1 Then the men loosed the hawsers and took their places on the benches.
2 See now, how men lay blame upon us gods for what is after all nothing but their own folly.
3 There were nine guilds with five hundred men in each, and there were nine bulls to each guild.
4 The sons of all the chief men among you are pestering my mother to marry them against her will.
5 Hear me, men of Ithaca, and I speak more particularly to the suitors, for I see mischief brewing for them.
6 Another must go to Telemachus' ship, and invite all the crew, leaving two men only in charge of the vessel.
7 Antinous," answered Telemachus, "I cannot eat in peace, nor take pleasure of any kind with such men as you are.
8 Idomeneus, again, lost no men at sea, and all his followers who escaped death in the field got safe home with him to Crete.
9 As for yourself, let me prevail upon you to take the best ship you can get, with a crew of twenty men, and go in quest of your father who has so long been missing.
10 Give me, then, a ship and a crew of twenty men to take me hither and thither, and I will go to Sparta and to Pylos in quest of my father who has so long been missing.
11 Four days later Diomed and his men stationed their ships in Argos, but I held on for Pylos, and the wind never fell light from the day when heaven first made it fair for me.
12 I am the only older person among them; the rest are all young men of Telemachus' own age, who have taken this voyage out of friendship; so I must return to the ship and sleep there.
13 Go to him, therefore, by sea, and take your own men with you; or if you would rather travel by land you can have a chariot, you can have horses, and here are my sons who can escort you to Lacedaemon where Menelaus lives.
14 Sons are seldom as good men as their fathers; they are generally worse, not better; still, as you are not going to be either fool or coward henceforward, and are not entirely without some share of your father's wise discernment, I look with hope upon your undertaking.
15 They cut out the thigh bones all in due course, wrapped them round in two layers of fat, and set some pieces of raw meat on the top of them; then Nestor laid them upon the wood fire and poured wine over them, while the young men stood near him with five-pronged spits in their hands.
16 If these men were to see my father come back to Ithaca they would pray for longer legs rather than a longer purse, for money would not serve them; but he, alas, has fallen on an ill fate, and even when people do sometimes say that he is coming, we no longer heed them; we shall never see him again.
17 Hear me, men of Ithaca, I hope that you may never have a kind and well-disposed ruler any more, nor one who will govern you equitably; I hope that all your chiefs henceforward may be cruel and unjust, for there is not one of you but has forgotten Ulysses, who ruled you as though he were your father.
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