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The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tales of Troy

Page: 87

'Speak not so to me, lord Eurymachus,' said Penelope, 'speak not of my beauty, which departed in the grief I felt when my lord went to the wars of Troy.'

Odysseus stood up, and gazed upon his wife who was standing amongst her wooers. Eurymachus noted him and going to him, said, 'Stranger, wouldst thou be my hireling? If thou wouldst work on my upland farm, I should give thee food and clothes. But I think thou art practised only in shifts and dodges, and that thou wouldst prefer to go begging thy way through the country.'

Odysseus, standing there, said to that proud wooer, 'Lord Eurymachus, if there might be a trial of labour between us two, I know which of us would come out the better man. I would that we two stood together, a scythe in the hands of each, and a good swath of meadow to be mown—then would I match with thee, fasting from dawn until evening's dark. Or would that we were set ploughing together. Then thou shouldst see who would plough the longest and the best furrow! Or would that we two were in the ways of war! Then shouldst thou see who would be in the front rank of battle. Thou dost think thyself a great man. But if Odysseus should return, that door, wide as it is, would be too narrow for thy flight.'

So angry was Eurymachus at this speech that he would have struck Odysseus if


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