Pigs

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 20 Sep 2011 14:52 and updated at 20 Sep 2011 14:52

ODYSSEY NOUN

ody.02 Thus spoke Minerva daughter of Jove, and Telemachus lost no time in doing as the Goddess told him. He went moodily and found the suitors flaying Goats and singeing Pigs in the outer court. Antinous came up to him at once and laughed as he took his hand in his own, saying, Telemachus", my fine fire eater, bear no more ill blood neither in word nor deed, but eat and drink with us as you used to do. The Achaeans will find you in everything a ship and a picked crew to boot so that you can set sail for Pylos at once and get news of your noble father."
ody.08 Alcinous then led the way, and the others followed after, while a servant went to fetch Demodocus. The Fifty two picked oarsmen went to the sea shore as they had been told, and when they got there they drew the ship into the water, got her mast and sails inside her, bound the oars to the thole pins with twisted thongs of leather, all in due course, and spread the white sails aloft. They moored the vessel a little way out from land, and then came on shore and went to the house of King Alcinous. The outhouses, yards, and all the precincts were filled with crowds of men in great multitudes both old and young; and Alcinous killed them a dozen Sheep, Eight full grown Pigs, and Two Oxen. These they skinned and dressed so as to provide a magnificent banquet.
ody.10 "They called her and she came down, unfastened the door, and bade them enter. They, thinking no evil, followed her, all except Eurylochus, who suspected mischief and stayed outside. When she had got them into her house, she set them upon benches and seats and mixed them a mess with cheese, honey, meal, and Pramnian but she drugged it with wicked poisons to make them forget their homes, and when they had drunk she turned them into Pigs by a stroke of her wand, and shut them up in her Pigsties. They were like Pigs head, hair, and all, and they grunted just as Pigs do; but their senses were the same as before, and they remembered everything.
ody.10 "Thus then were they shut up squealing, and Circe threw them some acorns and beech masts such as Pigs eat, but Eurylochus hurried back to tell me about the sad fate of our comrades. He was so overcome with dismay that though he tried to speak he could find no words to do so; his eyes filled with tears and he could only sob and sigh, till at last we forced his story out of him, and he told us what had happened to the others.
ody.10 "And I answered, Circe, how can you expect me to be friendly with you when you have just been turning all my men into Pigs? And now that you have got me here myself, you mean me mischief when you ask me to go to bed with you, and will unman me and make me fit for nothing. I shall certainly not consent to go to bed with you unless you will first take your solemn oath to plot no further harm against me.
ody.10 "On this the men would have come with me at once, but Eurylochus tried to hold them back and said, Alas, poor wretches that we are, what will become of us? Rush not on your ruin by going to the house of Circe, who will turn us all into Pigs or wolves or lions, and we shall have to keep guard over her house. Remember how the Cyclops treated us when our comrades went inside his cave, and Ulysses with them. It was all through his sheer folly that those men lost their lives.
ody.11 Ulysses, he answered, noble son of Laertes, was not lost at sea in any storm of Neptune s raising, nor did my foes despatch me upon the mainland, but Aegisthus and my wicked wife were the death of me between them. He asked me to his house, feasted me, and then butchered me most miserably as though I were a fat beast in a slaughter house, while all around me my comrades were slain like Sheep or Pigs for the wedding breakfast, or picnic, or gorgeous banquet of some great nobleman. You must have seen numbers of men killed either in a general engagement, or in single combat, but you never saw anything so truly pitiable as the way in which we fell in that cloister, with the mixing bowl and the loaded tables lying all about, and the ground reeking with our blood. I heard Priam s daughter Cassandra scream as Clytemnestra killed her close beside me. I lay dying upon the earth with the sword in my body, and raised my hands to kill the slut of a murderess, but she slipped away from me; she would not even close my lips nor my eyes when I was dying, for there is nothing in this world so cruel and so shameless as a Woman when she has fallen into such guilt as hers was. Fancy murdering her own husband! I thought I was going to be welcomed home by my children and my servants, but her abominable crime has brought disgrace on herself and all Women who shall come after even on the good ones.
ody.13 "Trust me for that," said she, "I will not lose sight of you when once we set about it, and I would imagine that some of those who are devouring your substance will then bespatter the pavement with their blood and brains. I will begin by disguising you so that no human being shall know you; I will cover your body with wrinkles; you shall lose all your yellow hair; I will clothe you in a garment that shall fill all who see it with loathing; I will blear your fine eyes for you, and make you an unseemly object in the sight of the suitors, of your wife, and of the son whom you left behind you. Then go at once to the swineherd who is in charge of your Pigs; he has been always well affected towards you, and is devoted to Penelope and your son; you will find him feeding his Pigs near the rock that is called Raven by the fountain Arethusa, where they are fattening on beechmast and spring water after their manner. Stay with him and find out how things are going, while I proceed to Sparta and see your son, who is with Menelaus at Lacedaemon, where he has gone to try and find out whether you are still alive."
ody.14 ULYSSES now left the haven, and took the rough track up through the wooded country and over the crest of the mountain till he reached the place where Minerva had said that he would find the swineherd, who was the most thrifty servant he had. He found him sitting in front of his hut, which was by the yards that he had built on a site which could be seen from far. He had made them spacious and fair to see, with a free ran for the Pigs all round them; he had built them during his master s absence, of stones which he had gathered out of the ground, without saying anything to Penelope or Laertes, and he had fenced them on top with thorn bushes. Outside the yard he had run a strong fence of oaken posts, split, and set pretty close together, while inside lie had built Twelve sties near one another for the sows to lie in. There were Fifty Pigs wallowing in each sty, all of them breeding sows; but the boars slept outside and were much fewer in number, for the suitors kept on eating them, and die swineherd had to send them the best he had continually. There were Three hundred and Sixty Boar Pigs, and the herdsman s Four hounds, which were as fierce as wolves, slept always with them. The swineherd was at that moment cutting out a pair of sandals from a good stout ox hide. Three of his men were out herding the Pigs in one place or another, and he had sent the fourth to town with a Boar that he had been forced to send the suitors that they might sacrifice it and have their fill of
ody.14 As he spoke he bound his girdle round him and went to the sties where the young sucking Pigs were penned. He picked out Two which he brought back with him and sacrificed. He singed them, cut them up, and spitted on them; when the meat was cooked he brought it all in and set it before Ulysses, hot and still on the spit, whereon Ulysses sprinkled it over with white barley meal. The swineherd then mixed wine in a bowl of ivy wood, and taking a seat opposite Ulysses told him to begin.
ody.14 "Fall to, stranger," said he, "on a dish of servant s pork. The fat Pigs have to go to the suitors, who eat them up without shame or scruple; but the blessed Gods love not such shameful doings, and respect those who do what is lawful and right. Even the fierce free booters who go raiding on other people s land, and Jove gives them their spoil even they, when they have filled their ships and got home again live conscience stricken, and look fearfully for judgement; but some God seems to have told these people that Ulysses is dead and gone; they will not, therefore, go back to their own homes and make their offers of marriage in the usual way, but waste his estate by force, without fear or stint. Not a day or night comes out of heaven, but they sacrifice not one victim nor Two only, and they take the run of his wine, for he was exceedingly rich. No other great man either in Ithaca or on the mainland is as rich as he was; he had as much as Twenty men put together. I will tell you what he had. There are Twelve herds of Cattle upon the mainland, and as many flocks of Sheep, there are also twelve droves of Pigs, while his own men and hired strangers feed him Twelve widely spreading herds of Goats. Here in Ithaca he runs even large flocks of Goats on the far end of the island, and they are in the charge of excellent Goatherds. Each one of these sends the suitors the best Goat in the flock every day. As for myself, I am in charge of the Pigs that you see here, and I have to
ody.14 "As for me I live out of the way here with the Pigs, and never go to the town unless when Penelope sends for me on the arrival of some news about Ulysses. Then they all sit round and ask questions, both those who grieve over the king s absence, and those who rejoice at it because they can eat up his property without paying for it. For my own part I have never cared about asking anyone else since the time when I was taken in by an Aetolian, who had killed a man and come a long way till at last he reached my station, and I was very kind to him. He said he had seen Ulysses with Idomeneus among the Cretans, refitting his ships which had been damaged in a gale. He said Ulysses would return in the following summer or autumn with his men, and that he would bring back much wealth. And now you, you unfortunate old man, since fate has brought you to my door, do not try to flatter me in this way with vain hopes. It is not for any such reason that I shall treat you kindly, but only out of respect for Jove the God of hospitality, as fearing him and pitying you."
ody.14 Thus did they converse, and presently the swineherds came up with the Pigs, which were then shut up for the night in their sties, and a tremendous squealing they made as they were being driven into them. But Eumaeus called to his men and said, "Bring in the best Pig you have, that I may sacrifice for this stranger, and we will take toll of him ourselves. We have had trouble enough this long time feeding Pigs, while others reap the fruit of our labour."
ody.14 Thus did Ulysses sleep, and the young men slept beside him. But the swineherd did not like sleeping away from his Pigs, so he got ready to go and Ulysses was glad to see that he looked after his property during his master s absence. First he slung his sword over his brawny shoulders and put on a thick cloak to keep out the wind. He also took the skin of a large and well fed Goat, and a javelin in case of attack from men or Dogs. Thus equipped he went to his rest where the Pigs were camping under an overhanging rock that gave them shelter from the North wind.
ody.15 Ithaca send your ship and men on to the town, but yourself go straight to the swineherd who has charge your Pigs; he is well disposed towards you, stay with him, therefore, for the night, and then send him to Penelope to tell her that you have got back safe from Pylos."
ody.15 Stranger"," replied Eumaeus, "as regards your question: sit still, make yourself comfortable, drink your wine, and listen to me. The nights are now at their longest; there is plenty of time both for sleeping and sitting up talking together; you ought not to go to bed till bed time, too much sleep is as bad as too little; if any one of the others wishes to go to bed let him leave us and do so; he can then take 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 one another stories about our misfortunes; for when a man has suffered much, and been buffeted about in the world, he takes pleasure in recalling the memory of sorrows that have long gone by. As regards your question, then, my tale is as follows:
ody.16 MEANWHILE Ulysses and the swineherd had lit a fire in the hut and were were getting breakfast ready at daybreak for they had sent the men out with the Pigs. When Telemachus came up, the Dogs did not bark, but fawned upon him, so Ulysses, hearing the sound of feet and noticing that the Dogs did not bark, said to Eumaeus:
ody.16 Thus did they converse, and meanwhile the ship which had brought Telemachus and his crew from Pylos had reached the town of Ithaca. When they had come inside the harbour they drew the ship on to the land; their servants came and took their armour from them, and they left all the presents at the house of Clytius. Then they sent a servant to tell Penelope that Telemachus had gone into the country, but had sent the ship to the town to prevent her from being alarmed and made unhappy. This servant and Eumaeus happened to meet when they were both on the same errand of going to tell Penelope. When they reached the House, the servant stood up and said to the queen in the presence of the waiting Women, "Your son, Madam, is now returned from Pylos"; but Eumaeus went close up to Penelope, and said privately that her son had given bidden him tell her. When he had given his message he left the house with its outbuildings and went back to his Pigs again.
ody.17 They left their sports as he told them, and when they were within the house, they laid their cloaks on the benches and seats inside, and then sacrificed some Sheep, Goats, Pigs, and a heifer, all of them fat and well grown. Thus they made ready for their meal. In the meantime Ulysses and the swineherd were about starting for the town, and the swineherd said, Stranger", I suppose you still want to go to town to day, as my master said you were to do; for my own part I should have liked you to stay here as a station hand, but I must do as my master tells me, or he will scold me later on, and a scolding from one s master is a very serious thing. Let us then be off, for it is now broad day; it will be night again directly and then you will find it colder."
ody.17 When she had done speaking Eumaeus went back to the suitors, for he had explained everything. Then he went up to Telemachus and said in his ear so that none could overhear him, "My dear sir, I will now go back to the Pigs, to see after your property and my own business. You will look to what is going on here, but above all be careful to keep out of danger, for there are many who bear you ill will. May Jove bring them to a bad end before they do us a mischief."
ody.17 On this Eumaeus took his seat again, and when he had finished his dinner he left the courts and the cloister with the men at table, and went back to his Pigs. As for the suitors, they presently began to amuse themselves with singing and dancing, for it was now getting on towards evening.
ody.18 This frightened Irus still more, but they brought him into the middle of the court, and the Two men raised their hands to fight. Then Ulysses considered whether he should let drive so hard at him as to make an end of him then and there, or whether he should give him a lighter blow that should only knock him down; in the end he deemed it best to give the lighter blow for fear the Achaeans should begin to suspect who he was. Then they began to fight, and Irus hit Ulysses on the right shoulder; but Ulysses gave Irus a blow on the neck under the ear that broke in the bones of his skull, and the blood came gushing out of his mouth; he fell groaning in the dust, gnashing his teeth and kicking on the ground, but the suitors threw up their hands and nearly died of laughter, as Ulysses caught hold of him by the foot and dragged him into the outer court as far as the gate house. There he propped him up against the wall and put his staff in his hands. "Sit here," said he, "and keep the Dogs and Pigs off; you are a pitiful creature, and if you try to make yourself king of the beggars any more you shall fare still worse."
ody.20 Thus did she speak, and they did even as she had said: Twenty of them went to the fountain for water, and the others set themselves busily to work about the house. The men who were in attendance on the suitors also came up and began chopping firewood. By and by the Women returned from the fountain, and the swineherd came after them with the Three best Pigs he could pick out. These he let feed about the premises, and then he said good humouredly to Ulysses, Stranger", are the suitors treating you any better now, or are they as insolent as ever?"
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.

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

Share:- Facebook