When Amphitryon heard the noble
destiny which awaited the child intrusted to his care, he resolved to educate
him in a manner worthy of his future career. At a suitable age he himself
taught him how to guide a chariot;
Eurytus, how to handle the bow;
Autolycus, dexterity in wrestling and boxing; and Castor, the art of armed
warfare; whilst Linus, the son of Apollo, instructed him in music and letters.
Heracles was an apt pupil; but
undue harshness was intolerable to his high spirit, and old Linus, who was not
the gentlest of teachers, one day corrected him with blows, whereupon the boy
angrily took up his lyre, and, with one stroke of his powerful arm, killed his
tutor on the spot.
Apprehensive lest the
ungovernable temper of the youth might again involve him in similar acts of
violence, Amphitryon sent him into the country, where he placed him under the
charge of one of his most trusted herdsmen. Here, as he grew up to manhood,
his extraordinary stature and strength became the wonder and admiration of all
beholders. His aim, whether with spear, lance, or bow, was unerring, and at the
age of eighteen he was considered to be the strongest as well as the most
beautiful youth in all Greece.