Then the vision said, "Take
heart, and be not so much dismayed. There is one gone with him whom
many a man would be glad enough to have stand by his side, I mean
Athena; it is she who has compassion upon you, and who has sent me to
bear you this message."
"Then," said Penelope, "if you
are a god or have been sent here by divine commission, tell me also
about that other unhappy one - is he still alive, or is he already
dead and in the house of Hades?"
And the vision said, "I shall not
tell you for certain whether he is alive or dead, and there is no use
in idle conversation."
Then it vanished through the
thong-hole of the door and was dissipated into thin air; but Penelope
rose from her sleep refreshed and comforted, so vivid had been her