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But Hector saw him, and chid him with words of shame:“Evil Paris, most fair to look upon, thou that art mad after women, thou beguiler, [40] would that thou hadst ne'er been born1 and hadst died unwed. Aye, of that were I fain, and it had been better far than that thou shouldest thus be a reproach, and that men should look upon thee in scorn. Verily, methinks, will the long-haired Achaeans laugh aloud, deeming that a prince is our champion because a comely [45] form is his, while there is no strength in his heart nor any valour. Was it in such strength as this that thou didst sail over the main in thy seafaring ships, when thou hadst gathered thy trusty comrades, and, coming to an alien folk, didst bring back a comely woman from a distant land, even a daughter of2 warriors who wield the spear, [50] but to thy father and city and all the people a grievous bane—to thy foes a joy, but to thine own self a hanging down of the head? Wilt thou indeed not abide Menelaus, dear to Ares? Thou wouldest learn what manner of warrior he is whose lovely wife thou hast. Then will thy lyre help thee not, neither the gifts of Aphrodite, [55] thy locks and thy comeliness, when thou shalt lie low in the dust. Nay, verily, the Trojans are utter cowards: else wouldest thou ere this have donned a coat of stone3 by reason of all the evil thou hast wrought.” And to him did godlike Alexander make answer, saying: “Hector, seeing that thou dost chide me duly, and not beyond what is due— [60] ever is thy heart unyielding, even as an axe that is driven through a beam by the hand of man that skilfully shapeth a ship's timber, and it maketh the force of his blow to wax; even so is the heart in thy breast undaunted—cast not in my teeth the lovely gifts of golden Aphrodite. [65] Not to be flung aside, look you, are the glorious gifts of the gods, even all that of themselves they give, whereas by his own will could no man win them. But now, if thou wilt have me war and do battle, make the other Trojans to sit down and all the Achaeans, but set ye me in the midst and Menelaus, dear to Ares, [70] to do battle for Helen and all her possessions. And whichsoever of us 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 you others, do ye swear friendship and oaths of faith with sacrifice. So should ye dwell in deep-soiled Troyland, and let them return [75] to Argos, pasture-land of horses, and to Achaea, the land of fair women.”

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