The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 162 pages of information about The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy.

’I called my companions together and I said, “It would be well for some of us to go to that other island.  With my own ship and with the company that is on it I shall go there.  The rest of you abide here.  I will find out what manner of men live there, and whether they will treat us kindly and give us gifts that are due to strangers—­gifts of provisions for our voyage."’ E embarked and we came to the land.  There was a cave near the sea, and round the cave there were mighty flocks of sheep and goats.  I took twelve men with me and I left the rest to guard the ship.  We went into the cave and found no man there.  There were baskets filled with cheeses, and vessels of whey, and pails and bowls of milk.  My men wanted me to take some of the cheeses and drive off some of the lambs and kids and come away.  But this I would not do, for I would rather that he who owned the stores would give us of his own free will the offerings that were due to strangers.’

’While we were in the cave, he whose dwelling it was, returned to it.  He carried on his shoulder a great pile of wood for his fire.  Never in our lives did we see a creature so frightful as this Cyclops was.  He was a giant in size, and, what made him terrible to behold, he had but one eye, and that single eye was in his forehead.  He cast down on the ground the pile of wood that he carried, making such a din that we fled in terror into the corners and recesses of the cave.  Next he drove his flocks into the cave and began to milk his ewes and goats.  And when he had the flocks within, he took up a stone that not all our strengths could move and set it as a door to the mouth of the cave.’

’The Cyclops kindled his fire, and when it blazed up he saw us in the corners and recesses.  He spoke to us.  We knew not what he said, but our hearts were shaken with terror at the sound of his deep voice.’

’I spoke to him saying that we were Agamemnon’s men on our way home from the taking of Priam’s City, and I begged him to deal with us kindly, for the sake of Zeus who is ever in the company of strangers and suppliants.  But he answered me saying, “We Cyclopes pay no heed to Zeus, nor to any of thy gods.  In our strength and our power we deem that we are mightier than they.  I will not spare thee, neither will I give thee aught for the sake of Zeus, but only as my own spirit bids me.  And first I would have thee tell me how you came to our laud."’

’I knew it would be better not to let the Cyclops know that my ship and my companions were at the harbour of the island.  Therefore I spoke to him guilefully, telling him that my ship had been broken on the rocks, and that I and the men with me were the only ones who had escaped utter doom.’

’I begged again that he would deal with us as just men deal with strangers and suppliants, but he, without saying a word, laid hands upon two of my men, and swinging them by the legs, dashed their brains out on the earth.  He cut them to pieces and ate them before our very eyes.  We wept and we prayed to Zeus as we witnessed a deed so terrible.’

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The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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