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700 Thy Juno knows not the decrees of fate,
In vain the partner of imperial state.
cence from thence to draw not only moral observations, but also satyrical reflections out of this part of the Poet. These I am sorry to see fall so hard upon womankind, and all by Juno's means. Sometimes the procures them a lesson for their curiosity and unquietness, and at other times for their loud and vexatious tempers : Juno deserves them on the one hand, Jupiter thunders them out on the other, and the learned gentlemen are very particular in enlarging with remarks on both lides. In her first speech they make the Poet describe the inquisitive temper of womankind in general, and their restlerness if they are not admitted into every secret. In his answer to this, they trace those methods of grave remonstrance by which it is proper for husbands to calm them. In her reply, they find it is in the nature of women to be more obfti. nate for being yielded to: And in his second return to her, they see the last method to be used with them upon failure of the firft, which is the exercise of sovereign authority.
Mr. Dryden has translated all this with the utmost severity upon the Ladies, and spirited the whole with satyrical additions of his own. But Madam Dacier (who has elsewhere animadverted upon the good Bishop of Thessalonica, for his fage admonitions against the fair sex) has not taken the least notice of this general defe&ion from complaisance in all the commentators. She seems willing to give the whole passage a more important turn, and incline us to think that Homer design’d to represent the folly and danger of prying into the fecrets of providence. 'Tis thrown into that air in this tranflation, not only as it is more noble and inftru&tive in general, but as it is more respe&tful to the Ladies in particular; nor should we (any more than Madam Dacier) have mentiond what those old fellows have said, but to desire their pro-, te&ion against some modern criticks their disciples, who may arraign this proceeding.
To this the Thund'rer: Seek not thou to find 705 The sacred counsels of almighty mind:
Involv'd in darkness lies the great decree,
The first of Gods above, and Men below: 710 But thou, nor they, shall search the thoughts that roll
Deep in the close recefles of my foul.
Full on the Sire the Goddess of the skies
And thus return’d. Austere Saturnius, fay, 775 From whence this wrath, or who controuls thy sway?
Thy boundless will, for me, remains in force,
In close consult, the silver-footed Queen. 720 Jove to his Thetis nothing could deny,
Nor was the signal vain that shook the sky.
*.713. Roli'd the large Orbs.] The Greek is Ro@ris aétuum "Hgn, which is commonly translated the venerable ox-ey'd Juno. Madam Dacier very well observes that Bš is only an augmentative particle, and signifies no more than valde. It may be added, that the imagination that oxen have larger eyes than ordinary is ill-grounded, and has no foundation truch; their eyes are no larger in proportion than those of men, or of most other animals. But be it as it will, the design of the Poet, which is only to express the lasgeness of her eyes, is answer’d in the paraphrase,
What fatal favour has the Goddess won,
Then thus the God: Oh restless fate of pride,
Th' united strength of all the Gods above sin vain refifts th' omnipotence of fove.
The Thund'rer spoke, nor durft the Queen reply; A rev'rend horror filenc'd all the sky. The feast disturb’d, with sorrow Vulcan faw,
His mother menac'd, and the Gods in awe; 40 Peace at his heart, and pleasure his defign, Thus interpos'd the Architect divine.
*.741. Thus interpos’d the Architect divine] This quarrel of the Gods being come to its height, the Poet makes Vulcan interpose, who freely puts them in mind of pleasure, inoffenkvelý advises Juno, illuftrates his advice by an example of his
The wretched quarrels of the mortal state
Let mren their days in senseless strife employ, 745 We, in eternal peace, and constant joy.
Thou, goddess-mother, with our fire comply,
Launch the red lightning, and dethrone the gols. 750 If you submit, the thund'rer stands appeas'd;
The gracious pow'r is willing to be pleas’d.
Thus Vulcan spoke; and riling with a bound, The double bowl with sparkling Nectar crown'd,
Which held to Juno in a chearful way, 757 Goddess (he cry'd) be patient and obey.
Dear as you are, if Fove his arm extend,
own misfortune, turning the jest on himself to enliven the banquet ; and concludes the part he is to support with serving Nectar about. Homer had here his Minerva or Wisdom to interpose again, and every other quality of the mind resided in Heaven under the appearance of some Deity: So that his introducing Vulcan, proceeded not from a want of choice, but an intight into nature. He knew that a friend to mirth often diverts or stops quarrels, especially when he contrives to submit himself to the laugh, and prevails on the angry to part in good humour, or in a disposition to friendship; when grave representations are sometimes reproaches, sometimes lengthen the debate by occasioning defences, and sometimes introduce new parties into the consequences of it.
What God so daring in your aid to move,
Or lift his hand against the force of Jove?
Hurl'd headlong downward from th' etherial height;
Breathless I fell, in giddy motion loft;
He said, and to her hands the goblet heav'd, Which, with a smile, the white-arm'd Queen receiv'd Then to the rest he fill'd; and, in his turn, Each to his lips apply'd the nectar'd urn.
7.760. Once in your cause I felt his matchlefs might) They who search another vein of allegory for hidden knowledge in natural Philosophy, have consider's Jupiter and funo as Hearen and the Air, whose alliance is interrupted when the air is troubled above, but reftor'd again when it is clear’d by heat, or Vulcan the God of Hear. Him they call a divine artificer, from the activity or general use of fire in working. They suppose him to be born in Heaven, where Philosophers say that element has its proper place: and is thence derivdio the earth, which is signify'd by the fall of Vulcan; that he fell in Lemnes, because that Ifand abounds with subterranean fires; and that he contracted a lameness or imperfection by the fall; the fire not being so pure and active below, but mix'd and terreftial. Eustathius.
x. 767. Whicle with a smile the white-arm'd Queen receiv'd.] The epithet a dxcón.svG, or white-arm’d, is used by Homer several times before, in this book. This was the first paffage where it could be introduc'd with any ease or grace; becaute the action she is here describ'd in, of extending her arm to the cup, gives it an occasion of displaying its beauties, and in a manner demands the epithet.