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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
Æne. Fair leave, and large security. How may
Agam. This Trojan scorns us; or the men of Troy Are ceremonious courtiers.
Æne. Courtiers as free, as debonair, unarm'd, As bending angels; that's their fame in peace: But when they would seem 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 blows; that praise, sole pure, transcends.
Agam, Sir, you of Troy, call you yourself Æneas?
Æne. Ay, Greek, that is my name.
What's your affair, I pray you? Æne. Sir, pardon; 'tis for Agamemnon's ears. Agam. He hears nought privately, that comes from
Speak frankly as the wind;
Trumpet, blow loud,
[Trumpet sounds. We have, great Agamemnon, here in Troy A prince call'd Hector, (Priam is his father,) Who in this dull and long-continued truce" Is rusty grown; he bade me take a trumpet, And to this purpose speak. Kings, princes, lords! If there be one, among the fair'st of Greece, That holds his honour higher than his ease; That seeks his praise more than he fears his peril; That knows his valour, and knows not his fear; That loves his mistress more than in confession, (With traant vows to her own lips he loves,) And dare avow her beauty and her worth,
In other arms than hers,-to him this challenge.
Agam. This shall be told our lovers, lord Æneas;
Nest. Tell him of Nestor, one that was a man When Hector's grandsire suck’d: he is old now; But, if there be not in our Grecian host One noble man, that hath one spark of fire To answer for his love, Tell him from me,I'll hide my silver beard in a gold beaver, And in my vantbracel put this wither'd brawn; And, meeting him, will tell him, That my lady Was fairer than his grandame, and as chaste As may be in the world: His youth in flood, I'll prove this truth with my three drops of blood.
Æne. Now heavens forbid sach scarcity of youth! Ulyss. Amen.
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:
Well, and how?
Nest. The purpose is.perspicuous even as substance, Whose grossness little characters sum up: And, in the publication, inake no strain, But that Achilles, were his brain as barren As banks of Lybia,- though, Apollo knows, 'Tis dry enough, will with great speed of judgement,
Ay, with celerity, find Hector's purpose
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 cumbat, 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 scantling Of good or bad unto the general; And in such indexes, although small pricks 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 distillid Out of our virtues; Who miscarrying, What heart receives from hence a conquering part, 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.