“What news, good Eumaeus?” said the young man. “Have the proud lords come home from their ambush, or are they still waiting out yonder to take me as I return?” And Eumaeus replied, “I did not stay, master, to go through the town and find out the news, for when I had given my message I wanted to be at home. But one thing I saw from the brow of the hill as I came along. A swift ship was entering the harbor, full of armor and armed men. They may have been the princes, but I cannot say.”
As he heard this, Telemachus looked at his father and smiled, but he took good care that the swineherd should not see.
THE VENGEANCE OF ULYSSES
A. HIS RECEPTION AT THE PALACE.
By F. S. Marvin, R. J. C. Mayor, and F. M. Stowell
Early next morning, when the rosy-fingered dawn was in the sky, Telemachus bound on his sandals and took his stout spear in his hand, and said to the swineherd, “Old friend, I must now be off to the city and let my mother see me, for I know she will weep and sigh until I am there myself. And as for this poor stranger, I would have you take him to the town and let him beg for bite and sup from door to door, and those who choose can give. For I cannot be host to every wanderer with all the trouble I have to bear. And if that makes him angry—well! it is only the worse for him; I am a man that speaks his mind.”
Then Ulysses answered readily, “Sir, I do not ask to stay here myself; a beggar should not beg in the fields. Nor am I young enough to work on a farm at a master’s beck and call. So go your ways, and your man shall take me with him to the town. But I will wait till the sun is high, for I am afraid of the morning frost with these threadbare rags of mine.”
So Telemachus strode away until he reached the palace, and went into the hall. The old nurse Eurycleia was there with the maids, spreading fleeces on the inlaid stools and chairs; and she saw him at once and went up to him with tears in her eyes, and then all the women gathered round and kissed him and welcomed him home again. And Penelope came down from her chamber and flung her arms round her son, and kissed his head and both his eyes, and said to him tearfully, “You have come home, Telemachus, light of my eyes! I thought I should never see you again, when you sailed away to Pylos secretly, against my will, to get tidings of your father. And now tell me all you heard.”
But Telemachus said to her, “Mother, why make me think of trouble now, when I have just escaped from death? Rather put on your fairest robes, and go and pray the Gods to grant us a day of vengeance. But I must be off to the public square to meet a guest of mine whom I brought here in my ship. I sent him on before me with the crew, and bade one of them take him to his house until I came myself.”