"Leiodes, what are you talking
about? Your words are monstrous and intolerable; it makes me angry to
listen to you. Shall, then, this bow take the life
[psukhê] of many a chief among us, merely
because you cannot bend it yourself? True, you were not born to be an
archer, but there are others who will soon string it."
Then he said to Melanthios the
goatherd, "Look sharp, light a fire in the court, and set a seat hard
by with a sheep skin on it; bring us also a large ball of lard, from
what they have in the house. Let us warm the bow and grease it; we
will then make trial of it again, and bring the contest
[athlos] to an end."
Melanthios lit the fire, and set
a seat covered with sheep skins beside it. He also brought a great
ball of lard from what they had in the house, and the suitors warmed
the bow and again made trial of it, but they were none of them nearly
strong [biê] enough to string it. Nevertheless
there still remained Antinoos and Eurymakhos, who were the
ringleaders among the suitors and much the foremost in
aretê among them all.
Then the swineherd and the
stockman left the cloisters together, and Odysseus followed them.
When they had got outside the gates and the outer yard, Odysseus said
to them quietly: