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It shall be as you ask, luckless maiden, since it would be a disgrace to me also if you were not given proper rites. There are many reasons, your bravery [570] and the justice of your request. You are the bravest of all women, the bravest I have ever seen. But, if it is your will, say your last words as a farewell to your brothers and the old man and go.

Farewell, old man, farewell! Please train up [575] these boys to be such men as yourself, wise for every occasion, not more wise than that: that will suffice. With all your zeal try to save them from death. We are your children, we have been raised by your hands. You see that I am offering my young womanhood [580] and about to die in their place. And you, my brothers who are with me, may you have happiness, and may there befall you all the things my heart shall be cheated of! Treat with honor the old man and also the old woman [585] within the house, Alcmene, my grandmother, and also these your hosts. And if the gods ever grant you a respite from your troubles and a return to your home, remember what manner of burial you ought to give to the woman who saved your lives. A burial with all honors, you know, would be only right. For I did not fail [590] to help you but died on behalf of the family. These deeds I have as treasures to replace children and the days of my maidenhood, if indeed there is any existence beneath the earth. But I pray that there may not be. For if we mortals who are on the point of death are to have cares even in that place, [595] where can we turn? For death, men think, is trouble's greatest cure.

But know, o bravest of all women, know that both in life and in death we will hold you in great honor! [600] Farewell! Reverence keeps me from speaking ill of the goddess to whom your body is devoted.

Exit Maiden by Eisodos B.
My children, I am destroyed. My limbs melt with grief. Take hold of me and set me down on the altar, right here, covering my head with my garments. [605] For I take no pleasure in what has occurred, and if the oracle is not fulfilled, my life is no life at all. All the greater will be my ruin. What we have seen is already a calamity.Some of the sons put Iolaus before the temple and cover his head.

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 417
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