When Menelaos saw this he doubted whether to let him choose his own time for speaking, or to ask him at once and find what it was all about. Adraste brought her a seat, Alkippe a soft woolen rug, while Phylo fetched her the silver work-box which Alkandra wife of Polybos had given her. Polybos lived in Egyptian Thebes, which is the richest city in the whole world; he gave Menelaos two baths, both of pure silver, two tripods, and ten talents of gold; besides all this, his wife gave Helen some beautiful presents, to wit, a golden distaff, and a silver work-box that ran on wheels, with a gold band round the top of it.
Phylo now placed this by her side, full of fine spun yarn, and a distaff charged with violet colored wool was laid upon the top of it. Then Helen took her seat, put her feet upon the footstool, and began to question her husband. Shall I guess right or wrong? But I cannot help saying what I think. Never yet have I seen either man or woman so like somebody else indeed when I look at him I hardly know what to think as this young man is like Telemakhos, whom Odysseus left as a baby behind him, when you Achaeans went to Troy with battle in your hearts, on account of my most shameless self.
Moreover, when I was talking about Odysseus, and saying how much he had suffered on my account, tears fell from his eyes, and he hid his face in his mantle. My father, Nestor, sent me to escort him hither, for he wanted to know whether you could give him any counsel or suggestion. I had always hoped to entertain him with most marked distinction when heaven had granted us a safe return [ nostos ] from beyond the seas. I should have founded a city for him in Argos, and built him a house. I should have made him leave Ithaca with his goods, his son, and all his people, and should have sacked for them some one of the neighboring cities that are subject to me.
We should thus have seen one another continually, and nothing but death could have interrupted so close and happy an intercourse. I suppose, however, that heaven grudged us such good fortune, for it has prevented the poor man from ever getting home at all. Helen wept, Telemakhos wept, and so did Menelaos, nor could Peisistratos keep his eyes from filling, when he remembered his dear brother Antilokhos whom the son of bright Dawn had killed.
Thereon he said to Menelaos,. If, then, it be possible, do as I would urge you. I am not fond of crying while I am getting my supper. Morning will come in due course, and in the forenoon I care not how much I cry for those that are dead and gone. This is all we can do for the poor things. We can only shave our heads for them and wring the tears from our cheeks.
I had a brother who died at Troy; he was by no means the worst man there; you are sure to have known him - his name was Antilokhos; I never set eyes upon him myself, but they say that he was singularly fleet of foot and in fight valiant. It is plain you take after your father. One can soon see when a man is son to one whom Zeus grants blessedness [ olbos ] both as regards wife and offspring - and he has blessed Nestor from first to last all his days, giving him a green old age in his own house, with sons about him who are both well disposed and valiant.
We will put an end therefore to all this weeping, and attend to our supper again. Let water be poured over our hands. Telemakhos and I can talk with one another fully in the morning.
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Whoever drinks wine thus drugged cannot shed a single tear all the rest of the day, not even though his father and mother both of them drop down dead, or he sees a brother or a son hewn in pieces before his very eyes. This drug, of such sovereign power and virtue, had been given to Helen by Polydamna wife of Thon, a woman of Egypt, where there grow all sorts of herbs, some good to put into the mixing-bowl and others poisonous. Moreover, every one in the whole country is a skilled physician, for they are of the race of Paieon.
When Helen had put this drug in the bowl, and had told the servants to serve the wine round, she said:. In this disguise he entered the city of Troy, and no one said anything to him. I alone recognized him and began to question him, but he was too cunning for me. When, however, I had washed and anointed him and had given him clothes, and after I had sworn a solemn oath not to betray him to the Trojans till he had got safely back to his own camp and to the ships, he explained to me the whole noos of the Achaeans.
I have traveled much, and have learned the plans and noos of many a hero, but I have never seen such another man as Odysseus. What endurance too, and what courage he displayed within the wooden horse, wherein all the bravest of the Argives were lying in wait to bring death and destruction upon the Trojans. Three times did you go all round our hiding place and pat it; you called our chiefs each by his own name, and mimicked all our wives.
Diomedes, Odysseus, and I from our seats inside heard what a noise you made. Diomedes and I could not make up our minds whether to spring out then and there, or to answer you from inside, but Odysseus held us all in check, so we sat quite still, all except Antiklos, who was beginning to answer you, when Odysseus clapped his two brawny hands over his mouth, and kept them there. It was this that saved us all, for he muzzled Antiklos till Athena took you away again.
But now, sir, be pleased to send us all to bed, that we may lie down and enjoy the blessed boon of sleep. So the maids went out, carrying a torch, and made the beds, to which a man-servant presently conducted the strangers. Thus, then, did Telemakhos and Peisistratos sleep there in the forecourt, while the son of Atreus lay in an inner room with lovely Helen by his side.
He bound his sandals on to his comely feet, girded his sword about his shoulders, and left his room looking like an immortal god. Then, taking a seat near Telemakhos he said:. Are you on public or private business? Tell me all about it. I am being eaten out of house and home; my fair estate is being wasted, and my house is full of miscreants who in overweening hubris keep killing great numbers of my sheep and oxen, on the pretense of wooing my mother. Do not soften things out of any pity for myself, but tell me in all plainness exactly what you saw.
A hind might as well lay her new born young in the lair of a lion, and then go off to feed in the forest or in some grassy dell: the lion when he comes back to his lair will make short work with the pair of them - and so will Odysseus with these suitors. By father Zeus, Athena, and Apollo, if Odysseus is still the man that he was when he wrestled with Philomeleides in Lesbos, and threw him so heavily that all the Achaeans cheered him - if he is still such and were to come near these suitors, they would have a swift doom and a sorry wedding.
As regards your questions, however, I will not prevaricate nor deceive you, but will tell you without concealment all that the old man of the sea told me. Now off Egypt, about as far as a ship can sail in a day with a good stiff breeze behind her, there is an island called Pharos - it has a good harbor from which vessels can get out into open sea when they have taken in water - and the gods becalmed me twenty days without so much as a breath of fair wind to help me forward. We should have run clean out of provisions and my men would have starved, if a goddess had not taken pity upon me and saved me in the person of Eidothea, daughter to Proteus, the old man of the sea, for she had taken a great fancy to me.
Tell me, therefore, for the gods know everything: which of the immortals it is that is hindering me in this way, and tell me also how I may sail the sea so as to reach my home [ nostos ]? There is an old immortal who lives under the sea hereabouts and whose name is Proteus. If you can snare him and hold him tight, he will tell you about your voyage, what courses you are to take, and how you are to sail the sea so as to reach your home [ nostos ]. He will also tell you, if you so will, all that has been going on at your house both good and bad, while you have been away on your long and dangerous journey.
About the time when the sun shall have reached mid heaven, the old man of the sea comes up from under the waves, heralded by the West wind that furs the water over his head. Early tomorrow morning I will take you to this place and will lay you in ambush. When I reached my ship we got supper ready, for night was falling, and camped down upon the beach. Meanwhile the goddess fetched me up four seal skins from the bottom of the sea, all of them just skinned, for she meant to play a trick upon her father.
Then she dug four pits for us to lie in, and sat down to wait till we should come up. When we were close to her, she made us lie down in the pits one after the other, and threw a seal skin over each of us. Our ambuscade would have been intolerable, for the stench of the fishy seals was most distressing - who would go to bed with a sea monster if he could help it? We were among the first he counted, and he never suspected any guile, but laid himself down to sleep as soon as he had done counting.
Then we rushed upon him with a shout and seized him; on which he began at once with his old tricks, and changed himself first into a lion with a great mane; then all of a sudden he became a dragon, a leopard, a wild boar; the next moment he was running water, and then again directly he was a tree, but we stuck to him and never lost hold, till at last the cunning old creature became distressed, and said, Which of the gods was it, Son of Atreus, that hatched this plot with you for snaring me and seizing me against my will? What do you want? It is because I have been kept so long in this island, and see no sign of my being able to get away.
I am losing all heart; tell me, then, for you gods know everything, which of the immortals it is that is hindering me, and tell me also how I may sail the sea so as to reach my home [ nostos ]? When you have done this they will let you finish your voyage. You had better not know my noos , for your eyes will surely fill when you have heard my story. Many of those about whom you ask are dead and gone, but many still remain, and only two of the chief men among the Achaeans perished during their return home.
As for what happened on the field of battle - you were there yourself. A third Achaean leader is still at sea, alive, but hindered from returning [ nostos ]. He said the gods could not drown him even though they had tried to do so, and when Poseidon heard this large talk, he seized his trident in his two brawny hands, and split the rock of Gyrae in two pieces. The base remained where it was, but the part on which Ajax was sitting fell headlong into the sea and carried Ajax with it; so he drank salt water and was drowned.
By and by, however, it seemed as though he was to return [ nostos ] safely after all, for the gods backed the wind into its old quarter and they reached home; whereon Agamemnon kissed his native soil, and shed tears of joy at finding himself in his own country. This man had been looking out for a whole year to make sure that Agamemnon did not give him the slip and prepare war; when, therefore, this man saw Agamemnon go by, he went and told Aigisthos who at once began to lay a plot for him.
Then he sent his chariots and horsemen to Agamemnon, and invited him to the feast, but he meant foul play. I sat down upon the sands and wept; I felt as though I could no longer bear to live nor look upon the light of the sun. Or is he dead? Tell me, no matter how much it may grieve me. I can see him in an island sorrowing bitterly in the house of the nymph Calypso, who is keeping him prisoner, and he cannot reach his home for he has no ships nor sailors to take him over the sea.
As for your own end, Menelaos, you shall not die in Argos, but the gods will take you to the Elysian plain, which is at the ends of the world. There fair-haired Rhadamanthus reigns, and men lead an easier life than any where else in the world, for in Elysium there falls not rain, nor hail, nor snow, but Okeanos breathes ever with a West wind that sings softly from the sea, and gives fresh life to all men. When we reached the ships we got supper ready, for night was falling, and camped down upon the beach.
When the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn appeared, we drew our ships into the water, and put our masts and sails within them; then we went on board ourselves, took our seats on the benches, and smote the gray sea with our oars. I again stationed my ships in the heaven-fed stream of Egypt, and offered hecatombs that were full and sufficient. I will make you a noble present of a chariot and three horses. I will also give you a beautiful chalice that so long as you live you may think of me whenever you make a drink-offering to the immortal gods. As for any present you may be disposed to make me, I had rather that it should he a piece of plate.
I will take no horses back with me to Ithaca, but will leave them to adorn your own stables, for you have much flat ground in your kingdom where lotus thrives, as also meadowsweet and wheat and barley, and oats with their white and spreading ears; whereas in Ithaca we have neither open fields nor racecourses, and the country is more fit for goats than horses, and I like it the better for that. None of our islands have much level ground, suitable for horses, and Ithaca least of all. I both can, and will, make this exchange for you, by giving you the finest and most precious piece of plate in all my house.
Phaidimos, king of the Sidonians, gave it me in the course of a visit which I paid him when I returned there on my homeward journey. I will make you a present of it. They brought sheep and wine, while their wives had put up bread for them to take with them; so they were busy cooking their dinners in the courts. He has a ship of mine, and I want it, to cross over to Elis: I have twelve brood mares there with yearling mule foals by their side not yet broken in, and I want to bring one of them over here and break him.
They thought he was only away somewhere on the farms, and was with the sheep, or with the swineherd; so Antinoos said, "When did he go? Tell me truly, and what young men did he take with him? Were they freemen or his own bondsmen - for he might manage that too? I could not possibly refuse. I cannot understand it, for I saw Mentor here myself yesterday morning, and yet he was then setting out for Pylos. They told the others to leave off competing [ athlos ], and to come and sit down along with themselves. When they came, Antinoos son of Eupeithes spoke in anger. His heart was black with rage, and his eyes flashed fire as he said:.
Find me a ship, therefore, with a crew of twenty men, and I will lie in wait for him in the straits between Ithaca and Samos; he will then rue the day that he set out to try and get news of his father. As he crossed the threshold of her room Penelope said: "Medon, what have the suitors sent you here for? They are going to try and murder Telemakhos as he is coming home from Pylos and Lacedaemon, where he has been to get news of his father.
At last, however, she said, "Why did my son leave me? What business had he to go sailing off in ships that make long voyages over the ocean like sea-horses? Does he want to die without leaving any one behind him to keep up his name? There were plenty of seats in the house, but she had no heart for sitting on any one of them; she could only fling herself on the floor of her own room and cry; whereon all the maids in the house, both old and young, gathered round her and began to cry too, till at last in a transport of sorrow she exclaimed,.
You hussies, there was not one of you would so much as think of giving me a call out of my bed, though you all of you very well knew when he was starting. If I had known he meant taking this voyage, he would have had to give it up, no matter how much he was bent upon it, or leave me a corpse behind him - one or other. Now, however, go some of you and call old Dolios, who was given me by my father on my marriage, and who is my gardener.
Bid him go at once and tell everything to Laertes, who may be able to hit on some plan for enlisting public sympathy on our side, as against those who are trying to exterminate his own race and that of Odysseus. I knew all about it, and gave him everything he wanted in the way of bread and wine, but he made me take my solemn oath that I would not tell you anything for some ten or twelve days, unless you asked or happened to hear of his having gone, for he did not want you to spoil your beauty by crying. And now, my lady, wash your face, change your dress, and go upstairs with your maids to offer prayers to Athena, daughter of Aegis-bearing Zeus, for she can save him even though he be in the jaws of death.
Do not trouble Laertes: he has trouble enough already. Besides, I cannot think that the gods hate the race of the son of Arceisius so much, but there will be a son left to come up after him, and inherit both the house and the fair fields that lie far all round it. Penelope washed her face, changed her dress, and went upstairs with her maids. She then put some bruised barley into a basket and began praying to Athena. If ever Odysseus while he was here burned you fat thigh bones of sheep or heifer, bear it in mind now as in my favor, and save my darling son from the villainy of the suitors.
Little does she dream that her son has now been doomed to die. Then Antinoos said, "Comrades, let there be no loud talking, lest some of it get carried inside. Let us be up and do that in silence, about which we are all of a mind. Then they made the ship fast a little way out, came on shore again, got their suppers, and waited till night should fall. Like a lioness caught in the toils with huntsmen hemming her in on every side she thought and thought till she sank into a slumber, and lay on her bed bereft of thought and motion. She told the vision to go to the house of Odysseus, and to make Penelope leave off crying, so it came into her room by the hole through which the thong went for pulling the door to, and hovered over her head, saying,.
Your son has done them no wrong, so he will yet come back to you. You do not come very often, but I suppose that is because you live such a long way off.
Am I, then, to leave off crying and refrain from all the sad thoughts that torture me? There is one gone with him whom many a man would be glad enough to have stand by his side, I mean Athena; it is she who has compassion upon you, and who has sent me to bear you this message. Now there is a rocky islet called Asteris, of no great size, in mid channel between Ithaca and Samos, and there is a harbor on either side of it where a ship can lie.
Here then the Achaeans placed themselves in ambush. Thereon Athena began to tell them of the many sufferings of Odysseus, for she pitied him away there in the house of the nymph Calypso. I hope they will be all henceforth cruel and unjust, for there is not one of his subjects who has not forgotten Odysseus, who ruled them as though he were their father.
There he is, lying in great pain in an island where dwells the nymph Calypso, who will not let him go; and he cannot get back to his own country, for he can find neither ships nor sailors to take him over the sea. Furthermore, wicked people are now trying to murder his only son Telemakhos, who is coming home from Pylos and Lacedaemon, where he has been to see if he can get news of his father.
Besides, you are perfectly able to protect Telemakhos, and to see him safely home again, while the suitors have to come hurrying back without having killed him. He is to be convoyed neither by gods nor men, but after a perilous voyage of twenty days upon a raft he is to reach fertile Scheria, the land of the Phaeacians, who are near of kin to the gods, and will honor him as though he were one of ourselves.
They will send him in a ship to his own country, and will give him more bronze and gold and raiment than he would have brought back from Troy, if he had had all his prize wealth and had got home without disaster. This is how we have settled that he shall return to his country and his friends. Forthwith he bound on his glittering golden sandals with which he could fly like the wind over land and sea. There was a large fire burning on the hearth, and one could smell from far the fragrant reek of burning cedar and sandal wood.
As for herself, she was busy at her loom, shooting her golden shuttle through the warp and singing beautifully. Round her cave there was a thick wood of alder, poplar, and sweet smelling cypress trees, wherein all kinds of great birds had built their nests - owls, hawks, and chattering sea-crows that have their business in the waters. A vine loaded with grapes was trained and grew luxuriantly about the mouth of the cave; there were also four running rills of water in channels cut pretty close together, and turned here and there so as to irrigate the beds of violets and luscious herbage over which they flowed.
Even a god could not help being charmed with such a lovely spot, so Hermes stood still and looked at it; but when he had admired it sufficiently he went inside the cave. Calypso gave Hermes a seat and said: "Why have you come to see me, Hermes - honored, and ever welcome - for you do not visit me often? Say what you want; I will do it for you at once if I can, and if it can be done at all; but come inside, and let me set refreshment before you.
Zeus sent me; it was no doing of mine; who could possibly want to come all this way over the sea where there are no cities full of people to offer me sacrifices or choice hecatombs? Nevertheless I had to come, for none of us other gods can cross Zeus, nor transgress his orders [his noos ].
He says that you have here the most ill-starred of all those who fought nine years before the city of King Priam and sailed home in the tenth year after having sacked it. On their way home [ nostos ] they erred against Athena, who raised both wind and waves against them, so that all his brave companions perished, and he alone was carried here by wind and tide. Zeus says that you are to let this by man go at once, for it is decreed that he shall not perish here, far from his own people, but shall return to his house and country and see his friends again.
You are always jealous and hate seeing a goddess take a fancy to a mortal man, and live with him in open matrimony. So when rosy-fingered Dawn made love to Orion, you precious gods were all of you furious till Artemis went and killed him in Ortygia. So again when Demeter fell in love with Iasion, and yielded to him in a thrice ploughed fallow field, Zeus came to hear of it before so long and killed Iasion with his thunder-bolts.
And now you are angry with me too because I have a man here. I found the poor creature sitting all alone astride of a keel, for Zeus had struck his ship with lightning and sunk it in mid ocean, so that all his crew were drowned, while he himself was driven by wind and waves on to my island.
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I got fond of him and cherished him, and had set my heart on making him immortal, so that he should never grow old all his days; still I cannot cross Zeus, nor bring his counsels [ noos ] to nothing; therefore, if he insists upon it, let the man go beyond the seas again; but I cannot send him anywhere myself for I have neither ships nor men who can take him. Nevertheless I will readily give him such advice, in all good faith, as will be likely to bring him safely to his own country.
She found him sitting upon the beach with his eyes ever filled with tears, his sweet life wasting away as he mourned his nostos ; for he had got tired of Calypso, and though he was forced to sleep with her in the cave by night, it was she, not he, that would have it so. As for the daytime, he spent it on the rocks and on the sea-shore, weeping, crying aloud for his despair, and always looking out upon the sea.
Calypso then went close up to him said:. I am going to send you away of my own free will; so go, cut some beams of wood, and make yourself a large raft with an upper deck that it may carry you safely over the sea. I will put bread, wine, and water on board to save you from starving. I will also give you clothes, and will send you a fair wind to take you home, if the gods in heaven so will it - for they know more about these things, and can settle them better than I can. Not even a well-found ship with a fair wind could venture on such a distant voyage: nothing that you can say or do shall make me go on board a raft unless you first solemnly swear that you mean me no mischief.
May heaven above and earth below be my witnesses, with the waters of the river Styx - and this is the most solemn oath which a blessed god can take - that I mean you no sort of harm, and am only advising you to do exactly what I should do myself in your place. My noos is favorable towards you; my heart is not made of iron, and I am very sorry for you.
Calypso set meat and drink before him of the food that mortals eat; but her maids brought ambrosia and nectar for herself, and they laid their hands on the good things that were before them. When they had satisfied themselves with meat and drink, Calypso spoke, saying:. Good luck go with you, but if you could only know how much suffering is in store for you before you get back to your own country, you would stay where you are, keep house along with me, and let me make you immortal, no matter how anxious you may be to see this wife of yours, of whom you are thinking all the time, day after day; yet I flatter myself that I am no whit less tall or well-looking than she is, for it is not to be expected that a mortal woman should compare in beauty with an immortal.
I am quite aware that my wife Penelope is nothing like so tall or so beautiful as yourself. She is only a woman, whereas you are an immortal. Nevertheless, I want to get home, and can think of nothing else. If some god wrecks me when I am on the sea, I will bear it and make the best of it. I have had infinite trouble both by land and sea already, so let this go with the rest. She at once set herself to think how she could speed Odysseus on his way.
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So she gave him a great bronze axe that suited his hands; it was sharpened on both sides, and had a beautiful olive-wood handle fitted firmly on to it. She also gave him a sharp adze, and then led the way to the far end of the island where the largest trees grew - alder, poplar and pine, that reached the sky - very dry and well seasoned, so as to sail light for him in the water.
Then, when she had shown him where the best trees grew, Calypso went home, leaving him to cut them, which he soon finished doing. He cut down twenty trees in all and adzed them smooth, squaring them by rule in good workmanlike fashion.
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Meanwhile Calypso came back with some augers, so he bored holes with them and fitted the timbers together with bolts and rivets. He made the raft as broad as a skilled shipwright makes the beam of a large vessel, and he filed a deck on top of the ribs, and ran a gunwale all round it. He also made a mast with a yard arm, and a rudder to steer with.
He fenced the raft all round with wicker hurdles as a protection against the waves, and then he threw on a quantity of wood. By and by Calypso brought him some linen to make the sails, and he made these too, excellently, making them fast with braces and sheets. Last of all, with the help of levers, he drew the raft down into the water. She gave him a goat skin full of black wine, and another larger one of water; she also gave him a wallet full of provisions, and found him in much good meat.
Moreover, she made the wind fair and warm for him, and gladly did Odysseus spread his sail before it, while he sat and guided the raft skillfully by means of the rudder. Seventeen days did he sail over the sea, and on the eighteenth the dim outlines of the mountains on the nearest part of the Phaeacian coast appeared, rising like a shield on the horizon. He could see him sailing upon the sea, and it made him very angry, so he wagged his head and muttered to himself, saying, heavens, so the gods have been changing their minds about Odysseus while I was away in Ethiopia, and now he is close to the land of the Phaeacians, where it is decreed that he shall escape from the calamities that have befallen him.
Still, he shall have plenty of hardship yet before he has done with it. I am afraid Calypso was right when she said I should have trouble by sea before I got back home. It is all coming true. How black is Zeus making heaven with his clouds, and what a sea the winds are raising from every quarter at once. I am now safe to perish. Blest and thrice blest were those Danaans who fell before Troy in the cause of [ kharis ] the sons of Atreus.
Would that had been killed on the day when the Trojans were pressing me so sorely about the dead body of Achilles, for then I should have had due burial and the Achaeans would have honored my name [ kleos ]; but now it seems that I shall come to a most pitiable end. He let go the helm, and the force of the wind was so great that it broke the mast half way up, and both sail and yard went over into the sea.
For a long time Odysseus was under water, and it was all he could do to rise to the surface again, for the clothes Calypso had given him weighed him down; but at last he got his head above water and spat out the bitter brine that was running down his face in streams. In spite of all this, however, he did not lose sight of his raft, but swam as fast as he could towards it, got hold of it, and climbed on board again so as to escape drowning.
The sea took the raft and tossed it about as Autumn winds whirl thistledown round and round upon a road. It was as though the South, North, East, and West winds were all at once tossing it back and forth. She had formerly been a mere mortal, but had been since raised to the rank of a marine goddess. Seeing in what great distress Odysseus now was, she had compassion upon him, and, rising like a sea-gull from the waves, took her seat upon the raft.
He is giving you a great deal of trouble, but for all his bluster he will not kill you. You seem to be a sensible person, do then as I bid you; strip, leave your raft to drive before the wind, and swim to the Phaeacian coast where better luck awaits you. And here, take my veil and put it round your chest; it is enchanted, and you can come to no harm so long as you wear it. As soon as you touch land take it off, throw it back as far as you can into the sea, and then go away again. Then she dived down again like a sea-gull and vanished beneath the seething dark waters.
At any rate I will not do so at present, for the land where she said I should be quit of all troubles seemed to be still a good way off. I know what I will do - I am sure it will be best - no matter what happens I will stick to the raft as long as her timbers hold together, but when the sea breaks her up I will swim for it; I do not see how I can do any better than this.
I do not think you will be able to say that I have let you off too lightly. As he rose on the swell he looked eagerly ahead, and could see land quite near. Then, as children rejoice when their dear father begins to get better after having for a long time borne sore affliction sent him by some angry spirit, but the gods deliver him from evil, so was Odysseus thankful when he again saw land and trees, and swam on with all his strength that he might once more set foot upon dry ground.
When, however, he got within earshot, he began to hear the surf thundering up against the rocks, for the swell still broke against them with a terrific roar. Everything was enveloped in spray; there were no harbors where a ship might ride, nor shelter of any kind, but only headlands, low-lying rocks, and mountain tops.
I am afraid some great wave will lift me off my legs and dash me against the rocks as I leave the water - which would give me a sorry landing. If, on the other hand, I swim further in search of some shelving beach or harbor, a wind may carry me out to sea again sorely against my will, or heaven may send some great monster of the deep to attack me; for Amphitrite breeds many such, and I know that Poseidon is very angry with me. He caught hold of the rock with both hands and clung to it groaning with pain till the wave retired, so he was saved that time; but presently the wave came on again and carried him back with it far into the sea- tearing his hands as the suckers of a octopus are torn when some one plucks it from its bed, and the stones come up along with it- even so did the rocks tear the skin from his strong hands, and then the wave drew him deep down under the water.
He swam seaward again, beyond reach of the surf that was beating against the land, and at the same time he kept looking towards the shore to see if he could find some haven, or a spit that should take the waves aslant. By and by, as he swam on, he came to the mouth of a river, and here he thought would be the best place, for there were no rocks, and it afforded shelter from the wind.
He felt that there was a current, so he prayed inwardly and said:. Anyone who has lost his way has at all times a claim even upon the gods, wherefore in my distress I draw near to your stream, and cling to the knees of your riverhood. Have mercy upon me, O king, for I declare myself your suppliant. His body was all swollen, and his mouth and nostrils ran down like a river with sea-water, so that he could neither breathe nor speak, and lay swooning from sheer exhaustion; presently, when he had got his breath and came to himself again, he took off the scarf that Ino had given him and threw it back into the salt stream of the river, whereon Ino received it into her hands from the wave that bore it towards her.
Then he left the river, laid himself down among the rushes, and kissed the bounteous earth. If I stay here upon the river bed through the long watches of the night, I am so exhausted that the bitter cold and damp may make an end of me - for towards sunrise there will be a keen wind blowing from off the river. There he crept beneath two shoots of olive that grew from a single stock - the one ungrafted, while the other had been grafted. Odysseus crept under these and began to make himself a bed to lie on, for there was a great litter of dead leaves lying about - enough to make a covering for two or three men even in hard winter weather.
He was glad enough to see this, so he laid himself down and heaped the leaves all round him. Then, as one who lives alone in the country, far from any neighbor, hides a brand as fire-seed in the ashes to save himself from having to get a light elsewhere, even so did Odysseus cover himself up with leaves; and Athena shed a sweet sleep upon his eyes, closed his eyelids, and made him lose all memories of his sorrows . He surrounded the city with a wall, built houses and temples, and divided the lands among his people; but he was dead and gone to the house of Hades, and King Alkinoos, whose counsels were inspired of heaven, was now reigning.
To his house, then, did Athena go in furtherance of the return [ nostos ] of Odysseus. Two maid servants were sleeping near her, both very pretty, one on either side of the doorway, which was closed with well-made folding doors. Here are your clothes all lying in disorder, yet you are going to be married almost immediately, and should not only be well dressed yourself, but should find good clothes for those who attend you. This is the way to get yourself a good name, and to make your father and mother proud of you. Suppose, then, that we make tomorrow a washing day, and start at daybreak.
Ask your father, therefore, to have a wagon and mules ready for us at daybreak, to take the rugs, robes, and belts; and you can ride, too, which will be much pleasanter for you than walking, for the washing-cisterns are some way from the town. Here no wind beats roughly, and neither rain nor snow can fall; but it abides in everlasting sunshine and in a great peacefulness of light, wherein the blessed gods are illumined for ever and ever.
This was the place to which the goddess went when she had given instructions to the girl. Her mother was sitting by the fireside spinning her purple yarn with her maids around her, and she happened to catch her father just as he was going out to attend a meeting of the town council, which the Phaeacian aldermen had convened.
She stopped him and said:. I want to take all our dirty clothes to the river and wash them. You are the chief man here, so it is only right that you should have a clean shirt when you attend meetings of the council. Moreover, you have five sons at home, two of them married, while the other three are good-looking bachelors; you know they always like to have clean linen when they go to a dance [ khoros ], and I have been thinking about all this.
Be off with you, and the men shall get you a good strong wagon with a body to it that will hold all your clothes. Her mother prepared her a basket of provisions with all sorts of good things, and a goat skin full of wine; the girl now got into the wagon, and her mother gave her also a golden cruse of oil, that she and her women might anoint themselves. Then she took the whip and reins and lashed the mules on, whereon they set off, and their hoofs clattered on the road. They pulled without flagging, and carried not only Nausicaa and her wash of clothes, but the maids also who were with her.
Here they unharnessed the mules and turned them out to feed on the sweet juicy herbage that grew by the water side. They took the clothes out of the wagon, put them in the water, and vied with one another in treading them in the pits to get the dirt out. After they had washed them and got them quite clean, they laid them out by the sea side, where the waves had raised a high beach of shingle, and set about washing themselves and anointing themselves with olive oil. Then they got their dinner by the side of the stream, and waited for the sun to finish drying the clothes. When they had done dinner they threw off the veils that covered their heads and began to play at ball, while Nausicaa sang for them.
As the huntress Artemis goes forth upon the mountains of Taygetus or Erymanthus to hunt wild boars or deer, and the wood-nymphs, daughters of Aegis-bearing Zeus, take their sport along with her then is Leto proud at seeing her daughter stand a full head taller than the others, and eclipse the loveliest amid a whole bevy of beauties , even so did the girl outshine her handmaids. The girl, therefore, threw a ball at one of the maids, which missed her and fell into deep water. On this they all shouted, and the noise they made woke Odysseus, who sat up in his bed of leaves and began to wonder what it might all be.
Are they cruel, savage, and uncivilized [not dikaios ], or hospitable and endowed with a god-fearing noos? I seem to hear the voices of young women, and they sound like those of the nymphs that haunt mountaintops, or springs of rivers and meadows of green grass. At any rate I am among a race of men and women. Let me try if I cannot manage to get a look at them. He looked like some lion of the wilderness that stalks about exulting in his strength and defying both wind and rain; his eyes glare as he prowls in quest of oxen, sheep, or deer, for he is famished, and will dare break even into a well-fenced homestead, trying to get at the sheep - even such did Odysseus seem to the young women, as he drew near to them all naked as he was, for he was in great want.
On seeing one so unkempt and so begrimed with salt water, the others scampered off along the spits that jutted out into the sea, but the daughter of Alkinoos stood firm, for Athena put courage into her heart and took away all fear from her. She stood right in front of Odysseus, and he doubted whether he should go up to her, throw himself at her feet, and embrace her knees as a suppliant, or stay where he was and entreat her to give him some clothes and show him the way to the town.
In the end he deemed it best to entreat her from a distance in case the girl should take offense at his coming near enough to clasp her knees, so he addressed her in honeyed and persuasive language. I never yet saw any one so beautiful, neither man nor woman, and am lost in admiration as I behold you. I can only compare you to a young palm tree which I saw when I was at Delos growing near the altar of Apollo - for I was there, too, with many people after me, when I was on that journey which has been the source of all my troubles.
Never yet did such a young plant shoot out of the ground as that was, and I admired and wondered at it exactly as I now admire and wonder at yourself. I dare not clasp your knees, but I am in great distress [ penthos ]; yesterday made the twentieth day that I had been tossing about upon the sea. Show me the way to your town, and let me have anything that you may have brought here to wrap your clothes in.
It discomfits their enemies, makes the hearts of their friends glad, and they themselves know more about it than any one. There is no accounting for luck; Zeus gives prosperity [ olbos ] to rich and poor just as he chooses, so you must take what he has seen fit to send you, and make the best of it. Now, however, that you have come to this our country, you shall not want for clothes nor for anything else that a foreigner in distress may reasonably look for. Can you not see a man without running away from him? Do you take him for a robber or a murderer? They made Odysseus sit down in the shelter as Nausicaa had told them, and brought him a shirt and cloak.
They also brought him the little golden cruse of oil, and told him to go wash in the stream. But Odysseus said, "Young women, please to stand a little on one side that I may wash the brine from my shoulders and anoint myself with oil, for it is long enough since my skin has had a drop of oil upon it. I cannot wash as long as you all keep standing there.
I am ashamed to strip before a number of good-looking young women. When he had thoroughly washed himself, and had got the brine out of his hair, he anointed himself with oil, and put on the clothes which the girl had given him; Athena then made him look taller and stronger than before, she also made the hair grow thick on the top of his head, and flow down in curls like hyacinth blossoms; she poured down gracefulness [ kharis ] over his head and shoulders as a skillful workman who has studied art of all kinds under Hephaistos and Athena enriches a piece of silver plate by gilding it - and his work is full of beauty.
Then he went and sat down a little way off upon the beach, looking quite young and handsome [ kharis ], and the girl gazed on him with admiration; then she said to her maids:. I believe the gods who live in heaven have sent this man to the Phaeacians. When I first saw him I thought him plain, but now his appearance is like that of the gods who dwell in heaven. I should like my future husband to be just such another as he is, if he would only stay here and not want to go away. However, give him something to eat and drink. Meanwhile, Nausicaa bethought her of another matter.
She got the linen folded and placed in the wagon, she then yoked the mules, and, as she took her seat, she called Odysseus:. But be sure and do as I bid you, for you seem to be a sensible person. As long as we are going past the fields - and farm lands, follow briskly behind the wagon along with the maids and I will lead the way myself. Presently, however, we shall come to the town, where you will find a high wall running all round it, and a good harbor on either side with a narrow entrance into the city, and the ships will be drawn up by the road side, for every one has a place where his own ship can lie.
You will see the market place with a temple of Poseidon in the middle of it, and paved with large stones bedded in the earth. Where did she find him? I suppose she is going to marry him. Perhaps he is a vagabond sailor whom she has taken from some foreign vessel, for we have no neighbors; or some god has at last come down from heaven in answer to her prayers, and she is going to live with him all the rest of her life. Then, when you think we must have done this, come into the town and ask the way to the house of my father Alkinoos.
You will have no difficulty in finding it; any child will point it out to you, for no one else in the whole town has anything like such a fine house as he has. When you have got past the gates and through the outer court, go right across the inner court till you come to my mother. You will find her sitting by the fire and spinning her purple wool by firelight. It is a fine sight to see her as she leans back against one of the bearing-posts with her maids all ranged behind her.
Close to her seat stands that of my father, on which he sits and topes like an immortal god. Never mind him, but go up to my mother, and lay your hands upon her knees if you would get home quickly. If you can win her over, you may hope to see your own country again, no matter how distant it may be. The mules drew well and their hoofs went up and down upon the road. She was careful not to go too fast for Odysseus and the maids who were following on foot along with the wagon, so she plied her whip with judgment [ noos ].
As the sun was going down they came to the sacred grove of Athena, and there Odysseus sat down and prayed to the mighty daughter of Zeus. Now, therefore, have pity upon me and grant that I may find friends and be hospitably received by the Phaeacians. She had been nurse to Nausicaa, and had now lit the fire for her, and brought her supper for her into her own room. Then, as he was just entering the town, she came towards him in the likeness of a little girl carrying a pitcher. She stood right in front of him, and Odysseus said:. I am an unfortunate foreigner in distress, and do not know one in your town and country.
I will go before you and show the way, but say not a word as you go, and do not look at any man, nor ask him questions; for the people here cannot abide strangers, and do not like men who come from some other place. They are a sea-faring folk, and sail the seas by the grace of Poseidon in ships that glide along like thought, or as a bird in the air. You will find a number of great people sitting at table, but do not be afraid; go straight in, for the bolder a man is the more likely he is to carry his point, even though he is a stranger.
First find the queen. Her name is Arete, and she comes of the same family as her husband Alkinoos. They both descend originally from Poseidon, who was father to Nausithoos by Periboia, a woman of great beauty. Periboia was the youngest daughter of Eurymedon, who at one time reigned over the giants, but he ruined his ill-fated people and lost his own life to boot. Nausithoos had two sons Rhexenor and Alkinoos; Apollo killed the first of them while he was still a bridegroom and without male issue; but he left a daughter Arete, whom Alkinoos married, and honors as no other woman is honored of all those that keep house along with their husbands.
If you can gain her good will, you may have every hope of seeing your friends again, and getting safely back to your home and country. She went to Marathon and to the spacious streets of Athens, where she entered the abode of Erechtheus; but Odysseus went on to the house of Alkinoos, and he pondered much as he paused a while before reaching the threshold of bronze, for the splendor of the palace was like that of the sun or moon.
The walls on either side were of bronze from end to end, and the cornice was of blue enamel. The doors were gold, and hung on pillars of silver that rose from a floor of bronze, while the lintel was silver and the hook of the door was of gold. Seats were ranged all along the wall, here and there from one end to the other, with coverings of fine woven work which the women of the house had made.
Here the chief persons of the Phaeacians used to sit and eat and drink, for there was abundance at all seasons; and there were golden figures of young men with lighted torches in their hands, raised on pedestals, to give light by night to those who were at table. There are fifty maid servants in the house, some of whom are always grinding rich yellow grain at the mill, while others work at the loom, or sit and spin, and their shuttles go, backwards and forwards like the fluttering of aspen leaves, while the linen is so closely woven that it will turn oil.
As the Phaeacians are the best sailors in the world, so their women excel all others in weaving, for Athena has taught them all manner of useful arts, and they are very intelligent. Both males and females preferred to breed in their natal area; males did so more strongly than females. Hence gene flow between the areas is restricted. However, within the largest wooded area females showed random dispersal, while males showed a slight tendency to breed near their natal site. The degree of kinship of neighbouring birds is a suitable control group for the relatedness of partners that takes into account the effects of dispersal.
In the largest wooded area, birds were on average equally related to their partner and to their neighbours. Moreover, the mean coefficient of kinship between male and female neighbours was equal to the average kinship in this part of the population. We conclude that mating is random with respect to kinship.
There is no evidence for avoidance of inbreeding. It is unlikely that kin recognition plays an important role in the process of mate choice in this population of Great Tits. We suggest that ecological factors are the main causes for the observed patterns of dispersal and mating. On the island more female than male immigrants enter the population each year. Incidental data indicate an exchange of birds between the population studied and surrounding populations. Ancestries of immigrants are not known, and indeed a first analysis of all birds, including immigrants, showed that males were more closely related than females.
However, differential immigration could not fully explain the observed difference in kinship. The presence of local adaptation in males is suggested as a possible additional cause. Volume 1 , Issue 2. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username.
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