"Take my advice then, and do not
go traveling about for long so far from home, nor leave your property
with such dangerous people in your house; they will eat up everything
you have among them, and you will have been on a fool's errand.
Still, I should advise you by all means to go and visit Menelaos, who
has lately come off a voyage among such distant peoples as no man
could ever hope to get back from, when the winds had once carried him
so far out of his reckoning; even birds cannot fly the distance in a
twelvemonth, so vast and terrible are the seas that they must cross.
Go to him, therefore, by sea, and take your own men with you; or if
you would rather travel by land you can have a chariot, you can have
horses, and here are my sons who can escort you to Lacedaemon
Menelaos lives. Beg of him to speak the truth, and he will tell you
no lies, for he is an excellent person."
As he spoke the sun set and it
came on dark, whereon Athena said, "Sir, all that you have said is
well; now, however, order the tongues of the victims to be cut, and
mix wine that we may make drink-offerings to Poseidon, and the other
immortals, and then go to bed, for it is bed time
[hôra]. People should go away early and not keep
late hours at a religious festival."
Thus spoke the daughter of Zeus,
and they obeyed her saying. Men servants poured water over the hands
of the guests, while pages filled the mixing-bowls with wine and
water, and handed it round after giving every man his drink-offering;
then they threw the tongues of the victims into the fire, and stood
up to make their drink-offerings. When they had made their offerings
and had drunk each as much as he was minded, Athena and Telemakhos
were for going on board their ship, but Nestor caught them up at once
and stayed them.
"Heaven and the immortal gods,"
he exclaimed, "forbid that you should leave my house to go on board
of a ship. Do you think I am so poor and short of clothes, or that I
have so few cloaks and as to be unable to find comfortable beds both
for myself and for my guests? Let me tell you I have store both of
rugs and cloaks, and shall not permit the son of my old friend
Odysseus to camp down on the deck of a ship - not while I live - nor
yet will my sons after me, but they will keep open house as I have