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So he spoke, and they were all hushed in silence. Then Amphinomus addressed their assembly, and spoke among them. [395] He was the glorious son of the prince Nisus, son of Aretias, and he led the wooers who came from Dulichium, rich in wheat and in grass, and above all the others he pleased Penelope with his words, for he had an understanding heart. He it was who with good intent addressed their assembly, and spoke among them: [400] “Friends, I surely would not choose to kill Telemachus; a dread thing is it to slay one of royal stock. Nay, let us first seek to learn the will of the gods. If the oracles of great Zeus approve, I will myself slay him, and bid all the others do so; [405] but if the gods turn us from the act, I bid you desist.” Thus spoke Amphinomus, and his word was pleasing to them. So they arose straightway and went to the house of Odysseus, and entering in, sat down on the polished seats. Then the wise Penelope took other counsel, [410] to show herself to the wooers, overweening in their insolence. For she had learned of the threatened death of her son in her halls, for the herald Medon told her, who had heard their counsel. So she went her way toward the hall with her handmaids. But when the fair lady reached the wooers, [415] she stood by the doorpost of the well-built hall, holding before her face her shining veil; and she rebuked Antinous, and spoke, and addressed him: “Antinous, full of insolence, deviser of evil! and yet it is thou, men say, that dost excel among all of thy years in the land of Ithaca [420] in counsel and in speech. But thou, it seems, art not such a man. Madman! why dost thou devise death and fate for Telemachus, and carest not for suppliants, for whom Zeus is witness. 'Tis an impious thing to plot evil one against another. Dost thou not know of the time when thy father came to this house a fugitive [425] in terror of the people? For of a truth they were greatly wroth with him because he had joined Taphian pirates and harried the Thesprotians, who were in league with us. Him, then, they were minded to slay, and take from him his life by violence, and utterly to devour his great and pleasant livelihood; [430] but Odysseus held them back, and stayed them despite their eagerness. His house it is that thou consumest now without atonement, and wooest his wife, and seekest to slay his son, and on me thou bringest great distress. Nay, forbear, I charge thee, and bid the rest forbear.”

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