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Agamemnon sakes Menelaus to find out what it’s about. Menelaus says that it is someone from Troy. Aeneas enters. Agamemnon asks him his business. Aeneas in turn asks him if this was Agamemnon’s tent. Agamemnon replies in the affirmative. Aeneas asks him if he might give Agamemnon a good message. Agamemnon says that with a surety stronger than Achilles arm and before all the Greek lords who accept Agamemnon as head and general,
Aeneas could most definitely present the message. Aeneas asks how a stranger might recognize Agamemnon. Agamemnon who is a nonplused just repeats ‘How?’
Aeneas says that he asks such a question that he might waken his reverence and ask his cheek to be ready with a blush as modest as the morning when she coldly eyes the young Sun. After this bit of courtly flattery he comes straight to the point and asks: ‘Which is that God in office, guiding men?/Which is the high and mighty Agamemnon?’
Agamemnon can’t tell if Aeneas is being scornful, if he is making fun of them, or if he is behaving in this way because the Trojans are ceremonious courtiers. Aeneas replies that when Trojans are unarmed, they are as free, mild, gracious and courteous - something they are famous for during peacetime. But when they are soldiers, they resent injury and insult; they have good arms, strong joints, and swords and by Jove’s accord, there is nobody so courageous. Then Aeneas addresses himself and says: ‘Peace Trojan, lay thy finger on thy lips.’ He says that a person who praises himself reduces his own worth and that of the praise. Fame follows what the enemy commends, and that kind of praise transcends all others, he states.
Agamemnon asks him his business. Aeneas begs his pardon and says his business is for Agamemnon’s ears only. Continuing to speak of himself in the third person, Agamemnon says that ‘He hears naught privately that comes from Troy’ or that he does not listen in private to anything that comes from Troy.
Aeneas counters that he had not come from Troy to whisper with him.. He says that he has brought a trumpeter to wake his ear, bring him to attention, and then to speak.
Agamemnon asks Aeneas to speak as frankly as the wind, as it was not Agamemnon’s sleeping hour. He then reveals himself as Agamemnon.
Aeneas asks the trumpeter to blow loudly so that the sound is heard through all the lazy tents of the Greek camp and every courageous Greek of courage would know that what Troy means fairly, would be spoken aloud.
The trumpet is sounded. Aeneas continues in a proclamatory way. He talks of the Trojan prince, Hector, the son of Priam who has grown inactive and lazy in the dull and lengthy truce. Aeneas says that Hector bade Aeneas himself to take a trumpeter. He tells the Greeks that if there was anyone among the best, he challenges him. He then expounds Hector’s challenge, which is traditional and opposes the challenger’s mistress against the whole world. He says that he has a lady who is wiser, fairer, and truer, than any a Greek has ever embraced, and on the following day, would sound his trumpet between the Greek tents and the walls of Troy so as to rouse a Greek who is truly in love. If anyone comes forth, Hector will honor him. If no one does, he’ll let it be known in Troy that Greek women are sun burnt and ugly and ‘not worth/ The splinter of a lance.’