She then went quickly on, and
Telemakhos followed in her steps till they reached the place where
the guilds of the Pylian people were assembled. There they found
Nestor sitting with his sons, while his company round him were busy
getting dinner ready, and putting pieces of meat on to the spits
while other pieces were cooking. When they saw the strangers they
crowded round them, took them by the hand and bade them take their
places. Nestor's son Peisistratos at once offered his hand to
each of them, and seated them on some soft sheepskins that were lying
on the sands near his father and his brother Thrasymedes. Then he
gave them their portions of the inward meats and poured wine for them
into a golden cup, handing it to Athena first, and saluting her at
the same time.
"Offer a prayer, sir," said he,
"to lord Poseidon, for it is his feast that you are joining; when you
have duly prayed and made your drink-offering, pass the cup to your
friend that he may do so also. I doubt not that he too lifts his
hands in prayer, for man cannot live without gods in the world.
Still, he is younger than you are, and is much of an age with myself,
so I will give you the precedence."
As he spoke he handed her the cup.
Athena thought that he was just [dikaios] and right to
have given it to herself first; she accordingly began praying
heartily to Poseidon. "O you," she cried, "who encircle the earth,
deign to grant the prayers of your servants that call upon you. More
especially we pray you send down your grace on Nestor and on his
sons; thereafter also make the rest of the Pylian people some
handsome return for the goodly hecatomb they are offering you.
Lastly, grant Telemakhos and myself a happy issue, in respect of the
matter that has brought us in our to Pylos
When she had thus made an end of
praying, she handed the cup to Telemakhos and he prayed likewise. By
and by, when the outer meats were roasted and had been taken off the
spits, the carvers gave every man his portion and they all made an
excellent dinner. As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink,
Nestor, horseman of Gerene, began to speak.