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the goats. And when the sun set and darkness came over the land, we lay down upon the seashore and slept.
"The next day I gathered my men together, and said, 'Abide ye here, dear friends; I with my own ship and my own company will go and make trial of the folk that 5 dwell in yonder island, and see whether they are just or unjust.'
"So I climbed into my ship and bade my company follow me, and we came to the land of the Cyclopes. Close to the shore was a cave, with laurels round about the 10 mouth. This was the dwelling of the Cyclops. Alone he dwelt, a creature without law. Nor was he like to mortal men, but rather like to some wooded peak of the hills that stands out apart from all the rest.
"Then I bade the rest of my comrades abide by the 15 ship, and keep it, but I took twelve men, the bravest that there were in the crew, and went forth. I had with me a goatskin full of the wine, dark red and sweet, which the priest of Apollo at Ismarus had given me. So precious was it that none in his house knew of it saving himself 20 and his wife and one dame that kept the house. When they drank of it, they mixed twenty measures of water with one of wine, and the smell that went up from it was wondrous sweet. No man could easily refrain from drinking it. With this wine I filled a great skin and bore it 25 with me; also I bore corn in a pouch, for my heart told me that I should need it.
"So we entered the cave, and judged that it was the dwelling of some rich and skillful shepherd. For within there were pens for the young of the sheep and of the goats, divided all according to their age, and there were 5 baskets full of cheeses, and full milkpails ranged along the wall. But the Cyclops himself was away in the pastures. Then my companions besought me that I would depart, taking with me, if I would, a store of cheeses and sundry of the lambs and of the kids. But I would not, for I 10 wished to see what manner of host this strange shepherd might be, and, if it might be, to take a gift from his hand, such as is the due of strangers. Verily, his coming was
not to be a joy to my company.
"It was evening when the Cyclops came home, a 15 mighty giant, very tall of stature, and when we saw him. we fled into the secret place of the cave in great fear. On his shoulder he bore a vast bundle of pine logs for his fire, and threw them down outside the cave with a great crash, and drove the flocks within, and closed the entrance 20 with a huge rock, which twenty wagons and more could not bear. Then he milked the ewes and the she-goats, and half of the milk he curdled for cheese, and half he set ready for himself, when he should sup. Next he kindled a fire with the pine logs, and the flame lighted up 25 all the cave, showing to him both me and my comrades.
"Who are ye?' cried Polyphemus, for that was the giant's name. 'Are ye traders or, perhaps, pirates?'
"I shuddered at the dreadful voice and shape, but bore me bravely, and answered: 'We are no pirates, mighty sir, but Greeks sailing back from Troy, and subjects of the great King Agamemnon, whose fame is spread 5 from one end of heaven to the other. And we are come to beg hospitality of thee in the name of Zeus, who rewards or punishes hosts and guests, according as they be faithful the one to the other or no.'
"Nay,' said the giant; it is but idle talk to tell me 10 of Zeus and the other gods. We Cyclopes take no account of gods, holding ourselves to be much better and stronger than they. But come, tell me where you have left your ship?'
"But I saw his thought when he asked about the ship, 15 for he was minded to break it, and take from us all hope of flight. Therefore I answered him craftily:
Ship have we none, for that which was ours Poseidon broke, driving it on a jutting rock on this coast, and we whom thou seest are all that are escaped from the 20 waves.'
Polyphemus answered nothing, but without more ado caught up two of the men, as a man might catch up a dog's puppies, and dashed them on the ground, and tore them limb from limb, and devoured them, with huge 25 draughts of milk between, leaving not a morsel, not even the very bones. But we that were left, when we saw the dreadful deed, could only weep and pray to Zeus for help.
And when the giant was filled with human flesh and with the milk of the flocks, he lay down among his sheep and slept.
"Then I questioned much in my heart whether I should slay the monster as he slept, for I doubted not that 5 my good sword would pierce the giant's heart, mighty as he was. But my second thought kept me back, for I remembered that, should I slay him, I and my comrades would yet perish miserably. For who could move away the great rock that lay against the door of the cave? So 10 we waited till the morning, with grief in our hearts. And the monster woke, and milked his flocks, and afterwards, seizing two men, devoured them for his meal. Then he went to the pastures, first putting the great rock against the mouth of the cave."
-A. J. CHURCH: The Story of the Odyssey.
sun'dry, several; ver'i ly, truly; stat'ure, height; pi'rates, sailors who capture ships and rob them; hos pi tal'i ty, kindness to strangers or guests; a do', trouble, bother.
1. What preparation did Ulysses make for his visit to the cave of the Cyclops? 2. Describe the cave. 3. Describe the appearance of the Cyclops. 4. Who was Zeus? 5. Who was Poseidon? 6. Why did Ulysses deceive the Cyclops about his ship? 7. Why did he refrain from killing the sleeping Cyclops? 8. What trait of the hero's character does this show?
Spelling. Learn to spell these words orally, and to write them from dictation: government, civilization, neighboring, siege, captured, adventures, marvelous, journey, shepherd, comrades.