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Jason, the son of Æson, the son of Cretheus, and Polymedè, the daughter of Autolycus, lived in Tolcus, Peleus had succeeded to the sovereignty of Tolcus, on the demise of Cretheus. This prince had a curiosity, to consult the oracle of Apollo, respecting the person who should succeed him in his government. On this occasion, he was cautioned by the god, to beware of a
appear with only one sandal. Ai first, this oracle appeared wholly inexplicable. Accident furnished the exposition. As Pelias was offering up a sacrifice to Neptune, on the sea-shore, to which festival he had summoned many of the people of Folcus, and Jason among the rest, the youth, who happened to be engaged in some rural occupation, deserted' his employment, and hastened to join in the religious rites. As he was crossing the river Anaurus, in his haste, he happened to lose one of his sandals in the stream. Un Willing to offend Pelias, by seeming to slight his invitation, he hurried onward as he was. The sight of Jason, approaching with only one sandal, recalled the predic. tion to the jealous mind of Pelias.He immediately B2
asked Jason “ how he would act, supposing he were 6. invested with the sovereign power, and that it were
predicted, that one of the citizens should be the " author of his death.". -Jason, whether it were through chance, or through some divine overruling inHuence, arising from the wrath of Juno, and working to render Medea the instrument of her vengeance on him, who had neglected her worship, readily answered
-" I would command him to go and seek the golden “ fleece." - Jason had no sooner spoken, than Pelias, taking advantage of this answer, ordered him to set out immediately, in quest of the golden fleece.
This famous golden fleece was preserved with care, in the country of the Colchi, suspended from the branches of a great pak, in a grove consecrated to Mars, where it was guarded, by a dragon, who never slept.-Jasos having been thus commanded, to embark on this dangerous expedition, invited Argus, the son of Phryxus,* to accompany him. He, by the instructions of Mi. nerva, built a vessel of fifty oars, which was called, after the name of this naval architect, Argo., In the prow of this vessel, Minerva fitted a piece of timber, endowed with the miraculous power of speech, and taken from a tree, in the celebrated grove of Dodona. The ship being completed, Jason consulted the oracle, respecting his future conduct. Phabus encouraged him, to proceed on the voyage, when he should have assem. bled round him, all the choice and prime of Greece.
The names of the heroes were, Tiphys, the son of Hagnias, on whom the Argonauts bestowed the charge of steering the vessel. Orpheus, the son of Æagrus. Zetes and Calais, the sons of Boreas, Castor and Pole lux, the sons of Jupiter. Telamon and Peleus, the sons
* Here the author differs from Apollonius Rhodius. .
of acus. Hercules, the son of Jove. Theseus, the son of Ægeus. Idas and Lynceus, the sons of Astareus. Amb phiaraus, the son of Oicles. Coronus, the son of Ceneus. Palamon, the son of Vulcan or Ætolus. Cepheus, the son of Aleas. Laertes, the son of Arcesius. Autolycus, the son of Hermes. Atalanta, the daughter of Schæneus. Menetius, the son of Actor. Actor, the son of Hippasusa Admetus, the son of Pheres. Acastus, the son of Pelias. Eurytus, the son of Hermes. Meleager, the son of #neus. Ancaus, the son of Lycurgus. Euphemus, the son of Neptune. Peas, the son of Thamacus. Butrs, the son of Teleon. Phanus, and Staphylus, the sons of Bacchus. Peryclymenus, the son of Neleus. Augeas, the son of Phæbus. Iphiclus, the son of Thestius. Argus, the son of Phryxus. Euryalus, the son of Mecisteus. PeneTeus, the son of Hippalmus. Leitus, the son of Alector. Tritus, the son of Naubolus, Ascalaphus, and Almenus, sons of Mars. Asterins, the son of Cometes. Polyphemus, the son of Elatus. All these, under the command of Jason, arrived at Lemnos.
The island of Lemnos, at the time it was visited by the Argonauts, was deprived of all the male inhabitants; and governed by h’ypsipilè, the daughter of Thoas. The reason of its being in that state, was, as follows. The women of Lemnos, having neglected the worship of Venus, the goddess, in revenge, afflicted them, by cau. sing a most abominable odour to proceed from their persons, which rendered them so disgusting to their husbands, that, with one consent, they expelled their wives, and substituted in their room captives, brought from the neighbouring continent of Thrace. These unhappy women, filled with despair, conspired to destroy not only their husbands, but even their fathers and their brothers. Thus, each of these domestic furies, destroyed her own near relatives. Thoas alone was preserved, by
the piety of his daughter, who concealed him. The Argonauts, on their arrival at Lemnos, 'were admitted by the women of the country to their embraces; and Hypsipile bore to Jason two sons, Evenus and Nebrophonus.
From Lemnos the Argonauts proceeded to the coun. try of the Doliones, over whom Cyzicus at that time reigned. This prince received the adventurers, with much kindness. The Argonauts set sail, by night, from this hospitable region, but, being driven back, by the violence of storms, they returned so unexpectedly, that their late hosts, and new friends, mistaking them for the Pelasgi, their neighbours, with whom they were perpetually at war, hastened to attack them in the darkness of the night. A desperate combat ensued, before either party could clear up the mistake. The Arganauts, after a great slaughter of their opponents, in which Cyzicus, their leader, was included, were apprized of the fatal error, by the approach of light. They mourned over Cyzicus, with sincere affliction, Having raised a magnificent tomb for this unhappy prince, on which they deposited their locks, as an oblation to the deceased; they proceeded on their voyage to Mysia.
Here the Argonauts left behind them Hercules and Polyphemus.---Their comrades were deprived of their assistance by this fatality:-Hylas, the son of Thioda, mas, who was beloved by Hercules, having gone to a. spring for water, the nymphs, struck with his uncommon beauty, carried him off. Polyphemus, who hap. pened to hear the cries of the youth, drawing his sword, went in pursuit of him, supposing, that he might have been carried off by pirates; and meeting Hercules, he told him what had happened. Hercules was induced, by this intelligence, to join in the search. While the
two heroes were thus engaged; the vessel sailed away. Polyphemus soon after founded the city of Cius; where he established himself in a sovereignty; but Hercules returned to Argos.- Herodotus asserts, that Hercules did not sail with the Argonauts, but was held in servitade, by Omphale, queen of Lydia.-Pherecydes relates, that he was left behind in Apheta, a city of Thessaly, because the ship Argo, which, we must recollect, was endowed with speech, declared she was unable to bear his weight.- But Demaretes insists, that he sailed with the Argonauts to Colchos; for Dionysius enumerates him among the leaders in this adventure.
From Mysia, the band of heroes proceeded to the country of the Bebrycians; where Amycus, the son of Neptune and Bithynis, reigned. This Amycus, conscious of superior strength, used to compel all strangers, on their arrival in his country, to contend with him at the cestus; and having vanquished them, which was uniformly the case, he never failed to destroy them.
On the arrival of the Argonauts, he hastened to the shore, and challenged the most brave and powerful of their crew, to the accustomed trial of skill and strength. Pollux undertook the combat, and killed his antagonist, by a stroke on the elbow. The Bebrycians, to revenge his death, made a sudden attack on the Argonauts; but were either killed, or put to flight, by them.
From thence the adventurers proceeded to Salmydessus, a city of Thrace, where the unfortunate Phineus resided, in darkness and misery. He is asserted by some, to have been the son of Agenor, by others, to have been the son of Neptune. The cause of his being deprived of sight seems to be doubtful. Some accounts say, that this punishment was inflicted on him, for his having revealed more of futurity to men, than was pleasing to the gods. Others, that he was trcated in this