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and we stood there wondering at that which had come to pass. Seeing, then, that such a fearful portent had broken in upon our hecatombs, Kalkhas forthwith declared to us the oracles of heaven. ‘Why, Achaeans,’ said he, ‘are you thus speechless? Zeus has sent us this sign, long in coming, and long ere it be fulfilled, though its fame [kleos] shall last for ever. As the serpent ate the eight fledglings and the sparrow that hatched them, which makes nine, so shall we fight nine years at Troy, but in the tenth shall take the town.’ This was what he said, and now it is all coming true. Stay here, therefore, all of you, till we take the city of Priam." On this the Argives raised a shout, till the ships rang again with the uproar. Nestor, horseman of Gerene, then addressed them. "Shame on you," he cried, "to stay talking here like children, when you should fight like men. Where are our covenants now, and where the oaths that we have taken? Shall our counsels be flung into the fire,