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Homer, Odyssey, Book 20, line 299 (search)
the hearts in your breasts had hope that wise Odysseus would return to his own house,so long there was no ground for blame that you waited, and restrained the wooers in your halls; for this was the better course, had Odysseus returned and come back to his house. But now this is plain, that he will return no more. Nay then, come, sit by thy mother and tell her this,namely that she must wed him whosoever is the best man, and who offers the most gifts; to the end that thou mayest enjoy in peace all the heritage of thy fathers, eating and drinking, and that she may keep the house of another.” Then wise Telemachus answered him: “Nay, by Zeus, Agelaus, and by the woes of my father,who somewhere far from Ithaca has perished or is wandering, in no wise do I delay my mother's marriage, but I bid her wed what man she will, and I offer besides gifts past counting. But I am ashamed to drive her forth from the hall against her will by a word of compulsion. May God never bring such a thing to pa
Homer, Odyssey, Book 21, line 1 (search)
,bronze and gold and iron, wrought with toil. And there lay the back-bent bow and the quiver that held the arrows, and many arrows were in it, fraught with groanings—gifts which a friend of Odysseus had given him when he met him once in Lacedaemon, even Iphitus, son of Eurytus, a man like unto the immortals.They two had met one another in Messene in the house of wise Ortilochus. Odysseus verily had come to collect a debt which the whole people owed him, for the men of Messene had lifted from Ithaca in their benched ships three hundred sheep and the shepherds with them.It was on an embassy in quest of these that Odysseus had come a far journey, while he was but a youth; for his father and the other elders had sent him forth. And Iphitus, on his part, had come in search of twelve brood mares, which he had lost, with sturdy mules at the teat; but to him thereafter did they bring death and doom,when he came to the stout-hearted son of Zeus, the man Heracles, who well knew1 deeds of daring;
Homer, Odyssey, Book 21, line 80 (search)
ishonoring, and urging on all his comrades. Then among them spoke the strong and mighty Telemachus: “Lo now, of a truth Zeus, son of Cronos, has made me witless. My dear mother, for all that she is wise, declares that she will follow another lord, forsaking this house;yet I laugh, and am glad with a witless mind. Come then, ye wooers, since this is shewn to be your prize, a lady, the like of whom is not now in the Achaean land, neither in sacred Pylos, nor in Argos, nor in Mycene, nor yet in Ithaca itself, nor in the dark mainland. Nay, but of yourselves you know this—what need have I to praise my mother? Come then, put not the matter aside with excuses, nor any more turn away too long from the drawing of the bow, that we may see the issue. Yea, and I would myself make trial of yon bow. If I shall string it and shoot an arrow through the iron,it will not vex me that my honored mother should leave this house and go along with another, seeing that I should be left here able now to wield
Homer, Odyssey, Book 21, line 205 (search)
, let them not rush out, but remain where they are in silence at their work.But to thee, goodly Philoetius, do I give charge to fasten with a bar the gate of the court, and swiftly to cast a cord upon it.” So saying, he entered the stately house, and went and sat down on the seat from which he had risen. And the two slaves of divine Odysseus went in as well. Eurymachus was now handling the bow, warming it on this side and on that in the light of the fire; but not even so was he able to string it; and in his noble heart he groaned, and with a burst of anger he spoke and addressed them: “Out on it! Verily I am grieved for myself and for you all.It is in no wise for the marriage that I mourn so greatly, grieved though I am; for there are many other Achaean women, some in sea-girt Ithaca itself, and some in other cities; but I mourn if in truth we fall so far short of godlike Odysseus in might, seeing that we cannot stringhis bow. This is a reproach for men that are yet to be to hear
Homer, Odyssey, Book 21, line 311 (search)
k out to thee, and this word shall verily be brought to pass; if he shall string the bow, and Apollo grant him glory, I will clothe him with a cloak and tunic, fair raiment,and will give him a sharp javelin to ward off dogs and men, and a two-edged sword; and I will give him sandals to bind beneath his feet, and will send him whithersoever his heart and spirit bid him go.” Then wise Telemachus answered her: “My mother, as for the bow, no man of the Achaeanshas a better right than I to give or to deny it to whomsoever I will—no, not all those who lord it in rocky Ithaca, or in the islands towards horse-pasturing Elis. No man among these shall thwart me against my will, even though I should wish to give this bow outright to the stranger to bear away with him.But do thou go thy chamber, and busy thyself with thine own tasks, the loom and the distaff, and bid thy handmaids ply their tasks. The bow shall be for men, for all, but most of all for me; since mine is the authority in the h
Homer, Odyssey, Book 22, line 1 (search)
uproar broke the wooers through the halls, as they saw the man fallen, and from their high seats they sprang, driven in fear through the hall, gazing everywhere along the well-built walls;but nowhere was there a shield or mighty spear to seize. But they railed at Odysseus with angry words: “Stranger, to thy cost dost thou shoot at men; never again shalt thou take part in other contests; now is thy utter destruction sure. Aye, for thou hast now slain a man who was far the bestof the youths in Ithaca; therefore shall vultures devour thee here.” So spoke1 each man, for verily they thought that he had not slain the man willfully; and in their folly they knew not this, that over themselves one and all the cords of destruction had been made fast. Then with an angry glance from beneath his brows Odysseus of many wiles answered them: “Ye dogs, ye thought that I should never more come home from the land of the Trojans, seeing that ye wasted my house, and lay with the maidservants by force, and <
Homer, Odyssey, Book 22, line 42 (search)
So he spoke, and thereat2 pale fear seized them all, and each man gazed about to see how he might escape utter destruction; Eurymachus alone answered him, and said: “If thou art indeed Odysseus of Ithaca, come home again, this that thou sayest is just regarding all that the Achaeans have wrought—many deeds of wanton folly in thy halls and many in the field. But he now lies dead, who was to blame for all, even Antinous; for it was he who set on foot these deeds,not so much through desire or need of the marriage, but with another purpose, which the son of Cronos did not bring to pass for him, that in the land of settled Ithaca he might himself be king, and might lie in wait for thy son and slay him. But now he lies slain, as was his due, but do thou spare the peoplethat are thine own; and we will hereafter go about the land and get thee recompense for all that has been drunk and eaten in thy halls, and will bring each man for himself in requital the worth of twenty oxen, and pay thee ba
Homer, Odyssey, Book 22, line 210 (search)
l be brought to pass: when we have killed these men, father and son, thereafter shalt thou too be slain with them, such deeds art thou minded to do in these halls: with thine own head shalt thou pay the price. But when with the sword we have stripped you of your might,all the possessions that thou hast within doors and in the fields we will mingle with those of Odysseus, and will not suffer thy sons or thy daughters to dwell in thy halls, nor thy faithful wife to fare at large in the city of Ithaca.” So he spoke, and Athena waxed the more wroth at heart,and she rebuked Odysseus with angry words: “Odysseus, no longer hast thou steadfast might nor any valor, such as was thine when for high-born Helen of the white arms thou didst for nine years battle with the Trojans unceasingly, and many men thou slewest in dread conflict,and by thy counsel was the broad-wayed city of Priam taken. How is it that now, when thou hast come to thy house and thine own possessions, thou shrinkest with wailing
Homer, Odyssey, Book 23, line 85 (search)
he spoke, and the much-enduring, goodly Odysseus smiled, and straightway spoke to Telemachus winged words: “Telemachus, suffer now thy mother to test me in the halls; presently shall she win more certain knowledge.But now because I am foul, and am clad about my body in mean clothing, she scorns me, and will not yet admit that I am he. But for us, let us take thought how all may be the very best. For whoso has slain but one man in a land, even though it be a man that leaves not many behind to avenge him,he goes into exile, and leaves his kindred and his native land; but we have slain those who were the very stay of the city, far the noblest of the youths of Ithaca. Of this I bid thee take thought.” Then wise Telemachus answered him: “Do thou thyself look to this, dear father; for thycounsel, they say, is the best among men, nor could any other of mortal men vie with thee. As for us, we will follow with thee eagerly, nor methinks shall we be wanting in valor, so far as we have stre
Homer, Odyssey, Book 23, line 129 (search)
to the immortals. Then he sat down again on the chair from which he had risen,opposite his wife; and he spoke to her and said: “Strange lady! to thee beyond all women have the dwellers on Olympus given a heart that cannot be softened. No other woman would harden her heart as thou dost, and stand aloof from her husband who after many grievous toilshad come to her in the twentieth year to his native land. Nay come, nurse, strew me a couch, that all alone I may lay me down, for verily the heart in her breast is of iron.” Then wise Penelope answered him: “Strange sir, I am neither in any wise proud, nor do I scorn thee,nor yet am I too greatly amazed, but right well do I know what manner of man thou wast, when thou wentest forth from Ithaca on thy long-oared ship. Yet come, Eurycleia, strew for him the stout bedstead outside the well-built bridal chamber which he made himself. Thither do ye bring for him the stout bedstead, and cast upon it bedding,fleeces and cloaks and bright cover
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