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[405] And the old man, godlike Priam, answered him: “If thou art indeed a squire of Peleus' son Achilles, come now, tell me all the truth, whether my son is even yet by the ships or whether by now Achilles hath hewn him limb from limb and cast him before his dogs.” [410] Then again the messenger Argeiphontes spake to him:“Old sire, not yet have dogs and birds devoured him, but still he lieth there beside the ship of Achilles amid the huts as he was at the first; and this is now the twelfth day that he lieth there, yet his flesh decayeth not at all, [415] neither do worms consume it, such as devour men that be slain in fight. Truly Achilles draggeth him ruthlessly about the barrow of his dear comrade, so oft as sacred Dawn appeareth, howbeit he marreth him not; thou wouldst thyself marvel, wert thou to come and see how dewy-fresh he lieth, and is washen clean of blood, [420] neither hath anywhere pollution; and all the wounds are closed wherewith he was stricken, for many there were that drave the bronze into his flesh. In such wise do the blessed gods care for thy son, a corpse though he be, seeing he was dear unto their hearts.” So spake he, and the old man waxed glad, and answered, saying: [425] “My child, a good thing is it in sooth e'en to give to the immortals such gifts as be due; for never did my son—as sure as ever such a one there was—forget in our halls the gods that hold Olympus; wherefore they have remembered this for him, even though he be in the doom of death. But come, take thou from me this fair goblet, [430] and guard me myself, and guide me with the speeding of the gods, until I be come unto the hut of the son of Pe1eus.” And again the messenger, Argeiphontes, spake to him:“Thou dost make trial of me, old sire, that am younger than thou; but thou shalt not prevail upon me, seeing thou biddest me take gifts from thee while Achilles knoweth naught thereof. [435] Of him have I fear and awe at heart, that I should defraud him, lest haply some evil befall me hereafter. Howbeit as thy guide would I go even unto glorious Argos, attending thee with kindly care in a swift ship or on foot; nor would any man make light of thy guide and set upon thee.”

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 252
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