1 There is an old immortal who lives under the sea hereabouts and whose name is Proteus.
2 '"'You know that yourself, old man,' I answered, 'you will gain nothing by trying to put me off.'
3 A good old woman, Euryclea, daughter of Ops, the son of Pisenor, went before him with a couple of blazing torches.
4 Eurymachus son of Polybus then said, "Go home, old man, and prophesy to your own children, or it may be worse for them."
5 Pick out, therefore, the three best men you have in your fleet, and I will tell you all the tricks that the old man will play you.
6 In return, I will offer you in sacrifice a broad-browed heifer of a year old, unbroken, and never yet brought by man under the yoke.
7 As for your voyage, it shall not be long delayed; your father was such an old friend of mine that I will find you a ship, and will come with you myself.
8 As regards your questions, however, I will not prevaricate nor deceive you, but will tell you without concealment all that the old man of the sea told me.
9 We never yet heard of such a woman; we know all about Tyro, Alcmena, Mycene, and the famous women of old, but they were nothing to your mother any one of them.
10 About the time when the sun shall have reached mid heaven, the old man of the sea comes up from under the waves, heralded by the West wind that furs the water over his head.
11 The room was closed with well-made doors opening in the middle; moreover the faithful old house-keeper Euryclea, daughter of Ops the son of Pisenor, was in charge of everything both night and day.
12 When they had got there and had taken their places on the benches and seats, he mixed them a bowl of sweet wine that was eleven years old when the housekeeper took the lid off the jar that held it.
13 Here, too, there was a store of fragrant olive oil, while casks of old, well-ripened wine, unblended and fit for a god to drink, were ranged against the wall in case Ulysses should come home again after all.
14 The old woman swore most solemnly that she would not, and when she had completed her oath, she began drawing off the wine into jars, and getting the barley meal into the bags, while Telemachus went back to the suitors.
15 They say, however, that he never comes to town now, and lives by himself in the country, faring hardly, with an old woman to look after him and get his dinner for him, when he comes in tired from pottering about his vineyard.
16 We should have run clean out of provisions and my men would have starved, if a goddess had not taken pity upon me and saved me in the person of Idothea, daughter to Proteus, the old man of the sea, for she had taken a great fancy to me.
17 We waited the whole morning and made the best of it, watching the seals come up in hundreds to bask upon the sea shore, till at noon the old man of the sea came up too, and when he had found his fat seals he went over them and counted them.
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