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Æacides, king of Epirus, lived 300 years before Christ. He had a son named Pyrrhus, who was said to be descended from Hercules and Achilles. The Molossians, having revolted from the king, put some of his adherents to death, and banished others;
but his friends concealed Pyrrhus, still an infant at the breast, and confided him and his nurses to three brave and active men, Androcleon, Phippias et Neander, who escorted them to Megara, in Macedonia.
On approaching tbeir journey's end, they were stopped by the river. Perceiving the impossibility of making themselves heard on the other side, they inscribed the royal infant's name on two pieces of bark, one of which they stuck on a spear, and wrapped the other round a stone; and thus conveyed their message to the opposite bank. The Megareans, informed of the quality of the fugitives, constructed a raft, and went in quest of the young Pyrrhus and his suite.
This noble composition of Poussin is designed with admirable talent, and exhibits the most perfect purity of outline, and a sublime expression; but the colouring is defective, and is in general too black.
This picture belonged to the ancient collection of the King, and is now in the gallery of the Louvre : it has been engraved, on a large scale, by Gerard Audran. Width, 5 feet 1 inch ; heigth, 3 feet 9 inches.