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[265] Then fair-haired Menelaus answered her and said:“Aye verily, all this, wife, hast thou spoken aright. Ere now have I come to know the counsel and the mind of many warriors, and have travelled over the wide earth, but never yet have mine eyes beheld such an one [270] as was Odysseus of the steadfast heart. What a thing was this, too, which that mighty man wrought and endured in the carven horse, wherein all we chiefs of the Argives were sitting, bearing to the Trojans death and fate! Then thou camest thither, and it must be that thou wast bidden [275] by some god, who wished to grant glory to the Trojans, and godlike Deiphobus followed thee on thy way. Thrice didst thou go about the hollow ambush, trying it with thy touch, and thou didst name aloud the chieftains of the Danaans by their names, likening thy voice to the voices of the wives of all the Argives. [280] Now I and the son of Tydeus and goodly Odysseus sat there in the midst and heard how thou didst call, and we two were eager to rise up and come forth, or else to answer straightway from within, but Odysseus held us back and stayed us, despite our eagerness. [285] Then all the other sons of the Achaeans held their peace, but Anticlus alone was fain to speak and answer thee; but Odysseus firmly closed his mouth with strong hands, and saved all the Achaeans, and held him thus until Pallas Athena led thee away.” [290] Then wise Telemachus answered him: “Menelaus, son of Atreus, fostered of Zeus, leader of hosts, all the more grievous is it; for in no wise did this ward off from him woeful destruction, nay, not though the heart within him had been of iron. But come, send us to bed, that lulled now [295] by sweet sleep we may rest and take our joy.” Thus he spoke, and Argive Helen bade her handmaids place bedsteads beneath the portico, and to lay on them fair purple blankets, and to spread there over coverlets, and on these to put fleecy cloaks for clothing. [300] But the maids went forth from the hall with torches in their hands and strewed the couch, and a herald led forth the guests. So they slept there in the fore-hall of the palace, the prince Telemachus and the glorious son of Nestor; but the son of Atreus slept in the inmost chamber of the lofty house, [305] and beside him lay long-robed Helen, peerless among women. So soon as early Dawn appeared, the rosy-fingered, up from his bed arose Menelaus, good at the war-cry, and put on his clothing. About his shoulders he slung his sharp sword, and beneath his shining feet bound his fair sandals, [310] and went forth from his chamber like unto a god to look upon. Then he sat down beside Telemachus, and spoke, and addressed him: “What need has brought thee hither, prince Telemachus, to goodly Lacedaemon over the broad back of the sea? Is it a public matter, or thine own? Tell me the truth of this.”

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Lacedaemon (Greece) (1)

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