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To match us in comparisons with dirt;
Ulyss. They tax our policy, and call it cowardice ;
Nest. Let this be granted, and Achilles' horse Makes many Thetis' sons. [Trumpet sounds. Agam.
What trumpet? look, Menelaus.
What would you 'fore our tent? Æne.
Is this Great Agamemnon's tent, I pray? Agam.
Even this. Æne. May one, that is a herald, and a prince, Do a fair message to his kingly ears?
Agam. With surety stronger than Achilles' arm 'Fore all the Greekish beads, which with one voice Call Agamemnon head and general.
Æne. Fair leave, and large security. How may
Modest as morning when she coldly eyes
Agam. This Trojan scorns us ; or the men of Troy Are ceremonious courtiers.
Æne. Courtiers as free, as debonair, unarm'a, As bending angels; that's their fame in peace: But when they would seen soldiers, they have galls, Good arms, strong joints, true swords; and, Jove's
accord, Nothing so full of heart. But peace, Æneas, Peace, Trojan; lay thy finger on thy lips ! The worthiness of praise distains his worth, If that the prais'd himself bring the praise forth: But what the repining enemy commends, That breath fame follows; that praise, sole pure,
transcends. Agam. Sir, you of Troy, call you yourself Æneas? Æne. Ay, Greek, that is my name. Agam. What's your affair, I pray you? Æne. Sir, pardon; 'tis for Agamemnon's ears. Agam. He hears nought privately, that comes
from Troy. Æne. Nor I from Troy come not to whisper him : I bring a trumpet to awake his ear; To set his sense on the attentive bent, And then to speak. Agum.
Speak frankly* as the wind; It is not Agamemnon's sleeping hour: That thou shalt know, Trojan, he is awake, He tells thee so himself. ne.
Trumpet, blow loud, Send thy brass voice through all these lazy tents : And every Greek of mettle, let him know, What Troy meaus fairly, shall be spoke aloud.
[Trumpet sounds. We have, great Agamemnon, here in Troy
A prince call'd Hector (Priam is his father),
Agam. This shall be told our lovers, lord Æneas;.
Nest. Tell him of Nestor, one that was a man
• An armour for the arm.
Was fairer than his grandame, and as chaste
Æne. Now heavens forbid such scarcity of youth!
Agam. Fair lord Æneas, let me touch your hand; To our pavilion shall I lead you, sir. Achilles shall have word of this intent; So shall each lord of Greece, from tent to tent: Yourself shall feast with us before you go, And find the welcome of a noble foe.
[Exeunt all but Ulysses and Nestor. Ulyss. Nestor, Nest. What says Ulysses ? Ulyss. I have a young conception in my brain, Be you my time to bring it to some shape.
Nest. What is't?
Ulyss. This 'tis : Blunt wedges rive hard knots : The seeded pride That hath to this maturity blown up In rank Achilles, must or now be cropp'd, Or, shedding, breed a nursery of like evil, To overbulk us all. Nest.
Well, and how? Ulyss. This challenge that the gallant Hector
sends, However it is spread in general name, Relates in purpose only to Achilles. Nest. The purpose is perspicuous even as sub.
stance, Whose grossness little characters sum up: And, in the publication, make no strain*, But that Achilles, were his brain as barren As banks of Libya,---though, Apollo knows, 'Tis dry enough, will with great speed of judge
ment, Ay, with celerity, find Hector's purpose Pointing on him.
Ulyss. And wake him to the answer, think you? Nest.
Yes, It is most meet; Whom may you else oppose, That can from Hector bring those honours off. If not Achilles ? Though't be a sportful combat, Yet in the trial much opinion dwells; For here the Trojans taste our dear'st repute With their fin'st palate: And trust to me, Ulysses, Our imputation shall be oddly pois'd In this wild action: for the success, Although particular, shall give a scantlinge of good or bad unto the general; And in such indexes, although small prickst To their subsequent volumes, there is seen The baby figure of the giant mass Of things to come at large. It is suppos’d, He, that meets Hector, issues from our choice : And choice, being mutual act of all our souls, Makes merit her election, and doth boil, As 'twere from forth us all, a man distill'd Out of our virtues; Who miscarrying, What heart receives from hence a conqueri To steel a strong opinion to themselves? Which entertain'd, limbs are his instruments, In no less working, than are swords and bows Directive by the limbs.
Ulyss. Give pardon to my speech; Therefore 'tis meet, Achilles meet not Hector, Let us, like merchants, show our foulest wares, And think, perchance, they'll sell; if not, The lustre of the better shall exceed, By showing the worse first. Do not consent, That ever Hector and Achilles meet; For both our honour and our shame, in this, Are dogg'd with two strange followers. Vest. I see them not with my old eyes; what are
* Size, measure.