« PreviousContinue »
the ship, but leave me here, lest the old man should detain me against my will in his house, longing to entertain me: but it is necessary for me to return immediately."
Thus he spoke; but the son of Nestor considered in his mind, how, having made a promise to him, he might perform it rightly. And thus to him considering it seemed to be better; he turned the horses to the swift ship and the shore of the sea; and he took out [and placed in] the stern of the ship the beautiful presents, the garment and gold, which Menelaus gave him; and urging him, he spoke winged words:
"In haste now embark, and order all thy companions, before I reach home, and inform the old man. For I know this well in my breast and in my mind, how violent is his temper, nor will he let thee go: but he will himself come here to call thee: nor do I think that thou wilt go away empty; for he will be very wrath."
Thus having spoken, he drove the beautiful-haired horses back to the city of the Pylians, and quickly reached the dwelling. And Telemachus commanded his companions, urging them on: "Put in order the tackle, my companions, in the black ship; and let us ourselves embark, that we may perform our voyage."
Thus he spoke; and they heard him well, and obeyed. And they quickly embarked and sat down upon the benches. He indeed was toiling thus, and praying, and he sacrificed to Minerva near the stern of the ship; and a foreigner came near him, flying from Argos, a prophet, having slain a man :7 but he was a descendant of the race of Melampus, who formerly dwelt in Pylos, the mother of sheep, opulent, inhabiting a very excellent house amongst the Pylians: then indeed he came to another people, flying his country, and magnanimous Neleus, most illustrious of the living, who kept his great possessions for a whole year by force: but he in the mean time
7 On this exile of murderers the student will do -well to consult Miiller's Eumenides, § 44, p. 129, &c. He remarks that "in the Heroic age the punishment for homicide was on the whole more severe than in the Attic courts and Platonic scheme of laws. For," as he observes in reference to the present passage of Homer, " the pursuit of vengeance was carried beyond the frontiers; neither was it limited in its operation as by Attic law, but was exercised in all its relentlessness; even in foreign countries the fugitive murderer was in constant apprehension of the avenger."
was bound in the palace of Phylacus8 in a difficult bond, suffering violent griefs, on account of the daughter of Neleus, and a heavy calamity, which the goddess, dreadful to be approached,9 the Fury, placed in his mind. But he escaped death, and drove the loud-lowing beeves to Pylos from Phylace, and took revenge on godlike Neleus, for his shameful conduct, and brought home a wife for his brother. And he came to another people, to horse-pasturing Argos; for there it was fated for him to dwell, ruling over many Argives. There he married a wife, and built a lofty-roofed house, and begot Antiphates and Mantius, brave sons. Antiphates begot magnanimous Oileus: but Oileus begot people-stirring Amphiaraus, whom iEgis-bearing Jove and Apollo loved exceedingly in their heart, in every kind of friendship; but he did not reach the threshold of old age, but perished in Thebes, on account of woman's presents.10 His sons were Alcmaeon and Amphilochus. Mantius besides begot Polyphides and Clytus: but golden-throned Aurora snatched away Clytus, on account of his beauty, that he might live amongst the immortals. But Apollo made noble-minded Polyphides a prophet, far the most excellent of mortals, (when Amphiaraus had died,) who ruled over Hyperesia, enraged with his father; there he dwelling prophesied to all mortals. His son approached, but Theoclymenus was his name, who then stood near Telemachus; and he found him making a libation and praying near the swift black ship; and addressing him, he spoke winged words:
"O friend, since I find thee sacrificing in this place, I entreat thee by the sacrifices and the deity, but afterwards by thine own head, and thy companions who follow thee, tell me
8 Iphiclus, the son of Phylacus, had seized and detained cattle belonging to Neleus; Neleus ordered his nephew Melampus to recover them, and, as security for his obedience, seized on a considerable part of his possessions. Melampus attempted the service, failed, and was cast into prison; but at length escaping, accomplished his errand, vanquished Neleus in battle, and carried off his daughter Pero, whom Neleus had promised to the brother of Melampus, but had afterwards refused her. Cowper.
'AaoirXrjTig, HvairXijTtg Tic ovaa, o lari SvairiXaaTog. Schol. Ambros. Cf. Etym. M. F. 55, A. Schol. on Theocrit. ii. 14. Alberti on Hesych. t. i. p. 891, sq.
"See xi. 326, sqq. Eriphyle is meant.
truly who am inquiring of thee, nor conceal it. Who art thou? from whence art thou amongst men? Where are thy city, and thy parents?"
But him prudent Telemachus answered in turn: "Therefore I will tell thee very accurately, O stranger. I am from Ithaca by race, and my father is Ulysses, if he ever was alive:11 but now he has perished by a miserable death. Therefore now taking companions and a black ship, I have come to inquire after my long-absent sire."
But him godlike Theoclymenus addressed in turn: "So also am I indeed away from my country, having slain a kindred man: but he had many brothers and friends in horsepasturing Argos, and the Grecians have great power. Avoiding death and black fate at their hands, I fly; since it is now destiny for me to wander amongst men. But put me on board thy ship, since flying I have besought thee, lest they should slay me: for I think that they are pursuing."
But him prudent Telemachus answered in turn: "I will not certainly reject thee from my equal ship, if thou art desirous [of going]; but follow, and there thou shalt be entertained with such things as we have."
Thus having spoken, he received from him his brazen spear, and extended it on the deck of the ship rowed on both sides: and he himself embarked in the sea-traversing ship. And then he sat down in the stern; and he seated Theoclymenus near himself: and they (the sailors) loosed the halsers. And Telemachus exhorting his companions, bade them make ready the tackle; and they eagerly obeyed. And raising the pine mast, they placed it within the hollow mast hole, and bound it down with cables; and they hoisted the white sails with well-twisted bull-hides. And to them blue-eyed Minerva sent a favourable gale, blowing sharply upon them through the air, that the ship running along might very quickly make its way over the briny water of the sea. '[And they came to Crouni, and to fair-streamed Chalcis.]12 But the sun set, and all the ways were overshadowed. And it reached Pheroe,13 driven on by a favourable gale from Jove; and to divine-Elis,
11 An exclamation of grief. See Loewe.
12 See Loewe.
u Properly, " took a right aim so as to hit Phera." Cf. Porphyr. Qwest. Hom. i.
where the Epeans rule. From thence he sent it on to the swift14 islands, meditating whether he should escape death or be taken.
In the mean time Ulysses and the divine swineherd were feasting in the tent: and near them the other men feasted. But when they had taken away the desire of eating and drinking, Ulysses addressed them, trying the swineherd, whether he would still kindly entertain him, and desire him to remain there in the stall, or would incite him to go to the city:
"Hear me now, 0 Eumaeus, and ye all the rest of his companions, at dawn I desire to go to the city, in order to beg, that I may not waste away thee and thy companions. But suggest to me well, and also give me a good guide, who indeed may lead me thither: but I myself will wander through the city by necessity, [to see} if any one will give me a small measure of wine, and a meal-cake. And coming to the house of divine Ulysses, I would fain tell the news to prudent Penelope: and I would be mixed with the overbearing suitors, [to see] if they will give me a meal, since they have countless dainties. Quickly would I well perform amongst them, whatever they wished. For I will tell thee, but do thou understand and listen to me, by the will of the messenger Mercury, who indeed awards grace and renown to the works of all men, in serving no other mortal would contend with me, both to keep up a fire well, and to cleave dry faggots, and to carve, and roast, and pour out wine, such things as inferiors are wont to do for the good."
But him thou, 0 swineherd Eumaeus, didst address in great sorrow: "Ah me! stranger, why has this thought been in thy mind? certainly thou altogether desirest to perish there, if thou art willing to enter the crowd of suitors, whose insolence and violence reaches to the steely heaven. There are not such attendants for them, but [there are] young men, clothed well in cloaks and tunics, atid always shining as to their heads and beautiful faces, who attend upon them: and the well-polished tables are heavily laden with bread and meat, and wine. But stay here; for no one is hurt by thee being present, neither I, nor any other of my companions, whom I have. But when
14 i. e. rapidly vanishing from the sight. Cf. Virg. Mn. iii. 72," terraeque urbesque recedunt," 270, sq. Lucret. iv. 388, sqq. Valer. Flacc. ii. 8. Silius iii. 156. Rutil. Itin. i. 223.
the dear son of Ulysses comes, he will put on thee a cloak and tunic as garments, and will send thee wherever thy heart and mind bids thee."
But him much-enduring divine Ulysses then answered: "Mayest thou be as dear to the father Jove, O Eumaeus, as [thou art] to me, because thou hast made me cease from my wandering and grievous toil: for there is nothing else worse for mortals than wandering. But on account of their pernicious belly men possess evil cares, upon whom wandering and calamity and grief come. But now, since thou detainest me, and commandest me to wait for him, come, tell me about the mother of divine Ulysses, and his sire, whom when he set out he left upon the threshold of old age, if they are by chance still alive under the beams of the sun, or are now dead, and in the houses of Pluto."
But him the swineherd, chief of men, addressed in turn: "Therefore I will tell thee very truly, 0 stranger: Laertes is still alive, but is for ever praying to Jove, that his life may perish from his limbs in his own palace: for he is violently grieved for his absent son, and his skilful virgin wife, who most of all grieved him when she died, and placed him in an immature old age. But she, through sorrow^ fv her renowned son, perished by a miserable death ;15 so may not any one die, whoever dwelling here is a friend to me, and does friendly acts. Whilst indeed then she was alive, although grieving, so long was it dear to me to inquire and ask her, because she herself nurtured me with long-robed Ctimena, her illustrious daughter, whom she bore youngest of her children: with her I was brought up, and she honoured me but little less. But when we both reached much desirable youth, they immediately sent her to Samos, and received large [dowries]. But me she sent to the country, having clad me with a cloak and tunic, very beautiful garments, and having given me sandals for my feet; but she loved me in her heart still more. But now I am in want of these things; yet the blessed gods increase for me the work, in which I abide ; from these things I have eaten and drunk, and have given to objects of pity.16 But from my mistress I cannot hear any
15 She either died of a broken heart, or hung herself. See Eustathius. 11 Venerable, because objects of a regard almost amounting to superstition, as being the necessary objects of hospitality.