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In Greek mythology, Heracles (Hercules) is the offspring of Zeus and Alcmene. Hera, Zeus' jealous wife, sends the witch Eileithyia to prevent the birth. As long as Eileithyia sits with her legs held firmly together, Alcmene's labor will be prolonged. After seven days, the servant Galinthias hits on a cunning idea. When she announces that the birth has occurred, the surprised witch loosens her grip allowing the actual birth to take place. William Blake, whose name appears at the lower right corner, may have owned this and other drawings by his influential and long-standing friend Fuseli.