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Then Odysseus of many wiles answered him, and said: [125] “Amphinomus, verily thou seemest to me to be a man of prudence; and such a man, too, was thy father, for I have heard of his fair fame, that Nisus of Dulichium was a brave man and a wealthy. From him, they say, thou art sprung, and thou seemest a man soft of speech. Wherefore I will tell thee, and do thou give heed and hearken. [130] Nothing feebler does earth nurture than man, of all things that on earth are breathing and moving. For he thinks that he will never suffer evil in time to come, so long as the gods give him prosperity and his knees are quick; but when again the blessed gods decree him sorrow, [135] this too he bears in sore despite with steadfast heart; for the spirit of men upon the earth is even such as the day which the father of gods and men brings upon them. For I, too, was once like to be prosperous among men, but many deeds of wantonness I wrought, yielding to my might and my strength, [140] and trusting in my father and my brethren. Wherefore let no man soever be lawless at any time, but let him keep in silence whatever gifts the gods give. Aye, for I see the wooers devising wantonness, wasting the wealth and dishonoring the wife [145] of a man who, I tell thee, will not long be away from his friends and his native land; nay, he is very near. But may some god lead thee forth hence to thy home, and mayest thou not meet him when he comes home to his dear native land. For not without bloodshed, methinks, [150] will the wooers and he part one from the other when once he comes beneath his roof.” So he spoke, and pouring a libation, drank of the honey-sweet wine, and then gave back the cup into the hands of the marshaller of the people. But Amphinomus went through the hall with a heavy heart, bowing his head; for his spirit boded bane. [155] Yet even so he did not escape his fate, but him, too, did Athena set in bonds so that he might be slain outright at the hands of Telemachus and by his spear. So he sat down again on the chair from which he had risen. Then the goddess, flashing-eyed Athena, put it in the heart of the daughter of Icarius, wise Penelope, [160] to show herself to the wooers, that she might set their hearts a-flutter and win greater honor from her husband and her son than heretofore. Then she laughed a meaningless laugh and spoke, and addressed the nurse: “Eurynome, my heart longs, though it has never longed before, [165] to show myself to the wooers, hateful though they are. Also I would say a word to my son that will be for his profit, namely, that he should not consort ever with the overweening wooers, who speak him fair but have evil plans thereafter.”

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