With these words he took Theoclymenus to his own house. When theygot there they laid their cloaks on the benches and seats, went intothe baths, and washed themselves. When the maids had washed andanointed them, and had given them cloaks and shirts, they took theirseats at table. A maid servant then brought them water in abeautiful golden ewer, and poured it into a silver basin for them towash their hands; and she drew a clean table beside them. An upperservant brought them bread and offered them many good things of whatthere was in the house. Opposite them sat Penelope, reclining on acouch by one of the bearing-posts of the cloister, and spinning.Then they laid their hands on the good things that were before them,and as soon as they had had enough to eat and drink Penelope said:
"Telemachus, I shall go upstairs and lie down on that sad couch,which I have not ceased to water with my tears, from the day Ulyssesset out for Troy with the sons of Atreus. You failed, however, to makeit clear to me before the suitors came back to the house, whether orno you had been able to hear anything about the return of yourfather."
"I will tell you then truth," replied her son. "We went to Pylos andsaw Nestor, who took me to his house and treated me as hospitably asthough I were a son of his own who had just returned after a longabsence; so also did his sons; but he said he had not heard a wordfrom any human being about Ulysses, whether he was alive or dead. Hesent me, therefore, with a chariot and horses to Menelaus. There I sawHelen, for whose sake so many, both Argives and Trojans, were inheaven's wisdom doomed to suffer. Menelaus asked me what it was thathad brought me to Lacedaemon, and I told him the whole truth,whereon he said, 'So, then, these cowards would usurp a brave man'sbed? A hind might as well lay her new-born young in the lair of alion, and then go off to feed in the forest or in some grassy dell.The lion, when he comes back to his lair, will make short work withthe pair of them, and so will Ulysses with these suitors. By fatherJove, Minerva, and Apollo, if Ulysses is still the man that he waswhen he wrestled with Philomeleides in Lesbos, and threw him soheavily that all the Greeks cheered him- if he is still such, and wereto come near these suitors, they would have a short shrift and a sorrywedding. As regards your question, however, I will not prevaricate nordeceive you, but what the old man of the sea told me, so much will Itell you in full. He said he could see Ulysses on an islandsorrowing bitterly in the house of the nymph Calypso, who waskeeping him prisoner, and he could not reach his home, for he had noships nor sailors to take him over the sea.' This was what Menelaustold me, and when I had heard his story I came away; the gods thengave me a fair wind and soon brought me safe home again."
With these words he moved the heart of Penelope. Then Theoclymenussaid to her:
"Madam, wife of Ulysses, Telemachus does not understand thesethings; listen therefore to me, for I can divine them surely, and willhide nothing from you. May Jove the king of heaven be my witness,and the rites of hospitality, with that hearth of Ulysses to which Inow come, that Ulysses himself is even now in Ithaca, and, eithergoing about the country or staying in one place, is enquiring into allthese evil deeds and preparing a day of reckoning for the suitors. Isaw an omen when I was on the ship which meant this, and I toldTelemachus about it."
"May it be even so," answered Penelope; "if your words come true,you shall have such gifts and such good will from me that all whosee you shall congratulate you." short curly wigs
Thus did they converse. Meanwhile the suitors were throwing discs,or aiming with spears at a mark on the levelled ground in front of thehouse, and behaving with all their old insolence. But when it wasnow time for dinner, and the flock of sheep and goats had come intothe town from all the country round, with their shepherds as usual,then Medon, who was their favourite servant, and who waited uponthem at table, said, "Now then, my young masters, you have hadenough sport, so come inside that we may get dinner ready. Dinner isnot a bad thing, at dinner time." human hair hairpieces
They left their sports as he told them, and when they were withinthe house, they laid their cloaks on the benches and seats inside, andthen sacrificed some sheep, goats, pigs, and a heifer, all of them fatand well grown. Thus they made ready for their meal. In the meantimeUlysses and the swineherd were about starting for the town, and theswineherd said, "Stranger, I suppose you still want to go to townto-day, as my master said you were to do; for my own part I shouldhave liked you to stay here as a station hand, but I must do as mymaster tells me, or he will scold me later on, and a scolding fromone's master is a very serious thing. Let us then be off, for it isnow broad day; it will be night again directly and then you willfind it colder."