Then Peisistratus, son of Nestor, answered, and said: “Telemachus, in no wise may we
drive through the dark night, how eager soever for our journey; and soon it will be dawn. Wait then, until the warrior son of Atreus, Menelaus, famed for his spear, shall bring gifts and set them on the car, and shall send us on our way with kindly words of farewell. For a guest remembers all his days
the host who shews him kindness.”
So he spoke, and presently came golden-throned Dawn. Up to them then came Menelaus, good at the war-cry, rising from his couch from beside fair-tressed Helen. And when the prince, the dear son of Odysseus, saw him,
he made haste to put about him his bright tunic, and to fling over his mighty shoulders a great cloak, and went forth. Then Telemachus, the dear son of divine Odysseus, came up to Menelaus, and addressed him, saying:
“Menelaus, son of Atreus, fostered of Zeus, leader of hosts,
send me back now at length to my dear native land, for now my heart is eager to return home.”
Then Menelaus, good at the war-cry, answered him: “Telemachus, I verily shall not hold thee here a long time, when thou art eager to return. Nay, I should blame another,
who, as host, loves overmuch or hates overmuch; better is due measure in all things. 'Tis equal wrong if a man speed on a guest who is loath to go, and if he keep back one that is eager to be gone. One should make welcome the present guest, and send forth him that would go.
But stay, till I bring fair gifts and put them on thy car, and thine own eyes behold them, and till I bid the women make ready a meal in the halls of the abundant store that is within. It is a double boon—honor and glory it brings, and profit withal—that the traveller should dine before he goes forth over the wide and boundless earth.
And if thou art fain to journey through Hellas
, be it so, to the end that I may myself go with thee, and I will yoke for thee horses, and lead thee to the cities of men. Nor will any one send us away empty-handed, but will give us some one thing at least to bear with us, a fair brazen tripod or cauldron,
or a pair of mules, or a golden cup.”
Then wise Telemachus answered him: “Menelaus, son of Atreus, fostered of Zeus, leader of hosts, rather would I go at once to my home, for when I departed I left behind me no one to watch over my possessions.
I would not that in seeking for my god-like father I myself should perish, or some goodly treasure be lost from my halls.”