The Odyssey eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 388 pages of information about The Odyssey.

“I wish it may prove so,” answered Telemachus.  “If it does, I will show you so much good will and give you so many presents that all who meet you will congratulate you.”

Then he said to his friend Piraeus, “Piraeus, son of Clytius, you have throughout shown yourself the most willing to serve me of all those who have accompanied me to Pylos; I wish you would take this stranger to your own house and entertain him hospitably till I can come for him.”

And Piraeus answered, “Telemachus, you may stay away as long as you please, but I will look after him for you, and he shall find no lack of hospitality.”

As he spoke he went on board, and bade the others do so also and loose the hawsers, so they took their places in the ship.  But Telemachus bound on his sandals, and took a long and doughty spear with a head of sharpened bronze from the deck of the ship.  Then they loosed the hawsers, thrust the ship off from land, and made on towards the city as they had been told to do, while Telemachus strode on as fast as he could, till he reached the homestead where his countless herds of swine were feeding, and where dwelt the excellent swineherd, who was so devoted a servant to his master.

Book XVI

Ulysses reveals himself to telemachus.

Meanwhile Ulysses and the swineherd had lit a fire in the hut and were were getting breakfast ready at daybreak, for they had sent the men out with the pigs.  When Telemachus came up, the dogs did not bark but fawned upon him, so Ulysses, hearing the sound of feet and noticing that the dogs did not bark, said to Eumaeus: 

“Eumaeus, I hear footsteps; I suppose one of your men or some one of your acquaintance is coming here, for the dogs are fawning upon him and not barking.”

The words were hardly out of his mouth before his son stood at the door.  Eumaeus sprang to his feet, and the bowls in which he was mixing wine fell from his hands, as he made towards his master.  He kissed his head and both his beautiful eyes, and wept for joy.  A father could not be more delighted at the return of an only son, the child of his old age, after ten years’ absence in a foreign country and after having gone through much hardship.  He embraced him, kissed him all over as though he had come back from the dead, and spoke fondly to him saying: 

“So you are come, Telemachus, light of my eyes that you are.  When I heard you had gone to Pylos I made sure I was never going to see you any more.  Come in, my dear child, and sit down, that I may have a good look at you now you are home again; it is not very often you come into the country to see us herdsmen; you stick pretty close to the town generally.  I suppose you think it better to keep an eye on what the suitors are doing.”

“So be it, old friend,” answered Telemachus, “but I am come now because I want to see you, and to learn whether my mother is still at her old home or whether some one else has married her, so that the bed of Ulysses is without bedding and covered with cobwebs.”

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The Odyssey from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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