|The Story of Greece|
|by Mary Macgregor|
| Stories from the history of ancient Greece beginning with mythical and legendary stories of gods and heroes and ending with the conquests of Alexander the Great. Gives short accounts of battles and sieges, and of the men who made Greece a great nation. Ages 10-14 |
ACRISIUS IS KILLED BY PERSEUS
 AS soon as Perseus saw that the monster was harmless, he took
off his magic helmet, and hastening to Andromeda he broke
the chain that held her to the rock. Then bidding her fear
no more he led her back to the palace, where the queen sat
weeping for her lost daughter.
When the door of her room was opened Cassiopeia never
stirred. Andromeda's arms were around her, Andromeda's
kisses were on her cheek before she could believe that her
daughter was in very truth alive. Then, indeed, the
mother's joy was boundless.
So fair, so good was the maiden that Perseus loved her, and
thanked the gods who had led him to that desolate land.
Before many weeks had passed the princess was wedded to the
stranger who had saved her from the terrible sea-monster.
Twelve months later they left Cassiopeia, and sailed away to
Seriphus, for Perseus longed to see his mother, and to bring
to her his beautiful bride.
Seven long years had passed since Perseus set out on his
quest, and Danae's heart was glad when she saw her son once
As soon as their greetings were over, Perseus left Andromeda
with his mother, and went to the palace, carrying with him
the head of Medusa in the magic bag.
The king was feasting with his nobles when Perseus entered
the banqueting-hall. Long, long ago he had ceased to think
of Perseus, for he believed that he had perished on
 his wild
adventure. Now he saw him, grown to be a man, entering the
hall, and he grew pale with sudden fear.
Paying no heed to any, Perseus strode through the throng of
merry courtiers until he stood before the throne on which
"Behold the gift I promised you seven years ago, O King!" cried Perseus, and as he spoke he drew forth the head of
Medusa and held it up for the king to see.
Polydectes and his startled nobles stared in horror at the
awful face of the Gorgon, and as they gazed the king and all
his followers were changed into figures of stone.
Then Perseus turned and left the palace, and telling the
island folk that Polydectes was dead, he bade them now place
Dictys, the fisherman, upon the throne.
He then hastened to the temple of Athene, and with a glad
heart gave back to the goddess the gifts which had served
him so well—the helmet, the sandals, the shield.
As his own offering to Athene he gave the head of the
Gorgon. She, well pleased, accepted it, and had it placed
in the centre of her shield, so from that day the Ægis
became more terrible than before, for the Gorgon's head
still turned to stone whoever looked upon it.
Danae had often talked to Perseus when he was a boy of
Acrisius, her father, and of Argos, the city from which he
had been banished when he was a babe. Perseus now resolved
to sail to Argos with Danae and Andromeda. During these
years Acrisius had been driven from his throne by an
ambitious prince. He was in a miserable dungeon, thinking,
it may be, of his unkindness to his daughter Danae, when she
once again reached Argos.
Perseus soon drove away the usurper, and for his mother's
dear sake he took Acrisius out of his dungeon and gave him
back his kingdom. For Danae had wept and begged Perseus to
rescue his grandfather from prison.
It seemed as though the oracle that long ago had made
 Acrisius act so cruelly would now never be fulfilled. But
sooner or later the words of the gods come true.
One day Perseus was present at the games that were held each
year at Argos. As he flung a quoit into the air a sudden
gust of wind hurled it aside, so that it fell upon the foot
of Acrisius, who was sitting near.
The king was an old man now, and the blow was more than he
could bear. Before long he died from the wound, and thus
the oracle of the gods was fulfilled.
Perseus was kind as he was brave, and it grieved him that he
had caused the death of his grandfather, although it had
been no fault of his own.
Argos no longer seemed a happy place to the young king, so
he left it, and going to a city called Mycenæ, he made it
his capital. Here, after a long and prosperous reign,
Perseus died. The gods whom he had served loyally, placed
him in the skies, among the stars. And there he still
shines, together with Andromeda and Cassiopeia.
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