On this Odysseus began to move
off, and said, "Your looks, my fine sir, are better than your
breeding; if you were in your own house you would not spare a poor
man so much as a pinch of salt, for though you are in another
man's, and surrounded with abundance, you cannot find it in you
to give him even a piece of bread."
This made Antinoos very angry,
and he scowled at him saying, "You shall pay for this before you get
clear of the court." With these words he threw a footstool at him,
and hit him on the right shoulder-blade near the top of his back.
Odysseus stood firm as a rock and the blow did not even stagger him,
but he shook his head in silence as he brooded on his revenge. Then
he went back to the threshold and sat down there, laying his
well-filled wallet at his feet.
"Listen to me," he cried, "you
suitors of Queen Penelope, that I may speak even as I am minded. A
man knows neither ache [akhos] nor pain
[penthos] if he gets hit while fighting for his
wealth, or for his sheep or his cattle; and even so Antinoos has hit
me while in the service of my miserable belly, which is always
getting people into trouble. Still, if the poor have gods and
avenging deities at all, I pray them that Antinoos may come to a bad
end before his marriage."
"Sit where you are, and eat your
victuals in silence, or be off elsewhere," shouted Antinoos. "If you
say more I will have you dragged hand and foot through the courts,
and the servants shall flay you alive."