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Aeacus. Protesilaus. Menelaus. Paris

Aea. Now then, Protesilaus, what do you mean by assaulting and throttling Helen?

Pro. Why, it was all her fault that I died, leaving my house half built, and my bride a widow.

Aea. You should blame Menelaus, for taking you all to Troy after such a light-o'-love.

Pro. That is true; he shall answer it.

Me. No, no, my dear sir; Paris surely is the man; he outraged all rights in carrying off his host's wife with him. He deserves throttling, if you like, and not from you only, but from Greeks and barbarians as well, for all the deaths he brought upon them.

Pro. Ah, now I have it. Here, you--you Paris! you shall not escape my clutches.

Pa. Oh, come, sir, you will never wrong one of the same gentle craft as yourself. Am I not a lover too, and a subject

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of your deity? against love you know (with the best will in the world) how vain it is to strive; ’tis a spirit that draws us whither it will.

Pro. There is reason in that. Oh, would that I had Love himself here in these hands!

Aea. Permit me to charge myself with his defence. He does not absolutely deny his responsibility for Paris's love; but that for your death he refers to yourself, Protesilaus. You forgot all about your bride, fell in love with fame, and, directly the fleet touched the Troad, took that rash senseless leap, which brought you first to shore and to death.

Pro. Now it is my turn to correct, Aeacus. The blame does not rest with me, but with Fate; so was my thread spun from the beginning.

Aea. Exactly so; then why blame our good friends here?


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