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THE GODS STAY THE COMBAT.

scales of victory in favour of the Danaans? Let me persuade you—for it will be better thus—stay the combat for to-day, but let them renew the fight hereafter till they compass the doom of Ilius, since you goddesses have made up your minds to destroy the city."

33And Minerva answered, "So be it, Far-Darter; it was in this mind that I came down from Olympus to the Trojans and Achæans. Tell me, then, how do you propose to end this present fighting?"

37Apollo, son of Jove, replied, "Let us incite great Hector to challenge some one of the Danaans in single combat; on this the Achæans will be shamed into finding a man who will fight him."

43Minerva assented, and Helenus son of Priam divined the counsel of the gods; he therefore went up to Hector and said, "Hector son of Priam, peer of gods in counsel, I am your brother, let me then persuade you. Bid the other Trojans and Achæans all of them take their seats, and challenge the best man among the Achæans to meet you in single combat. I have heard the voice of the ever-living gods, and the hour of your doom is not yet come."

54Hector was glad when he heard this saying, and went in among the Trojans, grasping his spear by the middle to hold them back, and they all sat down. Agamemnon also bade the Achæans be seated. But Minerva and Apollo, in the likeness of vultures, perched on father Jove's high oak tree, proud of their men; and the ranks sat close ranged together, bristling with shield and helmet and spear. As when the rising west wind furs the face of the sea and the waters grow dark beneath it, so sat the companies of Trojans and Achæans upon the plain. And Hector spoke thus:—

67"Hear me, Trojans and Achæans, that I may speak even as I am minded; Jove on his high throne has brought our oaths and covenants to nothing, and foreshadows ill for both of us, till you either take the towers of Troy, or are yourselves vanquished at your ships. The princes of