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[260] Then with an angry glance from beneath his brows spake unto him Achilles, swift of foot: “Hector, talk not to me, thou madman, of covenants. As between lions and men there are no oaths of faith, nor do wolves and lambs have hearts of concord but are evil-minded continually one against the other, [265] even so is it not possible for thee and me to be friends, neither shall there be oaths between us till one or the other shall have fallen, and glutted with his blood Ares, the warrior with tough shield of hide. Bethink thee of all manner of valour: now in good sooth it behoveth thee to quit thee as a spearman and a dauntless warrior. No more is there any escape for thee, but forthwith shall Pallas Athene [270] lay thee low by my spear. Now shalt thou pay back the full price of all my sorrows for my comrades, whom thou didst slay when raging with thy spear.” He spake, and poised his far-shadowing spear, and hurled it; howbeit glorious Hector, looking steadily at him, avoided it; [275] for he was ware of it in time and crouched, and the spear of bronze flew over, and fixed itself in the earth; but Pallas Athene caught it up, and gave it back to Achilles, unseen of Hector, shepherd of the host. And Hector spake unto the peerless son of Peleus:“Thou hast missed, neither in any wise, as it seemeth, O Achilles like to the gods, hast thou yet known from Zeus of my doom, though [280] verily thou thoughtest it. Howbeit thou wast but glib of tongue and a cunning knave in speech, to the end that seized with fear of thee I might be forgetful of my might and my valour. Not as I flee shalt thou plant thy spear in my back; nay, as I charge upon thee drive thou it straight through my breast, [285] if a god hath vouchsafed thee this. Now in turn avoid thou my spear of bronze. Would that thou mightest take it all into thy flesh! So would war be lighter for the Trojans, if thou wert but dead; for thou art their greatest bane.”

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 15
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