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parted with less willingly than with his life's blood, and which had been for so long destined to carve for him a way to renown. how should he return home without it? What should he
to the old steward who had first put that sword in his hand, and had first taught him to aspire to noble deeds ? Above all, how should he meet his sister ? How would the noble enthusiasm, the lofty spirit, and the tender love of Iothales be grieved and shocked at finding that her brother had fallen from all the noble aspirations which her sympathy had shared and her encouragement had sustained ? He felt as though he were an outcast from the house and the friends of his youth. And yet, though these considerations were distinctly and keenly felt, and tormented him with regret and remorse, still the one image ever present to his mind, and eclipsing and overpowering all others, was that of the beautiful Ægle. Far from feeling a desire to retrace his steps or to shake off her magical and baneful influence, he felt more spell-bound and fascinated by it than ever. She had never looked to him so grandly beautiful as when she stood waving the sword over her head, and uttering that taunting, bitter laugh. And then his mind began to recur to the details of their conversation, and to recall every circumstance of her speech, and tone, and manner, forming a thousand conjectures as to the precise meaning which she might have had in each word and gesture. The sarcastic contempt which had been so unequivocally expressed in her countenance and her voice, did not seem to afford him much encouragement or hope of success; but, on the other hand, he considered that she must have had some motive in trying to seduce him from the profession of arms, and that her attempts in this respect seemed to show some interest in his future career. And even in the burst of derisive scorn with which she had parted from him, had she not hinted how and where he might meet with her again if he desired? This did not look like total indifference, and he resolved that he would not be discouraged by occasional outbursts of haughtiness and petulance, or measure by ordinary rules the conduct of so grand and wild a beauty.
He had recovered from the first surprise into which the unexpected termination of his interview with Ægle had thrown him, and whilst the thoughts above described were coursing through his mind, he was walking forward with hasty steps over the now broken and rugged ground. He had forgotten the fatigue and hunger which he began to feel before he met with Ægle, and he walked swiftly onwards, unconscious whither he was going, and alive only to the thoughts which engrossed and agitated his mind. His attention was awakened by finding that he had arrived at the sea-shore. He found that he was standing on a high cliff which projected in front of him into the sea, having on one side of it a rock-bound bay, and on the other a shelving beach. It was the rock on which the unfortunate Iole had stood so many years before, watching the skiff of Creon as it came on its voyage of love and danger. On arriving at this spot, Philokalos perceived with surprise that a vessel was just furling her sails and dropping her anchor at some little distance from the beach. He at once concluded that this must be the same vessel that he had seen in the distance on the preceding day, and he watched the motions of those on board with some interest and curiosity. Soon he saw a boat lowered, and with a party of men in it, begin to be propelled towards the shore. Philokalos upon this began to descend the cliff that he might meet the boat, and ascertain who and what these strangers might be. He arrived upon the beach at the same time that the boat touched the sand, and the principal person of the party stepping on the shore, advanced to meet him.
He was a man apparently about five or six years older than Philokalos, and of a much larger frame and more robust appearance.
He was dressed in complete armour, except that upon his head, instead of such a helmet as was usually worn in war, he had one of a lighter and plainer sort, without any plume, and suitable for ordinary occasions. His shield was carried by an attendant who landed behind him from the boat. In his hand he carried a javelin, and a sword hung by his side. This stranger was of the middle stature, which seemed somewhat less than he really was, by reason of the square and massive proportions of his frame and limbs. His chest was deep, his shoulders broad, and his limbs such as indicated uncommon strength, from which, however, all appearance of clumsiness was removed by the ease and lightness of his motions. His countenance was open and handsome, his eye blue, sparkling, and wandering; his lower jaw was firm and massive, and his general expression was suggestive of frankness and good humour, but combined with strong and probably little controlled passions and impulses. Such was the stranger who advanced to meet Philokalos, and it was not long before he had made him acquainted with his name, his destination, and the circumstances under which he had arrived at the island.
His name was Iphitus, and he was on his way to the plains of Troy, where, as he had been informed, his elder brother had recently fallen. His vessel had been unskilfully prepared in some respects for the voyage, and he had put in at this island, thinking he might here find the means of getting it repaired. He expected to be detained some days, and enquired of Philokalos if the woods offered any quantity of game either for sport or subsistence. Philokalos scarcely knew in his present frame of mind whether to be pleased or annoyed at the arrival of this stranger. Had the occurrence happened on the preceding day, he would have welcomed it with delight, for it offered the very opportunity which be had desired for going to the scene of war, but now the very thought of the undertaking was hateful to him; yet under what pretext should he avoid embarking as soon as the ship of Iphitus could be ready? All that he could do was to delay matters as much as possible, and watch the course of events. On the other hand, he felt that by bringing home with him a guest bound on such an expedition, he would have the opportunity of concealing the change which had been effected in his own wishes and purposes, and of delaying what he most dreaded, an explanation with his sister. It was on the whole, therefore, with feelings of satisfaction that he invited Iphitus to become his guest during his stay upon the island. With respect to his own intentions he merely mentioned that he had some thoughts of going to the Trojan war himself, and, when Iphitus proposed that he should accompany him, he evaded the point by remarking that they would have opportunities for discussing that subject.
It was arranged that Iphitus, accompanied only by his armourbearer, should go with Philokalos to the house of the latter; whilst his men should remain to take charge of the vessel, and to commence, as soon as possible, the necessary repairs. After partaking of some refreshment, which was supplied by the party in the boat, the three set out upon their journey, Philokalos acting as guide, and choosing the path which he had travelled that morning, and on the day before. If the personal appearance of the stranger seemed to mark him as one fitted to shine in the strife and tumult of battle, his conversation no less clearly proved him to be an intelligent and genial companion. He enlivened the journey with an inexhaustible fund of anecdote and observation. Every object on the way seemed to give occasion to interesting and animated discussion; and the tedious path, under the influence of his profuse animal spirits, and his versatile talent for amusement, would have seemed short and easy to any one whose mind was less pre-occupied and engrossed than that of Philokalos. He appeared to be one who loved excitement and danger for their own sake, and to be moved, not so much, as Philokalos had been, by the romantic love of glory and renown, but by a robust hardiness of mind and body which caused him to delight in the mere exercise of strength and skill. Hence, he seemed to care little what was the particular adventure in which he might be engaged, and his enthusiasm for the Trojan war did not prevent him from receiving with pleasure the information given him by Philokalos that there were wild boars, of considerable strength and ferocity, to be found in the island; and, finding that Philokalos also professed to be fond of the chase, he began openly to express his satisfaction that his vessel had proved leaky, and to promise himself a pleasant sojourn upon the island.
Although Philokalos was not in a frame of mind to enter into the schemes of his new acquaintance with an eagerness comparable to his own, yet he could not but feel himself somewhat influenced by the animation and cheerfulness of his tone and conversation; and he had besides already grasped the idea that, by entering into the sports and amusements of the other, he might manage to make his stay so agreeable that he might be willing to delay his departure. So, with different ends and motives, they followed the varied path across the island, and, towards sunset, they arrived at their destination.
BY THE RIVER.
In the beautiful greenwood's charmed light,
Of ever-pendulous avalanches,
Through the river, and through the rifts
VOL. I.-No. &