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.

We sailed away from the Island of AEolus with heavy hearts.  Next we came to the AEean Island, where we met with Circe, the Enchantress.  For two days and two nights we were on that island without seeing the sign of a habitation.  On the third day I saw smoke rising up from some hearth.  I spoke of it to my men, and it seemed good to us that part of our company should go to see were there people there who might help us.  We drew lots to find out who should go, and it fell to the lot of Eurylochus to go with part of the company, while I remained with the other part.’

’So Eurylochus went with two and twenty men.  In the forest glades they came upon a house built of polished stones.  All round that house wild beasts roamed—­wolves and lions.  But these beasts were not fierce.  As Eurylochus and his men went towards the house the lions and wolves fawned upon them like house dogs.’

’But the men were affrighted and stood round the outer gate of the court.  They heard a voice within the house singing, and it seemed to them to be the voice of a woman, singing as she went to and fro before a web she was weaving on a loom.  The men shouted, and she who had been singing opened the polished doors and came out of the dwelling.  She was very fair to see.  As she opened the doors of the house she asked the men to come within and they went into her halls.’

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’But Eurylochus tarried behind.  He watched the woman and he saw her give food to the men.  But he saw that she mixed a drug with what she gave them to eat and with the wine she gave them to drink.  No sooner had they eaten the food and drunk the wine than she struck them with a wand, and behold! the men turned into swine.  Then the woman drove them out of the house and put them in the swine-pens and gave them acorns and mast and the fruit of the cornel tree to eat.’

’Eurylochus, when he saw these happenings, ran back through the forest and told me all.  Then I cast about my shoulder my good sword of bronze, and, bidding Eurylochus stay by the ships, I went through the forest and came to the house of the enchantress.  I stood at the outer court and called out.  Then Circe the Enchantress flung wide the shining doors, and called to me to come within.  I entered her dwelling and she brought me to a chair and put a footstool under my feet.  Then she brought me in a golden cup the wine into which she had cast a harmful drug.’

’As she handed me the cup I drew my sword and sprang at her as one eager to slay her.  She shrank back from me and cried out, “Who art thou who art able to guess at my enchantments?  Verily, thou art Odysseus, of whom Hermes told me.  Nay, put up thy sword and let us two be friendly to each other.  In all things I will treat thee kindly."’

’But I said to her, “Nay, Circe, you must swear to me first that thou wilt not treat me guilefully."’

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’She swore by the gods that she would not treat me guilefully, and I put up my sword.  Then the handmaidens of Circe prepared a bath, and I bathed and rubbed myself with olive oil, and Circe gave me a new mantle and doublet.  The handmaidens brought out silver tables, and on them set golden baskets with bread and meat in them, and others brought cups of honey-tasting wine.  I sat before a silver table but I had no pleasure in the food before me.’

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