Imatges de pàgina
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Thy soul is proof to all things but to kindness;
And therefore 'twas that I forbore to tell thee,
How mad Cassandra, full of prophecy,
Ran round the streets, and, like a Bacchanal,
Cried, -Hold him, Priam, 'tis an ominous day;
Let him not go, for Hector is no more.
Hect. Our life is short, but to extend that

span
To vast eternity, is virtue's work;
Therefore to thee, and not to fear of fate,
Which once must come to all, give I this day.
But see thou move no more the like request;
For rest assured, that, to regain this hour,
To-morrow will I tempt a double danger.
Mean time, let destiny attend thy leisure ;
I reckon this one day a blank of life.

Enter TROILUS.
Troil. Where are you, brother? now, in honour's

name,
What do you mean to be thus long unarmed?
The embattled soldiers throng about the gates;
The matrons to the turrets' tops ascend,
Holding their helpless children in their arms,
To make you early known to their young eyes,
And Hector is the universal shout.

Hect, Bid all unarm ; I will not fight to-day.

Troil. Employ some coward to bear back this news, And let the children hoot him for his pains. By all the gods, and by my just revenge, This sun shall shine the last for them or us; These noisy streets, or yonder echoing plains, Shall be to-morrow silent as the grave.

Andr. O brother, do not urge a brother's fate, But let this wreck of heaven and earth roll o'er, And, when the storm is past, put out to sea. Troil. O now I know from whence his change

proceeds;

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Some frantic augur has observed the skies ;
Some victim wants a heart, or crow flies wrong.
By heaven, 'twas never well, since saucy priests
Grew to be masters of the listening herd,
And into mitres cleft the regal crown;
Then, as the earth were scanty for their power, ,
They drew the pomp of heaven to wait on them.
Shall I go publish, Hector dares not fight,
Because a madman dreamt he talked with Jove ?
What could the god see in a brain-sick priest,
That he should sooner talk to him than me?

Hect. You know my name's not liable to fear.

Troil. Yes, to the worst of fear,--to superstition.
But whether that, or fondness of a wife,
(The more unpardonable ill) has seized you,
Řnow this, the Grecians think you fear Achilles,
And that Polyxena has begged your life.
Hect. How! that my life is begged, and by my

sister?
Troil. Ulysses so informed me at our parting,
With a malicious and disdainful smile :
'Tis true, he said not, in broad words, you feared
But in well-mannered terms 'twas so agreed,
Achilles should avoid to meet with Hector.

Hect. He thinks my sister's treason my petition;
That, largely vaunting, in my heat of blood, ,
More than I could, it seems, or durst perform,
I sought evasion.

Troil. And in private prayed-
Hect. O yes, Polyxena to beg my life.
Andr. He cannot think so;---do not urge him thus.
Hect. Not urge me! then thou think'st I need

his urging.
By all the gods, should Jove himself descend,
And tell me,--Hector, thou deservest not life,
But take it as a boon ---- I would not live.
But that a mortal man, and he, of all men,

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Should think my life were in his power to give,
I will not rest, till

, prostrate on the ground, I make him, atheist-like, implore his breath Of me, and not of heaven.

Troil. Then you'll refuse no more to fight?

Hect. Refuse! I'll not be hindered, brother. I'll through and through them, even their hindmost

ranks, Till I have found that large-sized boasting fool, Who dares presume my life is in his gift. Andr. Farewell, farewell; 'tis vain to strive with

fate! Cassandra's raging god inspires my breast With truths that must be told, and not believed, Look how he dies ! look how his eyes turn pale ! Look how his blood bursts out at many vents! Hark how Troy roars, how Hecuba cries out, And widowed I fill all the streets with screams! Behold distraction, frenzy, and amazement, Like antiques meet, and tumble upon heaps ! And all cry, Hector, Hector's dead! Oh Hector !

[Exit. Hect. What sport will be, when we return at

evening To laugh her out of countenance for her dreams! Troil. I have not quenched my eyes with dewy

sleep this night; But fiery fumes mount upward to my brains, And, when I breathe, methinks my nostrils hiss ! I shall turn basilisk, and with my sight Do my hands' work on Diomede this day. Hect. To arms, to arms! the vanguards are en

gaged. Let us not leave one man to guard the walls; Both old and young, the coward and the brave, Be summoned all, our utmost fate to try, And as one body move, whose soul am I. (Ereunt.

SCENE II.-The Camp. Alarm within. Enter AGAMEMNON, ULYSSES, ME

NELAUS, Soldiers. Agam. Thus far the promise of the day is fair. Æneas rather loses ground than gains. I saw him over-laboured, taking breath, And leaning on his spear, behold our trenches, Like a fierce lion looking up to toils, Which yet he durst not leap. Ulys. And therefore distant death does all the

work;
The flights of whistling darts make brown the sky,
Whose clashing points strike fire, and gild the dusk;
Those, that reach home, from neither host are vain,
So thick the prease; so lusty are their arms,
That death seemed never sent with better will,
Nor was with less concernment entertained.

Enter NESTOR.
Agam. Now, Nestor, what's the news?

Nest. I have descried
A cloud of dust, that mounts in pillars upwards, ,
Expanding as it travels to our camp;
And from the midst I heard a bursting shout,
That rent the heaven; as if all Troy were swarmed,
And on the wing this way.

Menel. Let them come, let them come.
Agam. Where's great Achilles ?

Ulys. Think not on Achilles,
Till Hector drag him from his tent to fight;
Which sure he will, for I have laid the train.
Nest. But young Patroclus leads his Myrmidons,

. And in their front, even in the face of Hector, Resolves to dare the Trojans.

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Agam. Haste, Ulysses, bid Ajax issue forth and

second him. Ulys. Oh noble general, let it not be so. Oppose not rage, while rage is in its force, But give it way awhile, and let it waste. The rising deluge is not stopt with dams; Those it o'erbears, and drowns the hopes of harvest: But, wisely managed, its divided strength Is sluiced in channels, and securely drained. First, let small parties dally with their fury; But when their force is spent and unsupplied, The residue with mounds may be restrained, And dry-shod we may pass the naked ford.

Enter THERSITES. Thers. Ho, ho, ho ! Menel. Why dost thou laugh, unseasonable fool?

Thers. Why, thou fool in season, cannot a man laugh, but thou thinkest he makes horns at thee? Thou prince of the herd, what hast thou to do with laughing? 'Tis the prerogative of a man, to laugh. Thou risibility without reason, thou subject of laughter, thou fool royal !

Ulys. But tell us the occasion of thy mirth ?

Thers. Now a man asks me, I care not if I answer to my own kind.-Why, the enemies are broken into our trenches; fools like Menelaus fall by thousảnds, yet not a human soul departs on either side. Troilus and Ajax have almost beaten one another's heads off, but are both immortal for want of brains. Patroclus has killed Sarpedon, and Hector Patroclus, so there is a towardly springing fop gone off; he might have made a prince one day, but now he's nipt in the very bud and promise of a most prodigious coxcomb.

Agam. Bear off Patroclus' body to Achilles ; Revenge will arm him now, and bring us aid,

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