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[430] Then Odysseus of many wiles answered her, and said: “Wake her not yet, but do thou bid come hither the women, who in time past have contrived shameful deeds.” So he spoke, and the old dame went forth through the hall to bear tidings to the women, and bid them come; [435] but Odysseus called to him Telemachus and the neatherd and the swineherd, and spoke to them winged words: “Begin now to bear forth the dead bodies and bid the women help you, and thereafter cleanse the beautiful chairs and the tables with water and porous sponges. [440] But when you have set all the house in order, lead the women forth from the well-built hall to a place between the dome1 and the goodly fence of the court, and there strike them down with your long swords, until you take away the life from them all, and they forget the love [445] which they had at the bidding of the wooers, when they lay with them in secret.” So he spoke, and the women came all in a throng, wailing terribly and shedding big tears. First they bore forth the bodies of the slain and set them down beneath the portico of the well-fenced court, [450] propping them one against the other; and Odysseus himself gave them orders and hastened on the work, and they bore the bodies forth perforce. Then they cleansed the beautiful high seats and the tables with water and porous sponges. But Telemachus and the neatherd and the swineherd [455] scraped with hoes the floor of the well-built house, and the women bore the scrapings forth and threw them out of doors. But when they had set in order all the hall, they led the women forth from the well-built hall to a place between the dome and the goodly fence of the court, [460] and shut them up in a narrow space, whence it was in no wise possible to escape. Then wise Telemachus was the first to speak to the others, saying: “Let it be by no clean death that I take the lives of these women, who on my own head have poured reproaches and on my mother, and were wont to lie with the wooers.”

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