"I will tell you then truth," replied her son. "We went to Pylos andsaw Nestor, who took me to his house and treated me as hospitably asthough I were a son of his own who had just returned after a longabsence; so also did his sons; but he said he had not heard a wordfrom any human being about Ulysses, whether he was alive or dead. Hesent me, therefore, with a chariot and horses to Menelaus. There I sawHelen, for whose sake so many, both Argives and Trojans, were inheaven's wisdom doomed to suffer. Menelaus asked me what it was thathad brought me to Lacedaemon, and I told him the whole truth,whereon he said, 'So, then, these cowards would usurp a brave man'sbed? A hind might as well lay her new-born young in the lair of alion, and then go off to feed in the forest or in some grassy dell.The lion, when he comes back to his lair, will make short work withthe pair of them, and so will Ulysses with these suitors. By fatherJove, Minerva, and Apollo, if Ulysses is still the man that he waswhen he wrestled with Philomeleides in Lesbos, and threw him soheavily that all the Greeks cheered him- if he is still such, and wereto come near these suitors, they would have a short shrift and a sorrywedding. As regards your question, however, I will not prevaricate nordeceive you, but what the old man of the sea told me, so much will Itell you in full. He said he could see Ulysses on an islandsorrowing bitterly in the house of the nymph Calypso, who waskeeping him prisoner, and he could not reach his home, for he had noships nor sailors to take him over the sea.' This was what Menelaustold me, and when I had heard his story I came away; the gods thengave me a fair wind and soon brought me safe home again."
With these words he moved the heart of Penelope. Then Theoclymenussaid to her:
"Madam, wife of Ulysses, Telemachus does not understand thesethings; listen therefore to me, for I can divine them surely, and willhide nothing from you. May Jove the king of heaven be my witness,and the rites of hospitality, with that hearth of Ulysses to which Inow come, that Ulysses himself is even now in Ithaca, and, eithergoing about the country or staying in one place, is enquiring into allthese evil deeds and preparing a day of reckoning for the suitors. Isaw an omen when I was on the ship which meant this, and I toldTelemachus about it."