The Library of History

Page 149

Page 149 of Troas: Where landing, they found a Young Virgin tied near to the Sea-shoar, for this Reason as is said.

The Report was, that Neptune being displeas'd with Laomedon the King concerning the fabulously fam'd building of the Walls of Troy, sent a vast Monster out of the Sea upon the Land, which devour'd all that came upon the Shoar, and the Husbandmen that till'd the Ground upon the Sea-Coast; and that this Sea-God destroy'd the People by a Plague, and blasted all the Fruits of the Field. The whole Country being in this miserable Condition, the People met in a general Assembly, and consulted together what Course was to be taken for the redress of their deplorable Condition. Hereupon it's said that the King sent to inquire of the Oracle of Apollo what was to be done in this matter: Who receiv'd this Answer, That Neptune was angry, and would be then appeas'd, when one of the Trojan's Children upon whom the Lot should fall, should be offer'd up to be devour'd by the Sea-Monster. Hereupon they say, that a General Lot was cast, and that it fell upon the King's Daughter, call'd Hesione; whereupon Laomedon was forc'd to deliver up his Daughter, and left her bound in Chains upon the Shoar: And it fortunately happened at that very time, that Hercules landed with the rest of the Argonauts, and being inform'd by the Lady of her Misfortune, he broke off her Fetters, and brought her into the City, promising he would kill the Monster. Laomedon hereupon rejoyced exceedingly, and promis'd to bestow upon him as a Reward, some Horses he had that were unconquerable. They say this Monster was kill'd accordingly by Hercules, and that free Liberty was given the Lady either to go along with her Deliverer, or stay at Home with her Parents; the Lady it's said, chose to go along with the Stranger, not only as being more affected with the deliverance, than the Society of her Parents and Kindred, but fearing lest (if another Monster should appear) she should be again expos'd by the People to the same Calamity.

Hercules therefore receiving honourable Rewards suitable to so welcom a Guest, left Hesione and the Horses in trust with Laomedon, to be restor'd to him after his return from Colchis. Then he proceeded on his Voyage with the Argonauts; and presently after they were overtaken with another violent Storm, insomuch as they despair'd of their Lives; Orpheus only, they say, of all his Companions in the Expedition (being a Religious Man) sacrific'd and pray'd to the Gods of Samothracia for their Preservation: Whereupon on a suddain there was a Calm, and Two Stars fell down upon the Heads of Castor and Pollux, to the great amazement of the Beholders; and so all concluded, that by the Providence of the Gods, they were now out of danger. Hence it has been a Custom ever since, that when any are in a Storm at Sea, they call upon the Gods of Samothracia, and when any Stars appear, they are lookt upon then to be Castor and Pollux, that appear for their Deliverance.

When the Storm was over, the noble Adventurers landed in a Province of Thrace, of which Phineus was King; where met them Two Young Men, who for the Punishment of their Offences, were driven out of the Territories, and grievously whipt all along as they came. They prov'd to be the Sons of Phineus, by Cleopatra the Daughter of Boreas, and Orithya the Daughter of Erechtheus. But through the malice of their Stepmother (by false Accusations) their Father was wrought upon to deal thus severely and unjustly with them; for Phineus having Marry'd (besides his former Wife) Idaea the Daughter of Dardanus King of Seythia, was so inslav'd by an inordinate Affection to her, that he humour'd her in every thing she requir'd; and therefore at that time he gave credit to her Accusation, that those Two Young Men (to please their own Mother, and in contempt of her) attempted to lay violent Hands on her.

Hercules with the rest, fortunately landing at that very time, they say the Young Men call'd out to those noble Hero's, and implor'd them as if they had been so many Gods, to rescue them out of those miserable Circumstances, declaring the cause why their Father was so inrag'd against them. But Phineus meeting the Strangers, in a rage charg'd them not to meddle in other Peoples Concerns; for they might be assur'd, that no Father would willingly so punish his own Sons, unless the greatness of their Faults had overcome all Natural Affection.

Bibliotheca Historica

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