The Library of History

Page 143

Page 143 Hercules having now finish'd all his Labours, gave his Wife Megara to Iolaus, suspecting that to have Issue by her, would be unfortunate, by reason of the miserable Disaster that befel his former Children; and for this Reason, he sought after another Wife (less to be suspected) by whom he might have more Children. In order whereunto, he desir'd Iole the Daughter of Eurytus Prince of Oechaliae, in Marriage. But Eurytus (fearing the Misfortune of Megara) told him he would consider of it. Hercules looking upon this as a Denial, to revenge himself for the Dishonour put upon him, drave away Eurytus his Horses: But Iphitus the Son of Eurythus suspecting how the matter was, came to Tirynthus to seek them; where Hercules brought him up to the Top of an high Turret, and bid him look round about, to see whether he could spy the Horses pasturing in any Place: Iphitus not discerning any of them, Hercules complain'd he had falsly accused him of Theft, and thereupon threw him down headlong from the Top of the Tower. For which wicked Fact being punished with a grievous Disease, he went to Neleus, at Pylus, and intreated him to expiate his Offence. Whereupon Neleus consulted concerning this matter with his Sons; who all declar'd (except Nestor the Youngest,) that no expiation ought to be allowed. Then he went to Deiophobus the Son of Hippolytus, and desired him to expiate him. But sinding still no Remedy for his Disease, he consulted at the Oracle of Apollo what he should do to be cured; who answer'd him, that he should be easily freed from his Distemper, if he were sold for a valuable Price, and the Mony given to Iphitus his Children. In obedience therefore to the Oracle, (forc'd through the violence of the Distemper) with some Friends he pass'd over into Asia, and there suffer'd one of his Servants to sell him: And sold he was as a Slave to Omphala the Daughter of Jardanus, and Queen of the Maeones, (for so the Lydians were formerly call'd) and the Seller gave the Price to the Children of Iphitus according to the command of the Oracle.

Hercules hereupon being recover'd of his Distemper diligently serv'd Omphala, and clear'd the Land of Robbers that infested it; for some of the Thieves call'd Cercopes (who had done abundance of mischief) he Kill'd, others he brought bou d before the Queen. He Kill'd also Sileus with a Spade, who forc'd all Strangers that came thither to work in the Vineyards. He recover'd likewise the Spoils by force of Arms from the Itones, that wasted a great part of the Kingdom with their Depredations, and took and raz'd their City to the Ground, from whence they made all their Excursions. Omphales admiring the Valour and noble Exploits of the Man, after she came to understand who he was, and from whence descended, not only Manumitted him, but Marry'd him, by whom she had Lamon. He had a Son likewise before call'd Cleolaus, begotten in the time of his servitude, of one of his Fellow Servants.

Returning afterwards into Peloponesus, he led an Army against Laomedon, King of Troy, for some Injuries receiv'd from him. For he had deny'd to deliver the Horses he had promis'd him for the Killing of the Whale at the time that he accompany'd Jason by force of Arms to bring away the Golden Fleece, of which we shall presently treat particularly in the History of the Argonauts. But being at that time prevented from revenging himself by reason of the Expedition wherein he was ingag'd with Jason, he pickt out a fit opportunity afterwards, and sail'd (as some say) with Eightheen Ships against Troy, but as Homer says with Six only in the whole, who introduces Tlepolimus in these Words.

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But Hercules my Father, as is said,
The Lions strong in Valour did exceed,
That only with Six Ships and Slender Force,
For Laomedon's Horses took his Course;
And then Besieg'd and took the City Troy,
And many of her People did destroy.

Bibliotheca Historica

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