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Come, old man—often by my shield [735] you have had your full share of trouble and hard work—now also have a share in my success, and go tell the friends I left behind the state of matters here, as you found them, and how my fortune stands; and bid them wait at the beach and watch eagerly for the [740] struggle which I expect awaits me; and if we should be able somehow to steal this woman away from the land, tell them to keep good watch so that we may share the luck and escape, if we can, from the barbarians.

It shall be done, lord. Now indeed I see how worthless [745] the seers' doings are, and how full of falsehood; there was no health in the blaze of sacrifice after all, or in the cry of winged birds; even to think that birds can help mankind is certainly foolish. For Calchas gave no word or sign to the army, [750] when he saw his friends dying on behalf of a cloud, nor did Helenos; but the city was taken by storm in vain. You might say: because the god did not want them to? Then why do we consult prophets? We ought to sacrifice to the gods and ask a blessing, but leave divination alone; [755] for this was invented otherwise, as a bait for a livelihood, and no man grows rich by sacrifices if he is idle. But sound judgment and discernment are the best of seers.The messenger departs.

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