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Tales of Troy and Greece
written by "Lang, Andrew, 1844-1912"
...n putting a lighter weight. Then he challenged any man to run a race with him or box with him, or shoot at a mark with him. Only his speed in running did he doubt, for his limbs were stiffened by the sea. Perhaps Alcinous saw that it would go ill with any man who matched himself against the stranger, so he sent for the harper, who sang a merry song, and then he made the young men dance and play ball, and bade the elder men go and bring rich presents of gold and garments for the wanderer. Alcinous himself gave a beautiful coffer and chest, and a great golden cup, and Arete tied up all the gifts in the coffer, while the damsels took Ulysses to the bath, and bathed him and anointed him with oil. As he left the bath he met Nausicaa, standing at the entrance of the hall. She bade him good-bye, rather sadly, saying: 'Farewell, and do not soon forget me in your own country, for to me you owe the ransom of your life.' 'May[Pg 144] God grant to me to see my own country, lady,' he answered, 'for there I will think of you with worship, as I think of the blessed Gods, all my days, for to you, lady, I owe my very life.' These were the last words they spoke to each other, for Nausicaa did not sit at meat in the hall with the great company of men. When they had taken supper, the blind harper sang again a song about the deeds of Ulysses at Troy, and again Ulysses wept, so that Alcinous asked him: 'Hast thou lost a dear friend or a kinsman in the great war?' Then Ulysses spoke out: 'I am Ulysses, Laertes' son, of whom all men have heard tell.' While they sat amazed, he began, and told them the whole story of his adventures, from the day when he left Troy till he arrived at Calypso's island; he had already told them how he was shipwrecked on his way thence to Phaeacia. All that wonderful story he told to their pleasure, and Euryalus made amends for his rude words at the games, and gave Ulysses a beautiful sword of bronze, with an ivory hilt set with studs of gold. Many other gifts ...

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