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[620] He spake and to Patroclus nodded his brow in silence that he should spread for Phoenix a thick couch, that the others might forthwith bethink them to depart from the hut. But among them Aias, the godlike son of Telamon, spake, saying:“Zeus—born son of Laërtes, Odysseus of many wiles, [625] let us go our way, for the fulfillment of the charge laid on us will not methinks be brought to pass by our coming hither; and it behoveth us with speed to declare the message, though it be no wise good, to the Danaans, that, I ween, now sit waiting therefor. But Achilles hath wrought to fury the proud heart within him, [630] cruel man! neither recketh he of the love of his comrades wherewith we ever honoured him amid the ships above all others—pitiless one! Lo, a man accepteth recompense from the slayer of his brother, or for his dead son; and the slayer abideth in his own land for the paying of a great price, [635] and the kinsman's heart and proud spirit are restrained by the taking of recompense. But as for thee, the gods have put in thy breast a heart that is obdurate and evil by reason of one only girl; whereas we now offer thee seven, far the best that there be, and many other gffts besides; nay then, take to thee a heart of grace, [640] and have respect unto thine hall; for under thy roof are we come from the host of the Danaans, and we would fain be nearest to thee and dearest beyond all other Achaeans as many as there be.” Then in answer to him spake Achilles, swift of foot:“Aias, sprung from Zeus, thou son of Telamon, captain of the host, [645] all this thou seemest to speak almost after mine own mind; but my heart swelleth with wrath whenso I think of this, how the son of Atreus hath wrought indignity upon me amid the Argives, as though I were some alien that had no rights. Howbeit do ye go and declare my message, [650] for I will not sooner bethink me of bloody war until wise-hearted Priam's son, even goodly Hector, be come to the huts and ships of the Myrmidons, as he slays the Argives, and have smirched the ships with fire. But about my hut and my black ship [655] I deem that Hector will be stayed, eager though he be for battle.” So spake he, but they took each man a two handled cup, and when they had made libation went their way along the lines of ships, and Odysseus led. But Patroclus bade his comrades and the handmaids spread forthwith a thick couch for Phoenix; [660] and they obeyed, and spread the couch, as he bade, fleeces and a rug and soft fabric of linen. There the old man laid him down and waited for bright Dawn. But Achilles slept in the innermost part of the well-builded hut, and by his side lay a woman that he had brought from Lesbos, [665] even the daughter of Phorbas, fair-cheeked Diomede. And Patroclus laid him down on the opposite side, and by him in like manner lay fair-girdled Iphis, whom goodly Achilles had given him when he took steep Scyrus, the city of Enyeus.

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