The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 162 pages of information about The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy.

’Achilles did not answer.  His lion’s eyes were fixed upon those who had spoken and his look did not change at all for all that was said.’

’Then the old man Phoinix who had nurtured him went over to him.  He could not speak, for tears had burst from him.  But at last, holding Achilles’ hands, he said: 

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’"In thy father’s house did I not rear thee to greatness—­even thee, most noble Achilles.  With me and with none other wouldst thou go into the feasthall, and, as a child, thou would’st stay at my knee and eat the morsel I gave, and drink from the cup that I put to thy lips.  I reared thee, and I suffered and toiled much that thou mightst have strength and skill and quickness.  Be thou merciful in thy heart, Achilles.  Be not wrathful any more.  Cast aside thine anger now and save the host.  Come now.  The gifts Agamemnon would give thee are very great, and no king nor prince could despise them.  But if without gifts thou would’st enter the battle, then above all heroes the host would honour thee."’

’Achilles answered Phoinix gently and said, “The honour the host would bestow upon me I have no need of, for I am honoured in the judgment of Zeus, the greatest of the gods, and while breath remains with me that honour cannot pass away.  But do thou, Phoinix, stay with me, and many things I shall bestow upon thee, even the half of my kingdom.  Ah, but urge me not to help Agamemnon, for if thou dost I shall look upon thee as a friend to Agamemnon, and I shall hate thee, my foster-father, as I hate him."’

Then to Odysseus, Achilles spoke and said, “Son of Laertes, wisest of men, harken now to what I shall say to thee.  Here I should have stayed and won that imperishable renown that my goddess-mother told me of, even at the cost of my young life if Agamemnon had not aroused the wrath that now possesses me.  Know that my soul is implacable towards him.  How often did I watch out sleepless nights, how often did I spend my days in bloody battle for the sake of Agamemnon’s and his brother’s cause!  Why are we here if not because of lovely Helen?  And yet one whom I cherished as Menelaus cherished Helen has been taken from me by order of this King!  He would let her go her way now!  But no, I do not desire to see Briseis ever again, for everything that comes from Agamemnon’s hand is hateful to me.  Hateful are all the gifts he would bestow upon me, and him and his treasures I hold at a straw’s worth.  I have chosen.  To-morrow I shall have my Myrmidons draw my ships out to the sea, and I shall depart from Troy for my own land."’

’Said Aias, “Have the gods, Achilles, put into your breast a spirit implacable and proud above all men’s spirits?"’

’"Yea, Aias,” said Achilles.  “My spirit cannot contain my wrath.  Agamemnon has treated me, not as a leader of armies who won many battles for him, but as a vile sojourner in his camp.  Go now and declare my will to him.  Never again shall I take thought of his war."’

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The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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