ranks with the support of Presidents Reagan and Bush, Powell
The siege continued long, with various success. At length both hosts agreed that the brothers should decide their quarrel by single combat. They fought and fell by each other's hands. The armies then renewed the fight, and at last the invaders were forced to yield, and fled, leaving their dead unburied. Creon, the uncle of the fallen princes, now become king, caused Eteocles to be buried with distinguished honor, but suffered the body of Polynices to lie where it fell, forbidding every one, on pain of death, to give it burial.
Antigone, the sister of Polynices, heard with indignation the revolting edict which consigned her brother's body to the dogs and vultures, depriving it of those rites which were considered essential to the repose of the dead. Unmoved by the dissuading counsel of an affectionate but timid sister, and unable to procure assistance, she determined to brave the hazard and to bury the body with her own hands. She was detected in the act, and Creon gave orders that she should be buried alive, as having deliberately set at nought the solemn edict of the city. Her love, Haemon, the son of Creon, unable to avert her fate, would not survive her, and fell by his own hand.
Antigone forms the subject of two fine tragedies of the Grecian poet Sophocles. Mrs. Jameson, in her Characteristics of Women, has compared her character with that of Cordelia, in Shakespeare's King Lear. The perusal of her remarks cannot fail to gratify our readers.
The following is the lamentation of Antigone over OEdipus, when death has at last relieved him from his sufferings:
"Alas! I only wished I might have died With my poor father; wherefore should I ask For longer life? Oh, I was fond of misery with him; E'en what was most unlovely grew beloved When he was with me. Oh, my dearest father, Beneath the earth now in deep darkness hid, Worn as thou wert with age, to me thou still Wast dear, and shalt be ever." Francklin's Sophocles
Penelope is another of those mythic heroines whose beauties were rather those of character and conduct than of person. She was the daughter of Icarius, a Spartan prince. Ulysses, king of Ithaca, sought her in marriage, and won her over all competitors. When the moment came for the bride to leave her father's house, Icarius, unable to bear the thoughts of parting with his daughter, tried to persuade her to remain with him, and not accompany her husband to Ithaca. Ulysses gave Penelope her choice, to stay or go with him. Penelope made no reply, but dropped her veil over her face. Icarius urged her no further, but when she was gone erected a statue to Modesty on the spot where they parted.
Ulysses and Penelope had not enjoyed their union more than a year when it was interrupted by the events which called Ulysses to the Trojan war. During his long absence, and when it was doubtful whether he still lived, and highly improbable that he would ever return, Penelope was importuned by numerous suitors, from whom there seemed no refuge but in choosing one of them for her husband. Penelope, however, employed every art to gain time, still hopping for Ulysses' return. One of her arts of delay was engaging in the preparation of a robe for the funeral canopy of Laertes, her husband's father. She pledged herself to make her choice among the suitors when the robe was finished. During the day she worked at the robe, but in the night she undid the work of the day. This is the famous Penelope's web, which is used as a proverbial expression for anything which is perpetually doing but never done. The rest of Penelope's history will be told when we give an account of her husband's adventures.
Chapter XVII Orpheus and Eurydice. Artistaeus. Amphion. Linus. Thamyris. Marsyas. Melampus. Musaeus