HOMEWARD VOYAGE OF ODYSSEUS.—With
his twelve ships laden with enormous treasures, captured during the sacking of
Troy, Odysseus set sail with a light heart for his rocky island home of Ithaca.
At length the happy hour had arrived which for ten long years the hero had so
anxiously awaited, and he little dreamt that ten more must elapse before he
would be permitted by the Fates to clasp to his heart his beloved wife and
During his homeward voyage his
little fleet was driven by stress of weather to a land whose inhabitants
subsisted entirely on a curious plant called the lotus, which was sweet as
honey to the taste, but had the effect of causing utter oblivion of home and
country, and of creating an irresistible longing to remain for ever in the land
of the lotus-eaters. Odysseus and his companions were hospitably received by
the inhabitants, who regaled them freely with their peculiar and very delicious
food; after partaking of which, however, the comrades of the hero refused to
leave the country, and it was only by sheer force that he at length succeeded
in bringing them back to their ships.