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So spoke the son of Peleus, and down to the earth he dashed [245] the staff studded with golden nails, and himself sat down, while over against him the son of Atreus continued to vent his wrath. Then among them arose Nestor, sweet of speech, the clear-voiced orator of the Pylians, from whose tongue flowed speech sweeter than honey. Two generations of mortal men had passed away in his lifetime, [250] who had been born and reared with him before in sacred Pylos, and he was king among the third. He with good intent addressed the gathering and spoke among them: “Comrades, great grief has come upon the land of Achaea. Truly would Priam and the sons of Priam [255] rejoice, and the rest of the Trojans would be most glad at heart, were they to hear all this of you two quarrelling, you who are chief among the Danaans in counsel and chief in war. Listen to me, for you are both younger than I. In earlier times I moved among men more warlike than you, [260] and never did they despise me. Such warriors have I never since seen, nor shall I see, as Peirithous was and Dryas, shepherd of the people, and Caeneus and Exadius and godlike Polyphemus, and Theseus, son of Aegeus, a man like the immortals. [265] Mightiest were these of men reared upon the earth; mightiest were they, and with the mightiest they fought, the mountain-dwelling centaurs, and they destroyed them terribly. With these men I had fellowship, when I came from Pylos, from a distant land far away; for they themselves called me. [270] And I fought on my own;1 with those men could no one fight of the mortals now upon the earth. Yes, and they listened to my counsel, and obeyed my words. So also should you obey, since to obey is better. Neither do you, mighty though you are, take away the girl, [275] but let her be, as the sons of the Achaeans first gave her to him as a prize; nor do you, son of Peleus, be minded to strive with a king, might against might, for it is no common honour that is the portion of a sceptre-holding king, to whom Zeus gives glory. If you are a stronger fighter, and a goddess mother bore you, [280] yet he is the mightier, since he is king over more. Son of Atreus, check your rage. Indeed, I beg you to let go your anger against Achilles, who is for all the Achaeans a mighty bulwark in evil war.”

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