The Odyssey eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 428 pages of information about The Odyssey.

And Alcinous answered yet again, and spake saying:  ’Sir, my heart within me is not of such temper as to have been wroth without a cause:  due measure in all things is best.  Would to father Zeus, and Athene, and Apollo, would that so goodly a man as thou art, and like-minded with me, thou wouldst wed my daughter, and be called my son, here abiding:  so would I give thee house and wealth, if thou wouldst stay of thine own will:  but against thy will shall none of the Phaeacians keep thee:  never be this well-pleasing in the eyes of father Zeus!  And now I ordain an escort for thee on a certain day, that thou mayst surely know, and that day the morrow.  Then shalt thou lay thee down overcome by sleep, and they the while shall smite the calm waters, till thou come to thy country and thy house, and whatsoever place is dear to thee, even though it be much farther than Euboea, which certain of our men say is the farthest of lands, they who saw it, when they carried Rhadamanthus, of the fair hair, to visit Tityos, son of Gaia.  Even thither they went, and accomplished the journey on the self-same day and won home again, and were not weary.  And now shalt thou know for thyself how far my ships are the best, and how my young men excel at tossing the salt water with the oar-blade.’

So spake he, and the steadfast goodly Odysseus rejoiced; and then he uttered a word in prayer, and called aloud to Zeus:  ’Father Zeus, oh that Alcinous may fulfil all that he hath said, so may his fame never be quenched upon the earth, the grain-giver, and I should come to mine own land!’

Thus they spake one to the other.  And white-armed Arete bade her handmaids set out bedsteads beneath the gallery, and cast fair purple blankets over them, and spread coverlets above, and thereon lay thick mantles to be a clothing over all.  So they went from the hall with torch in hand.  But when they had busied them and spread the good bedstead, they stood by Odysseus and called unto him, saying: 

‘Up now, stranger, and get thee to sleep, thy bed is made’

So spake they, and it seemed to him that rest was wondrous good.  So he slept there, the steadfast goodly Odysseus, on the jointed bedstead, beneath the echoing gallery.  But Alcinous laid him down in the innermost chamber of the high house, and by him the lady his wife arrayed bedstead and bedding.

Book VIII

The next day’s entertainment of Odysseus, where he sees them contend in wrestling and other exercises, and upon provocation took up a greater stone than that which they were throwing, and overthrew them all.  Alcinous and the lords give him presents.  And how the king asked his name, his country, and his adventures.

Now when early Dawn shone forth, the rosy-fingered, then the mighty king Alcinous gat him up from his bed; and Odysseus, of the seed of Zeus, likewise uprose, the waster of cities.  And the mighty king Alcinous led the way to the assembly place of the Phaeacians, which they had established hard by the ships.  So when they had come thither, and sat them down on the polished stones close by each other, Pallas Athene went on her way through the town, in the semblance of the herald of wise Alcinous, devising a return for the great-hearted Odysseus.  Then standing by each man she spake, saying: 

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The Odyssey from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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