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[165] Then with an angry glance from beneath his brows Odysseus of many wiles answered him: “Stranger, thou hast not spoken well; thou art as one blind with folly. So true is it that the gods do not give gracious gifts to all alike, not form nor mind nor eloquence. For one man is inferior in comeliness, [170] but the god sets a crown1 of beauty upon his words, and men look upon him with delight, and he speaks on unfalteringly with sweet modesty, and is conspicuous among the gathered people, and as he goes through the city men gaze upon him as upon a god. Another again is in comeliness like the immortals, [175] but no crown of grace is set about his words. So, in thy case, thy comeliness is preeminent, nor could a god himself mend it, but in mind thou art stunted. Thou hast stirred the spirit in my breast by speaking thus unmannerly. I am not unskilled in sports [180] as thou pratest, nay, methinks I was among the first so long as I trusted in my youth and in my hands. But now I am bound by suffering and pains; for much have I endured in passing through wars of men and the grievous waves. But even so, though I have suffered much, I will make trial of the contests, [185] for thy word has stung me to the heart, and thou hast provoked me with thy speech.” He spoke, and, leaping up with his cloak about him as it was, seized a discus larger than the rest and thick, no little heavier than those with which the Phaeacians were wont to contend one with another. This with a whirl he sent from his stout hand, [190] and the stone hummed as it flew; and down they crouched to the earth, the Phaeacians of the long oars, men famed for their ships, beneath the rush of the stone. Past the marks of all it flew, speeding lightly from his hand, and Athena, in the likeness of a man, set the mark, and she spoke and addressed him: [195] “Even a blind man, stranger, could distinguish this mark, groping for it with his hands, for it is in nowise confused with the throng of the others, but is far the first. Be thou of good cheer for this bout at least: no one of the Phaeacians will reach this, or cast beyond it.”

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