AENEAS. Hail, all the state of Greece! What shall be done To him that victory commands? Or do you purpose A victor shall be known? Will you the knights Shall to the edge of all extremity Pursue each other, or shall they be divided By any voice or order of the field? Hector bade ask.

AGAMEMNON. Which way would Hector have it?

AENEAS. He cares not; he'll obey conditions.

ACHILLES. 'Tis done like Hector; but securely done, A little proudly, and great deal misprizing The knight oppos'd.

AENEAS. If not Achilles, sir, What is your name?

ACHILLES. If not Achilles, nothing.

AENEAS. Therefore

ACHILLES. But whate'er, know this: In the extremity of great and little Valour and pride excel themselves in Hector; The one almost as infinite as all, The other blank as nothing. Weigh him well, And that which looks like pride is courtesy. This Ajax is half made of Hector's blood; In love whereof half Hector stays at home; Half heart, half hand, half Hector comes to seek This blended knight, half Troyan and half Greek.

ACHILLES. A maiden battle then? O, I perceive you!


AGAMEMNON. Here is Sir Diomed. Go, gentle knight, Stand by our

AJAX. As you and Lord ]Eneas Consent upon the order of their fight, So be it; either to the uttermost, Or else a breath. The combatants being kin Half stints their strife before their strokes begin. [AJAX and HECTOR enter the lists]

ULYSSES. They are oppos'd already.

AGAMEMNON. What Troyan is that same that looks so heavy?

ULYSSES. The youngest son of Priam, a true knight; Not yet mature, yet matchless; firm of word; Speaking in deeds and deedless in his tongue; Not soon provok'd, nor being provok'd soon calm'd; His heart and hand both open and both free; For what he has he gives, what thinks he shows, Yet gives he not till judgment guide his bounty, Nor dignifies an impair thought with breath; Manly as Hector, but more dangerous; For Hector in his blaze of wrath subscribes To tender objects, but he in heat of action Is more vindicative than jealous love. They call him Troilus, and on him erect A second hope as fairly built as

HECTOR. Thus says Aeneas, one that knows the youth Even to his inches, and, with private soul, Did in great Ilion thus translate him to me. [Alarum. HECTOR and AJAX fight]

AGAMEMNON. They are in action.

NESTOR. Now, Ajax, hold thine own!

TROILUS. Hector, thou sleep'st; Awake thee.

AGAMEMNON. His blows are well dispos'd. There, Ajax! [Trumpets cease]

DIOMEDES. You must no more.

AENEAS. Princes, enough, so please you.

AJAX. I am not warm yet; let us fight again.

DIOMEDES. As Hector pleases.

HECTOR. Why, then will I no more. Thou art, great lord, my father's sister's son, A cousin-german to great Priam's seed; The obligation of our blood forbids A gory emulation 'twixt us twain: Were thy commixtion Greek and Troyan so That thou could'st say 'This hand is Grecian all, And this is Troyan; the sinews of this leg All Greek, and this all Troy; my mother's blood Runs on the dexter cheek, and this sinister Bounds in my father's'; by Jove multipotent, Thou shouldst not bear from me a Greekish member Wherein my sword had not impressure made Of our rank feud; but the just gods gainsay That any drop thou borrow'dst from thy mother, My sacred aunt, should by my mortal sword Be drained! Let me embrace thee,

AJAX. By him that thunders, thou hast lusty arms; Hector would have them fall upon him thus. Cousin, all honour to thee!

AJAX. I thank thee,

HECTOR. Thou art too gentle and too free a man. I came to kill thee, cousin, and bear hence A great addition earned in thy death.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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