"I will tell you all about them," replied Eumaeus, "Laertes is stillliving and prays heaven to let him depart peacefully his own house,for he is terribly distressed about the absence of his son, and alsoabout the death of his wife, which grieved him greatly and aged himmore than anything else did. She came to an unhappy end through sorrowfor her son: may no friend or neighbour who has dealt kindly by mecome to such an end as she did. As long as she was still living,though she was always grieving, I used to like seeing her and askingher how she did, for she brought me up along with her daughterCtimene, the youngest of her children; we were boy and girltogether, and she made little difference between us. When, however, weboth grew up, they sent Ctimene to Same and received a splendiddowry for her. As for me, my mistress gave me a good shirt and cloakwith a pair of sandals for my feet, and sent me off into thecountry, but she was just as fond of me as ever. This is all over now.Still it has pleased heaven to prosper my work in the situationwhich I now hold. I have enough to eat and drink, and can findsomething for any respectable stranger who comes here; but there is nogetting a kind word or deed out of my mistress, for the house hasfallen into the hands of wicked people. Servants want sometimes to seetheir mistress and have a talk with her; they like to have somethingto eat and drink at the house, and something too to take back withthem into the country. This is what will keep servants in a goodhumour." paula young wig
Ulysses answered, "Then you must have been a very little fellow,Eumaeus, when you were taken so far away from your home and parents.Tell me, and tell me true, was the city in which your father andmother lived sacked and pillaged, or did some enemies carry you offwhen you were alone tending sheep or cattle, ship you off here, andsell you for whatever your master gave them?"
"Stranger," replied Eumaeus, "as regards your question: sit still,make yourself comfortable, drink your wine, and listen to me. Thenights are now at their longest; there is plenty of time both forsleeping and sitting up talking together; you ought not to go to bedtill bed time, too much sleep is as bad as too little; if any one ofthe others wishes to go to bed let him leave us and do so; he can thentake my master's pigs out when he has done breakfast in the morning.We two will sit here eating and drinking in the hut, and telling oneanother stories about our misfortunes; for when a man has sufferedmuch, and been buffeted about in the world, he takes pleasure inrecalling the memory of sorrows that have long gone by. As regardsyour question, then, my tale is as follows:
"You may have heard of an island called Syra that lies over aboveOrtygia, where the land begins to turn round and look in anotherdirection. It is not very thickly peopled, but the soil is good,with much pasture fit for cattle and sheep, and it abounds with wineand wheat. Dearth never comes there, nor are the people plagued by anysickness, but when they grow old Apollo comes with Diana and killsthem with his painless shafts. It contains two communities, and thewhole country is divided between these two. My father Ctesius son ofOrmenus, a man comparable to the gods, reigned over both. long wigs
"Now to this place there came some cunning traders from Phoenicia(for the Phoenicians are great mariners) in a ship which they hadfreighted with gewgaws of all kinds. There happened to be a Phoenicianwoman in my father's house, very tall and comely, and an excellentservant; these scoundrels got hold of her one day when she was washingnear their ship, seduced her, and cajoled her in ways that no womancan resist, no matter how good she may be by nature. The man who hadseduced her asked her who she was and where she came from, and onthis she told him her father's name. 'I come from Sidon,' said she,'and am daughter to Arybas, a man rolling in wealth. One day as Iwas coming into the town from the country some Taphian piratesseized me and took me here over the sea, where they sold me to the manwho owns this house, and he gave them their price for me.' red wigs
"The man who had seduced her then said, 'Would you like to comealong with us to see the house of your parents and your parentsthemselves? They are both alive and are said to be well off.'
"'I will do so gladly,' answered she, 'if you men will first swearme a solemn oath that you will do me no harm by the way.'