Young Folks' History of Rome eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 189 pages of information about Young Folks' History of Rome.

[Illustration:  Mount Etna.]

Poor old Anchises died shortly after, and while his son was still sorrowing for him, Juno, who hated every Trojan, stirred up a terrible tempest, which drove the ships to the south, until, just as the sea began to calm down, they came into a beautiful bay, enclosed by tall cliffs with woods overhanging them.  Here the tired wanderers landed, and, lighting a fire, AEneas went in quest of food.  Coming out of the forest, they looked down from a hill, and beheld a multitude of people building a city, raising walls, houses, towers, and temples.  Into one of these temples AEneas entered, and to his amazement he found the walls sculptured with all the story of the siege of Troy, and all his friends so perfectly represented, that he burst into tears at the sight.

Just then a beautiful queen, attended by a whole troop of nymphs, came into the temple.  This lady was Dido; her husband, Sichaeus, had been king of Tyre, till he was murdered by his brother Pygmalion, who meant to have married her, but she fled from him with a band of faithful Tyrians and all her husband’s treasure, and had landed on the north coast of Africa.  There she begged of the chief of the country as much land as could be enclosed by a bullock’s hide.  He granted this readily; and Dido, cutting the hide into the finest possible strips, managed to measure off with it ground enough to build the splendid city which she had named Carthage.  She received AEneas most kindly, and took all his men into her city, hoping to keep them there for ever, and make him her husband.  AEneas himself was so happy there, that he forgot all his plans and the prophecies he had heard, until Jupiter sent Mercury to rouse him to fulfil his destiny.  He obeyed the call; and Dido was so wretched at his departure that she caused a great funeral pile to be built, laid herself on the top, and stabbed herself with AEneas’ sword; the pile was burnt, and the Trojans saw the flame from their ships without knowing the cause.

[Illustration:  Carthage.]

By-and-by AEneas landed at a place in Italy named Cumae.  There dwelt one of the Sybils.  These were wondrous virgins whom Apollo had endowed with deep wisdom; and when AEneas went to consult the Cumaean Sybil, she told him that he must visit the under-world of Pluto to learn his fate.  First, however, he had to go into a forest, and find there and gather a golden bough, which he was to bear in his hand to keep him safe.  Long he sought it, until two doves, his mother’s birds, came flying before him to show him the tree where gold gleamed through the boughs, and he found the branch growing on the tree as mistletoe grows on the thorn.

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Young Folks' History of Rome from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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