Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 686 pages of information about Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12).

So once more the Trojans set sail, and obedient to the warnings of Helenus they avoided the eastern coast of Italy, and struck southward towards Sicily.  Far up the channel they heard the roar of Charybdis and hastened their speed in fear.  Soon the snowy cone of Etna came into view with its column of smoke rising heavenward.  As they lay at anchor hard by, a ragged, half-starved wretch ran out of the woods calling loudly on AEneas for succor.  This was one of the comrades of Ulysses, who had been left behind by mistake, and lived in perpetual dread of the savage Cyclopes.  AEneas was moved to pity, and though the man was a Greek and an enemy, he took him on board and gave him food and succor.  Before they left this place they had a glimpse of Polyphemus himself.  The blind giant came down the cliff with his flock, feeling his way with a huge staff of pine-trunk.  He even stepped into the sea, and walked far out without wetting his thighs.  The Trojans hastily slipped their cables, and made away.  Polyphemus heard the sound of their oars, and called his brother Cyclopes to come and seize the strangers, but they were too late to overtake the fugitives.

After this they continued their southward course, passing the island where Syracuse now stands, and rounding the southern coast of Sicily.  Then they sailed past the tall rock of Acragas and palm-loving Selinus, and so came to the western corner, where the harbor of Drepanun gave them shelter.  Here a sorrow overtook AEneas, that neither the harpy nor the seer had foretold.  Anchises, weary with wandering and sick of long-deferred hope, fell ill and died.  Sadly AEneas sailed from hence without his trusted friend and counselor, and steered his course for Italy.

At last the goal seemed at hand and the dangers of the narrow strait had been escaped.  But AEneas had a far more dangerous enemy than Scylla and Charybdis, for Juno’s wrath was not yet appeased.  He had offered prayer and sacrifice, as Helenus bade him, but her long-standing grudge was not so easily forgotten.  She hated Troy and the Trojans with an undying hatred, and would not suffer even these few-storm-tossed wanderers to seek their new home in peace.  She knew too that it was appointed by the Fates that a descendant of this fugitive Trojan should one day found a city destined to eclipse in wealth and glory her favorite city of Carthage.  This she desired to avert at all costs, and if even the queen of heaven was not strong enough to overrule fate, at least she resolved that the Trojans should not enter into their inheritance without many and grievous tribulations.

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Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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