Rhesus - Euripides - ebook
Opis

In the middle of the night Trojan guards on the lookout for suspicious enemy activity sight bright fires in the Greek camp. They promptly inform Hector, who almost issues a general call to arms before Aeneas makes him see how ill-advised this would be. Their best bet, Aeneas argues, would be to send someone to spy on the Greek camp and see what the enemy is up to. Dolon volunteers to spy on the Greeks in exchange for Achilles's horses when the war is won. Hector accepts the deal and sends him out.

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Euripides

Euripides

Rhesus

LONDON ∙ NEW YORK ∙ TORONTO ∙ SAO PAULO ∙ MOSCOW

PARIS ∙ MADRID ∙ BERLIN ∙ ROME ∙ MEXICO CITY ∙ MUMBAI ∙ SEOUL ∙ DOHA

TOKYO ∙ SYDNEY ∙ CAPE TOWN ∙ AUCKLAND ∙ BEIJING

New Edition

Published by Sovereign Classic

www.sovereignclassic.net

This Edition

First published in 2015

Copyright © 2015 Sovereign Classic

Contents

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

RHESUS

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

CHORUS OF TROJAN SENTINELS ODYSSEUSHECTOR DIOMEDESAENEAS PARISDOLON ATHENAMESSENGER, a shepherd THE MUSERHESUS

RHESUS

SCENE

Before Hector›s tent at the gates of Troy. Enter CHORUS

CHORUS

To Hector’s couch away, one of you wakeful squires that tend the prince, to see if he have any fresh tidings from the warriors who wereset to guard the assembled host during the fourth watch of the night.

Calls to HECTOR in the tent

Lift up thy head! Prop thine arm beneath it! Unseal that louring eye from its repose; thy lowly couch of scattered leaves, O Hector, quit! ‘Tis time to hearken.

Enter HECTOR.

HECTOR

Who goes there? Is it a friend who calls? Who art thou? Thy watchword? Speak! Who in the dark hours comes nigh my couch, must tellme who he is.

CHORUS

Sentinels we of the army.

HECTOR

Why this tumultuous haste?

CHORUS

Be of good courage.

HECTOR

Is there some midnight ambuscade?

CHORUS

Nay.

HECTOR

Then why dost thou desert thy post and rouse the army, save thou have some tidings of the night? Art not aware how near the Argivehost we take our night›s repose in all our harness clad?

CHORUS

To arms! O Hector, seek thine allies’ sleeping camp! Bid them wield the spear! Awake them! thine own company despatch a friend. Saddle and bridle the steeds. Who will to the son of Panthus? who to Europa’sson, captain of the Lycian band? Where are they who should inspect the victims? Where be the leaders of the light-armed troops? Ye Phrygian archers, string your horn-tipped bows.

HECTOR

Now fear, now confidence thy tidings inspire; nothing is plainly set forth. Can it be that thou art smitten with wild affright by Pan, the son of Cronion, and leaving thy watch therefore dost rouse the host? What means thy noisy summons? What tidings can I say thou bringest? Thy words are many, but no plain statement hast thou made.

CHORUS

The long night through, O Hector, the Argive host hath kindled fires, and bright with torches shines the anchored fleet. To Agamemnon’stent the whole army moves clamorously by night, eager for fresh orders maybe, for never before have I seen such commotion among yon sea-faring folk. Wherefore I was suspicious of what might happen and came to tell thee, that thou mayest have no cause to blame me hereafter.

HECTOR

In good season com’st thou, albeit thy tidings are fraught with terror; for those cowards are bent on giving me the slip and stealing away from this land in their ships by night; their midnight signalling convinces me of this. Ah! Fortune, to rob me in my hour of triumph, a lionof his prey, or ever this spear of mine with one fell swoop had made an end for aye of yonder Argive host! Yea, had not the sun’s bright lamp withheld his light, I had not stayed my victor’s spear, ere I had fired their ships and made my way from tent to tent, drenching this hand in Achaean gore. Right eager was I to make a night attack and take advantage of the stroke of luck by heaven sent, but those wise seers of mine, who have heaven’s will so pat, persuaded me to wait the dawn, and then leave not one Achaean in the land. But those others await not the counsels of my soothsayers; darkness turns runaways to heroes. Needs must we now without delay pass this word along the line “Arm, arm! from slumber cease!” for many a man of them, e’en as he leaps aboard his ship, shall be smitten through the back and sprinkle the ladders with blood, and others shall be fast bound with cords and learn to till our Phrygian glebe.

CHORUS

Thou hastest, Hector, before thou knowest clearly what is happening; for we do not know for certain whether our foes are flying.

HECTOR

What reason else had the Argive host to kindle fires?

CHORUS

I cannot say; my soul doth much misgive me.

HECTOR

If this thou fearest, be sure there’s nought thou wouldst not fear.

CHORUS

Never aforetime did the enemy kindle such a blaze.

HECTOR

No, nor ever before did they suffer such shameful defeat and rout.

CHORUS

This thou didst achieve; look now to what remains to do.

HECTOR

I have but one word to say, “Arm, arm against the foe!”

CHORUS

Lo! where Aeneas comes, in hot haste too, as though he hath news to tell his friends.

Enter ENEAS.

AENEAS

Why, Hector, have the sentinels in terror made their way through the host to thy couch to hold a midnight conclave and disturb the army?

HECTOR

Case thee in thy coat of mail, Aeneas.

AENEAS

How now? are tidings come of some secret stratagem set on foot during the night by the foe?

HECTOR

They are flying, these foes of ours, and going aboard their ships.

AENEAS

What sure proof canst thou give of this?

HECTOR

The livelong night they are kindling blazing torches; methinks they will not wait for the morrow, but after lighting brands upon theirships’ decks will leave this and to their homes.

AENEAS