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Thomas Bulfinch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 980 pages of information about The Age of Fable.

Without allowing them time to express their astonishment, he said, “Now for another mark!” and aimed direct at the most insolent one of the suitors.  The arrow pierced through his throat and he fell dead.  Telemachus, Eumaeus, and another faithful follower, well armed, now sprang to the side of Ulysses.  The suitors, in amazement, looked round for arms, but found none, neither was there any way of escape, for Eumaeus had secured the door.  Ulysses left them not long in uncertainty; he announced himself as the long-lost chief, whose house they had invaded, whose substance they had squandered, whose wife and son they had persecuted for ten long years; and told them he meant to have ample vengeance.  All were slain, and Ulysses was left master of his palace and possessor of his kingdom and his wife.

Tennyson’s poem of “Ulysses” represents the old hero, after his dangers past and nothing left but to stay at home and be happy, growing tired of inaction and resolving to set forth again in quest of new adventures.

“...  Come, my friends, ’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.  Push off, and sitting well in order smite The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths Of all the western stars, until I die.  It may be that the gulfs will wash us down; It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, And see the great Achilles whom we knew;” etc.

CHAPTER XXXI

ADVENTURES OF AENEAS—­THE HARPIES—­DIDO—­PALINURUS

ADVENTURES OF AENEAS

We have followed one of the Grecian heroes, Ulysses, in his wanderings on his return home from Troy, and now we propose to share the fortunes of the remnant of the conquered people, under their chief Aeneas, in their search for a new home, after the ruin of their native city.  On that fatal night when the wooden horse disgorged its contents of armed men, and the capture and conflagration of the city were the result, Aeneas made his escape from the scene of destruction, with his father, and his wife, and young son.  The father, Anchises, was too old to walk with the speed required, and Aeneas took him upon his shoulders.  Thus burdened, leading his son and followed by his wife, he made the best of his way out of the burning city; but, in the confusion, his wife was swept away and lost.

On arriving at the place of rendezvous, numerous fugitives, of both sexes, were found, who put themselves under the guidance of Aeneas.  Some months were spent in preparation, and at length they embarked.  They first landed on the neighboring shores of Thrace, and were preparing to build a city, but Aeneas was deterred by a prodigy.  Preparing to offer sacrifice, he tore some twigs from one of the bushes.  To his dismay the wounded part dropped blood.  When he repeated the act a voice from the ground cried out to him, “Spare me, Aeneas; I am your kinsman,

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