|A maid servant then brought them water in a beautiful golden ewer and
poured it into a silver basin for them to wash their hands, and she drew a
clean table beside them. An upper servant brought them bread, and offered
them many good things of what there was in the house, the carver fetched
them plates of all manner of meats and set cups of gold by their side, and a
man-servant brought them wine and poured it out for them.
Then the suitors came in and took their places on the benches and seats. Forthwith men servants poured water over their hands, maids went round with the bread-baskets, pages filled the mixing-bowls with wine and water, and they laid their hands upon the good things that were before them. As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink they wanted music and dancing, which are the crowning embellishments of a banquet, so a servant brought a lyre to Phemius, whom they compelled perforce to sing to them.
As soon as he touched his lyre and began to sing Telemachus spoke low to Minerva, with his head close to hers that no man might hear.