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Chorus Leader
[85] Look! Here comes Aeneas, in great haste too, with news to tell his friends.

Hector, why have the sentinels in terror made their way through the army at night to your couch to hold a midnight conclave and disturb the army?

[90] Encase yourself in your armor, Aeneas.

What is it? Have tidings come of some secret stratagem set on foot during the night by the foe?

The men are flying, and going aboard their ships.

What sure proof can you give of this?

[95] The whole night they are kindling blazing torches; I think they will not wait for tomorrow, but after lighting brands upon their ships' decks will leave this land and fly to their homes.

And you, why do you gird on your sword?

[100] With my spear I will stop them even as they fly and leap aboard their ships, and my hand shall be heavy upon them; for it is shameful in us, yes, and cowardly as well as shameful, when the god gives them into our hands, to let our foes escape without battle, after all the injuries they have done us.

[105] Would you were as sage as you are bold! But, to be sure, among mortals the same man is not dowered by nature with universal knowledge; each has his special gift appointed him, yours is battle, another's is sage counsel. You are excited to hear that the Achaeans are [110] lighting blazing torches, and you would lead on our troops across the ditches in the calm still night. Now after crossing the deep yawning trench, supposing you should find the enemy are not flying from the land, but are awaiting your onset, [115] beware lest you suffer defeat and so never reach this city again; for how will you pass the palisades in a rout? And how shall your charioteers cross the bridges without dashing the axles of their cars to pieces? And, if victorious, you have next the son of Peleus to engage; [120] he will never allow you to cast the firebrand on the fleet or harry the Achaeans, as you believe. No, for that man is fierce as fire, a very tower of might. Let us rather then leave our men to sleep calmly under arms after the weariness of battle, [125] while we send, as I advise, whoever will volunteer to spy upon the enemy; and if they really are preparing to fly, let us arise and fall upon the Argive army, but if this signalling is a trap to catch us, we shall discover from the spy the enemy's designs [130] and take counsel; such is my advice, lord.

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