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Then the old man, godlike Priam, answered him: “Even so, dear son, are all these things as thou dost say. Howbeit still hath some god stretched out his hand even over me, [375] seeing he hath sent a way-farer such as thou to meet me, a bringer of blessing, so wondrous in form and comeliness, and withal thou art wise of heart; blessed parents are they from whom thou art sprung.” Then again the messenger, Argeiphontes, spake to him:“Yea verily, old sire, all this hast thou spoken according to right. [380] But come, tell me this, and declare it truly, whether thou art bearing forth these many treasures and goodly unto some foreign folk, where they may abide for thee in safety, or whether by now ye are all forsaking holy Ilios in fear; so great a warrior, the noblest of all, hath perished, [385] even thy son; for never held he back from warring with the Achaeans.” And the old man, godlike Priam, answered him: “Who art thou, noble youth, and from what parents art thou sprung, seeing thou speakest thus fitly of the fate of my hapless son?” Then again the messenger, Argeiphontes, spake to him: [390] “Thou wouldest make trial of me, old sire, in asking me of goodly Hector. Him have mine eyes full often seen in battle, where men win glory, and when after driving the Argives to the ships he would slay them in havoc with the sharp bronze; and we stood there and marvelled, [395] for Achilles would not suffer us to fight, being filled with wrath against the son of Atreus. His squire am I, and the selfsame well-wrought ship brought us hither. Of the Myrmidons am I one, and my father is Polyctor. Rich in substance is he, and an old man even as thou, and six sons hath he, and myself the seventh. [400] From these by the casting of lots was I chosen to fare hitherward. And now am I come to the plain from the ships; for at dawn the bright-eyed Achaeans will set the battle in array about the city. For it irketh them that they sit idle here, nor can the kings of the Achaeans avail to hold them back in their eagerness for war.”

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    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 17.703
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