The Library of History

Page 154

Page 154 the whole City. All being now imploy'd up and down in adoring the Goddess, and preparing of Sacrifices in honour of her, the whole City was possess'd with such a Fanatical Fury of Superstition, that Medea •• ily procur'd her self to be brought into the Palace; where with her Delusions she infatuated both 〈◊〉 his Daughters with such a Pang of Superstition, that they all believ'd the Goddess was come to load the King's House with all manner of Blessings, for 〈…〉 declar'd that Diana in a Chariot, drawn through the Air by Dragons, had 〈…〉 over many Parts of the World, and had now at length made choice of the K 〈…〉 as the most Pious Prince to settle her Image, and establish her worship 〈…〉 ever; adding, that she was commanded by the application of 〈…〉 to give a Check to his Old Age, and restore him to his former Youth and 〈…〉 and bestow many other Blessings upon him that might make hi Life comfort 〈…〉 to himself, and pleasing unto the Goddess.

The King being amaz'd at this strange and unusual Discourse, she promis'd him forthwith to give an assurance of the truth of what she said, by 〈…〉 in her own Body. To this end therefore she order'd one of 〈◊〉 his 〈…〉 ters to bring her some Spring-Water; which being done, she shut up her self in a little Room, and bathing her Body all over in the Water, she cleans'd her self of the Ointment, and so being restor'd to her former Vigour, as soon as she came into the King's Presence, all the Beholders were amaz'd; for they conceited that an Old Woman was transforw'd into a Youthful and Beautiful Virgin by the power and providence of the Gods. She forthwith likewise by her Witchcraft caus'd the appearance of the shape of the Dragons to appear, by which the 〈…〉 dess was drawn through the Air from the Hyperborcans to continue as a Guest with Pelias.

These things done by her, being lookt upon to be above the Course of Nature, the King highly honour'd her, and believ'd all she said to be true; and it's said that he took his Daughter's aside, and order'd them to assist her, and do whatever she commanded; and that it was fitter his own Children should apply Medicines to his Body than Servants, in order to reap the Benefits design'd him by the Favour of the Gods. Pelias therefore having expresly commanded that his Daughters should observe whatever Medea order'd to be done, in reference to the care of their Father's Body, were ready in all things to obey her. About Midnight therefore when Pelias was fast asleep, she said it was absolutely necessary that his Body should be boil'd in a Cauldron: And though the young Ladies easily and readily of their own accord, prepar'd themselves to obey her, yet she apply'd her self to another Experiment for the gaining of further Credit to what she said: There was an old Ram bred up in the Stall, which she told the young Ladies, she would first Boil, and then it should come forth a Lamb. Whereupon they agreed, and then it's said, she cut the Ram into small Pieces, and boil'd them, till to their seeming, by the use of her inchanted Drugs, she brought forth a young Lamb out of the Kettle, to the admiration and astonishment of the young Women, who now thinking they might with great assurance depend upon what she promis'd, resolv'd to observe her in all her Commands; and all of them, but Alcetis (who out of a pious and natural Affection to her, Father, would not lay Hands upon him) cudgell'd him to Death. Whereupon Medea pretended that Vows and Prayers were first to be made to the Moon, before his Body was dissected, and cast into the Cauldron: To which end, she carried the Young Ladies with Torches and Fire-brands to the top of the highest part of the Palace; where Medea to spin out time, mumbled out a long Prayer in the language of Colchis, that the Argonauts might make the Assault in the mean time; who now seeing the Fire from the Turret, concluded the King was dispatch'd; and therefore in a Body they made hastily to the City; where presently mounting over the Walls, they enter'd the Palace with their drawn Swords, and kill'd the Watch that oppos'd them. As soon as Pelias his Daughters were come down to boil their Father, unexpectedly seeing Jason with the rest of the Noble Youths his Companions, enter'd into the midst of the Palace, they grievously cry'd out with exceeding sorrow and lamentation: Having now neither power to revenge themselves upon Medea, nor time to purge themselves from the horrid fact that by her Delusions they had committed, they had forthwith murder'd themselves, if Jason (pitying their miserable Condition) had not prevented them, and comforted them with this Consideration, that their present Misery was not occasion'd by

Bibliotheca Historica

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