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lowed the reports of Homer and others, quite contradictory, in most points, to these two authors, without once taking notice of the opposition, which they, having served in that war, made against the common report; had it not been, that either those books were, even in those times, thought frivolous, or else contained no such repugnancy to the other authors as is now found in them.
Also concerning the number of men slain in this war, which Dares and Dictys say to have been above six hundred thousand on the Trojan side, and more than eight hundred thousand of the Greeks, it is a report merely fabulous ; forasmuch as the whole fleet of the Greeks was reckoned by Homer, who extolled their army and deeds as much as he could, to be somewhat less than one thousand two hundred sail, and the army therein, transported over the Greek seas, not much above a hundred thousand men, according to the rate formerly mentioned. But it is the common fashion of men, to extol the deeds of their ancients; for which cause, both Homer magnified the captains of the Greeks that served in the war, and Virgil, with others, were as diligent in commending and extolling the Trojans and their city, from which the Romans descended: yea, the Athenians, long af. ter, in the war which Xerxes the Persian king made against all Greece, did not forbear to vaunt of the great cunning which Mnestheus, theson of Peteus, had shewed, in marshalling the Grecian army before Troy; whereupon, as if it had been a matter of much consequence, they were so proud, that they refused to yield unto Gelon, king of almost all Sicily, the ad. miralty of their seas, notwithstanding that he pro. mised to bring two hundred good fighting ships, and thirty thousand men, for their defence.
The like vanity possessed many' other cities of Greece, and many nations in these parts of the world, which have striven to bring their descent from some of the princes that warred at Troy; all difficulties or unlikelihoods, in such their pedigree, notwithstanding. But those nations which, indeed, or in most probability, came of the Trojans, were the Albans in Italy; and from them the Romans, brought into that country by Æneas; the Venetians, first seated in Pa. dua, and the country adjoining, by Antenor; the Chaonians, planted in Epirus by Helenus, the son of king Priamus. To which Hellanicus addeth, that the posterity of Hector did assemble such of the Trojans as were left, and reigned over them about Troy,
ntry by Am them the Trojans, wheed, or in
SECT. VI. Of the distresses and dispersions of the Greeks, return.
ing from Troy. CONCERNING the Greeks, they tasted as much mi. sery as they had brought upon the Trojans. For Thucydides notes, that by reason of their long abode at the siege, they found many alterations when they returned, so that many were driven by their borderers from their ancient seats ; many were expelled their countries by faction ; some were slain anon, af. ter their arrival ; others were debarred from the sovereignty among their people, by such as had staid at home. The cause of all which, may seem to have been the dispersion of the army, which, weakened much by the calamities of that long war, was of little force to repel injuries, being divided into so many pieces under several commanders, not very well as greeing. For, (besides other quarrels, arising upon the division of the booty, and the like occasions, at the time when they should have set sail, Agamemnon and his brother fell out, the one being desirous to depart immediately, the other to stay and perform some sacrifices to Minerva. Hereupon they fell to hot words ; half the fleet remaining with Agamemnon, the rest of them sailing to the isle of Tenedos; where, when they arrived, they could not agree as
mong themselves, but some returned back to Agamemnon; others were dispersed, each holding his own course. But the whole fleet was sore vexed with tempests; for Pallas, (as Homer saith,) would not be persuaded in haste..
They who returned safe, were Nestor and Pyrrhus, whom Orestes afterwards slew : also Idomeneus and Philoctetes, who, nevertheless, as Virgil tells, were driven soon after to seek new seats ;-Idomeneus among the Salentines, and Philoctetes at Petilia in Italy. Agamemnon likewise returned home, but was forthwith slain by his wife, and by the adulterer Ægysthus, who for a while after usurped his kingdom. Menelaus, wandering long upon the seas, came into Egypt, either with Helen, or, (as may rather seem,) to fetch her. Ulysses, after ten years, having lost all his company, got home in poor estate, with much ado recoyering the mastership of his own house. All the rest either perished by the way, or were driven into exile, and fain to seek out new habitations.
Ajax, the son of Oileus, was drowned; Teucer fled into Cyprus ; Diomedes to king Daunus, who was lord of the lapyges in Apulia : some of the Locrians were driven into Afric, others into Italy; all the east part whereof was called Magna Grecia, by reason of so many towns the Greeks were driven to erect upon that coast. Finally, it appears in Homer, that the Grecian ladies, whose husbands had been at the war of Troy, were wont to call it, the place where the Greeks suffered misery, and the unlucky city, not to be mentioned. And thus much for Troy, and those that warred there ; the overthrow of which city, as hath been said, happened in the time of Hab. don, judge of Israel, whom Samson, after a vacancy or Inter-regnum for certain years, succeeded.
OF SAMSON, ELI, AND SAMUEL.
THE birth and acts of Samson are written at
1 large in the 13, 14, 15, and 16th of Judges ; and therefore I shall not need to make a repetition thereof. But these things I gather out of that story: First, That the angel of God forbad the wife of Manoah, the mother of Samson, to drink wine or strong drink, or to eat any unclean meat, after she was conceived with child, because those strong liquors hinder the strength, and as it were wither and shrink the child in the mother's womb. Though this were even the counsel of God himself, and de livered by his angel, yet it seemeth that many women of this age have not read, or at least will not believe this precept; the most part forbearing nor drinks, nor meats, how strong or unclean soever, filling themselves with all sorts of wines, and with artificial drinks far more forcible ; by reason whereof, so many wretched feeble bodies are born into the world, and the races of the able and strong men in effect decayed.
Secondly, It is to be noted, that the angel of God refused the sacrifice which Manoah would have offered him, commanding him to present it unto the Lord; and therefore those that profess divination by
by their" was twice bet
tears : by the
the help of angels, to whom also they sacrifice, may assuredly know that they are devils who accept thereof, and not good angels, who receive no worship that is proper to God.
Thirdly, This Samson was twice betrayed by his wives, tó wit, by their importunity and deceitful tears: by the first he lost but a part of his goods; by the second his life. "Quem nulla vis superare pot
uit, voluptas evertit: whom no force could overmaster, voluptuousness overturned.
Fourthly, We may note, that he did not in all deliver Israel from the oppression of the Philistines; though, in some sort, he revenged, and defended them: for notwithstanding that he had slain thirty of them in his first attempt, burnt their corn in har. vest time, and given them a great overthrow instantly upon it; yet so much did Israel fear the Philistines, as they assembled three thousand men out of Judah to besiege Samson in the rock or mountain of Etam, using these words : · Knowest thou not that ..the Philistines are rulers over us?" After which they bound him, and delivered him unto the Philistines, for fear of their revenge; though he was no sooner loosened, but he gave them another overthrow, and slew a thousand with the jaw-bone of an
Lastly, Being made blind, and a prisoner, by the treason of his wife, he was content to end his own life, to be avenged of his enemies, when he pulled down the pillars of the house at the feast whereto they sent for Samson, to deride him, till which time he bare his affliction with patience; but it was truly said of Seneca : patientia sæpe læsa vertitur in fu. ! rorem ;' patience often wounded is converted into fury: neither is it at any time so much wounded by pain and loss, as by derision and contumely.