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“Thus I came, dear child, without tidings, nor know I aught [185] of those others, who of the Achaeans were saved, and who were lost. But what tidings I have heard as I abide in our halls thou shalt hear, as is right, nor will I hide it from thee. Safely, they say, came the Myrmidons that rage with the spear, whom the famous son of great-hearted Achilles led; [190] and safely Philoctetes, the glorious son of Poias. All his company, too, did Idomeneus bring to Crete, all who escaped the war, and the sea robbed him of none. But of the son of Atreus you have yourselves heard, far off though you are, how he came, and how Aegisthus devised for him a woeful doom. [195] Yet verily he paid the reckoning therefor in terrible wise, so good a thing is it that a son be left behind a man at his death, since that son took vengeance on his father's slayer, the guileful Aegisthus, for that he slew his glorious father. Thou, too, friend, for I see thou art a comely man and tall, [200] be thou valiant, that many an one among men yet to be born may praise thee.” Then wise Telemachus answered him: “Nestor, son of Neleus, great glory of the Achaeans, yea verily that son took vengeance, and the Achaeans shall spread his fame abroad, that men who are yet to be may hear thereof. [205] O that the gods would clothe me with such strength, that I might take vengeance on the wooers for their grievous sin, who in wantonness devise mischief against me. But lo, the gods have spun for me no such happiness, for me or for my father; and now I must in any case endure.” [210] Then the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia, answered him: “Friend, since thou calledst this to my mind and didst speak of it, they say that many wooers for the hand of thy mother devise evils in thy halls in thy despite. Tell me, art thou willingly thus oppressed, or do the people [215] throughout the land hate thee, following the voice of a god? Who knows but Odysseus may some day come and take vengeance on them for their violent deeds,—he alone, it may be, or even all the host of the Achaeans? Ah, would that flashing-eyed Athena might choose to love thee even as then she cared exceedingly for glorious Odysseus [220] in the land of the Trojans, where we Achaeans suffered woes. For never yet have I seen the gods so manifestly shewing love, as Pallas Athena did to him, standing manifest by his side. If she would be pleased to love thee in such wise and would care for thee at heart, then would many a one of them utterly forget marriage.” [225] Then wise Telemachus answered him: “Old man, in no wise do I deem that this word will be brought to pass. Too great is what thou sayest; amazement holds me. No hope have I that this will come to pass, no, not though the gods should so will it.”

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    • W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, Commentary on the Odyssey (1886), 4.494
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