With these words he sat down, and
Mentor who had been a friend of Odysseus, and had been left in charge
of everything with full authority over the servants, rose to speak.
He, then, plainly and in all honesty addressed them thus:
"Hear me, men of Ithaca
, I hope
that you may never have a kind and well-disposed ruler any more, nor
one who will govern you equitably; I hope that all your chiefs
henceforward may be cruel and unjust, for there is not one of you but
has forgotten Odysseus, who ruled you as though he were your father.
I am not half so angry with the suitors, for if they choose to do
violence in the naughtiness of their minds [noos], and
wager their heads that Odysseus will not return, they can take the
high hand and eat up his estate, but as for you others I am shocked
at the way in which you the rest of the population
[dêmos] all sit still without even trying to
stop such scandalous goings on - which you could do if you chose, for
you are many and they are few."
Leiokritos, son of Euenor,
answered him saying, "Mentor, what folly is all this, that you should
set the people to stay us? It is a hard thing for one man to fight
with many about his victuals. Even though Odysseus himself were to
set upon us while we are feasting in his house, and do his best to
oust us, his wife, who wants him back so very badly, would have small
cause for rejoicing, and his blood would be upon his own head if he
fought against such great odds. There is no sense in what you have
been saying. Now, therefore, do you people go about your business,
and let his father's old friends, Mentor and Halitherses, speed
this boy on his journey, if he goes at all - which I do not think he
will, for he is more likely to stay where he is till some one comes
and tells him something."
On this he broke up the assembly,
and every man went back to his own abode, while the suitors returned
to the house of Odysseus.