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Clytemnestra
reappearing from the tent.
I have come from the tent to look out for my husband, who went away and left its shelter long ago; [1100] while my poor child, hearing of the death her father designs for her, is in tears, uttering in many keys her piteous lamentation. Catching sight of Agamamnon. It seems I was speaking of one not far away; for there is Agamemnon, [1105] who will soon be detected in the commission of a crime against his own child.

Agamemnon
Daughter of Leda, it is lucky I have found you outside the tent, to discuss with you in our daughter's absence subjects not suited for the ears of maidens on the eve of marriage.

Clytemnestra
What critical moment is it that you are seizing?

Agamemnon
[1110] Send the maiden out to join her father, for the lustral water stands there ready, and barley-meal to scatter with the hand on the cleansing flame, and heifers to be slain before the marriage, in honor of the goddess [Artemis, their black blood spouting from them].

Clytemnestra
[1115] Though the words you use are good, I do not know how I am to name your deeds in terms of praise. Come forth, my daughter; well you know what is in your father's mind; take the child Orestes, your brother, and bring him with you in the folds of your robe. [1120] Behold! she comes, in obedience to your summons. I will speak the rest for her and for myself.

Agamemnon
My child, why do you weep and no longer look cheerfully? why are you fixing your eyes upon the ground and holding your robe before them?

Clytemnestra
Ah! with which of my woes shall I begin? [1125] for I may treat them all as first, or put them last or midway, anywhere.

Agamemnon
What is it? I find you all alike, confusion and alarm in every eye.

Clytemnestra
My husband, answer frankly the questions I ask you.

Agamemnon
[1130] There is no necessity to order me; I am willing to be questioned.

Clytemnestra
Do you mean to slay your child and mine?

Agamemnon
starting.
Ha! these are heartless words, unwarranted suspicions!

Clytemnestra
Peace! answer me that question first.

Agamemnon
Put a fair question and you shall have a fair answer.

Clytemnestra
[1135] I have no other questions to put; give me no other answers.

Agamemnon
O fate revered, O destiny, and my fortune!

Clytemnestra
Yes, and mine and hers too; the three share one bad fortune.

Agamemnon
Whom have I injured?

Clytemnestra
Do you ask this question? A thought like that itself amounts to tboughtlessness.

Agamemnon
[1140] Ruined! my secret betrayed!

Clytemnestra
I know all; I have heard what you are bent on doing to me. Your very silence and those frequent groans are a confession; do not tire yourself by telling it.

Agamemnon
See, I am silent; for why should I tell you a falsehood, [1145] and add effrontery to misfortune?

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    • Basil L. Gildersleeve, Syntax of Classical Greek, The Article
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