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But Adrastus did Menelaus, good at the warcry, take alive; for his two horses, coursing in terror over the plain, became entangled in a tamarisk bough, and breaking the curved car at the end of the pole, [40] themselves went on toward the city whither the rest were fleeing in rout; but their master rolled from out the car beside the wheel headlong in the dust upon his face. And to his side came Menelaus, son of Atreus, bearing his far-shadowing spear. [45] Then Adrastus clasped him by the knees and besought him: “Take me alive, thou son of Atreus, and accept a worthy ransom; treasures full many lie stored in the palace of my wealthy father, bronze and gold and iron wrought with toil; thereof would my father grant thee ransom past counting, [50] should he hear that I am alive at the ships of the Achaeans.” So spake he, and sought to persuade the other's heart in his breast, and lo, Menelaus was about to give him to his squire to lead to the swift ships of the Achaeans, but Agamemnon came running to meet him, and spake a word of reproof, saying: [55] “Soft-hearted Menelaus, why carest thou thus for the men? Hath then so great kindness been done thee in thy house by Trojans? Of them let not one escape sheer destruction and the might of our hands, nay, not the man-child whom his mother bears in her womb; let not even him escape, [60] but let all perish together out of Ilios, unmourned and unmarked.” So spake the warrior, and turned his brother's mind, for he counselled aright; so Menelaus with his hand thrust from him the warrior Adrastus, and lord Agamemnon smote him on the flank, and he fell backward; and the son of Atreus [65] planted his heel on his chest, and drew forth the ashen spear. Then Nestor shouted aloud, and called to the Argives: “My friends, Danaan warriors, squires of Ares, let no man now abide behind in eager desire for spoil, that he may come to the ships bearing the greatest store; [70] nay, let us slay the men; thereafter in peace shall ye strip the armour from the corpses that lie dead over the plain.”

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    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 10.455
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