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HAT day King Pelias, walking through the streets of his city,
saw coming toward him a youth who was half shod. He remembered
the words of the oracle that bade him beware of a half-shod man,
and straightway he gave orders to his guards to lay hands upon
But the guards wavered when they went toward him, for there was
something about the youth that put them in awe of him. He came
with the guards, however, and he stood before the king's judgment
Fearfully did Pelias look upon him. But not fearfully did the
youth look upon the king. With head lifted high he cried out,
 "Thou art Pelias, but I do not salute thee as king. Know that I
am Jason, the son of Æson from whom thou hast taken the throne
and scepter that were rightfully his."
King Pelias looked to his guards. He would have given them a sign
to destroy the youth's life with their spears, but behind his
guards he saw a threatening multitude—the dwellers of the city
of Iolcus; they gathered around, and Pelias knew that he had
become more and more hated by them. And from the multitude a cry
went up, "Æson, Æson! May Æson come back to us! Jason, son of
Æson! May nothing evil befall thee, brave youth!"
Then Pelias knew that the youth might not be slain. He bent his
head while he plotted against him in his heart. Then he raised
his eyes, and looking upon Jason he said, "O goodly youth, it
well may be that thou art the son of Æson, my brother. I am well
pleased to see thee here. I have had hopes that I might be
friends with Æson, and thy coming here may be the means to the
renewal of our friendship. We two brothers may come together
again. I will send for thy father now, and he will be brought to
meet thee in my royal palace. Go with my guards and with this
rejoicing people, and in a little while thou and I and thy father
Æson will sit at a feast of friends."
So Pelias said, and Jason went with the guards and the crowd of
people, and he came to the palace of the king and he was brought
within. The maids led him to the bath and gave him new robes to
wear. Dressed in these Jason looked a prince indeed.
But all that while King Pelias remained on his judgment seat
his crowned head bent down. When he raised his head his dark
brows were gathered together and his thin lips were very close.
He looked to the swords and spears of his guards, and he made a
sign to the men to stand close to him. Then he left the judgment
seat and he went to the palace.