This made the soul of Achilles to tread a swifter pace, with high-raised feet, as he vanished away, for the joy which he took in his son being applauded by Ulysses.
A sad shade stalked by, which Ulysses knew to be the ghost of Ajax, his opponent, when living, in that famous dispute about the right of succeeding to the arms of the deceased Achilles. They being adjudged by the Greeks to Ulysses, as the prize of wisdom above bodily strength, the noble Ajax in despite went mad, and slew himself. The sight of his rival turned to a shade by his dispute, so subdued the passion of emulation in Ulysses, that for his sake he wished that judgment in that controversy had been given against himself, rather than so illustrious a chief should have perished for the desire of those arms, which his prowess (second only to Achilles in fight) so eminently had deserved. “Ajax,” he cried, “all the Greeks mourn for thee as much as they lamented for Achilles. Let not thy wrath burn for ever, great son of Telamon. Ulysses seeks peace with thee, and will make any atonement to thee that can appease thy hurt spirit.” But the shade stalked on, and would not exchange a word with Ulysses, though he prayed it with many tears and many earnest entreaties. “He might have spoke to me,” said Ulysses, “since I spoke to him; but I see the resentments of the dead are eternal.”
Then Ulysses saw a throne on which was placed a judge distributing sentence. He that sat on the throne was Minos, and he was dealing out just judgments to the dead. He it is that assigns them their place in bliss or woe.
Then came by a thundering ghost, the large-limbed Orion, the mighty hunter, who was hunting there the ghosts of the beasts which he had slaughtered in desart hills upon the earth. For the dead delight in the occupations which pleased them in the time of their living upon the earth.
There was Tityus suffering eternal pains because he had sought to violate the honour of Latona as she passed from Pytho into Panopeus. Two vultures sat perpetually preying upon his liver with their crooked beaks; which as fast as they devoured, is for ever renewed; nor can he fray them away with his great hands.