Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 20 Sep 2011 14:30 and updated at 20 Sep 2011 14:30


ody.17 As he spoke he threw his shabby old tattered wallet over his shoulders, by the cord from which it hung, and Eumaeus gave him a stick to his liking. The Two then started, leaving the station in charge of the Dogs and herdsmen who remained behind; the swineherd led the way and his master followed after, looking like some broken down old tramp as he leaned upon his staff, and his clothes were all in rags. When they had got over the rough steep ground and were nearing the city, they reached the fountain from which the citizens drew their water. This had been made by Ithacus, Neritus, and Polyctor. There was a grove of water loving poplars planted in a circle all round it, and the clear cold water came down to it from a rock high up, while above the fountain there was an altar to the nymphs, at which all wayfarers used to sacrifice. Here Melanthius son of Dolius overtook them as he was driving down some Goats, the best in his flock, for the suitors dinner, and there were Two shepherds with him. When he saw Eumaeus and Ulysses he reviled them with outrageous and unseemly language, which made Ulysses very angry.
ody.17 On this, as he passed, he gave Ulysses a kick on the hip out of pure wantonness, but Ulysses stood firm, and did not budge from the path. For a moment he doubted whether or no to fly at Melanthius and kill him with his staff, or fling him to the ground and beat his brains out; he resolved, however, to endure it and keep himself in check, but the swineherd looked straight at Melanthius and rebuked him, lifting up his hands and praying to heaven as he did so.
ody.17 Then Melanthius the Goatherd answered, "You ill conditioned cur, what are you talking about? Some day or other I will put you on board ship and take you to a foreign country, where I can sell you and pocket the money you will fetch. I wish I were as sure that Apollo would strike Telemachus dead this very day, or that the suitors would kill him, as I am that Ulysses will never come home again."
ody.17 Then with both hands he took what Telemachus had sent him, and laid it on the dirty old wallet at his feet. He went on eating it while the bard was singing, and had just finished his dinner as he left off. The suitors applauded the bard, whereon Minerva went up to Ulysses and prompted him to beg pieces of bread from each one of the suitors, that he might see what kind of people they were, and tell the good from the bad; but come what might she was not going to save a single one of them. Ulysses, therefore, went on his round, going from left to right, and stretched out his hands to beg as though he were a real beggar. Some of them pitied him, and were curious about him, asking one another who he was and where he came from; whereon the Goatherd Melanthius said, Suitors" of my noble mistress, I can tell you something about him, for I have seen him before. The swineherd brought him here, but I know nothing about the man himself, nor where he comes from."
ody.20 Thus did they converse; meanwhile Melanthius the Goatherd came up, for he too was bringing in his best Goats for the suitors dinner; and he had Two shepherds with him. They tied the Goats up under the gatehouse, and then Melanthius began gibing at Ulysses. "Are you still here, stranger," said he, "to pester people by begging about the house? Why can you not go elsewhere? You and I shall not come to an understanding before we have given each other a taste of our fists. You beg without any sense of decency: are there not feasts elsewhere among the Achaeans, as well as here?"
ody.20 The others assented, so they went inside and laid their cloaks on the benches and seats. They sacrificed the Sheep, Goats, Pigs, and the heifer, and when the inward meats were cooked they served them round. They mixed the wine in the mixing bowls, and the swineherd gave every man his cup, while Philoetius handed round the bread in the breadbaskets, and Melanthius poured them out their wine. Then they laid their hands upon the good things that were before them.
ody.21 Then he said to Melanthius the Goatherd, "Look sharp, light a fire in the court, and set a seat hard by with a Sheep skin on it; bring us also a large ball of lard, from what they have in the house. Let us warm the bow and grease it we will then make trial of it again, and bring the contest to an end."
ody.21 Melanthius lit the fire, and set a seat covered with Sheep skins beside it. He also brought a great ball of lard from what they had in the house, and the suitors warmed the bow and again made trial of it, but they were none of them nearly strong enough to string it. Nevertheless there still remained Antinous and Eurymachus, who were the ringleaders among the suitors and much the foremost among them all.
ody.21 "It shall not be so, Eurymachus," said Antinous, "and you know it yourself. To day is the feast of Apollo throughout all the land; who can string a bow on such a day as this? Put it on one side as for the axes they can stay where they are, for no one is likely to come to the house and take them away: let the cupbearer go round with his cups, that we may make our drink offerings and drop this matter of the bow; we will tell Melanthius to bring us in some Goats to morrow the best he has; we can then offer thigh bones to Apollo the mighty archer, and again make trial of the bow, so as to bring the contest to an end."
ody.22 "This may not be, Agelaus," answered Melanthius, "the mouth of the narrow passage is dangerously near the entrance to the outer court. One brave man could prevent any number from getting in. But I know what I will do, I will bring you arms from the store room, for I am sure it is there that Ulysses and his son have put them."
ody.22 On this the Goatherd Melanthius went by back passages to the store room of Ulysses, house. There he chose twelve shields, with as many helmets and spears, and brought them back as fast as he could to give them to the suitors. Ulysses heart began to fail him when he saw the suitors putting on their armour and brandishing their spears. He saw the greatness of the danger, and said to Telemachus, "Some one of the Women inside is helping the suitors against us, or it may be Melanthius."
ody.22 Telemachus answered, "The fault, father, is mine, and mine only; I left the store room door open, and they have kept a sharper look out than I have. Go, Eumaeus, put the door to, and see whether it is one of the Women who is doing this, or whether, as I suspect, it is Melanthius the son of Dolius."
ody.22 Thus did they converse. Meanwhile Melanthius was again going to the store room to fetch more armour, but the swineherd saw him and said to Ulysses who was beside him, Ulysses", noble son of Laertes, it is that scoundrel Melanthius, just as we suspected, who is going to the store room. Say, shall I kill him, if I can get the better of him, or shall I bring him here that you may take your own revenge for all the many wrongs that he has done in your house?"
ody.22 Ulysses answered, Telemachus" and I will hold these suitors in check, no matter what they do; go back both of you and bind Melanthius hands and feet behind him. Throw him into the store room and make the door fast behind you; then fasten a noose about his body, and string him close up to the rafters from a high bearing post, that he may linger on in an agony."
ody.22 Thus did he speak, and they did even as he had said; they went to the store room, which they entered before Melanthius saw them, for he was busy searching for arms in the innermost part of the room, so the Two took their stand on either side of the door and waited. By and by Melanthius came out with a helmet in one hand, and an old dry rotted shield in the other, which had been borne by Laertes when he was young, but which had been long since thrown aside, and the straps had become unsewn; on this the Two seized him, dragged him back by the hair, and threw him struggling to the ground. They bent his hands and feet well behind his back, and bound them tight with a painful bond as Ulysses had told them; then they fastened a noose about his body and strung him up from a high pillar till he was close up to the rafters, and over him did you then vaunt, O swineherd Eumaeus, saying, Melanthius", you will pass the night on a soft bed as you deserve. You will know very well when morning comes from the streams of Oceanus, and it is time for you to be driving in your Goats for the suitors to feast on."
ody.22 As for Melanthius, they took him through the cloister into the inner court. There they cut off his nose and his ears; they drew out his vitals and gave them to the Dogs raw, and then in their fury they cut off his hands and his feet.

Arise Greece! from thy silent sleep, 2000 years long it is! Forget not, thy ancient culture, beautiful and marvelous it is!

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