The Odyssey eBook

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

The swineherd went back when he heard this, and Penelope said as she saw him cross the threshold, “Why do you not bring him here, Eumaeus?  Is he afraid that some one will ill-treat him, or is he shy of coming inside the house at all?  Beggars should not be shamefaced.”

To this you answered, O swineherd Eumaeus, “The stranger is quite reasonable.  He is avoiding the suitors, and is only doing what any one else would do.  He asks you to wait till sundown, and it will be much better, madam, that you should have him all to yourself, when you can hear him and talk to him as you will.”

“The man is no fool,” answered Penelope, “it would very likely be as he says, for there are no such abominable people in the whole world as these men are.”

When she had done speaking Eumaeus went back to the suitors, for he had explained everything.  Then he went up to Telemachus and said in his ear so that none could overhear him, “My dear sir, I will now go back to the pigs, to see after your property and my own business.  You will look to what is going on here, but above all be careful to keep out of danger, for there are many who bear you ill will.  May Jove bring them to a bad end before they do us a mischief.”

“Very well,” replied Telemachus, “go home when you have had your dinner, and in the morning come here with the victims we are to sacrifice for the day.  Leave the rest to heaven and me.”

On this Eumaeus took his seat again, and when he had finished his dinner he left the courts and the cloister with the men at table, and went back to his pigs.  As for the suitors, they presently began to amuse themselves with singing and dancing, for it was now getting on towards evening.

Book XVIII

The fight with Irus—­Ulysses Warns Amphinomus—­Penelope gets presents from the suitors—­the braziers—­Ulysses rebukes Eurymachus.

Now there came a certain common tramp who used to go begging all over the city of Ithaca, and was notorious as an incorrigible glutton and drunkard.  This man had no strength nor stay in him, but he was a great hulking fellow to look at; his real name, the one his mother gave him, was Arnaeus, but the young men of the place called him Irus, {148} because he used to run errands for any one who would send him.  As soon as he came he began to insult Ulysses, and to try and drive him out of his own house.

“Be off, old man,” he cried, “from the doorway, or you shall be dragged out neck and heels.  Do you not see that they are all giving me the wink, and wanting me to turn you out by force, only I do not like to do so?  Get up then, and go of yourself, or we shall come to blows.”

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Odyssey from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook