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Thus, then, did Odysseus wait and pray; but the girl drove on to the town. When she reached her father's house she drew up at the gateway, and her brothers - comely as the gods - gathered round her, took the mules out of the wagon, and carried the clothes into the house, while she went to her own room, where an old servant, Eurymedousa of Apeira, lit the fire for her. This old woman had been brought by sea from Apeira, and had been chosen as a prize for Alkinoos because he was king over the Phaeacians, and the people in the dêmos obeyed him as though he were a god. She had been nurse to Nausicaa, and had now lit the fire for her, and brought her supper for her into her own room.

Presently Odysseus got up to go towards the town; and Athena shed a thick mist all round him to hide him in case any of the proud Phaeacians who met him should be rude to him, or ask him who he was. Then, as he was just entering the town, she came towards him in the likeness of a little girl carrying a pitcher. She stood right in front of him, and Odysseus said:

"My dear, will you be so kind as to show me the house of king Alkinoos? I am an unfortunate foreigner in distress, and do not know one in your town and country."

Then Athena said, "Yes, father stranger, I will show you the house you want, for Alkinoos lives quite close to my own father. I will go before you and show the way, but say not a word as you go, and do not look at any man, nor ask him questions; for the people here cannot abide strangers, and do not like men who come from some other place. They are a sea-faring folk, and sail the seas by the grace of Poseidon in ships that glide along like thought, or as a bird in the air."

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, Commentary on the Odyssey (1886), 3.62
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