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“There I learned of Odysseus, for the king said that he had entertained him, and given him welcome on his way to his native land. And he showed me all the treasure that Odysseus had gathered, bronze, and gold, and iron, wrought with toil; [325] verily unto the tenth generation would it feed his children after him, so great was the wealth that lay stored for him in the halls of the king. But Odysseus, he said, had gone to Dodona, to hear the will of Zeus from the high-crested oak of the god, even how he might return to the rich land of Ithaca [330] after so long an absence, whether openly or in secret. And moreover he swore in my own presence, as he poured libations in his house, that the ship was launched, and the men ready, who were to convey him to his dear native land. But me he sent forth first, for a ship [335] of the Thesprotians chanced to be setting out for Dulichium, rich in wheat. Thither he bade them to convey me with kindly care, to king Acastus. But an evil counsel regarding me found favour in their hearts, that I might even yet be brought into utter misery. When the sea-faring ship had sailed far from the land, [340] they presently sought to bring about for me the day of slavery. They stripped me of my garments, my cloak and tunic, and clothed me in other raiment, a vile ragged cloak and tunic, even the tattered garments which thou seest before thine eyes; and at evening they reached the tilled fields of clear-seen Ithaca. [345] Then with a twisted rope they bound me fast in the benched ship, and themselves went ashore, and made haste to take their supper by the shore of the sea. But as for me, the gods themselves undid my bonds full easily, and, wrapping the tattered cloak about my head, [350] I slid down the smooth lading-plank,1 and brought my breast to the sea, and then struck out with both hands, and swam, and very soon was out of the water, and away from them. Then I went up to a place where there was a thicket of leafy wood, and lay there crouching. [355] And they went hither and thither with loud cries; but as there seemed to be no profit in going further in their search, they went back again on board their hollow ship. And the gods themselves hid me easily, and led me, and brought me to the farmstead of a wise man; for still haply it is my lot to live.”

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