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The Xanthus. The Sea

Xan. O Sea, take me to you; see how horribly I have been treated; cool my wounds for me.

Sea. What is this, Xanthus? who has burned you?

Xan. Hephaestus. Oh, I am burned to cinders! oh, oh, oh, I boil!

Sea. What made him use his fire upon you?

Xan. Why, it was all that son of your Thetis. He was slaughtering the Phrygians; I tried entreaties, but he went raging on, damming my stream with their bodies; I was so sorry for the poor wretches, I poured down to see if I could make a flood and frighten him off them. But Hephaestus happened to be about, and he must have collected every particle of fire he had in Etna or anywhere else; on he came at me, scorched my elms and tamarisks, baked the poor fishes and eels, made me boil over, and very nearly dried me up altogether. You see what a state I am in with the burns.

Sea. Indeed you are thick and hot, Xanthus, and no wonder; the dead men's blood accounts for one, and the fire for the other, according to your story. Well, and serve you right; assaulting my grandson, indeed! paying no more respect to the son of a Nereid than that!

Xan. Was I not to take compassion on the Phrygians? they are my neighbours.

Sea. And was Hephaestus not to take compassion on Achilles? He is the son of Thetis.


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