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[280] Man with twenty rowers the best ship thou hast, and go to seek tidings of thy father, that has long been gone, if haply any mortal may tell thee, or thou mayest hear a voice from Zeus, which oftenest brings tidings to men. First go to Pylos and question goodly Nestor, [285] and from thence to Sparta to fair-haired Menelaus; for he was the last to reach home of the brazen-coated Achaeans. If so be thou shalt hear that thy father is alive and coming home, then verily, though thou art sore afflicted, thou couldst endure for yet a year. But if thou shalt hear that he is dead and gone, [290] then return to thy dear native land and heap up a mound for him, and over it pay funeral rites, full many as is due, and give thy mother to a husband. Then when thou hast done all this and brought it to an end, thereafter take thought in mind and heart [295] how thou mayest slay the wooers in thy halls whether by guile or openly; for it beseems thee not to practise childish ways, since thou art no longer of such an age. Or hast thou not heard what fame the goodly Orestes won among all mankind when he slew his father's murderer, [300] the guileful Aegisthus, for that he slew his glorious father? Thou too, my friend, for I see that thou art comely and tall, be thou valiant, that many an one of men yet to be born may praise thee. But now I will go down to my swift ship and my comrades, who, methinks, are chafing much at waiting for me. [305] For thyself, give heed and have regard to my words.” Then wise Telemachus answered her: “Stranger, in truth thou speakest these things with kindly thought, as a father to his son, and never will I forget them. But come now, tarry, eager though thou art to be gone, [310] in order that when thou hast bathed and satisfied thy heart to the full, thou mayest go to thy ship glad in spirit, and bearing a gift costly and very beautiful, which shall be to thee an heirloom from me, even such a gift as dear friends give to friends.” Then the goddess, flashing-eyed Athena, answered him: [315] “Stay me now no longer, when I am eager to be gone, and whatsoever gift thy heart bids thee give me, give it when I come back, to bear to my home, choosing a right beautiful one; it shall bring thee its worth in return.” So spoke the goddess, flashing-eyed Athena, and departed, [320] flying upward1 as a bird; and in his heart she put strength and courage, and made him think of his father even more than aforetime. And in his mind he marked her and marvelled, for he deemed that she was a god; and straightway he went among the wooers, a godlike man.

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