So he spoke, and Telemachus went forth through the hall by the light of blazing torches to go to his chamber to lie down, where he had heretofore been wont to rest, when sweet sleep came upon him.
There now too he lay down and waited for the bright Dawn. But goodly Odysseus was left behind in the hall, planning with Athena's aid the slaying of the wooers.
Then wise Penelope came forth from her chamber like unto Artemis or golden Aphrodite,
and for her they set by the fire, where she was wont to sit, a chair inlaid with spirals of ivory and silver, which of old the craftsman Icmalius had made, and had set beneath it a foot-stool for the feet, that was part of the chair, and upon it a great fleece was wont to be laid. On this then wise Penelope sat down,
and the white-armed maids came forth from the women's hall. These began to take away the abundant food, the tables, and the cups from which the lordly men had been drinking, and they cast the embers from the braziers on to the floor, and piled upon the braziers fresh logs in abundance, to give light and warmth.
But Melantho began again a second time to rate Odysseus, saying: “Stranger, wilt thou even now still be a plague to us through the night, roaming through the house, and wilt thou spy upon the women? Nay, get thee forth, thou wretch, and be content with thy supper, or straightway shalt thou even be smitten with a torch, and so go forth.”
Then with an angry glance from beneath his brows Odysseus of many wiles answered her: “Good woman, why, pray, dost thou thus assail me with angry heart? Is it because I am foul and wear mean raiment on my body, and beg through the land? Aye, for necessity compels me. Of such sort are beggars and vagabond folk.
For I too once dwelt in a house of my own among men, a rich man in a wealthy house, and full often I gave gifts to a wanderer, whosoever he was and with whatsoever need he came. Slaves too I had past counting and all other things in abundance whereby men live well and are reputed wealthy.
But Zeus, son of Cronos, brought all to naught; so, I ween, was his good pleasure. Wherefore, woman, beware lest thou too some day lose all the glory whereby thou now hast excellence among the handmaids; lest perchance thy mistress wax wroth and be angry with thee, or Odysseus come home; for there is yet room for hope.
But if, even as it seems, he is dead, and is no more to return, yet now is his son by the favour of Apollo such as he was—even Telemachus. Him it escapes not if any of the women in the halls work wantonness; for he is no longer the child he was.”