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A Fleece of Gold; Five Lessons from the Fable of Jason and the Golden Fleece   By:

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A Fleece of Gold

Five Lessons from the Fable of Jason and the Golden Fleece


Charles Stewart Given


Second Edition Revised

To my sons Kingsley and Gordon

"Jason and his men seized the favorable moment of the rebound, plied their oars with vigor, and passed through in safety."



I. The Ruling Element, "Jason and his men."

II. The Golden Quality, "They passed through."

III. The Messenger of Fate, "They seized the favourable moment."

IV. The Active Hand, "They plied their oars with vigor."

V. Ethics of Activity


Among the smaller forces which operate upon the mind and tend toward strengthening and exalting the best ideals, are little books like this. They are especially valuable when so much of the author's own experience forms a thread upon which are suspended jewels of thought and illustration serviceable to those who would see and know the best things.

I have found these characteristics in this small volume, and gladly recommend it to all those who would become more familiar with what our author calls "the key to that cabinet of character in which nature conceals not only the motive power of every day life, but those latent talents and energies that, through a knowledge of self, we can bring to bear upon our lives." This book will help many who have small opportunities in the form of time and money to expend in the use of larger volumes.

Charles Stewart Given


The fable of Jason and the Golden Fleece is known to old and young the world around. To the latter, perhaps, no other simple narrative in Greek mythology is more fascinating, nor holds a more valuable lesson if they will but seek to learn it. But especially to the boy or young man of thoughtful mind does the glorious adventure appeal and make its lessons obvious. By way of refreshing the memory of those who were once familiar with the myth, but who, in the practical school of experience, have lost the chord of their adventure loving days; and also for those, perchance, who are not acquainted with the tale, a brief sketch will here serve our purpose.

In Thessaly dwell a king and a queen with their two children, a boy and a girl. The holy alliance between the two royal members of the household becomes disrupted, and Nephele, the good mother, appeals to Mercury, the messenger of the gods, to assist her in secretly placing the children out of reach of their father, the king. Mercury provides a ram with a golden fleece, on which the boy and girl are placed. The shining creature springs into the air, bearing its precious burden across the sea. Unfortunately, the girl falls from the ram's back and is drowned, but the boy is landed safely on the other shore in the kingdom of Colchis. Here he sacrifices the ram to Jupiter and presents the golden fleece to the king, who places it in a consecrated grove under the care of a sleepless dragon.

Now Jason is heir to the throne of Æson, ruler of another kingdom in Thessaly, from whence the royal children started on their adventurous journey. Years have passed, however, since this remarkable incident, and Jason, being now a young man and having been told the dramatic tale of the Golden Fleece, begins to think what a glorious adventure it would be to go in quest of the royal prize. Forthwith he makes preparations for the expedition, and with a band of other lusty young heroes starts on a sea voyage toward the land of the Colchian king. It is not without difficulty, however, that they accomplish the voyage, for at the entrance of the Euxine Sea they encounter two floating islands, veritable mountains of rock, huge and shaggy, which, in their tossings and heavings, at intervals come together "crushing and grinding to atoms any object that might be caught between them." But " Jason and his men seized the favorable moment of the rebound, plied their oars with vigor and passed through in safety ."

Approaching the royal palace Jason makes known his mission, whereupon the king promises to relinquish the valuable possession if Jason will yoke to the plow two fire breathing bulls and sow the teeth of the dragon... Continue reading book >>

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