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2020-08-10 08:32:35  Դձ
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򾺲ַ:a g 9 559 v i p<"Telemachus," said one youngster, "means to be the death of us; Isuppose he thinks he can bring friends to help him from Pylos, oragain from Sparta, where he seems bent on going. Or will he go toEphyra as well, for poison to put in our wine and kill us?"BOOK XXIV.

"He then took the cup and drank. He was so delighted with thetaste of the wine that he begged me for another bowl full. 'Be sokind,' he said, 'as to give me some more, and tell me your name atonce. I want to make you a present that you will be glad to have. Wehave wine even in this country, for our soil grows grapes and thesun ripens them, but this drinks like nectar and ambrosia all in one.'

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Many a plausible tale did Ulysses further tell her, and Penelopewept as she listened, for her heart was melted. As the snow wastesupon the mountain tops when the winds from South East and West havebreathed upon it and thawed it till the rivers run bank full withwater, even so did her cheeks overflow with tears for the husbandwho was all the time sitting by her side. Ulysses felt for her and wasfor her, but he kept his eyes as hard as or iron without lettingthem so much as quiver, so cunningly did he restrain his tears.Then, when she had relieved herself by weeping, she turned to himagain and said: "Now, stranger, I shall put you to the test and seewhether or no you really did entertain my husband and his men, asyou say you did. Tell me, then, how he was dressed, what kind of a manhe was to look at, and so also with his companions."

Thus did they converse; but the others, when they had finished theirwork and the feast was ready, left off working, and took each hisproper place on the benches and seats. Then they began eating; byand by old Dolius and his sons left their work and came up, fortheir mother, the Sicel woman who looked after Laertes now that he wasgrowing old, had been to fetch them. When they saw Ulysses and werecertain it was he, they stood there lost in astonishment; butUlysses scolded them good-naturedly and said, "Sit down to yourdinner, old man, and never mind about your surprise; we have beenwanting to begin for some time and have been waiting for you."

When they reached the water side they went to thewashing-cisterns, through which there ran at all times enough purewater to wash any quantity of linen, no matter how dirty. Here theyunharnessed the mules and turned them out to feed on the sweet juicyherbage that grew by the water side. They took the clothes out ofthe waggon, put them in the water, and vied with one another intreading them in the pits to get the dirt out. After they had washedthem and got them quite clean, they laid them out by the sea side,where the waves had raised a high beach of shingle, and set aboutwashing themselves and anointing themselves with olive oil. Thenthey got their dinner by the side of the stream, and waited for thesun to finish drying the clothes. When they had done dinner they threwoff the veils that covered their heads and began to play at ball,while Nausicaa sang for them. As the huntress Diana goes forth uponthe mountains of Taygetus or Erymanthus to hunt wild boars or deer,and the wood-nymphs, daughters of Aegis-bearing Jove, take their sportalong with her (then is Leto proud at seeing her daughter stand a fullhead taller than the others, and eclipse the loveliest amid a wholebevy of beauties), even so did the girl outshine her handmaids.

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"Son of Atreus," replied Telemachus, "do not press me to staylonger; I should be contented to remain with you for another twelvemonths; I find your conversation so delightful that I should neveronce wish myself at home with my parents; but my crew whom I have leftat Pylos are already impatient, and you are detaining me from them. Asfor any present you may be disposed to make me, I had rather that itshould he a piece of plate. I will take no horses back with me toIthaca, but will leave them to adorn your own stables, for you havemuch flat ground in your kingdom where lotus thrives, as alsomeadowsweet and wheat and barley, and oats with their white andspreading ears; whereas in Ithaca we have neither open fields norracecourses, and the country is more fit for goats than horses, andI like it the better for that. None of our islands have much levelground, suitable for horses, and Ithaca least of all."

"'Stay where you are, then, 'answered I, 'eating and drinking at theship, but I must go, for I am most urgently bound to do so.'

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NOW when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared,Alcinous and Ulysses both rose, and Alcinous led the way to thePhaecian place of assembly, which was near the ships. When they gotthere they sat down side by side on a seat of polished stone, whileMinerva took the form of one of Alcinous' servants, and went round thetown in order to help Ulysses to get home. She went up to thecitizens, man by man, and said, "Aldermen and town councillors ofthe Phaeacians, come to the assembly all of you and listen to thestranger who has just come off a long voyage to the house of KingAlcinous; he looks like an immortal god."

When it was time for them to start home, and they were folding theclothes and putting them into the waggon, Minerva began to considerhow Ulysses should wake up and see the handsome girl who was toconduct him to the city of the Phaeacians. The girl, therefore,threw a ball at one of the maids, which missed her and fell intodeep water. On this they all shouted, and the noise they made wokeUlysses, who sat up in his bed of leaves and began to wonder what itmight all be.

<"And now, tell me and tell me true. Where have you been wandering,and in what countries have you travelled? Tell us of the peoplesthemselves, and of their cities- who were hostile, savage anduncivilized, and who, on the other hand, hospitable and humane. Tellus also why you are made unhappy on hearing about the return of theArgive Danaans from Troy. The gods arranged all this, and sent themtheir misfortunes in order that future generations might havesomething to sing about. Did you lose some brave kinsman of yourwife's when you were before Troy? a son-in-law or father-in-law- whichare the nearest relations a man has outside his own flesh and blood?or was it some brave and kindly-natured comrade- for a good friendis as dear to a man as his own brother?"Then was Ulysses glad and prayed aloud saying, "Father Jove, grantthat Alcinous may do all as he has said, for so he will win animperishable name among mankind, and at the same time I shall returnto my country."

"The first ghost 'that came was that of my comrade Elpenor, for hehad not yet been laid beneath the earth. We had left his bodyunwaked and unburied in Circe's house, for we had had too much else todo. I was very sorry for him, and cried when I saw him: 'Elpenor,'said I, 'how did you come down here into this gloom and darkness?You have here on foot quicker than I have with my ship.'

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Then nurse Euryclea said, "My child, what are you talking about? butyou were all hard of belief and have made up your mind that yourhusband is never coming, although he is in the house and by his ownfire side at this very moment. Besides I can give you another proof;when I was washing him I perceived the scar which the wild boar gavehim, and I wanted to tell you about it, but in his wisdom he would notlet me, and clapped his hands over my mouth; so come with me and Iwill make this bargain with you- if I am deceiving you, you may haveme killed by the most cruel death you can think of."

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򾺲ưˡӨ:ڵΪֹ,dzɩ On this the maids left off running away and began calling oneanother back. They made Ulysses sit down in the shelter as Nausicaahad told them, and brought him a shirt and cloak. They also broughthim the little golden cruse of oil, and told him to go wash in thestream. But Ulysses said, "Young women, please to stand a little onone side that I may wash the brine from my shoulders and anoint myselfwith oil, for it is long enough since my skin has had a drop of oilupon it. I cannot wash as long as you all keep standing there. I amashamed to strip before a number of good-looking young women." ϸ

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򾺲Ƴطſ͹й˵ "Aeolus entertained me for a whole month asking me questions all thetime about Troy, the Argive fleet, and the return of the Achaeans. Itold him exactly how everything had happened, and when I said I mustgo, and asked him to further me on my way, he made no sort ofdifficulty, but set about doing so at once. Moreover, he flayed me aprime ox-hide to hold the ways of the roaring winds, which he shutup in the hide as in a sack- for Jove had made him captain over thewinds, and he could stir or still each one of them according to hisown pleasure. He put the sack in the ship and bound the mouth sotightly with a silver thread that not even a breath of a side-windcould blow from any quarter. The West wind which was fair for us didhe alone let blow as it chose; but it all came to nothing, for we werelost through our own folly. ϸ

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