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[365] Then Odysseus of many wiles answered him, and said: “Eurymachus, I would that we two might have a match in working in the season of spring, when the long days come, at mowing the grass, I with a curved scythe in my hands and thou with another like it, [370] and that the grass might be in plenty that so we might test our work, fasting till late evening. Or I would again that there were oxen to drive—the best there are, tawny and large, both well fed with grass, of like age and like power to bear the yoke, tireless in strength—and that there were a field of four acres, and the soil should yield before the plough: [375] then shouldest thou see me, whether or no I could cut a straight furrow to the end. Or I would again that this day the son of Cronos might bring war upon us from whence he would, and I had a shield and two spears and a helmet all of bronze, that fitted well my temples: then shouldest thou see me mingling amid the foremost fighters, [380] and wouldest not prate, taunting me with this belly of mine. But right insolent art thou, and thy heart is cruel, and forsooth thou thinkest thyself to be some great man and mighty, because thou consortest with few men and weak. If but Odysseus might return, and come to his native land, [385] soon would yonder doors, right wide though they are, prove all too narrow for thee in thy flight out through the doorway.” So he spoke, and Eurymachus waxed the more wroth at heart, and with an angry glance from beneath his brows spoke to him winged words: “Wretch, presently will I work thee evil, that thou pratest thus, [390] unabashed in the presence of many lords, and hast no fear at heart. Surely wine has mastered thy wits, or else thy mind is ever thus, that thou dost babble idly. Art thou beside thyself because thou hast beaten that vagrant Irus?”

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