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Agamemnon
Offspring of Leda, guardian of my house, [915] your speech fits well with my absence; for you have drawn it out to ample length. But becoming praise—this prize should rightly proceed from other lips. For the rest, pamper me not as if I were a woman, nor, like some barbarian,1 [920] grovel before me with widemouthed acclaim; and do not draw down envy upon my path by strewing it with tapestries. It is the gods we must honor thus; but it is not possible for a mortal to tread upon embroidered fineries without fear. [925] I tell you to revere me not as a god, but as a man. Footmats and embroideries sound diverse in the voice of Rumor; to think no folly is the best gift of the gods. Only when man's life comes to its end in prosperity dare we pronounce him happy; [930] and if I may act in all things as I do now, I have good confidence.

Clytaemestra
Come now, tell me this, in accordance with your mind.

Agamemnon
Purpose! Be assured that I shall not corrupt my mind.

Clytaemestra
You would in fear have vowed to the gods to act thus.

Agamemnon
If someone with full knowledge had pronounced this word.

Clytaemestra
[935] What do you suppose that Priam would have done, if he had achieved your triumph?

Agamemnon
He would have set foot upon the embroideries, I certainly believe.

Clytaemestra
Then do not be be ashamed of mortal reproach.

Agamemnon
And yet a people's voice is a mighty power.

Clytaemestra
True, yet he who is unenvied is unenviable.

Agamemnon
[940] Surely it is not woman's part to long for fighting.

Clytaemestra
True, but it is right for the happy victor to yield the victory.

Agamemnon
What? is this the kind of victory in strife that you prize?

Clytaemestra
Oh yield! Yet of your own free will entrust the victory to me.

1 Some take this to mean: “Nor, as if I were a barbaric chieftain, grovel to me.”

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 65
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