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Orestes Who are you? How well you ask about Hellas! Iphigenia I am from there; while still a child I was lost. Orestes Then rightly you desire to know what has happened there, lady. Iphigenia What about the general, who is said to be happy? Orestes Who? The one I knew was not happy. Iphigenia There was said to be a certain lord, Agamemnon, son of Atreus. Orestes I do not know; leave this subject, lady. Iphigenia No, by the gods, but tell me, stranger, to delight me. Orestes The wretched man is dead, and in addition he destroyed another. Iphigenia Dead? By what fate? I am unhappy! Orestes Why do you mourn for this? It doesn't concern you, does it? Iphigenia I grieve for his former prosperity. Orestes Yes, for he was dreadfully murdered by a woman. Iphigenia O miserable the slayer . . . and the slain! Orestes Stop now, and do not ask further. Iphigenia Only this much, if the wife of the wretched man is alive. Orestes She is not; she was killed by the son that she bo
Iphigenia Which of you is called by the name of Pylades? I want to know this first. Orestes That one, if you have any pleasure in the knowledge. Iphigenia Of what city of Hellas were you born a citizen? Orestes What would you gain by learning this, lady? Iphigenia Are you brothers, from one mother? Orestes By friendship, yes; we are not brothers by birth, lady. Iphigenia What name did your father give you? Orestes I might rightly be called Unfortunate. Iphigenia I do not ask that; as
back to Menelaus' home?
She has; it was an unfortunate arrival for one dear to me.
And where is she? She deserves an ill turn from me also.
She lives at Sparta with her former bedfellow.
Creature hated by Hellas, not by me alone!
I have also had some benefit from the marriage of that woman!
Have the Achaeans returned, as reported?
How you put everything together and ask me all at once!
Before you die, I want to pro
Chorus Leader But here come the two youths, with tightly bound hands, the new sacrifice for the goddess; silence, my friends. These first-fruits of Hellas are indeed approaching the temple; the herdman did not deliver a false message. Lady Artemis, if this city carries out the rites in a way pleasing to you, accept the victims, which the custom among us declares to be unholy.
Chorus Would that, by my mistress' prayers, Helen, Leda's dear child, might happen to leave Troy and come here, where she might die, crowned over her hair by the bloody water, her throat cut by the hands of my mistress, and so pay her requital. But what a sweet message I should receive, if a sailor came from Hellas, to put an end to my wretched slavery! For may I even in dreams be at home and in my ancestral city, the enjoyment of pleasant sleep, a grace we have in common with prosperity.
Chorus Keep a holy silence, you who inhabit the double clashing rocks of the Black Sea! O daughter of Leto, Dictynna of the mountains, to your hall, to the golden walls of your temple with beautiful pillars, I, the servant of the holy key-holder, bend my holy virgin steps. For I have left the towers and walls of Hellas, famous for horses, and Europe with its forests, my father's home. I have come. What is the news? What is troubling you? Why have you brought me, brought me to the shrine, you who are the daughter of Atreus' son, master of a thousand ships and ten thousand soldiers, who came to the towers of Troy with a famous fleet?
Thoas Lady Athena, whoever hears the words of the gods and does not obey, is not thinking rightly. I am not angry at Orestes, for going off with the goddess' image, or at his sister; for what good is it to contend against the strength of gods? Let them go to your land with the statue of the goddess, and let them establish it there, with good fortune. I will send these women also to fortunate Hellas, as you bid me. And I will stop the army and the ships I raised against the strangers, as you think this right, goddess. Athena I commend you; for necessity rules both you and the gods. Go, winds, carry the son of Agamemnon to Athens by sea; I will journey with them, and keep safe the holy image of my sister.