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Enter a female servant from the house.

Servant
Mistress, I do not shrink from calling you this name since it was the name I thought proper in your house when we lived in the land of Troy. I was well disposed toward you there and to your husband while he lived, [60] and now I have come to you with bad news, in fear that one of the masters might hear of it but out of pity for you: Menelaus is planning dreadful acts against you with his daughter. Against them you must take precaution.

Andromache
Dearest fellow-slave (for you are fellow-slave [65] to your former mistress, who is now unfortunate), what are they doing? What kind of plans are they weaving now, in their desire to kill me, woman most wretched?

Servant
They are about to kill your son, unhappy woman, whom you sent secretly out of the house. Menelaus has left the house to fetch him.

Andromache
[70] Oh me! Has he discovered the son I sent into hiding? How could he have done so? Alas, I am undone!

Servant
I do not know. But I had this word from them.

Andromache
Then I am undone. O my son, these two vultures [75] will take you and kill you, and the man who is called your father tarries in Delphi.

Servant
I think that you would not be in such sorry plight if he were present. But as it is you are bereft of friends.

Andromache
Is there also no word of Peleus' coming?

Servant
[80] He is too old to help you were he here.

Andromache
And yet I sent a message more than once.

Servant
Do you suppose any of your messengers cared about you?

Andromache
Of course not! Will you then be messenger?

Servant
What shall I say being so long from home?

Andromache
[85] You will find many dodges: you are a woman.

Servant
There is risk. Hermione is no slouch as guard.

Andromache
You see? You fail your friends in their misfortune!

Servant
No, indeed: don't reproach me with that! I will go, since in any case the life of a slave [90] is not much to admire if I do in fact suffer disaster.

The servant departs by Eisodos A.

Andromache
Go then! For my part I shall draw out at length to the upper air the laments and groans and tears to which my whole life is devoted. There is in women is an inborn pleasure in having their present misfortunes [95] always on their tongues. I have many things, not one, to lament, my native land, the death of Hector, and the hard lot to which I have been yoked when I fell undeservedly into slavery. [100] One should never call any mortal happy until, after his death, one sees how he passes his last day and goes below.

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Troy (Turkey) (1)
Hermione (Greece) (1)
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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.pos=7.5
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