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the image of a horse, and that the Greeks entering by that gate, gave occasion to the report that the city was taken by an artificial horse. It may well be, that with some wooden engine which they called an horse, they either did batter the walls, as the Romans in after-times used to do with the ram; or scaled the walls upon the sudden, and so took the city. As for the hiding of men in the hollow body of a wooden horse, it had been a desperate adventure, and serving to no purpose. For either the Trojans might have perceived the deceit, and slain all those princes of Greece that were enclosed in it, (which also by such as maintain this report they are said to have thought upon,) or they might have left it a few days without, (for it was unlikely that they should the very first day both conclude upon the bringing it into the town, and break down their walls upon the sudden to do it,) by which means they who were shut into it must have perished for hunger, if they had not by issuing forth unseasonably discovered the invention. Whereas further it is said, that this horse was built so high and great, that it could not be brought into the town through any of the gates, and that therefore the Trojans were fain to pull down a part of their wall to make way for it, through which breach the Greeks did afterwards enter: it is hereby manifest, that the enclosing of so many principal men was altogether needless, considering that without their help there was way sufficient for the army, so that the surprising of any gate by them was now to no purpose.
John Baptista Gramay, in his History of Asia, discoursing of this war, saith, that the Greeks did both batter the wall with a wooden engine, and were also let into the city by Antenor, at the Scæan gate; the townsmen sleeping and drinking without fear or care, because the fleet of the Grecians had hoisted sail, and was gone the day before to the isle of Tenedos, thereby to bring the Trojans into security. That the city was betrayed, the books of Dares and Dictys must prove, which whether we now have the same that were by them written, it may be suspected; for surely they, who have made mention of these writers in ancient times, would not, as they did, have followed the reports of Homer and others, quite contradictory in most points to these two authors, without once taking notice of the opposition which they, having served in that war, made against the common report; had it not been that either those books were even in those times thought frivolous, or else contained no such repugnancy to the other authors as now is found in them.
Also concerning the number of men slain in this war, which Dares and Dictys say to have been above 600,000 on the Trojan side, and more than 800,000 of the Greeks, it is a report merely fabulous; forasmuch as the whole fleet of the Greeks was reckoned by Homer, who extolled their army and deeds as much as he could, to be somewhat less than 1200 sail, and the army therein transported over the Greek seas not much above 100,000 men, according to the rate formerly mentioned. But it is the common fashion of men to extol the deeds of their ancients; for which cause both Homer magnified the captains of the Greeks that served in the war, and Virgil with others were as diligent in commending and extolling the Trojans and their city, from which the Romans descended. Yea, the Athenians long after, in the war which Xerxes the Persian king made against all Greece, did not forbear to vaunt of the great cunning which Mnesteus the son of Peteus had shewed, in marshalling the Grecian army before Troy; whereupon, as if it had been a matter of much consequence, they were so proud, that they refused to yield unto Gelon, king of almost all Sicily, the admiralty of their seas, notwithstanding that he promised to bring 200 good fighting ships, and 30,000 men for their defence.
The like vanity possessed many other cities of Greece, and many nations in these parts of the world, which have striven to bring their descent from some of the princes that warred at Troy; all difficulties or unlikelihoods in such their pedigree notwithstanding. But those nations which indeed, or in most probability, came of the Trojans, were the Albanes in Italy; and from them the Romans, brought into that country by Æneas; the Venetians, first seated in Padua and the country adjoining by Antenor; the Chaonians, planted in Epirus by Helenus, the son of king Priamus. To which Hellanicus addeth, that the posterity of Hector did resemble such of the Trojans as were left, and reigned over them about Troy.
SECT. VI. Of the distresses and dispersions of the Greeks returning from Troy.
CONCERNING the Greeks, they tasted as much misery as they had brought upon the Trojans. For Thucydides notes, that by reason of their long abode at the siege, they found many alterations when they returned; so that many were driven by their borderers from their ancient seats ; many were expelled their countries by faction; some were slain anon after their arrival; others were debarred from the sovereignty among their people by such as had staid at home. The cause of all which may seem to have been the dispersion of the army, which, weakened much by the calamities of that long war, was of little force to repel injuries, being divided into so many pieces under several commanders, not very well agreeing. For (besides other quarrels arising upon the division of the booty, and the like occasions) at the time when they should have set sail, Agamemnon and his brother fell out, the one being desirous to depart immediately, the other to stay and perform some sacrifices to Minerva. Hereupon they fell to hot words, half the fleet remaining with Agamemnon, the rest of them sailing to the isle of Tenedos; where when they arrived, they could not agree among themselves, but some returned back to Agamemnon; others were dispersed, each holding his own course. But the whole fleet was sore vexed with tempests; for Pallas (as Homer saith) would not be persuaded in haste.
They who returned safe were Nestor and Pyrrhus, whom Orestes afterwards slew; also Idomeneus and Philoctetes, who nevertheless, as Virgil tells, were driven soon after to seek new seats ; Idomeneus among the Salentines, and Philoctetes at Petilia in Italy. Agamemnon likewise returned home, but was forthwith slain by his wife, and by the adulterer Ægisthus, who for a while after usurped his kingdom. Menelaus, wandering long upon the seas, came into Egypt, either with Helen, or (as may rather seem) to fetch her. Ulysses, after ten years, having lost all his company, got home in poor estate, with much ado recovering the mastership of his own house. All the rest either perished by the way, or were driven into exile, and fain to seek out new habitations.
Ajax, the son of Oileus, was drowned ; Teucer fled into Cyprus; Diomedes to king Daunus, who was lord of the Iapyges in Apulia; some of the Locrians were driven into Africk, others into Italy, all the east part whereof was called Magna Græcia, by reason of so many towns which the Greeks were driven to erect upon that coast. Finally, it appears in Homer, that the Grecian ladies, whose husbands had been at the war of Troy, were wont to call it the place where the Greeks suffered misery, and the unlucky city not to be mentioned. And thus much for Troy, and those that warred there: the overthrow of which city, as hath been said, happened in the time of Habdon judge of Israel, whom Samson, after a vacancy or interregnum for certain years, succeeded.
Of Samson. THE birth and acts of Samson are written at large in the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th of Judges; and therefore I shall not need to make a repetition thereof. But these things I gather out of that story. First, That the angel of God forbade the wife of Manoah, the mother of Samson, to drink wine or strong drink, or to eat any unclean meat, after she was conceived with child, because those strong liquors . hinder the strength, and as it were wither and shrink the child in the mother's womb. Though this were even the counsel of God himself, and delivered by his angel, yet it seemeth that many women of this age have not read, or at least will not believe this precept; the most part forbearing nor drinks nor meats, how strong or unclean soever, filling themselves with all sorts of wines, and with artificial drinks far more forcible ; by reason whereof, so many wretched feeble bodies are born into the world, and the races of the able and strong men in effect decayed.
Secondly, It is to be noted, that the angel of God refused the sacrifice which Manoah would have offered him, commanding him to present it unto the Lord; and therefore those that profess divination by the help of angels, to whom also they sacrifice, may assuredly know that they are devils who accept thereof, and not good angels, who receive no worship that is proper to God.
Thirdly, This Samson was twice betrayed by his wives, to wit, by their importunity and deceitful tears; by the first he lost but a part of his goods, by the second his life: Quem nulla vis superare potuit, voluptas evertit; 66 Whom 6 no force could over-master, voluptuousness overturned.”
Fourthly, We may note, that he did not in all deliver Israel from the oppression of the Philistines, though in some sort he revenged and defended them: for notwithstanding that he had slain thirty of them in his first attempt, burnt their corn in harvest-time, and given them a great overthrow instantly upon it; yet so much did Israel fear the Philistines, as they assembled 3000 men out of Juda to besiege Samson in the rock or mountain of Etam, using these words: Knowest not thou that the Philistines are rulers over us? After which they bound him, and delivered him unto the Philistines, for fear of their revenge; though he was no sooner loosened, but he gave them another overthrow, and slew 1000 with the jaw-bone of an ass.
Lastly, Being made blind, and a prisoner by the treason of his wife, he was content to end his own life to be avenged of his enemies, when he pulled down the pillars of the house