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But fair-haired Menelaus spake and heartened him, saying:“Be thou of good cheer, neither affright in any wise the host of the Achaeans. [185] Not in a fatal spot hath the shaft been fixed; ere that my flashing belt stayed it, and the kilt beneath, and the taslet that the coppersmiths fashioned.” Then in answer to him spake lord Agamemnon: “Would it may be so, dear Menelaus. [190] But the leech shall search the wound and lay thereon simples that shall make thee cease from dark pains.” Therewith he spake to Talthybius, the godlike herald:“Talthybius, make haste to call hither Machaon, son of Asclepius, the peerless leech, [195] to see warlike Menelaus, son of Atreus, whom some man well skilled in archery hath smitten with an arrow, some Trojan or Lycian, compassing glory for himself but for us sorrow.” So spake he, and the herald failed not to hearken, as he heard, but went his way throughout the host of the brazen-coated Achaeans, [200] glancing this way and that for the warrior Machaon; and he marked him as he stood, and round about him were the stalwart ranks of the shield-bearing hosts that followed him from Trica, the pastureland of horses. And he came up to him, and spake winged words, saying:“Rouse thee, son of Asclepius; lord Agamemnon calleth thee [205] to see warlike Menelaus, captain of the Achaeans, whom some man, well skilled in archery, hath smitten with an arrow, some Trojan or Lycian, compassing glory for himself but for us sorrow.” So spake he, and roused the heart in his breast, and they went their way in the throng throughout the broad host of the Achaeans. And when they were come where was fair-haired Menelaus, [210] wounded, and around him were gathered in a circle all they that were chieftains, the godlike hero came and stood in their midst, and straightway drew forth the arrow from the clasped belt; and as it was drawn forth the sharp barbs were broken backwards. [215] And he loosed the flashing belt and the kilt beneath and the taslet that the coppersmiths fashioned. But when he saw the wound where the bitter arrow had lighted, he sucked out the blood, and with sure knowledge spread thereon soothing simples, which of old Cheiron had given to his father with kindly thought. [220] While they were thus busied with Menelaus, good at the war-cry, meanwhile the ranks of the shield-bearing Trojans came on; and the Achaeans again did on their battle-gear, and bethought them of war.

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