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[210] So he spoke, deeming that it was Athena, the rouser of hosts. But the wooers on the other side shouted aloud in the hall, and first Agelaus, son of Damastor, rebuked Athena, saying: “Mentor, let not Odysseus beguile thee with his words to fight against the wooers and bear aid to himself. [215] For in this wise, methinks, shall our will be brought to pass: when we have killed these men, father and son, thereafter shalt thou too be slain with them, such deeds art thou minded to do in these halls: with thine own head shalt thou pay the price. But when with the sword we have stripped you of your might, [220] all the possessions that thou hast within doors and in the fields we will mingle with those of Odysseus, and will not suffer thy sons or thy daughters to dwell in thy halls, nor thy faithful wife to fare at large in the city of Ithaca.” So he spoke, and Athena waxed the more wroth at heart, [225] and she rebuked Odysseus with angry words: “Odysseus, no longer hast thou steadfast might nor any valor, such as was thine when for high-born Helen of the white arms thou didst for nine years battle with the Trojans unceasingly, and many men thou slewest in dread conflict, [230] and by thy counsel was the broad-wayed city of Priam taken. How is it that now, when thou hast come to thy house and thine own possessions, thou shrinkest with wailing from playing the man, and that against the wooers? Nay, friend, come hither and take thy stand by my side, and see my deeds, that thou mayest know what manner of man [235] Mentor, son of Alcimus, is to repay kindness in the midst of the foe.” She spoke, but did not give him strength utterly to turn the course of the battle, but still made trial of the might and valor of Odysseus and his glorious son; and for herself, [240] she flew up to the roof-beam of the smoky hall, and sat there in the guise of a swallow to look upon. Now the wooers were urged on by Agelaus, son of Damastor, by Eurynomus, and Amphimedon and Demoptolemus and Peisander, son of Polyctor, and wise Polybus, for these were in valiance far the best of all the wooers [245] who still lived and fought for their lives; but the rest the bow and the swiftly-falling arrows had by now laid low. But Agelaus spoke among them, and declared his word to all: “Friends, now at length will this man stay his invincible hands. Lo, Mentor has gone from him, and has but uttered empty boasts, [250] and they are left alone there at the outer doors. Therefore hurl not now upon them your long spears all at once, but come, do you six throw first in the hope that Zeus may grant that Odysseus be struck, and that we win glory. Of the rest there is no care, once he shall have fallen.”

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