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Geoffrey of Monmouth History of the Kings of Britain

 
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Geoffrey of Monmouth
History of the Kings of Britain
page 5



Chapter 11. Pandrasus gives his daughter Ignoge in marriage to Brutus, who, after his departure from Greece, falls upon a desert island, where he is told by the oracle of Diana what place he is to inhabit.

When he had ended his speech, in words to this effect, the whole assembly acquiesced in his advice, and moved that Pandrasus might be brought in among them, and condemned to a most cruel death unless he would grant this request. He was immediately brought in, and being placed in a chair above the rest, and informed of the tortures prepared for him unless he would do what was commanded him, he made them this answer:— “Since my ill fate has delivered me and my brother Antigonus into your hands, I can do no other than grant your request, lest a refusal may cost us our lives, which are now entirely in your power. In my opinion life is preferable to all other considerations; therefore, wonder not that I am willing to redeem it at so great a price. But though it is against my inclination that I obey your commands, yet it seems matter of comfort to me that I am to give my daughter to so noble a youth, whose descent from the illustrious race of Priamus and Anchises is clear, both from that greatness of mind which appears in him, and the certain accounts we have had of it. For who less than he could have released from their chains the banished Trojans, when reduced under slavery to so many great princes? Who else could have encouraged them to make head against the Greeks? or with so small a body of men vanquished so numerous and powerful an army, and taken their king prisoner in the engagement? And, therefore, since this noble youth has gained so much glory by the opposition which he has made to me, I give him my daughter Ignoge, and also gold, silver, ships, corn, wine, and oil, and whatever you shall find necessary for your voyage. If you shall alter your resolution, and think fit to continue among the Greeks, I will grant you the third part of my kingdom for your habitation; if not, I will faithfully perform my promise, and for your greater security will stay as a hostage among you till I have made it good.” Accordingly he held a council, and directed messengers to all the shores of Greece, to get ships together; which done, he delivered them to the Trojans, to the number of three hundred and twenty-four, laden with all kinds of provision, and married his daughter to Brutus. He made also a present of gold and silver to each man according to his quality. When everything was performed the king was set at liberty; and the Trojans, and released from his power, set sail with a fair wind. But Ignoge, standing upon the stern of the ship, swooned away several times in Brutus’s arms, and with many sighs and tears lamented the leaving her parents and country, nor ever turned her eyes from the shore while it was in sight. Brutus, meanwhile, endeavoured to assuage her grief by kind words and embraces intermixed with kisses, and ceased not from these blandishments till she grew weary of crying and fell asleep. During these and other accidents, the winds continued fair for two days and a night together, when at length they arrived at a certain island called Leogecia, which had been formerly wasted by the incursions of pirates, and was then uninhabited. Brutus, not knowing this, sent three hundred armed men ashore to see who inhabited it; but they finding nobody, killed several kinds of wild beasts which they met with in the groves and woods, and came to a desolate city, in which they found a temple of Diana, and in it a statue of that goddess which gave answers to those that came to consult her. At last, loading themselves with the prey which they had taken in hunting, they return to their ships, and give their companions an account of this country and city. Then they advised their leader to go to the city, and after offering sacrifices, to inquire of the deity of the place, what country was allotted them for their place of settlement. To this proposal all assented; so that Brutus, attended with Gerion, the augur, and twelve of the oldest men, set forward to the temple, with all things necessary for the sacrifice. Being arrived at the place, and presenting themselves before the shrine with garlands about their temples, as the ancient rites required, they made three fires to the three deities, Jupiter, Mercury, and Diana, and offered sacrifices to each of them. Brutus himself, holding before the altar of the goddess a consecrated vessel filled with wine, and the blood of a white hart, with his face looking up to the image, broke silence in these words:— “Diva potens nemorum, terror sylvestribus apris; Cui licet amfractus ire per aethereos, Infernasque domos; terrestria jura resolve, Et dic quas terras nos habitare velis? Dic certam sedem qua te venerabor in aevum, Qua tibi virgineis templa dicabo choris?”


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