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Soon as early Dawn appeared, the rosy-fingered, [405] up from his bed rose the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia, and went forth and sat down on the polished stones which were before his lofty doors, white and glistening as with oil.1 On these of old was wont to sit Neleus, the peer of the gods in counsel; [410] but he ere this had been stricken by fate and had gone to the house of Hades, and now there sat upon them in his turn Nestor of Gerenia, the warder of the Achaeans, holding a sceptre in his hands. About him his sons gathered in a throng as they came forth from their chambers, Echephron and Stratius and Perseus and Aretus and godlike Thrasymedes; [415] and to these thereafter came as the sixth the lord Peisistratus. And they led godlike Telemachus and made him sit beside them; and the horseman, Nestor of Gerenia, was first to speak among them: “Quickly, my dear children, fulfil my desire, that first of all the gods I may propitiate Athena, [420] who came to me in manifest presence to the rich feast of the god. Come now, let one go to the plain for a heifer, that she may come speedily, and that the neatherd may drive her; and let one go to the black ship of great-hearted Telemachus and bring all his comrades, and let him leave two men only; [425] and let one again bid the goldsmith Laerces come hither, that he may overlay the heifer's horns with gold. And do ye others abide here together; and bid the handmaids within to make ready a feast throughout our glorious halls, to fetch seats, and logs to set on either side of the altar, and to bring clear water.” [430] So he spoke, and they all set busily to work. The heifer came from the plain and from the swift, shapely ship came the comrades of great-hearted Telemachus; the smith came, bearing in his hands his tools of bronze, the implements of his craft, anvil and hammer and well-made tongs, [435] wherewith he wrought the gold; and Athena came to accept the sacrifice. Then the old man, Nestor, the driver of chariots, gave gold, and the smith prepared it, and overlaid therewith the horns of the heifer, that the goddess might rejoice when she beheld the offering. And Stratius and goodly Echephron led the heifer by the horns, [440] and Aretus came from the chamber, bringing them water for the hands in a basin embossed with flowers, and in the other hand he held barley grains in a basket; and Thrasymedes, steadfast in fight, stood by, holding in his hands a sharp axe, to fell the heifer; and Perseus held the bowl for the blood. Then the old man, Nestor, driver of chariots, [445] began the opening rite of hand-washing and sprinkling with barley grains, and earnestly he prayed to Athena, cutting off as first offering the hair from the head, and casting it into the fire.

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    • W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, Commentary on the Odyssey (1886), 5.1
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