Note 053
From Chapter 68 of the Decline & Fall

These wings (Chalcondyles, l. viii. p. 208) are no more than an Oriental figure: but in the tragedy of Irene, Mahomet's passion soars above sense and reason: -

Should the fierce North, upon his frozen wings
Bear him aloft above the wondering clouds,
And seat him in the Pleiads' golden chariot -
Thence should my fury drag him down to tortures.

Besides the extravagance of the rant, I must observe,
1. That the operation of the winds must be confined to the lower region of the air.
2. That the name, etymology, and fable of the Pleiads are purely Greek, (Scholiast ad Homer,Sigma 686. Eudocia in Ionia, p. 399. Apollodor. l. iii. c. 10. Heyne, p. 229, Not. 682), and had no affinity with the astronomy of the East (Hyde ad Ulugbeg, Tabul. in Syntagma Dissert. tom. i. p. 40, 42. Goguet, Origine des Arts, etc., tom. vi. p. 73 - 78. Gebelin, Hist. du Calendrier, p. 73), which Mahomet had studied.
3. The golden chariot does not exist either in science or fiction; but I much fear Dr. Johnson has confounded the Pleiades with the great bear or wagon, the zodiac with a northern constalation:
Ancient Greek

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