The return of Odysseus (Odyssey 13.185 - 19.604)
THE ODYSSEY of Homer
translated by Samuel Butler
revised by Timothy Power and Gregory Nagy
NOTE: Important Greek terms, in brackets,
from SCROLL XIII
 Odysseus woke up once more upon his own soil. He had been so long away that he did not know it again; moreover, Zeusí daughter Athena had made it a foggy day, so that people might not know of his having come, and that she might tell him everything without either his wife or his fellow citizens and friends recognizing him until he had taken his revenge upon the wicked suitors. Everything, therefore, seemed quite different to him - the long straight tracks, the harbors, the precipices, and the goodly trees, appeared all changed as he started up and looked upon his native land. So he smote his thighs with the flat of his hands and cried aloud despairingly.
 "Alas," he exclaimed, "among what manner of people am I fallen? Are they savage and uncivilized [not dikaios] or hospitable and endowed with god-fearing minds [noos]? Where shall I put all this treasure, and which way shall I go? I wish I had stayed over there with the Phaeacians; or I could have gone to some other great chief who would have been good to me and given me an escort. As it is I do not know where to put my treasure, and I cannot leave it here for fear somebody else should get hold of it. In good truth the chiefs and rulers of the Phaeacians have not been dealing fairly [dikaios] by me, and have left me in the wrong country; they said they would take me back to Ithaca and they have not done so: may Zeus the protector of suppliants chastise them, for he watches over everybody and punishes those who do wrong. Still, I suppose I must count my goods and see if the crew have gone off with any of them."
 He counted his goodly coppers and cauldrons, his gold and all his clothes, but there was nothing missing; still he kept grieving about not being in his own country, and wandered up and down by the shore of the sounding sea bewailing his hard fate. Then Athena came up to him disguised as a young shepherd of delicate and princely mien, with a good cloak folded double about her shoulders; she had sandals on her comely feet and held a javelin in her hand. Odysseus was glad when he saw her, and went straight up to her.
 "My friend," said he, "you are the first person whom I have met with in this country; I salute you, therefore, and beg you to be well disposed in mind [noos] towards me. Protect these my goods, and myself too, for I embrace your knees and pray to you as though you were a god. Tell me, then, and tell me truly, what land and country [dÍmos] is this? Who are its inhabitants? Am I on an island, or is this the sea board of some continent?"
 Athena answered, "Stranger, you must be very simple, or must have come from somewhere a long way off, not to know what country this is. It is a very celebrated place, and everybody knows it East and West. It is rugged and not a good driving country, but it is by no means a bad island for what there is of it. It grows any quantity of grain and also wine, for it is watered both by rain and dew; it breeds cattle also and goats; all kinds of timber grow here, and there are watering places where the water never runs dry; so, sir, the name of Ithaca is known even as far as Troy, which I understand to be a long way off from this Achaean country."
 Odysseus was glad at finding himself, as Athena told him, in his own country, and he began to answer, but he did not speak the truth [alÍthÍs], and made up a lying story in the instinctive wiliness of his mind [noos].
 "I heard of Ithaca," said he, "when I was in Crete beyond the seas, and now it seems I have reached it with all these treasures. I have left as much more behind me for my children, but am fleeing because I killed Orsilokhos son of Idomeneus, the fleetest runner in Crete. I killed him because he wanted to rob me of the spoils I had got from Troy with so much trouble and danger both on the field of battle and by the waves of the weary sea; he said I had not served his father loyally in the Trojan dÍmos as vassal, but had set myself up as an independent ruler, so I lay in wait for him and with one of my followers by the road side, and speared him as he was coming into town from the country. It was a very dark night and nobody saw us; it was not known, therefore, that I had killed him, but as soon as I had done so I went to a ship and besought the owners, who were Phoenicians, to take me on board and set me in Pylos or in Elis where the Epeans rule, giving them as much spoil as satisfied them. They meant no guile, but the wind drove them off their course, and we sailed on till we came hither by night. It was all we could do to get inside the harbor, and none of us said a word about supper though we wanted it badly, but we all went on shore and lay down just as we were. I was very tired and fell asleep directly, so they took my goods out of the ship, and placed them beside me where I was lying upon the sand. Then they sailed away to Sidonia, and I was left here in great distress of mind."
 Such was his story, but Athena smiled and caressed him with her hand. Then she took the form of a woman, fair, stately, and wise, "He must be indeed a shifty and deceitful person," said she, "who could surpass you in all manner of craft [kerdos] even though you had a god for your antagonist. Daring that you are, full of guile, unwearying in deceit [apatÍ], can you not drop your tricks and your instinctive falsehood, even now that you are in your own country again? We will say no more, however, about this, for we both of us know craftiness [kerdos] upon occasion - you are the best counselor and orator among all humankind, while I for diplomacy and crafty ways [kerdea] have fame [kleos] among the gods. Did you not know Zeusí daughter Athena - me, who have been ever with you, who kept watch over you in all your ordeals [ponoi], and who made the Phaeacians take so great a liking to you? And now, again, I am come here to talk things over with you, and help you to hide the treasure I made the Phaeacians give you; I want to tell you about the troubles that await you in your own house; you have got to face them, but tell no one, neither man nor woman, that you have come home again. Bear everything, and put up with every manís violent insolence [biÍ], without a word."
 And Odysseus answered, "A man, goddess, may know a great deal, but you are so constantly changing your appearance that when he meets you it is a hard matter for him to know whether it is you or not. This much, however, I know exceedingly well; you were very kind to me as long as we Achaeans were fighting before Troy, but from the day on which we went on board ship after having sacked the city of Priam, and heaven dispersed us - from that day, Athena, I saw no more of you, and cannot ever remember your coming to my ship to help me in a difficulty; I had to wander on sick and sorry till the gods delivered me from evil and I reached the dÍmos of the Phaeacians, where you encouraged me and took me into the town. And now, I beseech you in your fatherís name, tell me the truth, for I do not believe I am really back in Ithaca. I am in some other country and you are mocking me and deceiving me in all you have been saying. Tell me then truly, have I really got back to my own country?"
 "You are always taking something of that sort into your head," replied Athena, "and that is why I cannot desert you in your afflictions; you are so plausible, shrewd and shifty. Any one but yourself on returning from so long a voyage would at once have gone home to see his wife and children, but you do not seem to care about asking after them or hearing any news about them till you have made trial of your wife, who remains at home vainly grieving for you, and having no peace night or day for the tears she sheds on your behalf. As for my not coming near you, I was never uneasy about you, for I was certain you would get back safely though you would lose all your men, and I did not wish to quarrel with my uncle Poseidon, who never forgave you for having blinded his son. I will now, however, point out to you the lie of the land, and you will then perhaps believe me. This is the haven of the Old One of the Sea, Phorkys, and here is the olive tree that grows at the head of it; [near it is the cave sacred to the Naiads;] here too is the overarching cavern in which you have offered many an acceptable hecatomb to the nymphs, and this is the wooded mountain Neritum."
 As she spoke the goddess dispersed the mist and the land appeared. Then Odysseus rejoiced at finding himself again in his own land, and kissed the bounteous soil; he lifted up his hands and prayed to the nymphs, saying, "Naiad nymphs, daughters of Zeus, I was sure that I was never again to see you, now therefore I greet you with all loving salutations, and I will bring you offerings as in the old days, if Zeusí redoubtable daughter will grant me life, and bring my son to manhood."
 "Take heart, and do not trouble yourself about that," rejoined Athena, "let us rather set about stowing your things at once in the cave, where they will be quite safe. Let us see how we can best manage it all."
 Therewith she went down into the cave to look for the safest hiding places, while Odysseus brought up all the treasure of gold, bronze, and good clothing which the Phaeacians had given him. They stowed everything carefully away, and Athena set a stone against the door of the cave. Then the two sat down by the root of the great olive, and consulted how to compass the destruction of the wicked suitors.
 "Odysseus," said Athena, "noble son of Laertes, think how you can lay hands on these disreputable people who have been lording it in your house these three years, courting your wife and making wedding presents to her, while she does nothing but mourning your return [nostos], giving hope and sending encouraging messages to every one of them, but meaning [in her noos] the very opposite of all she says."
 And Odysseus answered, "In good truth, goddess, it seems I should have come to much the same bad end in my own house as Agamemnon did, if you had not given me such timely information. Advise me how I shall best avenge myself. Stand by my side and put your courage into my heart as on the day when we loosed Troyís fair diadem from her brow. Help me now as you did then, and I will fight three hundred men, if you, goddess, will be with me."
 "Trust me for that," said she, "I will not lose sight of you when once we set about it, and I would imagine that some of those who are devouring your substance will then bespatter the pavement with their blood and brains. I will begin by disguising you so that no human being shall know you; I will cover your body with wrinkles; you shall lose all your yellow hair; I will clothe you in a garment that shall fill all who see it with loathing; I will blear your fine eyes for you, and make you an unseemly object in the sight of the suitors, of your wife, and of the son whom you left behind you. Then go at once to the swineherd who is in charge of your pigs; he has been always well affected towards you, and is devoted to Penelope and your son; you will find him feeding his pigs near the rock that is called Raven by the fountain Arethusa, where they are fattening on beechmast and spring water after their manner. Stay with him and find out how things are going, while I proceed to Sparta and see your son, who is with Menelaos at Lacedaemon, where he has gone to try and find a report [kleos] on whether you are still alive."
 "But why," said Odysseus, "did you not tell him, for you knew all about it? Did you want him too to go sailing about amid all kinds of hardship while others are eating up his estate?"
 Athena answered, "Never mind about him, I sent him that he might be well spoken [kleos] of for having gone. He is in no sort of difficulty [ponos], but is staying quite comfortably with Menelaos, and is surrounded with abundance of every kind. The suitors have put out to sea and are lying in wait for him, for they mean to kill him before he can get home. I do not much think they will succeed, but rather that some of those who are now eating up your estate will first find a grave themselves."
 As she spoke Athena touched him with her wand and covered him with wrinkles, took away all his yellow hair, and withered the flesh over his whole body; she bleared his eyes, which were naturally very fine ones; she changed his clothes and threw an old rag of a wrap about him, and a tunic, tattered, filthy, and begrimed with smoke; she also gave him an undressed deer skin as an outer garment, and furnished him with a staff and a wallet all in holes, with a twisted thong for him to sling it over his shoulder.
 When the pair had thus laid their plans they parted, and the goddess went straight to Lacedaemon to fetch Telemakhos.
 Odysseus now left the haven, and took the rough track up through the wooded country and over the crest of the mountain till he reached the place where Athena had said that he would find the swineherd, who was the most thrifty servant he had. He found him sitting in front of his hut, which was by the yards that he had built on a site which could be seen from far. He had made them spacious and fair to see, with a free run for the pigs all round them; he had built them during his masterís absence, of stones which he had gathered out of the ground, without saying anything to Penelope or Laertes, and he had fenced them on top with thorn bushes. Outside the yard he had run a strong fence of oaken posts, split, and set pretty close together, while inside he had built twelve sties near one another for the sows to lie in. There were fifty pigs wallowing in each sty, all of them breeding sows; but the boars slept outside and were much fewer in number, for the suitors kept on eating them, and the swineherd had to send them the best he had continually. There were three hundred and sixty boar pigs, and the herdsmanís four hounds, which were as fierce as wolves, slept always with them. The swineherd was at that moment cutting out a pair of sandals from a good stout ox hide. Three of his men were out herding the pigs in one place or another, and he had sent the fourth to town with a boar that he had been forced to send the suitors that they might sacrifice it and have their fill of meat.
 When the hounds saw Odysseus they set up a furious barking and flew at him, but Odysseus was cunning enough to sit down and loose his hold of the stick that he had in his hand: still, he would have been torn by them in his own homestead had not the swineherd dropped his ox hide, rushed full speed through the gate of the yard and driven the dogs off by shouting and throwing stones at them. Then he said to Odysseus, "Old man, the dogs were likely to have made short work of you, and then you would have got me into trouble. The gods have given me quite enough worries without that, for I have lost the best of masters, and am in continual grief on his account. I have to attend swine for other people to eat, while he, if he yet lives to see the light of day, is starving in some distant dÍmos. But come inside, and when you have had your fill of bread and wine, tell me where you come from, and all about your misfortunes."
 On this the swineherd led the way into the hut and bade him sit down. He strewed a good thick bed of rushes upon the floor, and on the top of this he threw the shaggy chamois skin - a great thick one - on which he used to sleep by night. Odysseus was pleased at being made thus welcome, and said "May Zeus, sir, and the rest of the gods grant you your heartís desire in return for the kind way in which you have received me."
 To this you answered, O swineherd Eumaios, "Stranger, though a still poorer man should come here, it would not be right for me to insult him, for all strangers and beggars are from Zeus. You must take what you can get and be thankful, for servants live in fear when they have young lords for their masters; and this is my misfortune now, for heaven has hindered the return [nostos] of him who would have been always good to me and given me something of my own - a house, a piece of land, a good looking wife, and all else that a liberal master allows a servant who has worked hard for him, and whose labor the gods have prospered as they have mine in the situation which I hold. If my master had grown old here he would have done great things by me, but he is gone, and I wish that Helenís whole race were utterly destroyed, for she has been the death of many a good man. It was this matter that took my master to Ilion, the land of noble steeds, to fight the Trojans in the cause of king Agamemnon."
 As he spoke he bound his belt round him and went to the sties where the young sucking pigs were penned. He picked out two which he brought back with him and sacrificed. He singed them, cut them up, and spitted on them; when the meat was cooked he brought it all in and set it before Odysseus, hot and still on the spit, whereon Odysseus sprinkled it over with white barley meal. The swineherd then mixed wine in a bowl of ivy-wood, and taking a seat opposite Odysseus told him to begin.
 "Fall to, stranger," said he, "on a dish of servantís pork. The fat pigs have to go to the suitors, who eat them up without shame or scruple; but the blessed gods love not such shameful doings, and respect those who do what is lawful and right [dikÍ]. Even the fierce free-booters who go raiding on other peopleís land, and Zeus gives them their spoil - even they, when they have filled their ships and got home again live conscience-stricken, and look fearfully for judgment; but some god seems to have told these people that Odysseus is dead and gone; they will not, therefore, go back to their own homes and make their offers of marriage in the proper way [dikaios], but waste his estate by force, without fear or stint. Not a day or night comes out of heaven, but they sacrifice not one victim nor two only, and they take the run of his wine, for he was exceedingly rich. No other great man either in Ithaca or on the mainland is as rich as he was; he had as much as twenty men put together. I will tell you what he had. There are twelve herds of cattle upon the mainland, and as many flocks of sheep, there are also twelve droves of pigs, while his own men and hired strangers feed him twelve widely spreading herds of goats. Here in Ithaca he runs even large flocks of goats on the far end of the island, and they are in the charge of excellent goatherds. Each one of these sends the suitors the best goat in the flock every day. As for myself, I am in charge of the pigs that you see here, and I have to keep picking [krinŰ] out the best I have and sending it to them."
 This was his story, but Odysseus went on eating and drinking ravenously without a word, brooding his revenge. When he had eaten enough and was satisfied, the swineherd took the bowl from which he usually drank, filled it with wine, and gave it to Odysseus, who was pleased, and said as he took it in his hands, "My friend, who was this master of yours that bought you and paid for you, so rich and so powerful as you tell me? You say he perished in the cause of King Agamemnon; tell me who he was, in case I may have met with such a person. Zeus and the other gods know, but I may be able to give you news of him, for I have traveled much."
 Eumaios answered, "Old man, no traveler who comes here with news will get Odysseusí wife and son to believe his story. Nevertheless, tramps in want of a lodging keep coming with their mouths full of lies, and not a word of truth [alÍthÍs]; every one who finds his way to the Ithacan dÍmos goes to my mistress and tells her falsehoods, whereon she takes them in, makes much of them, and asks them all manner of questions, crying all the time as women will when they have lost their husbands. And you too, old man, for a shirt and a cloak would doubtless make up a very pretty story. But the wolves and birds of prey have long since torn Odysseus to pieces, and his psukhÍ left him behind; or the fishes of the sea have eaten him, and his bones are lying buried deep in sand upon some foreign shore; he is dead and gone, and a bad business it is for all his friends - for me especially; go where I may I shall never find so good a master, not even if I were to go home to my mother and father where I was bred and born. I do not so much care, however, about my parents now, though I should dearly like to see them again in my own country; it is the loss of Odysseus that grieves me most; I cannot speak of him without reverence though he is here no longer, for he was very fond of me, and took such care of me that wherever he may be I shall always honor his memory."
 "My friend," replied Odysseus, "you are very positive, and very hard of belief about your masterís coming home again, nevertheless I will not merely say, but will swear, that he is coming. Do not give me anything for my news till he has actually come, you may then give me a shirt and cloak of good wear if you will. I am in great want, but I will not take anything at all till then, for hateful [ekhthros] is the man, as hateful as Hades, who lets his poverty tempt him into lying. I swear by king Zeus, by the rites of hospitality, and by that hearth of Odysseus to which I have now come, that all will surely happen as I have said it will. Odysseus will return in this self same year; with the end of this moon and the beginning of the next he will be here to do vengeance on all those who are ill treating his wife and son."
 To this you answered, O swineherd Eumaios, "Old man, you will neither get paid for bringing good news, nor will Odysseus ever come home; 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 any one speaks about my honored master. As for your oath we will let it alone, but I only wish he may come, as do Penelope, his old father Laertes, and his son Telemakhos. I am terribly unhappy too about this same boy of his; he was running up fast into manhood, and bade fare to be no worse man, face and figure, than his father, but some one, either god or man, has been unsettling his mind, so he has gone off to Pylos to try and get news of his father, and the suitors are lying in wait for him as he is coming home, in the hope of leaving the house of Arceisius without a name in Ithaca. But let us say no more about him, and leave him to be taken, or else to escape if the son of Kronos 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 you are and where you come from. Tell me of your town and parents, what manner of ship you came in, what crew brought you to Ithaca, and from what country they professed to come - for you cannot have come by land."
 And Odysseus answered, "I will tell you all about it. If there were meat and wine enough, and we could stay here in the hut with nothing to do but to eat and drink while the others go to their work, I could easily talk on for a whole twelve months without ever finishing the story of the sorrows with which it has pleased heaven to visit me.
 "I am by birth a Cretan; my father was a well-to-do man, who had many sons born in marriage, whereas I was the son of a slave whom he had purchased for a concubine; nevertheless, my father Castor son of Hylax (whose lineage I claim, and who was held in the highest honor in the dÍmos of the Cretans for his wealth, prosperity [olbos], and the valor of his sons) put me on the same level with my brothers who had been born in wedlock. When, however, death took him to the house of Hades, his sons divided his estate and cast lots for their shares, but to me they gave a holding and little else; nevertheless, my valor [aretÍ] enabled me to marry into a rich family, for I was not given to bragging, or shirking on the field of battle. It is all over now; still, if you look at the straw you can see what the ear was, for I have had trouble enough and to spare. Ares and Athena made me doughty in war; when I had picked [krinŰ] my men to surprise the enemy with an ambuscade I never gave death so much as a thought, but was the first to leap forward and spear all whom I could overtake. Such was I in battle, but I did not care about farm work, nor the frugal home life of those who would bring up children. My delight was in ships, fighting, javelins, and arrows - things that most men shudder to think of; but one man likes one thing and another another, and this was what I was most naturally inclined to. Before the Achaeans went to Troy, nine times was I in command of men and ships on foreign service, and I amassed much wealth. I had my pick of the spoil in the first instance, and much more was allotted to me later on.
 "My house grew apace and I became a great man among the Cretans, but when Zeus counseled that terrible expedition, in which so many perished, the people required me and Idomeneus to lead their ships to Troy, and there was no way out of it, for the judgment of the dÍmos insisted on our doing so. There we fought for nine whole years, but in the tenth we sacked the city of Priam and sailed home again as heaven dispersed us. Then it was that Zeus devised evil against me. I spent but one month happily with my children, wife, and property, and then I conceived the idea of making a descent on Egypt, so I fitted out a fine fleet and manned it. I had nine ships, and the people flocked to fill them. For six days I and my men made feast, and I found them many victims both for sacrifice to the gods and for themselves, but on the seventh day we went on board and set sail from Crete with a fair North wind behind us though we were going down a river. Nothing went ill with any of our ships, and we had no sickness on board, but sat where we were and let the ships go as the wind and steersmen took them. On the fifth day we reached the river Aigyptos; there I stationed my ships in the river, bidding my men stay by them and keep guard over them while I sent out scouts to reconnoiter from every point of vantage.
 "But the men in their insolence [hubris] disobeyed my orders, took to their own devices, and ravaged the land of the Egyptians, killing the men, and taking their wives and children captive. The alarm was soon carried to the city, and when they heard the war cry, the people came out at daybreak till the plain was filled with horsemen and foot soldiers and with the gleam of armor. Then Zeus spread panic among my men, and they would no longer face the enemy, for they found themselves surrounded. The Egyptians killed many of us, and took the rest alive to do forced labor for them. Zeus, however, put it in my mind to do thus - and I wish I had died then and there in Egypt instead, for there was much sorrow in store for me - I took off my helmet and shield and dropped my spear from my hand; then I went straight up to the kingís chariot, clasped his knees and kissed them, whereon he spared my life, bade me get into his chariot, and took me weeping to his own home. Many made at me with their ashen spears and tried to kill me in their fury, but the king protected me, for he feared the mÍnis of Zeus the protector of strangers, who punishes those who do evil.
 "I stayed there for seven years and got together much wealth among the Egyptians, for they all gave me something; but when it was now going on for eight years there came a certain Phoenician, a cunning rascal, who had already committed all sorts of villainy, and this man talked me over into going with him to Phoenicia, where his house and his possessions lay. I stayed there for a whole twelve months, but at the end of that time when months and days had gone by till the same season [hŰra] had come round again, he set me on board a ship bound for Libya, on a pretense that I was to take a cargo along with him to that place, but really that he might sell me as a slave and take the wealth I fetched. I suspected his intention, but went on board with him, for I could not help it.
 "The ship ran before a fresh North wind till we had reached the sea that lies between Crete and Libya; there, however, Zeus counseled their destruction, for as soon as we were well out from Crete and could see nothing but sea and sky, he raised a black cloud over our ship and the sea grew dark beneath it. Then Zeus let fly with his thunderbolts and the ship went round and round and was filled with fire and brimstone as the lightning struck it. The men fell all into the sea; they were carried about in the water round the ship looking like so many sea-gulls, but the god presently deprived them of all chance of homecoming [nostos] again. I was all dismayed; Zeus, however, sent the shipís mast within my reach, which saved my life, for I clung to it, and drifted before the fury of the gale. Nine days did I drift but in the darkness of the tenth night a great wave bore me on to the Thesprotian coast. There Pheidon king of the Thesprotians entertained me hospitably without charging me anything at all, for his son found me when I was nearly dead with cold and fatigue, whereon he raised me by the hand, took me to his fatherís house and gave me clothes to wear.
 "There it was that I heard news of Odysseus, for the king told me he had entertained him, and shown him much hospitality while he was on his homeward journey. He showed me also the treasure of gold, and wrought iron that Odysseus had got together. There was enough to keep his family for ten generations, so much had he left in the house of king Pheidon. But the king said Odysseus had gone to Dodona that he might learn Zeusí mind from the godís high oak tree, and know whether after so long an absence he should return to the dÍmos of Ithaca openly, or in secret. Moreover the king swore in my presence, making drink-offerings in his own house as he did so, that the ship was by the water side, and the crew found, that should take him to his own country. He sent me off however before Odysseus returned, for there happened to be a Thesprotian ship sailing for the wheat-growing island of Dulichium, and he told those in charge of her to be sure and take me safely to King Akastos.
 "These men hatched a plot against me that would have reduced me to the very extreme of misery, for when the ship had got some way out from land they resolved on selling me as a slave. They stripped me of the shirt and cloak that I was wearing, and gave me instead the tattered old clouts in which you now see me; then, towards nightfall, they reached the tilled lands of Ithaca, and there they bound me with a strong rope fast in the ship, while they went on shore to get supper by the sea side. But the gods soon undid my bonds for me, and having drawn my rags over my head I slid down the rudder into the sea, where I struck out and swam till I was well clear of them, and came ashore near a thick wood in which I lay concealed. They were very angry at my having escaped and went searching about for me, till at last they thought it was no further use and went back to their ship. The gods, having hidden me thus easily, then took me to a good manís door - for it seems that I am not to die yet awhile."
 To this you answered, O swineherd Eumaios, "Poor unhappy stranger, I have found the story of your misfortunes extremely interesting, but that part about Odysseus is not right [kosmos]; and you will never get me to believe it. Why should a man like you go about telling lies in this way? I know all about the return [nostos] of my master. The gods one and all of them detest him, or they would have taken him before Troy, or let him die with friends around him when the days of his fighting were done; for then the Achaeans would have built a mound over his ashes and his son would have been heir to his kleos, but now the storm winds have spirited him away we know not where.
 "As for me I live out of the way here with the pigs, and never go to the town unless when Penelope sends for me on the arrival of some news about Odysseus. Then they all sit round and ask questions, both those who grieve over the kingís absence, and those who rejoice at it because they can eat up his property without paying for it. For my own part I have never cared about asking anyone else since the time when I was taken in by an Aetolian, who had killed a man and come a long way till at last he reached my station, and I was very kind to him. He said he had seen Odysseus with Idomeneus among the Cretans, refitting his ships which had been damaged in a gale. He said Odysseus would return in the following summer or autumn with his men, and that he would bring back much wealth. And now you, you unfortunate old man, since a daimŰn has brought you to my door, do not try to flatter me in this way with vain hopes. It is not for any such reason that I shall treat you kindly, but only out of respect for Zeus the god of hospitality, as fearing him and pitying you."
 Odysseus answered, "I see that you are of an unbelieving mind; I have given you my oath, and yet you will not credit me; let us then make a bargain, and call all the gods in heaven to witness it. If your master comes home, give me a cloak and shirt of good wear, and send me to Dulichium where I want to go; but if he does not come as I say he will, set your men on to me, and tell them to throw me from yonder precipice, as a warning to tramps not to go about the country telling lies."
 "And aretÍ famed among men would be mine " replied Eumaios, "both now and hereafter, if I were to kill you after receiving you into my hut and showing you hospitality. I should have to say my prayers in good earnest if I did; but it is just supper time [hŰra] and I hope my men will come in directly, that we may cook something savory for supper."
 Thus did they converse, and presently the swineherds came up with the pigs, which were then shut up for the night in their sties, and a tremendous squealing they made as they were being driven into them. But Eumaios called to his men and said, "Bring in the best pig you have, that I may sacrifice for this stranger, and we will take toll of him ourselves. We have had trouble enough this long time feeding pigs, while others reap the fruit of our labor."
 On this he began chopping firewood, while the others brought in a fine fat five year old boar pig, and set it at the altar. Eumaios did not forget the gods, for he was a man of good principles, so the first thing he did was to cut bristles from the pigís face and throw them into the fire, praying to all the gods as he did so that Odysseus might return home again. Then he clubbed the pig with a billet of oak which he had kept back when he was chopping the firewood, and its psukhÍ left it, while the others slaughtered and singed it. Then they cut it up, and Eumaios began by putting raw pieces from each joint on to some of the fat; these he sprinkled with barley meal, and laid upon the embers; they cut the rest of the meat up small, put the pieces upon the spits and roasted them till they were done; when they had taken them off the spits they threw them on to the dresser in a heap. The swineherd, who was a most equitable man, then stood up to give every one his share. He made seven portions; one of these he set apart for Hermes the son of Maia and the nymphs, praying to them as he did so; the others he dealt out to the men man by man. He gave Odysseus some slices cut lengthways down the loin as a mark of especial honor, and Odysseus was much pleased. "I hope, Eumaios," said he, "that Zeus will be as well disposed towards you as I am, for the respect you are showing to an outcast like myself."
 To this you answered, O swineherd Eumaios, "Eat, my good fellow, and enjoy your supper, such as it is. A god grants this, and withholds that, just as he thinks right, for he can do whatever he chooses."
 As he spoke he cut off the first piece and offered it as a burnt sacrifice to the immortal gods; then he made them a drink-offering, put the cup in the hands of Odysseus, and sat down to his own portion. Mesaulios brought them their bread; the swineherd had bought this man on his own account from among the Taphians during his masterís absence, and had paid for him with his own wealth without saying anything either to his mistress or Laertes. They then laid their hands upon the good things that were before them, and when they had had enough to eat and drink, Mesaulios took away what was left of the bread, and they all went to bed after having made a hearty supper.
 Now the night came on stormy and very dark, for there was no moon. It poured without ceasing, and the wind blew strong from the West, which is a wet quarter, so Odysseus thought he would see whether Eumaios, in the excellent care he took of him, would take off his own cloak and give it him, or make one of his men give him one. "Listen to me," said he, "Eumaios and the rest of you; when I have said a prayer I will tell you something. It is the wine that makes me talk in this way; wine will make even a wise man fall to singing; it will make him chuckle and dance and say many a word that he had better leave unspoken; still, as I have begun, I will go on. Would that I were still young and strong [biÍ] as when we got up an ambuscade before Troy. Menelaos and Odysseus were the leaders, but I was in command also, for the other two would have it so. When we had come up to the wall of the city we crouched down beneath our armor and lay there under cover of the reeds and thick brush-wood that grew about the swamp. It came on to freeze with a North wind blowing; the snow fell small and fine like hoar frost, and our shields were coated thick with rime. The others had all got cloaks and shirts, and slept comfortably enough with their shields about their shoulders, but I had carelessly left my cloak behind me, not thinking that I should be too cold, and had gone off in nothing but my shirt and shield. When the night was two-thirds through and the stars had shifted their places, I nudged Odysseus who was close to me with my elbow, and he at once gave me his ear.
 "ĎOdysseus,í said I, Ďthis cold will be the death of me, for I have no cloak; some daimŰn fooled me into setting off with nothing on but my shirt, and I do not know what to do.í
 "Odysseus, who was as crafty as he was valiant, hit upon the following plan [noos]:
 "ĎKeep still,í said he in a low voice, Ďor the others will hear you.í Then he raised his head on his elbow.
 "ĎMy friends,í said he, ĎI have had a dream from heaven in my sleep. We are a long way from the ships; I wish some one would go down and tell Agamemnon to send us up more men at once.í
 "On this Thoas son of Andraimon threw off his cloak and set out running to the ships, whereon I took the cloak and lay in it comfortably enough till morning. Would that I were still young and strong [biÍ] as I was in those days, for then some one of you swineherds would give me a cloak both out of good will and for the respect [aidŰs] due to a brave warrior; but now people look down upon me because my clothes are shabby."
 And Eumaios answered, "Old man, you have told us an excellent story [ainos], and have said nothing so far but what is quite satisfactory; for the present, therefore, you shall want neither clothing nor anything else that a stranger in distress may reasonably expect, but tomorrow morning you have to shake your own old rags about your body again, for we have not many spare cloaks nor shirts up here, but every man has only one. When Odysseusí son comes home again he will give you both cloak and shirt, and send you wherever you may want to go."
 With this he got up and made a bed for Odysseus by throwing some goatskins and sheepskins on the ground in front of the fire. Here Odysseus lay down, and Eumaios covered him over with a great heavy cloak that he kept for a change in case of extraordinarily bad weather.
 Thus did Odysseus sleep, and the young men slept beside him. But the swineherd did not like sleeping away from his pigs, so he got ready to go and Odysseus was glad to see that he looked after his property during his masterís absence. First he slung his sword over his brawny shoulders and put on a thick cloak to keep out the wind. He also took the skin of a large and well fed goat, and a javelin in case of attack from men or dogs. Thus equipped he went to his rest where the pigs were camping under an overhanging rock that gave them shelter from the North wind. 
 But Athena went to the fair city of Lacedaemon to tell Odysseusí son that he was to return [nostos] at once. She found him and Peisistratos sleeping in the forecourt of Menelaosí house; Peisistratos was fast asleep, but Telemakhos could get no rest all night for thinking of his unhappy father, so Athena went close up to him and said:
 "Telemakhos, you should not remain so far away from home any longer, nor leave your property with such dangerous people in your house; they will eat up everything you have among them, and you will have been on a foolís errand. Ask Menelaos to send you home at once if you wish to find your excellent mother still there when you get back. Her father and brothers are already urging her to marry Eurymakhos, who has given her more than any of the others, and has been greatly increasing his wedding presents. I hope nothing valuable may have been taken from the house in spite of you, but you know what women are - they always want to do the best they can for the man who marries them, and never give another thought to the children of their first husband, nor to their father either when he is dead and done with. Go home, therefore, and put everything in charge of the most respectable woman servant that you have, until it shall please heaven to send you a wife of your own. Let me tell you also of another matter which you had better attend to. The chief men among the suitors are lying in wait for you in the Strait between Ithaca and Samos, and they mean to kill you before you can reach home. I do not much think they will succeed; it is more likely that some of those who are now eating up your property will find a grave themselves. Sail night and day, and keep your ship well away from the islands; the god who watches over you and protects you will send you a fair wind. As soon as you get to Ithaca send your ship and men on to the town, but yourself go straight to the swineherd who has charge your pigs; he is well disposed towards you, stay with him, therefore, for the night, and then send him to Penelope to tell her that you have got back safe from Pylos."
 Then she went back to Olympus; but Telemakhos stirred Peisistratos with his heel to rouse him, and said, "Wake up Peisistratos, and yoke the horses to the chariot, for we must set off home."
 But Peisistratos said, "No matter what hurry we are in we cannot drive in the dark. It will be morning soon; wait till Menelaos has brought his presents and put them in the chariot for us; and let him say good-bye to us in the usual way. So long as he lives a guest should never forget a host who has shown him kindness."
 As he spoke day began to break, and Menelaos, who had already risen, leaving Helen in bed, came towards them. When Telemakhos saw him he put on his shirt as fast as he could, threw a great cloak over his shoulders, and went out to meet him. "Menelaos," said he, "let me go back now to my own country, for I want to get home [nostos]."
 And Menelaos answered, "Telemakhos, if you insist on going I will not detain you. I do not like to see a host either too fond of his guest or too rude to him. Moderation is best in all things, and not letting a man go when he wants to do so is as bad as telling him to go if he would like to stay. One should treat a guest well as long as he is in the house and speed him when he wants to leave it. Wait, then, till I can get your beautiful presents into your chariot, and till you have yourself seen them. I will tell the women to prepare a sufficient dinner for you of what there may be in the house; it will be at once more proper and cheaper for you to get your dinner before setting out on such a long journey. If, moreover, you have a fancy for making a tour in Hellas or in the Peloponnese, I will yoke my horses, and will conduct you myself through all our principal cities. No one will send us away empty handed; every one will give us something - a bronze tripod, a couple of mules, or a gold cup."
 "Menelaos," replied Telemakhos, "I want to go home at once, for when I came away I left my property without protection, and fear that while looking for my father I shall come to ruin myself, or find that something valuable has been stolen during my absence."
 When Menelaos heard this he immediately told his wife and servants to prepare a sufficient dinner from what there might be in the house. At this moment Eteoneus joined him, for he lived close by and had just got up; so Menelaos told him to light the fire and cook some meat, which he at once did. Then Menelaos went down into his fragrant store room, not alone, but Helen went too, with Megapenthes. When he reached the place where the treasures of his house were kept, he selected a double cup, and told his son Megapenthes to bring also a silver mixing-bowl. Meanwhile Helen went to the chest where she kept the lovely dresses which she had made with her own hands, and took out one that was largest and most beautifully enriched with embroidery; it glittered like a star, and lay at the very bottom of the chest. Then they all came back through the house again till they got to Telemakhos, and Menelaos said, "Telemakhos, may Zeus, the mighty husband of Hera, bring you safely home [nostos] according to your desire. I will now present you with the finest and most precious piece of plate in all my house. It is a mixing-bowl of pure silver, except the rim, which is inlaid with gold, and it is the work of Hephaistos. Phaidimos king of the Sidonians made me a present of it in the course of a visit that I paid him while I was on my return home. I should like to give it to you."
 With these words he placed the double cup in the hands of Telemakhos, while Megapenthes brought the beautiful mixing-bowl and set it before him. Hard by stood lovely Helen with the robe ready in her hand.
 "I too, my son," said she, "have something for you as a keepsake from the hand of Helen; it is for your bride to wear upon her wedding day [hŰra]. Till then, get your dear mother to keep it for you; thus may you go back rejoicing to your own country and to your home."
 So saying she gave the robe over to him and he received it gladly. Then Peisistratos put the presents into the chariot, and admired them all as he did so. Presently Menelaos took Telemakhos and Peisistratos into the house, and they both of them sat down to table. A maid servant brought them water in a beautiful golden ewer, and poured it into a silver basin for them to wash their hands, and she drew a clean table beside them; an upper servant brought them bread and offered them many good things of what there was in the house. Eteoneus carved the meat and gave them each their portions, while Megapenthes poured out the wine. Then they laid their hands upon the good things that were before them, but as soon as they had had enough to eat and drink Telemakhos and Peisistratos yoked the horses, and took their places in the chariot. They drove out through the inner gateway and under the echoing gatehouse of the outer court, and Menelaos came after them with a golden goblet of wine in his right hand that they might make a drink-offering before they set out. He stood in front of the horses and pledged them, saying, "Farewell to both of you; see that you tell Nestor how I have treated you, for he was as kind to me as any father could be while we Achaeans were fighting before Troy."
 "We will be sure, sir," answered Telemakhos, "to tell him everything as soon as we see him. I wish I were as certain of finding Odysseus returned when I get back to Ithaca, that I might tell him of the very great kindness you have shown me and of the many beautiful presents I am taking with me."
 As he was thus speaking a bird flew on his right hand - an eagle with a great white goose in its talons which it had carried off from the farm yard - and all the men and women were running after it and shouting. It came quite close up to them and flew away on their right hands in front of the horses. When they saw it they were glad, and their hearts took comfort within them, whereon Peisistratos said, "Tell me, Menelaos, has heaven sent this omen for us or for you?"
 Menelaos was thinking what would be the most proper answer for him to make, but Helen was too quick for him and said, "I will read this matter as heaven has put it in my heart, and as I doubt not that it will come to pass. The eagle came from the mountain where it was bred and has its nest, and in like manner Odysseus, after having traveled far and suffered much, will return to take his revenge - if indeed he is not back already and hatching mischief for the suitors."
 "May Zeus so grant it," replied Telemakhos; "if it should prove to be so, I will make vows to you as though you were a god, even when I am at home."
 As he spoke he lashed his horses and they started off at full speed through the town towards the open country. They swayed the yoke upon their necks and traveled the whole day long till the sun set and darkness was over all the land. Then they reached Pherai, where Diokles lived who was son of Ortilokhos, the son of Alpheus. There they passed the night and were treated hospitably. When the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared, they again yoked their horses and their places in the chariot. They drove out through the inner gateway and under the echoing gatehouse of the outer court. Then Peisistratos lashed his horses on and they flew forward nothing loath; ere long they came to Pylos, and then Telemakhos said:
 "Peisistratos, I hope you will promise to do what I am going to ask you. You know our fathers were old friends before us; moreover, we are both of an age, and this journey has brought us together still more closely; do not, therefore, take me past my ship, but leave me there, for if I go to your fatherís house he will try to keep me in the warmth of his good will towards me, and I must go home at once."
 Peisistratos thought how he should do as he was asked, and in the end he deemed it best to turn his horses towards the ship, and put Menelaosí beautiful presents of gold and raiment in the stern of the vessel. Then he said, "Go on board at once and tell your men to do so also before I can reach home to tell my father. I know how obstinate he is, and am sure he will not let you go; he will come down here to fetch you, and he will not go back without you. But he will be very angry."
 With this he drove his goodly steeds back to the city of the Pylians and soon reached his home, but Telemakhos called the men together and gave his orders. "Now, my men," said he, "get everything in order on board the ship, and let us set out home."
 Thus did he speak, and they went on board even as he had said. But as Telemakhos was thus busied, praying also and sacrificing to Athena in the shipís stern, there came to him a man from a distant dÍmos, a seer [mantis], who was fleeing from Argos because he had killed a man. He was descended from Melampos, who used to live in Pylos, the land of sheep; he was rich and owned a great house, but he was driven into exile by the great and powerful king Neleus. Neleus seized violently [biÍ] his goods and held them for a whole year, during which he was a close prisoner in the house of king Phylakos, and in much distress of mind both on account of the daughter of Neleus and because he was haunted by a great sorrow [atÍ] that dread Erinyes had laid upon him. In the end, however, he escaped with his life, drove the cattle from Phylake to Pylos, avenged the wrong that had been done him, and gave the daughter of Neleus to his brother. Then he left the dÍmos and went to Argos, where it was ordained that he should reign over many people. There he married, established himself, and had two famous sons Antiphates and Mantios. Antiphates became father of Oikleus, and Oikleus of Amphiaraos, who was dearly loved both by Zeus and by Apollo, but he did not live to old age, for he was killed in Thebes by reason of a womanís gifts. His sons were Alkmaion and Amphilokhos. Mantios, the other son of Melampos, was father to Polypheides and Kleitos. Aurora, throned in gold, carried off Kleitos for his beautyís sake, that he might dwell among the immortals, but Apollo made Polypheides the greatest seer [mantis] in the whole world now that Amphiaraos was dead. He quarreled with his father and went to live in Hyperesia, where he remained and prophesied for all men.
 His son, Theoklymenos, it was who now came up to Telemakhos as he was making drink-offerings and praying in his ship. "Friendí" said he, "now that I find you sacrificing in this place, I beseech you by your sacrifices themselves, and by the daimŰn to whom you make them, I pray you also by your own head and by those of your followers, tell me the truth and nothing but the truth. Who and whence are you? Tell me also of your town and parents."
 Telemakhos said, "I will answer you quite truly. I am from Ithaca, and my father is ĎOdysseus, as surely as that he ever lived. But he has come to some miserable end. Therefore I have taken this ship and got my crew together to see if I can hear any news of him, for he has been away a long time."
 "I too," answered Theoklymenos, am an exile, for I have killed a man of my own race. He has many brothers and kinsmen in Argos, and they have great power among the Argives. I am fleeing to escape death at their hands, and am thus doomed to be a wanderer on the face of the earth. I am your suppliant; take me, therefore, on board your ship that they may not kill me, for I know they are in pursuit."
 "I will not refuse you," replied Telemakhos, "if you wish to join us. Come, therefore, and in Ithaca we will treat you hospitably according to what we have."
 On this he received Theoklymenosí spear and laid it down on the deck of the ship. He went on board and sat in the stern, bidding Theoklymenos sit beside him; then the men let go the hawsers. Telemakhos told them to catch hold of the ropes, and they made all haste to do so. They set the mast in its socket in the cross plank, raised it and made it fast with the forestays, and they hoisted their white sails with sheets of twisted ox hide. Athena sent them a fair wind that blew fresh and strong to take the ship on her course as fast as possible. Thus then they passed by Krounoi and Khalkis.
 Presently the sun set and darkness was over all the land. The vessel made a quick passage to Pherai and thence on to Elis, where the Epeans rule. Telemakhos then headed her for the flying islands, wondering within himself whether he should escape death or should be taken prisoner.
 Meanwhile Odysseus and the swineherd were eating their supper in the hut, and the men supped with them. As soon as they had had to eat and drink, Odysseus began trying to prove the swineherd and see whether he would continue to treat him kindly, and ask him to stay on at the station or pack him off to the city; so he said:
 "Eumaios, and all of you, tomorrow I want to go away and begin begging about the town, so as to be no more trouble to you or to your men. Give me your advice therefore, and let me have a good guide to go with me and show me the way. I will go the round of the city begging as I needs must, to see if any one will give me a drink and a piece of bread. I should like also to go to the house of Odysseus and bring news of her husband to queen Penelope. I could then go about among the suitors and see if out of all their abundance they will give me a dinner. I should soon make them an excellent servant in all sorts of ways. Listen and believe when I tell you that by the blessing of Hermes who gives grace [kharis] and good name to the works of all men, there is no one living who would make a more handy servant than I should - to put fresh wood on the fire, chop fuel, carve, cook, pour out wine, and do all those services that poor men have to do for their betters."
 The swineherd was very much disturbed when he heard this. "Heaven help me," he exclaimed, "what ever can have put such a notion as that into your head? If you go near the suitors you will be undone to a certainty, for their overweening pride [hubris] and violent insolence [biÍ] reach the very heavens. They would never think of taking a man like you for a servant. Their servants are all young men, well dressed, wearing good cloaks and shirts, with well looking faces and their hair always tidy, the tables are kept quite clean and are loaded with bread, meat, and wine. Stay where you are, then; you are not in anybodyís way; I do not mind your being here, no more do any of the others, and when Telemakhos comes home he will give you a shirt and cloak and will send you wherever you want to go."
 Odysseus answered, "I hope you may be as dear to the gods as you are to me, for having saved me from going about and getting into trouble; there is nothing worse than being always ways on the tramp; still, when men have once got low down in the world they will go through a great deal on behalf of their miserable bellies. Since however you press me to stay here and await the return of Telemakhos, tell about Odysseusí mother, and his father whom he left on the threshold of old age when he set out for Troy. Are they still living or are they already dead and in the house of Hades?"
 "I will tell you all about them," replied Eumaios, "Laertes is still living and prays heaven to let him depart peacefully his own house, for he is terribly distressed about the absence of his son, and also about the death of his wife, which grieved him greatly and aged him more than anything else did. She came to an unhappy end through sorrow for her son: may no friend or neighbor who has dealt kindly by me come to such an end as she did. As long as she was still living, though she was always grieving, I used to like seeing her and asking her how she did, for she brought me up along with her daughter Ktimene, the youngest of her children; we were boy and girl together, and she made little difference between us. When, however, we both grew up, they sent Ktimene to Same and received a splendid dowry for her. As for me, my mistress gave me a good shirt and cloak with a pair of sandals for my feet, and sent me off into the country, but she was just as fond of me as ever. This is all over now. Still it has pleased heaven to prosper my work in the situation which I now hold. I have enough to eat and drink, and can find something for any respectable stranger who comes here; but there is no getting a kind word or deed out of my mistress, for the house has fallen into the hands of wicked people. Servants want sometimes to see their mistress and have a talk with her; they like to have something to eat and drink at the house, and something too to take back with them into the country. This is what will keep servants in a good humor."
 Odysseus answered, "Then you must have been a very little fellow, Eumaios, when you were taken so far away from your home and parents. Tell me, and tell me true, was the city in which your father and mother lived sacked and pillaged, or did some enemies carry you off when you were alone tending sheep or cattle, ship you off here, and sell you for whatever your master gave them?"
 "Stranger," replied Eumaios, "as regards your question: sit still, make yourself comfortable, drink your wine, and listen to me. The nights are now at their longest; there is plenty of time both for sleeping and sitting up talking together; you ought not to go to bed till bed time [hŰra], too much sleep is as bad as too little; if any one of the others wishes to go to bed let him leave us and do so; he can then take my masterís pigs out when he has done breakfast in the morning. We two will sit here eating and drinking in the hut, and telling one another stories about our misfortunes; for when a man has suffered much, and been buffeted about in the world, he takes pleasure in recalling the memory of sorrows that have long gone by. As regards your question, then, my tale is as follows:
 "You may have heard of an island called Syra that lies over above Ortygia, where the land begins to turn round and look in another direction. It is not very thickly peopled, but the soil is good, with much pasture fit for cattle and sheep, and it abounds with wine and wheat. Dearth never comes there, nor are the people [dÍmos] plagued by any sickness, but when they grow old Apollo comes with Artemis and kills them with his painless shafts. It contains two communities, and the whole country is divided between these two. My father Ktesios son of Ormenus, a man comparable to the gods, reigned over both.
 "Now to this place there came some cunning traders from Phoenicia (for the Phoenicians are great mariners) in a ship which they had freighted with trinkets of all kinds. There happened to be a Phoenician woman in my fatherís house, very tall and comely, and an excellent servant; these scoundrels got hold of her one day when she was washing near their ship, seduced her, and cajoled her in ways that no woman can resist, no matter how good she may be by nature. The man who had seduced her asked her who she was and where she came from, and on this she told him her fatherís name. ĎI come from Sidon,í said she, Ďand am daughter to Arybas, a man rolling in wealth. One day as I was coming into the town from the country some Taphian pirates seized me and took me here over the sea, where they sold me to the man who owns this house, and he gave them their price for me.í
 "The man who had seduced her then said, ĎWould you like to come along with us to see the house of your parents and your parents themselves? They are both alive and are said to be well off.í
 "ĎI will do so gladly,í answered she, Ďif you men will first swear me a solemn oath that you will do me no harm by the way.í
 "They all swore as she told them, and when they had completed their oath the woman said, ĎHush; and if any of your men meets me in the street or at the well, do not let him speak to me, for fear some one should go and tell my master, in which case he would suspect something. He would put me in prison, and would have all of you murdered; keep your own counsel therefore; buy your merchandise as fast as you can, and send me word when you have done loading. I will bring as much gold as I can lay my hands on, and there is something else also that I can do towards paying my fare. I am nurse to the son of the good man of the house, a funny little fellow just able to run about. I will carry him off in your ship, and you will get a great deal of wealth for him if you take him and sell him in foreign parts.í
 "On this she went back to the house. The Phoenicians stayed a whole year till they had loaded their ship with much precious merchandise, and then, when they had got freight enough, they sent to tell the woman. Their messenger, a very cunning fellow, came to my fatherís house bringing a necklace of gold with amber beads strung among it; and while my mother and the servants had it in their hands admiring it and bargaining about it, he made a sign quietly to the woman and then went back to the ship, whereon she took me by the hand and led me out of the house. In the fore part of the house she saw the tables set with the cups of guests who had been feasting with my father, as being in attendance on him; these were now all gone to a meeting of the population [dÍmos] assembly, so she snatched up three cups and carried them off in the bosom of her dress, while I followed her, for I knew no better. The sun was now set, and darkness was over all the land, so we hurried on as fast as we could till we reached the harbor, where the Phoenician ship was lying. When they had got on board they sailed their ways over the sea, taking us with them, and Zeus sent then a fair wind; six days did we sail both night and day, but on the seventh day Artemis struck the woman and she fell heavily down into the shipís hold as though she were a sea gull alighting on the water; so they threw her overboard to the seals and fishes, and I was left all sorrowful and alone. Presently the winds and waves took the ship to Ithaca, where Laertes gave sundry of his chattels for me, and thus it was that ever I came to set eyes upon this country."
 Odysseus answered, "Eumaios, I have heard the story of your misfortunes with the most lively interest and pity, but Zeus has given you good as well as evil, for in spite of everything you have a good master, who sees that you always have enough to eat and drink; and you lead a good life, whereas I am still going about begging my way from city to city."
 Thus did they converse, and they had only a very little time left for sleep, for it was soon daybreak. In the meantime Telemakhos and his crew were nearing land, so they loosed the sails, took down the mast, and rowed the ship into the harbor. They cast out their mooring stones and made fast the hawsers; they then got out upon the sea shore, mixed their wine, and got dinner ready. As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink Telemakhos said, "Take the ship on to the town, but leave me here, for I want to look after the herdsmen on one of my farms. In the evening, when I have seen all I want, I will come down to the city, and tomorrow morning in return for your trouble I will give you all a good dinner with meat and wine."
 Then Theoklymenos said, ĎAnd what, my dear young friend, is to become of me? To whose house, among all your chief men, am I to repair? Or shall I go straight to your own house and to your mother?"
 "At any other time," replied Telemakhos, "I should have bidden you go to my own house, for you would find no want of hospitality; at the present moment, however, you would not be comfortable there, for I shall be away, and my mother will not see you; she does not often show herself even to the suitors, but sits at her loom weaving in an upper chamber, out of their way; but I can tell you a man whose house you can go to - I mean Eurymakhos the son of Polybos, who is held in the highest estimation by every one in Ithaca. He is much the best man and the most persistent wooer, of all those who are paying court to my mother and trying to take Odysseusí place. Zeus, however, in heaven alone knows whether or not they will come to a bad end before the marriage takes place."
 As he was speaking a bird flew by upon his right hand - a hawk, Apolloís messenger. It held a dove in its talons, and the feathers, as it tore them off, fell to the ground midway between Telemakhos and the ship. On this Theoklymenos called him apart and caught him by the hand. "Telemakhos," said he, "that bird did not fly on your right hand without having been sent there by some god. As soon as I saw it I knew it was an omen; it means that you will remain powerful and that there will be no house in the dÍmos of Ithaca more royal than your own."
 "I wish it may prove so," answered Telemakhos. "If it does, I will show you so much good will and give you so many presents that all who meet you will congratulate you."
 Then he said to his friend Peiraios, "Peiraios, son of Klytios, you have throughout shown yourself the most willing to serve me of all those who have accompanied me to Pylos; I wish you would take this stranger to your own house and entertain him hospitably till I can come for him."
 And Peiraios answered, "Telemakhos, you may stay away as long as you please, but I will look after him for you, and he shall find no lack of hospitality."
 As he spoke he went on board, and bade the others do so also and loose the hawsers, so they took their places in the ship. But Telemakhos bound on his sandals, and took a long and doughty spear with a head of sharpened bronze from the deck of the ship. Then they loosed the hawsers, thrust the ship off from land, and made on towards the city as they had been told to do, while Telemakhos strode on as fast as he could, till he reached the homestead where his countless herds of swine were feeding, and where dwelt the excellent swineherd, who was so devoted a servant to his master. 
 Meanwhile Odysseus and the swineherd had lit a fire in the hut and were getting breakfast ready at daybreak for they had sent the men out with the pigs. When Telemakhos came up, the dogs did not bark, but fawned upon him, so Odysseus, hearing the sound of feet and noticing that the dogs did not bark, said to Eumaios:
 "Eumaios, I hear footsteps; I suppose one of your men or some one of your acquaintance is coming here, for the dogs are fawning upon him and not barking."
 The words were hardly out of his mouth before his son stood at the door. Eumaios sprang to his feet, and the bowls in which he was mixing wine fell from his hands, as he made towards his master. He kissed his head and both his beautiful eyes, and wept for joy. A father could not be more delighted at the return of an only son, the child of his old age, after ten yearsí absence in a foreign country and after having gone through much hardship. He embraced him, kissed him all over as though he had come back from the dead, and spoke fondly to him saying:
 "So you are come, Telemakhos, light of my eyes that you are. When I heard you had gone to Pylos I made sure I was never going to see you any more. Come in, my dear child, and sit down, that I may have a good look at you now you are home again; it is not very often you come into the country to see us herdsmen; you stick pretty close to the town generally. I suppose you think it better to keep an eye on what the suitors are doing."
 "So be it, old friend," answered Telemakhos, "but I am come now because I want to see you, and to learn whether my mother is still at her old home or whether some one else has married her, so that the bed of Odysseus is without bedding and covered with cobwebs."
 "She is still at the house," replied Eumaios, "grieving and breaking her heart, and doing nothing but weep, both night and day continually."
 As he spoke he took Telemakhosí spear, whereon he crossed the stone threshold and came inside. Odysseus rose from his seat to give him place as he entered, but Telemakhos checked him; "Sit down, stranger." said he, "I can easily find another seat, and there is one here who will lay it for me."
 Odysseus went back to his own place, and Eumaios strewed some green brushwood on the floor and threw a sheepskin on top of it for Telemakhos to sit upon. Then the swineherd brought them platters of cold meat, the remains from what they had eaten the day before, and he filled the bread baskets with bread as fast as he could. He mixed wine also in bowls of ivy-wood, and took his seat facing Odysseus. Then they laid their hands on the good things that were before them, and as soon as they had had enough to eat and drink Telemakhos said to Eumaios, "Old friend, where does this stranger come from? How did his crew bring him to Ithaca, and who were they?-for assuredly he did not come here by land"í
 To this you answered, O swineherd Eumaios, "My son, I will tell you the real truth [alÍthÍs]. He says he is a Cretan, and that he has been a great traveler. At this moment he is running away from a Thesprotian ship, and has refuge at my station, so I will put him into your hands. Do whatever you like with him, only remember that he is your suppliant."
 "I am very much distressed," said Telemakhos, "by what you have just told me. How can I take this stranger into my house? I am as yet young, and am not strong enough to hold my own if any man attacks me. My mother cannot make up her mind whether to stay where she is and look after the house out of respect for public [dÍmos] opinion and the memory of her husband, or whether the time is now come for her to take the best man of those who are wooing her, and the one who will make her the most advantageous offer; still, as the stranger has come to your station I will find him a cloak and shirt of good wear, with a sword and sandals, and will send him wherever he wants to go. Or if you like you can keep him here at the station, and I will send him clothes and food that he may be no burden on you and on your men; but I will not have him go near the suitors, for they are very insolent [hubris], and are sure to ill-treat him in a way that would greatly grieve [akhos] me; no matter how valiant a man may be he can do nothing against numbers, for they will be too strong for him."
 Then Odysseus said, "Sir, it is right that I should say something myself. I am much shocked about what you have said about the insolent way in which the suitors are behaving in despite of such a man as you are. Tell me, do you submit to such treatment tamely, or do the people of your dÍmos, following the voice of some god, hate [ekhthros] you? May you not complain of your brothers - for it is to these that a man may look for support, however great his quarrel may be? I wish I were as young as you are and in my present mind; if I were son to Odysseus, or, indeed, Odysseus himself, I would rather some one came and cut my head off, but I would go to the house and be the bane of every one of these men. If they were too many for me - I being single-handed - I would rather die fighting in my own house than see such disgraceful sights day after day, strangers grossly maltreated, and men dragging the women servants about the house in an unseemly way, wine drawn recklessly, and bread wasted all to no purpose for an end that shall never be accomplished."
 And Telemakhos answered, "I will tell you truly everything. There is no enmity between me and my dÍmos, nor can I complain of brothers, to whom a man may look for support however great his quarrel may be. Zeus has made us a race of only sons. Laertes was the only son of Arceisius, and Odysseus only son of Laertes. I am myself the only son of Odysseus who left me behind him when he went away, so that I have never been of any use to him. Hence it comes that my house is in the hands of numberless marauders; for the chiefs from all the neighboring islands, Dulichium, Same, Zacynthus, as also all the principal men of Ithaca itself, are eating up my house under the pretext of paying court to my mother, who will neither say point blank that she will not marry, nor yet bring matters to an end, so they are making havoc of my estate, and before long will do so with myself into the bargain. The issue, however, rests with heaven. But do you, old friend Eumaios, go at once and tell Penelope that I am safe and have returned from Pylos. Tell it to herself alone, and then come back here without letting any one else know, for there are many who are plotting mischief against me."
 "I understand and heed you," replied Eumaios; "you need instruct me no further, only I am going that way say whether I had not better let poor Laertes know that you are returned. He used to superintend the work on his farm in spite of his bitter sorrow about Odysseus, and he would eat and drink at will along with his servants; but they tell me that from the day on which you set out for Pylos he has neither eaten nor drunk as he ought to do, nor does he look after his farm, but sits weeping and wasting the flesh from off his bones."
 "Moreís the pity," answered Telemakhos, "I am sorry for him, but we must leave him to himself just now. If people could have everything their own way, the first thing I should choose would be the return of my father; but go, and give your message; then make haste back again, and do not turn out of your way to tell Laertes. Tell my mother to send one of her women secretly with the news at once, and let him hear it from her."
 Thus did he urge the swineherd; Eumaios, therefore, took his sandals, bound them to his feet, and started for the town. Athena watched him well off the station, and then came up to it in the form of a woman - fair, stately, and wise. She stood against the side of the entry, and revealed herself to Odysseus, but Telemakhos could not see her, and knew not that she was there, for the gods do not let themselves be seen by everybody. Odysseus saw her, and so did the dogs, for they did not bark, but went scared and whining off to the other side of the yards. She nodded her head and motioned to Odysseus with her eyebrows; whereon he left the hut and stood before her outside the main wall of the yards. Then she said to him:
 "Odysseus, noble son of Laertes, it is now time for you to tell your son: do not keep him in the dark any longer, but lay your plans for the destruction of the suitors, and then make for the town. I will not be long in joining you, for I too am eager for the fray."
 As she spoke she touched him with her golden wand. First she threw a fair clean shirt and cloak about his shoulders; then she made him younger and of more imposing presence; she gave him back his color, filled out his cheeks, and let his beard become dark again. Then she went away and Odysseus came back inside the hut. His son was astounded when he saw him, and turned his eyes away for fear he might be looking upon a god.
 "Stranger," said he, "how suddenly you have changed from what you were a moment or two ago. You are dressed differently and your color is not the same. Are you some one or other of the gods that live in heaven? If so, be propitious to me till I can make you due sacrifice and offerings of wrought gold. Have mercy upon me."
 And Odysseus said, "I am no god, why should you take me for one? I am your father, on whose account you grieve and suffer so much at the hands of violent [biÍ] men."
 As he spoke he kissed his son, and a tear fell from his cheek on to the ground, for he had restrained all tears till now. but Telemakhos could not yet believe that it was his father, and said:
 "You are not my father, but some daimŰn is flattering me with vain hopes that I may grieve the more hereafter; no mortal man could of himself contrive with his mind [noos] to do as you have been doing, and make yourself old and young at a momentís notice, unless a god were with him. A second ago you were old and all in rags, and now you are like some god come down from heaven."
 Odysseus answered, "Telemakhos, you ought not to be so immeasurably astonished at my being really here. There is no other Odysseus who will come hereafter. Such as I am, it is I, who after long wandering and much hardship have got home in the twentieth year to my own country. What you wonder at is the work of the redoubtable goddess Athena, who does with me whatever she will, for she can do what she pleases. At one moment she makes me like a beggar, and the next I am a young man with good clothes on my back; it is an easy matter for the gods who live in heaven to make any man look either rich or poor."
 As he spoke he sat down, and Telemakhos threw his arms about his father and wept. They were both so much moved that they cried aloud like eagles or vultures with crooked talons that have been robbed of their half fledged young by peasants. Thus piteously did they weep, and the sun would have gone down upon their mourning if Telemakhos had not suddenly said, "In what ship, my dear father, did your crew bring you to Ithaca? Of what nation did they declare themselves to be - for you cannot have come by land?"
 "I will tell you the truth [alÍtheia], my son," replied Odysseus. "It was the Phaeacians who brought me here. They are great sailors, and are in the habit of giving escorts to any one who reaches their coasts. They took me over the sea while I was fast asleep, and landed me in Ithaca, after giving me many presents in bronze, gold, and raiment. These things by heavenís mercy are lying concealed in a cave, and I am now come here on the suggestion of Athena that we may consult about killing our enemies. First, therefore, give me a list of the suitors, with their number, that I may learn who, and how many, they are. I can then turn the matter over in my mind, and see whether we two can fight the whole body of them ourselves, or whether we must find others to help us."
 To this Telemakhos answered, "Father, I have always heard of your renown [kleos] both in the field and in council, but the task you talk of is a very great one: I am awed at the mere thought of it; two men cannot stand against many and brave ones. There are not ten suitors only, nor twice ten, but ten many times over; you shall learn their number at once. There are fifty-two chosen [krÓnŰ] youths from Dulichium, and they have six servants; from Same there are twenty-four; twenty young Achaeans from Zacynthus, and twelve from Ithaca itself, all of them well born. They have with them a servant Medon, a bard, and two men who can carve at table. If we face such numbers as this, you may have bitter cause to rue your coming, and your violent revenge [biÍ]. See whether you cannot think of some one who would be willing to come and help us."
 "Listen to me," replied Odysseus, "and think whether Athena and her father Zeus may seem sufficient, or whether I am to try and find some one else as well."
 "Those whom you have named," answered Telemakhos, "are a couple of good allies, for though they dwell high up among the clouds they have power over both gods and men."
 "These two," continued Odysseus, "will not keep long out of the fray, when the suitors and we join fight in my house. Now, therefore, return home early tomorrow morning, and go about among the suitors as before. Later on the swineherd will bring me to the city disguised as a miserable old beggar. If you see them ill-treating me, steel your heart against my sufferings; even though they drag me feet foremost out of the house, or throw things at me, look on and do nothing beyond gently trying to make them behave more reasonably; but they will not listen to you, for the day of their reckoning is at hand. Furthermore I say, and lay my saying to your heart, when Athena shall put it in my mind, I will nod my head to you, and on seeing me do this you must collect all the armor that is in the house and hide it in the strong store room. Make some excuse when the suitors ask you why you are removing it; say that you have taken it to be out of the way of the smoke, inasmuch as it is no longer what it was when Odysseus went away, but has become soiled and begrimed with soot. Add to this more particularly that you are afraid Zeus may set them on to quarrel over their wine, and that they may do each other some harm which may disgrace both banquet and wooing, for the sight of arms sometimes tempts people to use them. But leave a sword and a spear apiece for yourself and me, and a couple oxhide shields so that we can snatch them up at any moment; Zeus and Athena will then soon quiet these people. There is also another matter; if you are indeed my son and my blood runs in your veins, let no one know that Odysseus is within the house - neither Laertes, nor yet the swineherd, nor any of the servants, nor even Penelope herself. Let you and me make trial of the women alone, and let us also make trial of some other of the men servants, to see who is on our side and whose hand is against us."
 "Father," replied Telemakhos, "you will come to know me by and by, and when you do you will find that I can keep your counsel. I do not think, however, the plan you propose will be a gain [kerdos] for either of us. Think it over. It will take us a long time to go the round of the farms and exploit the men, and all the time the suitors will be wasting your estate with impunity and without compunction. Prove the women by all means, to see who are disloyal and who guiltless, but I am not in favor of going round and trying the men. We can attend to that later on, if you really have some sign from Zeus that he will support you."
 Thus did they converse, and meanwhile the ship which had brought Telemakhos and his crew from Pylos had reached the town of Ithaca. When they had come inside the harbor they drew the ship on to the land; their servants came and took their armor from them, and they left all the presents at the house of Klytios. Then they sent a servant to tell Penelope that Telemakhos had gone into the country, but had sent the ship to the town to prevent her from being alarmed and made unhappy. This servant and Eumaios happened to meet when they were both on the same errand of going to tell Penelope. When they reached the House, the servant stood up and said to the queen in the presence of the waiting women, "Your son, my lady, is now returned from Pylos"; but Eumaios went close up to Penelope, and said privately what her son had directed him to tell her. When he had given his message he left the house with its outbuildings and went back to his pigs again.
 The suitors were surprised and angry at what had happened, so they went outside the great wall that ran round the outer court, and held a council near the main entrance. Eurymakhos, son of Polybos, was the first to speak.
 "My friends," said he, "this voyage of Telemakhosí is a very serious matter; we had made sure that it would come to nothing. Now, however, let us draw a ship into the water, and get a crew together to send after the others and tell them to come back as fast as they can."
 He had hardly done speaking when Amphinomos turned in his place and saw the ship inside the harbor, with the crew lowering her sails, and putting by their oars; so he laughed, and said to the others, "We need not send them any message, for they are here. Some god must have told them, or else they saw the ship go by, and could not overtake her.
 On this they rose and went to the water side. The crew then drew the ship on shore; their servants took their armor from them, and they went up in a body to the place of assembly, but they would not let any one old or young sit along with them, and Antinoos, son of Eupeithes, spoke first.
 "Good heavens," said he, "see how the gods have saved this man from destruction. We kept a succession of scouts upon the headlands all day long, and when the sun was down we never went on shore to sleep, but waited in the ship all night till morning in the hope of capturing and killing him; but some daimŰn has conveyed him home in spite of us. Let us consider how we can make an end of him. He must not escape us; our affair is never likely to come off while is alive, for he is very shrewd in mind [noos], and public feeling is by no means all on our side. We must make haste before he can call the Achaeans in assembly; he will lose no time in doing so, for he will be furious with us, and will tell all the world how we plotted to kill him, but failed to take him. The people will not like this when they come to know of it; we must see that they do us no hurt, nor drive us from our own dÍmos into exile. Let us try and lay hold of him either on his farm away from the town, or on the road hither. Then we can divide up his property amongst us, and let his mother and the man who marries her have the house. If this does not please you, and you wish Telemakhos to live on and hold his fatherís property, then we must not gather here and eat up his goods in this way, but must make our offers to Penelope each from his own house, and she can marry the man who will give the most for her, and whose lot it is to win her."
 They all held their peace until Amphinomos rose to speak. He was the son of Nisus, who was son to king Aretias, and he was foremost among all the suitors from the wheat-growing and well grassed island of Dulichium; his conversation, moreover, was more agreeable to Penelope than that of any of the other for he was a man of good natural disposition. "My friends," said he, speaking to them plainly and in all honestly, "I am not in favor of killing Telemakhos. It is a heinous thing to kill one who is of noble blood. Let us first take counsel of the gods, and if the oracles of Zeus advise it, I will both help to kill him myself, and will urge everyone else to do so; but if they dissuade us, I would have you hold your hands."
 Thus did he speak, and his words pleased them well, so they rose forthwith and went to the house of Odysseus where they took their accustomed seats.
 Then Penelope resolved that she would show herself to the outrageous [hubris] suitors. She knew of the plot against Telemakhos, for the servant Medon had overheard their counsels and had told her; she went down therefore to the court attended by her maidens, and when she reached the suitors she stood by one of the bearing-posts supporting the roof of the room holding a veil before her face, and rebuked Antinoos saying:
 "Antinoos, insolent [hubris] and wicked schemer, they say you are the best speaker and counselor of any man your own age in the dÍmos of Ithaca, but you are nothing of the kind. Madman, why should you try to compass the death of Telemakhos, and take no heed of suppliants, whose witness is Zeus himself? It is not right for you to plot thus against one another. Do you not remember how your father fled to this house in fear of the people [dÍmos], who were enraged against him for having gone with some Taphian pirates and plundered the Thesprotians who were at peace with us? They wanted to tear him in pieces and eat up everything he had, but Odysseus stayed their hands although they were infuriated, and now you devour his property without paying for it, and break my heart by wooing his wife and trying to kill his son. Leave off doing so, and stop the others also."
 To this Eurymakhos son of Polybos answered, "Take heart, Queen Penelope daughter of Ikarios, and do not trouble yourself about these matters. The man is not yet born, nor never will be, who shall lay hands upon your son Telemakhos, while I yet live to look upon the face of the earth. I say - and it shall surely be - that my spear shall be reddened with his blood; for many a time has Odysseus taken me on his knees, held wine up to my lips to drink, and put pieces of meat into my hands. Therefore Telemakhos is much the dearest friend I have, and has nothing to fear from the hands of us suitors. Of course, if death comes to him from the gods, he cannot escape it." He said this to quiet her, but in reality he was plotting against Telemakhos.
 Then Penelope went upstairs again and mourned her husband till Athena shed sleep over her eyes. In the evening Eumaios got back to Odysseus and his son, who had just sacrificed a young pig of a year old and were ready; helping one another to get supper ready; Athena therefore came up to Odysseus, turned him into an old man with a stroke of her wand, and clad him in his old clothes again, for fear that the swineherd might recognize him and not keep the secret, but go and tell Penelope.
 Telemakhos was the first to speak. "So you have got back, Eumaios," said he. "What is the news [kleos] of the town? Have the suitors returned, or are they still waiting over yonder, to take me on my way home?"
 "I did not think of asking about that," replied Eumaios, "when I was in the town. I thought I would give my message and come back as soon as I could. I met a man sent by those who had gone with you to Pylos, and he was the first to tell the news your mother, but I can say what I saw with my own eyes; I had just got on to the crest of the hill of Hermes above the town when I saw a ship coming into harbor with a number of men in her. They had many shields and spears, and I thought it was the suitors, but I cannot be sure."
 On hearing this Telemakhos smiled to his father, but so that Eumaios could not see him.
 Then, when they had finished their labor [ponos] and the meal was ready, they ate it, and every man had his full share so that all were satisfied. As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink, they laid down to rest and enjoyed the boon of sleep. 
 When the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared, Telemakhos bound on his sandals and took a strong spear that suited his hands, for he wanted to go into the city. "Old friend," said he to the swineherd, "I will now go to the town and show myself to my mother, for she will never leave off grieving till she has seen me. As for this unfortunate stranger, take him to the town and let him beg there of any one who will give him a drink and a piece of bread. I have trouble enough of my own, and cannot be burdened with other people. If this makes him angry so much the worse for him, but I like to tell the truth [alÍthÍs]."
 Then Odysseus said, "Sir, I do not want to stay here; a beggar can always do better in town than country, for any one who likes can give him something. I am too old to care about remaining here at the beck and call of a master. Therefore let this man do as you have just told him, and take me to the town as soon as I have had a warm by the fire, and the day has got a little heat in it. My clothes are wretchedly thin, and this frosty morning I shall be perished with cold, for you say the city is some way off."
 On this Telemakhos strode off through the yards, brooding his revenge upon the suitors. When he reached home he stood his spear against a bearing-post of the room, crossed the stone floor of the room itself, and went inside.
 Nurse Eurykleia saw him long before any one else did. She was putting the fleeces on to the seats, and she burst out crying as she ran up to him; all the other maids came up too, and covered his head and shoulders with their kisses. Penelope came out of her room looking like Artemis or Aphrodite, and wept as she flung her arms about her son. She kissed his forehead and both his beautiful eyes, "Light of my eyes," she cried as she spoke fondly to him, "so you are come home again; I made sure I was never going to see you any more. To think of your having gone off to Pylos without saying anything about it or obtaining my consent. But come, tell me what you saw."
 "Do not scold me, mother,í answered Telemakhos, "nor vex me, seeing what a narrow escape I have had, but wash your face, change your dress, go upstairs with your maids, and promise full and sufficient hecatombs to all the gods if Zeus will only grant us our revenge upon the suitors. I must now go to the place of assembly to invite a stranger who has come back with me from Pylos. I sent him on with my crew, and told Peiraios to take him home and look after him till I could come for him myself."
 She heeded her sonís words, washed her face, changed her dress, and vowed full and sufficient hecatombs to all the gods if they would only grant her revenge upon the suitors.
 Telemakhos went through, and out of, the cloisters spear in hand - not alone, for his two fleet dogs went with him. Athena endowed him with a presence of such divine comeliness [kharis] that all marveled at him as he went by, and the suitors gathered round him with fair words in their mouths and malice in their hearts; but he avoided them, and went to sit with Mentor, Antiphos, and Halitherses, old friends of his fatherís house, and they made him tell them all that had happened to him. Then Peiraios came up with Theoklymenos, whom he had escorted through the town to the place of assembly, whereon Telemakhos at once joined them. Peiraios was first to speak: "Telemakhos," said he, "I wish you would send some of your women to my house to take away the presents Menelaos gave you."
 "We do not know, Peiraios," answered Telemakhos, "what may happen. If the suitors kill me in my own house and divide my property among them, I would rather you had the presents than that any of those people should get hold of them. If on the other hand I manage to kill them, I shall be much obliged if you will kindly bring me my presents."
 With these words he took Theoklymenos to his own house. When they got there they laid their cloaks on the benches and seats, went into the baths, and washed themselves. When the maids had washed and anointed them, and had given them cloaks and shirts, they took their seats at table. A maid servant then brought them water in a beautiful golden ewer, and poured it into a silver basin for them to wash their hands; and she drew a clean table beside them. An upper servant brought them bread and offered them many good things of what there was in the house. Opposite them sat Penelope, reclining on a couch by one of the bearing-posts of the room, and spinning. Then they laid their hands on the good things that were before them, and as soon as they had had enough to eat and drink Penelope said:
 "Telemakhos, I shall go upstairs and lie down on that sad couch, which I have not ceased to water with my tears, from the day Odysseus set out for Troy with the sons of Atreus. You failed, however, to make it clear to me before the suitors came back to the house, whether or not you had been able to hear anything about the return [nostos] of your father."
 "I will tell you then truth [alÍtheia]," replied her son. "We went to Pylos and saw Nestor, who took me to his house and treated me as hospitably as though I were a son of his own who had just returned after a long absence; so also did his sons; but he said he had not heard a word from any human being about Odysseus, whether he was alive or dead. He sent me, therefore, with a chariot and horses to Menelaos. There I saw Helen, for whose sake so many, both Argives and Trojans, were in heavenís wisdom doomed to suffer. Menelaos asked me what it was that had brought me to Lacedaemon, and I told him the whole truth [alÍtheia], whereon he said, ĎSo, then, these cowards would usurp a brave manís bed? A hind might as well lay her new-born young in the lair of a lion, and then go off to feed in the forest or in some grassy dell. The lion, when he comes back to his lair, will make short work with the pair of them, and so will Odysseus with these suitors. By father Zeus, Athena, and Apollo, if Odysseus is still the man that he was when he wrestled with Philomeleides in Lesbos, and threw him so heavily that all the Greeks cheered him - if he is still such, and were to come near these suitors, they would have a swift doom and a sorry wedding. As regards your question, however, I will not prevaricate nor deceive you, but what the old man of the sea told me, so much will I tell you in full. He said he could see Odysseus on an island sorrowing bitterly in the house of the nymph Calypso, who was keeping him prisoner, and he could not reach his home, for he had no ships nor sailors to take him over the sea.í This was what Menelaos told me, and when I had heard his story I came away; the gods then gave me a fair wind and soon brought me safe home again."
 With these words he moved the heart of Penelope. Then Theoklymenos said to her:
 "My lady, wife of Odysseus, Telemakhos does not understand these things; listen therefore to me, for I can divine them surely, and will hide nothing from you. May Zeus the king of heaven be my witness, and the rites of hospitality, with that hearth of Odysseus to which I now come, that Odysseus himself is even now in Ithaca, and, either going about the country or staying in one place, is inquiring into all these evil deeds and preparing a day of reckoning for the suitors. I saw an omen when I was on the ship which meant this, and I told Telemakhos about it."
 "May it be even so," answered Penelope; "if your words come true, you shall have such gifts and such good will from me that all who see you shall congratulate you."
 Thus did they converse. Meanwhile the suitors were throwing discs, or aiming with spears at a mark on the leveled ground in front of the house, and behaving with all their old insolence [hubris]. But when it was now time for dinner, and the flock of sheep and goats had come into the town from all the country round, with their shepherds as usual, then Medon, who was their favorite servant, and who waited upon them at table, said, "Now then, my young masters, you have had enough sport [athlos], so come inside that we may get dinner ready. Dinner is not a bad thing, at dinner time [hŰra]."
 They left their sports as he told them, and when they were within the house, they laid their cloaks on the benches and seats inside, and then sacrificed some sheep, goats, pigs, and a heifer, all of them fat and well grown. Thus they made ready for their meal. In the meantime Odysseus and the swineherd were about starting for the town, and the swineherd said, "Stranger, I suppose you still want to go to town to-day, as my master said you were to do; for my own part I should have liked you to stay here as a station hand, but I must do as my master tells me, or he will scold me later on, and a scolding from oneís master is a very serious thing. Let us then be off, for it is now broad day; it will be night again directly and then you will find it colder."
 "I know, and understand you," replied Odysseus; "you need say no more. Let us be going, but if you have a stick ready cut, let me have it to walk with, for you say the road is a very rough one."
 As he spoke he threw his shabby old tattered wallet over his shoulders, by the cord from which it hung, and Eumaios gave him a stick to his liking. The two then started, leaving the station in charge of the dogs and herdsmen who remained behind; the swineherd led the way and his master followed after, looking like some broken-down old tramp as he leaned upon his staff, and his clothes were all in rags. When they had got over the rough steep ground and were nearing the city, they reached the fountain from which the citizens drew their water. This had been made by Ithacus, Neritus, and Polyktor. There was a grove of water-loving poplars planted in a circle all round it, and the clear cold water came down to it from a rock high up, while above the fountain there was an altar to the nymphs, at which all wayfarers used to sacrifice. Here Melanthios son of Dolios overtook them as he was driving down some goats, the best in his flock, for the suitorsí dinner, and there were two shepherds with him. When he saw Eumaios and Odysseus he reviled them with outrageous and unseemly language, which made Odysseus very angry.
 "There you go," cried he, "and a precious pair you are. See how heaven brings birds of the same feather to one another. Where, pray, master swineherd, are you taking this poor miserable object? It would make any one sick to see such a creature at table. A fellow like this never won a prize for anything in his life, but will go about rubbing his shoulders against every manís door post, and begging, not for swords and cauldrons like a man, but only for a few scraps not worth begging for. If you would give him to me for a hand on my station, he might do to clean out the folds, or bring a bit of sweet feed to the kids, and he could fatten his thighs as much as he pleased on whey; but he has taken to bad ways and will not go about any kind of work; he will do nothing but beg victuals all the dÍmos over, to feed his insatiable belly. I say, therefore and it shall surely be - if he goes near Odysseusí house he will get his head broken by the stools they will fling at him, till they turn him out."
 On this, as he passed, he gave Odysseus a kick on the hip out of pure wantonness, but Odysseus stood firm, and did not budge from the path. For a moment he doubted whether or not to fly at Melanthios and kill him with his staff, or fling him to the ground and beat his brains out; he resolved, however, to endure it and keep himself in check, but the swineherd looked straight at Melanthios and rebuked him, lifting up his hands and praying to heaven as he did so.
 "Fountain nymphs," he cried, "children of Zeus, if ever Odysseus burned you thigh bones covered with fat whether of lambs or kids, grant my prayer that a daimŰn may send him home. He would soon put an end to the swaggering threats with which such men as you go about insulting people- gadding all over the town while your flocks are going to ruin through bad shepherding."
 Then Melanthios the goatherd answered, "You ill-conditioned cur, what are you talking about? Some day or other I will put you on board ship and take you to a foreign country, where I can sell you and keep the wealth you will fetch. I wish I were as sure that Apollo would strike Telemakhos dead this very day, or that the suitors would kill him, as I am that Odysseus will never come home again."
 With this he left them to come on at their leisure, while he went quickly forward and soon reached the house of his master. When he got there he went in and took his seat among the suitors opposite Eurymakhos, who liked him better than any of the others. The servants brought him a portion of meat, and an upper woman servant set bread before him that he might eat. Presently Odysseus and the swineherd came up to the house and stood by it, amid a sound of music, for Phemios was just beginning to sing to the suitors. Then Odysseus took hold of the swineherdís hand, and said:
 "Eumaios, this house of Odysseus is a very fine place. No matter how far you go you will find few like it. One building keeps following on after another. The outer court has a wall with battlements all round it; the doors are double folding, and of good workmanship; it would be a hard matter to take it by force of arms. I perceive, too, that there are many people banqueting within it, for there is a smell of roast meat, and I hear a sound of music, which the gods have made to go along with feasting."
 Then Eumaios said, "You have perceived aright, as indeed you generally do; but let us think what will be our best course. Will you go inside first and join the suitors, leaving me here behind you, or will you wait here and let me go in first? But do not wait long, or some one may you loitering about outside, and throw something at you. Consider this matter I pray you."
 And Odysseus answered, "I understand and heed. Go in first and leave me here where I am. I am quite used to being beaten and having things thrown at me. I have been so much buffeted about in war and by sea that I am case-hardened, and this too may go with the rest. But a man cannot hide away the cravings of a hungry belly; this is an enemy which gives much trouble to all men; it is because of this that ships are fitted out to sail the seas, and to make war upon other people."
 As they were thus talking, a dog that had been lying asleep raised his head and pricked up his ears. This was Argos, whom Odysseus had bred before setting out for Troy, but he had never had any work out of him. In the old days he used to be taken out by the young men when they went hunting wild goats, or deer, or hares, but now that his master was gone he was lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow dung that lay in front of the stable doors till the men should come and draw it away to manure the great field; and he was full of fleas. As soon as he saw Odysseus standing there, he dropped his ears and wagged his tail, but he could not get close up to his master. When Odysseus saw the dog on the other side of the yard, he dashed a tear from his eyes without Eumaios seeing it, and said:
 "Eumaios, what a noble hound that is over yonder on the manure heap: his build is splendid; is he as fine a fellow as he looks, or is he only one of those dogs that come begging about a table, and are kept merely for show?"
 "This hound," answered Eumaios, "belonged to him who has died in a far country. If he were what he was when Odysseus left for Troy, he would soon show you what he could do. There was not a wild beast in the forest that could get away from him when he was once on its tracks. But now he has fallen on evil times, for his master is dead and gone, and the women take no care of him. Servants never do their work when their masterís hand is no longer over them, for Zeus takes half the goodness [aretÍ] out of a man when he makes a slave of him."
 As he spoke he went inside the buildings to the room where the suitors were, but Argos died as soon as he had recognized his master.
 Telemakhos saw Eumaios long before any one else did, and beckoned him to come and sit beside him; so he looked about and saw a seat lying near where the carver sat serving out their portions to the suitors; he picked it up, brought it to Telemakhosí table, and sat down opposite him. Then the servant brought him his portion, and gave him bread from the bread-basket.
 Immediately afterwards Odysseus came inside, looking like a poor miserable old beggar, leaning on his staff and with his clothes all in rags. He sat down upon the threshold of ash-wood just inside the doors leading from the outer to the inner court, and against a bearing-post of cypress-wood which the carpenter had skillfully planed, and had made to join truly with rule and line. Telemakhos took a whole loaf from the bread-basket, with as much meat as he could hold in his two hands, and said to Eumaios, "Take this to the stranger, and tell him to go the round of the suitors, and beg from them; a beggar must not be shamefaced [aidŰs]."
 So Eumaios went up to him and said, "Stranger, Telemakhos sends you this, and says you are to go the round of the suitors begging, for beggars must not be shamefaced [aidŰs]."
 Odysseus answered, "May lord Zeus grant all happiness [olbos] to Telemakhos, and fulfill the desire of his heart."
 Then with both hands he took what Telemakhos had sent him, and laid it on the dirty old wallet at his feet. He went on eating it while the bard was singing, and had just finished his dinner as he left off. The suitors applauded the bard, whereon Athena went up to Odysseus and prompted him to beg pieces of bread from each one of the suitors, that he might see what kind of people they were, and tell the good from the bad; but come what might she was not going to save a single one of them. Odysseus, therefore, went on his round, going from left to right, and stretched out his hands to beg as though he were a real beggar. Some of them pitied him, and were curious about him, asking one another who he was and where he came from; whereon the goatherd Melanthios said, "Suitors of my noble mistress, I can tell you something about him, for I have seen him before. The swineherd brought him here, but I know nothing about the man himself, nor where he comes from."
 On this Antinoos began to abuse the swineherd. "You precious idiot," he cried, "what have you brought this man to town for? Have we not tramps and beggars enough already to pester us as we sit at meat? Do you think it a small thing that such people gather here to waste your masterís property and must you needs bring this man as well?"
 And Eumaios answered, "Antinoos, your birth is good but your words evil. It was no doing of mine that he came here. Who is likely to invite a stranger from a foreign country, unless it be one of those who can do public service as a seer [mantis], a healer of hurts, a carpenter, or a bard who can delight us with his singing. Such men are welcome all the world over, but no one is likely to ask a beggar who will only worry him. You are always harder on Odysseusí servants than any of the other suitors are, and above all on me, but I do not care so long as Telemakhos and Penelope are alive and here."
 But Telemakhos said, "Hush, do not answer him; Antinoos has the bitterest tongue of all the suitors, and he makes the others worse."
 Then turning to Antinoos he said, "Antinoos, you take as much care of my interests as though I were your son. Why should you want to see this stranger turned out of the house? Heaven forbid; take something and give it him yourself; I do not grudge it; I bid you take it. Never mind my mother, nor any of the other servants in the house; but I know you will not do what I say, for you are more fond of eating things yourself than of giving them to other people."
 "What do you mean, Telemakhos," replied Antinoos, "by this swaggering talk? If all the suitors were to give him as much as I will, he would not come here again for another three months."
 As he spoke he drew the stool on which he rested his dainty feet from under the table, and made as though he would throw it at Odysseus, but the other suitors all gave him something, and filled his wallet with bread and meat; he was about, therefore, to go back to the threshold and eat what the suitors had given him, but he first went up to Antinoos and said:
 "Sir, give me something; you are not, surely, the poorest man here; you seem to be a chief, foremost among them all; therefore you should be the better giver, and I will tell far and wide of your bounty. I too was a rich [olbios] man once, and had a fine house of my own; in those days I gave to many a tramp such as I now am, no matter who he might be nor what he wanted. I had any number of servants, and all the other things which people have who live well and are accounted wealthy, but it pleased Zeus to take all away from me. He sent me with a band of roving robbers to Egypt; it was a long voyage and I was undone by it. I stationed my ships in the river Aigyptos, and bade my men stay by them and keep guard over them, while I sent out scouts to reconnoiter from every point of vantage.
 "But the men insolently disobeyed [hubris] my orders, took to their own devices, and ravaged the land of the Egyptians, killing the men, and taking their wives and children captives. The alarm was soon carried to the city, and when they heard the war-cry, the people came out at daybreak till the plain was filled with soldiers horse and foot, and with the gleam of armor. Then Zeus spread panic among my men, and they would no longer face the enemy, for they found themselves surrounded. The Egyptians killed many of us, and took the rest alive to do forced labor for them; as for myself, they gave me to a friend who met them, to take to Cyprus, Dmetor by name, son of Iasos, who was a great man in Cyprus. Thence I am come hither in a state of great misery."
 Then Antinoos said, "What daimŰn can have sent such a pestilence to plague us during our dinner? Get out, into the open part of the court, or I will give you Egypt and Cyprus over again for your insolence and importunity; you have begged of all the others, and they have given you lavishly, for they have abundance round them, and it is easy to be free with other peopleís property when there is plenty of it."
 On this Odysseus began to move off, and said, "Your looks, my fine sir, are better than your breeding; if you were in your own house you would not spare a poor man so much as a pinch of salt, for though you are in another manís, and surrounded with abundance, you cannot find it in you to give him even a piece of bread."
 This made Antinoos very angry, and he scowled at him saying, "You shall pay for this before you get clear of the court." With these words he threw a footstool at him, and hit him on the right shoulder-blade near the top of his back. Odysseus stood firm as a rock and the blow did not even stagger him, but he shook his head in silence as he brooded on his revenge. Then he went back to the threshold and sat down there, laying his well-filled wallet at his feet.
 "Listen to me," he cried, "you suitors of Queen Penelope, that I may speak even as I am minded. A man knows neither ache [akhos] nor pain [penthos] if he gets hit while fighting for his wealth, or for his sheep or his cattle; and even so Antinoos has hit me while in the service of my miserable belly, which is always getting people into trouble. Still, if the poor have gods and avenging deities at all, I pray them that Antinoos may come to a bad end before his marriage."
 "Sit where you are, and eat your victuals in silence, or be off elsewhere," shouted Antinoos. "If you say more I will have you dragged hand and foot through the courts, and the servants shall flay you alive."
 The other suitors were much displeased at this, and one of the young men said, "Antinoos, you did ill in striking that poor wretch of a tramp: it will be worse for you if he should turn out to be some god - and we know the gods go about disguised in all sorts of ways as people from foreign countries, and travel about the world to see who do amiss [hubris] and who righteously."
 Thus said the suitors, but Antinoos paid them no heed. Meanwhile Telemakhos was greatly distressed [penthos] about the blow that had been given to his father, and though no tear fell from him, he shook his head in silence and brooded on his revenge.
 Now when Penelope heard that the beggar had been struck in the banqueting-room, she said before her maids, "Would that Apollo would so strike you, Antinoos," and her waiting woman Eurynome answered, "If our prayers were answered not one of the suitors would ever again see the sun rise." Then Penelope said, "Nurse, every single one of them is hateful [ekhthroi] to me, for they mean nothing but mischief, but I hate Antinoos like the darkness of death itself. A poor unfortunate tramp has come begging about the house for sheer want. Every one else has given him something to put in his wallet, but Antinoos has hit him on the right shoulder-blade with a footstool."
 Thus did she talk with her maids as she sat in her own room, and in the meantime Odysseus was getting his dinner. Then she called for the swineherd and said, "Eumaios, go and tell the stranger to come here, I want to see him and ask him some questions. He seems to have traveled much, and he may have seen or heard something of my unhappy husband."
 To this you answered, O swineherd Eumaios, "If these Achaeans, my lady, would only keep quiet, you would be charmed with the history of his adventures. I had him three days and three nights with me in my hut, which was the first place he reached after running away from his ship, and he has not yet completed the story of his misfortunes. If he had been the most heaven-taught minstrel in the whole world, on whose lips all hearers hang entranced, I could not have been more charmed as I sat in my hut and listened to him. He says there is an old friendship between his house and that of Odysseus, and that he comes from Crete where the descendants of Minos live, after having been driven here and there by every kind of misfortune; he also declares that he has heard of Odysseus as being alive and near at hand among the Thesprotians [dÍmos], and that he is bringing great wealth home with him."
 "Call him here, then," said Penelope, "that I too may hear his story. As for the suitors, let them take their pleasure indoors or out as they will, for they have nothing to fret about. Their grain and wine remain unwasted in their houses with none but servants to consume them, while they keep hanging about our house day after day sacrificing our oxen, sheep, and fat goats for their banquets, and never giving so much as a thought to the quantity of wine they drink. No estate can stand such recklessness, for we have now no Odysseus to protect us. If he were to come again, he and his son would soon have their violent revenge [biÍ]."
 As she spoke Telemakhos sneezed so loudly that the whole house resounded with it. Penelope laughed when she heard this, and said to Eumaios, "Go and call the stranger; did you not hear how my son sneezed just as I was speaking? This can only mean that all the suitors are going to be killed, and that not one of them shall escape. Furthermore I say, and lay my saying to your heart: if I am satisfied that the stranger is speaking the truth I shall give him a shirt and cloak of good wear."
 When Eumaios heard this he went straight to Odysseus and said, "Father stranger, my mistress Penelope, mother of Telemakhos, has sent for you; she is in great grief, but she wishes to hear anything you can tell her about her husband, and if she is satisfied that you are speaking the truth, she will give you a shirt and cloak, which are the very things that you are most in want of. As for bread, you can get enough of that to fill your belly, by begging about the dÍmos, and letting those give that will."
 "I will tell Penelope," answered Odysseus, "nothing but what is strictly true. I know all about her husband, and have been partner with him in affliction, but I am afraid of passing through this crowd of cruel suitors, for their overweening pride [hubris] and violent insolence [biÍ] reach heaven. Just now, moreover, as I was going about the house without doing any harm, a man gave me a blow that hurt me very much, but neither Telemakhos nor any one else defended me. Tell Penelope, therefore, to be patient and wait till sundown. Let her give me a seat close up to the fire, for my clothes are worn very thin - you know they are, for you have seen them ever since I first asked you to help me - she can then ask me about the return of her husband."
 The swineherd went back when he heard this, and Penelope said as she saw him cross the threshold, "Why do you not bring him here, Eumaios? Is he afraid that some one will ill-treat him, or is he shy of coming inside the house at all? Beggars should not be shamefaced."
 To this you answered, O swineherd Eumaios, "The stranger is quite reasonable. He is avoiding the outrageous [hubris] suitors, and is only doing what any one else would do. He asks you to wait till sundown, and it will be much better, my lady, that you should have him all to yourself, when you can hear him and talk to him as you will."
 "The man is no fool," answered Penelope, "it would very likely be as he says, for there are no such abominable people in the whole world as these men are."
 When she had done speaking Eumaios went back to the suitors, for he had explained everything. Then he went up to Telemakhos and said in his ear so that none could overhear him, "My dear sir, I will now go back to the pigs, to see after your property and my own business. You will look to what is going on here, but above all be careful to keep out of danger, for there are many who bear you ill will. May Zeus bring them to a bad end before they do us a mischief."
 "Very well," replied Telemakhos, "go home when you have had your dinner, and in the morning come here with the victims we are to sacrifice for the day. Leave the rest to heaven and me."
 On this Eumaios took his seat again, and when he had finished his dinner he left the courts and the room with the men at table, and went back to his pigs. As for the suitors, they presently began to amuse themselves with singing and dancing, for it was now getting on towards evening. 
 Now there came a certain common tramp who used to go begging all over the city of Ithaca, and was notorious as an incorrigible glutton and drunkard. This man had no strength [biÍ] nor stay in him, but he was a great hulking fellow to look at; his real name, the one his mother gave him, was Arnaios, but the young men of the place called him Iros, because he used to run errands for any one who would send him. As soon as he came he began to insult Odysseus, and to try and drive him out of his own house.
 "Be off, old man," he cried, "from the doorway, or you shall be dragged out neck and heels. Do you not see that they are all giving me the wink, and wanting me to turn you out by force, only I do not like to do so? Get up then, and go of yourself, or we shall come to blows."
 Odysseus frowned on him and said, "My friend, I do you no manner of harm; people give you a great deal, but I am not jealous. There is room enough in this doorway for the pair of us, and you need not grudge me things that are not yours to give. You seem to be just such another tramp as myself, but perhaps the gods will give us better luck [olbos] by and by. Do not, however, talk too much about fighting or you will incense me, and old though I am, I shall cover your mouth and chest with blood. I shall have more peace tomorrow if I do, for you will not come to the house of Odysseus any more."
 Iros was very angry and answered, "You filthy glutton, you run on trippingly like an old fish-fag. I have a good mind to lay both hands about you, and knock your teeth out of your head like so many boarís tusks. Get ready, therefore, and let these people here stand by and look on. You will never be able to fight one who is so much younger than yourself."
 Thus roundly did they rate one another on the smooth pavement in front of the doorway, and when Antinoos saw what was going on he laughed heartily and said to the others, "This is the finest sport that you ever saw; heaven never yet sent anything like it into this house. The stranger and Iros have quarreled and are going to fight, let us set them on to do so at once."
 The suitors all came up laughing, and gathered round the two ragged tramps. "Listen to me," said Antinoos, "there are some goatsí paunches down at the fire, which we have filled with blood and fat, and set aside for supper; he who is victorious and proves himself to be the better man shall have his pick of the lot; he shall be free of our table and we will not allow any other beggar about the house at all."
 The others all agreed, but Odysseus, to throw them off the scent, said, "Sirs, an old man like myself, worn out with suffering, cannot hold his own against a young one; but my irrepressible belly urges me on, though I know it can only end in my getting a drubbing. You must swear, however that none of you will give me a foul blow to favor Iros and secure him the victory."
 They swore as he told them, and when they had completed their oath Telemakhos put in a word and said, "Stranger, if you have a mind to settle with this fellow, you need not be afraid of any one here. Whoever strikes you will have to fight more than one. I am host, and the other chiefs, Antinoos and Eurymakhos, both of them men of understanding, are of the same mind as I am."
 Every one assented, and Odysseus girded his old rags about his loins, thus baring his stalwart thighs, his broad chest and shoulders, and his mighty arms; but Athena came up to him and made his limbs even stronger still. The suitors were beyond measure astonished, and one would turn towards his neighbor saying, "The stranger has brought such a thigh out of his old rags that there will soon be nothing left of Iros."
 Iros began to be very uneasy as he heard them, but the servants girded him by force, and brought him into the open part of the court in such a fright that his limbs were all of a tremble. Antinoos scolded him and said, "You swaggering bully, you ought never to have been born at all if you are afraid of such an old broken-down creature as this tramp is. I say, therefore - and it shall surely be - if he beats you and proves himself the better man, I shall pack you off on board ship to the mainland and send you to king Echetos, who kills every one that comes near him. He will cut off your nose and ears, and draw out your entrails for the dogs to eat."
 This frightened Iros still more, but they brought him into the middle of the court, and the two men raised their hands to fight. Then Odysseus considered whether he should let drive so hard at Iros as to make his psukhÍ leave him there and then as he fell, or whether he should give him a lighter blow that should only knock him down; in the end he deemed it best to give the lighter blow for fear the Achaeans should begin to suspect who he was. Then they began to fight, and Iros hit Odysseus on the right shoulder; but Odysseus gave Iros a blow on the neck under the ear that broke in the bones of his skull, and the blood came gushing out of his mouth; he fell groaning in the dust, gnashing his teeth and kicking on the ground, but the suitors threw up their hands and nearly died of laughter, as Odysseus caught hold of him by the foot and dragged him into the outer court as far as the gate-house. There he propped him up against the wall and put his staff in his hands. "Sit here," said he, "and keep the dogs and pigs off; you are a pitiful creature, and if you try to make yourself king of the beggars any more you shall fare still worse."
 Then he threw his dirty old wallet, all tattered and torn, over his shoulder with the cord by which it hung, and went back to sit down upon the threshold; but the suitors went within the cloisters, laughing and saluting him, "May Zeus, and all the other gods," said they, Ďgrant you whatever you want for having put an end to the importunity of this insatiable tramp. We will take him over to the mainland presently, to king Echetos, who kills every one that comes near him."
 Odysseus hailed this as of good omen, and Antinoos set a great goatís paunch before him filled with blood and fat. Amphinomos took two loaves out of the bread-basket and brought them to him, pledging him as he did so in a golden goblet of wine. "Good luck to you," he said, "father stranger, you are very badly off at present, but I hope you will have better times [olbos] by and by."
 To this Odysseus answered, "Amphinomos, you seem to be a man of good understanding, as indeed you may well be, seeing whose son you are. I have heard your father well spoken of [kleos]; he is Nisus of Dulichium, a man both brave and wealthy. They tell me you are his son, and you appear to be a considerable person; listen, therefore, and take heed to what I am saying. Man is the vainest of all creatures that have their being upon earth. As long as the gods grant him good qualities [aretÍ] and his knees are steady, he thinks that he shall come to no harm hereafter, and even when the blessed gods bring sorrow upon him, he bears it as he needs must, and makes the best of it; for the father of gods and men gives men their daily minds [noos] day by day. I know all about it, for I was a rich [olbios] man once, and did much wrong in the stubbornness [bi‚] of my pride, and in the confidence that my father and my brothers would support me; therefore let a man be pious in all things always, and take the good that the gods may see fit to send him without vainglory. Consider the infamy of what these suitors are doing; see how they are wasting the estate, and doing dishonor to the wife, of one who is certain to return some day, and that, too, not long hence. Nay, he will be here soon; may a daimŰn send you home quietly first that you may not meet with him in the day of his coming, for once he is here the suitors and he will not part bloodlessly."
 With these words he made a drink-offering, and when he had drunk he put the gold cup again into the hands of Amphinomos, who walked away serious and bowing his head, for he foreboded evil. But even so he did not escape destruction, for Athena had doomed him fall by the hand of Telemakhos. So he took his seat again at the place from which he had come.
 Then Athena put it into the mind of Penelope to show herself to the suitors, that she might make them still more enamored of her, and win still further honor from her son and husband. So she feigned a mocking laugh and said, "Eurynome, I have changed my mind and have a fancy to show myself to the suitors although I detest them. I should like also to give my son a hint that he had better not have anything more to do with them. They speak fairly enough but they mean mischief."
 "My dear child," answered Eurynome, "all that you have said is true, go and tell your son about it, but first wash yourself and anoint your face. Do not go about with your cheeks all covered with tears; it is not right that you should grieve so incessantly; for Telemakhos, whom you always prayed that you might live to see with a beard, is already grown up."
 "I know, Eurynome," replied Penelope, "that you mean well, but do not try and persuade me to wash and to anoint myself, for heaven robbed me of all my beauty on the day my husband sailed; nevertheless, tell Autonoe and Hippodameia that I want them. They must be with me when I am in the room; I am not going among the men alone; it would not be proper for me to do so."
 On this the old woman went out of the room to bid the maids go to their mistress. In the meantime Athena bethought her of another matter, and sent Penelope off into a sweet slumber; so she lay down on her couch and her limbs became heavy with sleep. Then the goddess shed grace and beauty over her that all the Achaeans might admire her. She washed her face with the ambrosial loveliness that Aphrodite wears when she goes dancing [khoros] with the Graces; she made her taller and of a more commanding figure, while as for her complexion it was whiter than sawn ivory. When Athena had done all this she went away, whereon the maids came in from the womenís room and woke Penelope with the sound of their talking.
 "What an exquisitely delicious sleep I have been having," said she, as she passed her hands over her face, "in spite of all my misery. I wish Artemis would let me die so sweetly now at this very moment, that I might no longer waste in despair for the loss of my dear husband, who possessed every kind of good quality [aretÍ] and was the most distinguished man among the Achaeans."
 With these words she came down from her upper room, not alone but attended by two of her maidens, and when she reached the suitors she stood by one of the bearing-posts supporting the roof of the room, holding a veil before her face, and with a staid maid servant on either side of her. As they beheld her the suitors were so overpowered and became so desperately enamored of her, that each one prayed he might win her for his own bed fellow.
 "Telemakhos," said she, addressing her son, "I fear you are no longer so discreet and well conducted as you used to be. When you were younger you had a subtler thoughtfulness [kerdos]; now, however, that you are grown up, though a stranger to look at you would take you for the son of a well-to-do [olbios] father as far as size and good looks go, your conduct is by no means what it should be. What is all this disturbance that has been going on, and how came you to allow a stranger to be so disgracefully ill-treated? What would have happened if he had suffered serious injury while a suppliant in our house? Surely this would have been very discreditable to you."
 "I am not surprised, my dear mother, at your displeasure," replied Telemakhos, "I understand all about it and know when things are not as they should be, which I could not do when I was younger; I cannot, however, behave with perfect propriety at all times. First one and then another of these wicked people here keeps driving me out of my mind, and I have no one to stand by me. After all, however, this fight between Iros and the stranger did not turn out as the suitors meant it to do, for the stranger got the best of it. I wish Father Zeus, Athena, and Apollo would break the neck of every one of these wooers of yours, some inside the house and some out; and I wish they might all be as limp as Iros is over yonder in the gate of the outer court. See how he nods his head like a drunken man; he has had such a thrashing that he cannot stand on his feet nor get back to his home [nostos], wherever that may be, for has no strength left in him."
 Thus did they converse. Eurymakhos then came up and said, "Queen Penelope, daughter of Ikarios, if all the Achaeans in Iasian Argos could see you at this moment, you would have still more suitors in your house by tomorrow morning, for you are the most admirable woman in the whole world both as regards personal beauty and strength of understanding."
 To this Penelope replied, "Eurymakhos, heaven robbed me of all my beauty [aretÍ] whether of face or figure when the Argives set sail for Troy and my dear husband with them. If he were to return and look after my affairs, I should both be more respected [kleos] and show a better presence to the world. As it is, I am oppressed with care, and with the afflictions which a daimŰn has seen fit to heap upon me. My husband foresaw it all, and when he was leaving home he took my right wrist in his hand - ĎWife, Ďhe said, Ďwe shall not all of us come safe home from Troy, for the Trojans fight well both with bow and spear. They are excellent also at fighting from chariots, and nothing decides [krÓnŰ] the issue of a fight sooner than this. I know not, therefore, whether heaven will send me back to you, or whether I may not fall over there at Troy. In the meantime do you look after things here. Take care of my father and mother as at present, and even more so during my absence, but when you see our son growing a beard, then marry whom you will, and leave this your present home. This is what he said and now it is all coming true. A night will come when I shall have to yield myself to a marriage which I detest, for Zeus has taken from me all hope of happiness [olbos]. This further grief [akhos], moreover, cuts me to the very heart. You suitors are not wooing me after the custom [dikÍ] of my country. When men are courting a woman who they think will be a good wife to them and who is of noble birth, and when they are each trying to win her for himself, they usually bring oxen and sheep to feast the friends of the lady, and they make her magnificent presents, instead of eating up other peopleís property without paying for it."
 This was what she said, and Odysseus was glad when he heard her trying to get presents out of the suitors, and flattering them with fair words which he knew she did not mean in her mind [noos].
 Then Antinoos said, "Queen Penelope, daughter of Ikarios, take as many presents as you please from any one who will give them to you; it is not well to refuse a present; but we will not go about our business nor stir from where we are, till you have married the best man among us whoever he may be."
 The others applauded what Antinoos had said, and each one sent his servant to bring his present. Antinoosí man returned with a large and lovely dress most exquisitely embroidered. It had twelve beautifully made brooch pins of pure gold with which to fasten it. Eurymakhos immediately brought her a magnificent chain of gold and amber beads that gleamed like sunlight. Eurydamasí two men returned with some earrings fashioned into three brilliant pendants which glistened most beautifully [kharis]; while king Peisandros son of Polyktor gave her a necklace of the rarest workmanship, and every one else brought her a beautiful present of some kind.
 Then the queen went back to her room upstairs, and her maids brought the presents after her. Meanwhile the suitors took to singing and dancing, and stayed till evening came. They danced and sang till it grew dark; they then brought in three braziers to give light, and piled them up with chopped firewood very and dry, and they lit torches from them, which the maids held up turn and turn about. Then Odysseus said:
 "Maids, servants of Odysseus who has so long been absent, go to the queen inside the house; sit with her and amuse her, or spin, and pick wool. I will hold the light for all these people. They may stay till morning, but they shall not beat me, for I can stand a great deal."
 The maids looked at one another and laughed, while pretty Melantho began to gibe at him contemptuously. She was daughter to Dolios, but had been brought up by Penelope, who used to give her toys to play with, and looked after her when she was a child; but in spite of all this she showed no consideration for the sorrows [penthos] of her mistress, and used to misconduct herself with Eurymakhos, with whom she was in love.
 "Poor wretch," said she, "are you gone clean out of your mind? Go and sleep in some smithy, or place of public gossips, instead of chattering here. Are you not ashamed of opening your mouth before your betters - so many of them too? Has the wine been getting into your head, or do you always babble in this way? You seem to have lost your wits because you beat the tramp Iros; take care that a better man than he does not come and cudgel you about the head till he pack you bleeding out of the house."
 "Vixen," replied Odysseus, scowling at her, "I will go and tell Telemakhos what you have been saying, and he will have you torn limb from limb."
 With these words he scared the women, and they went off into the body of the house. They trembled all over, for they thought he would do what he said. But Odysseus took his stand near the burning braziers, holding up torches and looking at the people - brooding the while on things that should surely come to pass.
 But Athena would not let the suitors for one moment cease their insolence, for she wanted Odysseus to become even more bitter against them in his grief [akhos]; she therefore set Eurymakhos son of Polybos on to gibe at him, which made the others laugh. "Listen to me," said he, "you suitors of Queen Penelope, that I may speak even as I am minded. It is not for nothing that this man has come to the house of Odysseus; I believe the light has not been coming from the torches, but from his own head - for his hair is all gone, every bit of it."
 Then turning to Odysseus he said, "Stranger, will you work as a servant, if I send you to the outer limits of the field and see that you are well paid? Can you build a stone fence, or plant trees? I will have you fed all the year round, and will find you in shoes and clothing. Will you go, then? Not you; for you have got into bad ways, and do not want to work; you had rather fill your belly by going round the dÍmos begging."
 "Eurymakhos," answered Odysseus, "if you and I were to work one against the other in early summer [hŰra] when the days are at their longest - give me a good scythe, and take another yourself, and let us see which will fast the longer or mow the stronger, from dawn till dark when the mowing grass is about. Or if you will plough against me, let us each take a yoke of tawny oxen, well-mated and of great strength and endurance: turn me into a four acre field, and see whether you or I can drive the straighter furrow. If, again, war were to break out this day, give me a shield, a couple of spears and a helmet fitting well upon my temples - you would find me foremost in the fray, and would cease your gibes about my belly. You are insolent and your mind [noos] is cruel, and you think yourself a great man because you live in a little world, and that a bad one. If Odysseus comes to his own again, the doors of his house are wide, but you will find them narrow when you try to flee through them."
 Eurymakhos was furious at all this. He scowled at him and cried, "You wretch, I will soon pay you out for daring to say such things to me, and in public too. Has the wine been getting into your head or do you always babble in this way? You seem to have lost your wits because you beat the tramp Iros. With this he caught hold of a footstool, but Odysseus sought protection at the knees of Amphinomos of Dulichium, for he was afraid. The stool hit the cupbearer on his right hand and knocked him down: the man fell with a cry flat on his back, and his wine-jug fell ringing to the ground. The suitors in the covered room were now in an uproar, and one would turn towards his neighbor, saying, "I wish the stranger had gone somewhere else, bad luck to hide, for all the trouble he gives us. We cannot permit such disturbance about a beggar; if such ill counsels are to prevail we shall have no more pleasure at our banquet."
 On this Telemakhos came forward and said, "Sirs, are you mad? Can you not carry your meat and your liquor decently? Some evil spirit has possessed you. I do not wish to drive any of you away, but you have had your suppers, and the sooner you all go home to bed the better."
 The suitors bit their lips and marveled at the boldness of his speech; but Amphinomos the son of Nisus, who was son to Aretias, said, "Do not let us take offense; it is reasonable [dikaios], so let us make no answer. Neither let us do violence to the stranger nor to any of Odysseusí servants. Let the cupbearer go round with the drink-offerings, that we may make them and go home to our rest. As for the stranger, let us leave Telemakhos to deal with him, for it is to his house that he has come."
 Thus did he speak, and his saying pleased them well, so Moulios of Dulichium, servant to Amphinomos, mixed them a bowl of wine and water and handed it round to each of them man by man, whereon they made their drink-offerings to the blessed gods: Then, when they had made their drink-offerings and had drunk each one as he was minded, they took their several ways each of them to his own abode. 
 Odysseus was left in the room, pondering on the means whereby with Athenaís help he might be able to kill the suitors. Presently he said to Telemakhos, "Telemakhos, we must get the armor together and take it down inside. Make some excuse when the suitors ask you why you have removed it. Say that you have taken it to be out of the way of the smoke, inasmuch as it is no longer what it was when Odysseus went away, but has become soiled and begrimed with soot. Add to this more particularly that you are afraid a daimŰn may set them on to quarrel over their wine, and that they may do each other some harm which may disgrace both banquet and wooing, for the sight of arms sometimes tempts people to use them."
 Telemakhos approved of what his father had said, so he called nurse Eurykleia and said, "Nurse, shut the women up in their room, while I take the armor that my father left behind him down into the store room. No one looks after it now my father is gone, and it has got all smirched with soot during my own boyhood. I want to take it down where the smoke cannot reach it."
 "I wish, child," answered Eurykleia, "that you would take the management of the house into your own hands altogether, and look after all the property yourself. But who is to go with you and light you to the store room? The maids would have so, but you would not let them.
 "The stranger," said Telemakhos, "shall show me a light; when people eat my bread they must earn it, no matter where they come from."
 Eurykleia did as she was told, and bolted the women inside their room. Then Odysseus and his son made all haste to take the helmets, shields, and spears inside; and Athena went before them with a gold lamp in her hand that shed a soft and brilliant radiance, whereon Telemakhos said, "Father, my eyes behold a great marvel: the walls, with the rafters, crossbeams, and the supports on which they rest are all aglow as with a flaming fire. Surely there is some god here who has come down from heaven."
 "Hush," answered Odysseus, "hold your mind [noos] in peace and ask no questions, for this is the manner [dikÍ] of the gods. Get you to your bed, and leave me here to talk with your mother and the maids. Your mother in her grief will ask me all sorts of questions."
 On this Telemakhos went by torch-light to the other side of the inner court, to the room in which he always slept. There he lay in his bed till morning, while Odysseus was left in the room pondering on the means whereby with Athenaís help he might be able to kill the suitors.
 Then Penelope came down from her room looking like Aphrodite or Artemis, and they set her a seat inlaid with scrolls of silver and ivory near the fire in her accustomed place. It had been made by Ikmalios and had a footstool all in one piece with the seat itself; and it was covered with a thick fleece: on this she now sat, and the maids came from the womenís room to join her. They set about removing the tables at which the wicked suitors had been dining, and took away the bread that was left, with the cups from which they had drunk. They emptied the embers out of the braziers, and heaped much wood upon them to give both light and heat; but Melantho began to rail at Odysseus a second time and said, "Stranger, do you mean to plague us by hanging about the house all night and spying upon the women? Be off, you wretch, outside, and eat your supper there, or you shall be driven out with a firebrand."
 Odysseus scowled at her and answered, "My good woman, why should you be so angry with me? Is it because I am not clean, and my clothes are all in rags, and because I am obliged to go begging about the dÍmos after the manner of tramps and beggars general? I too was a rich [olbios] man once, and had a fine house of my own; in those days I gave to many a tramp such as I now am, no matter who he might be nor what he wanted. I had any number of servants, and all the other things which people have who live well and are accounted wealthy, but it pleased Zeus to take all away from me; therefore, woman, beware lest you too come to lose that pride and place in which you now wanton above your fellows; have a care lest you get out of favor with your mistress, and lest Odysseus should come home, for there is still a chance that he may do so. Moreover, though he be dead as you think he is, yet by Apolloís will he has left a son behind him, Telemakhos, who will note anything done amiss by the maids in the house, for he is now no longer in his boyhood."
 Penelope heard what he was saying and scolded the maid, "Impudent baggage," said she, "I see how abominably you are behaving, and you shall smart for it. You knew perfectly well, for I told you myself, that I was going to see the stranger and ask him about my husband, for whose sake I am in such continual sorrow."
 Then she said to her head waiting woman Eurynome, "Bring a seat with a fleece upon it, for the stranger to sit upon while he tells his story, and listens to what I have to say. I wish to ask him some questions."
 Eurynome brought the seat at once and set a fleece upon it, and as soon as Odysseus had sat down Penelope began by saying, "Stranger, I shall first ask you who and whence are you? Tell me of your town and parents."
 "Lady;" answered Odysseus, "who on the face of the whole earth can dare to chide with you? Your fame [kleos] reaches the firmament of heaven itself; you are like some blameless king, who upholds righteousness, as the monarch over a great and valiant nation: the earth yields its wheat and barley, the trees are loaded with fruit, the ewes bring forth lambs, and the sea abounds with fish by reason of his virtues, and his people do good deeds under him. Nevertheless, as I sit here in your house, ask me some other question and do not seek to know my race and family, or you will recall memories that will yet more increase my sorrow. I am full of heaviness, but I ought not to sit weeping and wailing in another personís house, nor is it well to be thus grieving continually. I shall have one of the servants or even yourself complaining of me, and saying that my eyes swim with tears because I am heavy with wine."
 Then Penelope answered, "Stranger, the immortal gods robbed me of all beauty [aretÍ], whether of face or figure, when the Argives set sail for Troy and my dear husband with them. If he were to return and look after my affairs I should be both more respected [kleos] and should show a better presence to the world. As it is, I am oppressed with care, and with the afflictions which a daimŰn has seen fit to heap upon me. The chiefs from all our islands - Dulichium, Same, and Zacynthus, as also from Ithaca itself, are wooing me against my will and are wasting my estate. I can therefore show no attention to strangers, nor suppliants, nor to people who say that they are skilled artisans, but am all the time brokenhearted about Odysseus. They want me to marry again at once, and I have to invent stratagems in order to deceive them. In the first place a daimŰn put it in my mind to set up a great tambour-frame in my room, and to begin working upon an enormous piece of fine needlework. Then I said to them, ĎSweethearts, Odysseus is indeed dead, still, do not press me to marry again immediately; wait - for I would not have my skill in needlework perish unrecorded - till I have finished making a shroud for the hero Laertes, to be ready against the time when death shall take him. He is very rich, and the women of the dÍmos will talk if he is laid out without a shroud.í This was what I said, and they assented; whereon I used to keep working at my great web all day long, but at night I would unpick the stitches again by torch light. I fooled them in this way for three years without their finding it out, but as time [hŰra] wore on and I was now in my fourth year, in the waning of moons, and many days had been accomplished, those good-for-nothing hussies my maids betrayed me to the suitors, who broke in upon me and caught me; they were very angry with me, so I was forced to finish my work whether I would or no. And now I do not see how I can find any further shift for getting out of this marriage. My parents are putting great pressure upon me, and my son chafes at the ravages the suitors are making upon his estate, for he is now old enough to understand all about it and is perfectly able to look after his own affairs, for heaven has blessed him with an excellent disposition. Still, notwithstanding all this, tell me who you are and where you come from - for you must have had father and mother of some sort; you cannot be the son of an oak or of a rock."
 Then Odysseus answered, "Lady, wife of Odysseus, since you persist in asking me about my family, I will answer, no matter what it costs me: people must expect to be pained [akhos] when they have been exiles as long as I have, and suffered as much among as many peoples. Nevertheless, as regards your question I will tell you all you ask. There is a fair and fruitful island in mid-ocean called Crete; it is thickly peopled and there are nine cities in it: the people speak many different languages which overlap one another, for there are Achaeans, brave Eteocretans, Dorians of three-fold race, and noble Pelasgi. There is a great town there, Knossos, where Minos reigned who every nine years had a conference with Zeus himself. Minos was father to Deukalion, whose son I am, for Deukalion had two sons Idomeneus and myself. Idomeneus sailed for Troy, and I, who am the younger, am called Aithon; my brother, however, was at once the older and the more valiant of the two; hence it was in Crete that I saw Odysseus and showed him hospitality, for the winds took him there as he was on his way to Troy, carrying him out of his course from cape Malea and leaving him in Amnisos off the cave of Eileithuia, where the harbors are difficult to enter and he could hardly find shelter from the winds that were then raging. As soon as he got there he went into the town and asked for Idomeneus, claiming to be his old and valued friend, but Idomeneus had already set sail for Troy some ten or twelve days earlier, so I took him to my own house and showed him every kind of hospitality, for I had abundance of everything. Moreover, I fed the men who were with him with barley meal from the public store, and got subscriptions of wine and oxen for them to sacrifice to their heartís content. They stayed with me twelve days, for there was a gale blowing from the North so strong that one could hardly keep oneís feet on land. I suppose some unfriendly daimŰn had raised it for them, but on the thirteenth day the wind dropped, and they got away."
 Many a plausible tale did Odysseus further tell her, and Penelope wept as she listened, for her heart was melted. As the snow wastes upon the mountain tops when the winds from South East and West have breathed upon it and thawed it till the rivers run bank full with water, even so did her cheeks overflow with tears for the husband who was all the time sitting by her side. Odysseus felt for her and was for her, but he kept his eyes as hard as or iron without letting them so much as quiver, so cunningly did he restrain his tears. Then, when she had relieved herself by weeping, she turned to him again and said: "Now, stranger, I shall put you to the test and see whether or not you really did entertain my husband and his men, as you say you did. Tell me, then, how he was dressed, what kind of a man he was to look at, and so also with his companions."
 "Lady," answered Odysseus, "it is such a long time ago that I can hardly say. Twenty years are come and gone since he left my home, and went elsewhere; but I will tell you as well as I can recollect. Odysseus wore a mantle of purple wool, double lined, and it was fastened by a gold brooch with two catches for the pin. On the face of this there was a device that showed a dog holding a spotted fawn between his fore paws, and watching it as it lay panting upon the ground. Every one marveled at the way in which these things had been done in gold, the dog looking at the fawn, and strangling it, while the fawn was struggling convulsively to escape. As for the shirt that he wore next his skin, it was so soft that it fitted him like the skin of an onion, and glistened in the sunlight to the admiration of all the women who beheld it. Furthermore I say, and lay my saying to your heart, that I do not know whether Odysseus wore these clothes when he left home, or whether one of his companions had given them to him while he was on his voyage; or possibly some one at whose house he was staying made him a present of them, for he was a man of many friends and had few equals among the Achaeans. I myself gave him a sword of bronze and a beautiful purple mantle, double lined, with a shirt that went down to his feet, and I sent him on board his ship with every mark of honor. He had a servant with him, a little older than himself, and I can tell you what he was like; his shoulders were hunched, he was dark, and he had thick curly hair. His name was Eurybates, and Odysseus treated him with greater familiarity than he did any of the others, as being the most like-minded with himself."
 Penelope was moved still more deeply as she heard the indisputable proofs [sÍmata] that Odysseus laid before her; and when she had again found relief in tears she said to him, "Stranger, I was already disposed to pity you, but henceforth you shall be honored and made welcome in my house. It was I who gave Odysseus the clothes you speak of. I took them out of the store room and folded them up myself, and I gave him also the gold brooch to wear as an ornament. Alas! I shall never welcome him home again. It was by an ill fate that he ever set out for that detested city whose very name I cannot bring myself even to mention."
 Then Odysseus answered, "Lady, wife of Odysseus, do not disfigure yourself further by grieving thus bitterly for your loss, though I can hardly blame you for doing so. A woman who has loved her husband and borne him children, would naturally be grieved at losing him, even though he were a worse man than Odysseus, who they say was like a god. Still, cease your tears and listen to what I can tell. I will hide nothing from you, and can say with perfect truth that I have lately heard of Odysseus as being alive and on his way home [nostos]; he is in the district [dÍmos] of the Thesprotians, and is bringing back much valuable treasure that he has begged from one and another of them; but his ship and all his crew were lost as they were leaving the Thrinacian island, for Zeus and the sun-god were angry with him because his men had slaughtered the sun-godís cattle, and they were all drowned to a man. But Odysseus stuck to the keel of the ship and was drifted on to the land of the Phaeacians, who are near of kin to the immortals, and who treated him as though he had been a god, giving him many presents, and wishing to escort him home safe and sound. In fact Odysseus would have been here long ago, had he not thought better to go from land to land gathering wealth; for there is no man living who is so wily [kerdos] as he is; there is no one can compare with him. Pheidon king of the Thesprotians told me all this, and he swore to me - making drink-offerings in his house as he did so - that the ship was by the water side and the crew found who would take Odysseus to his own country. He sent me off first, for there happened to be a Thesprotian ship sailing for the wheat-growing island of Dulichium, but he showed me all the treasure Odysseus had got together, and he had enough lying in the house of king Pheidon to keep his family for ten generations; but the king said Odysseus had gone to Dodona that he might learn Zeusí mind from the high oak tree, and know whether after so long an absence he should return to Ithaca openly or in secret. So you may know he is safe and will be here shortly; he is close at hand and cannot remain away from home much longer; nevertheless I will confirm my words with an oath, and call Zeus who is the first and mightiest of all gods to witness, as also that hearth of Odysseus to which I have now come, that all I have spoken shall surely come to pass. Odysseus will return in this self same year; with the end of this moon and the beginning of the next he will be here."
 "May it be even so," answered Penelope; "if your words come true you shall have such gifts and such good will from me that all who see you shall congratulate you; but I know very well how it will be. Odysseus will not return, neither will you get your escort hence, for so surely as that Odysseus ever was, there are now no longer any such masters in the house as he was, to receive honorable strangers or to further them on their way home. And now, you maids, wash his feet for him, and make him a bed on a couch with rugs and blankets, that he may be warm and quiet till morning. Then, at day break wash him and anoint him again, that he may sit in the room and take his meals with Telemakhos. It shall be the worse for any one of these hateful people who is uncivil to him; like it or not, he shall have no more to do in this house. For how, sir, shall you be able to learn whether or no I am superior to others of my sex both in goodness of heart and understanding [noos], if I let you dine in my cloisters squalid and ill clad? Men live but for a little season; if they are hard, and deal hardly, people wish them ill so long as they are alive, and speak contemptuously of them when they are dead, but he that is righteous and deals righteously, the people tell of his praise [kleos] among all lands, and many shall call him blessed."
 Odysseus answered, "Lady, I have foresworn rugs and blankets from the day that I left the snowy ranges of Crete to go on shipboard. I will lie as I have lain on many a sleepless night hitherto. Night after night have I passed in any rough sleeping place, and waited for morning. Nor, again, do I like having my feet washed; I shall not let any of the young hussies about your house touch my feet; but, if you have any old and respectable woman who has gone through as much trouble as I have, I will allow her to wash them."
 To this Penelope said, "My dear sir, of all the guests who ever yet came to my house there never was one who spoke in all things with such admirable propriety as you do. There happens to be in the house a most respectable old woman - the same who received my poor dear husband in her arms the night he was born, and nursed him in infancy. She is very feeble now, but she shall wash your feet. Come here," said she, "Eurykleia, and wash your masterís age-mate; I suppose Odysseusí hands and feet are very much the same now as his are, for trouble ages all of us dreadfully fast."
 On these words the old woman covered her face with her hands; she began to weep and made lamentation saying, "My dear child, I cannot think whatever I am to do with you. I am certain no one was ever more god-fearing than yourself, and yet Zeus hates you. No one in the whole world ever burned him more thigh bones, nor gave him finer hecatombs when you prayed you might come to a green old age yourself and see your son grow up to take after you; yet see how he has prevented you alone from ever getting back to your own home. I have no doubt the women in some foreign palace which Odysseus has got to are gibing at him as all these sluts here have been gibing you. I do not wonder at your not choosing to let them wash you after the manner in which they have insulted you; I will wash your feet myself gladly enough, as Penelope has said that I am to do so; I will wash them both for Penelopeís sake and for your own, for you have raised the most lively feelings of compassion in my mind; and let me say this moreover, which pray attend to; we have had all kinds of strangers in distress come here before now, but I make bold to say that no one ever yet came who was so like Odysseus in figure, voice, and feet as you are."
 "Those who have seen us both," answered Odysseus, "have always said we were wonderfully like each other, and now you have noticed it too."
 Then the old woman took the cauldron in which she was going to wash his feet, and poured plenty of cold water into it, adding hot till the bath was warm enough. Odysseus sat by the fire, but ere long he turned away from the light, for it occurred to him that when the old woman had hold of his leg she would recognize a certain scar which it bore, whereon the whole truth would come out. And indeed as soon as she began washing her master, she at once knew the scar as one that had been given him by a wild boar when he was hunting on Mount Parnassus with his excellent grandfather Autolykos - who was the most accomplished thief and perjurer in the whole world - and with the sons of Autolykos. Hermes himself had endowed him with this gift, for he used to burn the thigh bones of goats and kids to him, so he took pleasure in his companionship. It happened once that Autolykos had gone to the dÍmos of Ithaca and had found the child of his daughter just born. As soon as he had done supper Eurykleia set the infant upon his knees and said, "You must find a name for your grandson; you greatly wished that you might have one."
 ĎSon-in-law and daughter," replied Autolykos, "call the child thus: I am highly displeased with a large number of people in one place and another, both men and women; so name the child ĎOdysseus,í or the child of anger. When he grows up and comes to visit his motherís family on Mount Parnassus, where my possessions lie, I will make him a present and will send him on his way rejoicing."
 Odysseus, therefore, went to Parnassus to get the presents from Autolykos, who with his sons shook hands with him and gave him welcome. His grandmother Amphithea threw her arms about him, and kissed his head, and both his beautiful eyes, while Autolykos desired his sons to get dinner ready, and they did as he told them. They brought in a five year old bull, flayed it, made it ready and divided it into joints; these they then cut carefully up into smaller pieces and spitted them; they roasted them sufficiently and served the portions round. Thus through the livelong day to the going down of the sun they feasted, and every man had his full share so that all were satisfied; but when the sun set and it came on dark, they went to bed and enjoyed the boon of sleep.
 When the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared, the sons of Autolykos went out with their hounds hunting, and Odysseus went too. They climbed the wooded slopes of Parnassus and soon reached its breezy upland valleys; but as the sun was beginning to beat upon the fields, fresh-risen from the slow still currents of Okeanos, they came to a mountain dell. The dogs were in front searching for the tracks of the beast they were chasing, and after them came the sons of Autolykos, among whom was Odysseus, close behind the dogs, and he had a long spear in his hand. Here was the lair of a huge boar among some thick brushwood, so dense that the wind and rain could not get through it, nor could the sunís rays pierce it, and the ground underneath lay thick with fallen leaves. The boar heard the noise of the menís feet, and the hounds baying on every side as the huntsmen came up to him, so rushed from his lair, raised the bristles on his neck, and stood at bay with fire flashing from his eyes. Odysseus was the first to raise his spear and try to drive it into the brute, but the boar was too quick for him, and charged him sideways, ripping him above the knee with a gash that tore deep though it did not reach the bone. As for the boar, Odysseus hit him on the right shoulder, and the point of the spear went right through him, so that he fell groaning in the dust until the life went out of him. The sons of Autolykos busied themselves with the carcass of the boar, and bound Odysseusí wound; then, after saying a spell to stop the bleeding, they went home as fast as they could. But when Autolykos and his sons had thoroughly healed Odysseus, they made him some splendid presents, and sent him back to Ithaca with much mutual good will. When he got back, his father and mother were rejoiced to see him, and asked him all about it, and how he had hurt himself to get the scar; so he told them how the boar had ripped him when he was out hunting with Autolykos and his sons on Mount Parnassus.
 As soon as Eurykleia had got the scarred limb in her hands and had well hold of it, she recognized it and dropped the foot at once. The leg fell into the bath, which rang out and was overturned, so that all the water was spilt on the ground; Eurykleiaís eyes between her joy and her grief filled with tears, and she could not speak, but she caught Odysseus by the beard and said, "My dear child, I am sure you must be Odysseus himself, only I did not know you till I had actually touched and handled you."
 As she spoke she looked towards Penelope, as though wanting to tell her that her dear husband was in the house, but Penelope was unable to look in that direction and observe what was going on, for Athena had diverted her attention [noos]; so Odysseus caught Eurykleia by the throat with his right hand and with his left drew her close to him, and said, "Nurse, do you wish to be the ruin of me, you who nursed me at your own breast, now that after twenty years of wandering I am at last come to my own home again? Since it has been borne in upon you by heaven to recognize me, hold your tongue, and do not say a word about it any one else in the house, for if you do I tell you - and it shall surely be - that if heaven grants me to take the lives of these suitors, I will not spare you, though you are my own nurse, when I am killing the other women."
 "My child," answered Eurykleia, "what are you talking about? You know very well that nothing can either bend or break me. I will hold my tongue like a stone or a piece of iron; furthermore let me say, and lay my saying to your heart, when heaven has delivered the suitors into your hand, I will give you a list of the women in the house who have been ill-behaved, and of those who are guiltless."
 And Odysseus answered, "Nurse, you ought not to speak in that way; I am well able to form my own opinion about one and all of them; hold your tongue and leave everything to heaven."
 As he said this Eurykleia left the room to fetch some more water, for the first had been all spilt; and when she had washed him and anointed him with oil, Odysseus drew his seat nearer to the fire to warm himself, and hid the scar under his rags. Then Penelope began talking to him and said:
 "Stranger, I should like to speak with you briefly about another matter. It is indeed nearly bed time - for those, at least, who can sleep in spite of sorrow. As for myself, a daimŰn has given me a life of such unmeasurable woe[penthos], that even by day when I am attending to my duties and looking after the servants, I am still weeping and lamenting during the whole time; then, when night comes, and we all of us go to bed, I lie awake thinking, and my heart becomes prey to the most incessant and cruel tortures. As the dun nightingale, daughter of Pandareus, sings in the early spring from her seat in shadiest covert hid, and with many a plaintive trill pours out the tale how by mishap she killed her own child Itylos, son of king Zethos, even so does my mind toss and turn in its uncertainty whether I ought to stay with my son here, and safeguard my substance, my bondsmen, and the greatness of my house, out of regard to the opinion of the dÍmos and the memory of my late husband, or whether it is not now time for me to go with the best of these suitors who are wooing me and making me such magnificent presents. As long as my son was still young, and unable to understand, he would not hear of my leaving my husbandís house, but now that he is full grown he begs and prays me to do so, being incensed at the way in which the suitors are eating up his property. Listen, then, to a dream that I have had and interpret it for me if you can. I have twenty geese about the house that eat mash out of a trough, and of which I am exceedingly fond. I dreamed that a great eagle came swooping down from a mountain, and dug his curved beak into the neck of each of them till he had killed them all. Presently he soared off into the sky, and left them lying dead about the yard; whereon I wept in my room till all my maids gathered round me, so piteously was I grieving because the eagle had killed my geese. Then he came back again, and perching on a projecting rafter spoke to me with human voice, and told me to leave off crying. ĎBe of good courage,í he said, Ďdaughter of Ikarios; this is no dream, but a vision of good omen that shall surely come to pass. The geese are the suitors, and I am no longer an eagle, but your own husband, who am come back to you, and who will bring these suitors to a disgraceful end.í On this I woke, and when I looked out I saw my geese at the trough eating their mash as usual."
 "This dream, lady," replied Odysseus, "can admit but of one interpretation, for had not Odysseus himself told you how it shall be fulfilled? The death of the suitors is portended, and not one single one of them will escape."
 And Penelope answered, "Stranger, dreams are very curious and unaccountable things, and they do not by any means invariably come true. There are two gates through which these insubstantial images proceed; the one is of horn, and the other ivory. Those that come through the gate of ivory are false, but those from the gate of horn mean something to those who see them. I do not think, however, that my own dream came through the gate of horn, though I and my son should be most thankful if it proves to have done so. Furthermore I say - and lay my saying to your heart - the coming dawn will usher in the ill-omened day that is to sever me from the house of Odysseus, for I am about to hold a tournament [athlos] of axes. My husband used to set up twelve axes in the court, one in front of the other, like the stays upon which a ship is built; he would then go back from them and shoot an arrow through the whole twelve. I shall make the suitors try to perform the same feat [athlos], and whichever of them can string the bow most easily, and send his arrow through all the twelve axes, him will I follow, and quit this house of my lawful husband, so goodly and so abounding in wealth. But even so, I doubt not that I shall remember it in my dreams."
 Then Odysseus answered, "my lady wife of Odysseus, you need not defer your tournament [athlos], for Odysseus will return ere ever they can string the bow, handle it how they will, and send their arrows through the iron."
 To this Penelope said, "As long, sir, as you will sit here and talk to me, I can have no desire to go to bed. Still, people cannot do permanently without sleep, and heaven has appointed us dwellers on earth a time for all things. I will therefore go upstairs and recline upon that couch which I have never ceased to flood with my tears from the day Odysseus set out for the citywith a hateful name."
 She then went upstairs to her own room, not alone, but attended by her maidens, and when there, she lamented her dear husband till Athena shed sweet sleep over her eyelids. 
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