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An old woman comes out of the palace in answer to his call.

Old woman
Who's at the door? Get away from the house and don't annoy my master by standing at the court-yard gate! Or else you will die because you are [440] a Hellene, and they have no business here.

Menelaos
My good woman, you can say these same words in a different tone, for I shall be persuaded; but let go your angry speech.

Old woman
Go away! Stranger, my orders are to let no Hellene come near this house.

Menelaos
[445] Ah! Do not push me, or thrust me away by force.

Old woman
You are to blame, for not heeding what I say.

Menelaos
Announce to your master inside—

Old woman
I think someone would be sorry, if I announced your words.

Menelaos
I come as a shipwrecked man and a guest; such people are safe from violence.

Old woman
[450] Well, go to some other house instead of this one.

Menelaos
No; I am going inside. You listen to me.

Old woman
Know that you're only causing trouble; and soon you'll be thrown out by force.

Menelaos
Alas! Where are those glorious armies of mine?

Old woman
Perhaps you were grand somewhere, but not here.

Menelaos
[455] O my fortune, how we have been unworthily dishonored.

Old woman
Why are your eyes wet with tears? To whom are you lamenting?

Menelaos
To my fortunes, which were happy before this.

Old woman
Well then, why don't you go away and give these tears to your friends.

Menelaos
What is this land? Whose palace is this?

Old woman
[460] Proteus lives here, the land is Egypt.

Menelaos
Egypt? O wretched, that I have sailed here!

Old woman
And why do you blame the bright gleam of the Nile?

Menelaos
I do not blame it; I am sighing for my fate.

Old woman
Many people are doing badly; you are not the only one.

Menelaos
[465] Is the king you name in the house?

Old woman
This is his tomb; his son rules the land.

Menelaos
And where might he be? Abroad, or in the house?

Old woman
He is not inside; he is most bitterly opposed to the Hellenes.

Menelaos
What cause does he have? I have felt the consequences of it!

Old woman
[470] Helen, the daughter of Zeus, is in this house.

Menelaos
What do you mean? What did you say? Tell me again.

Old woman
The daughter of Tyndareus, who once lived in Sparta.

Menelaos
Where did she come from? What is the meaning of this?

Old woman
She came here from the land of Lakedaimon.

Menelaos
[475] When? Surely I have not been robbed of my wife from the cave?

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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • James Adam, The Republic of Plato, 8.554A
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