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So saying, the goodly swineherd led him to the hut, and brought him in, and made him sit, strowing beneath thick brushwood, [50] and thereon spreading the skin of a shaggy wild goat, large and hairy, on which he was himself wont to sleep. And Odysseus was glad that he gave him such welcome, and spoke, and addressed him: “Stranger, may Zeus and the other immortal gods grant thee what most thou desirest, since thou with a ready heart hast given me welcome.” [55] To him then, swineherd Eumaeus, didst thou make answer, and say: “Nay, stranger, it were not right for me, even though one meaner than thou were to come, to slight a stranger: for from Zeus are all strangers and beggars, and a gift, though small, is welcome from such as we; since this is the lot of slaves, [60] ever in fear when over them as lords their masters hold sway—young masters such as ours. For verily the gods have stayed the return of him who would have loved me with all kindness, and would have given me possessions of my own, a house and a bit of land, and a wife, sought of many wooers, even such things as a kindly master gives to his thrall [65] who has toiled much for him, and whose labour the god makes to prosper, even as this work of mine prospers, to which I give heed. Therefore would my master have richly rewarded me, if he had grown old here at home: but he perished—as I would all the kindred of Helen had perished in utter ruin, since she loosened the knees of many warriors. [70] For he too went forth to win recompense for Agamemnon to Ilios, famed for its horses, that he might fight with the Trojans.”

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