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Author Topic: Odysseus/Ulysses  (Read 4538 times)
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« on: June 23, 2008, 05:54:58 pm »


Every day Penelope sat at her loom and wove. "See how much I have added to the length of the web," she would say when the evening came. But in the night, while the suitors were asleep, she raveled out all the threads she had woven in during the day. Thus, although she was always at the work, the web was never finished. And Telemachus, while his mother toiled, sat moodily in the [163] hall or strolled about the palace, angry and sad, and praying for his father's return.

So long as the wine and provisions held out, the suitors seemed to care but little about the web. "We can wait," they said; "and while she is weaving the shroud, we will spend our days in eating, drinking, and making merry."

At the end of a month, however, the cellar was almost empty. The fatted beeves had been killed and eaten; and it was hard for the kitchen maids to find food for the daily feasts. Then the suitors began to wonder and complain.

"How soon may we expect that web to be finished?" they impatiently asked.

"I am busy every day," answered Penelope, "and yet the web grows very slowly. But see how fine and soft it is, and how delicate the meshes. Such a piece of work cannot be completed in a day."

Agelaus, however, was not satisfied. In the dead of night he crept quietly through the great hall and the long passageways, and peeped into the weaving room. There, by the light of a little lamp, sat Penelope, busily unraveling the work of the day and whispering to herself the name of Ulysses.

The spying suitor stayed but a little while, watching her movements. Then he stole silently back [165] to his own place. "The trick is a good one," he said to himself, "but it will not last long."

Ulysses makes himself known to Telemachus 

The next morning the secret was known to every one of the unwelcome guests. When Penelope came down into the hall, as was her wont, they greeted her with jibes and laughter.

"Fair queen," they said, "you are very cunning; but we have found you out, and all your gentle tricks are known to us. The web that has been so long in weaving must be finished to-day; and you must make your choice this very evening. We shall wait no longer."

"Oh, ask not that which is impossible," pleaded Penelope. "Give me yet a little more time. Give me one more day; and I promise you that the web shall then be finished. To-morrow evening the moon will be at its full. Do but wait until then, and you shall have my answer."

"We will wait until that hour," said Antinous, haughtily; "but not a moment longer."

"No, not a moment longer," echoed all the rest.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 06:26:17 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.

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