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The others all agreed, but Ulysses, to throw them off the scent,said, "Sirs, an old man like myself, worn out with suffering, cannothold his own against a young one; but my irrepressible belly urgesme on, though I know it can only end in my getting a drubbing. Youmust swear, however that none of you will give me a foul blow tofavour Irus and secure him the victory."

СϷ廭

The maids looked at one another and laughed, while pretty Melanthobegan to gibe at him contemptuously. She was daughter to Dolius, buthad been brought up by Penelope, who used to give her toys to playwith, and looked after her when she was a child; but in spite of allthis she showed no consideration for the sorrows of her mistress,and used to misconduct herself with Eurymachus, with whom she was inlove.

This was how they talked. But Telemachus went down into the loftyand spacious store-room where his father's treasure of gold and bronzelay heaped up upon the floor, and where the linen and spare clotheswere kept in open chests. Here, too, there was a store of fragrantolive oil, while casks of old, well-ripened wine, unblended and fitfor a god to drink, were ranged against the wall in case Ulyssesshould come home again after all. The room was closed with well-madedoors opening in the middle; moreover the faithful old house-keeperEuryclea, daughter of Ops the son of Pisenor, was in charge ofeverything both night and day. Telemachus called her to the store-roomand said:

His father shed tears and answered, "Sir, you have indeed come tothe country that you have named, but it is fallen into the hands ofwicked people. All this wealth of presents has been given to nopurpose. If you could have found your friend here alive in Ithaca,he would have entertained you hospitably and would have requiredyour presents amply when you left him- as would have been only rightconsidering what you have already given him. But tell me, and tellme true, how many years is it since you entertained this guest- myunhappy son, as ever was? Alas! He has perished far from his owncountry; the fishes of the sea have eaten him, or he has fallen a preyto the birds and wild beasts of some continent. Neither his mother,nor I his father, who were his parents, could throw our arms about himand wrap him in his shroud, nor could his excellent and richly doweredwife Penelope bewail her husband as was natural upon his death bed,and close his eyes according to the offices due to the departed. Butnow, tell me truly for I want to know. Who and whence are you- tell meof your town and parents? Where is the ship lying that has brought youand your men to Ithaca? Or were you a passenger on some other man'sship, and those who brought you here have gone on their way and leftyou?"

СϷ ɻ

"There you go," cried he, "and a precious pair you are. See howheaven brings birds of the same feather to one another. Where, pray,master swineherd, are you taking this poor miserable object? Itwould make any one sick to see such a creature at table. A fellow likethis never won a prize for anything in his life, but will go aboutrubbing his shoulders against every man's door post, and begging,not for swords and cauldrons like a man, but only for a few scraps notworth begging for. If you would give him to me for a hand on mystation, he might do to clean out the folds, or bring a bit of sweetfeed to the kids, and he could fatten his thighs as much as he pleasedon whey; but he has taken to bad ways and will not go about any kindof work; he will do nothing but beg victuals all the town over, tofeed his insatiable belly. I say, therefore and it shall surely be- ifhe goes near Ulysses' house he will get his head broken by thestools they will fling at him, till they turn him out."

"Bless my heart," replied Menelaus, "then I am receiving a visitfrom the son of a very dear friend, who suffered much hardship formy sake. I had always hoped to entertain him with most markeddistinction when heaven had granted us a safe return from beyond theseas. I should have founded a city for him in Argos, and built him ahouse. I should have made him leave Ithaca with his goods, his son,and all his people, and should have sacked for them some one of theneighbouring cities that are subject to me. We should thus have seenone another continually, and nothing but death could haveinterrupted so close and happy an intercourse. I suppose, however,that heaven grudged us such great good fortune, for it has preventedthe poor fellow from ever getting home at all."

СϷйҶ ۻ

As he spoke he made a sign with his eyebrows, and Telemachusgirded on his sword, grasped his spear, and stood armed beside hisfather's seat.

This made them all very angry, for they feared he might string thebow; Antinous therefore rebuked him fiercely saying, "Wretchedcreature, you have not so much as a grain of sense in your whole body;you ought to think yourself lucky in being allowed to dine unharmedamong your betters, without having any smaller portion served you thanwe others have had, and in being allowed to hear our conversation.No other beggar or stranger has been allowed to hear what we say amongourselves; the wine must have been doing you a mischief, as it doeswith all those drink immoderately. It was wine that inflamed theCentaur Eurytion when he was staying with Peirithous among theLapithae. When the wine had got into his head he went mad and didill deeds about the house of Peirithous; this angered the heroes whowere there assembled, so they rushed at him and cut off his ears andnostrils; then they dragged him through the doorway out of thehouse, so he went away crazed, and bore the burden of his crime,bereft of understanding. Henceforth, therefore, there was warbetween mankind and the centaurs, but he brought it upon himselfthrough his own drunkenness. In like manner I can tell you that itwill go hardly with you if you string the bow: you will find nomercy from any one here, for we shall at once ship you off to kingEchetus, who kills every one that comes near him: you will never getaway alive, so drink and keep quiet without getting into a quarrelwith men younger than yourself."

<"Menelaus," replied Telemachus, "I want to go home at once, for whenI came away I left my property without protection, and fear that whilelooking for my father I shall come to ruin myself, or find thatsomething valuable has been stolen during my absence."To this you answered, O swineherd Eumaeus, "Old man, you willneither get paid for bringing good news, nor will Ulysses ever comehome; drink you wine in peace, and let us talk about something else.Do not keep on reminding me of all this; it always pains me when anyone speaks about my honoured master. As for your oath we will let italone, but I only wish he may come, as do Penelope, his old fatherLaertes, and his son Telemachus. I am terribly unhappy too aboutthis same boy of his; he was running up fast into manhood, and badefare to be no worse man, face and figure, than his father, but someone, either god or man, has been unsettling his mind, so he has goneoff to Pylos to try and get news of his father, and the suitors arelying in wait for him as he is coming home, in the hope of leaving thehouse of Arceisius without a name in Ithaca. But let us say no moreabout him, and leave him to be taken, or else to escape if the sonof Saturn holds his hand over him to protect him. And now, old man,tell me your own story; tell me also, for I want to know, who youare and where you come from. Tell me of your town and parents, whatmanner of ship you came in, how crew brought you to Ithaca, and fromwhat country they professed to come- for you cannot have come byland."

Penelope was moved still more deeply as she heard the indisputableproofs that Ulysses laid before her; and when she had again foundrelief in tears she said to him, "Stranger, I was already disposedto pity you, but henceforth you shall be honoured and made welcomein my house. It was I who gave Ulysses the clothes you speak of. Itook them out of the store room and folded them up myself, and Igave him also the gold brooch to wear as an ornament. Alas! I shallnever welcome him home again. It was by an ill fate that he ever setout for that detested city whose very name I cannot bring myselfeven to mention."

СϷͻ

"On this Hercules went down again into the house of Hades, but Istayed where I was in case some other of the mighty dead should cometo me. And I should have seen still other of them that are gonebefore, whom I would fain have seen- Theseus and Pirithous gloriouschildren of the gods, but so many thousands of ghosts came round meand uttered such appalling cries, that I was panic stricken lestProserpine should send up from the house of Hades the head of thatawful monster Gorgon. On this I hastened back to my ship and orderedmy men to go on board at once and loose the hawsers; so theyembarked and took their places, whereon the ship went down thestream of the river Oceanus. We had to row at first, but presently afair wind sprang up.

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СϷڼСͿͳͨз ETCע3ʱڵ She brought the fire and sulphur, as he had bidden her, andUlysses thoroughly purified the cloisters and both the inner and outercourts. Then she went inside to call the women and tell them whathad happened; whereon they came from their apartment with torches intheir hands, and pressed round Ulysses to embrace him, kissing hishead and shoulders and taking hold of his hands. It made him feel asif he should like to weep, for he remembered every one of them. ϸ

˻Աȴ˹ ѻԱЩèҪС| ̵2018|ӢýDZӣʡӦ

СϷƲܲ,гԼλѡ As she spoke, she told Eumaeus to set the bow and the pieces of ironbefore the suitors, and Eumaeus wept as he took them to do as shehad bidden him. Hard by, the stockman wept also when he saw hismaster's bow, but Antinous scolded them. "You country louts," said he,"silly simpletons; why should you add to the sorrows of yourmistress by crying in this way? She has enough to grieve her in theloss of her husband; sit still, therefore, and eat your dinners insilence, or go outside if you want to cry, and leave the bow behindyou. We suitors shall have to contend for it with might and main,for we shall find it no light matter to string such a bow as thisis. There is not a man of us all who is such another as Ulysses; for Ihave seen him and remember him, though I was then only a child." ϸ

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