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So saying, the goddess entered the shadowy cave and searched out its hiding-places. And Odysseus brought all the treasure thither, the gold and the stubborn bronze and the finely-wrought raiment, which the Phaeacians gave him. [370] These things he carefully laid away, and Pallas Athena, daughter of Zeus, who bears the aegis, set a stone at the door. Then the two sat them down by the trunk of the sacred olive tree, and devised death for the insolent wooers. And the goddess, flashing-eyed Athena, was the first to speak, saying: [375] “Son of Laertes, sprung from Zeus, Odysseus of many devices, take thought how thou mayest put forth thy hands on the shameless wooers, who now for three years have been lording it in thy halls, wooing thy godlike wife, and offering wooers' gifts. And she, as she mournfully looks for thy coming, [380] offers hopes to all, and has promises for each man, sending them messages, but her mind is set on other things.” Then Odysseus of many wiles answered her, and said: “Lo now, of a surety I was like to have perished in my halls by the evil fate of Agamemnon, son of Atreus, [385] hadst not thou, goddess, duly told me all. But come, weave some plan by which I may requite them; and stand thyself by my side, and endue me with dauntless courage, even as when we loosed the bright diadem of Troy. Wouldest thou but stand by my side, thou flashing-eyed one, as eager as thou wast then, [390] I would fight even against three hundred men, with thee, mighty goddess, if with a ready heart thou wouldest give me aid.” Then the goddess, flashing-eyed Athena, answered him: “Yea verily, I will be with thee, and will not forget thee, when we are busied with this work; and methinks many a one [395] of the wooers that devour thy substance shall bespatter the vast earth with his blood and brains. But come, I will make thee unknown to all mortals. I will shrivel the fair skin on thy supple limbs, and destroy the flaxen hair from off thy head, and clothe thee in a ragged garment, [400] such that one would shudder to see a man clad therein. And I will dim thy two eyes that were before so beautiful, that thou mayest appear mean in the sight of all the wooers, and of thy wife, and of thy son, whom thou didst leave in thy halls. And for thyself, do thou go first of all [405] to the swineherd who keeps thy swine, and withal has a kindly heart towards thee, and loves thy son and constant Penelope. Thou wilt find him abiding by the swine, and they are feeding by the rock of Corax and the spring Arethusa, eating acorns to their heart's content and [410] drinking the black water, things which cause the rich flesh of swine to wax fat. There do thou stay, and sitting by his side question him of all things, while I go to Sparta, the land of fair women, to summon thence Telemachus, thy dear son, Odysseus, who went to spacious Lacedaemon to the house of Menelaus, [415] to seek tidings of thee, if thou wast still anywhere alive.”

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