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maidens might anoint themselves after the
bath. And Nausicaa took the reins, and
touched the mules with the whip. Then was
there a clatter of hoofs, and the mules went on
with their load, nor did they grow weary.

When they came to the river, where was
water enough for the washing of raiment
though it were ever so foul, the maidens loosed
the mules from the chariot, and set them free
to graze in the sweet clover by the river-bank.
Then they took the raiment from the wagon,
and bare it to the river, and trod it in the
trenches, vying one with the other. And
when they had cleansed away all the stains,
then they laid the garments on the shore of



NAUSICAA. 73

the sea, where the waves had washed the peb-
bles clean. After that they bathed, and
anointed themselves ; and then they sat down
to eat and drink by the river-side; and after
the meal they played at ball, singing as they
played, and Nausicaa led the song. Fair was
she as Artemis when she hunts wild goats or
stags, overtopping all the nymphs that bear
her company. Fair are all, but she is fairer,
and Latona, her mother, is glad at heart. So
was Nausicaa fairer than all the maidens.
And when they had ended their play, and were
yoking the mules, and folding up the raiment,
then Athene contrived this thing, that the
princess, throwing the ball to one of her
maidens, cast it so wide that it fell into the
river. Whereupon they all cried aloud, and
Ulysses awoke. And he said to himself :
" What is this land to which I have come ?
Are they that dwell therein fierce or kind to
strangers? Just now I seemed to hear the
voice of nymphs, or am I near the dwellings of
men ? "

Then he twisted a leafy bough about his



74 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

loins, and rose up and went towards the
maidens, who indeed were frighted to see him
(for he was wild of aspect), and fled hither
and thither. But Nausicaa stood and fled not.
Then Ulysses thought within himself, should
he go near and clasp her knees, or, lest haply
this should anger her, should he stand and
speak ? And this he did, saying :

" I am thy suppliant, O Queen. Whether
thou art a goddess, I know not. But if thou
art a mortal, happy thy father and mother, and
happy thy brothers, and happiest of all he who
shall win thee in marriage. Never have I seen
man or woman so fair. Thou art like a young
palm tree that but lately I saw in Delos,
springing by the temple of the god. But as
for me, I have been cast on this shore, having
come from the island Ogygia. Pity me, then,
and lead me to the city, and give me some-
thing, a wrapper of this linen, maybe, to put
about me. So may the gods give thee all bless-
ings ! "

And Nausicaa made answer: "Thou seem-
est, stranger, to be neither evil nor foolish ; and



NAUSICAA. 75

as for thy plight, the gods give good fortune
or bad, as they will. Thou shalt not lack
clothing or food, or anything that a suppliant
should have. And I will take thee to the city.
Know also that this land is Phaeacia, and that I
am daughter to Alcinolis, who is King thereof."

Then she called to her maidens : " What
mean ye to flee when ye see a man ? No
enemy comes hither to harm us, for we are
dear to the gods, and also we live in an island
of the sea, so that men may not approach to
work us wrong ; but if one cometh here over-
borne by trouble, it is well to succour him.
Give this man, therefore, food and drink, and
wash him in the river, where there is shelter
from the wind."

So they brought him down to the river, and
gave him a tunic and a cloak to clothe himself
withal, and also oil-olive in a flask of gold.
Then, at his bidding, they departed a little
space, and he washed the salt from his skin
and out of his hair, and anointed himself, and
put on the clothing. And Athene made him
taller and fairer to see, and caused the hair to



THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

be thick on his head, in colour as a hyacinth.
Then he sat down on the seashore, right beau-
tiful to behold, and the maiden said :

" Not without some bidding of the gods
comes this man to our land. Before, indeed, I
deemed him uncomely, but now he seems like
to the gods. I should be well content to have
such a man for a husband, and maybe he might
will to abide in this land. But give him, ye
maidens, food and drink."

So they gave him, and he ate ravenously,
having fasted long. Then Nausicaa bade yoke
the mules, and said to Ulysses :

" Arise, stranger, come with me, that I may
bring thee to the house of my father. But do
thou as I shall tell thee, and, indeed, thou
seemest discreet enough. So long as we shall
be passing through the fields, follow quickly
with the maidens behind the chariot. But
when we shall come to the city, thou wilt see
a high wall and a harbour on either side of the
narrow way that leadeth to the gate, then
follow the chariot no more. Hard by the wall
is a grove of Athene, a grove of poplars, with



NAUSICAA. 77

a spring in the midst, and a meadow round
about ; there abide till such time as I may have
reached the house of my father. For I would
not that the people should speak lightly of me.
And I doubt not that were thou with me some
one of the baser sort would say : ' Who is this
stranger, tall and fair, that cometh with Nau-
sicaa ? Will he be her husband ? Perchance
it is some god who has come down at her
prayer, or a man from far away; for of us
men of Phasacia she thinks scorn.' It would be
shame that such words should be spoken. And
indeed it is ill-done of a maiden who, father
and mother unknowing, companies with men.
But when thou shalt judge that I have come
to the palace, then go up thyself and ask for
my father's house. Any one, even a child, can
show it thee, for the other Phaeacians dwell not
in such. And when thou art come within the
doors, pass quickly through the hall to where
my mother sits. Close to the hearth is her
seat, and my father's hard by, where he sits
with the wine-cup in his hand, as a god. Pass
him by, and lay hold of my mother's knees, and



78 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

pray her that she give thee safe return to thy
country."

Then she smote the mules with the whip.
Quickly did they leave the river behind them ;
but the maiden was heedful to drive them so
that Ulysses and the maidens might be able to
follow on foot. At sunset they came to the
sacred grove of Athene, and there Ulysses sat
him down, and prayed to Athene, saying,
" Hear me, now, O daughter of Zeus, for before
when Poseidon smote me, thou heardest me not,
and grant that this people may look upon me
with pity."

So he spake, and Athene heard him, but
showed not herself to him, face to face, for she
feared the wrath of her uncle Poseidon, so
grievously did he rage against Ulysses.




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ALCINOUS. 79



CHAPTER VIII.

ALCINOUS.

NAUSICAA came to her father's house, and
there her brothers unyoked the mules from
the wagon, and carried the garments into the
house ; and the maiden went to her chamber,
where her nurse kindled for her a fire, and pre-
pared a meal.

At the same time Ulysses rose to go to the
city; and Athene spread a mist about him, for
she would not that any of the Phaeacians
should see him and mock him. And when he
was now about to enter the city, the goddess
took upon herself the shape of a young maiden
carrying a pitcher, and met him.

Then Ulysses asked her: "My child, canst
thou tell me where dwells Alcinoiis ? for I am
a stranger in this place."

She answered : " I will show thee, for indeed
he dwells near to my own father. But be thou



80 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

silent, for we Phaeacians love not strangers
over much."

Then Athene led the way, and Ulysses fol-
lowed after her ; and much he marvelled, as he
went, at the harbours, and the ships, and the
places of assembly, and the walls. And when
they came to the palace, Athene said : " This
is the place for which thou didst inquire.
Enter in; here thou shalt find kings at the
feast ; but be not afraid ; the fearless man ever
fares the best. And look thou first for the
Queen. Her name is Arete, and she is near
akin to the King, for she is indeed his brother's
child. Rhexenor was the King's brother; him
Apollo smote with his shafts, being yet a young
man, and Alcinous took his daughter to wife.
Never was wife more honoured of her lord and
of all the people. Nor does she lack under-
standing; and they whom she favoureth have
an end of their troubles. If she be well dis-
posed to thee, doubtless thou wilt see thy
native country again."

Having thus spoken, Athene departed, going
to the land of Athens, and Ulysses entered the



ALCINOUS. 8 1

palace. In it there was a gleam as of the sun
or the moon.

A wondrous place it was, with walls of
brass and doors of gold, hanging on posts
of silver ; and on either side of the door were
dogs of gold and silver, the work of Hephaestus,
and against the wall, all alone: from the thresh-

o o

old to the inner chamber, were set seats, on
which sat the chiefs of the Phaeacians, feast-
ing ; and youths wrought in gold stood holding
torches in their hands, to give light in the
darkness. Fifty women were in the house
grinding corn and weaving robes, for the
women of the land are no less skilled to
weave than are the men to sail the sea. And
round about the house were gardens beautiful
exceedingly, with orchards of fig, and apple,
and pear, and pomegranate, and olive. Drought
hurts them not, nor frost, and harvest comes
after harvest without ceasing. Also there was
a vineyard ; and some of the grapes were
parching in the sun, and some were being
gathered, and some again were but just turn-
ing red. And there were beds of all manner



82 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

of flowers; and in the midst of all were two
fountains which never failed.

These things Ulysses regarded for a space,
and then passed into the hall. And there the
chiefs of Phaeacia were drinking their last cup
to Hermes. Quickly he passed through them,
and put his hands on the knees of Arete and
said and as he spake the mist cleared from
about him, and all that were in the hall beheld
him:

" I am a suppliant to thee, and to thy hus-
band, and to thy guests. The gods bless thee
and them, and grant you to live in peace, and
that your children should come peacefully after
you ! Only, do ye send me home to my native

countrv.'

j

And he sat down in the ashes of the hearth.
Then for a space all were silent, but at the last
spake Echeneiis, who was the oldest man in
the land :

" King Alcinoiis, this ill becomes you that
this man should sit in the ashes of the hearth.
Raise him and bid him sit upon a seat, and let
us pour out to Father Zeus, who is the friend



ALCINOUS. 83

of suppliants, and let the keeper of the house
give him meat and drink."

And Alcinolis did so, bidding his eldest
born, Laodamas, rise from his seat. And an
attendant poured water on his hands, and the
keeper of the house gave him meat and drink.
Then, when all had poured out to Father Zeus,
King Alcinoiis spake, saying, " In the morning
we will call an assembly of the people, and con-
sider how we may take this stranger to his
home, so that he may reach it without trouble
or pain. Home will we take him without hurt,
but what things may befall him there, we know
not ; these shall be as the Fates spun his
thread, when his mother bare him. But, if
haply he is a god and not a man, then is this
a new device of the gods. For heretofore they
have shown themselves manifestly in our midst,
when we offer sacrifice, and sit by our sides at
feasts. Yea, and if a traveller meet them on
the way, they use no disguise, for indeed they
are near of kin to us."

Then spake Ulysses : " Think not such
things within thy heart, O King! No god



84 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

am I, but if thou knowest one that is most
miserable among the sons of men, to him
mayest thou liken me. Of many woes might
I tell. Nevertheless, suffer me to eat ; 'tis a
shameless thing, the appetite of a man, for,
how sad soever he be, yet it biddeth him eat
and drink. But do ye, when the day cometh,
bestir yourselves, and carry me to my home.
Fain would I die if I could see my home
again ! '

And they answered that it should be so, and
went each to his home. Only Ulysses was
left in the hall, and Alcinoiis and Arete with
him. And Arete saw his cloak and tunic, that
she and her maidens had made them, and
said :

" Whence art thou, stranger ? and who gave
thee these garments ? '

So Ulysses told her how he had come
from the island of Calypso, and what he had
suffered, and how Nausicaa had found him
on the shore, and had guided him to the
city.

But Alcinous blamed the maiden that she



ALCINOUS. 85

had not herself brought him to the house.
" For thou wast her suppliant," he said.

" Nay," said Ulysses, " she would have
brought me, but I would not, fearing thy
wrath." For he would not have the maiden
blamed.

Then said Alcinoiis : " I am not one to be
angered for such cause. Gladly would I have
such a one as thou art to be my son-in-law, and
I would give him house and wealth. But no
one would I stay against his will. And as for
sending thee to thy home, that is easy ; thou
shalt lay thee down to sleep, and my men shalt
smite the sea with oars, and take thee whither-
soever thou wilt, even though it be further by
far than Eubcea, which they say is the furthest
of all lands. Yet even thither did our men go,
carrying Rhadamanthus. In one day they
went, and returned the same, and were not
weary. For verily my ships are the best that
sail the sea, and my young men the most
skilful of all that ply the oar."

So he spake, and Ulysses rejoiced to hear
his words. And he prayed within himself,



86 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

" Grant, Father Zeus, that Alcinoiis may fulfil
all that he hath said, and that I may come to
my own land ! '

Then Arete bade her handmaids prepare a
bed for the stranger. So they went from the
hall, with torches in their hands, and made it
ready. And when they had ended they called
Ulysses, saying, " Up, stranger, and sleep, for
thy bed is ready."

Right glad was he to sleep after all that he
had endured.



THE PH^EACIANS. 87



CHAPTER IX.

THE PH^ACIANS.

THE next day the King arose at dawn, as
also did Ulysses, and the King led the way
to the place of assembly. Meanwhile Athene,
wearing the guise of the King's herald, went
throughout the city, and to each man she said,
" Come to the assembly, captains and coun-
sellors of the Phaeacians, that ye may learn
concerning this stranger, who hath lately come
to the hall of Alcinoiis."

So she roused their desire, and the place
of assembly was filled to the utmost ; much
did the men marvel to see Ulysses, for Athene
had poured marvellous grace upon him, making
him fairer and taller and stronger to see.

Then the King rose up and spake : " Heark-
en, captains and counsellors of the people, to
what I say. This stranger hath come to my
hall ; I know not who he is or whence he



THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

comes, whether it be from the rising or the
setting of the sun ; and he prays that he may
be safely carried to his home. This boon we
have been wont to give to strangers from old
time. Let us therefore choose a ship that hath
never sailed before, and two and fifty youths
that are the best to ply the oar; and when
ye have made ready the ship, then come to my
house and feast ; I will provide well for all.
Bid, also, Demodocus the minstrel come, for
the gods have given to him above all others
the gift of song wherewith to rejoice the hearts
of men."

Then they did as the King counselled.
They made ready the ship, and moored her by
the .shore, and after that they went to the
palace of the King. From one end thereof to
the other it was crowded, for many were there,
both young and old. And Alcinoiis slew for
them twelve sheep, and eight swine, and two
oxen; and his men prepared for the people a
goodly feast.

Then came the servants of the King, lead-
ing the minstrel by the hand. Much did the




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THE PH^EACIANS, 89

Muse love him, but she had given him both
good and evil. She had granted him the gift
of sweet sons:, but she had taken from him the

O'

sight of his eyes. The servants set him in a
silver chair, in the midst of the guests, and
hung a harp upon a pin above his head, and
showed him how he might reach his hand to
take it. And close by his side they placed a
table and a basket and a cup of wine, that he
might drink at his pleasure.

So the Phaeacians feasted in the hall ; and
when they had had enough of meat and drink,
then the minstrel sans:. He sans: a song, the

O O O'

fame of which had reached to heaven, of the
quarrel between Ulysses and Achilles, how
they fell out at a feast of the gods, and Aga-
memnon was glad when he saw that the
noblest of the Greeks were at strife. For
Apollo at Pytho had told him that it must
be so; that is to say, that the wisest and the
strongest must be at variance before he could
take the great city of Troy.

But as the minstrel sang, Ulysses held his
purple cloak before his face, for he was



90 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

ashamed to weep in the sight of the people.
Whensoever the singer ceased from his song,
then did Ulysses wipe away the tears and pour
out libations to the gods ; but when he began
again, for the chiefs loved to hear the song,
then again he covered his face and wept. But
none noted the thing save only Alcinolis.

Then the King said to the chiefs, " Now
that we have feasted and delighted ourselves
with song, let us go forth, that this stranger
may see that we are skilful in boxing and
wrestling and running."

So they went forth, a herald leading Demo-
docus by the hand, for the minstrel was blind.
Then stood up many Phasacian youths, and
the fairest and strongest of them all was
Laodamas, eldest son to the King, and after
him Euryalus. And next they ran a race, and
Clytoneus was the swiftest. And among the
wrestlers Euryalus was the best, and of the
boxers, Laodamas. And in throwing the quoit
Elatrius excelled, and in leaping at the bar,
Amphialus.

Then Laodamas, Euryalus urging him, said



THE PH^EACIANS. 91

to Ulysses, " Father, wilt thou not try thy
skill in some game, and put away the trouble
from thy heart ? '

But Ulysses answered : " Why askest thou
this ? I think of my troubles rather than of
sport, and sit among you, caring only that I
may see again my home."

Then said Euryalus : " And in very truth,
stranger, thou hast not the look of a wrestler
or boxer. Rather would one judge thee to be
some trader, who sails over the sea for gain."

" Nay," answered Ulysses, " this is ill said.
So true is it that the gods give not all gifts to
all men, beauty to one, and sweet speech to
another. Fair of form art thou ; no god could
better thee; but thou speakest idle words. I
am not unskilled in these thinsfs, but stood

O '

among the first in the old days ; but since have
I suffered much in battle and shipwreck. Yet
will I make trial of my strength, for thy words
have angered me."

Whereupon, clad in his mantle as he was, he
took a quoit, heavier far than such as the
Phaeacians were wont to throw, and sent it with



92 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

a whirl. It hurtled through the air, so that
the brave Phaeacians crouched to the ground
in fear, and it fell far beyond all the rest.

Then Athene, for she had taken upon herself
the guise of a Phaeacian man, marked the place
where it fell, and spake, saying : " Stranger,
verily, even a blind man might discern this
token of thy strength, for it is not lost among
the others, but lies far beyond them. Be of
good courage, therefore, in this contest ; at
least, none of the Phaeacians shall surpass
thee."

Then was Ulysses glad, seeing that he had
a friend among the people, and he said : "Now
match this throw, young men, if ye can. Soon
will I cast another after it, as far, or further
yet. Nay, if any man is so minded, let him rise
up and contend with me, for I will match myself
in wrestling or boxing, or even in the race, with
any man in Phaeacia, save Laodamas only, for
he is my friend. I can shoot with the bow,
and only Philoctetes could surpass me ; and I
can cast a spear as far as other men can shoot
an arrow. But as for the race, it may be that



THE PH^ACIANS. 93

some one might outrun me, for I have suffered
much on the sea."

But they were all silent, till the King stood
up and said : " Thou hast spoken well. But
we men of Phaeacia are not mighty to wrestle
or to box ; only we are swift of foot and skilful
to sail upon the sea. And we love feasts, and
dances, and the harp, and gay clothing, and the
bath. In these things no man may surpass us."

Then the King bade Demodocus the minstrel
sing again. And when he had done so, the
King's two sons, Alius and Laodamas, danced
together ; and afterwards they played with the
ball, throwing it into the air, cloud high, and
catching it right skilfully.

And afterwards the King said : " Let us each
give this stranger a mantle and a tunic and a
talent of gold, and let Euryalus make his peace
with words and with a gift."

And they all (now there were twelve princes,
and Alcinolis the thirteenth) said that it should
be so ; and Euryalus also gave Ulysses a
sword with a hilt of silver and a scabbard of
ivory.



94 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

When he gave it, he said : " Hail to thee,
father ; if there hath been aught of offence in
my words, may the winds carry it away ! And
now may the gods grant to thee to see again
thy wife and thy friends and thy native
country ! '

And Ulysses made answer to him : " Hail to
thee also, my friend ! The gods grant thee to
be happy, and never to miss this sword that
thou hast given me ! '

Then all the princes brought their gifts.
And Alcinolis said to the Queen : " Lady,
bring hither a coffer, the best that thou hast,
and put therein a robe and a tunic. And I
will give our guest a fair golden chalice of my
own that he may remember me all the days of
his life, when he poureth out libations to the
gods."

Then the Queen brought from her chamber
a fair coffer, and put therein the gifts which
the princes had given ; also with her own
hands she put therein a robe and a tunic.
And she said :

" Look now to the lid, and tie a knot, that



THE PH^ACIANS. 95

no man rob thee by the way, when thou sleep-
est in the ship."

So Ulysses fixed well the lid, and tied it
with a cunning knot which Circe had taught

o o

him. After that he went to the bath. As he
came from the bath Nausicaa met him by the
entering in of the hall, and marvelled at him,
so fair was he to look upon. And she spake,
saying : " Stranger, farewell. But when thou
comest to thine own country, think upon me
once and again, for indeed thou owest to me
the price of thy life."

Ulysses made answer to her, " Nausicaa,
may Zeus and Hera grant me safe return to
my home, so will I do honour to thee as to a
goddess, forever; for indeed I owe thee my
life."

Then he went into the hall, and sat down by
the side of the King, and the squire came lead-
ing the blind minstrel by the hand. Now
Ulysses had cut off a rich portion from the
chine of a boar that had been set before him,
and he said to the squire : " Take this and give
it to Demodocus. Verily, the minstrel is held



96 THE STORY OF THE ODYSSEY.

in honour by men, for the Muse teacheth him
and loveth him."

So the squire bare the dish, and set it on
the knees of the minstrel, rejoicing his heart.

When they all had had enough of food and
drink, then Ulysses spake to the minstrel, say-
ing : " Demodocus, I know not whether the
Muse hath taught thee, or, it may be, Apollo,
but of a truth thou singest all the toil and
trouble of the Greeks, that they endured before
the great city of Troy, as if thou hadst thyself
been there. Come, now, sing to us of the
Horse of Wood which Epeius made by the
counsel of Athene', and how Ulysses contrived
that it should be taken up into the citadel of
Troy, when he had filled it with the bravest of
the chiefs. Sing me this aright, and I will
bear witness for thee that thou art indeed a
minstrel whom the gods have taught."

Then, by the inspiration of the god, did the
minstrel sing this song. He told how one part
of the Greeks set fire to their camp, and em-
barked upon their ships, and sailed away ; and
how the other part to wit, Ulysses and his


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