1 Meanwhile her four servants, who are her housemaids, set about their work.
2 Still it has pleased heaven to prosper my work in the situation which I now hold.
3 She set up a great tambour frame in her room, and began to work on an enormous piece of fine needlework.
4 It is a mixing bowl of pure silver, except the rim, which is inlaid with gold, and it is the work of Vulcan.
5 Such was I in battle, but I did not care about farm work, nor the frugal home life of those who would bring up children.
6 Then he said to Ulysses, "Old man, the dogs were likely to have made short work of you, and then you would have got me into trouble."
7 In four days he had completed the whole work, and on the fifth Calypso sent him from the island after washing him and giving him some clean clothes.
8 Seats were ranged all along the wall, here and there from one end to the other, with coverings of fine woven work which the women of the house had made.
9 Telemachus," said she, "if you are made of the same stuff as your father you will be neither fool nor coward henceforward, for Ulysses never broke his word nor left his work half done.
10 In that country a man who could do without sleep might earn double wages, one as a herdsman of cattle, and another as a shepherd, for they work much the same by night as they do by day.
11 A jury-man is not more glad to get home to supper, after having been long detained in court by troublesome cases, than I was to see my raft beginning to work its way out of the whirlpool again.
12 Arete was the first to speak, for she recognised the shirt, cloak, and good clothes that Ulysses was wearing, as the work of herself and of her maids; so she said, "Stranger, before we go any further, there is a question I should like to ask you."
13 She fooled us in this way for three years and we never found her out, but as time wore on and she was now in her fourth year, one of her maids who knew what she was doing told us, and we caught her in the act of undoing her work, so she had to finish it whether she would or no.
14 As soon as he had put the stone back to its place against the door, he sat down, milked his ewes and his goats all quite rightly, and then let each have her own young one; when he had got through with all this work, he gripped up two more of my men, and made his supper off them.
15 If there were meat and wine enough, and we could stay here in the hut with nothing to do but to eat and drink while the others go to their work, I could easily talk on for a whole twelve months without ever finishing the story of the sorrows with which it has pleased heaven to visit me.
16 When the child of morning, rosy-fingered dawn, appeared, he again lit his fire, milked his goats and ewes, all quite rightly, and then let each have her own young one; as soon as he had got through with all his work, he clutched up two more of my men, and began eating them for his morning's meal.
17 Polybus lived in Egyptian Thebes, which is the richest city in the whole world; he gave Menelaus two baths, both of pure silver, two tripods, and ten talents of gold; besides all this, his wife gave Helen some beautiful presents, to wit, a golden distaff, and a silver work box that ran on wheels, with a gold band round the top of it.
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