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58
[ILIAD
AGAMEMNON GOES ABOUT

and to attack us; therefore they shall be devoured of vultures; we shall take their city and carry off their wives and children in our ships."

240 But he angrily rebuked those whom he saw shirking and disinclined to fight. "Argives," he cried, "cowardly miserable creatures, have you no shame to stand here like frightened fawns who, when they can no longer scud over the plain, huddle together, but show no fight? You are as dazed and spiritless as deer. Would you wait till the Trojans reach the sterns of our ships as they lie on the shore, to see whether the son of Saturn will hold his hand over you to protect you?"

250 Thus did he go about giving his orders among the ranks. Passing through the crowd, he came presently on the Cretans, arming round Idomeneus, who was at their head, fierce as a wild boar, while Meriones was bringing up the battalions that were in the rear. Agamemnon was glad when he saw him, and spoke him fairly. "Idomeneus," said he, "I treat you with greater distinction than I do any other of the Achæans, whether in war or in other things, or at table. When their princes are mixing my choicest wine in the mixing-bowls, they have each of them a fixed allowance, but your cup is kept always full like my own, that you may drink whenever you are minded. Go, therefore, into battle, and show yourself the man you have been always proud to be."

265 Idomeneus answered, "I will be a trusty comrade, as I promised you from the first I would be. Urge on the other Achæans, that we may join battle at once, for the Trojans have trampled upon their covenants. Death and destruction shall be theirs, seeing they have been the first to break their oaths and to attack us."

272 The son of Atreus went on, glad at heart, till he came upon the two Ajaxes arming themselves amid a host of foot-soldiers. As when a goat-herd from some high post watches a storm drive over the deep before the west wind—black as pitch is the offing and a mighty whirlwind draws