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So he spoke in prayer, and Athena drew near to him in the likeness of Mentor, both in form and invoice; and she spoke, and addressed him with winged words: [270] “Telemachus, neither hereafter shalt thou be a base man or a witless, if aught of thy father's goodly spirit has been instilled into thee, such a man was he to fulfil both deed and word. So then shall this journey of thine be neither vain nor unfulfilled. But if thou art not the son of him and of Penelope, [275] then I have no hope that thou wilt accomplish thy desire. Few sons indeed are like their fathers; most are worse, few better than their fathers. But since neither hereafter shalt thou be a base man or a witless, nor has the wisdom of Odysseus wholly failed thee, [280] there is therefore hope that thou wilt accomplish this work. Now then let be the will and counsel of the wooers—fools, for they are in no wise either prudent or just, nor do they know aught of death or black fate, which verily is near at hand for them, that they shall all perish in a day. [285] But for thyself, the journey on which thy heart is set shall not be long delayed, so true a friend of thy father's house am I, who will equip for thee a swift ship, and myself go with thee. But go thou now to the house and join the company of the wooers; make ready stores, and bestow all in vessels— [290] wine in jars, and barley meal, the marrow of men, in stout skins;—but I, going through the town, will quickly gather comrades that go willingly. And ships there are full many in sea-girt Ithaca, both new and old; of these will I choose out for thee the one that is best, [295] and quickly will we make her ready and launch her on the broad deep.” So spoke Athena, daughter of Zeus, nor did Telemachus tarry long after he had heard the voice of the goddess, but went his way to the house, his heart heavy within him. He found there the proud wooers in the halls, [300] flaying goats and singeing swine in the court. And Antinous with a laugh came straight to Telemachus, and clasped his hand, and spoke, and addressed1 him: “Telemachus, thou braggart, unrestrained in daring, let no more any evil deed or word be in thy heart. [305] Nay, I bid thee, eat and drink even as before. All these things the Achaeans will surely provide for thee—the ship and chosen oarsmen—that with speed thou mayest go to sacred Pylos to seek for tidings of thy noble father.”

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Trachiniae, 1010
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