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So spake he, and the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia, failed not to hearken. So the mares of Nestor were tended by the two squires, valiant Sthenelus and Eurymedon the kindly; [115] and the other twain mounted both upon the car of Diomedes. Nestor took in his hands the shining reins, and touched the horses with the lash, and speedily they drew nigh to Hector. Upon him then as he charged straight at them the son of Tydeus made a cast: him he missed, but his squire that drave the chariot, Eniopeus, son of Thebaeus, high of heart, [120] even as he was holding the reins, he smote on the breast beside the nipple. So he fell from out the car, and the swift-footed horses swerved aside thereat; and there his spirit and his strength were undone. Then was the soul of Hector clouded with dread sorrow for his charioteer. [125] Yet left he him to lie there, albeit he sorrowed for his comrade, and sought him a bold charioteer; nor did his horses twain long lack a master, for straightway he found Iphitus' son, bold Archeptolemus, and made him mount behind his swift-footed horses, and gave the reins into his hands. [130] Then had ruin come and deeds beyond remedy been wrought, and they had been penned in Ilios like lambs, had not the father of men and gods been quick to see. He thundered terribly and let fly his white lightning-bolt, and down before the horses of Diomedes he hurled it to earth; [135] and a terrible flame arose of burning sulphur, and the two horses, seized with terror, cowered beneath the car. Then from the hands of Nestor slipped the shining reins, and he waxed afraid at heart, and spake to Diomedes:“Son of Tydeus, come now, turn thou in flight thy single-hooved horses. [140] Seest thou not that victory from Zeus waited not on thee? Now to yon man doth Zeus, the son of Cronos, vouchsafe glory for this day; hereafter shall he grant it also to us, if so be he will. But a man may in no wise thwart the purpose of Zeus, be he never so valiant; for in sooth he is mightier far.” [145] And in answer to him spake Diomedes, good at the war cry:“Yea, verily, old sir, all this hast thou spoken according to right. But herein dread grief cometh upon my heart and soul, for Hector will some day say, as he speaketh in the gathering of the Trojans: ‘Tydeus' son, driven in flight before me, betook him to the ships.’ [150] So shall he some day boast—on that day let the wide earth gape for me.”

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