Myths of Greece and Rome Narrated with Special Reference to Literature and Art

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[218] “First two dread Snakes at Juno’s vengeful nod
Climb’d round the cradle of the sleeping God;
Waked by the shrilling hiss, and rustling sound,
And shrieks of fair attendants trembling round,
Their gasping throats with clenching hands he holds;
And Death untwists their convoluted folds.”

When Juno perceived how easily Hercules had escaped from the danger which threatened him, she deemed it useless to make another attempt to take his life, but decided to vex his proud spirit by inflicting many petty annoyances, and to prevent his enjoying any lasting peace or happiness.

To achieve this purpose, she first extorted from Jupiter a decree that condemned Hercules to serve his cousin Eurystheus—a mean and cowardly prince who ruled over the kingdom of Argos—for a certain number of years.

Hercules’ education was carefully attended to by Chiron, a learned Centaur, who taught him how to use all the different weapons, and trained him in all kinds of athletic sports. The years passed by happily and swiftly, until at last the time came when Hercules’ education was completed, and the whole world lay before him, full of pleasant possibilities, and rich with many attractions.