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Page 219

STORIES OF GREECE AND ROME
THE STORY OF ACHILLES

it is always well for a man to obey the immortal gods." As he spoke, he thrust back the heavy sword into the scabbard, and Athena went her way to Olympus.
Then he turned to King Agamemnon, and spoke again :
"Drunkard, with the eyes of a dog and the heart of a deer ! never fighting in the front of the battle! 'Tis a cowardly race you rule, or this would be your last wrong. And surely the Greeks shall one day miss Achilles, when they fall in heaps before the dreadful Hector, and you shall be grieved to think that you have wronged the bravest of your host."
As he spoke, he dashed the scepter on the ground and sat down. On the other side Agamemnon sat in furious anger. Then Nestor rose, an old man of a hundred years and more, and counseled peace. But he spoke in vain. For Agamemnon answered :
" Nestor, you speak well, and peace is good. But this fellow would lord it over all, and he must be taught that there is one here, at least, who is better than he."
And Achilles said, "I were a slave and a coward, if I owned you as my lord. Not so; play the master over others, but think not to master me."
Then Achilles went apart from his comrades and sat upon the seashore, weeping bitter tears. He stretched out his hands with a loud prayer to his mother, who was Thetis, a goddess of the sea. She heard him where she sat in the depths of the sea, and rose from the waves-you would have thought it a mist rising-and came to where he sat weeping. She stroked him with her hand, and called him by his name.
"What aileth thee, my son?" she said.
Then he told her the story of his wrongs, and when he had ended, he said:

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