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So speaking, Pallas Athena led the way quickly, and he followed in the footsteps of the goddess. [40] And as he went through the city in the midst of them, the Phaeacians, famed for their ships, took no heed of him, for fair-tressed Athena, the dread goddess, would not suffer it, but shed about him a wondrous mist, for her heart was kind toward him. And Odysseus marvelled at the harbors and the stately ships, at the meeting-places where the heroes themselves gathered, and the walls, long and [45] high and crowned with palisades, a wonder to behold. But when they had come to the glorious palace of the king, the goddess, flashing-eyed Athena, was the first to speak, saying: “Here, Sir stranger, is the house which thou didst bid me shew to thee, and thou wilt find the kings, fostered of Zeus, [50] feasting at the banquet. Go thou within, and let thy heart fear nothing; for a bold man is better in all things, though he be a stranger from another land. The queen shalt thou approach first in the palace; Arete is the name by which she is called, [55] and she is sprung from the same line as is the king Alcinous. Nausithous at the first was born from the earth-shaker Poseidon and Periboea, the comeliest of women, youngest daughter of great-hearted Eurymedon, who once was king over the insolent Giants. [60] But he brought destruction on his froward people, and was himself destroyed. But with Periboea lay Poseidon and begat a son, great-hearted Nausithous, who ruled over the Phaeacians; and Nausithous begat Rhexenor and Alcinous. Rhexenor, when as yet he had no son, Apollo of the silver bow smote [65] in his hall, a bridegroom though he was, and he left only one daughter, Arete. Her Alcinous made his wife, and honored her as no other woman on earth is honored, of all those who in these days direct their households in subjection to their husbands; so heartily is she honored, [70] and has ever been, by her children and by Alcinous himself and by the people, who look upon her as upon a goddess, and greet her as she goes through the city. For she of herself is no wise lacking in good understanding, and for the women1 to whom she has good will she makes an end of strife even among their husbands. [75] If in her sight thou dost win favour, then there is hope that thou wilt see thy friends, and return to thy high-roofed house and unto thy native land.”

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