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Not yet was the word fully uttered when Amphinomus, turning in his place, saw a ship in the deep harbor and men furling the sail, and with oars in their hands. Then, breaking into a merry laugh, he spoke among his comrades: [355] “Let us not be sending a message any more, for here they are at home. Either some god told them of this, or they themselves caught sight of the ship of Telemachus as she sailed by, but could not catch her.” So he spoke, and they rose up and went to the shore of the sea. Swiftly the men drew up the black ship on the shore, [360] and proud squires bore forth their armour. Themselves meanwhile went all together to the place of assembly, and none other would they suffer to sit with them, either of the young men or the old. Then among them spoke Antinous, son of Eupeithes: “Lo, now, see how the gods have delivered this man from destruction. [365] Day by day watchmen sat upon the windy heights, watch ever following watch, and at set of sun we never spent a night upon the shore, but sailing over the deep in our swift ship we waited for the bright Dawn, lying in wait for Telemachus, that we might take him and slay [370] the man himself; howbeit meanwhile some god has brought him home. But, on our part, let us here devise for him a woeful death, even for Telemachus, and let him not escape from out our hands, for I deem that while he lives this work of ours will not prosper. For he is himself shrewd in counsel and in wisdom, [375] and the people nowise show us favour any more. Nay, come, before he gathers the Achaeans to the place of assembly—for methinks he will in no wise be slow to act, but will be full of wrath, and rising up will declare among them all how that we contrived against him utter destruction, but did not catch him; [380] and they will not praise us when they hear of our evil deeds. Beware, then, lest they work us some harm and drive us out from our country, and we come to the land of strangers. Nay, let us act first, and seize him in the field far from the city, or on the road; and his substance let us ourselves keep, and his wealth, [385] dividing them fairly among us; though the house we would give to his mother to possess, and to him who weds her. Howbeit if this plan does not please you, but you choose rather that he should live and keep all the wealth of his fathers, let us not continue to devour his store of pleasant things [390] as we gather together here, but let each man from his own hall woo her with his gifts and seek to win her; and she then would wed him who offers most, and who comes as her fated lord.”

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    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 15.388
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