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Rhapsody 14

Literally Translated, with Explanatory Notes, by Theodore Alois Buckley

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Page 3

But him sternly regarding, wise Ulysses then addressed: "Son of Atreus, what speech hath escaped thy lips? Lost man! thou shouldst command some worthless army, and not rule over us, to whom Jove hath granted, from youth even unto old age, to accomplish toilsome wars, until we, each of us, shall perish. Dost thou then desire thus to leave wide-wayed Troy, on account of which we have endured so many woes? Be silent, lest some other of the Greeks hear a speech, which a man ought not to have brought through his mouth, whoever understands in his mind how to speak prudent things, who is a sceptre-bearer, and whom so many people obey, as many as thou dost govern among the Greeks. For now do I reprobate thy judgment, in what thou hast said; who commandest us, whilst the war and battle are waged, to draw down the well-benched ships to the sea, in order that the wishes of the Trojans may be still better fulfilled, victorious though they be, and dire destruction fall upon us: for the Greeks will not maintain the fight whilst the ships are being dragged to the sea, but will look back, and retire from the combat. Then will thy counsel be injurious, O leader of the people."

But him Agamemnon, the king of men, then answered: "Much, O Ulysses, hast thou touched me to the soul with thy severe reproof; yet I commanded not the sons of the Greeks against their will to draw the well-benched ships down to the sea. But now would that there were one, either young or old, who would deliver an opinion better than this; it would be to my joy." [456]

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