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ulysses rebukes agamemnon

68deemed would be an impregnable bulwark both for us and our fleet — I see it must be the will of Jove that the Achæans should perish ingloriously here, far from Argos. I knew when Jove was willing to defend us, and I know now that he is raising the Trojans to like honour with the gods, while us, on the other hand, he has bound hand and foot. Now, therefore, let us all do as I say ; let us bring down the ships that are on the beach and draw them into the water; let us make them fast to their mooring-stones a little way out, against the fall of night — if even by night the Trojans will desist from fighting ; we may then draw down the rest of the fleet. There is nothing wrong in flying ruin even by night. It is better for a man that he should fly and be saved than be caught and killed."

82Ulysses looked fiercely at him and said, " Son of Atreus, what are you talking about ? Wretch, you should have commanded some other and baser army, and not been ruler over us to whom Jove has allotted a life of hard fighting from youth to old age, till we every one of us perish. Is it thus that you would quit the city of Troy, to win which we have suffered so much hardship ? Hold your peace, lest some other of the Achæans hear you say what no man who knows how to give good counsel, no king over so great a host as that of the Argives should ever have let fall from his lips. I despise your judgement utterly for what you have been saying. Would you, then, have us draw down our ships into the water while the battle is raging, and thus play further into the hands of the conquering Trojans ? It would be ruin ; the Achæans will not go on fighting when they see the ships being drawn into the water, but will cease attacking and keep turning their eyes towards them ; your counsel, therefore. Sir captain, would be our destruction."

103Agamemnon answered, " Ulysses, your rebuke has stung me to the heart. I am not, however, ordering the Achæans to draw their ships into the sea whether they will or no.