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

Then Penelope came down from her room looking like Venus or Diana, and they set her a seat inlaid with scrolls of silver and ivory near the fire in her accustomed place.  It had been made by Icmalius and had a footstool all in one piece with the seat itself; and it was covered with a thick fleece:  on this she now sat, and the maids came from the women’s room to join her.  They set about removing the tables at which the wicked suitors had been dining, and took away the bread that was left, with the cups from which they had drunk.  They emptied the embers out of the braziers, and heaped much wood upon them to give both light and heat; but Melantho began to rail at Ulysses a second time and said, “Stranger, do you mean to plague us by hanging about the house all night and spying upon the women?  Be off, you wretch, outside, and eat your supper there, or you shall be driven out with a firebrand.”

Ulysses scowled at her and answered, “My good woman, why should you be so angry with me?  Is it because I am not clean, and my clothes are all in rags, and because I am obliged to go begging about after the manner of tramps and beggars generally?  I too was a rich man once, and had a fine house of my own; in those days I gave to many a tramp such as I now am, no matter who he might be nor what he wanted.  I had any number of servants, and all the other things which people have who live well and are accounted wealthy, but it pleased Jove to take all away from me; therefore, woman, beware lest you too come to lose that pride and place in which you now wanton above your fellows; have a care lest you get out of favour with your mistress, and lest Ulysses should come home, for there is still a chance that he may do so.  Moreover, though he be dead as you think he is, yet by Apollo’s will he has left a son behind him, Telemachus, who will note anything done amiss by the maids in the house, for he is now no longer in his boyhood.”

Penelope heard what he was saying and scolded the maid, “Impudent baggage,” said she, “I see how abominably you are behaving, and you shall smart for it.  You knew perfectly well, for I told you myself, that I was going to see the stranger and ask him about my husband, for whose sake I am in such continual sorrow.”

Then she said to her head waiting woman Eurynome, “Bring a seat with a fleece upon it, for the stranger to sit upon while he tells his story, and listens to what I have to say.  I wish to ask him some questions.”

Eurynome brought the seat at once and set a fleece upon it, and as soon as Ulysses had sat down Penelope began by saying, “Stranger, I shall first ask you who and whence are you?  Tell me of your town and parents.”

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