the whole year round. For the rich south-
west wind fed them, till pear grew ripe on pear, fig
on fig, and grape on grape, all the winter and_ the
spring. And at the further end gay flower-beds
bloomed through all. seasons of the year; and two fair
fountains rose, and ran, one through the garden
grounds, and one beneath the palace gate, to water
all the town. Such noble gifts the heavens had given
to Alcinous the wise.

So they went in, and saw him sitting, like Poseidon,
on his throne, with his golden sceptre by him, in
garments stiff with gold, and in his hand a sculptured
goblet as he pledged the merchant kings; and beside
him stood Arete, his wise and lovely queen, and leaned
against a pillar as she spun her golden threads.

Then Alcinous rose, and nalcened them, and Bade



The Argonauts 71

them sit and eat; and the servants brought them tables;
and bread, and meat, and wine.

But Medea went on trembling toward Arete the fair
queen, and fell at her knees, and clasped them, and
cried, weeping, as she knelt :

“T am your guest, fair queen, and I entreat you by
Zeus, from whom prayers come. Do not send me back
to my father to die some dreadful death ; but let me go
my way, and bear my burden. Have I not had enough
of punishment and shame?”

“Who are you, strange maiden? and what is the
meaning of your prayer?”

“T am Medea, daughter of Aietes, and I saw my
countrymen here to-day ; and I know that they are come
to find me, and take me home to die some dreadful
death.”

Then Arete frowned, and said, ‘‘ Lead this girl in, my
maidens ; and let the kings decide, not I.”

And Alcinous leapt up from his throne, and cried,
‘Speak, strangers, who are you? And who is this
maiden ?”

‘We are the heroes of the Minuai,” said Jason ; “and
this maiden has spoken truth. We are the men who
took the golden fleece, the men whose fame has run
round every shore. We came hither out of the ocean,
after sorrows such as man never saw before. We went
out many, and come back few, for many a noble comrade
have we lost. So let us go, as you should let your
guests go, in peace ; that the world may say, ‘Alcinous
-is a just king.’”



G2 The Book of Wonder Voyages

But Alcinous frowned, and stood deep in thought ;
and at last he spoke :

‘Had not the deed been done which is done, I should
have said this day to myself, ‘It is an honour to
Alcinous, and to his children after him, that the far-
famed Argonauts are his guests.’ But these Colchi are
my guests, as you are; and for this month they have
waited here with all their fleet, for they have hunted all
the seas of Hellas, and could not find you, and dared
neither go farther, nor go home.”

‘Let them choose out their champions, and we will
fight them, man for man.”

‘No guests of ours shall fight upon our island, and if
you go outside they will outnumber you. I will do
justice between you, for I know and do what is right.”

Then he turned to his kings, and said, “This may
stand over till to-morrow. To-night we will feast our
guests, and hear the story of all their wanderings, and
how they came hither out of the ocean.”

So Alcinous bade the servants take the heroes in, and
bathe them, and give them clothes. And they were glad
when they saw the warm water, for it was long since
they had bathed. And they washed off the sea-salt from
their limbs, and anointed themselves from head to foot
with oil, and combed out their golden hair. Then they
came back again into the hall, while the merchant kings
rose up to do them honour. And each man said to his
neighbour, ‘No wonder that these men won fame.
How they stand now like Giants, or Titans, or Immortals
come down from Olympus, though many a winter has



The Argonauts 78

worn them, and many a fearful storm. What must they
have been when they sailed from Iolcos, in the bloom of
their youth, long ago?”

Then they went out to the garden; and the merchant
princes said, “ Heroes, run races with us. Let us see
whose feet are nimblest.”

‘We cannot race against you, for our limbs are stiff
from sea: and we have lost our two swift comrades, the
sons of the north wind. But do not think us cowards: if
you wish to try our strength, we will shoot, and box, and
wrestle, against any men on earth.”

And Alcinous smiled, and answered, ‘I believe you,
gallant guests ; with your long limbs and broad shoulders,
we could never match you here. For we care nothing
here for boxing, or for shooting with the bow; but for
feasts, and songs, and harping, and dancing, and running
races, to stretch our limbs on shore.”

So they danced there and ran races, the jolly merchant
kings, till the night fell, and all went in.

And then they ate and drank, and comforted their
weary souls, till Alcinous called a herald, and bade him
go and fetch the harper.

The herald went out, and fetched the harper, and led
him in by the hand; and Alcinous cut him a piece of
meat, from the fattest of the haunch, and sent it to him,
and said, “Sing to us, noble harper, and rejoice the
heroes’ hearts.”

So the harper played and sang, while the dancers
danced strange figures; and after that the tumblers
-showed their tricks, till the heroes laughed again.



74 The Book of Wonder Voyages

Then, “Tell me, heroes,” asked Alcinous, “you who
have sailed the ocean round, and seen the manners of all
nations, have you seen such dancers as ours here, or
heard such music and such singing? We hold ours to
be the best on earth.”

“Such dancing we have never seen,” said Orpheus ;
“and your singer is a happy man, for Phcebus himself
must have taught him, or else he is the son of a Muse,
as I am also, and have sung once or twice, though not so
well as he.”

“Sing to us, then, noble stranger,” said Alcinous ;
‘“‘and we will give you precious gifts.”

So Orpheus took his magic harp, and sang to them a
stirring song of their voyage from Iolcos, and their
dangers, and how they won the golden fleece; and of
Medea’s love, and how she helped them, and went with
them over land and sea; and of all their fearful dangers,
from monsters, and rocks, and storms, till the heart of
Arete was softened, and all the women wept. And the
merchant kings rose up, each man from off his golden
throne, and clapped their hands, and shouted, “Hail to
the noble Argonauts, who sailed the unknown sea!”

Then he went on, and told their journey over the
sluggish northern main, and through the shoreless outer
ocean, to the fairy island of the west; and of the Sirens,
and Scylla, and Charybdis, and all the wonders they had
seen, till midnight passed and the day dawned; but the
kings never thought of sleep. Each man sat still and
listened, with his chin upon his hand.

And at last, when Orpheus had ended, they all went





The Argonauts Gs

thoughtful out, and the heroes lay down to sleep,
beneath the sounding porch outside, where Arete had
strewn them rugs and carpets, in the sweet still summer
night.

But Arete pleaded hard with her husband for Medea,
for her heart was softened. And she said, “The gods
will punish her, not we. After all, she is our guest and
my suppliant, and prayers are the daughters of Zeus.
And who, too, dare part man and wife, after all they
have endured together?”

And Alcinous smiled. ‘“The minstrel’s song has
charmed you; but I must remember what is right, for
songs cannot alter justice ; and I must be faithful to my
name. Alcinous I am called, the man of sturdy sense ;
and Alcinous I will be.” But for all that Arete besought
him, until she won him round.

So next morning he sent a herald, and called the
kings into the square, and said, ‘“ This is a puzzling
matter: remember but one thing. These Minuai live
close by us, and we may meet them often on the seas ;
but Aietes lives afar off, and we have only heard his
name. Which, then, of the two is it safer to offend—the
men near us, or the men far off?”

The princes laughed, and praised his wisdom; and
Alcinous called the heroes to the square, and the Colchi
also; and they came and stood opposite each other, but
Medea stayed in the palace. Then Alcinous spoke,
“Heroes of the Colchi, what is your errand about this
lady ?”

“To carry her home with us, that she may die a



76 The Book of Wonder Voyages

shameful death; but if we return without her, we must
die the death she should have died.”

“What say you to this, Jason the ®olid?” said
Alcinous, turning to the Minuai.

“T say,” said the cunning Jason, “that they are come
here on a bootless errand. Do you think that you can
make her follow you, heroes of the Colchi—her, who
knows all spells and charms? She will cast away your
ships on quicksands, or call down on you Brimo the wild
huntress; or the chains will fall from off her wrists, and
she will escape in her dragon-car; or if not thus, some
other way, for she has a thousand plans and wiles. And
why return home at all, brave heroes, and face the long
seas again, and the Bosphorus, and the stormy Euxine,
and double all your toil? There is many a fair land
round these coasts, which waits for gallant men like you.
Better to settle there, and build a city, and let Aietes and
Colchis help themselves.”

Then a murmur rose among the Colchi, and some
cried, ‘‘ He has spoken well ;” and some, ‘‘ We have had
enough of roving, we will sail the seas no more!” And
the chief said at last, ‘‘ Be it so, then; a plague she has
been to us, and a plague to the house of her father, and
a plague she will be to you. Take her, since you are no
wiser ; and we will sail away toward the north.”

Then Alcinous gave them food and water, and gar-
ments, and rich presents of all sorts; and he gave the
same to the Minuai, and sent them all away in peace.

So Jason kept the dark witch-maiden to breed
him woe and shame; and the Colchi went northward



The Argonauts Te

into the Adriatic, and settled, and built towns along
the shore.

Then the heroes rowed away to the eastward to
reach Hellas, their beloved land; but a storm came
down upon them, and swept them far away toward the
south. And they rowed till they were spent with
struggling, through the darkness and the blinding rain;
but where they were they could not tell, and they gave
up all hope of life. And at last they touched the ground,
and when daylight came they waded to the shore ; and
saw nothing round but sand and desolate salt pools, for
they had come to the quicksands of the Syrtis, and the
dreary treeless flats which lie between Numidia and
Cyrene, on the burning shore of Africa. And there they
wandered starving for many a weary day, ere they could
launch their ship again, and gain the open sea. And
there Canthus was killed, while he was trying to drive off
sheep, by a stone which a herdsman threw.

And there too Mopsus died, the seer who knew the
voices of all birds; but he could not foretell his own end,
for he was bitten in the foot by a snake, one of those
which sprang from the Gorgon’s head when Perseus
carried it across the sands.

At last they rowed away toward the northward, for
many a weary day, till their water was spent, and their
food eaten; and they were worn out with hunger and
thirst. But at last they saw a long steep island, and a
blue peak high among the clouds; and they knew it for
the peak of Ida, and the famous land of Crete. And
_ they said, ‘““We will land in Crete, and see Minos the



78 The Book of Wonder Voyages

just king, and all his glory and his wealth ; at least he
will treat us hospitably, and let us fill our water-casks
upon the shore.”

But when they came nearer to the island they saw a
wondrous sight upon the cliffs. For on a cape to the
westward stood a giant, taller than any mountain pine,
who glittered aloft against the sky like a tower of
burnished brass. He turned and looked on all sides
round him, till he saw the Axgo and her crew; and when
he saw them he came toward them, more swiftly than the
swiftest horse, leaping across the glens at a bound, and
striding at one step from down to down. And when he
came abreast of them he brandished his arms up and
down, as a ship hoists and lowers her yards, and shouted
with his brazen throat like a trumpet from off the hills,
“You are pirates, you are robbers! If you dare land
here, you die.”

Then the heroes cried, ‘‘ We are no pirates. We are
all good men and true, and all we ask is food and water ;”
but the giant cried the more :

“You are robbers, you are pirates all; I know you;
and if you land, you shall die the death.”

Then he waved his arms again as a signal, and they
saw the people flying inland, driving their flocks before
them, while a great flame arose among the hills. Then
the giant ran up a valley and vanished, and the heroes
lay on their oars in fear.

But Medea stood watching all from under her steep
black brows, with a cunning smile upon her lips, and a
cunning plot within her heart. At last she spoke: “I



The Argonauts 79

know this giant. I heard of him in the East. Hepha-
istos the Fire King made him in his forge in A®tna
beneath the earth, and called him Talus, and gave him
to Minos for a servant, to guard the coast of Crete.
Thrice a day he walks round the island, and never stops
to sleep ; and if strangers land he leaps into his furnace,
which flames there among the hills; and when he is
red-hot he rushes on them, and burns them in his brazen
hands.”

Then all the heroes cried, ‘‘ What shall we do, wise
Medea? We must have water, or we die of thirst. Flesh
and blood we can face fairly ; but who can face this red-
hot brass?”

““T can face red-hot brass, if the tale I hear be true.
For they say that he has but one vein in all his body,
filled with liquid fire ; and that this vein is closed with a
nail; but I know not where that nail is placed. But if I
can get it once into these hands, you shall water your
ship here in peace.”

Then she bade them put her on shore, and row off
again, and wait what would befall.

And the heroes obeyed her unwillingly, for they were
ashamed to leave her so alone; but Jason said, “ She is
dearer to me than to any of you, yet I will trust her
freely on shore; she has more plots than we can dream
of in the windings of that fair and cunning head.”

So they left the witch-maiden on the shore; and she
stood there. in her beauty all alone, till the giant strode
back red-hot from head to heel, while the grass hissed

and smoked beneath his tread.



80 The Book of Wonder Voyages

And when he saw the maiden alone, he stopped ; and
she looked boldly up into his face without moving, and
began her magic song :

‘Life is short, though life is sweet ; and even men of
brass and fire must die. The brass must rust, the fire
must cool, for'time gnaws all things in their ‘turn. Life
is short, though life is sweet: but sweeter to live for
ever ; sweeter to live ever youthful like the gods, who
have ichor in théir veins—ichor which gives life, and
youth, and joy, and a bounding heart.”

Then Talus said, ‘‘ Who are you, strange maiden, and
where is this ichor of youth ?”

Then Medea held up a flask of crystal, and said,
“Here is the ichor of youth. I am Medea the enchan-
tress; my sister Circe gave me this, and said, ‘Go and
reward Talus, the faithful servant, for his fame is gone
out into all lands.’ So come, and I will pour this into
your veins, that you may live for ever young.”

And he listened to her false words, that simple Talus,
and came near; and Medea said, ‘“ Dip yourself in the
sea first, and cool yourself, lest you burn my tender hands ;
then show me where the nail in your vein is, that I may
pour the ichor in.”

Then that simple Talus dipped himself in the sea, till
it hissed, and roared, and smoked ; and came and knelt
before Medea, and showed her the secret nail.

And she drew the nail out gently, but she poured no
ichor in ; and instead the liquid fire spouted forth, like a
stream of red-hot iron. And Talus tried to leap up,
crying, ‘““You have betrayed me, false witch-maiden!”’



The Argonauts Sr

But she lifted up her hands before him, and sang, till he
sank beneath her spell. And as he sank, his brazen
limbs clanked heavily, and the earth groaned beneath
his weight ; and the liquid fire ran from his heel, like a
stream of Java, to the sea; and Medea laughed, and



called to the heroes, ‘‘Come ashore, and water your ship
in peace.”

So they came, and found the giant lying dead ; and
they fell down, and kissed Medea’s feet; and watered
their ship, and took sheep and oxen, and so left that

. inhospitable shore.



82 The Book of Wonder Voyages

At last, after many more adventures, they came to the
Cape of Malea, at the south-west point of the Pelopon-
nese. And there they offered sacrifices, and Orpheus
purged them from their guilt. Then they rode away
again to the northward, past the Laconian shore, and
came all worn and tired by Sunium, and up the long
Eubcean Strait, until they saw once more Pelion, and
Aphetai, and Iolcos by the sea.

And they ran the ship ashore; but they had no
strength left to haul her up the beach; and they crawled
out on the pebbles, and sat down, and wept till they
could weep no more. For the houses and the trees
were all altered ; and all the faces which they saw were
strange; and their joy was swallowed up in sorrow,
while they thought of their youth, and all their labour,
and the gallant comrades they had lost.

And the people crowded round, and asked them,
‘Who are you, that you sit weeping here?”

‘“We are the sons of your princes, who sailed out
many a year ago. We went to fetch the golden fleece,
and we have brought it, and grief therewith. Give us
news of our fathers and our mothers, if any of them be
left alive on earth.”

Then there was shouting, and laughing, and weeping ;
and all the kings came to the shore, and they led away
the heroes to their homes, and bewailed the valiant dead.

Then Jason went up with Medea to the palace of his
uncle Pelias. And when he came in Pelias sat by the
hearth, crippled and blind with age; while opposite him
sat Afson, Jason’s father, crippled and blind likewise ;



The Argonauts 83

and the two old men’s heads shook together as they tried
to warm themselves before the fire.

And Jason fell down at his father’s knees, and wept,
and called him by his name. And the old man stretched
his hands out, and felt him, and said, ‘‘ Do not mock me,
young hero. My son Jason is dead long ago at sea.”

“Tam your own son Jason, whom you trusted to the
Centaur upon Pelion; and I have brought home the
golden fleece, and a princess of the Sun’s race for my
bride. So now give me up the kingdom, Pelias my
uncle, and fulfil your promise as I have fulfilled mine.”

Then his father clung to him like a child, and wept,
and would not let him go; and cried, ‘ Now I shall not
go down lonely to my grave. Promise me never to leave
me till I die.”



VI
What was the End of the Heroes

4) ND now I wish that I could end my story
pleasantly ; but it is no fault of mine that
I cannot. The old songs end it sadly,

ON and I believe that they are right and
SyeB wise ; for though the heroes were purified
at Malea, yet prone cannot make bad hearts good,
and Jason had taken a wicked wife, and he had to “Tisai
his burden to the last.

And first she laid a cunning plot to punish that poor
old Pelias, instead of letting him die in peace.

For she told his daughters, “I can make old things
young again ; I will show you how easy it is to do.” So
she took an old ram and killed him, and put him in a
cauldron with magic herbs; and whispered her spells
over him, and he leapt out again a young lamb. So that
‘“Medea’s cauldron” is a proverb still, by which we
mean times of war and change, when the world has
become old and feeble, and grows young again through
bitter pains.

Then she said to Pelias’ daughters, ‘‘ Do to your father
as I did to this ram, and he will grow young and strong



‘i



Full Text


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Tk BO Ook ©:
WONDER VOYAGES


THETIS SAVES THE ARGONAUTS FROM SCYLLA


* THE:B BOOK:OF
WONDER
a VOYAGES

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Heit GD Yipee







LONDON
DAVID NVTT-: IN- THE-STRAND

13 96
Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & Co.
At the Ballantyne Press
EREBAGE

0 5) T was my custom for several years to
“tell my children every Friday night a
voyage, told in the first person, but, if
the truth must come out, simply



“lifted,” or at best adapted from all
the imaginary voyages I could come across. I led the
youngsters to understand that I had gone through one
hundred voyages in my time, but that I should never be
able to tell them my hundredth voyage, for if I told
that 1 should burst. Sure enough | got to the ninety-
ninth voyage, and on the following Friday there was, of
course, no narrative forthcoming. But the following
week a deputation from the young ones begged for my
hundredth voyage, whatever the consequences.

I have thought that if my poor recital of these
imaginary voyages could rouse interest and curiosity to
such an unfilial pitch among my own children the
originals from which I derived them might be equally
attractive to other children ; and I have brought together
al Preface

in the present volume the most memorable of those
flights of the imagination which form almost as marked
a class of popular literature as fairy tales themselves. It
seems as natural to build ships, as to build castles, in the
air; and there can be but few children of any age that
have not at one time or another seen themselves trans-
ported to lands where the ordinary Laws of Mechanics
or Physiology do not apply, and things throw off the
causal nexus of common life. But though we fly our
kite of imagination, it is always secured, if only by a
thread, to earthly fact, and in the wildest flights of
imaginary voyagers there is always some germ of geo-
graphic truth.

So natural is this tendency towards these voyages to
the Land of Fancy that we find specimens of them in
almost all lands, and it has been my aim in the present
collection to bring characteristic specimens from as many
and as diverse quarters as my space permitted. Hellas
gives us The Argonauts; the Celts tell The Voyage of
Maelduzn, which attracted Tennyson’s notice. Szxdbad
would have perhaps been the appropriate representative
of Arabia, but one hesitates to divorce him from the
“Nights,” and Mr. Batten had treated him in his appro-
priate connection. So I have selected Hasan of Bassorah
and his Voyage to the Islands of Wak-Wak to represent
Preface Vil

Arabia. Curiously enough, the greatest voyagers of all,
the Norsemen, seemingly found little temptation to let
their imagination play about their business concerns, and
in order to obtain a representative Wonder Voyage from
the most wonderful voyagers of medieval times, I have
had to combine two minor sagas which can be classed
under that genre.

To be at all effective, a Wonder Voyage requires a
certain amount of sea-room. One does not get one’s sea
legs, so to speak, till a sheet or two of print has been let
loose. Hence I have not been able to include more
than four or five voyages in the present volume, but
they will surely serve as Winter Nights’ Tales. They
should be read when the stormy winds do blow, do blow.

- The story of The Argonauts had been told so well by
Kingsley that I dared not commit the sacrilege of pro-
ducing a rival version. I have to thank Messrs. Mac-

millan for permitting me to utilise his ‘‘ Heroes.” Mr.

“Alfred Nutt with his usual kindness has provided me

with a version of MZaelduzn, in which he has had per-
mission from Dr. Whitley Stokes to use his translation
which appeared in the Revue Celtzgue. Hasan I have
retold in an abridged form, using as my “originals” the
three translations from the Arabic, none of which were

sufficiently simple to suit the audience for whom |
Vill Preface

intended his Adventures. For my Icelandic I have had
to resort to the friendly offices of the Rev. J. Sephton,
who has been good enough to translate the Arzc Saga
for this volume, while I have combined with it an adapta-
tion of Thorkill’s ““Voyage to the World Beyond the
Ocean,” from Saxo Grammaticus, utilising for that purpose
Mr. Elton’s version published by the Folk-Lore Society.
To all these gentlemen I hereby record my grateful
thanks.

As the world grows old and grey, and men become
everywhere alike, the value of the imagination for
ornament and for delight will become more and more
appreciated, even in education. The training and the
practice of the imagination will become ever increasingly
important as life gets more neutral tinted. Let therefore
our children be early trained to adventurous voyages on

the Sea of Imagination.
JOSEPH JACOBS.


CONTENTS

The Argonauts

The Voyage of Maelduin

Hasan of Bassorah.

The Journeyings of Thorkill and of Eric the Far-

Travelled

Notes

PAGE

87

123

181

211





List OF ILEUSTRAMONS

Thetis saves the Argonauts from Scylla . : : ee
Title Page 3 : ‘ ; : , ; : y alll
Phrixus and Helle 3
“Eson and Fason : : : : ; : : . : 6
Chiron’s Farewell to the Argonauts . : ; : : aol
The Chase of the Harpies . : a : : : : eS
The Crop of the Dragon’s Teeth : : : ; ee 9)
Orpheus and Medea charm the Snake : : ; . to face 5A
Circe and Medea : : . o : , i . to face O61
The Beguiling of Talus. : : : : : : 5 Bi
The Giant Ants : : : : ee : : 04:
The Monster of the Feats . : : : : : : . 98
The Red Hot Swine. : f : : 2 : : 09)
The Mill of Grudging . : : : 2 : . to face 1O4
The Queen of the Magic Clew . : : : ; . to face 114
The Great Bird : : : et ; ; : . 116
The Persian sews up Hasan . ees : : : pees il

The Flight of the Swan Maidens. 5 : : . to face 140
Xil List of Illustrations

Hasan’s Wife carries off her Children. : : : : a
The Shaykh Abu al-Ruwaysh . g : : ; E 6 180)
The King and Manar al-Sana . : : : : : oy LOY,
Hasan rejoins his Wife . : : : : : . to face 171
Shawahi on the Far. : : : ; : : : 73
Thorkill and the Serpent . 2 : : : : Se 1O2
The Horn-snouted Giants . : : : 4 : 3 196

The Illustrations are from process blocks prepared
by the WESTERN Mai, Lrp.

The Photogravure Frontispiece has been executed by
the SwAN ELEcTRIC ENGRAVING CoMPANY


THE ARGONAUTS


The Argonauts

|

How the Centaur Trained the Heroes on Pelion

yA\OW I have a tale of heroes who sailed
i} away into a distant land, to win them-
selves renown for ever, in the adventure
of the Golden Fleece.
ee E And what was that Golden Fleece?
The old Hellens said that it hung in Colchis, which
we call the Circassian coast, nailed to a beech-tree in
the War-god’s wood; and that it was the fleece of
the wondrous ram who bore Phrixus and Helle across-
the Euxine sea. For Phrixus and Helle were the
children of the cloud-nymph, and of Athamas the Minuan
king. And when a famine came upon the land, their
cruel stepmother Ino wished to kill them, that her own
children might reign, and said that they must be sacri-
ficed on an altar, to turn away the anger of the gods.
So the poor children were brought to the altar, and the
priest stood ready with his knife, when out of the clouds
came the Golden Ram, and took them on his back, and


The Argonauts 3

vanished. Then madness came upon that foolish king,
Athamas,*and ruin upon Ino and her children. For
Athamas killed one of them in his fury, and Ino fled from



him with the other in her arms, and leaped from a cliff
into the sea, and was changed into a dolphin, such as
you have seen, which wanders over the waves for ever
sighing, with its little one clasped to its breast.

But the people drove out King Athamas, because he
had killed his child; and he roamed about in his misery,
till he came to the Oracle in Delphi. And the Oracle
4 The Book of Wonder Voyages

told him that he must wander for his sin, till the wild
beasts should feast him as their guest. So he went on
in hunger and sorrow for many a weary day, till he saw
a pack of wolves. The wolves were tearing a sheep;
but when they saw Athamas they fled, and left the sheep
for him, and he ate of it; and then he knew that the
oracle was fulfilled at last. So he wandered no more;
but settled, and built a town, and became a king again.

But the ram carried the two children far away over
land and sea, till he came to the Thracian Chersonese,
and there Helle fell into the sea. So those narrow
straits are called ‘‘ Hellespont,” after her; and they bear
that name until this day.

Then the ram flew on with Phrixus to the north-east
across the sea which we call the Black Sea now; but the
Hellens called it Euxine. And at last, they say, he
stopped at Colchis, on the steep Circassian coast; and
there Phrixus married Chalciope, the daughter of Aietes
the king; and offered the ram in Sacrinter and Aietes
nailed the ram’s fleece to a beech, in the grove of Ares
the War-god.

And after a while Phrixus died, and was buried, but his
spirit had no rest; for he was buried far from his native
land, and the pleasant hills of Hellas. So he came in
dreams to the heroes of the Minuai, and called sadly by
their beds, ‘Come and set my spirit free, that I may go
home to my fathers and to my kinsfolk, and the pleasant
Minuan land.”

And they asked, ‘‘ How shall we set your spirit free?”

“You must sail over the sea to Colchis, and bring
The Argonauts 5

home the golden fleece; and then my spirit will come
back with it, and I shall sleep with my fathers and have
rest.”

He came thus, and called to them often; but when
they woke they looked at each other, and said: ‘‘ Who
dare sail to Colchis, or bring home the golden fleece?”
And in all the country none was brave enough to try it;
for the man and the time were not come.

Phrixus had a cousin called A®son, who was king in
Iolcos by the sea. There he ruled over the rich Minuan
heroes, as Athamas his uncle ruled in Beeotia ; and, like
Athamas, he was an unhappy man. For he had a step-
brother named Pelias, of whom some said that he was a
nymph’s son, and there were dark and sad tales about his
birth, When he was a babe he was cast out on the
mountains, and a wild mare came by and kicked him.
But a shepherd passing found the baby, with its face all
blackened by the blow; and took him home, and called
him Pelias, because his face was bruised and black. And
he grew up fierce and lawless, and did many a fearful
deed; and at last he drove out A¢son his step-brother,
and then his own brother Neleus, and took the kingdom
to himself, and ruled over the rich Minuan heroes, in
lolcos by the sea.

And Aéson, when he was driven out, went sadly away
out of the town, leading his little son by the hand; and
he said to himself, ‘I must hide the child in the moun-
tains; or Pelias will surely kill him because he is the
heir.” or

So he went up from the sea across the valley, throug
6 The Book of Wonder Voyages |

the vineyards and the olive groves, and across the
torrent of Anauros, toward Pelion the ancient mountain,
whose brows are white with snow.



He went up and up into the mountain, over marsh,
and crag, and down, till the boy was tired and footsore,
and A‘son had to bear him in his arms, till he came to
the mouth of a lonely cave, at the foot of a mighty cliff.

Above the cliff the snow-wreaths hung, dripping and


The Argonauts 7

cracking in the sun; but at its foot around the cave's
mouth grew all fair flowers and herbs, as if in a garden,
ranged in order, each sort by itself. There they grew
gaily in the sunshine, and the spray of the torrent from
above; while from the cave came the sound of music,
and a man’s voice singing to the harp.

Then A£son put down the lad, and whispered :

“Fear not, but go in, and whomsoever you shall find,
lay your hands upon his knees and say, ‘In the name of
Zeus, the father of gods and men, I am your guest from
this day forth.’”

Then the lad went in without trembling, for he too
was a hero’s son; but when he was within, he stopped in
wonder to listen to that magic song.

And there he saw the singer lying upon bear-skins
and fragrant boughs: Chiron, the ancient centaur, the
wisest of all things beneath the sky. Down to the waist
he was a man, but below he was a noble horse; his
white hair rolled down over his broad shoulders, and his
white beard over his broad brown chest; and his eyes
were wise and mild, and his forehead like a mountain-
wall.

And in his hands he held a harp of gold, and struck it
with a golden key; and as he struck, he sang till his
eyes glittered, and filled all the cave with light.

And he sang of the birth of Time, and of the heavens
and the dancing stars; and of the ocean, and the ether,
and the fire, and the shaping of the wondrous earth.
And he sang of the treasures of the hills, and the hidden
jewels of the mine, and the veins of fire and metal, and
8 The Book of Wonder Voyages

the virtues of all healing herbs, and of the speech of
birds, and of prophecy, and of hidden things to come.

Then he sang of health, and strength, and manhood,
and a valiant heart; and of music, and hunting, and
wrestling, and all the games which heroes love ; and of
travel, and wars, and sieges, and a noble death in fight ;
and then he sang of peace and plenty, and of equal
justice in the land; and as he-sang the boy listened
wide-eyed, and forgot his errand in the song.

And at the last old Chiron was silent, and called the
lad with a soft voice.

And the lad ran trembling to him, and would have
laid his hands upon his knees; but Chiron smiled, and
said, ‘Call hither your father A*son, for I know you,
and all that has befallen, and saw you both afar in the
valley, even before you left the town.”

Then A*son came in sadly, and Chiron asked him,
“Why camest you not yourself to me, A®son the
fEolid ?”

And Aéson said :

“T thought, Chiron will pity the lad if he sees him
come alone; and I wished to try whether he was
fearless, and dare venture like a hero’s son. But now I
entreat you by Father Zeus, let the boy be your guest
till better times, and train him among the sons of the
heroes, that he may avenge his father’s house.”

Then Chiron smiled, and drew the lad to him, and
laid his hand upon his golden locks, and said, “Are you
afraid of my horse’s hoofs, fair boy, or will you be my
pupil from this day ?”
The Argonauts 9

“TI would gladly have horse’s hoofs like you, if I could
sing such songs as yours.”

And Chiron laughed, and said, “Sit here by me till
sundown, when your playfellows will come home, and
you shall learn like them to be a king, worthy to rule
over gallant men.”

Then he turned to A%son, and said, “Go back in
peace, and bend before the storm like a prudent man.
This boy shall not cross the Anauros again, till he has
become a glory to you and to the house of A®olus.”

And A£son wept over his son and went away ; but the
boy did not weep, so full was his fancy of that strange
cave, and the centaur, and his song, and the playfellows
whom he was to see.

Then Chiron put the lyre into his hands, and taught
how how to play it, till the sun sank low behind the cliff,
and a shout was heard outside.

And then in came the sons of the heroes, A“neas, and
Hercules, and Peleus, and many another mighty name.

And great Chiron leapt up joyfully, and his hoofs
made the cave resound, as they shouted, ‘Come out,
Father Chiron ; come out and see our game.” And one
cried, ‘I have killed two deer ;” and another, ‘“‘I took a
wild cat among the crags;” and Hercules dragged a
wild goat after him by its horns, for he was as huge as a
mountain crag; and Czeneus carried a bear-cub under
each arm, and laughed when they scratched and bit, for
neither tooth nor steel could wound him.

And Chiron praised them all, each according to his
deserts.
Io The Book of Wonder Voyages

Only one walked apart and silent, A“ sculapius, the too-
wise child, with his bosom full of herbs and flowers, and
round his wrist a spotted snake; he came with downcast
eyes to Chiron, and whispered how he had watched the
snake cast its old skin, and grow young again before his
eyes, and how he had gone down into a village in the
vale, and cured a dying man with a herb which he had
seen a sick goat eat.

And Chiron smiled, and said, ‘‘To each Athené and
Apollo give some gift; and each is worthy in his place ;
but to this child they have given an honour beyond all
honours, to cure while others kill.”

Then the lads brought in wood, and split it, and lighted
a blazing fire; and others skinned the deer and quartered
them, and set them to roast before the fire; and while
the venison was cooking they bathed in the snow-torrent,
and washed away the dust and sweat.

And then all ate till they could eat no more (for they
had tasted nothing since the dawn), and drank of the
clear spring water, for wine is not fit for growing lads.
And when the remnants were put away, they all lay
down upon the skins and leaves about the fire, and each
took the lyre in turn, and sang and played with all his
heart.

And after a while they all went out to a plot of grass
at the cave’s mouth, and there they boxed, and ran, and
wrestled, and laughed till the stones fell from the cliffs.

Then Chiron took his lyre, and all the lads joined
hands ; and as he played, they danced to his measure, in
and out, and round and round. There they danced hand




The Argonauts Il

in hand, till the night fell over land and sea, while the
black glen shone with their broad white limbs and the
gleam of their golden hair.

And the lad danced with them, delighted, and then
slept a wholesome sleep, upon fragrant leaves of bay,
and myrtle, and marjoram, and flowers of thyme; and
rose at the dawn, and bathed in the torrent, and became
a schoolfellow to the heroes’ sons, and forgot Iolcos, and
his father, and all his former life. But he grew strong,
and brave and cunning, upon the pleasant downs of
Pelion, in the keen hungry mountain air. And he learnt
to wrestle, and to box, and to hunt, and to play upon the
harp ; and next he learnt to ride, for old Chiron used to
mount him on his back ; and he learnt the virtues of all
herbs, and how to cure all wounds; and Chiron called
him Jason the healer, and that is his name until this
day.
I]

How Jason Lost his Sandal in Anauros

1) ND ten years came and went, and Jason
was grown to be a mighty man. Some
of his fellows were gone, and some were
growing up by his side. A®sculapius was
gone into Peloponnese to work his won-
drous cures on men; and some say he used to raise the
dead to life. And Hercules was gone to Thebes to fulfil
those famous labours which have become a_ proverb
among men. And Peleus had married a sea-nymph, and
his wedding is famous to this day. And A‘neas was
gone home to Troy, and many a noble tale you will read
of him, and of all the other gallant heroes, the scholars of
Chiron the just. And it happened on a day that Jason
stood on the mountain, and looked north and south and
east and west ; and Chiron stood by him and watched
him, for he knew that the time was come.

And Jason looked and saw the plains of Thessaly,
where the Lapithai breed their horses; and the lake of
Boibé, and the stream which runs northward to Peneus
and Tempe; and he looked north, and saw the mountain
wall which guards the Magnesian shore; Olympus, the




The Argonauts 13

seat of the Immortals, and Ossa, and Pelion, where he
stood. Then he looked east and saw the bright blue sea,
which stretched away for ever toward the dawn. Then
he looked south, and saw a pleasant land, with white-
walled towns and farms, nestling along the shore of a
land-locked bay, while the smoke rose blue among the
trees ; and he knew it for the bay of Pagasai, and the
rich lowlands of Heemonia, and Iolcos by the sea.

Then he sighed, and asked, “Is it true what the heroes
tell me—that I am heir of that fair land?”

‘And what good would it be to you, Jason, if you were
heir of that fair land?”

““T would take it and keep it.”

‘“‘A strong man has taken it and kept it long. Are
you stronger than Pelias the terrible?”

“JT can try my strength with his,” said Jason; but
Chiron sighed, and said :

‘You have many a danger to go through before you
rule in Iolcos by the sea: many a danger and many a
woe ; and strange troubles in strange lands, such as man -
never saw before.”

‘The happier I,” said Jason, ‘to see what man never
saw before.”

And Chiron sighed again, and said, ‘‘ The eaglet must
leave the nest when it is fledged. Will you go to Iolcos
by the sea? Then promise me two things before you

Jason promised, and Chiron answered, “Speak harshly
to no soul whom you may meet, and stand by the word
which you shall speak.”
14 The Book of Wonder Voyages

Jason wondered why Chiron asked this of him; but
he knew that the Centaur was a prophet, and saw things
long before they came. So he promised, and leapt down
the mountain, to take his fortune like a man.

He went down through the arbutus thickets, and
across the downs of thyme, till he came to the vineyard
walls, and the pomegranates and the olives in the glen ;
and among the olives roared Anauros, all foaming with a
summer flood.

And on the bank of Anauros sat a woman, all wrinkled,
grey, and old; her head shook palsied on her breast, and
her hands shook palsied on her knees; and when she
saw Jason, she spoke whining, ‘Who will carry me
across the flood ?”

Jason was bold and hasty, and was just going to leap
into the flood: and yet he thought twice before he leapt,
so loud roared the torrent down, all brown from the
mountain rains, and silver-veined with melting snow;
while underneath he could hear the boulders rumbling
like the tramp of horsemen or the roll of wheels, as they
ground along the narrow channel, and shook the rocks
on which he stood.

But the old woman whined all the more, ‘(1 am weak
and old, fair youth. For Hera’s sake, carry me over the
torrent.”

And Jason was going to answer her scornfully, when
Chiron’s words came to his mind.

So he said, ‘“‘ For Hera’s sake, the Queen of the Im-
mortals on Olympus, I will carry you over the torrent,
unless we both are drowned midway.”


The Argonauts 19

Then the old dame leapt upon his back as nimbly as a
goat; and Jason staggered in, wondering; and the first
step was up to his knees.

The first step was up to his knees, and the second
step was up to his waist; and the stones rolled about his
feet, and his feet slipped about the stones ; so he went on
staggering and panting, while the old woman cried from
off his back :

‘Fool, you have wet my mantle! Do you make game
of poor old souls like me ?”

Jason had half a mind to drop her, and let her get
through the torrent by herself; but Chiron’s words were
in his mind, and he said only, ‘‘ Patience, mother; the
best horse may stumble some day.”

At last he staggered to the shore, and set her down
upon the bank; and a strong man he needed to have
been, or that wild water he never would have crossed.

He lay panting a while upon the bank, and then leapt
up to go upon his journey ; but he cast one look at the
old woman, for he thought, ‘She should thank me once

at least.”

And as he looked, she grew fairer than all women, and
taller than all men on earth; and her garments shone
like the summer sea, and her jewels like the stars of
heaven ; and over her forehead was a veil, woven of the
golden clouds of sunset ; and through the veil she looked
down on him, with great soft heifer’s eyes; with great
eyes, mild and awful, which filled all the glen with light.

And Jason fell upon his knees, and hid his face between
his hands.
16 The Book of Wonder Voyages

And she spoke, ‘“‘] am the Queen of Olympus, Hera
the wife of Zeus. As thou hast done to me, so will I do
to thee. Call on me in the hour of need, and try if the
Immortals can forget.” |

And when Jason looked up, she rose from off the
earth, like a pillar of tall white cloud, and floated away
across the mountain peaks, towards Olympus the holy
hill.

Then a great fear fell on Jason: but after a while he
grew light of heart ; and he blessed old Chiron, and said,
‘Surely the Centaur is a prophet, and guessed what
would come to pass, when he bade me speak harshly to
no soul whom I might meet.”

Then he went down toward Iolcos; and as he walked
he found that he had lost one of his sandals in the flood.

And as he went through the streets, the people came
out to look at him, so tall and fair was he; but some of
the elders whispered together; and at last one of them
stopped Jason, and called to him, “ Fair lad, who are
you, and whence come you; and what is your errand in
the town?”

“My name, good father, is Jason, and I come from
Pelion up above; and my errand is to Pelias your king ;
tell me, then, where his palace is.”

But the old man started, and grew pale, and said, ‘“‘ Do
you not know the oracle, my son, that you go so boldly
through the town with but one sandal on?”

“T am a stranger here, and know of no oracle; but
what of my one sandal? I lost the other in Anauros,
while I was struggling with the flood.”


The Argonauts 17

Then the old man looked back to his companions ; and
one sighed, and another smiled; at last he said, “I will
tell you, lest you rush upon your ruin unawares. The
Oracle in Delphi has said that a man wearing one sandal
should take the kingdom from Pelias, and keep it for
himself. Therefore beware how you go up to his palace,
for he is the fiercest and most cunning of all kings.”

Then Jason laughed a great laugh, like a warhorse in
his pride. ‘‘Good news, good father, both for you and
me. For that very end I came into the town.”

Then he strode on toward the palace of Pelias, while
all the people wondered at his bearing.

And he stood in the doorway and cried, ‘Come out,
come out, Pelias the valiant, and fight for your kingdom
like a man.”

Pelias came out wondering, and, ‘‘Who are you, bold
youth ?” he cried.

“T am Jason, the son of A*son, the heir of all this
land.”

Then Pelias lifted up his hands and eyes, and wept, or
seemed to weep; and blessed the heavens which had
brought his nephew to him, never to leave him more.
“For,” said he, “I have but three daughters, and no son
to be my heir. You shall be my heir, then, and rule the
kingdom after me, and marry whichsoever of my daughters
you shall choose ; though.a sad kingdom you will find it,
and whosoever rules it a miserable man. But come in,
come in, and feast.”

So he drew Jason in, whether he would or not, and
spoke to him so lovingly and feasted him so well, that

B
18 The Book of Wonder Voyages

Jason’s anger passed ; and after supper his three cousins
came into the hall, and Jason thought that he should like
well enough to have one of them for his wife.

But at last he said to Pelias, ‘‘Why do you look so
sad, my uncle? And what did you mean just now when
you said that this was a doleful kingdom, and its ruler a
miserable man?”

Then Pelias sighed heavily again and again and again,
like a man who had to tell some dreadful story, and was
afraid to begin; but at last :

“For seven long years and more have I never known
a quiet night; and no more will he who comes after me,
till the golden fleece be brought home.”

Then he told Jason the story of Phrixus, and of the
golden fleece; and told him, too, which was a lie, that
Phrixus’ spirit tormented him, calling to him day and
night. And his daughters came, and told the same tale
(for their father had taught them their parts), and wept,
and said, ‘‘Oh, who will bring home the golden fleece,
that our uncle’s spirit may rest; and that we may have
rest also, whom he never lets sleep in peace?”

Jason sat a while, sad and silent; for he had often
heard of that golden fleece ; but he looked on it as a thing
hopeless and impossible for any mortal man to win it.

But when Pelias saw him silent, he began to talk of
other things, and courted Jason more and more, speaking
to him as if he were certain to be his heir, and asking
his advice about the kingdom ; till Jason, who was young
and simple, could not help saying to himself, “ Surely he
is not the dark man whom people call him. Yet why
The Argonauts 19

did he drive my father out?” And he asked Pelias
boldly, ‘‘Men say that you are terrible, and a man of
blood ; but I find you a kind and hospitable man ; and as
you are to me, so will I be to you. Yet why did you
drive my father out?”

Pelias smiled and sighed. ‘Men have slandered me
in that, as in all things. Your father was growing old
and weary, and he gave the kingdom up to me of his own
will. You shall see him to-morrow, and ask him; and
he will tell you the same.”

Jason’s heart leapt in him when he heard that he was
to see his father; and he believed all that Pelias said,
forgetting that his father might not dare to tell the truth.

‘One thing more there is,” said Pelias, ‘on which I
need your advice; for, though you are young, I see in
you a wisdom beyond your years. There is one neigh-
bour of mine, whom I dread more than all men on earth.
I am stronger than he now, and can command him ; but
I know that if he stay among us, he will work my ruin in
the end. Can you give me a plan, Jason, by which I can
rid myself of that man?”

After a while Jason answered, half laughing, ‘Were I

you, I would send him to fetch that same golden fleece ;

for if he once set forth after it you would never be troubled
with him more.”

And at that a bitter smile came across Pelias’ lips, and
a flash of wicked joy into his eyes; and Jason saw it and
started ; and over his mind came the warning of the old
man, and his own one sandal, and the oracle, and he saw
that he was taken in a trap.
20 The Book of Wonder Voyages

But Pelias only answered gently, ‘‘ My son, he shall be
sent forthwith.”

“You mean me?” cried Jason, starting up, ‘‘ because
I came here with one sandal?” And he lifted his fist
angrily, while Pelias stood up to him like a wolf at bay ;
and whether of the two was the stronger and the fiercer
it would be hard to tell.

But after a moment Pelias spoke gently, ‘‘ Why then
so rash,my son? You, and not I, have said what is
said ; why blame me for what I have not done? Had
you bid me love the man of whom I spoke, and make
him my son-in-law and heir, I would have obeyed you ;
and what if I obey you now, and send the man to win
himself immortal fame? I have not harmed you, or
him. One thing at least I know, that he will go, and
that gladly ; for he has a hero’s heart within him, loving
glory, and scorning to break the word which he has
given.”

Jason saw that he was entrapped; but his second
promise to Chiron came into his mind, and he thought,
‘“What if the Centaur were a prophet in that also, and
meant that I should win the fleece!” Then he cried
aloud :

‘You have well spoken, cunning uncle of mine! [|
love glory, and I dare keep to my word. I will go and
fetch this golden fleece. Promise me but this in return,
and keep your word as I keep mine. Treat my father
lovingly while I am gone, for the sake of the all-seeing
Zeus ; and give me up the kingdom for my own on the
day that I bring back the golden fleece.”
The Argonauts 21

Then Pelias looked at him and almost loved him, in
the midst of all his hate; and said, ‘I promise, and I
will perform. It will be no shame to give up my king-
dom to the man who wins that fleece.”

Then they swore a great oath between them; and
afterwards both went in, and lay down to sleep.

But Jason could not sleep for thinking of his mighty
oath, and how he was to fulfil it, all alone, and without
wealth or friends. So he tossed a long time upon his
bed, and thought of this plan and of that ; and sometimes
Phrixus seemed to call him, in a thin voice, faint and
low, as if it came from far across the sea, ‘‘ Let me come
home to my fathers and have rest.” And sometimes he
seemed to see the eyes of Hera, and to hear her words
again: “Call on me in the hour of need, and see if the
Immortals can forget.”

And on the morrow he went to Pelias, and said,
‘‘Give me a victim, that I may sacrifice to Hera.” So
he went up, and offered his sacrifice ; and as he stood by
the altar Hera sent a thought into his mind; and he
went back to Pelias, and said :

‘If you are indeed in earnest, give me two heralds,
that they may go round to all the princes of the Minuai,
who were pupils of the Centaur with me, that we may
fit out a ship together, and take what shall befall.”

At that Pelias praised his wisdom, and hastened to
send the heralds out ; for he said in his heart, ‘‘ Let all
the princes go with him, and, like him, never return ;

‘for so.I shall be lord of all the Minuai, and the greatest
king in Hellas.”
III
How they Built the Ship Azgo in lolcos

the heroes of the Minuai, ‘‘Who dare
come to the adventure of the golden
fleece?”

And Hera stirred the hearts of all the
princes, and they came from all their valleys to the
yellow sands of Pagasai. And first came Hercules the
mighty, with his lion’s skin and club, and behind him
Hylas his young squire, who bore his arrows and his
bow ; and Tiphys, the skilful steersman ; and Butes, the
fairest of all men; and Castor and Polydeuces the twins,
the sons of the magic swan; and Czneus, the strongest
of mortals, whom the Centaurs tried in vain to kill, and
overwhelmed him with trunks of pine-trees, but even so
he would not die; and thither came Zetes and Calais,
the winged sons of the north wind; and Peleus, the
father of Achilles, whose bride was silver-footed Thetis,
the goddess of the sea. And thither came Telamon and
Oileus, the fathers of the two Ajaxes, who fought upon
the plains of Troy ; and Mopsus, the wise soothsayer,
who knew the speech of birds; and Idmon, to whom


The Argonauts DR

Phcebus gave a tongue to prophesy of things to come ;
and Ancaios, who could read the stars, and knew all the
circles of the heavens ; and Argus, the famed shipbuilder,
and many a hero more, in helmets of brass and gold with
tall dyed horse-hair crests, and embroidered shirts of
linen beneath their coats of mail, and greaves of polished
tin to guard their knees in fight; with each man his
shield upon his shoulder, of many a fold of tough bull's
hide, and his sword of tempered bronze in his silver-
studded belt ; and in his right hand a pair of lances, of
the heavy white ash-staves.

So they came down to Iolcos, and all the city came
out to meet them, and were never tired with looking at
their height, and their beauty, and their gallant bearing, :
and the glitter of their inlaid arms. And some said,
“ Never was such a gathering of the heroes since the
Hellens conquered the land.” But the women sighed
over them, and whispered, ‘‘ Alas! they are all going to
their death!”

Then they felled the pines on Pelion, and shaped them
with the axe, and Argus taught them to build a galley,
the first long ship which ever sailed the seas. They
pierced her for fifty oars—an oar for each hero of the
crew—and pitched her with coal-black pitch, and painted
her bows with vermilion; and they named her Argo
after Argus, and worked at her all day long. And at
night Pelias feasted them like a king, and they slept in
his palace-porch.

But Jason went away to the northward, and into the

land of Thrace, till he found Orpheus, the prince of min-
24 The Book of Wonder Voyages

strels, where he dwelt in his cave under Rhodope, among
the savage Cicon tribes. And he asked him, ‘“ Will you
leave your mountains, Orpheus, my fellow-scholar in old
times, and cross Strymon once more with me, to sail
with the heroes of the Minuai, and bring home the
golden fleece, and charm for us all men and all monsters
with your magic harp and song ?”

Then Orpheus sighed, ‘Have I not had enough of
toil and of weary wandering far and wide since I lived
in Chiron’s cave, above ITolcos by the sea? In vain is
the skill and the voice which my goddess mother gave
me; in vain have I sung and laboured ; in vain I went
down to the dead, and charmed all the kings of Hades,
to win back Eurydice my bride. For I won her, my
beloved, and lost her again the same day, and wandered
away in my madness, even to Egypt and the Libyan
sands, and the isles of all the seas, driven on by the
terrible gadfly, while I charmed in vain the hearts of
men, and the savage forest beasts, and the trees, and
the lifeless stones, with my magic harp and song, giving
rest, but finding none. But at last Calliope my moe
delivered me, and brought me home in peace; and |
dwell here in the cave alone, among the savage Cicon
tribes, softening their wild hearts with music and the
gentle laws of Zeus. And now I must go out again, to
the ends of all the earth, far away into the misty dark-
ness, to the last wave of the Eastern Sea. But what is
doomed must be, and a friend’s demand obeyed ; for
prayers are the daughters of Zeus, and weal honours
them honours him.”


The Argonauts DIG

Then Orpheus rose up sighing, and took his harp, and
went over Strymon. And he led Jason to the south-
west, up the banks of Haliacmon and over the spurs of
Pindus, to Dodona the town of Zeus, where it stood by
the side of the sacred lake, and the fountain which
breathed out fire, in the darkness of the ancient oak-
wood, beneath the mountain of the hundred springs.
And he led him to the holy oak, where the black dove
settled in old times, and was changed into the priestess
of Zeus, and gave oracles to all nations round. And he
bade him cut down a bough, and sacrifice to Hera and
to Zeus; and they took the bough and came to Iolcos,
and nailed it to the beak-head of the ship.

And at last the ship was finished, and they tried to
launch her down the beach; but she was too heavy for
them to move her, and her keel sank deep into the sand.
Then all the heroes looked at each other blushing ; but
Jason spoke, and said, ‘ Let us ask the magic bough;
perhaps it can help us in our need.”

Then a voice came from the bough, and Jason heard
the words it said, and bade Orpheus play upon the harp,
while the heroes waited round, holding the tae
rollers, to help her toward the sea.

Then Orpheus took his harp, and began his magic
song: ‘‘ How sweet it is to ride upon cy surges, one to
leap from wave to wave, while the wind sings cheerful in
the cordage, and the oars flash fast among the foam!
How sweet it is to roam across the ocean, and see new
towns and wondrous lands, and to come home laden with
treasure, and to win undying fame!”
26 The Book of Wonder Voyages
And the good ship 47go heard him, and longed to be

away and out at sea; till she stirred in every timber, and
heaved from stem to stern, and leapt up from the sand
upon the rollers, and plunged onward like a gallant
horse ; and the heroes fed her path with pine-trunks, till
she rushed into the whispering sea.

Then they stored her well with food and water, and
pulled the ladder up on board, and settled themselves
each man to his oar, and kept time to Orpheus’ harp ;
and away across the bay they rowed southward, while
the people lined the cliffs; and the women wept, while
the men shouted, at the starting of that gallant crew.


IV

How the Argonauts Sailed to Colchis

Z ))ND what happened next, my children,
7) whether it be true or not, stands written
in ancient songs, which you shall read
for yourselves some day. And grand
old songs they are, written in grand old
rolling verse ; and they call them the Songs of Orpheus,
or the Orphics, to this day. And they tell how the
heroes came to Aphetai, across the bay, and waited for
the south-west wind, and chose themselves a captain
from their crew: and how all called for Hercules,
because he was the strongest and most huge; but
Hercules refused, and called for Jason, because he was
the wisest of them all. So Jason was chosen captain ;
and Orpheus heaped a pile of wood, and slew a bull, and
offered it to Hera, and called all the heroes to stand
round, each man’s head crowned with olive, and to strike
their swords into the bull. Then he filled a golden
goblet with the bull’s blood, and with wheaten flour, and
honey, and wine, and the bitter salt-sea water, and bade
the heroes taste. So each tasted the goblet, and passed
it round, and vowed an awful vow: and they vowed


28 The Book of Wonder Voyages

before the sun, and the night, and the blue-haired sea
who shakes the land, to stand by Jason faithfully in the
adventure of the golden fleece ; and whosoever shrank
back, or disobeyed, or turned traitor to his vow, then
justice should minister against him, and the Erinnues
who track guilty men.

Then Jason lighted the pile, and burnt the carcass of
the bull; and they went to their ship and sailed east-
ward, like men who have a work to do; and the place
from which they went was called Aphetai, the sailing-
place, from that day forth. Three thousand years and
more they sailed away, into the unknown Eastern seas ;
and great nations have come and gone since then, and
many a storm has swept the earth; and many a mighty
armament, to which Avgo would be but one small boat ;
English and French, Turkish and Russian, have sailed
those waters since; yet the fame of that small Axgo
lives for ever, and her name is become a proverb among
men.

So they sailed past the Isle of Sciathos, with the Cape
of Sepius on their left, and turned to the northward
toward Pelion, up the long Magnesian shore. On their
right hand was the open sea, and on their left old Pelion
rose, while the clouds crawled round his dark pine-
forests, and his caps of summer snow. And their hearts
yearned for the dear old mountain, as they thought of
pleasant days gone by, and of the sports of their boy-
hood, and their hunting, and their schooling in the cave
beneath the cliff And at last Peleus spoke, ‘Let us
land here, friends, and climb the dear old hill once more.
The Argonauts 29

We are going on a fearful journey; who knows if we
shall see Pelion again? Let us go up to Chiron our
master, and ask his blessing ere we start. And I have a
boy, too, with him, whom he trains as he trained me
once—the son whom Thetis brought me, the silver-
footed lady of the sea, whom I caught in the cave, and
tamed her, though she changed her shape seven times.
For she changed, as I held her, into water, and to
vapour, and to burning flame, and to a rock, and to a
black-maned lion, and to a tall and stately tree. But I
held her and held her ever, till she took her own shape
again, and led her to my father’s house, and won her for
my bride. And all the rulers of Olympus came to our
wedding, and the heavens and the earth rejoiced together,
when an Immortal wedded mortal man. And now let
me see my son; for it is not often I shall see him upon
earth: famous he will be, but short-lived, and die in the
flower of youth.”

So Tiphys the helmsman steered them to the shore
under the crags of Pelion; and they went up through
the dark pine-forests towards the Centaur’s cave.

And they came into the misty hall, beneath the snow-
crowned crag; and saw the great Centaur lying, with
his huge limbs spread upon the rock; and beside him
stood Achilles, the child whom no steel could wound,
and played upon his harp right sweetly, while Chiron
watched and smiled.

Then Chiron leapt up and welcomed them, and kissed
them every one, and set a feast before them of swine’s
flesh, and venison, and good wine; and young Achilles
30 The Book of Wonder Voyages

served them, and carried the golden goblet round. And
after supper all the heroes clapped their hands, and
called on Orpheus to sing; but he refused, and said,
“How can I, who am the younger, sing before our
ancient host?” So they called on Chiron to sing, and
Achilles brought him his harp; and he began a wondrous
song; a famous story of old time, of the fight between
the Centaurs and the Lapithai He sang how his
brothers came to ruin by their folly, when they were
mad with wine; and how they and the heroes fought,
with fists, and teeth, and the goblets from which they
drank ; and how they tore up the pine-trees in their fury,
and hurled great crags of stone, while the mountains
thundered with the battle, and the land was wasted far
and wide; till the Lapithai drove them from their home
in the rich Thessalian plains to the lonely glens of
Pindus, leaving Chiron all alone. And the heroes
praised his song right heartily; for some of them had
helped in that great fight.

Then Orpheus took the lyre, and sang of Chaos, and
the making of the wondrous World, and how all things
sprang from Love, who could not live alone in the
Abyss. And as he sang, his voice rose from the cave,
above the crags, and through the tree-tops, and the glens
of oak and pine. And the trees bowed their heads when
they heard it, and the grey rocks cracked and rang, and
the forest beasts crept near to listen, and the birds for-
sook their nests and hovered round. And old Chiron
clapt his hands together, and beat his hoofs upon the
ground, for wonder at that magic song,
The Argonauts Bar

Then Peleus kissed his boy, and wept over him, and
they went down to the ship; and Chiron came down
with them, weeping, and kissed them one by one, and

























blest them, and promised to them great renown. And
the heroes wept when they left him, till their great hearts
could weep no more ; for he was kind and just and pious,
and wiser than all beasts and men. Then he went up to
a cliff, and prayed for them, that they might come home


22 The Book of Wonder Voyages

safe and well; while the heroes rowed away, and watched
him standing on his cliff above the sea, with his great
hands raised toward heaven, and his white locks waving
in the wind; and they strained their eyes to watch him
to the last, for they felt that they should look on him no
more.

So they rowed on over the long swell of the sea, past
Olympus, the seat of the Immortals, and past the wooded
bays of Athos, and Samothrace the sacred isle ; and they
came past Lemnos to the Hellespont, and through the
narrow strait of Abydos, and so on into the Propontis,
which we call Marmora now. And there they met with
Cyzicus, ruling in Asia over the Dolions, who, the songs
say, was the son of A‘neas, of whom you will hear many
a tale some day. For Homer tells us how he fought at
Troy, and Virgil how he sailed away and founded Rome ;
and men believed until late years that from him sprang
our old British kings. Now Cyzicus, the songs say,
welcomed the heroes, for his father had been one of
Chiron’s scholars; so he welcomed them, and feasted
them, and stored their ship with corn and wine, and
cloaks and rugs, the songs say, and shirts, of which no
doubt they stood in need.

But at night, while they lay sleeping, came down on
them terrible men, who lived with the bears in the
mountains, like Titans or giants in shape; for each of
them had six arms, and they fought with young firs and
pines. But Hercules killed them all before morn with
his deadly poisoned arrows; but among them, in the
darkness, he slew Cyzicus the kindly prince.
The Argonauts 33

Then they got to their ship and to their oars, and
Tiphys bade them cast off the hawsers and go to sea.
But as he spoke a whirlwind came, and spun the 47go
round, and twisted the hawsers together, so that no man
could loose them. Then Tiphys dropped the rudder
from his hand, and cried, ‘‘This comes from the gods
above.” But Jason went forward, and asked counsel of
the magic bough.

Then the magic bough spoke, and answered, “ This is
because you have slain Cyzicus your friend. You must
appease his soul, or you will never leave this shore.”

Jason went back sadly, and told the heroes what he
had heard. And they leapt on shore, and searched till
dawn; and at dawn they found the body, all rolled in
dust and blood, among the corpses of those monstrous
beasts. And they wept over their kind host, and laid
him on a fair bed, and heaped a huge mound over him,
and offered black sheep at his tomb, and Orpheus sang a
‘magic song to him, that his spirit might have rest. And
then they held games at the tomb, after the custom of
those times, and Jason gave prizes to each winner. To
Anczeus he gave a golden cup, for he wrestled best of
all; and to Hercules a silver one, for he was the strongest
of all; and to Castor, who rode best, a golden crest ; and
Polydeuces the boxer had a rich carpet, and to Orpheus
for his song a sandal with golden wings. But Jason him-
self was the best of all the archers, and the Minuai
crowned him with an olive crown; and so, the songs say,
the soul of good Cyzicus was appeased and the heroes
went on their way in peace.
Cc
34 The Book of Wonder Voyages

But when Cyzicus’ wife heard that he was dead, she
died likewise of grief; and her tears became a fountain
of clear water, which flows the whole year round.

Then they rowed away, the songs say, along the
Mysian shore, and past the mouth of Rhindacus, till they
found a pleasant bay, sheltered by the long ridges of
Arganthus, and by high walls of basalt rock. And there
they ran the ship ashore upon the yellow sand, and furled
the sail, and took the mast down, and lashed it in its
crutch. And next they let down the ladder, and went
ashore to sport and rest.

And there Hercules went away into the woods, bow
in hand, to hunt wild deer; and Hylas, the fair boy, slipt
away after him, and followed him by stealth, until he lost
himself among the glens, and sat down weary to rest
himself by the side of a lake ; and there the water-nymphs
came up to look at him, and loved him, and carried him
down under the lake to be their playfellow, for ever happy
and young. And Hercules sought for him in vain, shout-
ing his name till all the mountains rang ; but Hylas never
heard him, far down under the sparkling lake. So while
Hercules wandered searching for him, a fair breeze sprang
up, and Hercules was nowhere to be found ; and the Avgo
sailed away, and Hercules was left behind, and never saw
the noble Phasian stream.

Then the Minuai came to a doleful land, where Amycus
the giant ruled, and cared nothing for the laws of Zeus,
but challenged all strangers to box with him, and those
whom he conquered he slew. But Polydeuces the boxer
struck him a harder blow than he ever felt before, and
The Argonauts 35

slew him; and the Minuai went on up the Bosphorus,
till they came to the city of Phineus, the fierce Bithynian
king ; for Zetes and Calais bade Jason land there, because
they had a work to do.

And they went up from the shore toward the city,

through forests white with snow; and Phineus came out
to meet them with a lean and woeful face, and said:
“Welcome, gallant heroes, to the land of bitter blasts,
the land of cold and misery; yet I will feast you as best
I can.” And he led them in, and set meat before them ;
but before they could put their hands to their mouths,
down came two fearful monsters, the like of whom man
never saw ; for they had the faces and hair of fair maidens,
but the wings and claws of hawks; and they snatched the
meat from off the table, and flew shrieking out above the
roofs.
Then Phineus beat his breast and cried: ‘These are
the Harpies, whose names are the Whirlwind and the
‘Swift, the daughters of Wonder and of the Amber-nymph,
and they rob us night and day. They carried off the
daughters of Pandareus, whom all the gods had blest ;
for Aphrodite fed them on Olympus with honey and milk
and wine; and Hera gave them beauty and wisdom, and
Athené skill in all the arts ; but when they came to their
wedding, the Harpies snatched them both away, and
gave them to be slaves to the Erinnues, and live in
horror all their days. And now they haunt me, and my
people, and the Bosphorus, with fearful storms; and
sweep away our food from off our tables, so that we
starve in spite of all our wealth.”
36 The Book of Wonder Voyages

Then up rose Zetes and Calais, the winged sons of the
North-wind, and said: ‘‘Do you not know us, Phineus,
and these wings which grow upon our backs?” And
Phineus hid his face in terror; but he answered not a
word.

—“ Because you have been a traitor, Phineus, the
Harpies haunt you day and night. Where is Cleopatra
our sister, your wife, whom you keep in prison? and
where are her two children, whom you blinded in your
rage, at the bidding of an evil woman, and cast them out
upon the rocks? Swear to us that you will right our
sister, and cast out that wicked woman ; and then we will
free you from your plague, and drive the whirlwind
maidens to the south; but if not, we will put out your
_eyes, as you put out the eyes of your own sons.”
~ Then Phineus swore an oath to them, and drove out
the wicked woman; and Jason took those two poor
children, and cured their eyes with magic herbs.

But Zetes and Calais rose up sadly and said: “ Fare-
well now, heroes all ; farewell, our dear companions, with
whom we played on Pelion in old times; for a fate is
laid upon us, and our day is come at last, in which we
must hunt the whirlwinds over land and sea for ever ; and
if we catch them they die, and if not, we die ourselves.”

At that all the heroes wept; but the two young men
sprang up, and aloft into the air after the Harpies, and
the battle of the winds began.

The heroes trembled in silence as they heard the
shrieking of the blasts; while the palace rocked and all
the city, and great stones were torn from the crags, and
The Argonauts | au

the forest pines were hurled earthward, north and south
and east and west, and the Bosphorus boiled white with
foam, and the clouds were dashed against the cliffs.

But at last the battle ended, and the Harpies fled



screaming toward the south, and the sons of the North-
wind rushed after them, and brought clear sunshine where
they passed. For many a league they followed them,
over all the isles of the Cyclades, and away to the south-
_ west acrost Hellas, till they came to the Ionian Sea, and
38 The Book of Wonder Voyages

there they fell upon the Echinades, at the mouth of the
Achelous; and those isles were called the Whirlwind
Isles for many a hundred years. But what became of
Zetes and Calais I know not, for the heroes never saw
them again: and some say that Hercules met them, and
quarrelled with them, and slew them with his arrows ;
and some say that they fell down from weariness and the
heat of the summer sun, and that the Sun-god buried
them among the Cyclades, in the pleasant Isle of Tenos ;
and for many hundred years their grave was shown there,
and over it a pillar, which turned to every wind. But
those dark storms and whirlwinds haunt the Bosphorus
until this day.

But the Argonauts went eastward, and out into the
open sea, which we now call the Black Sea, but it was
called the Euxine then. No Hellen had ever crossed it,
and all feared that dreadful sea, and its rocks, and shoals,
and fogs and bitter freezing storms ; and they told strange
stories of it, some false and some half true, how it
stretched northward to the ends of the earth, and the
sluggish Putrid Sea, and the everlasting night, and the
regions of the dead. So the heroes trembled, for all
their courage, as they came into that wild Black Sea, and
saw it stretching out before them, without a shore, as far
as eye could see.

And first Orpheus spoke, and warned them: ‘We
shall come now to the wandering blue rocks; my mother
warned me of them, Calliope, the immortal muse.”

And soon they saw the blue rocks shining like spires
and castles of grey glass, while an ice-cold wind blew
The Argonauts 39

from them and chilled all the heroes’ hearts. And as
they neared they could see them heaving, as they rolled
upon the long sea-waves, crashing and grinding together,
till the roar went up to heaven. The sea sprang up in
spouts between them, and swept round them in white
sheets of foam; but their heads swung nodding high in
air, while the wind whistled shrill among the crags.

The heroes’ hearts sank within them, and they lay
upon their oars in fear; but Orpheus called to Tiphys
the helmsman: ‘‘ Between them we must pass; so look
ahead for an opening, and be brave, for Hera is with
us.” But Tiphys the cunning helmsman stood silent,
clenching his teeth, till he saw a heron come flying mast-
high toward the rocks, and hover a while before them, as
if looking for a passage through. Then he cried,
“Hera has sent us a pilot; let us follow the cunning
bird.”

Then the heron flapped to and fro a moment, till he
‘saw a hidden gap, and into it he rushed like an arrow,
while the heroes watched what would befall.

And the blue rocks clashed together as the bird fied
swiftly through; but they struck but a feather from his
tail, and then rebounded apart at the shock.

Then Tiphys cheered the heroes, and they shouted ;
and the oars bent like withes beneath their strokes as
they rushed between those toppling ice-crags and the
cold blue lips of death. And ere the rocks could meet
again they had passed them, and were safe out in the
open sea.

And after that they sailed on wearily along the Asian
40 Tike Pol: of Wonder Voyages

coast, by the Black Cape and Thyneis, where the hot
stream of Thymbris falls into the sea, and Sangarius,
whose waters float on the Euxine, till they came to Wolf
the river, and to Wolf the kindly king. And there died
two brave heroes, Idmonand Tiphys the wise helmsman :
one died of an evil sickness, and one a wild boar slew.
So the heroes heaped a mound above them, and set
upon it an oar on high, and left them there ‘to sleep
together, on the far-off Lycian shore. But Idas killed
the boar, and avenged Tiphys; and Ancaios took the
rudder and was helmsman, and steered them on toward
the east,

And they went on past Sinope, and many a mighty
river's mouth, and past many a barbarous tribe, and the
cities of the Amazons, the warlike women of the East,
till all night they heard the clank of anvils and the roar
of furnace-blasts, and the forge-fires shone like sparks
through the darkness in the mountain glens aloft; for
they were come to the shores of the Chalybes, the
smiths who never tire, but serve Ares the cruel War-
god, forging weapons day and night.

And at day-dawn they looked eastward, and midway
between the sea and the sky they saw white snow-peaks
hanging, glittering sharp and bright above the clouds.
And they knew that they were come to Caucasus, at the

end of all the earth: Caucasus the highest of all.

mountains, the father of the rivers of the East. On his
peak lies chained the Titan, while a vulture tears his
heart; and at his feet are piled dark forests round the
magic Colchian land.
The Argonauts At

And they rowed three days to the eastward, while
Caucasus rose higher hour by hour, till they saw the
dark stream of Phasis rushing headlong to the sea, and,
shining above the tree-tops, the golden roofs of King
Aietes, the child of the Sun. :

Then out spoke Ancaios the helmsman, “We are
come to our goal at last, for there are the roofs of
Aietes, and the woods where all poisons grow; but who
can tell us where among them is hid the ‘golden fleece?
Many a toil must we bear ere we find it, and bring it
home to Greece.”

But Jason cheered the heroes, for his heart was
high and bold; and he said, “I will go alone up
to Aietes, though he be the child of the Sun, and win
him with soft words. Better so than to go all together,
and to come to blows at once.” But the Minuai
would not stay behind, so they rowed boldly up the
stream.

And a dream came to Aietes, and filled his heart with
fear. He thought he saw a shining star, which fell into
his daughter’s lap; and that Medea his daughter took it
gladly, and carried it to the river-side, and cast it in, and
there the whirling river bore it down, and out into the
Euxine Sea.

Then he leapt up in fear, and bade his servants bring
his chariot, that he might go down to the river-side and
appease the nymphs, and the heroes whose spirits haunt
the bank. So he went down in his golden chariot, and
his daughters by his side, Medea the fair witch-maiden,
and Chalciope, who had been Phrixus’ wife, and behind
42 The Book of Wonder Voyages

him a crowd of servants and soldiers, for he was a rich
and mighty prince. ;

And as he drove down by the reedy river he saw
Argo sliding up beneath the bank, and many a hero in
her, like Immortals for beauty and for strength, as their
weapons glittered round them in the level morning
sunlight, through the white mist of the stream. But
Jason was the noblest of all; for Hera, who loved him,
gave him beauty and tallness and terrible manhood.

And when they came near together and looked into
each other’s eyes the heroes were awed before Aietes as
he shone in his chariot, like his father the glorious Sun ;
for his robes were of rich gold tissue, and the rays of his
diadem flashed fire; and in his hand he bore a jewelled
sceptre, which glittered like the stars; and sternly he
looked at them under his brows, and sternly he spoke
and loud :

“Who are you, and what want you here, that you
come to the shore of Cutaia? Do you take no account
of my rule, nor of my people the Colchians who serve
me, who never tired yet in the battle, and know well
how to face an invader?”

And the heroes sat silent a while before the face of that
ancient king. But Hera the awful goddess put courage
into Jason’s heart, and he rose and shouted loudly in
answer, ‘‘ We are no pirates nor lawless men. We come
not to plunder and to ravage, or carry away slaves from
your land; but my uncle, the son of Poseidon, Pelias the
Minuan king, he it is who has set me on a quest to bring
home the golden fleece. And these too, my bold
The Argonauts 43

comrades, they are no nameless men; for some are the
sons of Immortals, and some of heroes far renowned.
And we too never tire in battle, and know well how to
give blows and to take; yet we wish to be guests at your
table : it will be better so for both.”

Then Aietes’ rage rushed up like a whirlwind, and his
eyes flashed fire as he heard; but he crushed his anger
down in his breast, and spoke mildly a cunning speech :

“If you will fight for the fleece with my Colchians,
then many a man must die. But do you indeed expect
to win from me the fleece in fight? So few you are that
if you be worsted I can load your ship with your corpses.
But if you will be ruled by me, you will find it better far
to choose the best man among you, and let him fulfil the
labours which I demand. Then I will give him the
golden fleece for a prize and a glory to you all.”

So saying, he turned his horses and drove back in
silence to the town. And the Minuai sat silent with
sorrow, and longed for Hercules and his strength ; for
there was no facing the thousands of the Colchians and
the fearful chance of war.

But Chalciope, Phrixus’ widow, went weeping to the
town ; for she remembered her Minuan husband, and all
the pleasures of her youth, while she watched the fair
faces of his kinsmen, and their long locks of golden hair.
And she whispered to Medea her sister: “Why should
all these brave men die? why does not my father give
them up the fleece, that my husband’s spirit may have
TEStas

And Medea’s heart pitied the heroes, and Jason most
44 The Book of Wonder Voyages

of all; and she answered: ‘Our father is stern and
terrible, and who can win the golden fleece?” But
Chalciope said: ‘‘ These men are not like our men ; there
is nothing which they cannot dare nor do.”

And Medea thought of Jason and his brave counte-
nance, and said: “If there was one among them who
knew no fear, I could show him how to win the fleece.”

So in the dusk of evening they went down to the
river-side, Chalciope and Medea the witch-maiden, and
Argus, Phrixus’ son. And Argus the boy crept forward,
among the beds of reeds, till he came where the heroes
were sleeping, on the thwarts of the ship, beneath the
bank, while Jason kept ward on shore, and leant upon
his lance full of thought. And the boy came to Jason,
and said :

“‘T am the son of Phrixus, your cousin ; and Chalciope
my mother waits for you, to talk about the golden
fleece.”

Then Jason went boldly with the boy, and found the
two princesses standing; and when Chalciope saw him
she wept, and took his hands, and cried :

“O cousin of my beloved, go home before you die!”

“It would be base to go home now, fair princess, and
to have sailed all these seas in vain.” Then both the
princesses besought him; but Jason said, “It is too
late.”

‘But you know not,” said Medea, “what he must do
who would win the fleece. He must tame the two
brazen-footed bulls, who breathe devouring flame; and
with them he must plough ere nightfall four acres in the
The Argonauts 45

field of Ares; and he must sow them with serpents’
teeth, of which each tooth springs up into an armed man.
Then he must fight with all those warriors; and little
will it profit him to conquer them, for the fleece is
guarded by a serpent, more huge than any mountain
pine; and over his body you must step if you would
reach the golden fleece.”

Then Jason laughed bitterly. “ Unjustly is that fleece
kept here, and by an unjust and lawless king ; and un-
justly shall I die in my youth, for I will attempt it ere
another sun be set.”

Then Medea trembled, and said: ‘‘“No mortal man
can reach that fleece unless I guide him through. For
round it, beyond the river, is a wall full nine ells high,
with lofty towers and buttresses, and mighty gates of
threefold brass ; and over the gates the wall is arched,
with golden battlements above. And over the gateway
sits Brimo, the wild witch-huntress of the woods, brand-
‘ishing a pine-torch in her hands, while her mad hounds
howl around. No man dare meet her or look on her,
but only I her priestess, and she watches far and wide
lest any stranger should come near.”

“No wall so high but it may be climbed at last, and
no wood so thick but it may be crawled through; no
serpent so wary but he may be charmed, or witch-queen
‘so fierce but spells may soothe her; and I may yet win
the golden fleece, if a wise maiden help bold men.”

And he looked at Medea cunningly, and held her with
his glittering eye, till she blushed and trembled, and
said :
46 The Book of Wonder Voyages
‘“Who can face the fire of the bulls’ lorena, and fight

ten thousand armed men ?”
‘He whom you help,” said Jason, flattering her, “for
your fame is spread over all the earth. Are you not

the queen of all enchantresses, wiser even than your

sister Circe, in her fairy island in the West ?”

‘Would that I were with my sister Circe in her fairy
island in the West, far away from sore temptation and
thoughts which tear the heart! But if it must be so—
for why should you die ?—I have an ointment here; I
made it from the magic ice-flower which sprang from
Prometheus’ wound, above the clouds on Caucasus, in
the dreary fields of snow. Anoint yourself with that,
and you shall have in you seven men’s strength; and
anoint your shield with it, and neither fire nor sword can
harm you. But what you begin you must end before
sunset, for its virtue lasts only one day. And anoint
your helmet with it before you sow the serpents’ teeth ;
and when the sons of earth spring up, cast your helmet
among their ranks, and the deadly crop of the War-god’s
field will mow itself, and perish.”

Then Jason fell on his knees before her, and thanked
her and kissed her hands ; and she gave him the vase of
ointment, and fled trembling through the reeds. And
Jason told his comrades what had happened, and showed
them the box of ointment; and all rejoiced but Idas, and
he grew mad with envy.

And at sunrise Jason went and bathed, and anointed
himself from head to foot, and his shield, and his helmet,
and his weapons, and bade his comrades try the spell.

seared
The Argonauts 47

So they tried to bend his lance, but it stood like an iron
bar ; and Idas in spite hewed at it with his sword, but
the blade flew to splinters in his face. Then they hurled
their lances at his shield, but the spear-points turned like
lead ; and Caineus tried to throw him, but he never
stirred a foot ; and Polydeuces struck him with his fist a
blow which would have killed an ox, but Jason only
smiled, and the heroes danced about him with delight ;
and he leapt, and ran, and shouted in the joy of that
enormous strength, till the sun rose, and it was time to
go and to claim Aietes’ promise.

So he sent up Telamon and Aithalides to tell Aietes
that he was ready for the fight; and they went up
among the marble walls, and beneath the roofs of
gold, and stood in Aietes’ hall, while he grew pale with
rage.

‘Fulfil your promise to us, child of the blazing Sun.
Give us the serpents’ teeth, and let loose the fiery bulls ;
for we have found a champion among us who can win
the golden fleece.”

And Aietes bit his lips, for he fancied that they had
fled away by night: but he could not go back from his
promise ; so he gave them the serpents’ teeth.

Then he called for his chariot and his horses, and sent
heralds through all the town; and all the people went
out with him to the dreadful War-god’s field.

And there Aietes sat upon his throne, with his warriors
on each hand, thousands and tens of thousands, clothed
from head to foot in steel chain-mail. And the people
and the women crowded to every window and bank and
48 The Book of Wonder Voyages

wall; while the Minuai stood together, a mere handful
in the midst of that great host. :

And Chalciope was there and Argus, trembling, and
Medea, wrapped closely in her veil ; but Aietes did not
know that she was muttering cunning spells between her
lips.

Then Jason cried, ‘ Fulfil your promise, and let your
fiery bulls come forth.”

Then Aietes bade open the gates, and the magic bulls
leapt out. Their brazen hoofs rang upon the ground,
and their nostrils sent out sheets of flame, as they rushed
with lowered heads upon Jason; but he never flinched
a step. The flame of their breath swept round him,
but it singed not a hair of his head; and the bulls
stopped short and trembled when Medea began her
spell.

Then Jason sprang upon the nearest and seized him
by the horn; and up and down they wrestled, till the
bull fell grovelling on his knees; for the heart of the
brute died within him, and his mighty limbs were loosed,
beneath the steadfast eye of that dark witch-maiden and
the magic whisper of her lips.

So both. the bulls were tamed and yoked; and Jason
bound them to the plough, and goaded them onward
with his lance till he had ploughed the sacred field.

And all the Minuai shouted ; but Aietes bit his lips
with rage, for the half of Jason’s work was over, and the
sun was yet high in heaven.

Then he took the serpents’ teeth and sowed them,
and waited what would befall. But Medea looked at


The Argonauts 49
him and at his helmet, lest he should forget the lesson
she had taught.

And every furrow heaved and bubbled, and out of
every clod arose a man. Out of the earth they rose by

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thousands, each clad from head to foot in steel, and drew

their swords and rushed on Jason, where he stood in the
midst alone. .

Then the Minuai grew pale with fear for him; but
Aietes laughed a bitter laugh. “See! if I had not

D
50 The Book of Wonder Voyages

warriors enough already round me, I could call them out
of the bosom of the earth.”

But Jason snatched off his helmet, and hurled it into
the thickest of the throng. And blind madness came
upon them, suspicion, hate, and fear; and one cried to
his fellow, ‘‘ Thou didst strike me!” and another, ‘“‘ Thou
art Jason ; thou shalt die!” So fury seized those earth-
born phantoms, and each turned his hand against the
rest; and they fought and were never weary, till they all
lay dead upon the ground. Then the magic furrows
opened and the kind earth took them home into her
breast; and the grass grew up all green again above
them, and Jason’s work was done.

Then the Minuai rose and shouted, till Prometheus
heard them from his crag. And Jason cried, ‘‘ Lead
me to the fleece this moment, before the sun goes
down.”

But Aietes thought, ‘‘ He has conquered the bulls, and
sown and reaped the deadly crop. Who is this who is
proof against all magic? He may kill the serpent yet.”
So he delayed, and sat taking counsel with his princes
till the sun went down and all was dark. Then he bade
a herald cry, ‘‘ Every man to his home for to-night. To-
morrow we will meet these heroes, and speak about the
golden fleece.”

Then he turned and looked at Medea. ‘This is your
doing, false witch-maid! You have helped these yellow-
haired strangers, and brought shame upon your father
and yourself!”

Medea shrank and trembled, and her face grew pale
The Argonauts Sit

with fear; and Aietes knew that she was guilty, and
whispered, ‘If they win the fleece, you die!”

But the Minuai marched toward their ship, growling
like lions cheated of their prey; for they saw that Aietes
meant to mock them, and to cheat them out of all their
toil. And Oileus said, “ Let us go to the grove together,
and take the fleece by force.”

And Idas the rash cried, “ Let us draw lots who shall
go in first ; for, while the dragon is devouring one, the
rest can slay him and carry off the fleece in peace.” But
Jason held them back, though he praised them; for he
hoped for Medea’s help. |

And after a while Medea came trembling, and wept a
long while before she spoke. And at last:

‘‘My end is come, and I must die; for my father has
found out that I have helped you. You he would kill if
he dared; but he will not harm you, because you have
been his guests. Go, then, go, and remember poor
Medea when you are far away across the sea.” But all
the heroes cried :

“If you die, we die with you; for without you we
cannot win the fleece, and home we will not go without
it, but fall here fighting to the last man.”

“You need not die,” said Jason. ‘Flee home with
us across the sea. Show us first how to win the fleece ;
for you can do it. Why else are you the priestess of
the grove? Show us but how to win the fleece, and
come with us, and you shall be my queen, and rule
over the rich princes of the Minuai, in Iolcos by the

”

. S€a.
Ee The Book of Wonder Voyages

And all the heroes pressed round, and vowed to her
that she should be their queen.

Medea wept, and shuddered, and hid her face in her
hands ; for her heart yearned after her sisters and her
playfellows, and the home where she was brought up as
a child. But at last she looked up at Jason, and spoke
between her sobs :

‘Must I leave my home and my people, to wander
with strangers across the sea? The lot is cast, and |
must endure it. I will show you how to win the golden
fleece. Bring up your ship to the wood-side, and moor
her there against the bank; and let Jason come up at
midnight, and one brave comrade with him, and meet me
beneath the wall.”

Then all the heroes cried together, “I will go!” “and
I!" “and I!” And Idas the rash grew mad with envy ;
for he longed to be foremost in all things. But Medea
calmed them, and said, “Orpheus shall go with Jason,
and bring his magic harp; for I hear of him that he is the
king of all minstrels, and can charm all things on earth.”

And Orpheus laughed for joy, and clapped his hands,
because the choice had fallen on him; for in those days
poets and singers were as bold warriors as the best.

So at midnight they went up the bank, and found
Medea: and beside came Absyrtus her young brother,
leading a yearling lamb.

Then Medea brought them to a thicket beside the
War-god’s gate; and there she bade Jason dig a ditch
and kill the lamb, and leave it there, and strew on it
magic herbs and honey from the honeycomb.
The Argonauts Ee

Then sprang up through the earth, with the red fire
flashing before her, Brimo the wild witch-huntress, while
her mad hounds howled around. She had one head like
a horse’s, and another like a ravening hound’s, and another
like a hissing snake’s, and a sword in either hand. And
she leapt into the ditch with her hounds, and they ate and
drank their fill, while Jason and Orpheus trembled, and
Medea hid her eyes. And at last the witch-queen vanished,
and fled with her hounds into the woods; and the bars of
the gates fell down, and the brazen doors flew wide, and
Medea and the heroes ran forward and hurried through
the poison wood, among the dark stems of the mighty
beeches, guided by the gleam of the golden fleece, until
they saw it hanging on one vast tree in the midst. And
Jason would have sprung to seize it; but Medea held
him back, and pointed, shuddering, to the tree-foot,
where the mighty serpent lay, coiled in and out among
the roots, with a body like a mountain pine. His coils
stretched many a fathom, spangled with bronze and gold;
and half of him they could see, but no more, for the rest
lay in the darkness far beyond.

And when he saw them coming he lifted up his head,
and watched them with his small bright eyes, and flashed
his forked tongue, and roared like the fire among the
woodlands, till the forest tossed and groaned. For his
cries shook the trees from leaf to root, and swept over
the long reaches of the river, and over Ajietes’ hall, and
woke the sleepers in the city, till mothers clasped their
children in their fear.

But Medea called gently to him, and he stretched out
54 The Book of Wonder Voyages

his long spotted neck, and licked her hand, and looked
up in her face, as if to ask for food. Then she made a
sign to Orpheus, and he began his magic song.

And as he sung, the forest grew calm again, and the
leaves on every tree hung still; and the serpent’s head
sank down, and his brazen coils grew limp, and _ his
glittering eyes closed lazily, till he breathed as gently as
a child, while Orpheus called to pleasant Slumber, who
gives peace to men, and beasts, and waves.

Then Jason leapt forward warily, and stept across that
mighty snake, and tore the fleece from off the tree-
trunk; and the four rushed down the garden, to the
bank where the 47go lay.

There was a silence for a moment, while Jason held
the golden fleece on high. Then he cried, “Go now,
good Argo, swift and steady, if ever you would see
Pelion more.”

And she went, as the heroes. drove her, grim and
silent all, with muffled oars, till the pine-wood bent like
willow in their hands, and stout 4Azvgo groaned beneath
their strokes.

On and on, beneath the dewy darkness, they fled
swiftly down the swirling stream; underneath black
walls, and temples, and the castles of the princes of the
East; past sluice-mouths, and fragrant gardens, and
groves of all strange fruits; past marshes where fat
kine lay sleeping, and long beds of. whispering reeds ;
till they heard the merry music of the surge upon the
bar, as it tumbled in the moonlight all alone.

Into the surge they rushed, and Avzgo leapt the


ir
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WU" Q

EVS-AND-MEDEA‘CHARM
E-SNAKE-THAT-GVARDS-THE
LDEN-: FLEECE: NSASASASAS


The Argonauts 55

breakers like a horse; for she knew the time was come
to show her mettle, and win honour for the heroes and
herself.

Into the surge they rushed, and Azgo leapt the
breakers like a horse, till the heroes stopped all panting
each man upon his oar, as she slid into the still broad
sea.

Then Orpheus took his harp and sang a pzan, till the
heroes’ hearts rose high again; and they rowed on
stoutly and steadfastly, away into the darkness of the
West.
V

How the Argonauts were Driven into the Unknown Sea

26) aa @8\O they fled away in haste to the westward ;
LAs
NE

( Sy but Aietes manned his fleet and followed
Qe

them. And Lynceus the quick-eyed saw
OF

him coming, while he was still many a

mile away, and cried, ‘I see a hundred
ships, like a flock of white swans, far in the east.” And
at that they rowed hard, like heroes; but the ships came
nearer every hour.

Then Medea, the dark witch-maiden, laid a cruel and
a cunning plot; for she killed Absyrtus, her young
brother, and cast him into the sea, and said, “‘ Ere my
father can take up his corpse and bury it, he must wait
long, and be left far behind.”

And all the heroes shuddered, and looked one at the
other for shame; yet they did not punish that dark
witch-woman, because she had won for them the golden
fleece.

And when Aietes came to the place he saw the floating
corpse; and he stopped a long while, and bewailed his
son, and took him up, and went home. But he sent on
his sailors toward the westward, and bound them by a



The Argonauts Ba

mighty curse: “Bring back to me that dark witch-
woman, that she may die a dreadful death. But if you
return without her, you shall die by the same death
yourselves.”

So the Argonauts escaped for that time; but Father
Zeus saw that foul crime; and out of the heavens he sent
a storm, and swept the ship far from her course. Day
after day the storm drove her, amid foam and blinding
mist, till they knew no longer where they were, for the
sun was blotted from the skies. And at last the ship
struck on a shoal, amid low isles of mud and sand, and
the waves rolled over her and through her, .and the
heroes lost all hope of life.

Then Jason cried to Hera, ‘‘ Fair queen, who hast
befriended us till now, why hast thou left us in our
misery, to die here among unknown seas? It is hard to
lose the honour which we have won with such toil and
danger, and hard never to see Hellas again, and the
pleasant’bay of Pagasai.”

Then out and spoke the magic bough which stood
upon the Axgo’s beak, “ Because Father Zeus is angry,
all this has fallen on you; for a cruel crime has been
done on board, and the sacred ship is foul with blood.”

At that some of the heroes cried, ‘‘ Medea is the mur-
deress. Let the witch-woman bear her sin, and die!”
And they seized Medea, to hurl her into the sea, and
atone for the young boy’s death; but the magic bough
spoke again, “ Let her live till her crimes are full. Ven-
geance waits for her, slow and sure ; but she must live,
for you need her still She must show you the way to
58 The Book of Wonder Voyages

her sister Circe, who lives among the islands of the
West. To her you must sail, a weary way, and she shall
cleanse you from your guilt.”

Then all the heroes wept aloud when they heard the
sentence of the oak; for they knew that a dark journey
lay before them, and years of bitter toil. And some up-
braided the dark witch-woman, and some said, ‘‘ Nay, we
are her debtors still; without her we should never have
won the fleece.” But most of them bit their lips in
silence, for they feared the witch’s spells.

And now the sea grew calmer, and the sun shone out
once more, and the heroes thrust the ship off the sand-
bank, and rowed forward on their weary course under the
guiding of the dark witch-maiden, into the wastes of the
unknown sea.

Whither they went I cannot tell, nor how they came to
Circe’s isle. Some say that they went to the westward,
and up the Ister stream, and so came into the Adriatic,
dragging their ship over the snowy Alps. And others
say that they went southward, into the Red Indian Sea,
and past the sunny lands where spices grow, round
“Ethiopia toward the West; and that at last they came
to Libya, and dragged their ship across the burning
sands, and over the hills into the Syrtes, where the flats
and quicksands spread for many a mile, between rich
Cyrene and the Lotus-eaters’ shore. But all these
are but dreams and fables, and dim hints of unknown
lands.

But all say that they came to a place where they had
to drag their ship across the land nine days with ropes


The Argonauts 59

and rollers, till they came into an unknown sea. And
the best of all the old songs tells us how they went away
toward the North, till they came to the slope of Caucasus,
where it sinks into the sea; and to the narrow Cimme-
rian Bosphorus, where the Titan swam across upon the
bull; and thence into the lazy waters of the still Mzeotid
lake. And thence they went northward ever, up the
Tanais, which we call Don, past the Geloni and Sauro-
matai, and many a wandering shepherd-tribe, and the
one-eyed Arimaspi, of whom old Greek poets tell, who
steal the gold from the Griffins, in the cold Riphaian hills.

And they passed the Scythian archers, and the Tauri
who eat men, and the wandering Hyperboreai, who feed
their flocks beneath the pole-star, until they came into
the northern ocean, the dull dead Cronian Sea. And
there Argo would move on no longer; and each man
clasped his elbow, and leaned his head upon his hand,
heartbroken with toil and hunger, and gave himself up to
death. But brave Ancaios the helmsman cheered up
their hearts once more, and bade them leap on land, and
haul the ship with ropes and rollers for many a weary
day, whether over land, or mud, or ice, I know not, for
the song is mixed and broken like a dream. And it says
next, how they came to the rich nation of the famous
long-lived men ; and to the coast of the Cimmerians, who
never saw the sun, buried deep in the glens of the snow
mountains; and to the fair land of Hermione, where
dwelt the most righteous of all nations: and to the
gates of the world below, and to the dwelling-place of
dreams.
60 The Book of Wonder Voyages

And at last Ancaios shouted, “ Endure a little while,
brave friends, the worst is surely past; for I can see the
pure west wind ruffle the water, and hear the roar of
ocean on the sands. So raise up the mast, and set the
sail, and face what comes like men.”

Then out spoke the magic bough: “ Ah, would that I
had perished long ago, and been whelmed by the dread
blue rocks beneath the fierce swell of the Euxine! Better
so, than to wander for ever, disgraced by the guilt of my
princes ; for the blood of Absyrtus still tracks me, and
woe follows hard upon woe. And now some dark horror
will clutch me, if I come near the Isle of Ierne. Unless
you will cling to the land, and sail southward and south-
ward for ever, I shall wander beyond the Atlantic, to the
ocean which has no shore.”

Then they blest the magic bough, and sailed south-
ward along the land. But ere they could pass lerne, the
land of mists and storms, the wild wind came down, dark
and roaring, and caught the sail, and strained the ropes.
And away they drove twelve nights, on the wide wild
western sea, through the foam, and over the rollers, while
they saw neither sun nor stars. And they cried again :
‘“We shall perish, for we know not'where we are. We
are lost in the dreary damp darkness, and cannot tell
north from south.”

But Lynceus the long-sighted called gaily from the
bows: “ Take heart again, brave sailors ; for I see a pine-
clad isle, and the halls of the kind Earth-mother, with a
crown of clouds around them.”

But Orpheus said: “Turn from them, for no living
Wy
CF



CIRCE AND MEDEA
The Argonauts 61

man can land there; there is no harbour on the coast,
but steep-walled cliffs all round.”

So Ancaios turned the ship away ; and for three days
more they sailed on, till they came to Aiaia, Circe’s home,
and the fairy island of the West.

And there Jason bid them land, and seek about for any
sign of living man. And as they went inland Circe met
them, coming down toward the ship; and they trembled
when they saw her, for her hair, and face, and robes
shone like flame.

And she came and looked at Medea ; and Medea hid
her face beneath her veil.

And Circe cried: ‘‘ Ah, wretched girl, have you for-
gotten all your sins, that you come hither to my island,
where the flowers bloom all the year round? Where is
your aged father, and the brother whom you killed? Little
do I expect you to return in safety with these strangers
whom you love. I will send you food and wine: but
your ship must not stay here, for it is foul with sin, and
foul with sin its crew.”

And the heroes prayed her, but in vain, and cried,
“Cleanse us from our guilt!” But she sent them away,
and said, “Go onto Malea, and there you may be cleansed,
and return home.” :

Then a fair wind rose, and they sailed eastward, by
Tartessus on the Iberian shore, till they came to the
Pillars of Hercules, and the Mediterranean Sea. And
thence they sailed on through the deeps of Sardinia, and
past the Ausonian Islands, and the capes of the Tyrrhenian
shore, till they came to a flowery island upon a still
62 The Book of Wonder Voyages

bright summer’s eve. And as they neared it, slowly and
wearily, they heard sweet songs upon the shore. But
when Medea heard it, she started, and cried, ‘‘ Beware,
all heroes, for these are the rocks of the Sirens. You must
pass close by them, for there is no other channel; but
those who listen to that song are lost.”

Then Orpheus spoke, the king of all minstrels, ‘“ Let
them match their song against mine. I have charmed
stones, and trees, and dragons, how much more the hearts
of men!” So he caught up his lyre, and stood upon the
poop, and began his magic song.

And now they could see the Sirens on Anthemousa,
the flowery isle ; three fair maidens sitting on the beach,
beneath a red rock in the setting sun, among beds of
crimson poppies and golden asphodel. Slowly they sung
and sleepily, with silver voices, mild and clear, which
stole over the golden waters, and into the hearts of all the
heroes, in spite of Orpheus’ song.

And all things stayed around and listened ; the gulls
sat in white lines along the rocks; on the beach great
seals lay basking, and kept time with lazy heads ; while
silver shoals of fish came up to hearken, and whispered
as they broke the shining calm. The Wind overhead
hushed his whistling, as he shepherded his clouds toward
the west; and the clouds stood in mid-blue, and listened
dreaming, like a flock of golden sheep.

And as the heroes listened, the oars fell from their
hands, and their heads drooped on their breasts, and they
closed their heavy eyes ; and they dreamed of bright still
gardens, and of slumbers under murmuring pines, till all
The Argonauts 63

their toil seemed foolishness, and they thought of their
renown no more.

Then one lifted his head suddenly, and cried, “‘ What
use in wandering for ever? Let us stay here and rest
a while.” And another, “Let us row to the shore, and
hear the words they sing.” And another, “I care not
for the words, but for the music. They shall sing me to
sleep, that I may rest.”

And Butes, the son of Pandion, the fairest of all mortal
men, leapt out and swam toward the shore, crying, “I
come, I come, fair maidens, to live and die here, listening
to your song.”

Then Medea clapped her hands together, and cried,
‘Sing louder, Orpheus, sing a bolder strain; wake up
these hapless sluggards, or none of them will see the land
of Hellas more.”

Then Orpheus lifted his harp, and crashed his cunning
‘hand across the strings ; and his music and his voice rose
like a trumpet through the still evening air; into the air
it rushed like thunder, till the rocks rang and the sea;
and into their souls it rushed like wine, till all hearts beat
fast within their breasts.

And he sung the song of Perseus, how the gods led
him over land and sea, and how he slew the loathly
Gorgon, and won himself a peerless bride ; and how he
sits now with the gods upon Olympus, a shining star in the
sky, immortal with his immortal bride, and honoured by
all men below.

So Orpheus sang, and the Sirens, answering each
other across the golden sea, till Orpheus’ voice
64 The Book of Wonder Voyages

drowned the Sirens’, and the heroes caught their oars
again.

And they cried, ‘‘We will be men like Perseus, and
we will dare and suffer to the last. Sing us his song
again, brave Orpheus, that we may forget the Sirens and
their spell.”

And as Orpheus sang, they dashed their oars into the
sea, and kept time to his music, as they fled fast away ;
and the Sirens’ voices died behind them, in the hissing of
the foam along their wake.

But Butes swam to the shore, and knelt down before
the Sirens, and cried, ‘Sing on! sing on!” But he
could say no more, for a charmed sleep came over him,
and a pleasant humming in his ears; and he sank all
along upon the pebbles, and forgot all heaven and earth,
and never looked at that sad beach around him, all strewn
with the bones of men.

Then slowly rose up those three fair sisters, with a
cruel smile upon their lips; and slowly they crept down
towards him, like leopards who creep upon their prey ;
and their hands were like the talons of eagles as they
stept across the bones of their victims to enjoy their
cruel feast.

But fairest Aphrodite saw him from the highest
Idalian peak, and she pitied his youth and his beauty,
and leapt up from her golden throne; and like a falling
star she cleft the sky, and left a trail of glittering light,
till she stooped to the Isle of the Sirens, and snatched
their prey from their claws. And she lifted Butes as he
lay sleeping, and wrapt him in a golden mist; and she
The Argonauts 65

bore him to the peak of Lilybeeum, and he slept there
many a pleasant year.

But when the Sirens saw that they were conquered,
they shrieked for envy and rage, and leapt from the
beach into the sea, and were changed into rocks until
this day.

Then they came to the straits by Lilybzeum, and saw
Sicily, the three-cornered island, under which Enceladus
the giant lies groaning day and night, and when he turns
the earth quakes, and his breath bursts out in roaring
flames from the highest cone of A*tna, above the chest-
nut woods. And there Charybdis caught them in its
fearful coils of wave, and rolled mast-high about them,
and spun them round and round; and they could go
neither back nor forward, while the whirlpool sucked
them in.

And while they struggled they saw near them, on the
other side the strait, a rock stand in the water, with its
peak wrapt round in clouds—a rock which no man could
climb, though he had twenty hands and feet, for the
stone was smooth and slippery, as if polished by man’s
hand; and half-way up a misty cave looked out toward
the west.

And when Orpheus saw it he groaned, and struck his
hands together. And “Little will it help us,” he cried,
“to escape the jaws of the whirlpool; for in that cave
lives Scylla, the sea-hag with a young whelp’s voice ;
my mother warned me of her ere we sailed away from
Hellas; she has six heads, and six long necks, and hides
in that dark cleft. And from her cave she fishes for all

E
66 The Book of Wonder Voyages

things which pass by—for sharks, and seals, and dolphins,
and all the herds of Amphitrite. And never ship’s crew
boasted that they came safe by her rock, for she bends
her long necks down to them, and every mouth takes up
a man. And who will help us now? For Hera and
Zeus hate us, and our ship is foul with guilt; so we must
die, whatever befalls.”

Then out of the depths came Thetis, Peleus’ silver-
footed bride, for love of her gallant husband, and all her
nymphs around her; and they played like snow-white
dolphins, diving on from wave to wave, before the ship,
and in her wake, and beside her, as dolphins play. And
they caught the ship, and guided her, and passed her on
from hand to hand, and tossed her through the billows,
as maidens toss the ball. And when Scylla stooped to
seize her, they struck back her ravening heads, and foul
Scylla whined, as a whelp whines, at the touch of their
gentle hands. But she shrank into her cave affrighted—
for all bad things shrink from good—and Azgo leapt safe
past her, while a fair breeze rose behind. Then Thetis
and her nymphs sank down to their coral caves beneath
the sea, and their gardens of green and purple, where
live flowers bloom all the year round; while the heroes
went on rejoicing, yet dreading what might come next.

After that they rowed on steadily for many a weary
day, till they saw a long high island, and beyond it a
mountain land. And they searched till they found a
harbour, and there rowed boldly in. But after a while
they stopped, and wondered, for there stood a great city
on the shore, and temples and walls and gardens, and
The Argonauts 67

castles high in air upon the cliffs. And on either side
they saw a harbour, with a narrow mouth, but wide
within ; and black ships without number, high and dry
upon the shore.

Then Ancaios, the wise helmsman, spoke: ‘What
new wonder is this? I know all isles, and harbours, and
the windings of all seas; and this should be Corcyra,
where a few wild goat-herds dwell. But whence come
these new harbours and vast works of polished stone?”

But Jason said, ‘‘ They can be no savage people. We
will go in and take our chance.”

So they rowed into the harbour, among a thousand
black-beaked ships, each larger far than Avgo, toward a
quay of polished stone. And they wondered at that
mighty city, with its roofs of burnished brass, and long
and lofty walls of marble, with strong palisades above.
And the quays were full of people, merchants, and
mariners, and slaves, going to and fro with merchandise
among the crowd of ships. And the heroes’ hearts were
humbled, and they looked at each other and said, ‘““We
thought ourselves a gallant crew when we sailed from
Tolcos by the sea; but how small we look before this
city, like an ant before a hive of bees.”

Then the sailors hailed them roughly from the quay:
‘‘What men are you?—we want no strangers here, nor
pirates. We keep our business to ourselves.”

But Jason answered gently, with many a flattering
word, and praised their city and their harbour, and their
fleet of gallant ships. ‘Surely you are the children of
Poseidon, and the masters of the sea; and we are but
68 The Book of Wonder Voyages

poor wandering mariners, worn out with thirst and toil.
Give us but food and water, and we will go on our voyage
in peace.”

Then the sailors laughed, and answered: “Stranger,
you are no fool; you talk like an honest man, and you
shall find us honest too. Weare the children of Poseidon,
and the masters of the sea; but come ashore to us, and
you shall have the best that we can give.”

So they limped ashore, all stiff and weary, with long
ragged beards and sunburnt cheeks, and garments torn
and weather-stained, and weapons rusted with the spray,
while the sailors laughed at them (for they were rough-
tongued, though their hearts were frank and kind). And
one said, ‘‘ These fellows are but raw sailors; they look
as if they had been sea-sick all the day.” And another,
“Their legs have grown crooked with much rowing, till
they waddle in their walk like ducks.”

At that Idas the rash would have struck them; but
Jason held him back, till one of the merchant kings spoke
to them, a tall and stately man:

“Do not be angry, strangers; the sailor boys must
have their jest. But we will treat you justly and kindly,
for strangers and poor men come from God; and you
seem no common sailors by your strength, and height,
and weapons. Come up with me to the palace of
Alcinous, the rich sea-going king, and we will feast you
well and heartily ; and after that you shall tell us your
name.”

But Medea hung back, and trembled, and whispered
in Jason’s ear, ‘‘ We are betrayed, and are going to our


The Argonauts 69

ruin, for I see my countrymen among the crowd; dark-
eyed Colchi in steel mail-shirts, such as they wear in my
father’s land.”

“Tt is too late to turn,” said Jason. And he spoke to
the merchant king: ‘‘What country is this, good sir?
And what is this new-built town?”

‘This is the land of the Phzeaces, beloved by all the
Immortals; for they come hither and feast like friends
with us, and sit by our side in the hall. Hither we came
from Laburnia to escape the unrighteous Cyclopes ; for
they robbed us, peaceful merchants, of our hard-earned
wares and wealth. So Nausithous, the son of Poseidon,
brought us hither, and died in peace; and now his son
Alcinous rules us, and Arete the wisest of queens.”

So they went up across the square, and wondered still
more as they went; for along the quays lay in order
great cables, and yards, and masts, before the fair temple
of Poseidon, the blue-haired king of the seas. And round
the square worked the shipwrights, as many in number as
ants, twining ropes, and hewing timber, and smoothing
long yards and oars. And the Minuai went on in silence
through clean white marble streets, till they came to the
hall of Alcinous, and they wondered then still more. For
the lofty palace shone aloft in the sun, with walls of plated
brass, from the threshold to the innermost chamber, and
the doors were of silver and gold. And on each side of
the doorway sat living dogs of gold, who never grew old
or died, so well Hephaistos had made them in his forges
in smoking Lemnos, and gave them to Alcinous to guard

-his gates by night. And within, against the walls, stood
70 The Book of Wonder Voyages

thrones on either side, down the whole length of the hall,
strewn with rich glossy shawls ; and on them the merchant
kings of those crafty sea-roving Phzeaces sat eating and
drinking in pride, and feasting there all the year round.
And boys of molten gold stood each on a polished altar,
and held torches in their hands, to give light all night to
the guests. And round the house sat fifty maid-servants,
some grinding the meal in the mill, some turning the
spindle, some weaving at the loom, while their hands
twinkled as they passed the shuttle, like quivering aspen
leaves.

And outside before the palace a great garden was
walled round, filled full of stately fruit-trees, grey olives
and sweet figs, and pomegranates, pears, and apples,
which bore the whole year round. For the rich south-
west wind fed them, till pear grew ripe on pear, fig
on fig, and grape on grape, all the winter and_ the
spring. And at the further end gay flower-beds
bloomed through all. seasons of the year; and two fair
fountains rose, and ran, one through the garden
grounds, and one beneath the palace gate, to water
all the town. Such noble gifts the heavens had given
to Alcinous the wise.

So they went in, and saw him sitting, like Poseidon,
on his throne, with his golden sceptre by him, in
garments stiff with gold, and in his hand a sculptured
goblet as he pledged the merchant kings; and beside
him stood Arete, his wise and lovely queen, and leaned
against a pillar as she spun her golden threads.

Then Alcinous rose, and nalcened them, and Bade
The Argonauts 71

them sit and eat; and the servants brought them tables;
and bread, and meat, and wine.

But Medea went on trembling toward Arete the fair
queen, and fell at her knees, and clasped them, and
cried, weeping, as she knelt :

“T am your guest, fair queen, and I entreat you by
Zeus, from whom prayers come. Do not send me back
to my father to die some dreadful death ; but let me go
my way, and bear my burden. Have I not had enough
of punishment and shame?”

“Who are you, strange maiden? and what is the
meaning of your prayer?”

“T am Medea, daughter of Aietes, and I saw my
countrymen here to-day ; and I know that they are come
to find me, and take me home to die some dreadful
death.”

Then Arete frowned, and said, ‘‘ Lead this girl in, my
maidens ; and let the kings decide, not I.”

And Alcinous leapt up from his throne, and cried,
‘Speak, strangers, who are you? And who is this
maiden ?”

‘We are the heroes of the Minuai,” said Jason ; “and
this maiden has spoken truth. We are the men who
took the golden fleece, the men whose fame has run
round every shore. We came hither out of the ocean,
after sorrows such as man never saw before. We went
out many, and come back few, for many a noble comrade
have we lost. So let us go, as you should let your
guests go, in peace ; that the world may say, ‘Alcinous
-is a just king.’”
G2 The Book of Wonder Voyages

But Alcinous frowned, and stood deep in thought ;
and at last he spoke :

‘Had not the deed been done which is done, I should
have said this day to myself, ‘It is an honour to
Alcinous, and to his children after him, that the far-
famed Argonauts are his guests.’ But these Colchi are
my guests, as you are; and for this month they have
waited here with all their fleet, for they have hunted all
the seas of Hellas, and could not find you, and dared
neither go farther, nor go home.”

‘Let them choose out their champions, and we will
fight them, man for man.”

‘No guests of ours shall fight upon our island, and if
you go outside they will outnumber you. I will do
justice between you, for I know and do what is right.”

Then he turned to his kings, and said, “This may
stand over till to-morrow. To-night we will feast our
guests, and hear the story of all their wanderings, and
how they came hither out of the ocean.”

So Alcinous bade the servants take the heroes in, and
bathe them, and give them clothes. And they were glad
when they saw the warm water, for it was long since
they had bathed. And they washed off the sea-salt from
their limbs, and anointed themselves from head to foot
with oil, and combed out their golden hair. Then they
came back again into the hall, while the merchant kings
rose up to do them honour. And each man said to his
neighbour, ‘No wonder that these men won fame.
How they stand now like Giants, or Titans, or Immortals
come down from Olympus, though many a winter has
The Argonauts 78

worn them, and many a fearful storm. What must they
have been when they sailed from Iolcos, in the bloom of
their youth, long ago?”

Then they went out to the garden; and the merchant
princes said, “ Heroes, run races with us. Let us see
whose feet are nimblest.”

‘We cannot race against you, for our limbs are stiff
from sea: and we have lost our two swift comrades, the
sons of the north wind. But do not think us cowards: if
you wish to try our strength, we will shoot, and box, and
wrestle, against any men on earth.”

And Alcinous smiled, and answered, ‘I believe you,
gallant guests ; with your long limbs and broad shoulders,
we could never match you here. For we care nothing
here for boxing, or for shooting with the bow; but for
feasts, and songs, and harping, and dancing, and running
races, to stretch our limbs on shore.”

So they danced there and ran races, the jolly merchant
kings, till the night fell, and all went in.

And then they ate and drank, and comforted their
weary souls, till Alcinous called a herald, and bade him
go and fetch the harper.

The herald went out, and fetched the harper, and led
him in by the hand; and Alcinous cut him a piece of
meat, from the fattest of the haunch, and sent it to him,
and said, “Sing to us, noble harper, and rejoice the
heroes’ hearts.”

So the harper played and sang, while the dancers
danced strange figures; and after that the tumblers
-showed their tricks, till the heroes laughed again.
74 The Book of Wonder Voyages

Then, “Tell me, heroes,” asked Alcinous, “you who
have sailed the ocean round, and seen the manners of all
nations, have you seen such dancers as ours here, or
heard such music and such singing? We hold ours to
be the best on earth.”

“Such dancing we have never seen,” said Orpheus ;
“and your singer is a happy man, for Phcebus himself
must have taught him, or else he is the son of a Muse,
as I am also, and have sung once or twice, though not so
well as he.”

“Sing to us, then, noble stranger,” said Alcinous ;
‘“‘and we will give you precious gifts.”

So Orpheus took his magic harp, and sang to them a
stirring song of their voyage from Iolcos, and their
dangers, and how they won the golden fleece; and of
Medea’s love, and how she helped them, and went with
them over land and sea; and of all their fearful dangers,
from monsters, and rocks, and storms, till the heart of
Arete was softened, and all the women wept. And the
merchant kings rose up, each man from off his golden
throne, and clapped their hands, and shouted, “Hail to
the noble Argonauts, who sailed the unknown sea!”

Then he went on, and told their journey over the
sluggish northern main, and through the shoreless outer
ocean, to the fairy island of the west; and of the Sirens,
and Scylla, and Charybdis, and all the wonders they had
seen, till midnight passed and the day dawned; but the
kings never thought of sleep. Each man sat still and
listened, with his chin upon his hand.

And at last, when Orpheus had ended, they all went


The Argonauts Gs

thoughtful out, and the heroes lay down to sleep,
beneath the sounding porch outside, where Arete had
strewn them rugs and carpets, in the sweet still summer
night.

But Arete pleaded hard with her husband for Medea,
for her heart was softened. And she said, “The gods
will punish her, not we. After all, she is our guest and
my suppliant, and prayers are the daughters of Zeus.
And who, too, dare part man and wife, after all they
have endured together?”

And Alcinous smiled. ‘“The minstrel’s song has
charmed you; but I must remember what is right, for
songs cannot alter justice ; and I must be faithful to my
name. Alcinous I am called, the man of sturdy sense ;
and Alcinous I will be.” But for all that Arete besought
him, until she won him round.

So next morning he sent a herald, and called the
kings into the square, and said, ‘“ This is a puzzling
matter: remember but one thing. These Minuai live
close by us, and we may meet them often on the seas ;
but Aietes lives afar off, and we have only heard his
name. Which, then, of the two is it safer to offend—the
men near us, or the men far off?”

The princes laughed, and praised his wisdom; and
Alcinous called the heroes to the square, and the Colchi
also; and they came and stood opposite each other, but
Medea stayed in the palace. Then Alcinous spoke,
“Heroes of the Colchi, what is your errand about this
lady ?”

“To carry her home with us, that she may die a
76 The Book of Wonder Voyages

shameful death; but if we return without her, we must
die the death she should have died.”

“What say you to this, Jason the ®olid?” said
Alcinous, turning to the Minuai.

“T say,” said the cunning Jason, “that they are come
here on a bootless errand. Do you think that you can
make her follow you, heroes of the Colchi—her, who
knows all spells and charms? She will cast away your
ships on quicksands, or call down on you Brimo the wild
huntress; or the chains will fall from off her wrists, and
she will escape in her dragon-car; or if not thus, some
other way, for she has a thousand plans and wiles. And
why return home at all, brave heroes, and face the long
seas again, and the Bosphorus, and the stormy Euxine,
and double all your toil? There is many a fair land
round these coasts, which waits for gallant men like you.
Better to settle there, and build a city, and let Aietes and
Colchis help themselves.”

Then a murmur rose among the Colchi, and some
cried, ‘‘ He has spoken well ;” and some, ‘‘ We have had
enough of roving, we will sail the seas no more!” And
the chief said at last, ‘‘ Be it so, then; a plague she has
been to us, and a plague to the house of her father, and
a plague she will be to you. Take her, since you are no
wiser ; and we will sail away toward the north.”

Then Alcinous gave them food and water, and gar-
ments, and rich presents of all sorts; and he gave the
same to the Minuai, and sent them all away in peace.

So Jason kept the dark witch-maiden to breed
him woe and shame; and the Colchi went northward
The Argonauts Te

into the Adriatic, and settled, and built towns along
the shore.

Then the heroes rowed away to the eastward to
reach Hellas, their beloved land; but a storm came
down upon them, and swept them far away toward the
south. And they rowed till they were spent with
struggling, through the darkness and the blinding rain;
but where they were they could not tell, and they gave
up all hope of life. And at last they touched the ground,
and when daylight came they waded to the shore ; and
saw nothing round but sand and desolate salt pools, for
they had come to the quicksands of the Syrtis, and the
dreary treeless flats which lie between Numidia and
Cyrene, on the burning shore of Africa. And there they
wandered starving for many a weary day, ere they could
launch their ship again, and gain the open sea. And
there Canthus was killed, while he was trying to drive off
sheep, by a stone which a herdsman threw.

And there too Mopsus died, the seer who knew the
voices of all birds; but he could not foretell his own end,
for he was bitten in the foot by a snake, one of those
which sprang from the Gorgon’s head when Perseus
carried it across the sands.

At last they rowed away toward the northward, for
many a weary day, till their water was spent, and their
food eaten; and they were worn out with hunger and
thirst. But at last they saw a long steep island, and a
blue peak high among the clouds; and they knew it for
the peak of Ida, and the famous land of Crete. And
_ they said, ‘““We will land in Crete, and see Minos the
78 The Book of Wonder Voyages

just king, and all his glory and his wealth ; at least he
will treat us hospitably, and let us fill our water-casks
upon the shore.”

But when they came nearer to the island they saw a
wondrous sight upon the cliffs. For on a cape to the
westward stood a giant, taller than any mountain pine,
who glittered aloft against the sky like a tower of
burnished brass. He turned and looked on all sides
round him, till he saw the Axgo and her crew; and when
he saw them he came toward them, more swiftly than the
swiftest horse, leaping across the glens at a bound, and
striding at one step from down to down. And when he
came abreast of them he brandished his arms up and
down, as a ship hoists and lowers her yards, and shouted
with his brazen throat like a trumpet from off the hills,
“You are pirates, you are robbers! If you dare land
here, you die.”

Then the heroes cried, ‘‘ We are no pirates. We are
all good men and true, and all we ask is food and water ;”
but the giant cried the more :

“You are robbers, you are pirates all; I know you;
and if you land, you shall die the death.”

Then he waved his arms again as a signal, and they
saw the people flying inland, driving their flocks before
them, while a great flame arose among the hills. Then
the giant ran up a valley and vanished, and the heroes
lay on their oars in fear.

But Medea stood watching all from under her steep
black brows, with a cunning smile upon her lips, and a
cunning plot within her heart. At last she spoke: “I
The Argonauts 79

know this giant. I heard of him in the East. Hepha-
istos the Fire King made him in his forge in A®tna
beneath the earth, and called him Talus, and gave him
to Minos for a servant, to guard the coast of Crete.
Thrice a day he walks round the island, and never stops
to sleep ; and if strangers land he leaps into his furnace,
which flames there among the hills; and when he is
red-hot he rushes on them, and burns them in his brazen
hands.”

Then all the heroes cried, ‘‘ What shall we do, wise
Medea? We must have water, or we die of thirst. Flesh
and blood we can face fairly ; but who can face this red-
hot brass?”

““T can face red-hot brass, if the tale I hear be true.
For they say that he has but one vein in all his body,
filled with liquid fire ; and that this vein is closed with a
nail; but I know not where that nail is placed. But if I
can get it once into these hands, you shall water your
ship here in peace.”

Then she bade them put her on shore, and row off
again, and wait what would befall.

And the heroes obeyed her unwillingly, for they were
ashamed to leave her so alone; but Jason said, “ She is
dearer to me than to any of you, yet I will trust her
freely on shore; she has more plots than we can dream
of in the windings of that fair and cunning head.”

So they left the witch-maiden on the shore; and she
stood there. in her beauty all alone, till the giant strode
back red-hot from head to heel, while the grass hissed

and smoked beneath his tread.
80 The Book of Wonder Voyages

And when he saw the maiden alone, he stopped ; and
she looked boldly up into his face without moving, and
began her magic song :

‘Life is short, though life is sweet ; and even men of
brass and fire must die. The brass must rust, the fire
must cool, for'time gnaws all things in their ‘turn. Life
is short, though life is sweet: but sweeter to live for
ever ; sweeter to live ever youthful like the gods, who
have ichor in théir veins—ichor which gives life, and
youth, and joy, and a bounding heart.”

Then Talus said, ‘‘ Who are you, strange maiden, and
where is this ichor of youth ?”

Then Medea held up a flask of crystal, and said,
“Here is the ichor of youth. I am Medea the enchan-
tress; my sister Circe gave me this, and said, ‘Go and
reward Talus, the faithful servant, for his fame is gone
out into all lands.’ So come, and I will pour this into
your veins, that you may live for ever young.”

And he listened to her false words, that simple Talus,
and came near; and Medea said, ‘“ Dip yourself in the
sea first, and cool yourself, lest you burn my tender hands ;
then show me where the nail in your vein is, that I may
pour the ichor in.”

Then that simple Talus dipped himself in the sea, till
it hissed, and roared, and smoked ; and came and knelt
before Medea, and showed her the secret nail.

And she drew the nail out gently, but she poured no
ichor in ; and instead the liquid fire spouted forth, like a
stream of red-hot iron. And Talus tried to leap up,
crying, ‘““You have betrayed me, false witch-maiden!”’
The Argonauts Sr

But she lifted up her hands before him, and sang, till he
sank beneath her spell. And as he sank, his brazen
limbs clanked heavily, and the earth groaned beneath
his weight ; and the liquid fire ran from his heel, like a
stream of Java, to the sea; and Medea laughed, and



called to the heroes, ‘‘Come ashore, and water your ship
in peace.”

So they came, and found the giant lying dead ; and
they fell down, and kissed Medea’s feet; and watered
their ship, and took sheep and oxen, and so left that

. inhospitable shore.
82 The Book of Wonder Voyages

At last, after many more adventures, they came to the
Cape of Malea, at the south-west point of the Pelopon-
nese. And there they offered sacrifices, and Orpheus
purged them from their guilt. Then they rode away
again to the northward, past the Laconian shore, and
came all worn and tired by Sunium, and up the long
Eubcean Strait, until they saw once more Pelion, and
Aphetai, and Iolcos by the sea.

And they ran the ship ashore; but they had no
strength left to haul her up the beach; and they crawled
out on the pebbles, and sat down, and wept till they
could weep no more. For the houses and the trees
were all altered ; and all the faces which they saw were
strange; and their joy was swallowed up in sorrow,
while they thought of their youth, and all their labour,
and the gallant comrades they had lost.

And the people crowded round, and asked them,
‘Who are you, that you sit weeping here?”

‘“We are the sons of your princes, who sailed out
many a year ago. We went to fetch the golden fleece,
and we have brought it, and grief therewith. Give us
news of our fathers and our mothers, if any of them be
left alive on earth.”

Then there was shouting, and laughing, and weeping ;
and all the kings came to the shore, and they led away
the heroes to their homes, and bewailed the valiant dead.

Then Jason went up with Medea to the palace of his
uncle Pelias. And when he came in Pelias sat by the
hearth, crippled and blind with age; while opposite him
sat Afson, Jason’s father, crippled and blind likewise ;
The Argonauts 83

and the two old men’s heads shook together as they tried
to warm themselves before the fire.

And Jason fell down at his father’s knees, and wept,
and called him by his name. And the old man stretched
his hands out, and felt him, and said, ‘‘ Do not mock me,
young hero. My son Jason is dead long ago at sea.”

“Tam your own son Jason, whom you trusted to the
Centaur upon Pelion; and I have brought home the
golden fleece, and a princess of the Sun’s race for my
bride. So now give me up the kingdom, Pelias my
uncle, and fulfil your promise as I have fulfilled mine.”

Then his father clung to him like a child, and wept,
and would not let him go; and cried, ‘ Now I shall not
go down lonely to my grave. Promise me never to leave
me till I die.”
VI
What was the End of the Heroes

4) ND now I wish that I could end my story
pleasantly ; but it is no fault of mine that
I cannot. The old songs end it sadly,

ON and I believe that they are right and
SyeB wise ; for though the heroes were purified
at Malea, yet prone cannot make bad hearts good,
and Jason had taken a wicked wife, and he had to “Tisai
his burden to the last.

And first she laid a cunning plot to punish that poor
old Pelias, instead of letting him die in peace.

For she told his daughters, “I can make old things
young again ; I will show you how easy it is to do.” So
she took an old ram and killed him, and put him in a
cauldron with magic herbs; and whispered her spells
over him, and he leapt out again a young lamb. So that
‘“Medea’s cauldron” is a proverb still, by which we
mean times of war and change, when the world has
become old and feeble, and grows young again through
bitter pains.

Then she said to Pelias’ daughters, ‘‘ Do to your father
as I did to this ram, and he will grow young and strong



‘i
The Argonauts 85

again.” But she only told them half the spell; so they
failed, while Medea mocked them; and poor old Pelias
died, and his daughters came to misery. But the songs
say she cured A¢son, Jason’s father, and he became young
and strong again.

But Jason could not love her, after all her cruel deeds.
So he was ungrateful to her, and wronged her ; and she
revenged herself on him. And a terrible revenge she
took—too terrible to speak of here. But you will hear
of it yourselves when you grow up, for it has been sung
in noble poetry and music ; and whether it be true or
not, it stands for ever as a warning to us not to seek for
help from evil persons, or to gain good ends by evil
means. For if we use an adder even against our ene-
mies, it will turn again and sting us.

But of all the other heroes there is many a brave tale
left, which I have no space to tell you, so you must read
them for yourselves :—of the hunting of the boar in
Calydon, which Meleager killed; and of Hercules’ twelve
famous labours ; and of the seven who fought at Thebes ;
and of the noble love of Castor and Pollux, the twin
Dioscouroi—how when one died the other would not live
without him, so they shared their immortality between
them ; and Zeus changed them into the two twin stars
which never rise both at once.

And what became of Chiron, the good immortal beast?
That, too, is a sad story; for the heroes never saw him
more. He was wounded by a poisoned arrow, at Pholoe
among the hills, when Hercules opened the fatal wine-

_jar which Chiron had warned him not to touch. And
86 The Book of Wonder Voyages

the Centaurs smelt the wine, and flocked to it, and fought
for it with Hercules; but he killed them all with his
poisoned arrows, and Chiron was left alone. Then
Chiron took up one of the arrows, and dropped it by
chance upon his foot ; and the poison ran like fire along
his veins, and he lay down and longed to die ; and cried,
“Through wine I perish, the bane of all my race. Why
should I live for ever in this agony? Who will take my
immortality, that I may die?”

Then Prometheus answered, the good Titan, whom
Hercules had set free from Caucasus, ‘‘I will take your
immortality and live for ever, that I may help poor
mortal men.” So Chiron gave him his immortality, and
died, and had rest from pain. And Hercules and Pro-
metheus wept over him, and went to bury him on
Pelion; but Zeus took him up among the stars, to
live for ever, grand and mild, low down in the far
southern sky.
TEE VWOVAGE OF MABEDUIN

The Voyage of Maelduin

y xe)HIS is the story of the wanderings
\ of Maelduin, and how for three years
and seven months he was driven in
his barque to and fro over the bound-
less, fathomless ocean, and of the many
strange islands and mighty wonders he encountered.
Maelduin was the son of a goodly fighter, a hero lord
over his clan, Ailill Edgebattle by name. But, whilst
he was yet a babe, plunderers from over sea fell upon his
home, burnt the church of Dubhcluain, and slew his
father therein. So his mother fled in haste and came to
the King of Arran, and gave her babe in fostering to her
bosom friend, the Queen. In one cradle, on one breast,
and in one lap with the King’s three sons was Maelduin
reared, and as he grew up he thought himself their own
brother. Yet many knew his father was slain and his
mother a wanderer. The youth grew up tall, well-knit,
and fair, so that of all flesh within the four brown
quarters of this world none might match him in grace
and beauty. Hardy he was, fresh and joyous of mood,
well skilled in the use of weapons, and in every manly
_ game and art. None like him for running, or putting


90 The Book of Wonder Voyages

the stone; he and his horse outraced all his com-
rades.

On a day of days the youths of the court were
making merry, contending in feats of strength and skill.
Still Maelduin bore off the palm, so that at last an
envious comrade burst out angrily: ‘To think that thou,
whose clan and kindred, whose father and mother no
man knows, should beat us at every sport, be it on land or
water, or in moving the ivory men on the playing board!”

Maelduin stood silent a while, for never until then had
he thought himself other than the son of the King and
Queen of the land. So he came to his foster-mother and
said, ‘I will neither eat nor drink till thou tellest me the
name of my father and my mother.”

“Why dost thou ask that?” said she. ‘Heed not
the jealous mutterings of thy companions. Am I nota
mother to thee? Is there among the people of this land
a mother whose love for her son is greater than the love
bea tomthee am

“That is so,” said he; ‘“ but nevertheless I pray thee
to make known to me the names of my parents.”

So his foster-mother told him concerning his mother,
and delivered him into her hands. And he entreated
her to tell him who his father was.

But she rebuked him, saying, ‘“‘ My son, it will make
thee no happier to know who he was, nor will it in any
way profit thee. He has been dead for many and many
a year.”

‘Be that as it may,” replied he, ‘it were better for
me to know.”


The Voyage of Maelduin gI

She told him then that he was son to Ailill Edgebattle,
of the kin of the Owenaght, lord of the territory of
Ninus.

So Maelduin went to his father’s land, to enter into
possession of the domain that was his by right. And
with him went his three foster-brothers, whom he loved
dearly. A right welcome was made him by his kinsfolk,
and they bade him be of good cheer, now he was on his
own land and among his own people.

On a day of days Maelduin and certain of his warriors
were putting the stone in the graveyard of the church of
Dubhcluain. Placing his foot on the scorched ruin wall
of the church, Maelduin hurled the stone clear over it.
Then Bricone, the poison-tongued, laughed and said
aloud :

‘Better it were to avenge the man slain here than to
cast stones over his bare burnt bones.”

‘Of whom speakest thou?” asked Maelduin.

“Of Ailill, thy father.”

‘Who slew him ?”

“ Plunderers from over sea, men of Leix, here on this
spot.”

Great was the sorrow of Maelduin. Putting down the
stone he held ready for the cast, he girded on his
armour, flung his mantle around him, and eagerly
inquired by what way he might reach Leix. ‘ By sea
alone,” said the guide.

So he was minded to go first into the country of
Corcomroe, the land of Nuca the wizard, and to beg of
him a charm and a blessing for the boat he should
92 The Book of Wonder Voyages

afterwards build. Charms and blessings the wizard gave
him, and instructed him when he should begin to build,
and when to put out to sea, and how many men he
should take with him. And he charged him straitly that
there should be seventeen, neither more nor less, and he
laid a curse upon him if his charge were disobeyed.

The boat that was built was of wicker work, of eight
thwarts, covered with three-fold ox-hide of hard bark-
soaked red leather. Then Maelduin gathered together
his men, and among them were German and Diuran the
rhymer.

On the day appointed by the wizard they hoisted the
flapping, many-coloured sail to the tall, tough mast, and
they put forth tosea. But when they had gonea little way
they were roused by the cries of Maelduin’s three foster-
brothers, who stood upon the beach and called them back.

‘“Go home,” said Maelduin, “I may not carry a larger
number than are now in the boat.”

“Tf thou wilt not come back for us, we will follow thee
into the sea, though we drown.”

Saying which they cast themselves into the water, and
struck out boldly from the shore. When Maelduin saw
that, he bade turn the boat’s head, and put back, taking
them into the boat for fear they be drowned. But his
heart was heavy, for he thought of the wizard’s curse.

| ‘HEY rowed until eve, and ceased not for nightfall.
About midnight they were nigh two small and
barren islets, on which were two forts. Thence came




The Voyage of Maelduin 93

through the night a noise, great and uproarious, of men
drinking and boasting them of the spoils they had won.
As they lay for a while on their oars and listened, there
was heard the voice of a hero. ‘‘ Stand off from me, for
J am a better man than thou. I it was slew Aijlill
Edgebattle and burnt the church of Dubhcluain over his
head, and his kin have never dared avenge it on me.
Hast thou ever done the like of such a deed?”

Great was the joy and fierce the exultation of
Maelduin and his companions. ‘Truly the victory is
ours,” said Diuran the rhymer, ‘and God has led us
here, steering the bark Himself. Let us land and
utterly destroy these forts.”

But even as they spoke there arose a great wind and
drove them out to sea, far beyond sight or ken of land,
into the midst of the huge and endless ocean. ‘‘ Cease
rowing,” said Maelduin, “and let the boat drift as it will.
Whithersoever it shall please God, there let us be
brought.” Then turning to his foster-brothers, “ You it
is who have caused this trouble by joining yourselves to
us in spite of the wizard’s word that seventeen, neither
more nor less, was to be our number. Of a surety more
evil will come of this.”

They made no answer save to be silent a while.

OR three days and three nights they tossed upon the
sea, finding neither land nor ground. But on the
morning of the third day they heard a sound from the
north-east. “It is the voice of a wave against the
94 The Book of Wonder Voyages

shore,” said Maelduin. When the sun rose and the day
brightened they rowed towards the noise and put in close
to shore. Lots were cast to decide which among them
should visit the strange land; but even as they were



making ready to leave the boat, behold a great swarm of
ants, and every ant the size of a foal. They swarmed
down to the beach, into the very sea, making as though
they would devour alike men and boat. Then Maelduin
and his men were sore affrighted and pushed off hastily
The Voyage of Maelduin 95

and with oar and sail made what speed they could. Nor
did they cease for three days and nights; and all this
while they had no sight of land.

Cr the morn of the fourth day they came to another

island, great in size, and of sandy soil. As they
neared it to scan more closely what manner of land this
might be, they beheld standing upon the shore a very mar-
vellous beast. In shape it was like a horse, but it had the
legs of a hound, and on its feet were talons long and rough
and sharp. It pranced and gambolled upon the beach as
though overjoyed to see the wanderer, but in its heart it
was minded to devour them should they land. “I do
not like this beast,’ said Maelduin; ‘‘ methinks he is too
pleased to see us; we had better leave this island.” So
they turned the boat’s head and made what speed they
might. But when the beast saw them departing it was
enraged, and, digging up the beach with its sharp talons,
it pelted them so violently with stones and rocks that it
was all they could do to get out of reach. Nevertheless,
pulling strongly, they won the open sea and so escaped
this danger.

Ns rowing long and afar, and hastily, they sighted

a large flat island. Lots were cast who should land,
and bring back tidings of the country. The lot fell to
German, who was little pleased at the task when he thought
_ of the gigantic ants and the taloned monster they had met
96 The Book of Wonder Voyages

with on the other islands. Then said his comrade,
Diuran the rhymer, “I will accompany thee this time,
and when the lot falls to me, thou shalt be my comrade.”
So they set forth together. Long was the island, and
wide, and in the midst an immense open green. Upon
this green were to be seen many hoof-prints of horses,
and these were very large, every hoof-print as big as a
ship’s sail. Moreover, lying on the ground were nuts
as big as headpieces, and remains of all kinds, vast and
monstrous in size, as though giants had gone a-plundering
and left their scattered spoil. So German and Diuran
were much afraid, and, calling to their comrades in the
boat to behold these things, they hastily returned, and
sail was set that they might flee swiftly if need be.

Hardly had they stood a little way off the land when
they beheld the rush of a mighty multitude along the
beach and on to the open green, and the racing of
horses against each other. Swifter than the wind was
each horse, clamorous and deafening were the outcry
and the din of the multitude. Maelduin and his men lay
on their oars wondering, and they heard clearly the
swish of the whips, and the thud of the horses’ hoofs,
and the eager shouting of the assembled throng, “ Hither
the grey steed.” ‘‘ Drive the dun horse there!” “Come
on with the white horse!” ‘Mine is the fastest steed!”
“My horse is the best jumper!” So the wanderers
tarried no longer, but set sail hastily, for they felt sure it
was a gathering of demons they beheld.
The Voyage of Maelduin 97
ms FULL week were they voyaging in hunger and thirst,

until at last they chanced upon a great island, rising
high out of the waves, on the seashore of which stood a
huge house. The house had two doorways, one opening
on to the island, the other on to the sea. Now, the latter
was partly of stone, and it was pierced by a hole, through
which the waves, as they dashed up against the door, flung
salmon into the house. Here, thought Maelduin, we shall
find food; so he and his men entered the house, but it was
empty. A testered bed there was, evidently the chief’s,
and a bed for every three men of the household, and
before each bed were placed food, a glass vessel containing
good liquor, and a glass goblet. So they dined off the
food and liquor and thanked God, who had helped them
to satisfy their hunger. But as the inmates of the house
did not make their appearance, they decided to set sail
again.

And this they did; but after a while their -provisions
gave out, and they hungered greatly, until they came to
another island with a high cliff round it on every side, in
which could be seen a long narrow wood. Now, as
Maelduin passed the wood, which came down to the
water's edge, he took a branch from a tree and kept it
in his hand three days and three nights while the boat
was coasting the cliff. On the third day there was a

cluster of three apples at the end of the branch, and
"no apple but satisfied the hunger of the crew for forty
nights.
98 The Book of Wonder Voyages

ae next island they sighted had a fence of stone
around it. They drew near to spy it out more
closely, and when they had landed and gone a little way



inland, there sprang upa huge beast, which began to race
round the island. Swifter than the rush of the cold wind
of March seemed its racing to Maelduin. When it was
tired of racing it stood on a peak, which towered up in
the centre of the island, and many and marvellous were
The Voyage of Maelduin 99

the feats it performed; it would put its head down,
throw its legs up in the air, and turn and whirl around
the bones of its body, while the skin never moved; or
again it would make its skin revolve like a mill-wheel,

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whilst flesh and bones remained still. When Maelduin
and his crew perceived the strange and horrible antics of
this monster they were seized with dread, and fled
hastily, whereupon the monster followed them to the
beach, and hurled stones after them, and would fain
have seized and devoured them. It was but a narrow
100. 6 The Book of Wonder Voyages

escape they had, for one of the stones pierced through
Maelduin’s shield and lodged in the keel of the boat.

ie D now the wanderers were sad, complaining and

feeble, for they knew not whither in the world they
were going, or in what land they might find rest or aid.
Weary and hopeless were they, sad and sighing when
they had at last sight of another island. Many trees
could be seen; and what pleased the wanderers greatly,
they were full of fruit, with great golden apples hanging
from every bough. And that the apples were good to
eat they could soon discern. For beneath the trees lay
short, red-coloured animals, like to swine in shape, and at
times they stood up and struck the trees with their hind-
legs, and greedily devoured the apples that fell. Strange
were the ways of these beasts. From dawn to sunset they
hid in caverns underground, but at sunset they came
forth to feed, and as they did so many flocks of birds
flew in from the sea and perched in the branches of the
trees and fed on their fruit.

When Maelduin saw these things, “surely,” thought
he, “if the beasts and birds can feed so can we.” So
two of the crew were landed. But the ground was hot
under their feet and it was not possible for them to
remain long there. For the land was a fiery one, heated
by the animals that dwell in the caverns underground.
They could but gather hastily as many apples as possible
and these they brought back to the boat, and the crew
regaled themselves upon them. Great was the virtue of
The Voyage of Maelduin IOI

these apples, for whoso ate them lacked neither food
nor drink. On the morrow they landed again, and after
loading their boat with as many apples as they could
pluck ere the soles of their feet were burnt, they again
set sail.

After a while the apples failed, and great hunger and
thirst seized upon them afresh. Nor were they other-
wise in a good plight, for the sea gave forth an evil
stench, which filled their mouths and noses.

LAD they were to come to an island, wherein was a

fort surrounded by a white, high rampart, that
looked as if it were a chalk rock or were built of burnt lime.
Great was its height from the sea; it all but touched the
clouds. The fort was wide open, and round the outer
rampart were great snow-white houses. They entered the
largest of these and saw no one there, save a small cat,
which played in the midst thereof on four stone pillars,
leaping from one to the other. It glanced at the men,
but never ceased its play. The wall of the house, which
reached from one doorpost to the other, was furnished
with three rows. The first was of gold and silver brooches
fastened to the wall by their pins ; the second of gold and
silver necklaces, each as large as a vat hoop; and the
third of gold and silver hilted swords. About the rooms
lay white quilts and garments of shining hue. There
were, moreover, a roasted ox, a flitch, and vessels full of
sweet, heady ale. ‘“ Hath this been left for ws ?” asked
Maelduin of the cat. The creature looked at him
102 The Book of Wonder Voyages

suddenly, and then resumed its play. So Maelduin
knew that the food was for them. And they ate and
drank and slept. What was left of the food they stored
up to take with them. When they were about to depart
Maelduin’s foster-brother said :

‘Shall I not take with me one of the necklaces ?”

“Nay,” said Maelduin, ‘the house is well guarded.”

Howbeit, the foster-brother took the necklace, and
carried it as far as the middle of the enclosure. But
thither the cat followed them, leapt through the thief like
a fiery arrow, and burnt him to ashes, after which it
returned to its pillar. And Maelduin soothed it with fair
words, and put the necklace back in its place, and
cleansed the floor of the ashes, which he cast forth on
the shore of the sea.

Then they went on board, praising and magnifying

God.

OW, on the third day after this, they came in the early
morning to another island, in the midst of which
was a brass palisade that divided it into two. On either
side of the fence was a flock of sheep, black on the one
side, on the other white, and in the midst thereof was a
big man who kept the flocks apart. When he flung a
white sheep among the black it became black, and when
he flung a black sheep among the white it became white.
This terrified the men in the boat. Then said Mael-
duin :
‘“Let us throw two rods on the island, and if they
The Voyage of Maelduin noe

change colour it shall be a sign unto us that we too
would change colour if we land.”

So they flung a black-barked rod among the white
sheep, and it immediately became white. In like manner
they threw a peeled white rod among the black sheep,
whereupon it became black at once. So Maelduin would
not land lest their colour should fare no better than that
of the rods.

And they departed in terror.

O* the third day afterwards they espied an island,

great and wide, upon which were a herd of beautiful
swine. Of these they killed a small pig, but, being
unable to carry it to be roasted, they cooked it there and
bore it to their boat. _

On the island was a lofty mountain, from which they
thought they would like to view the land. So Diuran
the rhymer and German went thither, and, flowing at
its base, was a broad shallow river. German dipped the
handle of his spear into the water, and straightway it was
consumed as if by fire. They went no further in that
direction. Moreover, they saw on the other side of the
river great hornless oxen, among which sat a huge man.
German clashed his spear-shaft against his shield to
frighten the animals.

‘Why dost thou frighten the silly calves?” asked the
huge man.

“Tf these are calves, where are their dams?” said
German.
104 The Book of Wonder Voyages

‘On the other side of yonder mountain,” he replied.

Then they deemed this was no land for them to stay
in, and, having hastened back to the boat, they re-
ported these marvels, and Maelduin bid hoist the sail and
lay to with the oars, and they departed speedily.

N OT long thereafter they came to an island upon

which dwelt a miller, vast of bulk and hideous of
aspect; and if he was hideous, still more hideous was his
mill.

‘“What mill may this be?” asked the wayfarers.

Then he made reply :

“Whatever in broad Erin, and in all the four brown
quarters of the globe, is not given cheerfully and with a
willing heart is ground here. And truly, I tell you, half
of the corn of Erin passes through my mill.”

Even as he spoke they saw countless laden horses and
human beings bending under the weight of heavy sacks,
and all were going to and from the mill. And ever the
unground corn came from the east, and ever the ground
corn was carried westward.

They marvelled greatly at these things.

‘What is the name of thy mill?” asked they again.

Then he told them it was the mill of Hell.

Thereupon they crossed themselves with the sign of
Christ’s cross, and departed in their boat.




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THE MILL OF GRUDGING
The Voyage of Maelduin 105

Ae they came to a large island peopled with many

human beings, black in body and raiment. They
wore fillets round their heads, and they rested not from
wailing.

Lots were cast as to who should land, and the unlucky
lot fell to one of Maelduin’s two foster-brothers. He
went on shore, and when he mingled with the wailing
people he at once became as one of them, and wept and
wailed too. Maelduin would fain have rescued him, and
-sent two of his men to bring him away, but they could
not recognise him, and they also began to lament and
bemoan themselves.

Said Maelduin :

“Let four of you go with weapons and force them to
come. Cover your faces with your garments, look not
at the land, breathe not the air thereof, and keep your
eyes fixed upon your own men.”

So they went and brought back the other two by
force, but the foster-brother had become one of the
wailers, and him they could not save. When they
inquired of the rescued ones what they had seen in the
land, they replied :

“Verily, we know not. What we saw others doing,
we did.”

Then they swiftly left the island.

fee ees they came to another lofty island,
divided into four parts by fences. Golden was the
- first fence, silver the next, brass the third, crystal the
106 The Book of Wonder Voyages

fourth. Kings dwelt in one division, queens in another,
warriors in the third, and in the fourth maidens alone. As
they neared the land a maiden came to meet them, and
brought them on shore, when she entertained them and
gave them food. It was like cheese in taste, but the
flavour thereof was such that each man thought he was
eating what he best liked. She gave them sweet, heady
ale from a small vessel, the strength of which caused
them to sleep three days and three nights. Where
they awoke on the third day was in their boat, on
the open sea, and they could see neither island nor
maiden.

SS they hoisted the sail and plied their oars, and

voyaged onwards until they came to a small island,
wherein was a fortress with a brass door on which were
brass fastenings. A bridge of glass rose from the door,
and when they essayed to mount it they fell down back-
wards. They were wearied of trying, when at last they
saw a woman come out from the fortress, and in her hand
a pail, which she filled with water from the fountain that
flowed beneath the bridge. Then she turned back to
the fortress.

“That were a housekeeper for Maelduin,” said
German.

‘Much care I for Maelduin,” quoth she, and closed the
door behind her.

Then they were angered, and began to shake the
brazen fastenings of the door; but the sound which they
The Voyage of Maelduin 107

made was a sweet, soothing music, which caused them
to sleep till the next morning.

On awaking they saw the same woman with the pail,
which she filled in the same manner as before.

‘°Tis indeed a housekeeper for Maelduin,” said
German.

‘As if I cared for Maelduin,” said she, and shut the
door after her.

And again they were lulled to sleep by the sweet fairy
music of the brazen door till the morrow.

Thus it continued for three days and three nights.
On the fourth day the woman crossed the bridge and
came tomeet them. Beautiful indeed was she. A circlet
of gold bound her golden hair. Silver sandals clad her
rosy feet. A gold studded silver brooch fastened her
mantle, anda filmy silken smock lay next her white skin.

“T bring thee greeting, Maelduin,” said she. And
then she named each of the crew by his own name. “It
is long since your coming here hath been known and
expected,” she went on.

Then she led them to a large house near the sea, and
bade them haul their boat on shore. Within the house
was a couch for Maelduin alone, and one for every three
of his people. She brought them food like unto cheese,
of which she gave a portion to every three. And the
savour thereof was such as each desired to find therein.
But she served Maelduin apart. She filled her pail at the
same place and dealt them liquor, a portion for every
three. She knew when they had had enough, and then
ceased to serve them.
108 The Book of Wonder Voyages

And every man said she would be a fitting wife for
Maelduin.

Then she took her vessel and pail and left them.

And Maelduin’s people said to him, “ Shall we ask her
if she would marry thee?”

‘Just as you will,” said he.

When she came next day they asked her if she would
love Maelduin and marry him.

‘One sthe es moriow, ai saiams sic. saayouesshallaaibe
answered.” F

So, after they had eaten and drunk, they laid them
down to sleep, but when they awoke they were in their
boat on acrag, and they saw neither the island, nor
the fortress, nor the lady, nor the place where they
had been.

HEY rowed further, till they came to another island,
upon which were many trees, wherein dwelt
numbers of birds. Landing, they met a man clothed
solely with his own hair. They asked him who he was,
and whence his kindred. And he answered :

“T am of the men of Ireland. I went forth on a
pilgrimage in a small boat, which split under me when I
had gone but a little way from land. But I was unwilling
to give up my intent of pilgrimage and put back to shore,
and there put a sod of my country’s earth under my feet,
and upon it I ventured again to sea. Now, the Lord set
that sod for me in this place, and enlargeth it by a foot
every year, and addeth a tree to grow therein. The
The Voyage of Maelduin I0g

birds which you behold in the trees are the souls of my
children and kindred who await their doomsday. Angels
are sent to feed me daily with half a cake, a slice of fish,
and liquor from the well. Whey or water on Fridays
and Wednesdays ; sweet milk on Sundays and martyrs’
feasts; but on the Apostles’ feast-days and those of
Mary and John the Baptist, bright ale and wine. At
noon every soul yonder receiveth the same, enough for
each.”

And when the old man had entertained them for three
nights they bade him farewell. And ere they departed
he said unto them: “ Allof you shall reach your country,
save one.”

Wie they had been a long while tossing on the

waves of the sea, they saw afar off an island, and
as they drew near they heard the noise of smiths smiting
iron on the anvil with sledges. The din each man made
was as if three or four were smiting at once. As
Maelduin and his men came nigh the shore they heard
one man asking of the other :

“ Are they close at hand?”

LEV Cane

‘‘Who are coming here?” asked a third man.

“ Little boys in a cockle-shell.”

Maelduin said, ‘‘ Let us retreat, but let us not turn the
boat, but keep her stern foremost, that they might not
perceive we are fleeing.”

So they rowed away with the boat stern foremost.
110 ©. The Book of Wonder Voyages

In a little while the man in the forge asked: “Are
they in the harbour now?” And the watchman replied
that they were at anchor.

Shortly after the forge-man again inquired what they
were doing. The look-out man replied, “I think they
are running away, as they seem to be further from the
port than they were a short time ago.” Upon that the
smith came out of the forge, holding by the tongsa huge
mass of glowing iron, which he threw after the boat.
By good fortune it did not reach the vessel, but the sea
hissed and boiled where it fell. As for the warriors,
they swiftly fled into mid-ocean.

Ne TER that they voyaged until they came to a sea,

thin and misty like a cloud, so that it seemed as if it
could not support their boat. As they sailed over, it was
transparent to their gaze, and they beheld underneath it
roofed strongholds and a beautiful country. Also they
saw a huge, monstrous beast, in a tree that was sur-
rounded by herds and flocks, beside which sat a man
armed with shield, spear, and sword. And when the
armed man beheld the beast he immediately fled. As
for the beast, it seized the largest ox of the herd, and,
dragging it into the tree, devoured it in the twinkling of
an eye; upon that flocks and herds took to flight.
When Maelduin and his people saw these things they
were yet more terrified, for they feared they should
never cross this sea without falling through it, so fine
and vapour like-was it.
The Voyage of Maelduin oe

Only after much danger did they succeed in skimming
its surface.

ING a strange thing was to be seen on the next

island they came to, a great stream rising out of the
beach, and arching rainbow-wise over the whole land,
until it fell into the beach on the opposite side. To and
fro the wanderers passed underneath the stream without
being wet. And when they pierced the arch with their
spears huge salmon came tumbling down in such vast
numbers that the whole island was filled with the evil
smell of the fish, nor could they gather them all because
of their abundance.

From Sunday at eventide to Monday forenoon the
stream was at rest. When Maelduin and his people had
filled their boat with the largest salmon they continued
their journey on the ocean.

ips they voyaged till they came to a great silver
column standing in mid-ocean. It had four sides, each
of which measured two oar-strokes wide, so that the com-
pass of the whole was eight oar-strokes. There was not a
sod of earth about this column, only the boundless ocean.
Its base could not be seen, nor could its summit, so high
did it tower above the sea. A silver net hung down
from the summit, through a single mesh of which the
boat went, under full sail. And as they passed through
it Diuran struck the mesh with the edge of his spear.
112 The Book of Wonder Voyages

“Destroy not the net,” said Maelduin, “for what we see
is the work of mighty men.” But Diuran replied that
he did it to the glory of God, and that his story might
be the more believed ; and he vowed if he ever reached
Ireland he would offer this piece of mesh on the high
altar of Armagh.

And they heard a voice from the summit of the pillar,
mighty, clear .and distinct. But they knew not the
language it spake, nor did they understand the words it
uttered.

A ee they came to a large island wherein
was a great plain surmounted by a vast tableland,
heatherless, but grassy andsmooth. Near the sea rose a
high, strong fortress, and therein a goodly furnished house,
where dwelt seventeen maidens. Maelduin and his men
landed and sat on a hillock before the fort. And as they
sat, behold a rider on a race-horse came to the fortress.
She was arrayed in a blue hood, a purple-bordered
mantle, and she wore gold embroidered gloves. Sandals
were on her feet, and the horse-cloth of her seat was
finely adorned. As she alighted one of the maidens led
her horse away, and she entered the fortress. Shortly
after this, one of the maidens came out to welcome them
and invite them to the fort in the queen’s name. So
they entered and made merry with the queen and her
maidens. Good food and wine were served them, a
platter and drinking vessel for every three men, and one
apart for Maelduin. The next morning, when they were
The Voyage of Maelduin 113

about to depart the queen said, ‘Stay here and old age
shall not fall on you, but you shall keep the age you now
have; lasting life shall be yours alway, and every joy
and delight. Why then go wandering longer from
island to island over the wide and barren ocean ?”

“Tell us,” then said Maelduin, “how came you here?”
And she said: ‘There dwelt a good man on this isle,
and king he was of it. I was his wife and these
seventeen maidens are our children. Now, when the
king died and left no heir, I took the kingship and go
daily to the great plain to judge the folk and decide their
disputes.”

They abode in that island for the three winter months,
and it seemed to them they were three years. And one
of his people said unto Maelduin: “ We have been here
a long time ; why do we not return to our own land?”

But Maelduin was unwilling, and replied, ‘In our own
land we shall not find aught better than we have
here.” fe

Then the people began to murmur greatly, saying:
“Great is the love which Maelduin bears to the queen.
Let him stay with her if he pleases, but we will go back
to our own country.”

. “J will not stay after you,’ answered Maelduin.
. So one day when the queen was busy at the judgment-
seat, they launched the boat and hoisted the many-
coloured sail to the tall, tough mast and went on board.
But ere they cleared the land.she came riding hastily, and
threw a clew after them that clung to Maelduin’s hand as
he caught it. And the thread of the clew was in her
H
114 The Book of Wonder Voyages

hand, and by it she drew the boat unto her, back to the
harbour.

Thereafter they sojourned with her thrice three months.
Then Maelduin’s people took counsel together, saying:
“Now we are sure Maelduin loves the queen more than
us. That is why he catches the clew, that it may cleave
to his hand, and we be brought back to the fortress.”

And Maelduin answeréd them: ‘Let another catch
the clew, and if it cling to his hand, let his hand be
Gut: Ollee

So they went on board again, and again the queen
came and flung the clew after them. This time it was
caught by another man, to whose hand it clung. But
Diuran cut off the hand, and it fell with the clew into the
sea. When the queen saw this she began to wail and-
shriek, so that all the land was one cry, wail and
shrieking.

‘Thus it was they escaped from her, and from the
island.

Oe for a long time they tossed about on the waves
until they came to an island whereon were planted
trees, like willow or hazel, upon which grew marvellous
fruit, like large berries. They stripped one small tree
and cast lots who should first taste the fruit. The lot fell
to Maelduin. He squeezed some of the berries into a
vessel and drank the juice, and it cast him into a deep
sleep from that hour till the same hour on the morrow.
As he lay with the red foam on his lips, they knew not
Mor

s,

2

FE

BE
Rae
ic
SS
Q



THE QUEEN OF THE MAGIC CLEW
The Voyage of Maelduin els

till he awoke whether it was slumber or whether it was
death. Then he said: ‘Gather this fruit, for great is its
excellence.”

So they gathered all the fruit of the land, filling their
vessels with its juice, and mingling it with water to
moderate its strength, and then they rowed away.

pa they land on another large island.
Part of it was overgrown with yew- and oak-wood ;
the rest was a plain, in the midst of which was a small
lake, with great herds of sheep feeding in the surrounding
meadows. There were besides on the island a church
and a fortress. They entered the church and found
therein a cleric, ancient and grey, whose sole clothing was
his own hair. Maelduin inquired of him whence he came.

“T am the fifteenth man of the community of the
blessed Brendan,” replied he. ‘‘We went forth on our
pilgrimage into the vast and boundless ocean and we
came to this island. And of the fifteen men all have
died save I alone.”

Then he showed them the tablet of the blessed
Brendan, which they had taken with them on their
pilgrimage. And the travellers bowed themselves before
it, and Maelduin kissed it.

“Now,” said the old man, “eat your fill of the sheep
for food, but take no more than it needs to appease your
hunger.”

So they abode there for a season, feeding on the flesh
of the sheep and worshipping with the cleric. One day
116 The Book of We Voyages

as they were gazing seawards they perceived what
seemed a cloud coming towards them, from the south-
west, but on its nearer approach they saw by the waving
of its wings that it was a bird. It came to the island and
perched on a hill near the lake. And they feared lest it
might bear them in its talons out to sea. It brought
with it a branch bigger than one of the great oaks which



grew upon the island, covered with large twigs, green
leaves, and bearing heavy abundant fruit, red berries like
to grapes, only larger in size. It seemed weary, and
rested, eating of the fruit. Maelduin and his men
approached cautiously lest it might harm them. Then
they drew nearer and began to gather berries off the
branch, but the bird neither moved nor heeded them.

At noon two great eagles came flying from the south-
The Voyage of Maelduin 17

west and lit down in front of the bird, and began to
preen and cleanse its feathers. This they continued to
do until even, when they began to eat of the berries off
the branch. The next morn until midday they passed in
tending the bird, preening and cleansing its feathers.
At midday they ceased from their task and, perching on
the branch, stripped the berries from it, broke them with
their beaks against the stones, and cast them into the
lake. And with the foam of the berries the water was
dyed a deep red. Then went the bird and bathed in the
lake until the close of the day, when it perched in
another place on the same hill.

On the morrow the eagles returned and sleeked its
plumage as if it were done with a comb. At midday
they rested a little, and then flew off to that quarter
of the heavens whence they had come. But the great
bird remained, shaking his pinions, until the third day,
when it soared up and flew thrice round the island,
alighting for a little while on the same hill. Then it
flew towards the land whence it came with a speed
swifter and stronger than before. Wherefore it was
manifest to all that to it had been restored the gift of
youth, and through it the word of the prophet had been
fulfilled: Dhy youth shall be renewed like the eagle's.

Then Diuran wondered greatly and said, ‘Let us go
bathe in the lake and make ourselves young even as the
bird has done.” And when one of his comrades would
have dissuaded him, fearing the venom left by the bird in
the lake, he still persisted, saying that he would go
first.
118 The Book of Wonder Voyages

So he plunged in and bathed and drank of the water.
And from that time forth until the end of his life he
suffered from neither weakness nor infirmity, his eyesight
was passing strong, nor did he lose a tooth from his jaw
or a hair from his head.

FTER bidding farewell to that ancient man, and

taking with them a provision of sheep, they came to
an island around which ran a moving fiery rampart. In
the side of the rampart was an open doorway. And
whenever this doorway, as it turned around the island,
came opposite to them they could see through it the
whole island, and all its indwellers, even human beings,
beautiful, abundant, wearing adorned garments and
feasting with golden vessels in their hands. Pleasant
was it to hearken unto their drinking songs, and long did
the wanderers gaze upon this marvel, from which they
might hardly depart, so delightful was it.

OT long after this they saw among the waves a
shape like unto that of a white bird. They turned
the prow of the boat into it southward, and on drawing
nearer they perceived it to be a man clothed solely in
his own white hair, kneeling on a broad rock.
And they entreated a blessing from him, and asked
him whence he came.
“From Torach,” replied he; ‘there I was reared. I
was cook unto a church; but I was an evil cook, for I
The Voyage of Maelduin 11g

sold the food of my brethren for treasures and jewels, so
that my house became full of costly stuffs and raiment,
of brazen pails and small brazen goblets, of brooches of
silver and pins of gold. Truly nothing was lacking in
my house of all the things which men hoard, and I had
golden books and book-covers adorned with brass and
gold. Besides this, I would dig under the houses of the
church and rob them of their treasures.

‘Thus I grew proud and haughty, thinking of my riches
and spoils, and would no longer be cook unto my brethren.
So I put forth to sea ina new boat of tanned hide. But I
first emptied my house of its treasures and filled my new
vessel therewith. When I set sail the sea was calm, but
great winds arose and drove me into mid-ocean, far
beyond sight of land, and there my boat stood still,
moving not.

‘“As I looked about me, I beheld a man sitting upon a
wave, who inquired of me whither I was bound. Andhe
told me I should be sorrowful and full of terror if I knew
the band that surrounded me; for a crowd of demons
encircled me on every side because of my covetousness
and my pride, my haughtiness, thefts, and other evil
deeds. Then he told me that my boat should remain
motionless until I did his will; and his will was that I
should fling all my treasures into the sea.

‘So I flung all into the waters save a small wooden
cup. Then he gave me whey-water and seven cakes,
and bade me go whither wind and wave carried me. |
minded his words, and following the will of my boat, was
finally landed upon this crag. Seven years was I here,
120 The Book of Wonder Voyages

living on the seven cakes and whey-water given me by
the man who sent me from him. Nor had I any other
food. When that came to an end I fasted for three
days, at the end of which, at the hour of noon, an otter
brought me a salmon out of the sea. But as I could not
eat it raw I threw it back into the water, and fasted for
another three days. On the third day the otter brought
me the salmon again and another otter brought a piece
of flaming firewood, and set it down and blew with its
breath, so that the fire blazed up. Thereon I cooked
the fish, and have lived on such food for another seven
years. And at the end of that time the fish supply
ceased and I fasted again for the space of three days.
Then on the third noon half a wheaten cake and a piece
of fish were cast up and a cup of good liquor came to
me. Thus I receive food every day. And neither wind
nor wet, nor heat nor cold affects me.”

Now when the hour of noon arrived, half a cake and a
piece of fish came for every man, and in the cup which
stood before the cleric was found each man’s fill of good
liquor. And the cleric spake to them: ‘You will ‘all
reach your country save one man. And you, Maelduin,
will find the man who slew your father in a fortress.
Slay him not but forgive him, for God hath saved you
from many great perils, and ye, too, are men deserving
death.”

Then they bade him farewell and resumed their
journey.
The Voyage of Maelduin 120

HEY drove forth over the ocean until they came to

an island wherein was a great level plain, and on

this plain a vast multitude playing and laughing without
stay or pause. Lots were cast by Maelduin and his men
to see unto whom it should fall to enter the island and
explore it, and the lot fell upon the third of Maelduin’s

-foster-brethren. So he left the boat, but no sooner had

he set foot to ground when he, too, began to play and
laugh without ceasing. In vain did his comrades call
him back. He leapt and laughed and sang as though
all his life he had been one of the islanders. So after
waiting a long time they put forth again, sorrowful to
leave him. But he never stayed from his merry play
and joyous laughter.

Then was fulfilled the doom of Nuca the wizard that
only Maelduin and the seventeen appointed comrades
should win back in safety to the land of their birth.

Noe this they came to an island filled with cattle,

oxen, kine, and sheep. There were neither houses
nor forts therein, so they fed on the sheep. Then some of
them espied a large falcon, which they declared to be like
the falcons of Ireland. So they agreed to watch whither
it went, and when it flew to the south-east they rowed
after it until even, when they sighted land like unto
Ireland. Rowing towards it they found it to be the very
island from which they had been driven by the wind, and
thereon were the slayers of Ailill, Maelduin’s father.

- There they landed, and, going to the fortress where
122 The Book of Wonder Voyages

the inhabitants were dining, listened at the door to their
conversation,
One man said, “It would be well if we do not see

Maelduin.” ‘That Maelduin,” said another, ‘hath
been drowned.” “But,” said a third, ‘‘mayhap it will be
he who will wake you out of your sleep.” ‘“ What

should we do if he came now?” asked a fourth. To
that the chief replied, ‘We would welcome him gladly,
for indeed he has suffered long.” Thereat Maelduin
struck the knocker against the door.

‘“Who is there ?” said the doorkeeper.

‘““Maelduin,” replied he.

‘Then open,” said the chief, “for thou art welcome.”

Thus they were gladly welcomed, and gifts of new
raiment were made them. Then they told of the
marvels God had shown them, according to the word of
the sacred poet who saith :

“This, too, it shall please thee to bear in mind.”

HEREAFTER Maelduin went to his own district,
and his tribe and kinsmen joyed greatly at his
coming, and Diuran the rhymer took the five half-ounces
of silver he had brought from the net and laid them on
the altar of Armagh, exulting in the miracles and wonders
God had wrought for them. They narrated their adven-
tures from beginning to end, their perils and dangers by
sea and land, and Aed the fair, chief poet of Ireland,
wrote them down, that the men of Ireland might delight
in them for ever.
HASAN OF BASSORAH



Hasan or Biassornrala

R eo N days of yore, there lived a merchant
in the Land of Bassorah who died and
left two sons, who divided his estate
between them. The elder of these
was named Hasan, a youth of great
beauty and comeliness, who soon dissipated all the
wealth he had inherited from his father in feasts and
frolics. At last, when he had exhausted all his property
he met a friend of his father, who recommended him to
learn a trade, and he learnt the trade of a goldsmith.
One day as he sat in his booth in the bazaar there came
to him an old Persian with a great white beard, and
white turban on his head, and he looked upon Hasan’s
work and asked him his name.

“Hasan,” said the young man. Then the old man
said, ‘‘My son, thou art a comely youth. Thou hast no
sire, and I have no son, and I know an art than which
there is none more goodly ; to none have I imparted it,
but I am willing to teach it to thee and make thee my
son, so that thou mayest be free from all fear of poverty.”

‘Then Hasan asked, ‘What is this art thou wouldst
‘teach me?”



126 The Book of Wonder Voyages

Then the Persian said, ‘‘O Hasan, set the crucible
and apply the bellows.”

And when he had done so and lighted the charcoal,
the Persian said, ‘Hast thou any copper?” And he
replied, ‘I have a broken bowl.” So he bade him cut
it up with the shears and cast it into the crucible and



blow up the fire with the bellows. And when the
copper became liquid he put his hand to his turban and
took from it a folded paper and sprinkled from it into the
pot about half a drachm of what looked like yellow eye
powder. And when Hasan had blown upon this for a
time all the contents of the crucible became one lump of
Hasan of Bassorab 127

gold of finest quality. Then the Persian bade him carry
it into the market-place and sell it. He took it into
the market, and there they rubbed it upon the touchstone
and found it pure gold, and the merchants bought it
from them for fifteen thousand dirhams.

So Hasan rejoiced and took a metal mortar and
returned to the shop and laid it before the Persian and
said, ‘‘ Let us put this in the fire and make of it lumps of
gold.” The Persian laughed and said, ‘“‘ My son, have
the Jinns made thee mad that thou wouldest go down
into the market with two ingots of gold in one day?
People will say these men practise alchemy, and the judges
will hear of us, and we shall lose our lives. If thou
wouldst learn this mystery let us go to thy house.”

When they came to Hasan’s house he brought out
food and set it before the Persian, saying, ‘‘ Eat, my
lord, that between us there may be bread and salt.”
The Persian replied with asmile, ‘‘ True, my son, yet what
virtue hath bread and salt?” And after they had eaten
the Persian bade him prepare the crucible once more,
and while he was at work the Persian said: “O
Hasan, I have a daughter whose like never have eyes
beheld for beauty and perfect grace I will marry her to
none but thee.” And while he was saying this he took
from his turban a piece of Bhang, which if an elephant
smelt he would sleep from night to night, cutting a bit .
off and putting it in a piece of sweetmeat. And he gave
it to Hasan, who took it unknowing, and hardly had he
swallowed it when he fell down and was lost to the
world. Whereupon the Persian cried: ‘Thou hast
128 The Book of Wonder Voyages

fallen into my snares, O gallows bird, thou Arab dog!
This many a year have I sought thee, and now have I
found thee, O Hasan.”

So he pinioned Hasan and placed him in an empty
chest, and summoning a porter had him carried down to
the harbour and placed upon a vessel at anchor there.
And when they were far out at sea he opened the chest,
and took out the young man and made him snuff up
vinegar, and blew a powder into his nostrils. Then
Hasan sneezed and opened his eyes, and found himself
at sea aboard a vessel in full sail. Then he said to the
Persian, ‘“O my father, what of the covenant of bread
and salt that was made betwixt thee and me?” But the
Persian, whose name was Barham the Fire Worshipper,
replied : ‘‘O dog, does the like of me know of the bond
of bread and salt? Of youths like thee I have slain a
thousand save one, and thou shalt make up the thousand
unless thou do sacrifice to fire.” But Hasan refused, and
Barham caused his slaves to beat him with a hide whip
of plaited thongs.

And after they had sailed upon the sea for three
months and a day, the Persian loosed Hasan from his
bonds and clad him in goodly clothes, and made excuses to
him, and promised to teach him the craft, and restore him
to his native land. And Hasan said: “ How can I ever
rely upon thee again?” To which Barham answered:
‘‘Q my son, but for sin there were no pardon. Indeed,
I did all these things to thee but to try thy patience.” Then
said Hasan to Barham: ‘O Master, whither goest thou?”
Then the Fire Worshipper replied: “I am bound for
Hasan of Bassorab 129

the Mountain of Clouds, where is the elixir which we
use in alchemy.” And he swore by the Fire and the
Light, he had no longer cause to fear him. Then
Hasan’s heart was set at ease, and they ceased not sailing
till the ship came to anchor off a long coast of many-
coloured pebbles, white, and yellow, and sky-blue and
black, and every other hue. And the Fire Worshipper
sprang up and said: “O Hasan, come, let us go
ashore.” And they landed and tramped inland till they
were out of sight of the ship, when Barham sat down, and
taking from his pocket a kettledrum of copper, and a
silken strap worked in gold, beat the drum with the
strap till there arose a cloud of dust from the further side
of the desert. Presently the dust lifted, and behold
there were three dromedaries, one for Barham, one for
Hasan, and on the other they placed their food and
baggage. And they fared on these for seven days, and on
the eighth the Fire Worshipper said: ““O Hasan, what
seest thou?” And Hasan said: “I see clouds and mist
from east and west.” And Barham answered: “That is
neither clouds nor mist, but a vast and lofty mountain on
which the clouds split : it is for that I have brought thee
thither.” And they ceased not faring till they came to
the foot of the mountain, where they halted. And
Hasan saw a palace on it and asked Barham: ‘“ What is
yonder palace?” And Barham replied: “It is an
abode of the Jinns, and the Ghouls, and the Satans ;
there dwells a foe of mine.”

Then they dismounted, and Barham opened a bag,
and took a handmill and some wheat, ground the grain,

I
130 The Book of Wonder Voyages

and kneaded three round cakes. Then he took out a
big skin, and said to Hasan: “Lie down on this skin
and I will sew thee up therein. But the rukhs will
come to thee and carry thee up to the top of the

cM,

CG

t

5
Ee
a2

Fs

dp



mountain. Take this knife with thee, and when the
birds have done flying and have set thee down, slit the
skin open and come forth. Then the birds will take
fright at thee and fly away; and thou shalt look down
Hasan of Bassorab 131

from the top of the mountain and speak to me and do
_ what I bid thee.”

And it was as he said. But as soon as Hasan felt
himself on the ground he slit the skin and called out to
the Fire Worshipper, who danced for joy when he heard
him speak, and called out: ‘What is there behind thee?”
And Hasan saw many rotten bones and much wood, and
told it to Barham, who said to him: “‘ This is what we
need. Make six bundles of the wood and throw them
down to me, for out of this wood do we do alchemy.”
So Hasan threw him the six bundles. And when he
had them he called out to Hasan: ‘‘ Thou gallows bird, I
have all I wish of thee. Dwell there above, or throw
thyself down, as thou wilt.” So saying he left him ; and
Hasan knew that he had played the traitor with him.
Then he looked about him and walked to the other side
of the mountain, where he found the dark blue sea dash-
ing against the foot of the mountain and turning the
waves into yeast. So he said the prayers for the dead
for himself, and cast himself down into the sea. But the
waves bore him up unhurt and cast him safe ashore,
where he found himself near the place where he had
halted with Barham the Fire Worshipper.

And there he saw the palace wherein the Persian had
said, ‘‘ There dwells a foe of mine.’ So he went up to
it, and finding the gate open, he entered the portico,
where he found seated on a bench two girls, like twin
moons, at play, with a chess-cloth before them. And
one of them raised her head and cried out for joy, saying:
“Here is a son of man; methinks it is the one that
132 The Book of Wonder Voyages

Barham the Fire Worshipper brought here this year.”
And Hasan, when he heard this, threw himself at their
feet, and said: “ Yes, ladies, I am indeed that unhappy
one.” Then the younger girl said to her sister: ‘‘ Bear
witness, sister, that this is my brother by covenant, and
I will die for his death and live for his life, joy for his
joy and mourn for his mourning.” So saying, she rose
and embraced him, and led him to the palace, where she
brought him royal raiment wherewith to array him. And
they feasted together, and Hasan told all that had
befallen him. And when they heard that Barham had
called their palace ‘‘a place of Ghouls and Satans,” they
swore that he should die the foulest death.

And the sisters told him in return their own history.
‘Indeed we are daughters of a King of the Jinns, and
because he would not have us married, he sought out
this Castle of the Mountain of Clouds, which was built
by one of the Jinns, that rebelled against Solomon. And
when he desires to come to us he beats a kettledrum
and summons his hosts, so that he may ride to us through
the air. And if we are to visit him, the enchanters come
and bring us back to him. Now five of our sisters have
gone hunting in the desert, while we two stop at home
and prepare the food for them.”

And soon after this the other damsels returned from
hunting, and bowed and saluted Hasan with the salaam,
and gave him joy of his safety. So Hasan abode with
them in all joy, riding to the chase and leading the most
delightful of lives with them as his sisters.

Thus passed a whole year till he saw Barham the Fire
Flasan of Bassorah 133

Worshipper come back with a young man just as he had
done with Hasan. Then the seven sisters armed them-
selves, and slung on their swords, and brought Hasan a
steed of the best, and weaponed him with goodly wea-
pons. And they came up to Barham just as he was
saying to the young man: “Sit thou in this hide.”
Hasan spake to him, saying: ‘Hold thy hand,
cursed one! dog! traitor! that hast broken the bond
of bread and salt.” But Barham said: ‘“O Hasan, how
hast thou escaped? Thou art dearer to me than the
light of mine eyes.” But Hasan stepped up to him and
smote him between the shoulders, that the sword came
out brightly gleaming on the other side of his throat.
Then he took the Fire Worshipper’s bag and opened it,
and taking out the kettledrum struck it with the strap,
whereupon out came the dromedaries. So he unbound
the youth and placed him on the camel, and loaded
another with food and water, and said: ‘‘ Go thou whither
thou wilt.”

When the damsels saw Hasan slay the Fire Wor-
shipper they rejoiced greatly and returned to the palace.
One day there rose from the desert a cloud of dust, and
when the Princesses saw this they said to him: “ Rise,
Hasan, run to thy chamber and conceal thyself, but fear
not, no harm shall befall thee.” So he went to his
chamber and locked the door upon himself, and presently
the dust opened and showed beneath it a great host like
the surging sea coming from the King, the father of the
Princesses. And when they came to the palace they
told the damsels that their father summoned them to a
134 The Book of Wonder Voyages

wedding feast of one of the King’s Jinns. And they
asked, ‘‘ How long shall we be absent from this place?”
And the answer was, “ The time to come and to go and
to stay will be two months.” So the Princesses went to
Hasan and said to him: “We must be away for two
months, but, in the meanwhile, this house is thy house,
all the keys of it we leave with thee. But, O our
brother, by the bond of brotherhood we beseech thee in
very deed, open not the eighth door.” So they bade
him farewell and fared forth with the troops, leaving
Hasan alone in the palace.

And Hasan sorrowed at their departure, nor took he
any pleasure in the hunt, in his food, or in the gorgeous
riches and treasures of the palace, by reason of the
Princesses’ absence. Then his heart was fired by think-
ing of the door they had forbidden him to open, and he
said within himself: “‘ My sister had never told me not
to open this door unless there were behind it something
about which she would have none know. But I will
open it and find out what it is, even though within were
sudden death.” So he opened the door, but saw no
treasure therein, only a vaulted, winding staircase of
Yamani onyx at the upper end. This stair he mounted,
which brought him out upon the terrace-roof of the
palace, below which were gardens and orchards full of
trees and fruits, beasts, and birds singing the praises of
Allah. And he said to himself, “This is what they
forbade me.” And beyond all these delights he beheld
a surging, billowy sea. He continued to explore the
palace until he came to a favilion built of gold and
Hasan of Bassorab 135

silver bricks, jacynth, and emerald, and supported by four
columns. In the centre thereof was a sitting-room,
paved and lined with a mosaic of all manner of precious
stones, rubies, emeralds, balasses, and other sorts of
jewels ; and in the midst was a basin brimful of water,
canopied by a trellis-work of sandal-wood and aloes-
wood, interwreathed with red, gold, and emerald wands
set with various kinds of jewels and fine pearls as large
as a pigeon’s egg. The trellis was covered with a
climbing vine bearing grapes like rubies, and beside the
basin was a throne of lignaloes latticed with red gold,
inlaid with great pearls, many coloured gems of
every sort and precious minerals. About it the birds
sang sweetly, and many voices sang to the glory of
Allah, the Most High; in short, it was a palace the
like of which nor Czsar nor Chosroes ever owned.
And Hasan marvelled and said to himself: “I
wonder to which of the Kings this palace belongeth,
or is it Many-Columned Iram whereof they tell,
for who among mortals can pretend to the like of
this ?”

And as Hasan sat and wondered at the beauties of the
scene around him, he espied ten birds flying towards the
basin that was in the pavilion, and amongst them was
one, a. marvel of beauty, to whom the nine seemed to do
service. As he gazed they entered the pavilion and
perched on the couch, after which each bird opened its
neck skin, and lo! it proved to be but a feather garment
from which issued ten maidens, whose beauty shamed the
brilliancy of the moon. And they doffed their clothes
136 ©The Book of Wonder Voyages

and plunged into the basin and fell to playing with one
another. And when Hasan beheld the most beautiful
maid he fell passionately in love with her, and he knew
well why the Princesses had forbidden him to open the
door. And he sat and gazed, and wept for longing
because of the beauty of the chief damsel, but all the
while he remained hidden from them. Presently they
came out of the water and donned their raiment and
their ornaments. And the chief maiden donned a green
gown, wherein she surpassed in loveliness all the fair
ones of the world; she excelled a palm branch in the
grace of her bending gait.

And when the maidens were dressed they sat and
talked and laughed amongst themselves, but Hasan still
stood gazing, drowned in the sea of his love. And he
said to himself: ““ My sister forbade me open the door,
for she feared lest I should fall in love with one of
these damsels. Now, O Hasan, how shalt thou woo
and win her? Thou hast cast thyself into a bottomless
sea, and snared thyself in a net whence there is no
escape! I shall die desolate, and none shall know of
my death.” And ever he gazed on the chief damsel, for
she surpassed all human beings in beauty. Her mouth
was magical as Solomon’s seal, her hair blacker than
the night, her brow bright as the full moon of the
Feast of Ramazan, her eyes like unto those of a gazelle,
her nose straight as a cane, her cheeks like blood-red
anemones of Nu’uman, her lips like coralline, her teeth
like strung pearls, her neck like an ingot of silver, indeed,
she was of surpassing beauty and symmetry.
Hasan of Bassorah 1a

And as Hasan stood watching them, forgetting meat
and drink, the chief damsel said to her maidens: ‘‘O
King’s daughters, it grows late, our land is afar and we
weary of this place. Come, then, let us depart to our
own country.” So they redonned their feathered raiment,
and became birds as before; thus they flew away with
the chief lady in their midst.

As for Hasan, he despaired of their return, and tears
ran down his cheeks. Then he dragged himself down
the stairs to his own chamber, where he lay sick, neither
eating nor drinking, drowned in the sea of his solitude.
And on the morrow he returned to the pavilion and
watched for the birds until nightfall: but they came
not. Again he dragged himself down the stairs to his
chamber and wept and wailed the livelong night. Nor
for him was there any rest: he neither ate, drank, nor
slept : by day he was distracted, by night distressed with
sleeplessness, drunken with melancholy thought and love-
longing.

Now whilst he was in this distress of mind behold a
cloud of dust arose from the desert, upon which he ran
down to hide himself, knowing that it hailed the Prin-
cesses’ return. Soon after the -damsels arrived and put
off their arms and war armour. The youngest stayed
not to doff her weapons and gear, but went straight to
Hasan’s apartment. Not finding him there she sought
for him till she came upon him in one of the sleeping
rooms where he lay, feeble and wasted, his colour changed,
his eyes sunken for lack of food and for much weeping

_by reason of his love and longing. When she saw him
138 The Book of Wonder Voyages

thus she was greatly troubled and knew not what to say.
Presently she spoke, saying: “Tell me, what aileth thee,
O my brother, that I may do away with thy sorrow. I
will be thy ransom.” And he told his tale with tears.
When his sister heard this she marvelled at his elo-
quence, and said: ““O my brother, what hath happened
to thee that thou speakest with tears? By our love as
brother and sister tell me what aileth thee, tell me thy
secret, nor hide aught of that which hath befallen thee
during our absence, for I am sorrowful because of thee.”
Hasan sighed, and his tears fell like rain as he said, “I
fear, O my sister, if I tell thee thou wilt not help me to
win my wish, but wilt leave me to die in my pain.”
“Nay,” she replied, “I will not leave thee, though it
cost me my life.” So he told her all that had happened,
and how he had conceived a passion for the lady he had
seen when he had opened the forbidden door. Then
his sister wept and said: “Be of good cheer, O my
brother, for though it cost me my life, I will devise
means by which thou mayest wed her, if such be
the will of Allah Almighty. But keep the matter
from my sisters; tell it them not. If they question
thee of opening the forbidden door, say ‘I opened it
not, but I was troubled at your absence and my loneliness
in yearning for you!’” And he replied, “Yes; this is
the right rede.” So he kissed her head, and his heart
was comforted. Then his health and spirits returned to
him, and he begged for food, which she brought him.
And when her sisters questioned her concerning him, she
replied, ‘‘ His sickness was caused by our leaving him
Flasan of Bassorah 139

desolate, for the days we have been absent have seemed
to him more than a thousand years. Perchance, too, he
has been thinking of his mother, who may have been
weeping for him and mourning his loss day and night,
for when we were with him we were the means of
diverting his thoughts.” And the sisters wept, saying:
‘’Fore Allah, he is not to blame.” Then they went to
salute Hasan, and when they saw how he had changed,
how wasted and shrunken he had become, they wept for
very pity and did all in their power to comfort and cheer
him. Yet his sickness daily increased, at seeing which
they all wept, especially the youngest. Now afterwards
the Princesses went a-hunting, but the youngest remained
with Hasan.

And when the Princesses had departed, the youngest,
who remained at home, went to Hasan and said: ““O my
brother, show me the place where thou sawest the
maidens.’ Then he rejoiced at her words and tried to
rise, but could not for weakness. So she took him in
her arms and carried him to the top of the palace, where
he showed her the pavilion and the basin of water where
they had bathed. And shesaid: “ Explain to me, O my
brother, how they came.” Then he described what he
had seen, and especially the maiden with whom he had
fallen in love. Andas she listened she grew pale, for she
knew all about the beautiful maiden. So that he asked
her: ‘“ What aileth thee, O my sister, that thou art pale
and troubled?” She replied: ‘‘O my brother, this
lady is the daughter of one of the most powerful kings of
_the Jinn. Her father ruleth men and Jinn, and wizards
140 The Book of Wonder Voyages

and cohens, and chiefs of tribes and guards and countries
and cities and islands, and is immensely rich. Our
father is a Viceroy and one of his vassals, and none can
avail against him. And he hath given his daughters a
large tract of country, a year’s journey in length and
breadth, girt about with a great, deep river. He hath
an army of women equal in courage to a thousand of the
bravest knights, and seven daughters who excel their
sisters in valour. The maidens who came with the
lady thou lovest are the ladies of her court, and their
feather raiment is the handiwork of the Jinn enchanters.
If thou wouldst wed this queen pay good heed to my
words. They come to this place on the first day of
every month, and when thou watchest them beware well
that they do not see thee or we shall lose our lives.
When they doff their dress, note which is the feather
suit of her thou lovest and take it, for it beareth her to
her country, and in taking it thou hast mastered her.
But beware lest she take it from thee by her wiles.
Then her companions will flee, and she will be at thy
mercy.”
Whereupon Hasan was at ease, and waited till the
new moon for the coming of the birds. When he espied
them he hid himself and watched, and when they were
all playing and laughing in the water, he laid his hand on
his lady love’s feather garment. And when she came to
put it on and found it not she shrieked and wept, and all
her ladies shrieked and wept with her. But they were
obliged to leave her lest they, too, might be deprived of
their garments, so she was left alone by the pavilion basin.








THE FLIGHT OF THE SWAN MAIDENS
Hasan of Bassorah I4I

And when Hasan heard the beautiful damsel bewail
her lot, he sprang from his hiding-place and dragged her
down to his own room, where he threw a silken cloak
over her and left her weeping. And he went and told
the youngest Princess, who came in to her and saluted
her. And the beautiful captive said: “O king’s
daughter, how cometh it that you harbour mortal men
and disclose to them our case and yours?” And
Hasan’s sister replied: “O king’s daughter, this mortal
is perfect and will do thee no harm, for he loveth thee,
in sooth, he hath nearly died for love of thee.” Then
she brought her costly raiment, and ate with her, and
ceased not to plead Hasan’s cause. And when she had
assigned her a chamber in the palace and comforted her,
she went to Hasan and said: “ Arise, go to her, and kiss
her hands and feet.” And Hasan went and kissed her,
and said: O Princess of fair ones, I took thee only that
I might be thy bondsman till the day of doom, and I ask
naught of thee but to take thee to wife after the law of
Allah. And when thou wilt I will take thee to my
country, and thou shalt have handmaidens of thine own,
and my mother shall do thee service.” But she answered
him not. Then he went to the Princesses and for a
while entertained them, but sorrow overcame him, and
he wept because of his love for the beautiful maid.
«What is the reason of thy tears? Which of us hath
vexed thee that thou art thus troubled?” asked the
Princesses. And the youngest said: “ He hath caught
a bird from the air, and would have you help him tame
her.” And to him she said: “Do thou tell them, for I
142 The Book of Wonder Voyages

cannot face them with these words.” So she related the
story of his entering the forbidden chamber, of the birds’
visit to the fountain, of their feathered raiment, of their
transformation into damsels, of his love for the most
beautiful of these, and of how he carried her off.
“Where is she?” they asked. ‘“ With him in such a
chamber, queth she) se) Describes hem to us aU pon
which the youngest Princess gave a glowing description
of the exquisite charms of the royal captive. Then they
turned to Hasan, and said: ‘‘ Show her to us.” So he
led them to the beautiful damsel, to whom they did
honour, and said: ‘Indeed, he loveth thee with a
passionate love, and seeketh thee in marriage, wherefore
he came to thee in person. And he telleth us he hath
burnt thy feather raiment, or we had taken it from him.”
Then the wedding ceremony was performed, and the
bridal feast celebrated as beseemeth kings’ daughters.
And the honeymoon lasted forty days, and was a time
of joy and feasting and delight, and the king’s daughter
became reconciled, and forgot her kith and kin. And at
the end of the forty days Hasan dreamt a dream concern-
ing his mother, that she was wasted and worn through
bitterly bewailing her loss of him, and that she as it were
spoke to him, saying: ‘““O my son, Hasan, how is it
thou livest thy life of ease and forgettest me? I have
made thee a tomb in my house that I may never forget
thee. Would to heaven that I knew if I should live to
see thee!” Then he awoke weeping, for he was very
sorrowful. And his wife said to him: ‘What aileth
thee, O my lord?” Then he moaned and groaned,
Flasan of Bassorah 143

and told her his dream. This she repeated to the Prin-
cesses, who had pity on him, and said: ‘‘Do as thou
wilt, for it behoveth thee to visit thy mother: but see
thou visit us, though it be only once a year.” So he
agreed to depart, and they made him and his bride ready
for the voyage, and gave them raiment:and jewels, and
five-and-twenty chests of gold and fifty of silver. Then
they beat the magic kettledrum so that the dromedaries
appeared on all sides. And the youngest sister said:
“If aught grieve thee, beat the kettledrum and return
to us on the dromedaries.” And when they had gone a
little way with him they returned home sorrowing,
especially the youngest sister, who wept for him night
and day.

When Hasan with his wife reached Bassorah he went
straight to his mother’s house and was there received by
her with great joy, for she had mourned him bitterly and
was even weeping and wailing for him when he knocked
at her door. Then Hasan told her all the story of his
adventures, so that she wondered greatly and blessed
Allah for having brought him back in safety. And she
marvelled exceedingly at the beauty of his wife, whom
she cheered and comforted and welcomed as a daughter.

Now that they had become so rich his mother sug-
gested that it would be well to leave Bassorah, where
they might be accused of having obtained their wealth
by means of alchemy. So they left that city and went
to dwell at Bagdad, where they lived magnificently, with
servants and attendants and a little black boy for the house.
And he abode with his wife in all solace and delight for
144. Lhe Book of Wonder Voyages

three years, during which time she bore him two sons,
one of whom he named Nasir and the other Mansur.

Then he began to think of his sisters, the Princesses,
and of how good they had been to him, and helped him
to obtain his desire. So he decided to visit them, and
for that purpose went out and bought costly stuffs,
trinkets, and fruit confections such as they had never
seen. And he told his mother of his intent and gave
her strict injunctions to watch over his wife, saying :
“Suffer her not to go out of the door, nor to look out
of the window, nor over the wall, for if aught of evil
befell her I should slay myself for her sake. Here is
her feather dress in a chest underground; watch over it
lest she find it and take it, for then she would fly away
with her children, and I should never hear of her again.”

Now, as Fate would have it, his wife heard what he
said to his mother, but neither of them knew thereof.
So Hasan beat the kettledrum and mounted the camels
and travelled for ten days over hills, and valleys, and
plains, and wastes until he reached the Princesses’
palace. And they rejoiced greatly to see him. And he
abode with them three months, feasting and merrymaking,
hunting and sporting.

As for his wife, she remained with his mother two
days, and on the third said: “Have I lived with him
three years, and shall I never be allowed to go to the
bath?” And the mother answered: ““O my daughter,
here we are strangers, and thy husband is abroad, but
I will heat thee water and wash thy head in the
Hammam-bath which is in the house.” Then she
Flasan of Bassorah 145

wept and bewailed her lot, so that Hasan’s mother
let her have her way, and she went to the bath with her
two little sons. And while she was at the bath even the
passing women of the city stopped to gaze upon her
beauty, so that the place was thronged with spectators.
Now, it chanced that among those present was Tohfah
the Lutanist, a slave-girl of Harun-al-Raschid, the Com-
mander of the Faithful. So struck was she by the lady's
marvellous beauty, that she ceased not to gaze upon her,
and after the bath went out with her and followed her
till she saw where she dwelt. Then she returned to the
Caliph’s palace and presented herself before Lady
Zubaydah, who said, ‘“O Tohfah, why hast thou tarried
in the Hammam?” She replied, “O, my lady, I have
seen a marvel, never saw I its like among men or
women.” ‘What was that?” asked Zubaydah. “O,
my lady, I saw a damsel in the bath with her two little
boys like moons, eye never espied her like, neither hath
she her peer for beauty in the whole world. Surely, if
the Commander of the Faithful knew of her he would
slay her husband, Hasan of Bassorah, and take her from
him.” And Zubaydah cried, ‘‘Woe is thee, Tohfah, if
she be not as thou sayest, for then, indeed, will I bid
strike off thy head. But I must needs look on her.”
And she called Masrur, and said to him, ‘Go to
the Wazir’s house and bring me the damsel who
dwelleth there, also her two children and the old woman.
Haste, and tarry not.” And Masrur hastened to Hasan’s
house and knocked at the door. Quoth the old woman,
‘Who is at the door?” ‘ Masrur, servant of the Com-

K
146 The Book of Wonder Voyages

mander of the Faithful.” So she opened the door and
he entered and saluted her with the salaam, saying:
“Lady Zubaydah, queen-wife of the Commander of the
Faithful, summoneth thee and thy son’s wife and children .
to her, for she hath been told of the lady’s beauty.”
Saith the old woman, ‘‘O, my lord Masrur, we are
foreign folk, and the girl’s husband, who is away from
home, hath bidden me not let her go forth in his absence,
therefore I beseech thee, ask me not this thing.” But
Masrur replied, ‘““O, my lady, there is naught to fear
therein or I would not ask it of you. The Lady
Zubaydah desireth to see her, and after that she may
return.” So Hasan’s mother could not gainsay him and
they all repaired to the palace of the Caliphate and pre-
sented themselves before Lady Zubaydah. And she
said to the beautiful damsel, who was veiled, ‘‘ Wilt thou
not uncover thy face that I may look on it?” And as
she did so the Queen and all her court were amazed at
such marvellous beauty, for all who looked upon her
became Jinn-mad. And Zubaydah embraced her and
made her sit by her on the couch. Moreover, she
bade decorate the palace in her honour and put upon
her the richest raiment and a necklace of the rarest
ornaments. And unto her she said, “O liege lady of
fair ones, what arts knowest thou?” And’she replied,
“O, my lady, I have a dress of feathers, and if I put it
on thou wouldst see one of the fairest of fashions and
wouldst marvel thereat.” ‘ Where is this dress of thine?”
asked Zubaydah. And the damsel answered, “It is
with my husband’s mother ; seek it of her.” So Zubaydah
Flasan of Bassorab 147

turned to the old woman, “O, my lady, the pilgrimess!
O, my mother! fetch us the feather dress, afterwards thou
mayest take it back again.” But the old woman replied,
‘“O, my lady, this damsel is a liar. Hast thou ever seen
any woman with a feather dress, such belongeth only to
birds?” And the damsel said, ‘As thou livest, O my
lady, she hath a feather dress of mine. It is in a chest
buried in a store cupboard in the house.” Then
Zubaydah took from her neck a necklace of jewels worth
all the treasures of Chosroe and Cesar, and gave it the
old woman, saying: ‘“O, my mother, I conjure thee by
thy life take this necklace and fetch us this dress.” But
she sware she had never seen any such dress and knew
not what the damsel meant. Then Lady Zubaydah
took the key from her and giving it to Masrur said,
‘Take this key and go to the house, and enter the store
cupboard there, in the middle of which thou wilt find a
chest buried. Take the chest out, break it open, and
bring me the feather dress therein.” So he went forth
as she bade him, and the old woman followed him weep-
ing. And he took the feather dress from the chest and
wrapping it in a napkin brought it to Lady Zubaydah,
who turned it about, marvelling at its beauty, Then
she gave it to the damsel, saying: “Is this thy dress of
feathers?” ‘Yes, O my lady,” replied she, and took it
joyfully. Then she examined it, and was delighted to
find it whole, without a feather missing. And she arose
and came down from her seat, and wrapping herself and
her sons in the feather dress became a bird, so that
Zubaydah and all present marvelled. Then she walked
148 The Book of Wonder Voyages

with a swaying, graceful gait, and danced, and sported,
and flapped her wings. Then she said, “Is this goodly,
O my ladies?” And they replied, “Yes, O Princess





YI Ege
Gj DF LAOS



of the Fair! All thou dost is goodly.” Said she, “ And
this, O my mistresses, that I am about to do is better
yet.” Then she spread her wings and flew up with her
children to the palace dome and perched upon the roof,
whilst they looked at her wide-eyed, and said, ‘‘ This is
Hasan of Bassorab 149

indeed, a rare and outlandish fashion! Never saw we its
like.” Wilt thou not come down to us that we may
enjoy thy beauty, O fairest of the fair?” said Lady
Zubaydah. “Far be it from me,” she replied, to come
back to the past.” And to Hasan’s mother she said,
“O my lady, O mother of my husband, it grieveth me
to part from thee. When thy son returneth, and longeth,
and wearieth after me, tell him to come to me in the
islands of Wak.” Then she took flight with her children
for her own country.

But the old woman wept and moaned and fainted away
for grief. And Lady Zubaydah said: “If thou hadst
told me that this would happen I would not have gain-
said thee. And had I known she was of the Flying Jinn
I would not have allowed her to don the dress. But
now, words profit nothing, so do thou acquit me of
offence against thee.” ‘Thou art acquitted,” replied the
old woman shortly. Then she returned home, where she
pined after her daughter-in-law, her grandchildren, and
for a sight of her son. And she dug in the house three
graves, and betook herself to them weeping all whiles of
the day and watches of the night.

Now as regards Hasan, nee stayed with the Dances
three ene after which he bade them farewell. And
they gave him five loads of gold and the like of silver,
and one load of victual, al accompanied him on his

homeward way till he conjured them to return. Then _

each one embraced him and bade him a loving farewell.
Now when he reached Bagdad and entered his own
home, he found his mother wasted and worn as thin as a
150 The Book of Wonder Voyages

toothpick for excess of mourning and watching and
weeping, and when he asked her of his wife and children
she fainted. Thereupon he searched the house, but there
were no traces of them; and when he found the chest
broken and the feather dress missing, he knew that his
wife had possessed herself of it and flown away with her
children. Then he returned to his mother and questioned
her. And she wept and said: ““O my son, may Allah
require thee their loss! These are their three tombs.”
Whereupon his anguish was so great that she despaired
of his life. Then he brandished a stick, and coming to
his mother said: ‘‘ Except thou tell me the truth I will
strike off thy head and kill myself.’ She replied, “O
my son, do not such deed, put up thy sword and sit down
till I tell thee what hath passed.” So he put up his
sword and sat by her side while she recounted all that
had happened from first to last. And when the story
was ended Hasan fell down in a faint and remained thus
to the close of day. And for five days he wept and
wailed and bemoaned himself, and would take neither
meat nor drink. And one night he dreamt that’ he saw
his wife full of sorrow, repenting for what she had done.
Thus he lived for a whole month, weeping and heavy
hearted, wakeful by night and eating little. Then he
thought he would repair to his sisters and take counsel
with them in the matter, so he summoned his drome-
daries, loading them with costly gifts, and bade his
mother adieu.

And when he reached the Palace of the Mountain of
Clouds, the Princesses rejoiced to see him, but said: ““O
Flasan of Bassorab eR

our brother, what can ail thee to come again so soon,
seeing thou wast with us but two months since?” Then
he fainted for grief and wept bitterly, and told them
what had befallen him in his absence, and how his wife
had taken flight with her children. So they grieved
fone himywandesasked what) she had» saidwiat. leave=
taking. And he repeated word for word what his wife
had said to his mother: “Tell thy son, when he
cometh to thee and the nights of severance shall be
longsome to him, and he craveth reunion and meeting
to see, and whenas the winds of love and longing shake
him dolefully, let him fare to me in the islands of Wak.”
When they heard his words they signed to one another
- with their eyes, and shook their heads, and considered
deeply for awhile ; then they said : ‘‘ There is no Majesty
and there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the
Great! Put forth thy hand to Heaven, and when thou
reach thither, then shalt thou win to thy wife.” Where-
upon Hasan wept bitterly, and the Princesses comforted
him and exhorted him to patience and prayer, saying :
““O my brother, be of good cheer, keep thy eyes cool
and clear and be patient, so shalt thou win thy will: for
whoso hath patience and waiteth, that he seeketh at-
taineth.” But he still grieved deeply, and abode with
them a whole year, during which time his eyes could
never retain their tears.

Now the sisters had an uncle whose name was Abd
al-Kaddus, or Slave of the Most Holy ; and he loved the
eldest exceedingly and was wont to visit her once a year
and do all she desired. Once he gave her a pouch filled
152 The Book of Wonder Voyages

with certain perfumes, saying, “O daughter of my
brother, if thou be in want of aught or if aught trouble
thee, or if thou stand in any need, cast off these perfumes
upon fire naming my name, and I will be with thee and
will do thy desire.” So now the eldest Princess said,
‘Lo, the year is past and my uncle is not come. Bring
me the firesticks and the perfumes.” And the youngest
Princess arose rejoicing and laid it before her. So she
opened the box, and taking therefrom some of the
perfume, cast it on the fire, naming her uncle’s name.
Ere it was burnt out a dust cloud appeared at the further
end of the desert, which presently lifting discovered her
uncle riding on an elephant. And when he arrived they
embraced him and welcomed him gladly, saying how
they had not seen him for more than a twelvemonth.
They then recalled to his memory how Hasan had slain
Barham the Magian, and proceeded to relate the story
of his love for, and marriage of, the Supreme King’s
daughter, with all the painful results that followed.
When Abd al-Kaddus heard this he shook his head
and bit his forefinger, and began to make marks on the
earth with his finger-tips, after which he looked right
and left, and shook his head a third time, whilst Hasan
watched him from where he was hidden. Then said the
Princesses, ‘‘ Return us some answer, for our hearts are
rent in sunder.’ And when he saw them in this
transport of grief and trouble and mourning, he was
moved with compassion and said, ‘Be ye silent!”
Then turning to Hasan: “O my son, hearten thy heart
and rejoice in the winning of thy wish: take courage and
Hasan of Bassorah Soe

follow me.” So Hasan took leave of the Princesses, and
followed him rejoicing. Then Abd al-Kaddus took
Hasan up behind him on the elephant, and they
journeyed three days and three nights till they came to a
vast blue mountain, the stones of which were blue and in
the midst of which was a cavern with a door of Chinese
iron. Here they dismounted and dismissed the elephant.
Then Abd al-Kaddus went to the door and knocked,
whereupon it opened and there came out to him a black
slave, hairless, with brand in right hand, and targe of
steel in left. When he saw Abd al-Kaddus he threw
away sword and buckler and came and kissed his hand.
Thereupon the old man entered the cave with Hasan
whilst the slave shut the door behind them. It was a
huge vast place, through which ran an arched corridor ;
and they walked on for a mile or so, till they came to a
large open space, whence they made for an angle of the
mountain, wherein were two immense doors of solid
brass. And the old man said to Hasan, “Sit at the
door till I return, and beware lest thou open it and
enter.” Then he went in and shut the door, and was
absent for a full hour, when he returned leading a black
stallion, bridled and saddled with velvet housings. And
when it ran it flew, and when it flew the very dust would
pursue, and he brought it to Hasan saying: ‘ Mount!”
So he mounted and Abd al-Kaddus opened a second
door, beyond which appeared a vast desert. And the
two passed through the door into the desert, when the
old man said: ‘“‘O my son, take this scroll and go
whither the steed will carry thee. When thou seest him
154 The Book of Wonder Voyages

stop at the door of a cavern like this, alight and throw
the reins over the saddle-bow and let him go. He will
enter the cavern, but enter not with him; tarry at the
door five days without wearying of waiting. On the
sixth day will come forth to thee a black Shaykh clad in
sable, with a long white beard. Kiss his hands, seize
his skirt, and lay it on thy head, and weep before him,
till he take pity on thee and ask thee what thou would’st
have. When he saith: ‘What is thy want?’ give him
this scroll, which he will take without speaking, and go
in and leave thee. Wait at the door another five days
without wearying, and on the sixth day expect him.
And if he come out to thee himself, know that thy wish
will be won, but if one of his pages come, know that he
meaneth to kill thee ; and—thus thy story will end.”
Then Abd al-Kaddus tried to dissuade him from
undertaking the journey, but Hasan would in no way
agree. And seeing it was useless to try to turn him
from his purpose he said: “Know, O my son, that the
Islands of Wak are seven in number, peopled by a
mighty host of women, and the Inner Isles by
Satans, Marids, Warlocks, and various tribes of the Jinn.
And no man once entering this land hath ever returned.
Will nothing serve thee but that thou must make the
journey?” Hasan replied, “Nothing! I only ask thy
prayers for help and aidance.” So the old man knew he
would not turn from his purpose though it cost him his
life, so he handed him the scroll, saying: ‘I have in this
letter given a strict charge concerning thee to Abu al-
Ruwaysh, son of Bilkis, daughter of Muin, for he is my
Hasan of Bassorab Tee

Shaykh and my teacher, and all men and Jinn humble
themselves to him and stand in awe of him.”

Thus Hasan set out, and his horse flew swifter than
lightning, and stayed not for ten days until there



appeared before him a vast loom, black as night, walling
the world from east to west. And as he neared it his
steed neighed under him, whereupon horses many as the
drops of rain came rubbing themselves against it. And
Hasan was afraid, for he rode thus until he came to the
cavern described by Abd al-Kaddus. And on reaching
156 The Book of Wonder Voyage

it the steed entered, but Hasan abode without as the old
man had bidden him.

- And when the appointed five days for waiting were
expired, out came the Shaykh Abu al-Ruwaysh, a black-
amoor, clad in black raiment. And Hasan threw himself
at his feet, and seizing his skirt, laid it on his head, and
wept before him. ‘ What wantest thou, O my son?”
quoth the old man. Whereupon he gave him the letter,
which Abu al-Ruwaysh took and re-entered the cavern
without making answer. So Hasan sat down and waited
another five days, weeping and bemoaning himself. And
on the sixth day the Shaykh came forth clad in white
raiment and signed him to enter. And the old man
went with him half a day’s journey, till they reached an
arched doorway with a door of steel. This the Shaykh
opened, and they entered a vestibule vaulted with onyx
stones and arabesqued with gold, and they stayed not till
they came to a great wide hall of marble. In the midst
was a flower garden containing all manner of flowers and
fruits, with birds singing on the boughs. And there
were four daises facing each other, in each a jetting
fountain, at the corners of which were lions of red gold.
On each dais was a chair, whereon sat an elder with
many books before him, and censers of gold containing
fire and perfumes, and before each elder were students
who read the books to him.

Now when the two entered the elders rose and did
them honour; whereupon Abu al-Ruwaysh signed to
them to dismiss their scholars, and they did so. Then
the four arose, and seating themselves before the
ey of Bassorah 157

Shaykh, asked him of the case of Hasan. Then Hasan
told them all that had befallen him from first to last, and
the Shaykh begged them to help him to recover his wife
and children. Then Abu al-Ruwaysh wrote a letter,
which he gave to Hasan with a pouch of perfumed
leather containing incense and fire sticks, saying:
‘“Whenas thou fallest into any strait, burn a little of the
incense and name my name, whereupon I will be with
thee and save thee from thy stress.” Then he bade
them fetch him an Ifrit of the Flying Jinn, and when it
appeared, he whispered something in the ear of the fire-
drake, whereat the Ifrit shook his head, and answered :
“T accept, O elder of elders!” And Abu al-Ruwaysh
said to Hasan: ‘Mount the shoulders of this Ifrit,
Dahnash the Flyer, but when he heaveth thee heaven-
wards, and thou hearest the angels glorifying God, have
a care lest thou do the like, or thou and he will both
perish.” And the old man continued: ‘‘O Hasan, after
faring with thee all day, to-morrow at peep of dawn he
will set thee down in a land white like unto camphor,
whereupon walk ten days by thyself till thou come to the
gate of a city. This enter and inquire for the King,
and when thou comest to his presence, salute him with
the salaam and kiss his hand, then give him this scroil
and consider well whatso he shall counsel thee.” Hasan
replied: ‘To hear is to obey,” and mounted the
Flyer’s back. Thus he travelled till at dawn the next
day, when he was set down in a land white as camphor.
There he followed the Shaykh’s directions, and inquired
for the King, whose name was Hassun, Lord of the Land
158 The Book of Wonder Voyages

of Camphor. And being admitted into his presence,
Hasan gave the letter into his hands. While reading it
the King shook his head awhile, and then said: “O
Hasan, thou comest to me, seeking to enter the Islands
of Wak. I would send thee thither this very day, but
that by the way are many perils and wolds full of terrors,
yet have patience and naught save fair shall befall thee.
Presently there will come to us ships from the Islands of
Wak, and the first that shall arrive I will send thee
aboard her, and give thee in charge to the sailors, who
will bear thee thither. As soon as thou comest ashore,
thou wilt see a multitude of wooden benches about the
beach: choose thee one, and crouch under it and stir
not. When night sets in, thou wilt see an army of
women flocking about the goods landed from the ship,
and one will sit down on the bench under which thou art
hiding. Wherefore put forth thy hand and take hold of
her and implore her protection. If she give thee pro-
tection, thou wilt regain thy wife and children; if not,
mourn for thyself, and give up all hope of life.”

And Hasan waited three whole months for the coming
of the ship. And at the end of that time the King sent
for him, and presenting him with costly gifts, summoned
the captain, saying! ‘Take this youth with thee so that
none may know of him save thee, and carry him to the
Islands of Wak.” So the captain laid him in a chest
and bore him aboard, and none doubted but that the
chest contained merchandise.

And at the end of ten days Hasan was set ashore, and
as he walked up the beach he saw wooden benches with-
Flasan of Bassorah 150

out number, and hid under one till nightfall. Then there
came many women armed with hauberks, coats of mail,
and drawn swords, who busied themselves with the
merchandise from the ships. And one seated herself on
the bench under which Hasan crouched, whereupon he
took hold of the hem of her garment and did as the
Shaykh had bidden him. And her heart inclined to him,
for she knew he had not come to that place save for a
grave matter. So she said: “ Be of good cheer, keep
thine eyes cool and clear, take courage and return to thy
hiding-place till the coming night, and Allah shall do as
he will.”

And the next night the merchant-woman with whom
he had taken refuge came up to him and gave him a
habergeon and a helmet, a spear, a sword, and a gilded
girdle, and bade him don them, and stay where she left
him for fear of the troops.

And as Hasan sat upon the bench, behold there came
up an army of women. So he arose, and mingling with
them, became as one of them. A little before daybreak
they set out and marched to their camp, where they
dispersed each to her tent. And Hasan followed one of
them, and lo! it was her for whose protection he had
prayed. When she entered she threw down her arms
and doffed her veil, and Hasan saw her to be a grizzled
old woman, with pock-marked face and without teeth or
eyebrows. And she questioned him of his case, and
promised him her safeguard, saying, “ Have no fear
whatsoever.” So he told her his tale from first to last.
And she said, “Glory be to God, who hath made thee
160 The Book of Wonder Voyages

appeal to me, for hadst thou appealed to any other thou
would’st have lost thy life. But know, O my son, thy
wife is not here, but in the seventh of the Islands of
Wak, and between us and it is seven months’ journey.
From here we go to an island called the Land of Birds,
wherein, for the loud crying of the birds and the flapping
of their wings, one cannot hear other speak. From this
country we come to another, the Land of Wild Beasts,
where for roaring of lions, howling of wolves, laughing of
hyaenas, and crying of other beasts of prey, we shall
hear naught. The next is the Land of the Jann, where
our eyes are blinded by the fires, the sparks and smoke
from their mouths, and our ears deafened by their groan-
ing. And after this we come to a huge mountain and
running river close to the Isles of Wak. And on the
bank of the river is another mountain, called Mount
Wak, named thus by reason of a tree that bears fruits
like heads of the sons of Adam.”

Then the old woman beat the kettle-drums for depar-
ture, and the army set out. And they journeyed through
the terrible lands she had spoken of until. they came to
the river, and set down their loads at the foot of the huge
mountain. And the old woman set Hasan a couch of
alabaster, inlaid with pearls and jewels and nuggets of
red gold. And he sat down thereon, and bound his
face with a kerchief that discovered naught of him but
his eyes. And the old woman bade him watch the
women as they went to bathe, to discover whether his
wife were among them. And although the maids were
beautiful to look upon, and one of them exceeding fair,
Flasan of Boerne 161

reminding him much of her he had come to seek,
yet was she not among them. And at the old dame’s
request he gave her a description of his wife,
whereupon she made answer, ‘‘O Hasan, would
to heaven I had never known thee! This woman is
none other than the eldest daughter of the Supreme
King, she who ruleth over all the Islands of Wak. It is
impossible for thee to obtain her, as between her and
thee the distance is as that between earth and heaven.
So return whence thou camest lest our lives be lost.”
And Hasan wept sore, and bemoaned himself and
despaired of life. And Shawahi said, ‘‘O my son, tell
me which of the maidens pleaseth thee and I will give
her thee instead of thy wife, and thou canst say that thy
wife and children are dead, for if thou fall into the King’s
hand I have no means of delivering thee.” Then Hasan
wept till he swooned away, and Shawahi sprinkled water
on his face till he revived. And she was sorry for him,
and Allah planted the seed of affection for him in her
heart, and she comforted him, saying, “Be of good
cheer, and keep thine eyes cool and clear, and put away
trouble from thy thought, for I will risk my life for thee
until thou attain thine aim or I die.”

Now the Queen of the Island wherein they dwelt was
Nur al-Huda, eldest daughter of the Supreme King, and
she ruled over all the lands and Islands of Wak. So
when the ancient dame saw Hasan weary with his
longing, she repaired to the palace and going to the
Queen Nur al-Huda, kissed ground before her, for she
had a claim in her favour because she had reared the

if
162 The Book of W onder Voyages

King’s daughters, and was had in high honour and
consideration with them and the King. Nur al-Huda
rose to her as she entered, and embracing her seated her
by her side, and asked her of her journey. And the
dame replied, ‘“O Queen of the Age and the Time, I
have a favour to crave of thee and I fain would discover
it to thee, that thou mayest help me to accomplish it,
and but for my confidence that thou wilt not gainsay me,
therein I would not expose it to thee.” And the Queen
asked: “What is thy need? Expound it to me and I
will accomplish it to thee, for I and my kingdom and
troops are all at thy command.” Thereupon the old
woman fell down before her, and acquainted her with the
whole of Hasan’s case. And the Queen was exceeding
wroth, and said to Shawahi, ‘‘O ill-omened beldam, art
thou come to such a pass that thou carriest men with
thee into the Islands of Wak? But for thy claim on me
I would make both him and thee die the foulest of
deaths. *Go and bring him hither that I may see him.”
So the old woman went to Hasan and said: “ Rise,
speak with the Queen, O wight, whose last hour is at
hand.” And when he came in the Queen’s presence, he
kissed ground before her, and saluted her with the
salaam. And the Queen bade the old woman ask him
questions that she might hear his answers. Thus she
heard from his own lips’the story of what had befallen
him. And when he quoted the parting words of his wife,
in which she intimated that if he longed for her he
should come to the Islands of Wak for her, the Queen
shook her head and said: ‘She would not have spoken
Hasan of Bassorah 163

thus, if she had not desired thee, nor acquainted thee
with her abiding place.” And Hasan said: ‘“O mistress
of Kings and asylum of prince and pauper, oppress me
not, but have compassion on me and aid me to regain
my wife and children.” And the Queen replied, “I
have compassion on thee, and am resolved to show thee
in review all the maidens in the city and in the
provinces. If thou discover among them thy wife I will
deliver her to thee, but if thou know her not, I will put
thee to death and crucify thee over the old woman’s
door.” And the Queen commanded that all the maidens
in the Island should be brought before her, and that they
should pass before Hasan hundred after hundred, but he
found not his wife amongst them. And the Queen was
enraged and said: ‘Take him along, face to earth, and
cut off his head.” So they threw him down and
dragged him along, and with bared brands awaited the
royal permission. But the old woman kneeled before
the Queen and said: ‘“ Verily he hath entered our land,
and eaten of our meat, wherefore he hath a claim upon
us, the more especially since I promised him to bring
him in company with thee; and thou knowest that
parting is a grievous ill and severance hath power to kill,
especially separation from children. Now he hath seen
all our women save. only thyself, so do thou show him
thy face.” The Queen smiled and said: “‘ How can he
be my husband and have had children by me, that I
should show him my face?” Then she made them
bring Hasan before her, and unveiled her face, which
when he saw he cried out with a great cry and fell down
164. The Book of Wonder Voyages

fainting. And when he came to himself he looked on
the Queen’s face, and cried out with a great cry, for
stress whereof the palace was like to fall upon all therein.
And he said: “In very sooth this Queen is either my
wife or else the likest of all folk to my wife.” And
when Nur al-Huda heard this she said: ‘This stranger
is either Jinn-mad or out of his mind, for he saith I am
his wife,” and she laughed, for she was unmarried. Then
she asked: ‘“ What is it in thy wife that resembleth me?”
And Hasan replied, “All that is in thee of beauty and
loveliness, elegance and amorous grace. Thou art her
very self in thy way of speaking, in the fairness of thy
favour, and the brilliancy of thy brow.” And the Queen
was flattered, and said to Shawahi, ‘Carry him back to
the place where he tarried with thee till I examine into
this affair, for he is a manly man, and forgotteth not
friend or lover.” Then she bade Shawahi haste to the
abode of her youngest sister, Manar al-Sana, and to tell
her to clothe her two sons in the coats of mail their aunt
had made them, and send them to her, and after securing
the children, to say to Manar, “ Thy sister inviteth thee
to visit her. And,” continued the Queen, “I swear
that if my sister prove to be his wife, I will not hinder
him from taking her and the children to his own
country.”

Then the old woman armed herself, and taking with
her a thousand weaponed horsemen journeyed to the city
where dwelt Lady Manar al-Sana. And on reaching
the city she went in to the Princess and gave her the
Queen’s message. And the Princess said, “ Verily, I am
Hasan of Bassorab IOs

beholden to my sister, and have failed in my duty in not
visiting her, but I will do so forthwith.” And she made
ready to go, taking with her rare gifts for her sister.
Now she was the youngest daughter of the King, who
had seven children, and when he heard she was about to
visit his eldest daughter he brought from his treasuries
meat and drink and money and jewels and rarities which
beggar description. But the old woman again presented
herself and said, “Thy sister, Queen Nur al-Huda,
biddeth thee clothe thy two sons in the coats of mail she
made for them and send them to her by me.” And the
Princess was troubled and said, ‘““O mother, I tremble
when thou namest my children, for from the time of their
birth none hath looked on their faces, neither Jinn, nor
man, nor woman.” And Shawahi replied, ‘‘ Dost thou
fear for them from thy sister? Indeed, the Queen would
be wroth with thee if thou disobeyed her. And, O my
daughter, thou knowest my tenderness and love for thee
and thy children. I will take them under my care, so be
of cheerful heart and send them her.” So she equipped
her little sons and clad them in the coats of mail and
delivered them to the old woman, who took them and
sped on her way like a bird by another road than that
the Princess would travel. So she brought them into
the Queen’s presence, who rejoiced greatly and embraced
them, and seated them, one on the right side and the
other on the left. Then she bid them summon Hasan.
But Shawahi said, “If 1 bring him wilt thou reunite him
with his children? Or if they prove not his wilt thou
pardon him and restore him to his own country?” And
166 Lhe Book of Wonder Voyages

the Queen was furious and replied, ‘This shall never be ;
no, never ; for if they be not his children I will slay him
and strike off his neck with my own hand.” Upon which
the old woman fell down for fear, and Nur al-Huda set
upon her the Chamberlain and twenty Mamelukes, saying,
‘‘Go with this crone and fetch me the youth who is in
her house.” Thus they brought Hasan into the Queen’s
presence, where he found his two sons, Nasir and Mansur
sitting in her lap while she played and made merry with
them. And as soon as his eyes fell on them he gavea
great cry and fell down fainting for excess of joy at the
sight of them. And they also knew him, and freed
themselves from the Queen’s lap and put their arms round
Hasan’s neck and said to him, ‘‘O our father!” And all
present wept for pity and tenderness. But Nur al-Huda
was wroth beyond measure. And she cried out saying,
“Arise! fly for thy life. But that [ swore no evil should
betide thee if thy tale proved true, I would slay thee
with mine own hand.” So Hasan departed from her
presence, and, giving himself up for lost, wept and re-
pented of having come to these lands.

But as regards his wife, Manar al-Sana, when she was
about to depart on her journey, the King, her father, sent
requesting that she would first visit him. So she rose
and repaired to his presence, when he said unto her, ‘“‘O
my daughter, I have had a dream which maketh me fear
that sorrow will betide thee where thou goest.” And
she replied, ‘“‘ What didst thou see in thy dream, O my
father?” ‘I dreamt,” said he, “that I entered a secret
hoard where was great store of moneys, jewels, jacinths,
Flasan of Bassorab 167

and other riches. But naught pleased me save seven
bezels, which were the finest things there. And I chose
the smallest of the seven, for it was the finest and most
lustrous. And as I came out at the door, a bird
from a far land, snatched it out of my hand and re-



turned it whence it came. At once on awaking I sum-
moned the interpreters and expounders of dreams, who
said unto me... ‘Thou hast seven daughters, and
wilt lose the youngest, who will be taken from thee
without thy will. Now, my daughter, thou art my
youngest and dearest, but I know not what may befall
thee, so I beseech thee leave me not, but return to the
168 The Book of Wonder Voyages

palace.” But she feared for her children and replied,
“OQ King, my sister hath made ready for me an enter-
tainment and awaiteth my coming; for these four years
she hath not seen me, if I go not she will be angry.
Besides, no stranger can gain access to the Islands of
Wak, for he would be drowned in the seas of destruc-
tion.” So she ceased not to persuade him till he gave
her leave to depart, at the same time bidding her not
remain longer than two days.

And when she arrived at her sister's palace the children
ran to her weeping and crying, ““O our father!” And
she kissed them and put her arms about them, saying,
‘“What! Have you seen your sire at this time? Would
the hour had never been in which I left him. If I knew
him to be in the house of the world I would carry you to
him.” And when her sister saw this she saluted her not,
but said, ‘“‘Whence hadst thou these children? Hast
thou married unbeknown to thy sire? Or are they not
legally thy children?” Then she bade her guards seize
her, and pinion her elbows and shackle her with shackles
of iron. And she beat her unmercifully and hanged her
up by the hair, after which she cast her in prison and
wrote the King, her father, acquainting him with the
whole of her case. Then she delivered the letter to a
courier and he carried it to the King, who, when he read
it, was exceedingly angry with his daughter Manar and
wrote to Nur al-Huda, saying, “I commit her case to
thee, and give thee command over her life; if the matter
be as thou sayest kill her without consulting me.” And
when the Queen had read her father’s letter she sent for
Hasan of Bassorah 169

Manar and made her stand in her presence humiliated
and abashed. And Nur al-Huda continued to treat her
sister cruelly, binding her with cords to a ladder of wood
and beating her with a palm stick and with thongs till
her charms were wasted for excess of beating, nor would
she hearken to her tears and piteous cries for mercy.
And when Shawahi saw this she wept and cursed the
Queen, for which she was seized and beaten and turned
out of the palace. But as for Hasan he wandered lonely
and sad by the riverside, albeit he felt that deliverance
from trouble was at hand and reunion with those he
loved.

Now as he walked he came upon two little boys, the
sons of sorcerers, who were quarrelling about a rod of
copper graven with talismans, and a skull cap of leather
wrought in steel. And Hasan parted them, saying:
“What are you quarrelling about?” And they replied :
‘We are brothers-german, and our father was a mighty
magician. He died and left us this cap and rod. Now
my brother wants the rod, and so do I, but thou shalt be
the judge between us.” “And what are their pro-
perties ?” asked Hasan. And they replied: ‘‘ The virtue
of the cap is that whoso setteth it on his head is con-
cealed from all men’s eyes, nor can any see him while it
remains on his head. That of the rod is that whoso
owneth it hath authority over seven tribes of the Jinn,
and when the possessor thereof smiteth therewith on the
ground their kings come to do him homage, and all the
Jinn are at his service.” Then Hasan said to the two
boys: “If ye would have me decide the case, I will take
170 Lhe Book of Wonder Voyages

a stone and throw it, and he who first catcheth the stone
shall have the rod, while the cap remaineth for the one
who faileth.” And they said: ‘““We consent and accept
this, thy proposal.” Then Hasan threw a stone with all
his might, so that it disappeared from sight. The boys
ran after it, and when they were at a distance he donned
the cap to prove the truth of what they had said. When
they returned they found him not, and the rod and cap,
too, were both gone. And they began to abuse one
another and retrace their steps, but as for Hasan, he
entered the city wearing the cap and bearing the rod,
and none saw him. And he entered the lodging of
Shawahi and shook a shelf filled with glass and china
over her head. And seeing no one, she called out:
“Huda hath sent a Satan to torment me, and hath
tricked me this trick.” Upon which Hasan replied: “I
am no Satan, but Hasan the afflicted.” And he raised
his cap from his head, and appeared to the old woman.
And she told him all that had befallen his wife, and said:
“The Queen repenteth of having let thee go, and hath
sent one after thee, promising him gold and honour if he
bring thee back.” Then Hasan showed her the rod and
cap, whereat she rejoiced exceedingly, and said: ‘‘O my
son, don the cap and take the rod in hand and enter
where thy wife and children are. Smite the earth with
the rod, saying: ‘Be ye present, O servants of these
names!’ Whereupon the servants of the rod will
appear, and if there present himself one of the chiefs of
the tribes, command him whatso thou will.”

So he bade her farewell, and donning the cap and










HASAN REJOINS HIS WIFE
Hasan of Bassorah 7k

taking the rod entered where his wife was. And his
heart ached for her, for he found her bound to the ladder
by her hair and almost lifeless. Then he took the cap
from his head, and the children saw him and cried out,
‘‘O, our father!” And their mother asked them, “ What
remindeth you of your father at this time?” And she
thought of her married life with Hasan, and of all that
had befallen her since, so that she wept bitterly and her
tears ran down upon the ground. Then Hasan could
contain himself no longer, and took the cap from his
head so that his wife saw him and screamed a scream
that startled all in the palace, and said to him, ‘ How
camest thou hither? From the sky hast thou dropped ?
Or through the earth hast thou come up?” And Hasan
answered, “ O lady of fair- ones, I came not save to de-
liver thee with this rod and this cap.’ And he. told
her what had befallen him with the two boys, but whilst
he spake the Queen came up and heard his speech,
whereupon Hasan donned his cap and was hidden from
sight. Then she said to the Princess, ‘““O wanton, who
is thee with whom thou wast talking?” And Manar
replied, ‘‘Who should talk with me except these chil-
dren?” Then the Queen beat her and loosed her and
carried her to another room, while Hasan followed un-
seen. And he waited patiently till night came on, when
he arose and went to her and loosing her kissed her,
saying : ‘‘ How long have we wearied for our mother-
land and for reunion here?” Then he took the elder
boy and she the younger, and they went forth from the
palace. And Allah veiled them with the veil. of his
172 The Book of Wonder Voyages

protection so that they came safe to the outer gate of the
Queen’s Seraglio. But finding it locked they despaired
of escape, and his wife said, ‘‘ There is no relief for us
but to kill ourselves and be at rest from this great and
weary travail.” At this moment they heard a voice from
without the door say, ‘“O my Lady Manar al-Sana I
will not open to thee and thy husband except ye obey
me in whatso I shall say to you.” And they were silent
for excess of fright ; when the voice spake again, saying :
‘“What aileth you both to be silent and answer me not?”
And they knew the speaker to be the old woman,
Shawahi. So they said, ‘‘ Whatsoever thou biddest, us
we will do.” And she replied, “1 will not open until
ye both swear that ye will take me with you, so that
whatever befalleth you shall befall me, for yonder
abominable woman treateth me with indignity and tor-
menteth me on your account.” Now recognising her
they trusted in her and sware an oath such as contented
her, whereupon she opened the door and they found her
riding on a Greek jar of red earthenware with a rope
of palm-fibres about its neck, which rolled under her and
ran faster than a Najdi colt, and she said to them,
“Follow me and fear naught, for 1 know forty modes of
magic by the least of which I could make this city a
dashing sea, and ensorcel each damsel therein to a fish,
and all before dawn.” So Hasan and his wife rejoiced,
making sure of escape.

And they walked on till they came without the city,
when Hasan smote the earth with the rod crying:
“Ho, ye servants of these names, appear to me and
Flasan of Bassorah 1078

acquaint me with your conditions.” Thereupon the
earth clave asunder and out came ten Ifrits, with their
feet in the earth, and their heads in the clouds. And
they kissed the earth three times and said, “‘ Adsumus /



Here are we at thy service, O our lord and ruler over
-us! What dost thou bid us do? If thou wilt we will
dry thee up seas and remove mountains from their
places.” So Hasan rejoiced and said: ‘‘Who are ye,
and what be your names and your races, and to what

tribes do ye belong?” They replied: “We are seven
174. The Book of Wonder Voyages

Kings, each ruling over seven tribes of the Jinn, and
Satans and Marids, flyers and divers, dwellers in
mountains and wastes and wolds and haunters of the
seas; so bid us do whatso thou wilt, for whoso
possesseth this rod hath dominion over us.” And
Hasan rejoiced exceedingly, as did his wife and the old
woman. And he said: “I would have you carry me
forthwith to the city of Bagdad, me and my wife, and
this honest woman.” And they answered: ‘“O our
lord, we are of the covenant of our lord, Solomon son of
David, and he made us sware that we would bear none
of the sons of Adam upon our backs. But we will
harness the horses of the Jinn and they shall carry thee
and thy company to thy country.” ‘How far are we
from Bagdad?” asked Hasan. ‘Seven years’ journey
for a diligent horseman,” they replied. At this Hasan
marvelled and said: ‘‘Then how came I hither in less
than a year?” And they replied: ‘Allah softened to
thee the hearts of his pious servants.” And he asked
again, ““When ye have mounted me upon your steeds, in
how many days will they bring us to Bagdad?” They
answered: ‘“‘ They will carry you thither under the year,
but not till ye have endured terrible perils and hardships,
and horrors, and we cannot promise thee safety.”

Then they struck the ground with their feet, whereupon
it opened, and they disappeared within, and were absent
awhile, after which they reappeared with three horses,
saddled and bridled, and on each saddle-bow a pair of
saddle-bags, with a leathern bottle of water in one
pocket and the other full of food. So Hasan mounted
Hasan of Bassorah ns

one steed and took a child before him, whilst his wife
mounted a second and took the other child before her,
and the old woman bestrode the third. And they rode
on all through the night. And as they rode, Hasan
caught sight of a black object, which as he drew nearer
turned out to be an Ifrit, with a head like a huge dome,
tusks like grapnels, jaws like a lane, nostrils like ewers,
ears like leathern targes, a mouth like a cave, teeth like
pillars of stone, hands like winnowing forks and legs like
masts; his head was in the clouds and his feet in the
earth he had plowed. And he said to Hasan, “ Fear
not, I wish to accompany you and be your guide till you
leave the Wak Islands. Be of good cheer, for I am a
Moslem even as ye.” So they followed the Ifrit and
made merry, and Hasan told his wife all that had
befallen him while she related all she had seen and
suffered.

Thus they rode till the thirty-first day, when there
arose before them a dust-cloud that walled the world and
darkened the day. And the old woman said to Hasan:
“This is the army of the Wak Islands that hath
overtaken us; they will lay violent hands upon us.
Strike the earth with the rod.” And the seven Kings
presented themselves, saying, ‘‘ Fear not, neither grieve.
Ascend the mountain, thou and thy wife and children
and she who is with thee, and leave us to deal with
them. We know you are in the right and they in the
wrong.” So they dismissed their horses and ascended
the mountain side.

Now a great battle was fought wherein the seven
176 The Book of Wonder Voyages

Kings of the Jinns, and their armies defeated Queen
Nur al-Huda and her armies, slaying many and taking
her and the powerful men of her realm prisoner. And
on the morning after the battle the Jinn Kings set before
Hasan an alabaster throne, inlaid with pearls and jewels,
and he sat down thereon. Also a throne of ivory plated
with glittering gold for his wife and the dame, and there
they judged Queen Nur al-Huda and all the captives.
And Hasan commanded that all the captives were to be
slain, and the old woman cried out: “Slay all, and spare
none.” But Princess Manar pleaded for her Sister Nur
al-Huda and wept over her, so that Hasan gave her into
her hands, saying, ‘‘Do whatso thou wilt.” Thereupon
she bade them loose her sister and all the captives, and
she went up to her and embraced her, and they all made
peace together after the goodliest fashion. And Hasan
dismissed his servants of the rod, and thanked them for
having helped him against his foes.

And they passed the night together in converse, and
on the morrow bade one another farewell. And Shawahi
departed with Nur al-Huda to the left, while Hasan and
his wife went to the right. And Hasan and his wife
rode till they came to a city surrounded with trees and
streams, and as they rested there they were greeted by
King Hassun, Lord of the Land of Camphor, and Castle
of Crystal. And they rejoiced to meet one another and
Hasan told all that had befallen him. Whereupon the
King said: ““O my son, none ever reached the Islands
of Wak and returned thence but thou, indeed thy case is
wondrous. And Hasan with his wife and children
Hasan of Bassorab Te

lodged in the guest house of the palace three days,
eating and drinking in mirth and merriment, after which
they sought the King’s permission to depart. And the
King granted it and rode with them ten days, after
which he bade them farewell. And they journeyed for a
month, after which they came to the cavern with the
brass door, out of which the Shaykh Abu al-Ruwaysh
issued, and saluted Hasan, and gave him joy of his
safety. And when Hasan told him all that had befallen
him, the Shaykh replied, ““O my son, but for this rod
and cap, thou hadst never delivered thy wife and
children.” And as they talked together there came a
knocking at the door, and Abu al-Ruwaysh went and
found Abu al-Kaddus mounted on his elephant. And he
embraced Hasan and congratulated him on his safety.
And Hasan told him everything from first to last until
he came to the story of the rod and cap, when Abu al-
Kaddus said: ‘“‘O my son, thou hast delivered wife and
children, and hast no further need of the two. Now we
were the means of thy getting to the Islands of Wak,
and I have done thee kindness for the sake of my nieces,
therefore I beg thee give me the rod and Abu al-
Ruwaysh the cap.” And Hasan hung down his head,
ashamed to say, “I will not give them you,” then in his
mind he thought of how good they had been to him, and
how if it had not been for them he would not have
received the rod and cap. So he raised his head and
answered: ‘Yes, I will give them you. But, O my
lords, I fear lest the Supreme King, my wife’s father,
come to me in my own country to fight, and I be unable
M
18 The Book of Wonder Voyages

to repel them for want of the rod and cap.” And they
replied: ‘‘ Fear not, we will continually succour thee and
keep watch and ward for thee, and whoso shall come
against thee from thy wife’s father or any other, we will
send him from thee, therefore be of good cheer, for no
harm shall come to thee.” And the two elders rejoiced
exceedingly and gave him riches and treasures, beautiful
beyond description. And Hasan and his wife abode
with them three days, when they bade them farewell and
departed for the Land of the Princesses, to which Abu
al-Kaddus mounted on a mighty big elephant guided
them by a short cut and easy way. And as they drew
near the palace, the Princesses came forth to meet them,
and saluted them and their uncle, who said to them:
‘Behold I have accomplished the need of this, your
brother Hasan, and have helped him to regain his wife
and children.” So they embraced him and gave him joy
of his health, and it was a day of feasting with them.
And the youngest Princess wept bitterly as she embraced
Hasan, and told him how she had longed and suffered
for his return. And Hasan told all that had happened
on his journey from first to last, and said to his youngest
sister, “I shall never forget all thou hast done for me
from first to last.”

And Hasan and his wife abode with the Princesses
ten days, feasting and merry-making, at the end of
which time they prepared to continue their journey.
And his sisters made him presents of riches and rarities,
and bade him a loving farewell. And after journeying
two months and ten days they came to Bagdad, and
Hasan of Bassorah 179

Hasan repaired to his home by the private gate and
knocked at the door.

Now his mother had not ceased to mourn him since
his departure, but shed tears night and day, and for lack
of food and sleep had fallen ill) And she heard her
son’s voice, saying, “O mother, mother, Fortune hath
been kind and hath vouchsafed our reunion.” Where-
upon she went to the door between belief and misbelief,
and when she saw him and his wife and children she
cried aloud for excess of joy, and fell to the earth ina
fainting fit. And when she had recovered and he had
comforted her, he related all his adventures from begin-
ning to end. And they passed the night in all pleasure
and happiness, and on the morrow Hasan donned rich
apparel and went to the bazaar and bought black slaves
and slave girls, rich stuffs and ornaments and furniture,
carpets and costly vessels, and all manner of precious
things. Moreover, he purchased houses and gardens
and estates, and abode with his wife and children and
mother in all joy and happiness till the Destroyer of
delights and the Severer of societies knocked at their
door.

THE JOURNEYINGS OF THORKILL AND OF
ERIC THE FAR-TRAVELLED
The Journeyings of Thorkill and of Eric
the Far-Travelled






NCE there was a King who reigned at
Drontheim in Norroway. He was
named Thrond, and he had a son, Eric,
young and handsome and goodly to see.
Now it happed at one Yule-Tide there




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was among the guests a certain Thorkill, a swart and_

sturdy man that seemed a seafarer and one accustomed to
lead men. When the cups had been drunk out and the
time for telling of tales had come, Thrond called upon
this Thorkill to say his say first of all men. And he
spake thus... ..

. Thorkill’s Story of how he Fared to the Glittering
Plain and to the Halls of Getrrod.

“Tf I] have aught, Sir King, that can appear new to
you or please your ears, it is what I passed through in
my search for Geirrod’s Home. For from the days of
my youth onward I had heard of the mighty stores of
treasure piled up in that land. Yet was the way thither
184 The Book of Wonder Voyages

full of terrors and dangers, and few of mortal men had
reached it, and still fewer come back from it. For
Geirrods Home, they said, was beyond ocean that lies
about all land. It was beyond the ken of sun and stars,
far out in the Realm of Darkness.

‘“Now from the time I had first heard of this, I hada
desire to try and reach that land. It was not for the
sake of the booty that could be gained, but I hoped for
the glory that would come from achieving a task hitherto
untried by men. So I went to King Gorm and told him
of the land and of my desire to reach it, and asked his
help to fit out an expedition. ‘Who will go with
Thorkill ?’ asked King Gorm in the Council, and three
hundred brave men and true said they would go with me,
and foremost among them was the King himself and
his trusty archers, Broder and Buchi. Three long
ships were built for them, each with fifty banks of oars.
Strongly were they made, as I advised, fitted with many
knotted cords and with nails close set. And above, they
were covered with ox hides sewn together, so that pro-
visions might be kept dry from the salt spray. And so
we set sail towards the open sea. _

“Now when we came to Halogaland the northern
breeze died out, and we passed to and fro on the waves
for many days out of sight of land. Soon even our bread
gave out, and all we had to keep ourselves alive was a
little pottage. At last we heard far off a noise as of
waves beating against the rocks with a sound like thunder.
We sent a boy of great nimbleness aloft to the masthead
to look out, and he called down to us that he could see
Fourneyings of Thorkill and Eric 185

walls rising out of the sea as if of a fortress. Then we
cheered all, and turned the prows of the ships where he
pointed, and gazed with thirsty eyes upon the land as we
neared it. And when we came close we had to search
for many hours before we could find an opening in the
walls of the island. At last we saw a steep path that led
up to the heights, and anchoring our ships we all began
to climb the path till we came out upon the higher
ground above. There we found herds of cattle roaming
about, and my men were eager to kill them for food.
But I said, ‘Nay, be wary; no men are here, and these
may, perchance, be sacred to some of the gods: if, there-
fore, we slay the beasts wantonly we shall rouse the
anger of the gods and they will not let us depart. Take,
therefore, no more of these beasts than will be sufficient
to appease our hunger, and then we must depart.’ But my
men were more eager to fill their bellies than to obey
orders, especially when they found the cattle easy to
capture, since they were unaccustomed to sight of men
and came up to us without fear. So they slew and slew
till enough had been slaughtered to fill the holds again
with carcasses of meat. But next night we heard a
mighty clamour ; huge monsters dashed down upon the
shore and beset our ships, and one of them, huger than
the rest, strode over the waters armed with a mighty
club, and running close up to us, bellowed out: ‘You
shall never sail away till you have atoned for the crime
you have committed in slaughtering the flock of the gods,
and unless you make good the loss of the herds by giving

up one man from each of your ships.’ Then I reminded
186 The Book of Wonder Voyages

the men that I had warned them against their folly, and
said, ‘It is all our own fault. Better lose three than three
hundred ; let us cast lots for the three and so escape in
safety.’ The men agreed to this; and having cast lots
threw into the sea the men upon whom the lots had
fallen, and these were seized upon by the monsters, who
went again up the path, shouting in triumph but leaving
us in peace.

“After this, the wind being favourable, we sailed to
further Permland. It is a land that is always cold, and is
covered with deep snow which even the summer heat
cannot melt. It is full of pathless forests ; wheat, barley,
oats, and such-like grain are but rarely seen, while strange
beasts, seldom found elsewhere, wander hither and
thither. The channels of the rivers are covered with
reefs, which causes the water to flow as a hissing, foam-
ing flood. Here we brought our ships ashore, and I
bade my men pitch their tents on the beach, for we were
now within but short distance of Geirrod’s Home.
‘Speak to no one whom ye may meet,’ I said to them,
‘for nothing makes these monsters so angry as to have
strangers say uncivil words to them. It will, therefore,
be better if you keep silent and let me speak, as I alone
know the customs and manners of this people.’ Now at
twilight time a man of tremendous size came towards us,
greeting the sailors by their names. My men were terri-
fied, but I told them to be of good cheer and welcome
him warmly, as he was Gudmund, Lord of the Glittering
Plain, brother of Geirrod and the protector in all dangers
of men who landed in this place. And when Gudmund
Fourneyings of Thorkill and Eric 187

asked why no man answered his greeting, I replied that
they did not know his language, or at least but little of
it, and so were ashamed of saying anything before him.
Then Gudmund invited us to be his guests, and took us
away with him in chariots. As we went forward we saw
a river and across it a golden bridge. This delighted us
so that we wanted to cross it. But Gudmund would not
let us. ‘By this river,’ said he, ‘the world of men is
divided from the world of monsters. No mortal man
may cross the Golden Bridge to enter that other world.’
Now by this time we had reached the Big Man’s dwelling,
but before entering I took my men apart, and warned
them to behave like men of good counsel amidst the
divers temptations chance might throw in their way. I
bid them abstain from the Stranger’s food, and partake
only of their own. Also to sit apart from the people of
that land, and have nothing to do with them at their
banquets. I told them further, that if they ate of the
Stranger’s food they would forget everything they had
ever known, their homes, their wives and children, all
the good and beautiful things they had ever seen or heard
or felt, and would henceforth lead mean wretched lives
among these terrible monsters.

“The magnificent hall of Gudmund’s palace was
thronged with guests, and the tables were covered with
delicate meats and costly wines. Twelve tall, handsome
sons had he, and as many daughters of surpassing beauty.
And he led us to our seats and bade his servants bring
us of the best. But when he saw that | barely tasted
the food, he was hurt, and reproached me, saying that
188 The Book of Wonder Voyages

such behaviour was discourteous and ill-bred. But I had
my answer ready, and said: ‘It often makes men ill to
eat food they are not used to; I am far from being
ungrateful for your kindness, but am merely taking care
of my health by eating my own food to which I was
accustomed. You must not be hurt or consider me
wanting in courtesy if I act thus for the sake of my own
health. Now; when Gudmund saw that his wicked
designs were foiled, and that he could neither make his
guests drink his wines nor eat his dainty food, he deter-
mined to try and persuade them to take the women ot
his household as wives. So he offered the king his
daughter in marriage, and promised that each of my
men should marry the woman in the house he liked best.
Many of my men inclined to accept his offer, but I,
happily, by my advice prevented them from giving way
to the temptation. Very carefully did I observe my host,
lest he should have any suspicions about us, and with
equal care I watched over my men lest they should taste
the dangerous pleasures he offered them. Four of the
Danes, who loved eating and drinking and riches more
than anything on earth or in heaven, accepted the wine
and the food, and the women of the household as wives.
But the pleasures maddened them, and they went out of
their minds, and no longer remembered anything or any
one whom they had ever known, and utterly forgot their
homes, their own country, and their past lives. Had they
controlled themselves they would have equalled the fame
of Hercules, become braver than giants, and great and
noble servants of their country. But Gudmund, still


J ourneyings of Thorkill and Eric 189

intent on having his wicked way, went on to praise the
beauties and delights of his garden, and did all he could
to lure the king thither to eat of its fruit. But I privily
begged him not to yield, so he excused himself to his host
by saying that he must hasten on his journey. Then
Gudmund perceived that I knew his intent, so finding he
could not work his will, he took us all to the other side
of the river and left us to finish our journey.

‘And as we went on, we saw a little way off a gloomy,
desolate, neglected town ; indeed, it hardly looked like a
town, but more like a big black cloud sending forth fog
and mist. Around the battlements were stakes, and upon
these severed heads of warriors ; moreover, we saw fierce
dogs watching before the doors to guard the entrance.
To still their rage I threw them a horn smeared with fat
to lick. The gates to this strange city were built on
high, so that we had to climb to them with ladders, and
even then we found it difficult of access. Inside, the
town was crowded with murky and misshapen phantoms,
and it was hard to say whether their shrieking forms were
more ghastly to the eye or to the ear. All was foul, and
the smell of the loathsome mud was unbearable. Then
we found the rocky dwelling which, it was said, Geirrod
lived in for his palace. A narrow and horrible rift led
inward, but at the very threshold my men stopped in a
sort of panic. Seeing they were uncertain what to do, I
strove to banish their hesitation by encouraging them to
play the man, advising them to keep a strict watch over
themselves, lest they be tempted to touch anything in the

house they were about to enter, of whatsoever kind it
190 6 The Book of Wonder Voyages

might be, and however delightful or pleasant to look at.
Further, I bade them be neither covetous nor fearful ;
neither desire what was pleasant nor dread what was
awful to look upon, though the place might be filled with
both that which was delightful and that which was terrible.
‘For if you put out your hands to take,’ said I, ‘they will
suddenly become bound fast, and you will be unable to
tear them away from the thing you have touched, and
they will become knotted up with it, as by bonds that no
power on earth may untie.’ Then I bade them enter in
order, four ata time. Broder and Buchi first tried to go
in, the king and I followed them, and the others came
behind us in ordered ranks. Inside, the house was but a
ruin, desolate, and filled with a strong and horrible reek.
It seemed to teem with everything that could disgust the
eye or mind; the doorposts were begrimed with the soot
- of ages, the walls were plastered with dirt, the roof was
one mass of spear-heads, numberless snakes crawled
along the floor, Such an unwonted sight struck terror
into us, and the smell that filled the palace assailed our
very brains. Bloodless phantasmal monsters huddled on
the iron seats, and on the thresholds hideous doorkeepers
stood at watch. Some of these, armed with clubs lashed
together, yelled, while others played a gruesome game,
tossing a goat’s hide from one to the other. Here I
again warned my men, and forbade them attempt to touch
or take anything. As we went on through the breach in
the crag, we saw an old man with his body pierced through,
sitting a little way off on a high seat facing that side of
the rock which had been broken away. There, too, were


Fourneyings of Thorkill and Eric 1091

three women, whose bodies were covered with wounds,
and who seemed to have lost the strength of their back-
bones. My men wanted to know why all this had hap-
pened, so I told them how long, long ago the god
Thor had been wroth with the giants, among whom was
Geirrod, who had fought with him. So he had hurled a
right hot iron at the giant, piercing him, and breaking an
issue through the mountain’s side. The women, terrified
at all this, had tried to take their revenge on the god,
who broke their bodies by way of punishment. As my
men were leaving the palace, they saw seven big barrels
hooped round with golden belts, from which hung large
silver rings, fastened to them by means of many links.
Near these was the tusk of a strange beast, tipped at
both ends with gold. Close by lay a large and beautifully
chased stag-horn, decorated with costly gems that sent
forth flashes of glittering light, while beside it was a heavy
gold bracelet covered with rubies that seemed to send
forth showers of red flame. One man longed with all his
heart and soul for this bracelet and laid his hands upon
it to take it, for he knew not that the brilliant metal could
do him deadly harm and was full of a poison which would
cause his death. A second man, unable to control his
longing, stretched out his trembling hand towards the
horn, while a third made his way towards the tusk. All
these things were lovely to look upon, and it seemed as
if the possession of them would add to one’s happiness.
But when the first man laid his hands upon the bracelet
it turned into a snake, and pierced his flesh with its
poisonous tooth; as the second clutched the horn with
192 The Book of Wonder Voyages

his trembling fingers, it lengthened out into a serpent
and killed him before he could lift it from the ground ;



while the tusk turned into a sword and plunged itselt
into the man who ventured to carry it away. The other
men were so terrified at all this that they were in constant
fear lest they too should suffer death because of the
covetousness of their comrades. Then we came to
another room, in which lay a still richer treasure and
arms too great and too massive for men of this earth to
bear. There, too, was a king’s mantle, embroidered with
rich and brilliant silks which shone like the colours of the
rainbow, a hat adorned with the many-coloured feathers
of some rare bird, and a marvellously wrought belt inter-
twined with chains of the most costly jewels. Now, the
Fourneyings of Thorkill and Eric 193

longing to possess these wonderful things seemed to
shake my being to its very centre. I, who had so often
counselled others, could not, to save my life, master my own
desires. So, with no other thought than that of longing
to possess, I laid my hand upon the mantle, while my
men followed my example and took all that came in their
way. Then, all of a sudden, the place began to shake
as if with an earthquake, and to reel and totter to and
‘fro. Immediately the women shrieked out that the wicked
robbers were staying too long. And those hideous beings
which had looked like phantoms, seemed to obey the
women’s cries, for they all at once leapt from their seats
and began to attack us furiously. The other creatures
bellowed hoarsely. Broder and Buchi attacked the witches,
who ran at them, with a shower of spears from every side,
while they crushed the monsters with the missiles from
their bows and slings. There could be no more manful
or successful way of repulsing them, yet only twenty
of all the king’s company were rescued, the rest being
torn to pieces by the monsters. The survivors returned
to the river, over which they were ferried by Gudmund,
who invited them to his house. But he could not per-
suade them to remain long with him, although he did all
in his power to make them change their minds. So at
last he gave them presents and let them go. But Buchi,
during his stay, lost his self-control and fell in love with
one of Gudmund’s daughters. Yet, after she had become
his bride he regretted it deeply, for his brain began to
whirl, and he lost his remembrance of all things which had
ever happened. Thus, the hero who had overcome
N
194. The Book of Wonder Voyages

monsters and braved perils by land and water, was con-
quered by his passion for one girl. He set off to accom-
pany the king and us, but as he was about to cross the
river in his chariot, the wheels sank deep, he was caught
up by the current of the river and destroyed. The king
sorrowed for him and hastened on his voyage. At first
our journey was prosperous, but when the weather changed
we were tossed about on the waves, while the winds blew
and the storm raged heavily, and our men perished of
hunger. Then we prayed the gods to help us, but the
king offered vows and peace-offerings to Utgarda-Loki,
who sent the sunshine and calm for which he asked, and
the tempest ceased and the winds were still.

‘Now, after all these storms and toils, King Gorm felt
that it was time he should rest from his labours. So he
took a Swedish lady for his queen and spent his time in
reading and meditation instead of following those pursuits
to which all his life he had been accustomed. And his.
days were prolonged in peace and quietness. Towards.
the end thereof, some learned men told him that after
death, that is the death of the body, the soul lived on,
and went to dwell in some other land. And he thought
deeply about all this, and was continually wondering
where his soul would go when his body died.

‘‘ Now, at this time certain men who wished me ill came:
and told Gorm that he should ask the gods about such
matters, as they were questions too. difficult for human
minds to answer, and too hard for mortals to find out.
And to do this they said that Utgarda-Loki must be:
appeased, and that none could appease him better than I..
Fourneyings of Thorkill and Eric 195

Others spoke evil about me and declared I was guilty of
treachery and wished to take the king’s life. So, seeing
that I was obliged to suffer in some way, I asked that my
accusers should accompany me on my journey. And
when they saw that the dangers they had put in my way
had fallen upon them they were exceedingly afraid and
tried to alter their plans. But the king would not listen
to them, accused them of being cowardly, and forced
them to sail with me. It is often, indeed, so, that when
one wishes to do another a wrong, the evil one would do
falls upon oneself. When the men saw they were obliged
to obey the king, and could not in any way get out of it,
they covered their ship with ox-hides and filled it with
provisions.

‘In this ship we all sailed away till we came to a land
where there was no sun, no stars, no daylight, and over
which hung a black cloud that made it like one dark, long
night. For a long, long while we sailed under this
strange sky, till at last our wood fell short and we were
unable to light any fires. So having no place to cook
our food we staved off our hunger with raw meat. But
those of us who ate of it fell ill, for we could not digest
such food. Thus we were in terrible straits ; for when
we took of the uncooked food it brought on sickness and
disease, and if we ate nothing we could but starve. Just
as we were about to despair, a gleam of help shone for
us in the distance, even as the string breaks most easily
when it is stretched tightest, and the daylight begins to
break when the night is at its darkest. For we saw the
twinkle of a fire a little way off, and we still hoped that
196 ©The Book of Wonder Voyages

our Jives might be spared. As for me, I thought that
heaven had sent the fire, and made up my mind to go
and take some of it. To be surer of getting back to my
friends I fastened a jewel on the masthead to enable me
easily to recognise my ship. On landing, my eyes fell on
a cavern scooped out of the rocks, and which one reached
by a narrow path. Telling my men to wait outside, I



went in and there saw two swart, very huge men with
long horny noses throwing any fuel they could find on
their fire. The entrance to this cavern was hideous in
‘the extreme ; the door-posts falling from decay, the walls
grimy with mould, the roof dirty, and snakes crawled
along the floor. All this disgusted the eye as well as the
mind. One of the giants greeted me, and I said I had
begun a most difficult quest, fain as I was to visit a
SFourneyings of Thorkill and Eric 197

strange god and to explore a region that lay beyond the
world, and upon which the foot of man had never trod.
Then he promised to tell me the different paths I must
take for my journey if I would make three true judgments
in the form of sayings. Sol replied; ‘Truly, I do not
think I have ever visited a household full of so many
uncomely noses; nor have I ever come to any other
place where I had less mind to live.’ My second remark
was: ‘It is, I think, my best foot which can get out of
this foremost. The giant was delighted with my
shrewdness and praised the truth of my sayings. And
he told me that I must first travel to a land where the
grass never grew, and upon which no light ever shone.
The lightless and grassless land, he called it. But to
reach this land I must row across water for four days..
In this grim country I might visit Utgarda-Loki, whose
filthy dwelling-place was a hideous and grisly cave. I
was terrified at being told to take such a long and
dangerous journey, but the wretchedness of my present
condition was uppermost in my mind, and I asked him if
he could give us some firing. ‘If thou needest fire,’
said he, ‘thou must make three more witty remarks.’
To which I replied : ‘Good advice is to be followed, even
though a mean fellow give it.’ Likewise: ‘I have gone
so far in rashness, that if I can get back I shall owe my
safety to no one but my own legs.’ And again: ‘If |
could go away at this moment I would take good care
never to come back.’

« And the giant was pleased with my sayings and gave
-me some fire, which I took back to my comrades ; he
198 The Book of Wonder Voyages

also sent us a favourable wind, so that on the fourth day
we reached the place for which we were bound. It was
a land of everlasting night, unbroken by the happy
change of light and darkness. So black and thick was
the gloom that we could hardly see before us, though we
managed to make out a huge towering rock. As I
wished to explore it I told my men to strike a fire from
flints as a safeguard against demons, ghosts and goblins,
and to place it in the entrance. I bade the others bear
a light before me as I entered the narrow passage of the
cavern. So narrow and small was the entrance that I
had to stoop low down to crawl in. There I beheld a
number of iron seats, among which glided a swarm of
serpents. Next I beheld a mass of sluggish water that
flowed gently over a stretch of sand. This water we
crossed, and came to a cavern yet steeper than the first.
Then we entered a dim, gloomy room, where lay Utgarda-
Loki, bound hand and foot with enormous chains.
Every hair of his head was as large and stiff as an iron
spear, indeed, his hair looked like a mass of spears.
These spears grew on his face in the form of a beard as
well as on his head, and I, in order to win yet greater
renown, plucked one from his chin, my comrades helping
me. Straightway a most noisome smell overcame us so
that we could scarce breathe and had to bury our noses
in our mantles. We could hardly make our way out, for
the snakes crowded round about us, crawled on us, clung
to us, twisted round us, and seemed to be doing their
best to hinder our departure.

“So horrible was all this, that only five of my men
Fourneyings of Thorkill and Eric 199

embarked with me; the rest were killed by the poison.
The demons followed them and threw their poison at
them. The sailors covered themselves with their hides
and threw the venom back. One man, wishing to peep
out of the hide, was touched by the poison, and his head
was taken off as if it had been severed by a sword.
Another who looked out of his hide was blinded by the
poison which touched his eyes. Another had his arm
withered as he thrust it out while unfolding the hide. We
besought our gods to be kinder to us, but they took no
notice, until I prayed to the Great God of the world, who
sent us a clear sky and a peaceful voyage.

“Then we came to another world, the world of living
men. For we landed in Germany, where the people
loved and worshipped God. But as for my poor men,
they were all but dead, because of the fearful air they
had breathed; and I returned to my own country with
but two who had escaped these perils. Yet even I was
not free from the taint of all we had gone through, for
the uncleanly matter that was still on my face so disguised
me, and so altered the very shape of my features, that
even my most intimate friends did not know me. When
I had removed it I was again recognised, and the king
was most anxious to hear all that had befallen me. But
my enemies still cherished unkindly feelings against me,
and even pretended that the king would die suddenly if I
told him what had happened to me. The king, too, was
inclined to believe them because of a dream he had had,
in which it had been falsely told him that such an event
_ would come to pass. And so, for this reason, men were
200 The Book of Wonder Voyages

hired by the king to kill me in the night. Now, I was
not supposed to know of this wicked intent; nevertheless,
I got wind of it, and thus, unknown to all, I slept not in
my bed that night, but placed a big log of wood therein.
So the men who had come to kill me plunged their
swords into a mass of timber. On the morrow I went to
the king as he sat at meat, and said: ‘I forgive thy
cruelty and pardon thy sin, in that thou hast rewarded
with punishment and not with thanks him who brought
thee good tidings of his journey. For thy sake I
willingly endured all these trials, and wore myself out
in all these perils. I hoped thou wouldst reward my
services with gratitude, and behold, I found thou didst
but punish me for my bravery, thou more than all others.
But I withhold all vengeance, and content myself with
knowing that down in thy heart thou art bitterly ashamed
of thyself—that is, if the ungrateful are ever ashamed of
themselves—and art thus punished for thy wrong-doing
towards me. I hesitate not to say that thou art worse
than all demons in fury, and all beasts in cruelty, if, after
having escaped the snares of all these monsters, I have
failed to be safe from thine.’

‘Now the king wished to hear everything from my
own lips, and bade me tell him all that had happened,
right from the very beginning. He listened eagerly to
everything, but could not endure to have his own god
unfavourably spoken of. So terribly did it distress him
to hear Utgarda-Loki reproached because of his uncleanly
surroundings, and so indignant was he to hear of the
god’s misfortunes that he fell down dead then and there
JFourneyings of Thorkill and Eric 201%

even as I proceeded with my tale. Thus while he was
so zealous in the worship of a false god, he came to the
gates of the true prison of sorrows. And many of the
bystanders died from the effects of the hair I had plucked
from the Giant’s beard by way of gaining renown.”

All men wondered at the marvels told by Thorkill the
Stranger, and many said that even greater marvels were
to be seen in Odainsakr, the Land of the Undying ; none
of the heroes in their time had dared to seek this, they
said, but Eric the Thrond sprang up and said with a
mighty oath he would travel south over the world until
he discovered Odainsakr, the Land of the Undying.
“Who will go with me?” he cried. And eleven of the
king’s nobles swore the same vow as he. And when
spring came he sailed south with them to the Court of
Denmark. Now the Danish king’s son was also named
Eric, and the two young men became close friends, for
they were like one another in character. And in the
spring-time Eric the Dane accompanied his friend to the
realm of Gardar and thence to Micklegarth, where the
Emperor of Greece holds sway, and they took with them
four-and-twenty men, great, tall, strong fellows, famed for
valour and hardihood and skill in fighting.

At that time the Emperor of Greece was gathering
an army to war against his foes, and he invited the two
Erics to join him. He entertained them with all
honours, and through an interpreter asked who they
were, whence they had come, and what was the. purpose
_of their journey. When he was told that they came
202 The Book of Wonder Voyages

from the North, and that their purpose was to see the
wide world, he treated them with great kindness and
courtesy, and they on their part were of much service to
him in his enterprise. And when the Emperor saw that
each Northman surpassed two or three Greeks in fighting,
and that they were men who might thoroughly be trusted,
he gave to them more gold than to his other men and
made them his beloved liegemen. And they were the
first Northmen who rose to honour among the Greeks.

Now one day Eric the Thrond asked the Emperor,
“OQ Emperor, tell me if you know how far the earth
extends?”

And the Emperor made answer: ‘You ask about
things that it is useless to know. I will, however, tell
you. It is one hundred and eighty thousand millions of
miles round. It is not held in its place by pillars; God
holds it firm.”

‘“ How far is it,” asked Eric, ‘‘ from heaven to earth?”

‘‘One hundred and eighty-five thousand miles.”

“What is there round about the earth?”

‘The great sea, which is called the ocean.”

“Which land is furthest from us in the southern half
of the world?”

‘““We consider India the end of the earth on the
southern side.”

“Where is Odainsakr, of which we have heard tell
in our country ?”

“Tt lies in the East, not far from India. We call it
Paradise. Northmen call it the ‘Land of Living Men.’
That, I believe, is the Odainsakr you mean.”
JFourneyings of Thorkill and Eric 203

“Ts it possible to reach it?”

‘‘Most certainly not, for it is surrounded by a wall of
fire which stretches from the floor of earth to the ceiling
of heaven.”

Now when the Emperor had answered these and
many other questions, Eric fell at his feet, and said: “I
believe, O best and wisest Emperor, that for your own
honour’s sake you will help me on the journey for which
I am bound in order to fulfil my vow. I am in search of
Odainsakr, but I shall never reach it unless you help me.”

‘Stay with me for the next three years,” replied the
Emperor, ‘you and Eric the Dane, then you shall pro-
ceed on your journey. It will do you good to stay.
After that time I will help you.”

And the two promised they would stay.

Afterwards Eric the Thrond asked the Emperor about
the different countries he would pass through, the
manners and customs of the inhabitants, the seas and
rivers. He also asked about the Eastern and Southern
parts of the world, the forests, the islands, the deserts ;
the ways of the different people; the huge serpents,
beasts and birds; the quantity of gold, jewels, and pre-
cious stones to be found. And to all his questions the
Emperor gave wise, kind, clever answers.

Now when Eric’s three years’ stay with the Emperor
had come to an end, and when he had gained from his
sovereign much knowledge about many things, he set off
with a company of men for the Land of Syria. And the
Emperor of Greece gave him letters sealed with his own
-seal that the monarchs of other lands might read and
204 The Book of Wonder Voyages

welcome and hospitably entertain him. And from Syria
he sailed with stranger men on their way eastwards.
From there he continued his journey, sometimes on
horseback, oftener on foot, until he and his men came to
India. The great chiefs of the foreign lands he visited
gave him a kindly welcome. Every one helped him on
his way, and all to whom he showed the letters of the
Greek Emperor received him courteously and were
hospitable. No one cheated them, nor did any do them
harm.

When they had passed beyond the confines of India,
a journey lasting more than forty-five days, they came to
lands where it was ever dark, and where the stars alone
shone through the live-long day. Here they saw a
golden rock and many other marvellous things. And
when they had wandered for many days over forests and
lofty mountains, questioning one another as to which
way they should go, they came to a river called Pison,
which flows from the Land of Paradise. Over the river
and high above them was a stone bridge, across which
lay a marvellous huge dragon, which terrified them by
its wide-open mouth, that seemed gaping to devour them.
Beyond this they saw a land from whence the breeze
wafted the most exquisite scents. They could see that
it was full of flowers of all kinds and of honey in abun-
dance. And it seemed to them that they had reached
the borders of the land they sought.

Then Eric the Thrond went towards the bridge to
pass over the river, but Eric the Dane forbade him,
saying :
Journeyings of Thorkill and Eric 205

‘““Beware! Do not go near. See, the dragon is ready
to swallow you.”

But Eric the Thrond answered: “I do not fear the
dragon, and he shall not hinder my journey.”

“I beg you, dearest of friends,” said Eric the Dane,
do not give yourself to death. Turn back: if you go
any further you will surely be killed.”

But Eric the Thrond would not listen, and determined
to go onward. So the two Erics bade one another fare-
well, and parted.

Eric the Thrond now drew his sword, and holding it
in his right hand, took one of his companions by the left
hand. Thus the two men went forwards towards the
dragon’s mouth. And as Eric the Dane looked on, it
seemed to him that the dragon at once swallowed the two
men up. But it did not really happen so, for as Eric the
Thrond and his companion rushed into the dragon’s
mouth they found themselves journeying onwards in the
midst of great darkness. But Eric the Dane turned
away and began his journey home. After many years
he reached his native land, where he told of the fate of
Eric the Thrond to all who asked him about it, how he
had been swallowed up bya dragon in trying to cross the
Golden Bridge that led to the Land of Paradise. And
there is nothing further told of Eric the Dane.

Now, when Eric the Thrond had passed out of the
darkness, he found himself in a land of glorious delight,
where every herb was beautiful and covered with flowers,
and where streams of honey flowed through every field.
It was a low country, flat like a plain; not a mountain
206 The Book of Wonder Voyages

was to be seen, nor even a hill. It was lit up by per-
petual sunshine, and there was neither cloud, nor night,
nor darkness. A perfect calm seemed to touch all things ;
only when the breeze stirred lightly did the scents of the
flowers seem stronger than before. And Eric and his
companion walked over the fields for a long way to see
if they could find any house or building, and to learn how
far the land extended. At last they saw what seemed
like a hood-shaped building hanging in the air, and they
turned to examine it. As they approached they saw that
it was a tower unsupported by any pillars, while to the
south of it a high ladder was fixed. As they came quite
close they wondered greatly as to how the ladder could
be supported against a tower hanging in the air. Then
they climbed the ladder, which led them to a room all
hung round with rich curtains. Inside was a silver table,
upon which lay exceeding white bread of a delicious
fragrance. Upon a golden plate were placed all kinds of
meats and delicious fruits. There were, too, a tankard
adorned with precious stones, and a golden goblet, both
filled with a delightful drink. Beds covered with costly
velvet might be seen in another part of the room. And
they marvelled greatly at all these wonderful things.

“Behold,” said Eric, ‘‘here is Odainsakr, the land I
have sought for many years with great toil and difficulty.”

And they praised God, saying: ‘Great is Almighty
God, and glorious in all things; for He hath helped us
to discover this land.” Then they ate and drank and lay
down to sleep.

And as Eric slept there appeared to him a young man
Fourneyings of Thorkill and Eric 207

clothed in white, who thus addressed him: ‘Great is
your faith, Eric, for you have shown it by persevering
in your search. Tell me how the land pleases you.”

“Tt is all I could wish,” he replied, “and better than
any other land. But tell me, who are you? Your know-
ledge must be greater than mine, for you are acquainted
with my name, while I know you not.”

And the young man smiled upon him, and said: “I
am an angel, one of those who watch over Paradise. I
was standing by you when you made the solemn vow to
travel south over the world. By God’s command I made
you think of sailing to Micklegarth, where, through me,
you believed the truth and were baptized. It was a blessed
thing that you listened to the Greek Emperor’s advice,
received his letters, and afterwards bathed in the Jordan.
God made me your guardian angel, and I have taken
care of you on land and sea and through every danger of
your journey. I have kept you from all evil. Many
things happen according to God's will that men cannot
understand, but we are spirits of the heavenly country.
The beautiful land you have seen is but a bare desert
compared with Paradise, where the first created humans
live, and the souls of the patriarchs and prophets. It is
but. a little way from here, and the river you crossed flows
from it. Before you came here, God told us to water it
and make the flowers bloom, so that in it you might see
a land somewhat like Paradise, wherein you might rest
and be rewarded after your toil.”

‘Where do you live?” asked Eric of the angel.

‘‘In the heavens, where we look upon God; who is a


208 The Book of Wonder Voyages

spirit. We are often sent into the world in time of need
to help men, as I have been sent to you.”

‘How is this building kept up? It seems to me to
be hanging in the air.”

‘God holds it. By this you may believe that God
created all things from nothing.”

Then the angel asked Eric: ‘‘Do you wish to stay
here, or to return to your own country ?”

“T would rather return.”

‘“Why do you wish to go back to your own wretched
native land?” :

“That I may tell my friends about my journey and all
the wonderful things I have seen and heard. If I do not
return they will think I have died an evil death.”

Then the angel said: ‘““Though the people in your
land still worship idols, and though the time has not yet
come when they shall leave their idols and return to God,
yet it will come, and God in His mercy shall free them.
You may return to tell of God’s greatness, which you
have seen in Eastern lands. Perhaps they will be more
ready to believe in God when they hear what you have
to say. Ten years after you reach home | will visit you,
as I visited Habakkuk and Daniel, whom I took over
many lands. [I will then bring you to this place, chosen
of God, that your bones may be guarded here till the
judgment-day. Remain here for seven days, then take
with you food for your journey, and return to the
North.”

In the morning, when Eric awoke, he thanked God,
and did all the angel had told him. We do not know


Fourneyings of Thorkill and Eric 209

anything about his return North, until four years after-
wards, when he reached Micklegarth, and gave an account
of his journey to the Greek Emperor.

“God has protected you wonderfully,” said the
Emperor, “and shown you His secret things—a sight
you cannot repay.”

Eric stayed two years with the emperor, and in the
seventh of his homeward travel he came to Throndheim,
where he dwelt ten years. And at the dawn of day,
when the ten years had come to an end, as Eric was
kneeling down to pray, God took him, and he was seen
no more on earth.

So ends the Saga of Eric the Far-Travelled.

N@HES
NOWES

WonvDER Voyages are found in the earliest of all literatures—the
Egyptian. In a papyrus at the Hermitage collection at St. Petersburg
there is an account of a shipwrecked sailor who visited an isle which was
inhabited by huge serpents big enough to carry the sailor in his mouth.
This has been given by M. Maspero in his Contes populaires de Egypte
ancienne, Paris, 1882; and by Prof. Flinders Petrie in the first series of his
Egyptian Tales, pp. 81-96. The Odyssey itself may be regarded as the
grandest specimen of this genre of literature, which is even represented
among the books of the Bible by the story of Jonah. Among the Fatakas
again there are one or two which would seem to show that the Indian
imagination also took its flight among islands that never were on sea.
The Wonder Voyage had become a convention of Greek Literature by the
time that Lucian adopted it as the work of his satirical Vera Historia,
which itself became the type of a whole series of philosophic Wonder
Voyages which culminated in Cyrano de Bergerac’s Histoire Comique de la
Lune, and Swift’s Gulliver. These in their turn were parodied by the re-
doubtable Baron Munnchausen. Mr. Rider Haggard has practically
revived the genre in the ninteenth century form of novels of adventure.

At the root of the whole idea of a Wonder Voyage is the scepticism with
regard to travellers’ tales and sailors’ yarns which is current among all
peoples. Curiously enough, the book of Marco Polo, which was regarded
by his contemporaries as mainly a Wonder Voyage, has proved to be quite
a sane and critical account of Mid and Eastern Asia. Yet ‘Sir John
Mandeville ” was evidently poking fun at him in his own book which must
also be affiliated to the family of Wonder Voyages. Altogether there is a
huge mass of literature which may be included under this term, and in the
middle of last century quite a whole series of dumpy duodecimos, running
to thirty volumes, was published in Paris under the title of Voyages
extraordinaives. The present collection can therefore only claim to touch
upon the fringe of a great subject, and can only profess to give a few

: specimens from different quarters of the world.
214 The Book of Wonder Voyages

In most of the Wonder Voyages represented in this volume there are
traces of the influence of the last voyage of man. In the Greek, in the
Keltic, and in the Norse voyages there is a clear reference, as will be seen
from the Notes, to the other world as the bourne from which our
travellers do return: in fact, we have here the free play of the Folk-mind
on man’s last home. The travellers cross the bar and sail out into the
Unknown; their peculiarity is that they return and recross it. Careful
study of these tales, therefore, has a somewhat higher interest than that
of ordinary Folk-tales, for they are connected with the hopes and fears
which surround man’s last moments.

THE ARGONAUTS.

Source.—From Kingsley’s Heroes which in the main follows Apollonius
Rhodius, whose floruit is 200 B.c., and whose Argonautica is one of the most
readable of Greek poems. On the whole, Kingsley has condensed with
great skill and given the main outlines of the action with clearness and
grace.

Parallels —In Roscher’s Lexicon von griech. und rom. Mythologie, under
the headings of ‘ Argonauten,” “Jason,” ‘ Medeia,’’ Dr. Seeliger has
summed up the results of German research on the Saga with full references
to every passage in ancient literature where the Argonauts are referred to.
Unfortunately he omits just those references which may be regarded as
offering true parallels to the Argonaut Saga. These parallels are from a
source which perhaps the dignity of Teutonic erudition shrank from
utilising. Lynceus and the other skilled companions of Jason recall to
the folklorist that set of folk-tales in which the hero is aided to obtain his
bride by a set of comrades who can see through a stone wall, outpace the
wind, or hit the enemy miles away, as in the Grimm story of the Six Com-
panions or in the Mabinogi of Kilhwch, which contains a huge list of such
miracles of skill. (See Lady Guest’s Mabinogion, pp. 225-6.) Mr. Nutt,
in his valuable notes on MacInnes’ Folk Hero Tales from Argyleshire,
pp. 445-8, has given a number of parallels from the Celtic fringe, and
gives reasons for holding that a story of six skilled companions pro-
bably occurred in the Irish Voyage of the Sons of O’Corra, which can
be dated in the seventh century. Mr. Nutt confines himself to Celtic
parallels, but the Grimms extend the parallelism in their notes, i. 435, and
M. Cosquin considerably extends the list (Contes populaires de Lorraine,
i. 23-7; ii. 145). In most of these lists we find at least a parallel to
Hercules the Strong Man, and Lynceus of the Far-Sight.
Notes 215

Another set of parallels neglected by Dr. Seeliger is of even still greater
interest and importance for the scientific study of the Argonaut Legend,
since it is, practically, a parallel of the whole story. Technically speaking,
the Legend is what we Folklorists call’a “ Bride Wager,” in which the
Hero gains a bride by performing certain Tasks. Then there comes the
pursuit and the obstacles to pursuit which are familiar in this class of
story, and, finally, the heroine, like Medeia, is neglected for a rival,
originally through the operation of an Oblivion Kiss. The whole set of
incidents forms one of the most familiar of Celtic fairy tales under the
title of “‘ The Battle of the Birds.” (See Celtic Fairy Tales, xxiv., and notes,
ibid. p. 267 seq., where no less than sixteen Celtic versions are referred to).
The spread of the story among other nations is almost equally extensive.
Mr. Newell gave an English version, ‘“‘ Lady Featherflight,’ in the
Transactions of the International Folklore Congress of 1891, pp. 40-7, and
adds a considerable number of variants from all parts of the world. The
most interesting of these is one from Samoa, of all places in the world,
given from Turner’s Samoa a Hundred Years Ago, p.102 seg. This has been
commented upon by Mr. Lang in his paper on “ A Far-Travelled Tale,” in
Custom and Myth, p. 87 seq. Its interest is the greater since many of the
incidents, as, for instance, those of the flight, exactly almost totidem verbis
as in some of the European versions. I wrote to Mr. Stevenson, pointing
out the importance of the story for folklore purposes, and asking him to
investigate it 7 situ, and he kindly promised to doso. But, unfortunately,
death broke off that as well as many other promises.

The existence of these parallels in the Argonaut Legend in Folklore
sufficiently indicates the direction in which research and inquiry should
be made. Dr. Seeliger, like all Teutonic investigators, deals with the
subject as part of Mythology, though in all the enormous mass of literature
that he brings to bear upon the subject in the ancient world there is no
sign that any of the heroes or heroines were treated with divine honours.
(A casual reference of Pindar’s to the “‘immortal’’ Medeia is almost the
sole exception.) At best, the story is a Greek Saga or Hero Tale, and if
any elucidation of the various incidents of the story is to be found we must
not neglect the parallels afforded by folk-tales. The Argonaut Legend is,
therefore, an interesting instance in which we can contrast the German
and the English method of dealing with hero tales.

Remarks.—In Dr. Seeliger’s long article upon the Argonauts he first
gives an abstract of the Legend according to Apollonius Rhodius: he
then gives a list of the Argonauts, who were fifty in all, though sixty-seven
names of them have been compiled by Dr. Seeliger’s perseverance and
216 The Book of Wonder Voyages

erudition. He then gives the literary tradition of the Legend, starting
with Homer, who mentions: or refers to the ship Argo, Jason, Pelias, and
ZEson, and the Symplegades, all of course in the Odyssey, where such
references would be naturally. The fragments of Hesiod also contain
numerous references, while Pindar hasa whole Pythian Ode devoted to it.
Then comes an interesting section devoted to the local traditions dealing
with the Voyage, in which comes out the interesting point that a chain of
hills on the east of the Black Sea was called the Jasmonian Mountains in
antiquity, and is still known as Iassan Burun. The supposed connection
of the sorceress with the Kingdom of Media also comes up for discussion
under this head. Then we have another section dealing with the monu-
mental remains of the Myth, in which the dragon is always represented as
a serpent pur et simple. Dr. Seeliger sums up his conclusion that the
Legend is certainly a physical myth !—and therein all Teutons are at one,
though they vary as usual as to what branch of Physics they affiliate the
story. Forchhammer regards it as an Agrarian Year Myth, the agriculture
being represented by the tale of Cadmus, and the Year being of course
indicated by the Golden Fleece. Kuhn and Mannhardt—those names of
weight in mythological investigation—agree for once in calling it a Day
Myth. According to the former Gelehrter, the Oak with the Golden Fleece,
is the Night Sun-Tree (Nachtsonnenbaum), whatever that precisely may mean.
In other words, these scholars make the central point of the story out of
what is only one of its imaginative trappings. Even if we regard the
winning of the Golden Fleece as the central incident of the story it is
difficult to see in what sense we can make the Fleece a representative
either of the Year or of the Day. How can a Hero win a year, even
though he gained the day? It is abundantly obvious that these interpre-
tations have only been arrived at in the interests of a theory, and without
the slightest attempt to reconstruct the state of mind of the original tale-
teller. It is fair to add that Dr. Seeliger regards the original myth as
being complicated, if not ‘“ contaminated,” with the Legend of the eastern
Voyage of the Greeks to the extremity of the Black Sea, with genealogical
myths in honour of the Minuai and with the local traditions of the cultus
of the Cabiri on the island of Lemnos. Add the sirens and Scylla from
the Odyssey to this hotch-pot, and behold the Argonauts who are obliged
to lengthen their voyage to suit local requirements. So far Dr. Seeliger
upon the Argonauts in general.

Under the heading ‘“ Jason,” Dr. Seeliger gives the conclusions of
‘German mythologists as to the nature of the hero, who is regarded by
some as a wind god, while Kuhn and Mannhardt are at one in regarding
Votes 27

him as asun god. Again, under “ Medeia”’ her mythological character is
emphasised by the Germans, though, as usual; they have a pretty quarrel
as to the exact part of Nature which she represents. Altogether, I think
it can scarcely be said that Germany leaves us at the end of allits erudition
much information as to what the story of the Argonauts means, or whether
it means anything.

Turn we, then, to England and English investigators—if I dare include
Mr. Andrew Lang under that appellative. As already mentioned, in his
Custom and Myth he has dealt with the tale mainly from the point of
view of its far travels.. The Germans and some English followers have
concentrated their attention on the problem of what Jason and Medeia
mean rather than on what they do; and Mr. Lang has his fun out of the
varying interpretations given by Preller and Schwartz on the meaning of
Medeia, who is the moon, according to one, and a lightning goddess,
according to the other. Most people will agree with Mr. Lang, that these
interpretations throw no light on the story, as a story, especially when it
is considered that the same, or similar, interpretations are used by the
Teutonic method to explain every mythological story.

Mr. Lang proceeds to point out that the main incidents of the Argonaut
story—the coming of the wooer; the love of the hostile being’s daughter ;
the tasks imposed on the wooer; the aid rendered by her daughter; the
flight of the pair; the death, or destruction, of the hostile being—occur
among the Greeks, the Lowland Scotch, the Kelts, the Russians; the Poles,
the Algonquins, the Finns, the Malagasy and the Samoans. Besides
these, some of the incidents, like the obstacles to pursuit, are found in
Japan and Zululand, not to mention Norway. The most remarkable
coincidence of all is that of the comb which is dropped by the pursued
girl and forms an impenetrable thicket, which detains the pursuer. This
is found so far away as Italy, Japan, and Samoa. It is difficult, if not im-
possible, to imagine that this peculiar incident was invented independently.
Its occurrence in Samoa is especially noteworthy, as this was only dis-
covered by Europeans in 1722, and the form of the story in which it was
collected by Turner shows traces of the cannibal period, before any
European influence had become predominant. Mr. Lang in his paper
does not definitely state that he is of opinion that all these stories emanated
from a single centre; but I gather from later statements of his that this is
now his opinion. He certainly makes no attempt to determine what was
that original centre, or the roads by which it reached the various termini
where variants of the story have been collected.

I will not rush in where Mr. Lang has feared to tread, and must content
218 The Book of Wonder Voyages

myself with pointing out the various possibilities of diffusion. After recent
controversies, I think most of the English investigators of the Folk-tale
would agree that the common incidents in their present order were put
together by a single imaginative creator. On the old theory of the
original unity of the Aryan peoples, it would have been natural to assume
that this early artist was an Ur-Aryan, and that all the Aryan peoples took
the story with them on their migrations through Europe; but this view is
now somewhat discredited by the advance of philological science, which
regards the identity of language among the Aryans as due to borrowing,
and we are scarcely at liberty to make an assumption of so early a case of
story barter, when later borrowing will equally well explain the resem-
blance. The Greek version of the tale as we have it can scarcely be the
original from which all others have been derived, since one of the most
marked of the common incidents, that of the obstacles to pursuit, is only
represented in the Greek version by the dismemberment of Apsyrtos. This
brutal device is clearly a primitive trait, but it has disappeared in all the
other European versions. Mr. Nutt has ingeniously pointed out that the
three obstacles which are common to the Norse and to the Keltic variants
of the story have a distinct Teutonic appearance, since they recall the
mountain, lake and forest which among the Teutons separate the other
world from this. A working hypothesis to account for the spread through
Europe, at any rate, would be to assume that the Greek story in the early
form, not in that derived from Apollonius, got among the outlying posts of
the Roman Empire in Germany, and was there interpolated with the
specific Teutonic conception of hell, but this will not account for its spread
in extra-European regions.

India would assist us as a centre of dispersion, if we could find the tale
in all its incidents in the peninsula. Thence it could have spread to
Madagascar and Zululand, on the one hand, and to Japan and Samoa on
the other; but the only Indian form with which I am acquainted, that
given in the thirty-ninth chapter of the Kathdsarit Sdgara does not contain
the obstacles to flight in the form required to explain this spread. The
Rakshasa’s daughter, who is the Indian analogue of Medeia, does not
throw out obstacles to her father’s pursuit, but transforms herself and
misleads him as to the path taken by the lovers; she even induces her
father to believe he is dead, so that he has to go home to inquire whether
this is a fact. But it is the comb we want to find in India to explain its
diffusion elsewhere ; and until we find this the problem of diffusion for this
particular story must remain unsolved.

It will thus be seen that neither on the German nor on the English lines
Votes 219

of investigation can we at present arrive at any very definite conclusion,
either as to the origin or the diffusion of the Argonaut story. Yet we need
not despair. We are only at the beginning of our inquiries as to the lines
of transmission of Folk-tales in and out of Europe, and it is by no means
unlikely that we shall find our comb in India, which would be an important
stage towards solving the problem of diffusion. If we can ever get at any
definite conclusion as to this, we shall then be in a better position to dis-
cuss origins. The very early date at which the Argonaut story appears
among the Greeks gives them a primd facie claim to the origination of the
legend; but, as we know it among Folk-tales, it is clear that the Teutons
had something to do with the later incidents, which mainly follow the
Teuton, rather than the Greek form. Twenty years ago we might have
said that the Teutonic was the earlier and represented more closely the
original Aryan form of the legend, but, as at present advised, we must
regard the obstacles to pursuit as a later and Teutonic interpolation; for
in either case we must assume a passage from one tribe to another and
why not a later as well as an earlier case of borrowing ?

THE VOYAGE OF MAELDUIN.

Source.—The poem which Tennyson made from the most romantic epi-
sodes of the Maelduin has drawn general attention to this fine specimen
of the Wonder Voyage. As it is a Celtic product I naturally relied on Mr.
Nutt both for text and comments, which he gives as follows:

“The Voyage of Maelduin” is an Irish romance preserved in a number
of MSS. of which the oldest was copied at the close of the twelfth century
from earlier MSS. now lost. The state of the language justifies the
attribution of parts of the tale to a much earlier period, probably to the
second half of the eighth century. The Irish text has been printed, with a
complete English version, by Dr. Whitley Stokes, in the ninth and tenth
volumes of the Revue Celtique, and the present re-telling is based upon his
version. I have abridged somewhat, mainly by omitting variant episodes
which betray the late and interpolated character of the text as it has
come down to us.

Parallels.—In the great list of nearly two hundred Irish romances, which
is probably as old as the eighth century, “The Voyage of Maelduin” is
mentioned as the first of the class of Imvama, or ‘Oversea Voyages.”
Six others are mentioned, of which one only, ‘‘The Voyage of the
. O’Corras,” has come down to us. But we also possess two Imvrama not
220 The Book of Wonder V oyages

mentioned in the story list, and probably of later date, ‘“‘ The Voyage of
Snegdus and Mac Riagla,” and “‘The Voyage of St. Brendan.” These
may be described as Christian adaptations of ‘‘ The Voyage of Maelduin.”
“ The Voyage of St. Brendan,” originally written in Latin by an Irish monk,
and only translated back into Irish in the twelfth century or later, was
immensely popular throughout the Middle Ages; and thanks to it, the
Irish seamens’ legends became part of the literature common to all
Western Christendom. As late as the fifteenth century the Isles of the
Blessed Brendan were being sought for by adventurous sailors, and
Columbus himself was probably influenced by the tale.

Remarks.—Our romance has been most exhaustively studied by
Professor Heinrich Zimmer (Zeitschrift fiir deutches Alterthum, xxviii.,
and Sitzungsberichte der Kgl. Preuss. Ak. d. Wissenschaften, 1891, xvi.). He
shows that it is the oldest work of its class extant, and discusses the
various themes and episodes which it contains. The Irish, as we know
both from classical and native sources, began in the fourth century to sally
out of Ireland and harry the lands to the East and North-East. They
even pushed as far as Iceland, where the first settlers found traces of
previous occupation by Irish hermits. In this way they accumulated
' considerable knowledge of the surrounding seas and a still more con-
siderable stock of sailcrs’ yarns. Often, too, these voyages were made by
the missionaries who swarmed out of Ireland in the seventh and eighth
centuries, and who would naturally be disposed to put a miraculous gloss
upon the marvels they encountered. ‘‘The Voyage of Maelduin” thus
embodies a deal of real fact magnified and distorted. For instance, the
glassy sea may well be a fantastic reminiscence of the ice-covered
Polar seas. The island of the demon horse-racing may give us a
picture of the first meeting of the Irish with the Norse dwellers on the
Shetland or Faroe islands, and their love for horse-racing. The adventure
of the colour-changing sheep has also its probable origin in circum-
stances special to the Faroe islands. Another element in our romance is
the Christian legendary one; the story of the great bird renewing its
strength is obviously a variant of the Phenix legend, which, though
originally of pre-Christian origin, was developed and interpreted in a
Christian sense. The annals of Irish sainthood have also furnished their
quota; many of the saints—e.g., Columba—were seafarers, and marvels,
such as that told of Brendan’s seven years’ sojourn on the back of a
_whale, are common in Irish hagiology.

Another and the most interesting element remains to be noticed. The
ancient Irish believed, as did the ancient Greeks, in an Elysium, a god’s
LVotes 221

land to which mortals might be transported by the caprice of its immortal
dwellers, there to share with them the joys of endless life, love, and feasting.
Two of the oldest Irish romances, the story of ‘‘Connla” (to be found in
Celtic Fairy Tales), and ‘“‘ The Voyage of Bran,” handle the theme of the '
love of an immortal maiden for a mortal hero, and of his following her to
the Pleasant Plain, the Land of Youth, the Land of the Living Heart, to
quote a few of its many titles. Two of the episodes of Maelduin (‘‘ The
Isle of Wailing,” and ‘“‘The Queen of the Magic Clew,” are also found in
“The Voyage of Bran.’’ In an essay accompanying Prof. Meyer’s edition
and translation of the latter work I have brought together all the Irish
variants of the theme, including those found in Maelduin, and discussed
their relation to each other and to the general body of Aryan mythical
beliefs and imaginings.

Thus, “‘ The Voyage of Maelduin” gives us an idea of the sources open to
the Irish story-teller of the eighth century, and of the influences to which
he was exposed. We must picture Aed the Fair, chief among the story-
tellers of Ireland, as the Tennyson or Morris of his day, a knower of men
and things as well as of books. He took the old mythic tales of his race
in which the gods and goddesses of the Tuatha de Danann wooed mortals
to their fairy home, and he used them in his account of the islands of
the Queen of the Magic Clew, or of the Musical Brazen Gate. He took
Christian legends and worked them into the weft of his story. He was
familiar with the marvels told of his saintly countrymen who evangelised
the Northern seas. He picked up many a yarn spun by seafarers to the
distant Faroes or the more distant Iceland, that land of boiling springs,
fiery mountains and ice-clad plains. He handled all these elements with
singular perception of their romantic quality and effect, little thinking that
his fancies re-told in Latin by the author of Navigatio S. Brendani, would
delight Western Europe for ages, and, translated into English more than
a thousand years later, would inspire the chief English poet of his time
to breathe fresh life and beauty into the old legend.

HASAN OF BASSORAH.

Source.—From the Arabian Nights though it does not occur in the
ordinary editions from Galland. I have condensed from the versions of
Lane and Burton. (See my edition of Lane, vol. v. pp. 132-287.) I
suggested in my edition that it was inserted in the “ Nights ” by Mohammed
222 The Book of Wonder Voyages

al-Gahshijari, in whom I think I have discovered the author of the
“Nights,” so far as they have one.

Parallels—Hasan resembles, on the one hand, Sindbad and, on the
other, Aladdin. Sindbad was probably one of Gahshijari’s contributions
to the “ Nights,” while Aladdin, it is now known, was contributed to
Galland by a Christian of Aleppo, named Hanna, and from certain indi-
cations is likely to be of Western, rather than of Eastern origin. (See my
Introduction to Lane, p. xxiv.) But the chief motif of Hasan is what is
known to Folk-lorists as the Swan-Maiden story, which forms the subject °
of two chapters (x. and xi.) of Mr. Hartland’s ‘‘ Science of Fairy Tales”:
these are filled with a number of parallels from nearly all quarters of the '
globe, including Guiana, the Esquimaux, Burmah, and the New Hebrides.
Mr. Hartland connects with this widespread series of tales a whole corpus
of archaic institutions. The bird costume of the maiden recalls totemism ;
her importance in the story is referred back to the matriarchate ; the way
she is won is, of course, a case of marriage by capture; while the for-
bidden door is equally, of course, a case of tabu. The Islands of Wak
Wak are known to archaic geographers, but their exact identity is ‘‘ wropt
in mystery”; they have been identified with the Seychelles, Madagascar,
Malacca, Java, China, and Japan, while Mr. Kirby is certain that the
Cora Islands near New Guinea are intended: ‘“‘for the wonderful fruits
which grow there are birds of paradise, which settle in flocks on the trees
at sunset and sunrise uttering this very cry.’’ The islands successively
visited by Hasan recall the voyage of Maelduin.

Remarks.—Further reflection, since I wrote my Introduction to Lane,
has convinced me that I have placed too early a date for Hasan in
attributing it to Gahshijari, who was of the tenth century. The inter-
spersed verses (which I have here omitted) show that at any rate in its
present form Hasan is much later. Besides this, the accumulation of
adventures, which are not very closely knit together, implies that the author
of Hasan was acquainted with earlier tales of the same type. It is use-
less, therefore, in my opinion, to attempt to trace in Hasan any direct
influence of those primitive conceptions which Mr. Hartland brings in for
the illustration of the tale. They may be primitive in origin, but as used
in Hasan they are simply conventions of Arabic story-telling, and by no
means imply existence of the matriarchate, or the marriage of capture,
among the Arabs. On the other hand, it is possible that some of the
incidents may be, directly or indirectly, derived from sailors’ yarns of
countries where these primitive customs still prevail. Burton’s notes give
us very many curious parallels from the Arabic geographers, which could
Votes 2232

be increased from a source nearer home (Mandeville’s Tvavels). It is
simpler to account for the reference to these curious customs in Hasan by
misunderstandings of travellers’ accounts from savage lands than to assume
that the story itself had lasted on among Arabic speaking peoples from the
time when they themselves were savages.

ERIC THE FAR-TRAVELLER.

Souvce.—The frame-work has been derived from a translation of “ Erek’s
Saga Vidforla,” kindly translated by the Rev. J. Sephton from the third
vol. ofthe Fornaldur Sdégur, where it is printed from a vellum written about
1350. I have added the “ Voyage of Thorkill,” from Saxo Grammaticus (Mr.
Elton’s translation, pp. 344-256), but have had to re-write, owing to the
excessive Latinity of Saxo.

Parallels—There is a much more elaborate account of the voyage of
Eric in Saxo’s fifth book (Mr. Elton’s translation, pp. 156-99), which, as
Professor York Powell points out in the introduction to Saxo (p. Ixxvii.),
is to a large extent a variant of the ‘“‘ Voyage of Thorkill” ; for that reason
I have chosen the later version of the Eric Saga. Professor York Powell
also points out that in the Thorkill voyage there are traces of a lost
Swipdag story, which might be called the Icelandic Odyssey; it also
contains traces, according to him, of the myth of Loki, while the plucking
of the hair is a well-known Folk-tale incident, and the trick of the log in
bed is familiar to us from our earliest days in “Jack the Giant-Killer.”
I would add that the incident in which the sailors seize the sacred animals
is so close to the similar one in the Odyssey that we can scarcely avoid
tracing it to some reminiscence of the Greek epic, which we know reached
Ireland in an oral form as early as the tenth or eleventh century.

Remarks.—This trace of the influence of the Odyssey is, however, of
little importance, as the whole scheme of Thorkill’s voyage bears trace of
its autochthonous character. As Professor York Powell remarks: ‘The
dark, fuelless, starless, grassless land is evidently based upon some
reminiscence of the Arctic islands.” It is scarcely to be doubted, that Dr.
Nansen was to some extent anticipated by Norse voyagers, and that
Thorkill’s story shows reminiscences of the tales they brought back with
them. Every one knows the story of the Sutherland preacher who
harrowed the souls of his congregation by his descriptions of hell, as being
filled with ice and of an average temperature minus roo degrees. To a
224 The Book of Wonder Voyages

Southron friend, who pointed out the hetorodoxy of this description, he
replied: ‘‘ Whist ! mon, if they thought it hot, they’d all want to go there.”
The preacher was more orthodox than he knew, for in the doctrines of the
Church there are cold cells in the Inferno, as we know from Dante and
from Shakespeare. Or perhaps he’ was influenced by the Icelandic
tradition of the other world, of which a faint echo is to be found in the
story of Thorkill. The late Dr. Rydberg was as ingenious as usual in
his treatment of this myth. (See his Teutonic Mythology, pp. 208-304,
where he deals with both our voyages.) He points out the influence of
Christian, or rather of Jewish mythology in the voyage of Eric, but he
also indicates the purely Norse character of much that occurs, even in
this late Saga. He gives on p. 307 an interesting map of Earth, Heaven,
and Hell according to the Norseman. In Dr. Rydberg’s account of
Swipdag story, he points out that one of the voyages he was evidently
destined to go through was a voyage to the nether world ; soit is possible
that both our stories may ultimately be traced back to the Swipdag legend,
of which only traces occur in Icelandic literature. Indeed, Dr. Rydberg
claims our Eric as a synonym of Swipdag (p. 555 seqg.). From all this it is
clear that our stories are practically two variants of the Icelandic ‘“‘ harrow-
ing of hell.”

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7

IN



CONTENTS.

FAIRY TALES OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE.
WORKS BY HIS HONOUR JUDGE E. A. PARRY.
WORKS BY MRS. RADFORD.

WORKS ILLUSTRATED BY MISS WINIFRED SMITH.
WORKS BY OSCAR WILDE, MRS. LEIGHTON, ETC.

All works in the present list may be had post free from the
Publisher at the annexed prices, and are kept on sale by the leading
booksellers of the United Kingdom.

I P
‘“‘The Ideal Giit-Books of the Season.”

FAIRY TALES OF THE
BREET Sm Evie Pe

Collected and Edited by JOSEPH JACOBS.

Illustrated by JU. D. BATTEN.

R. JACOBS’ FAIRY TALES, which have been appear-

M ing since 1890, have won immediate and widespread
acceptance. The choice of matter, the simplicity and

suitable character of the language of the text, the beauty, humour,
and charm of Mr. Batren’s illustrations, and the large and
legible type, have commended the series alike to children and to
lovers of art; whilst the prefaces and elaborate notes, parallels,
and references added by the Editor, have made them indispens-
able to the increasingly large portion of the public interested in

the history and archeology of popular fiction.

“Fairy Tales of the British Empire” are to be had in two
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In so far as Tales and Illustrations are concerned, the 3s. 6d.
Edition will be the same as the original 6s.one. But the Editor’s
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A full list of the Series, a specimen of Mr. Batren’s beautiful
Illustrations, and a very small selection from the numberless kindly
notices which the Press has bestowed upon the Series, will be
found on the following pages.
Fairy Tales of the British Empire.

English Fairy Tales. Complete Edition, xvi., 255 pages, 9
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The same. Chzldren’s Edition, viii., 227 pages, 7 full-page
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LVo Children’s Edition of the ‘Indian Fairy Tales”
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LV.B.—A few copies of the Japanese Vellum Issues, printed in
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Indian, More Celtic, and More English Fairy Tales. Prices may
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heavy premium.

a>


Specimen of Mr. Batten’s full-page Illustrations to “ Fairy Tales
of the British Empire.”
4
Some Press Wotices

OF

JACOBS’ AND BATTEN’S FAIRY, TALES.

English Fairy Tales.

Daily Graphic.— As a collection of fairy tales to delight children of all
ages, ranks second to none.” Globe.—‘' A delight alike to the young people
and their elders.’ England.—‘ A most delightful volume of fairy tales.’’ ,
Daily News.—‘‘ A more desirable child’s book . . . . has not been seen for
many a day.” Atheneum.—‘' From first to last, almost without exception,
these stories are delightful.” E. S. Hartranp.—'‘The most delightful
book of fairy tales, taking form and contents together, ever presented to
children.’ Miss THackeray.—“ This delightful book.’ Review of Reviews.
—‘ Nothing could be more fascinating.”

Celtic Fairy Tales.

Scotsman.—'' One of the best books of stories ever put together. Frvee-
man’s Journal.— An admirable selection.” , Aviel.—'' Delightful stories,
exquisite illustrations by John D. Batten, and learned notes.’? Daily

Telegraph.— A stock of delightful little narratives.’ Daily Chronicle.—'' A
charming volume skilfully illustrated.’ Pall Mall Budget.—‘‘A perfectly
lovely book. And oh! the wonderful pictures inside.’ Liverpool Daily
Post.—‘' The best fairy book of the present season.”” Oban Times.—‘t Many
a mother will bless Mr. Jacobs, and many a door will be open to him from
Land’s End to John o’ Groat’s.”

More English Fairy Tales.

Atheneum.— Will become more popular with children than its prede-
cessor."? Notes and Queries.—‘' Delightful and in every respect worthy of
its predecessor."’ Glasgow Hevald.—‘‘ A more delightful collection of fairy
tales could hardly be wished for.’’ Glasgow Evening News.—'' The new
volume of ‘English Fairy Tales’ is worthy of the one that went before,
and this is really saying a great deal.”’

More Celtic Fairy Tales.

Daily Chronicle-—‘A bright exemplar of almost all a fairy-tale book
should be.” Saturday Review.—‘' Delightful for reading and profitable for
comparison.” Notes and Queries—‘' A delightful companion into a land of
enchantment.” Ivish Daily Independent. —‘‘ Full of bold and beautiful illus-
trations.” North British Daily Mail—‘:The stories are admirable, and
nothing could be better in their way than the designs.”’ News of the World.
—‘ Mr. Batten has a real genius for depicting fairy folk.” ;

Indian Fairy Tales.

Dublin Daily Express —‘ Unique and charming anthology.”” Daily News.
—'*Good for the schoolroom and the study.’ Stay.—‘‘ Illustrated with a
charming freshness of fancy.’’ Gloucester Journal.“ A book which is some-
thing more than a valuable addition to folk-lore ; a book for the student as
well as for the child.” Scotsman.—‘‘ Likely to prove a perfect success.”’
Literary World.—‘‘ Admirably grouped, and very enjoyable.”

5
WORKS BY HIS HONOUR
JUDGE EDWARD ABBOTT PARRY.

Illustrated by ARCHIE MACGREGOR.

r XHE issue of Katawampus: its Treatment and Cure, in the
Christmas Season of 1895, revealed a writer for children
who, in originality, spontaneity, and fulness of humour,

as well as in sympathy with and knowledge of childhood, may be

compared, and not to his disadvantage, with Lewis Carroll. And,
as is the case with “ Alice in Wonderland,” an illustrator was
found whose sympathy with his author and capacity for rendering
his conceptions have won immediate and widespread recognition.

JupcE Parry’s second volume, Autter-Scotia, will, it is con-

fidently anticipated, rival its predecessor in popularity. A speci-

men of the illustrations will be found below, and a small selection
from the press notices overleaf.
KATAWAMPUS : its Treatment and Cure. Second Edition.
96 pages, Cloth. 3s. 6d.

BUTTER-SCOTIA, or, a Cheap Trip to Fairy Land. 180 pages.
Map of Butter-Scotia, many full-page Plates and Illustrations
in the Text. Bound in specially designed Cloth Cover. 6s.

Re

VO

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GoT HIM THIS TIME
6
KATAWAMPUS: Its TREATMENT AND CURE.
By His Honour Judge E. A. PARRY.

Illustrated by ARCHIE MACGREGOR.

Second Edition, Cloth, 3s. 6d.

Dress Wotices.

‘One of the very best books of the season.” The World.

“A very delightful and original book.”—Rewew of Reviews.

“The general topsy-turveydom of the adventures in goblin-
land makes very good reading. The book is one of rare drollery,
and the verses and pictures are capital of their kind.”

Saturday Review.

“We strongly advise both parents and children to read the
book.” — Guardian.

“A book which will delight not only children but grown-up
people as well.” —Lancet.

“A truly delightful little book..... Healthy, amusing to
children of all ages, and extremely skilful is this little story. It
ranks high in the class of these rare works, and unless we are
mistaken it will live long. It is choke full of the most laudable
moral, and yet there is not a namby-pamby line in it from start to
finish. One word we would say for the illustrator—namely, that
his drawings are nearly worthy of the text, and that is high praise
indeed.”—Fall Mall Gazette.

“ A tale full of jinks and merriment. We are personally willing
to guarantee that his tale will be as popular in twelve months’
time as it is certain to be this Christmas.’—Dazly Chronicle.

“The brightest, wittiest, and most logical fairy-tale we have
read for a long time.” — Westminster Gazette.

“Its fun is of the sort that children revel in and ‘ grown-ups’
also relish, so spontaneous and irresistible is it.”

Manchester Guardian.

“A delightful extravaganza of the ‘Wonderland’ type, but by
no means a slavish imitation.” Glasgow Herald.

“ Since ‘ Alice in Wonderland’ there has not been a book more
calculated to become a favourite in the nursery.”—ady.

7
Wells) OOK OF WONDER WONOXCIES.
Edited with Introduction and Notes by JOSEPH JACOBS.
Lllustrated by J. D. BATTEN.

'

Square demy 8vo, sumptuously printed in large clear type on
specially manufactured paper, at the Ballantyne Press. With
Photogravure frontispiece, and many full-page illustrations
and designs in the text. Specially designed cloth cover, 6s.

Contents.—The Argonauts—The Voyage of Maelduin—The
Journeyings of Hasan of Bassorah to the Islands of Wak-Wak—
How Thorkill went to the Under World and Eric the Far-
Travelled to Paradise. -

This the latest of the volumes tn which Mr. Jacobs and Mr.
Batten have collaborated with such admirable results, will be
welcomed as heartily as its predecessors by the children of the
English-speaking world. A specimen of Mr. Batten’s tllustration
1s appended.










WORKS ILLUSTRATED BY MISS WINIFRED
SMITH, Silver and Gold Medallist, South Kensington,
Winner of the Princess of Wales’ Prize, etc. etc.

CHILDREN’S SINGING GAMES, with the Tunes
to:which they are Sung. Collected and Edited by ALIcE
BrertHa GomME. Pictured in Black and White by WINIFRED
SmitH. ‘Two Series, each 3s. 6d.

Charming albums in small oblong
4to, printed on antique paper and
bound in specially designed cloth
cover, and serving equally for the nur-
sery, the schoolroom, and the drawing-
room. Mrs. Gomme, the first living
authority on English games, has care-
fully chosen the finest and most inter-
esting of the old traditional singing
games, has provided accurate text and
music, has given precise directions for
playing, and added notes pointing out
the historical interests of these survivals
of old world practices. The humour,
spirit, and grace of Miss Winifred
Smith’s drawings may be sufficiently
gauged from the annexed specimens and
from the following press notices.

-Some Press Wotices of “ Children’s
Singing Games.”

Baby.—'' A delightful gift for little boys
and girls. . . . Cannot fail to become quickly
popular.”

Fournal of Education.—'‘ Most charmingly
illustrated.”

Saturday Review.—''A truly fascinating
book. .. . It is hopeless to make a choice
which is best. The traditional rhymes and
music, so quaintly and prettily illustrated,
with moreover so much humour and go in
all the designs, are charming.”



Scotsman.—'' The pictures must please any-
body who can appreciate delicate humour.”
Bookman, —'' The designs are witty, pretty,

and effective.” .
Sylvia's Fournal—' The illustrations are
charming.”

9 Q

PCOR-JENNY ‘JONES;
Press WMotices of “Children’s Singing Games.”

Sketch.—' A picture book and a very charming one.”

Birmingham Daily Post.—‘' The illustrations are remarkable for their
quaintness of invention, for their appreciation of the humour of children,
and for vigorous drawing.”’ .

Glasgow Herald.—'' Winifred Smith has such a fine sense of humour that
we suspect she must be a Scotchwoman.”

Manchester Guardian.—'‘ The illustrations in old woodcut style are
excellent.”

Westminster Gazette.—'' The quaintest of illustrations.”

Lady’s Pictovial.— A more delightful and useful addition to the literature
of the nursery it would be impossible to find.”’

Speaker,—'' Should be in every nursery and school library.”’

New York Tribune— A quaintly and artistically decked out publica-
tion.” y

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Pictured in Black and White by WinIFRED SMITH. Small
4to. Printed on hand-made paper. In specially designed
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Some Press Wotices.

Literary World.—'' Delightfully illustrated.”’

Atheneum.— Very cleverly drawn and humorous designs.”’

Manchester Guardian — All the designs are very apt and suited to the
comprehension of a child.”

Scotsman.—‘' The designs are full of grace and fun, and give the book an
artistic value not common in nursery literature.”

Globe-—‘ The drawings are distinctly amusing and sure to delight
children.”

Star.—' Really a beautiful book. . . . Winifred Smith has revelled into
old rhymes, and young and old alike will in their turn revel in the results
of her artistic revelry.”

Pali Mall Gazette.—'‘No book of nursery rhymes has charmed us so
much.”

Magazine of Art.—'' Quite a good book of its kind.”

Woman.—'* Miss Smith's drawings are now celebrated and are indeed
very beautiful, decorative, and full of naive humour.”

WORKS BY MRS. ERNEST RADFORD.
SONGS FOR SOMEBODY. Verses by DOLLIE

RapFoRD. Pictures by GERTRUDE BRADLEY. Square
crown 8yvo. Six plates printed in colour by EpmuNpD
Evans, and 36 designs in monochrome. Coloured cover
by Louis Davis. 3s. 6d.

GOOD NIGHT. Verses by DOLLIE RADFORD.

Designs by Louis Davis. Forty pages entirely designed by
the artist and pulled on the finest and the thickest cartridge
paper. Boards and canvas back with label, 2s. 6d.

Some Press Wotices.

Daily Chronicle-—'' As far as we know no one else sings quite like Mrs.
Radford; hers is a bird’s note—thin, high, with a sweet thrill init, and the
thrill is a home thrill, a nest thrill.”

Commonwealth.—‘* We have read with pure enjoyment Mrs. Radford’s
slight but charming cycle of rhymes.”

Star.— A tender spirit of motherhood inspires Mrs. Radford’s simple
little songs.”

Review of Reviews.—'' Very charming poems for children not unworthy
even to be mentioned in the same breath with Stevenson’s ‘ Child’s Garden
of Verses.’ ”

Atheneum.— ‘Good Night’ is one of the daintiest little books we have
seen for years. The verses are graceful and pretty, and the illustrations
excellent. It will please both young and old.” ;

Literary World.— Charming little songs of childhood.”

New Age.— Mrs. Radford is closely in touch with achild’s mind, and
her ideal child is a nice, soft, loving little creature whom we all want to
caress in our arms.”’

-Artist.—"‘ Since Blake died never has a book been produced which can
so truly be described as a labour of love to the artist as ‘Good Night.’”

It
Some Press Wotices—( Continued).

Manchester Guardian.—'' Louis Davis's illustrations are full of tender
feeling and truth.”

Speakey.—'' Louis Davis’s designs are charming.” '

Scotsman.—'' The poems are set in pictorial designs of a tenderness and
truth of feeling that fit them well.”’

Birmingham Daily Gazette.—' ‘Good Night’ is one of those quaint, old-
world productions that are a delight to handle.”

Ecclesiastical Gazette —‘*‘Songs for Somebody’ is full of delightfully
artistic designs and coloured pictures printed in the best style of Mr.
Edmund Evans.”

MEDIAEVAL LEGENDS. Being a Gift-Book to
the Children of England, of Five. Old-World Tales from
France and Germany. Demy 8yvo. Designed cloth cover,
3s. 6d,

Contents.—The Mysterious History of Melusina—The Story of
fEsop—The Rhyme of the Seven Swabians—The Sweet and

Touching Tale of Fleur and Blanchefleur—The Wanderings of
Duke Ernest.

Some Press Wotices.

Saturday Review.—‘' A capital selection of famous legends.”’

Times.—' There can be no question as to the value of this gift.’’

Morning Post.—‘' Full of romantic incident, of perilous adventure by land
and sea,”’

Guardian.—"' This delightful volume. . . . In all respects admirable.”

World. An elegant and tasteful volume.”

THE HAPPY PRINCE, and other Tales. By OSCAR
WILDE. 116 pages, small 4to. Beautifully printed in old-
faced type, on cream-laid paper, with wide margins. Bound
in Japanese vellum cover, printed in red and black. With
three full-page Plates by WaLTER CRANE, and eleven
Vignettes by Jacomp Hoop. Second Edition. 3s. 6d.

Some Press Motices,

Christian Leadery.—'' Beautiful exceedingly; charmingly devised—exqui-
sitely told.”

Universal Review.— ‘‘ Heartily recommended.”
Athenaum.—' Mr. Wilde possesses the gift of writing fairy tales in a rare
degree.”

Dublin Evening Mail.—« A beautiful book in every sense.”
Glasgow Herald.—'' It is difficult to speak too highly of these tales.”’

12

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xml record header identifier oai:www.uflib.ufl.edu.ufdc:UF0008507200001datestamp 2008-08-20setSpec [UFDC_OAI_SET]metadata oai_dc:dc xmlns:oai_dc http:www.openarchives.orgOAI2.0oai_dc xmlns:dc http:purl.orgdcelements1.1 xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.openarchives.orgOAI2.0oai_dc.xsd dc:title The book of wonder voyagesWonder voyagesdc:creator Jacobs, Joseph, 1854-1916 ( Editor )Batten, John Dickson, 1860-1932 ( Illustrator )Ballantyne, Hanson and Co. ( Printer )Nutt, David. ( Contributor )dc:subject Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction.Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction.Children's stories.Bldn -- 1896.dc:description Illustrated t.-p.Publisher's catalogue follows text.dc:publisher David Nutt in the Stranddc:date 1896dc:type Bookdc:format xii, 224, 12 p., 7 leaves of plates : ill. ; 23 cm.dc:identifier http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/ufdc/?b=UF00085072&v=00001002222396 (ALEPH)05142838 (OCLC)ALG2641 (NOTIS)dc:source University of Floridadc:language English