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Formerly, though I was sunk in misfortune, the hope always drew me to him that if the child lived my family would find some kind of help and defense. But ever since Neoptolemus married Hermione, spurning my bed since he was master and I a slave, I have been hounded with cruel ill-treatment by her. For she says that with secret poisons I make her childless and an object of hatred to her husband, and that I wish to take her place in the house, casting her marriage-bed out by violent means. This bed I received unwillingly to begin with and now I have relinquished it. Great Zeus be my witness that it was against my will that I became sharer in this bed! But I cannot persuade her of this, and she wants to kill me. Menelaus her father is acting as his daughter's accomplice in this, and he is now in the house, having come from Sparta for this very purpose. In fear I have come and taken my seat at this shrine of Thetis near the house on the chance that it may save me from death. For Peleu
Andromache sung It was not as a bride that Paris brought Helen to lofty Troy into his chamber to lie with but rather as mad ruin. For her sake, the sharp warcraft of Greece in its thousand ships captured you, O Troy, sacked you with fire and sword, and killed Hector, husband to luckless me. The son of the sea-goddess Thetis dragged him, as he rode his chariot, about the walls of Troy. I myself was led off from my chamber to the sea-shore, putting hateful slavery as a covering about my head. Many were the tears that rolled down my cheeks when I left my city and my home and my husband lying in the dust. Oh, unhappy me, why should I still look on the light as Hermione's slave? Oppressed by her I have come as suppliant to this statue of the goddess and cast my arms about it, and I melt in tears like some gushing spring high up on a cliff.
Enter by Eisodos A women of Phthia as Chorus. Chorus Woman, you who have been long sitting upon the floor of Thetis' shrine without leaving it, though I am a Phthian, I have come to you, scion of Asia, in the hope that I might be able to heal the struggles hard to resolve, struggles that have joined you, unhappy woman, and Hermione in haeateful quarrel about a bed two-fold, since you share a husband, the son of Achilles.
Enter from the skeneHermione, dressed and bejewelled in impressive style. Hermione The finery of luxurious gold I have about my head and this variegated cloth I wear on my body—I did not wear coming these on my arrival here as the first-fruits of the house of Achilles or of Peleus, but my father Menelaus gave them to me from the city of Sparta together with a large dowry, and therefore I may speak my mind. [So it is with these words that I reply to all of you.] But though you are a slave woman won by the spear, you mean to throw me out of this house and take possession of it: because of your poisons I am hated by my husband, and my womb is perishing unfruitful because of you. The minds of Asian women are clever at such things. But I shall stop you from carrying out this plan, and the temple of the Nereid here will profit you not at all, not its altar or its sanctuary, but you will be put to death. If some god or mortal means to save your life, you must cease from those rich prou