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So spake he, and Hector rejoiced greatly when he heard his words; and he went into the midst, and kept back the battalions of the Trojans with his spear grasped by the middle; and they all sate them down. [80] But the long-haired Achaeans sought the while to aim their arrows at him, and to smite him, and to cast at him with stones. But aloud shouted Agamemnon, king of men: “Hold, ye Argives, shoot no more, ye youths of the Achaeans; for Hector of the flashing helm makes as though he would say somewhat.” So spake he, and they stayed them from battle, and became silent forthwith. [85] And Hector spake between the two hosts:“Hear from me, ye Trojans and well-greaved Achaeans, the words of Alexander, for whose sake strife hath been set afoot. The other Trojans and all the Achaeans he biddeth to lay aside their goodly battle-gear upon the bounteous earth, [90] and himself in the midst and Menelaus, dear to Ares, to do battle for Helen and all her possessions. And whichsoever of the twain shall win, and prove him the better man, let him duly take all the wealth and the woman, and bear them to his home; but for us others, let us swear friendship and oaths of faith with sacrifice.” [95] So spake he, and they all became hushed in silence; and among them spake Menelaus, good at the war-cry: “Hearken ye now also unto me, for upon my heart above all others hath sorrow come; my mind is that Argives and Trojans now be parted, seeing ye have suffered many woes [100] because of my quarrel and Alexander's beginning thereof.1 And for whichsoever of us twain death and fate are appointed, let him lie dead; but be ye others parted with all speed. Bring ye two lambs, a white ram and a black ewe, for Earth and Sun, and for Zeus we will bring another; [105] and fetch ye hither the mighty Priam, that he may himself swear an oath with sacrifice, seeing that his sons are over-weening and faithless; lest any by presumptuous act should do violence to the oaths of Zeus. Ever unstable are the hearts of the young; but in whatsoever an old man taketh part, he looketh both before and after, [110] that the issue may be far the best for either side.”

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 1019
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