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By John Banville

The 3rd quantity in a trilogy that all started with The publication of Evidence and Ghosts.

Morrow is at a unfastened finish whilst, individually, humans beckon him upstairs in an empty Dublin condominium. One deals him paintings of a doubtful type, and the opposite bargains him one of those love.

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Sample text

Is preventing Teucer’s descendant from landing as Italy’s king beyond my power? Granted, the Fates are opposed. But if so, how was Pallas empowered, Just for the insane crime of a single man, son of Oileus, 40 Ajax, to burn an entire Greek navy and drown all its sailors? Out of the clouds she herself hurled Jupiter’s lightning; she scattered Vessels, her storm winds churned calm seas. And, so much for Ajax, Lungs thunderbolted, he vomited fire: she dispatched a tornado, Whirled him away as he died and impaled him upon a sharp 45 reef rock.

460 Look! Priam’s here. Even here great deeds win due recognition, Human events stir tears; what dies has the power to move minds. Cast off fear! ’ This said, he feasted his soul on the ghostly figures before him, Groaning a great deal, bedewing his face with a river of weeping, 465 Constantly seeing the fighters circling Troy in their battles: Greeks here, routed and hotly pursued by the young Trojan soldiers, Phrygians there, pressed hard from his chariot by crested Achilles. Not far away, he can see (and recall) the white canvas of Rhesus’ Tents* through his tears, men betrayed in their first night’s sleep 470 near the city, Hideously butchered by Tydeus’ blood-drenched son, Diomedes.

BOOK TWO S ilence came over them all; eyes focused upon him intently. Father Aeneas arose on his deep-pillowed couch and began thus:* ‘Words can’t express, my queen, what you bid me relive, all the rueful Pain: telling how the Danaäns destroyed Troy’s wealth and its power Makes for a dirge of lament. Heartbreaking events. And I saw them, 5 I was a major part of them all. What Myrmidon soldier, Or what Dolopian, what man who served under callous Ulysses Could find words, yet hold back tears? And, besides, night is shedding Dew from the sky, and stars as they fade persuade us to slumber.

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