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He came, as fame reports, adorned with gold and jewels, and made a show in his person of the riches of Phrygia. He was backed with ships and armed men, by which wars are carried on; and yet how small a part of the population of his country followed him! It was by these, I suspect,

daughter of Leda, and sister to the famous twins, that your heart was gained: these, I fear, may prove fatal to the Greeks. I have a strong dread of some one named Hector. Hector, Paris was wont to say, knew how to support a war with bloody rage. Beware of this Hector, whoever he is, if you retain any regard for me; let this name be deeply engraven in your mindful breast. When you shun him, remember also to shun others: fancy that there are many Hectors within those walls; and do not fail to say within yourself, as often as you prepare for battle, Laodamia enjoined me to take care of myself for her sake. If fate has ordained that Troy shall fall by the hand of the Greeks, may it fall without your receiving any injury. Let Menelaus fight, and rush among the thickest ranks of the foe, that he may recover from Paris what Paris unjustly ravished from him: let him force his way through them; and, as he triumphs in a better cause, triumph also by arms, and recover his wife from amidst his enemies. The case is different with you; you must fight that you may live, and return safe to your wife's tender caresses. Spare, O Trojans,

this one out of so many enemies, and spill not my blood by the wounds you give to him. He is not formed to engage cruel foes in close fight, or march up with an undaunted breast to their foremost ranks. He acquits himself better in the combats of love. Let others engage in bloody wars; but let Protesilaus fight under the banners of Cupid. Now I own, that I would gladly have called you back; my heart strongly inclined me to it; but my tongue was silent from the fear of giving a bad omen. When you set out for Troy from your father's gate, your foot gave a presage by striking against the threshold. When I saw it I groaned, and said quietly to myself, May the Gods grant that this may be a presage of my husband's safe return. These circumstances I now relate to you, that you may not be too forward in the field, but by your caution may make all my fears vanish in empty air. Fortune hath also doomed some one to an untimely fate, who shall, first of the Greeks, set his foot upon Trojan ground. Unhappy she, fated first to deplore

her lost lord! Grant, O ye Gods, that Protesilaus' courage may then fail! May thy ship be the last of a thousand, and in the rear of all the fleet plough the foaming deep. I farther admonish you, that you be the last to leave the ship: the shore to which you hasten is not your native soil. But, when you return, urge the bark with sail and oars, nor delay a moment to set foot upon the coast of your own country. Whether Phœbus hides his beams, or high in his chariot overlooks the earth, both by day and by night you fill my mind with grief and anxiety: yet the mournful image haunts me more at night than during the day: night is grateful to those whose necks are environed by clasping arms. I catch at empty dreams in a forlorn bed, and must put up with false joys, because the true have fled. But why does your pale shadow stand before me? Why do I incessantly hear you uttering mournful complaints? I start from my sleep, and adore the nightly powers. The Thessalian altars cease not to smoke with sacrifices for your sake. Incense is offered, and tears are shed over it in abundance; with which the flame burns bright, as if sprinkled with wine.

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    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 68a
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