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Then his glorious son answered him, and said: “Father, my spirit, methinks, [310] thou shalt verily come to know hereafter, for no slackness of will possesses me. But I think not that this plan will be a gain to us both, and so I bid thee take thought. Long time shalt thou vainly go about, making trial of each man as thou visitest the farms, while in thy halls those others at their ease [315] are wasting thy substance in insolent wise, and there is no sparing. Yet verily, as for the women, I do bid thee learn who among them dishonor thee, and who are guiltless. But of the men in the farmsteads I would not that we should make trial, but that we should deal therewith hereafter, [320] if in very truth thou knowest some sign from Zeus who bears the aegis.” Thus they spoke to one another, but meanwhile into Ithaca put the well-built ship that brought Telemachus and all his comrades from Pylos; and they, when they had come into the deep harbor, [325] drew the black ship up on the shore, while proud squires bore forth their armour and straightway carried the beauteous gifts to the house of Clytius. But they sent a herald forth to the house of Odysseus to bear word to wise Penelope [330] that Telemachus was at the farm, and had bidden the ship to sail on to the city, lest the noble queen might grow anxious and let round tears fall. So the two met, the herald and the goodly swineherd, on the self-same errand, to bear tidings to the lady. [335] And when they reached the palace of the godlike king, the herald spoke out in the midst of the handmaids, and said: “Even now, queen, thy son has come back from Pylos.” But the swineherd came close to Penelope and told her all that her dear son had bidden him say. [340] And when he had fully told all that had been commanded him, he went his way to the swine and left the courtyard and the hall. But the wooers were dismayed and downcast in spirit, and forth they went from the hall past the great wall of the court, and there before the gates they sat down. [345] Then among them Eurymachus, son of Polybus, was the first to speak: “My friends, verily a great deed has been insolently brought to pass by Telemachus, even this journey, and we deemed that he would never see it accomplished. But come, let us launch a black ship, the best we have, and let us get together seamen as rowers that they may straightway [350] bear tidings to those others speedily to return home.”

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