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59
AMONG THE ACÆAN HOST

towards him, so that he is afraid and drives his flock into a cave,—even thus did the ranks of stalwart youths move in a dark mass to battle under the Ajaxes, horrid with shield and spear. Glad was King Agamemnon when he saw them. "No need," he cried, "to give orders to such leaders of the Argives as you are, for of your own selves you spur your men on to fight with might and main. Would, by father Jove, Minerva, and Apollo that all were so minded as you are, for the city of Priam would then soon fall beneath our hands, and we should sack it."

292 With this he left them and went onward to Nestor, the facile speaker of the Pylians, who was marshalling his men and urging them on, in company with Pelagon, Alastor, Chromius, Hæmon, and Bias shepherd of his people. He placed his knights with their chariots and horses in the front rank, while the foot-soldiers, brave men and many, whom he could trust, were in the rear. The cowards he drove into the middle, that they might fight whether they would or no. He gave his orders to the knights first, bidding them hold their horses well in hand, so as to avoid confusion. "Let no man," he said, "relying on his strength or horsemanship, get before the others and engage singly with the Trojans, nor yet let him lag behind, or you will weaken your attack; but let each when he meets an enemy's chariot throw his spear from his own; this will be much the best; this is how the men of old took towns and strongholds; in this wise were they minded."

310 Thus did the old man charge them, for he had been in many a fight, and King Agamemnon was glad. "I wish," he said to him, "that your limbs were as supple and your strength as sure as your judgment is; but age, the common enemy of mankind, has laid his hand upon you; would that it had fallen upon some other, and that you were still young."

317 And Nestor, knight of Gerene, answered, "Son of Atreus, I too would gladly be the man I was when I slew mighty Ereuthalion; but the gods will not give us everything at one and the same time. I was then young, and