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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 388 pages of information about The Odyssey.
try and get back twelve brood mares that he had lost, and the mule foals that were running with them.  These mares were the death of him in the end, for when he went to the house of Jove’s son, mighty Hercules, who performed such prodigies of valour, Hercules to his shame killed him, though he was his guest, for he feared not heaven’s vengeance, nor yet respected his own table which he had set before Iphitus, but killed him in spite of everything, and kept the mares himself.  It was when claiming these that Iphitus met Ulysses, and gave him the bow which mighty Eurytus had been used to carry, and which on his death had been left by him to his son.  Ulysses gave him in return a sword and a spear, and this was the beginning of a fast friendship, although they never visited at one another’s houses, for Jove’s son Hercules killed Iphitus ere they could do so.  This bow, then, given him by Iphitus, had not been taken with him by Ulysses when he sailed for Troy; he had used it so long as he had been at home, but had left it behind as having been a keepsake from a valued friend.

Penelope presently reached the oak threshold of the store-room; the carpenter had planed this duly, and had drawn a line on it so as to get it quite straight; he had then set the door posts into it and hung the doors.  She loosed the strap from the handle of the door, put in the key, and drove it straight home to shoot back the bolts that held the doors; {161} these flew open with a noise like a bull bellowing in a meadow, and Penelope stepped upon the raised platform, where the chests stood in which the fair linen and clothes were laid by along with fragrant herbs:  reaching thence, she took down the bow with its bow case from the peg on which it hung.  She sat down with it on her knees, weeping bitterly as she took the bow out of its case, and when her tears had relieved her, she went to the cloister where the suitors were, carrying the bow and the quiver, with the many deadly arrows that were inside it.  Along with her came her maidens, bearing a chest that contained much iron and bronze which her husband had won as prizes.  When she reached the suitors, she stood by one of the bearing-posts supporting the roof of the cloister, holding a veil before her face, and with a maid on either side of her.  Then she said: 

“Listen to me you suitors, who persist in abusing the hospitality of this house because its owner has been long absent, and without other pretext than that you want to marry me; this, then, being the prize that you are contending for, I will bring out the mighty bow of Ulysses, and whomsoever of you shall string it most easily and send his arrow through each one of twelve axes, him will I follow and quit this house of my lawful husband, so goodly, and so abounding in wealth.  But even so I doubt not that I shall remember it in my dreams.”

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