Virgil, Aeneid

LCL 64: 10-11

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Book VII

Aeneas, his chief captains, and fair Iülus lay their limbs to rest under the boughs of a high tree, and spread the feast; they place cakes of meal on the grass beneath the food—Jove himself inspired them—and they crown the wheaten base with fruits of the field. Here, haply, when the rest was consumed, and the scantness of fare drove them to turn their teeth upon the thin cakes—to profane with hand and daring jaw the fateful circles of crust, and spare not the broad loaves: 6 “Oh, look! we are eating our tables too!” said Iülus in jest; and said no more. That cry, when heard, first brought an end of toil; and as it first fell from the speaker’s lips, his father caught it up and checked his utterance, awestruck at Heaven’s will. Straightway, “Hail,” he cries, “land destined as my due! and hail to you, faithful gods of Troy! Here is our home, here our country! For my father Anchises 7 —now I recall it—bequeathed me this secret of fate: ‘My son, when you are carried to an unknown shore and hunger compels you, as food fails, to eat your tables, then in your weariness hope for a home, and there be mindful first to set up your dwellings with your hand and bank them with a mound.’ This was that hunger foretold, this the last strait awaiting us, that was to set an end to our deadly woes! . . . Come then, and gladly with the sun’s first beams let us explore what lands these are, what people here dwell, where is the city of the nation, and from the harbour let us explore in different directions. Now pour your cups to Jove, and call in prayer on my sire Anchises, and set the wine again upon the board.”

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.virgil-aeneid.1916