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NESTOR & THE WOUNDED KINGS

28Agamemnon son of Atreus, fell in with Nestor as they 28 were coming up from their ships — for theirs were drawn up some way from where the fighting was going on, being on the shore itself inasmuch as they had been beached first, while the wall had been built behind the hindermost. The stretch of the shore, wide though it was, did not afford room for all the ships, and the host was cramped for space, therefore they had placed the ships in rows one behind the other, and had filled the whole opening of the bay be- tween the two , points that formed it. The kings, leaning on their spears, were coming out to survey the fight, being in great anxiety, and when old Nestor met them they were filled with dismay. Then King Agamemnon said to him, " Nestor son of Neleus, honour to the Achaean name, why have you left the battle to come hither? I fear that what dread Hector said will come true, when he vaunted among the Trojans saying that he would not return to Ilius till he had fired our ships and killed us ; this is what he said, and now it is all coming true. Alas ! others of the Achæans, like Achilles, are in anger with me that they refuse to fight by the sterns of our ships."

52Then Nestor knight of Gerene answered, " It is indeed as you say ; it is all coming true at this moment, and even Jove who thunders from on high cannot prevent it. Fallen is the wall on which we relied as an impregnable bulwark both for us and our fleet. The Trojans are fighting stubbornly and without ceasing at the ships ; look where you may you cannot see from what quarter the rout of the Achæans is coming ; they are being killed in a confused mass and the battle-cry ascends to heaven; let us think, if counsel can be of any use, what we had, better do ; but I do not advise our going into battle ourselves, for a man cannot fight when he is wounded."

64And King Agamemnon answered, " Nestor, if the Trojans are indeed fighting at the rear of our ships, and neither the wall nor the trench has served us — over which the Danaans toiled so hard, and which they67

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