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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 388 pages of information about The Odyssey.
all the bravest of the Argives waiting to bring death and destruction on the Trojans.  Anon he sang how the sons of the Achaeans issued from the horse, and sacked the town, breaking out from their ambuscade.  He sang how they overran the city hither and thither and ravaged it, and how Ulysses went raging like Mars along with Menelaus to the house of Deiphobus.  It was there that the fight raged most furiously, nevertheless by Minerva’s help he was victorious.

All this he told, but Ulysses was overcome as he heard him, and his cheeks were wet with tears.  He wept as a woman weeps when she throws herself on the body of her husband who has fallen before his own city and people, fighting bravely in defence of his home and children.  She screams aloud and flings her arms about him as he lies gasping for breath and dying, but her enemies beat her from behind about the back and shoulders, and carry her off into slavery, to a life of labour and sorrow, and the beauty fades from her cheeks—­even so piteously did Ulysses weep, but none of those present perceived his tears except Alcinous, who was sitting near him, and could hear the sobs and sighs that he was heaving.  The king, therefore, at once rose and said: 

“Aldermen and town councillors of the Phaeacians, let Demodocus cease his song, for there are those present who do not seem to like it.  From the moment that we had done supper and Demodocus began to sing, our guest has been all the time groaning and lamenting.  He is evidently in great trouble, so let the bard leave off, that we may all enjoy ourselves, hosts and guest alike.  This will be much more as it should be, for all these festivities, with the escort and the presents that we are making with so much good will are wholly in his honour, and any one with even a moderate amount of right feeling knows that he ought to treat a guest and a suppliant as though he were his own brother.

“Therefore, Sir, do you on your part affect no more concealment nor reserve in the matter about which I shall ask you; it will be more polite in you to give me a plain answer; tell me the name by which your father and mother over yonder used to call you, and by which you were known among your neighbours and fellow-citizens.  There is no one, neither rich nor poor, who is absolutely without any name whatever, for people’s fathers and mothers give them names as soon as they are born.  Tell me also your country, nation, and city, that our ships may shape their purpose accordingly and take you there.  For the Phaeacians have no pilots; their vessels have no rudders as those of other nations have, but the ships themselves understand what it is that we are thinking about and want; they know all the cities and countries in the whole world, and can traverse the sea just as well even when it is covered with mist and cloud, so that there is no danger of being wrecked or coming to any harm.  Still I do remember hearing my father say that Neptune was angry with us for being too easy-going in the matter of giving people escorts.  He said that one of these days he should wreck a ship of ours as it was returning from having escorted some one, {74} and bury our city under a high mountain.  This is what my father used to say, but whether the god will carry out his threat or no is a matter which he will decide for himself.

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