Rather, much rather would I fall by virtue
Than rise by guilt to certain victory.
O noble youth! and worthy of thy sire!
When I like thee was young, like thee of strength
And courage boastful, little did I deem
Of human policy; but long experience
Hath taught me, son, 'tis not the powerful arm,
But soft enchanting tongue that governs all.
And thou wouldst have me tell an odious falsehood?
He must be gained by fraud.
By fraud? And why
Not by persuasion?
He'll not listen to it;
And force were vainer still.
What mighty power
Hath he to boast?
His arrows winged with death
Then it were not safe
E'en to approach him.
No; unless by fraud
He be secured.
And thinkst thou 'tis not base
To tell a lie then?
Not if on that lie
Depends our safety.
Who shall dare to tell it
Without a blush?
We need not blush at aught
That may promote our interest and success.
But where's the interest that should bias me?
Come he or not to Troy, imports it aught
Troy cannot fall
Without his arrows.
Saidst thou not that I
Was destined to destroy her?
Naught canst thou do, and they without thee nothing.
Then I must have them.
When thou hast, remember
A double prize awaits thee.