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Enter Messenger.

Take heart, you daughters who were nurtured by your mother. Our city has escaped the yoke of slavery; the boasts of the powerful men have fallen to the ground. [795] The city enjoys fair weather and has taken on no water even though it has been buffeted by many waves. The walls hold, and we have fortified the gates with champions fully capable in single-handed combat. For the most part all is well, at six of the gates. [800] But lord Apollo, the reverend leader of the seventh,1 took for himself the seventh gate, accomplishing upon the children of Oedipus the ancient follies of Laius.

What novel happening will further affect the city?

The city is saved, but the kings born of the same seed—

[805] Who? What did you say? I am out of my mind with fear of your report.

Control yourself now and listen. The sons of Oedipus—

Ah, miserable me, I am prophet of these evils.

In truth, beyond all question, struck down in the dust—

Are they lying out there? This is hard to bear, but say it just the same.

[810] The men are dead, murdered by their very own hands.

Then with hands so fraternal did they each kill the other together?

Yes, so all too equal was their destiny to them both. All alone, in truth, it consumes the ill-fated family. We have cause in this for joy and tears— [815] the one because the city fares well, the other because the leaders, the two generals, have divided the whole of their property with hammered Scythian steel. They will possess only that land they take in burial, swept away as they were in accordance with their father's curses. [820] [The city is saved, but through their mutual murder the earth has drunk the blood of the two kings born of the same seed.]Exit.

1 An obscure designation of Apollo, often referred to the tradition that he was born on the seventh day. The adjective looks like a military title, but divisions of seven were unknown.

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