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alone escaped on the floating mast to the Island of Calypso, as already narrated—the Sun having threatened that, if the insult went un-avenged, he would light the heavens no more, but shine in Hades instead.

Ulysses now takes leave of his Phæacian hosts, loaded with gifts, and is conveyed in one of their magic galleys to Ithaca, where he is landed sound asleep, and left under an olive tree. On waking he fails to recognise his native land until Minerva appears, and, disguising him as an aged beggar, directs him to seek shelter with his own swineherd Eumæus. By this faithful steward, who, though a slave, is of princely birth, and very loyal to his master's house, he is hospitably entertained, and he pretends to be a Cretan chief, who has been at Troy, where he saw Ulysses, has heard of him since, and offers a wager that he will yet return. Eumæus provides his guest with some warm covering and a place near the fire, but takes up his own quarters for the night under a rock close to the lair of his swine.

Telemachus, meanwhile, has dallied a month at Sparta, and is admonished in a dream by Minerva, who hints that Penelope is beginning to favour Eurymachus, one of her lovers. Pisistratus promises to return with him at daybreak, and Menelaus courteously refrains from urging them to remain longer than is agreeable, saying that

'True friendship’s laws are by this rule exprest,-
Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest ; '

(Worsley) at the same time begging them to make a substantial breakfast before starting on their journey. They halt again at Pheræ, and the following day reached Pylos, when Telemachus instantly embarks for Ithaca. On landing he makes for the swineherd's lodge, where the watch-dogs, knowing his step, run out to greet him, and Eumæus falls on his neck and kisses him. Ulysses, maintaining his disguise, offers the young chief his seat; but he will not displace an old man though he be clad in rags, and, having taken some food, would know the stranger's history. Eumæus having repeated what Ulysses has told him, is sent by Telemachus to announce his return to Penelope ; and, father and son


being left together, Minerva appears to Ulysses, and bids him discover himself, upon which his rags fall off, a royal robe takes their place, and his majestic presence is resumed. But Telemachus was only an infant when his father started for Troy, and, even when assured of his identity, imagines him to be a heavenly visitor, and will not believe him. Ulysses replies,

Other Odysseus cometh none save me ;
Behold me as I am! By earth and sea
Scourged with affliction, in the twentieth year,
Safe to mine own land at last I flee.'

Worsley. Having at length told each other their adventures, they agree to keep the secret from Penelope until they can make sure of aid to overcome the intruders. Telemachus is timorous, saying, what are they two against so many? But Ulysses, confident that his day of vengeance is come at last, and that Jupiter and Minerva are on his side, ironically asks his son, —. Thinkest thou these allies will suffice, or shall we seek for other helpers ?'

Penelope is in ecstacies, and the suitors in consternation, at the return of Telemachus. Eumæus is bringing Ulysses, disguised again in mean apparel, to the palace, and on their way they are met by the goatherd, Melanthius, who has gone over to his master's enemies, and spurns the old man with his foot; but at the gates he is recognised by his dog Argus, who is grown too feeble to approach him, and he is moved to tears, which he has never shed for Penelope. Entering his own hall, he solicits broken meat from those who are sitting at table, and none refuse him save Antinous, who throws a stool at him, for which he is thus rebuked by one of his companions,

Not to thine honour hast thou now let fall,
Antinous, on the wandering poor this blow,
Haply a god from heaven is in our hall,
And thou art ripe for ruin ; I bid thee know
Gods in the garb of strangers to and fro
Wander the cities, and men's ways discern;
Yea, through the wide earth in all shapes they go,
Changed, yet the same, and with their own eyes learn,
How live the sacred laws—who hold them, and who spurn.'



Then Irus, another beggar, threatens to drive him away, but hesitates to meddle with him on seeing his muscular

Ulysses, however, with a single blow, breaks his jaw and drags him out, on which the revellers award him a paunch of mince-meat.

Penelope now enters the hall to speak with her son, and taunting Eurymachus with meanness, in answer to his expressions of admiration, he and the others offer her valuable presents, which she carries away to her chamber; but, when the company have quitted the hall for the night, she descends again, and asks to hear the stranger's tale. He represents himself as the brother of King Idomeneus of Crete, and as having once entertained Ulysses, minutely describing his dress, which the queen remembers having worked for him. He also tells her that her husband is within easy reach of Ithaca, and, grateful for the comfort, she orders him a bath, at which he is tended by the old nurse Eurycleia, who is struck with his likeness to her master, and her eyes fall on a well-remembered scar on his foot, received, when he was a youth, from a boar's tusk while hunting with his grandsire Autolycus on Mount Parnassus. She doubts no longer, and, upsetting the bath, exclaims,

'Surely thou art Ulysses—yes thou art
My darling child, and I knew not my king,
Till I had handled thee in every part.'

Worsley. He charges her to keep his secret, and, refusing all softer accommodation, lies down on a couch of bull hide.

The morrow is a festival of Apollo, and is celebrated by the suitors with more than their usual revelry. Ulysses is still subjected to their insults, but some ominous portents occur during the feast, and the rioters turn on Telemachus, who, biding his time, makes no reply. Meanwhile, his mother has thought of a new device to delay her choice of a lover. She brings forth Ulysses' bow, and will accept whichever of them can send an arrow through the rings of twelve axe-heads, as he was wont to do. Telemachus makes the first attempt, but, at a sign from his father, professes himself unable to bend the bow. One after another the

rival suitors all fail, and, at last, the seeming beggar, after being well abused for his audacity, is permitted to try his hand. Gently and lovingly handling the bow, he brings notes 'shrill and sweet as the voice of the swallow' from the tight-strained string, and, fitting an arrow as he sits, he draws and accomplishes the feat.

It is the prelude of the end. Telemachus, seizing his sword and spear, stands by his father's throne, and, stript of his rags, the king pierces Antinous in the throat as he is raising a goblet to his mouth, from whence the proverb, “There's many a slip ’twixt the cup and the lip.' His comrades are aghast as Ulysses declares himself and his purpose, and would fain make terms; but, supported by his son and two of his faithful retainers, he holds them at bay until the combat ends in the slaughter of the whole band of intruders, the women servants who had joined them, and the traitorous goatherd, whose ears and nose and limbs are first lopped off. Eurycleia would have raised a shout of triumph, but the king restrains her, saying,

•Nurse with a mute heart this my vengeance hail,
Not holy is it o'er the slain to boast;
These heaven and their crimes have brought to bail,
And with their souls they pay the fatal cost.'

Worsley. Penelope comes to look upon the corpses, but will not be convinced that their slayer is her husband. He orders all traces of the scene to be obliterated, and that the palace shall ring with harp and song and dance, as if the queen had made her choice. Endued once more by his guardian goddess with his locks and noble mien, he again appeals to his wife's memory, but she will give no token of recognition, although the form and features she acknowledges are those of the Ulysses from whom she parted twenty years ago. She will put him to a certain test. "Give him his own bed,' she says; 'go bring it forth from our bridal chamber.' But it consisted of the stem of an olive tree, rooted in the ground round which the chamber was built. "Move it!' exclaimed Ulysses, who could stir it from its place ?' and all her doubts are solved in happy certainty. Minerva lengthens the duration of the night that they may narrate their personal adventures to each other, and so the poem might have ended.

An episode, however, follows, in which Mercury conducts the spirits of the dead suitors to that “sunless land, where again Agamemnon contrasts his dishonoured end with the noble death of Achilles, and the treachery of Clytemnestra with the fidelity of Penelope :

Oh to her first one love how true she was !
Nought shall make dim the flower of her sweet fame
For ever, but the gods unceasingly
Shall to the earth's inhabitants her name,
Wide on the wings of song, with endless praise proclaim.'

Worsley. Ulysses has still to visit his aged father Laertes, who is living in sad retirement on his farm; and, while he seems yet incredulous, his son reminds him how, when a child, he had given him for his very own,' a certain number of fruit trees, which he enumerates ; a token which is irresistible, and the old man almost faints with joy.

An attempt at rebellion, headed by the father of Antinous, and suppressed after a brief contest, contains no point of interest; and a fresh adventure for the hero, to seek some people who have never seen the sea, or eaten salt, as a penance to appease Neptune for the injury inflicted on Polyphemus, is merely hinted at and left untold.

The Roman names of the gods and goddesses have been substituted for those used by Homer, as being better known to the generality of English readers.

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