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[310] So was the old man urging them on, having knowledge of battles from of old. At sight of him lord Agamemnon waxed glad, and he spake, and addressed him with winged words:“Old Sir, I would that even as is the spirit in thy breast, so thy limbs might obey, and thy strength be firm. [315] But evil1 old age presseth hard upon thee; would that some other among the warriors had thy years, and that thou wert among the youths.” To him then made answer the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia:“Son of Atreus, verily I myself could wish that I were such a one as on the day when I slew goodly Ereuthalion. [320] But in no wise do the gods grant to men all things at one time. As I was then a youth, so now doth old age attend me. Yet even so will I abide among the charioteers and urge them on by counsel and by words; for that is the office of elders. Spears shall the young men wield [325] who are more youthful than I and have confidence in their strength.” So spake he, and the son of Atreus passed on glad at heart. He found Menestheus, driver of horses, son of Peteos, as he stood, and about him were the Athenians, masters of the war-cry. And hard by stood Odysseus of many wiles, [330] and with him the ranks of the Cephallenians, no weakling folk, stood still; for their host had not as yet heard the war-cry, seeing the battalions of the horse-taming Trojans and the Achaeans had but newly bestirred them to move; wherefore these stood, and waited until some other serried battalions of the Achaeans should advance [335] to set upon the Trojans, and begin the battle. At sight of these Agamemnon, king of men, chid them, and spoke, and addressed them with winged words:“O son of Peteos, the king nurtured of Zeus, and thou that excellest in evil wiles, thou of crafty mind, [340] why stand ye apart cowering, and wait for others? For you twain were it seemly that ye take your stand amid the foremost, and confront blazing battle; for ye are the first to hear my bidding to the feast, whenso we Achaeans make ready a banquet for the elders. [345] Then are ye glad to eat roast meat and drink cups of honey-sweet wine as long as ye will. But now would ye gladly behold it, aye if ten serried battalions of the Achaeans were to fight in front of you with the pitiless bronze.”

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