if any other man of the Achaeans had told us of this dream we should have declared it false, and would have had nothing to do with it. But he who has seen it is the foremost man among us; we must therefore set about getting the people under arms." With this he led the way from the assembly,
and the other sceptered kings rose with him in obedience to the word of Agamemnon; but the people pressed forward to hear. They swarmed like bees that sally from some hollow cave and flit in countless throng among the spring flowers,
bunched in knots and clusters; even so did the mighty multitude pour from ships and tents to the assembly, and range themselves upon the wide-watered shore, while among them ran Wildfire Rumor, messenger of Zeus, urging them ever to the fore.
Thus they gathered in a pell-mell of mad confusion, and the earth groaned under the tramp of men as the people sought their places. Nine heralds went crying about among them to stay their tumult and bid them listen to the kings, till at last they were got into their several places and ceased their clamor.
Then King Agamemnon rose, holding his scepter. This was the work of Hephaistos, who gave it to Zeus the son of Kronos. Zeus gave it to Hermes, slayer of Argos
, guide and guardian. King Hermes gave it to Pelops, the mighty charioteer, and
Pelops to Atreus, shepherd of his people. Atreus, when he died, left it to Thyestes, rich in flocks, and Thyestes in his turn left it to be borne by Agamemnon, that he might be lord of all Argos
and of the isles. Leaning, then, on his scepter, he addressed the Argives.
"My friends," he said, "heroes, squires [therapontes] of Ares, Zeus the son of Kronos has tied me down with atê. Cruel, he gave me his solemn promise that I should sack the city of Priam before returning, but he has played me false, and is now bidding me
go ingloriously back to Argos
with the loss of many people. Such is the will of Zeus, who has laid many a proud city in the dust, as he will yet lay others, for his power is above all. It will be a sorry tale hereafter that an