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Telemakhos answered, "Antinoos, do not chide with me, but, god willing, I will be chief too if I can. Is this the worst fate you can think of for me? It is no bad thing to be a chief, for it brings both riches and honor. Still, now that Odysseus is dead there are many great men in Ithaca both old and young, and some other may take the lead among them; nevertheless I will be chief in my own house, and will rule those whom Odysseus has won for me."

Then Eurymakhos, son of Polybos, answered, "It rests with heaven to decide who shall be chief among us, but you shall be master in your own house and over your own possessions; no one while there is a man in Ithaca shall do you violence [biê] nor rob you. And now, my good man, I want to know about this stranger. What country does he come from? Of what family is he, and where is his estate? Has he brought you news about the return of your father, or was he on business of his own? He seemed a well-to-do man, but he hurried off so suddenly that he was gone in a moment before we could get to know him."

"The nostos of my father is dead and gone," answered Telemakhos, "and even if some rumor reaches me I put no more faith in it now. My mother does indeed sometimes send for a soothsayer and question him, but I give his prophesying no heed. As for the stranger, he was Mentes, son of Anchialos, chief of the Taphians, an old friend of my father's." But in his heart he knew that it had been the goddess.

The suitors then returned to their singing and dancing until the evening; but when night fell upon their pleasuring they went home to bed each in his own abode. Telemakhos' room was high up in a tower that looked on to the outer court; there, then, he went, brooding and full of thought. A good old woman, Eurykleia, daughter of Ops, the son of Pisenor, went before him with a couple of blazing torches. Laertes had bought her with his own wealth when she was quite young; he gave the worth of twenty oxen for her, and showed as much respect to her in his household as he did to his own wedded wife, but he did not take her to his bed for he feared his wife's resentment. She it was who now lighted Telemakhos to his room, and she loved him better than any of the other women in the house did, for she had nursed him when he was a baby. He opened the door of his bed room and sat down upon the bed; as he took off his shirt he gave it to the good old woman, who folded it tidily up, and hung it for him over a peg by his bed side, after which she went out, pulled the door to by a silver catch, and drew the bolt home by means of the strap. But Telemakhos as he lay covered with a woolen fleece kept thinking all night through of his intended voyage and of the counsel that Athena had given him .

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load focus Notes (W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, 1886)
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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), SA´GMINA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), PAPHUS
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