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And he began: The verses running thus,
Then Diomedes raised his mighty spear,
And leaping towards her just did graze her hand;

it is evident that, if he designed to wound her left hand, there had been no need of leaping, since her left hand was opposite to his right. Besides, it is probable that he would [p. 442] endeavor to wound the strongest hand, and that with which she drew away Aeneas; which being wounded, it was likely she would let him go. But more, after she returned to Heaven, Minerva jeeringly said,

No doubt fair Venus won a Grecian dame,
To follow her beloved Trojan youths,
And as she gently stroked her with her hand,
Her golden buckler scratched this petty wound.

And I suppose, sir, when you stroke any of your scholars, you use your right hand, and not your left; and it is likely that Venus, the most dexterous of all the goddesses, soothed the heroines after the same manner.

1 Il. V. 335. It is evident from what follows that Plutarch interprets μετάλμενος in this passage having leaped to one side. (G.)

2 Il. V. 422.

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