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But the white-armed Nausicaa took other counsel. She folded the raiment and put it in the fair wagon, and yoked the stout-hoofed mules, and mounted the car herself. Then she hailed Odysseus, and spoke and addressed him: [255] “Rouse thee now, stranger, to go to the city, that I may escort thee to the house of my wise father, where, I tell thee, thou shalt come to know all the noblest of the Phaeacians. Only do thou thus, and, methinks, thou dost not lack understanding: so long as we are passing through the country and the tilled fields of men go thou quickly [260] with the handmaids behind the mules and the wagon, and I will lead the way. But when we are about to enter the city, around which runs a lofty wall,—a fair harbor lies on either side of the city and the entrance is narrow, and curved ships [265] are drawn up along the road, for they all have stations for their ships, each man one for himself. There, too, is their place of assembly about the fair temple of Poseidon, fitted with huge1 stones set deep in the earth. Here the men are busied with the tackle of their black ships, with cables and sails, and here they shape the thin oar-blades. [270] For the Phaeacians care not for bow or quiver, but for masts and oars of ships, and for the shapely ships, rejoicing in which they cross over the grey sea. It is their ungentle speech that I shun, lest hereafter some man should taunt me, for indeed there are insolent folk in the land, [275] and thus might some baser fellow say, shall he meet us: ‘Who is this that follows Nausicaa, a comely man and tall, a stranger? Where did she find him? He will doubtless be a husband for her. Haply she has brought from his ship some wanderer of a folk that dwell afar—for none are near us— [280] or some god, long prayed-for, has come down from heaven in answer to her prayers, and she will have him as her husband all her days. Better so, even if she has herself gone forth and found a husband from another people; for of a truth she scorns the Phaeacians here in the land, where she has wooers many and noble!’ [285] So will they say, and this would become a reproach to me. Yea, I would myself blame another maiden who should do such thing, and in despite of her dear father and mother, while yet they live, should consort with men before the day of open marriage.

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