Alfred John Church.

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NY PUBLIC LIBRARY THE BRANCH LIBRARIES







3 3333 10841 0172



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THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY



THE STORY



OF THE ODYSSEY



BY THE



REV. ALFRED J. CHURCH, M.A.

LATELY PROFESSOR OF LATIN IN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AFTER FLAXMAN



Itfeto gork
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

LONDON : MACMILLAN & CO., LTD.
IQOO

All rights reserved



COPYRIGHT, 1891,
BY MACMILLAN AND CO.



Set up and electrotyped October, 1891. Reprinted May, 1892;
November, 1893; April, December, 1894; August, October, 1897;
July, 1900.



Nottoooti Jircss

J. S. Cushing & Co. Berwick & Smith
Norwood Mass. U.S.A.




C.





of

CONTENTS.





CHAPTER PAGE

I. THE COUNSEL OF ATHENE i

II. THE ASSEMBLY 12

III. NESTOR'S TALE 22

IV. IN SPARTA 34

V. MENELAUS'S TALE 42

VI. ULYSSES ON HIS RAFT 55

VII. NAUSICAA 70

VIII. ALCINOUS 79

IX. THE PILEACIANS 87

X. THE CYCLOPS 100

XI. ^EOLUS; THE L^ESTRYGONS; CIRCE . . . 119

XII. THE DWELLINGS OF THE DEAD 137

XIII. THE SIRENS ; SCYLLA ; THE OXEN OF THE

SUN 156

XIV. ITHACA 172

XV. EUM^EUS, THE SWINEHERD 186

XVI. THE RETURN OF TELEMACHUS 200

XVII. ULYSSES AND TELEMACHUS 213

XVIII. ULYSSES IN HIS HOME 227

V



vi CONTENTS.

CHAPTER PAGE

XIX. ULYSSES IN HIS HOME (continued) . . . 238

XX. ULYSSES is DISCOVERED BY HIS NURSE . . 250

XXI. THE TRIAL OF THE Bow 263

XXII. THE SLAYING OF THE SUITORS 275

XXIII. THE END OF THE WANDERING 281

XXIV. THE TRIUMPH OF ULYSSES 287



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



->o*

PAGE



PENELOPE SURPRISED BY THE SUITORS 14

NESTOR'S SACRIFICE 22

PENELOPE'S DREAM 53

ULYSSES FOLLOWING THE CAR OF NAUSICAA .... 78

ULYSSES WEEPS AT THE SONG OF DEMODOCUS .... 89

ULYSSES GIVING WINE TO POLYPHEMUS no

ULYSSES AT THE TABLE OF CIRCE 130

MORNING 156

ULYSSES ASLEEP LAID ON HIS OWN COAST BY THE

PH^ACIAN SAILORS 176

ULYSSES CONVERSING WITH EUM^EUS 187

ULYSSES AND HIS DOG 231

ULYSSES PREPARING TO FIGHT WITH IRUS 238

EURYCLEA DISCOVERS ULYSSES 26l

PENELOPE' CARRYING THE Bow OF ULYSSES TO THE

SUITORS 269

ULYSSES KILLING THE SUITORS 275

THE MEETING OF ULYSSES AND PENELOPE 284

vii



THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.



CHAPTER I.

THE COUNSEL OF ATHENE.

WHEN the great city of Troy had been
taken, all the chiefs who had fought against
it set sail for their homes. But there was
wrath in heaven against them, so that they did
not find a safe and happy return. For one
was shipwrecked, and another was shamefully
slain by his false wife in his palace, and others
found all things at home troubled and changed,
and were driven to seek new dwellings else-
where ; and some were driven far and wide
about the w r orld before they saw their native
land again. Of all, the wise Ulysses was he
that wandered farthest and suffered most, for
when ten years had well-nigh passed, he was
still far away from Ithaca, his kingdom.



2 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

The gods were gathered in council in the
hall of Olympus, all but Poseidon, for he had
gone to feast with the Ethiopians. Now
Poseidon was he who most hated Ulysses,
and kept him from his home.

Then spake Zeus among the immortal gods:
" What an idle thing it is that men lay the
blame for what they suffer on the gods ! See
how ^Egisthus hath paid the penalty of his
misdeeds. For he took the wife of King Aga-
memnon, and slew the King when he had come
back to his home ; and this he did though we
warned him against such wickedness, sending
to him Hermes, our messenger; and now he
hath paid the price ! '

Then Athene made answer : " Verily, he
hath well earned his fate. So perish all that
do such deeds ! It is for Ulysses that my
heart is rent. Sore affliction doth he suffer in
the island of the sea, where the daughter of
Atlas keepeth him, seeking to make him forget
his native land. And he, yearning to see
though it were the smoke rising up from the
land of his birth, is fain to die. And thou



THE COUNSEL OF ATHENE. 3

reo-ardest it not at all. Did he not offer thee

o

many sacrifices in the land of Troy? Where-
fore hast thou such wrath against him ? '

To her Zeus made reply: "What is this
that thou sayest, my daughter? It is Poseidon
that hath great wrath against Ulysses, because
he blinded his son Polyphemus the Cyclops.
But come, let us take counsel together that he
may return to his home, for Poseidon will not
be able to contend against us all."

Then said Athene : " If this be thy will,
then let us speed Hermes the messenger to
the island of Calypso, and let him declare to
the goddess our purpose that Ulysses shall
return to his home. And I will go to Ithaca,
and stir up the spirit of his son Telemachus,
that first he speak out his mind to the suitors
of his mother who waste his substance, and
next that he go to Sparta and to Pylos, seek-
ing tidings of his father. So shall the youth
win good report among men."

So she went to Ithaca, and there she took
upon her the form of Mentes, who was chief of
the Taphians.



4 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

Now there were gathered in the house of
Ulysses many princes from the islands, suitors
of the Queen Penelope, for they said that
Ulysses was dead, and that she should choose
another husband. These were gathered to-
gether, and were sitting playing draughts and
feasting. And Telemachus sat among them,
vexed at heart, for they wasted his substance ;
neither was he master in his house. But when
he saw the guest at the door, he rose from his
place, and welcomed him, and made him sit
down, and commanded that they should give
him food and wine. And when he had ended
his meal, Telemachus asked him of his busi-
ness.

Thereupon the false Mentes said : " My name
is Mentes, and I am King of the Taphians, and
I am sailing to Cyprus for copper, taking iron
in exchange. Now I have been long time the
friend of this house, of thy father and thy
father's father, and I came trusting to see thy
father, for they told me that he was here. But
now I see that some god hath hindered his
return, for that he is yet alive I know full



THE COUNSEL OF ATHENE. 5

well. But tell me, who are these that I see ?
Is this the gathering of a clan, or a wedding
feast ? Truly, a wise man would be wroth to
see such doings."

Telemachus made answer : " O sir, while my
father was yet alive, our house was rich and
honoured ; but now that he is gone, things are
not well with me. I would not grieve so
much had he fallen in battle before Troy;
then had the Greeks builded a great barrow
for him, and even for his son, had he won
great renown. But now the storms of the sea
have swept him away. No honour hath he,
and I am left in sore distress. For these
whom thou seest are the princes of the islands
that come here to woo my mother. She
neither refuseth nor accepteth ; and meanwhile
they sit here, and waste my substance."

Then said the false Mentes : " Now may
the gods help thee ! Thou art indeed in sore
need of Ulysses. Would that he could come
and stand at the entering in of the gate with
helmet and shield and a spear in either hand,
such as he was when he came to my father's



6 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

house from Ephyra ! Thither he had gone
seeking from Ilus, who was King of the land,
a deadly drug wherewith to anoint his arrows.
But Ilus, because he had the gods in awe,
would not give it to him ; but my father gave
it, so much did he love him. But all these
things are with the gods, whether he shall
come back or no. But now hearken to my
counsel. First call an assembly of the people.
Bid the suitors go back, each man to his
home ; and as for thy mother, if she be moved
to wed, let her return to her father's house,
that her kinsfolk may furnish a wedding feast,
and prepare gifts such as a daughter well
beloved should have. Afterwards do thou fit
up a ship with twenty oars, and go, inquire
concerning thy father, if haply some man may
give thee tidings of him ; or, may be, thou
wilt hear a voice from Zeus concerning him.

o

Go to Pylos first, and afterwards to Sparta,
where Menelaiis dwelleth, who of all the
Greeks came back the last to his home. If
thou shouldest hear that he is dead, then come
back hither, and raise a mound for him, and



THE COUNSEL OF ATHENE. 7

pay thereon due burial rites, and give thy
mother to a husband. And when thou hast
made an end of all these things, then devise
in thy heart how thou mayest slay the suitors,
whether it be by force or craft, for it is time
for thee to have the thoughts of a man. Dost

o

thou not know what glory Orestes won among
men, for that he slew ^Egisthus, the slayer of
his sire ? '

Then said Telemachus : " Thou speakest
these things out of a friendly heart, as a father
might speak to his son, nor will I ever forget
them. But now, I pray thee, abide here for
a space, that I may give thee a goodly gift,
such as friends give to friends, to be an heir-
loom in thy house."

But the false Mentes said, " Keep me no
longer, for I am eager to depart; give me thy
srift when I shall return.'

c?

So the goddess departed ; like to an eagle of
the sea was she as she flew. And Telemachus
knew her to be a goddess as she went.

Meanwhile Phemius the minstrel san^ to

o

the suitors, and his song \vas of the ill return



8 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

that the Greeks had from Troy through the
counsel of Athene.

When Penelope heard the song, she came
down from the upper chamber where she sat,
and two handmaids bare her company. And
when she came to where the suitors sat, she
stood by the gate of the hall holding her
shining veil before her face. Then spake she
to the minstrel, weeping the while, and said :
" Phemius, thou knowest many songs concern-
ing the deeds of gods and men ; sing, there-
fore, one of these, and let the guests drink the
wine in silence. But stay this pitiful strain,
for it breaketh my heart to hear it. Surely,
of all women I am the most unhappy, so
famous was the husband for whom I mourn."

But Telemachus made reply : " Why dost
thou grudge the minstrel, my mother, to make
us glad in such fashion as his spirit biddeth
him ? It is no blame to him that he singeth
of the ill return of the Greeks, for ever do men
most prize the song that soundeth newest in
their ears. Endure, therefore, to listen, for not
Ulysses only missed his return, but many a



THE COUNSEL OF ATHENE. 9

famous chief besides. Go, then, to thy cham-
ber, and mind thy household affairs, and bid
thy handmaids ply their tasks. Speech be-
longeth unto men, and chiefly to me that am
the master in this house."

Then went she back to her chamber, for she
was amazed at her son, with such authority did
he speak. Then she bewailed her lord, till
Athene sent down sleep upon her eyes.

When she was gone, Telemachus spake to
the suitors, saying : " Let us now feast and be
merry, and let there be no brawling among us.
It is a good thing to listen to a minstrel that
hath a voice as the voice of a o>od. But in the

o

morning let us go to the assembly, that I may
declare my purpose, to wit, that ye leave this
hall, and eat your own substance. But if ye
deem it a better thing that ye should waste
another man's goods, and make no recom-
pense, then work your will. But certainly
Zeus shall requite you."

So he spake, and they marvelled all that he
used such boldness. And Antinoiis answered:
% ' Surely, Telemachus, it is of the bidding of



10 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

the gods that thou speakest so boldly. There-
fore I pray that Zeus may never make thee
King in Ithaca, for, indeed, the kingdom is thy
rightful inheritance/

o

Then said Telemachus: " It is no ill thing
to be a king, for his house groweth rich, and
he himself is honoured. But there are others
in Ithaca, young and old, who may have the
kingship, now that Ulysses is dead. Yet
know that I will be lord of my own house and
of the slaves which Ulysses won for himself
with his own spear."

Thereupon spake Eurymachus, saying : " It
is with the gods to say who shall be King in
Ithaca ; but that thou shouldest keep thine own
goods and be lord in thine own house, no man
can deny. Never may that man come who
shall wrest thy substance from thee against thy
will ! But tell me, who is this stranger that
came but just now to thy house ? Did he
bring tidings of thy father ? Or came he on
some matter of his own ? In strange fashion
did he depart, tarrying not that we might know
him. Yet he seemed one of no mean degree."



THE COUNSEL OF ATHENE. 1 1

Telemachus made answer : " Verily, Eury-
machus, the day of my father's return hath
gone by forever. I make no count of tidings,
whencesoever they may come, nor do I regard
any divination wherewith any diviner may an-
swer my mother, when she entertaineth him in
her hall. But as for this stranger, he said that
he was Mentes, King of the Taphians."

So spake Telemachus, but in his heart he
knew that the stranger was Athene. Then the
suitors turned them to the dance and to the
song, making merry till the darkness fell.
Then went they each to his own house to sleep.

But Telemachus went to his chamber, pon-
dering many things in his heart. And Eury-
cleia, that had nursed him when he was little,
went with him, bearing torches in her hands.
He opened the door of the chamber, and took
off his doublet, and put it in the wise woman's
hands. She folded it, and smoothed it, and
hung it on a pin, and went forth from the
room, and pulled to the door, and made it fast.
And all the night Telemachus thought in his
heart of the journey which Athene had showed
him.



12 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.



CHAPTER II.

THE ASSEMBLY.

WHEN the morning came Telemachus bade
the heralds call the people to the assembly.
So the heralds called them, and they came in
haste. And when they were gathered together,
he went his way to the place of meeting, hold-
ing in his hand a spear, and two dogs followed
him. Then did Athene shed a marvellous
grace upon him, so that all men wondered at
him, as he sat him down in his father's place.

First spake ^Egyptus, who was bowed with
many years, and was very wise. Four sons he
had. One had gone with Ulysses to Troy,
and one was among the suitors of the Queen,
and two abode with their father in the field.
He said : " Hearken to me, men of Ithaca !
Never hath assembly been called in Ithaca
since Ulysses departed. Who now hath called
us together ? If it be Telemachus, what doth



THE ASSEMBLY. 13

he want? Hath he heard any tidings of the
coming back of the host ? He, methinks, is a
true man. May Zeus be with him and grant
him his heart's desire ! '

So spake the old man, and Telemachus was
glad at the omen of his speech. Then he rose
up and said :

" I have great trouble in my heart, men of
Ithaca, for first my father is not, whom ye all
loved ; and next the princes of the islands come
hither, making suit to my mother, but she
waits ever for her husband, when he shall
return. And they devour all our substance ;
nor is Ulysses here to defend it, and I, in truth,
am not able. And this is a grievous wrong,
and not to be borne."

Then he dashed his sceptre on the ground,
and sat down, weeping. And Antinous, who
was one of the suitors, rose up and said :

" Nay, Telemachus, blame not us, but blame
thy mother, who indeed is crafty above all
women. For now this is the fourth year that
we have come suing for her hand, and she has
cheated us with hopes. Hear now this that she



14 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

did. She set up a great warp for weaving, and
said to us : ' Listen, ye that are my suitors.
Hasten not my marriage till I finish this web to
be a burial cloth for Laertes, for indeed it would
be foul shame if he who has won great posses-
sions should lack this honour/ So she spake,
and for three years she cheated us, for what she
wove in the day she unravelled at night. But
when the fourth year was come, one of her
maidens told us of the matter, and we came
upon her by night and found her unravelling
the web, even what she had woven in the day.
Then did she finish it, much against her will.
Send away, therefore, thy mother, and bid her
marry whom she will. But till this be done we
will not depart."

Then answered Telemachus : " How can I
send her away against her will, who bare me
and brought me up? Much forfeit must I pay
to Icarus, her father ; ay, and the curses of my
mother would abide on me. Wherefore, I can-
not do this thing."

So he spake ; and there came two eagles,
which flew abreast till they came over the




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THE ASSEMBLY, 15

assembly. Then did they wheel in the air, and
shook out from each many feathers, and tare
each other, and so departed.

Then cried Alitherses, the soothsayer : " Be-
ware, ye suitors, for great trouble is coming to
you, and to others also. And as for Ulysses, I
said when he went to Troy that he should
return after twenty years ; and so it shall be."

And when the suitors would not listen, Tele-
machus said : " Yet give me a ship and twenty
rowers, that I may go to Pylos and to Sparta,
if haply I may hear news of my father. And
if I hear that he is dead, then will I come back
hither, and raise up a mound for him, and per-
form for him due burial rites, and give my
mother to a husband."

Having thus spoken, he sat down, and
Mentor, whom Ulysses, when he departed, set
over his household, rose up in the midst, and
spake, saying: " Now henceforth never let any
king be kind and gentle in his heart or minded
to work righteousness. Let him rather be a

o

hard man and unrighteous. For now no man
remembereth Ulysses of all the people whose



1 6 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

lord he was. Yet was he gentle as a father.

o

If the suitors are minded to do evil deeds, I
hinder them not. They do them at the peril
of their own heads. It is with the people that
I am wroth, to see how they sit speechless, and
cry not shame upon the suitors ; and yet they
are many in number, and the suitors are few."

Then Leocritus, who was one of the suitors,
answered : " Surely thy wits wander, O Men-
tor, that thou biddest the people put us dowa
Of a truth, if Ulysses himself should come
back, and should seek to drive the suitors from
the hall, it would fare ill with him. An evil
doom would he meet, if he fought with them
that were more in number. As for the people,
let them go to their own houses. Let Mentor
speed the young man's voyage, for he is a
friend of his house. Yet I doubt whether he
will ever accomplish it."

So he spake, and the assembly was dis-
missed.

But Telemachus went apart to the shore of
the sea, and he washed his hands in the water
of the sea, and prayed to Athene, saying :



THE ASSEMBLY. 1 7

" Hear me, thou that didst come yesterday to
the house, and bid me take a ship, and sail
across the sea, seeking tidings of my father!
But the people delay my purpose, the suitors
stirring them up in the wickedness of their
hearts."

And while he prayed, Athene stood by him,
like to Mentor in shape and speech. She
spake, saying : " Thou art not, I trow, without
spirit and wit, and art like to be a true son of
Ulysses and Penelope. Wherefore, I have
good hopes that this journey of which thou
speakest will not be in vain. But as for the
suitors, think not of them, for they talk folly,
and know not of the doom that is even now
close upon them. Go, therefore, and talk with
the suitors as before, and get ready meat for a
journey, wine and meal. And I will gather
men who will offer themselves freely for the
journey, and I will find a ship also, the best in
Ithaca."

Then Telemachus returned to the house,
and the suitors were flaying goats and singe-
ing swine in the court. And Antinoiis caught



1 8 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY,

him by the hand and said, " Eat and drink,
Telemachus, and we will find a ship and
rowers for thee, that thou mayest go where
thou wilt, to inquire for thy father."

But Telemachus answered : " Think ye that
I will eat and drink with you, who so shame-
fully waste my substance? Be sure of this,
that I will seek vengeance against you, and if
ye deny me a ship, I will even go in another



man's.'



So he spake, and dragged his hand from the
hand of Antinolis.

And another of the suitors said, " Now will
Telemachus go and seek help against us from
Pylos or from Sparta, or may be he will put
poison in our cups, and so destroy us."

And another said : " Perchance he also will
perish, as his father has perished, Then
should we have much labour, even dividing all

o

his substance, but the house should we give to
his mother and to her husband."

So they spake, mocking him. But he went
to the chamber of his father, in which were
ranged many casks of old wine, and store of



THE ASSEMBLY. 19

gold and bronze, and clothing and olive oil ;
and of these things the prudent Eurycleia,
who was the keeper of the house, had care.
To her he spake : " Mother, make ready for
me twelve jars of wine, not of the best, but
of that which is next to it, and twenty meas-
ures of barley-meal. At even will I take them,
when my mother sleeps, for I go to Pylos and
Sparta, if perchance I may hear news of my
father."

But the old woman said, weeping : " What
meanest chou, being an only son, thus to travel
abroad ? Wilt thou perish, as thy father has
perished ? For this evil brood of suitors will
devise means to slay thee and divide thy
goods. Thou hadst better sit peaceably at
home,"

Then Telemachus said : " 'Tis at the bid-
ding of the gods I go. Only swear that thou
wilt say naught to my mother till eleven or
twelve days be past, unless, perchance, she
should ask concerning me."

And the old woman sware that it should be
so, And Telemachus went again among the



20 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

suitors. But Athene, meanwhile, taking his
shape, had gathered together a crew, and also
had borrowed a ship for the voyage. And, lest
the suitors should hinder the thing, she caused
a deep sleep to fall upon them, that they slept
where they sat. Then she came in the shape
of Mentor to the palace, and called Telemachus
forth, saying, " The rowers are ready ; let us

go."

Then Athene led the way, and they found

the ship's crew upon the shore. To them
spake Telemachus, saying, " Come now, my
friends, let us carry the food on board, for it is
all in the chamber, and no one knoweth of the
matter ; neither my mother, nor any of the maid-
ens, but one woman only."

So they went to the house with him, and
carried all the provision, and stowed it in the
ship. Then Telemachus climbed the ship and
sat down on the stern, and Athene sat by him.

And when he called to the crew, they made
ready to depart. They raised the pine tree
mast, and set it in the hole that was made for
it, and they made it fast with stays. Then they



THE ASSEMBLY. 21

hauled up the white sails with ropes of ox-hide.
And the wind filled out the sail, and the water
seethed about the stem of the ship, as she
hasted through the water. And when all was
made fast in the ship, then they mixed wine in
the bowl, and poured out drink offerings to the
gods, especially to Zeus.

So all the night, and till the dawn, the ship
sped through the sea.



22 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.



CHAPTER III.

NESTOR'S TALE.

AT sunrise the ship came to Pylos, where
Nestor dwelt. Now it so chanced that the
people were offering a great sacrifice upon the
shore to Poseidon. Nine companies there
were, and in each company five hundred men,
and for the five hundred there were nine bulls.
And now they had tasted of the inner parts
and were burning the slices of flesh on the

o

thigh-bones to the god, when Telemachus's
company moored the ship and came forth from
it to the shore.

Athene spake to Telemachus, saying: " Now
hast thou no need to be ashamed. Thou hast
sailed across the sea to hear tidings of thy
father. Go, therefore, to Nestor, and learn
what counsel he hath in the deep of his heart."

But Telemachus answered, " How shall I
speak to him, being so untried and young? '




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NESTOWS TALE. 2$

" Nay," said the goddess ; " but thou shalt
think of something thyself, and something the
gods will put into thy mouth."

So saying she led the way, and they came
to where Nestor sat, with his sons, and a great
company round him, making ready the feast.
When these saw the strangers, they clasped
their hands, and made them sit down on soft
fleeces of wool. And Nestor's son Peisistra-
tus bare messes of the best, and wine in a cup
of gold. To Athene first he gave the wine, for


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