THE ASSEMBLING OF THE HEROES AND THE BUILDING OF THE SHIP
IRST there came the youths CASTOR and
POLYDEUCES. They came
riding on white horses, two noble-looking brothers. From Sparta
they came, and their mother was Leda, who, after the twin
brothers, had another child born to her—Helen, for whose sake
the sons of many of Jason's friends were to wage war against the
great city of Troy. These were the first heroes who came to
Iolcus after the word had gone forth through Greece of Jason's
adventuring in quest of the Golden Fleece.
And then there came one who had both welcome and reverence from
Jason; this one came without spear or bow, bearing in his hands a
lyre only. He was ORPHEUS, and he knew all the ways of the gods
and all the stories of the gods; when he sang to his lyre the
trees would listen and the beasts would follow him. It was Chiron
who had counseled Orpheus to go with Jason; Chiron
 the centaur
had met him as he was wandering through the forests on the
Mountain Pelion and had sent him down into Iolcus.
Then there came two men well skilled in the handling of ships —
TIPHYS and NAUPLIUS. Tiphys knew all about the sun and winds and
stars, and all about the signs by which a ship might be steered,
and Nauplius had the love of Poseidon, the god of the sea.
Afterward there came, one after the other, two who were famous
for their hunting. No two could be more different than these two
were. The first was
ARCAS. He was dressed in the skin of a bear;
he had red hair and savage-looking eyes, and for arms he carried
a mighty bow with bronze-tipped arrows. The folk were watching an
eagle as he came into the city—an eagle that was winging its way
far, far up in the sky. Arcas drew his bow, and with one arrow he
brought the eagle down.
The other hunter was a girl, ATALANTA. Tall and bright-haired was
Atalanta, swift and good with the bow. She had dedicated herself
to Artemis, the guardian of the wild things, and she had vowed
that she would remain unwedded. All the heroes welcomed Atalanta
as a comrade, and the maiden did all the things that the young
There came a hero who was less youthful than Castor or
Polydeuces; he was a man good in council named
Nestor went to the war against Troy, and then he was the oldest
of the heroes in the camp of Agamemnon.
Two brothers came who were to be special friends of Jason's —
 PELEUS and TELAMON. Both were still youthful and neither had yet
achieved any notable deed. Afterward they were to be famous, but
their sons were to be even more famous, for the son of Telamon
was strong Aias, and the son of Peleus was great Achilles.
Another who came was ADMETUS; afterward he became a famous king.
The God Apollo once made himself a shepherd and he kept the
flocks of King Admetus.
And there came two brothers, twins, who were a wonder to all who
beheld them. ZETES and CALAIS they were named; their mother was
Oreithyia, the daughter of Erechtheus, King of Athens, and their
father was Boreas, the North Wind. These two brothers had on
their ankles wings that gleamed with golden scales; their black
hair was thick upon their shoulders, and it was always being
shaken by the wind.
With Zetes and Calais there came a youth armed with a great sword
whose name was THESEUS. Theseus's father was an unknown king; he
had bidden the mother show their son where his sword was hidden.
Under a great stone the king had hidden it before Theseus was
born. Before he had grown out of his boyhood Theseus had been
able to raise the stone and draw forth his father's sword. As yet
he had done no great deed, but he was resolved to win fame and to
find his unknown father.
On the day that the messengers had set out to bring through
Greece the word of Jason's going forth in quest of the Golden
 Fleece the woodcutters made their way up into the forests of
Mount Pelion; they began to fell trees for the timbers of the
ship that was to make the voyage to far Colchis.
Great timbers were cut and brought down to Pagasæ,
the harbor of
Iolcus. On the night of the day he had helped to bring them down
Jason had a dream. He dreamt that she whom he had seen in the
forest ways and afterward by the River Anaurus appeared to him.
And in his dream the goddess bade him rise early in the morning
and welcome a man whom he would meet at the city's gate—a tall
and gray-haired man who would have on his shoulders tools for the
building of a ship.
He went to the city's gate and he met such a man. ARGUS
name. He told Jason that a dream had sent him to the city of
Iolcus. Jason welcomed him and lodged him in the king's palace,
and that day the word went through the city that the building of
the great ship would soon be begun.
But not with the timbers brought from Mount Pelion did Argus
begin. Walking through the palace with Jason he noted a great
beam in the roof. That beam, he said, had been shown him in his
dream; it was from an oak tree in Dodona, the grove of Zeus. A
sacred power was in the beam, and from it the prow of the ship
should be fashioned. Jason had them take the beam from the roof
of the palace; it was brought to where the timbers were, and that
day the building of the great ship was begun.
Then all along the waterside came the noise of hammering; in the
street where the metalworkers were came the noise of beating
metals as the smiths fashioned out of bronze armor for the heroes
and swords and spears. Every day, under the eyes of Argus the
master, the ship that had in it the beam from Zeus's grove was
built higher and wider. And those who were building the ship
often felt going through it tremors as of a living creature.
When the ship was built and made ready for the voyage a name was
given to it—the Argo it was called. And naming themselves from
the ship the heroes called themselves the ARGONAUTS.
ready for the voyage, and now Jason went with his friends to view
the ship before she was brought into the water.
Argus the master was on the ship, seeing to it that the last
things were being done before Argo was launched.
Very grave and
wise looked Argus—Argus the builder of the ship. And wonderful
to the heroes the ship looked now that Argus, for their viewing,
had set up the mast with the sails and had even put the oars in
their places. Wonderful to the heroes Argo looked with her long
oars and her high sails, with her timbers painted red and gold
and blue, and with a marvelous figure carved upon her prow. All
over the ship Jason's eyes went. He saw a figure standing by the
mast; for a moment he looked on it, and then the figure became
shadowy. But Jason knew that he had looked upon the goddess whom
he had seen in the ways of the forest and had seen afterward by
the rough Anaurus.
Then mast and sails were taken down and the oars were left in
 the ship, and the Argo was launched into the water. The heroes went
back to the palace of King Pelias to feast with the king's guests
before they took their places on the ship, setting out on the
voyage to far Colchis.
When they came into the palace they saw that another hero had
arrived. His shield was hung in the hall; the heroes all gathered
around, amazed at the size and the beauty of it. The shield shone
all over with gold. In its center was the figure of Fear—of Fear
that stared backward with eyes burning as with fire. The mouth
was open and the teeth were shown. And other figures were wrought
around the figure of Fear—Strife and Pursuit and Flight; Tumult
and Panic and Slaughter. The figure of Fate was there dragging a
dead man by the feet; on her shoulders Fate had a garment that
was red with the blood of men.
Around these figures were heads of snakes, heads with black jaws
and glittering eyes, twelve heads such as might affright any man.
And on other parts of the shield were shown the horses of Ares,
the grim god of war. The figure of Ares himself was shown also.
He held a spear in his hand, and he was urging the warriors on.
Around the inner rim of the shield the sea was shown, wrought in
white metal. Dolphins swam in the sea, fishing for little fishes
that were shown there in bronze. Around the rim chariots were
racing along with wheels running close together; there were men
fighting and women watching from high towers. The awful figure of
the Darkness of Death was shown there, too, with mournful
 eyes and the dust of battles upon her shoulders. The outer rim of the
shield showed the Stream of Ocean, the stream that encircles the
world; swans were soaring above and swimming on its surface.
All in wonder the heroes gazed on the great shield, telling each
other that only one man in all the world could carry it—Heracles
the son of Zeus. Could it be that Heracles had come amongst them?
They went into the feasting hall and they saw one there who was
tall as a pine tree, with unshorn tresses of hair upon his head.
Heracles indeed it was! He turned to them a smiling face with
smiling eyes. Heracles! They all gathered around the strongest
hero in the world, and he took the hand of each in his mighty
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