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But when the others were now come to the huts of the son of Atreus, [670] the sons of the Achaeans stood up on this side and that and pledged them in cups of gold, and questioned them, and the king of men, Agamemnon, was the first to ask:“Come, tell me now, Odysseus, greatly to be praised, thou great glory of the Achaeans, is he minded to ward off consuming fire from the ships, [675] or said he nay, and doth wrath still possess his proud spirit?” Then much-enduring goodly Odysseus answered him: “Most glorious son of Atreus, Agamemnon, king of men, he verily is not minded to quench his wrath but is filled yet more with fury, and will have none of thee, or of thy gifts. [680] For thine own self he biddeth thee to take counsel amid the Argives how thou mayest save the ships and the host of the Achaeans. But himself he threateneth that at break of day he will launch upon the sea his well-benched curved ships. Aye and he said that he would counsel others also [685] to sail back to their homes, seeing there is no more hope that ye shall win the goal of steep Ilios; for mightily doth Zeus, whose voice is borne afar, hold forth his hand above her, and her people are filled with courage. So spake he, and these be here also to tell thee this, even they that followed with me, Aias and the heralds twain, men of prudence both. [690] But the old man Phoenix laid him down there to rest, for so Achilles bade, that he may follow with him on his ships to his dear native land on the morrow, if he will, but perforce will he not take him.” So spake he, and they all became hushed in silence marvelling at his words; for full masterfully did he address their gathering. [695] Long time were they silent in their grief, the sons of the Achaeans, but at length there spake among them Diomedes, good at the war-cry:“Most glorious son of Atreus, Agamemnon, king of men, would thou hadst never besought the peerless son of Peleus, nor offered countless gifs; haughty is he even of himself, [700] and now hast thou yet far more set him amid haughtinesses. But verily we will let him be; he may depart or he may tarry; hereafter will he fight when the heart in his breast shall bid him, and a god arouse him. But come, even as I shall bid, let us all obey. [705] For this present go ye to your rest, when ye have satisfied your hearts with meat and wine, for therein is courage and strength; but so soon as fair, rosy-fingered Dawn appeareth, forthwith do thou array before the ships thy folk and thy chariots, and urge them on; and fight thou thyself amid the foremost.” [710] So spake he, and all the kings assented thereto, marvelling at the words of Diomedes, tamer of horses. Then they made libation, and went every man to his hut, and there laid them down and took the gift of sleep.

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    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 7.313
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