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So spake he, but Antilochus drave on even the more hotly, [430] and plied the goad, as he were one that heard not. And far is the range of a discus swung from the shoulder, which a young man hurleth, making trial of his strength, even so far ran they on; but the mares of the son of Atreus gave back, for of his own will he forbare to urge them, [435] lest haply the single-hooved horses should clash together in the track, and overturn the well-plaited cars, and themselves be hurled in the dust in their eager haste for victory. Then fair-haired Menelaus chid Antilochus, and said:“Antilochus, than thou is none other of mortals more malicious. [440] Go, and perdition take thee, since falsely did we Achaeans deem thee wise. Howbeit even so shalt thou not bear off the prize without an oath.”1 So said he, and called to his horses, saying: “Hold not back, I bid you, neither stand ye still with grief at heart. Their feet and knees will grow weary [445] before yours, for they both are lacking in youth.” So spake be, and they, seized with fear at the rebuke of their master, ran swiftlier on, and quickly came close anigh the others. But the Argives sitting in the place of gathering were gazing at the horses, that flew amid the dust over the plain. [450] And the first to mark them was Idomeneus, leader of the Cretans, for he sat without the gathering, the highest of all, in a place of outlook, and when he heard the voice of him that shouted, albeit afar off, he knew it; and he was ware of a horse, shewing clear to view in front, one that was a bay all the rest of him, but on his forehead was [455] a white spot round like the moon. And he stood up, and spake among the Argives saying:“My friends, leaders and rulers of the Argives, is it I alone that discern the horses, or do ye as well? Other are they, meseemeth, that be now in front, [460] and other is the charioteer that appeareth; and the mares will have come to harm out yonder on the plain, they that were in front on the outward course. For in truth I marked them sweeping first about the turning-post, but now can I nowhere spy them, though mine eyes glance everywhither over the Trojan plain, as I gaze. [465] Did the reins haply slip from the charioteer, and was he unable to guide the course aright about the post, and did he fail in the turn? Even there, methinks, must he have been hurled to earth, and have wrecked his car, and the mares must have swerved from the course in wild terror of heart. Howbeit stand ye up also, and look; for myself [470] I discern not clearly, but the man seemeth to me to be an Aetolian by race, and is king among the Argives, even the son of horse-taming Tydeus, mighty Diomedes.”

1 527.1

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 748
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