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 [biê] 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 boar's 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