Page images

It hath to climb: The general's disdain'd
By him one step below; he, by the next;
That next, by him beneath : so every step,
Exampld by the first pace that is fick
Of his superior, gro to an envious fever
Of pale and bloodless emulation :
And 'tis this fever that keeps Troy on foot,
Not her own finews. To end a tale of length,
Troy in our weakness ftands, not in her strength *.

Nef. Most wisely hath Ulyffes here discover's
The fever, whereof all our power is sick.

Aga. The nature of the sickness found, Ulyfesor What is the remedy?

Uly. The great Achilles,—whom opinion crowns:: The finew and the forehand of our host,Having his ear full of his airy fame, Grows dainty of his worth, and in his tent Lies mocking our designs : With him, Patroclus, Upon a lazy bed, the livelong day Breaks fcurril jefts; And with ridiculous and aukward action (Which, slanderer, he imitation calls) He pageants us. Sometime, great Agamemnon, Thy topless deputation he puts on; And, like a ftrutting player, whose conceit Lies in his ham-ftring, and doth think it rich To hear the wooden dialogue and sound"Twixt his stretch'd footing and the scaffoldage, Such to-be-pity'd and o'er-refted seeming He acts thy greatness in : and when he speaks, 'Tis like a chime a-mending; with terms unsquar'd,, Which, from the tongue of roaring Typhon droppid; Would seem hyperboles. At this fufty ftuff, The large Achilles, on his press'd bed lolling, From his deep cheft laughs out a loud applause ; Cries, Excellent ! 'tis Agamemnon just. Now play me Nestor ; hem, and stroke thy beard,

• However slirewdly characterific this speech may be, we think it much too long, and too redundant for stage-delivery ; therefore we have marked those lines which, in our view, may be best spared, if this piece should ever encounter the stage,

As beg being 'dret to fome oration.
That's done ; as near as the extremel ends
Of parallels, like as Wulcan and his wife :
Yet good Achilles fill cries, Excellent !
'Tis Neftor right: Now play him me, Patroclus,
Arming to answer in a night alarms
And then, forsooth, the faine defects of age
Must be the scene of mirth; no cough, and spit,
And, with a palsy fumbling on his gorget,
Shake in and out the rivet : and at this sport
Sir Valour dies ; cries, 0; enough, Patroctus ;
Or give me ribs of steel! I foall

split all
In pleafure of my spleen. And in this fashion
All our abilities, gifts, natures, hapes,
Severals and generals of grace exac,
Atchievements, plots, orders, preventions,
Excitements to the field, or speech for truce,
Success, os loss, what is, or is not, ferves
As stuff for these two to make paradoxes *.

Nef. And in the imitation of these twain
Whom, as Ulysses fays, opinion crowns
With an imperial voice) many are infect.
Ajax is grown self-will'd ; and bears, his head
In such a rein, in full as proud a place
As broad Achilles : keeps his tent like him;
Makes factious feasts ; rails on our state of war,
Bold as an oracle : and sets Therfites
(A lave, whose gall coins flanders like a mint)
To match us in comparisons with dirt ;
To weaken and discredit our exposure,
How rank foever rounded in with danger.

Uly. They tax our policy, and call it cowardice;
Count wisdom as no member of the war ;
Forestal prescience, and esteem no act
+ But that of hand : the still and mental parts,

* This speech has Atrong painting in it, letting ingly into the characters of Achilles and Patroclus.

# There is a very commendable idea broached bere against those who prefer immediate action to prescient calculation ; but with defen rence to our author, we think he makes Ulysses deliver himself in terms too complicate and cramps

us well and pleas


That do contrive how many hands fhall Atrike,
When fitness calls them on; and know, by measure
of their observant toil, the enemies' weight,-
Why; this hath not a finger's dignity';
They call this bed work mappery, closet war:
Sochat the ram, thạt batters down the wall,
For the great swing and rudeness of his poize,
Thoy:place before his band that made the engine's
Or those, that with the fineness of their souls
ky reason guide his execution.

Nef. Let this be granted, and Achilles' horse
Makes many Thetis' fons,

[Trumpet beard. Aga. What trumpet's that ? look, Menelaus. Mex. From Troy,

Enter Æneas.
Ağa. What would you 'fore our tent ?
Ène. Is this great Agamemnon's tent, I pray you ?
Aga. Even this.

Æne. May one, that is a herald, and a princes
Do a fair message to his kingly ears ?

Aga. With furety stronger than Achilles' arm “ 'Fore all the Greekish heads, which with one voice " Call Agamemnon head and general.

Æne. Fair leave, and large security. How may "A ftranger to those most imperial looks “ Know them from eyes of other mortals:

Aga. How?

" Àne. I ask, that I might waken' reverence, “ Andi bid the cheek be ready with a blush “ Modeft as morning, when the coldly eyes » "" The youthful Phuebus : “ Which is that god in office; guiding men ? " Which is the high and mighty Agamemnon ?

Aga 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


[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Nothing fo foll of heart. But peace, Æneas, “ Peace, Trojan ; lay thy finger on thy lips ! “ The worthiness of praise diftains his worth, «If that the prais'd himself bring the praife førth: What the repioing enemy commends, “ That breath'fame blows; that praise, sole pure, tran.

66 scends. “ Aga. Sir, you of Troy, call you yourself Æneas ? ne. Ay, Greek, that is my name. Aga. What's

your affair, I pray you i Æne. Sir, pardon ; 'tis for Agamemnon's cars.

Aga. He hears nought privately, that comes from “ Æne. Nor I from Troy come not to whisper him: I bring a trumpet to awake bis ear; “ To set his sense on the attentive bent,, « And then to speak.

Aga. 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.

Æne. Trumpet, blow loud, Send

tny brass voice through all these lazy tents :And every Greek of mettle, let him know, What Troy means fairly shall be spoke aloud.

[Trumpet founds. We have, great Agamemnon, here in Troy A prince called Hector, Priam is his father, Who in this dull and long continu'd truce Is ruity grown ; he bad me take a trumpet, And to this purpose speak. Kings, princes, lords ! If there be one, among the fair'it 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 nor his fear; That loves his mistress more than in confeffion, (With truant vows to her own lips he love:) And dare avow her beauty, and her worth, In other arms than hers,-10 bim this challenge. Hector, in view of Trojans and of Greeks, Shall make it good, or do his best to do it,


He bath a lady, wiser, fairer, truer,
Than ever Greek did compass in his armis ;
And will to-morrow with his trumpet call,
Mid-way between your tents and walls of Troy, ,
To rouse a Grecian that is true in love :
If any come, Hector shall honour him ;
If none, he'll lay in Troy, when he retires;
The Grecian dames are sun-burnt, and not worth
The splinter of a lance. Even so much.

Aga. This ihall be cold our lovers, lord Æneas ;
If none of them have foul in such a kind,
We left them all at home : But, we are soldiers ;
And may that foldier a mere recreant prove,
That means not, hath not, or is not in love!
If then one is, or hath, or means to be,
That one meets Hector ; if none else, I am he.

Nes; Tell him of Neftor, one that was a man
When Hector's grandfre fuck’d: he is old now;
But, if there be not in our Grecian hoft
One noble man, that hath one spark of fire
To answer for his love, tell him from me,-.
IN hide my filver breaft-plate bcard in a gold beaver,
And in my vauntbrace put this wither'd brawn ;
And, meeting him, will tell him, That my lady
Was fairer than his grandame, and as cbafte
As may be in the world : His youth in flood,
I'd pawn this truth with my three drops of blood..

#ne. Now heavens forbid such scarcity of youth!

Agą.. Amen...
Fair lord a reas, let me touch your hand;
To our pavilion Thall I lead you, fir,

Achilles thall have word of this in ent;;.
So Ibail each lord of Greece, from tent to tent:
Yourself thall fealt with us before you go,
And faci the welcome of a noble foe.

(Exeunt ell hut Uly. and Nef. Uly. Neftor, Nej. . What says Ulpjes ?

This challenge, though a whimsical one in its nature, has some.:thing very manly and spirited in it.

« PreviousContinue »