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[120] So spake he, and the goddess, silver-footed Thetis, failed not to hearken, but went darting down from the peaks of Olympus, and came to the hut of her son. There she found him groaning ceaselessly, and round about him his dear comrades with busy haste were making ready their early meal, [125] and in the hut a ram, great and shaggy, lay slaughtered for them. Then she, his queenly mother, sate her down close by his side and stroked him with her hand, and spake, and called him by name:“My child, how long wilt thou devour thine heart with weeping and sorrowing, and wilt take no thought of food, [130] neither of the couch? Good were it for thee even to have dalliance in a woman's embrace. For, I tell thee, thou shalt not thyself be long in life, but even now doth death stand hard by thee and mighty fate. But hearken thou forthwith unto me, for I am a messenger unto thee from Zeus. He declareth that that the gods are angered with thee, [135] and that himself above all immortals is filled with wrath, for that in the fury of thine heart thou holdest Hector at the beaked ships, and gavest him not back. Nay come, give him up, and take ransom for the dead.” Then in answer to her spake Achilles, swift of foot: “So let it be; whoso bringeth ransom, let him bear away the dead, [140] if verily with full purpose of heart the Olympian himself so biddeth.” On this wise amid the gathering of the ships mother and son spake many winged words one to the other, but the son of Cronos sent forth Iris to sacred Ilios:“Up, go, swift Iris; leave thou the abode of Olympus [145] and bear tidings within Ilios unto great-hearted Priam that he go to the ships of the Achaeans to ransom his dear son, and that he bear gifts unto Achilles which shall make glad his heart; alone let him go, neither let any man beside of the Trojans go with him. A herald may attend him, an elder man, [150] to guide the mules and the light-running waggon, and to carry back to the city the dead, even him that Achilles slew. Let not death be in his thoughts. neither any fear; such a guide will we give him, even Argeiphontes, who shall lead him, until in his leading he bring him nigh to Achilles. [155] And when he shall have led him into the hut, neither shall Achilles himself slay him nor suffer any other to slay; for not without wisdom is he, neither without purpose, nor yet hardened in sin; nay, with all kindliness will he spare a suppliant man.”

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