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Then to him the wise Meriones made answer: “Aye, in mine own hut also and my black ship are many spoils of the Trojans, but I have them not at hand to take thereof. For I deem that I too am not forgetful of valour, [270] but I take my stand amid the foremost in battle, where men win glory, whenso the strife of war ariseth. Some other of the brazen-coated Achaeans might sooner be unaware of my fighting, but thou methinks of thine own self knowest it well.” And to him Idomeneus, leader of the Cretans, made answer: [275] “I know what manner of man thou art in valour; what need hast thou to tell the tale thereof? For if now all the best of us were being told off besides the ships for an ambush, wherein the valour of men is best discerned—there the coward cometh to light and the man of valour; for the colour of the coward changeth ever to another hue, [280] nor is the spirit in his breast stayed that he should abide steadfast, but he shifteth from knee to knee and resteth on either foot, and his heart beats loudly in his breast as he bodeth death, and the teeth chatter in his mouth; but the colour of the brave man changeth not, [285] neither feareth he overmuch when once he taketh his place in the ambush of warriors, but he prayeth to mingle forthwith in woeful war— not even in such case, I say, would any man make light of thy courage or the strength of thy hands. For if so be thou wert stricken by a dart in the toil of battle, or smitten with a thrust, not from behind in neck or back would the missile fall; [290] nay, but on thy breast would it light or on thy belly, as thou wert pressing on into the dalliance of the foremost fighters. But come, no longer let us loiter here and talk thus like children, lest haply some man wax wroth beyond measure; nay, but go thou to the hut, and get thee a mighty spear.”

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