The Odyssey eBook

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

With these words he led the way and the others followed after.  When they had brought the things as he told them, Telemachus went on board, Minerva going before him and taking her seat in the stern of the vessel, while Telemachus sat beside her.  Then the men loosed the hawsers and took their places on the benches.  Minerva sent them a fair wind from the West, {22} that whistled over the deep blue waves {23} whereon Telemachus told them to catch hold of the ropes and hoist sail, and they did as he told them.  They set the mast in its socket in the cross plank, raised it, and made it fast with the forestays; then they hoisted their white sails aloft with ropes of twisted ox hide.  As the sail bellied out with the wind, the ship flew through the deep blue water, and the foam hissed against her bows as she sped onward.  Then they made all fast throughout the ship, filled the mixing bowls to the brim, and made drink offerings to the immortal gods that are from everlasting, but more particularly to the grey-eyed daughter of Jove.

Thus, then, the ship sped on her way through the watches of the night from dark till dawn,

Book III

Telemachus visits Nestor at pylos.

but as the sun was rising from the fair sea {24} into the firmament of heaven to shed light on mortals and immortals, they reached Pylos the city of Neleus.  Now the people of Pylos were gathered on the sea shore to offer sacrifice of black bulls to Neptune lord of the Earthquake.  There were nine guilds with five hundred men in each, and there were nine bulls to each guild.  As they were eating the inward meats {25} and burning the thigh bones [on the embers] in the name of Neptune, Telemachus and his crew arrived, furled their sails, brought their ship to anchor, and went ashore.

Minerva led the way and Telemachus followed her.  Presently she said, “Telemachus, you must not be in the least shy or nervous; you have taken this voyage to try and find out where your father is buried and how he came by his end; so go straight up to Nestor that we may see what he has got to tell us.  Beg of him to speak the truth, and he will tell no lies, for he is an excellent person.”

“But how, Mentor,” replied Telemachus, “dare I go up to Nestor, and how am I to address him?  I have never yet been used to holding long conversations with people, and am ashamed to begin questioning one who is so much older than myself.”

“Some things, Telemachus,” answered Minerva, “will be suggested to you by your own instinct, and heaven will prompt you further; for I am assured that the gods have been with you from the time of your birth until now.”

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The Odyssey from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.