Page:The Plays of Euripides Vol. 1- Edward P. Coleridge (1910).djvu/34

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6
[L. 103–171
EURIPIDES.

as shameful, when God gives them into our hands, to let our foes escape without a blow after all the injuries they have done us.

Æn. Would thou wert as sage as thou art bold! But lo! among mortals the same man is not dowered by nature with universal knowledge; each hath his special gift appointed him, thine is arms, another's is sage counsel. Thou hearest their torches are blazing, and art fired with the hope that the Achæans are flying, and wouldst lead on our troops across the trenches in the calm still night. Now after crossing the deep yawning trench, supposing thou shouldst find the enemy are not flying from the land, but are awaiting thy onset, beware lest thou suffer defeat and so never reach this city again; for how wilt thou pass the palisades in a rout? And how shall thy charioteers cross the bridges without dashing the axles of their cars to pieces? And, if victorious, thou hast next the son of Peleus to engage; he will ne'er suffer thee to cast the firebrand on the fleet, no, nor to harry the Achæans as thou dost fondly fancy. Nay, for yon man is fierce as fire, a very tower of valiancy. Let us rather then leave our men to sleep calmly under arms after the weariness of battle, while we send, as I advise, whoe'er will volunteer, to spy upon the enemy; and if they really are preparing to fly, let us arise and fall upon the Argive host, but if this signalling is a trap to catch us, we shall discover from the spy the enemy's designs and take our measures; such is my advice, O King.

Cho. It likes me well; so change thy mind and adopt this counsel. I love not hazardous commands in generals. What better scheme could be than for a fleet spy to approach the ships and learn why our foes are lighting fires in front of their naval station?

Hec. Since this finds favour with you all, prevail. (To Æneas.) Go thou and marshal our allies; mayhap the host hearing of our midnight council is disturbed. Mine shall it