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[450] So he spoke, and thereat pale fear seized them all. Then among them spoke the old lord Halitherses, son of Mastor, for he alone saw before and after: he with good intent addressed their assembly, and said: “Hearken now to me, men of Ithaca, to the word that I shall say. [455] Through your own cowardice, friends, have these deeds been brought to pass, for you would not obey me, nor Mentor, shepherd of the people, to make your sons cease from their folly. They wrought a monstrous deed in their blind and wanton wickedness, wasting the wealth and dishonoring the wife [460] of a prince, who, they said, would never more return. Now then be it thus; and do you hearken to me, as I bid. Let us not go forth, lest haply many a one shall find a bane which he has brought upon himself.” So he spoke, but they sprang up with loud cries, more than half of them, but the rest remained together in their seats; [465] for his speech was not to their mind, but they hearkened to Eupeithes, and quickly thereafter they rushed for their arms. Then when they had clothed their bodies in gleaming bronze, they gathered together in front of the spacious city. And Eupeithes led them in his folly, [470] for he thought to avenge the slaying of his son; yet he was himself never more to come back, but was there to meet his doom. But Athena spoke to Zeus, son of Cronos, saying: “Father of us all, thou son of Cronos, high above all lords, tell to me that ask thee what purpose thy mind now hides within thee. [475] Wilt thou yet further bring to pass evil war and the dread din of battle, or wilt thou establish friendship betwixt the twain?” Then Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, answered her, and said: “My child, why dost thou ask and question me of this? Didst thou not thyself devise this plan, [480] that verily Odysseus should take vengeance on these men at his coming? Do as thou wilt, but I will tell thee what is fitting. Now that goodly Odysseus has taken vengeance on the wooers, let them swear a solemn oath, and let him be king all his days, and let us on our part [485] bring about a forgetting of the slaying of their sons and brothers; and let them love one another as before, and let wealth and peace abound.” So saying, he roused Athena, who was already eager, and she went darting down from the heights of Olympus. But when they had put from them the desire of honey-hearted food, [490] the much-enduring, goodly Odysseus was the first to speak among his company, saying: “Let one go forth and see whether they be not now drawing near.” So he spoke, and a son of Dolius went forth, as he bade; he went and stood upon the threshold, and saw them all close at hand, and straightway he spoke to Odysseus winged words: [495] “Here they are close at hand. Quick, let us arm.”

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