The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy

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'By the gods, youth,' said one of the wooers, 'you must tell us first who he is who has made you so high and proud of speech.'

'Surely,' said another, 'he who has done that is the stranger who was with him. Who is he? Why did he come here, and of what land has he declared himself to be?'

'Why did he not stay so that we might look at him and speak to him?' said another of the wooers.

'These are the words I would say to you. Let us feast now in peace, without any brawling amongst us, and listen to the tale that the minstrel sings to us,' said Telemachus. 'But to-morrow let us have a council made up of the chief men of this land of Ithaka. I shall go to the council and speak there. I shall ask that you leave this house of mine and feast on goods that you yourselves have gathered. Let the chief men judge whether I speak in fairness to you or not. If you do not heed what I will say openly at the council, before all the chief men of our land, then let it be on your own heads what will befall you.'

All the wooers marvelled that Telemachus spoke so boldly. And one said, 'Because his father, Odysseus, was king, this youth thinks he should be king by inheritance. But may Zeus, the god, never grant that he be king.'

Then said Telemachus, 'If the god Zeus should grant that I be King, I am ready to take up the Kingship of the land of Ithaka with all its toils and all its dangers.' And when Telemachus said that he looked like a young king indeed.

But they sat in peace and listened to what the minstrel sang. And when evening came the wooers left the hall and went each to his own house. Telemachus rose and went to his chamber. Before him there went an ancient woman who had nursed him as a child—Eurycleia was her name. She carried burning torches to light his way. And when they were in his chamber Telemachus took off his soft doublet and put it in Eurycleia's hands, and she smoothed it out and hung it on the pin at his bed-side. Then she went out and she closed the door behind with its handle of silver and she pulled the thong that bolted the door on the other side. And all night long Telemachus lay wrapped in his fleece of wool and thought on what he would say at the council next day, and on the goddess Athene and what she had put into his heart to do, and on the journey that was before him to Nestor in Pylos and to Menelaus and Helen in Sparta.



s soon as it was dawn Telemachus rose from his bed. He put on his raiment, bound his sandals on his feet, hung his sharp sword across his shoulder, and took in his hand a spear of bronze. Then he went forth to where the Council was being held in the open air, and two swift hounds went beside him.