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may suffer examination, the arguments are opposite; and the contentions are such, as, for ought that I see, men have sought by so many ways to uncover the sun, that the days thereby are made more dark, and the clouds more condensed than before. I can therefore give no other warrant, than other men have done in these computations; and therefore that such and such kings and kingdoms took beginning in this or that year, I avow it no otherwise, than as a borrowed knowledge, or at least a private opinion; which I submit to better judgments. 'Nam in pris* cis rebus Veritas non ad unguem quaerenda:' in ancient things we are not to require an exact narration of the truth, says Diodorus.
Of Ehud's time, and of Proserpina, Orithya, Tereus, Tantalus, Tityus, Admetus, and others that lived about these times.
After the death of Othoniel, when Israel fell back to their former idolatry, God encouraged Moab to invade and suppress them: to perform which, he joined the forces of Amnion and Amalek unto his own, and so, (as all kind of misery readily findeth out those whom God hath abandoned, or for a time withdrawn his help from, thereby to make them feel the difference between his grace and his displeasure,) these heathen neighbouring nations, had an easy conquest over Israel; whom God himself exposed to those perils, within which they were so speedily folded up. In this miserable estate they continued full eighteen years, under Eglon, king of the Moabites, and his confederates, Yet as the mercies of God are infinite, he turned not his ears from their crying repentance; but raised up Ehud the son of Gera to deliver them; by which weak man, though maimed in his right hand, yet confident in the justness of his quarrel, and fearing that the Israelites were too few in numbers, to contend with the head of those valiant nations; he resolved to attempt upon the person of Eglon, whom, if he could but extinguish, he assured himself of the following victory; especially giving his • nation no time to re-establish their government, or to choose a king to command, and direct them in the wars. According to which resolution, Ehud went on as an ambassador to Eglon, loaden with presents from the Israelites, as to appease him; and obtaining private access upon the
})retence of some secret to be revealed, he pierced )is body with a poniard, made on purpose, with a double edge; and shutting the doors of his closet upon him, escaped,
It may seem that, being confident of his good success, he had prepared the strength of Israel in readiness. For, suddenly after his return, he did repass Jordan, and invading the territory of Moab, overthrew their army, consisting of ten thousand able and strong men; whereof not any one escaped. After which victory, and that Samgar his successor Jiad miraculously slain six hundred Philistines with an ox-goad, the land and people of Israel lived in peace, unto the end of eighty years, from the death of Othoniel; which term expired in the world's year 2691.
In the days of Ehud, Naomi, with Elimelech her husband, and with her two sons, travelled into Moab; and so the story of Ruth is to be referred to this time. About the beginning of the eighty years which are given to Ehud, it was that Orcus king of the Molossians, otherwise Pluto, stole Proserpina, as she walked to gather flowers in the fields of Hipponium in Sicilia; or, (according to Pausanias) by the river Cephisus, which elsewhere he calleth Chemer, if he mean not two distinct rivers. This, Stealth being made known to Pirithous, with whom ]Hercules and Theseus joined themselves, they agreed together to recover her; but Pluto or Orcus, (whom Others call Aidonius,) had, as they say, a very huge dog, which fastened on Pirithous, and tore him in pieces; and had also worried Theseus, but that Hercules- speedily rescued him, and by strength took and mastered the dog Cerberus; whereof grew the fable of Hercules's delivering of Theseus out of hell. But Zezes, as I take it, hath written this story, somewhat more according to the truth; for Theseus and Pirithous, saith he, attempted to steal Proserpina, daughter to Aidonius, king of the Molossians, who had Ceres to wife, the mother of Proserpina. Proserpina being a general name also for all fair women. This purpose of theirs being known to Aidonius, Theseus and Pirithous were both taken; and because Pirithous was the principal in this conspiracy, and Theseus drawn on by a kind of affection or enforcement, the one was given for food to Aidonius's great dog Cerberus, the other held prisoner; till Hercules, by the instigation of Eurystheus, delivered him by a strong hand. The Molossi (which Stephanus writes with a single (S)) were a people of Epirus, inhabiting near the mountains of Pindus; of which mountains, Oeta is one of the most famous, where Hercules burnt himself. The river of Acheron, (which the poets describe to be in hell,) riseth out of the same hills. There is another nation of the Molossi in Thessaly; but these are neighbours to the CassiopaBi, saith Plutarch in his Greek questions.
The rape of Orithyia, the daughter of Erechthcus, king of Athens, taken away by Boreas of Thrace, is referred to the time of Ehud. The poets ascribe this
north from Athens. In his time also, Tereus ravished Philomela, of which the fable was devised of her conversion into a nightingale. For Tereus having married her sister Progne, conducting Philomela from Athens to see her sister, forced her in the passage, and withal cut out her tongue, that she might not complain; persuading Progne's wife, that Philo
rape to the north-wind, because
mela died in the mid-way ; all which her brother-inlaw's merciless behaviour towards her, Philomela expressed by her needle upon cloth, and sent it t6 Progne. In revenge whereof, Progne caused her only son Itys to be cut in pieces, and set before Tereus her husband, so dressed, as it appeared to be some other ordinary food; of which, when he had eaten his fill, she caused his head, hands, and feet, to be presented unto him; and then fled away with such speed towards Athens, where her father Pandion yet lived, , as the poets feigned, that she was turned into a swallow. The place where it was performed, Strabo finds to be Daulis in Phocis; and the tomb of Tereus, Pausanias' hath built near the rocks Mergi, in the territory of Athens. By which, as also by the name Daulis, where these things are supposed to have been done, (whence also Philomela is called Daulias ales, J it appears that it is true, which Thucydides notes byway of digression, in his Peleponnesian war*; that this Tereus was not king in that which is now called Thracia, or in Odrysae, (as the poets call him Odrysius;) but that Phocis, a country in Greece, not far from Attica, a city whereof is called Daulia, was in Pandion's time inhabited by Thracians, of which this Tereus was king; whence Pandion, to have amity with his neighbours, made him his son-in-law; as it is good to believe, saith Thucydides, that Pandion, king of Athens, made that alliance with a neighbour king, from whom he might have succour, rather than with any Tereus that should have held the kingdom of OdrysiP, which was greatly distant from thence. The occasion, that the poets chose a swallow for Progne to be turned into, may seem to have been, partly, because, as Pausanias says, ' Daulide nec ni
* dificant, nec habitant in tota circum regione hirun
• dines:' as if a swallow, remembering the wrong that was there done to her and her sister, did for ever after hate that place.
1 Lib ix. Pau. in Att. 2 Thuc. 1. Si.
Near this time Melampus, (who is said to have understood the voices of birds and beasts,) flourished, being also esteemed for an excellent physician. He restored to their former health the daughters of Praetus3, king of the Argives, who, (as the poets please,) were made mad by Juno; and thinking themselves to be kine, fled into the woods, fearing to be constrained to the plough; for in those countries, where the ground was light, they did use often to plough with kine.
In the 47th year of Ehud, Tros began to reign in Dardania, and gave it his own name; about which time Phemone, the chief priest of Apollo in Delphos4, devised the heroical verse.
Of the same date was Tantalus, king of Lydia, whom Eusebius makes king of Phrygia; and also of that part of which the people were anciently Ma> ones. Of Tantalus was devised the fable, that some poets have applied to the passion of love, and some to the covetous, that dare not enjoy his riches. Eusebius5 calls this Tantalus the son of Jupiter, by the nymph Pleta; Diaconus and Didymus in Zezes, give him another mother. He was said to be the son of Jupiter, as some will have it; because he had that planet in his ascendent, betokening wisdom and riches. It is said, that when he made a feast to the gods, having nothing more precious, he caused his own son to be slain and dressed for the banquet, of whom Ceres eat part of one of the shoulders; whereby was
knowledge, prefer nothing on earth before it; no not the care of tneir own children, of all else the most dear. And where it was devised, that he had always water and fruit offered to his lips, and yet suffered the torment of hunger and thirst, "it was meant thereby, that though he abounded, (by reason of his riches,) in all delicacy of the world, yet his mind be
S Para, l.i. Homer. Odyss. xi. 4 Pam. 5 Euseb. praep. Erang. 1. ii. Zezes hist. z. Qui. v.
signified, that those men which