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FIFTH YEAR LANGUAGE READER
THE WANDERINGS OF ULYSSES
THREE thousand years ago the world was still young. The western continent was a huge wilderness, and the greater part of Europe was inhabited by savage and wandering tribes. Only a few nations at the eastern end of the Mediterranean and in the neighboring parts of Asia 5 had learned to dwell in cities, to use a written language, to make laws for themselves, and to live in a more orderly fashion. Of these nations the most brilliant was that of the Greeks, who were destined in war, in learning, in government, and in the arts, to play a great part in the 10 world, and to be the real founders of our modern civilization. While they were still a rude people, they had noble ideals of beauty and bravery, of duty and justice. Even before they had a written language, their singers had made songs about their heroes and their great deeds; and later, 15 these songs, which fathers had taught to children, and these children to their children, were brought together into two long and wonderful poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey,* which have ever since been the delight of the world.
* The pronunciation of proper names is given at the end of the volume. 1
The Iliad is the story of the siege of Ilium, or Troy, on the western coast of Asia Minor. Paris, son of the king of Troy, had enticed away Helen, the most beautiful of Grecian women, and the wife of a king; and the 5 kings and princes of the Greeks had gathered an army and a fleet and sailed across the Egean Sea to rescue her. For ten years they strove to capture the city. According to the fine old legends, the gods themselves took a part in the war, some siding with the Greeks, and some with 10 the Trojans. It was finally through Ulysses, a famous Greek warrior, brave and fierce as well as wise and crafty, that the Greeks captured the city.
The second poem, the Odyssey, tells what befell Ulysses, or Odysseus, as the Greeks called him, on his homeward 15 way. Sailing from Troy with his little fleet of ships, which were so small that they used oars as well as sails, he was destined to wander for ten years longer before he could return to his rocky island of Ithaca, on the west shore of Greece, and to his faithful wife, Penelope.
He had marvelous adventures, for the gods who had opposed the Greeks at Troy had plotted to bring him ill-fortune. Just as his ships were safely rounding the southern cape of Greece, a fierce storm took them out of their course, and bore them to the land of the Lotus, a 25 plant which brings to whosoever eats it forgetfulness of home and duty, and gives desire for sleep and indolence, and he had much ado to get his crew away. Then they
came to the land of the one-eyed, man-eating giants, where he had the adventure told in the next lesson.
As you read the selections from these ancient tales, you will see why, for century after century, they have been the longest loved and the best loved of all tales 5 -beloved by old and young, by men and women and children. For they are hero-tales, tales of war and adventure, tales of bravery and nobility, tales of the heroes that mankind, almost since the beginning of time, have looked to as ideals of wisdom and strength and 10 beauty. - G. R. CARPENTER.
were des'tined, were fated, whose fortune or fate or destiny it was; mod'ern, new, recent; civ il i za'tion, state of refinement; i de'als, standards of perfection; siege, encamping round a city or fortified place for the purpose of capturing it; in 'do lence, laziness.
1. Find Greece on your maps.
2. What direction is it from us? 3. How long would it take you to go there? 4. What sea did the Greeks cross in going from their country to Troy? Trace their route on your map. 5. Who was Ulysses and why do we read of
his adventures? 6. When did these adventures befall him? 7. Find out what gods the Greeks worshiped.
Oral Composition. - Tell the story of The Siege of Troy in your own words.
Capital Letters.-1. In the title of Lesson 1, as given in the table of contents (page xi), why is the word The written with a capital letter? 2. Why is Wanderings written with a capital? 3. What is the rule for the use of capitals in titles? 4. Copy the titles of five of the stories in this book, and of five of the poems. 5. Write the names of ten books that you have read. 6. Write the titles of five compositions that you have written.
ULYSSES AND THE CYCLOPS
[Ulysses is telling his adventures to the king of the Phæacians, who helped him on his journey homeward.]
"THEN We took to our oars, and rowed for many days till we came to the country where the Cyclopes dwell. Now a mile or so from the shore there was an island, very fair and fertile, but no man dwells there or tills the soil; 5 and in the island was a harbor where a ship may be safe from all winds, and at the head of the harbor a stream falling from a rock, and whispering alders all about it. Into this the ships passed safely, and were hauled up on the beach, and the crews slept by them, waiting for the 10 morning.
"When the dawn appeared, then we wandered through the island; and the Nymphs of the land started the wild goats that my company might have food to eat. Thereupon we took our bows and our spears from the ships, and 15 shot at the goats; and the gods gave us plenty of prey. Twelve ships I had in my company, and each ship had nine goats for its share, and my own portion was ten.
"Then all the day we sat and feasted, drinking sweet wine and eating the flesh of the goats; and we 20 locked across to the land of the Cyclopes, seeing the smoke and hearing the voices of the men and of the sheep and of