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[440] So spake the Helper, and leaping upon the chariot behind the horses quickly grasped in his hands the lash and reins, and breathed great might into the horses and mules. But when they were come to the walls and the trench that guarded the ships, even as the watchers were but now busying them about their supper, [445] upon all of these the messenger Argeiphontes shed sleep, and forthwith opened the gates, and thrust back the bars, and brought within Priam, and the splendid gifts upon the wain. But when they were come to the hut of Peleus' son, the lofty hut which the Myrmidons had builded for their king, [450] hewing therefor beams of fir —and they had roofed it over with downy thatch, gathered from the meadows; and round it they reared for him, their king, a great court with thick-set pales; and the door thereof was held by one single bar of fir that [455] three Achaeans were wont to drive home, and three to draw back the great bolt of the door (three of the rest, but Achilles would drive it home even of himself)—then verily the helper Hermes opened the door for the old man, and brought in the glorious gifts for the swift-footed son of Peleus; and from the chariot he stepped down to the ground and spake, saying: [460] “Old sire, I that am come to thee am immortal god, even Hermes; for the Father sent me to guide thee on thy way. But now verily will I go back, neither come within Achilles' sight; good cause for wrath would it be that an immortal god should thus openly be entertained of mortals. [465] But go thou in, and clasp the knees of the son of Peleus and entreat him by his father and his fair-haired mother and his child, that thou mayest stir his soul.”

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