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And next the old man saw Odysseus, and asked: “Come now, tell me also of yonder man, dear child, who he is. Shorter is he by a head than Agamemnon, son of Atreus, but broader of shoulder and of chest to look upon. [195] His battle-gear lieth upon the bounteous earth, but himself he rangeth like the bell-wether of a herd through the ranks of warriors. Like a ram he seemeth to me, a ram of thick fleece, that paceth through a great flock of white ewes.” To him made answer Helen, sprung from Zeus: [200] “This again is Laertes' son, Odysseus of many wiles, that was reared in the land of Ithaca, rugged though it be, and he knoweth all manner of craft and cunning devices.” Then to her again made answer Antenor, the wise:“Lady, this verily is a true word that thou hast spoken, [205] for erstwhile on a time goodly Odysseus came hither also on an embassy concerning thee, together with Menelaus, dear to Ares; and it was I that gave them entertainment and welcomed them in my halls, and came to know the form and stature of them both and their cunning devices. Now when they mingled with the Trojans, as they were gathered together, [210] when they stood Menelaus overtopped him with his broad shoulders; howbeit when the twain were seated Odysseus was the more royal. But when they began to weave the web of speech and of counsel in the presence of all, Menelaus in truth spake fluently, with few words, but very clearly, seeing he was not a man of lengthy speech [215] nor of rambling, though verily in years he was the younger. But whenever Odysseus of many wiles arose, he would stand and look down with eyes fixed upon the ground, and his staff he would move neither backwards nor forwards, but would hold it stiff, in semblance like a man of no understanding; [220] thou wouldest have deemed him a churlish man and naught but a fool. But whenso he uttered his great voice from his chest, and words like snowflakes on a winter's day, then could no mortal man beside vie with Odysseus; then did we not so marvel to behold Odysseus' aspect.”

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    • Thomas D. Seymour, Commentary on Homer's Iliad, Books I-III, 1.138
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