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Agave
[1280] Ah! What do I see? What is this that I carry in my hands?

Kadmos
Look at it and learn more clearly.

Agave
I see the greatest grief, wretched that I am.

Kadmos
Does it seem to you to be like a lion?

Agave
No, but I, wretched, hold the head of Pentheus.

Kadmos
[1285] Yes, much lamented before you recognized him.

Agave
Who killed him? How did he come into my hands?

Kadmos
Miserable truth, how inopportunely you arrive!

Agave
Tell me. My heart leaps at what is to come.

Kadmos
You and your sisters killed him.

Agave
[1290] Where did he die? Was it here at home, or in what place?

Kadmos
Where formerly dogs divided Actaeon among themselves.

Agave
And why did this ill-fated man go to Kithairon?

Kadmos
He went to mock the god and your revelry.

Agave
But in what way did we go there?

Kadmos
[1295] You were mad, and the whole city was frantic with Bacchus.

Agave
Dionysus destroyed us—now I understand.

Kadmos
Being insulted with insolence, for you did not consider him a god.

Agave
And where is the body of my dearest child, father?

Kadmos
I have traced it with difficulty and brought it back.

Agave
[1300] Are its joints laid properly together?

Kadmos
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Agave
What part did Pentheus have in my folly?

Kadmos
He, like you, did not revere the god, who therefore joined all in one ruin, both you and this one here, and thus destroyed the house and me, [1305] , who am bereft of my male children and see this offspring of your womb, wretched woman, most miserably and shamefully slain. He was the hope of our line—you, child, who supported the house, son of my daughter, [1310] an object of fear to the city; seeing you, no one wished to insult the old man, for you would have given a worthy punishment. But now I, great Kadmos, who sowed and reaped [1315] a most glorious crop, the Theban people, will be banished from the house without honor. Dearest of men—for though you are dead I still count you among my dearest, child—no longer will you embrace me, calling me grandfather, touching my chin with your hand, child, and [1320] saying: “Who wrongs you, old man, who dishonors you? Who vexes and troubles your heart? Tell me, father, so that I can punish the one who does you wrong.” But now I am miserable, while you are wretched, your mother is pitiful, and wretched too are your relatives. [1325] If anyone scorns the gods, let him look to the death of this man and acknowledge them.

Chorus Leader
I grieve for you, Kadmos. Your daughter's child has a punishment deserved indeed, but grievous to you.

Agave
Father, for you see how much my situation has changed ...
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    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Syntax of Classical Greek, Tenses
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