Page:The Plays of Euripides Vol. 1- Edward P. Coleridge (1910).djvu/38

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[L. 242–317

go and spy the naval station; his spirit I admire; how few stout hearts there be, when on the sea the sun-light dies and the city labours in the surge; Phrygia yet hath left a valiant few, and bold hearts in the battle's press; 'tis only Mysia's sons who scorn us as allies.[1]

Which of the Achæans will their four-footed murderous foe slay in their beds, as he crosses the ground, feigning to be a beast? May he lay Menelaus low or slay Agamemnon and bring his head to Helen's hands, causing her to lament her evil kinsman, who hath come against my city, against the land of Troy with his countless host of ships.

Mes. (a Shepherd). Great king, ever in days to come be it mine to bring my masters such news as I am bearing now unto thine ears.

Hec. Full oft the rustic mind is afflicted with dulness; so thou, as like as not, art come to this ill-suited place to tell thy master that his flocks are bearing well. Knowest thou not my palace or my father's throne? Thither thou shouldst carry thy tale when thou hast prospered with thy flocks.

Mes. Dull we herdsmen are; I do not gainsay thee. But none the less I bring thee joyful news.

Hec. A truce to thy tale of how the sheep-fold fares; I have battles to fight and spears to wield.

Mes. The very things of which I, too, came to tell thee; for a chieftain of a countless host is on his way to join thee as thy friend and to champion this land.

Hec. His country? and the home that he hath left?

Mes. His country, Thrace: men call his father Strymon.

Hec. Didst say that Rhesus was setting foot in Troy?

  1. The words ποτὶ Mυσῶν are, as Nauck remarks, probably corrupt, but of the numerous emendations proposed none seem satisfactory. It is just possible that an old proverb is alluded to, branding a Mysian's opinion as worthless—
    "Si quis despicatui ducitur, Mysorum ultimus esse dicator."
    Cf. Cicero pro Flacco, ch. xxvii.