The Age of Fable eBook

Thomas Bulfinch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,207 pages of information about The Age of Fable.


Such were the formidable allies that ranged themselves against Aeneas.  It was night and he lay stretched in sleep on the bank of the river under the open heavens.  The god of the stream, Father Tiber, seemed to raise his head above the willows and to say, “O goddess-born, destined possessor of the Latin realms, this is the promised land, here is to be your home, here shall terminate the hostility of the heavenly powers, if only you faithfully persevere.  There are friends not far distant.  Prepare your boats and row up my stream; I will lead you to Evander, the Arcadian chief, he has long been at strife with Turnus and the Rutulians, and is prepared to become an ally of yours.  Rise! offer your vows to Juno, and deprecate her anger.  When you have achieved your victory then think of me.”  Aeneas woke and paid immediate obedience to the friendly vision.  He sacrificed to Juno, and invoked the god of the river and all his tributary fountains to lend their aid.  Then for the first time a vessel filled with armed warriors floated on the stream of the Tiber.  The river smoothed its waves, and bade its current flow gently, while, impelled by the vigorous strokes of the rowers, the vessels shot rapidly up the stream.

About the middle of the day they came in sight of the scattered buildings of the infant town, where in after times the proud city of Rome grew, whose glory reached the skies.  By chance the old king, Evander, was that day celebrating annual solemnities in honor of Hercules and all the gods.  Pallas, his son, and all the chiefs of the little commonwealth stood by.  When they saw the tall ship gliding onward near the wood, they were alarmed at the sight, and rose from the tables.  But Pallas forbade the solemnities to be interrupted, and seizing a weapon, stepped forward to the river’s bank.  He called aloud, demanding who they were, and what their object.  Aeneas, holding forth an olive-branch, replied, “We are Trojans, friends to you, and enemies to the Rutulians.  We seek Evander, and offer to join our arms with yours.”  Pallas, in amaze at the sound of so great a name, invited them to land, and when Aeneas touched the shore he seized his hand, and held it long in friendly grasp.  Proceeding through the wood, they joined the king and his party and were most favorably received.  Seats were provided for them at the tables, and the repast proceeded.


When the solemnities were ended all moved towards the city.  The king, bending with age, walked between his son and Aeneas, taking the arm of one or the other of them, and with much variety of pleasing talk shortening the way.  Aeneas with delight looked and listened, observing all the beauties of the scene, and learning much of heroes renowned in ancient times.  Evander said, “These extensive groves were once inhabited by fauns and nymphs, and a rude race of

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The Age of Fable from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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