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Title: The Authoress of the Odyssey - Where and when she wrote, who she was, the use she made - of the Iliad, and how the poem grew under her hands
Author: Butler, Samuel
Language: English
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    "There is no single fact to justify a conviction," said Mr. Cock;
    whereon the Solicitor General replied that he did not rely upon
    any single fact, but upon a chain of facts, which taken all
    together left no possible means of escape.
                                    _Times_, Leader, Nov. 16, 1894.
                                      (The prisoner was convicted).

New York

E. P. Dutton & Company


[Illustration: Nausicaa (_See Preface_). (_Frontispiece_.)]






The following work consists in some measure of matter already
published in England and Italy during the last six years. The original
publications were in the _Athenæum_, Jan. 30 and Feb. 20, 1892, and in
the _Eagle_ for the Lent Term, 1892, and for the October Term, 1892.
Both these last two articles were re-published by Messrs. Metcalfe &
Co. of Cambridge, with prefaces, in the second case of considerable
length. I have also drawn from sundry letters and articles that
appeared in _Il Lambruschini_, a journal published at Trapani and
edited by Prof. Giacalone-Patti, in 1892 and succeeding years, as also
from two articles that appeared in the _Rassegna della Letteratura
Siciliana_, published at Acireale in the autumn of 1893 and of 1894,
and from some articles published in the _Italian Gazette_ (then edited
by Miss Helen Zimmern) in the spring of 1895.

Each of the publications above referred to contained some matter
which did not appear in the others, and by the help of local students
in Sicily, among whom I would name the late Signor E. Biaggini of
Trapani, Signor Sugameli of Trapani, and Cavaliere Professore Ingroia
of Calatafimi, I have been able to correct some errors and become
possessed of new matter bearing on my subject. I have now entirely
re-cast and re-stated the whole argument, adding much that has not
appeared hitherto, and dealing for the first time fully with the
question of the writer's sex.

No reply appeared to either of my letters to the _Athenœum_ nor to my
Italian pamphlets. It is idle to suppose that the leading Iliadic and
Odyssean scholars in England and the continent do not know what I have
said. I have taken ample care that they should be informed concerning
it. It is equally idle to suppose that not one of them should have
brought forward a serious argument against me, if there were any such
argument to bring. Had they brought one it must have reached me, and I
should have welcomed it with great pleasure; for, as I have said in my
concluding Chapter, I do not care whether the _Odyssey_ was written by
man or by woman, nor yet where the poet or poetess lived who wrote it;
all I care about is the knowing as much as I can about the poem; and I
believe that scholars both in England and on the continent would have
helped me to fuller understanding if they had seen their way to doing

A new edition, for example, of Professor Jebb's _Introduction to Homer_
was published some six weeks after the first and more important of my
letters to the _Athenœum_ had appeared. It was advertised as "this
day" in the _Athenœum_ of March 12, 1892; so that if Professor Jebb had
wished to say anything against what had appeared in the _Athenœum_, he
had ample time to do so by way of postscript. I know very well what I
should have thought it incumbent upon me to do had I been in his place,
and found his silence more eloquent on my behalf than any words would
have been which he is at all likely to have written, or, I may add, to

I repeat that nothing deserving serious answer has reached me from any
source during the six years, or so, that my Odyssean theories have been
before the public. The principal notices of them that have appeared so
far will be found in the _Spectator_, April 23, 1892; the _Cambridge
Observer_, May 31, 1892; the _Classical Review_ for November, 1892,
June, 1893, and February, 1895, and _Longman's Magazine_ (see _At the
Sign of the Ship_) for June, 1892.

My frontispiece is taken by the kind permission of the Messrs. Alinari
of Florence, from their photograph of a work in the museum at Cortona
called _La Musa Polinnia_. It is on slate and burnt, is a little more
than half life size, and is believed to be Greek, presumably of about
the Christian era, but no more precise date can be assigned to it. I
was assured at Cortona that it was found by a man who was ploughing his
field, and who happened to be a baker. The size being suitable he used
it for some time as a door for his oven, whence it was happily rescued
and placed in the museum where it now rests.

As regards the Greek text from which I have taken my abridged
translation, I have borne in mind throughout the admirable canons laid
down by Mr. Gladstone in his _Studies in Homer_, Oxford University
Press, 1858, Vol. I., p. 43. He holds:--

1. That we should adopt the text itself as the basis of all Homeric
enquiry, and not any preconceived theory nor any arbitrary standard of
criticism, referable to any particular periods, schools, or persons.

2. That as we proceed in any work of construction drawn from the text,
we should avoid the temptation to solve difficulties that lie in our
way by denouncing particular portions of it as corrupt or interpolated;
should never set it aside except on the closest examination of the
particular passage questioned; should use sparingly the liberty of even
arraying presumptions against it; and should always let the reader
understand both when and why it is questioned.

The only emendation I have ventured to make in the text is to read
Νηρίτῳ instead of Νηίῳ in i. 186 and ὑπονηρίτου for ὑπονηίου in iii.
81. A more speculative emendation in iv. 606, 607 I forbear even to
suggest. I know of none others that I have any wish to make. As for
interpolations I have called attention to three or four which I believe
to have been made at a later period by the writer herself, but have
seen no passage which I have been tempted to regard as the work of
another hand.

I have followed Mr. Gladstone, Lord Derby, Colonel Mure, and I may
add the late Professor Kennedy and the Rev. Richard Shilleto, men
who taught me what little Greek I know, in retaining the usual Latin
renderings of Greek proper names. What was good enough for the scholars
whom I have named is good enough for me, and I should think also for
the greater number of my readers. The public whom I am addressing
know the _Odyssey_ chiefly through Pope's translation, and will not,
I believe, take kindly to Odysseus for Ulysses, Aias for Ajax, and
Polydeukes for Pollux. Neither do I think that Hekabe will supersede
Hecuba, till

    "What's Hecuba to him or he to Hecuba?"

is out of date.

I infer that the authorities of the British Museum are with me in this
matter, for on looking out Odysseus in the catalogue of the library I
find "See Ulysses."

Moreover the authors of this new nomenclature are not consistent. Why
not call Penelope Penelopeia? She is never called anything else in
the _Odyssey_. Why not Achilleus? Why not Bellerophontes? Why Hades,
when Ἀίδης has no aspirate? Why Helios instead of Eëlios? Why insist
on Achaians and Aitolians, but never on Aithiopians? Why not Athenæans
rather than Athenians? Why not Apollon? Why not either Odusseus, or
else Odysseys? and why not call him Oduseus or Odyseys whenever the
_Odyssey_ does so?

Admitting that the Greek names for gods and heroes may one day become
as familiar as the Latin ones, they have not become so yet, nor shall
I believe that they have done so, till I have seen Odysseus supplant
Ulysses on railway engines, steam tugs, and boats or ships. Jove,
Mercury, Minerva, Juno, and Venus convey a sufficiently accurate idea
to people who would have no ready made idea in connection with Zeus,
Hermes, Athene, Here, and Aphrodite. The personalities of the Latin
gods do not differ so much from those of the Greek, as, for example,
the Athene of the _Iliad_ does from the Athene of the _Odyssey_.
The personality of every god varies more or less with that of every
writer, and what little difference may exist between Greek and Roman
ideas of Jove, Juno, &c., is not sufficient to warrant the disturbance
of a nomenclature that has long since taken an established place in

Furthermore, the people who are most shocked by the use of Latin names
for Greek gods and heroes, and who most insist on the many small
innovations which any one who opens a volume of the _Classical Review_
may discover for himself, are the very ones who have done most to foist
Wolf and German criticism upon us, and who are most tainted with that
affectation of higher critical taste and insight, which men of the
world distrust, and which has brought the word "academic" into use
as expressive of everything which sensible people will avoid. I dare
not, therefore, follow these men till time has shown whether they are
faddists or no. Nevertheless, if I find the opinion of those whom I
respect goes against me in this matter, I shall adopt the Greek names
in any new edition of my book that may be asked for. I need hardly say
that I have consulted many excellent scholars as to which course I
should take, and have found them generally, though not always, approve
of my keeping to the names with which Pope and others have already
familiarised the public.

Since Chapter XIV. was beyond reach of modification, I have asked the
authorities of the British Museum to accept a copy of the _Odyssey_
with all the Iliadic passages underlined and referred to in M.S. I
have every reason to believe that this will very shortly be indexed
under my name, and (I regret to say) also under that of Homer. It
is my intention within the next few weeks to offer the Museum an
_Iliad_ with all passages borrowed by the writer of the _Odyssey_
underlined--reference being given to the Odyssean passage in which they

Lastly, I would express my great obligations to my friend Mr.
H. Festing Jones, who in two successive years has verified all
topographical details on the ground itself, and to whom I have referred
throughout my work whenever I have been in doubt or difficulty.

_September 27th, 1897_.


It may be said that we owe this book, The Authoress of the Odyssey,
to Charles Lamb. Butler, in his early days, had read all the usual
English classics that young people read--Dickens, Tennyson, Thackeray,
Scott, Lamb, and so on; as he grew older, however, he became more
absorbed in his own work and had no time for general reading. When
people allege want of time as an excuse for not doing something,
they are usually trying to conceal their laziness. But laziness
was not the reason why Butler refused to read books except for the
purpose of whatever he was writing. It was that he was a martyr to
self-indulgence, and the sin that did most easily beset him was
over-work. He was St. Anthony, and the world of books was his desert,
full of charming appearances assumed by demons who were bent on luring
him to perdition. His refusal was not the cry of the slothful: "Yet
a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to
sleep"; it was the "Get thee behind me, Satan!" of one who is seeking
salvation. For he knew his weakness and that temptation comes in such
unexpected shapes that the only way of escape is by perpetual watching
and praying lest we fall. So he watched and prayed, and kept his powder
dry by minding his own business. The Devil, how- ever, was on the
watch also and had an inspiration; he baited his subtle hook with a
combination fly composed partly of the gentle Elia and partly of the
Rev. Canon Ainger. He knew that Butler, if he approached either of
these authors, would do so without suspicion, because he had looked
over his victim's shoulder one morning in the Reading Room of the
British Museum while he was making this note:

    "Charles Lamb was like Mr. Darwin, 'a master of happy
    simplicity.' Sometimes, of course, he says very good things,
    at any rate some very good things have been ascribed to
    him; but more commonly he is forced, faint, full of false
    sentiment and prolix. I believe that he and his sister hated
    one another, as only very near relations can hate. He made
    capital out of his supposed admirable treatment of her. Aunt
    Sarah likes him, so do most old maids who were told what
    they ought to like about 55 yeara ago, but I never find men
    whom I think well of admire him. As for Ainger's Life,
    well, my sisters like it."

We need not agree, and I personally disagree, with Butler's view of
the relations between Charles and Mary Lamb, for it seems to me that
it is not supported by the Letters of Lamb. I do not suppose, however,
that Butler intended his words to be taken very seriously; nor are
they intended to be taken as direct abuse of Lamb. They are addressed
rather to Lamb's admirers, and are conceived in the spirit of the
Athenian, whose reason for helping to ostracise Aristides was that he
was so bored by hearing him perpetually called "the Just." They are
Butler's way of saying: "Don't you go and suppose that I should ever
have anything to do with self-sacrifice and devotion." And yet his
own life shows that he was himself capable of both; but, like many
Englishmen, he was shy of displaying emotion or of admitting that he
experienced it. When we remember that he had not read the Letters we
can understand his being put off Lamb first by the Essays, and then by
the admirers --Aunt Sarah, the old maids, and Canon Ainger. We must
also remember that Canon Ainger used to go and stay down at Shrewsbury
with a clergyman who, among other dissipations which he organised for
his guest, took him to tea with Butler's sisters, where he played on
their old piano which had been chosen by Mendelssohn. Nevertheless it
might have been better for Butler if he had not made the note, for
retribution followed.

In June, 1886, while we were completing the words and music of our
cantata Narcissus, which was published in 1888, Butler wrote to Miss

    "The successor of Narcissus is to be called Ulysses; and
    is this time a serious work dealing with the wanderings of
    the real Ulysses, and treating the subject much as Hercules
    or Semele was treated by Handel. We think we could get some
    sailor choruses, and some Circe and pig choruses, and the
    sirens, and then Penelope and her loom all afford scope.
    I made up my mind about it when I read Charles Lamb's
    translation of parts of the 'Odyssey' in Ainger's book, but
    please don't say anything about it." {Memoir, II, 38.)

The serpent was lurking within the leaves of Ainger's book, and
Butler was beguiled. The idea of using the story of the "Odyssey" for
the words of an oratorio led him on to re-reading the poem in the
original; but he could not make much progress just then because after
his father's death, in December, 1886, he came into possession of all
his grandfather's papers, and succumbed to the temptation of reading
them and of writing Dr. Butler's life. When he did settle down to the
poem it fascinated him, and there followed the further irresistible
temptation of translating it. His grandfather's life still kept him so
fully occupied that he did not reach Book ix till 1891; and then, as
he writes in Chapter i of The Authoress of the Odyssey: "It was not
till I got to Circe that it flashed upon me that I was reading the work
not of an old man but of a young woman." And on a letter of 9th August,
1891, which I sent to him at Chiavenna, he made this note:

    "It was during the few days that I was at Chiavenna (at the
    Hotel Grotta Crimee) that I hit upon the female authorship
    of the 'Odyssey.' I did not find out its having been written
    at Trapani till 1892."

Between 1892, when he made this discovery, and 1902, when he died,
Butler published the Life and Letters of Dr. Samuel Butler, Erewhon
Revisited, and a new and revised edition of Erewhon. These three
books were the working off of material which was already in his mind,
but everything else published during the last decade of his life grew
directly out of the "Odyssey." There was a pamphlet entitled The
Humour of Homer (1892), which was first delivered as a lecture at the
Working Men's College; there were two other pamphlets which appeared
in a Sicilian magazine (1893 and 1894), one of these being translated
into English and published in 1893; there were articles about his
Odyssean theories in The Italian Gazette, then under the editorship of
Miss Helen Zimmern, published in Florence. In 1897 came The Authoress
of the Odyssey; in 1898, The Iliad Rendered into English Prose; in
1899, Shakespeare's Sonnets Reconsidered; and in 1900, The Odyssey
Rendered into English Prose. Besides these publications there were
letters and articles about the "Odyssey" in the Athaeneum, the
Eagle and Il Lambruschini, a journal published at Trapani in Sicily.

The translation of the "Iliad" became a necessity when once that of the
"Odyssey" had been undertaken, and the book about the Sonnets was also
a consequence of the "Odyssey," for his interest in the problem of the
Sonnets, the work of the greatest poet of modern times, was aroused
by his interest in the problem of the "Odyssey," one of the two great
poems of antiquity. Besides all this he was engaged upon the words and
music of Ulysses, in making journeys to Sicily to pick up more facts
about the topography of Scheria, and in making a journey to Greece and
the Troad to investigate the geography of the "Iliad." Thus it may
be said that the last ten years of his life were overshadowed by the
"Odyssey," which dominated his thoughts--and not only his thoughts,
his letters were full of it and it was difficult to get him to talk of
anything else. I have little doubt that this perpetual preoccupation--I
may even say obsession--tended to shorten his life.

None of the eminent classical scholars paid any attention to Butler's
views on the "Odyssey," or if any did they did not say so in public,
and he resented their neglect. He was not looking for praise; as Sir
William Phipson Beale, one of his oldest friends, said to me very
acutely: "People misunderstood Butler; he did not want praise, he
wanted sympathy." It is true as he records in The Authoress (p. 269),
that "one of our most accomplished living scholars"--I do not know who
he was, though I no doubt heard at the time--chided him and accused him
of being ruthless. "I confess," said the scholar, "I do not give much
heed to the details on which you lay so much stress; I read the poem
not to theorise about it but to revel in its amazing beauty." This can
hardly be called sympathy. Butler comments upon it thus:

    "It would shock me to think that I have done anything to
    impair the sense of that beauty which I trust I share in
    even measure with himself; but surely if the 'Odyssey' has
    charmed us as a man's work, its charm and its wonder are
    infinitely increased when we see it as a woman's."

Still there were some competent judges who approved. The late Lord
Grimthorpe interested himself in the problem, accepted Butler's views,
and gave him valuable suggestions about the description in the poem
of the hanging of those maidservants in Ithaca who had disgraced
themselves. Mr. Justice Wills also expressed agreement, but he did it
in a letter to me after Butler's death. These names are mentioned in
the Memoir, and there is another name which ought to have appeared
there, but I overlooked the note at the right moment.

Butler delivered at the Fabian Society a lecture entitled, "Was the
'Odyssey' written by a Woman?" At the close of the lecture Mr. Bernard
Shaw got up and said that when he had first heard of the title he
supposed it was some fad or fancy of Butler's, but that on turning
to the "Odyssey" to see what could have induced him to take it up he
had not read a hundred lines before he found himself saying: "Why,
of course it was!" And he spoke so strongly that people who had only
laughed all though the lecture began to think there might be something
in it after all.

These, however, were not the eminent Homeric scholars to whom Butler
looked for sympathy. He was disappointed by the silence of the
orthodox, and it was here that Charles Lamb got in his revenge, for the
situation never would have arisen if it had not been for that fatal
reading of "Charles Lamb's translation of parts of the 'Odyssey' in
Ainger's book."

When Keats first looked into Chapman's Homer the result was the famous
sonnet. When Lamb did the same thing the result was "a juvenile book,
The Adventures of Ulysses." He wrote to Manning, 26th February, 1808:

    "It is done out of the 'Odyssey,' not from the Greek (I
    would not mislead you), nor yet from Pope's 'Odyssey,' but
    from an older translation of one Chapman. The Shakespeare
    Tales suggested the doing of it."

I suppose that by "Ainger's book" Butler means Charles Lamb in the
"English Men of Letters Series," edited by John Morley and published
by Macmillan in 1878; at least I do not find any other book by Ainger
about Lamb which contains any mention of The Adventures of Ulysses
between that date and the date of Butler's letter to his sister in
1886. If I remember right Butler saw "Ainger's book" at Shrewsbury
when he was staying with his sisters, and I like to think that it was
a copy given to them by the author. But I doubt whether he can have
done more than look into it; if he had read it with attention he would
scarcely have spoken of Lamb's work as translation. I imagine that he
listlessly took the book up off the drawing-room table, and, happening
to open it at page 68, saw that Lamb had written The Adventures of
Ulysses; this would be enough to suggest the story of the "Odyssey"
to him, and he must have missed or forgotten Ainger's statement that
Lamb said to Bernard Barton: "Chapman is divine and my abridgement has
not quite emptied him of his divinity." What concerns us now, however,
is to note the result on Butler, which was that he embarked upon all
this apparently fruitless labour. It is interesting to note also that
as Lamb, by writing the Tales from Shakespeare, had been led to the
"Odyssey," so Butler, by choosing Ulysses as the hero of our oratorio,
was led, in a contrary direction, to the Sonnets.

We must now come nearer to modern times. The Authoress of the Odyssey
appeared in 1897, and Butler's Translation in 1900--that is about
twenty years ago; during which period, sympathy or no sympathy, the
books must have had a good many readers, perhaps among the general
public rather than among classical scholars, for now, in 1921, the
stock is exhausted and new editions of both are wanted. They have been
reset entirely, misprints and obvious mistakes have been corrected,
the index has been revised, and there are a few minor typographical
changes; but nothing has been done which could be called editing,
bringing up to date, adding supplementary matter, dissenting or
recording dissent from any of the author's views. The size of the
original page has been reduced so as to make the books uniform with
Butler's other works; and, fortunately, it has generally been possible,
by using a smaller type, to get the same number of words into each
page, so that the pagination is scarcely altered and the references
remain good. Except for the alterations about to be noted (in respect
of The Authoress), the books are faithful reprints of the original

(a) About three lines have been interpolated on page 207 which upsets
the pagination until page 209. The interpolation, which is taken
from a note by Butler in his copy of the work, is to the effect that
the authoress, in Book vii, line 137, almost calls her countrymen
scoundrels by saying that they made their final drink-offerings not
to Jove but to Mercury, the god of thieves. On this passage there is
a note in the Translation saying that the poet here intends hidden
malice; but, except for this interpolation, attention does not appear
to be called to the malice anywhere else in The Authoress.

(b) The note on page 214 is so printed that the pagination is upset for
one page.

(c) The illustration of the coin which shows the design of the brooch
of Ulysses is now given on a separate page, whereas formerly it was in
the text, therefore the pagination is thrown out from page 227 until
the end of the chapter, page 231. Doubt has recently been cast upon
the accuracy of the statement on pp. 226-7, that this coin certainly
belongs to the Eryx and Segesta group.

(d) Some of the headlines have been shortened because of the reduction
in the size of the page, and here advantage has been taken of various
corrections of and additions to the headlines and shoulder-notes made
by Butler in his own copies of the two books.

(e) For the most part each of the illustrations now occupies a page,
whereas in the original editions they generally appeared two on one
page. It has been necessary to reduce the plan of the House of Ulysses.

On page 31 this note occurs: "Scheria means Jutland--a piece of land
jutting out into the sea." Butler afterwards found that Jutland means
the land of the Jutes, and has nothing to do with jutting. A note to
this effect is in The Notebooks of Samuel Butler, p. 350.

On page 153 Butler says: "No great poet would compare his hero to a
paunch full of blood and fat cooking before the fire (xx, 24-28)." This
passage is not given in the abridged "Story of the Odyssey" at the
beginning of the book, but in Butler's Translation it occurs in these

    "Thus he chided with his heart, and checked it into
    endurance, but he tossed about as one who turns a paunch
    full of blood and fat in front of a hot fire, doing it first
    on one side then on the other, that he may get it cooked as
    soon as possible; even so did he turn himself about from
    side to side, thinking all the time how, single-handed as he
    was, he should contrive to kill so large a body of men as
    the wicked suitors."

It looks as though in the interval between the publication of The
Authoress (1897) and of the Translation (1900) Butler had changed his
mind; for in the first case the comparison is between Ulysses and a
paunch full, etc., and in the second it is between Ulysses and a man
who turns a paunch full, etc. The second comparison is perhaps one
which a great poet might make.

In seeing the works through the press I have had the invaluable
assistance of Mr. A. T. Bartholomew of the University Library,
Cambridge, and of Mr. Donald S. Robertson, Fellow of Trinity College,
Cambridge. To both these friends I give my most cordial thanks for
the care and skill exercised by them. Mr. Robertson has found time
for the labour of checking and correcting all the quotations from and
references to the "Iliad" and "Odyssey," and I believe that it could
not have been better performed* It was, I know, a pleasure for him; and
it would have been a pleasure also for Butler if he could have known
th£t his work was being shepherded by the son of his old friend, Mr. H.
R. Robertson, who more than a half a century ago was a fellow-student
with him at Cary's School of Art in Streatham Street, Bloomsbury.


120 Maida Vale, W.9.
4th December, 1921.






      Book i.     The council of the gods--Telemachus and the suitors in
                    the house of Ulysses
      Book ii.    Assembly of the people of Ithaca--Telemachus starts for
      Book iii.   Telemachus at the house of Nestor
      Book iv.    Telemachus at the house of Menelaus--The suitors
                    resolve to lie in wait for him as he returns, and
                    murder him
      Book v.     Ulysses in the island of Calypso--He leaves the island
                    on a raft, and after great suffering reaches the land
                    of the Phæacians
      Book vi.    The meeting between Ulysses and Nausicaa
      Book vii.   The splendours of the house of King Alcinous--Queen
                    Arete wants to know how Ulysses got his shirt and
                    cloak, for she knows them as her own work. Ulysses
      Book viii.  The Phæacian games and banquet in honour of Ulysses 37
      Book ix.    The voyages of Ulysses--The Cicons, Lotus-eaters, and the
                    Cyclops Polyphemus
      Book x.     Æolus--The Læstrygonians--Circe
      Book xi.    Ulysses in the house of Hades
      Book xii.   The Sirens--Scylla and Charybdis--The cattle of the Sun
      Book xiii.  Ulysses is taken back to Ithaca by the Phæacians
      Book xiv.   Ulysses in the hut of Eumæus
      Book xv.    Telemachus returns from Pylos, and on landing goes to the
                    hut of Eumæus
      Book xvi.   Ulysses and Telemachus become known to one another
      Book xvii.  Telemachus goes to the town, and is followed by Eumæus
                    and Ulysses, who is maltreated by the suitors
      Book xviii. The fight between Ulysses and Irus--The suitors make
                    presents to Penelope--and ill-treat Ulysses
      Book xix.   Ulysses converses with Penelope, and is recognised by
      Book xx.    Ulysses converses with Eumæus, and with his herdsman
                    Philœtius--The suitors again maltreat him--Theoclymenus
                    foretells their doom and leaves the house
      Book xxi.   The trial of the bow and of the axes
      Book xxii.  The killing of the suitors
      Book xxiii. Penelope comes down to see Ulysses, and being at last
                    convinced that he is her husband, retires with him to
                    their own old room--In the morning Ulysses, Telemachus,
                    Philœtius, and Eumæus go to the house of Laertes 96
      Book xxiv.  The Ghosts of the suitors in Hades--Ulysses sees his
                    father--is attacked by the friends of the suitors
                    --Laertes kills Eupeithes--Peace is made between him
                    and the people of Ithaca































    Frontispiece, Nausicaa.

    The house of Ulysses
    The cave of Polyphemus
    Signor Sugameli and the author in the cave of Polyphemus
    Map of Trapani and Mt. Eryx
    The harbour Rheithron, now salt works of S. Cusumano
    Mouth of the harbour Rheithron, now silted up
    Map of the Ionian Islands
    Map of the Ægadean Islands
    Trapani from Mt. Eryx, showing Marettimo (Ithaca)
       "all highest up in the sea"
    Map of the voyage of Ulysses
    Wall at Cefalù, rising from the sea
    Megalithic remains on the mountain behind Cefalù
    H. Festing Jones, Esq., in flute of column at Selinunte
    Remains of megalithic wall on Mt. Eryx
    Wall at Hissarlik, showing the effects of weathering
    The Iliadic wall
    A coin bearing the legend Iakin, and also showing
        the brooch of Ulysses.




If the questions whether the _Odyssey_ was written by a man or a
woman, and whether or no it is of exclusively Sicilian origin, were
pregnant with no larger issues than the determination of the sex and
abode of the writer, it might be enough merely to suggest the answers
and refer the reader to the work itself. Obviously, however, they have
an important bearing on the whole Homeric controversy; for if we find
a woman's hand omnipresent throughout the _Odyssey_, and if we also
find so large a number of local details, taken so exclusively and so
faithfully from a single Sicilian town as to warrant the belief that
the writer must have lived and written there, the presumption seems
irresistible that the poem was written by a single person. For there
can hardly have been more than one woman in the same place able to
write such--and such homogeneous--poetry as we find throughout the

Many questions will become thus simplified. Among others we can limit
the date of the poem to the lifetime of a single person, and if we
find, as I believe we shall, that this person in all probability
flourished, roughly between 1050 and 1000 B.C., if, moreover, we can
show, as we assuredly can, that she had the _Iliad_ before her much as
we have it now, quoting, consciously or unconsciously, as freely from
the most suspected parts as from those that are admittedly Homer's, we
shall have done much towards settling the question whether the _Iliad_
also is by one hand or by many.

Not that this question ought to want much settling. The theory that
the _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_ were written each of them by various hands,
and pieced together in various centuries by various editors, is not
one which it is easy to treat respectfully. It does not rest on the
well established case of any other poem so constructed; literature
furnishes us with no poem whose genesis is known to have been such as
that which we are asked to foist upon the _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_. The
theory is founded on a supposition as to the date when writing became
possible, which has long since been shown to be untenable; not only
does it rest on no external evidence, but it flies in the face of what
little external evidence we have. Based on a base that has been cut
from under it, it has been sustained by arguments which have never
succeeded in leading two scholars to the same conclusions, and which
are of that character which will lead any one to any conclusion however
preposterous, which he may have made up his mind to consider himself as
having established. A writer in the _Spectator_ of Jan. 2, 1892, whose
name I do not know, concluded an article by saying,

      That the finest poem of the world was created out of the
      contributions of a multitude of poets revolts all our
      literary instincts.

Of course it does, but the Wolfian heresy, more or less modified, is
still so generally accepted both on the continent and in England that
it will not be easy to exterminate it.

Easy or no this is a task well worth attempting, for Wolf's theory
has been pregnant of harm in more ways than are immediately apparent.
Who would have thought of attacking Shakspeare's existence--for if
Shakspeare did not write his plays he is no longer Shakspeare--unless
men's minds had been unsettled by Wolf's virtual denial of Homer's?
Who would have reascribed picture after picture in half the galleries
of Europe, often wantonly, and sometimes in defiance of the clearest
evidence, if the unsettling of questions concerning authorship had not
been found to be an easy road to reputation as a critic? Nor does there
appear to be any end to it, for each succeeding generation seems bent
on trying to surpass the recklessness of its predecessor.

And more than this, the following pages will read a lesson of another
kind, which I will leave the reader to guess at, to men whom I will not
name, but some of whom he may perhaps know, for there are many of them.
Indeed I have sometimes thought that the sharpness of this lesson may
be a more useful service than either the establishment of the points
which I have set myself to prove, or the dispelling of the nightmares
of Homeric extravagance which German professors have evolved out of
their own inner consciousness.

Such language may be held to come ill from one who is setting himself
to maintain two such seeming paradoxes as the feminine authorship, and
Sicilian origin, of the _Odyssey_. One such shock would be bad enough,
but two, and each so far-reaching, are intolerable. I feel this, and am
oppressed by it. When I look back on the record of Iliadic and Odyssean
controversy for nearly 2500 years, and reflect that it is, I may say,
dead against me; when I reflect also upon the complexity of academic
interests, not to mention the commercial interests vested in well-known
school books and so-called education--how can I be other than dismayed
at the magnitude, presumption, and indeed utter hopelessness, of the
task I have undertaken?

How can I expect Homeric scholars to tolerate theories so subversive
of all that most of them have been insisting on for so many years?
It is a matter of Homeric (for my theory affects Iliadic questions
nearly as much as it does the _Odyssey_) life and death for them or
for myself. If I am right they have invested their reputation for
sagacity in a worthless stock. What becomes, for example, of a great
part of Professor Jebb's well-known _Introduction to Homer_--to quote
his shorter title--if the _Odyssey_ was written all of it at Trapani,
all of it by one hand, and that hand a woman's? Either my own work is
rubbish, in which case it should not be hard to prove it so without
using discourteous language, or not a little of theirs is not worth the
paper on which it is written. They will be more than human, therefore,
if they do not handle me somewhat roughly.

As for the _Odyssey_ having been written by a woman, they will tell me
that I have not even established a _primâ facie_ case for my opinion.
Of course I have not. It was Bentley who did this, when he said that
the _Iliad_ was written for men, and the _Odyssey_ for women.[1] The
history of literature furnishes us with no case in which a man has
written a great masterpiece for women rather than men. If an anonymous
book strikes so able a critic as having been written for women, a
_primâ facie_ case is established for thinking that it was probably
written by a woman. I deny, however, that the _Odyssey_ was written for
women; it was written for any one who would listen to it. What Bentley
meant was that in the _Odyssey_ things were looked at from a woman's
point of view rather than a man's, and in uttering this obvious truth,
I repeat, he established once for all a strong _primâ facie_ case for
thinking that it was written by a woman.

If my opponents can fasten a cavil on to the ninth part of a line of
my argument, they will take no heed of, and make no reference to,
the eight parts on which they dared not fasten a misrepresentation
however gross. They will declare it fatal to my theory that there were
no Greek-speaking people at Trapani when the _Odyssey_ was written.
Having fished up this assertion from the depths of their ignorance
of what Thucydides, let alone Virgil, has told us,--or if they set
these writers on one side, out of their still profounder ignorance of
what there was or was not at Trapani in the eleventh century before
Christ--they will refuse to look at the internal evidence furnished
by the _Odyssey_ itself. They will ignore the fact that Thucydides
tells us that "Phocians of those from Troy," which as I will show
(see Chapter XII.) can only mean Phocæans, settled at Mount Eryx, and
ask me how I can place Phocæans on Mount Eryx when Thucydides says it
was Phocians who settled there? They will ignore the fact that even
though Thucydides had said "Phocians" without qualifying his words by
adding "of those from Troy," or "of the Trojan branch," he still places
Greek-speaking people within five miles of Trapani.

As for the points of correspondence between both Ithaca and Scheria,
and Trapani, they will remind me that Captain Fluelen found
resemblances between Monmouth and Macedon, as also Bernardino Caimi
did between Jerusalem and Varallo-Sesia; they will say that if mere
topographical resemblances are to be considered, the Channel Islands
are far more like the Ionian group as described in the _Odyssey_ than
those off Trapani are, while Balaclava presents us with the whole
Scherian combination so far more plausibly than Trapani as to leave no
doubt which site should be preferred. I have not looked at the map of
Balaclava to see whether this is so or no, nor yet at other equally
promising sites which have been offered me, but am limiting myself to
giving examples of criticisms which have been repeatedly passed upon
my theory during the last six years, and which I do not doubt will be
repeatedly passed upon it in the future.

On the other hand I may comfort myself by reflecting that however
much I may deserve stoning there is no one who can stone me with a
clear conscience. Those who hold, as most people now do, that the
_Iliad_ and _Odyssey_ belong to ages separated from one another by
some generations, must be haunted by the reflection that though the
diversity of authorship was prominently insisted on by many people more
than two thousand years ago, not a single Homeric student from those
days to the end of the last century could be brought to acknowledge
what we now deem self-evident. Professor Jebb, writing of Bentley,[2]

      He had not felt what is now so generally admitted, that
      the _Odyssey_ bears the marks of a later time than the

How came so great a man as Bentley not to see what is so obvious?
Truly, as has been said by Mr. Gladstone, if Homer is old, the
systematic and comprehensive study of him is still young.[3]

I shall not argue the question whether the _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_ are
by the same person, inasmuch as if I convince the reader that the
_Odyssey_ was written by a woman and in Sicily, it will go without
saying that it was not written by Homer; for there can be no doubt
about the sex of the writer of the _Iliad_. The same canons which
will compel us to ascribe the _Odyssey_ to a woman forbid any other
conclusion than that the _Iliad_ was written by a man. I shall
therefore proceed at once to the question whether the _Odyssey_ was
written by a man or by a woman.

It is an old saying that no man can do better for another than he can
for himself, I may perhaps therefore best succeed in convincing the
reader if I retrace the steps by which I arrived at the conclusions I
ask him to adopt.

I was led to take up the _Odyssey_ by having written the libretto and
much of the music for a secular oratorio, _Ulysses_, on which my friend
Mr. H. Festing Jones and I had been for some time engaged. Having
reached this point it occurred to me that I had better after all see
what the _Odyssey_ said, and finding no readable prose translation, was
driven to the original, to which I had not given so much as a thought
for some five and thirty years.

The Greek being easy, I had little difficulty in understanding what I
read, and I had the great advantage of coming to the poem with fresh
eyes. Also, I read it all through from end to end, as I have since many
times done.

Fascinated, however, as I at once was by its amazing interest and
beauty, I had an ever-present sense of a something wrong, of a
something that was eluding me, and of a riddle which I could not read.
The more I reflected upon the words, so luminous and so transparent,
the more I felt a darkness behind them, that I must pierce before I
could see the heart of the writer--and this was what I wanted; for art
is only interesting in so far as it reveals an artist.

In the hope of getting to understand the poem better I set about
translating it into plain prose, with the same benevolent leaning, say,
towards Tottenham Court Road, that Messrs. Butcher and Lang have shewn
towards Wardour Street. I admit, however, that Wardour Street English
has something to say for itself. The "Ancient Mariner," for example,
would have lost a good deal if it had been called "The Old Sailor," but
on the whole I take it that a tale so absolutely without any taint of
affectation as the _Odyssey_ will speed best being unaffectedly told.

When I came to the Phæacian episode I felt sure that here at any rate
the writer was drawing from life, and that Nausicaa, Queen Arete, and
Alcinous were real people more or less travestied, and on turning
to Colonel Mure's work[4] I saw that he was of the same opinion.
Nevertheless I found myself continually aghast at the manner in which
men were made to speak and act--especially, for example, during the
games in honour of _Ulysses_ described in Book viii. Colonel Mure says
(p. 407) that "the women engross the chief part of the small stock
of common sense allotted to the community." So they do, but it never
occurred to me to ask myself whether men commonly write brilliant
books in which the women are made more sensible than the men. Still
dominated by the idea that the writer was a man, I conjectured that he
might be some bard, perhaps blind, who lived among the servants much
as the chaplain in a great house a couple of hundred years ago among
ourselves. Such a bard, even though not blind, would only see great
people from a distance, and would not mix with them intimately enough
to know how they would speak and act among themselves. It never even
crossed my mind that it might have been the commentators who were
blind, and that they might have thus come to think that the poet must
have been blind too.

The view that the writer might have lived more in the steward's room
than with the great people of the house served (I say it with shame) to
quiet me for a time, but by and by it struck me that though the men
often both said and did things that no man would say or do, the women
were always ladies when the writer chose to make them so. How could it
be that a servant's hall bard should so often go hopelessly wrong with
his men, and yet be so exquisitively right with every single one of his
women? But still I did not catch it. It was not till I got to Circe
that it flashed upon me that I was reading the work, not of an old man,
but of a young woman--and of one who knew not much more about what men
can and cannot do than I had found her know about the milking of ewes
in the cave of Polyphemus.

The more I think of it the more I wonder at my own stupidity, for I
remember that when I was a boy at school I used to say the _Odyssey_
was the _Iliad's_ wife, and that it was written by a clergyman.
But however this may be, as soon as the idea that the writer was a
woman--and a young one--presented itself to me, I felt that here was
the reading of the riddle that had so long baffled me. I tried to
divest myself of it, but it would not go; as long as I kept to it,
everything cohered and was in its right place, and when I set it aside
all was wrong again; I did not seek my conclusion; I did not even know
it by sight so as to look for it; it accosted me, introduced itself as
my conclusion, and vowed that it would never leave me; whereon, being
struck with its appearance, I let it stay with me on probation for a
week or two during which I was charmed with the propriety of all it
said or did, and then bade it take rank with the convictions to which I
was most firmly wedded; but I need hardly say that it was a long time
before I came to see that the poem was all of it written at Trapani,
and that the writer had introduced herself into her work under the name
of Nausicaa.

I will deal with these points later, but would point out that the
moment we refuse to attribute the _Odyssey_ to the writer of the
_Iliad_ (whom we should alone call Homer) it becomes an anonymous
work; and the first thing that a critic will set himself to do when
he considers an anonymous work is to determine the sex of the writer.
This, even when women are posing as men, is seldom difficult--indeed
it is done almost invariably with success as often as an anonymous
work is published--and when any one writes with the frankness and
spontaneity which are such an irresistible charm in the _Odyssey_, it
is not only not difficult but exceedingly easy; difficulty will only
arise, if the critic is, as we have all been in this case, dominated by
a deeply-rooted preconceived opinion, and if also there is some strong
_à priori_ improbability in the supposition that the writer was a woman.

It may be urged that it is extremely improbable that any woman in
any age should write such a masterpiece as the _Odyssey_. But so
it also is that any man should do so. In all the many hundreds of
years since the _Odyssey_ was written, no man has been able to write
another that will compare with it. It was extremely improbable that
the son of a Stratford wool-stapler should write _Hamlet_, or that a
Bedfordshire tinker should produce such a masterpiece as _Pilgrim s
Progress_. Phenomenal works imply a phenomenal workman, but there are
phenomenal women as well as phenomenal men, and though there is much
in the _Iliad_ which no woman, however phenomenal, can be supposed
at all likely to have written, there is not a line in the _Odyssey_
which a woman might not perfectly well write, and there is much beauty
which a man would be almost certain to neglect. Moreover there are
many mistakes in the _Odyssey_ which a young woman might easily make,
but which a man could hardly fall into--for example, making the wind
whistle over waves at the end of Book ii., thinking that a lamb could
live on two pulls a day at a ewe that was already milked (ix. 244, 245,
and 308, 309), believing a ship to have a rudder at both ends (ix. 483,
540), thinking that dry and well-seasoned timber can be cut from a
growing tree (v. 240), making a hawk while still on the wing tear its
prey--a thing that no hawk can do (xv. 527).

I see that Messrs. Butcher and Lang omit ix. 483 in which the rudder
is placed in the bows of a ship, but it is found in the text, and is
the last kind of statement a copyist would be inclined to intercalate.
Yet I could have found it in my heart to conceive the text in fault,
had I not also found the writer explaining in Book v. 255 that Ulysses
gave his raft a rudder "in order that he might be able to steer it."
People whose ideas about rudders have become well defined will let the
fact that a ship is steered by means of its rudder go without saying.
Furthermore, not only does she explain that Ulysses would want a rudder
to steer with, but later on (line 270) she tells us that he actually
did use the rudder when he had made it, and, moreover, that he used it
τεχνηέντως, or skilfully.

Young women know that a horse goes before a cart, and being told that
the rudder guides the ship, are apt--and I have more than once found
them do so--to believe that it goes in front of the ship. Probably the
writer of the _Odyssey_ forgot for the moment at which end the rudder
should be. She thought it all over yesterday, and was not going to
think it all over again to-day, so she put the rudder at both ends,
intending to remove it from the one that should prove to be the wrong
one; later on she forgot, or did not think it worth while to trouble
about so small a detail.

So with Calypso's axe (v. 234-36). No one who was used to handling an
axe would describe it so fully and tell us that it "suited Ulysses'
hands," and was furnished with a handle. I have heard say that a
celebrated female authoress was discovered to be a woman by her
having spoken of a two-foot _ruler_ instead of a two-foot _rule_, but
over minuteness of description is deeper and stronger evidence of
unfamiliarity than mistaken nomenclature is.

Such mistakes and self-betrayals as those above pointed out enhance
rather than impair the charm of the _Odyssey_. Granted that the
_Odyssey_ is inferior to the _Iliad_ in strength, robustness, and
wealth of poetic imagery, I cannot think that it is inferior in its
power of fascinating the reader. Indeed, if I had to sacrifice one or
the other, I can hardly doubt that I should let the _Iliad_ go rather
than the _Odyssey_--just as if I had to sacrifice either Mont Blanc or
Monte Rosa, I should sacrifice Mont Blanc, though I know it to be in
many respects the grander mountain of the two.[5]

It should go, however, without saying that much which is charming in
a woman's work would be ridiculous in a man's, and this is eminently
exemplified in the _Odyssey_. If a woman wrote it, it is as lovely as
the frontispiece of this volume, and becomes, if less vigorous, yet
assuredly more wonderful than the _Iliad_; if, on the other hand, it
is by a man, the half Bayeux tapestry, half Botticelli's Venus rising
from the sea, or Primavera, feeling with which it impresses us gives
place to astonishment how any man could have written it. What is a
right manner for a woman is a wrong one for a man, and _vice versa_.
Jane Austen's young men, for example, are seldom very interesting, but
it is only those who are blind to the exquisite truth and delicacy of
Jane Austen's work who will feel any wish to complain of her for not
understanding young men as well as she did young women.

The writer of a _Times_ leading article (Feb. 4th, 1897) says:

The sex difference is the profoundest and most far-reaching that exists
among human beings.... Women may or may not be the equals of men in
intelligence;... but women in the mass will act after the manner of
women, which is not and never can be the manner of men.

And as they will act, so will they write. This, however, does not make
their work any the less charming when it is good of its kind; on the
contrary, it makes it more so.

Dismissing, therefore, the difficulty of supposing that any woman could
write so wonderful a poem as the _Odyssey_, is there any _à priori_
obstacle to our thinking that such a woman may have existed, say, B.C.
1000? I know of none. Greek literature does not begin to dawn upon us
till about 600 B.C. Earlier than this date we have hardly anything
except the _Iliad_, _Odyssey_, and that charming writer Hesiod. When,
however, we come to the earliest historic literature we find that
famous poetesses abounded.

Those who turn to the article "Sappho" in Smith's _Dictionary of
Classical Biography_ will find Gorgo and Andromeda mentioned as her
rivals. Among her fellows were Anactoria of Miletus, Gongyle of
Colophon, Eunica of Salamis, Gyrinna, Atthis, and Mnasidica, "Those,"
says the writer, "who attained the highest celebrity for their works
were Damophylia the Pamphylian, and Erinna of Telos." This last-named
poetess wrote a long poem upon the distaff, which was considered equal
to Homer himself--the _Odyssey_ being probably intended.

Again, there was Baucis, who wrote Erinna's Epitaph. Turning to
Müller's work upon the Dorians, I find reference made to the amatory
poetesses of Lesbos. He tells us also of Corinna, who is said to have
competed successfully with Pindar, and Myrto, who certainly competed
with him, but with what success we know not. Again, there was Diotima
the Arcadian; and looking through Bergk's _Poetœ Lyrici Grœci_ I find
other names of women, fragments of whose works have readied us through
quotation by extant writers. Among the Hebrews there were Miriam,
Deborah, and Hannah, all of them believed to be centuries older than
the _Odyssey_.

If, then, poetesses were as abundant as we know them to have been in
the earliest known ages of Greek literature over a wide area in Greece,
Asia Minor, and the islands of the Ægæan, there is no ground for
refusing to admit the possibility that a Greek poetess lived in Sicily
B.C. 1000, especially when we know from Thucydides that the particular
part of Sicily where I suppose her to have lived was colonised from
the North West corner of Asia Minor centuries before the close of
the Homeric age. The civilisation depicted in the _Odyssey_ is as
advanced as any that is likely to have existed in Mitylene or Melos
600--500 B.C., while in both the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey_ the status
of women is represented as being much what it is at the present, and as
incomparably higher than it was in the Athenian civilisation with which
we are best acquainted. To imagine a great Greek poetess at Athens in
the age of Pericles would be to violate probability, but I might almost
say in an age when women were as free as they are represented to us in
the _Odyssey_ it is a violation of probability to suppose that there
were no poetesses.

We have no reason to think that men found the use of their tongue
sooner than women did; why then should we suppose that women lagged
behind men when the use of the pen had become familiar? If a woman
could work pictures with her needle as Helen did,[6] and as the wife of
William the Conqueror did in a very similiar civilisation, she could
write stories with her pen if she had a mind to do so.

The fact that the recognised heads of literature in the Homeric age
were the nine Muses--for it is always these or "The Muse" that is
involved, and never Apollo or Minerva--throws back the suggestion
of female authorship to a very remote period, when, to be an author
at all, was to be a poet, for prose writing is a comparatively late
development. Both _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_ begin with an invocation
addressed to a woman, who, as the head of literature, must be supposed
to have been an authoress, though none of her works have come down to
us. In an age, moreover, when men were chiefly occupied either with
fighting or hunting, the arts of peace, and among them all kinds of
literary accomplishment, would be more naturally left to women. If the
truth were known, we might very likely find that it was man rather than
woman who has been the interloper in the domain of literature. Nausicaa
was more probably a survival than an interloper, but most probably of
all she was in the height of the fashion.

[1] See Introduction to the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey_, by R. C. Jebb,
1888, p. 106.

[2] _Bentley_, Macmillan, 1892, p. 148.

[3] _Homer_, Macmillan, 1878, p. 2.

[4] _Language and Literature of Ancient Greece_, Longman, 1850, Vol. I,
p. 404.

[5] Shakespeare, of course, is the whole chain of the Alps, comprising
both Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa.

[6] _Iliad_, III. 126.



It will help the reader to follow the arguments by which I shall
sustain the female authorship of the _Odyssey_, the fact of its being
written at Trapani on the west coast of Sicily, and its development
in the hands of the writer, if I lay before him an abridgement of
the complete translation that I have made, but not yet published. If
space permitted I should print my translation in full, but this is
obviously impossible, for what I give here is only about a fourth
of the whole poem. I have, therefore, selected those parts that
throw most light upon the subjects above referred to, with just so
much connecting matter as may serve to make the whole readable and
intelligible. I am aware that the beauty of the poem is thus fatally
marred, for it is often the loveliest passages that serve my purpose
least. The abridgement, therefore, that I here give is not to be
regarded otherwise than as the key-sketch which we so often see under
an engraving of a picture that contains many portraits. It is intended
not as a work of art, but as an elucidatory diagram.

As regards its closeness to the text, the references to the poem which
will be found at the beginning of each paragraph will show where the
abridgement has been greatest, and will also enable the reader to
verify the fidelity of the rendering either with the Greek or with
Messrs. Butcher and Lang's translation. I affirm with confidence that
if the reader is good enough to thus verify any passages that may
strike him as impossibly modern, he will find that I have adhered as
severely to the intention of the original as it was possible for me to
do while telling the story in my own words and abridging it.

One of my critics, a very friendly one, has told me that I have
"distorted the simplicity of the _Odyssey_ in order to put it in a
ludicrous light." I do not think this. I have revealed, but I have
not distorted. I should be shocked to believe for one moment that I
had done so. True, I have nothing extenuated, but neither have I set
down aught in malice. Where the writer is trying to make us believe
impossibilities, I have shown that she is doing so, and have also
shown why she wanted us to believe them; but until a single passage
is pointed out to me in which I have altered the intention of the
original, I shall continue to hold that the conception of the poem
which I lay before the reader in the following pages is a juster one
than any that, so far as I know, has been made public hitherto; and,
moreover, that it makes both the work and the writer a hundred times
more interesting than any other conception can do.

I preface my abridgement with a plan of Ulysses' house, so far as I
have been able to make it out from the poem. The reader will find that
he understands the story much better if he will study the plan of the
house here given with some attention.

I have read what Prof. Jebb has written on this subject,[1] as also
Mr. Andrew Lang's Note 18 at the end of Messrs. Butcher and Lang's
translation of the _Odyssey_. I have also read Mr. Arthur Platt's
article on the slaying of the suitors,[2] and find myself in far closer
agreement with Mr. Lang than with either of the other writers whom I
have named. The only points on which I differ from Mr. Lang are in
respect of the inner court, which he sees as a roofed hall, but which
I hold to have been open to the sky, except the covered cloister or
μέγαρα σκιόεντα, an arrangement which is still very common in Sicilian
houses, especially at Trapani and Palermo. I also differ from him in so
far as I see no reason to think that the "stone pavement" was raised,
and as believing the ὀρσοθύρα to have been at the top of Telemachus's
tower, and called "in the wall" because the tower abutted on the wall.
These are details: substantially my view of the action and scene during
the killing of the suitors agrees with Mr. Lang's. I will not give the
reasons which compel me to differ from Prof. Jebb and Mr. Platt, but
will leave my plan of the house and the abridged translation to the
judgement of the reader.

       *       *       *       *       *

_A_ was the body of the house, containing the women's apartments and
other rooms. It had an upper story, in which was Penelope's room
overlooking the court where the suitors passed the greater part of
their time.

It also contained the store-room, which seems to have been placed at
the far end of the house, perhaps in a basement. The store-room could
be reached by a passage from a doorway _A'_, and also by back-passages
from a side-entrance _A"_, which I suppose to have been the back door
of the house. The women's apartments opened on to the passage leading
from _A'_ to the store-room.

_B_ and _B'_ were the Megaron or Megara, that is to say inner court,
of which _B'_ was a covered cloister with a roof supported by
bearing-posts with cross-beams and rafters. The open part of the court
had no flooring but the natural soil. Animals seem to have been flayed
and dressed here, for Medon, who was certainly in the inner court while
the suitors were being killed, concealed himself under a freshly-flayed
ox (or heifer's) hide (xxii. 363).

_B'_ was called the μέγαρα σκιόεντα or "shaded" part of the court, to
distinguish it from that which was open to the sun. The end nearest the
house was paved with stone, while that nearest the outer court (and
probably the other two sides) were floored with ash. The part of the
cloister that was paved with stone does not appear to have been raised
above the level of the rest; at one end of the stone pavement there was
a door _a_, opening on to a narrow passage; this door, though mentioned
immediately after the ὀρσοθύρα or trap door (xxii. 126), which we shall
come to presently, has no connection with it. About the middle of the
pavement, during the trial of the axes, there was a seat _b_, from
which Ulysses shot through the axes, and from which he sprang when he
began to shoot the suitors; against one of the bearing-posts that
supported the roof of the cloister, there was _c_, a spear-stand.

[Illustration: The House of Ulysses.]

All the four sides of the cloisters were filled with small tables at
which the suitors dined. A man could hold one of these tables before
him as a shield (xxii. 74, 75).

In the cloisters there were also

_d_, an open hearth or fire-place in the wall at right angles to the
one which abutted on the house. So, at least, I read τοίχου τοῦ ἑτέρου
(xxiii. 90).

_e_, the table at which the wine was mixed in the mixing-bowl--as well,
of course, as the other tables above mentioned.

_f_, a door leading into _g_, the tower in which Telemachus used to
sleep [translating ἄγχι παρ' ὀρσοθύρην (xxii. 333) not "near the
ὀρσοθύρα," but "near towards the ὀρσοθύρα"].

At the top of this tower there was a trap-door _g'_ (ὀρσοθύρα), through
which it was possible to get out on to the roof of the tower and raise
an alarm, but which afforded neither ingress nor egress.

_C_ was the outer court or αὐλή, approached by _C'_, the main entrance,
or πρῶται θύραι, a covered gateway with a room over it. This covered
gateway was the αἰθούση ἐρίδουπος, or reverberating portico which we
meet with in other Odyssean houses, and are so familiar with in Italian
and Sicilian houses at the present day. It was surrounded by _C"_,
covered sheds or barns in which carts, farm implements, and probably
some farm produce would be stored. It contained

_h_, the prodomus, or vestibule in front of the inner court, into which
the visitor would pass through

_i_, the πρόθυρον or inner gateway (the word, πρόθυρον, however, is
used also for the outer gateway), and

_k_, the tholus or vaulted room, about the exact position of which all
we know is that it is described in xxii. 459, 460, as close up against
the wall of the outer court. I suspect, but cannot prove it, that this
was the room in which Ulysses built his bed (xxiii. 181-204).

_D_ was the τυκτὸν δάπεδον or level ground in front of Ulysses' house,
on which the suitors amused themselves playing at quoits and aiming a
spear at a mark (iv. 625, 627).

The only part of the foregoing plan and explanatory notes that forces
the text is in respect of the main gateway, which I place too far from
the mouth of the λαύρα for one man to be able to keep out all who would
bring help to the suitors; but considering how much other impossibility
we have to accept, I think this may be allowed to go with the rest.
A young woman, such as I suppose the writer of the _Odyssey_ to have
been, would not stick at such a trifle as shifting the gates a little
nearer the λαύρα if it suited her purpose.

In passing, I may say that Agamemnon appears to have been killed (_Od_.
iv. 530, 531) in much such a cloistered court as above supposed for the
house of Ulysses. A banquet seems to have been prepared in the cloister
on one side the court, while men were ambuscaded in the one on the
opposite side.

Lastly, for what it may be worth. I would remind the reader that there
is not a hint of windows in the part of Ulysses' house frequented by
the suitors.



  _The council of the gods--Telemachus and the suitors in
  the house of Ulysses_.

  Tell me, oh Muse, of that ingenious hero who met with
  many adventures while trying to bring his men home after
  the Sack of Troy. He failed in this, for the men perished
  through their own sheer folly in eating the cattle of the
  Sun, and he himself, though he was longing to get back
  to his wife, was now languishing in a lonely island, the
  abode of the nymph Calypso. Calypso wanted him to marry
  her, and kept him with her for many years, till at last
  all the gods took pity upon him except Neptune, whose son
  Polyphemus he had blinded.

  Now it so fell out that Neptune had gone to pay a visit        21
  to the Ethiopians, who lie in two halves, one half
  looking on to the Atlantic and the other on to the Indian
  Ocean. The other gods, therefore, held a council, and
  Jove made them a speech about the folly of Ægisthus in         35
  wooing Clytemnestra and murdering Agamemnon: finally,
  yielding to Minerva, he consented that Ulysses should
  return to Ithaca.

  "In that case," said Minerva, "we should send Mercury to       80
  Calypso to tell her what, we have settled. I will also go
  to Ithaca and embolden Ulysses' son Telemachus to dismiss
  the suitors of his mother Penelope, who are ruining him
  by their extravagance. Furthermore, I will send him to
  Sparta and Pylos to seek news of his father, for this
  will get him a good name."

  The goddess then winged her way to the gates of Ulysses'       96
  house, disguised as an old family friend, and found
  the suitors playing draughts in front of the house
  and lording it in great style. Telemachus, seeing her
  standing at the gate, went up to her, led her within,
  placed her spear in the spear-stand against a strong
  bearing-post, brought her a seat, and set refreshments
  before her.

  Meanwhile the suitors came trooping into the sheltered        114
  cloisters that ran round the inner court; here, according
  to their wont, they feasted: and when they had done
  eating they compelled Phemius, a famous bard, to sing
  to them. On this Telemachus began talking quietly to
  Minerva: he told her how his father's return seemed now
  quite hopeless, and concluded by asking her name and

  Minerva said she was Mentes, chief of the Taphians, and       178
  was on her way to Temesa[3] with a cargo of iron, which
  she should exchange for copper. She told Telemachus
  that her ship was lying outside the town, under Mt.           186
  Neritum,[4] in the harbour that was called Rheithron.[5]
  "Go," she added, "and ask old Laertes, who I hear is now      189
  living but poorly in the country and never comes into the
  town; he will tell you that I am an old friend of your

  She then said, "But who are all these people whom I           224
  see behaving so atrociously about your house? What is
  it all about? Their conduct is enough to disgust any
  right-minded person."

  "They are my mother's suitors," answered Telemachus, and      230
  come from the neighbouring islands of Dulichium, Same,
  and Zacynthus, as well as from Ithaca itself. My mother
  does not say she will not marry again and cannot bring
  her courtship to an end. So they are ruining me."

  Minerva was very indignant, and advised him to fit out        252
  a ship and go to Pylos and Sparta, seeking news of his
  father. "If," she said, "you hear of his being alive, you
  can put up with all this extravagance for yet another
  twelve months. If on the other hand you hear of his
  death, return at once, send your mother to her father's,      276
  and by fair means or foul kill the suitors."

  Telemachus thanked her for her advice, promised to take       306
  it, and pressed her to prolong her visit. She explained
  that she could not possibly do so, and then flew off into
  the air, like an eagle.

  Phemius was still singing: he had chosen for his subject      325
  the disastrous return of the Achæans from Troy. Penelope
  could hear him from her room upstairs, and came down into
  the presence of the suitors holding a veil before her
  face, and waited upon by two of her handmaids, one of
  whom stood on either side of her. She stood by one of the
  bearing-posts that supported the roof of the cloisters,
  and bade Phemius change his theme, which she found too
  painful as reminding her of her lost husband.

  Telemachus reasoned with her, and ended by desiring her       345
  to go upstairs again. "Go back," he said, "within the
  house and see to your daily duties, your loom, your
  distaff, and the ordering of your servants; for speech is
  man's matter, and mine above all others, for it is I who
  am master here."

  On this Penelope went back, with her women, wondering         360
  into the house, and as soon as she was gone Telemachus
  challenged the suitors to meet him next day in full
  assembly, that he might formally and publicly warn them
  to leave his house.

  Antinous and Eurymachus, their two leaders, both              383
  rejoined; but presently night fell, and the whole body
  of suitors left the house for their own several abodes.
  When they were gone, his old nurse Euryclea conducted
  Telemachus by torch light to his bedroom, in a lofty
  tower, which overlooked the outer courtyard and could be
  seen from far and near.

  Euryclea had been bought by Laertes when she was quite        430
  young; he had given the worth of twenty oxen for her, and
  she was made as much of in the house as his own wife was,
  but he did not take her to his bed, for he respected his
  wife's displeasure. The good old woman showed Telemachus
  to his room, and waited while he undressed. She took his
  shirt from him, folded it carefully up, and hung it on a
  peg by his bed side. This done, she left him to dream all
  night of his intended voyage.


  _Assembly of the people of Ithaca--Telemachus starts for

  Next morning, as soon as he was up and dressed,
  Telemachus sent the criers round the town to call the
  people in assembly. When they came together he told them
  of his misfortune in the death of his father, and of the
  still greater one that the suitors were making havoc of
  his estate. "If anybody," he concluded, "is to eat me out      46
  of house and home I had rather you did it yourselves; for
  you are men of substance, so that if I sued you household
  by household I should recover from yon; whereas there is
  nothing to be got by suing a number of young men who have
  no means of their own."                                        85

  To this Antinous rejoined that it was Penelope's own
  fault. She had been encouraging the suitors all the time
  by sending flattering messages to every single one of
  them. He explained how for nearly four years she had
  tricked them about the web, which she said was to be a
  pall for Laertes. "The answer, therefore," said he, "that
  we make you is this: 'Send your mother away, and let her
  marry the man of her own and of her father's choice;' for
  we shall not go till she has married some one or other of

  Telemachus answered that he could not force his mother to     129
  leave against her will. If he did so he should have to
  refund to his grandfather Icarius the dowry that Ulysses
  had received on marrying Penelope, and this would bear
  hardly on him. Besides it would not be a creditable thing
  to do.

  On this Jove sent two eagles from the top of a                146
  mountain,[6] who flew and flew in their own lordly flight
  till they reached the assembly, over which they screamed
  and fought, glaring death into the faces of those who
  were below. The people wondered what it might all mean,
  till the old Soothsayer Halitherses told them that it
  foreshadowed the immediate return of Ulysses to take his
  revenge upon the suitors.

  Eurymachus made him an angry answer. "As long," he            177
  concluded, "as Penelope delays her choice, we can marry
  no one else, and shall continue to waste Telemachus's

  Telemachus replied that there was nothing more to be          208
  said, and asked the suitors to let him have a ship with a
  crew of twenty men, that he might follow the advice given
  him by Minerva.

  Mentor now upbraided his countrymen for standing idly         224
  by when they could easily coerce the suitors into good
  behaviour, and after a few insolent words from Leocritus
  the meeting dispersed. The suitors then returned to the
  house of Ulysses.

  But Telemachus went away all alone by the sea side to         260
  pray. He washed his hands in the grey waves, and implored
  Minerva to assist him; whereon the goddess came up to
  him in the form of Mentor. She discoursed to him about
  his conduct generally, and wound up by saying that she
  would not only find him a ship, but would come with
  him herself. He was therefore to go home and get the
  necessary provisions ready.

  He did as she directed him and went home, where, after        296
  an angry scene with the suitors, in which he again
  published his intention of going on his voyage, he went
  down into the store room and told Euryclea to get the
  provisions ready; at the same time he made her take a
  solemn oath of secrecy for ten or twelve days, so as not
  to alarm Penelope. Meanwhile Minerva, still disguised as
  Mentor, borrowed a ship from a neighbour. Noëmon, and at
  nightfall, after the suitors had left as usual, she and
  Telemachus with his crew of twenty volunteers got the
  provisions on board and set sail, with a fair wind that
  whistled over the waters.


  _Telemachus at the house of Nestor_.

  They reached Pylos on the following morning, and found
  Nestor, his sons, and all the Pylians celebrating
  the feast of Neptune. They were cordially received,
  especially by Nestor's son Pisistratus, and were at once
  invited to join the festivities. After dinner Nestor
  asked them who they were, and Telemachus, emboldened
  by Minerva, explained that they came from Ithaca under
  Neritum,[7] and that he was seeking news of the death of
  his father Ulysses.

  When he heard this, Nestor told him all about his own         102
  adventures on his way home from Troy, but could give him
  no news of Ulysses. He touched, however, on the murder
  of Agamemnon by Ægisthus, and the revenge taken by

  Telemachus said he wished he might be able to take a like     201
  revenge on the suitors of his mother, who were ruining
  him; "but this," he exclaimed, "could not happen, not
  even if the gods wished it. It is too much even to think

  Minerva reproved him sharply. "The hand of heaven," she       229
  said, "can reach far when it has a mind to save a man."
  Telemachus then changed the conversation, and asked
  Nestor how Ægisthus managed to kill Agamemnon, who was so
  much the better man of the two. What was Menelaus doing?

  "Menelaus," answered Nestor, "had not yet returned            253
  from his long wanderings. As for Clytemnestra, she was        266
  naturally of a good disposition, but was beguiled by
  Ægisthus, who reigned seven years in Mycene after he had
  killed Agamemnon. In the eighth year, however, Orestes
  came from Athens and killed him, and on the very day when     311
  Orestes was celebrating the funeral feast of Ægisthus and
  Clytemnestra, Menelaus returned. Go then to Sparta, and
  see if he can tell you anything."

  By this time the sun had set, and Minerva proposed            329
  that she and Telemachus should return to their ship,
  but Nestor would not hear of their doing so. Minerva
  therefore consented that Telemachus should stay on shore,
  and explained that she could not remain with him inasmuch
  as she must start on the following morning for the
  Cauconians, to recover a large debt that had been long
  owing to her.

  Having said this, to the astonishment of all present she      371
  flew away in the form of an eagle. Whereon Nestor grasped
  Telemachus's hand and said he could see that he must be a
  very important person. He also at once vowed to gild the
  horns of a heifer and sacrifice her to the goddess. He
  then took Telemachus home with him and lodged him in his
  own house.

  Next day Nestor fulfilled his vow; the heifer was brought     404
  in from the plains, her horns were gilded, and Nestor's
  wife Eurydice and her daughters shouted with delight at
  seeing her killed.

  After the banquet that ensued Nestor sent Telemachus          477
  and his son Pisistratus off in a chariot and pair for
  Lacedæmon, which they reached on the following morning,
  after passing a night in the house of Diocles at Pheræ.


  _Telemachus at the house of Menelaus--The suitors resolve
  to lie in wait for him as he returns, and murder him_.

  When the two young men reached Lacedæmon they drove
  straight to Menelaus's house [and found him celebrating
  the double marriage of his daughter Hermione and his son

  Menelaus (after a little demur on the part of his _major     22
  domo_ Eteoneus, for which he was severely reprimanded by
  his master) entertained his guests very hospitably, and
  overhearing Telemachus call his friend's attention to the
  splendour of the house, he explained to them how much
  toil and sorrow he had endured, especially through the
  murder of his brother Agamemnon, the plundering of his
  house by Paris when he carried off Helen, and the death
  of so many of his brave comrades at Troy. "There is one
  man, however," he added, "of whom I cannot even think
  without loathing both food and sleep. I mean Ulysses."

  When Telemachus heard his father thus mentioned he could      112
  not restrain his tears, and while Menelaus was in doubt
  what to say or not say, Helen came down (dinner being now
  half through) with her three attendant maidens, Adraste,
  Alcippe, and Phylo, who set a seat for her and brought
  her her famous work box which ran on wheels, that she
  might begin to spin.

  "And who pray," said she to her husband, "may these two       138
  gentlemen be who are honouring us with their presence?
  Shall I guess right or wrong, but I really must say what
  I think. I never saw such a likeness--neither in man
  nor woman. This young man can only be Telemachus, whom
  Ulysses left behind him a baby in arms when he set out
  for Troy."

  "I too," answered Menelaus, "have observed the likeness.      147
  It is unmistakeable."

  On this Pisistratus explained that they were quite right,     155
  whereon Menelaus told him all he had meant doing for
  Ulysses, and this was so affecting that all the four who
  were at table burst into tears. After a little while
  Pisistratus complimented Menelaus on his great sagacity
  (of which indeed his father Nestor had often told him),
  and said that he did not like weeping when he was getting
  his dinner; he therefore proposed that the remainder of
  their lamentation should be deferred until next morning.
  Menelaus assented to this, and dinner was allowed to          220
  proceed. Helen mixed some Nepenthe with the wine, and
  cheerfulness was thus restored.

  Helen then told how she had met Ulysses when he entered       235
  Troy as a spy, and explained that by that time she
  was already anxious to return home, and was lamenting
  the cruel calamity which Venus had inflicted on her           261
  in separating her from her little girl and from her
  husband, who was really not deficient either in person or

  Menelaus capped her story with an account of the              265
  adventures of the Achæans inside the wooden horse. "Do
  you not remember," said he, "how you walked all round it
  when we were inside, and patted it? You had Deiphobus
  with you, and you kept on calling out our names and           279
  mimicking our wives, till Minerva came and took you away.
  It was Ulysses' presence of mind that then saved us."

  When he had told this, Telemachus said it was time to go      290
  to rest, so he and Pisistratus were shown to their room
  in the vestibule, while Menelaus and Helen retired to the
  interior of the house.[10]

  When morning came Telemachus told Menelaus about the          306
  suitors, and asked for any information he could give him
  concerning the death of his father. Menelaus was greatly
  shocked, but could only tell him what he had heard from
  Proteus. He said that as he was coming from Egypt he had
  been detained some weeks through, the displeasure of the
  gods, in the island of Pharos, where he and his men would
  have been starved but for the assistance given him by a
  goddess Idothea, daughter to Proteus, who taught him how
  to ensnare her father, and compel him to say why heaven
  was detaining him.

  "Idothea," said Menelaus, "disguised me and my three          410
  chosen comrades as seals; to this end she had brought
  four fresh-flayed seal-skins, under which she hid us.
  The strong smell of these skins was most distressing to
  us--Who would go to bed with a sea monster if he could
  help it? but Idothea put some ambrosia under each man's       443
  nostrils, and this afforded us great relief. Other seals
  (Halsoydne's chickens as they call them) now kept coming
  up by hundreds, and lay down to bask upon the beach.

  "Towards noon Proteus himself came up. First he counted       450
  all his seals to see that he had the right number, and he
  counted us in with the others; when he had so done he lay
  down in the midst of them, as a shepherd with his sheep,
  and as soon as he was asleep we pounced upon him and
  gripped him tight; at one moment he became a lion, the
  next he was running water, and then again he was a tree;
  but we never loosed hold, and in the end he grew weary,
  and told us what we would know.

  "He told me also of the fate of Ajax, son of Oïleus, and      499
  of my brother Agamemnon. Lastly he told me about Ulysses,
  who he said was in the island of the nymph Calypso,
  unable to get away inasmuch as he had neither ship nor

  "Then he disappeared under the sea, and I, after              570
  appeasing heaven's anger as he had instructed me,
  returned quickly and safely to my own country."

  Having finished his story Menelaus pressed Telemachus         587
  to remain with him some ten or twelve days longer, and
  promised to give him a chariot and a pair of horses
  as a keepsake, but Telemachus said that he could not
  stay. "I could listen to you," said he, "for a whole
  twelve months, and never once think about my home and
  my parents; but my men, whom I have left at Pylos, are
  already impatient for me to return. As for any present
  you may make me, let it be a piece of plate. I cannot
  take horses to Ithaca; it contains no plains nor meadow
  lands, and is more fit for breeding goats than horses.
  None of our islands are suited for chariot races, and
  Ithaca least among them all."

  Menelaus smiled, and said he could see that Telemachus        600
  came of good family. He had a piece of plate, of very
  great value, which was just the thing, and Telemachus
  should have it.

  [Guests now kept coming to the king's house, bringing         621
  both wine and sheep, and their wives had put them up
  a provision of bread. Thus, then, did they set about
  cooking their dinner in the courts.][11]

  Meanwhile, the suitors in Ithaca were playing at quoits,      625
  aiming spears at a mark, and behaving with all their
  old insolence on the level ground in front of Ulysses'
  house. While they were thus engaged Noëmon came up and
  asked Antinous if he could say when Telemachus was likely
  to be back from Pylos, for he wanted his ship. On this
  everything came out, and the suitors, who had no idea
  that Telemachus had really gone (for they thought he
  was only away on one of his farms in Ithaca), were very
  angry. They therefore determined to lie in wait for him
  on his return, and made ready to start.

  Medon, a servant, overhead their plot, and told all to        675
  Penelope, who, like the suitors, learned for the first
  time that her son had left home and gone to Pylos. She
  bitterly upbraided her women for not having given her
  a call out of her bed when Telemachus was leaving, for
  she said she was sure they knew all about it. Presently,
  however, on being calmed by Euryclea, she went upstairs
  and offered sacrifice to Minerva. After a time she fell
  into a deep slumber, during which she was comforted by a
  vision of her sister Ipthime, which Minerva had sent to
  her bedside.

  When night fell the suitors set sail, intending to            842
  way-lay Telemachus in the Strait between Same and Ithaca.


  _Ulysses in the island of Calypso--He leaves the island
  on a raft, and after great suffering reaches the land of
  the Phæacians_.

  The gods now held a second council, at which Minerva and       28
  Jove both spoke.

  When Jove had done speaking he sent Mercury to Calypso
  to tell that Ulysses was to return home, reaching the
  land of the Phæacians in twenty days. The Phæacians would
  load him with presents and send him on to Ithaca.

  Mercury, therefore, flew over the sea like a cormorant         43
  that fishes every hole and corner of the deep. In the
  course of time he reached Calypso's cave and told his
  story. Calypso was very angry, but seeing there was no
  help for it promised obedience. As soon as Mercury was
  gone she went to look for Ulysses, whom she found weeping
  as usual and looking out ever sadly upon the sea; she
  told him to build himself a raft and sail home upon
  it, but Ulysses was deeply suspicious and would not be
  reassured till she had sworn a very solemn oath that she
  meant him no harm, and was advising him in all good faith.

  The pair then returned to Calypso's cave. "I cannot           192
  understand," she said, "why you will not stay quietly
  here with me, instead of all the time thinking about
  this wife of yours. I cannot believe that I am any worse
  looking than she is. If you only knew how much hardship       206
  you will have to undergo before you get back, you would
  stay where you are and let me make you immortal."

  "Do not be angry with me," answered Ulysses, "you are         215
  infinitely better looking than Penelope. You are a
  goddess, and she is but a mortal woman. There can be no
  comparison. Nevertheless, come what may, I have a craving
  to get back to my own home."

  The next four days were spent in making the raft. Calypso     228
  lent him her axe and auger and shewed him where the trees
  grew which would be driest and whose timber would be the      240
  best seasoned, and Ulysses cut them down. He made the
  raft about as broad in the beam as people generally make
  a good big ship, and he gave it a rudder--that he might       255
  be able to steer it.

  Calypso then washed him, gave him clean clothes, and he       264
  set out, steering his ship skilfully by means of the          270
  rudder. He steered towards the Great Bear, which is also
  called the Wain, keeping it on his left hand, for so
  Calypso had advised him.

  All went well with him for seventeen days, and on the         278
  eighteenth he caught sight of the faint outlines of the
  Phæacian coast lying long and low upon the horizon.

  Here, however, Neptune, who was on his way home from the      282
  Ethiopians, caught sight of him and saw the march that
  the other gods had stolen upon him during his absence.
  He therefore stirred the sea round with his trident, and
  raised a frightful hurricane, so that Ulysses could see
  nothing more, everything being dark as night; presently       294
  he was washed overboard, but managed to regain his raft.

  He was giving himself up for lost when Ino, also named        333
  Leucothea, took pity on him and flew on to his raft like
  a sea gull; she reassured him and gave him her veil, at
  the same time telling him to throw it back into the sea
  as soon as he reached land, and to turn his face away
  from the sea as he did so.

  The storm still raged, and the raft went to pieces under      351
  its fury, whereon Ulysses bound Ino's veil under his arms
  and began to swim. Neptune on seeing this was satisfied
  and went away.

  As soon as he was gone Minerva calmed all the winds           369
  except the North, which blew strong for two days and two
  nights, so that Ulysses was carried to the South again.
  On the morning of the third day he saw land quite close,
  but was nearly dashed to pieces against the rocks on
  trying to leave the water. At last he found the mouth of      451
  a river, who, in answer to Ulysses's prayer, stayed his
  flow, so that Ulysses was able to swim inland and get on

  Nearly dead with exhaustion and in great doubt what to        456
  do, he first threw Ino's veil into the salt waters of
  the river, and then took shelter on the rising ground,
  inland. Here he covered himself with a thick bed of
  leaves and fell fast asleep.


_The meeting between Ulysses and Nausicaa_.

  While Ulysses was thus slumbering, Minerva went to the
  land of the Phæacians, on which Ulysses had been cast.

  Now the Phæacians used to live in Hypereia near the             4
  lawless Cyclopes, who were stronger than they were and
  plundered them; so their king Nausithous removed them to
  Scheria,[12] where they were secure. Nausithous was now
  dead, and his son Alcinous was reigning.

  Alcinous had an only daughter, Nausicaa, who was in her        15
  bedroom fast asleep. Minerva went to her bedside and
  appeared to her in a dream, having assumed the form of
  one Captain Dymas's daughter, who was a bosom friend of
  Nausicaa's. She reminded her of her approaching marriage
  (for which, however, the bridegroom had not yet been
  decided upon), and upbraided her for not making due
  preparation by the washing of her own and of the family
  linen. She proposed, therefore, that on the following
  morning Nausicaa should take all the unwashed clothes to
  the washing cisterns, and said that she would come and
  help her: the cisterns being some distance from the town,
  she advised Nausicaa to ask her father to let her have a
  waggon and mules.

  Nausicaa, on waking, told her father and mother about          50
  her dream, "Papa, dear,"[13] said she, "could you manage
  to let me have a good big waggon? I want to take all our
  dirty clothes to the river and wash them. You are the
  chief man here, so it is only proper that you should have      60
  a clean shirt when you attend meetings of the council.
  Moreover you have five sons, two of them married, while
  the other three are good looking young bachelors; you
  know they always like to have clean linen when they go
  out to a dance."

  Her father promised her all she wanted. The waggon             71
  was made ready, her mother put her up a basket of
  provisions, and Nausicaa drove her maids to the bank of
  the river, where were the cisterns, through which there
  flowed enough clear water to wash clothes however dirty
  they might be. They washed their clothes in the pits
  by treading upon them, laid them out to dry upon the
  sea-beach, had their dinner as the clothes were drying,
  and then began to play at ball while Nausicaa sang to

  In the course of time, when they were thinking about          110
  starting home, Minerva woke Ulysses, who was in the wood
  just above them. He sat up, heard the voices and laughter
  of the women, and wondered where he was.

  He resolved on going to see, but remembering that he had      127
  no clothes on, he held a bough of olive before him, and
  then, all grim, naked, and unkempt as he was, he came
  out and drew near to the women, who all of them ran away
  along the beach and the points that jutted into the sea.
  Nausicaa, however, stood firm, and Ulysses set himself
  to consider whether he should go boldly up to her and
  embrace her knees, or speak to her from a respectful

  On the whole he concluded that this would be the most         145
  prudent course; and having adopted it, he began by asking
  Nausicaa to inform him whether she was a goddess or no.
  If she was a goddess, it was obvious from her beauty that
  she could only be Diana. If on the other hand she was
  a mortal, how happy would he be whose proposals in the
  way of settlements had seemed most advantageous, and who
  should take her to his own home. Finally he asked her
  to be kind enough to give him any old wrapper which she
  might have brought with her to wrap the clothes in, and
  to show him the way to the town.

  Nausicaa replied that he seemed really to be a very           186
  sensible person, but that people must put up with their
  luck whatever it might happen to be. She then explained
  that he had come to the land of the Phæacians, and
  promised to conduct him to their city.

  Having so said, she told her maids not to be such             198
  cowards. "The man," she said, "is quite harmless; we live
  away from all neighbours on a land's end, with the sea
  roaring on either side of us, and no one can hurt us. See
  to this poor fellow, therefore, and give him something to

  When they heard this the maids came back and gave             211
  Ulysses a shirt and cloak; they also gave him a bottle
  of oil and told him to go and wash in the river, but he
  said, "I will not wash myself while you keep standing
  there. I cannot bring myself to strip before a number of
  good-looking young women." So they went and told their

  When Ulysses had done washing, Minerva made him look much     224
  grander and more imposing, and gave him a thick head of
  hair which flowed down in hyacinthine curls about his
  shoulders, Nausicaa was very much struck with the change
  in his appearance. "At first," she said, "I thought him
  quite plain, but now he is of godlike beauty. I wish I
  might have such a man as that for my husband, if he would
  only stay here. But never mind this; girls, give him
  something to eat and drink."

  The maids then set meat and drink before Ulysses, who was     247
  ravenously hungry. While he was eating, Nausicaa got the
  clothes folded up and put on to the cart; after which
  she gave him his instructions. "Follow after the cart,"
  she said, "along with the maids, till you get near the
  houses. As for the town, you will find it lying between
  two good harbours, and approached by a narrow neck of         263
  land, on either side of which you will see the ships
  drawn up--for every man has a place where he can let his
  boat lie. You will also see the walls, and the temple of
  Neptune standing in the middle of the paved market-place,
  with the ship-brokers' shops all round it.

  "When you get near the town drop behind, for the people       273
  here are very ill-natured, and they would talk about me.
  They would say, 'Who is this fine looking stranger that
  is going about with Nausicaa? Where did she find him? I
  suppose she is going to marry him. Is he a sailor whom
  she has picked up from some foreign vessel, or has a god
  come down from heaven in answer to her prayers and he is
  going to marry her? It would be a good thing if she would
  go and find a husband somewhere else, for she will have
  nothing to say to any of the many excellent Phæacians who
  are in love with her.' This is what people would say,
  and I could not blame them, for I should be scandalised
  myself if I saw any girl going about with a stranger,
  while her father and mother were yet alive, without being
  married to him in the face of all the world.

  "Do then as I say. When you come to the grove of Minerva      289
  a little outside the town, wait till you think I and the
  maids must have got home. Then come after us, ask which
  is Alcinous's house, and when you reach it go straight
  through the outer and inner courts till you come to my
  mother. You will see her sitting with her back to a
  bearing-post, and spinning her purple yarn by the fire.
  My father will be sitting close by her; never mind about
  him, but go and embrace my mother's knees for if she
  looks favourably on your suit, you will probably get what
  you want."

  Nausicaa then drove on, and as the sun was about setting      316
  they came to the grove of Minerva, where Ulysses sat down
  and waited. He prayed Minerva to assist him, and she
  heard his prayer, but she would not manifest herself to
  him, for she did not want to offend her uncle Neptune.


  _The splendours of the house of King Alcinous--Queen
  Arete wants to know where Ulysses got his shirt and
  cloak, for she knows them as her own work--Ulysses

  When Nausicaa reached home her brothers attended to the
  waggon and mules, and her waiting-woman Eurymedusa lit
  the fire and brought her supper for her into her own room.

  Presently Ulysses considered it safe to come on, and           14
  entered the town enveloped in a thick mist which Minerva
  shed round him for his protection from any rudeness that
  the Phæacians might offer him. She also met him outside
  the town disguised as a little girl carrying a pitcher.

  Ulysses saw her in spite of the mist, and asked her            21
  to show him the way to the house of Alcinous; this,
  she said, she could easily do, and when they reached
  the house she told Ulysses all about the king's family
  history, and advised him how he should behave himself.

  "Be bold," she said; "boldness always tells, no matter         50
  where a man comes from. First find the mistress of the
  house. She is of the same family as her husband, and
  her descent is in this wise. Eurymedon was king of the
  giants, but he and his people were overthrown, and he
  lost his own life. His youngest daughter was Peribœa,
  a woman of surpassing beauty, who gave birth by Neptune
  to Nausithous, king of the Phæacians. He had two sons,         62
  Rhexenor and Alcinous; Rhexenor died young, leaving an
  only daughter, Arete, whom her uncle Alcinous married,
  and whom he honours as no other woman in the whole world
  is honoured by her husband. All her family and all her
  neighbours adore her as a friend and peacemaker, for she
  is a thoroughly good woman. If you can gain her good
  offices all will go well with you."

  Minerva then left him and went to Marathon and Athens,         78
  where she visited the house of Erechtheus, but Ulysses
  went on to the house of Alcinous, and he pondered much
  as he paused awhile before he reached the threshold of
  bronze, for the splendour of the palace was like that of
  the sun and moon. The walls on either side were of bronze
  from end to end, and the cornice was of blue enamel. The
  doors were of gold and hung on pillars of silver that
  rose from a floor of bronze, while the lintel was of
  silver and the hook of the door was of gold.

  On either side there were gold and silver mastiffs which       91
  Vulcan with his consummate skill had fashioned expressly
  to keep watch over the palace of King Alcinous, so they
  were immortal and could never grow old. Seats were ranged
  here and there all along the wall, from one end to the
  other, with coverings of fine woven work, which the women
  of the house had made. Here the chief persons of the
  Phæacians used to sit and eat and drink, for there was
  abundance at all seasons; and there were golden figures
  of young men with lighted torches in their hands, raised
  on pedestals to give light to them that sat at meat.

  There are fifty women servants in the house, some of          103
  whom are always grinding rich yellow grain at the mill,
  while others work at the loom and sit and spin, and their
  shuttles go backwards and forwards like the fluttering of
  aspen leaves, while the linen is so closely woven that it
  will turn oil. As the Phæacians are the best sailors in
  the world, so their women excel all others in weaving,
  for Minerva has taught them all manner of useful arts,
  and they are very intelligent.

  Outside the gate of the outer court there is a large
  garden[14] of about four acres, with a wall all round
  it. It is full of beautiful trees--pears, pomegranates,
  and the most delicious apples. There are luscious figs
  also, and olives in full growth. The fruits never rot
  nor fail all the year round, neither winter nor summer,
  for the air is so soft that a new crop ripens before the
  old has dropped. Pear grows on pear, apple on apple, and
  fig on fig, and so also with the grapes, for there is
  an excellent vineyard; on the level ground of a part of
  this, the grapes are being made into raisins; on another
  part they are being gathered; some are being trodden
  in the wine-tubs; others, further on, have shed their
  blossom and are beginning to show fruit; others, again,
  are just changing colour. In the furthest part of the
  ground there are beautifully arranged beds of flowers
  that are in bloom all the year round. Two streams go
  through it, the one turned in ducts throughout the whole
  garden, while the other is carried under the ground of
  the outer court to the house itself, and the townspeople
  drew water from it. Such, then, were the splendours with
  which heaven had endowed the house of King Alcinous.

  So here Ulysses stood for a while and looked about            133
  him, but when he had looked long enough he crossed the
  threshold and went within the precincts of the house.
  He passed through the crowd of guests who were nightly
  visitors at the table of King Alcinous, and who were
  then making their usual drink offering to Mercury before      137
  going for the night. He was still shrouded in the mist
  of invisibility with which Minerva had invested him,
  and going up to Arete he embraced her knees, whereon he
  suddenly became visible. Every one was greatly surprised
  at seeing a man there, but Ulysses paid no attention to
  this, and at once implored the queen's assistance; he
  then sat down among the ashes on the hearth.

  Alcinous did not know what to do or say, nor yet did any      154
  one else till one of the guests Echeneüs told him it was
  not creditable to him that a suppliant should be left
  thus grovelling among the ashes. Alcinous ought to give
  him a seat and set food before him. This was accordingly
  done, and after Ulysses had finished eating Alcinous made
  a speech, in which he proposed that they should have a
  great banquet next day in their guest's honour, and then
  provide him an escort to take him to his own home. This
  was agreed to, and after a while the other guests went
  home to bed.

  When they were gone Ulysses was left alone with Alcinous      230
  and Arete sitting over the fire, while the servants were
  taking the things away after supper. Then Arete said,
  "Stranger, before we go any further there is a question I
  should like to put to you. Who are you? and who gave you
  those clothes?" for she recognised the shirt and cloak
  Ulysses was wearing as her own work, and that of her

  Ulysses did not give his name, but told her how he had        240
  come from Calypso's island, and been wrecked on the
  Phæacian coast. "Next day," he said, "I fell in with your
  daughter, who treated me with much greater kindness than
  one could have expected from so young a person--for young
  people are apt to be thoughtless. It was she who gave me
  the clothes."

  Alcinous then said he wished the stranger would stay with     308
  them for good and all and marry Nausicaa. They would
  not, however, press this, and if he insisted on going
  they would send him, no matter where. "Even though it be
  further than Eubœa, which they say is further off than
  any other place, we will send you, and you shall be taken
  so easily that you may sleep the whole way if you like."      318

  To this Ulysses only replied by praying that the king         329
  might be as good as his word. A bed was then made for him
  in the gate-house and they all retired for the night.


  _The Phæacian games and banquet in honour of Ulysses_.

  When morning came Alcinous called an assembly of the
  Phæacian, and Minerva went about urging every one to
  come and see the wonderful stranger. She also gave
  Ulysses a more imposing presence that he might impress
  the people favourably. When the Phæacians were assembled
  Alcinous said:--

  "I do not know who this stranger is, nor where he comes        28
  from; but he wants us to send him to his own home, and no
  guest of mine was ever yet able to complain that I did
  not send him home quickly enough. Let us therefore fit
  out a new ship with a crew of fifty-two men, and send
  him. The crew shall come to my house and I will find them
  in food which they can cook for themselves. The aldermen
  and councillors shall be feasted inside the house. I can
  take no denial, and we will have Demodocus to sing to us."

  The ship and crew were immediately found, and the sailors      46
  with all the male part of the population swarmed to the
  house of Alcinous till the yards and barns and buildings
  were crowded. The king provided them with twelve sheep,
  eight pigs and two bullocks, which they killed and cooked.

  The leading men of the town went inside the inner              62
  courtyard; Pontonous, the _major domo_, conducted the
  blind bard Demodocus to a seat which he set near one
  of the bearing-posts that supported the roof of the
  cloisters, hung his lyre on a peg over his head, and
  shewed him how to feel for it with his hands. He also set
  a table close by him with refreshments on it, to which he
  could help himself whenever he liked.

  As soon as the guests had done eating Demodocus began          72
  to sing the quarrel between Ulysses and Achilles before
  Troy, a lay which at the time was famous. This so
  affected Ulysses that he kept on weeping as long as the
  bard sang, and though he was able to conceal his tears
  from the company generally, Alcinous perceived his
  distress, and proposed that they should all now adjourn
  to the athletic sports--which were to consist mainly of
  boxing, wrestling, jumping, and foot racing.

  Demodocus, therefore, hung the lyre on its peg and            105
  was led out to the place where the sports were to be
  held. The whole town flocked to see them. Clytoneüs won
  the foot race, Euryalus took the prize for wrestling,
  Amphialus was the best jumper, and Alcinous' son Laodamas
  the best boxer.

  Laodamas and Euryalus then proposed that Ulysses should       131
  enter himself for one of the prizes. Ulysses replied
  that he was a stranger and a suppliant; moreover, he had
  lately gone through great hardships, and would rather be

  Euryalus on this insulted Ulysses, and said that he           138
  supposed he was some grasping merchant who thought of
  nothing but his freights. "You have none of the look,"
  said he, "of an athlete about you."

  Ulysses was furious, and told Euryalus that he was a          164
  goodlooking young fool. He then took up a disc far
  heavier than those which the Phæacians were in the habit
  of throwing.[15] The disc made a hurtling sound as it
  passed through the air, and easily surpassed any throw
  that had been made yet. Thus encouraged he made another
  long and very angry speech, in which he said he would
  compete with any Phæacian in any contest they chose to
  name, except in running, for he was still so much pulled
  down that he thought they might beat him here. "Also,"
  he said, "I will not compete in anything with Laodamas.
  He is my host's son, and it is a most unwise thing for a
  guest to challenge any member of his host's family. A man
  must be an idiot to think of such a thing."

  "Sir," said Alcinous, "I understand that you are              236
  displeased at some remarks that have fallen from one of
  our athletes, who has thrown doubt upon your prowess in
  a way that no gentleman would do. I hear that you have
  also given us a general challenge. I should explain that
  we are not famous for our skill in boxing or wrestling,
  but are singularly fleet runners and bold mariners.
  We are also much given to song and dance, and we like
  warm baths and frequent changes of linen. So now come
  forward some of you who are the nimblest dancers, and
  show the stranger how much we surpass other nations in
  all graceful accomplishments. Let some one also bring
  Demodocus's lyre from my house where he has left it."

  The lyre was immediately brought, the dancers began to        256
  dance, and Ulysses admired the merry twinkling of their

  While they were dancing Demodocus sang the intrigue           266
  between Mars and Venus in the house of Vulcan, and told
  how Vulcan took the pair prisoners. All the gods came to
  see them; but the goddesses were modest and would not         324

  Alcinous then made Halius and Laodamas have a game at         370
  ball, after which Ulysses expressed the utmost admiration
  of their skill. Charmed with the compliment Ulysses had
  paid his sons, the king said that the twelve aldermen
  (with himself, which would make thirteen) must at once
  give Ulysses a shirt and cloak and a talent of gold, so
  that he might eat his supper with a light heart. As for
  Euryalus, he must not only make a present, but apologise
  as well, for he had been rude.

  Euryalus admitted his fault, and gave Ulysses his sword       398
  with its scabbard, which was of new ivory. He said
  Ulysses would find it worth a great deal of money to him.

  Ulysses thanked him, wished him all manner of good            412
  fortune, and said he hoped Euryalus would not feel the
  want of the sword which he had just given him along with
  his apology.

  Night was now falling, they therefore adjourned to the        417
  house of Alcinous. Here the presents began to arrive,
  whereon the king desired Arete to find Ulysses a chest in
  which to stow them, and to put a shirt and clean cloak
  in it as his own contribution; he also declared his
  intention of giving him a gold cup.[16] Meanwhile, he
  said that Ulysses had better have a warm bath.

  The bath was made ready. Arete packed all the gold and        423
  presents which the Phæacian aldermen had sent, as also
  the shirt and tunic from Alcinous. Arete told Ulysses to
  see to the fastening, lest some one should rob him while
  he was asleep on the ship; Ulysses therefore fastened the     445
  lid on to the chest with a knot which Circe had taught
  him. He then went into the bath room--very gladly, for he
  had not had a bath since he left Calypso, who as long as
  he was with her had taken as good care of him as though
  he had been a god.

  As he came from the bath room Nausicaa was standing by        457
  one of the bearing-posts that supported the roof of
  the cloisters and bade him farewell, reminding him at
  the same time that it was she who had been the saving
  of him--a fact which Ulysses in a few words gracefully

  He then took his seat at table, and after dinner, at his      469
  request, Demodocus sang the Sack of Troy and the Sally of
  the Achæans from the Wooden Horse. This again so affected
  him that he could not restrain his tears, which, however,
  Alcinous again alone perceived.

  The king, therefore, made a speech in which he said           536
  that the stranger ought to tell them his name. He must
  have one, for people always gave their children names
  as soon as they were born. He need not be uneasy about
  his escort. All he had to do was to say where he wanted
  to go, and the Phæacian ships were so clever that they
  would take him there of their own accord. Nevertheless he
  remembered hearing his father Nausithous say, that one
  day Neptune would be angry with the Phæacians for giving
  people escorts so readily, and had said he would wreck
  one of their ships as it was returning, and would also
  bury their city under a high mountain.


  _The voyages of Ulysses--The Cicons, Lotus eaters, and
  the Cyclops Polyphemus_.

  Then Ulysses rose. "King Alcinous," said he, "you ask
  my name and I will tell you. I am Ulysses, and dwell in
  Ithaca, an island which contains a high mountain called
  Neritum. In its neighbourhood there are other islands
  near to one another, Dulichium, Same, and Zacynthus. It
  lies on the horizon all highest up in the sea towards the      25
  West, while the other islands lie away from it to the
  East. This is the island which I would reach, for however
  fine a house a man may have in a land where his parents
  are not, there will still be nothing sweeter to him than
  his home and his own father and mother.

  "I will now tell you of my adventures. On leaving Troy         37
  we first made a descent on the land of the Cicons, and
  sacked their city but were eventually beaten off, though
  we took our booty with us.

  "Thence we sailed South with a strong North wind behind        62
  us, till we reached the island of Cythera, where we were
  driven off our course by a continuance of North wind
  which prevented my doubling Cape Malea.

  "Nine days was I driven by foul winds, and on the tenth        82
  we reached the land of the Lotus eaters, where the people
  were good to my men but gave them to eat of the lotus,
  which made them lose all desire to return home, so that I
  had a great work to get those who had tasted it on board

  "Thence we were carried further, till we came to the land     105
  of the savage Cyclopes. Off their coast, but not very
  far, there is a wooded island abounding with wild goats.
  It is untrodden by the foot of man; even the huntsmen,
  who as a general rule will suffer any hardship in forest      120
  or on mountain top, never go there; it is neither tilled
  nor fed down, but remains year after year uninhabited
  save by goats only. For the Cyclopes have no ships, and
  cannot therefore go from place to place as those who have
  ships can do. If they had ships they would have colonised
  the island, for it is not at all a bad one and would
  bring forth all things in their season. There is meadow
  land, well watered and of good quality, that stretches
  down to the water's edge. Grapes would do wonderfully
  well there; it contains good arable land, which would
  yield heavy crops, for the soil is rich; moreover it has
  a convenient port--into which some god must have taken
  us, for the night was so dark that we could see nothing.
  There was a thick darkness all round the ships, neither
  was there any moon, for the sky was covered with clouds.
  No one could see the island, nor yet waves breaking upon
  the shore till we found ourselves in the harbour. Here,
  then, we moored our ships and camped down upon the beach.

  [Illustration: The Cave of Polyphemus.]

  [Illustration: Sig. Sugameli and the Author, in the Cave
  of Polyphemus.]

  "When morning came we hunted the wild goats, of which we      152
  killed over a hundred,[17] and all day long to the going
  down of the sun we feasted on them and the store of wine
  we had taken from the Cicons. We kept looking also on the
  land of the Cyclopes over against us, which was so near
  that we could see the smoke of their stubble fires, and
  almost fancy we heard the bleating of their sheep and

  "We camped a second night upon the beach, and at day          169
  break, having called a council, I said I would take my
  own ship and reconnoitre the country, but would leave
  the other ships at the island. Thereon I started, but
  when we got near the main land we saw a great cave in the
  cliff, not far from the sea, and there were large sheep
  yards in front of it. On landing I chose twelve men and
  went inland, taking with me a goat skin full of a very
  wondrous wine that Maron, priest of Apollo, had given me
  when I spared his life and that of his family at the time
  that we were sacking the city of the Cicons. The rest of
  my crew were to wait my return by the sea side.

  "We soon reached the cave, and finding that the owner was     216
  not at home we examined all that it contained; we saw
  vessels brimful of whey, and racks loaded with cheeses:
  the yards also were full of lambs and kids. My men
  implored me to let them steal some cheeses, drive off
  some of the lambs and kids, and sail away, but I would
  not, for I hoped the owner might give me something.

  "We lit a fire in the cave, sacrificed some of the            233
  cheeses to the gods, and ate others ourselves, waiting
  till the owner should return. When he came we found him
  to be a huge monster, more like a peak standing out
  against the sky on some high mountain than a human
  being. He brought in with him a great bundle of firewood,
  which he flung down upon the floor with such a noise that
  we were scared and hid ourselves. He drove all his female
  goats and ewes into the cave, but left the males outside;
  and then he closed the door with a huge stone which not
  even two and twenty waggons could carry. He milked his        245
  goats and ewes all orderly, and gave each one her own
  young [for these had been left in the yards all day];
  then he drank some of the milk, and put part by for his
  supper. Presently he lit his fire and caught sight of us,
  whereon he asked us who we were.

  "I told him we were on our way home from Troy, and begged     256
  him in heaven's name to do us no hurt; but as soon as I
  had answered his question he gripped up two of my men,
  dashed them on the ground, and ate them raw, blood,
  bones, and bowels, like a savage lion of the wilderness.
  Then he lay down on the ground of the cave and went to
  sleep: on which I should have crept up to him and plunged
  my sword into his heart while he was sleeping had I not
  known that if I did we should never be able to shift the
  stone. So we waited till dawn should come.

  "When day broke the monster again lit his fire, milked        307
  his ewes all orderly, and gave each one her own young.
  Then he gripped up two more of my men, and as soon as
  he had eaten them he rolled the stone from the mouth of
  the cave, drove out his sheep, and put the stone back
  again. He had, however, left a large and long piece of
  olive wood in the cave, and when he had gone I and my men
  sharpened this at one end, and hid it in the sheep dung
  of which there was much in the cave. In the evening he
  returned, milked his ewes, and ate two more men; whereon
  I went up to him with the skin of wondrous wine that
  Maron had given me and gave him a bowl full of it. He
  asked for another, and then another, so I gave them to
  him, and he was so much delighted that he enquired my
  name and I said it was Noman.

  "The wine now began to take effect, and in a short time       371
  he fell dead drunk upon the ground. Then my men and I put
  the sharp end of the piece of olive wood in the fire till
  it was well burning, and drove it into the wretch's eye,
  turning it round and round as though it were an auger.
  After a while he plucked it out, flung it from him, and
  began crying to his neighbours for help. When they came,
  they said, 'What ails you? Who is harming you?' and he
  answered, 'No man is harming me.' They then said that he
  must be ill, and had better pray to his father Neptune;
  so they went away, and I laughed at the success of my

  "Then I hid my men by binding them under the sheep's          424
  bellies. The Cyclops, whose name was Polyphemus, groped
  his way to the stone, rolled it away, and sat at the
  mouth of the cave feeling the sheep's backs as they went
  out; but the men were under their bellies so he did not
  find one of them. Nor yet did he discover me, for I was
  ensconced in the thick belly-fleece of a ram which by
  some chance he had brought in with the ewes. But he was
  near finding me, for the ram went last, and he kept it
  for a while and talked to it.

  "When we were outside, I dropped from under the ram and       462
  unbound my companions. We drove the ewes down to my ship,
  got them on board, and rowed out to sea. When we were
  a little way out I jeered at the Cyclops, whereon he
  tore up a great rock and hurled it after us; it fell in
  front of the ship and all but hit the rudder; the wash,
  moreover, that it made nearly carried us back to the          483
  land, but I kept the ship off it with a pole.

  "When we had got about twice as far off as we were            491
  before, I was for speaking to the Cyclops again, and
  though my men tried to stay me, I shouted out to him
  'Cyclops, if you would know who it is that has blinded
  you, learn that it is I, Ulysses, son of Laertes, who
  live in Ithaca.'

  "'Alas,' he cried in answer, 'then the old prophecy about     506
  me is coming true. I knew that I was to lose my sight by
  the hand of Ulysses, but I was looking for some man of
  great stature and noble mien, whereas he has proved to
  be a mere whippersnapper. Come here, then, Ulysses that
  I may offer you gifts of hospitality and pray my father
  Neptune, who shall heal my eye, to escort you safely home.

  "'I wish,' said I, 'that I could be as sure of killing        521
  you body and soul as I am that not even Neptune will be
  able to cure your eye.'

  "Then he prayed to Neptune saying 'Hear me Neptune, if        526
  I am indeed your son, and vouchsafe me that Ulysses son
  of Laertes may never reach his home. Still, if he must
  do so, and get back to his friends, let him lose all his
  men, and though he get home after all, let it be late,
  on another man's ship, and let him find trouble in his

  "So saying he tore up a still larger rock and flung it        527
  this time a little behind the ship, but so close that it
  all but hit the rudder: the wash, however, that it made
  carried us forward to the island from which we had set

  "There we feasted on the sheep that we had taken, and         556
  mourned the loss of our comrades whom Polyphemus had


  _Æolus--the Lœstrygonians--Circe_.

  "So we sailed on and reached the island where dwells
  Æolus with his wife and family of six sons and six
  daughters, who live together amid great and continuous
  plenty. I staid with him a whole month, and when I would
  go, he tied all the winds up (for he was their keeper) in
  a leather sack, which he gave me; but he left the West
  wind free, for this was the one I wanted.

  "Nine days did we sail, and on the tenth we could see our      28
  native land with the stubble fires burning thereon. I had
  never let the rudder out of my hands till then, but being
  now close in shore I fell asleep. My men, thinking I had
  treasure in the sack, opened it to see, on which the
  winds came howling out and took us straight back to the
  Æolian island. So I went to the house of Æolus and prayed
  him to help me, but he said, 'Get you gone, abhorred of
  heaven: him whom heaven hates will I in no wise help.' So
  I went full sadly away.

  "Six days thence did we sail onward, worn out in body          77
  and mind, and on the seventh we reached the stronghold
  of king Lamus, the Læstrygonian city Telepylus, where
  the shepherd who drives his flock into the town salutes
  another who is driving them out, and the other returns
  his salute. A man in that country could earn double wages
  if he could do without sleep, for they work much the same
  by night as they do by day. Here we landed, and I climbed
  a high rock to look round, but could see no signs of men
  or beast, save only smoke rising from the ground.

  "Then I sent two of my crew with an attendant, to see         100
  what manner of men the people might be, and they met
  a young woman who was coming down to fetch water from
  the spring Artacia, whence the people drew their water.
  This young woman took my men to the house of her father
  Antiphates, whereon they discovered the people to be
  giants and ogres like Polyphemus. One of my men was
  gripped up and eaten, but the other two escaped and
  reached the ships. The Læstrygonians raised a hue and cry
  after them, and rushing to the harbour, within which all
  my ships were moored except my own, they dashed my whole
  fleet in pieces with the rocks that they threw. I and my
  own ship alone escaped them, for we were outside, and I
  bade the men row for their lives.

  "On and on did we sail, till we reached the island of         133
  Circe, where heaven guided us into a harbour. Here I
  again climbed a rock and could see the smoke from Circe's
  house rising out of a thick wood; I then went back to the
  ship, and while on my way had the good fortune to kill a
  noble stag, which gave us a supply of meat on which we
  feasted all the rest of the day. Next morning I held a
  council and told my men of the smoke that I had seen.

  "Eurylochus and twenty-two men then went inland to            210
  reconnoitre, and found Circe's house made of squared
  stones and standing on high ground in the middle of the
  forest. This forest was full of wild beasts, poor dazed
  creatures whom Circe had bewitched, but they fawned upon
  my men and did not harm them. When the men got to the
  door of her house they could hear her singing inside most
  beautifully, so they called her down, and when she came
  she asked them in, gave them a drugged drink, and then
  turned them into pigs--all except Eurylochus who had
  remained outside.

  "Eurylochus made all haste back to tell me, and I started     244
  for Circe's house. When I was in the wood where the wild
  beasts were, Mercury met me and gave me an herb called        277
  Moly, which would protect me from Circe's spells; he also     305
  told me how I should treat her. Then I went to her house,
  and called her to come down.

  "She asked me in, and tried to bewitch me as she had the      312
  others, but the herb which Mercury had given me protected
  me; so I rushed at her with my drawn sword. When she
  saw this, she said she knew I must be Ulysses, and that
  I must marry her at once. But I said, 'Circe, you have
  just turned my men into pigs, and have done your best to
  bewitch me into the bargain; how can you expect me to be
  friendly with you? Still, if you will swear to take no
  unfair advantage of me, I will consent.' So she swore,
  and I consented at once.

  "Then she set the four maid servants of her house to wash     348
  me and feast me, but I was still moody and would not
  eat till Circe removed her spells from off my men, and
  brought them back safe and sound in human form. When she
  had done this she bade me go back to my ship and bring
  the rest of my men--which I presently did, and we staid
  with her for a whole twelve months, feasting continually
  and drinking an untold quantity of wine. At last,
  however, my men said that if I meant going home at all it
  was time I began to think of starting.

  "That night, therefore, when I was in bed with Circe,         480
  I told her how my men were murmuring, and asked her to
  let me go. This she said she would do; but I must first
  go down into the house of Hades, and consult the blind
  Theban prophet Tiresias. And she directed me what I
  should do.

  "On the following morning I told my men, and we began         551
  to get ready; but we had an accident before we started,
  for there was a foolish and not very valiant young man
  in my ship named Elpenor, who had got drunk and had gone
  on to the roof of Circe's house to sleep off his liquor
  in the cool. The bustle my men made woke him, and in his
  flurry he forgot all about coming down by the staircase,
  and fell right off the roof; whereby he broke his neck
  and was killed. We started, however, all the same, and
  Circe brought us a lamb and a black sheep to offer to
  the Shades below. She passed in and out among us, but we
  could not see her; who, indeed, can see the gods, when
  they are in no mind to be seen?


  _Ulysses in the house of Hades_.

  "When we were at the water side we got the lamb and
  the ewe on board and put out to sea, running all that
  day before a fair wind which Circe had sent us, and at
  nightfall entering the deep waters of the river Oceanus.
  Here is the land of the Cimmerians, who dwell in darkness
  which the sun's rays never pierce; we therefore made our
  ships fast to the shore and came out of her, going along
  the beach till we reached the place of which Circe had
  told us.

  "Perimedes and Eurylochus then held the victims, while         23
  I followed the instructions of Circe and slaughtered
  them, letting their blood flow into a trench which I had
  dug for it. On this, the ghosts came up in crowds from
  Erebus, brides, young bachelors, old men, maids who had
  been crossed in love, and warriors with their armour
  still smirched with blood. They cried with a strange
  screaming sound that made me turn pale with fear, but I
  would let none of them taste of the blood till Tiresias
  should have come and answered my questions.

  "The first ghost I saw was that of Elpenor whose body was      51
  still lying unburied at Circe's house. Then I said, 'How
  now, Elpenor? you have got here sooner by land than I
  have done by water.' The poor fellow told me how he had
  forgotten about the stairs, and begged me to give him
  all due rites when I returned to Circe's island--which I
  promised faithfully that I would do.

  "Then I saw the ghost of my mother Anticlea, but in all        81
  sadness I would not let her taste of the blood till
  Tiresias should have come and answered my questions.

  "Presently Tiresias came with his golden sceptre in his        90
  hand, bade me let him taste of the blood, and asked me
  why I had come.

  "I told him I would learn how I was to get home to             97
  Ithaca, and he said I should have much difficulty;
  'Still,' he continued, 'you will reach your home if you
  can restrain your men when you come to the Thrinacian
  island, where you will find the cattle of the Sun. If you
  leave these unharmed, after much trouble you will yet
  reach Ithaca; but if you harm them, you will lose your
  men, and though you may get home after all, it will be
  late, [on another man's ship,[18] and you will find your      115
  house full of riotous men who are wasting your substance
  and wooing your wife.

  "'When you have got back you will indeed kill these men       118
  either by treachery or in fair fight, and you must then
  take an oar, which you must carry till you have reached a
  people who know nothing about the sea and do not mix salt
  with their bread. These people have never heard of ships,
  nor of oars that are the wings with which ships fly; I
  will tell you how you may know them; you will meet a man
  by the way who will ask you whether it is a winnowing
  shovel that you have got upon your shoulder; when you
  hear this you must fix your oar in the ground, and offer
  sacrifice to Neptune, a ram, a bull and a boar; then go
  home again, and offer hecatombs to the gods that dwell in
  heaven.[19] As for your own end, death shall come to you
  very gently from the sea, and shall take you when you are
  full of years and peace of mind, and your people shall
  bless you.']                                                  137

  "Having thus said he went back within the house of Hades.     150
  Then I let my mother's ghost draw near and taste of the
  blood, whereon she knew me, and asked me what it was
  that had brought me though still alive into the abode of
  death. So I told her, and asked her how she had come by
  her end. 'Tell me, also,' I continued, 'about my father,
  and the son whom I left behind me. Is my property still
  safe in their hands, or does another hold it who thinks
  that I shall not return? Of what mind, again, is my wife?     177
  Does she still live with her son and keep watch over his
  estate, or is she already married to the best man among
  the Achæans?'

  "'Your wife,' answered my mother, 'is still at home,          180
  but she spends her life in tears both night and day.
  Telemachus holds your estate, and sees much company, for
  he is a magistrate and all men invite him. Your father
  lives a poor hard life in the country and never goes near
  the town. As for me, I died of nothing but sheer grief on
  your account. And now, return to the upper world as fast
  as you can, that you may tell all that you have seen to
  your wife.'

  "Then Proserpine sent up the ghosts of the wives and          225
  daughters of great kings and heroes of old time, and I
  made each of them tell me about herself. There were Tyro,
  Antiope, Alcmena, Epicaste the mother of Œdipus, Chloris,
  Leda, Iphimedea, Phædra, Procris, Ariadne, and hateful
  Eriphyle; with all these did I discourse, nor can I tell
  you with how many more noble women, for it is now late,
  and time to go to rest."

  Here Ulysses ceased, and from one end of the covered          333
  cloisters to the other his listeners sat entranced with
  the charm of his story.

  Then Arete said, "What think you of this man now,             336
  Phæacians, both as regards his personal appearance and
  his abilities? True he is my guest, but his presence is
  an honour to you all. Be not niggardly, therefore, in the
  presents that you will make him, for heaven has endowed
  you all with great abundance." Alcinous also spoke urging
  Ulysses to tell still more of his adventures, and to say
  whether he met any of the heroes who had fought together
  with him at Troy. Thus pressed Ulysses resumed his story.

  "When Proserpine," said he, "had dismissed the female         385
  ghosts, the ghost of Agamemnon drew near, surrounded by
  those of the men who had fallen with him in the house of
  Ægisthus. He was weeping bitterly, and I asked him how he
  met his end; whereon he detailed to me the treachery of
  Clytemnestra, which he said threw disgrace upon all women
  even on the good ones. 'Be sure,' he continued, 'that you     433
  never be too open with your wife; tell her a part only,
  and keep the rest to yourself. Not that you need have
  any fear about Penelope for she is an admirable woman.
  You will meet your son, too, who by this time must be a       449
  grown man. Nevertheless, do not let people know when you
  are coming home, but steal a march upon them. And now
  give me what news you can about my son Orestes.' To which
  I answered that I could tell him nothing.

  "While we were thus holding sad talk with one another,        465
  the ghost of Achilles came up and asked me for news of
  his father Peleus, and of his son. I said I could tell
  him nothing about Peleus, but his son Neoptolemus was
  with me in the wooden horse, and though all the others
  were trembling in every limb and wiping the tears from
  their cheeks, Neoptolemus did not even turn pale, nor
  shed a single tear. Whereon Achilles strode away over a
  meadow full of asphodel, exulting in the prowess of his

  "Other ghosts then came up and spoke with me but that of      541
  Ajax alone held aloof, for he was still brooding over
  the armour of Achilles which had been awarded to me and
  not to him. I spoke to him but he would not answer;
  nevertheless I should have gone on talking to him till he
  did, had I not been anxious to see yet other ghosts.

  "I saw Minos with his golden sceptre passing sentence on      568
  the dead; Orion also, driving before him over a meadow
  full of asphodel the ghosts of the wild beasts whom he
  had slain upon the mountains. I saw Tityus with the
  vulture ever digging its beak into his liver, Tantalus
  also, in a lake whose waters reached his neck but fled
  him when he would drink, and Sisyphus rolling his mighty
  stone uphill till the sweat ran off him and the steam
  rose from him.

  "Then I saw mighty Hercules. The ghosts were screaming        601
  round him like scared birds, flying all whithers. He
  looked black as night with his bare bow in his hand and
  his arrow on the string, glaring round as though ever on
  the point of taking aim. About his breast there was a
  wondrous golden belt marvellously enriched with bears,
  wild boars, and lions with gleaming eyes; there were also
  war, battle, and death.

  "And I should have seen yet others of the great dead had      630
  not the ghosts come about me in so many thousands that
  I feared Proserpine might send up the Gorgon's head. I
  therefore bade my men make all speed back to their ship;
  so they hastened on board and we rowed out on to the
  waters of Oceanus, where before long we fell in with a
  fair wind.


  _The Sirens--Scylla and Charybdis--the cattle of the Sun._

  "As soon as we were clear of the river Oceanus, we got
  out into the open and reached the Ææan island, where
  there is dawn and sunrise. There we landed, camped down
  upon the beach, and waited till morning came. At daybreak
  I sent my men to fetch the body of Elpenor, which we
  burned and buried. We built a barrow over him, and in it
  we fixed the oar with which he had been used to row.

  "When Circe heard that we had returned, she came down          16
  with her maids, bringing bread and wine. 'To-day,' she
  said, 'eat and drink, and to-morrow go on your way.'

  "We agreed to this, and feasted the live-long day to the       23
  going down of the sun, but at nightfall Circe took me
  aside, and told me of the voyage that was before us. 'You
  will first,' said she, 'come to the island of the two
  Sirens, who sit in a field of flowers, and warble all who
  draw near them to death with the sweetness of their song.
  Dead men's bones are lying strewn all round them; still,
  if you would hear them, you can stop your men's ears with
  wax and bid them bind you to a cross-plank on the mast.

  "'As regards the next point that you will reach I can          55
  give you no definite instructions as to which of two
  courses you must take. You must do the best you can. I
  can only put the alternatives before you. I refer to the
  cliffs which the gods call "the wanderers," and which
  close in on anything that would pass through them--even
  upon the doves that are bringing ambrosia to Father Jove.
  The sea moreover is strewn with wreckage from ships which
  the waves and hurricanes of fire have destroyed.

  "'Of the two rocks,[20] the one rises in a peak to             73
  heaven, and is overhung at all times with a dark cloud
  that never leaves it. It looks towards the West, and
  there is a cave in it, higher than an arrow can reach.
  In this sits Scylla yelping with a squeaky voice like
  that of a young hound, but she is an awful monster with
  six long necks and six heads with three rows of teeth
  in each; whenever a ship passes, she springs out and
  snatches up a man in each mouth.

  "'The other rock is lower, but they are so close that         101
  you can shoot an arrow from the one to the other. [On
  it there is a fig-tree in full leaf].[21] Underneath it       103
  is the terrible whirlpool of Charybdis, which sucks the
  water down and vomits it out again three times a day. If
  you are there when she is sucking, not even Neptune can
  save you; so hug the Scylla side, for you had better lose
  six men than your whole crew.

  "'You will then arrive at the Thrinacian island, where        127
  you will see the cattle of the Sun (and also his sheep)
  in charge of the two nymphs Lampetie and Phaëthusa. If        132
  you leave these flocks unharmed, after much trouble you
  will yet reach Ithaca; but if you harm them, you will
  lose your men, and though you may get home after all, it
  will be late.'

  "Here she ended, and at break of day we set out, with a       142
  fair wind which Circe sent us. I then told my men about
  the two Sirens, but had hardly done so before we were
  at the island itself, whereon it fell a dead calm. I
  kneaded wax and stopped the men's ears; they bound me
  to a cross-plank on the mast; I heard the Sirens sing,
  and when I struggled to free myself they bound me still
  tighter. So we passed the island by.

  "Shortly after this I saw smoke and a great wave ahead,       201
  and heard a dull thumping sound. The sea was in an
  uproar, and my men were so frightened that they loosed
  hold of their oars, till I put heart into them, bade
  them row their hardest, and told the steersman to hug
  the Scylla side. But I said nothing about Scylla, though
  I kept straining my eyes all over her rock to see if I
  could espy her.

  "So there we were, with Scylla on the one hand and dread      234
  Charybdis on the other. We could see the sea seething as
  in a cauldron, and the black ooze at the bottom with a
  wall of whirling waters careering round it. While my men
  were pale with fear at this awful sight, Scylla shot out
  her long necks and swooped down on six of them. I could
  see their poor hands and feet struggling in the air as
  she bore them aloft, and hear them call out my name in
  one last despairing cry. This was the most horrid sight
  that I saw in all my voyages.

  "Having passed the cliffs,[22] and Scylla and Charybdis,      260
  we came to the Thrinacian island, and from my ship I
  could hear the cattle lowing, and the sheep bleating.
  Then, remembering the warning that Tiresias and Circe had
  given me, I bade my men give the island a wide berth. But
  Eurylochus was insolent, and sowed disaffection among
  them, so that I was forced to yield and let them land for
  the night, after making them swear most solemnly that
  they would do the cattle no harm. We camped, therefore,
  on the beach near a stream.

  "But in the third watch of the night there came up a          312
  great gale, and in the morning we drew our ship ashore
  and left her in a large cave wherein the sea nymphs meet
  and hold their dances. I then called my men together, and
  again warned them.

  "It blew a gale from the South for a whole month, except      325
  when the wind shifted to the East, and there was no
  other wind save only South and East. As long as the corn
  and wine which Circe had given us held out, my men kept
  their word, but after a time they began to feel the
  pangs of hunger, and I went apart to pray heaven to take
  compassion upon us. I washed my hands and prayed, and
  when I had done so, I fell asleep.

  "Meanwhile Eurylochus set my men on to disobey me, and        339
  they drove in some of the cattle and killed them. When
  I woke, and had got nearly back to the ship, I began to
  smell roast meat and knew full well what had happened.

  "The nymph Lampetie went immediately and told the Sun         374
  what my men had done. He was furious, and threatened
  Jove that if he was not revenged he would never shine in
  heaven again but would go down and give his light among
  the dead. 'All day long,' said he, 'whether I was going
  up heaven or down, there was nothing I so dearly loved to
  look upon as those cattle.'

  "Jove told him he would wreck our ship as soon as it was      385
  well away from land, and the Sun said no more. I know all
  this because Calypso told me, and she had it from Mercury.

  "My men feasted six days--alarmed by the most awful           397
  prodigies; for the skins of the cattle kept walking
  about, and the joints of meat lowed while they were being
  roasted. On the seventh day the wind dropped and we got
  away from the island, but as soon as we were out of sight
  of land a sudden squall sprang up, during which Jove
  struck our ship with his thunderbolts and broke it up.
  All my men were drowned, and so too should I have been,
  had I not made myself a raft by lashing the mast (which I
  found floating about) and the ship's keel together.

  ["The wind, which during the squall came from the West,       426
  now changed to the South, and blew all night, so that by
  morning I was back between Scylla and Charybdis again.
  My raft got carried down the whirlpool, but I clung on
  to the boughs of the fig tree, for a weary weary while,
  during which I felt as impatient as a magistrate who is
  detained in court by troublesome cases when he wants to
  get home to dinner. But in the course of time my raft
  worked its way out again, and when it was underneath me I
  dropped on to it and was carried out of the pool. Happily
  for me Jove did not let Scylla see me.][23]

  "Thence I was born along for nine days in the sea, and        447
  was taken to the Ogygian island of Calypso. I told you
  about this yesterday and will not repeat it, for I hate
  saying the same thing twice over."


  _Ulysses is taken back to Ithaca by the Phæacians_.

  Thus did Ulysses speak, and Alcinous immediately proposed
  that they should make him still further presents. The
  expence, however, of these, he said, should be borne
  by a levy or rate upon the public at large. The guests
  assented, and then went home to bed.

  Next morning they brought their presents of hardware down      18
  to the ship, and Alcinous saw them so stowed that they
  should not incommode the rowers. There was then a second
  banquet at Alcinous's house, but Ulysses kept looking
  at the sun all the time, longing for it to set that he
  might start on his way. At last he rose and addressed the
  Phæacians; after thanking them, he concluded by saying
  that he hoped he should find his wife on his return
  living among her friends in peace and quietness,[24] and       43
  that the Phæacians would continue to give satisfaction
  to their wives and children. He also bade farewell to
  Arete, and wished her all happiness with her children,
  her people, and with King Alcinous.

  When Ulysses reached the ship, a rug and sail were spread      73
  for him, on which he lay down, and immediately fell into
  a deep sleep--so deep as to resemble death itself. The
  ship sped on her way faster than a falcon's flight and         80
  with the break of day they reached Ithaca.

  Now in Ithaca there is a sheltered harbour in which a          96
  ship can ride without being even moored. At the head of
  this there is a large olive tree, near which there is a
  cave sacred to the Naiads, where you may find their cups
  and amphoræ of stone, and the stone looms whereon they
  weave their robes of sea-purple--very curious. The wild
  bees, too, build their nests in it. There is water in it
  all the year round, and it has two entrances, one looking
  North, by which mortals can go down into the cave, and
  the other towards the South, but men cannot enter by
  it--it is the way taken by gods.

  The sailors knew this harbour, and took the ship into it.     112
  They were rowing so hard that they ran half her length on
  to the shore, and when they had got out of her they took
  Ulysses off, still fast asleep on his rug and sail, and
  laid him down on the ground. Hard by him they also laid
  all the presents the Phæacians had made him; they left
  them by the roots of the olive tree, a little out of the
  path, that no passer by might steal them, and then went
  back to Scheria.

  Neptune now saw what the Phæacians had done, and went to      125
  consult Jove how he should be revenged. It was arranged
  that he should go to Scheria, turn the ship into stone
  just as it was coming into port, and root it in the sea.      163
  So he did this, and the Phæacians said, "Alack, who has
  rooted the ship in the sea just as it was coming in? We
  could see all of it a minute ago."

  Then Alcinous told them how Neptune had long ago              171
  threatened to do this to some Phæacian ship on its return
  from giving an escort, and also to bury their city under
  a high mountain as a punishment for giving escorts so
  freely. The Phæacians, therefore, made ready great
  sacrifices to Neptune, that he might have mercy upon them.

  While they were thus standing round the altar of the god,     185
  Ulysses woke in his own land, but he had been away so
  long that he did not know it. Minerva, too, had shed a
  thick mist round him so that he might remain unseen while
  she told him how things were going on; for she did not
  want his wife or anyone else to know of his return until
  he had taken his revenge upon the suitors. Therefore she
  made everything look strange to him--the long straight
  paths, the harbours with their shipping, the steep
  precipices, and the trees.

  Ulysses now stood up and wondered where he was. He did        197
  not believe he was in Ithaca and complained bitterly
  of the Phæacians for having brought him wrong. Then he
  counted all the tripods, cauldrons, gold, and raiment,
  that they had given him, to see if he had been robbed;
  but everything was there, and he was in dismay as to what
  he should do with them. As he was thus in doubt Minerva
  came up to him disguised as a young shepherd, so he asked
  her what country he was in, and she answered that he was
  in Ithaca.

  Ulysses said he had heard that there was such a place; he     256
  told Minerva a long lying story as to how he had come to
  be where she saw him, and on this the goddess assumed the
  form of a woman, fair, stately, and wise, and laughed at
  him for not knowing her. Ulysses answered that she was
  not an easy person to recognise for she was continually
  changing her appearance. Moreover, though she had been
  very good to him at Troy, she had left him in the lurch
  ever since, until she had taken him into the city of the
  Phæacians. "Do not," he said, "deceive me any further,
  but tell me whether or no this is really Ithaca."

  "You are always cunning and suspicious," replied the          329
  goddess, "and that is why I cannot find it in my heart to
  leave you. Any one else on returning from a long voyage
  would at once have gone up to his house to see his wife
  and children, but you do not seem to care about knowing
  anything about them, and only think of testing your
  wife's fidelity. As for my having left you in the lurch,      339
  I knew all the time that you would get home safely in the
  end, and I did not want to quarrel with my uncle Neptune.
  I will now prove to you that you are in Ithaca--Here is
  the harbour of the old merman Phorcys, with the large         345
  olive tree at the head of it; near it is the cave which
  is sacred to the Naiads; here, again, is the overarching      347
  cavern in which you have sacrificed many a hecatomb to        349
  the nymphs, and this is the wooded mountain of Neritum."      351

  The goddess then dispersed the mist and let the prospect      352
  be seen. Ulysses was thus convinced, and Minerva helped
  him to hide the treasure which the Phæacians had given
  him, by concealing it in the cave. Having done this she
  bade Ulysses consider how he should kill the wicked
  suitors. "They have been lording it," she said, "in your
  house this three years,[25] paying court to your wife
  and making her gifts of wooing, while she, poor woman,        380
  though she flatters them, and holds out hopes to every
  man of them by sending him messages, is really plunged in
  the deepest grief on your account, and does not mean a
  word of what she says."

  "Great heavens," replied Ulysses, "what a narrow escape I     382
  have had from meeting the fate of Agamemnon. Stand by me,
  goddess, and advise me how I shall be revenged."

  "I will disguise you," said Minerva, "as a miserable old      397
  beggar so that no one shall know you. "When I have done
  so, go to your swineherd, who has been always loyal to
  you and yours. You will find him with his pigs by the
  fountain Arethusa near the rock that is called Raven.
  Meantime I will go to Sparta and fetch Telemachus, who is
  gone thither to try and get news of you."

  "But why," Ulysses answered, "did you not tell him, for       416
  you knew all about it?"

  "Do not be uneasy about him," she answered, "he is in the     420
  midst of great abundance. I sent him, that he might get
  himself a good name by having gone."

  Minerva then disguised Ulysses beyond all possible            429
  recognition, and the two separated--she going to Sparta,
  and Ulysses to the abode of his swineherd.


  _Ulysses in the hut of Eumæus_.

  Ulysses followed a steep path that led from the harbour
  through the forest and over the top of the mountain, till
  he reached the hut of Eumæus, who was the most thrifty
  servant he had, and had built a number of fine yards and
  pigstyes during his master's absence.

  Ulysses found him sitting at the door of his hut, which         5
  had been built high up in a place that could been seen
  from far; he had his four fierce dogs about him, and was
  cutting himself out a pair of sandal shoes.

  The dogs flew at Ulysses, and it was all Eumæus could do       29
  to check them; "They were like," said he, "to have made
  an end of you, which would have got me into a scrape,
  and I am in sorrow enough already through the loss, which
  I deplore without ceasing, of the best of masters. But
  come in, have something to eat, and then tell me your

  On this he brought him inside, threw some brushwood on         48
  the floor, and spread a goat's skin over it for Ulysses
  to lie on. "I cannot do much for you," he said; "servants
  go in fear when they have young lords over them, as I now
  have, for my good old master went to Troy with Agamemnon
  and I shall never see him again."

  He then went out and killed two sucking pigs, singed           72
  them, cut them up, put the pieces of meat on skewers
  to roast on the embers, and brought them smoking hot,
  skewers and all, to Ulysses, who floured them. "Eat,"
  said the swineherd, "a dish of servant's pork; the fuller
  grown meat has to go down to the suitors." He then
  explained how rich Ulysses was.

  "And who, pray," said Ulysses, "was this noble master of      115
  yours? You say that he fell at Troy, and in that case I
  might be able to give you news of him."

  "That," answered Eumæus, "may not be: people are always       121
  coming and flattering my poor mistress with false hopes,
  but they are all liars. My master Ulysses is dead and
  gone, and I shall never see another like him. I cannot
  bear even to mention his name."

  "My friend," replied Ulysses, "do not be too hard of          148
  belief. I swear by this hearth to which I am now come,
  that Ulysses will return before the present month is
  over. If he comes you shall give me a shirt and cloak,
  but I will take nothing till then."

  "My friend," said Eumæus, "say not another word. You          165
  will never get your shirt and cloak. Now, moreover, I
  am as anxious about his son Telemachus as I have been
  about Ulysses himself; for he is gone to Pylos, and the
  suitors are lying in wait for him on his return. Let us,
  however, say no more about him now; tell me, rather,
  about yourself who you are, and how you came here."

  Then Ulysses told him a long lying story about his            191
  adventures in Crete: how he was compelled to go to Troy
  in joint command with Idomeneus over the Cretan forces;
  how he made a descent on Egypt, got taken prisoner,
  acquired wealth, and afterwards was inveigled into going
  to Libya; how on the voyage thither, after leaving Crete,
  the ship was wrecked and he was cast on the coast of
  Thesprotia. "Here it was," he continued, "that I heard
  of Ulysses from King Pheidon, who was expecting him
  back daily from Dodona, where he had been to consult
  the oracle; he told me Ulysses was to return to Ithaca
  immediately, but there was a ship bound for Dulichium,
  and the king sent me on board it before Ulysses returned
  from Dodona. The sailors on this ship resolved to sell me
  as a slave, and bound me; but they landed on the coast of
  Ithaca, where I gave them the slip, and found my way to
  your hut."

  "Poor man," answered the swineherd, "but you will never       360
  get me to believe about Ulysses. Why should you tell me
  such lies? I have heard these stories too often, and will
  never believe them again."

  Ulysses tried still further to convince him, but it was       390
  no use, and presently the under swineherds came back with
  the pigs that had been out feeding, and Eumæus told them
  to kill the best pig they had, and get supper ready,
  which they accordingly did. He was a good man and mindful
  of his duties to the gods, so when the pig was killed
  he threw some of its bristles into the fire and prayed
  heaven for the return of Ulysses. Then they supped and
  went to bed.

  Now it was a wild rough night, and after they had lain        457
  down, Ulysses, fearing that he might be cold, told
  another lying story of an adventure he had had at Troy
  in company with Ulysses, by means of which Eumæus was
  induced to cover him over with a spare cloak of his
  own. Then the swineherd went out to pass the night with
  the pigs--and Ulysses was pleased at seeing how well
  he looked after his property, though he believed his
  master to be absent. First he slung his sword over his
  shoulders, and put on a thick cloak to keep out the wind;
  he also took the skin of a well-fed goat, and a javelin
  in case of attack from men or dogs. Thus equipped he
  went to his rest where the pigs were camped under an
  overhanging rock that sheltered them from the North Wind.


  _Telemachus returns from Pylos, and on landing goes to
  the hut of Eumæus_.

  Minerva now went to Lacedæmon and found Telemachus and
  Pisistratus fast asleep. She appeared to Telemachus in
  a dream, and told him that he was to return at once to
  Ithaca, for his mother was about to marry Eurymachus, and
  would probably go off with some of his property. She also      17
  told him how the suitors were lying in wait for him in
  the straits between Ithaca and Samos. She said that as
  soon as he reached Ithaca he was to leave the ship before      29
  sending it on to the town, and go to the swineherd's hut.
  "Sleep there," she said, "and in the morning send the
  swineherd to tell Penelope that you have returned safely."

  Then she went away and Telemachus woke up. He kicked           43
  Pisistratus to wake him, and said that they must start at
  once. Pisistratus answered that this was impossible; it
  was still dark, and they must say good bye to Menelaus,
  who, if Telemachus would only wait, would be sure to give
  them a present.

  At break of day, seeing Menelaus up and about, Telemachus      56
  flung on his shirt and cloak, and told him that they must

  Menelaus said he would not detain them, but on the score       67
  alike of propriety and economy, they must have something
  to eat before starting, and also receive the presents
  that were waiting Telemachus's acceptance. "I will tell
  the servants," said he, "to get something ready for you
  of what there may be in the house, and if you would like
  to make a tour of the principal cities of the Peloponese,
  I will conduct you. No one will send us away empty
  handed. Every one will give us something."

  But Telemachus said he must start at once, for he had          86
  left property behind him that was insecurely guarded.

  When Menelaus heard this he told his wife and servants to      92
  get dinner ready at once. Eteoneus, who lived at no great
  distance, now came up, and Menelaus told him to light the
  fire and begin cooking; and he did as he was told.

  Menelaus then went down into his store room together with      99
  Megapenthes, and brought up a double cup and a silver
  mixing bowl, while Helen fetched a dress of wondrous          125
  beauty, the work of her own hands. Menelaus presented the
  cup and mixing bowl, and then Helen said, "Take this, my
  son, as a keepsake from the hand of Helen, and let your
  bride wear it on her wedding day. Till then let your dear
  mother keep it for you. Thus may you go on your way with
  a light heart."

  Telemachus thanked her; Pisistratus stowed the presents       130
  in the chariot, and they all sat down to dinner. Eteoneus
  carved, and Megapenthes served round the wine. When they
  had done eating the two young men prepared to set out.

  As they were on the point of starting, an eagle flew upon     160
  their right hand, with a goose in its talons which it had
  carried off from the farm yard. This omen was so good
  that every one was delighted to see it, and Pisistratus
  said, "Say, king Menelaus, is the omen for us or for

  Menelaus was in doubt how to answer, but Helen said that      169
  as the eagle had come from a mountain and seized the
  goose, so Ulysses should return and take vengeance on the
  suitors. Telemachus said he only hoped it might prove so,
  and the pair then drove on. They reached Pylos on the
  following day, and Telemachus urged Pisistratus to drive      199
  him straight to his ship, for fear Nestor should detain
  him if he went to his house.

  "I know," said Pisistratus, "how obstinate he is. He          211
  would come down to your ship, if he knew you were there,
  and would never go back without you. But he will be very
  angry." He then drove to the ship, and Telemachus told
  the crew to get her under way as fast as they could.

  Now as he was attending to every thing and sacrificing        222
  to Minerva, there came to him a man of the race of
  Melampus who was flying from Argos because he had killed
  a man. His name was Theoclymenus and he came of an old
  and highly honourable family, his father and grandfather
  having been celebrated prophets and divines. He besought
  Telemachus to take him to Ithaca and thus save him from
  enemies who were in pursuit. Telemachus consented, took
  Theoclymenus on board, and laid his spear down on the

  Then they sailed away, and next day they got among the        297
  flying islands,[26] whereon Telemachus wondered whether
  he should be taken or should escape.

  All this time Ulysses was in the hut with Eumæus, and         301
  after supper Ulysses said he should like to go down to
  the town next day, and see if the suitors would take him
  into their service. Eumæus at once explained to him that
  any such idea was out of the question. "You do not know,"
  he said, "what men these suitors are; their insolence
  reaches heaven; the young men who wait on them have good
  looking faces and well kempt heads; the tables are always
  clean and loaded with abundance. The suitors would be the
  death of you; stay here, then, where you are in nobody's
  way, till Telemachus returns from Pylos."

  Ulysses thanked Eumæus for his information, and then          340
  began to ask whether his father and mother were still
  living; he was told that Anticlea was dead,[27] and that
  Laertes, though still alive, would be glad to follow her.
  Eumæus said he had been brought up in their service, and
  was better off formerly, for there was no getting a good
  word out of his mistress now, inasmuch as the suitors had
  turned the house upside down. "Servants," he said, "like
  to have a talk with their mistress and hear things from
  her own lips; they like being told to eat and drink, and
  being allowed to take something back with them into the
  country. This is what will keep servants cheerful and

  On being further questioned by Ulysses, Eumæus told           380
  how he had been kidnapped as a child by some Phœnician
  traders who had seduced his nurse (also a Phœnician) and
  persuaded her to go away with them, and bring him with

  "I was born," he said, "in the island of Syra over            403
  against Ortygia, where the sun turns.[28] It is not
  populous, but contains two cities which occupy the whole
  land between them, and my father was king over them both.
  A few days after my nurse had kidnapped me, and while we
  were on our voyage, Diana killed her, and she was flung
  overboard, but I was taken to Ithaca where Laertes bought

  Ulysses and Eumæus spent the greater part of the night        493
  talking with one another, and at dawn Telemachus's crew
  drew near to land, furled their sails and rowed into the
  harbour. There they threw out their mooring stones, made
  their ship fast, landed, and ate their dinner on the
  shore. When they had done, Telemachus said, "Now take
  the ship on to the city; I will go to look after my farm
  and will come down in the evening. Tomorrow morning I
  will give you all a hearty meal to reward you for your

  "But what," said Theoclymenus, "is to become of me? To        508
  whose house am I to go?"

  "At any other time," answered Telemachus, "I should take      512
  you to my own house, but you would not find it convenient
  now, for I shall not be there, and my mother will not
  see you. I shall therefore send you to the house of
  Eurymachus, who is one of the first men we have, and is
  most eager in his suit for my mother's hand."

  As he spoke a hawk flew on Telemachus's right hand, with      525
  a dove whose feathers it was plucking while it flew.
  Theoclymenus assured Telemachus that this was an omen
  which boded most happily for the prosperity of his house.
  It was then settled that Theoclymenus should go to the
  house of Piræus the son of Clytius.

  The crew now loosed the ship from her moorings and went       547
  on as they had been told to do, while Telemachus wended
  his way in all haste to the pig farm where Eumæus lived.


  _Ulysses and Telemachus become known to one another_.

  Ulysses and Eumæus prepared their meal at daybreak.
  When Telemachus was reaching the hut, Ulysses observed
  that the dogs did not bark, though he heard footsteps,
  and enquired whether the visitor was some acquaintance         30
  of the swineherd's. He had hardly done speaking when
  Telemachus entered, and was welcomed by Eumæus.

  "Is my mother still at the house," said he, "or has she        33
  left it with another husband, and the bed of Ulysses is
  festooned with cobwebs?"

  "She is still there," answered Eumæus, "spending her time      36
  in tears both night and day."

  Eumæus set refreshments before him and when he had done        49
  eating he asked who the stranger might be.

  When Telemachus heard that Ulysses was a ship-wrecked          68
  suppliant he was much displeased. "I am as yet too
  young," he said, "to be able to hold my own in the house;
  what sufficient support, then, can I give this man?
  Still, as he has come to you I will send him clothes and
  all necessary food; and let him stay with you; I will not
  have him go near the suitors, for harm would be sure to
  come of it."

  Ulysses expressed his surprise and indignation about the       90
  suitors, whereon Telemachus explained still further,
  and wound up by telling Eumæus to go at once and inform
  Penelope of his return. Eumæus asked if he should turn a
  little out of his way and tell Laertes, but Telemachus
  said he was not to do so. Penelope would send him word
  all in due course.

  As soon as Eumæus was gone Minerva came to the hut.           157
  Ulysses knew her, and so did the dogs, for they went
  whining away to the other end of the yards, but
  Telemachus did not see her. She made a sign to Ulysses
  that he was to come outside, and when he had done so she
  told him he was to reveal himself to his son--whereon
  she struck him with her wand, endowed him with a noble
  presence, and clothed him in goodly raiment.

  Then he went back into the hut and told his son who he        178
  was; but for a long while Telemachus would not believe.
  At last, however, when he was convinced, the pair flung
  their arms about each other's necks, and wept like eagles
  or vultures who had been robbed of their young. Indeed
  they would have wept till sundown had it not occurred to
  Telemachus to ask his father in what ship he had come to
  Ithaca, and whose crew it was that had brought him.

  Ulysses told him about the Phæacians, and how he had          225
  hidden the presents they had given him. "I am now come,"
  he said, "by Minerva's advice, to consult with you as
  to how we shall take vengeance on the suitors. I would
  therefore learn how many there are of them, and consider
  whether we two can kill them, or whether we must get help
  from outside."

  Telemachus said it was hopeless to think of attacking the     240
  suitors without assistance. There were fifty-two from
  Dulichium, with six followers, twenty-four from Same,
  twenty from Zacynthus, and twelve from Ithaca.

  Ulysses explained that he could rely on help from Jove        258
  and from Minerva, and thought that this would be enough.
  "They will not be long in joining us," said he, "when the
  fight has begun in good earnest. Go, then, tomorrow to
  the town, and join the suitors; let the swineherd bring
  me later, disguised as a poor miserable beggar. Never
  mind how much violence you may see the suitors do me.
  Look on and say nothing, beyond asking them in a friendly
  way to leave me alone. Also, find some pretext for
  removing the armour from the walls. Say it is taking harm
  with the smoke, and that the sight of armour sometimes
  sets men fighting, so that it is better away--but leave
  two swords, shields and spears for you and me to snatch       295

  As they were thus conversing, the ship that had brought       321
  Telemachus from Pylos reached the harbour of Ithaca, and
  the crew took the presents which Menelaus had given him
  to the house of Clytius. They sent a man to tell Penelope
  that Telemachus was at the farm, and had sent the ship on
  to allay her anxiety. This man and the swineherd met at
  the house of Ulysses, and the man said, in the presence
  of the maids, "Madam, your son is returned from Pylos;"
  but Eumæus stood by her, and told her all that her son
  had bidden him. Then he went back to his pig-farm.

  The suitors were very angry, and were about sending           342
  a ship to fetch those who had been lying in wait for
  Telemachus, when Amphinomus, a suitor, happened to
  turn round and saw their ship coming into harbour. So
  he laughed and said, "We have no need to send, for the
  men are here." On this they all went to meet the ship,
  and Antinous said that as Telemachus had escaped them
  in spite of their great vigilance, they must kill him,
  either at the farm or as he was coming thence. Otherwise
  he would expose their plot, and they would have the
  people rise against them. "If," he concluded, "this does
  not please you, and you would let him live, we cannot eat
  up his estate any longer, but must go home, urge our suit
  each from his own house, and let the one among us take
  Penelope who will give most for her, or whose lot it may
  happen to be."

  Amphinomus, who came from the well-grassed and                394
  grain-growing island of Dulichium, then spoke. He was a
  man of good natural disposition, and his conversation
  was more pleasing to Penelope than that of any of the
  other suitors; "I will only consent to kill Telemachus,"
  said he, "if the gods give us their approval. It is a
  serious thing to kill a man who is of royal race. If
  they sanction it, I will be with you; otherwise I am for
  letting it alone."

  The rest assented, and they went back to the house.           406
  But Medon told Penelope of this new plot, so she went
  attended by her gentlewomen, stood by one of the
  bearing-posts that supported the roof of the cloister,
  and bitterly rebuked Antinous for his ingratitude in
  forgetting how Ulysses in old days had saved the life of
  his father Eupeithes.

  Eurymachus then made a fair but false speech vowing           431
  eternal friendship to Telemachus, and Penelope returned
  to her own room to mourn her husband till Minerva closed
  her eyes in slumber.

  In the evening Eumæus got back to his hut just as the         452
  others had killed a yearling pig and were getting supper
  ready. Meanwhile Minerva had again disguised Ulysses as
  an old beggar.

  "What news from the town, Eumæus?" said Telemachus. "Have     460
  the suitors got back with their ship?"

  "I did not ask," answered Eumæus, "for when I had             464
  given my message I turned straight home; but I met the
  messenger from your own crew, who told your mother of
  your return before I could do so. As I was coming here,
  and was on the hill of Mercury above the town, I saw a
  ship with many men and much armour coming into port; so
  I suppose it was the suitors, but I cannot be sure."

  Telemachus gave his father a look, but so that the            476
  swineherd could not see him. Then they all got their
  supper and went to bed.


  _Telemachus goes to the town, and is followed by Eumæus
  and Ulysses, who is maltreated by the suitors_.

  When morning came Telemachus told Eumæus that he would
  now go to the town and show himself to his mother, who
  would never be comforted till she saw him with her own
  eyes. "As for this miserable stranger," he continued,
  "take him to the town, that he may beg there and get what
  he can; if this does not please him, so much the worse
  for him, but I like to say what I mean."

  Ulysses said he should be glad to go, for a beggar could       16
  do much better in town than country; but he must warm
  himself first, and wait till the sun had got some heat in
  it; his clothes were very bad, and he should perish with
  cold, for the town was some way off.

  Telemachus then left, and when he reached the house he         26
  set his spear against a strong bearing post, crossed the
  stone pavement and went inside. He found Euryclea putting
  the sheep skins on to the seats. She and all the other
  maids ran up to him as soon as they saw him, and kissed
  him on the head and shoulders. Then Penelope came weeping
  from her room, embraced him, and told him to tell her all
  that he had seen.

  Telemachus bade her go back to her room and pray to            45
  Minerva that they might be revenged on the suitors. "I
  must go," said he, "to the place of assembly, to look
  after a guest whom I have brought with me, and whom I
  have left with Piræus."

  Penelope did as her son had said, while Telemachus went        61
  to the place of assembly, and his two dogs with him. The
  suitors, who had not yet gone to the house of Ulysses for
  the day, gathered round him, and made him fair speeches,
  but he knew their falsehood and went to sit with his
  old friends Mentor, Antiphus and Halitherses. Presently
  Piræus came up, bringing Theoclymenus with him, and said,
  "I wish you would send some of your women to my house to
  take away the presents that Menelaus gave you."

  Telemachus said he did not know what might happen; if          77
  the suitors killed him, he had rather Piræus kept the
  presents than that the suitors should have them. If, on
  the other hand, he killed the suitors he should be much
  obliged if Piræus would let him have the presents.

  Then he took Theoclymenus to his own house, where they         84
  had a bath, and refreshments were set before them.
  Penelope sat near them, spinning, while they were at
  table, and then said she should go up stairs and lie down
  on that couch which she had never ceased to water with
  her tears from the day her husband left her. "But you had
  not the patience," she added, "to tell me, before the
  suitors came, whether you had been able to hear anything
  about your father."

  Telemachus told her how good Nestor had been to him,          107
  and how he had sent him on to Menelaus, who had assured
  him that Ulysses was still alive, but was detained by
  Calypso, from whom he could not get away for want of a
  ship. Penelope was very much agitated, but Theoclymenus
  reassured her by telling her about the omen which had
  greeted Telemachus on his return to Ithaca.

  While they were thus conversing, the suitors were             166
  playing at quoits and aiming javelins at a mark on the
  level ground in front of Ulysses' house. But when it
  was near dinner time and the flocks were coming in from
  all the country round with their shepherds as usual [to
  be milked], Medon, who was a great favourite with the
  suitors, called them to come in and set about getting
  their dinner ready. They therefore came in and began to
  butcher some sheep, goats, pigs, and a heifer.

  Meanwhile Eumæus told Ulysses that it was time to make        182
  a start, for the day was well up and if he waited till
  afternoon he would find the cold more severe. "At any
  rate," said Ulysses, "let me have a staff if you have
  one, for the path is rugged." Eumæus gave him one, and
  they set out along the steep path leading to the town.
  When they were nearly there they came to the fountain
  which Ithacus, Neritus, and Polyctor had made, and from
  which the people drew their water; here they fell in with
  Melantheus[29] son of Dolius, who was bringing goats for
  the suitors' dinner, he and his two under shepherds.

  Melanthius heaped all kinds of insult on Ulysses and          215
  Eumæus, and tried to kick Ulysses off the path, but
  could not do so. Ulysses restrained himself, and prayed
  to the nymphs, whereon Melanthius said he would put him
  on board ship and sell him in some foreign country. He
  then hurried on, leaving the swineherd and his master to
  follow at their own pace.

  When they got near the house they could hear the sound of     260
  Phemius's lyre, and his voice as he sang to the suitors.
  They could also smell the savour of roast meats.[30]
  Eumæus said that he would go in first, but that Ulysses
  had better follow him soon, for if he was seen standing
  about in the outer court people might throw things at him.

  As they were thus talking the old hound Argus who was         290
  lying on the dunghill, very full of fleas, caught sight
  of Ulysses, recognised him, wagged his tail, and tried to
  come to him, but could not do so. Thereon Ulysses wiped
  a tear from his eyes, and asked Eumæus whether the dog
  was of any use, or whether he was kept only for his good
  looks. Eumæus said what a noble hound Argus had been, but
  the dog, having seen his master, died just as Eumæus went
  inside the house.

  Telemachus saw him enter and beckoned him to a seat           328
  at his own table. Ulysses followed him shortly, and
  sat down on the floor of ash wood inside the door way,
  leaning against a bearing-post of well-squared Cyprus
  wood. Telemachus noted him and said to Eumæus, "Take the
  stranger this handful of bread and meat, tell him also to
  go round and beg from the others, for a beggar must not
  be shamefaced." Eumæus gave him both the message and the
  bread and meat.

  Then Ulysses began to go round begging, for he wanted to      360
  exploit the suitors. He went from left to right, and some
  took compassion on him while others begun asking who
  he might be; Melanthius then said that he had come with
  the swineherd. Antinous, therefore, asked Eumæus what he
  meant by bringing such a man to plague them.

  "I did not ask him to come," answered Eumæus. "Who was        350
  likely to ask a man of that sort? One would ask a divine,
  a physician, a carpenter, or a bard. You are always
  hardest of all the suitors on Ulysses' servants, and
  especially upon me, but I do not care so long as I have
  Penelope and Telemachus on my side."

  "Hush," said Telemachus, "Antinous has the bitterest          392
  tongue of them all, and he makes the others worse." Then
  he turned towards Antinous and said, "Give him something:
  I do not grudge it. Never mind my mother or any of the
  servants--not you--but you are fonder of eating than of

  Antinous said, "You are a swaggering upstart; if all the      405
  suitors will give him as much as I will, he will not come
  near the house again this three months."

  As he spoke he menaced Ulysses with the footstool             409
  from under his table. The other suitors all gave him
  something; and he was about to leave, when he determined
  to again beg from Antinous and trumped him up a story of
  the misfortunes that had befallen him in Egypt.

  "Get out," said Antinous, "into the open part of the          445
  court,[31] and away from my table, or I will give you
  Egypt over again."

  Ulysses drew back, and said, "Your looks are better than      453
  your understanding. I can see that if you were in your
  own house you would not spare a poor man so much as a
  pinch of salt."

  Antinous scowled at him. "Take that," he cried, "and be       458
  off out of the court." As he spoke he threw a footstool
  at him which hit him on the right shoulder, but Ulysses
  stood firm as a rock, and prayed that if there was a god,
  or an avenger of beggars, Antinous might be a corpse
  before he was a bridegroom.

  "Have a care," replied Antinous, "and hold your peace, or     477
  we will flay you alive."

  The others reproved Antinous. "You did ill," they said,       481
  "to strike the man. Who knows but he may be one of the
  gods who go about the world in disguise to redress wrong,
  and chastise the insolence of mankind?"

  Penelope from her room upstairs heard what had been going     491
  on, and spoke with her women bitterly about the suitors.
  The housekeeper Eurynome answered that if her prayers
  were heard, not a single one of them would live till
  morning. "Nurse," replied Penelope, "I hate them all,
  but Antinous is the worst." Then she sent for Eumæus and
  said, "Tell the stranger that I want to see him; he looks
  like a man who has travelled, and he may have seen or
  heard something of Ulysses."

  "He has been three days and three nights at my hut,           515
  Madam," replied Eumæus, "and the most accomplished bard
  could not have given me better entertainment. He told me
  that Ulysses was among the Thesprotians and would return
  shortly, bringing much treasure with him."

  "Then call him to me," said Penelope, "and as for the         528
  others, let them dine at their own expense for the future
  or how they best may, so long as they leave off coming

  Telemachus, who was down below, gave a great sneeze as        541
  she spoke, which echoed over the whole house. Penelope
  explained to Eumæus that this was a most favourable omen,
  and added that if she was satisfied of the truth of what
  the stranger told her she would give him a shirt and

  Eumæus gave Penelope's message to Ulysses, but he feared      551
  the violence of the suitors, and told him to say that she
  must wait till nightfall, when the suitors would be gone.
  "Then," he said, "let her set me down in a warm seat by
  the fire, and I will tell her about her husband; for my
  clothes are in a very bad state; you know they are, for
  your's was the first house I came to."

  Penelope was displeased at his delay, and asked Eumæus        574
  whether his fears were reasonable, or whether it was only
  that he was shamefaced. Eumæus explained that he was
  quite reasonable, whereon Penelope was satisfied; he then
  went back to where the suitors were, and told Telemachus
  that he would return to his pigs.

  Telemachus said that he had better get something to eat       598
  first, and was to come back to the town on the following
  morning, bringing the pigs that were to be killed for
  dinner. It was now afternoon, and the suitors had turned
  to their singing and dancing.


  _The fight between Ulysses and Irus--The suitors make
  presents to Penelope--and ill-treat Ulysses_.

  Now there came a common tramp to Ulysses' house,
  begging--a great hulking fellow with no stay in
  him--whose name was Arnæus; but people called him Irus,
  because he would run errands for any one who would send
  him on them. This man began to threaten Ulysses, and said
  the suitors had urged him to turn him away from the house.

  Ulysses said there was room enough for both of them, and      14
  that it should be a case of live-and-let-live between
  them. "If, however," he continued, "it comes to blows, I
  will deluge your mouth and chest with blood, and I shall
  have the place to myself, for you will not come back

  Irus retorted angrily, and Antinous, hearing them             34
  wrangle, told the other suitors that Irus and the
  stranger were about to have a fight. "It is the finest
  piece of sport," he said, "that heaven ever sent into
  this house. We are to have goat's paunches stuffed with
  blood and fat for supper; whichever of the two beats in
  this fight shall have his pick of the lot of them."

  The preliminaries being arranged, and fair play bargained     58
  for by Ulysses, he began to strip. When Irus saw his
  muscles his heart misgave him; but Antinous kept him up
  to it, and the fight began.[32] Ulysses forthwith nearly
  killed Irus and dragged him by the heels into the outer
  court, where he put his staff in his hand and propped him
  up against the wall more dead than alive. Antinous then
  gave Ulysses a great goat's paunch, and Amphinomus drank
  his health.

  Ulysses made Amphinomus a very grave and impressive           124
  speech, warning him to leave the house, inasmuch as
  Ulysses would return shortly. "You seem," said he, "to
  be a man of good understanding, as indeed you may well
  be, seeing whose son you are. I have heard your father
  well spoken of; he is Nisus of Dulichium, a man both
  brave and wealthy. They tell me you are his son and you
  seem to be a considerable person; listen, therefore, and
  take heed to what I am saying. Man is the vainest of all
  creatures that live and move upon the earth: as long as
  heaven vouchsafes him health and strength he thinks that
  he shall come to no harm hereafter, and even when the
  blessed gods bring sorrow upon him, he bears it as he
  needs must and makes the best of it, for God Almighty
  gives men their daily minds day by day. I know all about
  it, for I was a rich man once, and did much wrong in the
  stubbornness of my pride and in the confidence that my
  father and my brothers would support me; therefore let
  a man fear God in all things always, and take the good
  that heaven may see fit to send him without vainglory."
  But Amphinomus, though his heart boded ill, would not be

  Minerva then put it in Penelope's mind to get some            158
  presents out of the suitors. "I hate them," said she to
  Eurynome, "but still for once in a way I will see them; I
  want to warn my son against them."

  "Certainly, my dear child," answered Eurynome, "but you       169
  must wash your face first. You cannot be seen with the
  stain of tears upon your cheeks."

  "Eurynome," replied her mistress, "do not try to persuade     177
  me. Heaven robbed me of all my beauty on the day when my
  husband sailed for Troy; but send Autonoë and Hippodamia
  to attend me, for I cannot think of seeing the suitors
  unattended." The old woman then went through the house
  to fetch the women; and as soon as she was gone, Minerva
  sent Penelope into a deep sleep during which she endowed
  her with the most dazzling beauty, washing her face with
  the ambrosial loveliness which Venus wears when she goes
  out dancing with the Graces, and giving her a statelier
  and more imposing presence. When the two maids came,
  the noise of their coming woke her. "What a delicious
  sleep," she exclaimed, "has overshadowed me. Would that
  it had been the sleep of death, which had thus ended all
  my sorrows."

  She then went down stairs, and the suitors were dazzled       206
  with her beauty. She began by upbraiding Telemachus
  for having allowed the fight to take place. Telemachus
  admitted his fault, but pleaded the extreme difficulty
  of his situation and the fact that after all Ulysses had
  thrashed Irus.

  Enrymachus broke in upon their conversation by telling        243
  Penelope how very beautiful she was; and Penelope
  answered that heaven had robbed her of all her beauty on
  the day when her husband sailed for Troy. "Moreover," she
  added, "I have another great sorrow--you suitors are not
  wooing me in the usual way. When men are suing for the
  hand of one who they think will make them a good wife,
  they generally bring oxen and sheep for her relations to
  feast upon, and make rich presents to the lady herself,
  instead of sponging upon other people's property."

  When Ulysses heard her say this, he was delighted at          281
  seeing his wife trying to get presents out of the
  suitors, and hoodwinking them.

  Then Antinous said, "Penelope, take all the presents          284
  you can get, but we will not go till you have married
  the best man among us." On this they all made Penelope
  magnificent presents, and she went back to her own room,
  followed by the women, who carried the presents for her.

  The suitors now turned to singing and dancing, lighted        304
  by large braziers that were placed in the court,[33]          307
  and also by torches, which the maids held up by turns.
  Ulysses after a while told them to go inside, saying that
  he would hold the torches himself. The maids laughed at       317
  this, and Melantho, who was one of them, began to gibe
  at him. She was daughter to Dolius but Penelope had
  brought her up from childhood, and used to give her toys;
  she showed no consideration, however, for Penelope's
  sorrows, but misconducted herself with Eurymachus. "Are
  you drunk?" she said to Ulysses, "or are you always like

  Ulysses scowled at her, and said he would tell                337
  Telemachus, who would have her cut up into mincemeat.
  The women, therefore, were frightened and went away, so
  Ulysses was left holding up the flaming torches--looking
  upon all the suitors and brooding over his revenge.

  Presently Eurymachus began to jeer at him, and taunt          346
  him by saying he preferred begging to working. Ulysses
  answered, "If you and I, Eurymachus, were matched one
  against the other in early summer, when the days are
  at their longest--give us each a good scythe, and see
  whether you or I will mow the stronger or fast the
  longer, from dawn till dark when the mowing grass is
  about. Or let us be in a four acre field with a couple
  of tawny full fed oxen each, and see which of us can
  drive the straighter furrow. Again, let war break out
  this day--give me armour and you will find me fighting
  among the foremost. You are insolent and cruel, and think
  yourself a great man because you live in a little world,
  and that a bad one."

  Eurymachus was furious, and seized a stool; but Ulysses       394
  sat down by the knees of Amphinomus of Dulichium, for
  he was afraid; the stool hit the cupbearer and knocked
  him down, whereon there was a general uproar, amid which
  Telemachus said that he would compel no man, but he
  thought it would be better if they would all go home to
  bed. To this they assented, and shortly afterwards left
  the house.


  _Ulysses converses with Penelope, and is recognised by

  Ulysses and Telemachus were left alone in the cloister,
  and Ulysses said, "We must take the armour down from the
  walls; if the suitors are surprised, say what I told you
  when we were in Eumæus's hut."

  Telemachus called Euryclea, and bade her shut the women        15
  up in their room, for he was going to take the armour
  down into the store room. "Who," asked Euryclea, "will
  show you a light if the women are all shut up?" "The
  stranger," answered Telemachus; "I will not have people
  doing nothing about my premises."

  He and Ulysses then began removing the armour, and             31
  Minerva went before them, shedding a strange lambent
  light that played on walls and rafters. Telemachus was
  lost in wonder, but Ulysses said, "Hush, this is the
  manner of the gods. Get you to bed, and leave me to talk
  with your mother and the maids." So Telemachus crossed
  the court and went to the room in which he always slept,
  leaving Ulysses in the cloister.

  Penelope now came down, and they set a seat for her by         53
  the fire; the maids also were let out, and came to take
  away the meats on which the suitors had been feasting,
  and to heap fresh wood upon the braziers after they had
  emptied the ashes on to the ground.[34] Melantho again
  began scolding at Ulysses for stopping in the house to
  spy on the women. Penelope heard her and said, "Bold
  hussey, I hear you, and you shall smart for it; I have
  already told you that I wish to see the stranger and
  enquire from him about my husband. Eurynome, bring a seat
  for him, and spread a fleece on it."

  Eurynome did as she was told, and when Ulysses had sat        100
  down Penelope wanted to know who he was. Ulysses implored
  her not to ask this, for it would make him weep, and she
  or the servants might then think he had been drinking.

  "Stranger," answered Penelope, "heaven robbed me of all       123
  my beauty when the Argives set out for Troy and Ulysses
  with them." She then told about the suitors, and her
  web, and said that she was now at the very end of her
  resources. Her parents were urging her to marry again,
  and so also was her son, who chafed under the heavy
  burden of expense which her long courtship had caused
  him. "In spite of all this, however," she continued, "I
  want to know who you are; for you cannot be the son of a
  rock or of an oak."

  Thus pressed, Ulysses said that his name was Æthon and        164
  that he came from Crete, where he had entertained Ulysses
  and his men for many days when they were on their way to
  Troy. Penelope wept bitterly as she listened, and it was
  all Ulysses could do to restrain his own tears--but he
  succeeded. "I will now prove you," said she; "tell me how
  my husband was dressed. Tell me also what manner of man
  he was, and about the men who were with him."

  "I will tell you," replied Ulysses, "as nearly as I can       220
  remember after so long a time. He wore a mantle of purple
  wool, double lined, and it was fastened by a gold brooch
  with two catches for the pin. On the face of this there
  was a device that shewed a dog holding a spotted fawn
  between its fore paws, and watching it as it lay panting
  on the ground. Every one marvelled at the way in which
  these things had been done in gold--the dog looking at
  the fawn and strangling it, while the fawn was struggling     231
  convulsively to escape. As for his shirt, it fitted him
  like the skin of an onion, and glistened in the sunlight
  to the admiration of all the women who beheld it. He had
  a servant with him, a little older than himself, whose        246
  shoulders were hunched; he was dark, and had thick curly
  hair. His name was Eurybates."

  Penelope was deeply moved. "You shall want for nothing,"      249
  said she, "It was I who gave him the clothes and the
  brooch you speak of, but I shall never see him again."

  "Be not too dejected, Madam," answered Ulysses; "when I       261
  was with the Thespotians I heard for certain that he was
  alive and well. Indeed he would have been here ere now,
  had he not deemed it better to amass great wealth before
  returning. Before this month is out I swear most solemnly
  that he will be here."

  "If you say truly," replied Penelope, "you shall indeed       308
  be rewarded richly, but he will not come. Still, you
  women, take the stranger and wash him; make him a
  comfortable bed, and in the morning wash him again and
  anoint him, that he may sit at the same table with
  Telemachus; if any of the suitors molests him, he shall       322
  rue it, for fume as he may, he shall have no more to do
  in this house. How indeed, Sir, can you know how much I
  surpass all other women in goodness and discretion unless
  I see that you are well clothed and fed?"

  "Make me no bed, Madam, said Ulysses, "I will lie on the      336
  bare ground as I am wont to do. Nor do I like having my
  feet washed. I will not allow any of your serving women
  to touch my feet; but if you have any respectable old
  woman who has gone through as much as I have, I will let
  her wash them."

  "Stranger," answered Penelope, "your sense of propriety       349
  exceeds that of any foreigner who has ever come here. I
  have exactly the kind of person you describe; she was
  Ulysses' nurse from the day of his birth, and is now very
  old and feeble, but she shall wash your feet. Euryclea,
  come and wash the stranger's feet. He is about the same
  age as your master would be."

  Euryclea spoke compassionately to Ulysses, and ended by       361
  saying that he was very like her master. To which Ulysses
  replied that many other people had observed the likeness.

  Then the old woman got a large foot bath and put some         386
  cold water into it, adding hot water until it was the
  right heat. As soon, however, as she got Ulysses' leg
  in her hands, she recognised a scar on it as one which
  her master had got from being ripped by a boar when he
  was hunting on Mt. Parnassus with his mother's father         394
  Autolycus, whom Mercury had endowed with the gift of
  being the most accomplished thief and perjurer in the
  whole world, for he was very fond of him. She immediately
  dropped the leg, which made a loud noise against the side     468
  of the bath and upset all the water. Her eyes filled with
  tears, and she caught Ulysses by the beard and told him
  that she knew him.

  She looked towards Penelope to tell her; but Minerva had      476
  directed Penelope's attention elsewhere, so that she
  had observed nothing of what had been going on. Ulysses
  gripped Euryclea's throat, and swore he would kill her,
  nurse to him though she had been, unless she kept his
  return secret--which she promised to do. She also said
  that if heaven delivered the suitors into his hands, she
  would give him a list of all the women in the house who
  had misconducted themselves.

  "You have no need," said Ulysses, "I shall find that out      499
  for myself. See that you keep my counsel and leave the
  rest to heaven."

  Euryclea now went to fetch some more water, for the           503
  first had been all spilt. When she had brought it, and
  had washed Ulysses, he turned his seat round to the fire
  to dry himself, and drew his rags over the scar that
  Penelope might not see it.

  Then Penelope detailed her sorrows to Ulysses. Others,        508
  she said, could sleep, but she could not do so, neither
  night nor day. She could not rest for thinking what her
  duty might be. Ought she to stay where she was and stand
  guard over her son's estate, or ought she to marry one
  of the suitors and go elsewhere? Her son, while he was        530
  a boy, would not hear of her doing this, but now that
  he was grown up and realised the havoc that the suitors
  were making of his property, he was continually urging
  her to go. Besides, she had had a strange dream about         538
  an eagle that had come from a mountain and swooped down
  on her favourite geese as they were eating mash out of
  a tub,[35] and had killed them all. Then the eagle came
  back and told her he was Ulysses, while the geese were
  the suitors; but when she woke the geese were still
  feeding at the mash tub. Now, what did all this mean?

  Ulysses said it could only mean the immediate return of       554
  her husband, and his revenge upon the suitors.

  But Penelope would not believe him. "Dreams," she said,       559
  "are very curious things. They come through two gates,
  one of horn, and the other of ivory. Those that come
  through the gate of ivory have no significance. It is the
  others that alone are true, and my dream came through the
  gate of ivory. Tomorrow, therefore, I shall set Ulysses'
  bow before the suitors, and I will leave this house with
  him who can draw it most easily and send an arrow through
  the twelve holes whereby twelve axeheads are fitted into
  their handles."

  "You need not defer this competition," said Ulysses, "for     582
  your husband will be here before any one of them can draw
  the bow and shoot through the axes."

  "Stranger," replied Penelope, "I could stay talking with      588
  you the whole night through, but there is a time for
  everything, and I will now go to lie down upon that
  couch which I have never ceased to water with my tears
  from the day my husband set out for the city with an
  ill-omened name. You can sleep within the house, either
  on the ground or on a bedstead, whichever you may prefer."

  Then she went upstairs and mourned her dear husband till      600
  Minerva shed sweet sleep over her eyes.


  _Ulysses converses with Eumæus, and with his herdsman
  Philœtius--The suitors again maltreat him--Theoclymenus
  foretells their doom and leaves the house_.

  Ulysses made himself a bed of an untanned ox-hide in the
  vestibule and covered himself with sheep skins; then
  Eurynome threw a cloak over him. He saw the women who
  misbehaved themselves with the suitors go giggling out of
  the house, and was sorely tempted to kill them then and        6
  there, but he restrained himself. He kept turning round
  and round, as a man turns a paunch full of blood and fat
  before a hot fire to cook it, and could get no rest till
  Minerva came to him and comforted him, by reminding him
  that he was now in Ithaca.

  "That is all very well," replied Ulysses, "but suppose I      36
  do kill these suitors, pray consider what is to become
  of me then? Where am I to fly to from the revenge their
  friends will take upon me?"

  "One would think," answered Minerva, "that you might          44
  trust even a feebler aid than mine; go to sleep; your
  troubles shall end shortly."

  Ulysses then slept, but Penelope was still wakeful, and       54
  lamented her impending marriage, and her inability to
  sleep, in such loud tones that Ulysses heard her, and
  thought she was close by him.

  It was now morning and Ulysses rose, praying the while        91
  to Jove. "Grant me," he cried, "a sign from one of the
  people who are now waking in the house, and another sign
  from outside it."

  Forthwith Jove thundered from a clear sky. There came        102
  also a miller woman from the mill-room, who, being
  weakly, had not finished her appointed task as soon as       110
  the others had done; as she passed Ulysses he heard her
  curse the suitors and pray for their immediate death.
  Ulysses was thus assured that he should kill them.

  The other women of the house now lit the fire, and           122
  Telemachus came down from his room.

  "Nurse," said he, "I hope you have seen that the stranger    129
  has been duly fed and lodged. My mother, in spite of her
  many virtues, is apt to be too much impressed by inferior
  people, and to neglect those who are more deserving."

  "Do not find fault, child," said Euryclea, "when there is    134
  no one to find fault with. The stranger sat and drank as
  much wine as he liked. Your mother asked him if he would
  take any more bread, but he said he did not want any.
  As for his bed, he would not have one, but slept in the
  vestibule on an untanned hide, and I threw a cloak over
  him myself."

  Telemachus then went out to the place of assembly, and       144
  his two dogs with him. "Now, you women," said Euryclea,
  "be quick and clean the house down. Put the cloths on the
  seats, sponge down the tables; wash the cups and mixing
  bowls, and go at once, some of you, to fetch water from
  the fountain. It is a feast day, and the suitors will be
  here directly." So twenty of them went for water, and
  others busied themselves setting things straight about
  the house.

  The men servants then came and chopped wood. The women       160
  came back from the fountain, and Eumæus with them,
  bringing three fine pigs, which he let feed about the
  yards. When he saw Ulysses he asked him how he was
  getting on, and Ulysses prayed that heaven might avenge
  him upon the suitors.

  Then Melanthius came with the best goats he had, and made    172
  them fast in the gate-house. When he had done this he
  gibed at Ulysses, but Ulysses made him no answer.

  Thirdly came Philœtius with a barren heifer and some fat     185
  goats for the suitors. These had been brought over for
  him by the boatmen who plied for all comers. When he
  saw Ulysses, he asked Eumæus who he was, and said he
  was very like his lost master. Then he told Ulysses how
  well his old master had treated him, and how well also he
  had served his old master. Alas! that he was no longer
  living. "We are fallen," said he, "on evil times, and I
  often think that though it would not be right of me to
  drive my cattle off, and put both myself and them under
  some other master while Telemachus is still alive, yet
  even this would be better than leading the life I have to
  lead at present. Indeed I should have gone off with them
  long ago, if I did not cling to the hope that Ulysses may
  still return."

  "I can see," said Ulysses, "that you are a very honest       226
  and sensible person. Therefore I will swear you a solemn
  oath that Ulysses will be here immediately, and if you
  like you shall see him with your own eyes kill the

  While they were thus conversing the suitors were again       240
  plotting the murder of Telemachus, but there appeared an
  unfavourable omen, so Amphinomus said they had better go
  to the house and get dinner ready, which they accordingly
  did. When they were at table, Eumæus gave them their
  cups, Philœtius handed round the bread and Melantheus
  poured them out their wine. Telemachus purposely set
  Ulysses at a little table on the part of the cloister
  that was paved with stone, and told the suitors that it
  should be worse for any of them who molested him. "This,"
  he said, "is not a public house, but it is mine, for it
  has come to me from Ulysses."

  The suitors were very angry but Antinous checked them.       268
  "Let us put up with it," said he; "if Jove had permitted,
  we should have been the death of him ere now." Meanwhile,
  it being the festival of Apollo, the people of the town
  were bearing his holy hecatomb about the streets.

  The servants gave Ulysses an equal portion with what         279
  they gave the others, for Telemachus had so bidden them.
  Presently one of the suitors named Ctesippus observed
  this and said, "I see the stranger has as good a portion
  as any one else. I will give him a better, that he may
  have something to give the bath-woman or some other of       296
  the servants in the house"--and with this he flung a
  cow's heel at Ulysses' head.

  Ulysses smiled with a grim Sardinian[36] smile, and bowed    302
  his head so that the heel passed over it and hit the
  wall. Telemachus rebuked Ctesippus very fiercely, and
  all were silent till Agelaus tried to calm them saying,
  "What Telemachus has said is just: let us not answer.
  Nevertheless I would urge him to talk quietly with his
  mother and tell her that as long as there was any chance
  of Ulysses coming back there was nothing unreasonable in
  her deferring a second marriage; but there is now no hope
  of his return, and if you would enjoy your own in peace,
  tell her to marry the best man among us and the one who
  will make her the most advantageous offer."

  "Nay," answered Telemachus, "it is not I that delay her      328
  marriage. I urge her to it, but I cannot and will not
  force her."

  Then Minerva made the suitors break out into a forced        345
  hysterical laughter, and the meats which they were eating
  became all smirched with blood. Their eyes were filled
  with tears and their hearts were oppressed with terrible
  forebodings. Theoclymenus saw that all was wrong, and
  said, "Unhappy men, what is it that ails you? There is a
  shroud of darkness drawn over you from head to foot, your
  cheeks are wet with tears; the air is alive with wailing
  voices; the walls and roof beams drip blood; the gate
  of the cloisters, and the yard beyond them are full of
  ghosts trooping down into the night of hell; the sun is
  blotted out from heaven, and a blighting gloom is over
  all the land."

  The suitors laughed at him, and Eurymachus said, "If you     358
  find it so dark here, we had better send a man with you
  to take you out into the open."

  "I have eyes," he answered, "that can guide, and feet        363
  that can take me from the doom that I see overhanging
  every single one of you." On this he left them and went
  back to the house of Piræus.

  Then one of the suitors said, "Telemachus, you are very      375
  unfortunate in your guests. You had better ship both the
  stranger and this man off to the Sicels and sell them."
  Telemachus made no answer, but kept his eye on his father
  for any signal that he might make him.

  Penelope had had a seat placed for her overlooking the       387
  cloister, and heard all that had passed. The dinner had
  been good and plentiful and there had been much laughter,
  for they had slaughtered many victims, but little did
  they guess the terrible supper which the goddess and a
  strong man were preparing for them.


  _The trial of the bow and of the axes_.

  Then Minerva put it in Penelope's mind to let the suitors
  compete for the bow and for a prize of iron. So she
  went upstairs and got the key of the store room, where
  Ulysses' treasures of gold, copper, and iron were kept,
  as also the mighty bow which Iphitus son of Eurytus had
  given him, and which had been in common use by Eurytus
  as long as he was alive. Hither she went attended by her
  women, and when she had unlocked the door she took the
  bow down from its peg and carried it, with its quiverfull
  of deadly arrows, to the suitors, while her maids brought
  the chest in which were the many prizes of iron that
  Ulysses had won. Then, still attended by her two maidens,
  she stood by one of the bearing-posts that supported the
  roof of the cloister, and told the suitors she would
  marry the man among them who could string Ulysses' bow
  most easily, and send an arrow through the twelve holes
  by which twelve axe-heads were fastened on to their

  So saying she gave the bow into the hands of Eumæus and       80
  bade him let the suitors compete as she had said. Eumæus
  wept as he took it, and so did Philœtius who was looking
  on, whereon Antinous scolded them for a couple of country

  Telemachus said that he too should compete, and that         113
  if he was successful he should certainly not allow his
  mother to leave her home with a second husband, while
  he remained alone. So saying he dug a long trench
  quite straight, set the axes in a line within it, and
  stamped the earth about them to keep them steady; every
  one was surprised to see how accurately he fixed them,
  considering that he had never seen anything of the kind
  before.[37] Having set the axes duly, he stood on the
  stone pavement, and tried to string the bow, but failed
  three times. He would, however, have succeeded the fourth
  time, if Ulysses had not made him a sign that he was not
  to try any more. So he laid both bow and arrow down and
  took his seat.

  "Then," said Antinous, "begin at the place where the         140
  cupbearer begins, and let each take his turn, going from
  left to right." On this Leiodes came forward. He was
  their sacrificial priest, and sat in the angle of the
  wall hard by the mixing bowl; but he had always set his
  face against the wicked conduct of the suitors. When he
  had failed to string the bow he said it was so hard to
  string that it would rob many a man among them of life
  and heart--for which saying Antinous rebuked him bitterly.

  "Bring some fire, Melantheus, and a wheel of fat from        175
  inside the house," said he to Melanthius, [_sic_] "that
  we may warm the bow and grease it." So they did this,
  but though many tried they could none of them string it.
  There remained only Antinous and Eurymachus who were
  their ring leaders.

  The swineherd and the stockman Philœtius then went           188
  outside the forecourt, and Ulysses followed them; when
  they had got beyond the outer yard Ulysses sounded them,
  and having satisfied himself that they were loyal he
  revealed himself and shewed them the scar on his leg.
  They were overjoyed, and Ulysses said, "Go back one by
  one after me, and follow these instructions. The other
  suitors will not be for letting me have the bow, but do
  you, Eumæus, when you have got it in your hands, bring it
  to me, and tell the women to shut themselves into their
  room. If the sound of groaning or uproar reaches any of
  them when they are inside, tell them to stick to their
  work and not come out. I leave it to you. Philœtius, to
  fasten the gate of the outer court securely." He then
  went inside, and resumed the seat that he had left.

  Eurymachus now tried to string the bow but failed. "I do      245
  not so much mind," he said, "about not marrying Penelope,
  for there are plenty of other women in Ithaca and
  elsewhere. What grieves me is the fact of our being such
  a feeble folk as compared with our forefathers."

  Antinous reminded him that it was the festival of Apollo.     256
  "Who," said he, "can shoot on such a day as this? Let us
  leave the axes where they are--no one will take them; let
  us also sacrifice to Apollo the best goats Melanthius can
  bring us, and resume the contest tomorrow."

  Ulysses then cunningly urged that he might be allowed         274
  to try whether he was as strong a man as he used to
  be, and that the bow should be placed in his hands
  for this purpose. The suitors were very angry, but
  Penelope insisted that Ulysses should have the bow; if
  he succeeded in stringing it she said it was absurd to
  suppose that she would marry him; but she would give
  him a shirt and cloak, a javelin, sword, and a pair of
  sandals, and she would send him wherever he might want to

  "The bow, mother, is mine," said Telemachus, "and if I        343
  choose to give it this man out and out I shall give it
  him. Go within the house and mind your own proper duties."

  Penelope went back, with her women, wondering into the        354
  house, and going upstairs into her room she wept for her
  dear husband till Minerva shed sweet sleep over her eyes.

  Eumæus was about to take the bow to Ulysses, but the          359
  suitors frightened him and he was for putting it down,
  till Telemachus threatened to stone him back to his farm
  if he did not bring it on at once; he therefore gave the
  bow to Ulysses. Then he called Euryclea aside and told
  her to shut the women up, and not to let them out if they
  heard any groans or uproar. She therefore shut them up.

  At this point Philœtius slipped out and secured the main      388
  gate of the outer court with a ship's cable of Byblus
  fibre that happened to be lying beside it. This done, he
  returned to his seat and kept his eye on Ulysses, who was
  examining the bow with great care to see whether it was
  sound in all its parts.

  "This man," said the suitors, "is some old bow-fancier;       397
  perhaps he has got one like it at home, or wants to make
  one, so cunningly does the old rascal handle it."

  Ulysses, having finished his scrutiny, strung the bow as      404
  easily as a bard puts a new string on to his lyre. He
  tried the string and it sang under his hand like the cry
  of a swallow. He took an arrow that was lying out of its
  quiver by his table, placed the notch on the string, and
  from his seat sent the arrow through the handle-holes of
  all the axes and outside into the yard.

  "Telemachus," said he, "your guest has not disgraced you.     424
  It is now time for the suitors to have their supper, and
  to take their pleasure afterwards with song and playing
  on the lyre." So saying he made a sign to Telemachus, who
  girded on his sword, grasped his spear, and stood armed
  beside his father's seat.


  _The killing of the suitors._

  Ulysses tore off his rags, and sprang on the broad
  pavement,[38] with his bow and his quiver full of arrows.
  He shed the arrows on to the ground at his feet and said,
  "The contest is at an end. I will now see whether Apollo
  will vouchsafe me to hit another mark which no man has
  yet aimed at."

  He took aim at Antinous as he spoke. The arrow struck           8
  him in the throat, so that he fell over and a thick
  stream of blood gushed from his nostrils. He kicked his
  table from him and upset the things on it, whereby the
  bread and meats were all soiled as they fell over on
  to the ground. The suitors were instantly in an uproar,
  and looked towards the walls for armour, but there was
  none. "Stranger," they cried, "you shall pay dearly for
  shooting people down in this way. You are a doomed man."
  But they did not yet understand that Ulysses had killed
  Antinous on purpose.

  Ulysses glared at them and said, "Dogs, did you think          34
  that I should not return from Troy? You have wasted my
  substance, you have violated the women of my house, you
  have wooed my wife while I was still alive, you have
  feared neither god nor man, and now you shall die."

  Eurymachus alone answered. "If you are Ulysses," said          44
  he, "we have done you great wrong. It was all Antinous's
  doing. He never really wanted to marry Penelope: he
  wanted to kill your son and to be chief man in Ithaca. He
  is no more; then spare the lives of your people and we
  will pay you all."

  Ulysses again glared at him and said, "I will not stay         60
  my hand till I have slain one and all of you. You must
  fight, or fly as you can, or die--and fly you neither can
  nor shall."

  Eurymachus then said, "My friends, this man will give us       68
  no quarter. Let us show fight. Draw your swords and hold
  the tables up in front of you as shields. Have at him
  with a rush, and drive him from the pavement and from the
  door. We could then get through into the town and call
  for help."

  While he spoke and was springing forward, Ulysses sent         79
  an arrow into his heart and he fell doubled up over his
  table. The cup and all the meats went over on to the
  ground as he smote the earth with his forehead in the
  agonies of death.

  Amphinomus then made for Ulysses to try and dislodge           89
  him from the door, but Telemachus got behind him, and
  struck him through. He left his spear in the body and
  flew back to his father's side; "Father," said he, "let
  me bring armour for you and me, as well as for Eumæus and
  Philœtius." "Run and fetch it," answered Ulysses, "while
  my arrows hold out; be quick, or they may get me away
  from the door when I am single-handed."

  Telemachus went to the store-room and brought four            108
  shields, eight spears, and four helmets. He armed
  himself, as did also Eumæus and Philœtius, who then
  placed themselves beside Ulysses. As long as his arrows
  held out Ulysses shot the suitors down thick and
  threefold, but when they failed him he stood the bow
  against the end wall of the house hard by the door way,
  and armed himself.

  Now there was a trap-door (see plan, and _f_ on p. 17)   126
  on the wall, while at one end of the pavement there was an
  exit, closed by a good strong door and leading out into a
  narrow passage; Ulysses told Philœtius to stand by this
  door and keep it, for only one person could attack it at
  a time. Then Agelaus shouted out, "Go up, somebody, to
  the trap-door and tell the people what is going on; they
  would come in and help us."

  "This may not be," answered Melanthius, "the mouth of the     135
  narrow passage is dangerously near the entrance from the
  street into the outer court. One brave man could prevent
  any number from getting in, but I will bring you arms
  from the store-room, for I am sure it is there that they
  have put them." As he spoke he went by back passages to       143
  the store-room, and brought the suitors twelve shields
  and the same number of helmets; when Ulysses saw the
  suitors arming his heart began to fail him, and he said
  to Telemachus, "Some of the women inside are helping the
  suitors--or else it is Melanthius."

  Telemachus said that it was his fault, for he had left        153
  the store-room door open. "Go, Eumæus," he added,
  "and close it; see whether it is one of the women, or
  Melanthius, son of Dolius."

  Melanthius was now going back for more armour when Eumæus     160
  saw him and told Ulysses, who said, "Follow him, you
  and Philœtius; bind his hands and feet behind him, and
  throw him into the store-room; then string him up to a
  bearing-post till he is close to the rafters, that he may
  linger on in agony."

  The men went to the store-room and caught Melanthius.         178
  They bound him in a painful bond and strung him up as
  Ulysses had told them. Eumæus wished him a good night
  and the two men returned to the side of Ulysses. Minerva
  also joined them, having assumed the form of Mentor; but      205
  Ulysses felt sure it was Minerva. The suitors were very
  angry when they saw her; "Mentor," they cried, "you shall
  pay for this with your life, and we will confiscate all
  you have in the world."

  This made Minerva furious, and she rated Ulysses roundly.     224
  "Your prowess," said she, "is no longer what it was at
  Troy. How comes it that you are less valiant now that you
  are on your own ground? Come on, my good fellow, and see
  how Mentor will fight for you and requite you for your
  many kindnesses." But she did not mean to give him the
  victory just yet, so she flew up to one of the rafters
  and sat there in the form of a swallow.[39]

  The struggle still continued. "My friends," said Agelaus,     241
  "he will soon have to leave off. See how Mentor has left
  him after doing nothing for him except brag. Do not aim
  at him all at once, but six of you throw your spears

  They did so, but Minerva made all their spears take no        265
  effect. Ulysses and the other three then threw, and
  each killed his man. The suitors drew back in fear into
  a corner, whereon the four sprang forward and regained
  their weapons. The suitors again threw, and this time
  Amphimedon really did take a piece of the top skin from
  Telemachus's wrist, and Ctesippus just grazed Eumæus's
  shoulder above his shield. It was now the turn of Ulysses
  and his men, and each of their spears killed a man.

  Then Minerva from high on the roof held up her deadly         297
  ægis, and struck the suitors with panic, whereon Ulysses
  and his men fell upon them and smote them on every side.
  They made a horrible groaning as their brains were being
  battered in, and the ground seethed with their blood.
  Leiodes implored Ulysses to spare his life, but Ulysses
  would give him no quarter.

  The minstrel Phemius now begged for mercy. He was             380
  standing near towards the trap-door, and resolving to
  embrace Ulysses' knees, he laid his lyre on the ground
  between the mixing-bowl and the high silver-studded
  seat. "Spare me," he cried, "you will be sorry for it
  afterwards if you kill such a bard as I am. I am an
  original composer, and heaven visits me with every kind
  of inspiration. Do not be in such a hurry to cut my head
  off. Telemachus will tell you that I only sang to the
  suitors because they forced me."

  "Hold," cried Telemachus to his father, "do him no hurt,      354
  he is guiltless; and we will spare Medon, too, who was
  always good to me when I was a boy, unless Eumæus or
  Philœtius has already killed him, or you happened to fall
  in with him yourself."

  "Here I am, my dear Sir," said Medon, coming out from         361
  under a freshly flayed heifer's hide[40] which had
  concealed him; "tell your father, or he will kill me
  in his rage against the suitors for having wasted his
  substance and been so disrespectful to yourself." Ulysses
  smiled, and told them to go outside into the outer court
  till the killing should be over. So they went, but they
  were still very much frightened. Ulysses then went all
  over the court to see if there were any who had concealed
  themselves, or were not yet killed, but there was no one;
  they were all as dead as fish lying in a hot sun upon the

  Then he told Telemachus to call Euryclea, who came at         390
  once, and found him all covered with blood. When she
  saw the corpses she was beginning to raise a shout of
  triumph, but Ulysses checked her: "Old woman," said he,       411
  "rejoice in silence; it is an unholy thing to vaunt over
  dead men. And now tell me which of the women of the house
  are innocent and which guilty."

  "There are fifty women in the house," said Euryclea;          419
  "twelve of these have misbehaved, and have been wanting
  in respect to me and to Penelope. They showed no
  disrespect to Telemachus, for he has only lately grown
  up, and his mother never permitted him to give orders to
  the female servants. And now let me go upstairs and tell
  your wife."

  "Do not wake her yet," answered Ulysses, "but send the        430
  guilty women to me."

  Then he called Telemachus, Eumæus, and Philœtius.             435
  "Begin," he said, "to remove the dead bodies, and make
  the women help you. Also get sponges and clean water
  to swill down the tables and the seats. When you have
  thoroughly cleansed the cloisters take the women outside
  and run them through with your swords."

  The women came down weeping and wailing bitterly.             446
  First they carried the dead bodies out, and propped them
  against one another in the gatehouse of the outer court.
  Ulysses ordered them about and saw that they lost no
  time. When they had carried the bodies out they cleaned
  all the tables and seats with sponges and water, while
  Telemachus and the two others shovelled up the blood
  and dirt from the ground and the women carried it all
  outside. When they had thus thoroughly cleaned the whole
  court, they took the women out and hemmed them up in the
  narrow space between the vaulted room and the wall of the
  outer yard. Here Telemachus determined to hang them, as
  a more dishonourable death than stabbing. He therefore        462
  made a ship's rope fast to a strong bearing-post
  supporting the roof of the vaulted room, and threw it
  round, making the women put their heads in the nooses one
  after another. He then drew the rope high up, so that
  none of their feet might touch the ground. They kicked
  convulsively for a while, but not for very long.

  As for Melanthius they took him through the cloisters         474
  into the outer court. There they cut off his nose and
  ears; they drew out his vitals and gave them to the dogs,
  raw; then they cut off his hands and feet. When they had
  done this they washed their hands and feet, and went
  back into the house. "Go," said Ulysses, to Euryclea,
  "and bring me sulphur that I may burn it and purify the
  cloisters. Go, moreover, and bid Penelope come here with
  her gentlewomen and the women of the house."

  "Let me first bring you a clean shirt and cloak," said        485
  Euryclea, "do not keep those rags on any longer, it is
  not right."

  "Light me a fire," answered Ulysses, and she obeyed and       490
  brought him sulphur, wherewith he thoroughly purified
  both the inner and outer court, as well as the cloisters.
  Then Euryclea brought the women from their apartment,
  and they pressed round Ulysses, kissing his head and
  shoulders, and taking hold of his hands. It made him feel
  as if he should like to weep, for he remembered every one
  of them.


  _Penelope comes down to see Ulysses, and being at last
  convinced that he is her husband, retires with him to
  their own old room--In the morning Ulysses, Telemachus,
  Philœtius, and Eumæus go to the house of Laertes._

  Euryclea now went upstairs and told Penelope what had
  happened. "Wake up, my dear child," said she, "Ulysses
  is come home at last and has killed the suitors who were
  giving so much trouble in the house, eating up his estate
  and ill-treating his son."

  "My good nurse," answered Penelope, "you must be mad. The      19
  gods sometimes send very sensible people out of their
  minds, and make foolish people sensible. This is what
  they must have been doing to you. Moreover, you have
  waked me from the soundest sleep that I have enjoyed
  since my husband left me. Go back into the women's room;
  if it had been any one but you, I should have given her a
  severe scolding."

  Euryclea still maintained that what she had said was           25
  true, and in answer to Penelope's further questions told
  her as much as she knew about the killing of the suitors.
  "When I came down," she said, "I found Ulysses standing
  over the corpses; you would have enjoyed it, if you
  had seen him all bespattered with blood and filth, and
  looking just like a lion. But the corpses are now piled
  up in the gatehouse, and he has sent me to bring you to

  Penelope said that it could not he Ulysses, but must be        58
  some god who had resolved to punish the suitors for their
  great wickedness. Then Euryclea told her about the sear.

  "My dear nurse," answered Penelope, "however wise you may      80
  be, you can hardly fathom the counsels of the gods. Still
  I will go and find my son that I may see the corpses of
  the suitors, and the man who has killed them."

  On this she came down into the cloister and took her           85
  seat opposite Ulysses, in the fire-light, by the wall at
  right angles to that by which she had entered, while her
  husband sat by one of the bearing-posts of the cloister,
  looking down and waiting to hear what she would say. For
  a long time she sat as one lost in amazement and said
  nothing, till Telemachus upbraided her for her coldness.
  "Your heart," he said, "was always hard as a stone."

  "My son," said his mother, "I am stupefied; nevertheless      104
  if this man is really Ulysses, I shall find it out; for
  there are tokens which we two alone know of."

  Ulysses smiled at this, and said to Telemachus, "Let your     114
  mother prove me as she will, she will make up her mind
  about it presently. Meanwhile let us think what we shall
  do, for we have been killing all the picked youth of

  "We will do," answered Telemachus, "whatever you may          121
  think best."

  "Then," said Ulysses, "wash, and put your shirts on. Bid
  the maids also go to their own room and dress. Phemius
  shall strike up a dance tune, so that any who are passing
  in the street may think there is a wedding in the house,
  and we can get away into the woods before the death of
  the suitors is noised abroad. Once there, we will do as
  heaven shall direct."

  They did as he had said. The house echoed with the sound      141
  of men and women dancing, and the people outside said,
  "So the queen has been getting married at last. She ought
  to be ashamed of herself, for not staying to protect her
  husband's property."

  Eurynome washed and anointed Ulysses; Minerva also            154
  beautified him, making the hair grow thick on the top
  of his head and flow down in hyacinthine curls. He came
  from the bath looking like an immortal god, and sat down
  opposite his wife. Finding, however, that he could not
  move her, he said to Euryclea, "Nurse, get a bed ready
  for me. I will sleep alone, for this woman has a heart as
  hard as iron."

  "My dear," said Penelope, "I have no wish to set myself       173
  up, nor to depreciate you, but I am not struck by your
  appearance, for I well remember what kind of a man you
  were when you left Ithaca. Nevertheless, Euryclea, take
  his bed out of the room he built for it, and make it
  ready for him."

  Ulysses knew that the bed could not be moved without          181
  cutting down the stem of a growing olive tree on the
  stump of which he had built it. He was very angry, and
  desired to know who had ventured on doing this, at the
  same time describing the bed fully to Penelope.

  Then Penelope was convinced that he really was Ulysses,       205
  and fairly broke down. She flung her arms about his neck,
  and said she had only held aloof so long because she had
  been shuddering at the bare thought of any one deceiving
  her. Ulysses in his turn melted and embraced her, and
  they would have gone on indulging their sorrow till
  morning came, had not Minerva miraculously prolonged the

  Ulysses then began to tell her of the voyages which,          247
  Tiresias had told him he must now undertake, but soon
  broke off by saying that they had better go to bed. To
  which Penelope rejoined that as she should certainly have
  to be told about it sooner or later, she had perhaps
  better hear it at once.

  Thus pressed Ulysses told her. "In the end," said he,         263
  "Tiresias told me that death should come to me from the
  sea. He said my life should ebb away very gently when I
  was full of years and peace of mind, and that my people
  should bless me."

  Meanwhile Eurynome and Euryclea made the room ready,[41]      288
  and Euryclea went inside the house, leaving Eurynome to
  light Penelope and Ulysses to their bed-room. Telemachus,
  Philœtius, and Eumæus now left off dancing, and made the
  women leave off also. Then they laid themselves down to
  sleep in the cloisters.

  When they were in bed together, Penelope told Ulysses how     300
  much she had had to bear in seeing the house filled with
  wicked suitors who had killed so many oxen and sheep on
  her account, and had drunk so many casks of wine. Ulysses
  in his turn told her the whole story of his adventures,
  touching briefly upon every point, and detailing not          310
  only his own sufferings but those he had inflicted upon
  other people. She was delighted to listen, and never went
  to sleep till he ended his story and dropped off into a
  profound slumber.

  When Minerva thought that Ulysses had slept long enough       314
  she permitted Dawn to rise from the waters of Oceanus,
  and Ulysses got up. "Wife," said he to Penelope, "Now
  that we have at last come together again, take care of
  the property that is in my house. As for the sheep and
  goats that the wicked suitors have eaten, I will take
  many by force from other people, and will compel the men
  of the place to make good the rest. I will now go out
  to my father's house in the country. At sunrise it will
  get noised about that I have been killing the suitors.
  Go upstairs, therefore, and stay there with your waiting
  women. See nobody, and ask no questions."

  As he spoke he girded on his armour; he roused the others     366
  also and bade them arm. He then undid the gate, and they
  all sallied forth. It was now daylight, but Minerva
  enshrouded them in darkness, and led them quickly out of
  the town.


  _The Ghosts of the suitors in Hades--Ulysses sees
  his father--is attacked by the friends of the
  suitors--Laertes kills Eupeithes--Peace is made between
  him and the people of Ithaca._

  Then Mercury took the fair golden wand with which he
  seals men's eyes in sleep or wakes them just as he
  pleases, and led the ghosts of the suitors to the house
  of Hades whining and gibbering as they followed. As bats
  fly squealing about the hollow of a great cave when
  one of them has fallen from the cluster in which they
  hang--even so did they whine and squeal as Mercury the
  healer of sorrow led them down into the dark abode of
  death. When they had passed the waters of Oceanus and
  the rock Leucas, they came to the gates of the Sun and
  the land of dreams, whereon they reached the meadow of
  asphodel where dwell the souls and shadows of men that
  can labour no more.

  Here they came upon the ghosts of Achilles, Patroclus,         15
  Antilochus, and Ajax, and that of Agamemnon joined them.
  As these were conversing, Mercury came up with the ghosts
  of the suitors, and Agamemnon's ghost recognised that of
  Amphimedon who had been his host when he was in Ithaca;
  so he asked him what this sudden arrival of fine young
  men--all of an age too--might mean, and Amphimedon told
  him the whole story from first to last.

  Thus did they converse in the house of Hades deep within      203
  the bowels of the earth. Meanwhile Ulysses and the others
  passed out of the city and soon reached the farm of
  Laertes, which he had reclaimed with infinite labour.
  Here was his house with a lean-to running all round it,
  where the slaves who worked for him ate and slept, while
  inside the house there was an old Sicel woman, who looked
  after him in this his country farm.

  "Go," said Ulysses to the others, "to the house, and kill     214
  the best pig you have for dinner; I wish to make trial of
  my father and see whether he will know me."

  So saying he gave his armour to Eumæus and Philœtius,         219
  and turned off into the vineyard, where he found his
  father alone, hoeing a vine. He had on a dirty old shirt,
  patched and very shabby; his legs were bound round with
  thongs of oxhide to keep out the brambles, and he wore
  sleeves of leather against the thorns. He had a goatskin
  cap on his head and was looking very woebegone.

  When Ulysses saw him so worn, so old and full of sorrow,      232
  he stood still under a tall pear tree and began to weep.
  He doubted whether to embrace him, kiss him, and tell
  him all about his having come home, or whether he should
  first question him and see what he would say. On the
  whole he decided that he would be crafty with him, so he
  went up to his father who was bending down and digging
  about a plant.

  "I see, Sir," said Ulysses, "that you are an excellent        244
  gardener--what pains you take with it to be sure. There
  is not a single plant, not a fig-tree, vine, olive, pear,
  nor flower-bed, but bears the traces of your attention.
  I trust, however, that you will not be offended if I
  say that you take better care of your garden than of
  yourself. You are old, unsavoury, and very meanly clad.
  It cannot be because you are idle that your master takes
  such poor care of you; indeed, your face and figure have
  nothing of the slave about them, but proclaim you of
  noble birth. I should have said you were one of those
  who should wash well, eat well, and lie soft at night
  as old men have a right to do. But tell me, and tell me
  true, whose bondsman are you, and in whose garden are you
  working? Tell me also about another matter--is this place
  that I have come to really Ithaca? I met a man just now
  who said so, but he was a dull fellow, and had not the
  patience to hear my story out when I was asking whether
  an old friend of mine who used to live here was still
  alive. My friend said he was the son of Laertes son of
  Arceisius, and I made him large presents on his leaving

  Laertes wept and answered that in this case he would         280
  never see his presents back again, though he would have
  been amply requited if Ulysses had been alive. "But tell
  me," he said, "who and whence are you? Where is your
  ship? or did you come as passenger on some other man's

  "I will tell you every thing," answered Ulysses, "quite      302
  truly. I come from Alybas, and am son to king Apheides.
  My name is Eperitus; heaven drove me off my course as I
  was leaving Sicania, and I have been carried here against
  my will. As for my ship, it is lying over yonder off the     307
  open country outside the town. It is five years since
  Ulysses left me--Poor fellow! we had every hope that we      308
  should meet again and exchange presents."

  Laertes was overcome with grief, and Ulysses was so          315
  much touched that he revealed himself. When his father
  asked for proof, he shewed him the scar on his leg.
  "Furthermore," he added, "I will point out to you the
  trees in the vineyard which you gave me, and I asked
  you all about them as I followed you round the garden.
  We went over them all, and you told me their names and
  what they all were. You gave me thirteen pear trees, ten
  apple trees, and forty fig trees, and you also said you
  would give me fifty rows of vines; there was corn planted
  between each row, and the vines yield grapes of every
  kind when the heat of heaven has beaten upon them." He
  also told his father that he had killed the suitors.

  Laertes was now convinced, but said he feared he should      345
  have all the people of Ithaca coming to attack them.
  Ulysses answered that he need not trouble about this, and
  that they had better go and get their dinner, which would
  be ready by the time they got to the house.

  When they reached the house the old Sicel woman took         361
  Laertes inside, washed him, and anointed him. Minerva
  also gave him a more imposing presence and made him look
  taller and stronger than before. "When he came back,
  Ulysses said, "My dear father, some god has been making
  you much taller and better looking." To which Laertes
  answered that if he was as young and hearty as when he
  took the stronghold Nericum on the foreland, he should
  have been a great help to him on the preceding day, and
  would have killed many suitors.

  Dolius and his sons, who had been working hard by, now       383
  came up, for the old Sicel woman, who was Dolius's
  wife, had been to fetch them. When they were satisfied
  that Ulysses was really there, they were overjoyed and
  embraced him one after the other. "But tell me," said
  Dolius, "does Penelope know, or shall we send and tell
  her?" "Old man," answered Ulysses, "she knows already.
  What business is that of yours?" Then they all took their
  seats at table.

  Meanwhile the news of the slaughter of the suitors had       412
  got noised abroad, and the people gathered hooting and
  groaning before the house of Ulysses. They took their
  dead, buried every man his own, and put the bodies of
  those who came from elsewhere on board the fishing
  vessels, for the fishermen to take them every man to his
  own place. Then they met in assembly and Eupeithes urged
  them to pursue Ulysses and the others before they could
  escape over to the main land.

  Medon, however, and Phemius had now woke up, and came to     439
  the assembly. Medon dissuaded the people from doing as
  Eupeithes advised, inasmuch as he had seen a god going
  about killing the suitors, and it would be dangerous to
  oppose the will of heaven. Halitherses also spoke in the
  same sense, and half the people were pursuaded by him.
  The other half armed themselves and followed Eupeithes in
  pursuit of Ulysses.

  Minerva then consulted Jove as to the course events          472
  should take. Jove told her that she had had everything
  her own way so far, and might continue to do as she
  pleased. He should, however, advise that both sides
  should now be reconciled under the continued rule of
  Ulysses. Minerva approved of this and darted down to

  Laertes and his household had now done dinner, and           489
  Eupeithes with his band of men were seen to be near at
  hand. Ulysses and the others put on their armour, and
  Minerva joined them. "Telemachus," said Ulysses, "now
  that you are about to fight in a decisive engagement,
  see that you do no discredit to your ancestors, who were
  eminent all the world over for their strength and valour."

  "You shall see, my dear father," replied Telemachus, "if     510
  you choose, that I am in no mind, as you say, to disgrace
  your family."

  "Good heavens," exclaimed Laertes, "what a day I am          513
  enjoying. My son and grandson are vying with one another
  in the matter of valour." Minerva then came up to him,
  and bade him pray to her. She infused fresh vigour into
  him, and when he had prayed to her he aimed his spear
  at Eupeithes and killed him. Ulysses and his men fell
  upon the others, routed them, and would have killed one
  and all of them had not Minerva raised her voice and
  made every one pause. "Men of Ithaca," she cried, "cease
  this dreadful war, and settle the matter without further

  On this they turned pale with fear, dropped their armour,    533
  and fled every man towards the city. Ulysses was  swooping
  down upon them like an eagle, but Jove sent a thunderbolt
  of fire that fell just in front of Minerva. "Whereon she
  said, "Ulysses, stay this strife, or Jove will be angry
  with you."

  Ulysses obeyed her gladly. Minerva then assumed the voice    545
  and form of Mentor, and presently made a covenant of
  peace between the two contending parties.

[1] _Journal of Hellenic Studies_, Vol. VII. 170-88, and _Introduction
to Homer_, 3rd edit. 1888, pp. 57-62, and Appendix, Note 1.

[2] _Journal of Philology_, Vol. XXIV. p. 39, &c.

[3] Temesa was on the West side of the toe of Italy and was once famous
for its copper mines, which, however, were worked out in Strabo's time.
See _Smith's Dictionary of Ancient Geography_.

[4] Heading Νηρίτῳ instead of Νηίῳ, cf. Book xiii. 96, &c., and 351,
where the same harbour is obviously intended.

[5] _i.e._ "flowing," or with a current in it.

[6] The mountain is singular, as though it were an isolated mountain
rather than a range that was in the mind of the writer. It is also
singular, not plural, in the parallel cases of xv. 175 and xix. 538.

[7] Reading ὑπονηρίτου for ὑπονηίου, _cf_.i. 186 and also xiii. 351.

[8] The reader will note that the fact of Orestes having also killed
his mother is not expressly stated here, nor in any of the three
other passages in which the revenge taken by Orestes is referred
to--doubtless as being too horrible. The other passages are _Od_. i. 40
and 299 (not given in this summary), and xi. 408, &c.

[9] For fuller translation and explanation why I have bracketed the
passage, see Chapter VI.

[10] It is curious that the sleeping arrangements made by Helen for
Telemachus and Pisistratus, as also those made for Ulysses by Queen
Arete (vii. 336, &c.), though taken almost verbatim from those made by
Achilles for Priam and Idicus (_Il_. xxiv. 643-47 and 673-76), should
do so well for a building of such a different character as the house of
Menelaus must have been from the quarters of Achilles before Troy.

[11] For explanation why I bracket this passage see Chapter VI.

[12] Scheria means "Jutland"--a piece of land jutting out into the sea.

[13] Gr. πάππα φίλ', line 57.

[14] Penelope and Calypso also had gardens: so had Laertes (xxiv. 217).
I remember no allusion to them in the _Iliad_.

[15] It is a little odd that this disc should have been brought,
considering that none such were used by the Phæacians. We must suppose
that Minerva put it in along with the others, and then shed a thick
darkness over it, which prevented the attendants from noticing it.

[16] Alcinous never seems to have got beyond saying that he was going
to give the cup; he never gives it, nor yet the talent--the familiar ῶς
εἰπὼν ἐν χερσὶ τίθει κ.τ.λ. is noticeably absent. He found the chest,
and he took a great deal of pains about stowing the presents in the
ship that was to take Ulysses to Ithaca (see xiii. 18, &c.), but here
his contributions seem to have ended.

[17] Dwellers on the East coast of Sicily believe the island here
referred to to be Acitrezza, between Acireale and Catania. I have been
all over it and do not believe that it contains more than two acres of
land on which any goat could ever have fed. The idea that the writer
of the _Odyssey_ would make Ulysses and his large body of men spend
half a day in killing over a hundred goats on such a site need not be
discussed seriously, I shall therefore pass it over without notice
when I come to discuss the voyage of Ulysses. That it should be so
confidently believed to be the island off the land of the Cyclopes
serves as a warning to myself, inasmuch as it shows how easily people
can bring themselves to accept any site for any scene if they make up
their minds to do so.

[18] See Chapter xv. for reasons why I have bracketed lines 115--137.

[19] Ulysses was to appease Neptune's anger by going as a missionary to
preach his name among a people that did not know him.

[20] The want of coherence here is obvions, but as it is repeated when
Ulysses ought to come to the wandering cliffs (which he never does) it
must be referred to a _lacuna_ not in the text, but in the writer's
sources of information--of which she seems fully aware.

[21] I suppose this line to have been added when lines 426--446 of this
book were added.

[22] The wandering cliffs are certainly intended, for when Ulysses is
recapitulating his adventures in Book xxiii. he expressly mentions
having reached the πλαγκτὰς πέτρας, just after the Sirens, and before
Scylla and Charybdis (xxiii. 327). The writer is determined to have
them in her story however little she may know about them.

[23] I incline to think that these lines are an after thought, added by
the writer herself.

[24] σὺν ἀρτεμέεσσι φίλοισιν.

[25] Minerva, in her desire to minimise the time during which the
suitors had been at Ulysses' house, seems to have forgotten that they
had been there ever since Telemachus was quite a child (_Od_. ii.

[26] _i.e_. which seemed to fly past them.

[27] According to tradition, she had hanged herself on hearing a report
of the death of her son.

[28] See Chapter XII, near the beginning.

[29] In almost all other places he is called Melanthius.

[30] All this might very well be, if the scene is laid in an open
court, but hardly if it was in a hall inside a house.

[31] ἐς μέσσον (line 447).

[32] They might very well fight in the middle of an open court, but
hardly in a covered hall. They would go outside.

[33] ἐν μεγάροισιν, but not ἐν μεγάροισι σκιόεσσι.

[34] There is no indication as though they went out to do this; they
seem to have emptied the ashes on to the open part of the court.

[35] I have repeatedly seen geese so feeding at Trapani and in the
neighbourhood. In summer the grass is all burned up so that they cannot
graze as in England.

[36] This is the only reference to Sardinia in either _Iliad_ or

[37] If Telemachus had never seen anything of the kind before, so
probably, neither had the writer of the _Odyssey_--at any rate no
commentator has yet been able to understand her description, and I
doubt whether she understood it herself. It looks as though the axe
heads must have been wedged into the handles or so bound on to them as
to let the hole be visible through which the handle would go when the
axe was in use. The trial is evidently a double one, of strength as
regards the bending of the bow, and accuracy of aim as regards shooting
through a row of rings.

[38] It is not expressly stated that the "stone pavement" is here
intended. The Greek has simply ἆλτο δ᾽ ἐπὶ μέγαν οὐδόν, but I do not
doubt that the stone pavement is intended.

[39] This again suggests, though it does not prove, that we are in an
open court surrounded by a cloister, on the rafters of which swallows
would often perch. Line 297 suggests this even more strongly, "the
roof" being, no doubt, the roof of the cloister, on to which Minerva
flew from the rafter, that her ægis might better command the whole

[40] Probably the hide of the heifer that Philœtius had brought in that
morning (xx. 186).

[41] This room was apparently not within the body of the house. It was
certainly on the ground floor, for the bed was fixed on to the stump
of a tree; I strongly suspect it to be the vaulted room, round the
outside of which the bodies of the guilty maids were still hanging, and
I also suspect it was in order to thus festoon the room that Telemachus
hanged the women instead of stabbing them, but this is treading on that
perilous kind of speculation which I so strongly deprecate in others.
If it were not for the gruesome horror of the dance, in lines 129--151,
I should not have entertained it.



Having in my first chapter met the only _à priori_ objections to my
views concerning the sex of the writer which have yet been presented to
me, I now turn to the evidence of female authorship which is furnished
by the story which I have just laid before the reader.

What, let me ask, is the most unerring test of female authorship?
Surely a preponderance of female interest, and a fuller knowledge of
those things which a woman generally has to deal with, than of those
that fall more commonly within the province of man. People always write
by preference of what they know best, and they know best what they most
are, and have most to do with. This extends to ways of thought and to
character, even more than to action. If man thinks the noblest study
for mankind to be man, woman not less certainly believes it to be woman.

Hence if in any work the women are found to be well and sympathetically
drawn, while the men are mechanical and by comparison perfunctorily
treated, it is, I imagine, safe to infer that the writer is a woman;
and the converse holds good with man. Man and woman never fully
understand one another save, perhaps, during courtship and honeymoon,
and as a man understands man more fully than a woman can do, so does a
woman, woman. Granted, it is the delight of either sex to understand
the other as fully as it can, and those who succeed most in this
respect are the best and happiest whether men or women; but do what
we may the barriers can never be broken down completely, and each sex
will dwell mainly, though not, of course, exclusively, within its own
separate world. When, moreover, we come to think of it, it is not
desirable that they should be broken down, for it is on their existence
that much of the attraction of either sex to the other depends.

Men seem unable to draw women at all without either laughing at them
or caricaturing them; and so, perhaps, a woman never draws a man so
felicitously as when she is making him ridiculous. If she means to
make him so she is certain to succeed; if she does not mean it she
will succeed more surely still. Either sex, in fact, can caricature
the other delightfully, and certainly no writer has ever shown more
completely than the writer of the _Odyssey_ has done that, next to the
glorification of woman, she considers man's little ways and weaknesses
to be the fittest theme on which her genius can be displayed. But I
doubt whether any writer in the whole range of literature (excepting,
I suppose, Shakspeare) has succeeded in drawing a full length,
life-sized, serious portrait of a member of the sex opposite to the
writer's own.

It is admitted on all hands that the preponderance of interest in the
_Iliad_ is on the side of man, and in the _Odyssey_ on that of woman.
Women in the _Iliad_ are few in number and rarely occupy the stage.
True, the goddesses play important parts, but they are never taken

Shelley, again, speaking of the "perpetually increasing magnificence of
the last seven books" of the _Iliad_, says, "The _Odyssey_ is sweet,
but there is nothing like this."[1] The writer of the _Odyssey_ is
fierce as a tigress at times, but the feeling of the poem is on the
whole exactly what Shelley says it is. Strength is felt everywhere even
in the tenderest passages of the _Iliad_, but it is sweetness rather
than strength that fascinates us throughout the _Odyssey_. It is the
charm of a woman not of a man.

So, again, to quote a more recent authority, Mr. Gladstone in his work
on _Homer_ already referred to, says (p. 28):--

It is rarely in the _Iliad_ that grandeur or force give way to allow
the exhibition of domestic affection. Conversely, in the _Odyssey_ the
family life supplies the tissue into which is woven the thread of the

Any one who is familiar with the two poems must know that what Mr.
Gladstone has said is true; and he might have added, not less truly,
that when there is any exhibition of domestic life and affection in the
_Iliad_ the men are dominant, and the women are under their protection,
whereas throughout the _Odyssey_ it is the women who are directing,
counselling, and protecting the men.

Who are the women in the _Odyssey_? There is Minerva, omnipresent
at the elbows of Ulysses and Telemachus to keep them straight and
alternately scold and flatter them. In the _Iliad_ she is a great
warrior but she is no woman: in the _Odyssey_ she is a great woman but
no warrior; we have, of course, Penelope--masterful nearly to the last
and tossed off to the wings almost from the moment that she has ceased
to be so; Euryclea, the old servant, is quite a match for Telemachus,
"do not find fault, child," she says to him, "when there is no one to
find fault with" (xx. 135). Who can doubt that Helen is master in the
house of Menelaus--of whom all she can say in praise is that he is "not
deficient either in person or understanding" (iv. 264)? Idothea in Book
iv. treats Menelaus _de haut en bas_, all through the Proteus episode.
She is good to him and his men, but they must do exactly what she tells
them, and she evidently enjoys "running" them,--for I can think of no
apter word. Calypso is the master mind, not Ulysses; and, be it noted,
that neither she nor Circe seem to have a manservant on their premises.
I was at an inn once and asked the stately landlady if I could see the
landlord. She bridled up and answered, "We have no landlord, sir, in
this house; I cannot see what use a man is in a hotel except to clean
boots and windows." There spoke Circe and Calypso, but neither of them
seem to have made even this much exception in man's favour.

Let the reader ask any single ladies of his acquaintance, who live in
a house of their own, whether they prefer being waited upon by men
or by women, and I shall be much surprised if he does not find that
they generally avoid having a man about the house at all--gardeners
of course excepted. But then the gardener generally has a wife, and a
house of his own.

Take Nausicaa again, delightful as she is, it would not be wise to
contradict her; she knows what is good for Ulysses, and all will go
well with him so long as he obeys her, but she must be master and he
man. I see I have passed over Ino in Book v. She is Idothea over again,
just as Circe is Calypso, with very little variation. Who again is
master--Queen Arete or King Alcinous? Nausicaa knows well enough how to
answer this question. When giving her instructions to Ulysses she says:

  "Never mind my father, but go up to my mother and embrace
  her knees; if she is well disposed towards you there is
  some chance of your getting home to see your friends
  again" (vi. 310-315).

Throughout the Phæacian episode Arēte (whose name, by the way, I take
to be one of the writer's tolerably transparent disguises, and to be
intended to suggest Arĕte, or "Goodness") is a more important person
than Alcinous. I do not believe in her myself; I believe Penelope
would have been made more amiable if Arete had been as nice a person
as the writer says she was; leaving her, however, on one side, so
much more important are wives than husbands in the eyes of the author
of the _Odyssey_ that when Ulysses makes his farewell speech to the
Phæacians, she makes him say that he hopes they may continue to give
satisfaction to their wives and children (xiii. 44, 45), instead of
hoping that their wives and children will continue to give satisfaction
to them. A little lower down he wishes Queen Arete all happiness with
her children, her people, and lastly with King Alcinous. As for King
Alcinous, it does not matter whether he is happy or no, provided he
gives satisfaction to Queen Arete; but he was bound to be happy as the
husband of such an admirable woman.

So when the Duke of York was being married I heard women over and over
again say they hoped the Princess May would be very happy with him, but
I never heard one say that she hoped the Duke would be very happy with
the Princess May. Men said they hoped the pair would be very happy,
without naming one more than the other.

I have touched briefly on all the more prominent female characters of
the _Odyssey_. The moral in every case seems to be that man knows very
little, and cannot be trusted not to make a fool of himself even about
the little that he does know, unless he has a woman at hand to tell him
what he ought to do. There is not a single case in which a man comes to
the rescue of female beauty in distress; it is invariably the other way

The only males who give Ulysses any help while he is on his wanderings
are Æolus, who does him no real service and refuses to help him a
second time, and Mercury, who gives him the herb Moly (x. 305) to
protect him against the spells of Circe. In this last case, however, I
do not doubt that the writer was tempted by the lovely passage of _Il_.
XXIV., where Mercury meets Priam to conduct him to the Achæan camp; one
pretty line, indeed (and rather more), of the Iliadic passage above
referred to is taken bodily by the writer of the _Odyssey_ to describe
the youth and beauty of the god.[2] With these exceptions, throughout
the poem Andromeda rescues Perseus, not Perseus Andromeda--Christiana
is guide and guardian to Mr. Greatheart, not Mr. Greatheart to

The case of Penelope may seem to be an exception. It may be urged that
Ulysses came to her rescue, and that the whole poem turns on his doing
so. But this is not true. Ulysses kills the suitors, firstly, because
they had wasted his substance--this from the first to last is the main
grievance; secondly, because they had violated the female servants of
his house; and only, thirdly, because they had offered marriage to his
wife while he was still alive (xxii. 36-38). Never yet was woman better
able to hold her own when she chose, and I will show at full length
shortly that when she did not hold it it was because she preferred not
to do so.

I have dealt so far with the writer's attitude towards women when in
the world of the living. Let us now see what her instinct prompts her
to consider most interesting in the kingdom of the dead. When Ulysses
has reached the abode of Hades, the first ghost he meets is that of his
comrade Elpenor, who had got drunk and fallen off the roof of Circe's
house just as Ulysses and his men were about to set sail. We are
expressly told that he was a person of no importance, being remarkable
neither for sense nor courage, so that it does not matter about killing
him, and it is transparent that the accident is only allowed to happen
in order to enable Ulysses to make his little joke when he greets the
ghost in Hades to the effect that Elpenor has got there more quickly by
land than Ulysses had done by water. Elpenor therefore, does not count.

The order, however, in which the crowd of ghosts approach Ulysses,
is noticeable. After the blood of the victims sacrificed by Ulysses
had flowed into the trench which he had dug to receive it, the writer

    "The ghosts came trooping up from Erebus--brides, young
    bachelors, old men worn out with toil, maids who had
    been crossed in love, and brave men who had been killed
    in battle, with their armour still smirched with blood;
    they came from every quarter, and flitted round the
    trench with a strange kind of screaming sound that made
    me turn pale with fear" (xi. 36-43).

I do not think a male writer would have put the brides first, nor yet
the young bachelors second. He would have begun with kings or great
warriors or poets, nor do I believe he would make Ulysses turn pale
with fear merely because the ghosts screamed a little; they would have
had to menace him more seriously.

What does Bunyan do? When Christian tells Pliable what kind of company
he will meet in Paradise, he says:--

    "There we shall see elders with their golden crowns;
    there we shall see holy virgins with their golden
    harps; there we shall see men that by the world were
    cut in pieces, burnt in flames, eaten of beasts,
    drowned in the seas, for the love they bore to the Lord
    of that place; all well and cloathed with immortality
    as with a garment."

Men present themselves to him instinctively in the first instance,
and though he quits them for a moment, he returns to them immediately
without even recognising the existence of women among the martyrs.

Moreover, when Christian and Hopeful have passed through the river of
death and readied the eternal city, it is none but men who greet them.

True, after having taken Christian to the Eternal City, Bunyan conducts
Christiana also, and her children, in his Second Part; but surely if
he had been an inspired woman and not an inspired man, and if this
woman had been writing as it was borne in upon her by her own instinct,
neither aping man nor fearing him, she would have taken Christiana
first, and Christian, if she took him at all, in her appendix.

Next to Elpenor the first ghost that Ulysses sees is that of his
mother Anticlea, and he is sorely grieved that he may not, by Circe's
instructions, speak to her till he has heard what the Theban prophet
Tiresias had got to tell him. As soon as he has heard this, he enquires
how he can make his mother recognise him, and converse with him. This
point being answered there follows the incomparably beautiful scene
between him and Anticlea, which occupies some seventy or eighty lines,
and concludes by his mother's telling him to get home as fast as he
can that he may tell of his adventures in Hades--to whom? To the world
at large? To his kinsmen and countrymen? No: it is to his wife that he
is to recount them and apparently to nobody else (xi. 223, 224). Very
right and proper; but more characteristic of a female than of a male

Who follow immediately on the departure of Anticlea? Proserpine sends
up "all the wives and daughters of great princes"--Tyro, daughter of
Salmoneus, Antiope daughter of Asopus, Alcmena, Epicaste (better known
as Jocasta), Chloris wife of Neleus, Leda, Iphimedeia, Phædra, Procris,
Ariadne, Mæra, Clymene, and Eriphyle. Ulysses says that there were many
more wives and daughters of heroes whom he conversed with, but that
time would not allow him to detail them further; in deference, however,
to the urgent request of King Alcinous, he goes on to say how he met
Agamemnon, Achilles, and Ajax (who would not speak to him); he touched
lightly also on Minos, Orion, Tityus, Tantalus, Sisyphus, and Hercules.

I have heard women say that nothing can be made out of the fact that
the women in Hades are introduced before the men, inasmuch as they
would themselves have been more likely to put the men before the women,
and can understand that a male writer would be attracted in the first
instance by the female shades. When women know what I am driving at,
they generally tell me this, but when I have got another woman to sound
them for me, or when I have stalked them warily, I find that they
would rather meet the Virgin Mary, Eve, Queen Elizabeth, Cleopatra,
Sappho, Jane Austen, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Helen of Troy, Zenobia,
and other great women than even Homer and Shakspeare. One comfortable
homely woman with whom I had taken great pains said she could not think
what I meant by asking such questions, but if I wanted to know, she
would as lief meet Mrs. Elizabeth Lazenby as Queen Elizabeth or any
one of them. For my own part, had I to choose a number of shades whom
I would meet, I should include Sappho, Jane Austen, and the authoress
of the _Odyssey_ in my list, but I should probably ask first for Homer,
Shakspeare, Handel, Schubert, Arcangelo Corelli, Purcell, Giovanni
Bellini, Rembrandt, Holbein, De Hooghe, Donatello, Jean de Wespin and
many another man--yet the writer of the _Odyssey_ interests me so
profoundly that I am not sure I should not ask to see her before any of
the others.

I know of no other women writers who have sent their heroes down
to Hades, but when men have done so they deal with men first and
women afterwards. Let us turn to Dante. When Virgil tells him whom
Christ first saved when he descended into Hell, we find that he first
rescued Adam. Not a word is there about Eve. Then are rescued Abel,
Noah, Abraham, David, Jacob and his sons--and lastly, just before
the _et ceteri_--one woman, Rachel. When Virgil has finished, Dante
begins meeting people on his own account. First come Homer, Horace,
Ovid, and Lucan; when these have been disposed of we have Electra,
Hector, Æneas, Cæsar, Camilla, Penthesilea, Latinus, Lavinia, Brutus,
Cato's wife Marcia, Julia, Cornelia, Saladin, Socrates, Plato,
Democritus, Diogenes, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Thales,
Zeno, Dioscorides, Orpheus, Linus, Cicero, Seneca, Euclid, Ptolemy,
Hippocrates, Galen, Avicen, and Averroes. Seven women to twenty-six
men. This list reminds me of Sir John Lubbock's hundred books, I shall
therefore pursue Dante no further; I have given it in full because I do
not like him. So far as I can see the Italians themselves are beginning
to have their doubts about him; "Dante è un falso idolo," has been said
to me more than once lately by highly competent critics.

Let us now look to the _Æneid_. When Æneas and the Sibyl approach the
river Styx, we read:--

     Hue omnis turba ad ripas effusa ruebat
     Matres atque viri, defunctaque corpora vitâ
     Magnanimûm heroum, pueri, innuptæque puellæ,
     Impositique rogis juvenes ante ora parentum.

_Æn_. vi. 305-308.

The women indeed come first, but the _i_ in _viri_ being short Virgil
could not help himself, and the first persons whom he recognises as
individuals are men--namely two of his captains who had been drowned,
Leucaspis and Orontes--and Palinurus. After crossing the Styx he first
passes through the region inhabited by those who have died as infants;
then that by those who have been unjustly condemned to die; then that
by suicides; then that of those who have died for love, where he sees
several women, and among them Dido, who treats him as Ajax treated
Ulysses. The rest of those whom Æneas sees or converses with in Hades
are all men.

Lucian is still more ungallant, for in his dialogues of the dead he
does not introduce a single woman.

One other case alone occurs to me among the many that ought to do so; I
refer to Fielding's _Journey to the next World_. The three first ghosts
whom he speaks to in the coach are men. When he gets to his journey's
end, after a short but most touching scene with his own little daughter
who had died a mere child only a few months before Fielding wrote, and
who is therefore nothing to the point, he continues: "The first spirit
with whom I entered into discourse, was the famous Leonidas of Sparta."
Of course; soldier will greet soldier first. In the next paragraph
one line is given to Sappho, who we are told was singing to the
accompaniment of Orpheus. Then we go on to Homer,[3] Virgil, Addison,
Shakspeare, Betterton, Booth, and Milton.

Defoe, again, being an elderly married man, and wanting to comfort
Robinson Crusoe, can think of nothing better for him than the
companionship of another man, whereon he sends him Friday. A woman
would have sent him an amiable and good-looking white girl whom the
cannibals had taken prisoner from some shipwrecked vessel. This she
would have held as likely to be far more useful to him.

So much to show that the mind of man, unless when he is young and
lovesick, turns more instinctively to man than to woman. And I am
convinced, as indeed every one else is whether he or she knows it
or no, that with the above exception, woman is more interested in
woman. This is how the Virgin Mary has come to be Queen of Heaven, and
practically of more importance than the Trinity itself in the eyes of
the common people in Roman Catholic countries. For the women support
the theologians more than the men do. The male Jews, again, so I am
told, have a prayer in which the men thank God that they were not born
women, and the women, that they were not born men. Each sex believes
most firmly in itself, nor till we have done away with individualism
altogether can we find the smallest reason to complain of this
arrangement. A woman if she attempts an Epic is almost compelled to
have a man for her central figure, but she will minimise him, and will
maximise his wife and daughters, drawing them with subtler hand. That
the writer of the _Odyssey_ has done this is obvious; and this fact
alone should make us incline strongly towards thinking that we are in
the hands not of a man but of a woman.

[1] _Select Letters of Percy Bysshe Shelley_, edited by Richard
Garnett, Kegan Paul Trench & Co., 1882, p. 149.

[2] _Od_. x. 278, 279; cf. _Il_. XXIV. 347, 348.

[3] Talking of _Homer_ Fielding says, "I had the curiosity to ask him
whether he had really writ that poem [the _Iliad_] in detached pieces
and flung it about all over Greece, according to the report that went
of him. He smiled at my question, and asked me whether there appeared
any connection in the poem; for if there did he thought I might answer
for myself." This was first published in 1743, and is no doubt intended
as a reply to Bentley. See Jebb's _Introduction to Homer_, ed. 1888,
note 1 on p. 106.



Not only does the writer shew a markedly greater both interest and
knowledge when dealing with women, but she makes it plain that she
is exceedingly jealous for the honour of her sex, and by consequence
inexorable in her severity against those women who have disgraced it.
Goddesses may do what they like, they are not to be judged by mortal
codes; but a mortal woman who has fallen must die.

No woman throughout the _Odyssey_ is ever laughed at. Women may be
hanged but they must not be laughed at. Men may be laughed at, indeed
Alcinous is hardly mentioned at all except to be made more or less
ridiculous. One cannot say that Menelaus in Books iv. and xv. is being
deliberately made ridiculous, but made ridiculous he certainly is, and
he is treated as a person of far less interest and importance than his
wife is. Indeed Ulysses, Alcinous, Menelaus, and Nestor are all so like
one another that I do not doubt they were drawn from the same person,
just as Ithaca and Scheria are from the same place. Who that person was
we shall never know; nevertheless I would point out that unless a girl
adores her father he is generally, to her, a mysterious powerful being
whose ways are not as her ways. He is feared as a dark room is feared
by children; and if his wife is at all given to laughing at him, his
daughter will not spare him, however much she may cajole and in a way
love him.

But, as I have said, though men may be laughed at, the women are never
taken other than quite seriously. Venus is indeed, made a little
ridiculous in one passage, but she was a goddess, so it does not
matter; besides, the brunt of the ridicule was borne by Mars, and Venus
was instantly readorned and comforted by the Graces. I cannot remember
a single instance of a woman's being made to do anything which she
could not do without loss of dignity--I except, of course, slaves, and
am speaking of the higher social classes.

It has often been observed that the Messenger of the Gods in the
_Iliad_ is always Iris, while in the _Odyssey_ he is no less invariably
Mercury. I incline to attribute this to the author's dislike of the
idea that so noble a lady as Iris should be made to fetch and carry
for anybody. For it is evident Iris was still generally held to have
been the messenger of the gods. This appears from the beginning of
Book xviii., where we are told that Irus's real name was Arnæus, but
that he was called Irus (which is nothing but Iris with a masculine
termination) "because he used to carry messages when any one would send
him." Writers do not fly in the face of current versions unless for
some special reasons of their own.

If, however, a woman has misconducted herself she is to be shewn no
mercy. There are only three cases in point, and one of these hardly
counts inasmuch as the punishment of the guilty woman, Clytemnestra,
was not meted out to her by the authoress herself. The hold, however,
which the story of Clytemnestra's guilt has upon her, the manner
in which she repeatedly recurs to it, her horror at it, but at the
same time her desire to remove as much of the blame as possible
from Clytemnestra's shoulders, convinces me that she acutely feels
the disgrace which Clytemnestra's treachery has inflicted upon all
women "even on the good ones." Why should she be at such pains to
tell us that Clytemnestra was a person of good natural disposition
(iii. 266), and was irreproachable until death had removed the bard
under whose protection Agamemnon had placed her?[1] When she was left
alone--without either husband or guardian, and with an insidious wretch
like Ægisthus beguiling her with his incessant flattery, she yielded,
and there is no more to be said, except that it was very dreadful and
she must be abandoned to her fate. I see Mr. Gladstone has wondered
what should have induced Homer (whom he holds to have written the
_Odyssey_ as well as the _Iliad_) to tell us that Clytemnestra was a
good woman to start with,[2] but with all my respect for his great
services to Homeric literature, I cannot think that he has hit upon
the right explanation. It should not be forgotten, moreover, that this
extenuation of Clytemnestra's guilt belongs to a part of the _Odyssey_
that was engrafted on to the original design--a part in which, as I
shall show later, there was another woman's guilt, which was only not
extenuated because it was absolutely denied in the face of overwhelming
evidence--I mean Penelope's.

The second case in point is that of the woman who stole Eumæus when he
was a child. A few days after she has done this, and has gone on board
the ship with the Phœnician traders, she is killed by Diana, and thrown
overboard to the seals and fishes (xv. 403-484).

The third case is that of the women of Ulysses' household who had
misconducted themselves with the suitors during his absence. We are
told that there were fifty women servants in the house, of whom twelve
alone were guilty. It is curious that the number of servants should
be exactly the same as that of the maidservants in the house of king
Alcinous, and it should be also noted that twelve is a very small
number for the guilty servants, considering that there were over a
hundred suitors, and that the maids seem to have been able to leave
the house by night when they chose to do so (xx. 6-8)--true, we are
elsewhere told that the women had been violated and only yielded under
compulsion, but this makes it more wonderful that they should be so
few--and I may add, more terribly severe to hang them. I think the
laxity of prehistoric times would have prompted a writer who was not
particularly jealous for the honour of woman, to have said that there
were thirty-eight, or even more, guilty, and only twelve innocent. We
must bear in mind on the other hand that when Euryclea brought out the
thirty-eight innocent women to see Ulysses after he had killed the
suitors, Ulysses recognised them all (xxii. 501). The youngest of them
therefore can hardly have been under forty, and so me no doubt were
older--for Ulysses had been gone twenty years.

Now how are the guilty ones treated? A man who was speaking of my
theory that the _Odyssey_ was written by a woman as a mere _mauvaise
plaisanterie_, once told me it was absurd, for the first thing a woman
would have thought of after the suitors had been killed was the dining
room carpet. I said that _mutatis mutandis_ this was the very thing she
did think of.

As soon as Ulysses has satisfied himself that not a single suitor is
left alive, he tells Euryclea to send him the guilty maidservants, and
on their arrival he says to Telemachus, Eumæus and Philœtius (xxii.

  "Begin to bear away the corpses, and make the women help
  you. When you have done this, sponge down the seats and
  tables, till you have set the whole house in order; then
  take the maids outside....and thrust them through with
  your swords."

These orders are faithfully obeyed; the maids help in the work of
removing the bodies and they sponge the chairs and tables till they
are clean--Ulysses standing over them and seeing that they lose no
time. This done, Telemachus (whose mother, we are told (xxii. 426-427)
had never yet permitted him to give orders to the female servants)
takes them outside and hangs them (xxii. 462), as a more dishonourable
death than the one his father had prescribed for them--perhaps also
he may have thought he should have less blood to clean up than if he
stabbed them--but see note on p. 98. The writer tells us in a line
which she borrows in great part from the _Iliad_,[3] that their feet
move convulsively for a short time though not for very long, but her
ideas of the way in which Telemachus hanged them are of the vaguest.
No commentator has ever yet been able to understand it; the only
explanation seems to be that the writer did not understand it herself,
and did not care to do so. Let it suffice that the women were obviously

No man writing in pre-Christian times would have considered the guilt
of the women to require so horrible a punishment. He might have ordered
them to be killed, but he would not have carried his indignation to
the point of making them first clean up the blood of their paramours.
Fierce as the writer is against the suitors, she is far more so against
the women. When the suitors are all killed, Euryclea begins to raise a
cry of triumph over them, but Ulysses checks her. "Hold your tongue,
woman," he says, "it is ill bragging over the bodies of dead men"
(xxii. 411). So also it is ill getting the most hideous service out
of women up to the very moment when they are to be executed; but the
writer seems to have no sense of this; where female honour has been
violated by those of woman's own sex, no punishment is too bad for them.

The other chief characteristics of the _Odyssey_ which incline me
to ascribe it to a woman are a kind of art for art's sake love of a
small lie, and a determination to have things both ways whenever it
suits her purpose. This never seems to trouble her. There the story
is, and the reader may take it or leave it. She loves flimsy disguises
and mystifications that stultify themselves, and mystify nobody. To
go no further than books i. and iii., Minerva in each of these tells
plausible stories full of circumstantial details, about her being on
her way to Temesa with a cargo of iron and how she meant to bring back
copper (i. 184), and again how she was going to the Cauconians on the
following morning to recover a large debt that had been long owing to
her (iii. 366), and then, before the lies she had been at such pains to
concoct are well out of her mouth she reveals herself by flying into
the air in the form of an eagle. This, by the way, she could not well
do in either case if she was in a roofed hall, but might be conceived
as doing if, as I suppose her to have been in both cases, she was in a
roofed cloister that ran round an open court.

There is a flavour of consecutive fifths in these flights,[4] if
indeed they are not downright octaves, and I cannot but think that
the writer would have found a smoother progression open to her if she
had cared to look for one; but letting this pass, the way in which
white lies occur from the first book to the last, the punctiliousness,
omnipresent, with which small religious observances are insisted
upon, coupled with not a little unscrupulousness when these have been
attended to, the respect for gods and omens, and for the _convenances_
generally--all these seem to me to be more characteristic of a woman's
writing than a man's.

The seriousness, again, with which Telemachus is taken, the closeness
with which he adheres to his programme, the precision with which
he invariably does what his father, his mother, Minerva, or any
responsible person tells him that he should do, except in one passage
which is taken almost _verbatim_ from the _Iliad_,[5] the way in
which Minerva beautifies him and preaches to him; the unobtrusive but
exemplary manner in which he discharges all his religious, moral, and
social duties--all seem to me to point in the direction of thinking
that the writer is a woman and a young one.

How does Minerva preach to him? When he has washed his hands in the sea
he prays that she will help him on his intended voyage in search of
news concerning his father. The goddess then comes up to him disguised
as Mentor, and speaks as follows:

  "Telemachus, if you are made of the same stuff as your
  father you will be neither fool or coward henceforward,
  for Ulysses never broke his word nor left his work half
  done. If, then, you take after him your voyage will not
  be fruitless, but unless you have the blood of Ulysses
  and Penelope in your veins I see no likelihood of your
  succeeding. 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" (ii.

Hence the grandmotherly reputation which poor Mentor is never likely to
lose. It was not Mentor but Minerva. The writer does not make Minerva
say that daughters were rarely as good women as their mothers were. I
had a very dear kind old aunt who when I was a boy used to talk to me
just in this way. "Unstable as water," she would say, "thou shalt not
excel." I almost heard her saying it (and more to the same effect) when
I was translating the passage above given. My uncles did not talk to me
at all in the same way.

I may add parenthetically here, but will deal with the subject more
fully in a later chapter, that all the time Minerva was lecturing
Telemachus she must have known that his going would be worse than
useless, inasmuch as Ulysses was, by her own arrangements, on the
very eve of his return; and indeed he was back again in Ithaca before
Telemachus got home.

See, again, the manner in which Penelope scolds him in Book xviii. 215
&c., for having let Ulysses and Irus fight. She says:--

  "Telemachus, I fear you are no longer so discreet and
  well conducted as you used to be. When you were younger
  you had a greater sense of propriety; now, however,
  that you are grown up, though a stranger to look at you
  would take you for the son of a well-to-do father as far
  as size and good looks go, your conduct is by no means
  what it should have been. What is all this disturbance
  that has been going on, and how came you to allow a
  stranger to be so disgracefully ill-treated? What would
  have happened if he had suffered serious injury while a
  suppliant in our house? Surely this would have been very
  discreditable to you."

I do not believe any man could make a mother rebuke her son so

Again, the fidelity with which people go on crying incessantly for a
son who has been lost to them for twenty years, though they have still
three sons left,[6] or for a brother whom they have never even seen,[7]
is part and parcel of that jealousy for the sanctity of domestic life,
in respect of which women are apt to be more exacting than men.

And yet in spite of all this the writer makes Telemachus take no
pains to hide the fact that his grievance is not so much the alleged
ill-treatment of his mother, nor yet the death of his father, as the
hole which the extravagance of the suitors is making in his own pocket.
When demanding assistance from his fellow countrymen, he says, of the
two great evils that have fallen upon his house:--

  "The first of these is the loss of my excellent father,
  who was chief among all you here present and was like
  a father to every one of you. The second is much more
  serious, and ere long will be the utter ruin of my
  estate. The sons of all the chief men among you are
  pestering my mother to marry them against her will. They
  are afraid to go to her father Icarius, asking him to
  choose the one he likes best, and to provide marriage
  gifts for his daughter, but day after day they keep
  hanging about my father's house, sacrificing our oxen,
  sheep, and fat goats for their banquets, and never giving
  so much as a thought to the quantity of wine they drink.
  No estate can stand such recklessness (ii. 46-48)."

Moreover it is clear throughout Books iii. and iv., in which Telemachus
is trying to get news of his father, that what he really wants is
evidence of his death, not of his being alive, though this may only
be because he despairs of the second alternative. The indignation
of Telemachus on the score of the extravagance of the suitors is
noticeably shared by the writer all through the poem; she is furious
about it; perhaps by reason of the waste she saw going on in her
father's house. Under all she says on this head we seem to feel the
rankling of a private grievance, and it often crosses my mind that in
the suitors she also saw the neighbours who night after night came
sponging on the reckless good nature of Alcinous, to the probable
eventual ruin of his house.

Woman, religion, and money are the three dominant ideas in the mind
of the writer of the _Odyssey_. In the _Iliad_ the _belli causa_ is a
woman, money is a detail, and man is most in evidence. In the _Odyssey_
the _belli causa_ is mainly money, and woman is most in evidence--often
when she does not appear to be so--just as in the books of the _Iliad_
in which the Trojans are supposed to be most triumphant over the
Achæans, it is the Trojans all the time whose slaughter is most dwelt

It is strange that the _Odyssey_, in which money is so constantly
present to the mind of the writer, should show not even the faintest
signs of having been written from a business point of view, whereas the
_Iliad_, in which money appears but little, abounds with evidence of
its having been written to take with a certain audience whom the writer
both disliked and despised--and hence of having been written with an
eye to money.

I will now proceed to the question whether Penelope is being, if I may
say so, whitewashed. Is the version of her conduct that is given us
in the _Odyssey_ the then current one, or is the writer manipulating
a very different story, and putting another face on it--as all poets
are apt to do with any story that they are re-telling? Tennyson, not
to mention many earlier writers, has done this with the _Arthurian
Legends_, the original form of which takes us into a moral atmosphere
as different as can well be conceived from the one we meet with in the
_Idylls of the King_.

There is no improbability (for other instances will occur to the reader
so readily that I need not quote them) in the supposition that the
writer of the _Odyssey_ might choose to recast a story which she deemed
insulting to her sex, as well as disgusting in itself; the question
is, has she done so or not? Do traces of an earlier picture show up
through the one she has painted over it, so distinctly as to make it
obvious what the original picture represented? If they do not, I will
give up my case, but if they do, I shall hold it highly improbable that
a man in the Homeric age would undertake the impossible task of making
Penelope at the same time plausible and virtuous. I am afraid I think
he would be likely to make her out blacker than the last poet who had
treated the subject, rather than be at any pains to whiten her.

Least of all would Homer himself have been prompted to make Penelope
out better than report says she was. He would not have cared whether
she was better or worse. He is fond of women, but he is also fond of
teasing them, and he shows not the slightest signs of any jealousy for
female honour, or of a desire to exalt women generally. He shows no
more sign of this than he does of the ferocity with which punishment
is inflicted on the women of Ulysses' household--a ferocity which is
in itself sufficient to make it inconceivable that the _Iliad_ and the
_Odyssey_ should be by the same person.

[1] The part about the bard is omitted in my abridgement.

[2] _Studies on Homer and the Homeric age_.--Oxford University Press
1858, p. 28.

[3] _Od_. xxii. 473, _cf_. _Il_. XIII. 573.

[4] I should explain to the non-musical writer that it is forbidden in
music to have consecutive fifths or octaves between the same parts.

[5] _Od_. i. 356-359, _cf_. _Il_. VI. 490-493. The word "war" in the
_Iliad_ becomes "speech" in the _Odyssey_. There is no other change.

[6] _Od_. ii. 15-23.

[7] _Od_. iv. 186-188. Neither of these passages is given in my



It is known that scandalous versions of Penelope's conduct were current
among the ancients; indeed they seem to have prevailed before the
completion of the Epic cycle, for in the _Telegony_, which is believed
to have come next in chronological order after the _Odyssey_, we find
that when Ulysses had killed the suitors he did not go on living with
Penelope, but settled in Thesprotia, and married Callidice, the queen
of the country. He must, therefore, have divorced Penelope, and he
could hardly have done this if he accepted the Odyssean version of
her conduct. According to the author of the _Telegony_, Penelope and
Telemachus go on living in Ithaca, where eventually Ulysses returns
and is killed by Telegonus, a son who had been born to him by Circe.
For further reference to ancient, though a good deal later, scandalous
versions, see _Smith's Dictionary_ under "Penelope."

Let us see what the _Odyssey_ asks us to believe, or rather, swallow.
We are told that more than a hundred young men fall violently in
love, at the same time, with a supposed widow, who before the close
of their suit can hardly have been under forty, and who had a grown
up son--pestering her for several years with addresses that they know
are most distasteful to her. They are so madly in love with her that
they cannot think of proposing to any one else (ii. 205-207) till she
has made her choice. When she has done this they will go; till then,
they will pay her out for her cruel treatment of them by eating her son
Telemachus out of house and home. This, therefore, they proceed to do,
and Penelope, who is a model both wife and mother, suffers agonies of
grief, partly because of the death of her husband, and partly because
she cannot get the suitors out of the house.

One would have thought all she had to do was to bolt the doors as soon
as the suitors had left for the night, and refuse to open them in the
morning; for the suitors never sleep in the same house with Penelope.
They sleep at various places in the town, in the middle of which
Ulysses' house evidently stands, and if they were meek enough to let
themselves be turned out, they would be meek enough to let themselves
be kept out, if those inside showed anything of a firm front. Not one
of them ever sees Penelope alone; when she comes into their presence
she is attended by two respectable female servants who stand on either
side of her, and she holds a screen or veil modestly before her
face--true, she was forty, but neither she nor the poetess seem to
bear this in mind, so we may take it as certain that it was modesty
and nothing else that made her hold up the veil. The suitors were not
men of scrupulous delicacy, and in spite of their devotion to Penelope
lived on terms of improper intimacy with her women servants--none
of whom appear to have been dismissed instantly on detection. It is
a little strange that not one of those suitors who came from a long
distance should have insisted on being found in bed as well as board,
and so much care is taken that not one breath of scandal should
attach to Penelope, that we infer a sense on the writer's part that
it was necessary to put this care well in evidence. I cannot think,
for example, that Penelope would have been represented as nearly so
incredulous about the return of Ulysses in Book xxiii., if she had
been nearly as virtuous as the writer tries to make her out. The
amount of caution with which she is credited is to some extent a gauge
of the thickness of the coat of whitewash which the writer considers
necessary. In all Penelope's devotion to her husband there is an ever
present sense that the lady doth protest too much.

Still stranger, however, is the fact that these ardent passionate
lovers never quarrel among themselves for the possession of their
middle-aged paragon. The survival of the fittest does not seem to
have had any place in their system. They show no signs of jealousy,
but jog along cheek by jowl as a very happy family, aiming spears at
a mark, playing draughts, flaying goats and singeing pigs in the
yard, drinking an untold quantity of wine, and generally holding high
feast. They insist that Penelope should marry somebody, but who the
happy somebody is to be is a matter of no importance.[1] No one seems
to think it essential that she shall marry himself in particular. Not
one of them ever finds out that his case is hopeless and takes his
leave; and thus matters drift on year after year--during all which time
Penelope is not getting any younger--the suitors dying of love for
Penelope, and Penelope dying only to be rid of them.

Granted that the suitors are not less in love with the good cheer they
enjoy at Telemachus's expense, than they are with his mother; but this
mixture of perfect lover and perfect sponger is so impossible that no
one could have recourse to it unless aware that he (or she) was in
extreme difficulty. If men are in love they will not sponge; if they
sponge they are not in love; we may have it either way but not both;
when, therefore, the writer of the _Odyssey_ not only attributes such
impossible conduct to the suitors, but asks us also to believe that a
clever woman could not keep at any rate some few of her hundred lovers
out of the house, although their presence had been for many years
in a high degree distasteful to her, we may know that we are being
hoodwinked as far as the writer can hoodwink us, and shall be very
inclinable to believe that the suitors were not so black, nor Penelope
so white, as we are being given to understand.

As for her being overawed by the suitors, she talks very plainly to
them at times, as for example in xviii. 274-280, and again in xix. 322
where she speaks as though she were perfectly able to get rid of any
suitor who was obnoxious to her.

Over and above this we may infer that the writer who can tell us such
a story with a grave face cannot have even the faintest conception of
the way in which a man feels towards a woman he is in love with, nor
yet much (so far as I may venture to form an opinion) of what women
commonly feel towards the man of their choice; I conclude, therefore,
that she was still very young, and unmarried. At any rate the story
told above cannot have been written by Homer; if it is by a man at all
it must be by some prehistoric Fra Angelico, who had known less in his
youth, or forgotten more in his old age, than the writer of the _Iliad_
is at all likely to have done. If he had still known enough to be able
to write the _Odyssey_, he would have remembered more than the writer
of the _Odyssey_ shows any signs of having ever known.

A man, if he had taken it into his head (as the late Lord Tennyson
might very conceivably have done) to represent Penelope as virtuous
in spite of current scandalous stories to the contrary--a man, would
not have made the suitors a band of lovers at all. He would have seen
at once that this was out of the question, and would have made them
mere marauders, who overawed Penelope by their threats, and were only
held in check by her mother wit and by, say, some three or four covert
allies among the suitors themselves. Do what he might he could not make
the permanent daily presence of the suitors plausible, but it would
be possible; whereas the combination of perfect sponger and perfect
lover which is offered us by the writer of the _Odyssey_ is grotesquely
impossible, nor do I imagine that she would have asked us to accept it,
but for her desire to exalt her sex by showing how a clever woman can
bring any number of men to her feet, hoodwink them, spoil them, and in
the end destroy them. This, however, is surely a woman's theme rather
than a man's--at least I know of no male writer who has attempted
anything like it.

We have now seen the story as told from Penelope's point of view; let
us proceed to hear it from that of the suitors. We find this at the
beginning of Book ii., and I will give Antinous's speech at fuller
length than I have done in my abridgement. After saying that Penelope
had for years been encouraging every single suitor by sending him
flattering messages (in which, by the way, Minerva fully corroborated
him in Book xiii. 379-381) he continues:--

"And then there was that other trick she played us. She set up a
great tambour frame in her room, and began to work on an enormous
piece of fine needlework. 'Sweethearts,' said she, 'Ulysses is indeed
dead, still, do not press me to marry again immediately; wait--for I
would not have my skill in needlework perish unrecorded--till I have
completed a pall for the hero Laertes, to be ready against the time
when death shall take him. He is very rich, and the women of the place
will talk if he is laid out without a pall.'

"This was what she said, and we assented; whereon we could see her,
working on her great web all day, but at night she would unpick the
stiches again by torchlight. 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.

"The suitors, therefore, make you this answer, that both you and the
Achæans may understand: 'Send your mother away, and bid her marry the
man of her own and her father's choice,' for I do not know what will
happen if she goes on plaguing us much longer with the airs she gives
herself on the score of the accomplishments Minerva has taught her,
and because she is so clever. 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. It was not fair of
her to treat us in that way, and as long as she continues in the mind
with which heaven has now endowed her, so long shall we go on eating up
your estate; and I do not see why she should change, for it is she who
gets the honour and glory, and it is you, not she, who lose all this
substance. We however, will not go about our business, nor anywhere
else, till she has made her choice and married some one or other of us"
(ii. 93-128).

Roughly, then, the authoress's version is that Penelope is an injured
innocent, and the suitors', that she is an artful heartless flirt who
prefers having a hundred admirers rather than one husband. Which comes
nearest, not to the truth--for we may be sure the suitors could have
said a great deal more than the writer chooses to say they said--but to
the original story which she was sophisticating, and retelling in a way
that was more to her liking? The reader will have noted that on this
occasion the suitors seem to have been in the house after nightfall.

We cannot forget that when Telemachus first told Miranda about the
suitors, he admitted that his mother had not point blank said that she
would not marry again. "She does not," he says, "refuse the hateful
marriage, nor yet does she bring matters to an end" (i. 249, 250).
Apparently not; but if not, why not? Not to refuse at once is to court
courtship, and if she had not meant to court it she seems to have been
adept enough in the art of hoodwinking men to have found some means of
"bringing the matter to an end."

Sending pretty little messages to her admirers was not exactly the way
to get rid of them. Did she ever try snubbing? Nothing of the kind is
placed on record. Did she ever say, "Well Antinous, whoever else I
may marry, you may make your mind easy that it will not be you." Then
there was boring--did she ever try that? Did she ever read them any of
her grandfather's letters? Did she sing them her own songs, or play
them music of her own composition? I have always found these courses
successful when I wanted to get rid of people. There are indeed signs
that something had been done in this direction, for the suitors say
that they cannot stand her high art nonsense and æsthetic rhodomontade
any longer, but it is more likely she had been trying to attract than
to repel. Did she set them by the ears by repeating with embellishments
what they had said to her about one another? Did she ask Antinous or
Eurymachus to sit to her for her web--give them a good stiff pose, make
them stick to it, and talk to them all the time? Did she find errands
for them to run, and then scold them, and say she did not want them?
or make them do commissions for her and forget to pay them, or keep on
sending them back to the shop to change things, and they had given ever
so much too much money and she wished she had gone and done it herself?
Did she insist on their attending family worship? In a word, did she do
a single one of the thousand things so astute a matron would have been
at no loss to hit upon if she had been in earnest about not wishing to
be courted? With one touch of common sense the whole fabric crumbles
into dust.

Telemachus in his rejoinder to the suitors does not deny a single one
of their facts. He does not deny that his mother had been in the habit
of sending them encouraging messages, nor does he attempt to explain
her conduct about the web. This, then, being admitted, and it being
also transparent that Penelope had used no due diligence in sending
her lovers to the right about, can we avoid suspecting that there is a
screw loose somewhere, and that a story of very different character is
being manipulated to meet the exigencies of the writer? And shall we go
very far wrong if we conclude that according to the original version,
Penelope picked out her web, not so much in order to delay a hateful
marriage, as to prolong a very agreeable courtship?

It was no doubt because Laertes saw what was going on that he went to
live in the country and left off coming into the town (i. 189, 190),
and Penelope probably chose the particular form her work assumed in
order to ensure that he should not come near her. Why could she not set
about making a pall for somebody else? Was Laertes likely to continue
calling, when every time he did so he knew that Euryclea would only
tell him her mistress was upstairs working at his pall, but she would
be down directly? Do let the reader try and think it out a little for

As for Laertes being so badly off as Anticlea says he was in Book xi.,
there is not one grain of truth in that story. The writer had to make
him out poor in order to explain his not having interfered to protect
Penelope, but Penelope's excuse for making her web was that he was a
man of large property. It is the same with the suitors. When it is
desired to explain Telemachus's not having tried in some way to recover
from them, they are so poor that it would be a waste of money to sue
them; when, on the other hand, the writer wants Penelope to air her
woman's wit by getting presents out of them (xviii. 274-280), just
before Ulysses kills them, they have any amount of money. One day more,
and she would have been too late. The writer knew that very well, but
she was not going to let Penelope lose her presents. She evidently
looks upon man as fair game, which male writers are much less apt to
do. Of course the first present she receives is a new dress.

Returning to Laertes, he must have had money, or how could Ulysses
be so rich? Where did Ulysses' money come from? He could hardly have
made much before he went to Troy, and he does not appear to have sent
anything home thence. Nothing has been heard from him, and in Book
x.,[2] he appears to be bringing back his share of the plunder with
him--in which case it was lost in the shipwreck off the coast of the
Thrinacian island. He seems to have had a dowry of some kind with
Penelope, for Telemachus says that if he sends his mother away he shall
have to refund it to his grandfather Icarius, and urges this fact as
one of the reasons for not sending her (ii. 132, 133); the greater
part, however, of Ulysses' enormous wealth must have come to him from
Laertes, who we may be sure kept more for himself than he gave to his
son. What, then, had become of all this money--for Laertes seems to
have been a man of very frugal habits? The answer is that it was still
in Laertes' hands, and the reason for his never coming to town now
was partly, no doubt, the pall; partly the scandalous life which his
daughter was leading; but mainly the writer's inability to explain his
non-interference unless she got him out of the way.

The account, again, which Ulysses' mother gives him in Hades (xi.
180, &c.) of what is going on in Ithaca shows a sense that there
is something to conceal. She says not one word about the suitors.
All she says is that Telemachus has to see a good deal of company,
which is only reasonable seeing that he is a magistrate and is asked
out everywhere himself (xi. 185-187). Nothing can be more coldly
euphemistic, nor show a fuller sense that there was a good deal more
going on than the speaker chose to say. If Anticlea had believed her
daughter-in-law to be innocent, she would have laid the whole situation
before Ulysses.

It may be maintained that the suitors were not yet come to Ithaca
in force, for the visit to Hades occurs early in the wanderings of
Ulysses, and before his seven years' sojourn with Calypso, so that
Anticlea may really have known nothing about the suitors; but the
writer has forgotten this, and has represented Telemachus as already
arrived at man's estate. In truth, at this point Telemachus was at the
utmost only twelve or thirteen years old, and a children's party was
all the entertainment he need either receive or give. The writer has
made a slip in her chronology, for throughout the poem Telemachus is
represented as only just arriving at man's estate in the twentieth year
of Ulysses' absence. It is evident that in describing the interview
with Anticlea the writer has in her mind the state of things existing
just before Ulysses' return, when the suitors were in full riot. This,
indeed, appears still more plainly lower down, when Agamemnon, also
in Hades, says that Telemachus was a baby in arms when the Trojan war
broke out, and that he must now be grown up (xi. 448, 449).

The silence therefore of Ulysses' mother is wilful so far as the writer
is concerned. She must have conceived of Anticlea as knowing all about
the suitors perfectly well--for she did not die till Telemachus was,
by her own account, old enough to be a magistrate. The explanation
I believe to be, that at the time Book xi. was written, the writer
had as yet no intention of adding Books i.-iv., and from line 187
of Book xiii. to Book xxiv. but proposed to ignore the current
scandalous stories about Penelope, and to say as little as possible
about her. I will deal with this more fully when I come to the genesis
and development of the poem, but may as well say at once that the
difficulty above pointed out will have to remain unexplained except as
a slip in chronology on the part of a young writer who was piecing new
work on to old. Any one but the writer herself would have seen it and
avoided it; indeed it is quite possible that she came to see it, and
did not think it worth her while to be at the trouble of altering it.
If this is so I, for one, shall think none the worse of her.

[1] _Od_. ii. 127-128 and 203-207.

[2] _Od_. x. 40, this passage is not given in my abridgement.



The question whether or no the writer of the _Odyssey_ is putting
her own construction on grosser versions of Penelope's conduct
current among her countrymen, has such an important bearing on that
of the writer's sex, that I shall bring further evidence to show
how impossible she finds it to conceal the fact that those who knew
Penelope best had no confidence in her.

Minerva with quick womanly instinct took in the situation at a glance,
and went straight to the point. On learning from Telemachus that
Penelope did not at once say she would not marry again, she wastes no
words, but says promptly, "If your mother's mind is set on marrying
again" (and surely this implies that the speaker had no doubt that
it was so set) "let her go back to her father" (i. 276). From this
we may infer that Minerva had not only formed her own opinion about
Penelope's intentions, but saw also that she meant taking her time
about the courtship, and was not likely to be brought to the point by
any measures less decisive than sending her back to her father's house.

We know, moreover, what Minerva thought of Penelope from another
source. Minerva appears to Telemachus in a dream when he is staying
with King Menelaus, and gives him to understand that his mother is on
the point of marrying Eurymachus, one of the suitors (xv. 1-42). This
was (so at least we are intended to suppose) a wanton falsehood on
Minerva's part. Nevertheless if the matter had ended there, nothing
probably would have pleased Telemachus better; for in spite of his
calling the marriage "hateful," there can be no question that he would
have been only too thankful to get his mother out of the house, if
she would go of her own free will. Penelope says he was continually
urging her to marry and go, on the score of the expense he was being
put to by the protracted attentions of the suitors (xix. 530-534).
Penelope indeed seems to have been such an adept at lying that it is
very difficult to know when to believe her, but Telemachus says enough
elsewhere to leave no doubt that, in spite of a certain decent show of
reluctance, he would have been glad that his mother should go.

Unfortunately Minerva's story does not end with saying that Penelope
means marrying Eurymachus; she adds that in this case she will probably
steal some of Telemachus's property. She says to him:--

  "You know what women are; they always want to do the
  best they can for the man who is married to them at
  the moment. They forget all about their first husband
  and the children that they have had by him. Go home,
  therefore, at once, and put everything in charge of the
  most respectable housekeeper you can find, until it shall
  please heaven to send you a wife of your own" (xv. 20-26).

This passage not only betrays a want of confidence in Penelope which
is out of keeping with her ostensible antecedents, but it goes far to
show that Minerva had read the _Cypria_, in which poem (now lost) we
are told that Helen did exactly what is here represented as likely to
be done by Penelope; but leaving this, surely if Penelope's antecedents
had been such as the writer wishes us to accept, Telemachus would have
made a very different answer to the one he actually made. He would have
said, "My dear Minerva, what a word has escaped the boundary of your
teeth. My mother steal my property and go off with an unprincipled
scoundrel like Eurymachus? No one can know better than yourself that
she is the last woman in the world to be capable of such conduct." And
then he would have awoke as from a hideous dream.

What, however, happens in reality? Telemachus does indeed wake up (xv.
43) in great distress, but it is about his property, not about his
mother. "Who steals my mother steals trash, but whoso filches from me
my family heirlooms &c." He kicks poor Pisistratus to wake him, and
says they must harness the horses and be off home at once. Pisistratus
rejoins that it is pitch dark; come what may they must really wait
till morning. Besides, they ought to say good bye to Menelaus, and get
a present out of him; he will be sure to give them one, if Telemachus
will not be in such an unreasonable hurry. Can anything show more
clearly what was the inner mind both of Minerva and Telemachus about
Penelope--and also what kind of ideas the audience had formed about her?

How differently, again, do Minerva and Telemachus regard the stealing.
Telemachus feels it acutely and at once. Minerva takes it as a matter
of course--but then the property was not hers. The authoress of the
_Odyssey_ is never severe about theft. Minerva evidently thinks it
not nice of Penelope to want to marry again before it is known for
certain that Ulysses is dead, but she explains that Eurymachus has been
exceeding all the other suitors in the magnificence of his presents,
and has lately increased them (xv. 17, 18). After all, Penelope had
a right to please herself, and as long as she was going to be _bonâ
fide_ married, she might steal as much as she could, without loss of
dignity or character. The writer put this view into Minerva's mouth as
a reasonable one for a woman to take. So perhaps it was, but it is not
a man's view.

Here I will close my case--as much of it, that is to say, as I have
been able to give in the space at my disposal--for the view that
the writer of the _Odyssey_ was whitewashing Penelope. As, however,
we happen to be at Lacedæmon let me say what more occurs to me in
connection with the visit of Telemachus to King Menelaus that bears on
the question whether the writer is a man or a woman.

When Telemachus and Nestor's son Pisistratus reached Lacedæmon at the
beginning of Book iv., Menelaus was celebrating the double marriage of
his son Megapenthes and of his daughter Hermione. The writer says:--

  ....they reached the low lying city of Lacedæmon, where
  they drove straight to the abode of Menelaus, [and found
  him in his own house feasting with his many clansmen in
  honour of the wedding of his son, and also that of his
  daughter whom he was giving in marriage to the son of
  that valiant warrior Achilles. He had given his consent
  and promised her to him while he was still at Troy, and
  now the gods were bringing the marriage about, so he was
  sending her with chariots and horses to the city of the
  Myrmidons over whom Achilles' son was reigning. For his
  only son he had found a bride from Sparta, the daughter
  of Alector. This son, Megapenthes, was born to him of
  a bondwoman, for heaven had vouchsafed Helen no more
  children after she had borne Hermione who was fair as
  golden Venus herself (iv. 1-14).]

I have enclosed part of the above quotation in brackets not because I
have any doubt that the whole of it is by the same hand as the rest
of the poem, but because I am convinced that the bracketed lines were
interpolated by the writer after her work had been completed, or at
any rate after Books iv. and xv. had assumed their present shape. The
reason for the interpolation I take to be that she could not forgive
herself for having said nothing about Hermione, whose non-appearance
in Book xv. and in the rest of Book iv. she now attempts to explain
by interpolating the passage above quoted, and thus making her quit
Lacedæmon for good and all at the very beginning of this last named
book. But whatever the cause of the interpolation may have been, an
interpolation it certainly is, for nothing can be plainer from the rest
of Book iv. than that there were no festivities going on, and that the
only guests were uninvited ones--to wit Telemachus and Pisistratus.

True, the writer tried to cobble the matter by introducing lines
621-624, which in our texts are always inclosed in brackets as
suspected--I suppose because Aristarchus marked them with _obeli_,
though he did not venture to exclude them. The cobble, however, only
makes things worse, for it is obviously inadequate, and its abruptness
puzzles the reader.

Accepting, then, lines 2-19 and 621-624 of Book iv. as by the writer
of the rest of the poem, the reader will note how far more interesting
she finds the marriage of Hermione than that of Megapenthes--of whose
bride, by the way, there is no trace in Book xv. The marriage of the
son is indeed mentioned in the first instance before that of the
daughter; but surely this is only because υἱέος ἠδὲ θυγατρός lends
itself more readily to a hexameter verse than any transposition of
the nouns would do. Having mentioned that both son and daughter are to
be married, the writer at once turns to Hermione, and appears only to
marry Megapenthes because, as his sister is being married, he may as
well be married too. A male writer would have married Megapenthes first
and Hermione afterwards; nor would he have thought it worth while to
make a very awkward interpolation in his poem merely in order to bring
Hermione into it, for by this time she must have been over thirty, and
it would have been easy to suppose that she had been married years ago
during Menelaus's absence.

As regards the second and shorter interpolation (iv. 621-624), it
refers to the day after the pretended marriages, and runs as follows:--

  Thus did they converse [and guests kept coming to the
  king's house. They brought sheep and wine, while their
  wives had put up bread for them to take with them. So
  they were busy cooking their dinners in the courts.]

Passing over the fact that on such a great occasion as the marriage of
his son and daughter, Menelaus would hardly expect his guests to bring
their own provisions with them (though he might expect them as Alcinous
did[1] to do their own cooking) I would ask the reader to note that the
writer cannot keep the women out even from a mere cobble. A man might
have told us that the guests brought meat and wine and bread, but his
mind would not instinctively turn to the guests' wives putting up the
bread for them.

I say nothing about the discrepancy between the chronology of
Telemachus's visit to Sparta, and of Ulysses' journey from the island
of Calypso to Ithaca where he arrives one day before Telemachus does.
The reader will find it dwelt on in Colonel Mure's _Language and
Literature of Ancient Greece_, Vol. I., pp. 439, 440. I regard it as
nothing more than a slip on the part of a writer who felt that such
slips are matters of very small importance; but I will call attention
to the manner in which the gorgeousness of Menelaus's establishment
as described in Book iv. has collapsed by the time we reach Book xv.,
though as far as I can determine the length of Telemachus's stay with
Menelaus, the interval between the two books should not exceed one
entire day.

When Telemachus has informed Menelaus that he must go home at once,
Menelaus presses his guests to stay and have something to eat before
they start; this, he tells them, will be not only more proper and more
comfortable for them, but also cheaper.

We know from _Il_. VII. 470-475 that Menelaus used to sell wine when
he was before Troy, as also did Agamemnon, but there is a frank
_bourgoisie_ about this invitation which a male writer would have
avoided. Still franker, however, is the offer of Menelaus to take them
on a personally conducted tour round the Peloponesus. It will be very
profitable, for no one will send them away empty handed; every one will
give them either a bronze tripod or a cauldron, or two mules, or a gold
chalice (xv. 75-85). As for the refreshments which they are to have
immediately, the king explains that they will have to take potluck, but
says he will tell the women to see that there is enough for them, of
what there might happen to be in the house.

That is just like Menelaus's usual fussiness. Why could he not have
left it all to Helen? After reading the _Odyssey_ I am not surprised
at her having run away with Paris; the only wonder is that a second
great war did not become necessary very shortly after the Trojan matter
had been ended. Surely the fact that two young bachelors were going to
stay and dine was not such a frightful discord but that it might have
been taken unprepared, or at any rate without the monarch's personal
interference. "Of what there may be in the house" indeed. We can see
that the dinner is not going to be profusely sumptuous. If there did
not happen to be anything good in the house--and I suspect this to
have been the case--Menelaus should have trusted Helen to send out
and get something. But there should have been no sending out about
it; Menelaus and Helen ought never to have had a meal without every
conceivable delicacy.

What a come down, again, is there not as regards the butler Eteoneus.
He was not a real butler at all--he was only a kind of char-butler;
he did not sleep in the house (xv. 96), and for aught we know may
have combined a shop round the corner with his position in Menelaus'
household. Worse than this, he had no footman, not even a boy, under
him, for Menelaus tells him to light the fire and set about cooking
dinner (xv. 97, 98), which he proceeds to do without one syllable of
remonstrance. What has become of Asphaliou? Where are the men servants
who attended to Telemachus and Pisistratus on their arrival? They
have to yoke their own horses now. The upper and under women servants
who appear at all Odyssean meals are here as usual, but we hear
nothing more of Adraste, Alcippe, and Phylo. It seems as though after
describing the splendour of Menelaus's house in Book iv. the writer's
nerve has failed her, and by Book xv. her instinctive thrift has
re-asserted itself.

And now let me return, as I said in Chapter IV. that I intended doing,
to the very singular--for I do not like to say feminine--nature of
the arrangements made by Minerva for her protégé in the matter of his
voyage to Pylos and Lacedæmon.

When Minerva first suggested it to him, she knew that Ulysses was on
the point of starting from Calypso's island for Scheria, and would
be back in Ithaca almost immediately. Yet she must needs choose
this particular moment, of all others, for sending Telemachus on a
perilons voyage in quest of news concerning him. We have seen how she
preached to him; but surely if Telemachus had known that she was all
the time doing her very utmost to make his voyage useless, he might
have retorted with some justice that whether he was going to be a
fool henceforward or no, he should not make such a fool of any young
friend of his own as she was now making of himself. Besides, he was to
be away, if necessary, for twelve months; yet here before he has been
gone more than four or five days, Minerva fills him with an agony of
apprehension about his property and sends him post haste back to Ithaca

The authoress seems to have felt the force of this, for in xiii.
416-419 she makes Ulysses remonstrate with Minerva in this very sense,
and ask:--

"Why did you not tell him, for you know all about it? Did you want him,
too, to go sailing about amid all kinds of hardships when others were
eating up his estate?"

Minerva answered, "Do not trouble yourself about him. I sent him that
he might be well spoken about for having gone. He is in no sort of
difficulty, but is staying comfortably with Menelaus, and is surrounded
with abundance of every kind. The suitors have put out to sea and are
on the watch for him, for they mean to kill him before he can got home.
I do not much think they will succeed, but rather that some of those
who are now eating up your estate will first find a grave themselves."

What she ought to have said was:--

  "You stupid man, can you not understand that my poetess
  had set her heart on bringing Helen of Troy into her
  poem, and could not see her way to this without sending
  Telemachus to Sparta? I assure you that as soon as ever
  he had interviewed Helen and Menelaus, I took--or will
  take, for my poetess's chronology puzzles my poor head
  dreadfully--stops to bring him back at once."

At the end of Book iv. Penelope shows a like tendency to complain of
the manner in which she is kept in the dark about information that
might easily have been vouchsafed to her.

Minerva has sent her a vision in the likeness of her sister Ipthime.
This vision comes to Penelope's bedside and tells her that her son
shall come safely home again. She immediately says:--

"If, then, you are a goddess, or have heard news from Heaven tell me
about that other unhappy one. Is he still alive, or is he dead and in
the house of Hades?"

And the vision answered, "I shall not tell you for certain whether he
is alive or dead, and there is no use in idle conversation."

On this it vanished through the thong-hole of the door.

I may add that I never quite understood the fastening of the Odyssean
bedroom door, till I found my bedroom at the Hotel Centrale, Trapani,
fastened in the Odyssean manner.

[1] _Od_. viii. 38-40, _cf_. also 61. It would seem that Alcinous found
the provisions which the poorer guests cooked for themselves and ate
outside in the court yards. The magnates ate in the covered cloister,
and were no doubt cooked for.



I will now touch briefly on the principal passages, over and above
large general considerations and the details to which I have already
called attention, which seem to me to suggest a woman's hand rather
than a man's. I shall omit countless more doubtful instances, many of
which the reader will have noted, or easily discover.

At the very outset of the poem (i. 13) the writer represents Ulysses as
longing to get back to his wife. He had stayed a whole year with Circe,
and but for the remonstrances of his men would have stayed no one can
say how much longer. He had stayed seven years with Calypso, and seems
to have remained on excellent terms with her until the exigencies of
the poem made it necessary to send him back to Ithaca. Surely a man of
his sagacity might have subtracted Calypso's axe and auger, cut down
the trees at the far end of the island, and made his raft years ago
without her finding out anything about it; for she can hardly have
wanted either axe or auger very often.

As for the provisions, if Ulysses was not capable of accumulating a
private hoard, his cunning has been much overrated. If he had seriously
wanted to get back to Penelope his little cunning that is put in
evidence would have been exercised in this direction. I am convinced,
therefore, that though the authoress chooses to pretend that Ulysses
was dying to get back to Penelope, she knew perfectly well that he
was in no great hurry to do so; she was not, however, going to admit
anything so derogatory to the sanctity of married life, or at any rate
to the power which a wife has over her husband.

       *       *       *       *       *

An older woman might have been at less pains to conceal the fact that
Penelope's hold on Ulysses was in reality very slight, but the writer
of the _Odyssey_ is nothing if she is not young, self-willed, and
unmarried. No matron would set herself down to write the _Odyssey_ at
all. She would have too much sense, and too little daring. She would
have gained too much--and lost too greatly in the gaining. The poem is
such a _tour de force_ as none but a high-spirited, headstrong girl
who had been accustomed to have her own way would have attempted, much
less carried to such a brilliantly successful conclusion; I cannot,
therefore, conceive the writer as older than the original of the
frontispiece at the beginning of this book--if indeed she was so old.

       *       *       *       *       *

The very beautiful lines in which the old nurse Euryclea lights
Telemachus to bed, and folds up his clothes for him (i. 428-442),
suggest a woman's hand rather than a man's. So also does the
emphasising Laertes' respect for his wife's feelings (i. 430-433).
This jealousy for a wife's rights suggests a writer who was bent
on purifying her age, and upholding a higher ideal as regards the
relations between husband and wife than a man in the Homeric age would
be likely to insist on.

       *       *       *       *       *

The price paid for Euryclea (i. 431) is, I do not doubt, a rejoinder
to the Iliadic insults of XXIII. 262-264, in which a woman and a
tripod are put up in one lot as a prize, and also of XXIII. 702-705,
in which a tripod is represented as worth twelve oxen, and a good
serviceable maid of all work only four oxen. A matron would have let
Homer's passage severely alone, and a man would not have resented it so
strongly as to make him write at it by declaring Euryclea to have been
bought for twenty oxen.

       *       *       *       *       *

An Iliadic passage of some length is interrupted (iii. 448-455) for
the purpose of bringing in Nestor's wife and daughters, and describing
their delight at seeing a heifer killed; the Iliadic passage is then
resumed. A man, or older woman, once launched on an Iliadic passage
would have stuck to it till it failed them. They would not have cared
whether the ladies of Nestor's household liked seeing the heifer killed
or no.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Helen mixes Nepenthe with the wine which was to be handed round
to Menelaus, Telemachus, and Pisistratus, we learn its virtues to be
so powerful that a man could not weep during all the day on which he
had drunk it, not even though he had lost both his father and his
mother, or had seen a brother or a son cut to pieces before his eyes
(iv. 220-226). From the order in which these relationships present
themselves to the writer's mind I opine that her father and mother were
the most important persons in her world, and hence that she was still
young and unmarried.

       *       *       *       *       *

A little lower we find Helen more or less penitent for having run away
with Paris. Helen was Jove's own daughter, and therefore had a right to
do pretty much as she chose; still it was held better to redeem her as
far as possible, by making her more or less contrite. The contrition,
however, is of a very curious kind. It was Venus, it seems, who ought
to be penitent for having done Helen so great a wrong. It is the wrong
that has been done to her that she laments, rather than any misdoing of
her own.

       *       *       *       *       *

Is a man, or matron, likely to have conceived the idea of making Helen
walk round the wooden horse, pat it, call out the names of the heroes
who were inside, and mimick the voices of their wives (iv. 274-279)?
Ulysses must have told her that the horse was coming, and what it would
contain, when he entered Troy in disguise and talked with her. A man
might have made Helen walk round the horse, pat it, and even call out
the names of the heroes, but he would never have thought of making her
mimick their wives.

       *       *       *       *       *

The writer finds the smell of fish intolerable, and thinks it necessary
to relieve Menelaus and his three men from a distressing situation,
by getting Idothea to put some scent under each man's nostrils (iv.
441-446). There is, however, an _arrière pensée_ here to which I will
call attention later (see Chapter XII. near the end). Very daughterly
also is the pleasure which Idothea evidently feels in playing a trick
upon her father. Fathers are fair game--at all events for young

       *       *       *       *       *

The whole of iv. 625-847 is strongly suggestive of a woman's writing,
but I cannot expect any one to admit this without reading either the
original or some complete translation.

       *       *       *       *       *

Calypso's jealously of Penelope (v. 203, &c.) is too prettily done for
a man. A man would be sure to overdo it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Book vi. is perhaps the loveliest in the whole poem, but I can hardly
doubt that if it were given to a _Times_ critic of to-day as an
anonymous work, and he was told to determine the sex of the writer
he would ascribe it to a young unmarried woman without a moment's
hesitation. Let the reader note how Nausicaa has to keep her father up
to having a clean shirt on when he ought to have one (vi. 60), whereas
her younger brothers appear to keep her up to having one for them when
they want one. These little touches suggest drawing from life by a
female member of Alcinous' own family who knew his little ways from
behind the scenes.

Take, again, the scene in which Ulysses first meets Nausicaa. A girl,
such a girl as Nausicaa herself, young, unmarried, unattached, and
without knowledge of what men commonly feel on such points, having by a
cruel freak of fortune got her hero into such an awkward predicament,
might conceivably imagine that he would argue as the writer of the
_Odyssey_ has made Ulysses do, but no man, except such a woman's tailor
as could never have written the _Odyssey_, would have got his hero into
such an undignified position at all, much less have made him talk as
Ulysses is made to talk.

How characteristic, again, of the man-hatress is Nausicaa's attempt to
make out that in Ulyssses she had found a man to whom she really might
become attached--if there were no obstacle to their union.

       *       *       *       *       *

I find it hard to pass over Book vii., especially line 230, &c., where
Arete wants to know how Ulysses came by his clothes, and 294, in which
it is said that young people are apt to be thoughtless. Surely this is
a girl giving a rap on the knuckles to older people, by echoing what
she is accustomed to hear them say.

       *       *       *       *       *

In Book viii. the games, which are no doubt suggested by those in _Il_.
XXIII. are merely labelled "sports," not a single detail being given
except that Ulysses' disc made a sound of some sort as it went through
the air (viii. 190), which I do not believe it would do. In the _Iliad_
details are given of every contest, and the games do not take place as
they do in the _Odyssey_ immediately after a heavy meal, from which we
can hardly suppose that the competitors would be excluded.

I say nothing about the modesty of the female goddesses in not coming
to see Mars and Venus caught in the toils of Vulcan (viii. 324), nor
yet about the lovely new dress with which the Graces consoled Venus
when she had been liberated (viii. 366), for I have omitted the whole
of this episode in my abridgement.

       *       *       *       *       *

The love of her own home and parents which is so obvious throughout
the poem is never more apparent than in the speech of Ulysses (ix.
34-36). He says that however fine a house a man may have in a foreign
land, he can never be really happy away from his father and mother. How
different this from the saying which Aristophanes puts into the mouth
of Mercury (_Plut_. 1151) to the effect that a man's fatherland is any
place in which he is making money; or again from Euripides, who in a
fragment of _Phaethon_ says that a man's fatherland is any land that
will feed him. It is only a young and affectionate girl who could have
made Ulysses (who is not much given to sentiment) speak so warmly.
Middle-aged people, whether men or women, are too much spotted with the
world to be able to say such things. They think as Aristophanes and
Euripides do.

       *       *       *       *       *

In lines 120, 121 of Book ix. the writer tells us that huntsmen as a
general rule will face all sorts of hardship in forest and on mountain
top. This is quite true, but it is not the way in which men speak of

       *       *       *       *       *

As for the Cyclops incident, delightful as it is, it is impossible as a
man or matron's writing. It was very kind of Polyphemus, drunk though
he was, to stay without moving a muscle, till Ulysses and his men had
quite finished boring out his eye with a burning beam that was big
enough for a ship's mast, but Baron Munchausen is the only male writer
who could offer us anything of the kind, and his is not a case in
point. Neither, after all, is Book ix. of the _Odyssey_, for the writer
is not taking Polyphemus seriously.

       *       *       *       *       *

The distress which Polyphemus caused to Ulysses and his men by flinging
down a bundle of firewood is too graphic a touch not to have been
drawn from life. I have often fancied that the whole Cyclops incident
may have been suggested by one of those _merende_, or pic-nics which
Italians and Sicilians are still so fond of, and that the writer of the
_Odyssey_ went with her friends to Pizzolungo and the cave where the
scene is laid, which was then really much what an _alpe_ is now--an
abode of shepherds who made cheese in the cave itself. I like to fancy
(for I know that it is nothing more than fancy) that the writer of the
_Odyssey_ was delighted with all she saw, but that as she was looking
at the milk dishes some huge unkempt shepherd came in with a load of
firewood on his back, and gave a sudden shock to her nervous system
by flinging it down too violently. Him she transformed into the local
giant that exists on Mt. Eryx now under the name of Conturràno.[1]

       *       *       *       *       *

It is very hard to say what the authoress thought that Polyphemus did
in the matter of his ewes and lambs. The lambs were in the yards all
day, for Ulysses' men saw them there and wanted to steal them (ix. 226,
227). Besides, Polyphemus could not have got any milk from the ewes if
their lambs had been with them in the day-time. Having driven the ewes
into his cave (I omit the she-goats for brevity) he milked them, and
then put their lambs with them (ix. 245). The question is, did he take
them away again after they had got what they could from a milked ewe,
or did he leave them with their mothers all night?

On the one hand we have no hint of their removal, which would be a
long and troublesome task; on the other we are told in line 309 that
he milked the ewes in the morning, and again gave each one of them her
lamb; on the evening of the same day he repeats this process (line
342), and he could hardly give the ewes their lambs unless he had first
removed them.

The difficulty is that if he removed them they would certainly die in
a very few days of such diet as Polyphemus allows them, for whatever
he did was κατὰ μοῖραν, according to his usual practice; while if he
did not remove them, he could not have got any milk. Whatever he did,
we may be sure that the writer of the _Odyssey_ had got it wrong, and
there is not much to be gained by trying to find out what she thought,
for it is obvious that she did not think.

I asked my friend, Sigr. Giuseppe Pagoto of Mt. Eryx, what was the
practise of Sicilian shepherds now, and received the following answer:--

In Sicily they do not milk ewes that have lately lambed; they keep the
lambs shut up and take the ewes to feed. In the evening they let the
lambs suck, and then shut them up again. During the night the ewes
make a great deal of milk, and this is again sucked by the lambs in
the morning, and not milked. Our shepherds do not take any of the milk
until the lamb has been killed. Perhaps in those days the pastures
were so abundant that the ewes gave milk enough to nourish the lambs,
and still have some for milking. This is the only way in which what
Polyphemus did can be explained.

I believe the true explanation to be that the shepherd from whose
_alpe_ the scene was in part drawn, drove in a number of ewes some of
which had lambs, while the lambs of others had been already killed and
eaten. The authoress saw the shepherd milk a number of ewes, and then
bring in a number of lambs, but she did not understand that the ewes
which had been milked had got no lambs, while those that had lambs
still living had not been milked. I think she knew she was hazy about
it, otherwise she would not have cut her version short with a πάντα
κατὰ μοῖραν--"all in due course."

       *       *       *       *       *

It being evident that Circe is quite as capable a prophet as Tiresias,
why should poor Ulysses be sent down to Hades? Obviously because the
writer had set her heart on introducing colloquies with the dead.
Granted; but a writer who was less desirous of making out that women
know as much as men would not have made Circe know quite so much.
Why, as soon as Ulysses has returned from Hades, repeat to him the
warning about the cattle of the Sun which Tiresias had given him in
the same words, and add a great deal more of her own? Why, again,
did she not tell Ulysses to be particularly careful to ask Tiresias
about the Wandering Cliffs, in respect of which she had confessed
that her information was deficient? Ulysses does not appear to have
said anything, but he must have thought a good deal. Young people are
impatient of such small considerations. Who, indeed, can let fancy,
_naiveté_, and the charm of spontaneity have free and graceful play, if
he or she is to be troubled at every touch and turn by the suggestions
of common sense? The young disdain precision too contemptuously; while
older people are apt to think of nothing else.

       *       *       *       *       *

The same desire to exalt the capabilities of woman appears in making
the Sun leave his sheep and cattle in the sole charge of the two nymphs
Lampetie and Phaëthusa (xii. 132) who, by the way, proved quite unable
to protect them. But then the Sun was a man, and capable of any folly.

       *       *       *       *       *

The comparison of Ulysses to a hungry magistrate (xii. 439, 440),
which is obviously humorous, is neither a man's nor a matron's simile
for such a thrilling situation. To me it suggests the hand of a
magistrate's daughter who had often seen her father come home tired and
cross at having been detained in court.

       *       *       *       *       *

The present from Helen to Telemachus of a wedding dress (xv. 125-129)
was more likely to occur to a young woman than to a man. I think also
that a male writer would have given something to poor Pisistratus, who
has been very good and amiable all through. It does not appear that
Telemachus tipped Eteoneus or any other of Menelaus' servants, though
from xx. 296, 297 it is plain that it was quite usual for visitors to
give something to the servants of a house at which they were staying.
He is very rude about not saying good-bye to Nestor (xv. 199-201), and
he never says good-bye to Pisistratus as he ought.

Ulysses, again, seems to have no sense of obligation whatever to Circe
or Calypso. He has no other idea than that of taking as much and giving
as little as he can. So, in Hades he does not begin by asking how
Penelope is, but how she is behaving, and whether she is protecting his
estate (xi. 177, &c.).

In Book xvii. 495 the old nurse and housekeeper, who has hitherto
always been Euryclea, suddenly becomes Eurynome, a name which we have
not yet had. Eurynome from this point is frequently mentioned, though
the context always suggests, and sometimes compels, the belief that
Euryclea is intended. In Book xx. 4, for example, we are told that
Eurynome threw a cloak over Ulysses after he had lain down to rest, but
in line 143 of the same Book, Euryclea says she threw the cloak over
him herself--for surely this is intended, though the plural according
to very common custom is used instead of the singular. The alternation
of the two names becomes very baffling, till finally in Book xxiii.
289-293 both Eurynome and Euryclea appear on the scene together, which
cobbles the difficulty, but does not make a good job of it--for one
woman would have been quite enough to do all that there was to do.

What happened, I take it, was this. In the first line where we meet
with Eurynome, the name Euryclea could not be made to scan very easily,
and the writer, thinking she would alter it later, wrote Eurynome.
Having done so once, she used the names Eurynome and Euryclea according
as metrical convenience inspired her. This went on for some time,
till in the end she found it would be a great deal of trouble to
re-write all the passages in which Eurynome had appeared; she therefore
determined to brazen it out, and pretend that she had all along meant
Euryclea and Eurynome to be two people. To put their separate existence
beyond question, she brings them both on together. I do not say that
this is feminine, but I can find nothing like it in the _Iliad_. I have
sometimes thought the last six or seven Books, though they contain
some of the most exquisite passages in the whole poem, were written in
greater haste than the earlier ones, while the last hundred lines or so
of Book xxiv. suggest that the writer was determined to end her work
without much caring how. I have also wondered whether the husband who
in Book vi. was yet to find may not have been found before Book xxiv.
was written; but I have nothing to urge in support of this speculation.

       *       *       *       *       *

Argus (xvii. 292) is not a very good name for a dog. It is the
stock epithet for hounds in both _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_, and means
"fleet." The whole scene between Ulysses and Argus is perhaps the
most disappointing in the _Odyssey_. If the dog was too old or feeble
to come to Ulysses, Ulysses should have gone up to him and hugged
him--fleas or no fleas; and Argus should not have been allowed to die
till this had been put in evidence. True, Ulysses does wipe away one
tear, but he should have broken utterly down--and then to ask Eumæus
whether Argus was any use, or whether he was only a show dog--this will
not do even as acting. The scene is well conceived but badly executed;
it betrays the harder side of the writer's nature, and has little of
the pathos which Homer would have infused into it.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Eumæus says what kind of man he would be likely to ask to the
house if he was free to choose, he puts a divine first, a physician
next, then a carpenter, and then a bard (xvii. 384). The only wonder
is that the writer did not put the bard before the carpenter, and
doubtless she would have done so had she not wanted to give the bard
a whole line to himself. A woman, writing at the present day would be
apt to consider the clergyman, and the doctor, as the first people
who should be invited, but a man in the Homeric age would hardly have
chosen as Eumæus is made to do.

       *       *       *       *       *

I do not believe that any man living could wash Ulysses' feet and
upset the bath so delightfully as Euryclea does (xix. 386, &c.), and
at the same time make Penelope sit by and observe nothing of what was
going on. He could not rise to the audacity of saying that Minerva had
directed Penelope's attention elsewhere, notwithstanding the noise
which Ulysses' leg made, and the upsetting of a bath full of water,
which must have run over all that part of the cloister. A man would
have made Penelope desire suddenly to leave the cloister, just before
the accident happened, and lie down upon that couch which she had never
ceased to water with her tears, &c.; she could then have come back,
remembering that she had forgotten something, after the foot-bath had
been refilled and the mess cleaned up. But he could not have done it at

       *       *       *       *       *

It will be observed that the stronger the indications become that
Ulysses is on the point of returning, the more imperative Penelope
finds it to marry one of the suitors without a day's delay. She has
heard about the hawk tearing the dove; she has heard Telemachus sneeze;
she has been assured that Ulysses was among the Thesprotians, quite
near, and would be in Ithaca immediately; she has had a dream which
would have made any one wait, say, for at least a week longer, unless
determined to take the gloomiest possible view of the situation; but
no; on the following day she must marry and leave the house. Her words
seem to me like those of a woman gloating over the luxury of woe, as
drawn by another woman who has never known real trouble. Nothing can
better show the hollowness of Penelope's distress from first to last.
A woman who felt herself really drowning would have clutched at any one
of the straws above mentioned, and made it buoy her up for weeks or
months; and any writer who had known real sorrow would also know how
certain she would be to do this. A man could only so draw his heroine
if he was laughing at her in his sleeve; whereas the writer of the
_Odyssey_ is doing her very utmost to take herself seriously.

       *       *       *       *       *

Penelope seems firmly convinced that she is keeping excellent guard
over her son's estate all the time, and that if she were to leave the
house everything would go to rack and ruin. She implies this to Ulysses
when he is disguised as a beggar (xix. 524). One wonders how Ulysses
could restrain himself from saying, "Well, Madam, if you cannot prove
more successful as a guardian than you have been doing this many years
past, the sooner you leave the house the better for Telemachus."

       *       *       *       *       *

No great poet would compare his hero to a paunch full of blood and
fat, cooking before the fire (xx. 24-28). The humour, for of course
it is humorously intended, is not man's humour, unless he is writing
burlesque. This the writer of the _Odyssey_ is not doing here, though
she has intentionally approached it very nearly in a great part of the
Phæacian episode.

The only other two points which suggest a female hand in Book xx.--I
mean with especial force--are the sympathy which the writer betrays
with the poor weakly woman who could not finish her task (105, &c.),
and the speech of Telemachus about his mother being too apt to make
much of second rate people (129-133).

       *       *       *       *       *

The twelve axes set up in Book xxi. remain in the court during the
whole time that the suitors are being killed. How, I wonder, is it
that not one of the suitors picked up a single axe? A dozen men with a
dozen axes should have made short work of Ulysses and his men. True, by
my own hypothesis the heads had been taken off the handles, but they
must have been wedged, or bound, either on to the handles or to some
other like pieces of wood, so as to raise them high enough for any one
to shoot through the handle-holes. It should have been an easy matter
either to fix the heads on to the handles again, or to extemporise new
ones. If the writer had not forgotten all about the axes in her desire
to begin with the shooting, she would have trumped up a difficulty of
some kind. Perhaps she thought that the audience, hearing nothing more
about them, would forget all about the axes too--and she was not far

       *       *       *       *       *

The instinctive house-wifely thrift of the writer is nowhere more
marked than near the beginning of Book xxii., where amid the
death-throes of Antinous and Eurymachus she cannot forget the good meat
and wine that were spoiled by the upsetting of the tables at which the
suitors had been sitting.

       *       *       *       *       *

The killing of the suitors is aggressive in its want of plausibility.
If Melanthius could go to the store-room, no matter how, the other
suitors could have followed him and attacked Ulysses from behind; for
there is evidently a passage from the store-room to the place where
Ulysses is standing.

Again, the outer yard was open to the suitors all the time. Surely with
the axes still at command they could have cut the Byblus-fibre rope
that was the only fastening of the main gate; some of them at any rate
might have got out. The first ninety lines of the Book are as fine as
the _Iliad_, but from line (say) 100 to line 330 the writer is out
of her depth, and knows it. The most palpably feminine part is where
Minerva comes to help Ulysses disguised as Mentor (xxii. 205-240). The
suitors menace her, and in a rage she scolds not them but Ulysses,
whom she rates roundly. Having done this, she flies away and sits on a
rafter like a swallow.

       *       *       *       *       *

All readers will help poets, playwrights, and novelists, by making
believe a good deal, but we like to know whether we are in the hands
of one who will flog us uphill, or who will make as little demand upon
us as possible. In this portion of Book xxii. the writer is flogging
us uphill. She does not care how much she may afflict the reader in
his efforts to believe her--the only thing she really cares for is her
revenge. She must have every one of the suitors killed stone dead, and
all the guilty women hanged, and Melanthius first horribly tortured
and then cut in pieces. Provided these objects are attained, it is not
necessary that the reader should be able to believe, or even follow,
all the ins and outs of the processes that lead up to them.

I will therefore not pursue the absurdities with which the killing of
the suitors abounds. I would, however, point out that in Book xvi. 281,
&c., where the taking away of the armour from the cloister walls was
first mooted, it was proposed that enough to arm Ulysses and Telemachus
should be left accessible, so that they might snatch it up in a moment
without having to go all the way down into the store-room after it,
at the risk of Telemachus's forgetting to shut the door--as young
people so often do. I suppose Ulysses forgot all about this sensible
precaution, when he and Telemachus were hiding the armour at the
beginning of Book xix. Or shall we suppose that the idea of catching
Melanthius in the store-room had not occurred to the poetess when she
was writing Book xvi., but had struck her before she reached Book xix.,
and that she either forgot, or did not think it worth while, or found
it inconvenient, to cancel lines 295, 296 of Book xvi.? From what I
have seen of the authoress I incline to this last opinion, and hold
that she made Ulysses omit to leave a little of the armour accessible
to himself and Telemachus, because she had by this time determined to
string Melanthius up in the store-room, and did not see how to get
him inside it unless she made Telemachus go there first and leave the
door open; and, again, did not see how to get Telemachus down to the
store-room if she left armour near at hand, for him to snatch up.

As for Telemachus bringing up four helmets, four shields, eight spears,
he was already fully armed when the fight began (xxi. 434), so three
helmets, three shields and six spears should have done. Four helmets,
four shields, and eight spears is a heavy load; but Melanthius carried
twelve shields, twelve helmets, and twelve spears apparently all at one

       *       *       *       *       *

We are in an atmosphere of transpontine melodrama, but the only wonder
is that the absurdities are not even grosser than they are, seeing that
the writer was a young woman with a strong will of her own. Woman she
must have been; no male writer could have resisted the temptation to
kill Eumæus. It is the faithful servant's rôle to be mortally wounded
on occasions of this sort. There are very few more suitors to be
killed, and Minerva is going to raise her ægis immediately, so that
he could be perfectly well spared; possibly the writer felt that she
should be shorthanded with the cleaning up of the blood and the removal
of the dead bodies, but more probably she hated the suitors so bitterly
that she would not let them score a single point.

       *       *       *       *       *

How evidently relieved she feels when she has got the killing over,
and can return to ground on which she is strong, such as the saving of
Phemius and Medon, and the cleaning down of the house.

       *       *       *       *       *

What are we to say of making Penelope, whose room looked out upon the
cloister, sleep soundly all through the killing of the suitors? What of
her remarks to Euryclea when she has been waked? What, again, of her
interview with Ulysses, and the dance which Ulysses presently advises?
what, indeed, of the whole Book? Surely it is all perfectly right as
coining from some such person as the one portrayed in my frontispiece,
but who can conceive the kind of man or matron who could write it?
The same applies to Book xxiv. What man or middle-aged woman could
have written the ineffably lovely scene between Ulysses and Laertes
in the garden? or have made Ulysses eat along with Dolius, whose son
and daughter he had killed on the preceding day? A man would have been
certain to make Ulysses tell Dolius that he was very sorry, but there
had been nothing for it but to hang his daughter and to cut his son's
nose and ears off, draw out his vitals, and then cut off his hands and
feet. Probably, however, he would have kept Dolius and his sons out of
the Book altogether.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Ulysses and Penelope are in bed (xxiii. 300-343) and are telling
their stories to one another, Penelope tells hers first. I believe a
male writer would have made Ulysses' story come first and Penelope's

[1] See Chapter X.



I have now given, though far more briefly than the subject requires,
some of my reasons for believing that from the first Book of the
_Odyssey_ to the last we are in the hands of a young woman. Who,
then, was she? Where did she live and write? She was of flesh and
blood, lived in time and place, looked on sea and sky, came and went
somewhither and somewhen--but where? and when? and above all, who? It
will be my object to throw what light I can upon these subjects in the
following chapters.

I will follow the same course that I have taken earlier, and retrace
the steps whereby I was led to my conclusions.

By the time I had finished Book x. I was satisfied that the _Odyssey_
was not a man's work, but I had seen nothing to make me think that
it was written rather at one place than at another. When, however, I
reached xiii. 159-164, in which passage Neptune turns the Phæacian ship
into a rock at the entrance of the Scherian harbour, I felt sure that
an actual feature was being drawn from, and made a note that no place,
however much it might lie between two harbours, would do for Scheria,
unless at the end of one of them there was a small half sunken rock.
Presently I set myself to consider what combination of natural features
I ought to look for on the supposition that Scheria was a real place,
and made a list of them as follows:--

1. The town must be placed on a point of land jutting out as a land's
end into the sea between two harbours, or bays in which ships could
ride (vi. 263); it must be connected with the mainland by a narrow neck
of land, and as I have just said, must have a half sunken formidable
rock at the entrance of one of the harbours.

2. There must be no river running into either harbour, or Nausicaa
would not have had to go so far to wash her clothes. The river when
reached might be nothing but a lagoon with a spring or two of fresh
water running into it, for the clothes were not, so it would seem,
washed in a river; they were washed in public washing cisterns (_Od_.
vi. 40, 86, 92) which a small spring would keep full enough of water
"to wash clothes even though they were very dirty." The scene is laid
close on the sea shore, for the clothes are put out to dry on a high
bank of shingle which the sea had raised, and Nausicaa's maidens fly
from Ulysses along the beach and spits that run into the sea.

3. There must be a notable mountain at no great distance from the town
so as to give point to Neptune's threat that he would bury it under a
high mountain. Furthermore, the whole combination above described must
lie greatly further west of Eubœa than Ithaca was, and hence greatly
west of Ithaca (vii. 321). Surely, if a real place is being drawn from,
these indications are ample to ensure its being easily found.

Men of science, so far as I have observed them, are apt in their
fear of jumping to a conclusion to forget that there is such a thing
as jumping away from one, and Homeric scholars seem to have taken a
leaf out of their book in this respect. How many striking points of
correspondence, I wonder, between an actual place and one described
in a novel, would be enough to create a reasonable assurance that
the place in which they were combined was the one that was drawn
from? I should say four well marked ones would be sufficient to
make it extremely improbable that a like combination could be found
elsewhere; make it five, and unless we find something to outweigh the
considerations which so close a correspondence between the actual place
and the one described in the novel would suggest, or unless by some
strange coincidence the same combination in all its details can be
shown to occur in some other and more probable locality, we may be sure
that the novel was drawn from the place; for every fresh detail in the
combination required decreases the probability of error in geometrical
ratio if it be duly complied with.

Let us suppose that a policeman is told to look out for an elderly
gentleman of about sixty; he is a foreigner, speaks a little English
but not much, is lame in his left foot, has blue eyes, a bottle nose,
and is about 5 ft. 10 in. high. How many of these features will the
policeman require before he feels pretty sure that he has found his
man? If he sees any foreigner he will look at him. If he sees one who
is about 5 ft. 10 in. high he will note his age, if this proves to be
about sixty years, and further, if the man limps on his left foot, he
will probably feel safe in stopping him. If, as he is sure to do, he
finds he has a bottle nose, he will leave the blue eyes and broken
English alone, and will bring the man before the magistrate.

If it is then found that the man's eyes are hazel, and that he
either speaks English fluently or does not speak it at all--is the
magistrate likely to discharge the prisoner on account of these small
discrepancies between him and the description given of him, when so
many other of the required characteristics are found present? Will he
not rather require the prisoner to bring forward very convincing proof
that it is a case of mistaken identity?

Or to take another illustration, which is perhaps more strictly to the
point as involving comparison between an actual place and one described
in a novel. Here is an extract from a novel:--

  Grammerton, like other fair cities, was built on a hill.
  The highest point was the fine old Elizabethan School,
  then, and now, of European reputation. Opposite it was
  the old shattered and ruined castle, overlooking the
  bubbling and boiling shallows of the broad and rapid
  river Saber.... From the hill the town sloped rapidly
  down on every side towards the river, which made it a
  peninsula studded with habitations. (_The Beaucleres,
  father and son_, by Charles Clarke, Chapman and Hall.
  Vol. I. p. 28.)

Is there any man of ordinary intelligence and acquainted with
Shrewsbury who will doubt that Shrewsbury was the place that Mr. Clarke
was drawing from?

When I have urged the much more numerous and weightier points of
agreement between Scheria as described in the _Odyssey_, and Trapani
as it still exists, eminent Homeric scholars have told me, not once
nor twice--and not meekly, but with an air as though they were crushing
me--that my case rests in the main on geographical features that are
not unknown to other parts of the coast, and upon legends which also
belong to other places.

Grammerton, they argue--to return to my illustration--must not be held
as Shrewsbury, for at Harrow as well as Shrewsbury the School is on the
highest part of the town. There is a river, again, at Eton, so that
Eton may very well have been the place intended. It is highly fanciful
to suppose that the name Saber may have been a mere literary travesty
of Sabrina. At Nottingham there is a castle which was in ruins but a
few years since, and from which one can see the Trent. Nottingham,
therefore, is quite as likely to be the original of Grammerton as
Shrewsbury is.

And so on _ad infinitum_. This line of argument consists in ignoring
that the force of the one opposed to it lies in the demonstrable
existence of a highly complex combination, the component items of which
are potent when they are all found in the same place, but impotent
unless combined. It is a line which eminent Homeric scholars almost
invariably take when discussing my Odyssean theory, but it is not
one which will satisfy those before whom even the most eminent of
Homeric scholars must in the end bow--I mean, men of ordinary common
sense. These last will know that Grammerton can only be dislodged from
Shrewsbury on proof either that the features of Shrewsbury do not in
reality correspond with those of Grammerton, or else that there is
another town in England which offers the same combination, and is
otherwise more acceptable.

So with Trapani and Scheria. Eminent Homeric scholars must show that
I have exaggerated the points of correspondence between the two
places--which in the face of Admiralty charts and of the _Odyssey_
they will hardly venture; or they must bring forward some other place
in which the same points of correspondence are found combined--which
they will not attempt; or they must show reason for thinking that the
very numerous and precise correspondences between Trapani and all
Scherian and Ithacan scenes are referable to mere accident--and this
will satisfy those only who will believe that a man has held thirteen
trumps in his hand three deals running, without having tampered with
the cards. I need not discuss this last supposition, and as for the
other two, I can only assure the reader that no attempt has been made
to establish either of them during the close on six years since my
theory was first put before the public.

Neither will it ever be made. For Scheria should be looked for on some
West coast to the West of Greece, and there are no such West coasts
except those of Italy and Sicily, both of which I know well enough to
be sure that if the Scherian combination could be found elsewhere than
at Trapani I should long since have found it. Even could such a place
be found with its rock Malconsiglio, legend and all, before it could
compete with Trapani in claiming the _Odyssey_ it would have to offer
the Ithacan combination as well as the Scherian; for surely a place
which provides us with both Ithacan and Scherian topography would have
a greater right to be considered as that from which the _Odyssey_ was
drawn, than one which could only offer the details of Scheria.

Furthermore, could they find another place with all both Scherian and
Ithacan features, my opponents would be only half way through their
troubles; for Trapani could still hold its own against it, unless it
also had four islands (neither more nor fewer) lying off it, one of
them long and narrow, and all of them corresponding with the inaccurate
Odyssean description of the Ionian islands. Nor would it even then
begin to be on equal terms with Trapani, till it was shown that the
effective part of the voyages of Ulysses begins and ends with it. When
all this has been done, but not before, it will be time to weigh the
comparative claims of the two sites.

For I rest my case on the harmonious concurrence of four lines of
argument, each requiring the fulfilment of many and very rigorous
conditions, and each by itself sufficient to raise a strong presumption
that Trapani was the place which was most prominent in the mind of the
writer of the _Odyssey_. They are:--

1. That Scheria is drawn from Trapani. This I will substantiate by
bringing forward a much stronger combination of correspondences than
exists between Grammerton and Shrewsbury.

2. That Ithaca also is drawn from Trapani and its immediate
neighbourhood. My case for this will be found even stronger if possible
than that by which I established that Scheria was Trapani.

3. That the Ionian islands as described in the _Odyssey_ cannot have
been drawn from the actual Ionian islands, nor from any others but
those off Trapani; and that the writer sinned against her own knowledge
in order to force these islands into her narrative.

4. That the voyages of Ulysses practically resolve themselves into a
voyage from Troy to the neighbourhood of Sicily, and thenceforward into
a sail round Sicily, beginning with Trapani and ending with the same

It will be necessary that no argument adduced in support of any of
these propositions should clash with those in support of any other,
but all the four lines of argument must corroborate each other, so
that they fit into one another as the pieces of a child's puzzle.
It is inconceivable that anything but a true theory should comply
with conditions so exacting. I will now proceed to show that Scheria
is Trapani, and will return to the steps by which I arrived at this

Armed with the list of points I had to find in combination, as given
at the beginning of this chapter, I went down to the map room of the
British Museum intending to search the Mediterranean from the Troad
to Gibraltar if necessary; but remembering that I ought to look (for
reasons already given) some distance West of Greece, and also that
the writer of the _Odyssey_ appeared to have lived on a coast that
looked West not East, I resolved to search the West coasts first. I
knew that Colonel Mure and a respectable weight of ancient testimony
had placed the Cyclopes on Mt. Eryx, and it seemed to me that the
island where Ulysses hunted the goats, and the whole Cyclopes incident
suggested drawing from life more vividly than any other part of the
voyages. I knew, moreover, that the writer was a young woman who
was little likely to have travelled, and hence felt sure that if one
place could be found, none of the others would be long in finding; I
asked, therefore, for the map of the Lilybæan promontory, as the West
coast West of Greece that offered the greatest prospect of success,
and hardly had I got it in my hand before I found the combination I
wanted for Scheria lying right under Mt. Eryx. The land's end jutting
into the sea--the two harbours one on either side of it--the narrow
entrance between two marshes--the high mountain hard by--the rock at
the entrance of one of the harbours--the absence of any river--will be
found in the map here given, which Messrs. Walker & Boutall have made
for me from the Italian Government survey, and from our own Admiralty

[Illustration: TRAPANI AND MT. ERYX--_Walker & Boutall sc_.]

But this was not all. Not only was the rock of the right height, and
so turned as to give the idea of a ship coming into port, but it it
bore the strange name of Malconsiglio, or "Evil counsel." I was so
much struck with this that I wrote to Trapani enquiring whether there
existed any local tradition in connection with the rock, and was told
that there were two--the one absurd, and the other to the effect that
the rock had been a ship of Turkish Pirates who were coming to attack
Trapani, but were turned into stone at the entrance of the harbour
by the Madonna di Trapani. I did not doubt that the name and the
legend between them preserved the Odyssean version, in a Christianised
form--the legend recording the fact of a ship's having been turned into
stone as it was entering harbour, and the name telling us the other
fact that this had been brought about in consequence of an evil counsel.

I believe the above sufficient for reasonable assurance that Scheria
was drawn from Trapani, and will, therefore, proceed to establish that
the Ithaca scenes are drawn also from the same place and its immediate

To this end it will be incumbent upon me to find that near Trapani,
though not actually at the town, there exists, or can be shown to have
in all reasonable probability existed, a harbour which has, or had,
a current in it, and which lies hard by the foot of a mountain. This
harbour should have a shelving bottom, for the Phæacian crew which
brought Ulysses to Ithaca ran half the ship's length on shore before
the way was off it. At no great distance there must be two caves
near together (xiii. 103-112 and 347-349). One of them must have two
entrances--one turned towards the North, by which people can go down
into the cave, and the other towards the South, by which the gods alone
can enter. It must have water in it, and also prehistoric implements
should be found there. From near it one must be able to see harbours
(in the plural), and it should be on the side of a mountain. Here
Ulysses hid the treasures that the Phæacians had given him. The other
cave need present no special features.

A man ascending the mountain from these caves, and keeping along the
top of it should come to a place on ground commanding an extensive
prospect, where there is a spring and a rock that is called Raven. This
site must be bitterly cold in winter, and must be about two hours'
walk from Trapani; the path to the town must be so rugged that a man
in ordinary vigour would not like to take it without having a stick;
and lastly, it must pass a notable mound or hill much nearer Trapani
than the high ground above alluded to, and commanding a full view of
the city and harbour. The reader who turns to the abridgement of Books
xiii., xiv., xv., xvi. and xvii. given in this work, will find that all
these points are necessary.

They all of them exist at this day, even to the calling of the
rock "Raven," except one--I mean the mouth of the harbour where
the Phæacians entered; this is now silted up, like the harbour of
Selinunte,[1] which I might almost call on the same coast. The inner
part of the harbour is still full of sea water, but has been converted
into Salt Works[2] which are slightly below the level of the sea. The
bed of the old exit is clearly seen, and there are still rushes in it
though it is quite dry: it is very narrow, is often full in winter, and
is marked with dotted lines in the Italian Ordnance Map, but not so in
our Admiralty Chart.

The existence of this bed was pointed out to me by Signor Sugameli, of
Trapani. He assured me that till 1848 when the Salt Works were made,
the whole space covered by them was an open mere where his father used
to go to shoot wild ducks. One great difficulty in making the Salt
Works was the abundance of fresh water springs, which made it necessary
to cement the salt pans in order to keep the fresh water from mixing
with the salt. It was perhaps from some of these springs that the
πλυνοί, or washing cisterns, of vi. 40 were supplied--unless indeed
Nausicaa washed the clothes in sea water as I have seen women in the
island of Pantellaria still do.



Given a mass of water, nearly a mile long and a quarter of a mile
broad, with a narrow exit, and the tide, which here has a rise and fall
of from two to three feet, would cause a current that at times would
be strong, and justify its being described as a river and also as
a harbour with a current in it; returning for a moment to Scheria, I
suppose this to be the river at the mouth of which Ulysses landed, and
the river's staying his flow (v. 451), I take to mean that he arrived
there just at the turn of the tide. I may also say that this harbour is
used five times in the _Odyssey_:--

1. As the "flowing harbour, in the country beyond the town, under Mt.
Neritum"--reading, as explained earlier, Νηρίτῳ for Νηίῳ--where Minerva
said she left her ship, when she was talking with Telemachus i. 185,
186. 2. As the place where Ulysses landed in Scheria and where Nausicaa
washed her clothes. 3. As the place where Ulysses landed in Ithaca. 4.
As the place where Telemachus landed in Ithaca on his return from Pylos
(xv. 495 &c.). 5. As the spot pointed to by Ulysses as the one where
his ship was lying "in the country beyond the town" (xxiv. 308).

I will now return to the two caves which ought to be found at no great
distance from the head of this harbour. It is clear from the text that
there were two not one, but some one has enclosed in brackets the two
lines in which the second cave is mentioned, I presume because he found
himself puzzled by having a second cave sprung upon him when up to this
point he has been only told of one.

I venture to think that if he had known the ground he would not have
been puzzled, for there are two caves, distant about 80 or 100 yards
from one another, at the place marked in the map as the _grotta del
toro_. The one is conspicuous, but without special feature; the other,
which is not very easily seen, and which is called by the peasants
the _grotta del toro_, looks due North, and is universally believed
to contain a treasure, which a bull who lives in its recesses is
continually grinding, but which can only be found by a virgin, who will
eat a whole pomegranate without spilling a single pip. I suspect the
_toro_ to be a children's corruption of _tesoro_. The bull having thus
got into the cave has never got out again, and as the treasure is also
confidently known to exist--well--what can the bull be there for but to
turn a mill and grind the treasure?

The cave runs due South into the rock by a passage so rough and narrow
that no one is likely to go more than a very few feet with it. No one,
therefore, can enter the cavern from the South--it is only the gods who
can do so.

In August, 1894, I visited the ground with some Sicilian friends,
and we discoursed with the _contadino_ who had charge of the farm on
which the caves are found. While we were talking there came up a nice
intelligent lad on a donkey, and he seemed much interested in our

"Is there," we asked, pointing to the _grotta del toro_, "a treasure in
the cave?"

"Certainly," was the immediate answer. Here the boy broke in. He was
quite sure there was one. Everybody knew it. It could not be doubted.

"Is there a treasure in the other cave?"

"Oh, no."

"Which of the two caves is called the _grotta del toro_?"

"That one"--from both peasant and boy, who pointed at once to the cave
that corresponded with the _Odyssey_.

"You are quite sure that the other cave is not called 'la grotta del


"Where does the _grotta del toro_ go to?"

"It gets narrow and goes far into the rock."

"Has any one ever been to the end of it?"

"No, no; no one knows where it ends. There was a cattle driver who went
in once to explore it, but he never came back, and they say that after
this there was a wall built to stop any one from going further."

"Have you ever been inside the cave yourself?"


"Have you been as far as the wall?"


"How far did you go?"

"Not very far; I was afraid."

"Then you have no idea how far the cave goes?"


"Is there water in the cave at all times?"


"Have you seen it?"

"I was there in May last, and there was water then."

"Is there water there now?"

"I should think so, but cannot be certain."

"Can you take us to it?"

"No; the key of the ground is at Trapani."

"They say there is a bull in the further recesses of the cavern?"

"They say so, but we have never seen him; all we know for certain is
that there is a treasure."

Here the boy again brightened up, and said that this was certain.

When we had finished our questions the _contadino_ took one of our
party aside, and said, confidentially, "Be sure of me, for I have a
strong stomach" (_i.e_., I can keep a secret). "When you come to remove
the treasure, which I can see that you intend to do, you must take me
with you and give me my share. If you come by night the dogs will bark,
and I shall know that you are there. I will then come down and help
you, but you must give me my share."

I wrote the above conversation down, in Italian, immediately on my
return to Trapani, and my Sicilian friends signed it, at my request, as
a correct report. It occurs to me to add that there is no other cave
near Trapani to which any story of a hidden treasure attaches.

Last year (May, 1896) I visited the cave again, this time with my
friend Mr. H. Festing Jones, who has gone over the whole of the ground
described in this book, to make sure that I have not overstated my
case. We were accompanied by Signor Sugameli of Trapani, to whom I
owe the correction of my error in believing the more conspicuous of
the two caves to be called the _grotta del toro_--for so, on my first
visit to Trapani in 1892, my friends in the town had assured me, not
knowing the existence of the one which really bears the name. Jones and
Signor Sugameli scrambled into the interior of the cavern, but I, being
elderly and somewhat lame, did not venture. They found the cave end,
after about thirty feet, in a mass of solid rock; but few who have
gone above ten or twelve feet will be likely to go any further, and I
can well believe that the writer of the _Odyssey_, like the peasants
of to-day, believed that no one could get to the end of it. My friends
found water.

The cave is full of bees' nests in summer, as are all the caves
hereabouts. They are small, solitary, of red clay, and about the size
of the cup of an acorn. All the caves in the neighbourhood of Mt. Eryx
abound in remains of stone-age man, some fine examples of which may
be seen in the museum at Palermo. These remains would doubtless be
more common and more striking three thousand years or so ago than they
are at present, and I find no difficulty in thinking that the poetic
imagination of the writer of the Odyssey ascribed them to the nymphs
and naiads.

From hard by both the caves one can see, of course, the precipices
of Mt. Eryx, which I suppose to be Neritum in the mind of the writer
(xiii. 351), the straight paths on the cultivated land some couple of
hundred feet below, the harbour of the old merman Phorcys, and also the
harbours of Trapani, all which are requisite by lines xiii. 195, 196,
and 345-351.

The reader will note that while more than one Scherian detail is given
casually and perhaps unintentionally, as for example the harbour where
Ulysses landed in Scheria, and the harbours, which I do not doubt are
the two harbours of Trapani, there is no Ithacan detail given so far
which conflicts with any feature in the description of Scheria.

The number and value of the points of correspondence between the cave
in which Ulysses hid his treasure, and the _grotta del toro_ greatly
exceed those between Grammerton and Shrewsbury. Nevertheless it will be
well to see whether his movements on leaving the cave confirm my view
or make against it.

I suppose him to have ascended the steep, and then, doubtless, wooded
slopes of Mt. Eryx and to have passed along its high and nearly level
summit (δἰ ἄκριας, xiv. 2) to the other end of the mountain, where
the Norman Castle stands now 2500 feet above the sea level. Here he
descended some two or three hundred feet to the spot now called _i
runzi_, where there is a spring near a precipice which is still called
_il ruccazzù dei corvi, i.e_. "the rock of the ravens," it being on
this part of the mountain that these birds breed most freely. This walk
would take him about two hours, more or less.

The site is seen from far and wide, it is bitterly cold in winter, and
is connected with Trapani by a rough mountain path which Ulysses may
well have been afraid to travel without a stick (xvii. 195).[3] The
path passes close to the round-topped _Colle di Sta Anna_ which answers
perfectly to the Ἕρμαιος λόφος of xvi. 471. The time it takes to walk
from the _runzi_ to Trapani corresponds with all the indications
furnished us in the _Odyssey_ concerning the distance between Eumæus's
hut and the town of Ithaca--which seems roughly to have been a winter's
day walk there and back.

The reader will see, therefore, that we have the whole road taken
by Ulysses from his landing in the harbour of Phorcys to the cave
(with all its complex requirements) in which he hid his presents, up
Mt. Neritum, along its long top to the spring and the Haven Rock,
and finally the path passing the hill of Mercury down to Ithaca, as
accurately presented to us by the road from the _saline di S. Cusumano_
to the _grotta del toro_, Mt. Eryx, the fountain, the Raven Rock,
and the road to Trapani, as though the _Odyssey_ had been written
yesterday. When the reader can find me in all literature, ancient or
modern, any like chain of correspondences between an actual place and
one described in a work of fiction as an effect of mere chance, I will
accept the coincidences to which I have called attention as possibly
accidental only; but I am convinced that no such case nor anything
approaching it can be adduced.

I, therefore, claim that Ithaca, like Scheria, must be taken as drawn
from Trapani. There is, however, this important point to be remembered,
that though the writer, when she has to consider Ithaca _ab extra_,
as an island and nothing more, pictures it to herself as the high and
striking island of Marettimo some 22 miles off Trapani, when she wants
details she takes them from her own immediate neighbourhood on the

Young people when transferring familiar stories to their own
neighbourhood, as almost all young people do, never stick at
inconsistencies. They are like eminent Homeric scholars, and when they
mean to have things in any given way they will not let the native hue
of resolution be balked by thought, and will find it equally easy to
have an Ithaca in one place and also in another, and to see the voyages
of Columbus to the tropics in their own sliding over a frozen pool. So
Lord Selborne writes:--

  As we grew, the faculty of imagination increased in
  power. It coloured all our childish pleasures; it
  accompanied us on the ice and into the woods; it mixed
  the dreams of the supernatural with the most ordinary
  things. Our resting-places when sliding over a frozen
  pool were the islands discovered by Columbus or Cook, in
  whose voyages we delighted.

  (_Memorials &c_., by Roundell Palmer, Earl of Selborne,
  Macmillan 1896, pt. I. p. 66.)

Before I leave the Ithaca scenes I ought to show that there may well
have existed at Trapani a sheet of water which cattle would be likely
to cross in a boat, as described in _Od_. XX. 186-188. The land on the
East side of Trapani was artificially raised in 1860, till which time
the two seas on either side the town were often joined in winter after
a continuance of Northerly Winds. Several people have assured me that
they remember having to be carted over the water between Trapani and
the mainland. I was at first tempted to believe that Philœtius had
come to the town when the narrow entrance to it was flooded; but a few
lines above we find that Eumæus had also come to the town with three
pigs, and Melanthius with some goats. These men had both unquestionably
come from Mt. Eryx, and the text seems to forbid the idea that they
too had had to cross the water. There is nothing, however, to imply
that Philœtius had come from Mt. Eryx; indeed, it is more likely that
his cattle would feed on the flat land south of the harbour, which he
had crossed by boat to save the long _détour_ which would have been
otherwise necessary. If the water had been that of any such river as is
to be found in Asia Minor, Greece, or Sicily, one man would probably
have been enough, whereas there seem to have been several plying for
hire, as in a port or harbour.

       *       *       *       *       *

The fact that Scheria and Ithaca would be perfectly well-known by
the audience as drawn from their own neighbourhood explains another
difficulty. "How," some hypercritical listener might ask, "could so
sagacious and experienced a mariner as Ulysses have failed to note that
he was only travelling two miles, or even less, from Scheria to Ithaca?
And how again could he fail to recognise the place at which he landed
as the one where he had met Nausicaa a few days previously?"

The writer of the _Odyssey_ admits with some _naiveté_ that the
Phæacian mariners were already acquainted with the harbour in which
they left Ulysses. They probably would be. But how prevent Ulysses from
remonstrating both during the voyage and on being landed? It is not
easy to see what better course the writer could take than the one she
actually did take, _i.e_., put Ulysses to sleep as soon as ever he was
on board, and not wake him till after the sailors were gone. A sleep,
therefore, is prepared for him (vii. 318, and viii. 445) and he falls
into it apparently before even leaving the harbour; it is so profound
that it is more like death than sleep (xiii. 80). Nothing, not even the
men lifting him off the ship next morning, laying all his treasures
hard by him and going away, can disturb him till the Phæacian sailors
are beyond all reach of question. Then, of course, the sooner he wakes
up the better.

As for the other difficulty of his not seeing that he was only at the
spot where he had met Nausicaa two days earlier, this was got over by
making it a misty morning, and muddling Ulysses generally so that he
does not even recognise the place as Ithaca, much less as Scheria, till
Minerva meets him and has a long talk with him, in the course of which
the audience slides into the situation, and accepts the neighbourhood
of Trapani for that of Ithaca without more demur.

[1] A few years ago the stone work at the entrance to the harbour of
Selinunte was excavated, but it was silted over again in a single

[2] Shown in the plan as the Salt Works of S. Cusumano.

[3] Of recent years an excellent carriage road has been made from
Trapani to the town on the top of Mt. Eryx, but pedestrians still use
the old path, which in places is very rough.



In a later chapter I propose to show that the writer of the _Odyssey_
had the _Iliad_ before her in the state in which we have it now,
unimportant copyists' errors alone excepted. I shall show that those
Books on which most doubt has been cast by eminent Homeric scholars
both on the Continent and in England, are just as fully and freely
quoted from as those that are admitted to have been by Homer. I have
seen no sufficient reason alleged for doubting that the Catalogues of
_Il_. II. 484-877 formed part of the poem as Homer left it, though it
is quite likely that he may have got some one with greater knowledge of
Greece to help him. I intend returning to this question, but for the
present will ask the reader to accept my assumption that the writer
of the _Odyssey_ knew the Catalogues above referred to. The group of
the Echinades and the Ionian islands are described as follows in the
Catalogue of the Achæan forces:--

  And they of Dulichium, with the sacred Echinean islands,
  who dwelt beyond the sea off Elis--these were led by
  Meges, peer of Mars, the son of Phyleus, who had erewhile
  migrated to Dulichium in consequence of a quarrel with
  his father. And with him there came forty ships.

  Ulysses led the brave Cephallenians, who held Ithaca,
  wooded Neritum, Crocylea, rugged Ægilips, Samos,[1] and
  Zacynthus, with the mainland also that is over against
  the islands. These were led by Ulysses, peer of gods
  in counsel, and with him came twelve ships. (_Il_. II.

The reader will note that Dulichium, which means "Long Island," does
not belong to the Ionian islands, but to the neighbouring group of
the Echinades. Let us now see how the islands in the neighbourhood of
Ithaca are described in the _Odyssey_. Ulysses says (ix. 21-26):

  "I dwell in Ithaca, an island which contains a high
  mountain called Neritum. In its neighbourhood there are
  other islands near to one another, Dulichium, Same and
  Zacynthus. It lies on the horizon all highest up in the
  sea towards the west, while the other islands lie away
  from it to the east."

[Illustration: MAP OF THE ÆONIAN ISLANDS--_Walker & Boutall_.]

In the _Odyssey_ there are never more than three islands besides
Ithaca. When mentioned all together they are always named in the
order given above--probably for reasons of scansion--but Dulichium is
the most important in the eyes of the writer, being more frequently
mentioned separately, and sending fifty-two suitors as against
twenty-four from Same, twenty from Zacynthus, and twelve from Ithaca
itself (xvi. 247-251).

A glance at the map given above will show that there is no island in
the neighbourhood of Ithaca which can with poetical propriety be held
to have sent nearly as many suitors as the other three put together.
Least of all could Dulichium be so held. It seems, then, that it was
the name, and not the island, that the writer wanted; and further that
she wanted this so badly as to lay violent hands upon it and raid it
from another group.

Why should she strain so considerable a point in order to get hold
of it? The Iliadic catalogue omits three or four but leaves us six
Ionian islands. After suppressing the small islands of Crocylea and
Ægilips, there remained four, which it seems was the exact number that
the writer of the _Odyssey_ meant to introduce; why, then, should not
Neritum have been good enough for her? It evidently did not answer her
purpose, or she would not, in the face of the catalogue, have stowed
it away inside Ithaca and gone further afield for her dominant island.
These things are never done without a reason, and in this case a reason
is particularly necessary, for it would have been more easy and also
suitable, considering the insignificance of the real Dulichium, to make
the fifty-two suitors come from the very considerable island of Neritum.

All difficulty is removed by supposing that the writer lived at
Trapani and was drawing the Ionian islands from the, to her, familiar
Ægadean group. A glance at the foregoing map will shew that she
cannot have been drawing from the real Ionian islands. Ithaca cannot
be tortured into lying "all highest up in the sea towards the West."
It is completely covered by Samos. Nor do the other islands lie away
from it to the East. It is clear, then, that the Ionian islands were
not those present to the mind of the writer, but we may infer in
passing, firstly, that her audience lived at a sufficient distance
from Greece to make the infraction of topographical accuracy a matter
of no importance, and secondly, that the islands from which she was in
reality drawing lay, like the true Ionian group, off a West coast.

I will now give a map of the islands off Trapani. I see that Professor
Freeman, in his map of the West coast of Sicily, as he supposes it
to have been in ancient times, has joined the Isola Grande to the
neighbouring main land, but he gives no authority for doing so. I
can find none in ancient writers, and having examined the ground see
nothing to indicate any change in the distribution of land and water,
as having taken place within measurable distance of our own times.


The lofty and rugged island of Marettimo did duty in the writer's
mind for Ithaca, though, as I have said, when details are wanted they
are taken from Trapani and Mt. Eryx. The long island, now the Isola
Grande--low lying and wheat growing--was her Dulichium; this must have
been for the most important of the four as regards Trapani, being
accessible in all weathers, and probably already pregnant with the
subsequently famous city of Motya, of which hardly anything remains,
but which stood on the Southernmost of the two islands that lie between
Isola Grande and the mainland. The other two islands stood for Same
and Zacynthus, but which was which I have not been able to determine.
Marettimo can hardly be seen from Trapani, being almost entirely hidden
by Levanzo. From the heights, however, of Mt. Eryx, with which, for
other reasons, I suppose the writer to have been familiar, it is seen
"on the horizon, all highest up in the sea towards the West." I do not
doubt the poetess was describing it as she knew it from the top of
Mt. Eryx, and as the reader may still see it. The rough sketch on the
following page will explain πανυπερτάτη εἰν ἁλὶ better than words can
do; the two small islands shown just over Trapani are the Formiche,
which I take to be the second rock thrown by Polyphemus.

[Illustration: TRAPANI FROM MT. ERYX. Showing Marettimo all highest up
in the sea. _Od_. ix 25. The Isola Grande (Dulichium) could not be got
into the picture.]

If what I have said above is not enough to satisfy the reader that
the writer of the _Odyssey_ was drawing the Ionian islands from the
Ægadean, nothing that I can add is likely to convince him. I will
therefore now go on to my fourth point, namely, that the voyages
of Ulysses are, as nearly as the writer could make them, a voyage
round Sicily, from Trapani by the North coast, through the straits
of Messina, to the island of Pantellaria, and so back to Trapani,
beyond which we need not go, for Ithaca and Scheria are, both of them,
Trapani, as I have already shown.

The main episodes of the voyage occur in the following order. 1. The
Cicons. 2. The Lotus-eaters, arrived at after passing the island of
Cythera. 3. The island where Ulysses and his men hunted the goats, and
the adventure with Polyphemus. 4. The island of Æolus, and a ten days'
sail towards the East with a fair wind all the time, till Ithaca is
well in sight, followed by an immediate return to the island from which
Ulysses had started. This sail to Ithaca over the toe of Italy and the
island of Samos has no topographical significance except as showing
that the writer conceived of the island of Æolus as lying a long way
West of Ithaca. The episode is introduced merely for the purpose of
bringing the cup close to Ulysses' lips and then dashing it from them.
5. The Læstrygonians. 6. The island of Circe and the journey to Hades,
which last is again without topographical significance, being nothing
but a peg on which to hang colloquies with the dead, and bringing us
back to the island of Circe. 7. The Sirens. 8. Scylla and Charybdis.
9. The cattle of the Sun. 10. The island of Calypso. 11. Scheria and

There is no difference of opinion among scholars as to the sites of the
Cicons, the island of Cythera, and the Lotus-eaters; the reader will,
therefore, see that we are taken without waste of time to a point at no
great distance from Sicily--the contrary winds off Cape Malea (ix. 81)
being apparently raised on purpose to take us away from Greece. It is
not quite easy to see why the Cicons were introduced unless it was that
Ulysses might become possessed of the wondrous wine of Ismarus with
which lie intoxicated Polyphemus. The wine of this neighbourhood was
famous many centuries after the _Odyssey_ was written, and presumably
was so in the time of the _Odyssey_ itself. A gasconading story of this
wine may well have existed among the people of Trapani which might
prompt the reader to introduce it, poke fun at it and make Polyphemus
drunk with it.

Or again, knowing as we do from Thucydides (vi. 2) that the original
Sican inhabitants of this part of Sicily received an influx of
fugitives from the neighbourhood of Troy after the fall of that city,
it is possible that traditions may have existed among the writer's
audience to the effect that some of them were of Cicon origin, and she
may have wished to flatter them by telling them that they had repulsed
Ulysses. Nothing can be said with any confidence upon this head; all we
may note is that the country is quite featureless, and hence does not
suggest drawing from personal knowledge, any more than does the land of
the Lotus-eaters.

On leaving the land of the Lotus-eaters the full consent which has
accompanied us so far fails us; nevertheless a considerable weight of
authority, ancient, medieval, and modern, carries us to the island
of Favognana, anciently called Ægusa or Goat Island, as the one on
which Ulysses and his men hunted the goats. Indeed this incident seems
introduced as though purposely to suggest the Ægadean or "goat" islands
to the audience, as also does the line iv. 606 in which Ithaca--that
is to say, in reality, the island of Marettimo--is said to be an island
fit for goats.[2]

A very considerable consent accompanies us also to Mt. Eryx as the site
of the adventure with Polyphemus. Here, and with the island on which
the goats were hunted, the local colour is stronger than anywhere else
in Ulysses' voyages, as indeed might be reasonably expected from a
writer whom I have shown to have been so intimately acquainted with the
neighbourhood of Trapani.

[Illustration: The Voyages of Ulysses, omitting...]

Even partial consent, however, now fails us. The island of Æolus and
the country of the Læstrygonians have been placed in almost as many
sites as there have been writers upon the _Odyssey_. I shall return
to these on a later page, as also to the island of Favognana and the
Cyclopes. My present object is to show how much of the voyage we may
consider as known, how much as supported by considerable authority, and
how much we have yet to find.

The partial consent which we lost at the cave of Polyphemus returns
to us with the island of Circe, the Sirens and the Wandering Cliffs,
which are generally considered to have been the Lipari islands, and
universal consent rejoins us for Scylla and Charybdis. I can hardly say
that consent is universal for placing the cattle of the Sun on the West
coast of Sicily, somewhere about Tauromenium now Taormina; but it is
very general, and is so obviously well founded that I shall claim this
point as certain; for the name of the island sufficiently indicates
Sicily, the winds that detain Ulysses show him to have been on a West
coast, and the South wind that blew him back to Charybdis in a night
shows that he was supposed to be at no great distance South of the
Straits of Messina.

The island of Calypso has been generally held to be Malta, but on no
foundation either internal or external to the _Odyssey_, I shall,
therefore, consider Calypso's island as yet to find.

I have no consent for Scheria being Trapani, but after what I have
written above shall claim this point too as certain. The map,
therefore, which I here give will show the reader how we stand as
regards assent and otherwise ascertained points. I have used strong
lines for the parts of the voyage that may be claimed as certain,
interrupted lines for the parts that are backed by considerable
authority, and dotted lines for those which I would supply. I have made
Ulysses approach Trapani from the South, on the strength of Calypso's
directions to him that he was to sail towards the Great Bear, keeping
it on his left hand (v. 276, 277).[3] This indicates certainly a
Northerly, and one would say a N.N. Easterly, course; at any rate such
a course would in no way conflict with Calypso's instructions. Perhaps
I had better give the words of the poem which run:--

  He sat keeping his eyes upon the Pleiades,[4] late
  setting Boötes, and on the Bear, also called the Wain,
  which turns round and round facing Orion, and alone never
  sinks beneath the sea--for Calypso had bidden him steer
  by this, keeping it on his left hand (v. 272-277).

All the places in Ulysses' voyage have been generally referred to some
actual locality, which was present to the writer's mind either under
its own or a fictitious name; and when we have once got into Sicilian
waters, all those about which is there is any considerable amount
of consent, or which we may now, with or without consent, claim as
ascertained--I mean Circe's island, the Sirens, Scylla and Charybdis,
the Thrinacian island, Scheria and Ithaca are on, or hard by, the coast
of Sicily. Is not the temptation irresistible to think that the three
unknown sites--the island of Æolus, the Land of the Læstrygonians and
the island of Calypso--are also real places however fictitious the
names may be, and to hold that they should be looked for on, or near,
the coast of Sicily in the same order as that in which we find them

If, on the hypothesis that Favognana and Mt. Eryx are the true sites
of the island on which Ulysses and his men hunted the goats, and of
the cave of Polyphemus, we are immediately led to others, in due
order of sequence, which commend themselves as being those of the
island of Æolus, the Land of the Læstrygonians, Circe's island, the
other established sites, and lastly Calypso's island, should we not
conclude, at any rate provisionally, that the hypothesis is a true one?

I will so conclude, and proceed to look for the island of Æolus in
some island, apparently solitary, a good way to the West of the Lipari
islands, and at no great distance from Mt. Eryx.

I should first correct a very general misapprehension. The word πλωτῇ
(x. 3) has been unduly pressed into meaning that the island floated
about, and thus changed its place. But if so singular a phenomenon were
intended more would have been made of it. It would not have been dealt
with in a single word, admitting easy explanation as mere metaphor. No
one presses the "swiftly moving" islands of xv. 299 into meaning that
the islands actually moved. All that is meant is that they "seemed to
move" as the ship flew past them, and so with the island of Æolus--"it
seemed to float on the horizon." It shows no signs of having moved
during the month that Ulysses stayed on it, and when he returns to it
after an absence of three weeks, we have no hint given of its having
changed its place.[5] I conclude, therefore, that it was as fixed as
any other island, and proceed to look for it.

This is no hard matter, for the island of Ustica offers itself at
once. In clear weather it can be faintly seen from Mt. Eryx, and would
naturally have impressed itself on the mind of a writer to whom Eryx
and its neighbourhood was all in all. It is in the quarter from which
the winds blow most fiercely on Trapani during the winter months,
and may fitly have been selected by a Trapanese writer as the home
of the winds. The distance, a long way West of the Lipari islands,
and a greatly longer distance West of Ithaca, is all as it should
be. I accept it, therefore, and go on to look for the land of the
Læstrygonians, and their city Telepylus, at some point on the North
coast of Sicily between Ustica and the Lipari islands.

The name of the Læstrygonians or Workers in Stone,[6] like all names of
places or people inside Sicily, is fictitious. If there had ever been
any people really so called in Sicily Thucydides would have been able
to find out some little, at any rate, about them; whereas he declares
(vi. 2) that he cannot do so, and subrisively refers his readers to
the poets, or whatever other source of information they can command.
Clearly he does not believe in them except as poetical fictions
concerning the most ancient inhabitants of Sicily--of whom none are
known to him as more ancient than the Sicans.

But why should not the writer of the _Odyssey_ be referring under names
of her own coinage to these same Sicans, for both the Cyclopes and
the Læstrygonians? The name of the Læstrygonian city, Telepylus, is
certainly fictitious. It means "with gates far asunder," which can only
be an _ex post facto_ name: a city receives its name long before it is
known what it will prove to be in the matter of growth. All that we can
gather from the name is that the writer of the _Odyssey_ intended her
audience to understand that the city was large.

Its inhabitants, like the Cyclopes, are giants and ogres. They being
giants, we should look for remains of megalithic buildings, and being
ogres we should suspect identity of race between them and the Cyclopes
whom they so closely resemble. The writer hates them both, and looks
down upon the Cyclopes much as the Normans looked down upon the Saxons
for some generations after the Conquest.

The Cyclopes appear to have been subdued and outlawed; not so the
Læstrygonians. These last are a flourishing and very industrious
people, who work by night as well as by day (x. 84-86). There is a poor
little prehistoric joke about them, to the effect that in their country
a man could earn double wages if he could only do without sleep.
Moreover they were so wealthy and luxurious that they used to have
relays of fresh milk (x. 82, 83), instead of being contented with a
morning supply, as Sicilian towns generally are even at the present
day. More than this I cannot collect about them from the _Odyssey_.



Can we, then, find a place answering to the description of Telepylus,
on the North coast of Sicily between Ustica and the island of Lipari?
I have no hesitation in saying that Cefalù will give us all we want.
It has two fine examples of megalithic work. They must both of them be
centuries earlier than the _Odyssey_. They are about three quarters of
a mile apart, one, a wall rising from the sea, the other a building on
the hill, behind the town, in part polygonal, and very rude, and in
part of much later and singularly exquisite work--the later work being
generally held to be of the Mycenæan age.

The city, therefore, must have been for those days extensive. The
whole modern town is called among the common people Portazza, _i.e.,
portaccia_, or "wide gate," which is too like a corrupt mistranslation
of Telepylus to allow of my passing it over.

There can, I think, be no doubt that Eryx and Cefalù were built in
a very remote age by people of the same race. I have seen no other
megalithic remains in Sicily than at the two places just named; I have
seen remains of ancient buildings at Collesano about fifteen miles
S.W. of Cefalù, which are commonly called Cyclopean, but they are very
doubtful, and Dr. Orsi suspects them, I have little doubt correctly,
to be Byzantine. I have also seen a few, neither striking nor yet
certain ones, at Capo Schisò near Taormina. What little is left of
the walls of Segesta is of a greatly later age, and I find it very
difficult to think that Segesta was in existence when the _Odyssey_ was
being written.[7] I have heard of the remains of a Cyclopean acropolis
behind Termini, a monograph about which by Sigr. Luigi Mauceri will
be found in the British Museum. At Isnello two hours inland from
Collesano a very early necropolis has been discovered not long since,
and the efforts of local archæologists will, I doubt not, lead to the
finding of others at or near many of the little known mountain sites
in the North of Sicily; Dr. Orsi, indeed, has recently discovered the
remains of a megalithic house at Pantalica some forty miles inland from
Syracuse. No megalithic work, however, that has yet been found will
compare in importance with the remains at Eryx and Cefalù, nor does it
seem likely that any other such remains will be discovered.

Bearing in mind, then, the situation of Cefalù both as regards Ustica
and Lipari, the affinity between its founders and those of Eryx as
evidenced by existing remains, its great extent, and the name it still
bears among the common people, I do not hesitate to accept it as the
city of the Læstrygonians, nor does it affect me that the details of
the harbour as given in the _Odyssey_ have no correspondence with the
place itself. I may mention that when my friend, Mr. H. F. Jones, and
myself were at Cefalù in the spring of 1896, we met a flock of goats
coming into the town to be milked about five in the afternoon, and on
our return from a walk we met another flock coming out after having
been just milked. These two flocks must have met, and the shepherds
must have saluted one another as in x. 82, 83, but unfortunately we did
not happen to be at their point of meeting.

On enquiry we found that relays of fresh milk come into the town
from six till eight in the morning, and from five till seven in the
afternoon, and were told that there was no other town known to our
informant which had more than a morning supply. At Trapani, a town with
30,000 inhabitants, there is no evening supply, and though I have no
doubt that fresh milk can be had in the evening at Palermo, Catania,
and Syracuse, it is not easily procurable even in these large towns,
while in smaller ones, so far as I know them, it is not to be had at
all. At Rome I asked the landlord of my hotel whether the goats came
to be milked in the evening as in the morning, and he said it would be
only in exceptional cases that they would do so.

I have now only to find the island of Calypso, which in the _Odyssey_
is called the "navel" of the sea (i. 50), a metaphor absolutely
impossible of application to any but a solitary island, and prohibitive
of either Gozo or Malta, or of the other two small islands of the
same group. Calypso lives by herself and is cut off from every one
else--Ulysses cannot be supposed to have other islands in sight as he
sits on the sea shore weeping and looking out upon the waves. Moreover,
Scheria being fixed at Trapani, Ulysses could never get there from
either Gozo or Malta if he followed the directions of Calypso and
steered towards the Great Bear, keeping it on his left hand. We are,
therefore, compelled to look for some other island, which shall be more
solitary and more S.S.W. of Trapani.

The island of Pantellaria fulfils both these conditions; true, in clear
weather the coast of Africa can sometimes be just made out--I have seen
it from Pantellaria, but it is not sufficiently near or sufficiently
often seen to have obtruded itself on Ulysses' notice; still less so is
Mt. Eryx, which can also be seen sometimes, but very rarely. No doubt
the island is represented as being a good deal further off Scheria than
it really was, but the liberty taken in this respect is not greater
than is generally conceded in poetry.

As, therefore, the writer begins the voyage, when Ulysses is once clear
of Trapani, with an island interesting to herself and her audience as
being well within their ken, so she ends it with another island which
has like claims on her and their attention.

[1] In the _Odyssey_ more generally called Same.

[2] The name Favognana is derived from Favonius, this wind blowing on
to Trapani from off the island. It is, however, also and perhaps most
frequently called Favignana.

[3] Gr. Τὴν γὰρ δή μιν ἄνωγε Καλυψὼ δῖα θεάων ποντοπορευέμεναι ἐπ᾽
ἀριστερὰ χειρὸς ἔχοντα.

[4] We may neglect the Pleiades, as introduced simply because they
are in the Iliadic passage (xviii. 486-489) which the writer of the
_Odyssey_ is adopting with no other change than taking out the Hyades
and Orion, and substituting Boötes. This she was bound to do, for she
could not make Ulysses steer towards both the Bear and Orion, when she
is just going to tell us, as the _Iliad_ does, that Orion is on the
other side of the sky. The Pleiades she has allowed to stand--which of
us knows in what quarter of the heavens (let alone the Precession of
the Equinoxes) they are to be looked for?--and it is made quite clear
that the Bear is the constellation by which Ulysses is steering.

[5] At Messina a few months since I saw a printed handbill about the
hours when the boat would start for Reggio, in which Italy was called
"Terra firma," as though a sense of instability attached itself to any

[6] The name seems derived from λᾶας, τρυγάω, and αἶα, Œnotria is from
οἶνος, τρυγάω, and αἶα. I have read, but forget where, that Œnotria
is only a Greek rendering of Italia, which is derived from _vites,
alo_, and some Latin equivalent for αἶα. The modern Italian word
_lastricare_, "to pave roads with stone," is probably derived from the
same roots as _Læstrygonian_.

[7] Segesta would have been seen from the top of Mt. Eryx gleaming
in the summer sunset, and I think there would have been some kind of
allusion to it.



What I have said in the preceding chapter should be enough to establish
that the course taken by Ulysses was the one indicated in my map, but
I have remarks to make on the Cyclopes, the wall round the island of
Æolus, the Sirens, the Wandering Cliffs, and other matters connected
with the voyages which I have reserved in order to keep the general
view more broad and simple.

The habitat of the Cyclopes on Mt. Eryx is the point which it is most
incumbent on me to establish, for if this be conceded, and both Scylla
and Charybdis, and Scheria be taken as found, all the other places fall
so spontaneously on to the sites I have marked for them, that I fear no
dispute concerning them. Let us turn, then, to Favognana and accept it
for the moment as the island on which Ulysses hunted the goats.

Why, I wonder, was the author so careful to invoke a thick darkness, so
pompous and circumstantial, and to pilot Ulysses into the harbour of
this island by divine assistance, rather than permit him to look about
him and see the land, which was "not very far" off.

The answer is "not very far" to seek. If Ulysses had seen the main land
of Sicily as he approached it from that of the Lotus-eaters, he would
have been sure to have followed it up, and in this case he would have
been taken straight into Trapani harbour. Now, though the writer, as
all the audience would know, had already dealt with Trapani, as the
last point in all Ulysses' voyages, Ulysses himself ought not to know
anything about it till he comes to it in due course.

The cave of Polyphemus--still called among the peasants _la grotta di
Polifemo_--was some six or seven miles North of Trapani; Ulysses had
got to be taken there, and if possible, without unsettling either his
own mind or that of the audience by showing him a city which eight
years later he was to know as Scheria. He could, with the help of a
little mist, be just supposed to go from the island of Favognana to the
promontory of Pizzolungo and the cave of Polyphemus, without seeing
the city of the Phæacians if he did not look particularly hard in that
direction, but even Ulysses would have been compelled to take note of
Scheria if he had been allowed to go on till he reached its harbour.
It was better, therefore, that some god should take him to the island
without letting him see any other land at all, and hence the intense
darkness which the writer has been so careful to describe. We shall
see that later on (as regards the supposed time, though earlier in the
structure of her poem) she invokes a darkness which makes it impossible
for Ulysses to form any idea of his whereabouts, in exactly the same
place, and for the same reasons (v. 291-294)--for here too it is
necessary to get Ulysses from a point South of Trapani, to another on
the North side of it without seeing the town.

My map of the Ægadean islands (p. 177) combined with that of Trapani
and Mt. Eryx (p. 164) will show the course Ulysses would make from
Favognana to the _Grotta di Polifemo_--which is [by] far the largest
cave near Trapani, and is still used as a place in which to keep a
large flock of sheep by night. The two rocks which Polyphemus threw
should be seen, the first as the Asinelli,[1] and the second as the two
small islands called Formiche, which, being close together, are taken
as one.

I find, therefore, in the care taken to prevent Ulysses from seeing
Trapani, a considerable argument for the belief that Favognana was the
island where Ulysses hunted the goats, and that the cave of Polyphemus
was on Mt. Eryx.

Another indication, though one of no great strength, seems to suggest
that the Cyclopes were still near neighbours of the Phæacians.

At the beginning of Book vi. we learn that the Phæacians used to live
at a place called Hypereia, "near the lawless Cyclopes," but had of
late years been moved to Scheria, which, as I have said, means Jutland.
In a passage which I have not given in my abridgement Alcinous says
casually (vii. 205, 206) that the Phæacians are as closely related to
the gods as the Cyclopes and the giants are. Passing over the fact that
Alcinous, being grandson to Neptune, was half nephew to Polyphemus, the
spontaneousness with which the Cyclopes rise to his mind suggests that
though less near than they had been, they were still about the nearest
neighbours that he had.

The giants are only the Cyclopes over again, and are doubtless the
descendants of the people who built the noble megalithic walls of
Eryx. Hypereia, or Upper-town, was probably at the Eastern end of
the top of Mt. Eryx on a site where a very ancient wall, of totally
different character to those of the Sican city at the West end of the
mountain, may yet be traced. The remains of this wall are just above
the _Ruccazzù dei Corvi_, in Count Pepoli's grounds, and were first
shown me by the Count. A stranger is little likely to find them unless
conducted by one who has seen them.

As regards Hypereia I would repeat that all the names of places in
Sicily with one partial exception are fictitious, even Trinacria, which
Thucydides tells us was the most ancient name of Sicily, becoming "the
Thrinacian," or "three-pointed," island; whereas as soon as we are
outside Sicily the names are real. This affords ground for thinking
that the writer was drawing real people as well as real places, and
travestying them under flimsy disguises that she knew her audience
would see through. Once only is the mask dropped for a moment, when
Ulysses says that he had just come from Sicania (xxiv. 307), but this
does not count, for Ulysses is supposed to be lying.

The name Cyclopes, for example, or "round faces"--for there is nothing
in the word to show that it means anything else than this, and I see
from Liddell & Scott that Parmenides calls the moon Cyclops--is merely
an author's nick name. If μήλωψ means "apple-faced," κύκλωψ should mean
"circle-faced." As there is nothing in the word, so neither is there
in the _Odyssey_, to suggest that the Cyclopes were a people with only
one round eye in the middle of their foreheads. Such a marked feature
does not go without saying,[2] and that it did not go with the earliest
Greek artists appears from the fact that they always gave Polyphemus
two eyes. It is not till Roman times that he becomes monophthalmic,
and the _Odyssey_ gives him eyebrows in the plural (ix. 389), which
involve eyes in the plural also. True, the writer only blinds one eye,
but she could trust to the sympathetic inflammation which so serious
an injury would excite in the other eye, and would consider that she
had sufficiently blinded both by roasting one of them. One eye alone
was blinded, not because Polyphemus had not got two, but because his
pole had not got two prongs, and the writer saw neither how to get a
bifurcated instrument into the cave, nor how to wield it now that so
many of the men had been eaten.

"Cyclopes," therefore, we may be sure, means nothing more than
"moon-faced." The name Polyphemus is found as that of a hero in the
_Iliad_, and is perhaps a pseudonym for the local giant (if there
was one) taken from that poem. "Whatever his name may have been, and
whether he was a pre-Odyssean giant, or whether the writer of the
_Odyssey_ called him into being, he exists now under the name of
Conturràno. I have sometimes wondered whether this name may have any
connection with the Greek words κόντος and οὐρανός, and may indicate
that the giant was so tall as to be able to knock a hole in the sky
with his staff. Should this be so, his name, as likely as not was
Conturràno, or something near it, in the days of the _Odyssey_, and it
was with the κόντος commemorated in his own name that Ulysses blinded
him. The giant has grown greatly since the _Odyssey_ was written, and
large as the _grotta di Polifemo_ is, he could never get inside it;
for he rests his feet on the plain while he props his stomach on the
top of Mt. Eryx, and bending forward plunges his huge hands into the
sea between Bonagia and Cofàno, to catch tunnies. When disturbed he
tears great rocks from the top of Mt. Eryx, and dashes them at all who
interrupt him.

To repeat and to sum up, for I will argue this point no further;
I take the Cyclopes to be the conquered remnant of the old Sican
inhabitants of Mt. Eryx. They owe their gigantic stature to the huge
size of the stones with which the walls of their city on Mt. Eryx were
built. These stones show few or no signs of having been worked with
a tool of hardened bronze or iron, save in so far as the Phœnicians
may have trimmed them here and there when they rebuilt the walls, in
part, _de novo_, with stones some of which bear quarry-men's marks in
Phœnician characters.[3] The old Sican work, a good deal of which has
been allowed to stand, belongs to the true megalithic age, when it was
cheaper to carry than to cut; later generations, failing to consider
the revolution which the introduction of improved methods of cutting
had effected, argued that the men who built with such large stones must
have been large men, whereas in reality they were only economical men.

As soon as it became cheaper to cut than to carry, the huge unwieldy
blocks that we see at Eryx, at Cefalù, and at Segni, Arpino, Allatri,
and many another city in Southern Italy, became obsolete, but it was
still long before all irregularity in the courses was abandoned for
that perfect regularity which we find at Syracuse, Selinunte, the
temple of Segesta, and nearly all the Greek and Roman architecture
of historic times. Indeed I know many buildings as late as the tenth
century after Christ, in which the courses are far from regular;
nevertheless the tendency, almost immediately after cutting had become
cheaper, was towards greater regularity of courses and the use of
smaller stones, until there arose another megalithicism, of a kind
diametrically opposed to that of the earlier builders--I mean the
megalithicism of display.

[Illustration: H. FESTING JONES, ESQ. (height 6 ft. 2 in.) IN FLUTE OF


There are stones at Selinunte, used in buildings of the fifth century
before Christ, that are larger than the largest at Eryx or Cefalù;
there are columns thirteen feet in diameter at the base, and in a flute
of which my friend Mr. H. F. Jones could stand; but they are written
all over in clear though invisible characters with the word "Glory,"
whereas the stones at Eryx bear not less clearly the word "Economy." I
do not think that any true megalithic polygonal walls not worked with
metal can be dated much later than 2000 B.C. By the time we reach such
buildings as the Treasury of Atreus at Mycene, or the Iliadic wall
of Hissarlik (which, however, is built in far less regular courses),
cutting, whether with chisels of hardened bronze, or more probably by
that time with iron, has ceased to be troublesome; nevertheless as
late as Hesiod, who is not generally dated earlier than 1000 B.C., the
memory of an age when "as yet swart iron was not," had not been lost.
(_Works and Days_, 148-151.)

Furthermore, I would ask the reader to remark how closely the
description of the Cyclopes in the _Odyssey_ tallies with that of the
modern Sicilian brigands published in the _Times_ of September 24th,

The writer--Mr. Stigand--says:--

  S. Mauro, the headquarters of the brigands, is a town on
  the top of a mountain 3000 feet high, and in sight of
  Geraci Siculo, another town of about the same height, and
  of Pollina, also on the summit of another mountain. The
  roads among the mountains, connecting these towns, are
  mere mule paths. The mountains abound in caves known only
  to the brigands and shepherds.

The _Odyssey_ says of the Cyclopes:--

  They have neither places of assembly nor laws, but they
  live in caves on the tops of high mountains; each one of
  them rules over his own wife and children, and they take
  no account of any one else (ix. 112-115).

I saw several families of cave-dwellers at a place called _le grotte
degli Scurati_ on Cofàno about fifteen miles North of Trapani. There
was, however, nothing of the Cyclops about them. Their caves were most
beautifully clean and as comfortable as the best class of English
cottages. The people, who were most kind and hospitable, were more fair
than dark, and might very well have passed for English. They provided
us with snow white table cloths and napkins for the lunch which we had
brought from Trapani, and they gave us any quantity of almonds fried
in a little salt and butter; most unexpected of all, the salt they
brought us was mixed with chervil seed. There was an atrocious case
of brigandage on Cofàno about a fortnight later than our pic-nic. A
Palermo merchant was kept a whole month on the mountain till he was
ransomed, but I am sure that our cave-dwellers had nothing to do with
it. The caves bore traces of prehistoric man by way of ancient meals
now petrified.

It is noticeable that forms of the word σπέος or ἄντρον (cave) appear
forty-five times in the _Odyssey_ as against only six in the _Iliad_,
which, allowing for the greater length of the last named poem, is
about in the proportion of 10:1. We may surmise, therefore, that the
_Odyssey_ hails from a district in which caves abounded.

As regards "the wall of bronze" which the writer of the _Odyssey_
tells us ran round the island of Æolus, it is hard to say whether it
was purely fiction or no. We may be sure that it was no more made of
bronze than Æolus was king of the winds, but all round the island of
Marettimo, wherever the cliffs do not protect it naturally, there
existed a wall of long pre-Odyssean construction, traces of which
were shown me by Sigr. Tedesco and Professor Spadaro, without whose
assistance I should not have observed them. I have sometimes wondered
whether the writer may not have transferred this wall to Ustica, as
we shall see later that she transferred the hump on Thersites' back
to that of Eurybates; but no traces of any such wall exist so far as
I know on Ustica, nor yet on the islands of Favognana or Levanzo. The
ancient name of Marettimo was Hiera, and about 1,900 feet above the
sea I was shown ruins (not striking) of exceedingly ancient walls on a
small plateau which the inhabitants dare not cross by night, and which
is believed to have been the site of the cult that gave its name to the

What I have to say about Circe's island is so speculative that I write
it in fear and trembling. I see that Circe's house is, like Eumæus's
pig farm, "in a place that can be seen from far" (x. 211), and I see
also that Ulysses approaches it "over the top of the mountain" (x.
281), as he does Eumæus's hut (xiv. 2). I remember the pigs, and I
cannot refrain from thinking that though the writer tells us in the
first instance that the island was a low one (x. 196), her inability
to get away from her own surroundings is too much for her, and she
is drifting on to the top of Mt. Eryx and Eumæus's pig farm. She
does not mean to have pigs at first--the men whom Circe bewitched on
previous occasions were turned into wolves and lions--but the force of
association is too strong for her, and Ulysses' men are turned into
pigs after all.

The fall of Elpenor from the top of Circe's house is a very singular
way of killing him. If he had been at Eumæus's hut she could not have
killed him more naturally than by letting him tumble off the precipice
that overhangs it, and on the top of which the temple of Venus stood
in later ages. I suspect, not without shame, that the wall of Circe's
house is made to do duty for this precipice.

On the island of Panaria, anciently Enonymus, among the Lipari group,
there is a small bay called La Caletta dei Zummari, which suggests a
corruption of Cimmerii, but I have already explained that no attempt
should be made to localise the journey to Hades.

The two Sirens can be placed with, I should say, confidence, on the
island of Salina anciently called Didyme from the two high mountains,
each about 3000 feet high, of which it consists. Sudden cat's paws
of very violent wind descend at times from all high points near the
sea in this part of the Mediterranean, as from Cofàno near Trapani,
where there is a saying among the fishermen "ware Cofàno." My friend,
Signor E. Biaggini, whose loss I have to deplore within the last
twelve months, and who has furnished me over and over again with
local details, told me that he once was all but capsized by a gust
from Cofàno, that came down on his boat in perfectly calm weather,
and lasted hardly more than a few seconds. I take it that the two
Sirens--who are always winged in the earlier Greek representations
of them--were, as indeed their name suggests, the whistling gusts or
avalanches of air that descended without the slightest warning from the
two mountains of Didyme. The story turned from poetry into prose means,
"Woe to him who draws near the two treacherous mountains of Didyme; the
coast is strewn with wreckage, and if he hears the wind from off them
shriek in his rigging his bones will whiten the shore." The reader will
remember that the Sirens' island is very near Circe's.

Speaking of the Æolian islands Admiral Smyth says:--

  Whether from the heat of the water by volcanic springs,
  the steam of Vulcanella, the incessant hot injections
  from Stromboli, or all of them added to the general
  temperature, it is certain that there are more frequent
  changes in this group than in the neighbourhood (_The
  Mediterranean_, Parkers, 1854, p. 250).

Speaking, again, of the Straits of Messina, he says:--

  Precautions should also be taken against the heavy gusts,
  which at times, from the mountainous nature of the
  coasts, rush down the Fuimare, and are dangerous to small
  vessels. I have twice, with grief, seen the neglect of
  them prove fatal (_Sicily and its Islands_, Murray, 1824,
  p. 111).

The reason why the poetess found herself in such difficulties about the
Wandering Cliffs, is because the story, as Buttmann has said, does not
refer to any two islands in particular, but is derived from traveller's
tales about the difficulties of navigating the Lipari islands as a
whole. "They close in upon you," it was said, "so quickly one after
another that a bird can hardly get through them." The "hurricanes of
fire," moreover (xii. 68), suggest an allusion to the volcanic nature
of the Æolian islands generally. Still more so does the dark cloud that
never leaves the top of Scylla's rock (xii. 74) neither in summer nor

The terrors of Scylla and Charybdis are exaggerated in the same poetic
vein as the Sirens and the Wandering Cliffs. Instead of its being
possible to shoot an arrow from the one to the other, they are about
eight miles apart. We ought not to look for the accuracy of one of Mr.
Murray's handbooks in a narrative that tells us of a monster with six
heads and three rows of teeth. It is enough if there are a few grains
of truth, and these there are: for Scylla is a high rock looking West,
and Charybdis is (for those days) a formidable whirlpool, on the other
side the Straits, off lower ground, and hard by the approach to a three
pointed island. According to Admiral Smyth it is just outside Messina
harbour, and is now called Galofaro. Admiral Smyth says of it:--

  To the undecked boats of the Rhegians, Locrians,
  Zancleans and Greeks, it must have been formidable
  for even in the present day small craft are sometimes
  endangered by it, and I have seen several men-of-war,
  and even a seventy-four-gun, ship, whirled round on its
  surface; but by using due caution there is generally very
  little danger or inconvenience to be apprehended (_Sicily
  and its Islands_, Murray, 1824, p. 123).

I do not doubt that the Galofaro is the nucleus round which the story
of Charybdis gathered, but I have seen considerable disturbance in the
sea all through the Straits of Messina. Very much depends upon the
state of the winds, which sometimes bank the water up in the angle
between the toe of Italy and the North coast of Sicily, on which a
current and strong eddies occur in the Straits of Messina. At other
times there is hardly anything noticeable.

Passing over the nine days drifting in the sea, which take Ulysses from
Charybdis to the island of Calypso, _i.e_. Pantellaria--and we may be
sure he would have been made to take longer time if the writer had
dared to keep him longer without food and water--it only remains for me
to deal at somewhat fuller length than I have yet done with the voyage
from Pantelleria to Trapani. On the eighteenth day after Ulysses had
left Pantellaria, steering towards the Great Bear, but keeping it on
his left, he saw the long low line of the Lilybæan coast rising on the
horizon. He does not appear to have seen the island of Favognana, which
must have been quite near, and it was perhaps as well that he did not,
for he could hardly have failed to recognise it as the one on which he
had hunted the goats some eight or nine years previously, and this
might have puzzled him.

But though he is allowed to see the land he must not be permitted to
follow it up, or, as I have explained already, he would have gone
straight into the harbour of Scheria, whereas he is particularly wanted
to meet Nausicaa on the North side of the town, and to know nothing
about Scheria till she brings him to it. Neptune, therefore, is made to
catch sight of him at this moment and to raise a frightful hurricane;
sea and sky become obscured in clouds, with a darkness as dense as
night (v. 291-294), and thus Ulysses is carried a long distance
apparently to the North, for when he has been taken far enough, Minerva
blows him two days and two nights before a North wind, and hence
Southwards, till he reaches the harbour near which Nausicaa can meet

There are no other such noticeable darknesses in the _Odyssey_, as this
and the one of Book ix. 144, alluded to on p. 188. They both occur in
the same place, and for the same reason--to keep the town of Scheria in

       *       *       *       *       *

I have now shown that all the Ithacan scenes of the _Odyssey_ are drawn
with singular fidelity from Trapani and its neighbourhood, as also all
the Scherian; moreover, I have shown that the Ionian islands are in
reality drawn from the Ægadean group off Trapani; lastly I have shown
that the voyage of Ulysses in effect begins with Trapani and ends with
Trapani again. I need not deal with Pylos and Lacedæmon beyond showing
that they were far removed from the knowledge of either writer or

There is not a single natural feature mentioned in either case.
The impossible journey of Telemachus and Pisistratus from Pheræ to
Lacedæmon in a chariot and pair over the lofty, and even now roadless,
range of Mt. Taygetus, causes no uneasiness to the writer. She gives
no hint of any mountain to be crossed--from which we may infer, either
that she knew nothing of the country between Pylos and Lacedæmon, or
that at any rate her audience would not do so. It may, however, be
remarked that the West wind which Minerva provided in order to take
Telemachus from Ithaca to Pylos, was more suitable for taking him from
Sicily. A North wind would have been better for him if he had been
coming from the real Ithaca, but Minerva manages things so strangely
that I would not press this point.

[1] The Asinelli is a single islet much in the shape of a ship heading
straight for Favognana. There is nothing plural about it, and one does
not see why it should have a plural name. Who were the "asses" or

[2] Virgil does not let it pass unnoticed. He writes:--

     "Cernimus adstantes nequidquam lumine torvo
     Ætnæos fratres,....
                                   Æn. III. 667, 678.

He calls the Cyclopes "Ætnæan" because he places them on Mt. Etna.

[3] There is no Phœnician work in the bastion shown in my illustration,
the restorations here are medieval.



I believe the reader will by this time feel no doubt, from my earlier
Chapters that the _Odyssey_ was written by one woman, and from my later
ones that this woman knew no other neighbourhood than that of Trapani,
and therefore must be held to have lived and written there.

Who, then, was she?

I cannot answer this question with the confidence that I have felt
hitherto. So far I have been able to demonstrate the main points of my
argument; on this, the most interesting question of all, I can offer
nothing stronger than presumption.

We have to find a woman of Trapani, young, fearless, self-willed, and
exceedingly jealous for the honour of her sex. She seems to have moved
in the best society of her age and country, for we can imagine none
more polished on the West coast of Sicily in Odyssean times than the
one with which the writer shews herself familiar. She must have had
leisure, or she could not have carried through so great a work. She
puts up with men when they are necessary or illustrious, but she is
never enthusiastic about them, and likes them best when she is laughing
at them; but she is cordially interested in fair and famous women.

I think she should be looked for in the household of the person whom
she is travestying under the name of King Alcinous. The care with which
his pedigree and that of his wife Arete is explained (vii. 54-77),
and the warmth of affectionate admiration with which Arete is always
treated, have the same genuine flavour that has led scholars to see
true history and personal interest in the pedigree of Æneas given in
_Il_. xx. 200-241. Moreover, she must be a sufficiently intimate member
of the household to be able to laugh at its head as much as she chose.
No pedigree of any of the other _dramatis personæ_ of the _Odyssey_
is given save that of Theoclymenus, whose presence in the poem at all
requires more explanation than I can give. I can only note that he was
of august descent, more than sub-clerical, and of a different stamp
from any other character to whom we are introduced.

The fact that the writer should be looked for in a member of King
Alcinous' household seems further supported by the zest with which
this household and garden are described (vii. 81-132), despite the
obviously subrisive exaggeration which pervades the telling. There
is no such zest in the description of any other household, and the
evident pleasure which the writer takes in it is more like that of a
person drawing her own home, than either describing some one else's or
creating an imaginary scene. See how having begun in the past tense she
slides involuntarily into the present as soon as she comes to the women
of the house and to the garden. She never does this in any other of her

Lastly, she must be looked for in one to whom the girl described as
Nausicaa was all in all. No one else is drawn with like livingness and
enthusiasm, and no other episode is written with the same, or nearly
the same, buoyancy of spirits and resiliency of pulse and movement,
or brings the scene before us with anything approaching the same
freshness, as that in which Nausicaa takes the family linen to the
washing cisterns. The whole of Book vi. can only have been written by
one who was throwing herself into it heart and soul.

All the three last paragraphs are based on the supposition that the
writer was drawing real people. That she was drawing a real place,
lived at that place, and knew no other, does not admit of further
question; we can pin the writer down here by reason of the closeness
with which she has kept to natural features that remain much as they
were when she pourtrayed them; but no traces of Alcinous's house and
garden, nor of the inmates of his household will be even looked for by
any sane person; it is open, therefore, to an objector to contend that
though the writer does indeed appear to have drawn permanent features
from life, we have no evidence that she drew houses and gardens and
men and women from anything but her own imagination.

Granted; but surely, in the first place, if we find her keeping to her
own neighbourhood as closely as she can whenever the permanency of the
features described enables us to be certain of what she did, there is
a presumption that she was doing the same thing in cases where the
evidence has been too fleeting to allow of our bringing her to book.
And secondly, we have abundant evidence that the writer did not like

Richly endowed with that highest kind of imagination which consists
in wise selection and judicious application of materials derived from
life, she fails, as she was sure to do, when cut off from a base of
operation in her own surroundings. This appears most plainly in the
three books which tell of the adventures of Ulysses after he has left
Mt. Eryx and the Cyclopes. There is no local detail in the places
described; nothing, in fact, but a general itinerary such as she could
easily get from the mariners of her native town. With this she manages
to rub along, helping herself out with fragments taken from nearer
home, but there is no approach to such plausible invention as we find
in _Gulliver's Travels, Robinson Crusoe_, or _Pilgrim's Progress_;
and when she puts a description of the land of Hades into the mouth
of Circe (x. 508-515)--which she is aware must be something unlike
anything she had ever witnessed--she breaks down and gives us a scene
which carries no conviction. Fortunately not much detail is necessary
here; in Ithaca, however, a great deal is wanted, and feeling invention
beyond her strength she does not even attempt it, but has recourse with
the utmost frankness to places with which she is familiar.

Not only does she shirk invention as much as possible in respect of
natural features, but she does so also as regards incident. She can
vilipend her neighbours on Mt. Eryx as the people at Trapani continue
doing to this day, for there is no love lost between the men of Trapani
and those of Mte. S. Giuliano, as Eryx is now called. She knows Ustica:
the wind comes thence, and she can make something out of that; then
there is the other great Sican city of Cefalù--a point can be made
here; but with the Lipari islands her material is running short. She
has ten years to kill, for which, however, eight or eight-and-a-half
may be made to pass. She cannot have killed more than three months
before she lands her hero on Circe's island; here, then, in pity's name
let him stay for at any rate twelve months--which he accordingly does.

She soon runs through her resources for the Sirens' island, and Scylla
and Charybdis; she knows that there is nothing to interest her on the
West coast of Sicily below Taormina--for Syracuse (to which I will
return) was still a small pre-Corinthian settlement, while on the South
coast we have no reason to believe that there was any pre-Hellenic
city. What, she asked herself, could she do but shut Ulysses up in the
most lonely island she could think of--the one from which he would have
the least chance of escaping--for the remainder of his term? She chose,
therefore, the island which the modern Italian Government has chosen,
for exactly the same reasons, as the one in which to confine those who
cannot be left at large--the island of Pantellaria; but she was not
going to burden Calypso for seven long years with all Ulysses' men, so
his ship had better be wrecked.

This way out of the difficulty does not indicate a writer of fecund
or mature invention. She knew the existence of Sardinia, for Ulysses
smiles a grim Sardinian smile (xx. 302). Why not send him there, and
describe it with details taken not from the North side of Trapani but
from the South? Or she need not have given details at all--she might
have sent him very long journeys extending over ever so many years in
half a page. If she had been of an inventive turn there were abundant
means of keeping him occupied without having recourse to the cheap
and undignified expedient of shutting him up first for a year in one
island, and then for seven in another. Having made herself so noble a
peg on which to hang more travel and adventure, she would have hung
more upon it, had either strength or inclination pointed in that
direction. It is one of the commonplaces of Homeric scholars to speak
of the voyages of Ulysses as "a story of adventurous travel." So in a
way they are, but one can see all through that the writer is trying to
reduce the adventurous travel to a minimum.

See how hard put to it she is when she is away from her own actual
surroundings. She does not repeat her incidents so long as she is at
home, for she has plenty of material to draw from; when she is away
from home, do what she may, she cannot realise things so easily, and
has a tendency to fall back on something she has already done. Thus, at
Pylos, she repeats the miraculous flight of Minerva (iii. 372) which
she had used i. 320. On reaching the land of the Læstrygonians Ulysses
climbs a high rock to reconnoitre, and sees no sign of inhabitants save
only smoke rising from the ground--at the very next place he comes to
he again climbs a high rock to reconnoitre, and apparently sees no sign
of inhabitants but only the smoke of Circe's house rising from the
middle of a wood. He is conducted to the house of Alcinous by a girl
who had come out of the town to fetch a pitcher of water (vii. 20);
this is repeated (x. 105) when Ulysses' men are conducted to the house
of the Læstrygonian Antiphates, by a girl who had come out of the town
to fetch a pitcher of water. The writer has invented a sleep to ruin
Ulysses just as he was well in sight of Ithaca (x. 31, &c.). This is
not good invention, for such a moment is the very last in which Ulysses
would be likely to feel sleepy--but the effort of inventing something
else to ruin him when his men are hankering after the cattle of the Sun
is quite too much for her, and she repeats (xii. 366) the sleep which
had proved so effectual already. So, as I have said above, she repeats
the darkness on each occasion when Ulysses seems likely to stumble upon
Trapani. Calypso, having been invented once, must do duty again as
Circe--or _vice versâ_, for Book x. was probably written before Book v.

Such frequent examples of what I can only call consecutive octaves
indicate a writer to whom invention does not come easily, and who is
not likely to have recourse to it more than she can help. Having shown
this as regards both places and incidents, it only remains to point
out that the writer's dislike of invention extends to the invention of
people as well as places. The principal characters in the _Odyssey_
are of all of them Scherian. Nestor, Ulysses, Menelaus and Alcinous
are every one of them the same person playing other parts, and the
greater zest with which Alcinous is drawn suggests, as I have said in
an earlier Chapter, that the original from whom they are all taken was
better known to the writer in the part of Alcinous than in that of any
of the other three. Penelope, Helen, and Arete are only one person, and
I always suspect Penelope to be truer to the original than either of
the other two. Idothea and Ino are both of them Nausicaa; so also are
Circe and Calypso, only made up a little older, and doing as the writer
thinks Nausicaa would do if she were a goddess and had an establishment
of her own. I am more doubtful about these two last, for they both seem
somewhat more free from that man-hatred which Nausicaa hardly attempts
to conceal. Still, Nausicaa contemplates marrying as soon as she can
find the right person, and, as we have seen, neither Circe nor Calypso
had a single man-servant of their own, while Circe was in the habit of
turning all men who came near her into pigs or wild beasts. Calypso,
moreover, is only made a little angry by being compelled to send
Ulysses away. She does not seem to have been broken-hearted about it.
Neither of them, therefore, must be held to be more fond of men than
the convenience of the poem dictated. Even the common people of Ithaca
are Scherians, and make exactly the same fault-finding ill-natured
remarks about Penelope (xxiii. 149-151) as the Phæacians did about
Nausicaa in Book vi. 273-288.

If, then, we observe that where the writer's invention is more laboured
she is describing places foreign to her own neighbourhood, while when
she carries conviction she is at or near her own home, the presumption
becomes very strong that the more spontaneous scenes are not so much
invention as a rendering of the writer's environment, to which it is
plain that she is passionately attached, however much she may sometimes
gird at it. I, therefore, dismiss the supposition of my supposed
objector that the writer was not drawing Alcinous' household and garden
from life, and am confirmed in this opinion by remembering that the
house of Ulysses corresponds perfectly with that of Alcinous--even to
the number of the women servants kept in each establishment.

Being limited to a young woman who was an intimate member of Alcinous'
household, we have only to choose between some dependant who idolised
Nausicaa and wished to celebrate her with all her surroundings, or
Nausicaa (whatever her real name may have been) herself. Or again,
it may be urged that the poem was written by some bosom friend of
Nausicaa's who was very intimate with the family, as for example
Captain Dymas's daughter.

The intimate friend theory may be dismissed at once. High spirited
girls, brilliant enough to write the _Odyssey_ are not so self
effacing as to keep themselves entirely out of sight. If a friend had
written the washing day episode, the friend would have come a washing
too--especially after having said she would in Nausicaa's dream.

If, again, a dependant had written it, Nausicaa would neither have had
the heart nor the power to suppress her altogether; for if she tried
to do so the dependant--so daring and self-willed as the writer proves
herself to be--would have been more than a match for her mistress. We
may be sure that there were not two such spirits in Trapani, as we
must suppose if we make Nausicaa able to bow the will of the authoress
of the _Odyssey_. The fact that in the washing day episode, so far as
possible, we find Nausicaa, all Nausicaa, and nothing but Nausicaa,
among the female _dramatis personæ_, indicates that she was herself
the young woman of Trapani, a member of the household of King Alcinous,
whom we have got to find, and that she was giving herself the little
niche in her work which a girl who was writing such a work was sure to
give herself.

A dependant would not have dared to laugh at Alcinous with such
playful malice as the writer has done. Again she would have made more
of Nausicaa herself in the scenes that follow. At present she is left
rather as a ragged edge, and says good bye to Ulysses in Book viii.
460, &c., with much less detail, both as regards her own speech and
that of Ulysses in reply, than a courtier-like dependant would have
permitted. She does not hear Ulysses' account of his adventures--which
she might perfectly well have done under her mother's wing. She does
not appear to take her meals with the rest of the family at all. When
she returns from washing, Eurymedusa brings her supper into her own
room. She is not present at any of Alcinous' banquets, nor yet at the
games, and her absence from the farewell scene in Book xiii. is too
marked to be anything but intentional. It seems as though she wished
the reader to understand that she lived apart, and however much she
might enjoy an outing with her maids, would have nothing to do with the
men who came night after night drinking her father's best wine, and
making havoc of his estate. In passing, I may say that the strangeness
of the manner in which Nausicaa says good bye to Ulysses is one of the
many things which convince me that the _Odyssey_ has never been recast
by a later hand. A person recasting the work would have been tolerably
sure to have transferred the leave-taking to Book xiii.

Nausicaa, again, would have been more than human if she had permitted
any one but herself to put into her month the ill-natured talk about
her which she alleges to pass current among the Phæacians. She would
not mind saying it herself when her audience, private or public, would
know that she was doing so, but a dependant would have been requested
to be less pungent.

I admit as I have already done that these arguments are not absolutely
demonstrative, but it being, I may say, demonstrated that we must
choose between Nausicaa and some other young woman of Trapani who lived
in, or was very closely intimate with, the household of King Alcinous,
I have no hesitation in saying that I think Nausicaa herself more
likely than this other unknown young woman to have been the writer we
are seeking.

Let the reader look at my frontispiece and say whether he would find
the smallest difficulty in crediting the original of the portrait
with being able to write the _Odyssey_. Would he refuse so to credit
her merely because all he happened to know about her for certain was
that she once went out washing clothes with her attendants? Nausicaa
enjoyed a jaunt on a fine spring morning and helped her maids at the
washing cisterns; therefore it is absurd to suppose that she could have
written the _Odyssey_. I venture to think that this argument will carry
little weight outside the rank and file of our Homerists--greatly as I
dislike connecting this word however remotely with the _Odyssey_.

No artist can reach an ideal higher than his own best actual
environment. Trying to materially improve upon that with which he or
she is fairly familiar invariably ends in failure. It is only adjuncts
that may be arranged and varied--the essence may be taken or left, but
it must not be bettered. The attempt to take nature and be content with
her save in respect of details which after all are unimportant, leads
to Donatello, Giovanni Bellini, Holbein, Rembrandt, and De Hooghe--the
attempt to improve upon her leads straight to Michael Angelo and the
_barocco_, to Turner and the modern drop scene. There is not a trace of
the _barocco_ in my frontispiece; we may be confident, therefore, that
such women, though doubtless comparatively rare, yet existed, as they
exist in Italy now, in considerable numbers. Is it a very great stretch
of imagination to suppose that one among them may have shown to equal
advantage whether as driver, washerwoman, or poetess? At the same time
I think it highly probable that the writer of the _Odyssey_ was both
short and plain, and was laughing at herself, and intending to make
her audience laugh also, by describing herself as tall and beautiful.
She may have been either plain or beautiful without its affecting the

I wish I could find some one who would give me any serious reason why
Nausicaa should not have written the _Odyssey_. For the last five years
I have pestered every scholar with whom I have been able to scrape
acquaintance, by asking him to explain why the _Odyssey_ should not
have been written by a young woman. One or two have said that they
could see none whatever, but should not like to commit themselves to
a definite opinion without looking at the work again. One well-known
and very able writer said that when he had first heard of the question
as being mooted, he had supposed it to be some paradox of my own, but
on taking up the _Odyssey_ he had hardly read a hundred lines before
he found himself saying "Why of course it is." The greater number,
however, gave me to understand that they should not find it a difficult
matter to expose the absurdity of my contention if they were not
otherwise employed, but that for the present they must wish me a very
good morning. They gave me nothing, but to do them justice before I had
talked with them for five minutes I saw that they had nothing to give
with which I was not already familiar. The _Odyssey_ is far too easy,
simple, and straight-forward for the understanding of scholars--as I
said in my _Life of Dr. Butler of Shrewsbury_, if it had been harder
to understand, it would have been sooner understood--and yet I do not
know; the _Iliad_ is indeed much harder to understand, but scholars
seem to have been very sufficiently able to misunderstand it.

Every scholar has read a Book or two of the _Odyssey_ here and there;
some have read the whole; a few have read it through more than once;
but none that I have asked have so much as been able to tell me whether
Ulysses had a sister or no--much less what her name was. Not one of
those whom I have as yet had the good fortune to meet in England--for I
have met with such in Sicily--have saturated themselves with the poem,
and that, too, unhampered by a single preconceived idea in connection
with it. Nothing short of this is of the smallest use.



The view that the _Odyssey_ was written at Trapani will throw
unexpected light upon the date of the poem. We can never date it within
a hundred years or so, but I shall attempt to show that we must place
it very little, if at all, later than 1050, and not earlier than 1150

I see that I may claim Professor Jebb's authority as to some extent, at
any rate, supporting the later of these two dates. He writes:--

  With regard to the age of the _Odyssey_, we may suppose
  that the original "Return" was composed in Greece Proper
  as early as the Eleventh Century B.C., and that the first
  enlargement had been made before 850 B.C.[1]

I have shown why I cannot admit that any part of the _Odyssey_ was
written in Greece Proper, and while admitting that the poem has been
obviously enlarged by the addition of Books i.-iv. and line 187 of
Book xiii.-xxiv., with which I will deal fully in a later Chapter--I
cannot think that the enlargement was by another hand than that of the
authoress of the poem in its original form. Nevertheless I am glad
to claim Professor Jebb's support as far as it goes, for dating the
inception of the _Odyssey_ as in the eleventh century B.C.

I will begin by giving my reasons for thinking that the _Odyssey_ must
at any rate be earlier than 734 B.C.

When Eumæus is telling the story of his childhood to Ulysses (xv. 403
&c.), he says that he was born in the Syrian island over against
Ortygia, and I have rendered "the Syrian island" "the island of Syra,"
guided by the analogy of the "Psyrian island" (iii. 171), which
unquestionably means the island of Psyra.

The connection of an island Syra with a land Ortygia, suggests
Syracuse, in spite of the fact that in reality Ortygia was an island,
and Syracuse both on the island and on the adjacent mainland--for as I
have already too often said all Sicilian places in the _Odyssey_ are
travestied, however thinly.

The impression that Syracuse[2] is being alluded to is deepened by our
going on to read that "the turnings of the sun" are "there"--which I
presume may be extended so as to mean "thereabouts." Now what are "the
turnings of the sun"? I looked in Liddell and Scott, for whose work no
one can feel a more cordial admiration, nor deeper sense of gratitude,
and found that the turnings of the sun are "the solstices, or tropics,
_i.e_., the turning points of midsummer and midwinter." This may do
very well as regards time, but not as regards place. In reference to
the Odyssean passage, I read that "the turning of the sun denotes a
point in the heavens probably to the Westward."

But we want the sun to turn not at a point in the heavens, but in the
neighbourhood of Syra and Ortygia, and to do so here in a way that he
does not do elsewhere. The simplest way of attaining this end will be
to suppose that the writer of the _Odyssey_ was adopting a form of
speech which we often use on a railway journey, when we say that the
sun has turned and is coming in at the other window--meaning that the
line has taken a sharp turn, and that we are going in a new direction.
Surely I am not wrong in thinking that the author meant nothing more
recondite than that near the two places named the land turns sharply
round, so that sailors who follow it will find the sun on the other
side of their ship from what it has hitherto been.

A glance at the map will show that the site which the combination of
Syra and Ortygia has suggested is confirmed by the fact that shortly
South of it the coast of Sicily turns abruptly round, and continues
thenceforward in a new direction. Indeed it begins to turn sharply with
the promontory of Plemmyrium itself. Eumæus, therefore, should be taken
as indicating that he was born at the place which we know as Syracuse,
and which was then, so he says, an aggregate of two small towns,
without many inhabitants. It seems to have been a quiet easy-going
little place, where every one had enough to eat and drink, and nobody
died except of sheer old age, diseases of all kinds being unknown.
Business must have been carried on in a very leisurely fashion, for
it took the Phœnicians a twelvemonth to freight their vessel, and the
largest ship of those times cannot have been very large.

This is not the description of a busy newly founded settlement, as
Syracuse would be in 734 B.C. Still less will it apply to any later
Syracusan age. The writer modernises when dealing with an earlier age
as frankly as Shakspeare: I have never detected a trace in her of any
archæological instinct. I believe, therefore, that she was telling what
little she knew of the Syracuse of her own day, and that that day was
one prior to the arrival of the Corinthian Colony. I think it likely
also that she made Eumæus come from Syracuse because she felt that she
rather ought to have done something at Syracuse during the voyage of
Ulysses, but could not well, under the circumstances, break his journey
between Charybdis and Calypso's Island. She, therefore, took some other
way of bringing Syracuse into her story.

It may be urged that we have no other evidence of any considerable
civilisation as having existed at Syracuse before the one founded by
the Corinthians, and as regards written evidence this is true, so
far at least as I know; but we have unwritten evidence of an even
more conclusive kind. The remains of pottery and implements found
at, or in the near neighbourhood of, Syracuse go back in an unbroken
line from post-Roman times to the age of stone, while commerce with
the Peloponese, at any rate from the Mycenæan age, is shown by the
forms and materials of the objects discovered in countless tombs. I
had the advantage of being shown over the Museum at Syracuse by Dr.
Orsi, than whom there can be no more cautious and capable guide on
all matters connected with the earliest history of Sicily, and he
repeatedly insisted on the remoteness of the age at which commerce must
have existed between the South East, and indeed all the East, coast
of Sicily, and the Peloponese. The notion, therefore, too generally
held in the very face of Thucydides himself, that there were no people
living at or near Syracuse till the arrival of the Corinthians must be
abandoned, and I believe we may feel confident that in the story of
Eumæus we have a peep into its condition in pre-Corinthian times.

The two communities of which Eumæus tells us were probably, one, on
the promontory of Plemmyrium, and the other, at a place between three
and four miles distant, now called Cozzo Pantano, on each of which
sites Dr. Orsi has discovered the burying ground of an extensive
village or town (_borgo_) to which he had assigned the date xii.-xi.
centuries B.C. before his attention had been called to the existence
of a reference to prehistoric Syracuse in the _Odyssey_. Many examples
of implements found on these two sites may be seen in the museum at
Syracuse. I did not gather that any other prehistoric burying grounds
had been found at or in close proximity to Syracuse.

Whether the people whose burying grounds have been found at the above
named places were Greeks, who were displaced later by Sicels, as the
Sicels in their turn were displaced by the Corinthians, or whether they
were Sicels of an earlier unrecorded immigration, I must leave Dr.
Orsi and others to determine, but the name of the sea which washes the
East coast of Sicily points to the existence at one time of extensive
Ionian settlements on East Sicilian shores. The name, again, Aci, which
is found in _Aci reale, Aci Castello_, and _Aci trezza_, and which
among the common people is now always sounded Iaci, suggests a remote
Ionian origin--for we may assume that there was no Ionian migration
later than 734 B.C. of sufficient importance to give the name Ionian to
Sicilian waters, towns, and islands. The reader will be reminded in the
following Chapter that Ἰακός means Ionian.

Eumæus was so young when he was carried off that even though Greek was
not his native language, he would have become Grecised in a few years;
I incline to think, however, that the writer of the _Odyssey_ would
have said something about his being a Sicel if she had so conceived of
him in her own mind. She seems to think of him as a Greek by birth.

The Sicels, however, also probably spoke Greek. The inhabitants of
Temesa, on the toe of Italy, do not indeed seem to have done so (_Od_.
i. 183); but we do not know that they were Sicels. No writing has been
found at Plemmirio nor yet at Cozzo Pantano; we have therefore very
little to go upon.

But postulating that we may accept Thucydides--whose accuracy as
regards Syracusan details proves that even though he had not been at
Syracuse himself, he had at any rate means of informing himself on
Sicilian history--who is evidently taking pains, and whose reputation
is surpassed by that of no other historian--postulating that we may
accept his statement (vi. 2) that the great irruption of Sicels which
changed the name of the country from Sicania to Sicelia took place
about 300 years before B.C. 734, I think we may safely put back the
date of the _Odyssey_ to a time before B.C. 1000.

For the _Odyssey_ conveys no impression as though Sicily at large had
been lately subdued and overrun by Sicels. Locally, indeed, the city
at the top of Mt. Eryx had, as we have seen (_Od_. vii. 60), been
conquered and overthrown; but I shall bring Thucydides, as well as
other evidence, to show that in this case the victors are more likely
to have been Asiatic Greeks than Sicels. The poem indicates a time of
profound present peace and freedom from apprehension, and on the one
occasion in which the writer speaks of Sicily under its own name, she
calls it by its pre-Sicelian name of Sicania.[3] The old Sicel woman
who waited on Laertes (xxiv. 211 and elsewhere) is not spoken of as
though there were any ill-will on the part of the writer towards the
Sicels, or as though they were a dominant race. Lastly, one of the
suitors (xx. 382) advises Telemachus to ship Theoclymenus and Ulysses
off to the Sicels. Now if the writer had the real Ithaca in her mind,
the Sicels could only have been reached by sea, whether they were in
Italy or Sicily; but I have already shown that she never pictured to
herself any other Ithaca than the one she had created at Trapani; the
fact, therefore, that Theoclymenus and Ulysses were to be put on board
ship before they could reach the Sicels, shows that she imagined these
last as (except for an occasional emigrant) outside the limits of her
own island.

If the foregoing reasoning is admitted, 1050 B.C. will be about as late
as it is safe to place the date of the _Odyssey_; but a few years later
is possible, though hardly, I think, probable. Unfortunately this date
will compel us to remove the fall of Troy to a time very considerably
earlier than the received date. For a hundred years is, one would
think, the shortest interval that can be allowed between the _Odyssey_
and the _Iliad_. The development of myth and of the Epic cycle, of
which we find abundant traces in the _Odyssey_, is too considerable to
render any shorter period probable. I therefore conclude that 1150 B.C.
is the latest date to which we should assign the _Iliad_.

The usually received date for the fall of Troy is 1184 B.C. This is
arrived at from a passage in Thucydides (i. 12) which says that sixty
years after the fall of Troy, the Bœotians were driven from Arne and
settled in what was originally called Cadmeis, but subsequently Bœotia.
Twenty years later, he tells us, the Dorians and the Heraclidæ became
masters of the Peloponese; but as he does not fix this last date,
probably because he could not, so neither does he fix that of the fall
of Troy.

The date commonly accepted for the return of the Heraclidæ and their
conquest of the Peloponese is 1104,[4] but those who turn to Müller's
_History of the Doric Race_,[5] Vol. I., p. 53, will see that there is
no authority for this date which is worth a moment's consideration; and
with the failure of authority here, we are left absolutely without
authority for 1184 B.C. as the date of the fall of Troy.

Admitting for the moment 1150 B.C. as the latest date to which we
should assign the _Iliad_, the question arises: How much later than
the fall of Troy did Homer write? Mr. Gladstone has argued very ably
in support of the view that he wrote only some forty or fifty years
after the events he is recording, in which case it would seem that
he must date the _Iliad_ hardly at all later than the latest date
to which I would assign it, for he does not appear to dispute the
received date for the fall of Troy, though he does not say that he
accepts it. I should be only too glad to find that I can claim Mr.
Gladstone's support so far, but farther I cannot expect to do so; for
the impression left upon me by the _Iliad_ is that Homer was writing of
a time that was to him much what the middle ages are to ourselves.

If he had lived as near the Trojan War as Mr. Gladstone supposes, he
would surely have given us some hint of the manner in which Troy fell,
whereas he shows no signs of knowing more than the bare fact that the
city had fallen. He repeatedly tells us this much, but always more
curtly and drily than we should expect him to do, and his absolute
silence as to the way in which the capture of the city was effected,
goes far to prove either that all record of the _modus in quo_ had
perished--which would point to a very considerable lapse of time--or
else to suggest a fact which, though I have often thought it possible,
I hardly dare to write--I mean that Troy never fell at all, or at any
rate that it did not fall with the close of the Trojan War, and that
Homer knew this perfectly well.

The infinite subtlety of the _Iliad_ is almost as unfathomable as the
simplicity of the _Odyssey_ has so far proved itself to be, and its
author, writing for a Greek audience whom he obviously despised, and
whom he was fooling to the top of their bent though always sailing
far enough off the wind to avoid disaster, would take very good care
to tell them that--if I may be allowed the anachronism--Napoleon
won the battle of Waterloo, though he very well knew that it was
won by Wellington. It is certain that no even tolerably plausible
account of the fall of Troy existed among the Greeks themselves;
all plausibility ends with their burning their tents and sailing away
baffled (_Od_. viii. 500, 501)--see also the epitome of the _Little
Iliad_, given in the fragment of Proclus. The wild story of the wooden
horse only emphasises the fact that nothing more reasonable was known.


[Illustration: THE ILIADIC WALL.]

But let us suppose that Troy fell, and that Homer's silence was
dictated by the loss of all record as to the manner of its falling.
In this case one would think that two, or even three, hundred years
must have passed between the fall of Troy and the writing of the
_Iliad_. Let us make it the same distance of time as that between the
Parliamentary Wars and the present day. This would throw back the
Trojan War to about 1400 B.C., and if we accept Homer's statement that
the wall of Troy (_i.e_. that which Dr. Dörpfeld excavated in 1893--for
that this is the Iliadic wall may be taken as certain) was built in
the time of Priam's father Laomedon, we should date the wall roughly
as 1450 B.C. I may add, that it seems to me to be of somewhat earlier
date than the so-called Treasury of Atreus at Mycene, and hence still
earlier than that which bears the name of Clytemnestra.

I see by the latest work on the subject[6] that Dr. Dörpfeld dates it
as between 1500 and 1000 B.C. I know how perilous it is to date a wall
by the analogy of other walls in distant countries, which walls are
themselves undateable with anything like precision, but having seen the
Iliadic wall as also those of Tiryns and Mycene, as well as most of
those that remain in the Latin and Volscian cities, I should say that
the wall of Troy was much later than those of the megalithic ages, but
still not by any means free from the traditions of megalithic builders.
I should date it roughly at not later than 1300 B.C. and hardly earlier
than 1500 B.C.[7]

I will, however, date the Iliadic wall as 1400 B.C. The Trojan war will
then be supposed to have taken place from 1360-1350 B.C.; the writing
of the _Iliad_ will be about 1150; and that of the _Odyssey_ about 1050
B.C. This is a tight fit, and I should be glad to throw the Iliadic
wall back to the earlier of the two dates between which Dr. Dörpfeld
has placed it, but precision is out of the question; 1400 B.C. will
be as near the truth as anything that we are likely to get, and will
bring the archæological evidence as derivable from the wall of Troy,
the internal evidence of the _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_, the statement of
Thucydides that the last and greatest inroad of the Sicels occurred
about 1030 B.C., and our conclusion that the _Odyssey_ was written
before that date, into line with one another.

The date 1050 B.C. will explain the absence of all allusion in the
_Odyssey_ to Utica, the land near which, on certain rare days, can be
seen from Mt. Eryx. The Phœnicians are known in the _Odyssey_, disliked
and distrusted, but they do not seem to be feared as they would surely
be if so powerful a maritime nation were already established so near
the writer's own abode. She does not seem to know much about the
Phœnicians after all, for in iv. 83 she makes Menelaus say that he had
gone to Cyprus, Phœnicia, and the Egyptians, and in the next line she
adds that he had also been to the Ethiopians and the Sidonians, as
though she was not aware that Sidon was a Phœnician city.

The absence of all allusion to Olympia when Telemachus was on his
return from Pylos is most naturally explained by supposing that Olympia
was not yet famous. The principal hero at Athens appears to be the
earliest known object of the national cult, I mean Erechtheus (vii,
81); the later, though still very early, cult of Theseus is not alluded
to. There is no allusion, however vague, to any event known as having
happened in Greek history later than 1100 B.C., and though the absence
of reference to any particular event may be explained by indifference
or forgetfulness, the absence of all reference to any event whatever
suggests, I should say strongly, that none of the events to one or
other of which reference might be expected had as yet happened.

While, however, placing 1050 B.C. as the latest limit for the _Odyssey_
I do not see how we can place it earlier than 1150 without throwing the
date of the Iliadic wall farther back than we can venture to do, for we
can hardly date it earlier than 1500 B.C., and 350 years is as short an
interval as we can well allow between the building of that wall and the
writing of the _Odyssey_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Let us now compare the history of the N.W. corner of Sicily as revealed
to us in the _Odyssey_--always assuming that the pedigree of Alcinous
and Arete in Book vii. is in its main facts historic--with the account
given by Thucydides concerning the earliest history of the same

In the _Odyssey_ we have seen the Sicans (whom I think that I have
sufficiently identified) as originally in possession of Mt. Eryx under
a king whose Odyssean name is Eurymedon. He, it seems, was overthrown,
and the power of his people was broken, by enemies whose name is not
given, about a hundred years before the writing of the _Odyssey_, as
nearly as we can gather from the fact of his having been Nausicaa's
great great grandfather.

The writer of the _Odyssey_ wrote in a language mainly Ionian, but
containing a considerable Æolian element. It must be inferred,
therefore, that her family and audience--that is to say the
Phæacians--spoke a dialect in which these characteristics are to be
found. The place of all others where such a dialect might be looked
for is Phocæa, a little South of the Troad; for Phocæa was an Ionian
city entirely surrounded on its land sides by Æolian territory. I see
from Professor Jebb's _Introduction to Homer_[8] that Aristarchus
when editing the _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_, and settling the text to all
intents and purposes as we now have it, by comparison of the best
copies known, made most frequent use of the civic edition of Marseilles
which contained both _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_. It will be remembered that
Marseilles was a Phocæan Colony.

The name Phæacians is not unsuggestive of a thin disguise for Phocæans;
lines iv. 441-443, moreover, will gain greatly in point, if we imagine
that the seals, or Phocæ, with their disgusting smell, are meant for
the writer's countrymen whom she evidently dislikes, and that the
words, "who, indeed, would go to bed with a sea monster if he could
help it?" are her rejoinder to the alleged complaint of the young
Phæacians that she would marry none of them (vi. 276 &c.). Apart,
therefore, from any external evidence, I should suspect the Phæacians
to have been Phocæans, who had settled on this part of the island.[9]
From the fact that the Phæacians in the time of the _Odyssey_ were
evidently dominant on Mt. Eryx as well as at Trapani, I conclude that
they must have had, to say the least of it, a considerable share in
the overthrow of Eurymedon and of the Sican power in that part of the
island. If they had allies with them, these allies seem to have gone on
to other sites on which Elymite cities are known to have existed, for
we find no reference in the _Odyssey_ to any other people as sharing
Hypereia and Scheria with the Phæacians.

Though the power of the Sicans at Eryx was broken, and the Phæacians
were established at Hypereia, also on the top of Mt. Eryx and less
than a mile from the Sican city, the Sicans were still troublesome
neighbours; there seems, however, to have been a marriage between some
chief man among the Phæacians and Peribœa, youngest daughter of the old
king Eurymedon, and this no doubt would lead to some approach to fusion
between the two peoples. The offspring of this marriage, Nausithous,
is said in the poem to have been by Neptune, from which I infer that
the marriage may have been of a more or less irregular kind, but there
can be no doubt that Nausithous came of a Phæacian father and would
speak the Phæacian dialect, which the Sicans, though in all probability
a Greek-speaking race, cannot be supposed to have done. Nausithous
seems to have been a capable man; finding the continued raids of
semi-outlawed Sicans still harassing, perhaps, also, induced by the
fact that the promontory on which Trapani stands was better suited to
a race of mariners than the lofty and inhospitable top of Mt. Eryx,
he moved his people down to the seaside and founded the city that now
bears the name of Trapani--retaining, however, the site of Hypereia as
his own property on which his pigs and goats would feed, and to which
also his family would resort, as the people of Trapani still do, during
the excessive heat of summer.

The reader will have noted that Eumæus, who we must never forget is
drawn not from Ithaca but from Mt. Eryx, when watching over his pigs by
night thought it necessary to be fully armed (xiv. 526). He seems also
from xvi. 9, to have had neighbours, from which we may infer that the
old Sican city of Eryx was not yet entirely abandoned; nevertheless,
Eumæus would not be there at all unless the fusion between the Sicans
and the Phocæans had been fairly complete. The Sicans appear in the
_Odyssey_ under the names of Cyclopes and Læstrygonians, and the Sicels
are not yet come. This is all that we can collect from the _Odyssey_.

We will now see what support the sketch given above will derive
from Thucydides (vi. 2). According to him the Læstrygonians and the
Cyclopes, mentioned as the earliest inhabitants of Sicily, are mere
poetical fictions. This, however, does not preclude their having had
their prototype in some real Sicilian people who bore another name; and
at any rate, however fictitious they may be, he locates them in Sicily.

He continues that the oldest historic inhabitants of the island
were the Sicans, who by their own account had been there from time
immemorial. This he denies, for he says they were Iberians, and he says
it as though he had satisfied himself after due inquiry, but since he
gives no hint as to the date of their arrival, he does not impugn their
statement that their settlement in the island dated from a remote time.
It is most likely that he is right about the Sicans having come from
Spain; and indeed at Tarragona, some fifty or sixty miles North of the
mouth of the river Iberus, there are megalithic walls that bear, so
far as I can judge from photographs, a very considerable analogy with
those of Eryx. In Thucydides' own times there were still Sicans in the
Western part of Sicily.

He then goes on to say that after the fall of Troy, but he does not say
how much after, some of the Trojans who had escaped the Greeks migrated
to Sicily. They settled in the neighbourhood of the Sicans and were all
together called Elymi, their cities being Eryx and Segesta. There were
also settled with them--but whether at the same date, or earlier or
later, and if so, how much, Thucydides does not say--certain Phocians
of the Trojan branch, _i.e_., Phocæans--Phocæa having been founded by
Phocians from the gulf of Corinth under the leadership of the Athenian
chiefs Philogenes and Damon (_Strab_. xiv. § 633; _Pausan_. VII. 3,
§5; cf. _Herod_, I. 146). These Phocæans had been carried first by a
tempest to Libya,[10] and thence to Sicily.

We need not follow him to the arrival of the Sicels, for I have
already, I hope, satisfied the reader that the _Odyssey_ belongs to
a pre-Sicelian age, and I am only dealing with the period which the
_Odyssey_ and Thucydides cover in common.

I should perhaps put it beyond doubt that Thucydides means Phocæans
and not Phocians. In the first place it is difficult to understand
how Phocians, who were on the Achæan side (_Il_. II. 518), should
amalgamate with Trojans; and in the next Thucydides' words cannot be
made to bear the meaning that is generally put upon them, as though the
Phocians in question were on their way back from Troy to Phocis. His
words are Φωκέων τινες τῶν ἀπὸ Τροίας, and this cannot be construed as
though he had said Φωκέων τινες τῶν ἀνερχομένων ἐν νόστῳ ἀπὸ Τροίας.
If ἀπό is to imply motion from, it should have a verb or participle
involving motion before it; without this it is a common way of
expressing residence in a place. For example, Ὀρέστης ἤλυθεν ... ἀπ᾽
Ἀθηνάων (iii. 307) means Orestes came from Athens, whereas Ὀρέστης
ὁ ἀπ᾽ Ἀθηνάων would mean "Orestes the Athenian, or quasi-Athenian,"
as Λακεδαιμόνιοι οἱ ἀπὸ Σπάρτης means "the Lacedæmonians who live
at Sparta." Neither of these last two passages can be made to bear
the meaning "Orestes, who was on his way from Athens," or "the
Lacedæmonians, who were on their way from Sparta." The reader who
looks out ἀπὸ in Liddell & Scott will find plenty of examples. To
Thucydides, Phocæans in Asia Minor and Phocians on the gulf of Corinth
would be alike Phocians in virtue of common descent, but to avoid
misapprehension he calls the Phocæans "Phocians of the Trojan stock,"
by "Trojan" meaning not very far from Troy. It should be noted that
the Phocians of the gulf of Corinth are called Φωκῆες, not Φωκέες in
_Il_. IX. 517, XV. 516, XVII. 307. I see that Dobree (_Adversaria
in Thucyd_.) is suspicious of the reading Φωκέων in the passage of
Thucydides which we are now considering. He evidently considers that
Φωκέων must mean Phocians from the gulf of Corinth, and so it would, if
it were not qualified by the words τῶν ἀπὸ Τροίας which negative the
possibility of European Phocians being intended.

Thucydides says nothing about any invasion of Sicily by a people called
Elymi. He does not see the Elymi as anything more than the combined
Asiatic and Sican peoples, who came to be called Elymi. If he had
believed in the Elymi as a distinct batch of immigrants he would have
given us a line or two more about them.

It is just possible that the known connection between Phocians and
Phocæans may explain why Ulysses' maternal grandfather should have been
made to live on Mt. Parnassus,[11] which is in Phocis. Ulysses, to the
writer of the _Odyssey_, was a naturalised Phæacian, for her native
town had become in her eyes both Scheria and Ithaca. It would not be
unnatural, therefore, that she should wish to connect his ancestry with
Phocis, the ancestral seat of the Phocæans.

Returning to Thucydides, the only point in which he varies the
Odyssean version is that he makes other Trojans migrate to Eryx as
well as the Phocæans, whereas the writer of the _Odyssey_ mentions
only the Phæacians without saying anything about their having been of
Phocæan descent. She has, however, betrayed herself very sufficiently.
Thucydides again does not tell us that the Phocæans re-settled
themselves at Drepanum, but a man who is giving a mere outline of
events which happened some seven hundred years before he was writing,
can hardly be expected to give so small a detail as this. The wonder is
that the _Odyssey_ should bear him out and confirm his accuracy in so
striking a way as it does. We now, therefore, see that instead of there
being any cause for surprise at finding an Ionic-Æolian poem written
near Mt. Eryx, this is the very neighbourhood in which we might expect
to find one.

Finally, let us turn to Virgil. His authority as a historian is
worthless, but we cannot suppose that he would make Æneas apparently
found Drepanum, if he held the presence of a Greek-speaking people at
Drepanum even before the age of Homer to be so absurd as it appears to
our eminent Homeric scholars. I say "apparently found Drepanum," for it
is not quite easy to fix the site of the city founded by Æneas (_Æn_ v.
755-761), for at the close of _Æn_. III. Anchises dies at Drepanum, as
though this city was already in existence. But whether the city founded
by Æneas was actually Drepanum, or another city hard by it, it is clear
that Virgil places Greek-speaking people at Drepanum, or close to it,
immediately after the fall of Troy. He would hardly do this unless
Drepanum was believed in his time to be a city of very great antiquity,
and founded by Greek-speaking people. That the Trojan language was
Greek will not be disputed.

[1] _Introduction to Homer_, Ed. 1888, pp. 172, 173.

[2] On its earlier coins Syracuse not unfrequently appears as Syra.

[3] The fact that Σικανίης (xxiv. 397) should not have got corrupted
into Σικελίης--which would scan just as well--during the many centuries
that the island was called Σικελία, suggests a written original, though
I need hardly say that I should not rely on so small a matter if it
rested by itself.

[4] See Prof. Jebb's _Introduction to Homer_, ed. 1888, Note I on p. 43.

[5] Murray, 1830.

[6] _The Mycenæan Age_, by Dr. Chrestos Tsountas and Dr. J. Irving
Manatt, Macmillan, 1897, p. 369.

[7] The dark line across my illustration is only due to an accident
that happened to my negative. I believe (but am not quite sure, for my
note about it was not written on the spot) that the bit of wall given
in my second illustration has nothing to do with the Iliadic wall, and
is of greatly later date. I give it to show how much imagination is
necessary in judging of any wall that has been much weathered.

[8] Ed. 1888, note on p. 91.

[9] Herodotus tells us (I. 163) that the Phocæans were the first people
to undertake long voyages, exploring the Tuscan sea, and going as far
as Cadiz. He says that their ships were not the round ones commonly
used for commerce, but long vessels with fifty oarsmen. The reader will
recollect that this feature of Phocæan navigation is found also among
the Phæacians, who sent Ulysses to the place that we are to take as
Ithaca, in a vessel that had fifty oarsmen.

[10] One cannot help wondering whether the episode of the Lotus-eaters
may not be due to the existence of traditions among the Phæacians that
their ancestors had made some stay in Libya before reaching Sicily.

[11] _Od_. xix. 410, 432.



I am often asked how I explain the fact that we find no trace in
ancient authors of any tradition to the effect that the _Odyssey_ was
written at Drepanum or that the writer was a woman. This difficulty
is laid before me as one that is almost fatal. I confess, however,
that I find it small in comparison with that of explaining how both
these facts should have failed of being long since rediscovered.
Neptune indeed did not overwhelm Scheria under Mt. Eryx, but he, or
some not less spiteful god, seems to have buried both it and its great
poetess under another mountain which I fear may be found even more
irremoveable--I mean a huge quasi-geological formation of academic

The objection is without sufficient foundation in its implied facts;
for that the Phæacians were a real people who lived at a place bearing
the name of Drepane (which is near enough to Drepanum for all practical
purposes),[1] has never been lost sight of at all--except by those who
find it convenient to lose sight of it. Thucydides (i. 25) tells us
that the inhabitants of Corfu were the descendants of the Phæacians,
and the rock into which their ship was turned as it was entering the
harbour after having escorted Ulysses to Ithaca is still shown at
Corfu--as an island 58 feet high with a monastery on the top of it.
But the older name of Corfu was Drepane,[2] and when the Carthaginians
had established themselves at the Sicilian Drepanum, it would be an
easy matter for the inhabitants of the Corfu Drepane to claim Phæacian
descent, and--as they proceeded to do--to call their island Scheria,
in spite of its offering no single point of correspondence with the
description given in the _Odyssey_.

I grant that no explicit tradition exists to the effect that the
_Odyssey_ as a whole was written at or in Corfu, but the Phæacian
episode is the eye of the poem. I submit, then, that tradition both
long has, and still does, by implication connect it with a place of
which the earliest known name was to all intents and purposes the same
as that of the town where I contend that it was written.

The Athenian writers, Thucydides included, would be biassed in favour
of any site which brought Homer, as they ignorantly called the writer
of the _Odyssey_, nearer their own doors. The people, moreover, of Eryx
and Segesta, and hence also of Drepanum, were held to be barbarians,
and are so called by Thucydides himself (vi. 2); in his eyes it would
be little less than sacrilege to hesitate between the Corfu Drepane and
the Sicilian Drepanum, did any tradition, however vague, support Corfu.
But it is not likely that Thucydides was unaware of the Sicilian claim
not only to the Phæacian episode, but to the entire poem, for as late
as 430 B.C., only a little before the date of his own work, there were
still people on or near Mt. Eryx who present every appearance of having
claimed it, as I will almost immediately show.

As for losing sight of its having been written by a woman, the people
who could lose sight of the impossibility of its having been written
by Homer could lose sight of anything. A people who could not only do
this, but who could effectually snuff out those who pointed out their
error, were not likely to know more about the difference underlying the
two poems than the average English layman does about those between the
synoptic gospels and that of St. John.

I will now return to my assertion that in the time of Thucydides there
seem to have been not a few who knew of, and shared in, the claim of
Drepanum to the authorship of the _Odyssey_.

The British Museum possesses a unique example of a small bronze coin
which is classed with full confidence among those of Eryx and Segesta.
It is of the very finest period of the numismatic art, and is dated by
the museum authorities as about 430 B.C.

[Illustration: Enlarged to about double the actual diameter.]

The reader will see that the obverse bears the legend IAKIN, and the
reverse a representation of the brooch described by Ulysses (_Od_. xix.
225-231). A translation of this passage is given on page 80. (Search for:
"I will tell you," replied Ulysses)

The cross line of the A is not visible in the original, but no doubt is
felt at the Museum about its having existed.

There seems, however, to be more doubt whether the legend should be
IAKIN, or ΓIAKIN--Γ being the older form of Π. Possibly from a desire
to be right in either case, the Museum catalogue gives it as IAKIN in
the illustration, and ΓIAKIN in the descriptive letterpress. The one
reading will do nearly as well as the other for my argument, which only
requires that the coin should belong to the Eryx and Segesta group and
be dated about 430 B.C.--neither of which points are doubted. I will,
however, give the reasons that convince me that IAKIN is the true

Firstly, neither I nor some artist friends of mine whose opinion is
infinitely better worth having than my own, can find any traces of a Γ
between the lowermost boss and the neck. I am aware that some experts
of the highest competence profess to be able to detect such traces, but
the artist who figured the coin in the Museum Catalogue evidently could
not do so, and the experts do not seem to have had such confidence in
their own opinion as to make him alter his drawing.

Secondly, the composition is obviously and intentionally symmetrical.
It would be abhorrent to the instincts of the man who could design so
exquisite a coin to destroy its balance by crowding a Γ into the place
which must be assigned to it if it exists at all.

Thirdly, Piacus, to which town the coin had been ascribed by the
dealer from whom the Museum bought it, is mentioned very briefly by
Stephanus Byzantinus, but by no other writer, as a Sicilian city, and
he expressly states that its citizens were called ΠΙΑΚΗΝΟΙ; so that the
coin, if it was one of theirs, should bear the legend ΓΙΑΚΗΝ instead of
the alleged ΓIAKIN. Stephanus Byzantinus did not write till about 500
A.D., and in the absence of any statement from him to the effect that
Piacus was an old city, it argues some recklessness to conclude that it
had existed for at least a thousand years when he mentioned it; there
is no evidence from any quarter to support such a conclusion, and a
safer one will be that the dealer above referred to, not knowing where
the coin came from, and looking for a city in Stephanus Byzantinus,
found he could get nothing nearer than Piacus--whereon he saw a Γ as
the smallest thing he could do in Πs, into his coin, and sold it to the
British Museum probably for a song as compared with the value which it
now proves to have. Thus the Museum authorities having got it into part
of their notes (for they seem to have got IAKIN into another part) that
the legend was ΓΙΑΚΗΝ, have very naturally been led to see more on the
coin than those who have no notes will quite bear them out in seeing.
But I will add no more. The legend is obviously IAKIN.

This is an abbreviation for ΙΑΚΙΝΩΝ, as ΕΡΥΚΙΝ and ΚΕΝΤΟΡΙΠΙΝ are for
ΕΡΥΚΙΝΩΝ and ΚΕΝΤΟΡΙΠΙΝΩ, not to quote further examples. It means that
the people who struck it were called ΙΑΚΙΝΕΣ, and though we cannot
determine the precise name of their city we may infer with confidence
that it was some derivative of ΙΑΚΟΣ, which is given in Liddell and
Scott as meaning Ionian. The name may very likely have been ΙΑΞ though
I cannot find any authority for the existence of such a town.

I hold, therefore, that as late as B.C. 430 there was near Trapani
a town still more or less autonomous, which claimed Ionian descent
and which also claimed to be in some special way connected with the
_Odyssey_; for I am assured that nothing would be allowed on a coin
except what had an important bearing on the anterior history of those
who struck it. Admitting that the reverse of the coin in question
must be taken as a reproduction of Ulysses' brooch--and I found no
difference of opinion among the numismatists at the Museum on this
head--it is hard to see what more apposite means of saying "Odyssey"
upon a coin can be suggested than to stamp it with the subject which
invites numismatic treatment more than any other in the whole poem.
It seems to me, then, that though the theory that there was an Ionian
city in the neighbourhood of Eryx which could claim connection with the
_Odyssey_ will stand perfectly well without the coin, the coin cannot
stand without involving the existence of an Ionian city near Eryx which
claimed connection with the _Odyssey_. Happily, though the coin is
unique, there is no question as to its genuineness.

To those, therefore, who ask me for monuments, ruins of buildings,
historical documents to support a Sicano-Ionian civilisation near Eryx
in times heretofore prehistoric, I reply that as late as 430 B.C. all
these things appear to have existed. Letting alone the testimony of
Thucydides, surely an Ionian coin is no small historical document in
support of an Ionian city. A coin will say more in fewer words and
more authoritatively than anything else will. The coin in question
cannot belong to an Ionian colony on Mt. Eryx or thereabouts recently
established in 430 B.C. We should have heard of such a colony; how
inconceivable again is the bringing in of the _Odyssey_ on this
supposition. If the city existed at all it can only have done so as a
survival of the Phocæan settlement of which Thucydides tells us.

I want no evidence for the survival of such a settlement in later
times; it is not incumbent upon me to show whether it survived or no;
the abundant, I might almost say super-abundant, coincidences between
all both Scherian and Ithacan scenes in the _Odyssey_, and Trapani with
its immediate neighbourhood, is enough to demonstrate the Trapanese
origin of the poem. Its pre-Syracusan and pre-Sicelian indications
fix it as not later than about 1050 B.C., its dialect, Ionic-Æolian,
connects it with the Phocæans above referred to. It does not concern
me to show what became of these Phocæans after the _Odyssey_ had been
written; what I have said about the coin IAKIN is said more in the
interests of the coin than of the _Odyssey_, which is a more potent
and irrefragable proof of its own _provenance_ and date than any coin
struck some 600 years later can conceivably be. Still, the coin being
there, I use it to answer those who demand some evidence external
to the _Odyssey_ itself. When they ask me where are my monuments,
I answer that they are within the coin, circumscribed by the small
cincture of an inch and a half at most. For a coin is a city in little;
he who looks on one beholds a people, an evidence of title, a whole
civilisation with its buildings of every kind. Destroy these, but so
long as a single one of its coins remains, the city though dead is
yet alive, and the fact of its having had buildings that could become
ruinous is as palpable as though the ruins themselves had come down to

The exact situation of this city Iax, Iacus, or Iace, cannot be
determined, but I incline to place it about a mile or a mile and a
half East of Trapani at or near a place called Argenteria. This place
is said to have yielded silver, but no one believes that it ever did
so. It is a quarry and by no means a large one, just at the beginning
of the rise to Mt. Eryx. Some say that Argenteria is a corruption of
Cetaria and refers to a monster fish that was killed here, though
how it got so far from the sea is not apparent; I think it much more
likely, however, that it is a corruption of Iacinteria and that Iax,
or Iace, was a quasi-autonomous suburb of Drepanum to which the Greek
inhabitants were permitted to retire when the Carthaginians took
possession of the parts of the town bordering on the harbour.

My friend Signor Sugameli of Trapani, whose zeal in this matter so far
outstrips even my own, that I would gladly moderate it if I knew how to
do so, assures me that in his younger days he used to employ a stone in
building that the mason told him came from a quarry at the foot of Mt.
Eryx called Dacinoi or D'Acinoi. This was years before any one thought
of bringing Ionians to Trapani. Signor Sugameli suggested that possibly
the name might be a corruption of D'Alcinoo--but we may be sure that
whatever else Alcinous's name may have been it was not Alcinous. I
asked Signor Sugameli to produce the mason, but he could neither find
him nor hear of the quarry Dacinoi. Nevertheless I feel sure that he
was told what he said he was, and as the quarry cannot have been far
from the Argenteria, I think it probable that its name was a corruption
of _degli Iacinoi_.

Whether this is sound or not, I do not doubt that the Iacenses who
figure so largely in Sicilian history during the Eleventh Century
of our own era are to be connected with the Ionian settlement that
produced the _Odyssey_. The Iacenses were then settled chiefly about
forty miles East of Trapani, but the interval of some 1400 years and
more between the date of the coin Iakin and the conquest of Sicily
by the Normans will leave plenty of time for them to have spread or

[1] Drepanum means a curved sword or scymitar. Drepane is a sickle.

[2] See Smith's _Dictionary of Classical Geography_, under Corcyra,
where full references will be found.



It remains for me to show that the writer of the _Odyssey_
had the _Iliad_ before her to all intents and purposes as we now
have it, and to deal with the manner in which the poem grew
under her hands.

In my own copies of the _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_ I have underlined
all the passages that are common to both poems, giving
the references. It is greatly to be wished that one or other of
our University presses would furnish us with an _Odyssey_ in
which all the Iliadic passages are printed in a slightly different
type and with a reference, somewhat in the style of the extracts
from _Il_. I. and XXIV. here given. The passages are to be
found at the end of Dunbar's _Concordance to the Odyssey_, but
the marking of them as they occur in the course of the poem
will be more instructive. In my translations of the poems
(now finished) I have translated identical passages as nearly as
possible in identical words. In the _Odyssey_ I propose to print
them in another type and give the references to the _Iliad_. In
the translation of the _Iliad_ there is no use in doing this, for no
one supposes that Homer took anything from the _Odyssey_.
The publication, however, of these translations must, I fear,
be postponed, but I will give in this Chapter as many
instances as I think will be sufficient to satisfy the reader that
the _Iliad_ of the writer of the _Odyssey_ was our own _Iliad_.

I will begin by giving two passages from the _Iliad_, one
from Book I., and the other from Book XXIV., the references
in all cases being to the _Odyssey_. These are perhaps fuller of
lines adopted by the writer of the _Odyssey_ than any others in
the _Iliad_, though there are some that run them closely. Lines
or parts of lines in the smaller type do not occur in the _Odyssey_.

The first passage that I will call attention to is _Iliad_ i.
455-485, which is as follows:--

         ἠδ' ἒτι καὶ νῦν μοι τόδ' ἐπικρήηνον ἐέλδωρ·        [1]
         ἤδη νῦv Δαναοῖσιν ἀεικέα λοιγὸν ἄμυνον."

    [2]  ὦς ἔφατ' εὐχόυενος τοû δ' ἔκλυε φοῖβος Άπόλλων.
    [3]  αὐτὰρ ἐπει ρ ενξαν καὶ οὐλοχύτας προβάλοντο,}      [4]
         αὐέρσυν μὲν πρῶτα καὶ ἔσφαξαν καὶ ἔδειραν,  }
        {μηρούς τ' ἐξέταμον κατά τε κνίση ἐκάλυψαν   }
        {δίπτυχα ποιήσαντες, ἐπ' αὐτῶν δ' ὠμοθέτησαν.}
        {καῖε δ' ἐπὶ σχίζῃς ὁ γέρων, ἐπὶ δ' αἴθοπα οἶνον
    [5] {λεῖβε· νέοι δὲ παρ᾿ αὐτὸν ἔχον πεμπώβολα χερσίν.
        {αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ κατὰ μῆρα κάη καὶ σπλάγχνα πάσαντο,    }[6]
    [7]{{μίστυλλόν τ' ἄρα τἇλλα καὶ ἀμφ' ὀβελοῖσιν ἔπειραν,}
       { ὤπτησάν τε περιφραδέως, ἐρύσαντό τε πάντα.
         αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ παύσαντο πόνου τετύκοντό τε δαῖτα,  }   [8]
    [9]  δαίνυντ', οὐδέ τι θυμὸς ἐδεύετο δαιτὸς ἐίσης.  }
         αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ πόσιος καὶ ἐδητύος ἐξ ἔρον ἔντο,    }
    [10]{κοῦροι μὲν κρητῆρας ἐπεστέψαντο ποτοῖο,         } [11]
        {νώμησαν δ' ἄρα πᾶσιν ἐπαρξάμενοι δεπάεσσιν      }
         οἱ δὲ πανημέριοι μολπῇ θεὸν ἱλάσκοντο,
         καλὸν ἀείδοντες παιήονα, κοῦροι Άχαιῶν,
         μέλποντες ἑκάεργον· ὁ δὲ φρένα τέρπετ' ἀκούων.
    [12]{ἧμος δ' ἠέλιος κατέδυ καὶ ἐπὶ κνέφας ἦλθεν,     } [13]
        {δὴ τότε κοιμήσαντο παρὰ πρυμνήσια νηός.         } [14]
        {ἦμος δ' ἠριγένεια φάνη ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ήώς,...... }  [15]
         καὶ τότ' ἔπειτ' ἀνάγοντο μετὰ στρατὸν εὐρὺν Ἀχαιῶν·
    [16] τοῖσιν δ' ἴκμενον οὖρον ἴει ἑκάεργος Ἀπόλλων.
         οἱ δ' ἱοτὸν στήσαντ' ἀνά θ' ἱστία λευκὰ πέτασσαν· [17]
        {ἐν δ' ἄνεμος πρῆσεν μέσον ἱστίον, ἀμφὶ δὲ κῦμα
    [18]{στείρῃ πορφύρεον μεγάλ' ἴαχε νηὸς ἰούσης·
        {ἡ δ' ἔθεεν κατὰ κῦμα διαπρήσσουσα κέλευθον.
         αὐτὰρ ἐπεί ῥ' ἴκοντο κατὰ στρατὸν εὐρὺν Ἀχαιῶν,
    [19] νῆα μὲν οἴ γε μέλαιναν ἐπ' ἠπείροιο ἔρυσσαν

 [sidenote 1: _cf_. iii. 418]
 [sidenote 2: _cf_. iii. 385]
 [sidenote 3: iii. 447]
 [sidenote 4: _cf_. xii. 359-361]
 [sidenote 5: _cf_. iii 456-462]
 [sidenote 6: _cf_. xii. 364, 365]
 [sidenote 7: xiv. 430, 431 _cf_. also xix. 423]
 [sidenote 8: _cf_. xvi. 478-480]
 [sidenote 9: xix. 425 i. 150 & elsewhere]
 [sidenote 10: i. 148 iii. 339, 340]
 [sidenote 11: xxi. 271, 272 vii. 183]
 [sidenote 12: _cf_. xix. 426-428]
 [sidenote 13: _cf_. iii. 329]
 [sidenote 14: _cf_. xii. 31, 32]
 [sidenote 15: 20 times in _Od_. only twice in _Il_.]
 [sidenote 16: _cf_. ii. 420 xv. 292]
 [sidenote 17: iv. 783]
 [sidenote 18: 427-429]
 [sidenote 19: xvi. 325]

I should perhaps tell the reader that the first Book of the
_Iliad_ is one of the few which modern criticism allows to remain
in the possession of the poet who wrote what Professor Jebb
calls the "primary" _Iliad_.

The second of the two passages above referred to is _Iliad_
XXIV. 621-651, which runs:--

           ἦ καὶ ἀναΐξυς όιν ἄργυφον ὠκὺς Ἀχιλλεὺς
         σφάξ'· ἕταροι δ' ἔδερόν τε καὶ ἄμφεπον εὖ κατὰ κόσμον,
    [1] {μίστυλλόν τ' ἄρ' ἐπισταμένως πεῖράν τ' ὀβελοῖσιν,
        {ὤπτησάν τε περιφραδέως ἐρύσαντό τε πάντα.
         Αὐτομέδων δ' ἄρα σῖτον ἑλὼν ἐπένειμε τραπέζῃ
         καλοῖς ἐν κανέοισιν· ἀτὰρ κρέα νεῖμεν ᾿Αχιλλεύς.
    [2] {οἱ δ' ἐπ' ὀνείαθ' ἑτοῖμα προκείμενα χεῖρας ἴαλλον.
        {αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ πόσιος καὶ ἐδητύος ἐξ ἔρον ἔντο,
         ἦ τοι Δαρδανίδης Πρίαμος Θαύμαζ' Ἀχιλῆα,
         ὃσσος ηνἔ οἶός τε· Θεοῖσι γὰρ ἄντα ἐῴκειν·
         αὐτὰρ ὁ Δαρδανίδην Πρίαμον Θαύμαζεν Ἀχιλλεύς,
         εἰσορόων ὄψιν τ' ἀγαθὴν καὶ μῦθον ἀκούων.
         αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ τάπησαν ἐς ἀλλήλους ὁρόωντες,  [3]
         τὸν πρότερος προσέειπε γέρων Πρίαμος θεοειδής,
         "λέξον νῦν με τάχιστα, διοτρεφές, ὄφρα καὶ ἤδη
         ὔπνῳ ὕπο γλυκερῷ ταρπώμεθα κοιμηθέντε·  [4]
         οὐ γάρ πω μύσαν ὄσσε ὑπὸ βλεφάροισιν ἐμοῖσιν,
         ἐξ οὗ σῇς ὑπὸ χερσὶν ἐμὸς πάις ὤλεσε θυμόν,
         ἀλλ' αἰεὶ στενάχω καὶ κήδεα μυρία πέσσω,
         αὐλῆς ἐν χόρτοισι κυλινδόμενος κατὰ κόπρον.
         νῦν δὴ καὶ σίτου πασάμην καὶ αἴθοπα οἶνον
         λαυανίης καθέηκα· πάρος γε μὲν οὔ τι πεπάσμην."

         ἦ ῥ', Ἀχιλεὺς δ᾿ ἑτάροισιν ἰδὲ δμωῇσι κέλευσεν   } [5]
    [6] {δέμνι' ὑπ' αἰθούσῃ θέμεναι καὶ ῥήγεα καλὰ        }
        {πορφύρε' ἐμβαλέειν, στορέσαι τ' ἐφύπερθε τύπητας,}
        {χλαίνας τ' ἐνθέμεναι οὔλας καθύπερθεν ἕσασθαι.   }
        {αἱ δ' ἴσαν ἐκ μεγάροιο δάος μετὰ χερσὶν ἔχυσαι,  }
        {αἶψα δ' ἄρα στόρεσαν δοιὼ λέχε' ἐγκονέουσαι.
    [7]  τὸν δ' ἐπικερτομέων προσέφη πόδας ὠκὺς Ἀχιλλεύς·
         "ἐκτὸς μὲν δὴ λέξο, γέρον φίλε, μή τις Ἀχαιῶν
         ἐνθάδ᾿ ἐπέλθῃσιν βουληφόος, οἵ τέ αἰεὶ

 [sidenote 1: _cf_. xiv. 430-431 & xix. 422, 423]
 [sidenote 2: i. 149, 150 & many other places]
 [sidenote 3: _cf_. iv. 47 & x 181]
 [sidenote 4: _cf_. iv. 294, 295 & xxiii. 254, 255]
 [sidenote 5: iv. 296-300]
 [sidenote 6: _cf_. vii. 336-340]
 [sidenote 7: _cf_. xxii. 194]

Professor Jebb is disposed to attribute _Il_. XXIV. to the writer of
_Il_. IX., which he does not ascribe to Homer, and would date _circ_.
B.C. 750-600. I regret that I can go no further with him than that
_Il_. XXIV. and _Il_. IX. are by the same hand.

It is beyond my scope to point out the slight and perfectly unimportant
variations from the _Iliad_ which are found in some of the Odyssean
lines to which I have given a reference; they are with hardly an
exception such as are occasioned by difference of context. Though
unimportant they are not uninteresting, but I must leave them for the
reader to examine if he feels inclined to do so.

He will observe that some lines are nearly and some quite common to
the two extracts above given, and I should add that not a few other
lines are repeated elsewhere in the _Iliad_, but enough remains that
is peculiar to either of the two extracts to convince me that the
writer of the _Odyssey_ knew them both. And not only this, but they
seem to have risen in her mind as spontaneously, and often no doubt as
unconsciously, as passages from the Bible, Prayer-book, and Shakspeare
do to ourselves.

If, then, we find the writer so familiar with two such considerable
extracts from the first and last Books of the _Iliad_--for I believe
the reader will feel no more doubt than I do, that she knew them, and
was borrowing from them--can we avoid thinking it probable that she
was acquainted, to say the least of it, with the intermediate Books?
Such surely should be the most natural and least strained conclusion to
arrive at, but I will proceed to shew that she knew the intermediate
Books exceedingly well.

I pass over the way in which Mentor's name is coined from Nestor's
(_cf_. _Il_. II. 76-77 and _Od_. ii. 224, 225, and 228), and will go
on to the striking case of Ulysses' servant Eurybates. In _Od_. xix.
218, 219 Penelope has asked Ulysses (who is disguised so that she does
not recognise him) for details as to the followers Ulysses had with
him on his way to Troy, and Ulysses answers that he had a servant
named Eurybates who was hunched in the shoulders (xix. 247). Turning
to _Il_. II. 184 we find that Ulysses had a servant from Ithaca named
Eurybates, but he does not seem to have been hunched in the shoulders;
on reading further, however, we immediately come to Thersites, "whose
shoulders were hunched over his chest" (_Il_. II. 217, 218). Am I too
hasty in concluding that the writer of the _Odyssey_, wanting an
additional detail for Penelope's greater assurance, and not finding one
in the _Iliad_, took the hunchiness off the back of the next man to
him and set it on to the back of Eurybates? I do not say that no other
hypothesis can be framed in order to support a different conclusion,
but I think the one given above will best commend itself to common
sense; and the most natural inference from it is that the writer of the
_Odyssey_ knew at any rate part of _Il_. II. much as we have it now.

I often wondered why Menelaus should have been made to return on the
self-same day as that on which Orestes was holding the funeral feast
of Ægisthus and Clytemnestra; the Greek which tells us that he did so

     αὐτῆμαρ δέ οἱ ἦλθε βοὴν ἀγαθὸς Μενέλαος (_Od_. iii. 311).

I did not find the explanation till I remembered that in _Iliad_ II.
408, when Agamemnon has been inviting the Achæan chieftains to a
banquet, he did not ask Menelaus, for Menelaus came of his own accord:--

     αὐτόματος δέ οἱ ἦλθε βοὴν ἀγαθὸς Μενέλαος,

on remembering this I observed that it would be less trouble to make
Menelaus come home on the very day of Ægisthus' funeral feast than to
alter αὐτόματος in any other way which would leave the rest of the
line available. I should be ashamed of the writer of the _Odyssey_ for
having done this, unless I believed it to be merely due to unconscious
cerebration. That the Odyssean and Iliadic lines are taken the one
from the other will approve itself to the instincts of any one who
is accustomed to deal with literary questions at all, and it is not
conceivable that Menelaus should, in the _Iliad_, have been made to
come uninvited because in the _Odyssey_ he happened to come back on the
very day when Orestes was holding Ægisthus' funeral feast; the Iliadic
context explains why Menelaus came uninvited--it was because he knew
that Agamemnon was too busy to invite him. I infer, therefore, that the
writer of the _Odyssey_ again shows herself familiar with a part of
_Il_. II.

I can see no sufficient reason for even questioning that the catalogues
of the Achæan and Trojan forces in the second Book of the _Iliad_
were part of the _Iliad_ as it left Homer's hands. They are wanted
so as to explain who the people are of whom we are to hear in the
body of the poem; their position, is perfectly natural; the Achæan
catalogue is prepared in Nestor's speech (II. 360-368); Homer almost
tells us that he has had assistance in compiling it, for he invokes
the Muse, as he does more than once in later Books, and declares that
he knows nothing of his own knowledge, but depends entirely upon what
has been told him[1]; the lines quoted or alluded to in the _Odyssey_
are far too marked to allow of our doubting that the writer knew
both catalogues familiarly; I cannot within my limits give them, but
would call the reader's attention to _Il_. II. 488, _cf_. _Od_. iv.
240; to the considering Sparta and Lacedæmon as two places (_Il_. II.
580, 581) which the writer of the _Odyssey_ does (iv. 10), though
she has abundantly shown that she knew them to be but one; to _Il_.
II. 600, _cf_. _Od_. iii. 386; to the end of line 614, θαλάσσια ἔργα
μεμήλειν, _cf_. _Od_. v. 67, θαλάσσια ἔργα μέμηλειν; to 670, _cf_.
_Od_. ii. 12; to 673, 674, _cf_. _Od_. xi. 469, 470; to _Il_. II. 706,
αὐτοκασγνητος μεγαθύμον Πρωτεσιλάου, which must surely be parent of the
line αὐτοκασιγνήτου ὀλοόφρονος Αἰήταο, _Od_. X. 137; to _Il_. II. 707,
ὁπλότερος γένεῇ ὁ δ᾿ ἅμα πρότερος καὶ ἀρείων, _cf_. _Od_. xix. 184,
where the same line occurs; to _Il_. II. 721, ἀλλ᾿ ὁ μὲν ἐν νήσῳ κεῖτο
κρατέρ᾿ ἄλγεα πάσχων, _cf_. _Od_. v. 13, where the same line occurs,
but with κεῖται instead of κεῖτο to suit the context; _cf_. also
_Od_. v. 395, where we find πατρός, ὃς ἐν νούσῳ κῆται, κρατέρ᾿ ἄλγεα
πάσχων, a line which shows how completely the writer of the _Odyssey_
was saturated with the _Iliad_; to _Il_. II. 755, Στυγὸς ὕδατός ἐστιν
ἀπορρώξ, _cf_. _Od_. x. 514, where the same words end the line; to
_Il_. II. 774, δίσκοισιν τέρποντο καὶ αἰγανέῃσιν ἱέντες, _cf_. _Od_.
iv. 626, and xvii. 168, where the same line occurs; to _Il_. II. 776,
where the horses of the Myrmidons are spoken of as λωτὸν ἐρεπτόμενοι,
_cf_. _Od_. ix. 97, where the same words are used for Ulysses' men
when with the Lotus-eaters; to _Il_. II. 873, νήπιος, οὐδέ τί οἱ τό γ'
ἐπήρκεσε λυγρὸν ὄλεθρον, _cf_. _Od_. iv. 292, ἄλγιον, οὐ γάρ οἵ τι τά
γ' ἤρκεσε λυγρὸν ὄλεθρον.

None of the passages above quoted or referred to are to be found
anywhere else in the _Iliad_, so that if from the _Iliad_ at all, they
are from the catalogues. But having already shown, as I believe, that
the writer of the _Odyssey_ knew lines 76, 77, 78, 184, 216, 217,
and 408 of Book II., and accepting the rest of the Book as written
by Homer, with or without assistance, I shall not argue further in
support of my contention that the whole of Book II. was known to, and
occasionally borrowed from, by the writer of the _Odyssey_.

Perhaps the prettiest example of unconscious cerebration in the
_Odyssey_ is to be found in the opening line of _Od_. iii, which runs
ἠέλιος δ' ἀνόρουσε λιπὼν περικαλλέα λίμνην, which is taken from _Il_.
v. 20, Ιδαῖος δ' ἀνόρουσε λιπὼν περικαλλέα δίφρον· One is at a loss to
conceive how a writer so apparently facile should drift thus on to an
Iliadic line of such different signification except as the result of
saturation. It is inconceivable that she should have cast about for a
line to say that the sun was rising, and thought that Idæus jumping off
his chariot would do. She again has this line in her mind when in Book
xxii. 95 she writes Τηλέμαχος δ' ἀπόρουσε λιπὼν δολιχόσκιον ἔγχος.

The same kind of unconscious celebration evidenced by the lines last
referred to leads her sometimes to repeat lines of her own in a strange
way, without probably being at all aware of it. As for example:--

              βασιλῆες.....εἰσὶ καὶ ἄλλοι
     πολλοὶ ἐν ἀμφιάλῳ Ἰθάκῃ νέοι ἠδὲ παλαιοί,
                               (i. 394, 395).

This passage in the following Book becomes:--

                      εἰσὶ δὲ νῆες
     πολλαὶ ἐν ἀμφιάλῳ Ἰθάκῃ νέαι ἠδὲ παλαιαί·
                               (ii. 292, 293).

Another similar case is that of the famous line about Sisyphus' stone
bounding down hill in a string of dactyls, _Od_. xi. 598, it runs:--

     αὖτις ἔπειτα πέδονδε κυλίνδετο λᾶας ἀναιδής.

"The cruel stone came bounding down again on to the plain." I believe
this to be nothing but an unconscious adaptation from the one dactylic
line that I can remember in the _Iliad_, I mean:--

     ἀμφοτέρω δὲ τένοντε καὶ ἴστέα λᾶας ἀναιδὴς
     ἄχρις ἀπηλοίησεν.
                             _Il_. IV 521, 522.

"The cruel stone shattered the bones of the neck, tendons and all."
Granted (which is very doubtful) that there may be an accommodation of
sound to sense in the Odyssean line, I contend that the suggestion came
from the Iliadic line.

I would gladly go through the whole _Iliad_ calling attention to the
use the writer of the _Odyssey_ has made of it, but to do this would
require hardly less than a book to itself. I will therefore ask the
reader to accept my statement that no one Book in the _Iliad_ shows
any marked difference from the others as regards the use that has
been made of it, and will limit myself to those Books that have been
most generally declared to be later additions--I mean Book X. and
Book XVIII.--for I consider that I have already sufficiently shown
the writer of the _Odyssey_ to have known Books I., XXIV., and the
Catalogues in Book II. It may be well, however, to include Book XI.
in my examination, for this is one of the most undoubted, and it will
be interesting to note that the writer of the _Odyssey_ has both the
most doubted and undoubted Books equally at her fingers' ends. I shall
only call attention to passages that do not occur more than once in the
_Iliad_, and will omit the very numerous ones that may be considered as
common form.

In _Il_. X. 141, 142 we find:--

     τίφθ' οὔτω;.....
     Νύκτα δι' ἀμβροσίην, and in _Od_. ix. 403, 404.
     τίπτε τόσον.....
     Νύκτα δι' ἀμβροσίην.

In _Il_. X. 142, ὅτι δὴ χρείω τόσον ἴκει; _Il_. _Od_. ii. 28, τίνα
χρειὼ τόσον ἵκει.

_Il_. X. 158 begins with the words λὰξ ποδὶ κίνησας. So also does _Od_.
XV. 45.

_Il_. X. 214 has, ὅσσοι γὰρ νήεσσιν ἐπικρατέουσιν ἄριστοι, this line is
found _Od_. i. 245, xvi. 122, xix. 130, but with νήσοισιν instead of

_Il_. X. 220 ends with ὀτρύνει κραδίη καὶ θυμὸς ἀγήνωρ, so also does
_Od_. xviii. 61.

_Il_. X. 221 has ἀνδρῶν δυσμενέων δῦναι στράτον ἐγγὺς ἐόντων; _cf Od_.
iv. 246, ἀνδρῶν δυσμενέων κατέδυ πόλιν εὐρυάγυιαν·

_Il_. X. 243, 244 have, πῶς ἂν ἔπειτ' Ὀδυσῆος ἐγὼ θείοιο λαθοίμην, οὗ
περὶ μὲν.....

In _Od_. i. 65, 66 we find the same words only with ὅς instead of οὗ.
This is a very convincing case, for the ἔπειτα, which is quite natural
in the Iliadic line, is felt to be rather out of place in the Odyssean
one, and makes it plain that the Odyssean passage was taken from the
Iliadic, not _vice versâ_.

_Il_. X. 255 ends with μενοπτόλεμος Θρασυμήδης, so also does _Od_. iii.

_Il_. X. 278, 279,.....ἥ τέ μοι αἰεὶ
                ἐν πάντεσσι πόνοισι παρίστασαι.....
_cf_. _Od_. xiii. 300, 301,.....ἥ τέ τοι αἰεὶ
                ἐν πάντεσσι πόνοισι παρίσταμαι.....

_Il_. X 292-295, σοὶ δ᾿ αὖ ἐγὼ ῥέξω βοȗν ἦνιν εὐρυμέτωπον
                ἀδμήτην, ἣν οὐ πω ὑπὸ ζυγὸν ἤγαγεν ἀνήρ.
                τήν τοι ἐγὼ ῥέξω χρυσὸν κέρασιν περιχεύας.
                ὧς ἔφαν εὐχόμενοι, τῶν δ᾿ ἔκλυε Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη.

The first three of these four lines is repeated verbatim in _Od_. iii.
382-384. In _Od_. 385 the fourth line becomes ὧς ἔφατ᾿ εὐχόμενος τοȗ δ'
ἔκλυε Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη.

_Il_. X. 351.....ὅσσον τ' ἐπὶ οὖρα πέλονται ἡμιόνων, _cf_. _Od_. viii.
124 ἕσσον τ' ἐν νείῳ οὖρον πέλει ἡμιόνοιιν.

_Il_. X. 400, τὸν δ' ἐπιμειδήσας προσέφη πολύμητις Ὀδύσσευς, this line
occurs _Od_. xxii. 371.

_Il_. X. 429 ends with δῖοί τε Πελασγοί, so also does _Od_. xix. 177.

_Il_. X. 457, φθεγγομένου δ' ἄρα τοῦ γε κάρη κονίῃσιν ἐμίχθη, this line
is found _Od_. xxii. 329.

_Il_. X. 534, ψεύσομαι ἦ ἒτυμον ἐρέω κέλεται δέ με θυμός. In _Od_. iv.
140 this line is found.

_Il_. X. 556, ῥεῖα θεός γ' ἐθέλων καί κ.τ.λ. _Cf_. _Od_. iii. 231.

_Il_. X. 576 ἔς ῥ ἀσαμίνθους βάντες εὐξέστας λούσαντο. See _Od_. iv.
48, xvii. 87.

Here, then, are seventeen apparent quotations from Book X., omitting
any claim on lines which, though they are found in the _Odyssey_, are
also found in other Books of the _Iliad_, from which, and not from
Book X., it may be alleged that the writer of the _Odyssey_ took them.
This makes the writer of the _Odyssey_ to have taken about one line
in every 33 of the 579 lines of which Book X. consists. Disciples of
Wolf--no two of whom, however, are of the same opinion, so it is hard
to say who they are--must either meet my theory that the _Odyssey_ is
all written at one place, by one hand, and in the eleventh century
B.C., with stronger weapons than during the last six years they
have shown any signs of possessing, or they must fall back on some
Laputan-manner-of-making-books theory, which they will be able to
devise better than I can.

I do not forget that the opponents of the genuineness of _Il_. X. may
contend that the passages above given were taken from the _Odyssey_,
but this contention should not be urged in respect of Book X. more than
in respect of the other Books, which are all of them equally replete
with passages that are found in the _Odyssey_, and in the case given
above of _Il_. X. 243, 244 and _Od_. i. 65, 66, it is not easy to doubt
that the Iliadic passage is the original, and the Odyssean the copy.

I will now deal with the undoubted Book XI., omitting as in the case
of Book X. all lines that occur in other Books, unless I call special
attention to them.

The first two lines of Book XI. are identical with the first two of
Book V. of the _Odyssey_, but _Il_. XI. 2 occurs also in _Il_. XIX. 2.

_Il_. XI. 42, 43, ἵππουριν· δεινὸν δὲ λόφος καθύπερθεν ἔνευεν,
                   εἵλετο δ' ἄλκιμα δοῦρε δύω, κεκορυθμένα χαλκῷ.

These two lines are found _Od_. xxii. 124, 125, but the first of them
occurs three or four times elsewhere in the _Iliad_.

_Il_. XI. 181, ἀλλ' ὅτε δὴ τάχ' ἔμελλεν ὑπὸ πτόλιν αἰπύ τε
                    ἵξεσθαι τότε δὴ.....
_cf_. _Od_. iv. 514, 515, ἀλλ' ὅτε δὴ τάχ' ἔμελλεν Μαλείαων ὄρος αἰπύ
                    ἵξεσθαι τότε δὴ.....

_Il_. xi. 201, προέηκε τεῒν τάδε μυθήσασθαι, _cf_. _Od_. iv. 829, where
the same words occur.

_Il_. XI. 253, ἀντικρὺς δὲ δίεδχε φαεκνοῦ δουρὸς ἀκωκή. _cf_. _Od_.
xix. 453, where the same line occurs but with διῆλθε for δίεσχε.

_Il_. XI. 531, ὧς ἄρα φωνήσας ἵμασεν καλλίτριχας ἵππους _cf_. _Od_. xv.
215, where the same line occurs but with ἔλασεν instead of ἵμασεν.

_Il_. XI. 624-639. The mess which Hecamedé cooked for Patroclus and
Machaon was surely present to the mind of the writer of the _Odyssey_
when she was telling about the mess which Circe cooked for Ulysses'
men, _Od_. X. 234, 235.

_Il_. XI. 668, 669.....οὐ γὰρ ἐμὴ ἲς
                 ἔσθ', οἵη πάρος ἔσκεν ἐνὶ γναμπτοῖσι μέλεσσιν
_cf_. _Od_. xi. 393, 394, ἀλλ᾿ οὐγάρ οἱ ἔτ᾿ ἦν ἲς ἔμπεδος οὐδέ τι κῖκυς
                               οἵη περ πάρος ἔσκεν ἐνὶ γναμπτοῖσι μέλεσσιν.

_Il_. XI. 678, 679.....ἀγέλας, τόσα πώεα οἰῶν
            τόσσα συῶν συβόσια, τόσ' αἰπόλια πλατέ' αἰγῶν.

These lines occur _Od_. xiv. 100, 101 but with ἀγέλαι instead of ἀγέλας.

_Il_. XI. 742, τὸν μὲν ἐγὼ προσιόντα βάλον χαλκήρεϊ δουρί. This line is
found _Od_. xiii. 267 but with κατιόντα for προσιόντα.

_Il_. XI. 777, στῆμεν ἐνὶ προθύροιστι ταφὼν δ' ἀvόρουσεν Ἀχιλλεύς, _cf_.
_Od_. xvi. 12, ἔστη ἐνὶ προθύροιστι ταφὼν δ' ἀvόρουσε συβώτης.

Here we have only eleven well-marked passages common to both poems, in
spite of the fact that Book XI. is nearly 300 lines longer than Book
X., but I am precluded from referring to any passages that occur also
in any other Book of the _Iliad_. Running my eye over the underlined
lines in my copy of the _Iliad_, I do not find much, though I admit
that there is some, difference between their frequency in Book XI.,
and in the other Books. Furthermore I own to finding Book XI. perhaps
the least interesting and the most perfunctorily written in all the
_Iliad_, and can well believe that the writer of the _Odyssey_ borrowed
from it less because she was of the same opinion, but however this may
be, the number of common passages above collected is ample to establish
the fact that the writer of the _Odyssey_ had Book XI. in her mind as
well as Book X.

I will now go on to examine the passages in _Il_. XVIII. which the
writer of the _Odyssey_ has wholly or in part adopted. They are:--

     _Il_. XVIII. 22-24, ὦς φάτο τὸν δ' ἄχεος νεφέλη ἐκάλυψε μέλαινα
                  ἀμφοτέρῃσι δὲ χερσὶν ἑλὼν κόνιν αἰθαλόεσσαν
                  χεύατο κὰκ κεφαλῆς χαρίεν δ' ᾔσχυνε πρόσωπον.

These lines are found _Od_. xxiv. 315-317 except that as they refer to
an old man, instead of, as in the _Iliad_, to a young one, χαρίεν δ'
ᾔσχυνε πρόσωπον has become πολιῆς ἀδινὰ στεναχίζων. The first of the
three lines occurs also in _Il_. XVII. 591.

_Il_. XVIII. 108, καὶ χόλος ὅς τ' ἐφέηκε πολύφρονά περ χαλεπῆναι, _cf_.
_Od_. xiv. 464, ἠλεός, ὅς τ' ἐφέηκε πολύφρονά περ μάλ' ἀεῖσαι.

_Il_. XVIII. 250, Πανθοΐδης· ὁ γὰρ οἶος ὅρα πρόσσω καὶ ὀπίσσω, _cf_
_Od_. xxiv. 452, where however Πανθοΐδης becomes Μαστορίδης.

_Il_. XVIII. 344-349,

     ἀμφί πυρί στῆσαι τρίποδα μέγαν ὄφρα τάχιστα
     Πάτροκλον λούσειαν ἄπο βρότον αἱματόεντα.
     οἱ δὲ λοετροχόον τρίποδ' ἵστασαν ἐν πυρὶ κηλέῳ,
     ἐν δ' ἄρ' ὔδωρ ἐχέαν, ὑπὸ δὲ ξύλα δαῖον ἑλόντες·
     γάστρην μὲν τρίποδος πῦρ ἄμφεπε, θέρμετο δ' ὔδωρ
     αὖτὰρ ἐπεὶ δὴ ζέσσεν ὕδωρ ἐνὶ ἤνοπι χαλκῷ,

_cf_. _Od_. viii. 434-437, ὄφρα τάχιστα becomes ὄττι τάχιστα.

_Il_. XVIII. 345 is omitted. In the following line οί becomes αί, and
in the one after this ἑλόντες becomes ἑλοῦσαι·

The last line of the Iliadic passage is not given in _Od_. viii, but
appears without alteration in _Od_. x. 360.

_Il_. XVIII. 363, ὅς περ θνητός τ' ἐστὶ καὶ οὐ τόσα μήδεα οἶδεν. This
line occurs _Od_. xx. 46.

_Il_. XVIII. 385-387,

     τίπτε Θέτι τανύπεπλε, ἱκάνεις ἡμέτερoν δῶ
     αἰδοίη τε φίλη τε; πάρος γε μὲν οὔ τι θαμίζεις.
     ἀλλ' ἕπεο προτέρω ἵνα τοι πὰρ ξείνια θείω·

_Il_. XVIII. 424-427,

     τίπτε Θέτι τανύπεπλε, ἱκάνεις ἡμέτερὸν δῶ
     αἰδοίη τε φίλη τε; πάρος γε μὲν οὔ τι θαμίζεις·
     αὔδα ὅ τι φρονέεις· τελέσαι δέ με θυμὸς ἄνωγεν
     εἰ δύναμαι τελέσαι γε καὶ εἰ τετελεσμένον ἐστίν.

The _Odyssey_ (v. 87-91) has both these passages combined as follows:--

     Τίπτε μοι, Ἐρμεία χρυσόρραπι, εἰλήλουθας
     αἰδοῖός, τε φίλος τε; πάρος γε μὲν οὔ τι θαμίζεις
     αὔδα ὁ τι φρονέεις· τελέσαι δέ με θυμὸς ἄνωγεν
     εἰ δύναμαι τελέσαι γε καὶ εἰ τετελεσμένον ἐστίν.
     ἀλλ' ἕπεο προτέρω, ἵνα τοι πὰρ ξείνια θείω.

_Il_. XVIII. 389, 390.....ἐπὶ θρόνου ἀργυροήλου
        καλοῦ δαιδαλέου· ὑπὸ δὲ θρῆνυς ποσὶν ἦεν·

These lines will be found _Od_. x. 314, 315.

_Il_. XVIII. 431, ὅσσ' ἐμοὶ ἐκ πασέων Κρονίδης Ζεὺς ἄλγε' ἔδωκεν·

_cf_. _Od_. iv. 722, 723.....πέρι γάρ μοι Ὀλύμπιος ἄλγε' ἔδωκεν
                                       ἐκ πασέων,

_Il_. XVIII. 457, τούνεκα νῦν τὰ σὰ γούναθ' ἱκάνομαι αἴ κ'

This line occurs _Od_. iii. 92 and _Od_. iv. 322.

_Il_. XVIII. 463, θάρσει, μή τοι ταῦτα μετὰ φρεσὶσῇσι μελόντων.

This line occurs _Od_. xiii. 362, xvi. 436, and xxiv. 357.

_Il_. XVIII. 486-489 Πληιάδας θ'.....

     ἄρκτον θ', ἣν καὶ ἄμαξαν ἐπίκλησιν καλέουσιν,
     ἥ τ' αὐτοῦ στρέφεται καί τ' Ωρίωνα δοκεύει
     οἴη δ' ἄμμορος ἐστι λοετρῶν Ὠκέανοιο·

These lines occur _Od_. v. 272-275.

_Il_. XVIII. 533, 534, στησάμενοι δ' ἐμάχοντο μάχην ποταμοῖο
                                                       παρ' ὄχθας
                       βάλλον δ' ἀλλήλους χαλκήρεσιν ἐγχείῃσιν·

These lines are found _Od_. ix. 54, 55 with παρὰ νηυσὶ θοῆσιν instead
of ποταμοῖο παρ' ὄχθας.

_Il_. XVIII. 604-606,

     τερπόμενοι· μετὰ δέ σφιν ἐμέλπετο Θεῖος ἀοιδὸς
     φορμίζων· δοίω δὲ κυβερνιστῆρε κατ' αὐτοὺς
     μολπῆς ἐξάρχοντος ἐδίνευον κατὰ μέσον.

These lines occur _Od_. iv. 17-19.

To meet the possible objection that _Il_. XVIII. was written later than
the _Odyssey_, and might therefore have borrowed from it, I will quote
the context of line 108 as well as the line itself. The passage runs
(XVIII. 107-110):--

     ὦς ἔρις ἔκ τε θεῶν ἔκ τ' ἀνθρώπων άπόλοιτο
     καὶ χόλος ὅς τ' ἐφέηκε πολύφρονά περ χαλεπῆναι,
     ὅς τε πολὺ γλυκίων μέλιτος καταλειβόμενοιο
     ἀνδρῶν ἐν στήθεσσιν ἀέξεται ἠύτε καπνός.

The context of the Odyssean line which I suppose to be derived from
this noble passage is as follows (xiv. 462-465):--

     κέκλυθι νῦν Ἐύμαιε, καὶ ἄλλοι πάντες εταῖροι·
     εὐξάμενός τι ἔπος ἐρέω· οἶνος γὰρ ἀνώγει
     ἠλεός, ὅς τ' ἐφέηκε πολύφρονά περ μάλ' ἀεῖσαι
     καὶ θ' ἁπαλόν γελάσαι, καί τ' ὀρχήσαθαι ἀνῆκεν,

Which is the most likely--that the magnificent Iliadic lines were
developed from _Od_. xiv. 464, or that this line is an unconscious
adaptation from _Il_. XVIII. 108? For that the two lines are father and
son will hardly be disputed.

Which again commends itself best--that the writer of _Il_. XVIII. took
the heating of Ulysses' bath water to heat water for Patroclus, or that
the writer of the _Odyssey_ omitted the line about Patroclus, and used
the rest of the passage to heat water for Ulysses' bath?

As regards the two salutations to Thetis (_Il_. XVIII. 385-387, and
424-427), is it more likely that the writer of _Il_. XVIII. made two
bites of the Odyssean cherry of v. 87-91, or that the writer of the
_Odyssey_, wanting but a single salutation, combined the two Iliadic
ones as in the passage above given?

Lastly, is the list of constellations which Vulcan put on to the shield
of Achilles more likely to have been amplified from _Od_. v. 272-275,
or these last-named lines to have been taken, with such modification as
was necessary, from _Il_. XVIII. 486-489? Whatever may be the date of
the _Odyssey_, I cannot doubt that _Il_. XVIII. must be dated earlier;
and yet there is no Book of the _Iliad_ about which our eminent
Homeric scholars are more full of small complaints, or more unanimous
in regarding as an interpolation. If there is one part of the _Iliad_
rather than another in which Homer shows himself unapproachable, it is
in his description of the shield of Achilles.

I will again assure the reader that all the Books of the _Iliad_ seem
drawn from with the same freedom as that shown in those which I have
now dealt with in detail, and also that I can find no part of the
_Odyssey_ which borrows any less freely from the _Iliad_ than the rest
of the poem; here and there difference of subject leads the writer to
go three or four pages without a single Iliadic cento, but this is
rare. One or two, or even sometimes three or four, Iliadic passages in
a page is nearer the average, but of these some will be what may be
called common form.

Their frequency raises no suggestion of plagiarism any more than the
Biblical quotations in _Pilgrim's Progress_ would do if the references
were cut out. They are so built into the context as to be structural,
not ornamental; and to preclude the idea of their having been added by
copyists or editors. They seem to be the spontaneous outcome of the
fullness of the writer's knowledge of the _Iliad_. It is also evident
that she is not making a resumé of other people's works; she is telling
the story _de novo_ from the point of view of herself, her home, her
countrymen, and the whole island of Sicily. Other peoples and places
may be tolerated, but they raise no enthusiasm in her mind.

Nevertheless, a certain similarity of style and feeling between the
_Odyssey_ and all the poems of the Epic cycle is certain to have
existed, and indeed can be proved to have existed from the fragments
of the lost poems that still remain. In all art, whether literary,
pictorial, musical, or architectural, a certain character will be
common to a certain age and country. Every age has its stock subjects
for artistic treatment; the reason for this is that it is convenient
for the reader, spectator, or listener, to be familiar with the main
outlines of the story. Written literature is freer in this respect
than painting or sculpture, for it can explain and prepare the reader
better for what is coming. Literature which, though written, is
intended mainly for recitation before an audience few of whom can
read, exists only on condition of its appealing instantly to the
understanding, and will, therefore, deal only with what the hearer is
supposed already to know in outline. The writer may take any part of
the stock national subjects that he or she likes, and within reasonable
limits may treat it according to his or her fancy, but it must hitch on
to the old familiar story, and hence will arise a certain similarity of
style between all poems of the same class that belong to the same age,
language, and people. This holds just as good for the medieval Italian
painters as it does for the Epic cycle. They offer us a similarity in
dissimilarity and a dissimilarity in similarity.

When we remember, however, that the style of the _Odyssey_ must not
only perforce gravitate towards that of all the other then existing
epic poems, but also that the writer's mind is as strongly leavened
with the mind of Homer, let alone the other Cyclic poets, as we have
seen it to be, it is not surprising that the veneer of virility thus
given to a woman's work should have concealed the less patent, but far
more conclusive, evidence that the writer was not of the same sex as
the man, or men, from whom she was borrowing.

At the same time, in spite of the use she makes of Homer, I think she
was angry with him, and perhaps jealous; on which head I will say more
in my next Chapter. Possibly the way he laughs at women and teases
them, not because he dislikes them, but because he enjoys playing with
them, irritates her; she was not disposed to play on such a serious
subject. We have seen how she retorts on him for having made a tripod
worth three times as much as a good serviceable woman of all work.
His utter contempt, again, for the gods, which he is at no pains to
conceal, would be offensive to a writer who never permits herself to
go beyond the occasional mild irreverence of the Vicar's daughter.
Therefore, she treats Homer, as its seems to me, not without a certain
hardness; and this is the only serious fault I have to find with her.

For example, she takes the concluding lines of Hector's farewell to
Andromache, a passage which one would have thought she would have
shrunk from turning to common uses, and puts it into the mouth of
Telemachus when he is simply telling his mother to take herself off.
She does this in i. 356-359 and again in xxi. 350-353. This is not as
it should be. Nor yet again is her taking the water that was heated
to wash the blood from the body of poor Patroclus (_Il_. XVIII. 344
&c.) and using it for Ulysses' bath (_Od_. viii. 434-437). Surely the
disrespect here is deeper than any that can be found in Homer towards
the gods.

But, whatever the spirit may have been in which the writer of the
_Odyssey_ has treated the _Iliad_, I cannot doubt that that she knew
this poem exceedingly well in the shape in which we have it, and this
is the point which I have thought it worth while to endeavour to
substantiate at such length in the foregoing Chapter.

[1] ἡυεῖς δέ κλέος οἷον ἀκούομεν, οὐδέ τι ἴδμεν, _Il_. II. 486.



The writer of the _Odyssey_ appears to have known most of those lost
poems of the Epic cycle--eight in number--that relate to Troy, but as
all we know about them is from the summaries given in the fragment of
Proclus, and from a few lines here and there quoted in later authors,
we can have no irrefragable certainty that she had the poems before
her even when she alludes to incidents mentioned by Proclus as being
dealt with in any given one of them. Nevertheless, passages in _Od_. i.
and iii. make it probable that she knew the _Nosti_ or the Return of
the Achæans from Troy, and we may suppose that Nestor's long speeches
(_Od_. iii. 102-200 and 253-328) are derived mainly from this source,
for they contain particulars that correspond closely with the epitome
of the _Nosti_ given by Proclus.

We can thus explain the correctness of the topography of the Ægæan sea
that is manifested in Nestor's speeches, but no where else in the poem
beyond a bare knowledge of the existence of Apollo's shrine in Delos
(_Od_. vi. 162) and an occasional mention of Crete. I see Professor
Jebb says that the _Odyssey_ "shows a familiar knowledge of Delos;"[1]
but there is no warrant for this assertion from anything in the poem.

The writer of the _Odyssey_ seems, in Book iv., to have also known the
_Cypria_, which dealt with the events that led up to the Trojan war.

Book xxiv. of the _Odyssey_ (35-97) suggests a knowledge of the
_Æthiopis_. So also does the mention of Memnon (_Od_. xi. 522).

Knowledge of the _Little Iliad_ may be suspected from _Od_. iv.
271-283, where Helen seems to be now married to Deiphobus, and from
xi. 543-562; as also from xi. 508, 509, where Ulysses says that he
took Neoptolemus to Scyrus. Ulysses entering Troy as a spy (_Od_.
iv. 242-256) is also given by Proclus as one of the incidents in the
_Little Iliad_. I do not see, therefore, that there can be much doubt
about the writer of the _Odyssey_ having been acquainted with the
_Little Iliad_, a poem which was apparently of no great length, being
only in four Books.

From the two Books of the _Sack of Troy_ we get the account of the
council held by the Trojans over the wooden horse (_Od_. viii. 492-517).

We have seen how familiar the authoress of the _Odyssey_ was with
the _Iliad_; there only remains, therefore, one of the eight Trojan
poems which she does not appear to have known--I mean the _Telegony_,
which is generally, and one would say correctly, placed later than the
_Odyssey_; but even though it were earlier we may be sure that the
writer of the _Odyssey_ would have ignored it, for it will hardly bear
her out in the character she has given of Penelope.

In passing I may say that though Homer (meaning, of course, the writer
of the _Iliad_) occasionally says things that suggest the Cypria, there
is not a line that even suggests knowledge of a single one of the
incidents given by Proclus as forming the subjects of the other Books
of the Trojan cycle; the inference, therefore, would seem to be that
none of them, except possibly, though very uncertainly, the Cypria, had
appeared before he wrote. Nevertheless we cannot be sure that this was

The curious question now arises why the writer of the _Odyssey_ should
have avoided referring to a single Iliadic incident, while showing no
unwillingness to treat more or less fully of almost all those mentioned
by Proclus as dealt with in the other poems of the Trojan cycle, and
also while laying the _Iliad_ under such frequent contributions.

I remember saying to a great publisher that a certain book was
obviously much indebted to a certain other book to which no reference
was made. "Has the writer," said the publisher in question, "referred
to other modern books on the same subject?" I answered, "Certainly."
"Then," said he, "let me tell you that it is our almost unvaried
experience that when a writer mentions a number of other books, and
omits one which he has evidently borrowed from, the omitted book is
the one which has most largely suggested his own." His words seemed
to explain my difficulty about the way in which the writer of the
_Odyssey_ lets the incidents of the _Iliad_ so severely alone. It was
the poem she was trying to rival, if not to supersede. She knew it to
be far the finest of the Trojan cycle; she was so familiar with it
that appropriate lines from it were continually suggesting themselves
to her--and what is an appropriate line good for if it is not to be
appropriated? She knew she could hold her own against the other poems,
but she did not feel so sure about the _Iliad_, and she would not cover
any of the ground which it had already occupied.

Of course there is always this other explanation possible, I mean that
traditions about Homer's private life may have been known to the writer
of the _Odyssey_, which displeased her. He may have beaten his wife,
or run away with somebody else's, or both, or done a hundred things
which made him not exactly the kind of person whom Arete would like her
daughter to countenance more than was absolutely necessary. I believe,
however, that the explanation given in the preceding paragraph is the
most reasonable.

And now let me explain what I consider to have been the development
of the _Odyssey_ in the hands of the poetess. I cannot think that
she deliberately set herself to write an epic poem of great length.
The work appears to have grown on her hands piecemeal from small
beginnings, each additional effort opening the door for further
development, till at last there the _Odyssey_ was--a spontaneous growth
rather than a thing done by observation. Had it come by observation,
no doubt it would have been freer from the anomalies, inconsistencies,
absurdities, and small slovenlinesses which are inseparable from the
development of any long work, the plan of which has not been fully
thought out beforehand. But surely in losing these it would have lost
not a little of its charm.

From Professor Jebb's _Introduction to Homer_, Ed. 1888, p. 131, I see
that he agrees with Kirchhoff in holding that the _Odyssey_ contains
"distinct strata of poetical material from different sources and
periods," and also that the poem owes its present unity of form to one
man; he continues:--

     But under this unity of form there are perceptible traces
     of a process by which different compositions were adapted
     to one another.

In a note on the preceding page he tells us that Kirchhoff regards
the first 87 verses of Book i. as having formed the exordium of the
original Return of Ulysses.

My own conclusions, arrived at to the best of my belief before I had
read a word of Professor Jebb's _Introduction_, agree in great part
with the foregoing. I found the _Odyssey_ to consist of two distinct
poems, with widely different aims, and united into a single work, not
unskilfully, but still not so skilfully as to conceal a change of
scheme. The two poems are: 1. The visit of Ulysses to the Phæacians,
with the story of his adventures as related by himself. 2. The story
of Penelope and the suitors, with the episode of Telemachus's voyage
to Pylos. Of these two, the first was written before the writer had
any intention of dealing with the second, while the second in the end
became more important than the first.

I cordially agree with Kirchhoff that the present exordium belongs to
the earlier poem, but I would break it off at line 79, and not at 87.
It is a perfect introduction to the Return of Ulysses, but it is no fit
opening for the _Odyssey_ as it stands. I had better perhaps give it
more fully than I have done in my abridgement. It runs:--

     Tell me, oh Muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far
     and wide after he had sacked the strong citadel of Troy. He
     saw many cities and learned the manners of many nations;
     moreover, he suffered much by sea while trying to save his
     own life and bring his men safely home; but do what he
     might he could not save his men, for they perished through
     their own sheer folly in eating the cattle of the Sun-god
     Hyperion; so the god prevented them from ever getting home.
     Tell me too about all these things, oh daughter of Jove,
     from whatever source you may know them (i. 1-10).

Then follows the statement that Ulysses was with the nymph Calypso,
unable to escape, and that his enemy, Neptune, had gone to the
Ethiopians (i. 11-21). The gods meet in council and Jove makes a speech
about the revenge taken by Orestes on Ægisthus (i. 26-43); Minerva
checks him, turns the subjects on to Ulysses, and upbraids Jove with
neglecting him (i. 44-62). Jove answers that he had not forgotten him,
and continues:--

     "Bear in mind that Neptune is still furious with Ulysses
     for having blinded an eye of Polyphemus, king of the
     Cyclopes. Polyphemus is son to Neptune by the nymph Thoösa,
     daughter to the sea-king Phoreys, but instead of killing
     him outright he torments him by preventing him from getting
     home. Still, let us lay our heads together and see how we
     can help him to return. Neptune will then be pacified, for
     if we are all of a mind he can hardly hold out against us
     unsupported" (i. 68-79).

Let us now omit the rest of Book i., Books ii. iii. and iv. and go on
with line 28 of Book v., which follows after a very similar council to
the one that now stands at the beginning of Book i. Continuing with
line 28 of Book v. we read:--

     When he had thus spoken he said to his son Mercury:
     "Mercury, you are our messenger, go therefore and tell
     Calypso we have decreed that poor Ulysses is to return
     home. He is to be conveyed neither by gods nor men, but
     after a perilous voyage of twenty days upon a raft he is to
     reach fertile Scheria, &c." (v. 28-34).

From this point the poem continues with only one certain, and another
doubtful, reference to the suitors and Penelope, until (according to
Kirchhoff) line 184 of Book xiii. I had thought that the point of
juncture between the two poems was in the middle of line 187, and that
the ἔγρετο in the second half of the line had perhaps been originally
εὖδεν; but it must be somewhere close about this line, and I am quite
ready to adopt Kirchhoff's opinion now that I have come to see why
Ulysses was made to sleep so profoundly on leaving Scheria.

Till I had got hold of the explanation given on page 173, I naturally
thought that the strange sleep of Ulysses had been intended to lead up
to something that was to happen in Ithaca, and which had been cancelled
when the scheme was enlarged and altered; for without this explanation
it is pointless as the poem now stands.

I do not now think that there was ever any account of what happened to
Ulysses on his waking up in Ithaca, other than what we now have, but
rather that the writer was led to adopt a new scheme at the very point
where it became incumbent upon her to complete an old one. For at this
point she would first find herself face to face with the difficulty of
knowing what to do with Ulysses in Ithaca after she had got him there.

She could not ignore the suitors altogether; their existence and
Penelope's profligacy were too notorious. She could not make Ulysses
and Penelope meet happily while the suitors were still in his house;
and even though he killed them, he could never condone Penelope's
conduct--not as an epic hero. The writer of the _Odyssey_ had evidently
thought that she could find some way out of the difficulty, but when it
came to the point she discovered that she must either make Ulysses kill
his wife along with the suitors, or contend that from first to last she
had been pure as new fallen snow. She chose the second alternative, as
she would be sure to do, and brazened it out with her audience as best
she could. At line 187, therefore, of Book xiii. or thereabouts, she
broke up her 'Return' camp and started on a new campaign.

To bring the two poems together she added lines xi. 115-137, in which
Teiresias tells Ulysses about the suitors and his further wanderings
when he shall have killed them. I suppose Teiresias' prophecy to have
originally ended where Circe's does when she repeats his warning about
the cattle of the Sun-god verbatim (xii. 137-140) with the line

     ὀψὲ κακῶς νεῖαι ὸλέσας ἄπο πάντας ἑταίρους·

The first line of the addition to Teiresias' original prophecy (xi.
115) is also found with a slight variant in ix. 535, but it merely
states that Ulysses will find trouble in his house, without mentioning
what the trouble is to be.

With the two exceptions above noted, there is not only nothing in
the original poem (_i.e_., Book i. 1-79 and v. 28--xiii. 187 or
thereabouts) to indicate any intention of dealing with the suitors, but
there are omissions which make it plain that no such intention existed.
In the poem the Muse is only asked to sing the Return of Ulysses. In
the speech of Jove at the council of the gods (i. 32-43), he is not
thinking about the suitors, as he would assuredly do if the writer
had as yet meant to introduce them. In repeated speeches of the gods,
and especially in Book v. which is Book i. of the original poem (see
lines 36-42, 288, 289, and 345),[2] it seems that Ulysses' most serious
troubles were to end when he had reached Scheria. So again Calypso (v.
206-208) tries to deter him from leaving her by saying that he little
knows what he will have to go through before he gets home again, but
she does not enforce her argument by adding that when he had got to
Ithaca the worst was yet to come. I have already dealt with the silence
of Ulysses' mother in Hades.

Noting, therefore, that omission is a more telling indication of scheme
than lines which, when a new subject is being grafted on to an old one,
are certain to be inserted where necessary in order to unify the work,
I have no hesitation in believing that Books i. 1-79 and v. 28--xiii.
187 or thereabouts, formed as much as the authoress ever wrote of the
original poem; I have the less hesitation in adopting this conclusion
because, though I believe that I came to it independently as any one
must do who studies the _Odyssey_ with due attention, I find myself
in substantial agreement with Kirchhoff in spite of much difference
of detail, for I cannot admit that the two poems are by two or more
separate people.

The introduction of lines xi. 115-137 and of line ix. 535, with a
writing of a new Council of the gods at the beginning of Book v. to
take the place of the one that was removed to Book i. 1-79, were the
only things that were done to give even a semblance of unity to the
old scheme and the new, and to conceal the fact that the Muse after
being asked to sing of one subject spends two thirds of her time in
singing a very different one, with a climax for which no one had asked
her. For, roughly, the Return occupies eight Books and Penelope and the
suitors sixteen.

That lines xi. 115-137 were non-existent when Book xiii. was being
written is demonstrated by the fact of Ulysses' saying to the Phæacians
that he hoped he should find his wife living with her friends in peace
(xiii. 42, 43). He could not have said this if Teiresias had already
told him that his house would be full of enemies who were eating up his
estate, and whom he would have to kill. He could hardly forget such a
prophecy after having found Teiresias quite correct about the cattle of
the Sun-god. Indeed he tells Penelope about his visit to Hades and his
interview with Teiresias (xxiii. 323), so it is plain he remembered it.
It is plain, again (from xiii. 382 &c.), that Ulysses was then learning
from Minerva about the suitors for the first time--which could not be
if Teiresias' prophecy had been already written.

It is surprising; seeing what a little further modification would have
put everything quite straight, that the writer should have been content
to leave passages here and there which she must have known would betray
the want of homogeneity in her work, but we should be very thankful to
her for not having tidied it up with greater care. We learn far more
about her than we should do if she had made her work go more perfectly
upon all fours, and it is herself that we value even more than her
poem. She evidently preferred cobbling to cancelling, and small wonder,
for if, as was very probably the case, the work was traced with a
sharply pointed style of hardened bronze, or even steel,[3] on plates
of lead, alteration would not be so easy as it is with us. Besides,
we all cobble rather than cancel if we can. It is quite possible, but
I need hardly say that it is not more than a mere possibility, that
the abruptness of the interpolation in Book iv. lines 621-624, may be
due simply to its having been possible to introduce four lines without
cutting the MS. about very badly, when a longer passage would have
necessitated a more radical interference with it.

We look, then, for the inception of the poem in Books i. 1-79 and
v. 28-xiii. 187 or thereabouts, or more roughly in Books v.-xii.
inclusive. These Books, though they contain no discrepancies among
themselves except the twenty lines added to the prophecy of Teiresias
above referred to are not homogeneous in scope, though they are so
in style and treatment. They split themselves into two groups of
four, _i.e_., v.-viii. and ix.-xii. The first group is written to
bring Ulysses to Scheria and to exhibit the Phæacians and the writer
herself--the interest in Ulysses being subordinate; the second is
written to describe a periplus of Sicily.

Books ix.-xii. appear to have been written before Books v.-viii. We
may gather this from the total absence of Minerva. It is inconceivable
that having introduced the Goddess so freely in Books v.-viii. the
writer should allow her to drop out from the story when there was such
abundant scope for her interference. These Books are certainly by
the same hand as the rest of the poem. They show the same amount of
Iliadic influence; nowhere does a woman's hand appear more plainly;
nowhere is Sicily, and more particularly Trapani, more in evidence,
direct or indirect. It is from the beginning of Book ix. that we get
our conviction that the Ionian islands were drawn from the Ægadean, and
the voyages of Ulysses, as I have already shown, begin effectively with
Mt. Eryx and end with Trapani. We may, therefore, dismiss all idea that
Books ix.-xii. are by another writer.

Not only is the absence of Minerva inexplicable except by supposing
that at the time these Books were written it was no part of the
writer's scheme to make her such a _dea ex machinâ_ as she becomes
later, but the writer shows herself aware that the absence of the
goddess in Books ix.--xii. requires apology, and makes Ulysses upbraid
her for having neglected him from the time he left Troy till she took
him into the city of the Phæacians (xiii. 314-323). The goddess excuses
herself by saying she had known all the time that he would get home
quite safely, and had kept away because she did not want to quarrel
with her uncle Neptune--an excuse which we also find at the end of Book
vi., in which Book she has, nevertheless, been beautifying Ulysses and
making herself otherwise useful to him. I suppose Neptune did not mind
how much his niece helped Ulysses, provided she did not let him see her.

I know how my own books, especially the earlier ones, got cut about,
rearranged, altered in scheme, and cobbled to hide alteration, so that
I never fairly knew what my scheme was till the book was three-quarters
done, and I credit young writers generally with a like tentativeness.

I have now, I believe, shown sufficient cause for thinking that Books
ix.-xii., _i.e_., the voyage of Ulysses round Sicily, were the part of
the _Odyssey_ that was written first. I am further confirmed in this
opinion by finding Ulysses fasten his box with a knot that Circe had
taught him (viii. 448)--as though the writer knew all about Circe,
though the audience, of course, could not yet do so. A knowledge of
Book ix., moreover, is shown in Book ii. 19, a passage which does not
appear in my abridgement. Here we learn how Antiphus had been eaten by
Polyphemus; Book ix. is also presupposed in i. 68, which tells of the
blinding of the Cyclops by Ulysses.

We may also confidently say that Books v.--viii. were written before
i.-iv. and xiii.-xxiv. (roughly), but what the vicissitudes of Books
v.-viii. were, and whether or no they drew upon earlier girlish
sketches--as without one shred of evidence in support of my opinion I
nevertheless incline to think--these are points which it would be a
waste of time to even attempt to determine.

It is in Books v.-viii., and especially in the three last of these
books, that the writer is most in her element. Few will differ from
Col. Mure, who says of Scheria:--

There can be little doubt from the distinctive peculiarities with which
the poet has invested its inhabitants, and the precision and force
displayed in his portrait of their character, that the episode was
intended as a satire on the habits of some real people with whom he was

(_Language and Literature of Ancient Greece_, Vol. I., p. 404).

Speaking on the same page of the obviously humorous spirit in which the
Phæacian episode is conceived, Col. Mure says:---

     This episode is, perhaps, the most brilliant specimen of
     the poet's combined talent for the delineation of character
     and for satirical humour. While there is no portion of his
     works a right understanding of which is so indispensable
     to a full estimate of his genius, there is none, perhaps,
     which has been so little understood. Appeal may be made to
     the tenor of the most esteemed commentaries, still more,
     perhaps, to the text of the most popular translations,
     where the gay sarcastic tone of description and dialogue
     which seasons the whole adventure, is replaced by the
     tragic solemnity of the gravest scones of the _Iliad_.

People find what they bring. Is it possible that eminent Homeric
scholars have found so much seriousness in the more humorous parts of
the _Odyssey_ because they brought it there? To the serious all things
are serious. Coleridge, so I learn from the notes at the end of Mr.
Gollancz's _Temple Shakespeare_, saw no burlesque in the speeches of
the players which are introduced into _Hamlet_. He says:--

     The fancy that a burlesque was intended sinks below
     criticism; the lines, as epic narrative, are superb.

As Mr. Gollancz has given no reference, so neither can I. Mr. Gollancz
continues that if Coleridge had read Act II. Scene i. of _Dido_ and
_Æneas_--a play left unfinished by Marlowe--he would have changed his
mind, but I do not believe he would.

At the same time I take it that the writer was one half laughing and
the other half serious, and would sometimes have been hard put to it to
know whether she was more in the one vein than in the other. So those
who know the cantata _Narcissus_, advertised at the end of this volume,
will admit that there are people who are fully aware that there is no
music in this world so great as Handel's, but who will still try to
write music in the style of Handel, and when they have done it, hardly
know whether they have been more in jest or earnest, though while doing
it they fully believed that they were only writing, so far as in them
lay, the kind of music which Handel would have written for such words
had he lived a hundred years or so later than he did.

We may note, without, however, being able to deduce anything from it as
regards the dates at which the various parts of the poem were composed,
that in the first four Books of the _Odyssey_ the season appears to be
summer rather than winter. In all the other Books (of course excluding
those in which Ulysses tells his story) the season is unquestionably
winter, or very early spring. It is noticeable also that snow, which
appears so repeatedly in the _Iliad_, and of which Homer evidently
felt the beauty very strongly, does not appear, and is hardly even
mentioned, in the _Odyssey_. I should perhaps tell some readers that
winter is long and severe in the Troad, while on the West coast of
Sicily snow is almost unknown, and the winter is even milder than that
of Algiers.

I ought also perhaps hardly to pass over the fact that amber, which
is never mentioned in the _Iliad_, appears three times in the
_Odyssey_.[4] This may be mere accident, nevertheless Sicily was an
amber-producing country, and indeed still is so; a large collection
of Sicilian amber exists in the museum of Castrogiovanni, the ancient
Enna, and I have been assured on good authority, but have not verified
my informant's statement, that some fine specimens may be seen in the
South Kensington Museum. Speaking of Sicilian amber the _Encyclopedia
Britannica_ says:--

     The most beautiful specimens are, perhaps, those which are
     found at Catania. They often possess a beautiful play of
     purple not to be observed in the product of other places.

I cannot make out whether the first four Books were written before
the last twelve or after; probably they were written first, but there
is something to be said also on the other side. I will not attempt
to settle this point, and will only add that when we hear in mind how
both the two main divisions of the _Odyssey_--the Phæacian episode with
the Return of Ulysses, and the story of Penelope and the suitors, show
unmistakeable signs of having been written at one place, by woman,
by woman who is evidently still very young, and that not a trace of
difference in versification, style, or idiom can be found between
the two divisions, the only conclusion we should come to is that the
poem was written by one and the same woman from the first page to the
last. I think we may also conclude in the absence of all evidence to
the contrary--for assuredly none exists that deserves the name of
evidence--that we have the poem to all intents and purposes in the
shape which it had assumed in the hands of the authoress.

[1] _Introduction to Homer_, Macmillan, 1888, p. 172.

[2] None of these three passages will be found in my abridgement.

[3] _Cf_. _Od_. ix. 391-393.

[4] iv. 73, xv. 460, xviii. 296.



Before I quit my subject, I should perhaps answer a question which
the reader has probably long since asked himself. I mean, how it is
conceivable that considerations so obvious as those urged in the
foregoing Chapters should have been overlooked by so many capable
students for so many hundreds of years, if there were any truth in
them. For they lie all of them upon the surface; they are a mere
washing in the Jordan and being clean; they require nothing but that a
person should read the _Odyssey_ as he would any other book, noting the
physical characters described in the Scherian and Ithacan scenes, and
looking for them on some West coast of the Mediterranean to the West of

The answer is that the considerations which I have urged have been
overlooked because, for very obvious reasons, it never occurred to any
one to look for them. "Do you suppose, then," more than one eminent
scholar has said to me directly or indirectly, "that no one has ever
read the _Odyssey_ except yourself?" I suppose nothing of the kind,
and know that it was only possible for the truth when once lost (as it
soon would be on the establishment of the Phœnicians at Drepanum) to be
rediscovered, when people had become convinced that the _Odyssey_ was
not written by the writer of the _Iliad_. This idea has not yet been
generally accepted for more than a hundred years,[1] if so long, but
until it was seized and held firmly, no one was likely to suspect that
the _Odyssey_ could have come from Sicily, much less that it could have
been written by a woman, for there is not one line in the _Iliad_ which
even hints at the existence of Sicily, or makes the reader suspect the
author to have been a woman, while there are any number of passages
which seem absolutely prohibitive of any other opinion than that the
writer was a man, and a very strong one.

Stolberg in the last century, and Colonel Mure in this, had the key
in the lock when they visited Trapani, each of them with the full
conviction that the Cyclops incident, and the hunting the goats, should
be placed on Mt. Eryx and the island of Favognana--but they did not
turn it. Professor Freeman, Schliemann, and Sir H. Layard, all of them
visited Trapani and its immediate neighbourhood either as students or
excavators, and failed to see that there was as splendid a prize to be
unburied there without pick and shovel, outlay, or trouble of any kind,
as those of Nineveh, Mycene, and Hissarlik--and why? Because they were
still hampered by the long association of the _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_ as
the work of the same person. Knowing that the _Iliad_ could hardly have
been written elsewhere than in the Northern half of the West coast of
Asia Minor, it would never occur to them to look for the _Odyssey_ in
a spot so remote as Trapani. They probably held it to be the work of
some prehistoric Herodotus, who would go on from scene to scene without
staying longer than he could help in any one place, instead of feeling
sure, as I believe they should have done, that it was the work of one
who was little likely to have travelled more than a very few miles from
her own home. Moreover, Admiralty charts are things of comparatively
recent date, and I do not think any one would have been likely to have
run the _Odyssey_ to ground without their help.

But however this may be, I do not doubt that the habit of ascribing
the _Odyssey_ to Homer has been the main reason of the failure to
see the obvious in connection with it. Surely it is time our eminent
Iliadic and Odyssean scholars left off misleading themselves and other
people by including the _Odyssey_ in their "Introductions" to the work
of "Homer." It was permissible to do this till within recent years;
anything else, indeed, would have been pedantic, but what would have
been pedantic a hundred years ago, is slovenly and unscholarly now.

Turning from her commentators to the authoress herself, I am tempted to
wonder whether she would be more pleased or angry could she know that
she had been so long mistaken for a man--and that man Homer. It would
afford her an excellent opportunity for laughing at the dullness of
man. Angry, however, as she would no doubt be, she could hardly at the
same time help being flattered, and would perhaps console herself by
reflecting that poets as great as she was are bound to pay the penalty
of greatness in being misunderstood.

Horace tells us that mediocrity in a poet is forbidden alike by gods,
men, and publishers, but, whether forbidden or no, there are a good
many mediocre poets who are doing fairly well. So far as I can see,
indeed, gods, men, and more particularly publishers, will tolerate
nothing in a poet except mediocrity, and if a true poet by some rare
accident slips in among the others, it is because gods and publisher's
readers did not find him out until it was too late to stop him. Horace
must have known perfectly well that he was talking nonsense.

And after all it is well that things are as they are; for the mediocre
poet, though he may hang about for many years, does in the end die, or
at any rate become such a mere literary Struldbrug as to give plain
people no trouble, whereas the true poet will possess himself of us,
and live on in us whether we will or no, and unless the numbers of
such people were severely kept in check they would clog the wheels of
the world. Half a dozen first-class poets in prose or verse are as
many as the world can carry in any comfort; twenty Shakspeares, twenty
Homers, twenty Nausicaas would make literature impossible, yet we may
be sure that every country in every century could yield two or three
first-class writers, if genius were to be known at once and fostered by
those who alone know how to foster it. Genius is an offence; like all
other offences it must needs come, but woe to that man or woman through
whom it comes, for he or she must pass through the Scylla and Charybdis
of being either torn in pieces on the one hand, or so misunderstood on
the other as to make the slipping through with life in virtue of such
misrepresentation more mortifying than death itself.

Do what we may we cannot help it. Dead mind like dead body must, after
a decent interval, be buried out of our sight if living mind is to
have fair play, and it might perhaps not be a bad thing if our great
educational establishments had more of the crematorium and less of
the catacomb about them than they have at present. Our notions of
intellectual sanitation are deplorably imperfect, and unless the living
become more jealous of letting dead mind remain unconsumed in their
system, a fit of intellectual gout must ere long supervene, which, if
not fatal, will still be excruciatingly painful. Since, therefore,
there are such insuperable difficulties in the way of eliminating
geniuses when we have once absorbed them, and since also, do what we
may, we can no more detect the one genius who may be born among a
multitude of good average children, than Herod could detect the King
of the Jews among the babes of Bethlehem, we have no course but to do
much as Herod did, and lay violent hands upon all young people till
we have reduced every single one of them to such mediocrity as may
be trusted to take itself off sooner or later. To this end we have
established schools and schoolmen; nor is it easy to see how we could
more effectually foster that self-sufficiency which does so much
towards helping us through the world, and yet repress any exuberance of
originality or independence of thought which may be prejudicial to its
possessor during his own life, and burdensome to posterity when he is
dead and gone.

Obviously wise, however, and necessary as our present system is, we
nevertheless grumble at it. We would have any number of first-class
geniuses in art literature and music, and yet have plenty of elbow room
for ourselves. Our children too; they cannot show too many signs of
genius, but at the same time we blame them if they do not get on in the
world and make money as genius next to never does. Like the authoress
of the _Odyssey_ we are always wanting to have things both ways; we
would have others be forgotten, and yet not be forgotten ourselves;
when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, we would fain shuffle on
another that shall be at once less coil and less mortal, in the good
thoughts of coming generations, but if this desire is so universal as
to be called natural, it is one which the best and sanest of us will
fight against rather than encourage; such people will do their work
as well and cheerfully as they can, and make room for others with as
little fuss as possible when they have had their day.

If, however, any man resents the common course of nature and sets
himself to looking upon himself and cursing his fate that he was not
born to be of the number of them that enter into life eternal even in
this world, let him console himself by reflecting that until he is long
dead, there is no certain knowing whether he is in life or no, and also
that though he prove to be an immortal after all, he cannot escape the
treatment which he is the more sure to meet with according as he is the
more immortal--let alone the untold misery which his works will inflict
upon young people.

If ever a great classic could have been deterred from writing by a
knowledge of how posterity would treat her, the writer of the _Odyssey_
should have been so, for never has poem more easy to understand failed
more completely of being understood. If she was as lovely as I should
like to think her, was ever sleeping beauty hidden behind a more
impenetrable hedge of scholasticism? How could it be otherwise? The
_Odyssey_, like the _Iliad_, has been a school book for nearly 3,000
years, and what more cruel revenge could dullness take on genius? What
has the erudition of the last 2,500 years done for the _Iliad_ and the
_Odyssey_ but to emend the letter in small things and to obscure the
spirit in great ones?

There was indeed, as I said in my opening Chapter, a band of scholars
a century or two before the birth of Christ who refused to see the
_Iliad_ and _Odyssey_ as the work of the same person, but erudition
snubbed them and snuffed them out so effectually that for some 2,000
years they were held to have been finally refuted. Can there be any
more scathing satire on the value of scholastic criticism? It seems as
though Minerva had shed the same darkness over both the poems that she
shed over Ulysses, that they might go in and out among eminent Homeric
scholars from generation to generation, and none should see them.

The world does indeed know little of its greatest men and women, and
bitterly has it been reproached for its want of penetration, but there
are always two sides, and it should be remembered that its greatest
men and women commonly know very little of the world in its more
conventional aspects. They are continually flying in the face of all
that we expect of greatness, and they never tell us what they are; they
do not even think that they are great; if they do we may be sure that
they are mistaken; how then can we be expected to appreciate people
correctly till we have had plenty of time to think them over?

And when we have thought them over, how little have our canons of
criticism to do with the verdict which we in the end arrive at. Look at
the _Odyssey_. Here is a poem in which the hero and heroine have been
already married many years before it opens; from the first page to the
last there is no young couple in love with one another, there is in
fact nothing amatory in the poem, for though the suitors are supposed
to be madly in love with Penelope, they never say or do anything that
carries conviction as to their being so. We accept the fact, as we do
the sagacity of Ulysses, because we are told it, not because we see it.
The interest of the poem ostensibly turns mainly on the revenge taken
by a bald middle-aged gentleman, whose little remaining hair is red, on
a number of young men who have been eating him out of house and home,
while courting his supposed widow.

Moreover, this subject, so initially faulty, is treated with a
carelessness in respect of consistency and plausibility, an ignorance
of commonly known details, and a disregard of ordinary canons which
it would not be easy to surpass, and yet, such is the irony of art
that it is not too much to say that there is only one poem which can
be decisively placed above it. If the _Odyssey_ enforces one artistic
truth more than another, it is that living permanent work in literature
(and the same holds good for art and music) can only be done by those
who are either above, or below, conscious reference to any rules or
canons whatsoever--and in spite of Shakespeare, Handel, and Rembrandt,
I should say that on the whole it is more blessed to be below than
above. For after all it is not the outward and visible signs of what
we read, see, or hear, in any work, that bring us to its feet in
prostration of gratitude and affection; what really stirs us is the
communion with the still living mind of the man or woman to whom we owe
it, and the conviction that that mind is as we would have our own to
be. All else is mere clothes and grammar.

As regards the mind of the writer of the _Odyssey_ there is nothing in
her work which impresses me more profoundly than the undercurrent of
melancholy which I feel throughout it. I do not mean that the writer
was always, or indeed generally, unhappy; she was often, at any rate
let us hope so, supremely happy; nevertheless there is throughout
her work a sense as though the world for all its joyousness was
nevertheless out of joint--an inarticulate indefinable half pathos,
half baffled fury, which even when lost sight of for a time soon
re-asserts itself. If the _Odyssey_ was not written without laughter,
so neither was it without tears. Now that I know the writer to have
been a woman, I am ashamed of myself for not having been guided to my
conclusion by the exquisitely subtle sense of weakness as well as of
strength that pervades the poem, rather than by the considerations that
actually guided me.

The only approach to argument which I have seen brought forward to
show that the _Odyssey_ must have been written by a man, consists in
maintaining that no woman could have written the scene in which Ulysses
kills the suitors. I cannot see this; to me it seems rather that no
man could have brought himself to disregard probability with so little
compunction; moreover a woman can kill a man on paper as well as a
man can, and with the exception of the delightful episode in which
Ulysses spares the lives of Phemius and Medon, the scene, I confess,
appears to me to be the most mechanical and least satisfactory in the
whole poem. The real obstacle to a general belief that the _Odyssey_
was written by a woman is not anything that can be found in the poem,
but lies, as I have already said, in the long prevalence of an opinion
that it was written by the same person as the _Iliad_ was. The age and
respectability of this opinion, even though we have at length discarded
it, will not allow us to go beyond ascribing the _Odyssey_ to another
man--we cannot jump all at once to the view that it was not by a man at
all. A certain invincible scholasticism prevents us from being able to
see what we should see at once if we would only read the poem slowly
and without considering anything that critics have said concerning it.

This, however, is not an easy thing to do. I know very well that I
should never have succeeded in doing it if I had not passed some
five-and-thirty rebellious years during which I never gave the
_Odyssey_ so much as a thought. The poem is so august: it is hallowed
by the veneration of so many ages; it is like my frontispiece, so
mysterious, so imperfect, and yet so divinely beyond all perfection;
it has been so long associated with the epic poem which stands
supreme--for if the _Odyssey_ be the Monte Rosa of literature, the
_Iliad_ must, I suppose, for ever remain as the Mont Blanc; who can
lightly vivisect a work of such ineffable prestige as though it were an
overlooked _parvenu_ book picked up for a few pence at a second hand
book stall? Lightly, no, but inexorably, yes, if its natural health and
beauty are to be restored by doing so.

One of our most accomplished living scholars chided with me in this
sense a year or two ago. He said I was ruthless. "I confess," he said,
"I do not give much heed to the details on which you lay so much
stress: I read the poem not to theorise about it, but to revel in its
amazing beauty."

It would shock me to think that I had done anything to impair the sense
of that beauty which I trust I share in even measure with himself, but
surely if the _Odyssey_ has charmed us as a man's work, its charm and
wonder are infinitely increased when we see it as a woman's. Still
more must it charm us when we find the writer to be an old friend,
and see no inconsiderable part of her work as a reflection of her own

Have we, then, a right in sober seriousness so to find her? I have
shown that in the earliest known ages of Greek literature poetesses
abounded, and gained a high reputation. I have shown that by universal
consent the domestic and female interest in the _Odyssey_ predominates
greatly over the male. I have shown that it was all written in one
place, and if so--even were there no further reasons for thinking
so--presumably by one hand: I have shown that the writer was extremely
jealous for the honour of woman, so much so as to be daunted by no
impossibilities when trying to get rid of a story that she held to be
an insult to her sex. These things being so, is it too much to ask the
reader to believe that the poem was not written, as Bentley held, by
a man for women, but for both men and women, by one who was herself a

And now as I take leave of the reader, I would say that if when I began
this work I was oppressed with a sense of the hopelessness of getting
Homeric scholars to take it seriously and consider it, I am even more
oppressed and dismayed when I turn over its pages and see how certain
they are to displease many whom I would far rather conciliate than
offend. What can it matter to me where the _Odyssey_ was written, or
whether it was written by a man or a woman? From the bottom of my heart
I can say truly that I do not care about the way in which these points
are decided, but I do care, and very greatly, about knowing which way
they are decided by sensible people who have considered what I have
urged in this book. I believe I have settled both points sufficiently,
but come what may I know that my case in respect of them is amply
strong enough to justify me in having stated it. And so I leave it.

[1] I see that my grandfather, Dr. Butler, of Shrewsbury, accepts it in
his _Antient Geography_, published in 1813, but I do not know where he
got it from.


    Nothing will be Indexed which can be found readily by referring
    to the Table of Contents.

    ACITREZZA, the island of
    Æolian-Ionic dialect of the _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_
    Æolus, his island did not move about
    Agamemnon, killed in a covered cloister
    Alcinous, and Arete, their family history
      proposes that Ulysses should stay and marry Nausicaa
      promises to give Ulysses a gold cup, but never gives it,
      nor yet his talent of gold
      tells the Phæacians of Neptune's  threat
      Alcinous, Ulysses, Menelaus and Nestor, all drawn from
      the same person
    Amber, Sicilian
    Amphinomus, Ulysses rebukes
    Anticlea, tradition that she hanged herself
      in Hades, on the situation
    Antinous, never really wanted to marry Penelope
      his death throes and the  good meat that was spoiled
    Argenteria, the, near Trapani
    Argus, Ulysses and
    Aristarchus, made most use of the Marseilles
      edition of _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_
    Armour, removal of the
    Art, only interesting in so far as it reveals an artist
      the canons of, it is better  to be below than above
    Arthurian legends, the, and Tennyson
    Asinelli, the islet
    _Athenœum_, the author's two letters to the
    Atreus, treasury of
    Antolycus, an accomplished thief and perjurer
    Axe, Calypso's, had a handle
    Axes, the, why did not the suitors snatch them up?

    BALACLAVA, said to resemble Trapani
    Bayeux tapestry
    Bear, the great; Ulysses told to steer by the
    Bentley, saying the _Odyssey_ was written for women
      not perceiving that the _Odyssey_ is of later date
      than the _Iliad_
    Biaggini, the late E.
    Blind, how commentators came to think that Homer was
    Brigands, modern, and Cyclopes
    Brooch, the, of Ulysses
    Butcher and Lang, Messrs., their translation of the _Odyssey_
    Buttmann, on the Wandering Cliffs

    CALYPSO kept no man-servant
      her sailing directions to Ulysses
    Catalogues, the Iliadic known to the writer of
      the _Odyssey_
    Cave, forms of the word, much more common in _Odyssey_
      than _Iliad_
    Caves, the two near the place where Ulysses landed in Ithaca
    Cave-dwellers near Trapani
    Cefalù, megalithic remains at
      called Portazza
      relays of fresh milk at
    Charybdis and the Galofaro
    Chorizontes, the
    Circe, kept no man-servant
      as good a prophet as Teiresias
      her house and Eumæus's pig-farm
    Clergyman, doctor, carpenter, bard
    Clytemnestra, naturally of a good disposition
    Coleridge saw no burlesque in the speeches
      of the players in _Hamlet_
    Collesano, Byzantine (?) remains at
    Conturràno and his development since the _Odyssey_
    Corfu, anciently called Drepane and then Scheria
    Cyclopes, and Læstrygonians, one race
      the, had two eyes
      still near neighbours of the Phæacians
      and modern Brigands, as per Mr. Stigand's report
      in the _Times_
    Cyclops means round-faced as μήλωψ, apple-faced
      Parmenides called the moon Cyclops

    DANTE, the people whom he meets in another world
      _è un falso idolo_
    Darknesses, the two most notable of the _Odyssey_
    Defoe, sends Robinson Crusoe a man, not a woman
    Didyme, and the island of the Sirens
    Disc, Ulysses throws a
    Dobree and Φωκέων
    Doerpfeld, Dr., and the Iliadic wall
    Dolius, and Ulysses, in the house of Laertes
    Door, bedroom at Trapani fastened in the Odyssean manner
    Drepane and Drepanum
    Dulichium, the most important of the Odyssean islands

    ELPENOR, and Ulysses in Hades; his strange fall
    Elymi, Thucydides on the
    Epic cycle, the Trojan books of the, known
      to the writer of the _Odyssey_
    Eryx the Sican city on the top of, not abandoned
    Eteoneus, only a char-butler
    Ethiopians, the, known as stretching all across Africa
    Eubœa, assumed by Alcinous to be more
      distant from Scheria than Ithaca
    Eumæus, a male writer would have killed him
      a native of Syracuse
      perhaps a Greek
    Eurybates, why hunched in the shoulders
    Euryclea, becomes Eurynome
      the price paid for her, a rejoinder to the _Iliad_
      and Eurynome the same person
    Eurymachus, his death throes, and the
      good meat that was spoiled
    Eurymedon, his overthrow
    Eurynome, _see_ Euryclea
    Ewes, and lambs, the present practice in Sicily

    FAVOGNANA, derived from Favonius
      why Ulysses was not allowed to see
    Fielding, his journey to the next world; on Homer
    Fifths and Octaves, consecutive, forbidden
    Four main lines of the argument
    Freeman, Prof., his map of the West coast of Sicily
      visited Trapani

    GEESE, Penelope's dream about the
    Genius, an offence, &c.
      to be stamped out while young
    Giacalone-Patti, Prof.,
    Gladstone, the Right Hon. W. E., his
      canons as regards the text of _Iliad_ and
      _Odyssey_, viii.; the "systematic and
      comprehensive" study of Homer still
      young; contrasts the _Iliad_ and
      _Odyssey_; on Clytemnestra
      on the time when Homer wrote
    Grammerton and Shrewsbury
    Greatheart, Mr.
    _Grotta del Toro_, the

    HADES, the writer's attitude towards women, in
    Harbour, Rheithron, used five times in the _Odyssey_
      of Trapani, boatmen plying for hire
    Hawk, tearing its prey, while still on the wing
    Helen, coming down to dinner at the house of Menelaus
      mixes Nepenthe in the wine
      outside the  wooden house
      her penitence for the wrong that Venus had done her
      her present of a bridal dress to Telemachus
    Heraclidæ, return of, undateable
    Hermione, her marriage found more interesting than that of
      Megapenthes; her marriage interpolated
    Hesiod, records a time when iron was not known
    Homer, his infinite subtlety
      the authoress of the _Odyssey_ was angry with him
      why the writer of the _Odyssey_ let him so severely alone
      protest against "Introductions to Homer," which include the _Odyssey_
    Horace, and _mediocribus esse poetis_
    Horse the Trojan, story of the, shows that the Greeks did not know how
      Troy fell
    Hotel, man no use in a
    House of Ulysses, the
    Hypereia, near the Cyclopes
      probable remains of its wall
      not completely abandoned

    IACENSES, the
    Iakin, the coin, and the British Museum catalogue
      of Sicilian coins
    Ιακὀς, means Ionian
    _Iliad_, catalogues of the; date of
      the, refers to no event known to have been later than B.C. 1100
    Ingroia, Cav. Prof. of Calatafimi
    Invention, not the authoress's strong point
    Ionian Settlements on East Sicilian shores
    Irus, and Iris
    Ismarus, and its wine
    Italia, and Œnotria
    Ithaca, drawn from Trapani and its neighbourhood
      drawn from the  island of Marettimo as well as from Trapani
      "all highest up in the sea," sketch of

    JEBB, Prof, the 1892 edition of his _Introduction to Homer_
      his _Introduction to Homer_; his quotation from Bentley
      on Bentley's not seeing that the _Odyssey_ was of later date
      than the _Iliad_
      on the house of Ulysses
      and the date of the _Odyssey_
    Jews, their prayers, for men and for women
    Jones, H. Festing, vii.; his, and the author's, joint oratorio Ulysses

    KIRCHHOF, on the first 87 lines of _Od_. i.

    LAERTES, why he left off calling on Penelope and coming to town
      not poor
    Læstrygonians, derivation of the word, and _lastricare_
      and Cyclopes one race; their relays of fresh milk
    Lambs, living on two pulls a day at a milked ewe
      and ewes--the present practice
    Lang, Mr. Andrew, on the house of Ulysses
    Latin names, the use of for Greek gods and heroes defended
    Layard, Sir H., visited Trapani
    List of points necessary for the identification of Scheria
    Lubbock, Sir John, his hundred books
    Lucian, the most ungallant of all

    MAGISTRATE, a hungry, Ulysses compared to
    Malconsiglio, legends concerning
    Malta, not Calypso's island
    Man, and woman, never fully understand one another
      can caricature each other, but not draw
    Marettimo, the island, had a wall all round it
    Marseilles, the civic edition of _Iliad_ and
      _Odyssey_ used most largely by Aristarchus
    _Mediocribus esse poetis_, &c.
    Megalithieism, the two kinds of
    Megapenthes, only married because his sister was
    Melanthius and the store-room
    Menelaus, Ulysses. Alcinous, and Nestor, all from the same person
      the collapse of his splendour in Book xv.
      he used to sell wine; his frank _bourgeoisie_
      his fussiness; why made to come back on the day of Ægisthus's
      funeral feast
    Mentor, his name coined from Nestor's
    Milk rarely to be had fresh except in the
      morning in Sicily and S. Italy
    Milking ewes, what Sicilian shepherds now do
    Minerva, not an easy person to recognise, and had deserted Ulysses
      for a long time
      Ulysses upbraids her for not telling Telemachus about his return
      her opinion of Penelope
      her singular arrangements  for Telemachus
      Ulysses remonstrates  with her
      sending Telemachus a West wind to take him from Ithaca to Pylos
      her total absence in Books ix.-xii. apologised for
    Mixing-bowl, the, in an angle of the cloisters
      Phemius lays his lyre  down near the, and near the approach
      to the trap-door
    Mure, Colonel, on the Phæacian episode; visited Trapani

    NARCISSUS, a cantata by H. Festing Jones, Esq., and the author
    Nausicaa, her dream, and going to the wash
      her meeting with Ulysses
      the ill-natured gossip of her fellow townspeople
      her farewell to Ulysses
      the most probable authoress
    Nepenthe, the order in which its virtues are recorded
    Neptune, turns the Phæacian ship into stone
    Nestor, Alcinous, Menelaus, and Ulysses,
      all drawn from the same person

    OCCASIONAL notes, to show that the writer is a woman
    Octaves consecutive
    _Odyssey_, the examples of feminine mistakes
      refers to nothing of later date than B.C. 1100
    ὀρσοθύρα, the, 17, 92; the way towards was in the corner
      of the cloister, near the mixing-bowl
    Œnotria, and Italia
    Olympia, apparently unknown to the writer
    Orsi, Dr., mentioned
      and pre-Corinthian cemeteries near Syracuse
    Ortygia, and Syra

    PAGOTO, Signor Giuseppe
    Pantellaria, rightly placed as regards Scheria
      still a prison-island
    Parmenides, calls the moon Cyclops
    Penelope, her web; gets presents out of the suitors
      scandalous [ver] of her conduct in ancient writers
      versions she protests too much
      did she ever try snubbing or boring
      Minerva's opinion of her
      and the upset bath
      gloating over the luxury of woe
      not a satisfactory guardian of the estate
      tells her story to Ulysses before Ulysses tells his to her
    Perseus, does not rescue Andromeda
    Phæacian women, their skill in weaving, and general intelligence
    Phæacians, the, making drink offerings to Mercury (covert satire)
      Ulysses' farewell to the, 108; a thin disguise for Phocæans
      used 50-oared vessels like the Phocæans
    Phemius, begs for mercy
    Phocæa; and Phocæans
    Phocæa, an Ionian city surrounded by Æolians
    Phocæans, the, used 50-oared vessels; and Phocians
    Phœnician quarrymen's marks on walls of Eryx
    Phœnicians, the, distrusted, but not much known about Phœnicia
    Pic-nic, a, to Polyphemus's cave
    Pisistratus, accompanies Telemachus to Sparta
      does not like crying during dinner; gets no present
    Platt, Mr. Arthur, on the house of Ulysses
    Poetesses, early Greek, abundant
    Policeman, identifying prisoner
    Polyphemus, and his cave, drawn from life
      his system of milking; his cave still called _la grotta di
      Polifemo_; the rocks he threw, Asinelli and Formiche
      had two eyes; and Conturràno
    Portazza, and Telepylus

    QUARRY, called Dacinoi

    RAFT, Ulysses'
    Raven rock, the
    Rheithron, the harbour, used five times in _Odyssey_
    Rudder, the poetess's ideas about a
    "Ruler," a two foot, betraying a writer as a woman

    SALT works of S. Cusumano
    Sappho, and other early Greek poetesses
    Sardinian smile, a
    Scheria, means Jutland; and Drepane,
      ancient names of Corfu
    Schliemann, visited Trapani
    Seals, the intolerable smell of
      or Phocæ, malicious allusion to Phocæans
    Segesta, later than the _Odyssey_
    Selborne, Lord, his reminiscences
    Servants, like being told to eat and drink
    Shelley, on the sweetness of the _Odyssey_
    Shield of Achilles, the, its genuineness defended
    Shipwreck, and loss of Ulysses' ship
    Shirt, a clean, Alcinous' and his sons' views concerning
    Shrewsbury, and Grammerton
    Sicels, in the _Odyssey_
    Σικανίης, not corrupted into, Σικλίης
    Sirens, the, and Didyme
    Sleep, the, of Ulysses
    Smyth, Admiral, on the Æolian islands and on Charybdis
    Snow, frequent in the _Iliad_, but hardly
      ever named in the _Odyssey_
    Spadaro, Prof., of Marettimo
    Sugameli, Signor
    Suitors, the, how many from each island
      they are also the people who were sponging on Alcinous
      they cannot be perfect lovers and perfect spongers at
      the same time; their version of Penelope's conduct
    Sun, turnings of the
    Sun-god, the, leaving his sheep and cattle in charge of two nymphs
    Swallow, Ulysses bowstring sings like a
      Minerva flies out to the rafters like a
    Syracuse, pre-Corinthian

    TARRAGONA, the walls of
    Taygetus range, still roadless
    Tedesco, Signor, of Marettimo
    Telegony, the, and the _Odyssey_
    Telemachus, lectured by Minerva; and by Penelope
      the two great evils that have fallen on his house
      only twelve years old when Ulysses went to Hades
      his alarm about his property
      did not tip Eteoneus
    Telepylus, a fictitious name
    Temesa, copper mines of; its people did not speak Greek
    Tennyson, and the Arthurian legends
    Theoclymenus sees the doom that overhangs the suitors and leaves
      the house, 86; his presence in the poem, strange
    Thersites, and Eurybates
    Tholus, the
    Thucydides, and "Phocians of those from Troy"
      on the Cyclopes and Læstrygonians; substantially in
      accord with the writer of the _Odyssey_;  biassed in
      favour of the Corfu Drepane rather than the Sicilian Drepanum
    Tiresias, his prophecy, and warning about the cattle of
      the Sun
    _Toro, grotta del_
    Trapdoor, the; the way towards was  in the corner of the
      cloisters near the mixing bowl
    Trapani, what any rival site has got to show before claiming much
    Trapani and Ægadean islands from Mt. Eryx, sketch of
    Troy, date of its real or supposed fall

    "ULYSSES," H. Festing Jones's and S. Butler's oratorio
    Ulysses, fastens his chest with a knot that Circe had taught him
      his deep sleep; upbraids Minerva for not telling
      Telemachus about his impending return; and Argus
      rebukes Amphinomus; rebukes Eurymachus
      he and Telemachus remove the armour
      his brooch; having his feet washed by Euryclea
      compared to a paunch cooking before a fire
      his bedroom, surmise that the maids were hanged all round it
      interview with Laertes in the garden
      eating with Dolius
      his farewell speeches to the Phæacians, and to Queen Arete
      his main grievance a money one; he, Alcinous, Menelaus and
      Nestor, all drawn from the same person; always thankless
      why not allowed to see either Favognana or the Scherian coast
      house of, and that of Alcinous
    Unconscious, examples of
    Ustica, as the island of Æolus

    VAULTED room, the
    Virgil, and Æneas in Hades; gives the Cyclopes only one eye
      and Drepanum

    WALL, the Iliadic, date of
    Wandering cliffs, the
    Wolf, his theory baseless and mischievous
    Woman and man, never fully understand one another
      can caricature each other, but not draw
    Women, single, will not have a man in the house if they can help it
      in Hades, the writer's attitude towards
      treatment of the guilty, in the house of Ulysses
    World, its greatest men know little of the

    YORK, the Duke of, and his marriage
    Young people, apt to be thoughtless

    ZIMMERN, Miss Helen
    Zummari, la Caletta dei

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