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[315] Then wise Telemachus answered him: “Menelaus, son of Atreus, fostered of Zeus, leader of hosts, I came if haply thou mightest tell me some tidings of my father. My home is being devoured and my rich lands are ruined; with men that are foes my house is filled, who are ever [320] slaying my thronging sheep and my sleek kine of shambling gait, even the wooers of my mother, overweening in their insolence. Therefore am I now come to thy knees, if perchance thou wilt be willing to tell me of his woeful death, whether thou sawest it haply with thine own eyes, or didst hear from some other the story [325] of his wanderings; for beyond all men did his mother bear him to sorrow. And do thou no wise out of ruth or pity for me speak soothing words, but tell me truly how thou didst come to behold him. I beseech thee, if ever my father, noble Odysseus, promised aught to thee of word or deed and fulfilled it [330] in the land of the Trojans, where you Achaeans suffered woes, be mindful of it now, I pray thee, and tell me the truth.” Then, stirred to sore displeasure, fair-haired Menelaus spoke to him: “Out upon them, for verily in the bed of a man of valiant heart were they fain to lie, who are themselves cravens. [335] Even as when in the thicket-lair of a mighty lion a hind has laid to sleep her new-born suckling fawns, and roams over the mountain slopes and grassy vales seeking pasture, and then the lion comes to his lair and upon the two1 lets loose a cruel doom, [340] so will Odysseus let loose a cruel doom upon these men. I would, O father Zeus and Athena and Apollo, that in such strength as when once in fair-stablished Lesbos he rose up and wrestled a match with Philomeleides and threw him mightily, and all the Achaeans rejoiced, [345] even in such strength Odysseus might come among the wooers; then should they all find swift destruction and bitterness in their wooing. But in this matter of which thou dost ask and beseech me, verily I will not swerve aside to speak of other things, nor will I deceive thee; but of all that the unerring old man of the sea told me [350] not one thing will I hide from thee or conceal.

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