Books > Old Books >The Elson Readers Book Six (1910)


Page 273

STORIES OF GREECE AND ROME
THE STORY OF ULYSSES

and Ulysses awoke. He said to himself, "What is this land to which I have come? Are they that dwell here fierce or kind to strangers? Just now I seemed to hear the voices of nymphs-can I be near the dwellings of men?"
Then he gazed about him in bewilderment, and rose and went toward the maidens. Frightened at his wild appearance they fled hither and thither, all but Nausicaa.
She called to her maidens, "Why do you flee when you see a stranger? No enemy comes here to harm us, for we are dear to the gods. But if any man comes here sorrowing or in trouble, it is well to befriend him. Give this man, therefore, food and drink and clothing."
So they brought him down to the river, and gave him a tunic and a cloak to clothe himself, and also olive oil in a flask of gold. Then Nausicaa said to Ulysses:
" Follow with the maidens, and I will go in the wagon and lead the way to the city."
And they came to the city, and to the palace of King Alcinous. A splendid place it was, with walls of brass, and doors of gold hanging on posts of silver; and on either side of the door were dogs of gold and silver. Along the wall from the threshold to the inner chamber were seats, on which sat the chiefs of the Phaeacians, feasting; and youths wrought in gold stood holding torches in their hands, to give light in the darkness. Fifty women were in the house grinding corn and weaving robes, for the women of the land were no less skilled in weaving than were the men in sailing the sea. And round about the house were beautiful gardens with orchards of fig, and apple, and pear, and pomegranate,
and olive. There was also a vineyard, and beds of all kinds of flowers; and in the midst of all were two never-failing fountains.
These things Ulysses gazed upon for a time, and then

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