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Now the zeal of the rival disputants was almost equal, until that shifty, smooth-mouthed liar, the son of Laertes, whose tongue is always at the service of the mob, persuaded the army not to put aside the best of all the Danaids for want of a servant-maid's sacrifice, nor have it said by any of the dead that stand beside Persephone that the Danaids have left the plains of Troy without gratitude for their companions who died for Hellas. Odysseus will be here in an instant, to drag the tender maiden from your breast and tear her from your aged arms. Go to the temples, go to the altars, at Agamemnon's knees sit as a suppliant! Invoke the gods, both those in heaven and those beneath the earth. For either your prayers will avail to spare you the loss of your unhappy child, or you must see your daughter fall before the tomb, her crimson blood spurting in deep dark jets from her neck encircled with gold.
Odysseus O Hecuba, be schooled by me, and do not in your angry mood count him a foe who speaks wisely. Your life I am prepared to save, for the service I received; I do not say otherwise. But what I said to all, I will not now deny, that after Troy's capture I would give your daughter to the chief man of our army because he asked a victim. For here is a source of weakness to many states, whenever a man of brave and generous soul receives no greater honor than his inferiors. Now Achilles, lady, deserves honor at our hands, since on behalf of Hellas the man died most nobly. Is not this a foul reproach to treat him as a friend in life, but, when he is gone from us, to treat him so no more? Enough! what will they say, if once more there comes a gathering of the army and a contest with the foe? “Shall we fight or nurse our lives, seeing the dead have no honors?” For myself, indeed, when alive, if my daily store were scant, yet it would be all-sufficient, but my tomb I should wish to
Agamemnon Where then was he, when his city was being destroyed? Hecuba His father, fearful of his death, conveyed him out of Troy. Agamemnon Where did he place him apart from the sons he then had? Hecuba In this very land, where his corpse was found. Agamemnon With Polymestor, the king of this country? Hecuba He was sent here in charge of gold, most bitter trust! Agamemnon By whom was he slain? What death overtook him? Hecuba By whom but this man? His Thracian host slew him. Agamemnon The wretch! could he have been so eager for the gold? Hecuba Just so, when he heard of the Phrygians' disaster. Agamemnon Where did you find him? or did some one bring his corpse? Hecuba This woman, who happened upon it on the sea-shore. Agamemnon Was she seeking it, or bent on other tasks? Hecuba She had gone to fetch water from the sea to wash Polyxena. Agamemnon It seems then his host slew him and cast his body out to sea. Hecuba Yes, for the waves to toss, after mangling him in thi
Chorus And I was braiding my tresses beneath a tight-drawn head-band before my golden mirror's countless rays, so that I might lie down to rest; when through the city rose a din, and a cry went ringing down the streets of Troy: “You sons of Hellas, when, oh! when will you sack the citadel of Ilium, and seek your homes